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explaining away the text of the Pentateuch, but that he
really gave a description and explanation of the Mosaic law.
While endeavouring however to settle its meaning, he often
enters, as Origen especially intimates {contra Cels. iv. 51),
into the region of allegorical interpretation.

The fragments give no further disclosure concerning the
philosophical standpoint of Aristobulus. It may without any
hesitation be assumed that he was an eclectic. The fragment
on the meaning of the Sabbath " enters into a Pythagorean-
like dilation on the power of the number seven." ^^ Else-
where Aristobulus appeals not only generally to Pythagoras,
Socrates and Plato, but, when entering more into detail, to
the peripatetic doctrine in particular.^^ That he the more
closely adhered to the latter is vouched for by the Fathers,
who unanimously call him a peripatetic^^^

It is almost incomprehensible, that many more recent
scholars {e.g. Richard Simon, Hody, Eichhorn, Kuenen, Gratz,
Joel) should have disputed the genuineness of the wiiole
v;ork of Aristobulus. The picture, which we obtain from the
fragments of the work that have come down to us, so entirely
coincides with all that we elsewhere learn of the intellectual
tendency of Hellenistic Judaism, that there is absolutely no
occasion for any kind of doubt. The sole reason against the

25 A small sentence from it is foimd in Eus. Pr. viii. 10. 14 ; also in
Clem. Alex. Strom, vi. 3. 32.

26 Zeller, Die PJillosoplde der GriecJien, iii. 2. (3rd ed.) p. 264.
" Eus. Pr. ev. xiii. 12. 10-11= vii. 14.

28 Clemens, Strom, i. 15. 72, v. 14. 97. Euseb. Fraep. evang. viii. 9,
Ji-.}., ix. 6. 6. Chro7i. ad Ohjmp. 151 (cd. Schoene, ii. 124 sq.).


genuineness, which at all deserves mention, is the certainly
indisputable fact that Aristobulus cites supposed verses of
Orpheus, Hesiod, Homer, and Linus, which are certainly
forged by a Jew. It is thought, that such audacity is incon-
ceivable in a work intended for King Ptolemy himself. The
assumption on which the argument starts is, that the verses
were forged by Aristobulus himself — an assumption not only
incapable of proof, but in the highest degree improbable. The
verses were probably derived from an older Jewish work (see
on this point No. vii.), and adopted by Aristobulus in all good
faith in their genuineness. Aristobulus only did what later
Christian apologists have also done, without thereby affording
a ground for doubting the genuineness of their works.

The entire work of Aristobulus is said, according to a marginal
note in the cod. Laurentianus of Clemens Alexandrinus'
^tromata, to have been still extant toivards the close of the Middle
Ages in a library at Patmos (on Strorn. i. 22. 150, a hand of the
lifteenth or sixteenth century remarks : ' ApiarolSovXov fillSXog ocvrn

^ vphg rlv iAo/M-/;Tcpa serh iig rr,v Tlur/j.ov, f,v syuye o7da; see the nole
in Dindorf's ed.). Whether this note is worthy of credence is
however very doubtful.

Compare in general: llicliard Simon, Ilistoire critique du
Vieux Testament, pp. 189, 499. Hody, De bibliorum textibus,
p. 50 sqq. Fabricius, BihUoth. rp-acc. ed. Harles, i. 164, iii. 469
sq. Eichharn, Allgem. Bibliothek dcr biblischcn Litcratur, \o\. v.
(1793) pp. 253-298. A'alckenaer, i)ia^?"i&g de Aristobulo Judaeo,
jihilosopho 'pcrijJatetico Alcxandrino, Lugd. Eat. 1806 (chief
work). Gabler's Journal fur auscrlcsene thcolog. Literatur,
vol. V. (1810) pp. 183-209 (advertisement of Valckenaer's work).
Winer in Ersch and Gruber's Allgem. Encyclop. § 1, vol. v.
(1820) p. 266. Lobeck, AglaophUmus, i. (1829) p. 448.
Gfrorer, Philo, ii. 711-21. Dahne, Geschichtl. Darstellung der
jild.-alex. BeligionspJiilosophic, ii. 73-112. Elirst, Biblioth. Jud.
i. 53 sq. Herzfeld, Gesch. des Volkcs Jisracl, iii. 473 sqq., 564 sqq.
Ewald, Gesch. des Volkes Israel, iv. 335 sqq. Teutiel in l*auly's
Jleal-Enc. i. 2 (2nd ed.), p. 1600. Cobet in the Aoyiog 'Epfirn, i.
(1866) pp. 173-177, 521. Zeller, Die Philosophic dcr Grieclicn,
iii. 2 (3rd ed.), pp. 257-264. Ueberweg, Grundriss, 4th ed. i.
240 sqq. Binde, Aristohdische Studicn, 2 pts. Glogau 1869-
1870 (Gymnasialprogr.). Heinze, Die Zehre vom Logos (1872),
pp. 185-192. Kuenen, I)e godsdicnst van Israel, ii. (1870)
pp. 433-440. Freudeuthal, Alcxatidcr Polyhistor, pp. 166-169.


