|shoeleg:: Dialogue with Trypho||[Changes] [Calendar] [Search] [Index]|
CHAP. LV.--TRYPHO ASKS THAT CHRIST BE PROVED GOD, BUT WITHOUT METAPHOR. JUSTIN PROMISES TO DO SO.
And Trypho answered, "We shall remember this your exposition, if you strengthen[your solution of] this difficulty by other arguments: but now resume the discourse, and show us that the Spirit of prophecy admits another God besides the Maker of all things, taking care not to speak of the sun and moon, which, it is written, God has given to the nations to worship as gods; and oftentimes the prophets, employing(5) this manner of speech, say that 'thy God is a God of gods, and a Lord of lords,' adding frequently, 'the great and strong and terrible[God].' For such expressions are used, not as if they really were gods, but because the Scripture is teaching us that the true God, who made all things, is Lord alone of those who are reputed gods and lords. And in order that the Holy Spirit may convince[us] of this, He said by the holy David, 'The gods of the nations, reputed gods, are idols of demons, and not gods;'(6) and He denounces a curse on those who worship them." And I replied, "I would not bring forward these proofs, Trypho, by which I am aware those who worship these [idols] and such like are condemned, but such [proofs] as no one could find any objection to. They will appear strange to you, although you read them every day; so that even from this fact we(7) understand that, because of your wickedness, God has withheld from you the ability to discern the wisdom of His Scriptures; yet[there are] some exceptions, to whom, according to the grace of His long-suffering, as Isaiah said, He has left a seed of(8) salvation, lest your race be utterly destroyed, like Sodom and Gomorrah. Pay attention, therefore, to what I shall record out of the holy Scriptures, which(9) do not need to be expounded, but only listened to.
CHAP. LVI.--GOD WHO APPEARED TO MOSES IS DISTINGUISHED FROM GOD THE FATHER.
"Moses, then, the blessed and faithful servant of God, declares that He who appeared to Abraham under the oak in Mamre is God, sent with the two angels in His company to judge Sodom by Another who remains ever in the supercelestial places, invisible to all men, holding personal intercourse with none, whom we believe to be Maker and Father of all things; for he speaks thus: 'God appeared to him under the oak in Mature, as he sat at his tent-door at noontide. And lifting up his eyes, he saw, and behold, three men stood before him; and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the door of his tent; and he bowed himself toward the ground, and said;' "(1)(and so on;)(2) " 'Abraham gat up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the Lord: and he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward the adjacent country, and beheld, and, lo, a flame went up from the earth, like the smoke of a furnace.'" And when I had made an end of quoting these words, I asked them if they had understood them. And they said they had understood them, but that the passages adduced brought forward no proof that there is any other God or Lord, or that the Holy Spirit says so, besides the Maker of all things.
Then I replied, "I shall attempt to persuade you, since you have understood the Scriptures,[of the truth] of what I say, that there is, and that there is said to be, another God and Lord subject to(3) the Maker of all things; who is also called an Angel, because He announces to men whatsoever the Maker of all things--above whom there is no other God-- wishes to announce to them." And quoting once more the previous passage, I asked Trypho, "Do you think that God appeared to Abraham under the oak in Mamre, as the Scripture asserts?"
He said, "Assuredly."
"Was He one of those three," I said, "whom Abraham saw, and whom the Holy Spirit of prophecy describes as men?"
He said, "No; but God appeared to him, before the vision of the three. Then those three whom the Scripture calls men, were angels; two of them sent to destroy Sodom, and one to announce the joyful tidings to Sarah, that she would bear a son; for which cause he was sent, and having accomplished his errand, went away."(4)
"How then," said I, "does the one of the three, who was in the tent, and who said, 'I shall return to thee hereafter, and Sarah shall have a son,'(5) appear to have returned when Sarah had begotten a son, and to be there declared, by the prophetic word, God? But that you may clearly discern what I say, listen to the words expressly employed by Moses; they are these: 'And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian bond-woman, whom she bore to Abraham, sporting with Isaac her son, and said to Abraham, Cast out this bond-woman and her son; for the son of this bond-woman shall not share the inheritance of my son Isaac. And the matter seemed very grievous in Abraham's sight, because of his son. But God said to Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the son, and because of the bond-woman. In all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken to her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.'(6) Have you perceived, then, that He who said under the oak that He would return, since He knew it would be necessary to advise Abraham to do what Sarah wished him, came back as it is written; and is God, as the words declare, when they so speak: 'God said to Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the son, and because of the bond-woman?' " I inquired.
And Trypho said, "Certainly; but you have not proved from this that there is another God besides Him who appeared to Abraham, and who also appeared to the other patriarchs and prophets. You have proved, however, that we were wrong in believing that the three who were in the tent with Abraham were all angels."
I replied again, "If I could not have proved to you from the Scriptures that one of those three is God, and is called Angel,(7) because, as I already said, He brings messages to those to whom God the Maker of all things wishes[messages to be brought], then in regard to Him who appeared to Abraham on earth in human form in like manner as the two angels who came with Him, and who was God even before the creation of the world, it were reasonable for you to entertain the same belief as is entertained by the whole of your nation."
