Early Church Fathers
21 These lines, again, are but a guess at the meaning of the original, which is as obscure as defiance of grammar can well make it. The sense seems to be, in brief, that while the vast majority are, immediately on their death, shut up in Hades to await the "decreed age," i.e., the day of judgment, some, like the children raised by Elijah and Elisha, the man who revived on touching Elisha's bones, and the like, are raised to die again. Lower down it will be seen that the writer believes that the saints who came out of their graves after our Lord's resurrection (see Matt. xxvii. 51-54) did not die again.
22 Cf. Ps. xlix. 14 (xlviii. 15 in LXX.).
23 i.e., the dust into which our bodies turn.
24 i.e., the surface or ridge of the furrows.
25 i.e., the furrows.
26 "Some thirty-fold, some sixty-fold, some an hundred-fold." See the parable of the sower.
30 Virtutibus. Perhaps the allusion is to Eph. ii. 2, Matt. xxiv. 29, Luke xxi. 26.
32 Vel quanta est. If this be the right sense, the words are probably inserted, because the conflagration of "the earth and the works that are therein" predicted in 2 Pet. iii. 10, and referred to lower down in this piece, is supposed to have begun, and thud the "depths" of the earth are supposed to be already diminishing.
33 I have ventured to alter one letter of the Latin; and for "quos reddere jussa docebit," read "quos reddere jussa dolebit." If the common reading be retained, the only possible meaning seems to be "whom she will teach to render (to God) His commands," i.e., to render obedience to them; or else, "to render (to God) what they are bidden to render," i.e., an account of themselves; and earth, as their mother, giving them birth our of her womb, is said to teach them to do this. But the emendation, which is at all events simple, seems to give a better sense: "being bidden to render the dead, whom she is keeping, up, earth will grieve at the throes it causes her, but will do it."
34 Subitae virtutis ab alto.