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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



9222
Philo Of Alexandria, On The Decalogue, 40-43


nanA third view of the question is, that no king or tyrant may ever despise an obscure private individual, from being full of insolence and haughty pride; but that such an one, coming as a pupil to the school of the sacred laws, may relax his eyebrows, unlearning his self-opinionativeness, and yielding rather to true reason.


nanFor if the uncreated, and immortal, and everlasting God, who is in need of nothing and who is the maker of the universe, and the benefactor and King of kings, and God of gods, cannot endure to overlook even the meanest of human beings, but has thought even such worthy of being banqueted in sacred oracles and laws, as if he were about to give him a lovefeast, and to prepare for him alone a banquet for the refreshing and expanding of his soul instructed in the divine will and in the manner in which the great ceremonies ought to be performed, how can it be right for me, who am a mere mortal, to hold my head up high and to allow myself to be puffed up, behaving with insolence to my equals whose fortunes may, perhaps, not be equal to mine, but whose relationship to me is equal and complete, inasmuch as they are set down as the children of one mother, the common nature of all men?


nanI will, therefore, behave myself in an affable, and courteous, and conciliatory manner to all men, even if I should obtain the dominion over the whole earth and the whole sea, and especially to those who are in the greatest difficulties and of the least reputation, and who are destitute of all assistance from kindred of their own, to those who are orphaned of either or of both their parents, to women who have experienced widowhood, and to old men who have either never had any children at all, or who have lost at an early age those who have been born to them;


nanfor, inasmuch as I myself am a man, I will not think it right to cherish a pompous and tragedian-like dignity of manner, but I will keep myself within my nature, not transgressing its boundaries, but accustoming my mind to bear human events with complacency and equanimity. Not only because of the unforeseen changes by which things of one character assume a different appearance, both in the case of those in prosperity and of those who are in adversity, but also because it is becoming, even if prosperity were to remain unaltered and unshaken that a man should not forget himself. For these reasons it appears to me to have been that God expressed his oracular commandments in the singular number, as if they were directed to a single individual. XI.


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

28 results
1. Hebrew Bible, Deuteronomy, 17.14-17.20 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

17.14. כִּי־תָבֹא אֶל־הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ נֹתֵן לָךְ וִירִשְׁתָּהּ וְיָשַׁבְתָּה בָּהּ וְאָמַרְתָּ אָשִׂימָה עָלַי מֶלֶךְ כְּכָל־הַגּוֹיִם אֲשֶׁר סְבִיבֹתָי׃ 17.15. שׂוֹם תָּשִׂים עָלֶיךָ מֶלֶךְ אֲשֶׁר יִבְחַר יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בּוֹ מִקֶּרֶב אַחֶיךָ תָּשִׂים עָלֶיךָ מֶלֶךְ לֹא תוּכַל לָתֵת עָלֶיךָ אִישׁ נָכְרִי אֲשֶׁר לֹא־אָחִיךָ הוּא׃ 17.16. רַק לֹא־יַרְבֶּה־לּוֹ סוּסִים וְלֹא־יָשִׁיב אֶת־הָעָם מִצְרַיְמָה לְמַעַן הַרְבּוֹת סוּס וַיהוָה אָמַר לָכֶם לֹא תֹסִפוּן לָשׁוּב בַּדֶּרֶךְ הַזֶּה עוֹד׃ 17.17. וְלֹא יַרְבֶּה־לּוֹ נָשִׁים וְלֹא יָסוּר לְבָבוֹ וְכֶסֶף וְזָהָב לֹא יַרְבֶּה־לּוֹ מְאֹד׃ 17.18. וְהָיָה כְשִׁבְתּוֹ עַל כִּסֵּא מַמְלַכְתּוֹ וְכָתַב לוֹ אֶת־מִשְׁנֵה הַתּוֹרָה הַזֹּאת עַל־סֵפֶר מִלִּפְנֵי הַכֹּהֲנִים הַלְוִיִּם׃ 17.19. וְהָיְתָה עִמּוֹ וְקָרָא בוֹ כָּל־יְמֵי חַיָּיו לְמַעַן יִלְמַד לְיִרְאָה אֶת־יְהוָה אֱלֹהָיו לִשְׁמֹר אֶת־כָּל־דִּבְרֵי הַתּוֹרָה הַזֹּאת וְאֶת־הַחֻקִּים הָאֵלֶּה לַעֲשֹׂתָם׃ 17.14. When thou art come unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein; and shalt say: ‘I will set a king over me, like all the nations that are round about me’;" 17.15. thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose; one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee; thou mayest not put a foreigner over thee, who is not thy brother." 17.16. Only he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses; forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you: ‘Ye shall henceforth return no more that way.’" 17.17. Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away; neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold." 17.18. And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book, out of that which is before the priests the Levites." 17.19. And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life; that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them;" 17.20. that his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left; to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children, in the midst of Israel."
2. Hebrew Bible, Exodus, 15.2, 19.10-19.12, 20.15, 24.17 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

