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Philo

ΠΕΡΙ ΓΕΝΕΣΕΩΣ ΑΒΕΛ ΚΑΙ ΩΝ ΑΥΤΟΣ ΤΕ ΚΑΙ Ο ΑΔΕΛΦΟΣ ΑΥΤΟΥ ΚΑΙΝ ΙΕΡΟΥΡΓΟΥΣΙΝ

1 [163]I. “Καὶ προσέθηκε τεκεῖν τὸν ἀδελφὸν αὐτοῦ τὸν Ἄβελ” (Gen. iv. 2). ἡ τινὸς πρόσθεσις ἀφαίρεσίς ἐστιν ἑτέρου, ὡς ἀριθμητικῆς μορίων, καὶ ψυχῆς λογισμῶν. εἰ δὴ τὸν Ἄβελ προστίθεσθαι φατέον, τὸν Κάιν ἀφαιρεῖσθαι νομιστέον. ἵνα δὲ μὴ τὸ τῶν ὀνομάτων ἀσύνηθες ἐπισκοτῇ πολλοῖς, τὴν ἐμφαινομένην φιλοσοφίαν ἀκριβοῦν 2ὡς ἂν οἷόν τε ᾖ πειρασόμεθα. δύο τοίνυν δόξας εἶναι συμβέβηκεν ἐναντίας καὶ μαχομένας ἀλλήλαις, τὴν μὲν τῷ νῷ πάντα ἐπιγράφουσαν ὡς ἡγεμόνι τῶν ἐν τῷ λογίζεσθαι ἢ αἰσθάνεσθαι ἢ κινεῖσθαι ἢ ἴσχεσθαι, τὴν δὲ τῷ θεῷ ἑπομένην ὡς αὐτοῦ δημιουργίαν οὖσαν·1 τῆς μὲν προτέρας ἐκτύπωσίς ἐστιν ὁ Κάιν καλούμενος κτῆσις παρὰ τὸ πάντα

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The Sacrifices of Abel and Cain

On the Birth of Abel and the Sacrifices Offered by Him and by His Brother Cain

I. And Hea added to this that she brought forth Abel his brother (Gen. iv. 2). The addition of one thing implies the removal of some other, as in the case of arithmetical quantities or of our successive inward thoughts.b If we must say that Abel was added we must suppose that Cain was taken away. In case these unfamiliar terms may cause perplexity to many, I will attempt to give as clear an account as I can of the underlying philosophical thought. It is a fact that there are two opposite and contending views of life, one which ascribes all things to the mind as our master, whether we are using our reason or our senses, in motion or at rest, the other which follows God, whose handiwork it believes itself to be. The first of these views is figured by Cain who is called Possession, because he

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.philo_judaeus-birth_abel_sacrifices_offered_him_cain.1929