Early Church Fathers
1 "Which was delivered in the presence. . . and in which etc." This appears to be the sense intended, and is that given by M. Renan: "Sermo qui factus est." Cureton renders, "Who was in the presence, etc.," and supposes that Melito first saw and conversed with the emperor, and afterwards wrote this discourse. Melito speaks of it more than one as written. This view, however, does not dispose of that fact that Melito is here affirmed to have "exhorted (Lit., said to) Caesar, etc." It was clearly meant to be understood that the discourse, or speech, was spoken: the references to writing merely show that it was written, either before or after the delivery.
2 Cureton: "passion." The word takes both meanings.
3 Lit. "sojourn beneath it."
4 Cureton: "act foolishly."
5 Lit. "sight."
6 Comp. Rom. x. 18.
7 Cureton: "light without envy." But the expressions resemble sthe Gk. a0f1onwj, ungrudginly ,without stint.
8 Lit. "to the ditch is his way." Comp. Matt. xv. 14.
9 See vol. i. p. 280, this series, where the following lines are quoted by Justin Martyr from the Sibylline Oracles:- "But we have strayed from the Immortal's ways, And worship with a dull and senseless mind Idols, the workmanship of our own hands, And images and figures of dead men."
10 Cureton: "thoes belonging to the Caesars." But the Caesars themselves are clearly meant.
11 Cureton: "sacks full." The first word is used of a leathern pouch or wallet, as in Luke x. 4 (Peshito) for ph/ra.
12 Lit., "they became."
13 Cureton, without necessity, reads the word "Dionysius."
14 Cureton renders "originally." But comp. Judith iv. 3, where the same word answers to prosfatwj.
16 Cureton's conjecture of or for has been adopted.
17 Some have identified it with Aphek, Josh. xix. 30. The rites observed here were specially adominable.
18 Cureton: "the patrician." Dr. Payne Smith, Thes. Syr. s.v., regards the word as equivalent to path\r th=j polewj, pater civitatis, "a title of honour found in the Byzantine writers," and is inclined to think it a term belonging to the dislect of Edessa. A similar use of the same adjective is quoted from Buxtorf, Lex. Chald. Talm., p. 12: " yyb@a)a
cognomen R. Nachmanis, qui a celebritate familiae sic cognominatus est, quasi Patritius." This view appears to be supported by the similar use of an adjective for a substantive above: "persons of Caesarean rank," or "Caesars."
19 Lit., "be (or, get to be) with thyself." Cureton: "enter into thyself." The meaning appears to be, "think for thyself."
20 Cureton: "Everything cometh through His hands." It should rather be, "into His hands," i.e., "He has power to do everything." See note 7, p. 725.
21 Lit., "be running in thy mind."
22 The text has , which M. Renan derives from the root and translates "commovetur." This, although correct in grammer, does not suit the sense. The grammers recognise the form as a possible Eshtaphel of , "tangere," but it is not found in actual use. Dr. Payne Smith thinks the right reading to be , which gives the required sense.
23 Or, "that which is fixed and invariable." There seems to be a reference to the derivation of (truth) from , firmus (stabilis) fruit. Cureton has strangely mistranslated , by "that which, without having been brought into existence, does exist." The first is nothing but the sign of emphatic denial which is frequently appended to , and is the infinitive of emphasis belonging to the second .
24 Cureton: "Materials." The printed text has "drugs." The correct reading, there can hardly be a doubt, is .
25 Lit., "the property of the gold or silver," if the word is rightly taken. Although no such derivative of is found in the lexicons, the form is possible from the Palel of that verb: e.g. from . See Hoffmann, Gram. Syr., sec. 87, 19.
26 Lit. "in one fashion."
27 Or, "of what pertains to it."
28 Lit. "many good things."
29 Lit. "be the beginner."
30 Cureton is probably right in so taking the words, although the construction is not quite the same as in the similar sentence a little below. If so, for we must read .
31 Lit. "hand."
32 Lit. "into an insult of God." So M. Renan, "in opprobrium Dei." Cureton, admitting that this may be the sense, renders, "an abomination of God," and refers to the circumstance that in Scripture an idol is frequently so spoken of. But is not used in such passages (it is either , or, less frequenly, ), nor does it appear ever to have the meaning which Cureton assigns to it.
33 Lit. "he."
34 Lit. "has made it."
35 Lit. "heart."
36 Lit. "be of opinion."
37 This seems preferable to Cureton's, "and let thy children also follow after thee." Had this been the meaning, probably the verb would have been used, as in the preceding sentence, not .
38 So the Sibylline oracle, as quoted by Cureton in the Greek:- "And, when he would the starry steep of heaven Ascend, the Sire Immortal did his works With mighty blasts assail: forthwith the winds Hurley prostrate from its height the towering pile, And bitter strife among the builders roused."
39 Lit. "chosen." The same expression, except that the simliar is used for , occurs Sap. Sol. xiv. 6, as a translation of u0perhfa/nwn giga/ntwn, gigantes superbi. See Thes. Syr., s.v. .
40 The MS. has "Antonius."
41 Cureton, for the last clause, gives "as thou wilt," remarking that the sense os obscure. The literal rendering is, "if thou wilt," the consequent clause being unexpressed. "If you please, accept them," seems what is meant.
42 By Melito, bishop of Sardis.
43 seems to be the true reading, note the of the pointed MS.
44 [Such passages sustain the testimony of Jerome and others, that this venerable and learned Father was an eloquent preacher.]
45 By the same.
46 Or "wove-a body from our material."
47 Lit. "changing."
48 Lit. "He was everything."
49 Of Melito the bishop.
50 By Melito, bishop of Attica. [Of this epigraph, which becomes Ittica below, I have never seen a sufficient explanation.]
51 Lit. "the Lamb without voice."
52 The Greek glwsso/komon.
53 [For Phlegon's testimony, see references, vol. vii. p. 257. But note Lightfoot, Ap. F., part ii. vol. i. p. 512; his remark on Origen Celsus, vol. iv. p. 437, this series.]
54 This is the rendering of ; but Cureton has "fled," as though he read .
55 By the holy Melito, bishop of the city of Ittica. [For Melito, in Lightfoot's Apost. Fathers, consult part ii. vol. i. pp. 133, 328, 428, 443-446, 468-469, 494. See Lardner, Credib., vol. ii. 157, etc.; Westcott, Canon, p. 246. See Polycrates, infra; on which consult Schaff, History, etc., vol. ii. p. 736. above all, see Routh, R.S., tom. i. pp. 113-153.]