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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



9228
Philo Of Alexandria, On The Migration Of Abraham, 101-109


nanOn this account also the selfinstructed Isaac prays to the lover of wisdom, that he may be able to comprehend both those good things which are perceptible by the outward senses, and those which are appreciable only by the intellect. For he says, "May God give thee of the dew of heaven, and of the fatness of the Earth," a prayer equivalent, to May he in the first place pour upon thee a continual and heavenly rain appreciable by the intellect, not violently so as to wash thee away, but mildly and gently like dew, so as to benefit thee. And in the second place, may he bestow upon thee that earthly wealth which is perceptible by the outward senses, fat and fertile, having drained off its opposite, namely poverty, from the soul and from all its parts.


nanBut if you examine the great a high priest, that is to say reason, you will find him entertaining ideas in harmony with these, and having his sacred garments richly embroidered by all the powers which are comprehensible either by the outward senses or by the intellect; the other portion of which clothing would require a more prolix explanation than is practicable on the present occasion, and we must pass it by for the present. But the extreme portions, those namely at the head and at the feet, we will examine.


nanThere is then on the head "a golden Leaf," pure, having on it the impression of a seal, "Holiness to the Lord." And on the feet there are, "on the fringe of the inner garment, bells and small Flowerets." But this seal is an idea of ideas, according to which God fashioned the world, being an incorporeal idea, comprehensible only by the intellect. And the flowerets and the bells are symbols of distinctive qualities perceptible by the outward senses; of which the faculties of hearing and of seeing are the judges.


nanAnd he adds, with exceeding accuracy of investigation, "The voice of him shall be heard as he enters into the holy place," in order that when the soul enters into the places appreciable by the intellect, and divine, and truly holy, the very outward senses may likewise be benefited, and may sound in unison, in accordance with virtue; and our whole system, like a melodious chorus of many men, may sing in concert one wellharmonised melody composed of different sounds well combined, the thoughts inspiring the leading notes (for the objects of intellect are the leaders of the chorus); and the objects of the external senses, singing in melodies, accord the symphonies which follow, which are compared to individual members of the chorus.


nanFor, in short, as the law says, it was not right for the soul to be deprived of "its necessaries, and its garments, and its place of Abode," these three things; but it ought rather to have had each of them allotted to it in a durable manner. Now the necessaries of the soul are those good things which are perceptible only by the intellect, which ought, and indeed are bound by the law of nature, to be attached to it; and the clothing means those things which relate to the exterior and visible ornament of human life; and the place of abode is continued diligence and care respecting each of the species before mentioned, in order that the objects of the outward senses may appear as the invisible objects of the intellect do also. XIX.


nanThere is, also, a fifth gift, which consists only in the bare fact of existence; and it is mentioned after all the previous ones, not because it is inferior to them, but rather because it overtops and excels them all; for what can be a greater blessing than to be formed by nature, and to be, without any falsehood or fictitious pretence, really good and worthy of the most perfect praise?


nanFor," says God, "thou shalt be Blessed" (eulogeµtos); not merely a person who is blessed (eulogeµmenos), for this latter fact is estimated by the opinions and reports of the multitude, but the other depends on a person being, in real truth, deserving of blessings;


nanfor as the being praiseworthy (to epaineton einai) differs from being praised, being superior to it; and as the being blameworthy differs from being blamed, in being worse; for the one depends upon a person's natural character, while the other is affirmed only with reference to his being considered such and such. And real genuine nature is a more reliable thing than opinion; so, also, to be blessed by men, that is to say, to be celebrated by their praises and benedictions, is of less value than to be formed by nature so as to be worthy of blessing, even though all men should be silent respecting one, and this last is what is meant in the scriptures by the term blessed (eulogeµtos). XX.


nanThese are the good things which are given to him who is about to be wise. But let us now examine what God, for the sake of the wise man, bestows on the rest of mankind also. He says, "I will bless those who bless thee, and curse those who curse Thee.


