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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



9239
Philo Of Alexandria, On The Special Laws, 4.134-4.135


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):

21 results
1. Hebrew Bible, Deuteronomy, 17.15 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

17.15. שׂוֹם תָּשִׂים עָלֶיךָ מֶלֶךְ אֲשֶׁר יִבְחַר יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בּוֹ מִקֶּרֶב אַחֶיךָ תָּשִׂים עָלֶיךָ מֶלֶךְ לֹא תוּכַל לָתֵת עָלֶיךָ אִישׁ נָכְרִי אֲשֶׁר לֹא־אָחִיךָ הוּא׃ 17.15. thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose; one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee; thou mayest not put a foreigner over thee, who is not thy brother."
2. Hebrew Bible, Exodus, 18 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

3. Aristotle, Rhetoric, None (4th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

4. Septuagint, 3 Maccabees, 5.30 (2nd cent. BCE - 2nd cent. BCE)

5. Philo of Alexandria, On The Life of Abraham, 4-5, 52, 6-7, 276 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

276. Such is the life of the first author and founder of our nation; a man according to the law, as some persons think, but, as my argument has shown, one who is himself the unwritten law and justice of God.
6. Philo of Alexandria, On The Cherubim, 5-8, 4 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

4. And we must speak of the causes of her first flight, and then again of her second perpetual banishment. Before the names of the two were changed, that is to say, before they had been altered for the better as to the characteristics of their souls, and had been endowed with better dispositions, but while the name of the man was still Abram, or the sublime father, who delighted in the lofty philosophy which investigates the events which take place in the air, and the sublime nature of the beings which exist in heaven, which mathematical science claims for itself as the most excellent part of natural philosophy 4. from whence also that most designing of all things, namely pride, is implanted, which some persons admire and worship, dignifying and making much of vain opinions, with golden crowns and purple robes, and numbers of servants and chariots, on which those men who are looked upon as fortunate and happy are borne aloft, sometimes harnessing mules or horses to their chariots, and sometimes even men, who bear their burdens on their necks, through the excess of the insolence of their masters, weighed down in soul even before they faint in body. II.
7. Philo of Alexandria, On The Decalogue, 106-121, 154-175, 19-20, 50-52, 1 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

8. Philo of Alexandria, On Drunkenness, 212 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

212. And it is laid down as a doctrine of the most general applicability and usefulness, that every author of pleasure is unproductive of wisdom, being neither male nor female, because it is incompetent either to give or to receive the seeds which have a tendency to incorruptibility, but is able only to study the most disgraceful habits of life, to destroy what ought to be indestructible, and to extinguish the torches of wisdom, which ought to be enduring and inextinguishable.
9. 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.
10. Philo of Alexandria, On The Creation of The World, 137-141, 3, 47-52, 136 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

136. But the original man, he who was created out of the clay, the primeval founder of all our race, appears to me to have been most excellent in both particulars, in both soul and body, and to have been very far superior to all the men of subsequent ages from his pre-eminent excellence in both parts. For he in truth was really good and perfect. And one may form a conjecture of the perfection of his bodily beauty from three considerations, the first of which is this: when the earth was now but lately formed by its separation from that abundant quantity of water which was called the sea, it happened that the materials out of which the things just created were formed were unmixed, uncorrupted, and pure; and the things made from this material were naturally free from all imperfection.
11. Philo of Alexandria, On Curses, 101, 107, 119, 152, 171-172, 2, 100 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

100. And Jacob's brother, he says, was Jubal, and the interpretation of this latter name is "inclining," being symbolically speech according to utterance; for this is naturally the brother of intellect; and it is with extraordinary propriety that he called the conversation of that intellect which changes affairs, "inclining," for it agrees after a fashion and harmonizes with both, as the equivalent weight does in a scale, or as a vessel which is tossed by the sea inclines first to one side and then to the other, from the violence of the waves; for the foolish man has not learnt how to say anything firm or stable.
12. Philo of Alexandria, De Providentia, 2.12, 2.15 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

