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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



9239
Philo Of Alexandria, On The Special Laws, 1.6-1.8


nanThirdly, there is the resemblance of the part that is circumcised to the heart; for both parts are prepared for the sake of generation; for the breath contained within the heart is generative of thoughts, and the generative organ itself is productive of living beings. Therefore, the men of old thought it right to make the evident and visible organ, by which the objects of the outward senses are generated, resemble that invisible and superior part, by means of which ideas are formed.


nanThe fourth, and most important, is that which relates to the provision thus made for prolificness; for it is said that the seminal fluid proceeds in its path easily, neither being at all scattered, nor flowing on its passage into what may be called the bags of the prepuce. On which account those nations which practise circumcision are the most prolific and the most populous.II.


nanThese considerations have come to our ears, having been discussed of old among men of divine spirit and wisdom, who have interpreted the writings of Moses in no superficial or careless manner. But, besides what has been already said, I also look upon circumcision to be a symbol of two things of the most indispensable importance.


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

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1. Philo of Alexandria, On The Special Laws, 1.2-1.3, 1.7-1.9, 2.150, 2.188-2.192 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

1.2. The ordice of circumcision of the parts of generation is ridiculed, though it is an act which is practised to no slight degree among other nations also, and most especially by the Egyptians, who appear to me to be the most populous of all nations, and the most abounding in all kinds of wisdom. 1.3. In consequence of which it would be most fitting for men to discard childish ridicule, and to investigate the real causes of the ordice with more prudence and dignity, considering the reasons why the custom has prevailed, and not being precipitate, so as without examination to condemn the folly of mighty nations, recollecting that it is not probable that so many myriads should be circumcised in every generation, mutilating the bodies of themselves and of their nearest relations, in a manner which is accompanied with severe pain, without adequate cause; but that there are many reasons which might encourage men to persevere and continue a custom which has been introduced by previous generations, and that these are from reasons of the greatest weight and importance. 1.7. The fourth, and most important, is that which relates to the provision thus made for prolificness; for it is said that the seminal fluid proceeds in its path easily, neither being at all scattered, nor flowing on its passage into what may be called the bags of the prepuce. On which account those nations which practise circumcision are the most prolific and the most populous.II. 1.8. These considerations have come to our ears, having been discussed of old among men of divine spirit and wisdom, who have interpreted the writings of Moses in no superficial or careless manner. But, besides what has been already said, I also look upon circumcision to be a symbol of two things of the most indispensable importance. 1.9. First of all, it is a symbol of the excision of the pleasures which delude the mind; for since, of all the delights which pleasure can afford, the association of man with woman is the most exquisite, it seemed good to the lawgivers to mutilate the organ which ministers to such connections; by which rite they signified figuratively the excision of all superfluous and excessive pleasure, not, indeed, of one only, but of all others whatever, though that one which is the most imperious of all. 2.150. And there is another festival combined with the feast of the passover, having a use of food different from the usual one, and not customary; the use, namely, of unleavened bread, from which it derives its name. And there are two accounts given of this festival, the one peculiar to the nation, on account of the migration already described; the other a common one, in accordance with conformity to nature and with the harmony of the whole world. And we must consider how accurate the hypothesis is. This month, being the seventh both in number and order, according to the revolutions of the sun, is the first in power; 2.188. Immediately after comes the festival of the sacred moon; in which it is the custom to play the trumpet in the temple at the same moment that the sacrifices are offered. From which practice this is called the true feast of trumpets, and there are two reasons for it, one peculiar to the nation, and the other common to all mankind. Peculiar to the nation, as being a commemoration of that most marvellous, wonderful, and miraculous event that took place when the holy oracles of the law were given; 2.189. for then the voice of a trumpet sounded from heaven, which it is natural to suppose reached to the very extremities of the universe, so that so wondrous a sound attracted all who were present, making them consider, as it is probable, that such mighty events were signs betokening some great things to be accomplished. 2.190. And what more great or more beneficial thing could come to men than laws affecting the whole race? And what was common to all mankind was this: the trumpet is the instrument of war, sounding both when commanding the charge and the retreat. ... There is also another kind of war, ordained of God, when nature is at variance with itself, its different parts attacking one another. 2.191. And by both these kinds of war the things on earth are injured. They are injured by the enemies, by the cutting down of trees, and by conflagrations; and also by natural injuries, such as droughts, heavy rains, lightning from heaven, snow and cold; the usual harmony of the seasons of the year being transformed into a want of all concord. 2.192. On this account it is that the law has given this festival the name of a warlike instrument, in order to show the proper gratitude to God as the giver of peace, who has abolished all seditions in cities, and in all parts of the universe, and has produced plenty and prosperity, not allowing a single spark that could tend to the destruction of the crops to be kindled into flame.THE NINTH FESTIVALXXXII.
2. Philo of Alexandria, On The Contemplative Life, 78 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