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

17 results
1. Hebrew Bible, Exodus, 7.27, 33.11 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

7.27. וְאִם־מָאֵן אַתָּה לְשַׁלֵּחַ הִנֵּה אָנֹכִי נֹגֵף אֶת־כָּל־גְּבוּלְךָ בַּצְפַרְדְּעִים׃ 33.11. וְדִבֶּר יְהוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה פָּנִים אֶל־פָּנִים כַּאֲשֶׁר יְדַבֵּר אִישׁ אֶל־רֵעֵהוּ וְשָׁב אֶל־הַמַּחֲנֶה וּמְשָׁרְתוֹ יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בִּן־נוּן נַעַר לֹא יָמִישׁ מִתּוֹךְ הָאֹהֶל׃ 7.27. And if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all thy borders with frogs." 33.11. And the LORD spoke unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he would return into the camp; but his minister Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the Tent."
2. Hebrew Bible, Genesis, 4.26, 5.1, 12.1-12.3, 12.5-12.9, 17.1-17.14, 17.16, 17.19-17.21, 18.17, 22.16-22.18 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

4.26. וּלְשֵׁת גַּם־הוּא יֻלַּד־בֵּן וַיִּקְרָא אֶת־שְׁמוֹ אֱנוֹשׁ אָז הוּחַל לִקְרֹא בְּשֵׁם יְהוָה׃ 5.1. זֶה סֵפֶר תּוֹלְדֹת אָדָם בְּיוֹם בְּרֹא אֱלֹהִים אָדָם בִּדְמוּת אֱלֹהִים עָשָׂה אֹתוֹ׃ 5.1. וַיְחִי אֱנוֹשׁ אַחֲרֵי הוֹלִידוֹ אֶת־קֵינָן חֲמֵשׁ עֶשְׂרֵה שָׁנָה וּשְׁמֹנֶה מֵאוֹת שָׁנָה וַיּוֹלֶד בָּנִים וּבָנוֹת׃ 12.1. וַיְהִי רָעָב בָּאָרֶץ וַיֵּרֶד אַבְרָם מִצְרַיְמָה לָגוּר שָׁם כִּי־כָבֵד הָרָעָב בָּאָרֶץ׃ 12.1. וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֶל־אַבְרָם לֶךְ־לְךָ מֵאַרְצְךָ וּמִמּוֹלַדְתְּךָ וּמִבֵּית אָבִיךָ אֶל־הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אַרְאֶךָּ׃ 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׃ 17.1. זֹאת בְּרִיתִי אֲשֶׁר תִּשְׁמְרוּ בֵּינִי וּבֵינֵיכֶם וּבֵין זַרְעֲךָ אַחֲרֶיךָ הִמּוֹל לָכֶם כָּל־זָכָר׃ 17.1. וַיְהִי אַבְרָם בֶּן־תִּשְׁעִים שָׁנָה וְתֵשַׁע שָׁנִים וַיֵּרָא יְהוָה אֶל־אַבְרָם וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו אֲנִי־אֵל שַׁדַּי הִתְהַלֵּךְ לְפָנַי וֶהְיֵה תָמִים׃ 17.2. וּלְיִשְׁמָעֵאל שְׁמַעְתִּיךָ הִנֵּה בֵּרַכְתִּי אֹתוֹ וְהִפְרֵיתִי אֹתוֹ וְהִרְבֵּיתִי אֹתוֹ בִּמְאֹד מְאֹד שְׁנֵים־עָשָׂר נְשִׂיאִם יוֹלִיד וּנְתַתִּיו לְגוֹי גָּדוֹל׃ 17.2. וְאֶתְּנָה בְרִיתִי בֵּינִי וּבֵינֶךָ וְאַרְבֶּה אוֹתְךָ בִּמְאֹד מְאֹד׃ 17.3. וַיִּפֹּל אַבְרָם עַל־פָּנָיו וַיְדַבֵּר אִתּוֹ אֱלֹהִים לֵאמֹר׃ 17.4. אֲנִי הִנֵּה בְרִיתִי אִתָּךְ וְהָיִיתָ לְאַב הֲמוֹן גּוֹיִם׃ 17.5. וְלֹא־יִקָּרֵא עוֹד אֶת־שִׁמְךָ אַבְרָם וְהָיָה שִׁמְךָ אַבְרָהָם כִּי אַב־הֲמוֹן גּוֹיִם נְתַתִּיךָ׃ 17.6. וְהִפְרֵתִי אֹתְךָ בִּמְאֹד מְאֹד