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Irenaeus

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines those references to the despoliation in patristic literature which appear to be unique roughly through the period of St. Augustine. For Jerome and many others, the preferred biblical image is that of the beautiful woman taken captive (Deuteronomy. 21:10-13). The chapter concerns on passages which specifically make reference to the despoliation of Egypt mentioned in Exodus. The texts will be examined in chronological order following the dates suggested by Georges Folliet. The chapter concludes by asking what is unique to Irenaeus' exegesis and what is common to other exegetical traditions and how the uniqueness and similarities play into the divine economy and theodicy. According to Irenaeus and his presbyter, the theft of the Hebrews prefigures the right of the church to make use of material goods for spiritual ends. He compares the moral duplicity of the despoliation to that which is common in all trade.

Keywords:Deuteronomy; divine economy; Egypt; exegetical traditions; exodus; Irenaeus; patristic literature; St. Augustine

10.1163/ej.9789004167452.i-305.24
/content/books/10.1163/ej.9789004167452.i-305.24
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