Sacred Texts  Judaism  Index  Previous  Next 

p. 239



Without repeating what has been said before of the relative isolation of the Jews of Palestine and those of Egypt, we may add that Philo's name is never mentioned by the Jewish writers of the Middle Ages. Neither Saadia 1 nor Maimonides, 2 neither their later disciples nor the modern Kabbalists, have dedicated any monument to him, and even now he is barely known among those of his coreligionists who are strangers to the Greek literature. 3 We shall not linger, though, upon these external facts, the importance of which we do not wish to exaggerate. As we have hinted before, we shall look for the solution of our problem in our philosopher's own opinions, which have been made clear by the labors of modern criticism. 4

p. 240

There is nothing in the writings of Philo that can possibly be called a system. Incongruous opinions in disorderly juxtaposition--I refer to the symbolic interpretation of the Holy Scriptures--serve a most arbitrary method. All the elements of this chaos which are held together by one common bond--the innate desire of the author to demonstrate in the Hebrew writings the presence of the highest and purest in the wisdom of other nations--may be divided into two big classes. The elements of one class have been borrowed from the philosophic systems of Greece, systems which are not irreconcilable with the fundamental principles of any moral or religious teaching, like that of Pythagoras, Aristotle and Zeno; 5 but above all that of Plato, whose language and ideas make up the first sketch, so to speak, in all the writings of the Hebrew philosopher. The elements of the other class visibly betray, by the contempt they instill for reason and science, by the impatience with which they precipitate in some manner the human soul into the bosom of the infinite, their foreign origin, and can come only from the Orient. This dualism of the Philonic ideas is of the greatest importance, not only for the problem we are to solve, but for the history of philosophy in general; and we shall first of all endeavor to determine it definitely, at least, on the points most salient and most worthy of our interest.

When speaking of the creation and of the first principles of beings, of God and of His relations to the universe, Philo has evidently two doctrines in mind, doctrines that can never be brought in accord by any effort of logic. One doctrine is simply the dualism of Plato as taught in Timaeus; the other reminds us at once of Plotinus and the Kabbalah. We shall take up the first doctrine which, singularly, is placed in the mouth of Moses: "The legislator of the Hebrews," says our author in his Treatise

p. 241

on the Creation, 6 "recognized two equally necessary principles, one active and the other passive. The first is the highest and absolute Intelligence which is above virtue, above knowledge, above the good and the beautiful itself; the second is the inert and inanimate matter which became perfect by receiving motion, form and life from Intelligence."

To avoid taking the last principle as a pure abstraction, Philo takes care to repeat in another work 7 the famous maxim of Pagan antiquity, that there is neither absolute beginning nor absolute annihilation, but that the same elements pass from one form to another. These elements are earth, water, air and fire. We are taught that, in order to make the world a work fully accomplished and worthy of the supreme architect, God left no particle outside of the world. 8 But before giving form to matter and existence to this sensual universe, God visualized in His thought the intelligible universe or the prototypes, the incorruptible ideas of things. 9 Divine kindness, which is the only cause of the formation of the world, 10 explains also why the world should not perish. God can not, without discontinuing His goodness, wish to replace order and general harmony by chaos; and to imagine a better world which is some day to replace ours, is to accuse God of having failed in His goodness towards

p. 242

the present order of things. 11 According to this system the generation of beings, or the application of the power which formed the universe, must have necessarily commenced, but it can not continue to act endlessly; for God can not destroy the already formed world by producing another; matter can not return to general chaos. Moreover, God is not the immanent cause of the beings, neither is He the creative cause in the modern theological sense. He is only the Supreme Architect, the Demiurge, and this is really the term Philo makes use of when he is under the influence of the Greek philosophy. 12 Finally, God is not only above, but completely apart from the creation (ὁ ἐπιβεβηκὼς τῷ κόσμῳ καὶ ἔξω τοῦ δημιουργηθέντος ὤν) (De Posteritate Caini); for, possessing infinite knowledge and felicity, He can have no relation to a formless and unclean substance as matter is. 13

Let us now try to harmonize these principles with the following doctrines: God never rests in His works, but it is His nature always to produce, just as it is the nature of fire to burn, and that of snow to diffuse cold. 14 Rest, as applied to God, does not mean inactivity; for the active cause of the universe can never cease to produce the most beautiful works. But we say that God rests, because His endless activity works spontaneously (μετὰ πολλῆς εὐμαρείας), without pain and without fatigue. 15 It is also absurd to take literally the words of the Scriptures which tell us that the world was created in six days. Far from lasting but six days, creation did not even commence in time.

p. 243

[paragraph continues] For, according to Plato, time itself was created with other things, and is but a fleeting image of eternity. 16 Divine action, as was said before, does not only give form to inert matter, and causes the departure of all the elements necessary for the formation of the world from disorder and darkness, but it becomes really creative and absolute; it is limited neither in space nor in time.

"In giving rise to things," says Philo expressly, "God did not only make them visible, but He produced what did not exist before. He is not only the architect (the Demiurge) of the universe, He is also its creator." 17 He is the principle of all action in each particular being, as well as in the totality of things, for to Him alone belongs activity; passivity is in the nature of all things engendered. 18 It is probably because of this that everything is filled with and penetrated by His presence; and it is also because of this that He does not permit anything to stay void of and abandoned by Him. 19 But as there is nothing that can embrace the Infinite, He is, therefore, nowhere and everywhere at the same time, an antithesis which we heard already from the mouth of Porphyrius, and which was understood in the same sense as it was later understood by the disciples of Plotinus. God is nowhere because, place and space were created with the bodies, and we can not therefore say that the creator is confined in the creature. He is everywhere because He penetrates simultaneously, by His various potencies (τὰς δυνάμεις αὐτοῦ), earth and water,

p. 244

air and heaven. 20 He fills the least particle of the universe, uniting each other by invisible bonds. 21

But this is not enough. God Himself is the place of the universe (ὁ τῶν ὅλων τόπος) for He embraces all things, He is the shelter of the universe and His own seat, the place wherein He confines Himself and where He contains Himself. 22 When Malebranche (French philos. 1638-1715.--Trans.), who saw in God the place of spirits only, appears to us so close to Spinoza, what are we to think of one who represents the Supreme Being as the place of all the existences, of the spirits as well as of the bodies? But we must also ask what becomes of this idea of the passive principle of the universe? How are we to conceive as a real and necessary being that matter which has neither form nor activity in itself, which must have existed, and which, together with space, was transported into the bosom of God? And Philo is really driven by an irresistible inclination to pronounce the great words: God is All (εἷς καὶ τὸ πᾶν ἀυτος ἐστιν). (Legis. Alleg., I, 1.)

But how did the Supreme Being cause to spring forth from this intelligible place, which is His own substance, an actual space containing this material and sensual world? How did He, Who is all activity and all intelligence, produce passive and inactive beings? The mementos of Greek philosophy are here entirely stifled by the language and the ideas of the Orient. God is the purest light, the prototype and source of all light. He sheds around Him innumerable rays of light, all intelligibles, which no

p. 245

creature can behold; 23 but His image is reflected in His thought (in His logos), and it is by this image alone that we can comprehend Him. 24 Here we see already a first manifestation, or, as is generally said, a first emanation of divine nature. For, when the Platonic reminiscence of Philo make way to. other influences, the divine word becomes with him a real being, a person or a hypostasis, as it was later said in the Alexandrian school. Of such nature is the archangel who commands all celestial armies. 25

But our philosopher does not stop at this point. From this first logos, ordinarily called "the most ancient" (ὁ πρεσβύτατος), the firstborn of God, which represents in the absolute sphere the "Thought" (λόγος ἐνδιάθετος), there emanates another which represents the "Word" (λόγος προφορικός), that is to say, the creative power, the manifestation of which is the world. When we read in Genesis that a river went forth from Eden to water the garden, it means that the generic goodness is an emanation of the Divine Wisdom which is the Word of God 26 The author of this universe should be called both the architect as well as the father of His work. Supreme Wisdom we shall call the mother. It is with Supreme Wisdom that God united in a mysterious manner to make the generation of things operative. Impregnated with the divine germ, Supreme Wisdom gave birth, in pain and at the appointed time, the only well-beloved son whom we call the world. It is for this reason that a sacred writer presents to us Wisdom as speaking of itself in the following manner: "Of all the works of God I was the first to be formed; time was not yet when I already existed. For everything that is

p. 246

engendered must naturally be younger than the mother and the nurse of the universe." 27

There is a passage in Timaeus where we meet with nearly the same language, but with the vast difference that the mother and nurse of all things is a principle entirely apart from God; it is the inert and formless matter 28 The quoted passages remind us more of the ideas and the usual expressions of the Zohar. There, too, God is called the eternal light; there, too, the generation of things is metaphorically explained by the gradual darkening of the rays emanating from the divine center, and by the union of God with Himself in His diverse attributes. Springing from the bosom of God to give life to the universe, Supreme Wisdom is also represented by the river which went forth from the earthly paradise. The two logi, finally, remind us of the Kabbalistic principle that the world is nothing but the word of God; that His word or His voice is His thought become visible, and that His thought, finally, is Himself. Another picture, often drawn in the principal work of the Kabbalah, shows us the universe as a cloak or garment of God. Now then, we have here the same in the following words of Philo: "The Supreme Being is surrounded by a dazzling light which envelops Him like a rich cloak, and the most ancient word covers itself with the world as with a garment." 29

