Book of God’s Word Chapters V and VI
1. When the day arrived for the slaughter of the male infants, not more than a thousand
mothers appeared at the place of execution with their infants, the others having risen in
the night previous and departed out of the gates, upward of eighty-nine thousand mothers.
2. When the king went to the place of execution, having set apart the day as a holiday,
and not finding but a thousand infants present, he inquired the reason, and, having been
told, he said: Can it be that mothers love their offspring more than they respect the
decrees of the king? Asha was standing near, having stripped himself ready for execution,
and he answered the king, saying:
3. Because they love their offspring, is it not the love of the flesh? And doth not the law
stand above all flesh? In this matter, then, because they have evaded the law, they have
adjudged themselves also to death.
4. Then came Betraj, the king’s wife, bringing the infant. Betraj said: Here is thy son, O
king, ready for the sacrifice. Asha reasonest well; there must be an All Highest, which
never erreth; which is the law of the king. Take thou my flesh and blood and prove thy
decrees. What! Why hesitate? If thou swerve one jot or tittle, then shalt thou open the
door for all men to find an excuse against the law. Doth not the sun blight a harvest when
he will? Yea, and strike dead our most beloved? Art thou not descended from the Sun
Gods? Who will obey the laws if thou, thyself, do not?
5. The king said: Behold, it is yet early morn; let the officers go fetch all who have
escaped beyond the walls, and both mothers and children shall be put to death. Till
then, let the proceedings be suspended. Now there had congregated a vast multitude,
anxious to witness the slaughter; and when the king suspended matters, there went up
cries of disappointment. And many said: When a thing toucheth the king, he is a coward.
6. The king returned for his palace, leaving Asha standing stripped for the execution. And
the multitude cried out: More is Asha like a king than So-qi. Let us make him king.
King So-qi! We will not have a sheep for a king! And none could stay them, or be
heard above their noise; and they ran after the king and slew him with stones, and they
made Asha King of the Sun. And there was not one infant slain according to the decrees.
7. God saith: Think not, O man, that things happen without a cause, or that all things are
left to chance. In my works I go beforehand and plan the way, even more carefully than a
captain lieth siege to a city. Before Zarathustra was born I sent ashars to choose out my
personages. Think not that Asha made his own arguments; but by virtue of the presence
of my ashars, whom he saw not, he spake and behaved in my commandments, not
knowing it. And even so was it with the king’s wife; my angels also inspired her to speak
before the king. And those that fled out of the city, were inspired by my hosts of angels.
8. God said: Yet with the king’s decree I had no part, for I foresaw he would do this of
his own will; and with the multitude in slaying the king I had no part, for I saw they
would do this on their own account. Neither would the multitude hear my voice, even
though I had spoken to every man’s soul; for in them tetracts were the ascendant power.
9. God saith: The multitude slew the king because he had gone so far from me he heeded
me not. And I made Asha king, because he came so near me my power was with him
through my ashars.
1. During the infant age of Zarathustra, God manifested no more through him; but he sent
Ejah, one of his Lords, to be with Zarathustra, day and night. And Ejah taught the infant
wisdom in all things, but showed himself to none else.
2. When Zarathustra was half grown, the Lord began to manifest through him, giving
signs and miracles and prophecy before the Listians who lived in the Forest of Goats.
This forest was of the width in every direction, save the east, of forty days’journey for a
man, and in all that region there were no houses, the inhabitants living in tents made of
bark and skins.
3. The Lord inspired Zarathustra to teach them to build houses, and tame the goats, and to
live in cities, and otherwise subdue the earth through righteousness; the chief center of
their habitations being on the river Apherteon and its tributaries. And it was from these
inhabitants that sprang in after years the migrants called Fonece’ans, signifying, out of the
mountains. Nevertheless, these people were I’huans, but because of the cruelties of the
Par’si’ean kings, they fled and lived in the forests.
4. The Lord said to Zarathustra: Behold the people who fly from the kings! I have made
them kings over goats and over the beasts of the fields.
5. And from this time forth the Listians styled themselves shepherd kings. And
Zarathustra taught them of the Lord, that man should have dominion over the beasts of
the forests, but that no man should hold dominion over his neighbor. Consequently,
every man of the Listians styled himself a king, and every woman styled herself a queen.
