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St. John Chrysostom ... Eight Homilies (given in 387 A.D.)
against the un-baptized pagans who call themselves jews ...
Warns Catholics against being judaized in Theology and Morals by the Enemies of Truth.
St. John Chrysostom (347 - 407 A.D.) > "Your mad rage against Christ, the Anointed One, left no way for anyone to surpass your sin. This is why the penalty you now pay is greater than that paid by your fathers."
Note: After the First Pentacost in 33 A.D., the fathers of the un-baptized pagans who called themselves jews were previous generations of un-baptized jew pagans, they were not the Israelites of the Old Testament covenant ... see Introductory note below.
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This Section contains Homilies V and VI, please see Sections 78, 78.1, and 78.3 for the others.
1. The religion of the Old Testament Israelites was the Catholic Faith unfulfilled, it wasn't "judaism". The man-made fable called "judaism" started in about 200 B.C. when a group of Israelites left God's covenant for talmudic judaism which is based on the pagan Babylonian talmud. The Babylonian paganism was carried out of the Babylonian captivity in 538 B.C. The Catholic Church unfulfilled wrote the Old Testament and fulfilled wrote the New Testament.
2. See Section 39.1 which explains how the words "jew" and "jews" have fraudulently appeared in the English Old Testament versus the correct "Judean" and "Judeans". The authentic Bible in English is the Douay-Rheims.
3. When the Church and Saint John Chrysostom use the words "jew" or "judaism" they are referring to that group of un-baptized pagans who refer to themselves as "jews".
4. To infer that the un-baptized pagans who call themselves jews have something to do with the Old Testament Israelites is complete 100% error. By fraudulently claiming and believing that they have something to do with God's covenant with Abraham leads to their eternal damnation with the other pagans ("buddhists", "mohammadens", "hindus", etc.) and with the heretics ("lutherans", "baptists", "vatican-2-ists", etc.). After the First Pentecost the Church needed words to identify this group of pagans ("jew" and "jews") just as the Church uses identifiers for other types of pagans ("buddhists", "hindus", mohammedans", etc.).
5. At the time of Christ, those descendants of Abraham who were with Him were the people of the Israelite covenant. Those who were against Him can be called "jews" as this word has become the identifier for the apostate (truth rejecting) Judeans (who were no longer Israelites). See Section 39.2 of this site for dozens of scriptures where God states that His covenant is one of faith not genealogy after He established the faith covenant with Abraham.
Catholic Faith (pre-fulfillment) writing of Osee 2:20 >
"And I will espouse thee to Me in faith: and thou shalt know that I am the Lord."
How is it that we have a larger throng assembled here today? Surely, you have come together to demand that I keep my promise; you are here to receive the silver tried in the fire which I pledged to pay over to you. For as the Psalmist says: "The words of the Lord are pure words: silver tried by the fire, purged from the earth." Blessed be God because He has put in your hearts the yearning to hear words good for your souls.
(2) When wine-tipplers get up each morning, they start their meddlesome probing to discover where they will find the day's drinking-bouts, carousals, parties, revels, and drunken brawls; they busy themselves searching for bottles, mixing bowls, and drinking cups. But when you get up each day, you go around asking where you will find exhortation and counsel, encouragement, and instruction, the kind of discourse which draws you to give glory to Christ.
This makes me the more eager to hold fast to my topic and, from the fullness of my heart, to keep the promises I have made.
(3) My battle against the jews did come to a fitting end. The monument marking their rout has been set up, the victory crown belongs to me, and I have captured the prize I sought from my previous discourse. For the task I had undertaken was to prove that what the jews now do by way of ritual, transgresses and violates the Law. It was my desire to show that in these rites we have men doing battle with God, creatures waging war against Him. And with God's help, I did give precise proof of this. For even if the jews were going to recover their own city, if they were about to return to their old commonwealth and way of life and see their temple rebuilt - an event which will never come to pass - even so, they have no defense for their present practices.
Note: The religion of the Old Testament Israelites was the Catholic Faith unfulfilled it wasn't "judaism". The people of the covenant of Abraham were Israelites, they were not "jews". The apostasy of "judaism" was started about 200 B.C. when many Israelites fell into "talmudic judaism" a pagan cult of Babylonian origin.
(4) The three boys in Babylon, Daniel, and all the others who spent their days in captivity kept expecting to recover their own city and, after seventy years, to see the soil of their fatherland; they kept looking forward to living again under their ancestral laws They had a clear pledge and promise that this would come to pass. However, until the promise was fulfilled, until they did return, they did not dare to perform any of the prescribed rites the way the jews of today do.
(5) This is the way you, too, can silence and gag the jews. Ask the jew why he observes the fast when he has no city. If he shall say: "Because I expect to recover my city," you say to him: "Stop fasting, then, until you do recover it. Certainly, until the holy ones of old returned to their own fatherland, they practiced none of the rites which you now practice. From this it is clear that you are violating the law, even if you are going to recover your city, as you say; you are transgressing your covenant with God and outraging that old commonwealth and way of life." What I have said to your loving assembly both here and in my previous discourse is enough to silence and gag the shameless arguments of the jews and to prove that they are transgressing the Law.
(6) It was not my sole purpose to stitch shut the mouths of the jews. I also was anxious to give you more extensive instruction in the teachings of the Church. Come now, and let me give you abundant proof that the temple will not be rebuilt and that the jews will not return to their former way of life. In this way you will come to a clearer understanding of what the Apostles taught, and the jews will be all the more convicted of acting in a godless way. As witness I shall produce not an angel, not an archangel, but the very Master of the whole world, our Lord Jesus Christ. When He came into Jerusalem and saw the temple, He said: "Jerusalem will be trodden down by many nations, until the times of many nations be fulfilled."
By this He meant the years to come until the consummation of the world. And again, speaking to His disciples about the temple, He made the threat that a stone would not remain upon a stone in that place when it is destroyed. His threat was a prediction that the temple would come to a final devastation and completely disappear.
(7) But the jew totally rejects this testimony. He refuses to admit what Christ said. What does the jew say? "The Man who said this is my foe. I crucified Him, so how am I to accept His testimony?" But this is the marvel of it. You jews did crucify Him. But after He died on the Cross, He then destroyed your city; it was then that He dispersed your people; it was then that He scattered your nation over the face of the earth. In doing this, He teaches us that He is risen, alive, and in Heaven.
(8) Because you were not willing to recognize His power through His benefactions, He taught you by His punishment and vengeance that no one can struggle with or prevail against His might and strength. But even so, you do not believe in Him, you do not recognize that He is God and Master of all the world, but you consider Him just another man.
(9) Come then and let us conduct a test as we would in the case of a man. How do we test human beings? If we see that a man tells the truth in all things and never in any way lies to another, we accept his word, even if he happens to be a foe. At least we do so if we have any sense. In the same way, when we see that a man is a liar, even if he tells the truth in some instances, we do not readily accept his word.
Let us look, then, at the character and habits of Christ. Not only did He predict and foretell the destruction of the temple but He also prophesied during His life many other things which were going to come to pass a long time afterwards. Let us, then, bring these predictions into the open. If you see that He is lying in these predictions, then do not accept His prediction about the temple, nor consider it deserving of your belief. But if you see that He tells the truth in all things and that this prediction has been fulfilled, if you see that long years have passed but still testify to the truth of what He foretold, let us have no more of your impudence and stubbornness in matters which are clearer than the light of the sun.
(2) Let us see what else He predicted. There once came up to Him a woman with an alabaster jar of precious ointment and she poured it on Him. His disciples were indignant at what happened and said: "Why was this not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?" He reproved them, however, and said "Why do you trouble the woman. She has done a good deed. For I say to you, wherever on the whole earth this Gospel is preached, this also what she has done shall be told in memory of her? Did He or did He not tell the truth? Was His prediction fulfilled or did it fail to come true? Put these questions to the jew. Even if he counts his shameless acts in the tens of thousands, he will not be able to look at this prophecy in the face and stare it down.
(3) Certainly we do hear her story told in all the churches. Consuls have stood listening to it, and generals, too; men, women, the renowned, the distinguished, the famous ones in every city. Wherever in the world you may go, everyone respectfully listens to the story of her good service; her action is known in every corner of the earth.
(4) How many kings brought many and great blessings on their cities, how many kings waged successful wars, set up many trophies of victory, saved nations, built cities, and in addition, acquired countless revenues? Yet they, for all their great exploits, are buried in the silence of oblivion. Many queens and great ladies have conferred benefits beyond number on those subject to them. Yet some people do not even know them by name. But this worthless woman, who only poured out her ointment, is praised everywhere in the world; the long passage of years has failed to blot out the memory of her, and the time to come will never quench her fame.
(5) And yet hers was not a deed of renown. For what renown was there in pouring out some ointment? Nor was she a distinguished person, for she was a low woman and an outcast. Nor was there a large audience to see, for only the disciples were gathered around her. Nor was the place one where she could be easily seen. She made no entrance onto a theater stage to perform her service but did her good deed in a house with only ten people present.
(6) Nonetheless, even though she was a lowly person, even though only a few were there to witness it, even though the place was undistinguished, neither these facts nor any others could obscure the memory of that woman. Today, she is more illustrious than any king or queen; no passage of years has buried in oblivion the service she performed.
(7) Tell me, now. How do you explain this? Who brought this about? Is it not the work of the God to whom this service was paid? Is it not God who has spread the story of her deed to every corner of the earth? Is it within the scope of human power to predict such things as these? Who in his right mind could say that? We marvel and are astounded when Christ foretells what He, himself, will do. But when He predicts what others will do and then makes these actions of others clear to all the world and worthy of every man's belief, it is still more astounding and marvelous.
(8) Again, He said to Peter: "Upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it." You jews tell me how you can attack this prediction of His. How can you show that this prophecy is false? The testimony of the facts will not allow it, even if you are obstinate and dispute it ten thousand times, how many conflagrations of war have been kindled against the Church? Many armies have taken the field, many weapons have been used, every form of punishment and torture has been contrived. There were frying-pans, racks, caldrons, ovens, cisterns, cliffs, fangs of wild beasts, seas, confiscations, and ten thousand other means of torture, unmentionable and unendurable. And these were used not only by foreigners but by our own countrymen. Indeed, a sort of civil war held everything in its grip; rather, it was more bitter than any civil war. Not only did citizens do battle with citizens but kinsmen with kinsmen, members of the same household with each other; friends fought friends. Yet none of these things destroyed the Church nor made it weaker.
(9) Certainly, the wonderful and unexpected thing about this is that all these attacks were made against the Church when it was just beginning. If these dread persecutions were let loose against it after it had taken root and after the Gospel message had been planted everywhere in the world, it would not be so strange that the Church had resisted these attacks. But it was at the beginning of her teaching mission, when the seed of faith had just been sown and the understanding of those who heard the word was still somewhat weak, that these violent wars broke out in all their fury. The fact that they did not weaken our position but even made us prosper all the more is the miracle that surpasses all miracles.
(10) You may say that the Church now stands firm because of the peace granted to it by the emperors. To keep you from saying this, God permitted the Church to be attacked and persecuted at a time when it was smaller and seemed to be weaker. God wanted you to learn that the security the Church enjoys today does not come to it from the peace granted by emperors, but from the power of God.
To help you see the truth of this, consider how many men wished to introduce their teachings among the Greeks and to establish a new commonwealth and way of life. Think of such men as Zeno, Plato, Socrates, Diagoras, Pythagoras, and countless others. Yet they fell so far short of success that many people do not even now know them by name. But Christ not only wrote a constitution but even brought a new way of life to the whole world. How many miracles do they say that Apollonius of Tyana worked? But all his deeds were a fraud, a vain show, and devoid of truth. And you may learn this from the fact that, in an instant, they vanished and disappeared.
