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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



9239
Philo Of Alexandria, On The Special Laws, 4.132-4.135


nanThis may be sufficient to say, being in fact all that I am able to advance, about the laws which bear on appetite and desire by way of filling up the whole body of the ten commandments, and of the subordinate injunctions contained in them; for if we are to look upon the brief heads which were oracularly delivered by the voice of God, as the generic laws, and all the particular ordinances which Moses subsequently interpreted and added as the special laws; then there is need of great care and skill in order to preserve the arrangement unconfused in order to an accurate comprehension of it, and I therefore have taken great care, and have assigned and apportioned to each of these generic laws of the whole code all that properly belonged to it.


nanBut enough of this. We must however not remain ignorant that as separately there are some particular injunctions related to each one of the ten generic commandments, which have nothing in common with any one of the others; so also there are some things to be observed which are common to the whole, being adapted not to one or two, as people say, but to the whole ten commandments.


nanAnd I mean by this those virtues which are of common utility, for each one of these ten laws separately, and all of them together, train men and encourage them to prudence, and justice, and piety, towards God and all the rest of the company of virtues, connecting sound words with good intentions, and virtuous actions with wise language, that so the organ of the soul may be wholly and entirely held together in a good and harmonious manner so as to produce a well-regulated and faultless innocence and consistency of life.


nanWe have spoken before of that queen of all the virtues, piety and holiness, and also of prudence and moderation; we must now proceed to speak of justice which is conversant about subjects which are akin and nearly related to Them.{33}{yonge's translation includes a separate treatise title at this point: On Justice. The publisher has elected to follow the Loeb numbering.}XXVI.


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

11 results
1. Hebrew Bible, Deuteronomy, 12.8 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

12.8. לֹא תַעֲשׂוּן כְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר אֲנַחְנוּ עֹשִׂים פֹּה הַיּוֹם אִישׁ כָּל־הַיָּשָׁר בְּעֵינָיו׃ 12.8. Ye shall not do after all that we do here this day, every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes;"
2. Philo of Alexandria, On The Decalogue, 106-121, 154-175, 19-20, 50-52, 1 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

3. Philo of Alexandria, On The Life of Joseph, 1 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

1. There are three different modes by which we proceed towards the most excellent end, namely, instruction, nature, and practice. There are also three persons, the oldest of the wise men who in the account given to us by Moses derive three names from these modes, whose lives I have now discussed, having examined the man who arrived at excellence in consequence of instruction, and him who was self-taught, and him who attained to the proposed end by practice. Accordingly, proceeding in regular order, I will now describe the life of the man occupied in civil affairs. And again, Moses has given us one of the patriarchs as deriving his name from this kind of life, in which he had been immersed from his earliest youth.
4. Philo of Alexandria, On The Migration of Abraham, 155 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

155. This is he who not only rejoiced in a few species of desire, but who also chose to pass by none whatever entirely, so that he might obtain the whole entire genus in which every species is included; for it is said that, "the mixed multitude that was among them desired all kinds of Concupiscence," that is to say, the very genus of concupiscence itself, and not some one species; and sitting down they wept. For the mind is conscious that it is possessed of but slight power, and when it is not able to obtain what it desires, it weeps and groans; and yet it ought to rejoice when it fails to be able to indulge its passions, or to become infected with diseases, and it ought to think their want and absence a very great piece of good fortune.
5. Philo of Alexandria, On The Creation of The World, 47-52, 3 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

3. And his exordium, as I have already said, is most admirable; embracing the creation of the world, under the idea that the law corresponds to the world and the world to the law, and that a man who is obedient to the law, being, by so doing, a citizen of the world, arranges his actions with reference to the intention of nature, in harmony with which the whole universal world is regulated.
6. Philo of Alexandria, On Curses, 171-172, 2, 152 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

152. So that they are marvellously simple people who have ever had an idea of coming to the end of any branch of knowledge whatever. For that which has seemed to be near and within reach is nevertheless a long way distant from the end; since no created being is perfect in any department of learning, but falls as far short of it as a thoroughly infant child just beginning to learn does, in comparison of a man who both by age and skill is qualified to be a master. XLV.
7. Philo of Alexandria, De Providentia, 2.12, 2.15 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

8. Philo of Alexandria, On The Special Laws, 1.1, 1.51-1.52, 1.317-1.318, 2.1, 2.62-2.63, 2.73, 2.162-2.167, 3.7, 4.92, 4.97, 4.100-4.131, 4.133-4.135, 4.143-4.148, 4.182 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

