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Chapter XLIV.—The Serpent, the Author of Polytheism.

“But even if there be others, as we have said, who are called gods, they are under the power of the God of the Jews; for thus saith the Scripture to the Jews, ‘The Lord our God, He is God of gods, and Lord of lords.’647647    Deut. x. 17.  Him alone the Scripture also commands to be worshipped, saying, ‘Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve;’648648    Deut. vi. 13, x. 20. and, ‘Hear, O Israel:  the Lord thy God is one God.’649649    Deut. vi. 4.  Yea, also the saints, filled with the Spirit of God, and bedewed with the drops of His mercy, cried out, saying, ‘Who is like unto Thee among the gods? O Lord, who is like unto Thee?’650650    Ps. lxxxvi. 8; lxxi. 19.  And again, ‘Who is God, but the Lord; and who is God, but our Lord?’651651    Ps. xviii. 31.  Therefore Moses, when he saw that the people were advancing, by degrees initiated them in the understanding of the monarchy and the faith of one God, as he says in the following words:  ‘Thou shalt not make mention of the names of other gods;’652652    Josh. xxiii. 7, in Sept. doubtless remembering with what penalty the serpent was visited, which had first named gods.653653    Gen. iii.  [The same thought occurs in Homily X. 10, 11 —R.]  For it is condemned to feed upon dust, and is judged worthy of such food, for this cause, that it first of all introduced the name of gods into the world.  But if you also wish to introduce many gods, see that you partake not the serpent’s doom.

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