Epistle of Barnabas
Joseph Barber Lightfoot
I Bid you greeting,
sons and daughters, in the name of the Lord that loved us, in
Seeing that the
ordinances of God are great and rich unto you, I rejoice with an
exceeding great and overflowing joy at your blessed and glorious
spirits; so innate is the grace of the spiritual gift that ye
Wherefore also I the
more congratulate myself hoping to be saved, for that I truly see
the Spirit poured out among you from the riches of the fount of
the Lord. So greatly did the much-desired sight of you astonish
me respecting you.
persuaded of this, and being conscious with myself that having
said much among you I know that the Lord journeyed with me on the
way of righteousness, and am wholly constrained also myself to
this, to love you more than my own soul (for great faith and love
dwelleth in you through the hope of the life which is
His) — considering this therefore, that,
if it shall be my
care to communicate to you some portion of that which I received,
it shall turn to my reward for having ministered to such spirits,
I was eager to send you a trifle, that along with your faith ye
might have your knowledge also perfect.
Well then, there are
three ordinances of the Lord; †the hope of life, which is
the beginning and end of our faith; and righteousness, which is
the beginning and end of judgment; love shown in gladness and
exultation, the testimony of works of righteousness.†
For the Lord made
known to us by His prophets things past and present, giving us
likewise the firstfruits of the taste of things future. And
seeing each of these things severally coming to pass, according
as He spake, we ought to offer a richer and higher offering to
the fear of Him. But I, not as though I were a teacher, but as
one of yourselves, will show forth a few things, whereby ye shall
be gladdened in the present circumstances.
then that the days are evil, and that the Active One himself has
the authority, we ought to give heed to ourselves and to seek out
the ordinances of the Lord.
aids of our faith then are fear and patience, and our allies are
long-suffering and self-restraint.
While these abide in
a pure spirit in matters relating to the Lord, wisdom,
understanding, science, knowledge rejoice with them.
For He hath made
manifest to us by all the prophets that He wanteth neither
sacrifices nor whole burnt offerings nor oblations, saying at one
to Me is the multitude of your sacrifices, saith the
Lord I am full of whole burnt-offerings, and the fat of lambs and
the blood of bulls and of goats desire not, not though ye should
come to be seen of Me. or who required these things at your
hands? Ye shall continue no more to tread My court. If ye bring
fine flour, it is in vain; incense is an abomination to Me; your
new moons and your Sabbaths I cannot away with.
therefore He annulled, that the new law of our Lord Jesus Christ,
being free from the yoke of constraint, might have its oblation
not made by human hands.
He saith again unto them; Did I command your fathers when they
went forth from the land of Egypt to bring Me whole burnt offerings
Nay, this was
My command unto them, Let none of you bear a grudge of evil against
his neighbor in his heart, and love you not a false oath.
So we ought to
perceive, unless we are without understanding, the mind of the
goodness of our Father; for He speaketh to us, desiring us not to
go astray like them but to seek how we may approach Him.
then speaketh He to us; The sacrifice unto God is a broken heart,
the smell of a sweet savor unto the Lord is a heart that glorifies
its Maker. We ought therefore, brethren, to learn accurately
concerning our salvation, lest the Evil One having effected an
entrance of error in us should fling us away from our life.
speaketh again therefore to them concerning these things;
Wherefore fast ye for Me, saith the Lord, so that your voice
is heard this day crying aloud? This is not the fast which I have
chosen, saith the Lord; not a man abasing his soul;
though ye should bend your neck as a hoop, and put on sackcloth
and make your bed of ashes, not even so shall ye call a fast that
unto us He saith; Behold, this is the
fast which I have chosen, saith the Lord; loosen every band of
wickedness, untie the tightened cords of forcible contracts, send
away the broken ones released and tear in pieces every unjust
bond. Break thy bread to the hungry, and if thou seest one naked
clothe him; bring the shelterless into thy house, and if thou
seest a humble man, thou shalt not despise him, neither shall any
one of thy household and of thine own seed.
shall thy light break forth in the morning, and thy healing shall
arise quickly, and righteousness shall go forth before thy face,
and the glory of God shall environ thee.
shalt thou cry out and God shall hear thee; while thou
art still speaking, He shall say 'Lo, I am here'; if thou shalt
take away from thee the yoke and the stretching forth of the
finger and the word of murmuring, and shalt give thy bread to the
hungry heartily, and shalt pity the abased soul.
To this end
therefore, my brethren, He that is long-suffering, foreseeing
that the people whom He had prepared in His well-beloved would
believe in simplicity, manifested to us beforehand concerning all
things, that we might not as novices shipwreck ourselves upon
It behooves us
therefore to investigate deeply concerning the present, and to
search out the things which have power to save us. Let us
therefore flee altogether from all the works of lawlessness, lest
the works of lawlessness overpower us; and let us loathe the
error of the present time, that we may be loved for that which is
Let us give no
relaxation to our soul that it should have liberty to consort
with sinners and wicked men, lest haply we be made like unto
last offence is at hand, concerning which the scripture speaketh,
as Enoch saith. For to this end the Master hath cut the seasons
and the days short, that His beloved might hasten and come to His
the prophet also speaketh on this wise; Ten reigns shall reign
upon the earth, and after them shall arise another king, who shall
bring low three of the kings under one.
like manner Daniel speaketh concerning the same;
And I saw the forth beast to be wicked and strong and more
intractable than all the beasts of the earth, and how there arose
from him ten horns, and from these a little horn and excrescence,
and how that it abased under one three of the great horns.