"Assuredly," he said, "for up to this moment this has been our belief."
Then I replied, "Reverting to the Scriptures, I shall endeavour to persuade you, that He who is said to have appeared to Abraham, and to Jacob, and to Moses, and who is called God, is distinct from Him who made all things,--numerically, I mean, not[distinct] in will. For I affirm that He has never at any time done(8) anything which He who made the world-- above whom there is no other God--has not wished Him both to do and to engage Himself with."
And Trypho said, "Prove now that this is the case, that we also may agree with you. For we do not understand you to affirm that He has done or said anything contrary to the will of the Maker of all things."
Then I said, "The Scripture just quoted by me will make this plain to you. It is thus: 'The sun was risen on the earth, and Lot entered into Segor(Zoar); and the Lord rained on Sodom sulphur and fire from the Lord out of heaven, and overthrew these cities and all the neighbourhood.' "(1)
Then the fourth of those who had remained with Trypho said, "It(2) must therefore necessarily be said that one of the two angels who went to Sodom, and is named by Moses in the Scripture Lord, is different from Him who also is God and appeared to Abraham."(3)
"It is not on this ground solely," I said, "that it must be admitted absolutely that some other one is called Lord by the Holy Spirit besides Him who is considered Maker of all things; not solely[for what is said] by Moses, but also[for what is said] by David. For there is written by him: 'The Lord says to my Lord, Sit on My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool,'(4) as I have already quoted. And again, in other words: 'Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever. A sceptre of equity is the sceptre of Thy kingdom: Thou hast loved righteousness and hated iniquity: therefore God, even Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows.'(5) If, therefore, you assert that the Holy Spirit calls some other one God and Lord, besides the Father of all things and His Christ, answer me; for I undertake to prove to you from Scriptures themselves, that He whom the Scripture calls Lord is not one of the two angels that went to Sodom, but He who was with them, and is called God, that appeared to Abraham."
And Trypho said, "Prove this; for, as you see, the day advances, and we are not prepared for such perilous replies; since never yet have we heard any man investigating, or searching into, or proving these matters; nor would we have tolerated your conversation, had you not referred everything to the Scriptures:(6) for you are very zealous in adducing proofs from them; and you are of opinion that there is no God above the Maker of all things."
Then I replied, "You are aware, then, that the Scripture says, 'And the Lord said to Abraham, Why did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I truly conceive? for I am old. Is anything impossible with God? At the time appointed shall I return to thee according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.'(7) And after a little interval: 'And the men rose up from thence, and looked towards Sodom and Gomorrah; and Abraham went with them, to bring them on the way. And the Lord said, I will not conceal from Abraham, my servant, what I do.'(8) And again, after a little, it thus says: 'The Lord said, The cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great,(9) and their sins are very grievous. I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to their cry which has come unto me; and if not, that I may know. And the men turned away thence, and went to Sodom. But Abraham was standing before the Lord; and Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt Thou destroy the righteous with the wicked?' "(10)(and so on,(11) for I do not think fit to write over again the same words, having written them all before, but shall of necessity give those by which I established the proof to Trypho and his companions. Then I proceeded to what follows, in which these words are recorded:) " 'And the Lord went His way as soon as He had left communing with Abraham; and[Abraham] went to his place. And there came two angels to Sodom at even. And Lot sat in the gate of Sodom;'(12) and what follows until, 'But the men put forth their hands, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door of the house;'(13) and what follows till, 'And the angels laid hold on his hand, and on the hand of his wife, and on the hands of his daughters, the Lord being merciful to him. And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that they said, Save, save thy life. Look not behind thee, nor stay in all the neighbourhood; escape to the mountain, lest thou be taken along with[them]. And Lot said to them, I beseech[Thee], O Lord, since Thy servant bath found grace in Thy sight, and Thou hast magnified Thy righteousness, which Thou showest towards me in saving my life; but I cannot escape to the mountain, lest evil overtake me, and I die. Behold, this city is near to flee unto, and it is small: there I shall be safe, since it is small; and any soul shall live. And He said to him, Behold, I have accepted thee(14) also in this matter, so as not to destroy the city for which thou hast spoken. Make haste to save thyself there; for I shall not do anything till thou be come thither. Therefore he called the name of the city Segor(Zoar). The sun was risen upon the earth; and Lot entered into Segor(Zoar). And the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulphur and fire from the Lord out of heaven; and He overthrew these cities, and all the neighbourhood.'"(1) And after another pause I added: "And now have you not perceived, my friends, that one of the three, who is both God and Lord, and ministers to Him who is in the heavens, is Lord of the two angels? For when[the angels] proceeded to Sodom, He remained behind, and communed with Abraham in the words recorded by Moses; and when He departed after the conversation, Abraham went back to his place. And when he came[to Sodom], the two angels no longer conversed with Lot, but Himself, as the Scripture makes evident; and He is the Lord who received commission from the Lord who[remains] in the heavens, i.e.,the Maker of all things, to inflict upon Sodom and Gomorrah the[judgments] which the Scripture describes in these terms:'The Lord rained down upon Sodom and Gomorrah sulphur and fire from the Lord out of heaven.' "
CHAP. LVII.--THE JEW OBJECTS, WHY IS HE SAID TO HAVE EATEN, IF HE BE GOD?
