The Flock of Jacob Came Down
Resp.— Blessed is He Who atoned your sins, that you might receive His Body worthily!
1. The flock of Jacob came down— and stood round the well of water.— In the
water they put on the similitude of the wood that was covered by it.— Mysteries
these and types of the Cross,— wherein the parables are interpreted.
2. There are shown in these rods similitudes—and in the sheep, parables.— The Cross in the rods is figured, and in the sheep the souls of men.— His wood was a mystery of our Wood;— likewise his sheep a mystery of our flock.
3. The sheep of Christ rejoice—and stand round the laver of baptism—in the water they put on the likeness— of the living and goodly Cross— whereon gaze all things created,— and all of it is stamped on them all.
4. At the well Rebecca received— in her ears and hands the jewels.— The Spouse of Christ has put on— precious things that are from the water:— on her hand the living Body,— and in her ears the promises.
5. Moses drew water and watered the sheep— of Jethro the priest of sin.— But our Shepherd has baptized His sheep— Who is the high priest of truth.— At the well the flocks were dumb—but here the sheep have speech.
6. The People passed through the water and were baptized:— the People came up on dry land and became as heathen.— The Commandment was savourless in their ears—the manna corrupted in their vessels.— Eat the living Body,— the medicine of life that gives life to all!
7. To the sons of Lot Moses said—Give us water for money—let us only pass by through your border.— They refused the way, and the temporal water.— Lo! The living water freely given—and the path that leads to Eden!
8. From the water Gideon chose for himself— the men who were victorious in the battle.— You have gone down to the victorious waters:— come up and triumph in the fight!— receive from the water atonement,— and from the fight the crowning!
9. You baptized, receive your lamps—like the lamps of the house of Gideon;— conquer the darkness by your lamps—and the silence by your hosannas!— Gideon likewise in the battle— triumphed by the shout and the flame.
10. David the King longed after— the water of the well, and they brought it him—but he drank it not, for he saw that with blood of men it was bought.— In the midst of the water you have revelled— that was bought with the blood of God.
11. Out of Edom the prophet saw— God coming as one that presses the grapes.— He made ready the winepress of wrath—He trod down the peoples and delivered the People.— He has turned and ordained Baptism;— the peoples live, the People has come to nought.
12. In the river Jeremiah buried— the linen girdle that was marred—and [the People] waxed old and decayed.— ...— The peoples that were decayed and marred—by the waters have been clad in newness.
13. In Siloam, the blessed stream— the priests anointed Solomon.— His youth was had in honour—his old age was despised.— Through the pure waters you have been clad— in the purity of Heaven.
14. The fleece that was dry from the dew—Jerusalem was figured in it:— the bason that was filled with water—Baptism was figured in it.— That was dry after the manner of its type;— this was full after the manner of its symbol.
15. The wearied body in water— washes and is refreshed from its toil.— Lo! The laver in which are hidden— refreshing and life and delights.— In it wearied Adam had rest— who brought labour into the creation.
16. The fountain of sweat in the body— is set to protect against fever:— the fountain of Baptism— is set to protect against the Flame.— This is the water that avails— for the quenching of Gehenna.
17. He who journeys through the desert—as armour takes to himself water— against all-conquering thirst.— Go down to the fountain of Christ—receive life in your members—as armour against death.
18. Again, the diver brings up— out of the sea the pearl.— Be baptized and bring up from the water— purity that therein is hidden—the pearl that is set as a jewel— in the crown of the Godhead.
19. Sweet water in his vessel— the seaman lays up as a store—in the midst of the sea he lays up and keeps it, the sweet in the midst of the bitter.— So amidst the floods of sin—keep the water of Baptism.
20. The woman of Samaria said to our Lord,— Lo! verily the well is deep.— Baptism though it be high—in its mercy has stooped down with us:— for the atonement is from above— that has come down unto sinners.
21. He that drinks the water that I shall give him—verily never again shall he thirst.— For this holy Baptism,— for it be ye thirsty, my beloved—never again shall you be thirsty—so that you should come to another baptism.
22. In the baptism of Siloam— the blind man washed, and his eyeballs— were opened and enlightened by the water—he cast off the darkness that was on them.— The hidden darkness you have cast off—from the water you have been clad in light.
23. His hands Pilate washed— that he might not be of them that slew.— You have bathed your bodies—your hands together with your mouths.— Go in and be of them that eat—for this medicine of life gives life to all.
24. Come after Me and verily I will make you— fishers of men.— For instead of a draught of that which perishes—they fished for the draught that is forever.— They who had taken fishes for death—baptized and gave life to them that were to die.
25. An hundred and fifty fishes were taken— by Simon's net from the water—but there were taken by his preaching—out of the bosom of Baptism,— ten thousands and thousands of men—a draught of the sons of the Kingdom.
26. Lo! Our priest as a fisher— over the scanty water is standing—he has taken thence a great draught— of every shape and of every kind—he has drawn up the draught to bring it near— to the King of kings, most high.
27. Simon took the fishes and drew them up—and they were brought near before our Lord:— Our priest has taken from out of the water—by the Hand which he received from Simon,— virgins and chaste men who are brought near— in the festival of the Lord of feasts.
28. In Your mercy I adjure You pardon me—for in mercy You too have sworn—Rabboni, In the death of him that dies—I have no pleasure, but in his life.— You have sworn and I have adjured:— O You Who hast sworn, pardon him who has adjured!