Sabbath of the righteous
Saint Justin Martyr
I remarked to you sir, that you are very anxious to be safe in all respects, since you cling to the Scriptures. But tell me, do you really admit that this place, Jerusalem, shall be rebuilt;
and do you expect your people to be gathered together, and made joyful with Christ and the patriarchs, and the prophets, both the men of our nation, and other proselytes who joined them before your Christ came?
Or have you given way, and admitted this in order to have the appearance of worsting us in the controversies?
I am not so miserable a fellow, Trypho, as to say one thing and think another. I admitted to you formerly, that I and many others are of this opinion, and
that such will take place, as you assuredly are aware;
but, on the other hand, I signified to you that many who belong to the pure and pious faith, and are true Christians, think otherwise. Moreover, I pointed out to you that some who are called Christians, but are godless, impious heretics, teach doctrines that are in every way blasphemous, atheistical, and foolish. But that you may know that I do not say this before you alone, I shall draw up a statement, so far as I can, of all the arguments which have passed between us;
in which I shall record myself as admitting the very same things which I admit to you. For I choose to follow not men or men's doctrines, but God and the doctrines
by Him. For if you have fallen in with some who are called Christians, but who do not admit this
[truth], and venture to blaspheme the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob;
who say there is no resurrection of the dead, and that their souls, when they die, are taken to heaven;
do not imagine that they are Christians, even as one, if he would rightly consider it, would not admit that the Sadducees, or similar sects of Genistæ, Meristæ, Galilæans, Hellenists, Pharisees, Baptists, are Jews (do not hear me impatiently when I tell you what I think), but are
called Jews and children of Abraham, worshipping God with the lips, as God Himself declared, but the heart was far from Him. But I and others, who are
on all points, are assured that
there will be a resurrection of the dead, and a thousand years in Jerusalem,
which will then be built, adorned, and enlarged,
the prophets Ezekiel and Isaiah and others declare.
For Isaiah spoke thus concerning this space of a thousand years: “For there shall be the new heaven and the new earth, and the former shall not be remembered, or come into their heart;
but they shall find joy and gladness in it, which things I create. For, Behold, I make Jerusalem a rejoicing, and My people a joy;
and I shall rejoice over Jerusalem, and be glad over My people. And the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, or the voice of crying. And there shall be no more there a person of immature years, or an old man who shall not fulfil his days. For the young man shall be an hundred years old;
but the sinner who dies an hundred years old, he shall be accursed. And they shall build houses, and shall themselves inhabit them;
and they shall plant vines, and shall themselves eat the produce of them, and drink the wine. They shall not build, and others inhabit;
they shall not plant, and others eat. For according to the days of the tree of life shall be the days of my people;
the works of their toil shall abound. Mine elect shall not toil fruitlessly, or beget children to be cursed;
for they shall be a seed righteous and blessed by the Lord, and their offspring with them. And it shall come to pass, that before they call I will hear;
while they are still speaking, I shall say, What is it?
Then shall the wolves and the lambs feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox;
but the serpent
earth as bread. They shall not hurt or maltreat each other on the holy mountain, says the Lord”
Now we have understood that the expression used among these words, 'According to the days of the tree
shall be the days of my people;
the works of their toil shall abound' obscurely predicts a thousand years. For as Adam was told that in the day he ate of the tree he would die
we know that he did not complete a thousand years. We have perceived, moreover, that the expression, 'The day of the Lord is as a thousand years'
is connected with this subject. And further, there was a certain man with us, whose name was John, one of the apostles of Christ, who prophesied, by a revelation that was made to him, that those who believed in our Christ would dwell a thousand years in Jerusalem;
and that thereafter the general, and, in short, the eternal resurrection and judgment of all men would likewise take place. Just as our Lord also said, 'They shall neither marry nor be given in marriage, but shall be equal to the angels, the children of the God of the resurrection'