(2) Let no one consider it an insult to Christ that, while speaking of Him, I mentioned Pythagoras, Plato, Zeno and the man from Tyana. I am not doing this of my own choice but out of consideration for the weakness of the jews, who see in Christ a mere man. This is what Paul did when he came to Athens. On entering the city, he took the topic for his exhortation not from the prophets or the gospels, but from the Athenians' altar to the unknown God. He did not consider their altar more deserving of faith than the gospels, nor did he account the inscription on it more worthy of honor than the prophets. But he was speaking to pagan Greeks, who believed in none of our sacred books, and so he used arguments from their own beliefs to subdue them. He did the same thing at Corinth when he said: "I have become to the jews a jew, to those without the Law, as one without the Law (though I am not without the law of God, but am under the law of Christ)".
(3) The Old Testament does this, too, in speaking to the jews about God. It says: "Who is like to you among the gods, O Lord?" What do you mean, Moses? Is there any comparison at all between the true God and false gods? Moses would reply: "1 did not say this to make a comparison; but since I was talking to the jews, who had a lofty opinion of demons, I condescended to their weakness and brought in the lesson I was teaching in this way." Let me also say that since my discussion is with the jews, who consider that Christ is mere man and one who violated their Law, I compared him with those whom the pagan Greeks admire.
(4) If you wish me to make a comparison with men from among the jews themselves, men who tried to do what Christ did, men who gathered disciples and were proclaimed as leaders and chiefs but who were immediately forgotten, let me try to prove it in this way. Surely this was what Gamaliel did to stop their mouths. When he saw the Sanhedrin in a rage and eager to shed the blood of the disciples, he wished to put a stop to their ungovernable anger. So he gave orders for the apostles to be put outside for a little while and then had this to say to the jews.
(5) "Take care what you are about to do to these men. For some time ago there rose up Theudas, claiming to be somebody, and four hundred men followed him, but he perished and all his followers were scattered abroad. And after him there rose up Judas the Galilean, who drew a considerable crowd; he too died and his disciples perished. So now I say to you, take care, for if this work is of men, it will be overthrown; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow it. Else perhaps you may find yourselves fighting even against God."
(6) Where, then, is the proof that if this is the work of men, it will perish? You had proof of this, said Gamaliel, from the cases of Judas and Theudas. So if the Man whom the Apostles proclaim is a leader such as Judas and Theudas, if he does not do all he does by the power of God, wait a little while, and the outcome of events will give credibility to what you say. You will know from the way things turn out whether He is a deceiver, as you say, and one who violates the Law, or the God who rules all things and, with ineffable power, orders and arranges our affairs.
(7) And this did come to pass. They did wait. The very outcome of events did prove that His power was divine and unconquerable. That trick which had deceived many men was turned around and back on the devil's own head. When Satan saw that Christ had come, he wished to cover up the reality of His coming and to hide the true purpose of His Incarnation. So he brought on stage the rogues whom we mentioned, so that Christ might be considered one of them. And he did this on the Cross, too, when he had two thieves crucified with Christ; he did the same thing in the case of Christ's coming when he strove to conceal the truth by putting it alongside the false. But he failed in both cases, and his very effort provided the strongest proof of Christ's power.
(8) Tell me this. If three men were crucified in the same place, at the same time, by the same judges, why have the two thieves been lost in silence, while He alone is worshipped? Again, if many men introduced new governments, got themselves adherents, and today not even their names are known, how is it that Christ is paid divine service throughout the world?
(9) Comparison makes facts especially clear. You jews make this comparison, then, and learn how the truth has prevailed. What deceiver has gotten for himself so many churches all over the world, what rogue extended his worship to the ends of the earth, what imposter has every man bowing down before him, and this in the face of ten thousand obstacles? No one did. It is clear, then, that Christ was not a deceiver: he has saved us, he confers blessings upon us, he takes care of us, he protects our lives.
(10) Let me add one more prediction before I return to the topic on which I proposed to speak. Christ said: " I did not come to send peace upon the earth, but a sword." However, He did not speak of what He would Himself desire but He was foretelling the end to which things would come. He went on to say: "For I have come to set a man at variance with his father, and a daughter-in-law with her mother-in-law, and a daughter with her mother."
(11) Tell me this. How did He foretell this if He was a mere man and one of the crowd? For this is what He meant. It sometimes happened that in one and the same house one person would believe, and another would not; then the father would want to lead his own son to deny his faith. This is why Christ predicted this very thing. What He was saying was this: "The power of the gospel will be so strong that sons despise their fathers, daughters their mothers, and parents their children. For they will choose not only to scorn members of their own household, but even to lay down their lives, to endure and suffer all things rather than deny their religion."
(12) How could he have managed to know this if this was just another man out of the crowd? How did it occur to Him to reach the conclusion that sons would pay greater veneration to him than to their fathers, that parents would find Him dearer than their own children, that wives would have a more ardent love for Him than for their own husbands? And how did He know that this would happen not in one home only, nor in two, nor three, nor ten, nor twenty, nor a hundred, but in every corner of the world, in every city and country, on land and sea, in populous places and in those with few, if any, dwellings? No one can say that He foretold this and then failed to fulfill His prediction. Certainly it was not only at the very beginning but it is true even today that, because of their religion, many are hated and cast forth from their fathers' houses. However, they pay no heed to this; the fact that they suffer it for the sake of Christ is consolation enough for them.
(13) Tell me this. What human being ever had the power to do this? Yet this man made all these predictions about that woman, about the Church, and about the wars which would be waged against it. He also predicted that the temple would be destroyed, that Jerusalem would be captured, and that the city would no longer be the city of the jews as it had been in the past.
(14) If He was wrong and deceived you in all those other predictions, and they did not come true, then refuse to believe what He foretold of Jerusalem and the temple. But you do see those other predictions gloriously fulfilled and their truth waxing stronger with each passing day. The gates of Hell did not prevail against the Church, after so many years the story of what that woman did is still told all over the world, and men who believed in him did pay greater veneration to him than to their own parents, wives, and children. If this is true, tell me, why do you reject this one prediction about the temple, especially since the testimony of time puts the gag of silence on your shameless words?
(15) Suppose a mere ten, twenty, thirty, or fifty years were to have passed since the capture of Jerusalem. Even then you would have absolutely no right to show your impudence by rejecting His prediction, but if you wished to be obstinate, you might have had some pretext for protest left to you. But not only fifty years but many more than one, two, or three centuries have passed since Jerusalem was captured. And never has there been seen a single trace or shadow of the change for which you are waiting. Why, then, are you so rash and foolish as to keep up your shameless objections?
We have said enough to prove that the temple will never be rebuilt. But since the abundance of proofs which support this truth is so great, I shall turn from the gospels to the prophets, because the jews put their belief in them before all others. And from the words of the prophets I shall make it clear that the jews will recover neither their city nor their temple in days to come. And yet the need was not mine to prove that the temple will not be restored. This was not my obligation; the jews have the obligation to prove the opposite, namely, that the temple will be rebuilt. For the years that have elapsed stand by my side in the combat and bear witness to the truth of my words.
(2) Even though the outcome of events defeats them, even though they cannot prove in deeds what they maintain in words, even though they are simply making a rash boast, they have a right to present their testimony. The proof for my position is that the events of which I speak did actually occur: Jerusalem did fall and has not been restored after so many years. Their position rests on their unsupported words.
(3) Yet the burden of proof was on them to show that the city would rise again. This is the procedure for giving proofs in courts of law. Suppose two people are in dispute over some matter and the first party presents the claim for his position in writing, while the second party attacks his statement. The second party must then bring forward witnesses or other proofs in refutation of what is said in the written deposition; but the plaintiff need not do so. This is what the jews must now do. They must produce a prophet who says that by all means Jerusalem will be rebuilt. For if there was going to be an end to the present captivity for you jews, there was every need for the prophets to foretell this, as is clear to anyone who has even so much as glanced at the prophetic books. For it was the custom of old among the jews that under inspiration from above, their prophets would foretell the good or evil things which were going to befall the people.
(4) What was the reason for this? It was because the jews were so arrogant and obstinate. They immediately forgot what God had done for them, they ascribed His kindness to demons and reckoned that His blessings had come from them. Even when the sea was divided for them, as they went forth from Egypt, and while other wonderful things were happening to them, they forgot the God who was performing these miracles and attributed them to others who were not gods. For they said to Aaron: "Make for us gods who will be our leaders?" And they said to Jeremiah: 'We will not listen to what you say in the name of the Lord. Rather we will continue doing what we had proposed: we will burn incense to the queen of Heaven and pour out libations to her, as we and our fathers, our kings and princes have done. Then we had enough food to eat and we were well off; we suffered no misfortune. But since we stopped burning incense to the queen of Heaven and pouring out libations to her, we are in need of everything and are being destroyed by the sword and by hunger. The inspired prophets, then, foretold what would happen to the jews so that they would ascribe none of the events to idols, but would believe that both punishments and blessings always come from God: the punishment came for their sins, and the blessings because of God's love and kindness.
(5) So that you may learn that this is the reason for the prophecy, hear what Isaiah, the most eloquent of prophets, had to say to the jewish people. "I know that you are stubborn and that your neck is an iron sinew" (that is, unbending), "and your forehead bronze" (that is, incapable of blushing). We, too, make a practice of giving the name 'bronze-faced' to those who cannot blush. And Isaiah went on to say: "I foretold what things would come upon you before they took place and I let you hear of them." Then he added the reason for the prophecy when he said: "So that you may never say: 'My idols did them, my statues and molten images commanded them.'"
(6) At another time some of the jews who were quarrelsome and boastful and, even after the prophecies were fulfilled, were acting as impudently as if they had never heard them. Then the prophets not only foretold what would come to pass but even had witnesses of what they were doing. Again it was Isaiah who said: "Make reliable men my witnesses, Uriah the priest, and Zechariah, son of Jeberechiah." And this was not all Isaiah did. He set his prophecy down in writing in a new book so that, after his prophecy was fulfilled, what he had written might bear witness against the jews of what the inspired prophet predicted to them a long time before. This is why he did not simply write it in a book, but in a new book, a book capable of staying sturdy for a long time without easily falling apart, a book which could last until the events described in it would come to pass.
I shall prove that this is true, and that God foretold everything which was going to befall the jews. I shall do so not only from what Isaiah said but from all the things which happened to them, both good and bad. Indeed, the jews three times endured bondage, very harsh and most severe: but none of these came upon them unpredicted. God saw to it that each captivity was prophesied. He carefully foretold the place, the duration, the kind, the form of their misfortune, the return from slavery, and everything else.
(2) First, I shall speak of the prediction of their slavery in Egypt. Surely, in speaking to Abraham, God said: "Know for certain that your posterity will be strangers in a land not their own; they shall be subjected to slavery and shall be oppressed four hundred years. But I will judge that nation which they shall serve, said God. And in the fourth generation they shall return here with great possessions."
Do you see how He mentioned the number of years? Four hundred. The nature of their slavery? He did not simply say: "They shall be subjected to slavery," but: "They shall be oppressed." Listen to Moses' explanation of their misfortune. He said: "No straw is supplied to your servants, and still we are told to make bricks." And each day they were flogged so that you may learn the meaning of the words: "They shall be subjected to slavery and shall be oppressed." When He said: "I will judge that nation which they shall serve," He was speaking of the drowning of the Egyptians in the Red Sea, which Moses described in his canticle when he said: "Horse and chariot he has cast into the sea." Then he also mentioned the manner of their return when he said that they will return here with great possessions: "Each of you take from his neighbor and comrade gold and silver vessels." Since they had been subjected to slavery a long time and had received no pay, God permitted them to make this demand of the Egyptians even though their masters might be unwilling to pay. And the prophet exclaimed and said: "And he led them forth laden with silver and gold, with not a weakling among their tribes." So here we have one bondage which was precisely predicted.