ANSWER OF JUSTIN.
Then Trypho said when I was silent, "That Scripture compels us to admit this, is manifest; but there is a matter about which we are deservedly at a loss--namely, about what was said to the effect that[the Lord] ate what was prepared and placed before him by Abraham; and you would admit this."
I answered, "It is written that they ate; and if we believe(2) that it is said the three ate, and not the two alone--who were really angels, and are nourished in the heavens, as is evident to us, even though they are not nourished by food similar to that which mortals use--(for, concerning the sustenance of manna which supported your fathers in the desert, Scripture speaks thus, that they ate angels'food):[if we believe that three ate], then I would say that the Scripture which affirms they ate bears the same meaning as when we would say about fire that it has devoured all things; yet it is not certainly understood that they ate, masticating with teeth and jaws. So that not even here should we be at a loss about anything, if we are acquainted even slightly with figurative modes of expression, and able to rise above them."
And Trypho said, "It is possible that[the question] about the mode of eating may be thus explained:[the mode, that is to say,] in which it is written, they took and ate what had been prepared by Abraham: so that you may now proceed to explain to us how this God who appeared to Abraham, and is minister to God the Maker of all things, being born of the Virgin, became man, of like passions with all, as you said previously."
Then I replied, "Permit me first, Trypho, to collect some other proofs on this head, so that you, by the large number of them, may be persuaded of[the truth of] it, and thereafter I shall explain what you ask."
And he said, "Do as seems good to you; for I shall be thoroughly pleased."
CHAP. LVIII.--THE SAME IS PROVED FROM THE VISIONS WHICH APPEARED TO JACOB.
Then I continued, "I purpose to quote to you Scriptures, not that I am anxious to make merely an artful display of words; for I possess no such faculty, but God's grace alone has been granted to me to the understanding of His Scriptures, of which grace I exhort all to become partakers freely and bounteously, in order that they may not, through want of it,(3) incur condemnation in the judgment which God the Maker of all things shall hold through my Lord Jesus Christ."
And Trypho said, "What you do is worthy of the worship of God; but you appear to me to feign ignorance when you say that you do not possess a store of artful words."
I again replied, "Be it so, since you think so; yet I am persuaded that I speak the truth.(4) But give me your attention, that I may now rather adduce the remaining proofs."
"Proceed," said he.
And I continued: "It is again written by Moses, my brethren, that He who is called God and appeared to the patriarchs is called both Angel and Lord, in order that from this you may understand Him to be minister to the Father of all things, as you have already admitted, and may remain firm, persuaded by additional arguments. The word of God, therefore,[recorded] by Moses, when referring to Jacob the grandson of Abraham, speaks thus: 'And it came to pass, when the sheep conceived, that I saw them with my eyes in the dream: And, behold, the he-goats and the rams which leaped upon the sheep and she-goats were spotted with white, and speckled and sprinkled with a dun colour. And the Angel of God said to me in the dream, Jacob, Jacob. And I said, What is it, Lord? And He said, Lift up thine eyes, and see that the he-goats and rams leaping on the sheep and she-goats are spotted with white, speckled, and sprinkled with a dun colour. For I have seen what Laban doeth unto thee. I am the God who appeared to thee in Bethel,(1) where thou anointedst a pillar and vowedst a vow unto Me. Now therefore arise, and get thee out of this land, and depart to the land of thy birth, and I shall be with thee.(2) And again, in other words, speaking of the same Jacob, it thus says: 'And having risen up that night, he took the two wives, and the two women-servants, and his eleven children, and passed over the ford Jabbok; and he took them and went over the brook, and sent over all his belongings. But Jacob was left behind alone, and an Angel(3) wrestled with him until morning. And He saw that He is not prevailing against him, and He touched the broad part of his thigh; and the broad part of Jacob's thigh grew stiff while he wrestled with Him. And He said, Let Me go, for the day breaketh. But he said, I will not let Thee go, except Thou bless me. And He said to him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And He said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name; for thou hast prevailed with God, and with men shalt be powerful. And Jacob asked Him, and said, Tell me Thy name. But he said, Why dost thou ask after My name? And He blessed him there. And Jacob called the name of that place Peniel,(4) for I saw God face to face, and my soul rejoiced.'(5) And again, in other terms, referring to the same Jacob, it says the following: 'And Jacob came to Luz, in the land of Canaan, which is Bethel, he and all the people that were with him. And there he built an altar, and called the name of that place Bethel; for there God appeared to him when he fled from the face of his brother Esau. And Deborah, Rebekah's nurse, died, and was buried beneath Bethel under an oak: and Jacob called the name of it The Oak of Sorrow. And God appeared again to Jacob in Luz, when he came out from Mesopotamia in Syria, and He blessed him. And God said to him, Thy name shall be no more called Jacob, but Israel shall he thy name.'(6) He is called God, and He is and shall be God." And when all had agreed on these grounds, I continued: "Moreover, I consider it necessary to repeat to you the words which narrate how He who is both Angel and God and Lord, and who appeared as a man to Abraham, and who wrestled in human form with Jacob, was seen by him when he fled from his brother Esau. They are as follows: 'And Jacob went out from the well of the oath,(7) and went toward Charran.(8)
And he lighted on a spot, and slept there, for the sun was set; and he gathered of the stones of the place, and put them under his head. And he slept in that place; and he dreamed, and, behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, whose top reached to heaven; and the angels of God ascended and descended upon it. And the Lord stood(9) above it, and He said, I am the Lord, the God of Abraham thy father, and of Isaac; be not afraid: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; and thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and shall be extended to the west, and south, and north, and east: and in thee, and in thy seed, shall all families of the earth be blessed. And, behold, I am with thee, keeping thee in every way wherein thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done all that I have spoken to thee of. And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and said, Surely the Lord is in this place, and I knew it not. And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven. And Jacob rose up in the morning, and took the stone which he had placed under his head, and he set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it; and Jacob called the name of the place The House of God, and the name of the city formerly was Ulammaus.'"(10)
CHAP. LIX.--GOD DISTINCT FROM THE FATHER CONVERSED WITH MOSES.
