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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



9229
Philo Of Alexandria, On The Change Of Names, 54


nanAnd immediately afterwards it is said, "And Abraham fell on his face:" was he not about, in accordance with the divine promises, to recognize himself and the nothingness of the race of mankind, and so to fall down before him who stood firm, by way of displaying the conception which he entertained of himself and of God? Forsooth that God, standing always in the same place, moves the whole composition of the world, not by means of his legs, for he has not the form of a man, but by showing his unalterable and immovable essence.


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

20 results
1. Hebrew Bible, Exodus, a b c d\n0 "33.23" "33.23" "33 23" (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

2. Hebrew Bible, Genesis, a b c d\n0 "2.7" "2.7" "2 7" (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

3. Plato, Timaeus, None (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

4. Philo of Alexandria, On Husbandry, 2, 1 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

1. And Noah began to be a husbandman; and he planted a vineyard, and he drank of the wine, and he was drunk in his House." The generality of men not understanding the nature of things, do also of necessity err with respect to the composition of names; for those who consider affairs anatomically, as it were, are easily able to affix appropriate names to things, but those who look at them in a confused and irregular way are incapable of such accuracy.
5. Philo of Alexandria, On The Preliminary Studies, 108-110, 107 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

107. For this propitiation also is established in the tenth day of the month, when the soul addresses its supplications to the tenth portion, namely to God, and has learnt, by its own sagacity and acuteness, the insignificance and nothingness of the creature, and also the excessive perfection and pre-eminent excellence in all good things of the uncreated God. Therefore God becomes at once propitious, and propitious too, even without any supplications being addressed to him, to those who abase and humble themselves, and who are not puffed up with vain arrogance and self-opinion.
6. Philo of Alexandria, On Flight And Finding, 46 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

46. Dwell, therefore," says she, "O my child, with him," not all thy life, but "certain days;" that is to say, learn to be acquainted with the country of the external senses; know thyself and thy own parts, and what each is, and for what end it was made, and how it is by nature calculated to energise, and who it is who moves through those marvellous things, and pulls the strings, being himself invisible, in an invisible manner, whether it is the mind that is in thee, or the mind of the universe.
7. Philo of Alexandria, On The Migration of Abraham, 184-196, 76-81, 137 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

137. Come, and at once abandoning all other things, learn to know yourselves, and tell us plainly what ye yourselves are in respect of your bodies, in respect of your souls, in respect of your external senses, and in respect of your reason. Tell us now with respect to one, and that the smallest, perhaps, of the senses, what sight is, and how it is that you see; tell us what hearing is, and how it is that you hear; tell us what taste is, what touch is, what smell is, and how it is that you exercise the energies of each of these faculties; and what the sources of them are from which they originate.
8. Philo of Alexandria, On The Change of Names, 4-5, 56, 6-10 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

10. And what wonder is there if the living God is beyond the reach of the comprehension of man, when even the mind that is in each of us is unintelligible and unknown to us? Who has ever beheld the essence of the soul? the obscure nature of which has given rise to an infinite number of contests among the sophists who have brought forward opposite opinions, some of which are inconsistent with any kind of nature.
9. Philo of Alexandria, On The Sacrifices of Cain And Abel, 53, 56-57, 52 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

52. And it came to pass after some days that Cain brought of the fruits of the earth as an offering to the Lord. Here are two accusations against the self-loving man; one that he showed his gratitude to God after some days, and not at once, the other that he made his offering from the fruits, and not from the first fruits, which have a name in one word, the first fruits. Let us now examine into each of these subjects of reproach, and first into that which is first in order
10. Philo of Alexandria, On Dreams, 1.53-1.60 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