(3) Come now and let us turn our discussion to the second captivity. What one is that? The bondage in Babylon. Jeremiah certainly foretold it exactly when he said: "Thus says the Lord: Only after seventy years have elapsed for Babylon will I visit you and fulfill for you my promise to bring you back to this place. I shall change your bondage; I shall gather you from all the nations and all the places to which I have banished you, says the Lord, and bring you back to the place from which I have exiled you." Do you see how here again He spoke of the city, the number of years, and the places from which and to which He was going to lead them?
(4) This explains why Daniel did not make his prayer for the jews until he saw that the seventy years had elapsed. Who says so? It was Daniel himself, when he said: "I, Daniel, took care of the king's affairs. But I was appalled at the vision, nor was there anyone to understand it." "And I understood in the Scriptures the counting of the years of which the Lord spoke to the prophet Jeremiah: that for the ruins of Jerusalem seventy years must be fulfilled. I turned to the Lord God, seeking to pray and entreat Him with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes."
(5) Did you hear how this bondage was foretold and how the prophet did not dare to bring his prayer and entreaty to God before the appointed time? He feared that his prayer might be rash and in vain. He was afraid he would hear what Jeremiah had heard: "Do not pray for this His people, and do not make demand of Me for them for I shall not hear your voice." But when he saw that the sentence pronounced against them had been fulfilled and that the time was summoning them to return, he did pray for them. And he did not merely pray, he made his entreaty with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes.
(6) The prophet acted toward God in a way quite common among men. When we see that a master has cast his slaves into prison for many serious crimes, we do not make a plea for them immediately, nor at the outset, nor at the beginning of their punishment. We let them be punished for a few days; then we go to the master with our plea and we have time working on our side. This is exactly what the prophet did. Although the penalty the jews paid was not as severe as their sins deserved, nonetheless they did pay it. And it was only then that the prophet went to God to plead on their behalf.
(7) If you would like to hear it, let us listen to the prayer he made for them. He said: "I confessed and said, 'Lord great and awesome God, You who keep Your covenant and Your mercy toward those who love you and observe your commandments!' What are you doing, Daniel? When you intercede for those who have sinned and quarreled with God, are you talking about men who keep God's laws? Do those who transgress His commandments deserve pardon? What did Daniel say? "I am not making this prayer for their sake but for the sake of their forefathers, for the sake of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The promise and pledge was made to those who kept God's commandments. These men, then, have no just claim to salvation; this is why I mention their forefathers.
(8) Daniel was not speaking of the jews in bondage when he said: "You who keep your covenant and your mercy toward those who love you and observe your commandments." That is why he immediately added: "We have sinned, acted lawlessly, done evil, and departed from your commandments and your laws. We have not obeyed your servants the prophets." For there is one defense left to sinners after they have sinned: to confess their sins.
(9) Do you now please consider the virtue of the just man and the arrogance of the jews. He who is conscious of no evil in himself pronounces a most severe judgment on himself when he says: "We have sinned, acted lawlessly, done evil." But those who were fulfilled with ten thousand evils did quite the opposite when they said: "We kept Your commandments; and now we call strangers blessed and evildoers are exalted. Just men usually act modestly after they have done just deeds; the wicked generally exalt themselves after they have sinned. The man who was conscious of no wickedness in himself said: "We have acted lawlessly, we have departed from Your laws"; those who are aware of the burden of ten thousand sins say: "We have kept Your commandments." I tell you this so that we may shun the sinner and emulate the just.
After he ran through their lawless acts, the prophet next spoke of the penalty they paid, because he wanted to use this to win God over to pity them. For he said: "And there came upon us the malediction recorded in the law of Moses, the servant of God, because we sinned." What is that malediction? Do you wish us to read it?
'"If you will not serve the Lord your God, I shall lead forth against you a shameless national, a nation whose tongue you will not understand, and you will be few in number." The three boys in Babylon also made this same point clear when they showed that the kind of punishment visited upon them came about because of what they had done. They made confession to God for the sins of all jews when they said: "You have handed us over to our enemies, lawless and hateful rebels; to an unjust king; the worst in all the world. Do you see how God fulfilled the curse which said: "You will be few in number?" And the one which said: "I shall lead forth against you a shameless nation?
(2) This is the very thing which Daniel was hinting at when he said: "There came upon us evils such as never occurred under Heaven according to what happened in Israel." What evils were these? Mothers ate their own children. Moses foretold this, but Jeremiah shows that it came true. For Moses said: "The refined and delicate woman, so delicate and refined that she would not venture to put her foot upon the step, shall put her hand to the unholy table and eat her own children." But Jeremiah shows that this came true when he said: "The hands of compassionate women boiled their own children."
(3) But even after he had spoken of the sins of those who had sinned and after he brought into the open the punishment they endured, he did not ask that this should save them. See, then, the prudence of the servant. For after he had made clear that they had not yet paid the penalty their sins deserved, nor had their sufferings discharged the debt for their offenses, he then fled to the mercy of God and the loving-kindness of His way and says: "And now, O Lord, our God, who led Your people out of the land of Egypt, and made a name for Yourself even to this day, we have sinned and acted against Your law." What he is saying is: "You did not save the jews of old for their good actions but because You saw their affliction and distress, because You heard their cry. In the same way, free us from our present evils because of Your loving-kindness and because of that alone. We have no other claim to salvation."
(4) So he spoke and, after many a lament, he brought forward the city of Jerusalem, like a captive woman, and said: "Let your face shine upon Your sanctuary. Give ear, O my God, and listen, open your eyes and see our ruins and the ruins of Your city, in which Your name is invoked." For when He looked among the men and saw no man who could make God propitious, He turned to the buildings and brought up the city. He showed its desolation and, after he completed his discourse on these things, he made God propitious. And this became clear from the events which followed.
(5) But back to what I was talking about. For I must return again to the topic I proposed. Yet I had good reason for bringing in these digressions: I waited to give your minds a brief breathing space, since they were growing weary from the constant conflicts with the jews. But let me return to the point where I departed from my topic to speak of these matters. Let me prove that the evils which were going to overtake the jews had been accurately predicted by God's inspiration. My discourse had already shown that those two captivities came upon the jews neither by chance nor unexpectedly.
(6) It remains for me now to bring up the third captivity. After I have done that, I must speak about the bondage which now encompasses them; I must give clear proof that no prophet ever predicted that there would be any freedom or escape from the ills which now encircle them.
(7) What, then, is this third captivity? It is the bondage that came upon them in the days of Antiochus Epiphanes. After Alexander, king of the Macedonians, conquered the Persian king, Darius, he took over the kingdom. After Alexander died, four kings followed him to the throne. Antiochus was the son of one of Alexander's four successors. Many years later Antiochus burned the temple, laid waste the Holy of Holies, put an end to the sacrifices, subjected the jews, and destroyed their whole state.
Daniel foretold all this with the greatest accuracy, even to the very day. He foretold when it would be, how, by whom, the manner of it, where it would finally end, and what change it would bring about. You will understand this better after you have heard the vision which the prophet set forth in the form of a parable. The ram is Darius, the Persian king; the goat is the Greek king, Alexander of Macedon; the four horns are Alexander's successors; the last horn is Antiochus himself. But it will be better for you to hear the vision itself.
(2) Daniel said: "For I saw in a vision and I was sitting at the river Ubal." (The spot in question he calls by a Persian name.) "And I looked up and saw standing by the Ubal a ram with his horns held high; and the one horn was higher than the other, and the high one mounted to the very heights. And I saw the ram butting toward the sea, north, and south. No beast will stand before it, nor was there anyone to rescue a beast from its grasp; it did what it pleased and became very powerful. And as I sat, I understood." He was speaking of the Persian power and domain which overran the whole earth.
(3) Next he spoke of Alexander of Macedon and said: "Behold, a he-goat came from the southwest across the whole earth without touching the ground. And the goat had a horn to be seen midway between his eyes." He then spoke of Alexander's encounter with Darius and the victory won by Macedonian might. "The goat came up to the horned ram, grew savage, struck the ram," - I must cut short the account - "broke both his horns and there was no one to rescue the ram from his power."
(4) After that Daniel spoke of Alexander's death and the four kings who succeeded him: "And at the height of its power the great horn was shattered, and in its place there came up four others, facing the four winds of Heaven." Daniel then passed from this point to the reign of Antiochus and showed that he came from one of those four when he said: "Out of one of them came one strong horn, and it became very powerful toward the south and the east." Daniel then went on to show that Antiochus destroyed the jewish commonwealth and way of life when he said: "And through him the sacrifice was disordered by transgression; and it came to pass. that he prospered. And the Holy place will be laid waste and sin replaced the sacrifice. After the altar was destroyed and the Holy places trampled underfoot, he set up an idol within and offered unlawful sacrifices to the demons; righteousness was cast to the ground. He both did this and prospered.
(5) Then again, for a second time, he spoke of the same reign of Antiochus Epiphanes, the bondage, and the capture and desolation of the temple; this time, however, he gave the date of these events. He again began, toward the end of the book, with the empire of Alexander and described all the intervening accomplishments of the Seleucids and the Ptolemies in their wars against each other, the exploits of their generals, the strategies, the victories, the armies, the battles fought on land and sea. When he came to Antiochus he ended by saying: "His armed forces shall rise up, defile the sanctuary, and remove the continuity" (and by the continuity he meant the uninterrupted daily sacrifices) "and in its place they will put an abomination. By treachery they will lead off those who violate the covenant" (that is, the transgressors among the jews whom they will remove and keep with themselves); "but the people who know their God shall take strong action" (he means the events in the time of the Maccabees: Judas. Simon, and John). "And the wise men of the people will have understanding of many things but they will fall by the sword and by fire" (here again he describes the burning of Jerusalem) "and by exile and the plunder days. And when they fall, they will receive a little help" (he means that, in the midst of those evils, they will be able to draw a breath and rise from the dread things which have overtaken them), "but many will join them out of treachery. And they shall fall from the number of the wise. He said this to show that even many of those who stood firm will fall.
(6) Next, Daniel gave the reason why God permitted them to be involved in such trials. What is the reason? "To purge them, to choose them, and to make them white until the time of the end."
This is why, said Daniel, God permitted these evils so as to cleanse them and to show who among them was genuine and approved. In telling of the same king's power and might he said: "He shall do as he pleases, he shall exalt himself and become very powerful. In speaking of the king's blasphemous spirit, he went on to say: "He shall utter excessive haughty thoughts against the God of gods: he shall prosper until the wrath be accomplished." Daniel was here making it clear that it was not of Antiochus' own will but because of God's wrath against the jews that he was so victorious.
(7) After Daniel told in many other passages what evils the king would bring on Egypt and Palestine, how he would return, at whose bidding, and under the pressure of what cause, the prophet then recounted a change of fortune and said that, after enduring all these evils, the jews would find some aid from an angel sent to help them as "At that time there shall arise Michael, the great prince, guardian over the sons of your people. It shall be a time unsurpassed in distress since nations began on earth until that time. At that time your people will escape, everyone who is found written in the book." By that he meant those deserving to be saved.
But I have not yet given a proof for the question I am investigating. What is that question? That God set a time limit for those involved in these trials, just as He set a limit of four hundred years for the exile in Egypt and seventy years for the bondage in Babylon. Let us see, then, if He set any time limit for this third slavery. Where can we find the answer to this? In what Daniel said in the verses following those I discussed. (2) Since he had heard of the many great evils which would befall the jews - the burning of Jerusalem, the toppling of their state, the bondage of his people he then wanted to learn what would be the end of these trials, and if there would be any change in their disastrous condition. So he asked the angel who had appeared to him and said: "Lord, what is to be the outcome of this? .... Come here, Daniel," he said, "because the words are to be kept secret and sealed" (indicating the obscurity of the words) until the time of the end. Then the angel mentioned the reason why God consented to these evils: "As long as many are chosen, made white, and purged, as long as the lawless act lawlessly, as long as all the unholy ones shall not understand and the holy ones do understand."