וּנְתַתִּיךָ לְגוֹיִם וּמְלָכִים מִמְּךָ יֵצֵאוּ׃ 17.7. וַהֲקִמֹתִי אֶת־בְּרִיתִי בֵּינִי וּבֵינֶךָ וּבֵין זַרְעֲךָ אַחֲרֶיךָ לְדֹרֹתָם לִבְרִית עוֹלָם לִהְיוֹת לְךָ לֵאלֹהִים וּלְזַרְעֲךָ אַחֲרֶיךָ׃ 17.8. וְנָתַתִּי לְךָ וּלְזַרְעֲךָ אַחֲרֶיךָ אֵת אֶרֶץ מְגֻרֶיךָ אֵת כָּל־אֶרֶץ כְּנַעַן לַאֲחֻזַּת עוֹלָם וְהָיִיתִי לָהֶם לֵאלֹהִים׃ 17.9. וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים אֶל־אַבְרָהָם וְאַתָּה אֶת־בְּרִיתִי תִשְׁמֹר אַתָּה וְזַרְעֲךָ אַחֲרֶיךָ לְדֹרֹתָם׃ 17.11. וּנְמַלְתֶּם אֵת בְּשַׂר עָרְלַתְכֶם וְהָיָה לְאוֹת בְּרִית בֵּינִי וּבֵינֵיכֶם׃ 17.12. וּבֶן־שְׁמֹנַת יָמִים יִמּוֹל לָכֶם כָּל־זָכָר לְדֹרֹתֵיכֶם יְלִיד בָּיִת וּמִקְנַת־כֶּסֶף מִכֹּל בֶּן־נֵכָר אֲשֶׁר לֹא מִזַּרְעֲךָ הוּא׃ 17.13. הִמּוֹל יִמּוֹל יְלִיד בֵּיתְךָ וּמִקְנַת כַּסְפֶּךָ וְהָיְתָה בְרִיתִי בִּבְשַׂרְכֶם לִבְרִית עוֹלָם׃ 17.14. וְעָרֵל זָכָר אֲשֶׁר לֹא־יִמּוֹל אֶת־בְּשַׂר עָרְלָתוֹ וְנִכְרְתָה הַנֶּפֶשׁ הַהִוא מֵעַמֶּיהָ אֶת־בְּרִיתִי הֵפַר׃ 17.16. וּבֵרַכְתִּי אֹתָהּ וְגַם נָתַתִּי מִמֶּנָּה לְךָ בֵּן וּבֵרַכְתִּיהָ וְהָיְתָה לְגוֹיִם מַלְכֵי עַמִּים מִמֶּנָּה יִהְיוּ׃ 17.19. וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים אֲבָל שָׂרָה אִשְׁתְּךָ יֹלֶדֶת לְךָ בֵּן וְקָרָאתָ אֶת־שְׁמוֹ יִצְחָק וַהֲקִמֹתִי אֶת־בְּרִיתִי אִתּוֹ לִבְרִית עוֹלָם לְזַרְעוֹ אַחֲרָיו׃ 17.21. וְאֶת־בְּרִיתִי אָקִים אֶת־יִצְחָק אֲשֶׁר תֵּלֵד לְךָ שָׂרָה לַמּוֹעֵד הַזֶּה בַּשָּׁנָה הָאַחֶרֶת׃ 18.17. וַיהֹוָה אָמָר הַמְכַסֶּה אֲנִי מֵאַבְרָהָם אֲשֶׁר אֲנִי עֹשֶׂה׃ 22.16. וַיֹּאמֶר בִּי נִשְׁבַּעְתִּי נְאֻם־יְהוָה כִּי יַעַן אֲשֶׁר עָשִׂיתָ אֶת־הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה וְלֹא חָשַׂכְתָּ אֶת־בִּנְךָ אֶת־יְחִידֶךָ׃ 22.17. כִּי־בָרֵךְ אֲבָרֶכְךָ וְהַרְבָּה אַרְבֶּה אֶת־זַרְעֲךָ כְּכוֹכְבֵי הַשָּׁמַיִם וְכַחוֹל אֲשֶׁר עַל־שְׂפַת הַיָּם וְיִרַשׁ זַרְעֲךָ אֵת שַׁעַר אֹיְבָיו׃ 22.18. וְהִתְבָּרֲכוּ בְזַרְעֲךָ כֹּל גּוֹיֵי הָאָרֶץ עֵקֶב אֲשֶׁר שָׁמַעְתָּ בְּקֹלִי׃ 4.26. And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enosh; then began men to call upon the name of the LORD." 5.1. This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made He him;" 12.1. Now the LORD said unto Abram: ‘Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto the land that I will show thee." 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." 17.1. And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him: ‘I am God Almighty; walk before Me, and be thou wholehearted." 17.2. And I will make My covet between Me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.’" 