1.53. And what is the lesson? The Chaldaeans are great astronomers, and the inhabitants of Charran occupy themselves with the topics relating to the external senses. Therefore the sacred account says to the investigator of the things of nature, why are you inquiring about the sun, and asking whether he is a foot broad, whether he is greater than the whole earth put together, or whether he is even many times as large? And why are you investigating the causes of the light of the moon, and whether it has a borrowed light, or one which proceeds solely from itself? Why, again, do you seek to understand the nature of the rest of the stars, of their motion, of their sympathy with one another, and even with earthly things? 1.54. And why, while walking upon the earth do you soar above the clouds? And why, while rooted in the solid land, do you affirm that you can reach the things in the sky? And why do you endeavour to form conjectures about matters which cannot be ascertained by conjecture? And why do you busy yourself about sublime subjects which you ought not to meddle with? And why do you extend your desire to make discoveries in mathematical science as far as the heaven? And why do you devote yourself to astronomy, and talk about nothing but high subjects? My good man, do not trouble your head about things beyond the ocean, but attend only to what is near you; and be content rather to examine yourself without flattery. 1.55. How, then, will you find out what you want, even if you are successful? Go with full exercise of your intellect to Charran, that is, to the trench which is dug, into the holes and caverns of the body, and investigate the eyes, the ears, the nostrils, and the other organs of the external senses; and if you wish to be a philosopher, study philosophically that branch which is the most indispensable and at the same time the most becoming to a man, and inquire what the faculty of sight is, what hearing is, what taste, what smell, what touch is, in a word, what is external sense; then seek to understand what it is to see, and how you see; what it is to hear, and how you hear; what it is to smell, or to taste, or to touch, and how each of these operations is ordinarily effected. 1.56. But it is not the very extravagance of insane folly to seek to comprehend the dwelling of the universe, before your own private dwelling is accurately known to you? But I do not as yet lay the more important and extensive injunction upon you to make yourself acquainted with your own soul and mind, of the knowledge of which you are so proud; for in reality you will never be able to comprehend it. 1.57. Mount up then to heaven, and talk arrogantly about the things which exist there, before you are as yet able to comprehend, according to the words of the poet, "All the good and all the evil Which thy own abode contains;" and, bringing down that messenger of yours from heaven, and dragging him down from his search into matters existing there, become acquainted with yourself, and carefully and diligently labour to arrive at such happiness as is permitted to man. 1.58. Now this disposition the Hebrews called Terah, and the Greeks Socrates; for they say also that the latter grew old in the most accurate study by which he could hope to know himself, never once directing his philosophical speculations to the subjects beyond himself. But he was really a man; but Terah is the principle itself which is proposed to every one, according to which each man should know himself, like a tree full of good branches, in order that these persons who are fond of virtue might without difficulty gather the fruit of pure morality, and thus become filled with the most delightful and saving food. 1.59. Such, then, are those men who reconnoitre the quarters of wisdom for us; but those who are actually her athletes, and who practise her exercises, are more perfect. For these men think fit to learn with complete accuracy the whole question connected with the external senses, and after having done so, then to proceed to another and more important speculation, leaving all consideration of the holes of the body which they call Charran. 1.60. of the number of these men is Abraham, who attained to great progress and improvement in the comprehension of complete knowledge; for when he knew most, then he most completely renounced himself in order to attain to the accurate knowledge of him who was the truly living God. And, indeed, this is a very natural course of events; for he who completely understands himself does also very much, because of his thorough appreciation of it, renounce the universal nothingness of the creature; and he who renounces himself learns to comprehend the living God. XI.
11. Philo of Alexandria, On The Special Laws, 1.44, 1.263 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

1.44. But not only is the nature of mankind, but even the whole heaven and the whole world is unable to attain to an adequate comprehension of me. So know yourself, and be not carried away with impulses and desires beyond your power; and let not a desire of unattainable objects carry you away and keep you in suspense. For you shall not lack anything which may be possessed by you. 1.263. And the cause of this proceeding may very probably be said to be this:--The lawgiver's intention is that those who approach the service of the living God should first of all know themselves and their own essence. For how can the man who does not know himself ever comprehend the supreme and all-excelling power of God?
12. Philo of Alexandria, On The Life of Moses, 2.127-2.129 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

