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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol VIII:
Two Epistles Concerning Virginity.: Chapter XIV

Early Church Fathers  Index     

p. 65 Chapter XIV.—Examples of Circumspect Behaviour from the Old Testament.

But see what it says also concerning those holy men, the prophets, and concerning the apostles of our Lord.  Let us see whether any one of these holy men was constantly with maidens, or with young married women, or with such widows as the divine apostle declines to receive.  Let us consider, in the fear of God, the manner of life of these holy men.  Lo! we find it written concerning Moses and Aaron, that they acted and lived in the company of 497 men, who themselves also followed a course of conduct like theirs.  And thus did Joshua also, the son of Nun.  Woman was there none with them; but they by themselves used holily to minister before God, men with men.  And not only so; but they taught the people, that, whensoever the host moved, every tribe should move on apart, and the women with the women apart, and that they should go into the rear behind the host, and the men also apart by their tribes.  And, according to the command of the Lord, so did they set out, like a wise people, that there might be no disorder on account of the women when the host moved.  With beautiful and well-ordered arrangements did they march without stumbling.  For lo! the Scriptures bear testimony to my words:  “When the children of Israel had crossed over the Sea of Suth, Moses and the children of Israel sang the praises of the Lord, and said:  We will praise the Lord, because He is exceedingly to be praised.” 498   And, after that Moses had finished 499 singing praises, then Miriam, the sister of Moses and Aaron, took a timbrel in her hands, and all the women went out after her, and sang praises with her, women with women apart, and men with men apart.  Then again, we find that Elisha and Gehazi and the sons of the prophets lived together in the fear of God, and that they had no females living with them.  Micah too, and all the prophets likewise, we find to have lived in this manner in the fear of the Lord.



Lit. “their conduct and living was with.”


Exod. xv. 1.


Lit. “ceased from.”

Next: Chapter XV

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