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Philo's concern in this pericope is an allegorical exposition of a portion of LXX Gen 28.11a,46 which comes at the beginning of Jacob's dream at Bethel.47 As usual, Philo's interest is allegorical.48 Given that in his dream Jacob encounters the divine, Philo takes the opportunity to explore the allegorical relation of the sun (o` h[lioj) and God. LXX Gen 1.1-5 comes into play intertextually (avo,ratoj( poie,w( fw/j&sko,toj( h`me,ra&nu,x( diacwri,zw) and overtly in quotations of portions of LXX Gen 1.3 (Som 1.75) and LXX Gen 1.4 (Som 1.76).

Philo's allegorical meanderings in this pericope are an intertextual confluence centered in o` h[lioj in LXX Gen 28.11a. As is often the case, Philo is playing with two basic aspects: the invisible cosmic template and the visible cosmos, the divine and the physical. The sun that sets in LXX Gen 28.11a is for Philo not the visible sun but the light of Day One – the light of the invisible (avoratoj) and supreme God (Som 1.72). When this divine light, shines upon human understanding, the physical, secondary lights set, and physicality is subjugated. When the divine light leaves, secondary physicality, humanity returns or 'dawns.' Turning the allegory slightly, Philo suggests that it is possible to liken the physical sun to God. He makes sure to clarify that while nothing (physical) is like God, Philo differs from the LXX only in his use of the conjunction ga,r rather than kai, of the LXX.

LXX Ps 26.1 [EV 27.


kai. avph,nthsen to,pw| kai. evkoimh,qh evkei/ e;du ga.r o` h[lioj And he came upon a place and slept there, for the sun had set.

Gen 28.10-22.

Philo is exploring ‘according to the rule of allegory’ - kata. tou.j th/j avllhgori,aj kano,naj (Som 1.73).

–163 –


according to human notion (do,xa) two things can be thought of as such, presumably in order to allow the human to imagine the divine. The first is the human soul within the realm of the invisible; the second is the sun within the visible. It is here that we see the boundaries of Gen 28.11a become permeable allowing in other texts. Philo brings in two texts, Gen 1.26 and Gen 9.6, both of which justify (‘created in the image of God’) the soul's placement in the realm of the invisible or divine. For the sun, which again returns Philo to his primary text of Gen 28.11a, Philo turns to two places. The first is LXX Psalm 26.1,49 which substantiates the idea that ‘God is light.’ The second place to which Philo turns is Day One, specifically Gen 1.3 and 4.50 The purpose of the quotation of Gen 1.3 is to distinguish the light of the divine – the lo,goj – from the first created light. Yet, in Philo's allegorical line of reasoning, as the physical lights of the sky are modeled after the invisible light of Day One, if the light of Day One is patterned after the Divine lo,goj, then there is an image of the Divine in the Fourth Day light of the sun. The purpose of Philo's quotation of Gen 1.4 serves a different purpose in line with the larger context of De Somniis.

That is, as Philo puts it, he is looking at dreams:

evn w- o` h`meteroj nou/j tw/| tw/n o[lwn sugkinou,menoj evx e`autou/ kate,cesqai, te kai.

qeoforei/sqai dokei/( w`j i`kano.j ei=nai prolamba,nein kai. proginw,skein ti tw/n mello,ntwn)...in which our mind, having moved out of itself toward the [mind] of the whole, seems to be occupied and god-bearing, as an image to be receiving and knowing-ahead the things which are intended. (Som 1.2) It is the revelatory power, revelatory by means of distinction (diacwri,zw), that interests Philo in LXX Gen 1.4. As the sun when it rises reveals that which was hidden by the darkness, so the Divine light when revealed, presumably in dreams, distinguishes between what is unknown and what is known.

4.2.5 Philo, De gigantibus 22-23

le,getai de. qeou/ pneu/ma kaqV e[na me.n tro,pon o` r`e,wn avh.r avpo. gh/j( tri,ton stoicei/on evpocou,menon u[dati & paro. fhsin evn th|/ kosmopoii,a|\ pneu/ma qeou/ evpefe,reto evpa,nw tou/ u[datoj( evpeidh,per evxairo,menoj o` avh.r kou/foj w'n a;nw fe,retai u[dati ba,sei crw,menoj & kaqV e[teron de. tro,pon h` avkh,ratoj evpisth,mh( h-j pa/j o` sofo.j eivko,twj mete,cei) 23dhloi/ de. evpi. tou/ tw/n a`gi,wn e;rgwn dhmiourgou/ kai. tecni,tou fa,skwn( o[ti avneka,lesen o` qeo.j to.n Beseleh.l kai. evne,plhsen auvto.n pneu,matoj qei,ou( sofi,aj( sune,sewj( evpisth,mhj( evpi. panti. e;rgw| dianoei/sqai\ w[ste to. ti, evsti pneu/ma qei/on o`rikw/j dia. tw/n lecqe,ntwn u`pogra,fesqai) The air streaming up from the earth is called the spirit of God according to one manner – the third element riding upon the water – wherefore it is said in the creation-of-the-world,51 ‘the spirit of God was moving upon the waters,’ since air through its lightness is lifted up and rises upwards, having the water for its base. According to another manner, it is the undefiled knowledge, which every wise man shares naturally. 23He52 shows this in speaking of the craftsman and technician of holy works, that ‘God called upon Bezaleel and filled him with MT Ps 27.1 In Opif 33, Philo speaks of the difference between the intelligible light of Day One and the perceptible light of the sun.

