[487] 1I. Ἐπὶ μὲν παντὸς ἀδήλου καὶ σπουδαίου πράγματος θεὸν καλεῖν ἄξιον, διότι ἀγαθός ἐστι γεννητὴς καὶ οὐδὲν ἄδηλον παρ᾿ αὐτῷ τὴν τῶν ὅλων ἀκριβεστάτην ἐπιστήμην εἰληχότι, πρὸς δὲ τὸν ὑπὲρ ἀφθαρσίας τοῦ κόσμου λόγον ἀναγκαιότατον· οὔτε γὰρ ἐν αἰσθητοῖς παντελέστερόν τι τοῦ κόσμου οὔτε ἐν νοητοῖς θεοῦ τελεώτερον, αἰεὶ δ᾿ αἰσθήσεως ἡγεμὼν νοῦς καὶ νοητὸν αἰσθητοῦ, τὰ δὲ τῶν ὑπηκόων παρ᾿ ἡγεμόνος τε καὶ ἐπιστάτου νόμος1 φιλοπευστεῖν, οἷς ἐμπέφυκε πόθος ἀληθείας πλείων. 2εἰ μὲν οὖν ἐνασκηθέντες τοῖς φρονήσεως καὶ σωφροσύνης καὶ πάσης ἀρετῆς δόγμασιν ἀπερρυψάμεθα τὰς ἐκ παθῶν καὶ νοσημάτων κηλῖδας, οὐκ ἂν ἴσως ἀπηξίωσεν ὁ θεὸς ἄκρως κεκαθαρμέναις καὶ φαιδρυναμέναις αὐγοειδῶς2 ψυχαῖς ἐπιστήμην τῶν οὐρανίων ἢ δι᾿ ὀνειράτων ἢ διὰ χρησμῶν3 ἢ διὰ σημείων ἢ τεράτων ὑφηγεῖσθαι· ἐπεὶ δὲ τοὺς ἀφροσύνης καὶ ἀδικίας καὶ τῶν ἄλλων κακιῶν


the Eternity of the World

On the Eternity of the World

I. In dealing with every obscure and weighty1 question it is well to call upon God, because He is good, because He is the Creator, and possessed as He is of absolutely exact knowledge of all things nothing is obscure to Him. But it is particularly necessary when the subject in question is the indestructibility of the world.a For nothing in the realm of the sensible is more complete in every way than the world, nothing in the intelligible realm more perfect than God, and intelligence always takes command of sense and the intelligible of the sensible. And those in whom the love of truth is implanted in greater measure observe the law that knowledge about the subjects must be sought from the Commander and Ruler. Now, if schooled in the doctrines2 of wisdom and temperance and every virtue we had scoured away the stains of the passions and soul-distempers, perhaps God would not have refused to impart the knowledge of things heavenly through dreams or oracles or signs or wonders to souls thoroughly purged and bright and radiant. But since we bear upon us deep ingrained the imprints

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.philo-judaeus-eternity_world.1941