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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



9222
Philo Of Alexandria, On The Decalogue, 12-18


nanin this manner those who are skilful in the art of medicine, save their patients; for they do not think it advisable to give food before they have removed the causes of their diseases; for while the diseases remain, food is useless, being the pernicious materials of their sufferings. III.


nanVery naturally therefore, having led his people from the injurious associations prevailing in the cities, into the desert, that he might purify their souls from their offences he begun to bring them food for their minds; and what could this food be but divine laws and reasonings?


nanThe third cause is this; as men who set out on a long voyage do not when they have embarked on board ship, and started from the harbour, then begin for the first time to prepare their masts, and cables, and rudders, but, while still remaining on the land, they make ready everything which can conduce to the success of their voyage; so in the same manner Moses did not think it fit that his people, after they had received their inheritances, and settled as inhabitants of their cities, should then seek laws in accordance with which they were to regulate their cities, but that, having previously prepared laws and constitutions, and being trained in those regulations, by which nations can be governed with safety, they should then be settled in their cities, being prepared at once to use the just regulations which were already prepared for them, in unanimity and a complete participation in and proper distribution of those things which were fitting for each person. IV.


nanAnd some persons say that there is also a fourth cause which is not inconsistent with, but as near as possible to the truth; for that, as it was necessary that a conviction should be implanted in the minds of men that these laws were not the inventions of men, but the most indubitable oracles of God, he on that account, led the people as far as possible from the cities into the deep wilderness, which was barren not only of all fruits that admitted of cultivation


nanbut even of wholesome water, in order that, when after having found themselves in want of necessary food, and expecting to be destroyed by hunger and thirst, they should on a sudden find themselves amid abundance of all necessary things, spontaneously springing up around them; the heaven itself raining down upon them food called manna, and as a seasoning delicacy to that meat an abundance of quails from the air; and the bitter water being sweetened so as to become drinkable, and the precipitous rock pouring forth springs of sweet water; then they might no longer look back upon the Nile with wonder, nor be in doubt as to whether those laws were the laws of God, having received a most manifest proof of the fact from the supplies by which they now found their scarcity relieved beyond all their previous expectations;


nanfor they would see that he, who had given them a sufficiency of the means of life was now also giving them a means which should contribute to their living well; accordingly, to live at all required meat and drink which they found, though they had never prepared them; and towards living well, and in accordance with nature and decorum, they required laws and enactments, by which they were likely to be improved in their minds. V.


nanThese are the causes which may be advanced by probable conjecture, to explain the question which is raised on this point; for the true causes God alone knows. But having said what is fitting concerning these matters, I shall now proceed in regular order to discuss the laws themselves with accuracy and precision: first of all of necessity, mentioning this point, that of his laws God himself, without having need of any one else, thought fit to promulgate some by himself alone, and some he promulgated by the agency of his prophet Moses, whom he selected, by reason of his pre-eminent excellence, out of all men, as the most suitable man to be the interpreter of his will.


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

5 results
1. Hebrew Bible, Genesis, 12.2-12.3, 12.5-12.9 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

