And God blessed them, and God said unto them,
, and multiply
, and replenish
the earth, and subdue
it: and have dominion
over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth."
Can anyone help provide Patristic commentary on this verse? It would also be helpful to have some elaboration on the Greek meaning of all the underlined words, especially the ones in bold.
Thank you in advance.
28 καὶ εὐλόγησεν αὐτοὺς ὁ Θεός, λέγων· αὐξάνεσθε
τὴν γῆν καὶ κατακυριεύσατε
αὐτῆς καὶ ἄρχετε
τῶν ἰχθύων τῆς θαλάσσης καὶ τῶν πετεινῶν τοῦ οὐρανοῦ καὶ πάντων τῶν κτηνῶν καὶ πάσης τῆς γῆς καὶ πάντων τῶν ἑρπετῶν τῶν ἑρπόντων ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς.
St. Clement of Alexandria (2nd cent.)http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf02.vi.iv.ii.xxiii.html
But they who approve of marriage say, Nature has adapted us for marriage, as is evident from the structure of our bodies, which are male and female. And they constantly proclaim that command, “Increase and replenish.” And though this is the case, yet it seems to them shameful that man, created by God, should be more licentious than the irrational creatures, which do not mix with many licentiously, but with one of the same species, such as pigeons and ringdoves, and creatures like them. Furthermore, they say, “The childless man fails in the perfection which is according to nature, not having substituted his proper successor in his place. For he is perfect that has produced from himself his like, or rather, when he sees that he has produced the same; that is, when that which is begotten attains to the same nature with him who begat.” Therefore we must by all means marry, both for our country’s sake, for the succession of children, and as far as we are concerned, the perfection of the world; since the poets also pity a marriage half-perfect and childless, but pronounce the fruitful one happy. But it is the diseases of the body that principally show marriage to be necessary. For a wife’s care and the assiduity of her constancy appear to exceed the endurance of all other relations and friends, as much as to excel them in sympathy; and most of all, she takes kindly to patient watching. And in truth, according to Scripture, she is a needful help. The comic poet then, Menander, while running down marriage, and yet alleging on the other side its advantages, replies to one who had said:—
“I am averse to the thing,
For you take it awkwardly.”
Then he adds:—
“You see the hardships and the things which annoy you in it.
But you do not look on the advantages.”
And so forth.
Now marriage is a help in the case of those advanced in years, by furnishing a spouse to take care of one, and by rearing children of her to nourish one’s old age.
“For to a man after death his children bring renown,
Just as corks bear the net,
Saving the fishing-line from the deep.”
according to the tragic poet Sophocles.
Legislators, moreover, do not allow those who are unmarried to discharge the highest magisterial offices. For instance, the legislator of the Spartans imposed a fine not on bachelorhood only, but on monogamy, and late marriage, and single life. And the renowned Plato orders the man who has not married to pay a wife’s maintenance into the public treasury, and to give to the magistrates a suitable sum of money as expenses. For if they shall not beget children, not having married, they produce, as far as in them lies, a scarcity of men, and dissolve states and the world that is composed of them, impiously doing away with divine generation. It is also unmanly and weak to shun living with a wife and children. For of that of which the loss is an evil, the possession is by all means a good; and this is the case with the rest of things. But the loss of children is, they say, among the chiefest evils: the possession of children is consequently a good thing; and if it be so, so also is marriage. It is said:—
“Without a father there never could be a child,
And without a mother conception of a child could not be.
Marriage makes a father, as a husband a mother.”
Accordingly Homer makes a thing to be earnestly prayed for:—
“A husband and a house;”
yet not simply, but along with good agreement. For the marriage of other people is an agreement for indulgence; but that of philosophers leads to that agreement which is in accordance with reason, bidding wives adorn themselves not in outward appearance, but in character; and enjoining husbands not to treat their wedded wives as mistresses, making corporeal wantonness their aim; but to take advantage of marriage for help in the whole of life, and for the best self-restraint.
Far more excellent, in my opinion, than the seeds of wheat and barley that are sown at appropriate seasons, is man that is sown, for whom all things grow; and those seeds temperate husbandmen ever sow. Every foul and polluting practice must therefore be purged away from marriage; that the intercourse of the irrational animals may not be cast in our teeth, as more accordant with nature than human conjunction in procreation. Some of these, it must be granted, desist at the time in which they are directed, leaving creation to the working of Providence.
By the tragedians, Polyxena, though being murdered, is described nevertheless as having, when dying, taken great care to fall decently,—
“Concealing what ought to be hid from the eyes of men.”
Marriage to her was a calamity. To be subjected, then, to the passions, and to yield to them, is the extremest slavery; as to keep them in subjection is the only liberty. The divine Scripture accordingly says, that those who have transgressed the commandments are sold to strangers, that is, to sins alien to nature, till they return and repent. Marriage, then, as a sacred image, must be kept pure from those things which defile it. We are to rise from our slumbers with the Lord, and retire to sleep with thanksgiving and prayer,—
“Both when you sleep, and when the holy light comes,”
confessing the Lord in our whole life; possessing piety in the soul, and extending self-control to the body. For it is pleasing to God to lead decorum from the tongue to our actions. Filthy speech is the way to effrontery; and the end of both is filthy conduct.
Now that the Scripture counsels marriage, and allows no release from the union, is expressly contained in the law, “Thou shalt not put away thy wife, except for the cause of fornication;” and it regards as fornication, the marriage of those separated while the other is alive. Not to deck and adorn herself beyond what is becoming, renders a wife free of calumnious suspicion, while she devotes herself assiduously to prayers and supplications; avoiding frequent departures from the house, and shutting herself up as far as possible from the view of all not related to her, and deeming housekeeping of more consequence than impertinent trifling. “He that taketh a woman that has been put away,” it is said, “committeth adultery; and if one puts away his wife, he makes her an adulteress,” that is, compels her to commit adultery. And not only is he who puts her away guilty of this, but he who takes her, by giving to the woman the opportunity of sinning; for did he not take her, she would return to her husband. What, then, is the law? In order to check the impetuosity of the passions, it commands the adulteress to be put to death, on being convicted of this; and if of priestly family, to be committed to the flames. And the adulterer also is stoned to death, but not in the same place, that not even their death may be in common. And the law is not at variance with the Gospel, but agrees with it. How should it be otherwise, one Lord being the author of both? She who has committed fornication liveth in sin, and is dead to the commandments; but she who has repented, being as it were born again by the change in her life, has a regeneration of life; the old harlot being dead, and she who has been regenerated by repentance having come back again to life. The Spirit testifies to what has been said by Ezekiel, declaring, “I desire not the death of the sinner, but that he should turn.” Now they are stoned to death; as through hardness of heart dead to the law which they believed not. But in the case of a priestess the punishment is increased, because “to whom much is given, from him shall more be required.”