This translation of kosmopoii,a is an attempt to be strictly literal; the proper sense of the word, however, is clearly portrayed by Colson with ‘Creation-story’. (LCL 227.456) Moses

–  –  –

the divine spirit, wisdom, understanding, (in order) to be mindful of every work.’ So that this is how the divine spirit is defined through what has been said.

In the midst of this treatise, an allegorical interpretation of Gen 6.1-4, the above pericope is part of Philo's interpretation of the spirit of God.53 In Gen 6.3, God places limits on the spirit of God by limiting the lifespan of the children of the bad angels and the daughters of men to one-hundred-twenty years ‘because they are flesh.’54 §§22is a portion of Philo's attempt to work out just what the ‘spirit of God’ is.

This pericope contains a quotation of LXX Gen 1.2c, absent only its coordinating conjunction, kai,, at the beginning.55 The quotation provides both an intertextual and a direct connection with LXX Gen 1.1-5. While there is other creation language in the pericope, there are no additional intertextual markers upon which to comment.

Philo's use of LXX Gen 1.2c in this pericope is a fine example of intertextuality at work. Philo reads three texts intertextually. The common fulcrum upon which Philo's interpretation pivots is pneu/ma. The first text is his primary text, Gen 6.3, in which the Lord places temporal limitations upon the dwelling of ‘my spirit’ (to. pneu/ma.

From here Philo looks elsewhere to understand pneu/ma and/or to provide a foundation for his own mou).

interpretation. Philo's reasoning is less important for this study than the intertextual play in which Philo engages.

Philo looks to three other texts, two of which are in our current pericope. The first is LXX Gen 1.2c. He discerns two manners (tro,poj) conveyed by pneu/ma in LXX Gen 1.2c. The first of these is the air of the physical world that flows upward and rides upon the water. Philo turns to the allegorical with second manner – an undefiled understanding (h` avkh,ratoj evpisth,mh ) in which every wise person shares. The second text to which he turns is LXX Exod 31.2-3,57 which recounts when God fills the artisan Bezaleel with the divine spirit (qei/on pneu/ma). Philo

paraphrases this text to fit his grammatical structure and his point:

o[ti avneka,lesen o` qeo.j to.n Beseleh.l kai. evne,plhsen auvto.n pneu,matoj qei,ou( sofi,aj( sune,sewj( evpisth,mhj( evpi. panti. e;rgw| dianoei/sqai\ Gig 23

–  –  –

Philo comments on Gen 6.3 in Gig 19-57, cf. D. Winston and J. Dillon, eds., Two Treatises of Philo of Alexandria: A Commentary on De Gigantibus and Quod Deus Sit Immutabilis, (BJS 25, Chico, CA: Scholars, 1983) 244.

kai. ei=pen ku,rioj o` qeo,j ouv mh. katamei,nh| to. pneu/ma, mou evn toi/j avnqrw,poij tou,toij eivj to.n aivw/na dia. to. ei=nai auvtou.j sa,rkaj e;sontai de. ai` h`me,rai auvtw/n e`kato.n ei;kosi e;th) (LXX Gen 6.3) NB – Philo elucidates his take on 'spirit' and 'flesh' by noting that flesh, a heavy burden (fo,rtoj), as borne (avcqofore,w) by the soul, burdens the soul and prohibits it from looking to heaven, the crown jewel of creation, cf. Gig 28-31.

Cf. D. Gooding and V. Nikiprowetzky, “Philo's Bible in the De Gigantibus and Quod Deus,” in Two Treatises of Philo of Alexandria: A Commentary on De Gigantibus and Quod Deus Sit Immutabilis (ed. D. Winston and J.

Dillon; BJS 25; Chico, CA: Scholars, 1983) 248.

If in a Platonic sense, Philo is referring here to scientific understanding with the use of evpisth,mh. LJS, s.v.

Because of the paraphrastic nature of this quotation about Bezaleel, it is not entirely clear whence Philo is drawing this text. Nikiprowetzky, with whom I tentatively side, cites LXX Exod 31.2-4, cf. Gooding and Nikiprowetzky, “Philo's Bible,” 108-109; whereas P. Katz, Philo's Bible: The Aberrant Text of Bible Quotations in Some Philonic Writings and Its Place in the Textual History of the Greek Bible, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1950) suggests LXX Exod 35.30 (18).

