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Philo Of Alexandria, On Drunkenness, 16-30

nanIt is then confessed by all most undeniably, that it is both honourable and advantageous to yield and to become obedient to virtue, so that on the other hand to be disobedient to it must be disgraceful and in no moderate degree disadvantageous. And to be contentious and obstinate is a quality which comprehends every extravagance of evil; for the man who is disobedient is less wicked than he who is contentious, since the one only disregards what he is commanded to do, but the other also exerts himself to do the contrary.

nanCome, now, let us investigate the true nature of these things. Since the law commands, for instance, that men should honour their parents, he who does not honour them is disobedient; but he who dishonours them is contentious. And again, since it is a righteous action to preserve one's country, we must call the man who admits of hesitation in the pursuit of the object disobedient, but the man who is prepared moreover to betray it we must pronounce perverse and contentious.

nanAgain, he who, when requested to requite a favour, contradicts the man who says that he ought to consider himself a debtor, is disobedient; but he who, in addition to making no return, is so carried away by contentiousness that he endeavours to do the person what harm he can, commits unredeemable wickedness. And further, he who never approaches, nor practises sacrifices, or any of the other observances required by piety, disobeys the commandments which the law usually ordains in such matters; but he who resists and turns aside to the opposite disposition, impiety, is a wicked man and a minister of impiety. VI.

nanSuch a man as this was he who said, "Who is there whom I am to obey?" and again, "I do not know the Lord." For by his first expression he states that there is no such thing as a Deity; and by the second question he means, that even if there is such a being, still he will not recognize him, which arises from a deficiency in his providence; for if he were possessed of providence he would be recognized.

nanNow to bring contributions and supplies in aid of an entertainment with a view to a participation in that best of all possessions, prudence, is praiseworthy and advantageous. But to do so with a view to the worst of all objects, folly, is disadvantageous and blameable;

nantherefore, the contributions for the most excellent object are the desire of virtue, the imitation of good men, continued care, laborious practice, incessant and unwearied labours; the contributions for the opposite object are relaxation, indifference, luxury, effeminacy, and a complete desertion of what is right.

nanAnd we may see those who every day descend into the arena to contend in drinking much wine, and practising this quality every day, and striving to gain the victory in greediness and voracity, bringing their contributions as though they had some desirable object in view, and injuring themselves in every thing, in their property, and their bodies, and their souls; for by contributing their property they diminish their substance; and they break down and enervate the powers of their bodies by their luxurious way of life, and as for their souls, inundating them with immoderate food like a swollen torrent, they compel that to sink down to the lowest depth.

nanFor the same manner all those, who bring contributions for the destruction of learning, injure the most important thing in them, namely, their mind, cutting off every thing that might save it--prudence, and temperance, and courage, and justice; on which account he seems to me himself to use a compound word, symbolokopoµn, for the more manifest manifestation of his meaning, because they who bring forward attempts at virtue as their offering and contribution, wound and lacerate, and cut to pieces, obedient and learningloving souls to the extent of their utter destruction. VII.

nanTherefore the wise Abraham is said to have returned again from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings who were with Him. And on the other hand, Amalek is said to have cut to pieces the rear of the company of the meditator of virtue, in strict accordance with the truth of nature; for what is contrary to one is also hostile to the other, and such things are always meditating the destruction of one another.

nanBut one may especially blame a man who contributes offerings on this account, because such an one has not only determined to do wrong, but also to cooperate with others in doing wrong, thinking fit in some things to be the leader himself, and in others to follow the leadership of others; so that, erring both by nature and through what he has learnt, he leaves himself no good hope of safety, and this, too, though the law has expressly said that one must "not follow a multitude to do Evil;

nanfor, in truth, evil is a very manifold and very fertile thing in the souls of men, but good is but a contracted and rare thing. Again it is a most useful recommendation, not to join with many persons to do evil, but to unite with a few whose chief practice is to do justly. VIII.

nanThe fourth and greatest of the accusations, is that of drunkenness, not slight but excessive drunkenness. For devotion to crime is equivalent to devotion to swelling up, and kindling, and inflaming the poison which is the great cause of folly, namely ignorance, a thing which can never be extinguished, but which is at all times and in every case raising a conflagration and fury in the soul.