When I had spoken these words, I continued: "Permit me, further, to show you from the book of Exodus how this same One, who is both Angel, and God, and Lord, and man, and who appeared in human form to Abraham and Isaac,(11) appeared in a flame of fire from the bush, and conversed with Moses." And after they said they would listen cheerfully, patiently, and eagerly, I went on: "These words are in the book which bears the title of Exodus: 'And after many days the king of Egypt died, and the children of Israel groaned by reason of the works;'(12) and so on until,'Go and gather the elders of Israel, and thou shalt say unto them, The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath appeared to me, saying, I am surely beholding you, and the things which have befallen you in Egypt.'"(13) In addition to these words, I went on: "Have you perceived, sirs, that this very God whom Moses speaks of as an Angel that talked to him in the flame of fire, declares to Moses that He is the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob?"
CHAP. LX.--OPINIONS OF THE JEWS WITH REGARD TO HIM WHO APPEARED IN THE BUSH.
Then Trypho said, "We do not perceive this from the passage quoted by you, but[only this], that it was an angel who appeared in the flame of fire, but God who conversed with Moses; so that there were really two persons in company with each other, an angel and God, that appeared in that vision."
I again replied, "Even if this were so, my friends, that an angel and God were together in the vision seen by Moses, yet, as has already been proved to you by the passages previously quoted, it will not be the Creator of all things that is the God that said to Moses that He was the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, but it will be He who has been proved to you to have appeared to Abraham, ministering to the will of the Maker of all things, and likewise carrying into execution His counsel in the judgment of Sodom; so that, even though it be as you say, that there were two--an angel and God--he who has but the smallest intelligence will not venture to assert that the Maker and Father of all things, having left all supercelestial matters, was visible on a little portion of the earth."
And Trypho said, "Since it has been previously proved that He who is called God and Lord, and appeared to Abraham, received from the Lord, who is in the heavens, that which He inflicted on the land of Sodom, even although an angel had accompanied the God who appeared to Moses, we shall perceive that the God who communed with Moses from the bush was not the Maker of all things, but He who has been shown to have manifested Himself to Abraham and to Isaac and to Jacob; who also is called and is perceived to be the Angel of God the Maker of all things, because He publishes to men the commands of the Father and Maker of all things."
And I replied, "Now assuredly, Trypho, I shall show that, in the vision of Moses, this same One alone who is called an Angel, and who is God, appeared to and communed with Moses. For the Scripture says thus:'The Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the bush; and he sees that the bush bums with fire, but the bush was not consumed. And Moses said, I will turn aside and see this great sight, for the bush is not burnt. And when the Lord saw that he is turning aside to behold, the Lord called to him out of the bush.'(1) In the same manner, therefore, in which the Scripture calls Him who appeared to Jacob in the dream an Angel, then[says] that the same Angel who appeared in the dream spoke to him,(2) saying,'I am the God that appeared to thee when thou didst flee from the face of Esau thy brother;'and[again] says that, in the judgment which befell Sodom in the days of Abraham, the Lord had inflicted the punishment(3) of the Lord who[dwells] in the heavens;--even so here, the Scripture, in announcing that the Angel of the Lord appeared to Moses, and in afterwards declaring him to be Lord and God, speaks of the same One, whom it declares by the many testimonies already quoted to be minister to God, who is above the world, above whom there is no other [God].
CHAP. LXI--WISDOM IS BEGOTTEN OF THE FATHER, AS FIRE FROM FIRE.
