Eusebius of Caesarea: Demonstratio Evangelica. Tr. W.J. Ferrar (1920) -- Book 2
That we have not embraced the Prophetic Books of the (43) Hebrews with so much Zeal without Aim or Object.
IN my survey of the ideal of true religion brought before all men by the Gospel teaching and of the Life in Christ in the previous book, I have argued and I (b) believe demonstrated the impossibility of all the nations living by the Jewish law, even if they wished. My present object is to resume the argument at a point further back,1 to return to the evidence of the prophetic books, and to give a more complete answer to the charges of those of the Circumcision, who say that we have no (c) share whatever in the promises of their Scriptures. They hold that the prophets were theirs, that the Christ, Whom they love to call Saviour and Redeemer, was foretold to them, and that it is to be expected that the written promises will be fulfilled for them. They despise us as being of alien races, about which the prophets are unanimous in foretelling evil. I propose to meet these attacks by evidence derived straight from their own prophetic books, (d)
With regard to the Christ of God having been promised in their land, and His advent preaching salvation to Israel, we should be the last to deny it ; all would agree that this is the plain teaching of all their writings. But with regard to the Gentiles being debarred from the expected benefits in Christ, on the ground that the promise was limited to Israel, it is quite impossible to yield to what they advance against the evidence of Holy Scripture. |64
(44) That their Prophets gave their Best Predictions for Us of the Foreign Nations.
(b) IN the first place, as it is their constant habit to pick out the prophecies which are more favourable to themselves, and to have them ever on their lips, I must array against them my proofs from the prophecies about the Gentiles, making it clear how full they are of predictions of good and salvation for all nations, and how strongly they asserted that their promises to the Gentile world could only be fulfilled by the coming of the Christ. When we shall have reached that point of the argument, I think I shall have proved that it is untrue to say that the hope of the Messiah was more proper for them than for us. (c) Then having demonstrated that for Jews and Greeks the hope of the promise was on an equality, so that those of the Gentiles would be saved through Christ would be in exactly the same position as the Jews, I shall proceed to show with superabundance of evidence,2 that the divine oracles foretold that the Advent of Christ and the call of the Gentiles would be accompanied by the total collapse and ruin of the whole Jewish race, and prophesied good fortune only for a scanty few easy to number, while their city (d) with its temple would be captured, and all its holy things taken away—prophecies which have all been exactly fulfilled. How under one head and at the same time holy Scripture can foretell for Israel at Christ's coming both a ransom from evil and the enjoyment of prosperity, and also adversity and the overturning of the worship of God, I will make clear when the proper time comes. For the present let us go on with our first task ; viz., to select a few statements to prove my contentions from a great number of prophecies.
Inasmuch, then, as they always use in argument with us the prophecies about themselves, which are most favourable, as if the privileges of the old dispensation were limited to them, it is time for us to array against them the |65 promises about the Gentiles, as contained in their own prophets.
1. From Genesis. (45)
How the Nations of the World will be blessed in the same Way as those named after Abraham.
[Passage quoted, Gen. xviii. 27.]
The oracle says that God will not hide from the man dear to Him a mystery that is hidden and secret to many, but will reveal it to him. And this was the promise that (b) all the nations should be blessed, which had of old been hidden through all the nations in Abraham's day being given over to unspeakably false superstition, but is now unveiled in our time, through the Gospel teaching of our Saviour that he who worships God in the manner of Abraham will share His blessing. We must not suppose (c) that this oracle referred to Jewish proselytes, since we have very fully shown in the preceding book the impossibility of all nations following the law of Moses. And as I have proved in the same book that the blessing on all nations given to Abraham could only apply to the Christians of all nations, I will refer those interested to the former passage.
2. From the same.
That all the Nations of the Earth will be blessed in the Seed that is to come from the Line of Isaac.
The Lord conferring with Isaac, after saying other things, (d) proceeds —
[Passage quoted, Gen. xxvi. 3.]
Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was born of the seed of Isaac, according to the flesh, in Whom all the nations of the earth are blessed, in learning through Him of Almighty God, and in being taught through Him to bless men dear to God. So there is reciprocal blessing, they enjoying the same blessing as the men they bless, according to God's saying to Abraham : " Blessed be they [[Num. xxiv. 9]] that bless thee."3 |66
(46) 3. From the same.
Of many Nations, and Multitudes of Nations, arising out of Jacob, although only the Nation of the Jews has come forth from him.
[Passage quoted, Gen. xxxv. 11.]
As it is quite certain that only one nation, that of the Jews, arose from Jacob, how can this oracle speak truly of a multitude of nations? Since the Christ of God being born of the seed of Jacob brought together many multitudes of nations by His Gospel teaching, in Him and (b) through Him the prophecy has attained its natural fulfilment already, and will attain it still more.
4. From Deuteronomy.
The Joy in God of the Nations.
[Passage quoted, Deut. xxxii. 43.]
(c) Instead of "Rejoice ye Gentiles with his people," Aquila 4 reads, "Cry out, nations of his people." And Theodotion,5 "Exult, ye nations of his people."
5. From Psalm xxi.
How from the ends of the Earth, and from all Nations there shall be a Turning to God, and how the Generation to come and the People that shall be begotten shall learn Righteousness.
[ Passage quoted, Ps. xxi. 28. 32.]
This is clear enough to need no interpretation. |67
6. From Psalm xlvi. (47)
An Announcement of Holiness and Purity to the Nations, and the Kingdom of God over the Nations.
[Passages quoted, Ps. xlvi. i, 2 and 8 ]
This is clear, and needs no interpretation.
7. From Psalm lxxxv.
The holiness of the nations.
[Passage quoted, Ps. lxxxv. 8-10.]
8. From Psalm xcv.
Of the Holiness of all the Heathen, and of the new Song, and of the Kingdom of God, and of the Happiness of the World.
[Passages quoted, Ps. xcv. 1-4, 7, and 10.]
This is clear.
9. From Zechariah.
Of all the Nations, and of the Egyptians the most superstitious of them all, of the Knowledge of the only true God, and of the spiritual Worship and Festival according to the divine Law.
[Passage quoted, Zech. xiv. 16-19.]
(48) This passage clearly implies the calling of all the Gentiles, if we only regard the sense of what is said about Jerusalem and the tabernacle, to which I will give the proper interpretation in its right place.
10. From Isaiah.
Of the Choice of the Apostles, and the Calling of the Gentiles.
[Passage quoted, Isa. ix. 1-2.]
11. From the same.
Of the Calling of the Gentiles.
[ Passage quoted, Isa. xlix. 1.]
In which he adds more about the Gentiles and about (c) Christ. |68
[Passage quoted, Isa. xlix. 6.]
And you could yourself find many such passages, dispersed through the prophets in the promises to the nations, which there is no time now to select or interpret. Those that I have chosen are sufficient to prove my point. And this was simply to demonstrate to the Circumcision, who proudly and boastfully claim, that God has preferred them (d) before all other nations, and given them a peculiar privilege in His divine promises, that nothing of the kind is to be found in the divine promises themselves.
And now that I have proved the inclusion of the Gentiles in the divine promises, I would ask you to consider the reason of their being called and admitted to the promises. For it will be good for us to realize the reason why they can be said to be associated in their benefits. This can only be the coming of Christ, through Whom those of the Circumcision also agree that they look for their own redemption. I have then only to prove that the hope (49) of the call of the Gentiles was nothing else but the Christ of God, looked for as the Saviour, not only of the Jews, but of the whole Gentile world. And for the present I will give the mere texts of the prophets without interpretation, as I shall be able to interpret them individually at leisure more broadly 6 altogether, when with God's help I have collected the predictions about the nations.
12. From Psalm ii.
(c) Of the Plotting against Christ, and He 7 that is called the Son of God, receiving His Portion and the Gentiles from the Father.
[Passages quoted, Ps. ii. 1, 2, and 7, 8.] |69
13. From Psalm lxxi.
Of Christ's Kingdom, and the Call of the Gentiles, and the (50) Blessing of all the Tribes of the Earth.
[Passages quoted, Ps. lxxi. 1, 2, 8, 11, 17, 19.]
14. From Psalm xcvii.
Of the new Song, and of the Arm of the Lord, and of the Shewing of His Salvation to all Nations ; the Salvation of the Son is shewn by the Name in the Hebrew.
