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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database

Hebrew Bible, Psalms, 103.26

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10 results
1. Hebrew Bible, Exodus, 7.9-7.12 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

7.9. כִּי יְדַבֵּר אֲלֵכֶם פַּרְעֹה לֵאמֹר תְּנוּ לָכֶם מוֹפֵת וְאָמַרְתָּ אֶל־אַהֲרֹן קַח אֶת־מַטְּךָ וְהַשְׁלֵךְ לִפְנֵי־פַרְעֹה יְהִי לְתַנִּין׃ 7.11. וַיִּקְרָא גַּם־פַּרְעֹה לַחֲכָמִים וְלַמְכַשְּׁפִים וַיַּעֲשׂוּ גַם־הֵם חַרְטֻמֵּי מִצְרַיִם בְּלַהֲטֵיהֶם כֵּן׃ 7.12. וַיַּשְׁלִיכוּ אִישׁ מַטֵּהוּ וַיִּהְיוּ לְתַנִּינִם וַיִּבְלַע מַטֵּה־אַהֲרֹן אֶת־מַטֹּתָם׃ 7.9. ’When Pharaoh shall speak unto you, saying: Show a wonder for you; then thou shalt say unto Aaron: Take thy rod, and cast it down before Pharaoh, that it become a serpent.’" 7.10. And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so, as the LORD had commanded; and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh and before his servants, and it became a serpent." 7.11. Then Pharaoh also called for the wise men and the sorcerers; and they also, the magicians of Egypt, did in like manner with their secret arts." 7.12. For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents; but Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods."
2. Hebrew Bible, Genesis, 1.4-1.5 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

1.4. וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים אֶת־הָאוֹר כִּי־טוֹב וַיַּבְדֵּל אֱלֹהִים בֵּין הָאוֹר וּבֵין הַחֹשֶׁךְ׃ 1.5. וַיִּקְרָא אֱלֹהִים לָאוֹר יוֹם וְלַחֹשֶׁךְ קָרָא לָיְלָה וַיְהִי־עֶרֶב וַיְהִי־בֹקֶר יוֹם אֶחָד׃ 1.4. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness." 1.5. And God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day."
3. Hebrew Bible, Job, 7.12, 40.19, 40.25 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

7.12. הֲ‍יָם־אָנִי אִם־תַּנִּין כִּי־תָשִׂים עָלַי מִשְׁמָר׃ 40.19. הוּא רֵאשִׁית דַּרְכֵי־אֵל הָעֹשׂוֹ יַגֵּשׁ חַרְבּוֹ׃ 40.25. תִּמְשֹׁךְ לִוְיָתָן בְּחַכָּה וּבְחֶבֶל תַּשְׁקִיעַ לְשֹׁנוֹ׃ 7.12. Am I a sea, or a sea-monster, That Thou settest a watch over me?" 40.19. He is the beginning of the ways of God; He only that made him can make His sword to approach unto him." 40.25. Canst thou draw out leviathan with a fish-hook? Or press down his tongue with a cord?"
4. Hebrew Bible, Psalms, 73.13-73.14, 74.13-74.14, 104.26 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

73.13. אַךְ־רִיק זִכִּיתִי לְבָבִי וָאֶרְחַץ בְּנִקָּיוֹן כַּפָּי׃ 73.14. וָאֱהִי נָגוּעַ כָּל־הַיּוֹם וְתוֹכַחְתִּי לַבְּקָרִים׃ 74.13. אַתָּה פוֹרַרְתָּ בְעָזְּךָ יָם שִׁבַּרְתָּ רָאשֵׁי תַנִּינִים עַל־הַמָּיִם׃ 74.14. אַתָּה רִצַּצְתָּ רָאשֵׁי לִוְיָתָן תִּתְּנֶנּוּ מַאֲכָל לְעָם לְצִיִּים׃ 104.26. שָׁם אֳנִיּוֹת יְהַלֵּכוּן לִוְיָתָן זֶה־יָצַרְתָּ לְשַׂחֶק־בּוֹ׃ 73.13. Surely in vain have I cleansed my heart, And washed my hands in innocency;" 73.14. For all the day have I been plagued, And my chastisement came every morning." 74.13. Thou didst break the sea in pieces by Thy strength; Thou didst shatter the heads of the sea-monsters in the waters." 74.14. Thou didst crush the heads of leviathan, Thou gavest him to be food to the folk inhabiting the wilderness." 104.26. There go the ships; There is leviathan, whom Thou hast formed to sport therein."
5. Hebrew Bible, Isaiah, 27.1 (8th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

27.1. כִּי עִיר בְּצוּרָה בָּדָד נָוֶה מְשֻׁלָּח וְנֶעֱזָב כַּמִּדְבָּר שָׁם יִרְעֶה עֵגֶל וְשָׁם יִרְבָּץ וְכִלָּה סְעִפֶיהָ׃ 27.1. בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא יִפְקֹד יְהוָה בְּחַרְבוֹ הַקָּשָׁה וְהַגְּדוֹלָה וְהַחֲזָקָה עַל לִוְיָתָן נָחָשׁ בָּרִחַ וְעַל לִוְיָתָן נָחָשׁ עֲקַלָּתוֹן וְהָרַג אֶת־הַתַּנִּין אֲשֶׁר בַּיָּם׃ 27.1. In that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong sword will punish leviathan the slant serpent, and leviathan the tortuous serpent; and He will slay the dragon that is in the sea."
6. Hebrew Bible, Ezekiel, 28.13 (6th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

28.13. בְּעֵדֶן גַּן־אֱלֹהִים הָיִיתָ כָּל־אֶבֶן יְקָרָה מְסֻכָתֶךָ אֹדֶם פִּטְדָה וְיָהֲלֹם תַּרְשִׁישׁ שֹׁהַם וְיָשְׁפֵה סַפִּיר נֹפֶךְ וּבָרְקַת וְזָהָב מְלֶאכֶת תֻּפֶּיךָ וּנְקָבֶיךָ בָּךְ בְּיוֹם הִבָּרַאֲךָ כּוֹנָנוּ׃ 28.13. thou wast in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the carnelian, the topaz, and the emerald, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the carbuncle, and the smaragd, and gold; the workmanship of thy settings and of thy sockets was in thee, in the day that thou wast created they were prepared."