15.2. עָזִּי וְזִמְרָת יָהּ וַיְהִי־לִי לִישׁוּעָה זֶה אֵלִי וְאַנְוֵהוּ אֱלֹהֵי אָבִי וַאֲרֹמְמֶנְהוּ׃ 15.2. וַתִּקַּח מִרְיָם הַנְּבִיאָה אֲחוֹת אַהֲרֹן אֶת־הַתֹּף בְּיָדָהּ וַתֵּצֶאןָ כָל־הַנָּשִׁים אַחֲרֶיהָ בְּתֻפִּים וּבִמְחֹלֹת׃ 19.11. וְהָיוּ נְכֹנִים לַיּוֹם הַשְּׁלִישִׁי כִּי בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁלִישִׁי יֵרֵד יְהוָה לְעֵינֵי כָל־הָעָם עַל־הַר סִינָי׃ 19.12. וְהִגְבַּלְתָּ אֶת־הָעָם סָבִיב לֵאמֹר הִשָּׁמְרוּ לָכֶם עֲלוֹת בָּהָר וּנְגֹעַ בְּקָצֵהוּ כָּל־הַנֹּגֵעַ בָּהָר מוֹת יוּמָת׃ 20.15. וְכָל־הָעָם רֹאִים אֶת־הַקּוֹלֹת וְאֶת־הַלַּפִּידִם וְאֵת קוֹל הַשֹּׁפָר וְאֶת־הָהָר עָשֵׁן וַיַּרְא הָעָם וַיָּנֻעוּ וַיַּעַמְדוּ מֵרָחֹק׃ 24.17. וּמַרְאֵה כְּבוֹד יְהוָה כְּאֵשׁ אֹכֶלֶת בְּרֹאשׁ הָהָר לְעֵינֵי בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל׃ 15.2. The LORD is my strength and song, And He is become my salvation; This is my God, and I will glorify Him; My father’s God, and I will exalt Him." 19.10. And the LORD said unto Moses: ‘Go unto the people, and sanctify them to-day and to-morrow, and let them wash their garments," 19.11. and be ready against the third day; for the third day the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai." 19.12. And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying: Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it; whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death;" 20.15. And all the people perceived the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the voice of the horn, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled, and stood afar off." 24.17. And the appearance of the glory of the LORD was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel."
3. Hebrew Bible, Psalms, 29.7 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

29.7. קוֹל־יְהוָה חֹצֵב לַהֲבוֹת אֵשׁ׃ 29.7. The voice of the LORD heweth out flames of fire."
4. Anon., 1 Enoch, 1.4 (3rd cent. BCE - 2nd cent. BCE)

1.4. And the eternal God will tread upon the earth, (even) on Mount Sinai, [And appear from His camp] And appear in the strength of His might from the heaven of heavens.
5. Anon., Jubilees, 1.15, 4.26, 48.2, 50.2, 50.4 (2nd cent. BCE - 2nd cent. BCE)

1.15. And they will make to themselves high places and groves and graven images, and they will worship, each his own (graven image), so as to go astray, and they will sacrifice their children to demons, and to all the works of the error of their hearts. 4.26. And in the twelfth jubilee, in the seventh week thereof, he took to himself a wife, and her name was Ednî, the daughter of Dânêl, the daughter of his father's brother, and in the sixth year in this week she bare him a son and he called his name Methuselah. 48.2. And thou didst return into Egypt in the second week in the second year in the fiftieth jubilee. 50.2. And I told thee of the Sabbaths of the land on Mount Sinai, and I told thee of the jubilee years in the sabbaths of years: 50.4. And the land also will keep its sabbaths while they dwell upon it, and they will know the jubilee year.
6. Dead Sea Scrolls, 4Q251, 1.5 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

