Pg 88 Κοσμάς Cosmas Indicopleustes, Christian Topography. Preface to the online edition

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The Prophet Amos.

This is Amos the third in order, who also was privileged to tell of the coming of the Lord Christ and in these words: Lo! I am he that confirms the thunder and that creates the wind and that announces to men his Anointed.153 And again he says (ix, 11, 12): In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old, that the rest of men and all the nations may enquire who have been called by my name, saith the Lord |198 who doeth these things. A passage of which James the Apostle makes mention in the Acts of the Apostles.


[232] This Prophet, in agreement with the first, announces Christ, through whom the salvation of the whole world is effected. And through him God promises that he will raise up again the Tabernacle of David which had fallen, and will extend help to all the nations. And these are the same tidings which all the prophets proclaim.

The Prophet Obadiah.

This is Obadiah (Abdiou) the fourth in order, who also was privileged to prophesy concerning the mystery regarding Christ, and who speaks thus: Because the day of the Lord is near upon all the nations.154 This taken in its obvious meaning is spoken of the Scythians, that is, of Gog and Magog, but it is most properly applicable to the Lord Christ, for the prophet shortly afterwards says: But on Mount Zion there shall be salvation.155


This prophet also again clearly proclaims that the day of Salvation in Zion is near at hand and upon all the nations. Glory to God evermore. Amen!

The Prophet Jonah.

This is Jonah the fifth in order, who not by words, but by what he did and by what he typified, predicted the resurrection of Christ. For the Lord says: as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.156 For as the whale vomited out Jonah uncorrupted, so also did the sepulchre vomit out the Lord to a better life. |199 


This prophet prefigured through his actions the sepulchre and the miraculous resurrection and incorruption of Christ, through whom is dispensed the renovation of man and his summing up in him. Glory to God who doeth these things. Amen!

The Prophet Isaiah.

This is the great Isaiah the son of Amos, who in a figure foresaw the things concerning the mystery of Christ, when he saw the Lord sitting on a throne high and lifted up, while the Seraphim stood in a circle around him, the one having six wings, and the other six wings, with which they did cover themselves, and the one cried out to the other and said: Holy, holy, holy Lord of Sabaoth! the whole earth is full of his glory.157 Thereupon one of the Seraphim [233] was sent to him who with the tongs took [a live coal] from the altar, and touched his lips saying: This will take away thy sins.158 Isaiah by the vision which was shown to him, and by the hymn of praise, and by the figure was instructed to prophesy the mystery concerning Christ, and further again in words he thus speaks: He was led as a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before the shearer, so was he dumb.159 The Ethiopian eunuch on reading this passage asked Philip to interpret it to him, and he at once explained that it was spoken by the Prophet with reference to the Lord Christ. And again he says: A man who is under chastisement and knows what it is to bear sickness;160 and so in other passages----Isaiah liii. 9-11; xxviii. 16; lxi. 10; and in lxi., 1; The spirit of'the Lord is upon me----a passage which the Lord having read in the synagogue on the Sabbath said: Verily I say unto you, to-day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.161 |200 

Note 1.

Isaiah, that prophet of sublimest strain,162 by his words and visions proclaimed beforehand to men the confession even of the Holy Trinity, that is, of the one God, and the resurrection of human nature which the Church of God also now proclaims. Glory to God who wisely dispenses all things for the good of the human race!

Note 2.

But he too did not prophesy things strange and unusual, but like the other prophets predicted the things that would be through Christ, and among them again that great day of the Lord on which he would send the Prophet Elijah still surviving. Glory to God who created all things and again created them anew!

The Prophet Micah.

This is Micah the seventh in order, who also was privileged to prophesy concerning the coming of the Lord Christ, and he says: And thou Bethlehem, the house of Ephratha, art the least to be among the thousands of Judah. From thee, there shall come forth to me one who shall be for a ruler over Israel, whose goings forth have been of [234] old from everlasting.163 The chief priests and scribes of the Jews, taking this passage, when Herod asked them where the Christ should be born, replied, In Bethlehem of Judaea, upon which he sent the Wise Men away to Bethlehem. This prophet further says: He will turn again and have compassion upon us; he will tread our iniquities under foot, and all our sins shall be cast into the depths of the sea. He will perform the truth to Jacob and the mercy to Abraham, as he hath sworn unto our fathers from the days of old.164


This prophet also in harmony with the others, predicts that he who was raised up from of old to be a ruler over Israel should |201 come out of Bethlehem and Judah, he through whom absolution is given to the world, the taking away of our sins and conducting us into the better state. Glory to God who all things dispenses wisely and foretells the things which concern man!

