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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database

Philo Of Alexandria, On The Migration Of Abraham, 18

nanAnd what is especially worthy of being mentioned is this, that he believed that God would visit the race which was capable of Seeing," and would not give it up for ever and ever to ignorance, that blind mistress, but would distinguish between the immortal and the mortal parts of the soul, and leave in Egypt those parts which were conversant about the pleasures of the body and the other immoderate indulgences of the passions; but with respect to those parts which are imperishable, would make a covenant that they should be conducted onwards with those persons who were going up to the cities of virtue and would further ratify this covenant with an oath.

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16 results
1. Hebrew Bible, Exodus, 7.27, 16.3, 16.8 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

7.27. וְאִם־מָאֵן אַתָּה לְשַׁלֵּחַ הִנֵּה אָנֹכִי נֹגֵף אֶת־כָּל־גְּבוּלְךָ בַּצְפַרְדְּעִים׃ 16.3. וַיִּשְׁבְּתוּ הָעָם בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִעִי׃ 16.3. וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֲלֵהֶם בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל מִי־יִתֵּן מוּתֵנוּ בְיַד־יְהוָה בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם בְּשִׁבְתֵּנוּ עַל־סִיר הַבָּשָׂר בְּאָכְלֵנוּ לֶחֶם לָשֹׂבַע כִּי־הוֹצֵאתֶם אֹתָנוּ אֶל־הַמִּדְבָּר הַזֶּה לְהָמִית אֶת־כָּל־הַקָּהָל הַזֶּה בָּרָעָב׃ 16.8. וַיֹּאמֶר מֹשֶׁה בְּתֵת יְהוָה לָכֶם בָּעֶרֶב בָּשָׂר לֶאֱכֹל וְלֶחֶם בַּבֹּקֶר לִשְׂבֹּעַ בִּשְׁמֹעַ יְהוָה אֶת־תְּלֻנֹּתֵיכֶם אֲשֶׁר־אַתֶּם מַלִּינִם עָלָיו וְנַחְנוּ מָה לֹא־עָלֵינוּ תְלֻנֹּתֵיכֶם כִּי עַל־יְהוָה׃ 7.27. And if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all thy borders with frogs." 16.3. and the children of Israel said unto them: ‘Would that we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh-pots, when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.’" 16.8. And Moses said: ‘This shall be, when the LORD shall give you in the evening flesh to eat, and in the morning bread to the full; for that the LORD heareth your murmurings which ye murmur against Him; and what are we? your murmurings are not against us, but against the LORD.’"
2. Hebrew Bible, Genesis, 12.1-12.3, 12.5-12.9 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

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׃ 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."
3. Hebrew Bible, Psalms, 105.15 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

105.15. אַל־תִּגְּעוּ בִמְשִׁיחָי וְלִנְבִיאַי אַל־תָּרֵעוּ׃ 105.15. 'Touch not Mine anointed ones, And do My prophets no harm.'"
4. Hebrew Bible, Isaiah, 1.14 (8th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

1.14. חָדְשֵׁיכֶם וּמוֹעֲדֵיכֶם שָׂנְאָה נַפְשִׁי הָיוּ עָלַי לָטֹרַח נִלְאֵיתִי נְשֹׂא׃ 1.14. Your new moons and your appointed seasons My soul hateth; They are a burden unto Me; I am weary to bear them."
5. Septuagint, Wisdom of Solomon, 15.4-15.19, 16.4-16.14, 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. 16.18. 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, 11-17, 2-10 (1st cent. BCE - missingth cent. CE)

