Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. II:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
City of God: Chapter 10
Chapter 10.—How Different the Acts in the Kingdom of the Earthly Jerusalem are from Those Which God Had Promised, So that the Truth of the Promise Should Be Understood to Pertain to the Glory of the Other King and Kingdom.
That it might not be supposed that a promise so strongly expressed and confirmed was fulfilled in Solomon, as if he hoped for, yet did not find it, he says, “But Thou hast cast off, and hast brought to nothing, O Lord.” 1056 This truly was done concerning the kingdom of Solomon among his posterity, even to the overthrow of the earthly Jerusalem itself, which was the seat of the kingdom, and especially the destruction of the very temple which had been built by Solomon. But lest on this account God should be thought to have done contrary to His promise, immediately he adds, “Thou hast delayed Thy Christ.” 1057 Therefore he is not Solomon, nor yet David himself, if the Christ of the Lord is delayed. For while all the kings are called His christs, who were consecrated with that mystical chrism, not only from king David downwards, but even from that Saul who first was anointed king of that same people, David himself indeed calling him the Lords christ, yet there was one true Christ, whose figure they bore by the prophetic unction, who, according to the opinion of men, who thought he was to be understood as come in David or in Solomon, was long delayed, but who, according as God had disposed, was to come in His own time. The following part of this psalm goes on to say what in the meantime, while He was delayed, was to become of the kingdom of the earthly Jerusalem, where it was hoped He would certainly reign: “Thou hast overthrown the covenant of Thy servant; Thou hast profaned in the earth his sanctuary. Thou hast broken down all his walls; Thou hast put his strong-holds in fear. All that pass by the way spoil him; he is made a reproach to his neighbors. Thou hast set up the right hand of his enemies; Thou hast made all his enemies to rejoice. Thou hast turned aside the help of his sword, and hast not helped him in war. Thou hast destroyed him from cleansing; Thou hast dashed down his seat to the ground. Thou hast shortened the days of his seat; Thou hast poured confusion over him.” 1058 All these things came upon Jerusalem the bond woman, in which some also reigned who were children of the free woman, holding that kingdom in temporary stewardship, but holding the kingdom of the heavenly Jerusalem, whose children they were, in true faith, and hoping in the true Christ. But how these things came upon that kingdom, the history of its affairs points out if it is read.
Next: Chapter 11
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