13. Philo of Alexandria, On Dreams, 2.277 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

2.277. But some have not only put themselves forward as rivals to human virtue, but have proceeded to such a pitch of folly as to oppose themselves also to divine virtue. Therefore Pharaoh, the king of the land of Egypt, is spoken of as the leader of the company which is devoted to the passions; for it is said to the prophet, "Behold, he is going forth to the river, and thou shalt stand in the way to meet him, on the bank of the River;
14. Philo of Alexandria, On The Special Laws, 1.1, 1.51-1.52, 1.317-1.318, 1.321, 2.1, 2.62-2.63, 2.73, 2.162-2.167, 3.7, 4.132-4.133, 4.135, 4.143-4.149, 4.157, 4.182, 4.215 (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. 1.321. for envy is never found in conjunction with virtue. Let men who do injurious things be put to shame, and seeking hiding places and recesses in the earth, and deep darkness, hide themselves, concealing their lawless iniquity from sight, so that no one may behold it. But to those who do such things as are for the common advantage, let there be freedom of speech, and let them go by day through the middle of the market place where they will meet with the most numerous crowds, to display their own manner of life in the pure sun, and to do good to the assembled multitudes by means of the principal of the outward senses, giving them to see those things the sight of which is most delightful and most impressive, and hearing and feasting upon salutary speeches which are accustomed to delight the minds even of those men who are not utterly illiterate. 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. 4.132. This 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 ordices 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. 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. 4.135. 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. 4.149. There is also this commandment ordained which is of great common utility, that, "Thou shalt not move thy neighbours' landmarks which the former men have set Up."{35}{deuteronomy 19:14.} And this injunction is given, as it seems, not only with respect to inheritances, and to the boundaries of the land, in order to prohibit covetousness respecting them, but also as a guard to ancient customs; for customs are unwritten laws, being the doctrines of men of old, not engraved on pillars or written on paper which may be eaten by moths, but impressed in the souls of those living under the same constitution. 4.157. The all-wise Moses seeing this by the power of his own soul, makes no mention of any authority being assigned by lot, but he has chosen to direct that all offices shall be elected to; therefore he says, "Thou shalt not appoint a stranger to be a ruler over thee, but one of thine own Brethren,"{37}{#de 17:15.} implying that the appointment is to be a voluntary choice, and an irreproachable selection of a ruler, whom the whole multitude with one accord shall choose; and God himself will add his vote on favour of, and set his seal to ratify such an election, that being who is the confirmer of all advantageous things, looking upon the man so chosen as the flower of his race, just as the sight is the best thing in the body.XXXI. 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. 4.215. But you seem rashly to forget those precepts of general advantage which I enjoined you to observe. For, at all events, if you had recollected the commandment concerning the seventh year, in which I commanded you to allow the land to remain fallow and sacred, without being exhausted by any agricultural operation of any kind, by reason of the labours which it has been going through for the six preceding years, and which is has undergone, producing its crops at the appointed seasons of the year in accordance with the ordices of nature; you would not now be introducing innovations, and giving vent to all your covetous desires, be seeking for unprecedented crops, sowing a land fit for the growth of trees, and especially one planted with vines, in order by two crops every year, both being founded in iniquity, to increase your substance out of undue avarice, amassing money by lawless desires.
15. Philo of Alexandria, On The Virtues, 10, 100-109, 11, 110-119, 12, 120-129, 13, 130-139, 14, 140-149, 15, 150-159, 16, 160-169, 17, 170-179, 18, 180-189, 19, 190-199, 2, 20, 200-209, 21, 210-227, 27-29, 3, 30, 34-39, 4, 40-79, 8, 80-99, 1 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

