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Chapter XXXVII.

He charges us, moreover, with introducing “a man formed by the hands of God,” although the book of Genesis has made no mention of the “hands” of God, either when relating the creation or the “fashioning”38413841    ἐπὶ τῆς πλάσεως. of the man; while it is Job and David who have used the expression, “Thy hands have made me and fashioned me;”38423842    Cf. Job x. 8 and Ps. cxix. 73. with reference to which it would need a lengthened discourse to point out the sense in which these words were understood by those who used them, both as regards the difference between “making” and “fashioning,” and also the “hands” of God.  For those who do not understand these and similar expressions in the sacred Scriptures, imagine that we attribute to the God who is over all things a form38433843    σχῆμα. such as that of man; and according to their conceptions, it follows that we consider the body of God to be furnished with wings, since the Scriptures, literally understood, attribute such appendages to God.  The subject before us, however, does not require us to interpret these expressions; for, in our explanatory remarks upon the book of Genesis, these matters have been made, to the best of our ability, a special subject of investigation.  Observe next the malignity38443844    κακοήθειαν. of Celsus in what follows.  For the Scripture, speaking of the “fashioning”38453845    πλάσεως. of the man, says, “And breathed into his face the breath of life, and the man became a living soul.”38463846    Gen. ii. 7; Heb. ויפָאַפְ, LXX. πρόσωπον.  Whereon Celsus, wishing maliciously to ridicule the “inbreathing into his face of the breath of life,” and not understanding 514the sense in which the expression was employed, states that “they composed a story that a man was fashioned by the hands of God, and was inflated by breath blown into him,”38473847    ἐμφυσώμενον. in order that, taking the word “inflated” to be used in a similar way to the inflation of skins, he might ridicule the statement, “He breathed into his face the breath of life,”—terms which are used figuratively, and require to be explained in order to show that God communicated to man of His incorruptible Spirit; as it is said, “For Thine incorruptible Spirit is in all things.”38483848    Wisd. of Solom. xii. 1.


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