Two ways of speaking of God result also from this twofold theory on the nature and birth of things in general when

p. 247

[paragraph continues] He is considered for Himself, in His proper essence and independent of the creation. Sometime He is the supreme reason of things, the active and efficient cause of the universe (ὁ νοῦς, τὸ δραστήριον αἴτιον), the most general idea (τὸ γενικώτατον), (Legis. Alleg., II) the intelligible nature (νοητὴ φύσις). To Him alone belongs liberty, knowledge, joy, peace and happiness, in short--perfection. 30 Sometime He is represented higher even than perfection and all possible attributes. Nothing can give us an idea of Him; neither virtue nor knowledge, neither beauty nor goodness, 31 not even unity. For what we call unity is but an image of the first cause (μονὰς μὲν ἐστιν εἰκὼν αἰτίου πρώτου), 32,  33 All we know of Him is that He exists; to us He is the ineffable and nameless being. 34

We easily recognize in the first case the influence of Plato, of the metaphysics of Aristotle, and even of the physiology of the stoics; in the second case there is an entirely different order of ideas. Here, the Neoplatonic unity and the Ayn Sof of the Kabbalah, the "Mystery of Mysteries," the "Unknown of the Unknown" which dominates both, the Sefiroth and the world, are clearly visible. This applies also necessarily to all that Philo, because of his religious belief or because of his philosophic views, presents to us as an intermediary between the things created and the purest essence of God; we refer to the angels, the Word, and in general to what Philo designates under the somewhat vague name of "Divine Powers (δυνάμεις τοῦ Θεοῦ)." When the

p. 248

[paragraph continues] Greek dualism is taken seriously, when the intelligent principle acts directly upon matter, and God is conceived as the Demiurge of the world, then the Word or the Logos is the divine idea, the seat of all ideas after which all things have been patterned. The forces and the messengers of God, that is, the angels of every degree of the celestial hierarchy, are the ideas themselves.

This viewpoint is expressed already in the following short fragments: "If we are to speak prosaically, then the intelligible world is nothing but the thought of God while He prepared Himself to create the world, just as an architect who has the ideal city in his mind before constructing the real city according to this plan. Now, just as this ideal city occupies no space, and is but a picture in the mind of the architect, so can the intelligible world be nowhere but in the divine thought where the plan for the material universe was conceived. There is no other place capable of receiving and embracing even a single one of these unadulterated forces, much less all the forces of the supreme intelligence." 35 "These are the forces which have formed the immaterial and intelligible world, the prototype of the visible and the corporeal world." 36 In another place 37 we are told that the divine forces and the ideas are one and the same; that their task is to give the appropriate form to each object. In the same manner, nearly, the angels are referred to. They represent different particular forms of the everlasting reason or of virtue, and inhabit the divine space, that is to say, the intelligible world. 38

p. 249

The power upon which they depend directly, or the archangel, is, as we already know, the logos itself. But this nature of things and these roles are entirely changed when, according to the conception of the author, God appears as the immanent cause and the true place of all beings. In this case we are not dealing any longer with the simple imprint of different forms upon matter that does not exist of its own essence; but, without losing anything of their intelligible value, all ideas become, in addition, substantial realities, active forces subordinated one to another, and yet bound in one substance, in one force, in one single intelligence.

Wisdom or the Word thus becomes the first of all the heavenly forces, a distinct power, but not separated from the absolute being, 39 the spring that waters and vivifies the earth, the cup-bearer of the Most High who pours out the nectar of the souls, and Who is itself this nectar; 40 the firstborn of God and the mother of all the beings (υἱὸς πρωτόγονος), 41 It is also called the divine man (ἄνθρωπος Θεοῦ), for the image in which the earthly man was created on the sixth day, and which the Holy Scriptures call the image of God, is nothing but the everlasting Word. 42 It is the high priest of the universe (ἀρχιερεὺς τοῦ χόσμου), that is to say, the conciliator between the finite and the infinite. It may be regarded as a second God without impairing the belief in one God. 43 The Scriptures have it in mind when titles and a

p. 250

name are sometimes bestowed upon God; for the first rank belongs to the ineffable being 44 Philo's assertion that the Word reveals itself sometimes to a man in a material form fully convinces us that these expressions refer to a real personification. It is the Word that the patriarch Jacob saw in a dream, and it is the Word again that spoke to Moses in the burning bush. (Ib. supra.)

We have already seen how this Supreme Word engenders another which springs from its bosom by way of emanation, like a river gushing from its source. This second word is the goodness, the creative virtue (δύναμις ποιητικὴ), a hypostatized Platonic idea. Below the goodness is the royal power (ἡ βασιλικὴ) which governs with justice all created beings. 45 These three forces, the two last ones of which, when confined in their action to man only, are called "Mercy" and "Judgment" (ἡ ἵλεως καὶ ἡ νομοθετική), revealed themselves once upon the earth under the disguise of the three angels who visited Abraham. 46 They make up the invisible good and the harmony of this world, just as they are, on the other hand, the glory, the presence of God, whence they descend by a gradual darkening of the infinite splendor; for each one of them is both shadow and light; shadow of that which is above, light and life of all that is below their own sphere. 47

Their essence, finally, is just as impossible to comprehend as that of the primitive being, although their action is present everywhere and their forms manifest themselves in the forms of the universe. It is just what God Himself had taught Moses when the latter implored Him, says Philo, to show him at least, His glory (τὴν Δόξαν αὐτοῦ), that is to say, the forces that surround His inaccessible throne (δορυφορούσας δυνάμεις), after asking

p. 251

[paragraph continues] Him in vain to see Him face to face. 48 The angels which we just saw described as ideas representing different kinds of virtue, are not only personified after the manner of poets and biblical writers, but they are also looked upon as souls floating in ether and sometimes uniting with souls inhabiting human bodies. 49 They form real and animated substances which impart life to all elements and to all parts of nature. Proof of it is the following passage which we shall translate: "The beings designated by the philosophers of other nations as demons, are called by Moses angels. These are the souls that float in the air, and no one must deny their existence; for the universe must be animated in all its parts, and each element must be inhabited by living beings. The earth is thus stocked with animals, the sea and rivers with the inhabitants of water, the fire with the salamander--supposed to be quite common in Macedonia--the heavens by the stars. In fact, if the stars were not pure and divine souls, they would not be endowed with circular motion which properly belongs to the spirit only. It follows, therefore, that the air must also be peopled by living beings, although our eyes can not see them." 50

Philo's syncretism shows itself most plainly, and the twofold direction to which he commits himself, notwithstanding his lively predilection for Oriental ideas, is most easily seen, when he comes to speak of man. Thus, unlike Plato, he is not content with seeing the pale imprint of the eternal ideas in material things; but he even maintains that without the help of the senses we can never rise to higher cognition, that without the spectacle of the material world we can not even suspect the existence of an immaterial and invisible world. 51 He then declares the influence

p. 252

of the senses to be absolutely harmful, and commands man to sever all connections with them and to take refuge within himself. He creates an abyss between the rational, intelligent soul, which alone is privileged to constitute man, and the sentient soul from which our organs borrow life as well as the knowledge appropriate to them. This soul resides, as Moses said, in the blood, 52 while the other is an emanation, an inseparable reflection of divine nature (ἀπόσπασμα οὐ διαιρετόν, ἀπαύγασμα Θείας φύσεως) 53

This exaggerated viewpoint does not prevent him from retaining the Platonic opinion which recognizes in the human soul three elements: the thought, the will and the passions. 54 In innumerable places he insists upon the necessity of preparing for wisdom by what he calls "encyclical sciences" (ἐγκύκλιος παιδεία, ἐγκύκλια μαθήματα), that is to say, by oratory and those sciences which produce that outward culture so dear to the Greeks. Our mind, he says, must be fed with this mundane knowledge before it can aspire to higher science, just as our body must be fed with milk before it can bear more substantial food. 55 Any one neglecting to acquire these must succumb in this world as Abel succumbed to the blows of his fratricidal brother.

In another place he teaches entirely to the contrary: The word and the outward appearance is to be scorned, just as the body and the senses are to be scorned, that we may live in the intelligence and in the contemplation of the naked truth only. God's command to Abraham to leave his country, his family and the house of his father, means that man must break away from his body, his senses and the word. For the body is but part of the earth where we are forced to live; the senses are the servants

p. 253

and the brothers of the thought; and the word, finally, is but the cover and, in some measure, the dwelling place of the intelligence which is our real father. (De Somniis, L, 1.)

