Philo, On the Change of Names

LCL 275: 142-143

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Philo

ΠΕΡΙ ΤΩΝ ΜΕΤΟΝΟΜΑΖΟΜΕΝΩΝ ΚΑΙ ΩΝ ΕΝΕΚΑ ΜΕΤΟΝΟΜΑΖΟΝΤΑΙ

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I. | “Ἐγένετο Ἀβραὰμ ἐτῶν ἐνενήκοντα ἐννέα, καὶ ὤφθη κύριος τῷ Ἀβραὰμ καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ· ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ θεός σου.” ὁ ἐννέα πρὸς τοῖς ἐνενήκοντα ἀριθμὸς ἑκατοντάδος γείτων ἐστίν, ᾗ τὸ αὐτομαθὲς ἐπέλαμψε γένος, Ἰσαάκ, εὐπαθειῶν 2ἀρίστη, χαρά· τῷ γὰρ ἑκατονταετεῖ γίνεται. ἔστι δὲ καὶ Λευιτικῆς φυλῆς ἱερεῦσιν ἀπαρχὴ διδομένη· δεκάτας γὰρ λαβόντες, ἀπὸ τούτων ὡς ἂν ἀπ᾿ οἰκείων καρπῶν ἑτέρας ἀπάρχονται ἑκατοστὸν1 λόγον περιεχούσας. προκοπῆς μὲν γὰρ δεκάς, ἑκατοντὰς δὲ τελειότητος σύμβολον. σπεύδει δὲ ὁ μέσος ἀεὶ πρὸς ἀκρότητα, φύσεως εὐμοιρίᾳ χρώμενος· ᾧ φησιν ὀφθῆναι τὸν τῶν ὅλων κύριον. 3ἀλλὰ μὴ νομίσῃς τοῖς σώματος ὀφθαλμοῖς γίνεσθαι τὴν προσβολήν—οἱ μὲν γὰρ τὰ αἰσθητὰ μόνα ὁρῶσι, τὰ δ᾿ αἰσθητὰ σύγκριτα, φθορᾶς ἀνάμεστα, τὸ δὲ θεῖον ἀσύγκριτον, ἄφθαρτον—ἀλλὰ τὸ δεχόμενον τὴν θείαν φαντασίαν τὸ 4τῆς ψυχῆς ἐστιν ὄμμα. καὶ γὰρ ἄλλως ὅσα μὲν

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On the Change of Names

About Those Whose Names are Changed and Why They Have Their Names Changed

I. “Abraham became ninety-nine years old and the1Lord was seen by Abraham and said to him, ‘I am thy God’” (Gen. xvii. 1). Nine plus ninety is next neighbour to a hundred, the number irradiated by the self-taught nature Isaac who is joy, the best of the good emotions.a For Isaac is born to Abraham when a hundred years old. A hundred also represents2the first-fruits given to the priests by the Tribe of Levi. For when the Levites receive the tenths they offer from them, just as though they were their own produce, other tenths in which we find the hundred (Num. xviii. 26). For ten is a symbol of progress and a hundred of perfection. Now he who is in the intermediate stage is always pressing forward to the summit, employing the gifts with which nature has blessed him, and it is by such a one that Moses tells us that the Lord of all was seen. Yet3do not suppose that the vision was presented to the eyes of the body. They see only the objects of sense and those are composite, brimful of corruptibility, while the divine is uncompounded and incorruptible. It is the eye of the soul which receives the presentation of the divine vision. Moreover what the eyes4

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.philo_judaeus-change_names.1934