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evpi. pa/sin e`bdo,mou fwto,j( o] pa,lin avsw,maton h=n kai. nohto.n h`li,ou para,deigma( kai. pa,ntwn o[sa fwsfo,ra a;stra kata. to.n ouvrano.n e;melle suni,stasqai) pronomi,aj de. to, te pneu/ma kai. to. fw/j hvxiou/to\ to. me.n ga.r wvno,mase qeou/( dio,ti zwtikw,taton to. pneu/ma( zwh/j de. qeo.j ai'toj( to. de. fw/j7 o[ti u`perballo,ntwj kalo.n\ tosou,tw| ga.r to. nohto.n tou/ o`ratou/ lampro,tero,n te kai. auvgoeide,steron( o[sw|per h[lioj( oi=mai( sko,touj( kai. h`me,ra nukto,j( kai. @ta. krith,ria# nou/j( o` th/j o[lhj yuch/j h`gemw,n( ovfqalmw/n sw,matoj) to. de. avo,raton kai. nohto.n fw/j evkei/no qei,ou lo,gou ge,gonen eivkw.n tou/ diermhneu,santoj th.n ge,nesin auvtou/\ kai. e;stin u`peroura,nioj avsth,r( phgh. tw/n aivsqhtw/n avste,rwn\ h]n ouvk a'n avpo. skopou/ kale,seien a'n tij panau,geian\ avfV h-j h[lioj kai. selh,nh kai. oi` a;lloi pla,nhte,j te kai. avplanei/j avru,tontai( kaqV o[son e`ka,stw| du,namis( ta. pre,ponta fe,ggh\ th/j avmigou/j kai. kaqara/j auvgh/j evkei,nhj avmauroume,nhj( o[tan a;rxhtai tre,pesqai kata. th.n evk nohtou/ pro.j aivsqhto.n metabolh,n\ ei`likrine.n ga.r ouvde.n tw/n evn aivsqh,sei) eu= me,ntoi kai. to. fa,nai o[ti sko,toj h=n evpa,nw th/j avbu,ssou) tro,pon ga.r tina o` avhr u`pe.r.
to. keno,n evstin( evpeidh. pa/san th.n avcanh/ kai. evrh,mhn kai. kenh.n cw,ran evpib.a.j evkpeplh,rwken( o[sh pro.j h`ma/j avpo. tw/n kata. selh,nhn kaqh,kei) meta. de. th.n tou/ nohtou/ fwto.j avna,lamyin( o] pro. h`li,ou ge,gonen( u`pexw,rei to. avnti,palon sko,toj( diateici,zontoj avpV avllh,lwn auvta. kai. diista,ntoj qeou/( tou/ ta.j evnantio,thtaj eu= eivdo,toj kai. th.n evk fu,sewj auvtw/n diama,chn) i[nV ou=n mh. aivei. sumfero,menai stasia,zwsi kai. po,lemoj avntV eivrh,nhj evpikrath/|( th.n avkosmi,an evn ko,smw| tiqei,j( ouv mo,non evcw,rise fw/j kai. sko,toj( avlla. kai. o[rouj evn me,soij e;qeto diasth,masin( oi-j avnei/rxe tw/n a;krwn e`ka,teron\ e;melle ga.r geitniw/nta su,gcusin avperga,zesqai( tw/| peri. dunastei,aj avgw/ni kata. pollh.n kai. a;pauston filoneiki,an evpapoduo,mena( eiv mh. me,soi page,ntej o[roi die,zeuxan kai.
