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Origen, COMMENTARY ON THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW Complete

Translated by John Patrick.

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Page 92

2. Why the Pharisees Asked a Sign from Heaven.

Now, to this point we have come in our discourse, because of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming together unto Jesus, who disagreed in matters relating to the resurrection, but came, as it were, to an agreement for the sake of tempting our Saviour, and asking Him to show them a sign from heaven. For, not satisfied with the wonderful signs shown among the people in the healing of all forms of disease and sickness, and with the rest of the miracles which our Saviour had done in the knowledge of many, they wished Him to show to them also a sign from heaven. And I conjecture that they suspected that the signs upon earth might possibly not be of God; for they did not hesitate indeed to say, "Jesus casts out demons by Beelzebub the prince of the demons;" [5559] and it seemed to them that a sign from heaven could not spring from Beelzebub or any other wicked power. But they erred in regard to both, in regard to signs upon earth as well as to signs from heaven, not being "approved money-changers," [5560] nor knowing how to distinguish between the spirits that are working, which kind are from God, and which have revolted from Him. And they ought to have known that even many of the portents wrought against Egypt in the time of Moses, though they were not from heaven, were clearly from God, and that the fire which fell from heaven upon the sheep of Job was not from God; [5561] for that fire belonged to the same one as he to whom belonged those who carried off, and made three bands of horsemen against, the cattle of Job. I think, moreover, that in Isaiah--as if signs could be shown both from the earth and from heaven, the true being from God, but "with all power and signs and lying wonders" [5562] those from the evil one--it was said to Ahaz, "Ask for thyself a sign from the Lord thy God in the depth or in the height." [5563]

[5559] Matt. ix. 24, xii. 24.

[5560] The familiar saying so frequently quoted as Scripture in the Fathers, sometimes ascribed to Jesus by them, sometimes to Paul. See Suicer.

[5561] Job i. 16.

[5562] 2 Thess. ii. 9.

[5563] Isa. vii. 11.

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Reference address : https://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/greek-texts/fathers/origen/matthew-commentary.asp?pg=92