The Prophet Nahum.

This is Nahum the eighth in order who was also privileged to prophesy concerning the resurrection of the Lord Christ, and he says: Feast, O Judah, keep thy feasts, perform thy vows, for they shall add to pass through thee no more.165 It has been consummated, it has been taken away. He went up breathing upon thy face, delivering thee from affliction.166


See how this prophet also exhorts us to rejoice over the resurrection of Christ and over our own, showing beforehand that we shall never grow old, proclaiming, that is, our incorruption and our immortality. Glory to God, Amen!

The Prophet Habakkuk.

This is Habakkuk the ninth in order, who was also privileged to speak concerning the resurrection of Christ in these terms: Behold, ye despisers, and regard, and wonder marvellously, and vanish for ever, because I work a work in your days which ye will not believe though it be told you.167 This passage Paul cited at Antioch of Pisidia as having reference to the resurrection of the Lord Christ.


In like manner also this prophet is commanded to predict marvellous and incredible things to men, and especially to despisers, things namely concerning the resurrection. Glory to God, Amen! |202 

The Prophet Jeremiah.

[235] This is Jeremiah the tenth in order, who was also privileged to prophesy concerning the mystery respecting Christ, saying thus: And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was priced, whom certain of the sons of Israel did price, and they gave them for the potter s field as the Lord appointed me.168 The evangelist Matthew mentions this passage as having been fulfilled at the time of the passion. The same prophet again says: Lo! the days are coming, saith the Lord, and I shall make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.169 etc. This passage is cited by the Apostle in the Epistle to the Romans.


This prophet in like manner predicts things which have reference to the Lord Christ who is the Prince of the second dispensation----for he describes in the clearest manner the first and second dispensation, the second whereof had its beginning in the Lord Christ. Glory to Cod for ever, Amen!

The Prophet Saphonias (Zephaniah).

This is Zephaniah the eleventh in order who was also privileged to prophesy concerning the Lord Christ, and he speaks thus: The Lord will come suddenly upon them, and will utterly destroy all the gods of the nations of the earth, and men shall worship him, every one from his place, even all the isles of the nations!170 From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia shall they bring offering to me;171 and again: Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Sion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem; the Lord hath taken away thine |203 iniquities. The King of Israel, even the Lord, is in the midst of thee; thou shalt not see evil any more.172 All things are more especially applicable to the Lord Christ.


This prophet most plainly points to the manifestation of the [236] Lord, to the destruction of idols, and the conversion of the nations to God through the Lord Christ. Glory be to God for ever, Amen!

The Prophet Ezekiel.

This is Ezekiel who prophesied in Babylon, and who was also privileged to predict concerning the dispensation of Christ, and he says: I will redeem them from all their transgression, wherewith they have sinned, and I will purify them, and they shall be to me a people, and I the Lord will be their God. And my servant David shall be ruler in the midst of them, he alone shall be the shepherd of them all, because they shall walk in my precepts;173 and again: And he said unto me, This water, issuing forth into Galilee which lies towards the East, was going down into Arabia and came even to the sea, to the water at the outlet,174 and it shall heal the waters. And it shall come to pass that every living creature which swarmeth in every place whither the river comes shall live.175


This prophet, like the others, under a figure foreshows the great founder and ruler of our second state, and foreshows also its constitution. Glory to God for the wisdom of all his dispensations, Amen! |204 

The Prophet Daniel.

This is Daniel who prophesied in Babylon and who was also privileged to utter predictions concerning the Lord Christ, and he speaks thus: And thou shalt know and discern that from the going forth of the commandment to the response and the building of Jerusalem, until the anointed one a prince, shall be seven weeks and three score and two weeks,176 and so forth. And again: A stone was cut without hands, and it brake in pieces the clay, the iron, the brass, the silver and the gold, and it filled the whole earth;177 and again: Behold one like unto the Son of Man coming with the clouds of heaven, and he came even unto to the Ancient of days, and he was brought near before him. And there was given unto him dominion and glory and a kingdom, and all the peoples and nations and languages shall serve him. His dominion,178 and so forth.


