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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol I:
JUSTIN MARTYR: Chapter XVI.—Circumcision given as a...

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XVI.—Circumcision given as a sign, that the Jews might be driven away for their evil deeds done to Christ and the Christians.

“And God himself proclaimed by Moses, speaking thus: ‘And circumcise the hardness of your hearts, and no longer stiffen the neck. For the Lord your God is both Lord of lords, and a great, mighty, and terrible God, who regardeth not persons, and taketh not rewards.’ 1982 And in Leviticus: ‘Because they have transgressed against Me, and despised Me, and because they have walked contrary to Me, I also walked contrary to them, and I shall cut them off in the land of their enemies. Then shall their uncircumcised heart be turned. 1983 For the circumcision according to the flesh, which is from Abraham, was given for a sign; that you may be separated from other nations, and from us; and that you alone may suffer that which you now justly suffer; and that your land may be desolate, and your cities burned with fire; and that strangers may eat your fruit in your presence, and not one of you may go up to Jerusalem.’ 1984 For you are not recognised among the rest of men by any other mark than your fleshly circumcision. For none of you, I suppose, will venture to say that God neither did nor does foresee the events, which are future, nor foreordained his deserts for each one. Accordingly, these things have happened to you in fairness and justice, for you have slain the Just One, and His prophets before Him; and now you reject those who hope in Him, and in Him who sent Him—God the Almighty and Maker of all things —cursing in your synagogues those that believe on Christ. For you have not the power to lay hands upon us, on account of those who now have the mastery. But as often as you could, you did so. Wherefore God, by Isaiah, calls to you, saying, ‘Behold how the righteous p. 203 man perished, and no one regards it. For the righteous man is taken away from before iniquity. His grave shall be in peace, he is taken away from the midst. Draw near hither, ye lawless children, seed of the adulterers, and children of the whore. Against whom have you sported yourselves, and against whom have you opened the mouth, and against whom have you loosened the tongue?’ 1985


Footnotes

202:1982

Deut. x. 16 f.

202:1983

Lev. 26:40, 41.

202:1984

See Apol., i. 47. The Jews [By Hadrian’s recent edict] were prohibited by law from entering Jerusalem on pain of death. And so Justin sees in circumcision their own punishment.

203:1985

Isa. lvii. 1-4.


Next: Chapter XVII.—The Jews sent persons...

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