78. And these explanations of the sacred scriptures are delivered by mystic expressions in allegories, for the whole of the law appears to these men to resemble a living animal, and its express commandments seem to be the body, and the invisible meaning concealed under and lying beneath the plain words resembles the soul, in which the rational soul begins most excellently to contemplate what belongs to itself, as in a mirror, beholding in these very words the exceeding beauty of the sentiments, and unfolding and explaining the symbols, and bringing the secret meaning naked to the light to all who are able by the light of a slight intimation to perceive what is unseen by what is visible.
3. Philo of Alexandria, On The Life of Moses, 1.75, 2.44 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

1.75. And God said, "At first say unto them, I am that I am, that when they have learnt that there is a difference between him that is and him that is not, they may be further taught that there is no name whatever that can properly be assigned to me, who am the only being to whom existence belongs. 2.44. and then, if they make any fresh start and begin to improve, how great is the increase of their renown and glory? I think that in that case every nation, abandoning all their own individual customs, and utterly disregarding their national laws, would change and come over to the honour of such a people only; for their laws shining in connection with, and simultaneously with, the prosperity of the nation, will obscure all others, just as the rising sun obscures the stars.
4. Philo of Alexandria, That God Is Unchangeable, 77 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

77. On which account he says in another passage, "The cup is in the hand of the Lord; full of the mixture of unmixed wine;"17 and yet that which is mixed is not unmixed; but these words are spoken in a sense in the strictest accordance with natural philosophy and in one perfectly consistent with what has been said before; for God exerts his power in an untempered degree towards himself, but in a mixed character towards his creatures; for it is impossible for a mortal nature to endure his power unmitigated.
5. New Testament, 2 Corinthians, 3.14-3.16 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

6. New Testament, Hebrews, 8.13 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

8.13. In that he says, "A new covet," he has made the first old. But that which is becoming old and grows aged is near to vanishing away.
7. Aristides of Athens, Apology, 2 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

