[St. Pachomius Library]


IX. On Jerusalem and her Enemies

Translated by Karen Rae Keck, 1996

Jerusalem is the church or the soul; in the psalm: praise the Lord, Jerusalem. And to be noted: because everyone generally comes together in the church, this can also refer to the soul. [Ps. 147:12]

Zion is the same as above; in the psalm: praise your God, Zion. [Ps.147:12]

The sons of Zion are the sons of the church; in the psalm: let the sons of Zion rejoice in the king. [Ps. 149:2]

The sons of Jerusalem are the same as above.

The tabernacle is the body of the Lord or the church; in the psalm: his tent {tabernacle} is pitched in the sun. [Ps. 18(19):6(4) Vulgate]

The ark is the flesh of the Lord or the hearts of the saints; in the psalm: you are the ark of my sanctification. The same is the church in which those who will be saved are hidden; in Genesis: only Noah and those with him in the ark remained. [Ps. 131(132):8 Vulgate; Gen. 7:23]

The stone tablets are two, I think, because of the two testaments or because of the two teachings about loving God and neighbor; in Exodus: and the Lord said to Moses, "Carve two stone tablets." [Ex. 34:1]

The law is divine teaching; in the psalm: the law of the Lord is pure. [Ps. 18(19):8 Vulgate]

Handwriting is the record of a sinful man and the devil by the hand of iniquity; in the apostle: the handwriting of a sinner which was against us. [Col. 2:14]

The agreement is a compact of divine grace with man; in the psalm: I did not see them obeying the pact. [Ps. 77(78):57(56) (unknown variant)]

The testament is a confirmation of divine will; in the prophet: and I will confirm the testament with the house of Judah. [Jer. 31:31 and Heb. 8:8]

The foreskin is the life of the gentile; in the apostle: another in the foreskin was called, not to be circumcised, that is, even one from the gentiles who came to faith in Christ will not be circumcised in the body. [I Cor. 7:18]

Circumcision is the finishing off of vices; in the apostle: you were circumcised with a circumcision not done by hands in the finishing off of the flesh of the body. [Col. 2:11]

The horn is strength or the kingdom; in Kings: and he raised high the horn of His Christ. [I Samuel (I Kings) 2:10]

Purple is the type of those martyred through bloodshed; in Exodus: all, who saw with the heart, in the beginning brought to God gold, silver, copper, hyacinth, purple, scarlet, goats' hair, and linen. [Ex. 35:5-6]

Scarlet is the same as above or the ardor of charity or the remembrance of the cross; in Exodus: the same as above.

Linen is the radiance of chastity or continence; in Exodus: the same as above.

Hyacinth is the blue color of the confessors; in Exodus: the same as above.

The ephod is a sign, on the shoulders, of miracles; in Exodus: and they made an ephod of gold and hyacinth and purple and scarlet goats' hair and complicated linen. [Ex. 39:2]

The breastplate is a sinner's avowal of reason or is instruction; in Exodus: and they made a breastplate wrought in fabrics according to the work of the ephod. [Ex. 39:8]

The priest's garment is a deeper and more perfect teaching; in Exodus: and they made a long priestly garment; under the buckle the work was made entirely of hyacinth. [Ex. 39:20]

The girdle is the golden arrangement before the cross; in Exodus: and they made a golden girdle and above it wrote, as he had said, in letters forming the sacred sign of the Lord, that is, the tetragrammaton name of the Lord. [Ex. 39:29]

The temple is the body of Christ or the saints; in the apostle: for you are the temple of the living God. [II Cor. 6:16]

The altar is the height of faith; in the psalm: then they will place calves upon the altar. [Ps. 50(51):21(19) Vulgate]

Sacrifice is an offering of righteousness; in the psalm: make a sacrifice of righteousness. [Ps. 4:6(5)]

The burnt offering is a complete kindling of faith; in the psalm: I will offer to you a fatty burnt offering. [Ps. 65(66):15]

The sacrificed is Christ or the soul blessed by God; in the apostle: an offering and sacrifice to God in the aroma of sweetness. [Ephes. 5:2]

Myrrh is the sign of mortality; in the psalm: myrrh and aloe and cassia from Your vestments. [Ps. 44(45):9(8) Vulgate]

Salve is the spreading mercy of the name of Christ; in Solomon: your name is like salve spread out. [Cant. 1:2]

The holy of holies is the interior where abide the mysteries of God or the kingdom of heaven; in the epistle to the Hebrews: for Jesus came, not as a copy of the truth made by a holy hand, but from the heavens themselves that the face of God might appear now for us. [Heb. 9:24]

The sabbath is spiritual rest; in Genesis: and the Lord rested from his labors. [Gen. 2:2]

Lent is the form of this life and its labor; in the gospel: and when he had fasted forty days and forty nights. [Matt. 4:2]

Pascha is the announcement of the Lord's passover; in the gospel: before the day of the feast of Passover Jesus, knowing that his hour had come and that he would pass from this world to his Father. [John 13:1]

The fifty days {between Pascha and Pentecost} are signs of future blessedness or release; in Leviticus: therefore, you will count seven full weeks from the time of the day at the altar and after that is fifty days. [Lev. 23:15-16]

The jubilee is a the sign of the peace to come; in Leviticus: it is the year of release; it will be a sacred sign to us. [Lev. 25:10]

The city is the church of God or the soul; in the psalm: in the city of our God. [Ps. 47(48):2 Vulgate]

