On the melody: Rely on the truth The sceptre of kingship shepherds humankind, cares for cities, drives away wild animals. The opposite was the sceptre of the king who apostatized. The wild animals saw it and exulted: the wolves were his partisans; the leopard and the lion raged;
even the foxes raised their voices. The wolves saw the clouds, rain, and whirlwind. Calling to one another, they attacked. Ravenous, they rampaged.
Utterly hemmed in, they were all furious.
They surrounded the blessed flock.
But the sceptre that had gladdened them was broken and moved them to regret. A crushed reed (Isa 36:6) was the support of the left hand.
They fled back into their caverns, dark and primeval. The fear they had stripped off, they put on again in their dens.
The creation that had been gloomy, brightened and exulted, but the rebels were trampled.
The heads of leviathan were smashed in the midst of the sea (cf. Ps 74:13-14), and his crawling tail was shattered in the midst of the dry land.
The living dead awoke and were resuscitated. Thinking themselves revived, they were rebuked—
how they were disgraced! Being resuscitated, they revived graven images. The idols confuted the apostates. One is the death of pagans and tares, all of whom took refuge at once in the same one. At that time, then, the mud seethed and spewed out vermin of all sizes and worms of every sort. They bred, and the earth was full of them in the middle of winter. The breath of the dragon made the earth seethe, but the One equipped with the sandal of truth despised the poison of the stings of the sons of error. Those who stood with the overthrown fell with the fallen.
They persevered, thinking even they could stand firm. The fools clung to one another, but as it transpired they all fell.
Their fall attested their impediment: although divided, they agreed on the stumbling block. In the love of one king they were joined. When demons rejoiced, they suddenly revived with them.
When the Evil One was jubilant, they exulted with him.
As if by a mystery, time arranged for all of them at once to be dependent on one. They made themselves brothers and members of one another, for they all depended on the head of the left hand. For while the right hand was grieved over sinners, 8
the children of the left hand rejoiced greatly. In the season of the penitents, angels alone rejoice. Without realizing it, fools behave in the opposite way. Only the church agrees with the Watchers in both: she suffers over the sinners but rejoices over penitents. The Evil One saw that he had intoxicated and 9
confused people. He rejoiced and mocked freedom all the more that people have so thoroughly enslaved themselves to him.
The Evil One was astounded how much he tore us to pieces, but the fools, torn to pieces, did not feel their pains. Although the Physician was near, they despised the cure.
The ugly, dark, all-gloomy winter 10
robbed the beauty of the all-rejoicing spring. Thornbushes and tares were disgorged and sprang up. The dry frost moistened brambles in the inner rooms and thistles in the courts. In this time the naked and the barefoot shivered. How the late seeding was afraid and terrified! 11
For without effort it was sown and took root. Uprooted were the aftergrowth, the self-sown growth sprouting throughout the world, and that which had quickly risen to the surface, but the seed of effort that struck root profusely— its fruit came a hundredfold, sixty and thirtyfold. The truth-loving kings in the symbol of two bulls 12 yoked together equally the two Testaments. With the yoke of harmony they worked and adorned the earth.
But the thorns clothed themselves in the beauty of the wheat, and the seed spread its appearance even upon the tares. Those who stripped away beauty did so in freedom.
Some of them were brambles, and some were wheat. Some were gold, and some were dust.
The tyrant became a crucible for the beauty of the true ones.
Who has ever seen such a glorious sight? For Truth entered and was tested in the crucible of the False One.
Unwittingly, Error has glorified the true ones. All who were apostates rejoiced in the apostate— the sons of the left hand in the head of the left hand. In him they could see who they themselves were, since he became a mirror for all of them. Those who rejoiced over his victory shared his lot, inasmuch as disgrace befell them from his death. For it was the church alone that opposed him utterly, and they and he together opposed her utterly. Without dispute this is sufficient to teach that they were on one side and she on the other. The furtive ones, who were believed not to belong to them, hastily associated themselves with them.
The People raged and raved and blared the trumpet.
They rejoiced that he [was] a soothsayer and were jubilant that he was a Chaldean. The circumcised saw the image that suddenly was a bull.
On his coins they saw the shameful bull, and they began to keep its feast with cymbals and trumpets, for they recognized in that bull their ancient calf. The bull of paganism engraved on his heart [Julian] imprinted on that image for the People who love it.
Perhaps the Jews cried out to that bull, "Behold the gods who will lead your captives up from Babylon into the land they devastated, as the molten calf led you out of Egypt (Exod 32:8)!" A king, the Babylonian king, suddenly became a wild ass, but he learned to be subjugated; he who used to kick, kicked no more. A king, the Hellenic king, suddenly became a bull and gored the churches, but he was dragged away. The circumcised saw the bull imprinted on the staters, and they rejoiced that the calves of Jereboam were revived (cf. 1 Kings 12:25-33). Perhaps because of that silver coin on which the bull was portrayed, the Jews were overjoyed that [Julian] carried it in his heart and also in his purse and in his hand as a type of that calf of the wilderness that was before his eye and heart and mind;
and probably in his dreams he used to see the calf.
A king, the Babylonian king, went mad and went out 20
into the countryside. He was made to wander in order to be gathered in; he was maddened in order to come to his senses (cf. Dan 4:31-37). He made God rejoice and made Daniel exult. A king, the Hellenic king, has been rebuked, for he angered God and denied Daniel, and there near Babylon he was judged and condemned.
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