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Chapter XXIV

1. Zarathustra inquired concerning the government. To which I'hua'Mazda replied, saying:

2. To the All Pure disciples there is no need of government, save to do the Will of Ormazd. But no people are all pure; no people are all wise. Two kinds of government created the Creator; the first is His Own, the Government of Ormazd; the second is the government mortals have amongst themselves.

3. Zarathustra inquired if government did not abridge liberty. I'hua'Mazda said: The Ormazdian government giveth liberty; so far as man's government partaketh after the Ormazdian government, it giveth liberty also.

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4. Zarathustra inquired: What is the best, most potent, man's government? To which I'hua'Mazda replied: This is the best, most potent, man's government: First, there shall not be more than two thousand people, so that they can know one another; and no city shall be larger than that.

5. The oldest, wisest, best man shall be the chief rab'bah; but the families of tens and families of hundreds within the city shall have each, one rab'bah, being the oldest, wisest, best man.

6. These rab'bahs shall be the government of the city. They shall have a government house, and it shall be the place of decrees.

7. Zarathustra said: How shall they make decrees, that the decrees pervert not liberty? I'hua'Mazda said: Ask not this, O man! He who crieth out constantly for his liberty is a selfish man, he is a druk. Save a man be willing to sacrifice his liberty somewhat, for the public good, he is unworthy before Ormazd. To find the amount of sacrifice, this is the business of the decrees.

8. Zarathustra said: How, then, shall the rab'bah proceed? I'hua'Mazda said: When they are seated, the chief rab'bah shall announce the subject; neither shall any other rab'bah announce the subject. But if a rab'bah have a subject, he shall state it beforehand to the chief rab'bah.

9. After the subject is announced, then shall all the rab'bahs speak on the subject; but they shall not speak against one another; each one declaring his highest light.

10. When they have all spoken, then shall the chief rab'bah speak his highest light, which he gathereth from the others in the first place, but which is afterward illuminated by the Light of Ormazd, and this shall be the decree.

11. Zarathustra inquired concerning the laws betwixt cities. I'hua'Mazda spake to Zarathustra, the All Pure, explaining the Ormazdian law. He said: A city is a family of one. A small village is a family of one; for which reason is a city called Ir. And every city shall have one God-ir, who shall be the oldest, best, wise man. The God-irs shall meet in council to consider what is good for all the cities jointly. For some cities are situated p. 231b for flax and wool, some for iron, and some for copper, and some for ships.

12. Zarathustra inquired concerning the Council of God-irs. I'hua'Mazda answered him, saying: The God-irs shall choose the oldest, best, wise man amongst them, and he shall be called God-ir Chief. And he shall sit in the east in the Council chamber, and he shall present the subjects, after they have been told him by the other God-irs. And when he hath presented a subject, all the members shall speak upon it. And after they have all spoken, then the God-ir Chief shall speak, and his words shall be the decree, which shall be called the Zarathustrian law, because the All Light dwelleth with the Chief, and he cannot err. This is the Ormazdian law, the I'hua'Mazdian law, the Zarathustrian law.

13. Zarathustra said: Of a walled city (giryah), what is the Ormazdian law? I'hua'Mazda answered, saying: To the I'hins, walled cities; to the I'huans, cities without walls. To the cities of the druks, walls. This is the kingdom of I'hua'Mazda; they that have faith, why shall they build walls? They shall not hoard up gold and silver; none will rob them. After Zarathustra, two people will live. One shall be the people of this world; the other shall be the people of Ormazd. The former shall strive for earthly things; the latter for spiritual things. And there shall be no affinity betwixt these two people. From this time forth, the Zarathustrian people, who have faith in the Father, shall not have walled cities (save the I'hins, the sacred people). But this world's people, having no faith in the Father, shall have faith in stone walls; whereby ye may know which are righteous in my sight.

14. Zarathustra inquired concerning the smallest of cities. I'hua'Mazda answered him, saying: The smallest city is a man and his wife and children. And even as the people in a large city are one with one another, so shall a man and his wife and children be one with one another.

15. And as a large city must have a head father, so shall a small one. Whatsoever hath no head is nothing.

16. Zarathustra said: In the government of a large city, the fathers speak on a subject, and after them, the head father decreeth.

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17. I'hua'Mazda said: Even so shall it be in a family of husband and wife. The wife shall speak first, and the children next, if old enough; and after that the father shall decree. That which is a good law for a large city, is good for a small one. As the kingdoms in heaven are governed, so shall be the kingdoms on earth.

18. Zarathustra inquired concerning a bad husband and a good wife, and a bad wife and a good husband? I'hua'Mazda spake to Zarathustra, the All Pure, saying:

19. Who knoweth what is good and what is bad? Are not all men to give themselves as sacrifice to the Father, and all women also? If a good woman is not willing to sacrifice herself to a bad husband, after having sworn to Ormazd, then she is not good, but a lover of herself. A good woman hath no self to serve. Because her husband turneth out bad, shall she also? Is it not good for her in the place Ormazd provided? Shall she set up her judgment against the Father's?

20. There be men of evil, and of passion, who abuse their wives. Knoweth not every damsel this? For this reason, if she commit herself to her husband in the name of the Father, He heareth her. And He establisheth His kingdom in her house. And that man and woman have no longer themselves to consult as to their desires; for if the Father desireth her to leave her husband, or the husband to leave the wife, He taketh one of them to heaven. Think not that He changeth as the wind, or boweth Himself to please the caprice of man or woman. Rather let the good wife, with a bad husband, say to Ormazd:

21. Because I was vain, Thou hast rebuked me, O Father. Because I sought to change my condition, Thou hast shown me I knew not what was good for me. Yea, thou hast shown me the folly of my judgment before Thee, and I will profit in turning to Thy Will. I will not more open my mouth in complaint. Though I be scourged with stripes, and made ashamed of my household, yet will I glorify Thee. The city Thou hast founded in me, will I begin at the foundation, and build up as a holy city, in Thy name.

22. And she shall say to her husband, who beateth her: Because the Father p. 233b gavest thou to me, I will rejoice and sing in thy praise. Before I sleep at night, I will ask His blessing upon thee, and in the early morning, and at high noon. Though thou mayst hate me, yet will I do so great good works for thee, thou shalt love me. Though thou mayst kill me, yet will I go into heaven and build a house for thee.

Next: Chapter XXV