[St. Pachomius Library]


III. On Earthly Things

Translated by Karen Rae Keck, 1996

The earth is man himself; in the gospel: another has fallen into the good earth. The same in a bad part about the sinner: you devour the earth all the days of your life. [Mark 4:18; Genesis 3:14]

The dry lands are the flesh of a fruitless man; in Ecclesiastes, to work in a dry land with evil and sorrow. [Ecclesiastes 37:3]

The dust is a sinner or the vanity of the flesh; in the psalm: like the dust, which the wind blows about. [Ps. 1:4 Vulgate]

The mud is the gluttony of sinners; in the psalm: tear me from the mud that I not take root; the same in another part of John: he made mud and daubed my eyes. [Ps. 68(69):15 Vulgate; John 9:11]

The mountains are the church of the lord and of the apostles, or of the saints, a strength from on high; in the psalm: which descends from Mt. Sion. The same in another part from the prophet: May your feet not stumble greatly on the misty mountains, that is, heretics. [Ps. 132(133):3; Jeremiah 13:16]

The hills are the saints of lesser merit; in the psalm: mountains and all hills. The same in a bad part of the Gospel: all the hills and mountains shall be humbled. [Ps. 148:9; Luke 3:5]

The valleys are the humility of a contrite heart; in the psalm: and the valley abounds in fruit. and in a bad part of the prophet, the valley of the sons of Ennos. [Ps. 64(65):14(13); Jeremiah 19:2]

The rock is Christ in strength; in the apostle, moreover, the rock was Christ. [1 Cor. 10:4]

The stones likewise are Christ and all the saints; in the psalm, the stone which the builders rejected. The same in another part: great is God who brought forth the sons of Abraham from stones. [Ps. 117(118):22; Matt. 3:9]

The field is this world; in the gospel: the field is this world. [Matt. 13:38]

The plains are the saints and the divine scriptures, on which they put out fodder for the living; in the psalm: the plains are full of riches. The same in a bad part: in the plain of Zoan. [Ps. 64(65):12; Ps. 77(78):43]

The pastures are a spiritual dining hall; in the psalm: he has called me to the place of pasture. [Ps. 22(23):2]

The cultivated fields are the saints, who have grown in God; in the apostle: the growth is of God. [1 Cor. 3:9]

God is the farmer: in the Gospel the Lord says: I am the true vine, and my Father is the farmer. [John 15:1, Vulgate]

The furrows are the heart of the saints; in the psalm: the furrows are drenched. [Ps. 64(65):11(12)]

The seed is the divine precept; in the Gospel: a sower went out to sow his seed. [Luke 8:5]

The harvest is the fertility and abundance of the faithful; in the Gospel, lift your eyes and see the areas that are white and ready for harvest. And in another place: the harvest is the closing of the age and angels are the harvesters. [John 4:35; Matt. 13:39]

The bundles of hay are the fruit of righteousness; in the psalm: carrying their bundles of hay. [Ps. 125(126):6]

The stubble is the ones who are dry and empty of faith; in the apostle: bind the hay stubble, and in the prophet: today I am made as if I were bound together like hay in the harvest, that is, I have not found workers of good anywhere. [1 Cor. 3:12; Michah 7:1]

The threshing floor is the church; in the Gospel: and he will clean your threshing floor. [Matt. 3:12]

The winnowing fork is the testing of the righteous by God; in the Gospel: whose winnowing fork is in his hand. [ibid.]

The wheat is the saints and the chosen of God; in the Gospel: and he will gather his wheat in a storehouse. [ibid.]

