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

Early Church Fathers  Index     

20.  Christ and the Gentiles.

Now there are those in whose case it has happened that the man dwells with them without having hated them, because they abide in the house of the last husband, who took to himself their synagogue as wife.  But also in their case the latter husband dies, 6201 perhaps whenever the last enemy of Christ, death, is destroyed.  But whichever of these things may happen, whether the former or the latter to the wife, the former husband, it says, who sent her away, will not he able to turn back and take her to be a wife to himself after she has been defiled, since “it is abomination,” it says, “before the Lord thy God.” 6202   But these things will not seem to be consistent with this, “If the fulness of the Gentiles be come in, all Israel shall be saved.” 6203   But consider if it can be said to this, that, if she shall be saved by her former husband returning and taking her to himself as wife, she will in any case be saved after she has been polluted.  A priest, then, will not take to himself as a wife one who has been a harlot and an outcast, 6204 but no other, as being inferior to the priest, is hindered from doing so.  But if you seek for the harlot in regard to the calling of the Gentiles, you may use the passage, “Take to yourself a wife of fornication, and children of fornication,” 6205 etc.; for, as “the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are guiltless,” 6206 so he who, casting out his former wife, takes in due season “a wife of fornication,” having done it according to the command of Him who says, when it is necessary, and so long as it was necessary, “He shall not take a harlot to wife,” and, when it was reasonable, He says, “Take to p. 509 yourself a wife of fornication.”  For as the Son of man is Lord of the sabbath, 6207 and not the slave of the sabbath as the people are, so He who gives the law has power to give it “until a time of reformation,” 6208 and to change the law, and, when the time of the reformation is at hand, also to give after the former way and after the former heart another way and another heart, “in an acceptable time, and in a day of salvation.” 6209   And let these things be said according to our interpretation of the law in regard to the bill of divorcement.



Deut. xxiv. 3.


Deut. xxiv. 4.


Rom. 11:25, 26.


Lev. xxi. 14.


Hos. i. 2.


Matt. xii. 5.


Matt. xii. 8.


Heb. ix. 10.


2 Cor. vi. 2.

Next: Chapter XXI

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