NON-CANONICAL EPISTLES AND RELATED WRITINGS
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
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