Gnostic Doctrine

Saturday, 21 January 2023

The Aeons in the Odes of Solomon

Aeon in the Odes of Solomon

Ode 7
A wonderfully, simple and joyful psalm on the Incarnation.
  1. As is the course of anger over wickedness, so is the course of joy over the Beloved; and brings in of its fruits unhindered.
  2. My joy is the Lord and my course is towards Him, this path of mine is beautiful.
  3. For there is a Helper for me, the Lord. He has generously shown Himself to me in His simplicity, because His kindness has diminished His dreadfulness.
  4. He became like me, that I might receive Him. In form He was considered like me, that I might put Him on.
  5. And I trembled not when I saw Him, because He was gracious to me.
  6. Like my nature He became, that I might understand Him. And like my form, that I might not turn away from Him.
  7. The Father of knowledge is the Word of knowledge.
  8. He who created wisdom is wiser than His works.
  9. And He who created me when yet I was not knew what I would do when I came into being.
  10. On account of this He was gracious to me in His abundant grace, and allowed me to ask from Him and to benefit from His sacrifice.
  11. For He it is who is incorrupt, the perfection of the worlds and their Father.
  12. He has allowed Him to appear to them that are His own; in order that they may recognize Him that made them, and not suppose that they came of themselves.
  13. For towards knowledge He has set His way, he has widened it and lengthened it and brought it to complete perfection.
  14. And has set over it the traces of His light, and it proceeded from the beginning until the end.
  15. For by Him He was served, and He was pleased by the Son.
  16. And because of his salvation He will possess everything. And the Most High will be known by His holy ones:
  17. To announce to those who have songs of the coming of the Lord, that they may go forth to meet Him and may sing to Him, with joy and with the harp of many tones.
  18. The Seers shall go before Him, and they shall be seen before Him.
  19. And they shall praise the Lord in His love, because He is near and does see.
  20. And hatred shall be removed from the earth, and with jealousy it shall be drowned.
  21. For ignorance was destroyed upon it, because the knowledge of the Lord arrived upon it.
  22. Let the singers sing the grace of the Lord Most High, and let them bring their songs.
  23. And let their heart be like the day, and their gentle voices like the majestic beauty of the Lord.
  24. And let there not be anyone who breathes that is without knowledge or voice.
  25. For He gave a mouth to His creation: to open the voice of the mouth towards Him, and to praise Him.
  26. Confess His power and declare His grace.
knowledge and joy
the whole Ode implies that "knowledge" must not come to us without "joy,":

Ode 7:1 As is the course of anger over wickedness, so is the course of joy over the Beloved; and brings in of its fruits unhindered.

wisdom and the word are with God in heaven: 

Ode 7:7 "The Father of knowledge is the Word of knowledge. He who created wisdom is wiser than His works.." 

wisdom one of the seven spirits of perfection

from the God of knowledge comes all that is and will be (1QS III,15)

the Father is wiser than his works and superior to all wisdom:

Ode 28:20 For the thought of the Most High cannot be anticipated; and His heart is superior to all wisdom.

The Father of the Aeons
Ode 7:11 "Because He it is that is incorrupt, the fulness of the ages and the Father of them." 

Odes of Solomon 7:11 Because he is, he is imperishable the pleroma of the Aeons and their Father. Michael Lattke translation.

7:11 For He it is who is incorrupt, the perfection of the worlds and their Father. James Charlesworth translation

"The Fulness of the aeons and their Father.

ode 16:19 And the worlds (Aeons) are by His Word, and by the thought of His heart.

God is the Father of the Aeons because they emanated from him

The Aeons are not eternal they have a beginning and a Father. The Aeons can refer to the hidden and infinite past

Psalm 77:5 NWT I have thought upon the days of long ago, 
On the years in the indefinite past.

Heb 11:3 New Heart English Bible

By faith, we understand that the ages were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen has not been made out of things which are visible.

Rev. 15:3 American Standard Version

And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, O Lord God, the Almighty; righteous and true are thy ways, thou King of the ages. ("King of the aeons" )
"The Father of the Aeons", there exists high up in invisible and ineffable regions a perfect Aeon, pre-existent [to all]... and this they call Propator (i.e. Pre-existent-Father)

The Aeons are faithful believers
Ode 12
He has filled me with words of truth, that I may proclaim Him.
And like the flowing of waters, truth flows from my mouth, and my lips declare His fruits.
And He has caused His knowledge to abound in me, because the mouth of the Lord is the true Word, and the entrance of His light.
And the Most High has given Him to His generations 
(Aeons), which are the interpreters of His beauty, [the Key of Knowledge found within His Word]

And the narrators of His glory,
And the confessors of His purpose,
And the preachers of His mind,
And the teachers of His works.
For the subtlety of the Word is inexpressible [in its lower/outward (fleshly) meaning], and like His utterance so also is His swiftness and His acuteness, for limitless is His progression.
He never falls but remains standing, and one cannot comprehend His descent or His way.
For as His work is, so is His expectation, for He is the light and dawning of thought.
And by Him the generations (Aeons)spoke to one another, and those that were silent acquired speech. [Blessed are they who by means thereof have understood everything, and have known the Lord in His truth]

ode 19 Then She gave the mixture to the generation without their knowing, and those who have received it are in the perfection of the right hand.

