Epistle of Barnabas - Loss of Covenant at Mount Sinai
See all of the Epistle of Barnabas.
Chapter XIV.-The Lord Hath Given Us the Testament Which Moses Received and Broke.
Yes [it is even so]; but let us inquire if the Lord has really given that testament which He swore to the fathers that He would give to the people.
He did give it; but they were not worthy to receive it, on account of their sins.
For the prophet declares, "And Moses was fasting forty days and forty nights on Mount Sinai, that he might receive the testament of the Lord for the people (Ex. xxiv. 18.) And he received from the Lord (Ex. xxxi. 18.) two tables,
written in the spirit by the finger of the hand of the Lord. And Moses having received them, carried them down to give to the people. And the Lord said to Moses, "Moses, Moses, go down quickly; for thy people hath sinned, whom thou didst bring out of the land of Egypt. Ex. xxxii. 7; Deut. ix. 12.
And Moses understood that they had again (made for themselves) made molten images; and he threw the tables out of his hands,
and the tables of the testament of the Lord were broken.
Moses then received it, but they proved themselves unworthy.
Learn now how we have received it.
Moses, as a servant, (Comp. Heb. iii. 5.) received it;
but the Lord himself, having suffered in our behalf, hath given it to us, that we should be the people of inheritance.
But He was manifested, in order that they might be perfected in their iniquities, and that we, being constituted heirs through Him, (through him who inherited) might receive the testament of the Lord Jesus,
who was prepared for this end, that by His personal manifestation, redeeming our hearts (which were already wasted by death, and given over to the iniquity of error) from darkness,
He might by His word enter into a covenant with us. For it is written how the Father, about to redeem (through Christ) us from darkness, commanded Him to prepare a holy people for Himself.
(Cod. Sin. reads, "be prepared." Hilgenfeld follows Cod. Sin. so far, and reads, "For it is written how the Father commanded Him who was to redeem us from darkness (autw-lutrwsamenoj) to prepare a holy people for Himself.")
The prophet therefore declares, "I, the Lord Thy God, have called Thee in righteousness, and will hold Thy hand, and will strengthen Thee; and
I have given Thee for a covenant to the people, for a light to the nations, to open the eyes of the blind,
and to bring forth from fetters them that are bound, and those that sit in darkness out of the prison-house. ( Isa. xlii. 6, 7.) Ye perceive, (Cod. Sin. has, "we know.") then, whence we have been redeemed.
And again, the prophet says, "Behold, I have appointed Thee as a light to the nations, that Thou mightest be for salvation even to the ends of the earth, saith the Lord God that redeemeth thee. (Isa. xlix. 6.) And again, the prophet saith,
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; because He hath anointed me to preach the Gospel to the humble: He hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim deliverance to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind; to announce the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of recompense; to comfort all that mourn (Isa. lxi. 1, 2.)
Counter added 1.17.05 6:58p 1846