die,lusan th.n avntepi,qesin) ou-toi dV eivsi.n e`spe,ra te kai. prwi?,a( w-n h` men proeuaggeli,zetai me,llonta h[lion avniscein( hvre,ma to. sko,toj avnei,rgousa( h` dV e`spe,ra katadu,nti evpigi,netai h`li,w( th.n avqro,an | tou/ sko,touj fora.n pra,|wj evkdecome,nh) kai. tau/ta me,ntoi( prwi?,an le,gw kai. e`spe,ran( evn th/| ta,xei tw/n avswma,twn kai. nohtw/n qete,on\ o[lwj ga.r ouvde.n aivsqhto.n evn tou,toij( avlla. pa,nta ivde,ai kai. me,tra kai. tu,poi kai. sfragi/dej( eivj ge,nesin a;llwn avsw,mata swma,twn) evpei. de. fw/j me.n evge,neto) sko,toj dV u`pexe,sth kai. avnecw,rhsen( o[roi dV evn toi/j metaxu.
diasth,masin evpa,ghsan e`spe,ra kai. prwi?,a( kata. tavnagkai/on tou/ cro,nou me,tron avpetelei/to euvqu.j( o] kai. h`me,ran o` poiw/n evka,lese( kai. h`me,ran ouvci. prw,thn( avlla. mi,an( h] le,lektai dia.
th.n tou/ nohtou/ ko,smou mo,nwsin monadikh.n e;contoj fu,sin) When [Moses] says, ‘In [the] beginning God made the heaven and the earth’ – taking ‘the beginning’ not according to time, as some think – for there was no time before the world, but it came to be either with it or after it. For since time is a measured interval of the movement of the world, and since movement cannot be prior to the thing moving coming to be, but must necessarily be formed either after or simultaneously with it, it is also necessary that time either be the same age as the cosmos or younger than it. To reason that it is older is to be cruelly unphilosophic.
And since ‘beginning’ is not taken at present chronologically, it would seem reasonable that it is informed by arithmetic, so that ‘in the beginning he made’ is equivalent to ‘he made heaven first.’ For it is surely reasonable that it ought to come into being first, being the best of things that have come to be and the purest of all that is, since it is the most temple-like dwelling of visible and perceptible gods.8 For even if the Maker simultaneously made all things, order was nonetheless an attribute of all that beautifully came to be; for beauty is not in disorder. But order is a series of things going on before and following after, in due sequence, a sequence which, though not seen in F.H. Colson inserts fh,sin at this point, cf. Philo, Philo with an English Translation, 10 with 2 supplementary vols.
(trans. F.H. Colson, et al.; LCL; Cambridge: Harvard, 1929-1962) 1.24, though this seems unnecessary.
Cf. Opif 55 where Philo refers to the heavenly bodies – the lights of the sky – as images of the divine.
Opif 26-3511 is Philo's commentary on Gen 1.1-5. Within the context of De Opificio Mundi, this pericope is not the only place where Philo addresses elements of Day One. He addresses the unusual use of the cardinal ‘one’ instead of the ordinal ‘first’ in Opif 15b, though without enough intertextual commonality to warrant inclusion in this study.12 While this is Philo's commentary, he does not regularly repeat lines of the primary text as in the Pesharim of Qumran; rather he works piecemeal, not necessarily taking the text linearly, and often paraphrasing the primary text. In this lengthy pericope there are only three texts that are clearly quotations: two of LXX Gen 1.1 (one full, one partial), and one of LXX Gen 1.2b.
Outside of these examples, there is significant direct use of nearly all of the intertextual markers of LXX Gen 1.1-5 (avrch,( poie,w( ouvrano,j&gh/( avo,ratoj( a;bussoj( u[dwr( pneu/ma( fw/j&sko,toj( kalo,j( h`me,ra&nu,x( e`spe,ra&prwi?,a, also cwri,zw, the root of diacwri,zw).13 Conspicuous in their absence from Opif 26-35 are avkataskeu,astoj and evpife,rw from LXX Gen 1.2. As much as Philo's use of LXX Gen 1.1-5 is certain, also certain is that there are no other texts, from this study's intertextual tapestry or elsewhere, other than Plato's Timaeus, that figure significantly in Philo's commentary.
Given the length of this pericope, it seems most accessible to work through it linearly, addressing its connections with LXX Gen 1.1-5 as they arise.
