64
EXEGESIS - GENESIS.

"The Son of God, says the Apostle, was made of the seed of David according to the flesh:"* that is, as though of the mould of earth when there was no man to till the earth. For no man wrought in the Virgin of whom Christ was born. But a spring rose out of the earth, watering all the face of the earth. The face of the earth: that is, the dignity of the earth, whereby is most rightly understood the Mother of the Lord, the Virgin Mary, whom the Holy Spirit watered. For He is signified under the name of a spring and of water in the Gospel: as though Christ, made of such mould, was to be teh Man set in paradise to work and keep it, that is to say, to perfect and keep it by the will of His Father."+

"As Adam, the first man made, had his substance from rude and still virgin earth -- for God had not as yet rained upon the earth, and no man had worked it -- and was fashioned by the hand of God, that is, by the Word of God; so likewise the same Word -- who has His existence [according to His human nature] from Mary ever a Virgin -- when recapitulating Adam in Himself, rightly received, by way of recapitulation, Adam's mode of generation... But why then did He not take again slime of the earth, instead of causing the formation to be from Mary? This was, that whilst the new formation to be made was not to be different from the first formation which should be saved, but the same was to be recapitulated, yet that it still should be by way of similitude."++

"He who delivered lost man, who was formed of earth, and bound with the chains of death, from the lowest hell, the same was man's helper, Himself like to him -- the First-begotten Word visiting in the Virgin our first parent Adam; the Spiritual, in the womb, seeking the earthly; the Ever-living, him by disobedience dead; the Celestial calling the terrestrial to things higher; the Noble wishing to grant liberty to the slave by His own obedience."**

"Above all is to be commended the reason which prescribed that the Son of God should be born of the Virgin. In a new way it behoved to be born the dedicator of a new birth; the sign whereof the Lord is by Isaias proclaimed as giving. And what is this sign? Behold, a Virgin shall conceive in her womb, and bring forth a Son.|| The Virgin therefore conceived, and brought forth Emmanuel, God with us. This is that new birth, whereby man is born in God, and God is born in man -- in flesh of olden seed, yet conceived without olden seed, in order that with new seed, that is to say, spiritually, He might form that flesh anew, now expiated by the exclusion of the filth of its oldness. Now this entire newness was figured forth -- as indeed in all things of old -- by the rational disposition of the Lord being born by means of the Virgin. The earth was still virgin, not yet broken up by labour, nor yet prepared for sowing, and therefrom, we are told, man was made by God into a living soul.


* Rom. i. 3.

+ S. Augustine, De Genesi, Lib. ii.

++ S. Irenaeus, Haer. L. iii. cap. xxi. 10.

** S. Hippolytus, Ex Serm. in Magn. Canticum, ap. Theodoritum, Dial. ii.

|| Is. vii. 14.

 

 

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