17.3. And Abram fell on his face; and God talked with him, saying:" 17.4. ’As for Me, behold, My covet is with thee, and thou shalt be the father of a multitude of nations." 17.5. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for the father of a multitude of nations have I made thee." 17.6. And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee." 17.7. And I will establish My covet between Me and thee and thy seed after thee throughout their generations for an everlasting covet, to be a God unto thee and to thy seed after thee." 17.8. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land of thy sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.’" 17.9. And God said unto Abraham: ‘And as for thee, thou shalt keep My covet, thou, and thy seed after thee throughout their generations." 17.10. This is My covet, which ye shall keep, between Me and you and thy seed after thee: every male among you shall be circumcised." 17.11. And ye shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of a covet betwixt Me and you." 17.12. And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every male throughout your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any foreigner, that is not of thy seed." 17.13. He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised; and My covet shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covet." 17.14. And the uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken My covet.’" 17.16. And I will bless her, and moreover I will give thee a son of her; yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall be of her.’" 17.19. And God said: ‘‘Nay, but Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son; and thou shalt call his name Isaac; and I will establish My covet with him for an everlasting covet for his seed after him." 17.20. And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee; behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation." 17.21. But My covet will I establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.’" 18.17. And the LORD said: ‘Shall I hide from Abraham that which I am doing;" 22.16. and said: ‘By Myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son," 22.17. that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the seashore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;" 22.18. and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast hearkened to My voice.’"
3. Hebrew Bible, Leviticus, 19.24 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

