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The Guide for the Perplexed

by Moses Maimonides
translated by M. Friedlnder
[1903

The Guide for the Perplexed


by Moses Maimonides
translated by M. Friedlnder
[1903 There is a saying that the history of Jewish doctrine goes runs from 'Moses to Moses'; the second of which is Moses Maimonides. Maimonides (1120-1190) was a ri!!iant "is#anic Jewish scho!ar who !i$ed in %#ain and &gy#t in the 12th century. 'n addition to eing a #hi!oso#her( Maimonides a!so wor)ed as a medica! doctor. The Guide for the Perplexed( origina!!y written in *ra ic( and soon trans!ated into "e rew and wide!y read( is his est )nown wor). The framing story is that it is a !etter written to one of his students( to #re#are him to understand the ac)ground of the Mer)a ah (the +hariot of &,e)ie!) narrati$e. 'n the course of this( Maimonides de!$es into the most difficu!t -uestions of theo!ogy and rea!ity itse!f( many of which are sti!! contro$ersia! today. .id the uni$erse ha$e a eginning/ 0i!! it e$er end/ 0hat is the nature of e$i!/ .oes the com#!e1ity of organic !ife im#!y some )ind of rationa! design/ The Guide consists of three oo)s. The first oo) dea!s with the nature of 2od( conc!uding that 2od cannot e descri ed in #ositi$e terms. "e uses this argument to systematica!!y deconstruct the 's!amic 3a!am !itera!ist schoo! of thought( which anthro#omor#hi,ed 2od. The second oo) e1amines natura! #hi!oso#hy( #articu!ar!y *ristot!e's system of concentric s#heres( and theories of the creation and duration of the uni$erse( and the theory of ange!s and #ro#hecy. 'n the !ast 4oo)( he e1#ounds the mystica! Mer)a ah section of &,e)ie!( s)irting the traditiona! #rohi ition of direct e1#!anation of this #assage. *fter this he co$ers the 516 !aws of the 7entateuch( organi,ed into 18 ranches( attem#ting to #resent rationa!

e1#!anations for each !aw. Throughout( Maimonides stresses that the student needs to consider a!! theories. "e draws from Jewish( 's!amic and ancient 2ree) #hi!oso#hers( and e$a!uates each one on their merits. Most nota !y( he scrutini,es *ristot!e's natura! science in the !ight of scri#ture and #hyscia! e$idence--sometimes critica!!y( foreshadowing the s#irit of the 9enaissance. The seed of the scientific method is a!so #resent in his discussion of #ermitted cures (#. 66:)( ref!ecting his medica! ac)ground; <the =aw #ermits as medicine e$erything that has een $erified y e1#eriment.< +ontro$ersia! when it was written( the Guide continues to e a )ey reference #oint in the e$o!ution of #hi!oso#hy( and wi!! e a rewarding >ourney for the modern reader.

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BY

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TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL ARABIC TEXT BY

M. F'$"%(-,%"'. P!
*"/&,% "%$T$&, '"0$*"% T!'&#G!&#T (ondon1 'outled2e 3 4e2an Paul (td. [1905
?rigina!!y %canned and ?+9ed y *ndrew Meit and .a$id 9eed. *dditiona! #roofing and formatting y 9ichard "art,man. &1tensi$e additiona! #roofing and formatting y John 4runo "are at sacred-te1ts.com. This te1t is in the #u !ic domain in the @nited %tates ecause it was #u !ished #rior to January 1st( 1926. These fi!es may e used for any #ur#ose #ro$ided this notice of attri ution remains intact in a!! co#ies.

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The first &dition of the &ng!ish Trans!ation of Maimonides Dalalt al-airin eing e1hausted without ha$ing fu!!y su##!ied the demand( ' #re#ared a second( re$ised edition of the Trans!ation. 'n the new edition the three $o!umes of the first edition ha$e een reduced to one $o!ume y the e!imination of the notes; esides "e rew words and #hrases ha$e een e!iminated or trans!iterated. 4y these changes the trans!ator sought to #roduce a chea# edition in order to ring the wor) of Maimonides within the reach of a!! students of Theo!ogy and Jewish =iterature. M. A9'&.=EF.&9. JewsG +o!!ege( July 1908.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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'F com#!iance with a desire re#eated!y e1#ressed y the +ommittee of the "e rew =iterature %ociety( ' ha$e underta)en to trans!ate Maimonides Dalalt al-airin( etter )nown y the "e rew tit!e Moreh Nebuchim( and ' offer the first insta!ment of my !a ours in the #resent $o!ume. This contains--(1) * short =ife of Maimonides( in which s#ecia! attention is gi$en to his a!!eged a#ostasy. (2) *n ana!ysis of the who!e of the Moreh Fe uchim. (6) * trans!ation of the Airst 7art of this wor) from the *ra ic( with e1#!anatory and critica! notes. 7arts of the Trans!ation ha$e een contri uted y Mr. Jose#h * rahams( 4.*.( 7h.( and 9e$. ". 2o!!anc,--the 'ntroduction y the former( and the first twenty-fi$e cha#ters y the !atter. 'n conc!usion ' eg to tender my than)s to 9e$. *. =oewy( &ditor of the 7u !ications of the "e rew =iterature %ociety( for his carefu! re$ision of my manuscri#t and #roofs( and to Mr. *. Feu auer( M.*.( for his )indness in su##!ying me with such information as ' re-uired. M. A9'&.=EF.&9. JewsG +o!!ege( June 1HH1.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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=ife of Maimonides Moreh Fe uchim =iterature. *na!ysis of the 2uide for the 7er#!e1ed 7*9T '. 'ntroduction-.edicatory =etter The ? >ect of the 2uide ?n %imi!es .irections for the %tudy of this 0or) 'ntroductory 9emar)s cha#ter ' The homonymity of elem '' ?n 2enesis iii. : ''' ?n tabnit and temunah 'I ?n raah( hibbit and azah I ?n &1od. 11i$. 10 I' ?n ish and ishshah( a and aot I'' ?n yalad I''' ?n maom 'K ?n kisse K ?n alah( yarad K' ?n yashab K'' ?n kam K''' ?n amad K'I ?n adam KI ?n naab( yaab KI' ?n ur KI'' ?n Mishnah a i ah ii. 1 KI''' ?n arab( na a( ni ash K'K ?n male KK ?n ram( nissa KK' ?n abar KK'' ?n ba KK''' ?n !aa( shub KK'I ?n halak KKI ?n shaken KKI' ?n <The Torah s#ea)eth the !anguage of man< KKI'' ?n Targum of 2en. 1!$i. 8 KKI''' ?n re el 16 18 15 1J 1H 19 19 20 21 22 26 28 2: 2: 2: 25 2J 2J 2H 29 60 62 62 66 68 68 6: 6J 1 2 8 H 9 1$ 11$ii

KK'K ?n aeb KKK ?n akal KKK'( ?n the =imit of Man's 'nte!!ect KKK'' KKK''' to ?n the %tudy and the Teaching of Meta#hysics KKKI' KKKI'' ?n panim KKKI''' ?n aor KKK'K ?n leb K= ?n rua K=' ?n nefesh K='' ?n .hayyim-ma"et
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6J 69 80( 82 86-:2 :2 :6 :8 :: :5 :5

K=''' ?n anaf :J K='I ?n ayin :H K=I ?n shama :H K=I'( ?n the *ttri ution of %enses and %ensation( to 2od :9( K=I'' 56 K=I''' The Targum of shama and raah 58 K='K Aigurati$e &1#ressions a##!ied to *nge!s 5: = ?n Aaith 5J ='-=K ?n *ttri utes 5H-H9 =' ?n the Fecessity of 7ro$ing the 'nadmissi i!ity of *ttri utes in 5H reference to 2od ='' +!assification of *ttri utes 59 =''' The *rguments of the *ttri utists J2 ='I ?n &1od. 111iii. 16; 111i$. J J: =I ?n *ttri utes im#!ying +or#orea!ity( &motion( Fon-e1istence and JH +om#arison =I' ?n *ttri utes denoting &1istence( =ife( 7ower( 0isdom and 0i!! J9 =I'' ?n the 'dentity of the &ssence of 2od and "is *ttri utes H0 =I''' ?n the Fegati$e %ense of the True *ttri utes of 2od H1 ='K ?n the +haracter of the 3now!edge of 2od +onsisting of Fegations H6 =K ?n the .ifference etween 7ositi$e and Fegati$e *ttri utes HJ =K' ?n the Fames of 2od H9 =K'' ?n the .i$ine Fames com#osed of Aour( Twe!$e and Aorty-two =etters 91 =K''' ?n #hyeh( !ah( and $haddai 96 =K'I ?n <The Fame of the =ord(< and< The 2!ory of 2od< 9: =KI ?n the #hrase <2od s#a)e< 95 =KI' ?n &1od. 111ii. 15 9H =KI'' ?n shabat and na 99 =KI''' ?n the Terms; The 'nte!!ectus( the 'nte!!igens and the 'nte!!igi i!e 100

=K'K ?n the 7rima! +ause =KK ?n the attri ute rokeb baarabot =KK' The ?rigin of the %alm =KK'' * 7ara!!e! etween the @ni$erse and Man =KK''' Twe!$e 7ro#ositions of the %alm =KK'I 7roofs of the %alm for the creatio ex nihilo =KKI 7roofs of the %alm for the @nity of 2od =KKI' 7roofs of the %alm for the 'ncor#orea!ity of 2od 7*9T ''. The *uthor's 'ntroduction. The Twenty-%i1 7ro#ositions em#!oyed y the 7hi!oso#hers to #ro$e the &1istence of 2od ' 7hi!oso#hica! #roofs for the &1istence( 'ncor#orea!ity( and @nity of the Airst +ause '' on the &1istence of 'nte!!igences or #ure!y %#iritua! 4eings ''' The *uthor ado#ts the Theory of *ristot!e as !east o#en to ? >ections 'I The %#heres and the +auses of their Motion I *greement of the *ristote!ian Theory with the Teaching of %cri#ture I' 0hat is meant y the %cri#tura! Term <*nge!s< I'' The "omonymity of the term <*nge!< I''' ?n the Music of the %#heres 'K ?n the Fum er of the "ea$en!y %#heres K The 'nf!uence of the %#heres u#on the &arth manifesto itse!f in four different ways K' The Theory of &ccentricity 7refera !e to that of &#icyc!es K'' ?n the Fature of the .i$ine 'nf!uence and that of the %#heres K''' Three .ifferent Theories a out the 4eginning of the @ni$erse
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102 10: 10J 116 120 166 16H 181

18: 189 1:8 1:5 1:5 1:9 150 152 156 156 158 155 15H 1J1 1J8 1J5 1JH 1JH 1H1 1H8 1H9 190 192 19:

K'I %e$en Methods y which the 7hi!oso#hers sought to #ro$e the &ternity of the @ni$erse KI *ristot!e does not scientifica!!y demonstrate his Theory KI' The *uthor refutes a!! ? >ections to &reatio ex nihilo KI'' The =aws of Fature a##!y to Things +reated( ut do not regu!ate the +reati$e *ct which #roduces them KI''' &1aminations of the 7roofs of 7hi!oso#hers for the &ternity of the @ni$erse K'K .esign in nature KK The ?#inion of *ristot!e as regards .esign in Fature KK' &1#!anation of the *ristote!ian Theory that the @ni$erse is the necessary 9esu!t of the Airst +ause KK'' ? >ections to the Theory of the &ternity of the @ni$erse KK''' The Theory of &reatio ex nihilo is #refera !e to that of the &ternity of the @ni$erse

KK'I .ifficu!ty of +om#rehending the Fature and the Motion of the %#heres according to the Theory of *ristot!e KKI The Theory of +reation is ado#ted ecause of its own %u#eriority( the 7roofs ased on %cri#ture eing 'nconc!usi$e KKI' &1amination of a #assage from Pire di-'abbi #liezer in reference to +reation KKI'' The Theory of a Auture .estruction of the @ni$erse is not #art of the 9e!igious 4e!ief taught in the 4i !e KKI''' %cri#tura! Teaching is in fa$our of the 'ndestructi i!ity of the @ni$erse KK'K &1#!anation of %cri#tura! 7hrases im#!ying the .estruction of "ea$en and &arth KKK 7hi!oso#hica! 'nter#retation of 2enesis i.-i$. KKK' The 'nstitution of the %a ath ser$es (1) to Teach the Theory of +reation( and (2) to #romote Man's 0e!fare KKK'' Three Theories concerning 7ro#hecy KKK''' The .ifference etween Moses and the other 'srae!ites as regards the 9e$e!ation on Mount %inai KKK'I &1#!anation of &1odus 11iii. 20 KKKI The .ifference etween Moses and the other 7ro#hets as regards the Mirac!es wrought y them KKKI' ?n the Menta!( 7hysica! and Mora! Aacu!ties of the 7ro#hets KKKI'' ?n the .i$ine 'nf!uence u#on Man's 'maginati$e and Menta! Aacu!ties through the *cti$e 'nte!!ect KKKI''' +ourage and 'ntuition reach the highest degree of 7erfection in 7ro#hets KKK'K Moses was the fittest 7ro#het to 9ecei$e and 7romu!gate the 'mmuta !e =aw( which succeeding 7ro#hets mere!y Taught and &1#ounded K= The Test of True 7ro#hecy K=' 0hat is Meant y <Iision< K='' 7ro#hets 9ecei$ed .irect +ommunication on!y in .reams or Iisions K=''' ?n the *!!egories of the 7ro#hets K='I ?n the .ifferent Modes in which 7ro#hets 9ecei$e .i$ine Messages K=I The Iarious +!asses of 7ro#hets K=I' The *!!egorica! *cts of 7ro#hets formed 7arts of 7ro#hetic Iisions K=I'' ?n the Aigurati$e %ty!e of the 7ro#hetic 0ritings K=I''' %cri#ture ascri es 7henomena direct!y #roduced y Fatura! +auses to 2od as the Airst +ause of a!! things 7*9T '''. The *uthor's 'ntroduction and *#o!ogy for 7u !ishing( contrary to the Teaching of the Mishnah( an 'nter#retation of &,e). i.
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195 199 200 201 202 208 212 21H 219 221 226 226 22: 22J 229 261 262 268 265 26H 280 281 28: 28J 289

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' The <Aour Aaces< are "uman Aaces with four different #ecu!iarities

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'' The ayyot and the (fannim ''' Aurther &1#!anation of the ayyot and the (fannim deri$ed from &,e). 1. 'I The rendering of (fan y Gil al in the Targum of Jonathan I The Iision of &,e)ie! is di$ided into three stages; (1) ayyot (Lthe %#heres); (2) (fannim (L&arth!y e!ements); and (6) the man a o$e the ayyot (L'nte!!igences) I' ?n the .ifference etween the Iision of &,e)ie! and that of 'saiah ($i.) I'' The .ifferent 0ays in which the 7ro#het #ercei$ed the Three 7arts of the Mercabah (+hariot) I''' Man has the 7ower to +ontro! his 4odi!y 0ants and &arth!y .esires 'K The Materia! &!ement in Man 7re$ents him from *ttaining 7erfection K 2od is not the +reator of &$i! K' Man is the +ause of his own Misfortunes K'' Three 3inds of &$i!; (1) That caused y the Fature of Man; (2) +aused y Man to Man; (6) +aused y Man to himse!f K''' The @ni$erse has Fo other 7ur#ose than its own &1istence K'I 't is the 0i!! of the +reator that the %#heres regu!ate the *ffairs of Man)ind KI 'm#ossi !e Things are not ascri ed to the +reator( ut it in difficu!t to 7ro$e the 'm#ossi i!ity in each 'ndi$idua! +ase KI' ?n 2od's ?mniscience KI'' Ai$e Theories concerning 7ro$idence KI''' &$ery 'ndi$idua! Mem er of Man)ind en>oys the 'nf!uence of .i$ine 7ro$idence in #ro#ortion to his 'nte!!ectua! 7erfection K'K 't is an ancient &rror to *ssume that 2od ta)es no Fotice of Man KK 2od's 3now!edge is .ifferent from Man's 3now!edge KK' The +reator's )now!edge of "is 7roduction is 7erfect KK'' ? >ect of the 4oo) of Jo ( and &1#!anation of the Airst Two +ha#ters KK''' Jo and his Ariends .iscuss the $arious Theories concerning 7ro$idence KK'I ?n Tria!s and Tem#tations KKI The *ctions of 2od are Fot 7ur#ose!ess KKI' The .i$ine 7rece#ts %er$e a certain 7ur#ose KKI'' The ? >ect of the .i$ine 7rece#ts is to %ecure the 0e!!- eing of Man's %ou! and 4ody KKI''' This ? >ect is easi!y seen in some 7rece#ts whi!st in others it is on!y )nown after due 9ef!ection KK'K ?n the %a eans or %tar-worshi##ers KKK 't is one of the ? >ects of the =aw of Moses to ?##ose 'do!atry KKK' The =aw 7romotes the we!!- eing of Man y teaching Truth( Mora!ity and %ocia! +onduct KKK'' 0hy did 2od gi$e =aws to ?##ose 'do!atry instead of @#rooting it

2:2 2:: 2:5 2:J 2:H 2:9 251 258 25: 25J 25J 2J2 2JJ 2J9 2H0 2H2 2H9 290 292 29: 295 299 608 60J 610 612 616 61: 620 621 622

direct!y/ KKK''' *nother chief ? >ect of the =aw is to Train Man in Mastering his *##etites and .esires KKK'I The =aw is ased on the ordinary condition of man KKKI .i$ision of the 7rece#ts into Aourteen +!asses KKKI' Airst +!ass of 7rece#ts( to 3now( =o$e and Aear 2od KKKI'' %econd +!ass( =aws concerning 'do!atry KKKI''' Third +!ass( Mora! 7rece#ts KKK'K Aourth +!ass( =aws re!ating to +harity K= Aifth +!ass( +om#ensation for 'n>ury and the .uty of 7re$enting %in K=' %i1th +!ass( 7unishment of the %inner K='' %e$enth +!ass( &-uity and "onesty
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62J 62H 629 661 662 66H 669 682 688 6:0 6:2 6:8 6:: 6:9 655 6J0 6J2 6H0 6H8 691 692 696

K=''' &ighth +!ass( %a ath and Aesti$a!s K='I Finth +!ass( 7rayer( )efillin( iit and Mezuzah K=I Tenth +!ass( The Tem#!e( its Iesse!s and its Ministers K=I' &!e$enth +!ass( %acrifices K=I'' Twe!fth +!ass( .istinction etween +!ean and @nc!ean and on 7urification K=I''' Thirteenth +!ass( .ietary =aws K='K Aourteenth +!ass( Marriage =aws = ?n %cri#tura! 7assages with seeming!y 7ur#ose!ess +ontents =' "ow 2od is worshi##ed y a 7erfect Man ='' ?n the Aear of 2od =''' &1#!anation of esed (=o$e)( Mishpat (Judgment)( and edaah (9ighteousness) ='I ?n True 0isdom

Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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<4&A?9& the sun of &!i had set the son of %amue! had risen.< 4efore the $oice of the #ro#hets had ceased to guide the #eo#!e( the 'nter#reters of the =aw( the .octors of the Ta!mud( had commenced their !a ours( and efore the *cademies of %ura and of 7um adita were c!osed( centres of Jewish thought and !earning were a!ready f!ourishing in the far 0est. The circumstances which !ed to the transference of the head--uarters of Jewish

!earning from the &ast to the 0est in the tenth century are thus narrated in the $efer hakabbalah of 9a i * raham en .a$id; <*fter the death of "e,e)iah( the head of the *cademy and 7rince of the &1i!e( the academies were c!osed and no new 2eonim were a##ointed. 4ut !ong efore that time "ea$en had wi!!ed that there shou!d e a discontinuance of the #ecuniary gifts which used to e sent from 7a!estine( Forth *frica and &uro#e. "ea$en had a!so decreed that a shi# sai!ing from 4ari shou!d e ca#tured y ' n 9omahis( commander of the na$a! forces of * d-er-rahman a!-nasr. Aour distinguished 9a is were thus made #risoners--9a i ushie!( father of 9a i anane!( 9a i Moses( father of 9a i ano)( 9a i %hemar>ahu( son of 9a i &!anan( and a fourth whose name has not een recorded. They were engaged in a mission to co!!ect su sidies in aid of the *cademy in %ura. The ca#tor so!d them as s!a$es; 9a i ushie! was carried to 3airuan( 9. %hemar>ahu was !eft in *!e1andria( and 9. Moses was rought to +ordo$a. These s!a$es were ransomed y their rethren and were soon #!aced in im#ortant #ositions. 0hen 9a i Moses was rought to +ordo$a( it was su##osed that he was uneducated. 'n that city there was a synagogue )nown at that time y the name of %eneset ha-midrash( and 9a i Fathan( renowned for his great #iety( was the head of the congregation. The mem ers of the community used to ho!d meetings at which the Ta!mud was read and discussed. ?ne day when 9a i Fathan was e1#ounding the Ta!mud and was una !e to gi$e a satisfactory e1#!anation of the #assage under discussion( 9a i Moses #rom#t!y remo$ed the difficu!ty and at the same time answered se$era! -uestions which were su mitted to him. Thereu#on 9. Fathan thus addressed the assem !y;--'' am no !onger your !eader; that stranger in sac)c!oth sha!! henceforth e my teacher( and you sha!! a##oint him to e your chief.' The admira!( on hearing of the high attainments of his #risoner( desired to re$o)e the sa!e( ut the )ing wou!d not #ermit this retraction( eing #!eased to !earn that his Jewish su >ects were no !onger de#endent for their re!igious instruction on the schoo!s in the &ast. "enceforth the schoo!s in the 0est asserted their inde#endence( and e$en sur#assed the #arent institutions. The +a!i#hs( most!y o#u!ent( ga$e e$ery encouragement to #hi!oso#hy and #oetry; and( eing genera!!y !i era! in sentiment( they entertained )ind!y fee!ings towards their Jewish su >ects.
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These were a!!owed to com#ete for the ac-uisition of wea!th and honour on e-ua! terms with their Mohammedan fe!!ow-citi,ens. 7hi!oso#hy and #oetry were conse-uent!y cu!ti$ated y the Jews with the same ,est as y the *ra s. ' n 2a iro!( ' n asdai( Judah ha-!e$i( anane!( *!fasi( the ' n &,ras( and others who f!ourished in that #eriod were the ornament of their age( and the #ride of the Jews at a!! times. The same fa$oura !e condition was maintained during the reign of the ?meyades; ut when the Mora$ides and the *!mohades came into #ower( the hori,on dar)ened once more( and misfortunes threatened to destroy the fruit of se$era! centuries. *midst this g!oom there a##eared a ri!!iant !uminary which sent forth rays of !ight and comfort; this was Moses Maimonides.
C#aragra#h continuesD

Moses( the son of Maimon( was orn at +ordo$a( on the 18th of Fisan( 8H9: (March 60( 116:). *!though the date of his irth has een recorded with the utmost accuracy( no trustworthy notice has een #reser$ed concerning the ear!y #eriod of his !ife. 4ut his entire career is a #roof that he did not #ass his youth in id!eness; his education must ha$e een in harmony with the ho#e of his #arents( that one day he wou!d( !i)e his father and forefathers( ho!d the honoura !e office of Dayyan or 'abbi( and distinguish himse!f in theo!ogica! !earning. 't is #ro a !e that the 4i !e and the Ta!mud formed the chief su >ects of his study; ut he un-uestiona !y made the est use of the o##ortunities which Mohammedan %#ain( and es#ecia!!y +ordo$a( afforded him for the ac-uisition of genera! )now!edge. 't is not mentioned in any of his writings who were his teachers; his father( as it seems( was his #rinci#a! guide and instructor in many ranches of )now!edge. .a$id +onforte( in his historica! wor)( ore ha-dorot( states that Maimonides was the #u#i! of two eminent men( name!y( 9a i Jose#h ' n Migash and ' n 9oshd (*$erroes); that y the former he was instructed in the Ta!mud( and y the !atter in #hi!oso#hy. This statement seems to e erroneous( as Maimonides was on!y a chi!d at the time when 9a i Jose#h died( and a!ready far ad$anced in years when he ecame ac-uainted with the writings of ' n 9oshd. The origin of this mista)e( as regards 9a i Jose#h( can easi!y e traced. Maimonides in his Mishneh )ora( em#!oys( in reference to 9. 'saac *!fasi and 9. Jose#h( the e1#ression <my teachers< (rabbotai)( and this e1#ression( y which he mere!y descri es his inde tedness to their writings( has een ta)en in its !itera! meaning. 0hoe$er his teachers may ha$e een( it is e$ident that he was we!! #re#ared y them for his future mission. *t the age of twenty-three he entered u#on his !iterary career with a treatise on the Jewish +a!endar. 't is un)nown where this wor) was com#osed( whether in %#ain or in *frica. The author mere!y states that he wrote it at the re-uest of a friend( whom he( howe$er( !ea$es unnamed. The su >ect was genera!!y considered to e $ery a struse( and to in$o!$e a thorough )now!edge of mathematics. Maimonides must( therefore( e$en at this ear!y #eriod( ha$e een regarded as a #rofound scho!ar y those who )new him. The treatise is of an e!ementary character.--'t was #ro a !y a out the same time that he wrote( in *ra ic( an e1#!anation of =ogica! terms( Millot hi ayon( which Moses ' n Ti on trans!ated into "e rew. The ear!ier #eriod of his !ife does not seem to ha$e een mar)ed y any incident worth noticing. 't may( howe$er( e easi!y concei$ed that the !ater
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#eriod of his !ife( which was re#!ete with interesting incidents( engaged the e1c!usi$e attention of his iogra#hers. %o much is certain( that his youth was eset with trou !e and an1iety; the #eacefu! de$e!o#ment of science and #hi!oso#hy was distur ed y wars raging etween Mohammedans and +hristians( and a!so etween the se$era! Mohammedan sects. The Mora$ides( who had succeeded the ?meyades( were o##osed to !i era!ity and to!eration; ut they were sur#assed in crue!ty and fanaticism y their successors. +ordo$a was ta)en y the *!mohades in the year 118H( when Maimonides was a out thirteen years o!d. The $ictories of the *!mohades( first under the !eadershi# of the Mahadi ' n Tamurt( and then under * d-a!-mumen( were( according to a!! testimonies( attended y acts of e1cessi$e into!erance. * d-a!-mumen wou!d not suffer in his dominions any other faith ut

the one which he himse!f confessed. Jews and +hristians had the choice etween 's!am and emigration or a martyr's death. The $efer ha-abbalah contains the fo!!owing descri#tion of one of the #ersecutions which then occurred; <*fter the death of 9. Jose#h ha-!e$i the study of the Torah was interru#ted( a!though he !eft a son and a ne#hew( oth of whom had under his tuition ecome #rofound scho!ars. 'The righteous man (9. Jose#h) was ta)en away on account of the a##roaching e$i!s. *fter the death of 9. Jose#h there came for the Jews a time of o##ression and distress. They -uitted their homes( '%uch as were for death( to death( and such as were for the sword( to the sword; and such as were for the famine( to the famine( and such as were for the ca#ti$ity( to the ca#ti$ity'; and--it might e added to the words of Jeremiah (1$. 2)--'such as were for a#ostasy( to a#ostasy.' *!! this ha##ened through the sword of ' n Tamurt( who( in 8902 (1182)( determined to !ot out the name of 'srae!( and actua!!y !eft no trace of the Jews in any #art of his em#ire.< ' n Ierga in his wor) on Jewish martyrdom( in $hebe Jehudah( gi$es the fo!!owing account of e$ents then ha##ening;--<'n the year 8902 the armies of ' n Tamurt made their a##earance. * #roc!amation was issued that any one who refused to ado#t 's!am wou!d e #ut to death( and his #ro#erty wou!d e confiscated. Thereu#on the Jews assem !ed at the gate of the roya! #a!ace and im#!ored the )ing for mercy. "e answered--''t is ecause ' ha$e com#assion on you( that ' command you to ecome Mus!emim; for ' desire to sa$e you from eterna! #unishment.' The Jews re#!ied--'?ur sa!$ation de#ends on our o ser$ance of the .i$ine =aw; you are the master of our odies and of our #ro#erty( ut our sou!s wi!! e >udged y the 3ing who ga$e them to us( and to whom they wi!! return; whate$er e our future fate( you( ? )ing( wi!! not e he!d res#onsi !e for it.' '' do not desire to argue with you(' said the )ing; 'for ' )now you wi!! argue according to your own re!igion. 't is my a so!ute wi!! that you either ado#t my re!igion or e #ut to death. The Jews then #ro#osed to emigrate( ut the )ing wou!d not a!!ow his su >ects to ser$e another )ing. 'n $ain did the Jews im#!ore the no !es to intercede in their eha!f; the )ing remained ine1ora !e. Thus many congregations forsoo) their re!igion; ut within a month the )ing came to a sudden death; the son( e!ie$ing that his father had met with an untime!y end as a #unishment for his crue!ty to the Jews( assured the in$o!untary con$erts that it wou!d e indifferent to him what
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re!igion they #rofessed. "ence many Jews returned at once to the re!igion of their fathers( whi!e others hesitated for some time( from fear that the )ing meant to entra# the a##arent con$erts.< Arom such records it a##ears that during these ca!amities some of the Jews f!ed to foreign countries( some died as martyrs( and many others su mitted for a time to outward con$ersion. 0hich course was fo!!owed y the fami!y of Maimon/ .id they sacrifice #ersona! comfort and safety to their re!igious con$iction( or did they( on the contrary( for the sa)e of mere wor!d!y considerations dissem !e their faith and #retend that they com#!ete!y su mitted to the dictates of the tyrant/ *n answer to this -uestion #resents itse!f in the fo!!owing note which Maimonides has a##ended to his commentary on the Mishnah; <' ha$e now finished this wor) in accordance with my #romise( and ' fer$ent!y eseech the *!mighty to sa$e us from error. 'f there e one who sha!! disco$er an inaccuracy in this

+ommentary or sha!! ha$e a etter e1#!anation to offer( !et my attention e directed unto it; and !et me e e1onerated y the fact that ' ha$e wor)ed with far greater a##!ication than any one who writes for the sa)e of #ay and #rofit( and that ' ha$e wor)ed under the most trying circumstances. Aor "ea$en had ordained that we e e1i!ed( and we were therefore dri$en a out from #!ace to #!ace; ' was thus com#e!!ed to wor) at the +ommentary whi!e tra$e!!ing y !and( or crossing the sea. 't might ha$e sufficed to mention that during that time '( in addition( was engaged in other studies( ut ' #referred to gi$e the a o$e e1#!anation in order to encourage those who wish to criticise or annotate the +ommentary( and at the same time to account for the s!ow #rogress of this wor). '( Moses( the son of Maimon( commenced it when ' was twenty-three years o!d( and finished it in &gy#t( at the age of thirtyC-threeD years( in the year 18J9 %e!.(115H).< The $efer aredim of 9. &!ea,ar *s)ari of %afed contains the fo!!owing statement of Maimonides;--<?n %a ath e$ening( the 8th of 'yyar( 892: (115:)( ' went on oard; on the fo!!owing %a ath the wa$es threatened to destroy our !i$es. . . . ?n the 6rd of %i$an( ' arri$ed safe!y at *cco( and *as thus rescued from apostasy. . . . ?n Tuesday( the 8th of Maresh$an( 8925( ' !eft *cco( arri$ed at Jerusa!em after a >ourney eset with difficu!ties and with dangers( and #rayed on the s#ot of the great and ho!y house on the 8th( :th( and 5th of Maresh$an. ?n %unday( the 9th of that month( ' !eft Jerusa!em and $isited the ca$e of Mach#e!ah( in "e ron.< Arom these two statements it may e inferred that in times of #ersecution Maimonides and his fami!y did not see) to #rotect their !i$es and #ro#erty y dissimu!ation. They su mitted to the trou !es of e1i!e in order that they might remain faithfu! to their re!igion. +armo!y( 2eiger( Mun)( and others are of o#inion that the treatise of Maimonides on in$o!untary a#ostasy( as we!! as the accounts of some Mohammedan authors( contain strong e$idence to show that there was a time when the fami!y of Maimon #u !ic!y #rofessed their e!ief in Mohammed. * critica! e1amination of these documents com#e!s us to re>ect their e$idence as inadmissi !e.--*fter a !ong #eriod of trou !e and an1iety( the fami!y of Maimon arri$ed at Aostat( in &gy#t( and sett!ed there. .a$id( the rother of Moses Maimonides( carried on a trade in #recious stones( whi!e Moses occu#ied himse!f with his studies and interested himse!f in the communa! affairs of the Jews.
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't a##ears that for some time Moses was su##orted y his rother( and when this rother died( he earned a !i$ing y #ractising as a #hysician; ut he ne$er sought or deri$ed any enefit from his ser$ices to his community( or from his corres#ondence or from the wor)s he wrote for the instruction of his rethren; the satisfaction of eing of ser$ice to his fe!!owcreatures was for him a sufficient reward. The first #u !ic act in which Maimonides a##ears to ha$e ta)en a !eading #art was a decree #romu!gated y the 9a inica! authorities in +airo in the year 115J. The decree egins as fo!!ows--<'n times gone y( when storms and tem#ests threatened us( we used to wander a out from #!ace to #!ace ut y the mercy of the *!mighty we ha$e now een ena !ed to find here a resting-#!ace. ?n our arri$a!( we noticed to our great dismay that the !earned were disunited; that none of them turned his attention to the needs of the congregation. 0e

therefore fe!t it our duty to underta)e the tas) of guiding the ho!y f!oc)( of in-uiring into the condition of the community( of <reconci!ing the hearts of the fathers to their chi!dren(< and of correcting their corru#t ways. The in>uries are great( ut we may succeed in effecting a cure( and--in accordance with the words of the #ro#het--'' wi!! see) the !ost one( and that which has een cast out ' wi!! ring ac)( and the ro)en one ' wi!! cure' (Micah i$. 5). 0hen we therefore reso!$ed to ta)e the management of the communa! affairs into our hands( we disco$ered the e1istence of a serious e$i! in the midst of the community(< etc. 't was #ro a !y a out that time that Maimon died. =etters of condo!ence were sent to his son Moses from a!! sides( oth from Mohammedan and from +hristian countries; in some instances the !etters were se$era! months on their way efore they reached their destination. The interest which Maimonides now too) in communa! affairs did not #re$ent him from com#!eting the great and arduous wor)( the +ommentary on the Mishnah( which he had egun in %#ain and continued during his wanderings in *frica. 'n this +ommentary he #ro#osed to gi$e the -uintessence of the 2emara( to e1#ound the meaning of each dictum in the Mishnah( and to state which of the se$era! o#inions had recei$ed the sanction of the Ta!mudica! authorities. "is o >ect in writing this wor) was to ena !e those who are not dis#osed to study the 2emara( to understand the Mishnah( and to faci!itate the study of the 2emara for those who are wi!!ing to engage in it. The commentator genera!!y adheres to the e1#!anations gi$en in the 2emara( and it is on!y in cases where the halakah( or #ractica! !aw( is not affected( that he $entures to dissent. "e ac)now!edges the enefit he deri$ed from such wor)s of his #redecessors as the "a!a)ot of *!fasi( and the writings of the 2eonim( ut afterwards he asserted that errors which were disco$ered in his wor)s arose from his im#!icit re!iance on those authorities. "is origina!ity is cons#icuous in the 'ntroduction and in the treatment of genera! #rinci#!es( which in some instances #recedes the e1#osition of an entire section or cha#ter( in others that of a sing!e ru!e. The commentator is genera!!y concise( e1ce#t when occasion is afforded to treat of ethica! and theo!ogica! #rinci#!es( or of a scientific su >ect( such as weights and measures( or mathematica! and astronomica! #ro !ems. *!though e1hortations to $irtue and warnings against $ice are found in a!! #arts of his wor)( they are es#ecia!!y a undant in the +ommentary on +bot( which is #refaced y a
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se#arate #sycho!ogica! treatise( ca!!ed )he #i ht &hapters. The dictum <"e who s#ea)eth much commits a sin(< e!icited a !esson on the economy of s#eech; the e1#!anation of olam ha-ba in the treatise %anhedrin (1i. 1) !ed him to discuss the #rinci#!es of faith( and to !ay down the thirteen artic!es of the Jewish creed. The +ommentary was written in *ra ic( and was su se-uent!y trans!ated into "e rew and into other !anguages. The estimation in which the +ommentary was he!d may e inferred from the fo!!owing fact; 0hen the Jews in 'ta!y ecame ac-uainted with its method and s#irit( through a "e rew trans!ation of one of its #arts( they sent to %#ain in search of a com#!ete "e rew $ersion of the +ommentary. 9. %imah( who had een entrusted with the mission( found no co#y e1tant( ut he succeeded( through the inf!uence of 9a i %he!omoh en *deret( in causing a "e rew trans!ation of this im#ortant wor) to e #re#ared.--'n the 'ntroduction( the author states that he has written a +ommentary on the 4a y!onian Ta!mud treatise u!!in and on near!y three entire

sections( $i,.( Mo,d( Nashim( and Nezikin. ?f a!! these +ommentaries on!y the one on 'osh ha-shanah is )nown. 'n the year 1:J2 Maimonides wrote the - eret )eman( or Peta-ti"ah (<=etter to the Jews in Memen(< or <?#ening of ho#e<) in res#onse to a !etter addressed to him y 9a i Jaco a!-Aayumi on the critica! condition of the Jews in Memen. %ome of these Jews had een forced into a#ostasy others were made to e!ie$e that certain #assages in the 4i !e a!!uded to the mission of Mohammed; others again had een mis!ed y an im#ostor who #retended to e the Messiah. The character and sty!e of Maimonides re#!y a##ear to ha$e een ada#ted to the inte!!ectua! condition of the Jews in Memen( for whom it was written. These #ro a !y read the 4i !e with Midrashic commentaries( and #referred the easy and attracti$e + adah to the more earnest study of the .alakah. 't is therefore not sur#rising that the !etter contains remar)s and inter#retations which cannot e reconci!ed with the #hi!oso#hica! and !ogica! method y which a!! the other wor)s of Maimonides are distinguished. *fter a few com#!imentary words( in which the author modest!y dis#utes the >ustice of the #raises !a$ished u#on him( he attem#ts to #ro$e that the #resent sufferings of the Jews( together with the numerous instances of a#ostasy( were foreto!d y the #ro#hets( es#ecia!!y y .anie!( and must not #er#!e1 the faithfu!. 't must e orne in mind( he continues( that the attem#ts made in #ast times to do away with the Jewish re!igion( had in$aria !y fai!ed; the same wou!d e the fate of the #resent attem#ts; for <re!igious #ersecutions are of ut short duration.< The arguments which #rofess to demonstrate that in certain 4i !ica! #assages a!!usion is made to Mohammed( are ased on inter#retations which are tota!!y o##osed to common sense. "e urges that the Jews( faithfu!!y adhering to their re!igion( shou!d im#ress their chi!dren with the greatness of the 9e$e!ation on Mount %inai( and of the mirac!es wrought through Moses; they a!so shou!d remain firm in the e!ief that 2od wi!! send the Messiah to de!i$er their nation( ut they must a andon futi!e ca!cu!ations of the Messianic #eriod( and eware of im#ostors. *!though there e signs which indicate the a##roach of the #romised de!i$erance( and the times seem to e the #eriod of the !ast and most crue! #ersecution mentioned in the $isions of .anie! (1i. and 1ii.)( the #erson in Memen who #retends to e the Messiah
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is an im#ostor( and if care e not ta)en( he is sure to do mischief. %imi!ar im#ostors in +ordo$a( Arance( and *frica( ha$e decei$ed the mu!titude and rought great trou !es u#on the Jews.--Met( inconsistent!y with this sound ad$ice the author gi$es a #ositi$e date of the Messianic time( on the asis of an o!d tradition; the inconsistency is so o $ious that it is im#ossi !e to attri ute this #assage to Maimonides himse!f. 't is #ro a !y s#urious( and has( #erha#s( een added y the trans!ator. 0ith the e1ce#tion of the rhymed introduction( the !etter was written in *ra ic( <in order that a!! shou!d e a !e to read and understand it<; for that #ur#ose the author desires that co#ies shou!d e made of it( and circu!ated among the Jews. 9a i Faum( of the Maghre ( trans!ated the !etter into "e rew. The success in the first great underta)ing of e1#!aining the Mishnah encouraged Maimonides to #ro#ose to himse!f another tas) of a sti!! more am itious character. 'n the +ommentary on the Mishnah( it was his o >ect that those who were una !e to read the 2emara shou!d e made ac-uainted with the resu!ts o tained y the *moraim in the course

of their discussions on the Mishnah. 4ut the Mishnah( with the +ommentary( was not such a code of !aws as might easi!y e consu!ted in cases of emergency; on!y the initiated wou!d e a !e to find the section( the cha#ter( and the #aragra#h in which the desired information cou!d e found. The halakah had( esides( een further de$e!o#ed since the time when the Ta!mud was com#i!ed. The changed state of things had suggested new -uestions; these were discussed and sett!ed y the 2eonim( whose decisions( eing contained in s#ecia! !etters or treatises( were not genera!!y accessi !e. Maimonides therefore undertoo) to com#i!e a com#!ete code( which wou!d contain( in the !anguage and sty!e of the Mishnah( and without discussion( the who!e of the 0ritten and the ?ra! =aw( a!! the #rece#ts recorded in the Ta!mud( %ifra( %ifre and Tosefta( and the decisions of the 2eonim. *ccording to the #!an of the author( this wor) was to #resent a so!ution of e$ery -uestion touching the re!igious( mora!( or socia! duties of the Jews. 't was not in any way his o >ect to discourage the study of the Ta!mud and the Midrash; he on!y sought to diffuse a )now!edge of the =aw amongst those who( through inca#acity or other circumstances( were #rec!uded from that study. 'n order to ensure the com#!eteness of the code( the author drew u# a !ist of the si1 hundred and thirteen #rece#ts of the 7entateuch( di$ided them into fourteen grou#s( these again he su di$ided( and thus showed how many #ositi$e and negati$e #rece#ts were contained in each section of the Mishneh torah. The #rinci#!es y which he was guided in this arrangement were !aid down in a se#arate treatise( ca!!ed $efer ha-mi"ot. 0or)s of a simi!ar )ind( written y his #redecessors( as the .alakot edolot of 9. %himon 3ahira( and the se$era! +zharot were( according to Maimonides( fu!! of errors( ecause their authors had not ado#ted any #ro#er method. 4ut an e1amination of the ru!es !aid down y Maimonides and of their a##!ication !eads to the conc!usion that his resu!ts were not !ess ar itrary; as has( in fact( een shown y the criticisms of Famanides. The $efer ha-mi"ot was written in *ra ic( and thrice trans!ated into "e rew( name!y( y 9a i * raham en isdai( 9a i %he!omoh en Jose#h en Jo ( and 9a i Moses ' n Ti on. Maimonides himse!f desired to trans!ate the oo) into "e rew( ut to his disa##ointment he found no time.
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This $efer ha-mi"ot was e1ecuted as a #re#aration for his #rinci#a! wor)( the Mishneh )orah( or !ad ha-azakah( which consists of an 'ntroduction and fourteen 4oo)s. 'n the 'ntroduction the author first descri es the chain of tradition from Moses to the c!ose of the Ta!mud( and then he e1#!ains his method in com#i!ing the wor). "e distinguishes etween the dicta found in the Ta!mud( %ifre( %ifra( or Tosefta( on the one hand( and the dicta of the 2eonim on the other; the former were inding on a!! Jews( the !atter on!y as far as their necessity and their uti!ity or the authority of their #ro#ounders was recogni,ed. "a$ing once for a!! stated the sources from which he com#i!ed his wor)( he did not deem it necessary to name in each case the authority for his o#inion or the #articu!ar #assage from which he deri$ed his dictum. *ny addition of references to each #aragra#h he #ro a !y considered use!ess to the uninformed and su#erf!uous to the !earned. *t a !ater time he disco$ered his error( he eing himse!f una !e to find again the sources of some of his decisions. 9a i Jose#h +aro( in his commentary on the Mishneh )orah( termed %eseph Mishneh( remedied this deficiency. The 'ntroduction is fo!!owed y the enumeration of the si1 hundred and thirteen #rece#ts and a descri#tion of the #!an of the wor)( its di$ision into fourteen oo)s( and the di$ision of the !atter into sections( cha#ters( and #aragra#hs.

*ccording to the author( the Mishneh Torah is a mere com#endium of the Ta!mud; ut he found sufficient o##ortunities to dis#!ay his rea! genius( his #hi!oso#hica! mind( and his ethica! doctrines. Aor in stating what the traditiona! =aw en>oined he had to e1ercise his own >udgment( and to decide whether a certain dictum was meant to e ta)en !itera!!y or figurati$e!y whether it was the fina! decision of a ma>ority or the re>ected o#inion of a minority; whether it was #art of the ?ra! =aw or a #rece#t founded on the scientific $iews of a #articu!ar author; and whether it was of uni$ersa! a##!ication or was on!y intended for a s#ecia! #eriod or a s#ecia! !oca!ity. The first 4oo)( $efer ha-madda( is the em odiment of his own ethica! and theo!ogica! theories( a!though he fre-uent!y refers to the %ayings of our %ages( and em#!oys the #hraseo!ogy of the Ta!mud. %imi!ar!y( the section on the Jewish +a!endar( .ilkot ha-/ibur( may e considered as his origina! wor). 'n each grou# of the halakot( its source( a certain #assage of the 7entateuch( is first -uoted( with its traditiona! inter#retation( and then the detai!ed ru!es fo!!ow in systematic order. The Mishneh )orah was written y the author in #ure "e rew; when su se-uent!y a friend as)ed him to trans!ate it into *ra ic( he said he wou!d #refer to ha$e his *ra ic writings trans!ated into "e rew instead of the re$erse. The sty!e is an imitation of the Mishnah he did not choose( the author says( the #hi!oso#hica! sty!e( ecause that wou!d e uninte!!igi !e to the common reader; nor did he se!ect the #ro#hetic sty!e( ecause that wou!d not harmoni,e with the su >ect. Ten years of hard wor) y day and y night were s#ent in the com#i!ation of this code( which had origina!!y een underta)en for <his own enefit( to sa$e him in his ad$anced age the trou !e and the necessity of consu!ting the Ta!mud on e$ery occasion.< Maimonides )new $ery we!! that his wor) wou!d meet with the o##osition of those whose ignorance it wou!d e1#ose( a!so of those who were inca#a !e of com#rehending it( and of those who were inc!ined to condemn e$ery de$iation from their own #reconcei$ed notions.
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4ut he had the satisfaction to !earn that it was we!! recei$ed in most of the congregations of 'srae!( and that there was a genera! desire to #ossess and study it. This success confirmed him in his ho#e that at a !ater time( when a!! cause for >ea!ousy wou!d ha$e disa##eared( the Mishneh )orah wou!d e recei$ed y a!! Jews as an authoritati$e code. This ho#e has not een rea!i,ed. The genius( earnestness( and ,ea! of Maimonides are genera!!y recogni,ed; ut there is no a so!ute acce#tance of his dicta. The more he insisted on his infa!!i i!ity( the more did the 9a inica! authorities e1amine his words and #oint out errors where$er they e!ie$ed that they cou!d disco$er any. 't was not a!ways from ase moti$es( as contended y Maimonides and his fo!!owers( that his o#inions were criticised and re>ected. The !anguage used y 9a i * raham en .a$id in his notes (hasa ot) on the Mishneh )orah a##ears harsh and disres#ectfu!( if read together with the te1t of the criticised #assage( ut it seems tame and mi!d if com#ared with e1#ressions used now and then y Maimonides a out men who ha##ened to ho!d o#inions differing from his own.
C#aragra#h continuesD

Maimonides recei$ed many com#!imentary !etters( congratu!ating him u#on his success; ut !i)ewise !etters with criticisms and -uestions res#ecting indi$idua! halakot. 'n most cases he had no difficu!ty in defending his #osition. Arom the re#!ies it must( howe$er( e inferred that Maimonides made some corrections and additions( which were su se-uent!y

em odied in his wor). The !etters addressed to him on the Mishneh )orah and on other su >ects were so numerous that he fre-uent!y com#!ained of the time he had to s#end in their #erusa!( and of the annoyance they caused him; ut <he ore a!! this #atient!y( as he had !earned in his youth to ear the yo)e.< "e was not sur#rised that many misunderstood his words( for e$en the sim#!e words of the 7entateuch( <the =ord is one(< had met with the same fate. %ome inferred from the fact that he treated fu!!y of (lam ha-ba( <the future state of the sou!(< and neg!ected to e1#atiate on the resurrection of the dead( that he a!together re>ected that #rinci#!e of faith. They therefore as)ed 9a i %amue! ha-!e$i of 4agdad to state his o#inion; the 9a i according!y discussed the su >ect; ut( according to Maimonides( he attem#ted to so!$e the #ro !em in a $ery unsatisfactory manner. The !atter thereu#on !i)ewise wrote a treatise <?n the 9esurrection of the .ead(< in which he #rotested his adherence to this artic!e of faith. "e re#eated the o#inion he had stated in the +ommentary on the Mishnah and in the Mishneh )orah( ut <in more words; the same idea eing reiterated in $arious forms( as the treatise was on!y intended for women and for the common mu!titude.< These theo!ogica! studies engrossed his attention to a great e1tent( ut it did not occu#y him e1c!usi$e!y. 'n a !etter addressed to 9. Jonathan( of =une!( he says; <*!though from my irth the Torah was etrothed to me( and continues to e !o$ed y me as the wife of my youth( in whose !o$e ' find a constant de!ight( strange women whom ' at first too) into my house as her handmaids ha$e ecome her ri$a!s and a sor a #ortion of my time.< "e de$oted himse!f es#ecia!!y to the study of medicine( in which he distinguished himse!f to such a degree( according to *!)ifti( that <the 3ing of the Aran)s in *sca!on wanted to a##oint him as his #hysician.< Maimonides dec!ined the honour. *!fadhe!( the Ii,ier of %a!adin )ing of &gy#t( admired the genius of Maimonides( and estowed u#on him many distinctions. The
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name of Maimonides was entered on the ro!! of #hysicians( he recei$ed a #ension( and was introduced to the court of %a!adin. The method ado#ted in his #rofessiona! #ractice he descri es in a !etter to his #u#i!( ' n *)nin( as fo!!ows; <Mou )now how difficu!t this #rofession is for a conscientious and e1act #erson who on!y states what he can su##ort y argument or authority.< This method is more fu!!y descri ed in a treatise on hygiene( com#osed for *!fadhe!( son of %a!adin( who was suffering from a se$ere i!!ness and had a##!ied to Maimonides for ad$ice. 'n a !etter to 9a i %amue! ' n Ti on he a!!udes to the amount of time s#ent in his medica! #ractice( and says ' reside in &gy#t (or Aostat); the )ing resides in +airo( which !ies a out two %a ath-day >ourneys from the first-named #!ace. My duties to the )ing are $ery hea$y. ' am o !iged to $isit him e$ery day( ear!y in the morning; and when he or any of his chi!dren or the inmates of his harem are indis#osed( ' dare not -uit +airo( ut must stay during the greater #art of the day in the #a!ace. 't a!so fre-uent!y ha##ens that one or two of the roya! officers fa!! sic)( and then ' ha$e to attend them. *s a ru!e( ' go to +airo $ery ear!y in the day( and e$en if nothing unusua! ha##ens ' do not return efore the afternoon( when ' am a!most dying with hunger; ut ' find the antecham ers fi!!ed with Jews and 2enti!es( with no !es and common #eo#!e( awaiting my return(< etc.

Fotwithstanding these hea$y #rofessiona! duties of court #hysician( Maimonides continued his theo!ogica! studies. *fter ha$ing com#i!ed a re!igious guide--Mishneh )orah-- ased on 9e$e!ation and Tradition( he found it necessary to #ro$e that the #rinci#!es there set forth were confirmed y #hi!oso#hy. This tas) he accom#!ished in his Dalalt al-a0rin( <The 2uide for the 7er#!e1ed(< of which an ana!ysis wi!! e gi$en e!ow. 't was com#osed in *ra ic( and written in "e rew characters. %u se-uent!y it was trans!ated into "e rew y 9a i %amue! ' n Ti on( in the !ifetime of Maimonides( who was consu!ted y the trans!ator on a!! difficu!t #assages. The congregation in =une!( ignorant of ' n Ti on's underta)ing( or desirous to #ossess the most correct trans!ation of the 2uide( addressed a $ery f!attering !etter to Maimonides( re-uesting him to trans!ate the wor) into "e rew. Maimonides re#!ied that he cou!d not do so( as he had not sufficient !eisure for e$en more #ressing wor)( and that a trans!ation was eing #re#ared y the a !est and fittest man( 9a i %amue! ' n Ti on. * second trans!ation was made !ater on y Jehudah *!ari,i. The 2uide de!ighted many( ut it a!so met with much ad$erse criticism on account of the #ecu!iar $iews he!d y Maimonides concerning ange!s( #ro#hecy( and mirac!es( es#ecia!!y on account of his assertion that if the *ristote!ian #roof for the &ternity of the @ni$erse had satisfied him( he wou!d ha$e found no difficu!ty in reconci!ing the 4i !ica! account of the +reation with that doctrine. The contro$ersy on the 2uide continued !ong after the death of Maimonides to di$ide the community( and it is difficu!t to say how far the author's ho#e to effect a reconci!iation etween reason and re$e!ation was rea!i,ed. "is disci#!e( Jose#h ' n *)nin( to whom the wor) was dedicated( and who was e1#ected to deri$e from it the greatest enefit( a##ears to ha$e een disa##ointed. "is ina i!ity to reconci!e the two antagonistic e!ements of faith and science( he descri es a!!egorica!!y in the form of a !etter addressed to Maimonides( in which the fo!!owing #assage occurs; <%#ea)( for ' desire that you e >ustified;
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if you can( answer me. %ome time ago your e!o$ed daughter( the eautifu! and charming 3imah( o tained grace and fa$our in my sight( and ' etrothed her unto me in faithfu!ness( and married her in accordance with the =aw( in the #resence of two trustworthy witnesses( $i,.( our master( * d-a!!ah and ' n 9oshd. 4ut she soon ecame faith!ess to me; she cou!d not ha$e found fau!t with me( yet she !eft me and de#arted from my tent. %he does no !onger !et me eho!d her #!easant countenance or hear her me!odious $oice. Mou ha$e not re u)ed or #unished her( and #erha#s you are the cause of this misconduct. Fow( 'send the wife ac) to the man( for he is'--or might ecome--'a #ro#het; he wi!! #ray for you that you may !i$e( and a!so for her that she may e firm and steadfast. 'f( howe$er( you do not send her ac)( the =ord wi!! #unish you. Therefore see) #eace and #ursue it; !isten to what our %ages said; '4!essed e he who restores to the owner his !ost #ro#erty'; for this !essing a##!ies in a higher degree to him who restores to a man his $irtuous wife( the crown of her hus and.< Maimonides re#!ied in the same strain( and re#roached his <son-in-!aw< that he fa!se!y accused his wife of faith!essness after he had neg!ected her; ut he restored him his wife with the ad$ice to e more cautious in future. 'n another !etter Maimonides e1horts ' n *)nin to study his wor)s( adding( <a##!y yourse!f to the study of the =aw of Moses; do not neg!ect it( ut( on the contrary( de$ote to it the est and the most of your time( and if you te!! me that you do so( ' am satisfied that you are on the right way to eterna! !iss.<

?f the !etters written after the com#!etion of the <2uide(< the one addressed to the wise men of Marsei!!es (1198) is es#ecia!!y noteworthy. Maimonides was as)ed to gi$e his o#inion on astro!ogy. "e regretted in his re#!y that they were not yet in the #ossession of his Mishneh )orah; they wou!d ha$e found in it the answer to their -uestion. *ccording to his o#inion( man shou!d on!y e!ie$e what he can gras# with his inte!!ectua! facu!ties( or #ercei$e y his senses( or what he can acce#t on trustworthy authority. 4eyond this nothing shou!d e e!ie$ed. *stro!ogica! statements( not eing founded on any of these three sources of )now!edge( must e re>ected. "e had himse!f studied astro!ogy( and was con$inced that it was no science at a!!. 'f some dicta e found in the Ta!mud which a##ear to re#resent astro!ogy as a true source of )now!edge( these may either e referred to the re>ected o#inion of a sma!! minority( or may ha$e an a!!egorica! meaning( ut they are y no means forci !e enough to set aside #rinci#!es ased on !ogica! #roof. The de i!ity of which Maimonides so fre-uent!y com#!ained in his corres#ondence( gradua!!y increased( and he died( in his se$entieth year( on the 20th Te eth( 895: (1208). "is death was the cause of great mourning to a!! Jews. 'n Aostat a mourning of three days was )e#t; in Jerusa!em a fast was a##ointed; a #ortion of the tochaah (=e$. 11$i. or .eut. 11i1.) was read( and a!so the history of the ca#ture of the *r) y the 7hi!istines (1 %am. i$.). "is remains were rought to Ti erias. The genera! regard in which Maimonides was he!d( oth y his contem#oraries and y succeeding generations( has een e1#ressed in the #o#u!ar saying; <Arom Moses to Moses there was none !i)e Moses.<
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

#. 11$ii

T!" M&'"! ,"6#/!$M ($T"'+T#'"


'. )he +rabic )ext.--The editio princeps( the on!y edition of the origina! te1t of the 2uide (in *ra ic( D1lil( or Dalalat al-h2a0rin)( was underta)en and e1ecuted y the !ate %. Mun). 'ts tit!e is; 3e Guide des 4 ar5s6 trait5 de )h5olo ie et de Philosophie par Mo0se ben Maimon6 publi5 pour la premi7re fois dans l/ori inal +rabe6 et accompa n5 d/une traduction 8ran9aise et de notes criti:ues6 litt5raires et explicati"es6 par $2 Munk (7aris( 1H:0-1H55). The #!an was #u !ished( 1H66( in 'eflexions sur le culte des anciens .7breux (=a 4i !e( #ar %. +ahen( $o!. i$.)( with a s#ecimen of two cha#ters of the Third 7art. The te1t ado#ted has een se!ected from the se$era! M%%. at his dis#osa! with great care and >udgment. Two =eyden M%%. (cod. 1H and 221)( $arious M%%. of the ;iblioth7:ue Nationale (Fo. J50( $ery o!d; J51 and J:H( written y 9. %aadia ' n .anan)( and some M%%. of the 4od!eian =i rary were consu!ted. 'n the notes which accom#any the Arench trans!ation( the $arious readings of the different M%%. are fu!!y discussed. *t the end of the third $o!ume a !ist is added of <Iariantes des Manuscrits *ra es et des deu1 Iersions "N raO-ues.< The !i rary of the 4ritish Museum #ossesses two co#ies of the *ra ic te1t; the one ?r. :826 is com#!ete( eautifu!!y written( with e1#!anatory notes in the margin and etween the

!ines. The name of the co#yist is not mentioned( nor the date when it has een written. The $o!ume has in the eginning an incom#!ete inde1 to the %cri#tura! #assages referred to in the Guide( and at the end fragments of 7sa!m c1!i. in *ra ic and of astronomica! ta !es. The second co#y of the Dalalat al-a0rin is contained in the M%. ?r. 2826( written in !arge Memen 9a inic characters. 't is $ery fragmentary. The first fragment egins with the !ast #aragra#h of the introduction; there are a few margina! notes in "e rew. 'n the 4od!eian =i rary there are the fo!!owing co#ies of the Dalalat al-a0rin according to the +ata!( of "e r. M%%. y .r. *. Feu auer;-Fo. 1265. The te1t is #receded y Jehudah a!-+hari,i's inde1 of the contents of the cha#ters( and y an inde1 of 4i !ica! -uotations. 'n the margin there are notes( containing omissions( y different hands( two in *ra ic characters. The $o!ume was written 18J6. Fo. 126J. The *ra ic te1t( with a few margina! notes containing $arious readings the te1t is #receded y three "e rew #oems( eginning( De/i holek( ;i-sedeh tebunot; and ;inu be-dat Mosheh. Ao!. 212 contains a fragment of the oo) ('''.( 11i1.). Fo. 126H. Te1t with a few margina! notes.
#. 11$iii

Fo. 1269. The end of the wor) is wanting in this co#y. The second #art has forty-nine cha#ters( as the introduction to 7art ''. is counted as cha#ter i.; 7art '''. has fifty-si1 cha#ters( the introduction eing counted as cha#ter i.( and cha#ter 11i$. eing di$ided into two cha#ters. The inde1 of #assages from the 7entateuch fo!!ows the ordinary mode of counting the cha#ters of the Guide. Fo. 1280. *ra ic te1t transcri ed in *ra ic characters y %aadiah . =e$i *,an)o for 7rof. 2o!ius in 158:. Fo. 128:. Airst #art of the Dalalat al-a0rin( written y %aadiah . Mordecai . Mosheh in the year 1861. Fo. 1282 contains the same 7art( ut incom#!ete. Fos. 1286( 1288( 128:( and 1285 contain 7art ''. of the *ra ic te1t( incom#!ete in Fo(. 128: and 1285. Fos. 128J( 128H( and 1289 ha$e 7art '''.; it is incom#!ete in Fos. 128H and 1289. Fo. 1289 was written 1291( and egins with '''( $iii. * fragment of the *ra ic te1t( the end of 7art '''.( is contained in Fo. 80J( 2. Fo. 2:0H inc!udes s fragment of the origina! ('. ii.-111ii.)( with a "e rew inter!ineary trans!ation of some words and a few margina! notes. 't is written in Memen s-uare characters( and is mar)ed as <ho!y #ro#erty of the %ynagogue of *!siani.< * fragment ('. i.) of a different recension from the #rinted is contained in 2822( 15. ?n the margin the +ommentaries of %hem-o and &#hodi are added in *ra ic. * co#y of the Dalalat is a!so contained in the 4er!in 9oya! =i rary M%. ?r. Pu.( :J9 (so; +at. %teinschneider); it is defecti$e in the eginning and at the end. The +airo 2eni,ah at +am ridge contains two fragments (a) '. !1i$. and eginning of !1$; (b) ''. end of 111ii. and 111iii. *ccording to .r. ". "irschfe!d( Je*ish <uarterly 'e"ie* ($o!. 1$. #. 5JJ)( they are in the handwriting of Maimonides.

The $a!ua !e co!!ection of M%%. in the #ossession of .r. M. 2aster inc!udes a fragment of the Dalalat ala0rin (+ode1 50:). ''. 1iii-1$.( eginning and end defecti$e.

''. )ranslations( a. .ebre*.--*s soon as &uro#ean Jews heard of the e1istence of this wor)( they #rocured its trans!ation into "e rew. Two scho!ars( inde#endent!y of each other( undertoo) the tas); %amue! ' n Ti on and Jehudah a!-ari,i. There is( esides( in the Moreh ha-moreh of %hemo 7a!-uera an origina! trans!ation of some #ortions of the Moreh. 'n the $ifte yeshenim (Fo. 112) a rhymed trans!ation of the .a!a!at y 9a i Mattityahu 3artin is mentioned. ' n Ti on's $ersion is $ery accurate; he sacrificed e!egance of sty!e to the desire of conscientious!y re#roducing the author's wor)( and did not e$en neg!ect a #artic!e( howe$er unim#ortant it may a##ear. ' n Ti on went in his an1iety to retain #ecu!iarities of the origina! so far as to imitate its am iguities( e.g.( meiut ('. !$iii.) is treated as a mascu!ine noun( on!y in order to !ea$e it dou tfu! whether a #ronoun which fo!!ows agrees with meiut( <e1istence(< or with nima( <e1isting eing(< oth occurring in the same sentence (4r. Mus. M%. "ar!. J:H5( marg. note y ' n Ti on). 0hen he met with #assages that offered any difficu!ty he consu!ted Maimonides. ari,i( on the other hand( was !ess conscientious a out words and #artic!es( ut wrote in a su#erior sty!e. =ox populi( howe$er( decided in fa$our of the $ersion of ' n Ti on( the ri$a! of which ecame a!most forgotten. *!so * raham( the son of Moses Maimonides( in Milamoth ha-shem( descri es ari,i's $ersion as eing inaccurate. Most of the modern trans!ations were made from ' n Ti on's $ersion. There are( therefore( M%%. of this $ersion a!most in e$ery !i rary containing co!!ections of "e rew oo)s and M%%. 't has the tit!e Moreh-nebuchim. The 4ritish Museum has the fo!!owing eight co#ies of ' n Ti on's $ersion;-.arl. J:H5 *. This code1 was written in the year 12H8( for 9a i %ha atai en 9a i Mattityahu. 'n the year 1680 it came into the #ossession of Jaco . %he!omoh; his son Menaem so!d it in the year 16JH to 9. Mattityahu( son of 9. %ha atai( for
#. 11i1

fifty go!d f!orins. 't was again so!d in the year 1851 y Meie! en Joa . There is( this #ecu!iarity in the writing( that !ong words at the end of a !ine are di$ided( and written ha!f on the one !ine( ha!f on the ne1t; in words which are $oca!i,ed( pata is fre-uent!y found for ame. There are numerous $arious readings in the margin. The te1t is #receded y a #oem( written y Jose#h ' n *)nin( #u#i! of Maimonides( in #raise of his master( and eginning +don yizro. This #oem is attri uted to 9. Mehudah ha-=e$i (=u,,atto( in his .i$an( ;etulat-bat-!ehudah( #. 108). *t the end the co#yist adds an e#igram( the trans!ation of which is as fo!!ows;-<The Moreh is finished--7raise to "im who formed and created e$erything--written for the instruction and enefit of the few whom the =ord ca!!eth. Those who o##ose the Moreh ought to e #ut to death; ut those who study and understand it deser$e that .i$ine 2!ory rest u#on them( and ins#ire them with a s#irit from a o$e.< .arl. J:H5 4. This code1( much damaged in the eginning and at the end( contains the $ersion of ' n Ti on( with margina! notes( consisting of words omitted in the te1t( and other corrections. The $ersion is fo!!owed y the #oems arob meod( etc.( and De/i bolek( etc. .arl. ::0J contains the "e rew $ersion of ' n Ti on( with the trans!ator's #reface and margina! notes( consisting of $arious readings and omissions from the te1t. The wor) of Maimonides is fo!!owed y ' n Ti on's Ioca u!ary (millot-zarot)( Mesharet-mosheh( +ru ot ba-mezimmah( Millot hi ayon( 'ua-en(

*!fara i's .atalot( a "e rew-'ta!ian $oca u!ary of !ogica! terms( and an e1#!anation of koeb. The #assage in 7art '.( cha#. !11i.( which refers to +hristianity( has een erased. .arl. ::2: was the #ro#erty of %himshon 3ohen Modon. The M%. egins with ari,i's %a""anat haperaim; then fo!!ows the te1t( with a few margina! notes of a !ater hand( most!y ad$erse criticisms and references to Q*rama's +edah and the 4i !ica! commentaries of * ar ane!. There is a!so a note in =atin. The te1t is fo!!owed y ' n Ti on's Ioca u!ary (Millot-zarot) and Masoret ba-pesuim ('nde1 to the 4i !ica! -uotations in the Moreh). 'n a #oem( eginning Moreh asher mennu deraka" abehu( the Moreh is com#ared to a musica! instrument( which de!ights when #!ayed y one that understands music( ut is s#oi!ed when touched y an ignorant #erson. +dd. 2J05H (*!man,i co!!.). *t the end the fo!!owing remar) is added; '( %amue! ' n Ti on( finished the trans!ation of this wor) in the month of Te et 895: (120:). The te1t is #receded y the we!!-)nown e#igrams( De/0 holek and Moreh-nebuchim sa shelomi; the !ast #age contains the e#igram arob meod. There are some notes in the margin( most!y referring to $arious readings. +dd. 18J56. This code1( written 12J6 at Iiter o( contains the #reface of ari,i to his trans!ation of the Moreh and his inde1 of contents( ' n Ti on's $ersion with a few margina! notes of different hands( inc!uding some remar)s of the trans!ator( and the contents of the cha#ters. The code1 contains esides the fo!!owing treatises; +ommentary of Maimonides on * ot; +omm. of Maim. on Mishnah %anhedrin 1. i; =etter of Maimonides on the 9esurrection of the .ead; Ioca u!ary of difficu!t words y %amue! ' n Ti on; Maimonides' =etter to the wise men of Marsei!!es; his =etter to 9a i Jonathan; %eter-malkut( Mesharet-mosheh( 'ua-en( (tot hashamayim( trans!ated from the *ra ic y %amue! ' n Ti on; .atalot ha-nimaot( of *!fara i; $efer haappua( Mishle amishim ha-talmidim; on the se$en ,ones of the earth; a fragment of a chronic!e from the e1i!e of 4a y!on down to the fourth year of the &m#eror Fice#heros of +onstantino#!e( and a #oem( which egins asher yishal( and has the fo!!owing sense;--<'f one as)s the o!d and e1#erienced for ad$ice( you may e1#ect his success in a!! he underta)es ut if one consu!ts the young( remem er the fate of 9eho oam( son of %o!omon.< +dd. 8J58. 'n addition to the "e rew $ersion of ' n Ti on (from end of '. 11$ii.) with a few margina! notes and inde1( the code1 contains at the end of 7art '. an 'nde1 of references made y the author to e1#!anations gi$en in #receding or succeeding cha#ters. *t the end of the te1t the statement is added( that the trans!ation was finished in the month of Te et 95H (120H). The Moreh is fo!!owed y 'ua-en( and ' n Ti on's Ioca u!ary of millot-zarot (incom#!ete)( and is #receded y four #oems in #raise of the Moreh( eginning $him/u nebone leb( Moreh nebuchim sa shelomi( De/0 holek and Nofet makim. 4i !. 9eg. 15 *( 1i. This code1( written in 7ro$. curs( characters in the year 60H( has in front a fragment of iii. i.( then fo!!ows the #oem of Meshu!!am( eginning !eh u mezimmotai (2rBt, 3eket-shoshannim( #. 1:11)( and other #oems.
#. 111

The fo!!owing M%. co#ies of ' n Ti on's $ersion are inc!uded in the ?1ford 4od!eian =i rary; the num ers refer to .r. Feu auer's cata!ogue of the M%%.;-12:0. *n inde1 of the #assages from the 4i !e referred to in the wor)( and an inde1 of the contents #recede the $ersion. The margina! note( contain chief!y omissions. 12:1. This code1 was written in 15J:. The margina! notes contain omissions and e1#!anations. 12:2. The margina! notes contain the trans!ator's remar)s on '. !11i$. 8( and '''. 1!$ii. The $ersion is fo!!owed y ' n Ti on a $oca u!ary( and his additiona! remar)s on the reasons for the commandments. The M%. was ought y %amue! en Moses from a +hristian after the #i!!age of 7adua( where it had e!onged to a %ynagogue of foreigners (lo/ azim); he ga$e it to a %ynagogue of the same character at Mantua.

12:6. The margina! notes inc!ude that of the trans!ator on '''. 1!$ii. 12:8( '. Te1t with margina! note( containing omissions. 12::. The margina! notes inc!ude those of the trans!ator on '. 1!$i. and !11i$. :. 12:5. The margina! notes contain $arious reading( notes re!ating to ari,i's( trans!ation and the *ra ic te1t; on fo!. H0 there is a note in =atin. There are in this code1 si1 e#igrams concerning the Moreh. 12:J. Te1t incom#!ete; with margina! notes. Aragments of the Iersion are contained in the fo!!owing codices; 208J(6( #.5:; 22H6( H; 2609( 2( and 2665.

*mong the M%. co#ies of the Moreh in the 4i !. Fat. in 7aris( there is one that has een the #ro#erty of 9. &!iah Mi,rai( and another that had een in the hands of *,ariah de 9ossi (Fo. 5H: and Fo. 59R); the 2Sn, urg =i rary (7aris) #ossesses a co#y (Fo. JJ:)( that was written 18:2 y %amue! son of 'saac for 9a i Moses de =eon( and &!iah de! Medigo's co#y of the Moreh is in the #ossession of .r. 2ins urg (=ondon); it contains si1 #oems( eginning Moreh nebuchim sa; #met moreh emet; ;i-leshon esh; Mah-baaru; %amu more sha". The editio #rince#s of this $ersion has no statement as to where and when it was #rinted( and is without #agination. *ccording to ASrst (4i !iogr.) it is #rinted efore 18H0. The co#y in the 4ritish Museum has some M%. notes. %u se-uent editions contain esides the "e rew te1t the +ommentaries of %hem-o and &fodi( and the inde1 of contents y ari,i (Ienice( 1::1( fo!.); a!so the +omm. of +rescas and Ioca u!ary of ' n Ti on (%a ionetta( 1::6( fo!.; Jessnit,( 1J82( fo!. etc.); the +ommentaries of Far oni and %. Maimon (4er!in( 1J91); the commentaries of &fodi( %hem-to ( +rescas and * ar ane! (0arsaw( 1HJ2( 8to); 2erman trans!ation and "e rew +ommentary (;iur) 7art '. (3rotoschin( 1H69( H$o); 2erman trans!ation and notes( 7art ''. (0ien. 1H58)( 7art '''. (Aran)fort-a-M.( 1H6H). The "e rew $ersion of ' n Ti on (7art '. to ch. !11ii.) has een trans!ated into Mishnaic "e rew y M. =e$in (To!)iew( 1H29( 8to). There is on!y one M%. )nown of ari,i's $ersion( $i,.( Fo. 5H2 of the 4i !iothU-ue Fationa!e at 7aris. 't has een edited y =. %ch!os erg( with notes. =ondon( 1H:1 (7art '.)( 1HJ5 (''.)( and 1HJ9 ('''.). The notes on 7art '. were su##!ied y %. %cheyer. The first =atin trans!ation of the Moreh has een disco$ered y .r. J. 7er!es among the =atin M%%. of the Munic =i rary( +ata!. +od. !atinorum i !. regiae Monacensis( tom. i( #ars iii. #ag. 20H (3aish. 65 )( 1J00 (J965 ). This $ersion is a!most identica! with that edited y *ugustinus Justinianus(
#. 111i

7aris( 1:20( and is ased on ari,i's "e rew $ersion of the Moreh. The name of the trans!ator is not mentioned. 'n the +ommentary of Moses( son of %o!omon( of %a!erno( on the Moreh( a =atin trans!ation is -uoted( and the -uotations agree with this
C#aragra#h continuesD

$ersion. 't is ca!!ed y this commentator ha ataat ha-norit (<the +hristian trans!ation<)( and its author( ha-ma ati ha-noer (!it. <the +hristian trans!ator<). .r. 7er!es is( howe$er( of o#inion that these terms do not necessari!y im#!y that a +hristian has made this trans!ation( as the word noer may ha$e een used here for <=atin.< "e thin)s that it is the resu!t of the com ined efforts of Jewish and +hristian scho!ars connected with the court of the 2erman &m#eror Arederic ''.( es#ecia!!y as in the thirteenth century se$era! Jewish scho!ars distinguished themse!$es y trans!ating ?rienta! wor)s into =atin. %ee 2rBt, Monatschrift( 1HJ:( Jan.-June( <.ie in einer MSnchener "andschrift aufgefundene erste !ateinische @e erset,ung(< etc.( $on .r. J. 7er!es. The tit!e has een $arious!y rendered into =atin; .irector neutrorum( directorium du itantium( director neutrorum( nutantium or du itantium; doctor #er#!e1orum. 2eda!iah i n Mahyah( in $halshelet ha-abbalah( mentions a =atin trans!ation of the Moreh y Jaco Monteno; ut nothing is )nown of it( un!ess it e the anonymous trans!ation of the Munich M%.( mentioned a o$e. *ugustinus Justinianus edited this $ersion (7aris( 1:20)( with s!ight a!terations and a great num er of mista)es. Jose#h %ca!iger's o#inion of this $ersion is e1#ressed in a !etter to +asau onus( as fo!!ows; Pui !atine $ertit( "e raica( non *ra ica( con$ertit( et -uidem sV#e ha!!ucinatur( ne-ue mentem *uthoris asse-uitur. Magna seges mendorum est in =atino. 7rVter i!!a -uV a inertia 'nter#retis #eccata sunt accessit et inertia =i rariorum aut Ty#ogra#horum( e.g.( #ro#hetiV #ro #hi!oso#hiV; a!titudo #ro a#titudo; onitatem #ro re$itatem. (4u1torf( .octor 7er#!e1orum( 7rVf.) Johannes 4u1torfius( Ai!.( trans!ated the "e rew $ersion of ' n Ti on into =atin (4asi!eV( 1529( 8to). 'n the 7rVfatio ad =ectorem( the trans!ator discusses the !ife and the wor)s of Maimonides( and dwe!!s es#ecia!!y on the merits and the fate of the Moreh-nebuchim. The #reface is fo!!owed y a "e rew #oem of 9a i 9a#hae! Jose#h of Tre$es( in #raise of an edition of the Moreh containing the +ommentaries of &fodi( %hem-to ( and +rescas. 'ta!ian was the first !i$ing !anguage into which the Moreh has een trans!ated. This trans!ation was made y Medidyah en Moses (*madeo de MoOse di 9ecanati)( and dedicated y him to <di$otissimo e di$inissimo %ignor mio i! %ignor 'mmanue! da Aano< (i.e.( the 3a a!ist Menaem *,arriah). The trans!ator dictated it to his rother &!iah( who wrote it in "e rew characters; it was finished the Hth of Ae ruary( 1:H6. The M%. co#y is contained in the 9oya! =i rary at 4er!in( M%. ?r. Pu. 8HJ (M. %teinschneider +ata!.( etc.)-The Moreh has een trans!ated into 'ta!ian a second time( and annotated y .. J. Maroni; 2uida deg!i %marriti( Airen,e( 1HJ0( fo!. The Moreh has een trans!ated into 2erman y 9. ASrstentha! (7art '.( 3rotoschin( 1H69)( M. %tern (7art ''.( 0ien( 1H58)( and %. %cheyer (7art '''.. Aran)fort-a.-M.( 1H6H). The trans!ation is ased on ' n Ti on's "e rew $ersion. The cha#ters on the .i$ine *ttri utes ha$e een trans!ated into
#. 111ii

2erman( and fu!!y discussed( y .r. 3aufmann in his Geschichte der +ttributenlehre (2otha( 1HJJ). *n e1ce!!ent Arench trans!ation( ased on the *ra ic
C#aragra#h continuesD

origina!( has een su##!ied y the regenerator of the Guide( %. Mun). 't was #u !ished together with the *ra ic te1t (7aris( 1H:0-1H55). The Moreh has a!so een trans!ated into the "ungarian !anguage y .r. 3!ein. The trans!ation is accom#anied y notes (4uda#est( 1HJH-H0). The #ortion containing the reasons of the +ommandments (7art '''. ch. 11$i.-1!i1.) has een trans!ated into &ng!ish y James Town!ey (=ondon( 1H2J). The trans!ation is #receded y an account on the !ife and wor)s of Maimonides( and dissertations on $arious su >ects; among others( Ta!mudica! and 9a inica! writings( the ?rigina!ity of the 'nstitutions of Moses( and Judicia! astro!ogy. '''. &ommentaries.--'t is ut natura! that in a #hi!oso#hica! wor) !i)e the Moreh( the reader wi!! meet with #assages that at first thought seem uninte!!igi !e( and re-uire further e1#!anation( and this want has een su##!ied y the numerous commentators that de$oted their attention to the study of the Moreh. Jose#h %o!omon de! Medigo (1:9J) saw eighteen +ommentaries. The four #rinci#a! ones he characteri,es thus (in imitation of the "agadah for 7asso$er); Moses Far oni is rasha( has no #iety( and re$ea!s a!! the secrets of the Moreh. %hem-o is akam( <wise(< e1#ounds and criticises; +rescas is tam( <sim#!e(< e1#!ains the oo) in the sty!e of the 9a is; &#odi is she-eno yodea lishol( <does not understand to as)(< he sim#!y e1#!ains in short notes without criticism (Miktab-auz; ed. *. 2eiger( 4er!in( 1H80( #. iH). The ear!iest annotations were made y the author himse!f on those #assages( which the first trans!ator of the Moreh was una !e to com#rehend. They are contained in a !etter addressed to %amue! ' n Ti on( eginning( lefi siklo yehullal ish (4od! =i rary( Fo. 221H( s.; com#. )he Guide( etc.( '. 21( 686; ''. H( 99). ' n Ti on( the trans!ator( !i)ewise added a few notes( which are found in the margin of M%%. of the "e rew $ersion of the Moreh (on '. 1!$. !11i$.; ''. 11i$.; and '''. 1!$ii.--M%%. 4od!. 12:2( 1; 12:6( 12::( 12:J; 4rit. Mus. *dd. 18(J56 and 2J(05H). 4oth trans!ators wrote e1#!anations of the #hi!oso#hica! terms em#!oyed in the $ersions. ari,i wrote his $oca u!ary first( and ' n Ti on( in the introductory remar)s( to Perush millot zarot (<&1#!anation of difficu!t words<)( descri es his ri$a!'s $oca u!ary as fu!! of !unders. ' n Ti on's Perush is found a!most in e$ery co#y of his $ersion( oth M%. and #rint; so a!so ari,i's inde1 of the contents of the cha#ters of the Moreh (%a""anat haperaim). The fo!!owing is an a!#ha etica! !ist of +ommentaries on the Moreh;-+barbanel (Don -saak) wrote a +ommentary on '. i.-!$.; ''. 111i.-1!$.( and a se#arate oo) $hamayimadashim( <Few "ea$ens(< on ''. 1i1.( in which he fu!!y discusses the -uestion concerning &reatio ex nihilo. The o#inion of Maimonides is not a!ways acce#ted. Thus twenty-se$en o >ections are raised against his inter#retation of the first cha#ter of &,e)ie!. These o >ections he wrote at Mo!in( in the house of 9. * raham Tre$es arfati. The +ommentary is fo!!owed y a short essay (maamar) on the #!an of the Moreh. The method ado#ted y * ar ane! in a!! his +ommentaries( is a!so em#!oyed in this essay. * series of -uestions is #ut forth on the su >ect( and then the author sets a out to answer them. M. J. =andau edited the +ommentary without te1t( with a 7reface( and with e1#!anatory notes( ca!!ed Moreh li-eddakah (7rag. 1H61; M%. 4od!. 26H:). 'n addition to

#. 111iii

these the same author wrote )eshubot <*nswers< to se$era! -uestions as)ed y 9a i %hau! ha-+ohen on to#ics discussed in the Moreh (Ienice( 1J:8). +braham +bulafia wrote <%odot ha-moreh(< or $itre-torah( a )a a!istic +ommentary on the Moreh. "e gi$es the e1#ression( WYZ WX (7aradise)( for the num er (1JJ) of the cha#ters of the Moreh. M%. Fat. 4i !. 225( 6. =ei#sic =i r. 262(8. M%. 4od!. 2650( contains a #ortion of 7art '''. ;uchner +2 .a-moreh li-zedaah (0arsaw( 1H6H). +ommentary on <The 9easons of the =aws(< Moreh '''. 11i1.-1!i1. The +ommentary is #receded y an account of the !ife of Maimonides. +omtino( Mordecai . &!ie,er( wrote a short commentary on the Moreh (.r. 2ins urg's co!!ection of M%%. Fo. 10). Far oni( who <s#read !ight on dar) #assages in the 2uide(< is fre-uent!y -uoted. 9eference is a!so made to his own commentary on ' n &,ra's !esod-mora. &rescas (+sher b2 +braham)( e1#resses in the 7reface to his +ommentary the con$iction that he cou!d not a!ways com#rehend the right sense of the words of Maimonides( for <there is no searching to his understanding.< "e ne$erthe!ess thin)s that his e1#!anations wi!! he!# <the young< to study the Moreh with #rofit. * !ong #oem in #raise of Maimonides and his wor) #recedes the 7reface. "is notes are short and c!ear( and in s#ite of his great res#ect of Maimonides( he now and then criticises and corrects him. Da"id !aya is named y Jose#h .e! Medigo (Miktab-auz ed. *. 2eiger( 4er!in( 1H80; #. 1H( and note J5)( as ha$ing written a +ommentary on the Moreh. Da"id ben !ehudah 3eon 'abbino wrote #n ha-ore( M%. 4od!. 1256. "e -uotes in his +ommentary among others Q*rama's +kedat yiak. The 7reface is written y 'mmanue! en 9a#hae! ' n Meir( after the death of the author. #fodi is the name of the +ommentary written y 'saac en Moses( who during the #ersecution of 1691 had #assed as +hristian under the name of 7rofiat .uran. "e returned to Judaism( and wrote against +hristianity the famous satire <+l tehee ka-aboteka< (<4e not !i)e your Aathers<)( which mis!ed +hristians to cite it as written in fa$our of +hristianity. 't is addressed to the a#ostate &n 4onet 4on 2iorno. The same author a!so wrote a grammatica! wor)( Maaseh-efod. The name #fod ([\])( is e1#!ained as com#osed of the initia!s +mar Profiat Duran. "is +ommentary consists of short notes( e1#!anatory of the te1t. The eginning of this +ommentary is contained in an *ra ic trans!ation in M%. 4od!. 2822( 15. #phraim +l-Na:a"ah in $haar %ebod ha-shem (M%. 4od!. 969( 2 and 12:H( 2)( answers some -uestions addressed to him concerning the Moreh. "e -uotes idai's (r adonai. 8>rstenthal6 '2( trans!ator and commentator of the Ma,or( added a 4iur( short e1#!anatory notes( to his 2erman trans!ation of 7art '. of the Moreh (3rotoschin( 1H69). Gershon6 Moreh-derek( +ommentary on 7art '. of the Moreh (M%. 4od!. 125:). "i!!e! . %amue! . &!a,ar of Ierona e1#!ained the 'ntroduction to 7art ''( (the 2: 7ro#os.). %. ". "a! erstam edited this +ommentary together with )a mule ha-nefesh of the same author( for the %ociety Meienirdamim (=yc)( 1HJ8). Joseph ben +ba-mari b2 Joseph( of +as#i (*rgentiUre)( wrote three +ommentaries on the Moreh. The first is contained in a Munich M%. (Fo. 256); and seems to ha$e een recast y the author( and di$ided into two se#arate +ommentaries; +mmude %esef( and Maskiyot %esef. The former was to contain #!ain and ordinary e1#!anation( whi!st #rofound and mysterious matter was reser$ed for the second (%teinschn. +at.). 'n ''.( cha#.

1!$iii.( +as#i finds fau!t with Maimonides that he dues not #!ace the oo) of Jo among the highest c!ass of ins#ired writings( <its author eing undou ted!y Moses.< These +ommentaries ha$e een edited y T. 0er !umer (Aran)fort-a.-M.( 1H8H). 9. 3irchheim added a "e rew introduction discussing the character of these commentaries( and descri ing the manuscri#ts from which these were co#ied; a 4iogra#hy of the author is added in 2erman. Joseph Gi:atilia wrote notes on the Moreh( #rinted with <Puestions of %hau! ha-)ohen< (Ienice( 1:J8. M%. 4od!.. 1911( 6). Joseph b2 -saac ha-3e"i?s Gib/at ha-Moreh is a short +ommentary on #ortions of the Moreh( with notes y 9. Mom-tu "e!!er( the author of )osafot !am-tob (7rag.( 1512).
#. 111i$

-saac $atano" wrote a commentary on 7arts ''. and '''. of the Moreh (see Maimon %o!omon #. 11i.). -saac ben $hem-ob ibn $hem-ob wrote a !engthy +ommentary on the Moreh( 7art '. (M%. 4rit. Mus( ?r. 16:H). The o >ect of the +ommentary is to show that there is no contradiction etween Maimonides and the .i$ine =aw. "e #raises Maimonides as a true e!ie$er in &reatio ex nihilo( whi!st ' n &,ra and 2ersonides assumed a prima materia( (!oer( adosh). Fachmanides is ca!!ed ha-asid ha- adol( ut is ne$erthe!ess !amed( together with Far oni and Terayah ha-=e$i( for criticising Maimonides( instead of trying to e1#!ain start!ing utterances e$en in <a forced way< (bederek raok) and Far oni( <in s#ite of his wisdom( fre-uent!y misunderstood the Moreh.< *t the end of each cha#ter a rNsumN^ (derush) of the contents of the cha#ter is gi$en( and the !esson to e deri$ed from it. The M%. is incom#!ete( cha#s. 1!$i.-1!$iii. are missing. %auffmann6 D2( in his Geschichte der +tributenlehre( trans!ated 7art '. cha#. !.-!1iii. into 2erman( and added critica! and e1#!anatory notes. %alonymos wrote a )ind of introduction to the Moreh (Mesharet Mosheh)( in which he es#ecia!!y discusses the theory of Maimonides on 7ro$idence. 3eibnitz made e1tracts from 4u1torf's. =atin $ersion of the Moreh( and added his own remar)s( (bser"ationes ad '2 Mosen Maimoniden (Aoucher de +arei!( +.*.( 3a Philosophie Jui"e( 1H51). 3e"in6 M2( wrote +llon-moreh as a )ind of introduction to his retrans!ation of Ti the !anguage of the Mishnah. on's "e rew $ersion into

Maimon6 $olomon( is the author of Gib/at ha-moreh( a !engthy commentary on 4oo) '. (4er!in( 1J91). The author is fond of e1#atiating on to#ics of modern #hi!oso#hy( to the introduction he gi$es a short history of #hi!oso#hy. The commentary on 4oo)s ''. and '''. was written y 'saac %atano$. Meir ben Jonah ha-mekunneh ;en-shneor wrote a commentary on the Moreh in Ae, 1:50 (M%. 4od!. 1252). Menaem %ara e1#ounded the twenty-fi$e #ro#ositions enumerated in the 'ntroduction to 7art ''. of the Moreh (M%. 4od!. 1589( 16). Mordecai !affe( in his (r !earot or Pinnat !irat( one of his ten 3ebushim( comments u#on the theories contained in the Moreh. Moses6 son of +braham Pro"en9al( e1#!ains the #assage in 7art '. cha#. !11iii. 7ro#. 6( in which Maimonides refers to the difference etween commensura !e and incommensura !e !ines (M%. 4od!.. 2066( H).

Moses6 son of Jehudah Na ari( made an inde1 of the su >ects treated in the Moreh( indicating in each case the cha#ters in which a!!usion is made to the su >ect. "e did so( <in o edience to the ad$ice of Maimonides( to consider the cha#ters in connected order< (7art '. #. 20). 't has een #rinted together with the -uestions of %hau! ha-)ohen (Ienice( 1:J8). Moses son of $olomon of $alerno( is one of the ear!iest e1#ounders of the Moreh. "e wrote his commentary on 7arts '. and ''.( #erha#s together with a +hristian scho!ar. "e -uotes the o#inion of <the +hristian scho!ar with whom he wor)ed together.< Thus he names 7etrus de 4ernia and Fico!o di 2io$ena,,o. 9. Jaco *nato!i( author of the Malmed ha-talmidim( is -uoted as offering an e1#!anation for the #assage from Pire di-rabbi #liezer( which Maimonides (''. cha#. 11$i.) considers as strange and ine1#!ica !e (7art '.( written 1869; M%. of ;et ha-midrash( =ondon; 7arts '.- ''.( M%. 4od!( 1251( written( 1:8J; M%. 7eters urg( Fo. H2; Munich M%. 50 and 6J0). Moses ha-atan6 son of Jehudah6 son of Moses( wrote )o/aliyot pire ha-maamar (<=essons taught in the cha#ters of this wor)<). 't is an inde1 to the Moreh (M%. 4od!. 125J). Moses =eiden e1#!ained the 2: 7ro#. of the 'ntroduction to 7art ''. (M%. 2Sn, urg( 7aris). Moses Far oni wrote a short commentary at %oria 1652. "e free!y critici,es Maimonides( and uses e1#ressions !i)e the fo!!owing;--<"e went too far( may 2od #ardon him< (''. $iii.). 's. &uche! ed. 7art '. (4er!in( 1J91); J. 2o!dentha!( '. to '''. (0ien( 1H:2). The 4od!. =i r. #ossesses se$era! M%. co#ies of this commentary (Fos. 1250( 1258( 2( and 1255). Munk6 $2( added to his Arench trans!ation of the Moreh numerous critica! and e1#!anatory notes. $2 $achs ("a-teiyah( 4er!in( 1H:0( #. :) e1#!ains $arious #assages of the Moreh( with
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a $iew of disco$ering the names of those who are attac)ed y Maimonides without eing named. $cheyer6 $2( added critica! and e1#!anatory notes to his 2erman trans!ation of the Moreh( 7art 6( and to the "e rew $ersion of ari,i( 7art '. "e a!so wrote Das Psycholo ische $ystem des Maimonides( an 'ntroduction to the Moreh (Aran)f.-a-M.( 1H8:). $hem ob -bn Pal:uera?s Moreh ha-moreh consists of 6 #arts;(1) a #hi!oso#hica! e1#!anation of the Moreh( (2) a descri#tion of the contents of the cha#ters of the Moreh( 7art '( i.-!$ii. (7res urg( 1H2J); (6) +orrections of ' n Ti on's $ersion. "e wrote the oo) for himse!f( that in o!d age he might ha$e a means of refreshing his memory. The study of science and #hi!oso#hy is to e recommended( ut on!y to those who ha$e had a good training in <the fear of sin.< ' n 9oshd (*$erroes) is fre-uent!y -uoted( and referred to as he-akam hanizkar (the #hi!oso#her mentioned a o$e). $hem-ob ben Joseph ben $hem-ob had the commentary of &fodi efore him( which he seems to ha$e -uoted fre-uent!y "erbatim without naming him. 'n the #reface he dwe!!s on the merits of the Moreh as the >ust mediator etween re!igion and #hi!oso#hy. The commentary of %hem-to h is #rofuse( and inc!udes a!most a #ara#hrase of the te1t. "e a#o!ogises in conc!usion for ha$ing written many su#erf!uous notes and added e1#!anation where no e1#!anation was re-uired; his e1cuse is that he did not on!y intend to write a commentary (biur) ut a!so a wor) com#!ete in itse!f (ibbur). "e often ca!!s the reader's attention to things which are #!ain and c!ear. $hem-ob -bn $hem-ob( in $efer ha-emunot (Aerrara( 1::5)( criticises some of the $arious theories discussed in the Moreh( and re>ects them as heretic. "is o >ections were e1amined y Moses *!-ash)ar( and answered in .asa ot al mah she-katab 'abbi $hem-ob ne ed ha-'ambam (Aerrara( 1::5).

$alomon b2 Jehudah ha-nasi wrote in 2ermany $itre-torah( a )a a!istic commentary on the Moreh( and dedicated it to his #u#i! Jaco . %amue! (M%. 4et-ha-midrash( =ondon). )abrizi. The twenty-fi$e 7ro#ositions forming the introduction to 7art 2( ha$e een fu!!y e1#!ained y Mohammed * u- ecr en Mohammed a!-ta ri,i. "is *ra ic e1#!anations ha$e een trans!ated y 'saac . Fathan of Ma>orca into "e rew (Aerraro( 1::5). *t the end the fo!!owing eu!ogy is added;--The author of these 7ro#ositions is the chief whose sce#tre is <wisdom< and whose throne is <understanding(< the 'srae!ite #rince( that has enefited his nation and a!! those who !o$e 2od( etc. Moses . Maimon . & ed-e!ohim( the 'srae!ite. . . . May 2od !ead us to the truth. *menR )ishbi. 'n M%. 4od!. 22J9( 1( there are some margina! notes on 7art '''. which are signed Tish i (Feu . +at.). !aya -bn $uleiman wrote in *ra ic a +ommentary on the Guide of the Perplexed. * fragment is contained in the 4er!in M%. ?r. Pu.( ::8( 2 (%teinschneider( +at. Fo. 92). @erayah b2 -saac ha-3e"i. +ommentary on the Moreh( '.( i.-!11i.( and some other #ortions of the wor). (%ee Mas)ir( 1H51( #. 12:). M%. 4od!. 2650( H( contains a !etter of Jehudah . %he!omoh on some #assages of the Moreh( and Terayah's re#!y.

