The Text of Philo's De Cherubim

This paper will examine some textual issues in Philo’s treatise De Cherubim. Cohn (in the Cohn-Wendland edition) utilized seven mss., and the printed text seems to have, at least in general, a firm basis. However, there are some problems. Already at the opening citation from Gen 3:24 (in § 1) Cohn removed two words that are present in the Philo mss. and in all the LXX mss. Moreover, Cohn thought that a citation by Clement preserved Philo’s original text at § 7, and that a manuscript of the Sacra parallela preserved Philo’s original text at § 107. The rationales for these decisions will be examined. A different sort of issue is whether De Cherubim was itself one complete book. What we now have is comparatively brief, and the suggestion has been made that perhaps what we call De Cherubim was once combined with what is often called the fourth book of the Legum allegoriae, which itself is lost, but which covered Gen 3:20–23.