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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



9239
Philo Of Alexandria, On The Special Laws, 1.8-1.9


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.


nanFirst 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.


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

16 results
1. Hebrew Bible, Genesis, 2.24 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

2.24. עַל־כֵּן יַעֲזָב־אִישׁ אֶת־אָבִיו וְאֶת־אִמּוֹ וְדָבַק בְּאִשְׁתּוֹ וְהָיוּ לְבָשָׂר אֶחָד׃ 2.24. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh."
2. Philo of Alexandria, On The Cherubim, 41, 44-50, 40 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

40. And Adam knew his wife, and she conceived and brought forth Cain; and she said I have gotten a man by means of the Lord; and he caused her also to bring forth Abel his Brother." These men, to whose virtue the Jewish legislation bears testimony, he does not represent as knowing their wives, such as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and if there are any others of like zeal with them; 40. A third view of the question is, that no king or tyrant may ever despise an obscure private individual, from being full of insolence and haughty pride; but that such an one, coming as a pupil to the school of the sacred laws, may relax his eyebrows, unlearning his self-opinionativeness, and yielding rather to true reason.
3. Philo of Alexandria, On The Creation of The World, 23 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

23. And God, not being urged on by any prompter (for who else could there have been to prompt him?) but guided by his own sole will, decided that it was fitting to benefit with unlimited and abundant favours a nature which, without the divine gift, was unable to itself to partake of any good thing; but he benefits it, not according to the greatness of his own graces, for they are illimitable and eternal, but according to the power of that which is benefited to receive his graces. For the capacity of that which is created to receive benefits does not correspond to the natural power of God to confer them; since his powers are infinitely greater, and the thing created being not sufficiently powerful to receive all their greatness would have sunk under it, if he had not measured his bounty, allotting to each, in due proportion, that which was poured upon it.
4. Philo of Alexandria, On The Sacrifices of Cain And Abel, 59 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

59. For Abraham also, having come with all haste and speech and eagerness, exhorts virtue, that is to say, Sarah, "to hasten and knead three measures of fine meal, and to make cakes upon the Hearth." When God, being attended by two of the heavenly powers as guards, to wit, by authority and goodness, he himself, the one God being between them, presented an appearance of the figures to the visual soul; each of which figures was not measured in any respect; for God cannot be circumscribed, nor are his powers capable of being defined by lines, but he himself measures everything. His goodness therefore is the measure of all good things, and his authority is the measures of things in subjection, and the Governor of the universe himself, is the measure of all things to the corporeal and incorporeal. On which account, his powers also having been looked upon in the light of rules and models, have weighed and measured other things with reference to them.
5. Philo of Alexandria, On The Special Laws, 1.2-1.3, 1.6-1.7, 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. 1.6. Thirdly, 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. 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. 1.9. 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.
6. 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.
7. Philo of Alexandria, On The Life of Moses, 1.75, 2.12, 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. 2.12. But that he himself is the most admirable of all the lawgivers who have ever lived in any country either among the Greeks or among the barbarians, and that his are the most admirable of all laws, and truly divine, omitting no one particular which they ought to comprehend, there is the clearest proof possible in this fact, the laws of other lawgivers 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.
8. Philo of Alexandria, Allegorical Interpretation, 3.219 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

9. New Testament, Ephesians, 5.32 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

5.32. This mystery is great, but I speak concerning Christ and of the assembly.
10. New Testament, John, 19.35, 20.30-20.31, 21.25 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

19.35. He who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, that you may believe. 20.30. Therefore Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book; 20.31. but these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name. 21.25. There are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they would all be written, I suppose that even the world itself wouldn't have room for the books that would be written.
11. New Testament, Luke, 1.1-1.2 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

1.1. Since many have undertaken to set in order a narrative concerning those matters which have been fulfilled among us 1.2. even as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word delivered them to us
12. New Testament, Mark, 13.14 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

13.14. But when you see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains
13. New Testament, Matthew, 24.15 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

24.15. When, therefore, you see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand)
14. Aristides of Athens, Apology, 2 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

