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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



10661
Tertullian, On The Veiling Of Virgins, 9


nanLet us now see whether, as we have shown the arguments drawn from nature and the matter itself to be applicable to the virgin as well (as to other females), so likewise the precepts of ecclesiastical discipline concerning women have an eye to the virgin. It is not permitted to a woman to speak in the church; but neither (is it permitted her) to teach, nor to baptize, nor to offer, nor to claim to herself a lot in any manly function, not to say (in any) sacerdotal office. Let us inquire whether any of these be lawful to a virgin. If it is not lawful to a virgin, but she is subjected on the self-same terms (as the woman), and the necessity for humility is assigned her together with the woman, whence will this one thing be lawful to her which is not lawful to any and every female? If any is a virgin, and has proposed to sanctify her flesh, what prerogative does she (thereby) earn adverse to her own condition? Is the reason why it is granted her to dispense with the veil, that she may be notable and marked as she enters the church? That she may display the honour of sanctity in the liberty of her head? More worthy distinction could have been conferred on her by according her some prerogative of manly rank or office! I know plainly, that in a certain place a virgin of less than twenty years of age has been placed in the order of widows! Whereas if the bishop had been bound to accord her any relief, he might, of course, have done it in some other way without detriment to the respect due to discipline; that such a miracle, not to say monster, should not be pointed at in the church, a virgin-widow! the more portentous indeed, that not even as a widow did she veil her head; denying herself either way; both as virgin, in that she is counted a widow, and as widow, in that she is styled a virgin. But the authority which licenses her sitting in that seat uncovered is the same which allows her to sit there as a virgin: a seat to which (besides the sixty years not merely single-husbanded (women)- that is, married women- are at length elected, but mothers to boot, yes, and educators of children; in order, forsooth, that their experimental training in all the affections may, on the one hand, have rendered them capable of readily aiding all others with counsel and comfort, and that, on the other, they may none the less have travelled down the whole course of probation whereby a female can be tested. So true is it, that, on the ground of her position, nothing in the way of public honour is permitted to a virgin.


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1. Hebrew Bible, Leviticus, 17 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

2. Philo of Alexandria, On Husbandry, 80 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

80. And the chorus of men will have Moses for their leader; and that of the women will be under the guidance of Miriam, "the purified outward Sense." For it is just that hymns and praises should be uttered in honour of God without any delay, both in accordance with the suggestions of the intellect and the perceptions of the outward senses, and that each instrument should be struck in harmony, I mean those both of the mind and of the outward sense, in gratitude and honour to the holy Saviour.
3. Philo of Alexandria, On The Contemplative Life, 13 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

13. Then, because of their anxious desire for an immortal and blessed existence, thinking that their mortal life has already come to an end, they leave their possessions to their sons or daughters, or perhaps to other relations, giving them up their inheritance with willing cheerfulness; and those who know no relations give their property to their companions or friends, for it followed of necessity that those who have acquired the wealth which sees, as if ready prepared for them, should be willing to surrender that wealth which is blind to those who themselves also are still blind in their minds.
4. Philo of Alexandria, Hypothetica, 7.12-7.13 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

7.12. What then did he do on this sabbath day? he commanded all the people to assemble together in the same place, and sitting down with one another, to listen to the laws with order and reverence, in order that no one should be ignorant of anything that is contained in them; 7.13. and, in fact, they do constantly assemble together, and they do sit down one with another, the multitude in general in silence, except when it is customary to say any words of good omen, by way of assent to what is being read. And then some priest who is present, or some one of the elders, reads the sacred laws to them, and interprets each of them separately till eventide; and then when separate they depart, having gained some skill in the sacred laws, and having made great advancers towards piety.
5. New Testament, 1 Corinthians, None (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

6. New Testament, 1 Timothy, 4.14 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

4.14. Don't neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the elders.
7. New Testament, Acts, 6.6, 14.23, 20.28 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

6.6. whom they set before the apostles. When they had prayed, they laid their hands on them. 14.23. When they had appointed elders for them in every assembly, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they had believed. 20.28. Take heed, therefore, to yourselves, and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the assembly of the Lord and God which he purchased with his own blood.
8. Tosefta, Sanhedrin, 1.1 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

