Sample Translation and Commentary on Philo De Plantatione

In Plant. 46–58 Philo offers an allegorical exegesis of Exod 15:17–18, in which Moses prays that God may plant his people in the mountain of his inheritance. In these verses God is presented as planter and the notion of ‘planting’ is the connection with the main biblical lemma of Plant., Gen 6:9, where Noah is said to plant a vineyard. Philo interprets the mountain of God’s inheritance (klèronomia) as the cosmos because what comes into being is the allotment (klèros) of its maker. He also refers to an interpretation of others allegorists who say that God’s allotment is the good. In Philo’s exegesis the noun klèros, which has several meanings (‘lot’, ‘inheritance’ or ‘part’), plays a key role. All the several meanings are involved. The tribe of the Levites is called God’s klèros, and later on Philo discusses the portion of the Levites at considerable length (§§62–72). In the commentary the structure of this section is laid out. Attention is paid to theological and philosophical ideas, for instance the doctrine of the divine powers and aspects of Stoic ethics to which Philo refers. Furthermore, linguistic aspects are discussed, since Philo often employs words that are rarely used.