LCL 227: 94-95
ΠΕΡΙ ΓΕΝΕΣΕΩΣ ΑΒΕΛ ΚΑΙ ΩΝ ΑΥΤΟΣ ΤΕ ΚΑΙ Ο ΑΔΕΛΦΟΣ ΑΥΤΟΥ ΚΑΙΝ ΙΕΡΟΥΡΓΟΥΣΙΝ
1 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
- 1These words are regarded by Cohn as corrupt and the result of an attempt to complete a sentence, the real ending of which was illegible. His reasons are (1) that to describe the δόξα as believing itself to be God’s handiwork is illogical; (2) more important, that Ambrose, who translates the passage almost literally, has “altera quae tamquam operatori et creatori omnium Deo defert et eius tamquam parentis atque rectoris subdit omnia gubernaculo.” Following this Cohn supposes something as follows: τὴν δὲ τῷ θεῷ ἑπομένην καὶ ἐπ᾿ αὐτὸν πάντα ἀναφέρουσαν ὡς πατέρα καὶ ἡγέμονα.
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
- aThat Philo takes the subject to be God appears clearly in 10; see note on De Cher, 40.
- bThe meaning is shown in Ambrose’s (see p. 93) adaptation: “addito enim numero fit alius numerus, aboletur superior, et cogitatio nova excludit superiorem.” Possibly some equivalent of this has fallen out of the text.