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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



9247
Philo Of Alexandria, Allegorical Interpretation, 1.94


nanTherefore there is no need of addressing either command, or prohibition, or recommendation to the man who is perfect, and made according to the image of God; For the perfect man requires none of these things; but there is a necessity of addressing both command and prohibition to the wicked man, and recommendation and instruction to the ignorant man. Just as the perfect grammarian or perfect musician has need of no instruction in the matters which belong to his art, but the man whose theories on such subjects are imperfect stands in need of certain rules, as it were, which contain in themselves commands and prohibitions, and he who is only learning the art requires instruction.


Intertexts (texts cited often on the same page as the searched text):

20 results
1. Cicero, Academica, 2.136 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

2. Philo of Alexandria, On The Decalogue, 1 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

3. Philo of Alexandria, On Giants, 61-63, 60 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

60. Therefore he utters no fable whatever respecting the giants; but he wishes to set this fact before your eyes, that some men are born of the earth, and some are born of heaven, and some are born of God: those are born of the earth, who are hunters after the pleasures of the body, devoting themselves to the enjoyment and fruition of them, and being eager to provide themselves with all things that tend to each of them. Those again are born of heaven who are men of skill and science and devoted to learning; for the heavenly portion of us is our mind, and the mind of every one of those persons who are born of heaven studies the encyclical branches of education and every other art of every description, sharpening, and exercising, and practising itself, and rendering itself acute in all those matters which are the objects of intellect.
4. Philo of Alexandria, On The Migration of Abraham, 94, 175 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

175. But when he has arrived at the height of perfect knowledge, then, running forward vigorously, he keeps up with the speed of him who was previously leading him in his way; for in this way they will both become attendants of God who is the guide of all things; no one of those who hold erroneous opinions accompanying them any longer, and even Lot himself, who turned on one side the soul, which might have been upright and inflexible, removing and living at a distance. XXXII.
5. Philo of Alexandria, On The Creation of The World, 130 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

130. And we must understand in the case of every thing else which is decided on by the external senses, there were elder forms and motions previously existing, according to which the things which were created were fashioned and measured out. For although Moses did not describe everything collectively, but only a part of what existed, as he was desirous of brevity, beyond all men that ever wrote, still the few things which he has mentioned are examples of the nature of all, for nature perfects none of those which are perceptible to the outward senses without an incorporeal model. XLV.
6. Philo of Alexandria, On Rewards And Punishments, 152 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

152. And the proselyte who has come over being lifted up on high by good fortune, will be a conspicuous object, being admired and pronounced happy in two most important particulars, in the first place because he has come over to God of his own accord, and also because he has received as a most appropriate reward a firm and sure habitation in heaven, such as one cannot describe. But the man of noble descent, who has adulterated the coinage of his noble birth, will be dragged down to the lowest depths, being hurled down to Tartarus and profound darkness, in order that all men who behold this example may be corrected by it, learning that God receives gladly virtue which grows out of hostility to him, utterly disregarding its original roots, but looking favourably on the whole trunk from its lowest foundation, because it has become useful and has changed its nature so as to become fruitful. XXVII.
7. Philo of Alexandria, On Dreams, 1.191 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

1.191. consider, however, what comes afterwards. The sacred word enjoins some persons what they ought to do by positive command, like a king; to others it suggests what will be for their advantage, as a preceptor does to his pupils; to others again, it is like a counsellor suggesting the wisest plans; and in this way too, it is of great advantage to those who do not of themselves know what is expedient; to others it is like a friend, in a mild and persuasive manner, bringing forward many secret things which no uninitiated person may lawfully hear.
8. Philo of Alexandria, On The Special Laws, 1.52, 1.317, 2.42, 2.44-2.48, 2.73, 2.163, 4.159, 4.164, 4.179 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