7. Philo of Alexandria, On Drunkenness, 150 (1st cent. BCE - missingth 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, 100-109, 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, 175-189, 19, 190-197, 2, 20, 201-202, 204, 208-209, 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 - missingth 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 The Special Laws, 3.1-3.6, 4.82 (1st cent. BCE - missingth 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. 4.82. for as those implacable and inexorable mistresses of the body, thirst and hunger, do very often strain it more, or at all events not less, than those unhappy persons are strained who are racked by the torture even to death, unless when they have become violent some one appeases them with meat and drink; in like manner, covetous desire, having first rendered the soul empty through its forgetfulness of what is present and its recollection of what is removed to a great distance, fills it with impetuosity and madness, and introduces into it masters worse than even its former tyrants, but having the same names with them, namely, hunger and thirst, not, however, now of those things which conduce to the enjoyment of the belly, but of money, and glory, and authority, and beauty, and of innumerable other things which appear to be objects of desire and contention in human life.
10. Philo of Alexandria, Who Is The Heir, 42 (1st cent. BCE - missingth cent. CE)

42. But what that salutation is which consists of a kiss, but not of sincere friendship for us, I willexplain without any reservation or concealment. It is, forsooth, that life which exists in union with the external senses, which is called Meshech, being completely secured and defended, which there is no one who does not love, which men in general look upon as their mistress, but which virtuous men consider their handmaid, not a foreign slave or one bought with a price, but born in the house, and in some sense, a fellow citizen with themselves. Well, one class of these men have learnt to kiss this, not to love it; but the other class have learnt to love it to excess, and to think it an object of desire above all things.
11. Artemidorus, Oneirocritica, 1.66 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

12. New Testament, Matthew, 10.6, 13.57, 15.24, 28.19 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

10.6. Rather, go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 13.57. They were offended by him. But Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor, except in his own country, and in his own house. 15.24. But he answered, "I wasn't sent to anyone but the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 28.19. Go, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit
13. Seneca The Younger, Letters, 8.5, 18.9 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