Ye ought therefore to
understand. Moreover I ask you this one thing besides, as being
one of yourselves and loving you all in particular more than my
own soul, to give heed to yourselves now, and not to liken
yourselves to certain persons who pile up sin upon sin, saying
that our covenant remains to them also.
it is; but they lost it in this way for ever, when Moses had just
received it. For the scripture saith; And Moses was in the
mountain fasting forty days and forty nights, and he received the
covenant from the Lord, even tablets of stone written with the
finger of the hand of the Lord.
they lost it by turning unto idols. For thus saith the Lord;
Moses, Moses, come down quickly; for thy people whom thou
broughtest out of the land of Egypt hath done unlawfully.
And Moses understood, and threw the two tables from his hands;
and their covenant was broken in pieces, that the covenant of
the beloved Jesus might be sealed unto our hearts in the hope
which springeth from faith in Him.
But though I would
fain write many things, not as a teacher, but as becometh one who
loveth you not to fall short of that which we possess, I was
anxious to write to you, being your devoted slave. Wherefore let
us take heed in these last days. For the whole time of our faith
shall profit us nothing, unless we now, in the season of
lawlessness and in the offenses that shall be, as becometh sons
of God, offer resistance, that the Black One may not effect an
Let us flee from all
vanity, let us entirely hate the works of the evil way. Do not
entering in privily stand apart by yourselves, as if ye were
already justified, but assemble yourselves together and consult
concerning the common welfare.
the scripture saith; Woe unto them that are wise for themselves,
and understanding in their own sight. Let us become spiritual,
let us become a temple perfect unto God. As far as in us lies,
let us exercise ourselves in the fear of God, [and] let us strive
to keep His commandments, that we may rejoice in His ordinances.
The Lord judgeth
the world without respect of persons; each man shall receive
according to his deeds. If he be good, his righteousness shall go
before him in the way; if he be evil, the recompense of his
evil-doing is before him; lest perchance,
if we relax as men
that are called, we should slumber over our sins, and the prince
of evil receive power against us and thrust us out from the
kingdom of the Lord.
understand this also, my brothers. When ye see that after so many
signs and wonders wrought in Israel, even then they were abandoned,
let us give heed, lest haply we be found, as the scripture saith,
many are called but few are chosen.
For to this end the
Lord endured to deliver His flesh unto corruption, that by the
remission of sins we might be cleansed, which cleansing is
through the blood of His sprinkling.
the scripture concerning Him containeth some things relating to
Israel, and some things relating to us. And it speaketh thus;
He was wounded for your transgressions, and He hath been
bruised for our sins; by His stripes we were healed. As a sheep
He was led to slaughter, as a lamb is dumb before his shearer.
We ought therefore to
be very thankful unto the Lord, for that He both revealed unto us
the past, and made us wise in the present, and as regards the
future we are not without understanding.
scripture saith; Not unjustly is the net spread for the birds.
He meaneth this that a man shall justly perish, who having the
knowledge of the way of righteousness forceth himself into the
way of darkness.
yet this also, my brethren; if the Lord endured to suffer for our
souls, though He was Lord of the whole world, unto whom God said
from the foundation of the world, Let us make man after our image
and likeness, how then did He endure to suffer at the hand of men?
The prophets, receiving grace from Him, prophesied concerning Him.
But He Himself endured that He might destroy death and show forth
the resurrection of the dead, for that He must needs be
manifested in the flesh;
that at the same time
He might redeem the promise made to the fathers, and by preparing
the new people for Himself might show, while He was on earth,
that having brought about the resurrection He will Himself
Yea and further, He
preached teaching Israel and performing so many wonders and
miracles, and He loved him exceedingly.
when He chose His own apostles who were to proclaim His Gospel,
who that He might show that He came not to call the righteous
but sinners were sinners above every sin, then He manifested
Himself to be the Son of God.
For if He had not
come in the flesh neither would men have looked upon Him and been
saved, forasmuch as when they look upon the sun that shall cease
to be, which is the work of His own hands, they cannot face its
Therefore the Son of
God came in the flesh to this end, that He might sum up the
complete tale of their sins against those who persecuted and slew
this end therefore He endured. For God saith of the wounds of His
flesh that they came from them; When they shall smite their own
shepherd, then shall the sheep of the flock be lost.
He Himself desired so to suffer; for it was necessary for Him to
suffer on a tree. For he that prophesied said concerning Him,
Spare My soul form the sword; and, Pierce My flesh with
nails, for the congregations of evil-doers have risen up against Me.
again He saith; Behold I have given My back to stripes, and
My cheeks to smitings, and My face did I set as a hard rock.
then He gave the commandment, what saith He?
Who is he that disputeth with Me? Let him oppose Me. Or who
is he that goeth to law with Me? Let him draw nigh unto the
servant of the Lord,
unto you, for ye all shall wax old as a garment, and the moth
shall consume you. And again the prophet saith, seeing that
as a hard stone He was ordained for crushing; Behold I will
put into the fountains of Zion a stone very precious, elect, a
chief corner-stone, honorable.
again what saith He; And whosoever shall set his hope on Him,
shall live forever. Is our hope then set upon a stone? Far be
it. But it is because the Lord hath set His flesh in strength.