(3) Next, in predicting the length of time these evils would last, Daniel's angel said: "From the time of the changing of the continuity." The daily sacrifice was called the continuity, for what is continuous is frequent and unceasing. And among the jews it was customary to offer sacrifice to God in the evening and about dawn each day; this is why they called that daily sacrifice a continuity.
(4) But when Antiochus came, he completely did away with this practice. That is what the angel meant when he said: "From the time of the changing of the continuity" (that is, from the time the sacrifice was abolished) "there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days," that is, three and a half years and a little more. Then to show that there will be an end and deliverance from these woes, the angel went on to say: "Blessed is the man who stands firm and attains one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days," adding forty-five days to the one thousand and two hundred and ninety days. He did this because it happened that the conflict lasted a month and a half and in that time the victory became complete, as did also the deliverance of the jews from the evils which weighed heavy upon them. And when he said: "Blessed is the man who stands firm one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days," he revealed their deliverance. He did not simply say, "the man who attains," but "the man who stands firm and attains." The reason for this is that many of the unholy ones saw the change, but he does not call them happy; he calls blessed only those who gave witness during the time of troubles, who did not desert their religion, and who then found abatement of their ills. This is why he did not simply say: "the man who attains," but "the man who stands firm and attains."
(5) What could be clearer than this? Do you see how very carefully the prophet foretold their captivity and release from bondage? He gave the time not in terms of years, or months, but to the very day. That you may know that my words are not based on mere conjecture, come, let us bring in another witness to what I have said, a witness whom the jews regard with the highest trust, I mean Josephus, who has made their disasters a subject of tragic history and who has paraphrased the entire Old Testament. He was born after Christ's coming and, in speaking of the captivity predicted by Christ, he also discussed this captivity and set forth Daniel's vision about the ram, the goat, the four horns, and the last horn which arose after the others. I do not wish anyone to be suspicious of what I have said; come, then, and let us compare his words with mine.
(6) Josephus praised Daniel and showed exceedingly high admiration for him, setting him above all the other prophets. When he came to the story of Daniel's vision, he had this to say. Daniel left us a book in which he made clear the accuracy and fidelity to truth's of his prophecy. For he tells us that after he and some companions had gone forth to a plain at Susa, the metropolis of Persia, suddenly the earth quaked and shook violently. His friends fled and he was left alone. He fell face down and was fixed fast to the spot leaning on both hands. Then someone touched him and at the same time ordered him to get up and see what would happen to his people after many generations.
(7) Daniel then arose and was shown a large ram with many horns growing from his head, but the last horn was the highest. Then he looked to the west and saw a goat borne through the air. The goat rushed at the ram, struck him twice with his horns, knocked him to the ground, and trampled on him. Next he saw the goat grown larger and putting forth a very large horn from his forehead. This horn was broken off, but four others grew up, turned to the four winds. As Josephus told the story, Daniel saw a smaller horn rise up from these and it grew strong. God, Who showed Daniel the vision, was telling him that war would come upon his nation, that Jerusalem would be taken by storm, the temple would be pillaged, the sacrifices would be hindered and cut short, and that this would last for one thousand two hundred and ninety days.
(8) Daniel wrote that he had seen these events in the plain at Susa; he also made it clear that God explained to him what he had seen in the vision. God said that the ram signified the empire of the Persians and Medes, and the horns, those who would hold royal power. He further said that the last horn signified that there would come a king who would surpass those others in wealth and glory. God then explained that the goat would be a ruler from among the Greeks who would twice clash with the Persian king, defeat him in battle, and take over all his empire. The first large horn on the goat's forehead signified the first king. After this fell off, the growth of the four horns and the turning of each of these to the four regions of the earth was a sign that, after the death of the first king, who had neither sons nor family, his successors would divide the empire among them and would rule the world for many years.
(9) And from these successors, the explanation continued, there would arise a king who would make war on the jewish laws, take away their form of government, pillage their temple, and prevent their sacrifices from being offered for three years. And it did happen that the nation of our fathers underwent these sufferings under Antiochus Epiphanes just as Daniel had seen many years before and had written would come to pass.
What could be clearer than this? Now it is time, unless you think I am making you weary, now it is time to come back to the question we proposed for investigation, namely, the jews' present slavery and their bondage of today. This was the reason for going through all their exiles. Pay careful heed to me, for our contest is not concerned with ordinary, everyday matters. At the Olympic contests people have the patience to sit from midnight to noon waiting to see who will win the crown; they take the hot rays of the sun on their bare heads, and do not leave before the winners are decided. Our contest today is not for an Olympic prize but for an incorruptible crown. It would be a shame, then, for us to grow weary and give in to our fatigue.
(2) What I have said has sufficiently proved that the three captivities were predicted, the first lasting for four hundred years, the second for seventy, and the third for three and a half years. Now let us talk about the present bondage of the jews. To show that the prophet also predicted this one, I shall offer as my witness that same Josephus, who is on the side of the jews. Listen to what he says subsequence to his account of Daniel's vision. He said: "In the same manner Daniel also wrote about the empire of the Romans and that they would capture Jerusalem and devastate the temple."
(3) Please consider that even if the man who wrote that was a jew, he did not, on that account, let himself emulate the obstinacy of you jews. After he said that Jerusalem would be captured, he did not dare to go on to say that it would be rebuilt, nor to mention a definite time for its restoration, because he knew that the prophet had not fixed a definite time. Yet when Josephus spoke previously of the victory of Antiochus and his devastation of Jerusalem, he did state how many days and years the captivity was going to last.
But Josephus said nothing of this sort about the bondage under the Romans. He wrote that Jerusalem and the temple would be despoiled, but he did not add that what had been devastated would be restored. For he saw that the prophet had not added anything about such a restoration. Josephus did say: "All these things, as God revealed them to him, Daniel left behind in his writings, so that those who read them and observe how they have come to pass must wonder that Daniel was so honored by God."
(4) But let us consider where it was that Daniel said that the temple would be despoiled. After he had made his prayer in sackcloth and ashes, Gabriel came to him and said: "Seventy weeks are cut short for your people and for your holy city. Look," the jews will say, "he did mention the time." Yes, but the time is not the time of the captivity; what is mentioned is the length of time after which the captivity is going to come upon them. It is one thing to speak of how long the captivity will last and another thing to state the number of years before it will arrive and be upon them.
(5) We read: "Seventy weeks are cut short for your people"; no longer does God say: "for My people." And yet the prophet said: "Let Your face shine upon Your people," but God thereafter was estranged from them because of the bold crime they were going to commit. Presently the prophet gave the reason: "Until transgression will stop and sin will end. What does he mean by the words: "Until sin will end?" What the prophet is saying is that the jews are committing many sins, but the end of their evil deeds will be the day they slay their Master. Christ also said this: "Fill up the measure of your fathers." "You killed your servants," he said. "Now add to that the blood of your Master."
(6) See how the thoughts of Christ and Daniel agree, Christ said: "Fill up"; the prophet says: "Until transgression will stop and sin will end." What does "end" mean? That no sin thereafter is left to commit. "And until everlasting justice will be introduced." But what is everlasting justice except the justification given by Christ? "And until the sealing of the vision and the prophet and a holy of holies be anointed," that is, until prophecies shall cease. For this is what is meant by "to seat," namely, to bring anointing to an end, to bring vision to an end. This is why Christ said: "The law and the prophets until John." Do you see how this threatens utter desolation and the payment for sins and acts of injustice? For God did not threaten that He will forgive the sins of the jews but that He will execute vengeance upon then.
And when did this happen? When were prophecies completely done away with? When was anointing ended so as never again to return? Even if we be silent, the stones will shout out, because the voice of the facts is so clear. For we could not mention a time at which these predictions were accomplished other than the long and many years already past and the years which are going to be longer and more numerous still. Daniel put it more precisely when he said:
"And you will know and understand that from the going forth of the word of the answer that Jerusalem was to be rebuilt until the coming of an anointed leader, there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks.
(2) Pay careful attention to me here, because here lies the whole question. The seven weeks and the sixty-two weeks make four hundred and eighty-three years, for he is here speaking not of weeks of days or months but weeks of years. From Cyrus to Antiochus Epiphanes and the captivity there were three hundred and ninety-four years. However, Daniel makes it clear that he is not talking about the destruction of the temple under Antiochus but the subsequent destruction under Pompey, Vespasian, and Titus. He further extends the time and instructs us from what point we must start counting by showing us that our reckoning is not to start from the day of the return from captivity. From what point must we reckon? "From the going forth of the word of the answer that Jerusalem was to be rebuilt."
(3) Jerusalem, however, was not rebuilt under Cyrus but under Artaxerxes, who was called the Long-handed. For after the return of the jews, Cambyses was ruler, then the Magians, and after them Darius Hystaspes. Next came Darius' son, Xerxes, and after him Artabanus. After Artabanus, Artaxerxes the Long-handed, ruled Persia. During the twentieth year of his kingship Nehemiah returned and restored Jerusalem. Ezra has given us an exact account of this. So then, if we count four hundred and eighty-three years from this point, we will surely come to the time of the last destruction. And so it is that the prophet said: "It shall be rebuilt with streets and a surrounding wall." Therefore what he says is this: after the city has been rebuilt and has recovered its own appearance and form, count the seventy weeks from that point and you will see the slavery which has not yet come to an end.
(4) To make still more clear this very point, namely, that the evils which now grip the jews will not come to an end, he goes on to say: "After the seventy weeks the anointing will be utterly destroyed and there will be no judgment on it; he will destroy the city and the sanctuary with the help of a leader who comes and they will be cut off as in a deluge. There will be no remnant left, nor a root to grow up again, "until the end of a war which is brought to an end by the vanishing of the people."
(5) And again, in speaking of this slavery, he said: "The incense and the oblation will be abolished and, furthermore, on the holy place will be the abomination of desolation: and accomplishment shall be given to the desolation until the end of time." When you hear him say: "Until the end of time," what else is left for you jews to look forward to? "And furthermore." What does this mean? "Furthermore," that is, in addition to what he has said, that is, in addition to the destruction of the sacrifice and the oblation, there will be some other greater evil. What is that evil? "On the holy place will be the abomination of desolation." By the holy place he means the temple; by the abomination of desolation he means the statue set up in the temple by Antiochus, who destroyed the city.
(6) And he went on to say: "Desolation until the end." It is true that Christ came into the world according to the flesh long after the day of Antiochus Epiphanes, but when he prophesied the captivity to come, he showed that Daniel had predicted it. This was His reason for saying: "When you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place - let him who reads understand.' The jews called every image and statue made by man an abomination. So by his veiled reference to that statue, Daniel showed both when and under whom the captivity would take place. As I showed before, Josephus also assured us that these words were spoken about the Romans.
(7) What is there for me to say to you now that has not already been said? When the prophets predicted the other captivities, they spoke not only of the captivity but also of the length of time it was appointed for each bondage to last; for this present captivity, however, they set no time but, to the contrary, said that the desolation would endure until the end. And to prove that what they said is true, come now and let me offer as witnesses the events themselves.
If the jews had never attempted to rebuild the temple, they could say: "If we had wished to set our hands to the task and to begin to rebuild it, we could by all means have completed the task." But now I shall show that not once, nor twice, but three times they did attempt it and three times, like wrestlers in the Olympic games, they were thrown to the ground. Therefore there can be no dispute or question but that the Church has won the victory crown.
Yet what kind of men were they who set their hands to the task? They were men who constantly resisted the Holy Spirit, revolutionists bent on stirring up sedition. After the destruction which occurred under Vespasian and Titus, these jews rebelled during the reign of Hadrian and tried to go back to the old commonwealth and way of life. What they failed to realize was that they were fighting against the decree of God, who had ordered that Jerusalem remain forever in ruins.
