Philosophy, Hebrew The term philosophy, as seen above, may be properly used in a wider and in a more restricted sense. In the former it is nearly synonymous with science, and embraces all departments of human knowledge capable of being scientifically classified — that is, where the facts are presented in their causes, where phenomena are referred to principles, and arranged under laws. In the latter it is confined to speculative knowledge, that which the mind has of its own operations and laws, or which it acquires by reasoning from its own thoughts. We have no evidence that philosophy in the stricter sense was cultivated by the ancient Hebrews; nor have we much reason to believe that scientific study, even as regards external phenomena, was much followed by them. Forming our estimate from what of their literature has been preserved to us in the Bible, we must conclude that the ancient Hebrew mind was not specially characterized by those tendencies, nor largely endowed with those faculties which give birth to speculative research. The analytical and the logical are but slightly perceptible in their mental products, while the imaginative, the synthetic, and the historical largely predominate. We should be led to infer that they delighted rather in putting things together according to their analogies than in distributing them according to their differences. They were careful observers of phenomena, and their minds sought scope in bold flights of imagination, or reposed in calm, protracted, and profound reflection; but it was as historians and poets rather than as philosophers that they looked on the world both of being and event.
It thus appears that philosophy, if we limit the word strictly to describe the free pursuit of knowledge of which truth is the one complete end, is essentially of Western growth. In the East the search after wisdom has always been connected with practice: it has remained there, what it was in Greece at first, a part of religion. The history of the Jews offers no exception to this remark: there is no Jewish philosophy properly so called. Yet on the other hand speculation and action meet in truth; and perhaps the most obvious lesson of the O.T. lies in the gradual construction of a divine philosophy by fact, and not by speculation. The method of Greece was to proceed from life to God; the method of Israel (so to speak) was to proceed from God to life. The axioms of one system are the conclusions of the other. The one led to the successive abandonment of the noblest domains of science which man had claimed originally as his own, till it left bare systems of morality; the other, in the fulness of time, prepared many to welcome the Christ — the Truth.
From what has been said, it follows that the philosophy of the Jews, using the word in a large sense, is to be sought for rather in the progress of the national life than in special books. These, indeed, furnish important illustrations of the growth of speculation, but the history is written more in acts than in thoughts. Step by step the idea of the family was raised into that of the people; and the kingdom furnished the basis of those wider promises which included all nations in one kingdom of heaven. The social, the political, the cosmical relations of man were traced out gradually in relation to God. SEE JEWS; SEE JUDAISM.
I. The Philosophy of Nature. —
1. Primitive Period. — With the Hebrews the original theory of the world was so simple that little occasion was given to them for speculation on the mysteries of existence. Their conception of it was essentially and wholly monotheistic. They held the existence of one God, besides whom there was no other; and as the world had come into being by his simple fiat, so it was kept in being by his will, governed by his immediate agency, and subordinated to the fulfilment of his designs. No trace is discoverable in the Bible of those pantheistic notions in which the thinkers and writers of other ancient nations seem so generally to have taken refuge from the perplexities arising out of the relations of the finite to the infinite, and which at a later period took such hold of the Jewish mind, as is attested by their cabalistic books (Freystadt, Philosophia Cabbalistica et Pantheismus, 1832). The world and the things in the world were regarded by them not as emanations from God, nor as in any sense God; they are all the work of his hands, proceeding from him, but as distinct from him as the work is distinct from the workman. By the word of Jehovah all things were created, and by his word they are upheld. They all belong to him as his property, and he does with them as he wills. They are his, but not in any sense he. As little do the Hebrews seem to have realized the idea of an order of nature distinct from the will and power of God. The phenomena of being and event they referred alike to the immediate agency of the Almighty. Causation was with them simply God acting. They thus removed the distinction between the natural and the supernatural; not, as some modern speculatists propose, by reducing all phenomena under natural laws, but by the reverse process, resolving all into the immediate operation of God. Man, as part of God's creation, is equally subject with the rest to his control. His times and ways are all in God's hand. By God's power and wisdom he has been fashioned; by God's goodness he is upheld and guided; by God's law his entire activity is to be regulated; at God's command he retires from this active sphere and passes into the unseen world, where his spirit returns to him who gave it.