15. From Genesis.
How after the Cessation of the Kingdom of the Jews, the (c) Christ Himself coming will be the Expectation of the Gentiles.
"There shall not fail a prince from Juda, nor a governor from his loins, until he come in whom it is laid up,8 and he is the expectation of the Gentiles." [[Gen. xlix. 10]]
16. From Zephaniah.
A Shewing forth of the Appearing of Christ, and of the (d) Destruction of Idolatry, and of the Piety of the Nations towards God.
[Passage quoted, Zeph. ii. 11.]
17. From the same.
A Shewing forth of the Day of Christ's Resurrection, and (51) the Gathering of Nations, and of all Men knowing God, and Turning to Holiness, and how the Ethiopians will bring Sacrifices to him.
[Passage quoted, Zeph. iii. 8.]
18. From Zechariah.
A Shewing forth of the Appearing of Christ, and of the (b) Fleeing of many Nations to Him, and how the Peoples of the Nations shall be established in the Lord.
[Passage quoted, Zech. ii. 10.] |70
19. From Isaiah.
(c) A Shelving forth of the Birth of Christ coming from the Root of David, and the Call by Him of all the Nations.
[Passages quoted, Isa. xi. i, 10.]
20. From the same.
(52) A Shewing forth of the Appearing of Christ, and of the (d) Benefits brought by him to all the Nations.
[Passages quoted, Isa. xlii. 1-4 and 6-9.]
21. From the same.
(b) A Shewing forth of Christ and his Birth, and the Call of the Gentiles.
[Passage quoted, Isa. xlix. i.]
22. From the same.
(c) The Shewing forth of the Coming of Christ and of the Call of the Gentiles.
[Passage quoted, Isa. xlix, 7.]
23. From the same.
(53) A Shewing forth of Christ, and the Call of the Gentiles.
[Passage quoted, Isa. lv. 3-5.]
And now that we have learned from these passages that the presence of Christ was intended to be the salvation not only of the Jews, but of all nations as well, let me prove my third point, that prophecies not only foretold that good things for the nations would be associated with the date of His appearance, but also the reverse for the Jews. Yes, the Hebrew oracles foretell distinctly the fall and ruin of the Jewish race through their disbelief in Christ, so that we should no longer appear equal to them, but better than they. And I will now, present the bare quotations from the prophets without any comment on them, because they are quite clear, and because I intend at my leisure to examine them thoroughly. |71
24. From Jeremiah. (d)
Shewing forth the Refusal of the Jewish Race, and the (54) Substitution of the Gentiles in their Place.
[Passage quoted, Jer. vi. 16.]
25. From the same.
Shewing forth of the Piety of the Nations, and Accusation of the Impiety of the Jewish Race. Prediction of the Evils to overtake them after the Coining of Christ.
[Passage quoted, Jer. xvi. 19-xvii. 4.] 9
26. From Amos.
(d) Concerning the Dispersion of the Jewish Race among all the Nations, and the Renewing of Christ's Coming and Kingdom, and the Call of all the Nations consequent upon it.
[Passage quoted, Amos ix. 9.]
27. From Micah.
(55) Accusation of the Rulers of the Jewish People, and a Shewing forth of the Desolation of their Mother-city, and the Appearance of Christ and of the House of God His Church, the. Entrance of His Word and His Law, and its Shewing to all Nations.10
[Passages quoted, Mic. iii. 9-iv. 2.]
28. From Zechariah.
Shewing forth of Christ's Appearing, and the Destruction of the warlike Preparation of the Jews, and the Peace of the. Nations, and the Kingdom of the Lord unto the Ends of the World.
[Passage quoted, Zech. ix. 9-10.]
29. From Malachi.
(56) Rebuke of the Jewish Race, and Refusal of the Mosaic outward Worship, and of the spiritual Worship delivered by Christ to all Nations.
[Passage quoted, Mal. i. 10-12.] |72
30. From Isaiah.
(b) The Apostasy of the Jewish Race and the Revelation of the Word of God, and of the new Law, and of His House, and the Shewing forth of the Piety of all the Nations.
[Passages quoted, Isa. i. 8, 21, 30; ii. 2-4.]
(57) 31. From the same.
The Destruction of the Glory of the People of the Jews, and the Turning of the Nations from Idolatry to the God of the Universe, and the Prophecy of the Desolation of the Jewish Cities, and of their Unfaithfulness to their God.
[Passage quoted, Isa. xvii. 5-11.]
32. From the same.
Shewing forth of the destruction of the Jewish cities, and of the joy of the Gentiles in God.
[Passage quoted, Isa. xxv. 1-8.]
(d) 33. From the same.
The Message of good News to the Church of the Nations desolate of old, and the Rejection of the Jewish Nation, and Accusation of their Sins, and the Call of all the Gentiles.
[Passages quoted, Isa. xliii. 18-25 ; xlv. 22-25]
34. From the same.
Shewing forth of the Coming of Christ to Men. And Reproof of the Jewish Race, and Promise of good Things to all Nations.
[Passages quoted, Isa. 1. 1, 2, 10 ; li. 4, 5.]
(59) 35. From the same.
Reproof of the Sins of the Jewish People, and their Fall from Piety, and the Shewing forth of the Call of all the Gentiles.
[Passages quoted, Isa. lix. 1-11, 19.]
(d) But although there are a number of prophecies on this subject, I will be content with the evidence I have |73 produced, and I will return to them again and explain 11 them at the proper time, as I consider that by the use of these numerous texts and of their evidence I have given adequate proof that the Jews hold no privilege beyond other nations. For if they say that they alone partake of the blessing of Abraham, the friend of God, by reason of their descent from him, it can be answered that God promised to the Gentiles that He would give them an equal share of the blessing not only of Abraham but of Isaac and Jacob also, since He expressly predicted that all nations would be blessed like them, and summoned the rest of the nations under one and the same (rule of) joy as the blessed and the godly, in saying: "Rejoice ye Gentiles [[Deut. xxxii. 43; Ps. xlvii. 9]] with his people," and : "The princes of the peoples were gathered together with the God of Abraham."
And if it is on the kingdom of God they plume them- (60) selves, as being His portion, it can be answered that God prophesies that He will reign over all other nations. For he says : "Tell it out among the heathen that the Lord is [[Ps. xcvi. 10]] King." And again: "God reigneth over all the nations."
And if they say that they were chosen out to act as [[Ps. xlvii. 8]] priests and to offer worship to God, it can be shewn that the Word promised that He would give to the Gentiles an equal share in His service, when He said: "Render to the Lord, O ye kindreds of the nations, render to the Lord glory and honour: bring sacrifices and come into [[Ps. xcvi. 7.]] his courts." To which the oracle in Isaiah may be con- (b) joined, which says: "There shall be an altar to the Lord in the land of Egypt . . . and the Egyptians will know the Lord. And they shall do sacrifice, and say prayers to the Lord, and offer." And in this you will understand [[Isa.xix.19]] that it is prophesied that an altar will be built to the Lord away from Jerusalem in Egypt, and that the Egyptians will there offer sacrifice, say prayers and give gifts to the Lord. Yes, and not only in Egypt, but in the true Jerusalem itself, whatever it is thought to be, all the nations, and the (c) Egyptians forsooth, the most superstitious of them all, are invited to keep the Feast of Tabernacles, as a feast of the heart.12 |74
And if it was true long ago: "Jacob is become the portion of the Lord, and Israel the rope of his inheritance." [[Deut. xxx ii. 9]] Yet afterwards it was also said that all the nations would be given to the Lord for His inheritance, the Father saying to him : " Desire of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance." [[Ps. ii. 8]] And it is also prophesied that He shall rule from sea to sea and to the ends of the world : "All the Gentiles shall serve him, and in him shall the tribes of the earth be blessed." [[ Ps. lxxii. ii, 17]] And the reason of this (d) was that the Supreme God should make known His salvation before all nations. And I have already noted before that the name of Jesus translated from Hebrew into Greek would give "salvation," so that "the salvation of God" is simply the appellation of our Saviour Jesus Christ.
And Simeon bears witness to this in the Gospel, when he takes the infant in his hands, I mean of course Jesus, and prays:
(61) "Now, Lord, lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word :
For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;
A light to lighten the Gentiles." [[ Luke ii.29]]
And this same salvation the Psalmist meant, when he said:
"The Lord declared his salvation, in the sight of the heathen he openly shewed his righteousness."
