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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database

Philo Of Alexandria, Hypothetica, 11.15

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

22 results
1. Hebrew Bible, Deuteronomy, 21.10-21.14 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

21.11. וְרָאִיתָ בַּשִּׁבְיָה אֵשֶׁת יְפַת־תֹּאַר וְחָשַׁקְתָּ בָהּ וְלָקַחְתָּ לְךָ לְאִשָּׁה׃ 21.12. וַהֲבֵאתָהּ אֶל־תּוֹךְ בֵּיתֶךָ וְגִלְּחָה אֶת־רֹאשָׁהּ וְעָשְׂתָה אֶת־צִפָּרְנֶיהָ׃ 21.13. וְהֵסִירָה אֶת־שִׂמְלַת שִׁבְיָהּ מֵעָלֶיהָ וְיָשְׁבָה בְּבֵיתֶךָ וּבָכְתָה אֶת־אָבִיהָ וְאֶת־אִמָּהּ יֶרַח יָמִים וְאַחַר כֵּן תָּבוֹא אֵלֶיהָ וּבְעַלְתָּהּ וְהָיְתָה לְךָ לְאִשָּׁה׃ 21.14. וְהָיָה אִם־לֹא חָפַצְתָּ בָּהּ וְשִׁלַּחְתָּהּ לְנַפְשָׁהּ וּמָכֹר לֹא־תִמְכְּרֶנָּה בַּכָּסֶף לֹא־תִתְעַמֵּר בָּהּ תַּחַת אֲשֶׁר עִנִּיתָהּ׃ 21.10. When thou goest forth to battle against thine enemies, and the LORD thy God delivereth them into thy hands, and thou carriest them away captive," 21.11. and seest among the captives a woman of goodly form, and thou hast a desire unto her, and wouldest take her to thee to wife;" 21.12. then thou shalt bring her home to thy house; and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails;" 21.13. and she shall put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and shall remain in thy house, and bewail her father and her mother a full month; and after that thou mayest go in unto her, and be her husband, and she shall be thy wife." 21.14. And it shall be, if thou have no delight in her, then thou shalt let her go whither she will; but thou shalt not sell her at all for money, thou shalt not deal with her as a slave, because thou hast humbled her."
2. Hebrew Bible, Genesis, 1.28 (9th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

1.28. וַיְבָרֶךְ אֹתָם אֱלֹהִים וַיֹּאמֶר לָהֶם אֱלֹהִים פְּרוּ וּרְבוּ וּמִלְאוּ אֶת־הָאָרֶץ וְכִבְשֻׁהָ וּרְדוּ בִּדְגַת הַיָּם וּבְעוֹף הַשָּׁמַיִם וּבְכָל־חַיָּה הָרֹמֶשֶׂת עַל־הָאָרֶץ׃ 1.28. And God blessed them; and God said unto them: ‘Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that creepeth upon the earth.’"
3. Hebrew Bible, 2 Chronicles, 24.22 (5th cent. BCE - 3rd cent. BCE)

24.22. וְלֹא־זָכַר יוֹאָשׁ הַמֶּלֶךְ הַחֶסֶד אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה יְהוֹיָדָע אָבִיו עִמּוֹ וַיַּהֲרֹג אֶת־בְּנוֹ וּכְמוֹתוֹ אָמַר יֵרֶא יְהוָה וְיִדְרֹשׁ׃ 24.22. Thus Joash the king remembered not the kindness which Jehoiada his father had done to him, but slew his son. And when he died, he said: ‘The LORD look upon it, and require it.’"
4. Philo of Alexandria, On The Contemplative Life, 13, 68-72, 75, 77, 81, 1 (1st cent. BCE - missingth cent. CE)

1. Having mentioned the Essenes, who in all respects selected for their admiration and for their especial adoption the practical course of life, and who excel in all, or what perhaps may be a less unpopular and invidious thing to say, in most of its parts, I will now proceed, in the regular order of my subject, to speak of those who have embraced the speculative life, and I will say what appears to me to be desirable to be said on the subject, not drawing any fictitious statements from my own head for the sake of improving the appearance of that side of the question which nearly all poets and essayists are much accustomed to do in the scarcity of good actions to extol, but with the greatest simplicity adhering strictly to the truth itself, to which I know well that even the most eloquent men do not keep close in their speeches. Nevertheless we must make the endeavour and labour to attain to this virtue; for it is not right that the greatness of the virtue of the men should be a cause of silence to those who do not think it right that anything which is creditable should be suppressed in silence;
5. Philo of Alexandria, Hypothetica, 11.1, 11.3, 11.5, 11.12, 11.14, 11.16-11.17 (1st cent. BCE - missingth cent. CE)

6. Philo of Alexandria, That Every Good Person Is Free, 77, 89-91, 76 (1st cent. BCE - missingth cent. CE)

76. These men, in the first place, live in villages, avoiding all cities on account of the habitual lawlessness of those who inhabit them, well knowing that such a moral disease is contracted from associations with wicked men, just as a real disease might be from an impure atmosphere, and that this would stamp an incurable evil on their souls. of these men, some cultivating the earth, and others devoting themselves to those arts which are the result of peace, benefit both themselves and all those who come in contact with them, not storing up treasures of silver and of gold, nor acquiring vast sections of the earth out of a desire for ample revenues, but providing all things which are requisite for the natural purposes of life;
7. Josephus Flavius, Jewish Antiquities, 13.311, 14.22, 14.25-14.28, 18.11, 18.18-18.22, 18.116-18.119 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

