river); like Moses guiding his people from persecution to new security.5 Countering hopeful Jewish interpretations of prophecies of the Promised Land and the restoration of Jerusalem, Eusebius, though once considering these purely eschatological promises for the church (as did Origen before him and Jerome after), subsequently applied Ezekiel's vision of the New Jerusalem to the earthly city now emerging as a Christian centre under imperial patronage.6 By contrast, contemplating the decadence of Roman culture in the West at the turn of the fifth century, Paulinus of Nola rendered the lament in Psalm 136(137), with its graphic image of the victors bashing the heads of the enemy's infants on the rocks, as a prophecy of Christianity itself as the New Jerusalem at last usurping the 'Babylon' of the old empire.7

These exegetes well knew that faithful interpretation of scriptural prophecy meant retaining the suspense of fulfilment or outcome (ekbasis). Indeed, in God's good time, the prophecies might have more than one fulfilment: in the Jews' own latter history, in the church here and now, and in the eschatological consummation. The church-in-the-world was the grand theatre in which this drama was still unfolding.

To explore a single example in detail, patristic exegetes, honouring the Psalms as prophecy, were especially intrigued by those psalms that in the Septuagint bore the title To the end (telos), for those who will be changed. One such is Psalm 59(60), a song of David's praise for victory over his enemies. Few are the commentators, like Theodoret of Cyrrus,8 who saw this psalm as merely presaging events in later Jewish history. Eusebius comments that David was looking beyond his own victories to a 'change' when Israel would wither from her former glory; but he was also pointing toward the telos at the end of the ages (cf. Hebrews 9.26), the glorious transformation being inaugurated in the calling of the Gentiles.9 According to the pseudo-Athanasian Expositions of the Psalms, David is speaking in Psalm 59 in the persona of Christ himself, projecting his grand conquest of the Gentiles and a time when penitent Jews will see Gentiles as kinsmen.10 The Cappadocian bishop Basil of Caesarea echoes Eusebius' sense that the victory of the converted Gentiles would itself

5 Eusebius, Life of Constantine 1.12 (GCS 7 = Eusebius Werke, i: 13-14); H.E. 9.9.5-8 (GCS 9 = Eusebius Werke, 11.2: 828-30).

6 On Eusebius' shifting interpretation, see Robert Wilken, The land called holy, 78-81, 93-100.

10 ps.-Athanasius, Expositiones in Ps. 59 (PG 27: 268-9).

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