"I shall give you another testimony, my friends," said I, "from the Scriptures, that God begat before all creatures a Beginning,(4)[who was] a certain rational power[proceeding] from Himself, who is called by the Holy Spirit, now the Glory of the Lord, now the Son, again Wisdom, again an Angel, then God, and then Lord and Logos; and on another occasion He calls Himself Captain, when He appeared in human form to Joshua the son of Nave(Nun). For He can be called by all those names, since He ministers to the Father's will, and since He was begotten of the Father by an act of will;(5) just as we see(6) happening among ourselves: for when we give out some word, we beget the word; yet not by abscission, so as to lessen the word(7)[which remains] in us, when we give it out: and just as we see also happening in the case of a fire, which is not lessened when it has kindled[another], but remains the same; and that which has been kindled by it likewise appears to exist by itself, not diminishing that from which it was kindled. The Word of Wisdom, who is Himself this God begotten of the Father of all things, and Word, and Wisdom, and Power, and the Glory of the Begetter, will bear evidence to me, when He speaks by Solomon the following:'If I shall declare to you what happens daily, I shall call to mind events from everlasting, and review them. The Lord made me the beginning of His ways for His works. From everlasting He established me in the beginning, before He had made the earth, and before He had made the deeps, before the springs of the waters had issued forth, before the mountains had been established. Before all the hills He begets me. God made the country, and the desert, and the highest inhabited places under the sky. When He made ready the heavens, I was along with Him, and when He set up His throne on the winds: when He made the high clouds strong, and the springs of the deep safe, when He made the foundations of the earth, I was with Him arranging. I was that in which He rejoiced; daily and at all times I delighted in His countenance, because He delighted in the finishing of the habitable world, and delighted in the sons of men. Now, therefore, O son, hear me. Blessed is the man who shall listen to me, and the mortal who shall keep my ways, watching(1) daily at my doors, observing the posts of my ingoings. For my outgoings are the outgoings of life, and[my] will has been prepared by the Lord. But they who sin against me, trespass against their own souls; and they who hate me love death.'(2)
CHAP. LXII.--THE WORDS "LET US MAKE MAN" AGREE WITH THE TESTIMONY OF PROVERBS.
"And the same sentiment was expressed, my friends, by the word of God[written] by Moses, when it indicated to us, with regard to Him whom it has pointed out,(3) that God speaks in the creation of man with the very same design, in the following words:'Let Us make man after our image and likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the heaven, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over all the creeping things that creep on the earth. And God created man: after the image of God did He create him; male and female created He them. And God blessed them, and said, Increase and multiply, and fill the earth, and have power over it.(4) And that you may not change the[force of the] words just quoted, and repeat what your teachers assert,--either that God said to Himself,'Let Us make,'just as we, when about to do something, oftentimes say to ourselves,'Let us make;'or that God spoke to the elements, to wit, the earth and other similar substances of which we believe man was formed,'Let Us make,'--I shall quote again the words narrated by Moses himself, from which we can indisputably learn that[God] conversed with some one who was numerically distinct from Himself, and also a rational Being. These are the words:'And God said, Behold, Adam has become as one of us, to know good and evil.'(5) In saying, therefore,'as one of us,'[Moses] has declared that[there is a certain] number of persons associated with one another, and that they are at least two. For I would not say that the dogma of that heresy(6) which is said to be among you(7) is true, or that the teachers of it can prove that[God] spoke to angels, or that the human frame was the workmanship of angels. But this Offspring, which was truly brought forth from the Father, was with the Father before all the creatures, and the Father communed with Him; even as the Scripture by Solomon has made clear, that He whom Solomon calls Wisdom, was begotten as a Beginning before all His creatures and as Offspring by God, who has also declared this same thing in the revelation made by Joshua the son of Nave(Nun). Listen, therefore, to the following from the book of Joshua, that what I say may become manifest to you; it is this: 'And it came to pass, when Joshua was near Jericho, he lifted up his eyes, and sees a man standing over against him. And Joshua approached to Him, and said, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? And He said to him, I am Captain of the Lord's host: now have I come. And Joshua fell on his face on the ground, and said to Him, Lord, what commandest Thou Thy servant? And the Lord's Captain says to Joshua, Loose the shoes off thy feet; for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. And Jericho was shut up and fortified, and no one went out of it. And the Lord said to Joshua, Behold, I give into thine hand Jericho, and its king,[and] its mighty men.'"(8)
CHAP. LXIII.--IT IS PROVED THAT THIS GOD WAS INCARNATE.
And Trypho said, "This point has been proved to me forcibly, and by many arguments, my friend. It remains, then, to prove that He submitted to become man by the Virgin, according to the will of His Father; and to be crucified, and to die. Prove also clearly, that after this He rose again and ascended to heaven."
