27). The word used is πρωτόκτιστοι: the idea occurs in Jewish writings, e. g. the Pirke R. Eliezer 4, where it is said that before God is spread a veil, and the seven first-created angels serve Him before the veil. This veil is spoken of in the Exc. ex Theodot. 38, and there is something like it in the Testament of Isaac.
See also Clement's Eclogæ ex propheticis scripturis 51, 52, 57, Adumbr. in 1 Joh.
Irenæus, Apostolical Preaching c. 43, after quoting "Jeremiah": "Before the morning star I begat thee (Ps. cx.), and before the sun is his name (Ps. Ixxii. 17)." And again he says: "Blessed is he who was there before the coming of man into being." Lactantius, Div. Inst. iv. 8, quotes as from Jeremiah: "Blessed is he who was, before he was born." On these passages see Rendel Harris's Testimonies, I. 72, and Dean Robinson's forthcoming edition of the Apostolical Preaching.
Hippolytus (on Antichrist, 15): "And another prophet also saith: He shall gather together all his power from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof: whom he hath called and whom he hath not called shall go with him: he shall make the sea white with the sails of his ships and the land (plain) black with the shields and the weapons: and every one that shall meet him in battle shall fall by the sword."
Hilgenfeld thought this was from the Apocalypse of Peter, but we may now be sure that that book said very little, probably nothing, about Antichrist; and the words have all the flavour of an Old Testament prophecy. My own attribution would be to the Apocalypse of Elias.
Tertullian (on the Resurrection of the Flesh, 32): "But that there may not appear to be a resurrection only of these bodies which are committed to graves, thou hast it written: 'And I will command the fishes of the sea, and they shall vomit up the bones that are devoured, and I will make joint come to joint and bone to bone.'" The last words are like those of Ezek. xxxviii. 7, and the whole passage agrees in substance with Enoch lxi. 5, but not in wording. Tertullian does not very often