The Eighth Similitude
The eighth similitude is a long text that explains how the angel of the Lord
gave rods cutt off from a huge tree to each person and how this angel
claimed back the rods and evaluated them.
The rods that were green were the saved people. The rods that dried up represented the lost.
The rods had a watering and in this second chance many of the rods that
were not compleatly green got green and some gave fruits. This represented saved people.
In this similiude the kind of people that were most considered were represented as green rods that gave fruits.
I think the watering represents tribulation to generate repention.
The law of God, the Son of God, and Michael.
"2. Hearken, quoth he; this great tree, which overspreadeth plains and mountains
and the whole earth, is the law of God which was given to all the world;
and this law is the Son of God who hath been preached unto the ends of the earth.
The peoples under the shadow of it are they who when they heard the preaching
believed on Him.
3. And the great and glorious Angel is Michael,
who hath the authority over this people and governeth them;
for it is he who putteth the law into the hearts of them that believe.
He therefore visiteth those to whom he hath given it,
to see if so be they have kept it.
4. Thou seest the rods of all of them; for the rods are the law.
Thou seest many of the rods made useless,
and thou shalt know all them that kept not the law;
thou shalt see the abode of every one."
(Shepherd of Hermas 8th Sim. 2.2-4)
The three most rewarded types of men.All such as wrestled with the devil and vanquished him are crowned.
1st - They that have suffered (death) for the law.
"6. Who then, sir, quoth I, are they that are crowned and enter the tower?
Quoth he, All such as wrestled with the devil and vanquished him are crowned.
These are they that have suffered (death) for the law. "
(Shepherd of Hermas 8th Sim. 2.6)
2nd - They that have been afflicted for the sake of the law, but didn't suffered death for it.
"7. And those others who likewise gave up their rods green and having shoots,
but without fruit, are they that have been afflicted for the sake of the law,
but neither suffered death nor denied their law. " (Shepherd of Hermas 8th Sim. 2.7)
3rd - They received them are holy and just men, who walked earnestly with a pure heart, and have kept the commandments of the Lord.
"8. And they who gave them up green as they received them are holy and just men,
who walked earnestly with a pure heart, and have kept the commandments of the Lord."
(Shepherd of Hermas 8th Sim. 2.8)
Repentance leads to life.After the water that watered the rods and the wait fore some days, the Shepherd and Hermas go see the rods. Some lived, others not.
"6. Thou seest that many of them have indeed repented from when thou spakest
my commandments unto them; and yet more shall repent.
Such as would not repent lost their life; but whoso of them repented
became good and had their dwelling within the first walls,
and some even went up into the tower.
Thou seest then, quoth he, that repentance from sins hath with it life,
but impenitence death." (Shepherd of Hermas 8th Sim. 6.6)
Keep it simple. Worry not about precedence and honour.
"6. Life belongeth to all who keep the commandments of the Lord;
and in the commandments there is nothing about precedence or any honour,
but about patience and lowliness of mind in a man.
In such like therefore is the life of the Lord,
but in them that are contentious and lawless death."
(Shepherd of Hermas 8th Sim. 7.6)
In chapter 10 Hermas says:
"... I am persuaded that every one, when he considereth his own deeds
and feareth God, will repent.
3. He answered and said unto me, All such as repent with their whole heart,
and cleanse themselves from all the wickednesses before said,
and never again add aught to their sins, shall receive from the Lord healing
of their former sins if they doubt not about these commandments;
and they shall live unto God.
But such, quoth he, as add to their sins and have their conversation
in the lusts of this world, condemn themselves unto death."
(Shepherd of Hermas 8th Sim. 10.2,3)