I answered, "This, too, has been already demonstrated by me in the previously quoted words of the prophecies, my friends; which, by recalling and expounding for your sakes, I shall endover to lead you to agree with me also about this matter. The passage, then, which Isaiah records,'Who shall declare His generation? for His life is taken away from the earth,(1)--does it not appear to you to refer to One who, not having descent from men, was said to be delivered over to death by God for the transgressions of the people?--of whose blood, Moses(as I mentioned before), when speaking in parable, said, that He would wash His garments in the blood of the grape; since His blood did not spring from the seed of man, but from the will of God. And then, what is said by David,'In the splendours of Thy holiness have I begotten Thee from the womb, before the morning star.(2) The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedek,'(3)--does this not declare to you(4) that[He was] from of old,(5) and that the God and Father of all things intended Him to be begotten by a human womb? And speaking in other words, which also have been already quoted,[he says]:'Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of rectitude is the sceptre of Thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hast hated iniquity: therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows.[He hath anointed Thee] with myrrh, and oil, and cassia from Thy garments, from the ivory palaces, whereby they made Thee glad. Kings' daughters are in Thy honour. The queen stood at Thy right hand, clad in garments embroidered with gold.(6) Hearken, O daughter, and behold, and incline thine ear, and forget thy people and the house of thy father; and the King shall desire thy beauty: because he is thy Lord, and thou shalt worship Him.'(7) Therefore these words testify explicitly that He is witnessed to by Him who established these things,(8) as deserving to be worshipped, as God and as Christ. Moreover, that the word of God speaks to those who believe in Him as being one soul, and one synagogue, and one church, as to a daughter; that it thus addresses the church which has sprung from His name and partakes of His name(for we are all called Christians), is distinctly proclaimed in like manner in the following words, which teach us also to forget[our] old ancestral customs, when they speak thus:(9)'Hearken, O daughter, and behold, and incline thine ear; forget thy people and the house of thy father, and the King shall desire thy beauty: because He is thy Lord, and thou shalt worship Him.'"
CHAP. LXXXVII.--TRYPHO MAINTAINS IN OBJECTION THESE WORDS: "AND SHALL REST ON HIM," ETC. THEY ARE EXPLAINED BY JUSTIN.
Hereupon Trypho, after I had spoken these words, said, "Do not now suppose that I am endeavouring, by asking what I do ask, to overturn the statements you have made; but I wish to receive information respecting those very points about which I now inquire. Tell me, then, how, when the Scripture asserts by Isaiah, 'There shall come forth a rod from the root of Jesse; and a flower shall grow up from the root of Jesse; and the Spirit of God shall rest upon Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and piety: and the spirit of the fear of the Lord shall fill Him:'(1) (now you admitted to me," continued he, "that this referred to Christ, and you maintain Him to be pre-existent God, and having become incarnate by God's will, to be born man by the Virgin:) how He can be demonstrated to have been pre-existent, who is filled with the powers of the Holy Ghost, which the Scripture by Isaiah enumerates, as if He were in lack of them?"
Then I replied, "You have inquired most discreetly and most prudently, for truly there does seem to be a difficulty; but listen to what I say, that you may perceive the reason of this also. The Scripture says that these enumerated powers of the Spirit have come on Him, not because He stood in need of them, but because they would rest in Him, i.e., would find their accomplishment in Him, so that there would be no more prophets in your nation after the ancient custom: and this fact you plainly perceive. For after Him no prophet has arisen among you. Now, that [you may know that] your prophets, each receiving some one or two powers from God, did and spoke the things which we have learned from the Scriptures, attend to the following remarks of mine. Solomon possessed the spirit of wisdom, Daniel that of understanding and counsel, Moses that of might and piety, Elijah that of fear, and Isaiah that of knowledge; and so with the others: each possessed one power, or one joined alternately with another; also Jeremiah, and the twelve [prophets], and David, and, in short, the rest who existed amongst you. Accordingly He(2) rested, i.e., ceased, when He came, after whom, in the times of this dispensation wrought out by Him amongst men,(3) it was requisite that such gifts should cease from you; and having received their rest in Him, should again, as had been predicted, become gifts which, from the grace of His Spirit's power, He imparts to those who believe in Him, according as He deems each man worthy thereof. I have already said, and do again say, that it had been prophesied that this would be done by Him after His ascension to heaven. It is accordingly said,(4) 'He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, He gave gifts unto the sons of men.' And again, in another prophecy it is said: 'And it shall come to pass after this, I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh, and on My servants, and on My handmaids, and they shall prophesy.'(5)
CHAP. LXXXVIII.--CHRIST HAS NOT RECEIVED THE HOLY SPIRIT ON ACCOUNT OF POVERTY.