7. Dead Sea Scrolls, Community Rule, 6.7 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

8. Diodorus Siculus, Historical Library, 1.70-1.72 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

1.70. 1.  In the first place, then, the life which the kings of the Egyptians lived was not like that of other men who enjoy autocratic power and do in all matters exactly as they please without being held to account, but all their acts were regulated by prescriptions set forth in laws, not only their administrative acts, but also those that had to do with the way in which they spent their time from day to day, and with the food which they ate.,2.  In the matter of their servants, for instance, not one was a slave, such as had been acquired by purchase or born in the home, but all were sons of the most distinguished priests, over twenty years old and the best educated of their fellow-countrymen, in order that the king, by virtue of his having the noblest men to care for his person and to attend him throughout both day and night, might follow no low practices; for no ruler advances far along the road of evil until he has those about him who will minister to his passions.,3.  And the hours of both the day and night were laid out according to a plan, and at the specified hours it was absolutely required of the king that he should do what the laws stipulated and not what he thought best.,4.  For instance, in the morning, as soon as he was awake, he first of all had to receive the letters which had been sent from all sides, the purpose being that he might be able to despatch all administrative business and perform every act properly, being thus accurately informed about everything that was being done throughout his kingdom. Then, after he had bathed and bedecked his body with rich garments and the insignia of his office, he had to sacrifice to the gods.,5.  When the victims had been brought to the altar it was the custom for the high priest to stand near the king, with the common people of Egypt gathered around, and pray in a loud voice that health and all the other good things of life be given the king if he maintains justice towards his subjects.,6.  And an open confession had also to be made of each and every virtue of the king, the priest saying that towards the gods he was piously disposed and towards men most kindly; for he was self-controlled and just and magimous, truthful, and generous with his possessions, and, in a word, superior to every desire, and that he punished crimes less severely than they deserved and rendered to his benefactors a gratitude exceeding the benefaction.,7.  And after reciting much more in a similar vein he concluded his prayer with a curse concerning things done in error, exempting the king from all blame therefor and asking that both the evil consequences and the punishment should fall upon those who served him and had taught him evil things.,8.  All this he would do, partly to lead the king to fear the gods and live a life pleasing to them, and partly to accustom him to a proper manner of conduct, not by sharp admonitions, but through praises that were agreeable and most conductive to virtue.,9.  After this, when the king had performed the divination from the entrails of a calf and had found the omens good, the sacred scribe read before the assemblage from out of the sacred books some of the edifying counsels and deeds of their most distinguished men, in order that he who held the supreme leadership should first contemplate in his mind the most excellent general principles and then turn to the prescribed administration of the several functions.,10.  For there was a set time not only for his holding audiences or rendering judgments, but even for his taking a walk, bathing, and sleeping with his wife, and, in a word, for every act of his life.,11.  And it was the custom for the kings to partake of delicate food, eating no other meat than veal and duck, and drinking only a prescribed amount of wine, which was not enough to make them unreasonably surfeited or drunken.,12.  And, speaking generally, their whole diet was ordered with such continence that it had the appearance of having been drawn up, not by a lawgiver, but by the most skilled of their physicians, with only their health in view. 1.71. 1.  Strange as it may appear that the king did not have the entire control of his daily fare, far more remarkable still was the fact that kings were not allowed to render any legal decision or transact any business at random or to punish anyone through malice or in anger or for any other unjust reason, but only in accordance with the established laws relative to each offence.,2.  And in following the dictates of custom in these matters, so far were they from being indigt or taking offence in their souls, that, on the contrary, they actually held that they led a most happy life;,3.  for they believed that all other men, in thoughtlessly following their natural passions, commit many acts which bring them injuries and perils, and that oftentimes some who realize that they are about to commit a sin nevertheless do base acts when overpowered by love or hatred or some other passion, while they, on the other hand, by virtue of their having cultivated a manner of life which had been chosen before all others by the most prudent of all men, fell into the fewest mistakes.,4.  And since the kings followed so righteous a course in dealing with their subjects, the people manifested a goodwill towards their rulers which surpassed even the affection they had for their own kinsmen; for not only the order of the priests but, in short, all the inhabitants of Egypt were less concerned for their wives and children and their other cherished possessions than for the safety of their kings.,5.  Consequently, during most of the time covered by the reigns of the kings of whom we have a record, they maintained an orderly civil government and continued to enjoy a most felicitous life, so long as the system of laws described was in force; and, more than that, they conquered more nations and achieved greater wealth than any other people, and adorned their lands with monuments and buildings never to be surpassed, and their cities with costly dedications of every description. 1.72. 1.  Again, the Egyptian ceremonies which followed upon the death of a king afforded no small proof of the goodwill of the people towards their rulers; for the fact that the honour which they paid was to one who was insensible of it constituted an authentic testimony to its sincerity.,2.  For when any king died all the inhabitants of Egypt united in mourning for him, rending their garments, closing the temples, stopping the sacrifices, and celebrating no festivals for seventy-two days; and plastering their heads with mud and wrapping strips of linen cloth below their breasts, women as well as men went about in groups of two or three hundred, and twice each day, reciting the dirge in a rhythmic chant, they sang the praises of the deceased, recalling his virtues; nor would they eat the flesh of any living thing or food prepared from wheat, and they abstained from wine and luxury of any sort.,3.  And no one would ever have seen fit to make use of baths or unguents or soft bedding, nay more, would not even have dared to indulge in sexual pleasures, but every Egyptian grieved and mourned during those seventy-two days as if it were his own beloved child that had died.,4.  But during this interval they had made splendid preparations for the burial, and on the last day, placing the coffin containing the body before the entrance to the tomb, they set up, as custom prescribed, a tribunal to sit in judgment upon the deeds done by the deceased during his life.,5.  And when permission had been given to anyone who so wished to lay complaint against him, the priests praised all his noble deeds one after another, and the common people who had gathered in myriads to the funeral, listening to them, shouted their approval if the king had led a worthy life,,6.  but if he had not, they raised a clamour of protest. And in fact many kings have been deprived of the public burial customarily accorded them because of the opposition of the people; the result was, consequently, that the successive kings practised justice, not merely for the reasons just mentioned, but also because of their fear of the despite which would be shown their body after death and of eternal obloquy. of the customs, then, touching the early kings these are the most important.
9. Philo of Alexandria, On Husbandry, 85-89, 84 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

