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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



9251
Philo Of Alexandria, That The Worse Attacks The Better, 132-141


nanAgain, it is not every speech which should come forward to meet the conceptions; nor is it every kind of conception that it should come to meet; but only the perfect Aaron who should come forward to meet the conceptions of the most perfect Moses. Since else why, when God had said, "Behold, is not Aaron thy brother?" did he add, "the Levite," if it were not for the sake of teaching that it belongs to the Levite and priest, and to virtuous speech alone, to give information respecting the conceptions of the mind, which are shoots of the perfect soul.


nanFor never may the speech of a wicked man be interpreter of divine doctrines, for such an one would deform their beauty by his own pollutions; and, on the other hand, may what is intemperate and disgraceful never be related by the utterance of a virtuous man, but may sacred and holy conversations always deliver the relation of holy things.


nanIn some of the best governed cities of the world they say that such a custom as this prevails. When any man who has not lived well attempts to deliver his opinion, either in the council or in the assembly of the people, he is not permitted to do so by his own mouth, but is compelled by the magistrates to deliver his opinion to some virtuous and honourable man to explain in his behalf; and then he, when he has heard what he wishes said, rises up and unfolds the meaning of the sewn up mouth of his instructor, becoming his extempore pupil; and he displays the imaginations of another, scarcely considering the original concern for them even in the rank of a hearer or spectator. So some people do not choose to receive even benefits from unworthy persons, but look upon the injury accruing from the shame of taking their advice as greater than the advantage which can be derived from it. XXXVII.


nanThis lesson the most holy Moses appears to teach; for such is the object of the statement that Aaron the Levite is coming forward to meet his brother Moses, and that when he sees him he rejoices in himself; and the statement that he rejoices in himself shows also, besides the doctrine which has already been mentioned, another more connected with politics, since the lawgiver is here exhibiting that genuine joy which is most especially akin to the human race;


nanfor to speak strictly, the feeling of joy does not belong to abundance of money, or of possessions, or to brilliancy of renown, nor, in short, to any one of those external circumstances which are lifeless and unstable, and which contain the seeds of their decay in themselves: nor yet does it belong to personal strength and vigour, and to the other advantages of the body, which are common to even the most worthless men, and which have often brought inevitable destruction on those who possessed them.


nanSince then it is only in the virtues of the soul that genuine and unadulterated joy is found, and since every wise man rejoices, he rejoices in himself, and not in his surrounding circumstances; for the things that are in himself are the virtues of the mind on which it is worthy for a man to provide himself; but the circumstances which surround him are either a good condition of body or an abundance of external wealth, which are not proper objects for a man to pride himself on. XXXVIII.


nanHaving shown, therefore, as far as we could by the most unmistakeable testimony of Moses that, to rejoice is the peculiar property of the wise man, we will now also show that to hope also belongs to him alone; and here again we shall have no need of any other witness than Moses; for he tells us that the name of the son of Seth was Enos: and Enos, being interpreted, means hope. "He hoped first," says Moses, "to call upon the name of the Lord his God." Speaking wisely: for to a man inspired with the principles of truth what can be more akin and appropriate than a hope and expectation of the acquisition of good things from the one bounteous God? This, if one must speak the plain truth, is, properly speaking, the only real birth of men, as those who do not hope in God have no share in rational nature.


nanOn which account Moses, after he had previously mentioned with respect to Enos that "he hoped to call upon the name of the Lord his God," adds in express words, "This is the book of the generation of Men;" speaking with perfect correctness: for it is written in the book of God that man is the only creature with a good hope. So that arguing by contraries, he who has no good hope is not a man. The definition, therefore, of our concrete being is that it is a living rational mortal being; but the definition of man, according to Moses, is a disposition of the soul hoping in the truly living God.


nanLet good men, then, by all means having received joy and hope for their blessed inheritance, either possess or expect good things: but let bad men, of whom Cain is a companion, living in fear and pain, reap a harvest of a most bitter portion, namely, either the presence or the expectation of evils, groaning over the miseries which are actually oppressing them, and trembling and shuddering at the expected fearful dangers. XXXIX.


nanHowever, we have now said enough on this subject, and let us proceed to investigate what comes afterwards. He continues thus: "And Cain said unto the Lord, My crime is too great to be Forgiven." Now what is meant by this will be shown by a consideration of simple passages. If a pilot were to desert his ship when tossed about by the sea, would it not follow of necessity that the ship would wander out of her course in the voyage? Shall I say more? If a charioteer in the contest of the horse-race were to quit his chariot, is it not inevitable that the course of the free horses would be disorderly and irregular? Again, when a city is left destitute of rulers or of laws, and laws, undoubtedly, are entitled to be classed on an equality with magistrates, must not that city be destroyed by those greatest of evils, anarchy and lawlessness?


