Preexistence, incarnation, and baptism of the Son of God, 1-9. His teaching and his miracles, 10-25. Miseries in store for the guilty land, 26-32. The blessed cross, 33-36.
The great Son of the Immortal famed in song
I from the heart proclaim, to whom a throne,
To be held fast the most Father gave
Ere, he was brought forth; then was he raised up
5 According to flesh given, washed, at the mouth
Of the river Jordan, which goes rushing on
Trailing its gleaming billows, from the fire
Escaping he first shall see God's sweet Spirit
Descending with the wings of a white dove.
10 And a pure flower shall bloom, and springs be full.
And he shall show the ways to men, and show
The heavenly paths, and teach all with wise
And he shall come for judgement and persuade
A disobedient people while he boasts
15 Descent praiseworthy from a heavenly Sire.
Billows shall he tread, sickness of mankind
Shall he destroy, he shall raise up the dead,
And many sufferings shall he drive away;
And from one scrip shall be men's fill of bread,
[1. This book is scarcely entitled to a place among the Sibylline Oracles, or to be called a book. It is a brief hymn in honor of Christ and the cross, and probably of later date than any other portion of the present collection.
2-4. Comp. John xvii, 5.
9. Comp. Matt. iii, 16.
10. Pure flower.--Cited by Lactantius, Div. Inst., iv, 13 [L., G, 486], and comp. Isa, xi, 1, 2, where the Septuagint reads blossom.
16. Tread.--See Matt. xlv, 25.
16-19. Cited by Lactantius, Div. Inst., iv, 15 [L., 6, 494].]
20 When the house of David shall bring forth a child;
And in his hand the whole world, earth, heaven, sea.
And he shall flash upon the earth, as once
The two begotten from each other's ribs
Saw human form appearing. It shall be
25 When earth shall be glad in the hope of child.
But for thee only, Sodomitic land,
Are evil woes laid up; for thou thyself
Ill-disposed didst not apprehend thy God
Who mocks at mortal schemes; but from a thorn
30 Didst crown him with a crown, and fearful gall
Didst mingle unto insolence and spirit.
This shall bring evil woes about for thee.
O the Wood, O so blessed, upon which
God was outstretched; the earth shall not have thee,
35 But thou shalt look upon a heavenly house,
When thou, O God, shalt flash thine eye of fire.
[20. Child.--Or a plant; a shoot. Comp. Isa. xi, 1.
23. Comp. Gen. ii, 21-23.
26. Sodomitic land.--Judea, so called on account of her wickedness. Comp. Isa. i, 10; Ezek. xvi, 48,49.
27-31. Cited by Lactantius, Div. Inst., iv, 18 [L., 6, 507].
33. Cited by Sozomen, Hist. Eccl., ii, 1 [G., 67, 933].]