(2) But it is impossible for a man to wage war on God and win so it was that, when these jews made their attack against the Emperor, they forced him again to destroy Jerusalem completely. For Hadrian came and utterly subdued them; he obliterated every remnant of their city. To prevent the jews from making such an impudent attempt in the future, he set up a statue of himself. But he realized that, with the passage of time, his statue would one day fall. So he gave his own name to the ruined city and, in this way, burned on the jews a permanent brand which would mark their defeat and testify to the impudence of their revolt. Since he was called Aelius Hadrianus, he ordained that from this name the city was to be called Aelia and to this day it is called by the name of the Emperor who conquered it and destroyed it.
(3) Do you see the first attempt of the impudent jews? Now look at the next. They tried the same thing in the time of Constantine. But the Emperor saw what they tried to do, cut off their ears, and left on their bodies this mark of their disobedience. He then had them led around everywhere, like runaway slaves and scoundrels, so all might see their mutilated bodies and always think twice before ever attempting such a revolt. "Yet these things happened very long ago," the jews will say. But I tell you that the incident is well known to those of us who are somewhat on in years and are already old men.
(4) But what I am going to tell you is clear and obvious even to the very young. For it did not happen in the time of Hadrian or Constantine, but during our own lifetime, in the reign of the Emperor of twenty years ago. Julian, who surpassed all the emperors in irreligion, invited the jews to sacrifice to idols in an attempt to drag them to Iris' own level of ungodliness. He used their old way of sacrifice as an excuse and said: "In the days of your ancestors, God was worshipped in this way."
(5) They refused his invitation, but, at that time, they did admit to the very things I just lately proved to you, namely, that they were not allowed to offer their sacrifices outside Jerusalem. Their answer was that those who offered any sacrifice whatsoever in a foreign land were violating the Law. So they said to the Emperor: "If you wish to see us offer sacrifices, give us back Jerusalem, rebuild the temple, show us the holy of holies, restore the altar, and we will offer sacrifices again just as we did before."
(6) These abominable and shameless men had the impudence to ask these things from an impious pagan and to invite him to rebuild their sanctuary with his polluted hands. They failed to see that they were attempting the impossible. They did not realize that if human hands had put an end to those things, then human hands could get them back for them. But it was God who destroyed their city, and no human power could ever change what God had decreed. "For what God, the Holy One, has planned who shall dissipate? His hand is stretched out; who will turn it back?" What God has reared up and wishes to remain, no man can tear down. In the same way, what he has destroyed and wishes to stay destroyed, no man can rebuild.
(7) I grant you that the Emperor did give you jews back your temple and did build you an altar, just as you foolishly suspected he would. But he could not send down to you the Heavenly fire from on high, could he? Yet if you could not have this fire, your sacrifice had to be an abomination and unclean. This is why the sons of Aaron perished; they brought in a foreign fire.
(8) Nonetheless, these jews, who were blind to all things, called on the Emperor for help and begged him to aid them in undertaking to rebuild the temple. The Emperor, for his part, spared no expense, sent engineers from all over the empire to oversee the work, summoned craftsmen from every land; he left nothing undone, nothing untried. He overlooked nothing but worked quietly and a little at a time to bring the jews to offer sacrifice; in this way he expected that it would be easy for them to go from sacrifice to the worship of idols. At the same time, in his mad folly, he was hoping to cancel out the sentence passed by Christ which forbade the rebuilding of the temple. But he who catches the wise in their craftiness straightway made clear to him by His action that the decrees of God are mightier than any man's and that works get their strength from the word of God.
(9) They started to work in earnest on that forbidden task, they removed a great mound of earth and began to lay bare the foundations. They were just about to start building when suddenly fire leaped forth from the foundations and completely consumed not only a great number of the workmen but even the stones piled up there to support the structure. This put a stop to the untimely obstinacy of those who had undertaken the project. Many of the jews, too, who had seen what had happened, were astonished and struck with shame. The Emperor Julian had been madly eager to finish the work. But when he heard what had happened, he was afraid that, if he went on with it, he might call down the fire on his own head. So he and the whole jewish people withdrew in defeat.
(10) Even today, if you go into Jerusalem, you will see the bare foundation, if you ask why this is so, you will hear no explanation other than the one I gave. We are all witnesses to this, for it happened not long ago but in our own time. Consider how conspicuous our victory is. This did not happen in the times of the good emperors; no one can say that the Christians came and prevented the work from being finished. It happened at a time when our religion was subject to persecution, when all our lives were in danger, when every man was afraid to speak, when paganism flourished. Some of the faithful hid in their homes, others fled the marketplaces and moved to the deserts. That is when these events occurred. So the jews have no excuse left to them for their impudence.
Are you jews still disputing the question? Do you not see that you are condemned by the testimony of what Christ and the prophets predicted and which the facts have proved? But why should this surprise me? That is the kind of people you are. From the beginning you have been shameless and obstinate, ready to fight at all times against obvious facts.
(2) Do you wish me to bring forward against you other prophets who clearly state the same fact, namely, that your religion will come to an end, that ours will flourish and spread the message of Christ to every corner of the world, that a different kind of Sacrifice will be introduced which will put an end to yours? At least listen to Malachi who came later than the other prophets. Let me not at this time bring in the testimony of Isaiah and Jeremiah or the other prophets who came before the captivity. I do not want you jews to say that their predictions came true during the bondage. Let me bring forward a prophet who came after the return from Babylon and after the restoration of Jerusalem, a prophet who clearly predicted what was to happen to you.
(3) The jews did return from Babylon, they did recover their city, they did rebuild their temple, and they did offer sacrifices. But it was only after all this that Malachi predicted the coming of the present desolation and the abolition of the jewish sacrifices. This is what he said, speaking in God's behalf: "Shall I for your sakes accept your persons? says the Lord Almighty. For from the rising of the sun, even to its setting, My name is glorified among the nations; and everywhere they bring incense to My name, and a Pure Offering. But you have profaned It."
(4) When do you jews think that this happened? When was incense offered to God in every place? When a Pure Offering? You could not mention a time other than the time after the coming of Christ. Suppose Malachi did not speak of our time, suppose he did not speak of our Sacrifice but of the jewish sacrifice. Then his prophecy will be opposed to the Law. Moses had forbidden the jews to bring their sacrifice to any place other than that which the Lord God would choose, and then He confined their sacrifices to one particular place. If Malachi said that Sacrifices were going to be offered everywhere and that it would be a Pure Offering, he was contradicting and opposing what Moses had said.
(5) But there is no contradiction nor quarrel. For Moses spoke about one kind of sacrifice, and Malachi later predicted another. What makes this clear? It is clear both from the prophet's words and also from many other indications. The first indication has to do with the place. For Malachi predicted that the Sacrifice would be offered not in one city, as in the time of the jewish sacrifice, but "from the rising of the sun even to its setting." The second indication has to do with the kind of Sacrifice. By calling it "a Pure Offering," he showed the kind of Sacrifice of which he spoke.
(6) A further indication deals with those who are going to offer this Sacrifice. He did not say "in Israel," but "among the nations." He did not want you to think that the worship given in this Sacrifice would be confined to one, two, or three cities; therefore, He did not simply say "everywhere," but from the rising of the sun, even to its setting. By these words He showed that every corner of the earth seen by the sun will receive the message of the gospel. He called it a "Pure Offering," as opposed to the old sacrifice, which was impure. And it was - not by its own nature but because of the disposition and intention of those who offered it. This is why the Lord said: "Your incense is loathsome to Me."
(7) And yet, in other respects, if you should put the two sacrifices side by side to compare them, you will find that the difference between them is so great and unmeasurable that, according to the nature of comparison, only this new Sacrifice is properly called pure. Paul contrasted the old Law with the new Law of grace and said that the old Law had been glorified but is now without glory, because of the surpassing glory of the new Law. I, too, would make so bold as to say in this case that, if the new Sacrifice should be compared to the old, only this new Sacrifice would properly be called pure. For it is not offered by smoke and fat, nor by blood and the price of ransom, but by the grace of the Spirit.
(8) Now hear another prophet who made the same prediction and said that the worship of God would not be confined to one place, but that the time would come when all men would know Him. It is Zephaniah who said: "The Lord shall appear to all nations, and will make all the gods of the nations waste away; then each from its own place shall adore Him. Yet this was forbidden to the jews since Moses commanded them to worship in one place.
(9) You hear that the prophets foretold and predicted that men will no longer be bound to come from all over the earth to offer sacrifice in one city or in one place, but priests will offer sacrifice in their own cities around the world.
What time other than the present could you mention as fulfilling these prophecies? At any rate listen to how the gospels and the Apostle Paul agree with Zephaniah. The prophet said: "The Lord shall appear"; Paul said: "The grace of God our Savior has appeared to all men instructing us, Zephaniah said: "To all nations"; Paul said: "To all men." Zephaniah said: "He will make their gods waste away;" Paul said: "Instructing us, in order that rejecting ungodliness and worldly lusts, we may live temperately and justly."
(10) Again, Christ said to the Samaritan woman: "Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. God is spirit, and they who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth. " I so when Christ said this, He removed from us for the future, the obligation to observe one place of worship and introduced a more lofty and spiritual way of worship.
(11) These arguments would suffice to establish that, in the future, there will be no sacrifice, no priesthood, no king among the jews. Above all, the destruction of the city has proved all these points. But I could also bring forward the prophets as my witnesses, and they distinctly said the same thing. But I see that you have become weary with the length of my discourse; I am afraid that you may think I am foolish and rash to keep annoying you. For this reason I promise that I will speak to you on this same subject at another time.
(12) Meanwhile, I ask you to rescue your brothers, to set them free from their error, and to bring them back to the truth. There is no benefit in listening to me unless the example of your deeds will match my words. What I said was not for your sakes but for the sake of those who are sick. I want them to learn these facts from you and to free themselves from their wicked association with the jews. I want them then to show themselves sincere and genuine Christians. I want them to shun the evil gatherings of the jews and their synagogues, both in the city and in the suburbs, because these are robbers' dens and dwellings of demons.
(13) So then, do not neglect the salvation of those brothers. Be meddlesome, be busybodies, but bring the sick ones to Christ. In this way, we shall receive a far greater reward for our good deeds both in the present life and in the life to come. And we shall receive it by the grace and loving-kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom and with whom be glory to the Father together with the Holy Spirit, the giver of life, now and forever, world without end. Amen.
Although he had delivered a long homily against the jews on the previous day,
and had become hoarse from the length of his Sermon, he now delivered the following discourse.
WILD BEASTS ARE less savage and fierce as long they live in the forests and have had no experience fighting against men. But when the hunters capture them, they drag them into the cities, lock them in cages, and goad them on to do battle with beast-fighting gladiators. Then the beasts spring upon their prey, taste human flesh and drink human blood. After that, they would find it no easy task to keep away from such a feast but they avidly rush to this bloody banquet.
(2) This has been my experience, too. Once I took up my fight against the jews and rushed to meet their shameless assaults, "I destroyed their reasoning and every lofty thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and I brought their minds into captivity to the obedience of Christ. And after that I somehow acquired a stronger yearning to do battle against them.
(3) But what is the matter with me? You see that my voice has grown weaker and cannot again last for so long a time. I think that what has happened to me is much the same as what happens to a soldier in battle. He cuts to pieces a number of his foes, courageously throws himself against the enemy lines, strews the ground with corpses, but then breaks his sword; disheartened by this mishap he must retreat to his own ranks. Indeed, what has happened to me is worse. The soldier who has broken his sword can snatch another from some bystander, prove his courage, and show how eager he is for victory. But when the voice becomes weak and exhausted, you cannot borrow another from somebody else.
(4) What shall I do, then? Shall I, too, run away? The power your loving assembly holds over me does not let me run away. I reverence and respect our father, who is here. I reverence and respect your eagerness and earnestness. Therefore, I shall entrust the whole undertaking to his prayers and your charity and I will attempt what lies beyond my power.
