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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol I:
JUSTIN MARTYR: Chapter LXXIX.—He proves against...

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter LXXIX.—He proves against Trypho that the wicked angels have revolted from God.

On this, Trypho, who was somewhat angry, but respected the Scriptures, as was manifest from his countenance, said to me, “The utterances of God are holy, but your expositions are mere contrivances, as is plain from what has been explained by you; nay, even blasphemies, for you assert that angels sinned and revolted from God.”

And I, wishing to get him to listen to me, answered in milder tones, thus: “I admire, sir, this piety of yours; and I pray that you may entertain the same disposition towards Him to whom angels are recorded to minister, as Daniel says; for [one] like the Son of man is led to the Ancient of days, and every kingdom is given to Him for ever and ever. But that you may know, sir,” continued I, “that it is not our audacity which has induced us to adopt this exposition, which you reprehend, I shall give you evidence from Isaiah himself; for he affirms that evil angels have dwelt and do dwell in Tanis, in Egypt. These are [his] words: ‘Woe to the rebellious children! Thus saith the Lord, You have taken counsel, but not through Me; and [made] agreements, but not through My Spirit, to add sins to sins; who have sinned 2250 in going down to Egypt (but they have not inquired at Me), that they may be assisted by Pharaoh, and be covered with the shadow of the Egyptians. For the shadow of Pharaoh shall be a disgrace to you, and a reproach to those who trust in the Egyptians; for the princes in Tanis 2251 are evil angels. In vain will they labour for a people which will not profit them by assistance, but [will be] for a disgrace and a reproach [to them].’ 2252 And, further, Zechariah tells, as you yourself have related, that the devil stood on the right hand of Joshua the priest, to resist him; and [the Lord] said, ‘The Lord, who has taken 2253 Jerusalem, rebuke thee.’ 2254 And again, it is written in Job, 2255 as you said yourself, how that the angels came to stand before the Lord, and the devil came with them. And we have it recorded by Moses in the beginning of Genesis, that the serpent beguiled Eve, and was cursed. And we know that in Egypt there were magicians who emulated 2256 the mighty power displayed by God through the faithful servant Moses. And you are aware that David said, ‘The gods of the nations are demons.’ ” 2257


Footnotes

238:2250

LXX. “who walk,” πορευόμενοι for πονηρευόμενοι.

238:2251

In E. V. “Zoan.”

238:2252

Isa. xxx. 1-5.

238:2253

ἐκδεξάμενος; in chap. cxv. inf. it is ἐκλεξάμενος.

238:2254

Zech. iii. 1.

238:2255

Job i. 6.

238:2256

Maranus suggests the insertion of ἐποίησαν or ἐπείρασαν before ἐξισοῦσθαι.

238:2257

Ps. xcvi. 5.


Next: Chapter LXXX.—The opinion of Justin...

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