And, according to Isaiah, it will be when they behold this very salvation that all men will worship the supreme God, (b) Who has bestowed His salvation on all ungrudgingly. And they will worship Him not in Jerusalem below, which is in Palestine, but each from his own place, and all who are in the isles of the Gentiles; and then, too, the oracle shall be fulfilled which said that all men should call no longer on their ancestral gods, nor on idols, nor on daemons, but on the Name of the Lord, and shall serve Him under one yoke, and shall offer to Him from the furthest rivers of Ethiopia the reasonable and bloodless sacrifices of the new Covenant of Christ, to be sacrificed not in Jerusalem below, nor on the altar there, but in the aforesaid borders of Ethiopia.
(c) And if it be admitted to be a noble privilege to be and |75 to be reckoned the people of God, and if this one thing is the noblest of the divine promises, that God should say of those who are worthy of Him, "I will be their God, and [[Jer. xxxi. 33.] they shall be my people," Israel was naturally proud in days of old of being the only people of God, but now the Lord has come to sojourn with us and promises graciously to extend this privilege to the Gentiles, saying:
"Lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of you, [[Zech. ii. 10.]] and many nations shall flee unto the Lord, and they shall be to him a people."
On which I may aptly quote : "And I will say to a people (d) that were not my people, Ye are my people. And they [[Hos.ii. 23.]] shall say, Thou art the Lord our God." And if it is the Christ and no one else Who is prophesied as springing from the root of Jesse, and this at least is so strongly held by the Hebrews themselves, that not one of them questions its truth at all, consider how He is proclaimed as about to arise to reign not over Israel but over the Gentiles, and how the Gentiles arc said to be about to hope in Him, and not Israel, inasmuch as He is the expectation of the Gentiles. Wherefore He is said "to be about to bring [[Isa. xlii. 1, 6]] judgment to the Gentiles," and "to be for a light to the Gentiles." And again it is said: "In his name shall the Gentiles trust," and that He shall be given for salvation not only to the Jews but to all men, even to those at the ends of the earth. Wherefore it was said to Him by the Father that sent Him down : (62)
"I gave thee for a covenant of the race, for a light of [[Isa. xlix. 8.]] the Gentiles, to establish the earth, and to inherit the waste heritages." He says He is "a witness to the Gentiles," meaning that nations which have never before learned anything about Christ, when they knew His dispensation, and the might that was in Him, have called on Him, and that the peoples who did not before of old know Him, have taken refuge in Him.
But why need I say more, since it is possible from these prophetic sayings which I have laid before you, and from others to be found in Holy Scripture which I will record at leisure, for any one who wishes, to collect the words of the (b) prophets, and by their aid to put to silence those of the Circumcision, who say the promises of God were given to them alone, and that we who are of the Gentiles are |76 supernumerary 13 and alien to the divine promises? For I have proved, on the contrary, that it was prophesied that all the Gentiles would benefit by the coming of Christ, while the multitudes of the Jews would lose the promises given to their forefathers through their unbelief in Christ, few of (c) them believing in our Lord and Saviour, and therefore attaining the promised spiritual redemption through Him.
About which the wonderful Apostle teaches something when he says :
"27. Isaiah also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand ot the sea, the remnant 14 shall be saved : 28. For finishing the word and cutting it short in righteousness, because a word cut short 15 will the Lord do upon the earth. 29. And as Isaiah said before, If the Lord of Sabaoth had not left to us a seed, we should have [[Rom. ix. 27-29]] been as Sodom, and we should have been like to Gomorrah."
(d) To which he adds after other things:
"1. Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2. God hath not cast away his people, which he foreknew. Know ye not what the Scripture saith of Elias? how he intercedes with God, speaking of Israel,16 3. Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I only am left, and they seek my life to take it awny.17 4. But what saith the answer of God to him? I have reserved to myself 7000 men, who have not bowed the knee to Baal. 5. Even so then at this present time [[Rom. xi. 1-5.]] also there is a remnant according to the election of grace."
(63) In these words the Apostle clearly separates, in the falling away of the whole Jewish people, himself and the Apostles and the Evangelists of our Saviour like Himself and all the |77 Jews now who believe in Christ, as the seed named by the prophet in the words: "Unless the Lord of Sabaoth had left unto us a seed." And he implies that they also are that which is styled in the other prophecies "the remnant," which he says was preserved by the election of grace. And with reference to this remnant I will now return to the prophets and explain what they say, so that the argument may be based on more evidence, that God did not promise to the whole Jewish nation absolutely that (b) the coming of Christ would be their salvation, but only to a small and quite scanty number who should believe in our Lord and Saviour, as has actually taken place in agreement with the predictions.
36. From Isaiah.
That the Divine Promises did not extend to the whole (c) Jewish Nation, but only to a few of them.
[Passage quoted Isa. i. 7-9.]
This great and wonderful prophet at the opening of his own book here tells us that the whole scheme of his prophecy includes a vision and a revelation against Judaea and Jerusalem, then he attacks the whole race of the Jews, (d) first saying:
" 3. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's manger, but Israel doth not know, my people doth not understand." [[Isa. i. 3]]
And then he laments the whole race, and adds :
"4. Woe, race of sinners, a people full of iniquity, an evil seed, unrighteous children."
Having brought these charges against them in the beginning of his book, and shewn beforehand the reasons for the later predictions that he is to bring against them, he goes on to say, "Your land is desolate," though it was not desolate at the time when he prophesied : "Your cities are burnt with fire." Nor had this yet taken place, and strangers had not devoured their land. And yet he says, "Your land, (64) strangers devour it before your eyes," and that which follows. But if you came down to the coming of our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of those He sent, and to the present time, you would find all the sayings fulfilled. For the daughter of |78 Zion (by whom was meant the worship celebrated on Mount Zion) from the time of the coming of our Saviour has (b) been left as a tent in a vineyard, as a hut in a garden of cucumbers, or as anything that is more desolate than these. And strangers devour the land before their eyes, now exacting tax and tribute,18 and now appropriating for themselves the land which belonged of old to Jews. Yea, and the beauteous Temple of their mother-city was laid low, being cast down by alien peoples, and their cities were burnt with fire, and Jerusalem became truly a besieged city. But (c) since, when all this happened, the choir of the Apostles, and those of the Hebrews who believed in Christ, were preserved from among them as a fruitful seed, and going through every race of men in the whole world, filled every city and place and country with the seed of Christianity and Israel, so that like corn springing from it, the churches which are founded in our Saviour's name have come into being, the divine prophet naturally adds to his previous threats against them: "We should have been as Sodom, (d) and we should have been like unto Gomorrah." Which the holy Apostle in the Epistle to the Romans more clearly defines and interprets.
[The passages Rom. ix. 17-29 and xi. 1-5, already quoted 62 c, d, are repeated.]
And to shew that the prophecy can only refer to the (b) time of our Saviour's coming, the words that follow the text—"unless the Lord of Sabaoth had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah," naming the whole people of the Jews as the people of Gomorrah, and their rulers as the princes of Sodom—imply a rejection of the Mosaic worship, and introduce in the prediction about them the characteristics of the covenant announced to all men by our Saviour, I mean regeneration by water,19 and the word and law completely new. For it says :
(c) "Hear the word of the Lord, ye rulers of Sodom, give heed to the law of God, ye people of Gomorrah, [[Isa. i. 10.]] What is the multitude of your sacrifices to me?" .
and that which follows. Thus it takes away what belongs |79 to the Mosaic law, and introduces in its place another mode of the forgiveness of sins, through the washing of salvation and the life preached in accordance with it, saying :
"Wash you, be ye clean ; take away the evils from [[Isa. i. 16.]] your souls."
And the prophet himself at once supplies the reason, why he called them rulers of Sodom, and people of Gomorrah: "For your hands are full of blood." And again a little further on :
"They have proclaimed their sin as Sodom and (d) made it manifest. Woe to their soul, because they have taken evil counsel with themselves, saying,20 We will bind the just, for he is burdensome to us." [[Isa. iii. 9.]]
Since he so very clearly mentions some one's blood, and a plot against some one just man, what could this be but the plot against our Saviour Jesus Christ, through which21 and after which all the things aforesaid overtook them ?
