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

Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



9251
Philo Of Alexandria, That The Worse Attacks The Better, 120-121


nanOn the other hand, he who pursues virtue is found to be in the enjoyment of corresponding blessings; for either he has acquired what is good or he will attain to it. Now the present possession perfects joy, which is the best of all possessions; but the expectation of possessing it brings hope, the food of those souls which love virtue; on account of which, putting away sluggishness, we, with spontaneous readiness, hasten onwards to good actions.


nanFrom that soul therefore, in which justice has brought forth a male offspring, that is to say just thoughts, it has also at the same time removed all painful things, and the birth of Noah will bear testimony in confirmation of this, and the interpretation of the name of Noah is just; and of him it is said, "he will make us to rest from our works, and from the labours of our hands, and from the earth, which the Lord God has Cursed;


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

9 results
1. Hebrew Bible, Genesis, 18.12-18.15 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

18.12. וַתִּצְחַק שָׂרָה בְּקִרְבָּהּ לֵאמֹר אַחֲרֵי בְלֹתִי הָיְתָה־לִּי עֶדְנָה וַאדֹנִי זָקֵן׃ 18.13. וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֶל־אַבְרָהָם לָמָּה זֶּה צָחֲקָה שָׂרָה לֵאמֹר הַאַף אֻמְנָם אֵלֵד וַאֲנִי זָקַנְתִּי׃ 18.14. הֲיִפָּלֵא מֵיְהוָה דָּבָר לַמּוֹעֵד אָשׁוּב אֵלֶיךָ כָּעֵת חַיָּה וּלְשָׂרָה בֵן׃ 18.15. וַתְּכַחֵשׁ שָׂרָה לֵאמֹר לֹא צָחַקְתִּי כִּי יָרֵאָה וַיֹּאמֶר לֹא כִּי צָחָקְתְּ׃ 18.12. And Sarah laughed within herself, saying: ‘After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?’" 18.13. And the LORD said unto Abraham: ‘Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying: Shall I of a surety bear a child, who am old?" 18.14. Is any thing too hard for the LORD. At the set time I will return unto thee, when the season cometh round, and Sarah shall have a son.’" 18.15. Then Sarah denied, saying: ‘I laughed not’; for she was afraid. And He said: ‘Nay; but thou didst laugh.’"
2. Philo of Alexandria, On The Cherubim, 13, 12 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

12. Now the first example of an enemy placed directly in front of one is derived from what is said in the case of Cain, that "he went out from the face of God, and dwelt in the land of Nod, in the front of Eden." Now Nod being interpreted means commotion, and Eden means delight. The one therefore is a symbol of wickedness agitating the soul, and the other of virtue which creates for the soul a state of tranquillity and happiness, not meaning by happiness that effeminate luxury which is derived from the indulgence of the irrational passion of pleasure, but a joy free from toil and free from hardship, which is enjoyed with great tranquillity. 12. in this manner those who are skilful in the art of medicine, save their patients; for they do not think it advisable to give food before they have removed the causes of their diseases; for while the diseases remain, food is useless, being the pernicious materials of their sufferings. III.
3. Philo of Alexandria, On The Migration of Abraham, 92 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

92. Nor does it follow, because the feast is the symbol of the joy of the soul and of its gratitude towards God, that we are to repudiate the assemblies ordained at the periodical seasons of the year; nor because the rite of circumcision is an emblem of the excision of pleasures and of all the passions, and of the destruction of that impious opinion, according to which the mind has imagined itself to be by itself competent to produce offspring, does it follow that we are to annul the law which has been enacted about circumcision. Since we shall neglect the laws about the due observance of the ceremonies in the temple, and numbers of others too, if we exclude all figurative interpretation and attend only to those things which are expressly ordained in plain words.
4. Philo of Alexandria, On The Change of Names, 190-192, 189 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

