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Chapter XXIX.

It appears to me, indeed, that Celsus has misunderstood some of the deeper reasons relating to the arrangement of terrestrial affairs, some of which are touched upon41754175    ἐφάπτεται. even in Grecian history, when certain of those who are considered to be gods are introduced as having contended with each other about the possession of Attica; while in the writings of the Greek poets also, some who are called gods are represented as acknowledging that certain places here are preferred by them41764176    οἰκειοτέρους. before others.  The history of barbarian nations, moreover, and especially that of Egypt, contains some such allusions to the division of the so-called Egyptian homes, when it states that Athena, who obtained Saïs by lot, is the same who also has possession of Attica.  And the learned among the Egyptians can enumerate innumerable instances of this kind, although I do not know whether they include the Jews and their country in this division.  And now, so far as testimonies outside the word of God bearing on this point are concerned, enough have been adduced for the present.  We say, moreover, that our prophet of God and His genuine servant Moses, in his song in the book of Deuteronomy, makes a statement regarding the portioning out of the earth in the following terms:  “When the Most High divided the nations, when He dispersed the sons of Adam, He set the bounds of the people according to the number of the angels of God; and the portion was His people Jacob, and Israel the cord of His inheritance.”41774177    Cf. Deut. xxxii. 8, 9 (LXX.).  And regarding the distribution of the nations, the same Moses, in his work entitled Genesis, thus expresses himself in the style of a historical narrative:  “And the whole earth was of one language and of one speech; and it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there.”41784178    Cf. Gen. xi. 1, 2.  A little further on he continues:  “And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men had built.  And the Lord said, 556Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they have begun to do:  and now nothing will be restrained from them which they have imagined to do.  Go to, let Us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.  And the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth:  and they left off to build the city and the tower.  Therefore is the name of it called Confusion;41794179    σύγχυσις. because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth:  and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.”41804180    Cf. Gen. xi. 5–9.  In the treatise of Solomon, moreover, on “Wisdom,” and on the events at the time of the confusion of languages, when the division of the earth took place, we find the following regarding Wisdom:  “Moreover, the nations in their wicked conspiracy being confounded, she found out the righteous, and preserved him blameless unto God, and kept him strong in his tender compassion towards his son.”41814181    Cf. Wisd. of Sol. x. 5.  But on these subjects much, and that of a mystical kind, might be said; in keeping with which is the following:  “It is good to keep close the secret of a king,”41824182    Cf. Tobit xii. 7.—in order that the doctrine of the entrance of souls into bodies (not, however, that of the transmigration from one body into another) may not be thrown before the common understanding, nor what is holy given to the dogs, nor pearls be cast before swine.  For such a procedure would be impious, being equivalent to a betrayal of the mysterious declarations of God’s wisdom, of which it has been well said:  “Into a malicious soul wisdom shall not enter, nor dwell in a body subject to sin.”41834183    Cf. Wisd. of Sol. i. 4.  It is sufficient, however, to represent in the style of a historic narrative what is intended to convey a secret meaning in the garb of history, that those who have the capacity may work out for themselves all that relates to the subject.  (The narrative, then, may be understood as follows.)


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