2.127. And this logeum is described as double with great correctness; for reason is double, both in the universe and also in the nature of mankind, in the universe there is that reason which is conversant about incorporeal species which are like patterns as it were, from which that world which is perceptible only by the intellect was made, and also that which is concerned with the visible objects of sight, which are copies and imitations of those species above mentioned, of which the world which is perceptible by the outward senses was made. Again, in man there is one reason which is kept back, and another which finds vent in utterance: and the one is, as it were a spring, and the other (that which is uttered 2.128. And the architect assigned a quadrangular form to the logeum, intimating under an exceedingly beautiful figure, that both the reason of nature, and also that of man, ought to penetrate everywhere, and ought never to waver in any case; in reference to which, it is that he has also assigned to it the two virtues that have been already enumerated, manifestation and truth; for the reason of nature is true, and calculated to make manifest, and to explain everything; and the reason of the wise man, imitating that other reason, ought naturally, and appropriately to be completely sincere, honouring truth, and not obscuring anything through envy, the knowledge of which can benefit those to whom it would be explained; 2.129. not but what he has also assigned their two appropriate virtues to those two kinds of reason which exist in each of us, namely, that which is uttered and that which is kept concealed, attributing clearness of manifestation to the uttered one, and truth to that which is concealed in the mind; for it is suitable to the mind that it should admit of no error or falsehood, and to explanation that it should not hinder anything that can conduce to the most accurate manifestation.
13. Philo of Alexandria, Allegorical Interpretation, 1.31-1.43, 2.53-2.58, 2.71-2.75 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

1.31. And God created man, taking a lump of clay from the earth, and breathed into his face the breath of life: and man became a living soul." The races of men are twofold; for one is the heavenly man, and the other the earthly man. Now the heavenly man, as being born in the image of God, has no participation in any corruptible or earthlike essence. But the earthly man is made of loose material, which he calls a lump of clay. On which account he says, not that the heavenly man was made, but that he was fashioned according to the image of God; but the earthly man he calls a thing made, and not begotten by the maker. 1.32. And we must consider that the man who was formed of earth, means the mind which is to be infused into the body, but which has not yet been so infused. And this mind would be really earthly and corruptible, if it were not that God had breathed into it the spirit of genuine life; for then it "exists," and is no longer made into a soul; and its soul is not inactive, and incapable of proper formation, but a really intellectual and living one. "For man," says Moses, "became a living soul." XIII. 1.33. But some one may ask, why God thought an earth-born mind, which was wholly devoted to the body, worthy of divine inspiration, and yet did not treat the one made after his own idea and image in the same manner. In the second place he may ask, what is the meaning of the expression "breathed into." And thirdly, why he breathed into his face: fourthly also, why, since he knew the name of the Spirit when he says, "And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the Waters," he now speaks of breath, and not of the Spirit. 1.34. Now in reply to the first question we must say this one thing; God being very munificent gives his good things to all men, even to those who are not perfect; inviting them to a participation and rivalry in virtue, and at the same time displaying his abundant riches, and showing that it is sufficient for those also who will not be greatly benefited by it; and he also shows this in the most evident manner possible in other cases; for when he rains on the sea, and when he raises up fountains in desert places, and waters shallow and rough and unproductive land, making the rivers to overflow with floods, what else is he doing but displaying the great abundance of his riches and of his goodness? This is the cause why he has created no soul in such a condition as to be wholly barren of good, even if the employment of that good be beyond the reach of some people. 