189. But the aforesaid numbers are perfect, and especially according to the sacred scriptures. And let us consider each of them: now first of all there is the son of the just Noah and the ancestor of the seeing race, and he is said to have been a hundred years old when he begat Arphaxad, and the meaning of the name of Arphaxad is, "he disturbed sorrow." At all events it is a good thing that the offspring of the soul should confuse, and disorder, and destroy that miserable thing iniquity, so full of evils.
5. Philo of Alexandria, On Planting, 167-169, 162 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

6. Philo of Alexandria, On The Special Laws, 2.50-2.55, 2.150 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

2.50. since he uses the first for the utterance of things which ought to be secret and buried in silence, and the second he fills full of abundance of strong wine and immoderate quantities of food out of gluttony, and the rest of his members he uses for the indulgence of unlawful desires and illicit connections, not only seeking to violate the marriage bed of others, but lusting unnaturally, and seeking to deface the manly character of the nature of man, and to change it into a womanlike appearance, for the sake of the gratification of his own polluted and accursed passions. 2.51. On which account the all-great Moses, seeing the pre-eminence of the beauty of that which is the real festival, looked upon it as too perfect for human nature and dedicated it to God himself, speaking thus, in these very words: "The feast of the Lord."{7}{#le 23:2.} 2.52. In considering the melancholy and fearful condition of the human race, and how full it is of innumerable evils, which the covetousness of the soul begets, which the defects of the body produce, and which all the inequalities of the soul inflict upon us, and which the retaliations of those among whom we live, both doing and suffering innumerable evils, are continually causing us, he then wondered whether any one being tossed about in such a sea of troubles, some brought on deliberately and others unintentionally, and never being able to rest in peace nor to cast anchor in the safe haven of a life free from danger, could by any possibility really keep a feast, not one in name, but one which should really be so, enjoying himself and being happy in the contemplation of the world and all the things in it, and in obedience to nature, and in a perfect harmony between his words and his actions, between his actions and his words. 2.53. On which account he necessarily said that the feasts belonged to God alone; for he alone is happy and blessed, having no participation in any evil whatever, but being full of all perfect blessings. Or rather, if one is to say the exact truth, being himself the good, who has showered all particular good things over the heaven and earth. 2.54. In reference to which fact, a certain pre-eminently virtuous mind among the people of old, {8}{#ge 18:10.} when all its passions were tranquil, smiled, being full of and completely penetrated with joy, and reasoning with itself whether perhaps to rejoice was not a peculiar attribute of God, and whether it might not itself miss this joy by pursuing what are thought delights by men, was timorous, and denied the laughter of her soul until she was comforted. 2.55. For the merciful God lightened her fear, bidding her by his holy word confess that she did laugh, in order to teach us that the creature is not wholly and entirely deprived of joy; but that joy is unmingled and the purest of all which can receive nothing of an opposite nature, the chosen peculiar joy of God. But the joy which flows from that is a mingled one, being alloyed, being that of a man who is already wise, and who has received as the most valuable gift possible such a mixture as that in which the pleasant are far more numerous than the unpleasant ingredients. And this is enough to say on this subject.THE SECOND FESTIVALXV. 2.150. And there is another festival combined with the feast of the passover, having a use of food different from the usual one, and not customary; the use, namely, of unleavened bread, from which it derives its name. And there are two accounts given of this festival, the one peculiar to the nation, on account of the migration already described; the other a common one, in accordance with conformity to nature and with the harmony of the whole world. And we must consider how accurate the hypothesis is. This month, being the seventh both in number and order, according to the revolutions of the sun, is the first in power;
7. Philo of Alexandria, Allegorical Interpretation, 1.31-1.43, 3.83-3.87, 3.105-3.107, 3.217-3.219 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

