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Origen, COMMENTARY ON THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW, Part II, Complete

Translated by John Patrick.

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Page 22

Book XIII.

1. Relation of the Baptist to Elijah. The Theory of Transmigration Considered.

"The disciples asked Him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elijah must first come?" [5823] The disciples indeed who went up with Jesus remembered the traditions of the scribes concerning Elijah, that before the advent of Christ, Elijah would come and prepare for Him the souls of those who were going to receive Him. But the vision in the mountain, at which Elijah appeared, did not seem to be in harmony with the things which were said, since to them it seemed that Elijah had not come before Jesus but after Him; wherefore, they say these things, thinking that the scribes lied. But to this the Saviour answers, not setting aside the traditions concerning Elijah, but saying that there was another advent of Elijah before that of Christ of which the scribes were ignorant; and, in regard to this, being ignorant of him, they "had done unto him whatsoever they listed," [5824] as if they had been accomplices in his having been cast into prison by Herod and slain by him; then He says that according as they had done towards Elijah so would He suffer at their hands. [5825] And these things indeed as about Elijah the disciples asked and the Saviour answered, but when they heard they understood that the words, "Elijah has already come," and that following which was spoken by the Saviour, had reference to John the Baptist. [5826] And let these things be said by way of illustration of the passage before us. But now according to our ability let us make investigation also into the things that are stored up in it.

[5823] Matt. xvii. 10.

[5824] Matt. xvii. 12.

[5825] Matt. xvii. 12.

[5826] Matt. xvii. 13.

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Reference address : https://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/greek-texts/fathers/origen/matthew-commentary-2.asp?pg=22