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The General Epistle of Barnabas

Chapter 12

12:1 “But let us go yet further, and inquire whether this people be the heir, or the former; and whether the covenant be with us or with them.”
12:2 “And first, as concerning the people, hear now what the Scripture says.”
12:3 “Isaac prayed for his wife Rebekah, because she was barren; and she conceived. Afterwards Rebekah went forth to inquire of the Lord.”
12:4 “And the Lord said to her; There are two nations in your womb, and two people shall come from your body; and the one shall have power over the other, and the greater shall serve the lesser. Understand here who was Isaac, who Rebekah, and of whom it was foretold, this people shall be greater than that.”
12:5 “And in another prophesy Jacob speaks more clearly to his son Joseph saying; Behold the Lord has not deprived me of seeing your face, bring me your sons that I may bless them. And he brought to his father Manasseh and Ephraim, desiring that he should bless Manasseh, because he was the elder.”
12:6 “Therefore Joseph brought him to the right hand of his father Jacob. But Jacob by the spirit foresaw the figure of the people that was to come.”
12:7 “And what does the Scripture say? And Jacob crossed his hands, and put his right hand upon Ephraim, his second, and the younger son, and blessed him. And Joseph said to Jacob; Put your right hand upon the head of Manasseh, for he is my first-born son. And Jacob said to Joseph; I know it my son, I know it; but the greater shall serve the lesser; though he also shall be blessed.”
12:8 “You see of whom he appointed it, that they should be the first people, and heirs of the covenant.”
12:9 “If therefore God shall have yet further taken notice of this by Abraham too; our understanding of it will then be perfectly established.”
12:10 “What then does the Scripture say to Abraham, when he understood, and it was imputed to him for righteousness? Behold I have made you a father of the nations, which without circumcision understand in the Lord.”
12:11 “Let us therefore now inquire whether God has fulfilled the covenant, which he swore to our fathers, that he would give this people? Yes, truly, he gave it: But they were not worthy to receive it by reason of their sins.”
12:12 “For this says the prophet: And Moses continued fasting in mount Sinai, to receive the covenant of the Lord with the people, forty days and forty nights.”
12:13 “And he received of the Lord two tablets written with the finger of the Lord’s hand in the Spirit. And Moses when he had received them brought them down that he might deliver them to the people.”
12:14 “And the Lord said to Moses; Moses, Moses, get you down quickly, for the people which you brought out of the land of Egypt have done wickedly.”
12:15 “And Moses understood that they had again set up a molten image, and he cast the two tablets out of his hands, and the tablets of the covenant of the Lord were broken. Moses therefore received them, but they were not worthy.”
12:16 “Now then learn how we have received them. Moses, being a servant, took them, but the Lord himself has given them to us, that we might be the people of his inheritance, having suffered for us.”
12:17 “He was therefore made manifest; that they should fill up the measure of their sins, and that we being made heirs by him, should receive the covenant of the Lord Jesus.”
12:18 “And again the prophet says; Behold, I have set you for a light to the nations/tribes, to be the savior of all the ends of the earth, says the Lord the God who has redeemed you.”
12:19 “Who for that very end was prepared, that by his own appearing he might redeem our hearts, already devoured by death, and delivered over to the irregularity of error, from darkness; and establish a covenant with us by his word.”
12:20 “For so it is written that the father commanded him by delivering us from darkness, to prepare to himself a holy people.”
12:21 “Wherefore the prophet says: I the Lord your God have called you in righteousness, and I will take you by your hand and will strengthen you. And give you for a covenant of the people, for a light of the tribes. To open the eyes of the blind, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.”
12:22 “Consider therefore from where we have been redeemed. And again the prophet says: The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me: he has sent me to preach glad tidings to the lowly, to heal the broken in heart, to preach remission to the captives, and sight to the blind. To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of restitution, to comfort all that mourn.”

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