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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



9222
Philo Of Alexandria, On The Decalogue, 105-121


nanFor all these reasons, and more besides, the number seven is honoured. But there is no one cause on account of which it has received its precedence so completely, as because it is by its means that the Creator and Father of the universe is most especially made manifest; for the mind beholds God in this as in a mirror, acting, and creating the world, and managing the whole universe. XXII.


nanAnd after this commandment relating to the seventh day he gives the fifth, which concerns the honour to be paid to parents, giving it a position on the confines of the two tables of five commandments each; for being the concluding one of the first table, in which the most sacred duties to the Deity are enjoined, it has also some connection with the second table which comprehends the obligations towards our fellow creatures;


nanand the cause of this, I imagine, is as follows: The nature of one's parents appears to be something on the confines between immortal and mortal essences. Of mortal essence, on account of their relationship to men and also to other animals, and likewise of the perishable nature of the body. And of immortal essence, by reason of the similarity of the act of generation to God the Father of the universe.


nanBut it has often happened that men have attached themselves to one of these divisions, and have seemed to neglect the other; for being filled with a sincere love for piety, they have renounced all other occupations and considerations, and have devoted the whole of their lives to the service of God.


nanBut they who have thought that beyond their duties to their fellow men there was no such thing as goodness, have clung solely to their fellowship with and to the society of men, and, being wholly occupied by a love of the society of men, have invited all men to an equal participation in all their good things, labouring at the same time to the best of their power to alleviate all their disasters.


nanNow, one may properly call both these latter, these philanthropic men, and also the former class, the lovers of God, but half perfect in virtue; for those only are perfect who have a good reputation in both points: but those who do not attend to their duties towards men so as to rejoice with them at their common blessings, or to grieve with them at events of a contrary character, and who yet do not devote themselves to piety and holiness towards God, may be thought to have changed into the nature of wild beasts, the very preeminence among whom, in point of ferocity, those are entitled to who neglect their parents, being hostile to both the divisions of virtue above mentioned, namely, piety towards God, and their duty towards men. XXIII.


nanLet them, then, not be ignorant that they are convicted before the two tribunals which are the only ones which exist in nature, of impiety as regards their duty towards God, as not worshipping those who have introduced beings who do not exist into existence, and who, in this respect, have imitated God; and as regards their duty towards men, of misanthropy and cruelty.


nanFor to whom else will those men do good who neglect their nearest relations and those who have bestowed the greatest gifts upon them, some of which are of so great a character that they do not admit of any requital? For how can he who has been begotten by a parent, in requital again beget his parents, since nature has bestowed on parents this especial endowment in respect of their children, which can never be requited or recompensed? On which account it is becoming to a man to feel exceeding indignation when people, because they are unable to make a full return for the benefits which they have received, do not choose to make the very slightest;


nanto whom I might say, with perfect propriety, that wild beasts even must be made tame towards men; and, indeed, I have frequently known instances of lions being domesticated, and bears and leopards, and made gentle, not only to those who feed them, by reason of their gratitude for necessaries, but also to others, on account, in my opinion, of their resemblance to their feeders. For it is always well that what is worse should follow what is better, from a hope of deriving improvement;


nanbut in this case I shall be constrained to use an entirely opposite language. You who are men, are imitators of some wild beasts. Even the beasts have learnt and know how to requite with service those who have done them service. Dogs who keep the house will defend their masters, and encounter death for their sakes when any danger suddenly overtakes them. And they say that the dogs employed among flocks of sheep will fight on behalf of the flocks, and endure till they either obtain the victory or meet with death, for the sake of protecting the shepherds themselves from injury.


nanIs it not then the most shameful of all shameful things for a man, in respect of the requital of favours, to be left behind by a dog, for that being, which of all others is the most gentle, to be outrun by the most audacious of beasts? But if we will not be taught by the land animals, let us go across to the nature of the winged birds which traverse the air, and learn what we have need of from them.


nanIn the case of storks the old birds remain in their nests because they are unable to fly; but their children, I had very nearly said, traverse the whole of earth and sea, and from all quarters provide their parents with what is necessary for them.


nanAnd so they, living in a tranquillity worthy of their time of life, enjoy all abundance, and pass their old age in luxury; while their children make light of all the hardships they undergo to furnish them with the means of support, under the influence both of piety and also of the expectation that they also in their old age will receive the same treatment from their descendants; and so they now discharge the indispensable debt which they owe their parents, knowing that in proper time, they will themselves receive what they are now bestowing. And there are also others who are unable to support themselves, for children are no more able to do so at the commencement of their existence, than their parents are at the end of their lives. On which account the children, having while young been fed in accordance with the spontaneous promptings of nature, now with joy do in return support the old age of their parents.


nanIs it not right, then, after these examples, that men who neglect their parents should cover their faces from shame, and reproach themselves for disregarding those things which they ought to have cared for alone, or in preference to any thing else whatever? And this too, when they would not have been so much conferring benefits as requiting them? For the children have nothing of their own which does not belong to the parents, who have either bestowed it upon them from their own substance, or have enabled them to acquire it by supplying them with the means.


