Philo, aka Philo of Alexandria, Philo Judaeus, Philo Judaeus of Alexandria, Yedidia, "Philon", and Philo the Jew

Philo, aka Philo of Alexandria, Philo Judaeus, Philo Judaeus of Alexandria, Yedidia, "Philon", and Philo the Jew
20 B.C.
50 A.D.

Greek-speaking Hellenistic Jewish Philosopher and Biblical Exegete

Author Quotes

A Judge must bear in mind that when he tries a case he is himself on trial.

Are you making war upon us, because you anticipate that we will not endure such indignity, but that we will fight on behalf of our laws, and die in defense of our national customs? For you cannot possibly have been ignorant of what was likely to result from your attempt to introduce these innovations respecting our temple.

Households, cities, countries, and nations have enjoyed great happiness when a single individual has taken heed of the Good and Beautiful. Such people not only liberate themselves; they fill those they meet with a free mind.

It would be a sign of great simplicity to think that the world was created in six days, or indeed at all in time... Time is a thing posterior to the world. Therefore it would be correctly said that the world was not created in time, but that time had its existence in consequence of the world. For it is the motion of the heaven that has displayed the nature of time.

What God is to the world, parents are to their children.

Those who give, hoping to be rewarded with honor, are not giving, they are bargaining.

The exit of evil works the entrance of virtue.

The air is full of souls those who are nearest to earth descending to be tied to mortal bodies return to other bodies, desiring to live in them.

Moses assigned to the body its proper tasks and similarly to the soul what falls to its share, and his earnest desire was, that the two should be waiting to relieve each other. Thus, while the body is working, the soul enjoys a respite, but when the body takes its rest, the soul resumes its work, and thus the best forms of life, the theoretical and the practical, take their turns in replacing each other. The practical life has six as its number allotted for ministering to the body. The theoretical has seven for knowledge and perfection of the mind.

How could you… not grieve at war and delight in peace, being children of one and the same Father?

Holiness toward God and justice toward men usually go together.

Gray hairs are signs of wisdom if you hold your tongue, speak and they are but hairs, as in the young.

For God, being God, assumed that a beautiful copy would never be produced apart from a beautiful pattern, and that no object of perception would be faultless which was not made in the likeness of an original discerned only by the intellect. . . . He first fully formed the intelligible world, in order that He might have the use of a pattern wholly God-like and incorporeal in producing the material world.

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

Are not those men then simple who speculate on the essence of God? For how can they know who are ignorant of the nature of the essence of their own soul, have any accurate knowledge of the soul of the universe? For the soul of the universe is God.

After all the rest, Moses tells us that man was created after the image of God and after His likeness (Genesis, I, 26). Right well does he say this, for nothing earth-born is more like God than man. Let no one represent the likeness as one to a bodily form; for neither is God in human form, nor is the human body God-like. No, it is in respect of the Mind, the sovereign element of the soul, that the word 'image' is used; for after the pattern of a single Mind, even the Mind of the Universe as an archetype, the mind in each of those who successively came into being was moulded. It is in a fashion a god to him who carries and enshrines it as an object of reverence; for the human mind evidently occupies a position in men precisely answering to that which the great Ruler occupies in all the world. It is invisible while itself seeing all things, and while comprehending the substances of others, it is as to its own substance unperceived.

He who is held in bondage by his senses can never enjoy even a dream of freedom. It is only by complete escape from them that we arrive at a state of freedom from fear.

Hope is the source of all happiness... None is to be considered a man who does not hope in God.

If anyone should ask me what was the motive for the creation of the world, I will answer what Moses taught, that it was the goodness of the Existent.

If you remember your own nothingness, you remember also God's transcendence.

It would be correct to say that the world was not made in time, but that time was formed by means of the world, for it was heaven's movement that was the index of the nature of time.

Knowledge of Him is the consummation of happiness.

The mind of the wise is the palace of God.

Those who live in accordance with law are free; and right reason is unerring law.

Time is a physician.

Author Picture
First Name
Philo, aka Philo of Alexandria, Philo Judaeus, Philo Judaeus of Alexandria, Yedidia, "Philon", and Philo the Jew
Birth Date
20 B.C.
Death Date
50 A.D.

Greek-speaking Hellenistic Jewish Philosopher and Biblical Exegete