1.1. The genera and heads of all special laws, which are called "the ten commandments," have been discussed with accuracy in the former treatise. We must now proceed to consider the particular commands as we read them in the subsequent passages of the holy scriptures; and we will begin with that which is turned into ridicule by people in general. 1.51. And he receives all persons of a similar character and disposition, whether they were originally born so, or whether they have become so through any change of conduct, having become better people, and as such entitled to be ranked in a superior class; approving of the one body because they have not defaced their nobility of birth, and of the other because they have thought fit to alter their lives so as to come over to nobleness of conduct. And these last he calls proselytes (proseµlytou 1.52. Accordingly, having given equal rank and honour to all those who come over, and having granted to them the same favours that were bestowed on the native Jews, he recommends those who are ennobled by truth not only to treat them with respect, but even with especial friendship and excessive benevolence. And is not this a reasonable recommendation? What he says is this. "Those men, who have left their country, and their friends, and their relations for the sake of virtue and holiness, ought not to be left destitute of some other cities, and houses, and friends, but there ought to be places of refuge always ready for those who come over to religion; for the most effectual allurement and the most indissoluble bond of affectionate good will is the mutual honouring of the one God. 1.317. For we should acknowledge only one relationship, and one bond of friendship, namely, a mutual zeal for the service of God, and a desire to say and do everything that is consistent with piety. And these bonds which are called relationships of blood, being derived from one's ancestors, and those connections which are derived from intermarriages and from other similar causes, must all be renounced, if they do not all hasten to the same end, namely, the honour of God which is the one indissoluble bond of all united good will. For such men will lay claim to a more venerable and sacred kind of relationship; 1.318. and the law confirms my assertion, where it says that those who do what is pleasing to nature and virtuous are the sons of God, for it says, "Ye are the sons of the Lord your God,"{48}{#de 14:1.} inasmuch as you will be thought worthy of his providence and care in your behalf as though he were your father. And that care is as much superior to that which is shown by a man's own parents, as I imagine the being who takes it is superior to them.LIX. 2.1. In the treatise preceding this one we have discussed with accuracy two articles of the ten commandments, that which relates to not thinking that any other beings are absolute gods, except God himself; and the other which enjoins us not to worship as God any object made with hands. And we also spoke of the laws which relate specially to each of these points. But we will now proceed to discuss the three which come next in the regular order, again adapting suitable special laws to each. 2.62. Accordingly, on the seventh day there are spread before the people in every city innumerable lessons of prudence, and temperance, and courage, and justice, and all other virtues; during the giving of which the common people sit down, keeping silence and pricking up their ears, with all possible attention, from their thirst for wholesome instruction; but some of those who are very learned explain to them what is of great importance and use, lessons by which the whole of their lives may be improved. 2.63. And there are, as we may say, two most especially important heads of all the innumerable particular lessons and doctrines; the regulating of one's conduct towards God by the rules of piety and holiness, and of one's conduct towards men by the rules of humanity and justice; each of which is subdivided into a great number of subordinate ideas, all praiseworthy. 2.73. For while it does not permit them to lend on usury to their fellow countrymen, it has allowed them to receive interest from foreigners; calling the former, with great felicity of expression, their brothers, in order to prevent any one's grudging to give of his possessions to those who are as if by nature joint inheritors with themselves; but those who are not their fellow countrymen are called strangers, as is very natural. For the being a stranger shows that a person has no right to a participation in any thing, unless, indeed, any one out of an excess of virtue should treat even those in the conditions of strangers as kindred and related, from having been bred up under a virtuous state of things, and under virtuous laws which look upon what is virtuous alone as good. 2.162. There is also a festival on the day of the paschal feast, which succeeds the first day, and this is named the sheaf, from what takes place on it; for the sheaf is brought to the altar as a first fruit both of the country which the nation has received for its own, and also of the whole land; so as to be an offering both for the nation separately, and also a common one for the whole race of mankind; and so that the people by it worship the living God, both for themselves and for all the rest of mankind, because they have received the fertile earth for their inheritance; for in the country there is no barren soil but even all those parts which appear to be stony and rugged are surrounded with soft veins of great depth, which, by reason of their richness, are very well suited for the production of living Things.{20}{sections 163û174 were omitted in Yonge's translation because the edition on which Yonge based his translation, Mangey, lacked this material. These lines have been newly translated for this volume.} 2.163. The reason is that a priest has the same relation to a city that the nation of the Jews has to the entire inhabited world. For it serves as a priest--to state the truth--through the use of all purificatory offerings and the guidance both for body and soul of divine laws which have checked the pleasures of the stomach and those under the stomach and [tamed] the mob [of the Senses]{21}{there is a clear problem with the text here, i.e., the noun ochlon lacks a verb.} by having appointed reason as charioteer over the irrational senses; they also have driven back and overturned the undiscriminating and excessive urges of the soul, some by rather gentle instructions and philosophical exhortations, others by rather weighty and forcible rebukes and by fear of punishment, the fear which they brandish threateningly. 