1.35. We must also give a second reason, which is this: Moses wished to represent all the actions of the Deity as just--therefore a man who had not had a real life breathed into him, but who was ignorant of virtue, when he was chastised for the sins which he had committed would say that he was punished unjustly, in that it was only through ignorance of what was good that he had erred respecting it; and that he was to blame who had not breathed any proper wisdom into him; and perhaps he will even say, that he has absolutely committed no offence whatever; since some people affirm that actions done involuntarily and in ignorance have not the nature of offences. 1.36. Now the expression "breathed into" is equivalent to "inspired," or "gave life to" things iimate: for let us take care that we are never filled with such absurdity as to think that God employs the organs of the mouth or nostrils for the purpose of breathing into anything; for God is not only devoid of peculiar qualities, but he is likewise not of the form of man, and the use of these words shows some more secret mystery of nature; 1.37. for there must be three things, that which breathes in, that which receives what is breathed in, and that which is breathed in. Now that which breathes in is God, that which receives what is breathed in is the mind, and that which is breathed in is the spirit. What then is collected from these three things? A union of the three takes place, through God extending the power, which proceeds from himself through the spirit, which is the middle term, as far as the subject. Why does he do this, except that we may thus derive a proper notion of him? 1.38. Since how could the soul have perceived God if he had not inspired it, and touched it according to his power? For human intellect would not have dared to mount up to such a height as to lay claim to the nature of God, if God himself had not drawn it up to himself, as far as it was possible for the mind of man to be drawn up, and if he had not formed it according to those powers which can be comprehended. 1.39. And God breathed into man's face both physically and morally. Physically, when he placed the senses in the face: and this portion of the body above all others is vivified and inspired; and morally, in this manner, as the face is the domit portion of the body, so also is the mind the domit portion of the soul. It is into this alone that God breathes; but the other parts, the sensations, the power of speech, and the power of generation, he does not think worthy of his breath, for they are inferior in power. 1.40. By what then were these subordinate parts inspired? beyond all question by the mind; for of the qualities which the mind has received form God, it gives a share to the irrational portion of the soul, so that the mind is vivified by God, and the irrational part of the soul by the mind; for the mind is as it were a god to the irrational part of the soul, for which reason Moses did not hesitate to call it "the god of Pharaoh. 1.41. For of all created things some are created by God, and through him: some not indeed by God, but yet through him: and the rest have their existence both by him and through him. At all events Moses as he proceeds says, that God planted a paradise, and among the best things as made both by God and through God, is the mind. But the irrational part of the soul was made indeed by God but not through God, but through the reasoning power which bears rule and sovereignty in the soul; 1.42. and Moses has used the word "breath," not "spirit," as there is a difference between the two words; for spirit is conceived of according to strength, and intensity, and power; but breath is a gentle and moderate kind of breeze and exhalation; therefore the mind, which was created in accordance with the image and idea of God, may be justly said to partake in his spirit, for its reasoning has strength: but that which is derived from matter is only a partaker in a thin and very light air, being as it were a sort of exhalation, such as arises from spices; for they, although they be preserved intact, and are not exposed to fire or fumigation, do nevertheless emit a certain fragrance. XIV. 1.43. And God planted a paradise in Eden, in the east: and there he placed the man whom he had Formed:" for he called that divine and heavenly wisdom by many names; and he made it manifest that it had many appellations; for he called it the beginning, and the image, and the sight of God. And now he exhibits the wisdom which is conversant about the things of the earth (as being an imitation of this archetypal wisdom), in the plantation of this Paradise. For let not such impiety ever occupy our thoughts as for us to suppose that God cultivates the land and plants paradises, since if we were to do so, we should be presently raising the question of why he does so: for it could not be that he might provide himself with pleasant places of recreation and pastime, or with amusement.
14. Philo of Alexandria, Who Is The Heir, 31, 30 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