84. Very beautifully, therefore, does the lawgiver in his recommendations, teach us not to elect as a chief, a man who is a breeder of horses, thinking that such a one is altogether unsuited to exercise authority, inasmuch as he is in a frenzy about pleasures and appetites, and intolerable loves, and rages about like an unbridled and unmanageable horse. For he speaks thus, "Thou shalt not be able to set over thyself a man that is a stranger, because he is not thy brother; because he will not multiply for himself his horses, and will not turn his people towards Egypt.
10. Philo of Alexandria, On The Decalogue, 33-39, 41-49, 32 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

11. Philo of Alexandria, On The Migration of Abraham, 69 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

69. for as the reptile with many feet and that with no feet at all, though they are exactly opposite to one another in the race of reptiles, are both pronounced unclean, so also the opinion which denies any God, and that which worships a multitude of Gods, though quite opposite in the soul, are both profane. And of proof of this is that the law banishes them both "from the sacred Assembly," forbidding the atheistical opinion, as a eunuch and mutilated person, to come into the assembly; and the polytheistic, inasmuch as it prohibits any one born of a harlot from either hearing or speaking in the assembly. For he who worships no God at all is barren, and he who worships a multitude is the son of a harlot, who is in a state of blindness as to his true father, and who on this account is figuratively spoken of as having many fathers, instead of one. XIII.
12. Philo of Alexandria, On Dreams, 2.125-2.127 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

2.125. If an invasion of enemies were to come upon you on a sudden, or the violence of a deluge, from the river having broken down all its barriers by an inundation, or any terrible fire, or a thunderbolt, or famine, or pestilence, or an earthquake, or any other evil, whether caused by men or inflicted by God, would you still remain quiet and unmoved at home? 2.126. And would you still go on in your habitual fashion, keeping your right hand back, and holding the other under your garments close to your sides, in order that you might not, even without meaning it, do anything to contribute to your own preservation? 2.127. And would you still sit down in your synagogues, collecting your ordinary assemblies, and reading your sacred volumes in security, and explaining whatever is not quite clear, and devoting all your time and leisure with long discussions to the philosophy of your ancestors?
13. Philo of Alexandria, On The Special Laws, 1.325, 2.61-2.64, 4.157-4.169 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

