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The previous post in this series may be found here.

Now, just as I explained, the start of Moses’ account is most remarkable, since it concerns the making of the cosmos, showing the cosmos in conformity to the law: the law also to the cosmos. The man regulated by that law, being conformed to the purpose and practice of nature, becomes a citizen of the cosmos which is so administered.

Now, the intellectual beauty of making the cosmos is such that no poet, no writer would be able to praise. It exceeds speech and hearing; being greater – more august – than any mortal means could possibly adapt.

 Yet this must not be a cause for silence. Rather, on account of the one loved by God, we must speak even beyond our ability. We will take nothing of ourselves. In place of much, we will come to what little is possible for human thought driven by love and desire for wisdom.

 Greek Text & Notes:

ἡ δʼ ἀρχή, καθάπερ ἔφην,

Now, the beginning, just as I said

De marks a new phase in the argument, but not precisely a contrast.

Yonge translates “arche” as “exordium”.


ἐστὶ θαυμασιωτάτη κοσμοποιίαν περιέχουσα

is most wonderful/greatest marvel creation of the cosmos containing

The particular modifies the cosmos-creation.


ὡς καὶ τοῦ κόσμου τῷ νόμῳ συνᾴδοντος

as also of the world in conformity with the law [and the law with] the cosmos

The genitive: kosmos, locates the matter under discussion:  Now, just as I have said, the beginning of Moses’ account of the making of the cosmos is most wonderful, seeing that the cosmos

The dative: the law, Dative of Rule (Wallace 157-8), in conformity with the law.

Sunado (in accordance with, agreeing with) confirm the Dative of Rule. The participle is in the genitive, matching the genitive of cosmos.


καὶ τοῦ νομίμου ἀνδρὸς εὐθὺς ὄντος κοσμοπολίτου

and the lawful man [man acting in accordance with the law] straightway being a citizen of the cosmos

Aner is a male as opposed to a female; compare Anthropos, which refers to a human being (although often a male as representative, not necessarily so).


πρὸς τὸ βούλημα τῆς φύσεως τὰς πράξεις ἀπευθύνοντος,

With the purpose of nature [and] the practices being made straight/restored

Pros + accusative: a very close “with”.   Nature modifies both purpose & practice.


καθʼ ἣν καὶ ὁ σύμπας κόσμος διοικεῖται

according to which was also the entire cosmos it ordered.


τὸ μὲν οὖν κάλλος τῶν νοημάτων τῆς κοσμοποιίας

While [on one hand] the beauty of the thought of the making of the cosmos

Of the thoughts/ideas – the concept.


οὐδεὶς οὔτε ποιητὴς οὔτε λογογράφος ἀξίως

no one neither as poet nor as writer worthily



ἂν ὑμνῆσαι δύναιτο·

is possibly able to sing praise.

Optative of to be able; infinitive as direct object of verb


καὶ γὰρ λόγον καὶ ἀκοὴν ὑπερβάλλει,

for even speech and heart it exceeds


μείζω καὶ σεμνότερα ὄντα

greater and most august being


ἢ ὡς θνητοῦ τινος ὀργάνοις ἐναρμοσθῆναι

or to any mortal tool/sense/instrument to have been adapted.


οὐ μὴν διὰ τοῦθʼ ἡσυχαστέον,

Yet not at all on this account should there be silence


ἀλλʼ ἕνεκα τοῦ θεοφιλοῦς

But rather because of the God-beloved


καὶ ὑπὲρ δύναμιν ἐπιτολμητέον λέγειν,

and/even though beyond the ability to endure [still] to speak

Philous is accusative: the one beloved by God, thus God-beloved.

huper + accusative: over, beyond

ἐπι-τολμάω, f. ήσω, to submit or endure to do, c. inf., Od.: absol., ἐπετόλμησε he stood firm, Ib. (Liddel Middle)


οἴκοθεν μὲν οὐδέν,

From the house on one hand nothing


ὀλίγα δʼ ἀντὶ πολλῶν,

on the other hand a few things in place of the many

anti + genitive: in place of


ἐφʼ ἃ τὴν ἀνθρωπίνην διάνοιαν φθάνειν εἰκὸς

upon the place of human thoughts to arrive at that which is possible

epi + accusative: spatial the place of


ἔρωτι καὶ πόθῳ σοφίας κατεσχημένην

that which by love and desire of wisdom to hold fast to