8. Clement of Alexandria, Miscellanies, 2.2.5.4 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

9. Tertullian, Against Marcion, 5.11 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

5.11. If, owing to the fault of human error, the word God has become a common name (since in the world there are said and believed to be gods many 1 Corinthians 8:5), yet the blessed God, (who is the Father) of our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 Corinthians 1:3 will be understood to be no other God than the Creator, who both blessed all things (that He had made), as you find in Genesis, Genesis 1:22 and is Himself blessed by all things, as Daniel tells us. Now, if the title of Father may be claimed for (Marcion's) sterile god, how much more for the Creator? To none other than Him is it suitable, who is also the Father of mercies, 2 Corinthians 1:3 and (in the prophets) has been described as full of compassion, and gracious, and plenteous in mercy. In Jonah you find the signal act of His mercy, which He showed to the praying Ninevites. Jonah 3:8 How inflexible was He at the tears of Hezekiah! How ready to forgive Ahab, the husband of Jezebel, the blood of Naboth, when he deprecated His anger. How prompt in pardoning David on his confession of his sin 2 Samuel 12:13 - preferring, indeed, the sinner's repentance to his death, of course because of His gracious attribute of mercy. Ezekiel 33:11 Now, if Marcion's god has exhibited or proclaimed any such thing as this, I will allow him to be the Father of mercies. Since, however, he ascribes to him this title only from the time he has been revealed, as if he were the father of mercies from the time only when he began to liberate the human race, then we on our side, too, adopt the same precise date of his alleged revelation; but it is that we may deny him! It is then not competent to him to ascribe any quality to his god, whom indeed he only promulged by the fact of such an ascription; for only if it were previously evident that his god had an existence, could he be permitted to ascribe an attribute to him. The ascribed attribute is only an accident; but accidents are preceded by the statement of the thing itself of which they are predicated, especially when another claims the attribute which is ascribed to him who has not been previously shown to exist. Our denial of his existence will be all the more peremptory, because of the fact that the attribute which is alleged in proof of it belongs to that God who has been already revealed. Therefore the New Testament will appertain to none other than Him who promised it - if not its letter, yet its spirit; 2 Corinthians 3:6 and herein will lie its newness. Indeed, He who had engraved its letter in stones is the same as He who had said of its spirit, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh. Joel 2:28 Even if the letter kills, yet the Spirit gives life; 2 Corinthians 3:6 and both belong to Him who says: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal. Deuteronomy 32:39 We have already made good the Creator's claim to this twofold character of judgment and goodness - killing in the letter through the law, and quickening in the Spirit through the Gospel. Now these attributes, however different they be, cannot possibly make two gods; for they have already (in the prevenient dispensation of the Old Testament) been found to meet in One. He alludes to Moses' veil, covered with which his face could not be steadfastly seen by the children of Israel. 2 Corinthians 3:7, 13 Since he did this to maintain the superiority of the glory of the New Testament, which is permanent in its glory, over that of the Old, which was to be done away, 2 Corinthians 3:7-8 this fact gives support to my belief which exalts the Gospel above the law and you must look well to it that it does not even more than this. For only there is superiority possible where was previously the thing over which superiority can be affirmed. But then he says, But their minds were blinded - of the world; certainly not the Creator's mind, but the minds of the people which are in the world. of Israel he says, Even unto this day the same veil is upon their heart; 2 Corinthians 3:15 showing that the veil which was on the face of Moses was a figure of the veil which is on the heart of the nation still; because even now Moses is not seen by them in heart, just as he was not then seen by them in eye. But what concern has Paul with the veil which still obscures Moses from their view, if the Christ of the Creator, whom Moses predicted, is not yet come? How are the hearts of the Jews represented as still covered and veiled, if the predictions of Moses relating to Christ, in whom it was their duty to believe through him, are as yet unfulfilled? What had the apostle of a strange Christ to complain of, if the Jews failed in understanding the mysterious announcements of their own God, unless the veil which was upon their hearts had reference to that blindness which concealed from their eyes the Christ of Moses? Then, again, the words which follow, But when it shall turn to the Lord, the evil shall be taken away, 2 Corinthians 3:16 properly refer to the Jew, over whose gaze Moses' veil is spread, to the effect that, when he is turned to the faith of Christ, he will understand how Moses spoke of Christ. But how shall the veil of the Creator be taken away by the Christ of another god, whose mysteries the Creator could not possibly have veiled - unknown mysteries, as they were of an unknown god? So he says that we now with open face (meaning the candour of the heart, which in the Jews had been covered with a veil), beholding Christ, are changed into the same image, from that glory (wherewith Moses was transfigured as by the glory of the Lord) to another glory. 