1.325. Therefore, as it was aware that no inconsiderable number of wicked men are often mingled in these assemblies, and escape notice by reason of the crowds collected there, in order to prevent that from being the case in this instance, he previously excludes all who are unworthy from the sacred assembly, beginning in the first instance with those who are afflicted with the disease of effeminacy, men-women, who, having adulterated the coinage of nature, are willingly driven into the appearance and treatment of licentious women. He also banishes all those who have suffered any injury or mutilation in their most important members, and those who, seeking to preserve the flower of their beauty so that it may not speedily wither away, have altered the impression of their natural manly appearance into the resemblance of a woman. 2.61. And the works meant are those enjoined by precepts and doctrines in accordance with virtue. And in the day he exhorts us to apply ourselves to philosophy, improving our souls and the domit part of us, our mind. 2.62. Accordingly, on the seventh day there are spread before the people in every city innumerable lessons of prudence, and temperance, and courage, and justice, and all other virtues; during the giving of which the common people sit down, keeping silence and pricking up their ears, with all possible attention, from their thirst for wholesome instruction; but some of those who are very learned explain to them what is of great importance and use, lessons by which the whole of their lives may be improved. 2.63. And there are, as we may say, two most especially important heads of all the innumerable particular lessons and doctrines; the regulating of one's conduct towards God by the rules of piety and holiness, and of one's conduct towards men by the rules of humanity and justice; each of which is subdivided into a great number of subordinate ideas, all praiseworthy. 2.64. From which considerations it is plain that Moses does not leave those persons at any time idle who submit to be guided by his sacred admonitions; but since we are composed of both soul and body, he has allotted to the body such work as is suited to it, and to the soul also such tasks as are good for that. And he has taken care that the one shall succeed the other, so that while the body is labouring the soul may be at rest, and when the body is enjoying relaxation the soul may be labouring; and so the best lives with the contemplative and the active life, succeed to one another in regular alternations. The active life having received the number six, according to the service appointed for the body; and the contemplative life the number seven, as tending to knowledge and to the perfecting of the intellect.XVI. 4.157. The all-wise Moses seeing this by the power of his own soul, makes no mention of any authority being assigned by lot, but he has chosen to direct that all offices shall be elected to; therefore he says, "Thou shalt not appoint a stranger to be a ruler over thee, but one of thine own Brethren,"{37}{#de 17:15.} implying that the appointment is to be a voluntary choice, and an irreproachable selection of a ruler, whom the whole multitude with one accord shall choose; and God himself will add his vote on favour of, and set his seal to ratify such an election, that being who is the confirmer of all advantageous things, looking upon the man so chosen as the flower of his race, just as the sight is the best thing in the body.XXXI. 4.158. And Moses gives also two reasons, on account of which it is not proper for strangers to be elected to situations of authority; in the first place, that they may not amass a quantity of silver, and gold, and flocks, and raise great and iniquitously earned riches for themselves, out of the poverty of those who are subjected to them; and secondly, that they may not make the nation quit their ancient abodes to gratify their own covetous desires, and so compel them to emigrate, and to wander about to and fro in interminable wanderings, suggesting to them hopes of the acquisition of greater blessings, which shall never be fulfilled, by which they come to lose those advantages of which they were in the secure enjoyment. 4.159. For our lawgiver was aware beforehand, as was natural that one who was a countryman and a relation, and who had also an especial share in the sublimest relationship of all, (and that sublimest of relationships is one constitution and the same law, and one God whose chosen nation is a peculiar people 4.160. And from the first day on which any one enters upon his office, he orders that he shall write out a copy of the book of the Law{38}{#de 17:18.} with his own hand, which shall supply him with a summary and concise image of all the laws, because he wishes that all the ordices which are laid down in it shall be firmly fixed in his soul; for while a man is reading the notions of what he is reading fleet away, being carried off by the rapidity of his utterance; but if he is writing they are stamped upon his heart at leisure, and they take up their abode in the heart of each individual as his mind dwells upon each particular, and settles itself to the contemplation of it, and does not depart to any other object, till it has taken a firm hold of that which was previously submitted to it. 4.161. When therefore he is writing, let him take care, every day, to read and study what he has written, both in order that he may thus attain to a continual and unchangeable recollection of these commands which are virtuous and expedient for all men to observe, and also that a firm love of and desire for them may be implanted in him, by reason of his soul being continually taught and accustomed to apply itself to the study and observance of the sacred laws. For familiarity, which has been engendered by long acquaintance, engenders a sincere and pure friendship, not only towards men, but even also towards such branches of learning as are worthy to be loved; 4.162. and this will take place if the ruler studies not the writings and memorials of some one else but those which he himself has written out; for his own works are, in a certain degree, more easily to be understood by each individual, and they are also more easily to be comprehended; 4.163. and besides that a man, while he is reading them, will have such considerations in his mind as these: "I wrote all this; I who am a ruler of such great power, without employing any one else as my scribe, though I had innumerable servants. Did I do all this, in order to fill up a volume, like those who copy out books for hire, or like men who practise their eyes and their hands, training the one to acuteness of sight, and the others to rapidity of writing? Why should I have done this? That was not the case; I did it in order that after I had recorded these things in a book, I might at once proceed to impress them on my heart, and that I might stamp upon my intellect their divine and indelible characters: 4.164. other kings bear sceptres in their hands, and sit upon thrones in royal state, but my sceptre shall be the book of the copy of the law; that shall be my boast and my incontestible glory, the signal of my irreproachable sovereignty, created after the image and model of the archetypal royal power of God. 4.165. And by always relying upon and supporting myself in the scared laws, I shall acquire the most excellent things. In the first place equality, than which it is not possible to discern any greater blessing, for insolence and excessive haughtiness are the signs of a narrow-minded soul, which does not foresee the future. 4.166. Equality, therefore, will win me good will from all who are subject to my power, and safety inasmuch as they will bestow on me a just requital for by kindness; but inequality will bring upon me terrible dangers, and these I shall escape by hating inequality, the purveyor of darkness and wars; and my life will be in no danger of being plotted against, because I honour equality, which has no connection with seditions, but which is the parent of light and stability. 4.167. Moreover, I shall gain another advantage, namely, that I shall not sway this way and that way, like the dishes in a scale, in consequence of perverting and distorting the commandments laid down for my guidance. But I shall endeavour to keep them, going through the middle of the plain road, keeping my own steps straight and upright, in order that I may attain to a life free from error or misfortune. 4.168. And Moses was accustomed to call the middle road the royal one, inasmuch as it lay between excess and deficiency; and besides, more especially, because in the number three the centre occupies the most important place, uniting the extremities on either side by an indissoluble chain, it being attended by these extremities as its bodyguards as though it were a king. 4.169. Moreover, Moses says that a longenduring sovereignty is the reward of a lawful magistrate or ruler who honours equality, and who without any corruption gives just decisions in a just manner, always studying to observe the laws; not for the sake of granting him a life extending over many years, combined with the administration of the commonwealth, but in order to teach those who do not understand that a governor who rules in accordance with the laws, even though he die, does nevertheless live a long life by means of his actions which he leaves behind him as immortal, the indestructible monuments of his piety and virtue.XXXIII.
14. Philo of Alexandria, On The Virtues, 108 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

108. And if any of them should be willing to forsake their old ways and to come over to the customs and constitutions of the Jews, they are not to be rejected and treated with hostility as the children of enemies, but to be received in such a manner that in the third generation they may be admitted into the assembly, and may have a share of the divine words read to them, being instructed in the will of God equally with the natives of the land, the descendants of God's chosen people. XXII.
15. Philo of Alexandria, On The Contemplative Life, 31-33, 40, 30 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