+nonymous &ommentaries.--The M%. 4rit. Mus. 1826 contains margina! and inter!ineary notes in *ra ic. Fo author or date is gi$en( nor is any other commentary referred to in the notes. The e1#!anations gi$en are most!y #receded y a -uestion( and introduced y the #hrase( <the answer is(< in the same sty!e as is em#!oyed in the "e rew-*ra ic Midrash( M%. 4rit. Mus. ?r. 2216. The Midrashic character is #rominent in the notes. Thus the $erse <?#en( ye gates( that the righteous nation which )ee#eth the truth may enter in(< is e1#!ained as meaning; ?#en( ye gates of wisdom( that human understanding that #ercei$eth truth may enter. The notes are numerous( es#ecia!!y in the first #art( e1#!aining a!most e$ery word; e.g.( on <9a i<; 0hy does Maimonides em#!oy this tit!e efore the name of his #u#i!/ The answer is; either the word is not to e ta)en !itera!!y (<master<)( ut as a mere com#!iment( or it has een added y !ater co#yists. ?f a simi!ar sty!e seem to e the *ra ic notes in the 4er!in M%. ?r. ?ct. 2:H( 2( H( so. (+at. %teinschneider( Fo. 10H.)-*nonymous margina!
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notes are met with a!most in e$ery M%. of the Moreh; e.g.( 4rit. Mos. "ar!. ::2:; *dd. 18(J56( 18(J58; 4od!. 1258( '; 22H2( 10; 2826( 6; Munich M%.( 269( 5. The e1#!anation of #assages from the 7entateuch contained in the Moreh ha$e een co!!ected y .. ?ttensosser( and gi$en as an a##endi1 (Moreh-derek) to Derek-selulah (7ent. with +omm. etc.( Aurth( 1H28). 'I. &ontro"ersies.--The seeming!y new ideas #ut forth y Maimonides in the Moreh and in the first section of his Mishneh-torah (%efer ha-madda) soon #roduced a !i$e!y contro$ersy as regards the merits of Maimonides theories. 't was most #er#!e1ing to #ious Ta!mudists to !earn how Maimonides e1#!ained the anthro#omor#hisms em#!oyed in the 4i !e( the Midrashim and the Ta!mud( what he thought a out the future state of our sou!( and that he

considered the study of #hi!oso#hy as the highest degree of .i$ine worshi#( sur#assing e$en the study of the =aw and the #ractice of its #rece#ts. The o >ections and attac)s of .anie! of .amascus were easi!y si!enced y a erem (e1communication) #ronounced against him y the 'osh ha- olah 9a i .a$id. %tronger was the o##osition that had its centre in Mont#e!!ier. 9a i %o!omon en * raham noticed with regret in his own community the fruit of the theories of Maimonides in the neg!ect of the study of the =aw and of the #ractice of the .i$ine #rece#ts. 't ha##ened to Moses Maimonides what in modern times ha##ened to Moses Mende!ssohn. Many so-ca!!ed disci#!es and fo!!owers of the great master misunderstood or misinter#reted his teaching in su##ort of their dere!iction of Jewish !aw and Jewish #ractice( and thus rought disre#ute on him in the eyes of their o##onents. Thus it came that 9a i %o!omon and his disci#!es turned their wrath against the writings of Maimonides instead of com ating the arguments of the #seudo-Maimonists. The !atter e$en accused %o!omon of ha$ing denounced the Moreh and the $efer ha-madda to the .ominicans( who condemned these writings to the f!ames; when su se-uent!y co#ies of the Ta!mud were urnt( and some of the fo!!owers of the 9a i of Mont#e!!ier were su >ected to crue! tortures( the Maimonists saw in this e$ent a >ust #unishment for offending Maimonides. (=etters of "i!!e! of Ierona( emdah Genuzah( ed. ". &de!mann( #. :H s::.). Meir b2 )odros ha-le"i +bulafia wrote a!ready during the !ifetime of Maimonides to the wise men in =une! a out the heretic doctrines he disco$ered in the wor)s of Maimonides. *hron . Meshu!!am and %hesheth 4en$enisti defended Maimonides. * out 1262 a corres#ondence o#ened etween the Maimonists and the *nti-maimonists (2rBt,( 2esch. d. J. $ii. note '). The 2rammarian .a$id 3imi wrote in defence of Maimonides three !etters to Jehudah *!fachar( who answered each of them in the sense of 9a i %o!omon of Mont#e!!ier. * raham . isdai and %amue! . * raham %a#ortas on the side of the Maimonists( too) #art in the contro$ersy. Meshu!!am . 3a!onymos . Todros of Far onne egged *!fachar to treat 3imi with more consideration( whereu#on *!fachar reso!$ed to withdraw from the contro$ersy. Famanides( though more on the side of 9a i %o!omon( wrote two !etters of a conci!iatory character( ad$ising moderation on oth sides. 9e#resentati$es of the congregations of %aragossa( "uesca( Mon,on( 3a!ata>ud( and =erida signed dec!arations against 9. %o!omon. * herem was #roc!aimed from =une! and Far onne against
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the *nti-Maimonists. The son of Maimonides( * raham( wrote a #am#h!et Milamot adonai( in defence of the writings of his father. The contro$ersy raised a out fifty years !ater y * a Man .on *struc and 9. %o!omon en-*deret of 4arce!ona( concerned the Moreh !ess direct!y. The -uestion was of a more genera! character; 's the study of #hi!oso#hy dangerous to the re!igious e!ief of young students/ The !etters written in this contro$ersy are contained in Minat-enaot y * a Mari .on *struc (7res urg( 1H6H)( and 3ita a!rasai! of Meir * u!afia ed. J. 4ri!! (7aris( 1HJ1). Medaya 4edrasi too) #art in this contro$ersy( and wrote %etab hitnalut in defence of the study of #hi!oso#hy (Teshu ot 9ash a( "anau( 1510( #. iii .). The who!e contro$ersy ended in the $ictory of the Moreh and the other writings of Maimonides. %tray remar)s are found in $arious wor)s( some in #raise and some in condemnation of Maimonides. * few instances may suffice.

9a i Jaco &mden in his Mitpaat-sefarim (=em erg( 1HJ0( #. :5) e!ie$es that #arts of the Moreh are s#urious; he e$en dou ts whether any #ortion of it is the wor) of <Maimonides( the author of the Mishneh-torah( who was not ca#a !e of writing such heretic doctrines(< %. .. =u,,ato regards Maimonides with great re$erence( ut this does not #re$ent him from se$ere!y criticising his #hi!oso#hica! theories (=etters to %. 9a##o#ort( Fo. J9( H6( 255( - eroth $hedal ed. &. 2ra er( 7remysG!( 1HH2)( and from e1#ressing his con$iction that the saying <Arom Moses to Moses none rose !i)e Moses(< was as untrue as that suggested y 9a##o#ort( <Arom * raham to * raham (' n-&,ra) none rose !i)e * raham.< 9a i "irsch +hayyuth in Darke-Mosheh (To!)iew( :H80) e1amines the attac)s made u#on the writings of Maimonides( and tries to refute them( and to show that they can e reconci!ed with the teaching of the Ta!mud. The 4od!. M%. 2280( 6a( contains a document signed y Josse!man and other 9a is( dec!aring that they acce#t the teaching of Maimonides as correct( with the e1ce#tion of his theory a out ange!s and sacrifices. Fumerous #oems were written( oth in admiration and in condemnation of the Moreh. Most of them #recede or fo!!ow the Moreh in the #rinted editions and in the $arious M%. co#ies of the wor). * few ha$e een edited in Dibre-akamim( ##. J: and H5; in the =iteratur !att d. ?r. '. 6J9( ''. 25-2J( 'I. J8H( and 3eket-shoshannim y .r. 2rBt,. 'n the $ammelband of the Me)i,e Firdamim (1HH:) a co!!ection of 59 of these #oems is contained( edited and e1#!ained y 7rof. .r. *. 4er!iner. 'n imitation of the Moreh and with a $iew of dis#!acing Maimonides wor)( the 3araite *hron ''. . &!iah wrote a #hi!oso#hica! treatise( #-ayyim (&d. A. .e!it,sch. =ei#,ig( 1H81). ?f the wor)s that discuss the who!e or #art of the #hi!oso#hica! system of the Moreh the fo!!owing are noteworthy;-4acher( 0. .ie 4i i!e1egese Moses Maim_ni's( in the Jahres ericht der =andes 9a inerschu!e ,u 4uda7est. 1H95. &is!er( M. Ior!esungen S er die >Sdischen 7hi!oso#hers des Mitte!a!ters. * thei!. ''.( Moses Maimonides (0ien( 1HJ0). 2eiger( *. .as Judenthum u. seine 2eschichte (4res!au( 1H5:)( Tehnte Ior!esung; * en &,ra u. Maimonides. 2rBt,( ". 2eschichte d. Juden( I'. #. 656 s::. Joe!( M. 9e!igions#hi!oso#hie des Moses . Maimon (4res!au( 1H:9). Joe!( M. *! ertus Magnus u. seim IorhB!tniss ,u Maimonides (4res!au( 1H56).
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3aufmann( .. 2eschichte der *ttri uten!ehre( I''. 2otha( 1HJ8. 7hi!i##sohn( =. .ie 7hi!oso#hie des Maimonides. 7redigt und %chu!-Maga,in( '. 1$iii. (Magde urg( 1H68.) 9osin( .. .ie &thi) d. Maimonides (4res!au( 1HJ5).

9u in( %. %#ino,a u. Maimonides( ein 7sycho!ogisch-7hi!oso#hisches *ntitheton (0ien( 1H5H). %cheyer( %. .as #sycho!ogische %ystem des Maimonides. Aran)fort-a.-M.( 1H8:. 0eiss( T. ". ;eth-)almud( '. 1. #. 2H9. .a$id Me!!in and 'srae! * rahams( Maimonides.

Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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'T is the o >ect of this wor) <to afford a guide for the #er#!e1ed(< i.e. <to thin)ers whose studies ha$e rought them into co!!ision with re!igion< (#. 9)( <who ha$e studied #hi!oso#hy and ha$e ac-uired sound )now!edge( and who( whi!e firm in re!igions matters( are #er#!e1ed and ewi!dered on account of the am iguous and figurati$e e1#ressions em#!oyed in the ho!y writings (#. :). Jose#h( the son of Jehudah ' n *)nin( a disci#!e of Maimonides( is addressed y his teacher as an e1am#!e of this )ind of students. 't was <for him and for those !i)e him< that the treatise was com#osed( and to him this wor) is inscri ed in the dedicatory !etter with which the 'ntroduction egins. Maimonides( ha$ing disco$ered that his disci#!e was sufficient!y ad$anced for an e1#osition of the esoteric ideas in the oo)s of the 7ro#hets( commenced to gi$e him such e1#ositions < y way of hints.< "is disci#!e then egged him to gi$e him further e1#!anations( to treat of meta#hysica! themes( and to e1#ound the system and the method of the 3a!`m( or Mohammedan Theo!ogy. 1 'n com#!iance with this re-uest( Maimonides com#osed the 2uide of the 7er#!e1ed. The reader has( therefore( to e1#ect that the su >ects mentioned in the disci#!e's re-uest indicate the design and arrangement of the #resent wor)( and that the 2uide consists of the fo!!owing #arts;--1. *n e1#osition of the esoteric ideas (sodot) in the oo)s of the 7ro#hets. 2. * treatment of certain meta#hysica! #ro !ems. 6. *n e1amination of the system and method of the 3a!`m. This( in fact( is a correct account of the contents of the oo); ut in the second #art of the 'ntroduction( in which the theme of this wor) is defined( the author mentions on!y the first-named su >ect. "e o ser$es <My #rimary o >ect is to e1#!ain certain terms occurring in the #ro#hetic oo). ?f these some are homonymous( some figurati$e( and some hy rid terms.< <This wor) has a!so a second o >ect. 't is designed to e1#!ain certain o scure figures which occur in the 7ro#hets( and are not distinct!y characterised as eing figures< (#. 2). Met from this o ser$ation it must not e inferred that Maimonides a andoned his origina! #ur#ose; for he e1amines the 3a!`m in the !ast cha#ters of the Airst 7art (ch. !11.-!11$i.)( and treats of certain meta#hysica! themes in the eginning of the %econd 7art ('ntrod. and ch. i.-11$.). 4ut in the #assage -uoted a o$e he confines himse!f to a de!ineation of the main o >ect of this treatise( and ad$ised!y !ea$es unmentioned the other two su >ects( which( howe$er im#ortant they may e( are here of su ordinate interest. For did he consider it necessary to e1#atiate on these su >ects; he on!y wrote for the student( for whom a mere reference to wor)s on #hi!oso#hy and science was

sufficient. 0e therefore meet now and then with such #hrases as the fo!!owing <This is fo!!y discussed in wor)s on meta#hysics.< 4y references of this )ind the author may ha$e intended so create a taste for the study of #hi!oso#hica! wor)s. 4ut our o ser$ation on!y ho!ds good with regard to the *ristote!ian #hi!oso#hy.
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The writings of the Muta)a!!emim are ne$er commended y him; he states their o#inions( and te!!s his disci#!e that he wou!d not find any additiona! argument( e$en if he were to read a!! their $o!uminous wor)s (#. 166). Maimonides was a ,ea!ous disci#!e of *ristot!e( a!though the theory of the 3a!`m might seem to ha$e een more congenia! to Jewish thought and e!ief. The 3a!`m u#he!d the theory of 2od's &1istence( 'ncor#orea!ity( and @nity( together with the creatio ex nihilo. Maimonides ne$erthe!ess o##osed the 3a!`m( and( antici#ating the -uestion( why #reference shou!d e gi$en to the system of *ristot!e( which inc!uded the theory of the &ternity of the @ni$erse( a theory contrary to the fundamenta! teaching of the %cri#tures( he e1#osed the wea)ness of the 3a!`m and its fa!!acies.
C#aragra#h continuesD

The e1#osition of %cri#tura! te1ts is di$ided y the author into two #arts the first #art treats of homonymous( figurati$e( and hy rid terms( 1 em#!oyed in reference to 2od; the second #art re!ates to 4i !ica! figures and a!!egories. These two #arts do not c!ose!y fo!!ow each other; they are se#arated y the e1amination of the 3a!`m( and the discussion of meta#hysica! #ro !ems. 't seems that the author ado#ted this arrangement for the fo!!owing reason first of a!!( he intended to esta !ish the fact that the 4i !ica! anthro#omor#hisms do not im#!y cor#orea!ity( and that the .i$ine 4eing of whom the 4i !e s#ea)s cou!d therefore e regarded as identica! with the 7rima! +ause of the #hi!oso#hers. "a$ing esta !ished this #rinci#!e( he discusses from a #ure!y meta#hysica! #oint of $iew the #ro#erties of the 7rima! +ause and its re!ation to the uni$erse. * so!id foundation is thus esta !ished for the esoteric e1#osition of %cri#tura! #assages. 4efore discussing meta#hysica! #ro !ems( which he treats in accordance with *ristote!ian #hi!oso#hy( he dis#oses of the 3a!`m( and demonstrates that its arguments are i!!ogica! and i!!usory. The <2uide for the 7er#!e1ed< contains( therefore( an 'ntroduction and the fo!!owing four #arts;--1. ?n homonymous( figurati$e( and hy rid terms( 2. ?n the %u#reme 4eing and "is re!ation to the uni$erse( according to the 3a!`m. 6. ?n the 7rima! +ause and its re!ation to the uni$erse( according to the #hi!oso#hers. 8. &soteric e1#osition of some #ortions of the 4i !e (sodot) a. Maaseh bereshith( or the history of the +reation (2enesis( ch. i-i$ .); b. on 7ro#hecy; c. Maaseh mercabhah( or the descri#tion of the di$ine chariot (&,e)ie!( ch. i.). *ccording to this #!an( the wor) ends with the se$enth cha#ter of the Third 7art. The cha#ters which fo!!ow may e considered as an a##endi1; they treat of the fo!!owing theo!ogica! themes the &1istence of &$i!( ?mniscience and 7ro$idence( Tem#tations( .esign in Fature( in the =aw( and in the 4i !ica! Farrati$es( and fina!!y the true 0orshi# of 2od.

'n the 'ntroduction to the <2uide(< Maimonides (1) descri es the o >ect of the wor) and the method he has fo!!owed; (2) treats of simi!es; (6) gi$es <directions for the study of the wor)<; and (8) discusses the usua! causes of inconsistencies in authors. 1 (##. 2-6). 'n-uiring into the root of the e$i! which the 2uide was intended to remo$e( $i,.( the conf!ict etween science and re!igion( the author #ercei$ed that in most cases it originated in a misinter#retation of the anthro#omor#hisms in "o!y 0rit. 'The main difficu!ty is found in the am iguity of the words em#!oyed y the #ro#hets when s#ea)ing of the .i$ine 4eing; the -uestion arises whether they are a##!ied to the .eity and to other things in one and the same sense or e-ui$oca!!y; in the !atter case the author distinguishes etween homonyms #ure and sim#!e( figures( and hy rid terms. 'n order to show that the 4i !ica! anthro#omor#hisms do not im#!y the cor#orea!ity of the .eity( he see)s in each instance to demonstrate that the e1#ression under e1amination
#. 1!i

is a #erfect homonym denoting things which are tota!!y distinct from each other( and whene$er such a demonstration is im#ossi !e( he assumes that the e1#ression is a hy rid term( that is( eing em#!oyed in one instance figurati$e!y and in another homonymous!y. "is e1#!anation of <form< (elem) may ser$e as an i!!ustration. *ccording to his o#inion( it in$aria !y denotes <form< in the #hi!oso#hica! acce#tation of the term( $i,.( the com#!e1 of the essentia! #ro#erties of a thing. 4ut to o $iate o >ections he #ro#oses an a!ternati$e $iew( to ta)e elem as a hy rid term that may e e1#!ained as a c!ass noun denoting on!y things of the same c!ass( or as a homonym em#!oyed for tota!!y different things( $i,.( <form< in the #hi!oso#hica! sense( and <form< in the ordinary meaning of the word. Maimonides seems to ha$e refrained from e1#!aining anthro#omor#hisms as figurati$e e1#ressions( !est y such inter#retation he might im#!icit!y admit the e1istence of a certain re!ation and com#arison etween the +reator and "is creatures. Jewish #hi!oso#hers efore Maimonides enunciated and demonstrated the @nity and the 'ncor#orea!ity of the .i$ine 4eing( and inter#reted %cri#tura! meta#hors on the #rinci#!e that <the =aw s#ea)s in the !anguage of man< ut our author ado#ted a new and a!together origina! method. The +ommentators( when treating of anthro#omor#hisms( genera!!y contented themse!$es with the statement that the term under consideration must not e ta)en in its !itera! sense( or they #ara#hrased the #assage in e1#ressions which im#!ied a !esser degree of cor#orea!ity. The Ta!mud( the Midrashim( and the Targumim a ound in #ara#hrases of this )ind. %aadiah in <#munot "e-deot(< 4ahya in his <obot ha-lebabot(< and Jehudah ha-!e$i in the <&usari(< insist on the necessity and the a##ro#riateness of such inter#retations. %aadiah enumerates ten terms which #rimari!y denote organs of the human ody( and are figurati$e!y a##!ied to 2od. To esta !ish this #oint of $iew he cites numerous instances in which the terms in -uestion are used in a figurati$e sense without eing a##!ied to 2od. %aadiah further shows that the .i$ine attri utes are either -ua!ifications of such of 2od's actions as are #ercei$ed y man( or they im#!y a negation. The correctness of this method was he!d to e so o $ious that some authors found it necessary to a#o!ogi,e to the reader for introducing such we!!-)nown to#ics. Arom 9. * raham en .a$id's strictures on the Mad haa,a)ah it is( howe$er( e$ident that in the days of Maimonides #ersons were not wanting who defended the !itera! inter#retation of certain anthro#omor#hisms.

Maimonides( therefore( did not content himse!f with the $ague and genera! ru!e( <The =aw s#ea)s in the !anguage of man(< ut sought carefu!!y to define the meaning of each term when a##!ied to 2od( and to identify it with some transcendenta! and meta#hysica! term. 'n #ursuing this course he is sometimes forced to $enture u#on an inter#retation which is much too far-fetched to commend itse!f e$en to the su##osed #hi!oso#hica! reader. 'n such instances he genera!!y adds a sim#!e and #!ain e1#!anation( and !ea$es it to the o#tion of the reader to choose the one which a##ears to him #refera !e. The enumeration of the different meanings of a word is often( from a #hi!o!ogica! #oint of $iew( incom#!ete; he introduces on!y such significations as ser$e his o >ect. 0hen treating of an im#erfect homonym( the se$era! significations of which are deri$ed from one #rimary signification( he a##arent!y fo!!ows a certain system which he does not em#!oy in the inter#retation of #erfect homonyms. The homonymity of the term is not #ro$ed; the author confines himse!f to the remar)( <'t is em#!oyed homonymous!y(< e$en when the $arious meanings of a word might easi!y e traced to a common source. 2 (#ag. 8-H). 'n addition to the e1#!anation of homonyms Maimonides underta)es to inter#ret simi!es and a!!egories. *t first it had een his intention to write two distinct wor)s--$efer ha-nebuah( <* 4oo) on 7ro#hecy(< and $efer ha-she"aah( <* 4oo) of 9econci!iation.< 'n the former wor) he had intended
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to e1#!ain difficu!t #assages of the 4i !e( and in the !atter to e1#ound such #assages in the Midrash and the Ta!mud as seemed to e in conf!ict with common sense. 0ith res#ect to the <4oo) of 9econci!iation(< he a andoned his #!an( ecause he a##rehended that neither the !earned nor the un!earned wou!d #rofit y it the one wou!d find it su#erf!uous( the other tedious. The su >ect of the <4oo) on 7ro#hecy< is treated in the #resent wor)( and a!so strange #assages that occasiona!!y occur in the Ta!mud and the Midrash are e1#!ained. The treatment of the simi!e must $ary according as the simi!e is com#ound or sim#!e. 'n the first case( each #art re#resents a se#arate idea and demands a se#arate inter#retation; in the other case( on!y one idea is re#resented( and it is not necessary to assign to each #art a se#arate meta#horica! meaning. This di$ision the author i!!ustrates y citing the dream of Jaco (2en. 11$iii. 12 s::.)( and the descri#tion of the adu!teress (7ro$. $ii. 5 s::.). "e gi$es no ru!e y which it might e ascertained to which of the two categories a simi!e e!ongs( and( !i)e other +ommentators( he seems to treat as essentia! those detai!s of a simi!e for which he can offer an ade-uate inter#retation. *s a genera! #rinci#!e( he warns against the confusion and the errors which arise when an attem#t is made to e1#ound e$ery sing!e detai! of a simi!e. "is own e1#!anations are not intended to e e1hausti$e; on the contrary( they are to consist of rief a!!usions to the idea re#resented y the simi!e( of mere suggestions( which the reader is e1#ected to de$e!o# and to com#!ete. The author thus as#ires to fo!!ow in the wa)e of the +reator( whose wor)s can on!y e understood after a !ong and #erse$ering study. Met it is #ossi !e that he deri$ed his #reference for a reser$ed and mysterious sty!e from the e1am#!e of ancient #hi!oso#hers( who discussed meta#hysica! #ro !ems in figurati$e and enigmatic !anguage. =i)e ' n &,ra( who fre-uent!y conc!udes his e1#osition of a 4i !ica! #assage with the #hrase( <"ere a #rofound idea (sod) is hidden(< Maimonides somewhat mysterious!y remar)s at the end of different cha#ters(

<Fote this(< <+onsider it we!!.< 'n such #hrases some +ommentators fancied that they found references to meta#hysica! theories which the author was not wi!!ing fu!!y to discuss. 0hether this was the case or not( in ha$ing recourse to that method he was not( as some ha$e suggested( actuated y fear of eing charged with heresy. "e e1#resses his o#inion on the #rinci#a! theo!ogica! -uestions without reser$e( and does not dread the searching in-uiries of o##onents; for he o!d!y announces that their dis#!easure wou!d not deter him from teaching the truth and guiding those who are a !e and wi!!ing to fo!!ow him( howe$er few these might e. 0hen( howe$er( we e1amine the wor) itse!f( we are at a !oss to disco$er to which #arts the #rofessed enigmatic method was a##!ied. "is theories concerning the .eity( the .i$ine attri utes( ange!s( creatio ex nihilo( #ro#hecy( and other su >ects( are treated as fu!!y as might e e1#ected. 't is true that a c!oud of mysterious #hrases enshrouds the inter#retation of Maaseh bereshit (2en. i-iii.) and Ma/aseh mercabah (&,. i.). 4ut the significant words occurring in these #ortions are e1#!ained in the Airst 7art of this wor)( and a fu!! e1#osition is found in the %econd and Third 7arts. Fe$erthe!ess the statement that the e1#osition was ne$er intended to e e1#!icit occurs o$er and o$er again. The treatment of the first three cha#ters of 2enesis conc!udes thus; <These remar)s( together with what we ha$e a!ready o ser$ed on the su >ect( and what we may ha$e to add( must suffice oth for the o >ect and for the reader we ha$e in $iew< (''. 111.). 'n !i)e manner( he dec!ares( after the e1#!anation of the first cha#ter of &,e)ie! <' ha$e gi$en you here as many suggestions as may e of ser$ice to you( if you wi!! gi$e them a further de$e!o#ment. . . . .o not e1#ect to hear from me anything more on this su >ect( for ' ha$e( though with some hesitation( gone as far in my e1#!anation as ' #ossi !y cou!d go< ('''. $ii.). 6 (#ag. H-9)( 'n the ne1t #aragra#h( headed( <.irections for the %tudy of
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this 0or)(< he im#!ores the reader not to e hasty with his +riticism( and to ear in mind that e$ery sentence( indeed e$ery word( had een fu!!y considered efore it was written down. Met it might easi!y ha##en that the reader cou!d not reconci!e his own $iew with that of the author( and in such a case he is as)ed to ignore the disa##ro$ed cha#ter or section a!together. %uch disa##ro$a! Maimonides attri utes to a mere misconce#tion on the #art of the reader( a fate which awaits e$ery wor) com#osed in a mystica! sty!e. 'n ado#ting this #ecu!iar sty!e( he intended to reduce to a minimum the $io!ation of the ru!e !aid down in the Mishnah (a i ah ii. i)( that meta#hysics shou!d not e taught #u !ic!y. The $io!ation of this ru!e he >ustifies y citing the fo!!owing two Mishnaic ma1ims; <'t is time to do something in honour of the =ord< (4era)ot i1. :)( and <=et a!! thy acts e guided y #ure intentions< (* ot ii. i J). Maimonides increased the mysteriousness of the treatise( y e1#ressing his wish that the reader shou!d a stain from e1#ounding the wor)( !est he might s#read in the name of the author o#inions which the !atter ne$er he!d. 4ut it does not occur to him that the $iews he enunciates might in themse!$es e erroneous. "e is #ositi$e that his own theory is une1ce#tiona!!y correct( that his esoteric inter#retations of %cri#tura! te1ts are sound( and that those who differed from him--$i,.( the Muta)a!!emim on the one hand( and the un#hi!oso#hica! 9a is on the other--are indefensi !y wrong. 'n this res#ect other Jewish #hi!oso#hers--e.g. %aadiah and 4aya--were far !ess #ositi$e; they were conscious

of their own fa!!i i!ity( and in$ited the reader to ma)e such corrections as might a##ear needfu!. ?wing to this strong se!f-re!iance of Maimonides( it is not to e e1#ected that o##onents wou!d recei$e a fair and im#artia! >udgment at his hands. 8 (#ag. 9-11). The same se!f-re!iance is noticea !e in the ne1t and conc!uding #aragra#h of the 'ntroduction. "ere he treats of the contradictions which are to e found in !iterary wor)s( and he di$ides them with regard to their origin into se$en c!asses. The first four c!asses com#rise the a##arent contradictions( which can e traced ac) to the em#!oyment of e!!i#tica! s#eech the other three c!asses com#rise the rea! contradictions( and are due to care!essness and o$ersight( or they are intended to ser$e some s#ecia! #ur#ose. The %cri#tures( the Ta!mud( and the Midrash a ound in instances of a##arent contradictions; !ater wor)s contain rea! contradictions( which esca#ed the notice of the writers. 'n the #resent treatise( howe$er( there occur on!y such contradictions as are the resu!t of intention and design. P+'T $. The homonymous e1#ressions which are discussed in the Airst 7art inc!ude--(1) nouns and $er s used in reference to 2od( ch. i. to ch. 1!i1.; (2) attri utes of the .eity( ch. 1. to !1.; (6) e1#ressions common!y regarded as names of 2od( ch. !1i. to !11. 'n the first section the fo!!owing grou#s can e distinguished--(a) e1#ressions which denote form and figure( cii. i. to ch. $i.; (b) s#ace or re!ations of s#ace( ch. $iii. to ch. 11$.; (c) #arts of the anima! ody and their functions( ch. 11$iii. to ch. 1!i1. &ach of these grou#s inc!udes cha#ters not connected with the main su >ect( ut which ser$e as a he!# for the etter understanding of #re$ious or succeeding inter#retations. &$ery word se!ected for discussion ears u#on some %cri#tura! te1t which( according to the o#inion of the author( has een misinter#reted. 4ut such #hrases as <the mouth of the =ord(< and <the hand of the =ord(< are not introduced( ecause their figurati$e meaning is too o $ious to e misunderstood. The !engthy digressions which are here and there inter#osed a##ear !i)e out ursts of fee!ing and #assion which the author cou!d not re#ress. Met they are <words fit!y s#o)en in the right #!ace<( for they gradua!!y unfo!d the author's
#. 1!i$

theory( and ac-uaint the reader with those genera! #rinci#!es on which he founds the inter#retations in the succeeding cha#ters. Mora! ref!ections are of fre-uent occurrence( and demonstrate the intimate conne1ion etween a $irtuous !ife and the attainment of higher )now!edge( in accordance with the ma1im current !ong efore Maimonides( and e1#ressed in the 4i !ica! words( <The fear of the =ord is the eginning of wisdom< (7s. c1i. 10). Fo o##ortunity is !ost to incu!cate this !esson( he it in a #assing remar) or in an e!a orate essay. The discussion of the term <elem< (cii. i.) afforded the first occasion for ref!ections of this )ind. Man( <the image of 2od(< is defined as a !i$ing and rationa! eing( as though the mora! facu!ties of man were not an essentia! e!ement of his e1istence( and his #ower to discern etween good and e$i! were the resu!t of the first sin. *ccording to Maimonides( the mora! facu!ty wou!d( us fact( not ha$e een re-uired( if man had remained a #ure!y

rationa! eing. 't is on!y through the senses that <the )now!edge of good and e$i!< has ecome indis#ensa !e. The narrati$e of *dam's fa!! is( according to Maimonides( an a!!egory re#resenting the re!ation which e1ists etween sensation( mora! facu!ty( and inte!!ect. 'n this ear!y #art (ch. ii.)( howe$er( the author does not yet mention this theory; on the contrary( e$ery a!!usion to it is for the #resent studious!y a$oided( its fu!! e1#osition eing reser$ed for the %econd 7art. The treatment of azah <he ehe!d< (ch. $i)( is fo!!owed y the ad$ice that the student shou!d not a##roach meta#hysics otherwise than after a sound and thorough #re#aration( ecause a rash attem#t to so!$e a struse #ro !ems rings nothing ut in>ury u#on the ine1#erienced in$estigator. The author #oints to the <no !es of the chi!dren of 'srae!< (&1od. 11i$. s i)( who( according to his inter#retation( fe!! into this error( and recei$ed their deser$ed #unishment. "e gi$es additiona! force to these e1hortations y citing a dictum of *ristot!e to the same effect. 'n a !i)e way he refers to the a!!egorica! use of certain terms y 7!ato (ch. 1$ii.) in su##ort of his inter#retation of <ur< (!it.( <roc)<) as denoting <7rima! +ause.< The theory that nothing ut a sound mora! and inte!!ectua! training wou!d entit!e a student to engage in meta#hysica! s#ecu!ations is again discussed in the digression which #recedes the third grou# of homonyms (111i.-111$i.). Man's inte!!ectua! facu!ties( he argues( ha$e this in common with his #hysica! forces( that their s#here of action is !imited( and they ecome inefficient whene$er they are o$erstrained. This ha##ens when a student a##roaches meta#hysics without due #re#aration. Maimonides goes on to argue that the non-success of meta#hysica! studies is attri uta !e to the fo!!owing causes; the transcendenta! character of this disci#!ine( the im#erfect state of the student's )now!edge( the #ersistent efforts which ha$e to e made e$en in the #re!iminary studies( and fina!!y the waste of energy and time owing to the #hysica! demands of man. Aor these reasons the ma>ority of #ersons are de arred from #ursuing the study of meta#hysics. Fe$erthe!ess( there are certain meta#hysica! truths which ha$e to e communicated to a!! men( e.g.( that 2od is ?ne( and that "e is incor#orea!; for to assume that 2od is cor#orea!( or that "e has any #ro#erties( or to ascri e to "im any attri utes( is a sin ordering on ido!atry. *nother digression occurs as an a##endi1 to the second grou# of homonyms (ch. 11$i.11$ii.). Maimonides found that on!y a !imited num er of terms are a##!ied to 2od in a figurati$e sense; and again( that in the <Targum< of ?n)e!os some of the figures are #ara#hrased( whi!e other figures recei$ed a !itera! rendering. "e therefore see)s to disco$er the #rinci#!e which was a##!ied oth in the %acred Te1t and in the trans!ation( and he found it in the Ta!mudica! dictum( <The =aw s#ea)eth the !anguage of man.< Aor this reason a!! figures are eschewed which( in their !itera! sense( wou!d a##ear to the mu!titude as im#!ying de asement or a !emish. ?n)e!os( who rigorous!y guards himse!f
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against using any term that might suggest cor#orification( gi$es a !itera! rendering of figurati$e terms when there is no cause for entertaining such an a##rehension. Maimonides i!!ustrates this ru!e y the mode in which ?n)e!os renders <yarad< (<he went down(<)( when used in reference to 2od. 't is genera!!y #ara#hrased( ut in one e1ce#tiona! instance(

occurring in Jaco 's <$isions of the night< (2en. 1!$i. i)( it is trans!ated !itera!!y; in this instance the !itera! rendering does not !ead to cor#orification; ecause $isions and dreams were genera!!y regarded as menta! o#erations( de$oid of o >ecti$e rea!ity. %im#!e and c!ear as this e1#!anation may e( we do not consider that it rea!!y e1#!ains the method of ?n)e!os. ?n the contrary( the trans!ator #ara#hrased anthro#omor#hic terms( e$en when he found them in #assages re!ating to dreams or $isions; and indeed it is dou tfu! whether Maimonides cou!d #roduce a sing!e instance( in fa$our of his $iew. "e was e-ua!!y unsuccessfu! in his e1#!anation of <azah< <he saw< (ch. 1!$iii.). "e says that when the o >ect of the $ision was derogatory( it was not rought into direct re!ation with the .eity; in such instances the $er is #ara#hrased( whi!e in other instances the rendering is !itera!. *!though Maimonides grants that the force of this o ser$ation is wea)ened y three e1ce#tions( he does not dou t its correctness. The ne1t %ection (ch. !. to ch. !i1.) <?n the .i$ine *ttri utes< egins with the e1#!anation that <faith< consists in thought( not in mere utterance; in con$iction( not in mere #rofession. This e1#!anation forms the asis for the su se-uent discussion. The se$era! arguments ad$anced y Maimonides against the em#!oyment of attri utes are intended to show that those who assume the rea! e1istence of .i$ine attri utes may #ossi !y utter with their !i#s the creed of the @nity and the 'ncor#orea!ity of 2od( ut they cannot tru!y e!ie$e it. * demonstration of this fact wou!d e need!ess( if the *ttri utists had not #ut forth their fa!se theses and defended them with the utmost tenacity( though with the most a surd arguments. *fter this e1#!anation the author #roceeds to discuss the im#ro#riety of assigning attri utes to 2od. The *ttri utists admit that 2od is the 7rima! +ause( ?ne( incor#orea!( free from emotion and #ri$ation( and that "e is not com#ara !e to any of "is creatures( Maimonides therefore contends that any attri utes which( either direct!y or indirect!y( are in contradiction to this creed( shou!d not e a##!ied to 2od. 4y this ru!e he re>ects four c!asses of attri utes $i,.( those which inc!ude a definition( a #artia! definition( a -ua!ity( or a re!ation. The definition of a thing inc!udes its efficient +ause; and since 2od is the 7rima! +ause( "e cannot e defined( or descri ed y a #artia! definition. * -ua!ity( whether #sychica!( #hysica!( emotiona!( or -uantitati$e( is a!ways regarded as something distinct from its su stratum; a thing which #ossesses any -ua!ity( consists( therefore( of that -ua!ity and a su stratum( and shou!d not e ca!!ed one. *!! re!ations of time and s#ace im#!y cor#orea!ity; a!! re!ations etween two o >ects are( to a certain degree( a com#arison etween these two o >ects. To em#!oy any of these attri utes in reference to 2od wou!d e as much as to dec!are that 2od is not the 7rima! +ause( that "e is not ?ne( that "e is cor#orea!( or that "e is com#ara !e to "is creatures. There is on!y one c!ass of attri utes to which Maimonides ma)es no o >ection( $i,( such as descri e actions( and to this c!ass e!ong a!! the .i$ine attri utes which occur in the %cri#tures. The <Thirteen *ttri utes< (shelosh esreh middot( &1od. 111i$. 5( J) ser$e as an i!!ustration. They were communicated to Moses when he( as the chief of the 'srae!ites( wished to )now the way in which 2od go$erns the uni$erse( in order that he himse!f in ru!ing the nation might fo!!ow it( and there y #romote their rea! we!!- eing. ?n the who!e( the o##onents of Maimonides admit the correctness of this theory. ?n!y a sma!! num er of attri utes are the su >ect of dis#ute. The

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%cri#tures un-uestiona !y ascri e to 2od &1istence( =ife( 7ower( 0isdom( @nity( &ternity( and 0i!!. The *ttri utists regard these as #ro#erties distinct from( ut coe1isting with( the &ssence of 2od. 0ith great acumen( and with e-ua!!y great acer ity( Maimonides shows that their theory is irreconci!a !e with their e!ief in the @nity and the 'ncor#orea!ity of 2od. "e #oints out three different ways of inter#reting these attri utes;--1. They may e regarded as descri#ti$e of the wor)s of 2od( and as dec!aring that these #ossess such #ro#erties as( in wor)s of man( wou!d a##ear to e the resu!t of the wi!!( the #ower( and the wisdom of a !i$ing eing. 2. The term <e1isting(< <one(< <wise(< etc.( are a##!ied to 2od and to "is creatures homonymous!y; as attri utes of 2od they coincide with "is &ssence; as attri utes of anything eside 2od they are distinct from the essence of the thing. 6. These terms do not descri e a #ositi$e -ua!ity( ut e1#ress a negation of its o##osite. This third inter#retation a##ears to ha$e een #referred y the author; he discusses it more fu!!y than the two others. "e o ser$es that the )now!edge of the incom#rehensi !e 4eing is so!e!y of a negati$e character( and he shows y sim#!e and a##ro#riate e1am#!es that an a##ro1imate )now!edge of a thing can e attained y mere negations( that such )now!edge increases with the num er of these negations( and that an error in #ositi$e assertions is more in>urious than an error in negati$e assertions. 'n descri ing the e$i!s which arise from the a##!ication of #ositi$e attri utes to 2od( he uns#aring!y censures the hymno!ogists( ecause he found them #rofuse in attri uting #ositi$e e#ithets to the .eity. ?n the asis of his own theory he cou!d easi!y ha$e inter#reted these e#ithets in the same way as he e1#!ains the %cri#tura! attri utes of 2od. "is se$erity may( howe$er( e accounted for y the fact that the fre-uent recurrence of #ositi$e attri utes in the !iterary com#osition of the Jews was the cause that the Mohammedans charged the Jews with entertaining fa!se notions of the .eity.
C#aragra#h continuesD

The in-uiry into the attri utes is fo!!owed y a treatment of the names of 2od. 't seems to ha$e een eyond the design of the author to e!ucidate the etymo!ogy of each name( or to esta !ish methodica!!y its signification; for he does not su##ort his e1#!anations y any #roof. "is so!e aim is to show that the %cri#tura! names of 2od in their true meaning strict!y harmoni,e with the #hi!oso#hica! conce#tion of the 7rima! +ause. There are two things which ha$e so e distinguished in the treatment of the 7rima! +ause the 7rima! +ause per se( and its re!ation to the @ni$erse. The first is e1#ressed y the tetragrammaton and its cognates( the second y the se$era! attri utes( es#ecia!!y y rokeb baarabot( <"e who rideth on the arabot< (7s. !1$iii. 8) The tetragrammaton e1c!usi$e!y e1#resses the essence of 2od( and therefore it is em#!oyed as a nomen proprium. 'n the mystery of this name( and others mentioned in she Ta!mud( as consisting of twe!$e and of forty-two !etters( Maimonides finds no other secret than the so!ution of some meta#hysica! #ro !ems. The su >ect of these #ro !ems is not actua!!y )nown( ut the author su##oses that it referred to the <a so!ute e1istence of the .eity.< "e disco$ers the same idea in ehyeh (&1od. iii. 18)( in accordance with the e1#!anation added in the %acred Te1t; asher ehyeh( <that is( ' am.< 'n the course of this discussion he e1#oses the fo!!y or sinfu!ness of those who #retend to wor) mirac!es y the aid of these and simi!ar names.

0ith a $iew of #re#aring the way for his #ecu!iar inter#retation of rokeb baarabot( he e1#!ains a $ariety of %cri#tura! #assages( and treats of se$era! #hi!oso#hica! terms re!ati$e to the %u#reme 4eing. %uch e1#ressions as <the word of 2od(< <the wor) of 2od(< <the wor) of "is fingers(< <"e made(< <"e s#a)e(< must e ta)en in a figurati$e sense; they mere!y re#resent 2od as the cause that some wor) has een #roduced( and that some #erson has ac-uired
#. 1!$ii

a certain )now!edge. The #assage( <*nd "e rested on the se$enth day< (&1od. 11. ii) is inter#reted as fo!!ows; ?n the se$enth .ay the forces and !aws were com#!ete( which during the #re$ious si1 days were in the state of eing esta !ished for the #reser$ation of the @ni$erse. They were not to e increased or modified. 't seems that Maimonides introduced this figurati$e e1#!anation with a $iew of showing that the %cri#tura! <2od< does not differ from the <7rima! +ause< or <&$er-acti$e 'nte!!ect< of the #hi!oso#hers. ?n the other hand( the !atter do not re>ect the @nity of 2od( a!though they assume that the 7rima! +ause com#rises the causa efficiens( the a ens( and the causa finalis (or( the cause( the means( and the end); and that the &$er-acti$e 'nte!!ect com#rises the intelli ens( the intellectus( and the intellectum (or( the thin)ing su >ect( the act or thought( and the o >ect thought of); ecause in this case these a##arent!y different e!ements are( in fact( identica!. The 4i !ica! term corres#onding to <7rima! +ause< is rokeb baarabot( <riding on arabot.< Maimonides is at #ains to #ro$e that arabot denotes <the highest s#here(< which causes the motion of a!! other s#heres( and which thus rings a out the natura! course of #roduction and destruction. 4y <the highest s#here< he does not understand a materia! s#here( ut the immateria! wor!d of inte!!igences and ange!s( <the seat of >ustice and >udgment( stores of !ife( #eace( and !essings( the seat of the sou!s of the righteous(< etc. 9o)e a'ara ot( therefore( means "e #resides o$er the immateria! eings( "e is the source of their #owers( y which they mo$e the s#heres and regu!ate the course of nature. This theory is more fu!!y de$e!o#ed in the %econd 7art. The ne1t section (cha#. !11i.-!11$i.) treats of the 3a!`m. *ccording to the author( the method of the 3a!`m is co#ied from the +hristian Aathers( who a##!ied it in the defence of their re!igious doctrines. The !atter e1amined in their writings the $iews of the #hi!oso#hers( ostensi !y in search of truth( in rea!ity( howe$er( with the o >ect of su##orting their own dogmas. %u se-uent!y Mohammedan theo!ogians found in these wor)s arguments which seemed to confirm the truth of their own re!igion; they !ind!y ado#ted these arguments( and made no in-uiry whence these had een deri$ed. Maimonides re>ects A priori the theories of the Muta)a!!emim( ecause they e1#!ain the #henomena in the uni$erse in conformity with #reconcei$ed notions( instead of fo!!owing the scientific method of the #hi!oso#hers. *mong the Jews( es#ecia!!y in the &ast and in *frica( there were a!so some who ado#ted the method of the 3a!`m; in doing so they fo!!owed the MuGta,i!ah (dissenting Mohammedans)( not ecause they found it more correct than the 3a!`m of the *shariyah (orthodo1 Mohammedans)( hut ecause at the time when the Jews ecame ac-uainted with the 3a!`m it was on!y cu!ti$ated y the MuQta,i!ah. The Jews in %#ain( howe$er( remained faithfu! to the *ristote!ian #hi!oso#hy.

The four #rinci#a! dogmas u#he!d y the dominant re!igions were the creatio ex nihilo( the &1istence of 2od( "is 'ncor#orea!ity( and "is @nity. 4y the #hi!oso#hers the creatio ex nihilo was re>ected( ut the Muta)a!!emim defended it( and founded u#on it their #roofs for the other three dogmas. Maimonides ado#ts the #hi!oso#hica! #roofs for the &1istence( 'ncor#orea!ity( and @nity of 2od( ecause they must e admitted e$en y those who deny the creatio ex nihilo( the #roofs eing inde#endent of this dogma. 'n order to show that the Muta)a!!emim are mista)en in ignoring the organi,ation of the e1isting order of things( the author gi$es a minute descri#tion of the ana!ogy etween the @ni$erse( or 3osmos( and man( the mi)ro)osmos (ch. !11ii.). This ana!ogy is mere!y asserted( and the reader is ad$ised either to find the #roof y his own studies( or to acce#t the fact on the authority of the !earned. The 3a!`m does not admit the e1istence of !aw( organi,ation( and unity in the uni$erse. 'ts
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adherents ha$e( according!y( no trustworthy criterion to determine whether a thing is #ossi !e or im#ossi !e. &$erything that is concei$a !e y imagination is y them he!d as #ossi !e. The se$era! #arts of the uni$erse are in no re!ation to each other; they a!! consist of e-ua! e!ements; they are not com#osed of su stance and #ro#erties( ut of atoms and accidents the !aw of causa!ity is ignored; man's actions are not the resu!t of wi!! and design( ut are mere accidents. Maimonides in enumerating and discussing the twe!$e fundamenta! #ro#ositions of the 3a!`m (ch. !1iii()( which em ody these theories( had a##arent!y no intention to gi$e a com#!ete and im#artia! account of the 3a!`m; he so!e!y aimed at e1#osing the wea)ness of a system which he regarded as founded not on a sound asis of #ositi$e facts( ut on mere fiction; not on the e$idences of the senses and of reason( ut on the i!!usions of imagination. *fter ha$ing shown that the twe!$e fundamenta! #ro#ositions of the 3a!`m are utter!y untena !e( Maimonides finds no difficu!ty in demonstrating the insufficiency of the #roofs ad$anced y the Muta)a!!emim in su##ort of the a o$e-named dogmas. %e$en arguments are cited which the Muta)a!!emim em#!oy in su##ort of the creatio ex nihilo. 1 The first argument is ased on the atomic theory( $i,.( that the uni$erse consists of e-ua! atoms without inherent #ro#erties a!! $ariety and change o ser$ed in nature must therefore e attri uted to an e1terna! force. Three arguments are su##!ied y the #ro#osition that finite things of an infinite num er cannot e1ist (7ro#os. 1i.). Three other arguments deri$e their su##ort from the fo!!owing #ro#osition (1.) &$erything that can e imagined can ha$e an actua! e1istence. The #resent order of things is on!y one out of the many forms which are #ossi !e( and e1ist through the fiat of a determining #ower. The @nity of 2od is demonstrated y the Muta)a!!emim as fo!!ows; Two 2ods wou!d ha$e een una !e to #roduce the wor!d; one wou!d ha$e im#eded the wor) of the other. Maimonides #oints out that this might ha$e een a$oided y a suita !e di$ision of !a our. *nother argument is as fo!!ows The two 4eings wou!d ha$e one e!ement in common( and wou!d differ in another each wou!d thus +onsist of two e!ements( and wou!d not e 2od. Maimonides might ha$e suggested that the argument mo$es in a circ!e( the unity of 2od eing #ro$ed y assuming "is unity. The fo!!owing argument is a!together uninte!!igi !e; 4oth 2ods are mo$ed to action y wi!!; the wi!!( eing without a su stratum( cou!d not act

simu!taneous!y in two se#arate eings. The fa!!acy of the fo!!owing argument is c!ear; The e1istence of one 2od is #ro$ed; the e1istence of a second 2od is not #ro$ed( it wou!d e #ossi !e; and as #ossi i!ity is ina##!ica !e to 2od( there does not e1ist a second 2od. The #ossi i!ity of ascertaining the e1istence of 2od is here confounded with #otentia!ity of e1istence. *gain( if one 2od suffices( the second 2od is su#erf!uous; if one 2od is not sufficient( he is not #erfect( and cannot e a deity. Maimonides o >ects that it wou!d not he an im#erfection in either deity to act e1c!usi$e!y within their res#ecti$e #ro$inces. *s in the criticism of the first argument( Maimonides
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seems here to forget that the e1istence of se#arate #ro$inces wou!d re-uire a su#erior determining 7ower( and the two 4eings wou!d not #ro#er!y e ca!!ed 2ods. The wea)est of a!! arguments are( according to Maimonides( those y which the Muta)a!!emim sought to su##ort the doctrine of 2od's 'ncor#orea!ity. 'f 2od were cor#orea!( "e wou!d consist of atoms( and wou!d not e one; or "e wou!d e com#ara !e to other eings ut a com#arison im#!ies the e1istence of simi!ar and of dissimi!ar e!ements( and 2od wou!d thus not e one. * cor#orea! 2od wou!d e finite( and an e1terna! #ower wou!d e re-uired to define those !imits. P+'T $$. The %econd 7art inc!udes the fo!!owing sections;--1. 'ntroduction; 2. 7hi!oso#hica! 7roof of the &1istence of ?ne 'ncor#orea! 7rima! +ause (ch. i.); 6. ?n the %#heres and she 'nte!!igences (ii.-1ii.); 8. ?n the theory of the &ternity of the @ni$erse (1iii.-11i1.); :. &1#osition of 2en. i.-i$. (111.( 111i.); 5. ?n 7ro#hecy (111ii.-1!$iii.). The enumeration of twenty-si1 #ro#ositions( y the aid of which the #hi!oso#hers #ro$e the &1istence( the @nity( and the 'ncor#orea!ity of the 7rima! +ause( forms the introduction so the %econd 7art of this wor). The #ro#ositions treat of the #ro#erties of the finite and the infinite (i-iii.( 1.-1ii.( 1$i.)( of change and motion (i$.-i1.( 1iii.-1$iii.)( and of the #ossi !e and she a so!ute or necessary (11.-11$.); they are sim#!y enumerated( ut are not demonstrated. 0hate$er the $a!ue of these 7ro#ositions may e( they were inade-uate for their #ur#ose( and the author is com#e!!ed to introduce au1i!iary #ro#ositions to #ro$e the e1istence of an infinite( incor#orea!( and uncom#ounded 7rima! +ause. (*rguments '. and '''.) The first and she fourth arguments may e termed cosmo!ogica! #roofs. They are ased on the hy#othesis that the series of causes for e$ery change is finite( and terminates in the 7rima! +ause. There is no essentia! difference in the two arguments in the first are discussed the causes of the motion of a mo$ing o >ect; the fourth treats of the causes which ring a out the transition of a thing from #otentia!ity to rea!ity. To #ro$e that neither the s#heres nor a force residing in them constitute the 7rima! +ause( the #hi!oso#hers em#!oyed two #ro#ositions( of which the one asserts that the re$o!utions of the s#heres are infinite( and the other denies the #ossi i!ity that an infinite force shou!d reside in a finite o >ect. The distinction etween she finite in s#ace and the finite in time a##ears to ha$e een ignored; for it is not shown why a force infinite in time cou!d not reside in a ody finite in s#ace.

Moreo$er( those who( !i)e Maimonides( re>ect the eternity of the uni$erse( necessari!y re>ect this #roof( whi!e those who ho!d that the uni$erse is eterna! do not admit that the s#heres ha$e e$er een on!y #otentia!( and #assed from #otentia!ity to actua!ity. The second argument is su##orted y the fo!!owing su##!ementary #ro#osition 'f two e!ements coe1ist in a state of com ination( and one of these e!ements is to e found as the same time se#arate( in a free state( is it certain that the second e!ement is !i)ewise to e found y itse!f. Fow( since things e1ist which com ine in themse!$es moti$e #ower and mass mo$ed y that #ower( and since mass is found y itse!f( moti$e #ower must a!so e found y itse!f inde#endent of mass. The third argument has a !ogica! character; The uni$erse is either eterna! or tem#ora!( or #art!y eterna! and #art!y tem#ora!. 't cannot e eterna! in a!! its #arts( as many #arts undergo destruction; it is not a!together tem#ora!( ecause( if so( the uni$erse cou!d not e re#roduced after eing destroyed. The continued
#. !

e1istence of the uni$erse !eads( therefore( to the conc!usion that there is an immorta! force( the 7rima! +ause( esides the transient wor!d. These arguments ha$e this in common( that whi!e #ro$ing the e1istence of a 7rima! +ause( they at the same time demonstrate the @nity( the 'ncor#orea!ity( and time &ternity of that +ause. %#ecia! #roofs are ne$erthe!ess su#eradded for each of these #ostu!ates( and on the who!e they differ $ery !itt!e from those ad$anced y the Mohammedan Theo!ogians. This #hi!oso#hica! theory of the 7rima! +ause was ada#ted y Jewish scho!ars to the 4i !ica! theory of the +reator. The uni$erse is a !i$ing( organi,ed eing( of which the earth is the centre. *ny changes on this earth are due to the re$o!utions of the s#heres; the !owest or innermost s#here( $i,.( the one nearest to the centre( is the s#here of the moon; the outermost or u##ermost is <the a!!-encom#assing s#here.< Fumerous s#heres are inter#osed ut Maimonides di$ides a!! the s#heres into four grou#s( corres#onding to the moon( the sun( the #!anets( and the fi1ed stars. This di$ision is c!aimed y the author as his own disco$ery; he e!ie$es that it stands in re!ation to the four causes of their motions( the four e!ements of the su !unary wor!d( and the four c!asses of eings( $i,.( the minera!( the $egeta !e( the anima!( and the rationa!. The s#heres ha$e sou!s( and are endowed with inte!!ect; their sou!s ena !e them to mo$e free!y( and the im#u!se to the motion is gi$en y the inte!!ect in concei$ing the idea of the * so!ute 'nte!!ect. &ach s#here has an inte!!ect #ecu!iar to itse!f; the inte!!ect attached to the s#here of the moon is ca!!ed <the acti$e inte!!ect< ($ekel ha-po,l). 'n su##ort of this theory numerous #assages are cited oth from "o!y 0rit and from #ost-4i !ica! Jewish !iterature. The ange!s (elohim( malakim) mentioned in the 4i !e are assumed to e identica! with the inte!!ects of the s#heres; they are free agents( and their $o!ition in$aria !y tends to that which is good and no !e they emanate from the 7rima! +ause( and form a descending series of eings( ending with the acti$e inte!!ect. The transmission of #ower from one e!ement to the other is ca!!ed <emanation< (shefa). This transmission is #erformed without the utterance of a sound; if any $oice is su##osed to e heard( it is on!y an i!!usion( originating in the human imagination( which is the source of a!! e$i!s (ch. 1ii.).

'n accordance with this doctrine( Maimonides e1#!ains that the three men who a##eared to * raham( the ange!s whom Jaco saw ascend and descend the !adder( and a!! other ange!s seen y man( are nothing ut the inte!!ects of the s#heres( four in num er( which emanate from the 7rima! +ause (ch.. 1). 'n his descri#tion of the s#heres he( as usua!( fo!!ows *ristot!e. The s#heres do not contain any of the four e!ements of the su !unary wor!d( ut consist of a -uintessence( an entire!y different e!ement. 0hi!st things on this earth are transient( the eings which inha it the s#heres a o$e are eterna!. *ccording to *ristot!e( these s#heres( as we!! as their inte!!ects( coe1ist with the 7rima! +ause. Maimonides( faithfu! to the teaching of the %cri#tures( here de#arts from his master( and ho!ds that the s#heres and the inte!!ects had a eginning( and were rought into e1istence y the wi!! of the +reator. "e does not attem#t to gi$e a #ositi$e #roof of his doctrine a!! he contends is that the theory of the creatio ex nihilo is( from a #hi!oso#hica! #oint of $iew( not inferior to the doctrine which asserts the eternity of the uni$erse( and that he can refute a!! o >ections ad$anced against his theory (ch. 1iii.-11$iii.). "e ne1t enumerates and criticises the $arious theories res#ecting the origin of the @ni$erse( $i,.; *. 2od created the @ni$erse out of nothing. 4. 2od formed the @ni$erse from an eterna! su stance. +. The @ni$erse originating in the eterna! 7rima! +ause is co-eterna!.--'t is not he!d necessary y the author to discuss the $iew of those who do not assume a 7rima! +ause( since the e1istence of such a cause has a!ready een #ro$ed (ch. 1iii.).
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The o >ections raised to a creatio ex nihilo y its o##onents are founded #art!y on the #ro#erties of Fature( and #art!y on those of the 7rima! +ause( They infer from the #ro#erties of Fature the fo!!owing arguments; (1) The first mo$ing force is eterna!; for if it had a eginning( another motion must ha$e #roduced it( and then it wou!d not e the Airst mo$ing force. (2) 'f the formless matter e not eterna!( it must ha$e een #roduced out of another su stance; it wou!d then ha$e a certain form y which it might e distinguished from the #rimary su stance( and then it wou!d not formless. (6) The circu!ar motion of the s#heres does not in$o!$e the necessity of termination; and anything that is without an end( must e without a eginning. (8) *nything rought to e1istence e1isted #re$ious!y in potentia; something must therefore ha$e #re-e1isted of which #otentia! e1istence cou!d e #redicated. %ome su##ort for the theory of the eternity of the hea$ens has een deri$ed from the genera! e!ief in the eternity of the hea$ens.--The #ro#erties of the 7rima! +ause furnished the fo!!owing arguments;--'f it were assumed that the @ni$erse was created from nothing( it wou!d im#!y that the Airst +ause had changed from the condition of a #otentia! +reator to that of an actua! +reator( or that "is wi!! had undergone a change( or that "e must e im#erfect( ecause "e #roduced a #erisha !e wor)( or that "e had een inacti$e during a certain #eriod. *!! these contingencies wou!d e contrary so a true conce#tion of the Airst +ause (ch. 1i$.). Maimonides is of o#inion that the arguments ased on the #ro#erties of things in Fature are inadmissi !e( ecause the !aws y which the @ni$erse is regu!ated need not ha$e een in force efore the @ni$erse was in e1istence. This refutation is sty!ed y our author <a strong wa!! ui!t round the =aw( a !e to resist a!! attac)s< (ch. 1$ii.). 'n a simi!ar manner the author #roceeds against the o >ections founded on the #ro#erties of the Airst +ause. 7ure!y

inte!!ectua! eings( he says( are not su >ect to the same !aws as materia! odies; that which necessitates a change in the !atter or in the wi!! of man need not #roduce a change in immateria! eings. *s so the e!ief that the hea$ens are inha ited y ange!s and deities( it has not its origin in the rea! e1istence of these su#ernatura! eings; it was suggested to man y meditation on the a##arent grandeur of hea$en!y #henomena (ch. 1$iii.). Maimonides ne1t #roceeds to e1#!ain how( inde#endent!y of the authority or %cri#ture( he has een !ed to ado#t the e!ief in the creatio ex nihilo. *dmitting that the great $ariety of the things in the su !unary wor!d can e traced to those immuta !e !aws which regu!ate the inf!uence of the s#heres on the eings e!ow--the $ariety in the s#heres can on!y e e1#!ained as the resu!t of 2od's free wi!!. *ccording to *ristot!e--the #rinci#a! authority for the eternity of the @ni$erse--it is im#ossi !e that a sim#!e eing shou!d( according to the !aws of nature( e the cause of $arious and com#ound eings. *nother reason for the re>ection of the &ternity of the @ni$erse may e found in the fact that the astronomer 7to!emy has #ro$ed the incorrectness of the $iew which *ristot!e had of ce!estia! s#heres( a!though the system of that astronomer is !i)ewise far from eing #erfect and fina! (ch( 11i$.). 't is im#ossi !e to o tain a correct notion of the #ro#erties of the hea$en!y s#heres; <the hea$en( e$en the hea$ens( are the =ord's( ut the earth hath "e gi$en to the chi!dren of man< (7s. c1$. 15). The author( o ser$ing that the arguments against the creatio ex nihilo are untena !e( adheres to his theory( which was taught y such #ro#hets as * raham and Moses. *!though each %cri#tura! -uotation cou!d( y a figurati$e inter#retation( e made to agree with the o##osite theory( Maimonides dec!ines to ignore the !itera! sense of a term( un!ess it e in o##osition so we!!-esta !ished truths( as is the case with anthro#omor#hic e1#ressions; for the !atter( if ta)en !itera!!y( wou!d e contrary to the demonstrated truth of 2od's incor#orea!ity (ch. 11$.). "e is therefore sur#rised that the author of 7ir)e-di 9a i &!ie,er $entured to assume the eternity of
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matter( and he thin)s it #ossi !e that 9a i &!ie,er carried the !icense of figurati$e s#eech too far. (+h. 11$i.). The theory of the creatio ex nihilo does not in$o!$e the e!ief that the @ni$erse wi!! at a future time e destroyed; the 4i !e distinct!y teaches the creation( ut not the destruction of the wor!d e1ce#t in #assages which are undou ted!y concei$ed in a meta#horica! sense. ?n the contrary( res#ecting certain #arts of the @ni$erse it is c!ear!y stated <"e esta !ished them for e$er.< (7s. c1!$iii. :.) The destruction of the @ni$erse wou!d e( as the creation has een( a direct act of the .i$ine wi!!( and not the resu!t of those immuta !e !aws which go$ern the @ni$erse. The .i$ine wi!! wou!d in that case set aside those !aws( oth in the initia! and the fina! stages of the @ni$erse. 0ithin this inter$a!( howe$er( the !aws remain undistur ed (ch. 11$ii.). *##arent e1ce#tions( the mirac!es( originate in these !aws( a!though man is una !e to #ercei$e the causa! re!ation. The 4i !ica! account of the creation conc!udes with the statement that 2od rested on the se$enth day( that is to say( "e dec!ared that the wor) was com#!ete; no new act of creation was to ta)e #!ace( and no new !aw was to e introduced. 't is true that the second and the third cha#ters of 2enesis a##ear to descri e a new creation( that of &$e( and a new !aw( $i,.( that of man's morta!ity( ut these cha#ters are e1#!ained as containing an a!!egorica! re#resentation of man's #sychica! and

inte!!ectua! facu!ties( or a su##!ementa! detai! of the +ontents of the first cha#ter. Maimonides seems to #refer the a!!egorica! e1#!anation which( as it seems( he had in $iew without e1#ress!y stating it( in his treatment of *dams sin and #unishment. (7art '. ch. ii.) 't is certain!y inconsistent on the one hand to admit that at the #!easure of the *!mighty the !aws of nature may ecome ino#erati$e( and that the who!e @ni$erse may ecome annihi!ated( and on the other hand to deny( that during the e1istence of the @ni$erse( any of the natura! !aws e$er ha$e een or e$er wi!! e sus#ended. 't seems that Maimonides cou!d not concei$e the idea that the wor) of the *!!-wise shou!d e( as the Muta)a!!emim taught-without #!an and system( or that the !aws ?nce !aid down shou!d not e sufficient for a!! emergencies. The account of the +reation gi$en in the oo) of 2enesis is e1#!ained y the author according to the fo!!owing two ru!es; Airst its !anguage is a!!egorica!; and( %econd!y( the terms em#!oyed are homonyms. The words erez( mayim( rua( and oshek in the second $erse (ch. i.)( are homonyms and denote the four e!ements; earth( water( air( and fire; in other instances ere, is the terrestria! g!o e( mayim is water or $a#our( rua denotes wind( and oshek dar)ness; *ccording to Maimonides( a summary of the first cha#ter may e gi$en thus; 2od created the @ni$erse y #roducing first the reshit the < eginning< (2en. i. 1)( or hatalah( i.e.( the inte!!ects which gi$e to the s#heres oth e1istence and motion( and thus ecome the source of the e1istence of the entire @ni$erse. *t first this @ni$erse consisted of a chaos of e!ements( ut its form was successi$e!y de$e!o#ed y the inf!uence of the s#heres( and more direct!y y the action of !ight and dar)ness( the #ro#erties of which were fi1ed on the first day of the +reation. 'n the su se-uent fi$e days minera!s( #!ants( anima!s( and the inte!!ectua! eings came into e1istence. The se$enth day( on which the @ni$erse was for the first time ru!ed y the same natura! !aws which sti!! continue in o#eration( was distinguished as a day !essed and sanctified y the +reator( who designed it to #roc!aim the creatio ex nihilo (&1od. 11. 1i). The 'srae!ites were moreo$er commanded to )ee# this %a ath in commemoration of their de#arture from &gy#t (.eut. $. ii)( ecause during the #eriod of the &gy#tian ondage( they had not een #ermitted to rest on that day. 'n the history of the first sin of man( *dam( &$e( and the ser#ent re#resent the inte!!ect( the ody( and the imagination. 'n order to com#!ete the imagery( $amael or $atan( mentioned in the Midrash in conne1ion with this account(
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is added as re#resenting man's a##etiti$e facu!ties. 'magination( the source of error( is direct!y aided y the a##etiti$e facu!ty( and the two are intimate!y connected with the ody( so which man genera!!y gi$es #aramount attention( and for the sa)e of which he indu!ges in sins; in the end( howe$er( they su due the inte!!ect and wea)en its #ower. 'nstead of o taining #ure and rea! )now!edge( man forms fa!se conce#tions; in conse-uence( the ody is su >ect to suffering( whi!st the imagination( instead of eing guided y the inte!!ect and attaining a higher de$e!o#ment ecomes de ased and de#ra$ed. 'n the three sons of *dam( 3ain( * e!( and %eth( Maimonides finds an a!!usion to the three e!ements in man; the $egeta !e( the anima!( and the inte!!ectua!. Airst( the anima! e!ement (* e!) ecomes e1tinct; then the $egeta !e e!ements (3ain) are disso!$ed; on!y the third e!ement( the inte!!ect (%eth)( sur$i$es( and forms the asis of man)ind (ch. 111.( 111i.).

Maimonides ha$ing so far stated his o#inion in e1#!icit terms( it is difficu!t to understand what he had in $iew y the a$owa! that he cou!d not disc!ose e$erything. 't is un-uestiona !y no easy matter to ada#t each $erse in the first cha#ters of 2enesis to the foregoing a!!egory; ut such an ada#tation is( according to the author's own $iew (7art '.( 'ntrod.( #. 19)( not on!y unnecessary( ut actua!!y o >ectiona !e. 'n the ne1t section (111ii.-1!$iii.) Maimonides treats of 7ro#hecy. "e mentions the fo!!owing three o#inions;--1. *ny #erson( irres#ecti$e of his #hysica! or mora! -ua!ifications( may e summoned y the *!mighty to the mission of a #ro#het. 2. 7ro#hecy is the highest degree of menta! de$e!o#ment( and can on!y e attained y training and study. 6. The gift of #ro#hecy de#ends on #hysica!( mora!( and menta! training( com ined with ins#iration. The author ado#ts the !ass-mentioned o#inion. "e defines #ro#hecy as an emanation (shefa)( which through the wi!! of the *!mighty descends from the *cti$e 'nte!!ect so the inte!!ect and the imagination of thorough!y -ua!ified #ersons. The #ro#het is thus distinguished oth from wise men whose inte!!ect a!one recei$ed the necessary im#u!se from the *cti$e 'nte!!ect( and from di$iners or dreamers( whose imagination a!one has een inf!uenced y the *cti$e 'nte!!ect. *!though it is assumed that the attainment of this #ro#hetic facu!ty de#ends on 2od's wi!!( this de#endence is nothing e!se ut the re!ation which a!! things ear to the 7rima! +ause; for the *cti$e 'nte!!ect acts in conformity with the !aws esta !ished y the wi!! of 2od; it gi$es an im#u!se to the inte!!ect of man( and( ringing to !ight those menta! #owers which !ay dormant( it mere!y turns #otentia! facu!ty into rea! action. These facu!ties can e #erfected to such a degree as to ena !e man to a##rehend the highest truths intuiti$e!y( without #assing through a!! the stages of research re-uired y ordinary #ersons. The same fact is noticed wish res#ect to imagination; man sometimes forms faithfu! images of o >ects and e$ents which cannot e traced to the ordinary channe! of information( $i,.( im#ressions made on the senses. %ince #ro#hecy is the resu!t of a natura! #rocess( it may a##ear sur#rising that( of the numerous men e1ce!!ing in wisdom( so few ecame #ro#hets. Maimonides accounts for this fact y assuming that the mora! facu!ties of such men had not een du!y trained. Fone of them had( in the author's o#inion( gone through the mora! disci#!ine indis#ensa !e for the $ocation of a #ro#het. 4esides this( e$erything which o structs menta! im#ro$ement( misdirects the imagination or im#airs the #hysica! strength( and #rec!udes man from attaining to the ran) of #ro#het. "ence no #ro#hecy was $ouchsafed to Jaco during the #eriod of his an1ieties on account of his se#aration from Jose#h. For did Moses recei$e a .i$ine message during the years which the 'srae!ites( under .i$ine #unishment( s#ent in the desert. ?n the other hand( music and song awa)ened the #ro#hetic #ower (com#. 2 3ings iii. 1:)( and
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<The s#irit of #ro#hecy a!ights on!y on him who is wise( strong( and rich< (4a y!. Ta!m. %ha at( 922). *!though the #re#aration for a #ro#hetic mission( the #ursuit of earnest and #erse$ering study( as a!so the e1ecution of the .i$ine dictates( re-uired #hysica! strength( yet in the moment when the #ro#hecy was recei$ed the functions of the odi!y organs were sus#ended. The inte!!ect then ac-uired true )now!edge( which #resented itse!f to the #ro#het's imagination in forms #ecu!iar to that facu!ty. 7ure idea!s are a!most incom#rehensi !e; man must trans!ate them into !anguage which he is accustomed to use( and he must ada#t them to his own mode of thin)ing. 'n recei$ing #ro#hecies and
C#aragra#h continuesD

communicating them to others the e1ercise of the #ro#het's imagination was therefore as essentia! as that of his inte!!ect( and Maimonides seems to a##!y to this imagination the term <ange!(< which is so fre-uent!y mentioned in the 4i !e as the medium of communication etween the %u#reme 4eing and the #ro#het. ?n!y Moses he!d his odi!y functions under such contro! that e$en without their tem#orary sus#ension he was a !e to recei$e #ro#hetic ins#iration the inter#osition of the imagination was in his case not needed <2od s#o)e to him mouth to mouth< (Fum. 1ii. 1). Moses differed so com#!ete!y from other #ro#hets that the term <#ro#het< cou!d on!y ha$e een a##!ied to him and other men y way of homonymy. The im#u!ses descending from the *cti$e inte!!ect so man's inte!!ect and to his imagination #roduce $arious effects( according to his #hysica!( mora!( and inte!!ectua! condition. %ome men are thus endowed with e1traordinary courage and with an am ition to #erform great deeds( or they fee! themse!$es im#e!!ed to a##ea! mighti!y to their fe!!owmen y means of e1a!ted and #ure !anguage. %uch men are fi!!ed with <the s#irit of the =ord(< or( <with the s#irit of ho!iness.< To this distinguished c!ass e!onged Je#hthah( %amson( .a$id( %o!omon( and the authors of the "agiogra#ha. Though a o$e the standard of ordinary men( they were not inc!uded in the ran) of #ro#hets. Maimonides di$ides the #ro#hets into two grou#s( $i,.( those who recei$e ins#iration in a dream and those who recei$e it in a $ision. The first grou# inc!udes the fo!!owing fi$e c!asses;--1. Those who see sym o!ic figures; 2. Those who hear a $oice addressing them without #ercei$ing the s#ea)er; 6. Those who see a man and hear him addressing them; 8. Those who see an ange! addressing them; :. Those who see 2od and hear "is $oice. The other grou# is di$ided in a simi!ar manner( ut contains on!y the first four c!asses( for Maimonides considered it im#ossi !e that a #ro#het shou!d see 2od in a $ision. This c!assification is ased on the $arious e1#ressions em#!oyed in the %cri#tures to descri e the se$era! #ro#hecies. 0hen the 'srae!ites recei$ed the =aw at Mount %inai( they distinct!y heard the first two commandments( which inc!ude the doctrines of the &1istence and the @nity of 2od; of the other eight commandments( which enunciate mora!( not meta#hysica! truths( they heard the mere <sound of words<; and it was through the mouth of Moses that the .i$ine instruction was re$ea!ed to them. Maimonides defends this o#inion y -uotations from the Ta!mud and the Midrashim. The theory that imagination was an essentia! e!ement in #ro#hecy is su##orted y the fact that figurati$e s#eech #redominates in the #ro#hetica! writings( which a ound in figures( hy#er o!ica! e1#ressions and a!!egories. The sym o!ica! acts which are descri ed in conne1ion with the $isions of the #ro#hets( such as the trans!ation of &,e)ie! from 4a y!on to Jerusa!em (&,. $iii. 6)( 'saiah's wa!)ing a out na)ed and arefoot ('sa. 11. 2)( Jaco 's wrest!ing with the ange! (2en. 111ii. 1J s::.)( and the s#ea)ing of 4a!aam's ass (Fum. 11ii. 2H)( had no #ositi$e rea!ity. The #ro#hets( em#!oying an e!!i#tica! sty!e(
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fre-uent!y omitted to state that a +ertain e$ent re!ated y them was #art of a $ision or a dream. 'n conse-uence of such e!!i#tica! s#eech e$ents are descri ed in the 4i !e as coming

direct!y from 2od( a!though they sim#!y are the effect of the ordinary !aws of nature( and as such de#end on the wi!! of 2od. %uch #assages cannot e misunderstood when it is orne in mind that e$ery e$ent and e$ery natura! #henomenon can for its origin e traced to the 7rima! +ause. 'n this sense the #ro#hets em#!oy such #hrases as the fo!!owing <*nd ' wi!! command the c!ouds that they rain no rain u#on it< ('sa. $. 5); <' ha$e a!so ca!!ed my mighty men< (ibid. 1i. 6). P+'T $$$. This #art contains the fo!!owing si1 sections;--1. &1#osition of the maaseh mercabah (&,. i.)( ch. i. $ii.; 2. ?n the nature and the origin of e$i!( ch. $iii. 1ii. 6. ?n the o >ect of the creation( ch. 1iii.(-1$.; 8. ?n 7ro$idence and ?mniscience( ch. 1$i.-11$.; :. ?n the o >ect of the .i$ine #rece#ts (taame ha-mi"ot) and the historica! #ortions of the 4i !e( ch. 11$.-1!.; 5. * guide to the #ro#er worshi# of 2od. 0ith great caution Maimonides a##roaches the e1#!anation of the maaseh mercabah( the chariot which &,e)ie! ehe!d in a $ision (&,. i.). The mysteries inc!uded in the descri#tion of the .i$ine chariot had een ora!!y transmitted from generation to generation( ut in conse-uence of the dis#ersion of the Jews the chain of tradition was ro)en( and the )now!edge of these mysteries had $anished. 0hate$er he )new of those mysteries he owed e1c!usi$e!y to his own inte!!ectua! facu!ties; he therefore cou!d not reconci!e himse!f to the idea that his )now!edge shou!d die with him. "e committed his e1#osition of the maaseh mercabah and the maaseh bereshit to writing( ut did not di$est it of its origina! mysterious character; so that the e1#!anation was fu!!y inte!!igi !e to the initiated--that is to say( to the #hi!oso#her-- ut to the ordinary reader it was a mere #ara#hrase of the 4i !ica! te1t.--('ntroduction.) The first se$en cha#ters are de$oted to the e1#osition of the .i$ine chariot. *ccording to Maimonides three distinct #arts are to e noticed( each of which egins with the #hrase( <*nd ' saw.< These #arts corres#ond to the three #arts of the @ni$erse( the su !unary wor!d( the s#heres and the inte!!igences. Airst of a!! the #ro#het is made to eho!d the materia! wor!d which consists of the earth and the s#heres( and of these the s#heres( as the more im#ortant( are noticed first. 'n the %econd 7art( in which the nature of the s#heres is discussed( the author dwe!!s with #ride on his disco$ery that they can e di$ided into four grou#s. This disco$ery he now em#!oys to show that the four <hayyot< (anima!s) re#resent the four di$isions of the s#heres. "e #oints out that the terms which the #ro#het uses in the descri#tion of the hayyot are identica! with terms a##!ied to the #ro#erties of the s#heres. Aor the four hayyot or <ange!s(< or cherubim( (1) ha$e human form; (2) ha$e human faces; (6) #ossess characteristics of other anima!s; (8) ha$e human hands; (:) their feet are straight and round (cy!indrica!); (5) their odies are c!ose!y >oined so each other; (J) on!y their faces and their wings are se#arate; (H) their su stance is trans#arent and refu!gent; (9) they mo$e uniform!y; (10) each mo$es in its own direction; (11) they run; (12) swift as !ightning they return towards their starting #oint; and (16) they mo$e in conse-uence of an e1traneous im#u!se (rua). 'n a simi!ar manner the s#heres are descri ed;--(1) they #ossess the characteristics of man( $i,.( !ife and inte!!ect; (2) they consist !i)e man of ody and sou!; (6) they are strong( mighty and swift( !i)e the o1( the !ion( and the eag!e( (8) they #erform a!! manner of wor) as though they had

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hands; (:) they are round( and are not di$ided into #arts; (5) no $acuum inter$enes etween one s#here and the other; (J) they may e considered as one eing( ut in res#ect to the inte!!ects( which are the causes of their e1istence and motion( they a##ear as four different eings; (H) they are trans#arent and refu!gent; (9) each s#here mo$es uniform!y( (10) and according to its s#ecia! !aws; (11) they re$o!$e with great $e!ocity; (12) each #oint returns again so its #re$ious #osition; (16) they are se!f-mo$ing( yet the im#u!se emanates from an e1terna! #ower. 'n the second #art of the $ision the #ro#het saw the ofannim. These re#resent the four e!ements of the su !unary wor!d. Aor the ofannim (1) are connected with the ayyot and with the earth; (2) they ha$e four faces( and are four se#arate eings( ut inter#enetrate each other <as though it were a whee! in the midst of a whee!< (&,. i. 15); (6) they are co$ered with eyes; (8) they are not se!f-mo$ing; (:) they are set in motion y the hayyot; (5) their motion is not circu!ar ut recti!inear. The same may a!most e said of the four e!ements (1) they are in c!ose +ontact with the s#heres( eing encom#assed y the s#here of the moon; earth occu#ies the centre( water surrounds earth( air has its #osition etween water and fire; (2) this order is not in$aria !y maintained; the res#ecti$e #ortions change and they ecome intermi1ed and com ined with each other (6) though they are on!y four e!ements they form an infinite num er of things; (8) not eing animated they do not mo$e of their own accord; (:) they are set in motion y the action of the s#heres; (5) when a #ortion is dis#!aced it returns in a straight !ine to its origina! #osition. 'n the third $ision &,e)ie! saw a human form a o$e the ayyot. The figure was di$ided in the midd!e; in the u##er #ortion the #ro#het on!y noticed that it was ashmal( (mysterious); from the !oins downwards there was <the $ision of the !i)eness of the .i$ine 2!ory(< and <the !i)eness of the throne.< The wor!d of 'nte!!igences was re#resented y the figure; these can on!y e #ercei$ed in as far as they inf!uence the s#heres( ut their re!ation to the +reator is eyond human com#rehension. The +reator himse!f is not re#resented in this $ision. The )ey to the who!e $ision Maimonides finds in the introductory words( <*nd the hea$ens were o#ened(< and in the minute descri#tion of the #!ace and the time of the re$e!ation. 0hen #ondering on the grandeur of the s#heres and their inf!uences( which $ary according to time and #!ace( man egins to thin) of the e1istence of the +reator. *t the conc!usion of this e1#osition Maimonides dec!ares that he wi!!( in the su se-uent cha#ters( refrain from gi$ing further e1#!anation of the maaseh mercabah. The foregoing summary( howe$er( shows that the o#inion of the author on this su >ect is fu!!y stated( and it is indeed difficu!t to concei$e what additiona! disc!osures he cou!d sti!! ha$e made. The tas) which the author has #ro#osed to himse!f in the 7reface he now regarded as accom#!ished. "e has discussed the method of the 3a!`m( the system of the #hi!oso#hers( and his own theory concerning the re!ation etween the 7rima! +ause and the @ni$erse; he has e1#!ained the 4i !ica! account of the creation( the nature of #ro#hecy( and the mysteries in &,e)ie!'s $ision. 'n the remaining #ortion of the wor) the author attem#ts to so!$e certain theo!ogica! #ro !ems( as though he wished to o $iate the fo!!owing o >ections( which might

e raised to his theory that there is a design throughout the creation( and that the entire @ni$erse is su >ect to the !aw of causation;--0hat is the #ur#ose of the e$i!s which attend human !ife/ Aor what #ur#ose was the wor!d created/ 'n how far does 7ro$idence interfere with the natura! course of e$ents/ .oes 2od )now and foresee man's actions/ To what end was the .i$ine =aw re$ea!ed These #ro !ems are treated seriatim.
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*!! e$i!s( Maimonides ho!ds( originate in the materia! e!ement of man's e1istence. Those who are a !e to emanci#ate themse!$es from the tyranny of the ody( and unconditiona!!y so su mit to the dictates of reason( are #rotected from many e$i!s. Man shou!d disregard the cra$ings of the ody( a$oid them as to#ics of con$ersation( and )ee# his thoughts far away from them; con$i$ia! and erotic songs de ase man's no !est gifts--thought and s#eech. Matter is the #artition se#arating man from the #ure 'nte!!ects; it is <the thic)ness of the c!oud< which true )now!edge has so tra$erse efore it reaches man. 'n rea!ity( e$i! is the mere negati$e of good <2od saw all that "e had made( and eho!d it was $ery good< (2en. i. 6). &$i! does not e1ist at a!!. 0hen e$i!s are mentioned in the %cri#tures as the wor) of 2od( the %cri#tura! e1#ressions must not e ta)en in their !itera! sense. There are three )inds of e$i!s;--1. &$i!s necessitated y those !aws of #roduction and destruction y which the s#ecies are #er#etuated. 2. &$i!s which men inf!ict on each other; they are com#arati$e!y few( es#ecia!!y among ci$i!i,ed men. 6. &$i!s which man rings u#on himse!f( and which com#rise the ma>ority of e1isting e$i!s. The consideration of these three c!asses of e$i!s !eads to the conc!usion that <the =ord is good to a!!( and his tender mercies are o$er a!! his wor)s< (7s. c1!$. 9). The -uestion( 0hat is the o >ect of the creation/ must e !eft unanswered. The creation is the resu!t of the wi!! of 2od. *!so those who e!ie$e that the @ni$erse is eterna! must admit that they are una !e to disco$er the #ur#ose of the @ni$erse. 't wou!d( howe$er( not e i!!ogica! to assume that the s#heres ha$e een created for the sa)e of man( notwithstanding the great dimensions of the former and the sma!!ness of the !atter. %ti!! it must e conceded that( e$en if man)ind were the main and centra! o >ect of creation( there is no a so!ute interde#endence etween them; for it is a matter of course that( under a!tered conditions( man cou!d e1ist without the s#heres. *!! te!eo!ogica! theories must therefore e confined within the !imits of the @ni$erse as it now e1ists. They are on!y admissi !e in the re!ation in which the se$era! #arts of the @ni$erse stand to each other; ut the #ur#ose of the @ni$erse as a who!e cannot e accounted for. 't is sim#!y an emanation from the wi!! of 2od. 9egarding the e!ief in 7ro$idence( Maimonides enumerates the fo!!owing fi$e o#inions;-1. There is no 7ro$idence; e"erythin is su >ect to chance. 2. ?n!y a #art of the @ni$erse is go$erned y 7ro$idence( $i,.( the s#heres( the s#ecies( and such indi$idua! eings as #ossess the #ower of #er#etuating their e1istence (e.g.( the start); the rest--that is( the su !unary wor!d--is !eft to mere chance. 6. &$erything is #redetermined; according to this theory( re$ea!ed =aw is inconcei$a !e. 8. 7ro$idence assigns its !essings to all creatures( according to their merits; according!y( a!! eings( e$en the !owest anima!s( if innocent!y in>ured or )i!!ed( recei$e com#ensation in a future !ife. :. *ccording to the Jewish e!ief a!! !i$ing eings are endowed with free-wi!!; 2od is >ust( and the destiny of man de#ends on

his merits. Maimonides denies the e1istence of tria!s inf!icted y .i$ine !o$e( i.e. aff!ictions which efa!! man( not as #unishments of sin( ut as means to #rocure for him a reward in times to come. Maimonides a!so re>ects the notion that 2od ordains s#ecia! tem#tation. The 4i !ica! account( according to which 2od tem#ts men( <to )now what is in their hearts(< must not e ta)en in its !itera! sense; it mere!y states that 2od made the $irtues of certain #eo#!e )nown to their fe!!owmen in order that their good e1am#!e shou!d e fo!!owed. ?f a!! creatures man a!one en>oys the es#ecia! care of 7ro$idence ecause the acts of 7ro$idence are identica! with certain inf!uences (shefa) which the *cti$e 'nte!!ect rings to ear u#on the human inte!!ect; their effect u#on man $aries according to his #hysica!( mora!( and inte!!ectua! condition; irrationa! eings( howe$er( cannot e affected y these
#. !$iii

inf!uences. 'f we cannot in each indi$idua! case see how these #rinci#!es are a##!ied( it must e orne in mind that 2od's wisdom is far a o$e that of man. The author seems to ha$e fe!t that his theory has its wea) #oints( for he introduces it as fo!!ows;--<My theory is not esta !ished y demonstrati$e #roof; it is ased on the authority of the 4i !e( and it is !ess su >ect to refutation than any of the theories #re$ious!y mentioned.< 7ro$idence im#!ies ?mniscience( and men who deny this( eo ipso( ha$e no e!ief in 7ro$idence. %ome are una !e to reconci!e the fate of man with .i$ine Justice( and are therefore of o#inion that 2od ta)es no notice whate$er of the e$ents which occur on earth. ?thers e!ie$e that 2od( eing an a so!ute @nity( cannot #ossess a )now!edge of a mu!titude of things( or of things that do not yet e1ist( or the num er of which is infinite. These o >ections( which are ased on the nature of man's #erce#tion( are i!!ogica!( for 2od's )now!edge cannot e com#ared to that of man; it is identica! with "is essence. &$en the *ttri utists( who assume that 2od's )now!edge is different from "is essence( ho!d that it is distinguished from man's )now!edge in the fo!!owing fi$e #oints;--1. 't is one( a!though it em races a #!ura!ity. 2. 't inc!udes e$en such things as do not yet e1ist. 6. 't inc!udes things which are infinite in num er. 8. 't does not change when new o >ects of #erce#tion #resent themse!$es. :. 't does not determine the course of e$ents.--"owe$er difficu!t this theory may a##ear to human com#rehension( it is in accordance with the words of 'saiah (!$. H) <Mour thoughts are not My thoughts( and your ways are not My ways.< *ccording to Maimonides( the difficu!ty is to e e1#!ained y the fact that 2od is the +reator of a!! things( and "is )now!edge of the things is not de#endent on their e1istence; whi!e the )now!edge of man is so!e!y de#endent on the o >ects which come under his cognition. *ccording to Maimonides( the oo) of Jo i!!ustrates the se$era! $iews which ha$e een mentioned a o$e. %atan( that is( the materia! e!ement in human e1istence( is descri ed as the cause of Jo 's sufferings. Jo at first e!ie$ed that man's ha##iness de#ends on riches( hea!th( and chi!dren; eing de#ri$ed of these sources of ha##iness( he concei$ed the notion that 7ro$idence is indifferent to the fate of morta! eings. *fter a carefu! study of natura! #henomena( he re>ected this o#inion. &!i#ha, he!d that a!! misfortunes of man ser$e as #unishments of #ast sins. 4i!dad( the second friend of Jo ( admitted the e1istence of those aff!ictions which .i$ine !o$e decrees in order that the #atient sufferer may e fitted to recei$e a ountifu! reward. To#har( the third friend of Jo ( dec!ared that the ways of 2od are eyond human com#rehension; there is ut one e1#!anation assigna !e to a!! .i$ine

acts( name!y; %uch is "is 0i!!. &!ihu gi$es a fu!!er de$e!o#ment to this idea; he says that such e$i!s as efe!! Jo may e remedied once or twice( ut the course of nature is not a!together re$ersed. 't is true that y #ro#hecy a c!earer insight into the ways of 2od can e o tained( ut there are on!y few who arri$e at that e1a!ted inte!!ectua! degree( whi!st the ma>ority of men must content themse!$es with ac-uiring a )now!edge of 2od through the study of nature. %uch a study !eads man to the con$iction that his understanding cannot fathom the secrets of nature and the wisdom of .i$ine 7ro$idence. The conc!uding section of the Third 7art treats of the #ur#ose of the .i$ine #rece#ts. 'n the 7entateuch they are descri ed as the means of ac-uiring wisdom( enduring ha##iness( and a!so odi!y comfort (ch. 111i.). 2enera!!y a distinction is made etween <uim< (<statutes<) and mishpaim (<>udgments<). The o >ect of the !atter is( on the who!e( )nown( ut the uim are considered as tests of mans o edience; no reason is gi$en why they ha$e een enacted. Maimonides re>ects this distinction; he states that a!! #rece#ts are the resu!t of wisdom and design( that a!! contri ute to the we!fare of man)ind(
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a!though with regard to the uim this is !ess o $ious. The author draws another !ine of distinction etween the genera! #rinci#!es and the detai!s of ru!es. Aor the se!ection and the introduction of the !atter there is ut one reason( $i,. <%uch is the wi!! of 2od.< The !aws are intended to #romote man's #erfection; they im#ro$e oth his menta! and his #hysica! condition; the former in so far as they !ead him to the ac-uisition of true )now!edge( the !atter through the training of his mora! and socia! facu!ties. &ach !aw thus im#arts )now!edge( im#ro$es the mora! condition of man( or conduces to the we!!- eing of society. Many re$ea!ed !aws he!# to en!ighten man( and to correct fa!se o#inions. This o >ect is not a!ways c!ear!y announced. 2od in "is wisdom sometimes withhe!d from the )now!edge of man the #ur#ose of commandments and actions. There are other #rece#ts which tend to restrain man's #assions and desires. 'f the same end is occasiona!!y attaina !e y other means( it must e remem ered that the .i$ine !aws are ada#ted to the ordinary menta! and emotiona! state of man( and not to e1ce#tiona! circumstances. 'n this wor)( as in the !ad ha-azaah( Maimonides di$ides the !aws of the 7entateuch into fourteen grou#s( and in each grou# he discusses the #rinci#a! and the s#ecia! o >ect of the !aws inc!uded in it. 'n addition to the !egis!ati$e contents( the 4i !e inc!udes historica! information; and Maimonides( in rief!y re$iewing the 4i !ica! narrati$es( shows that these are !i)ewise intended to im#ro$e man's #hysica!( mora!( and inte!!ectua! condition. <'t is not a $ain thing for you< (.eut. 111ii. 8J) and when it #ro$es $ain to anyone( it is his own fau!t. 'n the fina! cha#ters the author descri es the se$era! degrees of human #erfection( from the sinners who ha$e turned from the right #ath to the est of men( who in a!! their thoughts and acts c!ing to the Most 7erfect 4eing( who as#ire after the greatest #ossi !e )now!edge of 2od( and stri$e to ser$e their Ma)er in the #ractice of <!o$ing-)indness( righteousness( and >ustice.< This degree of human #erfection can on!y e attained y those who ne$er forget the #resence of the *!mighty( and remain firm in their fear and !o$e of 2od. These

ser$ants of the Most "igh inherit the choicest of human !essings they are endowed with wisdom they are god!i)e eings.