The same thought is symbolically reproduced in a more expressive manner by Hagar and Ishmael. This, rebellious servant and her son, who were so ignominiously driven from the house of their master, represent the encyclical knowledge and the sophism it begets. It is hardly necessary to add that any one aspiring to a higher level of the spiritual world must imitate the Hebrew patriarch. 56 But does the soul, when fully retired in the intelligence, find there, at least, self-satisfaction and the means of arriving through its own efforts to truth and wisdom? Had Philo answered this question in the affirmative, he would no have gone beyond the doctrine of Plato. For in Plato's estimation only he is truly wise who entirely renounces body and senses, and labors hard all his life to learn how to die. (Phedon, ad init.) But our Alexandrian philosopher oversteps this boundary; for, besides the knowledge borrowed from reason, besides the enlightenment given by philosophy, he is also in need of enlightenment and of higher knowledge, emanating directly from God, and given to intelligence as a favor, a mysterious gift.

When we read in the Scriptures, he says, that God spoke to man, we are not to believe that a material voice verberated the air, but that the human soul had been illumined by the purest light. In this manner only can the divine word address itself to man. Again, when the Law was promulgated on the Mount Sinai, it is not said that a voice was heard, but, according to the text, a voice was seen by all the people assembled. "You have seen," says Jehovah, "that I spoke to you from heaven above." 57 Since a miracle is explained it can not refer here to rational knowledge or to a mere contemplation of ideas but to a revelation

p. 254

mystically understood. We shall give the same meaning to another passage where the possibility of grasping God Himself through direct manifestation (ἀπ᾽ αὐτοῦ αὐτὸν καταλαμβάνειν) is admitted, instead of rising to Him by the contemplation of His works. In this state, adds our author, we understand at a glance the essence of God, His word and the universe. 58 He recognizes Faith (πίστις), which he calls "the queen of virtues" (ἡ τῶν ἀρετῶν βασιλίς), as the most perfect of all goodness, the cement that unites us with divine nature. 59 It is Faith that is represented in the story of Judah and Tamar; for as he united himself with her without lifting the veil that covered her face, so does Faith unite us with God.

Philo shows the same hesitation when speaking of human liberty as when explaining the nature and origin of our knowledge. At times the Stoic doctrine that man is free triumphs; the laws of necessity which govern without exception all other creatures, do not exist for man. This free choice, then, which is his privilege, imposes upon him at the same time the responsibility for his actions; only thus is man alone among all other beings capable of virtue, and hereby alone are we justified in saying that God, in His desire to manifest Himself in the universe through the idea of goodness, found no more dignified a temple than the human soul. 60 But it is easily seen that this theory, so true and wise, contradicts certain general principles previously expounded; as the unity of substance, the formation of beings by way of emanation, and even the Platonic dualism.

Our philosopher has also no scruples in deserting this theory for opposite views, and it is readily noted that he finds himself there more at ease, and that he unfolds there much better the

p. 255

wealth of his half-oriental style and the resources of his natural genius. He takes there from man his free choice as well as his moral responsibility. The evil we attribute to ourselves as the one generally reigning in this world, is the inevitable fruit of matter, 61 or the work of inferior forces which took part with the divine logos in the formation of man. The good, on the contrary, belongs to God alone. It is really because it does not suit the Supreme Being to participate in evil, that He called for subordinate workers to co-operate with Him in the creation of Adam, but all the good in our actions and in our thoughts must be attributed to Him alone. 62

According to this principle it is boastful and impious to consider oneself the author of any work; it means to compare oneself with God Who alone deposited in our soul the germ of good, and Who alone is qualified to impregnate it. 63 This quality, without which we would be swallowed up by evil and blended with nothingness or matter, is called by Philo by its true name, it is the "Grace (ἡ χάρις)." "Grace," he says, "is the heavenly virgin who serves as mediatress between God and the soul; between God who holds forth, and the soul which receives. The entire written law is but a symbol of Grace." 64

Along with this quite mysterious influence, Philo admits another influence which endangers no less the moral responsibility, and consequently, the free choice. It is the reversibility of good. The righteous is the expiatory victim of the wicked, and it is for the sake of the righteous that God lavishes upon the

p. 256

wicked His inexhaustible treasures. 65 This dogma, equally adopted by the Kabbalists and applied by them to the entire universe, is fundamentally a development of Grace. Grace alone brings about the merit of the righteous; why, then, can it not also come by the same channel to the wicked? As to that other obstacle to human liberty--the original sin--it would not be impossible to find its definition in some isolated words of our author. 66 But in such an important subject we must expect more explicit and more definite proofs. We can positively state that Philo considered life itself as a state of forfeiture and of compulsion; consequently, the more man enters life, or the further he penetrates through will or through intelligence the realm of nature, the more he must have believed that man wanders from God, that he becomes perverted and degraded. This principle is almost the only foundation of Philo's morality, which we shall survey rapidly.

While we meet here with some contradictions now and then, yet the Greek influence extends to the language only; the back-ground is entirely oriental and mystic. For example, when Philo tells us, as Antisthenes and Zeno do, that we must live according to nature (ζῆν ὁμολογουμένως τῇ φύσει), he understands by human nature not only the entire domination of spirit over body, of reason over senses, but also the observation of all the revealed laws, undoubtedly, as interpreted and understood by him. 67 When he admits, like Plato and the Stoic school, what was later called the "four cardinal virtues," he represents them, at the same time, as inferior and purely human virtues; above these he shows us, as their common source, the goodness or love, a purely religious virtue which concerns itself with God alone, Whose

p. 257

image and purest emanation it is. It springs directly from the Eden, that is to say, from Divine Wisdom, where alone joy, pleasure and delight in God is found. 68 It is probably in this sense, and following the example of Socrates, that he identifies virtue with wisdom. 69

We must, finally, take care not to attribute to him Aristotle's thoughts when, following the expressions of that philosopher, he says that virtue may come from three sources--from knowledge, nature and exercise. 70 True science and wisdom, according to Philo, is not the one which results from a natural development of our intelligence, but the one given to us by the grace of God. According to the Greek philosopher it is nature itself that drives us towards the good; according to Philo, there are in man two entirely contrary natures which combat each other, and one of which must necessarily succumb; thenceforth both are in a state of violence and restraint which does not permit them to remain at rest. Whence his third expedient to attain moral perfection: asceticism in its highest degree as a substitute for the legitimate control of the will and reason over our desires. In fact, it is not only the question here of lessening evil and of confining it to more or less restricted limits, but it must be pursued as long as the least trace of it is visible; it must be destroyed, if possible, root and branch. For the evil we suffer from in this world is entirely in our passions which Philo considers absolutely foreign to the nature of the soul. 71 The passions, to use his language, have their origin in the flesh. The flesh, therefore, must be humiliated and mortified; it must be combatted under all forms

p. 258

and in all instances; 72 we must lift ourselves from this state of forfeiture which is called life; we must regain liberty in the very bosom of that prison which we call body by absolute indifference to all perishable possessions. 73

As this state of misery is the purpose and result of marriage, the latter is considered by Philo, without being openly condemned, as a humiliating necessity from which the select souls, at least, ought to liberate themselves. 74 These, approximately, are the principal characteristics of the ascetic life, more so conceived and shown to us by Philo, than he has seen it realized by the sect of the Therapeutics. But the ascetic life is only a means; its aim, that is to say, the aim of morality itself, the highest degree of perfection, of happiness and of existence, is the union of the soul with God through total forgetfulness of itself, through enthusiasm and through love.

Here are some passages which we may believe to have been borrowed from some mystic of modern times: "O, my soul! If you desire to inherit heavenly gifts, it is not only necessary, as our first patriarch did, to leave the land you inhabit, that is to say, your body; the family you were born in, that is to say, the senses; and the house of your father, or the word; you must also avoid yourself that you may be outside of you, like those corybants who are intoxicated with divine enthusiasm. For the inheritance of heavenly blessing is only there where the soul, full of enthusiasm, does not live any more in itself, but plunges with delight into divine love and, attracted, ascends towards its father. (Quis rerum Divinarum haeres sit.) Once delivered from all passion, the soul pours itself out like a pure libation before the Lord. For to pour one's soul before God, to break the chains we find in the vain cares of this perishable life, means to step out

p. 259

of one's self to reach the limits of the universe, and to enjoy the heavenly sight of Him Who always was." (De Ebrietate.) The contemplative life--although it may not be the only one for man to choose--is placed by such principles far above all social virtues whose principle is love and whose aim is the well-being of man. 75 Even the cult-.--I mean the outward cult--can not bring us to the aim we are to look for.

Philo is really very embarrassed on this point. "Just as we must," he says, "take care of the body, since it is the dwelling place of the soul, just so must we observe the written laws; for the truer we will be to them, the better will we understand things they symbolize. In addition to this we must avoid the blame and the accusations of the masses." 76 This last reason resembles very much the postscript of some letters. This alone expresses the thought of our philosopher and establishes a closer relation between him and the Kabbalists. It also justifies the opinion the Talmudists had of their brethren who were initiated in Greek learning.

