3. The Shining of the Righteous. Its Interpretation.
But as we said above in reference to the words, “Then shall the righteous shine as the sun,” that the righteous will shine not differently as formerly, but as one sun, we will, of necessity, set forth what appears to us on the point. Daniel, knowing that the intelligent are the light of the world, and that the multitudes of the righteous differ in glory, seems to have said this, “And the intelligent shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and from among the multitudes of the righteous as the stars for ever and ever.” 5173 And in the passage, “There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory: so also is the resurrection of the dead,” 5174 the Apostle says the same thing as Daniel, taking this thought from his prophecy. Some one may inquire how some speak about the difference of light among the righteous, while the Saviour on the contrary says, “They shall shine as one sun.” I think, then, that at the beginning of the blessedness enjoyed by those who are being saved (because those who are not such are not yet purified), the difference connected with the light of the saved takes place: but when, as we have indicated, he gathers from the whole kingdom of Christ all things that make men stumble, and the reasonings that work iniquity are cast into the furnace of fire, and the worse elements utterly consumed, and, when this takes place, those who received the words which are the children of the evil one come to self-consciousness, then shall the righteous having become one light of the sun shine in the kingdom of their Father. For whom will they shine? For those below them who will enjoy their light, after the analogy of the sun which now shines for those upon the earth? For, of course, they will not shine for themselves. But perhaps the saying, “Let your light shine before men,” 5175 can be written “upon the table of the heart,” 5176 according to what is said by Solomon, in a threefold way; so that even now the light of the disciples of Jesus shines before the rest of men, and after death before the resurrection, and after the resurrection “until all shall attain unto a full-grown man,” 5177 and all become one sun. Then shall they shine as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.
Dan. xii. 3.415:5174
1 Cor. 15:41, 42.415:5175
Matt. v. 16.415:5176
Prov. vii. 3. Or, on the breadth of the heart.415:5177
Eph. iv. 13.