Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol I:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
JUSTIN MARTYR: Chapter XC.—The stretched-out hands...
Chapter XC.—The stretched-out hands of Moses signified beforehand the cross.
“Bring us on, then,” said [Trypho], “by the Scriptures, that we may also be persuaded by you; for we know that He should suffer and be led as a sheep. But prove to us whether He must be crucified and die so disgracefully and so dishonourably by the death cursed in the law. 2302 For we cannot bring ourselves even to think of this.”
“You know,” said I, “that what the prophets said and did they veiled by parables and types, as you admitted to us; so that it was not easy for all to understand the most [of what they said], since they concealed the truth by these means, that those who are eager to find out and learn it might do so with much labour.”
They answered, “We admitted this.”
“Listen, therefore,” say I, “to what follows; for Moses first exhibited this seeming curse of Christs by the signs which he made.”
“Of what [signs] do you speak?” said he.
“When the people,” replied I, “waged war with Amalek, and the son of Nave (Nun) by name Jesus (Joshua), led the fight, Moses himself prayed to God, stretching out both hands, and Hur with Aaron supported them during the whole day, so that they might not hang down when he got wearied. For if he gave up any part of this sign, which was an imitation of the cross, the people were beaten, as is recorded in the writings of Moses; but if he remained in this form, Amalek was proportionally defeated, and he who prevailed prevailed by the cross. For it was not because Moses so prayed that the people were stronger, but because, while one who bore the name of Jesus (Joshua) was in the forefront of the battle, he himself made the sign of the cross. For who of you knows not that the prayer of one who accompanies it with lamentation and tears, with the body prostrate, or with bended knees, propitiates God most of all? But in such a manner neither he nor any other one, while sitting on a stone, prayed. Nor even the stone symbolized Christ, as I have shown.
[This intense abhorrence of the cross made it worth while to show that these similitudes existed under the law. They were ad hominem appeals, and suited to Jewish modes of thought.]
Next: Chapter XCI.—The cross was foretold...
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