``And the priest said, "Mary why hast thou done this and hast humbled thy soul..." But she wept bitterly, saying "As the Lord God liveth, I am pure in His sight and I know not a man."'' (Protoevangelium Jacobi, quoted by Tisdall, p.160, quoted by Abdul-Haqq)
The word translated pen was also "reed". The Qur'anic verse points to two events : 1) the use of divination to determine who Mary should marry and 2) the quarrel (between Joseph and the High Priest). A parallel passage can be found in Protoevangelion of James 8:9-16 :
"After the High-Priest had received their rods, he went into the temple to pray; and when he had finished his prayer, he took the rods, and went forth and distributed them, and there was no miracle attending them. The last rod was taken by Joseph, and behold, a dove proceeded out of the rod, and flew upon the head of Joseph. And the High Priest said, 'Joseph, you are the person chosen to take the virgin of the Lord, to keep her for Him.' But Joseph refused, saying, 'I am an old man, and have children, but she is young, and I fear lest I should appear ridiculous in Israel.' The High Priest replied, 'Joseph, fear the Lord your God, and remember how God dealt with Dathan, Korah, and Abiram, how the Earth opened up, because of their contradiction. Now therefore, Joseph, fear God, lest the like things should happen in your family. Joseph then, being afraid, took her into his house...." (Protoevangelion of James 8:9-16)
Al-Baidhawi adds that Imram's wife was barren and advanced in age. One day she saw a bird feeding her young and so she herself longed for an offspring. She prayed to God for a child and promised to present it to the Temple at Jerusalem. God heard her prayer and she gave birth to Mary. (Abdul-Haqq, p.47)
Apropcryphal Protoevangelium of James the Less have:
``And having gazed fixedly into the sky Anna saw a nest of sparrows in the bay tree, and she made lamentation in herself saying, "Woe is me! to what am I likened? I am not likened to the birds of the air, for even the birds are productive in the sight of the Lord!" ... And lo! an angel of the Lord stood by saying unto her, "Anna! Anna! the Lord God hath hearkened unto thy petition, thou shalt conceive and shall bear, and thy seed shall be spoken of in all the world." But Anna said, "As the Lord my God liveth, if I bear either male or female, I shall offer it as a gift unto the Lord my God, and it shall continue to do Him service all the days of its life." Anna brought forth...And she gave breast to the child and called her Mary.'' (Quoted by Tisdall, p.156-157)
``But Mary was like a dove reared in the Lord's shrine and she was wont to receive food from angel's hand. But when she became twelve years of age, there was held a council of priest who said, "Lo! Mary has become twelve years old in the shrine of the Lord, what therefore are we to do with her?" and lo an angel of the Lord stood by him saying, "Zacharias! Zacharias, go forth and call together widowers of the people, and let them bring each a rod, and whosoever the Lord God shall show a sign, his wife shall she be.." And the priest took the rods of all and prayed....'' (Protoevangelium of James the Less, quoted by Tisdal, pp.157, quoted by Abdul-Haqq, p.47)
There has been quite a bit of confusion about why Mary was called sister of Aaron. Aaron had a sister called Miriam (Ar: Maryam), who was also a prophetess. Muslims are not in accord in their opinions.
``Mary and Miriam are both "Maryam" in Arabic. Some Muslim writers say that "Mary the sister of Moses was miraculously preserved alive from his time till that of Jesus Christ, purposely to become the mother of Jesus" (Koran, p.34, note x on 'Imran'" (quoted by Abdul-Haqq)).
Al-Baidhawi explained this was because Mary was a Levi (of which we totally do not have any evidence. This contradicts the geneology found in the Bible, where Mary was a descendent of Judah). Husain maintained that the Aaron in Surah Maryam 19:28 was not the same as brother of Moses (quoted by Hughe's Dictionary, p.328). In the Sahih of Muslim, chapter Kitab al-Adab, it was recorded that Christians of Najran pointed out to Al-Mughairah this mistaken identity. He consulted Muhammd who replied that the Jews have many names. Unfortunately, this still doesn't shed any light on the this confusion.
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