14. Eusebius of Caesarea, Ecclesiastical History, 3.5.2 (3rd cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

15. Origen, Commentary On Matthew, 10.18, 11.17 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

10.18. But Jesus said to them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country. Matthew 13:57 We must inquire whether the expression has the same force when applied universally to every prophet (as if each one of the prophets was dishonoured in his own country only, but not as if every one who was dishonoured was dishonoured in his country); or, because of the expression being singular, these things were said about one. If, then, these words are spoken about one, these things which have been said suffice, if we refer that which is written to the Saviour. But if it is general, it is not historically true; for Elijah did not suffer dishonour in Tishbeth of Gilead, nor Elisha in Abelmeholah, nor Samuel in Ramathaim, nor Jeremiah in Anathoth. But, figuratively interpreted, it is absolutely true; for we must think of Jud a as their country, and that famous Israel as their kindred, and perhaps of the body as the house. For all suffered dishonour in Jud a from the Israel which is according to the flesh, while they were yet in the body, as it is written in the Acts of the Apostles, as having been spoken in censure to the people, Which of the prophets did not your fathers persecute, who showed before of the coming of the Righteous one? Acts 7:52 And by Paul in the First Epistle to the Thessalonians like things are said: For you brethren became imitators of the churches of God which are in Jud a in Christ Jesus, for you also suffered the same things of your own countrymen even as they did of the Jews, who both killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove out us, and please not God, and are contrary to all men. 1 Thessalonians 2:14-15 A prophet, then, is not without honour among the Gentiles; for either they do not know him at all, or, having learned and received him as a prophet, they honour him. And such are those who are of the Church. Prophets suffer dishonour, first, when they are persecuted, according to historical fact, by the people, and, secondly, when their prophecy is not believed by the people. For if they had believed Moses and the prophets they would have believed Christ, who showed that when men believed Moses and the prophets, belief in Christ logically followed, and that when men did not believe Christ they did not believe Moses. John 5:46 Moreover, as by the transgression of the law he who sins is said to dishonour God, so by not believing in that which is prophesied the prophet is dishonoured by the man who disbelieves the prophecies. And so far as the literal truth is concerned, it is useful to recount what things Jeremiah suffered among the people in relation to which he said, And I said, I will not speak, nor will I call upon the name of the Lord. Jeremiah 20:9 And again, elsewhere, I was continually being mocked. Jeremiah 20:7 And how great sufferings he endured from the then king of Israel are written in his prophecy. And it is also written that some of the people often came to stone Moses to death; for his fatherland was not the stones of any place, but the people who followed him, among whom also he was dishonoured. And Isaiah is reported to have been sawn asunder by the people; and if any one does not accept the statement because of its being found in the Apocryphal Isaiah, let him believe what is written thus in the Epistle to the Hebrews, They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, they were tempted; Hebrews 11:37 for the expression, They were sawn asunder, refers to Isaiah, just as the words, They were slain with the sword, refer to Zacharias, who was slain between the sanctuary and the altar, as the Saviour taught, bearing testimony, as I think, to a Scripture, though not extant in the common and widely circulated books, but perhaps in apocryphal books. And they, too, were dishonoured in their own country among the Jews who went about in sheep-skins, in goat-skins, being destitute, afflicted, and so on; Hebrews 11:37 For all that will to live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. 2 Timothy 3:12 And probably because Paul knew this, That a prophet has no honour in his own country, though he preached the Word in many places he did not preach it in Tarsus. And the Apostles on this account left Israel and did that which had been enjoined on them by the Saviour, Make disciples of all the nations, Matthew 28:19 and, You shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all Jud a and Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. Acts 1:8 For they did that which had been commanded them in Jud a and Jerusalem; but, since a prophet has no honour in his own country, when the Jews did not receive the Word, they went away to the Gentiles. Consider, too, if, because of the fact that the saying, I will pour forth of My Spirit upon all flesh, and they shall prophesy, Joel 2:28 has been fulfilled in the churches from the Gentiles, you can say that those formerly of the world and who by believing became no