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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



9220
Philo Of Alexandria, On The Confusion Of Tongues, 169-177


nanfor there, too, Moses records that "the Lord God said, Come, let us now make man in our image; man in our Similitude. The expression, "Let us make," implying a number of creators. And, in another place, we are told that God said, "Behold, the man, Adam, has become as one of us, in respect of his knowing good and Evil;" for the expression, "as one of us," is not applicable to one person, but to many.


nanIn the first place, then, we must say this, that there is no existing being equal in honor to God, but there is one only ruler and governor and king, to whom alone it is granted to govern and to arrange the universe. For the verse-- A multitude of kings is never good, Let there one sovereign, one sole monarch be, is not more justly said with respect to cities and men than with respect to the world and to God; for it is clear from the necessity of things that there must be one creator, and one father, and one master of the one universe. XXXIV.


nanThis point then being thus granted, it is necessary to convert with it also what follows, so as to adapt it properly. Let us then consider what this is: God, being one, has about him an unspeakable number of powers, all of which are defenders and preservers of every thing that is created; and among these powers those also which are conversant with punishment are involved. But even punishment is not a disadvantageous thing, inasmuch as it is both a hindrance to and a correction of doing wrong.


nanAgain, it is by means of these powers that the incorporeal world, perceptible by the intellect, has been put together, which is the archetypal model of this invisible world, being compounded by invisible species, just as this world is of invisible bodies.


nanSome persons therefore, admiring exceedingly the nature of both these worlds, have not only deified them in their wholes, but have also deified the most beautiful parts of them, such as the sun and the moon, and the entire heaven, which, having no reverence for anything, they have called gods. But Moses, perceiving their design, says, "O Lord, Lord, King of the Gods," in order to show the difference between the ruler and those subject to him


nanAnd there is also in the air a most sacred company of incorporeal souls as an attendant upon the heavenly souls; for the word of prophecy is accustomed to call these souls angels. It happens therefore that the whole army of each of these worlds, being marshalled in their suitable ranks, are servants and ministers of the ruler who has marshalled them, whom they follow as their leader, in obedience to the principles of law and justice; for it is impossible to suppose that the divine army can even be detected in desertion.


nanBut it is suitable to the character of the king to associate with his own powers, and to avail himself of them, with a view to their ministrations in such matters as it is not fitting should be settled by God alone, for the Father of the universe has no need of anything, so as to require assistance from any other quarter if he wishes to make any thing. But seeing at once what is becoming, both for himself and for his works of creation, there are some things which he has entrusted to his subordinate powers to fashion; and yet he has not at once given even to them completely independent knowledge to enable it to accomplish their objects, in order that no one of those things which come to be created may be found to be erroneously made. XXXV.


nanThese things, then, it was necessary to give an idea of beforehand; but for what reason this was necessary we must now say. The nature of animals was originally divided into the portion endowed with and into that devoid of reason, the two being at variance with one another. Again the rational division was subdivided into the perishable and imperishable species, the perishable species being the race of mankind, and the imperishable species being the company of incorporeal souls which revolve about the air and heaven.


nanBut these have no participation in wickedness, having received from the very beginning an inheritance without stain and full of happiness; and not being bound up in the region of interminable calamities, that is to say, in the body. The divisions also of the irrational part are free from any participation in wickedness, inasmuch as, having no endowment of intellect, they are never convicted of those deliberate acts of wickedness which proceed upon consideration.


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

15 results
1. Hebrew Bible, Genesis, 1.27, 14.2, 14.8, 19.20-19.22 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