7. New Testament, 2 Timothy, 3.6-3.7 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

3.6. For of these are those who creep into houses, and take captive gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts 3.7. always learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
8. New Testament, Apocalypse, 12.3-12.4, 12.7, 12.9, 12.13, 12.16-12.18, 13.2, 13.4, 13.11, 16.13, 17.3, 20.2 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

12.3. Another sign was seen in heaven. Behold, a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven crowns. 12.4. His tail drew one third of the stars of the sky, and threw them to the earth. The dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child. 12.7. There was war in the sky. Michael and his angels made war on the dragon. The dragon and his angels made war. 12.9. The great dragon was thrown down, the old serpent, he who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world. He was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. 12.13. When the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child. 12.16. The earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the river which the dragon spewed out of his mouth. 12.17. The dragon grew angry with the woman, and went away to make war with the rest of her seed, who keep God's commandments and hold Jesus' testimony. 13.2. The beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority. 13.4. They worshiped the dragon, because he gave his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him? 13.11. I saw another beast coming up out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke like a dragon. 16.13. I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits, something like frogs; 17.3. He carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness. I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet-colored animal, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns. 20.2. He seized the dragon, the old serpent, which is the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole inhabited earth, and bound him for a thousand years
9. Origen, Against Celsus, 6.19-6.39, 7.40 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

6.19. Celsus in the next place alleges, that certain Christians, having misunderstood the words of Plato, loudly boast of a 'super-celestial' God, thus ascending beyond the heaven of the Jews. By these words, indeed, he does not make it clear whether they also ascend beyond the God of the Jews, or only beyond the heaven by which they swear. It is not our purpose at present, however, to speak of those who acknowledge another god than the one worshipped by the Jews, but to defend ourselves, and to show that it was impossible for the prophets of the Jews, whose writings are reckoned among ours, to have borrowed anything from Plato, because they were older than he. They did not then borrow from him the declaration, that all things are around the King of all, and that all exist on account of him; for we have learned that nobler thoughts than these have been uttered by the prophets, by Jesus Himself and His disciples, who have clearly indicated the meaning of the spirit that was in them, which was none other than the spirit of Christ. Nor was the philosopher the first to present to view the super-celestial place; for David long ago brought to view the profundity and multitude of the thoughts concerning God entertained by those who have ascended above visible things, when he said in the book of Psalms: Praise God, you heaven of heavens and you waters that be above the heavens, let them praise the name of the Lord . I do not, indeed, deny that Plato learned from certain Hebrews the words quoted from the Ph drus, or even, as some have recorded, that he quoted them from a perusal of our prophetic writings, when he said: No poet here below has ever sung of the super-celestial place, or ever will sing in a becoming manner, and so on. And in the same passage is the following: For the essence, which is both colorless and formless, and which cannot be touched, which really exists, is the pilot of the soul, and is beheld by the understanding alone; and around it the genus of true knowledge holds this place. Our Paul, moreover, educated by these words, and longing after things supra-mundane and super-celestial, and doing his utmost for their sake to attain them, says in the second Epistle to the Corinthians: For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are unseen are eternal. 6.20. Now, to those who are capable of understanding him, the apostle manifestly presents to view things which are the objects of perception, calling them things seen; while he terms unseen, things which are the object of the understanding, and cognisable by it alone. He knows, also, that things seen and visible are temporal, but that things cognisable by the mind, and not seen, are eternal; and desiring to remain in the contemplation of these, and being assisted by his earnest longing for them, he deemed all affliction as light and as nothing, and during the season of afflictions and troubles was not at all bowed down by them, but by his contemplation of (divine) things deemed every calamity a light thing, seeing we also have a great High Priest, who by the greatness of His power and understanding has passed through the heavens, even Jesus the Son of God, who has promised to all that have truly learned divine things, and have lived lives in harmony with them, to go before them to the things that are supra-mundane; for His words are: That where I go, you may be also. And therefore we hope, after the troubles and struggles which we suffer here, to reach the highest heavens, and receiving, agreeably to the teaching of Jesus, the fountains of water that spring up unto eternal life, and being filled with the rivers of knowledge, shall be united with those waters that are said to be above the heavens, and which praise His name. And as many of us as praise Him shall not be carried about by the revolution of the heaven, but shall be ever engaged in the contemplation of the invisible things of God, which are no longer understood by us through the things which He has made from the creation of the world, but seeing, as it was expressed by the true disciple of Jesus in these words, then face to face; and in these, When that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. 6.21. The Scriptures which are current in the Churches of God do not speak of seven heavens, or of any definite number at all, but they do appear to teach the existence of heavens, whether that means the spheres of those bodies which the Greeks call planets, or something more mysterious. Celsus, too, agreeably to the opinion of Plato, asserts that souls can make their way to and from the earth through the planets; while Moses, our most ancient prophet, says that a divine vision was presented to the view of our prophet Jacob, - a ladder stretching to heaven, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon it, and the Lord supported upon its top - obscurely pointing, by this matter of the ladder, either to the same truths which Plato had in view, or to something greater than these. On this subject Philo has composed a treatise which deserves the thoughtful and intelligent investigation of all lovers of truth. 6.22. After this, Celsus, desiring to exhibit his learning in his treatise against us, quotes also certain Persian mysteries, where he says: These things are obscurely hinted at in the accounts of the Persians, and especially in the mysteries of Mithras, which are celebrated among them. For in the latter there is a representation of the two heavenly revolutions - of the movement, viz., of the fixed stars, and of that which take place among the planets, and of the passage of the soul through these. The representation is of the following nature: There is a ladder with lofty gates, and on the top of it an eighth gate. The first gate consists of lead, the second of tin, the third of copper, the fourth of iron, the fifth of a mixture of metals, the sixth of silver, and the seventh of gold. The first gate they assign to Saturn, indicating by the 'lead' the slowness of this star; the second to Venus, comparing her to the splendour and softness of tin; the third to Jupiter, being firm and solid; the fourth to Mercury, for both Mercury and iron are fit to endure all things, and are money-making and laborious; the fifth to Mars, because, being composed of a mixture of metals, it is varied and unequal; the sixth, of silver, to the Moon; the seventh, of gold, to the Sun - thus imitating the different colors of the two latter. He next proceeds to examine the reason of the stars being arranged in this order, which is symbolized by the names of the rest of matter. Musical reasons, moreover, are added or quoted by the Persian theology; and to these, again, he strives to add a second explanation, connected also with musical considerations. But it seems to me, that to quote the language of Celsus upon these matters would be absurd, and similar to what he himself has done, when, in his accusations against Christians and Jews, he quoted, most inappropriately, not only the words of Plato; but, dissatisfied even with these, he adduced in addition the mysteries of the Persian Mithras, and the explanation of them. Now, whatever be the case with regard to these - whether the Persians and those who conduct the mysteries of Mithras give false or true accounts regarding them - why did he select these for quotation, rather than some of the other mysteries, with the explanation of them? For the mysteries of Mithras do not appear to be more famous among the Greeks than those of Eleusis, or than those in Ægina, where individuals are initiated in the rites of Hecate. But if he must introduce barbarian mysteries with their explanation, why not rather those of the Egyptians, which are highly regarded by many, or those of the Cappadocians regarding the Comanian Diana, or those of the Thracians, or even those of the Romans themselves, who initiate the noblest members of their senate? But if he deemed it inappropriate to institute a comparison with any of these, because they furnished no aid in the way of accusing Jews or Christians, why did it not also appear to him inappropriate to adduce the instance of the mysteries of Mithras? 