title of any pericope numbered in red to access the original language text.
The Word &
||...No material thing is strong
enough to bear the burden of the world. But the everlasting
Word [logos] of the eternal God is the firmest and
surest support of the whole.
||He stretches to reach from the
middle to the edges and from the heights to the midst, uniting
and binding all the parts with nature's unfailing course. For
the Father who begot [gennésas] him made him the
unbreakable bond of all.
The Word as Image
||If anyone wants to use plainer
words, he would say that the world of the mind was the Word of
God [logos theou] already making a world. For a city
in the mind is nothing else than the reckoning [logismas]
of the architect, already planning to build the city.
||This is Moses' doctrine, not
mine. Indeed, in the next passage, recording the beginning of
man, he confesses that (the human) was modeled after the image
of God. Now if the part is the image of an image, it is clear
that the whole is too. But if the entire sensible world --
which is greater than the human -- is a copy of the divine
image, it is clear also that the archetypal seal which we say
is the world of the mind is the the very Word [logos]
||...Now the Word is our
"father's house"; (father), because the mind is our
"father," sowing into each of our parts its own
powers and distributing their works, while remaining himself
in charge and in control of all. And the Word is the
"house" in which (the mind) lives, removed from the
rest of the household. The Word is the mind's house, just as
the hearth is man's.
||...And do not marvel if (Moses) has
called the Word the mind's house in man. For he even says that
God, the Mind of the whole (world), has the Word as his own
"house"... (Gen 28:17).
The Human Soul & the Word
||Now it is evident also that the
soul was the best. For we know that to make it (God) used none
of the patterns in creation other than his own Word alone, as
I have said. Thus, he says man was made its likeness and copy;
it was breathed into his face -- the locus of the sense by
which the Creator [demiourgos] gave life to the
body... Now the copy of a very beautiful pattern must be very
beautiful. But better than even this beauty is the Word of
God, which is beautiful by nature, not formed [kosmoumenos]
by beauty but -- to tell the truth -- (being) itself beauty's
finest form [kosmos].
Light & Logos
||Now the unseen and mental light
was made an image of the Word of God interpreting its origin.
And it is the star beyond the heavens, the source of the
The Light &
||And so "the hands of
Moses are heavy" (Exod 17:12).
For, whereas the deeds of the simpleton are light and windy,
those of the sage will be weighty and immovable and not easily
shaken, because they are supported by Aaron -- (i.e.), the
Word [logos] -- and Hor -- i.e., the Light.*
But there is no matter more clearly "Light" than
Truth. Therefore, he wants to show you through symbols that
the deeds of the sages are supported by the most basic things:
the Word and Truth. And so when Aaron comes to an end -- that
is, when he is perfected -- he goes up into Hor, i.e., the
Light. For the end of the Word [logos] is Truth,
which outshines light. To this the Word is eager to go.
||"Hor, the Light": An
interpretation based on bilingual word play. The Hebrew Horeb
(Mt. Hor) becomes 'or in the Greek version of the
Torah from which Philo is working, because Greek lacks an
aspirate consonant. But 'or in Hebrew means
||In the simpleton, the true view
[doxa] about God is obscured and hidden, for he is
full of darkness and has no divine enlightenment to consider
what is. Such a one is banished from the divine company, like
a leper and someone with a seminal flow.
The one (holds) God and becoming (to be) opposing natures:
there being two complexions, he refers to these as causes,
(only) one being the cause of action. But the other (holds)
everything (to be) a seminal flow from the world; and he
tracks it back to the world, thinking that nothing has been
made by God. He associates with Heraclitus' view: "full
and empty, all is one, and all things lead into each other.
||Therefore, the divine Word said:
-- "Let them send out of the holy soul*
every leper and everyone with a seminal flow and
everyone who is unclean in soul, both male and female" (Num
||"holy soul": Hebrew
Bible has "camp."
||Now God is the Creator of time [chronos].
For he is also its father's Father -- time's father (being)
the world [kosmos] -- and made the latter's motion
produce the former. Thus, time holds the position of grandson
of God. For this world -- that which is sensed -- is the
younger son of God. For the elder -- that (world) of the mind
-- he thought worthy of the privilege of staying with him.
Time and Eternity
||For there are those on whom life
[bios] shines for a time [kairos] who no
longer remember the Eternal, thinking instead that the Time is
||And Moses bears witness to this
by urging (us) to fight against opposing views. For he says:
-- "The time has left them and the Lord is among
us" (Num 14:9c).