2.164. Apart from the fact that the legislation is in a certain way teaching about the priesthood and that the one who lives by the laws is at once considered a priest, or rather a high priest, in the judgment of truth, the following point is also remarkable. The multitude of gods, both male and female, honored in individual cities happens to be undetermined and indefinite. The poetic clan and the great company of humans have spoken fabulously about them, people for whom the search for truth is impractical and beyond their capability of investigation. Yet all do not reverence and honor the same gods, but different people different gods. The reason is that they do not consider as gods those belonging to another land but make the acceptance of them the occasion for laughter and a joke. They charge those who honor them with great foolishness since they completely violate sound sense. 2.165. But if he is, whom all Greeks together with all barbarians acknowledge with one judgment, the highest Father of both gods and humans and the Maker of the entire cosmos, whose nature--although it is invisible and unfathomable not only to sight but also to perception--all who spend their time with mathematics and other philosophy long to discover, leaving aside none of the things which contribute to the discovery and service of him, then it was necessary for all people to cling to him and not as if through some mechanical device to introduce other gods into participation of equal honors. 2.166. Since they slipped in the most essential matter, the nation of the Jews--to speak most accurately--set aright the false step of others by having looked beyond everything which has come into existence through creation since it is generate and corruptible in nature, and chose only the service of the ungenerate and eternal. The first reason for this is because it is excellent; the second is because it is profitable to be dedicated and associated with the Older rather than those who are younger and with the Ruler rather than those who are ruled and with the Maker rather those things which come into existence. 2.167. For this reason it amazes me that some dare to charge the nation with an anti-social stance, a nation which has made such an extensive use of fellowship and goodwill toward all people everywhere that they offer up prayers and feasts and first fruits on behalf of the common race of human beings and serve the really self-existent God both on behalf of themselves and of others who have run from the services which they should have rendered. 3.7. And since of the ten commandments which God himself gave to his people without employing the agency of any prophet or interpreter, five which are engraved in the first tablet have been already discussed and explained, as have also all the particular injunctions which were comprehended under them; and since it is now proper to examine and expound to the best of our power and ability the rest of the commandments which are found in the second table, I will attempt as before to adapt the particular ordices which are implied in them to each of the general laws. 4.92. For this reason those who have tasted deeply of philosophy, not merely with their lips, but feasting thoroughly on its profound doctrines, investigating the nature of the soul, and comprehending its threefold character, and how it is divided into reason, and anger, and appetite, have attributed the chief post to reason as the principal authority, assigning to it the head as its most appropriate abode, where also the company of the outward senses, who are always present as the body-guards of the mind as their king, are stationed; 4.97. What, then, is the lesson which he gives us about this origin of all vices? There are two things of a most comprehensive nature, meat and drink. He, then, has not left either of them unrestrained, but has bridled them with especial commands most calculated to lead them to temperance and to humanity, and to the greatest of all virtues, piety; 4.100. Moreover, Moses has not granted an unlimited possession and use of all other animals to those who partake in his sacred constitution, but he has forbidden with all his might all animals, whether of the land, or of the water, or that fly through the air, which are most fleshy and fat, and calculated to excite treacherous pleasure, well knowing that such, attracting as with a bait that most slavish of all the outward senses, namely, taste, produce insatiability, an incurable evil to both souls and bodies, for insatiability produces indigestion, which is the origin and source of all diseases and weaknesses. 4.101. Now of land animals, the swine is confessed to be the nicest of all meats by those who eat it, and of all aquatic animals the most delicate are the fish which have no scales; and Moses is above all other men skilful in training and inuring persons of a good natural disposition to the practice of virtue by frugality and abstinence, endeavouring to remove costly luxury from their characters 4.102. at the same time not approving of unnecessary rigour, like the lawgiver of Lacedaemon, nor undue effeminacy, like the man who taught the Ionians and the Sybarites lessons of luxury and license, but keeping a middle path between the two courses, so that he has relaxed what was over strict, and tightened what was too loose, mingling the excesses which are found at each extremity with moderation, which lies between the two, so as to produce an irreproachable harmony and consistency of life, on which account he has laid down not carelessly, but with minute particularity, what we are to use and what to avoid. 4.103. One might very likely suppose it to be just that those beasts which feed upon human flesh should receive at the hands of men similar treatment to that which they inflict on men, but Moses has ordained that we should abstain from the enjoyment of all such things, and with a due consideration of what is becoming to the gentle soul, he proposes a most gentle and most pleasant banquet; for though it is proper that those who inflict evils should suffer similar calamities themselves, yet it may not be becoming to those whom they ill treated to retaliate, lest without being aware of it they become brutalized by anger, which is a savage passion; 4.104. and he takes such care to guard against this, that being desirous to banish as far as possible all desire for those animals abovementioned, he forbids with all his energy the eating of any carnivorous animal at all, selecting the herbivorous animals out of those kinds which are domesticated, since they are tame by nature, feeding on that gentle food which is supplied by the earth, and having no disposition to plot evil against anything.WHAT QUADRUPEDS ARE CLEANXVIII. 4.105. The animals which are clean and lawful to be used as food are ten in number; the heifer, the lamb, the goat, the stag, the antelope, the buffalo, the roebuck, the pygarga, the wildox, and the chamois, {19}{#de 14:4.