2 Corinthians 3:18 By thus setting forth the glory which illumined the person of Moses from his interview with God, and the veil which concealed the same from the infirmity of the people, and by superinducing thereupon the revelation and the glory of the Spirit in the person of Christ - even as, to use his words, by the Spirit of the Lord - he testifies that the whole Mosaic system was a figure of Christ, of whom the Jews indeed were ignorant, but who is known to us Christians. We are quite aware that some passages are open to ambiguity, from the way in which they are read, or else from their punctuation, when there is room for these two causes of ambiguity. The latter method has been adopted by Marcion, by reading the passage which follows, in whom the God of this world, 2 Corinthians 4:4 as if it described the Creator as the God of this world, in order that he may, by these words, imply that there is another God for the other world. We, however, say that the passage ought to be punctuated with a comma after God, to this effect: In whom God has blinded the eyes of the unbelievers of this world. In whom means the Jewish unbelievers, from some of whom the gospel is still hidden under Moses' veil. Now it is these whom God had threatened for loving Him indeed with the lip, while their heart was far from Him, Isaiah 29:13 in these angry words: You shall hear with your ears, and not understand; and see with your eyes, but not perceive; and, If you will not believe, you shall not understand; and again, I will take away the wisdom of their wise men, and bring to nought the understanding of their prudent ones. But these words, of course, He did not pronounce against them for concealing the gospel of the unknown God. At any rate, if there is a God of this world, He blinds the heart of the unbelievers of this world, because they have not of their own accord recognised His Christ, who ought to be understood from His Scriptures. Content with my advantage, I can willingly refrain from noticing to any greater length this point of ambiguous punctuation, so as not to give my adversary any advantage, indeed, I might have wholly omitted the discussion. A simpler answer I shall find ready to hand in interpreting the god of this world of the devil, who once said, as the prophet describes him: I will be like the Most High; I will exalt my throne in the clouds. Isaiah 14:14 The whole superstition, indeed, of this world has got into his hands, so that he blinds effectually the hearts of unbelievers, and of none more than the apostate Marcion's. Now he did not observe how much this clause of the sentence made against him: For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts, to (give) the light of the knowledge (of His glory) in the face of (Jesus) Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6 Now who was it that said; Let there be light? Genesis 1:3 And who was it that said to Christ concerning giving light to the world: I have set You as a light to the Gentiles - to them, that is, who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death? (None else, surely, than He), to whom the Spirit in the Psalm answers, in His foresight of the future, saying, The light of Your countece, O Lord, has been displayed upon us. Now the countece (or person ) of the Lord here is Christ. Wherefore the apostle said above: Christ, who is the image of God. 2 Corinthians 4:4 Since Christ, then, is the person of the Creator, who said, Let there be light, it follows that Christ and the apostles, and the gospel, and the veil, and Moses- nay, the whole of the dispensations - belong to the God who is the Creator of this world, according to the testimony of the clause (above adverted to), and certainly not to him who never said, Let there be light. I here pass over discussion about another epistle, which we hold to have been written to the Ephesians, but the heretics to the Laodiceans. In it he tells them to remember, that at the time when they were Gentiles they were without Christ, aliens from (the commonwealth of) Israel, without intercourse, without the covets and any hope of promise, nay, without God, even in his own world, Ephesians 2:12 as the Creator thereof. Since therefore he said, that the Gentiles were without God, while their god was the devil, not the Creator, it is clear that he must be understood to be the lord of this world, whom the Gentiles received as their god - not the Creator, of whom they were in ignorance. But how does it happen, that the treasure which we have in these earthen vessels of ours 2 Corinthians 4:7 should not be regarded as belonging to the God who owns the vessels? Now since God's glory is, that so great a treasure is contained in earthen vessels, and since these earthen vessels are of the Creator's make, it follows that the glory is the Creator's; nay, since these vessels of His smack so much of the excellency of the power of God, that power itself must be His also! Indeed, all these things have been consigned to the said earthen vessels for the very purpose that His excellence might be manifested forth. Henceforth, then, the rival god will have no claim to the glory, and consequently none to the power. Rather, dishonour and weakness will accrue to him, because the earthen vessels with which he had nothing to do have received all the excellency! Well, then, if it be in these very earthen vessels that he tells us we have to endure so great sufferings, 2 Corinthians 4:8-12 in which we bear about with us the very dying of God, (Marcion's) god is really ungrateful and unjust, if he does not mean to restore this same substance of ours at the resurrection, wherein so much has been endured in loyalty to him, in which Christ's very death is borne about, wherein too the excellency of his power is treasured. 2 Corinthians 4:10 For he gives prominence to the statement, That the life also of Christ may be manifested in our body, 2 Corinthians 4:10 as a contrast to the preceding, that His death is borne about in our body. Now of what life of Christ does he here speak? of that which we are now living? Then how is it, that in the words which follow he exhorts us not to the things which are seen and are temporal, but to those which are not seen and are eternal 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 - in other words, not to the present, but to the future? But if it be of the future life of Christ that he speaks, intimating that it is to be made manifest in our body, 2 Corinthians 4:11 then he has clearly predicted the resurrection of the flesh. 2 Corinthians 4:14 He says, too, that our outward man perishes, 2 Corinthians 4:16 not meaning by an eternal perdition after death, but by labours and sufferings, in reference to which he previously said, For which cause we will not faint. 2 Corinthians 4:16 Now, when he adds of the inward man also, that it is renewed day by day, he demonstrates both issues here - the wasting away of the body by the wear and tear of its trials, and the renewal of the soul by its contemplation of the promises.


