Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. II:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
City of God: Chapter 28
Chapter 28.—Of the Things Pertaining to the Gospel of Christ Which Hosea and Amos Prohesied.
The prophet Hosea speaks so very profoundly that it is laborious work to penetrate his meaning. But, according to promise, we must insert something from his book. He says, “And it shall come to pass that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there they shall be called the sons of the living God.” 1153 Even the apostles understood this as a prophetic testimony of the calling of the nations who did not formerly belong to God; and because this same people of the Gentiles is itself spiritually among the children of Abraham, and for that reason is rightly called Israel, therefore he goes on to say, “And the children of Judah and the children of Israel shall be gathered together in one, and shall appoint themselves one headship, and shall ascend from the earth.” 1154 We should but weaken the savor of this prophetic oracle if we set ourselves to expound it. Let the reader but call to mind that cornerstone and those two walls of partition, the one of the Jews, the other of the Gentiles, 1155 and he will recognize them, the one under the term sons of Judah, the other as sons of Israel, supporting themselves by one and the same headship, and ascending from the earth. But that those carnal Israelites who are now unwilling to believe in Christ shall afterward believe, that is, their children shall (for they themselves, of course, shall go to their own place by dying), this same prophet testifies, saying, “For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, without a prince, without a sacrifice, without an altar, without a priesthood, without manifestations.” 1156 Who does not see that the Jews are now thus? But let us hear what he adds: “And afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king, and shall be amazed at the Lord and at His goodness in the latter days.” 1157 p. 376 Nothing is clearer than this prophecy, in which by David, as distinguished by the title of king, Christ is to be understood, “who is made,” as the apostle says, “of the seed of David according to the flesh.” 1158 This prophet has also foretold the resurrection of Christ on the third day, as it behoved to be foretold, with prophetic loftiness, when he says, “He will heal us after two days, and in the third day we shall rise again.” 1159 In agreement with this the apostle says to us, “If ye be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above.” 1160 Amos also prophesies thus concerning such things: “Prepare thee, that thou mayst invoke thy God, O Israel; for lo, I am binding the thunder, and creating the spirit, and announcing to men their Christ.” 1161 And in another place he says, “In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and build up the breaches thereof: and I will raise up his ruins, and will build them up again as in the days of old: that the residue of men may inquire for me, and all the nations upon whom my name is invoked, saith the Lord that doeth this.” 1162
Amos 4:12, 13.376:1162
Amos 9:11, 12, Acts 15:15.
Next: Chapter 29
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