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Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. IV:
Defence of His Flight. (Apologia de Fuga.): An hour and a time for all men.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

14. An hour and a time for all men.

Now in so far as He was God and the Word p. 260 of the Father, He had no time; for He is Himself the Creator of times 1448 . But being made man, He shews by speaking in this manner that there is a time allotted to every man; and that not by chance, as some of the Gentiles imagine in their fables, but a time which He, the Creator, has appointed to every one according to the will of the Father. This is written in the Scriptures, and is manifest to all men. For although it be hidden and unknown to all, what period of time is allotted to each, and how it is allotted; yet every one knows this, that as there is a time for spring and for summer, and for autumn and for winter, so, as it is written 1449 , there is a time to die, and a time to live. And so the time of the generation which lived in the days of Noah was cut short, and their years were contracted, because the time of all things was at hand. But to Hezekiah were added fifteen years. And as God promises to them that serve Him truly, ‘I will fulfil the number of thy days 1450 ,’ Abraham dies ‘full of days,’ and David besought God, saying, ‘Take me not away in the midst of my days 1451 .’ And Eliphaz, one of the friends of Job, being assured of this truth, said, ‘Thou shalt come to thy grave like ripe corn, gathered in due time, and like as a shock of corn cometh in in his season 1452 .’ And Solomon confirming his words, says, ‘The souls of the unrighteous are taken away untimely 1453 .’ And therefore he exhorts in the book of Ecclesiastes, saying, ‘Be not overmuch wicked, neither be thou hard: why shouldest thou die before thy time 1454 ?’



De Decr. 18, note 5.


Eccles. iii. 2.


Ex. xxiii. 26; Gen. xxv. 8.


Ps. cii. 24.


Job v. 26, LXX.


Vid. Prov. x. 27


Eccles. vii. 17.

Next: The Lord's hour and time.

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