1.27. וַיִּבְרָא אֱלֹהִים אֶת־הָאָדָם בְּצַלְמוֹ בְּצֶלֶם אֱלֹהִים בָּרָא אֹתוֹ זָכָר וּנְקֵבָה בָּרָא אֹתָם׃ 14.2. עָשׂוּ מִלְחָמָה אֶת־בֶּרַע מֶלֶךְ סְדֹם וְאֶת־בִּרְשַׁע מֶלֶךְ עֲמֹרָה שִׁנְאָב מֶלֶךְ אַדְמָה וְשֶׁמְאֵבֶר מֶלֶךְ צביים [צְבוֹיִים] וּמֶלֶךְ בֶּלַע הִיא־צֹעַר׃ 14.2. וּבָרוּךְ אֵל עֶלְיוֹן אֲשֶׁר־מִגֵּן צָרֶיךָ בְּיָדֶךָ וַיִּתֶּן־לוֹ מַעֲשֵׂר מִכֹּל׃ 14.8. וַיֵּצֵא מֶלֶךְ־סְדֹם וּמֶלֶךְ עֲמֹרָה וּמֶלֶךְ אַדְמָה וּמֶלֶךְ צביים [צְבוֹיִם] וּמֶלֶךְ בֶּלַע הִוא־צֹעַר וַיַּעַרְכוּ אִתָּם מִלְחָמָה בְּעֵמֶק הַשִּׂדִּים׃ 19.21. וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו הִנֵּה נָשָׂאתִי פָנֶיךָ גַּם לַדָּבָר הַזֶּה לְבִלְתִּי הָפְכִּי אֶת־הָעִיר אֲשֶׁר דִּבַּרְתָּ׃ 19.22. מַהֵר הִמָּלֵט שָׁמָּה כִּי לֹא אוּכַל לַעֲשׂוֹת דָּבָר עַד־בֹּאֲךָ שָׁמָּה עַל־כֵּן קָרָא שֵׁם־הָעִיר צוֹעַר׃ 1.27. And God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them." 14.2. that they made war with Bera king of Sodom, and with Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, and Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela—the same is Zoar." 14.8. And there went out the king of Sodom, and the king of Gomorrah, and the king of Admah, and the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela—the same is Zoar; and they set the battle in array against them in the vale of Siddim;" 19.20. Behold now, this city is near to flee unto, and it is a little one; oh, let me escape thither—is it not a little one?—and my soul shall live.’" 19.21. And he said unto him: ‘See, I have accepted thee concerning this thing also, that I will not overthrow the city of which thou hast spoken." 19.22. Hasten thou, escape thither; for I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither.’—Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.—"
2. Hebrew Bible, Psalms, 5.5 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

5.5. כִּי לֹא אֵל־חָפֵץ רֶשַׁע אָתָּה לֹא יְגֻרְךָ רָע׃ 5.5. For Thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness; Evil shall not sojourn with Thee."
3. Anon., 1 Enoch, 106.5, 106.10, 106.18 (3rd cent. BCE - 2nd cent. BCE)

106.5. fled, and came to his father Methuselah. And he said unto him: ' I have begotten a strange son, diverse from and unlike man, and resembling the sons of the God of heaven; and his nature is different and he is not like us, and his eyes are as the rays of the sun, and hi
4. Philo of Alexandria, On The Cherubim, 28, 27 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

27. I have also, on one occasion, heard a more ingenious train of reasoning from my own soul, which was accustomed frequently to be seized with a certain divine inspiration, even concerning matters which it could not explain even to itself; which now, if I am able to remember it accurately, I will relate. It told me that in the one living and true God there were two supreme and primary powers--goodness and authority; and that by his goodness he had created every thing, and by his authority he governed all that he had created; 27. For one may almost say that the whole infinity of numbers is measured by this one, because the boundaries which make it up are four, namely, one, two, three, and four; and an equal number of boundaries, corresponding to them in equal proportions, make up the number of a hundred out of decades; for ten, and twenty, and thirty, and forty produce a hundred. And in the same way one may produce the number of a thousand from hundreds, and that of a myriad from thousands.
5. Philo of Alexandria, On The Confusion of Tongues, 171-177, 179-181, 170 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

170. In the first place, then, we must say this, that there is no existing being equal in honor to God, but there is one only ruler and governor and king, to whom alone it is granted to govern and to arrange the universe. For the verse-- A multitude of kings is never good, Let there one sovereign, one sole monarch be, is not more justly said with respect to cities and men than with respect to the world and to God; for it is clear from the necessity of things that there must be one creator, and one father, and one master of the one universe. XXXIV.
6. Philo of Alexandria, On Flight And Finding, 68-71, 66 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

66. for it is not becoming for God himself to inflict punishment, as being the first and most excellent Lawgiver; but he punishes by the ministry of others, and not by his own act. It is very suitable to his character that he himself should bestow his graces, and his free gifts, and his great benefits, inasmuch as he is by nature good and bountiful. But it is not fitting that he should inflict his punishments further than by his mere command, inasmuch as he is a king; but he must act in this by the instrumentality of others, who are suitable for such purposes.
7. Philo of Alexandria, On The Change of Names, 31 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

31. On which account it is said in the scriptures, "Let us make man in our own image," that if it receives a bad impression it may appear to be the work of others, but if it receives a good impression it may then appear to be the work of him who is the Creator only of what is beautiful and good. By all means, therefore, that must be a good man to whom he says, "I am thy God," as he has had him alone for his creator without the cooperation of any other being.
8. Philo of Alexandria, On The Creation of The World, 73-75, 72 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

