Hampshire:202-3, 203-5
, 205-9, Cambridge:762. 
(Published 1670 anonymouslyWolf     

Benedict de Spinoza     
1632 - 1677     

Part 1 -  Chapters I to V
    Part 1 ,  Part 2 ,  Part 3Part 4 

Spinozistic Glossary and Index - Spinozistic Ideas - MiniCD of Entire Site - Philosophy/Religion
Scriptural Interpretations - Metaphors - Graetz's Censure of Spinoza - Durant's Tribute
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JBY Notes:

1.  Text was scanned from Book II and is a translation from
     Bruder's 1843  Latin  text  by  R.H.M.  Elwes  (1883).
     JBY  added  sentence  numbers.  
2.  (y:xx):   y = Chapter  Number,  if  given;    xx = Sentence  Number.
3.  Page  numbers  are  those  of  Book II.
4.  Citation abbreviations.
5.  ( Spinoza's Footnote or the Latin word ) , 
     ] Shirley's Bk. XI (or XIII) translation variance or note [,
     { JBY comment, emendation, or endnote }.    LINKS 
Metaphor of Commandment of G-DReferred to G-D.                       G:Shirley:42Metaphors  

6.  Please e-mail errors, clarification requests, disagreement,
     or suggestions to josephb@yesselman.com.

7.  TEXT version of TTP1; without links and without commentary. 
     This HTML version was abridged and formatted for conversion to an eBook.
     The abridged version is available to be read
on various eBook Readers
8.  There  is  much  in  this  work that you will not agree with or, even          Graetz's Censure
     think  nonsensealthough  keep  in mind that Spinoza was under 
     the constraints of religious  intolerance.    Spinoza was born in the       apparent modesty 
     very year (1632)  that the inquisitorial denunciation of Galileo took  
     place.  However,  partake  of  the work (and my commentaries) as  
     you  would  a  pomegranate; relish  the  flesh,  but spit-out the pits. 
{ Bk.XIB:143. } apparent modesty

9.  EL:[7]:viii, EL:[11]:xi, EL:[17]:xiii, EL:[22]:xvi, EL:[64]:xxxi, EL:xxxiii:J6, 
     L19:296, L20:297, L23:301, L49:364,  
New Wine in Old Bottles. 
{Scriptural Theology}              Hampshire:205
10. The  chief  aim  of  the whole treatise is to
separate  faith ^ {Religion}          Smith:Divine Law
      from philosophy.  ]Shirley:37What emerges in the TTP, as far as is Spinoza           Hampshire:203 & 205
      concerned, is the possibility of a this-worldly blessedness for both the rational person               TL:L36(23):345
       (through philosophy)
and the common person (through purified religion),
[                    EL:L21:(73):298
      {By my defining Religion as an hypothesis, the two are synthesized.}                     Philosophy / Religion
11. Links - To differentiate links from quotations (both blue text) set your
                  browser options to show links underlined.
12.  Suggestion:  Do  not  read this Spinoza electronic text consecutively       Durant's Story
       as  you  would a novel, but rather follow a thread  by following all its          EL:[3]:vi
       links  in  turn.   You will then be putting hypertexting to its fullest and         Schorsch
       best advantage—the fuller discussion of a thread. If you do not stick 
       to one thread (idea) at a timethis Web Site will be very convoluted,        Tickle the Fancy
       confusing, and an annoying maze. 

       If you prefer to read linearly, read these plain vanilla text versions,
       abridged versions, e-book versions,
or best, study the printed book
       book page numbers
are given for most scanned books.

Table of Contents

Preface  BKII:Pg. 3

   Part                   Chapters

Part 1 I II III IV V

Author's, Shirley's, and JBY Endnotes to Theologico-Political Treatise - Part 1 :269

JBY Endnotes

TABLE OF CONTENTS:                                                             Bk.II:Page Numbers

PREFACE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3   
Origin and consequences of superstition.   3
Causes that have led the author to write.   6
Course of his investigation.   8
For what readers the treatise is designed. Submission of author
to the rulers of his country.

CHAPTER I.Of Prophecy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Definition of prophecy.  13
Distinction between revelation to Moses and to the other prophets.  15
Between Christ and other recipients of revelation.  19
Ambiguity of the word "Spirit".  19
The different senses in which things may be referred to G-D.  20
Different senses of "Spirit of G-D".  22
Prophets perceived revelation by imagination.

CHAPTER II.Of Prophets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
A mistake to suppose that prophecy can give knowledge of phenomena.  27
Certainty of prophecy based on:
      (1) Vividness of imagination,
      (2) A Sign, 
      (3) Goodness of the Prophet. 
Variation of prophecy with the temperament and opinions of the individual.

CHAPTER III.Of the Vocation of the Hebrews,
and whether the Gift of Prophecy was peculiar
to them
 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
Happiness of Hebrews did not consist in the inferiority of the Gentile.  43
Nor in philosophic knowledge or virtue.  45
But in their conduct of affairs of state and escape from political dangers.  46
Even this Distinction did not exist in the time of Abraham.  48
Testimony from the {Hebrew Bible} itself to the share of the Gentiles
in the law and favour of G-D.
Explanation of apparent discrepancy of the Epistle to the Romans.  53
Answer to the arguments for the eternal election of the Jews.

CHAPTER IV.Of the Divine Law . . . . . . . . . . . 57
Laws either depend on natural necessity or on human decree.
The existence of the latter not inconsistent with the former class of laws.
Divine law a kind of law founded on human decree:
called Divine from its object.
Divine law:
        (1) universal;
        (2) independent of the truth of any historical narrative;
        (3) independent of rites and ceremonies;  
        (4) its own reward. 
Reason does not present G-D as a law-giver for men.  62
Such a conception a proof of ignorance—in Adam—in the Israelites—
in Christians.
Testimony of the Scriptures in favour of reason and the
rational view of the Divine law.

CHAPTER V.Of the Ceremonial Law . . . . . . . 69      
Ceremonial law of the {Hebrew Bible} no part of the Divine
universal law, but partial and temporary.  Testimony of the
prophets themselves to this. 
Testimony of the {Christian Bible}.  72
How the ceremonial law tended to preserve the Hebrew kingdom.  73
Christian rites on a similar footing.  76
What part of the Scripture narratives is one bound to believe?  76

A Theologico-Political Treatise , PART 1 , PART 2 , PART 3 , PART 4

Author's Notes to the Treatise

xxxiii:J6           Photocopy  of  Title  Page  of   the  first  edition  of  the                     Wolf
                 Tractatus Theologico-Politicus with sub-title omitted by Elwes.  
              The photo and translation are taken from Shirley's Book XI:46 & 47.  


         Bk.XIA:2913; Bk.XX:271.  {Lev. 16:8-10, 20-22.}
(P:1) Men would never be superstitious , if they could govern all their      Hampshire:141, 202, 206.
             { ^ and hypothesize false 'Religions'}
circumstances  by  set  rules,  or  if  they  were always favoured by

fortune: but being frequently driven into straits where rules are use-

less,  and  being  often  kept  fluctuating pitiably between hope and

fear  by  the uncertainty of fortune's greedily coveted favours, they

are consequently, for the most part, very prone to credulity. (P:2) The

human  mind  is  readily  swayed  this way or that in times of doubt,

especially  when  hope  and  fear  are  struggling  for  the  mastery,

though usually it is boastful, over-confident, and vain.

This  as  a  general fact I suppose everyone knows, though few,

I believe, know their own nature; no one can have lived in the world

without observing that most people, when in prosperity, are so over-

brimming  with  wisdom (however inexperienced they may be),  that

they  take  every  offer  of  advice  as a personal insult,  whereas in

adversity they know not where to turn, but beg and pray for counsel

from every passer-by.  (P:4)  No plan is then too futile,  too absurd,  or

too  fatuous  for  their adoption;  the most frivolous causes will raise

them  to  hope,  or  plunge  them  into despair—if anything happens

during their fright which reminds them of some past good or ill, they

think  it portends a happy or unhappy issue,  and therefore  (though

it may have proved abortive a hundred times before) style it a lucky

or  unlucky  omen.   (P:5)  Anything  which  excites  their astonishment

they  believe  to  be  a  portent signifying the anger of the Gods or of

the Supreme being, and, mistaking superstition for religion, account

it  impious  not  to avert the evil with prayer and sacrifice.  (P:6)  Signs

and wonders   page 4    of this sort they conjure up perpetually, till one

might think Nature as mad as themselves,  they interpret her so fan-


Thus  it is brought prominently before us, that superstition's chief

victims  are  those persons who greedily covet temporal advantages;

they  it  is, who (especially when they are in danger, and cannot help

themselves)  are  wont  with  Prayers and womanish tears to implore

help  from  G-D:  upbraiding  Reason  as  blind, because she cannot            Metaphors  

show  a  sure path to the shadows they pursue, and rejecting human

wisdom  as  vain; but believing the phantoms of imagination, dreams,

and  other  childish  absurdities,  to  be  the  very  oracles of Heaven. 

(P:8)   As  though  G-D  had  turned away from the wise, and written His

decrees,  not  in  the  mind of man but in the entrails of beasts, or left

them  to  be  proclaimed  by  the inspiration and instinct of fools, mad-
men,  and  birds.   (P:8a)  Such is the unreason to which terror can drive


(P:9)  Superstition,  then,  is  engendered,  preserved,  and  fostered by

fear.  (P:9a)  If  anyone  desire  an example, let him take Alexander, who

only  began  superstitiously  to  seek  guidance  from seers, when he

first learnt to fear fortune in the passes of Sysis (Curtius, v.4); where-

as  after  he  had  conquered Darius he consulted prophets no more,

till  a  second  time  frightened by reverses.  (P:10)  When the Scythians

were  provoking a battle, the Bactrians had deserted, and he himself

was  lying  sick  of  his wounds, "he once more turned to superstition,

the  mockery  of  human  wisdom,  and  bade Aristander, to whom he

confided  his  credulity, inquire the issue of affairs with sacrificed vic-

tims."  (P:11)   Very  numerous  examples  of a like nature might be cited,

clearly  showing  the  fact,  that only while under the dominion of fear

do  men  fall a prey to superstition; that all the portents ever invested

with  the  reverence  of  misguided religion are mere phantoms of de-

jected  and  fearful minds; and lastly, that prophets have most power

among  the  people,  and  are  most formidable to rulers, precisely at

those times when the state is in most peril.   (P:12)  I think this is suffici-

ently  plain  to  all,  and  will  therefore  say  no  more on the subject.

(P:13)  The  origin of superstition above given affords us a clear reason

for  the  fact,  that it comes to all men naturally, though some refer its

rise  to  a  dim  notion  of  G-D,  universal  page 5  to mankind, and also

tends  to  show, that it is no less inconsistent and variable than other
mental  hallucinations and emotional impulses, and further that it can

only  be  maintained  by  hope,  hatred,  anger,  and  deceit;  since it

springs,  not  from reason, but solely from the more powerful phases

of  emotion(P:14)   Furthermore,  we may readily understand how diffi-

cult  it  is, to maintain in the same course men prone to every form of

credulity.  (P:15)  For, as the mass of mankind remains always at about

the  same  pitch  of misery, it never assents long to any one remedy,

but  is  always  best  pleased  by a novelty which has not yet proved


(P:16)  This  element of inconsistency has been the cause of many terri-

ble  wars  and revolutions; for, as Curtius well says (lib. iv. chap. 10):
"The  mob  has  no ruler more potent than superstition," and is easily

led, on the plea of religion, at one moment to adore its kings as Gods,

and  anon  to execrate and abjure them as humanity's common bane.

(P:17)  Immense pains have therefore been taken to counteract this evil
by investing religion, whether true or false, with such pomp and cere-

mony,  that  it  may  rise  superior  to every shock, and be always ob-

served  with  studious  reverence  by  the  whole  people—a  system
which   has   been   brought  to  great  perfection  by  the  Turks,  for

they  consider  even  controversy  impious, and so clog men's minds

with  dogmatic  formulas,  that  they leave no room for sound reason,

not even enough to doubt with.

(P:18)   But if, in despotic statecraft, the supreme and essential mystery

be  to  hoodwink  the  subjects,  and  to  mask the fear, which keeps
them  down,  with  the  specious  garb  of  religion,  so that men may
Bk.XIA:1991; Bk.XIX:27041.
fight  as  bravely for slavery as for safety, and count it not shame but

highest  honour  to risk their blood and their lives for the vainglory of
a  tyrant;  yet in a free state no more mischievous expedient could be

planned or attempted.  (P:19)  Wholly repugnant to the general freedom

are  such devices as enthralling men's minds with prejudices, forcing

their  judgment,  or  employing any of the weapons of quasi-religious

sedition;  indeed, such seditions only spring up, when law enters the          Robinson3:63

domain of speculative thought, and opinions are put on trial and con-

demned on the same footing as crimes, while those who defend and

follow  them  are  sacrificed,  not  to  public safety, but to their  page 6
opponents'  hatred  and cruelty(19a) If deeds only could be made the         Col:Hampshire:205

grounds  of  criminal  charges,  and  words  were  always  allowed to

pass  free,  such  seditions would be divested of every semblance of

justification,  and  would  be separated from mere controversies by a

hard and fast line.

(P:20)  Now,  seeing  that  we  have  the rare happiness of living in a re-
public,  where  everyone's  judgment  is  free and unshackled, where
each  may  worship G-D as his conscience dictates, and where free-      
     Deus sive Natura
dom is esteemed before all things dear and precious, I have believed

that  I  should  be  undertaking  no  ungrateful or unprofitable task, in

demonstrating  that  not  only  can  such freedom be granted without

prejudice  to  the  public  peace, but also, that without such freedom,

piety  cannot  flourish  nor  the  public  peace  be  secure.

(P:21)   Such  is  the  chief conclusion I seek to establish in this treatise;

but,  in  order  to  reach  it,  I  must  first point out the misconceptions

which,  like  scars  of  our  former  bondage,  still disfigure our notion

of  religion, and must expose the false views about the civil authority

which  many have most impudently advocated, endeavouring to turn

the mind of the people, still prone to heathen superstition, away from
its legitimate rulers, and so bring us again into slavery.  (P:22)  As to the

order  of  my  treatise I will speak presently, but first I will recount the

causes which led me to write.

I  have  often  wondered, that persons who make a boast of pro-

fessing  the  Christian religion, namely, love, joy, peace, temperance,

and  charity to all men, should quarrel with such rancorous animosity,

and  display  daily  towards  one another such bitter hatred, that this,
rather  than  the  virtues  they  claim,  is the readiest criterion of their

faith.   (P:24)   Matters  have  long  since  come to such a pass, that one

can  only  pronounce  a man Christian, Turk, Jew, or Heathen, by his

general  appearance  and  attire, by his frequenting this or that place

of  worship,  or  employing  the  phraseology of a particular sect—as

for  manner  of  life,  it  is  in  all cases the same.  (P:25)  Inquiry into the

cause  of  this  anomaly  leads  me  unhesitatingly to ascribe it to the

fact,  that  the  ministries  of  the Church are regarded by the masses

merely  as  dignities,  her  offices  as  posts  of  emolument—in short,

popular  religion  may  be  summed  up  as  respect for ecclesiastics.

(P:26)   The  spread  of  this  misconception  inflamed  every  worthless

page 7  fellow  with  an  intense  desire  to  enter holy orders, and thus

the  love  of  diffusing G-D's religion degenerated into sordid avarice

and  ambition(P:27)   Every  church  became a theatre, where orators,

instead  of  church  teachers,  harangued,  caring  not  to instruct the

people,   but  striving  to  attract  admiration,  to  bring  opponents  to

public  scorn,  and  to  preach only novelties and paradoxes, such as

would  tickle  the ears of their congregation. 
(P:28)  This state of things

necessarily  stirred  up  an  amount of controversy, envy, and hatred,

which  no  lapse  of  time  could  appease;  so  that  we can scarcely

wonder that of the old religion nothing survives but its outward forms

(even  these,  in  the  mouth  of  the multitude, seem rather adulation

than  adoration of the Deity), and that faith has become a mere com-

pound   of   credulity   and   prejudices—aye,  prejudices  too,  which

degrade  man  from  rational  being  to  beast, which completely stifle

the  power  of  judgment between true and false, which seem, in fact,

carefully  fostered  for  the purpose of extinguishing the last spark of

reason  (P:29)   Piety,  great  G-D! and religion are become a tissue of
Bk.XIA:3125; Bk.XIB:8257.
ridiculous  mysteries; men, who flatly despise reason, who reject and

turn  away  from  understanding  as  naturally  corrupt,  these,  I  say,

these  of  all  men,  are  thought,  O lie most horrible! to possess light

from  on  High.  (P:30)   Verily,  if they had but one spark of light from on

High,  they  would  not  insolently  rave,  but  would  learn to worship

G-D  more  wisely,  and  would be as marked among their fellows for

mercy  as  they  now  are  for malice; if they were concerned for their

opponents'  souls,  instead  of  for  their own reputations, they would

no   longer   fiercely  persecute,  but  rather  be  filled  with  pity  and

(P:31)  Furthermore,  if  any  Divine  light  were in them, it would appear

from  their  doctrine.  (P:32)  I  grant  that they are never tired of profess-

ing  their wonder at the profound mysteries of Holy Writ; still I cannot

discover  that they teach anything but speculations of Platonists and

Aristotelians,  to  which  ( in order to save their credit for Christianity)

they  have  made  Holy  Writ  conform;  not  content  to rave with the
Greeks  themselves,  they  want  to  make  the  prophets  rave  also;

showing  conclusively,  that  never even in sleep have they caught a

glimpse  of  Scripture's  Divine   page 8   Nature.   (P:33)  The  very  vehe-

mence  of  their admiration for the mysteries plainly attests, that their

belief  in  the  Bible  is  a  formal assent rather than a living faith: and

the fact is made still more apparent by their laying down beforehand,

as a foundation for the study and true interpretation of Scripture, the

principle  that  it  is  in  every  passage  true  and divine.  (P:34)  Such a

doctrine  should  be  reached  only  after strict scrutiny and thorough

comprehension  of  the  Sacred  Books ( which  would  teach it much

better,  for  they  stand in need of no human factions), and not be set

up on the threshold, as it were, of inquiry.

 As  I  pondered  over the facts that the light of reason is not only

despised,  but  by  many  even execrated as a source of impiety, that

human   commentaries  are  accepted  as  divine  records,   and  that

credulity  is  extolled  as faith; as I marked the fierce controversies of

philosophers  raging  in Church and State, the source of bitter hatred

and  dissension,   the  ready  instruments  of  sedition  and  other  ills

innumerable,  I  determined  to  examine the Bible afresh in a careful,

impartial,  and  unfettered  spirit, making no assumptions concerning

it,  and  attributing  to  it  no  doctrines,  which  I  do  not  find  clearly

therein   set   down.   (P:36)    With  these  precautions  I  constructed  a

method  of  Scriptural  interpretation,  and  thus equipped proceeded

to  inquire—what  is  prophecy?  (P:37)   In  what  sense did G-D reveal              Metaphor

himself  to  the prophets, and why were these particular men chosen

by  him?  (P:38)   Was  it  on  account  of  the  sublimity of their thoughts

about the Deity and Nature, or was it solely on account of their piety?

(P:39)   These questions being answered, I was easily able to conclude,

that  the  authority  of  the  prophets  has  weight  only  in  matters of
theoretical, rather than practical}
morality, and that their speculative doctrines affect us little.

(P:40)   Next  I  inquired,  why  the  Hebrews  were  called G-D's chosen

people,  and  discovering  that  it was only because G-D had chosen

for  them  a  certain strip of territory, where they might live peaceably

and  at  ease,  I  learnt  that  the Law  revealed by G-D to Moses was            Metaphors 

merely  the  law  of  the  individual Hebrew state, therefore that it was           Constitution

binding  on  none  but  Hebrews,  and not even on Hebrews after the
downfall  of  their  nation.  (P:41)  Further, in order to ascertain, whether              Runes:v

it  could  be concluded from Scripture, that the human understanding

page 9   is  naturally  corrupt,  I inquired whether the Universal Religion,            World State 

the  Divine  Law  revealed  through the Prophets and Apostles to the

whole  human  race,  differs  from  that which is taught by the light of

natural  reason,  whether  miracles  can  take place in violation of the

laws  of  Nature,  and  if  so, whether they imply the existence of G-D

more  surely  and  clearly  than  events, which we understand plainly

and distinctly through their immediate natural causes.

(P:42)  Now,  as in the whole course of my investigation I found nothing

taught  expressly  by Scripture, which does not agree with our under-

standing,  or  which  is  repugnant  thereto,   and  as  I  saw  that  the

prophets  taught  nothing,  which  is  not very simple and easily to be

grasped  by  all,  and  further,  that  they clothed their teaching in the

style,  and  confirmed  it  with the reasons, which would most deeply

move  the  mind  of  the  masses to devotion towards G-D, I became

thoroughly  convinced,  that  the Bible leaves reason absolutely free,
that  it  has  nothing  in common with philosophy, in fact, that Revela-              Sc:Note 8.
tion  and  Philosophy  stand  on different footings. In order to set this

forth  categorically  and  exhaust  the  whole question, I point out the

way  in  which  the  Bible  should be interpreted, and show that all of

spiritual  questions  should  be sought from it alone, and not from the

objects  of  ordinary  knowledge.   (P:43)   Thence  I  pass on to indicate

the  false  notions, which  have from the fact that the multitude—ever

prone  to  superstition, and caring more for the shreds of antiquity for

eternal  truths—pays  homage  to the Books of the Bible, rather than
to  the  Word of G-D(P:44)  I show that the Word of G-D has not been               Metaphor      

revealed   as   a   certain  number of books, but was displayed to the

prophets  as  a  simple  idea  of the mind, namely, obedience to G-D         Durant:641 - Theology 

in  singleness  of  heart,  and  in  the  practice  of  justice and charity;

and  I  further  point  out,  that this doctrine is set forth in Scripture in

accordance  with  the  opinions and understandings of those, among

whom  the  Apostles  and  Prophets preached,  to  the  end that men

might receive it willingly, and with their whole heart.

(P:45)   Having  thus  laid  bare  the  bases  of belief, I draw the conclusion
{peace-of-mind}                                                     Mark Twain 
that Revelation {Religion, faith} has obedience for its sole object, therefore,
in  purpose  no  less   than   in  foundation  and   page 10   method,  stands

entirely   aloof  from ordinary knowledge {Reason, Philosophy}; each has its 

separate  province,  neither  can  be  called  the  handmaid  of the other.

{By defining religion as an hypothesis, I attempt to synthesize the two.}

(P:46)   Furthermore,  as  men's habits of mind differ, so that some more

readily  embrace  one  form of  faith,  some  another, for what moves
Bk.XIA:15766, 2023.
one  to  pray  may  move another only to scoff, I conclude, in accord-

ance  with  what  has  gone  before, that everyone should be free to

choose   for   himself  the  foundation  of  his  creed,  and  that  faith
Cash Value}
should be judged only by its fruits; each would then obey G-D freely             Metaphors

with his whole  heart, while nothing would be publicly honoured save

justice and charity.

Having thus drawn attention to the liberty conceded to everyone

by  the  revealed  law of G-D, I pass on to another part of my subject,

and  prove  that  this  same  liberty can and should be accorded with

safety  to  the state  and the magisterial authority—in fact, that it can-

not  be  withheld  without great danger to peace and detriment to the


(P:48)   In  order  to  establish  my  point, I start from the natural rights of

the  individual,  which  are  co-extensive  with  his desires and power,

and  from  the  fact  that  no  one is bound to live as another pleases,

but  is  the  guardian  of  his own liberty.  (P:49)  I show that these rights

can  only  be  transferred  to  those  whom  we  depute  to defend us,

who  acquire  with  the  duties  of  defence the power of ordering our

lives,  and  I  thence  infer  that  rulers  possess rights only limited by

their  power,  that  they  are  the sole guardians of justice and liberty,

and  that their subjects should act in all things as they dictate: never-

theless,  since  no one can so utterly abdicate his own power of self-

defence  as  to  cease  to  be  a  man,  I conclude that no one can be

deprived  of  his natural rights absolutely, but that subjects, either by

tacit   agreement,  or  by  social  contract,  retain  a  certain  number,

which  cannot  be  taken from them without great danger to the state.

(P:50)  From these considerations I pass on to the Hebrew State, which

I  describe  at  some  length,  in  order  to  trace  the manner in which

Religion  acquired the force of law, and to touch on other noteworthy             Constitution 

points.  (P:51)  I then prove, that the holders of sovereign power are the
depositories  and  interpreters  of  religious  no less than of civil ordi-             Robinson3:63 

nances,  and  that they a lone have the right to decide what is just or

 page 11  unjust,  pious  or  impious;  lastly,  I conclude by showing, that

they best retain this right and secure safety to their state by allowing
every man to think what he likes, and say what he thinks.

(P:52)   Such,  Philosophical  Reader, are the questions I submit to your

notice,  counting  on  your  approval,  for  the  subject  matter  of  the

whole  book  and  of  the several chapters is important and profitable.

(53)   I  would  say  more,  but  I  do  not want my preface to extend to a

volume,  especially  as  I  know  that  its  leading  propositions  are to

Philosophers  but  commonplaces. 
(P:54)  To the rest of mankind I care

not to commend my treatise, for I cannot expect that it contains any-

thing  to  please  them:  I know how deeply rooted are the prejudices

embraced  under  the  name  of  religion; I am aware that in the mind
of   the   masses  superstition  is  no  less  deeply  rooted  than  fear;

I recognize  that  their constancy is mere obstinacy, and that they are
led  to  praise or blame by impulse rather than reason

the  multitude,  and  those  of  like  passions  with the multitude, I ask

not  to  read  my  book;  nay,  I  would  rather that they should utterly

neglect   it,  than  that  they  should  misinterpret  it  after  their  wont.

