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St. Augustine's College, Canterbury, England

IT SEEMS convenient to place Philo first in this examina-

tion of possible sources of the doctrine of the Logos in the
Fourth Gospel, because of his undisputed importance, and
of the prominence which has so often been given to him
in this connection.
Philo's position as to the transcendence or immanence
of God is puzzling because of its inconsistenc!;. He never
seems quite able to make up his mind. The explanation is
to be found in the fact that he is half Greek and half Jewish
and therefore is constantly being pulled two ways. Philo
was a Jewish thinker, and therefore a pupil of the Rabbis,
with a Greek education, and therefore a disciple of Plato.
In his Platonic mood he thinks of God as having no personal
existence in time or space, unrelated to the created uni-
verse: "God has given nothing to Himself, for He has no
need of anything; but He has given the world to the world,
and its parts he has bestowed on themselves and on one
another, and also on the universe. Not because He judged
anything to be worthy of grace did He give in abundance
to the universe and its parts, but looking to His own ever-
lasting goodness, and thinking the doing good to be a line
of conduct suitable to His own happy and blessed nature.
So that if anyone were to ask me what was the cause of
the creation of the world, having learnt from Moses, I
should answer, that the goodness of the living God, being

the most important of His graces, is in itself the cause."

(On the Unchangeableness of God, xxiii). In his Jewish fervor
he is definitely conscious of the fatherhood of God, God in
the intimacy of His relations to His people and His uni-
verse: "God takes thought for the world. In that the
Creator should ever take care for the thing made is required
by the laws and ordinances of nature, and in accordance
with these, parents take thought beforehand for their
children. He that hearkens to these things rather with his
understanding than his hearing and has stamped upon
his soul the form of truths marvelous and much discussed
that God is and has a Being . . and that He ever takes
thought for His creation, will lead a blessed happy life
stamped with its doctrines of piety and holiness." (On the
Creation, lxi).
Philo apparently brought forward his theory of the Logos
to bridge the gulf between these two extremes. But as he
never quite definitely arrived a t a personal or impersonal
conception of God, so he is never clear in his conception of
the Logos, or perhaps we should say his conception of the
Logoi, which he introduces to explain the working of God
in the world. The Creation is the work of the Logos: "The
world perceived by the intellect is nothing else than the
Word of God already in the act of creation." (On the
Creation, vi). The Logos is the image of God: "For even
if we are not yet fit to be called the Sons of God, yet we
may be called the children of His eternal image, of His
most sacred Logos; for the image of God is His most
ancient Logos. " (On the Confusion of Languages, xxviii) .
The Logoi are God's angels or messengers, ministering to
the needs of men: "For God, not condescending to come
down to the external senses, sends His own Logoi or
angels for the sake of giving assistance to those who love
virtue." (On Dreams, xii). The expression, "Let us make,"
in the narrative of creation indicates the presence of Logoi
"others as fellow workers." The presence of the Logoi
accounts for the existence of evil in man without attribut-
ing it to God. "For it could not be that the Father should
be the cause of evil to His offspring." (On the Creation,
Philo's conception of the Logos came no doubt partly
from the Stoic teaching of Alexandria, partly of course
from Holy Scripture with its frequent reference to the
Word of God and its personification of Wisdom, and partly
from the teaching of Judaism; but, according to Sethe the
Egyptologist, there is yet another possible source. A copy
of a theological treatise of about 3500 B.C.E. was made
about 700 B.C.E. on a granite slab and set up in the temple
of Ptah a t Memphis. I t is in the form of a religious drama
such as those which were regularly performed in Egyptian
temples on great festivals. I t contains religious dogma for
the new capital Memphis as contrasted with the old Helio-
politan dogma dating from prehistoric times. This dogma
assigns a remarkable role to heart and tongue in creation
and in the view of Sethe, shared also by Breasted, becomes
a possible source of the doctrine of the Logos. Dr. A. W.
Blackman, from whose article in the Journal of Egyptian
Archaeology these particulars have been obtained, sums up
this conjecture as follows: "The inscription was probably
still standing in its place and being read by learned priests
even in the Ptolemaic period, and through them the ideas
of the ancient Memphite priestly teachers may have found
their way, in some form or other, into intellectual circles
in Alexandria, where they would have undergone further
modification," and "may, indirectly of course, have been
responsible for the Logos doctrine of Philo."'
I Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, Vol. XVI, Parts I11 and IV, Nov.

1930, pp. 263-266.


There are several "roles" of Philo's Logos which are very

striking and indeed quite astonishing in their approach to
Divinity. The Logos is spoken of as "High Priest," because
like the High Priest he appears as the expiator of sins (On
Fugitives, xx). He is "a suppliant to the immortal God"
~KCT?~T "on behalf of the mortal race which is exposed to
affliction and misery" (Who is the Heir of Divine Things,
xlii). He is described as "Paraclete" n a p h ~ ~ ~ Tand 0 s

"Son of God." "For it was indispensable that the man who

was consecrated to the Father of the world should have
as a Paraclete, His Son, the Being most perfect in virtue
to procure forgiveness of sins, and a supply of unlimited
blessings." (Life of Moses, xiv). He is also "the Image of
God": "for the image of God is his most ancient Logos."
(The Confusion of Languages, xxviii).
The not infrequent parallels in the Midrashim to many
of Philo's conceptions need not detain us here. They do
necessarily, in the words of Dr. J. Abelson, "stamp either
as the borrower from the other."'
I t would appear that Philo's Logos is to be regarded as
a philosophical term employed by him to describe the
personal dealings of God with man or with the universe.
I t has a definite theological significance. I t cannot, how-
ever, be imagined that he really thought of the Logos or
Logoi as being endowed with personality in the sense in
which we understand it, much less with Divinity, though
his rather extravagant expressions a t times seem to suggest
the former, and do not go far from an approach to the

a J . Abelson, The Immanence of God in Rabbinical Literature, 1912,

p. 68.