1.52. Accordingly, having given equal rank and honour to all those who come over, and having granted to them the same favours that were bestowed on the native Jews, he recommends those who are ennobled by truth not only to treat them with respect, but even with especial friendship and excessive benevolence. And is not this a reasonable recommendation? What he says is this. "Those men, who have left their country, and their friends, and their relations for the sake of virtue and holiness, ought not to be left destitute of some other cities, and houses, and friends, but there ought to be places of refuge always ready for those who come over to religion; for the most effectual allurement and the most indissoluble bond of affectionate good will is the mutual honouring of the one God. 1.317. For we should acknowledge only one relationship, and one bond of friendship, namely, a mutual zeal for the service of God, and a desire to say and do everything that is consistent with piety. And these bonds which are called relationships of blood, being derived from one's ancestors, and those connections which are derived from intermarriages and from other similar causes, must all be renounced, if they do not all hasten to the same end, namely, the honour of God which is the one indissoluble bond of all united good will. For such men will lay claim to a more venerable and sacred kind of relationship; 2.42. The law sets down every day as a festival, adapting itself to an irreproachable life, as if men continually obeyed nature and her injunctions. And if wickedness did not prosper, subduing by their predomit influence all those reasonings about what things might be expedient, which they have driven out of the soul of each individual, but if all the powers of the virtues remained in all respects unsubdued, then the whole time from a man's birth to his death would be one uninterrupted festival, and all houses and every city would pass their time in continual fearlessness and peace, being full of every imaginable blessing, enjoying perfect tranquillity. 2.44. for all those men, whether among the Greeks or among the barbarians, who are practisers of wisdom, living in a blameless and irreproachable manner, determining not to do any injustice, nor even to retaliate it when done to them, shunning all association with busy-bodies, in all the cities which they inhabit, avoid all courts of justice, and council halls, and market-places, and places of assembly, and, in short, every spot where any band or company of precipitate headstrong men is collected 2.45. admiring, as it were, a life of peace and tranquillity, being the most devoted contemplators of nature and of all the things in it. Investigating earth and sea, and the air, and the heaven, and all the different natures in each of them; dwelling, if one may so say, in their minds, at least, with the moon, and the sun, and the whole company of the rest of the stars, both planets and fixed stars. Having their bodies, indeed, firmly planted on the earth, but having their souls furnished with wings, in order that thus hovering in the air they may closely survey all the powers above, looking upon them as in reality the most excellent of cosmopolites, who consider the whole world as their native city, and all the devotees of wisdom as their fellow citizens, virtue herself having enrolled them as such, to whom it has been entrusted to frame a constitution for their common city.XIII. 2.46. Being, therefore, full of all kinds of excellence, and being accustomed to disregard all those good things which affect the body and external circumstances, and being inured to look upon things indifferent as really indifferent, and being armed by study against the pleasures and appetites, and, in short, being always labouring to raise themselves above the passions, and being instructed to exert all their power to pull down the fortification which those appetites have built up, and being insensible to any impression which the attacks of fortune might make upon them, because they have previously estimated the power of its attacks in their anticipations (for anticipation makes even those things light which would be most terrible if unexpected 2.47. These men, however, are therefore but a small number, kindling in their different cities a sort of spark of wisdom, in order that virtue may not become utterly extinguished, and so be entirely extirpated from our race. 2.48. But if men everywhere agreed with this small number, and became, as nature originally designed that they should, all blameless and irreproachable, lovers of wisdom, delighting in all that is virtuous and honourable, and thinking that and that alone good, and looking on everything else as subordinate and slaves, as if they themselves were the masters of them, then all the cities would be full of happiness, being wholly free from all the things which are the causes of pain or fear, and full of all those which produce joy and cheerfulness. So that no time would ever cease to be the time of a happy life, but that the whole circle of the year would be one festival.XIV. 2.73. For while it does not permit them to lend on usury to their fellow countrymen, it has allowed them to receive interest from foreigners; calling the former, with great felicity of expression, their brothers, in order to prevent any one's grudging to give of his possessions to those who are as if by nature joint inheritors with themselves; but those who are not their fellow countrymen are called strangers, as is very natural. For the being a stranger shows that a person has no right to a participation in any thing, unless, indeed, any one out of an excess of virtue should treat even those in the conditions of strangers as kindred and related, from having been bred up under a virtuous state of things, and under virtuous laws which look upon what is virtuous alone as good. 2.163. The reason is that a priest has the same relation to a city that the nation of the Jews has to the entire inhabited world. For it serves as a priest--to state the truth--through the use of all purificatory offerings and the guidance both for body and soul of divine laws which have checked the pleasures of the stomach and those under the stomach and [tamed] the mob [of the Senses]{21}{there is a clear problem with the text here, i.e., the noun ochlon lacks a verb.} by having appointed reason as charioteer over the irrational senses; they also have driven back and overturned the undiscriminating and excessive urges of the soul, some by rather gentle instructions and philosophical exhortations, others by rather weighty and forcible rebukes and by fear of punishment, the fear which they brandish threateningly. 4.159. For our lawgiver was aware beforehand, as was natural that one who was a countryman and a relation, and who had also an especial share in the sublimest relationship of all, (and that sublimest of relationships is one constitution and the same law, and one God whose chosen nation is a peculiar people 4.164. other kings bear sceptres in their hands, and sit upon thrones in royal state, but my sceptre shall be the book of the copy of the law; that shall be my boast and my incontestible glory, the signal of my irreproachable sovereignty, created after the image and model of the archetypal royal power of God. 4.179. And one may almost say that the whole nation of the Jews may be looked upon in the light of orphans, if they are compared with all other nations in other lands; for other nations, as often as they are afflicted by any calamities which are not of divine infliction, are in no want of assistance by reason of their frequent intercourse with other nations, from their habitual dealings in common. But this nation of the Jews has no such allies by reason of the peculiarity of its laws and customs. And their laws are of necessity strict and rigorous, as they are intended to train them to the greatest height of virtue; and what is strict and rigorous is austere. And such laws and customs the generality of men avoid, because of their inclination for and their adoption of pleasure.
9. Philo of Alexandria, On The Virtues, 218-219, 94, 179 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