37. From the same Isaiah.
[Passage quoted Isa. iv. 2.]
And the meaning of "the remnant of Israel" the prophet (66) himself clearly explains by the words, "All who are registered in Jerusalem, and called holy." It will be clear to you, if you run through the whole course of this section, what that day is, in which it is said God will glorify and exalt the remnant of Israel and those who are called holy and to be written in (the book of) life. For in the begin- (b) ning of his complete book the prophet having seen the vision against Judah and Jerusalem, and numbered in many words the sins of the whole people of the Jews, and uttered threats and spoken about their ruin and the complete desolation of Jerusalem, brings his vision about them to an end with the words :
" 30. For they shall be as a terebinth that has cast her leaves, and as a garden without water. 31. And their strength shall be as a thread of tow, and their works as sparks of fire, and the transgressors and the [[Isa. i. 30]] sinners shall be burnt together, and there shall be none (c) to quench them." |80
And having inscribed here the prediction against them, he "lowers his tone"22: and making another start he enters on a second subject, and as a preface, so to say, employs such words as these, "The word which came to Isaiah the (d) son of Amos concerning Judah and Jerusalem"; or, as Symmachus 23 interpreted it, "on behalf of Judah and Jerusalem." From which one would perhaps expect that he was about to change to more favourable prophecies about the same peoples on whom his former predictions had showered sadness. But the succeeding passages would certainly not confirm the expectation, since they contain nothing at all that is good with regard to the race of the Jews, or that which is called Israel, neither for Judah nor Jerusalem. On the contrary, they bring many charges and accusations against Israel, and gloomy threats against Jerusalem, and prophesy for all the Gentiles salvation in their call and in the knowledge of the Supreme God. While in addition to this they tell of the coining of a new Mount, and the manifesting of another House of God, besides the one in Jerusalem. For he says after speaking about Judaea and Jerusalem:
(67) "2. In the last days the Mount of the Lord shall be manifest, and the house of the Lord upon the tops of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills, 3. and all nations shall come to it, and shall say, Come and let us go up to the Mount of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob." [[Isa. ii. 2.]]
Such are his prophecies about all the Gentiles. Hear what he proceeds to add about the Jews:
" 6. For he has rejected his people, the house of the God of Jacob,24 for the land is filled as at the beginning with auguries, as the land of strangers, and many |81 children of strangers are born to them. 7. For the land was filled with silver and gold, and there was (b) no end of their treasures."
And that which follows after this, to which he adds:
"9. And they worshipped that which their own fingers had made, and a man bowed down, and was humbled, and I will not reject them. 10. And now enter ye into the rocks, and hide yourselves in the earth from the face of the fear of the Lord, and from the face of his glory, when he arises to shake the earth."
And in this he teaches that there will be a Resurrection of the Lord, at which all the land of the Jewish people (c) will be shattered. For the whole portion refers to them, in the following sections as well, saying : "For the day of the Lord of Sabaoth shall be upon every one that is proud and insolent, and upon every one that is lofty and exalted." And that which follows. Wherefore it is on the day of the Lord's Resurrection, that the prophet having first addressed those who lift themselves up against the knowledge of God, says: "On this very day"; "the Lord shall be exalted in that very day, and they shall hide all the work of their hands, bearing them into the caves," (d) clearly showing the destruction of the idols, which the Jews themselves and all other men cast away after the appearance of the Saviour, despising all superstitions :
" 20. On that day, he says, a man shall cast away his abominations of gold and silver which they made to worship vanities."
Thus speaking, it would seem, generally about all men, because of the coming call of the Gentiles. But he alludes particularly again to the Jewish race under one head as follows:
"Behold now, the Lord, the Lord of Sabaoth, will take away from Judaea and from Jerusalem the strong man and strong woman, the strength of bread, and the strength of water, 2. The giant and the strong man, and the man of war, and the judge, and the prophet, and (68) the counsellor, and elder, and captain of fifty, 3. And the wonderful counsellor, and the clever artificer, and the wise hearer." [[Isa.iii.1-3.]]
And that which follows. Stop at this point, and set |82 beside the above the introduction to the prophecy, in which it was said: "The word that came from the Lord to Isaiah the son of Amoz on behalf of Judah and Jerusalem," and see how much more in accordance with what follows "against" is than "for," unless indeed some hidden meaning is contained in the words. For how could one about to take away from Judah and Jerusalem strong (b) man and strong woman, the strength of bread and the strength of water, and all things that of old were beautiful among them, introduce his prophecy by saying it was "for" Judah and Jerusalem ? And how could that which follows again be "for" them :
"Jerusalem is forsaken, and Judaea hath fallen, and their tongues [have spoken] with iniquity, disbelieving [[Isa. iii. 8.]] the things of the Lord " ?
Nay, rather, at a time when it should be necessary for the Mountain of the Lord to be proclaimed to all the Gentiles, and the House of God on the Mount, when all (c) the Gentiles meet and say: "Come and let us go up to the Mount of the Lord, and to the House of the God of Jacob": the Scripture using such accusations of the Jewish race, and threatening them so sorely, adds thereto all the sayings I have quoted, and teaches that of the whole Jewish race which will fall away from the holiness of God, there will be left over some of them not immersed in their common evils; and further, that being saved as it were from the sinful and lawless, and embracing piety in sincerity and truth, they will be reckoned worthy of (d) God's Scripture, and will be called holy servants of God. And it means by these, the apostles, disciples, and evangelists of our Saviour, and all the others of the Circumcision, who believed on Him, at the time of the falling away of their whole race. Scripture darkly implies this, when it says: "In that day"—i.e. the day in which plainly all the aforesaid things shall take place connected with the calling of the Gentiles, and the falling away of the Jews—"God shall shine gloriously in counsel on the earth, to uplift and to glorify the remnant of Israel, and there shall be a remnant in Sion, and a remnant in [[Isa. iv. 2.]] Jerusalem, and all who are written for life in Jerusalem (69) shall be called holy."
And it was these, who came forth from Judaea and |83 Jerusalem that the preface meant the prophecy to allude to, when it said: "For Judaea and Jerusalem," yea, both the actual Jerusalem, and the figurative Jerusalem thought of as analagous to it. And which of the apostles of our Saviour or of His evangelists, beholding the inspired power (b) by which "their sound is gone out into all lands, and their words to the ends of the earth," and by which all the Churches of Christ from that day to this have their words and teaching on their lips, and the laws of Christ of the new covenant preached by them, would not bear witness to the truth of the prophecy, which says that God openly will exalt and glorify in counsel and with glory the remnant of Israel through all the world, and that the remnant in Sion and the remnant in Jerusalem shall be (c) called holy, all they who are written in the book of life? Instead of the reading of the LXX, "in counsel with glory," Aquila and Theodotion agree in interpreting "for power and glory" indicating the power given to the apostles by God, and their consequent glory with God— according to the words: "The Lord will give a word to [[Ps. lxviii.11] the preachers with much power."
And this which has really come to pass :
" 9. Ye shall hear indeed, and shall not understand : and seeing ye shall see and not perceive. 10. For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and they hear (d) with heavy ears, and they have closed their eyes, lest they should ever see with their eyes, and hear with their ears,25 and turn, and I should heal them.26 11. And I said, Until when, O Lord? And he said, Until the cities be desolated that none dwell in them, and houses that no men be in them, and the earth be left desolate. 12. And afterwards God will increase men, and they that are left on the earth shall be increased." [[Isa. vi. 9.]]
And notice here how they that are left again on the earth, all the rest of the earth being desolate, alone are said to multiply. These must surely be our Saviour's Hebrew disciples, going forth to all men, who being left behind (70) like a seed have brought forth much fruit, namely, the Churches of the Gentiles throughout the whole world. And see, too, how at the same time he says that only those will multiply who are left behind from the falling away of |84 the Jews, while the Jews themselves are utterly desolate: "Their land," he says, "shall be left unto them desolate." And this was also said to them before by the same prophet : "Your land is desolate, your cities are burnt with fire, your country strangers devour it before your eyes."
