More Transcription and Translation of Origen’s Homilies

I’ve continued transcribing and translating from the recently discovered codex. The material continues to be quite speculative, though I *think* I’m following it. Origen is commenting further on the division of the waters during the creation narrative (those above the firmament, and those below). He takes the passage in an allegorical manner: in his mind we aren’t dealing with “waters perceptible to our eyes,” but δυνάμεις, (spiritual powers). If you spot any errors, or have any suggestions, do let me know.


“εἴδοσάν σε ὑδατα καὶ ἐφοβήθησαν.”
ἐγὼ καὶ ἐν
ἀρχῇ τῆς κοσμοποιίας, ὁρῶν πνεῦμα
θεοῦ ὡς φησὶν ὁ προφήτης τῇ διατάξει
τῶν ὁλῶν επιφερόμενoν ἐπάνω
τοῦ ὕδατος, καὶ σκότος οὐχὶ ἐπάνω
τοῦ ὕδατος, ἐκεῖ γαρ τὸ πνεῦμα
τοῦ θεοῦ ἦν, ἀλλ’ἐπάνω τῆς ἀβύσσου,
ὅπου τὸ σκότος, καὶ ὕδατος ὅπου
τὸ πνεῦμα τοῦ θεοῦ, καὶ μετὰ πολλῆς
εὐχῆς παρακαλῶν [1] τὸν θεὸν κινοῦναι
περὶ τῶν κατὰ τοὺς τόπους. ἐπεὶ καὶ
δι’ὕδατα γίνεται τὸ στερέωμα, ἵνα
τὰ μέν τινα μείνῃ ἀνωτέρω, τὰ δέ μείνῃ
κατωτέρω. μήτε ὁ Ισραήλ ἐστιν. οὐ περὶ
αἰσθεντῶν ὑδάτων, ἀλλὰ περὶ δυνάμενων
θειοτέρων κάτω μενουσῶν τοῦ
στερεώματος. τούτων αἵτινες ἦσαν,
ἡ ἄβυσσος, ἧς ἐπάνω τὸ σκότος ἦν,
καὶ γὰρ παλαίομεν πρὸς τοὺς κοσμοκράτορας
τοῦ σκότους τούτου. τὸ δὲ
ὕδωρ, οὗ έπάνω τὸ πνεῦμα ἦν τοῦ θεοῦ,
δυνάμεις ἦσαν κρείττονες. ἄρτι οὖν τοῦ
κόσμου κτιζομένου, ἦν ἕν ούκ οἶδ’ὅπως
ταῦτα, οὐδέπω διακεκριμένα. ἡδε
κοσμοποιϊα, διέκρινε τὰ κρείττονα,
καὶ οἷς οἰκεῖον ἦν τὸ πνεῦμα τοῦ
θεοῦ, ἀπὸ τῶν χειρόνων, καὶ τὰ χείρονα,
καὶ οἷς συνέζευκται τὸ σκότος,
τὸ λεγόμενον εἶναι ἐπὶ πρόσωπον τῆς
ἀβύσσου, ὅτι δὲ ταῦτα οὐ συντυχικά
ἔστιν ἐν τῇ γενέσει, δηλοῖ καὶ ἡ ἐνταῦθα
λέξις λέγουσα, “εἴδοσάν σε ὕδατα, ὁ θεός,
εἴδοσάν σε ὕδατα καὶ έφοβήθησαν.”

[1] In the translation, I’ve understood this as παρακαλοῦν, that is, a neuter rather than a masculine participle. From what I recall πνεῦμα could take on masculine forms in certain instances, but I don’t recall the details.


“The waters beheld you, and were afraid.”
In the beginning of the creation narrative, I see
the spirit of God, as the prophet says, by an order [from God]
brooding over all of the waters; and I see the darkness,
not upon the water, for there the Spirit of God was,
but in some places the darkness was upon the abyss, and
in some places the Spirit of God was upon the water, and
he (the Spirit) cried out with a great prayer that God would move
each their respective places. Thus, because of the waters
the firmament was created, so that some water would
remain above, and some would remain below. But is not
Israel [ie, this is a spiritual matter]; it is not about waters
perceptible to our senses, but about divine powers
remaining below the firmament. There were several of these,
and the abyss, over which there was darkness, was one of them:
we wrestle against the cosmic powers of this darkness. But
the waters, over which the Spirit of God was, were mightier
powers. Now just prior to the world’s creation, they were
one, and I don’t know what their nature was, before they
were divided. But the creation narrative distinguishes
the greater things, those to which the Spirit of God was suitable,
from the lesser ones, to which darkness was joined, which is
said to be over the face of the abyss. Because these things
are not found in Genesis, the reading here makes is clear
saying, “The waters saw you, O God. The waters saw you and
were afraid.”


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