(P:56)   They  would  gain no good themselves, and might prove a stum-

bling-block  to  others,  whose  philosophy  is hampered by the belief

that  Reason  is  a  mere  handmaid to Theology, and whom I seek in
this  work  especially  to  benefit.
 (P:57)   But  as there will be many who

have   neither   the   leisure,   nor,  perhaps,  the  inclination  to  read

through  all  I  have  written,  I  feel  bound  here, as at the end of my

treatise,  to  declare  that  I  have written nothing, which I do not most

willingly  submit  to  the  examination  and  judgment  of  my country's

rulers,  and  that  I  am  ready  to  retract  anything,  which  they shall
decide  to  be  repugnant to the laws or prejudicial to the public good.

(P:58)  I know that I am a man and, as a man, liable to error, but against

error  I  have  taken scrupulous care, and striven to keep in entire ac-
cordance  with the laws of my country, with loyalty, and with morality.

{Read EL:L49(43), a must.}    Bk.XIA:4077. 

page 13

CHAPTER I.—Of Prophecy

        Bk.XIA:9028.                                                                       {Metaphor}                          Yirmiyahu Yovel 
(1:1)   Prophecy,  or  revelation  is  sure  knowledge revealed by G-D to

man.  (1:2)  A  prophet  is  one  who  interprets  the  revelations  of G-D

{insights} to those  who are unable to attain to sure knowledge of the

matters  revealed, and therefore can only apprehend them by simple


EL:[65]:xxxi.}     Bk.XI:591. 
(1:3)  The  Hebrew  word  for  prophet is "naw-vee' " {Strong:5030}, (1)

i.e. speaker or interpreter, but in Scripture its meaning is restricted to

interpreter  of  God,  as  we  may learn from Exodus vii:1, where God

says  to  Moses,  "See,  I  have  made  thee  a  god  to Pharaoh, and

Aaron  thy  brother  shall be thy prophet;" implying that, since in inter-

preting  Moses'  words to Pharaoh, Aaron acted the part of a prophet,

Moses  would  be  to  Pharaoh  as  a  god, or in the attitude of a god.

(1:4) Prophets I will treat of in the next chapter, and at present consider


Now  it is evident,  from the definition above given, that prophecy

really  includes  ordinary  knowledge;  for  the  knowledge  which we

acquire  by  our  natural faculties depends on knowledge of G-D and
His  eternal  laws;  but  ordinary  knowledge is common to all men as

men,  and  rests  on  foundations  which all share, whereas the multi-

tude  always  strains  after rarities and exceptions, and thinks little of

the  gifts  of  Nature;  so  that,  when  prophecy is  talked of, ordinary

knowledge  is not supposed to be included.  (1:6)  Nevertheless  page 14

it  has  as  much  right  as  any  other  to  be  called Divine, for G-D's

Nature,  in  so  far  as  we share therein, and G-D's laws, dictate it to

us;  nor  does  it  suffer  from  that to which we give the preëminence,

except  in  so  far  as  the  latter  transcends  its  limits and cannot be

accounted  for  by  natural  laws  taken in themselves.  (1:7)  In respect

to  the  certainty  it  involves,  and the source from which it is derived,
i.e.  G-D,  ordinary  knowledge is no whit inferior to prophetic, unless

indeed  we  believe,  or  rather  dream,  that the prophets had human

bodies  but  superhuman  minds,  and therefore that their sensations

and  consciousness  were  entirely  different  from  our  own.

But, although ordinary knowledge is Divine, its professors cannot
be called prophets (2), for they teach what the rest of mankind could

perceive  and  apprehend,  not merely  by simple faith, but as surely

and honourably as themselves.

(1:9)  Seeing  then  that  our mind subjectively contains in itself and par-

takes  of  the  nature  of  G-D,  and  solely from this cause is enabled

to  form  notions explaining natural phenomena and inculcating moral-

ity, it follows that we may rightly assert the nature of the human mind
(in  so  far  as  it  is  thus  conceived) to be a primary cause of Divine

revelation.  All that we clearly and distinctly understand is dictated to

us,  as  I have just pointed out, by the idea and nature of G-D; not in-            Deus sive Natura 

deed  through  words,  but  in a way far more excellent and agreeing

perfectly  with  the  nature  of the mind, as all who have enjoyed intel-

lectual  certainty  will  doubtless attest.  (1:11)  Here, however, my chief

purpose  is  to  speak  of  matters  having  reference to Scripture, so

these few words on the light of reason will suffice.

(1:12)  I  will  now  pass  on  to, and treat more fully, the other ways and

means  by  which  G-D  makes  revelations  to  mankind, both of that

which transcends ordinary knowledge {i.e. Intuition}, and of that within

its scope; for  there  is  no  reason why G-D should not employ other

means   communicate   what   we   know   already  by  the  power  of 


(1:13)   Our  conclusions  on  the  subject  must  be  drawn  solely  from

Scripture;  for  what  can  we  affirm  about matters transcending our

knowledge   except   what  is  told  us  by  the  words  or  writings  of

prophets?  (1:14)   And  since  there  are,  so far as I know, no prophets

now  alive,  we  have  no  alternative but  page 15  to read the books of

prophets  departed,  taking  care  the  while not to reason from meta-

phor  or  to  ascribe  anything to our authors which they do not them-

selves  distinctly  state. 
(1:15)   I  must  further  premise  that  the  Jews

never  make  any  mention  or  account  of  secondary,  or  particular

causes,  but in a spirit of religion, piety, and what is commonly called                Referral 

godliness, refer all things directly to the Deity. (16)  For instance if they        Spinozistic Scripture 

make  money  by  a transaction, they say G-D gave it to them; if they

desire  anything,  they  say G-D has disposed their hearts towards it;

if  they  think  anything, they say G-D told them.  (1:17)  Hence we must

not   suppose  that  everything  is  prophecy  or  revelation  which  is

described  in  Scripture  as  told  by  G-D  to  anyone,  but only such

things as are expressly announced as prophecy or revelation, or are

plainly pointed to as such by the context.

  A perusal of the sacred books will show us that all God's revela-
tions  to  the prophets were made through words or appearances, or

a  combination of the two.  (1;19)  These words and appearances were

of  two  kinds;  (1) real when external to the mind of the prophet who

heard  or  saw  them,   (2)  imaginary  when  the  imagination  of  the

prophet  was  in  a  state  which led him distinctly to suppose that he

heard or saw them.

(1:20)  With  a  real  voice  God  revealed  to  Moses the laws which He

wished  to  be  transmitted  to  the  Hebrews,  as  we  may  see  from

Exodus xxv:22,  where  God  says,  "And  there  I  will meet with thee
                                                                              Strong: 3727 from 3722    
and  I  will commune with thee from the mercy seat which is between

the  Cherubim."   (1:21)   Some  sort of real voice must necessarily have

been  employed,  for  Moses  found God ready to commune with him
at any time.  (1:21a) This, as I shall shortly show, is the only instance of

a real voice.

(1:22) We  might,  perhaps, suppose that the voice with which God call-

ed  Samuel  was  real,  for  in  1 Sam. iii:21,  we  read, "And the Lord

appeared again in Shiloh, for the Lord revealed Himself to Samuel in

Shiloh  by  the word of the Lord;" implying that the appearance of the

Lord  consisted  in  His  making  Himself known to Samuel through a

voice;   in   other   words,   that   Samuel   heard  the  Lord speaking.

(1:23) But  we  are  compelled to distinguish between the prophecies of

Moses  and  those of other prophets, and therefore must decide that

this  voice  was  imaginary, a conclusion further  page 16  supported by

the voice's resemblance to the voice of Eli, which Samuel was in the

habit of hearing, and therefore might easily imagine; when thrice call-

ed by the Lord, Samuel supposed it to have been Eli.

(1:24)  The voice which Abimelech heard was imaginary, for it is written,

Gen. xx:6, "And God said unto him in a dream.(25) So that the will of

God  was  manifest  to him,  not  in  waking,  but only in sleep, that is,

when  the  imagination is most active and uncontrolled.  (1:26)  Some of

the  Jews  believe  that  the  actual words of the Decalogue were not

spoken  by  God,  but  that  the Israelites heard a noise only, without

any  distinct words,  and  during  its  continuance  apprehended  the
Strong:4687 from 6680     
Ten  Commandments  by  pure intuition; to this opinion I myself once
Bk.XIB:22683.                                                                          Exo 20:1
inclined,  seeing  that  the  words  of  the  Decalogue  in  Exodus are
Deut 5:4   
different  from  the  words  of  the Decalogue in Deuteronomy, for the

discrepancy  seemed  to  imply (since God only spoke once) that the

Ten Commandments  were  not intended to convey the actual words

of  the  Lord,  but  only His meaning.  (1:27)  However, unless we would

do  violence  to  Scripture, we must certainly admit that the Israelites

heard real voice, for Scripture expressly says, Deut. v:4, "God spake

with  you  face  to face,"  i.e. as two men ordinarily interchange ideas

through  the  instrumentality  of  their  two  bodies;   and  therefore  it

seems  more consonant with Holy Writ to suppose that God really did

create  a voice of some kind with which the Decalogue was revealed.

(1:28)  The  discrepancy  of  the  two versions is treated of in Chap. VIII.

 Yet  not  even thus is all difficulty removed, for it seems scarcely

reasonable  to  affirm  that  a created thing, depending on God in the
same  manner  as  other created things, would be able to express or

explain  the  nature  of  God  either  verbally or really by means of its

individual  organism:  for  instance,  by  declaring  in  the first person,

"I am the Lord your God.{Analogy—an arm does not express the nature of you.}

(1:30)  Certainly  when  anyone says with his mouth, "I understand," we

do  not  attribute  the  understanding to the mouth, but to the mind of

the  speaker;  yet this is because the mouth is the natural organ of a

man  speaking,  and  the  hearer,   knowing  what  understanding  is,

easily  comprehends,  by  a  comparison with himself, that the speak-

er's  mind  is  meant; but if we knew nothing of God beyond the mere

 page 17  name  and  wished  to  commune with Him, and be assured of

His  existence,  I  fail  to  see  how our wish would be satisfied by the

declaration  of  a  created thing (depending on God neither more nor

less  than  ourselves),  "I am the Lord.(1:31)  If God contorted the lips

of  Moses, or, I will not say Moses, but some beast, till they pronoun-

ced  the  words,  "I  am  the  Lord,"  should  we apprehend the Lord's

existence therefrom?

(1:32) Scripture seems clearly to point to the belief that God spoke Him-

self,  having  descended from heaven to Mount Sinai for the purpose

—and  not  only that the Israelites heard Him speaking, but that their

chief men beheld Him (Ex:xxiv.(1:33) Further the law of Moses, which

might  neither  be  added to nor curtailed, and which was set up as a

national  standard of right, nowhere prescribed the belief that God is

without  body,  or  even without form or figure, but only ordained that

the  Jews  should  believe  in  His  existence and worship Him alone:

it forbade them to invent or fashion any likeness of the Deity, but this

was  to  insure  purity  of  service;  because, never having seen God,

they  could  not  by  means  of images recall the likeness of God, but

only  the  likeness  of some created thing which might thus gradually

take the place of God as the object of their adoration.  (1:34) Neverthe-

less,  the  Bible  clearly implies that God has a form, and that Moses

when  he  heard God speaking was permitted to behold it, or at least

its hinder parts.

(1:35)  Doubtless  some mystery lurks in this question which we will dis-

cuss  more fully below.  (1:36)  For the present I will call attention to the

passages  in  Scripture  indicating  the  means by which God has re-

vealed His laws to man.

Revelation may be through figures only, as in 1 Chr xxi:16, where

God  displays  his  anger  to  David  by  means of an angel bearing a
See Shirley's footnote[ Bk.XIB:3775.
sword,  and  also in the story of Balaam.  (1:38) Maimonides and others

do  indeed  maintain  that  these  and every other instance of angelic

apparitions   (e.g.  to  Manoah  and  to  Abraham  offering  up  Isaac)

occurred during sleep, for that no one with his eyes open ever could
see an angel, but this is mere nonsense. (1:39) The sole object of such

commentators  seems  to be to extort from Scripture confirmations of

Aristotelian  quibbles  and their own inventions, a proceeding which I

regard as the acme of absurdity.

(1:40)   In figures, not real but existing only in the prophet's   page 18   ima-

gination,  God  revealed  to Joseph  his future lordship, and in words

and  figures  He  revealed  to  Joshua  that  He  would  fight  for  the

Hebrews,  causing  to appear an angel, as it were the Captain of the

Lord's  host, bearing a sword, and by this means communicating ver-

bally.  (1:41)  The  forsaking  of  Israel  by  Providence was portrayed to

Isaiah  by  a  vision of the Lord, the thrice Holy, sitting on a very lofty

throne,  and  the  Hebrews,  stained  with the mire of their sins, sunk

as  it  were  in  uncleanness, and thus as far as possible distant from

God.  (1:42)  The  wretchedness  of  the people at the time was thus re-

vealed,  while  future  calamities  were  foretold in words.  (42a) I could

cite  from  Holy  Writ  many examples, but I think they are sufficiently

well known already.

(1:43)  However,  we get a still more clear confirmation of our position in

Num xii:6,7,  as  follows:  "If  there  be  any  prophet among you, I the

Lord  will  make  myself  known  unto  him in a vision" (i.e. by appear-

ances  and  signs, for God says of the prophecy of Moses that it was

a vision without signs), "and will speak unto him in a dream"  (i.e. not

with actual words and an actual voice).  (1:44) "My servant Moses is not

so;  with  him  will  I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not

in  dark  speeches,  and  the  similitude  of the Lord he shall behold,"
i.e.  looking  on me as a friend and not afraid, he speaks with me (cf.

Ex xxxiii:17).

(1:45)  This  makes  it  indisputable that the other prophets did not hear

a  real  voice, and we gather as much from Deut. xxxiv:10: "And there

arose  not  a  prophet  since in Israel like unto Moses whom the Lord

knew  face  to face," which must mean that the Lord spoke with none

other;  for  not  even  Moses saw the Lord's face.  (1:46)  These are the

only  media  of  communication  between  God  and  man which I find

mentioned  in  Scripture,  and  therefore the only ones which may be

supposed  or  invented. 
(1:47)  We  may  be  able quite to comprehend

that G-D  can  communicate  immediately  with  man,  for without the

intervention  of  bodily  means  He  communicates  to  our minds His

essence;  still,  a  man  who  can by pure intuition comprehend ideas

which  are  neither  contained  in  nor deducible from the foundations

of  our  natural  knowledge,  must necessarily possess a mind far su-

perior  to  those  of  his  fellow  men,  nor  do  I believe that any have
been  so  endowed  save  Christ.  (1:48) To Him the ordinances of G-D             Metaphors 

leading   page 19   men   to   salvation   were  revealed  directly  without

words  or  visions,  so  that  God  manifested Himself to the Apostles

through  the  mind  of Christ as He formerly did to Moses through the

supernatural  voice. 
(1:49)  In  this  sense  the  voice  of Christ, like the

voice  which  Moses  heard,  may  be  called the voice of God, and it

may  be said that the wisdom of God (i.e. wisdom more than human)

took  upon itself in Christ human nature, and that Christ was the way
of  salvation.  (1:50)  I must at this juncture declare that those doctrines

which  certain  churches  put  forward  concerning  Christ,   I  neither       
affirm nor deny,  for  I  freely  confess  that  I do not understand them.  

(1:51)  What  I  have  just  stated  I gather from Scripture, where I never

read  that  God  appeared  to Christ, or spoke to Christ, but that God

was  revealed  to  the  Apostles  through  Christ;  that Christ was the

Way  of  Life,  and  that the old law was given through an angel, and

not  immediately  by God; whence it follows that if Moses spoke with

God  face  to  face as a man speaks with his friend (i.e. by means of
their   two   bodies)   Christ   communed   with   God   mind  to  mind.

(1:52)  Thus  we  may  conclude  that no one except Christ received the       

revelations  of  God  without the aid of imagination, whether in words
, but with the intuition of a Universal Religion and a Rational Morality.}
or  vision.  (1:53)  Therefore  the power of prophecy implies not a pecu-

liarly  perfect  mind,  but  a peculiarly vivid imagination, as I will show

more  clearly  in  the  next  chapter.  
(1:54)  We  will now inquire what is

meant  in  the  Bible  by  the Spirit of God breathed into the prophets,

or  by  the  prophets  speaking  with the Spirit of God; to that end we

must  determine  the exact signification of the Hebrew word roo'-akh,             See Note 2A 

{Strong:7307}, commonly translated 'spirit'.

(1:55) The  word  roo'-akh,  {Strong:7307—wind,  breath,  life,  spirit,  the

vital principle, anger, blast; from the root roo-akh' Strong:7306—to blow,

, literally  means  a  wind,  e.g.  the  south   wind,  but  it  is fre-
quently employed  in  other derivative significations.
  (1:55a)   It is used as   

equivalent to,

(1:56)  Breath: "
Neither  is  there  any  spirit in his mouth, Ps. cxxxv:17.        Metaphors

(2.)   (1:57)  Life, or breathing: "And his spirit returned to him" 1 Sam. xxx:12;
        i.e. he breathed again.

(3.)   (1:58) Courage  and  strength:  "
Neither  did  there remain any more
        spirit in any man,
" Josh. ii:11;  "And the spirit entered into me, and

        made  me  stand  on  my  feet,"  Ezek. ii:2.  

(4.)   (1:59)  Virtue  and  fitness:  "Days  should  speak,  and  multitudes
          page 20   of  years  should  teach  wisdom;  but  there  is a spirit in
        man, "Job xxxii:8;  i.e.  wisdom  is  not  always found among old
        men  for  I  now  discover  that  it  depends  on  individual virtue
        and  capacity.  (1:59a)  So, "
A man in whom is the Spirit," Numbers

(5.)   (1:60)  Habit  of  mind:  "
Because  he  had  another spirit with him,"
        Numbers xiv: 24; i.e.  another  habit  of mind. "
Behold I will pour
        out My Spirit unto you," Prov. i:23.

(6.)   (1:61)  Will, purpose, desire, impulse: "Whither the spirit was to go,
        they  went,
"  Ezek. 1:12;  "That cover with a covering, but not of

        My  Spirit,"  Is. xxx:1;  "For  the  Lord hath poured out on you the
        spirit of deep sleep," Is. xxix:10; "Then was their spirit softened,"  
        Judges viii:3
{?};   "He  that ruleth his spirit, is better than he that
        taketh  a  city," Prov. xvi:32;   "He that hath no rule over his own
"   Prov. xxv:28;    "Your  spirit  as  fire  shall  devour  you,"
        Isaiah xxxiii:11.

(1:62)  From the meaning of disposition we get—

(1:62a)  Passions  and  faculties. A lofty spirit means pride,  a lowly
        spirit  humility,  an  evil  spirit  hatred  and melancholy.  
(1:62b)  So,
        too,  the  expressions  spirits  of  jealousy,  fornication,  wisdom,
        counsel,  bravery,  stand for a jealous, lascivious, wise, prudent,
        or  brave  mind (for we Hebrews use substantives in preference
        to adjectives), for these various qualities.

(8.)   (1:63)  The  mind  itself,  or  the life: "Yea, they have all one spirit,"
        Eccles. iii:19.   "
The  spirit  shall  return  to  God  Who  gave  it."

 ]Eccles. 12:7[

(9.)   (1:64)  The  quarters  of  the  world  (from  the  winds  which  blow
        thence),  or  even  the  side  of  anything  turned  towards a par-

        ticular quarter—Ezek. xxxvii:9; xlii:16, 17, 18, 19, &c.

(1:65)  I  have  already  alluded  to  the way in which
things are referred      Chain of Natural Events 
to G-D, and said to be of G-D.  

(1.)   (1:66)  As  belonging  to  His  Nature, and Being, as it were, part of        Spinozistic Scripture
        Him; e.g. the power of G-D, the eyes of G-D.
{to speak as a Hebrew}         Metaphors

(2.)   (1:67)  As  under  His  dominion,  and  depending  on His pleasure; 
        thus  the  heavens are called the heavens of the Lord, as being
        His  chariot  and  habitation.  (1:67a)  So Nebuchadnezzar is called
        the servant of G-D, Assyria the scourge of God, &c.
page 21
(3.)   (1:68) As  dedicated  to Him, e.g. the Temple of G-D,  a Nazarene
        of G-D, the Bread of G-D.

(4.)   (1:69)
 As  revealed  through  the  prophets  and  not  through  our
        natural  faculties.   (1:69a)  In  this  sense the Mosaic law  is called
        the law of G-D. 

(1:70)  As Being in the superlative degree. (70a) Very high mountains 
        are  styled  the mountains of  G-D, a very deep sleep, the sleep
        of  G-D,  &c.  (70b)   In  this  sense  we  must  explain  Amos  iv:11: 
        "I have overthrown you as the overthrow of the Lord came upon 
        Sodom and Gomorrah," i.e. that memorable overthrow, for since 
        G-D  Himself  is the Speaker, the passage cannot well be taken 
        otherwise.   (70c)  The wisdom of Solomon is called the wisdom of 
        God, or extraordinary.  (70d) The size of the cedars of Lebanon is 
        alluded to in the Psalmist's expression, "the cedars of the Lord."  

(1:71)  Similarly, if the Jews were at a loss to understand any phenome-

non, or were ignorant of its cause, they referred it to G-D.  (72) Thus a

storm  was  termed  the  chiding of G-D, thunder and lightning the ar-

rows  of  G-D,  for it was thought that G-D kept the winds confined in

caves,  His  treasuries;  thus differing merely in name from the Greek

wind-god  Eolus.   (1:73)  In  like  manner  miracles were called works of

G-D,  as being especially marvellous; though in reality, of course, all

natural  events  are  the  works  of G-D, and take place solely by His

power.   (1:74) The  Psalmist  calls  the  miracles  in Egypt the works of

G-D,  because  the  Hebrews  found  in  them  a way of safety which

they had not looked for, and therefore especially marvelled at.

(1:75)  As,  then,  unusual  natural phenomena are called works of G-D,

and trees of unusual size are called trees of God, we cannot wonder

that  very  strong  and  tall  men,  though impious robbers and whore
mongers, are in Genesis called sons of G-D.

(1:76) This reference of things wonderful to God was not peculiar to the

Jews.  (1:77)  Pharaoh,  on  hearing  the interpretation of his dream, ex-

claimed  that the mind of the gods was in Joseph.  (1:78) Nebuchadnez-

zar  told Daniel that he possessed the mind of the holy gods; so also

in  Latin  anything  well  made is often said to be wrought with Divine

hands,  which  is  equivalent to the Hebrew phrase, wrought with the

hand of God.

page 22

(1:80)  We can now very easily understand and explain those passages

of  Scripture  which speak of the Spirit of God.  (81) In some places the

expression  merely  means a very strong, dry, and deadly wind, as in

Isaiah xl:7,  "The  grass  withereth,  the  flower  fadeth,  because  the

Spirit  of  the  Lord  bloweth  upon  it.(1:82)  Similarly in Gen. i:2: "The

Spirit  of  the  Lord  moved  over the face of the waters." (1:83)  At other

times  it  is  used  as  equivalent  to  a high courage, thus the spirit of

Gideon  and of Samson is called the Spirit of the Lord, as being very

bold,  and  prepared  for  any emergency.  (1:84)   Any unusual virtue or

power is called the Spirit or Virtue of the Lord, Ex. xxxi:3: "I will fill him

(Bezaleel) with the Spirit of the Lord," i.e., as the Bible itself explains,

with talent above man's usual endowment.  (1:85)  So Isa. xi:2: "And the

Spirit  of  the Lord shall rest upon him," is explained afterwards in the

text  to mean the spirit of wisdom and understanding, of counsel and


(1:86) The melancholy of Saul is called the melancholy of the Lord, or a

very  deep  melancholy,  the  persons  who applied the term showing

that  they  understood by it nothing supernatural, in that they sent for

a musician to assuage it by harp-playing.
(1:87) Again, the "
Spirit of the

Lord"  is  used  as  equivalent  to  the mind of man, for instance, Job.

xxvii:3:  "And  the  Spirit of the Lord in my nostrils," the allusion being

to Gen. ii:7: "And God breathed into man's nostrils the breath of life."              Metaphors
{Eze 37:5}
(1:88)  Ezekiel  also, prophesying to the dead, says (xxvii:14), "And I will
give  to  you  My  Spirit, and ye shall live;" i.e. I will restore you to life.

(1:89) In Job xxxiv:14, we read: "If He gather unto Himself His Spirit and

breath; " in Gen. vi:3:  "My  Spirit shall not always strive with man, for

that  he  also  is flesh," i.e. since man acts on the dictates of his body,

{passiveness}, and not the spirit which I gave him to discern the good,
           heartStrong:3820 from 3824
I will let him alone.  (1:90) So, too, Ps. li:12: "Create in me a clean heart,

0 God, and renew a right spirit within me; cast me not away from Thy

presence,  and  take  not  Thy  Holy  Spirit from me.
(1:91)  It was sup-

posed that sin originated only from the body, and that good impulses

come  from  the  mind;  therefore the Psalmist invokes the aid of God

against  the  bodily appetites, but prays that the spirit which the Lord,

the Holy One, had given him might be renewed. (1:92) Again, inasmuch

as  the  Bible,  in  concession to  page 23  popular ignorance, describes

G-D  as  having  a  mind,  a  heart, emotions—nay, even a body and

breath—the expression Spirit of the Lord is used for God's mind, dis-

position, emotion, strength, or breath. (1:93) Thus, Isa. xl:13: "Who hath

disposed the Spirit of the Lord?" i.e. who, save Himself, hath caused

the  mind  of  the  Lord to will anything? and Isa. lxiii:10: "But they re-

belled, and vexed the Holy Spirit."

