Homilies on Genesis and Exodus

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

HOMILY IX
On the Tabernacle

IF ANYONE PROPERLY UNDERSTANDS THE DEPARTURE of the Hebrews from Egypt or the crossing of the Red Sea and this whole journey through the desert and every single campsite; if he is capable of understanding these things in such a way that he also may receive the Law of God "written not with ink, but with the spirit of the living God";1 if anyone, I say, should give his attention to these matters in the order of their sequence and spiritually fulfilling each should acquire the growth in virtues indicated in each, that man can consequently also attain to the contemplation and understanding of the tabernacle.

The divine Scriptures speak about this tabernacle in many places. They appear to indicate certain things of which human hearing can scarecly be capable. The apostle Paul especially, however, relates to us certain indications of a more excellent knowledge about the understanding of the tabernacle, but, for some unknown reason, perhaps considering the weakness of his hearers, closes, as it were, those very things which he opens. For he says, writing to the Hebrews, "For a first tabernacle was made which contained the candlestick and the setting forth of loaves. This was called the Holy of Holies. After the second veil, however, is the tabernacle which is called Holy and contains the golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant which contained the two tablets and the manna and Aaron's rod which had blossomed."2 But he adds to these words: "Which are not to be spoken of now particularly."3 Some take

____________________
1
Cf. 2 Cor 3.3.
2
Heb 9.2-4.
3
Heb 9.5.

-334-

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