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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol IX:
Origen's Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew.: Chapter XV

Early Church Fathers  Index     

15.  The Householder and His Treasury.

Now since “every scribe who has been made a disciple to the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is a householder who bringeth forth out of his treasury things new and old,” 5242 it clearly follows, by “conversion of the proposition,” as it is called, that every one who does not bring forth out of his treasury things new and old, is not a scribe who has been made a disciple unto the kingdom of heaven.  We must endeavour, therefore, in every way to gather in our heart, “by giving heed to reading, to exhortation, to teaching,” 5243 and by “meditating in the law of the Lord day and night,” 5244 not only the new oracles of the Gospels and of the Apostles and their Revelation, but p. 423 also the old things in the law “which has the shadow of the good things to come,” 5245 and in the prophets who prophesied in accordance with them.  And these things will be gathered together, when we also read and know, and remembering them, compare at a fitting time things spiritual with spiritual, not comparing things that cannot be compared with one another, but things which admit of comparison, and which have a certain likeness of diction signifying the same thing, and of thoughts and of opinions, so that by the mouth of two or three or more witnesses 5246 from the Scripture, we may establish and confirm every word of God.  By means of them also we must refute those who, as far as in them lies, cleave in twain the Godhead and cut off the New from the Old, 5247 so that they are far removed from likeness to the householder who brings forth out of his treasury things new and old.  And since he who is likened to any one is different from the one to whom he is likened, the scribe “who is made a disciple unto the kingdom of heaven” will be the one who is likened, but different from him is the householder “who brings out of his treasury things new and old.”  But he who is likened to him, as in imitation of him, wishes to do that which is like.  Perhaps, then, the man who is a householder is Jesus Himself, who brings forth out of His treasury, according to the time of the teaching, things new, things spiritual, which also are always being renewed by Him in the “inner man” of the righteous, who are themselves always being renewed day by day, 5248 and old things, things “written and engraven on stones,” 5249 and in the stony hearts of the old man, so that by comparison of the letter and by exhibition of the spirit He may enrich the scribe who is made a disciple unto the kingdom of heaven, and make him like unto Himself; until the disciple shall be as the Master, imitating first the imitator of Christ, and after him Christ Himself, according to that which is said by Paul, “Be ye imitators of me even as I also of Christ.” 5250   And likewise, Jesus the householder may in the simpler sense bring forth out of His treasury things new,—that is, the evangelic teaching—and things old,—that is, the comparison of the sayings which are taken from the law and the prophets, of which we may find examples in the Gospels.  And with regard to these things new and old, we must attend also to the spiritual law which says in Leviticus, “And ye shall eat old things, and the old things of the old, and ye shall bring forth the old from before the new; and I will set my tabernacle among you.” 5251   For we eat with blessing the old things,—the prophetic words,—and the old things of the old things,—the words of the law; and, when the new and evangelical words came, living according to the Gospel we bring forth the old things of the letter from before the new, and He sets His tabernacle in us, fulfilling the promise which He spoke, “I will dwell among them and walk in them.” 5252



Matt. xiii. 52.


1 Tim. iv. 13.


Ps. i. 2.


Heb. x. 1.


Matt. xviii. 16.


Marcion and his school.


2 Cor. iv. 16.


2 Cor. iii. 7.


1 Cor. xi. 1.


Lev. 26:10, 11.


Lev. 26:12, 2 Cor. 6:16.

Next: Chapter XVI