longer of the world, having received the Holy Spirit in their own country - that is, the world - and prophesying, have not honour, but are dishonoured. Wherefore blessed are they who suffer the same things as the prophets, according to what was said by the Saviour, For in the same manner did their fathers unto the prophets. Luke 6:23 Now if any one who attends carefully to these things be hated and attacked, because of his living with rigorous austerity, and his reproof of sinners, as a man who is persecuted and reproached for the sake of righteousness, he will not only not be grieved, but will rejoice and be exceeding glad, being assured that, because of these things, he has great reward in heaven from Him who likened him to the prophets on the ground of his having suffered the same things. Therefore, he who zealously imitates the prophetic life, and attains to the spirit which was in them, must be dishonoured in the world, and in the eyes of sinners, to whom the life of the righteous man is a burden. 11.17. Now bring together from the Gospels those who call Him Son of David, as she, and the blind men in Jericho; Matthew 20:30 and who call Him Son of God, and that without the addition truly like the demoniacs who say, What have we to do with You, Thou Son of God; Matthew 8:29 and who call Him so with the addition truly, like those in the boat who worshipped Him saying, Truly You are the Son of God. Matthew 14:33 For the bringing together of these passages will, I think, be useful to you with a view to seeing the difference of those who come (to Jesus); some indeed come as to Him who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh; Romans 1:3 but others come to Him who was declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness; Romans 1:4 and of these some with the truly, and some without it. Further, observe, that the Canaanitish woman besought Him not about a son, whom she does not seem to have brought forth at all, but about a daughter who was terribly vexed with a demon; but another mother receives back alive her son who was being carried forth dead. Luke 7:12 And again the ruler of the synagogue makes supplication for a daughter twelve years old, as being dead, Matthew 9:18 but the nobleman about a son as being still sick, and at the point of death. John 4:46 The daughter, accordingly, who was distressed by a demon, and the dead son sprang from two mothers; and the dead daughter, and the son who was sick unto death, sprang from two fathers, of whom the one was a ruler of the synagogue, and the other was a nobleman. And I am persuaded these things contain reasons concerning the diverse kinds of souls which Jesus vivifies and heals. And all the cures that He works among the people, especially those recorded by the Evangelists, took place at that time, that those who would not otherwise have believed unless they saw signs and wonders might believe; John 4:48 for the things aforetime were symbols of the things that are ever being accomplished by the power of Jesus; for there is no time when each of the things which are written is not done by the power of Jesus according to the desert of each. The Canaanitish woman, therefore, because of her race was not worthy even to receive an answer from Jesus, who acknowledged that He had not been sent by the Father for any other thing than to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, Matthew 15:24 - a lost race of souls possessed of clear vision; but, because of her resolution and of having worshipped Jesus as Son of God, she obtains an answer, which reproaches her with baseness of birth and exhibits the measure of her worthiness, namely, that she was worthy of crumbs as the little dogs, but not of the loaves. But when she with intensified resolution, accepting the saying of Jesus, puts forth the claim to obtain crumbs even as a little dog, and acknowledges that the masters are of a nobler race, then she gets a second answer, which bears testimony to her faith as great, and a promise that it shall be done unto her as she wills. Matthew 15:28 And corresponding, I think, to the Jerusalem above, which is free, the mother Galatians 4:26 of Paul and those like to him, must we conceive of the Canaanitish woman, the mother of her who was terribly distressed with a demon, who was the symbol of the mother of such a soul. And consider whether it is not according to sound reason that there are also many fathers and many mothers corresponding to the fathers of Abraham to whom the patriarch went away, Genesis 15:15 and to Jerusalem the mother, as Paul says, concerning himself and those like to him. And it is probable that she of whom the Canaanitish woman was a symbol came out of the borders of Tyre and Sidon, of which the places on earth were types, and came to the Saviour and besought Him and even now beseeches Him saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, Thou Son of David, my daughter is terribly vexed with a demon. Matthew 15:22 Then also to those without and to the disciples when necessary He answers and says, I was not sent; Matthew 15:24 teaching us that there are some lost souls pre-eminently intellectual and clear of