(b) And when was this fulfilled, except from the times of our Saviour? For up to the time they had not yet dared to do impiety to Him, their land was not desolate, their cities were not burned with fire, nor did strangers devour their land. But from that inspired word, by which our Lord and Saviour Himself predicted what was about to fall on them, saying : "Your house is left unto you desolate," from that moment and not long after the prediction they were besieged by the Romans and brought to desolation. (c) And the word of prophecy gives the cause of the desolation, making the interpretation almost certain, and showing the cause of their falling away. For when they heard our Saviour teaching among them, and would not listen with their mind's ear, nor understood Who He was, seeing Him with their eyes, but not beholding Him with the eyes of their spirit, " they hardened their heart, and all but closed [[Isa. vi. 10.]] the eyes of their mind, and made their ears heavy."
As the prophecy says, because of this He says that their cities would be made desolate so that none should dwell in them, and their land should become desolate, and only (d) a few of them be left behind, kept like fruitful and spark-like seed, who it is said, should go forth to all men, and multiply on the earth.
But also even after the departure of those who are clearly the apostles of our Saviour, he says that "a tenth" will still remain on Jewish soil:
"And again it shall be for a spoil, as a terebinth, and [[Isa. vi. 13.]] as an acorn, when it falls out of its husk."
The Scripture, as I suppose, means by this, that after the first siege, which they are recorded to have undergone (71) in the time of the apostles, and of Vespasian, Emperor of the Romans, being a second time besieged again under Hadrian they were completely debarred from entering the place, so that they were not even allowed to tread the soil of Jerusalem.27 And this he darkly suggests in the |85 words : "And again it shall be for a spoil, as a terebinth, and as an acorn when it falls out of its husk " : [[Isa. vii 21.]]
21. "And it shall come to pass in that day, a man will nourish a heifer and two sheep. 22. And it shall come to pass from their drinking much milk, every one left on the land shall eat butter and honey."
Here if you inquire to what day the prophet looks forward, (b) you will find it to be the very time of the appearance of our Saviour. For when the prophet says: " Behold a virgin shall ,be with child, and shall bring forth a son," 28 though he interposes many things, yet he prophesies of the things that will come to pass on that very day, that is to say about the time of our Saviour's appearance.
For he says that unseen powers, and foes and enemies, (c) allegorically designated flies and bees, will attack the land of the Jews, and that the Lord with the razor of its foes will shave the head of the Jewish race, as if it were one great body, and the hairs from its feet, and its beard—in a word its whole glory. And this being done in the day prophesied when He shall be born of a virgin, he foretells that a man who is left from the destruction of the whole race, that is to say all of them who believe in the Christ of God, shall nourish a heifer of the bulls and two sheep, and from their producing very much milk shall eat butter and honey : and you will understand that this is mystically fulfilled in our Saviour's apostles. For each one of them (d) in the churches which he established by Christ's help, nourished two sheep, that is to say two orders of disciples coming like sheep into the sheepfold of Christ, the one as yet probationary, the other already enlightened by baptism,29 and in addition to these one heifer, the ecclesiastical rule of those who preside with their inspired food of the word, and produced from them a fruitful increase of milk and honey from the food they have laboured to provide. |86
(72) That holy Scripture often likens the multitudes of less perfect disciples to sheep I need not say; every scripture teaches it. And its comparison of the perfect man, who being the leader works the body of the Church as a farmer, to the work of bulls on the soil, the holy apostle uses, when he says:
"Doth God take care for oxen? Or saith he it altogether for our sakes ? 30 That he that ploweth should plow in hope, and that he that thresheth, should thresh in hope of partaking." [[I Cor ix 9.]]
And if any one is disgusted with such metaphorical interpretation, let him beware lest refusing to regard figuratively what are called flies, or bees, or a razor, or a beard, (b) or hairs on the feet, he falls into absurd and inconsistent mythology. But if these things can only be figuratively understood, the same may certainly be said of the following :
"18. In that day the mountains shall be consumed, and the hills, and forests, and shall be devoured from soul to body. And he that flees shall be as one that fleeth from burning flame, 19. and they that are left of them shall be a number, and a little child 31 shall write them. 20. And it shall come to pass in that (c) day, the remnant of Israel shall no more be added, and they that are saved of Jacob shall no more trust in those that wronged them, and they shall trust in the God the holy one of Israel in truth, 21. and the remnant of Israel shall turn32 to the mighty God. 22. And though the people of Israel be as the sand of the sea, the remnant of them shall be saved. 23. For he will finish the account, and cut it short in righteousness, for God will make a short account in the whole world." [[Isa. x. 18.]]
And notice here, that in his denunciations of gloom, he says :
"He that fleeth shall be as one that fleeth from a burning flame; and their remnant shall be a number, (d) and a little child shall write them"—
by which, he emphasizes the scanty number of those of the Circumcision who will escape destruction, and the |87 burning of Jerusalem. "And they who are left," he says, "will be a number": that is they will be amenable to number, or few and easily numbered. As many, then, as those who believed in our Lord and Saviour were in comparison of the whole Jewish race, who also were thought worthy of being enrolled by Him, as the verse shews, which says: "And a little child shall write them." Having told us before Who the little child was, where he said: "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son." And: "Before the child shall (73) know to call on its father or mother."
And since in this place he says: "A little child shall write them," it can be seen why he said in the previous one : "And these shall be a remnant in Sion, and a remnant in Jerusalem, all shall be called holy, and shall be written in [the book of] life." As therefore among them a remnant is named, and it is they who were written in [the book of] life, so also here "the remnant from them shall be a number, and a little child shall write them." And this "remnant from Israel, and they that are saved from Jacob no more" he says "shall be with those that do them wrong, but shall (b) trust in the Lord, the Holy One of Israel." So note if it is not with this very trust that they who went forth from the Jewish race, those who were left behind in the falling away of Israel, the disciples and apostles of our Saviour, taking no notice of the rulers of this world, or of the rulers of the people of the Circumcision who did them wrong of old, went forth to all the nations, preaching the word of Christ, and by their trust in God (for according to the prophecy "they were trusting in God, the holy one of Israel, in truth," for they (c) gave up their whole selves in hope, without deceit or hypocrisy, but with truth) not only went forth from their own land, but prospered in that whereto they were sent. And this same remnant was like the seed of the falling away of Jacob that trusted in the strength of God, and this remnant of the whole race that once was as the sand of the sea, but not as the stars of the heaven, was thought worthy of salvation by God, as the Apostle bore witness saying :
"Isaiah cries concerning Israel, If the number of the (d) children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved."
For of the promises gives by the oracle to Abraham |88 concerning those who were to come after him that "they shall be as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand of the sea," the friends of God are meant, on the one hand shining like the heavenly lights, such as were those of old, the prophets and our Saviour's apostles, to whom He bore witness saying : "Ye are the light of the world" ; but, on the other, the earth-born who lie upon the ground are compared to the sand of the shore. The prophetic word speaks rightly in the above, first where the whole multitude of Israel's sons, fallen from (74) their true and magnificent virtue to the ground, is compared to the sand of the sea, and then when it says only the remnant shall be saved. But I have now dealt sufficiently with the question of the remnant. And he says that this will come to pass, when "the Lord cutting short and completing his word shall accomplish it through the whole world" : clearly pointing to the Gospel preaching, by which, the whole Mosaic circle of symbols and signs and bodily (b) ordinances being taken away, the complete word of the Gospel given to all men has confirmed the truth of the prophecy.
"10. And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, and one arising to rule the Gentiles. In him shall the Gentiles hope, and his rest shall be glory, 11. And it shall be in that clay, the Lord shall again shew his hand, to be jealous and to seek 33 the remnant remaining from his people, which is left by the Assyrians, and from Egypt, (c) and Babylon, and Ethiopia, and from the Elamites, and from the East, and from the isles of the sea.34 12. And he will raise a standard to the nations, and will gather together 35 the dispersed of Judah, from the four corners [[Isa. xi. 10.]] of the earth."
As certain events were many times foretold as about to take place on a definite day, that is to say, when a certain time had come, I have by the use of reasoning proved that the said events must follow the appearance of God, for when He appears, the whole Jewish race falling away, holy Scripture makes it clear that a scanty few of them will be left behind, (d) while the passage now in our hands shews in the clearest way both the day, and the time meant by it, and the events |89 that were to follow it. For it prophesies the birth of the Christ of the seed of David, and at the same time foretells the falling away of the Jews. For it says thus :
"Behold, the Lord, the Lord of Sabaoth, will mightily confound the glorious ones, and the lofty men shall be humbled, and the lofty shall fall by the sword, and [[Isa. x. 33.]] Libanus shall fall with the lofty."
