Vitalis had asked Jerome “Is Scripture credible when it tells us that Solomon and Ahaz became fathers at the age of eleven?” The difficulty had previously occurred to Jerome himself (Letter XXXVI. 10, whence perhaps Vitalis took it) and in this letter he suggests several ways in which it may be met. He is quite prepared, if necessary, to accept the alleged fact on the grounds that “there are many things in Scripture which sound incredible and yet are true” and that “nature cannot resist the Lord of nature” (§2). He is disposed, however, to regard the question as trivial and of no importance. The date of the letter is 398 a.d.
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