Hippolytus of Rome
(170 - 236)
Predicted that Christ would establish the Millennium in 496
Fragments of Dogmatic and Historical Works | Expository Treatise Against the Jews
HIPPOLYTUS ON ST. MATTHEW XXIV. 15-22 - IN a Paper which appeared in the
last number of Hermathena (Vol. VI, pp. 397-418) I gave some extracts from
the unpublished Commentary of Dionysius Barsalibi on the Apocalypse:
"It contains, moreover, an incidental statement which, if
true, is an interesting addition to our knowledge of the history of the
capture of the city. Josephus makes no mention of the setting up of an idol
in the Temple, which Hippolytus here relates as the act of a Roman commander
named Trajanus. But he mentions a Trajanus as being prefect of the tenth
legion at the time when Jotapata was besieged (B. J., bk. III., chh.
vii. 31, viii. 8), who may be presumed to be the same person. And the name
of the idol, Kore, of course represents Κορή,
19 or Persephone, whose
images, set up beside watersprings, were so familiar to Justin in the second
century, probably in Palestine (Apol. 1. 64)."
Significance of A.D.70)
"Why was the temple made desolate? Was it on account of the ancient fabrication of the calf? Or was it on account of the ancient idolotry of the people? Was it for the blood of prophets? ..By no means, for in all these transgressions, they always found pardon open to them. But it was because they killed the Son of their Benefactor, for He is co-eternal with the Father (Against the Jew 7)."
30. Come, then, O blessed Isaiah; arise, tell us clearly what thou didst prophesy with respect to the mighty Babylon. For thou didst speak also of Jerusalem, and thy word is accomplished. For thou didst speak boldly and openly: "Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire; your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate as overthrown by many strangers. The daughter of Sion shall be left as a cottage in a vineyard, and as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city."
What then? Are not these things come to pass? Are not the things announced by thee fulfilled? Is not their country, Judea, desolate? Is not the holy place burned with fire? Are not their walls cast down? Are not their cities destroyed? Their land, do not strangers devour it? Do not the Romans rule the country? And indeed these impious people hated thee, and did saw thee asunder, and they crucified Christ. Thou art dead in the world, but thou livest in Christ." (Fragments of Dogmatic and Historical Works, 30)
"And whereas thou didst pour out His blood in indignation, hear what thy recompense shall be: "Pour out Thine indignation upon them, and let Thy wrathful anger take hold of them;" and, "Let their habitation be desolate," to wit, their celebrated temple.
7. But why, O prophet, tell us, and for what reason, was the temple made desolate? Was it on account of that ancient fabrication of the calf? Was it on account of the idolatry of the people? Was it for the blood of the prophets? Was it for the adultery and fornication of Israel? By no means, he says; for in all these transgressions they always found pardon open to them, and benignity; but it was because they killed the Son of their Benefactor, for He is coeternal with the Father. Whence He saith, "Father, let their temple be made desolate; for they have persecuted Him whom Thou didst of Thine own will smite for the salvation of the world;" that is, they have persecuted me with a violent and unjust death, "and they have added to the pain of my wounds." In former time, as the Lover of man, I had pain on account of the straying of the Gentiles; but to this pain they have added another, by going also themselves astray. Wherefore "add iniquity to their iniquity, and tribulation to tribulation, and let them not enter into Thy righteousness," that is, into Thy kingdom; but "let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous," that is, with their holy fathers and patriarchs. (EXPOSITORY TREATISE AGAINST THE JEWS, 6,7)
(On Psalm lix. II. Concerning the Jews.)
"For this reason, even up to our day, though they see the boundaries (of their country), and go round about them, they stand afar off. And therefore have they no longer king or high priest or prophet, nor even scribes and Pharisees and Sadducees among them. He does not, however, say that they are to be cut off; wherefore their race still subsists, and the succession of their children is continued. For they have not been cut off nor consumed from among men--but they are and exist still--yet only as those who have been rejected and cast down from the honour of which of old they were deemed worthy by God. But again, "Scatter them," he says. "by Thy power;" which word has also come to pass. For they are scattered throughout the whole earth, in servitude everywhere, and engaging in the lowest and most servile occupations, and doing any unseemly work for hunger's sake.
For if they were destroyed from among men, and remained nowhere among the living, they could not see my people, he means, nor know my Church in its prosperity. Therefore "scatter" them everywhere on earth, where my Church is to be established, in order that when they see the Church rounded by me, they may be roused to emulate it in piety. And these things did the Saviour also ask on their behalf." (Fragments of Exegesis, V.)
(On The "Iron Kingdom" of Daniel)
"Speak with me, O blessed Daniel. Give me full assurance, I beseech thee. Thou dost prophesy concerning the lioness in Babylon; for thou wast a captive there. Thou hast unfolded the future regarding the bear; for thou wast still in the world, and didst see the things come to pass. Then thou speakest to me of the leopard; and whence canst thou know this, for thou art already gone to thy rest? Who instructed thee to announce these things, but He who formed thee in (from ) thy mother's womb? That is God, thou sayest. Thou hast spoken indeed, and that not falsely. The leopard has arisen; the he-goat is come; he hath broken his horns in pieces; he hath stamped upon him with his feet. He has been exalted by his fall; (the) four horns have come up from under that one. Rejoice, blessed Daniel! thou hast not been in error: all these things have come to pass.
"After this again thou hast told me of the beast dreadful and terrible. 'It had iron teeth and claws of brass: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it.' Already the iron rules; already it subdues and breaks all in pieces; already it brings all the unwilling into subjection; already we see these things ourselves. Now we glorify God, being instructed by thee." (Treatise on Christ and Antichrist,"
Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. V, p. 210, pars. 32, 33. )
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