} for he always adheres to that arithmetical subtilty which, as he originally devised it with the minutest accuracy possible, he extends to all existing things, so that he establishes no ordices, whether important or unimportant, without taking and as it were adapting this number to it as closely connected with the regulations which he is ordaining. Now of all the numbers beginning from the unit, the most perfect is the number ten, and as Moses says, it is the most sacred of all and a holy number, and by it he now limits the races of animals that are clean, wishing to assign the use of them to all those who partake of the constitution which he is establishing. 4.106. And he gives two tests and criteria of the ten animals thus Enumerated{20}{#le 11:3.} by two signs, first, that they must part the hoof, secondly, that they must chew the cud; for those which do neither, or only one of these things, are unclean. And these signs are both of them symbols of instruction and of the most scientific learning, by which the better is separated from the worse, so that all confusion between them is prevented; 4.107. for as the animal which chews the cud, while it is masticating its food draws it down its throat, and then by slow degrees kneads and softens it, and then after this process again sends it down into the belly, in the same manner the man who is being instructed, having received the doctrines and speculations of wisdom in at his ears from his instructor, derives a considerable amount of learning from him, but still is not able to hold it firmly and to embrace it all at once, until he has resolved over in his mind everything which he has heard by the continued exercise of his memory (and this exercise of memory is the cement which connects idea 4.108. But as it seems the firm conception of such ideas is of no advantage to him unless he is able to discriminate between and to distinguish which of contrary things it is right to choose and which to avoid, of which the parting of the hoof is the symbol; since the course of life is twofold, the one road leading to wickedness and the other to virtue, and since we ought to renounce the one and never to forsake the other.WHAT BEASTS ARE NOT CLEANXIX. 4.109. For this reason all animals with solid hoofs, and all with many toes are spoken of by implication as unclean; the one because, being so, they imply that the nature of good and evil is one and the same; which is just as if one were to say that the nature of a concave and a convex surface, or of a road up hill and down hill, was the same. And the other, because it shows that there are many roads, though, indeed, they have no right to be called roads at all, which lead the life of man to deceit; for it is not easy among a variety of paths to choose that which is the most desirable and the most excellent.WHAT AQUATIC ANIMALS ARE CLEANXX. 4.110. Having laid down these definitions with respect to land animals, he proceeds to describe what aquatic creatures are clean and lawful to be used for food; distinguishing them also by two characteristics as having fins or Scales.{21}{#le 11:9.} For those which have neither one nor the other, and those which have only one of the two, he rejects and Prohibits.{22}{#de 14:10.} And he must state the cause, which is not destitute of sense and propriety; 4.111. for all those creatures which are destitute of both, or even of one of the two, are sucked down by the current, not being able to resist the force of the stream; but those which have both these characteristics can stem the water, and oppose it in front, and strive against it as against an adversary, and struggle with invincible good will and courage, so that if they are pushed they push in their turn; and if they are pursued they turn upon their foe and pursue it in their turn, making themselves broad roads in a pathless district, so as to have an easy passage to and fro. 4.112. Now both these things are symbols; the former of a soul devoted to pleasure, and the latter of one which loves perseverance and temperance. For the road which leads to pleasure is a down-hill one and very easy, being rather an absorbing gulf than a path. But the path which leads to temperance is up hill and laborious, but above all other roads advantageous. And the one leads men downwards, and prevents those who travel by it from retracing their steps until they have arrived at the very lowest bottom, but the other leads to heaven; making those who do not weary before they reach it immortal, if they are only able to endure its rugged and difficult ascent.ABOUT Reptile 4.113. And adhering to the same general idea the lawgiver asserts that those reptiles which have no feet, and which crawl onwards, dragging themselves along the ground on their bellies, or those which have four legs, or many feet, are all unclean as far as regards their being eaten. And here, again, when he mentions reptiles he intimates under a figurative form of expression those who are devoted to their bellies, gorging themselves like cormorants, and who are continually offering up tribute to their miserable belly, tribute, that is, of strong wine, and confections, and fish, and, in short, all the superfluous delicacies which the skill and labour of bakers and confectioners are able to devise, inventing all sorts of rare viands, to stimulate and set on fire the insatiable and unappeasable appetites of man. And when he speaks of animals with four legs and many feet, he intends to designate the miserable slaves not of one single passion, appetite, but of all the passions; the genera of which were four in number; but in their subordinate species they are innumerable. Therefore, the despotism of one is very grievous, but that of many is most terrible, and as it seems intolerable. 4.114. Again, in the case of those reptiles who have legs above their feet, so that they are able to take leaps from the ground, those Moses speaks of as clean; as, for instance, the different kinds of locusts, and that animal called the serpentfighter, here again intimating by figurative expressions the manners and habits of the rational soul. For the weight of the body being naturally heavy, drags down with it those who are but of small wisdom, strangling it and pressing it down by the weight of the flesh. 