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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol IX:
Origen's Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew.: Chapter XXXI

Early Church Fathers  Index     

31.  The Simpler Interpretation of the Promise About Not Tasting of Death.

Verily I say unto you there be some of them that stand here that shall not taste of death.” 5751   Some refer these things to the going up—six days after, or, as Luke says, 5752 eight days—of the three disciples into the high mountain with Jesus apart; and those who adopt this interpretation say that Peter and the remaining two did not taste of death before they saw the Son of man coming in His own kingdom and in His own glory.  For when they saw Jesus transfigured before them so that “His face shone,” etc., “they saw the kingdom of God coming with power.” 5753   For even as some spear-bearers stand around a king, so Moses and Elijah appeared to those who had gone up into the mountains, talking with Jesus.  But it is worth while considering whether the sitting on the right hand and on the left hand of the Saviour in His kingdom refers to them, so that the words, “But for whom it is prepared,” were 5754 spoken because of them.  Now this interpretation about the three Apostles not tasting of death until they have seen Jesus transfigured, is adapted to those who are designated by Peter as “new-born babes longing for the reasonable milk which is without guile,” 5755 to whom Paul says, “I have fed you with milk, not with meat,” 5756 etc.  Now, too, every interpretation of a text which is able to build up those who cannot receive greater truths might reasonably be called milk, flowing from the holy ground of the Scriptures, which flows with p. 467 milk and honey.  But he who has been weaned, like Isaac, 5757 worthy of the good cheer and reception which Abraham gave at the weaning of his son, would seek here and in every Scripture food which is different, I think, from that which is meat, indeed, but is not solid food, and from what are figuratively called herbs, which are food to one who has been weaned and is not yet strong but weak, according to the saying, “He that is weak eateth herbs.” 5758   In like manner also he who has been weaned, like Samuel, and dedicated by his mother to God, 5759 —she was Hannah, which is, by interpretation, grace,—would be also a son of grace, seeking, like one nurtured in the temple, flesh of God, the holy food of those who are at once perfect and priests.



Matt. xvi. 28.


Luke ix. 28.


Mark ix. 1.


Matt. xx. 23.


1 Pet. ii. 2.


1 Cor. iii. 2.


Gen. xxi. 8.


Rom. xiv. 2.


1 Sam. 1:23, 24.

Next: Chapter XXXII

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