For He saith; And He set Me as a hard rock.
the prophet saith again; The stone which the builders rejected,
this became the head and the corner. And again He saith;
This is the great and wonderful day, which the Lord made.
I write to you the
more simply, that ye may understand, I who am the offscouring of
then saith the prophet again? The assembly of evildoers gathered
around Me, they surrounded Me as bees surround a comb; and;
For My garment they cast a lot.
then as He was about to be manifested in the flesh and to suffer,
His suffering was manifested beforehand. For the prophet saith
concerning Israel; Woe unto their soul, for they have counseled
evil counsel against themselves saying, Let us bind the righteous
one, for he is unprofitable for us.
sayeth the other prophet Moses unto them? Behold, these things
saith the Lord God; enter into the good land which the Lord swear
unto Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and inherit it, a land flowing
with milk and honey.
But what saith
knowledge? Understand ye. Set your hope on Him who is about to be
manifested to you in the flesh, even Jesus. For man is earth
suffering; for from the face of the earth came the creation of
then saith He? Into the good land, a land flowing with milk
and honey. Blessed is our Lord, brethren, who established
among us wisdom and understanding of His secret things. For the
prophet speaketh a parable concerning the Lord. Who shall comprehend,
save he that is wise and prudent and that loveth his Lord?
as He renewed us in the remission of sins, He made us to be a new type,
so that we should have the soul of children, as if He were
the scripture saith concerning us, how He saith to the Son;
Let us make man after our image and after our likeness, and
let them rule over the beasts of the earth and the fowls of the
heaven and the fishes of the sea. And the Lord said when He
saw the fair creation of us men; Increase and multiply and
fill the earth. These words refer to the Son.
I will shew thee how the Lord speaketh concerning us. He made a
second creation at the last; and the Lord saith;
Behold I make the last things as the first. In reference
to this then the prophet preached; Enter into a land
flowing with milk and honey, and be lords over it.
we have been created anew, as He saith again in another prophet;
Behold, saith the Lord, I will take out from these, that
is to say, from those whom the Spirit of the Lord foresaw,
their stony hearts, and will put into them hearts of flesh;
for He Himself was to be manifested in the flesh and to dwell in us.
For a holy temple
unto the Lord, my brethren, is the abode of our heart.
the Lord saith again; For wherein shall I appear unto the
Lord my God and be glorified? I will make confession unto Thee
in the assembly of my brethren, and I will sing unto Thee in
the midst of the assembly of the saints. We therefore are
they whom He brought into the good land.
What then is the milk
and the honey Because the child is first kept alive by honey, and
then by milk. So in like manner we also, being kept alive by our
faith in the promise and by the word, shall live and be lords of
we have already said above; And let them increase and multiply
and rule over the fishes. But who is he that is able [now] to
rule over beasts and fishes and fowls of the heaven; for we ought
to perceive that to rule implieth power, so that one should give
orders and have dominion.
If then this cometh
not to pass now, assuredly He spake to us for the hereafter, when
we ourselves shall be made perfect so that we may become heirs of
the covenant of the Lord.
children of gladness, that the good Lord manifested all things to
us beforehand, that we might know to whom we ought in all things
to render thanksgiving and praise.
If then the Son of
God, being Lord and future Judge of quick and dead, suffered that
His wound might give us life, let us believe that the Son of God
could not suffer except for our sakes.
moreover when crucified He had vinegar and gall given Him to
drink. Hear how on this matter the priests of the temple have
revealed. Seeing that there is a commandment in scripture,
Whatsoever shall not observe the fast shall surely die,
the Lord commanded, because He was in His own person about to
offer the vessel of His Spirit a sacrifice for our sins, that
the type also which was given in Isaac who was offered upon the
alter should be fulfilled.
saith He in the prophet? And let them eat of the goat that is
offered at the fast for all their sins. Attend carefully; And
let all the priests alone eat the entrails unwashed with vinegar.
Wherefore? Since ye
are to give Me, who am to offer My flesh for the sins of My new
people, gall with vinegar to drink, eat ye alone, while the
people fasteth and waileth in sackcloth and ashes; that He might
shew that He must suffer at their hands.
ye to the commandments which He gave. Take two goats, fair and
alike, and offer them, and let the priest take the one for a whole
burnt offering for sins.
the other one — what must they do with it? Accursed,
saith He, is the one. Give heed how the type of Jesus is
do ye all spit upon it and goad it, and place scarlet wool about
its head, and so let it be cast into the wilderness. And when
it is so done, he that taketh the goat into the wilderness leadeth
it, and taketh off the wool, and putteth it upon the branch which is
called Rachia, the same whereof we are wont to eat the shoots when we
find them in the country. Of this briar alone is the fruit thus sweet.
then meaneth this? Give heed. The one at the alter, and the
other accursed. And moreover the accursed one crowned. For
they shall see Him in that day wearing the long scarlet robe about
His flesh, and shall say, Is not this He, Whom once we crucified
and set at nought and spat upon; verily this was He, Who then said
that He was the Son of God.
how is He like the goat? For this reason it says
the goats shall be fair and alike, that, when they shall
see Him coming then, they may be astonished at the likeness of
the goat. Therefore behold the type of Jesus that was to suffer.
