XLVII. (255) These sacred fires are common to all the rest of the people. But it was fitting that the priests also should offer up something on the altar as first fruits, not thinking that the services and sacred ministrations to which they have been appointed have secured them an exemption from such duties. And the first fruits suitable for the priests to offer do not come from anything containing blood, but from the purest portion of human food; (256) for the fine wheaten flour is their continual offering; a tenth part of a sacred measure every day; one half of which is offered up in the morning, and one half in the evening, having been soaked in oil, so that no portion of it can be left for food; for the command of God is, that all the sacrifices of the priests shall be wholly burnt, and that no portion of them shall be allotted for food. Having now, then, to the best of our ability, discussed the matters relating to the sacrifices, we will proceed in due order to speak concerning those who offer Them.{35}{yonge’s translation includes a separate treatise title at this point: On Those Who Offer Sacrifice. Accordingly, his next paragraph begins with roman numeral I (= XLVIII in the Loeb). Yonge’s “treatise” concludes with number XVI (= LXIII in the Loeb). The publisher has elected to follow the Loeb numbering.}

XLVIII. (257) The law chooses that a person who brings a sacrifice shall be pure, both in body and soul; –pure in soul from all passions, and diseases, and vices, which can be displayed either in word or deed; and pure in body from all such things as a body is usually defiled by. (258) And it has appointed a burning purification for both these things; for the soul, by means of the animals which are duly fit for sacrifices; and for the body, by ablutions and sprinklings; concerning which we will speak presently; for it is fit to assign the pre-eminence in honour in every point to the superior and dominant part of the qualities existing in us, namely, to the soul. (259) What, then, is the mode of purifying the soul? “Look,” says the law, “take care that the victim which thou bringest to the altar is perfect, wholly without participation in any kind of blemish, selected from many on account of its excellence, by the uncorrupted judgments of the priests, and by their most acute sight, and by their continual practice derived from being exercised in the examination of faultless victims. For if you do not see this with your eyes more than with your reason, you will not wash off all the imperfections and stains which you have imprinted on your whole life, partly in consequence of unexpected events, and partly by deliberate purpose; (260) for you will find that this exceeding accuracy of investigation into the animals, figuratively signifies the amelioration of your own disposition and conduct; for the law was not established for the sake of irrational animals, but for that of those who have intellect and reason.” So that the real object taken care of is not the condition of the victims sacrificed in order that they may have no blemish, but that of the sacrificers that they may not be defiled by any unlawful passion. (261) The body then, as I have already said, he purifies with ablutions and bespringklings, and does not allow a person after he has once washed and sprinkled himself, at once to enter within the sacred precincts, but bids him wait outside for seven days, and to be besprinkled twice, on the third day and on the seventh day; and after this it commands him to wash himself once more, and then it admits him to enter the sacred precincts and to share in the sacred ministrations.