nanAnd have then these men within the borders of their souls piety and holiness, the chiefs of all the virtues? No; rather they have driven them beyond their borders, and forced them into exile; for parents are the servants of God for the propagation of children, and he who dishonours the servant dishonours also the master.


nanBut some persons, who are rather audacious, magnify the title of parents, saying that the father and mother are evident gods, inasmuch as they imitate the uncreated God in their production of living animals, limiting, however, their assertion in this way, that the one is the God of the whole world, but the others only of those children whom they have begotten. And it is impossible that the invisible God can be piously worshipped by those people who behave with impiety towards those who are visible and near to them. XXIV.


nanHaving then now philosophized in this manner about the honour to be paid to parents, he closes the one and more divine table of the first five commandments. And being about to promulgate the second which contains the prohibitions of those offences which are committed against men, he begins with adultery, looking upon this as the greatest of all violations of the law;


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

31 results
1. Hebrew Bible, Genesis, 1.6-1.7, 2.4 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

1.6. וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים יְהִי רָקִיעַ בְּתוֹךְ הַמָּיִם וִיהִי מַבְדִּיל בֵּין מַיִם לָמָיִם׃ 1.7. וַיַּעַשׂ אֱלֹהִים אֶת־הָרָקִיעַ וַיַּבְדֵּל בֵּין הַמַּיִם אֲשֶׁר מִתַּחַת לָרָקִיעַ וּבֵין הַמַּיִם אֲשֶׁר מֵעַל לָרָקִיעַ וַיְהִי־כֵן׃ 2.4. אֵלֶּה תוֹלְדוֹת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְהָאָרֶץ בְּהִבָּרְאָם בְּיוֹם עֲשׂוֹת יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים אֶרֶץ וְשָׁמָיִם׃ 1.6. And God said: ‘Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.’" 1.7. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so." 2.4. These are the generations of the heaven and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made earth and heaven."
2. Hebrew Bible, Psalms, 105.10 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

105.10. And He established it unto Jacob for a statute, To Israel for an everlasting covet;"
3. Plato, Laws, None (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

930e. to another country, and the Law-wardens shall send away the man’s child, together with its mother. Neglect of parents is a thing that no god nor any right-minded man would ever recommend to anyone; and one ought to recognize how fitly a prelude of the following kind, dealing with worship paid to the gods, would apply to the honors and dishonors paid to parents:— Ath. The ancient law
4. Plato, Timaeus, None (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

36d. to the Revolution of the Same and of the Uniform. For this alone He suffered to remain uncloven, whereas He split the inner Revolution in six places into seven unequal circles, according to each of the intervals of the double and triple intervals, three double and three triple. These two circles then He appointed to go in contrary directions; and of the seven circles into which He split the inner circle, He appointed three to revolve at an equal speed, the other four to go at speeds equal neither with each other nor with the speed of the aforesaid three, yet moving at speeds the ratios of which one to another are those of natural integers.
5. Anon., Jubilees, 2.2, 2.31 (2nd cent. BCE - 2nd cent. BCE)

2.2. Write the complete history of the creation, how in six days the Lord God finished all His works and all that He created, and kept Sabbath on the seventh day and hallowed it for all ages, and appointed it as a sign for all His works. 2.31. and I will sanctify them unto Myself as My people, and will bless them; as I have sanctified the Sabbath day and do sanctify (it) unto Myself, even so shall I bless them, and they will be My people and I shall be their God.
6. Septuagint, Ecclesiasticus (Siracides), 2.9, 17.11-17.13, 45.7, 45.15, 49.12 (2nd cent. BCE - 2nd cent. BCE)

2.9. you who fear the Lord, hope for good things,for everlasting joy and mercy. 17.11. He bestowed knowledge upon them,and allotted to them the law of life. 17.12. He established with them an eternal covet,and showed them his judgments. 17.13. Their eyes saw his glorious majesty,and their ears heard the glory of his voice. 45.7. He made an everlasting covet with him,and gave him the priesthood of the people. He blessed him with splendid vestments,and put a glorious robe upon him. 45.15. Moses ordained him,and anointed him with holy oil;it was an everlasting covet for him and for his descendants all the days of heaven,to minister to the Lord and serve as priest and bless his people in his name. 49.12. and so was Jeshua the son of Jozadak;in their days they built the house and raised a temple holy to the Lord,prepared for everlasting glory.
7. Septuagint, Wisdom of Solomon, 2.13, 2.18, 5.5, 9.7, 12.19, 14.2-14.11, 15.1-15.6, 15.14-15.19, 16.2-16.5, 16.20, 18.13, 19.4, 19.22 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