"Now, it is possible to see amongst us women and men who possess gifts of the Spirit of God; so that it was prophesied that the powers enumerated by Isaiah would come upon Him, not because He needed power, but because these would not continue after Him. And let this be a proof to you, namely, what I told you was done by the Magi from Arabia, who as soon as the Child was born came to worship Him, for even at His birth He was in possession of His power; and as He grew up like all other men, by using the fitting means, He assigned its own [requirements] to each development, and was sustained by all kinds of nourishment, and waited for thirty years, more or less, until John appeared before Him as the herald of His approach, and preceded Him in the way of baptism, as I have already shown. And then, when Jesus had gone to the river Jordan, where John was baptizing, and when He had stepped into the water, a fire(6) was kindled in the Jordan; and when He came out of the water, the Holy Ghost lighted on Him like a dove, [as] the apostles of this very Christ of ours wrote. Now, we know that he did not go to the river because He stood in need of baptism, or of the descent of the Spirit like a dove; even as He submitted to be born and to be crucified, not because He needed such things, but because of the human race, which from Adam had fallen under the power of death and the guile of the serpent, and each one of which had committed personal transgression. For God, wishing both angels and men, who were endowed with freewill, and at their own disposal, to do whatever He had strengthened each to do, made them so, that if they chose the things acceptable to Himself, He would keep them free from death and from punishment; but that if they did evil, He would punish each as He sees fit. For it was not His entrance into Jerusalem sitting on an ass, which we have showed was prophesied, that empowered Him to be Christ, but it furnished men with a proof that He is the Christ; just as it was necessary in the time of John that men have proof, that they might know who is Christ. For when John remained(1) by the Jordan, and preached the baptism of repentance, wearing only a leathern girdle and a vesture made of camels' hair, eating nothing but locusts and wild honey, men supposed him to be Christ; but he cried to them, 'I am not the Christ, but the voice of one crying; for He that is stronger than I shall come, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear.'(2) And when Jesus came to the Jordan, He was considered to be the son of Joseph the carpenter; and He appeared without comeliness, as the Scriptures declared; and He was deemed a carpenter (for He was in the habit of working as a carpenter when among men, making ploughs and yokes; by which He taught the symbols of righteousness and an active life); but then the Holy Ghost, and for man's sake, as I formerly stated, lighted on Him in the form of a dove, and there came at the same instant from the heavens a voice, which was uttered also by David when he spoke, personating Christ, what the Father would say to Him: 'Thou art My Son: this day have I begotten Thee;'(3) [the Father] saying that His generation would take place for men, at the time when they would become acquainted with Him: 'Thou art My Son; this day have I begotten thee.' "(4)
CHAP. CXXVI.--THE VARIOUS NAMES OF CHRIST ACCORDING TO BOTH NATURES. IT IS SHOWN THAT HE IS GOD, AND APPEARED TO THE PATRIARCHS.
"But if you knew, Trypho," continued I, "who He is that is called at one time the Angel of great counsel,(7) and a Man by Ezekiel, and like the Son of man by Daniel, and a Child by Isaiah, and Christ and God to be worshipped by David, and Christ and a Stone by many, and Wisdom by Solomon, and Joseph and Judah and a Star by Moses, and the East by Zechariah, and the Suffering One and Jacob and Israel by Isaiah again, and a Rod, and Flower, and Corner-Stone, and Son of God, you would not have blasphemed Him who has now come, and been born, and suffered, and ascended to heaven; who shall also come again, and then your twelve tribes shall mourn. For if you had understood what has been written by the prophets, you would not have denied that He was God, Son of the only, unbegotten, unutterable God. For Moses says somewhere in Exodus the following: 'The Lord spoke to Moses, and said to him, I am the Lord, and I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, being their God; and my name I revealed not to them, and I established my covenant with them.'(1) And thus again he says, 'A man wrestled with Jacob,'(2) and asserts it was God; narrating that Jacob said, 'I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.' And it is recorded that he called the place where He wrestled with him, appeared to and blessed him, the Face of God (Peniel). And Moses says that God appeared also to Abraham near the oak in Mature, when he was sitting at the door of his tent at mid-day. Then he goes on to say: 'And he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, three men stood before him; and when he saw them, he ran to meet them.'(3) a After a little, one of them promises a son to Abraham: 'Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall. I of a surety bear a child, and I am old? Is anything impossible with God? At the time appointed I will return, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son. And they went away from Abraham.'(4) Again he speaks of them thus: 'And the men rose up from thence, and looked toward Sodom.'(5) Then to Abraham He who was and is again speaks: 'I will not hide from Abraham, my servant, what I intend to do.'"(6) And what follows in the writings of Moses I quoted and explained; "from which I have demonstrated," I said, "that He who is described as God appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, and the other patriarchs, was appointed under the authority of the Father and Lord, and ministers to His will." Then I went on to say what I had not said before: "And so, when the people desired to eat flesh, and Moses had lost faith in Him, who also there is called the Angel, and who promised that God would give them to satiety, He who is both God and the Angel, sent by the Father, is described as saying and doing these things. For thus the Scripture says: 'And the Lord said to Moses Will the Lord's hand not be sufficient? thou shall know now whether my word shall conceal thee or not.'(7) And again, in other words, it thus says: 'But the Lord spoke unto me, Thou shalt not go over this Jordan: the Lord thy God, who goeth before thy face, He shall cut off the nations.'(8)
CHAP. CXXVII.--THESE PASSAGES OF SCRIPTURE DO NOT APPLY TO THE FATHER, BUT TO THE WORD.