4.115. But blessed are they to whose lot it has fallen, inasmuch as they have been well and solidly instructed in the rules of sound education, to resist successfully the power of mere strength, so as to be able, by reason of what they have learnt, to spring up from the earth and all low things, to the air and the periodical revolutions of the heaven, the very sight of which is to be admired and earnestly striven for by those who come to it of their own accord with no indolence or indifference.CONCERNING FLYING Creature 4.116. Having, therefore, in his ordices already gone through all the different kinds of land animals and of those who live in the water, and having distinguished them in his code of laws as accurately as it was possible, Moses begins to investigate the remaining class of animals in the air; the innumerable kinds of flying creatures, rejecting all those which prey upon one another or upon man, all carnivorous birds, in short, all animals which are venomous, and all which have any power of plotting against others. 4.117. But doves, and pigeons, and turtle-doves, and all the flocks of cranes, and geese, and birds of that kind, he numbers in the class of domestic, and tame, and eatable creatures, allowing every one who chooses to partake of them with impunity. 4.118. Thus, in each of the parts of the universe, earth, water, and air, he refuses some kinds of each description of animal, whether terrestrial, or aquatic, or a'rial, to our use; and thus, taking as it were fuel from the fire, he causes the extinction of appetite.CONCERNING CARCASSES AND BODIES WHICH HAVE BEEN TORN BY WILDBEASTSXXIII. 4.119. Moreover, Moses Commands{25}{#le 5:2.} that no man shall take of any dead carcass, or of any body which has been torn by wild beasts; partly because it is not fitting that man should share a feast with untameable beasts, so as to become almost a fellow reveller in their carnivorous festivals; and partly because perhaps it is injurious and likely to cause disease if the juice of the dead body becomes mingled with the blood, and perhaps, also, because it is proper to preserve that which has been pre-occupied and seized beforehand by death untouched, having a respect to the necessities of nature by which it has been seized. 4.120. Now many of the lawgivers both among the Greeks and barbarians, praise those who are skilful in hunting, and who seldom fail in their pursuit or miss their aim, and who pride themselves on their successful hunts, especially when they divide the limbs of the animals which they have caught with the huntsmen and the hounds, as being not only brave hunters but men of very sociable dispositions. But any one who was a sound interpreter of the sacred constitution and code of laws would very naturally blame them, since the lawgiver of that code has expressly forbidden any enjoyment of carcasses or of bodies torn by beasts for the reasons before mentioned. 4.121. But if any one of those persons who devote themselves wholly to meditations on and to the practice of virtue were suddenly to become fond of gymnastic exercises and of hunting, looking upon hunting as a sort of prelude to and representation of the wars and dangers that have to be encountered against the enemy, then, whenever such a man is successful in his sport, he ought to give the beasts which he has slain to his dogs as a feast for them, and as a reward or wages for their successful boldness and their irreproachable alliance. But he ought not himself to touch them, inasmuch as he has been previously taught in the case of irrational animals, what sentiments he ought to entertain, respecting his enemies. For he ought to carry on war against them, not for the sake of unrighteous gain like those who make a dishonest traffic of all their actions, but either in revenge for some calamities which he has previously suffered at their hands, or with a view toward some which he expects to suffer. 4.122. But some men, with open mouths, carry even the excessive luxury and boundless intemperance of Sardanapalus to such an indefinite and unlimited extent, being wholly absorbed in the invention of senseless pleasures, that they prepare sacrifices which ought never be offered, strangling their victims, and stifling the essence of life, {26}{#le 17:11.} which they ought to let depart free and unrestrained, burying the blood, as it were, in the body. For it ought to have been sufficient for them to enjoy the flesh by itself, without touching any of those parts which have an connection with the soul or life. 4.123. On which account Moses, in another passage, establishes a law concerning blood, that one may not eat the blood nor the Fat.{27}{#le 3:17.} The blood, for the reason which I have already mentioned, that it is the essence of the life; not of the mental and rational life, but of that which exists in accordance with the outward senses, to which it is owing that both we and irrational animals also have a common existence.CONCERNING THE SOUL OR LIFE OF MANXXIV. For the essence of the soul of man is the breath of God, especially if we follow the account of Moses, who, in his history of the creation of the world, says that God breathed into the first man, the founder of our race, the breath of life; breathing it into the principal part of his body, namely the face, where the outward senses are established, the body-guards of the mind, as if it were the great king. And that which was thus breathed into his face was manifestly the breath of the air, or whatever else there may be which is even more excellent than the breath of the air, as being a ray emitted from the blessed and thricehappy nature of God. 4.124. But Moses commanded men to abstain from eating fat, because it is gross. And again, he gave us this injunction, in order to inculcate temperance and a zeal for an austere life: for some things we easily abandon, and without any hesitation; though we do not willingly encounter any anxieties or labours for the sake of the acquisition of virtue. 4.125. For which reason these two parts are to be taken out of every victim and burnt with fire, as a kind of first fruits, namely, the fat and the blood; the one being poured upon the altar as a libation; and the other as a fuel to the flame, being applied instead of oil, by reason of its fatness, to the consecrated and holy flame. 4.126. The lawgiver blames some persons of his time as gluttons, and as believing that the mere indulgence of luxury is the happiest of all possible conditions, not being content to live in this manner only in cities in which there were abundant supplies and stores of all kinds of necessary things, but carrying their effeminacy even into pathless and untrodden deserts, and choosing in them also to have markets for fish and meat, and all things which can contribute to an easy life: 4.127. then, when a scarcity arose, they assembled together and raised an outcry, and looked miserable, and with shameless audacity impeached their ruler, and did not desist from creating disturbances till they obtained what they desired; and they obtained it to their destruction, for two reasons: first of all, that it might be shown that all things are possible to God, who can find a way in the most difficult and apparently hopeless circumstances; and secondly, that punishment might fall on those who were intemperate in their gluttonous appetites, and obstinate resisters of holiness. 