Anf-01 ix.iv.xxi Pg 16 is the sign of our salvation, since it was the Lord Himself who saved them, because they could not be saved by their own instrumentality; and, therefore, when Paul sets forth human infirmity, he says: “For I know that there dwelleth in my flesh no good thing,”3696
Isa. vii. 4.
Anf-03 v.iv.iv.xiii Pg 13 is to conceive and bring forth. They are, however, refuted by this consideration, that nothing of the nature of a sign can possibly come out of what is a daily occurrence, the pregnancy and child-bearing of a young woman. A virgin mother is justly deemed to be proposed3267
This opinion of Jews and Judaizing heretics is mentioned by Irenæus, Adv. Hæret. iii. 21 (Stieren’s ed. i. 532); Eusebius, Hist. Eccles. v. 8; Jerome, Adv. Helvid. (ed. Benedict), p. 132. Nor has the cavil ceased to be held, as is well known, to the present day. The המָלְעַהָ of Isa. vii. 4 is supposed by the Jewish Fuerst to be Isaiah’s wife, and he quotes Kimchi’s authority; while the neologian Gesenius interprets the word, a bride, and rejects the Catholic notion of an unspotted virgin. To make way, however, for their view, both Fuerst and Gesenius have to reject the LXX. rendering, παρθένος.
3267 Disposita. by God as a sign, but a warlike infant has no like claim to the distinction; for even in such a case3268
3268 Et hic. there does not occur the character of a sign. But after the sign of the strange and novel birth has been asserted, there is immediately afterwards declared as a sign the subsequent course of the Infant,3269
3269 Alius ordo jam infantis. who was to eat butter and honey. Not that this indeed is of the nature of a sign, nor is His “refusing the evil;” for this, too, is only a characteristic of infancy.3270
3270 Infantia est. Better in adv. Judæos, “est infantiæ.” But His destined capture of the riches of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria before the king of Assyria is no doubt a wonderful sign.3271
3271 The italicised words we have added from adv. Judæos, “hoc est mirabile signum.” Keep to the measure of His age, and seek the purport of the prophecy, and give back also to the truth of the gospel what you have taken away from it in the lateness of your heresy,3272
3272 Posterior. Posteritas is an attribute of heresy in T.’s view. and the prophecy at once becomes intelligible and declares its own accomplishment. Let those eastern magi wait on the new-born Christ, presenting to Him, (although) in His infancy, their gifts of gold and frankincense; and surely an Infant will have received the riches of Damascus without a battle, and unarmed.