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On Humanity, Chapter 15

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Chapter Summary

The material for this chapter is provided by Exod 23:4-5, where concern for one's fellow Israelites and their means of livelihood is extended even to enemies. The soul of the one who gives it is rendered more gentle, while the recipient puts aside rancor and the desire for revenge. In QE 2.12 (note that here the canonical order is maintained), we are informed that the law in Exod 23:5 exhibits both humanity and gentleness, aiding both the enemy and the animal by lightening the burden of the latter. Having expounded on the literal meaning, Philo proceeds to interpret the prescribed action symbolically as the soul of the sage unloading the sensual burdens of the body.

Keywords:Exod 23:4; humanity; Philo; sensual burdens



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