72. And he would not err who should raise the question why Moses attributed the creation of man alone not to one creator, as he did that of other animals, but to several. For he introduces the Father of the universe using this language: "Let us make man after our image, and in our likeness." Had he then, shall I say, need of any one whatever to help him, He to whom all things are subject? Or, when he was making the heaven and the earth and the sea, was he in need of no one to co-operate with him; and yet was he unable himself by his own power to make man an animal so short-lived and so exposed to the assaults of fate without the assistance of others? It is plain that the real cause of his so acting is known to God alone, but one which to a reasonable conjecture appears probable and credible, I think I should not conceal; and it is this.
9. Philo of Alexandria, On The Sacrifices of Cain And Abel, 57 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

57. And he who conceives that he was deserving to receive the possession and enjoyment of good things, may be taught to change his opinion by the oracle which says, "You do not enter into this land to possess it because of thy righteousness, or because of the holiness of thy heart; but, in the first place, because of the iniquity of these nations, since God has brought on them the destruction of wickedness; and in the second place that he may establish the covet which he swore to our Fathers." Now by the covet of God his graces are figuratively meant (nor is it right to offer to him anything that is imperfect), as all the gifts of the uncreated God are complete and entirely perfect, and virtue is a thing complete among existing things, and so is the course of action in accordance with it.
10. Philo of Alexandria, On Dreams, 1.162-1.163 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

1.162. Now this disposition stands in need of two powers to take care of it, the power that is of authority, and that of conferring benefits, in order that in accordance with the authority of the governor, it may obey the admonitions which it receives, and also that it may be greatly benefited by his beneficence. But the other disposition stands in need of the power of beneficence only; for it has not derived any improvement from the authority which admonishes it, inasmuch as it naturally claims virtue as its own, but by reason of the bounty which is showered upon it from above, it was good and perfect from the beginning; 1.163. therefore God is the name of the beneficent power, and Lord is the title of the royal power. What then can any one call a more ancient and important good, than to be thought worthy to meet with unmixed and unalloyed beneficence? And what can be less valuable than to receive a mixture of authority and liberality? And it appears to me that it was because the practiser of virtue saw that he uttered that most admirable prayer that, "the Lord might be to him as God;" for he desired no longer to stand in awe of him as a governor, but to honour and love him as a benefactor.
11. Philo of Alexandria, On The Special Laws, 1.307 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

1.307. Do you not see that the most important and greatest of all the powers of the living God are his beneficent and his punishing power? And his beneficent power is called God, since it is by means of this that he made and arranged the universe. And the other, or punishing power, is called Lord, on which his sovereignty over the universe depends. And God is God, not only of men, but also of gods; and he is mighty, being truly strong and truly Powerful.{45}{#de 10:17.}LVII.
12. Philo of Alexandria, On The Life of Moses, 2.4, 2.30, 2.99 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

2.4. It becomes a king to command what ought to be done, and to forbid what ought not to be done; but the commanding what ought to be done, and the prohibition of what ought not to be done, belongs especially to the law, so that the king is at once a living law, and the law is a just king. 2.30. and, in a word, the whole family of the Ptolemies was exceedingly eminent and conspicuous above all other royal families, and among the Ptolemies, Philadelphus was the most illustrious; for all the rest put together scarcely did as many glorious and praiseworthy actions as this one king did by himself, being, as it were, the leader of the herd, and in a manner the head of all the kings. 2.99. But I myself should say, that what is here represented under a figure are the two most ancient and supreme powers of the divine God, namely, his creative and his kingly power; and his creative power is called God; according to which he arranged, and created, and adorned this universe, and his kingly power is called Lord, by which he rules over the beings whom he has created, and governs them with justice and firmness;
13. Philo of Alexandria, On The Embassy To Gaius, 138 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

138. And one may find undeniable and notorious proofs of this having been the case. For, in the first place, one may derive them from about ten kings or more who reigned in order, one after another, for three hundred years, and who never once had any images or statues of themselves erected in our synagogues, though there were many of their relations and kinsmen whom they considered, and registered as, and spoke of as gods.
14. Anon., Genesis Rabba, 50.2 (2nd cent. CE - 5th cent. CE)