nanVery naturally, therefore, justice will follow which purifies every evil disposition of the mind, for it is said, "Thou shalt utterly get rid of the wicked man," not out of the city, or out of the country, or out of the nation, but "out of Yourselves." For there are many faulty and blameable thoughts lurking in us, and taking up their abode in the recesses of our hearts, which, since they are incurable, it is necessary to eradicate and destroy.

nanTherefore it is just that this disobedient and contentious man, who is always advancing plausible reasons as a sort of offering and contribution on his part towards the destruction of what is good, and who is inflamed with strong wine, and raging in a drunken manner against virtue, and being absurdly excited to his own injury by wine, should have his allies for his accusers, his own father and mother, since he ought to receive every possible reproof and chastisement from those who can be saved;

nanbut of the father and mother the appellations are common, but their powers are different. At all events we shall speak with justice, if we say that the Creator of the universe is also the father of his creation; and that the mother was the knowledge of the Creator with whom God uniting, not as a man unites, became the father of creation. And this knowledge having received the seed of God, when the day of her travail arrived, brought forth her only and well-beloved son, perceptible by the external senses, namely this world.

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

16 results
1. Hebrew Bible, Psalms, 33.6 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

33.6. בִּדְבַר יְהוָה שָׁמַיִם נַעֲשׂוּ וּבְרוּחַ פִּיו כָּל־צְבָאָם׃ 33.6. By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; And all the host of them by the breath of His mouth."
2. Hebrew Bible, Isaiah, 2.1 (8th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

2.1. בּוֹא בַצּוּר וְהִטָּמֵן בֶּעָפָר מִפְּנֵי פַּחַד יְהוָה וּמֵהֲדַר גְּאֹנוֹ׃ 2.1. הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר חָזָה יְשַׁעְיָהוּ בֶּן־אָמוֹץ עַל־יְהוּדָה וִירוּשָׁלִָם׃ 2.1. The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem."
3. Hebrew Bible, Jeremiah, 1.2 (8th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

1.2. אֲשֶׁר הָיָה דְבַר־יְהוָה אֵלָיו בִּימֵי יֹאשִׁיָּהוּ בֶן־אָמוֹן מֶלֶךְ יְהוּדָה בִּשְׁלֹשׁ־עֶשְׂרֵה שָׁנָה לְמָלְכוֹ׃ 1.2. to whom the word of the LORD came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign."
4. Septuagint, Ecclesiasticus (Siracides), 24.23 (2nd cent. BCE - 2nd cent. BCE)

24.23. All this is the book of the covet of the Most High God,the law which Moses commanded us as an inheritance for the congregations of Jacob.
5. Septuagint, Wisdom of Solomon, 24.23 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

6. Philo of Alexandria, On The Confusion of Tongues, 147 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

147. For which reason I was induced a little while ago to praise the principles of those who said, "We are all one man's Sons." For even if we are not yet suitable to be called the sons of God, still we may deserve to be called the children of his eternal image, of his most sacred word; for the image of God is his most ancient word.
7. Philo of Alexandria, On Drunkenness, 101-129, 13, 130-133, 138, 14, 146-147, 15, 150, 17-100 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

100. for Moses," says the scripture, "having taken his own tent, fixed it outside the camp," and that too not near it, but a long way off, and at a great distance from the camp. And by these statements he tells us, figuratively, that the wise man is but a sojourner, and a person who leaves war and goes over to peace, and who passes from the mortal and disturbed camp to the undisturbed and peaceful and divine life of rational and happy souls. XXVI.
8. Philo of Alexandria, On The Creation of The World, 25 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

25. this is the doctrine of Moses, not mine. Accordingly he, when recording the creation of man, in words which follow, asserts expressly, that he was made in the image of God--and if the image be a part of the image, then manifestly so is the entire form, namely, the whole of this world perceptible by the external senses, which is a greater imitation of the divine image than the human form is. It is manifest also, that the archetypal seal, which we call that world which is perceptible only to the intellect, must itself be the archetypal model, the idea of ideas, the Reason of God. VII.
9. Philo of Alexandria, On Planting, 50 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