6.23. If one wished to obtain means for a profounder contemplation of the entrance of souls into divine things, not from the statements of that very insignificant sect from which he quoted, but from books - partly those of the Jews, which are read in their synagogues, and adopted by Christians, and partly from those of Christians alone - let him peruse, at the end of Ezekiel's prophecies, the visions beheld by the prophet, in which gates of different kinds are enumerated, which obscurely refer to the different modes in which divine souls enter into a better world; and let him peruse also, from the Apocalypse of John, what is related of the city of God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and of its foundations and gates. And if he is capable of finding out also the road, which is indicated by symbols, of those who will march on to divine things, let him read the book of Moses entitled Numbers, and let him seek the help of one who is capable of initiating him into the meaning of the narratives concerning the encampments of the children of Israel; viz., of what sort those were which were arranged towards the east, as was the case with the first; and what those towards the south-west and south; and what towards the sea; and what the last were, which were stationed towards the north. For he will see that there is in the respective places a meaning not to be lightly treated, nor, as Celsus imagines, such as calls only for silly and servile listeners: but he will distinguish in the encampments certain things relating to the numbers that are enumerated, and which are specially adapted to each tribe, of which the present does not appear to us to be the proper time to speak. Let Celsus know, moreover, as well as those who read his book, that in no part of the genuine and divinely accredited Scriptures are seven heavens mentioned; neither do our prophets, nor the apostles of Jesus, nor the Son of God Himself, repeat anything which they borrowed from the Persians or the Cabiri. 6.24. After the instance borrowed from the Mithraic mysteries, Celsus declares that he who would investigate the Christian mysteries, along with the aforesaid Persian, will, on comparing the two together, and on unveiling the rites of the Christians, see in this way the difference between them. Now, wherever he was able to give the names of the various sects, he was nothing loth to quote those with which he thought himself acquainted; but when he ought most of all to have done this, if they were really known to him, and to have informed us which was the sect that makes use of the diagram he has drawn, he has not done so. It seems to me, however, that it is from some statements of a very insignificant sect called Ophites, which he has misunderstood, that, in my opinion, he has partly borrowed what he says about the diagram. Now, as we have always been animated by a love of learning, we have fallen in with this diagram, and we have found in it the representations of men who, as Paul says, creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with various lusts; ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. The diagram was, however, so destitute of all credibility, that neither these easily deceived women, nor the most rustic class of men, nor those who were ready to be led away by any plausible pretender whatever, ever gave their assent to the diagram. Nor, indeed, have we ever met any individual, although we have visited many parts of the earth, and have sought out all those who anywhere made profession of knowledge, that placed any faith in this diagram. 6.25. In this diagram were described ten circles, distinct from each other, but united by one circle, which was said to be the soul of all things, and was called Leviathan. This Leviathan, the Jewish Scriptures say, whatever they mean by the expression, was created by God for a plaything; for we find in the Psalms: In wisdom have You made all things: the earth is full of Your creatures; so is this great and wide sea. There go the ships; small animals with great; there is this dragon, which You have formed to play therein. Instead of the word dragon, the term leviathan is in the Hebrew. This impious diagram, then, said of this leviathan, which is so clearly depreciated by the Psalmist, that it was the soul which had travelled through all things! We observed, also, in the diagram, the being named Behemoth, placed as it were under the lowest circle. The inventor of this accursed diagram had inscribed this leviathan at its circumference and centre, thus placing its name in two separate places. Moreover, Celsus says that the diagram was divided by a thick black line, and this line he asserted was called Gehenna, which is Tartarus. Now as we found that Gehenna was mentioned in the Gospel as a place of punishment, we searched to see whether it is mentioned anywhere in the ancient Scriptures, and especially because the Jews too use the word. And we ascertained that where the valley of the son of Ennom was named in Scripture in the Hebrew, instead of valley, with fundamentally the same meaning, it was termed both the valley of Ennom and also Geenna. And continuing our researches, we find that what was termed Geenna, or the valley of Ennom, was included in the lot of the tribe of Benjamin, in which Jerusalem also was situated. And seeking to ascertain what might be the inference from the heavenly Jerusalem belonging to the lot of Benjamin and the valley of Ennom, we find a certain confirmation of what is said regarding the place of punishment, intended for the purification of such souls as are to be purified by torments, agreeably to the saying: The Lord comes like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap: and He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver and of gold. 6.26. It is in the precincts of Jerusalem, then, that punishments will be inflicted upon those who undergo the process of purification, who have received into the substance of their soul the elements of wickedness, which in a certain place is figuratively termed lead, and on that account iniquity is represented in Zechariah as sitting upon a talent of lead. But the remarks which might be made on this topic are neither to be made to all, nor to be uttered on the present occasion; for it is not unattended with danger to commit to writing the explanation of such subjects, seeing the multitude need no further instruction than that which relates to the punishment of sinners; while to ascend beyond this is not expedient, for the sake of those who are with difficulty restrained, even by fear of eternal punishment, from plunging into any degree of wickedness, and into the flood of evils which result from sin. The doctrine of Geenna, then, is unknown both to the diagram and to Celsus: for had it been otherwise, the framers of the former would not have boasted of their pictures of animals and diagrams, as if the truth were represented by these; nor would Celsus, in his treatise against the Christians, have introduced among the charges directed against them statements which they never uttered instead of what was spoken by some who perhaps are no longer in existence, but have altogether disappeared, or been reduced to a very few individuals, and these easily counted. And as it does not beseem those who profess the doctrines of Plato to offer a defense of Epicurus and his impious opinions, so neither is it for us to defend the diagram, or to refute the accusations brought against it by Celsus. We may therefore allow his charges on these points to pass as superfluous and useless, for we would censure more severely than Celsus any who should be carried away by such opinions. 