Fragments of the Apocryphon of Ezekiel

 

[Most English translations are from http://www.tertullian.org/fathers or from http://www.tertullian.org/fathers2.]

 

1 Clement 8.2-3:

 

Καὶ αὐτὸς δὲ ὁ δεσπότης τῶν ἁπάντων περὶ μετανοίας ἐλάλησεν μετὰ ὅρκου· Ζῶ γὰρ ἐγώ, λέγει κύριος, οὐ βούλομαι τὸν θάνατον τοῦ ἁμαρτωλοῦ ὡς τὴν μετάνοιαν, προστιθεὶς καὶ γνώμην ἀγαθήν· Μετανοήσατε, οἶκος Ἰσραήλ, ἀπὸ τῆς ἀνομίας ὑμῶν· εἶπον τοῖς υἱοῖς τοῦ λαοῦ μου. Ἐὰν ὧσιν αἱ ἁμαρτίαι ὑμῶν ἀπὸ τῆς γῆς ἕως τοῦ οὐρανοῦ καὶ ἐὰν ὧσιν πυρρότεραι κόκκου καὶ μελανώτεραι σάκκου, καὶ ἐπιστραφῆτε πρός με ἐξ ὅλης τῆς καρδίας καὶ εἴπητε· Πάτερ· ἐπακούσομαι ὑμῶν ὡς λαοῦ ἁγίου.

 

Yea and the Master of the universe Himself spake concerning repentance with an oath: for, as I live saith the Lord, I desire not the death of the sinner, so much as his repentance, and He added also a merciful judgment: Repent ye, O house of Israel, of your iniquity; say unto the sons of My people, Though your sins reach from the earth even unto the heaven, and though they be redder than scarlet and blacker than sackcloth, and ye turn unto Me with your whole heart and say Father, I will give ear unto you as unto a holy people.

 

Josephus, Antiquities 10.5.1 §79b:

 

Οὐ μόνον δὲ οὗτος προεθέσπισε ταῦτα τοῖς ὄχλοις, ἀλλὰ καὶ ὁ προφήτης Ἰεζεκίηλος, ὃς πρῶτος περὶ τούτων δύο βίβλους γράψας κατέλιπεν.

 

Nor did this man [Jeremiah] alone make such predictions beforehand for the crowds, but so did Ezekiel too, who was the first to write, and he left two books concerning these events.

 

From Acts of Peter 24:

 

Et iterum dicit: Peperit et non peperit.

 

And again it says: She brought forth, and she did not bring forth.

 

Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho 47.5:

 

Ἡ γὰρ χρηστότης καὶ ἡ φιλανθρωπία τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ τὸ ἄμετρον τοῦ πλούτου αὐτοῦ τὸν μετανοοῦντα ἀπὸ τῶν ἁμαρτημάτων, ὡς δι᾿ Ἰεζεκιὴλ μηνύει, ὡς δίκαιον καὶ ἀναμάρτητον ἔχει· καὶ τὸν ἀπὸ εὐσεβείας ἢ δικαιοπραξίας μετατιθέμενον ἐπὶ ἀδικίαν καὶ ἀθεότητα ὡς ἁμαρτωλὸν καὶ ἄδικον καὶ ἀσεβῆ ἐπίσταται. διὸ καὶ ὁ ἡμέτερος κύριος Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς εἶπεν· Ἐν οἷς ἂν ὑμᾶς καταλάβω, ἐν τούτοις καὶ κρινῶ.

 

For the goodness and the loving-kindness of God, and His boundless riches, hold righteous and sinless the man who, as Ezekiel tells, repents of sins; and reckons sinful, unrighteous, and impious the man who fails away from piety and righteousness to unrighteousness and ungodliness. Wherefore also our Lord Jesus Christ said, “In whatsoever things I shall take you, in these I shall judge you.”