179. And what can this best of all things be except God? whose honours those men have attributed to beings which are not gods, honouring them beyond all reason and moderation, and, like empty minded people that they are, wholly forgetting him. All those men therefore who, although they did not originally choose to honour the Creator and Father of the universe, have yet changed and done so afterwards, having learnt to prefer to honour a single monarch rather than a number of rulers, we must look upon as our friends and kinsmen, since they display that greatest of all bonds with which to cement friendship and kindred, namely, a pious and God-loving disposition, and we ought to sympathise in joy with and to congratulate them, since even if they were blind previously they have now received their sight, beholding the most brilliant of all lights instead of the most profound darkness. XXXIV.
10. Philo of Alexandria, On The Life of Moses, 2.11-2.12, 2.14, 2.48, 2.51-2.52, 2.211 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

2.11. And those who are well versed in the sacred scriptures know this, for if he had not had these principles innate within him he would never have compiled those scriptures at the promptings of God. And he gave to those who were worthy to use them the most admirable of all possessions, namely, faithful copies and imitations of the original examples which were consecrated and enshrined in the soul, which became the laws which he revealed and established, displaying in the clearest manner the virtues which I have enumerated and described above. 2.12. But that he himself is the most admirable of all the lawgivers who have ever lived in any country either among the Greeks or among the barbarians, and that his are the most admirable of all laws, and truly divine, omitting no one particular which they ought to comprehend, there is the clearest proof possible in this fact, the laws of other lawgivers 2.14. But the enactments of this lawgiver are firm, not shaken by commotions, not liable to alteration, but stamped as it were with the seal of nature herself, and they remain firm and lasting from the day on which they were first promulgated to the present one, and there may well be a hope that they will remain to all future time, as being immortal, as long as the sun and the moon, and the whole heaven and the whole world shall endure. 2.48. for he was not like any ordinary compiler of history, studying to leave behind him records of ancient transactions as memorials to future ages for the mere sake of affording pleasure without any advantage; but he traced back the most ancient events from the beginning of the world, commencing with the creation of the universe, in order to make known two most necessary principles. First, that the same being was the father and creator of the world, and likewise the lawgiver of truth; secondly, that the man who adhered to these laws, and clung closely to a connection with and obedience to nature, would live in a manner corresponding to the arrangement of the universe with a perfect harmony and union, between his words and his actions and between his actions and his words. 2.51. For both in his commandments and also in his prohibitions he suggests and recommends rather than commands, endeavouring with many prefaces and perorations to suggest the greater part of the precepts that he desires to enforce, desiring rather to allure men to virtue than to drive them to it, and looking upon the foundation and beginning of a city made with hands, which he has made the commencement of his work a commencement beneath the dignity of his laws, looking rather with the most accurate eye of his mind at the importance and beauty of his whole legislative system, and thinking it too excellent and too divine to be limited as it were by any circle of things on earth; and therefore he has related the creation of that great metropolis, the world, thinking his laws the most fruitful image and likeness of the constitution of the whole world. 2.52. At all events if any one were inclined to examine with accuracy the powers of each individual and particular law, he will find them all aiming at the harmony of the universe, and corresponding to the law of eternal nature: 2.211. For this reason the all-great Moses thought fit that all who were enrolled in his sacred polity should follow the laws of nature and meet in a solemn assembly, passing the time in cheerful joy and relaxation, abstaining from all work, and from all arts which have a tendency to the production of anything; and from all business which is connected with the seeking of the means of living, and that they should keep a complete truce, abstaining from all laborious and fatiguing thought and care, and devoting their leisure, not as some persons scoffingly assert, to sports, or exhibitions of actors and dancers, for the sake of which those who run madly after theatrical amusements suffer disasters and even encounter miserable deaths, and for the sake of these the most domit and influential of the outward senses, sight and hearing, make the soul, which should be the heavenly nature, the slave of these senses.
11. Philo of Alexandria, Allegorical Interpretation, 3.144 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

