“City of God” Part Four – “The Development of the Two Cities,” Book Sixteen – “The City of God From the Flood to King David”
[Note: My copy of “City of God” is not a complete one. The publishers and translators, in order to keep the size of the book down and keep the content more focused, edited out certain chapters where Augustine would go on one of his legendary excursus. They offered a brief summary of the chapters that were taken out. For completion’s sake I will go ahead and just quote the the summaries in their whole in italics and note when I am doing so.]
Chapter 1: Augustine begins this book by asking if there was a continuous unbroken line of righteous men from Noah to Abraham. The answer is that we don’t know, as there isn’t a complete list between the two.
Chapters 2-6: [Editor’s Summary] These chapters offer a detailed treatment of the immediate descendants of Noe, of the meaning of the tower of Babel and the confusion of languages, and of how God ‘spoke’ to ancient men.
Chapter 7: Augustine discusses various views and ideas as to how animals could disperse through out the world after the flood.
Chapter 8: In every culture there are stories of monstrous looking humans. Giants, cyclops’. Augustine tries to determine whether or not these beings could be considered descendants of Adam.
Chapter 9: It appears Augustine held to a flat earth position. In this chapter he argues that we should focus our work on “this side” of the earth and not worry about whether or not it is possible to get to the other side.
Chapter 10: Augustine quickly covers the lineage from Shem to Abraham.
Chapters 11-16: [Editor’s Summary] Hebrew is thought to be the original language of man. The period of Abraham and the promises made to him are reviewed.
Chapter 17: Augustine points out that during the time of Abraham, there were three major world powers: the Achaians, the Egyptians, and the Assyrians.
Chapters 18-40: [Editor’s Summary] These chapters continue with the Biblical history of the Jews, from the period of Abraham to Jacob’s journey into Egypt. Many names and events are interpreted as foreshadowing the coming of Christ and as illustrations of the course of the heavenly City.
Chapter 41: Augustine’s survey of the lineage of Christ arrives at Jacob (Israel). Special attention is given to the blessing pronounced on Judah.
Chapter 42: When Jacob crossed his arms to bless two of his sons, there was a spiritual lesson contained within.
Chapter 43: A brief picture of the life of Moses is given. Followed by snapshots of the three following periods: the leadership under Joshua, the time of the judges, and the rule of the Kings.
Next time: “From the Age of the Prophets to Christ’s Birth”