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Chapter XLIII.

“Altogether absurd, and out of season,” 38823882     ἔξωρον. he continues, “is the (account of the) begetting of children,” where, although he has mentioned no names, it is evident that he is referring to the history of Abraham and Sarah.  Cavilling also at the “conspiracies of the brothers,” he allies either to the story of Cain plotting against Abel, 38833883     Cf. Gen. iv. 8. or, in addition, to that of Esau against Jacob; 38843884     Cf. Gen. xxvii. 41. and (speaking) of “a father’s sorrow,” he probably refers to that of Isaac on account of the absence of Jacob, and perhaps also to that of Jacob because of Joseph having been sold into Egypt.  And when relating the “crafty procedure of mothers,” I suppose he means the conduct of Rebecca, who contrived that the blessing of Isaac should descend, not upon Esau, but upon Jacob.  Now if we assert that in all these cases God interposed in a very marked degree, 38853885     ἄγχιστα δὲ τούτοις πᾶσι συμπολιτεύομενον. what absurdity do we commit, seeing we are persuaded that He never withdraws His providence 38863886     θειότητα. from those who devote themselves to Him in an honourable and vigorous 38873887     ἐῤῥωμένως. life?  He ridicules, moreover, the acquisition of property made by Jacob while living with Laban, not understanding to what these words refer:  “And those which had no spots were Laban’s, and those which were spotted were Jacob’s;” 38883888     Cf. Gen. xxx. 42 (LXX.).  “The feebler were Laban’s, and the stronger Jacob’s” (Auth. Vers.). and he says that “God presented his sons with asses, and sheep, and camels,” 38893889     Cf. Gen. xxx. 43. and did not see that “all these things happened unto them for ensamples, and were written for our sake, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” 38903890     Cf. 1 Cor. x. 11.   The varying customs (prevailing among the different nations) becoming famous, 38913891     παρ᾽ οἷς τὰ ποικίλα ἤθη ἐπίσημα γενόμενα, τῷ λογῷ τοῦ Θεοῦ πολιτεύεται, δοθέντα κτῆσις τῷ τροπικῶς καλουμένῳ ᾽Ιακώβἐπίσημα is the term employed to denote the “spotted” cattle of Laban, and is here used by Origen in its figurative sense of “distinguished,” thus playing on the double meaning of the word. are regulated by the word of God, being given as a possession to him who is figuratively termed Jacob.  For those who become converts to Christ from among the heathen, are indicated by the history of Laban and Jacob.


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