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
allegorical interpretation Najman, The Significance of Sinai: Traditions about Sinai and Divine Revelation in Judaism and Christianity (2010) 104
antithesis Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 116
aphairesis Černušková, Kovacs and Plátová, Clement’s Biblical Exegesis: Proceedings of the Second Colloquium on Clement of Alexandria (2016) 131
apophasis Černušková, Kovacs and Plátová, Clement’s Biblical Exegesis: Proceedings of the Second Colloquium on Clement of Alexandria (2016) 131
apostles Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 116
appearance Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 116
arrētos Černušková, Kovacs and Plátová, Clement’s Biblical Exegesis: Proceedings of the Second Colloquium on Clement of Alexandria (2016) 131
authority, scripture Najman, The Significance of Sinai: Traditions about Sinai and Divine Revelation in Judaism and Christianity (2010) 104
birth Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 116
bread Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 116
causal reciprocity/causal relations Černušková, Kovacs and Plátová, Clement’s Biblical Exegesis: Proceedings of the Second Colloquium on Clement of Alexandria (2016) 131
covenant Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 116
create, creation, creator Černušková, Kovacs and Plátová, Clement’s Biblical Exegesis: Proceedings of the Second Colloquium on Clement of Alexandria (2016) 131
creation Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 116
creator Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 116
cross Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 116
definitions Černušková, Kovacs and Plátová, Clement’s Biblical Exegesis: Proceedings of the Second Colloquium on Clement of Alexandria (2016) 131
dialectics Černušková, Kovacs and Plátová, Clement’s Biblical Exegesis: Proceedings of the Second Colloquium on Clement of Alexandria (2016) 131
divine, torah/law Najman, The Significance of Sinai: Traditions about Sinai and Divine Revelation in Judaism and Christianity (2010) 104
encounter Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 116
exegesis Černušková, Kovacs and Plátová, Clement’s Biblical Exegesis: Proceedings of the Second Colloquium on Clement of Alexandria (2016) 131
faith Černušková, Kovacs and Plátová, Clement’s Biblical Exegesis: Proceedings of the Second Colloquium on Clement of Alexandria (2016) 131
first day of the week Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 116
hellenistic, interpretation Najman, The Significance of Sinai: Traditions about Sinai and Divine Revelation in Judaism and Christianity (2010) 104
interpretation Najman, The Significance of Sinai: Traditions about Sinai and Divine Revelation in Judaism and Christianity (2010) 104
judgement Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 116
just Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 116
law, mosaic (law of moses) Najman, The Significance of Sinai: Traditions about Sinai and Divine Revelation in Judaism and Christianity (2010) 104
law, natural Najman, The Significance of Sinai: Traditions about Sinai and Divine Revelation in Judaism and Christianity (2010) 104
law, universal Najman, The Significance of Sinai: Traditions about Sinai and Divine Revelation in Judaism and Christianity (2010) 104
law, unwritten Najman, The Significance of Sinai: Traditions about Sinai and Divine Revelation in Judaism and Christianity (2010) 104
law Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 116
mary Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 116
middle-platonism Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 116
middle platonism/platonic/platonist Černušková, Kovacs and Plátová, Clement’s Biblical Exegesis: Proceedings of the Second Colloquium on Clement of Alexandria (2016) 131
monarchianism Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 116
monotheism Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 116
names Černušková, Kovacs and Plátová, Clement’s Biblical Exegesis: Proceedings of the Second Colloquium on Clement of Alexandria (2016) 131
negative theology Černušková, Kovacs and Plátová, Clement’s Biblical Exegesis: Proceedings of the Second Colloquium on Clement of Alexandria (2016) 131
pauline tradition Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 116
peter Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 116
phantasm Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 116
philo Černušková, Kovacs and Plátová, Clement’s Biblical Exegesis: Proceedings of the Second Colloquium on Clement of Alexandria (2016) 131
philo of alexandria, law of moses Najman, The Significance of Sinai: Traditions about Sinai and Divine Revelation in Judaism and Christianity (2010) 104
philo of alexandria Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 116
plato Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 116
platonism/platonic philosophy, middle platonism Černušková, Kovacs and Plátová, Clement’s Biblical Exegesis: Proceedings of the Second Colloquium on Clement of Alexandria (2016) 131
power Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 116
principles Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 116
prophets Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 116
rabbis Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 116
relation/relationship (between the father, and the son) Černušková, Kovacs and Plátová, Clement’s Biblical Exegesis: Proceedings of the Second Colloquium on Clement of Alexandria (2016) 131
rome Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 116
scripture Najman, The Significance of Sinai: Traditions about Sinai and Divine Revelation in Judaism and Christianity (2010) 104
twelve Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 116
virtue Najman, The Significance of Sinai: Traditions about Sinai and Divine Revelation in Judaism and Christianity (2010) 104
women' Vinzent, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity and the Making of the New Testament (2013) 116