The Epistle of Barnabas

Barnabae epistula

Barnabas. The Apostolic Fathers with an English Translation In Two Volumes. Vol. I. Lake, Kirsopp, translator. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press; London: William Heinemann Ltd. 1912.

Now let us see whether this people or the[*](Jews and Christians as heirs of the covenant) former people is the heir, and whether the covenant is for us or for them.

Hear then what the Scripture says concerning the people: And Isaac prayed concerning Rebecca his wife, because she was barren, and she conceived. Then Rebecca went forth to enquire of the Lord and the Lord said to her: two nations are in thy womb, and two peoples in thy belly, and one people shall

overcome a people,, and the greater shall serve the less.

You ought to understand who is Isaac and who is Rebecca, and of whom he has shown that this people is greater than that people.

And in another prophecy Jacob speaks more plainly to Joseph his son, saying, Behold the Lord hath not deprived me of thy presence; bring me thy sons, that I may bless them.

And he brought Ephraim and Manasses, and wished that Manasses should be blessed, because he was the elder; for Joseph brought him to the right hand of his father Jacob. But Jacob saw in the spirit a type of the people of the future. And what does he say? And Jacob crossed his hands, and placed his right hand on the head of Ephraim, the second and younger son, and blessed him; and Joseph said to Jacob, Change thy right hand on to the head of Manasses, for he is my first-born son. And Jacob said to Joseph, I know it, my child, I know it; but the greater shall serve the less, and this one shall indeed be blessed.

See who it is of whom he ordained that this people is the first and heir of the covenant.

If then besides this he remembered it also in the case of Abraham, we reach the perfection of our knowledge. What then does he say to Abraham, when he alone was faithful, and it was counted him for righteousness? Behold I have made thee, Abraham, the father of the Gentiles who believe in God in uncircumcision.