But though this simple and childlike theory of the universe gave little scope for speculative thinking and inquiry, and though the Bible presents us with but little that indicates the existence of philosophic study among the ancient Hebrews, we are not entitled to conclude from these data that such pursuits had no existence among them. It is to be borne in mind that it was foreign to the design and pretensions of the sacred writers to discuss speculatively points on which they were commissioned to speak authoritatively in the name of God; nor must it be forgotten that we have not in the Bible the entire literature of the Hebrew people, and that, as philosophic writings would, because not addressed to the popular mind, be precisely those most likely to be allowed to perish, it is possible that much may have been lost which, had it been preserved, would have shown how and to what extent scientific research flourished among the Hebrews. This suggestion acquires force, not only from the fact that we know that certain utterances by Solomon of a scientific kind, probably committed to writing, have perished (1Ki 4:33), but also from the statement in Ec 12:12, which, besides indicating that the literature of the Hebrews was more copious than what we now possess, leads, from its connection, to the conclusion that part of it at least was devoted to philosophic inquiry. The book of Ecclesiastes itself, as well as that of Job, may be held as proving that the Hebrew mind did not acquiesce wholly in simple faith, but had, like mind elsewhere, its seasons of doubt, question, and speculation on matters relating to man's condition and destiny. We may also point to Ps 49:20, and to many passages in the book of Proverbs, as indicating the same thing. Nor must we overlook the fact that the Hebrew is rich in terms which are appropriate to philosophic inquiry, and indicate habits of analytic research among those by whom they were used. Of these may be mentioned חָכמָה, wisdom, often used as we use pkilosopsy (comp. Ec 1:13, where תור בחכמה might almost be rendered to philosophize); בַּין, from בֵּין, etween, to separate, to discern, to understand, i.e., to analyze perceptions into their component elements, so as to arrive at just notions of them, whence בַּינָה, insight, itelligence, judgment; דָּרִשׁ and חָקֵד , to investigate, to examine; הָגָה, to think, to reflect; אַזֵּן, to poder; יָדִע, to know, whence דִעִת, knowledge. To these may be added their names for the mental part of man, רוּה, πνεῦμα; נֶפֶשׁ , ψύχη; נשָׁמָה, anima; לֵב, καρδία, φρήν.
It is further to be observed that though the Bible does not present philosophic truth in a speculative form, it presents abundantly the materials out of which philosophies may be constructed. Philosophy thus exists in it as it exists in nature, not (to use the scholastic phraseology) in a manifest and evolute, hut in a concrete and involute state; and it needs only a patient collection of its statements, and the arrangement of these according to their meaning and relations, to enable us to construct systematic developments of them. We may thus form not only a theology from the Bible, but an anthropology, including physiology and a system of ethics. See Roos, Fundamenta Psychologie ex Sac. Script. Collecta (1769); Beck, Urriss d. biblischen Seelenlehre (1843); Haussmann, Die bibl. Lehre von Menschen (1848); Von Schubert, Gesch. der Seele (4th ed. 1850); Delitzsch, System
der bibl. Psychologie (2d ed. 1861); Taylor, Ductor Dubitantium (1660); Buddaeus, Instit. Theolog. Moralis (1715); Staudlin, Lehrbuch der Moralflir Theologen (2d ed. 1817); Schleiermacher, Die Christliche Sitte (1843); Harless, Christliche Ethik (4th ed. 1849); Wuttke, Handb. der Christl. Sittenlehre (2 volumes). SEE BIBLICAL THEOIOGY.
For the natural science of the Hebrews, SEE ASTRONOMY, SEE BOTANY, SEE MEDICINE, SEE ZOOLOGY, and the articles on subjects of natural history in this work. For the exact sciences, see the articles SEE CHRONOLOGY and SEE NUMBER.
2. Exilian Period. — This is of great interest to the student of the Bible, in consequence of the influence which the Babylonian philosophy exerted on the opinions and manner of thinking of the Israelites during their captivity in Babylon — an influence of a general and decided character, which the rabbins themselves admit, in alleging that the names of the angels and of the months were derived by the house of Israel from Babylon (Rosh Hashanah, page 56). The system of opinion and manner of thinking which the captives met with in Babylon cannot be characterized exclusively as Chaldaean, but was made up of elements whose birthplace was in various parts of the East, and which appear to have found in Babylon a not uncongenial soil, where they grew and produced fruit which coalesced into one general system. Of these elements the two principal were the Chaldoean and the Medo-Persian or Zoroastrian. It is to the first that the reader's attention is invited in this article.