Footnotes
111i1;1 %ee infra( #age 8( note 1. 1!;1 %ee infra( #age :( note 8. 1!$iii;1 %aadiah #ro$es the e1istence of the +reator in the fo!!owing way;--1. The @ni$erse is !imited( and therefore cannot #ossess an un!imited force( 2. *!! things are com#ounds the com#osition must he owing to some e1terna! cause( 6. +hanges o ser$ed in a!! eings are effected y some e1terna! cause( 8. 'f time were infinite( it wou!d e im#ossi !e to concei$e the #rogress of time from the #resent moment so the future( or from the #ast to the #resent moment. (&munot $edeQot( ch. i.).--4aya founds his arguments on three #ro#ositions;--1. * thing cannot e its own ma)er( 2. The series of successi$e causes is finite. 6. +om#ounds owe their e1istence to an e1terna! force. "is arguments are;--1. The @ni$erse( e$en the e!ements( are com#ounds consisting of su stance and form. 2. 'n the @ni$erse #!an and unity is discerni !e. (o ot ha-!e a ot( ch. i.)
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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$,T'&%#/T$&,
C3etter of the +uthor to his Pupil6 '2 Joseph -bn +knin2D 'n the name of 2?.( =ord of the @ni$erse. To 9. Jose#h (may 2od #rotect himR)( son of 9. Jehudah (may his re#ose e in 7aradiseR);-My dear #u#i!( e$er since you reso!$ed to come to me( from a distant country( and to study under my direction( ' thought high!y of your thirst for )now!edge( and your fondness for s#ecu!ati$e #ursuits( which found e1#ression in your #oems. ' refer to the time when ' recei$ed your writings in #rose and $erse from *!e1andria. ' was then not yet a !e to test your #owers of a##rehension( and ' thought that your desire might #ossi !y e1ceed your ca#acity. 4ut when you had gone with me through a course of astronomy( after ha$ing com#!eted the CotherD e!ementary studies which are indis#ensa !e for the understanding of that science( ' was sti!! more gratified y the acuteness and the -uic)ness of your a##rehension. ? ser$ing your great fondness for mathematics( ' !et you study them more dee#!y( for ' fe!t sure of your u!timate success. *fterwards( when ' too) you through a course of !ogic( ' found that my great e1#ectations of you were confirmed( and ' considered

you fit to recei$e from me an e1#osition of the esoteric ideas contained in the #ro#hetic oo)s( that you might understand them as they are understood y men of cu!ture. 0hen ' commenced y way of hints( ' noticed that you desired additiona! e1#!anation( urging me to e1#ound some meta#hysica! #ro !ems; to teach you the system of the Muta)a!!emim; to te!! you whether their arguments were ased on !ogica! #roof; and if not( what their method was. ' #ercei$ed that you had ac-uired some )now!edge in those matters from others( and that you were #er#!e1ed and ewi!dered; yet you sought to find out a so!ution to your difficu!ty. ' urged you to desist from this #ursuit( and en>oined you to continue your studies systematica!!y; for my o >ect was that the truth shou!d #resent itse!f in connected order( and that you shou!d not hit u#on it y mere chance. 0hi!st you studied with me ' ne$er refused to e1#!ain difficu!t $erses in the 4i !e or #assages in ra inica! !iterature which we ha##ened to meet. 0hen( y the wi!! of 2od( we #arted( and you went your way( our discussions aroused in me a reso!ution which had !ong een dormant. Mour a sence has #rom#ted me to com#ose this treatise for you and for those who are !i)e you( howe$er few they may e. ' ha$e di$ided it into cha#ters( each of which sha!! e sent to you as soon as it is com#!eted. Aarewe!!R<
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

CPrefatory 'emarks2D
<+ause me to )now the way wherein ' shou!d wa!)( for ' !ift u# my sou! unto Thee.< (7sa!m c1!iii. %.) <@nto you( ? men( ' ca!!( and my $oice is to the sons of men.< (7ro$. $iii. 8) <4ow down thine ear and hear the words of the wise( and a##!y thine heart unto my )now!edge.< (7ro$. 11ii. 1J.)
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My #rimary o >ect in this wor) is to e1#!ain certain words occurring in the #ro#hetic oo)s. ?f these some are homonyms( and of their se$era! meanings the ignorant choose the wrong ones; other terms which are em#!oyed in a figurati$e sense are erroneous!y ta)en y such #ersons in their #rimary signification. There are a!so hy rid terms( denoting things which are of the same c!ass from one #oint of $iew and of a different c!ass from another. 't is not here intended to e1#!ain a!! these e1#ressions to the un!ettered or to mere tyros( a #re$ious )now!edge of =ogic and Fatura! 7hi!oso#hy eing indis#ensa !e( or to those who confine their attention to the study of our ho!y =aw( ' mean the study of the canonica! !aw a!one; for the true )now!edge of the Torah is the s#ecia! aim of this and simi!ar wor)s. The o >ect of this treatise is to en!ighten a re!igious man who has een trained to e!ie$e in the truth of our ho!y =aw( who conscientious!y fu!fi!s his mora! and re!igious duties( and at the same time has een successfu! in his #hi!oso#hica! studies. "uman reason has attracted him to a ide within its s#here; and he finds it difficu!t to acce#t as correct the teaching ased on the !itera! inter#retation of the =aw( and es#ecia!!y that which he himse!f or others

deri$ed from those homonymous( meta#horica!( or hy rid e1#ressions. "ence he is !ost in #er#!e1ity and an1iety. 'f he e guided so!e!y y reason( and renounce his #re$ious $iews which are ased on those e1#ressions( he wou!d consider that he had re>ected the fundamenta! #rinci#!es of the =aw; and e$en if he retains the o#inions which were deri$ed from those e1#ressions( and if( instead of fo!!owing his reason( he a andon its guidance a!together( it wou!d sti!! a##ear that his re!igious con$ictions had suffered !oss and in>ury. Aor he wou!d then e !eft with those errors which gi$e rise to fear and an1iety( constant grief and great #er#!e1ity. This wor) has a!so a second o >ect in $iew. 't see)s to e1#!ain certain o scure figures which occur in the 7ro#hets( and are not distinct!y characteri,ed as eing figures. 'gnorant and su#erficia! readers ta)e them in a !itera!( not in a figurati$e sense. &$en we!! informed #ersons are ewi!dered if they understand these #assages in their !itera! signification( ut they are entire!y re!ie$ed of their #er#!e1ity when we e1#!ain the figure( or mere!y suggest that the terms are figurati$e. Aor this reason ' ha$e ca!!ed this oo) Guide for the Perplexed. ' do not #resume to thin) that this treatise sett!es e$ery dou t in the minds of those who understand it( ut ' maintain that it sett!es the greater #art of their difficu!ties. Fo inte!!igent man wi!! re-uire and e1#ect that on introducing any su >ect ' sha!! com#!ete!y e1haust it; or that on commencing the e1#osition of a figure ' sha!! fu!!y e1#!ain a!! its #arts. %uch a course cou!d not e fo!!owed y a teacher in a "i"a "oce e1#osition( much !ess y an author in writing a oo)( without ecoming a target for e$ery foo!ish conceited #erson to discharge the arrows of fo!!y at him. %ome genera! #rinci#!es earing u#on this #oint ha$e een fu!!y discussed in our wor)s on the Ta!mud( and we ha$e there ca!!ed the attention of the reader to many themes of this )ind. 0e a!so stated (Mishneh torah( '. ii. 12( and i$. 10) that the e1#ression Maase ;ereshit (*ccount of the +reation) signified< Fatura! %cience(< and Maaseh Mercabah (<.escri#tion of the +hariot<) Meta#hysics( and we e1#!ained the force of the 9a inica! dictum(< The Maaseh Mercabah must not e fu!!y e1#ounded e$en in the #resence of a
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sing!e student( un!ess he e wise and a !e to reason for himse!f( and e$en then you shou!d mere!y ac-uaint him with the heads of the different sections of the su >ect. (4a y!. Ta!m. a i ah( fo!. '' ). Mou must( therefore( not e1#ect from me more than such heads. *nd e$en these ha$e not een methodica!!y and systematica!!y arranged in this wor)( ut ha$e een( on the contrary( scattered( and are inters#ersed with other to#ics which we sha!! ha$e occasion to e1#!ain. My o >ect in ado#ting this arrangement is that the truths shou!d e at one time a##arent( and at another time concea!ed. Thus we sha!! not e in o##osition to the .i$ine 0i!! (from which it is wrong to de$iate) which has withhe!d from the mu!titude the truths re-uired for the )now!edge of 2od( according to the words( <The secret of the =ord is with them that fear "im< (7s. 11$. 18). 3now that a!so in Fatura! %cience there are to#ics which are not to e fu!!y e1#!ained. ?ur %ages !aid down the ru!e( <The Maaseh ;ereshith must not e e1#ounded in the #resence of two.< 'f an author were to e1#!ain these #rinci#!es in writing( it wou!d e e-ua! to

e1#ounding them unto thousands of men. Aor this reason the #ro#hets treat these su >ects in figures( and our %ages( imitating the method of %cri#ture( s#ea) of them in meta#hors and a!!egories; ecause there is a c!ose affinity etween these su >ects and meta#hysics( and indeed they form #art of its mysteries. .o not imagine that these most difficu!t #ro !ems can e thorough!y understood y any one of us. This is not the case. *t times the truth shines so ri!!iant!y that we #ercei$e it as c!ear as day. ?ur nature and ha it then draw a $ei! o$er our #erce#tion( and we return to a dar)ness a!most as dense as efore. 0e are !i)e those who( though eho!ding fre-uent f!ashes of !ightning( sti!! find themse!$es in the thic)est dar)ness of the night. ?n some the !ightning f!ashes in ra#id succession( and they seem to e in continuous !ight( and their night is as c!ear as the day. This was the degree of #ro#hetic e1ce!!ence attained y (Moses) the greatest of #ro#hets( to whom 2od said( <4ut as for thee( stand thou here y Me< (.eut. $. 61)( and of whom it is written <the s)in of his face shone(< etc. (&1od. 111i$. 29). C%ome #ercei$e the #ro#hetic f!ash at !ong inter$a!s; this is the degree of most #ro#hets.D 4y others on!y once during the who!e night is a f!ash of !ightning #ercei$ed. This is the case with those of whom we are informed( <They #ro#hesied( and did not #ro#hesy again< (Fum. 1i. 2:). There are some to whom the f!ashes of !ightning a##ear with $arying inter$a!s; others are in the condition of men( whose dar)ness is i!!umined not y !ightning( ut y some )ind of crysta! or simi!ar stone( or other su stances that #ossess the #ro#erty of shining during the night; and to them e$en this sma!! amount of !ight is not continuous( ut now it shines and now it $anishes( as if it were <the f!ame of the rotating sword.< The degrees in the #erfection of men $ary according to these distinctions. +oncerning those who ne$er ehe!d the !ight e$en for one day( ut wa!) in continua! dar)ness( it is written( <They )now not( neither wi!! they understand; they wa!) on in dar)ness< (7s. !111ii. :). Truth( in s#ite of a!! its #owerfu! manifestations( is com#!ete!y withhe!d from them( and the fo!!owing words of %cri#ture may e a##!ied to them( <*nd now men see not the !ight which is right in the s)ies< (Jo 111$ii. 21). They are the mu!titude of ordinary men; there is no need to notice them in this treatise.
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Mou must )now that if a #erson( who has attained a certain degree of #erfection( wishes to im#art to others( either ora!!y or in writing( any #ortion of the )now!edge which he has ac-uired of these su >ects( he is utter!y una !e to e as systematic and e1#!icit as he cou!d e in a science of which the method is we!! )nown. The same difficu!ties which he encountered when in$estigating the su >ect for himse!f wi!! attend him when endea$ouring to instruct others; $i,.( at one time the e1#!anation wi!! a##ear !ucid( at another time( o scure; this #ro#erty of the su >ect a##ears to remain the same oth to the ad$anced scho!ar and to the eginner. Aor this reason( great theo!ogica! scho!ars ga$e instruction in a!! such matters on!y y means of meta#hors and a!!egories. They fre-uent!y em#!oyed them in forms $arying more or !ess essentia!!y. 'n most cases they #!aced the !esson to e i!!ustrated at the eginning( or in the midd!e( or at the end of the simi!e. 0hen they cou!d find no simi!e which from eginning to end corres#onded to the idea which was to e i!!ustrated( they di$ided the su >ect of the !esson( a!though in itse!f one who!e( into different #arts( and e1#ressed each y a se#arate figure. %ti!! more o scure are those instances in which one simi!e is em#!oyed to i!!ustrate many su >ects( the eginning of the simi!e

re#resenting one thing( the end another. %ometimes the who!e meta#hor may refer to two cognate su >ects in the same ranch of )now!edge. 'f we were to teach in these disci#!ines( without the use of #ara !es and figures( we shou!d e com#e!!ed to resort to e1#ressions oth #rofound and transcendenta!( and y no means more inte!!igi !e than meta#hors and simi!es; as though the wise and !earned were drawn into this course y the .i$ine 0i!!( in the same way as they are com#e!!ed to fo!!ow the !aws of nature in matters re!ating to the ody. Mou are no dou t aware that the *!mighty( desiring to !ead us to #erfection and to im#ro$e our state of society( has re$ea!ed to us !aws which are to regu!ate our actions. These !aws( howe$er( #resu##ose an ad$anced state of inte!!ectua! cu!ture. 0e must first form a conce#tion of the &1istence of the +reator according to our ca#a i!ities; that is( we must ha$e a )now!edge of Meta#hysics. 4ut this disci#!ine can on!y e a##roached after the study of 7hysics; for the science of 7hysics orders on Meta#hysics( and must e$en #recede it in the course of our studies( as is c!ear to a!! who are fami!iar with these -uestions. Therefore the *!mighty commenced "o!y 0rit with the descri#tion of the +reation( that is( with 7hysica! %cience; the su >ect eing on the one hand most weighty and im#ortant( and on the other hand our means of fu!!y com#rehending those great #ro !ems eing !imited. "e descri ed those #rofound truths( which "is .i$ine 0isdom found it necessary to communicate to us( in a!!egorica!( figurati$e( and meta#horica! !anguage. ?ur %ages ha$e said (Memen Midrash on 2en. i. 1)( <'t is im#ossi !e to gi$e a fu!! account of the +reation to man. Therefore %cri#ture sim#!y te!!s us( 'n the eginning 2od created the hea$ens and the earth< (2en. i. 1). Thus they ha$e suggested that this su >ect is a dee# mystery( and in the words of %o!omon( <Aar off and e1ceeding!y dee#( who can find it out/< (&cc!es. $ii. 28). 't has een treated in meta#hors in order that the uneducated may com#rehend it according to the measure of their facu!ties and the fee !eness of their a##rehension( whi!e educated #ersons may ta)e it in a different sense. 'n our commentary on the Mishnah we stated our intention to e1#!ain difficu!t
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#ro !ems in the 4oo) on 7ro#hecy and in the 4oo) of "armony. 'n the !atter we intended to e1amine a!! the #assages in the Midrash which( if ta)en !itera!!y( a##ear to e inconsistent with truth and common sense( and must therefore e ta)en figurati$e!y. Many years ha$e e!a#sed since ' first commenced those wor)s. ' had #roceeded ut a short way when ' ecame dissatisfied with my origina! #!an. Aor ' o ser$ed that y e1#ounding these #assages y means of a!!egorica! and mystica! terms( we do not e1#!ain anything( ut mere!y su stitute one thing for another of the same nature( whi!st in e1#!aining them fu!!y our efforts wou!d dis#!ease most #eo#!e; and my so!e o >ect in #!anning to write those oo)s was to ma)e the contents of Midrashim and the e1oteric !essons of the #ro#hecies inte!!igi !e to e$ery ody. 0e ha$e further noticed that when an i!!-informed Theo!ogian reads these Midrashim( he wi!! find no difficu!ty; for #ossessing no )now!edge of the #ro#erties of things( he wi!! not re>ect statements which in$o!$e im#ossi i!ities. 0hen( howe$er( a #erson who is oth re!igious and we!! educated reads them( he cannot esca#e the fo!!owing di!emma; either he ta)es them !itera!!y( and -uestions the a i!ities of the author and the soundness of his mind-doing there y nothing which is o##osed to the #rinci#!es of our faith(--or he wi!! ac-uiesce in assuming that the #assages in -uestion ha$e some secret meaning( and he wi!! continue to ho!d the author in high estimation whether he understood

the a!!egory or not. *s regards #ro#hecy in its $arious degrees and the different meta#hors used in the #ro#hetic oo)s( we sha!! gi$e in the #resent wor) an e1#!anation( according to a different method. 2uided y these considerations ' ha$e refrained from writing those two oo)s as ' had #re$ious!y intended. 'n my !arger wor)( the Mishnah )orah( ' ha$e contented myse!f with rief!y stating the #rinci#!es of our faith and its fundamenta! truths( together with such hints as a##roach a c!ear e1#osition. 'n this wor)( howe$er( ' address those who ha$e studied #hi!oso#hy and ha$e ac-uired sound )now!edge( and who whi!e firm in re!igious matters are #er#!e1ed and ewi!dered on account of the am iguous and figurati$e e1#ressions em#!oyed in the ho!y writings. %ome cha#ters may e found in this wor) which contain no reference whate$er to homonyms. %uch cha#ters wi!! ser$e as an introduction to others; they wi!! contain some reference to the signification of a homonym which ' do not wish to mention in that #!ace( or e1#!ain some figure; #oint out that a certain e1#ression is a figure; treat of difficu!t #assages genera!!y misunderstood in conse-uence of the homonymy they inc!ude( or ecause the simi!e they contain is ta)en in #!ace of that which it re#resents( and "ice "ersB. "a$ing s#o)en of simi!es( ' #roceed to ma)e the fo!!owing remar);--The )ey to the understanding and to the fu!! com#rehension of a!! that the 7ro#hets ha$e said is found in the )now!edge of the figures( their genera! ideas( and the meaning of each word they contain. Mou )now the $erse; <' ha$e a!so s#o)en in simi!es y the 7ro#hets< ("osea 1ii. 10); and a!so the $erse( <7ut forth a ridd!e and s#ea) a #ara !e< (&,e). 1$ii. 2). *nd ecause the 7ro#hets continua!!y em#!oy figures( &,e)ie! said( <.oes "e not s#ea) #ara !es/< (11i. :). *gain( %o!omon egins his oo) of 7ro$er s with the words( <To understand a #ro$er and figurati$e s#eech( the words of the wise and their dar) sayings< (7ro$. i. 5); and we read in Midrash( $hir ha-shirim 'abba( i. 1); <To what were the words of the =aw to e com#ared
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efore the time of %o!omon/ To a we!! the waters of which are at a great de#th( and though coo! and fresh( yet no man cou!d drin) of them. * c!e$er man >oined cord with cord( and ro#e with ro#e( and drew u# and dran). %o %o!omon went from figure to figure( and from su >ect to su >ect( ti!! he o tained the true sense of the =aw.< %o far go the words of our %ages. ' do not e!ie$e that any inte!!igent man thin)s that <the words of the =aw< mentioned here as re-uiring the a##!ication of figures in order to e understood( can refer to the ru!es for ui!ding ta ernac!es( for #re#aring the !u!a ( or for the four )inds of trustees. 0hat is rea!!y meant is the a##rehension of #rofound and difficu!t su >ects( concerning which our %ages said( <'f a man !oses in his house a se!a( or a #ear!( he can find it y !ighting a ta#er worth on!y one issar. Thus the #ara !es in themse!$es are of no great $a!ue( ut through them the words of the ho!y =aw are rendered inte!!igi !e.< These !i)ewise are the words of our %ages; consider we!! their statement( that the deeper sense of the words of the ho!y =aw are #ear!s( and the !itera! acce#tation of a figure is of no $a!ue in itse!f. They com#are the hidden meaning inc!uded in the !itera! sense of the simi!e to a #ear! !ost in a dar) room( which is fu!! of furniture. 't is certain that the #ear! is in the room( ut the man can neither see it nor )now where it !ies. 't is >ust as if the #ear! were no !onger in his #ossession( for( as has een stated( it affords him no enefit whate$er unti! he )ind!es a

!ight. The same is the case with the com#rehension of that which the simi!e re#resents. The wise )ing said( <* word fit!y s#o)en is !i)e a##!es of go!d in $esse!s of si!$er< (7ro$. 11$. 11). "ear the e1#!anation of what he said;--The word maskiyoth( the "e rew e-ui$a!ent for <$esse!s(< denotes <fi!igree networ)<--i.e.( things in which there are $ery sma!! a#ertures( such as are fre-uent!y wrought y si!$ersmiths. They are ca!!ed in "e rew maskiyyoth (!it. <trans#icuous(< from the $er sakah( <he saw(< a root which occurs a!so in the Targum of ?n)e!os( 2en. 11$i. H)( ecause the eye #enetrates through them. Thus %o!omon meant to say( <>ust as a##!es of go!d in si!$er fi!igree with sma!! a#ertures( so is a word fit!y s#o)en.< %ee how eautifu!!y the conditions of a good simi!e are descri ed in this figureR 't shows that in e$ery word which has a dou !e sense( a !itera! one and a figurati$e one( the #!ain meaning must e as $a!ua !e as si!$er( and the hidden meaning sti!! more #recious; so that the figurati$e meaning ears the same re!ation to the !itera! one as go!d to si!$er. 't is further necessary that the #!ain sense of the #hrase sha!! gi$e to those who consider it some notion of that which the figure re#resents. >ust as a go!den a##!e o$er!aid with a networ) of si!$er( when seen at a distance( or !oo)ed at su#erficia!!y( is mista)en for a si!$er a##!e( ut when a )een-sighted #erson !oo)s at the o >ect we!!( he wi!! find what is within( and see that the a##!e is go!d. The same is the case with the figures em#!oyed y #ro#hets. Ta)en !itera!!y( such e1#ressions contain wisdom usefu! for many #ur#oses( among others( for the ame!ioration of the condition of society; e.g.( the 7ro$er s (of %o!omon)( and simi!ar sayings in their !itera! sense. Their hidden meaning( howe$er( is #rofound wisdom( conduci$e to the recognition of rea! truth. 3now that the figures em#!oyed y #ro#hets are of two )inds; first( where e$ery word which occurs in the simi!e re#resents a certain idea; and second!y( where the simi!e( as a who!e( re#resents a genera! idea( ut has a great
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many #oints which ha$e no reference whate$er to that idea; they are sim#!y re-uired to gi$e to the simi!e its #ro#er form and order( or etter to concea! the idea; the simi!e is therefore continued as far as necessary( according to its !itera! sense. +onsider this we!!. *n e1am#!e of the first c!ass of #ro#hetic figures is to e found in 2enesis;--<*nd( eho!d( a !adder set u# on the earth( and the to# of it reached to hea$en; and( eho!d( the ange!s of 2od ascending and descending on it< (2en. 11$iii. 12). The word <!adder< refers to one idea; <set u# on the earth< to another; <and the to# of it reached to hea$en< to a third; <ange!s of 2od< to a fourth; <ascending< to a fifth; <descending< to a si1th; <the =ord stood a o$e it< ($er. 16) to a se$enth. &$ery word in this figure introduces a fresh e!ement into the idea re#resented y the figure. *n e1am#!e of the second c!ass of #ro#hetic figures is found in 7ro$er s ($ii. 5-25);--<Aor at the window of my house ' !oo)ed through my casement( and ehe!d among the sim#!e ones; ' discerned among the youths a young man $oid of understanding( #assing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house( in the twi!ight( in the e$ening( in the !ac) and dar) night; and( eho!d( there met him a woman with the attire of a har!ot( and su ti! of heart. (%he is !oud and stu orn; her feet a ide not in her house; now the is

without( now in the streets( and !ieth in wait in e$ery corner.) %o she caught him( and )issed him( and with an im#udent face said unto him( ' ha$e #eace offerings with me; this day ha$e ' #aid my $ows. Therefore came ' forth to meet thee( di!igent!y to see) thy face( and ' ha$e found thee. ' ha$e dec)ed my ed with co$erings of ta#estry( with stri#ed c!oths of the yam of &gy#t. ' ha$e #erfumed my ed with myrrh( a!oes( and cinnamon. +ome( !et us ta)e our fi!! of !o$e unti! the morning; !et us so!ace ourse!$es with !o$es. Aor the goodman is not at home( he is gone a !ong >ourney; he hath ta)en a ag of money with him( and wi!! come home at the day a##ointed. 0ith her much fair s#eech she caused him to yie!d( with the f!attering of her !i#s she forced him. "e goeth after her straightway( as an o1 goeth to the s!aughter( or as fetters to the correction of a foo!; ti!! a dart stri)e through his !i$er; as a ird hasteth to the snare( and )noweth not that it is for his !ife. "ear)en unto me now therefore( ? ye chi!dren( and attend to the words of my mouth. =et not thine heart dec!ine to her ways( go not astray in her #aths. Aor she hath cast down many wounded; yea( many strong men ha$e een s!ain y her.< The genera! #rinci#!e e1#ounded in a!! these $erses is to a stain from e1cessi$e indu!gence in odi!y #!easures. The author com#ares the ody( which is the source of a!! sensua! #!easures( to a married woman who at the same time is a har!ot. *nd this figure he has ta)en as the asis of his entire oo). 0e sha!! hereafter show the wisdom of %o!omon in com#aring sensua! #!easures to an adu!terous har!ot. 0e sha!! e1#!ain how a#t!y he conc!udes that wor) with the #raises of a faithfu! wife who de$otes herse!f to the we!fare of her hus and and of her househo!d. *!! o stac!es which #re$ent man from attaining his highest aim in !ife( a!! the deficiencies in the character of man( a!! his e$i! #ro#ensities( are to e traced to the ody a!one. This wi!! e e1#!ained !ater on. The #redominant idea running throughout the figure is( that man sha!! not e entire!y guided y his anima!( or materia! nature; for the materia! su stance of man is identica! with that of the rute creation.
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*n ade-uate e1#!anation of the figure ha$ing een gi$en( and its meaning ha$ing een shown( do not imagine that you wi!! find in its a##!ication a corres#onding e!ement for each #art of the figure; you must not as) what is meant y <' ha$e #eace offerings with me< ($er. 18); y <' ha$e dec)ed my ed with co$erings of ta#estry< ($er. 15); or what is added to the force of the figure y the o ser$ation <for the goodman is not at home< ($er. 19)( and so on to the end of the cha#ter. Aor a!! this is mere!y to com#!ete the i!!ustration of the meta#hor in its !itera! meaning. The circumstances descri ed here are such as are common to adu!terers. %uch con$ersations ta)e #!ace etween a!! adu!terous #ersons. Mou must we!! understand what ' ha$e said( for it is a #rinci#!e of the utmost im#ortance with res#ect to those things which ' intend to e1#ound. 'f you o ser$e in one of the cha#ters that ' e1#!ained the meaning of a certain figure( and #ointed out to you its genera! sco#e( do not trou !e yourse!f further in order to find an inter#retation of each se#arate #ortion( for that wou!d !ead you to one of the two fo!!owing erroneous courses; either you wi!! miss the sense inc!uded in the meta#hor( or you wi!! e induced to e1#!ain certain things which re-uire no e1#!anation( and which are not introduced for that #ur#ose. Through this unnecessary trou !e you may fa!! into the great error which esets most modern sects in their foo!ish writings and discussions; they a!! endea$our to find some hidden meaning in

e1#ressions which were ne$er uttered y the author in that sense. Mour o >ect shou!d e to disco$er inmost of the figures the genera! idea which the author wishes to e1#ress. 'n some instances it wi!! e sufficient if you understand from my remar)s that a certain e1#ression contains a figure( a!though ' may offer no further comment. Aor when you )now that it is not to e ta)en !itera!!y( you wi!! understand at once to what su >ect it refers. My statement that it is a figurati$e e1#ression wi!!( as it were( remo$e the screen from etween the o >ect and the o ser$er.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

Directions for the $tudy of this Cork. 'f you desire to gras# a!! that is contained in this oo) so that nothing sha!! esca#e your notice( consider the cha#ters in connected order. 'n studying each cha#ter( do not content yourse!f with com#rehending its #rinci#a! su >ect( ut attend to e$ery term mentioned therein( a!though it may seem to ha$e no connection with the #rinci#a! su >ect. Aor what ' ha$e written in this wor) was not the suggestion of the moment; it is the resu!t of dee# study and great a##!ication. +are has een ta)en that nothing that a##eared dou tfu! shou!d e !eft une1#!ained. Fothing of what is mentioned is out of #!ace( e$ery remar) wi!! e found to i!!ustrate the su >ect-matter of the res#ecti$e cha#ter. .o not read su#erficia!!y( !est you do me an in>ury( and deri$e no enefit for yourse!f. Mou must study thorough!y and read continua!!y; for you wi!! then find the so!ution of those im#ortant #ro !ems of re!igion( which are a source of an1iety to a!! inte!!igent men. ' ad>ure any reader of my oo)( in the name of the Most "igh( not to add any e1#!anation e$en to a sing!e word; nor to e1#!ain to another any #ortion of it e1ce#t such #assages as ha$e een fu!!y treated of y #re$ious theo!ogica! authorities; he must not teach others anything that he has !earnt from my wor) a!one( and that has not een hitherto discussed y any of our authorities. The reader must( moreo$er( eware of raising o >ections to any of my statements(
#. 9

ecause it is $ery #ro a !e that he may understand my words to mean the e1act o##osite to what ' intended to say. "e wi!! in>ure me( whi!e ' endea$oured to enefit him. <"e wi!! re-uite me e$i! for good.< =et the reader ma)e a carefu! study of this wor); and if his dou t e remo$ed on e$en one #oint( !et him #raise his Ma)er and rest contented with the )now!edge he has ac-uired. 4ut if he deri$e from it no enefit whate$er( he may consider the oo) as if it had ne$er een written. %hou!d he notice any o#inions with which he does not agree( !et him endea$our to find a suita !e e1#!anation( e$en if it seem far-fetched( in order that he may >udge me charita !y. %uch a duty we owe to e$ery one. 0e owe it es#ecia!!y to our scho!ars and theo!ogians( who endea$our to teach us what is the truth according to the est of their a i!ity. ' fee! assured that those of my readers who ha$e not studied #hi!oso#hy( wi!! sti!! deri$e #rofit from many a cha#ter. 4ut the thin)er whose studies ha$e rought him into co!!ision with re!igion( wi!!( as ' ha$e a!ready mentioned( deri$e much enefit from e$ery cha#ter. "ow great!y wi!! he re>oiceR "ow agreea !y wi!! my words stri)e his earsR Those( howe$er( whose minds are confused with fa!se notions and

#er$erse methods( who regard their mis!eading studies as sciences( and imagine themse!$es #hi!oso#hers( though they ha$e no )now!edge that cou!d tru!y e termed science( wi!! o >ect to many cha#ters( and wi!! find in them many insu#era !e difficu!ties( ecause they do not understand their meaning( and ecause ' e1#ose therein the a surdity of their #er$erse notions( which constitute their riches and #ecu!iar treasure( <stored u# for their ruin.< 2od )nows that ' hesitated $ery much efore writing on the su >ects contained in this wor)( since they are #rofound mysteries; they are to#ics which( since the time of our ca#ti$ity ha$e not een treated y any of our scho!ars as far as we #ossess their writings; how then sha!! ' now ma)e a eginning and discuss them/ 4ut ' re!y on two #recedents; first( to simi!ar cases our %ages a##!ied the $erse( <'t is time to do something in honour of the =ord; for they ha$e made $oid thy !aw< (7s. c1i1. 125). %econd!y( they ha$e said( <=et a!! thy acts e guided y #ure intentions.< ?n these two #rinci#!es ' re!ied whi!e com#osing some #arts of this wor). =ast!y( when ' ha$e a difficu!t su >ect efore me--when ' find the road narrow( and can see no other way of teaching a we!! esta !ished truth e1ce#t y #!easing one inte!!igent man and dis#!easing ten thousand foo!s--' #refer to address myse!f to the one man( and to ta)e no notice whate$er of the condemnation of the mu!titude; ' #refer to e1tricate that inte!!igent man from his em arrassment and show him the cause of his #er#!e1ity( so that he may attain #erfection and e at #eace.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

-ntroductory 'emarks. C?F M&T"?.D T"&9& are se$en causes of inconsistencies and contradictions to e met with in a !iterary wor). The first cause arises from the fact that the author co!!ects the o#inions of $arious men( each differing from the other( ut neg!ects to mention the name of the author of any #articu!ar o#inion. 'n such a wor) contradictions or inconsistencies must occur( since any two statements may e!ong to two different authors. %econd cause; The author ho!ds at first one o#inion which he su se-uent!y re>ects; in his wor).( howe$er( oth his
#. 10

origina! and a!tered $iews are retained. Third cause; The #assages in -uestion are not a!! to e ta)en !itera!!y; some on!y are to e understood in their !itera! sense( whi!e in others figurati$e !anguage is em#!oyed( which inc!udes another meaning esides the !itera! one; or( in the a##arent!y inconsistent #assages( figurati$e !anguage is em#!oyed which( if ta)en !itera!!y( wou!d seem to e contradictories or contraries. Aourth cause; The #remises are not identica! in oth statements( ut for certain reasons they are not fu!!y stated in these #assages; or two #ro#ositions with different su >ects which are e1#ressed y the same term without ha$ing the difference in meaning #ointed out( occur in two #assages. The contradiction is therefore on!y a##arent( ut there is no contradiction in rea!ity. The fifth cause is tracea !e to the use of a certain method ado#ted in teaching and e1#ounding #rofound #ro !ems. Fame!y( a difficu!t and o scure theorem must sometimes e mentioned

and assumed as )nown( for the i!!ustration of some e!ementary and inte!!igi !e su >ect which must e taught eforehand the commencement eing a!ways made with the easier thing. The teacher must therefore faci!itate( in any manner which he can de$ise( the e1#!anation of those theorems( which ha$e to e assumed as )nown( and he must content himse!f with gi$ing a genera! though somewhat inaccurate notion on the su >ect. 't is( for the #resent( e1#!ained according to the ca#acity of the students( that they may com#rehend it as far as they are re-uired to understand the su >ect. =ater on( the same su >ect is thorough!y treated and fu!!y de$e!o#ed in its right #!ace. %i1th cause; The contradiction is not a##arent( and on!y ecomes e$ident through a series of #remises. The !arger the num er of #remises necessary to #ro$e the contradiction etween the two conc!usions( the greater is the chance that it wi!! esca#e detection( and that the author wi!! not #ercei$e his own inconsistency. ?n!y when from each conc!usion( y means of suita !e #remises( an inference is made( and from the enunciation thus inferred( y means of #ro#er arguments( other conc!usions are formed( and after that #rocess has een re#eated many times( then it ecomes c!ear that the origina! conc!usions are contradictories or contraries. &$en a !e writers are !ia !e to o$er!oo) such inconsistencies. 'f( howe$er( the contradiction etween the origina! statements can at once e disco$ered( and the author( whi!e writing the second( does not thin) of the first( he e$inces a greater deficiency( and his words deser$e no notice whate$er. %e$enth cause; 't is sometimes necessary to introduce such meta#hysica! matter as may #art!y e disc!osed( ut must #art!y e concea!ed; whi!e( therefore( on one occasion the o >ect which the author has in $iew may demand that the meta#hysica! #ro !em e treated as so!$ed in one way( it may e con$enient on another occasion to treat it as so!$ed in the o##osite way. The author must endea$our( y concea!ing the fact as much as #ossi !e( to #re$ent the uneducated reader from #ercei$ing the contradiction. 'nconsistencies occurring in the Mishnah and 4oraitot are tracea !e to the first cause. Mou meet fre-uent!y in the 2emara with #assages !i)e the fo!!owing;--<.oes not the eginning of the #assage contradict the end/ Fo; the eginning is the dictum of a certain 9a i; the end that of an other<; or <9a i (Jehudah ha-Fasi) a##ro$ed of the o#inion of a certain ra i in one case and ga$e it therefore anonymous!y( and ha$ing acce#ted
#. 11

that of another ra i in the other case he introduced that $iew without naming the authority<; or <0ho is the author of this anonymous dictum/ 9a i *.< <0ho is the author of that #aragra#h in the Mishnah/ 9a i 4.< 'nstances of this )ind are innumera !e. *##arent contradictions or differences occurring in the 2emara may e traced to the first cause and to the second( as e.g.( <'n this #articu!ar case he agrees with this ra i<; or <"e agrees with him in one #oint( ut differs from him in another<; or <These two dicta are the o#inions of two *moraim( who differ as regards the statement made y a certain ra i.< These are e1am#!es of contradictions tracea !e to the first cause. The fo!!owing are instances which may e traced to the second cause. <9a a a!tered his o#inion on that #oint<; it then ecomes necessary to consider which of the two o#inions came second. *gain(< 'n the first recension of the Ta!mud y 9a i *shi( he made one assertion( and in the second a different one.<

The inconsistencies and contradictions met with in some #assages of the #ro#hetic oo)s( if ta)en !itera!!y( are a!! tracea !e to the third or fourth cause( and it is e1c!usi$e!y in reference to this su >ect that ' wrote the #resent 'ntroduction. Mou )now that the fo!!owing e1#ression fre-uent!y occurs( <?ne $erse says this( another that(< showing the contradiction( and e1#!aining that either some #remise is wanting or the su >ect is a!tered. +om#. <%o!omon( it is not sufficient that thy words contradict thy father; they are themse!$es inconsistent( etc.< Many simi!ar instances occur in the writings of our %ages. The #assages in the #ro#hetica! oo)s which our %ages ha$e e1#!ained( most!y refer to re!igious or mora! #rece#ts. ?ur desire( howe$er( is to discuss such #assages as contain a##arent contradictions in regard to the #rinci#!es of our faith. ' sha!! e1#!ain some of them in $arious cha#ters of the #resent wor); for this su >ect a!so e!ongs to the secrets of the Torah. +ontradictions tracea !e to the se$enth cause occurring in the #ro#hetica! wor)s re-uire s#ecia! in$estigation; and no one shou!d e1#ress his o#inion on that matter y reasoning and arguing without weighing the matter we!! in his mind. 'nconsistencies in the writings of true #hi!oso#hers are tracea !e to the fifth cause. +ontradictions occurring in the writings of most authors and commentators( such as are not inc!uded in the a o$e-mentioned wor)s( are due to the si1th cause. Many e1am#!es of this c!ass of contradictions are found in the Midrash and the *gada; hence the saying( <0e must not raise -uestions concerning the contradictions met with in the *gada.< Mou may a!so notice in them contradictions due to the se$enth cause. *ny inconsistency disco$ered in the #resent wor) wi!! e found to arise in conse-uence of the fifth cause or the se$enth. Fotice this( consider its truth( and remem er it we!!( !est you misunderstand some of the cha#ters in this oo). "a$ing conc!uded these introductory remar)s ' #roceed to e1amine those e1#ressions( to the true meaning of which( as a##arent from the conte1t( it is necessary to direct your attention. This oo) wi!! then e a )ey admitting to #!aces the gates of which wou!d otherwise e c!osed. 0hen the gates are o#ened and men enter( their sou!s wi!! en>oy re#ose( their eyes wi!! e gratified( and e$en their odies( after a!! toi! and !a our( wi!! e refreshed.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

P+'T &,"
#. 12 #. 16

<(pen ye the ates6 that the ri hteous nation *hich keepeth the truth may enter in.<--('sa. 11$i. 2.)

/!+PT"' $

%ome ha$e een of o#inion that y the "e rew elem( the sha#e and figure of a thing is to e understood( and this e1#!anation !ed men to e!ie$e in the cor#orea!ity Cof the .i$ine 4eingD; for they thought that the words <=et us ma)e man in our elem< (2en. i. 25)( im#!ied that 2od had the form of a human eing( i.e.( that "e had figure and sha#e( and that( conse-uent!y( "e was cor#orea!. They adhered faithfu!!y to this $iew( and thought that if they were to re!in-uish it they wou!d eo ipso re>ect the truth of the 4i !e; and further( if they did not concei$e 2od as ha$ing a ody #ossessed of face and !im s( simi!ar to their own in a##earance( they wou!d ha$e to deny e$en the e1istence of 2od. The so!e difference which they admitted( was that "e e1ce!!ed in greatness and s#!endour( and that "is su stance was not f!esh and !ood. Thus far went their conce#tion of the greatness and g!ory of 2od. The incor#orea!ity of the .i$ine 4eing( and "is unity( in the true sense of the word--for there is no rea! unity without incor#orea!ity--wi!! e fu!!y #ro$ed in the course of the #resent treatise. (7art ''.( ch. i.) 'n this cha#ter it is our so!e intention to e1#!ain the meaning of the words elem and demut. ' ho!d that the "e rew e-ui$a!ent of <form< in the ordinary acce#tation of the word( $i,.( the figure and sha#e of a thing( is toDr. Thus we find <C*nd Jose#h wasD eautifu! in toDr ('form')( and eautifu! in a##earance< (2en. 111i1. 5); <0hat form (toDr) is he of/< (1 %am. 11$iii. 18); <*s the form (toDr) of the chi!dren of a )ing< (Judges $iii. 1H). 't is a!so a##!ied to form #roduced y human !a our( as <"e mar)eth its form (toDr) with a !ine(< <and he mar)eth its form (toDr) with the com#ass< ('sa. 1!i$. 16). This term is not at a!! a##!ica !e to 2od. The term elem( on the other hand( signifies the s#ecific form( $i,.( that which constitutes the essence of a thing( where y the thing is what it is; the rea!ity of a thing in so far as it is that #articu!ar eing. 'n man the <form< is that constituent which gi$es him human #erce#tion; and on account of this inte!!ectua! #erce#tion the term elem is em#!oyed in the sentences <'n the elem of 2od he created him< (2en. i. 2J). 't is therefore right!y said( <Thou des#isest their elem< (7s. !1iii. 20); the <contem#t< can on!y concern the sou!--the s#ecific form of man( not the #ro#erties and sha#e of his ody. ' am a!so of o#inion that the reason why this term is used for <ido!s< may e found in the circumstance that they are worshi##ed on account of some idea re#resented y them( not on account of their figure and sha#e. Aor the same reason the term is used in the e1#ression( <the forms (alme) of your
#. 18

emerods< (1 %am. $i. :)( for the chief o >ect was the remo$a! of the in>ury caused y the emerods( not a change of their sha#e. *s( howe$er( it must e admitted that the term elem is em#!oyed in these two cases( $i,. <the images of the emerods< and <the ido!s< on account of the e1terna! sha#e( the term elem is either a homonym or a hy rid term( and wou!d denote oth the s#ecific form and the outward sha#e( and simi!ar #ro#erties re!ating to the dimensions and the sha#e of materia! odies; and in the #hrase <=et us ma)e man in our elem< (2en. i. 25)( the term signifies <the s#ecific form< of man( $i,.( his inte!!ectua! #erce#tion( and does not refer to his <figure< or <sha#e.< Thus we ha$e shown the difference etween elem and toDr( and e1#!ained the meaning of elem. Demut is deri$ed from the $er damah( <he is !i)e.< This term !i)ewise denotes agreement with regard to some a stract re!ation; com#. <' am !i)e a #e!ican of the wi!derness< (7s. cii. J); the author does not com#are himse!f to the #e!ican in #oint of wings and feathers( ut in #oint of sadness.< For any tree in the garden of 2od was !i)e unto him in eauty< (&,e). H);

the com#arison refers to the idea of eauty. <Their #oison is !i)e the #oison of a ser#ent< (7s. !$iii. :); <"e is !i)e unto a !ion< (7s. 1$ii. 12); the resem !ance indicated in these #assages does not refer to the figure and sha#e( ut to some a stract idea. 'n the same manner is used <the !i)eness of the throne< (&,e). i. 25); the com#arison is made with regard to greatness and g!ory( not( as many e!ie$e( with regard to its s-uare form( its readth( or the !ength of its !egs; this e1#!anation a##!ies a!so to the #hrase <the !i)eness of the ayyot (<!i$ing creatures(< &,e). i. 16). *s man's distinction consists in a #ro#erty which no other creature on earth #ossesses( $i,.( inte!!ectua! #erce#tion( in the e1ercise of which he does not em#!oy his senses( nor mo$e his hand or his foot( this #erce#tion has een com#ared--though on!y a##arent!y( not in truth--to the .i$ine #erce#tion( which re-uires no cor#orea! organ. ?n this account( i.e.( on account of the .i$ine inte!!ect with which man has een endowed( he is said to ha$e een made in the form and !i)eness of the *!mighty( ut far from it e the notion that the %u#reme 4eing is cor#orea!( ha$ing a materia! form.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

/!+PT"' $$
%ome years ago a !earned man as)ed me a -uestion of great im#ortance; the #ro !em and the so!ution which we ga$e in our re#!y deser$e the c!osest attention. 4efore( howe$er( entering u#on this #ro !em and its so!ution ' must #remise that e$ery "e rew )nows that the term #lohim is a homonym( and denotes 2od( ange!s( >udges( and the ru!ers of countries( and that ?n)e!os the #rose!yte e1#!ained it in the true and correct manner y ta)ing #lohim in the sentence( <and ye sha!! e !i)e #lohim< (2en. iii. :) in the !astmentioned meaning( and rendering the sentence <and ye sha!! e !i)e #rinces.< "a$ing #ointed out the homonymity of the term <#lohim< we return to the -uestion under consideration. <'t wou!d at first sight(< said the o >ector( <a##ear from %cri#ture that man was origina!!y intended to e #erfect!y e-ua! to the rest of the anima! creation( which is not endowed with inte!!ect( reason( or #ower of distinguishing etween good and e$i!; ut that *dam's diso edience to the command of 2od #rocured him that great #erfection
#. 1:

which is the #ecu!iarity of man( $i,.( the #ower of distinguishing etween good and e$i!-the no !est of a!! the facu!ties of our nature( the essentia! characteristic of the human race. 't thus a##ears strange that the #unishment for re e!!iousness shou!d e the means of e!e$ating man to a #innac!e of #erfection to which he had not attained #re$ious!y. This is e-ui$a!ent to saying that a certain man was re e!!ious and e1treme!y wic)ed( wherefore his nature was changed for the etter( and he was made to shine as a star in the hea$ens.< %uch was the #ur#ort and su >ect of the -uestion( though not in the e1act words of the in-uirer. Fow mar) our re#!y( which was as fo!!ows;--<Mou a##ear to ha$e studied the matter su#erficia!!y( and ne$erthe!ess you imagine that you can understand a oo) which has een the guide of #ast and #resent generations( when you for a moment withdraw from your !usts

and a##etites( and g!ance o$er its contents as if you were reading a historica! wor) or some #oetica! com#osition. +o!!ect your thoughts and e1amine the matter carefu!!y( for it is not to e understood as you at first sight thin)( ut as you wi!! find after due de!i eration; name!y( the inte!!ect which was granted to man as the highest endowment( was estowed on him efore his diso edience. 0ith reference to this gift the 4i !e states that <man was created in the form and !i)eness of 2od.< ?n account of this gift of inte!!ect man was addressed y 2od( and recei$ed "is commandments( as it is said; <*nd the =ord 2od commanded *dam< (2en. ii. 15)--for no commandments are gi$en to the rute creation or to those who are de$oid of understanding. Through the inte!!ect man distinguishes etween the true and the fa!se. This facu!ty *dam #ossessed #erfect!y and com#!ete!y. The right and the wrong are terms em#!oyed in the science of a##arent truths (mora!s)( not in that of necessary truths( as( e.g.( it is not correct to say( in reference to the #ro#osition <the hea$ens are s#herica!(< it is <good< or to dec!are the assertion that <the earth is f!at< to e < ad<; ut we say of the one it is true( of the other it is fa!se. %imi!ar!y our !anguage e1#resses the idea of true and fa!se y the terms emet and sheker( of the mora!!y right and the mora!!y wrong( y tob and ra/. Thus it is the function of the inte!!ect to discriminate etween the true and the fa!se--a distinction which is a##!ica !e to a!! o >ects of inte!!ectua! #erce#tion. 0hen *dam was yet in a state of innocence( and was guided so!e!y y ref!ection and reason--on account of which it is said; <Thou hast made him (man) !itt!e !ower than the ange!s< (7s. $iii. 5)--he was not at a!! a !e to fo!!ow or to understand the #rinci#!es of a##arent truths; the most manifest im#ro#riety( $i,.( to a##ear in a state of nudity( was nothing un ecoming according to his idea; he cou!d not com#rehend why it shou!d e so. *fter man's diso edience( howe$er( when he egan to gi$e way to desires which had their source in his imagination and to the gratification of his odi!y a##etites( as it is said( <*nd the wife saw that the tree was good for food and de!ightfu! to the eyes< (2en. iii. 5)( he was #unished y the !oss of #art of that inte!!ectua! facu!ty which he had #re$ious!y #ossessed. "e therefore transgressed a command with which he had een charged on the score of his reason; and ha$ing o tained a )now!edge of the a##arent truths( he was who!!y a sor ed in the study of what is #ro#er and what im#ro#er. Then he fu!!y understood the magnitude of the !oss he had sustained( what he had forfeited( and in what situation he was there y #!aced. "ence we read( <*nd ye sha!! e !i)e
#. 15

elohim( )nowing good and e$i!(< and not <)nowing< or <discerning the true and the fa!se<; whi!e in necessary truths we can on!y a##!y the words <true and fa!se(< not <good and e$i!.< Aurther o ser$e the #assage( <*nd the eyes of oth were o#ened( and they )new they were na)ed< (2en. iii. J); it is not said( <*nd the eyes of oth were o#ened( and they sa*<; for what the man had seen #re$ious!y and what he saw after this circumstance was #recise!y the same; there had een no !indness which was now remo$ed( ut he recei$ed a new facu!ty where y he found things wrong which #re$ious!y he had not regarded as wrong. 4esides( you must )now that the "e rew word paka used in this #assage is e1c!usi$e!y em#!oyed in the figurati$e sense of recei$ing new sources of )now!edge( not in that of regaining the sense of sight. +om#.( <2od o#ened her eyes< (2en. 11i. 19). <Then sha!! the eyes of the !ind e o#ened< ('saiah 111$iii. H). <?#en ears( he heareth not< (ibid. K!ii. 20)( simi!ar in sense to the $erse( <0hich ha$e eyes to see( and see not< (&,e). 1ii. 2). 0hen( howe$er( %cri#ture says of *dam( <"e changed his face (pana") and thou sentest him forth<

Jo 1i$. 20)( it must e understood in the fo!!owing way; ?n account of the change of his origina! aim he was sent away. Aor panim( the "e rew e-ui$a!ent of face( is deri$ed from the $er panah( <he turned(< and signifies a!so <aim(< ecause man genera!!y turns his face towards the thing he desires. 'n accordance with this inter#retation( our te1t suggests that *dam( as he a!tered his intention and directed his thoughts to the ac-uisition of what he was for idden( he was anished from 7aradise; this was his #unishment; it was measure for measure. *t first he had the #ri$i!ege of tasting #!easure and ha##iness( and of en>oying re#ose and security; ut as his a##etites grew stronger( and he fo!!owed his desires and im#u!ses( (as we ha$e a!ready stated a o$e)( and #artoo) of the food he was for idden to taste( he was de#ri$ed of e$erything( was doomed to su sist on the meanest )ind of food( such as he ne$er tasted efore( and this e$en on!y after e1ertion and !a our( as it is said( <Thorns and thist!es sha!! grow u# for thee< (2en. iii. 1H)( <4y the sweat of thy row(< etc.( and in e1#!anation of this the te1t continues( <*nd the =ord 2od dro$e him from the 2arden of &den( to ti!! the ground whence he was ta)en.< "e was now with res#ect to food and many other re-uirements rought to the !e$e! of the !ower anima!s; com#.( <Thou sha!t eat the grass of the fie!d< (2en. iii. 1H). 9ef!ecting on his condition( the 7sa!mist says( <*dam una !e to dwe!! in dignity( was rought to the !e$e! of the dum east< (7s. 1!i1. 16).< May the *!mighty e #raised( whose design and wisdom cannot e fathomed.<
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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'T might e thought that the "e rew words temunah and tabnit ha$e one and the same meaning( ut this is not the case. )abnit( deri$ed from the $er banah (he ui!t)( signifies the ui!d and construction of a thing--that is to say( its figure( whether s-uare( round( triangu!ar( or of any other sha#e. +om#. <the #attern (tabnit) of the Ta ernac!e and the #attern (tabnit) of a!! its $esse!s< (&1od. 11$. 9); <according to the #attern (ta nit) which thou wast shown u#on the mount< (&1od. 11$( 80); <the form of any ird< (.eut. i$. 1J); <the form (tabnit) of a hand< (&,e). $iii. 6); <the #attern
#. 1J

(tabnit) of the #orch< (1 +hron. 11$iii. 11). 'n a!! these -uotations it is the sha#e which is referred to. Therefore the "e rew !anguage ne$er em#!oys the word tabnit in s#ea)ing of the -ua!ities of 2od *!mighty.
C#aragra#h continuesD

The term temunah( on the other hand( is used in the 4i !e in three different senses. 't signifies( first( the out!ines of things which are #ercei$ed y our odi!y senses( i.e.( their sha#e and form; as( e.g.( <*nd ye ma)e an image the form (temunat) of some !i)eness< (.eut. i$. 15); <for ye saw no !i)eness< (temunah) (.eut. i$. 1:). %econd!y( the forms of our imagination( i.e.( the im#ressions retained in imagination when the o >ects ha$e ceased to affect our senses. 'n this sense it is used in the #assage which egins <'n thoughts from the $isions of the night< (Jo i$. 16)( and which conc!udes <it remained ut ' cou!d not recogni,e its sight( on!y an image--temunah--was efore my eyes(< i.e.( an image which

#resented itse!f to my sight during s!ee#. Third!y( the true form of an o >ect( which is #ercei$ed on!y y the inte!!ect; and it is in this third signification that the term is a##!ied to 2od. The words <*nd the simi!itude of the =ord sha!! he eho!d< (Fum. 1ii. H) therefore mean <he sha!! com#rehend the true essence of the =ord.<
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T"& three $er s raah( hibbit( and azah( which denote <he #ercei$ed with the eye(< are a!so used figurati$e!y in the sense of inte!!ectua! #erce#tion. *s regards the first of these $er s this is we!! )nown( e.g.( *nd he !oo)ed ("a-yar) and eho!d a we!! in the fie!d< (2en. 11i1. 2) here it signifies ocu!ar #erce#tion; <yea( my heart has seen (raah) much of wisdom and of )now!edge< (&cc!es. i. 15); in this #assage it refers to the inte!!ectua! #erce#tion. 'n this figurati$e sense the $er is to e understood( when a##!ied to 2od e.g.( <' saw (ra0ti) the =ord< (1 3ings 11ii. 19); <*nd the =ord a##eared ("a-yera) unto him (2en. 1$iii. 1); <*nd 2od saw ("a-yar) that it was good< (2en. i. 10) <' eseech thee( show me (hareni) thy g!ory< (&1od. 111iii. 1H); <*nd they saw ("a-yir>) the 2od of 'srae!< (&1od. 11i$. 10). *!! these instances refer to inte!!ectua! #erce#tion( and y no means to #erce#tion with the eye as in its !itera! meaning; for( on the one hand( the eye can on!y #ercei$e a cor#orea! o >ect( and in connection with it certain accidents( as co!our( sha#e( etc.; and( on the other hand( 2od does not #ercei$e y means of a cor#orea! organ( as wi!! e e1#!ained. 'n the same manner the "e rew hibbit signifies <he $iewed with the eye; com#. <=oo) (tabbit) not ehind thee< (2en. 1i1. 1J); <4ut his wife !oo)ed ("a-tabbet) ac) from him< (2en. 1i1. 25); <*nd if one !oo) ("e-nibbat) unto the !and< ('sa. $. 60); and figurati$e!y( <to $iew and o ser$e< with the inte!!ect( <to contem#!ate< a thing ti!! it e understood. 'n this sense the $er is used in #assages !i)e the fo!!owing; <"e hath not ehe!d (hibbit) ini-uity in Jaco < (Fum. 11iii. 21); for <ini-uity< cannot e seen with the eye. The words( <*nd they !oo)ed ("e-hibbitu) after Moses< (&1od. 111iii. H)--in addition to the !itera! understanding of the #hrase--were e1#!ained y our %ages in a figurati$e sense. *ccording to them( these words mean that the 'srae!ites e1amined and criticised the actions and sayings of Moses. +om#are a!so <+ontem#!ate (habbet)( ' #ray thee( the hea$en<
#. 1H

(2en. 1$. :); for this too) #!ace in a #ro#hetic $ision. This $er ( when a##!ied to 2od( is em#!oyed in this figurati$e sense; e.g.( <to !oo) (me-habbit) u#on 2od< (&1od. iii. 5) <*nd the simi!itude of the =ord sha!! he eho!d< (yabbit) (Fum. 1ii. H); *nd thou canst not !oo) (habbet) on ini-uity< ("a . i. 16).
C#aragra#h continuesD

The same e1#!anation a##!ies to azah. 't denotes to $iew with the eye( as; <*nd !et our eye !oo) ("e-taaz) u#on Tion< (Mic. i$. 11); and a!so figurati$e!y( to #ercei$e menta!!y; <which he saw (azah) concerning Judah and Jerusa!em< ('sa. i. 1); <The word of the =ord

came unto * raham in a $ision< (maazeh) (2en. 1$. 1); in this sense azah is used in the #hrase( <*!so they saw ("a-yeezu) 2od< (&1od. 11i$. 11). Fote this we!!.
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0"&F the chief of #hi!oso#hers (*ristot!e) was a out to in-uire into some $ery #rofound su >ects( and to esta !ish his theory y #roofs( he commenced his treatise with an a#o!ogy( and re-uested the reader to attri ute the author's in-uiries not to #resum#tion( $anity( egotism( or arrogance( as though he were interfering with things of which he had no )now!edge( ut rather to his ,ea! and his desire to disco$er and esta !ish true doctrines( as far as !ay in human #ower. 0e ta)e the same #osition( and thin) that a man( when he commences to s#ecu!ate( ought not to em ar) at once on a su >ect so $ast and im#ortant; he shou!d #re$ious!y ada#t himse!f to the study of the se$era! ranches of science and )now!edge( shou!d most thorough!y refine his mora! character and su due his #assions and desires( the offs#ring of his imagination; when( in addition( he has o tained a )now!edge of the true fundamenta! #ro#ositions( a com#rehension of the se$era! methods of inference and #roof( and the ca#acity of guarding against fa!!acies( then he may a##roach the in$estigation of this su >ect. "e must( howe$er( not decide any -uestion y the first idea that suggests itse!f to his mind( or at once direct his thoughts and force them to o tain a )now!edge of the +reator( ut he must wait modest!y and #atient!y( and ad$ance ste# y ste#. 'n this sense we must understand the words <*nd Moses hid his face( for he was afraid to !oo) u#on 2od< (&1od. iii. 5)( though retaining a!so the !itera! meaning of the #assage( that Moses was afraid to ga,e at the !ight which a##eared to his eye; ut it must on no account e assumed that the 4eing which is e1a!ted far a o$e e$ery im#erfection can e #ercei$ed y the eye. This act of Moses was high!y commended y 2od( who estowed on him a we!! deser$ed #ortion of "is goodness( as it is said; <*nd the simi!itude of the =ord sha!! he eho!d< (Fum. 1ii. H). This( say our %ages( was the reward for ha$ing #re$ious!y hidden his face( !est he shou!d ga,e at the &terna!. ()alm2 ;2 ;erakot 8a.) 4ut <the no !es of the +hi!dren of 'srae!< were im#etuous( and a!!owed their thoughts to go unrestrained; what they #ercei$ed was ut im#erfect. Therefore it is said of them( <*nd they saw the 2od of 'srae!( and there was under his feet(< etc. (&1od. 11i$. 10); and not mere!y( <and they saw the 2od of 'srae!<; the #ur#ose of the who!e #assage is to critici,e their act of seeing and not to descri e it. They are !amed for the nature of their #erce#tion( which was to a certain e1tent cor#orea!--a resu!t which necessari!y
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fo!!owed( from the fact that they $entured too far efore eing #erfect!y #re#ared. They deser$ed to #erish( ut at the intercession of Moses this fate was a$erted y 2od for the time. They were afterwards urnt at Ta erah( e1ce#t Fada and * ihu( who were urnt in

the Ta ernac!e of the congregation( according to what is stated y authentic tradition. (Midr2 'abba ad locum.) 'f such was the case with them( how much more is it incum ent on us who are inferior( and on those who are e!ow us( to #erse$ere in #erfecting our )now!edge of the e!ements( and in right!y understanding the #re!iminaries which #urify the mind from the defi!ement of error; then we may enter the ho!y and di$ine cam# in order to ga,e; as the 4i !e says( <*nd !et the #riests a!so( which come near to the =ord( sanctify themse!$es( !est the =ord rea) forth u#on them< (&1od. 1i1. 22). %o!omon( a!so( has cautioned a!! who endea$our to attain this high degree of )now!edge in the fo!!owing figurati$e terms( <3ee# thy foot when thou goest to the house of 2od< (&cc!es. i$. 1J). ' wi!! now return to com#!ete what ' commenced to e1#!ain. The no !es of the +hi!dren of 'srae!( esides erring in their #erce#tion( were( through this cause( a!so mis!ed in their actions; for in conse-uence of their confused #erce#tion( they ga$e way to odi!y cra$ings. This is meant y the words( <*!so they saw 2od and did eat and drin)< (&1od. 11i$. 11). The #rinci#a! #art of that #assage( $i,.( <*nd there was under his feet as it were a #a$ed wor) of a sa##hire stone< (&1od. 11i$. 10)( wi!! e further e1#!ained in the course of the #resent treatise (ch. 11$iii.). *!! we here intend to say is( that where$er in a simi!ar connection any one of the three $er s mentioned a o$e occurs( it has reference to inte!!ectua! #erce#tion( not to the sensation of sight y the eye; for 2od is not a eing to e #ercei$ed y the eye. 't wi!! do no harm( howe$er( if those who are una !e to com#rehend what we here endea$our to e1#!ain shou!d refer a!! the words in -uestion to sensuous #erce#tion( to seeing !ights created Cfor the #ur#oseD( ange!s( or simi!ar eings.
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T"& two "e rew nouns ish and ishshah were origina!!y em#!oyed to designate the <ma!e and fema!e< of human eings( ut were afterwards a##!ied to the <ma!e and fema!e< of the other s#ecies of the anima! creation. Aor instance( we read( <?f e$ery c!ean east thou sha!t ta)e to thee y se$ens(< ish "e-ishto (2en. Iii. 2)( in the same sense as ish "e-ishshah( <ma!e and fema!e.< The term zakar u-nekebah was afterwards a##!ied to anything designed and #re#ared for union with another o >ect Thus we read( <The fi$e curtains sha!! e cou#!ed together( one (ishshah) to the other< (aotah) (&1od. 11$i. 6). 't wi!! easi!y e seen that the "e rew e-ui$a!ents for < rother and sister< are !i)ewise treated as homonyms( and used( in a figurati$e sense( !i)e ish and ishshah.
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'T is we!! )nown that the $er ya!ad means <to ear(< <they ha$e orn ("e-yaledu) him chi!dren< (.eut. 11i. 1:). The word was ne1t used in a
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figurati$e sense with reference to $arious o >ects in nature( meaning( <to create(< e.g. < efore the mountains were created< (yulladu) (7s. 1c. 2); a!so( <to #roduce(< in reference to that which the earth causes to come forth as if y irth( e.g.( <"e wi!! cause her to ear (holidah) and ring forth< ('sa. '$. 10). The $er further denotes( <to ring forth(< said of changes in the #rocess of time( as though they were things which were orn( e.g.( <for thou )nowest not what a day may ring forth< (yeled) (7ro$. 11$ii. 1). *nother figurati$e use of the word is its a##!ication to the formation of thoughts and ideas( or of o#inions resu!ting from them; com#. <and rought forth ("e-yalad) fa!sehood< (7s. $ii. 18); a!so( <and they #!ease themse!$es in the chi!dren (yalde) of strangers< ('sa. ii. 5)( i.e.( <they de!ight in the o#inions of strangers.< Jonathan the son of @,,ie! #ara#hrases this #assage( <they wa!) in the customs of other nations.< * man who has instructed another in any su >ect( and has im#ro$ed his )now!edge( may in !i)e manner e regarded as the #arent of the #erson taught( ecause he is the author of that )now!edge; and thus the #u#i!s of the #ro#hets are ca!!ed <sons of the #ro#hets(< as ' sha!! e1#!ain when treating of the homonymity of ben (son). 'n this figurati$e sense( the $er yalad (to ear) is em#!oyed when it is said of *dam( <*nd *dam !i$ed an hundred and thirty years( and egat ("a-yoled) a son in his own !i)eness( in his form< (2en. I. 6). *s regards the words( <the form of *dam( and his !i)eness(< we ha$e a!ready stated (ch. i.) their meaning. Those sons of *dam who were orn efore that time were not human in the true sense of the word( they had not <the form of man.< 0ith reference to %eth who had een instructed( en!ightened and rought to human #erfection( it cou!d right!y e said( <he (*dam) egat a son in his !i)eness( in his form.< 't is ac)now!edged that a man who does not #ossess this <form< (the nature of which has >ust een e1#!ained) is not human( ut a mere anima! in human sha#e and form. Met such a creature has the #ower of causing harm and in>ury( a #ower which does not e!ong to other creatures. Aor those gifts of inte!!igence and >udgment with which he has een endowed for the #ur#ose of ac-uiring #erfection( ut which he has fai!ed to a##!y to their #ro#er aim( are used y him for wic)ed and mischie$ous ends; he egets e$i! things( as though he mere!y resem !ed man( or simu!ated his outward a##earance. %uch was the condition of those sons of *dam who #receded %eth. 'n reference to this su >ect the Midrash says; <.uring the 160 years when *dam was under re u)e he egat s#irits(< i.e.( demons; when( howe$er( he was again restored to di$ine fa$our <he egat in his !i)eness( in his form.< This is the sense of the #assage( <*dam !i$ed one hundred and thirty years( and he egat in his !i)eness( in his form< (2en. $. 6).
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?9'2'F*==M the "e rew term makom (#!ace) a##!ied oth to a #articu!ar s#ot and to s#ace in genera! su se-uent!y it recei$ed a wider signification and denoted <#osition(< or <degree(< as regards the #erfection of man in certain things. 0e say( e.g.( this man occu#ies a certain #!ace in such and such a su >ect. 'n this sense this term( as is we!! )nown( is fre-uent!y used y authors( e.g.( <"e fi!!s his ancestors' #!ace (makom) in #oint of wisdom
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and #iety<; <the dis#ute sti!! remains in its #!ace< (makom)( i.e.( in statu :uo CanteD. 'n the $erse( <4!essed e the g!ory of the =ord from "is #!ace< (mekomo) (&,e). iii. 12)( makom has this figurati$e meaning( and the $erse may e #ara#hrased <4!essed e the =ord according to the e1a!ted nature of "is e1istence(< and where$er makom is a##!ied to 2od( it e1#resses the same idea( name!y( the distinguished #osition of "is e1istence( to which nothing is e-ua! or com#ara !e( as wi!! e shown e!ow (cha#. !$i.). 't shou!d e o ser$ed that when we treat in this wor) of any homonym( we do not desire you to confine yourse!f to that which is stated in that #articu!ar cha#ter; ut we o#en for you a #orta! and direct your attention to those significations of the word which are suited to our #ur#ose( though they may not e com#!ete from a #hi!o!ogica! #oint of $iew. Mou shou!d e1amine the #ro#hetica! oo)s and other wor)s com#osed y men of science( notice the meaning of e$ery word which occurs in them( and ta)e homonyms in that sense which is in harmony with the conte1t. 0hat ' say in a #articu!ar #assage is a )ey for the com#rehension of a!! simi!ar #assages. Aor e1am#!e( we ha$e e1#!ained here makom in the sentence <4!essed e the g!ory of the =ord from "is #!ace< (mekomo); ut you must understand that the word ma)om has the same signification in the #assage <4eho!d( a #!ace (makom) is with me< (&1od. 111iii. 25)( $i,.( a certain degree of contem#!ation and inte!!ectua! intuition (not of ocu!ar ins#ection)( in addition to its !itera! meaning <a #!ace(< $i,.( the mountain which was #ointed out to Moses for sec!usion and for the attainment of #erfection.
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/!+PT"' $)
T"& origina! meaning of the word kisse( <throne(< re-uires no comment. %ince men of greatness and authority( as( e.g.( )ings( use the throne as a seat( and <the throne< thus indicates the ran)( dignity( and #osition of the #erson for whom it is made( the %anctuary has een sty!ed <the throne(< inasmuch as it !i)ewise indicates the su#eriority of "im who manifests "imse!f( and causes "is !ight and g!ory to dwe!! therein. +om#. <* g!orious throne on high from the eginning is the #!ace of our sanctuary< (Jer. 1$ii. 12). Aor the same reason the hea$ens are ca!!ed <throne(< for to the mind of him who o ser$es them with inte!!igence they suggest the ?mni#otence of the 4eing which has ca!!ed them into e1istence( regu!ates their motions( and go$erns the su !unary wor!d y their eneficia!

inf!uence; as we read( <Thus saith the =ord( The hea$ens are my throne and the earth my footstoo!< ('sa. !1$i. 1); i.e.( they testify to my &1istence( my &ssence( and my ?mni#otence( as the throne testifies to the greatness of him who is worthy to occu#y it. This is the idea which true e!ie$ers shou!d entertain; not( howe$er( that the ?mni#otent( %u#reme 2od is su##orted y any materia! o >ect; for 2od is incor#orea!( as we sha!! #ro$e further on; how( then( can "e e said to occu#y any s#ace( or rest on a ody/ The fact which ' wish to #oint out is this; e$ery #!ace distinguished y the *!mighty( and chosen to recei$e "is !ight and s#!endour( as( for instance( the %anctuary or the "ea$ens( is termed <throne<; and( ta)en in a wider sense( as in the #assage <Aor my hand is u#on the throne of 2od< (&1od. 1$ii. 15)( <the throne< denotes
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here the &ssence and 2reatness of 2od. These( howe$er (the &ssence and 2reatness of 2od) need not e considered as something se#arate from the 2od "imse!f or as #art of the +reation( so that 2od wou!d a##ear to ha$e e1isted oth without the throne( and with the throne; such a e!ief wou!d e undou ted!y heretica!. 't is distinct!y stated( <Thou( ? =ord( remainest for e$er; Thy throne from generation to generation< (=am. $. 19). 4y <Thy throne< we must( therefore( understand something inse#ara !e from 2od. ?n that account( oth here and in a!! simi!ar #assages. the word <throne< denotes 2od's 2reatness and &ssence( which are inse#ara !e from "is 4eing. ?ur o#inion wi!! e further e!ucidated in the course of this Treatise.
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/!+PT"' )
0& ha$e a!ready remar)ed that when we treat in this wor) of homonyms( we ha$e not the intention to e1haust the meanings of a word (for this is not a #hi!o!ogica! treatise); we sha!! mention no other significations ut those which ear on our su >ect. 0e sha!! thus #roceed in our treatment of the terms alah and yarad. These two words( alah( <he went u#(< and yarad( <he went down(< are "e rew terms used in the sense of ascending and descending. 0hen a ody mo$es from a higher to a !ower #!ace( the $er yarad( <to go down(< is used; when it mo$es from a !ower to a higher #!ace( alah( <to go u#(< is a##!ied. These two $er s were afterwards em#!oyed with regard to greatness and #ower. 0hen a man fa!!s from his high #osition( we say <he has come down(< and when he rises in station <he has gone u#.< Thus the *!mighty says( <The stranger that is within thee sha!! get u# a o$e thee $ery high( and thou sha!t come down $ery !ow< (.eut. 11$iii. 86). *gain( <The =ord thy 2od wi!! set thee on high (elyon) a o$e a!! nations of the earth< (.eut. 11$iii. 1); <*nd the =ord magnified %o!omon e1ceeding!y< (lemaalah) (1 +hron. 11i1. 2:). The %ages often em#!oy these e1#ressions( as; <'n ho!y matters men must ascend (maalin) and not descend (moridin).< The two words are a!so a##!ied to inte!!ectua!

#rocesses( name!y( when we ref!ect on something eneath ourse!$es we are said to go down( and when our attention is raised to a su >ect a o$e us we are said to rise. Fow( we occu#y a !ow!y #osition( oth in s#ace and ran) in com#arison with the hea$en!y s#here( and the *!mighty is Most "igh not in s#ace( ut with res#ect to a so!ute e1istence( greatness and #ower. 0hen it #!eased the *!mighty to grant to a human eing a certain degree of wisdom or #ro#hetic ins#iration( the di$ine communication thus made to the #ro#het and the entrance of the .i$ine 7resence into a certain #!ace is termed (yeridah)( <descending(< whi!e the termination of the #ro#hetic communication or the de#arture of the di$ine g!ory from a #!ace is ca!!ed aliyah( <ascending.< The e1#ressions <to go u#< and <to go down(< when used in reference to 2od( must e inter#reted in this sense. *gain( when( in accordance with the di$ine wi!!( some misfortune efa!!s a nation or a region of the earth( and when the i !ica! account of that misfortune is #receded y the statement that the *!mighty $isited the actions of the #eo#!e( and that "e #unished
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them according!y( then the #ro#hetic author em#!oys the term <to descend<; for man is so !ow and insignificant that his actions wou!d not e $isited and wou!d not ring #unishment on him( were it not for the di$ine wi!!; as is c!ear!y stated in the 4i !e( with regard to this idea( <0hat is man that thou shou!dst remem er him( and the son of man that thou shou!dst $isit him< (7s. $iii. :). The design of the .eity to #unish man is( therefore( introduced y the $er <to descend<; com#. 2o to( !et us go down and there confound their !anguage< (2en. 1i. J) <*nd the =ord came down to see< (2en. 1i. :); <' wi!! go down now and see< (2en. 1$iii. 21). *!! these instances con$ey the idea that man here e!ow is going to e #unished. More numerous( howe$er( are the instances of the first case( $i,.( in which these $er s are used in connection with the re$e!ation of the word and of the g!ory of 2od( e.g.( <*nd ' wi!! come down and ta!) with thee there< (Fum. 1i. 1J); <*nd the =ord came down u#on Mount %inai (&1od. 1i1. 20); <The =ord wi!! come down in the sight of a!! the #eo#!e (&1od. 1i1. 11); <*nd 2od went u# from him< (2en. 111$. 16); <*nd 2od went u# from * raham< (2en. 1$ii. 22). 0hen( on the other hand( it says( <*nd Moses went u# unto 2od< (&1od. 1i1. 6)( it must e ta)en in the third signification of these $er s( in addition to its !itera! meaning that Moses a!so ascended to the to# of the mount( u#on which a certain materia! !ight (the manifestation of 2od's g!ory) was $isi !e; ut we must not imagine that the %u#reme 4eing occu#ies a #!ace to which we can ascend( or from which we can descend. "e is far from what the ignorant imagine.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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T"& #rimary meaning of the "e rew yashab is <he was seated(< as <Fow &!i the #riest sat (yashab) u#on a seat< (1 %am. i. 9); ut( since a #erson can est remain motion!ess and at rest when sitting( the term was a##!ied to e$erything that is #ermanent and unchanging; thus( in the #romise that Jerusa!em shou!d remain constant!y and #ermanent!y in an e1a!ted condition( it is stated(< %he wi!! rise and sit in her #!ace< (Tech. 1i$. 10); further(< "e ma)eth the woman who was chi!d!ess to sit as a >oyfu! mother of chi!dren< (7s. c1iii. 9); i.e.( "e ma)es her ha##y condition to e #ermanent and enduring. 0hen a##!ied to 2od( the $er is to e ta)en in that !atter sense; <Thou ? =ord( remainest (tesheb) for e$er< (=am. $. 19); <? thou who sittest (ha-yoshebi) in the hea$ens< (7s. c11iii. 1); <"e who sitteth in the hea$ens< (ii. 8)( i.e.( "e who is e$er!asting( constant( and in no way su >ect to change; immuta !e in "is &ssence( and as "e consists of nought ut "is &ssence( "e is muta !e in no way whate$er; not muta !e in "is re!ation to other things; for there is no re!ation whate$er e1isting etween "im and any other eing( as wi!! e e1#!ained e!ow( and therefore no change as regard; such re!ations can ta)e #!ace in "im. "ence "e is immuta !e in e$ery res#ect( as "e e1#ress!y dec!ares( <'( the =ord( do not change< (Ma!. iii. 5); i.e.( in Me there is not any change whate$er. This idea is e1#ressed y the term yashab when referring to 2od.
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The $er ( when em#!oyed of 2od( is fre-uent!y com#!emented y <the "ea$ens(< inasmuch as the hea$ens are without change or mutation( that is to say( they do not indi$idua!!y change( as the indi$idua! eings on earth( y transition from e1istence into non-e1istence. The $er is a!so em#!oyed in descri#tions of 2od's re!ation (the term <re!ation< is here used as a homonym) to e1isting s#ecies of e$anescent things; for those species are as constant( we!! organi,ed( and un$arying as the indi$idua!s of the hea$en!y hosts. Thus we find( <0ho sitteth o$er the circ!e of the earth< ('sa. 1!. 22)( 0ho remains constant!y and unremitting!y o$er the s#here of the earth; that is to say( o$er the things that come into e1istence within that s#here. *gain( <The =ord sitteth u#on the f!ood< (7s. 11i1. 10)( i.e.( des#ite the change and $ariation of earth!y o >ects( no change ta)es #!ace with res#ect to 2od's re!ation (to the earth); "is re!ation to each of the things which come into e1istence and #erish again is sta !e and constant( for it concerns on!y the e1isting s#ecies and not the indi$idua!s. 't shou!d therefore e orne in mind( that whene$er the term< sitting< is a##!ied to 2od( it is used in this sense.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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T"& term kam (he rose) is a homonym. 'n one of its significations it is the o##osite of <to sit(< as <"e did not rise (kam) nor mo$e for him< (&sth. $. 9). 't further denotes the

confirmation and $erification of a thing( e.g.; <The =ord wi!! $erify (yakem) "is #romise< (1 %am. i. 26); <The fie!d of &#hron was made sure ("a-yakom) as the #ro#erty of * raham< (2en. 11iii. 1J). <The house that is in the wa!!ed city sha!! e esta !ished ("ekam)< (=e$. 11$. 60); <*nd the )ingdom of 'srae! sha!! e firm!y esta !ished ("e-kamah) in thy hand< (1 %am. 11i$. 20). 't is a!ways in this sense that the $er is em#!oyed with reference to the *!mighty; as <Fow sha!! ' rise (akum)( saith the =ord< (7s. 1ii. J)( which is the same as saying( <Fow sha!! ' $erify my word and my dis#ensation for good or e$i!.< <Thou sha!t arise (takum) and ha$e mercy u#on Tion< (7s. cii. 16)( which means; Thou wi!t esta !ish what thou hast #romised( $i,.( that thou wou!dst #ity Tion. 2enera!!y a #erson who reso!$es to set a out a matter( accom#anies his reso!$e y rising( hence the $er is em#!oyed to e1#ress <to reso!$e< to do a certain thing; as( <That my son hath stirred u# my ser$ant against me< (1 %am. 11ii. H). The word is figurati$e!y used to signify the e1ecution of a di$ine decree against a #eo#!e sentenced to e1termination( as <*nd ' wi!! rise against the house of Jero oam< (*mos $ii. 9); < ut he win arise against the house of the e$i!doers< ('sa. 111i. 2). 7ossi !y in 7sa!m 1ii. J the $er has this !atter sense( as a!so in 7sa!m cii. 16( name!y; Thou wi!t rise u# against her enemies. There are many #assages to e inter#reted in this manner( ut in no way shou!d it e understood that "e rises or sits--far e such a notionR ?ur %ages e1#ressed this idea in the formu!a(< 'n the wor!d a o$e there is neither sitting nor standing (amidah)<; for the two $er s amad and kam are synonyms Cand what is said a out the former is a!so a##!ica !e to the !atterD.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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T"& term amad (he stood) is a homonym signifying in the first instance <to stand u#right(< as <0hen he stood (be-omdo) efore 7haraoh< (2en. 1!i. 85); <Though Moses and %amue! stood (yaamod)< (Jer. 1$. 1); <"e stood y them< (2en. 1$iii. H). 't further denotes <cessation and interru#tion(< as < ut they stood sti!! (amedu) and answered no more< (Jo 111ii. 15); <and she ceased ("a-taamod) to ear< (2en. 11i1. 6:). Fe1t it signifies <to e enduring and !asting(< as( <that they may continue (yoamedu) many days< (Jer. 111ii. 18); <Then sha!t thou e a !e to endure (amod)< (&1od. 1$iii. 26); <"is taste remained (amad) in him< (Jer. 1!$iii. 11)( i.e.( it has continued and remained in e1istence without any change; <"is righteousness standeth for e$er< (7s. c1i. 6)( i.e.( it is #ermanent and e$er!asting. The $er a##!ied to 2od must e understood in this !atter sense( as in Techariah 1i$. 8( <*nd his feet sha!! stand ("e-amedu) in that day u#on the Mount of ?!i$es< (Tech. 1i$. 8)( <"is causes( i.e.( the e$ents of which "e is the cause( wi!! remain efficient(< etc. This wi!! e further e!ucidated when we s#ea) of the meaning of re el (foot). (=ide infra( cha#. 11$iii.) 'n the same sense is this $er em#!oyed in .euteronomy $. 2H( <4ut as for thee( stand thou here y me(< and .euteronomy $. :( <' stood etween the =ord and you.<

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T"& homonymous term adam is in the first #!ace the name of the first man( eing( as %cri#ture indicates( deri$ed from adamah( <earth.< Fe1t( it means <man)ind(< as <My s#irit sha!! not stri$e with man (adam)< (2en. $i. 6). *gain <0ho )noweth the s#irit of the chi!dren of man (adam)< (&cc!es. iii. 21); <so that a man (adam) has no #re-eminence a o$e a east< (&cc!es. iii. 19). *dam. signifies a!so <the mu!titude(< <the !ower c!asses< as o##osed to those distinguished from the rest( as <4oth !ow (bene adam) and high (bene ish)< (7s. 1!i1. 6). 't is in this third signification that it occurs in the $erses( <The sons of the higher order (#lohim) saw the daughters of the !ower order (adam)< (2en. $i. 2); and <AorsoothR as the hum !e man (adam) you sha!! die< (7s. !111ii. J).
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*=T"?@2" the two roots naab and yaab are distinct( yet their meaning is( as you )now( identica! in a!! their $arious forms. The $er has se$era! meanings; in some instances it signifies <to stand or <to #!ace onese!f(< as <*nd his sister stood ("a-tetaab) afar off< (&1od. ii. 8); <The )ings of the earth set themse!$es< (yiyaebu) (7s. ii. 2); <They came out and stood< (niabim) (Fum. 1$i. 2J). 'n other instances it denotes continuance and #ermanence( as( <Thy word is esta !ished (niab) in "ea$en< (7s. c1i1. H9)( i.e.( it remains for e$er. 0hene$er this term is a##!ied to 2od it must e understood in the !atter sense( as( <*nd( eho!d( the =ord stood (niab) u#on it< (2en. 11$iii. 16)( i.e.( a##eared as eterna! and e$er!asting <u#on it(< name!y( u#on the !adder(
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the u##er end of which reached to hea$en( whi!e the !ower end touched the earth. This !adder a!! may c!im u# who wish to do so( and they must u!timate!y attain to a )now!edge of "im who is a o$e the summit of the !adder( ecause "e remains u#on it #ermanent!y. 't must e we!! understood that the term <u#on it< is em#!oyed y me in harmony with this meta#hor. <*nge!s of 2od< who were going u# re#resent the #ro#hets. That the term <ange!< was a##!ied to #ro#hets may c!ear!y e seen in the fo!!owing #assages; <"e sent an ange!< (Fum. 11. 15); <*nd an ange! of the =ord came u# from 2i!ga! to 4ochim< (Judges

ii. 1). "ow suggesti$e( too( is the e1#ression <ascending and descending on it<R The ascent is mentioned efore the descent( inasmuch as the <ascending< and arri$ing at a certain height of the !adder #recedes the <descending(< i.e.( the a##!ication of the )now!edge ac-uired in the ascent for the training and instruction of man)ind. This a##!ication is termed <descent(< in accordance with our e1#!anation of the term yarad (cha#ter 1.). To return to our su >ect. The #hrase <stood u#on it< indicates the #ermanence and constancy of 2od( and does not im#!y the idea of #hysica! #osition. This is a!so the sense of the #hrase <Thou sha!t stand u#on the roc)< (&1od. 111iii. 21). 't is therefore c!ear that niab and amad are identica! in this figurati$e signification. +om#. <4eho!d( ' wi!! stand (omed) efore thee there u#on the roc) in "ore < (&1od. 1$ii. 5).
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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T"& word ur (roc)) is a homonym. Airst( it denotes <roc)(< as <*nd thou sha!t smite the roc)< (ur) (&1od. 1$ii. 5). Then( <hard stone(< !i)e the f!int( e.g.( <3ni$es of stone< (urim) (Josh. I. 2). 't is ne1t em#!oyed to signify the -uarry from which the stones are hewn; com#. <=oo) unto the roc) (ur) whence ye are hewn< ('sa. !i. 1). Arom this !atter meaning of the term another figurati$e notion was su se-uent!y deri$ed( $i,.( <the root and origin< of a!! things. 't is on this account that after the words <=oo) to the roc) whence ye are hewn(< the 7ro#het continues( <=oo) unto * raham your father(< from which we e$ident!y may infer that the words <* raham your father< ser$e to e1#!ain <the roc) whence ye are hewn<; and that the 7ro#het meant to say( <0a!) in his ways( #ut faith in his instruction( and conduct yourse!$es according to the ru!e of his !ifeR for the #ro#erties contained in the -uarry shou!d e found again in those things which are formed and hewn out of it.< 't is in the !atter sense that the *!mighty is ca!!ed <roc)(< "e eing the origin and the causa efficiens of a!! things esides "imse!f. Thus we read( <"e is the 9oc)( "is wor) is #erfect< (.eut. 111ii. 8); <?f the 9oc) that egat thee thou art unmindfu!< (.eut. 111ii. 1H); <Their 9oc) had so!d them< (111i. 60); <There is no roc) !i)e our 2od< (1 %am. ii. 2); <The 9oc) of &ternity< ('sa. 11$i. 8). *gain( <*nd thou sha!t stand u#on the 9oc)< (&1od. 111iii. 21)( i.e.( 4e firm and steadfast in the con$iction that 2od is the source of a!! things( for this wi!! !ead you towards the )now!edge of the .i$ine 4eing. 0e ha$e shown (cha#. $iii.) that the words <4eho!d( a #!ace is with me< (&1od. 111iii. 21) contain the same idea.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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.o not imagine that on!y Meta#hysics shou!d e taught with reser$e to the common #eo#!e and to the uninitiated; for the same is a!so the case with the greater #art of Fatura! %cience. 'n this sense we ha$e re#eated!y made use of the e1#ression of the %ages( <.o not e1#ound the cha#ter on the +reation in the #resence of two< C"ide 'ntrod. #age 2D. This #rinci#!e was not #ecu!iar to our %ages; ancient #hi!oso#hers and scho!ars of other nations were !i)ewise wont to treat of the principia rerum o scure!y( and to use figurati$e !anguage in discussing such su >ects. Thus 7!ato and his #redecessors ca!!ed %u stance the fema!e( and Aorm the ma!e. (Mou are aware that the principia of a!! e1isting transient things are three( $i,.( %u stance( Aorm( and * sence of a #articu!ar form; the !ast-named #rinci#!e is a!ways inherent in the su stance( for otherwise the su stance wou!d e inca#a !e of recei$ing a new form; and it is from this #oint of $iew that a sence Cof a #articu!ar formD is inc!uded among the principia. *s soon( then( as a su stance has recei$ed a certain form( the #ri$ation of that form( name!y( of that which has >ust een recei$ed( has ceased( and is re#!aced y the #ri$ation of another form( and so on with a!! #ossi !e forms( as is e1#!ained in treatises on natura! #hi!oso#hy.)--Fow( if those #hi!oso#hers who ha$e nothing to fear from a !ucid e1#!anation of these meta#hysica! su >ects sti!! were in the ha it of discussing them in figures and meta#hors( how much more shou!d we( ha$ing the interest of re!igion at heart( refrain from e!ucidating to the mass any su >ect that is eyond their com#rehension( or that might e ta)en in a sense direct!y o##osite to the one intended. This a!so deser$es attention.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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T"& three words karab( <to come near(< na a( <to touch(< and na ash( <to a##roach(< sometimes signify <contact< or <nearness in s#ace(< sometimes the a##roach of man's )now!edge to an o >ect( as if it resem !ed the #hysica! a##roach of one ody to another. *s to the use of karab in the first meaning( $i,.( to draw near a certain s#ot( com#. <*s he drew near (karab) the cam#< (&1od. 111ii. 19); <*nd 7haraoh drew near (hikrib) (&1od. 1i$. 10). Na a( in the first sense( $i,.( e1#ressing the contact of two odies( occurs in <*nd she cast it ("a-ta a) at his feet< (&1od. i$. 2:); <"e caused it to touch ("a-ya a) my mouth< ('sa. $i. J). *nd na ash in the first sense( $i,.( to a##roach or mo$e towards another #erson( is found( e.g.( in <*nd Judah drew near ("a-yi ash) unto him< (2en. 1!i$. 1). The second meaning of these three words is <a##roach y means of )now!edge(< or <contact y com#rehension(< not in reference to s#ace. *s to na a in this second sense( com#. <for her >udgment reacheth (nagaQ) unto hea$en< (Jer. !i. 9). *n instance of karab eing used in this meaning is contained in the fo!!owing #assage( <*nd the cause that is too hard for you( ring (takribun) it unto me< (.eut. i. 1J); this is e-ui$a!ent to saying( <Me sha!! ma)e it )nown unto me.< The $er karab (in the "i#hi!) is thus em#!oyed in the sense of gi$ing information concerning a thing. The $er nagash is used figurati$e!y in the

#hrase( <*nd * raham drew near ("a-yi ash)( and said< (2en. 1$iii. 26); this too) #!ace in a #ro#hetic $ision and
#. 2H

in a trance( as wi!! e e1#!ained (7art '. cha#. 11i.( and 7art ''. cha#. 1!i.; a!so in <Aorasmuch as this #eo#!e draw near (ni ash) me with their mouths and with their !i#s< ('sa. 11i1. 16). 0here$er a word denoting a##roach or contact is em#!oyed in the #ro#hetic writings to descri e a certain re!ation etween the *!mighty and any created eing( it has to e understood in this !atter sense C$i,.( to a##roach menta!!yD. Aor( as wi!! e #ro$ed in this treatise (''. cha#. i$.)( the %u#reme is incor#orea!( and conse-uent!y "e does not a##roach or draw near a thing( nor can aught a##roach or touch "im; for when a eing is without cor#orea!ity( it cannot occu#y s#ace( and a!! idea of a##roach( contact( distance( con>unction( se#aration( touch( or #ro1imity is ina##!ica !e to such a eing. There can e no dou t res#ecting the $erses <The =ord is nigh (karob) unto a!! them that ca!! u#on him< (7s. c1!$. 1H); <They ta)e de!ight in a##roaching (kirbat) to 2od< ('sa. !$iii. 2); <The nearness (kirbat) of 2od is #!easant to me< (7s. !11ii. 2H); a!! such #hrases intimate a s#iritua! a##roach( i.e.( the attainment of some )now!edge( not( howe$er( a##roach in s#ace. Thus a!so <who hath 2od so nigh (kerobim) unto him< (.eut. i$. J); <.raw thou near (kerab) and hear< (.eut. $. 2J); <*nd Moses a!one sha!! draw near ("e-ni ash) the =ord; ut they sha!! not come nigh (yi ashu)< (&1od. 11i$. 2). 'f( howe$er( you wish to ta)e the words <*nd Moses sha!! draw near< to mean that he sha!! draw near a certain #!ace in the mountain( whereon the .i$ine =ight shone( or( in the words of the 4i !e( <where the g!ory of the =ord a ode(< you may do so( #ro$ided you do not !ose sight of the truth that there is no difference whether a #erson stand at the centre of the earth or at the highest #oint of the ninth s#here( if this were #ossi !e; he is no further away from 2od in the one case( or nearer to "im in the other; those on!y a##roach "im who o tain a )now!edge of "im; whi!e those who remain ignorant of "im recede from "im. 'n this a##roach towards( or recession from 2od there are numerous grades one a o$e the other( and ' sha!! further e!ucidate( in one of the su se-uent cha#ters of the Treatise ('. cha#. !1.( and ''. cha#. 111$i.) what constitutes the difference in our #erce#tion of 2od. 'n the #assage( <Touch ( a) the mountains( and they sha!! smo)e< (7s. c1!i$. :)( the $er <touch< is used in a figurati$e sense( $i,.( <=et thy word touch them.< %o a!so the words( <Touch thou him himse!f< (Jo ii. :)( ha$e the same meaning as <4ring thy inf!iction u#on him.< 'n a simi!ar manner must this $er ( in whate$er form it may e em#!oyed e inter#reted in each #!ace( according to the conte1t; for in some cases it denotes contact of two materia! o >ects( in others )now!edge and com#rehension of a thing( as if he who now com#rehends anything which he had not com#rehended #re$ious!y had there y a##roached a su >ect which had een distant from him. This #oint is of considera !e im#ortance.
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T"& term male is a homonym which denotes that one su stance enters another( and fi!!s it( as <*nd she fi!!ed ("a-temalle) her #itcher< (2en. 11i$. 15); <*n omer-fu!! (melo) for each< (&1od. 1$i. 62)( and many other instances. Fe1t( it signifies the e1#iration or com#!etion of a fi1ed #eriod
#. 29

of time( as <*nd when her days to e de!i$ered were fu!fi!!ed ("a-yimle>)< (2en. 11$. 28); <*nd forty days were com#!eted ("a-yimle>) for him< (2en. 1. 6). 't further denotes attainment of the highest degree of e1ce!!ency( as <Au!! (male) with the !essing of the =ord< (.eut. 111iii. 26); <Them hath he fi!!ed (mille) with wisdom of heart< (&1od. 111$. 6:) "e was fi!!ed ("a-yimmale) with wisdom( and understanding( and cunning< (1 3ings $ii. 18). 'n this sense it is said <The who!e earth is fu!! (melo) of his g!ory< ('sa. $i. 8)( <*!! the earth gi$es e$idence of his #erfection(< i.e. !eads to a )now!edge of it. Thus a!so< The g!ory of the =ord fi!!ed (male) the ta ernac!e< (&1od. 1!. 68); and( in fact( e$ery a##!ication of the word to 2od must e inter#reted in this manner; and not that "e has a ody occu#ying s#ace. 'f( on the other hand( you #refer to thin) that in this #assage y <the g!ory of the =ord(< a certain !ight created for the #ur#ose is to e understood( that such !ight is a!ways termed <g!ory(< and that such !ight <fi!!ed the ta ernac!e(< we ha$e no o >ection.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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T"& word ram (high) is a homonym( denoting e!e$ation in s#ace( and e!e$ation in dignity( i.e.( greatness( honour( and #ower. 't has the first meaning in <*nd the ar) was !ifted u# ("a-tarom) a o$e the earth< (2en. $ii. 1J); and the !atter meaning in <' ha$e e1a!ted (harimoti) one chosen out of the #eo#!e< (7s. !111i1. 20); <Aorasmuch as ' ha$e e1a!ted (harimoti) thee from amongst the dust< (1 3ings 1$i. 2); <Aorasmuch as ' e1a!ted (harimoti) thee from among the #eo#!e< (1 3ings 1i$. J). 0hene$er this term is em#!oyed in reference to 2od( it must e ta)en in the second sense; <4e thou e1a!ted (rumah)( ? 2od( a o$e the hea$ens< (7s. !$ii. 12). 'n the same manner does the root nasa (to !ift u#) denote oth e!e$ation in s#ace and e!e$ation in ran) and dignity. 'n the former sense it occurs in <*nd they !ifted u# ("a-yisse>) their corn u#on their asses< (2en. 1!ii. 25) and there are many instances !i)e this in which this $er has the meaning <to carry(< <to mo$e< from #!ace to #!ace; for this im#!ies e!e$ation in s#ace. 'n the second sense we ha$e <*nd his )ingdom sha!! e e1a!ted< ("e-tinnase) (Fum. 11i$. J); <*nd he are them( and carried them< ("a-yenasse,m) ('sa. !1iii. 9); <0herefore do ye e1a!t yourse!$es< (titnasse>) (Fum. 1$i. 6). &$ery form of this $er when a##!ied to 2od has this !atter sense--e.g.( <=ift u# thyse!f (hinnase)( thou >udge of the earth< (7s. 1ci$. 2); <Thus saith the "igh (ram) and &1a!ted

(nissa) ?ne< ('sa. !$ii. 1:)--denoting e!e$ation in ran)( -ua!ity( and #ower( and not e!e$ation in s#ace. Mou may e sur#rised that ' em#!oy the e1#ression( <e!e$ation in ran)( -ua!ity( and #ower(< and you may say( <"ow can you assert that se$era! distinct e1#ressions denote the same thing/< 't wi!! e e1#!ained !ater on (cha#. 1. se::.) that those who #ossess a true )now!edge of 2od do not consider that "e #ossesses many attri utes( ut e!ie$e that these $arious attri utes which descri e "is Might( 2reatness( 7ower( 7erfection( 2oodness( etc.( are identica!( denoting "is &ssence( and not anything e1traneous to "is &ssence. ' sha!! de$ote s#ecia! cha#ters to the Fames and *ttri utes of
#. 60

2od; our intention here is so!e!y to show that <high and e1a!ted< in the #assage -uoted denote e!e$ation in ran)( not in s#ace.
C#aragra#h continuesD

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/!+PT"' ))$
'F its #rimary signification the "e rew abar( <to #ass(< refers to the motion of a ody in s#ace( and is chief!y a##!ied to !i$ing creatures mo$ing at some distance in a straight !ine( e.g.( <*nd "e #assed o$er (abar) efore them< (2en. 111iii. 6); <7ass (abor) efore the #eo#!e< (&1od. 1$ii. :). 'nstances of this )ind are numerous. The $er was ne1t a##!ied to the #assage of sound through air( as <*nd they caused a sound to #ass ("a-yaabiru) through out the cam#< (&1od. 111$i. 5); <That ' hear the =ord's #eo#!e s#reading the re#ort< (maabirim) (1 %am. ii. 28). Aigurati$e!y it denoted the a##earance of the =ight and the .i$ine 7resence (%hechinah) which the #ro#hets #ercei$ed in their #ro#hetic $isions( as it is said( <*nd eho!d a smo)ing furnace( and a urning !am# that #assed (abar) etween those #ieces< (2en. 1$. 1J). This too) #!ace in a #ro#hetic $ision( for the narrati$e commences( <*nd a dee# s!ee# fe!! u#on * ram.< The $er has this !atter meaning in &1odus 1ii. 12( <*nd ' sha!! #ass ("e-abarti) through the !and of &gy#t< (denoting <' sha!! re$ea! myse!f(< etc.)( and in a!! simi!ar #hrases. The $er is ne1t em#!oyed to e1#ress that a #erson has gone too far( and transgressed the usua! !imit( in the #erformance of some act( as <*nd as a man who is drin)ing wine has #assed (abar") the #ro#er !imit< (Jer. 11iii. 9). 't is a!so used figurati$e!y to denote; to a andon one aim( and turn to a different aim and o >ect( e.g.( <"e shot an arrow( causing it to miss the aim (lehaabiro)< (1 %am. 11. 65). This is the sense( it a##ears to me( of this $er in <*nd the =ord #assed y ("a-yaabor) efore his face< (&1od. 111i$. 5). ' ta)e <his face< to mean <the face of 2od<; our Teachers !i)ewise inter#reted <his face< as eing identica! with <the face of 2od.< *nd( a!though this

is found in the midst of *gadic inter#retations which wou!d e out of #!ace in this our wor)( yet it is some su##ort of our $iew( that the #ronoun <his< is em#!oyed in this #assage as a su stitute for <2od's<--and the who!e #assage cou!d in my o#inion e e1#!ained as fo!!ows; Moses sought to attain to a certain #erce#tion which is ca!!ed <the #erce#tion of the .i$ine face(< a term occurring in the #hrase <My face cannot e seen<; ut 2od $ouchsafed to him a #erce#tion of a !ower degree( $i,.( the one ca!!ed( <the seeing of the ac)(< in the words( <*nd thou sha!t see my ac)< (&1od. 111iii. 26). 0e ha$e mentioned this su >ect in our wor) Mishneh )orah. *ccording!y( it is stated in the a o$e-mentioned #assage that the =ord withhe!d from Moses that #erce#tion which is termed <the seeing of the .i$ine face(< and su stituted for it another gift( $i,.( the )now!edge of the acts attri uted to 2od( which( as ' sha!! e1#!ain (cha#. !i$.) are considered to e different and se#arate attri utes of the %u#reme. 'n asserting that 2od withhe!d from Moses (the higher )now!edge) ' mean to say that this )now!edge was unattaina !e( that y its nature it was inaccessi !e to Moses; for man( whi!st a !e to gain #erfection y a##!ying his reasoning facu!ties to the attainment of what is within the reach of his inte!!ect( either wea)ens his reason or !oses
#. 61

it a!together as soon as he $entures to see) a higher degree of )now!edge--as ' sha!! e!ucidate in one of the cha#ters of this wor)--un!ess he e granted a s#ecia! aid from hea$en( as is descri ed in the words( <*nd ' wi!! co$er thee with my hand unti! ' #ass y< (&1od. 111iii. 26) ?n)e!os( in trans!ating this $erse( ado#ts the same method which he a##!ies to the e1#!anation of simi!ar #assages( $i,.( e$ery e1#ression im#!ying cor#orea!ity or cor#ora! #ro#erties( when referring to 2od( he e1#!ains y assuming an e!!i#sis of a nomen re ens efore <2od(< thus connecting the e1#ression (of cor#orea!ity) with another word which is su##!ied( and which go$erns the geniti$e <2od<; e.g.( <*nd eho!d the =ord stood u#on it< (2en. 11$iii. 16)( he e1#!ains( <The g!ory of the =ord stood arrayed a o$e it.< *gain( <The =ord watch etween me and thee< (2en. 111i. 89)( he #ara#hrases( <The word of the =ord sha!! watch.< This is his ordinary method in e1#!aining %cri#ture. "e a##!ies it a!so to &1od. 111i$. 5( which he #ara#hrases( <The =ord caused his 7resence to #ass efore his face and ca!!ed.< *ccording to this rendering the thing which #assed was un-uestiona !y some #hysica! o >ect( the #ronoun <his< refers to Moses( and the #hrase al pana" is identica! with lefana"( < efore him.< +om#. <%o went the #resent o$er efore him< (al pana") (2en. 111ii. 22). This is !i)ewise an a##ro#riate and satisfactory e1#!anation; and ' can adduce sti!! further su##ort for the o#inion of ?n)e!os from the words <whi!e my g!ory #asseth y< (ba-abor) (&1od. 111iii. 22)( which e1#ress!y state that the #assing o >ect was something ascri ed to 2od( not 2od "imse!f; and of this .i$ine g!ory it is a!so said( <unti! ' #ass y(< and <*nd the =ord #assed y efore him.< %hou!d it( howe$er( e considered necessary to assume here an e!!i#sis( according to the method of ?n)e!os( who su##!ies in some instances the term <the 2!ory(< in others <the 0ord(< and in others <the .i$ine 7resence(< as the conte1t may re-uire in each #articu!ar case( we may a!so su##!y here the word <$oice(< and e1#!ain the #assage( <*nd a $oice from the =ord #assed efore him and ca!!ed.< 0e ha$e a!ready shown that the $er abar(

<he #assed(< can e a##!ied to the $oice( as in <*nd they caused a $oice to #ass through the cam#< (&1od. 111$i. 5). *ccording to this e1#!anation( it was the $oice which ca!!ed. Fo o >ection can e raised to a##!ying the $er kara (he ca!!ed) to kol ($oice)( for a simi!ar #hrase occurs in the 4i !e in reference to 2od's commands to Moses( <"e heard the $oice s#ea)ing unto him<; and( in the same manner as it can e said <the $oice s#o)e(< we may a!so say <the $oice ca!!ed<; indeed( we can e$en su##ort this a##!ication of the $er s <to say( <and <to ca!!(< to <the $oice(< y #ara!!e! #assages( as <* $oice saith '+ry(' and it says '0hat sha!! ' cry/'< ('sa. 1!. 5). *ccording to this $iew( the meaning of the #assage under discussion wou!d e; <* $oice of 2od #assed efore him and ca!!ed( '&terna!( &terna!( *!!#owerfu!( *!!-mercifu!( and *!!-graciousR'< (The word &terna! is re#eated; it is in the $ocati$e( for the &terna! is the one who is ca!!ed. +om#. Moses( MosesR * raham( * rahamR) This( again( is a $ery a##ro#riate e1#!anation of the te1t. Mou wi!! sure!y not find it strange that this su >ect( so #rofound and difficu!t( shou!d ear $arious inter#retations; for it wi!! not im#air the force of the argument with which we are here concerned. &ither e1#!anation may e ado#ted; you may ta)e that grand scene a!together as a #ro#hetic $ision(
#. 62

and the who!e occurrence as a menta! o#eration( and consider that what Moses sought( what was withhe!d from him( and what he attained( were things #ercei$ed y the inte!!ect without the use of the senses (as we ha$e e1#!ained a o$e); or you may assume that in addition there was a certain ocu!ar #erce#tion of a materia! o >ect( the sight of which wou!d assist inte!!ectua! #erce#tion. The !atter is the $iew of ?n)e!os( un!ess he assumes that in this instance the ocu!ar #erce#tion was !i)ewise a #ro#hetic $ision( as was the case with <a smo)ing furnace and a urning !am# that #assed etween those #ieces< (2en. 1$. 1J)( mentioned in the history of * raham. Mou may a!so assume that in addition there was a #erce#tion of sound( and that there was a $oice which #assed efore him( and was undou ted!y something materia!. Mou may choose either of these o#inions( for our so!e intention and #ur#ose is to guard you against the e!ief that the #hrase <and the =ord #assed(< is ana!ogous to <#ass efore the #eo#!e< (&1od. 1$ii. :)( for 2od( eing incor#orea!( cannot e said to mo$e( and conse-uent!y the $er <to #ass< cannot with #ro#riety e a##!ied to "im in its #rimary signification.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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'F "e rew( the $er bo signifies <to come< as a##!ied to a !i$ing eing( i.e.( its arri$a! at a certain #!ace( or a##roach to a certain #erson( as <Thy rother came (ba) with su ti!ty< (2en. 11$ii. 6:). 't ne1t denotes (with regard to a !i$ing eing) <to enter< a certain #!ace( e.g.( <*nd when Jose#h came ("a-yabo) into the house< (2en. 1!iii. 25); <0hen ye come (ta-bo>) into the !and< (&1od. Kii. 2:). The term was a!so em#!oyed meta#horica!!y in the sense of <to come< a##!ied to a certain e$ent( that is( to something incor#orea!( as <0hen

thy sayings come to #ass (yabo)< (Judg. 1iii. 1J); <?f that which wi!! come (yabo>) o$er thee< ('sa. 1!$ii. 16). Fay( it is e$en a##!ied to #ri$ati$es( e.g.( <Met e$i! came ("a-yabo)< (Jo iii. 25); <*nd dar)ness came ("a-yabo)< Fow( since the word has een a##!ied to incor#orea! things( it has a!so een used in reference to 2od-to the fu!fi!ment of "is word( or to the manifestation of "is 7resence (the %hechinah). 'n this figurati$e sense it is said( <=o( ' come (ba) unto thee in a thic) c!oud< (&1od. 1i1. 9); <Aor the =ord the 2od of 'srae! cometh (ba) through it< (&,e). 1!i$. 2). 'n these and a!! simi!ar #assages( the coming of the %hechinah is meant( ut the words( <*nd the =ord my 2od sha!! come (u-ba)< (Tech. 1i$. :) are identica! with <"is word wi!! come(< that is to say( the #romises which "e made through the 7ro#hets wi!! e fu!fi!!ed; therefore %cri#ture adds <a!! the ho!y ones that are with thee(< that is to say( <The word of the =ord my 2od wi!! e #erformed( which has een s#o)en y a!! the ho!y ones who are with thee( who address the 'srae!ites.<
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

/!+PT"' ))$$$
!aa (<he came out<) is the o##osite of ba (<he came in<). The term yaa is a##!ied to the motion of a ody from a #!ace in which it had #re$ious!y rested( to another #!ace (whether the ody e a !i$ing eing or not)( e.g.( <*nd when they were gone out (yae>) if the city< (2en. 1!i$. 8); <'f fire rea) out (tee)< (&1od. 11ii. .:). 't was then figurati$e!y em#!oyed to
#. 66

denote the a##earance of something incor#orea!( as( <The word went out (yaa) of the )ing's mouth< (&sth. $ii. H); <0hen this deed of the -ueen sha!! come a road (yee) unto a!! women< (&sth. i. 1J)( that is to say( <the re#ort wi!! s#read.< *gain( <Aor out of Tion sha!! go forth (tee) the =aw< ('sa. ii. 6); further( <The sun had risen (yaa) u#on the earth< (2en. 1i1. 26)( i.e.( its !ight ecame $isi !e. 'n this figurati$e sense we must ta)e e$ery e1#ression of coming out when a##!ied to the *!mighty( e.g.( <4eho!d( the =ord cometh out (yoe) of his #!ace< ('sa. 11$i. 21)( i.e.( <The word of 2od( which unti! now has een in secret( cometh out( and wi!! ecome manifest(< i.e.( something wi!! come into eing which had not e1isted efore; for e$erything new emanating from 2od is ascri ed to "is word. +om#. <4y the word of the =ord were the hea$ens made( and a!! the host of them y the reath of his mouth< (7s. 111iii. 5). This is a simi!e ta)en from the conduct of )ings( who em#!oy the word as the means of carrying their wi!! into effect. 2od( howe$er( re-uires no instrument wherewith to o#erate in order to #erform anything; the effect is #roduced so!e!y y "is wi!! a!one. "e does not em#!oy any )ind of s#eech( as wi!! e e1#!ained further on (cha#. '$.). The $er <to come out< is thus em#!oyed to designate the manifestation of a certain wor) of 2od( as we noticed in our inter#retation of the #hrase( <4eho!d( the =ord cometh out of his #!ace.< 'n a simi!ar manner the term shub( <to return(< has een figurati$e!y em#!oyed to

denote the discontinuance of a certain act according to the wi!! of 2od( as in <' wi!! go and return to my #!ace< ("osea $. 1:); that is to say( the .i$ine #resence (%hechinah) which had een in our midst de#arted from us( the conse-uence of which has een the a sence of .i$ine #rotection from amongst us. Thus the 7ro#het forete!!ing misfortune says( <*nd ' wi!! hide my face from them( and they sha!! e de$oured< (.eut. 111i. 1J); for( when man is de#ri$ed of .i$ine #rotection he is e1#osed to a!! dangers( and ecomes the utt of a!! fortuitous circumstances; his fortune and misfortune then de#end on chance. *!asR how terri !e a threatR--This is the idea contained in the words(< ' wi!! go and return to my #!ace< ("os. $. 1:).
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

/!+PT"' ))$0
T"& term halak is !i)ewise one of the words which denote mo$ements #erformed y !i$ing eings( as in <*nd Jaco went (halak) on his way< (2en. 111ii. ')( and in many other instances. The $er <to go< was ne1t em#!oyed in descri ing mo$ements of o >ects !ess so!id than the odies of !i$ing eings( com#. <*nd the waters were going on (halok) decreasing< (2en. $iii. :); <*nd the fire went a!ong ("a-tihalak) u#on the ground< (&1od. i1. 26). Then it was em#!oyed to e1#ress the s#reading and manifestation of something incor#orea!( com#. <The $oice thereof sha!! go !i)e a ser#ent< (Jer. 1!$i. 22); again( <The $oice of the =ord 2od wa!)ing in the garden< (2en. iii. H). 't is <the $oice< that is -ua!ified y <wa!)ing.< 0hene$er the word <to go< is used in reference to 2od( it must e ta)en in this figurati$e sense( i.e.( it a##!ies to incor#orea! things( and signifies either the manifestation of something incor#orea!( or the withdrawa! of the .i$ine #rotection( an act corres#onding in !ife!ess eings to the remo$a! of
#. 68

a thing( in !i$ing eings to the de#arture of a !i$ing eing( <wa!)ing.< The withdrawa! of 2od's #rotection is ca!!ed in the 4i !e <the hiding of 2od's countenance(< as in .euteronomy 111i. 1H( <*s for me( ' wi!! hide my countenance.< ?n the same ground it has een designated <going away(< or mo$ing away from a thing. com#. <' wi!! de#art and return to my #!ace< ("os. $. 1:). 4ut in the #assage( <*nd the anger of the =ord was )ind!ed against them( and he went< (Fum. 1ii. 9)( the two meanings of the $er are com ined. $i,.( the withdrawa! of the .i$ine #rotection( e1#ressed y <and he went(< and the re$e!ation( manifestation( and a##earance of something name!y( of the anger which went forth and reached them( in conse-uence of which Miriam ecame <!e#rous( white as snow.< The e1#ression <to wa!)< was further a##!ied to conduct( which concerns on!y the inner !ife( and which re-uires no odi!y motion( as in the fo!!owing #assages( <*nd thou sha!t wa!) in his ways< (.eut. 11$iii. 9); <Me sha!! wa!) after the =ord your 2od< (.eut. 1iii. :); <+ome ye( and !et us wa!) in the !ight of the =ord.< ('sa. ii. :).

Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

/!+PT"' ))0
T"& "e rew shakan( as is we!! )nown( signifies <to dwe!!(< as( <*nd he was dwe!!ing (shoken) in the #!ains of Mamre< (2en. 1i$. 16); <*nd it came to #ass( when 'srae! dwe!t (bishekon)< (2en. 111$. 22). This is the most common meaning of the word. 4ut <dwe!!ing in a #!ace< consists in the continued stay in a #!ace( genera! or s#ecia!; when a !i$ing eing dwe!!s !ong in a #!ace( we say that it stays in that #!ace( a!though it un-uestiona !y mo$es a out in it( com#. <*nd he was staying in the #!ains of Mamre< (2en. 1i$. 16)( and( <*nd it came to #ass( when 'srae! stayed< (2en. 111$ 22). The term was ne1t a##!ied meta#horica!!y to inanimate o >ects( i.e.( to e$erything which has sett!ed and remains fi1ed on one o >ect( a!though the o >ect on which the thing remains is not a #!ace( and the thing itse!f is not a !i$ing eing; for instance( <=et a c!oud dwe!! u#on it Cthe dayD< (Jo iii. :); there is no dou t that the c!oud is not a !i$ing eing( and that the day is not a cor#orea! thing( ut a di$ision of time. 'n this sense the term is em#!oyed in reference to 2od( that is to %ay( to denote the continuance of "is .i$ine 7resence (%hechinah) or of "is 7ro$idence in some #!ace where the .i$ine 7resence manifested itse!f constant!y( or in some o >ect which was constant!y #rotected y 7ro$idence. +om#. <*nd the g!ory of the =ord a ode< (&1od. 11i$. 15); <*nd ' wi!! dwe!! among the chi!dren of 'srae!< (&1od. 11i1. 8:); <*nd for the goodwi!! of him that dwe!t in the ush< (.eut. 111iii. 15). 0hene$er the term is a##!ied to the *!mighty( it must e ta)en consistent!y with the conte1t in the sense either as referring to the 7resence of "is %hechinah (i.e.( of "is !ight that was created for the #ur#ose) in a certain #!ace( or of the continuance of "is 7ro$idence #rotecting a certain o >ect.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

/!+PT"' ))0$
Mou( no dou t( )now the Ta!mudica! saying( which inc!udes in itse!f a!! the $arious )inds of inter#retation connected with our su >ect. 't runs thus;
#. 6:

<The Torah s#ea)s according to the !anguage of man(< that is to say( e1#ressions( which can easi!y e com#rehended and understood y a!!( are a##!ied to the +reator. "ence the descri#tion of 2od y attri utes im#!ying cor#orea!ity( in order to e1#ress "is e1istence; ecause the mu!titude of #eo#!e do not easi!y concei$e e1istence un!ess in connection with a ody( and that which is not a ody nor connected with a ody has for them no e1istence. 0hate$er we regard as a state of #erfection( is !i)ewise attri uted to 2od( as e1#ressing that "e is #erfect in e$ery res#ect( and that no im#erfection
C#aragra#h continuesD

or deficiency whate$er is found in "im. 4ut there is not attri uted to 2od anything which the mu!titude consider a defect or want; thus "e is ne$er re#resented as eating( drin)ing( s!ee#ing( eing i!!( using $io!ence( and the !i)e. 0hate$er( on the other hand( is common!y regarded as a state of #erfection is attri uted to "im( a!though it is on!y a state of #erfection in re!ation to ourse!$es; for in re!ation to 2od( what we consider to e a state of #erfection( is in truth the highest degree of im#erfection. 'f( howe$er( men were to thin) that those human #erfections were a sent in 2od( they wou!d consider "im as im#erfect. Mou are aware that !ocomotion is one of the distinguishing characteristics of !i$ing eings( and is indis#ensa !e for them in their #rogress towards #erfection. *s they re-uire food and drin) to su##!y anima! waste( so they re-uire !ocomotion( in order to a##roach that which is good for them and in harmony with their nature( and to esca#e from what is in>urious and contrary to their nature. 't ma)es( in fact( no difference whether we ascri e to 2od eating and drin)ing or !ocomotion; ut according to human modes of e1#ression( that is to say( according to common notions( eating and drin)ing wou!d e an im#erfection in 2od( whi!e motion wou!d not( in s#ite of the fact that the necessity of !ocomotion is the resu!t of some want. Aurthermore( it has een c!ear!y #ro$ed( that e$erything which mo$es is cor#orea! and di$isi !e; it wi!! e shown e!ow that 2od is incor#orea! and that "e can ha$e no !ocomotion; nor can rest e ascri ed to "im; for rest can on!y e a##!ied to that which a!so mo$es. *!! e1#ressions( howe$er( which im#!y the $arious modes of mo$ement in !i$ing eings( are em#!oyed with regard to 2od in the manner we ha$e descri ed and in the same way as !ife is ascri ed to "im; a!though motion is an accident #ertaining to !i$ing eings( and there is no dou t that( without cor#orea!ity( e1#ressions !i)e the fo!!owing cou!d not e imagined; <to descend( to ascend( to wa!)( to #!ace( to stand( to surround( to sit( to dwe!!( to de#art( to enter( to #ass( etc. 't wou!d ha$e een su#erf!uous thus to di!ate on this su >ect( were it not for the mass of the #eo#!e( who are accustomed to such ideas. 't has een necessary to e1#atiate on the su >ect( as we ha$e attem#ted( for the enefit of those who are an1ious to ac-uire #erfection( to remo$e from them such notions as ha$e grown u# with them from the days of youth.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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?F3&=?% the 7rose!yte( who was thorough!y ac-uainted with the "e rew and +ha!daic !anguages( made it his tas) to o##ose the e!ief in 2od's cor#orea!ity. *ccording!y( any e1#ression em#!oyed in the 7entateuch in reference to 2od( and in any way im#!ying cor#orea!ity( he #ara#hrases in
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consonance with the conte1t. *!! e1#ressions denoting any mode of motion( are e1#!ained y "im to mean the a##earance or manifestation of a certain !ight that had een created Cfor the occasionD( i.e.( the %he)hinah (.i$ine 7resence)( or 7ro$idence. Thus he #ara#hrases

<the =ord wi!! come down< (&1od. 1i1. 11)( <The =ord wi!! manifest "imse!f<; <*nd 2od came down< (1$i. 20)( <*nd 2od manifested "imse!f<; and does not say <*nd 2od came down<; <' wi!! go down now and see< (2en. 1$iii. 21)( he #ara#hrases( <' wi!! manifest myse!f now and see.< This is his rendering Cof the $er yarad( <he went down(< when used in reference to 2odD throughout his $ersion( with the e1ce#tion of the fo!!owing #assage( <' wi!! go down (ered) with thee into &gy#t< (2en. 1!$i. 8)( which he renders !itera!!y. * remar)a !e #roof of this great man's ta!ents( the e1ce!!ence of his $ersion( and the correctness of his inter#retationR 4y this $ersion he disc!oses to us an im#ortant #rinci#!e as regards #ro#hecy. This narrati$e egins; <*nd 2od s#a)e unto 'srae! in the $isions of the night( and said( Jaco ( Jaco ( etc. *nd "e said( ' am 2od( etc.( ' wi!! go down with thee into &gy#t< (2en. 1!$i. 2( 6). %eeing that the who!e narrati$e is introduced as a $ision of the night( ?n)e!os did not hesitate to trans!ate !itera!!y the words addressed to Jaco in the nocturna! $ision( and thus ga$e a faithfu! account of the occurrence. Aor the #assage in -uestion contains a statement of what Jaco was to!d( not what actua!!y too) #!ace( as is the case in the words( <*nd the =ord came down u#on Mount %inai< (&1od. 1i1. 20). "ere we ha$e an account of what actua!!y occurred in the #hysica! wor!d; the $er yarad is therefore #ara#hrased <"e manifested "imse!f(< and entire!y detached from the idea of motion. *ccounts of what ha##ened in the imagination of man( ' mean of what he was to!d( are not a!tered. * most remar)a !e distinctionR "ence you may infer that there is a great difference etween a communication( designated as ha$ing een made in a dream( or a $ision of the night( and a $ision or a manifestation sim#!y introduced with #hrases !i)e <*nd the word of the =ord came unto me( saying<; <*nd the =ord s#a)e unto me( saying.< *ccording to my o#inion( it is a!so #ossi !e that ?n)e!os understood #lohim in the a o$e #assage to signify <ange!(< and that for this reason he did not hesitate to trans!ate !itera!!y( <' wi!! go down with thee to &gy#t.< .o not thin) it strange that ?n)e!os shou!d ha$e e!ie$ed the #lohim( who said to Jaco ( <' am 2od( the 2od of thy father< (ib. 6)( to e an ange!( for this sentence can( in the same form( a!so ha$e een s#o)en y an ange!. Thus Jaco says( <*nd the ange! of 2od s#a)e unto me in a dream( saying( Jaco . *nd ' said( "ere am '(< etc. (2en. 111i. 11); and conc!udes the re#ort of the ange!'s words to him in the fo!!owing way( <' am the 2od of 4ethe!( where thou anointedst the #i!!ar( and where thou $owedst a $ow unto me< (ib. 16)( a!though there is no dou t that Jaco $owed to 2od( not to the ange!. 't is the usua! #ractice of #ro#hets to re!ate words addressed to them y an ange! in the name of 2od( as though 2od "imse!f had s#o)en to them. %uch #assages are a!! to e e1#!ained y su##!ying the nomen re ens( and y considering them as identica! with <' am the messenger of the 2od of thy father(< <' am the messenger of 2od who a##eared to thee in 4ethe!(< and the !i)e. 7ro#hecy with its $arious degrees( and the nature of ange!s( wi!! e fu!!y
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discussed in the se-ue!( in accordance with the o >ect of this treatise (''. cha#. 1i$.).

Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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T"& term re el is homonymous( signifying( in the first #!ace( the foot of a !i$ing eing; com#. <Aoot for foot< (&1od. 11i. 28). Fe1t it denotes an o >ect which fo!!ows another; com#. <*nd a!! the #eo#!e that fo!!ow thee< (!it. that are at thy feet) (ib. 1i. 1H). *nother signification of the word is <cause<; com#. <*nd the =ord hath !essed thee( ' eing the cause< (lera li) (2en. 111. 60)( i.e.( for my sa)e; for that which e1ists for the sa)e of another thing has the !atter for its fina! cause. &1am#!es of the term used in this sense are numerous. 't has that meaning in 2enesis 111iii. 18( <4ecause (lere el) of the catt!e that goeth efore me( and ecause (lere el) of the chi!dren.< +onse-uent!y( the "e rew te1t( of which the !itera! rendering is; <*nd his feet sha!! stand in that day u#on the Mount of ?!i$es< (Tech. 1i$. 8) can e e1#!ained in the fo!!owing way; <*nd the things caused y him (ra la") on that day u#on the Mount of ?!i$es( that is to say( the wonders which wi!! then e seen( and of which 2od wi!! e the +ause or the Ma)er( wi!! remain #ermanent!y.< To this e1#!anation does Jonathan son of @,ie! inc!ine in #ara#hrasing the #assage(< *nd he wi!! a##ear in his might on that day u#on the Mount of ?!i$es. "e genera!!y e1#resses terms denoting those #arts of the ody y which contact and motion are effected( y <his might< Cwhen referring to 2odD( ecause a!! such e1#ressions denote acts done y "is 0i!!. 'n the #assage (&1od. 11i$. 10( !it.( <*nd there was under his feet( !i)e the action of the whiteness of a sa##hire stone<)( ?n)e!os( as you )now( in his $ersion( considers the word (ra la") <his feet< as a figurati$e e1#ression and a su stitute for <throne<; the words <under his feet< he therefore #ara#hrases( <*nd under the throne of his g!ory.< +onsider this we!!( and you wi!! o ser$e with wonder how ?n)e!os )ee#s free from the idea of the cor#orea!ity of 2od( and from e$erything that !eads thereto( e$en in the remotest degree. Aor he does not say( <and under "is throne<; the direct re!ation of the throne to 2od( im#!ied in the !itera! sense of the #hrase <"is throne(< wou!d necessari!y suggest the idea that 2od is su##orted y a materia! o >ect( and thus !ead direct!y to the cor#orea!ity of 2od; he therefore refers the throne to "is g!ory( i.e.( to the %he)hinah( which is a !ight created for the #ur#ose. %imi!ar!y he #ara#hrases the words( <Aor my hand ' !ift u# to the throne of 2od< (&1od. 1$ii. 15)( <*n oath has een uttered y 2od( whose %he)hinah is u#on the throne of his g!ory.< This #rinci#!e found a!so e1#ression in the #o#u!ar #hrase( <the Throne of the 2!ory.< 0e ha$e a!ready gone too far away from the su >ect of this cha#ter( and touched u#on things which wi!! e discussed in other cha#ters; we wi!! now return to our #resent theme. Mou are ac-uainted with the $ersion of ?n)e!os Cof the #assage -uotedD. "e contents himse!f with e1c!uding from his $ersion a!! e1#ressions of cor#orea!ity in reference to 2od( and does not show us what they (the no !es of the chi!dren of 'srae! &1od. 11i$. 10) #ercei$ed(

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or what is meant y that figure. 'n a!! simi!ar instances ?n)e!os a!so a stains from entering into such -uestions( and on!y endea$ours to e1c!ude e$ery e1#ression im#!ying cor#orea!ity; for the incor#orea!ity of 2od is a demonstrati$e truth and an indis#ensa !e e!ement in our faith; he cou!d decided!y state a!! that was necessary in that res#ect. The inter#retation of a simi!e is a dou tfu! thing; it may #ossi !y ha$e that meaning( ut it may a!so refer to something e!se. 't contains esides $ery #rofound matter( the understanding of which is not a fundamenta! e!ement in our faith( and the com#rehension of which is not easy for the common #eo#!e. ?n)e!os( therefore( did not enter at a!! into this su >ect. 0e( howe$er( remaining faithfu! to our tas) in this treatise( find ourse!$es com#e!!ed to gi$e our e1#!anation. *ccording to our o#inion <under his feet< (ra la") denotes <under that of which "e is the cause(< <that which e1ists through "im(< as we ha$e a!ready stated. They (the no !es of the chi!dren of 'srae!) therefore com#rehended the rea! nature of the materia prima( which emanated from "im( and of whose e1istence "e is the on!y cause. +onsider we!! the #hrase( <!i)e the action of the whiteness of the sa##hire stone.< 'f the co!our were the #oint of com#arison( the words( <as the whiteness of the sa##hire stone< wou!d ha$e sufficed; ut the addition of <!i)e the action< was necessary( ecause matter( as such( is( as you are we!! aware( a!ways rece#ti$e and #assi$e( acti$e on!y y some accident. ?n the other hand( form( as such( is a!ways acti$e( and on!y #assi$e y some accident( as is e1#!ained in wor)s on 7hysics. This e1#!ains the addition of <like the action< in reference to the materia prima. The e1#ression <the whiteness of the sa##hire< refers to the trans#arency( not to the white co!our; for <the whiteness< of the sa##hire is not a white co!our( ut the #ro#erty of eing trans#arent. Things( howe$er( which are trans#arent( ha$e no co!our of their own( as is #ro$ed in wor)s on 7hysics; for if they had a co!our they wou!d not #ermit a!! the co!ours to #ass through them nor wou!d they recei$e co!ours; it is on!y when the trans#arent o >ect is tota!!y co!our!ess( that it is a !e to recei$e successi$e!y a!! the co!ours. 'n this res#ect it (the whiteness of the sa##hire) is !i)e the materia prima( which as such is entire!y form!ess( and thus recei$es a!! the forms one after the other. 0hat they (the no !es of the chi!dren of 'srae!) #ercei$ed was therefore the materia prima( whose re!ation to 2od is distinct!y mentioned( ecause it is the source of those of his creatures which are su >ect to genesis and destruction( and has een created y him. This su >ect a!so wi!! e treated !ater on more fu!!y. ? ser$e that you must ha$e recourse to an e1#!anation of this )ind( e$en when ado#ting the rendering of ?n)e!os( <*nd under the throne of "is g!ory<; for in fact the materia prima is a!so under the hea$ens( which are ca!!ed <throne of 2od(< as we ha$e remar)ed a o$e. ' shou!d not ha$e thought of this unusua! inter#retation( or hit on this argument were it not for an utterance of 9. &!ie,er en "yrcanus( which wi!! e discussed in one of the #arts of this treatise (''. cha#. 11$i.). The #rimary o >ect of e$ery inte!!igent #erson must e to deny the cor#orea!ity of 2od( and to e!ie$e that a!! those #erce#tions (descri ed in the a o$e #assage) were of a s#iritua! not of a materia! character. Fote this and consider it we!!.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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T"& term eeb is homonymous( denoting( in the first #!ace( #ain and trem !ing; com#. <'n sorrow (be-eeb) thou sha!t ring forth chi!dren< (2en. iii. 15). Fe1t it denotes anger; com#. <*nd his father had not made him angry (aabo) at any time< (1 3ings i. 5); <for he was angry (neeab) for the sa)e of .a$id< (1 %am. 11. 68). The term signifies a!so #ro$ocation; com#. <They re e!!ed( and $e1ed (iebu) his ho!y s#irit< ('sa. !1iii. 10); <and #ro$o)ed (yaaibahu) him in the desert< (7s. !11$iii. 80); <'f there e any way of #ro$ocation (oeb) in me< (ib. c111i1. 28); <&$ery day they re e! (yeaebu) against my words< (ib. !$i. 5). 'n 2enesis $i. 5 the word has either the second or the third signification. 'n the first case( the sense of the "e rew "a-yitaeb el libbo is <2od was angry with them on account of the wic)edness of their deeds< as to the words <to his heart< used here( and a!so in the history of Foah (ib. $iii. 21) ' wi!! here e1#!ain what they mean. 0ith regard to man( we use the e1#ression <he said to himse!f(< or <he said in his heart(< in reference to a su >ect which he did not utter or communicate to any other #erson. %imi!ar!y the #hrase <*nd 2od said in his heart(< is used in reference to an act which 2od decreed without mentioning it to any #ro#het at the time the e$ent too) #!ace according to the wi!! of 2od. *nd a figure of this )ind is admissi !e( since <the Torah s#ea)eth in accordance with the !anguage of man< (supra c. 11$i.). This is #!ain and c!ear. 'n the 7entateuch no distinct mention is made of a message sent to the wic)ed generation of the f!ood( cautioning or threatening them with death; therefore( it is said concerning them( that 2od was angry with them in "is heart; !i)ewise when "e decreed that no f!ood shou!d ha##en again( "e did not te!! a #ro#het to communicate it to others( and for that reason the words <in his heart< are added. Ta)ing the $er in the third signification( we e1#!ain the #assage thus; <*nd man re e!!ed against 2od's wi!! concerning him<; for leb (heart) a!so signifies <wi!!(< as we sha!! e1#!ain when treating of the homonymity of leb (heart).
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

/!+PT"' )))
'F its #rimary meaning akal (to eat) is used in the sense of ta)ing food y anima!s; this needs no i!!ustration. 't was afterwards o ser$ed that eating inc!udes two #rocesses--(1) the !oss of the food( i.e.( the destruction of its form( which first ta)es #!ace; (2) the growth of anima!s( the #reser$ation of their strength and their e1istence( and the su##ort of a!! the forces of their ody( caused y the food they ta)e. The consideration of the first #rocess !ed to the figurati$e use of the $er in the sense of <consuming(< <destroying<; hence it inc!udes a!! modes of de#ri$ing a thing of its form com#. <*nd the !and of your enemies sha!! destroy (!it. eat) you< (=e$. 11$i. 6H); <* !and

that destroyeth (!it. eateth) the inha itants thereof< (Fum. 1iii. 62); <Me sha!! e destroyed (!it. eaten) with the sword< ('sa. i. 5); <%ha!! the sword destroy (!it. eat)< (2 %am. ii. 25); <*nd the fire of the =ord urnt among them( and destroyed (!it. ate) them that were in the uttermost #arts of the cam#< (Fum. 1i. 1);
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<(2od) is a destroying (!it. eating) fire< (.eut. i$. 28)( that is( "e destroys those who re e! against "im( as the fire destroys e$erything that comes within its reach. 'nstances of this )ind are $ery fre-uent.
C#aragra#h continuesD

0ith reference to the second effect of the act of eating( the $er <to eat< is figurati$e!y used in the sense of <ac-uiring wisdom(< <!earning<; in short( for a!! inte!!ectua! #erce#tions. These #reser$e the human form (inte!!ect) constant!y in the most #erfect manner( in the same way as food #reser$es the ody in its est condition. +om#. <+ome ye( uy and eat< ('sa. !$. 1); <"ear)en di!igent!y unto me( and eat ye that which is good< (ib. 2); <'t is not good to eat much honey< (7ro$. 11$. 2J); <My son( eat thou honey( ecause it is good( and the honeycom ( which is sweet to thy taste; so sha!! the )now!edge of wisdom e unto thy sou!< (ib. 11i$. 16( 18). This figurati$e use of the $er <to eat< in the sense of <ac-uiring wisdom< is fre-uent!y met with in the Ta!mud( e.g.( <+ome( eat fat meat at 9a a's< (4a a 4athra 22a); com#. <*!! e1#ressions of 'eating' and 'drin)ing' found in this oo) (of 7ro$er s) refer to wisdom(< or( according to another reading( <to the =aw< (3oh. ra a on &cc!. iii. 16) 0isdom has a!so een fre-uent!y ca!!ed <water(< e.g.( <"o( e$ery one that thirsteth( come ye to the waters< ('sa. !$. 1). The figurati$e meaning of these e1#ressions has een so genera! and common( that it was a!most considered as its #rimiti$e signification( and !ed to the em#!oyment <of hunger< and <thirst< in the sense of <a sence of wisdom and inte!!igence<; com#. <' wi!! send a famine in the !and( not a famine of read( nor a thirst for water( ut of hearing the words of the =ord<; <My sou! thirsteth for 2od( for the !i$ing 2od< (7s. 1!ii. 6). 'nstances of this )ind occur fre-uent!y. The words( <0ith >oy sha!! ye draw water out of the we!!s of sa!$ation< ('sa. Kii. 6)( are #ara#hrased y Jonathan son of @,,ie! thus; <Mou wi!! >oyfu!!y recei$e new instruction from the chosen of the righteous.< +onsider how he e1#!ains <water< to indicate <the wisdom which wi!! then s#read(< and <the we!!s< (maayene) as eing identica! with <the eyes of the congregation< (Fum. KI. 28)( in the sense of <the chiefs(< or <the wise.< 4y the #hrase( <from the chosen of the righteous(< he e1#resses his e!ief that righteousness is true sa!$ation. Mou now see how he gi$es to e$ery word in this $erse some signification referring to wisdom and study. This shou!d e we!! considered.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

/!+PT"' )))$

3F?0 that for the human mind there are certain o >ects of #erce#tion which are within the sco#e of its nature and ca#acity; on the other hand( there are( amongst things which actua!!y e1ist( certain o >ects which the mind can in no way and y no means gras#; the gates of #erce#tion are dosed against it. Aurther( there are things of which the mind understands one #art( ut remains ignorant of the other; and when man is a !e to com#rehend certain things( it does not fo!!ow that he must e a !e to com#rehend e$erything. This a!so a##!ies to the senses; they are a !e to #ercei$e things( ut not at e$ery distance; and a!! other #ower; of the ody are !imited in a simi!ar way. * man can( e.g.( carry two )i))ar( ut he cannot carry ten )i))ar. "ow indi$idua!s of the same s#ecies sur#ass each other in these sensations and in
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other odi!y facu!ties is uni$ersa!!y )nown( ut there is a !imit to them( and their #ower cannot e1tend to e$ery distance or to e$ery degree. *!! this is a##!ica !e to the inte!!ectua! facu!ties of man. There is a considera !e difference etween one #erson and another as regards these facu!ties( as is we!! )nown to #hi!oso#hers. 0hi!e one man can disco$er a certain thing y himse!f( another is ne$er a !e to understand it( e$en if taught y means of a!! #ossi !e e1#ressions and meta#hors( and during a !ong #eriod; his mind can in no way gras# it( his ca#acity is insufficient for it. This distinction is not un!imited. * oundary is undou ted!y set to the human mind which it cannot #ass. There are things ( eyond that oundary) which are ac)now!edged to e inaccessi !e to human understanding( and man does not show any desire to com#rehend them( eing aware that such )now!edge is im#ossi !e( and that there are no means of o$ercoming the difficu!ty; e.g.( we do not )now the num er of stars in hea$en( whether the num er is e$en or odd; we do not )now the num er of anima!s( minera!s( or #!ants( and the !i)e. There are other things( howe$er( which man $ery much desires to )now( and strenuous efforts to e1amine and to in$estigate them ha$e een made y thin)ers of a!! c!asses( and at a!! times. They differ and disagree( and constant!y raise new dou ts with regard to them( ecause their minds are ent on com#rehending such things( that is to say( they are mo$ed y desire and e$ery one of them e!ie$es that he has disco$ered the way !eading to a true )now!edge of the thing( a!though human reason is entire!y una !e to demonstrate the fact y con$incing e$idence.-Aor a #ro#osition which can e #ro$ed y e$idence is not su >ect to dis#ute( denia!( or re>ection; none ut the ignorant wou!d contradict it( and such contradiction is ca!!ed <denia! of a demonstrated #roof.< Thus you find men who deny the s#herica! form of the earth( or the circu!ar form of the !ine in which the stars mo$e( and the !i)e; such men are not considered in this treatise. This confusion #re$ai!s most!y in meta#hysica! su >ects( !ess in #ro !ems re!ating to #hysics( and is entire!y a sent from the e1act sciences. *!e1ander *#hrodisius said that there are three causes which #re$ent men from disco$ering the e1act truth; first( arrogance and $aing!ory; second!y( the su t!ety( de#th( and difficu!ty of any su >ect which is eing e1amined; third!y( ignorance and want of ca#acity to com#rehend what might e com#rehended. These causes are enumerated y *!e1ander. *t the #resent time there is a fourth cause not mentioned y him( ecause it did not then #re$ai!( name!y( ha it and training. 0e natura!!y !i)e what we ha$e een

accustomed to( and are attracted towards it. This may e o ser$ed amongst $i!!agers; though they rare!y en>oy the enefit of a douche or ath( and ha$e few en>oyments( and #ass a !ife of #ri$ation( they dis!i)e town !ife and do not desire its #!easures( #referring the inferior things to which they are accustomed( to the etter things to which they are strangers; it wou!d gi$e them no satisfaction to !i$e in #a!aces( to e c!othed in si!)( and to indu!ge in aths( ointments( and #erfumes. The same is the case with those o#inions of man to which he has een accustomed from his youth; he !i)es them( defends them( and shuns the o##osite $iews. This is !i)ewise one of the causes which #re$ent men from finding truth( and which ma)e them c!ing to their ha itua! o#inions. %uch is( e.g.( the case with the $u!gar notions with res#ect to the cor#orea!ity of 2od( and many other meta#hysica! -uestions( as we sha!! e1#!ain. 't is the
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resu!t of !ong fami!iarity with #assages of the 4i !e( which they are accustomed to res#ect and to recei$e as true( and the !itera! sense of which im#!ies the cor#orea!ity of 2od and other fa!se notions; in truth( howe$er( these words were em#!oyed as figures and meta#hors for reasons to e mentioned e!ow. .o not imagine that what we ha$e said of the insufficiency of our understanding and of its !imited e1tent is an assertion founded on!y on the 4i !e; for #hi!oso#hers !i)ewise assert the same( and #erfect!y understand it( without ha$ing regard to any re!igion or o#inion. 't is a fact which is on!y dou ted y those who ignore things fu!!y #ro$ed. This cha#ter is intended as an introduction to the ne1t.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

/!+PT"' )))$$
Mou must consider( when reading this treatise( that menta! #erce#tion( ecause connected with matter( is su >ect to conditions simi!ar to those to which #hysica! #erce#tion is su >ect. That is to say( if your eye !oo)s around( you can #ercei$e a!! that is within the range of your $ision; if( howe$er( you o$erstrain your eye( e1erting it too much y attem#ting to see an o >ect which is too distant for your eye( or to e1amine writings or engra$ings too sma!! for your sight( and forcing it to o tain a correct #erce#tion of them( you wi!! not on!y wea)en your sight with regard to that s#ecia! o >ect( ut a!so for those things which you otherwise are a !e to #ercei$e; your eye wi!! ha$e ecome too wea) to #ercei$e what you were a !e to see efore you e1erted yourse!f and e1ceeded the !imits of your $ision. The same is the case with the s#ecu!ati$e facu!ties of one who de$otes himse!f to the study of any science. 'f a #erson studies too much and e1hausts his ref!ecti$e #owers( he wi!! e confused( and wi!! not e a !e to a##rehend e$en that which had een within the #ower of his a##rehension. Aor the #owers of the ody are a!! a!i)e in this res#ect. The menta! #erce#tions are not e1em#t from a simi!ar condition. 'f you admit the dou t( and do not #ersuade yourse!f to e!ie$e that there is a #roof for things which cannot e

demonstrated( or to try at once to re>ect and #ositi$e!y to deny an assertion the o##osite of which has ne$er een #ro$ed( or attem#t to #ercei$e things which are eyond your #erce#tion( then you ha$e attained the highest degree of human #erfection( then you are !i)e 9. *)i ha( who <in #eace entered Cthe study of these theo!ogica! #ro !emsD( and came out in #eace.< 'f( on the other hand( you attem#t to e1ceed the !imit of your inte!!ectua! #ower( or at once to re>ect things as im#ossi !e which ha$e ne$er een #ro$ed to e im#ossi !e( or which are in fact #ossi !e( though their #ossi i!ity e $ery remote( then you wi!! e !i)e &!isha *er; you wi!! not on!y fai! to ecome #erfect( ut you wi!! ecome e1ceeding!y im#erfect. 'deas founded on mere imagination wi!! #re$ai! o$er you( you wi!! inc!ine toward defects( and toward ase and degraded ha its( on account of the confusion which trou !es the mind( and of the dimness of its !ight( >ust as wea)ness of sight causes in$a!ids to see many )inds of unrea! images( es#ecia!!y when they ha$e !oo)ed for a !ong time at da,,!ing or at $ery minute o >ects. 9es#ecting this it has een said( <"ast thou found honey/ eat so much as is sufficient for thee( !est thou e fi!!ed therewith( and $omit it< (7ro$. 11$. 15). ?ur %ages a!so a##!ied this $erse to &!isha *er.
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"ow e1ce!!ent is this simi!eR 'n com#aring )now!edge to food (as we o ser$ed in cha#. 111.)( the author of 7ro$er s mentions the sweetest food( name!y( honey( which has the further #ro#erty of irritating the stomach( and of causing sic)ness. "e thus fu!!y descri es the nature of )now!edge. Though great( e1ce!!ent( no !e and #erfect( it is in>urious if not )e#t within ounds or not guarded #ro#er!y; it is !i)e honey which gi$es nourishment and is #!easant( when eaten in moderation( ut is tota!!y thrown away when eaten immoderate!y. Therefore( it is not said <!est thou e fi!!ed and !oathe it(< ut <!est thou $omit it.< The same idea is e1#ressed in the words( <'t is not good to eat much honey< (7ro$. 11$. 2J); and in the words( <Feither ma)e thyse!f o$er-wise; why shou!dst thou destroy thyse!f/< (&cc!es. $ii. 15); com#. <3ee# thy foot when thou goest to the house of 2od< (ibid. $. 1). The same su >ect is a!!uded to in the words of .a$id( <Feither do ' e1ercise myse!f in great matters( or in things too high for me< (7s. c111i. 2)( and in the sayings of our %ages; <.o not in-uire into things which are too difficu!t for thee( do not search what is hidden from thee; study what you are a!!owed to study( and do not occu#y thyse!f with mysteries.< They meant to say( =et thy mind on!y attem#t things which are within human #erce#tion; for the study of things which !ie eyond man's com#rehension is e1treme!y in>urious( as has een a!ready stated. This !esson is a!so contained in the Ta!mudica! #assage( which egins( <"e who considers four things(< etc.( and conc!udes( <"e who does not regard the honour of his +reator<; here a!so is gi$en the ad$ice which we ha$e a!ready mentioned( $i,.( that man shou!d not rash!y engage in s#ecu!ation with fa!se conce#tions( and when he is in dou t a out anything( or una !e to find a #roof for the o >ect of his in-uiry( he must not at once a andon( re>ect and deny it; he must modest!y )ee# ac)( and from regard to the honour of his +reator( hesitate Cfrom uttering an o#inion) and #ause. This has a!ready een e1#!ained. 't was not the o >ect of the 7ro#hets and our %ages in these utterances to c!ose the gate of in$estigation entire!y( and to #re$ent the mind from com#rehending what is within its reach( as is imagined y sim#!e and id!e #eo#!e( whom it suits etter to #ut forth their

ignorance and inca#acity as wisdom and #erfection( and to regard the distinction and wisdom of others as irre!igion and im#erfection( thus ta)ing dar)ness for !ight and !ight for dar)ness. The who!e o >ect of the 7ro#hets and the %ages was to dec!are that a !imit is set to human reason where it must ha!t. .o not criticise the words used in this cha#ter and in others in reference to the mind( for we on!y intended to gi$e some idea of the su >ect in $iew( not to descri e the essence of the inte!!ect; for other cha#ters ha$e een dedicated to this su >ect.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

/!+PT"' )))$$$
Mou must )now that it is $ery in>urious to egin with this ranch of #hi!oso#hy( $i,.( Meta#hysics; or to e1#!ain Cat firstD the sense of the simi!es occurring in #ro#hecies( and inter#ret the meta#hors which are em#!oyed in historica! accounts and which a ound in the writings of the 7ro#hets. ?n the contrary( it is necessary to initiate the young and to instruct the !ess inte!!igent according to their com#rehension; those who
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a##ear to e ta!ented and to ha$e ca#acity for the higher method of study( i.e.( that ased on #roof and on true !ogica! argument( shou!d e gradua!!y ad$anced towards #erfection( either y tuition or y se!f-instruction. "e( howe$er( who egins with Meta#hysics( wi!! not on!y ecome confused in matters of re!igion( ut wi!! fa!! into com#!ete infide!ity. ' com#are such a #erson to an infant fed with wheaten read( meat and wine; it wi!! undou ted!y die( not ecause such food is natura!!y unfit for the human ody( ut ecause of the wea)ness of the chi!d( who is una !e to digest the food( and cannot deri$e enefit from it. The same is the case with the true #rinci#!es of science. They were #resented in enigmas( dad in ridd!es( and taught y an wise men in the most mysterious way that cou!d e de$ised( not ecause they contain some secret e$i!( or are contrary to the fundamenta! #rinci#!es of the =aw (as foo!s thin) who are on!y #hi!oso#hers in their own eyes)( ut ecause of the inca#acity of man to com#rehend them at the eginning of his studies; on!y s!ight a!!usions ha$e een made to them to ser$e for the guidance of those who are ca#a !e of understanding them. These sciences were( therefore( ca!!ed Mysteries (sodoth)( and %ecrets of the =aw (sitre torah)( as we sha!! e1#!ain. This a!so is the reason why <the Torah s#ea)s the !anguage of man(< as we ha$e e1#!ained( for it is the o >ect of the Torah to ser$e as a guide for the instruction of the young( of women( and of the common #eo#!e; and as a!! of them are inca#a !e to com#rehend the true sense of the words( tradition was considered sufficient to con$ey a!! truths which were to e esta !ished; and as regards idea!s( on!y such remar)s were made as wou!d !ead towards a )now!edge of their e1istence( though not to a com#rehension of their true essence. 0hen a man attains to #erfection( and arri$es at a )now!edge of the <%ecrets of the =aw(< either through the assistance of a teacher or y se!f-instruction( eing !ed y the understanding of one #art to the study of the other( he wi!! e!ong to those who faithfu!!y e!ie$e in the true

#rinci#!es( either ecause of conc!usi$e #roof( where #roof is #ossi !e( or y forci !e arguments( where argument is admissi !e; he wi!! ha$e a true notion of those things which he #re$ious!y recei$ed in simi!es and meta#hors( and he wi!! fu!!y understand their sense. 0e ha$e fre-uent!y mentioned in this treatise the #rinci#!e of our %ages <not to discuss the Maaseh Mercabah e$en in the #resence of one #u#i!( e1ce#t he e wise and inte!!igent; and then on!y the headings of the cha#ters are to e gi$en to him.< 0e must( therefore( egin with teaching these su >ects according to the ca#acity of the #u#i!( and on two conditions( first( that he e wise( i.e.( that he shou!d ha$e successfu!!y gone through the #re!iminary studies( and second!y that he e inte!!igent( ta!ented( c!ear-headed( and of -uic) #erce#tion( that is( <ha$e a mind of his own< (mebin middaato)( as our %ages termed it. ' wi!! now #roceed to e1#!ain the reasons why we shou!d not instruct the mu!titude in #ure meta#hysics( or egin with descri ing to them the true essence of things( or with showing them that a thing must e as it is( and cannot e otherwise. This wi!! form the su >ect of the ne1t cha#ter; and ' #roceed to say
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

/!+PT"' )))$0
T"&9& are fi$e reasons why instruction shou!d not egin with Meta#hysics(
#. 8:

ut shou!d at first e restricted to #ointing out what is fitted for notice and what may e made manifest to the mu!titude. Airst 9eason--The su >ect itse!f is difficu!t( su t!e and #rofound( <Aar off and e1ceeding dee#( who can find it out/< (&cc!es. $ii. 28). The fo!!owing words of Jo may e a##!ied to it; <0hence then cometh wisdom/ and where is the #!ace of understanding/< (Jo 11$iii. 20). 'nstruction shou!d not egin with a struse and difficu!t su >ects. 'n one of the simi!es contained in the 4i !e( wisdom is com#ared to water( and amongst other inter#retations gi$en y our %ages of this simi!e( occurs the fo!!owing; "e who can swim may ring u# #ear!s from the de#th of the sea( he who is una !e to swim wi!! e drowned( therefore on!y such #ersons as ha$e had #ro#er instruction shou!d e1#ose themse!$es to the ris). %econd 9eason--The inte!!igence of man is at first insufficient; for he is not endowed with #erfection at the eginning( ut at first #ossesses #erfection on!y in potentiB( not in fact. Thus it is said( <*nd man is orn a wi!d ass< (Jo 1i. 12). 'f a man #ossesses a certain facu!ty in potentiB( it does not fo!!ow that it must ecome in him a rea!ity. "e may #ossi !y remain deficient either on account of some o stac!e( or from want of training in #ractices which wou!d turn the #ossi i!ity into a rea!ity. Thus it is distinct!y stated in the 4i !e( <Fot many are wise< (ib.( 111ii. 9); a!so our %ages say( <' noticed how few were those who attained to a higher degree of #erfection< (4. T. %uccah 8:a). There are many things which o struct the #ath to #erfection( and which )ee# man away from it. 0here can he find

sufficient #re#aration and !eisure to !earn a!! that is necessary in order to de$e!o# that #erfection which he has in potentiB/ Third 9eason.--The #re#aratory studies are of !ong duration( and man( in his natura! desire to reach the goa!( finds them fre-uent!y too wearisome( and does not wish to e trou !ed y them. 4e con$inced that( if man were a !e to reach the end without #re#aratory studies( such studies wou!d not e #re#aratory ut tiresome and utter!y su#erf!uous. %u##ose you awa)en any #erson( e$en the most sim#!e( as if from s!ee#( and you say to him( .o you not desire to )now what the hea$ens are( what is their num er and their form; what eings are contained in them; what the ange!s are; how the creation of the who!e wor!d too) #!ace; what is its #ur#ose( and what is the re!ation of its $arious #arts to each other; what is the nature of the sou!; how it enters the ody; whether it has an inde#endent e1istence( and if so( how it can e1ist inde#endent!y of the ody; y what means and to what #ur#ose( and simi!ar #ro !ems. "e wou!d undou ted!y say <Mes(< and show a natura! desire for the true )now!edge of these things; ut he win wish to satisfy that desire and to attain to that )now!edge y !istening to a few words from you. *s) him to interru#t his usua! #ursuits for a wee)( ti!! he !earn a!! this( he wou!d not do it( and wou!d e satisfied and contented with imaginary and mis!eading notions; he wou!d refuse to e!ie$e that there is anything which re-uires #re#aratory studies and #erse$ering research. Mou( howe$er( )now how a!! these su >ects are connected together; for there is nothing e!se in e1istence ut 2od and "is wor)s( the !atter inc!uding a!! e1isting things esides "im; we can on!y o tain a )now!edge of "im through "is wor)s; "is wor)s gi$e e$idence of "is e1istence( and show what must e assumed concerning "im( that is to say( what must e attri uted to "im
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either affirmati$e!y or negati$e!y. 't is thus necessary to e1amine a!! things according to their essence( to infer from e$ery s#ecies such true and we!! esta !ished #ro#ositions as may assist us in the so!ution of meta#hysica! #ro !ems. *gain( many #ro#ositions ased on the nature of num ers and the #ro#erties of geometrica! figures( are usefu! in e1amining things which must e negati$ed in reference to 2od( and these negations wi!! !ead us to further inferences. Mou wi!! certain!y not dou t the necessity of studying astronomy and #hysics( if you are desirous of com#rehending the re!ation etween the wor!d and 7ro$idence as it is in rea!ity( and not according to imagination. There are a!so many su >ects of s#ecu!ation( which( though not #re#aring the way for meta#hysics( he!# to train the reasoning #ower( ena !ing it to understand the nature of a #roof( and to test truth y characteristics essentia! to it. They remo$e the confusion arising in the minds of most thin)ers( who confound accidenta! with essentia! #ro#erties( and !i)ewise the wrong o#inions resu!ting therefrom. 0e may add( that a!though they do not form the asis for meta#hysica! research( they assist in forming a correct notion of these things( and are certain!y usefu! in many other things connected with that disci#!ine. +onse-uent!y he who wishes to attain to human #erfection( must therefore first study =ogic( ne1t the $arious ranches of Mathematics in their #ro#er order( then 7hysics( and !ast!y Meta#hysics. 0e find that many who ha$e ad$anced to a certain #oint in the study of these disci#!ines ecome weary( and sto#; that others( who are endowed with sufficient ca#acity( are

interru#ted in their studies y death( which sur#rises them whi!e sti!! engaged with the #re!iminary course. Fow( if no )now!edge whate$er had een gi$en(' to us y means of tradition( and if we had not een rought to the e!ief in a thing through the medium of simi!es( we wou!d ha$e een ound to form a #erfect notion of things with their essentia! characteristics( and to e!ie$e on!y what we cou!d #ro$e; a goa! which cou!d on!y e attained y !ong #re#aration. 'n such a case most #eo#!e wou!d die( without ha$ing )nown whether there was a 2od or not( much !ess that certain things must e asserted a out "im( and other things denied as defects. Arom such a fate not e$en< one of a city or two of a fami!y< (Jer. iii. 18) wou!d ha$e esca#ed. *s regards the #ri$i!eged few( <the remnant whom the =ord ca!!s< (Joe! iii. :)( they on!y attain the #erfection at which they aim after due #re#aratory !a our. The necessity of such a #re#aration and the need of such a training for the ac-uisition of rea! )now!edge( has een #!ain!y stated y 3ing %o!omon in the fo!!owing words; <'f the iron e !unt( and he do not whet the edge( then must he #ut to more strength; and it is #rofita !e to #re#are for wisdom< (&cc!es. 1. 10); <"ear counse!( and recei$e instruction( that thou mayest e wise in thy !atter end< (7ro$. 1i1. 20). There is sti!! another urgent reason why the #re!iminary disci#!ines shou!d e studied and understood. .uring the study many dou ts #resent themse!$es( and the difficu!ties( or the o >ections raised against certain assertions( are soon understood( >ust as the demo!ition of a ui!ding is easier than its erection; whi!e( on the other hand( it is im#ossi !e to #ro$e an assertion( or to remo$e any dou ts( without ha$ing recourse to se$era! #ro#ositions ta)en from these #re!iminary studies. "e who a##roaches meta#hysica! #ro !ems without #ro#er #re#aration is !i)e a #erson who >ourneys towards a certain #!ace( and
#. 8J

on the road fa!!s into a dee# #it( out of which he cannot rise( and he must #erish there; if he had not gone forth( ut had remained at home( it wou!d ha$e een etter for him. %o!omon has e1#atiated in the oo) of 7ro$er s on s!uggards and their indo!ence( y which he figurati$e!y refers to indo!ence in the search after wisdom. "e thus s#ea)s of a man who desires to )now the fina! resu!ts( ut does not e1ert himse!f to understand the #re!iminary disci#!ines which !ead to them( doing nothing e!se ut desire. <The desire of the s!othfu! )i!!eth him; for his hands refuse to !a our. "e co$eteth greedi!y a!! the day !ong; ut the righteous gi$eth( and s#areth not< (7ro$. 11i. 2:( 25); that is to say( if the desire )i!!eth the s!othfu!( it is ecause he neg!ects to see) the thing which might satisfy his desire( he does nothing ut desire( and ho#es to o tain a thing without using the means to reach it. 't wou!d e etter for him were he without that desire. ? ser$e how the end of the simi!e throws !ight on its eginning. 't conc!udes with the words < ut the righteous gi$eth( and s#areth not<; the antithesis of <righteous< and <s!othfu!< can on!y e >ustified on the asis of our inter#retation. %o!omon thus indicates that on!y such a man is righteous who gi$es to e$erything its due #ortion; that is to say( who gi$es to the study of a thing the who!e time re-uired for it( and does not de$ote any #art of that time to another #ur#ose. The #assage may therefore e #ara#hrased thus; <*nd the righteous man de$otes his ways to wisdom(

and does not withho!d any of them.< +om#. <2i$e not thy strength unto women< (7ro$. 111i. 6). The ma>ority of scho!ars( that is to say( the most famous in science( are aff!icted with this fai!ing( $i,.( that of hurrying at once to the fina! resu!ts( and of s#ea)ing a out them( without treating of the #re!iminary disci#!ines. =ed y fo!!y or am ition to disregard those #re#aratory studies( for the attainment of which they are either inca#a !e or too id!e( some scho!ars endea$our to #ro$e that these are in>urious or su#erf!uous. ?n ref!ection the truth wi!! ecome o $ious. The Aourth 9eason is ta)en from the #hysica! constitution of man. 't has een #ro$ed that mora! conduct is a #re#aration for inte!!ectua! #rogress( and that on!y a man whose character is #ure( ca!m and steadfast( can attain to inte!!ectua! #erfection; that is( ac-uire correct conce#tions. Many men are natura!!y so constituted that a!! #erfection is im#ossi !e; e.g.( he whose heart is $ery warm and is himse!f $ery #owerfu!( is sure to e #assionate( though he tries to counteract that dis#osition y training; he whose testic!es are warm( humid( and $igorous( and the organs connected therewith are surcharged( wi!! not easi!y refrain from sin( e$en if he ma)es great efforts to restrain himse!f. Mou a!so find #ersons of great !e$ity and rashness( whose e1cited manners and wi!d gestures #ro$e that their constitution is in disorder( and their tem#erament so ad that it cannot e cured. %uch #ersons can ne$er attain to #erfection; it is utter!y use!ess to occu#y onese!f with them on such a su >ect Cas Meta#hysicsD. Aor this science is( as you )now( different from the science of Medicine and of 2eometry( and( from the reason a!ready mentioned( it is not e$ery #erson who is ca#a !e of a##roaching it. 't is im#ossi !e for a man to study it successfu!!y without mora! #re#aration; he must ac-uire the highest degree of u#rightness and integrity( <for the froward is an a omination to the =ord( ut "is secret is
#. 8H

with the righteous< (7ro$. iii. 62). Therefore it was considered inad$isa !e to teach it to young men; nay( it is im#ossi !e for them to com#rehend it( on account of the heat of their !ood and the f!ame of youth( which confuses their minds; that heat( which causes a!! the disorder( must first disa##ear; they must ha$e ecome moderate and sett!ed( hum !e in their hearts( and su dued in their tem#erament; on!y then wi!! they e a !e to arri$e at the highest degree of the #erce#tion of 2od( i.e.( the study of Meta#hysics( which is ca!!ed Maaseh Mercabah +om#. <The =ord is nigh unto them that are of a ro)en heart< (7s. 111i$. 1H) <' dwe!! in the high and !ofty #!ace( with him a!so that is of a contrite and hum !e s#irit; to re$i$e the s#irit of the hum !e( and to re$i$e the heart of the contrite ones< ('sa. !$ii. 1:). Therefore the ru!e( <the headings of the sections may e confided to him(< is further restricted in the Ta!mud( in the fo!!owing way; The headings of the sections must on!y e handed down to an * - et-din (7resident of the +ourt)( whose heart is fu!! of care( i.e.( in whom wisdom is united with humi!ity( mee)ness( and a great dread of sin. 't is further stated there; <The secrets of the =aw can on!y e communicated to a counse!!or( scho!ar( and good orator.< These -ua!ities can on!y e ac-uired if the #hysica! constitution of the student fa$our their de$e!o#ment. Mou certain!y )now that some #ersons( though

e1ceeding!y a !e( are $ery wea) in gi$ing counse!( whi!e others are ready with #ro#er counse! and good ad$ice in socia! and #o!itica! matters. * #erson so endowed is ca!!ed <counse!!or< and may e una !e to com#rehend #ure!y a stract notions( e$en such as are simi!ar to common sense. "e is unac-uainted with them( and has no ta!ent whate$er for them; we a##!y to him the words; <0herefore is there a #rice in the hand of a foo! to get wisdom( seeing he hath no heart to it/< (7ro$. 1$ii. 15). ?thers are inte!!igent and natura!!y c!ear-sighted( a !e to con$ey com#!icated ideas in concise and we!! chosen !anguage(--such a #erson is ca!!ed< a good orator(< ut he has not een engaged in the #ursuit of science( or has not ac-uired any )now!edge of it. Those who ha$e actua!!y ac-uired a )now!edge of the sciences( are ca!!ed <wise in arts< (or <scho!ars<); the "e rew term for <wise in arts<-akam arashim--has een e1#!ained in the Ta!mud as im#!ying( that when such a man s#ea)s( a!! ecome( as t were( s#eech!ess. Fow( consider how( in the writings of the 9a is( the admission of a #erson into discourses on meta#hysics is made de#endent on distinction in socia! -ua!ities( and study of #hi!oso#hy( as we!! as on the #ossession of c!ear-sightedness( inte!!igence( e!o-uence( and a i!ity to communicate things y s!ight a!!usions. 'f a #erson satisfies these re-uirements( the secrets of the =aw are confided to him. 'n the same #!ace we a!so read the fo!!owing #assage;--9. Jochanan said to 9. &!asar( <+ome( ' wi!! teach you Maaseh Mercabah.< The re#!y was( <' am not yet o!d(< or in other words( ' ha$e not yet ecome o!d( ' sti!! #ercei$e in myse!f the hot !ood and the rashness of youth. Mou !earn from this that( in addition to the a o$e-named good -ua!ities( a certain age is a!so re-uired. "ow( then( cou!d any #erson s#ea) on these meta#hysica! themes in the #resence of ordinary #eo#!e( of chi!dren( and of womenR Aifth 9eason.--Man is distur ed in his inte!!ectua! occu#ation y the necessity of !oo)ing after the materia! wants of the ody( es#ecia!!y if the
#. 89

necessity of #ro$iding for wife and chi!dren e su#eradded; much more so if he see)s su#erf!uities in addition to his ordinary wants( for y custom and ad ha its these ecome a #owerfu! moti$e. &$en the #erfect man to whom we ha$e referred( if too usy with these necessary things( much more so if usy with unnecessary things( and fi!!ed with a great desire for them-must wea)en or a!together !ose his desire for study( to which he win a##!y himse!f with interru#tion( !assitude( and want of attention. "e wi!! not attain to that for which he is fitted y his a i!ities( or he wi!! ac-uire im#erfect )now!edge( a confused mass of true and fa!se ideas. Aor these reasons it was #ro#er that the study of Meta#hysics shou!d ha$e een e1c!usi$e!y cu!ti$ated y #ri$i!eged #ersons( and not entrusted to the common #eo#!e. 't is not for the eginner( and he shou!d a stain from it( as the !itt!e chi!d has to a stain from ta)ing so!id food and from carrying hea$y weights.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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.o not thin) that what we ha$e !aid down in the #receding cha#ters on the im#ortance( o scurity( and difficu!ty of the su >ect( and its unsuita !eness for communication to ordinary #ersons( inc!udes the doctrine of 2od's incor#orea!ity and "is e1em#tion from a!! affections (abcd). This is not the case. Aor in the same way as a!! #eo#!e must e informed( and e$en chi!dren must e trained in the e!ief that 2od is ?ne( and that none esides "im is to e worshi##ed( so must a!! e taught y sim#!e authority that 2od is incor#orea!; that there is no simi!arity in any way whatsoe$er etween "im and "is creatures; that "is e1istence is not !i)e the e1istence of "is creatures( "is !ife not !i)e that of any !i$ing eing( "is wisdom not !i)e the wisdom of the wisest of men; and that the difference etween "im and "is creatures is not mere!y -uantitati$e( ut a so!ute Cas etween two indi$idua!s of two different c!assesD; ' mean to say that a!! must understand that our wisdom and "is( or our #ower and "is do not differ -uantitati$e!y or -ua!itati$e!y( or in a simi!ar manner; for two things( of which the one is strong and the other wea)( are necessari!y simi!ar( e!ong to the same c!ass( and can e inc!uded in one definition. The same is the case with an other com#arisons; they can on!y e made etween two things e!onging to the same c!ass( as has een shown in wor)s on Fatura! %cience. *nything #redicated of 2od is tota!!y different from our attri utes; no definition can com#rehend oth; therefore "is e1istence and that of any other eing tota!!y differ from each other( and the term e1istence is a##!ied to oth homonymous!y( as ' sha!! e1#!ain. This suffices for the guidance of chi!dren and of ordinary #ersons who must e!ie$e that there is a 4eing e1isting( #erfect( incor#orea!( not inherent in a ody as a force in it-2od( who is a o$e a!! )inds of deficiency( a o$e * affections. 4ut the -uestion concerning the attri utes of 2od( their inadmissi i!ity( and the meaning of those attri utes which are ascri ed to "im; concerning the +reation( "is 7ro$idence( in #ro$iding for e$erything; concerning "is wi!!( "is #erce#tion( "is )now!edge of e$erything; concerning #ro#hecy and its $arious degrees; concerning the meaning of "is names which im#!y the idea of unity( though they are more than one; a!! these things are $ery difficu!t #ro !ems( the true <%ecrets of the =aw< the
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<secrets< mentioned so fre-uent!y in the oo)s of the 7ro#hets( and in the words of our Teachers( the su >ects of which we shou!d on!y mention the headings of the cha#ters( as we ha$e a!ready stated( and on!y in the #resence of a #erson satisfying the a o$e-named conditions.
C#aragra#h continuesD

That 2od is incor#orea!( that "e cannot e com#ared with "is creatures( that "e is not su >ect to e1terna! inf!uence; these are things which must e e1#!ained to e$ery one according to his ca#acity( and they must e taught y way of tradition to chi!dren and women( to the stu#id and ignorant( as they are taught that 2od is ?ne( that "e is eterna!( and that "e a!one is to e worshi##ed. 0ithout incor#orea!ity there is no unity( for a cor#orea! thing is in the first case not sim#!e( ut com#osed of matter and form which are two se#arate things y definition( and second!y( as it has e1tension it is a!so di$isi !e. 0hen #ersons ha$e recei$ed this doctrine( and ha$e een trained in this e!ief( and are in conse-uence at a !oss to reconci!e it with the writings of the 7ro#hets( the meaning of the !atter must e made c!ear and e1#!ained to them y #ointing out the homonymity and the

figurati$e a##!ication of certain terms discussed in this #art of the wor). Their e!ief in the unity of 2od and in the words of the 7ro#hets wi!! then e a true and #erfect e!ief. Those who are not sufficient!y inte!!igent to com#rehend the true inter#retation of these #assages in the 4i !e( or to understand that the same term admits of two different inter#retations( may sim#!y e to!d that the scri#tura! #assage is c!ear!y understood y the wise( ut that they shou!d content themse!$es with )nowing that 2od is incor#orea!( that "e is ne$er su >ect to e1terna! inf!uence( as #assi$ity im#!ies a change( whi!e 2od is entire!y free from a!! change( that "e cannot e com#ared to anything esides "imse!f( that no definition inc!udes "im together with any other eing( that the words of the 7ro#hets are true( and that difficu!ties met with may e e1#!ained on this #rinci#!e. This may suffice for that c!ass of #ersons( and it is not #ro#er to !ea$e them in the e!ief that 2od is cor#orea!( or that "e has any of the #ro#erties of materia! o >ects( >ust as there is no need to !ea$e them in the e!ief that 2od does not e1ist( that there are more 2ods than one( or that any other eing may e worshi##ed.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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' %"*== e1#!ain to you( when s#ea)ing on the attri utes of 2od( in what sense we can say that a #articu!ar thing #!eases "im( or e1cites "is anger and "is wrath( and in reference to certain #ersons that 2od was #!eased with them( was angry with them( or was in wrath against them. This is not the su >ect of the #resent cha#ter; ' intend to e1#!ain in it what ' am now going to say. Mou must )now( that in e1amining the =aw and the oo)s of the 7ro#hets( you wi!! not find the e1#ressions < urning anger(< <#ro$ocation(< or <>ea!ousy< a##!ied to 2od e1ce#t in reference to ido!atry; and that none ut the ido!ater ca!!ed <enemy(< <ad$ersary(< or <hater of the =ord.< +om#. <*nd ye ser$e other gods( . . . and then the =ord's wrath wi!! e )ind!ed against you< (.eut. 1i. 15( 1J); <=est the anger of the =ord thy 2od e )ind!ed against thee.< etc. (ib. $i. 1:); <To #ro$o)e him to anger through the wor) of your hands< (ib. 111i. 29); <They ha$e mo$ed
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me to >ea!ousy with that which is not 2od; they ha$e #ro$o)ed me to anger with their $anities< (ib. 111ii. 21); <Aor the =ord thy 2od is a >ea!ous 2od< (ib. $i. 1:); <0hy ha$e they #ro$o)ed me to anger with their gra$en images( and with strange $anities/< (Jer. $iii. 19); <4ecause of the #ro$o)ing of his sons and of his daughters< (.eut. 111ii. 19); <Aor a fire is )ind!ed in mine anger< (ib. 22); <The =ord wi!! ta)e $engeance on "is ad$ersaries( and he reser$eth wrath for his enemies< (Fah. i. 2); <*nd re#ayeth them that hate "im< (.eut. $ii. 10); <@nti! "e hath dri$en out "is enemies from efore "im< (Fum. 111ii. 2 1); <0hich the =ord thy 2od hateth< (.eut. 1$i. 22); <Aor e$ery a omination to the =ord( which "e hateth( ha$e they done unto their gods< (ib. 1ii. 61). 'nstances !i)e these are innumera !e; and if you e1amine a!! the e1am#!es met with in the ho!y writings( you wi!! find that they confirm our $iew.

The 7ro#hets in their writings !aid s#ecia! stress on this( ecause it concerns errors in reference to 2od( i.e.( it concerns ido!atry. Aor if any one e!ie$es that( e.g.( Taid is standing( whi!e in fact he is sitting( he does not de$iate from truth so much as one who e!ie$es that fire is under the air( or that water is under the earth( or that the earth is a #!ane( or things simi!ar to these. The !atter does not de$iate so much from truth as one who e!ie$es that the sun consists of fire( or that the hea$ens form a hemis#here( and simi!ar things; in the third instance the de$iation from truth is !ess than the de$iation of a man who e!ie$es that ange!s eat and drin)( and the !i)e. The !atter again de$iates !ess from truth than one who e!ie$es that something esides 2od is to e worshi##ed; for ignorance and error concerning a great thing( i.e.( a thing which has a high #osition in the uni$erse( are of greater im#ortance than those which refer to a thing which occu#ies a !ower #!ace;-- y <error< ' mean the e!ief that a thing is different from what it rea!!y is; y <ignorance(< the want of )now!edge res#ecting things the )now!edge of which can e o tained. 'f a #erson does not )now the measure of the cone( or the s#hericity of the sun( it is not so im#ortant as not to )now whether 2od e1ists( or whether the wor!d e1ists without a 2od; and if a man assumes that the cone is ha!f (of the cy!inder)( or that the sun is a circ!e( it is not so in>urious as to e!ie$e that 2od is more than ?ne. Mou must )now that ido!aters when worshi##ing ido!s do not e!ie$e that there is no 2od esides them; and no ido!ater e$er did assume that any image made of meta!( stone( or wood has created the hea$ens and the earth( and sti!! go$erns them. 'do!atry is founded on the idea that a #articu!ar form re#resents the agent etween 2od and "is creatures. This is #!ain!y said in #assages !i)e the fo!!owing; <0ho wou!d not fear thee( ? )ing of nations/< (Jer. 1. J); <*nd in e$ery #!ace incense is offered unto my name< (Ma!. i. 11); y <my name< a!!usion is made to the 4eing which is ca!!ed y them Ci.e.( the ido!atersD <the Airst +ause.< 0e ha$e a!ready e1#!ained this in our !arger wor) (Mishneh )orah( '. ?n 'do!atry( cha#. i.)( and none of our core!igionists can dou t it. The infide!s( howe$er( though e!ie$ing in the e1istence of the +reator( attac) the e1c!usi$e #rerogati$e of 2od( name!y( the ser$ice and worshi# which was commanded( in order that the e!ief of the #eo#!e in "is e1istence shou!d e firm!y esta !ished( in the words( <*nd you sha!! ser$e the =ord(< etc. (&1od. 11iii. 2:). 4y transferring that #rerogati$e to other eings( they
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cause the #eo#!e( who on!y notice the rites( without com#rehending their meaning or the true character of the eing which is worshi##ed( to renounce their e!ief in the e1istence of 2od. They were therefore #unished with death; com#. <Thou sha!t sa$e a!i$e nothing that reatheth< (.eut. 11. 15). The o >ect of this commandment( as is distinct!y stated( is to e1tir#ate that fa!se o#inion( in order that other men shou!d not e corru#ted y it any more; in the words of the 4i !e <that they teach you not(< etc. (ib. is). They are ca!!ed <enemies(< <foes(< <ad$ersaries<; y worshi##ing ido!s they are said to #ro$o)e 2od to >ea!ousy( anger( and wrath. "ow great( then( must e the offence of him who has a wrong o#inion of 2od "imse!f( and e!ie$es "im to e different from what "e tru!y is( i.e.( assumes that "e does not e1ist( that "e consists of two e!ements( that "e is cor#orea!( that "e is su >ect to

e1terna! inf!uence( or ascri es to "im any defect whate$er. %uch a #erson is undou ted!y worse than he who worshi#s ido!s in the e!ief that they( as agents( can do good or e$i!. Therefore ear in mind that y the e!ief in the cor#orea!ity or in anything connected with cor#orea!ity( you wou!d #ro$o)e 2od to >ea!ousy and wrath( )ind!e "is fire and anger( ecome "is foe( "is enemy( and "is ad$ersary in a higher degree than y the worshi# of ido!s. 'f you thin) that there is an e1cuse for those who e!ie$e in the cor#orea!ity of 2od on the ground of their training( their ignorance or their defecti$e com#rehension( you must ma)e the same concession to the worshi##ers of ido!s; their worshi# is due to ignorance( or to ear!y training( <they continue in the custom of their fathers.< (T. u!!in( 16a) Mou wi!! #erha#s say that the !itera! inter#retation of the 4i !e causes men to fa!! into that dou t( ut you must )now that ido!aters were !i)ewise rought to their e!ief y fa!se imaginations and ideas. There is no e1cuse whate$er for those who( eing una !e to thin) for themse!$es( do not acce#t Cthe doctrine of the incor#orea!ity of 2odD from the true #hi!oso#hers. ' do not consider those men as infide!s who are una !e to #ro$e the incor#orea!ity( ut ' ho!d those to e so 0ho do not e!ie$e it( es#ecia!!y when they see that ?n)e!os and Jonathan a$oid Cin reference to 2odD e1#ressions im#!ying cor#orea!ity as much as #ossi !e. This is a!! ' intended to say in this cha#ter.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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T"& "e rew term panim (face) is homonymous; most of its $arious meanings ha$e a figurati$e character. 't denotes in the first #!ace the face of a !i$ing eing; com#. <*nd a!! faces are turned into #a!eness< (Jer. 111. 5); <0herefore are your faces so sad (2en. 1!. J). 'n this sense the term occurs fre-uent!y. The ne1t meaning of the word is <anger<; com#. <*nd her anger (paneha) was gone< (1 %am. i. 1H). *ccording!y( the term is fre-uent!y used in reference to 2od in the sense of anger and wrath; com#. <The anger (pene) of the =ord hath di$ided them< (=am. i$. 15); <The anger (pene) of the =ord is against them that do e$i!< (7s. 111i$. 1J); <Mine anger (panai) sha!! go and ' wi!! gi$e thee rest< (&1od. 111iii. 18); <Then wi!! ' set mine anger< (panai) (=e$. 11. 6); there are many other instances. *nother meaning of the word is <the #resence and e1istence of a #erson<;
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com#. <"e died in the #resence (pene) Ci.e.( in the !ifetimeD of a!! his rethren< (2en. 11$. 1H); <*nd in the #resence (#ene) of a!! the #eo#!e ' wi!! e g!orified< (=e$. 1. 6); <"e wi!! sure!y curse thee in thy $ery #resence< (paneka) (Jo i. 11). 'n the same sense the word is used in the fo!!owing #assage( <*nd the =ord s#a)e unto Moses face to face(< i.e.( oth eing #resent( without any inter$ening medium etween them. +om#. <+ome( !et us !oo) one another in the face< (2 3ings 1i$. H); and a!so <The =ord ta!)ed with you face to face<

(.eut. $. 8); instead of which we read more #!ain!y in another #!ace( <Me heard the $oice of the words( ut saw no simi!itude; on!y ye heard a $oice< (ib. i$. 12). The hearing of the $oice without seeing any simi!itude is termed <face to face.< %imi!ar!y do the words( <*nd the =ord s#a)e unto Moses face to face< corres#ond to <There he heard the $oice of one s#ea)ing unto him< (Fum. $ii. H9)( in the descri#tion of 2od's s#ea)ing to Moses. Thus it wi!! e c!ear to you that the #erce#tion of the .i$ine $oice without the inter$ention of an ange! is e1#ressed y <face to face.< 'n the same sense the word panim must e understood in <*nd my face (panai) sha!! not e seen< (&1od. 111iii. 26); i.e.( my true e1istence( as it is( cannot e com#rehended. The word panim is a!so used in "e rew as an ad$er of #!ace( in the sense of < efore(< or < etween the hands.< 'n this sense it is fre-uent!y em#!oyed in reference to 2od; so a!so in the #assage( <*nd my face (panai) sha!! not e seen(< according to ?n)e!os( who renders it( <*nd those efore me sha!! not e seen.< "e finds here an a!!usion to the fact( that there are a!so higher created eings of such su#eriority that their true nature cannot e #ercei$ed y man; $i,.( the idea!s( se#arate inte!!ects( which in their re!ation to 2od are descri ed as eing constant!y efore "im( or etween "is hands( i.e.( as en>oying uninterru#ted!y the c!osest attention of .i$ine 7ro$idence. "e( i.e.( ?n)e!os( considers that the things which are descri ed as com#!ete!y #erce#ti !e are those eings which( as regards e1istence( are inferior to the idea!s( $i,.( su stance and form; in reference to which we are to!d( <*nd thou sha!t see that which is ehind me< (ibid.)( i.e.( eings( from which( as it were( ' turn away( and which ' !ea$e ehind me. This figure is to re#resent the utter remoteness of such eings from the .eity. Mou sha!! !ater on (cha#. !i$.) hear my e1#!anation of what Moses( our teacher( as)ed for. The word is a!so used as an ad$er of time( meaning < efore.< +om#. 'n former time (lephanim) in 'srae!< (9uth i$. J); <?f o!d (le-phanim) hast Thou !aid the foundation of the earth< (7s. +ii. 2:). *nother signification of the word is <attention and regard.< +om#. <Thou sha!t not ha$e regard (pene) to the #oor (=e$. 11. 1:); <*nd a #erson recei$ing attention (panim)< ('sa. iii. 6); 0ho does not show regard (panim)(< etc. (.eut. 1. 1J( etc.). The word panim (face) has a simi!ar signification in the !essing( <The =ord turn his face to thee< (i.e.( The =ord !et his #ro$idence accom#any thee)( <and gi$e thee #eace.<

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T"& "e rew term aor is a homonym. 't is a noun( signifying < ac).< +om#. <4ehind (aare) the ta ernac!e< (&1od. 11$i. 12); <The s#ear came out ehind him (aara")< (2 %am. ii. 26).
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't is ne1t used in reference to time( signifying <after<; <neither after him (aara") arose there any !i)e him< (2 3ings 11iii. 2:) <*fter (aar) these things< (2en. 1$. 1). 'n this sense the word occurs fre-uent!y.

The term inc!udes a!so the idea of fo!!owing a thing and of conforming with the mora! #rinci#!es of some other eing. +om#. <Me sha!! wa!) after (aare) the =ord( your 2od< (.eut. 1iii. :); <They sha!! wa!) after (aare) the =ord< ("os. 1i. 10)( i.e.( fo!!ow "is wi!!( wa!) in the way of "is actions( and imitate "is $irtues; <"e wa!)ed after (aare) the commandment< (ib. $.11). 'n this sense the word occurs in &1odus 111iii. 20( <*nd thou sha!t see my ac)< (aorai); thou sha!t #ercei$e that which fo!!ows me( is simi!ar to me( and is the resu!t of my wi!!( i.e.( a!! things created y me( as wi!! e e1#!ained in the course of this treatise.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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T"& "e rew leb (heart) is a homonymous noun( signifying that organ which is the source of !ife to a!! eings #ossessing a heart. +om#. <*nd thrust them through the heart of * sa!om< (1 %am. 1$iii. 18). This organ eing in the midd!e of the ody( the word has een figurati$e!y a##!ied to e1#ress <the midd!e #art of a thing.< +om#. <unto the midst (leb) of hea$en< (.eut. i$. 11); <the midst (labbath) of fire< (&1od. iii. 2). 't further denotes <thought.< +om#. <0ent not mine heart with thee/< (2 3ings $. 25)( i.e.( ' was with thee in my thought when a certain e$ent ha##ened. %imi!ar!y must e e1#!ained( <*nd that ye see) not after your own heart< (Fum. 1$. 69)( i.e.( after your own thoughts; <0hose heart (i.e.( whose thought)( turneth away this day< (.eut. 11i1. is). The word further signifies <counse!.< +om#. <*!! the rest of 'srae! were of one heart (i.e.( had one #!an) to ma)e .a$id )ing< (1 +hron. 1ii. 6H); < ut foo!s die for want of heart(< i.e.( of counse!; <My heart (i.e.( my counse!) sha!! not turn away from this so !ong as ' !i$e< (Jo 11$ii. 5); for this sentence is #receded y the words( <My righteousness ' ho!d fast( and wi!! not !et it go<; and then fo!!ows( <my heart sha!! ne$er turn away from this.<--*s regards the e1#ression yeeraf( ' thin) that it may e com#ared with the same $er in the form nerefet( <a handmaid etrothed (nerefet) to a man< (=e$. 1i1. 20)( where neerfet is simi!ar in meaning to the *ra ic munarifat( <turning away(< and signifies <turning from the state of s!a$ery to that of marriage.< 3eb (heart) denotes a!so <wi!!<; com#. <*nd ' sha!! gi$e you #astors according to my wi!! (libbi)< (Jer. iii. 1:)( <'s thine heart right as my heart is/< (2 3ings 1. 1:)( i.e.( is thy wi!! right as my wi!! is/ 'n this sense the word has een figurati$e!y a##!ied to 2od. +om#. <That sha!! do according to that which is in mine heart and in my sou!< (1 %am. ii. 6:)( i.e.( according to My wi!!; <*nd mine eyes and mine heart (i.e.( My #ro$idence and My wi!!) sha!! e there #er#etua!!y< (1 3ings i1. 6).

The word is a!so used in the sense of <understanding.< +om#. <Aor $ain man wi!! e endowed with a heart< (Jo . 1i. 12)( i.e.( wi!! e wise; <* wise man's heart is at his right hand< (&cc!es. 1. 2)( i.e.( his understanding is engaged in #erfect thoughts( the highest #ro !ems. 'nstances of this )ind are numerous. 't is in this sense( name!y( that of understanding( that the
#. ::

word is used whene$er figurati$e!y a##!ied to 2od; ut e1ce#tiona!!y it is a!so used in the sense of <wi!!.< 't must( in each #assage( e e1#!ained in accordance with the conte1t. *!so( in the fo!!owing and simi!ar #assages( it signifies <understanding<; <+onsider it in thine heart< (.eut. i$. 69); <*nd none considereth in his heart< ('sa. 1!i$. 19). Thus( a!so( <Met the =ord hath not gi$en you an heart to #ercei$e(< is identica! in its meaning with <@nto thee it was shown that thou mightest )now< (.eut. i$. 6:). *s to the #assage( <*nd thou sha!t !o$e the =ord thy 2od with a!! thine heart< (' . $i. :)( ' e1#!ain <with a!! thine heart< to mean <with a!! the #owers of thine heart(< that is( with a!! the #owers of the ody( for they a!! ha$e their origin in the heart; and the sense of the entire #assage is; ma)e the )now!edge of 2od the aim of a!! thy actions( as we ha$e stated in our +ommentary on the Mishnah (* oth( #i ht &hapters( $.)( and in our Mishneh Torah( yesode hatorah( cha#. ii. 2.
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'ua is a homonym( signifying <air(< that is( one of the four e!ements. +om#. <*nd the air of 2od mo$ed< (2en. i. 2). 't denotes a!so( <wind.< +om#. <*nd the east wind (rua) rought the !ocusts< (&1od. 1. 16); <west wind< (rua) (ib. 19). 'n this sense the word occurs fre-uent!y. Fe1t( it signifies < reath.< +om#. <* reath (rua) that #asseth away( and does not come again< (7s. !11$iii. 69); <wherein is the reath (rua) of !ife< (2en. $ii. 1:). 't signifies a!so that which remains of man after his death( and is not su >ect to destruction. +om#. <*nd the s#irit (rua) sha!! return unto 2od who ga$e it< (&cc!es. 1ii. J). *nother signification of this word is <the di$ine ins#iration of the #ro#hets where y they #ro#hesy<--as we sha!! e1#!ain( when s#ea)ing on #ro#hecy( as far as it is o##ortune to discuss this su >ect in a treatise !i)e this.--+om#. <*nd ' wi!! ta)e of the s#irit (rua) which is u#on thee( and wi!! #ut it u#on them< (Fum. 1i. 1J); <*nd it came to #ass( when the s#irit (rua) rested u#on them< (ib. 2:); <The s#irit (rua) of the =ord s#a)e y me< (2 %am. 11iii. 2). The term is fre-uent!y used in this sense.

The meaning of <intention(< <wi!!(< is !i)ewise contained in the word rua. +om#. <* foo! uttereth a!! his s#irit< (rua) (7ro$. 11i1. 11)( i.e.( his intention and wi!!; <*nd the s#irit (rua) of &gy#t sha!! fai! in the midst thereof( and ' wi!! destroy the counse! thereof< ('sa. 1i1. 6)( i.e.( her intentions wi!! e frustrated( and her #!ans wi!! e o scured; <0ho has com#rehended the s#irit (rua) of the =ord( or who is fami!iar with his counse! that he may te!! us/< ('sa. 1!. 16)( i.e.( 0ho )nows the order fi1ed y "is wi!!( or #ercei$es the system of "is 7ro$idence in the e1isting wor!d( that he may te!! us/ as we sha!! e1#!ain in the cha#ters in which we sha!! s#ea) on 7ro$idence. Thus the "e rew rua when used in reference to 2od( has genera!!y the fifth signification; sometimes( howe$er( as e1#!ained a o$e( the !ast signification( $i,.( <wi!!.< The meaning of the word in each indi$idua! case is therefore to e determined y the conte1t.

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T"& "e rew nefesh (sou!) is a homonymous noun( signifying the $ita!ity which is common to a!! !i$ing( sentient eings. &.g. <wherein there is a !i$ing sou!< (nefesh) (2en. i. 60). 't denotes a!so !ood(< as in <Thou sha!t not eat the !ood (nefesh) with the meat< (.eut. 1ii. 26). *nother signification of the term is <reason(< that is( the distinguishing characteristic of man( as in <*s the =ord !i$eth that made us this sou!< (Jer. 111$iii. 15). 't denotes a!so the #art of man that remains after his death (nefesh( sou!) com#. <4ut the sou! (nefesh) of my !ord sha!! e ound in the und!e of !ife (1 %am. 11$. 29). =ast!y( it denotes <wi!!<; com#. <To ind his #rinces at his wi!!< (be-nafsho) (7s. c$. 22); <Thou wi!t not de!i$er me unto the wi!! (be-nefesh) of my enemies< (7s. 1!i. 6); and according to my o#inion( it has this meaning a!so in the fo!!owing #assages( <'f it e your wi!! (nafshekem) that ' shou!d ury my dead< (2en. 11iii. H); <Though Moses and %amue! stood efore me( yet my wi!! (nafshi) cou!d not e toward this #eo#!e< (Jer. 1$. 1)( that is( ' had no #!easure in them( ' did not wish to #reser$e them. 0hen nefesh is used in reference to 2od( it has the meaning <wi!!(< as we ha$e a!ready e1#!ained with reference to the #assage( <That sha!! do according to that which is in my wi!! (bi-lebabi) and in mine intention (be-nafshi)< (1 %am. ii. 6:). %imi!ar!y we e1#!ain the #hrase( <*nd his wi!! (nafsho) to trou !e 'srae! ceased< (Judg. 1. 15). Jonathan( the son of @,,ie! Cin the Targum of the 7ro#hetsD( did not trans!ate this #assage( ecause he understood nafshi to ha$e the first signification( and finding( therefore( in these words sensation ascri ed to 2od( he omitted them from his trans!ation. 'f( howe$er( nefesh e here ta)en in the !ast signification( the sentence can we!! e e1#!ained. Aor in the #assage which #recedes( it is stated that 7ro$idence a andoned the 'srae!ites( and !eft them on the rin) of death; then they cried and #rayed for he!#( ut in $ain. 0hen( howe$er( they had thorough!y re#ented( when their misery had increased( and their enemy had had #ower o$er them( "e showed mercy to them( and "is wi!! to continue their trou !e and misery ceased. Fote it we!!( for it is remar)a !e. The #re#osition ba in this #assage has the force of the #re#osition min (<from< or <of<); and baamal is identica! with meamal. 2rammarians gi$e many instances of this use of the #re#osition ba; <*nd that which remaineth of (ba) the f!esh and of (ba) the read< (=e$. $iii. 62); <'f there remains ut few of (ba) the years< (ib. 11$. :2); <?f (ba) the strangers and of (ba) those orn in the !and< (&1od. 1ii. 19).

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ai (<!i$ing<) signifies a sentient organism (!it. <growing< and <ha$ing sensation<)( com#. <&$ery mo$ing thing that !i$eth< (2en. i1. 6); it a!so denotes reco$ery from a se$ere i!!ness; <*nd was reco$ered ("a-yei) of his sic)ness< ('sa. 111$iii. 9); <'n the cam# ti!! they reco$ered< (ayotam) (Josh. $. H); <-uic)( raw (ai) f!esh< (=e$. 1iii. 10). Ma"et signifies <death< and <se$ere i!!ness(< as in <"is heart died ("a-yamot) within him( and he ecame as a stone< (1 %am. 11$. 6J)( that is( his i!!ness was se$ere. Aor this reason it is stated concerning the son of the
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woman of Tare#hath( <*nd his sic)ness was so sore( that there was no reath !eft in him< (1 3ings 1$ii. 1J). The sim#!e e1#ression "a-yamoth wou!d ha$e gi$en the idea that he was $ery i!!( near death( !i)e Fa a! when he heard what had ta)en #!ace. %ome of the *nda!usian authors say that his reath was sus#ended( so that no reathing cou!d e #ercei$ed at a!!( as sometimes an in$a!id is sei,ed with a fainting fit or an attac) of as#hy1ia( and it cannot e disco$ered whether he is a!i$e or dead; in this condition the #atient may remain a day or two. The term ai has a!so een em#!oyed in reference to the ac-uisition of wisdom. +om#. <%o sha!! they e !ife (ayyim) unto thy sou!< (7ro$. iii. 22); <Aor whoso findeth me findeth !ife< (ib. $iii. 6:); <Aor they are !ife (hayyim) to those that find them< (ib. i$. 22). %uch instances are numerous. 'n accordance with this meta#hor( true #rinci#!es are ca!!ed !ife( and corru#t #rinci#!es death. Thus the *!mighty says( <%ee( ' ha$e set efore thee this day !ife and good and death and e$i!< (.eut. 111. 1:)( showing that <!ife< and <good(< <death< and <e$i!(< are identica!( and then "e e1#!ains these terms. 'n the same way ' understand "is words( <That ye may !i$e< (ib. $. 66)( in accordance with the traditiona! inter#retation of <That it may e we!! with thee< Cscil. in the !ife to comeD (ib. 11ii. J). 'n conse-uence of the fre-uent use of this figure in our !anguage our %ages said( <The righteous e$en in death are ca!!ed !i$ing( whi!e the wic)ed e$en in !ife are ca!!ed dead.< ()alm2 ;2 ;erakkoth( #. JH). Fote this we!!.
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T"& "e rew kanaf is a homonym; most of its meanings are meta#horica!. 'ts #rimary signification is <wing of a f!ying creature(< e.g.( <*ny winged (kanaf) fow! that f!ieth in the air< (.eut. i$. 1J). The term was ne1t a##!ied figurati$e!y to the wings or comers of garments com#. <u#on the four corners (kanfoth) of thy $esture< (ib. 11ii. 12). 't was a!so used to denote the ends of the inha ited #art of the earth( and the corners that are most distant from our ha itation. +om#. <That it might ta)e ho!d of the ends (kanfoth) of the earth< (Jo 111$iii. 16); <Arom the uttermost #art (kenaf) of the earth ha$e we heard songs< ('sa. 11i$. 15). ' n 2ana (in his 4oo) of "e rew 9oots) says that kenaf is used in the sense of <concea!ing(< in ana!ogy with the *ra ic kanaftu alshaian( <' ha$e hidden something(< and according!y e1#!ains( 'saiah 111. 20( <*nd thy teacher wi!! no !onger e hidden or concea!ed.< 't is a good e1#!anation( and ' thin) that )enaf has the same meaning in .euteronomy 11iii. 1( <"e sha!! not ta)e away the co$er (kenaf) of his father<; a!so in( <%#read( therefore( thy co$er (kenafeka) o$er thine handmaid< (9uth iii. 9). 'n this sense( ' thin)( the word is figurati$e!y a##!ied to 2od and to ange!s (for ange!s are not cor#orea!( according to my o#inion( as ' sha!! e1#!ain). 9uth ii. 12 must therefore e trans!ated <@nder whose #rotection (kenafa") thou art come to trust<; and where$er the word occurs in reference to ange!s( it means concea!ment. Mou ha$e sure!y noticed the words of 'saiah ('sa. $i. 2)( <0ith twain he co$ered his face( and with twain he co$ered his feet.< Their meaning is this; The cause of his (the ange!'s) e1istence is hidden and concea!ed; this is meant y
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the co$ering of the face. The things of which he (the ange!) is the cause( and which are ca!!ed <his feet< (as ' stated in s#ea)ing of the homonym re el( are !i)ewise concea!ed; for the actions of the inte!!igences are not seen( and their ways are( e1ce#t after !ong study( not understood( on account of two reasons--the one of which is contained in their own #ro#erties( the other in ourse!$es; that is to say( ecause our #erce#tion is im#erfect and the idea!s are difficu!t to e fu!!y com#rehended. *s regards the #hrase <and with twain he f!ieth(< ' sha!! e1#!ain in a s#ecia! cha#ter (1!i1.) why f!ight has een attri uted to ange!s.
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T"& "e rew ayin is a homonym( signifying <fountain<; e.g.( <4y a fountain (en) of water< (2en. 1$i. J). 't ne1t denotes <eye<; com#. (ayin) <&ye for eye< (&1od. 11i. 28). *nother meaning of the word is <#ro$idence(< as it is said concerning Jeremiah( <Ta)e him and direct thine attention (eneka) to him< (Jer. 111i1. 12). 'n this figurati$e sense it is to e understood when used in reference to 2od; e.g.( <*nd my #ro$idence and my #!easure sha!!

e there #er#etua!!y< (1 3ings i1. 6)( as we ha$e a!ready e1#!ained (#age 180); <The eyes (ene)( i.e.( the 7ro$idence of the =ord thy 2od( are a!ways u#on it< (.eut. 1i. 12); <They are the eyes (ene) of the =ord( which run to and fro through the who!e earth< (Tech. i$. 10)( i.e.( "is #ro$idence is e1tended o$er e$erything that is on earth( as wi!! e e1#!ained in the cha#ters in which we sha!! treat of 7ro$idence. 0hen( howe$er( the word <eye< is connected with the $er <to see(< (raah or azah) as in <?#en thine eyes( and see< (1 3ings 1i1. 15); <"is eyes eho!d< (7s. 1i. 8)( the #hrase denotes #erce#tion of the mind( not that of the senses; for e$ery sensation is a #assi$e state( as is we!! )nown to you( and 2od is acti$e( ne$er #assi$e( as wi!! e e1#!ained y me.
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$hama is used homonymous!y. 't signifies <to hear(< and a!so <to o ey.< *s regards the first signification( com#. <Feither !et it e heard out of thy mouth< (&1od. 11iii. 16); <*nd the fame thereof was heard in 7haraoh's house< (2en. 1!$. 25). 'nstances of this )ind are numerous. &-ua!!y fre-uent are the instances of this $er eing used in the sense of <to o ey<; <*nd they hear)ened (shama) not unto Moses< (&1od. $i. 9). <'f they o ey (yishme>) and ser$e him (Jo 111$i. 11); <%ha!! we then hear)en (nishma) unto you< (Feh. 1iii. 2J); <0hosoe$er wi!! not hear)en (yishma) unto thy words< (Josh. i. 1H). The $er a!so signifies <to )now< (<to understand<)( com#. <* nation whose tongue( i.e.( its !anguage( thou sha!t not understand< (tishma) (.eut. 11$iii. 89). The $er shama( used in reference to 2od( must e ta)en in the sense of #ercei$ing( which is #art of the third signification( whene$er( according to the !itera! inter#retation of the #assage( it a##ears to ha$e the first meaning; com#. <*nd the =ord heard it< (Fum. 1i. 1); <Aor that "e heareth your murmurings< (&1od. 1$i. J). 'n a!! such #assages menta! #erce#tion is meant. 0hen( howe$er( according to the !itera! inter#retation
#. :9

the $er a##ears to ha$e the second signification( it im#!ies that 2od res#onded to the #rayer of man and fu!fi!!ed his wish( or did not res#ond and did not fu!fi! his wish; <' wi!! sure!y hear his cry< (&1od. 11ii. 26); <' wi!! hear( for ' am gracious< (ib. 2J); <4ow down thine ear( and hear< (2 3ings 1i1. 15); <4ut the =ord wou!d not hear)en to your $oice( nor gi$e ear unto you< (.eut. i. 8:); <Mea( when ye ma)e many #rayers( ' wi!! not hear< ('sa. i. 1:); <Aor ' wi!! not hear thee< (Jer. $ii. 15). There are many instances in which shama has this sense. 9emar)s wi!! now e #resented to you on these meta#hors and simi!es( which wi!! -uench your thirst( and e1#!ain to you a!! their meanings without !ea$ing a dou t.