50.2. וְהוּא בְאֶחָד וּמִי יְשִׁיבֶנּוּ וְנַפְשׁוֹ אִוְּתָה וַיָּעַשׂ (איוב כג, יג), תָּנָא אֵין מַלְאָךְ אֶחָד עוֹשֶׂה שְׁתֵּי שְׁלִיחוֹת, וְלֹא שְׁנֵי מַלְאָכִים עוֹשִׂים שְׁלִיחוּת אֶחָת, וְאַתְּ אֲמַרְתְּ שְׁנֵי, אֶלָּא מִיכָאֵל אָמַר בְּשׂוֹרָתוֹ וְנִסְתַּלֵּק, גַּבְרִיאֵל נִשְׁתַּלַּח לַהֲפֹךְ אֶת סְדוֹם, וּרְפָאֵל לְהַצִּיל אֶת לוֹט. (בראשית יט, א): וַיָּבֹאוּ שְׁנֵי הַמַּלְאָכִים סְדֹמָה, הָכָא אַתְּ אָמַר מַלְאָכִים וּלְהַלָּן (בראשית יח, ב): קוֹרֵא אוֹתָן אֲנָשִׁים, אֶלָּא לְהַלָּן שֶׁהָיְתָה שְׁכִינָה עַל גַּבֵּיהֶן קְרָאָם אֲנָשִׁים, כֵּיוָן שֶׁנִּסְתַּלְּקָה שְׁכִינָה מֵעַל גַּבֵּיהֶן לָבְשׁוּ מַלְאָכוּת. אָמַר רַבִּי תַּנְחוּמָא אָמַר רַבִּי לֵוִי אַבְרָהָם שֶׁהָיָה כֹּחוֹ יָפֶה נִדְמוּ לוֹ בִּדְמוּת אֲנָשִׁים, אֲבָל לוֹט עַל יְדֵי שֶׁהָיָה כֹּחוֹ רַע נִדְמוּ לוֹ בִּדְמוּת מַלְאָכִים. אָמַר רַבִּי חֲנִינָא עַד שֶׁלֹא עָשׂוּ שְׁלִיחוּתָן קְרָאָן אֲנָשִׁים מִשֶּׁעָשׂוּ שְׁלִיחוּתָן מַלְאָכִים. אָמַר רַבִּי תַּנְחוּמָא לְאֶחָד שֶׁנָּטַל הֶגְמוֹנְיָא מִן הַמֶּלֶךְ, עַד שֶׁלֹא הִגִּיעַ לְבֵית אוֹרְיָין שֶׁלּוֹ הָיָה מְהַלֵּךְ כְּפַגָּן, כֵּיוָן שֶׁהִגִּיעַ לְבֵית אוֹרְיָין שֶׁלּוֹ הָיָה מְהַלֵּךְ כְּקָאלְמִין, כָּךְ עַד שֶׁלֹא עָשׂוּ שְׁלִיחוּתָן קְרָאָן אֲנָשִׁים כֵּיוָן שֶׁעָשׂוּ שְׁלִיחוּתָן קְרָאָן מַלְאָכִים. 50.2. \"But He is at one with Himself, and who can turn him? And what His soul desireth, even that He doeth.\" (Job 23:13) It was taught: One angel does not carry out two commissions, and two angels do not carry out one commission. And you say \"two\"!? (Genesis 19:1) Rather, Michael said his tidings and departed, Gabriel was sent to overthrow Sodom, and Raphael to rescue Lot."
15. Babylonian Talmud, Bava Metzia, None (3rd cent. CE - 6th cent. CE)

