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T H E G E N T I L E S A S G O D ’ S N E W P E O P L E c h a p t e r 119 “Do you, gentlemen, suppose,” I continued, “that we could have grasped these things in the Scriptures without a special grace from him who willed them, so that the words spoken by Moses might be fulfilled? Here they are: 2. “They provoked me with strange gods; they stirred me up to anger with their abominations. They sacrificed to devils whom they knew not; new gods that came recently, whom their fathers knew not. You have forsaken the God that begot you, and have forgotten the God that nourished you. And the Lord saw, and was jealous, and was moved to wrath by reason of the anger of his sons and daughters, and he said: I will turn away my face from them, and I will show what their final end shall be; for they are a perverse generation, and unfaithful children. They have provoked me to jealousy with that which is no god, and have angered me with their idols; and I will move them to jealousy with that which is no people, and will vex them with a foolish nation. For a fire is kindled in my wrath, and shall burn even to the lowest hell. It shall devour the earth with her increase, and shall burn the foundations of the mountains. I will heap evils upon them.1 3. “And after that Just One was put to death, we blossomed forth as another people, and sprang up like new and thriving wheat, as the prophets exclaimed, And many nations shall flee unto the Lord in that day and they shall be for him a people; and they shall dwell in the midst of the whole earth.2 But we Christians are not 178 1. Dt 32.16–23. See 1 Apol. 60 and Skarsaune, 52. 2. Zec 2.11. See Skarsaune, 73. only a people, but a holy people, as we have already shown: And they shall call it a holy people, redeemed by the Lord.3 4. “Wherefore, [not only] are we are not a contemptible people , nor a tribe of barbarians, nor just any nation as the Carians or the Phrygians, but God even chose us and appeared to those who did not seek him.4 Behold, he said, I am God to a nation which has not called upon my name.5 For, this is really the nation promised of old to Abraham by God, when he told him that he would make him a father of many nations, not saying in particular that he would be father of the Arabs, or the Egyptians, or the Idumaeans, since Ishmael became the father of a mighty nation and so did Esau; and there is now a great throng of Ammonites . Noah was the father of Abraham, and indeed, of all men. And other nations had other ancestors. 5. “What greater favor, then, did Christ bestow on Abraham? This: that he likewise called with his voice, and commanded him to leave the land wherein he dwelt.6 And with that same voice he has also called all of us, and we have abandoned our former way of life in which we used to practice evils common to all the other inhabitants of the world. And we shall inherit the Holy Land together with Abraham, receiving our inheritance for all eternity, because by our similar faith we have become children of Abraham.7 6. “For, just as he believed the voice of God, and was thereby justified,8 so have we likewise believed the voice of God (which was spoken again to us by the prophets and the apostles of Christ), and have renounced all worldly things even to death. Thus, God promised Abraham a religious and righteous nation of like faith, and a delight to the Father;9 but it is not you, in whom there is no faith.10 The Gentiles as God’s new people 179 3. Is 62.12. See Skarsaune, 333. 4. See Dt 14.2. 5. See Is 65.1. This chapter gives Rudolf both title and central focus to the latest commentary on the Dialogue. 6. See Gn 12.1. 7. See Gal 3.7. 8. See Gn 15.6. 9. See Prv 10.1; 15.20. 10. See Dt 32.20; Skarsaune, 53. 180 st. justin martyr...


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