In what is generally considered as the earliest portion

of the book of Proverbs, chapter 10 onwards, Wisdom is
regarded in a purely abstract aspect. Parallels may be
found for the collection of Proverbs contained in 22.17-
23.14 in "Teaching of Amen-em-Apt." I t is not necessary
to suppose the borrowing to be on the Hebrew side. Sir
Wallis Budge thinks the similarity may be due to "some
Asiatic influence which found its way into Egypt under
the Middle Empire, or about the time of the rule of the
Hyksos over Lower Egypt. The doctrines of the Ger Mag
may have been in existence in Egypt when the Pyramids
were built, and assuming that some of them are of Asiatic
origin, they might well have been brought there by way of
Heliopolis from Syria and Babylonia by caravan men . . .
From time immemorial Heliopolis was a cosmopolitan city,
and a central desert mart where merchants of all nation-
alities exchanged not only material goods, but ideas and
In chapters 1-10, the latest portion of the book probably
dating from about the third century B.C.E., Wisdom is
definitely personified, e. g., the book opens with the "Praise
of Wisdom" as it has been called, 1.1-9, where wisdom is
regarded as equivalent to the fear of THELORDand the
knowledge of God, cf. also 2.5. In chapter 8.22-31, she is
represented as being called into existence from before
creation, standing by the Eternal as a master workman
and subsequently acting as the guide and instructor of men.
"THELORDformed me as the beginning of His way before

3 A. E . Wallis Budge, The Teaching of Amen-em-Apt, 1924, p. 103.


His works of old. From the everlasting was I set up, from
the beginning, before the earth was," etc. See also 9.1-6,
A quite distinct contribution was made by the book
Ecclesiasticus, or the Wisdom of Ben Sira, dating from
about the first quarter of the second century, in which
Wisdom is identified with the Law, e. g., 15.1: "For he
that feareth THELORDdoeth this and he that taketh hold
of the Law findeth her." 19.20: "A!1 wisdom is the fear of
THELORD,and in all wisdom the fulfilling of the Law."
21.11: "He that observeth the Law becometh the master
of the intent thereof, and the fear of THE LORDis the
consummation of Wisdom." 24.23 ff.: "All these things
are the book of the covenant of God Most High, the Law
which Moses commanded . . . which filleth [men] with
wisdom." The same chapter makes a distinct approach
to the suggestion of Divine Immanence through Wisdom,
v. 3 ff.: "I came forth from the mouth of the Most High,
and as a mist I covered the earth. In the high places did
I fix my abode, and my throne was in the pillar of cloud.
Alone I compassed the circuit of heaven." Wisdom seeking
a resting place like the Shekinah took up her abode among
the chosen people and found her rest in Jerusalem in the
Holy Tabernacle in Mount Zion (24.4 ff.). "He that
created me fixed my dwelling-place, and He said, In Jacob
let thy dwelling-place be . . . In the holy tabernacle I
ministered before Him ; moreover in Zion was I established."
In the Wisdom of Solomon, a work of the first century
B.C.E. (chapters i-x, perhaps not earlier than B.C.E. 50,
chapters x-xix, before the middle of the first century),
Wisdom is described as pervading and penetrating "all
things by reason of her pureness" (7.24). "For she is a
vapour of the power of God and a clear effluence of the
Glory of the Almighty . . . a reflection from everlasting
light and an unspotted mirror of the working of God, and
the image of His goodness" (vv. 25 and 26).
In the same book Wisdom is equated with "the holy
spirit of God," cf. 1.5: "the holy spirit of discipline fleeth
deceit . .. for Wisdom is a spirit that loveth man," and
9.17: "who can know Thy counsel unless Thou give him
wisdom, and send Thy holy spirit from on high?"
In 9.1, 2, Wisdom is identified with the Word of God:
"0 God of the fathers, and LORDof mercy, who madest all
things by Thy word, and by Thy wisdom didst form man."
I t will of course be borne in mind that Ben Sira is Pales-
tinian and that the Wisdom of Solomon is Alexandrian.

The Hebrew 121 dabar "word" as the word of God is

used in the Old Testament to express a divine communica-
tion in the form of a command, prophecy, warning or
encouragement 394 times (Brown-Driver-Briggs, Hebrew
Lexicon, p. 182b). Examples of this usage are as follows:
Gen. 15.1. The word of THE LORDcame unto Abram
P ~ 5~H ;~1;1'-1211'~
7'7; I1 Sam. 7.4, to Nathan; I Kings 6.11,
to Solomon; 13.20, to the old prophet; 17.8, to Elijah;
Isa. 38.4, to Isaiah; Jer. 1.4, to Jeremiah; Hos. 1.1, to
Hosea, etc. In Deut. 121 dabar, 9.5, has a similar content
in a different setting, "that he may establish the word
which THE LORD sware unto thy fathers" 0'37 1ynh
lyn11~57179 y2w1 ~ W ~N ~ ' T T I - ~and
H ; again Deut. 30.14, "the
word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth and in thy heart
to do it." inwy5 722521 i9mw n 1217 1 9 5 ~2 ilp-9x.
The Hebrew 1x7 dabar "word" is in all cases in the
Targums, the free renderings employed in the Synagogues,

rendered by the Aramaic pitgam, nnmp Pitgama. This

will be seen in the examples given below:

Old Testament Targum (Onkelos)

Gen. 15.1. The word of THE The word of Yahweh n n m
LORDcame unto Abram. ' y ' ~ came unto Abram.

Deut. 9.5. That he may That he may establish the

establish the word which word n n m which THELORD

THE LORDsware unto thy sware to thy fathers.


Deut. 18.20. The prophet The false prophet who doeth

who shall presume to speak wickedly in speaking a word

a word in M y name. nnmp in R4y name.

Targum (Jonathan)
Hos. 1.1. The word of THE The word of prophecy
LORD which came unto n n i n from before THELORD
Hosea. which came unto Hosea.

I t will be clearly seen from the above that the Targums

use n n m pitgama as the equivalent of the word of THE
LORD;117~-127when it expresses a divine communication
in the form of a command or revelation.
We now pass to the consideration of the word m n 9 n
1n9n memra; this is derived from the Aramaic 1nn ;mar,
say, tell, command. I t is used in the Targums (1) frequently,
though by no means invariably, as a circumlocution for
the name or mention of Yahweh; (2) to avoid the use of
too anthropomorphic expressions; (3) to express the activ-
ity of God in creation; (4) with the suggestion of personi-
fication. Examples are given below :

(1) As a circumlocution for the name or mention of THE

Old Testament Targum (Jerusalem)
Gen. 3.9. And THELORD And the memra NYD~Dof THE
GODcalled unto the man. LORDGOD called unto the

Targum (Onkelos)
Gen. 20.3. God came t o And a memra from before
Abimelech in a dream by THE LORD VV'D'lp'jD YD'D
night, and said to him. came to Abimelech in a
dream by night, and said to

Ex. 19.17. Moses brought And J!loses brought the

forth the people out of the people out of the camp
camp to meet God. to meet the memra of THE
LORD"7 NIDVD nlD'lp5.