6. Again the Lord said to Zarathustra: Go thou, my son, whither I will lead thee, and thou
shalt find a people sacred to the Great Spirit. So Zarathustra wandered beyond the Forest
of Goats, and came to Hara’woetchij, to the south of the mountains of Oe’tahka, where
were three large cities and twelve small ones, inhabited by I’hins.
7. And the Lord had been with the I’hins, and foretold them Zarathustra was coming, so
that it was proven on both sides. The Lord said to the high priest: Thou shalt suffer
Zarathustra to come within the walls of the cities, for he is pure.
8. So Zarathustra went in, and, in the time of worship before the altar of God, the Lord
appeared in a great light and commanded the high priest, saying: Behold, I have brought
my son to thee. Him shalt thou anoint as a priest according to the I’hin laws; and thou
shalt teach him the rites and ceremonies of the ancients.
9. Accordingly Zarathustra was made a priest and was otherwise accepted as an I’hin, and
bestowed under the rod with water and with fire. And he also taught the sacred words and
the art of writing and making tablets; and of weaving cloth and making clothes from flax.
10. Seven years Zarathustra remained with the I’hins, fasting and praying, and singing and
dancing before the Lord. And then the Lord commanded him to return through the Forest
of Goats, the which he did, teaching before the Listians whithersoever he halted for a rest,
and the Lord was with him, working miracles.
11. At the end of another seven years the Lord said to Zarathustra: Behold, the dawn of
light is come! Thou shalt, therefore, bestow thy mother with thy people, and I will lead
thee to the city of thy birth. Zarathustra said: Tell me, O Lord, of the city of my birth?
12. The Lord said: It is a great city, but it shall fall before thy hand; for I’hua’Mazda hath
turned his favor away from its kings.
13. In two days’journey Zarathustra came to Oas, and entered into the city, but he brought
no provender with him. Now, it was a law of Oas, that all strangers coming into the city,
should bring provender as a testimony of fidelity to the laws and to the king. So, when he
came to the inner gate, the keeper asked him for provender; but Zarathustra answered
14. Naked I came into the world, and Ormazd asked me not for provender. Is thy king
greater than the Creator?
15. The keeper said: I know not thy words; shall a servant explain laws? To which
Zarathustra said: Thou art wise; neither shalt thou suffer for disobedience in letting me
pass. The Lord will give thee food.
16. When he had spoken thus, there fell at the feet of the keeper an abundance of fruit,
and the keeper feared and stood aside, suffering Zarathustra to pass in. The keeper not
only told the people of the miracle, but ran and told the king, likewise. This was Asha,
who had reigned since the death of So-qi; and Asha no sooner heard of the miracle than
he imagined the person to be the same whom he had seen in infancy.
17. Asha, the king, sent officers at once to find Zarathustra, and bring him before
the court. But the Lord knowing these things, inspired Zarathustra to go on his own
account; and he went accordingly before the king, even before the officers returned.
18. The king said: Who art thou? and for what purpose hast thou come before the king?
19. Then spake I’hua’Mazda through Zarathustra, saying: I am I’hua’Mazda, God of the
I’huans. He through whom I speak, is Zarathustra, whom thou sawest in his mother’s
arms. We twain are one. I have come before thee, O king, because of two reasons: thou
hast sent for me; and I desire to use thee.
20. The king said: Speak further, stranger, that I may approve of thy words.
21. In the time of So-qi, said I’hua’Mazda, I made thee king of Oas, and from that day
to this my ashars have been with thee and heard thee oft praying privately for
information of the infant thou sawest; for it resteth heavily on thy judgment whether or no
man be immortal. Sit thou with me this night privily, and I will show thee So-qi’s soul.
22. Asha said: Thou wert to smite the city and it would fall. Behold, it standeth! Yet I
desire not to stand in my own light. Then Zarathustra spake on his own account, saying:
Fear not, O king, for this philosophy. As thou wouldst bend a straw, so do the Gods wield
the nations of the earth. The city will fall ere six years pass, and thou shalt be reduced to
beggary, and yet thou shalt be happier than now.