Of the longing with which the old patriarchs desired to see the revelation of that mystery.
This mystery then, which was manifested in the flesh and appeared in the world, and was preached to the Gentiles, many of the saints of old longed to see in the flesh, as they foresaw it in the spirit. For “Verily,” saith the Lord, “I say unto you that many prophets and righteous men have desired to see the things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear the things which ye hear and have not heard them.” 2537 And so the prophet Isaiah says: “O that Thou, Lord, would rend the heavens and come down,” 2538 and David too: “O Lord, bow the heavens and come down.” 2539 Moses also says: “Show me Thyself that I may see Thee plainly.” 2540 No one ever approached nearer to God speaking out of the clouds, and to the very presence of His glory than Moses who received the law. And if no one ever saw more closely into God than he did, why did he ask for a still clearer vision, saying, “Show me Thyself that I may see Thee plainly”? Simply because he prayed that this p. 590 might happen which the apostle tells us in almost the same words actually did happen; viz., that the Lord might be openly manifested in the flesh, might openly appear to the world, openly be received up in glory; and that at last the saints might with their very bodily eyes see all those things which with spiritual sight they had foreseen.
S. Matt. xiii. 17.589:2538
Isa. lxiv. 1.589:2539
Exod. xxxiii. 13.