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ANF01. The Apostolic Fathers with Justin Martyr and Irenaeus
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Chapter CXX.—Christians were promised to Isaac, Jacob, and Judah.

“Observe, too, how the same promises are made to Isaac and to Jacob. For thus He speaks to Isaac: ‘And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.’24062406    Gen. xxvi. 4. And to Jacob: ‘And in thee and in thy seed shall all families of the earth be blessed.’24072407    Gen. xxviii. 14. He says that neither to Esau nor to Reuben, nor to any other; only to those of whom the Christ should arise, according to the dispensation, through the Virgin Mary. But if you would consider the blessing of Judah, you would perceive what I say. For the seed is divided from Jacob, and comes down through Judah, and Phares, and Jesse, and David. And this was a symbol of the fact that some of your nation would be found children of Abraham, and found, too, in the lot of Christ; but that others, who are indeed children of Abraham, would be like the sand on the sea-shore, barren and fruitless, much in quantity, and without number indeed, but bearing no fruit whatever, and only drinking the water of the sea. And a vast multitude in your nation are convicted of being of this kind, imbibing doctrines of bitterness and godlessness, but spurning the word of God. He speaks therefore in the passage relating to Judah: ‘A prince shall not fail from Judah, nor a ruler from his thighs, till that which is laid up for him come; and He shall be the expectation of the nations.’24082408    Gen. xlix. 10. And it is plain that this was spoken not of Judah, but of Christ. For all we out of all nations do expect not Judah, but Jesus, who led your fathers out of Egypt. For the prophecy referred even to the advent of Christ: ‘Till He come for whom this is laid up, and He shall be the expectation of nations.’ Jesus came, therefore, as we have shown at length, and is expected again to appear above the clouds; whose name you profane, and labour hard to get it profaned over all the earth. It were possible for me, sirs,” I continued, “to contend against you about the reading which you so interpret, saying it is written, ‘Till the things laid up for Him come;’ though the Seventy have not so explained it, but thus, ‘Till He comes for whom this is laid up.’ But since what follows indicates that the reference is to Christ (for it is, ‘and He shall be the expectation of nations’), I do not proceed to have a mere verbal controversy with you, as I have not attempted to establish proof about Christ from the passages of Scripture which are not admitted by you,24092409    [Note this important point. He forbears to cite the New Testament.] which I quoted from the words of Jeremiah the prophet, and Esdras, and David; but from those which are even now admitted by you, which had your teachers comprehended, be well assured they would have deleted them, as they did those about the death of Isaiah, whom you sawed asunder with a wooden saw. And this was a mysterious type of Christ being about to cut your nation in two, and to raise those worthy of the honour to the everlasting kingdom along with the holy patriarchs and prophets; but He has said that He will send others to the condemnation of the unquenchable fire along with similar disobedient and impenitent men from all the nations. ‘For they shall come,’ He said, ‘from the west and from the east, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven; but the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness.’24102410    Matt. viii. 11 f. And I have mentioned these things, taking nothing whatever into consideration, except the speaking of the truth, and refusing to be coerced by any one, even though I should be forthwith torn in pieces by you. For I gave no thought to any of my people, that is, the Samaritans, when I had a communication in writing with Cæsar,24112411    The Apology, i. chap. xxvi.; ii. chap. xv. but stated that they were wrong in trusting to the magician Simon of their own nation, who, they say, is God above all power, and authority, and might.”


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