Leaving Home: Philo of Alexandria on the Exodus.

Bloch, René (2015). Leaving Home: Philo of Alexandria on the Exodus. In: Levy, Thomas E.; Schneider, Thomas; Propp, William H. C. (eds.) Israel's Exodus in Transdisciplinary Perspective - Text, Archaeology, Culture, and Geoscience. Quantitative Methods in the Humanities and Social Sciences (pp. 357-364). Cham: Springer 10.1007/978-3-319-04768-3_26

[img] Text
chp%3A10.1007%2F978-3-319-04768-3_26.pdf - Published Version
Restricted to registered users only
Available under License Publisher holds Copyright.

Download (142kB) | Request a copy

For Jewish-Hellenistic authors writing in Egypt, the Exodus story posed unique challenges. After all, to them Egypt was, as Philo of Alexandria states, their fatherland. How do these authors come to terms with the biblical story of liberation from Egyptian slavery and the longing for the promised land? In this chapter I am taking a close look at Philo’s detailed discussion of the Exodus and locate it within the larger context of Jewish-Hellenistic literature (Wisdom of Solomon, Ezekiel’s Exagoge). In Philo’s rewriting of the Exodus the destination of the journey is barely mentioned. Contrary to the biblical narrative, in the scene of the burning bush, as retold by Philo, God does not tell Moses where to go. Philo’s main concern is what happens in Egypt: both in biblical times and in his own days. The Exodus is nevertheless important to Philo: He reads the story allegorically as a journey from the land of the body to the realms of the mind. Such a symbolic reading permitted him to control the meaning of the Exodus and to stay, literally and figuratively, in Egypt.

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)


01 Faculty of Theology > Department of Protestant Theology > Institute of Jewish Studies
06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies > Institute of Classical Philology

UniBE Contributor:

Bloch, René


800 Literature, rhetoric & criticism
400 Language
100 Philosophy > 180 Ancient, medieval & eastern philosophy
200 Religion > 210 Philosophy & theory of religion
200 Religion > 220 The Bible
200 Religion > 290 Other religions
800 Literature, rhetoric & criticism > 880 Classical & modern Greek literatures






Quantitative Methods in the Humanities and Social Sciences






René Bloch

Date Deposited:

09 Jun 2016 14:32

Last Modified:

15 Jun 2016 14:12

Publisher DOI:






Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback