Philo, On Flight and Finding

LCL 275: 12-13

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ἄνδρας καὶ ἄνδρες γυναῖκας ἀπολείπουσι, φόβῳ δὲ τοὺς γονεῖς παῖδες καὶ δεσπότας οἰκέται, αἰδοῖ δὲ τοὺς ἑταίρους, ὁπότε μὴ καθ᾿ ἡδονήν τι πράξειαν αὐτοῖς, οἱ φίλοι· ἤδη δὲ καὶ πατέρας οἶδα διὰ τὸ ἁβροδίαιτον αὐστηρὸν καὶ φιλόσοφον βίον παίδων ἐκτραπομένους1 καὶ δι᾿ αἰδῶ τὸν ἀγρὸν πρὸ τῆς 4πόλεως οἰκεῖν ἑλομένους. τῶν τριῶν τούτων αἰτιῶν ἔστιν εὑρεῖν ἐν ταῖς ἱεραῖς γραφαῖς ὑπομνήματα. ὁ γοῦν ἀσκητὴς Ἰακὼβ μίσει μὲν τὸν πενθερὸν [547]Λάβαν, φόβῳ δὲ τὸν ἀδελφὸν Ἠσαῦ | ἀποδιδράσκει, 5ὡς αὐτίκα παραστήσομεν.2 ἡ δ᾿ Ἄγαρ ἀπαλλάττεται δι᾿ αἰδῶ· σημεῖον δὲ τὸ ὑπαντᾶν αὐτῇ ἄγγελον, θεῖον λόγον, ἃ χρὴ παραινέσοντα καὶ ὑφηγησόμενον ἐπανόδου τῆς εἰς τὸν δεσποίνης οἶκον, ὃς καὶ θαρσύνων φησίν· “ἐπήκουσε κύριος τῇ ταπεινώσει σου,” ἣν οὔτε διὰ φόβον ἔσχες οὔτε διὰ μῖσος—τὸ μὲν γὰρ ἀγεννοῦς, τὸ δὲ φιλαπεχθήμονος πάθος ψυχῆς,—ἀλλ᾿ ἕνεκα τοῦ σωφροσύνης 6ἀπεικονίσματος, αἰδοῦς. εἰκὸς γὰρ ἦν, εἰ διὰ φόβον ἀπεδίδρασκε, τῇ τὸν φόβον ἐπανατειναμένῃ παρηγορῆσαι πρᾳοπαθεῖν· τηνικαῦτα γὰρ ἀσφαλὲς ἦν ἐπανέρχεσθαι τῇ φυγούσῃ, πρότερον δ᾿ οὔ. ἀλλὰ τῇ μὲν οὐδεὶς προεντυγχάνει ἅτε ἐξευμενισθείσῃ δι᾿ ἑαυτῆς, τὴν δὲ ὁ δι᾿ εὔνοιαν φίλος ὁμοῦ καὶ σύμβουλος ἔλεγχος διδάσκει μὴ αἰδεῖσθαι μόνον, ἀλλὰ καὶ εὐτολμίᾳ χρῆσθαι· ἥμισυ γὰρ ἀρετῆς εἶναι τὴν δίχα τοῦ θαρρεῖν αἰδῶ.


II. Τοὺς μὲν οὖν ἀκριβεστέρους χαρακτῆρας ὁ


On Flight and Finding

and husbands wives; from fear children leave their parents and servants their masters; from shame friends leave their fellows when something they have done displeases them. I know fathers whose effeminacy has made them unwilling to face the strict and philosophic life of their sons, and who out of shame have chosen to live in the country instead of in the city. Instances of the working of these4three motives are to be found in the sacred writings. Jacob, the Practiser, as we shall presently shew, flies from his father-in-law Laban out of hatred, from his brother Esau out of fear. Hagar’s motive5for departing is shame.A sign of this is the fact that an angel, a Divine Word, meets her to advise the right course, and to suggest return to the house of her mistress. This angel addresses her in the encouraging words, “The Lord hath hearkened to thy humiliation” (Gen. xvi. 11), a humiliation prompted neither by fear nor by hatred, the one the feeling of an ignoble, the other of a quarrelsome soul, but by shame, the outward expression of inward modesty. Had she run away6owing to fear, the angel would probably have moved her who had inspired the fear to a gentler frame of mind; for then, and not till then, would it have been safe for the fugitive to go back. But no angel first approached Sarai, seeing that she is favourably disposed of her own accord. But it is Hagar who is taught by the angel monitor,a whose goodwill to her makes him at once her friend and counsellor, not to feel only shame, but to be of good courage as well; pointing out that shame apart from confidence is but a half virtue.

II. The ensuing argument will bring to light the7

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.philo_judaeus-flight_finding.1934