HILE I was going about one morning in the walks of the Xystus,  a certain man, with others in his company, having met me, said, "Hail, O philosopher! And I in turn having addressed him, said, "What is there important? It is good, moreover, for both, if either the one or the other be benefited. On this account, therefore, whenever I see any one in such costume, I gladly approach him, and now, for the same reason, have I willingly accosted you; and these accompany me, in the expectation of hearing for themselves something profitable from you.
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Chapter It is thus written: Rejoice, thirsty wilderness: let the wilderness be glad, and blossom as the lily: the deserts of the Jordan shall both blossom and be glad: and the glory of Lebanon was given to it, and the honour of Carmel. And my people shall see the exaltation of the Lord, and the glory of God. Be strong, you careless hands and enfeebled knees.
Be comforted, you faint in soul : be strong, fear not. Behold, our God gives, and will give, retributive judgment. He shall come and save us. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall hear. Then the lame shall leap as an hart, and the tongue of the stammerers shall be distinct: for water has broken forth in the wilderness, and a valley in the thirsty land; and the parched ground shall become pools, and a spring of water shall [rise up] in the thirsty land.
And having raised the dead, and causing them to live, by His deeds He compelled the men who lived at that time to recognise Him. But though they saw such works, they asserted it was magical art. For they dared to call Him a magician, and a deceiver of the people. Yet He wrought such works, and persuaded those who were [destined to] believe in Him; for even if any one be labouring under a defect of body, yet be an observer of the doctrines delivered by Him, He shall raise him up at His second advent perfectly sound, after He has made him immortal , and incorruptible, and free from grief.
For they contrived that the words of righteousness be quoted also by them. But I must repeat to you the words of Isaiah referred to, in order that from them you may know that these things are so. The sinners in Zion are removed; trembling shall seize the impious. Who shall announce to you the everlasting place? The man who walks in righteousness, speaks in the right way, hates sin and unrighteousness, and keeps his hands pure from bribes , stops the ears from hearing the unjust judgment of blood closes the eyes from seeing unrighteousness: he shall dwell in the lofty cave of the strong rock.
Bread shall be given to him, and his water [shall be] sure. You shall see the King with glory , and your eyes shall look far off. Your soul shall pursue diligently the fear of the Lord. Where is the scribe? Where are the counsellors? Where is he that numbers those who are nourished — the small and great people? With whom they did not take counsel, nor knew the depth of the voices, so that they heard not. The people who have become depreciated, and there is no understanding in him who hears.
And this prophecy proves that we shall behold this very King with glory ; and the very terms of the prophecy declare loudly, that the people foreknown to believe in Him were foreknown to pursue diligently the fear of the Lord. Moreover, these Scriptures are equally explicit in saying, that those who are reputed to know the writings of the Scriptures , and who hear the prophecies, have no understanding.
And when I hear, Trypho, that Perseus was begotten of a virgin , I understand that the deceiving serpent counterfeited also this. The Jews reject the interpretation of the Septuagint, from which, moreover, they have taken away some passages Justin: But I am far from putting reliance in your teachers, who refuse to admit that the interpretation made by the seventy elders who were with Ptolemy [king] of the Egyptians is a correct one; and they attempt to frame another.
And I wish you to observe, that they have altogether taken away many Scriptures from the translations effected by those seventy elders who were with Ptolemy, and by which this very man who was crucified is proved to have been set forth expressly as God , and man, and as being crucified, and as dying; but since I am aware that this is denied by all of your nation, I do not address myself to these points, but I proceed to carry on my discussions by means of those passages which are still admitted by you.
Trypho: We ask you first of all to tell us some of the Scriptures which you allege have been completely cancelled. And if you have understood, and your heart has taken it in, that we shall humble Him on a standard, and thereafter hope in Him, then this place shall not be forsaken for ever, says the God of hosts. But if you will not believe Him, and will not listen to His declaration, you shall be a laughing-stock to the nations.
But I shall repeat the whole Psalm to you, that you may perceive what has been said. Sing unto the Lord, and bless His name; show forth His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the nations , His wonders among all people. For the Lord is great, and greatly to be praised: He is to be feared above all the gods.
