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Philo’s life of Moses

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Chapter Summary

Philo's oeuvre can be divided into three genre categories; the Quaestiones, the Legum Allegoriae, and the Exposition of the Law. Philo's treatment of the despoliation occurs in two different passages. One is a literal treatment from the Exposition, and the other, from the Allegorical Commentaries, transforms Genesis 15:14 into an allegory of the soul. Philo intends to clarify the value and significance of Moses as legislator for possibly a wider readership than the Allegorical Commentary. Philo has presented us with something other than a traditional commentary on the biblical story but a highly independent version which has been provoked by the versions of the Moses story which Gager calls "revenge in the form of exodus narratives" written from an Egyptian point of view. Philo is unique in his transformation of the historical freedom of Abraham's descendants when they moved into Egypt into a philosophical freedom of the wellborn.

Keywords:biblical story; Egypt; exodus; Genesis; Moses; Philo



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