By Libanus here Jerusalem is meant, as I have shewn elsewhere, which Scripture threatens shall fall with all its venerable and glorious men within it. And having thus begun, it says afterwards : "And a rod shall come out of (75) the stem of Jesse, and a flower shall spring up from his [[Isa. xi. 1]] root."
By showing very clearly that the birth of Christ should be from the root of Jesse, who was the father of David, it explains upon what birth the call of the Gentiles should follow, which it had previously only given obscurely in the prophetic manner. For "the wolf shall feed with the Iamb, and the leopard shall lie clown with the kid," and such passages, are only intended to shew the change of savage and uncivilized nations in no way differing from wild beasts to a holy, mild, and social way of life. And this is what it (b) teaches afterwards without disguise, in the words : "The whole [earth] shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea." And moreover the prophetic word proceeds to interpret itself:
"And there shall be in that day a root of Jesse, and one arising to rule the Gentiles. In him shall the Gentiles trust, and his rest shall be glory."
Since, then, it had predicted the falling away of the Jewish race in a veiled way, and then the calling of the Gentiles, first in a veiled way and then openly, it is natural for it (c) in returning to the same topic to mention those of the Circumcision who should believe in Christ, that it may not seem to shut them altogether from hope in Christ.
"For there shall be," it says, "one to arise to rule over the Gentiles."
Who could this be Who is to arise, but the root of Jesse, whom it so clearly says is to reign over the Gentiles, but not over Israel ? Since then it had taught in various ways of the conversion of the Gentiles consequent upon the birth and growth of Him Who came from the root of |90 Jesse, and had then nothing bright to say of those of the Circumcision, it naturally here supplies the gap in the prediction, saying, "And it shall come to pass in that day," (d) i.e. in the time of him that is born of the root of Jesse, the Lord moreover shall put forth His power,36 to be jealous for and to seek the remnant remaining of His people that were left of such and such enemies. In place of which Aquila has read :
"And it shall be in that day, the Lord will shew his hand a second time, to possess the remnant of his people, which shall be left by the Assyrians," etc.
And you will understand this, if you consider that the enemies of the people of God are certain intelligent and spiritual beings, either evil daemons, or powers opposed to the word of holiness, who in invisible leadership of the (76) nations named, in days of old laid siege to the souls of Israel, involved them in various passions, seducing them 37 and enslaving them to a life like that of the other nations. When, then, you may almost say that the whole people was taken captive in soul by these powers, they who were kept safe and intact, unwounded and undespoiled according to (b) the prophecy received the message, that they should see the hand of the Lord, and become His possession, according to the words of the oracle, "the Lord will add to shew his hand, to be jealous for the remnant remaining of his people."
But what will the Lord add ? Surely to those to whom once long before He had proclaimed by the prophets "the hand of the Lord has been added," yea, to those who are, as it were, preserved in the fall of the whole people He proclaims that He will add what was lacking to the former. And these are the mysteries of the new covenant, shewn by the hand of the Lord to the remnant of the people. (c) But He also says that "He will be jealous of the remnant that is left of the people." Instead of which Aquila and Theodotion agree in reading : "that He must acquire the remnant of His people, whatever is left from the Assyrians, and the other nations that were their enemies."
And this remnant which is left of His people "shall lift |91 up" he says "a standard to the Gentiles." Through them clearly the Lord will shew His sign among all the Gentiles, and through them will gather together the lost (d) of Israel and the scattered abroad of Judah from the four corners 38 of the earth to the Christ of God, who take refuge in Him through the preaching of His apostles, saying that those gathered together come from them who of old were exiled and cut off from the figurative Israel and Judah. The ideals of such souls shew them to be the true Israel of God, for in contrast to them the weak and sinful nature of Israel according to the flesh makes Him prophetically call them : "Rulers of Sodom and people of Gomorrah." [[Rom. xi 5.]]
Thus the "remnant according to the election of grace," and that which is called in the prophecy, "the remnant that is left of the people," has proclaimed the sign of the Lord to all the Gentiles, and has joined to God as one people, that is drawn to Him, the souls of the Gentiles that are brought out of destruction to the knowledge of the Lord, a people which from the four corners of the earth even now is welded together by the power of Christ.39 And these same refugees from the lost race of the Jews, (77) the disciples and apostles of our Saviour belonging to different tribes, thought worthy of one calling, and one grace and one Holy Spirit, will cast away all the love, which the tribes of the Hebrew race had to them, as the prophecy says. Bound together, then, by the same mind and will, they have not only traversed the continent, but the isles of the Gentiles also, making plunder of all the (b) souls of men everywhere, and bringing them into captivity to the obedience of Christ, according to the oracle, which said :
"And they shall fly in the ships of strangers ; they shall at the same time spoil the sea, and them from the sun-rising." [[Isa xi. 14.]]
And the remainder of this prophecy you will examine as I have done, testing each passage by yourself, and while you reject everything inconsistent and unworthy in it, yet you will recognize the mind of the Spirit, as the Spirit of (c) God itself suggests your meditation. For time does not |92 allow me to linger on these subjects, as I must press on to complete the task before me.
"13. And I will command evils for the whole world, and their sins for the unholy, and I will destroy the pride of the lawless, and will humble the pride of the insolent, 14. and they that are left shall be more precious than gold unsmelted, and a man shall be more precious than the stone of Suphir." And afterwards (d) it adds: "And they that are left shall be as a fleeing [[Isa.xiii. 11.]] fawn, or as a straying sheep."
In this too the Scripture shews most plainly the small number of the saved in the time of the ruin of the wicked, so that it is not possible to expect that absolutely all the circumcised without exception and the whole Jewish race will attain to the promises of God.
"4. And there shall be in that day a failing of the glory of Jacob, and the riches of his glory shall be (78) shaken. 5. And it shall be as when one gathers standing corn, and reaps the grain of the ears; 6. And it shall be as when one gathers ears in a rich valley, and stubble is left. Or as the berries of an olive tree are left, two or three on the topmost bough, or four or five on its branches, thus saith the Lord God of Israel. 7. In that day a man shall trust in him that made him, and his eyes shall look on the Holy One of Israel, 8. and they shall not trust in the altars, nor in the work [[Isa.xvii.4. ]] of their hands, which their own fingers have made."
And in this it is clearly prophesied how Israel's glory (b) and all her riches will be taken away, and how but a few, easily numbered, like the few berries on the branch of an olive tree, are said to be left; and these would be those of them who are believers in our Lord. And immediately after what is said about these, there is a prophecy of the whole race of mankind turning away from the error of idolatry, and coming to know the God of Israel.
"Hear ye isles,40 which are forsaken and tortured, (c) hear, what I heard from the Lord of Sabaoth: the God [[Isa. xxi.10.]] of Israel has announced (it) to us.
Note the way in this passage also in which he does not call those of the Circumcision to hear the unspeakable |93 words, but those only, whom he calls "forsaken and tortured," as were those in the apostolic age who bewailed and lamented the evil of the life of men.
"4 b. The lofty men of the earth mourned, 5. and the earth waxed lawless through her inhabitants.41 6b. Therefore, the inhabitants of the earth shall be poor, (d) and few men shall be left." [[Isa.xxiv.4.]]
Here again having rebuked the transgressors of the law of the covenant of God who belong to the people of the circumcision, and threatened them with what was written, he prophesies that some few men of them will be left. And these would be those named of the apostle "the remnant according to the election of grace."
" 12. Cities shall be left desolate, and houses deserted shall fall to ruin. 13. All these things shall come to pass in the earth in the midst of the nations, as if one should strip an olive tree, so shall they be stripped. (79) 14. But when the vintage is stopped, then shall they cry aloud, and the remnant on the earth shall rejoice [[Isa. xxiv. 12]] with the glory of God."
And here they who are left alone are said to rejoice, all the others being delivered to the woes prophesied.
" 3. The crown of pride, the hirelings of Ephraim shall he beaten down. 4. And the fading flower of glorious hope on the top of the high mountain shall be as the early fig: he that sees it will desire to swallow (b) it, before he takes it into his hand. 5. In that clay the Lord shall be the crown of hope, the garland of glory to the remnant of his people; for they shall be left in [[Is. xxviii. 3.]] the spirit of judgment."