Of what has been said until now we obtain two extremely important deductions with reference to the origin of the Kabbalah. The first deduction is that this traditional doctrine was not taken from the writings of Philo. Indeed, since all Greek systems--and we may even say the entire Greek civilization--have left so many traces, intimately blended with elements of another nature, in the writings of Philo, why do we not find the same condition in the oldest writings of the Kabbalistic science? We say it again, that we can never find, either in the Zohar or in the Book of Formation, the least trace of that splendid civilization which has been transplanted by the Ptolemies to Egyptian soil. Without mentioning the previously indicated external difficulties which we

p. 260

uphold here in their full force, is it possible that Simeon ben Yohai and his friends, or whoever the authors of the Zohar may have been, could differentiate in Philo's writings, if these were their only guide, between that which has been borrowed from the different Greek philosophers, whose names are seldom mentioned by their Alexandrian disciples, and that which belongs to another doctrine which is based upon the idea of one and immanent principle which is the substance and form of all beings? Such a supposition is unworthy of discussion.

Besides, what we designated as the oriental part of Philo's syncretism is far from corresponding in all important points with the mysticism taught by the Palestinian sages. Thus, according to Philo, there are only five divine forces or attributes, while the Kabbalists admit ten Sefiroth. Although enthusiastically expounding the doctrine, Philo nevertheless preserves always a certain dualism, the (absolute) Being and the forces, or the substance and the attributes which, according to him, are separated by an impassable abyss. The Kabbalists look upon the Sefiroth as diverse boundaries within which the absolute principle of things circumscribes itself, or as "vessels," to use their own mode of expression. The divine substance, they add, need only withdraw, and these vessels would break and waste. Let us also remember that they expressly taught the identity of existence with thought. Philo, who is unconsciously dominated by the idea (of Plato and Anaxogoras) that matter is a principle distinct from God and everlasting as He, is naturally led to consider life a forfeiture and the body a prison.

This also accounts for his contempt of marriage, which he regards merely as a gratification of the flesh. The Kabbalists, on the other hand, although agreeing with the Scriptures that in the first days of the creation, when he was not ruled by sensual passions, man was happier than now, still look upon life in general as a necessary trial, as a means through which finite beings like we may elevate themselves to God, and unite with Him in

p. 261

boundless love. Marriage to them is not only the symbol, but the beginning, the first condition of this mysterious union; they carry marriage into the soul and into heaven. It is the fusion of two human souls by mutual completion. The interpretative system, finally, which Philo applies to the Holy Scriptures, although basically identical with that of the Kabbalists, could not, however, have served as a pattern to the latter.

Philo was surely not entirely ignorant of the language of his fathers; but we can easily prove that he had only the Septuagint version before him, the version that was used also by all the Alexandrian Jews. His mystic interpretations are based mainly upon the expressions of this translation and upon a purely Greek etymology. 77 Now, then, what is to become of those ingenious procedures used in the Zohar, whose force is entirely destroyed if not applied to the sacred language? 78 Nevertheless we admit that this difference in form would not be of such very great importance to us, if Philo and the Kabbalists were always to agree upon the choice of the texts, the Scriptural passages upon which they base their philosophical system; or, indeed, if disregarding the language, the same symbols would call forth the same ideas. But this is never so. Thus we do not find, either in the Zohar or in the Book of Formation, the least trace of those rich and ingenious allegories which we consider the sole property of the Alexandrian philosopher. No mention is made in these

p. 262

works of the personification of the senses in woman, of Eve, our first mother; of voluptuousness in the serpent which advised evil; of egotism in Cain, which man brought forth by uniting with Eve, that is to say, with the senses, after listening to the advice of the serpent; of the mental type in Abel, which entirely despises the body and succumbs through ignorance of mundane things; of the divine science in Abraham; of mundane science in Haggar; of virtue in Sarah; of the primitive nature of regenerated man in Isaac; of ascetic virtue in Jacob, and of faith in Tamar. All these reasons, we believe, justify our saying that Philo's writings exerted no influence whatever upon the Kabbalah.

We come now to the second deduction which may be drawn from these writings, and from the character of their writer. We have seen how indiscriminately and with what disregard for sound logic Philo pillaged, so to speak, the entire Greek philosophy. What reason have we, then, to credit him with better inventiveness, more sagacity and greater depth in that part of his opinions which reminds us, at least, of the dominant principles of the Kabbalistic system? Are we not justified in thinking that he found also this part all ready made in certain preserved traditions of his co-religionists, and that he only trimmed it with the brilliant colors of his imagination? In this case these traditions were quite old; for Egypt must have received them from the Holy Land before the memory of Jerusalem and of the language of their fathers was entirely extinguished among the Alexandrian Jews.

But, fortunately, we need not rely upon conjectures. There are facts which prove conclusively that some of the ideas we now speak of were known more than a century before the Christian era. We are assured by Philo himself, as we have said before, that he had drawn from an oral tradition which was preserved by the elders of his people, 79 attributing to the sect of the Therapeutists the mystic books of a very remote antiquity (De Vita contemplativa) and the use of allegorical interpretations applied

p. 263

without exception and without reserve to all parts of the Holy Scriptures. "The entire law," he says, "is to them like a living being in which the body is represented by the letter and the soul by a very deep meaning. Through the words, as through a mirror, the rational soul perceives in the latter the most hidden and the most extraordinary wonders." 80 Let us keep in mind that the same comparison is used in the Zohar, with the difference that beneath the body is put the cloak of the law by which the material deeds of the Bible are designated, and that above the soul is placed a more saintly soul, that is to say, the Divine Word, source of all inspiration and of all truth. But we have still older and more reliable witnesses than Philo.

We shall begin with the most important of all, the famous version of the Septuagint. The Talmud already had a vague knowledge 81 of the numerous inaccuracies met with in this famous translation, yet it venerated it very highly. Modern criticism has conclusively proven that the translation was made in behalf of a system extremely hostile 82 to biblical anthropomorphism; and there we will find the germ of Philo's mysticism. 83 Thus, when the sacred text expressly states 84 that Moses, his brother and the seventy elders saw the God of Israel sitting upon a throne of sapphire, the Greek translation says that it is not God they have seen, but the place He dwells in. 85 When another prophet, Isaiah, sees God sitting upon His throne and the folds of His robe filling

p. 264

the temple, (Isaiah, VI, I) the Septuagint replaces this too material picture by the "glory of God," the Shekinah of the Hebrews. 86 Jehovah really does not speak to Moses face to face, but in a vision; and it is probable that in the mind of the translator this vision was only an intellectual one. 87

Until here we see only the destruction of anthropomorphism and the desire to disengage the idea of God from the, sometimes, sublime images which put Him beyond our intelligence. But here are matters more worthy of our interest. Instead of "Lord Zebaot," the God of Hosts, Whom the Bible represents as another Mars exciting the fury of war and Himself marching into battle, 88 we find in the Greek translation not the Supreme God, but the forces of which Philo speaks so much in his writings, and the Lord, the God of the forces (κύριος ὁ Θεὸς τῶν δυνάμειων). When comparison is made to the "dew born from the bosom of Aurora," 89 the anonymous translator substitutes for it that mysterious being which God brought forth from His bosom before the morning star, 90 that is to say, the Logos, the divine light which preceded the world and the stars. When speaking of Adam and Eve, the Septuagint is careful to adhere strictly to the text that God created them male and female. 91 But this twofold character, these two halves of humanity, are united in one and the same being, which is evidently the prototype man, the Adam Kadmon. 92

In this curious monument we can also find unquestionable traces of the theory of numbers and of ideas. For example:

p. 265

[paragraph continues] God is not the creator of heaven and earth in the ordinary sense of the word; He simply made them visible from the invisible state in which they were previously. 93 "Who created all these?" asks the Hebrew prophet; "Who made them visible?" 94 says the AIexandrian interpreter. When the same prophet represents the master of the universe commanding the stars like a numerous army, 95 our interpreter makes him say that God produced the world according to numbers. 96 While an allusion to the doctrines of Plato and Pythagoras is easily found in these diverse passages, we must not forget that the theory of numbers is also taught, although grossly, in the Sefer Yetzirah, and that the theory of ideas is absolutely inseparable from the metaphysics of the Zohar.

We want to add here that an application of the Pythagorean principle is found in the first of these two monuments which is literally reproduced in the writings of Philo, and for which we shall look in vain in the works of any other Greek writing philosopher. It is because of the influence of the number seven that we possess seven principal organs--the five senses, the organ of speech and the generative organs; and it is for the same reason that there are seven gates of the soul, to wit: two eyes, two ears, two nostrils and one mouth. 97 We find also in the Septuagint another Kabbalistic tradition which was later appropriated to Gnosticism. When the text tells us that "the Most High marked the borders of the nations according to the number of children of Israel," we read in the Alexandrian translation that "the nations were divided according to the number of the angels of

p. 266

the Lord." 98 This, apparently odd and arbitrary interpretation, 99 becomes very intelligible when compared with a passage in the Zohar where we are told that there are seventy nations on earth, 100 that each of these nations is placed under the power of an angel whom it recognizes as its God, and who, so to speak, is the personification of its own spirit. The children of Israel alone are privileged to have over them no one but the true God Who had chosen them as His people. 101 We find the same tradition with another sacred writer who is just as old as the Septuagint version. 102

No doubt that the Greek philosophy which flourished in the capital of the Ptolomeans exercised a great influence upon this famous translation; but we find ideas there which have evidently been drawn from another source, and which could not even have been brought forth upon Egyptian soil. For were it otherwise, that is, if all the elements pointed out by us, as the allegoric

p. 267

interpretations of the religious elements, the personification of the Word and its identity with the absolute place, were the result of the general trend of thought of that period, in the land of which we spoke, how is it that during a lapse of two centuries, from the time of the last authors of the Septuagint version until Philo, not the least mention of that trend is made in the history of Greek philosophy? 103 But we have another, nearly contemporaneous monument, wherein we find the same spirit in a more definite form, and the Hebrew origin of which can not be contested. It is the book of Jesus, son of Sirach, commonly called Ecclesiasticus.