But what meaneth it,
that they place the wool in the midst of the thorns? It is a type
of Jesus set forth for the Church, since whosoever should desire
to take away the scarlet wool it behoved him to suffer many
things owing to the terrible nature of the thorn, and through
affliction to win the mastery over it. Thus, He saith, they that
desire to see Me, and to attain unto My kingdom, must lay hold on
Me through tribulation and affliction.
But what think ye
meaneth the type, where the commandment is given to Israel that
those men, whose sins are full grown, offer an heifer and
slaughter and burn it, and then that the children take up the
ashes, and cast them into vessels, and twist the scarlet wool on
a tree (see here again is the type of the cross and the scarlet
wool), and the hyssop, and that this done the children should
sprinkle the people one by one, that they may be purified from
Understand ye how in
all plainness it is spoken unto you; the calf is Jesus, the men
that offer it, being sinners, are they that offered Him for the
slaughter. †After this it is no more men (who offer); the
glory is no more for sinners.†
The children who
sprinkle are they that preached unto us the forgiveness of sins
and the purification of our heart, they to whom, being twelve in
number for a testimony unto the tribes (for there are twelve
tribes of Israel), He gave authority over the Gospel, that they
should preach it.
But wherefore are the
children that sprinkle three in number? For a testimony unto
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, because these are mighty before
Then there is the
placing the wool on the tree. This means that the kingdom of
Jesus is on the cross, and that they who set their hope on Him
shall live for ever.
And why is there the
wool and the hyssop at the same time? Because in His kingdom
there shall be evil and foul days, in which we shall be saved;
for he who suffers pain in the flesh is healed through the
foulness of the hyssop.
Now to us indeed it
is manifest that these things so befell for this reason, but to
them they were dark, because they heard not the voice of the
He saith concerning the ears, how that it is our heart which He
circumcised. The Lord saith in the prophet;
With the hearing of the ears they listened to Me.
And again He saith;
They that are afar off shall hear with their ears, and shall
perceive what I have done. And; Be ye circumcised in your
hearts, saith the Lord.
again He saith; Hear, O Israel, for thus saith the Lord thy
God. Who is he that desireth to live forever, let him hear with
his ears the voice of My servant. And again He saith;
Hear, O heaven, and give ear, O earth, for the Lord hath spoken
these things for a testimony. And again He saith; Hear
the words of the Lord, ye rulers of this people. And again
He saith; Hear, O my children, the voice of one crying
in the wilderness. Therefore He circumcised our ears, that
hearing the word we might believe.
But moreover the
circumcision, in which they have confidence, is abolished; for He
hath said that a circumcision not of the flesh should be
practiced. But they transgressed, for an evil angel taught them
saith unto them; Thus saith the Lord your God (so I find the
commandment); sow not upon thorns, be ye circumcised in to your
Lord. And what saith He? Be ye circumcised in the hardness
of your heart; and then ye will not harden your neck. Take this
again; Behold, sayith the Lord, all the Gentiles are uncircumcised
in their foreskin, but this people is uncircumcised in their hearts.
But thou wilt say;
In truth the people hath been circumcised for a seal. Nay, but so
likewise is every Syrian and Arabian and all the priests of the
idols. Do all those then too belong to their covenant? Moreover
the Egyptians also are included among the circumcised.
children of love, concerning all things abundantly, that Abraham,
who first appointed circumcision, looked forward in the spirit
unto Jesus, when he circumcised having received the ordinances of
the scripture saith; And Abraham circumcised of his household
eighteen males and three hundred. What then was the knowledge
given unto him? Understand ye that He saith the eighteen first,
and then after an interval three hundred In the eighteen
‘I’ stands for ten,
‘Η’ for eight. Here
thou hast JESUS (ΙΗΣΟΥΣ). And because
the cross in the ‘Τ’ was to have grace, He saith also
three hundred. So He revealeth Jesus in the two letters,
and in the remaining one the cross.
He who placed within
us the innate gift of His covenant knoweth; no man hath ever
learnt from me a more genuine word; but I know that ye are
forasmuch as Moses said; Ye shall not eat seine nor eagle nor
falcon nor crow nor any fish which hath no scale upon it,
he received in his understanding three ordinances.
and further He saith unto them in Deuteronomy; And I will
lay as a covenant upon this people My ordinances. So then
it is not a commandment of God that they should not bite with
their teeth, but Moses spake it in spirit.
mentioned the swine with this intent. Thou shalt not cleave,
saith he, to such men who are like unto swine; that is, when they
are in luxury they forget the Lord, but when they are in want
they recognize the Lord, just as the swine when it eateth knoweth
not his lord, but when it is hungry it crieth out, and when it
has received food again it is silent.
shalt thou eat eagle nor falcon nor kite nor crow.