86b. ריבה להן ומעשה נמי בר' יוחנן בן מתיא שאמר לבנו צא שכור לנו פועלים הלך ופסק להן מזונות וכשבא אצל אביו אמר לו בני אפילו אתה עושה להן כסעודת שלמה בשעתו לא יצאת ידי חובתך עמהן שהן בני אברהם יצחק ויעקב,למימרא דסעודתא דאברהם אבינו עדיפא מדשלמה והכתיב (מלכים א ה, ב) ויהי לחם שלמה ליום אחד שלשים כור סולת וששים כור קמח עשרה בקר בריאים ועשרה בקר רעי ומאה צאן לבד מאיל וצבי ויחמור וברבורים אבוסים ואמר גוריון בן אסטיון משמיה דרב הללו לעמילן של טבחים ור' יצחק אמר הללו לציקי קדירה,ואמר ר' יצחק אלף נשים היו לשלמה כל אחת ואחת עשתה לו בביתה כך מאי טעמא זו סבורה שמא אצלי סועד היום וזו סבורה [שמא] אצלי סועד היום ואילו גבי אברהם כתיב (בראשית יח, ז) ואל הבקר רץ אברהם ויקח בן בקר רך וטוב ואמר רב יהודה אמר רב בן בקר אחד רך שנים וטוב שלשה,התם תלתא תורי לתלתא גברי הכא לכל ישראל ויהודה שנאמר (מלכים א ד, כ) יהודה וישראל רבים כחול אשר על (שפת) הים,מאי ברבורים אבוסים אמר רב שאובסים אותן בעל כרחן ושמואל אמר שאבוסים ועומדים מאליהם ורבי יוחנן אמר מביאין תור ממרעיתו בדלא אניס ותרנגולת מאשפתה בדלא אניסא,אמר רבי יוחנן מובחר שבבהמות שור מובחר שבעופות תרנגולת אמר אמימר זגתא אוכמתא בי בטניתא דמשתכחא ביני עצרי דלא מציא פסיא קניא,(בראשית יח, ז) ואל הבקר רץ אברהם אמר רב יהודה אמר רב בן בקר אחד רך שנים וטוב שלשה ואימא חד כדאמרי אינשי רכיך וטב,א"כ לכתוב רך טוב מאי וטוב ש"מ לדרשה אימא תרי מדטוב לדרשה רך נמי לדרשה,מתיב רבה בר עולא ואיתימא רב הושעיא ואיתימא רב נתן ברבי הושעיא (בראשית יח, ז) ויתן אל הנער וימהר לעשות אותו כל חד וחד יהביה לנער חד (בראשית יח, ח) ויקח חמאה וחלב ובן הבקר אשר עשה ויתן לפניהם דקמא קמא דמטיא אייתי לקמייהו,ולמה לי תלתא תסגי בחד אמר רב חנן בר רבא כדי להאכילן שלש לשונות בחרדל אמר רבי תנחום בר חנילאי לעולם אל ישנה אדם מן המנהג שהרי משה עלה למרום ולא אכל לחם מלאכי השרת ירדו למטה ואכלו לחם ואכלו סלקא דעתך אלא אימא נראו כמי שאכלו ושתו,אמר רב יהודה אמר רב כל מה שעשה אברהם למלאכי השרת בעצמו עשה הקב"ה לבניו בעצמו וכל [מה] שעשה אברהם ע"י שליח עשה הקב"ה לבניו ע"י שליח,(בראשית יח, ז) ואל הבקר רץ אברהם (במדבר יא, לא) ורוח נסע מאת ה' ויקח חמאה וחלב (שמות טז, ד) הנני ממטיר לכם לחם מן השמים,(בראשית יח, ח) והוא עומד עליהם תחת העץ (שמות יז, ו) הנני עומד לפניך שם על הצור [וגו'] (בראשית יח, טז) ואברהם הולך עמם לשלחם (שמות יג, כא) וה' הולך לפניהם יומם,(בראשית יח, ד) יוקח נא מעט מים (שמות יז, ו) והכית בצור ויצאו ממנו מים ושתה העם,ופליגא דר' חמא בר' חנינא דאמר ר' חמא בר' חנינא וכן תנא דבי רבי ישמעאל בשכר שלשה זכו לשלשה בשכר חמאה וחלב זכו למן בשכר והוא עומד עליהם זכו לעמוד הענן בשכר יוקח נא מעט מים זכו לבארה של מרים,יוקח נא מעט מים ורחצו רגליכם אמר רבי ינאי ברבי ישמעאל אמרו לו וכי בערביים חשדתנו שהם משתחוים לאבק רגליהם כבר יצא ממנו ישמעאל,(בראשית יח, א) וירא אליו ה' באלוני ממרא והוא יושב פתח האוהל כחום היום מאי כחום היום אמר רבי חמא בר' חנינא אותו היום יום שלישי של מילה של אברהם היה ובא הקב"ה לשאול באברהם הוציא הקב"ה חמה מנרתיקה כדי שלא יטריח אותו צדיק באורחים,שדריה לאליעזר למיפק לברא נפק ולא אשכח אמר לא מהימנא לך היינו דאמרי תמן לית הימנותא בעבדי נפק איהו חזייה להקדוש ברוך הוא דקאי אבבא היינו דכתיב (בראשית יח, ג) אל נא תעבור מעל עבדך,כיון דחזא דקא אסר ושרי אמר לאו אורח ארעא למיקם הכא היינו דכתיב (בראשית יח, ב) וישא עיניו וירא והנה שלשה אנשים נצבים עליו וירא וירץ לקראתם מעיקרא אתו קמו עליה כי חזיוהו דהוה ליה צערא אמרו לאו אורח ארעא למיקם הכא,מאן נינהו שלשה אנשים מיכאל וגבריאל ורפאל מיכאל שבא לבשר את שרה רפאל שבא לרפא את אברהם גבריאל אזל למהפכיה לסדום והא כתיב (בראשית יט, א) ויבאו שני המלאכים סדומה בערב דאזל מיכאל בהדיה לשזביה ללוט דיקא נמי [דכתיב] (בראשית יט, כה) ויהפוך את הערים האל ולא כתיב ויהפכו שמע מינה,מאי שנא לגבי אברהם דכתיב (בראשית יח, ה) כן תעשה כאשר דברת ומאי שנא לגבי לוט דכתיב 86b. bhe has increasedhis obligation to bthem,since if he had meant to give them no more than the accepted amount, he would not have made any stipulation at all. The mishna then continues: bAndthere is balsoa supporting bincident involving Rabbi Yoḥa ben Matya, who said to his son: Go outand bhire laborers for us.His son bwent,hired them, band pledgedto provide bsustece for themas a term of their employment, without specifying the details. bAnd when he cameback bto his fatherand reported what he had done, Rabbi Yoḥa ben Matya bsaid to him: My son, even if you were to prepare a feast for them like that ofKing bSolomon in his time, you would not have fulfilled your obligation to them, as they are the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. /b,The Gemara asks: Is this bto say that the feast of Abraham, our forefather, was superior to that ofKing bSolomon? But isn’t it written: “And Solomon’s provision for one day was thirty measures of fine flour, and sixty measures of meal; ten fat oxen, and twenty oxen out of the pastures, and a hundred sheep, beside harts, and gazelles, and roebucks, and fatted fowl”(I Kings 5:2–3). bAnd Guryon ben Asteyon says in the name of Rav: Thesemeasures of flour mentioned in the verse bwereused merely bfor the bakers’ well-worked dough [ ila’amilan /i]that was placed in the pot to absorb the steam. bAnd Rabbi Yitzḥak says: Thesemeasures of flour were used bformeat bpudding,a mixture of wine, flour, and leftover meat, bin a pot. /b, bAnd Rabbi Yitzḥakfurther bsays:King bSolomon had one thousand wives, each one of whom would prepare for him at her homea feast of