This religious author is known to us at present only through a Greek translation which came from the pen of his grandson. In a sort of preface we are told by the latter that he came to Egypt (probably after leaving Judea) in the thirty-eighth year of the reign of Evergetes II. If we take therefore the original writer to have lived fifty years earlier, we find him two centuries before the Christian era. Without placing implicit faith in the testimony of the translator, who assures us that his grandfather drew only from Hebrew sources, we want to point out that Jesus, the son of Sirach, is often eulogized by the Talmud under the name of Joshuah ben Sirach ben Eliezer. 104 The original text still existed at the time of St. Jerome, and until the beginning of the fourth century Jews as well as Gentiles counted it among their sacred writings. Now then, we find in the writings of this ancient author not only the traditions of which we just spoke, but also the doctrine of the Logos or of Divine Wisdom nearly in the same form as it is taught by Philo and by the Kabbalists.

Wisdom is, first of all, the same power as the Word, or the "Memra" of the Chaldean translators. It is the Word; it went

p. 268

forth from the mouth of the Most High (ἐγὼ ἀπὸ στόματος ὑψίστου ἐξῆλθον); 105 it can not be taken as a simple abstraction, as a purely logical being, for it manifests itself in the midst of its people, in the assembly of the Most High, and praises its soul (ἐν μέσῳ λαοῦ αὐτῆς καυχήσεται . . . αἰνέσει ψυχὴν αὐτῆς). (Ch. XXIV, 1.) This heavenly assembly is probably composed of forces subordinate to it; for the Talmud and Zohar make frequent use of a very similar expression to convey the same thought. 106 Wisdom, thus introduced upon the scene, presents itself as the firstborn of God; for it existed already at the very beginning, when time was not yet, and it will not cease to exist in the course of ages. 107 Wisdom has always been with God; (Ch. I, 1.) it is through Wisdom that the world was created; Wisdom alone formed the celestial spheres and descended to the depths of the abyss. Its empire extends over the waves of the ocean, over all regions of the earth, and over all the peoples and all the nations that inhabit it. (Ch. XXIV, 566.) Having been ordered by God to look for a dwelling place here below, its choice fell upon Zion. 108

When we consider that, according to our author, every other nation is subject to the influence of an angel or a subordinate power, we ought to look upon the choice of Zion as the dwelling place for Wisdom as a simple metaphor. On the contrary, that choice shows, as the quoted tradition expressly says, that the spirit of God, or the Logos, acted directly without an intermediary, upon the prophets of Israel. 109 If Wisdom were not something substantial, if it were not in some way the instrument and the servant of God, how could it be conceived sitting upon a throne within a column of clouds, the same column, probably, that marched before the Hebrew people in the desert? 110 The spirit

p. 269

of this book, as well as that of the Septuagint version and the Chaldaic paraphrases of Onkelos, consists, on the whole, in placing between the Sovereign Being (ὁ ὕψιστος) and this perishable world a mediating power which is, at the same time, eternal and the first work of God; which acts and speaks for Him, and which is itself His word and His creative power. 111 The abyss between the finite and the infinite is thus filled; heaven and earth are not divorced any longer; God manifests Himself through His word, and His word through the universe. But the Divine Word has no need of being recognized first in the visible things; it sometimes comes directly to man in the form of a holy inspiration, or through the gift of prophecy and revelation.

It was thus that the nation was raised above all other nations, and a man, the lawgiver of the Hebrews, above all other men. I want to add here that there is no conflict in this, so important, result between theology and criticism. For when we inquire into the most orthodox translations, as that of Sacy, about the work that interests us at present, we shill find many allusions to the doctrine of the Word. 112 We may say the same of the "Book of Wisdom," where the following passage has long since been found. 113 "Wisdom is more active than the most active thing . . . It is the breath, that is to say, an emanation of God's power and a very pure effusion of the brightness of the Almighty. It is the reflection of the everlasting light, the spotless mirror of the majesty of God and the image of His goodness. Although only one, it can accomplish everything, and resting immutably in itself, it renews all things. It enters at different times into holy souls and makes them prophets and friends of God." (Ch. VII, 24-27.)

But it seems to us that the general character of this work comes nearer to the Platonic philosophy than to the mysticism of

p. 270

[paragraph continues] Philo. And as neither the age nor the true origin of this work is known, 114 we are compelled to wait until a critic, more learned than ours, will have settled these questions. 115 However, the facts we have collected demonstrate fully that the Kabbalah is neither a child of the Greek civilization of Alexandria, nor of pure Platonism. In fact, were we to treat only of the principle which serves as basis to every Kabbalistic system, namely, the personification of the Word and of the Divine Wisdom considered as the immanent cause of the beings, we can find it at an epoch when the particular Alexandrian spirit was still in the process of being born. And where do we find it? In a traditional translation, so to speak, of the Scriptures, and in another monument of a purely Hebrew origin. When details and secondary ideas are considered, as for example the different applications of the allegorical method, or the deductions that may be drawn from the metaphysical principle of which we have spoken, the great difference between the writings of Philo and those of the Hebrew Kabbalists are easily seen.


239:1 Saadia ben Joseph. Head of the academy of Sura; born 892, died 942.--Transl.

239:2 Moses ben Maimon (Rambam). Talmudist, astronomer, physician and philosopher. Born 1135, died 1204.--Transl.

239:3 Joseph Flesch of Moravia has lately undertaken the translation of Philo's works into Hebrew; the translation of de Vita Mosis, (‏חיי משה‎), de Decalogo as well as the treatise on the Essenes and the Therapeutae in the manuscript: quod omnis probus liber, have been printed. The death of the translator has cut short the undertaking.--Jellinek

239:4 Gefroerer, Critical History of Primitive Christianity. Daehne, Historic Exposition of the Religious School of the Alexandrian Jews, Halle, 1834. Grossman, Questiones Philonae, Leipzig, 1829. Creuzer, in the "Theological Studies and Criticism," year 1832, first issue. *

239:* The following may be added: Scheffer, Questiones Philonianae, Marburg, 1829. Meier, Judaica, seu veter. scriptor. profanorum de rebus judaicis fragmenta, Jena, 1832.--Jellinek

240:5 Compare Creuzer's article, Theological Studies and Criticism, 1832, first issue, p. 18 ff. Ritter, article Philo. vol. IV of Tissot's translation.

241:6 De mundi opificio, I, 4. We have already quoted this passage in the introduction.

241:7 De incorrupt. mund. Ὧσπερ ἐκ τοῦ μὴ ὄνοτς οὐδὲν γίνεται, οὐδ᾽ εἰς τὸ μὴ ὂν φθείρεται. Ἐκ τοῦ γὰρ οὐδαμὴ ὄντος ἀμήκαονον ἐστὶ γενέσθαι τι, κ.τ.λ.

241:8 Τελειότατον γὰρ ἥρμοττε τὸ μέγιστον τῶν ἔργων τῷ μεγίστῳ δημιουργῷ διαπλάσασθαι. Τελειότατον δὲ οὐκ ἄν ἧν εἰ μὴ τελείοις συνεπληροῦτο μέρεσιν, ὥστε ἐκ γῆς ἁπάσης καὶ παντὸς ὕδατος καὶ ἀέρος καὶ πυρός, μηδενὸς ἔξω καταληφθέντος, συνέστη ὅδε ὁ κόσμος. (De plantat Noe, II, init.)

241:9 Προλαβὼν γὰρ ὁ Θεός, ὅτι μίμημα καλὸν οὐκ ἄν ποτε γένοιτο καλοῦ δίχα παραδείγματος, κ.τ.λ. (De mundi opific.)

241:10 Εἰ γάρ τις ἐθελήσειε τὴν αἰτίαν, ἧς ἕνεκα τόδε τὸ πᾶν ἐδημιουργεῖτο, διερευνᾶσθαι, δοκεῖ μοι μὴ διαμαρτεῖν τοῦ σκοποῦ, φάμενος, καὶ τῶν ἀρχαίων εἷπέ τις. Following this are even the expressions of Timaeus. Ib. supra.

242:11 Quod mund. sit incorrupt., 949, 950.

242:12 Τελειότατον γὰρ ἥρμοττε τὸ μέγιστον τῶν ἔργων τῷ μεγίστοῳ δημιουργῷ διαπλάσθαι. (De planat. Noe, init.)

242:13 De Sacrificantibus, ed. Mangey, vol. II, p. 261.

