“Now scorch and burn my flesh, and fill yourself

With ample draughts of my life’s purpled blood;

For sooner shall the stars’ bright orbs descend

Beneath the darkened earth, the earth uprise

Above the sky, and all things be confounded,

Than you shall wrench one flattering word from Me.”{102}{this is a fragment of the Syleus of Euripides. The lines are put in the mouth of Hercules.}

LXXII. (203) But as God has allotted all painful things to the outward sense in great abundance and intensity, so also has he bestowed on the virtuous soul a boundless store of good things. Accordingly he speaks with reference to the perfect man Abraham in the following manner: “By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, that because thou hast done this thing and hast not withheld thy son, thy beloved son from me, that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand which is on the shore of the Sea.”{103}{#ge 22:16.} He says this, and having confirmed his promise solemnly and by an oath, and by an oath, too, such as could alone become God. For you see that God does not swear by any other being than himself, for there is nothing more powerful than he is; but he swears by himself, because he is the greatest of all things. (204) But some men have said that it is inconsistent with the character of God to swear at all; for that an oath is received for the sake of the confirmation which it supplies; but God is the only faithful being, and if any one else who is dear to God; as Moses is said to have been faithful in all his House.{104}{#nu 12:7.} And besides, the mere words of God are the most sacred and holy of oaths, and laws, and institutions. And it is a proof of his exceeding power, that whatever he says is sure to take place; and this is the most especial characteristic of an oath. So that it would be quite natural to say that all the words of God are oaths confirmed by the accomplishment of the acts to which they Relate.{105}{there is a remarkable coincidence between Philo’s argument here, and that employed by St. Paul in r.ference to the same event. St. Paul, #He 6:13, says, “For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he swore by himself, saying. …For man verily swears by the greater; and an oath for confirmation is to them the end of strife.”}