And this prophet spoke out more clearly concerning the conning of Christ, intimating both his time and the power belonging to him, and his birth from a virgin and the propagation of his gospel throughout all the earth, which things have all come to pass with God's help and will still come to pass. Glory to God who through all the prophets has revealed these things beforehand, Amen!

The Prophet Haggai.

This Haggai was also privileged to utter predictions concerning the Lord Christ, as, under the person of Zerubabel, he says things which are applicable to the Lord Christ: And I will make thee as a signet, because I have chosen thee, saith the Lord God.179 |205 

The Prophet Zechariah.

This Zechariah was also privileged to prophesy concerning the coming of the Christ, saying thus: Rejoice greatly O daughter of Sion, shout O daughter of Jerusalem; behold thy King cometh unto thee; he is just and having salvation; lowly and riding upon an ass----even a young colt.180 This passage he uttered with reference to Zerubabel, in a strain of hyperbole as regards him, for it had properly its accomplishment in the Lord Christ, whom Zerubabel as it were, personified. He further says: And I will say unto him, What are these wounds between thine hands? And he shall say, wounds which I received in the house beloved by me.181 And shortly afterwards again he says: I will smite the shepherd and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered.182 Of this passage also the Lord made mention at the time of his Passion, applying it to himself when he was on the point of being betrayed.


This prophet, while he said nothing alien to the utterances of the other prophets, indicated the sovereignty of the Lord Christ in the future state.

The Prophet Malachi.

This is Malachi, who also was privileged to prophesy concerning the things relating to the dispensation of the Lord Christ. And it is thus he speaks: For, from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same, my name is great among the nations; and in every place incense is offered unto my name and a pure offering, for my name is great among the nations, saith the Lord Almighty;183 and again he says: Behold I will send my messenger, and he |206 shall prepare, the way before thy presence.184 This passage the Lord applied to himself and to John the Baptist. The same prophet further says: But unto you that fear my name shall the sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings, and ye shall go forth and gambol as calves released from the stall. A nd ye shall tread down winds; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet, in the day that [238] I do make, saith the Lord Almighty. And behold, I will send you Elijah the Tishbite before the great and notable day of the Lord.185 As the Lord said to the Jews, and if ye are willing, receive it of John the Baptist: This is Elijah who was to come.186 And now at last having finished with God's help the twelve prophets we shall proceed to the four great prophets.187


Now this prophet did not utter predictions respecting what would be done by Christ different from the other prophets, but predictions of a similar nature; and he again prophesied the great and notable day of the Lord, in which he says that he will send before him the Tishbite Elijah, who is still surviving. Glory to God who created all things and who again creates them anew. Amen!


All the prophets predicted, and reminded the Jews of the promises of God which he had made to their fathers; how he promised to bless all the nations in the seed of Abraham through the dispensation of the Lord Christ. They reminded them how God in former times had |207 redeemed them with a high hand from bondage to the Egyptians and given them the land of promise, and predicted how they would be led away captives to Babylon by Nabuchodonosor and would return again with glory; and again, how they would suffer great miseries at the hands of Antiochus and the nations around them, and how by the divine power they would overcome them; and then He, who was expected from the seed of Abraham, would come for the salvation of the whole world according to the promises earlier given. This was the work of the prophets. Some of them accordingly wrote their own books. David, for instance, composed the Book of Psalms, and Daniel at the time of the Captivity was commanded to write what was revealed to him through visions, and there were others besides. But the rest did not write their prophecies with their own hands, but in the temple there were scribes who wrote the words of each prophet as in a diary.188 And when a prophet was sent by God to proclaim anything, either concerning Jerusalem, that it would be led away into captivity, or concerning Samaria, or other places, or concerning the return from captivity, or concerning Antiochus, or the surrounding nations, or concerning the Lord Christ himself, on the day in which they prophesied, the scribes wrote, in the book of that prophet, what he announced, that is, concerning a single subject; and again after some time had elapsed, if he wished to announce anything about another matter, the scribe again committed it to writing, recording it in its order among [239] the sayings of the same prophet, and inserting what he announced as the beginning of a new chapter; and so in this manner they compiled the whole of his book. Hence we may find in their books a chapter relating to the Captivity at Babylon, or to the Return, and |208 immediately thereafter another chapter which has reference to Christ, and then once more a chapter speaking again of the Captivity and the Return. And to speak briefly, unless one reads with close observation, he will find very much apparent confusion. And not only the books of the prophets, but the books of the kings were in this manner written in the temple, part by part. Thus the events under Saul were recorded for Saul in his time, part by part, until the end of his reign. The events in the time of David were thus also recorded to the end of his reign, and similarly the events under each king were committed to writing during his period. In like manner they wrote also in the records189 of the Kings what we call Paralipomena.190 It was Moses who wrote the Pentateuch----which is a history of things past, present and future. Joshua again wrote the book which bears his name. The book of Judges was written in the temple, or it may be, in the Tabernacle, and the same may be said of the book of Ruth. Solomon again wrote his own works, Proverbs, the Song of Songs, and Ecclesiastes. For though he had received the gift of wisdom from God, and counselled every man to conduct himself wisely in this life, he did not receive the gift of prophecy. As many, therefore, as we have found to have been privileged to prophesy concerning the dispensation of the Lord Christ, we have arranged in their order. And we further write concerning the four other prophets whatever things they were commissioned to predict----whereunto the whole scope of divine scripture has respect. We bring forward therefore first the sublimely eloquent Isaiah,191 who both by figure and |209 by word was privileged to see and prophesy concerning the mystery of Christ.