242:14 Παύεται οὐδέποτε ποιῶν ὁ Θεός, ἀλλ᾽ ὧσπερ ἵδιον τὸ καίειν πυρὸς καὶ χιόνος τὸ ψύχειν, οὕτο καὶ Θεοῦ τὸ ποιεῖν. Legis Alleg., I, ed. Mangey, vol. I, p. 44.

242:15 Ἀναπαύλαν δὲ οὐ τὴν ἀπραξίαν καλῶ, ἐπειδὰν φύσει δραστήριον τὸ τῶν ὅλων αἴτιον οὐδέποτε ἴσχον τοῦ ποιεῖν τὰ κάλλιστα, ἀλλὰ τὴν ἄνευ κακοπαθείαν μετὰ πολλῆς εὐματρείας ἀπονοτάτην ἐνέργειαν. De Cherubin, p. 123.

243:16 Εὔηθες πάνυ τὸ οἴεσθάι ἕξ ἡμέραις, ἢ καθόλου χρόνῳ κόσμον γεγόνεμαι. Leg. Alleg. lb. supr. Οὐτὸς οὖν (ὁ κόσμος) ὁ νεώτερος υἱὸς ὁ αἰσθητός, κινηθείς, τὴν χρόνου φύσιν ἀναλάμψαι καὶ ἀνασχεῖν ἐποίησεν. Quod Deus sit immutabilis. Δημιουργὸς δὲ καὶ χρόνου Θεός.

243:17 Ὁ Θεὸς τὰ πάντα γενήσας, οὐ μόνον εἰς τοῦμφανὲς ἤγαγεν, ἀλλὰ καὶ ὅ πρότερον οὐκ ἧν ἐποίησεν, οὐ δημιουργὸς μόνον, ἀλλὰ καὶ κτίστης, αὐτὸς ὤν. De Somniis, p. 577.

243:18 Θεὸς καὶ τοῖς ἄλλοις ἅπασιν ἀρχὴ τοῦ δρᾶν ἐστί. Ἴδιον μὲν Θεοῦ τὸ ποιεῖν, ὅ οὐ Θέμις ἐπιγράψασθαι γεννητῷ, ἴδιον δυ γεννητοῦ τὸ πάσχειν.

Legis, Alleg., I; De Cherubin, vol. I, p. 153, ed. Mangey.

243:19 Πάντα γὰρ πεπλήρωκεν ὁ Θεός, καὶ διὰ πάντων διελήλυθεν, καὶ κενὸν οὐδέν, οὐδὲ ἔρημον ἀπολέλοιπεν ἑαυτοῦ. Genes., III, 8.

244:20 We should expect to see mentioned here "Fire" as the fourth element. But as Philo considered the heavens as the purest fire, "heaven" is put instead. See de Linguar. confus., p. 342: ὁ αἰθὴρ (ὁ οὐρανὸςwas called before) ἱερὸν πῦρ φλὸξ ἐστιν κ.τ.λ.--Compare Daehne, Historical Representation of the Jewish-Alexandrian Religious Philosophy, part I, p. 190.-Jellinek

244:21 De linguarum Confusione, ed. Mangey, vol. I, p. 425.

244:22 Αὐτὸς ὁ Θεὸς καλεῖται τόπος, τῷ περιέχειν μὲν τὰ ὅλα, περιέχεσθαι δὲ πρὸ μηδενὸς ἁπλῶς, καὶ τῷ καταφυγεἰν τῶν συμπάντοων αὐτῷ εἷναι, καὶ ἐπειδήπερ αὐτὸς ἐστὶ χώρα ἑαυτοῦ, κεχωρηκὼς ἑαυτὸς καὶ ἐμφερόμενος μένοῳ ἑαυτῷ. De Somniis, lib. I.

245:23 Αὐτὸς δὲ ὤν ἀρχέτυπος αὐγή, μυρίας ἀκτῖνας ἐκβάλλει, ὦν οὐδεμία ἐστὶν αἰσθητή, νοηταὶ δὲ καὶ ἅπασαι. Παῤ ὁ καὶ ὁ νοητὸς Θεὸς αὐταῖς χρῆται, τῶν δὲ γένεσεως μεμοιραμένων οὐδείς. De Cherubin., vol. I, p. 156. ed. Mang.

245:24 Καθάπερ τὴν ἀνθήλιον αὐγὴν ὡς ἥλιον, οἱ μὴ δυνάμενοι τὸν ἥλιον αὐτὸν ἰδεῖν ὁρῶσι, οὕτως καὶ τὴν τοῦ Θεοῦ εἰκόνα, τὸν ἄγγελον αὐτοῦ λόγον, ὡς αὐτὸν κατανοῦσιν. De Somniis.

245:25 Ὁ πρωτόλονος λόγος, ὁ ἄγγελος πρεσβύτατος, ἀρχάγγελος. De Confusione linguarum, p. 341.

245:26 Ποταμὸς φήσιν (Μώσης) ἐκπορεύεται ἐξ Ἐδὲμ τοῦ ποτίκζειν p. 246 τὸν παράδεισον. Ποταμὸς ἡ γενικὴ ἐστὶν ἀγαθότης· αὐτὴ ἐκπορεύεται ἐκ τῆς τοῦ Θεοῦ σοφίας, ἡ δὲ ἐστιν ὁ Θεοῦ λόγος. Leg. Alleg., I. I.

246:27 Τὸν γοῦν τόδε τὸ πᾶν ἐργασάμενον δημιουργὸν ὁμοῦ καὶ πατέρα εἷναι τοῦ γεγονότος εὐθὺς ἐν δίχῃ φήσομεν· μητέρα δὲ τὴν τοῦ πεποιηκότος ἐπισήμην ἧ συνῶν ὁ Θεός, κ.τ.λ. De Temulentid.

246:28 Καὶ δὴ καὶ προσεικάσαι πρέπει τὸ μὲν δεχόμενον μητρί, τὸ δ᾽ ὅδεν πατρί, τὴν δὲ μεαξὺ τούτων φύσιν ἐκγόνῳ. Timaeus, ed. Stallbaum, p. 212.

246:29 Λέγω δὲ τὸ ἡγεμονιχὸν φωτὶ αὐγοειδεῖ περιλάμπεται, ὡς ἀξιόχρεως ἐνδύσασθαι τὰ ἱμάτια νομισθῆναι· ἐνδύεται δὲ ὁ μὲν πρεσβύτατος τοῦ ὅντος λόγος ὡς ἐσθῆτα τὸν κόσμον. De Praefugis.

247:30 Ὁ Θεὸς ἡ μόνη ἐλευθέρα φύσις De Somniis, II.--Μόνος ὁ Θεὸς ἀψευδῶς ἑορτάζει, καὶ γὰρ μόνος γήθει, καὶ μόνος εὐφραίνεται, καὶ μόνῳ τὴν ἀμιγῇ πολέμου συμβέβηχεν εἱρήνην ἄγειν, κ.τ.λ. De Cherub., vol. I, p. 154, ed. Mangey.

247:31 De Mundi opific., loc. laud. Κρείττων ἣ ἐπιστήμη, κρείττων ἣ ἀρετή, κ.τ.λ.

247:32 De Specialibus legibus, 1. II, vol. II, p. 329, ed. Mangey.

247:33 I can not see why the author insists upon "Supreme Being (Souverain Etre)" instead of "First Cause" as translated by Dr. Jellinek whose translation is the correct one.--Transl.

247:34 Ὁ δἄρα οὐδὲ τῷ νῷ καταληπτὸς ὅτι μὴ κατὰ τὸ εἷναι μόνον, ὕπαρξις γὰρ ἐστὶν ὁ καταλαυβάνομεν αὐτοῦ. . . ψιλὴ ἄνευ καρακτῆρος ἡ ὔπαρξις, ἀκατανόμαστος καὶ ἄρρητος. Quod mundus sit immutabilis.

248:35 Εἰ δέ τις ἐθελήσειε γυμνοτέροις χρήσασθαι τοῖς ὀνόμασιν, οὐδὲν ἄν ἕτερον εἴποι τὸν νοητὸν εἵναι κόσμος ἢ Θεοῦ λόγος ἣδη κοσμοποιοῦντος οὐδὲ γὰρ ἡ νοητὴ πόλις, ἕτερόν τι ἐστὶν ἢ ὁ ἀρχιτέκτονος λογισμὸς ἢδη τὴν αἰσθητὴν πόλιν τῇ νοητῇ κτίζειν διανοουμένου. De Mund. opific., vol. I, p. 4, ed. Mangey.

248:36 Διὰ τούτων τῶν δυνάμεων ὁ ἀσώματος καὶ νοητὸς ἐπάγη κόσμος, τὸ τοῦ φαινομένου τούτου ἀρχέτυπον, ἰδέαις ἀοράτοις συσταθείς, ὧσπερ οὗτος σώματσιν ὁρατοῖς. De Linguarum confusione.

