Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol I:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
IRENÆUS: Chapter X.—The Old Testament...
Chapter X.—The Old Testament Scriptures, and those written by Moses in particular, do everywhere make mention of the Son of God, and foretell His advent and passion. From this fact it follows that they were inspired by one and the same God.
1. Wherefore also John does appropriately relate that the Lord said to the Jews: “Ye search the Scriptures, in which ye think ye have eternal life; these are they which testify of me. And ye are not willing to come unto Me, that ye may have life.” 3916 How therefore did the Scriptures testify of Him, unless they were from one and the same Father, instructing men beforehand as to the advent of His Son, and foretelling the salvation brought in by Him? “For if ye had believed Moses, ye would also have believed Me; for he wrote of Me;” 3917 [saying this,] no doubt, because the Son of God is implanted everywhere throughout his writings: at one time, indeed, speaking with Abraham, when about to eat with him; at another time with Noah, giving to him the dimensions [of the ark]; at another; inquiring after Adam; at another, bringing down judgment upon the Sodomites; and again, when He becomes visible, 3918 and directs Jacob on his journey, and speaks with Moses from the bush. 3919 And it would be endless to recount [the occasions] upon which the Son of God is shown forth by Moses. Of the day of His passion, too, he was not ignorant; but foretold Him, after a figurative manner, by the name given to the passover; 3920 and at that very festival, which had been proclaimed such a long time previously by Moses, did our Lord suffer, thus fulfilling the passover. And he did not describe the day only, but the place also, and the time of day at which the sufferings ceased, 3921 and the sign of the setting of the sun, saying: “Thou mayest not sacrifice the passover within any other of thy cities which the Lord God gives thee; but in the place which the Lord thy God shall choose that His name be called on there, thou shalt sacrifice the passover at even, towards the setting of the sun.” 3922
2. And already he had also declared His advent, saying, “There shall not fail a chief in Judah, nor a leader from his loins, until He come for whom it is laid up, and He is the hope of the nations; binding His foal to the vine, and His asss colt to the creeping ivy. He shall wash His stole in wine, and His upper garment p. 474 in the blood of the grape; His eyes shall be more joyous than wine, 3923 and His teeth whiter than milk.” 3924 For, let those who have the reputation of investigating everything, inquire at what time a prince and leader failed out of Judah, and who is the hope of the nations, who also is the vine, what was the asss colt [referred to as] His, what the clothing, and what the eyes, what the teeth, and what the wine, and thus let them investigate every one of the points mentioned; and they shall find that there was none other announced than our Lord, Christ Jesus. Wherefore Moses, when chiding the ingratitude of the people, said, “Ye infatuated people, and unwise, do ye thus requite the Lord?” 3925 And again, he indicates that He who from the beginning founded and created them, the Word, who also redeems and vivifies us in the last times, is shown as hanging on the tree, and they will not believe on Him. For he says, “And thy life shall be hanging before thine eyes, and thou wilt not believe thy life.” 3926 And again, “Has not this same one thy Father owned thee, and made thee, and created thee?” 3927
John 5:39, 40.473:3917
John v. 46.473:3918
See Gen. xviii. 13 and Gen. xxxi. 11, etc. There is an allusion here to a favourite notion among the Fathers, derived from Philo the Jew, that the name Israel was compounded from the three Hebrew words אִישׁ רָאָה אֵל, i.e., “the man seeing God.”473:3919
Ex. iii. 4, etc.473:3920
Feuardent infers with great probability from this passage, that Irenæus, like Tertullian and others of the Fathers, connected the word Pascha with πάσχειν, to suffer. [The LXX. constantly giving colour to early Christian ideas in this manner, they concluded, perhaps, that such coincidences were designed. The LXX. were credited with a sort of inspiration, as we learn from our author.]473:3921
Latin, “et extremitatem temporum.”473:3922
Deut. 16:5, 6.474:3923
The Latin is, “lætifici oculi ejus a vino,” the Hebrew method of indicating comparison being evidently imitated.474:3924
Gen. xlix. 10-12, LXX.474:3925
Deut. xxxii. 6.474:3926
Deut. xxviii. 66. Tertullian, Cyprian, and other early Fathers, agree with Irenæus in his exposition of this text.474:3927
Deut. xxxii. 6. “Owned thee,” i.e., following the meaning of the Hebrew, “owned thee by generation.”
Next: Chapter XI.—The old prophets and...
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