Chapter 9 The Book of Exodus in Philo of Alexandria

In: The Reception of Exodus Motifs in Jewish and Christian Literature
Author: Sean A. Adams

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Abstract

Sean A. Adams explores Exodus motifs in the writings of Philo. Exodus is the second most referenced scriptural book (after Genesis) in the Philonic corpus, although this focus on Exodus is not evenly distributed across all of Philo’s works, and he engages with its text in a variety of ways. Adams offers a succint overview of this material, and then selects two major aspects of it for more detailed investigation. First, he considers several Exodus passages which are employed by Philo in multiple treatises and so can be assumed to have particular significance for him (e.g. Exod 3:14; 7:1). Second, he examines how specific Exodus passages are interpreted by Philo in his Allegorical Commentary. Adams draws out from this study some important conclusions about Philo’s general exegetical method, espcially his exploitation of the intertextuality between Exodus and Genesis and other scriptural writings.

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