Works by Philo : Table of Contents
Philo On Line Resources
Philo @ Amazon

I. (1) And the Lord said to Abraham, “Depart from thy land, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house to a land which I will show thee; and I will make thee into a great nation. And I will bless thee, and I will magnify thy name, and thou shalt be blessed. And I will bless them that bless thee, and I will curse them that curse thee; and in thy name shall all the nations of the earth be Blessed.”{1}{#ge 12:1.} (2) God, wishing to purify the soul of man, first of all gives it an impulse towards complete salvation, namely, a change of abode, so as to quit the three regions of the body, the outward sense and speech according to utterance; for his country is the emblem of the body, and his kindred are the symbol of the outward sense, and his father’s house of speech. Why so? (3) Because the body derives its composition from the earth, and is again dissolved into earth; and Moses is a witness of this when he says, “Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou Return.”{2}{#ge 3:19.} For he says, that man was compounded by God fashioning a lump of clay into the form of a man; and it follows of necessity that, a composite being, when dissolved, must be dissolved into its component parts. But the outward sense in nearly connected with and akin to the mind, the irrational part to the rational, since they are both parts of one soul; but speech is the abode of the father, because our father is the mind, which implants in each of its parts its own powers, and distributes its energies among them, undertaking the care and superintendence of them all; and the abode in which it dwells is speech, a dwelling separated from the rest of the house; for as the hearth is the abode of a man, so is speech of the mind: (4) at all events, it displays itself, and all the notions which it conceives, arranging them and setting them in order in speech, as if in a house. And you must not wonder that Moses has called speech in man the abode of the mind, for he also says, that the mind or the universe, that is to say, God, has for his abode his own word. (5) And the practiser of virtue, Jacob, seizing on this apprehension, confesses in express words that, “This is no other than the house of God,”{3}{#ge 28:17.} an expression equivalent to, The house of God is not this thing, or anything which can be made the subject of ocular demonstration, or, in short, anything which comes under the province of the outward senses, but is invisible, destitute of all specific form, only to be comprehended by the soul as soul. (6) What, then, can it be except the Word, which is more ancient than all the things which were the objects of creation, and by means of which it is the Ruler of the universe, taking hold of it as a rudder, governs all things. And when he was fashioning the world, he used this as his instrument for the blameless argument of all the things which he was completing.