4.128. For a vast cloud being Raised{28}{#ex 16:13.} out of the sea showered down quails about the time of sunrise, and the camp and all the district around it for a day's journey for a well-girt active man was overshadowed all about with the Birds.{29}{#nu 11:31.} And the height of the flight of the birds was distant from the ground a height of about two cubits, in order that they might be easily caught. 4.129. It would have been natural therefore for them, being amazed at the marvellous nature of the prodigy which they beheld, to be satisfied with the sight, and being filled with piety to nourish their souls on that, and to abstain from eating flesh; but these men, on the contrary, stirred up their desires even more than before, and pursued these birds as the greatest good imaginable, and catching hold of them with both their hands filled their bosoms; then, having stored them up in their tents, they sallied forth to catch others, for immoderate covetousness has no limit. And when they had collected every description of food they devoured it insatiably, being about, vain-minded generation that they were, to perish by their own fulness; 4.130. and indeed at no distant time they did perish by the purging of their bile, {30}{#nu 11:20.} so that the place itself derived its name from the calamity which fell upon them, for it was called the graves of their lust, {31}{see #Nu 11:34: "And he called the name of that place Kibroth-hattaavah, because there they buried the people that lusted."} than which there is not in the soul, as the scripture teaches, us, any greater evil. 4.131. For which reason Moses says with great beauty in his recommendations, "Let not every man do that which seemeth good to his own Eyes,"{32}{#de 11:8.} which is equivalent to saying, let not any one gratify his own desire, but let each person seek to please God, and the world, and nature, and wise men, repudiating self-love, if he would become a good and virtuous man.XXV. 4.133. But enough of this. We must however not remain ignorant that as separately there are some particular injunctions related to each one of the ten generic commandments, which have nothing in common with any one of the others; so also there are some things to be observed which are common to the whole, being adapted not to one or two, as people say, but to the whole ten commandments. 4.134. And I mean by this those virtues which are of common utility, for each one of these ten laws separately, and all of them together, train men and encourage them to prudence, and justice, and piety, towards God and all the rest of the company of virtues, connecting sound words with good intentions, and virtuous actions with wise language, that so the organ of the soul may be wholly and entirely held together in a good and harmonious manner so as to produce a well-regulated and faultless innocence and consistency of life. 4.135. We have spoken before of that queen of all the virtues, piety and holiness, and also of prudence and moderation; we must now proceed to speak of justice which is conversant about subjects which are akin and nearly related to Them.{33}{yonge's translation includes a separate treatise title at this point: On Justice. The publisher has elected to follow the Loeb numbering.}XXVI. 4.143. The lawgiver also gives this most admirable injunction, that one must not add anything to, or take anything away from the law, but that it is a duty to keep all the ordices as originally established in an equal and similar state to that in which they were at first delivered without alteration; for, as it seems, there might otherwise be an addition of what is injust; for there is nothing which has been omitted by the wise lawgiver which can enable a man to partake of entire and perfect justice. 4.144. Moreover, by this command Moses intimates the perfection of all other virtue; for each separate virtue is free from all deficiency, and is complete, deriving its perfection from itself; so that if there were any addition thereto, or anything taken away therefrom, it would be utterly and entirely changed and altered, so as to assume a contrary character. 4.145. What I meant to say is this, all who are profoundly ignorant and uninstructed, all who have the very slightest smattering of education, know that courage is a virtue which is conversant about terrible objects; is a science teaching one what he ought to endure and dare. 4.146. But if any one, under the influence of that ignorance which proceeds from insolence, should be so superfluous as to fancy himself capable of correcting that which requires no correction, and should consequently venture to add anything or take away anything, he, by so doing, is altering the whole appearance of the thing, changing that which had a good character into unseemliness; for by any addition to courage he will produce audacity, but if he takes anything away from it he will produce cowardice, not leaving even the name of courage, that most useful of all virtues to life. 4.147. In the same manner, if any one makes an addition, be it ever so small, or ever so great, to that queen of the virtues, piety, or if he takes anything away from it, he will change and metamorphose its whole appearance, and make it something quite different; for any addition will engender superstition, and any diminution will produce impiety, real piety itself wholly disappearing under the operation, which every one should pray for, that it may be continually conspicuous and brilliant, since it is the cause of the greatest of all blessings, inasmuch as it produces a knowledge of the service of God, which one ought to look upon as more important and more precious than any dominion or authority. 4.148. And we may give instances of every other virtue resembling what we have said about these just mentioned; but since I am in the habit of avoiding prolixity, I will be satisfied with what has been stated, which may be a sufficient guide to what might be said respecting these virtues which we omit to mention.ABOUT NOT MOVING LANDMARKSXXVIII. 4.182. Let not any one then think that nobility of birth is a perfect good, and therefore neglect virtuous actions, considering that that man deserves greater anger who, after he has been born of virtuous parents, brings disgrace on his parents by reason of the wickedness of his disposition and conduct; for if he has domestic examples of goodness which he may imitate, and yet never copies them, so as to correct his own life, and to render it healthy and virtuous, he deserves reproach.XXXV.
9. Philo of Alexandria, On The Virtues, 102-104, 108, 141, 187-227, 52, 101 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

