1 A decree from Augustus for taxing the Jews. 5 Joseph puts Mary on an ass, to return to Bethlehem, 6 she looks sorrowful, 7 she laughs, 8 Joseph inquires the cause of each, 9 she tells him she sees two persons, one mourning and the other rejoicing. 10 The delivery being near, he takes her from the ass, and places her in a cave.
AND it came to pass, that there went forth a decree from the Emperor Augustus, that all the Jews should be taxed, who were of Bethlehem in Judaea.
2 And Joseph said, I will take care that my children be taxed; but what shall I do with this young woman?
3 To have her taxed as my wife I am ashamed; and if I tax her as my daughter, all Israel knows she is not my daughter.
4 When the time of the Lord's appointment shall come, let him do as seems good to him.
5 And he saddled the ass, and put her upon it, and Joseph and Simon followed after her, and arrived at Bethlehem within three miles.
6 Then Joseph turning about saw Mary sorrowful, and said within himself, Perhaps she is in pain through that which is within her.
7 But when he turned about again, he saw her laughing, and said to her,
8 Mary, how happens it, that I sometimes see sorrow, and sometimes laughter and joy in thy countenance?
9 And Mary replied to him, I see two people with mine eyes, the one weeping and mourning, the other laughing and rejoicing.
10 And he went again across the way, and Mary said to Joseph, Take me down from the ass, for that which is in me presses to come forth.
11 But Joseph replied, Whither shall I take thee? for the place is a desert.
12 Then said Mary again to Joseph, take me down, for that which is within me mightily presses me.
13 And Joseph took her down.
14 And he found there a cave, and let her into it.
1 Joseph seeks a Hebrew midwife, 2 perceives the owls stopping in their flight, 3 the working people at their food not moving, 8 the sheep standing still, 9 the shepherd fixed and immoveable, 10 and kids with their mouths touching the water but not drinking.
AND leaving her and his sons in the cave, Joseph went forth to seek a Hebrew midwife in the village of Bethlehem.
2 But as I was going (said Joseph), I looked up into the air, and I saw the clouds astonished, and the fowls of the air stopping in the midst of their flight.
3 And I looked down towards the earth, and saw a table spread, and working people sitting around it, but their hands were upon the table and they did not move to eat.
4 They who had meat in their mouths did not eat.
5 They who lifted their hands up to their heads did not draw them back,
6 And they who lifted them up to their mouths did not put any thing in;
7 But all their faces were fixed upwards.
8 And I beheld the sheep dispersed, and yet the sheep stood still.
9 And the shepherd lifted up his hand to smite them, and his hand continued up.
10 And I looked unto a river, and saw the kids with their mouths close to the water, and touching it, but they did not drink.