2.13. He professes to have knowledge of God,and calls himself a child of the Lord. 2.18. for if the righteous man is Gods son, he will help him,and will deliver him from the hand of his adversaries. 5.5. Why has he been numbered among the sons of God?And why is his lot among the saints? 9.7. Thou hast chosen me to be king of thy people and to be judge over thy sons and daughters. 12.19. Through such works thou has taught thy people that the righteous man must be kind,and thou hast filled thy sons with good hope,because thou givest repentance for sins. 14.2. For it was desire for gain that planned that vessel,and wisdom was the craftsman who built it; 14.3. but it is thy providence, O Father, that steers its course,because thou hast given it a path in the sea,and a safe way through the waves 14.4. showing that thou canst save from every danger,so that even if a man lacks skill, he may put to sea. 14.5. It is thy will that works of thy wisdom should not be without effect;therefore men trust their lives even to the smallest piece of wood,and passing through the billows on a raft they come safely to land. 14.6. For even in the beginning, when arrogant giants were perishing,the hope of the world took refuge on a raft,and guided by thy hand left to the world the seed of a new generation. 14.7. For blessed is the wood by which righteousness comes. 14.8. But the idol made with hands is accursed, and so is he who made it;because he did the work, and the perishable thing was named a god. 14.11. Therefore there will be a visitation also upon the heathen idols,because, though part of what God created, they became an abomination,and became traps for the souls of men and a snare to the feet of the foolish. 15.1. But thou, our God, art kind and true,patient, and ruling all things in mercy. 15.2. For even if we sin we are thine, knowing thy power;but we will not sin, because we know that we are accounted thine. 15.3. For to know thee is complete righteousness,and to know thy power is the root of immortality. 15.4. For neither has the evil intent of human art misled us,nor the fruitless toil of painters,a figure stained with varied colors 15.5. whose appearance arouses yearning in fools,so that they desire the lifeless form of a dead image. 15.6. Lovers of evil things and fit for such objects of hope are those who either make or desire or worship them. 15.14. But most foolish, and more miserable than an infant,are all the enemies who oppressed thy people. 15.15. For they thought that all their heathen idols were gods,though these have neither the use of their eyes to see with,nor nostrils with which to draw breath,nor ears with which to hear,nor fingers to feel with,and their feet are of no use for walking. 15.16. For a man made them,and one whose spirit is borrowed formed them;for no man can form a god which is like himself. 15.17. He is mortal, and what he makes with lawless hands is dead,for he is better than the objects he worships,since he has life, but they never have. 15.18. The enemies of thy people worship even the most hateful animals,which are worse than all others, when judged by their lack of intelligence; 15.19. and even as animals they are not so beautiful in appearance that one would desire them,but they have escaped both the praise of God and his blessing. 16.2. Instead of this punishment thou didst show kindness to thy people,and thou didst prepare quails to eat,a delicacy to satisfy the desire of appetite; 16.3. in order that those men, when they desired food,might lose the least remt of appetite because of the odious creatures sent to them,while thy people, after suffering want a short time,might partake of delicacies. 16.4. For it was necessary that upon those oppressors inexorable want should come,while to these it was merely shown how their enemies were being tormented. 16.5. For when the terrible rage of wild beasts came upon thy people and they were being destroyed by the bites of writhing serpents,thy wrath did not continue to the end; 16.20. Instead of these things thou didst give thy people food of angels,and without their toil thou didst supply them from heaven with bread ready to eat,providing every pleasure and suited to every taste. 18.13. For though they had disbelieved everything because of their magic arts,yet, when their first-born were destroyed,they acknowledged thy people to be Gods son. 19.4. For the fate they deserved drew them on to this end,and made them forget what had happened,in order that they might fill up the punishment which their torments still lacked 19.22. For in everything, O Lord, thou hast exalted and glorified thy people;and thou hast not neglected to help them at all times and in all places.
8. Philo of Alexandria, On The Life of Abraham, 58 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

58. But he to whose lot it falls, not only by means of his knowledge, to comprehend all the other things which exist in nature, but also to behold the Father and Creator of the universe, has advanced to the very summit of happiness. For there is nothing above God; and if any one, directing towards him the eye of the soul, has reached up to him, let him then pray for ability to remain and to stand firm before him;
9. Philo of Alexandria, On The Eternity of The World, 15 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

15. But the forementioned opinion is better and truer, not only because throughout the whole treatise he affirms that the Creator of the gods is also the father and creator and maker of everything, and that the world is a most beautiful work of his and his offspring, being an imitation visible to the outward senses of an archetypal model appreciable only by the intellect, comprehending in itself as many objects of the outward senses as the model does objects of the intellect, since it is a most perfect impression of a most perfect model, and is addressed to the outward sense as the other is to the Intellect.
10. Philo of Alexandria, On The Cherubim, 44 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