Ex. 4.12. And I will be with And my memra 1 shall

1 ~ 1 ~ ~
thy mouth. be with thy mouth.

Targum (Palestine)
Ex. 19.9. And THE LORD And the memra N l n y n of
said unto RIoses. THELORDsaid unto RIoses.

Targum (Onkelos)
Gen. 21.20. And God was And the memra of THELORD
with the lad. "1 NYD-nwas for the sup-
port of the lad.

Ex. 14.31. And they be- And they believed in the

lieved in THELORDand in memra of THELORDHYD'D>
hloses his servant. "-I and in the prophecy of
Moses his servant.

( 2 ) T o avoid the use of anthropomorphic expressions:

Old Testament Targum (Onkelos)
Gen. 3.8. And they heard And they heard the voice of
the voice of THELORDGod the memra of THE LORD
walking in the garden. God a - ; . r h - 9 1 NYD'D 5p-n-
walking in the garden.

Gen. 3.10. 1 heard Thy voice. I heard the voice of Thy

memra, Y ~ D 5p-n-.
~ D

Gen. 8.21. And THELORD And THELORDsaid by His

said in His heart. memra, ; ~ D - D > .

Ex. 33.22. And I will cover And I will protect thee by

My hand over thee until I My memra 1 ~ ~ over1 ~ >thee

have passed by. until I have passed by.

Deut. 3.22. For THELORD For The LORD your God

your God He it is that His memra m D 1 n fighteth
fighteth for you. for you.

Deut. 1.26. Ye defied the Ye rebelled against the

command 9~ of THE LORD memra N l D 9 D of THELORD
your God. your God.

Deut. 4.24. For THELORD For THELORDthy God His

thy God is a devouring fire. memra n n 1 n is a devouring
[Doubtless with reference to
the Pillar of Fire. See 9.3:
He who passeth over before
thee-a consuming fire.]
I t must not be imagined from the above instances that
the Targums avoid all anthropomorphisms and remove

them from the Hebrew original. This is very far from being
the case. The Targums are full of anthropomorphisms,
the instances of which are too numerous for quotation.
They are very apparent in, the early narratives of Genesis,
e. g., the story of the Garden of Eden, chapter 2.
( 3 ) To express the activity of God in Creation:
Old Testament Targum (Jerusalem)
Gen. 1.27. And God created And the memra of THE
the man in his own image. LORD117 N ~ D ~created
D the
man in his own image.

Targum (Onkelos)
Deut. 33.27. Underneath By His memra mn7n> the
are the everlasting arms. world was created.

Targum ( P s . Jonathan)
Isa. 45.12. I have made the By M y memra 7 7 ~ yhave
n ~
earth and created man upon 1 made the earth.

Targum (to the Psalms)

Ps. 33.6. By the word of By the milla of THELORD
THELORDwere the Heavens 1~7n$n> were the Heavens
made. made.
Against Ps. 33.6 it has been objected by G. F. Rloore
that the Targum is late,4 but it is not unlikely that it has
preserved an early interpretation. Moore also apparently dis-
likes the employment as evidence in this connection of any
other Targum than that of Onkelos. But as has been
pointed out by Bacher,s Onkelos has undergone a thorough
and systematic revision, and by G. H. Box, that for this
4 Harvard Theological Review, \'ol. X\', p. 46.

5 Jewish Encyclopaedia, Vol. X I I , p. 59.


very reason the paraphrastic renderings of the Palestinian

Targum are likely to approach much more nearly to the
ancient Targum than the official and rather stereotyped
Targum of O n k e l ~ s .Some
~ of these renderings are of great
interest and one is especially worthy of mention. The
opening words of Genesis are given in the Targum of
Onkelos as follows: "At first 1'0-132 THE Lord created
the heaven and the earth," while the Targum of Jerusalem
has "In Wisdom THELORDcreated" (~n3inl~).
(4) With the suggestion of Personification :
Old Testament Targum (Onkelos)
Gen. 6.6. And THE LORD And THE LORDturned from
repented that He had made His memra by which He
man on the earth. had made man in the land,
and He said by His memra,

Targum f Jerusalem)
Num. 10.35. Rise up 0 Arise now, 0 memra of THE
LORD. Return 0 LORD. LORD"7 ~ ~ n ' n Return
. 0
memra of THE LORD.

Targum (Onkelos)
Gen. 28.20,21. If THELORD If the memra of THELORD,
GOD will be with m e . . '17 ~ i n ' n , be my help . ..
then shall THE LORD be the memra of THELORDshall
my God. be my God.

Targum (Jerusalem)
Ex. 13.18. But GOD led And the memra of THELORD,
the people about, by the T ~ 1 0 ~led
0, the people by
way of the wilderness. the way of the wilderness.
JQR, Vo1. XXIII, p. 107.
There are many other instances than those given above.
I t is not of course for one moment to be imagined that
when the memra was personified in Jewish religious thought
as Wisdom had been personified in Proverbs that it was in-
tended to convey the suggestion of a personal existence as
apart from God. Rabbinical teachers were a t pains to dem-
onstrate a t all costs the Unity of God, but they were also
anxious to remove from the popular mind (and it is generally
regarded that the Targums were primarily composed for
the edification of the people) expressions which sounded
too anthropomorphic, or a t least to expound these expres-
I t does not seem possible to regard with G. F. RIoore
the term nzemra as a mere buffer word devoid of all theo-
logical content, a mere phenomenon of translation.7 Nor
is there any real reason to divorce its connection from the
Hebrew dabar 127. Memra is a specifically Aramaic word,
"and as such was a popular term, intelligible to the people.118
Its popular character is doubtless sufficient to account
for its being frequently employed in the Targums.


