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come quickly and not delay. And sud­ denly the Lord will come to his temple— he who is holy, the one you await.”42


We should consider, loved ones, how the Master continu­ ously shows us the future resurrection that is about to occur, of which he made the Lord Jesus Christ the first-fruit by raising him from the dead.43 2 We should look, loved ones, at the resurrection that happens time after time. 3 Day and night reveal to us a resur­ rection: the night sleeps and the day arises; the day departs and the night arrives. 4 We should consider the crops: how, and in what way, does the sowing occur? 5 The sower goes out and casts each of the seeds onto the soil.44 Because they are dry and barren they decay when they fall onto the soil. But then the magnifi­ cent forethought of the Master raises them up out of their decay, and from the one seed grow more, and so bring forth the crop.


Let us consider the incredible sign that occurs in the eastern climes, that is, in the regions near Arabia. 2 For there is a bird called the Phoenix. This unique creature lives five hundred years. And when at last it approaches its dissolution through death, it makes a tomb for itself out of frankincense, myrrh, and other spices. Then, when the time has been fulfilled, it enters into the tomb and dies. 3 But when its flesh rots, a worm is born. And nourished by the secretions of the dead creature, it sprouts wings. Then when it becomes strong, it takes the tomb containing the bones of its predecessor and bears these from Arabia to Egypt, to the city called Heliopolis. 4 In the daytime, while all are watch­ ing, it flies onto the altar of the sun and

deposits these things, and so hastens back. 5 Then the priests examine the records of the times and discover that it has come after five hundred years have elapsed.


Do we then think that it is so great and marvelous that the Creator of all things will raise everyone who has served him in a holy way with the confidence of good faith, when he shows us the magnificence of his promise even through a bird? 2 For it says somewhere, “You will raise me up and I will praise you,”45 and, “I lay down and slept, and I arose, be­ cause you are with me.”46 3 And again, Job says, “You will raise this flesh of mine, which has endured all these things.”47 . . .


Those who are ignorant, un­ learned, foolish, and unedu­ cated mock and ridicule us, wishing to vaunt themselves in their own thoughts. 2 But what can a mortal accomplish? Or what power belongs to the one born of earth? 3 For it is written, “There was no form before my eyes, but I heard a puff of air and the sound of a voice. 4 What then? Can a mortal be pure before the Lord? Or can a man be blame­ less in what he does, when he does not trust his own servants and detects some­ thing crooked in his own messengers?m 5 Not even heaven is pure before him. But see! We who inhabit clay houses are ourselves made from the same clay. He smashed them like a moth, and from


Meaning obscure


Cf. Isa 13:22 (LXX); Mal 3:1. 431 Cor 15:20. Mark 4:3; cf. 1 Cor 15:36ff. 45Ps 28:7. 46Ps 3:5. 47 Job 19:26. 44

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