9. Tertullian, Against Marcion, 1.29.4 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

10. Tertullian, On The Apparel of Women, 1.1 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

11. Tertullian, Prescription Against Heretics, 41 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

12. Tertullian, On Modesty, 13 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

13. We know plainly at this point, too, the suspicions which they raise. For, in fact, they suspect the Apostle Paul of having, in the second (Epistle) to the Corinthians, granted pardon to the self-same fornicator whom in the first he has publicly sentenced to be surrendered to Satan, for the destruction of the flesh, - impious heir as he was to his father's wedlock; as if he subsequently erased his own words, writing: But if any has wholly saddened, he has not wholly saddened me, but in part, lest I burden you all. Sufficient is such a chiding which is given by many; so that, on the contrary, you should prefer to forgive and console, lest, perhaps, by more abundant sadness, such an one be devoured. For which reason, I pray you, confirm toward him affection. For to this end withal have I written, that I may learn a proof of you, that in all (things) you are obedient to me. But if you shall have forgiven any, so (do) I; for I, too, if I have forgiven ought, have forgiven in the person of Christ, lest we be overreached by Satan, since we are not ignorant of his injections. What (reference) is understood here to the fornicator? What to the contaminator of his father's bed? what to the Christian who had overstepped the shamelessness of heathens?- since, of course, he would have absolved by a special pardon one whom he had condemned by a special anger. He is more obscure in his pity than in his indignation. He is more open in his austerity than in his lenity. And yet, (generally), anger is more readily indirect than indulgence. Things of a sadder are more wont to hesitate than things of a more joyous cast. of course the question in hand concerned some moderate indulgence; which (moderation in the indulgence) was now, if ever, to be divined, when it is usual for all the greatest indulgences not to be granted without public proclamation, so far (are they from being granted) without particularization. Why, do you yourself, when introducing into the church, for the purpose of melting the brotherhood by his prayers, the repentant adulterer, lead into the midst and prostrate him, all in haircloth and ashes, a compound of disgrace and horror, before the widows, before the elders, suing for the tears of all, licking the footprints of all, clasping the knees of all? And do you, good shepherd and blessed father that you are, to bring about the (desired) end of the man, grace your harangue with all the allurements of mercy in your power, and under the parable of the ewe go in quest of your goats? do you, for fear lest your ewe again take a leap out from the flock - as if that were no more lawful for the future which was not even once lawful - fill all the rest likewise full of apprehension at the very moment of granting indulgence? And would the apostle so carelessly have granted indulgence to the atrocious licentiousness of fornication burdened with incest, as not at least to have exacted from the criminal even this legally established garb of repentance which you ought to have learned from him? As to have uttered no commination on the past? No allocution touching the future? Nay, more; he goes further, and beseeches that they would confirm toward him affection, as if he were making satisfaction to him, not as if he were granting an indulgence! And yet I hear (him speak of) affection, not communion; as (he writes) withal to the Thessalonians: But if any obey not our word through the epistle, him mark; and associate not with him, that he may feel awed; not regarding (him) as an enemy, but rebuking as a brother. Accordingly, he could have said that to a fornicator, too, affection only was conceded, not communion as well; to an incestuous man, however, not even affection; whom he would, to be sure, have bidden to be banished from their midst - much more, of course, from their mind. But he was apprehensive lest they should be 'overreached by Satan' with regard to the loss of that person whom himself had cast forth to Satan; or else lest, 'by abundance of mourning, he should be devoured' whom he had sentenced to 'destruction of the flesh.' Here they go so far as to interpret destruction of the flesh of the office of repentance; in that by fasts, and squalor, and every species of neglect and studious ill-treatment devoted to the extermination of the flesh, it seems to make satisfaction to God; so that they argue that that fornicator - that incestuous person rather - having been delivered by the apostle to Satan, not with a view to perdition, but with a view to emendation, on the hypothesis that subsequently he would, on account of the destruction (that is, the general affliction) of the flesh, attain pardon, therefore did actually attain it. Plainly, the selfsame apostle delivered to Satan Hymen us and Alexander, that they might be emended into not blaspheming, as he writes to his Timotheus. But withal himself says that 'a stake was given him, an angel of Satan,' by which he was to be buffeted, lest he should exalt himself. If they touch upon this (instance) withal, in order to lead us to understand that such as were delivered to Satan by him (were so delivered) with a view to emendation, not to perdition; what similarity is there between blasphemy and incest, and a soul entirely free from these - nay, rather elated from no other source than the highest sanctity and all innocence; which (elation of soul) was being restrained in the apostle by buffets, if you will, by means (as they say) of pain in the ear or head? Incest, however, and blasphemy, deserved to have delivered the entire persons of men to Satan himself for a possession, not to an angel of his. And (there is yet another point): for about this it makes a difference, nay, rather withal in regard to this it is of the utmost consequence, that we find those men delivered by the apostle to Satan, but to the apostle himself an angel of Satan given. Lastly, when Paul is praying the Lord for its removal, what does he hear? Hold my grace sufficient; for virtue is perfected in infirmity. This they who are surrendered to Satan cannot hear. Moreover, if the crime of Hymen us and Alexander - blasphemy, to wit - is irremissible in this and in the future age, of course the apostle would not, in opposition to the determinate decision of the Lord, have given to Satan, under a hope of pardon, men already sunken from the faith into blasphemy; whence, too, he pronounced them shipwrecked with regard to faith, having no longer the solace of the ship, the Church. For to those who, after believing, have struck upon (the rock of) blasphemy, pardon is denied; on the other hand, heathens and heretics are daily emerging out of blasphemy. But even if he did say, I delivered them to Satan, that they might receive the discipline of not blaspheming, he said it of the rest, who, by their deliverance to Satan- that is, their projection outside the Church- had to be trained in the knowledge that there must be no blaspheming. So, therefore, the incestuous fornicator, too, he delivered, not with a view to emendation, but with a view to perdition, to Satan, to whom he had already, by sinning above an heathen, gone over; that they might learn there must be no fornicating. Finally, he says, for the destruction of the flesh, not its torture- condemning the actual substance through which he had fallen out (of the faith), which substance had already perished immediately on the loss of baptism- in order that the spirit, he says, may be saved in the day of the Lord. And (here, again, is a difficulty): for let this point be inquired into, whether the man's own spirit will be saved. In that case, a spirit polluted with so great a wickedness will be saved; the object of the perdition of the flesh being, that the spirit may be saved in penalty. In that case, the interpretation which is contrary to ours will recognise a penalty without the flesh, if we lose the resurrection of the flesh. It remains, therefore, that his meaning was, that that spirit which is accounted to exist in the Church must be presented saved, that is, untainted by the contagion of impurities in the day of the Lord, by the ejection of the incestuous fornicator; if, that is, he subjoins: Do you not know, that a little leaven spoils the savour of the whole lump? And yet incestuous fornication was not a little, but a large, leaven.
13. Babylonian Talmud, Niddah, None (3rd cent. CE - 6th cent. CE)

