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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol I:
BARNABAS: Chapter XII.—The cross of Christ...

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XII.—The cross of Christ frequently announced in the Old Testament.

In like manner He points to the cross of Christ in another prophet, who saith, 1605 “And when shall these things be accomplished? And the Lord saith, When a tree shall be bent down, and again arise, and when blood shall flow out of wood.” 1606 Here again you have an intimation concerning the cross, and Him who should be crucified. Yet again He speaks of this 1607 in Moses, when Israel was attacked by strangers. And that He might remind them, when assailed, that it was on account of their sins they were delivered to death, the Spirit speaks to the heart of Moses, that he should make a figure of the cross, 1608 and of Him about to suffer thereon; for unless they put their trust in Him, they shall be overcome for ever. Moses therefore placed one weapon above another in the midst of the hill, 1609 and p. 145 standing upon it, so as to be higher than all the people, he stretched forth his hands, 1610 and thus again Israel acquired the mastery. But when again he let down his hands, they were again destroyed. For what reason? That they might know that they could not be saved unless they put their trust in Him. 1611 And in another prophet He declares, “All day long I have stretched forth My hands to an unbelieving people, and one that gainsays My righteous way.” 1612 And again Moses makes a type of Jesus, [signifying] that it was necessary for Him to suffer, [and also] that He would be the author of life 1613 [to others], whom they believed to have destroyed on the cross 1614 when Israel was failing. For since transgression was committed by Eve through means of the serpent, [the Lord] brought it to pass that every [kind of] serpents bit them, and they died, 1615 that He might convince them, that on account of their transgression they were given over to the straits of death. Moreover Moses, when he commanded, “Ye shall not have any graven or molten [image] for your God,” 1616 did so that he might reveal a type of Jesus. Moses then makes a brazen serpent, and places it upon a beam, 1617 and by proclamation assembles the people. When, therefore, they were come together, they besought Moses that he would offer sacrifice 1618 in their behalf, and pray for their recovery. And Moses spake unto them, saying, “When any one of you is bitten, let him come to the serpent placed on the pole; and let him hope and believe, that even though dead, it is able to give him life, and immediately he shall be restored.” 1619 And they did so. Thou hast in this also [an indication of] the glory of Jesus; for in Him and to Him are all things. 1620 What, again, says Moses to Jesus (Joshua) the son of Nave, when he gave him 1621 this name, as being a prophet, with this view only, that all the people might hear that the Father would reveal all things concerning His Son Jesus to the son 1622 of Nave? This name then being given him when he sent him to spy out the land, he said, “Take a book into thy hands, and write what the Lord declares, that the Son of God will in the last days cut off from the roots all the house of Amalek.” 1623 Behold again: Jesus who was manifested, both by type and in the flesh, 1624 is not the Son of man, but the Son of God. Since, therefore, they were to say that Christ was the son 1625 of David, fearing and understanding the error of the wicked, he saith, “The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool.” 1626 And again, thus saith Isaiah, “The Lord said to Christ, 1627 my Lord, whose right hand I have holden, 1628 that the nations should yield obedience before Him; and I will break in pieces the strength of kings.” 1629 Behold how David calleth Him Lord and the Son of God.


Footnotes

144:1605

Cod. Sin. refers this to God, and not to the prophet.

144:1606

From some unknown apocryphal book. Hilgenfeld compares Hab. ii. 11.

144:1607

Cod. Sin. reads, “He speaks to Moses.”

144:1608

Cod. Sin. omits “and.”

144:1609

Cod. Sin. reads πυγμῆς, which must here be translated “heap” or “mass.” According to Hilgenfeld, however, πυγμή is here equivalent to πυγμαχία, “a fight.” The meaning would then be, that “Moses piled weapon upon weapon in the midst of the battle,” instead of “hill” (πήγης), as above.

145:1610

Thus standing in the form of a cross.

145:1611

Or, as some read, “in the cross.”

145:1612

Isa. lxv. 2.

145:1613

Cod. Sin. has, “and He shall make him alive.”

145:1614

Literally, “the sign.”

145:1615

Comp. Num. xxi. 6-9; John iii. 14-18.

145:1616

Deut. xxvii. 15. Cod. Sin. reads, “molten or graven.”

145:1617

Instead of ἐν δοκῷ, “on a beam,” Cod. Sin. with other mss. has ἐνδόξως, “manifestly,” which is adopted by Hilgenfeld.

145:1618

Cod. Sin. simply reads, “offer supplication.”

145:1619

Num. xxi. 9.

145:1620

Comp. Col. i. 16.

145:1621

Cod. Sin. has the imperative, “Put on him;” but it is connected as above.

145:1622

Cod. Sin. closes the sentence with Jesus, and inserts, “Moses said therefore to Jesus.”

145:1623

Ex. xvii. 14.

145:1624

Comp. 1 Tim. iii. 16.

145:1625

That is, merely human: a reference is supposed to the Ebionites.

145:1626

Ps. cx. 1; Matt. xxii. 43-45.

145:1627

Cod. Sin. corrects “to Cyrus,” as LXX.

145:1628

Cod. Sin. has, “he has taken hold.”

145:1629

Isa. xlv. 1.


Next: Chapter XIII.—Christians, and not...

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