1.31. And God created man, taking a lump of clay from the earth, and breathed into his face the breath of life: and man became a living soul." The races of men are twofold; for one is the heavenly man, and the other the earthly man. Now the heavenly man, as being born in the image of God, has no participation in any corruptible or earthlike essence. But the earthly man is made of loose material, which he calls a lump of clay. On which account he says, not that the heavenly man was made, but that he was fashioned according to the image of God; but the earthly man he calls a thing made, and not begotten by the maker. 1.32. And we must consider that the man who was formed of earth, means the mind which is to be infused into the body, but which has not yet been so infused. And this mind would be really earthly and corruptible, if it were not that God had breathed into it the spirit of genuine life; for then it "exists," and is no longer made into a soul; and its soul is not inactive, and incapable of proper formation, but a really intellectual and living one. "For man," says Moses, "became a living soul." XIII. 1.33. But some one may ask, why God thought an earth-born mind, which was wholly devoted to the body, worthy of divine inspiration, and yet did not treat the one made after his own idea and image in the same manner. In the second place he may ask, what is the meaning of the expression "breathed into." And thirdly, why he breathed into his face: fourthly also, why, since he knew the name of the Spirit when he says, "And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the Waters," he now speaks of breath, and not of the Spirit. 1.34. Now in reply to the first question we must say this one thing; God being very munificent gives his good things to all men, even to those who are not perfect; inviting them to a participation and rivalry in virtue, and at the same time displaying his abundant riches, and showing that it is sufficient for those also who will not be greatly benefited by it; and he also shows this in the most evident manner possible in other cases; for when he rains on the sea, and when he raises up fountains in desert places, and waters shallow and rough and unproductive land, making the rivers to overflow with floods, what else is he doing but displaying the great abundance of his riches and of his goodness? This is the cause why he has created no soul in such a condition as to be wholly barren of good, even if the employment of that good be beyond the reach of some people. 1.35. We must also give a second reason, which is this: Moses wished to represent all the actions of the Deity as just--therefore a man who had not had a real life breathed into him, but who was ignorant of virtue, when he was chastised for the sins which he had committed would say that he was punished unjustly, in that it was only through ignorance of what was good that he had erred respecting it; and that he was to blame who had not breathed any proper wisdom into him; and perhaps he will even say, that he has absolutely committed no offence whatever; since some people affirm that actions done involuntarily and in ignorance have not the nature of offences. 1.36. Now the expression "breathed into" is equivalent to "inspired," or "gave life to" things iimate: for let us take care that we are never filled with such absurdity as to think that God employs the organs of the mouth or nostrils for the purpose of breathing into anything; for God is not only devoid of peculiar qualities, but he is likewise not of the form of man, and the use of these words shows some more secret mystery of nature; 1.37. for there must be three things, that which breathes in, that which receives what is breathed in, and that which is breathed in. Now that which breathes in is God, that which receives what is breathed in is the mind, and that which is breathed in is the spirit. What then is collected from these three things? A union of the three takes place, through God extending the power, which proceeds from himself through the spirit, which is the middle term, as far as the subject. Why does he do this, except that we may thus derive a proper notion of him? 1.38. Since how could the soul have perceived God if he had not inspired it, and touched it according to his power? For human intellect would not have dared to mount up to such a height as to lay claim to the nature of God, if God himself had not drawn it up to himself, as far as it was possible for the mind of man to be drawn up, and if he had not formed it according to those powers which can be comprehended. 1.39. And God breathed into man's face both physically and morally. Physically, when he placed the senses in the face: and this portion of the body above all others is vivified and inspired; and morally, in this manner, as the face is the domit portion of the body, so also is the mind the domit portion of the soul. It is into this alone that God breathes; but the other parts, the sensations, the power of speech, and the power of generation, he does not think worthy of his breath, for they are inferior in power. 1.40. By what then were these subordinate parts inspired? beyond all question by the mind; for of the qualities which the mind has received form God, it gives a share to the irrational portion of the soul, so that the mind is vivified by God, and the irrational part of the soul by the mind; for the mind is as it were a god to the irrational part of the soul, for which reason Moses did not hesitate to call it "the god of Pharaoh. 1.41. For of all created things some are created by God, and through him: some not indeed by God, but yet through him: and the rest have their existence both by him and through him. At all events Moses as he proceeds says, that God planted a paradise, and among the best things as made both by God and through God, is the mind. But the irrational part of the soul was made indeed by God but not through God, but through the reasoning power which bears rule and sovereignty in the soul; 1.42. and Moses has used the word "breath," not "spirit," as there is a difference between the two words; for spirit is conceived of according to strength, and intensity, and power; but breath is a gentle and moderate kind of breeze and exhalation; therefore the mind, which was created in accordance with the image and idea of God, may be justly said to partake in his spirit, for its reasoning has strength: but that which is derived from matter is only a partaker in a thin and very light air, being as it were a sort of exhalation, such as arises from spices; for they, although they be preserved intact, and are not exposed to fire or fumigation, do nevertheless emit a certain fragrance. XIV. 1.43. And God planted a paradise in Eden, in the east: and there he placed the man whom he had Formed:" for he called that divine and heavenly wisdom by many names; and he made it manifest that it had many appellations; for he called it the beginning, and the image, and the sight of God. And now he exhibits the wisdom which is conversant about the things of the earth (as being an imitation of this archetypal wisdom), in the plantation of this Paradise. For let not such impiety ever occupy our thoughts as for us to suppose that God cultivates the land and plants paradises, since if we were to do so, we should be presently raising the question of why he does so: for it could not be that he might provide himself with pleasant places of recreation and pastime, or with amusement.
8. Philo of Alexandria, That The Worse Attacks The Better, 123-125, 130-137, 119 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

