On Genesis: Two Books on Genesis against the Manichees; And, on the Literal Interpretation of Genesis, An Unfinished Book

By Saint Augustine; Roland J. S. J. Teske | Go to book overview

19. Scripture said, "A man will leave father and mother and he will cling to his wife, and they will be two in one flesh." 89. I find no way that this pertains to history except insofar as this is what generally happens in the human race. 90. Rather this is all prophecy, and the Apostle reminds us of this when he says, "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and he will cling to his wife, and they will be two in one flesh. This is a great mystery; I mean in Christ and in the Church." 91. If the Manichees who deceive many by means of the Letters of the Apostle did not read this blindly, they would understand how to interpret the Scriptures of the Old Testament, and they would not dare to bring charges with such sacrilegious words against what they do not understand. The fact that Adam and his wife were naked and were not embarrassed 92. signifies simplicity and chastity of soul. For the Apostle speaks this way: "I have joined you to one husband to present to Christ a chaste virgin; but I fear lest, as the serpent deceived Eve by his cleverness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity and chastity which is in Christ." 93.


CHAPTER 14

The Serpent Is the Devil, and Eve Is Affection

20. The serpent signifies the devil who was certainly not simple. His cleverness is indicated by the fact that he is said to be wiser than all the beasts. 94. The serpent was not said to be in paradise, though the serpent was among the beasts that God made. For paradise signifies the happy life, as I said

____________________
no such similarity between the Latin, vir and mulier. Virago means 'man-like woman' or 'female warrior,' and virgo means 'maiden.' Both are derived from vir. The Vulgate has virago.
89.
Gen 2.24.
90.
Since leaving one's parents cannot be taken according to history in Adam's case, it either refers to what generally happens in the human race or is a mystery that signifies the union of Christ and the Church.
91.
Eph 5.31-32.
92.
Cf. Gen 2.25.
93.
2 Cor 11.2-3.
94.
Cf. Gen 3.1.

-115-

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On Genesis: Two Books on Genesis against the Manichees; And, on the Literal Interpretation of Genesis, An Unfinished Book
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • The Fathers of the Church - A New Translation *
  • The Fathers of the Church - A New Translation *
  • On Genesis - Two Books on Genesis against the Manichees and on the Literal Interpretation of Genesis: an Unfinished Book *
  • Contents *
  • Abbreviations ix
  • Select Bibliography xi
  • Introduction *
  • Introduction 3
  • Two Books on Genesis against the Manichees *
  • Book One 47
  • Chapter 1 47
  • Chapter 2 49
  • Chapter 3 52
  • Chapter 4 54
  • Chapter 5 56
  • Chapter 6 57
  • Chapter 7 58
  • Chapter 8 60
  • Chapter 9 62
  • Chapter 10 63
  • Chapter 11 64
  • Chapter 12 65
  • Chapter 13 66
  • Chapter 14 68
  • Chapter 15 71
  • Chapter 16 72
  • Chapter 17 74
  • Chapter 18 76
  • Chapter 19 77
  • Chapter 20 78
  • Chapter 21 80
  • Chapter 22 81
  • Chapter 23 83
  • Chapter 24 88
  • Chapter 25 89
  • Book Two 91
  • Chapter 1 91
  • Chapter 2 95
  • Chapter 3 96
  • Chapter 4 98
  • Chapter 5 99
  • Chapter 6 101
  • Chapter 7 102
  • Chapter 8 104
  • Chapter 9 107
  • Chapter 10 109
  • Chapter 11 111
  • Chapter 12 112
  • Chapter 13 114
  • Chapter 14 115
  • Chapter 15 117
  • Chapter 16 119
  • Chapter 17 121
  • Chapter 18 122
  • Chapter 19 123
  • Chapter 20 125
  • Chapter 21 126
  • Chapter 22 129
  • Chapter 23 131
  • Chapter 24 132
  • Chapter 25 134
  • Chapter 26 135
  • Chapter 27 137
  • Chapter 28 139
  • Chapter 29 140
  • On the Literal Interpretation of Genesis: An Unfinished Book *
  • Chapter 1 145
  • Chapter 2 147
  • Chapter 3 148
  • Chapter 4 151
  • Chapter 5 156
  • Chapter 6 161
  • Chapter 7 163
  • Chapter 8 165
  • Chapter 9 167
  • Chapter 10 168
  • Chapter 11 169
  • Chapter 12 171
  • Chapter 13 173
  • Chapter 14 176
  • Chapter 15 179
  • Chapter 16 182
  • Indices *
  • General Index 191
  • Index of Holy Scripture 196
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