12.2. וַיְצַו עָלָיו פַּרְעֹה אֲנָשִׁים וַיְשַׁלְּחוּ אֹתוֹ וְאֶת־אִשְׁתּוֹ וְאֶת־כָּל־אֲשֶׁר־לוֹ׃ 12.2. וְאֶעֶשְׂךָ לְגוֹי גָּדוֹל וַאֲבָרֶכְךָ וַאֲגַדְּלָה שְׁמֶךָ וֶהְיֵה בְּרָכָה׃ 12.3. וַאֲבָרֲכָה מְבָרְכֶיךָ וּמְקַלֶּלְךָ אָאֹר וְנִבְרְכוּ בְךָ כֹּל מִשְׁפְּחֹת הָאֲדָמָה׃ 12.5. וַיִּקַּח אַבְרָם אֶת־שָׂרַי אִשְׁתּוֹ וְאֶת־לוֹט בֶּן־אָחִיו וְאֶת־כָּל־רְכוּשָׁם אֲשֶׁר רָכָשׁוּ וְאֶת־הַנֶּפֶשׁ אֲשֶׁר־עָשׂוּ בְחָרָן וַיֵּצְאוּ לָלֶכֶת אַרְצָה כְּנַעַן וַיָּבֹאוּ אַרְצָה כְּנָעַן׃ 12.6. וַיַּעֲבֹר אַבְרָם בָּאָרֶץ עַד מְקוֹם שְׁכֶם עַד אֵלוֹן מוֹרֶה וְהַכְּנַעֲנִי אָז בָּאָרֶץ׃ 12.7. וַיֵּרָא יְהוָה אֶל־אַבְרָם וַיֹּאמֶר לְזַרְעֲךָ אֶתֵּן אֶת־הָאָרֶץ הַזֹּאת וַיִּבֶן שָׁם מִזְבֵּחַ לַיהוָה הַנִּרְאֶה אֵלָיו׃ 12.8. וַיַּעְתֵּק מִשָּׁם הָהָרָה מִקֶּדֶם לְבֵית־אֵל וַיֵּט אָהֳלֹה בֵּית־אֵל מִיָּם וְהָעַי מִקֶּדֶם וַיִּבֶן־שָׁם מִזְבֵּחַ לַיהוָה וַיִּקְרָא בְּשֵׁם יְהוָה׃ 12.9. וַיִּסַּע אַבְרָם הָלוֹךְ וְנָסוֹעַ הַנֶּגְבָּה׃ 12.2. And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and be thou a blessing." 12.3. And I will bless them that bless thee, and him that curseth thee will I curse; and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’" 12.5. And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came." 12.6. And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Shechem, unto the terebinth of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land." 12.7. And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said: ‘Unto thy seed will I give this land’; and he builded there an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him." 12.8. And he removed from thence unto the mountain on the east of Beth-el, and pitched his tent, having Beth-el on the west, and Ai on the east; and he builded there an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD." 12.9. And Abram journeyed, going on still toward the South."
2. Philo of Alexandria, On The Decalogue, 11, 13-17, 2-10 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

3. Philo of Alexandria, On Drunkenness, 150 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

150. In the first place it calls itself a severe day, having regard to the boy who is mocking it; for by him and by every fool the road which leads to virtue is looked upon as rough and difficult to travel and most painful, as one of the old poets testifies, saying:-- Vice one may take in troops with ease, But in fair virtue's front Immortal God has stationed toil, And care, and sweat, to bar the road. Long is the road and steep, And rough at first, which leads the steps Or mortal men thereto; But when you reach the height, the path Is easy which before was hard, And swift the onward course. XXXVII.
4. Philo of Alexandria, On The Migration of Abraham, 10, 100-109, 11, 110-119, 12, 120-126, 13-19, 2, 20-29, 3, 30-39, 4, 40-49, 5, 50-59, 6, 60-69, 7, 70-79, 8, 80-89, 9, 90-99, 1 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

1. And the Lord said to Abraham, "Depart from thy land, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house to a land which I will show thee; and I will make thee into a great nation. And I will bless thee, and I will magnify thy name, and thou shalt be blessed. And I will bless them that bless thee, and I will curse them that curse thee; and in thy name shall all the nations of the earth be Blessed.
5. Philo of Alexandria, On The Special Laws, 1.23-1.25, 3.1-3.6 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

