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I. “Ἐξῆλθε δὲ Κάιν ἀπὸ προσώπου τοῦ θεοῦ, καὶ ᾤκησεν ἐν γῇ Ναὶδ κατέναντι Ἐδέμ”(Gen. iv. 16). νυνὶ διαπορῶμεν, εἰ χρὴ τῶν ἐν ταῖς διερμηνευθείσαις βίβλοις ὑπὸ Μωυσέως τροπικώτερον ἀκούειν, τῆς ἐν τοῖς ὀνόμασι προχείρου 2φαντασίας πολὺ τἀληθοῦς ἀπᾳδούσης. εἰ γὰρ πρόσωπον μὲν ἔχει τὸ ὄν, ὁ δὲ βουλόμενος αὐτὸ καταλιπεῖν ἑτέρωσε μετανίστασθαι ῥᾷστα δύναται, τί τὴν Ἐπικούρειον ἀσέβειαν ἢ τὴν τῶν Αἰγυπτίων ἀθεότητα ἢ τὰς μυθικὰς ὑποθέσεις, ὧν μεστὸς ὁ 3βίος ἐστί, παραιτούμεθα; πρόσωπον μὲν γὰρ ζῴου τμῆμά ἐστιν, ὁ δὲ θεὸς ὅλον, οὐ μέρος· ὥστ᾿ ἀνάγκη καὶ τὰ ἄλλα προσαναπλάττειν, αὐχένα καὶ στέρνα [227]καὶ χεῖρας <καὶ> βάσεις, ἔτι | δ᾿ αὖ γαστέρα καὶ τὰ γεννητικὰ καὶ τὸ ἄλλο τῶν ἐντός τε καὶ ἐκτὸς 4ἀνάριθμον πλῆθος. ἀκολουθεῖς δ᾿ ἐξ ἀνάγκης τῷ ἀνθρωπομόρφῳ τὸ ἀνθρωποπαθές, ἐπεὶ καὶ ταῦτα οὐ περιττὰ καὶ παρέλκοντα, τῆς δὲ τῶν ἐχόντων ἐπίκουρα ἀσθενείας ἡ φύσις ἀπειργάζετο τὰ ὅσα πρὸς τὰς οἰκείας χρείας τε καὶ ὑπηρεσίας ἀκολούθως


The Posterity and Exile of Cain

On the Posterity of Cain and His Exile

I. “And Cain went out from the face of God, and dwelt in the land of Naid, over against Eden” (Gen. iv. 16). Let us here raise the question whether in the books in which Moses acts as God’s interpreter we ought to take his statements figuratively, since the impression made by the words in their literal sense is greatly at variance with truth. For if the Existent Being has a face, and he that wishes to quit its sight can with perfect ease remove elsewhere, what ground have we for rejecting the impious doctrines of Epicurus,a or the atheism of the Egyptians,b or the mythical plots of play and poem of which the world is full? For a face is a piece of a living creature, and God is a whole not a part, so that we shall have to assign to Him the other parts of the body as well, neck, breasts, hands, feet, to say nothing of the belly and genital organs, together with the innumerable inner and outer organs. And if God has human forms and parts, He must needs also have human passions and experiences. For in the case of these organs, as in all other cases, Nature has not made idle superfluities, but aids to the weakness of those furnished with them. And she adjusts to them, according to their several needs, all that enables them

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.philo_judaeus-posterity_cain_his_exile.1929