This weeks Torah portion is Lekh L’kha (Gen. 12:1-17:27). In this weeks Torah reading we read about Abraham. One famouse statement about Abraham in this reading is:
And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
(Gen. 15:6 KJV)
The Targums were ancient Aramaic paraphrases of the Torah and the Prophets. The official Targum to this verse paraphrases:
“And he believed in the Word (Memra) of YHWH. And He counted it to him for righteousness.”
(Gen. 15:6 Targum Onkelos)
And Targum Psedo-Jonathan has:
“And he believed in YHWH, and had faith in the Word (Memra) of YHWH, and He reckoned it to him for righteousness.”
(Gen. 15:6 Targum Pseudo-Jonathan)
Philo of Alexandria made a very interesting comment about this verse (Gen. 15:6):
“It is best, therefore, to trust in God, and not in uncertain reasoning, or unsure conjectures. “Abraham trusted in the Lord, and it was counted to him for Righteousness” (Gen. 15:6) And Moses governed the people, being testified to that he was faithful with his whole house. But if we distrust our own reason (LOGOS, Word), we shall prepare and build ourselves a city of the mind which will destroy the truth.”
(Philo of Alexandria; Allegorical Interpretation, III, 228)
The ancient Hebraic Stoics saw Abraham’s faith as a rational faith, and ultimately as a faith in the Logos.
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