31a. מאי קרא (תהלים עא, ו) ממעי אמי אתה גוזי מאי משמע דהאי גוזי לישנא דאשתבועי הוא דכתיב (ירמיהו ז, כט) גזי נזרך והשליכי,ואמר רבי אלעזר למה ולד דומה במעי אמו לאגוז מונח בספל של מים אדם נותן אצבעו עליו שוקע לכאן ולכאן,תנו רבנן שלשה חדשים הראשונים ולד דר במדור התחתון אמצעיים ולד דר במדור האמצעי אחרונים ולד דר במדור העליון וכיון שהגיע זמנו לצאת מתהפך ויוצא וזהו חבלי אשה,והיינו דתנן חבלי של נקבה מרובין משל זכר,ואמר רבי אלעזר מאי קרא (תהלים קלט, טו) אשר עשיתי בסתר רקמתי בתחתיות ארץ דרתי לא נאמר אלא רקמתי,מאי שנא חבלי נקבה מרובין משל זכר זה בא כדרך תשמישו וזה בא כדרך תשמישו זו הופכת פניה וזה אין הופך פניו,תנו רבנן שלשה חדשים הראשונים תשמיש קשה לאשה וגם קשה לולד אמצעיים קשה לאשה ויפה לולד אחרונים יפה לאשה ויפה לולד שמתוך כך נמצא הולד מלובן ומזורז,תנא המשמש מטתו ליום תשעים כאילו שופך דמים מנא ידע אלא אמר אביי משמש והולך (תהלים קטז, ו) ושומר פתאים ה',תנו רבנן שלשה שותפין יש באדם הקב"ה ואביו ואמו אביו מזריע הלובן שממנו עצמות וגידים וצפרנים ומוח שבראשו ולובן שבעין אמו מזרעת אודם שממנו עור ובשר ושערות ושחור שבעין והקב"ה נותן בו רוח ונשמה וקלסתר פנים וראיית העין ושמיעת האוזן ודבור פה והלוך רגלים ובינה והשכל,וכיון שהגיע זמנו להפטר מן העולם הקב"ה נוטל חלקו וחלק אביו ואמו מניח לפניהם אמר רב פפא היינו דאמרי אינשי פוץ מלחא ושדי בשרא לכלבא,דרש רב חיננא בר פפא מאי דכתיב (איוב ט, י) עושה גדולות עד אין חקר ונפלאות עד אין מספר בא וראה שלא כמדת הקב"ה מדת בשר ודם מדת בשר ודם נותן חפץ בחמת צרורה ופיה למעלה ספק משתמר ספק אין משתמר ואילו הקב"ה צר העובר במעי אשה פתוחה ופיה למטה ומשתמר,דבר אחר אדם נותן חפציו לכף מאזנים כל זמן שמכביד יורד למטה ואילו הקב"ה כל זמן שמכביד הולד עולה למעלה,דרש רבי יוסי הגלילי מאי דכתיב {תהילים קל״ט:י״ד } אודך (ה') על כי נוראות נפליתי נפלאים מעשיך ונפשי יודעת מאד בא וראה שלא כמדת הקב"ה מדת בשר ודם מדת בשר ודם אדם נותן זרעונים בערוגה כל אחת ואחת עולה במינו ואילו הקב"ה צר העובר במעי אשה וכולם עולין למין אחד,דבר אחר צבע נותן סמנין ליורה כולן עולין לצבע אחד ואילו הקב"ה צר העובר במעי אשה כל אחת ואחת עולה למינו,דרש רב יוסף מאי דכתיב (ישעיהו יב, א) אודך ה' כי אנפת בי ישוב אפך ותנחמני במה הכתוב מדבר,בשני בני אדם שיצאו לסחורה ישב לו קוץ לאחד מהן התחיל מחרף ומגדף לימים שמע שטבעה ספינתו של חבירו בים התחיל מודה ומשבח לכך נאמר ישוב אפך ותנחמני,והיינו דאמר רבי אלעזר מאי דכתיב (תהלים עב, יח) עושה נפלאות (גדולות) לבדו וברוך שם כבודו לעולם אפילו בעל הנס אינו מכיר בנסו,דריש רבי חנינא בר פפא מאי דכתיב (תהלים קלט, ג) ארחי ורבעי זרית וכל דרכי הסכנת מלמד שלא נוצר אדם מן כל הטפה אלא מן הברור שבה תנא דבי רבי ישמעאל משל לאדם שזורה בבית הגרנות נוטל את האוכל ומניח את הפסולת,כדרבי אבהו דרבי אבהו רמי כתיב (שמואל ב כב, מ) ותזרני חיל וכתיב (תהלים יח, לג) האל המאזרני חיל אמר דוד לפני הקב"ה רבש"ע זיריתני וזרזתני,דרש רבי אבהו מאי דכתיב (במדבר כג, י) מי מנה עפר יעקב ומספר את רובע ישראל מלמד שהקב"ה יושב וסופר את רביעיותיהם של ישראל מתי תבא טיפה שהצדיק נוצר הימנה,ועל דבר זה נסמית עינו של בלעם הרשע אמר מי שהוא טהור וקדוש ומשרתיו טהורים וקדושים יציץ בדבר זה מיד נסמית עינו דכתיב (במדבר כד, ג) נאם הגבר שתום העין,והיינו דאמר רבי יוחנן מאי דכתיב (בראשית ל, טז) וישכב עמה בלילה הוא מלמד שהקב"ה סייע באותו מעשה שנאמר (בראשית מט, יד) יששכר חמור גרם חמור גרם לו ליששכר,אמר רבי יצחק אמר רבי אמי אשה מזרעת תחילה יולדת זכר איש מזריע תחילה יולדת נקבה שנאמר (ויקרא יג, כט) אשה כי תזריע וילדה זכר,תנו רבנן בראשונה היו אומרים אשה מזרעת תחילה יולדת זכר איש מזריע תחלה יולדת נקבה ולא פירשו חכמים את הדבר עד שבא רבי צדוק ופירשו (בראשית מו, טו) אלה בני לאה אשר ילדה ליעקב בפדן ארם ואת דינה בתו תלה הזכרים בנקבות ונקבות בזכרים,(דברי הימים א ח, מ) ויהיו בני אולם אנשים גבורי חיל דורכי קשת ומרבים בנים ובני בנים וכי בידו של אדם להרבות בנים ובני בנים אלא מתוך 31a. bWhat is the versefrom which it is derived that a fetus is administered an oath on the day of its birth? “Upon You I have relied from birth; bYou are He Who took me out [ igozi /i] of my mother’s womb”(Psalms 71:6). bFrom where mayit bbe inferred that thisword: b“ iGozi /i,” is a term of administering an oath? As it is written: “Cut off [ igozi /i] your hair and cast it away”(Jeremiah 7:29), which is interpreted as a reference