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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol I:
JUSTIN MARTYR: Chapter LXXXVII.—Trypho maintains in...

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter LXXXVII.—Trypho maintains in objection these words: “And shall rest on Him,” etc. They are explained by Justin.

Hereupon Trypho, after I had spoken these p. 243 words, said, “Do not now suppose that I am endeavouring, by asking what I do ask, to overturn the statements you have made; but I wish to receive information respecting those very points about which I now inquire. Tell me, then, how, when the Scripture asserts by Isaiah, ‘There shall come forth a rod from the root of Jesse; and a flower shall grow up from the root of Jesse; and the Spirit of God shall rest upon Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and piety: and the spirit of the fear of the Lord shall fill Him:’ 2292 (now you admitted to me,” continued he, “that this referred to Christ, and you maintain Him to be pre-existent God, and having become incarnate by God’s will, to be born man by the Virgin:) how He can be demonstrated to have been pre-existent, who is filled with the powers of the Holy Ghost, which the Scripture by Isaiah enumerates, as if He were in lack of them?”

Then I replied, “You have inquired most discreetly and most prudently, for truly there does seem to be a difficulty; but listen to what I say, that you may perceive the reason of this also. The Scripture says that these enumerated powers of the Spirit have come on Him, not because He stood in need of them, but because they would rest in Him, i.e., would find their accomplishment in Him, so that there would be no more prophets in your nation after the ancient custom: and this fact you plainly perceive. For after Him no prophet has arisen among you. Now, that [you may know that] your prophets, each receiving some one or two powers from God, did and spoke the things which we have learned from the Scriptures, attend to the following remarks of mine. Solomon possessed the spirit of wisdom, Daniel that of understanding and counsel, Moses that of might and piety, Elijah that of fear, and Isaiah that of knowledge; and so with the others: each possessed one power, or one joined alternately with another; also Jeremiah, and the twelve [prophets], and David, and, in short, the rest who existed amongst you. Accordingly He 2293 rested, i.e., ceased, when He came, after whom, in the times of this dispensation wrought out by Him amongst men, 2294 it was requisite that such gifts should cease from you; and having received their rest in Him, should again, as had been predicted, become gifts which, from the grace of His Spirit’s power, He imparts to those who believe in Him, according as He deems each man worthy thereof. I have already said, and do again say, that it had been prophesied that this would be done by Him after His ascension to heaven. It is accordingly said, 2295 ‘He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, He gave gifts unto the sons of men.’ And again, in another prophecy it is said: ‘And it shall come to pass after this, I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh, and on My servants, and on My handmaids, and they shall prophesy.’ 2296


Footnotes

243:2292

Isa. xi. 1 ff.

243:2293

He, that is, the Spirit. The following “He” is Christ.

243:2294

Or, “wrought out amongst His people.” So Otto.

243:2295

Literally, “He said accordingly.” Ps. lxviii. 18.

243:2296

Joel ii. 28 f.


Next: Chapter LXXXVIII.—Christ has not...

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