30. Therefore, during six days, each of these individuals, retiring into solitude by himself, philosophises by himself in one of the places called monasteries, never going outside the threshold of the outer court, and indeed never even looking out. But on the seventh day they all come together as if to meet in a sacred assembly, and they sit down in order according to their ages with all becoming gravity, keeping their hands inside their garments, having their right hand between their chest and their dress, and the left hand down by their side, close to their flank;
16. Philo of Alexandria, On The Life of Moses, 2.215-2.216 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

2.215. for it was invariably the custom, as it was desirable on other days also, but especially on the seventh day, as I have already explained, to discuss matters of philosophy; the ruler of the people beginning the explanation, and teaching the multitude what they ought to do and to say, and the populace listening so as to improve in virtue, and being made better both in their moral character and in their conduct through life; 2.216. in accordance with which custom, even to this day, the Jews hold philosophical discussions on the seventh day, disputing about their national philosophy, and devoting that day to the knowledge and consideration of the subjects of natural philosophy; for as for their houses of prayer in the different cities, what are they, but schools of wisdom, and courage, and temperance, and justice, and piety, and holiness, and every virtue, by which human and divine things are appreciated, and placed upon a proper footing?
17. Philo of Alexandria, Hypothetica, 7.12-7.13 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

7.12. What then did he do on this sabbath day? he commanded all the people to assemble together in the same place, and sitting down with one another, to listen to the laws with order and reverence, in order that no one should be ignorant of anything that is contained in them; 7.13. and, in fact, they do constantly assemble together, and they do sit down one with another, the multitude in general in silence, except when it is customary to say any words of good omen, by way of assent to what is being read. And then some priest who is present, or some one of the elders, reads the sacred laws to them, and interprets each of them separately till eventide; and then when separate they depart, having gained some skill in the sacred laws, and having made great advancers towards piety.
18. Philo of Alexandria, Against Flaccus, 137, 4, 136 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

136. There are a vast number of parties in the city whose association is founded in no one good principle, but who are united by wine, and drunkenness, and revelry, and the offspring of those indulgencies, insolence; and their meetings are called synods and couches by the natives.
19. Philo of Alexandria, On The Embassy To Gaius, 316, 312 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

312. for that these assemblies were not revels, which from drunkenness and intoxication proceeded to violence, so as to disturb the peaceful condition of the country, but were rather schools of temperance and justice, as the men who met in them were studiers of virtue, and contributed the first fruits every year, sending commissioners to convey the holy things to the temple in Jerusalem.
20. Philo of Alexandria, That God Is Unchangeable, 8 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

8. For it is foolishness to imagine, that it is unlawful to enter into temples, unless a man has first washed his body and made that look bright, but that one may attempt to sacrifice and to pray with a mind still polluted and disordered. And yet temples are made of stones and timber, mere lifeless materials, and it is not possible for the body, if it is devoid of life by its own nature, to touch things devoid of life, without using ablutions and purifying ceremonies of holiness; and shall any one endure to approach God without being purified as to his soul, shall any one while impure come near to the purest of all beings, and this too without having any intention of repenting?
21. Philo of Alexandria, That Every Good Person Is Free, 81-83, 80 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

80. and leaving the logical part of philosophy, as in no respect necessary for the acquisition of virtue, to the word-catchers, and the natural part, as being too sublime for human nature to master, to those who love to converse about high objects (except indeed so far as such a study takes in the contemplation of the existence of God and of the creation of the universe), they devote all their attention to the moral part of philosophy, using as instructors the laws of their country which it would have been impossible for the human mind to devise without divine inspiration.
22. Josephus Flavius, Jewish Antiquities, 16.43, 16.164, 20.115-20.116 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

16.43. nor do we conceal those injunctions of ours by which we govern our lives, they being memorials of piety, and of a friendly conversation among men. And the seventh day we set apart from labor; it is dedicated to the learning of our customs and laws, we thinking it proper to reflect on them, as well as on any [good] thing else, in order to our avoiding of sin. 16.164. But if any one be caught stealing their holy books, or their sacred money, whether it be out of the synagogue or public school, he shall be deemed a sacrilegious person, and his goods shall be brought into the public treasury of the Romans. 20.115. Now as this devastation was making, one of the soldiers seized the laws of Moses that lay in one of those villages, and brought them out before the eyes of all present, and tore them to pieces; and this was done with reproachful language, and much scurrility; 20.116. which things when the Jews heard of, they ran together, and that in great numbers, and came down to Caesarea, where Cumanus then was, and besought him that he would avenge, not themselves, but God himself, whose laws had been affronted; for that they could not bear to live any longer, if the laws of their forefathers must be affronted after this manner.
23. Josephus Flavius, Jewish War, 2.229-2.231, 2.291-2.292 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