44. Who, then, is it who sows good seed in them, except the Father of the universe, the uncreated God, he who is the parent of all things? This, therefore, is the being who sows, and presently he bestows his own offspring, which he himself did sow; for God creates nothing for himself, inasmuch as he is in need of nothing, but he creates every thing for him who is able to take it. 44. And, moreover, as was natural, he filled the whole place with miraculous signs and works, with noises of thunder too great for the hearing to support, and with the most radiant brilliancy of flashes of lightning, and with the sound of an invisible trumpet extending to a great distance, and with the march of a cloud, which, like a pillar, had its foundation fixed firmly on the earth, but raised the rest of its body even to the height of heaven; and, last of all, by the impetuosity of a heavenly fire, which overshadowed everything around with a dense smoke. For it was fitting that, when the power of God came among them, none of the parts of the world should be quiet, but that everything should be put in motion to minister to his service.
11. Philo of Alexandria, On The Confusion of Tongues, 170, 175, 144 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

144. What then is this hidden meaning? Those who, as it were, attribute many fathers to existing things, and who represent the company of the gods as numerous, displaying great ignorance of the nature of things and causing great confusion, and making pleasure the proper object of the soul, are those who are, if we must tell the plain truth, spoken of as the builders of the aforesaid city, and of the citadel in it; having increased the efficient causes of the desired end, building them up like houses, being, as I imagine, in no respect different from the children of the harlot whom the law expels from the assembly of God, where it says, "The offspring of a harlot shall not come into the assembly of the Lord." Because, like archers shooting at random at many objects, and not aiming skilfully or successfully at any one mark, so these men, putting forward ten thousand principles and causes for the creation of the universe, every one of which is false, display a perfect ignorance of the one Creator and Father of all things;
12. Philo of Alexandria, On The Decalogue, 101-104, 107, 155, 158-163, 171, 20-30, 32, 50-53, 61, 64, 7-9, 96-98, 100 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

13. Philo of Alexandria, On Drunkenness, 109-110, 42, 74, 81, 108 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

108. But man, who is devoid of any consideration, who is blinded as to his mind, by which alone the living God is comprehensible, does, by means of that mind, never see anything anywhere, but sees all the bodies which are in the world by his own outward senses, which he looks upon as the causes of all things which exist.
14. Philo of Alexandria, On Flight And Finding, 184, 109 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

109. For Moses says that he cannot be defiled neither in respect of his father, that is, the mind, nor his mother, that is, the external sense; because, I imagine, he has received imperishable and wholly pure parents, God being his father, who is also the father of all things, and wisdom being his mother, by means of whom the universe arrived at creation;
15. Philo of Alexandria, On The Creation of The World, 100-128, 135, 144, 168, 171, 21, 46, 56, 7, 72, 74, 77, 84, 89-99, 10 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

10. for reason proves that the father and creator has a care for that which has been created; for a father is anxious for the life of his children, and a workman aims at the duration of his works, and employs every device imaginable to ward off everything that is pernicious or injurious, and is desirous by every means in his power to provide everything which is useful or profitable for them. But with regard to that which has not been created, there is no feeling of interest as if it were his own in the breast of him who has not created it.
16. Philo of Alexandria, On Curses, 24 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

24. On this account it is written in the curses contained in scripture, "Thou shalt never rest; nor shall there be any rest for the sole of thy Foot." And, a little afterwards, we read that, "Thy life shall hang in doubt before Them." For it is the nature of the foolish man, who is always being tossed about in a manner contrary to right reason, to be hostile to tranquillity and rest, and not to stand firmly or with a sure foundation on any doctrine whatever.
17. Philo of Alexandria, On Dreams, 1.73 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

1.73. And do not wonder if, according to the rules of allegorical description, the sun is likened to the Father and Governor of the universe; for in reality nothing is like unto God; but those things which by the vain opinion of men are thought to be so, are only two things, one invisible and the other visible; the soul being the invisible thing, and the sun the visible one.
18. Philo of Alexandria, On The Special Laws, 1.13-1.14, 1.22-1.23, 1.32, 1.34-1.35, 3.178, 3.189, 3.199 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

