16 The above description enumerates the whole furniture of the Tabernacle. According to Heb. ix. 4, all that was actually in the Ark was, the pot of manna, Aaron's rod that budded, and the Tables of the Covenant. See also Exod. xvi. 33; Exod. xxv. 37-40.
20 This is from the LXX. of Is. xxii 4, mh katisxushte parakalein me epi to suntrimma, k.t.l.: "Nolite contendere ut me consolemini super contritione:" S. Jerome. Ducaeus has rightly restored this, for katisxushtai.
22 kata ton uyhlon 0Iwannhn en th afqoria tou swmatoj. Sifanus translates "integritate corporis ornatum." Rupp rejects the idea that the John who "should not die" is here meant: and thinks that the epithet, and afqoria (= the more technical afqarsia) point to the monasticism of John the Baptist.
24 In 379 the Council of Antioch settled the schism of Antioch, which seemed as if it would disturb the whole East, and even the West. Even the Catholics of Antioch had been divided, between Meletius and Paulinus, since the days of Julian. It was settled that, at the death of either, the other should succeed to his "diocese." Gregory himself was present, the ninth month after his brother Basil's death.
26 Gregory is here addressing men of Antioch, though he said before that that city was too distant yet to have heard the news. They must have been the bishops of the neighbourhood of Antioch and other Christians from the diocese of Meletius, then present in the capital.
31 Ps cxxvii. The title of this Psalm in LXX., Tw Dauid (dia) Ieremiou (which the Vulgate follows), implies that it is "a Davidic song springing from Jeremiah's heart." But "beginning with perfects, this Psalm is evidently not written during the time of the Exile, but in recollection of it:" Delitzsch. Some see resemblances to Ezekiel in it. The poplar is meant, not the weeping-willow, which is not met with wild in anterior Asia.
33 en iteaij. The best mss. support this reading, so that Krabinger has not dared to alter it to itea, as Morell's ms. Sifanus has "plane enim in salicibus vita consistit;" but Rupp, "Unser Leben ist in der That ein Weidengebusche." In Bellarmine's mystical interpretation the willows are the citizens of Babylon, who resemble willows "in being unfruitful, bitter in themselves, and dwelling by choice in the midst of Babylon," to whom the instruments of worldly mirth are left.
35 Doubtless an allusion to Rom. xi. 2; "how he (Elias) maketh intercession to God against Israel;" but here Meletius departed intercedes for the people, and the Intercession of Saints is clearly intimated.
40 Morell reads here, "Moses has left," "Moses has crossed;" but Krabinger has no doubt that this word is due to a gloss upon the text. The Scholiast Nicetas (on Gregory Naz., Orat. 38) well explains this use of "Egypt": "Egypt is sometimes taken for this present world, sometimes for the flesh, sometimes for sin, sometimes for ignorance, sometimes for mischief."
43 2 Sam. vi. 14. "That ark," very probably refers to the remains of Meletius, not to the coffin or bier. The human body is called by this very term (skhnoj, tabernacle), 2 Cor. v. 1 and 2 Cor. v. 4, nor was the word in this sense unknown to Plato. The body of Meletius has been already called a kibwtoj.
45 twn apostolwn thn suskhnian (eipate): "Thirteenth Apostle!" was in these times a usual expression of the highest praise. It was even heard in the applause given to living preachers. But if eipate cannot bear so extended a meaning, some funeral banquet of the "apostles" assembled at the Council is alluded to: or else (remembering the use of skhnoj just above) "the lying in state in an Apostle's Church," in the capital: cf. above, "his joining the Apostolic band and his departure to Christ."
47 It is only the Rabbis that make Lemuel, the author of the last chapter of Proverbs, the same as Solomon: Grotius identifies him with Hezekiah. Some Gerinan commentators regard him as the chief of an Arab tribe, on the borders of Palestine, and brother of Agur, author of ch. xxx. But the suggestion of Eichhorn and Ewald is the more probable, that Lemuel is an ideal name signifying "for God," the true King who leads a life consecrated to Jehovah.
49 S. Gregory has misapplied both this passage from Ps. civ. 15 and the previous one from Prov. xxxi. 6. An attentive consideration of them shows that they do not lend themselves to the use he has made of them.
50 Zwroterw. For the comparative see Lobeck, Ad Phrynich. p. 146: meizoterw is the common faulty reading. These words are joined closely to what precedes in the mss. Then, in what follows, "the unstinted goblets of the word," pneumatikou is rightly omitted before logou: "and gladness" (kai agalliasij) is rightly added, as it is joined with eufrosunh in Ps. xlv. 15; and by Gregory himself, In Diem Nat. Christ. (pp. 340 and 352), and In Bapt. Christi (p. 377).
10 The reference appears to be not to the Cross as the instrument of that Death which was of saving efficacy, but to miraculous cures, real or reputed, effected by means of the actual wood of the Cross. The argument seems to require that we should understand the Cross itself, and not only the sacrifice offered upon it, to be the means of producing wondrous effects: and the grammatical construction favours this view. S. Cyril of Jerusalem mentions the extensive distribution of fragments of the Cross (Cat. x. 19), but this is probably one of the earliest references to miracles worked by their means.
14 The meaning of this clause may be, either that Gregory does not propose to follow this point out, as the subject of his discourse is Baptism, not the doctrine of the Trinity; or, that the example he has given is not to be so pressed as to imply tritheism, being merely an illustration of moral obligation, not a parallel from which anything is to be inferred as to the exact relation between the Three Persons.
33 If "the Baptism of Jesus" here means (as seems most likely) the Baptism of our Lord by S. John, not the Baptism instituted by our Lord, then we are apparently intended to understand that our Lord, summing up humanity in Himself, represented by His Baptism that of all who should thereafter be baptized.