6.27. After the matter of the diagram, he brings forward certain monstrous statements, in the form of question and answer, regarding what is called by ecclesiastical writers the seal, statements which did not arise from imperfect information; such as that he who impresses the seal is called father, and he who is sealed is called young man and son; and who answers, I have been anointed with white ointment from the tree of life,- things which we never heard to have occurred even among the heretics. In the next place, he determines even the number mentioned by those who deliver over the seal, as that of seven angels, who attach themselves to both sides of the soul of the dying body; the one party being named angels of light, the others 'archontics;' and he asserts that the ruler of those named 'archontics' is termed the 'accursed' god. Then, laying hold of the expression, he assails, not without reason, those who venture to use such language; and on that account we entertain a similar feeling of indignation with those who censure such individuals, if indeed there exist any who call the God of the Jews- who sends rain and thunder, and who is the Creator of this world, and the God of Moses, and of the cosmogony which he records - an accursed divinity. Celsus, however, appears to have had in view in employing these expressions, not a rational object, but one of a most irrational kind, arising out of his hatred towards us, which is so unlike a philosopher. For his aim was, that those who are unacquainted with our customs should, on perusing his treatise, at once assail us as if we called the noble Creator of this world an accursed divinity. He appears to me, indeed, to have acted like those Jews who, when Christianity began to be first preached, scattered abroad false reports of the Gospel, such as that Christians offered up an infant in sacrifice, and partook of its flesh; and again, that the professors of Christianity, wishing to do the 'works of darkness,' used to extinguish the lights (in their meetings), and each one to have sexual intercourse with any woman whom he chanced to meet. These calumnies have long exercised, although unreasonably, an influence over the minds of very many, leading those who are aliens to the Gospel to believe that Christians are men of such a character; and even at the present day they mislead some, and prevent them from entering even into the simple intercourse of conversation with those who are Christians. 6.28. With some such object as this in view does Celsus seem to have been actuated, when he alleged that Christians term the Creator an accursed divinity; in order that he who believes these charges of his against us, should, if possible, arise and exterminate the Christians as the most impious of mankind. Confusing, moreover, things that are distinct, he states also the reason why the God of the Mosaic cosmogony is termed accursed, asserting that such is his character, and worthy of execration in the opinion of those who so regard him, inasmuch as he pronounced a curse upon the serpent, who introduced the first human beings to the knowledge of good and evil. Now he ought to have known that those who have espoused the cause of the serpent, because he gave good advice to the first human beings, and who go far beyond the Titans and Giants of fable, and are on this account called Ophites, are so far from being Christians, that they bring accusations against Jesus to as great a degree as Celsus himself; and they do not admit any one into their assembly until he has uttered maledictions against Jesus. See, then, how irrational is the procedure of Celsus, who, in his discourse against the Christians, represents as such those who will not even listen to the name of Jesus, or omit even that He was a wise man, or a person of virtuous character! What, then, could evince greater folly or madness, not only on the part of those who wish to derive their name from the serpent as the author of good, but also on the part of Celsus, who thinks that the accusations with which the Ophites are charged, are chargeable also against the Christians! Long ago, indeed, that Greek philosopher who preferred a state of poverty, and who exhibited the pattern of a happy life, showing that he was not excluded from happiness although he was possessed of nothing, termed himself a Cynic; while these impious wretches, as not being human beings, whose enemy the serpent is, but as being serpents, pride themselves upon being called Ophites from the serpent, which is an animal most hostile to and greatly dreaded by man, and boast of one Euphrates as the introducer of these unhallowed opinions. 6.29. In the next place, as if it were the Christians whom he was calumniating, he continues his accusations against those who termed the God of Moses and of his law an accursed divinity; and imagining that it is the Christians who so speak, he expresses himself thus: What could be more foolish or insane than such senseless wisdom? For what blunder has the Jewish lawgiver committed? And why do you accept, by means, as you say, of a certain allegorical and typical method of interpretation, the cosmogony which he gives, and the law of the Jews, while it is with unwillingness, O most impious man, that you give praise to the Creator of the world, who promised to give them all things; who promised to multiply their race to the ends of the earth, and to raise them up from the dead with the same flesh and blood, and who gave inspiration to their prophets; and, again, you slander Him! When you feel the force of such considerations, indeed, you acknowledge that you worship the same God; but when your teacher Jesus and the Jewish Moses give contradictory decisions, you seek another God, instead of Him, and the Father! Now, by such statements, this illustrious philosopher Celsus distinctly slanders the Christians, asserting that, when the Jews press them hard, they acknowledge the same God as they do; but that when Jesus legislates differently from Moses, they seek another god instead of Him. Now, whether we are conversing with the Jews, or are alone with ourselves, we know of only one and the same God, whom the Jews also worshipped of old time, and still profess to worship as God, and we are guilty of no impiety towards Him. We do not assert, however, that God will raise men from the dead with the same flesh and blood, as has been shown in the preceding pages; for we do not maintain that the natural body, which is sown in corruption, and in dishonour, and in weakness, will rise again such as it was sown. On such subjects, however, we have spoken at adequate length in the foregoing pages. 6.30. He next returns to the subject of the Seven ruling Demons, whose names are not found among Christians, but who, I think, are accepted by the Ophites. We found, indeed, that in the diagram, which on their account we procured a sight of, the same order was laid down as that which Celsus has given. Celsus says that the goat was shaped like a lion, not mentioning the name given him by those who are truly the most impious of individuals; whereas we discovered that He who is honoured in holy Scripture as the angel of the Creator is called by this accursed diagram Michael the Lion-like. Again, Celsus says that the second in order is a bull; whereas the diagram which we possessed made him to be Suriel, the bull-like. Further, Celsus termed the third an amphibious sort of animal, and one that hissed frightfully; while the diagram described the third as Raphael, the serpent-like. Moreover, Celsus asserted that the fourth had the form of an eagle; the diagram representing him as Gabriel, the eagle-like. Again, the fifth, according to Celsus, had the countece of a bear; and this, according to the diagram, was Thauthabaoth, the bear-like. Celsus continues his account, that the sixth was described as having the face of a dog; and him the diagram called Erataoth. The seventh, he adds, had the countece of an ass, and was named Thaphabaoth or Onoel; whereas we discovered that in the diagram he is called Onoel, or Thartharaoth, being somewhat asinine in appearance. We have thought it proper to be exact in stating these matters, that we might not appear to be ignorant of those things which Celsus professed to know, but that we Christians, knowing them better than he, may demonstrate that these are not the words of Christians, but of those who are altogether alienated from salvation, and who neither acknowledge Jesus as Saviour, nor God, nor Teacher, nor Son of God. 6.31. Moreover, if any one would wish to become acquainted with the artifices of those sorcerers, through which they desire to lead men away by their teaching (as if they possessed the knowledge of certain secret rites), but are not at all successful in so doing, let him listen to the instruction which they receive after passing through what is termed the fence of wickedness, - gates which are subjected to the world of ruling spirits. (The following, then, is the manner in which they proceed): I salute the one-formed king, the bond of blindness, complete oblivion, the first power, preserved by the spirit of providence and by wisdom, from whom I am sent forth pure, being already part of the light of the son and of the father: grace be with me; yea, O father, let it be with me. They say also that the beginnings of the Ogdoad are derived from this. In the next place, they are taught to say as follows, while passing through what they call Ialdabaoth: You, O first and seventh, who art born to command with confidence, you, O Ialdabaoth, who art the rational ruler of a pure mind, and a perfect work to son and father, bearing the symbol of life in the character of a type, and opening to the world the gate which you closed against your kingdom, I pass again in freedom through your realm. Let grace be with me; yea, O father, let it be with me. They say, moreover, that the star Ph non is in sympathy with the lion-like ruler. They next imagine that he who has passed through Ialdabaoth and arrived at Iao ought thus to speak: You, O second Iao, who shines by night, who art the ruler of the secret mysteries of son and father, first prince of death, and portion of the innocent, bearing now my own beard as symbol, I am ready to pass through your realm, having strengthened him who is born of you by the living word. Grace be with me; father, let it be with me. They next come to Sabaoth, to whom they think the following should be addressed: O governor of the fifth realm, powerful Sabaoth, defender of the law of your creatures, who are liberated by your grace through the help of a more powerful Pentad, admit me, seeing the faultless symbol of their art, preserved by the stamp of an image, a body liberated by a Pentad. Let grace be with me, O father, let grace be with me. And after Sabaoth they come to Astaph us, to whom