Thou shalt not, He saith, cleave unto, or be likened to, such men
who now not how to provide food for themselves by toil and sweat,
but in their lawlessness seize what belongeth to others, and as
if they were walking in guilelessness watch and search about for
some one to rob in their rapacity, just as these birds alone do
not provide food for themselves, but sit idle and seek how they
may eat the meat that belongeth to others, being pestilent in
thou shalt not eat, saith He, lamprey nor polypus nor cuttle
fish. Thou shalt not, He meaneth, become like unto such men,
who are desperately wicked, and are already condemned to death,
just as these fishes alone are accursed and swim in the depths,
not swimming on the surface like the rest, but dwell on the ground
beneath the deep sea.
thou shalt not eat the hare. Why so? Thou shalt not be found a
corrupter of boys, nor shalt thou become like such persons; for the
hare gaineth one passage in the body every year; for according to the
number of years it lives it has just so many orifices.
neither shalt thou eat the hyena; thou shalt not, saith He,
become an adulterer or a fornicator, neither shalt thou resemble
such persons. Why so? Because this animal changeth its nature
year by year, and becometh at one time male and at another female.
Moreover He hath
hated the weasel also and with good reason. Thou shalt not, saith
He, become such as those men of whom we hear as working iniquity
with their mouth for uncleanness, neither shalt thou cleave unto
impure women who work iniquity with their mouth. For this animal
conceiveth with its mouth.
Concerning meats then
Moses received three decrees to this effect and uttered them in a
spiritual sense; but they accepted them according to the lust of
the flesh, as though they referred to eating.
David also receiveth knowledge of the same three decrees, and
saith; Blessed is the man who hath not gone in the council
of the ungodly — even as the fishes go in darkness
into the depths; and hath not stood in the path of sinners
— just as they who pretend to fear the Lord sin like swine;
and hath not sat on the seat of the destroyers — as
the birds that are seated for prey. Ye have now the complete lesson
Moses saith; Ye shall eat everything that divideth the hoof
and cheweth the cud. What meaneth he? He that receiveth the
food knoweth Him that giveth him the food, and being refreshed
appeareth to rejoice in him. Well said he, having regard to the
commandment. What then meaneth he? Cleave unto those that fear
the Lord, with those who meditate in their heart on the
distinction of the word which they have received, with those who
tell of the ordinances of the Lord and keep them, with those who
know that meditation is a work of gladness and who chew the cud
of the word of the Lord. But why that which divideth the hoof?
Because the righteous man both walketh in this world, and at the
same time looketh for the holy world to come. Ye see how wise a
lawgiver Moses was.
But whence should
they perceive or understand these things? Howbeit we having
justly perceived the commandments tell them as the Lord willed.
To this end He circumcised our ears and hearts, that we might
understand these things.
But let us enquire
whether the Lord took care to signify before hand concerning the
water and the cross. Now concerning the water it is written in
reference to Israel, how that they would not receive the baptism
which bringeth remission of sins, but would build for
the prophet saith; Be astonished, O heaven, and let the earth
shudder the more at this, for this people hath done two evil things;
they abandoned Me the fountain of life, and they digged for themselves
a pit of death.
Is My holy
mountain of Sinai a desert rock? for ye shall be as the fledglings of
a bird, which flutter aloft when deprived of their nest.
again the prophet saith; I will go before thee, and level
mountains and crush gates of brass and break in pieces bolts
of iron, and I will give thee treasures dark, concealed, unseen,
that they may know that I am the Lord God.
Thou shalt dwell in a lofty cave of a strong rock. And;
His water shall be sure; ye shall see the King in glory,
and your soul shall meditate on the fear of the Lord.
again He saith in another prophet; And He that doeth these
things shall be as the tree that is planted by the parting
streams of waters, which shall yield his fruit at his proper
season, and his leaf shall not fall off, and all things
whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
so are the ungodly, not so, but are as the dust which
the wind scattereth from the face of the earth. Therefore ungodly
men shall not stand in judgment, neither sinners in the council
of the righteous; for the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous,
and the way of the ungodly shall perish.
perceive how He pointed out the water and the cross at the same
time. For this is the meaning; Blessed are they that set their
hope on the cross, and go down into the water; for He speaketh of
the reward at his proper season; then, saith He, I will repay.
But now what saith He? His leaves shall not fall off; He
meaneth by this that every word, which shall come forth from you through
your mouth in faith and love, shall be for the conversion and
hope of many.
another prophet saith; And the land of Jacob was praised above the
whole earth. He meaneth this; He glorifieth the vessel of His Spirit.
what saith He? And there was a river streaming from the right
hand, and beautiful trees rose up from it; and whosoever shall eat
of them shall live forever.
He saith, because we go down into the water laden with sins and
filth, and rise up from it bearing fruit in the heart, resting
our fear and hope on Jesus in the spirit. And whosoever shall
eat of these shall live forever; He meaneth this; whosoever,
saith He, shall hear these things spoken and shall believe, shall
like manner again He defineth concerning the cross in another
prophet, who saith; And when shall these things be accomplished?
saith the Lord. Whenever a tree shall be bended and stand upright,
and whensoever blood shall drop from a tree. Again thou art
taught concerning the cross, and Him that was to be crucified.
saith again in Moses, when war was waged against Israel by men of
another nation, and that He might remind them when the war was waged
against them that for their sins they were delivered unto death;
the Spirit saith to the heart of Moses, that he should make a
type of the cross and of Him that was to suffer, that unless,
saith He, they shall set their hope on Him, war shall be waged
against them for ever. Moses therefore pileth arms one upon
another in the midst of the encounter, and standing on higher
ground than any he stretched out his hands, and so Israel was
again victorious. Then, whenever he lowered them, they were slain
with the sword.
Wherefore was this?