248:37 Ταῖς ἀσωμάτοις δυνάμεσιν, ὧν ἕτυμον ὄνομα αἱ ἰδέαι, καταχρήσατο πρὸς τὸ γένος ἕκαστον ἁρμόττουσαν λαβεῖν μορφήν. De Sacrificantibus. vol. II, p. 261, ed. Mangey.

248:38 Εἱδέναι δὲ νῦν προσήκει, ὅρι ὁ Θεῖος τόπος καὶ ἡ ἱερὰ χώρα πλήσης ἀσωμάτων λόγων.--De Somniis, I, 21. Λόγοι οὕς καλεῖν ἔθος ἄγγελοι. p. 249 ὅσοι γὰρ Θεοῦ λόγοι, τοσαῦτα ἀρετῆς ἕθην τε καὶ εἴδη. De Posteritatae Caini.

249:39 Ἡ σοφία τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐστιν, ἥν ἄκραν καὶ πρωτίστην ἔτεμεν ἀπὸ τῶν ἑαυτοῦ δυνάμεων.--Leg. Alleg., II.

249:40 Χάτεισι δὲ ὥσπερ ἀπὸ πηγῆς, τῆς σοφίας, ποταμοῦ τρόμον, ὁ Θεῖος λόγος. . . . πλήρη τῆσ σοφίας νάματος τὸν Θεῖον λόγον . . . οἰνοχόος οῦ Θεοῦ καὶ συμποσίαρχος, οὐ διαφέρων τοῦ πώματος.--De Somniis, II.

249:41 Δύο γάρ, ὡς ἔοικεν, ἱερὰ Θεοῦ, ἕν μὲν ὅδε ὀ κόσμος, ἐν ὧ καὶ ἀρχιερεὺς ὁ πρωτόγονος αὐτοῦ Θεῖος λόγος.--De Somniis, I, col. I, p. 653, ed. Mangey.

249:42 Καὶ ἀρχὴ καὶ ὄνομα Θεοῦ καὶ κατ᾽ εἰκόνα ἄνθρωπος, κ.τ.λ.--De Confusions linguarum, vol. I, p. 407, ed. cit.

249:43 Οὗτος γὰρ ἡμῶν τῶν ἀτερλῶν ἃν εἴν Θεός, κ.τ.λ.--Leg. Alleg., III, vol. I, p. 128, ed. cit.

250:44 De Somniis, I, vol. I, p. 656, ed. Mangey.

250:45 De Profugis, vol. I, p. 560, ed. Mangey. Αἱ δ᾽ ἄλλαι πέντε ὡς ἂν ἀποι κίαι, δυνάμεις εἰσὶ τοῦ λέγοντος, ὧν ἄρκει ἡ ποιητική κ.τ.λ.

250:46 De Vita Abraham (vol. II, p. 17, ed. Mangey.)

250:47 Ὥσπερ γὰρ ὁ Θεὸς παράδειγμα τῆς εἰκόνος, ἥν σκίαν νυνὶ κέκληκεν, οὕτως ἡ εἰκὼν ἄλλων γίνεται παράδειγμα. . . σκία Θεοῦ δὲ ὁ λόγος αὐτοῦ ἐστίν--Leg. Alleg., III.

251:48 Μήτ᾽ οὗν ἐμέ, μήτε τίνα τῶν ἐμῶν δυνάμεων κατὰ τὴν οὐσίαν ἐλπίοῃς ποτὲ δυνήσεσθαι καταλαβεῖν.--De Monarchia, I, vol. II, p. 218,

251:49 De plantatione. De Monarchia, II. This union of the soul with another has been recognized by the Kabbalists under the name of "pregnancy (‏עיבור‎)."

251:50 De Gigantibus vol. I, p. 253, ed. Mangey.

251:51 Τὸν ἐκ τῶν ἰδεῶν συσταθέντα καὶ νοητὸν κόσμον οὐκ ἔνεστιν ἄλλως καταλαβεῖν ὅτε μὴ ἐκ τῆς τοῦ αἰσθητοῦ καὶ ἀρομένου τούτου μεταναβάσεως, κ.τ.λ.--De Somniis, I.

252:52 Αἰμα οὐσία ψυχῆς ἐστί, οὐχὶ τῆς, νοερᾶς καὶ λογικῆς, ἀλλὰ τῆς αἰσθητικῆς, καθ᾽ ἥν ἡμῖν τε καὶ τοῖς ἀλόγοις κοινὸν τὸ ζῆν συμβέβηκεν. De Concupiscentia, vol. II, p. 356, ed. Mangey.

252:53 Quod deterior potiori insidiari soleat, vol. I, p. 208, ed. cit.

252:54 Ἔστιν ἧμῶν ἡ φυκὴ τριμερής, καὶ ἔχει μέρος τὸ μὲν λοικόν, κ.τ.λ.--Leg. Alleg., I. De Confusione linguarum. De Concupiscentia, vol. II, p. 350, ed. cit.

252:55 De Congressu quaerendae eruditionis gratia.

253:56 De Cherub. De Congressu quaerendae erudit. gratia.

253:57 Τοὺς τοῦ Θεοῦ λόγους οἱ κρησμοὶ φωτὸς τρόπον ὁρωμένους μενυουσι, λέγεται γὰρ ὅτι πᾶς ὁ λαὸς ἑώρα τὴν φωνήν, οὐκ ἥκουσεν, κ.τ.λ. De Migrat. Abraham.

254:58 . . . Ἀλλ᾽ ὑπερκύφας τὸ γενητόν, ἔμφασιν ἐναργῆ τοῦ ἀγενήτου λαμάνει ὡς ἀπ᾽ αὐτοῦ αὐτὸν καταλαμβάνειν καὶ τὴν σχιὰν αὐτοῦ, ὅπερ ἧν τὸν λόγον καὶ τόνδε τὸν κόσμον. Leg. Alleg., vol. II.

254:59 De Migratione Abraham. Quis return divinarum haeres.

254:60 De Nobilitate, vol. II, p. 437, ed. cit. Νεὼν ἀξιοπρεπέστερον ἐπὶ γῆς οὐχ᾽ εὗρε λοισμοῦ κρείττω· ὁ γὰρ νοῦς ἀγαλματοφορεῖ τὸ ἀγατόν.

255:61 De Opific. mund. Quis rerum divinarum heares. De Nominum mutatione. De Vita Mos., III.

255:62 De Mund. opific. op. 16, Paris ed. 1640. De Profugis, same ed., p. 460.

255:63 Leg. Alleg., I. De profugis. De Cherub. Gefroerer, work cited, vol. I, p. 401.

255:64 Ὥστε σύμβολον εἷναι διαθήκην χάριτος· ἥν μέσην ἔθηκεν ὁ Θεὸς ἑαυτοῦ τε ὀρέγοντος καὶ ἀνθρώπου λαμβάνοντος. Ὑπερβολὴ δὲ εὐεργεσίας τοῦτό ἐστι, μὴ εἷναι Θεοῦ καὶ ψυχῆς μέσον, ὅτι μὴ τὴν παρθένον χάριτα--De Nominum mutatione, p. 1052, quoted ed.

256:65 Ὁ σπουδαῖος τοῦ φαύλου λύτρον.--De Sacrificiis Abelis et Caini p. 152, Paris ed.

256:66 We quote mainly the following passage: Παντὶ γεγητῷ καὶ ἂν σπουδαῖον ἧ, γαῤ οἵσον ἔλθεν εἰς γένεσιν· σομφυὲς τὸ ἁμαρτάνειν ἐστί.--De Vita Mos., III, vol. II, p. 157, ed. Mangey.

256:67 In the following words of the Scriptures: "Abraham followed the ways of the Lord," the maxim taught by the most famous philosophers is contained, namely, that we live according to nature.--De Migratione Abraham.

257:68 After stating that the four virtues have their source in beauty, our author adds: Λαμβένι μὲν οὗν τὰς ἀρχὰς ἡ γενικὴ ἀπὸ τῆς Ἐδέμ, τῆς τοῦ Θεοῦ σοφίας, ἣ χαίρει καὶ γάνυται καὶτρυφᾷ ἐπὶ μόνῳ τῷ πατρὶ αὐτοῆς Θεῷ--Leg. Alleg., I.

257:69 Κτησάμενος δὲ ἐπιστήμην, τῶν ἀρετῶν βεβαιοτάην ουνεκτᾶτο καὶ τὰς ἄλλας ἁπάσας. De Nobilitate, ed. Mangey, vol. II, p. 442.

257:70 De Migrat. Abrah. De Somniis, I et passim.

257:71 Quis rerum divinarum haeres sit.

258:72 Οὐ μετριοπάθειαν ἀλλὰ συνόλως ἀπάθειαν ἀγαπῶν.--Legis Allego., III.

258:73 Τὸ σῶμα εἱρκτή, δεσμοτήριον.--De Migrat. Abrah. Quis rerum divinarum haeres sit, et passim.

258:74 Quod deter. potiori insidiari seleat.--De Monarchia.

259:75 De Migrat. Abrah., ed. Mang., 1, I, p. 395, 413. Leg. Alleg., same ed. vol. I, p. 50. De Vita Contemplativa.

