Home About Network of subjects Linked subjects heatmap Book indices included Search by subject Search by reference Browse subjects Browse texts

Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



9228
Philo Of Alexandria, On The Migration Of Abraham, 46-50


nanBut first of all, God wishes to make it understood by you that there is one place for infants and another for full-grown men, the one being called practice and the other wisdom; and secondly, that the most beautiful of all the things in nature are rather such as can be seen as can be acquired; for how can it be possible to acquire possession of those things which are endowed in the same degree with the diviner attributes? But it is not impossible to see them, though it may not be given to all men to do so, for this may be permitted only to the purest and most acute-sighted race, to whom the father of the universe, when he displays his own works, is giving the greatest of all gifts.


nanFor what life can be better than that which is devoted to speculation, or what can be more closely connected with rational existence; for which reason it is that though the voices of mortal beings are judged of by the faculty of hearing, nevertheless the scriptures present to us the words of God, to be actually visible to us like light; for in them it is said that, "All people saw the voice of God; they do not say, "heard it," since what took place was not a beating of the air by means of the organs of the mouth and tongue, but a most exceedingly brilliant ray of virtue, not different in any respect from the source of reason, which also in another passage is spoken of in the following manner, "Ye have seen that I spake unto you from out of Heaven," not "Ye have heard," for the same reason.


nanBut there are passages where he distinguishes between what is heard and what is seen, and between the sense of seeing and that of hearing, as where he says, "Ye have heard the sound of the words, but ye saw no similitude, only ye heard a Voice;" speaking here with excessive precision; for the discourse which was divided into nouns and verbs, and in short into all the different parts of speech, he has very appropriately spoken of as something to be heard; for in fact that is examined by the sense of hearing; but that which has nothing to do with either with nouns or verbs, but is the voice of God, and seen by the eye of the soul, he very properly represents as visible;


nanand having previously reminded them, "Ye saw no similitude," he proceeds to say, " Only ye heard a voice, which ye all saw;" for this must be what is understood as implied in those words. So that the words of God have for their tribunal and judge the sense of sight, which is situated in the soul; but those which are subdivided into nouns, and verbs, and other parts of speech, have for their judge the sense of hearing.


nanBut as the writer being new in all kinds of knowledge, has also introduced this novelty both in his accounts of domestic and of foreign matters, saying that the voice is a thing to be judged of by the sight, which in point of fact is almost the only thing in us which is not an object of sight, with the single exception of the mind; for the things which are the objects of the rest of the outward senses are, every one of them, visible to the sight, such as colours, tastes, smells, things that are hot or cold, things that are smooth or rough, things that are soft or hard, inasmuch as it is a body, if indeed it is a body at all, nor inasmuch as they are substantial bodies.


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

17 results
1. Hebrew Bible, Deuteronomy, 6.4 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

6.4. שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ יְהוָה אֶחָד׃ 6.4. HEAR, O ISRAEL: THE LORD OUR GOD, THE LORD IS ONE."
2. 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."
3. Hebrew Bible, Genesis, 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)

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׃ 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.’"
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, 11-17, 2-10 (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 Flight And Finding, 208 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

208. For thus, after a gentle travail, thou wilt bring forth a male child, by name Ishmael, corrected by divine admonitions; for Ishmael, being interpreted, means "the hearing of God;" and hearing is considered as entitled to only the second prize after seeing; but seeing is the inheritance of the legitimate and first-born son, Israel; for the name Israel, being interpreted, means "seeing God." For it is possible for a man to hear false statements as though they were true, because hearing is a deceitful thing; but seeing is a sense which cannot be deceived, by which a man perceives existing things as they really are.
9. 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, 175-179, 18, 180-189, 19, 190-199, 2, 20, 200-209, 21, 210-211, 216-219, 22, 220-225, 23-29, 3, 30-39, 4, 40-45, 47-49, 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.
10. Philo of Alexandria, On The Creation of The World, 54, 53 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

53. The aforesaid number therefore being accounted worthy of such pre-eminence in nature, the Creator of necessity adorned the heaven by the number four, namely by that most beautiful and most godlike ornament the lightgiving stars. And knowing that of all existing things light is the most excellent, he made it the instrument of the best of all the senses, sight. For what the mind is in the soul, that the eye is in the body. For each of them sees, the one beholding those existing things which are perceptible only to the intellect, and the other those which are perceptible to the external senses. But the mind is in need of knowledge in order to distinguish incorporeal things, and the eyes have need of light in order to be able to perceive bodies, and light is also the cause of many other good things to men, and particularly of the greatest, namely philosophy.
11. Philo of Alexandria, On Sobriety, 17, 55-56, 8-9, 16 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

12. Philo of Alexandria, On Dreams, 1.193-1.195 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

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.
13. Philo of Alexandria, On The Special Laws, 1.29, 1.337-1.339, 3.1-3.6 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