13.311. But here one may take occasion to wonder at one Judas, who was of the sect of the Essenes, and who never missed the truth in his predictions; for this man, when he saw Antigonus passing by the temple, cried out to his companions and friends, who abode with him as his scholars, in order to learn the art of foretelling things to come? 14.22. There were present at the writing of this decree, Lucius Calpurnius Piso of the Menenian tribe, Servius Papinins Potitus of the Lemonian tribe, Caius Caninius Rebilius of the Terentine tribe, Publius Tidetius, Lucius Apulinus, the son of Lucius, of the Sergian tribe, Flavius, the son of Lucius, of the Lemonian tribe, Publius Platins, the son of Publius, of the Papyrian tribe, Marcus Acilius, the son of Marcus, of the Mecian tribe, Lucius Erucius, the son of Lucius, of the Stellatine tribe, Mareils Quintus Plancillus, the son of Marcus, of the Pollian tribe, and Publius Serius. 14.22. Now there was one, whose name was Onias, a righteous man he was, and beloved of God, who, in a certain drought, had prayed to God to put an end to the intense heat, and whose prayers God had heard, and had sent them rain. This man had hid himself, because he saw that this sedition would last a great while. However, they brought him to the Jewish camp, and desired, that as by his prayers he had once put an end to the drought, so he would in like manner make imprecations on Aristobulus and those of his faction. 14.25. and that no king nor people may have leave to export any goods, either out of the country of Judea, or out of their havens, without paying customs, but only Ptolemy, the king of Alexandria, because he is our confederate and friend; and that, according to their desire, the garrison that is in Joppa may be ejected. 14.25. 2. But God punished them immediately for this their barbarity, and took vengeance of them for the murder of Onias, in the manner following: While the priests and Aristobulus were besieged, it happened that the feast called the passover was come, at which it is our custom to offer a great number of sacrifices to God; 14.26. and desired of the people, that upon the restitution of their law and their liberty, by the senate and people of Rome, they may assemble together, according to their ancient legal custom, and that we will not bring any suit against them about it; and that a place may be given them where they may have their congregations, with their wives and children, and may offer, as did their forefathers, their prayers and sacrifices to God. 14.26. but those that were with Aristobulus wanted sacrifices, and desired that their countrymen without would furnish them with such sacrifices, and assured them they should have as much money for them as they should desire; and when they required them to pay a thousand drachmae for each head of cattle, Aristobulus and the priests willingly undertook to pay for them accordingly, and those within let down the money over the walls, and gave it them. 14.27. But when the others had received it, they did not deliver the sacrifices, but arrived at that height of wickedness as to break the assurances they had given, and to be guilty of impiety towards God, by not furnishing those that wanted them with sacrifices. 14.27. And as the war was drawn out into a great length, Marcus came from Rome to take Sextus’s government upon him. But Caesar was slain by Cassius and Brutus in the senate-house, after he had retained the government three years and six months. This fact however, is related elsewhere. 14.28. And when the priests found they had been cheated, and that the agreements they had made were violated, they prayed to God that he would avenge them on their countrymen. Nor did he delay that their punishment, but sent a strong and vehement storm of wind, that destroyed the fruits of the whole country, till a modius of wheat was then bought for eleven drachmae. 14.28. 4. However, Antipater little thought that by saving Malichus he had saved his own murderer; for now Cassius and Marcus had got together an army, and intrusted the entire care of it with Herod, and made him general of the forces of Celesyria, and gave him a fleet of ships, and an army of horsemen and footmen; and promised him, that after the war was over they would make him king of Judea; for a war was already begun between Antony and the younger Caesar: 18.11. 2. The Jews had for a great while had three sects of philosophy peculiar to themselves; the sect of the Essenes, and the sect of the Sadducees, and the third sort of opinions was that of those called Pharisees; of which sects, although I have already spoken in the second book of the Jewish War, yet will I a little touch upon them now. 18.11. However, he fell in love with Herodias, this last Herod’s wife, who was the daughter of Aristobulus their brother, and the sister of Agrippa the Great. This man ventured to talk to her about a marriage between them; which address, when she admitted, an agreement was made for her to change her habitation, and come to him as soon as he should return from Rome: one article of this marriage also was this, that he should divorce Aretas’s daughter. 18.18. 5. The doctrine of the Essenes is this: That all things are best ascribed to God. They teach the immortality of souls, and esteem that the rewards of righteousness are to be earnestly striven for; 18.18. Now Antonia was greatly esteemed by Tiberius on all accounts, from the dignity of her relation to him, who had been his brother Drusus’s wife, and from her eminent chastity; for though she was still a young woman, she continued in her widowhood, and refused all other matches, although Augustus had enjoined her to be married to somebody else; yet did she all along preserve her reputation free from reproach. 18.19. and when they send what they have dedicated to God into the temple, they do not offer sacrifices because they have more pure lustrations of their own; on which account they are excluded from the common court of the temple, but offer their sacrifices themselves; yet is their course of life better than that of other men; and they entirely addict themselves to husbandry. 18.19. But when Caesar had gone round the hippodrome, he found Agrippa standing: “For certain,” said he, “Macro, this is the man I meant to have bound;” and when he still asked, “Which of these is to be bound?” he said “Agrippa.” 18.21. and neither marry wives, nor are desirous to keep servants; as thinking the latter tempts men to be unjust, and the former gives the handle to domestic quarrels; but as they live by themselves, they minister one to another. 18.21. that it turned greatly to the advantage of his son among all; and, among others, the soldiery were so peculiarly affected to him, that they reckoned it an eligible thing, if need were, to die themselves, if he might but attain to the government. 18.22. They also appoint certain stewards to receive the incomes of their revenues, and of the fruits of the ground; such as are good men and priests, who are to get their corn and their food ready for them. They none of them differ from others of the Essenes in their way of living, but do the most resemble those Dacae who are called Polistae [dwellers in cities]. 18.22. and I desire thee never to be unmindful when thou comest to it, either of my kindness to thee, who set thee in so high a dignity 18.116. 2. Now some of the Jews thought that the destruction of Herod’s army came from God, and that very justly, as a punishment of what he did against John, that was called the Baptist: 18.117. for Herod slew him, who was a good man, and commanded the Jews to exercise virtue, both as to righteousness towards one another, and piety towards God, and so to come to baptism; for that the washing [with water] would be acceptable to him, if they made use of it, not in order to the putting away [or the remission] of some sins [only], but for the purification of the body; supposing still that the soul was thoroughly purified beforehand by righteousness. 18.118. Now when [many] others came in crowds about him, for they were very greatly moved [or pleased] by hearing his words, Herod, who feared lest the great influence John had over the people might put it into his power and inclination to raise a rebellion, (for they seemed ready to do any thing he should advise,) thought it best, by putting him to death, to prevent any mischief he might cause, and not bring himself into difficulties, by sparing a man who might make him repent of it when it would be too late. 18.119. Accordingly he was sent a prisoner, out of Herod’s suspicious temper, to Macherus, the castle I before mentioned, and was there put to death. Now the Jews had an opinion that the destruction of this army was sent as a punishment upon Herod, and a mark of God’s displeasure to him.
8. Josephus Flavius, Jewish War, 1.78, 2.118-2.161 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