The Hebrews while regarding Heaven as God's dwelling
place (I Kings 8.30,9 Ps. 2.41) yet conceived of Him as
manifesting Himself here on earth. Canaan was in a peculiar
sense a territory belonging to THELORDwhich He would
give to His faithful servants. (Gen. 12.7," J ; 13.15,'";
7 Harvard Theological Review,Vol. XV, pp. 53, 54.
* G. H. Box, JQR, Vol. X X I I I , p. 113.

9 Hear Thou in heaven T h y dwelling place.

l o H e that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh.

T h e Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, "Unto t h y seed will I

give this land."
"All the land which thou seest, t o thee will I give it, and t o t h y seed
for ever."

15.7,'s J ) . Banishment from THELORD'Sland suggests to

David the distressing thought that his present relation to
THELORDas a devout worshipper and servant will have
to be abandoned (I Sam. 26.1914). Naaman asks that he
may carry away with him to Syria two mules burden of
earth, the soil of THELORD'Sland, that on his return to
his own country he may still retain the privilege on this
small portion of sacrificing to the God to whom the land
belongs.'s (I I Kings 5.17). Moreover within this sacred
territory there were particular places which might be
regarded as habitations of the Deity. Such places had been
the scenes of theophanies where THE LORDhad once or
more than once manifested Himself and would be likely
to do so again. They were in consequence marked out as
places where His people might offer to Him sacrifice and
worship.^^ The Book of Genesis records theophanies a t
Mamre 13.18 (J), 18.1 f . (J E ) , Beerlahairoi 16.7 f. ( J ) ,
Moriah 22.2 (E), Bethel 28.10 f. (J E), 35.1 (E), and Penuel
32.22 (J). The Book of the Covenant (E) Exodus 20.21
contains the injunction "An altar of earth thou shalt make
unto Me, and shalt sacrifice thereon," together with the
assurance that "in every place where I record My name
I will come unto thee and I will bless thee."
When His people are bidden to leave Yahweh's land
Yahweh promises to go with them, Gen. 46.3-4 (E). H e
appears as "the angel of the Lord" to Moses in Horeb in a
flame of fire out of the midst of a bush ?ID? linn w n - n h ,
Ex. 3.2 (E). K7hen the nation was leaving Egypt and com-
mencing its journey to Canaan the Divine Presence moved

'3 I am THE LORDthat bringest thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, t o

give thee this land t o inherit it.
'4 They have driven me out this day that I should have no share in
the inheritance of the Lord, saying, Go, serve other gods.
'5 C. F. Burney, Outlines of Old Testament Theology, p. 35.
I6 C. F. Burney, Outlines of Old Testament Theology, pp. 37, 38.

before them dwelling "in a column of cloud" by day 139 -rinya

and "in a column of fire" by night WH T I D Y ~Ex.
, 13.21 (J).
The Presence (Ex. 14.19) described as "the angel of God"
(E) stood as it were on guard, between the Israelites and
the Egyptians, giving light to the former and being a cloud
of darkness to the latter (J)." At the critical moment when
the Egyptians pursued the Israelites over the narrow pas-
sage in the Red Sea where the waters had been temporarily
held back "THELORDlooked forth upon the host of the
Egyptians in the column of fire and of cloud (11~1WH -rinya)
and discomforted the host of the Egyptians" (Ex. 14.24, J ) .
Several weeks ("in the third month") after the departure
from Egypt on arrival a t Mount Sinai, a special manifesta-
tion is granted, when "THELORDcame down upon it in
fire" WMm;r9 l95y -nv (Ex. 19.18) "and the smoke thereof
went up as the smoke of a furnace" (Ex. 19.18, probably J).
Again a little later on, "the cloud covered the mount.
And the glory of THELORDabode upon mount Sinai, and
the cloud covered it six days and the seventh day He called
unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud" (Ex. 24.15-18a).
This section which is probably from the hand of P makes
the interesting addition, "Moses entered into the midst
of the cloud," which seems to suggest some kind of com-
munion with the Deity.
When life in the wilderness became organized, a Taber-
nacle ]>WD, or Tent of Meeting, was erected, that these
theophanies, according to the priestly writer, might be
continuous, "And let them make Ale a sanctuary that I
may dwell among them" (Ex. 25.8, P), "where I will meet
with you . . . there will I meet with the children of Israel
and it shall be sanctified by M y glory" (Ex. 29.42, 43, P).
When the work was completed, the cloud, which seems to

'7 This rather obscure verse seems to be composite, and its meaning
in its present state seems to be as above.

be regarded as enveloping the Divine Presence, "covered

the tent of meeting," and "Moses was not able to enter
into the tent of meeting, because the cloud abode thereon,
and the glory of THELORDfilled the tabernacle." (Ex.
40.34, 35, P). The cloud of THELORDremained over the
Tabernacle "And there was fire in it by night" (Ex.
According to an earlier tradition, that of E, the the-
ophany took place on the occasions when Moses entered
the tent of meeting and held communion with the Deity
"When Moses entered into the Tent, the column of cloud
descended, and stood a t the door of the Tent, and He spake
with Moses. And all the people saw the column of cloud
stand a t the door of the Tent: and all the people rose up
and worshipped, every man a t his tent door. And THE
LORDspake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh
unto his friend." (Ex. 33.9-11).
The priestly writer, in picturing the cloud perpetually
over the Tabernacle, adds that by its rest or movement it
made plain to the Israelites where they should camp or
when they should be again on the march (Ex. 40.36-37;
Num. 9.17-23). The movements of the cloud were regarded
as "the commandment of THELORD."
Reference has already been made to the sacred places of
Canaan in the time of the patriarchs. I t was natural that
on the return from Egypt these ancient sanctuaries, and
others like them, should be held in reverence, and sacrifices
offered a t them from time to time.18 Samuel offered sacri-
fice a t Ramah (I Sam. 7.17, 9.12, 13). Solomon went to
Gibeon "the great high place" to offer sacrifice (I Kings
3.4). There was an altar on Mount Carmel which Elijah