1.29. Not but what they have also joined to themselves the arts of statuary and painting as copartners in their system of deceit, in order that, bringing over the spectators by well-fabricated appearances of colours, and forms, and distinctive qualities, and having won over by their allurements those principal outward senses of sight and hearing, the one by the exquisite beauty of lifeless forms, and the other by a poetical harmony of numbers--they may ravish the unstable soul and render it feeble, and deprive it of any settled foundation. 1.337. But the champions of the outward senses extol their praises, also, with great energy and magnificence; enumerating in their discourse all the wants which are supplied by their means, and they say that two of them are the causes of living; smell and taste; and two of living well, seeing and hearing; 1.338. therefore, by means of taste the nourishment derived from food is conveyed into the system, and by means of the nostrils the air on which every living thing depends; for this also is a continual food, which nourishes and preserves men, not only while they are awake, but also while they are asleep. And the proof of this is clear; for if the passage of the breath be obstructed for even the shortest period, to such a degree as wholly to cut off the air which is intended by nature to be conveyed into the system from without, inevitable death will of necessity ensue. 1.339. Again, of the more philosophical of the outward senses by means of which the living well is produced, the power of sight beholds the light which is the most beautiful of all essences, and by means of the light it beholds all other things, the sun, the moon, the stars, the heaven, the earth, the sea, the innumerable varieties of plants and animals, and in short all bodies, and shapes, and odours, and magnitudes whatever, the sight of which has given birth to excessive wisdom, and has begotten a great desire for knowledge. 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.
14. Philo of Alexandria, On The Virtues, 212-219, 211 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

211. These men therefore are both of that class which is open to reproach; men whom, as they showed themselves wicked men, though descended from virtuous fathers, the virtues of their fathers failed to profit in the least, while the vices which existed in their souls did them infinite mischief; and I can also speak of others, who, on the contrary, ranged themselves in a better class, after having been born in a worse, since their forefathers were guilty, while their own life was to be admired and was full of praise and virtue.
15. Philo of Alexandria, On The Life of Moses, 2.4, 2.211 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

2.4. It becomes a king to command what ought to be done, and to forbid what ought not to be done; but the commanding what ought to be done, and the prohibition of what ought not to be done, belongs especially to the law, so that the king is at once a living law, and the law is a just king. 2.211. For this reason the all-great Moses thought fit that all who were enrolled in his sacred polity should follow the laws of nature and meet in a solemn assembly, passing the time in cheerful joy and relaxation, abstaining from all work, and from all arts which have a tendency to the production of anything; and from all business which is connected with the seeking of the means of living, and that they should keep a complete truce, abstaining from all laborious and fatiguing thought and care, and devoting their leisure, not as some persons scoffingly assert, to sports, or exhibitions of actors and dancers, for the sake of which those who run madly after theatrical amusements suffer disasters and even encounter miserable deaths, and for the sake of these the most domit and influential of the outward senses, sight and hearing, make the soul, which should be the heavenly nature, the slave of these senses.
16. Philo of Alexandria, Allegorical Interpretation, 1.65, 3.203-3.208 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

1.65. Let us examine the expressions of the writer: "A river," says he, "goes forth out of Eden, to water the Paradise." This river is generic goodness; and this issues forth out of the Eden of the wisdom of God, and that is the word of God. For it is according to the word of God, that generic virtue was created. And generic virtue waters the Paradise: that is to say, it waters the particular virtues. But it does not derive its beginnings from any principle of locality, but from a principle of preeminence. For each of the virtues is really and truly a ruler and a queen. And the expression, "is separated," is equivalent to "is marked off by fixed boundaries;" since wisdom appoints them settled limits with reference to what is to be done. Courage with respect to what is to be endured; temperance with reference to what is to be chosen; and justice in respect of what is to be distributed. XX.
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
child, childhood Albrecht, The Divine Father: Religious and Philosophical Concepts of Divine Parenthood in Antiquity (2014) 237
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
egypt Smith and Stuckenbruck, Testing and Temptation in Second Temple Jewish and Early Christian Texts (2020) 104
encomia, on abraham Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 405
encomia, on eyes and sight Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 294
eyes, encomium on Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 294
eyes, light and Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 294
faith, and faithfulness Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 405
father, fatherhood Albrecht, The Divine Father: Religious and Philosophical Concepts of Divine Parenthood in Antiquity (2014) 165, 237
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
hearing, as feminine Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 294
hearing, sight distinguished from Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 294
hearing, the shema and Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 294
hearing Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 294
idolatry Smith and Stuckenbruck, Testing and Temptation in Second Temple Jewish and Early Christian Texts (2020) 104
isaac Martens, One God, One Law: Philo of Alexandria on the Mosaic and Greco-Roman Law (2003) 94
ishmael Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 294
israel, israelites Smith and Stuckenbruck, Testing and Temptation in Second Temple Jewish and Early Christian Texts (2020) 104
israel Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 294
judaism' Albrecht, The Divine Father: Religious and Philosophical Concepts of Divine Parenthood in Antiquity (2014) 237
king/kingship, and moses Martens, One God, One Law: Philo of Alexandria on the Mosaic and Greco-Roman Law (2003) 94
light, sight and Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 294
living law ideal, in philo Martens, One God, One Law: Philo of Alexandria on the Mosaic and Greco-Roman Law (2003) 94
lot Smith and Stuckenbruck, Testing and Temptation in Second Temple Jewish and Early Christian Texts (2020) 104
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
mosaic law, for ordinary people Martens, One God, One Law: Philo of Alexandria on the Mosaic and Greco-Roman Law (2003) 94
moses Martens, One God, One Law: Philo of Alexandria on the Mosaic and Greco-Roman Law (2003) 94; 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
oath of god Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 405
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
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
segor (tsoʿar), sight symbolized by Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 294
segor symbolizing Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 294
sennaar, as passive Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 294
sennaar, hierarchy of Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 294
shekhinah, the shema Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 294
sight, as active Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 294
sight, as queen of the senses Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 294
sight, encomium on Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 294
sight, hearing distinguished from Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 294
sight Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 294
sodom, allegorical interpretation of Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 294
sodom, sodomite cities, destruction of Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 294
sodom, the five senses and Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 294
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
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
νεώτερος Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 405
πίστις Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 405