15. Philo of Alexandria, That The Worse Attacks The Better, 39-40, 38 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

38. And it is on this account, as you see, that Moses rejected the sophists in Egypt, that is to say, in the body whom he calls magicians (for it is owing to the tricks and deceits of their sophistical tricks that good dispositions and good habits are infected and corrupted), saying that he was "not an eloquent Man," which is equivalent to saying that he was not formed by nature for the conjectural rhetoric of plausible and specious reasons. And immediately afterwards he confirms the assertion by adding, that he is not only not eloquent, but altogether "void of Words," meaning this, not in the sense in which we do when we call animals void of words, but speaking of himself as one who did not choose to employ words by means of his organs of speech, but who impresses and stamps the principles of true wisdom upon his mind alone, which is the most perfect opposite to false sophistry.
16. Philo of Alexandria, That God Is Unchangeable, 53-56, 23 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

23. And it seems good to the lawgiver that the perfect man should desire tranquillity; for it was said to the wise man in the character of God, "But stand thou here with me,"10 this expression showing the unchangeable and unalterable nature of the mind which is firmly established in the right way;
17. Plutarch, On The Delays of Divine Vengeance, None (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

18. Irenaeus, Refutation of All Heresies, 2.1.2 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

19. Tertullian, Against Marcion, 4.1.2, 4.16.10 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

20. Origen, Against Celsus, 8.21 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

8.21. Let us see what Celsus further says of God, and how he urges us to the use of those things which are properly called idol offerings, or, still better, offerings to demons, although, in his ignorance of what true sanctity is, and what sacrifices are well-pleasing to God, he call them holy sacrifices. His words are, God is the God of all alike; He is good, He stands in need of nothing, and He is without jealousy. What, then, is there to hinder those who are most devoted to His service from taking part in public feasts. I cannot see the connection which he fancies between God's being good, and independent, and free from jealousy, and His devoted servants taking part in public feasts. I confess, indeed, that from the fact that God is good, and without want of anything, and free from jealousy, it would follow as a consequence that we might take part in public feasts, if it were proved that the public feasts had nothing wrong in them, and were grounded upon true views of the character of God, so that they resulted naturally from a devout service of God. If, however, the so-called public festivals can in no way be shown to accord with the service of God, but may on the contrary be proved to have been devised by men when occasion offered to commemorate some human events, or to set forth certain qualities of water or earth, or the fruits of the earth - in that case, it is clear that those who wish to offer an enlightened worship to the Divine Being will act according to sound reason, and not take part in the public feasts. For to keep a feast, as one of the wise men of Greece has well said, is nothing else than to do one's duty; and that man truly celebrates a feast who does his duty and prays always, offering up continually bloodless sacrifices in prayer to God. That therefore seems to me a most noble saying of Paul, You observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
aaron, as speech/logos prophorikos Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 230
abel Hirsch-Luipold, Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts (2022) 129
abram/abraham, and socrates (terah) Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 225, 227
abram/abraham, fall Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 224, 225, 226, 227, 229, 230, 415
abram/abraham, hope of Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 416
abram/abraham, merit of Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 229
allegorical commentary Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 225, 227, 230, 415
allegory/allegoresis, of the soul Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 230
allegory/allegoresis, trigger words Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 227
allegory/allegoresis Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 224
bodies and realities Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 149
body/bodily Hirsch-Luipold, Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts (2022) 129
cain (as φίλαυτος) Hirsch-Luipold, Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts (2022) 129
cosmic deity Novenson, Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity (2020) 287
creator, creation Novenson, Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity (2020) 287
delphic maxim Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 225
demiurge Novenson, Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity (2020) 287
emotions, bad Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 229
emotions, pre-emotion Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 416
eschatology Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 416
eudorus of alexandria Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 149
exposition of the law Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 225, 230
fall, epistemic Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 224, 225, 226, 227, 229, 230, 415, 416
father Novenson, Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity (2020) 287
gnostic, gnosticism Novenson, Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity (2020) 287
god, gods Hirsch-Luipold, Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts (2022) 129
grace Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 230
greece, greek Novenson, Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity (2020) 287
holotheism Novenson, Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity (2020) 287
honor/honoring Hirsch-Luipold, Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts (2022) 129
hope Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 416
hypertheism Novenson, Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity (2020) 287
isaac Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 416
ishmael Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 415
joy Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 415, 416
judea Novenson, Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity (2020) 287
knowledge Hirsch-Luipold, Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts (2022) 129
laughter Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 415, 416
logos Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 149
marcion, marcionism Novenson, Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity (2020) 287
moses Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 149, 224, 225, 230
nothingness Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 224, 225, 226, 227
perfection Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 415
pharaoh Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 230
philo of alexandria Hirsch-Luipold, Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts (2022) 129
philosophy Novenson, Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity (2020) 287
plato Hirsch-Luipold, Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts (2022) 129
platonism Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 149, 226; Novenson, Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity (2020) 287
promises, divine Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 415
rhetoric Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 224, 227
self-knowledge Hirsch-Luipold, Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts (2022) 129
socrates Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 225, 227
soul Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 229; Hirsch-Luipold, Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts (2022) 129
stoicism Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 230
time Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 225
transcendence / immanence Hirsch-Luipold, Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts (2022) 129
transtheism Novenson, Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity (2020) 287
truth Hirsch-Luipold, Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts (2022) 129
virtue Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 149
wisdom' Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 225
worship Novenson, Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity (2020) 287
xenotheism Novenson, Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity (2020) 287
yahweh, yhwh Novenson, Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity (2020) 287