they believe the following prayer should be offered: O Astaph us, ruler of the third gate, overseer of the first principle of water, look upon me as one of your initiated, admit me who am purified with the spirit of a virgin, you who sees the essence of the world. Let grace be with me, O father, let grace be with me. After him comes Alo us, who is to be thus addressed: O Alo us, governor of the second gate, let me pass, seeing I bring to you the symbol of your mother, a grace which is hidden by the powers of the realms. Let grace be with me, O father, let it be with me. And last of all they name Hor us, and think that the following prayer ought to be offered to him: You who fearlessly leaped over the rampart of fire, O Hor us, who obtained the government of the first gate, let me pass, seeing you behold the symbol of your own power, sculptured on the figure of the tree of life, and formed after this image, in the likeness of innocence. Let grace be with me, O father, let grace be with me. 6.32. The supposed great learning of Celsus, which is composed, however, rather of curious trifles and silly talk than anything else, has made us touch upon these topics, from a wish to show to every one who peruses his treatise and our reply, that we have no lack of information on those subjects, from which he takes occasion to calumniate the Christians, who neither are acquainted with, nor concern themselves about, such matters. For we, too, desired both to learn and set forth these things, in order that sorcerers might not, under pretext of knowing more than we, delude those who are easily carried away by the glitter of names. And I could have given many more illustrations to show that we are acquainted with the opinions of these deluders, and that we disown them, as being alien to ours, and impious, and not in harmony with the doctrines of true Christians, of which we are ready to make confession even to the death. It must be noticed, too, that those who have drawn up this array of fictions, have, from neither understanding magic, nor discriminating the meaning of holy Scripture, thrown everything into confusion; seeing that they have borrowed from magic the names of Ialdabaoth, and Astaph us, and Hor us, and from the Hebrew Scriptures him who is termed in Hebrew Iao or Jah, and Sabaoth, and Adon us, and Elo us. Now the names taken from the Scriptures are names of one and the same God; which, not being understood by the enemies of God, as even themselves acknowledge, led to their imagining that Iao was a different God, and Sabaoth another, and Adon us, whom the Scriptures term Adonai, a third besides, and that Elo us, whom the prophets name in Hebrew Eloi, was also different 6.33. Celsus next relates other fables, to the effect that certain persons return to the shapes of the archontics, so that some are called lions, others bulls, others dragons, or eagles, or bears, or dogs. We found also in the diagram which we possessed, and which Celsus called the square pattern, the statements made by these unhappy beings concerning the gates of Paradise. The flaming sword was depicted as the diameter of a flaming circle, and as if mounting guard over the tree of knowledge and of life. Celsus, however, either would not or could not repeat the harangues which, according to the fables of these impious individuals, are represented as spoken at each of the gates by those who pass through them; but this we have done in order to show to Celsus and those who read his treatise, that we know the depth of these unhallowed mysteries, and that they are far removed from the worship which Christians offer up to God. 6.34. After finishing the foregoing, and those analogous matters which we ourselves have added, Celsus continues as follows: They continue to heap together one thing after another - discourses of prophets, and circles upon circles, and effluents from an earthly church, and from circumcision; and a power flowing from one Prunicos, a virgin and a living soul; and a heaven slain in order to live, and an earth slaughtered by the sword, and many put to death that they may live, and death ceasing in the world, when the sin of the world is dead; and, again, a narrow way, and gates that open spontaneously. And in all their writings (is mention made) of the tree of life, and a resurrection of the flesh by means of the 'tree,' because, I imagine, their teacher was nailed to a cross, and was a carpenter by craft; so that if he had chanced to have been cast from a precipice, or thrust into a pit, or suffocated by hanging, or had been a leather-cutter, or stone-cutter, or worker in iron, there would have been (invented) a precipice of life beyond the heavens, or a pit of resurrection, or a cord of immortality, or a blessed stone, or an iron of love, or a sacred leather! Now what old woman would not be ashamed to utter such things in a whisper, even when making stories to lull an infant to sleep? In using such language as this, Celsus appears to me to confuse together matters which he has imperfectly heard. For it seems likely that, even supposing that he had heard a few words traceable to some existing heresy, he did not clearly understand the meaning intended to be conveyed; but heaping the words together, he wished to show before those who knew nothing either of our opinions or of those of the heretics, that he was acquainted with all the doctrines of the Christians. And this is evident also from the foregoing words. 6.35. It is our practice, indeed, to make use of the words of the prophets, who demonstrate that Jesus is the Christ predicted by them, and who show from the prophetic writings the events in the Gospels regarding Jesus have been fulfilled. But when Celsus speaks of circles upon circles, (he perhaps borrowed the expression) from the aforementioned heresy, which includes in one circle (which they call the soul of all things, and Leviathan) the seven circles of archontic demons, or perhaps it arises from misunderstanding the preacher, when he says: The wind goes in a circle of circles, and returns again upon its circles. The expression, too, effluents of an earthly church and of circumcision, was probably taken from the fact that the church on earth was called by some an effluent from a heavenly church and a better world; and that the circumcision described in the law was a symbol of the circumcision performed there, in a certain place set apart for purification. The adherents of Valentinus, moreover, in keeping with their system of error, give the name of Prunicos to a certain kind of wisdom, of which they would have the woman afflicted with the twelve years' issue of blood to be the symbol; so that Celsus, who confuses together all sorts of opinions - Greek, Barbarian, and Heretical - having heard of her, asserted that it was a power flowing forth from one Prunicos, a virgin. The living soul, again, is perhaps mysteriously referred by some of the followers of Valentinus to the being whom they term the psychic creator of the world; or perhaps, in contradistinction to a dead soul, the living soul is termed by some, not inelegantly, the soul of him who is saved. I know nothing, however, of a heaven which is said to be slain, or of an earth slaughtered by the sword, or of many persons slain in order that they might live; for it is not unlikely that these were coined by Celsus out of his own brain. 6.36. We would say, moreover, that death ceases in the world when the sin of the world dies, referring the saying to the mystical words of the apostle, which run as follows: When He shall have put all enemies under His feet, then the last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. And also: When this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. The strait descent, again, may perhaps be referred by those who hold the doctrine of transmigration of souls to that view of things. And it is not incredible that the gates which are said to open spontaneously are referred obscurely by some to the words, Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may go into them, and praise the Lord; this gate of the Lord, into it the righteous shall enter; and again, to what is said in the ninth psalm, You that lifts me up from the gates of death, that I may show forth all Your praise in the gates of the daughter of Zion. The Scripture further gives the name of gates of death to those sins which lead to destruction, as it terms, on the contrary, good actions the gates of Zion. So also the gates of righteousness, which is an equivalent expression to the gates of virtue, and these are ready to be opened to him who follows after virtuous pursuits. The subject of the tree of life will be more appropriately explained when we interpret the statements in the book of Genesis regarding the paradise planted by God. Celsus, moreover, has often mocked at the subject of a resurrection, - a doctrine which he did not comprehend; and on the present occasion, not satisfied with what he has formerly said, he adds, And there is said to be a resurrection of the flesh by means of the tree; not understanding, I think, the symbolic expression, that through the tree came death, and through the tree comes life, because death was in Adam, and life in Christ. He next scoffs at the tree, assailing it on two grounds, and saying, For this reason is the tree introduced, either because our teacher was nailed to a cross, or because he was a carpenter by trade; not observing that the tree of life is mentioned in the Mosaic writings, and being blind also to this, that in none of the Gospels current in the Churches is Jesus Himself ever described as being a carpenter. 