The previous post may be found here:https://memoirandremains.wordpress.com/2014/10/02/philo-on-creation-11/
But not the great Moses: He taught the fundamental distinction between those things which can be seen and those ungenerated. Now, all that is perceived originates and changes; never remaining in its state. But the unseen which is perceived by the mind holds as close as brother and kinsman—eternally.
Upon that which is perceived he bestowed the familiar name “genesis.” Since the world is both seen and perceived, it must necessarily have had a genesis.
Thus, it was not for nothing that wrote of this genesis with special reverence for the work of God.
Greek Text & Notes
ἀλλʼ ὅ γε μέγας Μωυσῆς ἀλλοτριώτατον τοῦ ὁρατοῦ νομίσας εἶναι τὸ ἀγένητον πᾶν γὰρ τὸ αἰσθητὸν ἐν γενέσει καὶ μεταβολαῖς οὐδέποτε κατὰ ταὐτὰ ὄν τῷ μὲν ἀοράτῳ καὶ νοητῷ προσένειμεν ὡς ἀδελφὸν καὶ συγγενὲς ἀιδιότητα, τῷ δʼ αἰσθητῷ γένεσιν οἰκεῖον ὄνομα ἐπεφήμισεν ἐπεὶ οὖν ὁρατός τε καὶ αἰσθητὸς ὅδε ὁ κόσμος, ἀναγκαίως ἂν εἴη καὶ γενητός· ὅθεν οὐκ ἀπὸ σκοποῦ καὶ τὴν γένεσιν ἀνέγραψεν αὐτοῦ μάλα σεμνῶς θεολογήσας
ἀλλʼ ὅ γε μέγας Μωυσῆς
The introductory phrase is rather straightforward: it forms a single nominative phrase: “But the great great Moses”.
The ge modifies the ho — him. Robertson explains the particle,
Its function is to bring into prominence the particular word with which it occurs. It is enclitic and so postpositive. The feelings are sharply involved when γέ is present. It suits the Greek,which “delights in pointed questions, irony and equivocal assent.” But there is no English equivalent and it frequently cannot be translated at all.
The ho is the article: it bears the accent (which makes it look like a relative pronoun) because it is followed by an enclitic.
Now comes the difficulty: the primary verb is elided and thus must be implied from the prior sentence (the attention being thrown back by means of the strong adversative, alla). The prior sentence concerns a false doctrine, which Philo contends was not taught by Moses. The next clause hangs upon the implied verb. Colston has “hold”; Yonge has “think”. The verb must concern what Moses taught because it contrasts with the rejected dogma.
Following the implied verb we find what Moses taught,
ἀλλοτριώτατον τοῦ ὁρατοῦ νομίσας
most strongly different from that commonly seen
A genitive of comparison: it comes after comparative (superlative) adjective.
The participle is substantive; horatou is adjectival.
εἶναι τὸ ἀγένητον
to be the ungenerated/without birth
Hence that which has never existed. This is that which differs most strongly.
Here begins a new clause, πᾶν γὰρ τὸ αἰσθητὸν ἐν γενέσει
For all the perceived in birth/coming to be. Here is one of the difficulties of Philo: he uses language of birth and kinship but intends philosophical language. Colston translates Philo into academic language “the unoriginate” while Philo does use language of generation or birth.
and in changes
οὐδέποτε κατὰ ταὐτὰ
neither according to these things.
The things seen do not remain as they were: they don’t state in their original state.
ὄν τῷ μὲν ἀοράτῳ καὶ νοητῷ
That on one hand the unseen and perceptible by the mind
προσένειμεν ὡς ἀδελφὸν καὶ συγγενὲς ἀιδιότητα,
attributed/assigned/alloted as brother and kinsman eternally
The participle is difficult here: what is being related to what else? The hos functions similarly to the preceding sentence, “as in a city”.
Prosnemo means assign, relate:
A.allot, assign, dedicate to, “γυμνικοὺς [ἀγῶνας] . . τοῖς θεοῖς” Pl.Lg.828c; “αὑτούς τινι” D.25.43; “ταῖς τοῦ δήμου προαιρέσεσιν ἑαυτόν” Id.Ep.3.2; “ὅπου τὸ δίκαιον εἴη τεταγμένον, ἐνταῦθα π. ἑαυτούς” Id.60.11; “τῷ δικαίῳ ἑαυτούς” Plb.6.10.9; “μηδεμιᾷ φιλοτιμίᾳ παρὰ τὸ δίκαιον π. τὴν αὑτοῦ γνώμην” SIG577.39 (Milet., iii/ii B.C.); “ἀπώλειάν τινι” Alciphr.1.14; add, “ὀκτακοσίους αὐτοῖς” D.14.16; “τὰς νήσους ταῖς γείτοσι μοίραις” Arist.Mu.394a4; “πόλιν τοῖς Ἀχαιοῖς” Plb.2.43.5:—Pass., to be assigned, attributed, οἱ δ᾽ ἄλλοι προσνενέμησθε ὡς τούτους, ὡς ἐκείνους, D.2.29, 13.20; “π. ὁ φίλος τοῖς πράγμασι, οὐ τὰ πράγματα τοῖς φίλοις” Arist.EE1237b33; ὁ ὄχλος ὁ ἐκ τῶν ἀγρῶν προσνεμηθεὶς τῷ κατὰ πόλιν being added, D.H.10.48:—Med., grant on one’s own part, πρόσνειμαί μοι χάριν grant me a further favour, S.Tr.1216; προσνείμασθαί τινα τοῖσιν θεοῖσιν devote him to the gods, Ar.Av.563 (anap.).
II. π. ποίμνας drive his flocks to pasture, E.Cyc.36.
τῷ δʼ αἰσθητῷ
Yet concerning the things perceived.
γένεσιν οἰκεῖον ὄνομα ἐπεφήμισεν
“genesis” a household name it was designated/bestowed
Here is yet another example of Philo using homely language to refer to a philosophical concept. I think the closest must be “household name” or common name.
The name “genesis” has a bit of pun. While the Hebrew text is named after the first words “In the beginning”; the Greek text is titled, “Genesis”.
ἐπεὶ οὖν ὁρατός τε καὶ αἰσθητὸς
Since therefor the seen and perceived
ὅδε ὁ κόσμος,
[which is] the cosmos
ἀναγκαίως ἂν εἴη καὶ γενητός·
by compulsion/necessity it might be and be born/exist
ὅθεν οὐκ ἀπὸ σκοποῦ
from when not from goal/mark
καὶ τὴν γένεσιν ἀνέγραψεν
and the generation he read
αὐτοῦ μάλα σεμνῶς θεολογήσας
of him especially augustly of God’s Speaking/God recorded
Not so Moses. That great master, holding the unoriginal to b of a different order from that which is visible, since everthigng that is an object of sensible perception is subject to becoming and to constant change, never abiding in the same state, assigned to that which is invisible and undefinable as unity with it by closet tie; but on that which is an object of the senses he bestowed the name “genesis,” “becoming” as its appropriate name.
Seeing then that the this world is both visible and perceived by the senses, it follows that it must be also have an origin. Whence it is entirely to the point that he put on record that origin, setting forth its true grandeur the work of God.