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NON-CANONICAL EPISTLES AND RELATED WRITINGS

13 But he wished to suffer in this way, for he had to suffer on a tree. For the one who prophesied about him said, “Spare my life from the sword,” and “Nail myflesh, because an assemblyf of evildoers has risen up against me.”18 14 Again he says, “See! I have set my back to whips and my cheeks to blows; and I have set my face as a hard rock.”19

6

And so, when he issued the com­ mandment, what did he say? “Who is the one who takes me to court? Let him oppose me! Or who acquits himself before me? Let him approach the servant of the Lord! 2 Woe to you, for you will all grow old like a garment and a moth will devour you.”20 And again, since he was set in place as a strong stone used for crushing, the prophet says, “See, I will cast into Zion’s foundation a precious stone that is chosen, a cornerstone, one to be valued.” 3 Then what does he say? “The one who believes in him will live forever.”21 Is our hope then built on a stone? May it never be! But he says this because the Lord has set his flesh up in strength. For he says, “He set me up as a hard rock.”22 4 And again the prophet says, “A stone that the builders rejected has become the very cornerstone.” And again he says, “This is the great and marvelous day the Lord has made.”23 5 I am writing to you in very simple terms, that you may understand. I am a lowly scapegoatg for your love. 6 And so what again does the prophet say? “An assemblyh of evildoers sur­ rounded me, they swarmed about me like bees around a honeycomb,”24 and, “They cast lots for my clothing.”25 7 And so, because he was about to be revealed and suffer in the flesh, his suf­ fering was revealed in advance. For the prophet says about Israel, “Woe to their

soul, because they hatched an evil plot against themselves, saying, ‘Let us bind the upright one, because he is trouble for us.’ ”26 8 What does the other prophet, Moses, say to them? “See, this is what the Lord God says, ‘Enter into the good land, which the Lord swore to give to Abra­ ham, Isaac, and Jacob; and receive it as an inheritance, a land flowing with milk and honey.’ ”27 9 Learn what knowledge says. “Hope,” it says, “in Jesus, who is about to be revealed to you in the flesh.” For a human is earth that suffers. For Adam was formed out of the face of the earth. 10 Why then does he say, “Into the good land, a land flowing with milk and honey”? Blessed is our Lord, brothers, who placed the wisdom and knowledge of his secrets within us. For the prophet is speaking a parable of the Lord. Who will understand it, except one who is wise and learned, who loves his Lord? 11 Since, then, he renewed us through the forgiveness of our sins, he made us into a different type of person, that we might have the soul of children, as if he were indeed forming us all over again. 12 For the Scripture speaks about us when he says to his Son, “Let us make the human according to our image and likeness, and let them rule over the wild beasts of the land and the birds of the sky and the fish of the sea.”28 Once the Lord saw our beautiful form, he said “Increase and multiply and fill the earth.”29 He said these things to the Son.

f

Or: synagogue gOr: a humble servant; literally: an offscouring hOr: synagogue

18

Ps 22:20, 16. 19Isa 50:6–7. 20Isa 50:8–9. 21Isa 28:16. 22Isa 50:7. 23Ps 118:22, 24; cf. 1 Pet 2:7. 24 Ps 22:16; 118:12.25Ps 22:18. 26Isa 3:9–10. 27Exod 33:1, 3. 28Gen 1:26. 29Gen 1: 28.

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