A Parable

There was a rich man, who had many possessions, and many servants. One day the overseer of the rich man caught a servant stealing from the master, and bid the servant go. “Take with you whatever treasures you have acquired, leave, and do not return.” Now the servant left, but his face fell, and he was angry for he could not find a buyer for the treasure he had stole from the rich man’s house, and it was heavy.

The underling was cunning, and said to himself, “I know the scribes are corrupt, and the soldiers are greedy for blood. I will tell them that the master gave me the treasure, and I was sent away in envy.” So the servant went to the scribes and told them his false story, and their corruption rose in their hearts as they pondered their share of the plunder. They called the soldiers, and all of them went to the gate of the rich man’s house, and demanded to see the rich man.

Now the rich man was away on business. The overseer, seeing the thief and the magistrates and the soldiers at the gate thought the servant had been caught stealing from another. He opened the door, and said, “Have you caught this wicked servant stealing from another? He no longer works here, for what does my master have to do with evil?” The scribes replied to the overseer, saying, “It is reported that you put this man out unjustly, and he has had to live with the beasts of the field. Behold, we have brought many soldiers, and we hold this servant’s word against you.” The overseer replied, “The master has left many things in my care, but they are not mine to give. You seek to work wickedness on my master. Go!” The faces of the scribes grew red with anger, and they grabbed the overseer and said to the soldiers, “Go and get the master’s wife, that we may take from her what is owed the servant, and she may show us due hospitality.”

The overseer cried out, “You must not do this thing!” But they could not hear him for their hearts were hard, and the neighbors who had come out to see the soldiers and magistrates became afraid, and they went back into their own houses. The soldiers of the city knocked the overseer down, and bound him up. And the scribes and the thief overturned the house while the soldiers had their way with the rich man’s wife until morning, for there were many soldiers. When they had their fill of evil in their hearts, and their fill of loot in their hands they left, and the people of the town closed their shutters so they would not see. When they left, the scribes said to the bound overseer, “Be glad we kept the servant’s treasure.”

(h/t: Zippy)

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