The Chaldaeans, who lived in a climate where the rays of the sun are never darkened, and the night is always clear and bright by means of the light of the moon and stars, were led to believe that light was the soul of nature. Accordingly it was by the light of the sun and stars that the universal spirit brought forth all things; and therefore the Chaldaeans offered their homage to the Supreme Being in the heavenly bodies, where he appeared to them in a special manner to dwell. As the stars form separate bodies, imagination represented them as distinct existences, which had each their peculiar functions, and exerted a separate influence in bringing forth the productions of nature. The idea of a universal spirit disappeared, as being too abstract for the people, and not without difficulty for cultivated minds; and worship was offered to the stars as so many powers that governed the world. It is easy to see how the Chaldeeans passed from this early corruption of the primitive religion of the Bible to a low and degrading polytheism.
As light was regarded as the only moving power of nature, and every star had its own influence, so natural phenomena appeared the result of the particular influence of that heavenly body which at any given time was above the horizon; and the Chaldsean philosophers believed that they found the cause of events in its position, and the means of foretelling events in its movements. These views, and perhaps the extraordinary heat and the pestilential winds which in certain months prevail in the country, and against which there is no protection except in the hills, led the Chaldeeans to the mountains which gird the land. On these observatories, which nature seems to have expressly formed for the purpose, they studied the positions and movements of the heavenly host. They thought they saw that similar phenomena were constantly accompanied by the same conjunction of the stars, which seemed to observe regular movements and a similar course. On this the Chaldaean priests came to the conviction that natural events are bound together, and that sacrifices do not interrupt their course; that they all have a common origin, which works according to unknown principles and laws, whose discovery is so important as to deserve their best attention. The heavenly bodies themselves are obedient to these laws; their formation, position, and influence are consequences of these universal laws, by which nature was controlled. This determined the Chaldaeans to seek in the heavens the knowledge of the original cause which created the world, and of the laws which that cause followed in the formation of things and in the production of phenomena, since in the heavens dwelt the power which brings all things forth.
The stars were masses of light; the space which held them were filled with light; no other power appeared to operate therein: accordingly the Chaldaeans held light to be the moving power which had produced the stars. It could not be doubted that this power possessed intelligence, and the operations of the mind appear to have so much resemblance to the subtlety and fleetness of light that men who had only imagination for their guide had no hesitation to represent intelligence as a property of light, and the universal spirit of highest intelligence as light itself. The observations of the Chaldeeans had taught them that the distances of the stars from the earth are unequal, and that light decreases in its approach to the earth, on which they concluded that light streams forth from an endless fountain far removed from the earth, in doing which it fills space with its beams, and forms the heavenly bodies in different positions and of different magnitudes. The creative spirit was therefore set forth by them under the image of an eternal, inexhaustible fountain of light; they thought this fountain was to the universe what the sun is to the regions lighted and warmed by his beams.
As light becomes less in propagating itself, its fountain must be of an inconceivable subtlety and purity, and, accordingly, in its loftiest condition, intelligent. As its beams are removed from their source they lose their activity, and by the gradual waning of their influeince sink from their original perfection; they therefore produced different existences and intelligences, in proportion as they became more distant from the fountain of light; at last, passing from one element into another, they lost their lightness, were pressed together, and made dense, till they became corporeal, and produced chaos. There accordingly was between the Supreme Being and the earth a chain of intermediate existences, whose perfections decreased as they were more remote from the First Great Cause. This Supreme Being had communicated in a distinguished degree his primary radiations, intelligence, power, productiveness; all other emanations had, in proportion to their distance from the highest intelligence, a less and less share in these perfections; and thus were the different regions of light, from the moon to the dwelling-place of the Supreme, filled with various orders of spirits.