1. Having previously said all that appeared to be necessary about justice, and those precepts which are closely connected with it, I now proceed in regular order to speak of courage, not meaning by courage that warlike and frantic delirium, under the influence of passion as its counsellor, which the generality of men take for it, but knowledge;
16. Philo of Alexandria, On The Life of Moses, 1.30-1.31, 1.67, 1.132, 1.162, 2.1, 2.3, 2.5-2.6, 2.8-2.11, 2.26-2.28, 2.32, 2.58, 2.154, 2.200, 2.216, 2.261, 2.278 (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. 1.67. For the burning bush was a symbol of the oppressed people, and the burning fire was a symbol of the oppressors; and the circumstance of the burning bush not being consumed was an emblem of the fact that the people thus oppressed would not be destroyed by those who were attacking them, but that their hostility would be unsuccessful and fruitless to the one party, and the fact of their being plotted against would fail to be injurious to the others. The angel, again, was the emblem of the providence of God, who mitigates circumstances which appear very formidable, so as to produce from them great tranquillity beyond the hopes or expectation of any one. 1.132. But at this time its attack was prompted by God, so that its treachery and hostility were redoubled, since it not only displayed all its own natural covetousness, but also all that eagerness which it derived from the divine providence which went it forth, and armed it and excited it to acts of valour against the natives. 1.162. but, perhaps, since Moses was also destined to be the lawgiver of his nation, he was himself long previously, through the providence of God, a living and reasonable law, since that providence appointed him to the lawgiver, when as yet he knew nothing of his appointment. 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. 2.3. and it is on these subjects that I have now been constrained to choose to enlarge; for I conceive that all these things have fitly been united in him, inasmuch as in accordance with the providential will of God he was both a king and a lawgiver, and a high priest and a prophet, and because in each office he displayed the most eminent wisdom and virtue. We must now show how it is that every thing is fitly united in him. 2.5. But a king and a lawgiver ought to pay attention not only to human things, but also to divine ones, for the affairs of neither kings nor subjects go on well except by the intervention of divine providence; on which account it was necessary that such a man as Moses should enjoy the first priesthood, in order that he might with perfectly conducted sacrifices, and with a perfect knowledge of the proper way to serve God, entreat for a deliverance from evil and for a participation in good, both for himself and for the people whom he was governing, from the merciful God who listens favourably to prayers. 2.6. But since there is an infinite variety of both human and divine circumstances which are unknown both to king, and lawgiver, and chief priest, for a man is no less a created and mortal being from having all these offices, or because he is clothed with such a vast and boundless inheritance of honour and happiness, he was also of necessity invested with the gift of prophecy, in order that he might through the providence of God learn all those things which he was unable to comprehend by his own reason; for what the mind is unable to attain to, that prophecy masters. 2.8. And first of all we must speak of the matters which relate to his character and conduct as a lawgiver. I am not ignorant that the man who desires to be an excellent and perfect lawgiver ought to exercise all the virtues in their complete integrity and perfection, since in the houses of his nation some are near relations and some distant, but still they are all related to one another. And in like manner we must look upon some of the virtues as connected more closely with some matters, and on others as being more removed from them. 2.9. Now these four qualities are closely connected with and related to the legislative power, namely, humility, the love of justice, the love of virtue, and the hatred of iniquity; for every individual who has any desire for exercising his talents as a lawgiver is under the influence of each of these feelings. It is the province of humanity to prepare for adoption such opinions as will benefit the common weal, and to teach the advantages which will proceed from them. It is the part of justice to point out how we ought to honour equality, and to assign to every man his due according to his deserts. It is the part of the love of virtue to embrace those things which are by nature good, and to give to every one who deserves them facilities without limit for the most unrestrained enjoyment of happiness. It is also the province of the hatred of iniquity to reject all those who dishonour virtue, and to look upon them as common enemies of the human race. 2.10. Therefore it is a very great thing if it has fallen to the lot of any one to arrive at any one of the qualities before mentioned, and it is a marvellous thing, as it should seem, for any one man to have been able to grasp them all, which in fact Moses appears to have been the only person who has ever done, having given a very clear description of the aforesaid virtues in the commandments which he established. 