For the divine Word dwells and walks among those who honor the
life of the soul. But those who honor the life of pleasure
have an ephemeral "good time," wrongly so-called.
||But many times we meet with
those things of which we have never dreamed. For example, they
tell a certain gardener who, digging a plot to plant some
fruit trees, came upon an unexpected treasure with more
fortune than he had hoped for.
||Thus, when (Jacob's) father
asked him the source of his understanding -- "What is
this you find so quickly, child?" -- the ascetic
answered and said:
-- "What the Lord God delivered to me" (Gen
For when God delivers (to us) the visions [theoémata]
of his eternal Wisdom without labor and toil, we suddenly find
them (to be) the treasure of perfect happiness we did not look
||Now, it says, Rebecca went down
to the spring to fill the water jug and (then) came up. For
from where is a mind, thirsting for meaning [phronesis],
likely to be filled but from the Wisdom of God, the spring
that never fails? Descending to this, she ascends after
awhile, akin to an eager disciple.
||Therefore, on seeing that she
has drawn understanding from Wisdom, the divine spring, the
one who is eager to learn runs up and, encountering her, begs
her to satisfy his thirst for learning. And she, having been
taught the most important lesson, immediately -- unselfishly
and generously -- holds out the stream of Wisdom and bids
(him) drink deep, while calling him "lord" of the
house. Now this is the most decisive (proof) that only the
sage is a free man and ruler, even though he might have ten
thousand masters of his body.
||Even if one experiences
lustrations and purifications, he defiles his mind while he
cleanses his body. Again, even if from abundant wealth he
founded a temple and provided it with lavish endowment and
expenditures, or (if) he makes offerings and does not cease to
sacrifice young bulls or to decorate the shrine with costly
votive offerings,...he still will not be inscribed with the
||For he has wandered from the way
of piety. Thinking (religion) to be ritual instead of
holiness, he offers gifts to him who cannot be flattered, who
welcomes genuine service [therapeia] but hates the
counterfeit. The genuine (worship) is when the soul brings
plain Truth as its only sacrifice.
vs. Better 20-21
||For when the mind rises on high and
is initiated into the mysteries [mystéria] of the
Lord, it judges the body (to be) evil and hostile; but when it
leaves off seeking divine things, it believes (it) its friend and
comrade and brother...
||Now there is a certain mind
(which is) better purified and more perfect, having been
initiated into the great mysteries. This one recognizes the
Cause, not from what is made -- as (one recognizes) the substance
from the shadow -- but transcending the reflection that is
made, it gets a glimpse of the One who has not been made, thus
perceiving both him and his shadow, as it were: the Word and
||Take these things into your own
hearts [psychés] as being sacred mysteries, you
initiates who ears have been purified; and do not divulge them
to any of the uninitiated. Rather, like stewards, keep the
treasure with yourselves, not stored in with silver and gold
-- corruptible substances -- but where there is the finest
possession: acquaintance with the Cause and Virtue and,
thirdly, the offspring of both...
||Now I myself was initiated by
Moses into the great mysteries. Nevertheless, when I see the
prophet Jeremiah and recognize that he is not only a
fellow-initiate but a fit religious instructor [hierophantes],
I do not hesitate to go along with him.
Three Measures of
||And the LORD appeared to
(Abraham) by the oak of Mamre...
||He lifted up his eyes and
looked, and behold three men stood in front of him...
||And Abraham hastened into the
tent to Sarah and said:
-- "Quick, prepare three measures of fine flour, knead it
and make cakes!"
Bible, Genesis 18:1-6
the Three Measures
||And so, going with all speed and
eagerness, Abraham bid Sarah, Virtue, to hasten and knead
three measure of meal and to make buried-cakes (Gen 18:6),
when God was brought in by two of his highest powers,
authority and goodness; the One being the middle of the three.
(Abraham) produced figures [phantasias] for the soul
to see. Each of these measure the whole, though they are in no
way measured, for God and his powers are uncircumscribed.
Thus, his Goodness is the measure of good things; Authority,
the measure of subjects; and the Head [hegémon]
himself, the (measure) of everything both corporeal and
||It is good for these three
measures to be kneaded and blended in the soul, so that it
might receive the stamp of his authority and benevolence,
being convinced that there is a God above all, one who
transcends his own powers, who is even seen without them and
who is revealed in them.