John the Forerunner.

This is the greatest of all men----John the Baptist, who was filled with the Holy Ghost while he was yet in the womb, and leaped in joy and eagerness to be the forerunner of his Lord----a man great in the sight of God, the forerunner of Christ, preparing for him a people put in readiness to receive him----a man superior to the prophets, born into the world before the Apostles, intermediate between the Old and the New Testament, the last under the law, the receiver of the new dispensation----the man who showed to all the Lord Christ as present among them, who surpassed all men in the austerity of his manner of life, and outdid all men in service rendered----who went before in the spirit and power of Elias, and surpassed Elias, in that he baptized the Lord----a lamp that was lighted before the sun of righteousness. He [240] proclaimed the presence of the Lord, saying: Behold the lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world,192 calling him a lamb as being a sacrificial victim, and taking away the sin of the world----as delivering the world from sin, rendering men incorrupt, and immortal and immutable through the resurrection. This great John was privileged to be the herald of such a ministry and of such great things.


This is John the greatest of all men, who had both his father and his mother as fellow-prophets, who not only shows the Lord Christ to be present as the Prince of the second state, but proclaims him to be the Judge of all, saying: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly cleanse his threshing-floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with |210 unquenchable fire.193 He again proclaims beforehand the kingdom of heaven, and prepares the way for Him who comes after him, and who shows in himself in very deed the kingdom of heaven, which is the second state. Glory to God who has produced all things out of nothing, and again creates them anew in Christ. Amen!

The Prophet Zachariah.

This Zachariah the priest, who was himself thought worthy of the power of prophecy, spoke both concerning his own son and the Lord Christ together, in these words: And thou, child, shalt be called the Prophet of the Highest; for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways.194

The Prophetess Elisabeth.

This is the prophetess Elisabeth, who by the Holy Spirit was privileged to prophesy both concerning the Lord Christ and the Holy Virgin, speaking thus: And whence is this to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?195 Thus both the father and the mother of the forerunner were privileged to announce beforehand the Lord Christ. To him be glory with the Father and the Holy Spirit for ever. Amen!

The Virgin Mary.

This is the holy virgin, Mary, who brought forth her blessed offspring to the world without seed by the Holy Spirit, who even before his birth announced with great joy the dignity of her son, and said: For behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed;196 and again: He hath holpen Israel his servant, that lie might remember [241] mercy, as he spake to our fathers, to Abraham and his seed for ever.197 To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen! |211 

The Prophetess Anna, the daughter of Phanuel.

This is Anna the daughter of Phanuel, who gave thanks to God concerning Him in the temple, when His parents brought Him up into the temple in the days of their purification, to present Him to the Lord, as it is written.198


This is the righteous Simeon who, when he had taken up the Lord Christ in his arms, prayed to God to let him depart this life, as it had been revealed to him by the spirit, saying thus: Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart, in peace, according to thy word, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people----a light for revelation to the gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.199

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