12. Philo of Alexandria, Questions On Exodus, 2.42 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

13. Philo of Alexandria, Who Is The Heir, 46, 45 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

45. But there are three kinds of life. The first life, to God; the second, with respect to the creature; the third, is on the borders of both, being compounded of the two others. Now, the life to God has not descended to us, and has not come to the necessities of the body. Again, life with respect to the creature has not wholly ascended up to heaven, nor has it sought to ascend, but it lurks in unapproachable recesses, and rejoices in a life which is no life.
14. Philo of Alexandria, That The Worse Attacks The Better, 68 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

68. Therefore, he here clearly asserts that the good man is the guardian of the words and of the covet of God. And, indeed, in another place he has shown that he is the best interpreter and declarer of his justifications and laws; the faculty of interpretation being displayed through its kindred organ--the voice, and guardianship being exerted through the mind, which having been made by nature as a great storehouse, easily contains the conceptions of all things, whether bodies or things. It would therefore have been worth the while of this self-loving Cain to have been the keeper of Abel; for if he had kept him he would have attained to a compounded and moderate kind of life, and would not have been filled with unmodified and absolute wickedness. XX.
15. Philo of Alexandria, Plant., 132 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

132. Since therefore all the fruit of the soul is consecrated in the fourth year and the fourth number; in the fifth year we ourselves shall be allowed the use and enjoyment of it for ourselves; for the scripture says, "In the fifth year ye shall eat the fruit thereof;" since it has been established by a perpetual law of nature, that account shall be taken of the creation after the Creator in every thing; so that even if we are thought worthy of the second place, it must be considered a marvellous thing;
16. Dio Chrysostom, Orations, 36.29-36.38 (1st cent. CE

36.29.  Yet, despite my brave words to Hieroson, I was moved and heaved a sigh, as it were, when I bethought me of Homer and Plato."Well then," said I, "the term 'city' must be taken on the understanding that our sect is not literally defining the universe as a city; for that would be in direct conflict with our doctrine of the city, which, as I have said, the Stoics define as an organization of human beings; and at the same time it would possibly not be suitable or convincing, if, after stating in the strict sense of the term that the universe is a living creature, they should then call it a city 36.30.  for that the same thing is both a city and a living being is a proposition that, I imagine, no one would readily consent to entertain. Yet the present orderly constitution of the universe ever since the whole has been separated and divided into a considerable number of forms of plants and animals, mortal and immortal, yes, and into air and earth and water and fire, being nevertheless by nature in all these forms one thing and governed by one spirit and force — this orderly constitution, I say, the Stoics do in one way or another liken to a city because of the multitude of the creatures that are constantly either being born or else ending their existence in it, and, furthermore, because of the arrangement and orderliness of its administration. 36.31.  "This doctrine, in brief, aims to harmonize the human race with the divine, and to embrace in a single term everything endowed with reason, finding in reason the only sure and indissoluble foundation for fellowship and justice. For in keeping with that concept the term 'city' would be applied, not, of course, to an organization that has chanced to get mean or petty leaders nor to one which through tyranny or democracy or, in fact, through decarchy or oligarchy or any other similar product of imperfection, is being torn to pieces and made the victim of constant party faction. Nay, term would be applied rather to an organization that is governed by the sanest and noblest form of kingship, to one that is actually under royal goverce in accordance with law, in complete friendship and concord. 36.32.  And this, indeed, is precisely what the wisest and eldest ruler and law-giver ordains for all, both mortals and immortals, he who is the leader of all the heaven and lord of all being, himself thus expounding the term and offering his own administration as a pattern of the happy and blessed condition, he whom the divine bards, instructed by the Muses, praise in song and call the 'father of gods and men.' 36.33.  "For the chances are, indeed, that poets as a class are not utterly bad marksmen when they speak of sacred things and that they are not missing the mark when they use such expressions as that repeatedly; on the other hand, it is not likely that they have received a real initiation according to the rites and regulations of true initiates, or that with reference to the universe they know anything, if I may say so, which is true and clear. But we may think of them as merely like the attendants at the rites, who stand outside at the doors, decking portals and the altars which are in full view and attending to the other preparations of that kind but never passing within. Indeed that is the very reason why the poets call themselves 'attendants of the Muses,' not initiates or any other august name. 36.34.  So, as I was saying, it is reasonable to suppose that not only do those who busy themselves near some ritual, hard by the entrance to the sanctuary, gain some inkling of what is going on within, when either a lone mystic phrase rings out loudly, or fire appears above the enclosure, but also that there comes sometimes to the poets — I mean the very ancient poets — some utterance from the Muses, however brief, some inspiration of divine nature and of divine truth, like a flash of fire from the invisible. This is what happened to Homer and Hesiod when they were possessed by the Muses. 36.35.  But the poets who came after them in later days, bringing to stage and theatre naught but their own wisdom, uninitiate addressing initiate, have ofttimes disclosed imperfect patterns of holy rites; but, being applauded by the multitude, they tried in their own right to initiate the mob, actually, as we might say, building open booths for Bacchic rites at tragic crossroads."Yet all these poets in precisely the same fashion call the first and greatest god Father of the whole rational family collectively, yes, and King besides. 36.36.  And trusting to these poets men erect altars to Zeus the King and, what is more, some do not hesitate even to call him Father in their prayers, believing that there exists some such government and organization of the universe as that. Therefore, from that standpoint at least, it seems to me, they would not hesitate to apply the term 'home of Zeus' to the entire universe — if indeed he is father of all who live in it — yes, by Zeus, and his 'city' too, our Stoic similitude, to suggest the greater office of the god. 36.37.  For kingship is a word more appropriate to a city than to a home. For surely men would not apply the term King to him who is over all and then refuse to admit that the whole is governed by a king, nor would they admit that they are governed by a king and then deny that they are members of a state or that there is a kingly administration of the universe. And again, conceding 'administration,' they would not balk at accepting 'city,' or something very like it, as descriptive of that which is administered. 36.38.  "This, then, is the theory of the philosophers, a theory which sets up a noble and benevolent fellowship of gods and men which gives a share in law and citizenship, not to all living beings whatsoever, but only to such as have a share in reason and intellect, introducing a far better and more righteous code than that of Sparta, in accordance with which the Helots have no prospect of ever becoming Spartans, and consequently are constantly plotting against Sparta.
17. Epictetus, Discourses, 3.22.67-3.22.82, 3.24.84-3.24.88 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