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0& ha$e a!ready stated( in one of the cha#ters of this treatise( that there is a great difference etween ringing to $iew the e1istence of a thing and demonstrating its true essence. 0e can !ead others to notice the e1istence of an o >ect y #ointing to its accidents( actions( or e$en most remote re!ations to other o >ects; e.g.( if you wish to descri e the )ing of a country to one of his su >ects who does not )now him( you can gi$e a descri#tion and an account of his e1istence in many ways. Mou wi!! either say to him( the ta!! man with a fair com#!e1ion and grey hair is the )ing( thus descri ing him y his accidents; or you wi!! say( the )ing is the #erson round whom are seen a great mu!titude of men on horse and on foot( and so!diers with drawn swords( o$er whose head anners are wa$ing( and efore whom trum#ets are sounded; or it is the #erson !i$ing in the #a!ace in a #articu!ar region of a certain country; or it is the #erson who ordered the ui!ding of that wa!!( or the construction of that ridge; or y some other simi!ar acts and things re!ating to him. "is e1istence can e demonstrated in a sti!! more indirect way( e.g.( if you are as)ed whether this !and has a )ing( you wi!! undou ted!y answer in the affirmati$e. <0hat #roof ha$e you/< <The fact that this an)er here( a wea) and !itt!e #erson( stands efore this !arge mass of go!d #ieces( and that #oor man( ta!! and strong( who stands efore him as)ing in $ain for a!ms of the weight of a caro -grain( is re u)ed and is com#e!!ed to go away y the mere force of words; for had he not feared the )ing( he wou!d( without hesitation( ha$e )i!!ed the an)er( or #ushed him away and ta)en as much of the money as he cou!d.< +onse-uent!y( this is a #roof that this country has a ru!er and his e1istence is #ro$ed y the we!!-regu!ated affairs of the country( on account of which the )ing is res#ected and the #unishments decreed y him are feared. 'n this who!e e1am#!e nothing is mentioned that indicated his characteristics( and his essentia! #ro#erties( y $irtue of which he is )ing. The same is the case with the information concerning the +reator gi$en to the ordinary c!asses of men in a!! #ro#hetica! oo)s and in the =aw. Aor it was found necessary to teach a!! of them that 2od e1ists( and that "e is in e$ery res#ect the most #erfect 4eing( that is to say( "e e1ists not on!y in the sense in which the earth and the hea$ens e1ist( ut "e e1ists and #ossesses !ife( wisdom( #ower( acti$ity( and a!! other #ro#erties which our e!ief in "is e1istence must inc!ude( as wi!! e shown e!ow. That 2od e1ists was therefore shown to ordinary
#. 50

men y means of simi!es ta)en from #hysica! odies; that "e is !i$ing( y a simi!e ta)en from motion( ecause ordinary men consider on!y the ody as fu!!y( tru!y( and undou ted!y e1isting; that which is connected with a ody ut is itse!f not a ody( a!though e!ie$ed to e1ist( has a !ower degree of e1istence on account of its de#endence on the ody for e1istence. That( howe$er( which is neither itse!f a ody( nor a force within a ody( is not e1istent according to man's first notions( and is a o$e a!! e1c!uded from the range of imagination. 'n the same manner motion is considered y the ordinary man as identica! with !ife; what cannot mo$e $o!untari!y from #!ace to #!ace has no !ife( a!though motion is not #art of the definition of !ife( ut an accident connected with it. The #erce#tion y the senses( es#ecia!!y y hearing and seeing( is est )nown to us; we ha$e no idea or notion of

any other mode of communication etween the sou! of one #erson and that of another than y means of s#ea)ing( i.e.( y the sound #roduced y !i#s( tongue( and the other organs of s#eech. 0hen( therefore( we are to e informed that 2od has a kno*led e of things( and that communication is made y "im to the 7ro#hets who con$ey it to us( they re#resent "im to us as seeing and hearing( i.e.( as #ercei$ing and )nowing those things which can e seen and heard. They re#resent "im to us as s#ea)ing( i.e.( that communications from "im reach the 7ro#hets; that is to e understood y the term <#ro#hecy(< as wi!! e fu!!y e1#!ained. 2od is descri ed as wor)ing( ecause we do not )now any other mode of #roducing a thing e1ce#t y direct touch. "e is said to ha$e a sou! in the sense that "e is !i$ing( ecause a!! !i$ing eings are genera!!y su##osed to ha$e a sou!; a!though the term sou! is( as has een shown( a homonym. *gain( since we #erform a!! these actions on!y y means of cor#orea! organs( we figurati$e!y ascri e to 2od the organs of !ocomotion( as feet( and their so!es; organs of hearing( seeing( and sme!!ing( as ear( eye( and nose; organs and su stance of s#eech( as mouth( tongue( and sound; organs for the #erformance of wor)( as hand( its fingers( its #a!m( and the arm. 'n short( these organs of the ody are figurati$e!y ascri ed to 2od( who is a o$e a!! im#erfection( to e1#ress that "e #erforms certain acts; and these acts are figurati$e!y ascri ed to "im to e1#ress that "e #ossesses certain #erfections different from those acts themse!$es. &.g.( we say that "e has eyes( ears( hands( a mouth( a tongue( to e1#ress that "e sees( hears( acts( and s#ea)s; ut seeing and hearing are attri uted to "im to indicate sim#!y that "e #ercei$es. Mou thus find in "e rew instances in which the #erce#tion of the one sense is named instead of the other; thus( <%ee the word of the =ord< (Jer. ii( 61)( in the same meaning as <"ear the word of the =ord(< for the sense of the #hrase is( <7ercei$e what "e says<; simi!ar!y the #hrase( <%ee the sme!! of my son< (2en. 11$ii. 2J) has the same meaning as <%me!! the sme!! of my son(< for it re!ates to the #erce#tion of the sme!!. 'n the same way are used the words( <*nd a!! the #eo#!e saw the thunders and the !ightnings< (&1od. 11. 1:)( a!though the #assage a!so contains the descri#tion of a #ro#hetica! $ision( as is we!! )nown and understood among our #eo#!e. *ction and s#eech are !i)ewise figurati$e!y a##!ied to 2od( to e1#ress that a certain inf!uence has emanated from "im( as win e e1#!ained (cha#. !1$ and cha#. !1$i.). The #hysica! organs which are attri uted to 2od in the writings of the 7ro#hets are either organs of !ocomotion( indicating
#. 51

!ife; organs of sensation( indicating #erce#tion; organs of touch( indicating action; or organs of s#eech( indicating the di$ine ins#iration of the 7ro#hets( as wi!! e e1#!ained. The o >ect of a!! these indications is to esta !ish in our minds the notion of the e1istence of a !i$ing eing( the Ma)er of e$erything( who a!so #ossesses a )now!edge of the things which "e has made. 0e sha!! e1#!ain( when we come to s#ea) of the inadmissi i!ity of .i$ine attri utes( that a!! these $arious attri utes con$ey ut one notion( $i,.( that of the essence of 2od. The so!e o >ect of this cha#ter is to e1#!ain in what sense #hysica! organs are ascri ed to the Most 7erfect 4eing( name!y( that they are mere indications of the actions genera!!y #erformed y means of these organs. %uch actions eing #erfections res#ecting ourse!$es( are #redicated of 2od( ecause we wish to e1#ress that "e is most #erfect in e$ery res#ect( as we remar)ed a o$e in e1#!aining the 9a inica! #hrase( <The !anguage of

the Torah is !i)e the !anguage of man.< 'nstances of organs of !ocomotion eing a##!ied to the +reator occur as fo!!ows;--<My footstoo!< ('sa. !1$i. 1); <the #!ace of the so!es of my feet< (&,e). 1!iii. J). Aor e1am#!es of organs of touch a##!ied to 2od( com#. <the hand of the =ord< (&1od. i1. 6); <with the finger of 2od< (ib. 111i. 1H); <the wor) of thy fingers< (7s. $iii. 8)( <*nd thou hast !aid thine hand u#on me< (ib. c111i1. :); <The arm of the =ord< ('sa. !iii. 1); <Thy right hand( ? =ord< (&1od. 1$. 5). 'n instances !i)e the fo!!owing( organs of s#eech are attri uted to 2od; <The mouth of the =ord has s#o)en< ('sa. i. 20); <*nd "e wou!d o#en "is !i#s against thee< (Jo 1i. :); <The $oice of the =ord is #owerfu!< (7s. 11i1. 8); <*nd his tongue as a de$ouring fire< ('sa. 111. 2J). ?rgans of sensation are attri uted to 2od in instances !i)e the fo!!owing; <"is eyes eho!d( "is eye!ids try< (7s. 1i. 8); <The eyes of the =ord which run to and fro< (Tech. i$. 10); <4ow down thine ear unto me( and hear< (2 3ings 1i1. 15); <Mou ha$e )ind!ed a fire in my nostri!< (Jer. 1$ii. :). ?f the inner #arts of the human ody on!y the heart is figurati$e!y a##!ied to 2od( ecause <heart< is a homonym( and denotes a!so <inte!!ect<; it is esides the source of anima! !ife. 'n #hrases !i)e <my owe!s are trou !ed for him< (Jer. 111i. 20); <The sounding of thy owe!s< ('sa. !1iii. 1:)( the term < owe!s< is used in the sense of <heart<; for the term < owe!s< is used oth in a genera! and in a s#ecific meaning; it denotes s#ecifica!!y < owe!s(< ut more genera!!y it can e used as the name of any inner organ( inc!uding <heart.< The correctness of this argument can e #ro$ed y the #hrase <*nd thy !aw is within my owe!s< (7s. 1!. 9)( which is identica! with <*nd thy !aw is within my heart.< Aor that reason the #ro#het em#!oyed in this $erse the #hrase <my owe!s are trou !ed< (and <the sounding of thy owe!s<); the $er hamah is in fact used more fre-uent!y in connection with <heart(< than with any other organ; com#. <My heart ma)eth a noise (homeh) in me< (Jer. i$. 19). %imi!ar!y( the shou!der is ne$er used as a figure in reference to 2od( ecause it is )nown as a mere instrument of trans#ort( and a!so comes into c!ose contact with the thing which it carries. 0ith far greater reason the organs of nutrition are ne$er attri uted to 2od; they are at once recogni,ed as signs of im#erfection. 'n fact a!! organs( oth the e1terna! and the interna!( are em#!oyed in the $arious actions of the sou!; some( as e.g.( a!! inner organs( are the means of #reser$ing the indi$idua! for
#. 52

a certain time; others( as the organs of generation( are the means of #reser$ing the s#ecies; others are the means of im#ro$ing the condition of man and ringing his actions to #erfection( as the hands( the feet( and the eyes( a!! of which tend to render motion( action( and #erce#tion more #erfect. *nimate eings re-uire motion in order to e a !e to a##roach that which is conduci$e to their we!fare( and to mo$e away from the o##osite; they re-uire the senses in order to e a !e to discern what is in>urious to them and what is eneficia!. 'n addition( man re-uires $arious )inds of handiwor)( to #re#are his food( c!othing( and dwe!!ing; and he is com#e!!ed y his #hysica! constitution to #erform such wor)( name!y( to #re#are what is good for him. %ome )inds of wor) a!so occur among certain anima!s( as far as such wor) is re-uired y those anima!s. ' do not e!ie$e that any man can dou t the correctness of the assertion that the +reator is not in need of anything for the continuance of "is e1istence( or for the im#ro$ement of "is condition. Therefore( 2od has no organs( or( what is the same( "e is not cor#orea!; "is actions are accom#!ished y "is &ssence( not y any organ( and as undou ted!y #hysica! forces are connected with the organs( "e does not #ossess any such forces( that is to say( "e has( esides "is &ssence( nothing that cou!d e

the cause of "is action( "is )now!edge( or "is wi!!( for attri utes are nothing ut forces under a different name. 't is not my intention to discuss the -uestion in this cha#ter. ?ur %ages !aid down a genera! #rinci#!e( y which the !itera! sense of the #hysica! attri utes of 2od mentioned y the #ro#hets is re>ected; a #rinci#!e which e$ident!y shows that our %ages were far from the e!ief in the cor#orea!ity of 2od( and that they did not thin) any #erson ca#a !e of misunderstanding it( or entertaining any dou t a out it. Aor that reason they em#!oy in the Ta!mud and the Midrashim #hrases simi!ar to those contained in the #ro#hecies( without any circum!ocution; they )new that there cou!d not e any dou t a out their meta#horica! character( or any danger whate$er of their eing misunderstood; and that a!! such e1#ressions wou!d e understood as figurati$e C!anguageD( em#!oyed to communicate to the inte!!ect the notion of "is e1istence. Fow( it was we!! )nown that in figurati$e !anguage 2od is com#ared to a )ing who commands( cautions( #unishes( and rewards( his su >ects( and whose ser$ants and attendants #u !ish his orders( so that they might e acted u#on( and they a!so e1ecute whate$er he wishes. Thus the %ages ado#ted that figure( used it fre-uent!y( and introduced such s#eech( consent( and refusa! of a )ing( and other usua! acts of )ings( as ecame necessary y that figure. 'n a!! these instances they were sure that no dou t or confusion wou!d arise from it. The genera! #rinci#!e a!!uded to a o$e is contained in the fo!!owing saying of our %ages( mentioned in 4ereshith 9a a (c. 11$ii.)( <2reat was the #ower of the 7ro#hets; they com#ared the creature to its +reator; com#. '*nd o$er the resem !ance of the throne was a resem !ance !i)e the a##earance of man'< (&,e). i. 25). They ha$e thus #!ain!y stated that a!! those images which the 7ro#hets #ercei$ed( i.e. in #ro#hetic $isions( are images created y 2od. This is #erfect!y correct; for e$ery image in our imagination has een created. "ow #regnant is the e1#ression( <2reat is their o!dnessR< They indicated y it( that they themse!$es found it $ery remar)a !e; for whene$er they #ercei$ed a word or act difficu!t to e1#!ain( or a##arent!y o >ectiona !e( they used that
#. 56

#hrase; e.g.( a certain 9a i has #erformed the act (of <a!i ah<) with a s!i##er( a!one and y night. *nother 9a i( thereu#on e1c!aimed <"ow great is his o!dness to ha$e fo!!owed the o#inion of the minority.< The +ha!dee #hrase rab ubreh in the origina! of the !atter -uotation( and the "e rew adol koo in that of the former -uotation( ha$e the same meaning( $i,.( 2reat is the #ower of (or the o!dness of). "ence( in the #receding -uotation( the sense is( "ow remar)a !e is the !anguage which the 7ro#hets were o !iged to use when they s#ea) of 2od the +reator in terms signifying #ro#erties of eings created y "im. This deser$es attention. ?ur %ages ha$e thus stated in distinct and #!ain terms that they are far from e!ie$ing in the cor#orea!ity of 2od; and in the figures and forms seen in a #ro#hetica! $ision( though e!onging to created eings( the 7ro#hets( to use the words of our %ages( <com#ared the creature to its +reator.< 'f( howe$er( after these e1#!anations( any one wishes out of ma!ice to ca$i! at them( and to find fau!t with them( though their method is neither com#rehended nor understood y him( the %ages o. wi!! sustain no in>ury y it.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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0& ha$e a!ready stated se$era! times that the #ro#hetic oo)s ne$er attri ute to 2od anything which ordinary men consider a defect( or which they cannot in their imagination com ine with the idea of the *!mighty( a!though such terms may not otherwise e different from those which were em#!oyed as meta#hors in re!ation to 2oa. 'ndeed a!! things which are attri uted to 2od are considered in some way to e #erfection( or can at !east e imagined Cas a##ertaining to "imD. 0e must now show why( according to this #rinci#!e( the senses of hearing( sight and sme!!( are attri uted to 2od( ut not those of taste and touch. "e is e-ua!!y e!e$ated a o$e the use of a!! the fi$e senses; they are a!! defecti$e as regards #erce#tion( e$en for those who ha$e no other source of )now!edge; ecause they are #assi$e( recei$e im#ressions from without( and are su >ect to interru#tions and sufferings( as much as the other organs of the ody. 4y sa$ing that 2od sees( we mean to state that "e #ercei$es $isi !e things; <"e hears< is identica! with saying <"e #ercei$es audi !e things<; in the same way we might say( <"e tastes and "e touches(< in the sense of <"e #ercei$es o >ects which man #ercei$es y means of taste and touch.< Aor( as regards #erce#tion( the senses are identica!; if we deny the e1istence of one sensation in 2od( we must deny that of a!! other sensations( i.e.( the #erce#tions of the fi$e senses; and if we attri ute the e1istence of one sensation to "im( i.e.( the #erce#tion a##ertaining to one of the senses( we must attri ute a!! the fi$e sensations. Fe$erthe!ess( we find in "o!y 0rit( <*nd 2od saw< (2en. $i. :); <*nd 2od heard< (Fum. 1i. 1); <*nd 2od sme!t< (2en. $iii. 21); ut we do not meet with the e1#ressions( <*nd 2od tasted(< <*nd 2od touched.< *ccording to our o#inion the reason of this is to e found in the idea( which has a firm ho!d in the minds of a!! men( that 2od does not come into contact with a ody in the same manner as one ody comes into contact with another( since "e is not e$en seen y the eye. 0hi!e these two senses( name!y( taste and touch( on!y act when in c!ose contact with the o >ect( y sight( hearing( and sme!!( e$en distant
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o >ects are #ercei$ed. These( therefore( were considered y the mu!titude a##ro#riate e1#ressions Cto e figurati$e!y a##!ied to 2odD. 4esides( the o >ect in figurati$e!y a##!ying the sensations to "im( cou!d on!y ha$e een to e1#ress that "e #ercei$es our actions; ut hearing and sight are sufficient for that( name!y( for the #erce#tion of what a man does or says. Thus our %ages( among other admonitions( ga$e the fo!!owing ad$ice and warning; <3now what is a o$e thee( a seeing eye( and a hearing ear.< (Mishnah * ot( ii. 1.) Mou( howe$er( )now that( strict!y s#ea)ing( the condition of a!! the sensations is the same( that the same argument which is em#!oyed against the e1istence of touch and taste in 2od( may e used against sight( hearing( and sme!!; for they a!! are materia! #erce#tions and im#ressions which are su >ect to change. There is on!y this difference( that the former( touch and taste( are at once recogni,ed as deficiencies( whi!e the others are considered as #erfections. 'n a simi!ar manner the defect of the imagination is easi!y seen( !ess easi!y that of thin)ing and reasoning. 'magination (raayon) therefore( was ne$er em#!oyed as a figure in s#ea)ing of 2od( whi!e thought and reason are figurati$e!y ascri ed to "im. +om#. <The thoughts which the =ord thought< (Jer. 1!i1. 20); <*nd with his understanding he stretched

out the hea$ens< (ib. 1. 12). The inner senses were thus treated in the same way as the e1terna!; some are figurati$e!y a##!ied to 2od( some not. *!! this is according to the !anguage of man; he ascri es to 2od what he considers a #erfection( and does not ascri e to "im what he considers a defect. 'n truth( howe$er( no rea! attri ute( im#!ying an addition to "is essence( can e a##!ied to "im( as wi!! e #ro$ed.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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0"&F&I&9 in the 7entateuch the term <to hear< is a##!ied to 2od( ?n)e!os( the 7rose!yte( does not trans!ate it !itera!!y( ut #ara#hrases it( mere!y e1#ressing that a certain s#eech reached "im( i.e.( "e #ercei$ed it( or that "e acce#ted it or did not acce#t( when it refers to su##!ication and #rayer as its o >ect. The words <2od heard< are therefore #ara#hrased y him regu!ar!y either( <'t was heard efore the =ord(< or <"e acce#ted< when em#!oyed in reference to su##!ication and #rayer; Ce.g.D <' wi!! sure!y acce#t(< !it. <' wi!! sure!y hear< (&1od. 11ii. 22). This #rinci#!e is fo!!owed y ?n)e!os in his trans!ation of the 7entateuch without any e1ce#tion. 4ut as regards the $er <to see(< (raah)( his renderings $ary in a remar)a !e manner( and ' was una !e to discern his #rinci#!e or method. 'n some instances he trans!ates !itera!!y( <and 2od saw<; in others he #ara#hrases <it was re$ea!ed efore the =ord.< The use of the #hrase "a-aza adonai y ?n)e!os is sufficient e$idence that the term aza in +ha!dee is homonymous( and that it denotes menta! #erce#tion as we!! as the sensation of sight. This eing the case( ' am sur#rised that( in some instances a$oiding the !itera! rendering( he su stituted for it <*nd it was re$ea!ed efore the =ord.< 0hen '( howe$er( e1amined the $arious readings in the $ersion of ?n)e!os( which ' either saw myse!f or heard from others during the time of my studies( ' found that the term <to see< when connected with wrong( in>ury( or $io!ence( was #ara#hrased( <'t was manifest efore the =ord.<
#. 5:

There is no dou t that the term aza in +ha!dee denotes com#!ete a##rehension and rece#tion of the o >ect in the state in which it has een #ercei$ed. 0hen ?n)e!os( therefore( found the $er <to see< connected with the o >ect <wrong(< he did not render it !itera!!y( ut #ara#hrased it( <'t was re$ea!ed efore the =ord.< Fow( ' noticed that in a!! instances of the 7entateuch where seeing is ascri ed to 2od( he trans!ated it !itera!!y( e1ce#t those instances which ' wi!! mention to you; <Aor my aff!iction was re$ea!ed efore the =ord< (2en. 11i1. 62); <Aor a!! that =a an doeth unto thee is re$ea!ed efore me< (ib. 111i. 12);--a!though the first #erson in the sentence refers to the ange! Cand not to 2odD( ?n)e!os does not ascri e to him that #erce#tion which im#!ies com#!ete com#rehension of the o >ect( ecause the o >ect is <ini-uity<--<The o##ression of the chi!dren of 'srae! was )nown to the =ord< (&1od. ii. 2:); <The o##ression of my #eo#!e was sure!y )nown to me< (ib. iii. J); <The aff!iction is )nown to me< (ib. 9); <Their o##ression is )nown to me< (ib. i$. 61); <This #eo#!e is )nown to me< (ib. 111ii. 9)( i.e.( their re e!!ion is )nown to me-com#. the Targum of the #assage( <*nd 2od saw the chi!dren of 'srae! (ib. ii. 2:)( which is
C#aragra#h continuesD

e-ua! to <"e saw their aff!iction and their trou !e<--<*nd it was )nown to the =ord( and he a horred them< (.eut. 111ii. 19); <'t was )nown to him that their #ower was gone< (ib. 65); in this instance the o >ect of the #erce#tion is !i)ewise the wrong done to the 'srae!ites( and the increasing #ower of the enemy. 'n a!! these e1am#!es ?n)e!os is consistent( fo!!owing the ma1im e1#ressed in the words( <Thou canst not !oo) on ini-uity< ("a . i. 16); wherefore he renders the $er <to see(< when referring to o##ression or re e!!ion( 't is re$ea!ed efore him( etc. This a##ro#riate and satisfactory e1#!anation( the correctness of which ' do not dou t( is wea)ened y three #assages( in which( according to this $iew( ' e1#ected to find the $er <to see< #ara#hrased <to e re$ea!ed efore him(< ut found instead the !itera! rendering< to see in the $arious co#ies of the Targum. The fo!!owing are the three #assages <*nd 2od saw that the wic)edness of man was great u#on the earth< (2en. $i. 5); <*nd the =ord saw the earth( and eho!d it was corru#t< (ib. $i. 12); <and 2od saw that =eah was hated< (ib. 111. 6). 't a##ears to me that in these #assages there is a mista)e( which has cre#t into the co#ies of the Targum( since we do not #ossess the Targum in the origina! manuscri#t of ?n)e!os( for in that case we shou!d ha$e assumed that he had a satisfactory e1#!anation of it. 'n rendering 2enesis 11ii. H( <the !am is )nown to the =ord(< he either wished to indicate that the =ord was not e1#ected to see) and to ring it( or he considered it ina##ro#riate( in +ha!dee to connect the di$ine #erce#tion with one of the !ower anima!s. "owe$er( the $arious co#ies of the Targum must e carefu!!y e1amined with regard to this #oint( and if you sti!! find those #assages the same as ' -uoted them( ' cannot e1#!ain what he meant.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

/!+PT"' )($)
T"& ange!s are !i)ewise incor#orea!; they are inte!!igences without matter( ut they are ne$erthe!ess created eings( and 2od created them( as wi!! e
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e1#!ained e!ow. 'n 4ereshith 9a ah (on 2en. iii. 28) we read the fo!!owing remar) of our %ages; <The ange! is ca!!ed 'the f!ame of the sword which turned e$ery way' (2en. iii. 28)( in accordance with the words( '"is ministers a f!aming fire' (7s. ci$. 8); the attri ute( 'which turned e$ery way' is added( ecause ange!s are changea !e in form they a##ear at one time as ma!es( at another as fema!es; now as s#irits; now as ange!s.< 4y this remar) they c!ear!y stated that ange!s are incor#orea!( and ha$e no #ermanent odi!y form inde#endent of the mind Cof him who #ercei$es themD( they e1ist entire!y in #ro#hetic $ision( and de#end on the action of the imaginati$e #ower( as wi!! e e1#!ained when s#ea)ing on the true meaning of #ro#hecy. *s to the words <at another time as fema!es(< which im#!y that the 7ro#hets in #ro#hetica! $ision #ercei$ed ange!s a!so in the form of women( they refer to the $ision of Techariah ($. 9)( <*nd( eho!d( there came out two women( and the wind was in

their wings.< Mou )now $ery we!! how difficu!t it is for men to form a notion of anything immateria!( and entire!y de$oid of cor#orea!ity( e1ce#t after considera !e training; it is es#ecia!!y difficu!t for those who do not distinguish etween o >ects of the inte!!ect and o >ects of the imagination( and de#end most!y on the mere imaginati$e #ower. They e!ie$e that a!! imagined things e1ist or at !east ha$e the #ossi i!ity of e1isting; ut that which cannot e imagined does not e1ist( and cannot e1ist. Aor #ersons of this c!ass--and the ma>ority of thin)ers e!ong to it--cannot arri$e at the true so!ution of any -uestion( or at the e1#!anation of anything dou tfu!. ?n account of this difficu!ty the #ro#hetic oo)s contain e1#ressions which( ta)en !itera!!y( im#!y that ange!s are cor#orea!( mo$ing a out( endowed with human form( recei$ing commands of 2od( o eying "is word and #erforming whate$er "e wishes( according to "is command. *!! this on!y ser$es to !ead to the e!ief that ange!s e1ist( and are a!i$e and #erfect( in the same way as we ha$e e1#!ained in reference to 2od. 'f the figurati$e re#resentation of ange!s were !imited to this( their true essence wou!d e e!ie$ed to e the same as the essence of 2od( since( in reference to the +reator e1#ressions are !i)ewise em#!oyed( which !itera!!y im#!y that "e is cor#orea!( !i$ing( mo$ing and endowed with human form. 'n order( therefore( to gi$e to the mind of men the idea that the e1istence of ange!s is !ower than the e1istence of 2od( certain forms of !ower anima!s were introduced in the descri#tion of ange!s. 't was there y shown( that the e1istence of 2od is more #erfect than that of ange!s( as much as man is more #erfect than the !ower anima!s. Fe$erthe!ess no organ of the rute creation was attri uted to the ange!s e1ce#t wings. 0ithout wings the act of f!ying a##ears as im#ossi !e as that of wa!)ing without !egs; for these two modes of motion can on!y e imagined in connection with these organs. The motion of f!ying has een chosen as a sym o! to re#resent that ange!s #ossess !ife( ecause it is the most #erfect and most su !ime mo$ement of the rute creation. Men consider this motion a #erfection to such an e1tent that they themse!$es wish to e a !e to f!y( in order to esca#e easi!y what is in>urious( and to o tain -uic)!y what is usefu!( though it e at a distance. Aor this reason this motion has een attri uted to the ange!s. There is esides another reason. The ird in its f!ight is sometimes $isi !e( sometimes withdrawn from our sight; one moment near to us( and in the
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ne1t far off; and these are e1act!y the circumstances which we must associate with the idea of ange!s( as wi!! e e1#!ained e!ow. This imaginary #erfection( the motion of f!ight( eing the e1c!usi$e #ro#erty of the rute creation( has ne$er een attri uted to 2od. Mou must not e mis!ed y the #assage( <*nd he rode u#on a cheru ( and he did f!y< (7s. 1$iii. 10)( for it is the cheru that did f!y( and the simi!e on!y ser$es to denote the ra#id arri$a! of that which is referred to in that #assage. +om#.; <4eho!d( the =ord rideth u#on a swift c!oud( and sha!! come into &gy#t< ('sa. 1i1. 1); that is( the #unishment a!!uded to wi!! come down -uic)!y u#on &gy#t. For shou!d e1#ressions !i)e <the face of an o1(< <the face of a !ion(< <the face of an eag!e(< <the so!e of the foot of a ca!f(< found in the #ro#hecies of &,e)ie! (i. 10 and J) mis!ead you; for a!! these are e1#!ained in a different manner( as you wi!! !earn !ater( and esides( the #ro#het on!y descri es the anima!s (ayyot). The su >ect wi!! e e1#!ained ('''. 1.)( though y mere hints( as far as necessary( for directing your attention to the true inter#retation.

The motion of f!ying( fre-uent!y mentioned in the 4i !e( necessitates( according to our imagination( the e1istence of wings; wings are therefore gi$en to the ange!s as sym o!s e1#ressi$e of their e1istence( not of their true essence. Mou must a!so ear in mind that whene$er a thing mo$es $ery -uic)!y( it is said to f!y( as that term im#!ies great $e!ocity of motion. +om#. <*s the eag!e f!ieth< (.eut. 11$iii. 89). The eag!e f!ies and mo$es with greater $e!ocity than any other ird( and therefore it is introduced in this simi!e. Aurthermore( the wings are the organs C!it. causesD of f!ight; hence the num er of the wings of ange!s in the #ro#hetic $ision corres#onds to the num er of the causes which set a thing in motion( ut this does not e!ong to the theme of this cha#ter. (+om#. ''. i$. and 1.)
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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0"&F reading my #resent treatise( ear in mind that y <faith< we do not understand mere!y that which is uttered with the !i#s( ut a!so that which is a##rehended y the sou!( the con$iction that the o >ect Cof e!iefD is e1act!y as it is a##rehended. 'f( as regards rea! or su##osed truths( you content yourse!f with gi$ing utterance to them in words( without a##rehending them or e!ie$ing in them( es#ecia!!y if you do not see) rea! truth( you ha$e a $ery easy tas) as( in fact( you wi!! find many ignorant #eo#!e #rofessing artic!es of faith without connecting any idea with them. 'f( howe$er( you ha$e a desire to rise to a higher state( $i,.( that of ref!ection( and tru!y to ho!d the con$iction that 2od is ?ne and #ossesses true unity( without admitting #!ura!ity or di$isi i!ity in any sense whate$er( you must understand that 2od has no essentia! attri ute in any form or in any sense whate$er( and that the re>ection of cor#orea!ity im#!ies the re>ection of essentia! attri utes. Those who e!ie$e that 2od is ?ne( and that "e has many attri utes( dec!are the unity with their !i#s( and assume #!ura!ity in their thoughts. This is !i)e the doctrine of the +hristians( who say that "e is one and "e is three( and that the three are one. ?f the same character is the doctrine of those who say that 2od is ?ne( ut that "e has many attri utes; and that "e with "is attri utes is ?ne( a!though they deny cor#orea!ity and affirm "is most a so!ute freedom from matter; as if our
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o >ect were to see) forms of e1#ression( not su >ects of e!ief. Aor e!ief is on!y #ossi !e after the a##rehension of a thing; it consists in the con$iction that the thing a##rehended has its e1istence eyond the mind Cin rea!ityD e1act!y as it is concei$ed in the mind. 'f in addition to this we are con$inced that the thing cannot e different in any way from what we e!ie$e it to e( and that no reasona !e argument can e found for the re>ection of the e!ief or for the admission of any de$iation from it( then the e!ief is true. 9enounce desires and ha its( fo!!ow your reason( and study what ' am going to say in the cha#ters which fo!!ow on the re>ection of the attri utes; you wi!! then e fu!!y con$inced of what we ha$e said; you wi!! e of those who tru!y concei$e the @nity of 2od( not of those who utter it with their !i#s without thought( !i)e men of whom it has een said( <Thou art near in their

mouth( and far from their reins< (Jer. 1ii. 2). 't is right that a man shou!d e!ong to that c!ass of men who ha$e a conce#tion of truth and understand it( though they do not s#ea) of it. Thus the #ious are ad$ised and addressed( <+ommune with your own heart u#on your ed and e sti!!. %e!ah.< (7s. i$. :.)
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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T"&9& are many things whose e1istence is manifest and o $ious; some of these are innate notions or o >ects of sensation( others are near!y so; and in fact they wou!d re-uire no #roof if man had een !eft in his #rimiti$e state. %uch are the e1istence of motion( of man's free wi!!( of #hases of #roduction and destruction( and of the natura! #ro#erties #ercei$ed y the senses( e.g.( the heat of fire( the co!dness of water( and many other simi!ar things. Aa!se notions( howe$er( may e s#read either y a #erson !a ouring under error( or y one who has some #articu!ar end in $iew( and who esta !ishes theories contrary to the rea! nature of things( y denying the e1istence of things #ercei$ed y the senses( or y affirming the e1istence of what does not e1ist. 7hi!oso#hers are thus re-uired to esta !ish y #roof things which are se!f-e$ident( and to dis#ro$e the e1istence of things which on!y e1ist in man's imagination. Thus *ristot!e gi$es a #roof for the e1istence of motion( ecause it had een denied; he dis#ro$es the rea!ity of atoms( ecause it had een asserted. To the same c!ass e!ongs the re>ection of essentia! attri utes in reference to 2od. Aor it is a se!f-e$ident truth that the attri ute is not inherent in the o >ect to which it is ascri ed( ut it is su#eradded to its essence( and is conse-uent!y an accident; if the attri ute denoted the essence Ce e f gfhiD of the o >ect( it wou!d e either mere tauto!ogy( as if( e.g.( one wou!d say <man is man(< or the e1#!anation of a name( as( e.g.( <man is a s#ea)ing anima!<; for the words <s#ea)ing anima!< inc!ude the true essence of man( and there is no third e!ement esides !ife and s#eech in the definition of man; when he( therefore( is descri ed y the attri utes of !ife and s#eech( these are nothing ut an e1#!anation of the name <man(< that is to say( that the thing which is ca!!ed man( consists of !ife and s#eech. 't wi!! now e c!ear that the attri ute must e one of two things( either the essence of the o >ect descri ed--in that case it is a mere e1#!anation of a name( and on that account we might admit the attri ute in reference to 2od( ut we re>ect it from another cause as wi!! e shown--or the attri ute is something different
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from the o >ect descri ed( some e1traneous su#eradded e!ement; in that case the attri ute wou!d e an accident( and he who mere!y re>ects the a##e!!ation <accidents< in reference to the attri utes of 2od( does not there y a!ter their character; for e$erything su#eradded to the essence of an o >ect >oins it without forming #art of its essentia! #ro#erties( and that constitutes an accident. *dd to this the !ogica! conse-uence of admitting many attri utes( $i,.( the e1istence of many eterna! eings. There cannot e any e!ief in the unity of 2od e1ce#t y admitting that "e is one sim#!e su stance( without any com#osition or #!ura!ity

of e!ements; one from whate$er side you $iew it( and y whate$er test you e1amine it; not di$isi !e into two #arts in any way and y any cause( nor ca#a !e of any form of #!ura!ity either o >ecti$e!y or su >ecti$e!y( as wi!! e #ro$ed in this treatise. %ome thin)ers ha$e gone so far as to say that the attri utes of 2od are neither "is essence nor anything e1traneous to "is essence. This is !i)e the assertion of some theorists( that the idea!s( i.e.( the uni"ersalia( are neither e1isting nor non-e1istent( and !i)e the $iews of others( that the atom does not fi!! a definite #!ace( ut )ee#s an atom of s#ace occu#ied; that man has no freedom of action at a!!( ut has ac-uirement. %uch things are on!y said; they e1ist on!y in words( not in thought( much !ess in rea!ity. 4ut as you )now( and as a!! )now who do not de!ude themse!$es( these theories are #reser$ed y a mu!titude of words( y mis!eading simi!es sustained y dec!amation and in$ecti$e( and y numerous methods orrowed oth from dia!ectics and so#histry. 'f after uttering them and su##orting them y such words( a man were to e1amine for himse!f his own e!ief on this su >ect( he wou!d see nothing ut confusion and stu#idity in an endea$our to #ro$e the e1istence of things which do not e1ist( or to find a mean etween two o##osites that ha$e no mean. ?r is there a mean etween e1istence and non-e1istence( or etween the identity and non-identity of two things/ 4ut( as we said( to such a surdities men were forced y the great !icence gi$en to the imagination( and y the fact that e$ery e1isting materia! thing is necessari!y imagined as a certain su stance #ossessing se$era! attri utes; for nothing has e$er een found that consists of one sim#!e su stance without any attri ute. 2uided y such imaginations( men thought that 2od was a!so com#osed of many different e!ements( $i,.( of "is essence and of the attri utes su#eradded to "is essence. Ao!!owing u# this com#arison( some e!ie$ed that 2od was cor#orea!( and that "e #ossessed attri utes; others( a andoning this theory( denied the cor#orea!ity( ut retained the attri utes. The adherence to the !itera! sense of the te1t of "o!y 0rit is the source of a!! this error( as ' sha!! show in some of the cha#ters de$oted to this theme.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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&I&9M descri#tion of an o >ect y an affirmati$e attri ute( which inc!udes the assertion that an o >ect is of a certain )ind( must e made in one of the fo!!owing fi$e ways;-Airst. The o >ect is descri ed y its definition( as e.g.( man is descri ed as a eing that !i$es and has reason; such a descri#tion( containing the true essence of the o >ect( is( as we ha$e a!ready shown( nothing e!se ut the e1#!anation of a name. *!! agree that this )ind of descri#tion cannot e gi$en
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of 2od; for there are no #re$ious causes to "is e1istence( y which "e cou!d e defined; and on that account it is a we!!-)nown #rinci#!e( recei$ed y a!! the #hi!oso#hers( who are #recise in their statements( that no definition can e gi$en of 2od.

%econd!y. *n o >ect is descri ed y part of its definition( as when( e.g.( man is descri ed as a !i$ing eing or as a rationa! eing. This )ind of descri#tion inc!udes the necessary connection Cof the two ideasD; for when we say that e$ery man is rationa! we mean y it that e$ery eing which has the characteristics of man must a!so ha$e reason. *!! agree that this )ind of descri#tion is ina##ro#riate in reference to 2od; for if we were to s#ea) of a #ortion of "is essence( we shou!d consider "is essence to e a com#ound. The ina##ro#riateness of this )ind of descri#tion in reference to 2od is the same as that of the #receding )ind. Third!y. *n o >ect is descri ed y something different from its true essence( y something that does not com#!ement or esta !ish the essence of the o >ect. The descri#tion( therefore( re!ates to a :uality; ut -ua!ity( in its most genera! sense( is an accident. 'f 2od cou!d e descri ed in this way( "e wou!d e the su stratum of accidents; a sufficient reason for re>ecting the idea that "e #ossesses -ua!ity( since it di$erges from the true conce#tion of "is essence. 't is sur#rising how those who admit the a##!ication of attri utes to 2od can re>ect( in reference to "im( com#arison and -ua!ification. Aor when they say <"e cannot e -ua!ified(< they can on!y mean that "e #ossesses no -ua!ity; and yet e$ery #ositi$e essentia! attri ute of an o >ect either constitutes its essence(--and in that case it is identica! with the essence(--or it contains a -ua!ity of the o >ect. There are( as you )now( four )inds of -ua!ity; ' wi!! gi$e you instances of attri utes of each )ind( in order to show you that this c!ass of attri utes cannot #ossi !y e a##!ied to 2od. (a) * man is descri ed y any of his inte!!ectua! or mora! -ua!ities( or y any of the dis#ositions a##ertaining to him as an animate eing( when( e.g.( we s#ea) of a #erson who is a car#enter( or who shrin)s from sin( or who is i!!. 't ma)es no difference whether we say. a car#enter( or a sage( or a #hysician; y a!! these we re#resent certain #hysica! dis#ositions; nor does it ma)e any difference whether we say <sin-fearing< or <mercifu!.< &$ery trade( e$ery #rofession( and e$ery sett!ed ha it of man are certain #hysica! dis#ositions. *!! this is c!ear to those who ha$e occu#ied themse!$es with the study of =ogic. (b) * thing is descri ed y some #hysica! -ua!ity it #ossesses( or y the a sence of the same( e.g.( as eing soft or hard. 't ma)es no difference whether we say <soft or hard(< or <strong or wea)<; in oth cases we s#ea) of #hysica! conditions. (c) * man is descri ed y his #assi$e -ua!ities( or y his emotions; we s#ea)( e.g.( of a #erson who is #assionate( irrita !e( timid( mercifu!( without im#!ying that these conditions ha$e ecome #ermanent. The descri#tion of a thing y its co!our( taste( heat( co!d( dryness( and moisture( e!ongs a!so to this c!ass of attri utes. (d) * thing is descri ed y any of its -ua!ities resu!ting from -uantity as such; we s#ea)( e.g. of a thing which is !ong( short( cur$ed( straight( etc. +onsider a!! these and simi!ar attri utes( and you wi!! find that they cannot e em#!oyed in reference to 2od. "e is not a magnitude that any -ua!ity resu!ting from -uantity as such cou!d e #ossessed y "im; "e is not
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affected y e1terna! inf!uences( and therefore does not #ossess any -ua!ity resu!ting from emotion. "e is not su >ect to #hysica! conditions( and therefore does not #ossess strength or simi!ar -ua!ities; "e is not an animate eing( that "e shou!d ha$e a certain dis#osition of the sou!( or ac-uire certain #ro#erties( as mee)ness( modesty( etc.( or e in a state to which

animate eings as such are su >ect( as( e.g.( in that of hea!th or of i!!ness. "ence it fo!!ows that no attri ute coming under the head of -ua!ity in its widest sense( can e #redicated of 2od. +onse-uent!y( these three c!asses of attri utes( descri ing the essence of a thing( or #art of the essence( or a -ua!ity of it( are c!ear!y inadmissi !e in reference to 2od( for they im#!y com#osition( which( as we sha!! #ro$e( is out of -uestion as regards the +reator. 0e say( with regard to this !atter #oint( that "e is a so!ute!y ?ne. Aourth!y. * thing is descri ed y its relation to another thing( e.g.( to time( to s#ace( or to a different indi$idua!; thus we say( Taid( the father of *( or the #artner of 4( or who dwe!!s at a certain #!ace( or who !i$ed at a stated time. This )ind of attri ute does not necessari!y im#!y #!ura!ity or change in the essence of the o >ect descri ed; for the same Taid( to whom reference is made( is the #artner of *mru( the father of 4ecr( the master of 3ha!id( the friend of Taid( dwe!!s in a certain house( and was orn in a certain year. %uch re!ations are not the essence of a thing( nor are they so intimate!y connected with it as -ua!ities. *t first thought( it wou!d seem that they may e em#!oyed in reference to 2od( ut after carefu! and thorough consideration we are con$inced of their inadmissi i!ity. 't is -uite c!ear that there is no re!ation etween 2od and time or s#ace. Aor time is an accident connected with motion( in so far as the !atter inc!udes the re!ation of anteriority and #osteriority( and is e1#ressed y num er( as is e1#!ained in oo)s de$oted to this su >ect; and since motion is one of the conditions to which on!y materia! odies are su >ect( and 2od is immateria!( there can e no re!ation etween "im and time. %imi!ar!y there is no re!ation etween "im and s#ace. 4ut what we ha$e to in$estigate and to e1amine is this; whether some rea! re!ation e1ists etween 2od and any of the su stances created y "im( y which "e cou!d e descri ed/ That there is no corre!ation etween "im and any of "is creatures can easi!y e seen; for the characteristic of two o >ects corre!ati$e to each other is the e-ua!ity of their reci#roca! re!ation. Fow( as 2od has a so!ute e1istence( whi!e a!! other eings ha$e on!y #ossi !e e1istence( as we sha!! show( there conse-uent!y cannot e any corre!ation C etween 2od and "is creaturesD. That a certain )ind of re!ation does e1ist etween them is y some considered #ossi !e( ut wrong!y. 't is im#ossi !e to imagine a re!ation etween inte!!ect and sight( a!though( as we e!ie$e( the same )ind of e1istence is common to oth; how( then( cou!d a re!ation e imagined etween any creature and 2od( who has nothing in common with any other eing; for e$en the term e1istence is a##!ied to "im and other things( according to our o#inion( on!y y way of #ure homonymity. +onse-uent!y there is no re!ation whate$er etween "im and any other eing. Aor whene$er we s#ea) of a re!ation etween two things( these e!ong to the same )ind; ut when two things e!ong to different )inds though of the same c!ass( there is no re!ation etween them. 0e therefore do not say( this red com#ared with that green( is more( or !ess( or e-ua!!y intense( a!though oth e!ong to the same c!ass--co!our;
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when they e!ong to two different c!asses( there does not a##ear to e1ist any re!ation etween them( not e$en to a man of ordinary 'nte!!ect( a!though the two things e!ong to the same category; e.g.( etween a hundred cu its and the heat of #e##er there is no re!ation( the one eing a -ua!ity( the other a -uantity; or etween wisdom and sweetness( etween mee)ness and itterness( a!though a!! these come under the head of -ua!ity in its more genera! signification. "ow( then( cou!d there e any re!ation etween 2od and "is

creatures( considering the im#ortant difference etween them in res#ect to true e1istence( the greatest of a!! differences. 4esides( if any re!ation e1isted etween them( 2od wou!d e su >ect to the accident of re!ation; and a!though that wou!d not e an accident to the essence of 2od( it wou!d sti!! e( to some e1tent( a )ind of accident. Mou wou!d( therefore( e wrong if you a##!ied affirmati$e attri utes in their !itera! sense to 2od( though they contained on!y re!ations; these( howe$er( are the most a##ro#riate of a!! attri utes( to e em#!oyed( in a !ess strict sense( in reference to 2od( ecause they do not im#!y that a #!ura!ity of eterna! things e1ists( or that any change ta)es #!ace in the essence of 2od( when those things change to which 2od is in re!ation. Aifth!y. * thing is descri ed y its actions; ' do not mean y <its actions< the inherent ca#acity for a certain wor)( as is e1#ressed in <car#enter(< <#ainter(< or <smith<--for these e!ong to the c!ass of -ua!ities which ha$e een mentioned a o$e- ut ' mean the action the !atter has #erformed--we s#ea)( e.g.( of Taid( who made this door( ui!t that wa!!( wo$e that garment. This )ind of attri utes is se#arate from the essences of the thing descri ed( and( therefore( a##ro#riate to e em#!oyed in descri ing the +reator( es#ecia!!y since we )now that these different actions do not im#!y that different e!ements must e contained in the su stance of the agent( y which the different actions are #roduced( as wi!! e e1#!ained. ?n the contrary( a!! the actions of 2od emanate from "is essence( not from any e1traneous thing su#eradded to "is essence( as we ha$e shown. 0hat we ha$e e1#!ained in the #resent cha#ter is this; that 2od is one in e$ery res#ect( containing no #!ura!ity or any e!ement su#eradded to "is essence; and that the many attri utes of different significations a##!ied in %cri#ture to 2od( originate in the mu!titude of "is actions( not in a #!ura!ity e1isting in "is essence( and are #art!y em#!oyed with the o >ect of con$eying to us some notion of "is #erfection( in accordance with what we consider #erfection( as has een e1#!ained y us. The #ossi i!ity of one sim#!e su stance e1c!uding #!ura!ity( though accom#!ishing different actions( wi!! e i!!ustrated y e1am#!es in the ne1t cha#ter.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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T"& circumstance which caused men to e!ie$e in the e1istence of di$ine attri utes is simi!ar to that which caused others to e!ie$e in the cor#orea!ity of 2od. The !atter ha$e not arri$ed at that e!ief y s#ecu!ation( ut y fo!!owing the !itera! sense of certain #assages in the 4i !e. The same is the case with the attri utes; when in the oo)s of the 7ro#hets and of the =aw( 2od is descri ed y attri utes( such #assages are ta)en in their !itera! sense( and it is then e!ie$ed that 2od #ossesses attri utes; as if "e were to e
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e1a!ted a o$e cor#orea!ity( and not a o$e things connected with cor#orea!ity( i.e.( the accidents( ' mean #sychica! dis#ositions( a!! of which are -ua!ities Cand connected with

cor#orea!ityD. &$ery attri ute which the fo!!owers of this doctrine assume to e essentia! to the +reator( you wi!! find to e1#ress( a!though they do not distinct!y say so( a -ua!ity simi!ar to those which they are accustomed to notice in the odies of a!! !i$ing eings. 0e a##!y to a!! such #assages the #rinci#!e( <The Torah s#ea)eth in the !anguage of man(< and say that the o >ect of a!! these terms is to descri e 2od as the most #erfect eing( not as #ossessing those -ua!ities which are on!y #erfections in re!ation to created !i$ing eings. Many of the attri utes e1#ress different acts of 2od( ut that difference does not necessitate any difference as regards "im from whom the acts #roceed. This fact( $i,.( that from one agency different effects may resu!t( a!though that agency has not free wi!!( and much more so if it has free wi!!( ' wi!! i!!ustrate y an instance ta)en from our own s#here. Aire me!ts certain things and ma)es others hard( it oi!s and urns( it !eaches and !ac)ens. 'f we descri ed the fire as !eaching( !ac)ening( urning( oi!ing( hardening and me!ting( we shou!d e correct( and yet he who does not )now the nature of fire( wou!d thin) that it inc!uded si1 different e!ements( one y which it !ac)ens( another y which it !eaches( a third y which it oi!s( a fourth y which it consumes( a fifth y which it me!ts( a si1th y which it hardens things--actions which are o##osed to one another( and of which each has its #ecu!iar #ro#erty. "e( howe$er( who )nows the nature of fire( wi!! )now that y $irtue of one -ua!ity in action( name!y( y heat( it #roduces a!! these effects. 'f this is the case with that which is done y nature( how much more is it the case with regard to eings that act y free wi!!( and sti!! more with regard to 2od( who is a o$e a!! descri#tion. 'f we( therefore( #ercei$e in 2od certain re!ations of $arious )inds--for wisdom in us is different from #ower( and #ower from wi!!--it does y no means fo!!ow that different e!ements are rea!!y contained in "im( that "e contains one e!ement y which "e )nows( another y which "e wi!!s( and another y which "e e1ercises #ower( as is( in fact( the signification of the attri utes of 2odD according to the *ttri utists. %ome of them e1#ress it #!ain!y( and enumerate the attri utes as e!ements added to the essence. ?thers( howe$er( are more reser$ed with regard to this matter( ut indicate their o#inion( though they do not e1#ress it in distinct and inte!!igi !e words. Thus( e.g.( some of them say; <2od is omni#otent y "is essence( wise y "is essence( !i$ing y "is essence( and endowed with a wi!! y "is essence.< (' wi!! mention to you( as an instance( man's reason( which eing one facu!ty and im#!ying no #!ura!ity( ena !es him to )now many arts and sciences; y the same facu!ty man is a !e to sow( to do car#enter's wor)( to wea$e( to ui!d( to study( to ac-uire a )now!edge of geometry( and to go$ern a state. These $arious acts resu!ting from one sim#!e facu!ty( which in$o!$es no #!ura!ity( are $ery numerous; their num er( that is( the num er of the actions originating in man's reason( is a!most infinite. 't is therefore inte!!igi !e how in reference to 2od( those different actions can e caused y one sim#!e su stance( that does not inc!ude any #!ura!ity or any additiona! e!ement. The attri utes found in "o!y %cri#ture are either -ua!ifications of "is actions( without any reference to "is essence( or indicate a so!ute #erfection( ut do not im#!y that the essence of 2od is a com#ound of $arious
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e!ements.) Aor in not admitting the term <com#ound(< they do not re>ect the idea of a com#ound when they admit a su stance with attri utes.

There sti!! remains one difficu!ty which !ed them to that error( and which ' am now going to mention. Those who assert the e1istence of the attri utes do not found their o#inion on the $ariety of 2od's actions; they say it is true that one su stance can e the source of $arious effects( ut "is essentia! attri utes cannot e -ua!ifications of "is actions( ecause it is im#ossi !e to imagine that the +reator created "imse!f. They $ary with regard to the soca!!ed essentia! attri utes--' mean as regards their num er-according to the te1t of the %cri#ture which each of them fo!!ows. ' wi!! enumerate those on which a!! agree( and the )now!edge of which they e!ie$e that they ha$e deri$ed from reasoning( not from some words of the 7ro#hets( name!y( the fo!!owing four;--!ife( #ower( wisdom( and wi!!. They e!ie$e that these are four different things( and such #erfections as cannot #ossi !y e a sent from the +reator( and that these cannot e -ua!ifications of "is actions. This is their o#inion. 4ut you must )now that wisdom and !ife in reference to 2od are not different from each other; for in e$ery eing that is conscious of itse!f( !ife and wisdom are the same thing( that is to say( if y wisdom we understand the consciousness of se!f. 4esides( the su >ect and the o >ect of that consciousness are undou ted!y identica! Cas regards 2odD; for according to our o#inion( "e is not com#osed of an e!ement that a##rehends( and another that does not a##rehend; "e is not !i)e man( who is a com ination of a conscious sou! and an unconscious ody. 'f( therefore( y <wisdom< we mean the facu!ty of se!f-consciousness( wisdom and !ife are one and the same thing. They( howe$er( do not s#ea) of wisdom in this sense( ut of "is #ower to a##rehend "is creatures. There is a!so no dou t that #ower and wi!! do not e1ist in 2od in reference to "imse!f; for "e cannot ha$e #ower or wi!! as regards "imse!f; we cannot imagine such a thing. They ta)e these attri utes as different re!ations etween 2od and "is creatures( signifying that "e has #ower in creating things( wi!! in gi$ing to things e1istence as "e desires( and wisdom in )nowing what "e created. +onse-uent!y( these attri utes do not refer to the essence of 2od( ut e1#ress re!ations etween "im and "is creatures. Therefore we( who tru!y e!ie$e in the @nity of 2od( dec!are( that as we do not e!ie$e that some e!ement is inc!uded in "is essence y which "e created the hea$ens( another y which "e created the CfourD e!ements( a third y which "e created the idea!s( in the same way we re>ect the idea that "is essence contains an e!ement y which "e has #ower( another e!ement y which "e has wi!!( and a third y which "e has a )now!edge of "is creatures. ?n the contrary( "e is a sim#!e essence( without any additiona! e!ement whate$er; "e created the uni$erse( and )nows it( ut not y any e1traneous force. There is no difference whether these $arious attri utes refer to "is actions or to re!ations etween "im and "is wor)s; in fact( these re!ations( as we ha$e a!so shown( e1ist on!y in the thoughts of men. This is what we must e!ie$e concerning the attri utes occurring in the oo)s of the 7ro#hets; some may a!so e ta)en as e1#ressi$e of the #erfection of 2od y way of com#arison with what we consider as #erfections in us( as we sha!! e1#!ain.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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T"& wisest man( our Teacher Moses( as)ed two things of 2od( and recei$ed a re#!y res#ecting oth. The one thing he as)ed was( that 2od shou!d !et him )now "is true essence; the other( which in fact he as)ed first( that 2od shou!d !et him )now "is attri utes. 'n answer to oth these #etitions 2od #romised that "e wou!d !et him )now a!! "is attri utes( and that these were nothing ut "is actions. "e a!so to!d him that "is true essence cou!d not e #ercei$ed( and #ointed out a method y which he cou!d o tain the utmost )now!edge of 2od #ossi !e for man to ac-uire. The )now!edge o tained y Moses has not een #ossessed y any human eing efore him or after him. "is #etition to )now the attri utes of 2od is contained in the fo!!owing words; <%how me now thy way( that ' may )now thee( that ' may find grace in thy sight< (&1od. 111iii. 16). +onsider how many e1ce!!ent ideas found e1#ression in the words( <%how me thy way( that ' may )now thee.< 0e !earn from them that 2od is )nown y "is attri utes( for Moses e!ie$ed that he )new "im( when he was shown the way of 2od. The words <That ' may find grace in thy sight(< im#!y that he who )nows 2od finds grace in "is eyes. Fot on!y is he acce#ta !e and we!come to 2od who fasts and #rays( ut e$eryone who )nows "im. "e who has no )now!edge of 2od is the o >ect of "is wrath and dis#!easure. The #!easure and the dis#!easure of 2od( the a##roach to "im and the withdrawa! from "im are #ro#ortiona! to the amount of man's )now!edge or ignorance concerning the +reator. 0e ha$e a!ready gone too far away from our su >ect( !et us now return to it. Moses #rayed to 2od to grant him )now!edge of "is attri utes( and a!so #ardon for "is #eo#!e; when the !atter had een granted( he continued to #ray for the )now!edge of 2od's essence in the words( <%how me thy g!ory< (ib. 1H)( and then recei$ed( res#ecting his first re-uest( <%how me thy way(< the fo!!owing fa$oura !e re#!y( <' wi!! ma)e a!! my goodness to #ass efore thee< (ib. 19); as regards the second re-uest( howe$er( he was to!d( <Thou canst not see my face< (ib. 20). The words <a!! my goodness< im#!y that 2od #romised to show him the who!e creation( concerning which it has een stated( <*nd 2od saw e$erything that he had made( and( eho!d( it was $ery good< (2en. i. 61); when ' say <to show him the who!e creation(< ' mean to im#!y that 2od #romised to ma)e him com#rehend the nature of a!! things( their re!ation to each other( and the way they are go$erned y 2od oth in reference to the uni$erse as a who!e and to each creature in #articu!ar. This )now!edge is referred to when we are to!d of Moses(< he is firm!y esta !ished in a!! mine house< (Fum. 1ii. J); that is( <his )now!edge of a!! the creatures in My uni$erse is correct and firm!y esta !ished<; for fa!se o#inions are not firm!y esta !ished. +onse-uent!y the )now!edge of the wor)s of 2od is the )now!edge of "is attri utes( y which "e can e )nown. The fact that 2od #romised Moses to gi$e him a )now!edge of "is wor)s( may e inferred from the circumstance that 2od taught him such attri utes as refer e1c!usi$e!y to "is wor)s( $i,.( <mercifu! and gracious( !ongsuffering and a undant in goodness(< etc.( (&1od. 111i$. 5). 't is therefore c!ear that the ways which Moses wished to )now( and which 2od taught him( are the actions emanating from 2od. ?ur %ages ca!! them middot
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(-ua!ities)( and s#ea) of the thirteen middoth of 2od (Ta!m. 4. 9osh hashanah( #. 1Jb); they used the term a!so in reference to man; com#. <there are four different middoth (characters) among those who go to the house of !earning<; <There are four
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different middoth (characters) among those who gi$e charity< (Mishnah +bot( $. 16( 18). They do not mean to say that 2od rea!!y #ossesses middot (-ua!ities)( ut that "e #erforms actions simi!ar to such of our actions as originate in certain -ua!ities( i.e.( in certain #sychica! dis#ositions not that 2od has rea!!y such dis#ositions. *!though Moses was shown <a!! "is goodness(< i.e.( a!! "is wor)s( on!y the thirteen middot are mentioned( ecause they inc!ude those acts of 2od which refer to the creation and the go$ernment of man)ind( and to )now these acts was the #rinci#a! o >ect of the #rayer of Moses. This is shown y the conc!usion of his #rayer( <that ' may )now thee( that ' may find grace in thy sight( and consider that this nation is thy #eo#!e< (&1od. 111iii. 15)( that is to say( the #eo#!e whom ' ha$e to ru!e y certain acts in the #erformance of which ' must e guided y Thy own acts in go$erning them. 0e ha$e thus shown that <the ways< used in the 4i !e( and <middot< used in the Mishnah( are identica!( denoting the acts emanating from 2od in reference to the uni$erse. 0hene$er any one of "is actions is #ercei$ed y us( we ascri e to 2od that emotion which is the source of the act when #erformed y ourse!$es( and ca!! "im y an e#ithet which is formed from the $er e1#ressing that emotion. 0e see( e.g.( how we!! "e #ro$ides for the !ife of the em ryo of !i$ing eings; how "e endows with certain facu!ties oth the em ryo itse!f and those who ha$e to rear it after its irth( in order that it may e #rotected from death and destruction( guarded against a!! harm( and assisted in the #erformance of a!! that is re-uired Cfor its de$e!o#mentD. %imi!ar acts( when #erformed y us( are due to a certain emotion and tenderness ca!!ed mercy and #ity. 2od is( therefore( said to e mercifu!; e.g.( <=i)e as a father is mercifu! to his chi!dren( so the =ord is mercifu! to them that fear "im< (7s. ciii. 16); <*nd ' wi!! s#are them( as a man s#areth (yaamol) his own son that ser$eth him< (Ma!. iii. 1J). %uch instances do not im#!y that 2od is inf!uenced y a fee!ing of mercy( ut that acts simi!ar to those which a father #erforms for his son( out of #ity( mercy and rea! affection( emanate from 2od so!e!y for the enefit of "is #ious men( and are y no means the resu!t of any im#ression or change--C#roduced in 2odD.--0hen we gi$e something to a #erson who has no c!aim u#on us( we #erform an act of grace; e.g.( <2rant them gracious!y unto us< (Judges 11i. 22). CThe same term is used in reference to 2od( e.g.D <which 2od hath gracious!y gi$en< (2en. 111iii. :); <4ecause 2od hath dea!t gracious!y with me< (ib. 11). 'nstances of this )ind are numerous. 2od creates and guides eings who ha$e no c!aim u#on "im to e created and guided y "im; "e is therefore ca!!ed gracious (annun)--"is actions towards man)ind a!so inc!ude great ca!amities( which o$erta)e indi$idua!s and ring death to them( or affect who!e fami!ies and e$en entire regions( s#read death( destroy generation after generation( and s#are nothing whatsoe$er. "ence there occur inundations( earth-ua)es( destructi$e storms( e1#editions of one nation against the other for the sa)e of destroying it with the sword and !otting out its memory( and many other e$i!s of the same )ind. 0hene$er such e$i!s are caused y us to any #erson(
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they originate in great anger( $io!ent >ea!ousy( or a desire for re$enge. 2od is therefore ca!!ed( ecause of these acts( <>ea!ous(< <re$engefu!(< <wrathfu!(< and <)ee#ing anger< (Fah. i. 2) that is to say( "e #erforms acts simi!ar to those which( when #erformed y us( originate in certain #sychica! dis#ositions( in >ea!ousy( desire for reta!iation( re$enge( or anger; they are in accordance with the gui!t of those who are to e #unished( and not the

resu!t of any emotion; for "e is a o$e a!! defectR The same is the case with a!! di$ine acts; though resem !ing those acts which emanate from our #assions and #sychica! dis#ositions( they are not due to anything su#eradded to "is essence.--The go$ernor of a country( if he is a #ro#het( shou!d conform to these attri utes. *cts Cof #unishmentD must e #erformed y him moderate!y and in accordance with >ustice( not mere!y as an out!et of his #assion. "e must not !et !oose his anger( nor a!!ow his #assion to o$ercome him; for a!! #assions are ad( and they must e guarded against as far as it !ies in man's #ower. *t times and towards some #ersons he must e mercifu! and gracious( not on!y from moti$es of mercy and com#assion( ut according to their merits; at other times and towards other #ersons he must e$ince anger( re$enge( and wrath in #ro#ortion to their gui!t( ut not from moti$es of #assion. "e must e a !e to condemn a #erson to death y fire without anger( #assion( or !oathing against him( and must e1c!usi$e!y e guided y what he #ercei$es of the gui!t of the #erson( and y a sense of the great enefit which a !arge num er wi!! deri$e from such a sentence. Mou ha$e( no dou t( noticed in the Torah how the commandment to annihi!ate the se$en nations( and <to sa$e a!i$e nothing that reatheth< (.eut. 11. 15) is fo!!owed immediate!y y the words( <That they teach you not to do after a!! their a ominations( which they ha$e done unto their gods; so shou!d you sin against the =ord your 2od< (ib. 1H); that is to say( you sha!! not thin) that this commandment im#!ies an act of crue!ty or of reta!iation; it is an act demanded y the tendency of man to remo$e e$erything that might turn him away from the right #ath( and to c!ear away a!! o stac!es in the road to #erfection( that is( to the )now!edge of 2od. Fe$erthe!ess( acts of mercy( #ardon( #ity( and grace shou!d more fre-uent!y e #erformed y the go$ernor of a country than acts of #unishment; seeing that a!! the thirteen middoth of 2od are attri utes of mercy with on!y one e1ce#tion( name!y( <$isiting the ini-uity of the fathers u#on the chi!dren< (&1od. 111i$. J); for the meaning of the #receding attri ute (in the origina! "e-nakkeh lo yenakkeh) is <and he wi!! not utter!y destroy<; (and not <"e wi!! y no means c!ear the gui!ty<); com#. <*nd she wi!! e utter!y destroyed ("e-nikketah)( she sha!! sit u#on the ground< ('sa. iii. 25). 0hen it is said that 2od is $isiting the ini-uity of the fathers u#on the chi!dren( this refers e1c!usi$e!y to the sin of ido!atry( and to no other sin. That this is the case may e inferred from what is said in the ten commandments( <u#on the third and fourth generation of my enemies< (&1od. 11. :)( none e1ce#t ido!aters eing ca!!ed <enemy<; com#. a!so <e$ery a omination to the =ord( which he hateth< (.eut. 1ii. 61). 't was( howe$er( considered sufficient to e1tend the #unishment to the fourth generation( ecause the fourth generation is the utmost a man can see of his #osterity; and when( therefore( the ido!aters of a #!ace are destroyed( the o!d man worshi##ing ido!s is )i!!ed( his son( his grandson( and his great-grandson( that is( the fourth generation.
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4y the mention of this attri ute we are( as it were( to!d that "is commandments( undou ted!y in harmony with "is acts( inc!ude the death e$en of the !itt!e chi!dren of ido!aters ecause of the sin of their fathers and grandfathers. This #rinci#!e we find fre-uent!y a##!ied in the =aw( as( e.g.( we read concerning the city that has een !ed astray to ido!atry( <destroy it utter!y( and a!! that is therein< (.eut. 1iii. 1:). *!! this has een ordained in order that e$ery $estige of that which wou!d !ead to great in>ury shou!d he !otted out( as we ha$e e1#!ained.
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0e ha$e gone too far away from the su >ect of this cha#ter( ut we ha$e shown why it has een considered sufficient to mention on!y these (thirteen) out of a!! "is acts; name!y( ecause they are re-uired for the good go$ernment of a country; for the chief aim of man shou!d e to ma)e himse!f( as far as #ossi !e( simi!ar to 2od; that is to say( to ma)e his acts simi!ar to the acts of 2od( or as our %ages e1#ressed it in e1#!aining the $erse( <Me sha!! e ho!y< (=e$. 11i. 2); <"e is gracious( so e you a!so gracious; "e is mercifu!( so e you a!so mercifu!.< The #rinci#a! o >ect of this cha#ter was to show that a!! attri utes ascri ed to 2od are attri utes of "is acts( and do not im#!y that 2od has any -ua!ities.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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0& ha$e a!ready( on se$era! occasions( shown in this treatise that e$erything that im#!ies cor#orea!ity or #assi$eness( is to e negati$ed in reference to 2od( for a!! #assi$eness im#!ies change; and the agent #roducing that state is undou ted!y different from the o >ect affected y it; and if 2od cou!d e affected in any way whate$er( another eing eside "im wou!d act on "im and cause change in "im. *!! )inds of non-e1istence must !i)ewise e negati$ed in reference to "im; no #erfection whate$er can therefore e imagined to e at one time a sent from "im( and at another #resent in "im; for if this were the case( "e wou!d Cat a certain timeD on!y e #otentia!!y #erfect. 7otentia!ity a!ways im#!ies none1istence( and when anything has to #ass from #otentia!ity into rea!ity( another thing that e1ists in rea!ity is re-uired to effect that transition. "ence it fo!!ows that a!! #erfections must rea!!y e1ist in 2od( and none of them must in any way e a mere #otentia!ity. *nother thing !i)ewise to e denied in reference to 2od( is simi!arity to any e1isting eing. This has een genera!!y acce#ted( and is a!so mentioned in the oo)s of the 7ro#hets; e.g.( <To whom( then( wi!! you !i)en me/< ('sa. 1!. 2:); <To whom( then( wi!! you !i)en 2od/< (ib. 1H); <There is none !i)e unto Thee< (Jer. 1. 5). 'nstances of this )ind are fre-uent. 'n short( it is necessary to demonstrate y #roof that nothing can e #redicated of 2od that im#!ies any of the fo!!owing four things; cor#orea!ity( emotion or change( none1istence(--e.g.( that something wou!d e #otentia! at one time and rea! at another--and simi!arity with any of "is creatures. 'n this res#ect our )now!edge of 2od is aided y the study of Fatura! %cience. Aor he who is ignorant of the !atter cannot understand the defect im#!ied in emotions( the difference etween #otentia!ity and rea!ity( the non-e1istence im#!ied in a!! #otentia!ity( the inferiority of a thing that e1ists in potentiB to that which mo$es in order to cause its transition from #otentia!ity into rea!ity( and the
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inferiority of that which mo$es for this #ur#ose com#ared with its condition when the transition has een effected. "e who )nows these things( ut without their #roofs( does not )now the detai!s which !ogica!!y resu!t from these genera! #ro#ositions; and therefore he

cannot #ro$e that 2od e1ists( or that the CfourD things mentioned a o$e are inadmissi !e in reference to 2od. "a$ing #remised these remar)s( ' sha!! e1#!ain in the ne1t cha#ter the error of those who e!ie$e that 2od has essentia! attri utes; those who ha$e some )now!edge of =ogic and Fatura! %cience wi!! understand it.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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%'M'=*9'TM is ased on a certain re!ation etween two things; if etween two things no re!ation can e found( there can e no simi!arity etween them( and there is no re!ation etween two things that ha$e no simi!arity to each other; e.g.( we do not say this heat is simi!ar to that co!our( or this $oice is simi!ar to that sweetness. This is se!f-e$ident. %ince the e1istence of a re!ation etween 2od and man( or etween "im and other eings has een denied( simi!arity must !i)ewise e denied. Mou must )now that two things of the same )ind--i.e.( whose essentia! #ro#erties are the same( and which are distinguished from each other y greatness and sma!!ness( strength and wea)ness( etc.--are necessari!y simi!ar( though different in this one way; e.g.( a grain of mustard and the s#here of the fi1ed stars are simi!ar as regards the three dimensions( a!though the one is e1ceeding!y great( the other e1ceeding!y sma!!( the #ro#erty of ha$ing CthreeD dimensions is the same in oth; or the heat of wa1 me!ted y the sun and the heat of the e!ement of fire( are simi!ar as regards heat; a!though the heat is e1ceeding!y great in the one case( and e1ceeding!y sma!! in the other( the e1istence of that -ua!ity (heat) is the same in oth. Thus those who e!ie$e in the #resence of essentia! attri utes in 2od( $i,.( &1istence( =ife( 7ower( 0isdom( and 0i!!( shou!d )now that these attri utes( when a##!ied to 2od( ha$e not the same meaning as when a##!ied to us( and that the difference does not on!y consist in magnitude( or in the degree of #erfection( sta i!ity( and dura i!ity. 't cannot e said( as they #ractica!!y e!ie$e( that "is e1istence is on!y more sta !e( "is !ife more #ermanent( "is #ower greater( "is wisdom more #erfect( and "is wi!! more genera! than ours( and that the same definition a##!ies to oth. This is in no way admissi !e( for the e1#ression <more than< is used in com#aring two things as regards a certain attri ute #redicated of oth of them in e1act!y the same sense( and conse-uent!y im#!ies simi!arity C etween 2od and "is creaturesD. 0hen they ascri e to 2od essentia! attri utes( these so-ca!!ed essentia! attri utes shou!d not ha$e any simi!arity to the attri utes of other things( and shou!d according to their own o#inion not e inc!uded in one of the same definition( >ust as there is no simi!arity etween the essence of 2od and that of other eings. They do not fo!!ow this #rinci#!e( for they ho!d that one definition may inc!ude them( and that( ne$erthe!ess( there is no simi!arity etween them. Those who are fami!iar with the meaning of simi!arity wi!! certain!y understand that the term e1istence( when a##!ied to 2od and to other eings( is #erfect!y homonymous. 'n !i)e manner( the terms 0isdom( 7ower( 0i!!( and =ife are a##!ied to 2od and to other eings y way of #erfect homonymity( admitting
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of no com#arison whate$er. For must you thin) that these attri utes are em#!oyed as hy rid terms; for hy rid terms are such as are a##!ied to two things which ha$e a simi!arity to each other in res#ect to a certain #ro#erty which is in oth of them an accident( not an essentia!( constituent e!ement. The attri utes of 2od( howe$er( are not considered as accidenta! y any inte!!igent #erson( whi!e a!! attri utes a##!ied to man are accidents( according to the Muta)a!!emim. ' am therefore at a !oss to see how they can find any simi!arity C etween the attri utes of 2od and those of manD; how their definitions can e identica!( and their significations the sameR This is a decisi$e #roof that there is( in no way or sense( anything common to the attri utes #redicated of 2od( and those used in reference to ourse!$es; they ha$e on!y the same names( and nothing e!se is common to them. %uch eing the case( it is not #ro#er to e!ie$e( on account of the use of the same attri utes( that there is in 2od something additiona! to "is essence( in the same way as attri utes are >oined to our essence. This is most im#ortant for those who understand it. 3ee# it in memory( and study it thorough!y in order to e we!! #re#ared for that which ' am going to e1#!ain to you.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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?F attri utes; remar)s more recondite than the #receding. 't is )nown that e1istence is an accident a##ertaining to a!! things( and therefore an e!ement su#eradded to their essence. This must e$ident!y e the case as regards e$erything the e1istence of which is due to some cause; its e1istence is an e!ement su#eradded to its essence. 4ut as regards a eing whose e1istence is not due to any cause--2od a!one is that eing( for "is e1istence( as we ha$e said( is a so!ute--e1istence and essence are #erfect!y identica!; "e is not a su stance to which e1istence is >oined as an accident( as an additiona! e!ement. "is e1istence is a!ways a so!ute( and has ne$er een a new e!ement or an accident in "im. +onse-uent!y 2od e1ists without #ossessing the attri ute of e1istence. %imi!ar!y "e !i$es( without #ossessing the attri ute of !ife; )nows( without #ossessing the attri ute of )now!edge; is omni#otent without #ossessing the attri ute of omni#otence; is wise( without #ossessing the attri ute of wisdom; a!! this reduces itse!f to one and the same entity; there is no #!ura!ity in "im( as wi!! e shown. 't is further necessary to consider that unity and #!ura!ity are accidents su#er$ening to an o >ect according as it consists of many e!ements or of one. This is fu!!y e1#!ained in the oo) ca!!ed Meta#hysics. 'n the same way as num er is not the su stance of the things num ered( so is unity not the su stance of the thing which has the attri ute of unity( for unity and #!ura!ity are accidents e!onging to the category of discrete -uantity( and su#er$ening to such o >ects as are ca#a !e of recei$ing them. To that eing( howe$er( which has tru!y sim#!e( a so!ute e1istence( and in which com#osition is inconcei$a !e( the accident of unity is as inadmissi !e as the accident of #!ura!ity; that is to say( 2od's unity is not an e!ement su#eradded( ut "e is ?ne without #ossessing the attri ute of unity. The in$estigation of this su >ect( which is a!most too su t!e for our understanding( must not e ased on current e1#ressions em#!oyed in descri ing it( for these

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are the great source of error. 't wou!d e e1treme!y difficu!t for us to find( in any !anguage whatsoe$er( words ade-uate to this su >ect( and we can on!y em#!oy inade-uate !anguage. 'n our endea$our to show that 2od does not inc!ude a #!ura!ity( we can on!y say <"e is one(< a!though <one< and <many< are oth terms which ser$e to distinguish -uantity. 0e therefore ma)e the su >ect c!earer( and show to the understanding the way of truth y saying "e is one ut does not #ossess the attri ute of unity. The same is the case when we say 2od is the Airst (%admon)( to e1#ress that "e has not een created; the term <Airst< is decided!y inaccurate( for it can in its true sense on!y e a##!ied to a eing that is su >ect to the re!ation of time; the !atter( howe$er( is an accident to motion which again is connected with a ody. 4esides the attri ute <first< is a re!ati$e term( eing in regard to time the same as the terms <!ong< and <short< are in regard to a !ine. 4oth e1#ressions( <first< and <created(< are e-ua!!y inadmissi !e in reference to any eing to which the attri ute of time is not a##!ica !e( >ust as we do not say <croo)ed< or <straight< in reference to taste( <sa!ted< or <insi#id< in reference to the $oice. These su >ects are not un)nown to those who ha$e accustomed themse!$es to see) a true understanding of the things( and to esta !ish their #ro#erties in accordance with the a stract notions which the mind has formed of them( and who are ' not mis!ed y the inaccuracy of the words em#!oyed. *!! attri utes( such as <the Airst(< <the =ast(< occurring in the %cri#tures in reference to 2od( are as meta#horica! as the e1#ressions <ear< and <eye.< They sim#!y signify that 2od is not su >ect to any change or inno$ation whate$er; they do not im#!y that 2od can e descri ed y time( or that there is any com#arison etween "im and any other eing as regards time( and that "e is ca!!ed on that account <the first< and <the !ast.< 'n short( a!! simi!ar e1#ressions are orrowed from the !anguage common!y used among the #eo#!e. 'n the same way we use <?ne< in reference to 2od( to e1#ress that there is nothing simi!ar to "im( ut we do not mean to say that an attri ute of unity is added to "is essence.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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This cha#ter is e$en more recondite than the #receding. 3now that the negati$e attri utes of 2od are the true attri utes; they do not inc!ude any incorrect notions or any deficiency whate$er in reference to 2od( whi!e #ositi$e attri utes im#!y #o!ytheism( and are inade-uate( as we ha$e a!ready shown. 't is now necessary to e1#!ain how negati$e e1#ressions can in a certain sense e em#!oyed as attri utes( and how they are distinguished from #ositi$e attri utes. Then ' sha!! show that we cannot descri e the +reator y any means e1ce#t y negati$e attri utes. *n attri ute does not e1c!usi$e!y e!ong to the one o >ect to which it is re!ated; whi!e -ua!ifying one thing( it can a!so e em#!oyed to -ua!ify other things( and is in that case not #ecu!iar to that one thing. &.g.( if you see an o >ect from a distance( and on en-uiring what it is( are to!d that it is a !i$ing eing( you ha$e certain!y !earnt an attri ute of the o >ect seen( and a!though that attri ute does not e1c!usi$e!y e!ong

to the o >ect #ercei$ed( it e1#resses that the o >ect is not a #!ant or a minera!. *gain( if a man is in a certain house( and
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you )now that something is in the house( ut not e1act!y what( you as) what is in that house( and you are to!d( not a #!ant nor a minera!. Mou ha$e there y o tained some s#ecia! )now!edge of the thing; you ha$e !earnt that it is a !i$ing eing( a!though you do not yet )now what )ind of a !i$ing eing it is. The negati$e attri utes ha$e this in common with the #ositi$e( that they necessari!y circumscri e the o >ect to some e1tent( a!though such circumscri#tion consists on!y in the e1c!usion of what otherwise wou!d not e e1c!uded. 'n the fo!!owing #oint( howe$er( the negati$e attri utes are distinguished from the #ositi$e. The #ositi$e attri utes( a!though not #ecu!iar to one thing( descri e a #ortion of what we desire to )now( either some #art of its essence or some of its accidents; the negati$e attri utes( on the other hand( do not( as regards the essence of the thing which we desire to )now( in any way te!! us what it is( e1ce#t it e indirect!y( as has een shown in the instance gi$en y us. *fter this introduction( ' wou!d o ser$e that(--as has a!ready een shown--2od's e1istence is a so!ute( that it inc!udes no com#osition( as wi!! e #ro$ed( and that we com#rehend on!y the fact that "e e1ists( not "is essence. +onse-uent!y it is a fa!se assum#tion to ho!d that "e has any #ositi$e attri ute; for "e does not #ossess e1istence in addition to "is essence; it therefore cannot e said that the one may e descri ed as an attri ute Cof the otherD; much !ess has "e Cin addition to "is e1istenceD a com#ound essence( consisting of two constituent e!ements to which the attri ute cou!d refer; sti!! !ess has "e accidents( which cou!d e descri ed y an attri ute. "ence it is c!ear that "e has no #ositi$e attri ute whate$er. The negati$e attri utes( howe$er( are those which are necessary to direct the mind to the truths which we must e!ie$e concerning 2od; for( on the one hand( they do not im#!y any #!ura!ity( and( on the other( they con$ey to man the highest #ossi !e )now!edge of 2od; e.g.( it has een esta !ished y #roof that some eing must e1ist esides those things which can e #ercei$ed y the senses( or a##rehended y the mind; when we say of this eing( that it e1ists( we mean that its non-e1istence is im#ossi !e. 0e then #ercei$e that such a eing is not( for instance( !i)e the four e!ements( which are inanimate( and we therefore say that it is !i$ing( e1#ressing there y that it is not dead. 0e ca!! such a eing incor#orea!( ecause we notice that it is un!i)e the hea$ens( which are !i$ing( ut materia!. %eeing that it is a!so different from the inte!!ect( which( though incor#orea! and !i$ing( owes its e1istence to some cause( we say it is the first( e1#ressing there y that its e1istence is not due to any cause. 0e further notice( that the e1istence( that is the essence( of this eing is not !imited to its own e1istence; many e1istences emanate from it( and its inf!uence is not !i)e that of the fire in #roducing heat( or that of the sun in sending forth !ight( ut consists in constant!y gi$ing them sta i!ity and order y we!!-esta !ished ru!e( as we sha!! show; we say( on that account( it has #ower( wisdom( and wi!!( i.e.( it is not fee !e or ignorant( or hasty( and does not a andon its creatures; when we say that it is not fee !e( we mean that its e1istence is ca#a !e of #roducing the e1istence of many other things; y saying that it is not ignorant( we mean <it #ercei$es< or <it !i$es(<--for e$erything that #ercei$es is !i$ing-- y saying <it is not hasty( and does not a andon its creatures(< we mean that a!! these creatures #reser$e a certain order and arrangement; they are not !eft to

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themse!$es; they are not #roduced aim!ess!y( ut whate$er condition they recei$e from that eing is gi$en with design and intention. 0e thus !earn that there is no other eing !i)e unto 2od( and we say that "e is ?ne( i.e.( there are not more 2ods than one. 't has thus een shown that e$ery attri ute #redicated of 2od either denotes the -ua!ity of an action( or--when the attri ute is intended to con$ey some idea of the .i$ine 4eing itse!f( and not of "is actions--the negation of the o##osite. &$en these negati$e attri utes must not e formed and a##!ied to 2od( e1ce#t in the way in which( as you )now( sometimes an attri ute is negati$ed in reference to a thing( a!though that attri ute can natura!!y ne$er e a##!ied to it in the same sense( as( e.g.( we say( <This wa!! does not see.< Those who read the #resent wor) are aware that( notwithstanding a!! the efforts of the mind( we can o tain no )now!edge of the essence of the hea$ens--a re$o!$ing su stance which has een measured y us in s#ans and cu its( and e1amined e$en as regards the #ro#ortions of the se$era! s#heres to each other and res#ecting most of their motions--a!though we )now that they must consist of matter and form; ut the matter not eing the same as su !unary matter( we can on!y descri e the hea$ens in terms e1#ressing negati$e #ro#erties( ut not in terms denoting #ositi$e -ua!ities. Thus we say that the hea$ens are not !ight( not hea$y( not #assi$e and therefore not su >ect to im#ressions( and that they do not #ossess the sensations of taste and sme!!; or we use simi!ar negati$e attri utes. *!! this we do( ecause we do not )now their su stance. 0hat( then( can e the resu!t of our efforts( when we try to o tain a )now!edge of a 4eing that is free from su stance( that is most sim#!e( whose e1istence is a so!ute( and not due to any cause( to whose #erfect essence nothing can e su#eradded( and whose #erfection consists( as we ha$e shown( in the a sence of a!! defects. *!! we understand is the fact that "e e1ists( that "e is a 4eing to whom none of "is creatures is simi!ar( who has nothing in common with them( who does not inc!ude #!ura!ity( who is ne$er too fee !e to #roduce other eings( and whose re!ation to the uni$erse is that of a steersman to a oat; and e$en this is not a rea! re!ation( a rea! simi!e( ut ser$es on!y to con$ey to us the idea that 2od ru!es the uni$erse; that is( that "e gi$es it duration( and #reser$es its necessary arrangement. This su >ect wi!! e treated more fu!!y. 7raised e "eR 'n the contem#!ation of "is essence( our com#rehension and )now!edge #ro$e insufficient; in the e1amination of "is wor)s( how they necessari!y resu!t from "is wi!!( our )now!edge #ro$es to e ignorance( and in the endea$our to e1to! "im in words( a!! our efforts in s#eech are mere wea)ness and fai!ureR
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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T"& fo!!owing -uestion might #erha#s e as)ed; %ince there is no #ossi i!ity of o taining a )now!edge of the true essence of 2od( and since it has a!so een #ro$ed that the on!y thing that man can a##rehend of "im is the fact that "e e1ists( and that a!! #ositi$e attri utes are inadmissi !e( as has een shown( what is the difference among those who ha$e o tained a

)now!edge of 2od/ Must not the )now!edge o tained y our teacher Moses( and y %o!omon( e the same as that o tained y any one of the !owest c!ass of #hi!oso#hers( since
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there can e no addition to this )now!edge/ 4ut( on the other hand( it is genera!!y acce#ted among theo!ogians and a!so among #hi!oso#hers( that there can e a great difference etween two #ersons as regards the )now!edge of 2od o tained y them. 3now that this is rea!!y the case( that those who ha$e o tained a )now!edge of 2od differ great!y from each other; for in the same way as y each additiona! attri ute an o >ect is more s#ecified( and is rought nearer to the true a##rehension of the o ser$er( so y each additiona! negati$e attri ute you ad$ance toward the )now!edge of 2od( and you are nearer to it than he who does not negati$e( in reference to 2od( those -ua!ities which you are con$inced y #roof must e negati$ed. There may thus e a man who after ha$ing earnest!y de$oted many years to the #ursuit of one science( and to the true understanding of its #rinci#!es( ti!! he is fu!!y con$inced of its truths( has o tained as the so!e resu!t of this study the con$iction that a certain -ua!ity must e negati$ed in reference to 2od( and the ca#acity of demonstrating that it is im#ossi !e to a##!y it to "im. %u#erficia! thin)ers wi!! ha$e no #roof for this( wi!! dou tfu!!y as)( 's that thing e1isting in the +reator( or not/ *nd those who are de#ri$ed of sight wi!! #ositi$e!y ascri e it to 2od( a!though it has een c!ear!y shown that "e does not #ossess it. &.g.( whi!e ' show that 2od is incor#orea!( another dou ts and is not certain whether "e is cor#orea! or incor#orea!; others e$en #ositi$e!y dec!are that "e is cor#orea!( and a##ear efore the =ord with that e!ief. Fow see how great the difference is etween these three men; the first is undou ted!y nearest to the *!mighty; the second is remote( and the third sti!! more distant from "im. 'f there e a fourth #erson who ho!ds himse!f con$inced y #roof that emotions are im#ossi !e in 2od( whi!e the first who re>ects the cor#orea!ity( is not con$inced of that im#ossi i!ity( that fourth #erson is undou ted!y nearer the )now!edge of 2od than the first( and go on( so that a #erson who( con$inced y #roof( negati$es a num er of things in reference to 2od( which according to our e!ief may #ossi !y e in "im or emanate from "im( is undou ted!y a more #erfect man than we are( and wou!d sur#ass us sti!! more if we #ositi$e!y e!ie$ed these things to e #ro#erties of 2od. 't wi!! now e c!ear to you( that e$ery time you esta !ish y #roof the negation of a thing in reference to 2od( you ecome more #erfect( whi!e with e$ery additiona! #ositi$e assertion you fo!!ow your imagination and recede from the true )now!edge of 2od. ?n!y y such ways must we a##roach the )now!edge of 2od( and y such researches and studies as wou!d show us the ina##!ica i!ity of what is inadmissi !e as regards the +reator( not y such methods as wou!d #ro$e the necessity of ascri ing to "im anything e1traneous to "is essence( or asserting that "e has a certain #erfection( when we find it to e a #erfection in re!ation to us. The #erfections are a!! to some e1tent ac-uired #ro#erties( and a #ro#erty which must e ac-uired does not e1ist in e$erything ca#a !e of ma)ing such ac-uisition. Mou must ear in mind( that y affirming anything of 2od( you are remo$ed from "im in two res#ects; first( whate$er you affirm( is on!y a #erfection in re!ation to us; second!y( "e does not #ossess anything su#eradded to this essence; "is essence inc!udes a!! "is #erfections( as we ha$e shown. %ince it is a we!!-)nown fact that e$en that )now!edge of 2od which is accessi !e to man cannot e attained e1ce#t y negations( and that negations

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do not con$ey a true idea of the eing to which they refer( a!! #eo#!e( oth of #ast and #resent generations( dec!ared that 2od cannot e the o >ect of human com#rehension( that none ut "imse!f com#rehends what "e is( and that our )now!edge consists in )nowing that we are una !e tru!y to com#rehend "im. *!! #hi!oso#hers say( <"e has o$er#owered us y "is grace( and is in$isi !e to us through the intensity of "is !ight(< !i)e the sun which cannot e #ercei$ed y eyes which are too wea) to ear its rays. Much more has een said on this to#ic( ut it is use!ess to re#eat it here. The idea is est e1#ressed in the oo) of 7sa!ms( <%i!ence is #raise to Thee< (!1$. 2). 't is a $ery e1#ressi$e remar) on this su >ect; for whate$er we utter with the intention of e1to!!ing and of #raising "im( contains something that cannot e a##!ied to 2od( and inc!udes derogatory e1#ressions; it is therefore more ecoming to e si!ent( and to e content with inte!!ectua! ref!ection( as has een recommended y men of the highest cu!ture( in the words <+ommune with your own heart u#on your ed( and e sti!!< (7s. i$. 8). Mou must sure!y )now the fo!!owing ce!e rated #assage in the Ta!mud--wou!d that a!! #assages in the Ta!mud were !i)e thatR-a!though it is )nown to you( ' -uote it !itera!!y( as ' wish to #oint out to you the ideas contained in it; <* certain #erson( reading #rayers in the #resence of 9a i "aninah( said( '2od( the great( the $a!iant and the tremendous( the #owerfu!( the strong( and the mighty.'-The ra i said to him( "a$e you finished a!! the #raises of your Master/ The three e#ithets( '2od( the great( the $a!iant and the tremendous(' we shou!d not ha$e a##!ied to 2od( had Moses not mentioned them in the =aw( and had not the men of the 2reat %ynagogue come forward su se-uent!y and esta !ished their use in the #rayer; and you say a!! thisR =et this e i!!ustrated y a #ara !e. There was once an earth!y )ing( #ossessing mi!!ions of go!d coin; he was #raised for owning mi!!ions of si!$er coin; was this not rea!!y dis#raise to him/< Thus far the o#inion of the #ious ra i. +onsider( first( how re#u!si$e and annoying the accumu!ation of a!! these #ositi$e attri utes was to him; ne1t( how he showed that( if we had on!y to fo!!ow our reason( we shou!d ne$er ha$e com#osed these #rayers( and we shou!d not ha$e uttered any of them. 't has( howe$er( ecome necessary to address men in words that shou!d !ea$e some idea in their minds( and( in accordance with the saying of our %ages( <The Torah s#ea)s in the !anguage of men(< the +reator has een descri ed to us in terms of our own #erfections; ut we shou!d not on that account ha$e uttered any other than the three a o$e-mentioned attri utes( and we shou!d not ha$e used them as names of 2od e1ce#t when meeting with them in reading the =aw. %u se-uent!y( the men of the 2reat %ynagogue( who were #ro#hets( introduced these e1#ressions a!so into the #rayer( ut we shou!d not on that account use Cin our #rayersD any other attri utes of 2od. The #rinci#a! !esson to e deri$ed from this #assage is that there are two reasons for our em#!oying those #hrases in our #rayers; first( they occur in the 7entateuch; second!y( the 7ro#hets introduced them into the #rayer. 0ere it not for the first reason( we shou!d ne$er ha$e uttered them; and were it not for the second reason( we shou!d not ha$e co#ied them from the 7entateuch to recite them in our #rayers; how then cou!d we a##ro$e of the use of those numerous attri utesR Mou a!so !earn from this that we ought not to mention and em#!oy i!! our #rayers a!! the attri utes we find a##!ied
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to 2od in the oo)s of the 7ro#hets; for he does not say( <0ere it not that Moses( our Teacher( said them( we shou!d not ha$e een a !e to use them<; ut he adds another condition--<and had not the men of the 2reat %ynagogue come forward and esta !ished their use in the #rayer(< ecause on!y for that reason are we a!!owed to use them in our #rayers. 0e cannot a##ro$e of what those foo!ish #ersons do who are e1tra$agant in #raise( f!uent and #ro!i1 in the #rayers they com#ose( and in the hymns they ma)e in the desire to a##roach the +reator. They descri e 2od in attri utes which wou!d e an offence if a##!ied to a human eing; for those #ersons ha$e no )now!edge of these great and im#ortant #rinci#!es( which are not accessi !e to the ordinary inte!!igence of man. Treating the +reator as a fami!iar o >ect( they descri e "im and s#ea) of "im in any e1#ressions they thin) #ro#er; they e!o-uent!y continue to #raise "im in that manner( and e!ie$e that they can there y inf!uence "im and #roduce an effect on "im. 'f they find some #hrase suited to their o >ect in the words of the 7ro#hets they are sti!! more inc!ined to consider that they are free to ma)e use of such te1ts--which shou!d at !east e e1#!ained--to em#!oy them in their !itera! sense( to deri$e new e1#ressions from them( to form from them numerous $ariations( and to found who!e com#ositions on them. This !icense is fre-uent!y met with in the com#ositions of the singers( #reachers( and others who imagine themse!$es to e a !e to com#ose a #oem. %uch authors write things which #art!y are rea! heresy( #art!y contain such fo!!y and a surdity that they natura!!y cause those who hear them to !augh( ut a!so to fee! grie$ed at the thought that such things can e uttered in reference to 2od. 0ere it not that ' #itied the authors for their defects. and did not wish to in>ure them( ' shou!d ha$e cited some #assages to show you their mista)es; esides( the fau!t of their com#ositions is o $ious to a!! inte!!igent #ersons. Mou must consider it( and thin) thus; 'f s!ander and !i e! is a great sin( how much greater is the sin of those who s#ea) with !ooseness of tongue in reference to 2od( and descri e "im y attri utes which are far e!ow "im; and ' dec!are that they not on!y commit an ordinary sin( ut unconscious!y at !east incur the gui!t of #rofanity and !as#hemy. This a##!ies oth to the mu!titude that !istens to such #rayers( and to the foo!ish man that recites them. Men( howe$er( who understand the fau!t of such com#ositions( and( ne$erthe!ess( recite them( may e c!assed( according to my o#inion( among those to whom the fo!!owing words are a##!ied; <*nd the chi!dren of 'srae! used words that were not right against the =ord their 2od< (2 3ings 1$ii. 9); and <utter error against the =ord< ('sa. 111ii. 5). 'f you are of those who regard the honour of their +reator( do not !isten in any way to them( much !ess utter what they say( and sti!! !ess com#ose such #rayers. )nowing how great is the offence of one who hur!s as#ersions against the %u#reme 4eing. There is no necessity at a!! for you to use #ositi$e attri utes of 2od with the $iew of magnifying "im in your thoughts( or to go eyond the !imits which the men of the 2reat %ynagogue ha$e introduced in the #rayers and in the !essings( for this is sufficient for a!! #ur#oses( and e$en more than %ufficient( as 9a i "aninah said. ?ther attri utes( such as occur in the oo)s of the 7ro#hets( may e uttered when we meet with them in reading those oo)s; ut we must ear in mind what has a!ready een e1#!ained( that they are either attri utes of 2od's actions( or e1#ressions
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im#!ying the negation of the o##osite. This !i)ewise shou!d not e di$u!ged to the mu!titude; ut a ref!ection of this )ind is fitted for the few on!y who e!ie$e that the

g!orification of 2od does not consist in utterin that which is not to e uttered( ut in reflectin on that on which man shou!d ref!ect. 0e wi!! now conc!ude our e1#osition of the wise words of 9. aninah. "e does not em#!oy any such simi!e as; <* )ing who #ossesses mi!!ions of go!d denarii( and is #raised as ha$ing hundreds<; for this wou!d im#!y that 2od's #erfections( a!though more #erfect than those ascri ed to man are sti!! of the same )ind; ut this is not the case( as has een #ro$ed. The e1ce!!ence of the simi!e consists in the words; <who #ossesses go!den denarii( and is #raised as ha$ing si!$er denarii<; this im#!ies that these attri utes( though #erfections as regards ourse!$es( are not such as regards 2od; in reference to "im they wou!d a!! e defects( as is distinct!y suggested in the remar)( <'s this not an offence to "im/< ' ha$e a!ready to!d you that a!! these attri utes( whate$er #erfection they may denote according to your idea( im#!y defects in reference to 2od( if a##!ied to "im in the same sense as they are used in reference to ourse!$es. %o!omon has a!ready gi$en us sufficient instruction on this su >ect y saying( <Aor 2od is in hea$en( and thou u#on earth; therefore !et thy words e few< (&cc!es. $. 2).
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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' 0'== gi$e you in this cha#ter some i!!ustrations( in order that you may etter understand the #ro#riety of forming as many negati$e attri utes as #ossi !e( and the im#ro#riety of ascri ing to 2od any #ositi$e attri utes. * #erson may )now for certain that a <shi#< is in e1istence( ut he may not )now to what o >ect that name is a##!ied( whether to a su stance or to an accident; a second #erson then !earns that the shi# is not an accident; a third( that it is not a minera!; a fourth( that it is not a #!ant growing in the earth; a fifth( that it is not a ody whose #arts are >oined together y nature; a si1th( that it is not a f!at o >ect !i)e oards or doors; a se$enth( that it is not a s#here; an eighth( that it is not #ointed; a ninth( that it is not round-sha#ed; nor e-ui!atera!; a tenth( that it is not so!id. 't is c!ear that this tenth #erson has a!most arri$ed at the correct notion of a <shi#< y the foregoing negati$e attri utes( as if he had e1act!y the same notion as those ha$e who imagine it to e a wooden su stance which is ho!!ow( !ong( and com#osed of many #ieces of wood( that is to say( who )now it y #ositi$e attri utes. ?f the other #ersons in our i!!ustration( each one is more remote from the correct notion of a shi# than the ne1t mentioned( so that the first )nows nothing a out it ut the name. 'n the same manner you wi!! come nearer to the )now!edge and com#rehension of 2od y the negati$e attri utes. 4ut you must e carefu!( in what you negati$e( to negati$e y #roof( not y mere words( for each time you ascertain y #roof that a certain thing( e!ie$ed to e1ist in the +reator( must e negati$ed( you ha$e undou ted!y come one ste# nearer to the )now!edge of 2od.