Gratz, Monatsschr. filr Gesch. und Wissensch. des Judenth. 1878,
pp. 49-60, 97-109. Joel, Blidce in die Beligionsgeschichte zu
Anfang dcs zweiten cliristliclien Jahrhunderts (18S0), pp. 77-100.

3. Philo.

Philo, the more recent fellow-countryman of Aristobulus by
two centuries, represents the same tendency. His main effort
also is to prove, that the views derived from Greek philoso-
j)her3 were genuinely Jewish. And this he does now for
heathen, now for Jewish readers ; for the former to inspire
them with respect for Judaism, for the latter to educate them
to such a Judaism as he himself represents. It may safely
be assumed, that there were between Aristobulus and Phila
other representatives of this tendency. 'For it presented itself
in Philo with such assurance, and in such maturity of form,
as would not be conceivable without historical connection.
Nothing however of the supposed literary productions of such
individuals has come down to us.

Since Philo, by reason of his eminent importance and the
extent of his extant works, demands a separate delineation
(§ 34), we will here only briefly mention those writings of his
in which philosophical instruction and discussion form the
main object. Among these are in the first place two of his
principal works on the Pentateuch, viz.: (1) the ZrjTi^fiara koI
Xucret?, a short explanation of Genesis and Exodus in the form
of questions and answers ; and (2) the Noficov lepcov aWrjjopiao,
the extensive allegorical commentaries on select passages of
Genesis, in the form of Kabbinical Midrash, These form Philo's
chief philosophical work properly so called, and constitute in
extent about the half of Philo's still extant writings. (3) The
work, Uepl Tov iravra cnrovhalov elvat, eXevdepov {Quod omnis
probus liber), properly only the second half of a work, whose
first half, which is lost, dealt with the theme irepl tov SovXqv
elvai irdvTa (pavXov, was also occupied in the discussion of
philosophical questions. (4) Uepl irpovola'^. (5) ^ A\e^avhpoyov e^eiv to, aXo'ya ^wa. Particulars concerning


all these works will be found in § 34, The two last-named
are also of interest, because Philo in them chooses the form of
the Greek dialogue in discussing the theme.

4. The Fourth Booh of Maccabees.

To philosophical literature belongs also the so-called fourth
Book of Maccabees. For the Judaism, which the author
recommends, is influenced .by the Stoic philosophy.

In its, form this piece of writing is a discourse. It directly
addresses its hearers or readers (i. 1, xviii. 1).^^ The contents
being of a religious and edifying kind, it might even be called
a sermon, and the choice of this form referred to the custom of
religious lectures in the synagogues. But w-hen Freudenthal
(pp. 4-36) emphatically insists that we have here an actual
specimen of synagogue preaching, this is not only incapable
of proof, but also improbable, the theme discoursed on being
not a text of Holy Scripture, but a philosophic proposition.

The author had only Jews in view, whether as hearers or
readers (xviii. 1 : Si twv ^A^pafiiamv airep/xarcov uTroyovot,
TraiSe? 'lapa-qXtTac). He desires to show them, that it is not
dillicult to lead a pious life, if only they follow the precepts
of "pious reason." For " 2}ious reason is the absolute ruler of
the motives " (i. 1 : avrohecriroTO'i ecrri rdv iraOoiv 6 €uae/3>]^
\oyiafx6, especially by the laudable
martyrdom of Eleazar, and the seven Maccabaean brothers. A
large portion of the contents is therefore devoted to a descrip-
tion of the martyrdom of these heroes of faith. In his grossly
realistic delineation of the se^■eral tortures, the author shows
even greater want of taste than the second Book of Maccabees,
and the psychology assumed is as contrary as possible to
nature. His authority seems to have been the second Book of

-'■' I quote according to the division into chapters and verses of Fritzsche's
cilitiou of the Apocryplia.


Maccabees. At least it cannot be proved that he drew, as
Freudenthal (pp. 72-90) supposes, from the larger work of
Jason of Cyrene (2 Mace. ii. 23).

The author's own standpoint is influenced by Stoicism.
The fundamental idea of the whole discourse is that of Stoic
morality, viz. the rule of reason over impulse. The setting
up too of four cardinal virtues {p6vr}aL.
cod. Alex, and Sin.). For further ])articulars, see Freudenthal,
l>p. 117-120. On the use of the book in Ciiristiau ascetic
literature, see above, p. 214.

^1 Comp. Freudenthal, p. 08.


The manuscripts, in which our book has come down, are
so}ne oj them manuscripts of Scripture, some of Josephus. The
former are not numerous, since as a rule only three books of
Maccabees were received as canonical (Freudenthal, pp. 118,
119). Still the two most important manuscripts for our book
are Scripture MSS., viz. the codex Alexandrinus (No. iii. in
Fritzsche) and Sinaiticus (No. x. in Fritzsche). On the
editions of these manuscripts, see above, p. 166. More con-
cerning them will be found in Fabricius-Harles, BiUioth. grace.
v. 26 sq. Grimm, Handh. p. 294 Freudenthal, pp. 120-127,
169 sq., 173. Fritzsche, Prolegom. p. xxi. sq. Collations chiefly
in Havercamp's edition of Josephus, ii. 1. 497 sqq., ii, 2. 157 sqq.
A fragment in Tischendorf, Monumenta sacra incdita, vol. vi.
1869. Various readings of a Florentine MS. (Acquis, ser. iii.
No. 44) are given by Pitra, Analecta sacra, vol. ii. (1884)
pp. 635-640.