The space which contained the First Cause, or Fountain of radiations, was filled with pure and happy intelligences. Immediately beneath this region began the corporeal world, or the empyreum, which was a boundless space, lighted by the pure light which flowed immediately from the Great Source; this empyreum was filled with an infinitely less pure fire than the original light, but immeasurably finer than all bodies. Below this was the ether, or grosser region, filled with still grosser fire. Next came the fixed stars, spread over a wide region where the thickest parts of the ethereal fire had come together and formed the stars. The world of planets succeeded, which contained the sun, moon, and the wandering stars. Then came the last order of beings-the rude elements which are deprived of all activity, and withstand the motions and influence of light. The different parts of the world are in contact, and the spirits of the upper regions can influence the lower, as well as descend and enter into them. As the chaotic elements were without shape and motion, the spirits of the higher regions must have formed the earth, and human souls are spirits sprung from them. To these spirits from above the system of the Chaldaeans ascribed all the productions, appearances, and movements upon the earth. The formation of the human body, the growth of the fruits, all the gifts of nature, were attributed to beneficent spirits. In the space below the moon, in the midst of night, tempests arose, lightnings threaded the dark clouds, thunder broke forth and laid waste the earth; there were found spirits of darkness, corporeal daemons spread through the air. Often, too, were flames of fire seen to rise out of the bosom of the earth, and the mountains were shaken. Earthly powers or deemons were supposed to dwell in the centre of the earth; and since matter was held to be without activity, all movements were attributed to spirits. Storms, volcanoes, tempests, appeared to have no other object than to destroy human happiness; and these daemons were held to be wicked spirits who produced these evils; to them every unfortunate event was ascribed, and a sort of hierarchy was formed of these evil beings, as had been done in the case of the good spirits. But why did not tie Supreme Mind put down, by an exertion of his power, this swarm of wicked spirits? Some thought it was beneath the dignity of the Primary Essence to contend with these deemons; others were of opinion that these bad spirits were naturally indestructible, and as the Supreme could neither destroy nor improve them, he had banished them to the centre of the earth and to the region beneath the moon, where they indulged in their baseness and exercised their dominion: in order, however, to protect the human race against fiends so numerous and fearful, he commissioned good spirits, whose office it was to defend men against these corporeal daemons. As the good and the bad spirits had various degrees of power and different offices, so they had names given to them which described their functions. As the good spirits were under an obligation to protect men and furnish succor in their need, they were compelled to learn human language; accordingly, it was believed that a guardian angel against every evil was possessed by every one who bore his mysterious name — a name which was to be pronounced only when succor was needed. All manner of names were therefore devised, by which the good spirits were conjured or informed of human necessities; and all the combinations of the alphabet were exhausted in order to bring about a commerce between men and angels. Here is the origin of the Cabala, which gave strange names to these spirits in order to bring them into connection with men, and by this means to do wonderful things (Mt 12:24-27). These names also sometimes served to drive bad spirits away: they were a kind of exorcism. For since it was believed that these daemons had been banished to the centre of the earth, and that they could do evil only in consequence of having baffled the vigilance of the guardian spirits and escaped to the outer world, so, it was held, they were compelled to flee as soon as they heard the name of the good angels whose business it was to keep them shut up in subterranean caverns, and to punish them if they ventured from their prison-house. A power, too, was ascribed to the name of the spirit, or to the image which marked his office-a power which forced the spirit to come on being called; and, accordingly, it was held that this name carved on a stone kept the spirit near the person who wore the stone — a notion in which is probably found the origin of talismans, formed either by words or symbolical figures.
