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Chapter VI.—Simon Appeals to the Old Testament to Prove that There are Many Gods.

“For instance, in the very first words of the law, He evidently speaks of them as being like even unto Himself.  For thus it is written, that, when the first man received a commandment from God to eat of every tree that was in the garden, 1255 but not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the serpent having persuaded them by means of the woman, through the promise that they would become gods, made them look up; 1256 and then, when they had thus looked up, God said, 1257 ‘Behold, Adam is become as one of us.’  When, then, the serpent said, 1258 ‘Ye shall be as gods,’ he plainly speaks in the belief that gods exist; all the more as God also added His testimony, saying, ‘Behold, Adam is become as one of us.’  The serpent, then, who said that there are many gods, did not speak falsely.  Again, the scripture, 1259 ‘Thou shalt not revile the gods, nor curse the rulers of thy people,’ points out many gods whom it does not wish even to be cursed.  But it is also somewhere else written, 1260 ‘Did another god dare to enter and take him a nation from the midst of another nation, as did I the Lord God?’  When He says, ‘Did another God dare?’ He speaks on the supposition that other gods exist.  And elsewhere: 1261   ‘Let the gods that have not made the heavens and the earth perish;’ as if those who had made them were not to perish.  And in another place, when it says, 1262 ‘Take heed to thyself lest thou go and serve other gods whom thy fathers knew not,’ it speaks as if other gods existed whom they were not to follow.  And again: 1263   ‘The names of other gods shall not ascend upon thy lips.’  Here it mentions many gods whose names it does not wish to be uttered.  And again it is written, 1264 ‘Thy God is the Lord, He is God of gods.’  And again: 1265   ‘Who is like unto Thee, O Lord, among the Gods?’  And again: 1266   ‘God is Lord of gods.’  And again: 1267   ‘God stood in the assembly of gods:  He judgeth among the gods.’  Wherefore I wonder how, when there are so many passages in writing which testify that there are many gods, you have asserted that we ought neither to say nor to think that there are many. 1268   Finally, if you have anything to say against what has been spoken so distinctly, say it in the presence of all.”



παραδείσῳ, “paradise.”  Gen. 2:16, 17.


ἀναβλέψαι.  It signifies either to look up, or to recover one’s sight.  Possibly the second meaning is the one intended here, corresponding to the words of our version:  “Then your eyes shall be opened.”


Gen. iii. 22.


Gen. iii. 5.


Ex. xxii. 28.


Deut. iv. 34.


Jer. x. 11.


Deut. xiii. 6.


Josh. xxiii. 7, LXX.


Deut. x. 17.


Ps. 35:10, Ps. 86:8.


Ps. l. 1.


Ps. lxxxii. 1.


[Comp. Recognitions, ii. 39.—R.]

Next: Chapter VII