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Chapter CXXXVII.—He exhorts the Jews to be converted.

“Say no evil thing, my brothers, against Him that was crucified, and treat not scornfully the stripes wherewith all may be healed, even as we are healed. For it will be well if, persuaded by the Scriptures, you are circumcised from hard-heartedness: not that circumcision which you have from the tenets that are put into you; for that was given for a sign, and not for a work of righteousness, as the Scriptures compel you [to admit]. Assent, therefore, and pour no ridicule on the Son of God; obey not the Pharisaic teachers, and scoff not at the King of Israel, as the rulers of your synagogues teach you to do after your prayers: for if he that touches those who are not pleasing24762476    Zech. ii. 8. to God, is as one that touches the apple of God’s eye, how much more so is he that touches His beloved! And that this is He, has been sufficiently demonstrated.”

And as they kept silence, I continued: “My friends, I now refer to the Scriptures as the Seventy have interpreted them; for when I quoted them formerly as you possess them, I made proof of you [to ascertain] how you were disposed.24772477    [Justin’s varied quotations of the same text seem to have been of purpose. But consult Kaye’s most useful note as to the text of the LXX., in answer to objections of Wetstein, p. 20. ff.] For, mentioning the Scripture which says, ‘Woe unto them! for they have devised evil counsel against themselves, saying’24782478    Isa. iii. 9. (as the Seventy have translated, I continued): ‘Let us take away the righteous, for he is distasteful to us;’ whereas at the commencement of the discussion I added what your version has: ‘Let us bind the righteous, for he is distasteful to us.’ But you had been busy about some other matter, and seem to have listened to the words without attending to them. But now, since the day is drawing to a close, for the sun is about to set, I shall add one remark to what I have said, and conclude. I have indeed made the very same remark already, but I think it would be right to bestow some consideration on it again.


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