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STUDIES OF THE NAZARETH BAPTIST CHURCH IBANDLA LAMANAZARETH
THE STORY OF ISAIAH SHEMBE

TRANSLATED BY HANS-JÜRGEN BECKEN
EDITED BY IRVING HEXHAM AND G.C. OOSTHUIZEN

Copyright Hexham, Oosthuizen, Becken 1995

Published by the Edwin Mellen Press, Box 450, Lewiston, New York, USA, 14092-0450; Tel. 716-754-2266; Fax. 716-754-4056.
You can find the Press' Home Page at: EMP HOME PAGE

A PARABLE OF SHEMBE
138 The parable of the bundle of sticks

1.1 There was a man who had two sons. They lived together in a great harmony. When they were eating they ate at the same place and from the same dish. This man had many cattle and many other possessions at his home. When he was about to leave this earth, he said to his sons: "Gather six sticks on the mountain and bring them to me. Each of you shall gather three sticks."

1.2 The sons did what their father had told them to do. When they returned, he said: "Bind these sticks together and plant them in like a cross. Then try to break them." They did this, but the sticks did not break. Then he said: Now separate them and break them one by one. Now they broke them quickly to pieces.

1.3 The father said: "My children, I shall now leave this earth. Stick together after my death like these sticks in the bundle. Divide my heritage among you in peace, and do not quarrel over its distribution. Because if you should separate you will break like these sticks."

1.4 He advised them to divide his cattle, sheep and goats equally. Thereafter, this man passed away. He was buried and the final purification after the mourning period was arranged to bring him back home. Then the time came when his heritage was distributed and they divided everything in peace as their father had advised them to do.

1.5 Then Satan said: "I shall settle in the watch." When everything had been distributed a watch remained. Then the younger brother said: "My brother, let me have this watch." The elder one said: "No, I want to have it." This dispute over the watch went on, and it became evident, that they would separate because of this watch, which was a very fine and glossy pocket watch. They entangled each other and quarrelled and because of this dilemma of their fight, the younger one was looking for another building site and he also found one.

1.6 When he was living in the new home, which he had built for himself he fell sick. Their father had told them that they should not separate and when each would have his own home they would easily perish. Then the people came to the elder brother and said: "Go and look for your brother, because he is sick." However, when he wanted to go there his attention was distracted by many other matters and he did not visit his brother. Then he had a dream:

1.7 He saw the young wife of his brother and their children eating ashes and charcoal. His brother was sleeping. And then he saw himself taking the pocket watch and bringing it in the night to the hut of his brother. He lightened there a match and put this watch there because he thought that it would be easier when his brother would wake and find the watch there in his hut. It would have been too hard for him to give him the watch into his hand.

1.8 When he left the hut he forgot to extinguish the match by which he had made his way light when putting the watch there. When he was already at a distance away, a fire rumbled and the hut burned down. He saw a large glowing fire which burned the hut together with the watch and with all things that were inside.

1.9 The next morning he rose and went to his sick brother. When he saw him he pounced at his chest and embraced him. The younger brother took leave of his elder brother and passed away in his arms. Remember the words and the deeds concerning these sticks which were breaking when they were scattered. Amen.

(Mbongiseni Mdluli)