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

16. Origen, Against Celsus, 2.9 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

2.9. The Jew continues his discourse thus: How should we deem him to be a God, who not only in other respects, as was currently reported, performed none of his promises, but who also, after we had convicted him, and condemned him as deserving of punishment, was found attempting to conceal himself, and endeavouring to escape in a most disgraceful manner, and who was betrayed by those whom he called disciples? And yet, he continues, he who was a God could neither flee nor be led away a prisoner; and least of all could he be deserted and delivered up by those who had been his associates, and had shared all things in common, and had had him for their teacher, who was deemed to be a Saviour, and a son of the greatest God, and an angel. To which we reply, that even we do not suppose the body of Jesus, which was then an object of sight and perception, to have been God. And why do I say His body? Nay, not even His soul, of which it is related, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death. But as, according to the Jewish manner of speaking, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh, and, Before Me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after Me, God is believed to be He who employs the soul and body of the prophet as an instrument; and as, according to the Greeks, he who says, I know both the number of the sand, and the measures of the sea, And I understand a dumb man, and hear him who does not speak, is considered to be a god when speaking, and making himself heard through the Pythian priestess; so, according to our view, it was the Logos God, and Son of the God of all things, who spoke in Jesus these words, I am the way, and the truth, and the life; and these, I am the door; and these, I am the living bread that came down from heaven; and other expressions similar to these. We therefore charge the Jews with not acknowledging Him to be God, to whom testimony was borne in many passages by the prophets, to the effect that He was a mighty power, and a God next to the God and Father of all things. For we assert that it was to Him the Father gave the command, when in the Mosaic account of the creation He uttered the words, Let there be light, and Let there be a firmament, and gave the injunctions with regard to those other creative acts which were performed; and that to Him also were addressed the words, Let Us make man in Our own image and likeness; and that the Logos, when commanded, obeyed all the Father's will. And we make these statements not from our own conjectures, but because we believe the prophecies circulated among the Jews, in which it is said of God, and of the works of creation, in express words, as follows: He spoke, and they were made; He commanded, and they were created. Now if God gave the command, and the creatures were formed, who, according to the view of the spirit of prophecy, could He be that was able to carry out such commands of the Father, save Him who, so to speak, is the living Logos and the Truth? And that the Gospels do not consider him who in Jesus said these words, I am the way, and the truth, and the life, to have been of so circumscribed a nature as to have an existence nowhere out of the soul and body of Jesus, is evident both from many considerations, and from a few instances of the following kind which we shall quote. John the Baptist, when predicting that the Son of God was to appear immediately, not in that body and soul, but as manifesting Himself everywhere, says regarding Him: There stands in the midst of you One whom you know not, who comes after me. For if he had thought that the Son of God was only there, where was the visible body of Jesus, how could he have said, There stands in the midst of you One whom you know not? And Jesus Himself, in raising the minds of His disciples to higher thoughts of the Son of God, says: Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of you. And of the same nature is His promise to His disciples: Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world. And we quote these passages, making no distinction between the Son of God and Jesus. For the soul and body of Jesus formed, after the οἰκονομία, one being with the Logos of God. Now if, according to Paul's teaching, he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit, every one who understands what being joined to the Lord is, and who has been actually joined to Him, is one spirit with the Lord; how should not that being be one in a far greater and more divine degree, which was once united with the Logos of God? He, indeed, manifested Himself among the Jews as the power of God, by the miracles which He performed, which Celsus suspected were accomplished by sorcery, but which by the Jews of that time were attributed I know not why, to Beelzebub, in the words: He casts out devils through Beelzebub, the prince of the devils. But these our Saviour convicted of uttering the greatest absurdities, from the fact that the kingdom of evil was not yet come to an end. And this will be evident to all intelligent readers of the Gospel narrative, which it is not now the time to explain.


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
allegory Sly, Philo's Perception of Women (1990) 134
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
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
being (ὁ ὤν / τὸ ὄν) Fialová Hoblík and Kitzler, Hellenism, Early Judaism, and Early Christianity: Transmission and Transformation of Ideas (2022) 13
causal reciprocity/causal relations Černušková, Kovacs and Plátová, Clement’s Biblical Exegesis: Proceedings of the Second Colloquium on Clement of Alexandria (2016) 131
chrysippus Sly, Philo's Perception of Women (1990) 134
create, creation, creator Černušková, Kovacs and Plátová, Clement’s Biblical Exegesis: Proceedings of the Second Colloquium on Clement of Alexandria (2016) 131
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
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
grant, f. c. Sly, Philo's Perception of Women (1990) 134
hellenism Fialová Hoblík and Kitzler, Hellenism, Early Judaism, and Early Christianity: Transmission and Transformation of Ideas (2022) 13
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
jews and judaism, on living voice versus writing Ayres and Ward, The Rise of the Early Christian Intellectual (2021) 33
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
living voice versus writing, jews and christians before papias on Ayres and Ward, The Rise of the Early Christian Intellectual (2021) 33
living voice versus writing Ayres and Ward, The Rise of the Early Christian Intellectual (2021) 33
löhr, w. a. Ayres and Ward, The Rise of the Early Christian Intellectual (2021) 33
middle platonism/platonic/platonist Černušková, Kovacs and Plátová, Clement’s Biblical Exegesis: Proceedings of the Second Colloquium on Clement of Alexandria (2016) 131
mystery language Sly, Philo's Perception of Women (1990) 134
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
nikiprowetzky, v. Sly, Philo's Perception of Women (1990) 134
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, on living voice versus writing Ayres and Ward, The Rise of the Early Christian Intellectual (2021) 33
philo of alexandria Fialová Hoblík and Kitzler, Hellenism, Early Judaism, and Early Christianity: Transmission and Transformation of Ideas (2022) 13
plato Fialová Hoblík and Kitzler, Hellenism, Early Judaism, and Early Christianity: Transmission and Transformation of Ideas (2022) 13
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 (δύναμις) Fialová Hoblík and Kitzler, Hellenism, Early Judaism, and Early Christianity: Transmission and Transformation of Ideas (2022) 13
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
riedweg, christoph Sly, Philo's Perception of Women (1990) 134
scripture Najman, The Significance of Sinai: Traditions about Sinai and Divine Revelation in Judaism and Christianity (2010) 104
specific christian intellectuals, living voice versus writing in Ayres and Ward, The Rise of the Early Christian Intellectual (2021) 33
virtue Najman, The Significance of Sinai: Traditions about Sinai and Divine Revelation in Judaism and Christianity (2010) 104