2.11. And those who are well versed in the sacred scriptures know this, for if he had not had these principles innate within him he would never have compiled those scriptures at the promptings of God. And he gave to those who were worthy to use them the most admirable of all possessions, namely, faithful copies and imitations of the original examples which were consecrated and enshrined in the soul, which became the laws which he revealed and established, displaying in the clearest manner the virtues which I have enumerated and described above. 2.26. In olden time the laws were written in the Chaldaean language, and for a long time they remained in the same condition as at first, not changing their language as long as their beauty had not made them known to other nations; 2.27. but when, from the daily and uninterrupted respect shown to them by those to whom they had been given, and from their ceaseless observance of their ordices, other nations also obtained an understanding of them, their reputation spread over all lands; for what was really good, even though it may through envy be overshadowed for a short time, still in time shines again through the intrinsic excellence of its nature. Some persons, thinking it a scandalous thing that these laws should only be known among one half portion of the human race, namely, among the barbarians, and that the Greek nation should be wholly and entirely ignorant of them, turned their attention to their translation. 2.28. And since this undertaking was an important one, tending to the general advantage, not only of private persons, but also of rulers, of whom the number was not great, it was entrusted to kings and to the most illustrious of all kings. 2.32. And having explained his wishes, and having requested him to pick him out a number of men, of perfect fitness for the task, who should translate the law, the high-priest, as was natural, being greatly pleased, and thinking that the king had only felt the inclination to undertake a work of such a character from having been influenced by the providence of God, considered, and with great care selected the most respectable of the Hebrews whom he had about him, who in addition to their knowledge of their national scriptures, had also been well instructed in Grecian literature, and cheerfully sent them. 2.58. But when the whole of that district was thus burnt, inhabitants and all, by the impetuous rush of the heavenly fire, one single man in the country, a sojourner, was preserved by the providence of God because he had never shared in the transgressions of the natives, though sojourners in general were in the habit of adopting the customs of the foreign nations, among which they might be settled, for the sake of their own safety, since, if they despised them, they might be in danger from the inhabitants of the land. And yet this man had not attained to any perfection of wisdom, so as to be thought worthy of such an honour by reason of the perfect excellence of his nature; but he was spared only because he did not join the multitude who were inclined to luxury and effeminacy, and who pursued every kind of pleasure and indulged every kind of appetite, gratifying them abundantly, and inflaming them as one might inflame fire by heaping upon it plenty of rough fuel. 2.154. Then, when they had both come out and held up their hands in front of their head, they, with a pure and holy mind, offered up such prayers as were suitable and becoming for the nation. And while they were still praying a most marvellous prodigy happened; for from out of the inmost shrine, whether it was a portion of the purest possible aether, or whether the air, according to some natural change of the elements, had become dissolved with fire, on a sudden a body of flame shone forth, and with impetuous violence descended on the altar and consumed all that was thereon, with the view, as I imagine, of showing in the clearest manner that none of the things which had been done had been done without the especial providence of God. 2.200. And was not either the tongue of the man who uttered such impiety loosened, or the ears of him who was destined to hear such things closed up? unless, indeed, that was done in consequence of some providential arrangement of justice, which does not think that either any extraordinary good or that any enormous evil ought to be kept in darkness, but that such should be revealed in order to the most complete manifestation of virtue or vice, so that it may adjudge the one to be worthy of acceptance and the other of punishment. 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? 2.261. And Moses, when he saw this, was naturally indigt with those who were thus disobedient; for how could he help being so, when those who had beheld such numerous and great actions which could not possibly be perverted into mere fictitious and well contrived appearances, but which had been easily accomplished by the divine providence, did not only doubt, but even absolutely disbelieved, and were the hardest of all man to be convinced? 2.278. Then, joining together and assembling in one place, they cried out upon the prophet as if he had given the priesthood to his brother, and to his nephews, out of consideration for their relationship to him, and had given a false account of their appointment, as if it had not taken place under the direction of divine providence, as we have represented.
17. Philo of Alexandria, Hypothetica, 11.5 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