1.78. 5. And truly anyone would be surprised at Judas upon this occasion. He was of the sect of the Essenes, and had never failed or deceived men in his predictions before. Now, this man saw Antigonus as he was passing along by the temple, and cried out to his acquaintance (they were not a few who attended upon him as his scholars) 2.118. Under his administration it was that a certain Galilean, whose name was Judas, prevailed with his countrymen to revolt, and said they were cowards if they would endure to pay a tax to the Romans and would after God submit to mortal men as their lords. This man was a teacher of a peculiar sect of his own, and was not at all like the rest of those their leaders. 2.119. 2. For there are three philosophical sects among the Jews. The followers of the first of which are the Pharisees; of the second, the Sadducees; and the third sect, which pretends to a severer discipline, are called Essenes. These last are Jews by birth, and seem to have a greater affection for one another than the other sects have. 2.121. They do not absolutely deny the fitness of marriage, and the succession of mankind thereby continued; but they guard against the lascivious behavior of women, and are persuaded that none of them preserve their fidelity to one man. 2.122. 3. These men are despisers of riches, and so very communicative as raises our admiration. Nor is there anyone to be found among them who hath more than another; for it is a law among them, that those who come to them must let what they have be common to the whole order,—insomuch that among them all there is no appearance of poverty, or excess of riches, but every one’s possessions are intermingled with every other’s possessions; and so there is, as it were, one patrimony among all the brethren. 2.123. They think that oil is a defilement; and if anyone of them be anointed without his own approbation, it is wiped off his body; for they think to be sweaty is a good thing, as they do also to be clothed in white garments. They also have stewards appointed to take care of their common affairs, who every one of them have no separate business for any, but what is for the use of them all. 2.124. 4. They have no one certain city, but many of them dwell in every city; and if any of their sect come from other places, what they have lies open for them, just as if it were their own; and they go in to such as they never knew before, as if they had been ever so long acquainted with them. 2.125. For which reason they carry nothing at all with them when they travel into remote parts, though still they take their weapons with them, for fear of thieves. Accordingly, there is, in every city where they live, one appointed particularly to take care of strangers, and to provide garments and other necessaries for them. 2.126. But the habit and management of their bodies is such as children use who are in fear of their masters. Nor do they allow of the change of garments, or of shoes, till they be first entirely torn to pieces or worn out by time. 2.127. Nor do they either buy or sell anything to one another; but every one of them gives what he hath to him that wanteth it, and receives from him again in lieu of it what may be convenient for himself; and although there be no requital made, they are fully allowed to take what they want of whomsoever they please. 2.128. 5. And as for their piety towards God, it is very extraordinary; for before sunrising they speak not a word about profane matters, but put up certain prayers which they have received from their forefathers, as if they made a supplication for its rising. 2.129. After this every one of them are sent away by their curators, to exercise some of those arts wherein they are skilled, in which they labor with great diligence till the fifth hour. After which they assemble themselves together again into one place; and when they have clothed themselves in white veils, they then bathe their bodies in cold water. And after this purification is over, they every one meet together in an apartment of their own, into which it is not permitted to any of another sect to enter; while they go, after a pure manner, into the dining-room, as into a certain holy temple 2.131. but a priest says grace before meat; and it is unlawful for anyone to taste of the food before grace be said. The same priest, when he hath dined, says grace again after meat; and when they begin, and when they end, they praise God, as he that bestows their food upon them; after which they lay aside their [white] garments, and betake themselves to their labors again till the evening; 2.132. then they return home to supper, after the same manner; and if there be any strangers there, they sit down with them. Nor is there ever any clamor or disturbance to pollute their house, but they give every one leave to speak in their turn; 2.133. which silence thus kept in their house appears to foreigners like some tremendous mystery; the cause of which is that perpetual sobriety they exercise, and the same settled measure of meat and drink that is allotted to them, and that such as is abundantly sufficient for them. 2.134. 6. And truly, as for other things, they do nothing but according to the injunctions of their curators; only these two things are done among them at everyone’s own free will, which are to assist those that want it, and to show mercy; for they are permitted of their own accord to afford succor to such as deserve it, when they stand in need of it, and to bestow food on those that are in distress; but they cannot give any thing to their kindred without the curators. 2.135. They dispense their anger after a just manner, and restrain their passion. They are eminent for fidelity, and are the ministers of peace; whatsoever they say also is firmer than an oath; but swearing is avoided by them, and they esteem it worse than perjury for they say that he who cannot be believed without [swearing by] God is already condemned. 2.136. They also take great pains in studying the writings of the ancients, and choose out of them what is most for the advantage of their soul and body; and they inquire after such roots and medicinal stones as may cure their distempers. 2.137. 7. But now, if anyone hath a mind to come over to their sect, he is not immediately admitted, but he is prescribed the same method of living which they use, for a year, while he continues excluded; and they give him also a small hatchet, and the fore-mentioned girdle, and the white garment. 2.138. And when he hath given evidence, during that time, that he can observe their continence, he approaches nearer to their way of living, and is made a partaker of the waters of purification; yet is he not even now admitted to live with them; for after this demonstration of his fortitude, his temper is tried two more years; and if he appear to be worthy, they then admit him into their society. 2.139. And before he is allowed to touch their common food, he is obliged to take tremendous oaths, that, in the first place, he will exercise piety towards God, and then that he will observe justice towards men, and that he will do no harm to any one, either of his own accord, or by the command of others; that he will always hate the wicked, and be assistant to the righteous; 2.141. that he will be perpetually a lover of truth, and propose to himself to reprove those that tell lies; that he will keep his hands clear from theft, and his soul from unlawful gains; and that he will neither conceal anything from those of his own sect, nor discover any of their doctrines to others, no, not though anyone should compel him so to do at the hazard of his life. 2.142. Moreover, he swears to communicate their doctrines to no one any otherwise than as he received them himself; that he will abstain from robbery, and will equally preserve the books belonging to their sect, and the names of the angels [or messengers]. These are the oaths by which they secure their proselytes to themselves. 2.143. 8. But for those that are caught in any heinous sins, they cast them out of their society; and he who is thus separated from them does often die after a miserable manner; for as he is bound by the oath he hath taken, and by the customs he hath been engaged in, he is not at liberty to partake of that food that he meets with elsewhere, but is forced to eat grass, and to famish his body with hunger, till he perish; 2.144. for which reason they receive many of them again when they are at their last gasp, out of compassion to them, as thinking the miseries they have endured till they came to the very brink of death to be a sufficient punishment for the sins they had been guilty of. 2.145. 9. But in the judgments they exercise they are most accurate and just, nor do they pass sentence by the votes of a court that is fewer than a hundred. And as to what is once determined by that number, it is unalterable. What they most of all honor, after God himself, is the name of their legislator [Moses], whom, if anyone blaspheme, he is punished capitally. 2.146. They also think it a good thing to obey their elders, and the major part. Accordingly, if ten of them be sitting together, no one of them will speak while the other nine are against it. 2.147. They also avoid spitting in the midst of them, or on the right side. Moreover, they are stricter than any other of the Jews in resting from their labors on the seventh day; for they not only get their food ready the day before, that they may not be obliged to kindle a fire on that day, but they will not remove any vessel out of its place, nor go to stool thereon. 2.148. Nay, on theother days they dig a small pit, a foot deep, with a paddle (which kind of hatchet is given them when they are first admitted among them); and covering themselves round with their garment, that they may not affront the Divine rays of light, they ease themselves into that pit 2.149. after which they put the earth that was dug out again into the pit; and even this they do only in the more lonely places, which they choose out for this purpose; and although this easement of the body be natural, yet it is a rule with them to wash themselves after it, as if it were a defilement to them. 2.151. They are long-lived also, insomuch that many of them live above a hundred years, by means of the simplicity of their diet; nay, as I think, by means of the regular course of life they observe also. They condemn the miseries of life, and are above pain, by the generosity of their mind. And as for death, if it will be for their glory, they esteem it better than living always; 2.152. and indeed our war with the Romans gave abundant evidence what great souls they had in their trials, wherein, although they were tortured and distorted, burnt and torn to pieces, and went through all kinds of instruments of torment, that they might be forced either to blaspheme their legislator, or to eat what was forbidden them, yet could they not be made to do either of them, no, nor once to flatter their tormentors, or to shed a tear; 2.153. but they smiled in their very pains, and laughed those to scorn who inflicted the torments upon them, and resigned up their souls with great alacrity, as expecting to receive them again. 2.154. 11. For their doctrine is this: That bodies are corruptible, and that the matter they are made of is not permanent; but that the souls are immortal, and continue forever; and that they come out of the most subtile air, and are united to their bodies as to prisons, into which they are drawn by a certain natural enticement; 2.155. but that when they are set free from the bonds of the flesh, they then, as released from a long bondage, rejoice and mount upward. And this is like the opinions of the Greeks, that good souls have their habitations beyond the ocean, in a region that is neither oppressed with storms of rain or snow, or with intense heat, but that this place is such as is refreshed by the gentle breathing of a west wind, that is perpetually blowing from the ocean; while they allot to bad souls a dark and tempestuous den, full of never-ceasing punishments. 2.156. And indeed the Greeks seem to me to have followed the same notion, when they allot the islands of the blessed to their brave men, whom they call heroes and demigods; and to the souls of the wicked, the region of the ungodly, in Hades, where their fables relate that certain persons, such as Sisyphus, and Tantalus, and Ixion, and Tityus, are punished; which is built on this first supposition, that souls are immortal; and thence are those exhortations to virtue, and dehortations from wickedness collected; 2.157. whereby good men are bettered in the conduct of their life by the hope they have of reward after their death; and whereby the vehement inclinations of bad men to vice are restrained, by the fear and expectation they are in, that although they should lie concealed in this life, they should suffer immortal punishment after their death. 2.158. These are the Divine doctrines of the Essenes about the soul, which lay an unavoidable bait for such as have once had a taste of their philosophy. 2.159. 12. There are also those among them who undertake to foretell things to come, by reading the holy books, and using several sorts of purifications, and being perpetually conversant in the discourses of the prophets; and it is but seldom that they miss in their predictions. 2.161. However, they try their spouses for three years; and if they find that they have their natural purgations thrice, as trials that they are likely to be fruitful, they then actually marry them. But they do not use to accompany with their wives when they are with child, as a demonstration that they do not marry out of regard to pleasure, but for the sake of posterity. Now the women go into the baths with some of their garments on, as the men do with somewhat girded about them. And these are the customs of this order of Essenes.
9. Josephus Flavius, Against Apion, 2.190-2.275 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

