For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.
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Wherefore neither with this was He satisfied, but unfolds also the very nature of the war, signifying it to be far more grievous even than a civil war; and He says, I have come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.
For not friends only, says He, nor fellow citizens, but even kinsmen shall stand against one another, and nature shall be divided against herself. For I have come, says He, to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. That is, not merely among those of the same household is the war, but among those that are dearest, and extremely near to each other. And this more than anything signifies His power, that hearing these things, they both accepted Him, and set about persuading all others.
Yet was it not He that did this: of course not: but the wickedness of the other sort: nevertheless He says it is His own doing. For such is the custom of the Scripture. Yea, and elsewhere also He says, God has given them eyes that they should not see: Romans 11:8 and here He speaks in this way, in order that having, as I said before, exercised themselves in these words, they might not be confounded on suffering reproaches and insults.
But if any think these things intolerable, let them be reminded of an ancient history. For in times of old also this came to pass, which thing especially shows the old covenant to be akin to the new, and Him who is here speaking, the same with the giver of those commands. I mean that in the case of the Jews also, when each had slain his neighbor, then He laid aside His anger against them; both when they made the calf, and when they were joined to Baal Peor. Where then are they that say, That God is evil, and this good? For behold He has filled the world with blood, shed by kinsmen. Nevertheless even this we affirm to be a work of great love towards man.
Therefore, you see, implying that it was He who approved those other acts also, He makes mention also of a prophecy, which if not spoken for this end, yet involves the same meaning. And what is this?