Origen Against Celsus by Origen
Chapter XLIII. |Altogether absurd, and out of season,| he continues, |is the account of the begetting ofà
|Altogether absurd, and out of season,| he continues, |is the (account of the) begetting of children,| where, although he has mentioned no names, it is evident that he is referring to the history of Abraham and Sarah. Cavilling also at the |conspiracies of the brothers,| he allies either to the story of Cain plotting against Abel, or, in addition, to that of Esau against Jacob; and (speaking) of |a father's sorrow,| he probably refers to that of Isaac on account of the absence of Jacob, and perhaps also to that of Jacob because of Joseph having been sold into Egypt. And when relating the |crafty procedure of mothers,| I suppose he means the conduct of Rebecca, who contrived that the blessing of Isaac should descend, not upon Esau, but upon Jacob. Now if we assert that in all these cases God interposed in a very marked degree, what absurdity do we commit, seeing we are persuaded that He never withdraws His providence from those who devote themselves to Him in an honourable and vigorous life? He ridicules, moreover, the acquisition of property made by Jacob while living with Laban, not understanding to what these words refer: |And those which had no spots were Laban's, and those which were spotted were Jacob's;| and he says that |God presented his sons with asses, and sheep, and camels,| and did not see that |all these things happened unto them for ensamples, and were written for our sake, upon whom the ends of the world are come.| The varying customs (prevailing among the different nations) becoming famous, are regulated by the word of God, being given as a possession to him who is figuratively termed Jacob. For those who become converts to Christ from among the heathen, are indicated by the history of Laban and Jacob.