Barley is the letter of the law; in the Gospel: there is one boy, who has five loaves of barley bread. [John 6:9]

The chaff is sinners; in the Gospel: moreover, he burns the chaff in unextinguishable fire; and in Jeremiah: the Lord says what is the chaff to the wheat? [Matt. 3:12; Jeremiah 23:28]

The tares are the scandalous, who live badly; in the Gospel: an enemy came and planted tares in the midst of the wheat. [Matt. 13:25]

The vineyard is the church, the people of Israel; in the psalm; you have transported your vineyard from Egypt. The same in a bad part: you will shun the vineyard of the Sodomites. [Ps. 79(80):9(8); Deut. 32:32]

The vine is Christ; in the gospel: I am the true vine. The same in another part as above in the song of Deuteronomy: you will shun the vineyard of the Sodomites. [John 15:1, Deut. 32:32]

The branches are the apostles and the saints; in the gospel: I am the vine, you are the branches. In a bad part of the song of Deuteronomy: and their branches from Gommorah. [John 15:5, Deut. 32:32]

The fruit of the grape is righteousness; in the song of Isaiah: I have waited for the grape to ripen. The same in a bad part of Deuteronomy: their grape is the grape of hatred. [Is. 5:4, Deut. 32:32]

The bunch of grapes is the church, the body of Christ; in Numbers: because the sons of Israel carried a bunch of grapes from there. [Num. 13:25]

The grape harvest is the fulfillment of the age, vindication of the people; in the psalm: they will then harvest all who went before them in the way. And in Joel: send scythes and harvest your vineyard, for the grapes are ripe. [Ps. 79(80):13 Vulgate; Joel 3:13]

The press is his altar, because there the fruit becomes oblation; in the canticle of Isaiah: I dug the winepress in it. And the pressure of tribulation is another winepress, in which the faithful are proven; in the title of a psalm: in the end in place of winepresses. [Is. 5:2, Ps. 8:1 Vulgate]

The hay is the flesh, empty glory; in the prophet: all flesh is hay, and all its glory is like the flowering of the hay. [Is. 40:6]

The grass is joy which profits the soul; in Genesis: he brought forth green grass on the earth. The same in a bad part: in the morning let the grass wither. [Gen. 1:11, Ps. 89(90):6]

The flowers are Christ the ideal of righteousness; in the psalm: he is just that the palm may flourish. [Ps. 91(92):13(12) Vulgate]

The lily is Christ, or the angels aflame with righteousness; in Solomon: I am the blossom of the field and the lily of the valley. [Cant. 2:1]

The roses are martyrs red with blood; in Solomon, as a rose flourishes above a wet stream. [Eccl. 39:17]

The violets are the confessors in bluish likeness of body; in the Song of Songs, the flowers are seen on the earth. [Cant. 2:12]

The trees are the gentiles; in the psalm: we found it in a plain of trees. From these trees two Roman emperors went forth as bears, according to the teaching in the figure of Elisha and forty-two years after his Ascension into the heavens, they ate the Jewish youths. [Ps. 131(132):6 Vulgate, IV Kings 2:24 Vulgate]

The dense darkness is the hidden part of Divine Scripture; in the psalm: and he has revealed the hidden things. [Ps. 28(29):9 Vulgate]

The wood is sinners consigned to the fires; in Ecclesiastes: he who splits the wood, tests it. The same in a good part: and he will be as the wood that is planted. [Eccl. 9:10; Ps. 1:3]

The root is the beginning; in the Apostle, because if the root is blessed, so are the branches. And in a bad part of the Psalms: and [tear] your living root from the earth. [Rom. 11:16; Ps. 51(52):7(5)]

The tree is a man whose work is fruitful; in the gospel: or make a good tree and its good fruit. The same in a bad part: or make a bad tree and its bad fruit. The same in this parable, the tree is the will of man, rather than being what man himself thinks he will receive. [Matt. 12:33]

The branch is succession; in the Apostle: because if the root is blessed, the branch is blessed. The same in a bad part of Daniel: cut off his branches. [Rom. 11:16, Dan. 4:11]

The leaves are the preaching of doctrine; in the psalm, and its leaves will not fall off. And likewise, the leaves are the clothing and beauty with the protection of divine grace. [Ps. 1:3]

The apple is the fruit of the saints in virtue: in the Song of Songs, and he shall eat the fruit of his own apples. [Cant. 5:1]