1.13. Some persons have conceived that the sun, and the moon, and the other stars are independent gods, to whom they have attributed the causes of all things that exist. But Moses was well aware that the world was created, and was like a very large city, having rulers and subjects in it; the rulers being all the bodies which are in heaven, such as planets and fixed stars; 1.14. and the subjects being all the natures beneath the moon, hovering in the air and adjacent to the earth. But that the rulers aforesaid are not independent and absolute, but are the viceroys of one supreme Being, the Father of all, in imitation of whom they administer with propriety and success the charge committed to their care, as he also presides over all created things in strict accordance with justice and with law. Others, on the contrary, who have not discovered the supreme Governor, who thus rules everything, have attributed the causes of the different things which exist in the world to the subordinate powers, as if they had brought them to pass by their own independent act. 1.22. To whom the Father of the universe thus speaks, saying: "You shall not make to yourselves gods of silver and Gold;"{4}{#ex 20:20.} all but teaching them in express words, "You shall not make to yourselves any gods whatever of this or of any other material, nor shall you worship anything made with hands," being forbidden expressly with respect to the two most excellent materials; for silver and gold are esteemed the most honourable of all materials. 1.23. And, besides this distinct prohibition, there is another meaning which appears to me to be intended to be figuratively conveyed under these words, which is one of very great influence as contributing to the formation of the moral character, and which convicts in no slight degree those who are covetous of money and who seek to procure silver and gold from all quarters, and when they have acquired it treasure it up, as though it were some divine image, in their inmost shrines, looking upon it as the cause of all good things and of all happiness. 1.32. But the Father and Ruler of the universe is a being whose character it is difficult to arrive at by conjecture and hard to comprehend; but still we must not on that account shrink from an investigation of it. Now, in the investigations which are made into the nature of God, there are two things of the greatest importance, about which the intellect of the man who devotes himself to philosophy in a genuine spirit is perplexed. One is, whether there is any Deity at all? this question arises from the atheism (which is the greatest of all vice 1.34. He, therefore, who comes into that which is truly the greatest of cities, namely, this world, and who beholds all the land, both the mountain and the champaign district full of animals, and plants, and the streams of rivers, both overflowing and depending on the wintry floods, and the steady flow of the sea, and the admirable temperature of the air, and the varieties and regular revolutions of the seasons of the year; and then too the sun and moon, the rulers of day and night, and the revolutions and regular motions of all the other planets and fixed stars, and of the whole heaven; would he not naturally, or I should rather say, of necessity, conceive a notion of the Father, and creator, and governor of all this system; 1.35. for there is no artificial work whatever which exists of its own accord? And the world is the most artificial and skilfully made of all works, as if it had been put together by some one who was altogether accomplished and most perfect in knowledge. It is in this way that we have received an idea of the existence of God.VII. 3.178. And this is the cause which is often mentioned by many people. But I have heard another also, alleged by persons of high character, who look upon the greater part of the injunctions contained in the law as plain symbols of obscure meanings, and expressed intimations of what may not be expressed. And this other reason alleged is as follows. There are two kinds of soul, much as there are two sexes among human relations; the one a masculine soul, belonging to men; the other a female soul, as found in women. The masculine soul is that which devotes itself to God alone, as the Father and Creator of the universe and the cause of all things that exist; but the female soul is that which depends upon all the things which are created, and as such are liable to destruction, and which puts forth, as it were, the hand of its power in order that in a blind sort of way it may lay hold of whatever comes across it, clinging to a generation which admits of an innumerable quantity of changes and variations, when it ought rather to cleave to the unchangeable, blessed, and thrice happy divine nature. 3.189. But as the mind was unable by itself to comprehend all these things from merely beholding them by the faculty of sight, it did not stop merely at what was seen by it, but being devoted to learning, and fond of what is honourable and excellent, as it admired what it did see, it adopted this probable opinion, that these things are not moved spontaneously and at random by any irrational impulse of their own, but that they are set in motion and guided by the will of God, whom it is proper to look upon as the Father and Creator of the world. Moreover, that these things are not unrestrained by any bounds, but that they are limited by the circumference of one world, as they might be by the walls of a city, the world itself being circumscribed within the outermost sphere of the fixed stars. Moreover it considered also that the Father who created the world does by the law of nature take care of that which he has created, exerting his providence in behalf of the whole universe and of its parts. 3.199. on which account the Creator and Father of the universe, who is not accustomed to make anything which is not appointed for some particular use, did not do with the teeth as he did with every other part of the body, and make them at once, at the first creation of the man, considering that as while an infant he was only intended to be fed upon milk they would be a superfluous burden in his way, and would be a severe injury to the breasts, filled as they are at that time with springs of milk, from which moist food is derived, as they would in that case be bitten by the child while sucking the milk.
19. Philo of Alexandria, On The Life of Moses, 1.158, 2.24, 2.48, 2.209, 2.256, 2.288 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

