Philo, On the Special Laws

LCL 320: 306-307

Go To Section
Go To Section
Tools

Philo

ΠΕΡΙ ΤΩΝ ΑΝΑΦΕΡΟΜΕΝΩΝ ΕΝ ΕΙΔΕΙ ΝΟΜΩΝ ΕΙΣ ΤΡΙΑ ΓΕΝΗ ΤΩΝ ΔΕΚΑ ΛΟΓΙΩΝ, ΤΟ ΤΡΙΤΟΝ, ΤΟ ΤΕΤΑΡΤΟΝ, ΤΟ ΠΕΜΠΤΟΝ· ΤΟ ΠΕΡΙ ΕΥΟΡΚΙΑΣ ΚΑΙ ΣΕΒΑΣΜΟΥ ΤΗΣ ΙΕΡΑΣ ΕΒΔΟΜΗΣ ΚΑΙ ΓΟΝΕΩΝ ΤΙΜΗΣ

[270]

1I. Ἐν μὲν τῇ πρὸ ταύτης συντάξει δύο κεφάλαια ἠκρίβωται τῶν δέκα, τό τε περὶ τοῦ μὴ νομίζειν θεοὺς αὐτοκρατεῖς ἑτέρους καὶ τὸ περὶ τοῦ μηδὲν θεοπλαστεῖν χειρόκμητον· εἴρηται δὲ καὶ τὰ ἑκατέρῳ τῶν κατὰ μέρος διατεταγμένων ἁρμόττοντα νόμιμα. νυνὶ δὲ περὶ τριῶν τῶν κατὰ στοῖχον ἑξῆς διαλεξώμεθα πάλιν ἐφαρμόττοντες τὰ προσήκοντα 2τῶν ἐν εἴδει. πρῶτον δ᾿ ἐστὶ τῶν τριῶν τὸ μὴ θεοῦ ὄνομα λαμβάνειν ἐπὶ ματαίῳ. ὁ γὰρ τοῦ σπουδαίου, φησί, λόγος ὅρκος ἔστω, βέβαιος, ἀκλινής, ἀψευδέστατος, ἐρηρεισμένος ἀληθείᾳ. κἂν εἰ ὀμνύναι μέντοι βιάζοιντο αἱ χρεῖαι, πατρὸς ἢ [271]μητρὸς ζώντων μὲν ὑγείαν καὶ εὐετηρίαν, | τετελευτηκότων δὲ τὴν μνήμην ὅρκον ποιητέον· ἀπεικονίσματα γὰρ οὗτοί γε καὶ μιμήματα θείας δυνάμεώς εἰσι, τοὺς μὴ ὄντας εἰς τὸ εἶναι παραγαγόντες.

306

The Special Laws

Book II

ON THE SPECIAL LAWS WHICH FALL UNDER THREE OF THE TEN GENERAL COMMANDMENTS, NAMELY THE THIRD ON THE DUTY OF KEEPING OATHS,a THE FOURTH ON REVERENCING THE SEVENTH DAY, AND THE FIFTH ON HONOURING PARENTS

I. In the preceding treatise we have dealt fully 1 with two of the ten heads, one directed against the acknowledgement of other sovereign gods, the other against giving divine honours to any work of men’s hands. And we have described such among the particular enactments of the law as may be properly classed under either head. Let us now discuss the three next in the list, again subjoining those of the special ordinances which belong to them. The first of the three forbids us to take God’s name 2 in vain: the good man’s word, it means, should be an oath, firm, unswerving, utterly free from falsehood, securely planted on truth. And if indeed occasion should force us to swear, the oath should be by a father and mother, their good health and welfare if they are alive, their memory if they are dead. For parents are copies and likenesses of the divine power, since they have brought the non-existent into existence.

307
DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.philo_judaeus-special_laws.1937