Vigils Reading

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Vigils Reading

November 29, 2022

Commentary on Isaiah

by Eusebius of Caesarea[1]


The kindest promise was made to the Jewish nation, and it is true that it was revealed that they would possess their own land, but now the calling in fact has been engaging the Gentiles.  Therefore, in no way does he introduce the new law as parallel to the law of Moses or as another word parallel to the old, but rather as a new mountain, unseen in times past but now manifest.


The mountain of God may be understood in various ways.  Like the Jewish people who read the Scriptures literally, one could assume that it is the land of Palestine.  But according to the deeper meaning, according to the final word, the high and heavenly and angelic word of God and the divine apostle of the “heavenly” Zion teaches that it is “the Jerusalem above, which is the mother of us all.”  This mountain was not manifest to the men of old, but the divine Spirit prophesies that it will be manifest to all nations in the last days, when Christ would “appear to put away sin.”  Therefore all nations – “both Greeks and barbarians,” which indeed turn from the error of polytheism and from the literal mountains which were in ancient times thought to be dedicated to demons or to the gods – will strive after the God who is proclaimed in revelation.  For this reason, as though speaking one to another, he says: Come, let us go us to the mountain of the Lord and to the house of the God of Jacob, and he will declare to us his way, and we will walk in it.  And so the Word promises to the nations that he will make the mountain and the house of God manifest in the heavens and known to all who are instructed.


The Christ could very well be this evangelical law, who relocated from the “heavenly” Zion above and set up shop in the Zion on the earth, where the death of the Savior at the hands of men and his resurrection from the dead took place.  For once the mysteries and precepts of the new covenant came to power, they advanced throughout the entire world.  This same law and the new preaching of the evangelical word to all nations educated those who welcomed it in what concerns the mountain and the house of God, and it taught the nations, saying: Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord and to the house of the God of Jacob.


He also judged between the nations, for he convicted many a people, here exposing the former error among those who have believed in him, there convicting those who have not believed in him, who perish along with their case.  Those who have received him, who were set free from every inclination for war, spend the rest of their quiet lives recovering in peace, no longer inciting hostility from opposing power nor living as subject to the demons who had mastery over them long ago.  The Savior himself bestowed this “peace” to his disciples when he said: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.”  This means literally that, in the end, after his theophany and after the preaching of the evangelical lawto the nations, the nations were deemed worthy to partake of the deepest peace.

[1] Eusebius of Caesarea.  Ancient Christian Texts: Commentary on Isaiah.  Ed. Joel C. Elowsky.  Trans. Jonathan J. Armstrong. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2013. 11-12.


November 29, 2022
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