10. Philo of Alexandria, On Dreams, 2.6, 2.45 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

2.6. and it may be well at all times to begin our instruction with the first instances. Now the first dreams are those which Joseph beheld, receiving two visions from the two parts of the world, heaven and earth. From the earth the dream about the harvest; and that is as follows, "I thought that we were all binding sheaves in the middle of the field; and my sheaf stood Up. 2.45. for God gives to the soul a seal, a very beautiful gift, to show that he has invested with shape the essence of all things which was previously devoid of shape, and has stamped with a particular character that which previously had no character, and has endowed with form that which had previously no distinctive form, and having perfected the entire world, he has impressed upon it an image and appearance, namely, his own word.
11. Philo of Alexandria, Allegorical Interpretation, 1.13, 2.96, 3.46, 3.96 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

1.13. Again, the secretions are seven--tears, mucus from the nose, saliva, the generative fluid, the two excremental discharges, and the sweat that proceeds from every part of the body. Moreover, in diseases the seventh day is the most critical period--and in women the catamenial purifications extend to the seventh day. V.
12. Philo of Alexandria, Questions On Genesis, 1.4, 1.8 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

13. Philo of Alexandria, Plant., 50 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

50. And accordingly what is said afterwards is in strict agreement with what is said before, namely, that the world is the beautiful and properly prepared house of God, appreciable by the external senses; and that he himself made it and that it is not uncreated, as some persons have thought. And he uses the word "sanctuary," as meaning a splendour emitted from holy objects, an imitation of the archetypal model; since those things which are beautiful to the external senses are to the intellectual senses models of what is beautiful. The expression that "it was prepared by the hands of God," means that it was made by his worldcreating powers.
14. New Testament, John, 6.35, 15.4-15.7, 15.10 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

6.35. Jesus said to them. "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will not be hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. 15.4. Remain in me, and I in you. As the branch can't bear fruit by itself, unless it remains in the vine, so neither can you, unless you remain in me. 15.5. I am the vine. You are the branches. He who remains in me, and I in him, the same bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 15.6. If a man doesn't remain in me, he is thrown out as a branch, and is withered; and they gather them, throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 15.7. If you remain in me, and my words remain in you, you will ask whatever you desire, and it will be done to you. 15.10. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and remain in his love.
15. Diogenes Laertius, Lives of The Philosophers, 10.119 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

10.119. Nor, again, will the wise man marry and rear a family: so Epicurus says in the Problems and in the De Natura. Occasionally he may marry owing to special circumstances in his life. Some too will turn aside from their purpose. Nor will he drivel, when drunken: so Epicurus says in the Symposium. Nor will he take part in politics, as is stated in the first book On Life; nor will he make himself a tyrant; nor will he turn Cynic (so the second book On Life tells us); nor will he be a mendicant. But even when he has lost his sight, he will not withdraw himself from life: this is stated in the same book. The wise man will also feel grief, according to Diogenes in the fifth book of his Epilecta.
16. Origen, On First Principles, 1.2.3, 1.2.6 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