6.37. Celsus, moreover, thinks that we have invented this tree of life to give an allegorical meaning to the cross; and in consequence of his error upon this point, he adds: If he had happened to be cast down a precipice, or shoved into a pit, or suffocated by hanging, there would have been invented a precipice of life far beyond the heavens, or a pit of resurrection, or a cord of immortality. And again: If the 'tree of life' were an invention, because he - Jesus - (is reported) to have been a carpenter, it would follow that if he had been a leather-cutter, something would have been said about holy leather; or had he been a stone-cutter, about a blessed stone; or if a worker in iron, about an iron of love. Now, who does not see at once the paltry nature of his charge, in thus calumniating men whom he professed to convert on the ground of their being deceived? And after these remarks, he goes on to speak in a way quite in harmony with the tone of those who have invented the fictions of lion-like, and ass-headed, and serpent-like ruling angels, and other similar absurdities, but which does not affect those who belong to the Church. of a truth, even a drunken old woman would be ashamed to chaunt or whisper to an infant, in order to lull him to sleep, any such fables as those have done who invented the beings with asses' heads, and the harangues, so to speak, which are delivered at each of the gates. But Celsus is not acquainted with the doctrines of the members of the Church, which very few have been able to comprehend, even of those who have devoted all their lives, in conformity with the command of Jesus, to the searching of the Scriptures, and have laboured to investigate the meaning of the sacred books, to a greater degree than Greek philosophers in their efforts to attain a so-called wisdom. 6.38. Our noble (friend), moreover, not satisfied with the objections which he has drawn from the diagram, desires, in order to strengthen his accusations against us, who have nothing in common with it, to introduce certain other charges, which he adduces from the same (heretics), but yet as if they were from a different source. His words are: And that is not the least of their marvels, for there are between the upper circles - those that are above the heavens - certain inscriptions of which they give the interpretation, and among others two words especially, 'a greater and a less,' which they refer to Father and Son. Now, in the diagram referred to, we found the greater and the lesser circle, upon the diameter of which was inscribed Father and Son; and between the greater circle (in which the lesser was contained) and another composed of two circles - the outer one of which was yellow, and the inner blue - a barrier inscribed in the shape of a hatchet. And above it, a short circle, close to the greater of the two former, having the inscription Love; and lower down, one touching the same circle, with the word Life. And on the second circle, which was intertwined with and included two other circles, another figure, like a rhomboid, (entitled) The foresight of wisdom. And within their point of common section was The nature of wisdom. And above their point of common section was a circle, on which was inscribed Knowledge; and lower down another, on which was the inscription, Understanding. We have introduced these matters into our reply to Celsus, to show to our readers that we know better than he, and not by mere report, those things, even although we also disapprove of them. Moreover, if those who pride themselves upon such matters profess also a kind of magic and sorcery - which, in their opinion, is the summit of wisdom - we, on the other hand, make no affirmation about it, seeing we never have discovered anything of the kind. Let Celsus, however, who has been already often convicted of false witness and irrational accusations, see whether he is not guilty of falsehood in these also, or whether he has not extracted and introduced into his treatise, statements taken from the writings of those who are foreigners and strangers to our Christian faith. 6.39. In the next place, speaking of those who employ the arts of magic and sorcery, and who invoke the barbarous names of demons, he remarks that such persons act like those who, in reference to the same things, perform marvels before those who are ignorant that the names of demons among the Greeks are different from what they are among the Scythians. He then quotes a passage from Herodotus, stating that Apollo is called Gongosyrus by the Scythians; Poseidon, Thagimasada; Aphrodite, Argimpasan; Hestia, Tabiti. Now, he who has the capacity can inquire whether in these matters Celsus and Herodotus are not both wrong; for the Scythians do not understand the same thing as the Greeks, in what relates to those beings which are deemed to be gods. For how is it credible that Apollo should be called Gongosyrus by the Scythians? I do not suppose that Gongosyrus, when transferred into the Greek language, yields the same etymology as Apollo; or that Apollo, in the dialect of the Scythians, has the signification of Gongosyrus. Nor has any such assertion hitherto been made regarding the other names, for the Greeks took occasion from different circumstances and etymologies to give to those who are by them deemed gods the names which they bear; and the Scythians, again, from another set of circumstances; and the same also was the case with the Persians, or Indians, or Ethiopians, or Libyans, or with those who delight to bestow names (from fancy), and who do not abide by the just and pure idea of the Creator of all things. Enough, however, has been said by us in the preceding pages, where we wished to demonstrate that Sabaoth and Zeus were not the same deity, and where also we made some remarks, derived from the holy Scriptures, regarding the different dialects. We willingly, then, pass by these points, on which Celsus would make us repeat ourselves. In the next place, again, mixing up together matters which belong to magic and sorcery, and referring them perhaps to no one - because of the non-existence of any who practise magic under pretence of a worship of this character, - and yet, perhaps, having in view some who do employ such practices in the presence of the simple (that they may have the appearance of acting by divine power), he adds: What need to number up all those who have taught methods of purification, or expiatory hymns, or spells for averting evil, or (the making of) images, or resemblances of demons, or the various sorts of antidotes against poison (to be found) in clothes, or in numbers, or stones, or plants, or roots, or generally in all kinds of things? In respect to these matters, reason does not require us to offer any defense, since we are not liable in the slightest degree to suspicions of such a nature. 7.40. Next to the remarks of Celsus on which we have already commented, come others which he addresses to all Christians, but which, if applicable to any, ought to be addressed to persons whose doctrines differ entirely from those taught by Jesus. For it is the Ophians who, as we have before shown, have utterly renounced Jesus, and perhaps some others of similar opinions who are the impostors and jugglers, leading men away to idols and phantoms; and it is they who with miserable pains learn off the names of the heavenly doorkeepers. These words are therefore quite inappropriate as addressed to Christians: If you seek one to be your guide along this way, you must shun all deceivers and jugglers, who will introduce you to phantoms. And, as though quite unaware that these impostors entirely agree with him, and are not behind him in speaking ill of Jesus and His religion, he thus continues, confounding us with them: otherwise you will be acting the most ridiculous part, if, while you pronounce imprecations upon those other recognised gods, treating them as idols, you yet do homage to a more wretched idol than any of these, which indeed is not even an idol or a phantom, but a dead man, and you seek a father like to himself. That he is ignorant of the wide difference between our opinions and those of the inventors of these fables, and that he imagines the charges which he makes against them applicable to us, is evident from the following passage: For the sake of such a monstrous delusion, and in support of those wonderful advisers, and those wonderful words which you address to the lion, to the amphibious creature, to the creature in the form of an ass, and to others, for the sake of those divine doorkeepers whose names you commit to memory with such pains, in such a cause as this you suffer cruel tortures, and perish at the stake. Surely, then, he is unaware that none of those who regard beings in the form of an ass, a lion, or an amphibious animal, as the doorkeepers or guides on the way to heaven, ever expose themselves to death in defense of that which they think the truth. That excess of zeal, if it may be so called, which leads us for the sake of religion to submit to every kind of death, and to perish at the stake, is ascribed by Celsus to those who endure no such sufferings; and he reproaches us who suffer crucifixion for our faith, with believing in fabulous creatures - in the lion, the amphibious animal, and other such monsters. If we reject all these fables, it is not out of deference to Celsus, for we have never at any time held any such fancies; but it is in accordance with the teaching of Jesus that we oppose all such notions, and will not allow to Michael, or to any others that have been referred to, a form and figure of that sort.