(1:94) The  phrase  comes  to  be  used of the law of Moses, which in a

sense  expounds  God's  will,  Is. lxiii. 11,  "Where  is  He that put His

Holy  Spirit  within him?" meaning, as we clearly gather from the con-

text,  the  law of Moses.  (1:95) Nehemiah, speaking of the giving of the

law,  says,  ix:20,  "Thou gavest also thy good Spirit to instruct them."

(1:96)  This  is referred to in Deut. iv:6, "This is your wisdom and under-

standing," and  in  Ps. cxliii:10,  "Thy good Spirit will lead me into the

land of uprightness.(1:97) The Spirit of the Lord may mean the breath

of  the  Lord, for breath, no less than a mind, a heart, and a body are

attributed  to  God in Scripture, as in Ps. xxxiii:6.  (1:98) Hence it gets to

mean  the  power,  strength, or faculty of God, as in Job xxxiii:4, "The

Spirit  of  the  Lord  made  me,"  i.e.  the  power,  or, if you prefer, the

decree  of the Lord.  (1:99) So the Psalmist in poetic language declares,

xxxiii:6, "By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, and all the

host  of  them  by  the breath of His mouth," i.e. by a mandate issued,

as  it  were,  in  one  breath.  (1:100)  Also Ps. cxxxix:7, "Wither shall I go 

from  Thy  Spirit,  or  whither  shall  I  flee  from  Thy  presence?"  i.e.              Metaphors

whither shall I go so as to be beyond Thy power and Thy presence?       Schechinah - Pantheism 

(1:101)  Lastly,  the  Spirit of the Lord is used in Scripture to express the

emotions  of  God,  e.g.  His  kindness  and mercy, Micah ii:7, "Is the

Spirit  ]i.e. his mercy[ of the Lord straitened? (1:102) Are these cruelties

His doings?"  (103) Zech. iv:6, "Not by might or by power, but My Spirit

]i.e. mercy[,  saith  the  Lord  of hosts.(1:104)  The  twelfth verse of the

seventh  chapter  of the same prophet must, I think, be interpreted in

like  manner: "Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest

they  should  hear  the  law,  and  the  words which the Lord of hosts

hath  sent  in  His  Spirit  ]i.e. His mercy[  by  the  former  prophets."

(1:105) So also  page 24  Haggai ii:5:  "So My Spirit remaineth among you:

fear  not."  

(1:106)    The  passage  in  Isaiah  xlviii:16,   "And  now  the  Lord  and

His  Spirit  hath  sent  me"  may  be  taken to  refer  to God's mercy

or  His  revealed law; for the prophet says, "From the beginning" (i.e.

from  the  time  when  I  first came to you, to preach God's anger and

His  sentence  forth against you) "I spoke not in secret; from the time

that  it  was,  there  am  I," and now I am sent by the mercy of God as

a joyful messenger to preach your restoration. (1:107) Or we may under-

stand  him  to  mean  by the revealed law that he had before come to

warn  them  by  the  command  of  the  law (Levit. xix:17) in the same

manner under the same conditions as Moses had warned them, that

now,  like  Moses,  he  ends  by preaching their restoration.  (1:108) But

the first explanation seems to me the best.

(1:109)  Returning,  then,  to  the  main object of our discussion, we find

that  the  Scriptural  phrases, "The  Spirit  of  the  Lord  was  upon  a

prophet,"  "The  Lord breathed His Spirit into men,"  "Men were filled

with  the  Spirit  of  God,  with  the Holy Spirit," &c., are quite clear to

us,  and  mean  that  prophets  were  endowed  with  a  peculiar and

extraordinary power,  and devoted themselves to piety with especial            See Note 3.

constancy;   that  thus  they  perceived   the  mind  or  the thought of

God,  for  we have shown that God's Spirit signifies in Hebrew God's

mind or thought, and that the law which shows His mind and thought

is  called His Spirit; hence that the imagination of the prophets, inas-

much  as  through  it were revealed the decrees of God, may equally

be   called  the  mind  of  God,  and  the  prophets  be  said  to  have

possessed  the  mind  of  God.  (1:109a)  On  our minds also the mind of

God  and  His  eternal  thoughts  are  impressed;  but  this being the

same   for  all  men  is  less  taken  into  account,  especially  by  the

Hebrews,  who  claimed  a  pre-eminence,  and  despised other men

and other men's knowledge.

Lastly,  the  prophets  were  said  to  possess  the Spirit of God

because  men  knew  not  the  cause of prophetic knowledge, and in

their  wonder  referred  it  with  other  marvels  directly  to  the  Deity,

styling it Divine knowledge.

(1:111)  We  need  no  longer  scruple to affirm that the prophets  page 25 

only  perceived  God's  revelation  by  the  aid of imagination, that is,
or intuition}
by words and figures either real or imaginary ^ .  (112) We find no other           Popkin:59

means  mentioned  in  Scripture,  and  therefore must not invent any.

(1:113)   As  to the particular law of Nature by which the communications

took  place,  I  confess  my  ignorance.  (1:114)  I  might,  indeed, say as

others  do,  that  they took place by the power of G-D; but this would

be mere trifling, and no better than explaining some unique specimen

by a  transcendental term.  (1:115)  Everything takes place by the power 

of G-D(116)  Nature herself is the power of G-D under another name,              Metaphor

and our ignorance of the power of G-D is co-extensive with our ignor-

ance  of  Nature.  (1:117)  It  is  absolute  folly,  therefore,  to  ascribe an

event  to  the  power  of  G-D  when  we  know  not its natural cause,

which is the power of G-D.

(1:118)  However,  we are not now inquiring into the causes of prophetic

knowledge.  (1:119)  We  are only attempting, as I have said, to examine

the Scriptural documents, and to draw our conclusions from them as

from  ultimate  natural  facts;  the  causes  of  the  documents  do not

concern us.

As  the  prophets perceived the revelations of God by the aid of

imagination,  they  could  indisputably  perceive much that is beyond

the  boundary  of the intellect, for many more ideas can be construct-

ed  from  words  and  figures than from the principles and notions on
which the whole fabric of reasoned knowledge is reared.

(1:121)  Thus  we  have  a  clue  to  the fact that the prophets perceived

nearly  everything  in  parables  and  allegories, and clothed spiritual

truths  in  bodily  forms,  for  such is the usual method of imagination.

(1:122)  We  need  no  longer  wonder  that  Scripture  and the prophets

speak  so  strangely  and obscurely of God's Spirit or Mind (cf. Num-

bers xi:17,  1 Kings xxii:21, &c.),  that  the  Lord  was  seen by Micah

as  sitting,  by Daniel as an old man clothed in white, by Ezekiel as a

fire,   that   the   Holy   Spirit   appeared  to  those  with  Christ  as  a

descending  dove,  to  the  apostles  as  fiery tongues, to Paul on his

conversion  as  a  great  light.  (1:123)  All these expressions are plainly

in harmony with the current ideas of God and spirits.

 Inasmuch as imagination is fleeting and inconstant, we find that

the  power of prophecy did not remain with a  page 26  prophet for long,

nor  manifest  itself  frequently,  but  was very rare; manifesting itself

only in a few men, and in them not often.

(1:125)  We must necessarily inquire how the prophets became assured

of  the  truth  of  what they perceived by imagination, and not by sure

mental  laws;  but our investigation must be confined to Scripture, for

the  subject  is  one  on  which we cannot acquire certain knowledge,

and  which  we cannot explain by the immediate causes.  (1:126) Script-

ure  teaching  about  the  assurance  of prophets  I will treat of in the

next chapter.

page 27

(2:1)  It  follows  from  the last chapter that, as I have said, the prophets
were endowed with unusually vivid imaginations, and not with unusu-

ally perfect minds. (2) This conclusion is amply sustained by Scripture,

for  we  are told that Solomon was the wisest of men, but had no spe-

cial  faculty  of  prophecy.  (2:3) Heman, Calcol, and Dara, though men

of  great talent, were not prophets, whereas uneducated countrymen,

nay,  even  women,  such as Hagar, Abraham's handmaid, were thus

gifted.  (2:4)  Nor  is  this  contrary  to  ordinary  experience and reason.

(2:5)  Men of great imaginative power are less fitted for abstract reason-

ing,  whereas those who excel in intellect and its use keep their imag-

ination  more restrained and controlled, holding it in subjection, so to

speak, lest it should usurp the place of reason.

(2:6)  Thus  to suppose that knowledge of natural and spiritual phenom-

ena  can  be  gained  from  the  prophetic  books,  is an utter mistake,

which  I  shall  endeavour  to  expose,  as I think philosophy, the age,

and the question itself demand.  (7) I care not for the girdings of super-

stition,  for  superstition  is the bitter enemy of all true knowledge and

true  morality.  (2:8)  Yes;  it has come to this!  (2:9) Men who openly con-

fess  that  they can form no idea of God, and only know Him through

created things, of which they know not the causes, can unblushingly
Bk.XIA:4076.      Bk.XIII:237221; Bk.XIX:25344, 45, & 46.
accuse philosophers of Atheism.

Treating  the  question  methodically, I will show that prophecies

varied,  not  only  according to the imagination and physical tempera-

ment  of  the  prophet,  but  also  according to his particular opinions;

and  further that prophecy never rendered the prophet wiser than he

was  before.  (2:11)  But  I  will first discuss the assurance of truth which

the  prophets  received,  for  this  is  akin to the subject-matter of the

chapter,  and  will  serve  to  elucidate  somewhat  our  present point.

page 28

Imagination  does  not, in its own nature, involve any certainty of

truth,  such as is implied in every clear and distinct idea, but requires
some  extrinsic  reason  to  assure  us  of  its objective reality: hence

prophecy  cannot afford certainty, and the prophets were assured of
Bk.XIA:9134; Bk.XIX:588.          
God's  revelation  by some sign, and  not by the fact of revelation, as
 ] Gen 15:8 [
we  may see from Abraham, who, when he had heard the promise of

God,  demanded  a  sign, not because he did not believe in God, but

because  he  wished to be sure that it was God Who made the prom-
 Jdg 6:17 [
ise.  (2:13)  The fact  is  still  more evident in the case of Gideon: "Show

me," he says  to  God,  "show  me  a  sign,  that  I may know that it is

Thou that talkest with me.(14)  God also says to Moses: "And let this

be  a sign that I have sent thee.(2:14a)  Hezekiah, though he had long

known  Isaiah to be a prophet, none the less demanded a sign of the

cure which he predicted. (2:15) It is thus quite evident that the prophets

always  received  some  sign to certify them of their prophetic imagin-
 last verse [
ings;  and  for  this  reason  Moses bids the Jews (Deut. xviii.) ask of

the  prophets  a  sign,  namely,  the prediction of some coming event.

(2:16)  In  this  respect,  prophetic knowledge is inferior to natural know-

ledge, which needs no sign, and in itself implies certitude.  (2:17)  More-

over,   Scripture  warrants  the  statement  that  the  certitude  of  the

prophets was not mathematical, but moral.  (2:18) Moses lays down the

punishment  of  death for the prophet who preaches new gods, even

though  he  confirm  his  doctrine  by  signs and wonders (Deut. xiii.);

"For,"  he says, "the  Lord  also worketh signs and wonders to try His

people.(2:19)  And Jesus Christ warns His disciples of the same thing

(Matt. xxiv:24).  
(2:20)  Furthermore,  Ezekiel (xiv:9)  plainly  states  that
] 1Ki 22:23ff [
God  sometimes  deceives  men  with  false revelations; and Micaiah

bears like witness in the case of the prophets of Ahab.

(2:21)  Although  these  instances  go to prove that revelation is open to

doubt,  it  nevertheless  contains,  as  we  have  said, a considerable

element  of certainty, for God never deceives the good, nor His chos-

en,  but  (according to the ancient proverb, and as appears in the his-

tory  of  Abigail  and  her speech), God uses the good as instruments

of   goodness,   and   the  wicked  as  means  to  execute  His  wrath.

(2:22)  This  may  be  seen  from the case of Micaiah above quoted; for

although   page 29   God   had  determined  to  deceive  Ahab,  through

prophets,  He  made  use  of  lying prophets; to the good prophet He

revealed the truth, and did not forbid his proclaiming it.

(2:23)  Still  the  certitude  of prophecy  remains,  as I have said, merely

moral;  for  no  one  can justify himself before God, nor boast that he

is  an  instrument  for  God's  goodness.  (2:24)  Scripture itself teaches

and  shows  that  God led away David to number the people, though

it bears ample witness to David's piety.

(2:25) The  whole  question  of  the certitude of prophecy was based on

these three considerations:

    1.  That  the  things revealed were imagined very vividly, affecting
         the prophets in the same  way as things seen when awake;

     2. The presence of a sign;  

     3.  Lastly  and  chiefly,  that  the  mind  of  the  prophet was given
          wholly to what was right and  good.

(2:26)  Although  Scripture does not always make mention of a sign, we

must  nevertheless  suppose that a sign was always vouchsafed; for

Scripture  does  not  always relate every condition and circumstance

(as   many   have   remarked),   but  rather  takes  them  for  granted.

(2:27)  We  may,  however,  admit  that  no  sign  was needed when the

prophecy  declared  nothing  that  was  not  already  contained in the

law  of  Moses,   because  it  was  confirmed  by  that  law.    (2:28)  For

instance,  Jeremiah's  prophecy, of the destruction of Jerusalem was

confirmed  by the prophecies of other prophets, and by the threats in

the  law,  and,  therefore, it needed no sign; whereas Hananiah, who,

contrary  to  all  the  prophets,  foretold  the speedy restoration of the

state,  stood  in need of a sign, or he would have been in doubt as to
Jer 28:9[
the  truth  of  his prophecy, until it was confirmed by facts.   (2:29)  "The
prophet  which  prophesieth  of peace, when the word of the prophet

shall  come  to  pass,  then  shall the prophet be known that the Lord

hath truly sent him."

(2:30)  As,  then,  the  certitude afforded to the prophet by signs was not

mathematical  (i.e.  did  not necessarily follow  from the perception of

the  thing  perceived  or seen), but only moral, and as the signs were

only  given  to  convince  the  prophet, it follows that such signs were

given  according  to  the  opinions  and  capacity of each prophet, so

that  a  sign  which  would  page 30  convince one prophet would fall far

short  of  convincing another who was imbued with different opinions.

(2:31)  Therefore  the  signs  varied  according to the individual prophet.

(2:32)  So  also did the revelation vary, as we have stated, according to

individual  disposition  and  temperament,  and according to the opin-

ions previously held.

(2:33)  It  varied  according  to  disposition,  in this way: if a prophet was

cheerful,  victories,  peace,  and  events  which make men glad, were

revealed  to  him; in that he was naturally more likely to imagine such

things.  (2:34)  If,  on the contrary, he was melancholy, wars, massacres,

and  calamities  were  revealed;  and so, according as a prophet was

merciful, gentle, quick to anger, or severe, he was more fitted for one

kind of revelation than another.  (2:35)  It varied according to the temper

of  imagination  in  this  way: if a prophet was cultivated he perceived

the mind of God in a cultivated way, if he was confused he perceived

it  confusedly.  (2:36)  And so with revelations perceived through visions.

(2:37) If a prophet was a countryman he saw visions of oxen, cows, and

the like; if he was a soldier, he saw generals and armies; if a courtier,
a royal throne, and so on.

(2:38)  Lastly,  prophecy  varied  according  to  the  opinions held by the

prophets;  for  instance,  to  the  Magi,  who  believed in the follies of

astrology,  the  birth  of  Christ  was  revealed through the vision of a

star  in  the  East.  (39)  To the augurs of Nebuchadnezzar the destruc-

tion  of  Jerusalem  was  revealed through entrails, whereas the king

himself  inferred  it from oracles and the direction of arrows which he

shot  into  the  air.  (2:40) To prophets who believed that man acts from

free  choice  and  by  his  own power, God was revealed as standing

apart from and ignorant of future human actions.  (2:41)  All of which we
will illustrate from Scripture.

(2:42)  The first point is proved from the case of Elisha, who, in order to

prophecy  to Jehoram, asked for a harp, and was unable to perceive

the  Divine  purpose  till  he  had  been  recreated  by its music; then,

indeed,  he  prophesied  to  Jehoram  and  to  his  allies  glad tidings,

which  previously  he  had  been  unable to attain to because he was

angry with the king,  and these who are angry with anyone can imag-

ine  evil  of  him, but  not  good.  (2:43)  The  theory  that  God does not

reveal  Himself  to  the  angry  or the sad, is a mere dream:  page 31  for

God  revealed  to  Moses  while  angry,  the  terrible  slaughter of the

firstborn,  and  did  so without the intervention of a harp. (2:44) To Cain

in  his  rage,  God was revealed, and to Ezekiel, impatient with anger,

was   revealed   the   contumacy   and   wretchedness   of  the  Jews.

(2:45)  Jeremiah,  miserable  and weary of life, prophesied the disasters

of  the  Hebrews,  so  that Josiah would not consult him, but inquired

of  a  woman,  inasmuch as it was more in accordance with womanly

nature  that  God  should reveal His mercy thereto.  (2:45a) So, Micaiah

never  prophesied  good  to  Ahab,  though  other  true prophets had

done  so,  but  invariably evil.  (2:46) Thus we see that individual proph-

ets  were  by  temperament more fitted for one sort of revelation than


(2:47) The style of the prophecy also varied according to the eloquence

of  the  individual  prophet.  (48)  The  prophecies  of Ezekiel and Amos

are  not  written  in  a cultivated style like those of Isaiah and Nahum,

but more rudely.  (2:49)  Any Hebrew scholar who wishes to inquire into

this  point  more  closely,   and  compares  chapters  of  the  different

prophets  treating  of  the same subject, will find great dissimilarity of

style.  (2:50)  Compare, for instance, chap. i. of the courtly Isaiah, verse

11 to verse 20,  with chap. v. of the countryman Amos, verses 21-24.

(2:51)  Compare  also  the order  and  reasoning  of  the  prophecies of

Jeremiah, written in Idumæa (chap. xlix.), with the order and reason-

ing  of  Obadiah.   (2:52)  Compare, lastly, Isa. xl:19, 20, and xliv:8, with

Hosea viii:6, and xiii:2.  And so on.

(2:53)  A  due  consideration  of these passage will clearly show us that

God  has  no  particular style in speaking, but, according to the learn-

ing  and  capacity  of  the prophet, is cultivated, compressed, severe,

untutored, prolix, or obscure.

(2:54)  There  was,  moreover,  a  certain  variation in the visions vouch-

safed  to  the  prophets, and in the symbols by which they expressed

them,  for Isaiah saw the glory of the Lord departing from the Temple

in  a  different  form  from that presented to Ezekiel.  (2:55)  The Rabbis,

indeed,  maintain  that  both visions  were  really  the  same, but that

Ezekiel,  being  a  countryman,  was above measure impressed by it,

and  therefore  set  it  forth  in  full  detail;  but unless there is a trust-

worthy  tradition  on the subject, which I do not for a moment believe,

this  theory  is  plainly  an invention. Isaiah  page 32  saw seraphim with

six  wings,  Ezekiel  beasts  with  four wings; Isaiah saw God clothed

and  sitting  on  a  royal  throne, Ezekiel saw Him in the likeness of a

fire;  each  doubtless  saw  God  under  the form in which he usually

imagined Him.

(2:56)  Further,  the  visions varied in clearness as well as in details; for

the  revelations  of  Zechariah were too obscure to be understood by

the  prophet  without  explanation,  as  appears  from his narration of

them;  the  visions  of  Daniel  could  not  be understood by him even

after  they  had  been explained, and this obscurity did not arise from

the  difficulty  of  the matter revealed (for being merely human affairs,

these  only  transcended  human capacity in being future), but solely

in the fact that Daniel's imagination was not so capable for prophecy

while  he  was  awake  as  while  he  was  asleep;  and this is further

evident  from  the fact that at the very beginning of the vision he was

so  terrified  that  he  almost  despaired of his strength.  (2:57) Thus, on

account  of  the  inadequacy  of his imagination and his strength, the

things revealed were so obscure to him that he could not understand

them  even  after  they  had  been  explained.  (2:58) Here we may note

that  the   words  heard  by  Daniel,  were, as we have shown above,

simply  imaginary,  so  that it is hardly wonderful that in his frightened

state  he imagined them so confusedly and obscurely that afterwards

he could make nothing of them.  (2:59) Those who say that God did not

wish  to make a clear revelation, do not seem to have read the words

of  the  angel,  who expressly says that he came to make the prophet

understand   what   should   befall   his   people   in   the  latter  days

(Dan. x:14).

(2:60)  The  revelation  remained  obscure  because  no  one was found,

at  that  time,  with  imagination sufficiently strong to conceive it more

clearly.  (2:61)  Lastly,  the  prophets, to whom it was revealed that God

would take away Elijah, wished to persuade Elisha that he had been

taken  somewhere  where  they  would  find him; showing sufficiently

clearly that they had not understood God's revelation aright.

(2:62) There  is  no need to set this out more amply, for nothing is more

plain  in  the  Bible  than  that  God  endowed some prophets with far

greater  gifts  of  prophecy  than  others.   page 33   (2:63)  But I will show in

greater  detail  and  length,  for  I  consider  the  point more important,

that   the  prophecies  varied  according  to  the  opinions  previously

embraced  by  the  prophets,  and that the prophets held diverse and
even contrary opinions and prejudices (64)  (I speak, be it understood,

solely  of  matters speculative, for in regard to uprightness and moral-

ity  the  case  is  widely  different.)  (2:65)  From thence I shall conclude

that  prophecy  never  rendered  the  prophets  more learned, but left
them  with their former opinions, and that we are, therefore, not at all
bound to trust them in matters of intellect.

(2:66) Everyone has been strangely hasty in affirming that the prophets

knew  everything  within  the scope of human intellect; and, although

certain  passages  of  Scripture  plainly affirm that the prophets were

in  certain  respects  ignorant,  such  persons  would  rather  say that

they do not understand the passages than admit that there was any-

thing  which  the  prophets did not know; or else they try to wrest the
Scriptural words away from their evident meaning.

(2:67)  If  either  of  these proceedings is allowable we may as well shut

our  Bibles,  for  vainly  shall we attempt to prove anything from them

if   their  plainest  passages  may  be  classed  among  obscure  and

impenetrable  mysteries,  or if we may put any interpretation on them

which  we fancy.  
For instance, nothing is more clear in the Bible
Bk.XIA:6023Joshua(10:12-14); Bk.XX:27385. 
than  that Joshua, and perhaps also the author who wrote his history,

thought  that  the  sun revolves round the earth, and that the earth is

fixed,  and  further  that  the  sun  for  a  certain  period remained still.

(2:69)  Many,  who  will not admit any movement in the heavenly bodies,

explain away the passage till it seems to mean something quite differ-

ent;  others,  who  have  learned  to philosophize more correctly, and

understand  that  the earth moves while the sun is still, or at any rate

does  not revolve round the earth, try with all their might to wrest this

meaning from Scripture, though plainly nothing of the sort is intended.

(2:70)  Such quibblers excite my wonder!  (71)  Are we, forsooth, bound to
believe  that Joshua the Soldier was a learned astronomer? or that a

miracle  could  not  be  revealed  to  him,  or  that  the light of the sun

could  not  remain  longer  than  usual above the horizon, without his

knowing  the  cause?  (2:72) To me both alternatives appear ridiculous,

and   page 34  therefore  I would rather say that Joshua was ignorant of

the  true  cause  of  the  lengthened  day,  and that he and the whole

host with him thought that the sun moved round the earth every day,

and that on that particular occasion it stood still for a time, thus caus-

ing the light to remain longer; and I would say, that they did not con-
jecture  that,  from  the  amount  of  snow  in  the air (see Josh. x:11),

the  refraction  may  have been greater than usual, or that there may

have  been  some  other  cause  which  we  will  not now inquire into.

(2:73)  So  also  the  sign  of  the  shadow  going  back  was revealed to

Isaiah  according  to his understanding; that is, as proceeding from a

going  backwards  of the sun; for he, too, thought that the sun moves

and   that   the  earth  is  still;   of  parhelia  he  perhaps  never  even

dreamed.  (2:74)  We  may arrive at this conclusion without any scruple,

for  the  sign could really have come to pass, and have been predict-

ed  by Isaiah to the king, without the prophet being aware of the real


(2:75)  With  regard  to  the building of the Temple by Solomon, if it was

really  dictate  by  God  we  must maintain the same doctrine: namely,

that  all  the  measurements were revealed according to the opinions

and  understanding  of  the  king;  for as we are not bound to believe

that  Solomon  was  a  mathematician,  we  may  affirm  that  he  was

ignorant  of  the  true  ratio  between  the  circumference and the dia-

meter of a circle, and that, like the generality of workmen, he thought

that  it  was  as three to one.  (2:76)  But if it is allowable to declare that

we  do  not understand the passage, in good sooth I know nothing in

the Bible that we can understand; for the process of building is there

narrated  simply  and  as  a mere matter of history.  (2:77)  If, again, it is

permitted  to  pretend  that  the  passage  has another meaning, and

was  written  as it is from some reason unknown to us, this is no less

than  a  complete  subversal  of  the  Bible; for every absurd and evil

invention of human perversity could thus, without detriment to Script-

ural  authority,  be  defended  and fostered.  (2:78) Our conclusion is in

no  wise  impious,  for  though  Solomon,  Isaiah,  Joshua,  &c.  were

prophets,  they  were  none  the  less  men,  and as such not exempt

from human shortcomings.

According  to  the understanding of Noah it was revealed  page 35 

to  him  that  God  was  about  to  destroy the whole human race, for

Noah  thought  that  beyond  the  limits  of  Palestine  the world was

not inhabited.