2.191. All materials, let them be ever so costly, are unworthy to compose an image for him; and all arts are unartful to express the notion we ought to have of him. We can neither see nor think of any thing like him, nor is it agreeable to piety to form a resemblance of him. 2.192. We see his works, the light, the heaven, the earth, the sun and the moon, the waters, the generations of animals, the productions of fruits. These things hath God made, not with hands, nor with labor, nor as wanting the assistance of any to cooperate with him; but as his will resolved they should be made and be good also, they were made, and became good immediately. All men ought to follow this Being, and to worship him in the exercise of virtue; for this way of worship of God is the most holy of all others. /p 2.193. 24. There ought also to be but one temple for one God; for likeness is the constant foundation of agreement. This temple ought to be common to all men, because he is the common God of all men. His priests are to be continually about his worship, over whom he that is the first by his birth is to be their ruler perpetually. 2.194. His business must be to offer sacrifices to God, together with those priests that are joined with him, to see that the laws be observed, to determine controversies, and to punish those that are convicted of injustice; while he that does not submit to him shall be subject to the same punishment, as if he had been guilty of impiety towards God himself. 2.195. When we offer sacrifices to him we do it not in order to surfeit ourselves, or to be drunken; for such excesses are against the will of God, and would be an occasion of injuries and of luxury: but by keeping ourselves sober, orderly, and ready for our other occupations, and being more temperate than others. 2.196. And for our duty at the sacrifices themselves, we ought in the first place to pray for the common welfare of all, and after that our own; for we are made for fellowship one with another; and he who prefers the common good before what is peculiar to himself, is above all acceptable to God. 2.197. And let our prayers and supplications be made humbly to God, not [so much] that he would give us what is good (for he hath already given that of his own accord, and hath proposed the same publicly to all), as that we may duly receive it, and when we have received it, may preserve it. 2.198. Now the law has appointed several purifications at our sacrifices, whereby we are cleansed after a funeral after what sometimes happens to us in bed, and after accompanying with our wives, and upon many other occasions, which it would be too long now to set down. And this is our doctrine concerning God and his worship, and is the same that the law appoints for our practice. /p 2.199. 25. But then, what are our laws about marriage? That law owns no other mixture of sexes but that which nature hath appointed, of a man with his wife, and that this be used only for the procreation of children. But it abhors the mixture of a male with a male; and if any one do that, death is his punishment. 2.201. for (says the scripture) “A woman is inferior to her husband in all things.” Let her, therefore, be obedient to him; not so, that he should abuse her, but that she may acknowledge her duty to her husband; for God hath given the authority to the husband. A husband, therefore, is to lie only with his wife whom he hath married; but to have to do with another man’s wife is a wicked thing; which, if any one ventures upon, death is inevitably his punishment: no more can he avoid the same who forces a virgin betrothed to another man, or entices another man’s wife. 2.202. The law, moreover enjoins us to bring up all our offspring, and forbids women to cause abortion of what is begotten, or to destroy it afterward; and if any woman appears to have so done, she will be a murderer of her child, by destroying a living creature, and diminishing human kind: if any one, therefore, proceeds to such fornication or murder, he cannot be clean. 2.203. Moreover, the law enjoins, that after the man and wife have lain together in a regular way, they shall bathe themselves; for there is a defilement contracted thereby, both in soul and body, as if they had gone into another country; for indeed the soul, by being united to the body, is subject to miseries, and is not freed therefrom again but by death; on which account the law requires this purification to be entirely performed. 26. 2.204. Nay, indeed, the law does not permit us to make festivals at the births of our children, and thereby afford occasion of drinking to excess; but it ordains that the very beginning of our education should be immediately directed to sobriety. It also commands us to bring those children up in learning and to exercise them in the laws, and make them acquainted with the acts of their predecessors, in order to their imitation of them, and that they might be nourished up in the laws from their infancy, and might neither transgress them, nor have any pretense for their ignorance of them. /p 2.205. 27. Our law hath also taken care of the decent burial of the dead, but without any extravagant expenses for their funerals, and without the erection of any illustrious monuments for them; but hath ordered that their nearest relations should perform their obsequies; and hath shown it to be regular, that all who pass by when any one is buried, should accompany the funeral, and join in the lamentation. It also ordains, that the house and its inhabitants should be purified after the funeral is over, that every one may thence learn to keep at a great distance from the thoughts of being pure, if he hath been once guilty of murder. /p 2.206. 28. The law ordains also, that parents should be honored immediately after God himself, and delivers that son who does not requite them for the benefits he hath received from them, but is deficient on any such occasion, to be stoned. It also says, that the young men should pay due respect to every elder, since God is the eldest of all beings. 2.207. It does not give leave to conceal any thing from our friends, because that is not true friendship which will not commit all things to their fidelity: it also forbids the revelation of secrets even though an enmity arise between them. If any judge takes bribes, his punishment is death: he that overlooks one that offers him a petition, and this when he is able to relieve him, he is a guilty person. 2.208. What is not by any one intrusted to another, ought not to be required back again. No one is to touch another’s goods. He that lends money must not demand usury for its loan. These, and many more of the like sort, are the rules that unite us in the bands of society one with another. /p 2.209. 29. It will be also worth our while to see what equity our legislator would have us exercise in our intercourse with strangers; for it will thence appear that he made the best provision he possibly could, both that we should not dissolve our own constitution, nor show any envious mind towards those that would cultivate a friendship with us. 2.211. 30. However, there are other things which our legislator ordained for us beforehand, which of necessity we ought to do in common to all men; as to afford fire, and water, and food to such as want it; to show them the roads; nor to let any one lie unburied. He also would have us treat those that are esteemed our enemies with moderation: 2.212. for he doth not allow us to set their country on fire, nor permit us to cut down those trees that bear fruit: nay, farther, he forbids us to spoil those that have been slain in war. He hath also provided for such as are taken captive, that they may not be injured, and especially that the women may not be abused. 2.213. Indeed he hath taught us gentleness and humanity so effectually, that he hath not despised the care of brute beasts, by permitting no other than a regular use of them, and forbidding any other; and if any of them come to our houses, like supplicants, we are forbidden to slay them: nor may we kill the dams, together with their young ones; but we are obliged, even in an enemy’s country, to spare and not kill those creatures that labor for mankind. 2.214. Thus hath our lawgiver contrived to teach us an equitable conduct every way, by using us to such laws as instruct us therein; while at the same time he hath ordained, that such as break these laws should be punished, without the allowance of any excuse whatsoever. /p 2.215. 31. Now the greatest part of offenses with us are capital, as if any one be guilty of adultery; if any one force a virgin; if any one be so impudent as to attempt sodomy with a male; or if, upon another’s making an attempt upon him, he submits to be so used. There is also a law for slaves of the like nature that can never be avoided. 2.216. Moreover, if any one cheats another in measures or weights, or makes a knavish bargain and sale, in order to cheat another; if any one steals what belongs to another, and takes what he never deposited; all these have punishments allotted them, not such as are met with among other nations, but more severe ones. 2.217. And as for attempts of unjust behavior towards parents, or for impiety against God, though they be not actually accomplished, the offenders are destroyed immediately. However, the reward for such as live exactly according to the laws, is not silver or gold; it is not a garland of olive branches or of small age, nor any such public sign of commendation; 2.218. but every good man hath his own conscience bearing witness to himself, and by virtue of our legislator’s prophetic spirit, and of the firm security God himself affords such a one, he believes that God hath made this grant to those that observe these laws, even though they be obliged readily to die for them, that they shall come into being again, and at a certain revolution of things shall receive a better life than they had enjoyed before. 2.219. Nor would I venture to write thus at this time, were it not well known to all by our actions that many of our people have many a time bravely resolved to endure any sufferings, rather than speak one word against our law. /p 2.221. but that somebody had pretended to have written these laws himself, and had read them to the Greeks, or had pretended that he had met with men out of the limits of the known world, that had such reverent notions of God, and had continued a long time in the firm observance of such laws as ours, I cannot but suppose that all men would admire them on a reflection upon the frequent changes they had therein been themselves subject to; 2.222. and this while those that have attempted to write somewhat of the same kind for politic government, and for laws, are accused as composing monstrous things, and are said to have undertaken an impossible task upon them. And here I will say nothing of those other philosophers who have undertaken any thing of this nature in their writings. 2.223. But even Plato himself, who is so admired by the Greeks on account of that gravity in his manners, and force in his words, and that ability he had to persuade men beyond all other philosophers, is little better than laughed at and exposed to ridicule on that account, by those that pretend to sagacity in political affairs; 2.224. although he that shall diligently peruse his writings, will find his precepts to be somewhat gentle, and pretty near to the customs of the generality of mankind. Nay, Plato himself confesseth that it is not safe to publish the true notion concerning God among the ignorant multitude. 2.225. Yet do some men look upon Plato’s discourses as no better than certain idle words set off with great artifice. However, they admire Lycurgus as the principal lawgiver; and all men celebrate Sparta for having continued in the firm observance of his laws for a very long time. 2.226. So far then we have gained, that it is to be confessed a mark of virtue to submit to laws. But then let such as admire this in the Lacedemonians compare that duration of theirs with more than two thousand years which our political government hath continued; 2.227. and let them farther consider, that though the Lacedemonians did seem to observe their laws exactly while they enjoyed their liberty, yet that when they underwent a change of their fortune, they forgot almost all those laws; 2.228. while we, having been under ten thousand changes in our fortune by the changes that happened among the kings of Asia, have never betrayed our laws under the most pressing distresses we have been in; nor have we neglected them either out of sloth or for a livelihood. Nay, if any one will consider it, the difficulties and labors laid upon us have been greater than what appears to have been borne by the Lacedemonian fortitude 2.229. while they neither ploughed their land nor exercised any trades, but lived in their own city, free from all such painstaking, in the enjoyment of plenty, and using such exercises as might improve their bodies 2.231. I need not add this, that they have not been fully able to observe their laws; for not only a few single persons, but multitudes of them, have in heaps neglected those laws, and have delivered themselves, together with their arms, into the hands of their enemies. /p 2.232. 33. Now as for ourselves, I venture to say, that no one can tell of so many; nay, not of more than one or two that have betrayed our laws, no, not out of fear of death itself; I do not mean such an easy death as happens in battles, but that which comes with bodily torments, and seems to be the severest kind of death of all others. 