Exegetic Homilies

By Saint Basil; Sister Agnes Clare C. D.P. Way | Go to book overview
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HOMILY 9

Creation of Land Animals
(ON THE HEXAEMERON)

HOW DID MY MORNING repast of words appeal to you? Indeed, it has occurred to me that I should compare my talk with the kindness of a certain poverty‐ stricken host, who was ambitious to be among those that offer a good table, but, lacking costly foods, annoyed his guests by laying his poor fare upon the table in such abundance that his ambition was changed in him into disgraceful lack of taste. Well, such has been our method, unless you say differently. Yet, however it was, you must not disregard it. Elisha was by no means rejected as a poor host by his contemporaries, in spite of the fact that he feasted his friends on wild plants.

I know the laws of allegory, although I did not invent them of myself, but have met them in the works of others. Those who do not admit the common meaning of the Scriptures say that water is not water, but some other nature, and they explain a plant and a fish according to their opinion. They describe also the production of reptiles and wild animals, changing it according to their own notions, just like the dream interpreters, who interpret for their own ends the appearances seen in their dreams. When I hear 'grass,' I think of grass, and in the same manner I understand everything as it is said, a plant, a fish, a wild animal, and an ox. 'Indeed, I am not ashamed of the gospel.' 1 And, although those who have written about the world have argued much about the shape of the earth, whether the earth is a sphere, or a cylinder, or

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1
Rom. 1.16.

-135-

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