18 T h e people have a sacrifice today in the high place ;rDsl;r, I Sam.


repaired and used for sacrifice (I Kings 18.30). In the time

of the Judges there was also the sanctuary a t Shiloh, which
was regarded as of especial importance as the home of the
ark. Yet there was no perpetual manifestation there of
the Divine Presence, "the word of THELORDwas rare 1 ~ '
in those days and there was no open vision'' y ~ litn a 1~
(I Sam. 3.1). When the young Samuel began his acceptable
ministrations "THE LORDappeared again in Shiloh; for
THELORDrevealed himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the
word THELord" (I Sam. 3.21).
At these local sanctuaries there appears to have fre-
quently been a maqebah, pillar 73rn. Jacob erected a
mazqebah a t Bethel where THE LORD appeared to him,
poured oil upon it and called it "the house of God" n.3
~ ~ 7 1(Gen.
7 ~ 28.17, 18, 20-22). Jacob and Laban after
their quarrel make a covenant with sacrifice (31.54) and
sacrificial meal (v. 46), and either Jacob or Laban, probably
the latter (3py9 seems to be an incorrect gloss), set up a
maqzebah (E) as a witness that the one will not defraud
the other. I t appears that the somewhat later narrative of
J has introduced the "heap of stones," and with it the sug-
gestion which may have been found in E , in reference to
the mazzebah, that the heap was a habitation of THELORD
from which he would look out on the territory of Laban
and the territory of Jacob. The compiler rather awkwardly
couples the two together in verse 52, "this heap be a witness
and the pillar be a witness, that I will not pass over this
heap to thee, and that thou shalt not pass over this heap
and this pillar unto me, for harm."
A later command forbade the erection of such mazzebot,
which may have become the objects of superstition. "And
thou shalt not set thee up a mazzebah which the Lord thy
God hateth" (Deut. 16.22). "And thou shalt break in
pieces their ma??ebot" (Ex. 23.24, E).

By a later order, too, the sacred places for THELORD'S

worship scattered throughout Canaan were to be replaced
by one central sanctuary. "Ye shall surely destroy all the
places wherein the nations which ye shall possess served
their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills,
and under every green tree" (Deut. 12.2 f.). The pollution
of Canaanite high places had evidently entered into THE
LORD'S sanctuaries (I Kings 14.22-24, 15.11-12, 22.46;
Hos. 4.8-14). Therefore they must be swept away "for
thou art an holy people unto THELORDthy God" (Deut.
7.6). According to I1 Kings 22 and 23, this sweeping
reformation was carried out under Josiah after the dis-
covery of the book Deuteronomy, and the Temple a t
Jerusalem became the accepted sanctuary a t which alone
sacrificial worship was permissible. Josiah's reform marks
a definite advance toward a purer religious conception such
as finds expression in the teaching of the eighth century
The Temple from its foundation by Solomon had been
regarded as the especial dwelling place of THELORD,"I
have hallowed this house which thou has built, to put h4y
name there for ever; and Mine eyes and Mine heart shall
be there perpetually" (I Kings 9.3). "Here will I dwell for
I have desired it" (Ps. 132.14), and the cloud which veiled
the Presence in the wilderness was again to be found there,
"And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of
the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of THELORD,
so that the priests could not stand to minister by reason
of the cloud: for the glory of THELORDfilled the house of
THELORD" (I Kings 8.10-1 1). This evidently belongs to
an older narrative which has been incorporated into the
book by the compiler, possibly with some expansion on
his part. The view that heaven, not the Temple, is the
abode of THELORDis a product of exilic times. Its presence
in Solomon's prayer of dedication "hear Thou in heaven T h y
dwelling place" (I Kings 8.30, 34, 36, 39, 45, 49) is probably
the introduction of the compiler, to whom the prayer in its
present form evidently belongs. I t stands alongside of the
emerging of a new and larger thought, that of the tran-
scendence of God. "Is it indeed the case19 that God will
dwell on the earth? Behold the heaven and the heaven of
the heavens cannot contain Thee, how much less this house
which I have builded" (v. 27). When the earthly temple
lay in ruins, the prophet of the exile exclaims: "Thus saith
THELORD:The heaven is My throne, and the earth is the
stool of M y feet; what is this house ye will build Me
and what is this place for My rest?'' (Isa. 66.1). The
psalmist of the exile has risen to the height of a definite
and full belief in God's immanence: "Whither shall I go
from Thy spirit or whither shall I flee from Thy Presence?
If I ascend to Heaven Thou art there. If I make my bed
in Sheol, lo, Thou art there. If I take the wings of the
Dawnm and dwell in the boundaries of the sea even there
Thy hand shall lead me, and Thy right hand shall hold
me." (Ps. 139.7-10).
Ezekiel, who in his picture of a glorious future casts
his mind over a somewhat idealized past, says, "doubtless
according to a more heightened and spiritual concep-
t i ~ n , "that
~ ~ when the newly constructed Temple and city
are completed THELORDwill again honor them with His
Presence "and the name of the city from that day shall be
THELORDis there" ;Inm nin7 niln ryn-om1 (Ezek. 48.35).

' C . F . Burney, Kings, p. 116.
a@ 1nu the wings of the East Wind; the translation above is that
of W. E. Barnes, The Psalms, Vol. 11, p. 637.
C. F. Burney, Kings, p. 115.

And what is of primary importance, THELORDwill pre-

pare His people for this coming theophany by cleansing
them from all defilement, giving them a new heart and a
new spirit; He will indeed put His spirit within them, thus
making His dwelling in the hearts of His people (Ezek.
36.23 ff.). "And I will put My spirit in you, and ye shall
live, and I will place you in your own land: and ye shall
know that I THELORDhave spoken it, and performed it,
saith THELORD."(Ezek. 37.14).
This teaching is in harmony with that of the Law of
Holiness and of the priestly writer-THE LORD'Sdwelling
in the midst of His people, "And I will set My tabernacle
among you: and My soul shall not abhor you. And I will
walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be My
people" (Lev. 26.11-12, H). "And I will dwell among the
children of Israel, and will be their God. And they shall
know that I am THELORDtheir God, that brought them
forth out of the land of Egypt, that I may dwell among
them: I am THE LORD their God." (Ex. 29.45-46, P).
"And thou shalt not defile the land which ye inhabit, in
the midst of which I dwell." (Num. 35.34, P).
Rabbinical literature expresses this indwelling of the
Deity by the noun Shekinah ; ~ . I v ~ aw ,noun formed from the
verb l ~ wsettle
, down, abide, dwell. I t is used to paraphrase
the verb IJW and in other ways to express the Divine Pres-
ence, while a t the same time avoiding direct mention of the
personal activity of the Deity. In the Targums it occurs
in the Aramaic form Shekinta (sn13~w).The senses in which
the word is used may be conveniently grouped as follows:
(1) God dwelling in the midst of His people, (2) God
walking among His people or moving before them, (3) The
withdrawal of God's Presence, (4) A substitute for the
name of God.

