went forth throughout all the coast of Judaea, and the trumpet of the Lord sounded, and they all ran. But Joseph, casting away his adze, himself ran also into the synagogue: and having been assembled they went away unto the priest. And the priest took the rods of all, and went into the Temple and prayed. But having ended his prayer he came forth and gave to each one his rod, and there was no sign in them. But Joseph received the last rod. And lo! a dove came forth from the rod and flew up upon Joseph's head. And the priest said unto him, ‘Thou hast obtained by lot to receive the virgin of the Lord: receive her unto thyself to guard.’ ... And Joseph, being affrighted, received her to guard. ... But Mary, having taken a pitcher, went out to fill it with water. And lo! a voice, saying, ‘Hail, O highly favoured! the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.’ And she looked around to right and left [to see] whence this voice came. And having become alarmed she departed unto her house; and having set down the pitcher ... she sat down upon the seat. ... And lo! an angel of the Lord stood by, saying unto her, ‘Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found favour in God's sight, and thou shalt conceive from His Word (ὲκ λόγου αὺτου).’ But Mary having heard considered in herself, saying, ‘Shall I conceive according as every woman beareth?’ And the angel saith unto her, ‘Not thus, Mary; for the power of the Highest shall overshadow


thee, therefore also the holy thing that is to be born shall be called Son of the Highest: and thou shalt call His name Jesus."

The legend of Mary's being brought up in the Temple is found in many other apocryphal works besides the one we have here quoted. For example, in the Coptic "History of the Virgin 1" we read:—

"She was nourished in the Temple like the doves, and food was brought to her from the heavens by the angels of God. And she was wont to do service in the Temple; the angels of God used to minister unto her. But they used often to bring her fruits also from the Tree of Life, that she might eat of them with joy." And in another Coptic work entitled the "Story of the Decease of Joseph 2" the following passage occurs:— "Mary used to dwell in the Temple and worship there with holiness, and she grew up until she became twelve years old. In her parents' house she abode three years, and in the Temple of the Lord nine years more. Then the priests, when they perceived that that virgin lived chastely and dwelt in the fear of the Lord, spake to one another, saying, ‘Let us seek out a good man and betroth her unto him until the time of the marriage-feast.’ ... And they forthwith summoned the tribe of Judah and chose out from it twelve men according to the names of

1 Coptic Apocryphal Gospels, p. 15: Frag. ii. A: lines 10-12.
2 Op. cit., capp. 3, 4, p. 132.