(2:80)  Not only in matters of this kind,  but in others more important, the

prophets could be, and in fact were, ignorant; for they taught nothing

special  about  the  Divine  attributes,  but held quite ordinary notions
about God,  and  to  these notions their revelations were adapted, as

I  will  demonstrate  by ample Scriptural testimony; from all which one

may easily see that they were praised and commended, not so much

for  the  sublimity and eminence of their intellect as for their piety and
constancy of heart—Bk.XIA:9458.

(2:81)   Adam,  the  first  man  to whom God was revealed, did not know
Bk.XIX:5119; 564.
that  He  is  omnipotent  and  omniscient; for he hid himself from Him,

and  attempted  to  make excuses for his fault before God, as though

he had  had  to  do  with  a  man;   therefore  to  him  also  was  God

revealed  according to his understanding—that is, as being unaware

of  his  situation  or  his  sin,  for Adam heard, or seemed to hear, the

Lord  walking,  in  the  garden,  calling  him and asking him where he

was;  and  then, on seeing his shamefacedness, asking him whether

he  had  eaten  of  the forbidden fruit.  (2:82) Adam evidently only knew            Garden of Eden

the  Deity  as  the  Creator  of  all  things.  (82a) To Cain also God was

revealed,  according  to  his  understanding,  as  ignorant  of  human

affairs,   nor   was   a  higher  conception  of  the  Deity  required  for

repentance of his sin.

(2:83) To  Laban  the  Lord  revealed  Himself  as  the  God of Abraham,

because Laban believed that each nation had its own special divinity

(see  Gen. xxxi:29).  (2:84)  Abraham  also  knew  not  that  God is omni-

present,  and  has foreknowledge of all things; for when he heard the

sentence  against  the inhabitants of Sodom, he prayed that the Lord

should not execute it till He had ascertained whether they all merited

such  punishment;   for  he  said  (see  Gen. xviii:24),  "Peradventure

there  be  fifty  righteous  within the city," and in accordance with this

belief  God  was  revealed  to  him;  as Abraham imagined, He spake
Gen. xviii:21 }
thus: " I  will  go  down  now,  and  see  whether they have done alto-

gether  according  to  the  cry of it which is come unto Me; and, if not,

I  will  know."  (2:85)  Further, the Divine testimony concerning Abraham

asserts  nothing  but that he was obedient, and that he "commanded

 page 36   his  household  after him that they should keep the way of the

Lord"  (Gen. xviii:19);  it  does not  state that he held sublime concep-

tions of the Deity.

(2:86)  Moses,  also,  was  not  sufficiently aware that God is omniscient,

and  directs  human  actions  by  His  sole  decree,  for although God
Exo 3:18 [
Himself  says  that  the  Israelites  should hearken to Him, Moses still
Exo 4:1 [
considered  the  matter  doubtful  and  repeated,   "But if they will not

believe me, nor hearken unto my voice.(2:87)  To  him  in like manner

God  was  revealed  as  taking  no  part  in, and as being ignorant of,
Exo 4:8 [
future  human  actions: the Lord gave him two signs and said, "And it

shall  come  to pass that if they will not believe thee, neither hearken

to  the  voice  of  the  first  sign, that they will believe the voice of the

latter  sign;  but  if  not,  thou  shalt take of the water of the river," &c.

(2:88)  Indeed,  if  any  one  considers  without  prejudice  the  recorded

opinions  of  Moses,  he  will  plainly  see  that  Moses conceived the

Deity  as  a  Being  Who  has always existed, does exist, and always

will   exist,    and   for   this   cause   he   calls   Him   by   the   Name
Bk.XIV:1:144, 145.                                                             I was, I am, I will be }
J---VAH,  which  in Hebrew signifies these three phases of existence:

as  to  His  Nature,  Moses  only  taught  that He is merciful, gracious,

and   exceeding  jealous,  as  appears  from  many  passages  in  the

Pentateuch.  (2:89)  Lastly,  he  believed and taught that this Being was

so  different from all other beings, that He could not be expressed by

the  image  of  any visible  thing;  also,  that  He  could not be looked

upon,  and  that  not  so  much  from  inherent  impossibility  as  from

human  infirmity; further, that by reason of His power He was without

equal  and  unique.   (2:90)  Moses  admitted,  indeed,  that  there  were

beings  (doubtless  by the plan and command of the Lord) who acted

as  God's  vicegerents—that  is,  beings  to whom God had given the

right,  authority, and power to direct nations, and to provide and care

for  them;  but  he  taught  that  this Being Whom they were bound to

obey  was  the  highest  and  Supreme  God,  or  (to use the Hebrew

phrase) God of gods, and thus in the song (Exod. xv:11) he exclaims,

"Who  is  like  unto Thee, 0 Lord, among the gods?" and Jethro says

(Exod. xviii:11),  "Now  I  know  that the Lord is greater than all gods."

(2:91)  That  is  to  say, "I am at length compelled to admit to Moses that

J-----H  is  greater  than  all  gods,  and  that His power is unrivalled."

(2:92)  We  must   page 37  remain  in  doubt  whether  Moses thought that

these  beings  who acted as God's vicegerents were created by Him,

for  he  has  stated  nothing, so  far  as we know, about heir creation

and  origin.  (2:93)  He  further  taught  that  this  Being had brought the

visible   world  into  order  from  Chaos,  and  had  given  Nature  her

germs {sic},  and  therefore  that  He  possesses  supreme  right  and

power  over  all  things;  further,  that by reason of this supreme right

and  power  He had chosen for Himself alone the Hebrew nation and

a  certain  strip  of territory, and had handed over to the care of other

gods  substituted  by  Himself  the  rest  of the nations and territories,

and  that  therefore  He  was called the God of Israel and the God of

Jerusalem,  whereas  the  other  gods  were  called  the  gods of  the

Gentiles.  (2:94)  For  this  reason  the  Jews  believed  that  the strip of

territory  which  God  had  chosen  for  Himself,  demanded  a Divine

worship  quite  apart  and  different  from the worship which obtained

elsewhere,  and  that  the  Lord would not suffer the worship of other

gods  adapted  to  other  countries.   (2:95)  Thus  they thought that the

people  whom  the  king  of  Assyria  had  brought  into  Judæa were

torn  in  pieces  by  lions  because  they  knew not the worship of the

National Divinity (2 Kings xvii:25).

See Shirley's footnote[
(2:96)  Jacob,  according to Aben Ezra's opinion, therefore admonished

his  sons  when he wished them to seek out a new country, that they

should  prepare  themselves  for  a  new  worship,  and lay aside the

worship of strange, gods—that is, of the gods of the land where they

were (Gen. xxxv:2, 3).

(2:97)  David,  in  telling Saul that he was compelled by the king's perse-

cution  to  live  away  from  his  country,  said  that he was driven out

from  the  heritage  of  the  Lord,   and  sent  to  worship  other  gods

(1 Sam. xxvi:19).  (2:98) Lastly, he believed that this Being or Deity had

His   habitation   in  the  heavens  (Deut. xxxiii:27),   an  opinion  very

common among the Gentiles.

If  we  now  examine  the revelations to Moses, we shall find that

they  were  accommodated to these opinions; as he believed that the

Divine Nature  was  subject to the conditions of mercy, graciousness,

&c.,  so  God  was  revealed  to  him in accordance with his idea and

under  these  attributes  (see Exodus xxxiv:6, 7, and the second com-
Deu 5:7 - Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.}
mandment).   (2:100)    Further  it  is  related  (Ex. xxxiii:18)   that   Moses

asked of God that he might behold Him, but as Moses (as  page 38   we

have  said)  had formed no mental image of God, and God (as I have

shown) only revealed Himself to the prophets in accordance with the

disposition of their imagination, He did not reveal Himself in any form.

(2:101)  This,  I  repeat,  was  because the imagination of Moses was un-

suitable,  for  other  prophets bear witness that they saw the Lord; for

instance,  Isaiah,  Ezekiel,  Daniel,  &c.  (2:102)  For this reason God an-
Exo. 33:20
swered  Moses,  "Thou  canst  not  see  My  face; " and inasmuch as

Moses  believed  that  God can be looked upon—that is, that no con-

tradiction  of  the  Divine  nature  is therein involved (for otherwise he

would  never  have  preferred  his  request)—it is added, "For no one

shall  look  on  Me and live," thus giving a reason in accordance with

Moses'  idea,  for  it  is  not  stated  that  a contradiction of the Divine

nature  would  be  involved, as was really the case, but that the thing

would not come to pass because of human infirmity.

(2:103)  When  God  would  reveal to Moses that the Israelites, because

they  worshipped  the  calf,  were  to be placed in the same category
as  other  nations,  He  said  (ch. xxxiii:2, 3),  that  He  would send an

angel  (that  is,  a  being  who  should  have  charge  of the Israelites,

instead  of the Supreme Being), and that He Himself would no longer

remain  among  them;  thus  leaving  Moses no ground for supposing

that  the  Israelites were more beloved by God than the other nations

whose  guardianship  He  had  entrusted  to  other  beings  or angels

(vide verse 16).

(2:104)  Lastly,  as  Moses believed that God dwelt in the heavens, God

was  revealed  to him as coming down from heaven on to a mountain,

and in order to talk with the Lord Moses went up the mountain, which

he  certainly  need not have done if he could have conceived of God

as omnipresent.

 The  Israelites knew scarcely anything of God, although He was

revealed  to  them;  and this is abundantly evident from their transfer-

ring,  a few days afterwards, the honour and worship due to Him to a

calf,  which they believed to be the god who had brought them out of

(2:106)  In  truth,  it  is  hardly  likely that men accustomed to the

superstitions  of  Egypt, uncultivated and sunk in most abject slavery,

should  have  held any sound notions about the  page 39   Deity, or that

Moses  should  have  taught  them  anything  beyond  a  rule  of right

living;  inculcating  it  not  like a philosopher, as the result of freedom,

but  like  a  lawgiver  compelling  them  to be moral by legal authority.

(2:107)  Thus  the  rule  of  right living, the worship and love of God, was

to  them  rather  a bondage than the true liberty, the gift and grace of
the   Deity.   (2:108)   Moses   bid   them   love  God  and  keep  His  law,

because  they  had  in  the  past received benefits from Him (such as

the  deliverance  from  slavery  in  Egypt),  and  further terrified them

with  threats  if  they  transgressed His commands, holding out many

promises  of  good  if  they  should observe them; thus treating them
as  parents  treat irrational children.  (2:108a) It is, therefore, certain that

they  knew  not  the  excellence  of  virtue  and  the  true  happiness.

(2:109)  J
onah  thought  that he was fleeing from the sight of God, which

seems  to  show  that he too held that God had entrusted the care of

the  nations outside Judæa to other substituted powers.  (2:110) No one

in  the  whole  of  the  {Hebrew Bible} speaks  more rationally of God

than  Solomon,  who  in  fact  surpassed  all  the  men  of  his time in
natural ability. (2:111) Yet he considered himself above the law (esteem-

ing  it  only  to have been given for men without reasonable and intel-

lectual  grounds  for  their  actions), and  made  small  account of the

laws  concerning  kings,  which  are mainly three: nay, he openly vio-

lated  them (in this he did wrong, and acted in a manner unworthy of

a  philosopher,  by indulging in sensual pleasure), and taught that all

Fortune's  favours  to  mankind  are  vanity,   that  humanity  has  no

nobler   gift  than  wisdom,   and  no  greater  punishment  than  folly.

(2:112)  See  Proverbs xvi:22, 23.

But  let  us return to the prophets whose conflicting opinions we

have undertaken to note.

(2:114)  The  expressed  ideas of Ezekiel seemed so diverse from those

of  Moses to the Rabbis who have left us the extant prophetic books
See Shirley's footnote[
(as is told in the treatise of Sabbathus, i:13, 2), that they had serious

thoughts  of omitting his prophecy from the canon, and would doubt-

less  have thus excluded it if a certain Hananiah had not undertaken

to  explain  it;  a  task  which (as is there narrated) he with great zeal

and  labour  accomplished.  (2:115)  How he did so does not sufficiently

appear,  whether  it  was  by writing a commentary  page 40   which has

now  perished,  or  by altering Ezekiel's words and audaciously strik-

ing  out  phrases  according  to his fancy.  (2:116) However this may be,
{Eze ?}
chapter xviii.  certainly  does  not  seem to agree with Exodus xxxiv:7,

Jeremiah xxxii:18, &c.

(2:117)  Samuel  believed  that  the Lord never repented of anything He

had  decreed  (1 Sam. xv:29),  for  when  Saul  was  sorry for his sin,

and  wished  to  worship  God  and ask for forgiveness, Samuel said

that the Lord would not go back from his decree.

(2:118)  To  Jeremiah, on  the  other  hand,  it was revealed that, "
If that

nation  against  whom  I  (the Lord) have pronounced, turn from their

evil,  I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them.  (119) If it do

evil  in  my  sight,  that  it  obey not my voice, then I will repent of the

good wherewith I said I would benefit them" (Jer. xviii:8-10).  (120) Joel

(ii:13)  taught  that the Lord repented Him only of evil. 
(2:121)  Lastly, it

is  clear  from Gen iv: 7 that a man can overcome the temptations of

sin,  and  act  righteously; for this doctrine is told to Cain, though, as
See Shirley's footnote[
we  learn  from  Josephus  and  the Scriptures, he never did so over-

come  them.  (2:122)   And  this agrees with the chapter of Jeremiah just

cited,  for it is there said that the Lord repents of the good or the evil

pronounced,  if  the  men in question change their ways and manner

of life.  (123)  But,  on  the  other  hand,  Paul  (Rom. ix:10)  teaches as

plainly  as possible that men have no control over the temptations of

the  flesh  save  by the special vocation and grace of God.  (2:124) And

when  (Rom. iii:5 and vi:19)  he  attributes  righteousness to man, he

corrects himself as speaking merely humanly and through the infirm-

ity of the flesh.

(2:125)  We have now more than sufficiently proved our point, that God

adapted revelations to the understanding and opinions of the proph-

ets, and that in matters of theory without bearing on charity or moral-

ity  the prophets could be, and, in fact, were, ignorant, and held con-

flicting  opinions.  (2:126)  It therefore follows that we must by no means

go  to  the  prophets  for  knowledge,  either  of natural or of spiritual


(2:127) We have determined, then, that we are only bound to believe in

the prophetic writings, the object and substance   page 41  of the revel-

ation; with regard to the details, every one may believe or not, as he


(2:128)  For  instance,  the  revelation to Cain only teaches us that God

admonished him to lead the true life, for such alone is the object and

substance  of  the  revelation,  not doctrines concerning free will and

philosophy.  (2:129)   Hence,  though  the  freedom  of  the will is clearly

implied  in  the  words  of  the  admonition, we are at liberty to hold a

contrary  opinion,  since the words and reasons were adapted to the

understanding of Cain.

So, too, the revelation to Micaiah would only teach that God re-

vealed  to  him  the true issue of the battle between Ahab and Aram;

and  this  is  all  we are bound to believe.  (130a) Whatever else is con-

tained  in  the  revelation  concerning  the true and the false Spirit of

God,  the  army of heaven standing on the right hand and on the left,

and  all  the  other  details,  does not affect us at all.   (2:131)  Everyone

may believe as much of it as his reason allows.

(2:132)  The  reasonings  by which the Lord displayed His power to Job

(if  they  really were a revelation, and the author of the history is nar-

rating,  and  not  merely,  as some suppose, rhetorically adorning his

own  conceptions),  would  come  under  the same category—that is,

they  were  adapted  to Job's understanding, for the purpose of con-

vincing  him,  and  are not universal, or for the convincing of all men.

(2:133)  We  can  come  to  no  different  conclusion  with respect to the
                                                                             ] See Shirley's footnote [
reasonings  of  Christ, by which He convicted the Pharisees of pride

and  ignorance,  and  exhorted  His  disciples  to  lead  the  true  life.

(2:134)   He   adapted   them   to  each  man's  opinions  and  principles.

(2:135) For instance, when He said to the Pharisees (Matt. xii:26), "And

if  Satan cast out devils, his house is divided against itself, how then

shall  his  kingdom  stand?"   (2:136)   He  only  wished  to  convince the

Pharisees  according,  to their own principles, not to teach that there

are devils, or any kingdom of devils. (137) So, too, when He said to His

disciples  (Matt. xviii:10),  "See that ye despise not one of these little

ones,  for  I  say unto you that their angels," &c.  (2:137a)  He merely de-

sired  to  warn  them against pride and despising any of their fellows,

not  to  insist  on the actual reason given, which was simply adopted

in order to persuade them more easily.

page 42

Lastly,  we  should  say exactly the same of the apostolic signs

and  reasonings,  but  there  is no need to go further into the subject.

(2:139)  If  I  were to enumerate all the passages of Scripture addressed

only to individuals, or to a particular man's understanding, and which

cannot,  without  great  danger to philosophy, be defended as Divine

doctrines,  I  should  go far beyond the brevity at which I aim.  (140) Let

it  suffice,  then,  to  have indicated a few instances of general appli-

cation,   and   let   the   curious  reader  consider  others  by  himself.

(2:141)  Although  the  points  we  have just raised concerning prophets

and  prophecy  are  the  only ones which have any direct bearing on

the  end  in  view,  namely, the separation of Philosophy from Theol-

ogy,  still,  as  I  have  touched  on  the general question, I may here

inquire  whether  the  gift  of  prophecy was peculiar to the Hebrews,

or whether it was common to all nations.  (2:142)  I must then come to a

conclusion about the vocation of the Hebrews, all of which I shall do

in the ensuing chapter.

page 43

(3:1) Every  man's  true  happiness  and  blessedness  consist solely in

the  enjoyment  of  what  is good, not in the pride that he alone is en-

joying  it,  to  the  exclusion  of others.  (3:2)  He who thinks himself the

more  blessed  because he is enjoying benefits which others are not,

or  because he is more blessed or more fortunate than his fellows, is

ignorant  of  true  happiness  and blessedness, and the joy which he

feels  is  either  childish  or  envious  and malicious.  (3:3) For instance,

a  man's true happiness, { better, PcM },  consists only in wisdom,  and

the knowledge  of the truth, not at all in the fact that he is wiser than

others,  or  that others lack such knowledge: such considerations do

not increase his wisdom or true happiness.

Whoever,  therefore,  rejoices  for  such  reasons,  rejoices in an-

other's misfortune, and is, so far, malicious and bad, knowing neither

true happiness nor the peace of the true life.

(3:5) When  Scripture, therefore, in exhorting the Hebrews to obey the

law,  says  that  the  Lord  has chosen them for Himself before other

nations (Deut. x:15); that He is near them, but not near others (Deut.

iv:7);  that  to  them  alone  He  has  given just laws (Deut. iv:8); and,

lastly,  that  He  has  marked  them out before others (Deut. iv:32); it
speaks  only  according to the understanding of its hearers, who, as

we  have  shown  in  the  last  chapter,  and  as  Moses also testifies

(Deut. ix:6, 7),  knew  not  true  blessedness(3:6)  For  in  good sooth

they  would  have  been  no  less  blessed  if God had called all men

equally  to salvation, nor would God have been less present to them

for  being  equally  present to others; their laws, would have been no

less  just  if  they  had  been  ordained  for  all,  and they themselves

would have been no less wise.   (3:7) The miracles would have shown

page 44  God's  power  no less by being wrought for other nations also;

lastly, the Hebrews would have been just as much bound to worship

G-D if He had bestowed all these gifts equally on all men.

When  God  tells Solomon (1 Kings iii:12) that no one shall be as

wise as he in time to come, it seems to be only a manner of express-

ing surpassing wisdom; it is little to be believed that God would have

promised  Solomon,  for  his greater happiness, that He would never

endow  anyone  with  so much wisdom in time to come; this would in

no wise have increased Solomon's intellect, and the wise king would

have given equal thanks to the Lord if everyone had been gifted with

the same faculties.

(3:9)  Still,  though we assert that Moses, in the passages of the Penta-

teuch  just  cited,  spoke  only according to the understanding of the

Hebrews,  we  have  no  wish to deny that God ordained the Mosaic

law  for  them  alone,  nor that He spoke to them alone, nor that they

witnessed   marvels  beyond  those  which  happened  to  any  other

nation;  but  we  wish  to emphasize that Moses desired to admonish

the  Hebrews  in such a manner, and with such reasonings as would

appeal  most  forcibly  to  their childish understanding, and constrain

them  to  worship  the  Deity.
Further,  we  wished  to show that

the  Hebrews did not surpass other nations in knowledge, or in piety,

but  evidently in some attribute different from these; or (to speak like
the  Scriptures,  according to their understanding), that the Hebrews

were  not  chosen  by  God before others for the sake of the true life

and  sublime ideas, though they were often thereto admonished, but

with  some  other object.  (3:11)  What  that object was, I will duly show.

(3:12)  But  before  I begin, I wish in a few words to explain what I mean

by  the  guidance  of  God,  by  the help of God, external and inward,

and, lastly, what I understand by fortune.

intent, knowledge, decrees, commandment, word, will, desire, law, works, please G-D, etc.}
(3:13)  By the help of G-D, I mean the fixed and unchangeable order of            Yirmiyahu Yovel
            Bk.XIA:14098; Bk.XIV:1:2467, 2553; Bk.XX:27179.                                                      1P33 
Nature  or  the  chain  of  natural  events:  for I have said before and                Referral 
causation^E2:2P24-32, Hampshire:183[3]—Understanding, being objective
shown  elsewhere  that  the  universal  laws  of  Nature, according to             Durant:64087

which  all  things  exist  and  are  determined, are only another name     {Re-interpret all Scriptural 
for  the  eternal  decrees  of  G-D, which always involve eternal truth      to reflect this naturalism.
and necessity{Taylor/Wheeler92:iii}

From Tape 1 - TB1:143—Chain of Natural Events. 

page 45
So that to say that everything happens according to natural laws,

and  to  say that everything is ordained by the decree and ordinance
of  G-D,  is  the  same  thing.  (3:15)  Now  since  the power in nature is

identical  with  the  power  of  G-D, by which alone all things happen

and  are  determined,  it  follows  that  whatsoever  man, as a part of

nature,  provides  himself  with  to aid and preserve his existence, or

whatsoever  nature  affords  him  without  his  help,  is  given  to him

solely  by  the  Divine  power, acting either through human nature or

through  external circumstance.  (3:16) So whatever human nature can

furnish itself with by its own efforts to preserve its existence, may be

fitly  called the inward aid of G-D, whereas whatever else accrues to

man's  profit  from  outward causes may be called the external aid of

G-D.    {Psalm 145:16   "Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the
 Strong: 7522, 7519
desire of every living thing.}

(3:17)  We  can now easily understand what is meant by the election of

God.  (3:18)  For  since  no  one  can do anything save by the predeter-

mined   order  of  nature,  that  is  by  God's  eternal  ordinance  and

decree,  it  follows  that  no  one can choose a plan of life for himself,

or  accomplish  any  work  save  by  God's vocation choosing him for

the   work  or  the  plan  of  life  in  question,  rather  than  any  other.

(3:19)  Lastly,  by  fortune,  I  mean  the  ordinance of God in so far as it

directs    human   life   through   external   and   unexpected   means.

(3:20)  With  these  preliminaries  I  return to my purpose of discovering

the  reason why the Hebrews were said to be elected by God before

other nations, and with the demonstration I thus proceed.

       ] Bk.III:38 [            Bk.XIA:13888.
(3:21) All objects of legitimate desire fall, generally speaking, under one
of these three categories:    
1.  The knowledge of things through their primary causes.

    2.  The  government  of  the  passions,  or  the  acquirement of the
         habit of virtue.

    3.  Secure and healthy life.

(3:22)  The means which most directly conduce towards the first two of

these  ends,  and  which may be considered their proximate and effi-

cient  causes  are  contained  in  human  nature  itself,  so  that their

acquisition hinges only on our own power, and on the laws of human

nature.   (3:23)  It  may be concluded that these gifts are not peculiar to

any  nation, but have always been shared by the whole human race,

unless,  indeed,  we  would  indulge  the  dream that nature formerly

page 46   created  men  of  different  kinds.   (3:24)   But  the  means which

conduce  to  security  and health are chiefly in external circumstance,

and  are  called  the  gifts of fortune because they depend chiefly on

objective  causes of which we are ignorant; for a fool may be almost

as  liable  to  happiness  or unhappiness as a wise man.  (3:25)  Never-

theless,  human  management  and  watchfulness  can greatly assist

towards  living  in security  and  warding off the injuries of our fellow-

men, and even of beasts. (3:26) Reason and experience show no more

certain  means of attaining this object than the formation of a society

with  fixed laws, the occupation of a strip of territory and the concen-
tration  of all forces, as it were, into one body, that is the social body.

(3:27) Now for forming and preserving a society, no ordinary ability and

care  is  required:  that society will be most secure, most stable, and

least  liable to reverses, which is founded and directed by far-seeing

and  careful  men;  while, on the other hand, a society constituted by

men  without  trained  skill,  depends  in  a great measure on fortune,

and is less constant.  (3:28) If, in spite of all, such a society lasts a long

time,  it  is  owing  to some other directing influence than its own; if it

overcomes  great perils and its affairs prosper, it will perforce marvel

at  and  adore  the  guiding  Spirit  of  God  (in so far, that is, as God

works  through  hidden means, and not through the nature and mind

of  man),  for  everything  happens to it unexpectedly and contrary to

anticipation,  it  may  even  be  said  and  thought  to  be  by  miracle.