19.24. וּבַשָּׁנָה הָרְבִיעִת יִהְיֶה כָּל־פִּרְיוֹ קֹדֶשׁ הִלּוּלִים לַיהוָה׃ 19.24. And in the fourth year all the fruit thereof shall be holy, for giving praise unto the LORD."
4. Hebrew Bible, Isaiah, 41.8 (8th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

41.8. וְאַתָּה יִשְׂרָאֵל עַבְדִּי יַעֲקֹב אֲשֶׁר בְּחַרְתִּיךָ זֶרַע אַבְרָהָם אֹהֲבִי׃ 41.8. But thou, Israel, My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, The seed of Abraham My friend;"
5. Septuagint, Wisdom of Solomon, 15.4-15.19, 16.4-16.14, 16.17-16.18, 16.20-16.21, 16.24, 19.22 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

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. 15.7. For when a potter kneads the soft earth and laboriously molds each vessel for our service,he fashions out of the same clay both the vessels that serve clean uses and those for contrary uses, making all in like manner;but which shall be the use of each of these the worker in clay decides. 15.8. With misspent toil, he forms a futile god from the same clay -- this man who was made of earth a short time before and after a little while goes to the earth from which he was taken,when he is required to return the soul that was lent him. 15.9. But he is not concerned that he is destined to die or that his life is brief,but he competes with workers in gold and silver,and imitates workers in copper;and he counts it his glory that he molds counterfeit gods. 15.10. His heart is ashes, his hope is cheaper than dirt,and his life is of less worth than clay 15.11. because he failed to know the one who formed him and inspired him with an active soul and breathed into him a living spirit. 15.12. But he considered our existence an idle game,and life a festival held for profit,for he says one must get money however one can, even by base means. 15.13. For this man, more than all others, knows that he sins when he makes from earthy matter fragile vessels and graven images. 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. 16.4. 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; 16.6. they were troubled for a little while as a warning,and received a token of deliverance to remind them of thy laws command. 16.7. For he who turned toward it was saved, not by what he saw,but by thee, the Savior of all. 16.8. And by this also thou didst convince our enemies that it is thou who deliverest from every evil. 16.9. For they were killed by the bites of locusts and flies,and no healing was found for them,because they deserved to be punished by such things; 16.10. but thy sons were not conquered even by the teeth of venomous serpents,for thy mercy came to their help and healed them. 16.11. To remind them of thy oracles they were bitten,and then were quickly delivered,lest they should fall into deep forgetfulness and become unresponsive to thy kindness. 16.12. For neither herb nor poultice cured them,but it was thy word, O Lord, which heals all men. 16.13. For thou hast power over life and death;thou dost lead men down to the gates of Hades and back again. 16.14. A man in his wickedness kills another,but he cannot bring back the departed spirit,nor set free the imprisoned soul. 16.17. For -- most incredible of all -- in the water,which quenches all things,the fire had still greater effect,for the universe defends the righteous. 16.18. At one time the flame was restrained,so that it might not consume the creatures sent against the ungodly,but that seeing this they might know that they were being pursued by the judgment of God; 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. 16.21. For thy sustece manifested thy sweetness toward thy children;and the bread, ministering to the desire of the one who took it,was changed to suit every ones liking. 16.24. For creation, serving thee who hast made it,exerts itself to punish the unrighteous,and in kindness relaxes on behalf of those who trust in thee. 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.
6. Philo of Alexandria, On The Decalogue, 10-17, 2-9, 1 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

7. 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.
8. Philo of Alexandria, On The Migration of Abraham, 10, 100, 102-109, 11, 110-119, 12, 120-129, 13, 130-134, 137, 14, 140-144, 146-149, 15, 150-151, 154-156, 159, 16, 164-167, 169, 17, 175-179, 18, 180-189, 19, 190-199, 2, 20, 200-209, 21, 210-211, 216-219, 22, 220-225, 23-29, 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.
9. Philo of Alexandria, On Planting, 118-135, 117 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