And here he prophesies that the Lord will be "a crown of hope and glory" to the remnant of his people, not to all their nation, but to those only signified by the remnant, and names the others in contrast to the remnant of his people "a crown of shame and hirelings of Ephraim."
"And they that are left in Judaea, shall take root (c) downwards, and bear fruit upwards, because there shall be a remnant from Jerusalem, and the preserved from Mount Sion. The zeal of the Lord of Sabaoth will [[Isa.xxxvii. 31.]] do this." |94
He prophesies that those of the Jewish race that are left according to the election of grace, will cast root downwards and bear fruit upwards, shewing very clearly the (d) election of the apostles and disciples of our Saviour. For they, being left from those of the Circumcision, thrust down into the earth the roots of their teaching, so that they have fixed and rooted their teaching throughout the whole world : and they have exhorted men to bear both seed and fruit upwards towards the heavenly promises.
Thus those men themselves, who were left of the Jewish race, when the rest were destroyed, alone are said to be saved. The zeal of the Lord has accomplished this. The zeal of the Lord elected them, in order to provoke the wicked of the Circumcision to jealousy, and He provoked them to jealousy, according to the saying of Moses :
"They have provoked me to jealousy by that which is not God,42 and I will provoke them to jealousy by [[Deut. xxxii. 8.]] that which is not a people. By a foolish people I will anger them."
"8. Thus saith the Lord, as a grape-stone shall be (80) found in the cluster, and they shall say, Destroy it not, for a blessing is in it: so will I for the sake of him that serves me, for his sake I will not destroy all. 9. And I will lead out the seed of Jacob and Juda, and they shall inherit my holy mountain : and my chosen and my servants shall inherit it and dwell there. 10. And there shall be in the forest a fold43 of sheep, and the valley of Achor shall be a resting-place for the herds of my people, who have sought me.
(b) "11. But ye are they that have left me, and forget my holy mountain and prepare a table for chance, 12. and fill up the drink-offering to the Demon.44 I will deliver you up to the sword, ye shall all fall by slaughter, because I called you and ye did not hear, and did evil [[Isa. lxv. 8.]] before me, and chose that which I willed not."
In this passage the Scripture distinguishes, and says that but a small seed from Jacob will attain the promises, and that the elect are those that dwell in the wood. It points here to the calling of the Gentiles, in which the elect of |95 the Lord and the seed of Jacob are [included], and these (c) would be the apostles and disciples of our Saviour, and the rest beyond them are subject to the before-mentioned threats, Scripture stating as clearly as possible, that the whole Jewish nation could not attain the promises of God, but only the seed which is named, and those called "the elect of God." For many are called, but few are chosen. [[Matt. xx.16.]] On them Scripture now proceeds to prophesy that a new name shall be conferred, saying to the wicked :
"For your name shall be left,45 as a loathing for my (d) chosen, and the Lord shall destroy you : but my servants shall be called by a new name." [[Is. Ixv. 15.]]
And this new name, which was not known to them of old time, what could it be but the name of "Christians," blessed through all the world, formed from the name of our Saviour Jesus Christ?
50. From Micah.
[Passage quoted, Micah ii. 11.]
Micah, too, agrees with the passages from Isaiah in stating (81) that God will not receive all without qualification, but only those who are left. And as in Isaiah "their remnant" was called "a seed," so now those of them that are to be saved are called "a drop." And the choir of the apostles is shewn forth by those figures, as being a drop and a seed from the Jewish race, a drop from which all they that have known the Christ of God through the whole world and received His teaching, have been made worthy of the congregation foretold, having obtained redemption from their enemies.
"2. And thou Bethlehem, house of Ephratha, art the (b) least among the thousands of Juda. Out of thee shall come forth my leader, to be for a prince to Israel, and his goings forth from the beginning are from the days of eternity. 3. Therefore shall he give them until the time of her that brings forth. She shall bring forth, and the [[Micah v. 2, 3]] remainder of their brethren shall turn."
And after a little he adds :
"7. And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the nations, in the midst of many peoples, as dew falling |96 from the Lord, and as lambs on the pasture; that none (c) may assemble or resist among the sons of men. 8. And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the nations in the midst of many peoples, as a lion among cattle 46 in the forest, and as a lion's whelp in the pastures of sheep : as when he goes through and chooses and carries off, and there is none to deliver. 9. Thine hand shall be exalted against them that afflict thee, and all thine enemies shall [[Micah v. 7.]] be utterly destroyed."
Nothing surely could be more clear than this; at one and the same time it proclaims the birth of the Saviour at Bethlehem,47 and His existence before eternity,48 His Birth of the Virgin, the call of His apostles and disciples, and their preaching of the Christ carried throughout all the world. For when this Ruler, Whose goings forth the Scripture says are from eternity, shall have gone forth from Bethlehem, and when the holy maiden who was to bear Him shall have brought Him forth, it does not say that all they of the Circumcision will be saved, but only they that are left, who will be also a remnant of Jacob, and will be given as dew to all the Gentiles. For the remnant of Jacob, he says, shall be among the nations, as dew falling from the Lord, and as (82) lambs in a pasture. Instead of which Aquila translates, "as drops on the grass," and Theodotion, "as snow on grass." And again, instead of "so that none may assemble or resist among the sons of men, and no son of men attack," Theodotion reads "who shall not wait for man, and shall not hope in the son of man." And Aquila "who shall not await a man, and shall not be concerned with the sons of men." 49
Through which the whole hope of the apostles of our Saviour is [shown to be] not in man, but in their Lord and Saviour, and He was the Word of God. And it says lower down :
(b) "And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the nations in the midst of many peoples, as a lion among the cattle of the forest, and as a lion's whelp in the |97 pastures of sheep; as when he goes through, and chooses, and spoils, and there is none to save."
By which I think is meant the bravery and intrepidity of the apostles' preaching. They threw themselves like a lion and a lion's whelp on the thicket of the Gentiles and on the flocks of human sheep, they parted the worthy from the (c) unworthy, and subjected them to the word of Christ.
And then His victories are proclaimed to Him : "Thy hand shall be exalted against them that trouble thee, and all thy enemies shall be destroyed."
And we can see this with our own eyes.50 For though many have afflicted the word of Christ, and are even now contending with it, yet it is lifted above them and become stronger than them all. Yes, verily, the hand of Christ is raised against all that afflicted Him, and all His enemies who from time to time rise up against His Church are said to be "utterly destroyed."
52. From Zephaniah.
[Passage quoted, Zeph. iii. 9.]
And in this passage the Lord promised that there will be (83) left for Him a people meek and lowly, meaning none others but they of the Circumcision who believed in His Christ. And He again proclaimed that only the remnant of Israel should be saved, with those called from the other nations, as He shewed in the beginning of the prophecy.
53. From Zechariah.
[Passage quoted, Zech. xiv. 1, 2.] 51
The fulfilment of this also agrees with the passages quoted on the destruction of the whole Jewish race, which came upon them after the coming of Christ. For Zechariah (c) writes this prophecy after the return from Babylon, foretelling the final siege of the people by the Romans, through which the whole Jewish race was to become subject to their |98 enemies : he says that only the remnant of the people shall be saved, exactly describing the apostles of our Saviour.
54. From Jeremiah.
[Passage quoted Jer. iii. 14-16.]
Here again he prophesies that the conversion of Israel will be at the coming of our Saviour Jesus Christ, in which He will choose one from a city, and two from a family, very few and small in number, to be shepherds of the nations that have believed on Him and of the nations that have been increased upon the earth through their destined call by them. No more, he says, will they say "the ark of the covenant of the Lord"—for they will no longer run after the more external worship, having received a new covenant.
(84) 55. From the same.
[Passage quoted, Jer. v. 6-10.]
Here once more the charge against their whole race is shewn, and the siege that came on them, and the remnant again, which he names "the foundation" as belonging to the Lord. Because being inspired and strengthened by their faith in the Christ of God, they did not undergo such sufferings as the rest of their race.
56. From Ezekiel
[Passage quoted, Ezek. vi. 7.]
This also seems to me to agree with the passages from the other prophets. For whom could you call the "saved" but those called by the others "a remnant, and the drop, and the dew of that people," by which was signified the band of the Apostles of our Saviour? They truly being saved from the destruction of all their race, even in their (d) scattering remembered God, so that it must be agreed that what was written referred to them.
