Victorinus: In Apocalypsin (5.1-3)

[5.1] And in the hand of the one sitting upon the judgment-seat was a book, written on the inside, sealed with seven seals: they signify the Old Testament, which is placed in the hand of our Lord, who has received judgment from the Father. He says, A herald cried out, whether anyone was worthy to open the book and remove its seals, and no one was found worthy, neither in heaven, nor in the earth, nor under the earth. For to open the Testament is to suffer, and to conquer death for men. To be worthy of this no one was found, neither among the angels in heaven, nor among men in the earth, nor among the souls of the saints in rest, none but Christ the Son of God alone, Whom he says he saw: a lamb as though slaughtered, having seven horns in number. About Him was predicted whatever the Law reflected about Him through the offerings and sacrifices, which was necessary for Him to accomplish. And because He was the testator and conquered death, it was just that He was made the heir of God, that he might also possess the substance of the one dying, that is, the members of humanity.

[5.2] He says this, The lion of the tribe of Judah, of the root of David, has conquered. We read of the lion of the tribe of Judah in Genesis, where the Patriarch Jacob says: Judah, your brothers praise you: you have both lain down and risen up like a lion, and like the cub of a lion. For He is called a lion for conquering death; for suffering for men, like a lamb led to the slaughter. But because He conquered death and came before (?) the work of the torturer, He is called as though slain. This, therefore, He opens and unseals: that Testament which He had sealed. Moses the Lawmaker also knows this, which needed to be sealed and hidden until the coming of His Passion. He veiled his face and spoke thus to the people, showing that the words of the prediction were veiled until the coming of the time of Christ. Also, when he read the Law to all the people, he took red wool, and the blood of a bull, and sprinkled water on all the people, saying: This is the blood of the Testament, which the Lord has commanded for you. Therefore it is necessary for you, the diligent man, to observe that the whole of the prediction coheres as one. For it does not suffice to call these the Law, which are also called a Testament. No law is called a testament, nor is a testament called anything else, except what is made by those who are dying; and whatever things are inside the testament are sealed until the day of death of the testator. Therefore, now it may only properly be unsealed by the slain lamb which like a lion tore apart death, and who accomplished what was foretold, and freed men, that is flesh from death, and took possession of the substance of the dying, that is, of the members of humanity. As through one body all men came under a debt of death, so through one body all believers rise up in life eternal. Therefore, now the face of Moses is open, now also revealed, and therefore the Apocalypse is called the Revelation, now His book is unsealed, now the sacrifices of offerings are understood, now the priesthood and commandments of Christ and the building of the temple and the testimonies are openly understood.

[5.3] The twenty-four elders and the four animals, having harps and bowls, sing a new song: singing a new song shows the combination of the prediction of the Old Testament with the new Christian people, that is, those who carry out their confession publicly. It is new for the Son of God to be made man, and indeed new for Him to be handed over to death by men, new to rise up on the third day, new to ascend bodily into heaven, new to grant removal of sins to men, new for the Holy Spirit to seal men, new to take up a priesthood of prayers and to expect a Kingdom of immeasurable promise. For harps, with strings extended on wood, signifies the body of Christ, that is the flesh of Christ, connected (to the cross) in His Passion; and bowls: confession, and the propogation of a new priesthood. Many angels: on the contrary all, all of the chosen bringing thanks to our Lord for freeing man from the plague of death.

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