't is in this sense that some men come $ery near to 2od( and others remain e1ceeding!y remote from "im( not in the sense of those who are de#ri$ed of $ision( and e!ie$e that 2od occu#ies a #!ace( which man can #hysica!!y
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a##roach or from which he can recede. &1amine this we!!( )now it( and e content with it. The way which wi!! ring you nearer to 2od has een c!ear!y shown to you; wa!) in it( if you ha$e the desire. ?n the other hand( there is a great danger in a##!ying #ositi$e attri utes to 2od. Aor it has een shown that e$ery #erfection we cou!d imagine( e$en if e1isting in 2od in accordance with the o#inion of those who assert the e1istence of attri utes( wou!d in rea!ity not e of the same )ind as that imagined y us( ut wou!d on!y e ca!!ed y the same name( according to our e1#!anation; it wou!d in fact amount to a negation. %u##ose( e.g.( you say "e has )now!edge( and that )now!edge( which admits of no change and of no #!ura!ity( em races many changea !e things; "is )now!edge remains una!tered( whi!e new things are constant!y formed( and "is )now!edge of a thing efore it e1ists( whi!e it e1ists( and when it has ceased to e1ist( is the same without the !east change; you wou!d there y dec!are that "is )now!edge is not !i)e ours; and simi!ar!y that "is e1istence is not !i)e ours. Mou thus necessari!y arri$e at some negation( without o taining a true conce#tion of an essentia! attri ute; on the contrary( you are !ed to assume that there is a #!ura!ity in 2od( and to e!ie$e that "e( though one essence( has se$era! un)nown attri utes. Aor if you intend to affirm them( you cannot com#are them with those attri utes )nown y us( and they are conse-uent!y not of the same )ind. Mou are( as it were( rought y the e!ief in the rea!ity of the attri utes( to say that 2od is one su >ect of which se$era! things are #redicated; though the su >ect is not !i)e ordinary su >ects( and the #redicates are not !i)e ordinary #redicates. This e!ief wou!d u!timate!y !ead us to associate other things with 2od( and not to e!ie$e that "e is ?ne. Aor of e$ery su >ect certain things can undou ted!y e #redicated( and a!though in rea!ity su >ect and #redicate are com ined in one thing( y the actua! definition they consist of two e!ements( the notion contained in the su >ect not eing the same as that contained in the #redicate. 'n the course of this treatise it wi!! e #ro$ed to you that 2od cannot e a com#ound( and that "e is sim#!e in the strictest sense of the word. ' do not mere!y dec!are that he who affirms attri utes of 2od has not sufficient )now!edge concerning the +reator( admits some association with 2od( or concei$es "im to e different from what "e is; ut ' say that he unconscious!y !oses his e!ief in 2od. Aor he whose )now!edge concerning a thing is insufficient( understands one #art of it whi!e he is ignorant of the other( as( e.g.( a #erson who )nows that man #ossesses !ife( ut does not )now that man #ossesses understanding; ut in reference to 2od( in whose rea! e1istence there is no #!ura!ity( it is im#ossi !e that one thing shou!d e )nown( and another un)nown. %imi!ar!y he who associates an o >ect with Cthe #ro#erties ofD another o >ect( concei$es a true and correct notion of the one o >ect. and a##!ies that notion a!so to the other; whi!e those who admit the attri utes of 2od( do not consider them as identica! with "is essence( ut as e1traneous e!ements. *gain( he who concei$es an incorrect notion of an o >ect( must necessari!y ha$e a correct idea of the o >ect to some e1tent( he( howe$er( who says that taste e!ongs to the category of -uantity has not( according to my o#inion( an incorrect

notion of taste( ut is entire!y ignorant of its nature( for he does not )now to what o >ect the term <taste< is to e a##!ied.--This is a $ery difficu!t su >ect; consider it we!!.
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*ccording to this e1#!anation you wi!! understand( that those who do not recogni,e( in reference to 2od( the negation of things.( which others negati$e y c!ear #roof( are deficient in the )now!edge of 2od( and are remote from com#rehending "im. +onse-uent!y( the sma!!er the num er of things is which a #erson can negati$e in re!ation to 2od( the !ess he )nows of "im as has een e1#!ained in the eginning of this cha#ter; ut the man who affirms an attri ute of 2od( )nows nothing ut the same; for the o >ect to which( in his imagination( he a##!ies that name( does not e1ist; it is a mere fiction and in$ention( as if he a##!ied that name to a non-e1isting eing( for there is( in rea!ity( no such o >ect. &.g.( some one has heard of the e!e#hant( and )nows that it is an anima!( and wishes to )now its form and nature. * #erson( who is either mis!ed or mis!eading( te!!s him it is an anima! with one !eg( three wings( !i$es in the de#th of the sea( has a trans#arent ody; its face is wide !i)e that of a man( has the same form and sha#e( s#ea)s !i)e a man( f!ies sometimes in the air( and sometimes swims !i)e a fish. ' shou!d not say( that he descri ed the e!e#hant incorrect!y( or that he has an insufficient )now!edge of the e!e#hant( ut ' wou!d say that the thing thus descri ed is an in$ention and fiction( and that in rea!ity there e1ists nothing !i)e it; it is a non-e1isting eing( ca!!ed y the name of a rea!!y e1isting eing( and !i)e the griffin( the centaur( and simi!ar imaginary com inations for which sim#!e and com#ound names ha$e een orrowed from rea! things. The #resent case is ana!ogous; name!y( 2od( #raised e "is name( e1ists( and "is e1istence has een #ro$ed to e a so!ute and #erfect!y sim#!e( as ' sha!! e1#!ain. 'f such a sim#!e( a so!ute!y e1isting essence were said to ha$e attri utes( as has een contended( and were com ined with e1traneous e!ements( it wou!d in no way e an e1isting thing( as has een #ro$ed y us; and when we say that that essence( which is ca!!ed <2od(< is a su stance with many #ro#erties y which it can e descri ed( we a##!y that name to an o >ect which does not at a!! e1ist. +onsider( therefore( what are the conse-uences of affirming attri utes to 2odR *s to those attri utes of 2od which occur in the 7entateuch( or in the oo)s of the 7ro#hets( we must assume that they are e1c!usi$e!y em#!oyed( as has een stated y us( to con$ey to us some notion of the #erfections of the +reator( or to e1#ress -ua!ities of actions emanating from "im.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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'T is we!! )nown that a!! the names of 2od occurring in %cri#ture are deri$ed from "is actions( e1ce#t one( name!y( the Tetragrammaton( which consists of the !etters yod( h5( "au and h5. This name is a##!ied e1c!usi$e!y to 2od( and is on that account ca!!ed $hem hameforash( <The nomen proprium.< 't is the distinct and e1c!usi$e designation of the .i$ine 4eing; whi!st "is other names are common nouns( and are deri$ed from actions( to which some of our own are simi!ar( as we ha$e a!ready e1#!ained. &$en the name +donay( <=ord(< which has een su stituted for the Tetragrammaton( is deri$ed from the a##e!!ati$e <!ord<;

com#. <The man who is the !ord (adone) of the !and s#a)e rough!y to us< (2en. 1!iii. 60). The difference etween +doni( <my !ord(< (with irek under the nun)( or +donay (with kame)( is simi!ar to the difference etween $ari( <my #rince(< and
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$ara0( * raham's wife (ib. 1$i. 1)( the !atter form denoting ma>esty and distinction. *n ange! is a!so addressed as <+donay<; e.g.( <+donay (My !ord)( #ass not away( ' #ray thee< (ib. 1$iii. 6). ' ha$e restricted my e1#!anation to the term +donay( the su stitute for the Tetragrammaton( ecause it is more common!y a##!ied to 2od than any of the other names which are in fre-uent use( !i)e dayyan( <>udge(< shadday( <a!mighty(< addik( <righteous(< annun( <gracious(< raum( <mercifu!(< and elohim <chief< a!! these terms are un-uestiona !y a##e!!ations and deri$ati$es. The deri$ation of the name( consisting of yod( h5( "au( and h5( is not #ositi$e!y )nown( the word ha$ing no additiona! signification. This sacred name( which( as you )now( was not #ronounced e1ce#t in the sanctuary y the a##ointed #riests( when they ga$e the sacerdota! !essing( and y the high #riest on the .ay of *tonement( undou ted!y denotes something which is #ecu!iar to 2od( and is not found in any other eing. 't is #ossi !e that in the "e rew !anguage( of which we ha$e now ut a s!ight )now!edge( the Tetragrammaton( in the way it was #ronounced( con$eyed the meaning of <a so!ute e1istence.< 'n short( the ma>esty of the name and the great dread of uttering it( are connected with the fact that it denotes 2od "imse!f( without inc!uding in its meaning any names of the things created y "im. Thus our %ages say; <'My name' (Fum. $i. 2J) means the name which is #ecu!iar to Me.< *!! other names of 2od ha$e reference to -ua!ities( and do not signify a sim#!e su stance( ut a su stance with attri utes( they eing deri$ati$es. ?n that account it is e!ie$ed that they im#!y the #resence of a #!ura!ity in 2od( ' mean to say( the #resence of attri utes( that is( of some e1traneous e!ement su#eradded to "is essence. %uch is the meaning of a!! deri$ati$e names; they im#!y the #resence of some attri ute and its su stratum( though this e not distinct!y named. *s( howe$er( it has een #ro$ed( that 2od is not a su stratum ca#a !e of attri utes( we are con$inced that those a##e!!ati$es when em#!oyed as names of 2od( on!y indicate the re!ation of certain actions to "im( or they con$ey to us some notion of "is #erfection.
C#aragra#h continuesD

"ence 9. aninah wou!d ha$e o >ected to the e1#ression <the great( the mighty( and the tremendous(< had it not een for the two reasons mentioned y him; ecause such e1#ressions !ead men to thin) that the attri utes are essentia!( i.e.( they are #erfections actua!!y #resent in 2od. The fre-uent use of names of 2od deri$ed from actions( !ed to the e!ief that "e had as many Cessentia!D attri utes as there were actions from which the names were deri$ed. The fo!!owing #romise was therefore made( im#!ying that man)ind wi!! at a certain future time understand this su >ect( and e free from the error it in$o!$es; <'n that day wi!! the =ord e ?ne( and "is name ?ne< (Tech. 1i$. 9). The meaning of this #ro#hecy is this; "e eing ?ne( wi!! then e ca!!ed y one name( which wi!! indicate the essence of 2od; ut it does not mean that "is so!e name wi!! e a deri$ati$e C$i,.( <?ne<D. 'n the Pirke 'abbi #liezer (cha#. iii.) occurs the fo!!owing #assage; <4efore the uni$erse was created( there was on!y the *!mighty and "is name.< ? ser$e how c!ear!y the author states that a!! these a##e!!ati$es em#!oyed as names of 2od came into e1istence after the +reation. This is true; for they a!! refer to actions manifested in the @ni$erse. 'f( howe$er( you consider "is essence as se#arate and as a stracted from a!!

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actions( you wi!! not descri e it y an a##e!!ati$e( ut y a #ro#er noun( which e1c!usi$e!y indicates that essence. &$ery other name of 2od is a deri$ati$e( on!y the Tetragrammaton is a rea! nomen proprium( and must not e considered from any other #oint of $iew. Mou must eware of sharing the error of those who write amu!ets (kameot). 0hate$er you hear from them( or read in their wor)s( es#ecia!!y in reference to the names which they form y com ination( is utter!y sense!ess; they ca!! these com inations shemot (names) and e!ie$e that their #ronunciation demands sanctification and #urification( and that y using them they are ena !ed to wor) mirac!es. 9ationa! #ersons ought not to !isten to such men( nor in any way e!ie$e their assertions. Fo other name is ca!!ed shem ha-meforash e1ce#t this Tetragrammaton( which is written( ut is not #ronounced according to its !etters. The words( <Thus sha!! ye !ess the chi!dren of 'srae!< (Fum. $i. 26) are inter#reted in %i#hri as fo!!ows; <')hus(' in the ho!y !anguage; again 'thus(' with the $hem ha-meforash.< The fo!!owing remar)( is a!so found there; <'n the sanctuary Cthe name of 2od is #ronouncedD as it is s#e!t( ut e!sewhere y its su stitutes.< 'n the Ta!mud( the fo!!owing #assage occurs; <')hus(' i.e.( with the shem ha-meforash.--Mou say Cthat the #riests( when !essing the #eo#!e( had to #ronounceD the shem ha-meforash; this was #erha#s not the case( and they may ha$e used other names instead.--0e infer it from the words; '*nd they sha!! #ut My name' (Fum. $i. 2J)( i.e.( My name( which is #ecu!iar to Me.< 't has thus een shown that the shem ha-meforash (the #ro#er name of 2od) is the Tetragrammaton( and that this is the on!y name which indicates nothing ut "is essence( and therefore our %ages in referring to this sacred term said <'My name' means the one which is #ecu!iar to Me a!one.< 'n the ne1t cha#ter ' wi!! e1#!ain the circumstances which rought men to a e!ief in the #ower of $hemot (names of 2od); ' wi!! #oint out the main su >ect of discussion( and !ay o#en to you its mystery( and then not any dou t wi!! e !eft in your mind( un!ess you #refer to e misguided.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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0& were commanded that( in the sacerdota! !essing( the name of the =ord shou!d e #ronounced as it is written in the form of the Tetragrammaton( the shem ha-meforash. 't was not )nown to e$ery one how the name was to e #ronounced( what $owe!s were to e gi$en to each consonant( and whether some of the !etters ca#a !e of redu#!ication shou!d recei$e a dagesh. 0ise men successi$e!y transmitted the #ronunciation of the name; it occurred on!y once in se$en years that the #ronunciation was communicated to a distinguished disci#!e. ' must( howe$er( add that the statement( <The wise men communicated the Tetragrammaton to their chi!dren and their disci#!es once in se$en years(< does not on!y refer to the #ronunciation ut a!so to its meaning( ecause of which the Tetragrammaton was made a nomen proprium of 2od( and which inc!udes certain meta#hysica! #rinci#!es.

?ur %ages )new in addition a name of 2od which consisted of twe!$e !etters( inferior in sanctity to the Tetragrammaton. ' e!ie$e that this was not a sing!e noun( ut consisted of two or three words( the sum of their !etters eing twe!$e( and that these words were used y our %ages as a su stitute
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for the Tetragrammaton( whene$er they met with it in the course or their reading the %cri#tures( in the same manner as we at #resent su stitute for it aleph( daleth( etc. Ci.e.( +donay( <the =ord<D. There is no dou t that this name a!so( consisting of twe!$e !etters( was in this sense more distincti$e than the name +donay; it was ne$er withhe!d from any of the students; whoe$er wished to !earn it( had the o##ortunity gi$en to him without any reser$e; not so the Tetragrammaton; those who )new it did not communicate it e1ce#t to a son or a disci#!e( once in se$en years( 0hen( howe$er( un#rinci#!ed men had ecome ac-uainted with that name which consists of twe!$e !etters and in conse-uence had ecome corru#t in faith--as is sometimes the case when #ersons with im#erfect )now!edge ecome aware that a thing is not such as they had imagined--the %ages concea!ed a!so that name( and on!y communicated it to the worthiest among the #riests( that they shou!d #ronounce it when they !essed the #eo#!e in the Tem#!e; for the Tetragrammaton was then no !onger uttered in the sanctuary on account of the corru#tion of the #eo#!e. There is a tradition( that with the death of %imeon the >ust( his rother #riests discontinued the #ronunciation of the Tetragrammaton in the !essing; they used( instead( this name of twe!$e !etters. 't is further stated( that at first the name of twe!$e !etters was communicated to e$ery man; ut when the num er of im#ious men increased it was on!y entrusted to the worthiest among the #riests( whose $oice( in #ronouncing it( was drowned amid the singing of their rother #riests. 9a i Tar#hon said( <?nce ' fo!!owed my grandfather to the daOs Cwhere the !essing was #ronounced); ' inc!ined my ear to !isten to a #riest Cwho #ronounced the nameD( and noticed that his $oice was drowned amid the singing of his rother #riests.< There was a!so a name of forty-two !etters )nown among them. &$ery inte!!igent #erson )nows that one word of forty-two !etters is im#ossi !e. 4ut it was a #hrase of se$era! words which had together forty-two !etters. There is no dou t that the words had such a meaning as to con$ey a correct notion of the essence of 2od( in the way we ha$e stated. This #hrase of so many !etters is ca!!ed a name ecause( !i)e other #ro#er nouns( they re#resent one sing!e o >ect( and se$era! words ha$e een em#!oyed in order to e1#!ain more c!ear!y the idea which the name re#resents; for an idea can more easi!y e com#rehended if e1#ressed in many words. Mar) this and o ser$e now that the instruction in regard to the names of 2od e1tended to the signification of each of those names( and did not confine itse!f to the #ronunciation of the sing!e !etters which( in themse!$es( are destitute of an idea. $hem hameforash a##!ied neither to the name of forty-two !etters nor to that of twe!$e( ut on!y to the Tetragrammaton( the #ro#er name of 2od( as we ha$e e1#!ained. Those two names must ha$e inc!uded some meta#hysica! ideas. 't can e #ro$ed that one of them con$eyed #rofound )now!edge( from the fo!!owing ru!e !aid down y our %ages; <The name of fortytwo !etters is e1ceeding!y ho!y; it can on!y e entrusted to him who is modest( in the midway of !ife( not easi!y #ro$o)ed to anger( tem#erate( gent!e( and who s#ea)s )ind!y to his fe!!ow men. "e who understands it( is cautious with it( and )ee#s it in #urity( is !o$ed

a o$e and is !i)ed here e!ow; he is res#ected y his fe!!ow men; his !earning remaineth with him( and he en>oys oth this wor!d and the wor!d to come.< %o far in the Ta!mud.
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"ow grie$ous!y has this #assage een misunderstoodR Many e!ie$e that the forty-two !etters are mere!y to e #ronounced mechanica!!y; that y )now!edge of these( without any further inter#retation( they can attain to these e1a!ted ends( a!though it is stated that he who desires to o tain a )now!edge of that name must e trained in the $irtues named efore( and go through a!! the great #re#arations which are mentioned in that #assage. ?n the contrary( it is e$ident that a!! this #re#aration aims at a )now!edge of Meta#hysics( and inc!udes ideas which constitute the <secrets of the =aw(< as we ha$e e1#!ained (cha#. 111$.). 'n wor)s on Meta#hysics it has een shown that such )now!edge( i.e.( the #erce#tion of the acti$e inte!!ect( can ne$er e forgotten; and this is meant y the #hrase <his !earning remaineth with him.<
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0hen ad and foo!ish men were reading such #assages( they considered them to e a su##ort of their fa!se #retensions and of their assertion that they cou!d( y means of an ar itrary com ination of !etters( form a shem (<a name<) which wou!d act and o#erate miracu!ous!y when written or s#o)en in a certain #articu!ar way. %uch fictions( origina!!y in$ented y foo!ish men( were in the course of time committed to writing( and came into the hands of good ut wea)-minded and ignorant #ersons who were una !e to discriminate etween truth and fa!sehood( and made a secret of these shemot (names). 0hen after the death of such #ersons those writings were disco$ered among their #a#ers( it was e!ie$ed that they contained truths; for( <The sim#!e e!ie$eth e$ery word< (7ro$. 1i$. 1:). 0e ha$e a!ready gone too far away from our interesting su >ect and recondite in-uiry( endea$ouring to refute a #er$erse notion( the a surdity of which e$ery one must #ercei$e who gi$es a thought to the su >ect. 0e ha$e( howe$er( een com#e!!ed to mention it( in treating of the di$ine names( their meanings( and the o#inions common!y he!d concerning them. 0e sha!! now return to our theme. "a$ing shown that a!! names of 2od( with the e1ce#tion of the Tetragrammaton ($hem ha-meforash)( are a##e!!ati$es( we must now( in a se#arate cha#ter( s#ea) on the #hrase #hyeh asher #hyeh( (&1od. iii. 18)( ecause it is connected with the difficu!t su >ect under discussion( name!y( the inadmissi i!ity of di$ine attri utes.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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4&A?9& a##roaching the su >ect of this cha#ter( we wi!! first consider the words of Moses( <*nd they sha!! say unto me( 0hat is "is name/ what sha!! ' say unto them< (&1od. iii. 16). "ow far was this -uestion( antici#ated y Moses( a##ro#riate( and how far was he >ustified in see)ing to e #re#ared with the answer/ Moses was correct in dec!aring( <4ut( eho!d( they wi!! not e!ie$e me( for they wi!! say( The =ord hath not a##eared unto thee<

(ib. i$. 1); for any man c!aiming the authority of a #ro#het must e1#ect to meet with such an o >ection so !ong as he has not gi$en a #roof of his mission. *gain( if the -uestion( as a##ears at first sight( referred on!y to the name( as a mere utterance of the !i#s( the fo!!owing di!emma wou!d #resent itse!f; either the 'srae!ites )new the name( or they had ne$er heard it; if the name was )nown to them( they wou!d #ercei$e in it no argument in fa$our of the mission of Moses( his )now!edge and their )now!edge of the di$ine name
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eing the same. 'f( on the other hand( they had ne$er heard it mentioned( and if the )now!edge of it was to #ro$e the mission of Moses( what e$idence wou!d they ha$e that this was rea!!y the name of 2od/ Moreo$er( after 2od had made )nown that name to Moses( and had to!d him( <2o and gather the e!ders of 'srae!. . . . and they sha!! hear)en to thy $oice< (ib. 1$i. 1H)( he re#!ied( <4eho!d( they wi!! not e!ie$e me nor hear)en unto my $oice(< a!though 2od had to!d him( <*nd they wi!! hear)en to thy $oice<; whereu#on 2od answered( <0hat is that in thine hand/< and he said( <* rod< (ib. i$. 2). 'n order to o $iate this di!emma( you must understand what ' am a out to te!! you. Mou )now how wides#read were in those days the o#inions of the %a eans; a!! men( e1ce#t a few indi$idua!s( were ido!aters( that is to say( they e!ie$ed in s#irits( in man's #ower to direct the inf!uences of the hea$en!y odies( and in the effect of ta!ismans. *ny one who in those days !aid c!aim to authority( ased it either( !i)e * raham( on the fact that( y reasoning and y #roof he had een con$inced of the e1istence of a 4eing who ru!es the who!e @ni$erse( or that some s#iritua! #ower was conferred u#on him y a star( y an ange!( or y a simi!ar agency; ut no one cou!d esta !ish his c!aim on #ro#hecy( that is to say( on the fact that 2od had s#o)en to him( or had entrusted a mission to him; efore the days of Moses no such assertion had e$er een made. Mou must not e mis!ed y the statements that 2od s#o)e to the 7atriarchs( or that "e had a##eared to them. Aor you do not find any mention of a #ro#hecy which a##ea!ed to others( or which directed them. * raham( 'saac( or Jaco ( or any other #erson efore them did not te!! the #eo#!e( <2od said unto me( you sha!! do this thing( or you sha!! not do that thing.< or <2od has sent me to you.< Aar from itR for 2od s#o)e to them on nothing ut of what es#ecia!!y concerned them( i.e.( "e communicated to them things re!ating to their #erfection( directed them in what they shou!d do( and foreto!d them what the condition of their descendants wou!d e; nothing eyond this. They guided their fe!!owmen y means of argument and instruction( as is im#!ied( according to the inter#retation genera!!y recei$ed amongst us( in the words <and the sou!s that they had gotten in "aran< (2en. 1ii. :). 0hen 2od a##eared to our Teacher Moses( and commanded him to address the #eo#!e and to ring them the message( Moses re#!ied that he might first e as)ed to #ro$e the e1istence of 2od in the @ni$erse( and that on!y after doing so he wou!d e a !e to announce to them that 2od had sent him. Aor a!! men( with few e1ce#tions( were ignorant of the e1istence of 2od; their highest thoughts did not e1tend eyond the hea$en!y s#here( its forms or its inf!uences. They cou!d not yet emanci#ate themse!$es from sensation( and had not yet attained to any inte!!ectua! #erfection. Then 2od taught Moses how to teach them( and how to esta !ish amongst them the e!ief in the e1istence of "imse!f( name!y( y saying #hyeh asher #hyeh( a name deri$ed from the $er hayah in the sense of <e1isting(< for the $er hayah denotes <to e(< and in "e rew no difference is made etween the $er s <to e< and <to e1ist.< The #rinci#a! #oint in this #hrase is that the same word which denotes <e1istence(< is re#eated as an attri ute. The word asher( <that(< corres#onds to the

*ra ic illadi and illati( and is an incom#!ete noun that must e com#!eted y another noun; it may e considered as the su >ect of the #redicate which fo!!ows. The first noun which is to e descri ed
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is ehyeh; the second( y which the first is descri ed( is !i)ewise ehyeh( the identica! word( as if to show that the o >ect which is to e descri ed and the attri ute y which it is descri ed are in this case necessari!y identica!. This is( therefore( the e1#ression of the idea that 2od e1ists( ut not in the ordinary sense of the term; or( in other words( "e is <the e1isting 4eing which is the e1isting 4eing(< that is to say( the 4eing whose e1istence is a so!ute. The #roof which he was to gi$e consisted in demonstrating that there is a 4eing of a so!ute e1istence( that has ne$er een and ne$er win e without e1istence. This ' wi!! c!ear!y #ro$e (''. 'ntrod. 7ro#. 20 and cha#. i.). 2od thus showed Moses the #roofs y which "is e1istence wou!d e firm!y esta !ished among the wise men of "is #eo#!e. Therefore the e1#!anation of the name is fo!!owed y the words( <2o( gather the e!ders of 'srae!(< and y the assurance that the e!ders wou!d understand what 2od had shown to him( and wou!d acce#t it( as is stated in the words( <*nd they wi!! hear)en to thy $oice.< Then Moses re#!ied as fo!!ows; They wi!! acce#t the doctrine that 2od e1ists con$inced y these inte!!igi !e #roofs. 4ut( said Moses( y what means sha!! ' e a !e to show that this e1isting 2od has sent me/ Thereu#on 2od ga$e him the sign. 0e ha$e thus shown that the -uestion( <0hat is "is name< means <0ho is that 4eing( which according to thy e!ief has sent thee/< The sentence( <0hat is his name< (instead of( 0ho is "e)( has here een used as a tri ute of #raise and homage( as though it had een said( Fo ody can e ignorant of Thy essence and of Thy rea! e1istence; if( ne$erthe!ess( ' as) what is Thy name( ' mean( 0hat idea is to e e1#ressed y the name/ (Moses considered it ina##ro#riate to say to 2od that any #erson was ignorant of 2od's e1istence( and therefore descri ed the 'srae!ites as ignorant of 2od's name( not as ignorant of "im who was ca!!ed y that name.)--The name Jah !i)ewise im#!ies eterna! e1istence. $hadday( howe$er( is deri$ed from day( <enough<; com#. <for the stuff they had was sufficient< (dayyam( &1od. 111$i. J) the shin is e-ua! to asher( <which(< as in she-kebar( <which a!ready< (&cc!es. ii. 15). The name $hadday( therefore( signifies <he who is sufficient<; that is to say( "e does not re-uire any other eing for effecting the e1istence of what "e created( or its conser$ation; "is e1istence is sufficient for that. 'na simi!ar manner the name asin im#!ies <strength<; com#. <he was strong (ason) as the oa)s< (*mos ii. 9). The same is the case with <roc)(< which is a homonym( as we ha$e e1#!ained (cha#. 1$i.). 't is( therefore( c!ear that a!! these names of 2od are a##e!!ati$es( or are a##!ied to 2od y way of homonymy( !i)e ur and others( the on!y e1ce#tion eing the tetragrammaton( the $hem ha-meforash (the nomen proprium of 2od)( which is not an a##e!!ati$e; it does not denote any attri ute of 2od( nor does it im#!y anything e1ce#t "is e1istence. * so!ute e1istence inc!udes the idea of eternity( i.e.( the necessity of e1istence. Fote we!! the resu!t at which we ha$e arri$ed in this cha#ter.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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3F?0 that in some instances y the #hrase <the name of the =ord(< nothing ut the name a!one is to e understood; com#. <Thou sha!t not ta)e the
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name of the =ord thy 2od in $ain< (&1od. 1!. J); <*nd he that !as#hemeth the name of the =ord< (=e$. 11i$. 15). This occurs in numerous other #assages. 'n other instances it means the essence and rea!ity of 2od "imse!f( as in the #hrase <They sha!! say to me( 0hat is his name</ %ometimes it stands for <the word of 2od(< so that <the name of 2od(< <the word of 2od(< and <the command of 2od(< are identica! #hrases; com#. <for my name is in him< (&1od. 11iii. 21)( that is( My word or My command is in him; i.e.( he is the instrument of My desire and wi!!. ' sha!! e1#!ain this fu!!y in treating of the homonymity of the term <ange!< (''. cha#. $i. and 111i$.).--The same is the case with <The g!ory of the =ord.< The #hrase sometimes signifies <the materia! !ight(< which 2od caused to rest on a certain #!ace in order to show the distinction of that #!ace( e.g.( <*nd the g!ory of the =ord (kebod adonay) a ode u#on Mount %inai and the c!oud co$ered it< (&1od. 11i$. 15); <*nd the g!ory of the =ord fi!!ed the ta ernac!e< (ib. 1!. 6:). %ometimes the essence( the rea!ity of 2od is meant y that e1#ression( as in the words of Moses( <%how me thy g!ory< (ib. 111iii. 1H)( to which the re#!y was gi$en( <Aor no man sha!! see me and !i$e< (ib. 11.). This shows that the g!ory of the =ord in this instance is the same as "e "imse!f( and that <Thy g!ory< has een su stituted for <Thyse!f(< as a tri ute of homage; an e1#!anation which we a!so ga$e of the words( <*nd they sha!! say unto me( 0hat is his name/< %ometimes the term <g!ory< denotes the g!orification of the =ord y man or y any other eing. Aor the true g!orification of the =ord consists in the com#rehension of "is greatness( and a!! who com#rehend "is greatness and #erfection( g!orify "im according to their ca#acity( with this difference( that man a!one magnifies 2od in words( e1#ressi$e of what he has recei$ed in his mind( and what he desires to communicate to others. Things not endowed with com#rehension( as e.g.( minera!s( may a!so e considered as g!orifying the =ord( for y their natura! #ro#erties they testify to the omni#otence and wisdom of their +reator( and cause him who e1amines them to #raise 2od( y means of s#eech or without the use of words( if the #ower of s#eech e wanting. 'n "e rew this !icence has een e1tended sti!! further( and the use of the $er <to s#ea)< has een admitted as a##!ica !e in such a case; things which ha$e no com#rehension are therefore said to gi$e utterance to #raise( e.g.( <*!! my ones sha!! say( =ord( who is !i)e unto thee/< (7s. 111$. 10). 4ecause a consideration of the #ro#erties of the ones !eads to the disco$ery of that truth( and it is through them that it ecame )nown( they are re#resented as ha$ing uttered the di$ine #raise; and since this Ccause of 2od's #raiseD is itse!f ca!!ed <#raise(< it has een said <the fu!ness of the who!e earth is his #raise< ('sa. $i. 6)( in the same sense as <the earth is fu!! of his #raise ("a . iii. 6). *s to kabod eing em#!oyed in the sense of #raise( com#. <2i$e #raise (kabod) to the =ord your 2od< (Jer. 1iii. 15); a!so <and in his tem#!e does e$ery one s#ea) of his #raise (kabod)< (7s. 11i1. 9)( etc. +onsider we!! the homonymity of this term( and e1#!ain it in each instance in accordance with the conte1t; you wi!! thus esca#e great em arrassment.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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*AT&9 M?@ ha$e ad$anced thus far( and tru!y com#rehended that 2od e1ists
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without ha$ing the attri ute of e1istence( and that "e is ?ne( without ha$ing the attri ute of unity( ' do not thin) that ' need e1#!ain to you the inadmissi i!ity of the attri ute of s#eech in reference to 2od( es#ecia!!y since our #eo#!e genera!!y e!ie$e that the =aw( i.e.( the word ascri ed to "im( was created. %#eech is attri uted to "im( in so far as the word which Moses heard( was #roduced and rought to e1istence y 2od in the same manner as "e #roduced a!! "is other wor)s and creations. *s we sha!! ha$e to s#ea) more fu!!y on #ro#hecy( we sha!! here mere!y show that s#eech is attri uted to 2od in the same way as a!! other actions( which are simi!ar to our own. 0hen we are to!d that 2od addressed the 7ro#hets and s#o)e to them( our minds are mere!y to recei$e a notion that there is a .i$ine )now!edge to which the 7ro#hets attain; we are to e im#ressed with the idea that the things which the 7ro#hets communicate to us come from the =ord( and are not a!together the #roducts of their own conce#tions and ideas. This su >ect( which we ha$e a!ready mentioned a o$e( wi!! recei$e further e1#!anation. 't is the o >ect of this cha#ter to show that the words <s#ea)ing< and <saying< are synonymous terms denoting (a) <%#eech<; as( e.g.( <Moses sha!! s#ea) (yedabber)< (&1od. 1i1. 19); <*nd 7haraoh said ("a-yomer)< (ib. $. :); (b) <Thought< as formed in the mind without eing e1#ressed in words; e.g.( <*nd ' thought ("e-amarti) in my heart< (&cc!es. ii. 1:); <*nd ' thought ("edibbarti) in my heart< (ib.); <*nd thy heart wi!! imagine (yedabber)< (7ro$. 11iii. 66); <+oncerning Thee my heart thought (amar)< (7s. 11$ii. H); <*nd &sau thought ("a-yomer) in his heart< (2en. 11$ii. 81); e1am#!es of this )ind are numerous; (c) 0i!!; e.g.( <*nd he said ("a-yomer) to s!ay .a$id< (2 %am. 11i. 15)( that is to say( he wished or he intended to s!ay him; <.ost thou desire (omer) to s!ay me< (&1od. ii. 18); <*nd the who!e congregation intended ("a-yomeru) to stone them< (Fum. 1i$. 10). 'nstances of this )ind are !i)ewise numerous. The two terms( when a##!ied to 2od( can on!y ha$e one of the two !ast-mentioned significations( $i,.( he wi!!s and he desires( or he thin)s( and there is no difference whether the di$ine thought ecame )nown to man y means of an actua! $oice( or y one of those )inds of ins#iration which ' sha!! e1#!ain further on (''. cha#. 111$iii.). 0e must not su##ose that in s#ea)ing 2od em#!oyed $oice or sound. or that "e has a sou! in which the thoughts reside( and that these thoughts are things su#eradded to "is essence; ut we ascri e and attri ute to "im thoughts in the same manner as we ascri e to "im any other attri utes. The use of these words in the sense of wi!! and desire( is ased( as ' ha$e e1#!ained( on the homonymity of these terms. 'n addition they are figures orrowed from our common #ractices( as has een a!ready #ointed out. Aor we cannot( at a first g!ance( see how anything can e #roduced y a mere desire; we thin) that he who wishes to #roduce a thing( must #erform a certain act( or command some one e!se to #erform it. Therefore the command is figurati$e!y ascri ed to 2od when that ta)es #!ace which "e wishes( and we then say that "e commanded that a certain thing shou!d e accom#!ished. *!! this has its origin in our com#aring the acts of 2od to our own acts( and a!so in the use of the term amar in the sense of <"e desired(< as we ha$e a!ready e1#!ained. The words <*nd "e said(<

occurring in the account of the creation( signify <"e wished(< or <"e desired.< This has a!ready een stated y other authors( and is we!!
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)nown. * #roof for this( name!y that the #hrase <2od said(< in the first cha#ter of 2enesis( must e ta)en in a figurati$e sense <"e wi!!ed(< and not in its !itera! meaning( is found in the circumstance that a command can on!y e gi$en to a eing which e1ists and is ca#a !e of recei$ing the command. +om#. <4y the word of the =ord were the hea$ens made( and a!! the host of them y the reath of his mouth< (7s. 111iii. 5). <"is mouth(< and <the reath of his mouth(< are undou ted!y figurati$e e1#ressions( and the same is the case with <"is word< and <"is s#eech.< The meaning of the $erse is therefore that they Cthe hea$ens and a!! their hostD e1ist through "is wi!! and desire. *!! our eminent authorities are cognisant of this; and( ' need not e1#!ain that in "e rew amar and dibber ha$e the same meaning( as is #ro$ed y the #assage( <Aor it has heard a!! the words (imre) of the =ord which he s#a)e (dibber) unto us< (Josh. 11i$. 2J).
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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<*F. the ta !es were the wor) of 2od< (&1od. 111ii. 15)( that is to say( they were the #roduct of nature( not of art; for a!! natura! things are ca!!ed <the wor) of the =ord(< e.g.( <These see the wor)s of the =ord< (7s. c$ii. 28); and the descri#tion of the se$era! things in nature( as #!ants( anima!s( winds( rain( etc.( is fo!!owed y the e1c!amation( <? =ord( how manifo!d are thy wor)sR< (7s. ci$. 28). %ti!! more stri)ing is the re!ation etween 2od and "is creatures( as e1#ressed in the #hrase( <The cedars of =e anon( which he hath #!anted< (ib. 15); the cedars eing the #roduct of nature( and not of art( are descri ed as ha$ing een #!anted y the =ord. %imi!ar!y we e1#!ain( <*nd the writing was the writing of 2od< (&1od. 111ii. 15); the re!ation in which the writing stood to 2od has a!ready een defined in the words <written with the finger of 2od< (ib. 111i. 1H)( and the meaning of this #hrase is the same as that of <the wor) of thy fingers< (7s. $iii. 8). this eing said of the hea$ens; of the !atter it has een stated distinct!y that they were made y a word; com#. <4y the word of the =ord were the hea$ens made< (ib. 111iii. 5). "ence you !earn that in the 4i !e( the creation of a thing is figurati$e!y e1#ressed y terms denoting <word< and <s#eech< The same thing which according to one #assage has een made y the word( is re#resented in another #assage as made y the <finger of 2od.< The #hrase <written y the finger of 2od< is therefore identica! with <written y the word of 2od<; and if the !atter #hrase had een used( it wou!d ha$e een e-ua! to <written y the wi!! and desire of 2od/< ?n)e!os ado#ted in this #!ace a strange e1#!anation( and rendered the words !itera!!y <written y the finger of the =ord<; he thought that <the finger< was a certain thing ascri ed to 2od; so that <the finger of the =ord< is to e inter#reted in the same way as <the mountain of 2od< (&1od. iii. 1)( <the rod of 2od< (ib. i$. 20)( that is( as eing an instrument created y "im( which y "is wi!! engra$ed the writing on the ta !es. ' cannot see why ?n)e!os #referred this e1#!anation. 't wou!d ha$e een more reasona !e to say <written y the word of the =ord(<

in imitation of the $erse <4y the word of the =ord the hea$ens were made/< ?r was the creation of the writing on the ta !es more difficu!t than the creation of the stars in the s#heres/ *s the !atter were made y the direct wi!! of 2od( not y means of an instrument( the writing may a!so ha$e een #roduced y "is direct wi!!( not y means
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of an instrument. Mou )now what the Mishnah says( <Ten things were created on Ariday in the twi!ight of the e$ening(< and <the writing< is one of the ten things. This shows how genera!!y it was assumed y our forefathers that the writing of the ta !es was #roduced in the same manner as the rest of the creation( as we ha$e shown in our +ommentary on the Mishnah (+both( $. 5).
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%'F+& the $er <to say< has een figurati$e!y used to e1#ress the wi!! of the +reator( and the #hrase <*nd he said has re#eated!y een em#!oyed in the account of a!! the things created in the si1 days of the eginning(< the e1#ression <to rest< has !i)ewise een figurati$e!y a##!ied to 2od in reference to the %a ath-day( on which there was no creation; it is therefore said( <*nd he rested ("a-yishbot) on the se$enth day< (2en. ii. 2). Aor <to !ea$e off s#ea)ing< is( in "e rew( !i)ewise e1#ressed y the same $er ( as( e.g.( <%o these three men ceased ("a-yishbetu) to answer Jo < (Jo 111ii. 1) a!so y nua( as( in <They s#a)e to Fa a! according to a!! those words in the name of .a$id( and ceased ("ayanuu)< (1 %am. 11$. 9). 'n my o#inion( ("a-yanuu) means <they ceased to s#ea)(< and waited for the answer; for no a!!usion to e1ertion whate$er ha$ing #re$ious!y een mentioned( the words( <and they rested(< in its #rimary signification( wou!d ha$e een entire!y out of #!ace in that narrati$e( e$en if the young men who s#o)e had rea!!y used some e1ertion. The author re!ates that ha$ing de!i$ered that who!e s#eech( which( as you find( consisted of gent!e e1#ressions( they were si!ent( that is to say( they did not add any word or act y which the re#!y of Fa a! cou!d e >ustified; it eing the o >ect of the entire #assage to re#resent Fa a!'s conduct as e1treme!y re#rehensi !e. 'n that sense C$i,.( <to cease(< or <to !ea$e off<D the $er nua is used in the #hrase <*nd he !eft off ("a-yana) on the se$enth day.< ?ur %ages( and some of the +ommentators( too)( howe$er( nua in its #rimary sense <to rest(< ut as a transiti$e form (hi#hi!)( e1#!aining the #hrase thus; <and he ga$e rest to the wor!d on the se$enth day(< i.e.( no further act of creation too) #!ace on that day. 't is #ossi !e that the word "a-yana is deri$ed either from yana( a $er of the c!ass peyod( or naah( a $er of the c!ass lamed-he( and has this meaning; <he esta !ished< or <he go$erned< the @ni$erse in accordance with the #ro#erties it #ossessed on the se$enth day<; that is to say( whi!e on each of the si1 days e$ents too) #!ace contrary to the natura! !aws now in o#eration throughout the @ni$erse( on the se$enth day the @ni$erse was mere!y

u#he!d and !eft in the condition in which it continues to e1ist. ?ur e1#!anation is not im#aired y the fact that the form of the word de$iates from the ru!es of $er s of these two c!asses; for there are fre-uent e1ce#tions to the ru!es of con>ugations( and es#ecia!!y of the wea) $er s; and any inter#retation which remo$es such a source of error must not e a andoned ecause of certain grammatica! ru!es. 0e )now that we are ignorant of the sacred !anguage( and that grammatica! ru!es on!y a##!y to the ma>ority of cases.--The same root is a!so found as a $er Qayin-"a" in the sense <to #!ace< and
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<to set(< as e.g.( <and it sha!! e esta !ished and she sha!! e #!aced ("ehunniah) there u#on her own ase< (Tech. $. 11)( and <she suffered neither the irds of the air to sett!e (la-nua) on them< (2 %am. 11i. 10). *ccording to my o#inion( the $er has the same signification in "a . in. 15( <that ' might remain firm (anua) in the day of trou !e.<
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The word ("a-yinnafash) is a $er deri$ed from nefesh( the homonymity of which we ha$e a!ready e1#!ained (cha#. 1!i.)( name!y( that it has the signification of intention or wi!!; ("ayinnafash) according!y means; <that which he desired was accom#!ished( and what he wished had come into e1istence.<

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Mou are ac-uainted with the we!!-)nown #rinci#!e of the #hi!oso#hers that 2od is the intellectus( the ens intelli ens( and the ens intelli ibile. These three things are in 2od one and the same( and do not in any way constitute a #!ura!ity. 0e ha$e a!so mentioned it in our !arger wor)( <Mishneh )orah(< and we ha$e e1#!ained there that it is a fundamenta! #rinci#!e of our re!igion( name!y( that "e is a so!ute!y one( that nothing com ines with "im; that is to say( there is no &terna! thing esides "im. ?n that account we say ai adonay( <the =ord !i$eth< (9uth iii. 16)( and not e adonay( <the !ife of the =ord(< for "is !ife is not a thing distinct from "is essence( as we ha$e e1#!ained in treating of the inadmissi i!ity of the attri utes. There is no dou t that he who has not studied any wor)s on menta! #hi!oso#hy( who has not com#rehended the nature of the mind( who has no )now!edge of its essence( and considers it in no other way than he wou!d consider the nature of whiteness and of !ac)ness( wi!! find this su >ect e1treme!y difficu!t( and to him our #rinci#!e that the intellectus( the intelli ens( and the intelli ibile( are in 2od one and the same thing( wi!! a##ear as uninte!!igi !e as if we said that the whiteness( the whitening su stance( and the materia! which is whitened are one and the same thing. *nd( indeed( many ignorant #eo#!e refute at once our #rinci#!e y using such com#arisons. &$en amongst those who imagine that they are wise( many find this su >ect difficu!t( and are of o#inion that it is im#ossi !e for the mind to gras# the truth of this #ro#osition( a!though it is a demonstrated truth( as has een shown y Meta#hysicians. ' wi!! te!! you now what has een #ro$ed. Man( efore com#rehending a thing( com#rehends it in #otentia (jkfblgi)

when( howe$er( he com#rehends a thing( e.g.( the form of a certain tree which is #ointed out to him( when he a stracts its form from its su stance( and re#roduces the a stract form( an act #erformed y the inte!!ect( he com#rehends in rea!ity (fgmng)( and the inte!!ect which he has ac-uired in actua!ity( is the a stract form of the tree in man's mind. Aor in such a case the inte!!ect is not a thing distinct from the thing com#rehended. 't is therefore c!ear to you that the thing com#rehended is the a stract form of the tree( and at the same time it is the inte!!ect in action; and that the inte!!ect and the a stract form of the tree are not two different things( for the inte!!ect in action is nothing ut the thing com#rehended( and that agent y which the form of the tree has een turned into an inte!!ectua! and a stract o >ect( name!y( that which com#rehends( is undou ted!y the inte!!ect in action.
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*!! inte!!ect is identica! with its action; the inte!!ect in action is not a thing different from its action( for the true nature and assence of the inte!!ect is com#rehension( and you must not thin) that the inte!!ect in action is a thing e1isting y itse!f( se#arate from com#rehension( and that com#rehension is a different thing connected with it; for the $ery essence of the inte!!ect is com#rehension. 'n assuming an inte!!ect in action you assume the com#rehension of the thing com#rehended. This is -uite c!ear to a!! who ha$e made themse!$es fami!iar with the figurati$e !anguage common to this disci#!ine. Mou therefore acce#t it as #ro$ed that the inte!!ect consists in its action( which is its true nature and essence. +onse-uent!y the $ery thing y which the form of that tree has een made a stract and inte!!igi !e( $i,.( the inte!!ect( is at the same time the intelli ens( for the inte!!ect is itse!f the a ens which a stracts the form and com#rehends it( and that is the action( on account of which it is ca!!ed the intelli ens; ut itse!f and its action are identica!; and that which is ca!!ed inte!!ect in action consists Cin the a o$ementioned instanceD of nothing e!se ut of the form of the tree. 't must now e o $ious to you that whene$er the inte!!ect is found in action( the inte!!ect and the thing com#rehended are one and the same thing; and a!so that the function of a!! inte!!ect( name!y( the act of com#rehending( is its essence. The inte!!ect( that which com#rehends and that which is com#rehended( are therefore the same( whene$er a rea! com#rehension ta)es #!ace. 4ut( when we s#ea) of the #ower of com#rehension( we necessari!y distinguish two things; the #ower itse!f( and the thing which can e com#rehended; e.g.( that hy!ic inte!!ect of Taid is the #ower of com#rehension( and this tree is( in !i)e manner( a thing which is ca#a !e of eing com#rehended; these( undou ted!y( are two different things. 0hen( howe$er( the #otentia! is re#!aced y the actua!( and when the form of the tree has rea!!y een com#rehended( the form com#rehended is the inte!!ect( and it is y that same inte!!ect( y the inte!!ect in action( that the tree has een con$erted into an a stract idea( and has een com#rehended. Aor e$erything in which a rea! action ta)es #!ace e1ists in rea!ity. ?n the other hand( the #ower of com#rehension( and the o >ect ca#a !e of com#rehension are two things; ut that which is on!y #otentia! cannot e imagined otherwise than in conne1ion with an o >ect #ossessing that ca#acity( as( e.g.( man( and thus we ha$e three things; the man who #ossesses the #ower( and is ca#a !e of com#rehending; that #ower itse!f( name!y( the #ower of com#rehension( and the o >ect which #resents itse!f as an o >ect of com#rehension( and is ca#a !e of eing com#rehended; to use the foregoing e1am#!e( the man( the hy!ic inte!!ect( and the a stract form of the tree( are three different things. They ecome one and the same thing when the inte!!ect is in action( and you wi!! ne$er find the inte!!ect different from the com#rehensi !e o >ect( un!ess the #ower of
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com#rehending and the #ower of eing com#rehended e referred to. Fow( it has een #ro$ed( that 2od is an inte!!ect which a!ways is in action( and that--as has een stated( and as wi!! e #ro$ed hereafter--there is in "im at no time a mere #otentia!ity( that "e does not com#rehend at one time( and is without com#rehension at another time( ut "e com#rehends constant!y; conse-uent!y( "e and the things com#rehended are one and the same thing( that is to say( "is essence; and the act of com#rehending ecause of which it is said that "e com#rehends(
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is the inte!!ect itse!f( which is !i)ewise "is essence( 2od is therefore a!ways the intellectus( the intelli ens( and the intelli ibile. 0e ha$e thus shown that the identity of the inte!!ect( the intelli ens and the intelli ibile( is not on!y a fact as regards the +reator( ut as regards a!! inte!!ect( when in action. There is( howe$er( this difference( that from time to time our inte!!ect #asses o$er from mere #otentia!ity to rea!ity( and that the #ure inte!!ect( i.e.( the acti$e inte!!ect( finds sometimes o stac!es( though not in itse!f( ut accidenta!!y in some e1terna! cause. 't is not our #resent intention to e1#!ain this su >ect( ut we wi!! mere!y show that 2od a!one( and none esides "im( is an inte!!ect constant!y in action( and there is( neither in "imse!f nor in anything eside "im( any o stac!e where y "is com#rehension wou!d e hindered. Therefore "e a!ways inc!udes the intelli ens( the intellectus( and the intelli ibile( and "is essence is at the same time the intelli ens( the intelli ibile( and the intellectus( as is necessari!y the case with a!! inte!!ect in action. 0e ha$e reiterated this idea in the #resent cha#ter ecause it is e1ceeding!y a struse( and ' do not a##rehend that the reader wi!! confound inte!!ectua! com#rehension with the re#resentati$e facu!ty--with the re#roduction of the materia! image in our imagination( since this wor) is designed on!y for those who ha$e studied #hi!oso#hy( and who )now what has a!ready een said on the sou! and its facu!ties.
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T"& #hi!oso#hers( as you )now( ca!! 2od the Airst +ause (in "e rew illah and sibbah); ut those who are )nown y the name of Muta)a!!emim are $ery much o##osed to the use of that name( and ca!! "im + ens( e!ie$ing that there is a great difference whether we say that 2od is the +ause or that "e is the + ens. They argue thus; 'f we say that 2od is the +ause( the coe1istence of the +ause with that which was #roduced y that +ause wou!d necessari!y e im#!ied; this again wou!d in$o!$e the e!ief that the @ni$erse was eterna!( and that it was inse#ara !e from 2od. 0hen( howe$er( we say that 2od is the + ens( the co-e1istence of the + ens with its #roduct is not im#!ied; for the a ens can e1ist anterior to its #roduct; we cannot e$en imagine how an a ens can e in action un!ess it e1isted efore its own #roduction. This is an argument ad$anced y #ersons who do not distinguish

etween the #otentia! and the actua!. Mou( howe$er( shou!d )now that in this case there is no difference whether you em#!oy the term <cause< or <a ens<; for if you ta)e the term <cause< in the sense of a mere #otentia!ity( it #recedes its effect; ut if you mean the cause in action( then the effect must necessari!y co-e1ist with the cause in action. The same is the case with the a ens; ta)e it as an a ens in rea!ity( the wor) must necessari!y co-e1ist with its a ens. Aor the ui!der( efore he ui!ds the house( is not in rea!ity a ui!der( ut has the facu!ty for ui!ding a house-in the same way as the materia!s for the house efore it is eing ui!t are mere!y in potentiB-- ut when the house has een ui!t( he is the ui!der in rea!ity( and his #roduct must !i)ewise e in actua! e1istence. Fothing is therefore gained y choosing the term <a ens< and re>ecting the term <cause.< My o >ect here is to show that these two terms are e-ua!( and in the same
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manner as we ca!! 2od an + ens( a!though the wor) does not yet e1ist( on!y ecause there is no hindrance or o stac!e which might #re$ent "im from doing it whene$er "e #!eases( we may a!so ca!! "im the +ause( a!though the effect may not yet e in e1istence. The reason why the #hi!oso#hers ca!!ed 2od the +ause( and did not ca!! "im the + ens( is not to e sought in their e!ief that the uni$erse is eterna!( ut in other moti$es( which ' wi!! rief!y descri e to you. 't has een shown in the science of 7hysics that e$erything( e1ce#t the 7rima! +ause( owes its origin to the fo!!owing four causes;--the su stance( the form( the a ens( the fina! cause. These are sometimes direct( sometimes indirect causes; ut each y itse!f is ca!!ed <a cause.< They a!so e!ie$e--and ' do not differ from their o#inion--that 2od "imse!f is the a ens( the form( and the end; therefore they ca!! 2od <the +ause(< in order to e1#ress that "e unites in "imse!f these three causes( $i,.( that "e is the a ens( the form( and the fina! cause of the uni$erse. 'n the #resent cha#ter ' on!y wish to show you in what sense it may e said of 2od that "e is the a ens( the form( and a!so the fina! cause of the uni$erse. Mou need not trou !e yourse!f now with the -uestion whether the uni$erse has een created y 2od( or whether( as the #hi!oso#hers ha$e assumed( it is eterna!( coe1isting with "im. Mou wi!! find Cin the #ages of this treatiseD fu!! and instructi$e information on the su >ect. "ere ' wish to show that 2od is the <cause< of e$ery e$ent that ta)es #!ace in the wor!d( >ust as "e is the +reator of the who!e uni$erse as it now e1ists. 't has a!ready een e1#!ained in the science of 7hysics( that a cause must again e sought for each of the four di$isions of causes. 0hen we ha$e found for any e1isting thing those four causes which are in immediate conne1ion with it( we find for these again causes( and for these again other causes( and so on unti! we arri$e at the first causes. &.g.( a certain #roduction has its a ens( this a ens again has its a ens( and so on and on unti! at !ast we arri$e at a first a ens( which is the true a ens throughout a!! the inter$ening !in)s. 'f the !etter aleph e mo$ed y bet( bet y imel( imel y dalet( and dalet y h5--and as the series does not e1tend to infinity( !et us sto# at h5--there is no dou t that the h5 mo$es the !etters aleph( bet( imel( and dalet( and we say correct!y that the aleph is mo$ed y h5. 'n that sense e$erything occurring in the uni$erse( a!though direct!y #roduced y certain nearer causes( is ascri ed to the +reator( as we sha!! e1#!ain. "e is the + ens( and "e is therefore the u!timate cause. 0e sha!! a!so find( after carefu! e1amination( that e$ery #hysica! and transient form must e #receded y another such form( y which the su stance has een fitted to recei$e the ne1t form; the #re$ious form again has een #receded y

another( and we arri$e at !ength at that form which is necessary for the e1istence of a!! intermediate forms( which are the causes of the #resent form. That form to which the forms of a!! e1isting things are traced is 2od. Mou must not imagine that when we say that 2od is the first form of a!! forms e1isting in the @ni$erse( we refer to that first form which *ristot!e( in the 4oo) of Meta#hysics( descri es as eing without eginning and without end( for he treats of a form which is a #hysica!( and not a #ure!y inte!!ectua! one. 0hen we ca!! 2od the u!timate form of the uni$erse( we do not use this term in the sense of form connected with su stance( name!y( as the form of that su stance( as though 2od were the form of a materia! eing. 't is not in this
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sense that we use it( ut in the fo!!owing; &$erything e1isting and endowed with a form( is whate$er it is through its form( and when that form is destroyed its who!e e1istence terminates and is o !iterated. The same is the case as regards the re!ation etween 2od and a!! distant causes of e1isting eings; it is through the e1istence of 2od that a!! things e1ist( and it is "e who maintains their e1istence y that #rocess which is ca!!ed emanation (in "e rew shepha/)( as wi!! e e1#!ained in one of the cha#ters of the #resent wor). 'f 2od did not e1ist( su##ose this were #ossi !e( the uni$erse wou!d not e1ist( and there wou!d e an end to the e1istence of the distant causes( the fina! effects( and the intermediate causes. +onse-uent!y 2od maintains the same re!ation to the wor!d as the form has to a thing endowed with a form; through the form it is what it is( and on it the rea!ity and essence of the thing de#ends. 'n this sense we may say that 2od is the u!timate form( that "e is the form of a!! forms; that is to say( the e1istence and continuance of a!! forms in the !ast instance de#end on "im( the forms are maintained y "im( in the same way as a!! things endowed with forms retain their e1istence through their forms. ?n that account 2od is ca!!ed( in the sacred !anguage( e ha-olamim( <the !ife of the @ni$erse(< as wi!! e e1#!ained (cha#. !11ii.). The same argument ho!ds good in reference to a!! fina! causes. 'f you assign to a thing a certain #ur#ose( you can find for that #ur#ose another #ur#ose. 0e mention( e.g.( a (wooden) chair; its su stance is wood( the >oiner is its a ens( the s-uare its form( and its #ur#ose is that one shou!d sit u#on it. Mou may then as)( Aor what #ur#ose does one sit u#on it/ The answer wi!! e that he who is sitting u#on it desires to e high a o$e the ground. 'f again you as)( Aor what #ur#ose does he desire to e high a o$e the ground( you wi!! recei$e the answer that he wishes to a##ear high in the eyes of those who see him. Aor what #ur#ose does he wish to a##ear higher in the eyes of those who see him/ That the #eo#!e may res#ect and fear him. 0hat is the good of his eing feared/ "is commands wi!! e res#ected. Aor what #ur#ose are his commands to e res#ected/ That #eo#!e sha!! refrain from in>uring each other. 0hat is the o >ect of this #recaution/ To maintain order amongst the #eo#!e. 'n this way one #ur#ose necessitates the #re-e1istence of another( e1ce#t the fina! #ur#ose( which is the e1ecution of the wi!! of 2od( according to one of the o#inions which ha$e een #ro#ounded( as wi!! e e1#!ained ('''. 1iii. and 1$ii.)( and the fina! answer wi!! e( <'t is the wi!! of 2od.< *ccording to the $iew of others( which wi!! !i)ewise e e1#!ained( the fina! #ur#ose is the e1ecution of the decree of "is wisdom( and the fina! answer wi!! e( <'t has een decreed y "is wisdom.< *ccording to either o#inion( the series of the successi$e #ur#oses terminates( as has een shown( in 2od's wi!! or wisdom( which( in our o#inion( are identica! with "is essence( and are not any thing se#arate from "imse!f or different from "is essence. +onse-uent!y( 2od is the fina!

#ur#ose of e$erything. *gain( it is the aim of e$erything to ecome( according to its facu!ties( simi!ar to 2od in #erfection; this is meant y the e1#ression( <"is wi!!( which is identica! with "is essence(< as wi!! e shown e!ow (ibid.). 'n this sense 2od is ca!!ed the &nd of a!! ends. ' ha$e thus e1#!ained to you in what sense 2od is said to e the + ens( the Aorm( and the &nd. This is the reason why the #hi!oso#hers not on!y ca!!
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"im <the Ma)er< ut a!so the <+ause.< %ome of the scho!ars e!onging to the Muta)a!!emim (Mohammedan theo!ogians)( went so far in their fo!!y and in their $aing!ory as to say that the non-e1istence of the +reator( if that were #ossi !e( wou!d not necessari!y im#!y the non-e1istence of the things created y "im( i.e.( the @ni$erse; for a #roduction need not necessari!y cease to e1ist when the #roducer( after ha$ing #roduced it( has ceased to e1ist. They wou!d e right( if 2od were on!y the ma)er of the @ni$erse( and if its #ermanent e1istence were not de#endent on "im. The storehouse does not cease to e1ist at the death of the ui!der; for he does not gi$e #ermanent e1istence to the ui!ding. 2od( howe$er( is "imse!f the form of the @ni$erse( as we ha$e a!ready shown( and it is "e who causes its continuance and #ermanency. 't is therefore wrong to say that a thing can remain dura !e and #ermanent( after the eing that ma)es it dura !e and #ermanent has ceased to e1ist( since that thing can #ossess no more dura i!ity and #ermanency than it has recei$ed from that eing. Fow you understand the greatness of the error into which they ha$e fa!!en through their assum#tion that 2od is on!y the + ens( and not the &nd or the Aorm.
C#aragra#h continuesD

Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

/!+PT"' ())
T"& term rakab( <to ride(< is a synonym. 'n its #rimary signification it is a##!ied to man's riding on an anima!( in the usua! way; e.g.( <Fow he was riding (rokeb) u#on his ass< (Fum. 11ii. 22). 't has then een figurati$e!y used to denote <dominion o$er a thing<; ecause the rider go$erns and ru!es the anima! he rides u#on; e.g.( <"e made him ride (yarkibehu) on the high #!aces of the earth< (.eut. 111ii. 16); <and ' wi!! cause thee to ride ("e-hirkabtika) u#on the high #!aces of the earth< ('sa. !$iii. 18)( that is( you sha!! ha$e dominion o$er the highest (#eo#!e) on earth; <' wi!! ma)e &#hraim to ride (arkib)< ("os. 1. 11)( i.e.( ' sha!! gi$e him ru!e and dominion. 'n this same sense it is said of 2od( <who rideth (rokeb) u#on the hea$en in thy he!#< (.eut. 111iii. 25)( that is( who ru!es the hea$en; and <"im that rideth (la-rokeb) u#on the Qara ot< (7s. !1$iii. 8)( i.e.( who ru!es the arabot( the u##ermost( a!!-encom#assing s#here. 't has a!so een re#eated!y stated y our %ages that there are se$en rekiim (firmaments( hea$ens)( and that the u##ermost of them( the a!!surrounding( is ca!!ed arabot. .o not o >ect to the num er se$en gi$en y them( a!though there are more rekiim( for there are s#heres which contain se$era! circ!es ( il allim)( and are counted as one; this is c!ear to those who ha$e studied that su >ect( and ' sha!! a!so e1#!ain it; here ' wish mere!y to #oint out that our %ages a!ways assumed that arabot is the

u##ermost s#here. The arabot is a!so referred to in the words( <who rideth u#on the hea$en in thy he!#.< Thus we read in Ta!m. 4. a i ah( #. 12(< The high and e1a!ted dwe!!eth on arabot( as it is said( '&1to! "im that rideth u#on arabot'< (7s. !1$iii. 8). "ow is it #ro$ed that <hea$en< and <arabot< are identica!/ The one #assage has <who rideth on arabot(< the other <who rideth u#on the hea$en.< "ence it is c!ear that in a!! these #assages reference is made to the same a!!-surrounding s#here( concerning which you wi!! hereafter (''. 11i$.) recei$e more information. +onsider we!! that the e1#ression <dwe!!ing o$er it(< is used y them( and not <dwe!!ing in it.< The !atter
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e1#ression wou!d ha$e im#!ied that 2od occu#ies a #!ace or is a #ower in the s#here( as was in fact e!ie$ed y the %a eans( who he!d that 2od was the sou! of the s#here. 4y saying <dwe!!ing o$er it(< they indicated that 2od was se#arate from the s#here( and was not a #ower in it. 3now a!so that the term <riding u#on the hea$ens(< has figurati$e!y een a##!ied to 2od in order to show the fo!!owing e1ce!!ent com#arison. The rider is etter than the anima! u#on which he rides--the com#arati$e is on!y used for the sa)e of con$enience( for the rider is not of the same c!ass as the anima! u#on which he rides--furthermore( the rider mo$es the anima! and !eads it as he !i)es; it is as it were his instrument( which he uses according to his wi!!; he is se#arate from it( a#art from it( not connected with it. 'n !i)e manner the u##ermost s#here( y the rotation of which e$erything mo$ea !e is set in motion( is mo$ed y 2od( who is se#arate from the s#here( and is not a #ower in it. 'n ;ereshit 'abba we read that in commenting on the .i$ine words( <The eterna! 2od is a refuge< (!it.( a dwe!!ing( .eut. 111iii. 2J)( our %ages said( <"e is the dwe!!ing of "is wor!d( the wor!d is not "is dwe!!ing.< This e1#!anation is then fo!!owed y the remar)( <The horse is secondary to the rider( the rider is not su ser$ient to the horse; this is meant y 'Thou wi!t ride u#on thy horses'< ("a . iii. H). +onsider and !earn how they descri ed the re!ation of 2od to the s#here( asserting that the !atter is "is instrument( y means of which "e ru!es the uni$erse. Aor whene$er you find our %ages saying that in a certain hea$en are certain things( they do not mean to say that in the hea$ens there are any e1traneous things( ut that from a certain hea$en the force emanates which is re-uired for the #roduction of certain things( and for their continuing in #ro#er order. The #roof for my statement you may find in the fo!!owing sayings of our %ages--<The arabot( in which there are >ustice( charity( right( treasures of !ife and #eace( treasures of !essing( of the sou!s of the righteous( of the sou!s and the s#irits of those to e orn( and of the dew y which 2od wi!! at some future time re$i$e the dead( etc.< 't is c!ear that the things enumerated here are not materia!( and do not occu#y a #!ace--for <dew< is not to e ta)en in its !itera! sense.--+onsider a!so that here the #hrase <in which(< meaning <in the arabot(< is used( and not <o$er which(< as if to say that a!! the things e1isting in the uni$erse deri$e their e1istence from #owers emanating from the arabot( which 2od made to e the origin and the #!ace of these #owers. They are said to inc!ude <the treasures of !ife<; a #erfect!y true and correct assertionR Aor a!! e1isting !ife originates in that treasure of !ife( as wi!! e mentioned e!ow (cha#. !1ii.( and ''. cha#. 1.). 9ef!ect on the fact that the sou!s of the righteous as we!! as the sou!s and the s#irits of those to e orn are mentioned hereR "ow su !ime is this idea to him who understands itR for the sou! that remains after the death of man( is not the sou! that !i$es in a man when he is orn; the !atter is a mere facu!ty( whi!e that which has a se#arate e1istence after death( is a rea!ity; again( the sou! and the s#irit of man during his !ife are two different things; therefore the

sou!s and the s#irits are oth named as e1isting in man; ut se#arate from the ody on!y one of them e1ists. 0e ha$e a!ready e1#!ained the homonymity of rua (s#irit) in this wor)( and a!so at the end of $efer ha madda (Mishneh torah .il2 teshubah( $iii. 6-8) we treated of the homonymity of these e1#ressions. +onsider how these e1ce!!ent and true ideas( com#rehended on!y y the
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greatest #hi!oso#hers( are found scattered in the Midrashim. 0hen a student who disa$ows truth reads them( he wi!! at first sight deride them( as eing contrary to the rea! state of things. The cause of this is the circumstance( that our %ages s#o)e of these su >ects in meta#hors; they are too difficu!t for the common understanding of the #eo#!e( as has een noticed y us se$era! times. ' wi!! now return to the su >ect which ' commenced to e1#!ain( in order to ring it to a conc!usion. ?ur %ages commenced to adduce #roofs from %cri#ture for their assertion that the things enumerated a o$e are contained in the arabot. *s to >ustice and right they -uote <Justice and >udgment are the ha itation of thy throne< (7s. !111i1. 1H). 'n the same way they #ro$e their assertion concerning a!! things enumerated y them( y showing that they are descri ed as eing re!ated to 2od( as eing near "im. Fote this. 'n the 7ire 9a i &!ie,er it is said; 2od created se$en rekiim (hea$ens)( and out of a!! of them "e se!ected the araboth for "is roya! throne; com#. <&1a!t him who rideth u#on the arabot< (7s. !1$iii. 8). These are his (9a i &!ie,er's) words. Fote them !i)ewise. Mou must )now that in "e rew the co!!ecti$e noun denoting anima!s used for riding is <merca ah.< 'nstances of this noun are not rare. <*nd Jose#h made ready his chariot< (merkabto) (2en. 1!$i. 29); <in the second chariot< (be-mirkebet) (ib. 1!i. 86); <7haraoh's chariots< (markebot) (&1od. 1$. 8). The fo!!owing #assage es#ecia!!y #ro$es that the "e rew merkabah denotes a co!!ection of anima!s; <*nd a merkabah came u# and went out of &gy#t for si1 hundred she)e!s of si!$er( and a horse for an hundred and fifty< (1 3ings K. 21). "ence we may !earn that mercabah denotes here four horses. Therefore ' thin) that when it was stated( according to the !itera! sense of the words( that four ayyot ( easts) carry the Throne of 2!ory( our %ages ca!!ed this <mercabah< on account of its simi!arity with the merca ah consisting of four sing!e anima!s. %o far has the theme of this cha#ter carried us( and we sha!! e com#e!!ed to ma)e many further remar)s on this su >ect. "ere( howe$er( it is our o >ect( and the aim of a!! we ha$e said( to show that <who rideth u#on hea$en< (.eut. 111iii. 25) means <who sets the a!!-surrounding s#here in motion( and turns it y "is #ower and wi!!.< The same sense is contained in the conc!usion of that $erse; <and in his e1ce!!ency the s#heres(< i.e.( who in "is e1ce!!ency mo$es the s#heres (sheakim). 'n reference to the first s#here( the arabot( the $er <to ride< is used( in reference to the rest( the noun <e1ce!!ency(< ecause through the motion of the u##ermost s#here in its dai!y circuit( a!! the s#heres mo$e( #artici#ating as #arts in the motion of the who!e; and this eing that great #ower that sets e$erything in motion( it is ca!!ed <e1ce!!ency.< =et this su >ect constant!y remain in your memory when you study what ' am going to say; for it-i.e.( the motion of the u##ermost s#here is the greatest #roof for the e1istence of 2od( as ' sha!! demonstrate. Fote this.

Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

/!+PT"' ())$
3F?0 that many ranches of science re!ating to the correct so!ution of these #ro !ems( were once cu!ti$ated y our forefathers( ut were in the course of
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time neg!ected( es#ecia!!y in conse-uence of the tyranny which ar arous nations e1ercised o$er us. 4esides( s#ecu!ati$e studies were not o#en to a!! men( as we ha$e a!ready stated ('ntrod. #. 2( and '. cha#. 111i.)( on!y the su >ects taught in the %cri#tures were accessi !e to a!!. &$en the traditiona! =aw( as you are we!! aware( was not origina!!y committed to writing( in conformity with the ru!e to which our nation genera!!y adhered( <Things which ' ha$e communicated to you ora!!y( you must not communicate to others in writing.< 0ith reference to the =aw( this ru!e was $ery o##ortune; for whi!e it remained in force it a$erted the e$i!s which ha##ened su se-uent!y( $i,.( great di$ersity of o#inion( dou ts as to the meaning of written words( s!i#s of the #en( dissensions among the #eo#!e( formation of new sects( and confused notions a out #ractica! su >ects. The traditiona! teaching was in fact( according to the words of the =aw( entrusted to the 2reat Tri una!( as we ha$e a!ready stated in our wor)s on the Ta!mud. ('ntrod. to Mishneh )orah and 'ntrod. to +ommen. on the Mishnah). +are ha$ing een ta)en( for the sa)e of o $iating in>urious inf!uences( that the ?ra! =aw shou!d not e recorded in a form accessi !e to a!!( it was ut natura! that no #ortion of <the secrets of the =aw< (i.e.( meta#hysica! #ro !ems) wou!d e #ermitted to e written down or di$u!ged for the use of a!! men. These secrets( as has een e1#!ained( were ora!!y communicated y a few a !e men to others who were e-ua!!y distinguished. "ence the #rinci#!e a##!ied y our teachers( <The secrets of the =aw can on!y e entrusted to him who is a counci!!or( a cunning artificer( etc.< The natura! effect of this #ractice was that our nation !ost the )now!edge of those im#ortant disci#!ines. Fothing ut a few remar)s and a!!usions are to e found in the Ta!mud and the Midrashim( !i)e a few )erne!s en$e!o#ed in such a -uantity of hus)( that the reader is genera!!y occu#ied with the hus)( and forgets that it enc!oses a )erne!. 'n addition you wi!! find that in the few wor)s com#osed y the 2eonim and the 3araites on the unity of 2od and on such matter as is connected with this doctrine( they fo!!owed the !ead of the Mohammedan Muta)a!!emim( and what they wrote is insignificant in com#arison with the )indred wor)s of the Mohammedans. 't a!so ha##ened( that at the time when the Mohammedans ado#ted this method of the 3a!`m( there arose among them a certain sect( ca!!ed MuGta,i!ah( i.e.( %e#aratists. 'n certain things our scho!ars fo!!owed the theory and the method of these MuGta,i!ah. *!though another sect( the *shaGariyah( with their own #ecu!iar $iews( was su se-uent!y esta !ished amongst the Mohammedans( you wi!! not find any of these $iews in the writings of our authors; not ecause these authors #referred the o#inions of the first-named sect to those of the !atter( ut ecause they chanced first to ecome ac-uainted with the theory of the MuGta,i!ah( which they ado#ted

and treated as demonstrated truth. ?n the other hand our *nda!usian scho!ars fo!!owed the teachings of the #hi!oso#hers( from whom they acce#ted those o#inions which were not o##osed to our own re!igious #rinci#!es. Mou wi!! find that they did not ado#t any of the methods of the Muta)a!!emim; in many res#ects they a##roached the $iew e1#ressed in the #resent treatise( as may e noticed in the few wor)s which were recent!y written y authors of that schoo!. Mou shou!d a!so )now that whate$er the Mohammedans( that is( the MuGta,i!ah and the *shaGariyah( said on those su >ects(
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consists in nothing ut theories founded on #ro#ositions which are ta)en from the wor)s of those 2ree) and %yrian scho!ars who attem#ted to o##ose the system of the #hi!oso#hers( and to refute their arguments. The fo!!owing was the cause of that o##osition; *t the time when the +hristian +hurch rought the 2ree)s and %yrians into its fo!d( and #romu!gated its we!!-)nown dogmas( the o#inions of the #hi!oso#hers were current amongst those nations; and whi!st #hi!oso#hy f!ourished( )ings ecame defenders of the +hristian faith. The !earned 2ree) and %yrian +hristians of the age( seeing that their dogmas were un-uestiona !y e1#osed to se$ere attac)s from the e1isting #hi!oso#hica! systems( !aid the foundation for this science of .ogmatics; they commenced y #utting forth( such #ro#ositions as wou!d su##ort their doctrines( and e usefu! for the refutation of o#inions o##osed to the fundamenta! #rinci#!es of the +hristian re!igion. 0hen the Mohammedans caused *ra ic trans!ations of the writings of the 7hi!oso#hers to e made( those criticisms were !i)ewise trans!ated. 0hen the o#inions of John the 2rammarian( of ' n *di( and of )indred authors on those su >ects were made accessi !e to them( they ado#ted them( and imagined that they had arri$ed at the so!ution of im#ortant #ro !ems. Moreo$er( they se!ected from the o#inions of the ancient #hi!oso#hers whate$er seemed ser$icea !e to their #ur#oses( a!though !ater critics had #ro$ed that those theories were fa!se; as( e.g.( the theories of atoms and of a $acuum. They e!ie$ed that the discussions of those authors were of a genera! character( and contained #ro#ositions usefu! for the defence of #ositi$e re!igion. *t a su se-uent #eriod the same theories were more fu!!y de$e!o#ed( and #resented an as#ect un)nown to those Theo!ogians of the 2ree)s and other nations who were the immediate successors of the 7hi!oso#hers. *t a !ater time( when the Mohammedans ado#ted certain #ecu!iar theo!ogica! theories they were natura!!y o !iged to defend them; and when their new theories( again ecame the su >ect of contro$ersy among them( each #arty !aid down such #ro#ositions as suited their s#ecia! doctrine. Their arguments undou ted!y in$o!$ed certain #rinci#!es which concerned the three communities--Jews( +hristians( and Mohammedans( such as the creatio ex nihilo( which afforded su##ort to the e!ief in mirac!es and to $arious other doctrines. There are( howe$er( other su >ects of e!ief which the +hristians and Mohammedans ha$e underta)en to defend( such as the doctrine of the Trinity in the theo!ogica! wor)s of the former( and <the 0ord< in the wor)s of some Mohammedan sects; in order to #ro$e the dogmas which they thus desired to esta !ish( they were com#e!!ed to resort to certain hy#otheses. 't is not our o >ect to critici,e things which are #ecu!iar to either creed( or oo)s which were written e1c!usi$e!y in the interest of the one community or the other. 0e mere!y maintain that the ear!ier Theo!ogians( oth of the 2ree) +hristians and of the Mohammedans( when they !aid

down their #ro#ositions( did not in$estigate the rea! #ro#erties of things; first of a!! they considered what must e the #ro#erties of the things which shou!d yie!d #roof for or against a certain creed; and when this was found they asserted that the thing must e endowed with those #ro#erties; then they em#!oyed the same assertion as a #roof for the identica! arguments which had !ed to the assertion( and y which they either su##orted or refuted a certain o#inion. This course was fo!!owed y a !e
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men who originated this method( and ado#ted it in their writings. They #rofessed to e free from #reconcei$ed o#inions( and to ha$e een !ed to a stated resu!t y actua! research. Therefore when #hi!oso#hers of a su se-uent date studied the same writings they did not #ercei$e the true character of the arguments; on the contrary( they found in the ancient wor)s strong #roofs and a $a!ua !e su##ort for the acce#tance or the re>ection of certain o#inions( and thus thought that( so far as re!igious #rinci#!es were concerned( there was no necessity whate$er to #ro$e or refute any of their #ro#ositions( and that the first Muta)a!!emim had discussed those su >ects with the so!e o >ect of defeating certain $iews of the #hi!oso#hers( and demonstrating the insufficiency of their #roofs. 7ersons who ho!d this o#inion( do not sus#ect how much they are mista)en; for the first Muta)a!!emim tried to #ro$e a #ro#osition when it was e1#edient to demonstrate its truth; and to dis#ro$e it( when its re>ection was desira !e( and when it was contrary to the o#inion which they wished to u#ho!d( a!though the contradiction might on!y ecome o $ious after the a##!ication of a hundred successi$e #ro#ositions. 'n this manner the ear!ier Muta)a!!emim effected a radica! cure of the ma!adyR ' te!! you( howe$er( as a genera! ru!e( that Themistius was right in saying that the #ro#erties of things cannot ada#t themse!$es to our o#inions( ut our o#inions must e ada#ted to the e1isting #ro#erties. "a$ing studied the wor)s of these Muta)a!!emim( as far as ' had an o##ortunity( >ust as ' had studied the writings of the #hi!oso#hers according to the est of my a i!ity( ' found that the method of a!! Muta)a!!emim was the same in its genera! characteristics( name!y( they assume that the rea!!y e1isting form of things #ro$es nothing at a!!( ecause it is mere!y one of the $arious #hases of the things( the o##osite of which is e-ua!!y admissi !e to our minds. 'n many instances these Theo!ogians were guided y their imagination( and thought that they were fo!!owing the dictates of the inte!!ect. They set forth the #ro#ositions which ' sha!! descri e to you( and demonstrated y their #ecu!iar mode of arguing that the @ni$erse had a eginning. The theory of the creatio ex nihilo eing thus esta !ished( they asserted( as a !ogica! conse-uence( that undou ted!y there must e a Ma)er who created the @ni$erse. Fe1t they showed that this Ma)er is ?ne( and from the @nity of the +reator they deduced "is 'ncor#orea!ity. This method was ado#ted y e$ery Mohammedan Muta)a!!em in the discussion of this su >ect( and y those of our co-re!igionists who imitated them and wa!)ed in their footste#s *!though the Muta)a!!emim disagree in the methods of their #roofs( and em#!oy different #ro#ositions in demonstrating the act of creation or in re>ecting the eternity of the @ni$erse( they in$aria !y egin with #ro$ing the creatio ex nihilo( and esta !ish on that #roof the e1istence of 2od. ' ha$e e1amined this method( and find it most o >ectiona !e. 't must e re>ected( ecause a!! the #roofs for the creation ha$e wea) #oints( and cannot e considered as con$incing e1ce#t y those who do not )now the difference etween a #roof( a dia!ectica! argument( and a so#hism. Those who understand the force of

the different methods wi!! c!ear!y see that a!! the #roofs for the creation are -uestiona !e( ecause #ro#ositions ha$e een em#!oyed which ha$e ne$er een #ro$ed. ' thin) that the utmost that can e effected y e!ie$ers in the truth of 9e$e!ation is to e1#ose the shortcomings in the #roofs of #hi!oso#hers who ho!d that the @ni$erse is
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eterna!( and if forsooth a man has effected this( he has accom#!ished a great deedR Aor it is we!! )nown to a!! c!ear and correct thin)ers who do not wish to decei$e themse!$es( that this -uestion( name!y( whether the @ni$erse has een created or is eterna!( cannot e answered with mathematica! certainty; here human inte!!ect must #ause. 0e sha!! ha$e occasion to s#ea) more fu!!y on this su >ect( ut for the #resent it may suffice to state that the #hi!oso#hers ha$e for the !ast three thousand years een continua!!y di$ided on that su >ect( as far as we can !earn from their wor)s and the record of their o#inions. %uch eing the nature of this theory( how can we em#!oy it as an a1iom and esta !ish on it the e1istence of the +reator/ 'n that case the e1istence of 2od wou!d e uncertain; if the uni$erse had a eginning( 2od does e1ist; if it e eterna!( 2od does not e1ist; the e1istence of 2od wou!d therefore remain either an o#en -uestion( or we shou!d ha$e to dec!are that the creation had een #ro$ed( and com#e! others y mere force to acce#t this doctrine( in order thus to e ena !ed to dec!are that we ha$e #ro$ed the e1istence of 2od. %uch a #rocess is utter!y inadmissi !e. The true method( which is ased on a !ogica! and indu ita !e #roof( consists( according to my o#inion( in demonstrating the e1istence of 2od( "is unity( and "is incor#orea!ity y such #hi!oso#hica! arguments as are founded on the theory of the eternity of the @ni$erse. ' do not #ro#ose this method as though ' e!ie$ed in the eternity of the @ni$erse( for ' do not fo!!ow the #hi!oso#hers on this #oint( ut ecause y the aid of this method these three #rinci#!es( $i,.( the e1istence of 2od( "is unity and "is incor#orea!ity can e fu!!y #ro$ed and $erified( irres#ecti$e!y of the -uestion whether the uni$erse has had a eginning or not. *fter firm!y esta !ishing these three #rinci#!es y an e1act #roof( we sha!! treat of the #ro !em of creation and discuss it as fu!!y as #ossi !e. Mou are at !i erty to content yourse!f with the dec!aration of the Muta)a!!emim( and to e!ie$e that the act of creation has een demonstrated y #roof; nor can there e any harm if you consider it un#ro$en that the uni$erse had a eginning( and acce#t this theory as su##orted y the authority of the 7ro#hets. 4efore you !earn our o#inion on #ro#hecy( which wi!! e gi$en in the #resent wor)( do not as)( how cou!d the e!ief in #ro#hecy e >ustified( if it were assumed that the uni$erse was eterna!( 0e wi!! not now e1#atiate on that su >ect. Mou shou!d( howe$er( )now that some of the #ro#ositions( started and #ro$ed y the 9adica!s( i.e.( the Muta)a!!emim( in order to #ro$e the act of creation( im#!y an order of things contrary to that which rea!!y e1ists( and in$o!$e a com#!ete change in the !aws of nature; this fact wi!! e #ointed out to you( for it wi!! e necessary to mention their #ro#ositions and their argumentation. My method( as far as ' now can e1#!ain it in genera! terms( is as fo!!ows. The uni$erse is either eterna! or has had a eginning; if it had a eginning( there must necessari!y e1ist a eing which caused the eginning; this is c!ear to common sense; for a thing that has had a eginning( cannot e the cause of its own eginning( another must ha$e caused it. The uni$erse was( therefore( created y 2od. 'f on the other hand the uni$erse were eterna!( it cou!d in $arious ways e #ro$ed that a#art from the things which constitute the uni$erse( there e1ists a eing which is neither ody nor a

force in a ody( and which is one( eterna!( not #receded y any cause( and immuta !e. That eing is 2od. Mou see that the #roofs for the &1istence( the @nity and the 'ncor#orea!ity of 2od
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must $ary according to the #ro#ositions admitted y us. ?n!y in this way can we succeed in o taining a #erfect #roof( whether we assume the eternity or the creation of the uni$erse. Aor this reason you wi!! find in my wor)s on the Ta!mud( whene$er ' ha$e to s#ea) of the fundamenta! #rinci#!es of our re!igion( or to #ro$e the e1istence of 2od( that ' em#!oy arguments which im#!y the eternity of the uni$erse. ' do not e!ie$e in that eternity( ut ' wish to esta !ish the #rinci#!e of the e1istence of 2od y an indis#uta !e #roof( and shou!d not !i)e to see this most im#ortant #rinci#!e founded on a asis which e$ery one cou!d sha)e or attem#t to demo!ish( and which others might consider as not eing esta !ished at a!!; es#ecia!!y when ' see that the #roofs of the #hi!oso#hers are ased on those $isi !e #ro#erties of things( which can on!y e ignored y #ersons #ossessing certain #reconcei$ed notions( whi!e the Muta)a!!emim esta !ish their arguments on #ro#ositions which are to such an e1tent contrary to the actua! state of things as to com#e! these arguers to deny a!together the e1istence of the !aws of nature. 0hen ' sha!! ha$e to treat of the creation( ' sha!! in a s#ecia! cha#ter #ro$e my o#inion to some e1tent( and sha!! attain the same end which e$ery one of the Muta)a!!emim had in $iew( yet ' sha!! not contradict the !aws of nature( or re>ect any such #art of the *ristote!ean theory as has een #ro$ed to e correct. &$en the most cogent of the 7roofs offered y the Muta)a!!emim res#ecting the act of creation( has on!y een o tained y re$ersing the who!e order of things and y re>ecting e$erything fu!!y demonstrated y the #hi!oso#hers. '( howe$er( sha!! e a !e to gi$e a simi!ar #roof without ignoring the !aws of nature and without eing forced to contradict facts which ha$e een c!ear!y #ercei$ed. ' find it necessary to mention to you the genera! #ro#ositions of the Muta)a!!emim( y which they #ro$e the act of creation( the &1istence of 2od( "is @nity and "is 'ncor#orea!ity. ' intend to e1#!ain their method( and a!so to #oint out the inferences which are to e drawn from each #ro#osition. *fter this( ' sha!! descri e those theories of the #hi!oso#hers which are c!ose!y connected with our su >ect( and ' sha!! then e1#!ain their method. .o not as) me to #ro$e in this wor) the #ro#ositions of the #hi!oso#hers( which ' sha!! rief!y mention to you; they form the #rinci#a! #art of 7hysics and Meta#hysics. For must you e1#ect that ' shou!d re#eat the arguments of the Muta)a!!emim in su##ort of their #ro#ositions( with which they wasted their time( with which the time of future generations wi!! !i)ewise e wasted( and on which numerous oo)s ha$e een written. Their #ro#ositions( with few e1ce#tions( are contradicted y the $isi !e #ro#erties of things( and eset with numerous o >ections. Aor this reason they were o !iged to write man oo)s and contro$ersia! wor)s in defence of their theories( for the refutation of o >ections( and for the reconci!iation of a!! a##arent contradictions( a!though in rea!ity this o >ect cannot e attained y any so#histica! contri$ance. *s to the #ro#ositions of the #hi!oso#hers which ' sha!! rief!y e1#!ain( and which are indis#ensa !e for the demonstration of the three #rinci#!es--the &1istence( the @nity( and the 'ncor#orea!ity of 2od( they wi!! for the greater #art e admitted y you as soon as you sha!! hear them and understand their meaning;

whi!st in the discussion of other #arts reference must e made for their #roofs to wor)s on 7hysics and Meta#hysics( and if you direct your attention to such #assages
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as wi!! e #ointed out to you( you wi!! find e$erything $erified that re-uires $erification. ' ha$e a!ready to!d you that nothing e1ists e1ce#t 2od and this uni$erse( and that there is no other e$idence for "is &1istence ut this uni$erse in its entirety and in its se$era! #arts. +onse-uent!y the uni$erse must e e1amined as it is; the #ro#ositions must e deri$ed from those #ro#erties of the uni$erse which are c!ear!y #ercei$ed( and hence you must )now its $isi !e form and its nature. Then on!y wi!! you find in the uni$erse e$idence for the e1istence of a eing not inc!uded therein. ' ha$e considered it( therefore( necessary to discuss first in a mere!y co!!o-uia! manner( in the ne1t cha#ter( the tota!ity of e1isting things( and to confine our remar)s to such as ha$e een fu!!y #ro$ed and esta !ished eyond a!! dou t. 'n su se-uent cha#ters ' sha!! treat of the #ro#ositions of the Muta)a!!emim( and descri e the method y which they e1#!ain the four fundamenta! #rinci#!es. 'n the cha#ters which wi!! fo!!ow( ' #ro#ose to e1#ound the #ro#ositions of the #hi!oso#hers and the methods a##!ied y them in $erifying those #rinci#!es. 'n the !ast #!ace( ' sha!! e1#!ain to you the method a##!ied y me in #ro$ing those four #rinci#!es( as ' ha$e stated to you.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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3F?0 that this @ni$erse( in its entirety( is nothing e!se ut one indi$idua! eing; that is to say( the outermost hea$en!y s#here( together with a!! inc!uded therein( is as regards indi$idua!ity eyond a!! -uestion a sing!e eing !i)e %aid and ?mar. The $ariety of its su stances--' mean the su stances of that s#here and a!! its com#onent #arts--is !i)e the $ariety of the su stances of a human eing; >ust as( e.g.( %aid is one indi$idua!( consisting of $arious so!id su stances( such as f!esh( ones( sinews( of $arious humours( and of $arious s#iritua! e!ements; in !i)e manner this s#here in its tota!ity is com#osed of the ce!estia! or s( the four e!ements and their com inations; there is no $acuum whate$er therein( ut the who!e s#ace is fi!!ed u# with matter. 'ts centre is occu#ied y the earth( earth is surrounded y water( air encom#asses the water( fire en$e!o#es the air( and this again is en$e!o#ed y the fifth su stance (-uintessence). These su stances form numerous s#heres( one eing enc!osed within another so that no intermediate em#ty s#ace( no $acuum( is !eft. ?ne s#here surrounds and c!ose!y >oins the other. *!! the s#heres re$o!$e with constant uniformity( without acce!eration or retardation; that is to say( each s#here retains its indi$idua! nature as regards its $e!ocity and the #ecu!iarity of its motion; it does not mo$e at one time -uic)er( at another s!ower. +om#ared with each other( howe$er( some of the s#heres mo$e with !ess( others with greater $e!ocity. The outermost( a!!encom#assing s#here( re$o!$es with the greatest s#eed; it com#!etes its re$o!ution in one day( and causes e$erything to #artici#ate in its motion( >ust as e$ery #artic!e of a thing

mo$es when the entire ody is in motion; for e1isting eings stand in the same re!ation to that s#here as a #art of a thing stands to the who!e. These s#heres ha$e not a common centre; the centres of some of them are identica! with the centre of the @ni$erse( whi!e those of the rest are different from it. %ome of the s#heres
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ha$e a motion inde#endent of that of the who!e @ni$erse( constant!y re$o!$ing from &ast to 0est( whi!e other s#heres mo$e from 0est to &ast. The stars contained in those s#heres are #art of their res#ecti$e or its; they are fi1ed in them( and ha$e no motion of their own( ut #artici#ating in the motion of the s#here of which they are a #art( they a##ear themse!$es to mo$e. The entire su stance of this re$o!$ing fifth e!ement is un!i)e the su stance of those odies which consist of the other four e!ements( and are enc!osed y the fifth e!ement. The num er of these s#heres encom#assing the @ni$erse cannot #ossi !y e !ess than eighteen; it may e$en e !arger; ut this is a matter for further in$estigation. 't a!so remains an o#en -uestion whether there are s#heres which( without mo$ing round the centre of the @ni$erse( ha$e ne$erthe!ess a circu!ar motion. 0ithin that s#here which is nearest to us( a su stance is contained which is different from the su stance of the fifth e!ement; it first recei$ed four #rimary forms( and then ecame in these four forms( four )inds of matter; earth( water( air( fire. &ach of the four e!ements occu#ies a certain #osition of its own assigned to it y nature; it is not found in another #!ace( so !ong as no other ut its own natura! force acts u#on it; it is a dead ody; it has no !ife( no #erce#tion( no s#ontaneous motion( and remains at rest in its natura! #!ace. 0hen mo$ed from its #!ace y some e1terna! force( it returns towards its natura! #!ace as soon as that force ceases to o#erate. Aor the e!ements ha$e the #ro#erty of mo$ing ac) to their #!ace in a straight !ine( ut they ha$e no #ro#erties which wou!d cause them to remain where they are( or to mo$e otherwise than in a straight !ine. The recti!inear motions of these four e!ements when returning to their origina! #!ace are of two )inds( either centrifuga!( $i,.( the motion of the air and the fire; or centri#eta!( $i,.( the motion of the earth( and the water; and when the e!ements ha$e reached their origina! #!ace( they remain at rest. The s#herica! odies( on the other hand( ha$e !ife( #ossess a sou! y which they mo$e s#ontaneous!y; they ha$e no #ro#erties y which they cou!d at any time come to a state of rest; in their #er#etua! rotations they are not su >ect to any change( e1ce#t that of #osition. The -uestion whether they are endowed with an inte!!ect( ena !ing them to com#rehend( cannot e so!$ed without dee# research. Through the constant re$o!ution of the fifth e!ement( with a!! contained therein( the four e!ements are forced to mo$e and to change their res#ecti$e #ositions( so that fire and air are dri$en into the water( and again these three e!ements enter the de#th of the earth. Thus are the e!ements mi1ed together; and when they return to their res#ecti$e #!aces( #arts of the earth( in -uitting their #!aces( mo$e together with the water( the air and the fire. 'n this who!e #rocess the e!ements act and react u#on each other. The e!ements intermi1ed( are then com ined( and form at first $arious )inds of $a#ours; afterwards the se$era! )inds of minera!s( e$ery s#ecies of #!ants( and many s#ecies of !i$ing eings( according to the re!ati$e #ro#ortion of the constituent #arts. *!! transient eings ha$e their origin in the e!ements( into which again they reso!$e when their e1istence comes to an end. The e!ements themse!$es are su >ect to eing transformed from one into

another; for a!though one su stance is common to a!!( su stance without form is in rea!ity im#ossi !e( >ust as the #hysica! form of these transient eings cannot e1ist without su stance. The formation
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and the disso!ution of the e!ements( together with the things com#osed of them( and reso!$ing into them( fo!!ow each other in rotation. The changes of the finite su stance( in successi$e!y recei$ing one form after the other( may therefore e com#ared to the re$o!ution of the s#here in s#ace( when each #art of the s#here #eriodica!!y rea##ears in the same #osition. *s the human ody consists oth of #rinci#a! organs and of other mem ers which de#end on them and cannot e1ist without the contro! of those organs( so does the uni$erse consist oth of #rinci#a! #arts( $i,.( the -uintessence( which encom#asses the four e!ements and of other #arts which are su ordinated and re-uire a !eader( $i,.( the four e!ements and the things com#osed of them. *gain( the #rinci#a! #art in the human ody( name!y( the heart( is in constant motion( and is the source of e$ery motion noticed in the ody; it ru!es o$er the other mem ers( and communicates to them through its own #u!sations the force re-uired for their functions. The outermost s#here y its motion ru!es in a simi!ar way o$er a!! other #arts of the uni$erse( and su##!ies a!! things with their s#ecia! #ro#erties. &$ery motion in the uni$erse has thus its origin in the motion of that s#here; and the sou! of e$ery animated eing deri$es its origin from the sou! of that same s#here. The forces which according to this e1#!anation are communicated y the s#heres to this su !unary wor!d are four in num er( $i,.( (a) the force which effects the mi1ture and the com#osition of the e!ements( and which undou ted!y suffices to form the minera!s; (b) the force which su##!ies e$ery growing thing with its $egetati$e functions; (c) the force which gi$es to each !i$ing eing its $ita!ity( and (d) the force which endows rationa! eings with inte!!ect. *!! this is effected through the action of !ight and dar)ness( which are regu!ated y the #osition and the motion of the s#heres round the earth. 0hen for one instant the eating of the heart is interru#ted( man dies( and a!! his motions and #owers come to an end. 'n a !i)e manner wou!d the who!e uni$erse #erish( and e$erything therein cease to e1ist if the s#heres were to come to a standsti!!. The !i$ing eing as such is one through the action of its heart( a!though some #arts of the ody are de$oid of motion and sensation( as( e.g.( the ones( the carti!age( and simi!ar #arts. The same is the case with the entire uni$erse; a!though it inc!udes many eings without motion and without !ife( it is a sing!e eing !i$ing through the motion of the s#here( which may e com#ared to the heart of an animated eing. Mou must therefore consider the entire g!o e as one indi$idua! eing which is endowed with !ife( motion( and a sou!. This mode of considering the uni$erse is( as wi!! e e1#!ained( indis#ensa !e( that is to say( it is $ery usefu! for demonstrating the unity of 2od; it a!so he!#s to e!ucidate the #rinci#!e that "e who is ?ne has created on!y one eing.

