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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. II:
City of God: Chapter 13

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 13.—Whether the Truth of This Promised Peace Can Be Ascribed to Those Times Passed Away Under Solomon.

Whoever hopes for this so great good in this world, and in this earth, his wisdom is but folly.  Can any one think it was fulfilled in the peace of Solomon’s reign?  Scripture certainly commends that peace with excellent praise as a shadow of that which is to come.  But this opinion is to be vigilantly opposed, since after it is said, “And the son of iniquity shall not humble him any more,” it is immediately added, “as from the beginning, from the days in which I appointed judges over my people Israel.” 1078   For the judges were appointed over that people from the time when they received the land of promise, before kings had begun to be there.  And certainly the son of iniquity, that is, the foreign enemy, humbled him through periods of time in which we read that peace alternated with wars; and in that period longer times of peace are found than Solomon had, who reigned forty years.  For under that judge who is called Ehud there were eighty years of peace. 1079   Be it far from us, therefore, that we should believe the times of Solomon are predicted in this promise, much less indeed those of any other king whatever.  For none other of them reigned in such great peace as he; nor did that nation ever at all hold that kingdom so as to have no anxiety lest it should be subdued by enemies:  for in the very great mutability of human affairs such great security is never given to any people, that it should not dread invasions hostile to this life.  Therefore the place of this promised peaceful and secure habitation is eternal, and of right belongs eternally to Jerusalem the free mother, where the genuine people of Israel shall be:  for this name is interpreted “Seeing God;” in the desire of which reward a pious life is to be led through faith in this miserable pilgrimage. 1080


Footnotes

352:1078

2 Sam. 7.10-11.

352:1079

Judges 3.30.

352:1080

Israel—a prince of God; Peniel—the face of God (Gen. 32.28-30).


Next: Chapter 14

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