"These and other such sayings are recorded by the lawgiver and by the prophets; and I suppose that I have stated sufficiently, that wherever(9) God says, 'God went up from Abraham,'(10) or, 'The Lord spake to Moses,'(11) and 'The Lord came down to behold the tower which the sons of men had built,'(12) or when 'God shut Noah into the ark,'(13) you must not imagine that the unbegotten God Himself came down or went up from any place. For the ineffable Father and Lord of all neither has come to any place, nor walks, nor sleeps, nor rises up, but remains in His own place, wherever that is, quick to behold and quick to hear, having neither eyes nor ears, but being of indescribable might; and He sees all things, and knows all things, and none of us escapes His observation; and He is not moved or confined to a spot in the whole world, for He existed before the world was made. How, then, could He talk with any one, or be seen by any one, or appear on the smallest portion of the earth, when the people at Sinai were not able to look even on the glory of Him who was sent from Him; and Moses himself could not enter into the tabernacle which he had erected, when it was filled with the glory of God; and the priest could not endure to stand before the temple when Solomon conveyed the ark into the house in Jerusalem which he had built for it? Therefore neither Abraham, nor Isaac, nor Jacob, nor any other man, saw the Father and ineffable Lord of all, and also of Christ, but [saw] Him who was according to His will His Son, being God, and the Angel because He ministered to His will; whom also it pleased Him to be born man by the Virgin; who also was fire when He conversed with Moses from the bush. Since, unless we thus comprehend the Scriptures, it must follow that the Father and Lord of all had not been in heaven when what Moses wrote took place: 'And the Lord rained upon Sodom fire and brimstone from the Lord out of heaven;'(14) and again, when it is thus said by David: 'Lift up your gates, ye rulers; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting gates; and the King of glory shall enter;'(15) and again, when He says: 'The Lord says to my Lord, Sit at My right hand, till I make Thine enemies Thy footstool.'(16)
CHAP. CXXVIII.--THE WORD IS SENT NOT AS AN INANIMATE POWER, BUT AS A PERSON BEGOTTEN OF THE FATHER'S SUBSTANCE.
"And that Christ being Lord, and God the Son of God, and appearing formerly in power as Man, and Angel, and in the glory of fire as at the bush, so also was manifested at the judgment executed on Sodom, has been demonstrated fully by what has been said." Then I repeated once more all that I had previously quoted from Exodus, about the vision in the bush, and the naming of Joshua (Jesus), and continued: "And do not suppose, sirs, that I am speaking superfluously when I repeat these words frequently: but it is because I know that some wish to anticipate these remarks, and to say that the power sent from the Father of all which appeared to Moses, or to Abraham, or to Jacob, is called an Angel because He came to men (for by Him the commands of the Father have been proclaimed to men); is called Glory, because He appears in a vision sometimes that cannot be borne; is called a Man, and a human being, because He appears strayed in such forms as the Father pleases; and they call Him the Word, because He carries tidings from the Father to men: but maintain that this power is indivisible and inseparable from the Father, just as they say that the light of the sun on earth is indivisible and inseparable from the sun in the heavens; as when it sinks, the light sinks along with it; so the Father, when He chooses, say they, causes His power to spring forth, and when He chooses, He makes it return to Himself. In this way, they teach, He made the angels. But it is proved that there are angels who always exist, and are never reduced to that form out of which they sprang. And that this power which the prophetic word calls God, as has been also amply demonstrated, and Angel, is not numbered [as different] in name only like the light of the sun but is indeed something numerically distinct, I have discussed briefly in what has gone before; when I asserted that this power was begotten from the Father, by His power and will, but not by abscission, as if the essence of the Father were divided; as all other things partitioned and divided are not the same after as before they were divided: and, for the sake of example, I took the case of fires kindled from a fire, which we see to be distinct from it, and yet that from which many can be kindled is by no means made less, but remains the same.
CHAP. CXXIX.--THAT IS CONFIRMED FROM OTHER PASSAGES OF SCRIPTURE.
"And now I shall again recite the words which I have spoken in proof of this point. When Scripture says,' The Lord rained fire from the Lord out of heaven,' the prophetic word indicates that there were two in number: One upon the earth, who, it says, descended to behold the cry of Sodom; Another in heaven, who also is Lord of the Lord on earth, as He is Father and God; the cause of His power and of His being Lord and God. Again, when the Scripture records that God said in the beginning, 'Behold, Adam has become like one of Us,'(1) this phrase, 'like one of Us,' is also indicative of number; and the words do not admit of a figurative meaning, as the sophists endeavour to affix on them, who are able neither to tell nor to understand the truth. And it is written in the book of Wisdom: 'If I should tell you daily events, I would be mindful to enumerate them from the beginning. The Lord created me the beginning of His ways for His works. From everlasting He established me in the beginning, before He formed the earth, and before He made the depths, and before the springs of waters came forth, before the mountains were settled; He begets me before all the hills.'"(2) When I repeated these words, I added: "You perceive, my hearers, if you bestow attention, that the Scripture has declared that this Offspring was begotten by the Father before all things created; and that which is begotten is numerically distinct from that which begets, any one will admit."
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