18. Philo of Alexandria, Allegorical Interpretation, 1.56-1.61, 1.63-1.64 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

1.56. And God caused to rise out of the earth every tree which is pleasant to the sight and good for food, and the tree of life he raised in the middle of the Paradise, and also the tree of the knowledge of good and evil." He here gives a sketch of the trees of virtue which he plants in the soul. And these are the particular virtues, and the energies in accordance with them, and the good and successful actions, and the things which by the philosophers are called fitting; 1.57. these are the plants of the Paradise. Nevertheless, he describes the characteristics of these same trees, showing that that which is desirable to be beheld is likewise most excellent to be enjoyed. For of the arts some are theoretical and not practical, such as geometry and astronomy. Some, again, are practical and not theoretical, such as the art of the architect, of the smith, and all those which are called mechanical arts. But virtue is both theoretical and practical; for it takes in theory, since the road which leads to it is philosophy in three of its parts--the reasoning, and the moral, and the physical part. It also includes action; for virtue is art conversant about the whole of life; and in life all actions are exhibited. 1.58. Still, although it takes in both theory and practice, nevertheless it is most excellent in each particular. For the theory of virtue is thoroughly excellent, and its practice and observation is a worthy object to contend for. On which account Moses says that the tree was pleasant to the sight, which is a symbol of theoretical excellence; and likewise good for food, which is a token of useful and practical good. XVIII. 1.59. But the tree of life is that most general virtue which some people call goodness; from which the particular virtues are derived, and of which they are composed. And it is on this account that it is placed in the centre of the Paradise; having the most comprehensive place of all, in order that, like a king, it may be guarded by the trees on each side of it. But some say that it is the heart that is meant by the tree of life; since that is the cause of life, and since that has its position in the middle of the body, as being, according to them, the domit part of the body. But these men ought to be made aware that they are expounding a doctrine which has more reference to medical than to natural science. But we, as has been said before, affirm that by the tree of life is meant the most general virtue. 1.60. And of this tree Moses expressly says, that it is placed in the middle of the paradise; but as to the other tree, that namely of the knowledge of good and evil, he has not specified whether it is within or outside of the Paradise; but after he has used the following expression, "and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil," he says no more, not mentioning where it is placed, in order that any one who is uninitiated in the principles of natural philosophy, may not be made to marvel at his knowledge. 1.61. What then must we say? That this tree is both in the Paradise and also out of it. As to its essence, indeed, in it; but as to its power, out of it. How so? The domit portion of us is capable of receiving everything, and resembles wax, which is capable of receiving every impression, whether good or bad. In reference to which fact, that supplanter Jacob makes a confession where he says, "all these things were made for Me." For the unspeakable formations and impression of all the things in the universe, are all borne forward into, and comprehended by the soul, which is only one. When, therefore that receives the impression of perfect virtue, it has become the tree of life; but when it has received the impression of vice, it has then become the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and vice and all evil have been banished from the divine company. Therefore the domit power which has received it is in the Paradise according to its essence; for there is in it that characteristic of virtue, which is akin to the Paradise. But again, according to its power it is not in it, because the form of virtue is inconsistent with the divine operations; 1.63. And a river goes forth out of Eden to water the Paradise. From thence it is separated into four heads: the name of the one is Pheison. That is the one which encircles the whole land of Evilat. There is the country where there is gold, and the gold of that land is good. There also are the carbuncle and the sapphire stone. And the name of the second river is Gihon; this is that which encircles the whole land of Ethiopia. And the third river is the Tigris. This is the river which flows in front of the Assyrians. And the fourth river is the Euphrates." In these words Moses intends to sketch out the particular virtues. And they also are four in number, prudence, temperance, courage, and justice. Now the greatest river from which the four branches flow off, is generic virtue, which we have already called goodness; and the four branches are the same number of virtues. 1.64. Generic virtue, therefore, derives its beginning from Eden, which is the wisdom of God; which rejoices and exults, and triumphs, being delighted at and honoured on account of nothing else, except its Father, God, and the four particular virtues, are branches from the generic virtue, which like a river waters all the good actions of each, with an abundant stream of benefits.
19. Philo of Alexandria, Questions On Genesis, 3.3 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