(5) It is true that today's feast of the martyrs invites me to recount the conflicts they underwent. If I neglect this topic, if I strip and get ready to enter the arena against the jews, let no one accuse me of choosing the wrong time for my discourse. The martyrs would find a discourse against the jews more desirable than any panegyric of mine, since I could never make them more illustrious than they are.
(6) What need could they have of my tongue? Their own struggles surpass our mortal nature. The prizes they won go beyond our powers and understanding. They laughed at the life lived on earth; they trampled underfoot the punishment of the rack; they scorned death and took wing to Heaven; they escaped from the storms of temporal things and sailed into a calm harbor; they brought with them no gold or silver or expensive garments; they carried along no treasure which could be plundered, but the riches of patience, courage, and love. Now they belong to Paul's choral band while they still await their crowns, but they find delight in the expectation of their crowns, because they have escaped henceforth the uncertainty of the future.
(7) What need could they have of any words of mine? Therefore, they will find this topic more desirable than any panegyric of mine which, as I said before, will bring no increase to their personal glory. But it could be that they will derive great pleasure from my conflict with the jews; they might well listen most intently to a discourse given for God's glory. For the martyrs have a special hatred for the jews since the jews crucified Him for whom they have a special love. The jews said: "His blood be on us and on our children" the martyrs poured out their own blood for Him whom the jews had slain. So the martyrs would be glad to hear this discourse.
If the present captivity of the jews were going to come to an end, the prophets would not have remained silent on this but would have foretold it. I gave adequate proof of this when I showed that all their bondages were brought upon them after they had been predicted: the bondage in Egypt, the bondage in Babylon, and the bondage in the time of Antiochus Epiphanes. I proved that for each of these the Sacred Scriptures had proclaimed beforehand both a time and a place. But no prophet defined a duration for the present bondage, although Daniel did predict that it would come, that it would bring total desolation, that it would change their old commonwealth and way of life, and how long after the return from Babylon it would come to pass.
(2) But Daniel did not reveal that it would come to an end nor that these troubles would ever stop. Nor did any other prophet. Daniel did, however, predict the opposite, namely, that this bondage would hold them in slavery until the end of time. The great number of years which have come and gone since that day are witnesses to the truth of what he said. And the years have shown neither trace nor beginning of a change for the better, even though the jews tried many times to rebuild their temple. Not once, not twice, but three times they tried. They tried in the time of Hadrian, in the time of Constantine, and in the time of Julian. But each time they tried they were stopped. The first two times they were stopped by military force; later it was by the fire which leaped forth from the foundations and restrained them from their untimely obstinacy.
(3) Now I would be glad to ask them a few questions. Why, tell me, did you recover your own country after spending so many years in Egypt? And after you had been again dragged away into Babylon, why did you come back to Jerusalem? Again, in the time of Antiochus, you suffered many evils, but you came back to your old state, you again recovered your sacrifices, your altar, your holy of holies, and all the rest, along with the dignity these things once had. But nothing such as this has happened in your present bondage. One hundred, two hundred, three hundred, four hundred years and many more than that have passed This is the five hundredth year up to our own day, but we see no hint of such a change for the better on the horizon. What we do see is that the jewish fortunes have completely collapsed; they do not even have a dream to show they might have any expectation such as they had in their former captivities.
(4) Suppose the jews should plead their sins as an excuse. Suppose they should say: "We sinned against God and offended Him. This is the reason why we are not recovering our homeland. We did treat shamelessly the prophets who never ceased to accuse us, we did deny the blood-guilt of which the prophets spoke of in tragic ways, but we will now confess and condemn ourselves for our own sins." If the jews should plead this excuse, I will be glad to question each one of them again.
(5) Is it because of your sins that you jews have been living for so long a time outside Jerusalem? What is strange and unusual about that? It is not only now that your people are living sin filled lives. Did you, in the beginning, live your lives in justice and good deeds? Is it not true that from the beginning and long before today you lived with countless transgressions of the Law? Did not the prophet Ezechiel accuse you ten thousand times when he brought in the two harlots, Oholah and Oholibah, and said "You built a brothel in Egypt; you passionately loved barbarians, and you worshipped strange gods."
(6) What about this? After the waters of the sea were divided, after the rocks were broken asunder, after so many miracles were worked in the desert, did you not worship the calf? Did you not try many times to kill Moses, now by stoning him, now by driving him into exile, and in ten thousand other ways? Did you ever stop hurling blasphemies at God? Were you not initiated in the rites of Baal of Peor? Did you not sacrifice your sons and daughters to demons? Did you not make a display of every form of ungodliness and sin?
(7) Did not the prophet, speaking in behalf of God, say to you: "Forty years I was offended with that generation, and I said: 'These always err in heart.' "' How was it, then, that at that time God did not turn himself away from you? How is it that after you slew your children, after your idolatries, after your many acts of arrogance, after your unspeakable ingratitude, that God even allowed the great Moses to be a prophet among you and that he worked wondrous and marvelous signs himself? What happened in the case of no human being, did happen to you. A cloud was stretched over you in place of a roof; a pillar instead of a lamp served to guide you; your enemies retreated of their own accord; cities were captured almost at the first battle-shout. You had no need of weapons, no need of an army in array, no need to do battle. You had only to sound your trumpets and the walls came tumbling down of their own accord. And you had a strange and marvelous food which the prophet spoke of when he exclaimed: "He gave them the Bread of Heaven. Man ate the bread of angels: he sent them provisions in abundance.
(8) Tell me this. In those days you were guilty of ungodliness, you worshipped idols, you slew your children, you stoned the prophets, and you did ten thousand dreadful deeds. Why, then, did you enjoy such great kindness and good will from Him? Why did He offer you such protection at that time? Now you do not worship idols, you do not slay your children, you do not stone the prophets.
Note: We do not understand this last sentence as the pagans who call themselves "jews" before the time of St. Chrysostum, at his time, and since the time of Christ:
A. Are worshipping idols (their non-Catholic "god"),
B. They do slay their own children spiritually, working for their damnation, by making them pagan "jews", and kill by being the dominant force behind the murderous abortion industry,
C. They do stone the prophets, since one definition of prophet is one who tells the truth, and the pagans who call themselves "jews" have been killing the truth tellers for 2000 years - the Catholic Saints.
Why are you now spending your lives in endless captivity? God was not one kind of God then and a different kind now, was He? Is it not the same God who governed those past events and Who brings to pass what goes on today? Tell me this. Why did you have great honor from God when your sins were greater?
Note: Regarding the last sentence, the pagans who refer to themselves as "jews" are in greater sin now and at the time of St. John, and between the time of Christ and St. John, because of their idol worshipping of a non-Catholic "god". The pagan "jews" at the time of St. John and all the pagan "jews" before and since are in greater sin, because every one of them gets the grace and knowledge in their souls that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, they all get this information before they die, and since they ignore this grace, their sins against the Faith are monstrously greater than the sins which the Old Testament Israelites (they weren't "jews") committed in their idol worship - when they fell into it.
Now that your sins are less serious, He has turned himself altogether away from you and has given you over to unending disgrace.
Note: See prior note regarding the sentence above.
(9) If He turns away from you now because of your sins, He should have done so all the more in those days. If he put up with you when you were living lives of ungodliness, he ought to put up with you all the more now that you venture no such enormities. Why, then, has he not put up with you?
Note: The sins of the pagan "jews" were and are much worse than the sins of the Old Testament Israelites (they weren't "jews") because since the visitation they have been actively rejecting the Messiah, since Jesus Christ through the Church states that they do get the grace of the truth in their souls during their lives, and have been rejecting these graces, thereby sending their souls into Hell forever.
Even if you are too ashamed to give the reason, I will state it clearly. Rather, I will not state it, but the truth of the facts will do so.
(10) You did slay Christ, you did lift violent hands against the Master, you did spill his precious blood. This is why you have no chance for atonement, excuse, or defense. In the old days your reckless deeds were aimed against his servants, against Moses, Isaiah, and Jeremiah. Even if there was ungodliness in your acts then, your boldness had not yet dared the crowning crime. But now you have put all the sins of your fathers into the shade. Your mad rage against Christ, the Anointed One, left no way for anyone to surpass your sin. This is why the penalty you now pay is greater than that paid by your fathers. If this is not the reason for your present disgrace, why is it that God put up with you in the old days when you sacrificed your children to idols, but turns himself away from you now when you are not so bold as to commit such a crime?
Note: They are committing a crime worse than killing their own children, they are killing their children unto the second death which is eternal damnation, by raising them in a continual state of mortal sin (Orignal Sin since they are not baptized, and actual sins which they have no spiritual power to resist because they are not Catholic).
Is it not clear that you dared a deed much worse and much greater than any sacrifice of children or transgression of the Law when you slew Christ?
Tell me this. Will you still dare to call Him an imposter and lawbreaker?
Note: In clarification, the pagans that call themselves "jews" are not keepers of the "law". The religion of the Old Testament Israelites ended when God tore the Temple veil from the top down. The religion of the Old Testament Israelites is the Catholic Faith unfulfilled (it wasn't "judaism"). The Old Testament Israelites were not "jews". The pagans who call themselves "jews" are in a false religion and a man-made fable from start to finish (which started about 200 B.C.), they follow the filthy devil serving "talmud". Please see Section 39.1 of this website regarding the fraud of the words "jew" and "jews".
Will you not instead go off and bury yourselves somewhere, when you look the facts in the face, since their truth is so obvious? If Jesus were an imposter and lawbreaker, as you say He was, you should have been held in high honor for putting Him to death. Phinehas slew a man and put an end to all God's wrath against the people? The Psalmist said: "Then Phinehas stood up and propitiated him and the slaughter stopped? He rescued a great many ungodly men from the wrath of God by slaying a single lawbreaker. This should have happened all the more in your case, if indeed the Man you crucified was a transgressor of the Law.
(2) Phinehas, then, was held guiltless after he slew a lawbreaker; indeed, he was honored with the priesthood. But after you crucified an imposter, as you say, Who made Himself equal to God, you did not receive esteem nor were you held in honor. Instead you suffered a more grievous punishment than you did when you sacrificed your children to idols. Why is this so? Is it not clear even to the dullest minds? You committed outrage on Him who saved and rules the world; now you are enduring this great punishment. Is this not the reason?
(3) Yet even today you abstain from blood which would defile you and you observe the "sabbath".
Note: They don't observe the "sabbath" since the sabbath was superceded and there is no such thing anymore.
But at the time you slew Christ, you violated the Sabbath. God even promised, through Jeremiah, to spare your city if you would stop carrying burdens on the Sabbath. Look, you are observing this law now; you are not carrying burdens on the Sabbath. But God is not reconciled to you on this account. Since that sin of yours surpassed all sins, it is useless to say your sins are keeping you from recovering your homeland. You are in the grip of your present sufferings not because of the sins committed in the rest of your lives but because of that one reckless act. If this were not the case, God would not have turned His back on you in such a way, even if you had sinned ten thousand times. This is clear not only from all I have already said but from what I am now going to tell you.
(4) What is this? Oftentimes we have heard God speak to your fathers through the prophets and say: "You deserve countless evils. But I do this for My Name's sake, that it may not be profaned among the nations." And again: "It is not for your sakes that I do this, O house of Israel, but for My Name's sake."
What God is saying is this: "You deserved heavier vengeance and punishment. But so that no one may say that God let the jews stay in the power of their enemies because God was weak and unable to save them, I am helping you and protecting you."
(5) Suppose Christ were a lawbreaker and you crucified Him; suppose you had committed countless sins and much worse ones than the sins of your fathers.
Note: They are committing sins worse than their fathers because of their continuous sins of apostasy against the Truth, and committing the infinate sin of sending their souls into Hell forever because of this apostasy.
