Homilies on Genesis and Exodus

By Ronald E. Heine; Origen | Go to book overview

HOMILY XIV

On the fact that the Lord appeared to Isaac at the well of the oath, and on the covenant which he made with Abimelech

IT IS WRITTEN IN THE PROPHET speaking in the person of the Lord: "I have used similitudes by the ministries of the prophets."1 What this statement means is this: although our Lord Jesus Christ is one in his substance and is nothing other than the son of God, nevertheless he is represented as various and diverse in the figures and images of the Scriptures.2

For example, as I recall we have explained in what precedes that Christ himself was Isaac, in type, when he was offered as a holocaust. Nevertheless, the ram also represented him. I say furthermore that he is exhibited also in the angel who spoke to Abraham and says to him: "Lay not your hand on the boy."3 For he says to him: "Because you have done this thing, I will certainly bless you."4

He is said to be the sheep or the lamb which is sacrificed in the Passover,5 and he is designated as the shepherd of the sheep.6 He is also described, no less, as the high priest who offers the sacrifice.7 As the Word of God he is called the bridegroom,8 and as wisdom he is in turn called the bride as also the prophet says in his person: "He has placed a crown on me as a groom and as a bride he has adorned me with jewelry,"9

____________________
1
Hos 12.10.
2
This is a basic tenet of Origen's Christology. See Koch, 62-78; cf. Origen Ex. Hom. 7.8.
3
Gn 22.12.
4
Gn 22.16-17.
5
Cf. 1 Cor 5.7.
6
Cf. Jn 10.11, 14; Heb 13.20.
7
Cf. Heb 5.1-10.
8
Cf. Mt 9.15.
9
Is 61.10.

-196-

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