 

From Clement of Alexandria, Instructor 1.9:

 

Φησὶν γοῦν διὰ Ἰεζεκιὴλ πρὸς τοὺς πρεσβυτέρους ἀποταθεὶς καί τινα αὐτοῖς σωτήριον παρατιθέμενος εὐλόγου φροντίδος ὑπογραμμόν· “καὶ τὸ χωλὸν καταδήσω καὶ τὸ ὀχλούμενον ἰάσομαι καὶ τὸ πλανώμενον ἐπιστρέψω καὶ βοσκήσω αὐτοὺς ἐγὼ εἰς τὸ ὄρος τὸ ἅγιόν μου.” ταῦτ᾽ ἐστὶν ἀγαθοῦ ποιμένος ἐπαγγέλματα· βόσκησον ἡμᾶς τοὺς νηπίους ὡς πρόβατα. ναί, δέσποτα, τῆς σῆς πλήρωσον νομῆς, τῆς δικαιοσύνης· ναί, παιδαγωγέ, ποίμανον ἡμᾶς εἰς τὸ ἅγιόν σου ὄρος, πρὸς τὴν ἐκκλησίαν, τὴν ὑψωμένην, τὴν ὑπερνεφῆ, τὴν ἁπτομένην οὐρανῶν. “Καὶ ἔσομαι,” φησίν, “αὐτῶν ποιμὴν καὶ ἔσομαι ἐγγὺς αὐτῶν” ὡς ὁ χιτὼν τοῦ χρωτὸς αὐτῶν.

 

He says therefore by Ezekiel, directing His discourse to the elders, and setting before them a salutary description of His wise solicitude: "And that which is lame I will bind up, and that which is sick I will heal, and that which has wandered I will turn back; and I will feed them on my holy mountain." Such are the promises of the good Shepherd. Feed us, the children, as sheep. Yea, Master, fill us with righteousness, Thine own pasture; yea, O Instructor, feed us on Thy holy mountain the Church, which towers aloft, which is above the clouds, which touches heaven. "And I will be," He says, "their Shepherd," and will be near them, as the garment to their skin.

 

From Clement of Alexandria, Instructor 1.10:

 

Φησὶ γὰρ δι’ Ἰεζεκιήλ· “ἐὰν ἐπιστραφῆτε ἐξ ὅλης τῆς καρδίας καὶ εἴπητε· πάτερ, ἀκούσομαι ὑμῶν ὥσπερ λαοῦ ἁγίου.”

 

For He says by Ezekiel, "If ye return with your whole heart, and say, Father, I will hear you, as a holy people."

 

From Clement of Alexandria, The Rich Man 39.4:

 

Διὸ καὶ κέκραγεν· “ἔλεον θέλω καὶ οὐ θυσίαν· οὐ βούλομαι τὸν θάνατον τοῦ ἁμαρτωλοῦ, ἀλλὰ τὴν μετάνοιαν· κἂν ὦσιν αἱ ἁμαρτίαι ὑμῶν ὡς φοινικοῦν ἔριον, ὡς χιόνα λευκανῶ, κἂν μελάντερον τοῦ σκότους, ὡς ἔριον λευκὸν ἐκνίψας ποιήσω.”

 

Wherefore also He cries, "I will have mercy, and not sacrifice.” "I desire not the death, but the repentance of the sinner.” "Though your sins be as scarlet wool, I will make them white as snow; though they be blacker than darkness, I will wash and make them like white wool."

 

From Clement of Alexandria, The Rich Man 40.2:

 

“Ἐφ’ οἷς γὰρ ἂν εὕρω ὑμᾶς,” φησίν, “ἐπὶ τούτοις καὶ κρινῶ.”

 

He says, "For by the state in which I find you will I judge."

 

From Clement of Alexandria, Miscellanies 7.16:

 

“Τέτοκεν καὶ οὐ τέτοκεν,” φησὶν ἡ γραφή.

 

"And she brought forth, and yet brought not forth," ways the Scripture.

 

Tertullian, On the Flesh of Christ 23.2a, 6a:

 

Agnoscimus ergo signum contradicibile conceptum et partum virginis Mariae, de quo academici isti, Peperit et non peperit virgo et non virgo. .... Legimus quidem apud Ezechielem de vacca illa quae peperit et non peperit.