vision, figuratively called sheep of the house of Israel; which things, I think, the simpler who are of opinion that they are spoken in regard to the Israel which is after the flesh will of necessity admit, namely, that our Saviour was sent by the Father to no others than to those lost Jews. But we, who can truthfully boast that if we have once known Christ after the flesh, but now no longer do we know Him so, 2 Corinthians 5:16 are assured that it is pre-eminently the work of the Word to save the more intelligent, for these are more akin to Him than those who are duller. But since the lost sheep of the house of Israel, with the exception of the remt according to the election of grace, Romans 11:5 disbelieved the Word, on this account God chose the foolish things of the world, 1 Corinthians 1:27 namely, that which was not Israel, nor clear of vision, that He might put to shame the wise ones of Israel; and He called the things which are not, 1 Corinthians 1:28 handing over to them an intelligent nation who were able to admit the foolishness of the preaching, 1 Corinthians 1:21 and of His good pleasure saved those who believe in this, that He might refute the things which are, having perfected praise for Himself, out of the mouths of babes and sucklings, when they became hostile to truth. Now, the Canaanitish woman, having come, worshipped Jesus as God, saying, Lord, help me, but He answered and said, It is not possible to take the children's bread and cast it to the little dogs. Matthew 15:25-26 But some one might inquire also into the meaning of this saying, since - inasmuch as there was a measure of loaves such that both the children and the dogs of the household could not eat loaves, unless the dogs ate other loaves than those which were well made - it was not possible according to right reason for the well-made loaf of the children to be given as food to the little dogs. But no such thing appears in the case of the power of Jesus, for of this it was possible both for the children and those called little dogs to partake. Consider, then, whether perhaps with reference to the saying, It is not possible to take the bread of children, we ought to say that, He who emptied Himself and took upon Him the form of a servant, Philippians 2:7 brought a measure of power such as the world was capable of receiving, of which power also He was conscious that a certain quantity went forth from Him as is plain from the words, Some one did touch Me, for I perceived that power had gone forth from Me. Luke 8:46 From this measure of power, then, He dispensed, giving a larger portion to those who were pre-eminent and who were called sons, but a smaller portion to those who were not such, as to the little dogs. But though these things were so, nevertheless where there was great faith, to her, who because of her base birth in Canaanitish land was a little dog, He gave as to a child the bread of the children. And perhaps, also, of the words of Jesus there are some loaves which it is possible to give to the more rational, as to children only; and other words, as it were, crumbs from the great house and table of the wellborn and the masters, which may be used by some souls, like the dogs. And according to the law of Moses it is written about certain things, You shall cast them to the dogs, Exodus 22:31 and it was a matter of care to the Holy Spirit to give instruction about certain foods that they should be left to the dogs. Let others, then, who are strangers to the doctrine of the Church, assume that souls pass from the bodies of men into the bodies of dogs, according to their varying degree of wickedness; but we, who do not find this at all in the divine Scripture, say that the more rational condition changes into one more irrational, undergoing this affection in consequence of great slothfulness and negligence. But, also, in the same way, a will which was more irrational, because of its neglect of reason, sometimes turns and becomes rational, so that that which at one time was a dog, loving to eat of the crumbs that fell from the table of its masters, comes into the condition of a son. For virtue contributes greatly to the making of one a son of God, but wickedness, and mad fury in wanton discourses and shamelessness, contribute to the giving of a man the name of dog according to the word of the Scripture. 2 Samuel 16:9 And the like you will also understand in the case of the other names which are applied to animals without reason. Only, he who is reproached as a dog and yet is not indigt at being called unworthy of the bread of children and with all forbearance repeats the saying of that Canaanitish woman, Yea, Lord, for even the little dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' Matthew 15:27 table, will obtain the very gentle answer of Jesus saying to him, Great is your faith,- when he has received so great faith- and saying, Be it done unto you even as you will, Matthew 15:28 so that he himself may be healed, and if he has produced any fruit which stands in need of healing, that this, too, may be cured.
16. Porphyry, On Abstinence, 4.6-4.8 (3rd cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

4.6. 6.Chaeremon the Stoic, therefore, in his narration of the Egyptian priests, who, he says, were considered by the Egyptians as philosophers, informs us, that they chose temples, as the places in which they might philosophize. For to dwell with the statues of the Gods is a thing allied to the whole desire, by which the soul tends to the contemplation of their divinities. And from the divine veneration indeed, which was paid to them through dwelling in temples, they obtained security, all men honouring these philosophers, as if they were certain sacred animals. They also led a solitary life, as they only mingled with other men in solemn sacrifices and festivals. But at other times the priests were almost inaccessible to any one who wished to converse with them. For it was requisite that he who approached to them should be first purified, and abstain from many things; and this is as it were a common sacred law respecting the Egyptian priests. But these [philosophic priests], |116 having relinquished every other employment, and human labours,7 gave up the whole of their life to the contemplation and worship of divine natures and to divine inspiration; through the latter, indeed, procuring for themselves, honour, security, and piety; but through contemplation, science; and through both, a certain occult exercise of manners, worthy of antiquity8. For to be always conversant with divine knowledge and inspiration, removes those who are so from all avarice, suppresses the passions, and excites to an intellectual life. But they were studious of frugality in their diet and apparel, and also of continence and endurance, and in all things were attentive to justice and equity. They likewise were rendered venerable, through rarely mingling with other men. For during the time of what are called purifications, they scarcely mingled with their nearest kindred, and those of their own order, nor were they to be seen by anyone, unless it was requisite for the necessary purposes of purification. For the sanctuary was inaccessible to those who were not purified, and they dwelt in holy places for the purpose of performing divine works; but at all other times they associated more freely with those who lived like themselves. They did not, however, associate with any one who was not a religious character. But they were always seen near to the Gods, or the statues of the Gods, the latter of which they were beheld either carrying, or preceding in a sacred procession, or disposing in an orderly manner, with modesty and gravity; each of which operations was not the effect of pride, but an indication of some physical reason. Their venerable gravity also was apparent from their manners. For their walking was orderly, and their aspect sedate; and they were so studious of preserving this gravity of countece, that they did not even wink, when at any time they were unwilling to do so; and they seldom laughed, and when they did, their laughter proceeded no farther than to a smile. But they always kept their hands within their garments. Each likewise bore about him a symbol indicative of the order which he was allotted in sacred concerns; for there were many orders of priests. Their diet also was slender and simple. For, with respect to wine, some of them did not at all drink it, but others drank very little of it, on account of its being injurious to the |117 nerves, oppressive to the head, an impediment to invention, and an incentive to venereal desires. In many other things also they conducted themselves with caution; neither using bread at all in purifications, and at those times in which they were not employed in purifying themselves, they were accustomed to eat bread with hyssop, cut into small pieces. For it is said, that hyssop very much purifies the power of bread. But they, for the most part, abstained from oil, the greater number of them entirely; and if at any time they used it with pot-herbs, they took very little of it, and only as much as was sufficient to mitigate the taste of the herbs. SPAN 4.7. 7.It was not lawful for them therefore to meddle with the esculent and potable substances, which were produced out of Egypt, and this contributed much to the exclusion of luxury from these priests. But they abstained from all the fish that was caught in Egypt, and from such quadrupeds as had solid, or many-fissured hoofs, and from such as were not horned; and likewise from all such birds as were carnivorous. Many of them, however, entirely abstained from all animals; and in purifications this abstinence was adopted by all of them, for then they did not even eat an egg. Moreover, they also rejected other things, without being calumniated for so doing. Thus, for instance, of oxen, they rejected the females, and also such of the males as were twins, or were speckled, or of a different colour, or alternately varied in their form, or which were now tamed, as having been already consecrated to labours, and resembled animals that are honoured, or which were the images of any thing [that is divine], or those that had but one eye, or those that verged to a similitude of the human form. There are also innumerable other observations pertaining to the art of those who are called mosxofragistai, or who stamp calves with a seal, and of which books have been composed. But these observations are still more curious respecting birds; as, for instance, that a turtle should not be eaten; for it is said that a hawk frequently dismisses this bird after he has seized it, and preserves its life, as a reward for having had connexion with it. The Egyptian priests, therefore, that they might not ignorantly meddle with a turtle of this kind, avoided the whole species of those birds. And these indeed were certain common religious ceremonies; but there were different ceremonies, which varied according to the class of the priests that used them, and were adapted to the several divinities. But chastity and purifications were common to all the priests. When also the time arrived in which they were to perform something pertaining to the sacred rites of religion, they spent some days in preparatory ceremonies, some indeed forty-two, but others a greater, and |118 others a less number of days; yet never less than seven days; and during this time they abstained from all animals, and likewise from all pot-herbs and leguminous substances, and, above all, from a venereal connexion with women; for they never at any time had connexion with males. They likewise washed themselves with cold water thrice every day; viz. when they rose from their bed, before dinner, and when they betook themselves to sleep. But if they happened to be polluted in their sleep by the emission of the seed, they immediately purified their body in a bath. They also used cold bathing at other times, but not so frequently as on the above occasion. Their bed was woven from the branches of the palm tree, which they call bais; and their bolster was a smooth semi-cylindric piece of wood. But they exercised themselves in the endurance of hunger and thirst, and were accustomed to paucity of food through the whole of their life. SPAN 4.8. 8.This also is a testimony of their continence, that, though they neither exercised themselves in walking or riding, yet they lived free from disease, and were sufficiently strong for the endurance of modern labours. They bore therefore many burdens in the performance of sacred operations, and accomplished many ministrant works, which required more than common strength. But they divided the night into the observation of the celestial bodies, and sometimes devoted a part of it to offices of purification; and they distributed the day into the worship of the Gods, according to which they celebrated them with hymns thrice or four times, viz. in the morning and evening, when the sun is at his meridian altitude, and when he is declining to the west. The rest of their time they devoted to arithmetical and geometrical speculations, always labouring to effect something, and to make some new discovery, and, in short, continually exercising their skill. In winter nights also they were occupied in the same employments, being vigilantly engaged in literary pursuits, as paying no attention to the acquisition of externals, and being liberated from the servitude of that bad master, excessive expense. Hence their unwearied and incessant labour testifies their endurance, but their continence is manifested by their liberation from the desire of external good. To sail from Egypt likewise, [i.e. to quit Egypt,] was considered by them to be one of the most unholy things, in consequence of their being careful to avoid foreign luxury and pursuits; for this appeared to them to be alone lawful to those who were compelled to do so by regal necessities. Indeed, they were very anxious to continue in the observance of the institutes of their country, and those who were found to have violated them, though but in a small degree were expelled [from the college of the priests]. The |119 true method of philosophizing, likewise, was preserved by the prophets, by the hierostolistae 9, and the sacred scribes, and also by the horologi, or calculators of nativities. But the rest of the priests, and of the pastophori 10, curators of temples, and ministers of the Gods, were similarly studious of purity, yet not so accurately, and with such great continence, as the priests of whom we have been speaking. And such are the particulars which are narrated of the Egyptians, by a man who was a lover of truth, and an accurate writer, and who among the Stoics strenuously and solidly philosophized. SPAN

Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
aaron Taylor and Hay (2020), Philo of Alexandria: On the Contemplative Life: Introduction, Translation and Commentary, 214
abraham Smith and Stuckenbruck (2020), Testing and Temptation in Second Temple Jewish and Early Christian Texts, 104
alexandria Smith and Stuckenbruck (2020), Testing and Temptation in Second Temple Jewish and Early Christian Texts, 104
allegorise,allegorisation Tomson (2019), Studies on Jews and Christians in the First and Second Centuries. 280
apostolate,(com)mission Tomson (2019), Studies on Jews and Christians in the First and Second Centuries. 280
artemidorus daldianus Taylor and Hay (2020), Philo of Alexandria: On the Contemplative Life: Introduction, Translation and Commentary, 214
chaeremon the stoic,on the egyptian priests Taylor and Hay (2020), Philo of Alexandria: On the Contemplative Life: Introduction, Translation and Commentary, 214
collocutions Birnbaum and Dillon (2020), Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary, 229
desires Smith and Stuckenbruck (2020), Testing and Temptation in Second Temple Jewish and Early Christian Texts, 104
editing (process) Tomson (2019), Studies on Jews and Christians in the First and Second Centuries. 280
egypt Smith and Stuckenbruck (2020), Testing and Temptation in Second Temple Jewish and Early Christian Texts, 104
gentile christians / gentile churches Tomson (2019), Studies on Jews and Christians in the First and Second Centuries. 280
idolatry Smith and Stuckenbruck (2020), Testing and Temptation in Second Temple Jewish and Early Christian Texts, 104
israel,israelites Smith and Stuckenbruck (2020), Testing and Temptation in Second Temple Jewish and Early Christian Texts, 104
jewish-christian tradition,custom Tomson (2019), Studies on Jews and Christians in the First and Second Centuries. 280
john chrysostom Tomson (2019), Studies on Jews and Christians in the First and Second Centuries. 280
lot Smith and Stuckenbruck (2020), Testing and Temptation in Second Temple Jewish and Early Christian Texts, 104
migrations of abraham,literal and ethical interpretations of Birnbaum and Dillon (2020), Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary, 229
migrations of abraham,second Birnbaum and Dillon (2020), Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary, 229
migrations of abraham Birnbaum and Dillon (2020), Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary, 229
moses Smith and Stuckenbruck (2020), Testing and Temptation in Second Temple Jewish and Early Christian Texts, 104
mourning customs,the multitude Birnbaum and Dillon (2020), Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary, 229
origen Tomson (2019), Studies on Jews and Christians in the First and Second Centuries. 280
philo Tomson (2019), Studies on Jews and Christians in the First and Second Centuries. 280
prayer (see also lords prayer) Smith and Stuckenbruck (2020), Testing and Temptation in Second Temple Jewish and Early Christian Texts, 104
red sea Smith and Stuckenbruck (2020), Testing and Temptation in Second Temple Jewish and Early Christian Texts, 104
solitude Birnbaum and Dillon (2020), Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary, 229
tertullian' Tomson (2019), Studies on Jews and Christians in the First and Second Centuries. 280
the cosmos,the country,good men withdrawing to Birnbaum and Dillon (2020), Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary, 229
tombs of desire Smith and Stuckenbruck (2020), Testing and Temptation in Second Temple Jewish and Early Christian Texts, 104
wilderness,migration to Birnbaum and Dillon (2020), Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary, 229
wilderness passim,place Smith and Stuckenbruck (2020), Testing and Temptation in Second Temple Jewish and Early Christian Texts, 104