Homilies on Genesis and Exodus

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

HOMILY VI

On the song which Moses sang with the people and Miriam
with the women

WE READ IN THE DIVINE SCRIPTURES that many songs indeed were composed. Yet of all of these, this song is first which the people of God sang after the victory when the Egyptians and Pharao were drowned. It is the custom of the saints to offer a hymn of thanks to God when an adversary is conquered, as men who know the victory came about not by their own power but by the grace of God. When they sing the hymn, however, they also take tambourines in their hands just as it is related of Mary the sister of Moses and Aaron.1 And therefore, if you cross the Red Sea, if you see the Egyptians drowned and Pharao destroyed and cast headlong into the depth of the abyss, you can sing a hymn to God; you can utter a sound of praise and say, "Let us sing to the Lord, for he has been glorified magnificently; he cast forth horse and rider into the sea."2 You will say these things better and more fittingly, however, if you have a tambourine in your hand, that is if "you have crucified your flesh with its vices and concupiscences,"3 and if "you have put to death your members which are upon the earth."4

Let us see, however, what the text says. "Let us sing to the Lord for he has been glorified magnificently."5 As if "he has been glorified" were not sufficient, it adds, "He has been glorified magnificently." So far as I can conjecture, it seems to me that it is one thing to be glorified, another to be glorified magnificently. For my Lord Jesus Christ, when he received

____________________
1
Cf. Ex 15.20.
2
Ex 15. 1.
3
Gal 5.24.
4
Col 3.5.
5
Ex 15.1.

-285-

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