to the vow of a nazirite, who must cut off his hair at the end of his term of naziriteship., bAnd Rabbi Elazar says: To what is a fetus in its mother’s womb comparable?It is comparable bto a nut placed in a basinfull bof water,floating on top of the water. If ba person puts his finger on top ofthe nut, bit sinkseither bin this direction or in that direction. /b,§ bThe Sages taughtin a ibaraita /i: During bthe first three monthsof pregcy, the bfetus resides in the lower compartmentof the womb; in the bmiddlethree months, the bfetus resides in the middle compartment;and during the blastthree months of pregcy the bfetus resides in the upper compartment. And once its time to emerge arrives, it turns upside down and emerges; and this iswhat causes blabor pains. /b,With regard to the assertion that labor pains are caused by the fetus turning upside down, the Gemara notes: bAnd this isthe explanation for bthat which we learnedin a ibaraita /i: bThe labor pains experienced bya woman who gives birth to ba female are greater thanthose bexperienced bya woman who gives birth to ba male.The Gemara will explain this below., bAnd Rabbi Elazar says: What is the versefrom which it is derived that a fetus initially resides in the lower part of the womb? b“When I was made in secret, and I was woven together in the lowest parts of the earth”(Psalms 139:15). Since it bis not stated: I residedin the lowest parts of the earth, bbut rather: “I was woven togetherin the lowest parts of the earth,” this teaches that during the initial stage of a fetus’s development, when it is woven together, its location is in the lower compartment of the womb.,The Gemara asks: bWhat is differentabout bthe labor pains experienced bya woman who gives birth to ba female,that they bare greater than those experienced bya woman who gives birth to ba male?The Gemara answers: bThisone, a male fetus, bemerges in the manner in which it engages in intercourse.Just as a male engages in intercourse facing downward, so too, it is born while facing down. bAnd thatone, a female fetus, bemerges in the manner in which it engages in intercourse,i.e., facing upward. Consequently, bthatone, a female fetus, bturns its face aroundbefore it is born, bbut thisone, a male fetus, bdoes not turn its face aroundbefore it is born.,§ bThe Sages taughtin a ibaraita /i: During bthe first three monthsof pregcy, bsexual intercourse is difficultand harmful bfor the woman and is also difficult for the offspring.During the bmiddlethree months, intercourse is bdifficult for the woman but is beneficial for the offspring.During the blastthree months, sexual intercourse is bbeneficial for the woman and beneficial for the offspring; as a result of it the offspring is found to be strong and fair skinned. /b,The Sages btaughtin a ibaraita /i: With regard to bone who engages in intercoursewith his wife bon the ninetieth dayof her pregcy, bit is as though he spillsher bblood.The Gemara asks: bHow does one knowthat it is the ninetieth day of her pregcy? bRather, Abaye says: One should go ahead and engage in intercoursewith his wife even if it might be the ninetieth day, bandrely on God to prevent any ensuing harm, as the verse states: b“The Lord preserves the simple”(Psalms 116:6).,§ bThe Sages taught: There are three partners inthe creation of ba person: The Holy One, Blessed be He, and his father, and his mother. His father emits the white seed, from whichthe following body parts are formed: The bbones,the bsinews,the bnails,the bbrain that is in its head, andthe bwhite of the eye. His mother emits red seed, from whichare formed the bskin,the bflesh,the bhair, andthe bblack of the eye. And the Holy One, Blessed be He, inserts into him a spirit, a soul,his bcountece [ iukelaster /i], eyesight, hearing of the ear,the capability of bspeechof bthe mouth,the capability of bwalkingwith bthe legs, understanding, and wisdom. /b, bAnd whena person’s btime to depart from the world arrives, the Holy One, Blessed