bsuchproportions. bWhat is the reasonthat they did this? bThiswife breasoned: Perhaps he will feast with me today, and thatwife breasoned: Perhaps he will feast with me today. But with regard to Abraham, it is written: “And Abraham ran to the herd, and fetched a calf tender and good”(Genesis 18:7), band Rav Yehuda saysthat bRav says,in explanation of the verse: b“A calf”indicates bone;the word b“tender”means an additional one, i.e., btwo; “and good”indicates yet another one. This makes a total of bthreecalves, a considerably smaller feast than that of Solomon.,The Gemara answers: bThere,with regard to Abraham, he prepared bthree oxen for three people,whereas bhere,in the case of Solomon, his wives would prepare a feast bfor the entirerealms of bIsrael and Judah, as it is stated: “Judah and Israel were many, as the sand which is by the seain multitude, eating and drinking and making merry” (I Kings 4:20). Abraham’s feast was proportionately greater than that of Solomon.,With regard to the verse cited in relation to King Solomon, the Gemara asks: bWhatis the meaning of the term b“fatted fowl [ iavusim /i]”? Rav says:It means bthat they are fed [ iovsim /i] by force. Shmuel says:It means bthat they were fattened [ iavusim /i] and maintained on their own accord,i.e., they were naturally fat. bRabbi Yoḥa says:Solomon’s feasts were of fine quality because bthey would bring from his herd an ox that had never been forcedto work, bandthey would also bring ba hen from its coop that had never been forcedto lay eggs, and use those for the cuisine.,The Gemara cites a related statement of Rabbi Yoḥa. bRabbi Yoḥa says: The choicest of cattleis the box. The choicest of fowlis the bhen.With regard to the type of hen to which this is referring, bAmeimar says:It is ba fattened, black hen [ izagta /i] that is found amongthe wine bvats, whichconsumes so many grape seeds that it bcannot take a stepthe length of ba reed,due to its corpulence.,The Gemara returns to discuss the verse in Genesis: b“And Abraham ran to the herd,and fetched a calf tender and good” (Genesis 18:7). bRav Yehuda saysthat bRav says: “A calf”is bone; “tender”indicates an additional one, i.e., btwo; “and good”indicates another one, for a total of bthreecalves. The Gemara asks: bButwhy not bsaythat the verse is referring to only bonecalf, bas people saywhen describing a single item that it is btender and good? /b,The Gemara answers: bIf so, letthe verse bwrite: Tender, good. Whatis the significance of the term b“and good,”which indicates an addition? bConclude from thisthat the verse is stated bforthe purpose of ban expositionand is referring to more than one calf. The Gemara challenges: But one can still bsaythere were only btwocalves. The Gemara answers: bFromthe fact that the word b“good”is written bfor an exposition,to include an additional calf, it may be inferred that the term b“tender”is balsowritten bfor an expositionand indicates yet another calf., bRabba bar Ulla raises an objection, and some sayit is bRav Hoshaya, and some sayit is bRav Natan, son of Rabbi Hoshaya,who raises the objection: The verse states: b“And he gave it to the servant; and he hastened to prepare it”(Genesis 18:7). The singular term “it” indicates that there was only one calf. The Gemara answers: Abraham bgave each and everycalf bto one servant,i.e., he gave the three calves to three different servants. The Gemara raises a question from the verse: b“And he took curd, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them”(Genesis 18:8), which again indicates that there was only one calf. The Gemara responds: The verse means bthat as each calf arrivedprepared, bhe brought it before them,and he did not serve all three calves at once.,The Gemara asks: bAnd why do Ineed bthreecalves? bOnecalf bshould be sufficientfor three guests. bRav Ḥa bar Rava said:Abraham prepared three calves bin order to feedthe guests bthree tongues with mustard,a particular delicacy. With regard to this incident, bRabbi Tanḥum bar Ḥanilai says: A person should never deviate from thelocal bcustom, as Moses ascended toheaven bon high and did not eat breadwhile he was there, whereas bthe ministering angels descended downto this world, as guests visiting Abraham, band they ate bread.You say: bAnd they atebread? Can it benter your mindthat they actually ate food? bRather, saythat btheymerely bappeared as though they ate and drank. /b, bRav Yehuda saysthat bRav says: Every action that Abraham performed himself for the ministering angels, the Holy One, Blessed be He, performed Himself forAbraham’s bdescendants. And every action that Abraham performed through a messenger, the Holy One, Blessed be He,likewise bperformed for his descendants through a messenger. /b,The Gemara elaborates: With regard to Abraham, the verse states: b“And Abraham ran to the herd”(Genesis 18:7), bringing the meat himself, and in reference to God’s actions for Abraham’s descendants the verse states: b“And there went forth a wind from the Lord,and brought across quails from the sea” (Numbers 11:31), that God brought meat to them. In reference to Abraham, the verse states: b“And he took curd