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. 1.24. And all the poor men that are possessed of that terrible disease, the love of money, but who, from not having any riches of their own which they can think worthy of their attention, fix their admiration on the wealth of their neighbours, and, for the purpose of offering adoration to it, come the first thing in the morning to the houses of those who have abundance, as if they were noble temples at which they were going to offer prayers, and to entreat blessings from their owners as if from the gods. 1.25. And to these men, Moses says, in another passage, "You shall not follow images, and you shall not make to yourselves molten Gods."{5}{#le 19:4.} Teaching them, by figurative language, that it is not right to pay such honours to wealth as one would pay to the gods; for those celebrated materials of wealth, silver and gold, are made to be used, which, however, the multitude follows, looking upon them as the only causes of wealth which is proverbially called blind, and the especial sources of happiness. 3.1. There was once a time when, devoting my leisure to philosophy and to the contemplation of the world and the things in it, I reaped the fruit of excellent, and desirable, and blessed intellectual feelings, being always living among the divine oracles and doctrines, on which I fed incessantly and insatiably, to my great delight, never entertaining any low or grovelling thoughts, nor ever wallowing in the pursuit of glory or wealth, or the delights of the body, but I appeared to be raised on high and borne aloft by a certain inspiration of the soul, and to dwell in the regions of the sun and moon, and to associate with the whole heaven, and the whole universal world. 3.2. At that time, therefore, looking down from above, from the air, and straining the eye of my mind as from a watch-tower, I surveyed the unspeakable contemplation of all the things on the earth, and looked upon myself as happy as having forcibly escaped from all the evil fates that can attack human life. 3.3. Nevertheless, the most grievous of all evils was lying in wait for me, namely, envy, that hates every thing that is good, and which, suddenly attacking me, did not cease from dragging me after it by force till it had taken me and thrown me into the vast sea of the cares of public politics, in which I was and still am tossed about without being able to keep myself swimming at the top. 3.4. But though I groan at my fate, I still hold out and resist, retaining in my soul that desire of instruction which has been implanted in it from my earliest youth, and this desire taking pity and compassion on me continually raises me up and alleviates my sorrow. And it is through this fondness for learning that I at times lift up my head, and with the eyes of my soul, which are indeed dim (for the mist of affairs, wholly inconsistent with their proper objects, has overshadowed their acute clear-sightedne 3.5. And if at any time unexpectedly there shall arise a brief period of tranquillity, and a short calm and respite from the troubles which arise from state affairs, I then rise aloft and float above the troubled waves, soaring as it were in the air, and being, I may almost say, blown forward by the breezes of knowledge, which often persuades me to flee away, and to pass all my days with her, escaping as it were from my pitiless masters, not men only, but also affairs which pour upon me from all quarters and at all times like a torrent. 3.6. But even in these circumstances I ought to give thanks to God, that though I am so overwhelmed by this flood, I am not wholly sunk and swallowed up in the depths. But I open the eyes of my soul, which from an utter despair of any good hope had been believed to have been before now wholly darkened, and I am irradiated with the light of wisdom, since I am not given up for the whole of my life to darkness. Behold, therefore, I venture not only to study the sacred commands of Moses, but also with an ardent love of knowledge to investigate each separate one of them, and to endeavour to reveal and to explain to those who wish to understand them, things concerning them which are not known to the multitude.II.


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
alexandria, pharos, island of Salvesen et al., Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period (2020) 248
alexandria, philos perspective on Salvesen et al., Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period (2020) 248
alexandria Salvesen et al., Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period (2020) 248
apollo Taylor and Hay, Philo of Alexandria: On the Contemplative Life: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2020) 111
aristeas, letter of Salvesen et al., Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period (2020) 248
collocutions Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 229
demetrius of phalerum Salvesen et al., Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period (2020) 248
exodus Salvesen et al., Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period (2020) 248
gaza, genesis, book of Salvesen et al., Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period (2020) 248
god, representations of, creator Rogers, God and the Idols: Representations of God in 1 Corinthians 8-10 (2016) 99, 131
greek, language Salvesen et al., Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period (2020) 248
idolatry, internalization of Rogers, God and the Idols: Representations of God in 1 Corinthians 8-10 (2016) 131
memory, cultural Salvesen et al., Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period (2020) 248
migrations of abraham, literal and ethical interpretations of Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 229
migrations of abraham, second Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 229
migrations of abraham Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 229
moses, in philos life of moses Salvesen et al., Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period (2020) 248
mourning customs, the multitude Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 229
philo of alexandria Salvesen et al., Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period (2020) 248
philos perspective Salvesen et al., Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period (2020) 248
ptolemy ii philadelphus, in philos life of moses Salvesen et al., Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period (2020) 248
ptolemy ii philadelphus Salvesen et al., Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period (2020) 248
septuagint (lxx) Salvesen et al., Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period (2020) 248
solitude Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 229
the cosmos, the country, good men withdrawing to Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 229
wilderness' Rogers, God and the Idols: Representations of God in 1 Corinthians 8-10 (2016) 131
wilderness, migration to Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 229