And I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come out of you.
Read Chapter 17
Ambrose of Milan
Let us turn now to the gift of God than which nothing is more pregnant with promise. For what could be better than wisdom, what could be worse than vanity, what could be more degrading than superstition? So it is that as to one to whom he had promised the fullness of perfection, God says, “I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come forth from you.” For “the whole world of riches belongs to the faithful person,” and he will increase, not diminish like the fool. Abraham is made into nations, that is to say, his faith is transferred to the nations and to kings of the world, who have become believers, submitting to the authority of the Lord Jesus, to whom it is said, “To you will kings offer gifts.” Nor is this absurd, because from the stock of Abraham there will be not only kings in rank but also those who are kings in the sense that they are not slaves to sin, people who cannot be overcome by evil because death has no dominion over them. We have seen too that the discoveries of the virtuous mind are also regal and sovereign, because, like Abraham, the virtuous mind does not have a lowerclass progeny but abounds rather in royal offspring. To it the world is given in full possession, so that it might rule the body, not being captivated by carnal pleasures, but that submissive flesh might cater to the mind in appropriate servitude. But the figure of Abraham clearly conveys the mystery of the church, which through the inheritance of faith takes possession of the whole world. Well is he called “chosen father of the sound,” father of faith, father of the pious confession. .