Homilies on Jeremiah: Homily on 1 Kings 28

By John Clark Smith; Origen | Go to book overview
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HOMILY 2

Jeremiah 2.21-22

On "How did you turn to bitterness, you strange vine?" up to, "If you wash in lye and wash yourself with soap, you remain stained in your iniquities before me,' says the Lord."

GOD DID NOT MAKE death and he does not delight in the destruction of living things; for he created all things that they might exist and the creatures of the world are wholesome and there is no destructive poison in them and the dominion of Hades is not on earth.1. Passing over, then, a little passage, I will ask: From where, then, did death come? By the envy of the Devil death came into the world.2. If, then, there is something excellent3. in our regard, God has made it, but we have created evil and sins for ourselves. For the same reason, the beginning of the passage just read from the Prophet speaks in a rhetorical sense to those who have bitterness in the soul contrary to the sweetness which God fashioned for it: How have you turned to bitterness, you strange vine? as if he was saying: God did not make lameness, but he has made all things swift of foot, yet what cause arose which has made the lame lame? And God has made all limbs absolutely sound, but what cause arose which makes things suffer? In the same way, the soul, not only of the first man but of all men, arose according to the image--for the statement, Let us make man according to our image and according to our likeness,4. applies to all men.

____________________
1.
Wis 1.13-14.
2.
Wis 2.24.
3.
"Excellent" (ἄριστον), a correction of Delarue. S has ἀρεστὸν.
4.
Gen 1.26.

-23-

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