(3:29)  Nations,  then,  are distinguished from one another in respect to

the  social  organization  and the laws under which they live and are

governed;  the  Hebrew  nation was not chosen by God in respect to

its  wisdom  nor  its  tranquillity  of  mind,  but  in respect to its social

organization  and the good fortune with which it obtained supremacy
and  kept  it  so many years.  (3:30) This is abundantly clear from Scrip-

ture(30a)  Even a cursory perusal will show us that the only respects

in  which the Hebrews surpassed other nations, are in their success-

ful conduct of matters relating to government, and in their surmount-

ing great perils solely by God's external aid; in other ways they were

on  a  par  with  their  fellows,  and  God  was equally gracious to all.

(3:31) For in respect to intellect (as we have shown in the last chapter)

they  held  very ordinary ideas about God and  page 47  nature, so that

they  cannot  have been God's chosen in this respect; nor were they

so  chosen  in  respect of virtue and the true life, for here again they,

with the exception of a very few elect, were on an equality with other

nations:  therefore  their  choice  and  vocation  consisted only in the
temporal happiness and advantages of independent rule.  (3:32) In fact,

we  do  not  see that God promised anything beyond this to the patri-

archs  (4)  or  their  successors; in the law no other reward is offered
better °PcM }
for  obedience  than the continual happiness of an independent com-
Bk.XIA:9981, 82
monwealth  and  other  goods  of  this  life;  while, on the other hand,

against  contumacy  and  the breaking of the covenant is threatened

the  downfall  of the commonwealth and great hardships.  (3:33)  Nor is

this to be wondered at; for the ends of every social organization and

commonwealth  are  (as appears from what we have said, and as we
will  explain  more  at  length  hereafter) security and comfort; a com-

monwealth  can  only exist by the laws being binding on all(3:34)  If all

the  members  of  a state  wish to disregard the law, by that very fact

they  dissolve  the  state  and destroy the commonwealth.  
(3:35) Thus,

the  only  reward which could be promised to the Hebrews for contin-

ued  obedience  to the law was security (5) and its attendant advant-

ages,  while  no  surer  punishment  could  be  threatened for disobe-

dience, than the ruin of the state and the evils which generally follow

therefrom, in addition to such further consequences as might accrue
to  the Jews in particular from the ruin of their especial state.  (36)  But

there  is  no  need here to go into this point at more length. 
(3:37) I will

only  add  that  the  laws  of  the  {Hebrew Bible were revealed and

ordained to  the  Jews only, for as God chose them in respect to the
Holidays }                                      { Religion }
special  constitution  of  their  society and government, they must, of               Important 

course,  have  had special laws.  (3:38) Whether God ordained special

laws  for  other  nations also, and revealed Himself to their lawgivers           {"Jews, God and 
prophetically,  that  is,  under  the attributes by which the latter were    

accustomed to imagine Him, I cannot sufficiently determine.  (3:39) It is

evident  from  Scripture itself that other nations acquired supremacy

and  particular  laws by the external aid of God; witness only the two

following passages:—

(3:40)  In Genesis xiv:18, 19, 20, it is related that Melchisedek was king

of  Jerusalem  and  priest  of  the Most High God,  page 48  that in exer-

cise  of his priestly functions he blessed Abraham, and that Abraham

the  beloved  of  the  Lord  gave to this priest of God a tithe of all his

spoils.  (3:41) This sufficiently shows that before He founded the Israel-

itish  nation  God  constituted  kings  and  priests  in Jerusalem, and

ordained  for  them  rites and laws.  (3:42)  Whether He did so propheti-

cally  is,  as  I  have  said,  not sufficiently clear; but I am sure of this,

that  Abraham,  whilst  he  sojourned  in  the  city, lived scrupulously

according  to  these  laws, for Abraham had received no special rites

from  God;  and  yet  it  is  stated (Gen. xxvi:5), that he observed the

worship,  the  precepts,  the  statutes,  and  the  laws  of God, which

must  be  interpreted to mean the worship, the statutes, the precepts,

and  the  laws  of king Melchisedek.  (3:43) Malachi chides the Jews as

follows (i:10-11.):—"Who is there among you that will shut the doors?

]of the Temple[;  neither  do  ye  kindle  fire  on mine altar for nought.

(3:44)  I  have no pleasure in you, saith the Lord of Hosts.  (3:45)  For from

the  rising  of  the  sun,  even  until  the  going  down of the same My

Name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense

shall  be  offered  in  My  Name, and a pure offering; for My Name is

great  among  the  heathen,  saith  the  Lord  of  Hosts."   (3:46)  These

words,  which, unless we do violence to them, could only refer to the

current period, abundantly testify that the Jews of that time were not
more  beloved  by  God  than  other nations, that God then favoured

other  nations  with  more  miracles than He vouchsafed to the Jews,

who  had  then  partly recovered their empire without miraculous aid;

and,   lastly,   that   the  Gentiles  possessed  rites  and  ceremonies

acceptable  to  God.  (3:46a)  But  I  pass  over  these points lightly: it is

enough  for my purpose to have shown that the election of the Jews

had regard to nothing but temporal physical happiness and freedom,

in  other  words,  autonomous  government,  and  to the manner and

means  by  which they obtained it; consequently to the laws in so far

as  they  were  necessary  to the preservation of that special govern-

ment;   and,   lastly,  to  the  manner  in  which  they  were  revealed.

(3:47)  In  regard  to  other  matters,  wherein man's true happiness con-

sists, they were on a par with the rest of the nations.

(3:48)  When,  therefore,  it is said in Scripture (Deut. iv:7) that the Lord

is  not  so nigh to any other nation as He is to the  page 49  Jews, refer-

ence  is  only  made  to their government, and to the period when so

many  miracles  happened  to  them,  for  in  respect  of  intellect and

virtue—that  is,  in  respect  of  blessednessGod was,  as we have

said  already,  and  are  now  demonstrating,  equally  gracious to all.

(3:49)  Scripture itself bears testimony to this fact, for the Psalmist says

(cxlv:18), "The  Lord  is  near  unto  all them that call upon Him, to all

that  call  upon Him in truth.
(3:49a)  So  in  the  same  Psalm,  verse 9,

"The  Lord  is  good  to  all,  and  His  tender mercies are over all His

works."  (3:49b)  In Ps. xxxiii:15, it is clearly stated that God has granted

to  all  men  the  same  intellect, in these words, "He fashioneth their

hearts alike."   (3:50)  The  heart  was  considered by the Hebrews, as I

suppose everyone knows, to be the seat of the soul and the intellect.

(3:51)  Lastly,  from  Job  xxviii:28,   it is plain that God had ordained for

the  whole  human  race  the law to reverence God, to keep from evil

doing,  or to do well, and that Job, although a Gentile, was of all men

most  acceptable  to  God,  because  he  exceeded  all  in  piety and

religion(52) Lastly, from Jonah iv:2, it is very evident that, not only to

the  Jews  but to all men, God was gracious, merciful, long-suffering,

and of great goodness, and repented Him of the evil, for Jonah says:

"Therefore  I determined to flee before unto Tarshish, for I know that

Thou  art  a  gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great

kindness," &c.,  and that, therefore, God would pardon the Ninevites.

(3:53)  We  conclude,  therefore (inasmuch as God is to all men equally

gracious,  and  the  Hebrews  were only chosen by him in respect to

their  social  organization  and  government),  that the individual Jew,

taken apart from his social organization and government, possessed

no  gift  of  God  above  other men, and that there was no difference
Bk.XIA:10084; Bk.XX:13246. 
between  Jew  and  Gentile.  (3:54)  As  it  is  a  fact that God is equally

gracious,  merciful,  and  the  rest,  to all men; and as the function of

the  prophet was to teach men not so much the laws of their country,

as true virtue, and to exhort them thereto, it is not to be doubted that
all  nations  possessed  prophets, and that the prophetic gift was not

peculiar  to  the  Jews. (3:55)  Indeed, history, both profane and sacred,

bears  witness to the fact.  (3:56) Although, from the sacred histories of

the  {Hebrew Bible},  it  is  not  evident that the other nations had as

many  prophets  page 50  as  the  Hebrews,  or that any Gentile prophet

was  expressly  sent  by  God  to the nations, this does not affect the

question,  for  the  Hebrews  were  careful to record their own affairs,

not  those  of  other  nations.  (3:57)  It suffices, then, that we find in the

{Hebrew Bible}  Gentiles,   and   uncircumcised,  as   Noah,  Enoch,

Abimelech,   Balaam,  &c.,   exercising  prophetic  gifts;  further,  that

Hebrew prophets were sent by God, not only to their own nation but

to  many  others also.  (3:58)  Ezekiel prophesied to all the nations then

known;  Obadiah  to none, that we are aware of, save the Idumeans;

and  Jonah  was  chiefly  the  prophet  to  the  Ninevites.   (3:59)  Isaiah

bewails  and  predicts  the  calamities,  and  hails  the restoration not

only  of  the  Jews but also of other nations, for he says (chap. xvi:9),

"Therefore  I  will  bewail  Jazer  with  weeping;"  and in chap. xix. he

foretells first the calamities and then the restoration of the Egyptians

(see  verses  19,  20,  21,  25),  saying  that  God  shall send them a

Saviour  to  free  them,  that  the  Lord  shall be known in Egypt, and,

further,  that  the  Egyptians  shall  worship  God  with  sacrifice  and

oblation;  and,  at  last,   he  calls  that  nation  the  blessed Egyptian

people  of  God;  all  of  which  particulars  are  specially noteworthy.

(3:60)  Jeremiah  is  called,  not  the  prophet of the Hebrew nation, but

simply  the  prophet  of  the nations (see Jer:i.5).  (3:61) He also mourn-

fully  foretells  the  calamities of the nations, and predicts their restor-

ation,  for  he  says  (xlviii:31)  of the Moabites, "Therefore will I howl

for  Moab,  and  I  will cry out for all Moab" (verse 36), "and therefore

mine heart shall sound for Moab like pipes;"  in  the  end  he prophe-

sies   their   restoration,  as  also  the  restoration  of  the  Egyptians,

Ammonites,  and  Elamites.  (3:62)  Wherefore  it  is  beyond  doubt that
other  nations  also,  like  the  Jews, had their prophets, who prophe-

sied to them.

(3:63)  Although  Scripture  only makes mention of one man, Balaam, to

whom  the  future  of  the  Jews  and the other nations was revealed,

we  must  not  suppose  that  Balaam prophesied only once, for from

the  narrative  itself it is abundantly clear that he had long previously

been  famous  for  prophesy  and  other  Divine  gifts.  (3:64)  For when

Balak  bade  him  to  come  to him, he said (Num. xxii:6), "For I know

that  he  whom  thou blessest is blessed, and he whom thou cursest

page 51  is  cursed."    (3:65)  Thus  we  see  that  he  possessed  the  gift

which  God had bestowed on Abraham.  (65a)  Further, as accustomed

to prophesy, Balaam bade the messengers wait for him till the will of

the  Lord  was  revealed  to  him.  (66)  When  he  prophesied,  that  is,

when  he  interpreted  the  true mind of God, he was wont to say this
Num. xxiv:4}
of  himself:  "He  hath  said, which heard the words of God and knew

the   knowledge  of  the  Most  High,   which  saw  the  vision  of  the

Almighty falling into a trance, but having his eyes open."  (3:67) Further,

after  he  had  blessed  the Hebrews by the command of God, he be-

gan (as was his custom) to prophesy to other nations, and to predict

their  future;  all of which abundantly shows that he had always been

a  prophet,  or  had  often  prophesied,  and (as we may also remark

here)  possessed  that which afforded the chief certainty to prophets

of  the  truth of their prophecy, namely, a mind turned wholly to what

is  right  and  good,  for  he  did  not  bless those whom he wished to

bless,  nor  curse  those  whom  he  wished  to  curse, as Balak sup-

posed,  but  only  those  whom God wished to be blessed or cursed.
Num. xxiv:13}
(3:68) Thus he answered Balak: "If Balak should give me his house full

of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the commandment of the Lord

to  do  either  good  or  bad of my own mind; but what the Lord saith,

that  will  I  speak."   (3:69)   As for God being angry with him in the way,

the  same happened to Moses when he set out to Egypt by the com-

mand  of  the  Lord;  and  as  to his receiving money for prophesying,

Samuel  did the same (1 Sam. ix:7, 8); if in anyway he sinned, "there

is  not  a  just  man  upon  earth  that  doeth  good  and sinneth not,"

Eccles. vii:20. (Vide 2 Epist. Peter ii:15, 16, and Jude 511.)

(3:70)  His  speeches  must  certainly  have  had much weight with God,

and His power for cursing must assuredly have been very great from

the  number  of  times  that  we  find  stated  in  Scripture, in proof of

God's  great  mercy  to  the  Jews,  that God would not hear Balaam,

and that He changed the cursing to blessing (see Deut. xxiii:6, Josh.

xxiv:10,   Neh. xiii:2).   (3:71)   Wherefore  he  was  without  doubt  most

acceptable  to  God,  for  the  speeches  and  cursings of the wicked

move  God not at all.  (3:72) As then he was a true prophet, and never-

theless  Joshua calls him a soothsayer or augur, it is certain that this

title  had  an  honourable  signification,  and  that  page 52  those whom
the  Gentiles  called  augurs  and  soothsayers  were  true  prophets,

while  those  whom  Scripture  often  accuses  and  condemns  were

false  soothsayers,  who deceived the Gentiles as false prophets de-

ceived  the  Jews; indeed, this is made evident from other passages

in  the  Bible,  whence we conclude that the gift of prophecy was not

peculiar to the Jews, but common to all nations.  (3:73) The Pharisees,

however,  vehemently  contend  that  this  Divine gift was peculiar to

their  nation,  and that the other nations foretold the future (what will
superstition  invent  next?)  by  some  unexplained  diabolical faculty.

(3:74)  The  principal  passage  of  Scripture  which they cite, by way of

confirming  their  theory  with  its authority, is Exodus xxxiii:16, where

Moses  says  to  God,  "For wherein shall it be known here that I and

Thy  people  have  found  grace  in  Thy  sight? is it not in that Thou

goest  with  us? so shall we be separated, I and Thy people, from all

the  people  that  are upon the face of the earth."  (3:75)  From this they

would  infer  that  Moses  asked of God that He should be present to

the  Jews,  and  should  reveal Himself to them prophetically; further,

that  He  should  grant  this favour to no other nation.  (3:76) It is surely

absurd  that  Moses  should  have  been  jealous  of God's presence

among  the  Gentiles,  or  that he should have dared to ask any such

thing.  (3:77)  The  fact is, as Moses knew that the disposition and spirit

of  his nation was rebellious, he clearly saw that they could not carry

out  what  they  had  begun  without  very great miracles and special

external  aid  from  God;  nay, that without such aid they must neces-

sarily   perish:   as   it   was   evident  that  God  wished  them  to  be

preserved,  he asked  for this special external aid. (3:78)  Thus he says

(Ex. xxxiv:9),  "If  now I have found grace in Thy sight,  0 Lord, let my

Lord,  I  pray  Thee,  go  among  us;  for  it  is  a  stiffnecked people."

(3:79)  The  reason,  therefore, for his seeking special external aid from

God  was the stiffneckedness of the people, and it is made still more

plain,  that  he  asked for nothing beyond this special external aid by

God's  answer—for  God  answered  at  once  (verse 10 of the same

chapter)—"Behold,  I  make  a  covenant: before all Thy people I will

do  marvels,  such as have not been done in all the earth, nor in any

nation."    (3:80)  Therefore  Moses  had  in  view  nothing  beyond  the

special  election  of  the  Jews,  as  I  have  page 53  explained  it,  and

made  no  other  request to God.  (3:81)  I confess that in Paul's Epistle

to the Romans, I find another text which carries more weight, namely,

where  Paul  seems  to  teach  a different doctrine from that here set
down, for he there says (Rom. iii:1) : "What advantage then hath the

Jew?  or  what  profit is there of circumcision?  (3:82)   Much every way:

chiefly,  because that unto them were committed the oracles of God."

(3:83)  But  if  we  look  to  the doctrine which Paul especially desired to

teach,  we shall find nothing repugnant to our present contention; on

the  contrary,  his  doctrine  is  the  same  as ours, for he says (Rom.

iii:29) "that  God  is  the  God  of  the  Jews and of the Gentiles, and"            Smith:109141

(ch. ii:25, 26)  "But,  if  thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision

is  made  uncircumcision.  (3:84)  Therefore  if  the uncircumcision keep

the   righteousness   of   the  law,   shall  not  his  uncircumcision  be

counted  for  circumcision?
(3:85)  Further,  in  chap. iv: 14,  he  says

that  all  alike,  Jew  and  Gentile,  were  under  sin, and that without

commandment  and  law  there  is  no  sin.   (3:86)  Wherefore it is most

evident  that to all men absolutely was revealed the law under which

all live—namely, the law which has regard only to true virtue, not the

law  established  in  respect  to,  and  in  the formation of a particular

state and adapted to the disposition of a particular people. (3:87) Lastly,

Paul  concludes  that  since  God  is the God of all nations, that is, is

equally  gracious  to  all, and since all men equally live under the law

and  under  sin, so also to all nations did God send His Christ, to free

all men equally from the bondage of the
Ritual } law, that they should

no  more  do  right  by  the  command  of  the  Ritual } law, but by the
constant determination of their hearts Ethical Law }.  (3:88)  So that Paul

teaches  exactly  the  same  as  ourselves.  (3:89)  When,  therefore, he
Rom. iii:2 }
says "
To the Jews only were entrusted the oracles of God," we must

either  understand  that  to them only were the laws entrusted in writ-

ing,  while  they were given to other nations merely in revelation and

conception,  or  else  (as none but Jews would object to the doctrine

he  desired to advance) that Paul was answering only in accordance

with  the understanding and current ideas of the Jews, for in respect

to teaching things which he had partly seen, partly heard, he was to

the Greeks a Greek, and to the Jews a Jew.

page 54

(3:90)   It now only remains to us to answer the arguments of those who

would  persuade  themselves  that  the  election of the Jews was not

temporal,  and  merely in respect of their commonwealth, but eternal;

for,  they  say, we see the Jews after the loss of their commonwealth,

and  after  being  scattered  so  many  years  and  separated from all

other  nations,  still  surviving,  which is without parallel among other

peoples,  and  further  the  Scriptures  seem  to  teach  that God has

chosen  for  Himself the Jews for ever, so that though they have lost

their   commonwealth,   they  still  nevertheless  remain  God's  elect.

(3:91) The  passages  which  they  think  teach most clearly this eternal

election, are chiefly:

(1.)   (3:91a)  Jer. xxxi:36,  where  the  prophet  testifies that the seed of

Israel  shall  for  ever remain the nation of God, comparing them with

the stability of the heavens and nature;

(3:91b) Ezek. xx:32, where the prophet seems to intend that though

the  Jews wanted after the help afforded them to turn their backs on

the  worship  of  the  Lord, that God would nevertheless gather them

together  again  from all the lands in which they were dispersed, and

lead  them  to  the  wilderness  of  the  peoples—as He had led their

fathers  to  the wilderness of the land of Egypt—and would at length,

after  purging  out  from  among  them  the rebels  and transgressors,

bring  them  thence  to his Holy mountain, where the whole house of

Israel  should  worship  Him.   (3:91c)   Other  passages  are  also  cited,

especially  by  the  Pharisees,  but  I think I shall satisfy everyone if I

answer  these  two,  and  this I shall easily accomplish after showing

from  Scripture  itself  that  God  chose not the Hebrews for ever, but

only  on  the  condition  under  which  He  had  formerly  chosen  the

Canaanites,  for  these  last,  as  we  have  shown,  had  priests who

religiously   worshipped   God,  and  whom  God  at  length  rejected

because of their luxury, pride, and corrupt worship.

(3:92) Moses (Lev. xviii:27) warned the Israelites that they be not pollut-

ed  with whoredoms, lest the land spue them out as it had spued out

the  nations  who  had  dwelt there before, and in Deut. viii:19, 20, in

the  plainest terms He threatens their total ruin, for He says, "I testify

against you that ye shall surely perish.  (3:93)  As the nations which the

Lord  destroyeth  before  your  face,  so  shall  ye  perish."  (93a) In like

page 55  manner  many  other  passages  are  found  in the law which

expressly  show  that God chose the Hebrews neither absolutely nor

for  ever.  (3:94)  If, then, the prophets foretold for them a new covenant

of  the  knowledge  of God, love, and grace, such a promise is easily

proved  to be only made to the elect, for Ezekiel in the chapter which

we  have  just  quoted  expressly  says  that  God  will separate from

them  the  rebellious  and  transgressors,  and Zephaniah (iii:12, 13),

says  that "God will take away the proud from the midst of them, and

leave  the  poor.(3:95)  Now, inasmuch as their election has regard to

true  virtue,  it  is  not  to be thought that it was promised to the Jews

alone  to  the  exclusion of others, but we must evidently believe that

the true Gentile prophets (and every nation, as we have shown, pos-

sessed  such)  promised  the same to the faithful of their own people,

who  were  thereby  comforted.  (3:96) Wherefore this eternal covenant

of  the knowledge of God and love is universal, as is clear, moreover,

from  Zeph. iii:10, 11:  no  difference  in this respect can be admitted

between Jew and Gentile, nor did the former enjoy any special elec-

tion beyond that which we have pointed out.

(3:97)  When  the  prophets,  in  speaking of this election which regards

only  true  virtue,  mixed  up much concerning sacrifices and ceremo-

nies,  and  the rebuilding of the temple and city, they wished by such

figurative  expressions,  after the manner and nature of prophecy, to

expound  matters  spiritual,  so  as  at  the  same time to show to the

Jews,  whose  prophets  they  were,  the true restoration of the state

and   of   the   temple   to   be   expected   about  the  time  of  Cyrus.

(3:98)  At  the  present time, therefore, there is absolutely nothing which
Bk.XX:13246; Bk.XX:27486. 
the Jews can arrogate to themselves beyond other people.

(3:99)  As  to  their continuance so long after dispersion and the loss of

empire,  there is nothing marvellous in it, for they so separated them-

selves  from  every  other  nation  as to draw down upon themselves

universal  hate,  not  only  by their outward rites, rites conflicting with          Anti-Semitism

those  of  other  nations,  but  also  by the sign of circumcision which
they most scrupulously observe.

(3:100)  That  they  have  been  preserved  in  great measure by Gentile
Bk.XIB:2249                                                             ] See Shirley's footnote [
hatred,  experience  demonstrates.   (3:101)  When  the  king  page 56   of

Spain  formerly  compelled  the  Jews  to  embrace the State religion

or  to  go  into  exile,  a  large  number of Jews accepted Catholicism.

(3:102)  Now,  as  these renegades were admitted to all the native privi-

leges  of  Spaniards,  and  deemed  worthy  of  filling  all honourable

offices,  it  came  to  pass  that they straightway became so intermin-
gled with the Spaniards as to leave of themselves no relic or remem-

(3:103)  But  exactly the opposite happened to those whom the
             ] See Shirley's footnote [
king  of  Portugal  compelled  to  become Christians, for they always,

though  converted,  lived  apart,  inasmuch as they were considered
unworthy of any civic honours.

(3:104)  The  sign of circumcision is, as I think, so important, that I could         Hampshire:204
persuade  myself  that  it  alone  would  preserve  the nation for ever. 

(3:105)  Nay,  I  would  go  so  far as to believe that if the foundations of
their  religion  have  not  emasculated  their  minds  they  may  even,            Bk.XXV:[13]

if  occasion  offers,  so  changeable are human affairs, raise up their             Popkin:62
Bk.XIA:1994; 10193; Bk.XX:13247                                              Bk.XIA:2045.
empire   afresh,   and   that   God   may  a  second  time  elect  them.                Wolf

(3:106)  Of  such  a  possibility  we  have  a very famous example in the

Chinese.  (107)  They,  too,  have some distinctive mark on their heads

which  they  most  scrupulously  observe,  and  by  which  they keep

themselves  apart  from  everyone  else,  and  have  thus  kept them-

selves during so many thousand years that they far surpass all other

nations in antiquity.  (3:108) They have not always retained empire, but

they  have  recovered  it  when  lost,  and doubtless will do so again

after  the  spirit of the Tartars becomes relaxed through the luxury of
Bk.XIA:104105; Bk.XIB:2351
riches and pride.

(3:109)  Lastly,  if any one wishes to maintain that the Jews, from this or

from  any  other  cause, have been chosen by God for ever, I will not

gainsay  him  if  he  will  admit that this choice, whether temporary or

eternal,  has  no  regard,  in  so  far  as  it  is peculiar to the Jews, to

aught  but dominion and physical advantages (for by such alone can
one nation be distinguished from another), whereas in regard to intel-

lect  and  true  virtue, every nation is on a par with the rest, and God
has  not  in  these  respects  chosen one people rather than another.

page 57
CHAPTER IV.—OF THE DIVINE LAW.   Bk.XIA:112.                         Smith:139 

(4:1)  The  word  law,  taken  in  the  abstract,  means that by which an

individual,  or  all  things, or as many things as belong to a particular

species,  act  in  one  and the same fixed and definite manner, which

manner  depends  either  on  natural  necessity or on human decree.

(4:2)   A  law  which  depends  on natural necessity is one which neces-

sarily  follows  from  the  nature,  or  from the definition of the thing in

question;  a  law  which  depends  on  human  decree,  and  which is

more  correctly  called  an  ordinance,  is  one  which  men have laid

down  for  themselves  and  others  in  order  to  live  more  safely or
conveniently, or from some similar reason.