1.158. What more shall I say? Has he not also enjoyed an even greater communion with the Father and Creator of the universe, being thought unworthy of being called by the same appellation? For he also was called the god and king of the whole nation, and he is said to have entered into the darkness where God was; that is to say, into the invisible, and shapeless, and incorporeal world, the essence, which is the model of all existing things, where he beheld things invisible to mortal nature; for, having brought himself and his own life into the middle, as an excellently wrought picture, he established himself as a most beautiful and Godlike work, to be a model for all those who were inclined to imitate him. 2.24. But on this fast it is not lawful to take any food or any drink, in order that no bodily passion may at all disturb or hinder the pure operations of the mind; but these passions are wont to be generated by fulness and satiety, so that at this time men feast, propitiating the Father of the universe with holy prayers, by which they are accustomed to solicit pardon for their former sins, and the acquisition and enjoyment of new blessings. 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. 2.209. Moreover, in accordance with the honour due to the Creator of the universe, the prophet hallowed the sacred seventh day, beholding with eyes of more acute sight than those of mortals its pre-eminent beauty, which had already been deeply impressed on the heaven and the whole universal world, and had been borne about as an image by nature itself in her own bosom; 2.256. For this mercy Moses very naturally honoured his Benefactor with hymns of gratitude. For having divided the host into two choruses, one of men and one of women, he himself became the leader of that of the men, and appointed his sister to be the chief of that of the women, that they might sing hymns to their father and Creator, joining in harmonies responsive to one another, by a combination of dispositions and melody, the former being eager to offer the same requital for the mercies which they had received, and the latter consisting of a symphony of the deep male with the high female voices, for the tones of men are deep and those of women are high; and when there is a perfect and harmonious combination of the two a most delightful and thoroughly harmonious melody is effected. 2.288. And some time afterwards, when he was about to depart from hence to heaven, to take up his abode there, and leaving this mortal life to become immortal, having been summoned by the Father, who now changed him, having previously been a double being, composed of soul and body, into the nature of a single body, transforming him wholly and entirely into a most sun-like mind; he then, being wholly possessed by inspiration, does not seem any longer to have prophesied comprehensively to the whole nation altogether, but to have predicted to each tribe separately what would happen to each of them, and to their future generations, some of which things have already come to pass, and some are still expected, because the accomplishment of those predictions which have been fulfilled is the clearest testimony to the future.
20. Philo of Alexandria, On The Embassy To Gaius, 115 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

115. for he regarded the Jews with most especial suspicion, as if they were the only persons who cherished wishes opposed to his, and who had been taught in a manner from their very swaddling-clothes by their parents, and teachers, and instructors, and even before that by their holy laws, and also by their unwritten maxims and customs, to believe that there was but one God, their Father and the Creator of the world;
21. Philo of Alexandria, Questions On Exodus, 2.78 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

22. Philo of Alexandria, Questions On Genesis, 2.34 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

23. Philo of Alexandria, Who Is The Heir, 236, 98-99, 169 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

169. Now of those principles of justice relating to God, the first law enunciated is one which opposes the polytheistic doctrine, and teaches us that the world is ruled over by one sole governor. The second is one forbidding men to make gods of things which are not the causes of anything, by means of the treacherous arts of painters and sculptors, whom Moses banished from his own constitution which he proposed to establish, condemning them to everlasting banishment, in order that the only true God might be honoured in truth and simplicity.
24. Philo of Alexandria, That The Worse Attacks The Better, 170 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

170. At all events, when the Creator determined to purify the earth by means of water, and that the soul should receive purification of all its unspeakable offences, having washed off and effaced its pollutions after the fashion of a holy purification, he recommended him who was found to be a just man, who was not borne away the violence of the deluge, to enter into the ark, that is to say, into the vessel containing the soul, namely, the body, and to lead into it "seven of all clean beasts, male and Female," thinking it proper that virtuous reason should employ all the pure parts of the irrational portion of man. XLVII.
25. Philo of Alexandria, That God Is Unchangeable, 12-13, 11 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

11. And yet she who is speaking is in reality only the mother of one son, namely, of Samuel. How then does she say that she has borne seven children, unless indeed any one thinks that the unit is in its strictest nature identical with the number seven, not only in number, but also in the harmony of the universe, and in the reasonings of the soul which is devoted to virtue? For he who was devoted to the one God, that is Samuel, and who had no connection whatever with any other being, is adorned according to that essence which is single and the real unit;
26. Josephus Flavius, Against Apion, 2.224 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

2.224. although he that shall diligently peruse his writings, will find his precepts to be somewhat gentle, and pretty near to the customs of the generality of mankind. Nay, Plato himself confesseth that it is not safe to publish the true notion concerning God among the ignorant multitude.
27. New Testament, Romans, 8.11, 10.16-10.17 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

8.11. But if the Spirit of him who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised up Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. 10.16. But they didn't all listen to the glad news. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our report? 10.17. So faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
28. Athenagoras, Apology Or Embassy For The Christians, 6.2 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