 

Consequently we recognize as a sign capable of being spoken against the conception and child-bearing of Mary the virgin, concerning which these Academics say, “She bare and bare not, virgin and no virgin.”  .... We read in Ezekiel of a heifer which brought forth, and still did not bring forth.

 

From Gregory of Nyssa, Against the Jews 3.16:

 

Καὶ πάλιν, “Ἰδοὺ, ἡ δάμαλις τέτοκε, καὶ οὐ τέτοκε.” τοῦτο δὲ δηλοῖ τὴν παρθένον.

 

And again, “Behold, the heifer gave birth, and it did not give birth.” But this means the virgin.

 

Epiphanius, Panarion 30.30.3:

 

Καὶ πάλιν ἐν ἑτέρῳ τόπῳ λέγει «καὶ τέξεται ἡ δάμαλις καὶ ἐροῦσιν, οὐ τέτοκεν».

 

And again in another place he says: “And the heifer shall give birth and they shall say, she did not give birth.”

 

Epiphanius, Panarion 64.70.5-17:

 

«Ἀναστήσονται γὰρ οἱ νεκροὶ καὶ ἐγερθήσονται οἱ ἐν τοῖς μνημείοις», φησὶν ὁ προφήτης. ἵνα δὲ καὶ τὰ ὑπὸ τοῦ Ἰεζεκιὴλ τοῦ προφήτου ἐν τῷ ἰδίῳ ἀποκρύφῳ ῥηθέντα περὶ ἀναστάσεως μὴ παρασιωπήσω, καὶ αὐτὰ ἐνταῦθα παραθήσομαι. αἰνιγματωδῶς γὰρ διηγούμενος λέγει περὶ τῆς δικαίας κρίσεως ᾗ κοινωνεῖ ψυχὴ καὶ σῶμα, ὅτι βασιλεύς τις ἐν τῇ αὐτοῦ βασιλείᾳ πάντας εἶχεν ἐστρατευμένους, παγανὸν δὲ οὐκ εἶχεν ἀλλ' ἢ μόνον δύο, ἕνα χωλὸν καὶ ἕνα τυφλόν, καὶ ἕκαστος <αὐτῶν> κατ' ἰδίαν ἐκαθέζετο καὶ κατ' ἰδίαν ᾤκει. γάμους δὲ ποιήσας ὁ βασιλεὺς τῷ ἰδίῳ υἱῷ ἐκάλεσε πάντας τοὺς ἐν τῇ αὐτοῦ βασιλείᾳ, περιεφρόνησε δὲ τῶν δύο παγανῶν, τοῦ τε χωλοῦ καὶ τοῦ τυφλοῦ· οἱ δὲ ἠγανάκτησαν ἐν ἑαυτοῖς καὶ ἐπιβουλὴν ἐργάσασθαι τῷ βασιλεῖ ἐπενόουν. παράδεισον δὲ εἶχεν ὁ βασιλεύς, καὶ ἀπὸ μήκοθεν ὁ τυφλὸς ἐλάλει τῷ χωλῷ λέγων «πόσον ἦν ἡμῶν τὸ κλάσμα τοῦ ἄρτου μετὰ τῶν ὄχλων τῶν κληθέντων εἰς τὴν εὐφρασίαν; δεῦρο τοίνυν, καθὼς ἐποίησεν ἡμῖν, ἀμυνώμεθα αὐτόν». ὁ δὲ ἕτερος ἠρώτα «ποίῳ τρόπῳ»; ὁ δὲ εἶπεν «ἀπέλθωμεν εἰς τὸν παράδεισον αὐτοῦ καὶ ἀφανίσωμεν ἐκεῖ τὰ τοῦ παραδείσου». ὁ δὲ εἶπεν «καὶ πῶς δύναμαι, χωλὸς ὢν καὶ μὴ δυνάμενος ἐπισαίνειν»; ὁ δὲ τυφλὸς ἔφη «αὐτὸς ἐγὼ δύναμαί τι πράττειν μὴ ὁρῶν ποῦ ἀπέρχομαι; ἀλλὰ τεχνασώμεθα». τίλας χόρτον τὸν πλησίον καὶ πλέξας σχοινίον ἠκόντισε τῷ τυφλῷ καὶ εἶπεν «κράτει, καὶ δεῦρο πρὸς τὸ σχοινίον πρός με». ὡς δὲ ἐποίησεν ὃ προετράπη, ὅτε ἔφθασε λέγει «δεῦρό μοι γενοῦ πόδες καὶ βάστασόν με, καὶ γίνομαί σοι ὀφθαλμοί, ἄνωθεν ὁδηγῶν σε δεξιὰ καὶ εὐώνυμα». τοῦτο δὲ ποιήσαντες κατέβησαν εἰς τὸν παράδεισον· εἶτα λοιπὸν εἴτε ἠδίκησαν εἴτε καὶ οὐκ ἠδίκησαν, ὅμως τὰ ἴχνη πέφηνεν ἐν τῷ παραδείσῳ. καταλύσαντες δὲ ἐκ τῶν γάμων οἱ εὐφρανθέντες καταβάντες εἰς τὸν παράδεισον ἐξεπλάγησαν τὰ ἴχνη εὑρόντες ἐν τῷ παραδείσῳ καὶ ταῦτα ἀνήγγειλαν τῷ βασιλεῖ, λέγοντες «ἅπαντες στρατιῶται ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ σου καὶ οὐδείς ἐστι παγανός. πόθεν τοίνυν ἴχνη παγανῶν ἐν τῷ παραδείσῳ»; ὁ δὲ ἐθαύμασε, [καὶ] ὡς μὲν ἡ παραβολὴ δηλονότι τοῦ ἀποκρύφου λέγει ὡς πρὸς τὸν ἄνθρωπον αἰνιττομένη, ὁ θεὸς δὲ οὐδὲν ἀγνοεῖ. ἡ δὲ διήγησις λέγει ὡς μετεστείλατο τὸν χωλὸν καὶ τὸν τυφλὸν καὶ ἠρώτησε τὸν τυφλόν «μὴ σὺ κατῆλθες εἰς τὸν παράδεισον»; ὁ δὲ ἔφη «οἴμοι, κύριε· ὁρᾷς ἡμῶν τὴν ἀδυναμίαν, οἶδας ὅτι <οὐχ> ὁρῶ ποῦ βαδίζω». εἶτα ἐλθὼν ἐπὶ τὸν χωλὸν καὶ αὐτὸν ἠρώτα «σὺ κατῆλθες εἰς τὸν παράδεισόν μου»; ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν «ὦ κύριε, πικρᾶναί μου τὴν ψυχὴν ἐν τῷ μέρει τῆς ἀδυναμίας βούλει». καὶ λοιπὸν ἡ κρίσις ἀργεῖ. τί οὖν ποιεῖ ὁ κριτὴς ὁ δίκαιος; ἀναγνοὺς ποίῳ τρόπῳ ἀμφότεροι ἐζεύχθησαν ἐπιτίθησι τὸν χωλὸν τῷ πηρῷ καὶ τοὺς ἀμφοτέρους ἐτάζει μάστιξι, καὶ οὐ δύνανται ἀρνήσασθαι. ἑκάτεροι ἀλλήλους ἐλέγχουσιν, ὁ μὲν χωλὸς λέγων τῷ τυφλῷ «οὐ σύ με ἐβάστασας καὶ ἀπήνεγκας»; καὶ ὁ τυφλὸς τῷ χωλῷ «οὐκ αὐτὸς ὀφθαλμοί μου γέγονας»; οὕτως τὸ σῶμα τῇ ψυχῇ καὶ ἡ ψυχὴ τῷ σώματι εἰς ἔλεγχον τῆς κοινῆς ἐργασίας συνάπτεται, καὶ ἡ κρίσις τελεία γίνεται περὶ ἀμφοτέρων, σώματός τε καὶ ψυχῆς, τῶν ἔργων [τῶν] γεγενημένων εἴτε ἀγαθῶν εἴτε φαύλων.