be He, retrieves His part, and He leaves the part ofthe person’s bfather and mother before them. Rav Pappa said: Thisis in accordance with the adage bthat people say: Remove the saltfrom a piece of meat, bandyou may then btoss the meat to a dog,as it has become worthless.,§ bRav Ḥina bar Pappa taught: Whatis the meaning of that bwhich is written: “Who does great deeds beyond comprehension, wondrous deeds without number”(Job 9:10)? bCome and see that the attribute of flesh and blood is unlike the attribute of the Holy One, Blessed be He. The attribute of flesh and bloodis that if one bputs an article in a flask,even if the flask is btied and its openingfaces bupward, it is uncertain whetherthe item bis preservedfrom getting lost, band it is uncertain whether it is not preservedfrom being lost. bBut the Holy One, Blessed be He, forms the fetus in a woman’s open womb, and its openingfaces bdownward, andyet the fetus bis preserved. /b, bAnother matterthat demonstrates the difference between the attributes of God and the attributes of people is that when ba person places his articles on a scaleto be measured, bthe heavierthe item bis,the more bit descends. Butwhen bthe Holy One, Blessed be He,forms a fetus, bthe heavier the offspring gets,the more bit ascends upwardin the womb., bRabbi Yosei HaGelili taught: Whatis the meaning of that bwhich is written: “I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and that my soul knows very well”(Psalms 139:14)? bCome and see that the attribute of flesh and blood is unlike the attribute of the Holy One, Blessed be He. The attribute of flesh and bloodis that when ba person plants seedsof different species binone bgarden bed, each and every oneof the seeds bemergesas a grown plant baccording to its species. But the Holy One, Blessed be He, forms the fetus in a woman’s womb, and all ofthe seeds, i.e., those of both the father and the mother, bemergewhen the offspring is formed bas onesex., bAlternatively,when ba dyer puts herbs in a cauldron [ ileyora /i], they all emerge as one colorof dye, bwhereas the Holy One, Blessed be He, forms the fetus in a woman’s womb,and beach and every oneof the seeds bemerges as its own type.In other words, the seed of the father form distinct elements, such as the white of the eye, and the seed of the mother forms other elements, such as the black of the eye, as explained above., bRav Yosef taught: Whatis the meaning of that bwhich is written:“And on that day you shall say: bI will give thanks to You, Lord, for You were angry with me; Your anger is turned away, and You comfort me”(Isaiah 12:1)? bWith regard to whatmatter bis the verse speaking? /b,It is referring, for example, bto two people who lefttheir homes to go bon a businesstrip. bA thorn penetratedthe body bof one of them,and he was consequently unable to go with his colleague. bHe started blaspheming and cursingin frustration. bAfter a period of time, he heard that the ship of the otherperson bhad sunk in the sea,and realized that the thorn had saved him from death. He then bstarted thankingGod band praisingHim for his delivery due to the slight pain caused to him by the thorn. This is the meaning of the statement: I will give thanks to You, Lord, for You were angry with me. bTherefore, it is statedat the end of the verse: b“Your anger is turned away, and You comfort me.” /b, bAnd thisstatement bisidentical to bthat which Rabbi Elazar said: Whatis the meaning of that bwhich is written:“Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, bWho does wondrous things alone; and blessed be His glorious name forever”(Psalms 72:18–19)? What does it mean that God “does wondrous things alone”? It means that beven the one for whom the miracle was performed does not recognize the miraclethat was performed for bhim. /b, bRabbi Ḥanina bar Pappa taught: Whatis the meaning of that bwhich is written: “You measure [ izerita /i] my going about [ iorḥi /i] and my lying down [ iriv’i /i], and are