quarta-feira, 5 de abril de 2017


Ephraim was the favorite servant of a successful merchant called Salathiel who lived in a village next to Mount Ebal, north of Nablus, one of the main commercial centers of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. He has become the favorite servant to have always proceeded with ethics and righteousness, qualities he always devoted to the tasks assigned to him.
Ephaim faithfully fulfilled his duties as an employee, both in tending the herd of goats and in tending zealously over the vines.
Salathiel was a very rich and vary fair man, and sought to treat all the people with whom he coexisted – servants, relatives, customers end other merchants – with much respect and consideration.
One day Salathiel called Ephraim and gave him the safe that contained his money. He would be away for a few weeks and wanted to be sure that his estate would be well taken care of.
Ephraim assured the master that he would watch over the treasure as if he was caring for his own life. Salathiel then departed confidently that he would do good business in the places where he was going and that his money was in good hands.
In fact, Salathiel had hidden the bulk of his fortune in a cave that only he knew the location. He left with Ephraim only a safe containing one hundred gold coins and many stones to serve as ballast. What he was doing was just a test of fidelity, for there was no real need for a servant to be the keeper of his treasure.
Being the merchant’s favorite, Ephraim was a constant object of envy from the rest of the household, and as soon as the master disappeared on the horizon, Azariah who maintained a certain leadership over the other servants, plotted a story to tarnish the image of the favorite in the eyes of Salathiel and put himself in his place.
Even without knowing the value contained in the safe, Azariah decided to report to the boss on his return saying that Ephraim had opened the safe and stolen some coins.
So he resolved, and so he did.
When Salathiel returned he was informed by Azariah and the other servants that Ephraim had betrayed his confidence, opened the safe and stolen some coins. The servants went further, telling Satathiel that the next time he should leave it was in Azariah that he should trust, for Ephraim has not shown himself worthy of such confidence.
Disgusted with the problem, for he had full confidence in Ephraim, Salathiel decided to investigate. First, he opened the safe and counted the coins. He was pleased of what he saw, and greatly relieved to learn that his judgement on Ephraim was fair and correct. The safe contained the exact one hundred gold coins and the loose srones.
At the same time he was sad to know that his house harbored vipers like Azariah and thought of the best way to punish him.
Since he was not a violent man and as his family estate had not been harmed, Satathiel reasoned that he would make only a brief speech and lead Azariah to execration in the community.
He gathered the servants, reported the fact, and declared that under his roof there could only live those who had good intentions and pure soul. Unfounded accusations and the spread of disharmony in the family was an act of the devil and this would not be tolerated. 
He concluded by saying: “He who invents mischiefs about his neighbor, with false allegations that the neighbor is doing mischief, shows a petty character. Who spreads news without proof of its truthfulness proves to have in his mind the same dirt he perpetrated to incriminate an innocent. I never believed that Ephraim could betray me or to act improperly but I do believe that in his place Azariah would have acted dishonestly because his mind is capable of conceiving such villainy. Let this example serve as a lesson to all who, out of envy seek to rise to the detriment of others. By acquiring nobility and dignity all of you will have your turn, but using the viperine tongue and shameless attitudes you will distance yourself from credibility and from God”.  

December 31, 2013

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