(4:3)  For  example,  the  law that all bodies impinging on lesser bodies,

lose  as  much of their own motion as they communicate to the latter

is  a  universal  law  of  all bodies, and depends on natural necessity.
(4:4)  So,  too,  the  law  that  a man in remembering one thing, straight

way  remembers  another  either  like  it,  or which he had perceived
simultaneously  with  it,  is  a  law which necessarily follows from the

nature of man.  (4:5)  But the law that men must yield, or be compelled

to  yield,  somewhat  of  their  natural  right, and that they bind them-

selves  to live in a certain way, depends on human decree.  (4:6)  Now,

though  I  freely  admit that all things are predetermined by universal

natural  laws  to  exist  and  operate  in  a  given,  fixed,  and definite

manner,  I  still assert that the laws I have just mentioned depend on

human decree.

(4:7)  Because  man, in so far as he is a part of nature, constitutes

a part of the power of nature. (4:8)  Whatever, therefore, follows neces-

sarily  from  the  necessity  of  human nature (that is, from nature her-

self,  in  so far as we conceive of her as acting through man) follows,

even  though  it  be  necessarily,  from  human power.  (4:9) Hence the

sanction  of  such  laws  may  very  well  be said to depend on man's
decree,  for  it  principally  depends on the power of the human mind;

so  page 58   that  the  human mind in respect to its perception of things

as  true  and  false,  can  readily  be conceived as without such laws,

but   not   without   necessary   law   as   we   have   just   defined  it.

(4:10)  I  have  stated  that  these  laws  depend  on human decree

because  it is well  to  define  and  explain  things  by their proximate
causes(11)  The general consideration of fate and the concatenation

of  causes would aid us very little in forming and arranging our ideas

concerning  particular  questions.   (4:12)   Let  us  add  that  as  to  the

actual  coordination  and  concatenation of things, that is how things

are  ordained  and  linked together, we are obviously ignorant; there-

fore,  it  is more  profitable  for  right living, nay, it is necessary for us

to  consider  things  as  contingent.   (4:13)  So  much  about  law in the


(4:14)  Now  the  word  law  seems  to be only applied to natural pheno-
mena  by  analogy,  and  is  commonly  taken  to  signify a command

which  men  can  either  obey  or  neglect,  inasmuch  as  it restrains
human nature within certain originally exceeded limits, and therefore

lays  down  no rule beyond human strength.  (4:15) Thus it is expedient

to  define law more particularly as a plan of life laid down by man for

himself or others with a certain object.

(4:16)  However,  as the true object of legislation is only perceived by a

few,  and  most men are almost incapable of grasping it, though they

live  under  its conditions, legislators, with a view to exacting general

obedience,  have  wisely  put  forward  another object, very different

from  that  which  necessarily  follows  from  the  nature  of law: they

promise  to  the  observers  of  the law that which the masses chiefly

desire,  and  threaten  its  violators  with  that which they chiefly fear:

thus  endeavouring  to  restrain the masses, as far as may be, like a

horse  with  a  curb;  whence  it  follows  that  the word law is chiefly

applied  to  the modes of life enjoined on men by the sway of others;

hence  those  who  obey  the  law  are said to live under it and to be

under  compulsion.   (4:17)  In  truth, a man who renders everyone their

due  because  he  fears  the  gallows, acts under the sway and com-

pulsion  of  others,  and  cannot  be  called just.  (4:18)  But a man who

does  the  same  from  a  knowledge  of the true reason for laws and

their  necessity,  acts  from  a  firm  purpose  and  of  his own accord,

and  is  therefore  properly  called  just.  (4:19)  This,  I  take page 59  it, is

Paul's meaning when he says, that those who live under the law can-

not  be  justified through the law, for justice, as commonly defined, is

the   constant   and   perpetual   will  to  render  every  man  his  due.

(4:20)  Thus  Solomon  says  (Prov. xxi:15),  "
It  is a joy to the just to do

judgment,"  but the wicked fear.

(4:21) Law, then, being a plan of living which men have for a certain
object  laid  down for  themselves or others, may, as it seems, be         
divided  into  human  law  and  Divine law.    { Both are opposite                 Durant:641
sides of the same coin.} 
  Bk.XIA:112; Bk.XIX:258a.   Self-interest, Organic.  

      (4:22) By human law I mean a plan of living which serves only to
          render life and the state secure.
{ = }
     (4:23) By  Divine  law I mean that which only regards the highest                {Includes
         good, in other words, the true knowledge of G-D and love.          Scientific Laws.}
                                                                                Bk.XIA:140100; Bk.XIV:2:2821.        E5:Wolfson:2:326-329
I call this law Divine because of the Nature of the highest
         good,  which I will here shortly explain as clearly as I can. 

(4:25)  Inasmuch  as  the  intellect  is  the best part of our being, it is evi-

dent  that we should make every effort to perfect it as far as possible

if  we  desire  to  search for what is really profitable to us.  (4:26) For in

intellectual  perfection  the  highest  good  should  consist.  (4:27)  Now,           True Thoughts

since  all  our  knowledge,  and  the  certainty  which removes every

doubt,  depend  solely  on  the  knowledge of G-D;—firstly, because            posit:1D6One 

without  G-D  nothing  can exist or be conceived; secondly, because

so long as we have no clear and distinct idea of G-D we may remain

in  universal  doubt—it  follows  that our highest good and perfection

also  depend  solely  on  the  knowledge  of  G-D. (4:28) Further, since

without  G-D  nothing  can exist or be conceived, it is evident that all

natural  phenomena  involve  and  express the conception of G-D as

far  as  their essence and perfection extend, so that we have greater

and  more  perfect knowledge of G-D in proportion to our knowledge
Bk.XIX:156; Bk.XX:27181.
of natural phenomena: conversely (since the knowledge of an effect

through  its cause is the same thing as the knowledge of a particular

property  of  a  cause)  the  greater  our knowledge of natural pheno-
mena,  the  more  perfect  is  our  knowledge  of the essence of G-D

(which is the cause of all things).  (4:29) So, then, our highest good not

only  depends on the knowledge of G-D,  but wholly consists therein;
and  it  further follows that man is perfect or the reverse in proportion

to the nature and perfection of the object of his special desire; hence

the  most  perfect and the chief sharer in the  page 60  highest blessed-

ness  is  he  who prizes above all else, and takes especial delight in,
the intellectual knowledge of G-D, the most perfect Being.

(4:30)  Hither,  then,  our  highest  good  and  our  highest blessedness

aim—namely,  to  the  knowledge  and  love  of  G-D;  therefore  the

means  demanded  by  this  aim of all human actions, that is, by G-D

in  so  far  as  the  idea  of him is in us, may be called the commands

of  G-D,  because  they  proceed, as it were, from G-D Himself, inas-

much  as  He  exists  in  our  minds,  and  the  plan  of life which has

regard to this aim may be fitly called the law of G-D.

(4:31)  The  nature  of  the  means,  and  the  plan of life which this aim

demands,  how  the  foundations  of  the  best  states follow its lines,

and   how   men's   life  is  conducted,   are  questions  pertaining  to

general  ethics.  (4:32)  Here I only proceed to treat of the Divine law in

a particular application.

(4:33) As the love of God is man's highest happiness and blessedness,

and  the  ultimate end and aim of all human actions, it follows that he

alone  lives  by the Divine law who loves God not from fear of punish-

ment,  or  from  love  of  any  other  object, such as sensual pleasure,

fame,  or  the  like;  but solely because he has knowledge of God, or

is  convinced  that  the  knowledge  and  love  of  God  is the highest

(4:34)  The  sum  and  chief precept, then, of the Divine law is to

love  God  as  the  highest  good, namely, as we have said, not from

fear  of  any pains and penalties, or from the love of any other object

in which we desire to take pleasure.  (4:35) The idea of God lays down

the  rule  that  God  is  our  highest  good—in  other  words,  that the

knowledge  and  love  of  God  is  the  ultimate  aim  to  which all our

actions  should  be  directed.  (4:36)  The  worldling cannot understand

these  things,  they  appear  foolishness  to him, because he has too

meager a knowledge of God, and also because in this highest good

he  can  discover  nothing  which  he  can  handle  or  eat,  or  which

affects  the  fleshly  appetites wherein  he chiefly  delights, for it con-

sists  solely  in  thought  and  the  pure  reason.   (4:37)  They,  on  the

other  hand,  who  know  that  they possess no greater gift than intel-

lect  and  sound  reason, will doubtless accept what I have said with-

out question.

(4:38)  We  have  now  explained  that  wherein  the  Divine  law chiefly

consists,  and what are human laws, namely, all those which  page 61 

have a different aim unless they have been ratified by revelation, for

in  this  respect  also  things are referred to G-D (as we have shown

above)  and  in  this sense the law of Moses, although it was not uni-

versal,  but  entirely  adapted to the disposition and particular preser-

vation  of  a single  people, may yet be called a law of G-D or Divine

law,  inasmuch  as we believe that it was ratified by prophetic insight.

(4:39)   If  we  consider  the nature of natural Divine law as we have just

explained it, we shall see:

I.    (4:40)  That  it  is  universal  or common  to  all  men,  for  we  have

deduced it from universal human nature.

(4:41) That  it  does not depend on the truth of any historical narra-

tive  whatsoever,  for  inasmuch as this natural Divine law is compre-

hended  solely  by  the consideration of human nature, it is plain that
we  can  conceive it as existing as well in Adam as in any other man,
self-interest }
as  well  in  a man living among his fellows, as in a man who lives by


II. - Continued
or miracle }
(4:42)  The truth of a historical narrative, however assured, cannot give

us  the knowledge nor consequently the love of God, for love of God
springs  from  knowledge  of  Him,  and knowledge of Him should be

derived  from  general  ideas,  in  themselves  certain and known, so

that   the  truth  of  a  historical  narrative  is  very  far  from  being  a

necessary requisite for our attaining our highest good.

II. - Continued

(4:43)  Still,  though  the truth of histories cannot give us the knowledge

and  love  of God, I do not deny that reading them is very useful with

a  view  to  life  in  the  world,  for  the  more  we have observed and

known  of  men's customs and circumstances, which are best reveal-

ed  by  their  actions,  the  more  warily we shall be able to order our

lives among them, and so far as reason dictates to adapt our actions

to their dispositions.

(4:44)  We  see  that  this  natural  Divine law does not demand the

performance  of  ceremonies—that  is, actions in themselves indiffer-

ent,   which  are  called  good  from  the  fact  of  their  institution,  or

actions  symbolizing  something  profitable  for  salvation,  or  (if one

prefers  this  definition)   actions  of  which  the  meaning  surpasses

human  understanding.  
(4:45)  The  natural  light  of  
reason  does not

demand  anything  which  it  is  itself unable to supply, but  only such

as  it  can  very  clearly  show  to be good, or a means to our blessed-

ness {Salvation, Peace-of-Mind}. (4:46)  Such things as  page 62 are good

simply  because  they  have  been  commanded  or  instituted,  or  as

being  symbols  of something good, are mere shadows which cannot

be reckoned among actions that are the offsprings as it were, or fruit

of  a  sound  mind  and of intellect.  (4:47) There is no need for me to go

into this now in more detail.

(4:48)  Lastly,  we  see  that  the  highest reward of the Divine law is

the  law  itself,  namely,  to  know  God  and  to  love  Him of our free

choice,  and  with  an  undivided and fruitful spirit; while its penalty is

the absence of these things, and being in bondage to the flesh—that

is, having an inconstant and wavering spirit Loss of PcM }.

 (4:49)  These points being noted, I must now inquire:

(4:50) Whether by the natural light of
reason we can conceive
       of  God as a law-giver or potentate ordaining laws for men?

II.     (4:51)  What is the teaching of Holy Writ concerning this
       natural light of reason and natural law?  

III.    (4:52)  With what objects were ceremonies formerly instituted?

IV.   (4:53) Lastly, what is the good gained by knowing the sacred
       histories and believing them?

(4:54)  Of  the  first  two  I will treat in this chapter, of the remaining two

in the following one.

(4:55)  Our  conclusion about the first is easily deduced from the nature

of  God's  will, which is only distinguished from His understanding in

relation  to  our  intellect—that  is,  the will and the understanding of

God  are  in  reality one and the same, and are only distinguished in

relation  to  our  thoughts  which  we  form  concerning  God's under-

standing.   (4:56)  For  instance,  if  we  are  only looking to the fact that

the  nature  of  a  triangle  is  from  eternity  contained  in  the Divine

nature  as  an  eternal  verity,  we  say that God possesses the idea

of  a  triangle,  or  that He understands the nature of a triangle; but if

afterwards  we  look  to  the  fact  that the nature of a triangle is thus

contained  in the Divine nature, solely by the necessity of the Divine

nature,  and  not  by  the necessity  of  the  nature and essence of a

triangle—in  fact,   that  the  necessity  of  a  triangle's  essence and

nature,  in  so  far  as  they  are  conceived of as eternal verities, de-

pends  solely  on  the  necessity  of  the  Divine  nature and intellect,

page 63   we  then  style  G-D's  will  or  decree,  that  which before we

styled  His  intellect.   (4:57)  Wherefore  we  make  one  and  the same

affirmation  concerning  G-D  when we say that He has from eternity

decreed  that three angles of a triangle are equal to two right angles,

as when we say that He has understood it.

(4:58)  Hence  the affirmations and the negations of God always involve
necessity  or  truth; so that, for example, if God said to Adam that He
to know  good and evil  subjectively }
did  not  wish  him to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, it

would  have  involved  a  contradiction  that Adam should have been

able  to  eat  of it, and would therefore have been impossible that he

should  have so eaten, for the Divine command would have involved
an  eternal  necessity  and  truth.  (4:59)  But  since  Scripture neverthe-

less  narrates  that God did give this command to Adam, and yet that

none the less  Adam  ate  of the tree, we must perforce say that God

revealed  to Adam the evil which would surely follow if he should eat

of  the  tree,  but  did  not  disclose  that such evil would of necessity

come  to  pass.  (4:60)  Thus it was that Adam took the revelation to be

not  an eternal and necessary truth, but a law—that is, an ordinance

followed  by  gain  or  loss,  not depending necessarily on the nature

of  the  act  performed,  but  solely on the will and absolute power of

some  potentate,  so  that  the  revelation  in  question  was solely in

relation  to  Adam,  and  solely  through  his lack of knowledge a law,

and  God  was,  as  it were, a lawgiver and potentate.  (4:61)  From the

same  cause,  namely,  from  lack  of  knowledge,  the Decalogue in

relation  to  the  Hebrews  was  a  law,  for  since  they knew not the

existence  of  God  as  an  eternal  truth,  they must have taken as a

law  that  which  was  revealed  to  them  in  the  Decalogue, namely,

that  God  exists,  and that God only should be worshipped(4:62)  But

if  God  had  spoken  to  them  without  the intervention of any bodily

means,  immediately  they  would  have  perceived  it  not  as  a  law,

but as an eternal truth.

(4:63)  What  we  have said about the Israelites and Adam, applies also

to all the prophets who wrote laws in God's name—they did not ade-

quately  conceive  God's  decrees as eternal truths.  (64) For instance,
we  must  say  of  Moses that from revelation, from the basis of what

was  revealed  to  him, he perceived the method by which the Israeli-

tish  nation  page 64   could best be united in a particular territory, and

could  form  a  body politic or state, and further that he perceived the

method by which that nation could best be constrained to obedience;

but  he  did not perceive, nor was it revealed to him, that this method

was  absolutely  the  best,  nor that the obedience of the people in a

certain  strip  of  territory  would  necessarily imply the end he had in


(4:65)  Wherefore  he  perceived  these things not as eternal truths, but

as  precepts  and ordinances, and he ordained them as laws of God,

and thus it came to be that he conceived God as a ruler, a legislator,
a  king,  as  merciful,  just,  &c.,  whereas  such  qualities  are simply

attributes  of  human  nature,  and utterly alien from the nature of the

Deity.  (4:66)Thus much we may affirm of the prophets who wrote laws

in  the  name  of  God;  but  we  must not affirm it of Christ, for Christ,

although  He  too  seems  to  have  written  laws in the name of God,

must  be  taken  to  have  had  a  clear and adequate perception, for
Bk.XIV:2:3521; Bk.XIA:107127.
Christ   was  not  so  much  a  prophet  as  the  mouthpiece  of  God.

(4:67)  For God made revelations to mankind through Christ as He had

before  done  through  angels—that  is,  a created voice, visions, &c.

(4:68)  It  would  be  as  unreasonable  to  say  that  God had accommo-

dated  his revelations to the opinions of Christ as that He had before

accommodated  them  to the opinions of angels (that is, of a created

voice or visions)  as matters to be revealed to the prophets, a wholly

absurd hypothesis.  (4:69) Moreover, Christ was sent to teach not only

the Jews but the whole human race, and therefore it was not enough

that  His  mind  should  be  accommodated  to the opinions the Jews
alone,  but  also to the opinion and fundamental teaching common to
the  whole human race —in other words, to ideas universal and true.
(4:70)  Inasmuch  as God revealed Himself to Christ, or to Christ's mind
immediately, and not as to the prophets through words and symbols,

we   must   needs  suppose  that  Christ  perceived  truly  what  was

revealed,  in  other  words,  He  understood  it,  for a matter is under-

stood  when  it  is  perceived  simply  by  the  mind  without words or


(4:71) Christ, then, perceived (truly and adequately) what was revealed,

and  if  He  ever  proclaimed  such revelations as laws, He did so be-

cause  of  the  ignorance  and  obstinacy of the people, acting in this

respect  the  part  of  God;  inasmuch  page 65  as  He  accommodated

Himself  to  the  comprehension of the people, and though He spoke

somewhat  more clearly than the other prophets, yet He taught what

was  revealed obscurely, and generally through parables, especially

when  He  was  speaking  to  those  to  whom it was not yet given to

understand  the  kingdom  of heaven. (See Matt. xiii:10, &c.)  (4:72)  To

those  to  whom  it was given to understand the mysteries of heaven,

He  doubtless  taught His doctrines as eternal truths, and did not lay

them  down  as  laws, thus freeing the minds of His hearers from the

bondage  of  that  law  which  He  further  confirmed and established.

(4:73)   Paul  apparently  points  to  this more than once (e.g. Rom. vii:6,

and  iii:28), though he never himself seems to wish to speak openly,

but, to quote his own words (Rom. iii:6, and vi:19), "merely humanly."

(4:74)  This  he  expressly  states  when  he  calls  God  just, and it was

doubtless  in   concession  to  human  weakness  that  he  attributes

mercy,  grace,  anger,   and  similar  qualities  to  God,  adapting  his

language  to  the  popular  mind,  or,  as  he puts it (1 Cor. iii:1, 2), to

carnal  men.  
(4:75)  In Rom. ix:18, he teaches undisguisedly that God's

anger  and  mercy  depend  not  on the actions of men, but on God's

own nature or will; further, that no one is justified by the works of the

law,  but only by faith, which he seems to identify with the full assent

of  the  soul;  lastly, that no one is blessed unless he have in him the

mind  of  Christ  (Rom. viii:9), whereby he perceives the laws of God

as eternal truths
(4:76) We conclude, therefore, that God is described
as  a  lawgiver or prince, and styled just, merciful, &c., merely in con-             Durant:63977 

cession  to  popular  understanding,  and the imperfection of popular

knowledge;  that  in  reality G-D acts and directs all things simply by

the necessity of His nature and perfection, and that His decrees and

volitions  are  eternal  truths,  and always involve necessity.   (4:77)  So

much  for  the  first  point  which I wished to explain and demonstrate.

(4:78)  Passing  on to the second point, let us search the sacred pages

for  their  teaching  concerning the light of nature and this Divine law.

(4:79)  The  first  doctrine we find in the history of the first man, where it

is  narrated  that  God commanded Adam not to eat of the fruit of the

tree  of  the  knowledge  of  good  and  evil; this seems to mean that             Garden of Eden

God  commanded  page 66   Adam  to  do  and  to  seek after righteous-

ness  because  it  was  good, not because the contrary was evil: that

is,  to  seek  the good for its own sake, not from fear of evil.  
(4:80)  We

have  seen  that  he  who  acts  rightly  from the true knowledge and

love  of  right,  acts  with  freedom  and  constancy, whereas he who

acts  from  fear  of  evil,   is  under  the  constraint of evil, and acts in

bondage  under  external control.   (4:81) So that this commandment of

God  to  Adam comprehends the whole Divine natural law, and abso-

lutely  agrees with the dictates of the light of nature; nay, it would be

easy  to  explain  on  this  basis  the  whole  history or allegory of the

first  man.   (4:82)   But  I  prefer  to  pass  over  the  subject  in  silence,

because,  in  the  first  place,  I  cannot be absolutely certain that my

explanation  would be in accordance with the intention of the sacred

writer;  and,  secondly,  because  many do not admit that this history

is  an  allegory,    maintaining  it  to  be  a  simple  narrative  of  facts.

(4:83) It will be better, therefore, to adduce other passages of Scripture,

especially  such  as  were  written  by  him,  who  speaks with all the

strength  of  his natural understanding, in which he surpassed all his

contemporaries,  and  whose sayings are accepted by the people as

of  equal  weight  with  those  of  the prophets.  
(4:84) I mean Solomon,

whose  prudence  and  wisdom  are  commended in  Scripture rather

than his piety and gift of prophecy.   (4:84a)  He, in his proverbs calls the

human  intellect  the  well-spring of true life, and declares that misfor-
tune  is  made up of folly.  
(4:84b)  "
Understanding is a well-spring of life
See Shirley's footnote[
to  him  that hath it; but the instruction {Strong:4148} of fools {Strong:

} is folly," Prov. xvi. 22
(4:85) Life being taken to mean the true life

(as  is evident from Deut. xxx:19), the fruit {PcMof the understanding

consists only in the true life, and its absence constitutes punishment.

(4:86)   All   this   absolutely   agrees   with   what   was  set  out  in  our

fourth  point  concerning  natural  law.
     (4:87)  Moreover  our  position

that  it is the well-spring of life, and that the intellect alone lays down

laws   for   the   wise,   is  plainly  taught  by  the  sage,  for  he  says

(Prov. xiii:14):  "The  law  of  the  wise  is  a  fountain  of life"—that is,

as    we    gather    from   the   preceding    text,   the   understanding.

(4:88)  In  chap. iii:13,   he   expressly  teaches  that  the  understanding

renders  man  blessed  and happy, and gives him true peace of mind.  

(4:88a) "Happy,  see Strong:833,  {better PcM},  is  the  man that findeth             Psalm 1:1

wisdom, and the man that getteth page 67  understanding," for "Wisdom

gives   length  of  days   ]life[ ,   and   riches  and  honour;  her  ways

are  ways  of  pleasantness,   and  all  her  paths  peace"  (iii.16, 17).

(4:89)  According  to  Solomon,  therefore, it is only the wise who live in

peace  and  equanimity,  not like the wicked whose minds drift hither

and  thither,  and (as Isaiah says, chap. Ivii:20) "are like the troubled

sea, for them there is no peace {of mind }."

(4:90)  Lastly, we should especially note the passage in chap. ii. of Sol-
   Bk.XIX:2916.                                                                             {Pro 2:3} 
omon's proverbs which most clearly confirms our contention:  "If thou
Strong:7121—invite to come.} 
criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding . . .
Pro 2:5}                                                                        Strong:3374, from 3372 
then  shalt  thou  understand  the  fear  of  the  Lord,    and  find  the
                                  {Omitted by Elwes, included by Shirley} 
knowledge  of  God:  ] 'Knowledge' may perhaps be 'love', for the Hebrew
        Strong:1847, from 3045
word 'Jadah—to know' can have both meanings.[  {Love, only if used as a euphe-

mism for sexual intercourse, Gen 4:17.  I conjecture that Spinoza mentions 'love'
                                                                                                                     {Pro 2:6}     
in the sense that to know G-D is to love G-D.
}   for  the  Lord  giveth  wisdom;

out of His mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.

(4:91) These words clearly enunciate:—

(4:91a) that wisdom or intellect alone teaches us to fear God
       wisely—that is, to worship Him truly;

(4:91b)  that  wisdom  and  knowledge flow from God's mouth,
       and that God bestows on us this gift; this we have already
       shown  in  proving  that  our  understanding and our know-
       ledge  depend  on,  spring from,  and are perfected by the
       idea or knowledge of God, and nothing else.

(4:92)  Solomon  goes  on to say in so many words that this knowledge

contains   and  involves  the  true  principles  of  ethics  and  politics:
Pro 2:10,11.                                       { mind }       { idea of G-D }
When  wisdom  entereth  into  thy heart, and knowledge is pleasant
                       Strong:4209—even deceitfully under Nazi conditions. }
to  thy soul, discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep
                 Pro 2:9   
thee,  then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and

equity,  yea  every  good path."   (4:93) All of which is in obvious agree-

ment  with  natural  knowledge:  for after we have come to the under-

standing  of  things,  and  have  tasted  the excellence of knowledge,

she teaches us ethics and true virtue.

(4:94)  Thus  the  happiness  and  the  peace  of him who cultivates his

natural  understanding lies, according to Solomon also, not so much

under  the  dominion  of  fortune (or God's external aid)  as in inward

personal  virtue  (or God's internal aid),  for  the  latter can to a great

extent   be   preserved   by   vigilance,   right   action,   and  thought.

(4:95)  Lastly,  we  must  by no means pass over the passage in Paul's

Epistle  to  the  Romans,  i:20,  in  which  he  says: "For the invisible

things  of  G-D from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being
understood  by  the  things  that  are  made, even His eternal power

and  G-Dhead;  so  that  page 68   they  are  without  excuse, because,

when  they  knew  G-D,  they glorified Him not as G-D, neither were

they  thankful.
(4:96) These words clearly show that everyone can by

the  light  of nature clearly understand the goodness and the eternal             God to G-d

divinity  of G-D and can thence know and deduce what they should

seek  for  and  what  avoid; wherefore the Apostle says that they are

without  excuse  and cannot plead ignorance, as they certainly might

if  it  were  a  question  of supernatural light and the incarnation, pas-

sion, and resurrection of Christ.  
(4:97) "
Wherefore," he goes on to say             Salvation[6]

(ib. 24),  "God  gave  them  up  to  uncleanness  through the lusts of

their  own  hearts;"  and  so  on,  through  the rest of the chapter, he

describes  the vices of ignorance, and sets them forth as the punish-

ment  of  ignorance.  (4:98)  This  obviously  agrees  with  the  verse of
{Pro 16:22}
Solomon,  already  quoted, "The instruction of fools is folly,"  so  that
^ chastisement - JPS}
it  is  easy  to  understand why Paul says that the wicked are without

excuse.  (4:99)  As  every  man  sows so shall he reap: out of evil, evils

necessarily spring, unless they be wisely counteracted.