119. But to the impious Cain, neither does the earth contribute anything to give him vigour, even though he never concerns himself about anything which is exterior to it; on which account, in the next sentence, he is found "groaning and trembling upon the Earth," that is to say, under the influence of grief and terror; and such also is the miserable life of a wicked man, who has received for his inheritance the most painful of the four passions, pain and terror; the one being equivalent to groaning, and the other to trembling; for it is inevitable, that some evil should either be present to or impending over such a man. Now the expectation of impending evil causes fear, but the suffering of present evil causes pain.
9. Philo of Alexandria, Plant., 168 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

168. At all events, according to the most holy Moses, the end of all wisdom is amusement and mirth, not such mirth as is pursued by foolish people, uncombined with any prudence, but such as is admitted even by those who are already grey, not only through old age alone, but also through deep thinking. Do you not see that he speaks of the man who has drunk deeply of that wisdom which is to be derived from a man's own hearing and learning, and study; not as one who partakes of mirth, but who is actually mirth in itself?


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
abram/abraham, perfection Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 212
abram/abraham Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 135, 212
body Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 212
cosmos/cosmic Hirsch-Luipold, Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts (2022) 99
emotions, good Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 135, 212
emotions Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 135
etymology Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 135
evil Hirsch-Luipold, Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts (2022) 99
fall Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 212
festivals Hirsch-Luipold, Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts (2022) 99
hope Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 135
isaac Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 135
joy Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 135, 212
knowledge Hirsch-Luipold, Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts (2022) 99
laughter Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 135
law Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 135
levite Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 135
moses Hirsch-Luipold, Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts (2022) 99
observance Hirsch-Luipold, Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts (2022) 99
offering, first fruit (tithe) Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 135
onomasticon Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 135
philo of alexandria Hirsch-Luipold, Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts (2022) 99
platonism Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 212
pleasure Hirsch-Luipold, Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts (2022) 99
plutarch Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 212
practices Hirsch-Luipold, Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts (2022) 99
priest Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 135
religion Hirsch-Luipold, Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts (2022) 99
rhetoric Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 135
rites/rituals Hirsch-Luipold, Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts (2022) 99
soul, fall of Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 212
soul Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 135, 212; Hirsch-Luipold, Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts (2022) 99
stoicism Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 135, 212
symbol Hirsch-Luipold, Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts (2022) 99
virtue, cardinal' Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 212
virtue Hirsch-Luipold, Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts (2022) 99
worship Hirsch-Luipold, Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts (2022) 99