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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol VIII:
Apocrypha of the New Testament.: Chapter 5

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 5 (21).

While Satan and Hades were thus speaking to each other, there was a great voice like thunder, saying:  Lift up your gates, O ye rulers; and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting gates; and the King of glory shall come in. 1943   When Hades heard, he said to Satan:  Go forth, if thou art able, and withstand him.  Satan therefore went forth to the outside.  Then Hades says to his demons:  Secure well and strongly the gates of brass and the bars of iron, and attend to my bolts, and stand in order, 1944 and see to p. 437 everything; for if he come in here, woe will seize us.

The forefathers having heard this, began all to revile him, saying:  O all-devouring and insatiable! open, that the King of glory may come in.  David the prophet says:  Dost thou not know, O blind, that I when living in the world prophesied this saying:  Lift up your gates, O ye rulers?  Hesaias said:  I, foreseeing this by the Holy Spirit, wrote:  The dead shall rise up, and those in their tombs shall be raised, and those in the earth shall rejoice. 1945   And where, O death, is thy sting? where, O Hades, is thy victory? 1946

There came, then, again a voice saying:  Lift up the gates.  Hades, hearing the voice the second time, answered as if forsooth he did not know, and says:  Who is this King of glory?  The angels of the Lord say:  The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. 1947   And immediately with these words the brazen gates were shattered, and the iron bars broken, and all the dead who had been bound came out of the prisons, and we with them.  And the King of glory came in in the form of a man, and all the dark places of Hades were lighted up.



Ps. xxiv. 7.


Lit., erect.


Isa. xxvi. 19, according to the LXX.


Hos. xiii. 14.


Ps. xxiv. 8.

Next: Chapter 6