God would still have saved you to keep His Name from being profaned. If Christ were a lawbreaker, God would not have let Him be considered a great man, God would not want people putting the blame on Christ for your misfortunes. If God clearly overlooks your sins for His glory's sake, He would have done so all the more if you crucified a lawbreaker. He would have approved of this slaughter and would have blotted out your sins, many as they are. But when God clearly and completely turns Himself from you, it is obvious that, by His anger and by abandoning you forever, He is proving even to the most shameless that He who was slain was not a lawbreaker, but the Lawgiver Who has come as the Author of countless blessings. You acted outrageously against Him and you are now held in indignity and dishonor. We worship Him and, even though heretofore we were held in greater dishonor than all of you, now, through the grace of God, we are more venerable than all of you and are held in higher esteem.
(6) But the jews will say: "Where is the evidence that God has turned away front us?" Does this still need proof in words? Tell me this. Do not the facts themselves shout it out? Do they not send forth a sound clearer than the trumpet's call? Do you still ask for proof in words when you see the destruction of your city, the desolation of your temple, and all the other misfortunes which have come upon you? "But men brought these things upon us, not God." Rather it was God above all others who did these things. If you attribute them to men. then you must consider that, even if men were to have the boldness, they would not have had the power to bring these things to accomplishment, unless it were by God's decree.
(7) The barbarian came down upon you and brought all Persia with him. He expected that he would catch you all by the suddenness of his attack and he kept you all locked up in the city as if you were caught in the net of a hunter or fisherman. Because God was gracious to you at that time - I repeat, at that time without a battle, without a war, without a hostile encounter, the barbarian king left one hundred and eighty-five thousand of his slain soldiers among you and fled, contented that he alone was saved. And God often decided countless other battles in this way. So also now, if God had not deserted you once and for all, your enemies would not have had the power to destroy your city and leave your temple desolate. If God had not abandoned you, the ruin of desolation would not have lasted so long a time, nor would your frequent efforts to rebuild the temple have been in vain.
These are not my only arguments. I shall use other sources as well in my efforts to prevail upon you to agree that it was not by their own power that the Roman emperors did what they did.
They did what they did because God was angry with the jews and had abandoned them. If the things that happened were the work of men, your misfortunes should have ended with the capture of Jerusalem and your disgrace should not have gone beyond it. Let me grant, according to your argument, that men demolished the walls, destroyed the city, and overturned the altar. Was it the work of men that you have no more prophets? Men did not take away the grace of the Spirit, did they? Did men destroy the other things you held solemn, such as the Voice from the propitiatory, the power which came in the anointing, the declaration made by the priest from the stones?
(2) The jewish religious way of life did not have all its origins from here below; the greater number and the more solemn things came from Heaven above. For example, God permitted the sacrifices. The altar was from here below as were the faggots, the knife, and the priest. But the rite which was going to enter the sanctuary and consume the sacrifices had its source from on high; no man carried the fire into the temple, but a flame came down from above and by this the ministry for the sacrifice was fulfilled.
(3) And, again, if they ever had to know something, a Voice came forth from the propitiatory, or mercy-seat, from between the cherubim, and foretold the future. Again from the stones which were on the breast of the high priest, which they called the declaration, there came a sort of flashing which indicated the future.
Furthermore, whenever someone had to be chosen and anointed, the grace of the Spirit would wing its way down and the oil would run on the forehead of the elect. Prophets fulfilled these ministries. And many a time a cloud of smoke obscured the sanctuary. To keep the jews from continuing their shameless ways and attributing their desolation to men, God not only permitted the city to fall and the temple to be destroyed but He also removed the things which had their source from Heaven above: the fire, the voice, the flashing of the stones, and all other such things.
(4) The jews will tell you: "Men waged war on us; men plotted against us." When they say this, tell them that men would certainly not have waged war against them unless God had permitted it. Granted that men tore down your walls. Did a man keep the fire from Coming down from Heaven? Did a man stop the Voice which was continually heard from the propitiatory? Did a man stop the declaration from the stones? Did a man put an end to the anointing of your priests? Did a man take away all those other things? Was it not God who withdrew them? Surely, this is clear to everybody. Why, then, did God take them away? Is it not obvious that He hated you and turned His back on you once and for all? The jews will say: "By no means! The reason why we do not have these is because we do not have our mother-city." But why do you not have your mother-city? Is it not because God has abandoned you?
(5) Let us, rather, stop their shameless mouths with still more proof. To do this, let me prove from the Scriptures themselves that the destruction of the temple was not the reason for destroying the ritual given to the prophets. The real reason was the wrath of God. And He is much more provoked to anger now, because of the jews' mad rage against Christ, than He was when they worshipped the calf. Surely, when Moses was their prophet, there was neither temple nor altar. Even though they kept committing countless acts of ungodliness, his gift of prophecy did not desert him. To be sure, he was a great and noble man, but, in addition to him, there were again seventy other men who, at that time, were proclaimed as prophets.
(6) This was true not only in Moses' day but also thereafter, when they had been given a temple and the rest of the ritual. Even after this temple was burned and they all had been led off to Babylon, Ezechiel and Daniel saw no holy of holies, stood beside no altar. But even though they were in the middle of a barbarian land and in the midst of unclean transgressors of the Law, they were filled with the Spirit and foretold the future, predicting events far more numerous and marvelous than those prophesied by their predecessors. And they saw divine visions insofar as it was possible for them to see.
(7) Tell me this. Why is it that you have no prophets now? Is it not clear that it is because God has turned His back on your religion? Why did He turn his back on you? It is again obvious that He did so because of Him whom you crucified and because of your recklessness in committing that outrage. What makes this so obvious? It is obvious from this: when you jews lived the life of ungodliness before, you got everything; now, after the Cross, although you seem to be living a more moderate life, you endure a greater vengeance and have none of your former blessings.
Note : The pagans who call themselves "jews" are not living a more moderate life ... because of their sin of apostasy of rejecting the Catholic truths. They are in the same sin of apostasy as all the other pagan groups. The religion of the Old Testament Israelites was the Catholic Faith unfulfilled, it wasn't "judaism". The fable of "judaism" started approximately 200 B.C.
The prophets clearly and distinctly put the truth before you so that you could learn the reason for your troubles. Hear how Isaiah predicted not only the blessings that will come to all through Christ but also your senseless arrogance. He said: "By His stripes we were healed," and by these words he foretold the redemption which has come through the Cross.
Note: The word redemption means Heaven was re-opened for men (after Original Sin closed it), although the redemption only applies to Catholics as God re-opened Heaven in one prescribed way, the sanctifying grace of the Catholic Church.
Then, to show the kind of men we are, he went on to say: "We had all gone astray like sheep, each turned aside on his own way." In describing the manner of His execution on the Cross, He said: "Like a lamb led to the slaughter or a sheep before the shearer, He was silent and opened not His mouth." In His humiliation His legal trial was taken away.
(2) And where can we see that all these things came true? In Pilate's unlawful court of law. Although they testified to so many things against Him, as Matthew said, Jesus made no answer to them. Pilate, the presiding official, said to Him: "Do You hear what witness these men bear against You? And He made no answer but stood there silent. This is what the Heaven - inspired prophet meant when he said: "Like a lamb led to the slaughter or a sheep before the shearer, He was silent." Then he showed the lawlessness of the law court when he said: "In His humiliation His legal trial was taken away." No one at that time cast a truly just vote against Him, but they accepted the false testimony against Him. What was the reason for this? Because He did not wish to proceed against them.
(3) If He wished to do so, He would have stirred up everything and shaken the world to its depths. When He was on the Cross, He split the rocks, darkened the earth, turned aside the rays of the sun, and made night out of day over the whole world. If He did this on the Cross, He could have done it in the courtroom. Yet He did not wish to do it but, instead, showed us His mildness and moderation. This is why Isaiah said: "In His humiliation His legal trial was taken away." Then, to show that Jesus was not just anybody, he went on to say: "Who shall declare His generation? Who is this Man of whom Isaiah said: "His life is taken from the earth? This is why Paul also said: "Our life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, our life, shall appear, then you too will appear with Him in glory."
(4) But let me return to the topic which I proposed to discuss and prove, namely, that the jews are enduring their present troubles because of Christ. It is time now to bring in my witness, Isaiah, who spoke these words. Where, then, did he say this? After he spoke of the trial, death, and ascension, after he said: "His life is taken from the earth," he went on to say: "And I shall give the ungodly for His burial, and the rich for His death." He did not simply say "the jews," but "the ungodly." What could be more ungodly than those who first received so many good things and then slew the Author of those blessings?
Note: To clarify, the Old Testament people of the covenant of Abraham were the Israelites they were not "jews". The pagans who call themselves "jews" have nothing to do with the Old Testament, they do not follow Mosaic anything, they subscribe to and "teach" the "talmud" (See Section 62 of this website).
(5) If these prophecies have not been fulfilled, if you jews are not now held in dishonor, if you are not now bereft of everything your fathers had, if your city did not fall, if your temple is not in ruins, if your disaster has not surpassed every tragedy, then you jews should refuse to believe me. But if the facts shout out and prophecy has been fulfilled, why do you keep up your foolish and unavailing impudence?
(6) Where are the things you held as solemn, where is your high priest, where are his robe, his breast piece, and stones of declaration? Do not talk to me about those patriarchs of yours who are hucksters and merchants and filed with all iniquity. Tell me, what kind of priest is he if the ancient oil for anointing priests no longer exists nor any other ritual of consecration? What kind of a priest is he if there is neither sacrifice, nor altar, nor worship?
Do you wish me to speak of the laws governing the priesthood and how priests were consecrated in olden times? In this way you would find out that those among you who are today called patriarchs are not priests at all. They act the part of priests and are playing a role as if they were on the stage, but they cannot carry the role because they are so far removed from both the reality and even the pretense of priesthood.
(7) Recall how in those days Aaron was made a priest, how many sacrifices Moses offered, how many victims he slew, how he bathed Aaron, anointed the lobe of his ear, his right hand and right foot. Only then did Moses lead Aaron into the holy of holies; only then did he bid him remain there a set number of days. But it is worth your while to hear his very words. "This is the anointing of Aaron and the anointing of his sons. "And the Lord spoke to Moses saying 'Take Aaron with his sons, their vestments, and the oil of unction, the calf for sin, and a ram, and gather together the community at the entrance of the meeting tent.' And Moses spoke to the whole assembly: 'This is the word which the Lord has commanded.' And after he brought them forward" (for I must cut the account short), "he washed them with water, put the tunic [on Aaron], girded him with the sash, clothed him with the robe, placed the ephod on him, girded him and fastened it around him. He then set the breast piece on him with the declaration of doctrine and truth on it, and put the miters on his head, and on the miter, the gold plate. Taking the anointing oil he sprinkled the altar with it and consecrated it and the vessels; the laver and its base he also consecrated. And he poured some of the oil on Aaron's head and did in like manner to his sons. And he brought forward the calf. After he sacrificed it, when Aaron and his sons had put their hands upon it, he took some of its blood and put it on the horns of the altar and purified the altar. And he poured the blood on the base of the altar and consecrated it by performing the rite of atonement over it. After he burned portions of the calf, some within on the altar, others outside the camp, he brought in a ram and offered it for a holocaust.
(8) And again he brought a second ram, the ordination ram. Aaron and his sons laid their hands on it and Moses immolated it. He took some of its blood and put it on the lobe of Aaron's right ear, the thumb of his right hand, and the big toe of his right foot.
And he did the same thing to Aaron's sons. Then he took some parts of the sacrifice and put them into Aaron's hands and those of his sons and in this way he made the offering. And again he took the blood and some oil and sprinkled Aaron and his vestments with it, and his sons and their vestments. He consecrated them and ordered them to cook the flesh at the entrance to the tent of meeting and to eat it there. And he said: 'You shall not go forth from the entrance to the tent of meeting for seven days until the day when the day of your ordination is complete.'