29. Clement of Alexandria, Miscellanies, 5.12.78.1 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

30. Justin, Second Apology, 10.6 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

31. Origen, Against Celsus, 7.42-7.44 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

7.42. Celsus next refers us to Plato as to a more effective teacher of theological truth, and quotes the following passage from the Tim us: It is a hard matter to find out the Maker and Father of this universe; and after having found Him, it is impossible to make Him known to all. To which he himself adds this remark: You perceive, then, how divine men seek after the way of truth, and how well Plato knew that it was impossible for all men to walk in it. But as wise men have found it for the express purpose of being able to convey to us some notion of Him who is the first, the unspeakable Being - a notion, namely; which may represent Him to us through the medium of other objects - they endeavour either by synthesis, which is the combining of various qualities, or by analysis, which is the separation and setting aside of some qualities, or finally by analogy - in these ways, I say, they endeavour to set before us that which it is impossible to express in words. I should therefore be surprised if you could follow in that course, since you are so completely wedded to the flesh as to be incapable of seeing ought but what is impure. These words of Plato are noble and admirable; but see if Scripture does not give us an example of a regard for mankind still greater in God the Word, who was in the beginning with God, and who was made flesh, in order that He might reveal to all men truths which, according to Plato, it would be impossible to make known to all men, even after he had found them himself. Plato may say that it is a hard thing to find out the Creator and Father of this universe; by which language he implies that it is not wholly beyond the power of human nature to attain to such a knowledge as is either worthy of God, or if not, is far beyond that which is commonly attained (although if it were true that Plato or any other of the Greeks had found God, they would never have given homage and worship, or ascribed the name of God, to any other than to Him: they would have abandoned all others, and would not have associated with this great God objects which can have nothing in common with Him). For ourselves, we maintain that human nature is in no way able to seek after God, or to attain a clear knowledge of Him without the help of Him whom it seeks. He makes Himself known to those who, after doing all that their powers will allow, confess that they need help from Him, who discovers Himself to those whom He approves, in so far as it is possible for man and the soul still dwelling in the body to know God. 7.43. Observe that when Plato says, that after having found out the Creator and Father of the universe, it is impossible to make Him known to all men, he does not speak of Him as unspeakable, and as incapable of being expressed in words. On the contrary, he implies that He may be spoken of, and that there are a few to whom He may be made known. But Celsus, as if forgetting the language which he had just quoted from Plato, immediately gives God the name of the unspeakable. He says: since the wise men have found out this way, in order to be able to give us some idea of the First of Beings, who is unspeakable. For ourselves, we hold that not God alone is unspeakable, but other things also which are inferior to Him. Such are the things which Paul labours to express when he says, I heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter, where the word heard is used in the sense of understood; as in the passage, He who has ears to hear, let him hear. We also hold that it is a hard matter to see the Creator and Father of the universe; but it is possible to see Him in the way thus referred to, Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God; and not only so, but also in the sense of the words of Him who is the image of the invisible God; He who has seen Me has seen the Father who sent Me. No sensible person could suppose that these last words were spoken in reference to His bodily presence, which was open to the view of all; otherwise all those who said, Crucify him, crucify him, and Pilate, who had power over the humanity of Jesus, were among those who saw God the Father, which is absurd. Moreover, that these words, He that has seen Me, has seen the Father who sent Me, are not to be taken in their grosser sense, is plain from the answer which He gave to Philip, Have I been so long time with you, and yet do you not know Me, Philip? after Philip had asked, Show us the Father, and it suffices us. He, then, who perceives how these words, The Word was made flesh, are to be understood of the only-begotten Son of God, the first-born of all creation, will also understand how, in seeing the image of the invisible God, we see the Creator and Father of the universe. 7.44. Celsus supposes that we may arrive at a knowledge of God either by combining or separating certain things after the methods which mathematicians call synthesis and analysis, or again by analogy, which is employed by them also, and that in this way we may as it were gain admission to the chief good. But when the Word of God says, No man knows the Father but the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him, He declares that no one can know God but by the help of divine grace coming from above, with a certain divine inspiration. Indeed, it is reasonable to suppose that the knowledge of God is beyond the reach of human nature, and hence the many errors into which men have fallen in their views of God. It is, then, through the goodness and love of God to mankind, and by a marvellous exercise of divine grace to those whom He saw in His foreknowledge, and knew that they would walk worthy of Him who had made Himself known to them, and that they would never swerve from a faithful attachment to His service, although they were condemned to death or held up to ridicule by those who, in ignorance of what true religion is, give that name to what deserves to be called anything rather than religion. God doubtless saw the pride and arrogance of those who, with contempt for all others, boast of their knowledge of God, and of their profound acquaintance with divine things obtained from philosophy, but who still, not less even than the most ignorant, run after their images, and temples, and famous mysteries; and seeing this, He has chosen the foolish things of this world - the simplest of Christians, who lead, however, a life of greater moderation and purity than many philosophers- to confound the wise, who are not ashamed to address iimate things as gods or images of the gods. For what reasonable man can refrain from smiling when he sees that one who has learned from philosophy such profound and noble sentiments about God or the gods, turns straightway to images and offers to them his prayers, or imagines that by gazing upon these material things he can ascend from the visible symbol to that which is spiritual and immaterial. But a Christian, even of the common people, is assured that every place forms part of the universe, and that the whole universe is God's temple. In whatever part of the world he is, he prays; but he rises above the universe, shutting the eyes of sense, and raising upwards the eyes of the soul. And he stops not at the vault of heaven; but passing in thought beyond the heavens, under the guidance of the Spirit of God, and having thus as it had gone beyond the visible universe, he offers prayers to God. But he prays for no trivial blessings, for he has learned from Jesus to seek for nothing small or mean, that is, sensible objects, but to ask only for what is great and truly divine; and these things God grants to us, to lead us to that blessedness which is found only with Him through His Son, the Word, who is God.