(4:100)  Thus  we  see  that  Scripture  literally  approves  of the light of

natural  reason  and  the  natural  Divine  law, and I have fulfilled the

promises made at the beginning of this chapter.

page 69

(5:1)  In  the  foregoing  chapter  we  have  shown  that  the Divine law,

which  renders  men  truly blessed, and teaches them the true life, is

universal  to  all  men;  nay,  we  have  so  intimately deduced it from

human  nature  that  it  must  be  esteemed  innate,  and,  as  it were,

ingrained in the human mind.

(5:2)   But  with  regard  to  the  ceremonial  observances  which  were

ordained  in  the  {Hebrew Bible} for the Hebrews only, and were so

adapted  to  their  state  that  they  could  for  the  most  part only be

observed  by  the society as a whole and not by each individual, it is

evident  that  they formed no part of the Divine law, and had nothing

to  do  with  blessedness  and  virtue,  but  had reference only to the

election  of  the  Hebrews,  that  is  (as I have shown in Chap. III.), to

their  temporal bodily happiness and the tranquillity of their kingdom,

and  that  therefore  they  were  only valid while that kingdom lasted.

(5:3)  If  in  the {Hebrew Bible} they are spoken of as the law of God, it

is  only  because  they  were  founded  on  revelation,  or  a basis of

revelation.   (5:4)  Still  as reason, however sound, has little weight with

ordinary theologians, I will adduce the authority of Scripture for what

I here assert, and will further show, for the sake of greater clearness,

why  and  how  these  ceremonials served to establish and preserve

the Jewish kingdom.   
(5:5)  Isaiah teaches most plainly that the Divine

law  in its strict sense signifies that universal law which consists in a

true  manner  of  life,  and  does not signify ceremonial observances.

(5:6) In chapter i:10, the prophet calls on his countrymen to hearken to

the  Divine  law as he delivers it, and first excluding all kinds of sacri-

fices and all feasts, he at length sums up the law in these few words,
Bk.XIA:104104.     { Isa 1:17 }
"Cease  to  do  evil,  learn  to  do  well:  seek  judgment,  relieve  the

page 70   (5:7)  Not  less  striking  testimony  is given in Psalm

xl:6-9,  where  the  Psalmist  addresses God:  "Sacrifice and offering
 understanding [             Strong:3738
Thou  didst  not  desire;  mine ears hast Thou opened; burnt offering

and  sin-offering  hast  Thou  not  required;  I  delight  to  do Thy will,

O my  God;  yea,  Thy  law is within my heart."  (5:8) Here the Psalmist
mind }
reckons  as  the  law  of God only that which is inscribed in his heart,
holidays }
and  excludes  ceremonies  therefrom,  for the latter are good and in-

scribed  on  the  heart  only  from the fact of their institution, and not

because of their intrinsic value.

(5:9)  Other  passages  of  Scripture testify to the same truth, but these

two  will  suffice.  (5:10)  We may also learn from the Bible that ceremo-

nies  are  no aid to blessedness, but only have reference to the tem-
poral  prosperity  of  the  kingdom; for the rewards promised for their

observance  are merely temporal advantages and delights, blessed-

ness  being reserved for the universal Divine law.  (5:11) In all the five

books  commonly attributed to Moses nothing is promised, as I have

said,  beyond  temporal  benefits,  such  as honours, fame, victories,

riches,  enjoyments,  and  health.   (5:12)  Though many moral precepts

besides  ceremonies  are contained in these five books, they appear

not  as  moral doctrines universal to all men, but as commands espe-

cially  adapted  to  the  understanding  and  character of the Hebrew

people,  and  as having reference only to the welfare of the kingdom.            

 (5:13)  For  instance, Moses does not teach the Jews as a prophet not

to  kill  or  to  steal,  but  gives these commandments solely as a law-

giver  and judge; he does not reason out the doctrine, but affixes for

its  non-observance  a  penalty  which  may  and very properly does

vary  in  different  nations.  (5:14)  So,  too, the command not to commit

adultery  is  given  merely  with  reference to the welfare of the state;

for  if  the moral doctrine had been intended, with reference not only

to  the  welfare  of  the  state, but also to the tranquillity and blessed-

ness  of  the  individual,  Moses  would have condemned not merely

the  outward  act,  but  also the mental acquiescence, as is done by

Christ, Who taught only universal moral precepts, and for this cause

promises  a  spiritual  instead  of a temporal reward.  
Christ, as I

have  said,  was  sent into the world, not to preserve the state nor to

lay down laws, but solely to teach the universal moral law, so 
page 71             Smith:106118 

we  can easily understand that He wished in nowise to do away with

the  law  of  Moses,  inasmuch  as He introduced no new laws of His

ownHis  sole  care  was  to teach moral doctrines, and distinguish

them from the laws of the state; for the Pharisees, in their ignorance,

thought  that  the  observance  of  the  state law and the Mosaic law

was  the  sum  total of morality; whereas such laws merely had refer-

ence  to the public welfare, and aimed not so much at instructing the

Jews  as  at  keeping  them under constraint.  (5:16) But let us return to

our  subject,  and  cite  other  passages  of Scripture which set forth

temporal  benefits  as  rewards  for  observing  the  ceremonial  law,

and blessedness as reward for the universal law. {This is like mixing-up

going to an Independence Day parade with not stealing. Who would argue with

it; I think not even most Pharisees. Even if a religious person does so,  he prob-

ably does so in the belief that the ceremonial would lead to the moral: just as an

Independence Day parade makes one feel more patriotic.}

(5:17)  None  of  the  prophets  puts  the  point more clearly than Isaiah.
Strong:6666 from 6663
(5:18)  After  condemning  hypocrisy  he  commends  liberty and charity

towards one's self and one's neighbours,  and promises as a reward:

"Then  shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thy health shall
Strong:6664 from 6663
spring  forth  speedily,    thy  righteousness  shall   go   before   thee,
]See Shirley's footnote[
and   the  glory  of   the   Lord   shall   be  thy  reward"   (Isa. lviii:8).

(5:19)  Shortly afterwards  he  commends  the  Sabbath,  and  for a due
                                                 Isa 58:14                      See Shirley's footnote [
observance  of  it,  promises:  "Then  shalt  thou delight thyself in the

Lord, and I will cause  thee  to ride upon the high places of the earth,

and  feed  thee with  the  heritage  of Jacob thy father: for the mouth

of   the   Lord   has   spoken   it."   (5:20)  Thus  the  prophet  for  liberty

bestowed,  and  charitable  works,   promises  a  healthy  mind  in  a

healthy body, and the glory  of  the Lord  even after death; whereas,

for   ceremonial   exactitude,   he   only   promises   security   of  rule,

 prosperity, and temporal happiness.

(5:21)  In  Psalms xv.  and  xxiv. no mention is made of ceremonies, but

only  of  moral  doctrines,  inasmuch  as  there is no question of any-

thing  but  blessedness,  and  blessedness is symbolically promised:

it  is  quite  certain  that  the  expressions,  "the hill of God," and "His             Metaphors 

tents and the dwellers therein," refer to blessedness and security of

soul,  not  to  the  actual  mount  of Jerusalem and the tabernacle of

Moses,  for  these  latter  were  not dwelt in by anyone, and only the

sons  of  Levi  ministered  there.  (5:22) Further, all those sentences of

Solomon  to which I referred in the last chapter, for the cultivation of

the  intellect  and  wisdom,  promise true  page 72  blessedness, for by
wisdom  is the fear of G-D at length understood, and the knowledge

of G-D found.

(5:23)  That  the  Jews  themselves  were  not  bound  to  practise their
ceremonial  observances  after  the  destruction  of  their kingdom is

evident  from Jeremiah.  (5:24)  For when the prophet saw and foretold

that  the  desolation  of  the  city  was at hand, he said that God only

delights in those who know and understand that He exercises loving-

kindness,   judgment,  and righteousness in the earth, and that such

persons  only  are  worthy of praise. (Jer. ix:23. (5:25)  As though God

had  said  that,  after  the  desolation  of  the  city,  He would require

nothing  special  from  the  Jews beyond the natural law by which all

men are bound.

(5:26)  The  {Christian Bible}  also  confirms  this  view,  for  only  moral

doctrines are therein taught, and the kingdom of heaven is promised

as  a  reward,  whereas ceremonial observances are not touched on

by  the  Apostles,  after  they  began  to  preach  the  Gospel  to  the

Gentiles.  (5:27)  The  Pharisees  certainly  continued to practise these

rites  after  the  destruction  of  the kingdom, but more with a view of

opposing  the  Christians  than  of  pleasing  God:  for  after  the first

destruction  of  the  city, when they were led captive to Babylon, not

being then, so far as I am aware, split up into sects, they straightway

neglected  their  rites,  bid  farewell  to  the  Mosaic  law, buried their

national customs in oblivion as being plainly superfluous, and began

to  mingle with other nations, as we may abundantly learn from Ezra

and  Nehemiah.  (5:28)  We  cannot, therefore, doubt that they were no

more  bound  by the law of Moses, after the destruction of their king-

dom,  than they had been before it had been begun, while they were

still  living  among  other peoples before the exodus from Egypt, and

were  subject  to  no  special  law  beyond  the natural law, and also,

doubtless,  the law of the state in which they were living, in so far as
Martyr Laws}
it was consonant with the Divine natural law.

As  to  the  fact that the patriarchs offered sacrifices, I think they

did  so  for  the purpose of stimulating their piety, for their minds had

been  accustomed  from childhood to the idea of sacrifice, which we

know  had  been  universal  from  the  time  of Enoch; and thus they

found  in  sacrifice  their  most  powerful  incentive.   

page 73  (5:30)  
The patriarchs, then, did not sacrifice to God at the bidding of a Divine

right, or as taught by the basis of the Divine law, but simply in accor-

dance  with  the  custom of the time; and, if in so doing they followed

any  ordinance, it was simply the ordinance of the country they were

living  in,  by  which  (as  we have seen before in the case of Melchi-

sedek) they were bound.  

(5:31)    I   think   that   I   have   now   given   Scriptural   authority   for 

my   view:   it  remains   to   show   why   and  how  the  ceremonial   

observances  tended to preserve and confirm the Hebrew kingdom;

and  this  I  can  very  briefly  do  on  grounds  universally accepted.

(5:32) The formation of society serves not only for defensive purposes,

but is also very useful, and, indeed, absolutely necessary, as render-

ing  possible the division of labour.  (5:33)  If men did not render mutual

assistance  to  each  other, no one would have either the skill or the

time to provide for his own sustenance and preservation: for all men

are not equally apt for all work, and no one would be capable of pre-

paring all that he individually stood in need of. (5:34) Strength and time,

I  repeat,  would fail, if every one had in person to plough, to sow, to

reap,  to  grind  corn,  to  cook,  to  weave, to stitch, and perform the

other  numerous functions required to keep life going; to say nothing

of  the  arts  and  sciences  which  are also entirely necessary to the
perfection  and  blessedness  of  human  nature.   (5:35)   We  see  that

peoples  living  in  uncivilized barbarism lead a wretched and almost

animal  life,  and  even  they  would  not be able to acquire their few

rude  necessaries  without  assisting one another to a certain extent.

 Now  if  men  were  so  constituted  by  nature  that they desired

nothing  but  what  is  designated by true reason, society would obvi-

ously  have  no  need  of laws: it would be sufficient to inculcate true

moral  doctrines;  and  men  would  freely,  without  hesitation,  act in 
Only if enlightened.}
accordance   with   their   true  interests.   (5:37)  But  human  nature  is   

framed  in  a  different  fashion:  every  one,  indeed,  seeks  his own

interest,  but  does  not  do  so  in  accordance  with  the  dictates  of

sound  reason,  for  most  men's  ideas of desirability and usefulness

are  guided  by  their  fleshly  instincts  and  emotions, which take no

thought  beyond  the  present  and  the  immediate  object.   page 74 

(5:38)  Therefore,  no  society  can  exist without government, and force,

and  laws  to  restrain  and  repress  men's  desires  and immoderate
Bk.XI:1645; Bk.XIA:12835.  
(39)  Still  human  nature  will  not submit to absolute repres-

sion.  (5:40)  Violent  governments,  as  Seneca  says,  never  last long;
the  moderate  governments  endure.  
(5:41) So long as men act simply

from  fear they act contrary to their inclinations, taking no thought for

the  advantages  or necessity of their actions, but simply endeavour-

ing to escape punishment or loss of life.  (42) They must needs rejoice

in  any  evil  which  befalls  their  ruler, even if it should involve them-

selves;  and  must long for and bring about such evil by every means

in  their  power.  (5:43)  Again,  men  are especially intolerant of serving

and being ruled by their equals.   (5:44)  Lastly, it is exceedingly difficult

to revoke liberties once granted.

From these considerations it follows, firstly, that authority should

either  be  vested in the hands of the whole state in common, so that

everyone  should  be bound to serve, and yet not be in subjection to

his  equals;  or  else,  if  power be in the hands of a few, or one man,

that  one  man  should  be  something  above  average  humanity, or

should  strive  to  get  himself accepted as such.  (5:46) Secondly, laws

should  in  every  government  be so arranged that people should be

kept  in  bounds  by  the  hope  of some greatly desired good, rather

than by fear, for then everyone will do his duty willingly.

Lastly, as obedience consists in acting at the bidding of external

authority,  it would have no place in a state where the government is

vested  in  the  whole  people, and where laws are made by common

consent.  (5:48)   In  such  a society the people would remain free, whe-

ther  the laws were added to or diminished, inasmuch as it would not

be  done  on  external authority, but their own free consent.  (5:49) The

reverse  happens  when  the  sovereign power is vested in one man,

for  all  act at his bidding; and, therefore, unless they had been train-

ed  from  the  first  to  depend  on  the  words of their ruler, the latter

would find it difficult, in case of need, to abrogate liberties once con-

ceded, and impose new laws.

(5:50) From  these  universal considerations, let us pass on to the king-

dom  of  the Jews.  (5:51)  The Jews when they first came out  page 75  of               Smith:108136

Egypt were not bound by any national laws, and were therefore free

to ratify any laws they liked, or to make new ones, and were at liber-

ty  to  set  up  a  government  and  occupy  a territory wherever they

chose.  (5:52)  However,  they  were  entirely unfit to frame a wise code

of  laws  and  to  keep the sovereign power vested in the community;
they  were all uncultivated and sunk in a wretched slavery, therefore

the  sovereignty  was  bound  to  remain  vested in the hands of one

man  who would rule the rest and keep them under constraint, make

laws  and  interpret  them. 
(5:53)  This sovereignty was easily retained

by  Moses,  because  he surpassed the rest in virtue and persuaded
the  people  of  the  fact,  proving  it  by many testimonies (see Exod.              Smith:108136 

chap. xiv.,  last  verse,  and  chap. xix:9).  (5:54)  He then, by the Divine

virtue  he  possessed,  made laws and ordained them for the people,

taking  the  greatest  care  that  they  should be obeyed willingly and

not through fear, being specially induced to adopt this course by the

obstinate  nature  of  the  Jews, who would not have submitted to be

ruled solely by constraint; and also by the imminence of war, for it is

always  better  to  inspire soldiers with a thirst for glory than to terrify

them  with threats; each man will then strive to distinguish himself by

valour  and  courage, instead of merely trying to escape punishment.

(5:55)  Moses,  therefore,  by  his virtue and the Divine command, intro-

duced  a  religion,  so  that the people might do their duty from devo-

tion  rather  than  fear (5:56)  Further, he bound them over by benefits,

and  prophesied  many  advantages  in the future; nor were his laws

very severe, as anyone may see for himself, especially if he remarks

the  number of circumstances necessary in order to procure the con-

viction of an accused person.

(5:57)  Lastly,  in  order  that  the  people  which could not govern itself

should  be  entirely dependent on its ruler, he left nothing to the free

choice  of  individuals  (who  had  hitherto  been  slaves); the people

could  do  nothing  but remember the law, and follow the ordinances

laid  down  at the good pleasure of their ruler; they were not allowed

to  plough, to sow,  to reap, nor even to eat; to clothe themselves, to

shave,  to rejoice,  or  in  fact  to do anything whatever as they liked,

but  were  bound  to  follow  the  directions  given in the law; and not

only  this,  but they were obliged to have marks on  page 76  their door-

posts,  on  their hands, and between their eyes to admonish them to

perpetual obedience.

(5:58)  This,  then,  was  the  object  of  the  ceremonial  law,  that  men

should do nothing of their own free will, but should always act under
external  authority,  and  should  continually confess by their actions

and thoughts that they were not their own masters, but were entirely

under the control of others.

From  all these considerations it is clearer than day that ceremo-

nies  have  nothing to do with a state of blessedness, and that those

mentioned  in  the  {Hebrew Bible},  i.e.  the whole Mosaic Law, had

reference   merely   to  the  government  of  the  Jews,   and  merely

temporal advantages.

(5:60)   As  for  the  Christian  rites, such as baptism, the Lord's Supper,

festivals,  public  prayers,  and  any  other  observances  which  are,

and  always  have  been,  common  to  all  Christendom, if they were

instituted  by  Christ  or  His  Apostles (which is open to doubt), they
were  instituted as external signs of the universal church, and not as

having  anything to do with blessedness, or possessing any sanctity

in  themselves.  
Therefore,  though  such ceremonies {and such

as  modern  national  Independence  Day observances} were not or-

dained for the sake of upholding a government, they  were ordained for
the preservation of a society, and accordingly he who lives alone is not

bound by them: nay, those who live in a country where the Christian

religion  is  forbidden,  are bound to abstain from such rites, and can

none the less live in a state of blessedness.   (5:62)  We have an exam-
ple  of  this  in  Japan,  where the Christian religion is forbidden, and

the  Dutch  who  live there are enjoined by their East India Company

not to practise any outward rites of religion(5:63) I need not cite other

examples, though it would be easy to prove my point from the funda-

mental  principles  of  the {Christian Bible}, and to adduce many con-

firmatory instances; but I pass on the more willingly, as I am anxious

to proceed to my next proposition.  
I will now, therefore, pass on

to  what  I  proposed  to  treat  of  in  the second part of this chapter,

namely, what persons are bound to believe in the narratives contain-

ed in Scripture,  and how far they are so bound.   (5:65)  Examining this

question  by  the  aid  of  natural  reason,  I  will  proceed  as follows.

(5:66)  If  anyone  wishes  to persuade his fellows for or against  page 77 

anything  which  is  not  self-evident, he must deduce his contention

from  their  admissions,  and  convince  them either by experience or

by  ratiocination;  either  by  appealing to facts of natural experience,

or  to  self-evident  intellectual  axioms.   (5:67)  Now unless the experi-

ence  be  of  such  a  kind as to be clearly and distinctly understood,

though  it  may  convince  a  man,  it will not have the same effect on

his  mind  and  disperse  the  clouds  of  his  doubt  so completely as

when the doctrine taught is deduced entirely from intellectual axioms

that is,  by the mere power of the understanding and logical order,

and this is especially the case in spiritual matters which have nothing

to do with the senses.

(5:68)   But  the  deduction  of  conclusions from general truths à priori,

usually  requires  a  long  chain  of  arguments, and, moreover, very

great caution, acuteness, and self-restraint—qualities which are not

often  met  with;  therefore  people prefer to be taught by experience

rather  than  deduce  their  conclusion  from  a  few  axioms, and set
them  out  in  logical  order.  (5:69)  Whence  it  follows,  that  if anyone

wishes  to  teach  a  doctrine  to  a whole nation (not to speak of the

whole  human  race),  and to be understood by all men in every par-

ticular,  he  will  seek  to  support  his teaching with experience, and

will  endeavour  to  suit his reasonings and the definitions of his doc-

trines as far as possible to the understanding of the common people,

who  form  the  majority  of mankind, and he will not set them forth in

logical sequence nor adduce the definitions which serve to establish

them.   (5:70)  Otherwise  he writes only for the learned—that is, he will              unlearned

be   understood   by   only  a  small  proportion  of  the  human  race.

All  Scripture  was  written  primarily  for  an  entire  people,  and

secondarily  for  the  whole  human race; therefore its contents must

necessarily  be  adapted  as  far as possible to the understanding of

the  masses,  and  proved  only by examples drawn from experience.

(5:72)  We  will explain ourselves more clearly.  (5:73)  The chief specula-

tive  doctrines  taught  in  Scripture  are  the  existence  of God, or a               Simply Posit 

being  Who made all things, and Who directs and sustains the world 

with  consummate  wisdom; furthermore, that God takes the greatest  

thought  for  men,  or  such  of  them  as live piously and honourably,

while  He  punishes, with various penalties, those who do evil, sepa-           pedagogy-teaching

rating  them from the good.  (5:74)  All  page 78  this is proved in Scripture

entirely  through  experience—that  is,  through  the narratives there

related.  (5:75)  No  definitions of doctrine are given, but all the sayings

and  reasonings  are  adapted  to  the  understanding of the masses.

(5:76) Although experience can give no clear knowledge of these things,

nor  explain  the  nature  of God, nor how He directs and sustains all

things,  it  can  nevertheless  teach  and enlighten men sufficiently to

impress obedience and devotion on their minds.  (5:77) It is now, I think,

sufficiently  clear what persons are bound to believe in the Scripture

narratives,  and  in  what  degree  they  are so bound, for it evidently

follows  from  what has been said that the knowledge of and belief in

them  is  particularly  necessary to the masses whose intellect is not

capable  of  perceiving  things  clearly and distinctly.  (5:78) Further, he

who  denies  them  because  he  does not believe that God exists or

takes  thought  for  men  and  the world, may be accounted impious;

but  a  man  who  is  ignorant  of  them,  and  nevertheless knows by

natural  reason  that  God  exists,  as  we  have said, and has a true

plan  of  life,  is  altogether  blessedyes,   more  blessed  than  the

common   herd   of  believers,   because  besides  true  opinions  he

possesses  also  a  true  and distinct conception.  (5:79) Lastly, he who

is  ignorant  of  the Scriptures and knows nothing by the light of rea-

son,  though  he  may  not  be  impious or rebellious, is yet less than

human and almost brutal, having none of God's gifts.

We  must  here remark that when we say that the knowledge of

the  sacred narrative is particularly necessary to the masses, we do

not mean the knowledge of absolutely all the narratives in the Bible,

but  only  of  the  principal  ones, those which, taken by themselves,

plainly  display  the  doctrine  we  have  just  stated, and have most

effect over men's minds.

(5:81)  If  all  the narratives in Scripture were necessary for the proof of

this  doctrine,  and  if no conclusion could be drawn without the gen-

eral  consideration  of  every  one  of  the  histories  contained in the

sacred  writings,  truly  the  conclusion  and  demonstration  of  such

doctrine  would  overtask  the  understanding  and strength not only

of  the  masses,  but of humanity; who is there who could give atten-

tion  to  all  the narratives at once, and to all the circumstances, and

all  the  scraps  of doctrine  to be elicited from such a host of diverse

page 79  histories?  (5:82)  I  cannot  believe  that  the  men  who have left

us  the  Bible  as  we  have  it  were so abounding in talent that they

attempted  setting  about  such  a method of demonstration, still less

can  I  suppose that we cannot understand Scriptural doctrine till we

have given heed to the quarrels of Isaac, the advice of Achitophel to

Absalom,  the  civil war between Jews and Israelites, and other simi-

lar  chronicles; nor can I think that it was more difficult to teach such

doctrine  by means of history to the Jews of early times, the contem-
 Ezra }
poraries of  Moses,  than  it  was  to  the  contemporaries  of Esdras.

(5:83)  But  more  will  be said on this point hereafter, we may now only

note  that  the masses are only bound to know those histories which

can  most  powerfully  dispose their mind to obedience and devotion.

(5:84)  However,  the masses are not sufficiently skilled to draw conclu-

sions  from  what  they  read,  they  take  more  delight  in the actual

stories,  and  in  the  strange and unlooked-for issues of events than

in  the doctrines implied; therefore, besides reading these narratives,

they  are  always  in  need  of  pastors or church ministers to explain

them to their feeble intelligence.

But  not to wander from our point, let us conclude with what has

been  our  principal  object—namely,  that  the truth of narratives, be

they  what  they  may,  has  nothing  to  do  with the Divine law, and

serves  for  nothing  except  in  respect of doctrine, the sole element

which  makes  one history better than another.  (5:86) The narratives in

the {Christian and Hebrew Bibles} surpass profane history, and differ

among themselves in merit simply by reason of the salutary doctrines

which  they  inculcate.  (5:87)  Therefore,  if  a  man  were  to  read  the

Scripture  narratives  believing  the  whole  of them, but were to give

no  heed  to  the doctrines they contain, and make no amendment in

his  life,  he  might  employ  himself  just  as profitably in reading the

Koran  or the poetic drama, or ordinary chronicles, with the attention

usually  given  to  such writings; on the other hand, if a man is abso-

lutely ignorant of the Scriptures, and none the less has right opinions
Bk.XX:28099, 29110. 
and  a  true plan of life, he is absolutely blessed and truly possesses

in himself the spirit of Christ.