That they might learn that they cannot be saved, unless they
should set their hope on Him.
again in another prophet He saith; The whole day long have
I stretched out My hands to a disobedient people that did gainsay
My righteous way.
Again Moses maketh a
type of Jesus, how that He must suffer, and that He Himself whom
they shall think to have destroyed shall make alive in an emblem
when Israel was falling. For the Lord caused all manner of
serpents to bite them, and they died (forasmuch as the
transgression was wrought in Eve through the serpent), that He
might convince them that by reason of their transgression they
should be delivered over to the affliction of death.
and further though Moses gave the commandment;
Ye shall not have a molten or a carved image for your God,
yet he himself made one that he might show them a type of Jesus.
So Moses maketh a brazen serpent, and setteth it up conspicuously,
and summoneth the people by proclamation.
they were assembled together they entreated Moses that he should offer
up intercession for them that they might be healed. And Moses
said unto them; Whensoever, said he, one of you shall be bitten,
let him come to the serpent which is placed on the tree, and let
him believe and hope that the serpent being himself dead can make
alive; and forthwith he shall be saved. And so they did. Here
again thou hast in these things also the glory of Jesus, how that
in Him and unto Him are all things.
What again saith
Moses unto Jesus (Joshua) the son of Nun, when he giveth him this
name, as being a prophet, that all the people might give ear to
him alone, because the Father revealeth all things concerning His
therefore saith to Jesus the son of Nun, giving him this name,
when he sent him as a spy on the land; Take a book in thy hands,
and write what the Lord saith, how the Son of God shall cut up by
the roots all the house of Amalek in the last days.
again it is Jesus, not a son of man, but the Son of
God, and He was revealed in the flesh in a figure. Since then men
will say that Christ is the son of David, David himself
prophesieth being afraid and understanding the error of sinners;
The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on My right hand until
I set thine enemies for a footstool under Thy feet.
again thus sayith Isaiah; The Lord said unto my Christ the
Lord, of whose right hand I laid hold, that the nations should
give ear before Him, and I will break down the strength of
kings. See how David calleth Him Lord, and calleth Him not Son.
Now let us see
whether this people or the first people hath the inheritance, and
whether the covenant had reference to us or to them.
then what the scripture saith concerning the people;
And Isaac prayed concerning Rebecca his wife, for she was
barren. And she conceived. Then Rebecca went out to enquire of
the Lord. And the Lord said unto her; Two nations are in thy womb,
and two peoples in thy belly, and one people shall vanquish another
people, and the greater shall serve the less.
Ye ought to
understand who Isaac is, and who Rebecca is, and in whose case He
hath shown that the one people is greater than the other.
in another prophecy Jacob speaketh more plainly to Joseph his
son, saying; Behold, the Lord hath not bereft me of thy face;
bring me thy sons, that I may bless them.
he brought Ephraim and Manasseh, desiring that Manasseh should be
blessed, because he was the elder; for Joseph led him by the
right hand of his father Jacob. But Jacob saw in the spirit a
type of the people that should come afterwards. And what saith
He? And Jacob crossed his hands, and placed his right hand on
the head of Ephraim, the second and younger, and blessed him. And
Joseph said unto Jacob, Transfer thy right hand to the head of
Manasseh, for he is my first born son. And Jacob said to Joseph,
I know it, my son, I know it; but the greater shall serve the less.
Yet this one also shall be blessed.
whose cases He ordained that this people should be first and heir
of the covenant.
then besides this He also recorded it through Abraham, we attain
the completion of our knowledge. What then saith he to Abraham
when he alone believed, and was ascribed for righteousness?
Behold I have made thee, Abraham, a father of nations that
believe in God in uncircumcision.
Yea verily, but as
regards the covenant which He swear to the fathers to give it to
the people let us see whether He hath actually given it. He hath
given it, but they themselves were not found worthy to receive it
by reason of their sins.
the prophet saith; And Moses was fasting in Mount Sinai forty
days and forty nights, that he might receive the covenant of the
Lord to give to the people. And [Moses] received from the Lord
the two tables which were written by the finger of the hand of
the Lord in the spirit. And Moses took them, and brought them
down to give them to the people.
the Lord said unto Moses; Moses, Moses, come down quickly;
for thy people, whom thou leddest forth from the land of Egypt,
hath done wickedly. And Moses perceived that they had made for
themselves again molten images, and he cast them out of his hands
and the tables of the covenant of the Lord were broken in pieces.
received them, but they themselves were not found worthy. But how
did we receive them? Mark this. Moses received them being a servant,
but the Lord himself gave them to us to be the people of His inheritance,
having endured patiently for our sakes.
