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Jacob of Sarug’s Homilies on Elisha


Metrical Homilies of Mar Jacob of Sarug


Translation and Introduction by Stephen A. Kaufman
This edition of Mar Jacob of Sarug's (d. 521) homilies on the prophet Elisha deals with some of the more difficult stories in the Old Testament, how to understand the story of the bears who ravage the children who made fun of the prophet and why the sacrifice by the King of Moab of his son to his pagan god was seemingly successful. The volume constitutes a fascicle of The Metrical Homilies of Mar Jacob of Sarug, which, when complete, will contain the original Syriac text of Jacob's surviving sermons, fully vocalized, alongside an annotated English translation.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-60724-302-1
  • *
Publication Status: In Print

Publication Date: Oct 25,2010
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 361
Languages: English, Syriac
ISBN: 978-1-60724-302-1
$83.00
$49.80

Recognized as a saint by both Chalcedonian and non-Chalcedonian Christians alike, Jacob of Sarug (d. 521) produced many narrative poems that have rarely been translated into English. Of his reported 760 metrical homilies, only about half survive. Part of a series of fascicles containing the bilingual Syriac-English editions of Saint Jacob of Sarug’s homilies, this volume contains his homilies on Elisha. The Syriac text is fully vocalized, and the translation is annotated with a commentary and biblical references. The volume is one of the fascicles of Gorgias Press’s The Metrical Homilies of Mar Jacob of Sarug, which, when complete, will contain all of Jacob’s surviving sermons.

Recognized as a saint by both Chalcedonian and non-Chalcedonian Christians alike, Jacob of Sarug (d. 521) produced many narrative poems that have rarely been translated into English. Of his reported 760 metrical homilies, only about half survive. Part of a series of fascicles containing the bilingual Syriac-English editions of Saint Jacob of Sarug’s homilies, this volume contains his homilies on Elisha. The Syriac text is fully vocalized, and the translation is annotated with a commentary and biblical references. The volume is one of the fascicles of Gorgias Press’s The Metrical Homilies of Mar Jacob of Sarug, which, when complete, will contain all of Jacob’s surviving sermons.

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Contributor Biography

Stephen Kaufman

Professor of Bible and Cognate Literature Editor in Chief, The Comprehensive Aramaic Lexicon Project Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Cincinnati, USA Editor and translator of Gorgias Press edition of Jacob of Sarug's Homilies on Elijah