(1) God dwelling in the midst of His people:

Old Testament Targum (Onkelos)
Gen. 9.27. And may he And he shall cause his
dwell in the tents of Shem. Shekinta 7nx~v to dwell in
the tabernacles of Shem.

Ex. 25.8. That I may dwell And I will cause M y Shekinta

among them. 'nuv to dwell among them.

Ex. 29.45. And I will dwell And I will cause My Shekinta

in the midst of the children VIJW to dwell in the midst
of Israel. of the children of Israel.

We may also classify under this heading the Deuter-

onomic phrase "to cause his name to dwell there" (Deut.
12.11), which is rendered in the Targum, "to cause His
Shekinta (muw) to dwell there." This is also found in
Deut. 14.23; 16.2, 6, 11 ; 26.2, etc., and a similar expression
in I Kings 9.3, "to put My name there."
(2) God walking among His people or moving before
them :
Targum (Onkelos)
Ex. 34.6. And THE LORD And THELORDcaused His
passed by before him. Shekinta nnuv to pass before

Lev. 26.12. And I will walk And I will cause My Shekinta

among you. ' ~ I J V to dwell among you.

(3) The withdrawal of God's Presence:

Deut. 31.17. I will hide My I will cause My Shekinta
face. l n ~ ~tovgo up from them.

So also 32.20.

Targum (to the Psalms)

Ps. 44.10. And Thou goest And Thou dost not cause
not forth with our hosts. Thy Shekinta i l n n v to dwell
with our hosts.

Ps. 88.6. And they are cut And they are separated from
off from Thy hand. the face of Thy Shekinta

Targum (Jonathan)
Isa. 57.17. I hid Myself. I caused My Shekinta 'n13v
to go up from them.

Hos. 5.6. He hath with- He hath caused His Shekinta

drawn Himself. ;~)Jwto go up.

(4) A substitute for the name of THELORD:

Targum (Onkelos)
Ex. 17.7. Is THE LORD Is the Shekinta of THE
amongst us or not? LORD1 7 ~~ n amongst
~ v us
or not?

Targum (to the Psalms)

Ps. 16.8. I have set THE I have set THELORDbefore
LORDbefore me continually. me continually; because His
Because He is a t my right Shekinta ;1n12v dwells upon
hand I shall not be moved. me I shall not be moved.

The word Shekinah is also freely used in rabbinical liter-

ature outside the Targums in connections similar to those
shown above. A few instances will suffice for our purpose:
(1) The Presence with His people: Mishna, Abot 3.2: "But
when two sit together and are busy with the words of the
law the Shekinah is among them"; Hagigah 14b.1.6: "the
Shekinah is with us"; Berakot 1.1: "He sought that the
Shekinah should rest upon Israel, and He granted it."
(2) The Presence moving with or for his people: Midrash
Sifre on Numbers $82: "The Shekinah went in advance of
them thirty-six miles on that day, in order that they should
enter the land." Ibid., $84: "They went to Edom; and
the Shekinah went with them." (3) The withdrawal of
the Presence: Berakot 1.1, fol. 5b: "He causes the Shekinah
to depart from Israel; as it is said, shall the Rock be removed
out of its place? Rock means nothing else than the Holy
One, blessed be He." (4) A substitute for the name of
God : Hagigah 14a. 1.20 : "How dost thou make the Shekinah
a common thing?" Berakot 6.6: "He who walks with an
erect carriage is as though he pushed against the feet of the
Shekinah for it is written the whole earth is full of his
glory." The same simile is used in a different connection
in Hagigah 16a. 1.27.
I t will be seen by the above representative passages we
have quoted from the Targums, that Shekinah does not
indicate a Presence which takes the place of the Deity,
but the Targums by the avoidance of the too frequent use
of the divine name seek, in accordance with Jewish stand-
ards of thinking, a more reverent way of writing or speaking
of God. The same observation applies to its use in rab-
binical literature outside the Targums.

Alongside of the conception of the manifestation of

Divine Presence in the midst of His people grew, in course
of time, that of the revelation of His glory. Doubtless the
important figure of the Pillar of Cloud and still more the
Pillar of Fire was meant to convey this impression. Moses
(Ex. 33.18, E), holding communion with THELORD,asks
to see His "glory," (Kdb6d 1123). 71x3-n~NI l ~ ~ i ;"Show