*gain( it is im#ossi !e that any of the mem ers of a human ody shou!d e1ist y themse!$es( not connected with the ody( and at the same time shou!d actua!!y e organic #arts of that ody( that is to say( that the !i$er shou!d e1ist y itse!f( the heart y itse!f( or the f!esh y itse!f. 'n !i)e manner( it is im#ossi !e that one #art of the @ni$erse shou!d e1ist inde#endent!y of the other #arts in the e1isting order of things as here considered(
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$i,.( that the fire shou!d e1ist without the co-e1istence of the earth( or the earth without the hea$en( or the hea$en without the earth. 'n man there is a certain force which unites the mem ers of the ody( contro!s them( and gi$es to each of them what it re-uires for the conser$ation of its condition( and for the re#u!sion of in>ury--the #hysicians distinct!y ca!! it the !eading force in the ody of the !i$ing eing; sometimes they ca!! it <nature.< The @ni$erse !i)ewise #ossesses a force which unites the se$era! #arts with each other( #rotects the s#ecies from destruction( maintains the indi$idua!s of each s#ecies as !ong as #ossi !e( and endows some indi$idua! eings with #ermanent e1istence. 0hether this force o#erates through the medium of the s#here or otherwise remains an o#en -uestion. *gain( in the ody of each indi$idua! there are #arts which are intended for a certain #ur#ose( as the organs of nutrition for the #reser$ation of the indi$idua!( the organs of generation for the #reser$ation of the s#ecies( the hands and eyes for administering to certain wants( as to food( etc.; there are a!so #arts which( in themse!$es( are not intended for any #ur#ose( ut are mere accessories and ad>uncts to the constitution of the other #arts. The #ecu!iar constitution of the organs( indis#ensa !e for the conser$ation of their #articu!ar forms and for the #erformance of their #rimary functions( #roduces( whi!st it ser$es its s#ecia! #ur#ose( according to the nature of the su stance( other things( such as the hair and the com#!e1ion of the ody. 4eing mere accessories( they are not formed according to a fi1ed ru!e; some are a!together a sent in many indi$idua!s; and $ary considera !y in others. This is not the case with the organs of the ody. Mou ne$er find that the !i$er of one #erson is ten times !arger than that of another #erson( ut you may find a #erson without a eard( or without hair on certain #arts of his ody( or with a eard ten times !onger than that of another man. 'nstances of this #henomenon( $i,.( great $ariation as regards hair and co!our( are not rare. The same differences occur in the constitution of the @ni$erse. %ome s#ecies e1ist as an integra! #art of the who!e system; these are constant and fo!!ow a fi1ed !aw; though they $ary as far as their nature #ermits( this $ariation is insignificant in -uantity and -ua!ity. ?ther s#ecies do not ser$e any #ur#ose; they are the mere resu!t of the genera! nature of transient things( as( e.g.( the $arious insects which are generated in dunghi!!s( the anima!s generated in rotten fruit( or in fetid !i-uids( and worms generated in the intestines( etc. 'n short( e$erything de$oid of the #ower of generation e!ongs to this c!ass. Mou wi!!( therefore( find that these things do not fo!!ow a fi1ed !aw( a!though their entire a sence is >ust as im#ossi !e as the a sence of different com#!e1ions and of different )inds of hair amongst human eings. 'n man there are su stances the indi$idua! e1istence of which is #ermanent( and there are other su stances which are on!y constant in the s#ecies not in the indi$idua!s( as( e.g.( the

four humours. The same is the case in the @ni$erse; there are su stances which are constant in indi$idua!s( such as the fifth e!ement( which is constant in a!! its formations( and other su stances which are constant in the s#ecies( as( e.g.( the four e!ements and a!! that is com#osed of them. The same forces which o#erate in the irth and the tem#ora! e1istence of the human eing o#erate a!so in his destruction and death. This truth
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ho!ds good with regard to this who!e transient wor!d. The causes of #roduction are at the same time the causes of destruction. This may e i!!ustrated y the fo!!owing e1am#!e. 'f the four forces which are #resent in e$ery eing sustained y food( $i,.( attraction( retention( digestion( and secretion( were( !i)e inte!!igent forces( a !e to confine themse!$es to what is necessary( and to act at the #ro#er time and within the #ro#er !imits( man wou!d e e1em#t from those great sufferings and the numerous diseases Cto which he is e1#osedD. %ince( howe$er( such is not the case( and since the forces #erform their natura! functions without thought and inte!!igence( without any consciousness of their action( they necessari!y cause dangerous ma!adies and great #ains( a!though they are the direct cause of the irth and the tem#ora! e1istence of the human eing. This fact is to e e1#!ained as fo!!ows; if the attracti$e force wou!d a sor nothing ut that which is a so!ute!y eneficia!( and nothing ut the -uantity which is re-uired( man wou!d e free from many such sufferings and disorders. 4ut such is not the case; the attracti$e force a sor s any humour that comes within the range of its action( a!though such humour e i!!-ada#ted in -ua!ity or in -uantity. 't is( therefore( natura! that sometimes a humour is a sor ed which is too warm( too co!d( too thic)( or too thin( or that too much humour is a sor ed( and thus the $eins are cho)ed( o struction and decay ensue( the -ua!ity of the humour is deteriorated( its -uantities a!tered( diseases are originated( such as scur$y( !e#rosy( a scess( or a dangerous i!!ness( such as cancer( e!e#hantiasis( gangrene( and at !ast the organ or organs are destroyed. The same is the case with e$ery one of the four forces( and with a!! e1isting eings. The same force that originates a!! things( and causes them to e1ist for a certain time( name!y( the com ination of the e!ements which are mo$ed and #enetrated y the forces of the hea$en!y s#heres( that same cause ecomes throughout the wor!d a source of ca!amities( such as de$astating rain( showers( snow-storms( hai!( hurricanes( thunder( !ightning( ma!aria( or other terri !e catastro#hes y which a #!ace or many #!aces or an entire country may e !aid waste( such as !ands!i#s( earth-ua)es( meteoric showers and f!oods issuing forth from the seas and from the interior of the earth. 4ear in mind( howe$er( that in a!! that we ha$e noticed a out the simi!arity etween the @ni$erse and the human eing( nothing wou!d warrant us to assert that man is a microcosm; for a!though the com#arison in a!! its #arts a##!ies to the @ni$erse and any !i$ing eing in its norma! state( we ne$er heard that any ancient author ca!!ed the ass or the horse a microcosm. This attri ute has een gi$en to man a!one on account of his #ecu!iar facu!ty of thin)ing( ' mean the inte!!ect( $i,.( the hy!ic inte!!ect which a##ertains to no other !i$ing eing. This may e e1#!ained as fo!!ows. *n anima! does not re-uire for its sustenance any #!an( thought or scheme; each anima! mo$es and acts y its nature( eats as much as it can find of suita !e things( it ma)es its resting-#!ace where$er it ha##ens to e( coha its with

any mate it meets whi!e in heat in the #eriods of its se1ua! e1citement. 'n this manner does each indi$idua! conser$e itse!f for a certain time( and #er#etuates the e1istence of its s#ecies without re-uiring for its maintenance the assistance or su##ort of any of its fe!!ow creatures; for a!! the things to which it has to attend it #erforms y itse!f. 0ith man it is different; if an indi$idua! had a so!itary e1istence( and were( !i)e an anima!( !eft without guidance( he
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wou!d soon #erish( he wou!d not endure e$en one day( un!ess it were y mere chance( un!ess he ha##ened to find something u#on which he might feed. Aor the food which man re-uires for his su sistence demands much wor) and #re#aration( which can on!y e accom#!ished y ref!ection and y #!an; many $esse!s must e used( and many indi$idua!s( each in his #ecu!iar wor)( must e em#!oyed. 't is therefore necessary that one #erson shou!d organi,e the wor) and direct men in such a manner that they shou!d #ro#er!y coo#erate( and that they shou!d assist each other. The #rotection from heat in summer and from co!d in winter( and she!ter from rain( snow( and wind( re-uire in the same manner the #re#aration of many things( none of which can #ro#er!y e done without design and thought. Aor this reason man has een endowed with inte!!ectua! facu!ties( which ena !e him to thin)( consider( and act( and y $arious !a ours to #re#are and #rocure for himse!f food( dwe!!ing and c!othing( and to contro! e$ery organ of his ody( causing oth the #rinci#a! and the secondary organs to #erform their res#ecti$e functions. +onse-uent!y( if a man( eing de#ri$ed of his inte!!ectua! facu!ties( on!y #ossessed $ita!ity( he wou!d in a short time e !ost. The inte!!ect is the highest of a!! facu!ties of !i$ing creatures; it is $ery difficu!t to com#rehend( and its true character cannot e understood as easi!y as man's other facu!ties. There a!so e1ists in the @ni$erse a certain force which contro!s the who!e( which sets in motion the chief and #rinci#a! #arts( and gi$es them the moti$e #ower for go$erning the rest. 0ithout that force( the e1istence of this s#here( with its #rinci#a! and secondary #arts( wou!d e im#ossi !e. 't is the source of the e1istence of the @ni$erse in a!! its #arts. That force is 2od; !essed e "is nameR 't is on account of this force that man is ca!!ed microcosm; for he !i)ewise #ossesses a certain #rinci#!e which go$erns a!! the forces of the ody( and on account of this com#arison 2od is ca!!ed <the !ife of the @ni$erse<; com#. <and he swore y the !ife of the @ni$erse< (.an. 1ii. J). Mou must understand that in the #ara!!e! which we ha$e drawn etween the who!e uni$erse( on the one hand( and the indi$idua! man( on the other( there is a com#!ete harmony in a!! the #oints which we mentioned a o$e on!y in the fo!!owing three #oints a discre#ancy may e noticed. Airst( the #rinci#a! organ of any !i$ing eing which has a heart( deri$es a enefit from the organs under the contro! of the heart( and the enefits of the organs thus ecome the enefits of the heart. This is not the case in the constitution of the uni$erse. That #art which estows authority or distri utes #ower( does not recei$e in return any enefit from the things under its contro!; whate$er it grants( is granted in the manner of a generous

enefactor( not from any se!fish moti$e( ut from a natura! generosity and )ind!iness; on!y for the sa)e of imitating the ways of the Most "igh. %econd!y( !i$ing creatures endowed with a heart ha$e it within the ody and in the midst thereof; there it is surrounded y organs which it go$erns. Thus it deri$es a enefit from them( for they guard and #rotect it( and they do not a!!ow that any in>ury from without shou!d a##roach it. The re$erse occurs in the case of the @ni$erse. The su#erior #art encom#asses the inferior #arts( it eing certain that it cannot e affected y the action of any other eing; and e$en if it cou!d e affected( there is no ody without it
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that cou!d affect it. 0hi!e it inf!uences a!! that is contained within( it is not inf!uenced y any act or force of any materia! eing. There is( howe$er( some simi!arity C etween the uni$erse and manD in this #oint. 'n the ody of anima!s( the organs more distant from the #rinci#a! organ are of !ess im#ortance than those nearer to it. *!so in the uni$erse( the nearer the #arts are to the centre( the greater is their tur idness( their so!idity( their inertness( their dimness and dar)ness( ecause they are further away from the !oftiest e!ement( from the source of !ight and rightness( which mo$es y itse!f and the su stance of which is the most rarefied and sim#!est; from the outermost s#here. *t the same ratio at which a ody is nearer this s#here( it deri$es #ro#erties from it( and rises a o$e the s#heres e!ow it. Third!y. The facu!ty of thin)ing is a force inherent in the ody( and is not se#arated from it( ut 2od is not a force inherent in the ody of the uni$erse( ut is se#arate from a!! its #arts. "ow 2od ru!es the uni$erse and #ro$ides for it is a com#!ete mystery; man is una !e to so!$e it. Aor( on the one hand( it can e #ro$ed that 2od is se#arate from the uni$erse( and in no contact whate$er with it; ut( on the other hand( "is ru!e and #ro$idence can e #ro$ed to e1ist in a!! #arts of the uni$erse( e$en in the sma!!est. 7raised e "e whose #erfection is a o$e our com#rehension. 't is true( we might ha$e com#ared the re!ation etween 2od and the uni$erse( to the re!ation etween the a so!ute ac-uired inte!!ect and man; it is not a #ower inherent in the ody( ut a #ower which is a so!ute!y se#arate from the ody( and is from without rought into contact with the ody. The rationa! facu!ty of man may e further com#ared to the inte!!igence of the s#heres( which are( as it were( materia! odies. 4ut the inte!!igence of the s#heres( #ure!y s#iritua! eings( as we!! as man's a so!ute and ac-uired inte!!ect( are su >ects of dee# study and research; the #roof of their e1istence( though correct( is a struse( and inc!udes arguments which #resent dou ts( are e1#osed to criticism( and can e easi!y attac)ed y o >ectors. 0e ha$e( therefore( #referred to i!!ustrate the re!ation of 2od to the uni$erse y a simi!e which is c!ear( and which wi!! not e contradicted in any of the #oints which ha$e een !aid down y us without any -ua!ification. The o##osition can on!y emanate either from an ignorant man( who contradicts truths e$en if they are #erfect!y o $ious( >ust as a #erson unac-uainted with geometry re>ects e!ementary #ro#ositions which ha$e een c!ear!y demonstrated( or from the #re>udiced man who decei$es himse!f. Those( howe$er( who wish to study the su >ect must #erse$ere in their studies unti! they are con$inced that a!! our o ser$ations are true( and unti! they understand that our account of

this uni$erse un-uestiona !y agrees with the e1isting order of things. 'f a man is wi!!ing to acce#t this theory from one who understands how to #ro$e things which can e #ro$ed( !et him acce#t it( and !et him esta !ish on it his arguments and #roofs. 'f( on the other hand( he refuses to acce#t without #roof e$en the foregoing #rinci#!es( !et him in-uire for himse!f( and u!timate!y he wi!! find that they are correct. <=o this( we ha$e searched it( so it is; hear it( and )now thou it for thy good< (Jo $. 2J). *fter these #re!iminary remar)s( we wi!! treat of the su >ect which we #romised to introduce and to e1#!ain.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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/!+PT"' ())$$$
T"&9& are twe!$e #ro#ositions common to a!! Muta)a!!emim( howe$er different their indi$idua! o#inions and methods may e; the Muta)a!!emim re-uire them in order to esta !ish their $iews on the four #rinci#!es. ' sha!! first enumerate these #ro#ositions( and then discuss each se#arate!y( together with the inferences which may e drawn from it. 79?7?%'T'?F '. *!! things are com#osed of atoms. 79?7?%'T'?F ''. There is a $acuum. 79?7?%'T'?F '''. Time is com#osed of time-atoms. 79?7?%'T'?F 'I. %u stance cannot e1ist without numerous accidents. 79?7?%'T'?F I. &ach atom is com#!ete!y furnished with the accidents (which ' wi!! descri e)( and cannot e1ist without them. 79?7?%'T'?F I'. *ccidents do not continue in e1istence during two time-atoms. 79?7?%'T'?F I''. 4oth #ositi$e and negati$e #ro#erties ha$e a rea! e1istence( and are accidents which owe their e1istence to some causa efficiens. 79?7?%'T'?F I'''. *!! e1isting things( i.e.( a!! creatures( consist of su stance and of accidents( and the #hysica! form of a thing is !i)ewise an accident. 79?7?%'T'?F 'K. Fo accident can form the su stratum for another accident. 79?7?%'T'?F K. The test for the #ossi i!ity of an imagined o >ect does not consist in its conformity with the e1isting !aws of nature.

79?7?%'T'?F K'. The idea of the infinite is e-ua!!y inadmissi !e( whether the infinite e actua!( #otentia!( or accidenta!( i.e.( there is no difference whether the infinite e formed y a num er of co-e1isting things( or y a series of things( of which one #art comes into e1istence when another has ceased to e1ist( in which case it is ca!!ed accidenta! infinite; in oth cases the infinite is re>ected y the Muta)a!!emim as fa!!acious. 79?7?%'T'?F K''. The senses mis!ead( and are in many cases inefficient; their #erce#tions( therefore( cannot form the asis of any !aw( or yie!d data for any #roof. A'9%T 79?7?%'T'?F. <The @ni$erse( that is( e$erything contained in it( is com#osed of $ery sma!! #arts CatomsD which are indi$isi !e on account of their sma!!ness; such an atom has no magnitude; ut when se$era! atoms com ine( the sum has a magnitude( and thus forms a ody.'' 'f( therefore( two atoms were >oined together( each atom wou!d ecome a ody( and they wou!d thus form two odies( a theory which in fact has een #ro#osed y some Muta)a!!emim. *!! these atoms are #erfect!y a!i)e; they do not differ from each other in any #oint. The Muta)a!!emim further assert( that it is im#ossi !e to find a ody that is not com#osed of such e-ua! atoms which are #!aced side y side. *ccording to this $iew enesis and com#osition are identica!; destruction is the same as decom#osition. They do not use the term <destruction(< for they ho!d that <genesis< im#!ies com#osition and decom#osition( motion and rest. These atoms( they e!ie$e( are not( as was su##osed y &#icurus and other *tomists
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numerica!!y constant; ut are created anew whene$er it #!eases the +reator; their annihi!ation is therefore not im#ossi !e. Fow ' wi!! e1#!ain to you their o#inion concerning the $acuum. %&+?F. 79?7?%'T'?F. ?n the $acuum. The origina! Muta)a!!emim a!so e!ie$e that there is a $acuum. i.e.( one s#ace( or se$era! s#aces which contain nothing( which are not occu#ied y anything whatsoe$er( and which are de$oid of a!! su stance. This #ro#osition is to them an indis#ensa !e se-ue! to the first. Aor( if the @ni$erse were fu!! of such atoms( how cou!d any of them mo$e/ Aor it is im#ossi !e to concei$e that one atom shou!d mo$e into another. *nd yet the com#osition( as we!! as the decom#osition of things( can on!y e effected y the motion of atomsR Thus the Muta)a!!emim are com#e!!ed to assume a $acuum( in order that the atoms may com ine( se#arate( and mo$e in that $acuum which does not contain any thing or any atom. T"'9. 79?7?%'T'?F. <Time is com#osed of time-atoms(< i.e.( of many #arts( which on account of their short duration cannot e di$ided. This #ro#osition a!so is a !ogica! conse-uence of the first. The Muta)a!!emim undou ted!y saw how *ristot!e #ro$ed that time( s#ace( and !ocomotion are

of the same nature( that is to say( they can e di$ided into #arts which stand in the same #ro#ortion to each other; if one of them is di$ided( the other is di$ided in the same #ro#ortion. They( therefore( )new that if time were continuous and di$isi !e ad infinitum( their assumed atom of s#ace wou!d of necessity !i)ewise e di$isi !e. %imi!ar!y( if it were su##osed that s#ace is continuous( it wou!d necessari!y fo!!ow( that the time-e!ement( which they considered to e indi$isi !e( cou!d a!so e di$ided. This has een shown y *ristot!e in the treatise ca!!ed +croasis. "ence they conc!uded that s#ace was not continuous( ut was com#osed of e!ements that cou!d not e di$ided; and that time cou!d !i)ewise e reduced to time-e!ements( which were indi$isi !e. *n hour is( e.g.( di$ided into si1ty minutes( the minute into si1ty seconds( the second into si1ty #arts( and so on; at !ast after ten or more successi$e di$isions y si1ty( time-e!ements are o tained( which are not su >ected to di$ision( and in fact are indi$isi !e( >ust as is the case with s#ace. Time wou!d thus e an o >ect of #osition and order. The Muta)a!!emim did not at a!! understand the nature of time. This is a matter of course; for if the greatest #hi!oso#hers ecame em arrassed when they in$estigated the nature of time( if some of them were a!together una !e to com#rehend what time rea!!y was( and if e$en 2a!enus dec!ared time to e something di$ine and incom#rehensi !e( what can e e1#ected of those who do not regard the nature of things/ Fow( mar) what conc!usions were drawn from these three #ro#ositions and were acce#ted y the Muta)a!!emim as true. They he!d that !ocomotion consisted in the trans!ation of each atom of a ody from one #oint to the ne1t one; according!y the $e!ocity of one ody in motion cannot e greater than that of another ody. 0hen( ne$erthe!ess( two odies are o ser$ed to mo$e during the same time through different s#aces( the cause of this difference is not attri uted y them to the fact that the ody which has mo$ed through
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a !arger distance had a greater $e!ocity( ut to the circumstance that motion which in ordinary !anguage is ca!!ed s!ow( has een interru#ted y more moments of rest( whi!e the motion which ordinari!y is ca!!ed -uic) has een interru#ted y fewer moments of rest. 0hen it is shown that the motion of an arrow( which is shot from a #owerfu! ow( is in contradiction to their theory( they dec!are that in this case too the motion is interru#ted y moments of rest. They e!ie$e that it is the fau!t of man's senses if he e!ie$es that the arrow mo$es continuous!y( for there are many things which cannot e #ercei$ed y the senses( as they assert in the twe!fth #ro#osition. 4ut we as) them; <"a$e you o ser$ed a com#!ete re$o!ution of a mi!!stone/ &ach #oint in the e1treme circumference of the stone descri es a !arge circ!e in the $ery same time in which a #oint nearer the centre descri es a sma!! circ!e; the $e!ocity of the outer circ!e is therefore greater than that of the inner circ!e. Mou cannot say that the motion of the !atter was interru#ted y more moments of rest; for the who!e mo$ing ody( i.e.( the mi!!stone( is one coherent ody.< They re#!y( <.uring the circu!ar motion( the #arts of the mi!!stone se#arate from each other( and the moments of rest interru#ting the motion of the #ortions nearer the centre are more than those which interru#t the motion of the outer #ortions.< 0e as) again( <"ow is it that the mi!!stone( which we #ercei$e as one ody( and which cannot e easi!y ro)en( e$en with a hammer( reso!$es into its atoms when it mo$es( and ecomes again one coherent ody( returning to its

#re$ious state as soon as it comes to rest( whi!e no one is a !e to notice the rea)ing u# Cof the stoneD/< *gain their re#!y is ased on the twe!fth #ro#osition( which is to the effect that the #erce#tion of the senses cannot e trusted( and thus on!y the e$idence of the inte!!ect is admissi !e. .o not imagine that you ha$e seen in the foregoing e1am#!e the most a surd of the inferences which may e drawn from these three #ro#ositions; the #ro#osition re!ating to the e1istence of a $acuum !eads to more #re#osterous and e1tra$agant conc!usions. For must you su##ose that the aforegoing theory concerning motion is !ess irrationa! than the #ro#osition resu!ting from this theory( that the diagona! of a s-uare is e-ua! to one of its sides( and some of the Muta)a!!emim go so far as to dec!are that the s-uare is not a thing of rea! e1istence. 'n short( the ado#tion of the first #ro#osition wou!d e tantamount to the re>ection of a!! that has een #ro$ed in 2eometry. The #ro#ositions in 2eometry wou!d( in this res#ect( e di$ided into two c!asses; some wou!d e a so!ute!y re>ected; e.g.( those which re!ate to #ro#erties of the incommensura i!ity and the commensura i!ity of !ines and #!anes( to rationa! and irrationa! !ines( and a!! other #ro#ositions contained in the tenth oo) of &uc!id( and in simi!ar wor)s. ?ther #ro#ositions wou!d a##ear to e on!y #artia!!y correct; e.g.( the so!ution of the #ro !em to di$ide a !ine into two e-ua! #arts( if the !ine consists of an odd num er of atoms; according to the theory of the Muta)a!!emim such a !ine cannot e isected. Aurthermore( in the we!!-)nown oo) of #ro !ems y the sons of %ha)ir are contained more than a hundred #ro !ems( a!! so!$ed and #ractica!!y demonstrated; ut if there rea!!y were a $acuum( not one of these #ro !ems cou!d e so!$ed( and many of the waterwor)s Cdescri ed in that oo)D cou!d not ha$e een constructed. The refutation of such #ro#ositions is a mere waste of time. ' wi!! now #roceed to treat of the other #ro#ositions mentioned a o$e.
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A?@9T" 79?7?%'T'?F. <The accidents of things ha$e rea! e1istence; they are e!ements su#eradded to the su stance itse!f( and no materia! thing can e without them.< "ad this #ro#osition een !eft y the Muta)a!!emim in this form it wou!d ha$e een correct( sim#!e( c!ear( and indis#uta !e. They ha$e( howe$er( gone further( asserting that a su stance which has not the attri ute of !ife( must necessari!y ha$e that of death; for it must a!ways ha$e one of two contrasting #ro#erties. *ccording to their o#inion( co!our( taste( motion or rest( com ination or se#aration( etc.( can e #redicated of a!! su stances( and( if a su stance ha$e the attri ute of !ife( it must at the same time #ossess such other )inds of accidents( as wisdom or fo!!y( freewi!! or the re$erse( #ower or wea)ness( #erce#tion or any of its o##osites( and( in short( the su stance must ha$e the one or the other of a!! corre!ati$e accidents a##ertaining to a !i$ing eing. A'AT" 79?7?%'T'?F. <The atom is fu!!y #ro$ided with a!! these foregoing accidents( and cannot e1ist if any e wanting.< The meaning of the #ro#osition is this; The Muta)a!!emim say that each of the atoms created y 2od must ha$e accidents( such as co!our( sme!!( motion( or rest( e1ce#t the accident of -uantity; for according to their o#inion an atom has no magnitude; and they do not designate -uantity as an accident( nor do they a##!y to it the !aws of accidents. 'n

accordance with this #ro#osition( they do not say( when an accident is noticed in a ody( that it is #ecu!iar to the ody as such( ut that it e1ists in each of the atoms which form the constituent e!ements of that ody. &.g.( ta)e a hea# of snow; the whiteness does not e1ist in that hea# as a who!e( ut each atom of the snow is white( and therefore the aggregate of these atoms is !i)ewise white. %imi!ar!y they say that when a ody mo$es each atom of it mo$es( and thus the who!e ody is in motion. =ife !i)ewise e1ists( according to their $iew( in each atom of a !i$ing ody. The same is the case according to their o#inion with the senses; in each atom of the aggregate they notice the facu!ty of #erce#tion. =ife( sensation( inte!!ect and wisdom are considered y them as accidents( !i)e !ac)ness and whiteness( as wi!! e shown in the further discussion of their theory. +oncerning the sou!( they do not agree. The $iew most #redominant among them is the fo!!owing;--The sou! is an accident e1isting in one of the atoms of which( e.g.( man is com#osed; the aggregate is ca!!ed a eing endowed with a sou!( in so far as it inc!udes that atom. ?thers are of o#inion that the sou! is com#osed of etherea! atoms( which ha$e a #ecu!iar facu!ty y $irtue of which they constitute the sou!( and that these atoms are mi1ed with the atoms of the ody. +onse-uent!y they maintain that the sou! is an accident. *s to the inte!!ect( ' found that a!! of them agreed in considering it to e an accident >oined to one of the atoms which constitute the who!e of the inte!!igent eing. 4ut there is a confusion among them a out )now!edge; they are uncertain whether it is an accident to each of the atoms which form the )nowing aggregate( or whether it e!ongs on!y to one atom. 4oth $iews can e dis#ro$ed y a reductio ad absurdum( when the fo!!owing facts are #ointed out to them. 2enera!!y meta!s and stones ha$e a #ecu!iar co!our(
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which is strong!y #ronounced( ut disa##ears when they are #u!$erised. Iitrio!( which is intense!y green( ecomes white dust when #ounded; this shows that that accident e1ists on!y in the aggregate( not in the atoms. This fact is more stri)ing in the fo!!owing instance; when #arts of a !i$ing eing are cut off they cease to !i$e( a #roof that the accident Cof !ifeD e!ongs to the aggregate of the !i$ing eing( not to each atom. 'n order to meet this o >ection they say that the accident is of no duration( ut is constant!y renewed. 'n discussing the ne1t #ro#osition ' sha!! e1#!ain their $iew on this su >ect. %'KT" 79?7?%'T'?F. <The accidents do not e1ist during two time-atoms.<--The sense of the #ro#osition is this; They e!ie$e that 2od creates a su stance( and simu!taneous!y its accidents; that the +reator is inca#a !e of creating a su stance de$oid of an accident( for that is im#ossi !e; that the essentia! characteristic of an accident is its inca#a i!ity of enduring for two #eriods( for two time-atoms; that immediate!y after its creation it is utter!y destroyed( and another accident of the same )ind is created; this again is destroyed and a third accident of the same )ind is created( and so on( so !ong as 2od is #!eased to #reser$e Cin that su stanceD this )ind of accident; ut "e can at "is wi!! create in the same su stance an accident of a different )ind( and if "e were to discontinue the creation and not #roduce a new accident( that su stance wou!d at once cease to e1ist. This is one of the o#inions he!d y the

Muta)a!!emim; it has een acce#ted y most of them( and it is the so-ca!!ed <theory of the creation of the accidents.< %ome of them( howe$er( and they e!ong to the sect of the MuGta,i!ah( say that there are accidents which endure for a certain #eriod( and other accidents which do not endure for two atoms of time; they do not fo!!ow a fi1ed #rinci#!e in deciding what c!ass of accidents has and what c!ass has not a certain duration. The o >ect of this #ro#osition is to o##ose the theory that there e1ists a natura! force from which each ody deri$es its #ecu!iar #ro#erties. They #refer to assume that 2od himse!f creates these #ro#erties without the inter$ention of a natura! force or of any other agency; a theory which im#!ies that no accident can ha$e any duration. Aor su##ose that certain accidents cou!d endure for a certain #eriod and then cease to e1ist( the -uestion wou!d natura!!y e as)ed( 0hat is the cause of that non-e1istence/ They wou!d not e satisfied with the re#!y that 2od y "is wi!! rought a out this non-e1istence( and non-e1istence does not at a!! re-uire any a ens whate$er; for as soon as the a ens !ea$es off acting( the #roduct of the a ens ceases !i)ewise to e1ist. This is true to some e1tent. "a$ing thus chosen to esta !ish the theory that there does not e1ist any natura! force u#on which the e1istence or non-e1istence of a thing de#ends( they were com#e!!ed to assume that the #ro#erties of things were successi$e!y renewed. 0hen 2od desires to de#ri$e a thing of its e1istence( "e( according to some of the Muta)a!!emim( discontinues the creation of its accidents( and eo ipso the ody ceases to e1ist. ?thers( howe$er( say that if it #!eased the *!mighty to destroy the wor!d( "e wou!d create the accident of destruction( which wou!d e without any su stratum. The destruction of the @ni$erse wou!d e the corre!ati$e accident to that of e1istence.--'n accordance with this Csi1thD #ro#osition they say( that the
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c!oth which according to our e!ief we dyed red( has not een dyed y us at a!!( ut 2od created that co!our in the c!oth when it came into contact with the red #igment; we e!ie$e that co!our to ha$e #enetrated into the c!oth( ut they assert that this is not the case. They say that 2od genera!!y acts in such a way( that( e.g.( the !ac) co!our is not created un!ess the c!oth is rought into contact with indigo; ut this !ac)ness( which 2od creates in the instant when the c!oth touches the !ac) #igment is of no duration( and another creation of !ac)ness then ta)es #!ace; they further say that after the !ac)ness is gone( "e does not create a red or green co!our( ut again a !ac) co!our. *ccording to this #rinci#!e( the )now!edge which we ha$e of certain things to-day( is not the same which we had of them yesterday; that )now!edge is gone( and another !i)e it has een created. They #ositi$e!y e!ie$e that this does ta)e #!ace( )now!edge eing an accident. 'n !i)e manner it wou!d fo!!ow that the sou!( according to those who e!ie$e that it is an accident( is renewed each moment in e$ery animated eing( say a hundred thousand times; for( as you )now( time is com#osed of time-atoms. 'n accordance with this #rinci#!e they assert that when man is #ercei$ed to mo$e a #en( it is not he who has rea!!y mo$ed it; the motion #roduced in the #en is an accident which 2od has created in the #en; the a##arent motion of the hand which mo$es the #en is !i)ewise an accident which 2od has created in the mo$ing hand; ut the creati$e act of 2od is #erformed in such a manner that the motion of the hand and the motion of the #en fo!!ow each other c!ose!y; ut the hand does not act( and is not the cause of the #en's motion; for( as they say( an accident cannot #ass from one thing to another. %ome of the Muta)a!!emim according!y contend that this

white c!oth( which is co!oured when #ut into the $esse! fi!!ed with indigo( has not een !ac)ened y the indigo; for !ac)ness eing an attri ute of indigo( does not #ass from one o >ect to another. There does not e1ist any thing to which an action cou!d e ascri ed; the rea! a ens is 2od( and "e has Cin the foregoing instanceD created the !ac)ness in the su stance of the c!oth when it came into contact with the indigo( for this is the method ado#ted y "im. 'n short( most of the Muta)a!!emim e!ie$e that it must ne$er e said that one thing is the cause of another; some of them who assumed causa!ity were !amed for doing so. *s regards( howe$er( the acts of man their o#inions are di$ided. Most of them( es#ecia!!y the sect of the *shaGariyah( assume that when the #en is set in motion 2od has created four accidents( none of which is the cause of any of the rest( they are on!y re!ated to each other as regards the time of their co-e1istence( and ha$e no other re!ation to each other. The first accident is man's wi!! to mo$e the #en( the second is man's #ower to do so( the third is the odi!y motion itse!f( i.e.( the motion of the hand( and the fourth is the motion of the #en. They e!ie$e that when a man has the wi!! to do a thing and( as he e!ie$es( does it( the wi!! has een created for him( then the #ower to conform to the wi!!( and !ast!y the act itse!f. The act is not accom#!ished y the #ower created in man; for( in rea!ity( no act can e ascri ed to that #ower. The MuGta,i!ah contend that man acts y $irtue of the #ower which has een created in him. %ome of the *shaGariyah assert that the #ower created in man #artici#ates in the act( and is connected with it( an o#inion which has een re>ected y the ma>ority of them. The wi!! and the
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#ower created in man( according to the concurrent e!ief of the Muta)a!!emim( together with the act created in him( according to some of them( are accidents without duration. 'n the instance of the #en( 2od continua!!y creates one motion after the other so !ong as the #en is in motion; it on!y then ceases to mo$e when 2od has created in it the accident of rest; and so !ong as the #en is at rest( 2od continua!!y renews in it that accident. +onse-uent!y in e$ery one of these moments( i.e.( of the time-atoms( 2od creates some accident in e$ery e1isting indi$idua!( e.g.( in the ange!s( in the s#heres and in other things; this creation ta)es #!ace continua!!y and without interru#tion. %uch is( according to their o#inion( the right inter#retation of the creed that 2od is the causa efficiens. 4ut '( together with a!! rationa! #ersons( a##!y to those theories the words( <0i!! you moc) at "im( as you moc) at man/< for their words are indeed nothing ut moc)ery. %&I&FT" 79?7?%'T'?F. <The a sence of a #ro#erty is itse!f a #ro#erty that e1ists in the ody( a something su#eradded to its su stance( an actua! accident( which is constant!y renewed; as soon as it is destroyed it is re#roduced.< The reason why they ho!d this o#inion is this; they do not understand that rest is the a sence of motion; death the a sence of !ife; that !indness is the a sence of sight( and that a!! simi!ar negati$e #ro#erties are the a sence of the #ositi$e corre!ati$es. The re!ation etween motion and rest is( according to their theory( the same as the re!ation etween heat and co!d( name!y( as heat and co!d are two accidents found in two o >ects which ha$e the #ro#erties of heat and co!d( so motion is an accident created in the thing which mo$es( and rest an accident created in the thing which rests; it does not remain in e1istence during two consecuti$e time-atoms( as we ha$e stated in treating of the

#re$ious #ro#osition. *ccording!y( when a ody is at rest( 2od has created the rest in each atom of that ody( and so !ong as the ody remains at rest 2od continua!!y renews that #ro#erty. The same( they e!ie$e( is the case with a man's wisdom and ignorance; the !atter is considered y them as an actua! accident( which is su >ect to the constant changes of destruction and creation( so !ong as there remains a thing of which such a man is ignorant. .eath and !ife are !i)ewise accidents( and as the Muta)a!!emim distinct!y state( !ife is constant!y destroyed and renewed during the who!e e1istence of a !i$ing eing; when 2od decrees its death( "e creates in it the accident of death after the accident of !ife( which does not continue during two time-atoms( has ceased to e1ist. *!! this they state c!ear!y. The !ogica! conse-uence of this #ro#osition is that the accident of death created y 2od instant!y ceases to e1ist( and is re#!aced y another death which again is created y 2od; otherwise death cou!d not continue. .eath is thus continua!!y created in the same manner as !ife is renewed e$ery moment. 4ut ' shou!d wish to )now how !ong 2od continues to create death in a dead ody. .oes "e do so whi!st the form remains( or whi!st one of the atoms e1ists/ Aor in each of the atoms of the ody the accident of death which 2od creates is #roduced( and there are to e found teeth of #ersons who died thousands of years ago; we see that those teeth ha$e not een de#ri$ed of e1istence( and therefore the accident of death has during a!! these thousands of years een renewed( and according to the o#inion
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#re$ai!ing amongst those theorists( death was continua!!y re#!aced y death. %ome of the MuGta,i!ah ho!d that there are cases in which the a sence of a #hysica! #ro#erty is not a rea! #ro#erty( that weariness is the a sence of strength( and ignorance the a sence of )now!edge; ut this cannot e said in e$ery case of negati$e #ro#erties; it cannot e said that dar)ness is the mere a sence of !ight( or that rest is the a sence of motion. %ome negati$e #ro#erties are thus considered y them as ha$ing a rea! e1istence( whi!e other negati$e #ro#erties are considered as non-e1isting( >ust as suits their e!ief. "ere they #roceed in the same manner as they #roceed res#ecting the duration of accidents( and they contend that some accidents e1ist a !ong time( and other accidents do not !ast two timeatoms. Their so!e o >ect is to fashion the @ni$erse according to their #ecu!iar o#inions and e!iefs. &'2"T" 79?7?%'T'?F. <There e1ists nothing ut su stance and accident( and the #hysica! form of things e!ong to the c!ass of accidents.< 't is the o >ect of this #ro#osition to show that a!! odies are com#osed of simi!ar atoms( as we ha$e #ointed out in e1#!aining the first #ro#osition. The difference of odies from each other is caused y the accidents( and y nothing e!se. *nima!ity( humanity( sensi i!ity( and s#eech( are denoted as accidents !i)e !ac)ness( whiteness( itterness( and sweetness( and the difference etween two indi$idua!s of two c!asses is the same as the difference of two indi$idua!s of the same c!ass. *!so the ody of the hea$en( the ody of the ange!s( the ody of the .i$ine Throne--such as it is assumed to e--the ody of anything cree#ing on the earth( and the ody of any #!ant( ha$e one and the same su stance; they on!y differ in the #ecu!iarity of the accidents( and in nothing e!se; the su stance of a!! things is made u# of e-ua! atoms.

F'FT" 79?7?%'T'?F. <Fone of the accidents form the su stratum of another accident; it cannot e said( This is an accident to a thing which is itse!f an accident to a su stance. *!! accidents are direct!y connected with the su stance.< The Muta)a!!emim deny the indirect re!ation of the accident to the su stance( ecause if such a re!ation were assumed it wou!d fo!!ow that the second accident cou!d on!y e1ist in the su stance after another accident had #receded it( a conc!usion to which they wou!d o >ect e$en with regard to some s#ecia! accidents; they #refer to show that these accidents can e1ist in e$ery #ossi !e su stance( a!though such su stance is not determined y any other accident; for they ho!d that a!! the accidents co!!ecti$e!y determine the thing. They ad$ance a!so another #roof Cin su##ort of this #ro#ositionD( name!y; The su stratum which is the earer of certain attri utes must continue to e1ist for a certain time; how( then( cou!d the accident; which--according to their o#inion--does not remain in e1istence for two moments( ecome the su stratum of something e!se/ T&FT" 79?7?%'T'?F. This #ro#osition concerns the theory of <admissi i!ity(< which is mentioned y the Muta)a!!emim( and forms the #rinci#a! su##ort of their doctrine. Mar) its #ur#ort; they o ser$e that e$erything concei$ed y the
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imagination is admitted y the inte!!ect as #ossi !e; e.g.( that the terrestria! g!o e shou!d ecome the a!!-encom#assing s#here( or that this s#here shou!d ecome the terrestria! g!o e; reason does not find here an im#ossi i!ity; or that the s#here of fire shou!d mo$e towards the centre( and the s#here of earth towards the circumference. "uman inte!!ect does not #ercei$e any reason why a ody shou!d e in a certain #!ace instead of eing in another. 'n the same manner they say that reason admits the #ossi i!ity that an e1isting eing shou!d e !arger or sma!!er than it rea!!y is( or that it shou!d e different in form and #osition from what it rea!!y is; e.g.( a man might ha$e the height of a mountain( might ha$e se$era! heads( and f!y in the air; or an e!e#hant might e as sma!! as an insect( or an insect as huge as an e!e#hant. This method of admitting #ossi i!ities is a##!ied to the who!e @ni$erse. 0hene$er they affirm that a thing e!ongs to this c!ass of admitted #ossi i!ities( they say that it can ha$e this form( and that it is a!so #ossi !e that it e found different!y( and that the one form is not more #ossi !e than the other; ut they do not as) whether the rea!ity confirms their assum#tion. They say that the thing which e1ists with certain constant and #ermanent forms( dimensions( and #ro#erties( on!y fo!!ows the direction of ha it( >ust as the )ing genera!!y rides on horse ac) through the streets of the city( and is ne$er found de#arting from this ha it; ut reason does not find it im#ossi !e that he shou!d wa!) on foot through the #!ace; there is no dou t that he may do so( and this #ossi i!ity is fu!!y admitted y the inte!!ect. %imi!ar!y( earth mo$es towards the centre( fire turns away from the centre; fire causes heat( water causes co!d( in accordance with a certain ha it; ut it is !ogica!!y not im#ossi !e that a de$iation from this ha it shou!d occur( name!y( that fire shou!d cause co!d( mo$e downward( and sti!! e fire; that the water shou!d cause heat( mo$e u#ward( and sti!! e water. ?n this foundation their who!e fa ric is constructed. They admit( howe$er(

the im#ossi i!ity of two o##osite #ro#erties coe1isting at the same time in one su stance. This is im#ossi !e; reason wou!d not admit this #ossi i!ity. *gain( reason does not admit the #ossi i!ity of a su stance e1isting without an accident( or an accident e1isting without a su stance. a #ossi i!ity admitted y some of the Muta)a!!emim. 't is a!so im#ossi !e that a su stance shou!d ecome an accident( that an accident shou!d ecome a su stance( or that one su stance shou!d #enetrate another. They admit that reason re>ects a!! these things as im#ossi !e. 't is #erfect!y true that no notion whate$er can e formed of those things which they descri e as im#ossi !e; whi!st a notion can e formed of those things which they consider as #ossi !e. The #hi!oso#hers o >ect to this method. and say( Mou ca!! a thing im#ossi !e ecause it cannot e imagined( or #ossi !e ecause it can e imagined; and thus you consider as #ossi !e that which is found #ossi !e y imagination( not y the inte!!ect( conse-uent!y you determine that a thing is necessary( #ossi !e( or im#ossi !e in some instances( y the aid of the imagination--not y the inte!!ect--and in other instances y the ordinary common sense. as * u Fasr says in s#ea)ing of that which the Muta)a!!emim ca!! inte!!ect. 't is c!ear that they descri e as #ossi !e that which can e imagined( whether the rea!ity corres#ond to it or not( and as im#ossi !e that which cannot e imagined. This #ro#osition can on!y e esta !ished y the nine aforementioned #ro#ositions( and no dou t these were e1c!usi$e!y re-uired for the su##ort of
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this #ro#osition. This you wi!! see c!ear!y when ' sha!! show and e1#!ain to you some im#ortant #arts of this theory( which ' sha!! now introduce in the form of a discussion su##osed to ha$e ta)en #!ace etween a Muta)a!!em and a #hi!oso#her. The Muta)a!!em said to the #hi!oso#her; 0hat is the reason that we find the su stance of iron e1treme!y hard and strong( with a dar) co!our; the su stance of cream( on the other hand( e1treme!y soft and white/ The #hi!oso#her re#!ied as fo!!ows; *!! #hysica! odies ha$e two )inds of accidents; those which concern their su stance( as( e.g.( the hea!th and the i!!ness of a man; and those which concern their form( as( e.g.( the astonishment and !aughter of a man. The su stances of com#ound odies differ $ery much in their u!timate form( according to the difference of the forms #ecu!iar to each com#onent su stance. "ence the su stance of iron has ecome in its #ro#erties the o##osite of the su stance of cream( and this difference is attended y the difference of accidents. Mou notice( therefore( hardness in the one( and softness in the other; two accidents( whose difference resu!ts from the difference which e1ists in the forms of the su stances; whi!e the dar)ness and the whiteness are accidents whose di$ergence corres#onds to that of the two su stances in their u!timate condition. The Muta)a!!em refuted this re#!y y means of his #ro#ositions( as ' am now going to state;--There does not e1ist a form which( as you e!ie$e( modifies the su stance( and thus causes su stances to e different from each other; this difference is e1c!usi$e!y effected y the accidents--according to the theory of the 3a!om( which we mentioned in e1#!aining the eighth #ro#osition. "e then continued thus; There is no difference etween the su stance of iron and that of cream; a!! things are com#osed of the same )ind of atoms.--0e e1#!ained the $iew of the Muta)a!!emim on this #oint in treating of the first #ro#osition( the !ogica! conse-uences of which are( as we ha$e shown( the second and the third #ro#ositions; they further re-uire the twe!fth #ro#osition( in order to esta !ish the theory of atoms. For do they admit that any accidents determine the nature of

a su stance( or #redis#ose it to recei$e certain other accidents; for( according to their o#inion( an accident cannot e the su stratum of another accident( as we ha$e shown in e1#!aining the ninth #ro#osition; nor can it ha$e any duration( according to the si1th #ro#osition. 0hen the Muta)a!!emim ha$e esta !ished a!! that they wish to infer from these #ro#ositions( they arri$e at the conc!usion that the com#onent atoms of cream and of iron are a!i)e.--The re!ation of each atom to each of the accidents is the same; one atom is not more ada#ted than another to recei$e a certain accident; and as a certain atom is not more fitted to mo$e than to rest( so one atom is not more a#t than another to recei$e the accident of !ife( of reason( of sensation. 't is here of no moment whether a thing contains a !arger or sma!!er -uantity of atoms( for( according to the $iew of the Muta)a!!emim( which we e1#!ained in treating of the fifth #ro#osition( e$ery accident Cof a thingD e1ists in each of its atoms. *!! these #ro#ositions !ead to the conc!usion that a human eing is not etter constituted to ecome wise than the at( and esta !ish the theory of admissi i!ity e1#ressed in this CtenthD #ro#osition. &$ery effort was made to demonstrate this #ro#osition( ecause it is the est means for #ro$ing anything they !i)e( as wi!! e e1#!ained.
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F?T&.--Mar)( ? reader( that if you )now the nature of the sou! and its #ro#erties( and if you ha$e a correct notion of e$erything which concerns the sou!( you wi!! o ser$e that most anima!s #ossess imagination. *s to the higher c!ass of anima!s( that is( those which ha$e a heart( it is o $ious that they ha$e imagination. Man's distinction does not consist in the #ossession of imagination( and the action of imagination is not the same as the action of the inte!!ect( ut the re$erse of it. Aor the inte!!ect ana!yses and di$ides the com#onent #arts of things( it forms a stract ideas of them( re#resents them in their true form as we!! as in their causa! re!ations( deri$es from one o >ect a great many facts( which--for the inte!!ect--tota!!y differ from each other( >ust as two human indi$idua!s a##ear different to the imagination; it distinguishes that which is the #ro#erty of the enus from that which is #ecu!iar to the indi$idua!(--and no #roof is correct( un!ess founded on the former; the inte!!ect further determines whether certain -ua!ities of a thing are essentia! or non-essentia!. 'magination has none of these functions. 't on!y #ercei$es the indi$idua!( the com#ound in that aggregate condition in which it #resents itse!f to the senses; or it com ines things which e1ist se#arate!y( >oins some of them together( and re#resents them a!! as one ody or as a force of the ody. "ence it is that some imagine a man with a horse's head( with wings( etc. This is ca!!ed a fiction( a #hantasm; it is a thing to which nothing in the actua! wor!d corres#onds. For can imagination in any way o tain a #ure!y immateria! image of an o >ect( howe$er a stract the form of the image may e. 'magination yie!ds therefore no test for the rea!ity of a thing. "ear what #rofit we deri$e from the #re!iminary disci#!ines( and how e1ce!!ent the #ro#ositions are which we !earn through them. 3now that there are certain things( which wou!d a##ear im#ossi !e( if tested y man's imagination( eing as inconcei$a !e as the coe1istence of two o##osite #ro#erties in one o >ect; yet the e1istence of those same things( which cannot e re#resented y imagination( is ne$erthe!ess esta !ished y #roof( and attested y their rea!ity. &.g.( 'magine a !arge g!o e( of any magnitude you !i)e( e$en as !arge as the a!!-encom#assing s#here; further an a1is #assing through the centre( and two #ersons standing on the two e1tremities of the a1is in such a manner that their feet are in

the same straight !ine with the a1is( which may e either in the #!ane of the hori,on or not; in the first case oth #ersons wou!d fa!!( in the second case one( name!y the one who stands on the !ower e1tremity wou!d fa!!( the other wou!d remain standing( as far as our imagination can #ercei$e. 't has howe$er( a!ready een #ro$ed that the earth has the form of a g!o e( that it is inha ited on oth e1tremities of a certain diameter( that oth the inha itants ha$e their heads towards the hea$en( and their !egs towards each other( and yet neither can #ossi !y fa!!( nor can it e imagined; for it is incorrect to say that the one e1tremity is a o$e( the other e!ow; ut the term <a o$e< and < e!ow< a##!y to oth of them as regards their re!ati$e #osition to each other. %imi!ar!y it has een #ro$ed in the second cha#ter of the oo) on +onic %ections( that two !ines( which at first are at a certain distance from each other( may a##roach each other in the same #ro#ortion as they are #roduced further( and yet wou!d ne$er meet( e$en if they were #roduced to infinity( a!though they are o ser$ed to e constant!y con$erging. This is a fact
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which cannot easi!y e concei$ed( and which does not come within the sco#e of imagination. ?f these two !ines the one is straight( the other cur$ed( as stated in the aforementioned oo). 't has conse-uent!y een #ro$ed that things which cannot e #ercei$ed or imagined( and which wou!d e found im#ossi !e if tested so!e!y y imagination( are ne$erthe!ess in rea! e1istence. The non-e1istence of things which are re#resented y imagination as #ossi !e has !i)ewise een esta !ished y #roof( e.g.( the cor#orea!ity of 2od( and "is e1istence as a force residing in a ody. 'magination #ercei$es nothing e1ce#t odies( or #ro#erties inherent in odies. 't has thus een c!ear!y shown that in man e1ists a certain facu!ty which is entire!y distinct from imagination( and y which the necessary( the #ossi !e( and the im#ossi !e can e distinguished from each other. This in-uiry is most usefu!. 't is of the greatest #rofit to him who desires to guard himse!f against the errors of men guided y imagination ' .o not thin) that the Muta)a!!emim ignore this a!together; to some e1tent they do ta)e it into consideration; they )now it( and ca!! that which can e imagined without ha$ing rea!ity--as( e.g.( the cor#orea!ity of 2od--a #hantom and a fancy; they state fre-uent!y that such #hantoms are not rea!. 't is for this reason that they ad$ance the first nine #ro#ositions and esta !ish on them the #roof of the tenth( according to which a!! those imagina !e things which they wish to admit as #ossi !e are rea!!y #ossi !e( ecause of the simi!arity of an atoms and the e-ua!ity of a!! accidents as regards their accidenta!ity( as we ha$e e1#!ained. +onsider( ? reader( and ear in mind that this re-uires dee# research. Aor there are certain notions which some e!ie$e to e founded on reason( whi!e others regard them as mere fictions. 'n such cases it wou!d e necessary to find something that cou!d show the difference etween conce#tions of the inte!!ect and mere imaginary fancies. 0hen the #hi!oso#her( in his way of e1#ressing himse!f( contends( <9ea!ity is my e$idence; y its guidance ' e1amine whether a thing is necessary( #ossi !e( or im#ossi !e(< the re!igionist re#!ies( <This is e1act!y the difference etween us; that which actua!!y e1ists( has( according to my $iew( een #roduced y the wi!! of the +reator( not y necessity; >ust as it has een created with that s#ecia! #ro#erty( it might ha$e een created with any other

#ro#erty( un!ess the im#ossi i!ity which you #ostu!ate e #ro$ed y a !ogica! demonstration.< * out this admissi i!ity (of imagina !e things) ' sha!! ha$e to say more( and ' sha!! return to it in $arious #arts of this treatise; for it is not a su >ect which shou!d e re>ected in haste and on the s#ur of the moment. &=&I&FT" 79?7?%'T'?F. <The e1istence of the infinite is in e$ery res#ect im#ossi !e.< The fo!!owing is an e1#!anation of this #ro#osition. The im#ossi i!ity of the e1istence of an infinite ody has een c!ear!y demonstrated; the same can e said of an infinite num er of odies( though each of them e finite( if these eings( infinite in num er( e1ist at the same time; e-ua!!y im#ossi !e is the e1istence of an infinite series of causes( name!y( that a certain thing shou!d e the cause of another thing( ut itse!f the effect of another cause( which again is the resu!t of another cause( and so on to infinity( or that things in an infinite series( either odies or idea!s( shou!d e in actua! e1istence( and
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in causa! re!ation to each other. This causa! re!ation is the essentia! order of nature( in which( as has een fu!!y #ro$ed( the infinite is im#ossi !e. *s regards the $irtua! and the accidenta! e1istence of the infinite( it has een esta !ished in some cases; it has een #ro$ed( e.g.( that a ody can $irtua!!y e di$ided ad infinitum( a!so that time can e di$ided ad infinitum; in other cases it is sti!! an o#en -uestion( as( e.g.( the e1istence of the infinite in succession( which is ca!!ed the accidenta! infinite( i.e.( a series of things in which one thing comes forth when the other is gone( and this again in its turn succeeded a thing which had ceased to e1ist( and so on ad infinitum. This su >ect re-uires dee# research. Those who oast that they ha$e #ro$ed the eternity of the @ni$erse say that time is infinite; an assertion which is not necessari!y erroneous; for on!y when one atom has ceased to e1ist( the other fo!!ows. For is it a so!ute!y wrong( when they assert( that the accidents of the su stance succeed each other in an infinite series( for these accidents do not co-e1ist( ut come in succession one after the other( and the im#ossi i!ity of the infinite in that case has not een #ro$ed. The Muta)a!!emim( howe$er( ma)e no difference etween the e1istence of an infinite ody and the di$isi i!ity of a ody or of time ad infinitum( etween the coe1istence of an infinite num er of things( as e.g.( the indi$idua! human eings who e1ist at #resent( and the infinite num er of eings successi$e!y e1isting( as( e.g.( 9eu en the son of Jaco ( and Jaco the son of 'saac( and 'saac the son of * raham( and so on to infinity. This is according to their o#inion as inadmissi !e as the first case; they e!ie$e these four forms of the infinite to e -uite e-ua!. %ome of the Muta)a!!emim endea$our to esta !ish their #ro#osition concerning the !ast named form of the infinite( and to demonstrate its im#ossi i!ity y a method which ' sha!! e1#!ain in this treatise; others say that this im#ossi i!ity is a se!f-e$ident a1iom and re-uires no further #roof. 4ut if it were undou ted!y wrong to assume that an infinite num er of things can e1ist in succession( a!though that !in) of the series which e1ists at #resent is finite( the inadmissi i!ity of the

eternity of the @ni$erse wou!d e e-ua!!y se!f-e$ident( and wou!d not re-uire for its #roof any other #ro#osition. This( howe$er( is not the #!ace for in$estigating the su >ect. T0&=AT" 79?7?%'T'?F. <The senses are not a!ways to e trusted.< Aor two reasons the Muta)a!!emim find fau!t with the #erce#tion of the senses. Airst( the senses are #rec!uded from #ercei$ing many o >ects( either on account of the sma!!ness of the o >ects--this is the case with the atoms( as we ha$e a!ready stated--or on account of the remoteness of the o >ects from the #erson who desires to #ercei$e them; e.g.( we cannot see( hear( or sme!! at a distance of many mi!es; nor do we #ercei$e the motion of the hea$ens. %econd!y( the senses misa##rehend the o >ects of their #erce#tion; a !arge o >ect a##ears sma!! from a distance; a sma!! o >ect immersed in water a##ears !arger; a croo)ed thing a##ears straight when #art!y #!aced in water( and #art!y out of it; things a##ear ye!!ow to a #erson suffering from >aundice; sweet things are itter to him whose tongue has im i ed red ga!!; and they mention many other things of this )ind. Therefore they say( we cannot trust our senses so far as to esta !ish any #roof on their #erce#tions. Mou must not e!ie$e
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that the Muta)a!!emim had no #ur#ose in agreeing u#on this #ro#osition( or as most of the !ater adherents of that schoo! affirm( that the first Muta)a!!emim had no u!terior o >ect in endea$ouring to #ro$e the e1istence of atoms. ?n the contrary( e$ery #ro#osition here mentioned is indis#ensa !e; if one of these e re>ected( the who!e theory fa!!s to the ground. The !ast-mentioned #ro#osition is of #articu!ar im#ortance; for when our senses #ercei$e things y which any of the foregoing #ro#ositions are confuted( the Muta)a!!emim say that no notice shou!d e ta)en of the #erce#tion of the senses so !ong as the #ro#osition is su##orted y the testimony of the inte!!ect( and esta !ished (as they e!ie$e) y #roof. Thus they say that the continuous motion is interru#ted y moments of rest; that the mi!!stone in its motion is ro)en into atoms; that the white co!our of a garment ceases to e1ist( and another whiteness comes in its stead. *!! these theories are contrary to what the eye #ercei$es( and many inferences are drawn from the assumed e1istence of a $acuum( a!! of which are contradicted y the senses. The Muta)a!!emim( howe$er( meet these o >ections y saying( whene$er they can do so( that the #erce#tion of these things is withhe!d from the senses; in other instances they maintain that the contradiction has its source in the dece#ti$e character of the senses. Mou )now that this theory is $ery ancient( and was the #ride of the so#hists( who asserted that they themse!$es were its authors; this is stated y 2a!enus in his treatise on natura! forces; and you )now we!! what he says of those who wi!! not admit the e$idence of the senses. "a$ing discussed these #ro#ositions( ' now #roceed to e1#!ain the theory of the Muta)a!!emim concerning the a o$e-mentioned four #ro !ems.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

/!+PT"' ())$0
'F this cha#ter wi!! e gi$en an out!ine of the #roofs y which the Muta)a!!emim attem#t to demonstrate that the uni$erse is not eterna!. Mou must of course not e1#ect that ' sha!! -uote their !engthy arguments $er atim; ' on!y intend to gi$e an a stract of each #roof( to show in what way it he!#s to esta !ish the theory of the creatio ex nihilo or to confute the eternity of the uni$erse( and rief!y to notice the #ro#ositions they em#!oyed in su##ort of their theory. 'f you were to read their we!!-)nown and $o!uminous writings( you wou!d not disco$er any arguments with which they su##ort their $iew !eft unnoticed in the #resent out!ine( ut you might find there greater co#iousness of words com ined with more grace and e!egance of sty!e; fre-uent!y they em#!oy rhyme( rhythm( and #oetica! diction( and sometimes mysterious #hrases which #erha#s are intended to start!e #ersons !istening to their discourses( and to deter those who might otherwise critici,e them. Mou wou!d a!so find many re#etitions; -uestions #ro#ounded and( as they e!ie$e( answered( and fre-uent attac)s on those who differ from their o#inions. )he 8irst +r ument. %ome of the Muta)a!!emim thought that y #ro$ing the creation of one thing( they demonstrated the creatio ex nihilo in reference to the entire uni$erse. &.g.( Taid( who from a sma!! mo!ecu!e had gradua!!y een rought
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to a state of #erfection( has undou ted!y not effected this change and de$e!o#ment y his own efforts( ut owes it to an e1terna! agency. 't is therefore c!ear that an agent is re-uired for such organi,ation and successi$e transmutation. * #a!m-tree or any other o >ect might e-ua!!y e se!ected to i!!ustrate this idea. The who!e uni$erse( they argue( is ana!ogous to these instances. Thus you see how they e!ie$e that a !aw disco$ered in one thing may e-ua!!y e a##!ied to e$erything. )he $econd +r ument. This argument is !i)ewise ased on the e!ief that the #roof y which the creation of one thing is demonstrated( ho!ds good for the creatio ex nihilo in reference to the who!e uni$erse. &.g.( a certain indi$idua!( ca!!ed Taid( who one time was not yet in e1istence( su se-uent!y came into e1istence; and if it e assumed that *mr( his father( was the cause of his e1istence( *mr himse!f must !i)ewise ha$e #assed from non-e1istence into e1istence; su##ose then that Taid's father un-uestiona !y owed his origin to 3ha!ed( Taid's grandfather( it wou!d e found that 3ha!ed himse!f did not e1ist from eternity( and the series of causes cou!d thus e carried ac) to infinity. 4ut such an infinite series of eings is inadmissi !e according to the theory of the Muta)a!!emim( as we ha$e shown in our discussion of the e!e$enth #ro#osition. 'n continuing this s#ecies of reasoning( you come to a first man( who had no #arent( $i,. *dam. Then you wi!! of course as)( whence came this first man/ 'f( e.g.( the re#!y e gi$en that he was made out of earth( you wi!! again in-uire( <0hence came that earth/< <?ut of water.< <0hence came the water/< The in-uiry wou!d e carried on( either ad infinitum( which is a surd( or unti! you meet with a something that

came into e1istence from a so!ute non-e1istence; in this !atter case you wou!d arri$e at the rea! truth; here the series of in-uiries ends. This resu!t of the -uestion #ro$es( according to the o#inion of the Muta)a!!emim( that the who!e uni$erse came into e1istence from a so!ute non-e1istence. )he )hird +r ument. The atoms of things are necessari!y either >oined together or se#arate( and e$en the same atoms may at one time e united at another disunited. 't is therefore e$ident that the nature of the atoms does not necessitate either their com ination or their se#aration; for if they were se#arate y $irtue of their nature they wou!d ne$er >oin( and if they were >oined y $irtue of their nature( they cou!d ne$er again e se#arated. Thus there is no reason why atoms shou!d rather e com ined than se#arate( or "ice "ersB( why rather in a state of se#aration than of com ination. %eeing that some atoms are >oined( others se#arate( and again others su >ect to change( they eing com ined at one time and se#arated at another( the fact may therefore e ta)en as a #roof that the atoms cannot com ine or se#arate without an agent. This argument( according to the o#inion of the Muta)a!!emim( esta !ishes the theory that the uni$erse has een created from nothing. Mou ha$e a!ready een to!d( that those who em#!oy this argument re!y on the first #ro#osition of the Muta)a!!emim with its coro!!aries.
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)he 8ourth +r ument. The who!e @ni$erse is com#osed of su stance and accidents; e$ery su stance must #ossess one accident or more( and since the accidents are not eterna!( the su stance( the su stratum of the accidents( cannot e eterna!; for that which is >oined to transient things and cannot e1ist without them is itse!f transient. Therefore the who!e @ni$erse has had a eginning. To the o >ection( that the su stance may #ossi !y e eterna! whi!e the accidents( though in themse!$es transient( succeed each other in an infinite series( they re#!y that( in this case( an infinite num er of transient things wou!d e in e1istence( an e$entua!ity which( according to their theory( is im#ossi !e. This argument is considered y them the est and safest( and has een acce#ted y many of them as a strict #roof. 'ts acce#tance im#!ies the admission of the fo!!owing three #ro#ositions( the o >ect of which is we!! understood y #hi!oso#hers. (1) *n infinite series of things( of which the one succeeds when the other has ceased to e1ist( is im#ossi !e. (2) *!! accidents ha$e a eginning.--?ur o##onent( who defends the theory of the eternity of the uni$erse( can refute this #ro#osition y #ointing to one #articu!ar accident( name!y to the circu!ar motion of the s#here; for it is he!d y *ristot!e that this circu!ar motion is eterna!( and( therefore( the s#heres which #erform this motion are( according to his o#inion( !i)ewise eterna!. 't is of no use to #ro$e that a!! other accidents ha$e a eginning; for our o##onent does not deny this; he says that accidents may su#er$ene an o >ect which has e1isted from eternity( and may fo!!ow each other in rotation. "e contents himse!f with maintaining that this #articu!ar accident( $i,.( circu!ar motion( the motion of the hea$en!y s#here( is eterna!( and does not e!ong to the c!ass of transient accidents. 't is therefore necessary to e1amine this accident y itse!f( and to #ro$e that it is not eterna!. (6) The ne1t #ro#osition which the author of this argument acce#ts is as

fo!!ows; &$ery materia! o >ect consists of su stance and accidents( that is to say( of atoms and accidents in the sense in which the Muta)a!!emim use the term. 4ut if a materia! o >ect were he!d to e a com ination of matter and form( as has een #ro$ed y our o##onent( it wou!d e necessary to demonstrate that the #rima! matter and the #rima! form are transient( and on!y then the #roof of the creatio ex nihilo wou!d e com#!ete. )he 8ifth +r ument. This argument is ased on the theory of .etermination( and is made much of y the Muta)a!!emim. 't is the same as the theory which ' e1#!ained in discussing the tenth #ro#osition. Fame!y( when they treat either of the @ni$erse in genera!( or of any of its #arts( they assume that it can ha$e such #ro#erties and such dimensions as it actua!!y has; that it may recei$e such accidents as in rea!ity are noticed in it( and that it may e1ist in such a #!ace and at such a time as in fact is the case; ut it may e !arger or sma!!er( may recei$e other #ro#erties and accidents( and come to e1istence at an ear!ier or a !ater #eriod( or in a different #!ace. +onse-uent!y( the fact that a thing has een determined in its com#osition( si,e( #!ace( accident and time--a $ariation in a!! these #oints eing #ossi !e--is a #roof that a eing e1ists which free!y chooses and determines these di$ers re!ations; and the circumstance
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that the @ni$erse or a #art of it re-uires a eing a !e to ma)e this se!ection( #ro$es that the @ni$erse has een created ex nihilo. Aor there is no difference which of the fo!!owing e1#ressions is used; to determine( to ma)e( to create( to #roduce( to originate( or to intend; these $er s ha$e a!! one and the same meaning. The Muta)a!!emim gi$e a great many e1am#!es( oth of a genera! and a s#ecia! character. They say it is not more natura! for earth to e under water than to e a o$e water; who then determined its actua! #osition/ ?r( is it more natura! that the sun is round than that it shou!d e s-uare or triangu!ar; for a!! -ua!ities ha$e the same re!ation to a ody ca#a !e of #ossessing them. 0ho then determined one #articu!ar -ua!ity/ 'n a simi!ar way they treat of e$ery indi$idua! eing; when( e.g.( they notice f!owers of different co!ours( they are una !e to e1#!ain the #henomenon( and they ta)e it as a strong #roof in fa$our of their theory; they say( <4eho!d( the earth is e$erywhere a!i)e( the water is a!i)e; why then is this f!ower red and that one ye!!ow/< %ome eing must ha$e determined the co!our of each( and that eing is 2od. * eing must therefore e1ist which determines e$erything( oth as regards the @ni$erse genera!!y( and each of its #arts indi$idua!!y. *!! this is the !ogica! conse-uence of the tenth #ro#osition. The theory of determination is moreo$er ado#ted y some of those who assume the eternity of the @ni$erse( as wi!! e e1#!ained e!ow. 'n conc!usion( ' consider this to e the est argument; and in another #art ' sha!! more fu!!y ac-uaint you with the o#inion ' ha$e formed concerning the theory of .etermination. )he $ixth +r ument. ?ne of the modern Muta)a!!emim thought that he had found a $ery good argument( much etter than any ad$anced hitherto( name!y( the argument ased on the trium#h of e1istence o$er non-e1istence. "e says that( according to the common e!ief( the e1istence of the

@ni$erse is mere!y #ossi !e . for if it were necessary( the @ni$erse wou!d e 2od-- ut he seems to forget that we are at issue with those who( whi!st they e!ie$e in the e1istence of 2od( admit at the same time the eternity of the @ni$erse.--The e1#ression <* thing is #ossi !e< denotes that the thing may either e in e1istence or not in e1istence( and that there is not more reason why it shou!d e1ist than why it shou!d not e1ist. The fact that a thing( the e1istence of which is #ossi !e( actua!!y does e1ist--a!though it ears the same re!ation to the state of e1istence as to that of non-e1istence--#ro$es that there is a 4eing which ga$e the #reference to e1istence o$er non-e1istence. This argument is $ery forci !e; it is a modified form of the foregoing argument which is ased on the theory of determination. "e on!y chose the term <#reference< instead of <determination(< and instead of a##!ying it to the #ro#erties of the e1isting eing he a##!ies it to <the e1istence of the eing itse!f.< "e either had the intention to mis!ead( or he misunderstood the #ro#osition( that the e1istence of the @ni$erse is #ossi !e. ?ur o##onent who assumes the eternity of the @ni$erse( em#!oys the term <#ossi !e(< and says( <the e1istence of the @ni$erse is #ossi !e< in a sense different from that in which the Muta)a!!em a##!ies it( as wi!! e e1#!ained e!ow. Moreo$er it may e dou ted whether the conc!usion( that the @ni$erse owes its origin to a eing which is a !e to gi$e #reference to e1istence o$er non-e1istence( is correct. Aor
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we may a##!y the terms <#reference< and <determination< to anything ca#a !e of recei$ing either of two #ro#erties which are contrary or o##osed to each other; and when we find that the thing actua!!y #ossesses one #ro#erty and not the other( we are con$inced that there e1ists a determining agent. &.g.( you say that a #iece of co##er cou!d >ust as we!! e formed into a )ett!e as into a !am#; when we find that it is a !am# or a )ett!e( we ha$e no dou t that a deciding and determining agent had ad$ised!y chosen one of the two #ossi !e forms; for it is c!ear that the su stance of co##er e1isted( and that efore the determination too) #!ace it had neither of the two #ossi !e forms which ha$e >ust een mentioned. 0hen( howe$er( it is the -uestion whether a certain e1isting o >ect is eterna!( or whether it has #assed from none1istence into e1istence( this argument is inadmissi !e; for it cannot e as)ed who decided in fa$our of the e1istence of a thing( and re>ected its none1istence( e1ce#t when it has een admitted that it has #assed from none1istence into e1istence; in the #resent case this is >ust the #oint under discussion. 'f we were to ta)e the e1istence and the non-e1istence of a thing as mere o >ects of imagination( we shou!d ha$e to a##!y the tenth #ro#osition which gi$es #rominence to imagination and fiction( and ignores the things which e1ist in rea!ity( or are concei$ed y the inte!!ect. ?ur o##onent( howe$er( who e!ie$es in the eternity of the @ni$erse( wi!! show that we can imagine the non-e1istence of the uni$erse as we!! as we can imagine any other im#ossi i!ity. 't is not my intention to refute their doctrine of the creatio ex nihilo; ' on!y wish to show the incorrectness of their e!ief that this argument differs from the one which #recedes; since in fact the two arguments are identica!( and are founded on the we!!-)nown #rinci#!e of determination. )he $e"enth +r ument. ?ne of the modern Muta)a!!emim says that he is a !e to #ro$e the creation of the @ni$erse from the theory #ut forth y the #hi!oso#hers concerning the immorta!ity of the sou!. "e argues thus; 'f the wor!d were eterna! the num er of the dead wou!d necessari!y e infinite(

and conse-uent!y an infinite num er of sou!s wou!d coe1ist( ut it has !ong since een shown that the coe1istence of an infinite num er of things is #ositi$e!y im#ossi !e. This is indeed a strange argumentR ?ne difficu!ty is e1#!ained y another which is sti!! greaterR "ere the saying( we!! )nown among the *rameans( may e a##!ied; <Mour guarantee wants himse!f a guarantee.< "e rests his argument on the immorta!ity of the sou!( as though he understood this immorta!ity( in what res#ect the sou! is immorta!( or what the thing is which is immorta!R 'f( howe$er( he on!y meant to contro$ert the o#inion of his o##onent( who e!ie$ed in the eternity of the @ni$erse( and a!so in the immorta!ity of the sou!( he accom#!ished his tas)( #ro$ided the o##onent admitted the correctness of the idea which that Muta)a!!em formed of the #hi!oso#her's $iew on the immorta!ity of the sou!. %ome of the !ater #hi!oso#hers e1#!ained this difficu!ty as fo!!ows; the immorta! sou!s are not su stances which occu#y a !oca!ity or a s#ace( and their e1istence in an infinite num er is therefore not im#ossi !e. Mou must ear in mind that those a stract eings which are neither odies nor forces dwe!!ing in odies( and which in fact are idea!s--are a!together inca#a !e of eing re#resented as a
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#!ura!ity un!ess some idea!s e the cause of the e1istence of others( and can e distinguished from each other y the s#ecific difference that some are the efficient cause and others the effect; ut that which remains of Taid Cafter his deathD is neither the cause nor the effect of that which is !eft of *mr( and therefore the sou!s of a!! the de#arted form on!y one eing as has een e1#!ained y ' n 4e)r ' n *!-,aig( and others who $entured to s#ea) on these #rofound su >ects. 'n short( such intricate disci#!ines( which our mind can scarce!y com#rehend( cannot furnish any #rinci#!es for the e1#!anation of other su >ects.--'t shou!d e noted that whoe$er endea$ours to #ro$e or to dis#ro$e the eternity of the @ni$erse y these arguments of the Muta)a!!emim( must necessari!y re!y on one of the two fo!!owing #ro#ositions( or on oth of them; name!y on the tenth #ro#osition( according to which the actua! form of a thing is mere!y one of many e-ua!!y #ossi !e forms( and which im#!ies that there must e a eing ca#a !e of ma)ing the s#ecia! se!ection; or on the e!e$enth #ro#osition which re>ects the e1istence of an infinite series of things coming successi$e!y into e1istence. The !ast-named #ro#osition is demonstrated in $arious ways( e.g.( they ad$ert to a c!ass of transient indi$idua!s( and to a certain #articu!ar date. Arom the theory which asserts the eternity of the @ni$erse( it wou!d fo!!ow that the indi$idua!s of that c!ass u# to that #articu!ar date are infinite in num er; a thousand years !ater the indi$idua!s of that c!ass are !i)ewise infinite in num er; the !ast num er must e1ceed the #re$ious one y the num er of the indi$idua!s orn in those thousand years( and conse-uent!y one infinite num er wou!d e !arger than another. The same argument is a##!ied to the re$o!utions of the hea$en!y s#here( and in !i)e manner it is shown that one infinite num er of re$o!utions wou!d e !arger than another; the same resu!t is o tained when re$o!utions of one s#here are com#ared with those of another mo$ing more s!ow!y; the re$o!utions of oth s#heres Cthough une-ua!D wou!d e infinite in num er. %imi!ar!y they #roceed with a!! those accidents which are su >ect to destruction and #roduction; the indi$idua! accidents that ha$e #assed into non-e1istence are counted and re#resented as though they were sti!! in e1istence( and as though they were things with a definite eginning; this imaginary num er is then either increased or reduced. Met a!! these things ha$e no rea!ity and are mere fictions. * una,ar *!fara i in critici,ing this #ro#osition( has e1#osed a!! its wea) #oints(

as you wi!! c!ear!y #ercei$e( when you study his oo) on the changea !e eings earnest!y and dis#assionate!y. These are the #rinci#a! arguments of the Muta)a!!emim in see)ing to esta !ish the creatio ex nihilo. "a$ing thus #ro$ed that the @ni$erse is not eterna!( they necessari!y infer that there is an + ens who created it in accordance with "is intention( desire and wi!!. They then #roceed to #ro$e the unity of that + ens as ' am going to #oint out in the ne1t cha#ter.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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'F this cha#ter ' sha!! e1#!ain to you how the Muta)a!!emim #ro$e the @nity of 2od. They contend that the Ma)er and +reator of the @ni$erse( the e1istence of whom is testified y a!! nature( is ?ne. Two #ro#ositions are em#!oyed y them in demonstrating the @nity of 2od( $i,.( two deities or
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more wou!d neutra!i,e each other( and if se$era! deities e1isted they wou!d e distinguished from each other y a s#ecific difference. 8irst +r ument. The first argument is that of mutua! neutra!i,ation( and is em#!oyed y the ma>ority of the Muta)a!!emim. 't is to the fo!!owing effect;--'f the @ni$erse had two 2ods( it wou!d necessari!y occur that the atom--su >ect to a com ination with one or two o##osite -ua!ities--either remained without either of them( and that is im#ossi !e( or( though eing on!y one atom( inc!uded oth -ua!ities at the same time( and that is !i)ewise im#ossi !e. &.g.( whi!st one of the two deities determined that one atom or more shou!d e warm( the other deity might determine that the same shou!d e co!d; the conse-uence of the mutua! neutra!i,ation of the two di$ine eings wou!d thus e that the atoms wou!d e neither warm nor co!d--a contingency which is im#ossi !e( ecause a!! odies must com ine with one of two o##osites; or they wou!d e at the same time oth warm and co!d. %imi!ar!y( it might occur that whi!st one of the deities desired that a ody e in motion( the other might desire that it e at rest; the ody wou!d then e either without motion and rest( or wou!d oth mo$e and rest at the same time. 7roofs of this )ind are founded on the atomic theory contained in the first #ro#osition of the Muta)a!!emim( on the #ro#osition which refers to the creation of the accidents( and on the #ro#osition that negati$es are #ro#erties of actua! e1istence and re-uire for their #roduction an a ens. Aor if it were assumed that the su stance of this wor!d which( according to the #hi!oso#hers is su >ect to successi$e #roduction and destruction( is different from the su stance of the wor!d a o$e( $i,.( from the su stance of the s#heres--a fact esta !ished y #roof-and that as the .ua!ists assert( there are two di$ine eings( one of whom ru!es this wor!d without inf!uencing the s#heres( whi!st the other go$erns the wor!d a o$e without interfering with this wor!d--such theory wou!d not in$o!$e the mutua! neutra!i,ation of the two deities. 'f it were then o >ected( that

the e1istence of two deities wou!d necessitate an im#erfection in oth of them( in so far as one deity wou!d e una !e to inf!uence the #ro$ince of the other( the o >ection wou!d e met y the re#!y that this ina i!ity need not e considered a defect in either of them; for that which is not inc!uded within the s#here of action of a eing can of course not e #erformed y that eing( and an a ens is not deficient in #ower( if it is una !e to #erform what is intrinsica!!y im#ossi !e. Thus we( Monotheists( do not consider it a defect in 2od( that "e does not com ine two o##osites in one o >ect( nor do we test "is omni#otence y the accom#!ishment of any simi!ar im#ossi i!ity. 0hen the Muta)a!!emim noticed the wea)ness of their argument( for which they had some a##arent su##ort( they had recourse to another argument. $econd +r ument. 'f there were two 2ods( there wou!d necessari!y e some e!ement common to oth( whi!st some e!ement #resent in the one wou!d e a sent in the other( and constitute the s#ecific difference etween them. This is a #hi!oso#hic and sound argument for those who are a !e to e1amine it( and to o tain a c!ear insight into its #remises( which wi!! e further e1#!ained( in our e1#osition
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of the $iew of the #hi!oso#hers on this #oint. 4ut it cannot e acce#ted y those who admit the e1istence of di$ine attri utes. Aor according to their o#inion( the 7rima! +ause inc!udes many different e!ements. They re#resent its wisdom and its omni#otence as two different things( and again the omni#otence as different from the wi!!. +onse-uent!y it wou!d not e im#ossi !e that either of the two di$ine eings #ossessed se$era! #ro#erties( some of which wou!d e common to oth( and some #ecu!iar to on!y one of them. )hird +r ument. This argument is !i)ewise ased on one of the 7ro#ositions of the 3a!om. Aor some of the Muta)a!!emim e!onging to the o!d schoo! assume( that when the +reator *ills a thing( the wi!! is not an e!ement su#eradded to the essence of 2od; it is a wi!! without a su stratum. 'n accordance with the #ro#ositions which we ha$e mentioned( and of which( as you wi!! see( it is difficu!t to form a true conce#tion( they say that one wi!!( which is inde#endent of any su stratum( cannot e ascri ed to t*o eings; for( as they assert( one cause cannot e the source of two !aws for two essences. This is( as ' to!d you( the method of e1#!aining one difficu!ty y means of another and sti!! greater difficu!ty. Aor as they define the 0i!!( it is inconcei$a !e( and some ha$e( therefore( considered it to e a mere non-entity; others who admit its e1istence( meet with many insu#era !e difficu!ties. The Muta)a!!emim( ne$erthe!ess( esta !ish on its e1istence one of the #roofs for the unity of 2od. 8ourth +r ument. The e1istence of an action is necessari!y #ositi$e e$idence of the e1istence of an a ens( ut does not #ro$e the e1istence of more than one a ens. There is no difference whether the e1istence of one 2od e assumed or the e1istence of two( or three( or twenty( or any

num er. This is #!ain and c!ear. 4ut the argument does not seem to #ro$e the non-e1istence of a mu!titude of deities; it on!y shows that their num er is un)nown; the deity may e one so!e eing( ut may a!so inc!ude se$era! di$ine eings. The fo!!owing su##!ementa! argument has therefore een ad$anced; #ossi i!ity is ina##!ica !e to the e1istence of 2od( which is a so!ute; the #ossi i!ity of the e1istence of more than one 2od must therefore e denied. This is the who!e essence of the #roof( and its fa!!acy is se!f-e$ident; for a!though the notion of #ossi i!ity cannot e a##!ied to the e1istence of 2od( it can e a##!ied to our )now!edge of 2od; for an a!ternati$e in our )now!edge of a thing does not in$o!$e an a!ternati$e in the actua! e1istence of the thing( and #erha#s there is neither a tri#artite deity as the +hristians e!ie$e( nor an undi$ided @nity as we e!ie$e. This is c!ear to those who ha$e een taught to notice the conc!usions im#!ied in gi$en #remises. 8ifth +r ument. ?ne of the modern Muta)a!!emim thought that he found a #roof of the @nity of 2od in the idea of re-uisiteness. %u##ose there were two di$ine eings; if one of them were a !e to create the uni$erse( the second 2od wou!d e su#erf!uous( and there wou!d e no need for his e1istence. 'f( on the other hand( the entire uni$erse cou!d not e created or go$erned e1ce#t
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y oth of them( each of them. wou!d e im#erfect in to far as he wou!d re-uire the coo#eration of another eing( and wou!d thus e !imited in #ower. This argument is( in fact( on!y a $ariation of <the mutua! neutra!i,ation of two deities.< There is this difficu!ty in such #roofs( that a certain degree of im#erfection is ascri ed to a 4eing which does not accom#!ish tas)s eyond its s#here. 0e do not ca!! a #erson wea) ecause he cannot mo$e a thousand hundredweights( and we do not say that 2od is im#erfect ecause "e cannot transform "imse!f into a ody( or cannot create another eing !i)e "imse!f( or ma)e a s-uare whose diagona! shou!d e e-ua! to one of its sides. 'n the same manner we shou!d not consider it an im#erfection in 2od( if "e were not the on!y +reator( and if it were a so!ute!y necessary that there shou!d e two +reators; not ecause the one 2od re-uired the assistance of the other( ut ecause the e1istence of oth of them was e-ua!!y necessary( and ecause it was im#ossi !e that it shou!d e otherwise. Aurther we do not say that the *!mighty is im#erfect( ecause "e does not( according to the o#inion of the Muta)a!!emim( #roduce a ody otherwise than y the creation of atoms( and y their com ination with accidents created in them. That ina i!ity is not ca!!ed want or im#erfection( since another #rocess is im#ossi !e. 'n !i)e manner the .ua!ist might say( that it is im#ossi !e for one 4eing to act a!one( and that this circumstance constitutes no im#erfection in either of the .eities( ecause the a so!ute e1istence of one .eity necessitates the coe1istence of the other. %ome of the Muta)a!!emim( weary of these arguments( dec!ared that the @nity of 2od is a doctrine which must e recei$ed as a matter of faith( ut most of them re>ected this theory( and re$i!ed its authors. '( howe$er( ho!d( that those who acce#t this theory are rightminded( and shrin) from admitting an erroneous o#inion; when they do not #ercei$e any cogency in the arguments( and find that the #roofs ad$anced in fa$our of the doctrine are inconc!usi$e( they #refer to assume that it cou!d on!y e recei$ed as a matter of faith. Aor the Muta)a!!emim do not ho!d that the @ni$erse has any defined #ro#erties on which a true

#roof cou!d e founded( or that man's inte!!ect is endowed with any such facu!ty as wou!d ena !e him to form correct conc!usions. 't is( howe$er( not without a moti$e that they defend this theory; they wish to assume such a form of the @ni$erse( as cou!d e em#!oyed to su##ort a doctrine for which otherwise no #roof cou!d e found( and wou!d !ead us to neg!ect the in$estigation of that which in fact can e #ro$ed. 0e can on!y a##ea! to the *!mighty and to those inte!!igent #ersons who confess their error when they disco$er it.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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T"& reasonings and arguments of the Muta)a!!emim to demonstrate the 'ncor#orea!ity of 2od are $ery wea).( and indeed inferior to their arguments for the @nity of 2od. They treat the doctrine of the 'ncor#orea!ity of 2od as if it were the !ogica! se-uence of the theory of "is @nity( and they say that the attri ute <one< cannot e a##!ied to a cor#orea! o >ect. Those who maintain that 2od is incor#orea! ecause a cor#orea! o >ect consists of su stance and form--a com ination )nown to e im#ossi !e in the .i$ine 4eing( are not in my o#inion Muta)a!!emim( and such an argument is not founded on the #ro#ositions of the 3a!om; on the contrary( it is a !ogica!
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#roof ased on the theory of su stance and form( and on a right conce#tion of their #ro#erties. 't has the character of a #hi!oso#hica! argument( and ' sha!! fu!!y e1#!ain it when treating of the arguments of the #hi!oso#hers. "ere we on!y #ro#ose to discuss the arguments y which the Muta)a!!emim desire to #ro$e the 'ncor#orea!ity of 2od in accordance with their #ro#ositions and the method of their reasoning. 8irst +r ument. 'f 2od were cor#orea!( "is true essence wou!d necessari!y either e1ist entire!y in e$ery #art of the ody( that is to say( in each of its atoms( or wou!d e confined to one of the atoms. 'n the !atter a!ternati$e the other atoms wou!d e su#erf!uous( and the e1istence of the cor#orea! eing Cwith the e1ce#tion of the one atomD wou!d e of no #ur#ose. 'f( on the other hand( each atom fu!!y re#resented the .i$ine 4eing( the who!e ody wou!d not e one deity( ut a com#!e1 of deities( and this wou!d e contrary to the doctrine ado#ted y the kalBm that 2od is one. *n e1amination of this argument shows that it is ased on the first and fifth #ro#ositions. 4ut there is room for the fo!!owing o >ection; <2od does not consist of atoms( that is to say( "e is not( as you assert( com#osed of a num er of e!ements created y "imse!f( ut is one continuous ody( and indi$isi !e e1ce#t in man's imagination( which affords no test; for in man's imagination the su stance of the hea$ens may e torn or rent asunder. The #hi!oso#her ho!ds that such a #ossi i!ity resu!ts from assuming a simi!arity and an ana!ogy etween the $isi !e( i.e.( the odies which e1ist among us( and the in$isi !e.<

$econd +r ument. This argument( they e!ie$e( is of great im#ortance. 'ts main su##ort is the im#ossi i!ity of com#arison( i.e.( the e!ief that 2od cannot e com#ared to any of "is creatures; and that "e wou!d e com#ara !e to other cor#orea! o >ects if "e were cor#orea!. They #ut great stress on this argument( and say as fo!!ows; <'f it were asserted that 2od is cor#orea!( ut that "is su stance is not !i)e that of other cor#orea! eings( it wou!d e se!f-contradictory; for a!! odies are a!i)e as regards their su stance( and are distinguished from each other y other things( $i,.( the accidents.< They a!so argue that if 2od were cor#orea! it wou!d fo!!ow that "e has created another eing !i)e "imse!f. This argument is refuted in two ways. Airst( the o >ector does not admit the im#ossi i!ity of com#arison; he as)s how it cou!d e #ro$ed that 2od cannot e com#ared to any of "is creatures. Fo dou t that( in su##ort of their $iew( that a com#arison etween the *!mighty and any other eing is inadmissi !e( they wou!d ha$e to cite the words of the 7ro#hets( and thus acce#t this doctrine y the authority of tradition( not y the authority of reason. The argument that 2od( if com#ara !e to any of "is creatures( wou!d e found to ha$e created eings !i)e "imse!f( is refuted y the o >ector in the fo!!owing way; <The created things are not !i)e "im in e$ery res#ect; for ' do not deny that 2od has many #ro#erties and #ecu!iarities.< Aor he who admits the cor#orea!ity of 2od does not deny the e1istence of #ro#erties in the di$ine 4eing. *nother and more forci !e argument is this; *!! who ha$e studied #hi!oso#hy( and ha$e made themse!$es thorough!y ac-uainted with #hi!oso#hica! theories( assume as demonstrated
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facts( first that the term su stance( when a##!ied to the s#heres a o$e and to the cor#orea! o >ects here on earth is a #erfect homonym( for the su stance of the one is not the su stance of the other; and second!y that the forms of the things on this earth are different from the forms of the s#heres; the terms su stance and form when a##!ied oth to things e!ow and to the s#heres a o$e are homonyms; a!though there is no dou t that the s#heres ha$e C!i)e the things e!ow( threeD dimensions( they are cor#orea! ecause they consist of su stance and form( not ecause they ha$e dimensions. 'f this e1#!anation is admitted with reference to the s#heres( how much more is he who e!ie$es that 2od is cor#orea! >ustified in saying that 2od is a cor#orea! eing which has dimensions( ut which in its su stance( its true nature and #ro#erties is $ery different from a!! created odies( and that the term <su stance< is a##!ied to "im and to "is creatures homonymous!y( in the same manner as the true e!ie$ers( who ha$e a correct conce#tion of the di$ine idea( a##!y the term <e1istence< homonymous!y to "im and to "is creatures. The +or#orea!ists do not admit that a!! odies consist of simi!ar atoms; they e!ie$e that 2od created a!! things( and that these differ from each other oth in their su stances and in their constituent #ro#erties; and >ust as the su stance of dung differs from the su stance of the sun( so does( according to this theory( the su stance of the s#heres and the stars differ from the su stance of the created !ight( i.e.( the .i$ine 2!ory ($hechinah)( and again the su stance of the .i$ine 2!ory( or the #i!!ar of c!oud created Cfor the #ur#oseD( differ from the su stance of the Most "igh; for the su stance of the !atter is su !ime( #erfect( sim#!e( constant and immuta !e. "is a so!ute e1istence remains a!ways the same( and "e creates a!! things according to "is wi!! and

desire. "ow cou!d this argument( though it e wea)( e refuted y these strange methods of the Muta)a!!emim( which ' #ointed out to you/ )hird +r ument. 'f 2od were cor#orea!( "e wou!d e finite( and so far this argument is correct; if "e were finite( "e wou!d ha$e certain dimensions and a certain form; this is a!so a correct conc!usion. 4ut they continue thus; *ttri ute to 2od any magnitude or form whate$er; "e might e either !arger or sma!!er( and might a!so ha$e a different form. The fact that "e has one s#ecia! magnitude and one s#ecia! form #resu##oses the e1istence of a determining a ens. ' ha$e heard that they attach great im#ortance to this argument( ut in truth it is the wea)est of a!! the arguments mentioned a o$e. 't is founded on the tenth #ro#osition( the fee !eness of which in ignoring the actua! #ro#erties of things( we ha$e c!ear!y shown in regard to ordinary eings and must e much more e$ident in regard to the +reator. There is no difference etween this argument and their assertion that the fact of the e1istence of the @ni$erse ha$ing een #referred to its non-e1istence #ro$es the e1istence of an a ens that #referred the e1istence of the @ni$erse to its non-e1istence at a time when oth were e-ua!!y #ossi !e. 'f it were as)ed why this argument shou!d not e a##!ied to 2od-$i,.( that "is mere e1istence #ro$ed the e1istence of an a ens which determined "is e1istence and re>ected "is non-e1istence--they wou!d undou ted!y answer that this admission wou!d on!y !ead to a re#etition of the same argument unti! at
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!ength a eing e found whose e1istence is not mere!y #otentia! ut necessary( and which does not re-uire a causa efficiens. 4ut this same answer can a!so e a##!ied to dimensions and to form. 't can on!y e said in reference to a!! other forms and magnitudes( the e1istence of which is #ossi !e( that is to say which came into e1istence after a state of none1istence( that they might ha$e een !arger or sma!!er than they actua!!y are( or that they might ha$e had a form different from that which they actua!!y #ossess( and re-uire for this reason some determining a ens. 4ut the forms and dimensions of 2od (who is a o$e a!! im#erfection and simi!itude)R did not come into e1istence according to the o#inion of the +or#orea!ist after a state of non-e1istence( and therefore no determining a ens was necessary; "is su stance with its dimensions and forms has a necessary e1istence; no a ens was re-uired to decide u#on "is e1istence( and to re>ect "is non-e1istence( since none1istence is a!together inadmissi !e in 2od. 'n !i)e manner there was no force re-uired to determine "is magnitude and form( they were a so!ute!y inse#ara !e from "is e1istence. 'f you wish to go in search of truth( to cast aside your #assions( your tradition( and your fondness of things you ha$e een accustomed to cherish( if you wish to guard yourse!f against error; then consider the fate of these s#ecu!ators and the resu!t of their !a ours; o ser$e how they rushed( as it were( from the ashes into the fire. They denied the nature of the e1isting things( misre#resented the #ro#erties of hea$en and earth( and thought that they were a !e( y their #ro#ositions( to #ro$e the creation of the wor!d( ut in fact they were far from #ro$ing the creatio ex nihilo( and ha$e wea)ened the arguments for the e1istence( the unity( and the incor#orea!ity of 2od. The #roofs of a!! these doctrines must e ased on the we!!-)nown nature of the e1isting things( as #ercei$ed y the senses and the inte!!ect.