The text is printed in accordance "mth the manuscripts, on
the one hand in some editions of the Septuagint and in separate
editions of tlie Apocrypha, on the other and chiefly in the
editions of Josephus. Most of the editors have troubled them-
selves very little about the manuscripts. The first attempt at
a recension of the text from the best authorities is made in
Fritzsche's edition of the Lilri apocryphi Vet. Test, graece (Lips.
1871). For more on the editions, see Grimm, Handh. p. 294 sq.
Freudenthal, pp. 127-133.

Erasmus compiled a Latin paraphrase of this book (printed
e.g. in Havercamp's Josephus, ii. 2. 148-156). Nothing reliable
is as yet known of any ancient Latin translation on which it is
based. See Grimm, p. 296. Freudenthal, p. 133 sqq. The
old Syriac translation is published in Ceriani's photo-lithographic
edition of the Milan Peshito manuscript (see above, p. 92).

Grimm has given a careful commentary on this book in his
Exeget. Handb. zu den Apohryphen, 4 parts, Leipzig 1857.
Freudenthal's Die Flavins Josephus beigelegte Schrift Uebcr die
Herrschaft der Vernunft (4 Malikahderluch), eine Predigt aus
don ersten nachchristlichen Jahrhundert, tintersucht, Breslau
1869, is a complete monograph. A German translation is
contained in the Bihliotheh der grieehischcii und romischen
Scliriftsteller uber Judenthum und Juden in neuen Uehcrtra-
guvgen und Sammlungen, 2 vols. Leipzig 1867.

Comp. in genera,l : Gfrorer, Philo, ii. 173-200. Dahne,
Gcshichtl. Darstelhmg der jdd.-alex. Religionsphilosophie, ii.
190-199. Ewald, Gesch. des Volkes Jsracl, iv. 632 sqq. Langen,
Das Judenthuin in Palastina (1866), pp. 74r-83. Geiger,
Jiidisehe Zcitschr. filr Wisscnsch. und Lehen, 1869, pp. 113-116.
Fritzsche in Schenkel's Bihellex. iv. 98-100. Keil, EinL ins


A. T., 3rd ed. (1873) p. 722 sqq. Gratz, Monatsschr. filr
Gesch. und Wissensch. des Judcnth. 1877, p. 454 sqq. IJeuss,
Gcsch. der heil. Schriften A. 2\'s, § 570. Zeller, Die Fhiloso^lcie
der Griechen, iii. 2 (3rd ed. 1881), pp. 275-277.


The peculiarity of the Jewish people involved the circum-
stance that the Jews were felt to be, more than other Orientals,
an anomaly in the framework of the Graeco-Eoman world.
Denying all authority to other religions, they were paid in
the same coin, and their right of existence upon the soil of
Hellenistic culture disputed. The town municipalities tried
to get rid of such inconvenient fellow-citizens ; the populace
was always ready to lift up a hand against them, while by
the educated they were despised and derided (see vol. ii. pp.
273-276, 291). Hellenistic Judaism tlius found itself
continually at war with the rest of the Hellenistic world ;
it had ever to draw the sword in its own defence. Hence
a large share of the entire Gracco-Jcwish literature subserves
apolojetic purposes. Especially does the historic and philo-
sophic literature essentially pursue the design of showing
that the Jewish nation was, by reason of the greatness of its
history and the purity of its teaching, if not superior, at least
equal to others. Besides these indirectly apologetic works, there
were also some which sought in a systematic manner to refute
the reproaches with which Judaism was assailed. These were
called forth by the sometimes utterly* absurd fables propagated
by certain Greek literati concerning the Jews, and generally
by the direct accusations brought against them in Greek and
Latin literature. These accusations had their rise in Egypt
(Joseph, contra Apion. i. 25). Alexandrian literati were
tlie first to write against the Jews. From these turbid waters
later writers, especially Tacitus, drew. In what follows we
shall speak in the first place of literary opponents, and after-
wards of the apologetic works and the points of dispute
themselves (Attack and Defence),


1. TJie Literary Opponents.

1. Manetlw (corap. Joseplms, contra Apion. i. 26-31).
The Egyptian priest Manetho composed, in the time of
Ptolemy II. Philadelphus, therefore about 270-250 B.C., a
learned work on Egyptian history in the Greek language,
derived from the sacred records themselves (Joseph, contra
Apion. i. 1 4 : yiypacpe 'EWdSt (fjcovj} riju irurpiov laropiav,
€K T€ T(ov lepcov, o)? ^rj(j\v auTo

Online LibraryEmil SchürerA history of the Jewish people in the time of Jesus Christ .. (Volume 2 pt.3) → online text (page 25 of 51)