and milk”(Genesis 18:8), and God says to the Jewish people: b“Behold, I will cause to rain bread from heaven for you”(Exodus 16:4), which shows that God gave food to the Jewish people.,With regard to Abraham, the verse states: b“And he stood by them under the tree,and they ate” (Genesis 18:8), and in reference to God, the verse states: b“Behold, I will stand before you there upon the rockin Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and there shall come water out of it” (Exodus 17:6). In the case of Abraham it is written: b“And Abraham went with them to bring them on the way”(Genesis 18:16), and the verse states: b“And the Lord went before them by day”(Exodus 13:21).,By contrast, Abraham performed certain actions through an agent. He said: b“Let now a little water be fetched”(Genesis 18:4), and correspondingly the verse states in reference to Moses, God’s messenger: b“And you shall strike the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink”(Exodus 17:6).,The Gemara notes: bAndin stating this, Rav bdisagreeswith bthatstatement bof Rabbi Ḥama, son of Rabbi Ḥanina. As Rabbi Ḥama, son of Rabbi Ḥanina, says, and likewise the school of Rabbi Yishmael taught: In reward for threeacts of hospitality that Abraham performed for the angels, his descendants bmerited threerewards. The Gemara elaborates: bIn reward forproviding them with bcurd and milk,the Jewish people bmerited the manna; in reward for: “And he stood [ iomed /i] by them,”the Jews bmerited the pillar [ iamud /i] of cloud; in reward forAbraham saying: b“Let now a little water be fetched,”they bmerited the well of Miriam.This statement does not distinguish between actions performed by Abraham himself and those performed by means of a messenger.,The Gemara continues its analysis of the verse: b“Let now a little water be fetched and wash your feet”(Genesis 18:4). bRabbi Yannai, son of Rabbi Yishmael, saidthat the guests bsaid toAbraham: bAre you suspicious that we are Arabs who bow to the dust of their feet? Yishmael has already issued from him,i.e., your own son acts in this manner.,§ The Gemara expounds another verse involving Abraham: b“And the Lord appeared to him by the terebinths of Mamre, as he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day”(Genesis 18:1). The Gemara asks: bWhatis the meaning of b“the heat of the day”? Rabbi Ḥama, son of Rabbi Ḥanina, says: That day was the third day after Abraham’s circumcision, and the Holy One, Blessed be He, came to inquireabout the well-being bof Abraham. The Holy One, Blessed be He, removed the sun from its sheath in order not to bother that righteous one with guests,i.e., God made it extremely hot that day to allow Abraham to recover from his circumcision, as he would not be troubled by passing travelers whom he would invite into his tent.,Despite the intense heat, Abraham wanted to invite guests. bHe sent Eliezerhis slave bto go outsideto see if there were any passersby. Eliezer bwent out but did not findanyone. Abraham bsaid to him: I do not believe you.The Gemara comments: bThisdemonstrates the popular adage bthatpeople bthere,i.e., in Eretz Yisrael, bsay: Slaves do not have any credibility.The Gemara continues: Abraham bhimself went out and saw the Holy One, Blessed be He, standing at the entranceto his tent. bThis is as it is written:“My Lord, if now I have found favor in your eyes, bdo not leave Your servant”(Genesis 18:3), i.e., God’s presence was there, and Abraham asked Him for permission to attend to the travelers., bOnceGod bsawAbraham btying and untyingthe bandage on his circumcision, God bsaid:It is bnot proper conduct to stand here,i.e., it is not respectful to Abraham even for God to stand there. bThis is as it is written: “And he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, three men stood over him; and when he saw them, he ran to meet them”(Genesis 18:2). The verse first states that they stood over him, and then it says that he ran to meet them. The Gemara reconciles this apparent contradiction: bInitially, they came and stood over him. Upon seeing that he was in pain, they said:It is bnot proper conduct to stand here. /b,The Gemara continues: bWho are these three men?They are the angels bMichael, Gabriel, and Raphael: Michael, who came to announceto bSarahthat she was to give birth to a son; bRaphael, who came to heal Abrahamafter his circumcision; and bGabriel,who bwent to overturn Sodom.The Gemara asks: bBut it is written: “And the two angels came to Sodom in the evening”(Genesis 19:1). The Gemara answers bthat Michael went along withGabriel to Sodom bto save Lot.The Gemara notes: The language bis also precise, as it is written: “And he overturned those cities”(Genesis 19:25), band it is not written: They overturnedthose cities. bConclude from itthat only one angel overturned Sodom.,The Gemara asks: bWhat is different with regard tothe incident involving bAbraham,where the angels acquiesced immediately to his request to remain with him, bas it is written: “So do, as you have said”(Genesis 18:5), band what is different with regard to Lot,where they first displayed reluctance, bas it is written: /b