20. Philo of Alexandria, Who Is The Heir, 171-172, 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.
21. Anon., Letter of Aristeas, 80, 30

30. and I now have the following proposal to lay before you. The books of the law of the Jews (with some few others) are absent from the library. They are written in the Hebrew characters and language and have been carelessly interpreted, and do not represent the original text as I am


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
abraham, encomia on Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 398
abraham Wilson, Philo of Alexandria: On Virtues: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2010) 2
alexandria, philos perspective on Salvesen et al., Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period (2020) 233
alexandria Salvesen et al., Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period (2020) 233
archetypes, vs. copies Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 398
aristeas, letter of Salvesen et al., Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period (2020) 233
aristotle Putthoff, Ontological Aspects of Early Jewish Anthropology (2016) 87
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
body Putthoff, Ontological Aspects of Early Jewish Anthropology (2016) 87
copies Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 398
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 Wilson, Philo of Alexandria: On Virtues: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2010) 2
eleazar (high priest in letter of aristeas), unnamed in philo of alexandrias account of the ptolemaic embassy to jerusalem Salvesen et al., Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period (2020) 233
encomia, on abraham Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 398
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
gentiles, non-jews (christians, muslims) Salvesen et al., Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period (2020) 233
greek, language Salvesen et al., Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period (2020) 233
holiness Wilson, Philo of Alexandria: On Virtues: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2010) 2, 5
holy, holiness Putthoff, Ontological Aspects of Early Jewish Anthropology (2016) 87
isaac Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 2; Wilson, Philo of Alexandria: On Virtues: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2010) 2
jacob Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 2; Wilson, Philo of Alexandria: On Virtues: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2010) 2
jerusalem, in letter of aristeas Salvesen et al., Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period (2020) 233
joseph Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 2; Wilson, Philo of Alexandria: On Virtues: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2010) 2
judaea (judea), high priest of Salvesen et al., Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period (2020) 233
justice Wilson, Philo of Alexandria: On Virtues: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2010) 5
law of nature, mosaic laws consonant with Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 398
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, 398
laws, unwritten Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 2
laws, virtue underlying Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 398
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
liminality Putthoff, Ontological Aspects of Early Jewish Anthropology (2016) 87
literacy Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 2
memory, cultural Salvesen et al., Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period (2020) 233
mind Putthoff, Ontological Aspects of Early Jewish Anthropology (2016) 87
moderation Wilson, Philo of Alexandria: On Virtues: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2010) 5
mosaic law, as embodied by early biblical figures Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 398
mosaic law, law of nature and Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 398
moses, in philos life of moses Salvesen et al., Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period (2020) 233
moses, praise of Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 2
nature, isaac and Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 2
noah Wilson, Philo of Alexandria: On Virtues: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2010) 2
particular laws Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 2, 398
philo of alexandria Salvesen et al., Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period (2020) 233
philos perspective Salvesen et al., Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period (2020) 233
piety Wilson, Philo of Alexandria: On Virtues: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2010) 2, 5
plutarch Salvesen et al., Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period (2020) 233
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
ptolemy ii philadelphus, in philos life of moses Salvesen et al., Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period (2020) 233
ptolemy ii philadelphus Salvesen et al., Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period (2020) 233
rhetoric of de abrahamo Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 2
septuagint (lxx) Salvesen et al., Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period (2020) 233
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
ten commandments Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 398
the cosmos, and the law Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 2
unwritten laws Wilson, Philo of Alexandria: On Virtues: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2010) 2
virtue, abrahams, showing him to be a law Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 398
virtue, law and, interconnectedness of Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 398
virtue, of universal value Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 2
virtue Putthoff, Ontological Aspects of Early Jewish Anthropology (2016) 87
wisdom, as a virtue Birnbaum and Dillon, Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2020) 398
wisdom Wilson, Philo of Alexandria: On Virtues: Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (2010) 5
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