Works by Philo : Table of Contents
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I. (1) “And Adam and his wife hid themselves from the face of the Lord God in the midst of the trees of the Paradise.”{1}{#ge 8:8.} A doctrine is introduced here which teaches us that the wicked man is inclined to run away. For the proper city of wise men is virtue, and he who is incapable of becoming a partaker in that is driven from his city; and no bad man is capable of becoming a partaker of it; therefore the bad man alone is driven away and becomes a banished man. But he who is banished from virtue is at once concealed from the face of God, for if the wise men are visible to God, inasmuch as they are dear to him, it follows plainly that the wicked are all concealed from him, and enveloped in darkness, as being enemies and adversaries to right reason. (2) Now that the wicked man is destitute of a city and destitute of a home, Moses testifies in speaking of that hairy man who was also a man of varied wickedness, Esau, when he says, “But Esau was skilful in hunting, and a rude Man.”{2}{#ge 25:27.} For it is not natural for vice which is inclined to be subservient to the passions to inhabit the city of virtue, inasmuch as it is devoted to the pursuit of rudeness and ignorance, with great folly. But Jacob, who is full of wisdom, is both a citizen and one who dwells in a house, that is to say, in virtue. Accordingly Moses says of him, “But Jacob is a man without guile, dwelling in a house;” (3) On which account also “the midwives, since they feared God made themselves Houses.”{3}{#ex 1:21.} For they, being inclined to seek out the secret mysteries of God, one of which was that the male children should be preserved alive, build up the actions of virtue, in which they had previously determined to dwell. Accordingly, in this account it is shown how the wicked man is destitute of a city and destitute of a home: inasmuch as he is an exile from virtue, but that the virtuous man has a city and is allotted a home, namely wisdom.

II. (4) And let us in the next place consider how any one is said to be concealed from God; but unless any one receives this as an allegorical saying it would be impossible to comprehend what is here stated. For God has completed everything and has penetrated every thing, and has left no one of all his works empty or deserted. What kind of place then can any one occupy in which God is not? And Moses testifies to this in other passages, when he says, “God is in the heaven above, and in the earth beneath; and there is nothing anywhere but He.”{4}{#de 4:39.} And in another place he speaks in this manner, “I stood here before you Did.”{5}{#ex 17:6.} For God is of older date than any created being, and he will be everywhere, so that it cannot be possible for any one to be concealed from him: and what need we wonder at? (5) For even if any thing were to happen to us we should not be able to escape the notice of, and to conceal ourselves from the most elementary of created things; for instance, let any one try to flee from the earth, or the water, or the air, or the heaven, or the entire universe, and he will fail; for it is impossible but what he must be contained in these things, for no one will be able to flee out of the world. (6) Again how could any man who is unable to conceal himself from the parts of the world, and from the whole world itself, be able to escape the notice of God? He never could do so. What then is the meaning of the expression, “they hid themselves?” The bad man thinks that God is in a certain place, not surrounding it, but being surrounded by it. On which account also he thinks that he can conceal himself from him, as if God were without any prevailing reason at a distance form that part of the world in which he has determined to lurk.