The citizens are the faithful; in the apostle: but you are citizens of saints and of the household of God. [Eph. 2:19]

The walls are the protection of the divine scriptures or of the prophets or of the saints; in the psalm: the walls of Jerusalem will be built. The same in another part: in my God I shall step across the wall. [Ps. 50(51):20(18); Ps. 17(18):30 Vulgate]

The towers are the apostles or every perfect one; in the psalm: and fullness is in Your towers. [Ps. 121(122):7 Vulgate]

The gates are the sacred scriptures or righteousness or the apostles or the angels; in the psalm: and be raised up, ancient gates. The same in another part: how wide the gate and spacious the way that leads to night. [Ps. 23(24):7; Matt. 7:13]

The streets are the broad holiness of the saints; in the apocalypse: and the streets of the city were gold so pure that they shone like glass. [Apoc. 21:21]

The foundation is Christ or faith; in the apostle: for no one can put another foundation besides the one that Christ Jesus has already put in place. [I Cor. 3:11]

The walls are the law or the care of angels; in the song of Isaiah: and after I had enclosed the walls and I had annexed the reeds, I planted a vineyard. [Is. 5:2 (unknown variant)]

The house is the soul in which Christ lives or the church; in the psalm: let us go to the house of the Lord. [Ps. 121(122):1]

The upper room is the height of the worthy or of knowledge; in the gospel: and he himself will show you a large upper room. [Luke 22:12]

The door is the opening of faith; in the apostle: the large door was open to me that I might see. [I Cor. 16:9]

The column is the mainstay or support of the spirit; in the apostle: James, John, and Cephas (Peter), who are seen to be the columns. [Gal. 2:9]

The wall [of a house] is the construction of good works; in the song of songs: behold, here past our wall, seeing through the windows. [Cant. 2:9]

The windows are the vision or perception of others; as above: seeing through the windows; the same in a bad part: death enters through your windows. [Cant. 2:9; Jer. 9:21]

The step is the ascent of the spirit; in the title of the psalms: the songs of degrees. [Ps. 119(120):1 Vulgate]

The floor is humility or the affliction of the spirit as if in a dip in the ground; in the psalm: my soul clings to the floor. [Ps. 118(119):25 Vulgate]

The lute is good works; in the psalm: a glad lute with a zither. [Ps. 80(81):3(2) Vulgate]

The zither is the breast of the devout, in which the nerves are virtues, in which is spiritual good; in the psalm: arise, lute and zither, that is, the works of faith; or it is about the resurrection of the Lord's body with divine strength. [Ps. 107(108):3(2)]

The ten strings of a ten-stringed lute are the ten precepts or the five senses of the exterior man combined with the five of the interior; in the psalm: on a ten-stringed lute and a zither with a song. [Ps. 91(92):4(3) Vulgate]

A pipe is a man or the one who has gone up to God; in the psalm: praise Him with strings and pipe. [Ps. 150:4]

A drum is the body weakened in fasting; in the psalm: praise Him with drum and strings. [Ps. 150:4]

The strings are harmony; in the psalm: as above.

The trumpet is the joy of the voice in divine proclamation; in the prophet: your voice like a glad trumpet. [Is. 58:1]

Cymbals are the lips that trust in the Lord or the love of God and the love of neighbor; in the psalm: praise Him with loud clanging cymbals. [Ps. 150:5]

Celebration is noise expressed with spiritual fervor; in the psalm: praise Him with joyful cymbals. [Ps. 150:5]

Egypt is this world or the gentiles; in the psalm: ambassadors will come from Egypt. [Ps. 67(68):32 Vulgate]

Ethiopia is the church of the gentiles; in the psalm: let Ethiopia come before His hand; and the same in another part of the psalm: You gave food to the people of Ethiopia. [Ps. 67(68):32 Vulgate; Ps. 73(74):14 Vulgate]

Babylon is the world or Rome; in the apocalypse: and Babylon, great in memory, came before God, who gave her a cup of wine, the enormity of His anger. [Apoc. 16:19]

Enemies are the devil or faults; in the psalm: let him not be confused, when he talks to his enemies at the gate. [Ps. 126(127):5]

Thieves are heretics or pseudoprophets; in the gospel: all who come before me will have been thieves or robbers. [John 10:8]

The gentiles are faults; in the Pentateuch: when the Lord, your God, led you into the land which you were going to possess by degrees and he destroyed many people in front of you. The same in another part: clap your hands, all you people. [Deut. 7:1; Ps. 46(47):2(1)]

A battle is a contest between spiritual iniquity or a fight against faults; in the apostle: thus I fight but not like one that beats the air. [I Cor. 9:26]

Peace is harmony between flesh and spirit; in the psalm: ask who in Jerusalem are of peace. [Ps. 121(122):6 (unknown variant)]

Victory is triumph over the devil or over adversity; in the apostle: give thanks to God who gives us victory through our lord Jesus Christ. [Ephes. 2:14]

Wages are the reward of perfect work; in the apostle: I follow to the end, to the wages of the heavenly calling of God. [I Cor. 15:57]

The crown is the wage of eternal glory for righteousness; in the apostle: as for the rest the crown of righteousness is laid on me. [Phil. 3:14]

Because the fullness of spiritual perfection leads to the crown, rightly he perfects those to whom the crown is the spiritual names. We have led then to the difficulty of containing the spiritual names, such as these, that they may be drawn out whole, while they themselves sow the seeds of meaning in another part.

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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