10. Philo of Alexandria, On Sobriety, 17, 55-56, 8-9, 16 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

11. Philo of Alexandria, On Dreams, 1.33-1.34, 1.193-1.195, 2.10 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

1.33. Therefore now the fourth element is incomprehensible, in the world of heaven, in comparison of the nature of the earth, of the water, and of the air; and the mind in man, in comparison of the body and the outward sense, and the speech, which is the interpreter of the mind; may it not be the case also, that for this reason the fourth year is described as holy and praiseworthy in the sacred scriptures? 1.34. For among created things, the heaven is holy in the world, in accordance with which body, the imperishable and indestructible natures revolve; and in man the mind is holy, being a sort of fragment of the Deity, and especially according to the statement of Moses, who says, "God breathed into his face the breath of life, and man became a living Soul. 1.193. When, however, he comes into an assembly of friends, he does not begin to speak before he has first accosted each individual among them, and addressed him by name, so that they prick up their ears, and are quiet and attentive, listening to the oracles thus delivered, so as never to forget them or let them escape their memory: since in another passage of scripture we read, "Be silent and Listen. 1.194. In this manner, too, Moses is called up to the bush. For, the scripture says, "When he saw that he was turning aside to see, God called him out of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses: and he said, What is it, Lord?" And Abraham also, on the occasion of offering up his beloved and only son as a burnt-offering, when he was beginning to sacrifice him, and when he had given proof of his piety, was forbidden to destroy the self-taught race, Isaac by name, from among men; 1.195. for at the beginning of his account of this transaction, Moses says that "God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham, Abraham; and he said, Behold, here am I. And he said unto him, Take now thy beloved son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and offer him up." And when he had brought the victim to the altar, then the angel of the Lord called him out of heaven, saying, "Abraham, Abraham," and he answered, "Behold, here am I. And he said, Lay not thy hand upon the child, and do nothing to Him. 2.10. Moses moreover represents two persons as leaders of these two companies. The leader of the noble and good company is the self-taught and self-instructed Isaac; for he records that he was weaned, not choosing to avail himself at all of tender, and milk-like, and childish, and infantine food, but only of such as was vigorous and perfect, inasmuch as he was formed by nature, from his very infancy, for acts of virtue, and was always in the prime and vigour of youth and energy. But the leader of the company, which yields and which is inclined to softer measures, is Joseph;
12. Philo of Alexandria, On The Special Laws, 3.1-3.6, 4.149-4.150 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

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. 4.149. There is also this commandment ordained which is of great common utility, that, "Thou shalt not move thy neighbours' landmarks which the former men have set Up."{35}{deuteronomy 19:14.} And this injunction is given, as it seems, not only with respect to inheritances, and to the boundaries of the land, in order to prohibit covetousness respecting them, but also as a guard to ancient customs; for customs are unwritten laws, being the doctrines of men of old, not engraved on pillars or written on paper which may be eaten by moths, but impressed in the souls of those living under the same constitution. 4.150. For the children ought to inherit from the father of their being the national customs in which they have been brought up, and in which they have lived from their cradle, and not to despise them merely because they are handed down without being written. For the man who obeys the written laws is not justly entitled to any praise, inasmuch as he is influenced by compulsion and the fear of punishment. But he who abides by the unwritten laws is worthy of praise, as exhibiting a spontaneous and unconstrained Virtue.{36}{yonge's translation includes a separate treatise title at this point: On the Creation of Magistrates. Accordingly, his next paragraph begins with roman numeral I (= XXIX in the Loeb
13. Philo of Alexandria, On The Virtues, 101-174, 194, 51-100 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

100. For, in this fiftieth year, all the ordices which are given relating to the seventh year are repeated, and some of greater magnitude are likewise added, for instance, a resumption of a man's own possessions which he may have yielded up to others through unexpected necessity; for the law does not permit any one permanently to retain possession of the property of others, but blockades and stops up the roads to covetousness for the sake of checking desire, that treacherous passion, that cause of all evils; and, therefore, it has not permitted that the owners should be for ever deprived of their original property, as that would be punishing them for their poverty, for which we ought not to be punished, but undoubtedly to be pitied.
14. Philo of Alexandria, Allegorical Interpretation, 3.203-3.208 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

15. Philo of Alexandria, That The Worse Attacks The Better, 139, 138 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

138. Having shown, therefore, as far as we could by the most unmistakeable testimony of Moses that, to rejoice is the peculiar property of the wise man, we will now also show that to hope also belongs to him alone; and here again we shall have no need of any other witness than Moses; for he tells us that the name of the son of Seth was Enos: and Enos, being interpreted, means hope. "He hoped first," says Moses, "to call upon the name of the Lord his God." Speaking wisely: for to a man inspired with the principles of truth what can be more akin and appropriate than a hope and expectation of the acquisition of good things from the one bounteous God? This, if one must speak the plain truth, is, properly speaking, the only real birth of men, as those who do not hope in God have no share in rational nature.
16. Philo of Alexandria, Plant., 118-135, 117 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

117. But in the fourth year," says the scripture, "all the fruit of the tree shall be sacred, being praised by the Lord." The prophetic books appear often to dignify the number four in many places of the exposition of the law, and most especially in the account of the creation of the universe;
17. New Testament, James, 2.23 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

2.23. and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him as righteousness;" and he was called the friend of God.