1.2.3. Now, in the same way in which we have understood that Wisdom was the beginning of the ways of God, and is said to be created, forming beforehand and containing within herself the species and beginnings of all creatures, must we understand her to be the Word of God, because of her disclosing to all other beings, i.e., to universal creation, the nature of the mysteries and secrets which are contained within the divine wisdom; and on this account she is called the Word, because she is, as it were, the interpreter of the secrets of the mind. And therefore that language which is found in the Acts of Paul, where it is said that here is the Word a living being, appears to me to be rightly used. John, however, with more sublimity and propriety, says in the beginning of his Gospel, when defining God by a special definition to be the Word, And God was the Word, and this was in the beginning with God. Let him, then, who assigns a beginning to the Word or Wisdom of God, take care that he be not guilty of impiety against the unbegotten Father Himself, seeing he denies that He had always been a Father, and had generated the Word, and had possessed wisdom in all preceding periods, whether they be called times or ages, or anything else that can be so entitled. 1.2.6. Let us now see how we are to understand the expression invisible image, that we may in this way perceive how God is rightly called the Father of His Son; and let us, in the first place, draw our conclusions from what are customarily called images among men. That is sometimes called an image which is painted or sculptured on some material substance, such as wood or stone; and sometimes a child is called the image of his parent, when the features of the child in no respect belie their resemblance to the father. I think, therefore, that that man who was formed after the image and likeness of God may be fittingly compared to the first illustration. Respecting him, however, we shall see more precisely, God willing, when we come to expound the passage in Genesis. But the image of the Son of God, of whom we are now speaking, may be compared to the second of the above examples, even in respect of this, that He is the invisible image of the invisible God, in the same manner as we say, according to the sacred history, that the image of Adam is his son Seth. The words are, And Adam begot Seth in his own likeness, and after his own image. Now this image contains the unity of nature and substance belonging to Father and Son. For if the Son do, in like manner, all those things which the Father does, then, in virtue of the Son doing all things like the Father, is the image of the Father formed in the Son, who is born of Him, like an act of His will proceeding from the mind. And I am therefore of opinion that the will of the Father ought alone to be sufficient for the existence of that which He wishes to exist. For in the exercise of His will He employs no other way than that which is made known by the counsel of His will. And thus also the existence of the Son is generated by Him. For this point must above all others be maintained by those who allow nothing to be unbegotten, i.e., unborn, save God the Father only. And we must be careful not to fall into the absurdities of those who picture to themselves certain emanations, so as to divide the divine nature into parts, and who divide God the Father as far as they can, since even to entertain the remotest suspicion of such a thing regarding an incorporeal being is not only the height of impiety, but a mark of the greatest folly, it being most remote from any intelligent conception that there should be any physical division of any incorporeal nature. Rather, therefore, as an act of the will proceeds from the understanding, and neither cuts off any part nor is separated or divided from it, so after some such fashion is the Father to be supposed as having begotten the Son, His own image; namely, so that, as He is Himself invisible by nature, He also begot an image that was invisible. For the Son is the Word, and therefore we are not to understand that anything in Him is cognisable by the senses. He is wisdom, and in wisdom there can be no suspicion of anything corporeal. He is the true light, which enlightens every man that comes into this world; but He has nothing in common with the light of this sun. Our Saviour, therefore, is the image of the invisible God, inasmuch as compared with the Father Himself He is the truth: and as compared with us, to whom He reveals the Father, He is the image by which we come to the knowledge of the Father, whom no one knows save the Son, and he to whom the Son is pleased to reveal Him. And the method of revealing Him is through the understanding. For He by whom the Son Himself is understood, understands, as a consequence, the Father also, according to His own words: He that has seen Me, has seen the Father also.

Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
abram/abraham, prayer for ishmael Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 508
allegoresis, symbolism and Heo, Images of Torah: From the Second-Temple Period to the Middle Ages (2023) 144
balaam Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 508
blasphemer' Lidonnici and Lieber, Heavenly Tablets: Interpretation, Identity and Tradition in Ancient Judaism (2007) 222
cosmos, indestructibility of Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Planting: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2019) 262
education Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Planting: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2019) 262
epicurus Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Planting: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2019) 262
greek logos, jewish wisdom and Heo, Images of Torah: From the Second-Temple Period to the Middle Ages (2023) 144
high priest Heo, Images of Torah: From the Second-Temple Period to the Middle Ages (2023) 144
homonymy Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 508
inebriation Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Planting: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2019) 262
intellect Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Planting: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2019) 262
ishmael Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 508
jewish wisdom, greek logos and Heo, Images of Torah: From the Second-Temple Period to the Middle Ages (2023) 144
logos of god, man Heo, Images of Torah: From the Second-Temple Period to the Middle Ages (2023) 144
logos of god Heo, Images of Torah: From the Second-Temple Period to the Middle Ages (2023) 144
madness Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Planting: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2019) 262
mainoles Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Planting: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2019) 262
moses Lidonnici and Lieber, Heavenly Tablets: Interpretation, Identity and Tradition in Ancient Judaism (2007) 222
names, philosophy of Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 508
prophecy Heo, Images of Torah: From the Second-Temple Period to the Middle Ages (2023) 144
rhetoric Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 508
symbolic interpretation, of wine Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Planting: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2019) 262
symbolism, allegory and Heo, Images of Torah: From the Second-Temple Period to the Middle Ages (2023) 144