For all the gods of the nations are demons but the Lord made the heavens. Confession and beauty are in His presence; holiness and magnificence are in His sanctuary.
Bring to the Lord, O you countries of the nations , bring to the Lord glory and honour , bring to the Lord glory in His name. Take sacrifices , and go into His courts; worship the Lord in His holy temple. Let the whole earth be moved before Him: tell among the nations , the Lord has reigned. For He has established the world, which shall not be moved; He shall judge the nations with equity. Let the heavens rejoice , and the earth be glad; let the sea and its fullness shake.
Let the fields and all therein be joyful. Let all the trees of the wood be glad before the Lord: for He comes, for He comes to judge the earth. He shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with His truth. Justin: Assuredly, it does seem incredible. For it is more horrible than the calf which they made, when satisfied with manna on the earth; or than the sacrifice of children to demons ; or than the slaying of the prophets.
But you appear to me not to have heard the Scriptures which I said they had stolen away. For such as have been quoted are more than enough to prove the points in dispute, besides those which are retained by us, and shall yet be brought forward. The beginning of Psalm 96 is attributed to the Father [by Trypho].
But [it refers] to Christ by these words: Tell among the nations that the Lord, etc Trypho: We know that you quoted these because we asked you. But it does not appear to me that this Psalm which you quoted last from the words of David refers to any other than the Father and Maker of the heavens and earth.
You, however, asserted that it referred to Him who suffered, whom you also are eagerly endeavouring to prove to be Christ. Justin: Attend to me, I beseech you, while I speak of the statement which the Holy Spirit gave utterance to in this Psalm; and you shall know that I speak not sinfully, and that we are not really bewitched; for so you shall be enabled of yourselves to understand many other statements made by the Holy Spirit.
And I shall certainly turn away My face from them in that day, on account of all the evils which they have committed, in that they have turned to other gods. It is proved that Jesus was the name of God in the book of Exodus Justin: Moreover, in the book of Exodus we have also perceived that the name of God Himself which, He says, was not revealed to Abraham or to Jacob, was Jesus, and was declared mysteriously through Moses.
Give heed to Him, and obey Him; do not disobey Him. For He will not draw back from you; for My name is in Him. Now Isaiah shows that those prophets who are sent to publish tidings from God are called His angels and apostles. If, then, we know that God revealed Himself in so many forms to Abraham , and to Jacob, and to Moses , how are we at a loss, and do not believe that, according to the will of the Father of all things, it was possible for Him to be born man of the Virgin, especially after we have such Scriptures, from which it can be clearly seen that He became so according to the will of the Father?
And the same thing he proclaimed in mystery when he speaks of this stone which was cut out without hands. Now no one who is a man of men has a descent that cannot be declared.
And when Moses says that He will wash His garments in the blood of the grape, does not this signify what I have now often told you is an obscure prediction, namely, that He had blood, but not from men; just as not man, but God , has begotten the blood of the vine? And when Isaiah calls Him the Angel of mighty counsel, did he not foretell Him to be the Teacher of those truths which He did teach when He came [to earth]?
And I will say to them, Depart from Me. For if the prophets declared obscurely that Christ would suffer, and thereafter be Lord of all, yet that [declaration] could not be understood by any man until He Himself persuaded the apostles that such statements were expressly related in the Scriptures. He returns to explain the prophecy of Isaiah Trypho: I admit that such and so great arguments are sufficient to persuade one; but I wish [you] to know that I ask you for the proof which you have frequently proposed to give me.
Proceed then to make this plain to us, that we may see how you prove that that [passage] refers to this Christ of yours. For we assert that the prophecy relates to Hezekiah. Justin: I shall do as you wish. But show me yourselves first of all how it is said of Hezekiah, that before he knew how to call father or mother, he received the power of Damascus and the spoils of Samaria in the presence of the king of Assyria. For it will not be conceded to you, as you wish to explain it, that Hezekiah waged war with the inhabitants of Damascus and Samaria in presence of the king of Assyria.
But we are able to prove that it happened in the case of our Christ. For at the time of His birth, Magi who came from Arabia worshipped Him, coming first to Herod , who then was sovereign in your land, and whom the Scripture calls king of Assyria on account of his ungodly and sinful character. And Joseph, the spouse of Mary , who wished at first to put away his betrothed Mary, supposing her to be pregnant by intercourse with a man , i.