3. Cabalistic Period. — It is uncertain at what date the earliest Cabala (i.e., Tradition) received a definite form; but there can be no doubt that the two great divisions of which it is composed, "the Chariot" (Mercabah, Ezekiel 1), and "the Creation" (Bereshith, Genesis 1), found a wide development before the Christian aera. The first dealt with the manifestation of God in himself; the second with his manifestation in Nature; and as the doctrine was handed down orally, it received naturally, both from its extent and form, great additions from foreign sources. On tlh3 one side it was open to the Persian doctrine of emanation, on the other to the Christian doctrine of the Incarnation; and the tradition was deeply impressed by both before it was first committed to writing in the 7th or 8th century. At present the original sources for the teaching of the Cabala are the Sepher Jezirah, or Book of Creation, and the Sepher Hazohar, or Book of Splendor. The former of these dates, in its present form, from the 8th, and the latter from the 13th century (Zunz, Gottesd. Vortr. d. Juden, page 165; Jellinek, Moses ben-Schenmtob de Leon, Leips. 1851). Both are based upon a system of pantheism. In the Book of Creation the cabalistic ideas are given in their simplest form, and offer some points of comparison with the system of the Pythagoreans. The book begins with an enumeration of the thirty-two ways of wisdom seen in the constitution of the world; and the analysis of this number is supposed to contain the key to the mysteries of Nature. The primary division is into 10+22. The number 10 represents the ten Sephiroth (figures) which answer to the ideal world; 22, on the other hand, the number of the Hebrew alphabet, answers to the world of objects; the object being related to the idea as a word, formed of letters, to a number. Twenty-twb again is equal to 3+7+12; and each of these numbers, which constantly recur in the O.-T. Scriptures, is invested with a peculiar meaning. Generally the fundamental conceptions of the book may be thus represented: The ultimate Being is Divine Wisdom (Chokmah, σοφία). The universe is originally a harmonious thought of Wisdom (Number, Sephirah); and the thought is afterwards expressed in letters, which form, as words, the germ of things. Man, with his twofold nature, thus represents in some sense the whole universe. He is the microcosm in which the body clothes and veils the soul, as the phenomenal world veils the spirit of God. It isimpossible to follow out here the details of this system, and its development in Zohar; but it is obvious how great an influence it must have exercised on the interpretation of Scripture. The calculation of the numerical worth of words (comp. Re 13:18; Gemnatria, Buxtorf, Lex. Rabb. page 446), the resolution of words into initial letters of new words (Notaricon, Buxtorf, page 1339), and the transposition or interchange of letters (Temurah), were used to obtain the inner meaning of the text; and these practices have continued to affect modern Jewish exegesis.
The fragments of Berosus, preserved by Eusebius and Josephus, and to be found in Scaliger (De Emeindat. Temp.), and more fully in Fabricius (Bibl. Gr. 14:175), afford some information on the subject of Chaldaean philosophy. Berosus was a priest of the god Baal, at Babylon. in the time of Alexander the Great. On the naturalistic philosophy of the Jews in general, the Talmud and other works of the Jewish rabbins mav also be advantageously consulted, together with the following authorities: Euseb. Praep. Evang. 9:10; Philo, De Mig. Mun.; Selden, De Diis Syris, Proleg. 3; Stanley, Hist. of Oriental Philosophy; Kleuker. Ueber die Natur und den Ursprung der Emanationslehre bei den Kabbalisten (Riga, 1786); Molitor, Philos. der Geschichte (1827-28); Hartmann, Die enge Verbindung des A.T. mit dent N. (1831); Ketzer, Lexicon von P. Fritz (1838); Brucken, Hist.-Crit. Phil.; Ritter, Geschichte der Phil.; Nork, Vergleichende Mythologie (1836); Lutterbeck, Neu-test. Lehrbegsrif 1:223-254; Reuss, Kabbala, in Herzog's Encyklop.; Joel, Die Religions philos. d. Zohar (1849); Westcott, Introd. to Gospels, pages 131-134; Franck, La Kabbale (1843). SEE CABALA.