2.229. Upon this Cumanus sent men to go round about to the neighboring villages, and to bring their inhabitants to him bound, as laying it to their charge that they had not pursued after the thieves, and caught them. Now here it was that a certain soldier, finding the sacred book of the law, tore it to pieces, and threw it into the fire. 2.231. Accordingly, he, perceiving that the multitude would not be quiet unless they had a comfortable answer from him, gave order that the soldier should be brought, and drawn through those that required to have him punished, to execution, which being done, the Jews went their ways. 2.291. Hereupon Jucundus, the master of the horse, who was ordered to prevent the fight, came thither, and took away the earthen vessel, and endeavored to put a stop to the sedition; but when he was overcome by the violence of the people of Caesarea, the Jews caught up their books of the law, and retired to Narbata, which was a place to them belonging, distant from Caesarea sixty furlongs. 2.292. But John, and twelve of the principal men with him, went to Florus, to Sebaste, and made a lamentable complaint of their case, and besought him to help them; and with all possible decency, put him in mind of the eight talents they had given him; but he had the men seized upon and put in prison, and accused them for carrying the books of the law out of Caesarea.
24. Josephus Flavius, Against Apion, 2.175 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

2.175. for he did not suffer the guilt of ignorance to go on without punishment, but demonstrated the law to be the best and the most necessary instruction of all others, permitting the people to leave off their other employments, and to assemble together for the hearing of the law, and learning it exactly, and this not once or twice, or oftener, but every week; which thing all the other legislators seem to have neglected. /p
25. New Testament, Acts, 15.21 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

15.21. For Moses from generations of old has in every city those who preach him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath.
26. New Testament, Luke, 4.16-4.21 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

4.16. He came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. He entered, as was his custom, into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. 4.17. The book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. He opened the book, and found the place where it was written 4.18. The Spirit of the Lord is on me, Because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim release to the captives, Recovering of sight to the blind, To deliver those who are crushed 4.19. And to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. 4.20. He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fastened on him. 4.21. He began to tell them, "Today, this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.
27. Tosefta, Sanhedrin, 4.5 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

28. Anon., Letter of Aristeas, 188-294, 187

187. Taking an opportunity afforded by a pause in the banquet the king asked the envoy who sat in the seat of honour (for they were arranged according to seniority), How he could keep his kingdom