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
angels, involvement in creation Stuckenbruck, 1 Enoch 91-108 (2007) 654
angels Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 287
children/offspring, of the angels of heaven Stuckenbruck, 1 Enoch 91-108 (2007) 654
chosen/elect one Stuckenbruck, 1 Enoch 91-108 (2007) 654
creation Stuckenbruck, 1 Enoch 91-108 (2007) 654
discipline Smith and Stuckenbruck, Testing and Temptation in Second Temple Jewish and Early Christian Texts (2020) 17
giants, children of the angels of heaven Stuckenbruck, 1 Enoch 91-108 (2007) 654
giants Stuckenbruck, 1 Enoch 91-108 (2007) 654
god, imitation of Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 287
humanity, man as angel Stuckenbruck, 1 Enoch 91-108 (2007) 654
images, of angels Stuckenbruck, 1 Enoch 91-108 (2007) 654
imitation, of the divine Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 287
israel, israelites Smith and Stuckenbruck, Testing and Temptation in Second Temple Jewish and Early Christian Texts (2020) 17
lamech Stuckenbruck, 1 Enoch 91-108 (2007) 654
literal interpretation, living laws Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 287
manna Smith and Stuckenbruck, Testing and Temptation in Second Temple Jewish and Early Christian Texts (2020) 17
methuselah Stuckenbruck, 1 Enoch 91-108 (2007) 654
noah, as an angel/angel-like Stuckenbruck, 1 Enoch 91-108 (2007) 654
noah, birth of Stuckenbruck, 1 Enoch 91-108 (2007) 654
noah, son of lamech Stuckenbruck, 1 Enoch 91-108 (2007) 654
powers of god, beneficent Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 287
powers of god, creative Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 287
powers of god, kingly Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 287
powers of god, punitive Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 287
pseudo-sophronius, the ptolemies Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 287
punishment, gods powers doling out Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 287
segor (tsoʿar) Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 287
sodom, literal and ethical interpretations of Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 287
sodom, segor escaping Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 287
sodom, sodomite cities, destruction of Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 287
sodom, the two visitors and Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 287
temple, jerusalem Stuckenbruck, 1 Enoch 91-108 (2007) 654
testing passim, agents of Smith and Stuckenbruck, Testing and Temptation in Second Temple Jewish and Early Christian Texts (2020) 17
the three visitors, vs. lots two visitors Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 287
truth Stuckenbruck, 1 Enoch 91-108 (2007) 654
virtue, whole and complete Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 287
watchers/rebellious angels, angels of heaven' Stuckenbruck, 1 Enoch 91-108 (2007) 654
watchers/rebellious angels Stuckenbruck, 1 Enoch 91-108 (2007) 654
νόμος Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 287
νόμος ἔμψυχος Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 287