(9) Moses said that by all these rites Aaron was ordained, purified, and consecrated, and that they appeased God. But we find none of these today: no sacrifice, no holocaust, no sprinkling of blood, no anointing with oil, no tent of meeting where they must sit for a definite number of days. This makes it obvious that the priest among the jews today is unordained, unclean, under a curse, and profane; he only provokes God's wrath. If a priest could not be ordained in any other way than by these rites, and these rites no longer exist, then there is no possible way that their priesthood could have continued to exist. You see that I was right when I said they had gotten somewhere far off and had been far removed from both the reality and even the pretense of the priesthood.
We can also learn from other sources how awesome was the dignity of the priesthood. Indeed, there was a day when some wicked and evil men revolted against Aaron, quarreled with him over his position in the community, and tried to drive him from his leadership. Moses, the mildest of men, wanted to persuade them by the facts themselves that he had not brought Aaron to the leadership because he was a brother, relative, or member of his family, but that it was in obedience to God's decree that he had entrusted the priesthood to him. So he ordered each tribe to bring a staff, and Aaron was instructed to do the same.
(2) When each tribe had brought a staff, Moses took all of them and put them inside the meeting tent. Once he had put them there, he gave orders that they await the decision of God which would come to them through those staves. Then all the other staves kept their same appearance, but a single one - Aaron's - blossomed and put forth leaves and fruit. So the Lord of nature used leaves instead of letters to teach them that He had again elected Aaron.
(3) God said in the beginning: "Let the earth bring forth vegetation" and He stirred up its power to bear fruit; in Aaron's day, He also took that dry and fruitless wood and made it blossom without earth or root. That staff was thereafter a proof and witness both of the wickedness of those men and of God's choice. It uttered no word, but the very sight of it, in tones clearer than any trumpet's call, urged every man never to attempt such things as did Aaron's foes.
(4) Not only in this case but at another time and in another way God made clear His choice of Aaron. Many men conspired against Aaron in their lust for the leadership for which God selected him. (And leadership is the kind of thing many men fight over and desire.) Moses ordered them to bring their censers, put incense in them, and to wait for a decision from Heaven. As they were burning their incense, the earth split apart and gulped down all their supporters, and a flame from Heaven consumed those who had taken up their censers.
(5) Moses did not want anyone to forget, with the passage of time, what had happened. Nor did he want men of a later day to remain ignorant of God's wondrous decision. Therefore, he gave orders that those bronze censers be picked up and beaten into plates for the altar. Just as the very sight of the voiceless staff sent forth a voice, so these bronze plates would speak to all men thereafter, to exhort and advise them never to imitate the madness of those men of old, for fear that they might suffer the same judgment.
(6) Do you see how priests were chosen in former days? But everything that goes on among the jews today is a ridiculous sport, a trading in shame, filled with outrages beyond number.
Note: The "jews" mentioned by St. John have no connection to the religion of the Old Testament Israelites. The religion of the Old Testament Israelites was the Catholic Faith unfulfilled.
Tell me, then. Do you let yourself be led by these men who stubbornly oppose God's laws in their every word and deed? Do you rush to their synagogues? Are you not afraid that a bolt of lightning may come down from above and consume your head? Even if a man is not a thief himself but is seen in a den of robbers, he pays the same penalty as they. You do know this, do you not? But why talk about robbers and their crimes?
(7) Surely you all know and remember the time when some evil tricksters in our midst tore down the statues? You remember how not only those who did this reckless deed but also those who were seen simply standing there when it happened were all arrested and dragged off to court together. And you remember that they all paid the supreme penalty. Tell me, then. Are you all agog to run off to a place where they outrage the Father, blaspheme the Son, and reject the Holy Spirit, the Giver of life? Are you not afraid, do you not shudder to set foot inside those profane and unclean places? Tell me. What defense or excuse will you have since it is you who have thrust yourself into ruin and perdition, since it is you who have hurled yourself from the precipice?
(8) Do not tell me that the Law and the books of the prophets are there. These do not make it a holy place. Which is the better thing? Is it better to have the books there or to speak out the truths they contain? Obviously it is better to speak out these truths and to keep them in your heart. Tell me, what about this? The devil quoted Scripture. This did not make his mouth holy, did it? You cannot say it did, since the devil kept on being the devil. What about the demons? Just because they spoke out and proclaimed: "These men are servants of the Most High God and they proclaim to you a way of salvation," do we on this account rank them among the apostles? By no means! Just as before, we keep right on turning our backs on them and hating them.
(9) If spoken words do not make the mouth holy, does the presence of the Scriptures make a place holy? But how could this be right? This is my strongest reason for hating the synagogue: it does have the Law and the prophets. And now I hate it more than if it had none of these. Why is this? Because in the Law and the prophets they have a great allurement and many a snare to attract the more simple-minded sort of men. This is why Paul drove out the demon which did not remain silent but spoke out. As the author of Acts says: "Being very much grieved, he said to the spirit, 'Go out of her.' Why? Because the demon kept shouting: "These men are servants of the Most High God.
(10) As long as the demons remained silent, they did not deceive people by their words; when they spoke out, they did so with the intention of enticing many of the simpler sort into listening and heeding them in these other matters. The demons wish to open the door to their deceits and to create confidence in their lies. And so they give some admixture of truth, in the same way that those who mix lethal drugs smear the lip of the cup with honey to make the harmful potion easy to drink.
(11) This is why Paul was very much grieved and why he hurried to stop up the demons' mouths when they took to themselves a dignity which appeared compelling. This is why I hate the jews. Although they possess the Law, they put it to outrageous use.
Note: The pagans who refer to themselves as "jews" do not "possess the law", Catholics possess the law which is the Dogmas of the Church and the laws governing the sacraments. They are not even in possession of the writings of the laws of the Old Testament Israelites (they weren't "jews"), they are reading corrupted "scriptures". The Catholic Church unfulfilled wrote the Old Testament and the Catholic Church fulfilled wrote the New Testament. Only the Catholic Church has the uncorrupted scriptures, the Latin Vulgate (Latin) and Douay-Rheims (English).
For it is by means of the Law that they try to entice and catch the more simpleminded sort of men. If they refused to believe in Christ because they did not believe in the prophets, the charge against them would not be so severe. As it is, they have deprived themselves of every excuse because they say that they do believe in the prophets but they have heaped outrage on Him whom the prophets foretold.
Note: The pagans who call themselves "jews" who try to "entice the simpleminded" in St. John's time and before and since have nothing to do with the religion of the Old Testament Israelites, which was the Catholic Faith unfulfilled.
In short, if you believe the place is holy because the Law and the books of prophets are there, then it is time for you to believe that idols and the temples of idols are holy.
Note: See note above that the pagans who call themselves "jews" do not have the books of prophets, they are reading corrupted nonsense.
Once, when the jews were at war, the people of Ashdod conquered them, took their ark, and brought it into their own temple. Did the fact that it contained the ark make their temple a holy place? By no means! It continued to be profane and unclean, as the events straightway proved. For God wanted to teach the enemies of the jews that the defeat was not due to God's weakness but to the transgressions of those who worshipped him.
Note: The people of the Old Testament religion were Israelites they were not "jews". The false religion of "judaism" was started in 200 B.C. of pagan Babylonian origin.
And so the ark, which had been taken as booty in war, gave proof of its own power in an alien land by twice throwing the idol to the ground so that the idol was broken. The ark was so far from making that temple a holy place that it even openly attacked it.
(2) Look at it in another way. What sort of ark is it that the jews now have, where we find no propitiatory, no tables of the law, no holy of holies, no veil, no high priest, no incense, no holocaust, no sacrifice, none of the other things that made the ark of old solemn and august? It seems to me that the ark the jews now have is no better off than those toy arks which you can buy in the market place, in fact it is much worse. Those little toy arks cannot hurt anybody who comes close to them. But the ark which the jews now have does great harm each day to those who come near it.
Note: The people of the Old Testament religion were Israelites they were not "jews". The false religion of "judaism" was started in 200 B.C. of pagan Babylonian origin.
(3) "Brethren, do not become children in mind, and rescue from their untimely anguish those who are frightened by these things. Teach them what should really terrify them and make them afraid. They should not be terrified by that ark but they should be afraid that they will bring destruction to the temple of God. How will they destroy the temple of God? By constantly rushing off to the synagogue, by a conscience which is inclined toward judaism, and by the untimely observance of the jewish rites.
Note: St. John is rightly saying here that the Temple of God is the Catholic Church. There was however no such thing as "jewish" because the religion of the Old Testament Israelites ended when God tore the Temple veil from the top down. The religion of the Old Testament Israelites was the Catholic Faith unfulfilled. The Catholic Church unfulfilled wrote the Old Testament.
(4) "You who would be justified in the Law have fallen away from grace." This is what you must fear. On that day of judgment you must be afraid of hearing Him who will judge you say: "Depart, I know you not." "You made common cause with those who crucified Me. You were obstinate toward Me and started up again the festivals to which I had put an end. You ran to the synagogues of the jews who sinned against Me. I destroyed the temple and made ruins of that august place together with all the awe-inspiring things it contained. But you frequented shrines that are no better than hucksters' shops or dens of thieves."
(5) The cherubim and the ark were still there, the grace of the Spirit still abounded in the temple when Christ said: "You have made it a den of thieves" and "a house of business." And He said this because of the transgressions and blood-guilt of the jews. Now, after the grace of the Spirit has abandoned them, after all those august solemnities have been taken away, they are still stubborn with God and carry on their irreligious rites. What worthy name can we find to call their synagogues?
(6) The temple was already a den of thieves when the jewish commonwealth and way of life still prevailed.
Note: The people of the Old Testment covenant of Abraham were not "jews" they were Israelites. The religion of the Old Testament Israelites was the Catholic Faith unfulfilled, it wasn't "judaism".
Now you give it a name more worthy than it deserves if you call it a brothel, a stronghold of sin, a lodging-place for demons, a fortress of the devil, the destruction of the soul, the precipice and pit of all perdition, or whatever other name you give it.
(7) Do you wish to see the temple? Don't run to the synagogue; be a temple yourself. God destroyed one temple in Jerusalem but he reared up temples beyond number, temples more august than that old one ever was. Paul said: "You are the temple of the living God. Make that temple beautiful, drive out every evil thought, so that you may be a precious member of Christ, a temple of the Spirit. And make others be temples such as you are yourselves. When you see the poor, you would not find it easy to pass them by. When any of you see some Christian running to the synagogue, do not look the other way. Find some argument you can use as a halter to bring him back to the Church. This kind of almsgiving is greater than giving to the poor, and the profit from it is worth more than ten thousand talents.
(8) Why do I speak of it being worth more than ten thousand talents? Or worth more than the whole visible world? A human being is worth more than the whole world. Heaven and earth and sea and sun and stars were made for his sake.
(9) Consider well, then, the dignity and worth of the man you save. Do not think lightly of the care you show to him. Even if a man gives away more money than you can count, he does not do as great a thing as the man who saves a soul, leads it from its error, and takes it by the hand along the road to godliness. The man who gives to the poor takes away the poor man's hunger; the man who sets a judaizing Christian straight, wins a victory over godlessness. The first man gave consolation to the poor; the second put a stop to reckless transgression. The first freed the body from pain, the other snatched a soul from the fires of Hell.
(10) I showed you the treasure; do not forsake the profit. You cannot dare put the blame on your poverty or excuse yourself because you are indigent. The only expense is one of phrases; the only cost is one of words. Therefore, let us not shrink back from the task but, with all the zeal and desire we possess, let us go hunting for our brothers. Even though they be unwilling, let us drag them into our own houses, let us sit down with them at table and put a meal before them. Let us do this so that after they have broken their fast before our eyes, after they have given us a full and sufficient guarantee of their conversion and return to better ways, they may help both themselves and us to a share in eternal blessings through the grace and loving kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom and with Whom be glory to the Father together with the Holy Spirit, now and forever, world without end. Amen.
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Immaculate Heart of Mary ~ Our Lady of Good Remedy ~ Our Lady of La Salette ~
Immaculate Heart of Mary