XXVIII. (141) After this he also appointed another source of revenue of no insignificant importance for the priests, bidding them to take the first fruits of every one of the revenues of the nation namely, the first fruits of the corn, and wine, and oil, and even of the produce of all the cattle, of the flocks of sheep, and herds of oxen, and flocks of goats, and of all other animals of all kinds; and how great an abundance of these animals there must be, any one may conjecture from the vast populousness of the nation; (142) from all which circumstances it is plain that the law invests the priests with the dignity and honour that belongs to kings; since he commands contributions from every description of possession to be given to them as to rulers; (143) and they are accordingly given to them in a manner quite contrary to that in which cities usually furnish them to their rulers; for cities usually furnish them under compulsion, and with great unwillingness and lamentation, looking upon the collectors of the taxes as common enemies and destroyers, and making all kinds of different excuses at different times, and neglecting all laws and ordinances, and with all this jumbling and evasion do they contribute the taxes and payments which are levied on them. (144) But the men of this nation contribute their payments to the priests with joy and cheerfulness, anticipating the collectors, and cutting short the time allowed for making the contributions, and thinking that they are themselves receiving rather than giving; and so with words of blessing and thankfulness, they all, both men and women, bring their offerings at each of the seasons of the year, with a spontaneous cheerfulness, and readiness, and zeal, beyond all description.

XXIX. (145) And these things are assigned to the priests from the possessions of each individual, but there are also often especial revenues set apart for them exceedingly suitable for the priests, which are derived from the sacrifices which are offered up; for it is commanded that two portions from two limbs of every victim shall be given to the priests, the arm from the limb on the right side, and the fat from the chest; for the one is a symbol of strength and manly vigour, and of every lawful action in giving, and taking, and acting: and the other is an emblem of human gentleness as far as the angry passions are concerned; (146) for it is said that these passions have their abode in the chest, since nature has assigned them the breast for their home as the most suitable place; around which as around a garrison she has thrown, in order more effectually to secure them from being taken, a very strong fence which is called the chest, which she has made of many continuous and very strong bones, binding it firmly with nerves which cannot be broken. (147) But from the victims which are sacrificed away from the altar, in order to be eaten, it is commanded that three portions should be given to the priest, an arm, and a jaw-bone, and that which is called the paunch; the arm for the reason which has been mentioned a short time ago; the jaw-bone as a first fruit of that most important of all the members of the body, namely the head, and also of uttered speech, for the stream of speech could not flow out without the motion of these jaws; for they being Agitated{19}{the Greek word here used is seioµ, and the word used for jawbone is siagoµn, which Philo appears to think may be derived from seioµ.} (and it is very likely from this, that they have derived their name), when they are struck by the tongue, all the organisation of the voice sounds simultaneously; (148) and the paunch is a kind of excrescence of the belly. And the belly is a kind of stable of that irrational animal the appetite, which, being irrigated by much wine-bibbing and gluttony, is continually washed with incessant provision of meat and drink, and like a swine is delighted while wallowing in the mire; in reference to which fact, a very suitable place indeed has been assigned to that intemperate and most unseemly beast, namely, the place to which all the superfluities are conveyed. (149) And the opposite to desire is temperance, which one must endeavour, and labour, and take pains by every contrivance imaginable to acquire, as the very greatest blessing and most perfect benefit both to an individual and to the state. (150) Appetite therefore, being a profane, and impure, and unholy thing, is driven beyond the territories of virtue, and is banished as it ought to be; but temperance, being a pure and unblemished virtue, neglecting everything which relates to eating and drinking, and boasting itself as superior to the pleasures of the belly, may be allowed to approach the sacred altars, bringing forward as it does the excrescence of the body, as a memorial that it may be reminded to despise all insatiability and gluttony, and all those things which excite the appetites to this pitch.