Homilies on Genesis and Exodus

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

HOMILY VIII
On the beginning of the Decalogue

GOD SAYS OF EVERY SOUL WHICH HAS LEARNED how to despise the present age, which "figuratively is called Egypt,"1 and, to use the words of the Scriptures, "has been translated" by the word of God "and is not found,"2 because it hastens and strains to the future age: "I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt."3 These words, therefore, are addressed not only to those who departed from Egypt, but much more to you, who now hear them. If only you depart from Egypt and do not further serve the Egyptians, God says, "I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage."4 See if the affairs of the world and the acts of the flesh are not "the house of bondage," just as, on the contrary, to leave wordly matters and to live according to God is the house of freedom, as the Lord also says in the Gospels: "If you continue in my word you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free."5 Egypt, therefore, is "the house of bondage." But Judaea and Jerusalem are the house of freedom. Hear the Apostle also proclaim about these things "according to the wisdom which was given to him in ministry":6 "But the Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of all of us."7 As, therefore, Egypt, that earthly province, is called "the house of bondage" for the sons of Israel in comparison to Judaea and Jerusalem which become the house of freedom for them, so in com-

____________________
1
Cf. Rv 11.8.
2
Cf. Heb 11.5; Gn 5.24.
3
Ex 20.2.
4
Ex 20.2.
5
Jn 8.31-32.
6
Cf. 2 Pt 3.15.
7
Gal 4.26.

-316-

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