57. From the same.
[Passage quoted, Ezek. xi. 16.]
And here he has called the same men by another name, meaning by "a little sanctuary," those of them who shall be saved and survive. |99
58. From the same. (85)
[Passage quoted, Ezek. xii. 14-16.]
In the dispersion of the whole people He says that even now few in number will be left for Himself, meaning the same men as in the preceding prophecy. (b)
59. From the same.
[ Passage quoted, Ezek. xiv. 21.]
This in no way differs from the preceding.
60. From the same.
[Passage quoted, Ezek. xx. 36.]
Here, again, is a clear witness that but few will come under God's staff, and that this will be when the rest of Israel has fallen away from the promises.
But now that I have proved that the divine prophecies did not foretell good things to all the members of the Jewish race universally and indiscriminately whatever happened, to the evil and unholy and those who were the reverse, but to few of them and those easily numbered, in fact to those of them who believed in our Lord and Saviour, or those justified before His coming, I consider that I have shewn sufficiently, that the divine promises were fulfilled (d) not indiscriminately to all the Jews, and that the oracles of the prophets are not more applicable to them than to those of the Gentiles who have received the Christ of God. And the full meaning of the divine promises I will unfold in the fitting place.
I have but collected these passages, as I was bound to do, in order to refute the impudent assertions of those of the Circumcision, who, in their brainless boasting, say that the Christ will come for them only, and not for all mankind. I wished also to prove that my study of their sacred books (86) had been to good purpose. In the previous book I have already accounted for our not becoming Jews, although we have this delight in their prophetic writings. And I explained there also, as far as was possible, what kind of a life the Christian life is which is preached to all nations, and the ancient character of the ideal of the system of the |100 (b) Gospel. So now that this preliminary work is done, it is high time to attack more mysterious subjects, those which are concerned with the mystical dispensation relating to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus the Christ of God : so that we may learn why He made His appearance to all men now, and not before, and the reason why He began the call of the Gentiles, not in days long past, but now after the length of ages; and many other things which are germane to the mysterious theology of His Person.
(c) Now, therefore, let us discuss the subject of His Incarnation, which is my first topic at this second beginning of my work, which is addressed to unbelievers, calling on Him Who is, indeed, the Word of God to aid us.
[Footnotes have been renumbered at placed at the end. Greek page locations are in (), scripture refs in []. This page was scanned at a time when I thought it possible to include all the notes etc, so this is a complete representation of this book.]
1. 1 a1nwqen e0panalabw&n to_n lo&gon, e0pa&neimi e0pi/. Cf. e0panabebhko&j, P. E. 130b.
2. 1 e0k periousi/aj : generally a rhetorical figure—"from superabundant evidence." Gifford [P. E. 64 a, 2] quotes Plato, Theat.: "sparring for mere amusement."
3. 1 The words of Balaam. Cf. Gen. xii. 3.
4. 1 Aquila, a Jewish proselyte, probably of Hadrian's time (A.I). 117-138), who produced a Greek version of O.T. which occupies the third column of Origen's Hexapla. His version is slavishly literal, and attempts to give a word for word translation, thus throwing great light on the then state of the Hebrew text. The Fathers on the whole regard the version as having an anti-Christian bias. Deutsch (Dict. Bib. III. 1642) would identify A. with Onkelos.
5. 2 Theodotion, like A. first mentioned by Irenaeus (iii. xxi. 1, p. 215), probably an Ephesian Jewish proselyte. He wrote his version probably about A.D. 180 (it is a very vexed question) or earlier. It occupies the sixth column of the Hexapla.
6. 1 ei\s pla&toj.
7. 2 Nominative.
6. 1 ei\s pla&toj.
7. 2 Nominative.
8. 1 See note, p. 21.
9. 1 Jer. xvii. 1-4 is wanting from LX, but given in some codices with asterisks. Sec also 484 c.
10. 2 twn eqnwn apantwn.
11. 1 exomalisomen.
12. 2 thn kata dianoian qewroumenhn skhnophgian. Or, "the Feast of Tabernacles in a spiritual sense."
13. 1 perittouV einai
14. 2 kataleimma. LXX : D.F. K. L.P.— upoleimma —Aleph A.B.
15. 3 R.V. " For the Lord will execute his word upon the earth, finishing it and cutting it short." en . . . suntetmhmenon. Omitted by Aleph A.B. 47. W. H. retain with Western and Syrian.
16. 4 W. H.: kata tou Israhl. E. legwn peri tou Israhl.
17. 5 W.H.: omit tou labein authn.
18. 1 dasmouV kai forouV.
19. 2 ton dia loutrou paliggeietiaV.
20. 1 LXX takes kaq eautwn with eiponteV.
21. 2 Paris text has di on - on - autouV.
22. 1 'upostolh xrhtai, "a lowering of diet," Plut. 2, 129 c. ; "an evasion," Hesych. cf. Heb. x. 39.
23. 2 Symmachus, author of the third great Jewish version of the O.T., which comes in Origen's Hexapla after that of Aquila. Eusebius (H.E. vi. 17. Dem. Ev. 316c) makes him an Ebionite Christian, and is followed by Jerome. Epiphanius' statement that he was a Samaritan Jew is to be rejected (see Gwynne's art. in D.C.B. iv. p. 749). He probably lived in the reign of Marcus Aurelius, and wrote his version aiming at the same literal accuracy as Aquila, but at more refinement of expression.
24. 3 LXX : oikon tou Israhl.
25. 1 S.: kai thi kardiai sunwsin.
26. 2 S.: iasomai. E.: iaswmai.
27. 1 Cf. H.E. iv. c. 6 ; Tertullian, Apol. c. 16. Origen, c. Celsum viii. ad fin.; Gregory Naz., Orat. xii. After the founding of Aelia Capitolina, Milman says, "An edict was issued prohibiting any Jew from entering the new city on pain of death, or approaching its environs so as to contemplate even at a distance its sacred height."— History of the Jews, Book XVIII. ad fin.
28. 1 Isa. vii. 14. Cf. 98 a, and Origen, c. Celsum, i. 35.
29. 2 to men eiseti stoixeioumenon, to de hdh dia tou loutrou pefwtismenon.
30. 1 W.H. add : di 'hmaV gar egrafh.
31. 2 E. adds mikron.
32. 3 S.: estai. E.: anastreyei.
33. 1 E. adds kai zhthsai.
34. 2 LXX : kai ex ArabiaV. E.: kai apo twn nhswn thV qalasshV.
35. 3 E. omits touV apolomenouV Israhl, kai. (S.)
36. 1 Lit. "moreover shall add to shew his hand."
37. 2 'uposuronteV. Cf. P.E. 317 a, Of the Serpent.
38. 1 Lit. wings.
39. 2 efelkusamenon ena laon sunhxe twi qewi . . . . sugkrotoumenon.
40. 1 S. omits nhsoi.
41. 1 Omission in E of 5 b, 6 a, owing to error of scribe because of touV katoikountaV authn (5 a) and oi katoikounteV authn (6 a).
42. 1 S. adds: Parwxunnan me en toiV eidwloiV autwn—"They have provoked me with their idols."
43. 2 LXX : pl.
44. 3 LXX : tw daimoni . . . thi tuchi.
45. 1 S.: kataleiyete
46. 1 LXX : 'wV lewn en kthnesin en twi drumwi.
47. 2 Cf. 97 c, 275 a, 340 d, and Origen c. Celsum 453.
48. 3 thn pro aiwnoV ousiwsin—cf. P.E. 314 b, 554 c and 541 a: "It is literally the act which gives to einai te kai thn ousian." [G.]
49. 4 ou peri uiouV anqrwpwn.
50. 1 Interesting as an echo of recent persecution.
51. 2 Zech. xiv. This is a post-exilic prophecy of an eschatological nature, being one of the fragments appended to Zechariah. It is dependent on Ezekiel xxxviii. Zechariah's prophecies are confined to cc. i.-viii., and his activity, according to Zech. i. 1 and vii. 1; was from the second to the fourth year of Darius. [See Hastings, D.B. iv. 967.]
This text was transcribed by Roger Pearse, Ipswich, UK, 2003. All material on this page is in the public domain - copy freely.
Greek text is rendered using the Scholars Press SPIonic font, free from here.
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