2.233. Now I think, those that have conquered us have put us to such deaths, not out of their hatred to us when they had subdued us, but rather out of their desire of seeing a surprising sight, which is this, whether there be such men in the world who believe that no evil is to them so great as to be compelled to do or to speak any thing contrary to their own laws. 2.234. Nor ought men to wonder at us, if we are more courageous in dying for our laws than all other men are; for other men do not easily submit to the easier things in which we are instituted; I mean, working with our hands, and eating but little, and being contented to eat and drink, not at random, or at every one’s pleasure, or being under inviolable rules in lying with our wives, in magnificent furniture, and again in the observation of our times of rest; 2.235. while those that can use their swords in war, and can put their enemies to flight when they attack them, cannot bear to submit to such laws about their way of living: whereas our being accustomed willingly to submit to laws in these instances, renders us fit to show our fortitude upon other occasions also. /p 2.236. 34. Yet do the Lysimachi and the Molones, and some other writers (unskilful sophists as they are, and the deceivers of young men) reproach us as the vilest of all mankind. 2.237. Now I have no mind to make an inquiry into the laws of other nations; for the custom of our country is to keep our own laws, but not to bring accusations against the laws of others. And indeed, our legislator hath expressly forbidden us to laugh at and revile those that are esteemed gods by other people, on account of the very name of God ascribed to them. 2.238. But since our antagonists think to run us down upon the comparison of their religion and ours, it is not possible to keep silence here, especially while what I shall say to confute these men will not be now first said, but hath been already said by many, and these of the highest reputation also; 2.239. for who is there among those that have been admired among the Greeks for wisdom, who hath not greatly blamed both the most famous poets and most celebrated legislators, for spreading such notions originally among the body of the people concerning the gods? 2.241. and for those to whom they have allotted heaven, they have set over them one, who in title is their father, but in his actions a tyrant and a lord; whence it came to pass that his wife, and brother, and daughter (which daughter he brought forth from his own head), made a conspiracy against him to seize upon him and confine him, as he had himself seized upon and confined his own father before. /p 2.242. 35. And justly have the wisest men thought these notions deserved severe rebukes; they also laugh at them for determining that we ought to believe some of the gods to be beardless and young, and others of them to be old, and to have beards accordingly; that some are set to trades; that one god is a smith, and another goddess is a weaver; that one god is a warrior, and fights with men; 2.243. that some of them are harpers, or delight in archery; and besides, that mutual seditions arise among them, and that they quarrel about men, and this so far that they not only lay hands upon one another, but that they are wounded by men, and lament, and take on for such their afflictions; 2.244. but what is the grossest of all in point of lasciviousness, are those unbounded lusts ascribed to almost all of them, and their amours; which how can it be other than a most absurd supposal, especially when it reaches to the male gods, and to the female goddesses also? 2.245. Moreover, the chief of all their gods, and their first father himself, overlooks those goddesses whom he hath deluded and begotten with child, and suffers them to be kept in prison, or drowned in the sea. He is also so bound up by fate, that he cannot save his own offspring, nor can he bear their deaths without shedding of tears.— 2.246. These are fine things indeed! as are the rest that follow. Adulteries truly are so impudently looked on in heaven by the gods, that some of them have confessed they envied those that were found in the very act; and why should they not do so, when the eldest of them, who is their king also, hath not been able to restrain himself in the violence of his lust, from lying with his wife, so long as they might get into their bed-chamber? 2.247. Now, some of the gods are servants to men, and will sometimes be builders for a reward, and sometimes will be shepherds; while others of them, like malefactors, are bound in a prison of brass; and what sober person is there who would not be provoked at such stories, and rebuke those that forged them, and condemn the great silliness of those that admit them for true! 2.248. Nay, others there are that have advanced a certain timorousness and fear, as also madness and fraud, and any other of the vilest passions, into the nature and form of gods, and have persuaded whole cities to offer sacrifices to the better sort of them; 2.249. on which account they have been absolutely forced to esteem some gods as the givers of good things, and to call others of them averters of evil. They also endeavor to move them, as they would the vilest of men, by gifts and presents, as looking for nothing else than to receive some great mischief from them, unless they pay them such wages. /p 2.251. but omitted it as a thing of very little consequence, and gave leave both to the poets to introduce what gods they pleased, and those subject to all sorts of passions, and to the orators to procure political decrees from the people for the admission of such foreign gods as they thought proper. 2.252. The painters also, and statuaries of Greece, had herein great power, as each of them could contrive a shape [proper for a god]; the one to be formed out of clay, and the other by making a bare picture of such a one; but those workmen that were principally admired, had the use of ivory and of gold as the constant materials for their new statues; 2.253. [whereby it comes to pass that some temples are quite deserted, while others are in great esteem, and adorned with all the rites of all kinds of purification]. Besides this, the first gods, who have long flourished in the honors done them, are now grown old [while those that flourished after them are come in their room as a second rank, that I may speak the most honorably of them that I can]: 2.254. nay, certain other gods there are who are newly introduced, and newly worshipped [as we, by way of digression have said already, and yet have left their places of worship desolate]; and for their temples, some of them are already left desolate, and others are built anew, according to the pleasure of men; whereas they ought to have preserved their opinion about God, and that worship which is due to him, always and immutably the same. /p 2.255. 37. But now, this Apollonius Molo was one of these foolish and proud men. However, nothing that I have said was unknown to those that were real philosophers among the Greeks, nor were they unacquainted with those frigid pretenses of allegories [which had been alleged for such things]: on which account they justly despised them, but have still agreed with us as to the true and becoming notions of God; 2.256. whence it was that Plato would not have political settlements admit of any one of the other poets, and dismisses even Homer himself, with a garland on his head, and with ointment poured upon him, and this because he should not destroy the right notions of God with his fables. 2.257. Nay, Plato principally imitated our legislator in this point, that he enjoined his citizens to have the main regard to this precept, “That every one of them should learn their laws accurately.” He also ordained, that they should not admit of foreigners intermixing with their own people at random; and provided that the commonwealth should keep itself pure, and consist of such only as persevered in their own laws. 2.258. Apollonius Molo did no way consider this, when he made it one branch of his accusation against us, that we do not admit of such as have different notions about God, nor will we have fellowship with those that choose to observe a way of living different from ourselves; 2.259. yet is not this method peculiar to us, but common to all other men; not among the ordinary Grecians only, but among such of those Grecians as are of the greatest reputation among them. Moreover, the Lacedemonians continued in their way of expelling foreigners, and would not, indeed, give leave to their own people to travel abroad, as suspecting that those two things would introduce a dissolution of their own laws: 2.261. whereas we, though we do not think fit to imitate other institutions, yet do we willingly admit of those that desire to partake of ours, which I think I may reckon to be a plain indication of our humanity, and at the same time of our magimity also. /p 2.262. 38. But I shall say no more of the Lacedemonians. As for the Athenians, who glory in having made their city to be common to all men, what their behavior was, Apollonius did not know, while they punished those that did but speak one word contrary to their laws about the gods, without any mercy; 2.263. for on what other account was it that Socrates was put to death by them? For certainly, he neither betrayed their city to its enemies, nor was he guilty of any sacrilege with regard to any of their temples; but it was on this account, that he swore certain new oaths, and that he affirmed, either in earnest, or, as some say, only in jest, that a certain demon used to make signs to him [what he should not do]. For these reasons he was condemned to drink poison, and kill himself. 2.264. His accuser also complained that he corrupted the young men, by inducing them to despise the political settlement and laws of their city: and thus was Socrates, the citizen of Athens, punished. 2.265. There was also Anaxagoras, who although he was of Clazomenae, was within a few suffrages of being condemned to die, because he said the sun, which the Athenians thought to be a god, was a ball of fire. 2.266. They also made this public proclamation, that they would give a talent to any one who would kill Diagoras of Melos, because it was reported of him that he laughed at their mysteries. Portagoras also, who was thought to have written somewhat that was not owned for truth by the Athenians about the gods, had been seized upon, and put to death, if he had not fled immediately away. 2.267. Nor need we at all wonder that they thus treated such considerable men, when they did not spare even women also; for they very lately slew a certain priestess, because she was accused by somebody that she initiated people into the worship of strange gods, it having been forbidden so to do by one of their laws; and a capital punishment had been decreed to such as introduced a strange god; 2.268. it being manifest, that they who make use of such a law do not believe those of other nations to be really gods, otherwise they had not envied themselves the advantage of more gods than they already had; 2.269. and this was the happy administration of the affairs of the Athenians? Now, as to the Scythians, they take a pleasure in killing men, and differ little from brute beasts; yet do they think it reasonable to have their institutions observed. They also slew Anacharsis a person greatly admired for his wisdom among the Greeks, when he returned to them, because he appeared to come fraught with Grecian customs; One may also find many to have been punished among the Persians, on the very same account. 2.271. Now, with us, it is a capital crime, if any one does thus abuse even a brute beast; and as for us, neither hath the fear of our governors, nor a desire of following what other nations have in so great esteem, been able to withdraw us from our own laws; 2.272. nor have we exerted our courage in raising up wars to increase our wealth, but only for the observation of our laws; and when we with patience bear other losses, yet when any persons would compel us to break our laws, then it is that we choose to go to war, though it be beyond our ability to pursue it, and bear the greatest calamities to the last with much fortitude. 2.273. And, indeed, what reason can there be why we should desire to imitate the laws of other nations, while we see they are not observed by their own legislators? And why do not the Lacedemonians think of abolishing that form of their government which suffers them not to associate with any others, as well as their contempt of matrimony? And why do not the Eleans and Thebans abolish that unnatural and impudent lust, which makes them lie with males? 2.274. For they will not show a sufficient sign of their repentance of what they of old thought to be very excellent, and very advantageous in their practices, unless they entirely avoid all such actions for the time to come: 2.275. nay, such things are inserted into the body of their laws, and had once such a power among the Greeks, that they ascribed these sodomitical practices to the gods themselves, as a part of their good character; and indeed it was according to the same manner that the gods married their own sisters. This the Greeks contrived as an apology for their own absurd and unnatural pleasures. /p
10. Josephus Flavius, Life, 11-12, 10 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

11. Mishnah, Hagigah, 2.6-2.7 (1st cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

2.6. If he immersed for unconsecrated [food], and was presumed to be fit to eat unconsecrated [food], he is prohibited from [eating second] tithe. If he immersed for [second] tithe, and was presumed to be fit to eat [second] tithe, he is prohibited from [eating] terumah. If he immersed for terumah, and was presumed to be fit to eat terumah, he is prohibited from [eating] holy things. If he immersed for holy things, and was presumed to be fit to eat holy things he is prohibited from [touching the waters of] purification. If one immersed for something possessing a stricter [degree of holiness], one is permitted [to have contact with] something possessing a lighter [degree of holiness]. If he immersed but without special intention, it is as though he had not immersed." 2.7. The garments of an am haaretz possess midras-impurity for Pharisees. The garments of Pharisees possess midras-impurity for those who eat terumah. The garments of those who eat terumah possess midras-impurity for [those who eat] sacred things. The garments of [those who eat] sacred things possess midras-impurity for [those who occupy themselves with the waters of] purification. Yose ben Yoezer was the most pious in the priesthood, yet his apron was [considered to possess] midras-impurity for [those who ate] sacred things. Yoha ben Gudgada all his life used to eat [unconsecrated food] in accordance with the purity required for sacred things, yet his apron was [considered to possess] midras-impurity for [those who occupied themselves with the water of] purification."
12. Mishnah, Sotah, 3.4 (1st cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

3.4. She had barely finished drinking when her face turns yellow, her eyes protrude and her veins swell. And [those who see her] exclaim, “Remove her! Remove her, so that the temple-court should not be defiled”. If she had merit, it [causes the water] to suspend its effect upon her. Some merit suspends the effect for one year, some merit suspends the effects for two years, and some merit suspends the effect for three years. Hence Ben Azzai said: a person must teach his daughter Torah, so that if she has to drink [the water of bitterness], she should know that the merit suspends its effect. Rabbi Eliezer says: whoever teaches his daughter Torah teaches her lasciviousness. Rabbi Joshua says: a woman prefers one kav (of food) and sexual indulgence to nine kav and sexual separation. He used to say, a foolish pietist, a cunning wicked person, a female separatist, and the blows of separatists bring destruction upon the world."
13. Mishnah, Yadayim, 4.6 (1st cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

4.6. The Sadducees say: we complain against you, Pharisees, because you say that the Holy Scriptures defile the hands, but the books of Homer do not defile the hands. Rabban Yoha ben Zakkai said: Have we nothing against the Pharisees but this? Behold they say that the bones of a donkey are clean, yet the bones of Yoha the high priest are unclean. They said to him: according to the affection for them, so is their impurity, so that nobody should make spoons out of the bones of his father or mother. He said to them: so also are the Holy Scriptures according to the affection for them, so is their uncleanness. The books of Homer which are not precious do not defile the hands."
14. New Testament, John, 1.19-1.35 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

1.19. This is John's testimony, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, "Who are you? 1.20. He confessed, and didn't deny, but he confessed, "I am not the Christ. 1.21. They asked him, "What then? Are you Elijah?"He said, "I am not.""Are you the Prophet?"He answered, "No. 1.22. They said therefore to him, "Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself? 1.23. He said, "I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, 'Make straight the way of the Lord,' as Isaiah the prophet said. 1.24. The ones who had been sent were from the Pharisees. 1.25. They asked him, "Why then do you baptize, if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet? 1.26. John answered them, "I baptize in water, but among you stands one whom you don't know. 1.27. He is the one who comes after me, who has come to be before me, whose sandal strap I'm not worthy to untie. 1.28. These things were done in Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing. 1.29. The next day, he saw Jesus coming to him, and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 1.30. This is he of whom I said, 'After me comes a man who is preferred before me, for he was before me.' 1.31. I didn't know him, but for this reason I came baptizing in water: that he would be revealed to Israel. 1.32. John testified, saying, "I have seen the Spirit descending like a dove out of heaven, and it remained on him. 1.33. I didn't recognize him, but he who sent me to baptize in water, he said to me, 'On whomever you will see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.' 1.34. I have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God. 1.35. Again, the next day, John was standing with two of his disciples
15. New Testament, Luke, 3.1-3.9, 3.11-3.19, 3.21-3.22 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

3.1. Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene 3.2. in the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John, the son of Zacharias, in the wilderness. 3.3. He came into all the region around the Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for remission of sins. 3.4. As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, "The voice of one crying in the wilderness, 'Make ready the way of the Lord. Make his paths straight. 3.5. Every valley will be filled. Every mountain and hill will be brought low. The crooked will become straight, And the rough ways smooth. 3.6. All flesh will see God's salvation.' 3.7. He said therefore to the multitudes who went out to be baptized by him, "You offspring of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 3.8. Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and don't begin to say among yourselves, 'We have Abraham for our father;' for I tell you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones! 3.9. Even now the ax also lies at the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that doesn't bring forth good fruit is cut down, and thrown into the fire. 3.11. He answered them, "He who has two coats, let him give to him who has none. He who has food, let him do likewise. 3.12. Tax collectors also came to be baptized, and they said to him, "Teacher, what must we do? 3.13. He said to them, "Collect no more than that which is appointed to you. 3.14. Soldiers also asked him, saying, "What about us? What must we do?"He said to them, "Extort from no one by violence, neither accuse anyone wrongfully. Be content with your wages. 3.15. As the people were in expectation, and all men reasoned in their hearts concerning John, whether perhaps he was the Christ 3.16. John answered them all, "I indeed baptize you with water, but he comes who is mightier than I, the latchet of whose sandals I am not worthy to loosen. He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit and fire 3.17. whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly cleanse his threshing floor, and will gather the wheat into his barn; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. 3.18. Then with many other exhortations he preached good news to the people 3.19. but Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him for Herodias, his brother's wife, and for all the evil things which Herod had done 3.21. Now it happened, when all the people were baptized, Jesus also had been baptized, and was praying. The sky was opened 3.22. and the Holy Spirit descended in a bodily form as a dove on him; and a voice came out of the sky, saying "You are my beloved Son. In you I am well pleased.
16. New Testament, Mark, 1.1-1.9, 1.11, 3.6, 6.2, 6.17-6.19, 6.21-6.29, 8.15, 12.23 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