Philo's primary concern in the first portion of the pericope (§§ 26-28) is time. He focuses on avrch, in LXX Gen 1.1. In Philo's understanding, time cannot come into being before the heavens, as the movement of the heavens dictates time. Time must either come into being after or simultaneous with the heavens,14 and to suggest otherwise is to be cruelly unphilosophic.15 Philo, therefore, does not understand avrch, to be chronological but an ordinal D.T. Runia, On the Creation of the Cosmos according to Moses, (Philo of Alexandria Commentary Series 1;
Leiden: Brill, 2001) suggests that Philo's concern for Day One runs §§ 15b-35, dividing this into §§15b-25 – Day one: creation of the intelligible cosmos; §§26-28 – In the beginning does not mean creation in time; and §§ 29-35 – The chief contents of the intelligible cosmos. (8) According to the criteria of this study, there are not enough intertextual markers in Runia's §§15b-25, to warrant inclusion, though as noted below, he does address the use of mi,a in LXX Gen 1.5 in §15b. Opif 26-35, then, represents Philo's most direct dealing with LXX Gen 1.1-5 and the most intertextually relevant text. Runia himself acknowledges that it is at §26 that Philo begins his commentary on the text of Genesis 1. (155) Philo does return to his comment on h`me,ra mi,a in §35.
Runia, On the Creation, provides a visual of the pervasive use of LXX Gen 1.1-5 by placing in bold typeface all of the words and phrases in §§26-35, that are common to LXX Gen 1.1-5 (52-54).
Opif 26-27, also 13, 28. Philo addresses the relation of time and creation similarly in Sacr 65.
tolma/n avfilo,sofon, §26
It is quite clear that Philo's hermeneutic is driving his interpretation of the text. Philo does not invent any elements that are not in the text of LXX Genesis. He does, however, attempt to clarify the action. It may well be that Philo, in line with a tradition also expressed in Jubilees 2.2,21 is attempting to clarify that the cosmos was created ex nihilo, leaving no room for understanding that the earth as described in Gen 1.2 is the point where God begins. For Philo, God starts with nothing, creates the intelligible world of Day One, and proceeds to create the visible world based on this pattern.
Of these eight intelligible primary elements, Philo suggests that Moses gives special status to pneu/ma and fw/j. In §31, his high regard for the intelligible light is explained when he equates this imperceptible light with the §27. Also, Mos 1.217.
Cf. Congr. 50, Praem. 1. In Opif 55, Philo refers to the heavens as the purest temple (evn i`erw/| kaqarwta,tw|). It should also be noted that Philo sees the vestments of the high priest at the Temple in Jerusalem patterned after heaven and earth, cf. Fug. 110; more specifically, his breastplate is a copy of the constellations (Somn. 1.214, Spec.
1.86) and his tunic a copy of the whole heaven (Somn. 1.215, Spec. 1.95); similarly, heaven is signified by the ephod of the high priest, Mos 2.133.
Also Cher. 86; Sacr 82; and Post 88-89, in which Philo, speaking about the boundaries of beauty/good (o[rouj tou/ kalou/), says that their principles (lo,goi) are older than everything and divine.
LXX Gen 1.8, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31.
A comparison of the lists of Jub 2.2 and Philo, Opif. 29:
Jubilees: 1) heavens, 2) earth, 3) waters, 4) spirit(s), 5) abyss, 6) darkness, and 7) light.
Philo: 1) heaven, 2) earth, 3) air/darkness, 4) a void (keno,j)/abyss, 5) abyss, 6) water, 7) spirit, 8) light.
See below, p. 150.
CHAPTER FOURdivine word (qei/oj lo,goj), the divine thought/plan for the universe.22 As is the case with all the elements of Day One, the invisible, intelligible light is a pattern for that which is perceptible. The move from imperceptible to perceptible, from the disembodied to the incarnate dims (avmauro,w) the purity of the primary.
As noted already, Philo incorporates another quotation, citing LXX Gen 1.2b in §32. This section provides a transition from speaking about the purity of the intelligible light to the ordering of the cosmos that is inherent in Genesis 1. For Philo, Moses necessarily states that the darkness covered the abyss – incorporeal darkness that is.