  • Dedication (page 5)
  • Table of Contents (page 7)
  • Preface (page 13)
  • List of Abbreviations (page 15)
  • I On Elisha the Prophet (page 17)
    • Introduction (page 19)
      • Outline (page 19)
      • Jacob's Emphases in this Homily (page 19)
      • Other Exegetical Problems (page 20)
      • Types (page 20)
      • Summary (page 20)
    • Text and Translation (page 23)
      • I. Proem: The Wealth of Scripture (page 24)
      • II. Elisha's Request for a Double Portion of Spirit Intrigues our Poet (page 26)
      • III. The Story is True and Why it is so (page 28)
      • IV. The Typology of teh Gift (page 32)
      • V. The Power of Elijah's Cloak (page 38)
      • VI. The Waters of Jericho (page 42)
      • VII. The Typology of the healing of teh waters (page 46)
      • VIII. The Typology of the Salt and the New Pitcher (page 50)
      • IX. The Prophet, not the Salt, Cured teh Water; Thus Typifying the Crucifixion (page 52)
      • X. The Insulting Boys: Satan's Revenge (page 56)
      • XI. Why the Death of the Children was a Good Thing (page 60)
      • XII. Why Elisha could not Simply have Acted out of Anger (page 64)
      • XIII. Elisha's Numerous Prophetic Riches (page 66)
      • XIV. The Indebted Widow (page 70)
      • XV. The Multiplication of the Oil (page 74)
      • XVI. The Reason for the Miracle was to Perform a Foreshadowing Miracle (page 78)
      • XVII. A Foreshadowing Symbol of teh Eucharist (page 80)
      • XVIII. The Three Inside the House Symbolize the Trinity, and teh Church's Mysteries (page 84)
  • II The Second on Elisha and on the King of Moab Who Sacrificed his Son upon the Wall (page 91)
    • Introduction (page 93)
      • Outline (page 93)
      • Summary (page 93)
    • Text and Translation (page 95)
      • I. Scriptural Exegesis Requires Love and the Absence of Preconceptions (page 96)
      • II. An Astonishing and Troubling Passage is Encountered (page 98)
      • III. THe Great Problem of the Passage (page 102)
      • IV. The REason that the Lord Responded to the Pagan Sacrifice (page 104)
      • V. Even having Just Witnessed a Miracle, the Lord's People Doubted Him, While Moab's King had Faith in his Idol (page 108)
      • VI. Abraham's Descendants Forgot their Faith (page 110)
      • VII. Why God was not Concerned that His Response would be Misinterpreted (page 114)
      • VIII. Nothing whould have Changed the Participants' Ideas (page 116)
      • IX. Toward a Proper Understanding teh Meaning of the Story (page 120)
      • X. The Lesson having been Taught, the Pagan's Punishment Awaits the Day of Judgment (page 122)
  • III The Third on Elisha, and the Shilumite Woman 2 Kgs 4:8-37 (page 129)
    • Introduction (page 131)
      • Outline (page 131)
      • Jocob's Emphases in this Homily (page 131)
      • Exegetical Problems (page 132)
      • Psychology (page 132)
      • Types (page 132)
      • Summary (page 132)
    • Text and Translation (page 135)
      • I. the Lord's Wealth is the only kind that is important (page 136)
      • II. Why Elisha chose this house (page 138)
      • III. THe Shilumite as model wife, can be quite capable! (page 140)
      • IV. The Prudent Woman convinces her husband to take in Elisha, and Elisha prepares to repay teh good deed (page 142)
      • V. There is nothing the Prophet can do for her, for her hope is in the Lord (page 144)
      • VI. Against all odds, a son is born (page 148)
      • VII. Why the Lord took teh child away (page 150)
      • VIII. The Shilumite relies on teh Prophet to resurrect her son (page 152)
      • IX. How Elisha's lack of foreknowledge was unusual (page 156)
      • X. Why the Lord hid the death from the Prophet (page 160)
      • XI. Elisha commands Gahzi to hurry back and not greet anyone on the way (page 164)
      • XII. Why the Prophet's Staff was Powerless in Gahzi's hands (page 166)
      • XIII. How the mother's request typified teh Grace who asked God to save Adam (page 168)
      • XIV. The Significance of the Prophet Stretching himself over the dead body (page 174)
      • XV. How Elisha's act prefigures teh Incarnation of teh Son of God (page 176)
      • XVI. Elisha Formed a Cross upon the Body to drive away Death (page 180)
  • IV The Fourth on Elisha: About Naaman the Edomite and his Disciple, Gahzi (page 185)
    • Introduction (page 187)
      • Outline (page 187)
      • Exegetical Problems (page 187)
      • Summary (page 188)
    • Text and Translation (page 189)
      • I. Proem: Your Praise, Lord, is sung by the Heavens (page 190)
      • II. Even the Hymns of the Heavenly Hosts are insufficient, but I shall sing the Lord's Praises nonetheless (page 192)
      • III. The Story of Elisha, Naaman, and Gahzi is the Story of the Conflict between spiritual and material wealth (page 194)
      • IV. Elisha's World-wide reputation as a Healer (page 198)
      • V. Naaman is cleansed and confesses Faith in God (page 200)
      • VI. The Seven Immersions symbolize teh Seven Days of Creation which are the Seven Pillars of Wisdom (page 202)
      • VII. Naaman is cleansed and confesses Faith in God (page 206)
      • VIII. Elisha rejects Naaman's Gift (page 208)
      • IX. Gahzi runs after Naaman to get the Money (page 210)
      • X. Seized by mony Lust, Gahzi had forgotten teh Prophets see All (page 214)
      • XI. The Prophet rebukes Gahzi and transfers Naaman's Leprosy to him (page 216)
      • XII. The Example of the wickedness of Gahzi's Greed in the Story's Message (page 218)
  • V The Fifth on Elisha and on the Vision of the Saints that is able to see hidden things (page 223)
    • Introduction (page 225)
      • Outline (page 225)
      • Summary (page 225)
    • Text and Translation (page 227)
      • I. Proem: Worldly wealth darkens the soul; the Lord's enlightens it (page 228)
      • II. The Power of Prophetic Insight (page 230)
      • III. Our Souls are blind to what is actually all around us (page 232)
      • IV. The Saints can envision teh supernal Court (page 236)
      • V. Elisha, the quintessential spiritual seer (page 240)
      • VI. The King of Edom plans to capture Elisha (page 242)
      • VII. Angels were Elisha's army (page 244)
      • VIII. Elisha prays for teh disiple to see the angelic army (page 248)
      • IX. Elisha has the Edomites blinded (page 250)
      • X. He leads them to Samaria (page 252)
      • XI. Elisha does the proper thing by feeding the enemy soldiers instead of killing them (page 254)
  • VI On the Faamine that was in Samaria in the time of Elisha the Prophet (page 259)
    • Introduction (page 261)
      • Outline (page 261)
      • Summary (page 261)
    • Text and Translation (page 263)
      • I. Proem: Help us, Lord to take advantage of Your true gifts (page 264)
      • II. We have been granted the riches of Scripture (page 268)
      • III. Of all Elisha's wondrous deeds, I shall speak of his role at the sige of Samaria (page 270)
      • IV. What a woman might have said to her son before eating him (page 274)
      • V. The King learns of teh women's agreement to eat their children (page 278)
      • VI. The King threatens Elisha without justification (page 280)
      • VII. The King should have appealed to Elisha without threats (page 282)
      • VIII. Elisha promises relief (page 284)
      • IX. Why the Prophet's promise was fulfilled (page 286)
      • X. The Lord made the Edomites hear the sounds of a great army (page 288)
      • XI. The Edomites flee from the oncoming phantom army (page 292)
      • XII. Why teh Edomites were made to abandon their supplies (page 294)
      • XIII. A festival is celebrated (page 296)
      • XIV. The prices fall and the doubting soldier is crushed by the crowds (page 298)
  • VII About Elisha, when a Dead person revived upon his bones (page 303)
    • Introduction (page 305)
      • Outline (page 305)
      • Summary (page 305)
    • Text and Translation (page 307)
      • I. Proem: the poet summons the instrument of his mind to sing praises to teh Son and asks his auditors to listen with receptive ear (page 308)
      • II. the bones of teh just are made life giving through the Church (page 314)
      • III. Elisha resurrected the dead both in life and in death (page 322)
      • IV. Death failed when confronted with Elisha (page 330)
      • V. What happened to the revived man (page 334)
      • VI. All resurrection is through the Son of God (page 336)
      • VII. The miracle of Elisha's bones was a type of the resurrection through the Messiah's death (page 342)
      • VIII. Elisha's bones should have taught the Jews the truth of Jesus (page 344)
      • IX. Thus believers need no longer fear death (page 348)
  • Table of Major Variants (page 353)
    • Homily 116 (page 353)
    • Homily 117 (page 354)
  • Index of Names and Themes (page 355)
  • Index of Biblical References (page 359)
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