acquainted with all my ways”(Psalms 139:3)? This verse bteaches that a person is not created from the entire dropof semen, bbut from its clearpart. iZeritacan mean to winnow, while iorḥiand iriv’ican both be explained as references to sexual intercourse. Therefore the verse is interpreted homiletically as saying that God separates the procreative part of the semen from the rest. bThe school of Rabbi Yishmael taught a parable:This matter is comparable bto a person who winnowsgrain bin the granary; he takes the food and leaves the waste. /b,This is bin accordance witha statement bof Rabbi Abbahu, as Rabbi Abbahu raises a contradiction: It is writtenin one of King David’s psalms: b“For You have girded me [ ivatazreni /i] with strength for battle”(II Samuel 22:40), without the letter ialefin ivatazreni /i; band it is writtenin another psalm: b“Who girds me [ ihame’azreni /i] with strength”(Psalms 18:33), with an ialefin ihame’azreini /i. What is the difference between these two expressions? bDavid said before the Holy One, Blessed be He: Master of the Universe, You selected me [ izeiritani /i],i.e., You separated between the procreative part and the rest of the semen in order to create me, band You have girded me [ izeraztani /i] with strength. /b, bRabbi Abbahu taught: Whatis the meaning of that bwhich is writtenin Balaam’s blessing: b“Who has counted the dust of Jacob, or numbered the stock [ irova /i] of Israel”(Numbers 23:10)? The verse bteaches that the Holy One, Blessed be He, sits and counts the times that the Jewish people engage in intercourse [ irevi’iyyoteihem /i],anticipating the time bwhen the drop from which the righteous person will be created will arrive. /b, bAndit was bdue to this matterthat bthe eye of wicked Balaam went blind. He said: ShouldGod, bwho is pure and holy, and whose ministers are pure and holy, peek at this matter? Immediately his eye was blindedas a divine punishment, bas it is written: “The saying of the man whose eye is shut”(Numbers 24:3)., bAnd thisstatement bisthe same as that bwhich Rabbi Yoḥa said: Whatis the meaning of that bwhich is written,with regard to Leah’s conceiving Issachar: b“And he lay with her that night”(Genesis 30:16)? The verse bteaches that the Holy One, Blessed be He, contributed to that act.The manner in which God contributed to this act is derived from another verse, bas it is stated: “Issachar is a large-boned [ igarem /i] donkey”(Genesis 49:14). This teaches that God directed Jacob’s bdonkeytoward Leah’s tent so that he would engage in intercourse with her, thereby bcausing [ igaram /i]Leah’s conceiving bIssachar. /b,§ bRabbi Yitzḥak saysthat bRabbi Ami says:The sex of a fetus is determined at the moment of conception. If the bwoman emits seed first, she gives birth to a male,and if the bman emits seed first, she gives birth to a female, as it is stated: “If a woman bears seed and gives birth to a male”(Leviticus 12:2)., bThe Sages taught: At first,people bwould saythat if the bwoman emits seed first she gives birth to a male,and if the bman emits seed first, she gives birth to a female. But the Sages did not explainfrom which verse this bmatteris derived, buntil Rabbi Tzadok came and explainedthat bitis derived from the following verse: b“These are the sons of Leah, whom she bore to Jacob in Paddan Aram, with his daughter Dinah”(Genesis 46:15). From the fact that the verse battributes the males to the females,as the males are called: The sons of Leah, bandit attributes bthe females to the males, /bin that Dinah is called: His daughter, it is derived that if the woman emits seed first she gives birth to a male, whereas if the man emits seed first, she bears a female.,This statement is also derived from the following verse: b“And the sons of Ulam were mighty men of valor, archers, and had many sons and sons’ sons”(I Chronicles 8:40). bIs it in a person’s power to have many sons and sons’ sons? Rather, because /b
14. Pseudo-Tertullian, To His Wife, 1.4.4



Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
ascetic celibacy of christian women, tertullians views Kraemer, Unreliable Witnesses: Religion, Gender, and History in the Greco-Roman Mediterranean (2010) 118
baumstark a. Beckwith, Calendar, Chronology and Worship: Studies in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity (2005) 196
brown, p. Bremmer, Magic and Martyrs in Early Christianity: Collected Essays (2017) 53
christian/ity, and widows Bremmer, Magic and Martyrs in Early Christianity: Collected Essays (2017) 53
congregational participation Beckwith, Calendar, Chronology and Worship: Studies in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity (2005) 196
kraemer, r. s. Kraemer, Unreliable Witnesses: Religion, Gender, and History in the Greco-Roman Mediterranean (2010) 118
parker, h. Kraemer, Unreliable Witnesses: Religion, Gender, and History in the Greco-Roman Mediterranean (2010) 118
revelations' Alikin, The Earliest History of the Christian Gathering (2009) 209
sunday, christian Beckwith, Calendar, Chronology and Worship: Studies in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity (2005) 196
tertullians prohibition of womens religious practices Kraemer, Unreliable Witnesses: Religion, Gender, and History in the Greco-Roman Mediterranean (2010) 118
thecla, tertullians views Kraemer, Unreliable Witnesses: Religion, Gender, and History in the Greco-Roman Mediterranean (2010) 118
word, ministry of Beckwith, Calendar, Chronology and Worship: Studies in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity (2005) 196
worship, daily and weekly Beckwith, Calendar, Chronology and Worship: Studies in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity (2005) 196