me Thy glory." He is bidden to stand in a cleft of the rock

covered by THE LORD'S hand while the Divine Glory
passes by. The editor of the Books of Kings, representing
the Deuteronomic view as to the necessity of a centraliza-
tion of cultus, records that the ark was placed by the
Priests in the newly erected Temple, and when the Priests
had come out of the holy place the cloud filled the house of
THE LORD,''SO that the priests could not stand to minister
by reason of the cloud: for the glory THE LORD;11;1v--r12J
filled the house of THELORD."(I Kings 8.11). The priestly
writer, from his idealistic standpoint, pictures the mani-
festation of THE LORD'Sglory in the tabernacle in the
wilderness, and traces it back to the theophany on Mount
Sinai. He says that when the cloud indicating the Divine
Presence had covered the hlount the glory of THE LORD
rn;rv-~i2:, "abode upon hlount Sinai." God is conceived
as dwelling within the cloud, for he calls unto Rloses "out
of the midst of the cloud." "And the appearance of the
glory of THELORDwas like devouring fire on the top of
the mount in the eyes of the Israelites" (Ex. 24.15-17).
Moreover when hloses held communion with God in the
Mount, his face shone so brilliantly that he was forced to
veil it on his return to speak with men; doubtless this is to
be understood as a reflection of "the glory of THE LORD."
The priestly writer also records that when the command
was given to erect the Tent of Meeting in the wilderness
it was accompanied by the promise of THELORD'SPresence
in the Tent and a manifestation there of His glory "and
there I will meet with the Israelites, and it shall be sanctified
by M y glory" (Ex. 29.43). He tells us that when the Tent
was completed the cloud covered it and "the glory of THE
LORDfilled the Tabernacle." He says that the cloud, which
became by its movements the signal to the Israelites to
depart or remain, contained fire by night (Ex. 40.34-38).
The same author in the Book of Numbers tells us that
when the people with one voice condemned the report of
the faithless spies "the glory of THELORDappeared in the
tent of meeting" in the sight of all the Israelites (Num.
14.10). I t is surprising to find a little later on in the same
chapter (verse 21) the appearance of a much more spiritual
conception, almost approaching the doctrine of Divine
Immanence, the earth shall be filled "with the glory of
THELORD." This may be from the older source E, or
possibly it is a detached fragment which has been worked
into the main narrative by the compiler. The same thought
appears with a slight variation in Habakkuk 2.14, "the
earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of
THE LORDas the waters cover the sea." Ps. 72.19 has "and
let all the earth be filled with His glory" and Isa. 6.3 the
curious phrase "the fulness of all the earth is His glory"
1 - 1 1 ~y i w - 5 3 ~ 5 n .
"The glory of THE LORD" is in I Sam. 4.22 almost
identified with the ark, so closely associated in thought is
this sacred symbol with the Divine Presence. When the
ark falls into the hands of the Philistines "the glory is gone
into exile from Israel" (Brown-Driver-Briggs, Lexicon,
p. 163) h i v 9 n 712~751.
Haggai promises that the Divine Presence will come
again to the restored temple: "I will fill this house with
glory, saith THE LORDof hosts.'' "The latter glory of this
house shall be greater than the former, saith THE LORD
of hosts." (Hag. 2.7, 9).
Ezekiel sees in his vision of the river Chebar what looked
like a bright rainbow: "This was the appearance of the
likeness of the glory of THE LORD,"and he prostrates him-
self before it (1.28). A second vision was granted to him "in
the plain." "Behold the glory of THELORDstood there,
as the glory which I saw by the river Chebar; and I fell on

my face" (3.23). More striking still is the prophet's descrip-

tion of the departure of the glory of THELORDfrom the
Temple which had been defiled with idolatrous rites. The
glory of THE LORD,mounted on the cherubim, "went up
from the midst of the city, and stood upon the mountain
which is on the east side of the city" (11.23).22 The word
TI>:, is used occasionally in the Talmud to designate the
visible accompaniment of the Divine Presence, but not
with any frequency. Two instances will suffice: Hagigah
12b, 2, 33: "These are celestials and seraphs and holy beings
and ministering angels, and the throne of glory, and the
King, the Living God, high and lifted up, sitting above
them among the clouds"; hlidrash Sifre on Numbers: "The
colour of the firmament is like unto the throne of the Divine
Glory." (5 115, The Law concerning Tassels).
The equivalent of -112~in the Targums is the Aramaic
Yekara tilp7, by which it is regularly translated. The word
~ 1 3is' also used in place of the direct use of the name THE
LORD,particularly in such passages where God is repre-
sented as having been seen by men which almost suggest
as it were bodily form. The following instances will make
this double usage plain:
(a) As the equivalent of TX:, "glory":
Old Testament Targum (Onkelos)
Ex. 24.17. And the appear-
And the Yekara of THE
ance of the glory of THE LORD was like devouring
LORD was like devouring fire.

Ex. 29.43. And it shall be And it shall be sanctified

sanctified by My glory. by M y Yekara.
Later in his vision of the restored Temple, he sees the glory of
Yahweh return and fill the house a s of old (43.4, 5), "and behold t h e
glory of THELORDfilled the house of Yahweh: and I fell upon m y
face" (44.4).
Oid Testament Targum (Onkelos)
Num. 14. And the glory of And the Yekara of THE
THELORDappeared in the LORDappeared.
tent of meeting and unto
all the Israelites.

Ex. 40.34. And the glory And the Yekara of THE

of THELORDfilled the taber- LORDfilled the tabernacle.

(b) In place of the direct use of the name of God:

Targum (Onkelos)
Gen. 28.13. And lo! THE And lo! the Yekara of THE
LORD stood above it and LORD stood above it and
said. said.

Gen. 17.22. And He finished And He finished speaking

speaking with him, and God with him and the Yekara of
P*;I~JH went up from Abra- THE LORD went up from
ham. Abraham.

Gen. 18.33. And THELORD And the Yekara of THE

went as soon as He had LORD went as soon as He
finished speaking with Abra- had finished speaking with
ham. Abraham.

Ex. 3.6. For he was afraid For he was afraid to look

to look upon God a37'7~. upon the manifestation of
the Yekara of THELORD.

Ex. 24.10. And they saw And they saw the Yekara of
the God of Israel '7'7~ the God of Israel.

Occasionally Yekara and Shekinta are found together as

in the following examples :

Targum (Jonathan)
Isa. 6.5. For mine eyes have For mine eyes have seen the
seen the King, THELORDof Yekara of the Shekinta of
hosts. the King of the ages.

Isa. 40.22. He that sitteth That causeth the Shekinta

upon the circle of the earth. of His Yekara to dwell in
lofty strength.

Targum (to the Psalms)

Ps. 44.24 (25 Heb.) Where- Wherefore causest Thou the
fore hidest Thou Thy face. Shekinta of Thy Yekara to

I t will be seen from the above that the word Yekara is

used as an equivalent of the Hebrew word - r i "~glory" or
to avoid the direct mention of the Divine Name and thus
to suggest a higher conception of the manifestation of God
as indicated by the splendor with which He is surrounded.

