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Home > Fathers of the Church > Against Heresies (St. Irenaeus) > Book IV, Chapter 10

Against Heresies (Book IV, Chapter 10)

The Old Testament Scriptures, and those written by Moses in particular, do everywhere make mention of the Son of God, and foretell His advent and passion. From this fact it follows that they were inspired by one and the same God.

1. Wherefore also John does appropriately relate that the Lord said to the Jews: You search the Scriptures, in which you think you have eternal life; these are they which testify of me. And you are not willing to come unto Me, that you may have life. John 5:39-40 How therefore did the Scriptures testify of Him, unless they were from one and the same Father, instructing men beforehand as to the advent of His Son, and foretelling the salvation brought in by Him? For if you had believed Moses, you would also have believed Me; for he wrote of Me; John 5:46 [saying this,] no doubt, because the Son of God is implanted everywhere throughout his writings: at one time, indeed, speaking with Abraham, when about to eat with him; at another time with Noah, giving to him the dimensions [of the ark]; at another; inquiring after Adam; at another, bringing down judgment upon the Sodomites; and again, when He becomes visible, and directs Jacob on his journey, and speaks with Moses from the bush. Exodus 3:4, etc. And it would be endless to recount [the occasions] upon which the Son of God is shown forth by Moses. Of the day of His passion, too, he was not ignorant; but foretold Him, after a figurative manner, by the name given to the passover; and at that very festival, which had been proclaimed such a long time previously by Moses, did our Lord suffer, thus fulfilling the passover. And he did not describe the day only, but the place also, and the time of day at which the sufferings ceased, and the sign of the setting of the sun, saying: You may not sacrifice the passover within any other of your cities which the Lord God gives you; but in the place which the Lord your God shall choose that His name be called on there, you shall sacrifice the passover at even, towards the setting of the sun. Deuteronomy 16:5-6

2. And already he had also declared His advent, saying, There shall not fail a chief in Judah, nor a leader from his loins, until He come for whom it is laid up, and He is the hope of the nations; binding His foal to the vine, and His ass's colt to the creeping ivy. He shall wash His stole in wine, and His upper garment in the blood of the grape; His eyes shall be more joyous than wine, and His teeth whiter than milk. For, let those who have the reputation of investigating everything, inquire at what time a prince and leader failed out of Judah, and who is the hope of the nations, who also is the vine, what was the ass's colt [referred to as] His, what the clothing, and what the eyes, what the teeth, and what the wine, and thus let them investigate every one of the points mentioned; and they shall find that there was none other announced than our Lord, Christ Jesus. Wherefore Moses, when chiding the ingratitude of the people, said, You infatuated people, and unwise, do you thus requite the Lord? Deuteronomy 32:6 And again, he indicates that He who from the beginning founded and created them, the Word, who also redeems and vivifies us in the last times, is shown as hanging on the tree, and they will not believe in Him. For he says, And your life shall be hanging before your eyes, and you will not believe your life. And again, Has not this same one your Father owned you, and made you, and created you?

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Source. Translated by Alexander Roberts and William Rambaut. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 1. Edited by Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1885.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0103410.htm>.

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