259:76 Ὧσπερ οὖν σώματος ἐπειδὰν ψυχῆς ἐστὶν οἶκος προνοητέον, οὕτω καὶ τῶν ρητῶν νόμων ἐπιμελητέον . . . πρὸς ὧ καὶ τὰς ἀπὸ τῶν πολλῶν μέμψεις καὶ κατηγορίας ἀποδιδράσκειν--De Migrat. Abrah.

261:77 Here are a few examples; In the words addressed to the serpent whose head is to be crushed by woman, αὐτὸς σοῦ τηρήσει κεφαλήν, he finds with good reason a grammatical error; but this error is not to be found in the Hebrew text. (Leg. Alleg., III) From the Greek word φείδεσθαι he derives the word Pishon, the name of the four rivers coming from the earthly paradise. The word Havilah is composed of εὐ and of ἵλως. It is of importance to him whether the name of God, Θεός, is or is not preceded by the definite article ό, etc. See Gefroerer, loc. cit., vol. I, p. 50.

261:78 How, for instance, can the abstract substance be called the "No-Thing" (‏אין‎--Eye-in) without the Hebrew text ‏והחכמה מאין תמצא‎ and wisdom where shall it be found? (Job, 28, 12). What is to become of the names of the first three Sefiroth? How could we possibly deduct the unity of God and of the world from the translation of the three words ‏מי ברא אלה‎--who created these?

262:79 De Vita Mosis, I; ed. Mangey., liv. II, p. 81.

263:80 Ἄπασα γὰρ ἡ νομοθεσία δοκεῖ ἀνδράσι τούτοις ἑοικέναι ζώῳ· καὶ σῶμα μὲν ἔχειν τὰς ρητὰς διατάξεις, ψυχη δὲ τὸν ἐναποκείμενον τοῖς λέξεσιν ἀόρατον νοῦν, ἐν ὦ ἤρξατο ῆ λογικὴ ψυχὴ διαφερόντως τὰ οἰκεῖα θεωρεῖν, ὥστερ διὰ κα-τόπτρου τῶν ὀνομάτων, ἐξαίσια κάλλη νοημάτων ἐμφερόμενα κατιδοῦσα.--De Vita contemplativa, vol. II, p. 475, ed. Mangey.

263:81 Babyl. Talm., tract. Megillah, 9a, b.

263:82 The strict avoidance of anthropomorphism and anthropathy is easily explained by the hypothesis that the Greek translation was made from an Aramaic original.--Jellinek

263:83 For the necessary documents consult Gefroerer, Primitive Christianity, vol. II, p. 4-18, and Dahne, Historical Exposition of the Religious Philosophy of the Alexandrian Jews, vol. II, p. 1-72.

263:84 Exodus, ch. XXIV, 9, 10.

263:85 Καὶ εἱοδν τὸν τόπον οὑ εἱστήκει ὁ Θεὸς τοῦ Ἰσραήλ.

264:86 Καὶ πλήρες ὁ οἶκος τῆς δόξης αὐτοῦ.

264:87 Στόμα κατὰ στόμα λαλήσω αὐτοῷ ἐν εἴδει. Numbers, ch. XII, 8.

264:88 ‏ה׳ כגבור יצא כאיש מלחמות יעיר קנאה.‎ (The Lord will go forth as a mighty man, He will stir up jealousy like a man of war)--Isaiah, XLII, 13.

264:89 ‏מרחם משחר לך טל ילדתד.‎ (From the womb of the dawn, thine is the dew of thy youth).--Psalms, CX, 3.

264:90 Ἐκ γαρτὸς πρὸ ἑωσφόρου ἐγέννησα δέ.

264:91 ‏זכר ונקבה ברא אתם.‎ (Male and female created He them).--Gen., I, 27.

264:92 Ἄρσεν καὶ Θῆλυ ἐποίησεν αὐτόν.

265:93 Οὖτος ὁ Θεὸς ὁ καταδείξας, τὴν γῆν καὶ ποιήσασ αὐτὴν αὐτὸς διώρισεν αὐτήν.--Isaiah, ch. XLV, 18. The three following words must he added to this passage: (blank in text--JBH) which have long since been noticed in the second verse of Genesis.

265:94 ‏מי ברא אלה‎--Isaiah, XL, 26,

265:95 ‏המוציא במספר צבאם‎ Ib. supr. See Tracy's translation.

265:96 Ὁ ἐκφέρων κατ᾽ ἀριθμὸν τὸν κόσμον αὐτοῦ.

265:97 Τῆς ἡμετέρας ψυχῆς δίχα τοῦ ἡγεμονικοῦ μήρος ἑπταχῆ σχίζεται, πρὸς πέντε αἰσθήσεισ καὶ τὸ φωνητήριον ὄργανον καὶ ἐπὶ πᾶσι τὸ γόνιμον, κ.τ.λ--De Mundi opific., p. 27, Paris ed.

266:98 ‏יצב גבולות עמים למספר בוי ישדעל‎ Deuter. XXXII, S.--ἔστησεν ὅρια ἐθνῶν κατὰ ἀριθμὸν ἀγγἐλων Θεοῦ.

266:99 I omit here Dr. Jellinek's footnote wherein he puts the opinion of the author above that of Dr. Frankel (Preliminary Studies to the Septuagint). We are not concerned here with the criticism of Frankel's opinion. What is of importance, though, is Frankel's remark that the words ‏בני אלהים‎ are sometimes translated in the Septuagint by of οἵ ἄγγελοι τοῦ Θεοῦ (the angels of God), and sometimes by υἱοὶ Θεοῦ (sons of God). To this Dr. Jellinek makes the following remark: Noteworthy is the following saying of Simeon ben Yohai: ‏ויראו בני אלהים ר׳ שמעון בר׳ יוחאי קרא להון בני דיינא, ר׳ שמעון בן יוחאי הוי מקלל לכל מאן דקרי להון בנר אלהיי.‎ "R. Simeon ben Yohai translated the words 'and the angels of Elohim saw' (Genesis VI, 2) with 'the sons of the judges,' and he cursed those who called them (Aramaic) ‏בני אלהייא‎. ‏אלהייא‎ in Aramaic has the only meaning of "gods," while ‏אלהים‎ in Hebrew means also "judges." This passage shows on the one hand how much R. Simeon ben Yohai was opposed to the conception of "sons of God;" on the other hand, the υἱοὶ Θεοῦ (sons of God) was known also among the Palestinian Jews.--Transl.

266:100 The Talmud is also acquainted with the tradition that there are seventy nations and seventy languages. Compare Shekalim, fol. 13.--Jellinek

266:101 ‏התנינים הנדולים אלין אינון שבעין ממנן רברבן על שבעין אמין ובנין כךּ אתבריאו כלחו למחי שלמין על ערעא וגוה׳‎--Zohar part I fol. 46h.

266:102 Ἑκάστῳ ἔθνει κατέστησεν ἡγύμεονον, καὶ μερὶς κύριον Ἰσραὴλ ἐστίν.--Jes. Sirach ch. XVII, 17.

267:103 The translator of Jesus ben Sirach, who lived about one hundred and fifty years before Jesus Christ, in the thirty-eighth year of the reign of Evergetes II, speaks of the Septuagint version as a work long since completed and known.

267:104 See Zunz, The Religious Sermons of the Jews, ch. VII.

268:105 Ch. XXIV; de Sacy's translation, same ch., v. 7.

268:106 ‏ישיבה של מעלה‎ (Higher Assembly).

268:107 Ch. XXIV, v.9; Sacy, Πρὸ τοῦ αἰῶνος ἀπ᾽ ἀρχῆς ἔκτισέ με.

268:108 Ch. XXIV v. 7 ff.; Sacy, v. I1.

268:109 Ch. XVII, v. 15. Μερίς κυρίον Ἰσραήλ ἐστιν.

268:110 Ὁ Θρόνος μου ἐν στύλῳ νεφέλης.

269:111 I follow here Jellinek who has "schoepferische Macht (creative power);" the original has "vertue creative (creative virtue.)"--Transl.

269:112 See especially the 1st and 24th chapter.

269:113 The author gives the translation from de Sacy; while Jellinek it from the Greek text. I follow the latter.--Transl.

270:114 See dom Calmet's "Dissertation on the author of the Book of Wisdom, in his literal commentary to the Old Testament," and Daehme, l.c. liv. II, p. 152 ff.

270:115 We believe, however, that the author was familiar with the Hebrew sources; for we find with him apocryphal legends which are otherwise met in the Midrashim of Palestine. Of such nature is the legend of the manna which had the taste of any dish desired; * also the legend of Joseph, who, it was believed, became king of Egypt, and that during the three days of darkness the Egyptians were unable to keep up any artificial light.--Wisdom, ch. XVI, 20-23. See dom Calmet's "Preface to the Book of Wisdom."

270:* This legend is also found in the Babylonian Talmud. Tract. Yoma, fol. 75. ‏כל זמן שישראל אוכלין אותו (את המן) מוצאין בו כמה טעמים‎ "As long as Israel ate the manna, they found in it any taste desired."--Jellinek

Next: Chapter IV. Relation of the Kabbalah to Christianity