Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. XIII:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
Selections from the Hymns and Homilies of Ephraim the Syrian and from the Demonstrations of Aphrahat the Persian Sage.: Hymn LXIII.
1. Who shall weigh the recompense of Abraham? whom I marvelled at when he bound, his only son.—2. R., To thee be glory, Voice that bringest to life the dead in Sheol: and they have come up as preachers, of His Son Who quickens all!—3. At that time I came forth in haste, to see the marvel: how that his knife was drawn out, against his beloved.—4. I gathered my manifold memories, from all quarters: and I collected my spirit to marvel, at that illustrious one.—5. How therefore can ye read, that great story? ye have despised the reading of it, in your very ears.—6. The sword of Jephthah rebukes, him that laments: his daughter was to him a mirror of life from the dead.—7. She gave herself for her father, so commend ye: your life to the Father of all, in the hope of your end.—8. In the womb then did ye not make trial, of a mystery of Sheol? yet in Sheol ye had more rest, than in the womb.—9. It is stubborn in you to stand up against, my mighty will: for lo! to succour them I take away, your departed.—10. By the king of Moab who slew, his son with his hands: he is put to shame who laments, for the departed one.—11. He was a profane man, lo! according, to what you read: but ye are doctors and teachers, as ye suppose.—12. He endured, but ye are furious, in p. 216 your mourning: against the will of the Lord of all, while ye are weeping.—13. I fear however to let pass, the story of Job: through this feeble mouth of mine, for I am unworthy.—14. So in like manner I turn aside, from mention of their bones: though I praise Him who granted, that they should come to me.—15. Dishonour not your members, by your sins: for in Sheol the bones are despised, of evildoers.—16. Whenever I see the body of one of the evil: I trample on it and curse, even his memory.—17. But wherever I see a bone, of one of the just; I set it apart and honour it, and do it worship.—18. Ye feeble ones understand not, all my ordinances: with you orders are confused, for ye are blind.—19. It is Moses alone that I know, to have honoured like me: the bones of that Joseph whom I magnify.—20. But Moses did such honour, to one pure body: but I to the body and the bones, of all the righteous.—21. Brightly shine the bones of Prophets, and of Apostles: a lamp to me in darkness, are all the righteous.—22. I worship Him Who lightens for me, the darkness of Sheol: the splendour of Moses who was so great, was as the sun to me.
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