18. Josephus Flavius, Against Apion, 2.28 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

2.28. 3. This is that novel account which the Egyptian Apion gives us concerning the Jews’ departure out of Egypt, and is no better than a contrivance of his own. But why should we wonder at the lies he tells us about our forefathers, when he affirms them to be of Egyptian original, when he lies also about himself? 2.28. 40. We have already demonstrated that our laws have been such as have always inspired admiration and imitation into all other men;
19. New Testament, 1 Corinthians, 9.21 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

9.21. to those who are without law, as without law(not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that Imight win those who are without law.
20. New Testament, Galatians, 6.2 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

6.2. Bear one another'sburdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
aristobulus Taylor and Hay, Philo of Alexandria: On the Contemplative Life: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2020) 268
cosmopolitanism Wilson, Paul and the Jewish Law: A Stoic Ethical Perspective on his Inconsistency (2022) 61
free will Martens, One God, One Law: Philo of Alexandria on the Mosaic and Greco-Roman Law (2003) 72
human nature Martens, One God, One Law: Philo of Alexandria on the Mosaic and Greco-Roman Law (2003) 72
law of nature, in philo Martens, One God, One Law: Philo of Alexandria on the Mosaic and Greco-Roman Law (2003) 103
law of nature/natural law, stoic politics Wilson, Paul and the Jewish Law: A Stoic Ethical Perspective on his Inconsistency (2022) 61
law of nature/natural law Wilson, Paul and the Jewish Law: A Stoic Ethical Perspective on his Inconsistency (2022) 61
mosaic law, for ordinary people Martens, One God, One Law: Philo of Alexandria on the Mosaic and Greco-Roman Law (2003) 72
nature/nature Wilson, Paul and the Jewish Law: A Stoic Ethical Perspective on his Inconsistency (2022) 61
physis, as nature of things and persons Martens, One God, One Law: Philo of Alexandria on the Mosaic and Greco-Roman Law (2003) 72
unity of law, in philo' Martens, One God, One Law: Philo of Alexandria on the Mosaic and Greco-Roman Law (2003) 103
virtue Wilson, Paul and the Jewish Law: A Stoic Ethical Perspective on his Inconsistency (2022) 61
zeno Wilson, Paul and the Jewish Law: A Stoic Ethical Perspective on his Inconsistency (2022) 61
zeus Wilson, Paul and the Jewish Law: A Stoic Ethical Perspective on his Inconsistency (2022) 61