67
EXEGESIS - GENESIS.

"He did not dare to approach the man because of his strength, but addressed himself to the woman as the weaker, whilst she was still a virgin ... By the virgin Eve death ensued. By the Virgin, or rather from the Virgin, must come forth life: that as the serpent deceived the one, so Gabriel might bear the good tidings to the other."*

"And the Lord God said to the serpent... I will put enmities between thee and the woman and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel." -- iii. 14, 15.

The following observations are borrowed in brief from Fr. Harper: --

"Three Hebrew codices have certainly the feminine here (as ipsa in the Vulgate); five others are dubious. Also one Chaldaean Codex -- and it is quoted in the same form by Maiemonides.

S. Ambrose has the received reading of the Vulgate:--"+

"...et semen mulieris: Ipsa tibi observabit caput, et tu illius calcaneum."

Prudentius from Spain, writes: --

"Auctor et ipse coluber
Plectitur improbus, ut Mulier
Colla trilinguia calce terat."++

And Claudius Marius Victor, a native of Marseilles, who wrote, about A.D. 426, a curious sort of commentary on the book of Genesis, in verse: --

          "...Pedibus repes et pectore prono,
Teque tuo Mulier perimet cum semine, cujus
Callidus extremis tantum insidiabere plantis,
Ut trepidans etiam capiti vestigia figat."**

S. Augustine uniformly quotes in the same way, without any hint as to the reading being new or doubtful.|| He had a great predilection for the works of S. Cyprian, who adopts the masculine reading: yet, notwithstanding this, he never makes any explanation or apology, nor suggests any doubt, but uses what is now the received text as a matter of course.


* S. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catech. xii. n. 5; 15.

+ De Fuga saeculi, vii. 43. He died in 396.

++ Cathemerion, iii. vv. 126-128. He died 405.

** Comment in Genes. L. i. 1. Migne, Patr. Lat. T. 61, p. 948.

|| De Genes. ad Manich. L. ii. De Gen. ad lit., L. xi. In Ps. xlviii., Serm. i. n. 6. In Ps. ciii., Serm. iv. n. 6.

 

 

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