(5:88)   The  Jews  are  of  a  directly  contrary  way of thinking, for they

hold  that  true  opinions and  a  true  plan  of life are of no service in

attaining  blessedness,  if  their  possessors  have   page 80  arrived at

them  by  the  light  of  reason  only, and not like the documents pro-
phetically  revealed  to  Moses.  (5:89)  Maimonides ventures openly to

make  this  assertion:  "Every man who takes to heart the seven pre-       Seven Noachide laws
See Shirley's added footnote [
cepts  and  diligently  follows them, is counted with the pious among

the  nation,  and  an  heir  of  the  world  to come; that is to say, if he

takes  to  heart  and follows them because God ordained them in the

law,  and  revealed  them  to  us  by  Moses,  because  they were of

aforetime  precepts to the sons of Noah: but he who follows them as
 See Shirley's added footnote [
led  thereto  by reason, is not counted as a dweller among the pious

or  among  the  wise  of  the  nations.{Conjecture: Maimonides means

that   a   man   who   has   reasoned   them-out   but   does   not   follow   them, 

is not pious, and  will  not have peace-of-mind.} (5:90)  Such are the words of
                                    ]15th century[
Maimonides,  to which R. Joseph, the son of Shem {Tov}, adds in his

book  which  he calls "Kebod Elohim, or God's Glory,"  that although

Aristotle  (whom  he  considers to have written the best ethics and to

be  above  everyone  else)  has  not  omitted anything that concerns

true  ethics,  and  which  he  has  adopted in his own book, carefully

following  the  lines  laid down, yet this was not able to suffice for his

salvation,  inasmuch  as  he  embraced  his doctrines in accordance

with  the  dictates  of reason  and not as Divine documents propheti-

cally revealed.

However,  that  these are mere figments, and are not supported

by Scriptural authority will, I think, be sufficiently evident to the atten-

tive  reader, so that an examination of the theory will be sufficient for

its refutation.  (92) It is not my purpose here to refute the assertions of

those  who  assert that the natural light of reason can teach nothing

of  any  value concerning the true way of salvation (5:93)  People who

lay  no  claims  to  reason  for  themselves,  are not able to prove by

reason this their assertion; and if they hawk about something superi-

or  to  reason,  it  is  a  mere  figment, and far below reason, as their

general  method  of  life sufficiently shows.  (5:94) But there is no need

to  dwell  upon  such persons. 
(5:95) I will merely add that we can only

judge of a man by his works(96) If a man abounds in the fruits of the

Spirit,  charity,  joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith,

gentleness,  chastity,  against which, as Paul says (Gal. v:22), there

is  no  law,  such an one, whether he be taught by reason only or by

the Scripture only, has been in very truth taught by God, and is alto-

gether blessed {has PcM}.  (5:97)  Thus  have I said all that I undertook

to say concerning Divine law.

End of PART 1 of 4




Chapter I
(p. 13)

Note 1 269, 13  (1) The word naw-vee', {Strong:5030—prophet, inspired man;

from  the  root naw-vaw', Strong:5012—prophesy, i.e. speak (or sing) by

inspiration, to bubble forth, to gush out, to publish, to tell}
, is rightly inter-

preted by Rabbi Salomon Jarchi, but the sense is hardly caught by Aben

Ezra,   who  was  not  so  good  a Hebraist.  (2)  We must also remark that

this  Hebrew  word  for  prophecy  has  a  universal  meaning  and em-

braces  all  kinds  of prophecy.  (3)  Other  terms  are  more special, and

denote  this  or  that sort of prophecy,  as I believe is well known to the


{From HirPent: Gn 20:7}

(4) Naw-vee',  {Strong:5030}, from naw-vah'{Strong:5012}, (related to

{Strong:5042} spring, flow forth or well forth, ), the source from which

the  word  of  God  issues, the organ through which the spirit of God

speaks  to  men.  (5) The form of the word is accordingly also passive.

(6)  The  word  {naw-vee'} itself by which our {Hebrew} language desig-

nates prophets is, accordingly, already in itself the most definite pro-

test  against  all which in general is attributed to prophets and proph-

(7)  Naw-vee'  is  not  pro-phet,  prediction, not one who foretells,

but essentially the organ of God {the one who has the insight of a nat-

ural law, objectivity}.
(8)  In circles where they play a deceptive game with

the  concepts  of  prophecy  and  revelation,  poets  and  rapture are

elevated  to  prophets and prophecy so as then to relegate prophets

and  prophecy  to  poetry  and  rapture,  and  to  allow  neh-voo-aw',

{Strong:5016}, to be nothing more than a product of the human mind

{subjectivity}.  (9)  Our  prophet  is a naw-vee',  a vessel and an organ

through  which  the  spirit  of God and the word of God reaches man-

kind, not from within himself, but to him does God speak {objectively}.

{From HirPent: Ex 7:1}

(10)  As  a  prophet  is  to  Me,  so  shall  Aaron  be unto thee.  (11) This

description  is  of  paramount  importance  for  the  whole fact of true

Jewish  prophecy.  (12)  As  sure  as Moses  and  Aaron  here are two

separate  personalities,  Moses who arranges and gives commands,

Aaron  who  carries  them  out  and hands them on, so sure is it, that

that  idea  of  prophecy  is  false,  which, declares that God does not

speak to the prophet {objectivity} but in him {subjectivity}(13) This denial

of  actual  revelations of God to the prophet negates the true idea that

God  reveals  Himself  to  the  prophet,  and  then  the  prophet brings

what  God  has  revealed to him to the people,  but reduces the proph-

et  to  an  inspired  poet or lawgiver out of whom, while he is in a state

of  ecstasy,  or elevation of spirit, God speaks.  (14)  Actually the prophet

stands  before  God,  as  here  Aaron  before  Moses.     (15)   Naw-vee',

{Strong:5030}, is accordingly a passive idea; hee-naw-veh', {is a passive

form of Strong:5012} (related to naw-vah',—to bubble forth, to gush out,

a gushing stream.)   (16)  Prov. XVIII:4 used in relation to God, "a source",

{is}  a  fountainhead  to cause His word to be made known through the

prophet.   (17)  The  prophet  is not the originator of the words he speaks


(p. 17)  Bk.XI:631   ]Maimonides 1195 - 1204.   Born in  Spain,  but
traveled extensively,  finally  settling  in  Egypt.     A physician as well
as  a  remarkable scholar.    His "Guide  to the Perplexed" is his best 
known  work. [  .  

1:49 (p. 19)  Moses, Ezra, Jesus, Spinoza, and Einstein were "a light unto the nations" as charged;
               (add Copernicus, Galileo, Darwin and many others;
all 'wrestled' with G-D, all were                persecuted. {Anti-Semitism}              (Genesis 32:23ff; a metaphor ^ for the struggle to know G-D.)  

1:50 (p. 19)  From Steven B. Smith's Bk.XIA:104109 — Affirm or deny. 

1:111 (p.25)   From Popkin's "Spinoza"; 2004; ISBN 1851683399; Page 59Prophets   

2:96 (p.37)   Bk.XI:821  ]Ibn Ezra (Aben  Ezra) 1092 - 1167,  the leading
light  of Spanish  Judaism  of  his  time.  Of his many works, comment-
aries  on  the  Book of Job  and  on the Pentateuch are mentioned by  
Spinoza, who had high regard for him as a "liberioris ingenii vir."[ 

2:114 (p.39)   Bk.XI:851  ]The  treatise  of  Sabbatus—a reference to the
Tractate  Shabbath   of  the  Babylonian  Talmud, mentioned again in
Chapter 10.[ 

2:121 (p.40)  Bk.XI:852  ]Josephus 37 A.D. - 100 A.D. Took part in the             Britannica
revolt of 66 A.D., but  surrendered,  came  over  to  the Roman side,  
and  took  residence  at  Rome.  His  main  historical  works are the 
Josephus Home Page , The Josephus Project.[ 

2:133 (p.41)  Bk.XI:861 ]Pharisees—a strictly orthodox sect which emerged    
with the  Second  Temple.    But in the course of this book Spinoza often
uses  the  term  "Pharisees"  {pejoratively}  for strictly  orthodox  {Rabbinic}         anti-Semitism?}
Jewish religious thought  throughout  the centuries.[

3:101 (p.55)   Shirley's Bk.XI:99   ] Ferdinand.  A reference to his decree of 1492. [ 

3:103 (p.56)   Shirley's Bk.XI:100  ] Manuel.  A decree of 1496. [ 

3:104 (p.56)   From Popkin's "Spinoza"; 2004; ISBN 1851683399; Page 62proto-Zionist: 

4:21 (p.59)  From Steven B. Smith's Bk.XIA:109Divine Law.

Spinoza  begins  his  treatment of the divine law with an account of law in           Durant:641
its  "absolute sense:" The word law, [Legis], taken absolutely, means that 
according  to  which  each individual, or all or some members of the same 
species,  act  in  one and the same certain and determinate manner.  This 
depends  either  on  a necessity of nature or on a decision of men.  A law 
which  depends  on a necessity of nature is one which follows necessarily 
from  the  very  nature  or  definition  of a thing.  One which depends on a       Parkinson:2601
decision  of  men,  and which is more properly called a rule of right, is one 
which  men  prescribe  for  themselves  and  others,  for the sake of living 
more  safely and conveniently, or for some other reasons.''   Law, in other 
words, seems to be of two kinds.  Lex follows from the nature or definition 
of  the  thing,  while jus depends on a "decision of men' (ab hominum placito), 
which  one person lays down for another.  As examples of the first kind of 
law Spinoza cites the "universal law of all bodies" to lose as much of their 
motion  as  they  impart  to  others and certain laws of human psychology 
that  lead  us  to  associate  like things with one another.  For jus he cites 
the necessity of persuading or compelling men to give up some portion of 
their natural right for the sake of living in a convenient manner with others 
( commodius vivendum ). 

4:85 (p.66) Shirley's Bk.XI:109  {Shirley adds this footnote that Elwes omitted.}

] Latin-domini.   A Hebrew idiom.   That which possesses something, or
contains it  in  its  nature,  is called  lord  of  that  thing.    Thus a bird is
called  lord  of wings in Hebrew, because it possesses wings; an intelli- 
gent  being  is  called  lord of intellect, because it possesses intellect. [ 

4:88 (p.66)  From HirPs 1:1 - "Forward strides that man ... " {Jewish Orthodox versions read: "Happy, (or Blessed), is the man ..."} D:Endnote 1.13d

The root of awsh-ray' is aw-shar'; Strong:0833to be straight, level, right, happy; fig. to go forward, be honest, prosper, be blessed, go, guide, lead, relieve.

Awsh-ray'. On one hand the phonetic relationship of the root aw-shar' to: aw-shar', Strong:6238 — to accumulate, to grow; aw-sar', Strong:0631— to yoke, fasten, put in bonds, tie; aw-zar', Strong:0247 — to belt, bind, gird; aw-zar', Strong:5826 — to surround, i.e. protect or aid; aw-tsar', Strong:6113 — to inclose, maintain, rule, assemble; ah-tzar', Strong:0686 — to store-up, treasure; would indicate a gathering, an accumulation of power and material goods. On the other hand, there is the meaning of, "ash-shoor', Strong:0838 — "a step," ah-shar', Strong:0833— to step forward, to "progress" (Prov. 4:14; 23:19), as for example, ah-shay-rah', Strong:0839, a tree blossoming forth under the protection of a deity. This would indicate as the true meaning for aw-shar' not the possession of faculties and material goods already attained, but, instead, the progress toward the eventual attainment of such material and spiritual wealth. It is "striding forward." Even the relative pronoun aw-sher', Strong:0834, which is used to introduce the predicate to a subject or an object, expresses a step forward in thought, "the vesting of an idea with an additional predicate, its enrichment with a new characteristic. Thus awsh-ray' denotes all possible progress, progress in every respect. "Striding forward," advancement in all that which is desirable, is the basic motive and the goal of all the thoughts and acts of men.  

4:96 (p. 68)  From Deleuze's Bk.XIX:2916. — God to G-D. 

TTP1:V(53):75 - From Smith's Bk.XIA:108
138This-worldly, Synthesis, Harbinger, Overcome. 

5:18 (p.71)   Bk.XI:114   {Shirley  adds  this  footnote  that  Elwes  omitted.}

5:19 (p.71)   Bk.XI:114  {Shirley adds these footnotes that Elwes omitted.}

5:89 (p.80)   Bk.XI:122   {Shirley adds this footnote that Elwes omitted.}

The seven Noachide laws as traditionally enumerated are the prohibitions of: 
           1.  idolatry. 
           2.  blasphemy.            Compare Martyr Laws 
           3.  bloodshed.                                    " 
           4.  sexual sins. {Incest}                      "               
           5.  theft.
           6.  eating from a living animal. {In the days before refrigeration!} 
           7.  the injunction to establish a legal system. 
{Note how these laws promote public and individual perpetuation by 
inculcating enlightened self-interest. Note also how they bring PcM
Compare Ten Commandments;
 Exo 20:1, Deu 5:5.}  

Maimonides ventures openly to make  this  assertion:  ". . . . . but  he
who  follows  them  as  led  thereto  by  
reason,  is  not counted as a
dweller among the pious . . . "   {Spinoza refutes this.}  

          {I side with Maimonides. Who is the better soldier; one who follows
          orders   blindly   (except   for   the  three injunctions),  or  one  who
          follows   an   order   only   when   he   had   reasoned   it  through?  
Reason  is  always  limited  by  a  lack of knowledge, at that limit a 
          leap-of-faith is required to follow the order. 


Note 2 269, 14  "Although, ordinary knowledge is Divine, its professors
 be called prophets."   

(1) That  is,  interpreters  of  God.  (2)   For  he  alone is an interpreter of

God,  who  interprets  the  decrees  which  God  has revealed to him,

to  others  who  have not received such revelation, and whose belief,

therefore, rests merely on the prophet's authority and the confidence

reposed in him.  (3)   If it were otherwise, and all who listen to prophets

became  prophets  themselves,   as  all  who  listen   to  philosophers

become  philosophers,  a  prophet would no longer be the interpreter

of  Divine  decrees,  inasmuch  as  his hearers would know the truth,

not  on  the,  authority  of the prophet, but by means of actual Divine
revelation  and  inward testimony.  
(4) Thus the sovereign powers are
the  interpreters  of  their  own rights of sway, because these are de-

fended  only  by  their  authority  and  supported  by  their  testimony.

Note 2A -  . . . the exact signification of the Hebrew word roo'-akh,"
From Hirsch's comment on Ex 25:39.} pg. 456    

(1) Now, if we go into the sphere in which the thoughts of Jewish sym-

bolism   in general, and of the Temple in particular generally move in
the  sphere  of  individual  or  national  spiritual  and  moral life—and

seek  there  that  which  is  the  cause of both perception and action,

which  both  illuminates  and causes "movement"—which accordingly

would  find  its  most  suitable  symbolic  expression in Light—we find               Menorah - 
                                        { Strong:7307 }                                                          iconographic symbol
only one thing, and that is roo'-akh, the Spirit. (1a) Roo'-akh is that which         signifying Judaism.

simultaneously  gives  knowledge,  perception,  insight,  and  wisdom,  

and  gives  the  impetus  to  the  willing  and  accomplishing  of  moral


Note 2A cont.1 - From Hirsch's comment on Ex 25:39.} pg. 457  

Joseph,  gifted  with  clearer  insight  and  perception,  is a man in

whom  is  the  spirit of God. (Gen. XLI:38).  (3) Bezalel is filled with the

spirit  of  wisdom,  with  the spirit of God. (Ex. XXXV:31).  (4) The spirit

of  God  came  upon  Biliam  (Numb. XXIV:2).  (5)   Moses is to appoint

Joshua  as  his  successor  for  he  is  a  man  who  has  spirit in him

(Numb. XXVII:18),  he  is  full  of  the spirit of wisdom (Deut. XXXIV:9).

(6)  Spirit came upon the chosen elders of Israel (Numb. XI:16 et seq.),

and,  "O that",  Moses wishes, "the whole nation were prophets, that

God  would  send  His  spirit on them" (ibid 29).  (7) "The spirit of God

spoke  through  David  and  His  word  was  upon  his tongue" (Sam.

11. XXIII:2).  (8)  "The  spirit  of  God  rests  on  Israel  and the Word of

God  is  in  its  mouth"  (Is. LIX:21).   (9)   God pours His spirit upon our

children,  (Is. XLIV:3)  and  ultimately  on  all flesh (Joel III:l).  (10)  "The

prophet  becomes  a  fool,  the  man  of  spirit,  idiotic"   (Hosea IX:7).

(11)  In  all  these  and  in  many  other places (as in Ps. LXXVII:7), and

"my  spirit  began  to meditate, it is the spirit in man and the breath of

God  in  them which understands the experiences of the years" (Job.

XXXII:8),  in  all  of  them, spirit is that which perceives an recognises

and which gives perception.

Note 2A cont.2 - From Hirsch's comment on Ex 25:39.} pg. 457  
(12) On  the  other hand, in places like:—"Because Caleb had a differ-

ent spirit and he followed Me completely" (Numb. XIV:24).  (13) "Every-

one  came  whose  heart  urged him to it, and everyone whose spirit

moved  him  to  it,  brought  the  'heave offering' (gifts)  for God" (Ex.

XXXV:21).  (14)  "God  let  Sichon's  spirit be hard and his heart daring,

so  as  to  deliver  him  into  Israel's hand" (Deut. II:30).  (15) "The bad

spirit  between  Abimelech  and the lords of Sechem" (Judges IX:23).

(16) "The  spirit  of  God  which came over Jephtah" (ibid XI:29) "which

moved  Samson"  (ibid XIII:25)  "which  clothed  itself  in  Gidon  and

Abischar"  (ibid  VI:34  and  Chron.  1. XII:19).   (17)  "The  spirit  which

moved the King of Assyria to repentance" (Kings 11. XIX:7).  (18) "The

spirit  of  Cyrus  which  God  awakened,   to  allow  Israel  to  return"

(Ezra I:1).   (19)   "The   spirit   of  unfaithfulness  which  leads  astray"            Ezra's Biography

(Hosea  IV:12 & V:4).   (20)  "The   spirit   of   impurity   which God  will

remove from the world" (Zac. XIII:2).   (21) "The strong spirit,"  "the free

spirit", for the renewal of which David begs (Ps. LI:12,14).  (22) "The

new  spirit"  which  God  promises  Israel  ( Ezekiel  XI:19; XVIII:31;

XXXVI:26; {XVIII:31).  (23)  In all these cases, spirit is not that which

has knowledge, perception, but that which moves the willpower to

good  or  bad deeds.  (24)  Even  in  the  places  where,  as  in  Gen.

XXVI:35, Rebecca's daughters-in-law were a "bitterness of spirit to

her", in Sam, 1. 1:15 Hannah's spirit was depressed"; "God is near

to those broken in spirit" (Ps. XXXIV:19); "loneliness of spirit," "high

spirit"  (Prov. XVI:18 & 19),  and  frequently elsewhere, spirit repre-

sents  that  side  of our "soul-life" that we call "feelings"; even then,

it  is  just  a description of how that phase of our relation to objects

about  us  finds  its  expression, how our inclination for, or against,

anything,  our  feeling  for,  or  against,  anything,  expresses itself.

(25)  So  that it is the description of exactly that moment which forms

the birthplace of our decisions for good or for bad.

Note 2A cont.3 - From Hirsch's comment on Ex 25:39.} pg. 458  

(26)  Accordingly,  we  feel justified in taking the Light in the Sanctuary               Menorah 

as  the  symbolic  representation  of  spirit  in  its double relationship,

the  theoretical  and  the  practical,  understanding and the will to do

things, knowledge and action.

(27)  Luckily  in  the  Bible itself we have found unmistakable confirma-

tion and support of our explanation.

Note 2A cont.4 - From Hirsch's comment on Ex 25:39.} pg. 458  

(28)  To  Zachariah,  the  bearer  of  God's  message to Zerubabel the

national  leader,  who  has  to  lay  the foundation  stone  of  a  new

Jewish  national  life  on  the  ruins  of  the  destroyed  Jewish State,

and  thereby  accomplish  a  work, to which at every step "the adver-

sary  and hindrances stood",  to  Zachariah,  was  shown  the  Lamp

with  its  seven lights. 
(29) When he asked the angel who brought him

the Word of God for an explanation of the meaning of this apparition,

the  angel  replied  "do  you  then  not  know  the  meaning  of these

lamps?"  and he had replied, "No, my Lord", the angel said to him:—

"This  is  the  word  of  God  to be transmitted to Zerubabel:—Not by

means  of  the  strength  of an army, not by physical strength, but by

My spirit,"  sayeth the Lord of Hosts (Zach. IV:4-6).  (30) Here we have

proof  that  spirit,  and  indeed God's spirit, is that which is represent-

ed  by  the  Lamp  bearing  the seven lights.  (31) And indeed this sym-

bolic  meaning  must be such a natural evident one, that the counter

question  of  the  angel "do you then not know what this represents?"

sounds  somewhat  of  a  reproach  that  the  prophet should require

further  elucidation  of  this  symbolic apparition.  (32) Note also, that if

it  is  here indicated to Zerubabel that it is the spirit of God, by which

he  will accomplish his mission, here again spirit appears not merely

as  a  mental  medium,  but  also  as  the  practical  means  of action.

(33)  For  the  Word  was  sent  to  Zerubabel,  the  Leader,  not  to the

Teacher.  (34) He  did  not have to teach what the will of God was, but

to  recognise  and  understand it, and carry it out; to him was entrust-

ed  the  laying  of  a  foundation  stone  on which, and on the edifice

that  was  to  be  finished  on it, "the whole of the Divine Providence"

was directed.

Note 2A cont.5 - From Hirsch's comment on Ex 25:39.} pg. 458

(35)  Apart  from  this,  in  other  places, the word of God itself has ex-                Logos

pressed  what  the nature and content of the spirit is, that God calls

"His spirit".  (36)  In  Isaiah,  XI:2,  speaking  of  the  branch that was to

grow  from  the  stem  of  Jesse,  it says "And the Spirit of the LORD

shall rest upon him", and this spirit of God is then immediately, more

precisely,  explained  as  "the  spirit  of  wisdom  and perception, the

spirit   of  counsel  and  strength, the spirit of understanding and fear

of God."  (37)  So that again it is quite unmistakably confirmed, that the

spirit  which God calls His spirit, and which as Zachariah teaches us

is  represented  by the Lamp, is not a spirit of mere theoretical know-

ledge  and  understanding,  but  is the means of both understanding

and action.

End of Note 2A.}

Note 3 269, 24    "Prophets were endowed with a peculiar and
                       extraordinary power.

 (1)  Though some men enjoy gifts which nature has not bestowed on

their  fellows,  they  are  not  said  to  surpass  the bounds of human

nature,  unless  their  special qualities are such as cannot be said to

be  deducible from the definition of human nature.  (2) For instance, a

giant  is  a  rarity,  but  still  human.  (3)  The  gift of composing poetry

extempore  is  given  to  very  few, yet it is human. (4) The same may,

therefore,  be  said  of  the  faculty  possessed by some of imagining

things  as  vividly  as  though  they  saw  them before them, and this

not  while  asleep,  but  while  page 270  awake.   (5)  But if anyone could

be  found  who  possessed  other  means  and other foundations for
knowledge, he might be said to transcend the limits of human nature.

(p. 43)

Note 4
270, 47  (1)  In Gen. xv:2. it is written that God promised Abraham

to  protect  him,   and  to  grant  him  ample  rewards.     (2)    Abraham

answered  that he could expect nothing which could be of any value

to him, as he was childless and well stricken in years.

Note 5
270, 47 That a keeping of the commandments of the {Hebrew Bible}

is not sufficient for  eternal life, appears from Mark x:21.


JBY Note 10 and Preface.       

 Endnote P:21—From The Teaching Company's Tapes; The Great Ideas of Philosophy, 2nd Edition; 2004; Professor Daniel N. Robinson's Lecture 28; Part 3 Transcript, p. 60; Thomas Hobbes and the Social Machine—Civil Society.  Robinson3:63 

 Endnote P:50—From The Teaching Company's Tapes; The Great Ideas of Philosophy, 2nd Edition; 2004; Professor Daniel N. Robinson's Lecture 28; Part 3 Transcript, p. 63; Thomas Hobbes and the Social Machine—Righteous Government, Constitution.  Robinson3:60 

TTP1:Chapter 4 - From Smith's Book XIA:139 Divine Law versus scriptural theology.  

Logos: From Max I. Dimont's "Jews, God and History", ISBN 0451628667, Pg.122.

LogosNote 1 
We  can  see  how  this  idea  was  taken  directly  by  the  Christians, for 
instance,  in  the  Gospel  According  to Saint John, which begins: "In the 
beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was
        I John 1:1 
God".  Ironically,  this  opening  sentence  in  John  is now more a Jewish
doctrine  than  a  Christian  one.  The  Christians  made the "Son of Man"
equal to God,  whereas  it  was  the  Jews {Jesus and Spinoza} who followed 
John's  junction  and  made  "the Word,"  that is, the Torah, equal to G-D.         Metaphors
It is to the Jews that "the Word {daw-vawr, Logos} is G-D."  

{Torah,  Strong:8451, a precept or statute;  from yaw-raw' 3384, to teach, 
instruct, (an archer to hit the mark).  However, in HirPent:Gn 26:5, Hirsch 
believes  torah  comes  from  haw-raw',  Strong:2029,  to  be pregnant, to 
conceive.  Hence  to  implant  the  seeds  of truth and goodness, of spirit- 
uality  and  morality:  to  teach.  I  conjecture  that  torah  comes from ore,  
Strong:215, light, kindle; hence torah enlightens.}


End of Endnotes to Part 1 of 4.


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