10. Augustine, The City of God, 10.8, 11.15, 11.17, 11.19, 11.33 (4th cent. CE - 5th cent. CE)

10.8. I should seem tedious were I to recount all the ancient miracles, which were wrought in attestation of God's promises which He made to Abraham thousands of years ago, that in his seed all the nations of the earth should be blessed. Genesis 18:18 For who can but marvel that Abraham's barren wife should have given birth to a son at an age when not even a prolific woman could bear children; or, again, that when Abraham sacrificed, a flame from heaven should have run between the divided parts; or that the angels in human form, whom he had hospitably entertained, and who had renewed God's promise of offspring, should also have predicted the destruction of Sodom by fire from heaven; Genesis xviii and that his nephew Lot should have been rescued from Sodom by the angels as the fire was just descending, while his wife, who looked back as she went, and was immediately turned into salt, stood as a sacred beacon warning us that no one who is being saved should long for what he is leaving? How striking also were the wonders done by Moses to rescue God's people from the yoke of slavery in Egypt, when the magi of the Pharaoh, that is, the king of Egypt, who tyrannized over this people, were suffered to do some wonderful things that they might be vanquished all the more signally! They did these things by the magical arts and incantations to which the evil spirits or demons are addicted; while Moses, having as much greater power as he had right on his side, and having the aid of angels, easily conquered them in the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth. And, in fact, the magicians failed at the third plague; whereas Moses, dealing out the miracles delegated to him, brought ten plagues upon the land, so that the hard hearts of Pharaoh and the Egyptians yielded, and the people were let go. But, quickly repenting, and essaying to overtake the departing Hebrews, who had crossed the sea on dry ground, they were covered and overwhelmed in the returning waters. What shall I say of those frequent and stupendous exhibitions of divine power, while the people were conducted through the wilderness?- of the waters which could not be drunk, but lost their bitterness, and quenched the thirsty, when at God's command a piece of wood was cast into them? of the manna that descended from heaven to appease their hunger, and which begot worms and putrefied when any one collected more than the appointed quantity, and yet, though double was gathered on the day before the Sabbath (it not being lawful to gather it on that day), remained fresh? of the birds which filled the camp, and turned appetite into satiety when they longed for flesh, which it seemed impossible to supply to so vast a population? of the enemies who met them, and opposed their passage with arms, and were defeated without the loss of a single Hebrew, when Moses prayed with his hands extended in the form of a cross? of the seditious persons who arose among God's people, and separated themselves from the divinely-ordered community, and were swallowed up alive by the earth, a visible token of an invisible punishment? of the rock struck with the rod, and pouring out waters more than enough for all the host? of the deadly serpents' bites, sent in just punishment of sin, but healed by looking at the lifted brazen serpent, so that not only were the tormented people healed, but a symbol of the crucifixion of death set before them in this destruction of death by death? It was this serpent which was preserved in memory of this event, and was afterwards worshipped by the mistaken people as an idol, and was destroyed by the pious and God-fearing king Hezekiah, much to his credit. 11.15. As for what John says about the devil, The devil sins from the beginning 1 John 3:8 they who suppose it is meant hereby that the devil was made with a sinful nature, misunderstand it; for if sin be natural, it is not sin at all. And how do they answer the prophetic proofs - either what Isaiah says when he represents the devil under the person of the king of Babylon, How are you fallen, O Lucifer, son of the morning! Isaiah 14:12 or what Ezekiel says, You have been in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering, Ezekiel 28:13 where it is meant that he was some time without sin; for a little after it is still more explicitly said, You were perfect in your ways? And if these passages cannot well be otherwise interpreted, we must understand by this one also, He abode not in the truth, that he was once in the truth, but did not remain in it. And from this passage, The devil sins from the beginning, it is not to be supposed that he sinned from the beginning of his created existence, but from the beginning of his sin, when by his pride he had once commenced to sin. There is a passage, too, in the Book of Job, of which the devil is the subject: This is the beginning of the creation of God, which He made to be a sport to His angels, which agrees with the psalm, where it is said, There is that dragon which You have made to be a sport therein. But these passages are not to lead us to suppose that the devil was originally created to be the sport of the angels, but that he was doomed to this punishment after his sin. His beginning, then, is the handiwork of God; for there is no nature, even among the least, and lowest, and last of the beasts, which was not the work of Him from whom has proceeded all measure, all form, all order, without which nothing can be planned or conceived. How much more, then, is this angelic nature, which surpasses in dignity all else that He has made, the handiwork of the Most High! 11.17. It is with reference to the nature, then, and not to the wickedness of the devil, that we are to understand these words, This is the beginning of God's handiwork; for, without doubt, wickedness can be a flaw or vice only where the nature previously was not vitiated. Vice, too, is so contrary to nature, that it cannot but damage it. And therefore departure from God would be no vice, unless in a nature whose property it was to abide with God. So that even the wicked will is a strong proof of the goodness of the nature. But God, as He is the supremely good Creator of good natures, so is He of evil wills the most just Ruler; so that, while they make an ill use of good natures, He makes a good use even of evil wills. Accordingly, He caused the devil (good by God's creation, wicked by his own will) to be cast down from his high position, and to become the mockery of His angels - that is, He caused his temptations to benefit those whom he wishes to injure by them. And because God, when He created him, was certainly not ignorant of his future malignity, and foresaw the good which He Himself would bring out of his evil, therefore says the psalm, This leviathan whom You have made to be a sport therein, that we may see that, even while God in His goodness created him good, He yet had already foreseen and arranged how He would make use of him when he became wicked. 