1.1. The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 1.2. As it is written in the prophets, "Behold, I send my messenger before your face, Who will prepare your way before you. 1.3. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, 'Make ready the way of the Lord! Make his paths straight!' 1.4. John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching the baptism of repentance for forgiveness of sins. 1.5. All the country of Judea and all those of Jerusalem went out to him. They were baptized by him in the Jordan river, confessing their sins. 1.6. John was clothed with camel's hair and a leather belt around his loins. He ate locusts and wild honey. 1.7. He preached, saying, "After me comes he who is mightier than I, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and loosen. 1.8. I baptized you in water, but he will baptize you in the Holy Spirit. 1.9. It happened in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 1.11. A voice came out of the sky, "You are my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 3.6. The Pharisees went out, and immediately conspired with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him. 6.2. When the Sabbath had come, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many hearing him were astonished, saying, "Where did this man get these things?" and, "What is the wisdom that is given to this man, that such mighty works come about by his hands? 6.17. For Herod himself had sent out and arrested John, and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife, for he had married her. 6.18. For John said to Herod, "It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife. 6.19. Herodias set herself against him, and desired to kill him, but she couldn't 6.21. Then a convenient day came, that Herod on his birthday made a supper for his nobles, the high officers, and the chief men of Galilee. 6.22. When the daughter of Herodias herself came in and danced, she pleased Herod and those sitting with him. The king said to the young lady, "Ask me whatever you want, and I will give it to you. 6.23. He swore to her, "Whatever you shall ask of me, I will give you, up to half of my kingdom. 6.24. She went out, and said to her mother, "What shall I ask?"She said, "The head of John the Baptizer. 6.25. She came in immediately with haste to the king, and asked, "I want you to give me right now the head of John the Baptizer on a platter. 6.26. The king was exceedingly sorry, but for the sake of his oaths, and of his dinner guests, he didn't wish to refuse her. 6.27. Immediately the king sent out a soldier of his guard, and commanded to bring John's head, and he went and beheaded him in the prison 6.28. and brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the young lady; and the young lady gave it to her mother. 6.29. When his disciples heard this, they came and took up his corpse, and laid it in a tomb. 8.15. He charged them, saying, "Take heed: beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod. 12.23. In the resurrection, when they rise, whose wife will she be of them? For the seven had her as a wife.
17. New Testament, Matthew, 3.1-3.9, 3.11-3.17, 11.1, 11.9, 11.11-11.14, 14.3-14.9, 14.11-14.12 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

3.1. In those days, John the Baptizer came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying 3.2. Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand! 3.3. For this is he who was spoken of by Isaiah the prophet, saying, "The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make ready the way of the Lord, Make his paths straight. 3.4. Now John himself wore clothing made of camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. 3.5. Then people from Jerusalem, all of Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him. 3.6. They were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins. 3.7. But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for his baptism, he said to them, "You offspring of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 3.8. Therefore bring forth fruit worthy of repentance! 3.9. Don't think to yourselves, 'We have Abraham for our father,' for I tell you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. 3.11. I indeed baptize you in water for repentance, but he who comes after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit. 3.12. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will thoroughly cleanse his threshing floor. He will gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn up with unquenchable fire. 3.13. Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. 3.14. But John would have hindered him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and you come to me? 3.15. But Jesus, answering, said to him, "Allow it now, for this is the fitting way for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he allowed him. 3.16. Jesus, when he was baptized, went up directly from the water: and behold, the heavens were opened to him. He saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming on him. 3.17. Behold, a voice out of the heavens said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased. 11.1. It happened that when Jesus had finished directing his twelve disciples, he departed from there to teach and preach in their cities. 11.9. But why did you go out? To see a prophet? Yes, I tell you, and much more than a prophet. 11.11. Most assuredly I tell you, among those who are born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptizer; yet he who is least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he. 11.12. From the days of John the Baptizer until now, the Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. 11.13. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. 11.14. If you are willing to receive it, this is Elijah, who is to come. 14.3. For Herod had laid hold of John, and bound him, and put him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife. 14.4. For John said to him, "It is not lawful for you to have her. 14.5. When he would have put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet. 14.6. But when Herod's birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced among them and pleased Herod. 14.7. Whereupon he promised with an oath to give her whatever she should ask. 14.8. She, being prompted by her mother, said, "Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptizer. 14.9. The king was grieved, but for the sake of his oaths, and of those who sat at the table with him, he commanded it to be given 14.11. His head was brought on a platter, and given to the young lady: and she brought it to her mother. 14.12. His disciples came, and took the body, and buried it; and they went and told Jesus.
18. Pliny The Elder, Natural History, 5.73 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

19. Tacitus, Histories, 5.5 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

5.5.  Whatever their origin, these rites are maintained by their antiquity: the other customs of the Jews are base and abominable, and owe their persistence to their depravity. For the worst rascals among other peoples, renouncing their ancestral religions, always kept sending tribute and contributions to Jerusalem, thereby increasing the wealth of the Jews; again, the Jews are extremely loyal toward one another, and always ready to show compassion, but toward every other people they feel only hate and enmity. They sit apart at meals, and they sleep apart, and although as a race, they are prone to lust, they abstain from intercourse with foreign women; yet among themselves nothing is unlawful. They adopted circumcision to distinguish themselves from other peoples by this difference. Those who are converted to their ways follow the same practice, and the earliest lesson they receive is to despise the gods, to disown their country, and to regard their parents, children, and brothers as of little account. However, they take thought to increase their numbers; for they regard it as a crime to kill any late-born child, and they believe that the souls of those who are killed in battle or by the executioner are immortal: hence comes their passion for begetting children, and their scorn of death. They bury the body rather than burn it, thus following the Egyptians' custom; they likewise bestow the same care on the dead, and hold the same belief about the world below; but their ideas of heavenly things are quite the opposite. The Egyptians worship many animals and monstrous images; the Jews conceive of one god only, and that with the mind alone: they regard as impious those who make from perishable materials representations of gods in man's image; that supreme and eternal being is to them incapable of representation and without end. Therefore they set up no statues in their cities, still less in their temples; this flattery is not paid their kings, nor this honour given to the Caesars. But since their priests used to chant to the accompaniment of pipes and cymbals and to wear garlands of ivy, and because a golden vine was found in their temple, some have thought that they were devotees of Father Liber, the conqueror of the East, in spite of the incongruity of their customs. For Liber established festive rites of a joyous nature, while the ways of the Jews are preposterous and mean.
20. Justin, Dialogue With Trypho, 80.3-80.4 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

21. 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
22. Porphyry, On Abstinence, 4.11-4.13 (3rd cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