101. There is also an innumerable host of other special ordices relating to one's fellow countrymen of great humanity and beauty; but, as I have mentioned them at sufficient length in my former treatises, I shall be satisfied with what I have said on those subjects, which I then put forth seasonably as a kind of specimen of the whole. XX.
10. Philo of Alexandria, On The Life of Moses, 1.30-1.31, 2.1, 2.216 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

1.30. Therefore men in general, even if the slightest breeze of prosperity does only blow their way for a moment, become puffed up and give themselves great airs, becoming insolent to all those who are in a lower condition than themselves, and calling them dregs of the earth, and annoyances, and sources of trouble, and burdens of the earth, and all sorts of names of that kind, as if they had been thoroughly able to establish the undeviating character of their prosperity on a solid foundation, though, very likely, they will not remain in the same condition even till tomorrow 1.31. for there is nothing more inconstant than fortune, which tosses human affairs up and down like dice. often has a single day thrown down the man who was previously placed on an eminence, and raised the lowly man on high. And while men see these events continually taking place, and though they are well assured of the fact, still they overlook their relations and friends, and transgress the laws according to which they were born and brought up; and they overturn their national hereditary customs to which no just blame whatever is attached, dwelling in a foreign land, and by reason of their cordial reception of the customs among which they are living, no longer remembering a single one of their ancient usages. 2.1. The first volume of this treatise relates to the subject of the birth and bringing up of Moses, and also of his education and of his government of his people, which he governed not merely irreproachably, but in so exceedingly praiseworthy a manner; and also of all the affairs, which took place in Egypt, and in the travels and journeyings of the nation, and of the events which happened with respect to their crossing the Red Sea and in the desert, which surpass all power of description; and, moreover, of all the labours which he conducted to a successful issue, and of the inheritances which he distributed in portions to his soldiers. But the book which we are now about to compose relates to the affairs which follow those others in due order, and bear a certain correspondence and connection with them. 2.216. in accordance with which custom, even to this day, the Jews hold philosophical discussions on the seventh day, disputing about their national philosophy, and devoting that day to the knowledge and consideration of the subjects of natural philosophy; for as for their houses of prayer in the different cities, what are they, but schools of wisdom, and courage, and temperance, and justice, and piety, and holiness, and every virtue, by which human and divine things are appreciated, and placed upon a proper footing?
11. Philo of Alexandria, Who Is The Heir, 172, 168 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

