Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol I:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
JUSTIN MARTYR: Chapter CXXXVIII.—Noah is a figure...
Chapter CXXXVIII.—Noah is a figure of Christ, who has regenerated us by water, and faith, and wood: [i.e., the cross.]
“You know, then, sirs,” I said, “that God has said in Isaiah to Jerusalem: I saved thee in the deluge of Noah. 2479 By this which God said was meant that the mystery of saved men appeared in the deluge. For righteous Noah, along with the other mortals at the deluge, i.e., with his own wife, his three sons and their wives, being eight in number, were a symbol of the eighth day, wherein Christ appeared when He rose from the dead, for ever the first in power. For Christ, being the first-born of every creature, became again the chief of another race regenerated by Himself through water, and faith, and wood, containing the mystery of the cross; even as Noah was saved by wood when he rode over the waters with his household. Accordingly, when the prophet says, I saved thee in the times of Noah, as I have already remarked, he addresses the people who are equally faithful to God, and possess the same signs. For when Moses had the rod in his hands, he led your nation through the sea. And you believe that this was spoken to your nation only, or to the land. But the whole earth, as the Scripture says, was inundated, and the water rose in height fifteen cubits above all the mountains: so that it is evident this was not spoken to the land, but to the people who obeyed Him: for whom also He had before prepared a resting-place in Jerusalem, as was previously demonstrated by all the symbols of the deluge; I mean, that by water, faith, and wood, those who are afore-prepared, and who repent of the sins which they have committed, shall escape from the impending judgment of God.
Isa. liv. 9 comes nearer to these words than any other passage; but still the exact quotation is not in Isaiah, or in any other part of Scripture. [It is quite probable that Isa. liv. 9 was thus misunderstood by the Jews, as Trypho seems to acquiesce.]
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