11.19. Accordingly, though the obscurity of the divine word has certainly this advantage, that it causes many opinions about the truth to be started and discussed, each reader seeing some fresh meaning in it, yet, whatever is said to be meant by an obscure passage should be either confirmed by the testimony of obvious facts, or should be asserted in other and less ambiguous texts. This obscurity is beneficial, whether the sense of the author is at last reached after the discussion of many other interpretations, or whether, though that sense remain concealed, other truths are brought out by the discussion of the obscurity. To me it does not seem incongruous with the working of God, if we understand that the angels were created when that first light was made, and that a separation was made between the holy and the unclean angels, when, as is said, God divided the light from the darkness; and God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. For He alone could make this discrimination, who was able also before they fell, to foreknow that they would fall, and that, being deprived of the light of truth, they would abide in the darkness of pride. For, so far as regards the day and night, with which we are familiar, He commanded those luminaries of heaven that are obvious to our senses to divide between the light and the darkness. Let there be, He says, lights in the firmament of the heaven, to divide the day from the night; and shortly after He says, And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven, to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. Genesis 1:14-18 But between that light, which is the holy company of the angels spiritually radiant with the illumination of the truth, and that opposing darkness, which is the noisome foulness of the spiritual condition of those angels who are turned away from the light of righteousness, only He Himself could divide, from whom their wickedness (not of nature, but of will), while yet it was future, could not be hidden or uncertain. 11.33. That certain angels sinned, and were thrust down to the lowest parts of this world, where they are, as it were, incarcerated till their final damnation in the day of judgment, the Apostle Peter very plainly declares, when he says that God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness to be reserved into judgment. 2 Peter 2:4 Who, then, can doubt that God, either in foreknowledge or in act, separated between these and the rest? And who will dispute that the rest are justly called light? For even we who are yet living by faith, hoping only and not yet enjoying equality with them, are already called light by the apostle: For you were sometimes darkness, but now are you light in the Lord. Ephesians 5:8 But as for these apostate angels, all who understand or believe them to be worse than unbelieving men are well aware that they are called darkness. Wherefore, though light and darkness are to be taken in their literal signification in these passages of Genesis in which it is said, God said, Let there be light, and there was light, and God divided the light from the darkness, yet, for our part, we understand these two societies of angels - the one enjoying God, the other swelling with pride; the one to whom it is said, Praise Him, all His angels, the other whose prince says, All these things will I give You if You will fall down and worship me; Matthew 4:9 the one blazing with the holy love of God, the other reeking with the unclean lust of self-advancement. And since, as it is written, God resists the proud, but gives grace unto the humble, James 4:6 we may say, the one dwelling in the heaven of heavens, the other cast thence, and raging through the lower regions of the air; the one tranquil in the brightness of piety, the other tempest-tossed with beclouding desires; the one, at God's pleasure, tenderly succoring, justly avenging - the other, set on by its own pride, boiling with the lust of subduing and hurting; the one the minister of God's goodness to the utmost of their good pleasure, the other held in by God's power from doing the harm it would; the former laughing at the latter when it does good unwillingly by its persecutions, the latter envying the former when it gathers in its pilgrims. These two angelic communities, then, dissimilar and contrary to one another, the one both by nature good and by will upright, the other also good by nature but by will depraved, as they are exhibited in other and more explicit passages of holy writ, so I think they are spoken of in this book of Genesis under the names of light and darkness; and even if the author perhaps had a different meaning, yet our discussion of the obscure language has not been wasted time; for, though we have been unable to discover his meaning, yet we have adhered to the rule of faith, which is sufficiently ascertained by the faithful from other passages of equal authority. For, though it is the material works of God which are here spoken of, they have certainly a resemblance to the spiritual, so that Paul can say, You are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. 1 Thessalonians 5:5 If, on the other hand, the author of Genesis saw in the words what we see, then our discussion reaches this more satisfactory conclusion, that the man of God, so eminently and divinely wise, or rather, that the Spirit of God who by him recorded God's works which were finished on the sixth day, may be supposed not to have omitted all mention of the angels whether he included them in the words in the beginning, because He made them first, or, which seems most likely, because He made them in the only-begotten Word. And, under these names heaven and earth, the whole creation is signified, either as divided into spiritual and material, which seems the more likely, or into the two great parts of the world in which all created things are contained, so that, first of all, the creation is presented in sum, and then its parts are enumerated according to the mystic number of the days.

Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
angel,creation of Wiebe (2021), Fallen Angels in the Theology of St Augustine, 75
angel,intellectual nature Wiebe (2021), Fallen Angels in the Theology of St Augustine, 75
augustine,st. Sneed (2022), Taming the Beast: A Reception History of Behemoth and Leviathan, 105
beast Levison (2023), The Greek Life of Adam and Eve. 699
celsus Boulluec (2022), The Notion of Heresy in Greek Literature in the Second and Third Centuries, 482
creation,genesis account of Wiebe (2021), Fallen Angels in the Theology of St Augustine, 75
demons,as farmers Wiebe (2021), Fallen Angels in the Theology of St Augustine, 136
devil,the,fall as instantaneous Wiebe (2021), Fallen Angels in the Theology of St Augustine, 75
devil,the,fall of Wiebe (2021), Fallen Angels in the Theology of St Augustine, 75
foot/feet Levison (2023), The Greek Life of Adam and Eve. 699
hands,dragon,of Levison (2023), The Greek Life of Adam and Eve. 699
head Levison (2023), The Greek Life of Adam and Eve. 699
jerome,st. Sneed (2022), Taming the Beast: A Reception History of Behemoth and Leviathan, 105
judgment Levison (2023), The Greek Life of Adam and Eve. 699
miracles,demonic Wiebe (2021), Fallen Angels in the Theology of St Augustine, 136
old testament,jewish scriptures Boulluec (2022), The Notion of Heresy in Greek Literature in the Second and Third Centuries, 482
ophites Boulluec (2022), The Notion of Heresy in Greek Literature in the Second and Third Centuries, 482
origen,exclusive account of sects and heresy Boulluec (2022), The Notion of Heresy in Greek Literature in the Second and Third Centuries, 482
paganism,heresy assimilated to Boulluec (2022), The Notion of Heresy in Greek Literature in the Second and Third Centuries, 482
positive relationship to christianity Boulluec (2022), The Notion of Heresy in Greek Literature in the Second and Third Centuries, 482
satan Levison (2023), The Greek Life of Adam and Eve. 699
spirit Levison (2023), The Greek Life of Adam and Eve. 699
testament of eve Levison (2023), The Greek Life of Adam and Eve. 699
voice Levison (2023), The Greek Life of Adam and Eve. 699
weeds,adam,of Levison (2023), The Greek Life of Adam and Eve. 699
wing' Levison (2023), The Greek Life of Adam and Eve. 699
ἀπατεών Boulluec (2022), The Notion of Heresy in Greek Literature in the Second and Third Centuries, 482
ἀσεβής Boulluec (2022), The Notion of Heresy in Greek Literature in the Second and Third Centuries, 482