II. The Philosophy of History. — The philosophy of the Jews is, as has been seen from the above outline of its naturalistic relations, essentially a moral philosophy, resting on a definite connection with God. The doctrines of Creation and Providence, of an Infinite Divine Person and of a responsible human will, which elsewhere form the ultimate limits of speculation, are here assumed at the outset. The difficulties which they involve are but rarely noticed. Even when they are canvassed most deeply, a moral answer drawn from the great duties of life is that in which the questioner finds repose. The earlier chapters of Genesis contain an introduction to the direct training of the people which follows. Premature and partial developments, kingdoms based on godless might, stand in contrast with, the slow foundation of the divine polity. To distinguish rightly the moral principles which were successively called out in this latter work would be to write a history of Israel; but the philosophical significance of the great crises through which the people passed lies upon the surface. The call of Abraham set forth at once the central lesson of faith in the Unseen, on which all others were raised. The father of the nation was first isolated from all natural ties before he received the promise; his heir was the son of his extreme age; his inheritance was to him "as a strange land." The history of the patriarchs brought out into yet clearer light the sovereignty of God; the younger was preferred before the elder; suffering prepared the way for safety and triumph. God was seen to make a covenant with man, and his action was written in the records of a chosen family. A new aera followed. A nation grew up in the presence of Egyptian culture. Persecution united elements which seem otherwise to have been on the point of being absorbed by foreign powers. God revealed himself now to the people in the wider relations of Lawgiver and Judge. The solitary discipline of the desert familiarized them with his majesty and his mercy. The wisdom of Egypt was hallowed to new uses. The promised land was gained by the open working of a divine Sovereign. The outlines of national faith were written in defeat and victory; and the work of the theocracy closed. Human passion then claimed a dominant influence. The people required a king. A fixed Temple was substituted for the shifting Tabernacle. Times of disruption and disaster followed; and the voice of prophets declared the spiritual meaning of the kingdom. In the midst of sorrow and defeat and desolation the horizon of hope was extended. The kingdom which man had prematurely founded was seen to be the image of a nobler "kingdom of God." The nation learned its connection with "all the kindred of the earth." The Captivity confirmed the lesson, and after it the Dispersion. The moral effects of these, and the influence which Persian, Greek, and Roman, the inheritors of all the wisdom of the East and West, exercised upon the Jews, have been elsewhere noticed. SEE CYRUS; SEE DISPERSED. The divine discipline closed before the special human discipline began. The personal relations of God to the individual, the family the nation, mankind, were established in ineffaceable history, and then other truths were brought into harmony with these in the long period of silence which separates the two Testaments. But the harmony was not always perfect. Two partial forms of religious philosophy arose. On the one side the predominance of the Chaldaean or Persian element gave rise to the Cabala; on the other the predominance of the Greek element issued in Alexandrian theosophy.
Before these one-sided developments of the truth were made the fundamental ideas of the divine government found expression in words as well as in life. The Psalms, which, among the other infinite lessons that they convey, give a deep insight into the need of a personal apprehension of truth, everywhere declare the absolute sovereignty of God over the material and moral worlds. The classical scholar cannot fail to be struck with the frequency of natural imagery, and with the close connection.which is assumed to exist between man and nature as parts of one vast order. The control of all the elements by one All-wise Governor, standing out in clear contrast with the deification of isolated objects, is no less essentially characteristic of Hebrew as distinguished from Greek thought. In the world of action Providence stands over against fate, the universal kingdom against the individual state, the true and the right against the beautiful. Pure speculation may find little scope, but speculation guided by these great laws will never cease to affect most deeply the intellectual culture of men. (Comp. especially Ps 29:1,11,11,11,11,11,11,11,11,11,11,11, etc. It will be seen that the same character is found in Psalms of every date.) For a late and very remarkable development of this philosophy of Nature, see Dillmann, Das B. Henoch, 14, 15.
One man above all is distinguished among the Jews as "the wise man." The description which is given of his writings serves as a commentary on the national view of philosophy. "And Solomon's wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt . . . And he spake three thousand proverbs; and his songs were a thousand and five. And he spake of trees, from the cedar that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: he spake also of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes" (1Ki 4:30-33). The lesson of practical duty, the full utterance of "a large heart" (verse 29), the careful study of God's creaturesthis is the sum of wisdom. Yet in fact the very practical aim of this philosophy leads to the revelation of the most sublime truth. Wisdom was gradually felt to be a person, throned by God, and holding converse with men (Proverbs 8). She was seen to stand in open enmity with "the strange woman," who sought to draw them aside by sensuous attractions; and thus a new step was made towards the central doctrine of Christianity — the Incarnation of the Word.
Two books of the Bible — Job and Ecclesiastes — of which the latter, at any rate, belongs to the period of the close of the kingdom, approach more nearly than any others to the type of philosophical discussions. But in both the problem is moral and not metaphysical. The one deals with the evils which afflict "the perfect and upright;" the other with the vanity of all the pursuits and pleasures of earth. In the one we are led for an answer to a vision of " the enemy" to whom a partial and temporary power over man is conceded (Job 1:6-12); in the other to that great future when "God shall bring every work to judgment" (Ec 12:14). The method of inquiry is in both cases abrupt and irregular. One clew after another is followed out, and at length abandoned; and the final solution is obtained, not by a consecutive process of reason, but by an authoritative utterance, welcomed by faith as the truth, towards which all partial efforts had tended. (Comp. Maurice, Moral and Metaphysical Philosophy, 1st ed.)