4.11. 11.But among those who are known by us, the Jews, before they first suffered the subversion of their legal institutes under Antiochus, and afterwards under the Romans, when also the temple in Jerusalem was captured, and became accessible to all men to whom, prior to this event, it was inaccessible, and the city itself was destroyed; - before this took place, the Jews always abstained from many animals, but peculiarly, which they even now do, from swine. At that period, therefore, there were three kinds of philosophers among them. And of one kind, |122 indeed, the Pharisees were the leaders, but of another, the Sadducees, and of the third, which appears to have been the most venerable, the Essenes. The mode of life, therefore, of these third was as follows, as Josephus frequently testifies in many of his writings. For in the second book of his Judaic History, which he has completed in seven books, and in the eighteenth of his Antiquities, which consists of twenty books, and likewise in the second of the two books which he wrote against the Greeks, he speaks of these Essenes, and says, that they are of the race of the Jews, and are in a greater degree than others friendly to one another. They are averse to pleasures, conceiving them to be vicious, but they are of opinion that continence and the not yielding to the passions, constitute virtue. And they despise, indeed, wedlock, but receiving the children of other persons, and instructing them in disciplines while they are yet of a tender age, they consider them as their kindred, and form them to their own manners. And they act in this manner, not for the purpose of subverting marriage, and the succession arising from it, but in order to avoid the lasciviousness of women. They are likewise, despisers of wealth, and the participation of external possessions among them in common is wonderful; nor is any one to be found among them who is richer than the rest. For it is a law with them, that those who wish to belong to their sect, must give up their property to it in common; so that among all of them, there is not to be seen either the abjectness of poverty, or the insolence of wealth; but the possessions of each being mingled with those of the rest, there was one property with all of them, as if they had been brothers. They likewise conceived oil to be a stain to the body, and that if any one, though unwillingly, was anointed, he should [immediately] wipe his body. For it was considered by them as beautiful to be squalid 13, and to be always clothed in white garments. But curators of the common property were elected by votes, indistinctly for the use of all. They have not, however, one city, but in each city many of them dwell together, and those who come among them from other places, if they are of their sect, equally partake with them of their possessions, as if they were their own. Those, likewise, who first perceive these strangers, behave to them as if they were their intimate acquaintance. Hence, when they travel, they take nothing with them for the sake of expenditure. But they neither |123 change their garments nor their shoes, till they are entirely torn, or destroyed by time. They neither buy nor sell anything, but each of them giving what he possesses to him that is in want, receives in return for it what will be useful to him. Nevertheless, each of them freely imparts to others of their sect what they may be in want of, without any remuneration. SPAN 4.12. 12.Moreover, they are peculiarly pious to divinity. For before the sun rises they speak nothing profane, but they pour forth certain prayers to him which they had received from their ancestors, as if beseeching him to rise. Afterwards, they are sent by their curators to the exercise of the several arts in which they are skilled, and having till the fifth hour strenuously laboured in these arts, they are afterwards collected together in one place; and there, being begirt with linen teguments, they wash their bodies with cold water. After this purification, they enter into their own proper habitation, into which no heterodox person is permitted to enter. But they being pure, betake themselves to the dining room, as into a certain sacred fane. In this place, when all of them are seated in silence, the baker places the bread in order, and the cook distributes to each of them one vessel containing one kind of eatables. Prior, however, to their taking the food which is pure and sacred, a priest prays, and it is unlawful for any one prior to the prayer to taste of the food. After dinner, likewise, the priest again prays; so that both when they begin, and when they cease to eat, they venerate divinity. Afterwards, divesting themselves of these garments as sacred, they again betake themselves to their work till the evening; and, returning from thence, they eat and drink in the same manner as before, strangers sitting with them, if they should happen at that time to be present. No clamour or tumult ever defiles the house in which they dwell; but their conversation with each other is performed in an orderly manner; and to those that are out of the house, the silence of those within it appears as if it was some terrific mystery. The cause, however, of this quietness is their constant sobriety, and that with them their meat and drink is measured by what is sufficient [to the wants of nature]. But those who are very desirous of belonging to their sect, are not immediately admitted into it, but they must remain out of it for a year, adopting the same diet, the Essenes giving them a rake, a girdle, and a white garment. And if, during that time, they have given a sufficient proof of their continence, they proceed to a still greater conformity to the institutes of the sect, and use purer water for the purpose of sanctity; though they are not yet permitted to live with the Essenes. For after this exhibition of endurance, their manners are tried for two years more, and he who |124 after this period appears to deserve to associate with them, is admitted into their society. SPAN 4.13. 13.Before, however, he who is admitted touches his common food, he takes a terrible oath, in the first place, that he will piously worship divinity; in the next place, that he will preserve justice towards men, and that he will neither designedly, nor when commanded, injure any one; in the third place; that he will always hate the unjust, but strenuously assist the just; and in the fourth place, that he will act faithfully towards all men, but especially towards the rulers of the land, since no one becomes a ruler without the permission of God; in the fifth place, that if he should be a ruler, he will never employ his power to insolently iniquitous purposes, nor will surpass those that are in subjection to him in his dress, or any other more splendid ornament; in the sixth place, that he will always love the truth, and be hostile to liars; in the seventh place, that he will preserve his hands from theft, and his soul pure from unholy gain 14; and, in the eighth place, that he will conceal nothing from those of his sect, nor divulge any thing to others pertaining to the sect, though some one, in order to compel him, should threaten him with death. In addition to these things, also, they swear, that they will not impart the dogmas of the sect to any one in any other way than that in which they received them; that they will likewise abstain from robbery 15, and preserve the books of their sect with the same care as the names of the angels. Such, therefore, are their oaths. But those among them that act criminally, and are ejected, perish by an evil destiny. For, being bound by their oaths and their customs, they are not capable of receiving food from others; but feeding on herbs, and having their body emaciated by hunger, they perish. Hence the Essenes, commiserating many of these unfortunate men, receive them in their last extremities into their society, thinking that they have suffered sufficiently for their offences in having been punished for them till they were on the brink of the grave. But they give a rake to those who intend to belong to their sect, in order that, when they sit for the purpose of exonerating the belly, they make a trench a foot in depth, and completely cover themselves by their garment, in order that they |125 may not act contumeliously towards the sun by polluting the rays of the God. And so great, indeed, is their simplicity and frugality with respect to diet, that they do not require evacuation till the seventh day after the assumption of food, which day they spend in singing hymns to God, and in resting from labour. But from this exercise they acquire the power of such great endurance, that even when tortured and burnt, and suffering every kind of excruciating pain, they cannot be induced either to blaspheme their legislator, or to eat what they have not been accustomed to. And the truth of this was demonstrated in their war with the Romans. For then they neither flattered their tormentors, nor shed any tears, but smiled in the midst of their torments, and derided those that inflicted them, and cheerfully emitted their souls, as knowing that they should possess them again. For this opinion was firmly established among them, that their bodies were indeed corruptible, and that the matter of which they consisted was not stable, but that their souls were immortal, and would endure for ever, and that, proceeding from the most subtle ether, they were drawn down by a natural flux, and complicated with bodies; but that, when they are no longer detained by the bonds of the flesh, then, as if liberated from a long slavery, they will rejoice, and ascend to the celestial regions. But from this mode of living, and from being thus exercised in truth and piety, there were many among them, as it is reasonable to suppose there would be, who had aforeknowledge of future events, as being conversant from their youth with sacred books, different purifications, and the declarations of the prophets. And such is the order [or sect] of the Essenes among the Jews. SPAN

Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
adultery,jewish Hubbard (2014) 544
beall,todd s. Klawans (2019) 64
celibacy,and essenes Taylor (2012) 197
colson,f. h. Sly (1990) 207
dio chrysostoms essenes,as ideal stoic polis/city Taylor (2012) 197
essenes,and christian interpretation of judaism Taylor (2012) 107
essenes,celibacy Klawans (2019) 64, 65
essenes,historically verifiable essene features Taylor (2012) 197
essenes,oaths Klawans (2019) 64
essenes,secrecy Klawans (2019) 64
essenes Klawans (2019) 64, 65; Sly (1990) 207, 208
eusebius Taylor (2012) 107
feldman,louis h. Klawans (2019) 65
hippolytus,and christian interpretation Taylor (2012) 107
hippolytus,on essenes Taylor (2012) 107
hippolytus,use/modification of josephus writings Taylor (2012) 107
hippolytus Taylor (2012) 107
isaksson,abel Sly (1990) 208
jesus of nazareth Taylor (2012) 107
jewish law/legal schools,and the hakhamim (sages) Taylor (2012) 197
jewish law/legal schools,essenes as separate Taylor (2012) 197
john the baptist,josephuss account of Klawans (2019) 65
josephus Taylor (2012) 107
josephus essenes,admission and lifestyle Taylor (2012) 197
josephus essenes,and celibacy Taylor (2012) 197
josephus essenes,and women Taylor (2012) 197
josephus essenes,daily routine and meals Taylor (2012) 197
josephus essenes,legal system Taylor (2012) 197
josephus essenes,marriage and children Taylor (2012) 197
josephus essenes,oaths of commitment Taylor (2012) 197
josephus essenes,purity and purification rituals Taylor (2012) 197
josephus essenes,use of in ancient sources Taylor (2012) 107
josephus essenes,wealth and communality Taylor (2012) 197
josephus essenes Taylor (2012) 107
judaea,region of,sabbath,rules of Taylor (2012) 197
justin martyr Taylor (2012) 197
law,jewish Hubbard (2014) 544
mareotis,lake,essene identity and Taylor (2012) 197
mason,steve Klawans (2019) 64
matthew,gospel of,herodians,use of term in Taylor (2012) 197
meier,john p. Klawans (2019) 65
misogyny Sly (1990) 208
neusner,jacob Sly (1990) 208
perushim,essenes link with Taylor (2012) 197
philos essenes,and communality Taylor (2012) 197
philos essenes,and mosaic law Taylor (2012) 197
philos essenes,and women Taylor (2012) 197
philos essenes,as aged mature men Taylor (2012) 197
plinys essenes,celibacy of Taylor (2012) 197
porphyry,and vegetarianism Taylor (2012) 107
porphyry,essene writings Taylor (2012) 107
porphyry,use of josephus writings Taylor (2012) 107
porphyry Taylor (2012) 107
purity and purification rituals,and the essenes Taylor (2012) 197
purity and purification rituals,in josephus Taylor (2012) 197
qumran Sly (1990) 208
secrecy Klawans (2019) 64
slavery,hairstyles Hubbard (2014) 544
stern,menahem Klawans (2019) 64
stone,michael e. Klawans (2019) 64
synesius of crete,presentation of dios essenes Taylor (2012) 197
taylor,j. e.,analysis of the therapeutrides Kraemer (2010) 76
taylor,j. e.,description of the juniors Kraemer (2010) 76
taylor,j. e.,norms of the good Kraemer (2010) 76
taylor,joan e. Klawans (2019) 64
thackeray,h. st. john Klawans (2019) 65
therapeutae,hoi neoi and hoi eleutheroi Kraemer (2010) 76
vermes,g. Sly (1990) 208
virginity,of religious cults' Hubbard (2014) 544