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“John Chrysostom - Homilies on St Matthew - Homily VIII ”

On Matthew chapter 2, About the visit of the magi, the flight into Egypt and the spiritual life of women and men in the Egyptian desert.

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Click here to read at in the original Greek (with dictionary lookup links). The English translation below (the beginning of the homily) is by the Early Church Texts webmaster, the Revd Andrew Maguire. On the subscription version of the website there is the full Greek text of the homily and a full translation by Andrew Maguire alongside.

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Relevant books
available at Amazon

Many Chrysostom translations
and studies
with links to Amazon

See also below


J.N.D. Kelly

The Story of John Chrysostom


Hagit Amirav

Rhetoric and Tradition: John Chrysostom on Noah and the Flood (Traditio Exegetica Graeca, 12)


Chrysostomus Baur

John Chrysostom and His Time: Volume 1: Antioch


Chrysostomus Baur

John Chrysostom and His Time, Vol. 2: Constantinople


Duane A. Garrett

An Analysis of the Hermeneutics of John Chrysostom's Commentary on Isaiah 1-8 With an English Translation (Studies in the Bible and Early Christianity)


Blake Goodall

Homilies of St. John Chrysostom on the Letters of St.Paul to Titus and Philemon (University of California publications : Classical studies ; v. 20)


Peter Gorday

Principles of Patristic Exegesis: Romans 9-11 in Origen, John Chrysostom, and Augustine (Studies in the Bible and Early Christianity)


Aideen M. Hartney

John Chrysostom and the Transformation of the City


Robert Allen Krupp

Shepherding the Flock of God: The Pastoral Theology of John Chrysostom (American University Studies. Series VII. Theology and Religion)


Mel Lawrenz

The Christology of John Chrysostom


Blake Leyerle

Theatrical Shows and Ascetic Lives: John Chrysostom's Attack on Spiritual Marriage


Jaclyn LaRae Maxwell

Christianization and Communication in Late Antiquity: John Chrysostom and his Congregation in Antioch


Margaret Mary Mitchell

Heavenly Trumpet: John Chrysostom and the Art of Pauline Interpretation


Robert Louis Wilken

John Chrysostom and the Jews: Rhetoric and Reality in the Late 4th Century



Gus George Christo

On Repentance and Almsgiving (The Fathers of the Church)


Thomas Aquinas Goggin

Commentary on Saint John the Apostle and Evangelist: Homilies 48-88 (The Fathers of the Church, 41)


Robert C. Hill

Eight Sermons on the Book of Genesis


David G. Hunter

A Comparison Between a King and a Monk/Against the Opponents of the Monastic Life (Studies in the Bible and Early Christianity, Vol 13)


M.C.W. Laistner

Christianity and pagan culture in the later Roman Empire: Together with an English translation of Johan Chrysostom's Address on vainglory and the right ... bring up their children (Cornell paperbacks)


Wendy Mayer

John Chrysostom (The Early Church Fathers)


Mayer and Bronwen

The Cult of the Saints (St. Vladimir's Seminary Press Popular Patristics)


Graham Neville

Six Books on the Priesthood (St. Vladimir's Seminary Press Popular Patristics Series)


? Catherine P. Roth

On Wealth and Poverty


? David Anderson

On Marriage and Family Life


Margaret A Schatkin

John Chrysostom as apologist: With special reference to De incomprehensibili, Quod nemo laeditur, Ad eos qui scandalizati sunt, and Adversus oppugnatores vitae monasticae (Analecta VlatadoÌ?n)


Sally Shore

On Virginity Against Remarriage (Studies in Women and Religion, V. 9)



On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure-chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. [Matt 2:11]

How then does Luke say that the child was lying in the manger? It is because, as soon as she had given birth, Mary laid him there. With so many people gathered in one place because of the census it was not possible to find a house. Luke himself indicates this when he says that she laid him in the manger because there was no room. After this she took him in her arms and held him on her knee. For once she reached Bethlehem she was freed from the pains of childbirth. From this you can learn everything about how God arranged these events and how they did not happen simply by chance, but came about entirely according to God’s purpose and in line with prophecy. What was it that convinced them that they should pay homage? The virgin mother was not outwardly remarkable, nor was the dwelling particularly notable. Nothing else that could be seen would really have surprised them or caught their attention. Yet they not only paid homage, but opened up their treasure chest and brought gifts – gifts not merely fit for a human being, but for God. The frankincense and myrrh were a clear sign of this. So what was it that convinced them and led them to uproot themselves from home and set out on such a long journey? It was the star and also the illumination from God which made its mark on their mind and led them gradually to more perfect knowledge. If this was not the case, then since everything to the outward eye was so ordinary, they would not have shown such honor. Because of this nothing there that could be discerned through the senses was great – just a manger, a shelter and a poverty-stricken mother. Through this you see the magi’s sheer love of wisdom and you learn that they came to him not as a mere human being, but as God through whom they would be blessed. Nothing that was outwardly visible became a stumbling block to them. Rather they worshipped him and brought gifts: gifts which were far removed from any Jewish liking for the fat of animals. They did not sacrifice sheep or calves. Their gifts were closer to the church’s insight and wisdom, for they brought him recognition, obedience and love.

‘Having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.’ [Matt 2:12] Observe from this their faith and how they were not shocked but acted with obedience and good sense. They were not bewildered and did not have any debate among themselves about why, if this child was great and powerful, there needed to be a secret departure. They had come openly and boldly and stood before a great people and the madness of the king, but they did not discuss why now the angel sent them away from the city as runaways and fugitives. They did not say or even think any of these things. This supremely is a mark of faith: not to ask for any enquiry into what has been commanded, but simply to follow instructions.


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Homilies on Matthew
Sermons on St Matthew
Three Wise Men
Flight into Egypt
Egyptian desert monks
John Chrysostom in Greek with English Translation
Migne Greek Text
Patrologiae Graecae Cursus Completus
Patrologia Graeca
Frederick Field Greek text of Matthew Homilies


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