The Captivity necessarily exercised a profound influence upon Jewish thought. The teaching of Persia seems to have been designed to supply important elements in the education of the chosen people. But it did yet more than this. The imagery of Ezekiel (chapter 1) gave an apparent sanction to a new form of mystical speculation. The contact of the Jews with Persia thus gave rise to a traditional mysticism. Their contact with Greece was marked by the rise of distinct sects. In the 3d century B.C. the great doctor Antigonus of Socho bears a Greek name, and popular belief pointed to him as the teacher of Sadoc and Boethus, the supposed founders of Jewish rationalism. At any rate, we may date from this time the twofold division of Jewish speculation which corresponds to the chief tendencies of practical philosophy. The Sadducees appear as the supporters of human freedom in its widest scope; the Pharisees of a religious Stoicism. At a later time the cycle of doctrine was completed, when by a natural reaction the Essenes established a mystic asceticism. The characteristics of these sects are noticed elsewhere. It is enough now to point out the position which they occupy in the history of Judaism (comp. Westcott, Introd. to Gospels, pages 60-66). At a later period the Fourth Book of Maccabees (q.v.) is a very interesting example of Jewish moral (Stoic) teaching. SEE SECTS, JEWISH.
The conception of wisdom which appears in the book of Proverbs was - elaborated with greater detail afterwards, SEE WISDOM OF SOLOMON, both in Palestine, SEE ECCLESIASTICUS, and in Egypt; but the doctrine of the Word is of greater speculative interest. Both doctrines, indeed, sprang from the same cause, and indicate the desire to find some mediating power between God and the world, and to remove the direct appear.. ance and action of God from a material sphere. The personification of Wisdom represents only a secondary power in relation to God; the Logos, in the double sense of Reason (λόγος ἐνδιάθετος) and Word (λόγος προφορικός), both in relation to God and in relation to the universe. The first use of the term Word (Memra), based upon the common formula of the prophets, is in the Targum of Onkelos (1st century B.C.), in which "the Word of God" is commonly substituted for God in his immediate, personal relations with man (Westcott, Introd. to Gospels, page 137); and it is probable that round this traditional rendering a fuller doctrine grew up. But there is a clear difference between the idea of the Word then prevalent in Palestine and that current at Alexandria. In Palestine the Word appears as the outward mediator between God and man, like the Angel of the Covenant; at Alexandria it appears as the spiritual connection which opens the way to revelation. The preface to John's Gospel includes the element of truth in both. In the Greek apocryphal books there is no mention of the Word (yet comp. Wisd. 18:15). For the Alexandrian teaching it is necessary to look alone to Philo (cir. B.C. 20-A.D. 50); and the ambiguity in the meaning of the Greek term, which has already been noticed, produces the greatest confusion in his treatment of the subject. In Philo language domineers over thought. He has no one clear and consistent view of the Logos. At times he assigns to it divine attributes and personal action; and then again he affirms decidedly the absolute indivisibility of the divine nature. The tendency of his teaching is to lead to the conception of a twofold personality in the Godhead, though he shrinks from the recognition of such a doctrine (De Monarch. § 5; De Somnz. § 37; Quod. det. pot. ins. § 24; De Somn. § 39, etc.). Above all, his idea of the Logos was wholly disconnected from all Messianic hopes, and was rather the philosophic substitute for them. (See Westcott, Introd. to Gospels, pages 138-141; Dathne, Jud.-Alex. Relygions philos. ; Gfrorer, Philo, etc. ; Dorner, Die Lehre v. d. Person Chrlisti, 1:23 sq.; Lucke, Comm.
1:207, who gives an account of the earlier literature.) SEE PHILOSOPHY, GREEK.
On the general subject, see Buch, Weisheitslehre der Hebraer (Strasb. 1851); Nicolas, Les doctrines religielses des Juifs (Par. 1860).