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
arithmology Corrigan and Rasimus, Gnosticism, Platonism and the Late Ancient World (2013) 188, 190
astrology Corrigan and Rasimus, Gnosticism, Platonism and the Late Ancient World (2013) 190
creation Beyerle and Goff, Notions of Time in Deuterocanonical and Cognate Literature (2022) 181; Corrigan and Rasimus, Gnosticism, Platonism and the Late Ancient World (2013) 188, 190; Lidonnici and Lieber, Heavenly Tablets: Interpretation, Identity and Tradition in Ancient Judaism (2007) 156
eternity Beyerle and Goff, Notions of Time in Deuterocanonical and Cognate Literature (2022) 181
father, fatherhood Albrecht, The Divine Father: Religious and Philosophical Concepts of Divine Parenthood in Antiquity (2014) 165, 299
god, representations of, creator Rogers, God and the Idols: Representations of God in 1 Corinthians 8-10 (2016) 99, 121, 223
god, representations of, father Rogers, God and the Idols: Representations of God in 1 Corinthians 8-10 (2016) 121, 223
god, representations of, judge Rogers, God and the Idols: Representations of God in 1 Corinthians 8-10 (2016) 223
god, representations of, king Rogers, God and the Idols: Representations of God in 1 Corinthians 8-10 (2016) 223
god, representations of, true existence Rogers, God and the Idols: Representations of God in 1 Corinthians 8-10 (2016) 223
god Corrigan and Rasimus, Gnosticism, Platonism and the Late Ancient World (2013) 188, 190
hebdomad Corrigan and Rasimus, Gnosticism, Platonism and the Late Ancient World (2013) 190
hellenism Lidonnici and Lieber, Heavenly Tablets: Interpretation, Identity and Tradition in Ancient Judaism (2007) 156
identity Beyerle and Goff, Notions of Time in Deuterocanonical and Cognate Literature (2022) 181
intelligible, realm Corrigan and Rasimus, Gnosticism, Platonism and the Late Ancient World (2013) 190
jubilees Lidonnici and Lieber, Heavenly Tablets: Interpretation, Identity and Tradition in Ancient Judaism (2007) 156
judaism, early Albrecht, The Divine Father: Religious and Philosophical Concepts of Divine Parenthood in Antiquity (2014) 299
judgment Beyerle and Goff, Notions of Time in Deuterocanonical and Cognate Literature (2022) 181
language, secret Lidonnici and Lieber, Heavenly Tablets: Interpretation, Identity and Tradition in Ancient Judaism (2007) 156
life, daily, worldy Corrigan and Rasimus, Gnosticism, Platonism and the Late Ancient World (2013) 188
literature Lidonnici and Lieber, Heavenly Tablets: Interpretation, Identity and Tradition in Ancient Judaism (2007) 156
mathematics Corrigan and Rasimus, Gnosticism, Platonism and the Late Ancient World (2013) 190
mind, triad, nous Corrigan and Rasimus, Gnosticism, Platonism and the Late Ancient World (2013) 190
mirror Corrigan and Rasimus, Gnosticism, Platonism and the Late Ancient World (2013) 190
moses Rogers, God and the Idols: Representations of God in 1 Corinthians 8-10 (2016) 121, 223
mother, motherhood Albrecht, The Divine Father: Religious and Philosophical Concepts of Divine Parenthood in Antiquity (2014) 299
music Corrigan and Rasimus, Gnosticism, Platonism and the Late Ancient World (2013) 188
mysticism, number Corrigan and Rasimus, Gnosticism, Platonism and the Late Ancient World (2013) 190
nature Corrigan and Rasimus, Gnosticism, Platonism and the Late Ancient World (2013) 188
neopythagoreanism Corrigan and Rasimus, Gnosticism, Platonism and the Late Ancient World (2013) 188
number, mysticism Corrigan and Rasimus, Gnosticism, Platonism and the Late Ancient World (2013) 190
number Corrigan and Rasimus, Gnosticism, Platonism and the Late Ancient World (2013) 188, 190
numerology Lidonnici and Lieber, Heavenly Tablets: Interpretation, Identity and Tradition in Ancient Judaism (2007) 156
philo of alexandria Corrigan and Rasimus, Gnosticism, Platonism and the Late Ancient World (2013) 188, 190
philosophy, jewish' Lidonnici and Lieber, Heavenly Tablets: Interpretation, Identity and Tradition in Ancient Judaism (2007) 156
platonism, platonists Albrecht, The Divine Father: Religious and Philosophical Concepts of Divine Parenthood in Antiquity (2014) 299
proclus Corrigan and Rasimus, Gnosticism, Platonism and the Late Ancient World (2013) 190
sabbath Beyerle and Goff, Notions of Time in Deuterocanonical and Cognate Literature (2022) 181; Corrigan and Rasimus, Gnosticism, Platonism and the Late Ancient World (2013) 188, 190
sympathy Corrigan and Rasimus, Gnosticism, Platonism and the Late Ancient World (2013) 190
voice Corrigan and Rasimus, Gnosticism, Platonism and the Late Ancient World (2013) 188