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
augustus Scales, Galilean Spaces of Identity: Judaism and Spatiality in Hasmonean and Herodian Galilee (2024) 258
caesarea maritima Scales, Galilean Spaces of Identity: Judaism and Spatiality in Hasmonean and Herodian Galilee (2024) 277
elders/council of elders Fraade, Legal Fictions: Studies of Law and Narrative in the Discursive Worlds of Ancient Jewish Sectarians and Sages (2011) 340
essenes Scales, Galilean Spaces of Identity: Judaism and Spatiality in Hasmonean and Herodian Galilee (2024) 277
fire Brooke et al., Past Renewals: Interpretative Authority, Renewed Revelation, and the Quest for Perfection in Jewish Antiquity (2008) 255
glory, divine Brooke et al., Past Renewals: Interpretative Authority, Renewed Revelation, and the Quest for Perfection in Jewish Antiquity (2008) 255
god, body Brooke et al., Past Renewals: Interpretative Authority, Renewed Revelation, and the Quest for Perfection in Jewish Antiquity (2008) 255
god, representations of, creator Rogers, God and the Idols: Representations of God in 1 Corinthians 8-10 (2016) 99
god, visible Brooke et al., Past Renewals: Interpretative Authority, Renewed Revelation, and the Quest for Perfection in Jewish Antiquity (2008) 255
hebrew bible Fraade, Legal Fictions: Studies of Law and Narrative in the Discursive Worlds of Ancient Jewish Sectarians and Sages (2011) 184
iconography of Scales, Galilean Spaces of Identity: Judaism and Spatiality in Hasmonean and Herodian Galilee (2024) 258, 277
interpretation, hellenistic jewish Brooke et al., Past Renewals: Interpretative Authority, Renewed Revelation, and the Quest for Perfection in Jewish Antiquity (2008) 255
interpretation, rabbinic Brooke et al., Past Renewals: Interpretative Authority, Renewed Revelation, and the Quest for Perfection in Jewish Antiquity (2008) 255
interpretation—see also midrash Fraade, Legal Fictions: Studies of Law and Narrative in the Discursive Worlds of Ancient Jewish Sectarians and Sages (2011) 184, 340, 509
israel, nan Fraade, Legal Fictions: Studies of Law and Narrative in the Discursive Worlds of Ancient Jewish Sectarians and Sages (2011) 340, 509
josephus Brooke et al., Past Renewals: Interpretative Authority, Renewed Revelation, and the Quest for Perfection in Jewish Antiquity (2008) 255; Scales, Galilean Spaces of Identity: Judaism and Spatiality in Hasmonean and Herodian Galilee (2024) 277
kings, biblical Fraade, Legal Fictions: Studies of Law and Narrative in the Discursive Worlds of Ancient Jewish Sectarians and Sages (2011) 340
law, biblical/rabbinic—see also, halakhah Fraade, Legal Fictions: Studies of Law and Narrative in the Discursive Worlds of Ancient Jewish Sectarians and Sages (2011) 340
midrash/midrashim Fraade, Legal Fictions: Studies of Law and Narrative in the Discursive Worlds of Ancient Jewish Sectarians and Sages (2011) 184, 509
moses, art Brooke et al., Past Renewals: Interpretative Authority, Renewed Revelation, and the Quest for Perfection in Jewish Antiquity (2008) 255
moses Fraade, Legal Fictions: Studies of Law and Narrative in the Discursive Worlds of Ancient Jewish Sectarians and Sages (2011) 184, 509
mysticism Brooke et al., Past Renewals: Interpretative Authority, Renewed Revelation, and the Quest for Perfection in Jewish Antiquity (2008) 255
patriarchs Fraade, Legal Fictions: Studies of Law and Narrative in the Discursive Worlds of Ancient Jewish Sectarians and Sages (2011) 184, 340
philo, of alexandria Scales, Galilean Spaces of Identity: Judaism and Spatiality in Hasmonean and Herodian Galilee (2024) 258, 277
philo of alexandria Brooke et al., Past Renewals: Interpretative Authority, Renewed Revelation, and the Quest for Perfection in Jewish Antiquity (2008) 255
prayer Fraade, Legal Fictions: Studies of Law and Narrative in the Discursive Worlds of Ancient Jewish Sectarians and Sages (2011) 184, 340, 509
prayers Scales, Galilean Spaces of Identity: Judaism and Spatiality in Hasmonean and Herodian Galilee (2024) 258
priests, and their influence Scales, Galilean Spaces of Identity: Judaism and Spatiality in Hasmonean and Herodian Galilee (2024) 277
priests/priesthood Fraade, Legal Fictions: Studies of Law and Narrative in the Discursive Worlds of Ancient Jewish Sectarians and Sages (2011) 340
prophets Fraade, Legal Fictions: Studies of Law and Narrative in the Discursive Worlds of Ancient Jewish Sectarians and Sages (2011) 184
purpose-built communal structures Scales, Galilean Spaces of Identity: Judaism and Spatiality in Hasmonean and Herodian Galilee (2024) 258, 277
qumran/qumran community Fraade, Legal Fictions: Studies of Law and Narrative in the Discursive Worlds of Ancient Jewish Sectarians and Sages (2011) 184
qumran library Scales, Galilean Spaces of Identity: Judaism and Spatiality in Hasmonean and Herodian Galilee (2024) 277
rabbi akiba Brooke et al., Past Renewals: Interpretative Authority, Renewed Revelation, and the Quest for Perfection in Jewish Antiquity (2008) 255
reading of Scales, Galilean Spaces of Identity: Judaism and Spatiality in Hasmonean and Herodian Galilee (2024) 277
revelation Brooke et al., Past Renewals: Interpretative Authority, Renewed Revelation, and the Quest for Perfection in Jewish Antiquity (2008) 255
rewritten bible Fraade, Legal Fictions: Studies of Law and Narrative in the Discursive Worlds of Ancient Jewish Sectarians and Sages (2011) 184
roman authorities Scales, Galilean Spaces of Identity: Judaism and Spatiality in Hasmonean and Herodian Galilee (2024) 258
sabbath observance Scales, Galilean Spaces of Identity: Judaism and Spatiality in Hasmonean and Herodian Galilee (2024) 258, 277
sectarian/sectarianism Fraade, Legal Fictions: Studies of Law and Narrative in the Discursive Worlds of Ancient Jewish Sectarians and Sages (2011) 184
shekhina, auditory Brooke et al., Past Renewals: Interpretative Authority, Renewed Revelation, and the Quest for Perfection in Jewish Antiquity (2008) 255
shekhina, visual Brooke et al., Past Renewals: Interpretative Authority, Renewed Revelation, and the Quest for Perfection in Jewish Antiquity (2008) 255
sinai, mount Fraade, Legal Fictions: Studies of Law and Narrative in the Discursive Worlds of Ancient Jewish Sectarians and Sages (2011) 184, 509
sinai Brooke et al., Past Renewals: Interpretative Authority, Renewed Revelation, and the Quest for Perfection in Jewish Antiquity (2008) 255
synagogues Scales, Galilean Spaces of Identity: Judaism and Spatiality in Hasmonean and Herodian Galilee (2024) 258, 277
tannaitic literature Fraade, Legal Fictions: Studies of Law and Narrative in the Discursive Worlds of Ancient Jewish Sectarians and Sages (2011) 184
theodotus inscription Scales, Galilean Spaces of Identity: Judaism and Spatiality in Hasmonean and Herodian Galilee (2024) 277
therapeutae Scales, Galilean Spaces of Identity: Judaism and Spatiality in Hasmonean and Herodian Galilee (2024) 258
torah' Fraade, Legal Fictions: Studies of Law and Narrative in the Discursive Worlds of Ancient Jewish Sectarians and Sages (2011) 340
torah Fraade, Legal Fictions: Studies of Law and Narrative in the Discursive Worlds of Ancient Jewish Sectarians and Sages (2011) 184, 509