I t has been definitely stated that the Logos of the Fourth

Gospel is derived from Philo, and as definitely that it repre-
sents the targumic conception of the Word of THELORD.
I t does not seem a t all impossible that the teaching of
Philo, a combination of the Stoic teaching of Alexandria,
mingled with its teaching of Judaism in Scripture and
Targum, perhaps with ideas current in the Egypt of a long
past, may have reached the Fourth Evangelist. There are
other parallels in the Fourth Gospel to Philo than that of
the Logos, which it is outside the purpose of this paper to
examine, but which readily will occur to the reader and
which help to strengthen this presumption. The fact that
the Evangelist owed a deep debt to the theological contri-
butions of Judaism does not, in the view of the present
writer, preclude the possibility of a debt also to Philo.
-4s to the Fourth Evangelist's debt for his Logos con-
ception to the Old Testament and to the Targums, the
popular renderings of the Old Testament, there seems to
the present writer no doubt a t all. I t must be remembered
however that the memra of the Targums is not identical
with the "word of THELORD"of the Old Testament. Its
meaning is bigger, its use is wider, and it is frequently
found where the Old Testament makes no mention of the
"word of THELORD." But it can hardly be denied that
the Old Testament contains the parent idea, and that it
is right to trace the origin of the conception of the memra,
to quote the late Dr. C. F. Burney, "to Old Testament
passages in which the Hebrew 127 'word' is employed in
a connection which almost suggests hypo~tatization."~3
Such a term as memra with its thought of God's creating
and directing power "God in action," to quote the late
Dr. G. H. BOX,^^ with its careful employment to ensure due
reverence in the mention of the Divine Name, would be
exactly what the Fourth Evangelist would need. This he
takes, adding to it his own important contribution of
Divine Personality to express the coming into the world
of the Son of God.
But the Logos does not stand alone in the Prologue.
I t is coupled in thought with the two other terms we have
l3 The Aramaic Origin of the Fourth Gospel, p. 38.
24 JQR,Vol. XXIII, p. 110.

been considering and terms well known to worshippers in

the Synagogue. The Logos is said to "tabernacle" among
his people like the Shekinah of old, K a i 6 Xbyos crdrpr
C Y ~ V E T O ~ a ~iC ~ K ~ ~ V W QCvE V4pTv; the Shekinah is again
seen amongst the Chosen People (cf. Apoc. 21.3, 'I6ob 4
C ~ K V V T$OG ~ E O ;PET& TGV & v O ~ ~ T W~V ,a Ui K ~ ] V ~ UPET'

a h G v ) ; and with this fresh theophany is the manifesta-

tion of the "Glory of THE LORD" (Kabod - r r x , Yekara
mp-),which of old accompanied the revelation of the Divine
Presence whether in Temple or Tent of Rleeting, ~ a i
i e ~ a a c i p e B a~ 7 j v6 6 t a v a l i ~ o G ,6 6 t a v cjs povoyevoGs aapdr
a a ~ p b s .Thus the three terms are used together to describe
the mystery of the Incarnati~n.~s

I t is the belief of the present writer that these conceptions

of Logos or Memra, Shekinah and Yekara entered into the
mind of the writer of the Fourth Gospel so completely that
they recur again and agaiqZ6in fact they seem to take their
place in a regular cycle. Details cannot of course be pressed.
I t is not a t the moment even seriously suggested that the
Evangelist wrote with the intention of working out these
conceptions, but the fact of their presence seems worthy
of attention. The following table will show better than by
any other method of explanation what is here meant. In
the columns below, the Passion and Resurrection narratives
are not included.

1 j C. F. Burney, The Aramaic Origin of the Fourth Gospel, p. 39, and

G. Dalman, The Words of Jesus, p. 231.

26 T h e unity of authorship is here assumed.

Logos Memra Rinln Shekinah m93w Yekara ~ i j s

1. The entry of 1. Descent of 1. Vision of the
the Logos into the the Shekinah upon g l o r y of G o d
world and the Him, 1.29-34; de- through the Logos,
witness t o H i m , scending as a dove, 1.35-51; the Heav-
1.1-28. 32. ens opened, 51.

2. The Logos as 2. The Shekinah 2. " H e a v e n l y

w o r k i n g in H i s in t h e T e m p l e , things," "ascended
world, 2.1-1 1. "This 2.13-25. " M y f a - into Heaven,"
b e g i n n i n g of H i s ther's House," 16. "descended out of
signs," 11. H e a v e n , " "i:n
H e a v e n , " 3.1-14.
"The Light is come
i n t o the world,"
3.19. Witness to
the Light to Him
that cometh from
above, 3.22-36.

3. The Logos as 3. The Shekinah 3. T h e L i v i n g

D i v i n e Wisdom, in the Temple, 5. Bread, 6; which
4.1-45. " L i v i n g The heavenly wit- came down from
water," 11. "The ness, 37. With 37b Heaven, 6.51. The
true worshippers," "Ye have neither ascension into
23. " W e h a v e heard His voice a t Heaven, 6.62.
h e a r d for our- any time nor seen
selves," 5.42. The H i s form" (com-
Logos a s Divine pare Ex. 19.19-20).
Power, 4.46-54. "God answered him
by a voice. And
THEL O R Dc a m e
down upon Mount

Logos Memra MXYD Shekinah ;r~>ru Yekara m p V

4. Divine Wis- 4. The Shekinah 4. T h e g l o r y
dom, 6; knowing in t h e T e m p l e , manifest in Divine
the time, 6; giving 8-11; 9.37: "Thou Power over Death,
theTeaching, 14ff. ; hast both seen him, 11; in the Death
coming from God, and he it is that and Exaltation of
28 ff.; imparting speaketh with Messiah, 12. "The
knowledge and life, thee"; 10.38: "The hour is come that
37 ff.; "rivers of Father is in me and t h e S o n of M a n
living water" (cf. I in the Father." should beglorified,"
Jewish salvation 11.23. "I have both
through theTorah). glorified it and will
glorify it again,"
11.28. Isaiah in vi-
sion (Isa. 6.1) "saw
His glory." "I
am come a light
unto the world,"

5. The Logos 5. The Shekinah 5 . The glory of

teaching by pre- dwelling in the the Messiah, 17.
cept and example, heartsof His people, "Father the hour
13. "I have given 14-16; "IVe will is c o m e , glorify
you an example come unto him and T h y S o n , " 17.1.
that you alsoshould make our abode "The glory which I
do as I have done with him," 14.23. h a d w i t h thee,"
to you," 15. "If "Abide in me and 17.5. "My glory
ye know these I in you," 15.4. which Thou hast
things h a p p y a r e The coming of the given Me," 17.24.
ye if ye do them," Holy Spirit. "I
17. will send him unto
you," 16.7.
Some of the suggestions outlined above are tentative
only, but they seem to demonstrate fairly clearly that if
the writer of the Fourth Gospel did not plan his Gospel to
develop the conceptions of Memra, Shekinah and Yekara
his thought was certainly permeated through and through
with these conceptions, and that they show themselves
a t every turn.