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

9 results
1. Hebrew Bible, Genesis, a b c d\n0 "17.17" "17.17" "17 17"\n1 15.10 15.10 15 10 \n2 15.4 15.4 15 4 \n3 15.5 15.5 15 5 \n4 15.6 15.6 15 6 \n5 18.12 18.12 18 12 \n6 18.13 18.13 18 13 \n7 18.14 18.14 18 14 \n8 18.15 18.15 18 15 \n9 9.20 9.20 9 20 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

2. Philo of Alexandria, On The Life of Abraham, 263-274, 262 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

3. 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.
4. Philo of Alexandria, On The Change of Names, 184-185, 189-192, 180 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

180. For the fervid and glowing heat of that region does not suffer to to rest tranquil; on which account, overleaping many things, it is borne far beyond every boundary perceptible by the outward senses, to that which is compounded of ideas and appearances by the law of kindred. On which account in the good man there is a slight change, indivisible, unapportionable, not perceptible by the outward senses, but only by the intellect, and being in a manner independent of them. XXXIV.
5. Philo of Alexandria, On Curses, 28-30, 27 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

27. Let these men, then, hang by their appetites as by a halter; but the wise Abraham, where he stands, comes near to God, who is also standing. For Moses says that "Abraham was standing near to God; and coming nigh unto him, he Said,"... For in good truth the unalterable soul is the only thing that has access to the unalterable God; and being of such a disposition, it does really stand very near to the Divine power.
6. Philo of Alexandria, On The Virtues, 213-219, 212 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

212. The most ancient person of the Jewish nation was a Chaldaean by birth, born of a father who was very skilful in astronomy, and famous among those men who pass their lives in the study of mathematics, who look upon the stars as gods, and worship the whole heaven and the whole world; thinking, that from them do all good and all evil proceed, to every individual among men; as they do not conceive that there is any cause whatever, except such as are included among the objects of the outward senses.
7. Philo of Alexandria, Allegorical Interpretation, 3.83-3.87, 3.105-3.107, 3.217-3.219 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

8. Philo of Alexandria, Who Is The Heir, 91-94, 90 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

90. Therefore it is a necessary addition which is subjoined, "Abraham believed in God," to the praise of him who did thus believe. And yet, perhaps, some one may say, "Do you judge this worthy of praise? who would not give his attention to God when saying or promising anything, even if he were the most wicked and impious of all men?
9. Philo of Alexandria, That The Worse Attacks The Better, 120, 123-126, 130-131, 133-141, 146-148, 152-154, 157, 159-162, 170, 177-178, 185, 205, 224, 228, 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.


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
aaron, as speech/logos prophorikos Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 439
aaron Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 125, 439
abraham Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Cultivation: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2013) 218
abram/abraham, faith and doubt of Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 463
abram/abraham Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 135
allegorical commentary Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 139, 439
arithmology, ten Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 125, 139
camel, symbol of memory Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Cultivation: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2013) 218
creation of the Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Cultivation: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2013) 218
cultivator Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Cultivation: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2013) 218
distinction Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Cultivation: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2013) 218
division Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Cultivation: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2013) 218
doubt Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 463
elements Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Cultivation: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2013) 218
emotions, bad Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 139
emotions, good Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 135, 139, 439
emotions Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 135, 139
etymology Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 135
faith Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 463
fall Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 125
figures of speech, rhetorical question Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Cultivation: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2013) 218
hope Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 135, 463
isaac Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 135, 139
israel, nation/people Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 439
joy Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 125, 135, 139, 439
laughter Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 125, 135, 139, 439, 463
law Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 135, 139
levite Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 135, 139
logos, tomeus Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Cultivation: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2013) 218
metaphorical language/use Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Cultivation: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2013) 218
moses Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 463
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
passions Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Cultivation: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2013) 218
perfection Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 439
platonism Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 439
priest, high priest Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 439
priest Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 135, 439
promises, divine Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 463
qge Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 439
rhetoric Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 135
sarah Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 125, 439, 463
soul Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 135; Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Cultivation: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2013) 218
stoicism Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 135, 439
tithe, levitical Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 139
virtue Cover, Philo of Alexandria: On the Change of Names (2023) 463
worker of the earth' Geljon and Runia, Philo of Alexandria: On Cultivation: Introduction, Translation and Commentary (2013) 218