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Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. XIII:
Selections from the Hymns and Homilies of Ephraim the Syrian and from the Demonstrations of Aphrahat the Persian Sage.: Hymn LXVII.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Hymn LXVII.

1. Come ye, let us hear how Death convicts the People:  that harsher than Death was their sword, against the just.—2. R., To Thee be glory, Who by Thy sacrifice, hast redeemed our disgrace:  and Whose death was instead of all deaths, that Thou mightst raise all!—3. It was not Death indeed that crucified Jesus, but it was the People:  how hateful then the People, that are yet more hateful than I!—4. Into the pit they cast Jeremiah, the miry pit:  but I in Sheol allotted, honour to his bones.—5. Naboth they bruised to death with stones, as though he were a dog:  how good am I who have never stoned, even a dog!—6. The Hebrew women in famine, ate their children:  Sheol is good who delivers and gives them up, without difficulty.—7. To the widow I gave her son, by the hand of Elijah:  to the Shunamite her beloved, by the hand of Elisha.—8. The Hebrew women in greed, ate their children:  Sheol gave up the dead and learned, to fast soberly.—9. Sheol was not indeed Sheol, but its semblance:  Jezebel was the true Sheol, who devoured the just.—10. The sons of the prophets and the prophets, she slew and cast down:  to heaven Elijah escaped, from her fury.—11. How many deaths instead of one Death, were among the People! and how many Sheols instead of one, were there also!—12. Samaria and Jezrael her daughters, in Israel:  and Zion and Jerusalem her sister, in Judea.—13. Prophets and just men in Judea, and in Israel:  in these two abysses, they were drowned.—14. Why then is Sheol hated, and she alone:  though there be many that are hateful, rather than she?—15. The dead of the men of Judah, to me are right hateful:  yea, abhorred by me are their bones, in the midst of Sheol.—16. Would that then I had a way to cast them out:  to cast their bones thence from Sheol, for they cause her to rot.—17. I wonder at the Holy Spirit, that He thus dwelt:  in the midst of a People whose savour stank, as their conversation.—18. Onions and garlic are the heralds of their doings:  as is the food so is the understanding, of this defiled people.—19. Through the supplication of all that bow, and worship Thy Father:  have mercy on Thy worshipper, who is thankless for Thy love.—20. From Hebrews and Aramæans, and also from the Watchers:  to Thee be praise and through Thee to Thy Father, be also glory!—21. For that I have a mouth to Death, who is without mouth:  may the Son Who is all mouths, hold back my offence from His Father!


Next: Hymn LXVIII.

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