The palm is completion, victory; in the psalm, he is just so that the palm may flourish. [Ps. 91(92):13(12)]

The cedars are men of the highest power; in the psalm: that they may grow as the cedars of Lebanon. And in a bad part of the psalm: and the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon. [Ps. 91(92):13(12), Ps. 28(29):5]

The olive is the saint abounding in the fruit of mercy; in the psalm, I am like a flourishing olive. [Ps. 51(52):10(8)]

The wild olive is a man abounding in the fruit of gentleness; in the Apostle, I am like the fruitful olive. [Rom. 11:24]

The fig is the synagogue of this age; in the gospel, and the fig tree was barren from then on, and in Habakkuk: the fig does not bear fruit. [Matt. 21:19, Hab. 3:17]

The pomegranate is the church of many people who give thanks in different ways; in the Song of Songs, sending forth your garden of pomegranate with the fruit of the apple. [Cant. 4:13]

The twig is the sinner, the one weak in faith; in the gospel, he will not break the shaken twig. Likewise, a twig is a weak help; in the prophet, how do you rely on a staff, itself an Egyptian twig? If he will lean upon it, he will be severely shaken, and it will pierce his hand. [Matt. 12:20, Is. 36:6]

The bramble bush is, as is sometimes thought, a prefiguration of the Blessed Theotokos, because it is as if he sent forth the salvation of human flesh like a rose from a bramble bush, or because the strength of divine lightning went through it without consuming it; in Exodus, the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the middle of the bush and he saw that the bush burned and was not consumed. [Ex. 3:2]

The thorns of the bush are harmful things that keep the soul from divine healing; in the gospel, another was killed with thorns. [Luke 8:7]

The sting of the thistle is wickedness or temptation; in Genesis, it will grow thorns and thistles for you. [Gen. 3:18]

The springs are baptism; in the psalm: as the hart longs for the springs of water. [Ps. 41(42):2(1)]

The water is the testing of people; in the psalm, perhaps the water would have swallowed us. The same in a good part of Jeremiah: they have forsaken me, the font of living water. And in the prophet: let him who thirsts, come to the water, that is, to belief. [Ps. 123(124):4; Jer 2:13; Is 55:1]

The stream is the course of persecution; in the psalm: he drinks from the stream in the way. The same in a good part: you will give them drink from the stream of your will. [Ps. 109(110):7; Ps. 35(36):9(8)]

The rivers are the unfaithful people; in the psalm: by the waters of Babylon. The same in a good part: the living waters flow from your stomach, that is spiritual grace. [Ps. 136(137):1, John 7:38]

The lake is the inferno; in the psalm, they put in the lower lake, that is, the place of the inferno, in which sinners alone are held in penal custody. [Ps. 87(88):7(6)]

The sea is the people of this age; in the psalm: here is the sea great and wide. [Ps. 103(104):25]

The fish are the saints; in the gospel: and they dragged a multitude of great fishes in their net. The same in a bad part: however, the evil are sent out of doors. [John 21:11; Matt. 13:48]

The billows are temptations; in the psalm: all Your waves and billows have gone over me. [Ps. 41(42):8(7)]

The wave is the same as above; in the song [of Moses]: the waves have frozen in the middle of the sea. [Ex. 15:8]

The islands are our souls in the church of God, which are pounded with many temptations and floods; in the psalm: let the many islands rejoice. [Ps. 96(97):1]

The shore is the end of the age; in the gospel: and otherwise they choose the good ones sitting on the shore. [Matt. 13:48]

The sands of the sea are the uncountable multitudes of people; in Genesis: and I will multiply your seed as the stars in the sky and as the sand, which is at the mouth of the sea. [Gen. 22:17]

The St. Pachomius Orthodox Library,  St. Innocent of Alaska, 1999 
Have mercy, O Lord, upon Thy servant, the translator Karen! 
               THE END, AND TO GOD BE THE GLORY!

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