–  –  –

ivdou. avnake,klhmai evx ovno,matoj to.n Beselehl to.n tou/ Ouriou to.n Wr th/j fulh/j Iouda 3kai.

evne,plhsa auvto.n pneu/ma qei/on sofi,aj kai. sune,sewj kai. evpisth,mhj evn panti. e;rgw| Exod 31.2-3

–  –  –

Philo changes verbs to fit his context, omits the more specific identification of Bezaleel,58 and ends his paraphrase when he reaches evpisth,mh, as it is with ‘understanding,’ along with ‘divine spirit,’ that he ties LXX Exod 31.2-3 with Gen 1.2c and ultimately with Gen 6.3. While not included in this pericope, Philo also looks to Num 11.17.59 Like Philo's use of LXX Gen 1.2c, his use of LXX Num 11.17b is a verbatim quotation; and again, it is pneu/ma that is the common thread. Philo compares the pneu/ma given to Bezaleel with the pneu/ma that is upon Moses and given by God to the seventy. His main purpose with Num 11.17b is to say that the divine spirit that is upon Moses is not diminished because it is not a human spirit but the divine spirit. The divine spirit, while it can be with humans, does not dwell there forever.

The main, if not the only, connection between Gen 1.2, 6.3, Exod 31.2-3, and Num 11.17b, is their common use of pneu/ma. Philo's understanding of text appears nearly boundless in so far as he can read pneu/ma in one text in light of the others with no apparent attention to context. It is a purely pre-critical reading. The entirety of the text is divine, therefore an overtly intertextual reading makes all the sense in the world.

4.2.6 Philo, Quis rerum divinarum heres 163b-164

pou/ dV ivso,thta th.n dikaiosu,nhj trofo.n o` nomoqe,thj ouvk avpode,cetai avrxa,menoj avpo. th/j tou/ panto.j ouvranou/ gene,sewj* diecw,rise ga,r fhsin o` qeo.j avna. me,son tou/ fwto.j kai. avna. me,son tou/ sko,touj\ kai. evka,lesen o` qeo.j to. fw/j h`me,ran kai. to. sko,toj nu,kta\ h`me,ran ga.r kai. nu,kta kai. fw/j kai. sko,toj ivso,thj e;taxe toi/j ou=si) 164diei/len ivso,thj kai. to.n a;nqrwpon eivj a;ndra kai. gunai/ka( du,o tmh,mata( a;nisa me.n tai/j r`w,maij( pro.j o] de. e;speusen h` fu,sij( tri,tou tino.j o`moi,ou ge,nesin( ivsai,tata) evpoi,hse ga,r fhsin o` qeo.j to.n a;nqrwpon( katV eivko,na qeou/ evpoi,hsen auvto,n( a;rsen kai. qh/lu evpoi,hsen ouvke,tV auvto,n( avllV auvtou.j evpife,rei plhquntikw/j( evfarmo,ttwn ta. ei;dh tw/| ge,nei diaireqe,nta( w`j ei=pon( ivso,thti) According to equality, the nurse of righteousness, where does the lawgiver not admit – from the creation of the whole heaven? For [Moses] said, ‘God separated between the light and the darkness, and God called the light day and the darkness night.’ For night and day and light and darkness are equal – ordered according to the things that exist. 164Equality also divided the human into man and woman, chopped in two, unequal according to bodily strength, but Nikiprowetzky seems on target with his assesment, ‘...qu'elle n'importait pas à son propos,’ Gooding and Nikiprowetzky, “Philo's Bible,” 108.

)))avfelw/ avpo. tou/ pneu,matoj tou/ evpi. soi. kai. evpiqh,sw evpi. tou.j e`bdomh,konta presbute,rouj) Gig 24...I will draw from the spirit which is upon you and will place (it) upon the seventy elders.

)))kai. avfelw/ avpo. tou/ pneu,matoj tou/ evpi. soi. kai. evpiqh,sw evpV auvtou,j))) LXX Num 11.17b...and I will draw from the spirit which is upon you and will place (it) upon them...

–  –  –

From a longer section about equality,60 this text is a portion of Philo's discussion of Moses' articulation of equality (Her 161ff) in the Law of Moses, specifically how it is built into the most basic fabric of the cosmos. The connection with LXX Gen 1.1-5 is cemented with quotations of parts of LXX Gen 1.4-5 in Her 163b. The intertextual markers (diacwri,zw( fw/j&sko,toj( poie,w( evpife,rw, nu,x&h`me,ra) are centered in the quotation. Philo's goal of illustrating equality moves from light and darkness, day and night of Day One to the creation of male and female on the sixth day (Gen 1.27). Philo qualifies that male and female are not equal in strength, in line with his less-thanflattering views on women,61 though they are equally involved in the main purpose of their existence – procreation.

As the connection with LXX Gen 1.1-5 is quite clear, little else needs to be said.62 Philo is looking to Moses, his philosopher par excellence, for illustrative evidence of the equality, which is part of the fabric of the universe. As in Opif 28, Philo sees beauty, here the nurse of righteousness (th.n dikaiosu,nhj trofo,n), in the divine ordering of the cosmos.

–  –  –

Her. 161-206.

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