Eternal God (Rom 16:26)

“Now this secret

Is now disclosed

Through the prophetic writings.

It is made known

To all the gentiles,

According to the command

Of the eternal God,

To bring about

The obedience of faith.”

φανερωθέντος δὲ νῦν διά τε γραφῶν προφητικῶν κατ’ ἐπιταγὴν τοῦ αἰωνίου Θεοῦ εἰς ὑπακοὴν πίστεως εἰς πάντα τὰ ἔθνη γνωρισθέντος,

Paul said that now (δὲ νῦν) this secret has been disclosed or made manifest (φανερωθέντος) through the prophetic writings (διά τε γραφῶν προφητικῶν) and made known (γνωρισθέντος) to all the gentiles (εἰς πάντα τὰ ἔθνη), according to the command (κατ’ ἐπιταγὴν τοῦ) of the eternal God (τοῦ αἰωνίου Θεοῦ), to bring about the obedience of faith (εἰς ὑπακοὴν πίστεως).  Only the Pauline letters used this word ἐπιταγὴν, that means a command, instruction, order, or authority.  Paul summarized all the major themes of this letter with this one sentence.  The secret of God’s revelation of his Son was now made known to all the gentiles through the prophetic writings.  This was all done at the command of the eternal God to bring about obedience in the faith.  Do you have an obedient faith?

The greatness of God (Sir 18:1-18:7)

“He who lives forever

Created the whole universe.

The Lord alone is just.

There is no other beside him.

He steers the world

With the span of his hand.

All things obey his will.

He is king of all things

By his power.

He separates the holy things

From the profane.

To none has he given power

To proclaim his works.

Who can search out his mighty deeds?

Who can measure his majestic power?

Who can fully recount his mercies?

It is not possible to diminish or increase them.

It is not possible to fathom the wonders of the Lord.

When human beings have finished,

They are just beginning.

When they stop,

They are still perplexed.”

The eternal God has created the whole universe. The Lord alone is just since there is no one beside him. He steers the world with his hands. Everything obeys his will, since he is the king of all things. The Lord separates the sacred from the profane. No one can proclaim his works, search out his mighty deeds, measure his majestic power, or tell all about his mercy. You cannot increase or decrease his power. You cannot imagine all the wonders of the Lord. Humans think that they are finishing things, but they are only beginning, since they are still perplexed. The Lord is the great creator of this wonderful world.

Tobit predicts the rebuilding of Jerusalem (Tob 14:5-14:7)

“But God will again have mercy on the Israelites.

He will bring them back into their land.

They will rebuild the temple of God,

Although it will not be like the first one

Until the times of the fulfillment shall come.

After this, they will return from their exile.

They will rebuild Jerusalem in splendor.

They will rebuild the house of God in Jerusalem,

Just as the prophets of Israel have said concerning it.

Then the nations of the whole world will all be converted

They will worship God in truth.

They will all abandon their idols,

The idols that deceitfully have led them into their error.

In righteousness,

They will praise the eternal God.

All the Israelites who are saved in those days

All who are truly mindful of God will be gathered together.

They will go to Jerusalem.

They will live safely forever in the land of Abraham,

As it will be given over to them.

Those who sincerely love God will rejoice.

However, those who commit sin and injustice,

They will vanish from the earth.”

God will have mercy on the Israelites. He will bring them back to their land. They will rebuild the Temple, but not as nice as the first Temple, just as the prophets have predicted. The Israelites will return from their captivity and rebuild a splendid Jerusalem. All the nations of the world will convert to the true God. They will abandon their idols and praise the eternal God. All the Israelites will gather in Jerusalem, where they will live safely in the land of Abraham. However, sinners and unjust people will vanish from the earth.