But He was made
manifest, in order that at the same time they might be perfected
in their sins, and we might receive the covenant through Him who
inherited it, even the Lord Jesus, who was prepared beforehand
hereunto, that appearing in person He might redeem out of
darkness our hearts which had already been paid over unto death
and delivered up to the iniquity of error, and thus establish the
covenant in us through the word.
it is written how the Father chargeth Him to deliver us from
darkness, and to prepare a holy people for Himself.
saith the prophet; I the Lord thy God called thee in righteousness,
and I will lay hold of thy hand and will strengthen thee, and I have
given thee to be a covenant of the race, a light to the Gentiles,
to open the eyes of the blind, and to bring forth them that are
bound from their fetters, and them that sit in darkness from their
prison house. We perceive then whence we were ransomed.
the prophet saith; Behold I have set Thee to be a light unto
the Gentiles, that Thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends
of the earth; thus saith the Lord that ransomed thee, even God.
prophet saith; The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, wherefore He
anointed Me to preach good tidings to the humble; He hath sent Me
to heal them that are broken-hearted, to preach release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind, to proclaim the acceptable year of
the Lord and the day of recompense, to comfort all that mourn.
concerning the Sabbath likewise it is written in the Ten Words, in
which He spake to Moses face to face on Mount Sinai; And ye shall
hallow the Sabbath of the Lord with pure hands and with a pure
in another place He saith; If my sons observe the Sabbath
then I will bestow My mercy upon them.
the Sabbath He speaketh in the beginning of the creation;
And God made the works of His hands in six days, and He ended
on the seventh day, and rested on it, and He hallowed it.
heed, children, what this meaneth; He ended in six days.
He meaneth this, that in six thousand years the Lord shall bring
all things to an end; for the day with Him signifyeth a thousand
years; and this He himself beareth me witness, saying; Behold,
the day of the Lord shall be as a thousand years. Therefore,
children, in six days, that is in six thousand years, everything
shall come to an end.
He rested on the seventh day. this He meaneth; when His Son
shall come, and shall abolish the time of the Lawless One, and
shall judge the ungodly, and shall change the sun and the moon
and the stars, then shall he truly rest on the seventh day.
and furthermore He saith; Thou shalt hallow it with pure hands
and with a pure heart. If therefore a man is able now to hallow
the day which God hallowed, though he be pure in heart, we have gone
But if after all then
and not till then shall we truly rest and hallow it, when we
shall ourselves be able to do so after being justified and
receiving the promise, when iniquity is no more and all things
have been made new by the Lord, we shall be able to hallow it
then, because we ourselves shall have been hallowed first.
saith to them; Your new moons and your Sabbaths I cannot away with.
Ye see what is His meaning; it is not your present Sabbaths that
are acceptable [unto Me], but the Sabbath which I have made, in the
which, when I have set all things at rest, I will make the beginning
of the eighth day which is the beginning of another world.
Wherefore also we
keep the eighth day for rejoicing, in the which also Jesus rose
from the dead, and having been manifested ascended into the
Moreover I will tell
you likewise concerning the temple, how these wretched men being
led astray set their hope on the building, and not on their God
that made them, as being a house of God.
like the Gentiles almost they consecrated Him in the temple. But
what saith the Lord abolishing the temple? Learn ye.
Who hath measured the heaven with a span, or
hath measured the earth with his hand? Have not I, saith the
Lord? The heaven is My throne and the earth the footstool of My
feet. What manner of house will ye build for Me? Or what shall be
my resting place? Ye perceive that their hope is vain.
He saith again; Behold they that pulled down this temple themselves
shall build it.
So it cometh to pass;
for because they went to war it was pulled down by their enemies.
Now also the very servants of their enemies shall build it
it was revealed how the city and the temple and the people of
Israel should be betrayed. For the scripture saith; And it
shall be in the last days, that the Lord shall deliver up the
sheep of the pasture and the fold and the tower thereof to
destruction. And it came to pass as the Lord spake.
let us enquire whether there be any temple of God. There is; in
the place where he himself undertakes to make and finish it. For
it is written And it shall come to pass, when the week is being
accomplished, the temple of God shall be built gloriously in the
name of the Lord.
I find then that
there is a temple, How then shall it be built in the name of the
Lord? Understand ye. Before we believed on God, the abode of our
heart was corrupt and weak, a temple truly built by hands; for it
was full of idolatry and was a house of demons, because we did
whatsoever was contrary to God.
it shall be built in the name of the Lord. Give heed then that
the temple of the Lord may be built gloriously.
How? Understand ye.
By receiving the remission of our sins and hoping on the Name we
became new, created afresh from the beginning. Wherefore God
dwelleth truly in our habitation within us. How? The word of his
faith, the calling of his promise, the wisdom of the ordinances,
the commandments of the teaching, He Himself prophesying in us,
He Himself dwelling in us, opening for us who had been in bondage
unto death the door of the temple, which is the mouth, and giving
us repentance leadeth us to the incorruptible temple.
For he that desireth
to be saved looketh not to the man, but to Him that dwelleth and
speaketh in him, being amazed at this that he has never at any
time heard these words from the mouth of the speaker, nor himself
ever desired to hear them. This is the spiritual temple built up
to the Lord.
So far as it was
possible with all simplicity to declare it unto you, my soul
hopeth that I have not omitted anything [of the matters
pertaining unto salvation and so failed in my desire].
For if I should write
to you concerning things immediate or future, ye would not
understand them, because they are put in parables. So much then
But let us pass on to
another lesson and teaching. There are two ways of teaching and
of power, the one of light and the other of darkness; and there
is a great difference between the two ways. For on the one are
stationed the light giving angels of God, on the other the angels
And the one is the
Lord from all eternity and unto all eternity, whereas the other
is Lord of the season of iniquity that now is.
