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Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. XIII:
Selections from the Hymns and Homilies of Ephraim the Syrian and from the Demonstrations of Aphrahat the Persian Sage.: Hymn LIII.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Hymn LIII.

1.  Come, let us hear how they contend for victory:  the guilty ones who never have conquered, nor will conquer.—2. Death said unto the Evil One, In the end the victory is mine:  for Death is master of the close, as a conqueror.—3. Satan, This were to be Death indeed, wert thou able:  to bring to death a living man, by means of lusts.—4. D., Lo! I who behold the dead, both good and bad:  the righteous who despise thee, O Evil One, me they despise not.—5. S., This dying of the body, is sleep for a time:  think not, O Death, that thou art Death, who art as a shadow.—6. D., Thee, O Evil One, the just have conquered, yea will conquer:  but these that have conquered thee, lo! I conquer.—7. S., Even this that thou bringest to death the just, is not of thyself:  because of Adam whom I conquered, they drink this cup.—8. D., Lo! Sheol is full of the men of Sodom, and the Assyrians:  and the giants who were in the flood, who is like me?—9. S., These, O Death, all of them, by me were slain:  I am he that caused them to sin so that they perished.—10. D., Joseph who conquered thee I conquered, O Satan:  in the chamber he conquered thee but I conquered, and cast him into the tomb.—11. S., Moses who conquered thee, O Death, by sprinkling of blood:  he conquered thee in Egypt, but at the rock, who conquered him?—12. D., Elijah who feared thee not, O Satan:  fled before Jezebel’s face, because he feared me.—13. S., Aaron who withstood thee, O Death, with smoke of incense:  to him I gave earrings of gold:  and he fashioned a calf.—14. D., Thou wentest down to contend with Job, and he conquered thee and came up:  but I, after he had conquered thee, then conquered him.—15. S., David who by his sackcloth stayed that pestilence:  him on the house-top I conquered, who had conquered Goliath.—16. D., Jehu who destroyed the house of Baal, the temple of the Evil One:  was unable to destroy Sheol, the stronghold of my realm.—17. S., Solomon who snatched from thy mouth, a child by his judgment:  him in his old age I made a builder of idol-altars.—18. D., Samuel who in respect of gold scorned thee, O Satan:  him I conquered, the conqueror, who conquered bribes.—19. S., p. 208 Samson who in respect of the lion’s whelp, scorned thee, O Death:  through Delilah, frail vessel, I yoked him to the mill.—20. D., Josiah from his childhood despised thee, Evil One:  but me not even in his old age, could he withstand.—21. S., Hezekiah withstood thee, Death, when he overcame the bound of life:  I misled him and he neglected the miracle, and showed his treasures.—22. D., John who conquered thee, Evil One, and absolved and baptized:  I extinguished that torch, which had disclosed thee.—23. S., Simon overcame thee, when he brought to life that blessed woman:  in a woman he overcame thee and by a woman I overcame him and made him deny.—24. S., Apostles and prophets with one voice, curse thee, O Death:  “Where is the victory of Death, and the sting of Sheol?”—25. Thy Lord in Sheol thou hast shut up, O cursed servant:  God hates thee and also man, hold then thy peace.—26. S., It was the will of Him who gives life to all, that shut him in Sheol:  it was thou that called Him to this, when thou madest Adam sin.—27. O comrade of Nabal who in the wilderness reproached his lord:  abhorred be thy mouth which said to Him, “Fall down and worship me!”

Next: Hymn LIV.

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