When the soul becomes an initiate of the rites of the perfect,
she will undertake to divulge the mysteries to no one. But she
will store them and keep them secret in silence. For it is
written: "to make buried cakes" because the
sacred Word about the One who is not made and his powers must
be buried, since not everyone is able to keep the trust of the
divine celebrations [orgias].
Bread from Heaven
||The sacred Word bears abundant
witness that the food of the soul is not earthly but heavenly:
-- "See, I rain on you bread of heaven, and the
people should go out and gather the daily (portion) for a day,
that I may test whether they will follow my law or not" (Exod
You see? The soul is fed not by earthly and corruptible things
but by words which God might shower from the high and pure
Nature which has been called "Heaven"...
||...Therefore, let the soul
gather the daily (portion) for the day, so that it may declare
the bountiful God, not itself, (to be) the guardian of good
||-- "And Moses said to
--' This (is) the bread which the Lord has given us to eat;
this is the word [rhéma] which the
Lord ordains" (Exod 16:15b-16a).
You see what kind of food is for the soul? The continuous Word
of God [logos theou] which, like dew, encircles all
and leaves no portion without a share of itself.
3.162, 166, 169
||..."The Lord shepherds
me and nothing shall I lack" (Ps 23:1).
||It is fitting for everyone who
loves God to practice this song; but even more for the world
(to do) so. For earth and water, air and fire, and all the
plants and animals therein -- whether mortal or divine --,
yes, even the physical heaven, the orbits of the sun and the
moon and the revolving of the other stars, are like some
flock, which God -- the Shepherd and King -- leads in
procession in accordance with law and right. In the lead is
his true Word and first-born Son, who takes charge of this
sacred band, like some lieutenant of a great king. For
somewhere it is said:
-- "Look, I AM [egó eimi],
I send a Messenger [angelos] before your
face to keep you in the Way" (Exod 23:20).
The Word as
||And the Father has given the
Word, his eldest and chief messenger [angelos], the
special privilege of standing at the border separating what
has been made [to genomenon] from the Maker. On the
one hand, he is ever before [pros] the Incorruptible
(God) as intercessor for the perishing mortal and, on the
other, (he is) the ambassador of the Head to the subject.
||He rejoices in the privilege and
magnifies it in detail by saying:
-- "I stood between the Lord and you" (Deut
being neither unmade like God nor made like you, but midway
between the extremes, a pledge to both; assuring the Producer
that what he has made will never completely rebel and turn
away, choosing disorder instead of order [kosmos];
and guaranteeing the product its hope that God will never
forget his own work. For I am Ambassador of peace to creation
from the God always known to purge wars by keeping peace.
is Heir 205-206
Sons of Peace
||And therefore, when they say:
-- "We are all sons of one man, we are peaceful"
I marvel at their harmonious band. And then I would say:
-- "Why should you not hate war and love peace, noble
(friends)? You have ascribed to one and the same Father -- not
a mortal, but an immortal: a Man of God [anthrópos theou],
who, being the Word of the Eternal, is of necessity also himself
Whose Name is
||Indeed, I have also heard a
saying like this uttered by an associate of Moses:
"See, a man whose name is Rising" [anatole;
Heb: "shoot"] (Zech 6:12).
This is a very strange title if you think that it tells of one
composed of body and soul. But if it (refers to) that
incorporeal one who is not different from the divine Image,
you will confess that the name assigned to him,
"Rising," is very exact.
||For he is the eldest Son, whom
the Father of all raised, who elsewhere is named the
First-born. And indeed, having been begotten, he imitated the
ways of the Father; and by looking at his archetypal patterns,
he formed the ideas.
Names of the Son
||Now those who live in
acquaintance with the One are fittingly called "sons of
God," just as Moses himself confesses, when he says:
-- "You are the sons of the Lord God" (Deut
-- "God who begot you" (Deut 32:18) and
-- "Is he not your Father?" (Deut 32:6).
Indeed, it follows that the only worthy thing [kalos]
with those whose soul is thus disposed is to practice good.
This is the way for experienced fighting men to counter-attack
the end, Pleasure, (and) to upset and destroy it.
||And if there is anyone who
indeed is not yet worthy to be called a son of God, let him
strive to be ordered [kosmeisthai] in relation to
(God's) First-born and eldest of messengers [angelón],
the Word: that is the multi-named pre-existent Archangel. For he is also called "Beginning"
"Name of God" and "Word" and the
"Man after his Image" and "the