This is an excerpt from a Jewish text entitled the “Apocryphon of Ezekiel,” which survived in Greek but was probably composed originally in Hebrew. This story is an imaginary conversation between Marcus Aurelius (Antoninus) and Rabbi Yehudah ha-Nasi. Both the Talmud and patristic Christian writers comment on some of these stories, which helps us to date this document to the end of the 1st century CE.
Antoninus said to Rabbi (Yehuda ha-Nasi), “The body and the spirit are both able to escape from judgment. How? The body says, ‘The spirit sinned, for from the day it separated from me; behold, I have been lying like a silent stone in the grave.’ Also, the spirit can say, ‘The body sinned, for from the day I separated from it, behold, I have been flying in the air like a bird.’ ” And he (Rabbi) said to him, “I will give you an illustration:
The lame and blind men in the garden “To what may this be compared? To a king of flesh and blood who possessed a beautiful garden which had beautiful early figs. And he set in it two guards, one lame and one blind. The lame man said to the blind man, ‘I see beautiful early figs in the garden. Come and carry me on your back, and we will gather (them) to eat them.’ The lame man rode upon the blind man and they gathered them and ate them. “After a few days, the owner of the garden came. He said to them, ‘Where are those beautiful early figs?’ Then the lame man said to him, ‘Do I have feet to walk with?’ Then the blind man said to him, ‘Do I have eyes to see with?’
“What did he (the king) do? He made the lame man ride upon the blind and he judged them as one. So the Holy One, blessed be he, brings the spirit and placing it in the body, he also judges them as one. For it is said, ‘He will call to the heavens from above and to the earth, so he might judge his people.’ ‘He will call to the heavens from above’—this to the spirit. ‘And the earth so he might judge his people’—this to the body.” (Apocryphon of Ezekiel 1)
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