This then is the way
of light, if anyone desiring to travel on the way to his
appointed place would be zealous in his works. The knowledge then
which is given to us whereby we may walk therein is as
Thou shalt love Him
that made thee, thou shalt fear Him that created thee, thou shalt
glorify Him that redeemed thee from death; thou shalt be simple
in heart and rich in spirit; thou shalt not cleave to those who
walk the way of death; thou shalt hate everything that is not
pleasing to God; thou shalt hate all hypocrisy; thou shalt never
forsake the commandments of the Lord.
Thou shalt not exalt
thyself, but shalt be lowly minded in all things. Thou shalt not
assume glory to thyself. Thou shalt not entertain a wicked design
against thy neighbor; thou shalt not admit boldness into thy
shalt not commit fornication, thou shalt not commit adultery,
thou shalt not corrupt boys. The word of God shall not come forth from
thee where any are unclean. Thou shalt not make a difference in a
person to reprove him for a transgression. Thou shalt be meek, thou
shalt be quiet, thou shalt be fearing the words which
thou hast heard. Thou shalt not bear a grudge against thy brother.
not doubt whether a thing shall be or not be. Thou shalt not take
the name of the Lord in vain. Thou shalt love thy neighbor
more than thine own soul. Thou shalt not murder a child by
abortion, nor again shalt thou kill it when it is born. Thou
shalt not withhold thy hand from thy son or daughter, but from
their youth thou shalt teach them the fear of God.
Thou shalt not be
found coveting thy neighbors goods; thou shalt not be found
greedy of gain. Neither shalt thou cleave with thy soul to the
lofty, but shalt walk with the humble and righteous. The
accidents that befall thee thou shalt receive as good, knowing
that nothing is done without God. Thou shalt not be double minded
nor double tongued.
Thou shalt be subject
unto thy masters as to a type of God in shame and fear. Thou
shalt not command in bitterness thy bondservant or thine handmaid
who set their hope on the same God, lest haply, they should cease
to fear the God who is over both of you; for He came not to call
with respect of persons, but to call those whom the Spirit hath
shalt make thy neighbor partake in all things, and shalt not say
that anything is thine own. For if ye are fellow partakers
in that which is imperishable, how much rather shall ye be in the
things which are perishable. Thou shalt not be hasty with thine
own tongue, for the mouth is the snare of death. So far as thou
art able, thou shalt be pure for thy soul's sake.
not thou found holding out thy hands to receive, and drawing them
in to give. Thou shalt love as the apple of thine eye every one
that speaketh unto thee the word of the Lord.
shalt remember the day of judgment night and day, and thou shalt
seek out day by day the persons of the saints, either laboring by word
and going to exhort them and meditating how thou mayest save souls by thy
word, or thou shalt work with thy hands for a ransom for thy sins.
Thou shall not
hesitate to give, neither shalt thou murmur when giving, but thou
shalt know who is the good paymaster of thy reward. Thou shalt
keep those things which thou hast received, neither adding to
them nor taking away from them. Thou shalt utterly hate the Evil
One. Thou shalt judge righteously.
Thou shalt not make a
schism, but thou shalt pacify them that contend by bringing them
together. Thou shalt confess thy sins. Thou shalt not betake
thyself to prayer with an evil conscience. This is the way of
But the way of the
Black One is crooked and full of a curse. For it is a way of
eternal death with punishment wherein are the things that destroy
men's souls — idolatry, boldness, exhalation of power,
hypocrisy, doubleness of heart, adultery, murder, plundering,
pride, transgression, treachery, malice, stubbornness,
witchcraft, magic, covetousness, absence of the fear of God;
of good men, hating the truth, loving lies, not perceiving the reward
of righteousness, not cleaving to the good nor to the righteous
judgment, paying no heed to the widow
and the orphan, wakeful not for the fear of God but for that
which is evil; men from whom gentleness and forbearance stand
aloof and far off; loving vain things, pursuing a recompense, not
pitying the poor man, not toiling for him that is oppressed with
toil, ready to slander, not recognizing Him that made them
murderers of children, corrupters of the creatures of God,
turning away from him that is in want, oppressing him that is
afflicted, advocates of the wealthy, unjust judges of the poor,
sinful in all things.
It is good therefore
to learn the ordinances of the Lord, as many as have been written
above, and to walk in them. For he that doeth these things shall
be glorified in the kingdom of God; whereas he that chooseth
their opposites shall perish together with his works. For this
cause is the resurrection, for this the recompense.
I entreat those of
you who are in a higher station, if ye will receive any counsel
of good advice from me, keep amongst you those to whom ye may do
good. Fail not.
day is at hand, in which everything shall be destroyed together
with the Evil One. The Lord is at hand and his reward.
Again and again I
entreat you; be good lawgivers one to another; continue faithful
councilors to yourselves; take away from you all hypocrisy.
And may God, who is
Lord of the whole world, give you wisdom, judgment, learning,
knowledge of His ordinances, patience.
And be ye taught of
God, seeking diligently what the Lord requireth of you, and act
that ye may be found in the day of judgment.
But if you have any
remembrance of good, call me to mind when ye practice these
things, that both my desire and my watchfulness may lead to some
good result. I entreat you asking it as a favor.
So long as the good
vessel (of the body) is with you, be lacking in none of these
things, but search them out constantly, and fulfill every
commandment; for they deserve it.
For this reason
I was the more eager to write to you so far as I was able, that I might
give you joy. Fare ye well, children of love and peace. The Lord
of glory and of every grace be with your spirit.