But when the Child was born in Bethlehem , since Joseph could not find a lodging in that village, he took up his quarters in a certain cave near the village; and while they were there Mary brought forth the Christ and placed Him in a manger , and here the Magi who came from Arabia found Him. I have repeated to you what Isaiah foretold about the sign which foreshadowed the cave; but for the sake of those who have come with us today, I shall again remind you of the passage.
Then I repeated the passage from Isaiah which I have already written, adding that, by means of those words, those who presided over the mysteries of Mithras were stirred up by the devil to say that in a place, called among them a cave, they were initiated by him.
So Herod , when the Magi from Arabia did not return to him, as he had asked them to do, but had departed by another way to their own country, according to the commands laid on them; and when Joseph, with Mary and the Child, had now gone into Egypt , as it was revealed to them to do; as he did not know the Child whom the Magi had gone to worship, ordered simply the whole of the children then in Bethlehem to be massacred.
For the Magi , who were held in bondage for the commission of all evil deeds through the power of that demon , by coming to worship Christ, shows that they have revolted from that dominion which held them captive; and this [dominion] the Scripture has showed us to reside in Damascus. Moreover, that sinful and unjust power is termed well in parable , Samaria. Hence it would be becoming for you, sirs, to learn what you have not perceived, from those who have received grace from God , namely, from us Christians ; and not to strive in every way to maintain your own doctrines, dishonouring those of God.
Therefore, behold, I will proceed to remove this people, and I shall remove them; and I shall take away the wisdom of their wise men, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent men. He proves against Trypho that the wicked angels have revolted from God Trypho, who was somewhat angry , but respected the Scriptures , as was manifest from his countenance, said to me: Trypho: The utterances of God are holy , but your expositions are mere contrivances, as is plain from what has been explained by you; nay, even blasphemies , for you assert that angels sinned and revolted from God.
And I, wishing to get him to listen to me, answered in milder tones, thus: Justin: I admire, sir, this piety of yours; and I pray that you may entertain the same disposition towards Him to whom angels are recorded to minister, as Daniel says; for [one] like the Son of man is led to the Ancient of days, and every kingdom is given to Him for ever and ever. But that you may know , sir, that it is not our audacity which has induced us to adopt this exposition, which you reprehend, I shall give you evidence from Isaiah himself; for he affirms that evil angels have dwelt and do dwell in Tanis, in Egypt.
Thus says the Lord, You have taken counsel, but not through Me; and [made] agreements, but not through My Spirit, to add sins to sins ; who have sinned in going down to Egypt but they have not inquired at Me , that they may be assisted by Pharaoh , and be covered with the shadow of the Egyptians. For the shadow of Pharaoh shall be a disgrace to you, and a reproach to those who trust in the Egyptians ; for the princes in Tanis are evil angels.
In vain will they labour for a people which will not profit them by assistance, but [will be] for a disgrace and a reproach [to them]. And we have it recorded by Moses in the beginning of Genesis, that the serpent beguiled Eve, and was cursed.
And we know that in Egypt there were magicians who emulated the mighty power displayed by God through the faithful servant Moses. The opinion of Justin with regard to the reign of a thousand years. Several Catholics reject it Trypho: I remarked to you sir, that you are very anxious to be safe in all respects, since you cling to the Scriptures.
But tell me, do you really admit that this place, Jerusalem, shall be rebuilt; and do you expect your people to be gathered together, and made joyful with Christ and the patriarchs, and the prophets , both the men of our nation, and other proselytes who joined them before your Christ came? Or have you given way, and admitted this in order to have the appearance of worsting us in the controversies?
Justin: I am not so miserable a fellow, Trypho, as to say one thing and think another.
Dialogue with Trypho
Chapter It is thus written: Rejoice, thirsty wilderness: let the wilderness be glad, and blossom as the lily: the deserts of the Jordan shall both blossom and be glad: and the glory of Lebanon was given to it, and the honour of Carmel. And my people shall see the exaltation of the Lord, and the glory of God. Be strong, you careless hands and enfeebled knees. Be comforted, you faint in soul : be strong, fear not.