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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol VIII:
Apocrypha of the New Testament.: Chapter 5

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 5 (21).

And as Prince Satan and Hades were thus speaking to each other in turn, suddenly there was a voice as of thunders, and a shouting of spirits:  Lift up your gates, ye princes; and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting gates; and the King of glory shall come in. 1978   Hades hearing this, said to Prince Satan:  Retire from me, and go outside of my realms:  if thou art a powerful warrior, fight against the King of glory.  But what hast thou to do with Him?  And Hades thrust Satan outside of his realms.  And Hades said to his impious officers:  Shut the cruel gates of brass, and put up the bars of iron, and resist bravely, that we, holding captivity, may not take Him captive. 1979

And all the multitude of the saints, hearing this, said to Hades, with the voice of reproach:  Open thy gates, that the King of glory may come in.  And David cried out, saying:  Did I not, when I was alive upon earth, prophesy to you:  Let them confess to the Lord His tender mercies and His wonderful works to the children of men:  for He has shattered the brazen gates, and burst the iron bars; He has taken them up out of the way of their iniquity? 1980   And after this, in like manner, Esaias said:  Did not I, when I was alive upon earth, prophesy to you:  The dead shall rise up, and those who are in their tombs shall rise again, and those who are upon earth shall exult; because the dew, which is from the Lord, is their health? 1981   And again I said, Where, O Death, is thy sting? where, O Hades, is thy victory? 1982

And when all the saints heard this from Esaias, they said to Hades:  Open thy gates.  Since thou art now conquered, thou wilt be weak and powerless.  And there was a great voice, as of thunders, saying:  Lift up your gates, ye princes; and be ye lifted up, ye infernal gates; and the King of glory shall come in.  Hades, seeing that they had twice shouted out this, says, as if not knowing:  Who is the king of glory?  David says, in answer to Hades:  I recognise those words of the shout, since I prophesied the same by His Spirit.  And now, what I have said above I say to thee, The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle; He is the King of glory. 1983   And the Lord Himself hath looked down from heaven upon earth, to hear the groans of the prisoners, and to release the sons of the slain. 1984   And now, most filthy and most foul Hades, open thy gates, that the King of glory may come in.  While David was thus speaking, there came to Hades, in the form of a man, the Lord of majesty, and lighted up the eternal darkness, and burst asunder the indissoluble chains; and the aid of unconquered power visited us, sitting in the profound darkness of transgressions, and in the shadow of death of sins. 1985



Ps. xxiv. 7.


Ps. lxviii. 18Captivemus in the text is probably a misprint for captivemur, may not be taken captive.


Ps. cvii. 15-17, according to the LXX. and the Vulgate.


Isa. xxvi. 19, according to the LXX.


Hos. 13:14, 1 Cor. 15:55.


Ps. 24:7, 8.


Ps. 2:19, 20.


Comp. Isa. 9:2, Luke 1:79.

Next: Chapter 6

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