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
abraham, encomia on Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 405
abraham, faith of Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 405
abraham, praise of Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 405
abraham Smith and Stuckenbruck, Testing and Temptation in Second Temple Jewish and Early Christian Texts (2020) 104
age and youth Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 405
alexandria Smith and Stuckenbruck, Testing and Temptation in Second Temple Jewish and Early Christian Texts (2020) 104
benefaction Wilson, Philo of Alexandria: On Virtues: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2010) 234
breezes Wilson, Philo of Alexandria: On Virtues: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2010) 234
collocutions Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 229
covenant, with abrahams descendants Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 405
desires Smith and Stuckenbruck, Testing and Temptation in Second Temple Jewish and Early Christian Texts (2020) 104
dew Wilson, Philo of Alexandria: On Virtues: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2010) 234
egypt Smith and Stuckenbruck, Testing and Temptation in Second Temple Jewish and Early Christian Texts (2020) 104; Wilson, Philo of Alexandria: On Virtues: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2010) 234
encomia, on abraham Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 405
enos, as self-taught Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 162
enos, etymology of Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 162
enos, unwritten law and Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 162
enos Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 162
etymologies, of enos Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 162
faith, and faithfulness Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 405
farming Wilson, Philo of Alexandria: On Virtues: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2010) 234
four, the number Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 162
friendship Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 405
god, oath of Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 405
god, primal Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 405
gomorrah, rewards of Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 405
hope, as gatekeeper of virtues Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 162
humanity Wilson, Philo of Alexandria: On Virtues: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2010) 234
idolatry Smith and Stuckenbruck, Testing and Temptation in Second Temple Jewish and Early Christian Texts (2020) 104
isaac, as self-taught Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 162
israel, israelites Smith and Stuckenbruck, Testing and Temptation in Second Temple Jewish and Early Christian Texts (2020) 104
jacob Sly, Philo's Perception of Women (1990) 123
laws, unwritten, rabbinic oral law and Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 162
laws, unwritten Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 162
learning and teaching, abraham associated with Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 162
lot Smith and Stuckenbruck, Testing and Temptation in Second Temple Jewish and Early Christian Texts (2020) 104
midianite women Sly, Philo's Perception of Women (1990) 123
midwives Sly, Philo's Perception of Women (1990) 123
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 Smith and Stuckenbruck, Testing and Temptation in Second Temple Jewish and Early Christian Texts (2020) 104
mourning customs, the multitude Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 229
nature, god as Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 162
nature, gods commands evident in Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 162
oath of god Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 405
piety, as a virtue Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 162
plants Wilson, Philo of Alexandria: On Virtues: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2010) 234
poor, the Wilson, Philo of Alexandria: On Virtues: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2010) 234
prayer (see also lords prayer) Smith and Stuckenbruck, Testing and Temptation in Second Temple Jewish and Early Christian Texts (2020) 104
primary position Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 405
providence Wilson, Philo of Alexandria: On Virtues: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2010) 234
red sea Smith and Stuckenbruck, Testing and Temptation in Second Temple Jewish and Early Christian Texts (2020) 104
rewards of abraham, faith as Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 405
rewards of abraham Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 405
seasons Wilson, Philo of Alexandria: On Virtues: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2010) 234
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
the sage, as primary Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 405
tombs of desire Smith and Stuckenbruck, Testing and Temptation in Second Temple Jewish and Early Christian Texts (2020) 104
trees Wilson, Philo of Alexandria: On Virtues: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2010) 234
triads, first Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 162
wilderness, migration to Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 229
wilderness passim, place' Smith and Stuckenbruck, Testing and Temptation in Second Temple Jewish and Early Christian Texts (2020) 104
womanhood Sly, Philo's Perception of Women (1990) 123
εὐσέβεια Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 162
νεώτερος Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 405
νόμος Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 162
πίστις Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 405
φύσις Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 162
ἄγραφος Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 162
ἄγραφος νόμος Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 162
ἄγραφος φύσις Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 162