§§33-35, then, is Philo's explanation of God's establishment of boundaries and order as an essential element of the creation of the intelligible cosmos. In Philo's cosmology, light and darkness are opponents (avnti,paloj), and upon the creation of light darkness retreats, because God saw fit to separate the enemies. In §33 Philo specifically mentions the dangers of the clash of light and darkness that can result in wars and disorder.23 Of all the texts related to Gen 1.1-5, Philo's commentary here is the sole place where e`spe,ra and prwi?a, (LXX prwi,), evening and morning, come into significant play. In §§34-35, Philo explains that the boundaries that necessarily separate light and darkness are evening and morning, working from LXX Gen 1.5. He clarifies that they are also part of the incorporeal and intelligible cosmos (§34) along with the rest of the creative works of Day One.
Philo ends his commentary with the advent of time as measured by day (h`me,ra) – a necessary consequence of the creation of light, the retreat of darkness, and the boundrification of light and dark with dusk and dawn.
Philo leaves little of LXX Gen 1.1-5 unturned. His commentary is under girded with Platonic philosophical categories and what appears to be at least some knowledge of cosmic calendrical issues floating about in Second Temple Judaism – issues that he seems to demythologize with the aforementioned Platonic categories.
Striking through it all is Philo's apparent lack of dialogue with other texts with the possible exception of Jubilees 2.2 or at least a common expression of creatio ex nihilo.
4.2.2 Jubilees 2.2-3 th/| me.n ga.r prw,th| h`me,ra| evpoi,hse tou.j avnwte,rouj ouvranou,j( th.n gh/n( ta. u[data( evx w-n evsti ciw.n kai. kru,stalloj kai. ca,laza kai. pagetoi. kai. dro,soj( ta. pneu,mata ta. leitourgou/nta evnw,pion auvtou/( a[tina, evsti ta,de\ a;ggeloi pro. prosw,pou( kai. a;ggeloi th/j do,xhj( kai. a;ggeloi pneuma,twn pneo,ntwn( a;ggeloi nefelw/n kai. gno,fwn( cio,noj kai. cala,zhj kai. pa,gou( a;ggeloi fwnw/n( brontw/n( avstrapw/n( yu,couj( kau,matoj( ceimw/noj( fqinopw,rou( e;aroj kai. qe,rouj( kai.
pa,ntwn tw/n pneuma,twn tw/n ktisma,twn auvtou/ tw/n evn ouvranoi/j kai. evn th/| gh//|( ta.j avbu,ssouj( th,n te u`poka,tw th/j gh/j( kai. tou/ ca,ouj( kai. sko,toj( e`spe,ra kai. nu.x( to. fw/j h`me,raj te kai.
o;rqrou) 3tau/ta ta. e`pta. me,gista e;rga evpoi,hsen o` qeo.j evn th/| prw,th/| h`mera,|) For on the first day he made the heavens above, the earth, the waters, out of which are snow and ice and hail and frost and dew, the spirits who serve before him – namely, (the) angels of the presence, and angels of glory, and the angels of the spirits of the winds, angels of clouds and darkness, snow and hail and frost, angels of the voices – thunder, lightning, cool-weather, scorching-heat, winter, autumn, spring, and summer, and of all the spirits of his creation – of In Opif 24, Philo compares the divine logos to the thought (logismo,j) or plan of the architect preparing to build a city. On the philosophical background of Philo's logos, see T.H. Billings, The Platonism of Philo Judaeus, (New York: Garland, 1919 & 1979) 26-46, where it is illustated that Philo's use of logos is not altogether consistent.
Philo's correlation of disorder and conflict between light and darkness in the intelligible with war and disorder on earth bears an inverse resemblance with The Book of the Luminaries, specifically 1 Enoch 80.2-8, in which human sin and disorder (may) throw the heavenly time keepers out of whack.