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.