IGNATIUS to the Ephesians CHAPTER 19
19:1 And hidden from the prince of this world were the virginity of Mary and her child-bearing and likewise also the death of the Lord -- three mysteries to be cried aloud -- the which were wrought in the silence of God.
19:2 How then were they made manifest to the ages (Aeons)?A star shone forth in the heaven above all the stars; and its light was unutterable, and its strangeness caused amazement; and all the rest of the constellations with the sun and moon formed themselves into a chorus about the star; but the star itself far outshone them all; and there was perplexity to know whence came this strange appearance which was so unlike them.
19:3 From that time forward every sorcery and every spell was dissolved, the ignorance of wickedness vanished away, the ancient kingdom was pulled down, when God appeared in the likeness of man unto _newness of_ everlasting _life;_ and that which had been perfected in the counsels of God began to take effect. Thence all things were perturbed, because the abolishing of death was taken in hand

In Scripture, the Heb. word rendered by LXX aeon is perhaps best explained as meaning originally (Gesen. 761 V) "hidden," and hence (i) the hidden and infinite past, (2) the hidden and infinite future

The Aeons are personified in the Odes the generations of [past] aeons (Ode 12:4, 8) are represents as, some of them, "speaking" while others are "silent." The generations are past aeons of believers the Elect. They speak to each other by the word, the prophetic messages of the scriptures

and the Father is actively carrying out His Thought of Redemption, by the Word, through the aeons, and not as the mere object of a contemplative

The Patriarchs were called Fathers of the Age." or the The Leader of the Age (or, World),  "the days of the Fathers of the Age (or, World}."

Philo speaks of "aeon" as being in the life of God what "time" is in the life of Man. Time is measured by material motion, but aeon by immaterial or spiritual motion. Spiritual motion can only be conceived of, by us men, as "Thought". It is God's Thought. God's Thought as is reiterated throughout the Odes is a Thought, Plan, or Design, of Redemption for Man. This Thought was revealed by God's Word or Son moving and expressing Himself in the sons of Man, more especially in Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. These three Philo calls "measures of aeon," that is to say, phases of God s Thought of Redemption as it was developed through Faith, Joy, and Righteousness

For him the heroes of Israel are incarnate thoughts of God. His series of illustrations is a picture-book of the progressive phases of God's foreordained redemptive Purpose expressed in human beings. It represents spiritual lives (which are, as Philo says, "measures of aeon 1"],

Philo says (i. 277) that "time," xpuvos, being measured by the motions of the material Cosmos, may be called son of Cosmos, but only the grandson (not the son) of God, who is the Father of Cosmos. Aeon, he says, is the archetype of Time. We might be disposed to say that it must be measured by the motions of God's Thought; but he thinks of God's Thought as never past or future but always present: (id.) "In aeon, nothing has passed away, nothing is future, but everything simply subsists." The Hebrew view is that God combines past, present, and future, in a motion that is also rest. Elsewhere Philo says that the race of Wisdom produced (i. 455) "the threefold fruits of him that seeth, [namely], Israel." These are "Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob," and he calls these three "measures of aeon" i.e. apparently of divine Time. According to Philo (i. 342), "aeonian" does not mean "infinite in time" but "He that is graciously giving (6 x n P l C"f Ji(l "^--- always and continuously...," in other words, "infinite in His scope of graciousness," so that no limit of space, time, or thought, can be attached to it.

The Jews believed that all through the generations, from Adam to Abraham, God was waiting for the latter that He might begin to build His Habitation. Before Abraham, all was swamp. When he came, the rock rose to the surface, and building became possible. In effect, the Building was begun when Abraham "believed." 

When Abraham "believed." Nothing outward and visible took place then. But inwardly and invisibly a new spiritual period began, the period, or age (aeon), of "belief." Such an age is not measured by days or years or by "time" at all. For time depends on material, acoti on spiritual, motion

With Abraham began the aeon of Faith.

Then after the aeon of Joy typified by Isaac, and the aeon of Hopeful Endurance typified by Jacob, and after the silent aeons of the Egyptian oppression during which the patriarchal seed was being prepared to grow up into the tree of national life came Moses
The New Aeon
Ode 22
11 Incorruptible was Your way and Your face; You have brought Your world (Aeons) to corruption, that everything might be resolved and renewed.
12 And the foundation of everything is Your rock. And upon it You have built Your kingdom, and it became the dwelling-place of the holy ones.

Ode 8:22 And you shall be found incorrupt in all ages, on account of the name of your Father.

Ode 8:22 "Ye shall be found incorruptible in all the aeons to the Name of your Father."

It is God that is incorruptible, the fulness of the aeons and the Father of them"  The meaning is that, in the end of all the aeons, the Incorruptible Father of all the aeons will have kept His Promise to His human children that they should be conformed to His incorruptible nature. 

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