Tools

Philo

ΠΕΡΙ ΤΩΝ ΧΕΡΟΥΒΙΜ ΚΑΙ ΤΗΣ ΦΛΟΓΙΝΗΣ ΡΟΜΦΑΙΑΣ ΚΑΙ ΤΟΥ ΚΤΙΣΘΕΝΤΟΣ ΠΡΩΤΟΥ ΕΞ ΑΝΘΡΩΠΟΥ ΚΑΙΝ

[1 [138]

I. “Καὶ ἐξέβαλε τὸν Ἀδὰμ καὶ κατῴκισεν ἀπέναντι τοῦ παραδείσου τῆς τρυφῆς [καὶ ἔταξε]1 τὰ Χερουβὶμ καὶ τὴν φλογίνην ῥομφαίαν τὴν στρεφομένην, φυλάσσειν τὴν ὁδὸν τοῦ ξύλου τῆς ζωῆς” (Gen. iii. 24). νῦν μὲν “ἐξέβαλε” φησί, πρότερον δ᾿ εἶπεν “ἐξαπέστειλεν” (ib. 23), οὐ παρέργως τὰ ὀνόματα θείς, ἀλλ᾿ εἰδὼς ἐφ᾿ ὧν κυρίως καὶ [2 [139]εὐθυβόλως | πραγμάτων αὐτὰ τάττει. ὁ μὲν οὖν ἀποστελλόμενος ἐπανόδου τυχεῖν οὐ κεκώλυται, ὁ δ᾿ ἐκβληθεὶς ὑπὸ θεοῦ τὴν ἀίδιον φυγὴν ὑπομένει· τῷ μὲν γὰρ μήπω κραταιῶς ὑπὸ κακίας καταληφθέντι δέδοται μετανοήσαντι καθάπερ εἰς πατρίδα τὴν ἀρετὴν ἀφ᾿ ἧς ἐξέπεσε κατελθεῖν, τὸν δὲ πιεσθέντα καὶ ὑποβεβλημένον σφοδρᾷ καὶ ἀνιάτῳ νόσῳ φέρειν ἀνάγκη τὰ δεινὰ μέχρι τοῦ παντὸς αἰῶνος ἀθάνατα σκορακισθέντα εἰς ἀσεβῶν χῶρον, ἵν᾿ ἄκρατον καὶ συνεχῆ βαρυδαιμονίαν ὑπομένῃ· 3 ἐπεὶ καὶ τὴν μέσην παιδείαν τὴν ἐν τοῖς ἐγκυκλίοις χορεύουσαν ὁρῶμεν Ἄγαρ δὶς μὲν

8

On the Cherubim

On the Cherubim, and the Flaming Sword, and Cain the First Man Created Out of Man

I. “And he cast forth Adam and set [him] over against the Garden of Pleasure [and posted] the Cherubim and the sword of flame which turns every way, to guard the way of the Tree of Life” (Gen. iii. 24). Observe the word “cast forth” instead of the earlier “sent forth” (ib. 23). The words are not set down at random, but chosen with a knowledge of the things to which he applies them in their proper and exact sense. He who is sent forth is not thereby prevented from returning. He who is cast forth by God is subject to eternal banishment. For to him who is not as yet firmly in the grip of wickedness it is open to repent and return to the virtue from which he was driven, as an exile returns to his fatherland. But to him that is weighed down and enslaved by that fierce and incurable malady, the horrors of the future must needs be undying and eternal: he is thrust forth to the place of the impious, there to endure misery continuous and unrelieved.

And thus we see that Hagar or the lower education, whose sphere is the secular learning of the schools,a

9
DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.philo_judaeus-cherubim_flaming_sword_cain.1929