168. And, indeed, of the ten commandments engraved on these tables which are properly and especially laws, there is an equal division into two numbers of five; the first of which contains the principle of justice relating to God, and the second those relating to man.


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
abraham, as a law Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 2
biography (bios), greek vs. roman Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 2
blame and praise Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 2
creation Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 2
de abrahamo, place of, in philos works Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 2
de abrahamo, rhetoric in Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 2
decalogue Smith and Stuckenbruck, Testing and Temptation in Second Temple Jewish and Early Christian Texts (2020) 107
desires Smith and Stuckenbruck, Testing and Temptation in Second Temple Jewish and Early Christian Texts (2020) 107
exposition of the law, sequence of treatises in Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 2
exposition of the law Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 2
gluttons, gluttony Smith and Stuckenbruck, Testing and Temptation in Second Temple Jewish and Early Christian Texts (2020) 107
isaac Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 2
israel, israelites Smith and Stuckenbruck, Testing and Temptation in Second Temple Jewish and Early Christian Texts (2020) 107
jacob Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 2
joseph Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 2
law of nature Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 2
laws, biblical figures as Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 2
laws, particular Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 2
laws, unwritten Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 2
laws, written Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 2
learning and teaching, abraham associated with Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 2
learning and teaching Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 2
literacy Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 2
moses, praise of Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 2
moses Smith and Stuckenbruck, Testing and Temptation in Second Temple Jewish and Early Christian Texts (2020) 107
nature, isaac and Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 2
particular laws Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 2
practice, jacob and Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 2
practice Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 2
praise and blame Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 2
prefaces, secondary Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 2
proofs Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 2
quail Smith and Stuckenbruck, Testing and Temptation in Second Temple Jewish and Early Christian Texts (2020) 107
rhetoric of de abrahamo Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 2
souls Smith and Stuckenbruck, Testing and Temptation in Second Temple Jewish and Early Christian Texts (2020) 107
speeches, inserted or expanded Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 2
stars, the statesman Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 2
ten commandments, as general heading of laws Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 2
the cosmos, and the law Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 2
tombs of desire Smith and Stuckenbruck, Testing and Temptation in Second Temple Jewish and Early Christian Texts (2020) 107
virtue, of universal value Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 2
virtue Smith and Stuckenbruck, Testing and Temptation in Second Temple Jewish and Early Christian Texts (2020) 107
wilderness passim, place' Smith and Stuckenbruck, Testing and Temptation in Second Temple Jewish and Early Christian Texts (2020) 107
written laws Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 2
διατριβή Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 2
νόμος Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 2
προσωποποιία Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 2
ἄγραφος νόμος Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 2