"a$ing thus discussed the arguments of the Muta)a!!emim( we sha!! now #roceed to consider the #ro#ositions of the #hi!oso#hers and their arguments for the e1istence of 2od( "is @nity and "is 'ncor#orea!ity( and we sha!! for the #resent assume the &ternity of the @ni$erse without fina!!y acce#ting it. Fe1t to this we sha!! de$e!o# our own method( which is the resu!t of dee# study( in demonstrating these three #rinci#!es( and we sha!! then e1amine the theory of the &ternity of the @ni$erse as assumed y the #hi!oso#hers.

P+'T $$
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T0&FTM-A'I& of the #ro#ositions which are em#!oyed in the #roof for the e1istence of 2od( or in the arguments demonstrating that 2od is neither cor#orea! nor a force connected with a materia! eing( or that "e is ?ne( ha$e een fu!!y esta !ished( and their correctness is eyond dou t. *ristot!e and the 7eri#atetics who fo!!owed him ha$e #ro$ed each of these #ro#ositions. There is( howe$er( one #ro#osition which we do not acce#t--name!y( the #ro#osition which affirms the &ternity of the @ni$erse( ut we wi!! admit it for the #resent( ecause y doing so we sha!! e ena !ed c!ear!y to demonstrate our own theory. 79?7?%'T'?F '. The e1istence of an infinite magnitude is im#ossi !e. 79?7?%'T'?F ''. The co-e1istence of an infinite num er of finite magnitudes is im#ossi !e. 79?7?%'T'?F '''. The e1istence of an infinite num er of causes and effects is im#ossi !e( e$en if these were not magnitudes; if( e.g.( one 'nte!!igence were the cause of a second( the second the cause of a third( the third the cause of a fourth( and so on( the series cou!d not e continued ad infinitum. 79?7?%'T'?F 'I. Aour categories are su >ect to change; (a.) $ubstance.--+hanges which affect the su stance of a thing are ca!!ed genesis and destruction. (b.) <uantity.--+hanges in reference to -uantity are increase and decrease.

(c.) <uality.--+hanges in the -ua!ities of things are transformations. (d.) Place.--+hange of #!ace is ca!!ed motion. The term <motion< is #ro#er!y a##!ied to change of #!ace( ut is a!so used in a genera! sense of a!! )inds of changes. 79?7?%'T'?F I. Motion im#!ies change and transition from #otentia!ity to actua!ity. 79?7?%'T'?F I'. The motion of a thing is either essentia! or accidenta!; or it is due to an e1terna! force( or to the #artici#ation of the thing in the motion of another thing. This !atter )ind of motion is simi!ar to the accidenta! one. *n instance of essentia! motion may e found in the trans!ation of a thing from one #!ace to another. The accident of a thing( as( e.g.( its !ac) co!our( is said to mo$e when the thing itse!f changes its #!ace. The u#ward motion of a stone( owing to a force a##!ied to it in that direction( is an instance of a motion due to an e1terna! force. The motion of a nai! in a oat may ser$e to i!!ustrate motion due to the #artici#ation of a thing in the motion of another thing; for when the oat mo$es( the nai! is said to mo$e !i)ewise. The same is the case with e$erything com#osed of se$era! #arts; when the thing itse!f mo$es( e$ery #art of it is !i)ewise said to mo$e.
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79?7?%'T'?F I''. Things which are changea !e are( at the same time( di$isi !e. "ence e$erything that mo$es is di$isi !e( and conse-uent!y cor#orea!; ut that which is indi$isi !e cannot mo$e( and cannot therefore e cor#orea!. 79?7?%'T'?F I'''. * thing that mo$es accidenta!!y must come to rest( ecause it does not mo$e of its own accord; hence accidenta! motion cannot continue for e$er. 79?7?%'T'?F 'K. * cor#orea! thing that sets another cor#orea! thing in motion can on!y effect this y setting itse!f in motion at the time it causes the other thing to mo$e. 79?7?%'T'?F K. * thing which is said to e contained in a cor#orea! o >ect must satisfy either of the two fo!!owing conditions; it either e1ists through that o >ect( as is the case with accidents( or it

is the cause of the e1istence of that o >ect; such is( e.g.( its essentia! #ro#erty. 'n oth cases it is a force e1isting in a cor#orea! o >ect. 79?7?%'T'?F K'. *mong the things which e1ist through a materia! o >ect( there are some which #artici#ate in the di$ision of that o >ect( and are therefore accidenta!!y di$isi !e( as( e.g.( its co!our( and a!! other -ua!ities that s#read throughout its #arts. ?n the other hand( among the things which form the essentia! e!ements of an o >ect( there are some which cannot e di$ided in any way( as( e.g.( the sou! and the inte!!ect. 79?7?%'T'?F K''. * force which occu#ies a!! #arts of a cor#orea! o >ect is finite( that o >ect itse!f eing finite. 79?7?%'T'?F K'''. Fone of the se$era! )inds of change can e continuous( e1ce#t motion from #!ace to #!ace( #ro$ided it e circu!ar. 79?7?%'T'?F K'I. =ocomotion is in the natura! order of the se$era! )inds of motion the first and foremost. Aor genesis and corru#tion are #receded y transformation( which( in its turn( is #receded y the a##roach of the transforming agent to the o >ect which is to e transformed. *!so( increase and decrease are im#ossi !e without #re$ious genesis and corru#tion. 79?7?%'T'?F KI. Time is an accident that is re!ated and >oined to motion in such a manner that the one is ne$er found without the other. Motion is on!y #ossi !e in time( and the idea of time cannot e concei$ed otherwise than in conne1ion with motion; things which do not mo$e ha$e no re!ation to time. 79?7?%'T'?F KI'. 'ncor#orea! odies can on!y e num ered when they are forces situated in a ody; the se$era! forces must then e counted together with su stances
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or o >ects in which they e1ist. "ence #ure!y s#iritua! eings( which are neither cor#orea! nor forces situated in cor#orea! o >ects( cannot e counted( e1ce#t when considered as causes and effects. 79?7?%'T'?F KI''.

0hen an o >ect mo$es( there must e some agent that mo$es it( from without( as( e.g.( in the case of a stone set in motion y the hand; or from within( e.g.( when the ody of a !i$ing eing mo$es. =i$ing eings inc!ude in themse!$es( at the same time( the mo$ing agent and the thing mo$ed; when( therefore( a !i$ing eing dies( and the mo$ing agent( the sou!( has !eft the ody( i.e.( the thing mo$ed( the ody remains for some time in the same condition as efore( and yet cannot mo$e in the manner it has mo$ed #re$ious!y. The mo$ing agent( when inc!uded in the thing mo$ed( is hidden from( and im#erce#ti !e to( the senses. This circumstance ga$e rise to the e!ief that the ody of an anima! mo$es without the aid of a mo$ing agent. 0hen we therefore affirm( concerning a thing in motion( that it is its own mo$ing agent( or( as is genera!!y said( that it mo$es of its own accord( we mean to say that the force which rea!!y sets the ody in motion e1ists in that ody itse!f. 79?7?%'T'?F KI'''. &$erything that #asses o$er from a state of #otentia!ity to that of actua!ity( is caused to do so y some e1terna! agent; ecause if that agent e1isted in the thing itse!f( and no o stac!e #re$ented the transition( the thing wou!d ne$er e in a state of #otentia!ity( ut a!ways in that of actua!ity. 'f( on the other hand( whi!e the thing itse!f contained that agent( some o stac!e e1isted( and at a certain time that o stac!e was remo$ed( the same cause which remo$ed the o stac!e wou!d undou ted!y e descri ed as the cause of the transition from #otentia!ity to actua!ity( Cand not the force situated within the odyD. Fote this. 79?7?%'T'?F K'K. * thing which owes its e1istence to certain causes has in itse!f mere!y the #ossi i!ity of e1istence; for on!y if these causes e1ist( the thing !i)ewise e1ists. 't does not e1ist if the causes do not e1ist at a!!( or if they ha$e ceased to e1ist( or if there has een a change in the re!ation which im#!ies the e1istence of that thing as a necessary conse-uence of those causes. 79?7?%'T'?F KK. * thing which has in itse!f the necessity of e1istence cannot ha$e for its e1istence any cause whate$er. 79?7?%'T'?F KK'. * thing com#osed of two e!ements has necessari!y their com#osition as the cause of its #resent e1istence. 'ts e1istence is therefore not necessitated y its own essence; it de#ends on the e1istence of its two com#onent #arts and their com ination. 79?7?%'T'?F KK''. Materia! o >ects are a!ways com#osed of two e!ements Cat !eastD( and are without e1ce#tion su >ect to accidents. The two com#onent e!ements of a!! odies are su stance and form. The accidents attri uted to materia! o >ects are -uantity( geometrica! form( and #osition.

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79?7?%'T'?F KK'''. &$erything that e1ists #otentia!!y and whose essence inc!udes a certain state of #ossi i!ity( may at some time e without actua! e1istence. 79?7?%'T'?F KK'I. That which is #otentia!!y a certain thing is necessari!y materia!( for the state of #ossi i!ity is a!ways connected with matter. 79?7?%'T'?F KKI. &ach com#ound su stance consists of matter and form( and re-uires an agent for its e1istence( $i,.( a force which sets the su stance in motion( and there y ena !es it to recei$e a certain form. The force which thus #re#ares the su stance of a certain indi$idua! eing( is ca!!ed the immediate motor. "ere the necessity arises of in$estigating into the #ro#erties of motion( the mo$ing agent and the thing mo$ed. 4ut this has a!ready een e1#!ained sufficient!y; and the o#inion of *ristot!e may e e1#ressed in the fo!!owing #ro#osition; Matter does not mo$e of its own accord--an im#ortant #ro#osition that !ed to the in$estigation of the 7rime Motor (the first mo$ing agent). ?f these foregoing twenty-fi$e #ro#ositions some may e $erified y means of a !itt!e ref!ection and the a##!ication of a few #ro#ositions ca#a !e of #roof( or of a1ioms or theorems of a!most the same force( such as ha$e een e1#!ained y me. ?thers re-uire many arguments and #ro#ositions( a!! of which( howe$er( ha$e een esta !ished y conc!usi$e #roofs #art!y in the 7hysics and its commentaries( and #art!y in the Meta#hysics and its commentary. ' ha$e a!ready stated that in this wor) it is not my intention to co#y the oo)s of the #hi!oso#hers or to e1#!ain difficu!t #ro !ems( ut sim#!y to mention those #ro#ositions which are c!ose!y connected with our su >ect( and which we want for our #ur#ose. To the a o$e #ro#ositions one must e added which enunciates that the uni$erse is eterna!( and which is he!d y *ristot!e to e true( and e$en more acce#ta !e than any other theory. Aor the #resent we admit it( as a hy#othesis( on!y for the #ur#ose of demonstrating our theory. 't is the fo!!owing #ro#osition; 79?7?%'T'?F KKI' Time and motion are eterna!( constant( and in actua! e1istence. 'n accordance with this #ro#osition( *ristot!e is com#e!!ed to assume that there e1ists actua!!y a ody with constant motion( $i,.( the fifth e!ement. "e therefore says that the hea$ens are not su >ect to genesis or destruction( ecause motion cannot e generated nor

destroyed. "e a!so ho!ds that e$ery motion must necessari!y e #receded y another motion( either of the same or of a different )ind. The e!ief that the !ocomotion of an anima! is not #receded y another motion( is not true; for the anima! is caused to mo$e( after it had een in rest( y the intention to o tain those $ery things which ring a out that !ocomotion. * change in its state of hea!th( or some image( or some new idea can #roduce a desire to see) that which is conduci$e to its we!fare and to a$oid that which is contrary. &ach of these three causes
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sets the !i$ing eing in motion( and each of them is #roduced y $arious )inds of motion. *ristot!e !i)ewise asserts that e$erything which is created must( efore its actua! creation( ha$e e1isted in potentiB. 4y inferences drawn from this assertion he see)s to esta !ish his #ro#osition( $i,.( The thing that mo$es is finite( and its #ath finite; ut it re#eats the motion in its #ath an infinite num er of times. This can on!y ta)e #!ace when the motion is circu!ar( as has een stated in 7ro#osition K'''. "ence fo!!ows a!so the e1istence of an infinite num er of things which do not co-e1ist ut fo!!ow one after the other. *ristot!e fre-uent!y attem#ts to esta !ish this #ro#osition; ut ' e!ie$e that he did not consider his #roofs to e conc!usi$e. 't a##eared to him to e the most #ro a !e and acce#ta !e #ro#osition. "is fo!!owers( howe$er( and the commentators of his oo)s( contend that it contains not on!y a #ro a !e ut a demonstrati$e #roof( and that it has( in fact( een fu!!y esta !ished. ?n the other hand( the Muta)a!!emim try to #ro$e that the #ro#osition cannot e true( as( according to their o#inion( it is im#ossi !e to concei$e how an infinite num er of things cou!d e$en come into e1istence successi$e!y. They assume this im#ossi i!ity as an a1iom. '( howe$er( thin) that this #ro#osition is admissi !e( ut neither demonstrati$e( as the commentators of *ristot!e assert( nor( on the other hand( im#ossi !e( as the Muta)a!!emim say. 0e ha$e no intention to e1#!ain here the #roofs gi$en y *ristot!e( or to show our dou ts concerning them( or to set forth our o#inions on the creation of the uni$erse. ' here sim#!y desire to mention those #ro#ositions which we sha!! re-uire for the #roof of the three #rinci#!es stated a o$e. "a$ing thus -uoted and admitted these #ro#ositions( ' wi!! now #roceed to e1#!ain what may e inferred from them.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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*++?9.'F2 to 7ro#osition KKI.( a mo$ing agent must e1ist which has mo$ed the su stance of a!! e1isting transient things and ena !ed it to recei$e Aorm. The cause of the motion of that agent is found in the e1istence of another motor of the same or of a different c!ass( the term <motion(< in a genera! sense( eing common to four categories (7ro#. 'I.). This series of motions is not infinite (7ro#. '''.); we find that it can on!y e continued ti!! the motion of the fifth e!ement is arri$ed at( and then it ends. The motion of the fifth e!ement is the source of e$ery force that mo$es and #re#ares any su stance on earth for its com ination with a certain form( and is connected with that force y a chain of intermediate

motions. The ce!estia! s#here Cor the fifth e!ement) #erforms the act of !ocomotion which is the first of the se$era! )inds of motion (7ro#. K'I.)( and a!! !ocomotion is found to e the indirect effect of the motion of this s#here; e.g.( a stone is set in motion y a stic)( the stic) y a man's hand( the hand y the sinews( the sinews y the musc!es( the musc!es y the ner$es( the ner$es y the natura! heat of the ody( and the heat of the ody y its form. This is undou ted!y the immediate moti$e cause( ut the action of this immediate cause is due to a certain design( e.g.( to ring a stone into a ho!e y stri)ing against it with a stic) in order to #re$ent the draught from coming through the cre$ice. The motion of the air that causes the draught is the effect of the motion of
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the ce!estia! s#here. %imi!ar!y it may e shown that the u!timate cause of a!! genesis and destruction can e traced to the motion of the s#here. 4ut the motion of the s#here must !i)ewise ha$e een effected y an agent (7ro#. KI''.) residing either without the s#here or within it; a third case eing im#ossi !e. 'n the first case( if the motor is *ithout the s#here( it must either e cor#orea! or incor#orea!; if incor#orea!( it cannot e said that the agent is without the s#here; it can on!y e descri ed as separate from it; ecause an incor#orea! o >ect can on!y e said meta#horica!!y to reside without a certain cor#orea! o >ect. 'n the second case( if the agent resides within the s#here( it must e either a force distri uted throughout the who!e s#here so that each #art of the s#here inc!udes a #art of the force( as is the case with the heat of fire; or it is an indi$isi !e force( e.g.( the sou! and the inte!!ect (7ro#s. K. and K'.). The agent which sets the s#here in motion must conse-uent!y e one of the fo!!owing four things; a cor#orea! o >ect without the s#here; an incor#orea! o >ect se#arate from it; a force s#read throughout the who!e of the s#here; or an indi$isi !e force Cwithin the s#hereD. The first case( $i,.( that the mo$ing agent of the s#here is a cor#orea! o >ect without the s#here( is im#ossi !e( as wi!! e e1#!ained. %ince the mo$ing agent is cor#orea!( it must itse!f mo$e whi!e setting another o >ect in motion (7ro#. 'K.)( and as the si1th e!ement wou!d !i)ewise mo$e when im#arting motion to another ody( it wou!d e set in motion y a se$enth e!ement( which must a!so mo$e. *n infinite num er of odies wou!d thus e re-uired efore the s#here cou!d e set in motion. This is contrary to 7ro#osition ''. The third case( $i,.( that the mo$ing o >ect e a force distri uted throughout the who!e ody( is !i)ewise im#ossi !e. Aor the s#here is cor#orea!( and must therefore e finite (7ro#. '.); a!so the force it contains must e finite (7ro#. K''.)( since each #art of the s#here contains #art of the force (7ro#. K'.); the !atter can conse-uent!y not #roduce an infinite motion( such as we assumed according to 7ro#osition KKI'.( which we admitted for the #resent. The fourth case is !i)ewise im#ossi !e( $i,.( that the s#here is set in motion y an indi$isi !e force residing in the s#here in the same manner as the sou! resides in the ody of man. Aor this force( though indi$isi !e( cou!d not e the cause of infinite motion y itse!f a!one; ecause if that were the case the #rime motor wou!d ha$e an accidenta! motion (7ro#. I'.). 4ut things that mo$e accidenta!!y must come to rest (7ro#. I'''.)( and then the thing comes a!so to rest which is set in motion. (The fo!!owing may ser$e as a further

i!!ustration of the nature of accidenta! motion. 0hen man is mo$ed y the sou!( i.e.( y his form( to go from the asement of the house to the u##er storey( his ody mo$es direct!y( whi!e the sou!( the rea!!y efficient cause of that motion( #artici#ates in it accidenta!!y. Aor through the trans!ation of the ody from the asement to the u##er storey( the sou! has !i)ewise changed its #!ace( and when no fresh im#u!se for the motion of the ody is gi$en y the sou!( the ody which has een set in motion y such im#u!se comes to rest( and the accidenta! motion of the sou! is discontinued). +onse-uent!y the motion of that su##osed first motor must e due to some cause which does not form #art of things com#osed of two e!ements( $i,.( a mo$ing agent
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and an o >ect mo$ed; if such a cause is #resent the motor in that com#ound sets the other e!ement in motion; in the a sence of such a cause no motion ta)es #!ace. =i$ing eings do therefore not mo$e continua!!y( a!though each of them #ossesses an indi$isi !e moti$e e!ement; ecause this e!ement is not constant!y in motion( as it wou!d e if it #roduced motion of its own accord. ?n the contrary( the things to which the action is due are se#arate from the motor. The action is caused either y desire for that which is agreea !e( or y a$ersion from that which is disagreea !e( or y some image( or y some idea! when the mo$ing eing has the ca#acity of concei$ing it. 0hen any of these causes are #resent then the motor acts; its motion is accidenta!( and must therefore come to an end (7ro#. I'''.). 'f the motor of the s#here were of this )ind the s#here cou!d not mo$e ad infinitum. ?ur o##onent( howe$er( ho!ds that the s#heres mo$e continua!!y ad infinitum; if this were the case( and it is in fact #ossi !e (7ro#. K'''.)( the efficient cause of the motion of the s#here must( according to the a o$e di$ision( e of the second )ind( $i,.( something incor#orea! and se#arate from the s#here. 't may thus e considered as #ro$ed that the efficient cause of the motion of the s#here( if that motion e eterna!( is neither itse!f cor#orea! nor does it reside in a cor#orea! o >ect; it must mo$e neither of its own accord nor accidenta!!y; it must e indi$isi !e and unchangea !e (7ro#. I''. and 7ro#. I.). This 7rime Motor of the s#here is 2od( #raised e "is nameR The hy#othesis that there e1ist two 2ods is inadmissi !e( ecause a so!ute!y incor#orea! eings cannot e counted (7ro#. KI'.)( e1ce#t as cause and effect; the re!ation of time is not a##!ica !e to 2od (7ro#. KI.)( ecause motion cannot e #redicated of "im. The resu!t of the a o$e argument is conse-uent!y this; the s#here cannot mo$e ad infinitum of its own accord; the 7rime Motor is not cor#orea!( nor a force residing within a ody; it is ?ne( unchangea !e( and in its e1istence inde#endent of time. Three of our #ostu!ates are thus #ro$ed y the #rinci#a! #hi!oso#hers. The #hi!oso#hers em#!oy esides another argument( ased on the fo!!owing #ro#osition of *ristot!e. 'f there e a thing com#osed of two e!ements( and the one of them is )nown to e1ist a!so y itse!f( a#art from that thing( then the other e!ement is !i)ewise found in e1istence y itse!f se#arate from that com#ound. Aor if the nature of the two e!ements were such that they cou!d on!y e1ist together--as( e.g.( matter and form--then neither of them

cou!d in any way e1ist se#arate from the other. The fact that the one com#onent is found a!so in a se#arate e1istence #ro$es that the two e!ements are not indisso!u !y connected( and that the same must therefore e the case with the other com#onent. Thus we infer from the e1istence of honey-$inegar and of honey y itse!f( that there e1ists a!so $inegar y itse!f. *fter ha$ing e1#!ained this #ro#osition *ristot!e continues thus; 0e notice many o >ects consisting of a motor and a motum( i.e.( o >ects which set other things in motion( and whi!st doing so are themse!$es set in motion y other things; such is c!ear!y the case as regards a!! the midd!e mem ers of a series of things in motion. 0e a!so see a thing that is mo$ed( ut does not itse!f mo$e anything( $i,.( the !ast mem er of the series; conse-uent!y a motor must e1ist without eing at the same time a motum( and that is the 7rime Motor( which(
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not eing su >ect to motion( is indi$isi !e( incor#orea!( and inde#endent of time( as has een shown in the #receding argument. )hird Philosophical +r ument.--This is ta)en from the words of *ristot!e( though he gi$es it in a different form. 't runs as fo!!ows; There is no dou t that many things actua!!y e1ist( as( e.g.( things #ercei$ed with the senses. Fow there are on!y three cases concei$a !e( $i,.( either a!! these things are without eginning and without end( or a!! of them ha$e eginning and end( or some are with and some without eginning and end. The first of these three cases is a!together inadmissi !e( since we c!ear!y #ercei$e o >ects which come into e1istence and are su se-uent!y destroyed. The second case is !i)ewise inadmissi !e( for if e$erything had ut a tem#orary e1istence a!! things might e destroyed( and that which is enunciated of a who!e c!ass of things as #ossi !e is necessari!y actua!. *!! things must therefore come to an end( and then nothing wou!d e$er e in e1istence( for there wou!d not e1ist any eing to #roduce anything. +onse-uent!y nothing whate$er wou!d e1ist Cif a!! things were transientD; ut as we see things e1isting( and find ourse!$es in e1istence we conc!ude as fo!!ows;--%ince there are undou ted!y eings of a tem#orary e1istence( there must a!so e an eterna! eing that is not su >ect to destruction( and whose e1istence is rea!( not mere!y #ossi !e. 't has een further argued that the e1istence of this eing is necessary( either on account of itse!f a!one or on account of some e1terna! force. 'n the !atter case its e1istence and none1istence wou!d e e-ua!!y #ossi !e( ecause of its own #ro#erties( ut its e1istence wou!d e necessary on account of the e1terna! force. That force wou!d then e the eing that #ossesses a so!ute e1istence (7ro#. K'K). 't is therefore certain that there must e a eing which has a so!ute!y inde#endent e1istence( and is the source of the e1istence of a!! things( whether transient or #ermanent( if( as *ristot!e assumes. there is in e1istence such a thing( which is the effect of an eterna! cause( and must therefore itse!f e eterna!. This is a #roof the correctness of which is not dou ted( dis#uted( or re>ected( e1ce#t y those who ha$e no )now!edge of the method of #roof. 0e further say that the e1istence of anything that has inde#endent e1istence is not due to any cause (7ro#. K.)( and that such a eing does not inc!ude any #!ura!ity whate$er (7ro#. KK'.); conse-uent!y it cannot e a ody( nor a force residing in a ody (7ro#. KK''.). 't is now c!ear that there must e a eing with a so!ute!y inde#endent e1istence( a eing whose e1istence cannot e attri uted to any e1terna! cause(

and which does not inc!ude different e!ements; it cannot therefore e cor#orea!( or a force residing in 8 cor#orea! o >ect; this eing is 2od. 't can easi!y e #ro$ed that a so!ute!y inde#endent e1istence cannot e attri uted to two eings. Aor( if that were the case( a so!ute!y inde#endent e1istence wou!d e a #ro#erty added to the su stance of oth; neither of them wou!d e a so!ute!y inde#endent on account of their essence( ut on!y through a certain #ro#erty( $i,.( that of this inde#endent e1istence( which is common to oth. 't can esides e shown in many ways that inde#endent e1istence cannot e reconci!ed with the #rinci#!e of dua!ism y any means. 't wou!d ma)e no difference( whether we imagine two eings of simi!ar or of different #ro#erties. The reason for a!! this is to e sought in the a so!ute sim#!icity and in the utmost #erfection of the essence of this eing( which is
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the on!y mem er of its s#ecies( and does not de#end on any cause whate$er this eing has therefore nothing in common with other eings. 8ourth +r ument.--This is !i)ewise a we!!-)nown #hi!oso#hica! argument. 0e constant!y see things #assing from a state of #otentia!ity to that of actua!ity( ut in e$ery such case there is for that transition of a thing an agent se#arate from it (7ro#. KI'''). 't is !i)ewise c!ear that the agent has a!so #assed from #otentia!ity to actua!ity. 't has at first een #otentia!( ecause it cou!d not e actua!( owing to some o stac!e contained in itse!f( or on account of the a sence of a certain re!ation etween itse!f and the o >ect of its action; it ecame an actua! agent as soon as that re!ation was #resent. 0hiche$er cause e assumed( an agent is again necessary to remo$e the o stac!e or to create the re!ation. The same can e argued res#ecting this !ast-mentioned agent that creates the re!ation or remo$es the o stac!e. This series of causes cannot go on ad infinitum; we must at !ast arri$e at a cause of the transition of an o >ect from the state of #otentia!ity to that of actua!ity( which is constant( and admits of no #otentia!ity whate$er. 'n the essence of this cause nothing e1ists #otentia!!y( for if its essence inc!uded any #ossi i!ity of e1istence it wou!d not e1ist at a!! (7ro#. KK'''.); it cannot e cor#orea!( ut it must e s#iritua! (7ro#. KK'I.); and the immateria! eing that inc!udes no #ossi i!ity whate$er( ut e1ists actua!!y y its own essence( is 2od. %ince "e is incor#orea!( as has een demonstrated( it fo!!ows that "e is ?ne (7ro#. KI'). &$en if we were to admit the &ternity of the @ni$erse( we cou!d y any of these methods #ro$e the e1istence of 2od; that "e is ?ne and incor#orea!( and that "e does not reside as a force in a cor#orea! o >ect. The fo!!owing is !i)ewise a correct method to #ro$e the 'ncor#orea!ity and the @nity of 2od; 'f there were two 2ods( they wou!d necessari!y ha$e one e!ement in common y $irtue of which they were 2ods( and another e!ement y which they were distinguished from each other and e1isted as two 2ods; the distinguishing e!ement wou!d either e in oth different from the #ro#erty common to oth-in that case oth of them wou!d consist of different e!ements( and neither of them wou!d e the Airst +ause( or ha$e a so!ute!y inde#endent e1istence; ut their e1istence wou!d de#end on certain causes (7ro#. K'K.)--or

the distinguishing e!ement wou!d on!y in one of them e different from the e!ement common to oth; then that eing cou!d not ha$e a so!ute inde#endence. +nother proof of the Enity of God.--'t has een demonstrated y #roof that the who!e e1isting wor!d is one organic ody( a!! #arts of which are connected together; a!so( that the inf!uences of the s#heres a o$e #er$ade the earth!y su stance and #re#are it for its forms. "ence it is im#ossi !e to assume that one deity e engaged in forming one #art( and another deity in forming another #art of that organic ody of which a!! #arts are c!ose!y connected together. * dua!ity cou!d on!y e imagined in this way( either that at one time the one deity is acti$e( the other at another time( or that oth act simu!taneous!y( nothing eing done e1ce#t y oth together. The first a!ternati$e is certain!y a surd for many reasons; if at the time the one deity e acti$e the other could a!so e acti$e( there is no reason why the one deity shou!d then act and the other not; if( on the other hand( it e im#ossi !e for the one deity to act when the other is at wor)( there must e
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some other cause C esides these deitiesD which Cat a certain timeD ena !es the one to act and disa !es the other. C%uch difference wou!d not e caused y timeD( since time is without change( and the o >ect of the action !i)ewise remains one and the same organic who!e. 4esides( if two deities e1isted in this way( oth wou!d e su >ect to the re!ations of time( since their actions wou!d de#end on time; they wou!d a!so in the moment of acting #ass from #otentia!ity to actua!ity( and re-uire an agent for such transition; their essence wou!d esides inc!ude #ossi i!ity Cof e1istenceD. 't is e-ua!!y a surd to assume that oth together #roduce e$erything in e1istence( and that neither of them does anything a!one; for when a num er of forces must e united for a certain resu!t( none of these forces acts of its own accord( and none is y itse!f the immediate cause of that resu!t( ut their union is the immediate cause. 't has( furthermore( een #ro$ed that the action of the a so!ute cannot e due to an Ce1terna!D cause. The union is a!so an act which #resu##oses a cause effecting that union( and if that cause e one( it is undou ted!y 2od; ut if it a!so consists of a num er of se#arate forces( a cause is re-uired for the com ination of these forces( as in the first case. Aina!!y( one sim#!e eing must e arri$ed at( that is the cause of the e1istence of the @ni$erse( which is one who!e; it wou!d ma)e no difference whether we assumed that the Airst +ause had #roduced the @ni$erse y creatio ex nihilo( or whether the @ni$erse coe1isted with the Airst +ause. 't is thus c!ear how we can #ro$e the @nity of 2od from the fact that this @ni$erse is one who!e. +nother ar ument concernin the -ncorporeality of God.--&$ery cor#orea! o >ect is com#osed of matter and form (7ro#. KK''.); e$ery com#ound of these two e!ements re-uires an agent for effecting their com ination. 4esides( it is e$ident that a ody is di$isi !e and has dimensions; a ody is thus undou ted!y su >ect to accidents. +onse-uent!y nothing cor#orea! can e a unity( either ecause e$erything cor#orea! is di$isi !e or ecause it is a com#ound; that is to say( it can !ogica!!y e ana!ysed into two e!ements; ecause a ody can on!y e said to e a certain ody when the distinguishing e!ement is added to the cor#orea! su stratum( and must therefore inc!ude two e!ements; ut it has een #ro$ed that the * so!ute admits of no dua!ism whate$er.

Fow that we ha$e discussed these #roofs( we wi!! e1#ound our own method in accordance with our #romise.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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T"& fifth essence( i.e.( the hea$en!y s#heres( must either e transient( and in this case motion wou!d !i)ewise e tem#orary( or( as our o##onent assumes( it must e eterna!. 'f the s#heres are transient( then 2od is their +reator; for if anything comes into e1istence after a #eriod of non-e1istence( it is se!f-e$ident that an agent e1ists which has effected this resu!t. 't wou!d e a surd to contend that the thing itse!f effected it. 'f( on the other hand( the hea$en!y s#heres e eterna!( with a regu!ar #er#etua! motion( the cause of this #er#etua! motion( according to the 7ro#ositions enumerated in the 'ntroduction( must e something that is neither a ody( nor a force residing in a ody( and that is 2od( #raised e "is nameR 0e ha$e thus shown that
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whether we e!ie$e in the &reatio ex Nihilo( or in the &ternity of the @ni$erse( we can #ro$e y demonstrati$e arguments the e1istence of 2od( i.e.( an a so!ute 4eing( whose e1istence cannot e attri uted to any cause( or admit in itse!f any #otentia!ity. The theory that 2od is ?ne and 'ncor#orea! has !i)ewise een esta !ished y #roof without any reference to the theory of the +reation or the &ternity of the @ni$erse. This has een e1#!ained y us in the third #hi!oso#hica! argument Cin su##ort of the &1istence of 2odD( and a!so in our su se-uent descri#tion of the methods of the #hi!oso#hers in #ro$ing the 'ncor#orea!ity and the @nity of 2od. 0e deem it now con$enient to continue with the theory of the #hi!oso#hers( and to gi$e their #roofs for the e1istence of 'nte!!igences. 0e wi!! then show that their theory in this regard is in harmony with the teaching of %cri#ture concerning the e1istence of ange!s. *fter the fu!! treatment of ange!s this su >ect we sha!! return to our tas) and discuss the theory of creatio ex nihilo. Aor the est arguments in fa$our of this theory cannot e fu!!y com#rehended un!ess the theory of the e1istence of 'nte!!igences e we!! understood( and a!so the method which ' ado#t in #ro$ing their e1istence. 0e must( howe$er( first gi$e the fo!!owing note( which wi!! introduce you into the secrets of this who!e su >ect( oth of that which we ha$e a!ready gi$en and of what wi!! yet e gi$en. Note.--'t was not my intention when writing this treatise to e1#ound natura! science or discuss meta#hysica! systems; it was not my o >ect to #ro$e truths which ha$e a!ready een demonstrated( or descri e the num er and the #ro#erties of the s#heres; for the oo)s written on these su >ects ser$e their #ur#ose( and if in some #oints they are not satisfactory( ' do not thin) that what ' cou!d say wou!d e etter than what has a!ready een e1#!ained y others. 4ut my intention was( as has een stated in the 'ntroduction( to e1#ound 4i !ica! #assages which ha$e een im#ugned( and to e!ucidate their hidden and true sense( which is

a o$e the com#rehension of the mu!titude. 0hen you therefore notice that ' #ro$e the e1istence and num er of 'nte!!igences or the num er of the s#heres( with the causes of their motion( or discuss the true re!ation of matter and form( the meaning of .i$ine manifestation( or simi!ar su >ects( you must not thin) that ' intend mere!y to esta !ish a certain #hi!oso#hica! #ro#osition; for these su >ects ha$e een discussed in many oo)s( and most of them ha$e een demonstrated y #roof. ' on!y desire to mention that which might( when we!! understood( ser$e as a means of remo$ing some of the dou ts concerning anything taught in %cri#ture; and indeed many difficu!ties wi!! disa##ear when that which ' am a out to e1#!ain is ta)en into consideration. Arom the 'ntroduction to this treatise you may !earn that its #rinci#a! o >ect is to e1#ound( as far as can e done( the account of the +reation (2en. i.-iii.)( and of the .i$ine +hariot (&,e). i.)( and to answer -uestions raised in res#ect to 7ro#hecy and to the )now!edge of 2od. Mou wi!! sometimes notice that ' am rather e1#!icit on truths a!ready ascertained; some of them Fatura! 7hi!oso#hy has esta !ished as facts; others Meta#hysics has either fu!!y demonstrated( or at !east shown to e worthy of e!ief; others Mathematics ha$e made #!ain. 4ut you wi!! in$aria !y find that my e1#osition inc!udes the )ey for the understanding of some a!!egorica! #assage of "o!y 0rit and its esoteric inter#retation( and that ' ha$e mentioned( e1#!ained( and demonstrated the su >ect on!y ecause it
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furthers the )now!edge of the <.i$ine +hariot(< or <the +reation(< or e1#!ains some #rinci#!e with res#ect to 7ro#hecy( or to the e!ief in any of the truths taught in %cri#ture. Fow( ha$ing made this statement( we return to the su >ect of which we egan to treat.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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T"& theory of *ristot!e in res#ect to the causes of the motion of the s#heres !ed him to assume the e1istence of 'nte!!igences. *!though this theory consists of assertions which cannot e #ro$ed( yet it is the !east o#en to dou t( and is more systematic than any other( as has een stated y *!e1ander in the oo) ca!!ed )he (ri in of the Eni"erse. 't inc!udes ma1ims which are identica! with those taught in %cri#ture( and it is to a sti!! greater e1tent in harmony with doctrines contained in we!!-)nown genuine Midrashim( as wi!! e e1#!ained y me. Aor this reason ' wi!! cite his $iews and his #roofs( and co!!ect from them what coincides with the teachings of %cri#ture( and agrees with the doctrine he!d y our %ages.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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T"& enunciation that the hea$en!y s#here is endowed with a sou! wi!! a##ear reasona !e to a!! who sufficient!y ref!ect on it; ut at first thought they may find it uninte!!igi !e or e$en o >ectiona !e; ecause they wrong!y assume that when we ascri e a sou! to the hea$en!y s#heres we mean something !i)e the sou! of man( or that of an ass( or o1. 0e mere!y intend to say that the !ocomotion of the s#here undou ted!y !eads us to assume some inherent #rinci#!e y which it mo$es; and this #rinci#!e is certain!y a sou!. Aor it wou!d e a surd to assume that the #rinci#!e of the circu!ar motion of the s#heres was !i)e that of the recti!inear motion of a stone downward or of fire u#wards( for the cause of the !atter motion is a natura! #ro#erty and not a sou!; a thing set in motion y a natura! #ro#erty mo$es on!y as !ong as it is away from the #ro#er #!ace of its e!ement( ut when it has again arri$ed there( it comes to rest; whi!st the s#here continues its circu!ar motion in its own #!ace. 't is( howe$er( not ecause the s#here has a sou!( that it mo$es in this manner; for animate eings mo$e either y instinct or y reason. 4y <instinct< ' mean the intention of an anima! to a##roach something agreea !e( or to retreat from something disagreea !e; e.g.( to a##roach the water it see)s ecause of thirst( or to retreat from the sun ecause of its heat. 't ma)es no difference whether that thing rea!!y e1ists or is mere!y imaginary( since the imagination of something agreea !e or of something disagreea !e !i)ewise causes the anima! to mo$e. The hea$en!y s#here does not mo$e for the #ur#ose of withdrawing from what is ad or a##roaching what is good. Aor in the first instance it mo$es toward the same #oint from which it has mo$ed away( and "ice "ersB it mo$es away from the same #oint towards which it has mo$ed. %econd!y( if this were the o >ect of the motion( we shou!d e1#ect that the s#here wou!d mo$e towards a certain #oint( and wou!d then rest; for if it mo$ed for the #ur#ose of a$oiding something( and ne$er o tained that o >ect( the motion wou!d e in $ain. The circu!ar motion of the s#here is conse-uent!y due to the action of
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some idea which #roduces this #articu!ar )ind of motion; ut as ideas are on!y #ossi !e in inte!!ectua! eings( the hea$en!y s#here is an inte!!ectua! eing. 4ut e$en a eing that is endowed with the facu!ty of forming an idea( and #ossesses a sou! with the facu!ty of mo$ing( does not change its #!ace on each occasion that it forms an idea; for an idea a!one does not #roduce motion( as has een e1#!ained in C*ristot!e'sD Meta#hysics. 0e can easi!y understand this( when we consider how often we form ideas of certain things( yet do not mo$e towards them( though we are a !e to do so; it is on!y when a desire arises for the thing imagined( that we mo$e in order to o tain it. 0e ha$e thus shown that oth the sou!( the #rinci#!e of motion( and the inte!!ect( the source of the ideas( wou!d not #roduce motion without the e1istence of a desire for the o >ect of which an idea has een formed. 't fo!!ows that the hea$en!y s#here must ha$e a desire for the idea! which it has com#rehended( and that idea!( for which it has a desire( is 2od( e1a!ted e "is nameR 0hen we say that 2od mo$es the s#heres( we mean it in the fo!!owing sense; the s#heres ha$e a desire to ecome simi!ar to the idea! com#rehended y them. This idea!( howe$er( is sim#!e in the strictest sense of the word( and not su >ect to any change or a!teration( ut constant in #roducing e$erything good( whi!st the s#heres are cor#orea!; the !atter can therefore not e !i)e this idea! in any other way( e1ce#t in the #roduction of circu!ar motion; for this is the on!y action of cor#orea! eings that can e #er#etua!; it is the most sim#!e motion of a ody; there is no change in the essence of the s#here( nor in the eneficia! resu!ts of its motion.

0hen *ristot!e had arri$ed at this resu!t( he further in$estigated the su >ect( and found( y #roof( that there were many s#heres( and that a!! mo$ed in circ!es( ut each with its #ecu!iar motion as regards $e!ocity and direction. "e natura!!y argued that the idea! com#rehended y the one s#here( which com#!etes its circuit in one day( is different from that of another s#here which com#!etes its circuit in thirty years; he thus arri$ed at the conc!usion that there were as many idea!s as there were s#heres; each s#here has a desire for that idea! which is the source of its e1istence( and that desire is the cause of its indi$idua! motion( so that in fact the idea! sets the s#here in motion. *ristot!e does not say( nor does any other authority( that there are ten or a hundred idea!s; he sim#!y states that their num er agrees with that of the s#heres. 0hen( therefore( some of his contem#oraries he!d that the num er of s#heres was fifty( he said( if that was true( the num er of idea!s must !i)ewise e fifty. Aor the scho!ars in his time were few and #ossessed ut im#erfect !earning; they thought that there must e a se#arate s#here for each mo$ement( ecause they did not )now that what a##ear to e se$era! distinct mo$ements can e e1#!ained as resu!ting from the inc!ination of one s#here as is( e.g.( the case with the change in the !ongitude of a star( its dec!ination and the #!aces of its rising and setting noticed in the circ!e of the hori,on. This #oint( howe$er( does not concern us at #resent; !et us therefore return to our su >ect. The !ater #hi!oso#hers assumed ten 'nte!!igences( ecause they counted the s#heres containing stars and the a!!-encom#assing s#here( a!though some of the s#heres inc!uded se$era! distinct or its. There are a!together nine s#heres( $i,.( the a!!-encom#assing s#here( that of the fi1ed stars( and those of the se$en #!anets; nine 'nte!!igences corres#ond to the nine s#heres;
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the tenth 'nte!!igence is the *cti$e 'nte!!ect. The e1istence of the !atter is #ro$ed y the transition of our inte!!ect from a state of #otentia!ity to that of actua!ity( and y the same transition in the case of the forms of a!! transient eings. Aor whate$er #asses from #otentia!ity into actua!ity( re-uires for that transition an e1terna! agent of the same )ind as itse!f. Thus the ui!der does not ui!d the storehouse in his ca#acity of wor)man( ut in that of a #erson that has the form of the storehouse in his mind; and that form of the ui!ding which e1ists in the mind of the ui!der caused the transition of the #otentia! form of the storehouse into actua!ity( and im#ressed it on the materia! of the ui!ding. *s that which gi$es form to matter must itse!f e #ure form( so the source of inte!!ect must itse!f e #ure inte!!ect( and this source is the *cti$e 'nte!!ect. The re!ation of the !atter to the e!ements and their com#ounds is the same as that of the 'nte!!igences to their res#ecti$e s#heres; and our inte!!ect in action( which originates in the *cti$e 'nte!!ect( and ena !es us to com#rehend that inte!!ect( finds a #ara!!e! in the inte!!ect of each of the s#heres which originates in the 'nte!!igence corres#onding to that s#here( and ena !es the s#here to com#rehend that 'nte!!igence( to form an idea of it( and to mo$e in see)ing to ecome simi!ar to it. *ristot!e further infers( what has a!ready een e1#!ained( that 2od does not act y means of direct contact. 0hen( e.g.( "e destroys anything with fire( the fire is set in motion through the mo$ement of the s#heres( and the s#heres y the 'nte!!igences; the !atter( which are identica! with <the ange!s(< and act y direct inf!uence( are conse-uent!y( each in its turn( the cause of the motion of the s#heres; as howe$er( #ure!y s#iritua! eings do not differ in their essence( and are y no means discrete -uantities( he (*ristot!e) came to the fo!!owing

conc!usion; 2od created the first 'nte!!igence( the moti$e agent of the first s#here; the 'nte!!igence which causes the second s#here to mo$e has its source and origin in the first 'nte!!igence( and so on; the 'nte!!igence which sets the s#here nearest to the earth in motion is the source and origin of the *cti$e 'nte!!ect( the !ast in the series of #ure!y s#iritua! eings. The series of materia! odies simi!ar!y egins with the u##ermost s#here( and ends with the e!ements and their com#ounds. The 'nte!!igence which mo$es the u##ermost s#here cannot e the * so!ute 4eing( for there is an e!ement common to a!! 'nte!!igences( name!y( the #ro#erty of eing the moti$e agent of a s#here( and there is another e!ement y which each of them is distinguished from the rest; each of the ten 'nte!!igences inc!udes( therefore( two e!ements( and conse-uent!y another eing must e the Airst +ause. This is the theory( and o#inion of *ristot!e on these -uestions( and his #roofs( where #roof is #ossi !e( are gi$en in $arious wor)s of the *ristote!ian schoo!. 'n short( he e!ie$es that the s#heres are animated and inte!!ectua! eings( ca#a !e of fu!!y com#rehending the principia of their e1istence; that there e1ist #ure!y s#iritua! eings ('nte!!igences)( which do not reside in cor#orea! o >ects( and which deri$e e1istence from 2od; and that these form the intermediate e!ement etween 2od and this materia! wor!d. 'n the cha#ters which fo!!ow ' wi!! show how far the teaching of %cri#ture is in harmony with these $iews( and how far it differs from them.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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%+9'7T@9& su##orts the theory that the s#heres are animate and inte!!ectua!( i.e.( ca#a !e of com#rehending things; that they are not( as ignorant #ersons e!ie$e( inanimate masses !i)e fire and earth( ut are( as the #hi!oso#hers assert( endowed with !ife( and ser$e their =ord( whom they mighti!y #raise and g!orify; com#. <The hea$ens dec!are the g!ory of 2od(< etc. (7s. 1i1. 2). 't is a great error to thin) that this is a mere figure of s#eech; for the $er s <to dec!are< and <to re!ate(< when >oined together( are( in "e rew( on!y used of inte!!ectua! eings. That the 7sa!mist rea!!y means to descri e the hea$ens' own doing( in other words( what the s#heres actua!!y do( and not what man thin)s of them( may e est inferred from the words( <There is no s#eech( nor !anguage( their $oice is not heard< ($er. 8). "ere he c!ear!y shows that he descri es the hea$ens themse!$es as in rea!ity #raising 2od( and dec!aring "is wonders without words of !i# and tongue. 0hen man #raises 2od in words actua!!y uttered( he on!y re!ates the ideas which he has concei$ed( ut these ideas form the rea! #raise. The reason why he gi$es e1#ression to these ideas is to e found in his desire to communicate them to others( or to ma)e himse!f sure that he has tru!y concei$ed them. Therefore it is said( <+ommune with your own heart u#on your ed( and e sti!!< (7s. i$. :). ?n!y ignorant or o stinate #ersons wou!d refuse to admit this #roof ta)en from %cri#ture.

*s to the o#inion of our %ages( ' do not see any necessity for e1#ounding or demonstrating it. +onsider on!y the form they ga$e to the !essing recited on seeing the new moon( the ideas re#eated!y occurring in the #rayers and the remar)s in the Midrash on the fo!!owing and simi!ar #assages;--<*nd the host of hea$en worshi##eth thee< (Feh. i1. 5); <0hen the morning stars sang together( and a!! the sons of 2od shouted for >oy< (Jo 111$iii. J). 'n ;ereshit 'abba( on the #assage--<*nd the earth was em#ty and form!ess< (2en. i. 2)( our %ages remar) as fo!!ows; <The words tohu and bohu mean mourning and crying; the earth mourned and cried on account of her e$i! !ot( saying( '' and the hea$ens were created together( and yet the eings a o$e !i$e for e$er( and we are morta!.'< ?ur %ages( y this remar)( indicate their e!ief that the s#heres are animated eings( and not inanimate matter !i)e the e!ements. The o#inion of *ristot!e( that the s#heres are ca#a !e of com#rehension and conce#tion( is in accordance with the words of our #ro#hets and our theo!ogians or %ages. The #hi!oso#hers further agree that this wor!d e!ow is go$erned y inf!uences emanating from the s#heres( and that the !atter com#rehend and ha$e )now!edge of the things which they inf!uence. This theory is a!so met with in %cri#ture; com#. Cthe stars and a!! the host of hea$enD <which the =ord thy 2od hath di$ided unto a!! nations< (.eut. i$. 19)( that is to say( the stars( which 2od a##ointed to e the means of go$erning "is creatures( and not the o >ects of man's worshi#. 't has therefore een stated c!ear!y; <*nd to ru!e o$er the day and o$er the night< (2en. i. 1H). The term <ru!ing< here refers to the #ower which the s#heres #ossess of go$erning the earth( in addition to the #ro#erty of gi$ing !ight and dar)ness. The !atter #ro#erty is the direct cause of genesis and destruction; it is descri ed in the words( <*nd to di$ide the !ight from the dar)ness (ibid.). 't is im#ossi !e to assume that those who ru!e a thing are ignorant
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of that $ery thing which they ru!e( if we ta)e <to ru!e< in its #ro#er sense. 0e wi!! add another cha#ter on this su >ect.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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*s for the e1istence of ange!s( there is no necessity to cite any #roof from %cri#ture( where the fact is fre-uent!y mentioned. The term elohim signifies <>udges<; com#. <The cause of oth #arties sha!! come efore the '>udges'< (ha-elohim; &1od. 11ii. H). 't has een figurati$e!y a##!ied to ange!s( and to the +reator as eing >udge o$er the ange!s. 0hen 2od says( <' am the =ord your 2od(< the #ronoun <your< refers to a!! man)ind; ut in the #hrase elohe ha-elohim( "e is descri ed as the 2od of the ange!s( and in adone ha-adonim( as the =ord of the s#heres and the stars( which are the masters of the rest of the cor#orea! creation. The nouns elohim and adonim in these #hrases do not refer to human >udges or masters( ecause these are in ran) inferior to the hea$en!y odies; much !ess do they refer to man)ind in genera!( inc!uding masters and ser$ants( or to o >ects of stone and wood

worshi##ed y some as gods; for it is no honour or greatness to 2od to e su#erior to stone( wood( or a #iece of meta!. The #hrases therefore admit of no other meaning than this; 2od is the >udge o$er the >udges; i.e.( o$er the ange!s( and the =ord o$er the s#heres. 0e ha$e a!ready stated a o$e that the ange!s are incor#orea!. This agrees with the o#inion of *ristot!e; there is on!y this difference in the names em#!oyed--he uses the term <'nte!!igences(< and we say instead <ange!s.< "is theory is that the 'nte!!igences are intermediate eings etween the 7rime +ause and e1isting things( and that they effect the motion of the s#heres( on which motion the e1istence of a!! things de#ends. This is a!so the $iew we meet with in a!! #arts of %cri#ture; e$ery act of 2od is descri ed as eing #erformed y ange!s. 4ut <ange!< means <messenger<; hence e$ery one that is intrusted with a certain mission is an ange!. &$en the mo$ements of the rute creation are sometimes due to the action of an ange!( when such mo$ements ser$e the #ur#ose of the +reator( who endowed it with the #ower of #erforming that mo$ement; e.g.( <2od hath sent "is ange!( and hath shut the !ions' mouths that they ha$e not hurt me< (.an. $i. 22). *nother instance may e seen in the mo$ements of 4a!aam's ass( descri ed as caused y an ange!. The e!ements are a!so ca!!ed ange!s. +om#. <0ho ma)eth winds "is ange!s( f!aming fire "is ministers< (7s. ci$. 8). There is no dou t that the word <ange!< is used of a messenger sent y man; e.g.( <*nd Jaco sent ange!s< (2en. 111ii. 8); of a #ro#het( e.g.( <*nd an ange! of the =ord came u# from Gil al to 4ochim< (Judges ii. 1); <*nd "e sent an ange!( and hath rought us forth out of &gy#t< (Fum. 11. 15). 't is a!so used of idea!s( #ercei$ed y #ro#hets in #ro#hetic $isions( and of man's anima! #owers( as wi!! e e1#!ained in another #!ace. 0hen we assert that %cri#ture teaches that 2od ru!es this wor!d through ange!s( we mean such ange!s as are identica! with the 'nte!!igences. 'n some #assages the #!ura! is used of 2od( e.g.( <=et us ma)e man in our image< (2en. i. 25); <2o to( !et us go down( and there confound their !anguage< (ibid. 1i. J). ?ur %ages e1#!ain this in the fo!!owing manner; 2od( as it were( does nothing without contem#!ating the host a o$e. ' wonder at the
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e1#ression <contem#!ating(< which is the $ery e1#ression used y 7!ato; 2od( as it were( <contem#!ates the wor!d of idea!s( and thus #roduces the e1isting eings.< 'n other #assages our %ages e1#ressed it more decided!y; <2od does nothing without consu!ting the host a o$e< (the word familia( used in the origina!( is a 2ree) noun( and signifies <host<). ?n the words( <what they ha$e a!ready made< (&cc!es. ii. 12)( the fo!!owing remar) is made in ;ereshit 'abba and in Midrash %oheleth; <'t is not said 'what "e has made(' ut 'what they ha$e made'; hence we infer that "e( as it were( with "is court( ha$e agreed u#on the form of each of the !im s of man efore #!acing it in its #osition( as it is said( '"e hath made thee and esta !ished thee'< (.eut. 111ii. 5). 'n 4ereshit 9a a (cha#. !i.) it is a!so stated( that where$er the term <and the =ord< occurred in %cri#ture( the =ord with "is court is to e understood. These #assages do not con$ey the idea that 2od s#o)e( thought( ref!ected( or that "e consu!ted and em#!oyed the o#inion of other eings( as ignorant #ersons ha$e e!ie$ed. "ow cou!d the +reator e assisted y those whom "e createdR They on!y show that a!! #arts of the @ni$erse( e$en the !im s of anima!s in their actua! form( are #roduced through ange!s; for natura! forces and ange!s are identica!. "ow ad and in>urious is the

!indness of ignoranceR %ay to a #erson who is e!ie$ed to e!ong to the wise men of 'srae! that the *!mighty sends "is ange! to enter the wom of a woman and to form there the fptus( he wi!! e satisfied with the account; he wi!! e!ie$e it( and e$en find in it a descri#tion of the greatness of 2od's might and wisdom; a!though he e!ie$es that the ange! consists of urning fire( and is as ig as a third #art of the @ni$erse( yet he considers it #ossi !e as a di$ine mirac!e. 4ut te!! him that 2od ga$e the seed a formati$e #ower which #roduces and sha#es the !im s( and that this #ower is ca!!ed <ange!(< or that a!! forms are the resu!t of the inf!uence of the *cti$e 'nte!!ect( and that the !atter is the ange!( the 7rince of the wor!d( fre-uent!y mentioned y our %ages( and he wi!! turn away; ecause he cannot com#rehend the true greatness and #ower of creating forces that act in a ody without eing #ercei$ed y our senses. ?ur %ages ha$e a!ready stated--for him who has understanding-that a!! forces that reside in a ody are ange!s( much more the forces that are acti$e in the @ni$erse. The theory that each force acts on!y in one #articu!ar way( is e1#ressed in ;ereshit 'abba (cha#. 1.) as fo!!ows; <?ne ange! does not #erform two things( and two ange!s do not #erform one thing<; this is e1act!y the #ro#erty of a!! forces. 0e may find a confirmation of the o#inion that the natura! and #sychica! forces of an indi$idua! are ca!!ed ange!s in a statement of our %ages which is fre-uent!y -uoted( and occurs origina!!y in ;ereshit 'abba (cha#. !11$iii.); <&$ery day 2od creates a !egion of ange!s; they sing efore "im( and disa##ear.< 0hen( in o##osition to this statement( other statements were -uoted to the effect that ange!s are eterna!--and( in fact( it has re#eated!y een shown that they !i$e #ermanent!y--the re#!y has een gi$en that some ange!s !i$e #ermanent!y( others #erish; and this is rea!!y the case; for indi$idua! forces are transient( whi!st the genera are #ermanent and im#erisha !e. *gain( we read (in 4ereshit 9a a( cha#. !111$.)( in reference to the re!ation etween Judah and Tamar; <9. Jochanan said that Judah was a out to #ass y Cwithout noticing TamarD( ut 2od caused the ange! of !ust( i.e.( the !i idinous dis#osition( to #resent himse!f to him.< Man's dis#osition is here ca!!ed
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an ange!. =i)ewise we fre-uent!y meet with the #hrase <the ange! set o$er a certain thing.'' 'n Midrash-3ohe!eth (on &cc!es. 1. J) the fo!!owing #assage occurs; <0hen man s!ee#s( his sou! s#ea)s to the ange!( the ange! to the cheru .< The inte!!igent reader wi!! find here a c!ear statement that man's imaginati$e facu!ty is a!so ca!!ed <ange!(< and that <cheru < is used for man's inte!!ectua! facu!ty. "ow eautifu! must this a##ear to him who understands it; how a surd to the ignorantR 0e ha$e a!ready stated that the forms in which ange!s a##ear form #art of the #ro#hetic $ision. %ome #ro#hets see ange!s in the form of man( e.g.( <*nd eho!d three men stood y him< (2en. 1$iii. 2); others #ercei$e an ange! as a fearfu! and terri !e eing( e.g.( <*nd his countenance was as the countenance of an ange! of 2od( $ery terri !e< (Judges 1iii. 5); others see them as fire( e.g.( <*nd the ange! of the =ord a##eared to him in a f!ame of fire< (&1od. iii. 2). 'n 4ereshit 9a a (cha#. !.) the fo!!owing remar) occurs; <To * raham( whose #ro#hetic #ower was great( the ange!s a##eared in the form of men; to =ot( whose #ower was wea)( they a##eared as ange!s.< This is an im#ortant #rinci#!e as regards 7ro#hecy; it wi!! e fu!!y discussed when we treat of that su >ect (cha#. 111ii. s::.). *nother #assage in ;ereshit 'abba (ibid.) runs thus; <4efore the ange!s ha$e accom#!ished their tas) they are ca!!ed men( when they ha$e accom#!ished it they are ange!s.< +onsider

how c!ear!y they say that the term <ange!< signifies nothing ut a certain action( and that e$ery a##earance of an ange! is #art of a #ro#hetic $ision( de#ending on the ca#acity of the #erson that #ercei$es it. There is nothing in the o#inion of *ristot!e on this su >ect contrary to the teaching of %cri#ture. The who!e difference etween him and ourse!$es is this; he e!ie$es a!! these eings to e eterna!( co-e1isting with the Airst +ause as its necessary effect; ut we e!ie$e that they ha$e had a eginning( that 2od created the 'nte!!igences( and ga$e the s#heres the ca#acity of see)ing to ecome !i)e them; that in creating the 'nte!!igences and the s#heres( "e endowed them with their go$erning #owers. 'n this #oint we differ from him. 'n the course of this treatise we sha!! gi$e his theory as we!! as the theory of &reatio ex nihilo taught in %cri#ture.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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0& ha$e a!ready e1#!ained that the term <ange!< is a homonym( and is used of the inte!!ectua! eings( the s#heres( and the e!ements; for a!! these are engaged in #erforming a di$ine command. 4ut do not imagine that the 'nte!!igences and the s#heres are !i)e other forces which reside in odies and act y the !aws of nature without eing conscious of what they do. The s#heres and the 'nte!!igences are conscious of their actions( and se!ect y their own free wi!! the o >ects of their inf!uence( a!though not in the same manner as we e1ercise free wi!! and ru!e o$er other things( which on!y concern tem#orary eings. ' ha$e een !ed to ado#t this theory y certain #assages in %cri#ture; e.g.( an ange! says to =ot; <Aor ' cannot do anything(< etc. (2en. 1i1. 21); and te!!ing him to de!i$er himse!f( the ange! says; <4eho!d ' ha$e acce#ted thee concerning this thing< ($er. 21).
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*gain; <Ta)e heed efore him( and !isten to his $oice(< etc. (&1od. 11iii. 21). These #assages show that ange!s are conscious of what they do( and ha$e free wi!! in the s#here of action intrusted to them( >ust as we ha$e free wi!! within our #ro$ince( and in accordance with the #ower gi$en to us with our $ery e1istence. The difference is that what we do is the !owest stage of e1ce!!ence( and that our inf!uence and actions are #receded y non-action; whi!st the 'nte!!igences and the s#heres a!ways #erform that which is good( they contain nothing e1ce#t what is good and #erfect( as wi!! e shown further on( and they ha$e continua!!y een acti$e from the eginning.
C#aragra#h continuesD

Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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'T is one of the ancient e!iefs( oth among the #hi!oso#hers and other #eo#!e( that the motions of the s#heres #roduced mighty and fearfu! sounds. They o ser$ed how !itt!e o >ects #roduced y ra#id motion a !oud( shri!!ing( and terrifying noise( and conc!uded that this must to a far higher degree e the case with the odies of the sun( the moon and the stars( considering their greatness and their $e!ocity. The 7ythagoreans e!ie$ed that the sounds were #!easant( and( though !oud( had the same #ro#ortions to each other as the musica! notes. They a!so e1#!ained why these mighty and tremendous sounds are not heard y us. This e!ief is a!so wides#read in our nation. Thus our %ages descri e the greatness of the sound #roduced y the sun in the dai!y circuit in its or it. The same descri#tion cou!d e gi$en of a!! hea$en!y odies. *ristot!e( howe$er( re>ects this( and ho!ds that they #roduce no sounds. Mou wi!! find his o#inion in the oo) )he .ea"ens and the Corld (.e +p!o). Mou must not find it strange that *ristot!e differs here from the o#inion of our %ages. The theory of the music of the s#heres is connected with the theory of the motion of the stars in a fi1ed s#here( and our %ages ha$e( in this astronomica! -uestion( a andoned their own theory in fa$our of the theory of others. Thus( it is distinct!y stated( <The wise men of other nations ha$e defeated the wise men of 'srae!.< 't is -uite right that our %ages ha$e a andoned their own theory; for s#ecu!ati$e matters e$ery one treats according to the resu!ts of his own study( and e$ery one acce#ts that which a##ears to him esta !ished y #roof.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

/!+PT"' $)
0& ha$e stated a o$e that in the age of *ristot!e the num er of s#heres was not accurate!y )nown; and that those who at #resent count nine s#heres consider a s#here containing se$era! rotating circ!es as one( a fact we!! )nown to a!! who ha$e a )now!edge of astronomy. 0e need( therefore( not re>ect the o#inion of those who assume two s#heres in accordance with the words of %cri#ture; <4eho!d the hea$en and the hea$en of hea$ens are the =ord's< (.eut. 1. 18). They rec)on a!! the s#heres with stars( i.e.( with a!! the circ!es in which the stars mo$e( as one; the a!!-encom#assing s#here in which there are no stars( is regarded y them as the second; hence they maintain that there are two s#heres. ' wi!! here introduce an e1#!anation which is necessary for the understanding of our $iew on the #resent su >ect. There is a difference among
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ancient astronomers whether the s#heres of Mercury and Ienus are a o$e or e!ow the sun( ecause no #roof can e gi$en for the #osition of these two s#heres. *t first it was genera!!y assumed that they were a o$e the sun--note this we!!; !ater on 7to!emy maintained that they were e!ow the sun; ecause he e!ie$ed that in this manner the who!e arrangement of the s#heres wou!d e most reasona !e; the sun wou!d e in the midd!e( ha$ing three stars e!ow and three a o$e itse!f. More recent!y some *nda!usian scho!ars conc!uded( from certain

#rinci#!es !aid down y 7to!emy( that Ienus and Mercury were a o$e the sun. ' n *f!a of %e$i!!e( with whose son ' was ac-uainted( has written a famous oo) on the su >ect; a!so the e1ce!!ent #hi!oso#her * u-4e)r i n-*!aig( one of whose #u#i!s was my fe!!owstudent( has treated of this su >ect and offered certain #roofs--which we ha$e co#ied--of the im#ro a i!ity of Ienus and Mercury eing a o$e the sun. The #roofs gi$en y * u-4e)r show on!y the im#ro a i!ity( not the im#ossi i!ity. 'n short( whether it e so or not( the ancients #!aced Ienus and Mercury a o$e the sun( and had( therefore( the fo!!owing fi$e s#heres; that of the moon( which is undou ted!y the nearest to us; that of the sun( which is( of course( a o$e the former; then that of the fi$e #!anets( the s#here of the fi1ed stars( and the outermost s#here( which does not contain any star. +onse-uent!y there are four s#heres containing figures( i.e.( stars( which were ca!!ed figures y the ancients in their we!!-)nown wor)s--$i,.( the s#heres of the fi1ed stars( of the fi$e #!anets( of the sun( and of the moon; a o$e these there is one s#here which is em#ty( without any star. This num er is for me of great im#ortance in res#ect to an idea which none of the #hi!oso#hers c!ear!y stated( though ' was !ed to it y $arious utterances of the #hi!oso#hers and of our %ages. ' wi!! now state the idea and e1#ound it.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

/!+PT"' )
'T is a we!!-)nown fact that the #hi!oso#hers( when they discuss in their wor)s the order of the @ni$erse( assume that the e1isting order of things in this su !unary wor!d of transient eings de#ends on forces which emanate from the s#heres. 0e ha$e mentioned this se$era! times. 'n !i)e manner our %ages say( <There is no sing!e her e!ow without its corres#onding star a o$e( that eats u#on it and commands it to grow.< +om#. <3nowest thou the ordinances of hea$en/ +anst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth/< (Jo 111$iii. 66). The term mazzal( !itera!!y meaning a conste!!ation in the Todiac( is a!so used of e$ery star( as may e inferred from the fo!!owing #assage in the eginning of ;ereshit 'abba (cha#. 1.); <0hi!e one star (mazzal) com#!etes its circuit in thirty days( another com#!etes it in thirty years.< They ha$e thus c!ear!y e1#ressed it( that e$en each indi$idua! eing in this wor!d has its corres#onding star. *!though the inf!uences of the s#heres e1tend o$er a!! eings( there is esides the inf!uence of a #articu!ar star directed to each #articu!ar s#ecies; a fact noticed a!so in reference to the se$era! forces in one organic ody; for the who!e @ni$erse is !i)e one organic ody( as we ha$e stated a o$e. Thus the #hi!oso#hers s#ea) of the #ecu!iar inf!uence of the moon on the #articu!ar e!ement water. That this is the case is #ro$ed y the increase and decrease of the water in the seas and ri$ers according to the
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increase and decrease of the moon; a!so y the rising and the fa!!ing of the seas according to the ad$ance or return of the moon( i.e.( her ascending and her descending in the se$era! -uarters of her course. This is c!ear to e$ery one who has directed his attention to these #henomena. The inf!uence of the sun's rays u#on fire may easi!y e noticed in the increase

of heat or co!d on earth( according as the sun a##roaches the earth or recedes or is concea!ed from it. *!! this is so c!ear that ' need not e1#!ain it further. Fow it occurred to my mind that the four s#heres which contain stars e1ercise inf!uence u#on a!! eings on earth that come into e1istence( and( in fact( are the cause of their e1istence; ut each of the four s#heres is the e1c!usi$e source of the #ro#erties of one on!y of the four e!ements( and ecomes y its own motion the cause of the motion and changes of that e!ement. Thus water is set in motion y the moon-s#here( fire y the sun-s#here( air y the other #!anets( which mo$e in many and different courses with retrogressions( #rogressions( and stations( and therefore #roduce the $arious forms of the air with its fre-uent changes( contractions( and e1#ansions; the s#here of the other stars( name!y( the fi1ed stars( sets earth in motion; and it may e that on this account( $i,.( on account of the s!ow motion of the fi1ed stars( earth is ut s!ow!y set in motion to change and to com ine with other e!ements. The #articu!ar inf!uence which the fi1ed stars e1ercise u#on earth is im#!ied in the saying of our %ages( that the num er of the s#ecies of #!ants is the same as that of the indi$idua!s inc!uded in the genera! term <stars.< The arrangement of the @ni$erse may therefore e assumed to e as fo!!ows; there are four s#heres( four e!ements set in motion y them( and a!so four #rinci#a! #ro#erties which earth!y eings deri$e from them( as has een stated a o$e. Aurthermore( there are four causes of the motion of e$ery s#here( name!y( the fo!!owing four essentia! e!ements in the s#here; its s#herica! sha#e( its sou!( its inte!!ect( y which the s#here is ca#a !e of forming ideas( and the 'nte!!igence( which the s#here desires to imitate. Fote this we!!. The e1#!anation of what ' said is this; the s#here cou!d not ha$e een continuous!y in motion( had it not this #ecu!iar form; continuity of motion is on!y #ossi !e when the motion is circu!ar. 9ecti!inear motion( e$en if fre-uent!y re#eated in the same moment( cannot e continuous; for when a ody mo$es successi$e!y in two o##osite directions( it must #ass through a moment of rest( as has een demonstrated in its #ro#er #!ace. The necessity of a continuous motion constant!y re#eated in the same #ath im#!ies the necessity of a circu!ar form. The s#heres must ha$e a sou!; for on!y animate eings can mo$e free!y. There must e some cause for the motion( and as it does not consist in the fear of that which is in>urious( or the desire of that which is #rofita !e( it must e found in the notion which the s#heres form of a certain eing( and in the desire to a##roach that eing. This formation of a notion demands( in the first #!ace( that the s#heres #ossess inte!!ect; it demands further that something e1ists which corres#onds to that notion( and which the s#heres desire to a##roach. These are the four causes of the motion of the s#heres. The fo!!owing are the four #rinci#a! forces direct!y deri$ed from the s#heres; the nature of minera!s( the #ro#erties #ecu!iar to #!ants( the anima! facu!ties( and the inte!!ect. *n e1amination of these forces shows that they ha$e two functions( name!y( to #roduce things and to #er#etuate them; that is to say( to #reser$e the s#ecies
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#er#etua!!y( and the indi$idua!s in each s#ecies for a certain time. These are a!so the functions ascri ed to Fature( which is said to e wise( to go$ern the @ni$erse( to #ro$ide( as it were( y #!an for the #roduction of !i$ing eings( and to #ro$ide a!so for their #reser$ation and #er#etuation. Fature creates formati$e facu!ties( which are the cause of the #roduction of !i$ing eings( and nutriti$e facu!ties as the source of their tem#ora! e1istence

and #reser$ation. 't may e that y Fature the .i$ine 0i!! is meant( which is the origin of these two )inds of facu!ties through the medium of the s#heres. *s to the num er four( it is strange( and demands our attention. 'n Midrash )anuma the fo!!owing #assage occurs; <"ow many ste#s were in Jaco 's !adder/--Aour.< The -uestion refers to the $erse( <*nd eho!d a !adder set u#on the earth(< etc. (2en. 11$iii. 12). 'n a!! the Midrashim it is stated that there were four hosts of ange!s; this statement is fre-uent!y re#eated. %ome read in the a o$e #assage; <"ow many ste#s were in the !adder/--%e$en.< 4ut a!! readings and a!! Midrashim unanimous!y e1#ress that the ange!s whom Jaco saw ascending the !adder( and descending( were on!y four; two of whom were going u# and two coming down. These four ange!s( the two that went u# and the two that came down( occu#ied one ste# of the !adder( standing in one !ine. "ence it has een inferred that the readth of the !adder in this $ision was four-thirds of the wor!d. Aor the readth of an ange! in a #ro#hetic $ision is e-ua! to one-third of the wor!d; com#. <*nd his ody was !i)e tarshish (two-si1ths)< (.an. 1. 5); the four ange!s therefore occu#ied four-thirds of the wor!d.--Techariah( in descri ing the a!!egorica! $ision of <the four chariots that came out from etween two mountains( which mountains were mountains of rass< (Tech. $i. 1)( adds the e1#!anation( <These are the four s#irits of the hea$ens which go forth from standing efore the =ord of a!! the earth< (ibid. $er. :). 4y these four s#irits the causes are meant which #roduce a!! changes in the @ni$erse. The term < rass< (neoshet)( em#!oyed here( and the #hrase < urnished rass< (neoshet kalal)( used y &,e)ie! (i. J)( are to some e1tent homonymous( and wi!! e discussed further on. The saying of our %ages( that the ange! is as road as the third #art of the @ni$erse( or( in the words of 4ereshit 9a a (cha#. 1.)( that the ange! is the third #art of the wor!d( is -uite c!ear; we ha$e a!ready e1#!ained it in our !arge wor) on the "o!y =aw. The who!e creation consists of three #arts( (1) the #ure inte!!igences( or ange!s; (2) the odies of the s#heres; and (6) the materia prima( or the odies which are e!ow the s#heres( and are su >ect to constant change. 'n this manner may those understand the dar) sayings of the #ro#hets who desire to understand them( who awa)e from the s!ee# of forgetfu!ness( de!i$er themse!$es from the sea of ignorance( and raise themse!$es u#ward nearer the higher eings. 4ut those who #refer to swim in the waters of their ignorance( and to <go down $ery !ow(< need not e1ert the ody or heart; they need on!y cease to mo$e( and they wi!! go down y the !aw of nature. Fote and consider we!! a!! we ha$e said.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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0"&F a sim#!e mathematician reads and studies these astronomica!
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discussions( he e!ie$es that the form and the num er of the s#heres are facts esta !ished y #roof. 4ut this is not the case; for the science of astronomy does not aim at demonstrating them( a!though it inc!udes su >ects that can e #ro$ed; e.g.( it has een #ro$ed that the #ath of the sun is inc!ined against the e-uator; this cannot e dou ted. 4ut it has not yet een decided whether the s#here of the sun is e1centric or contains a re$o!$ing e#icyc!e( and the astronomer does not ta)e notice of this uncertainty( for his o >ect is sim#!y to find an hy#othesis that wou!d !ead to a uniform and circu!ar motion of the stars without acce!eration( retardation( or change( and which is in its effects in accordance with o ser$ation. "e wi!!( esides( endea$our to find such an hy#othesis which wou!d re-uire the !east com#!icated motion and the !east num er of s#heres; he wi!! therefore #refer an hy#othesis which wou!d e1#!ain a!! the #henomena of the stars y means of three s#heres to an hy#othesis which wou!d re-uire four s#heres. Arom this reason we ado#t( in reference to the circuit of the sun( the theory of e1centricity( and re>ect the e#icyc!ic re$o!ution assumed y 7to!emy. 0hen we therefore #ercei$e that a!! fi1ed stars mo$e in the same way uniform!y( without the !east difference( we conc!ude that they are a!! in one s#here. 't is( howe$er( not im#ossi !e that the stars shou!d ha$e each its own s#here( with a se#arate centre( and yet mo$e in the same way. 'f this theory e acce#ted( a num er of 'nte!!igences must e assumed( e-ua! to that of the stars( and therefore %cri#ture says in reference to them(< 's there any num er of his armies/< (Jo 11$. 6); for the 'nte!!igences( the hea$en!y odies( and the natura! forces( are ca!!ed the armies of 2od. Fe$erthe!ess the s#ecies of the stars can e num ered( and therefore we wou!d sti!! e >ustified in counting the s#heres of the fi1ed stars co!!ecti$e!y as one( >ust as the fi$e s#heres of the #!anets( together with the numerous s#heres they contain( are regarded y us as one. ?ur o >ect in ado#ting this num er is( as you ha$e noticed( to di$ide the inf!uences which we can trace in the @ni$erse according to their genera! character( without desiring to fi1 the num er of the 'nte!!igences and the s#heres. *!! we wish to #oint out is this; in the first #!ace( that the who!e +reation is di$ided into three #arts( $i,. (1) the #ure 'nte!!igences; (2) the odies of the s#heres endowed with #ermanent forms--(the forms of these odies do not #ass from one su stratum to another( nor do their su strata undergo any change whate$er); and (6) the transient earth!y eings( a!! of which consist of the same su stance. Aurthermore( we desire to show that the ru!ing #ower emanates from the +reator( and is recei$ed y the 'nte!!igences according to their order; from the 'nte!!igences #art of the good and the !ight estowed u#on them is communicated to the s#heres( and the !atter( eing in #ossession of the a undance o tained of the 'nte!!igences( transmit forces and #ro#erties unto the eings of this transient wor!d. 0e must( howe$er( add that the #art which enefits the #art e!ow it in the order descri ed does not e1ist for the so!e #ur#ose of #roducing that enefit. Aor if this were the case it wou!d !ead to the #arado1 that the higher( etter( and no !er eings e1isted for the sa)e of eings !ower in ran)( whi!st in rea!ity the o >ect shou!d e of greater im#ortance than the means a##!ied for attaining it. Fo inte!!igent #erson wi!! admit that this is #ossi !e. The nature of the inf!uence which one #art of the +reation e1ercises u#on another must e e1#!ained as fo!!ows; * thing #erfect in a certain way is either #erfect
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on!y in itse!f( without eing a !e to communicate that #erfection to another eing( or it is so #erfect that it is ca#a !e of im#arting #erfection to another eing. * #erson may #ossess wea!th sufficient for his own wants without eing a !e to s#are anything for another( or he

may ha$e wea!th enough to enefit a!so other #eo#!e( or e$en to enrich them to such an e1tent as wou!d ena !e them to gi$e #art of their #ro#erty to others. 'n the same manner the creati$e act of the *!mighty in gi$ing e1istence to #ure 'nte!!igences endows the first of them with the #ower of gi$ing e1istence to another( and so on( down to the *cti$e 'nte!!ect( the !owest of the #ure!y s#iritua! eings. 4esides #roducing other 'nte!!igences( each 'nte!!igence gi$es e1istence to one of the s#heres( from the highest down to the !owest( which is the s#here of the moon. *fter the !atter fo!!ows this transient wor!d( i.e.( the materia prima( and a!! that has een formed of it. 'n this manner the e!ements recei$e certain #ro#erties from each s#here( and a succession of genesis and destruction is #roduced. 0e ha$e a!ready mentioned that these theories are not o##osed to anything taught y our 7ro#hets or y our %ages. ?ur nation is wise and #erfect( as has een dec!ared y the Most "igh( through Moses( who made us #erfect; <%ure!y this great nation is a wise and understanding #eo#!e< (.eut. i$. 5). 4ut when wic)ed ar arians ha$e de#ri$ed us of our #ossessions( #ut an end to our science and !iterature( and )i!!ed our wise men( we ha$e ecome ignorant; this has een foreto!d y the #ro#hets( when they #ronounced the #unishment for our sins; <The wisdom of their wise men sha!! #erish( and the understanding of their #rudent men sha!! e hid< ('sa. 11i1. 18). 0e are mi1ed u# with other nations; we ha$e !earnt their o#inions( and fo!!owed their ways and acts. The 7sa!mist( de#!oring this imitation of the actions of other nations( says( <They were ming!ed among the nations( and !earned their wor)s< (7s. c$i. 6:). 'saiah !i)ewise com#!ains that the 'srae!ites ado#ted the o#inions of their neigh ours( and says( <*nd they #!ease themse!$es in the chi!dren of strangers< ('sa. ii. 5); or( according to the *ramaic $ersion of Jonathan( son of @,,ie!( <*nd they wa!) in the ways of the nations.< "a$ing een rought u# among #ersons untrained in #hi!oso#hy( we are inc!ined to consider these #hi!oso#hica! o#inions as foreign to our re!igion( >ust as uneducated #ersons find them foreign to their own notions. 4ut( in fact( it is not so. %ince we ha$e re#eated!y s#o)en of the inf!uence emanating from 2od and the 'nte!!igences( we wi!! now #roceed to e1#!ain what is the true meaning of this inf!uence( and after that ' wi!! discuss the theory of the +reation.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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'T is c!ear that whene$er a thing is #roduced( an efficient cause must e1ist for the #roduction of the thing that has not e1isted #re$ious!y. This immediate efficient cause is either cor#orea! or incor#orea!; if cor#orea!( it is not the efficient cause on account of its cor#orea!ity( ut on account of its eing an indi$idua! cor#orea! o >ect( and therefore y means of its form. ' wi!! s#ea) of this su >ect !ater on. The immediate efficient cause of a thing may again e the effect of some cause( and so on( ut not ad infinitum. The series of causes for a certain #roduct must necessari!y conc!ude with a Airst +ause(

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which is the true cause of that #roduct( and whose e1istence is not due to another cause. The -uestion remains( 0hy has this thing een #roduced now and not !ong efore( since the cause has a!ways een in e1istence/ The answer is( that a certain re!ation etween cause and #roduct has een a sent( if the cause e cor#orea!; or( that the su stance has not een sufficient!y #re#ared( if the cause e incor#orea!. *!! this is in accordance with the teachings of natura! science. 0e ignore for the #resent the -uestion whether to assume the &ternity of the @ni$erse( or the &reatio ex nihilo. 0e do not intend to discuss the -uestion here. 'n 7hysics it has een shown that a ody in acting u#on another ody must either direct!y e in contact with it( or indirect!y through the medium of other odies. &.g.( a ody that has een heated has een in contact with fire( or the air that surrounds the ody has een heated y the fire( and has communicated the heat to the ody; the immediate cause of the heat in this ody is the cor#orea! su stance of the heated air. The magnet attracts iron from a distance through a certain force communicated to the air round the iron. The magnet does therefore not act at a!! distances( >ust as fire does not act at e$ery distance( ut on!y as !ong as the air etween the fire and the o >ect is affected y the fire. 0hen the air is no !onger affected y the fire which is under a #iece of wa1( the !atter does not me!t. The same is the case with magnetism. 0hen an o >ect that has #re$ious!y not een warm has now ecome warm( the cause of its heat must now ha$e een created; either some fire has een #roduced( or the distance of the fire from the o >ect has een changed( and the a!tered re!ation etween the fire and the o >ect is the cause now created. 'n a simi!ar manner we find the causes of a!! changes in the @ni$erse to e changes in the com ination of the e!ements that act u#on each other when one ody a##roaches another or se#arates from it. There are( howe$er( changes which are not connected with the com ination of the e!ements( ut concern on!y the forms of the things; they re-uire !i)ewise an efficient cause; there must e1ist a force that #roduces the $arious forms. This cause is incor#orea!( for that which #roduces form must itse!f e a stract form( as has een shown in its #ro#er #!ace. ' ha$e a!so indicated the #roof of this theorem in #re$ious cha#ters. The fo!!owing may( in addition( ser$e to i!!ustrate it; *!! com inations of the e!ements are su >ect to increase and decrease( and this change ta)es #!ace gradua!!y. 't is different with forms; they do not change gradua!!y( and are therefore without motion; they a##ear and disa##ear instantaneous!y( and are conse-uent!y not the resu!t of the com ination of cor#orea! e!ements. This com ination mere!y #re#ares matter for recei$ing a certain form. The efficient cause which #roduces the form is indi$isi !e( ecause it is of the same )ind as the thing #roduced. "ence it may e conc!uded that the agent that has #roduced a certain form( or gi$en it to a certain su stance( must itse!f e an a stract form. The action of this incor#orea! agent cannot de#end on a certain re!ation to the cor#orea! #roduct; eing incor#orea!( it cannot a##roach a ody( or recede from it; nor can a ody a##roach the incor#orea! agent( or recede from it( ecause there is no re!ation of distance etween cor#orea! and incor#orea! eings. The reason why the action has not ta)en #!ace efore must e sought in the circumstance that the su stance has not een #re#ared for the action of the a stract form.
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't is now c!ear that the action of odies u#on each other( according to their forms( #re#ares the su stance for recei$ing the action of an incor#orea! eing( or Aorm. The e1istence of actions of #ure!y incor#orea! eings( in e$ery case of change that does not originate in the mere com ination of e!ements( is now firm!y esta !ished. These actions do not de#end on im#act( or on a certain distance. They are termed <inf!uence< (or <emanation<)( on account of their simi!arity to a water-s#ring. The !atter sends forth water in a!! directions( has no #ecu!iar side for recei$ing or s#ending its contents; it s#rings forth on a!! sides( and continua!!y waters oth neigh ouring and distant #!aces. 'n a simi!ar manner incor#orea! eings( in recei$ing #ower and im#arting it to others( are not !imited to a #articu!ar side( distance( or time. They act continua!!y; and whene$er an o >ect is sufficient!y #re#ared( it recei$es the effect of that continuous action( ca!!ed <inf!uence< (or <emanation<). 2od eing incor#orea!( and e$erything eing the wor) of "im as the efficient cause( we say that the @ni$erse has een created y the .i$ine inf!uence( and that a!! changes in the @ni$erse emanate from "im. 'n the same sense we say that "e caused wisdom to emanate from "im and to come u#on the #ro#hets. 'n a!! such cases we mere!y wish to e1#ress that an incor#orea! 4eing( whose action we ca!! <inf!uence(< has #roduced a certain effect. The term <inf!uence< has een considered a##!ica !e to the +reator on account of the simi!arity etween "is actions and those of a s#ring. There is no etter way of descri ing the action of an incor#orea! eing than y this ana!ogy; and no term can e found that wou!d accurate!y descri e it. Aor it is as difficu!t to form an idea of that action as to form an idea of the incor#orea! eing itse!f. *s we imagine on!y odies or forces residing in odies( so we on!y imagine actions #ossi !e when the agent is near( at a certain distance( and on a #articu!ar side. There are therefore #ersons who( on !earning that 2od is incor#orea!( or that "e does not a##roach the o >ect of "is action( e!ie$e that "e gi$es commands to ange!s( and that the !atter carry them out y a##roach or direct contact( as is the case when we #roduce something. These #ersons thus imagine a!so the ange!s as odies. %ome of them( further( e!ie$e that 2od commands an action in words consisting( !i)e ours( of !etters and sound( and that there y the action is done. *!! this is the wor) of the imagination( which is( in fact( identica! with <e$i! inc!ination.< Aor a!! our defects in s#eech or in character are either the direct or the indirect wor) of imagination. This is not the su >ect of the #resent cha#ter( in which we on!y intended to e1#!ain the term <inf!uence< in so far as it is a##!ied to incor#orea! eings( name!y( to 2od and to the 'nte!!igences or ange!s. 4ut the term is a!so a##!ied to the forces of the s#heres in their effects u#on the earth; and we s#ea) of the <inf!uence< of the s#heres( a!though the s#heres are cor#orea!( and the stars( eing cor#orea!( on!y act at certain distances( i.e.( at a sma!!er or a greater distance from the centre( or at a definite distance from each other( a circumstance which !ed to *stro!ogy. *s to our assertion that %cri#ture a##!ies the notion of <inf!uence< to 2od( com#are <They ha$e forsa)en me( the fountain of !i$ing waters< (Jer. ii. 16)( i.e.( the .i$ine inf!uence that gi$es !ife or e1istence( for the two are undou ted!y identica!. Aurther( <Aor with Thee is the fountain of !ife< (7s. 111$i. 10)( i.e.( the .i$ine inf!uence that gi$es e1istence. The
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conc!uding words of this $erse( <in Thy !ight we see !ight(< e1#ress e1act!y what we said( name!y( that y the inf!uence of the inte!!ect which emanates from 2od we ecome wise( y it we are guided and ena !ed to com#rehend the *cti$e 'nte!!ect. Fote this.

Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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*M?F2 those who e!ie$e in the e1istence of 2od( there are found three different theories as regards the -uestion whether the @ni$erse is eterna! or not. 8irst )heory.--Those who fo!!ow the =aw of Moses( our Teacher( ho!d that the who!e @ni$erse( i.e.( e$erything e1ce#t 2od( has een rought y "im into e1istence out of none1istence. 'n the eginning 2od a!one e1isted( and nothing e!se; neither ange!s( nor s#heres( nor the things that are contained within the s#heres e1isted. "e then #roduced from nothing a!! e1isting things such as they are( y "is wi!! and desire. &$en time itse!f is among the things created; for time de#ends on motion( i.e.( on an accident in things which mo$e( and the things u#on whose motion time de#ends are themse!$es created eings( which ha$e #assed from non-e1istence into e1istence. 0e say that 2od existed efore the creation of the @ni$erse( a!though the $er existed a##ears to im#!y the notion of time; we a!so e!ie$e that "e e1isted an infinite s#ace of time efore the @ni$erse was created; ut in these cases we do not mean time in its true sense. 0e on!y use the term to signify something ana!ogous or simi!ar to time. Aor time is undou ted!y an accident( and( according to our o#inion( one of the created accidents( !i)e !ac)ness and whiteness; it is not a -ua!ity( ut an accident connected with motion. This must e c!ear to a!! who understand what *ristot!e has said on time and its rea! e1istence. The fo!!owing remar) does not form an essentia! #art of our #resent research; it wi!! ne$erthe!ess e found usefu! in the course of this discussion. Many scho!ars do not )now what time rea!!y is( and men !i)e 2a!en were so #er#!e1ed a out it that they as)ed whether time has a rea! e1istence or not; the reason for this uncertainty is to e found in the circumstance that time is an accident of an accident. *ccidents which are direct!y connected with materia! odies( e.g.( co!our and taste( are easi!y understood( and correct notions are formed of them. There are( howe$er( accidents which are connected with other accidents( e.g.( the s#!endour of co!our( or the inc!ination and the cur$ature of a !ine; of these it is $ery difficu!t to form a correct notion( es#ecia!!y when the accident which forms the su stratum for the other accident is not constant ut $aria !e. 4oth difficu!ties are #resent in the notion of time; it is an accident of motion( which is itse!f an accident of a mo$ing o >ect; esides( it is not a fi1ed #ro#erty; on the contrary( its true and essentia! condition is( not to remain in the same state for two consecuti$e moments. This is the source of ignorance a out the nature of time. 0e consider time a thing created; it comes into e1istence in the same manner as other accidents( and the su stances which form the su stratum for the accidents. Aor this reason( $i,.( ecause time e!ongs to the things created( it cannot e said that 2od #roduced the @ni$erse in the be innin .
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+onsider this we!!; for he who does not understand it is una !e to refute forci !e o >ections raised against the theory of &reatio ex nihilo. 'f you admit the e1istence of time efore the +reation( you wi!! e com#e!!ed to acce#t the theory of the &ternity of the @ni$erse. Aor time is an accident and re-uires a su stratum. Mou wi!! therefore ha$e to assume that something C eside 2odD e1isted efore this @ni$erse was created( an assum#tion which it is our duty to o##ose.
C#aragra#h continuesD

This is the first theory( and it is undou ted!y a fundamenta! #rinci#!e of the =aw of our teacher Moses; it is ne1t in im#ortance to the #rinci#!e of 2od's unity. .o not fo!!ow any other theory. * raham( our father( was the first that taught it( after he had esta !ished it y #hi!oso#hica! research. "e #roc!aimed( therefore( <the name of the =ord the 2od of the @ni$erse< (2en. 11i. 66); and he had #re$ious!y e1#ressed this theory in the words( <The 7ossessor of hea$en and earth< (ibid. 1i$. 22). $econd )heory.--The theory of a!! 7hi!oso#hers whose o#inions and wor)s are )nown to us is this; 't is im#ossi !e to assume that 2od #roduced anything from nothing( or that "e reduces anything to nothing; that is to say( it is im#ossi !e that an o >ect consisting of matter and form shou!d e #roduced when that matter is a so!ute!y a sent( or that it shou!d e destroyed in such a manner that that matter e a so!ute!y no !onger in e1istence. To say of 2od that "e can #roduce a thing from nothing or reduce a thing to nothing is( according to the o#inion of these #hi!oso#hers( the same as if we were to say that "e cou!d cause one su stance to ha$e at the same time two o##osite #ro#erties( or #roduce another eing !i)e "imse!f( or change "imse!f into a ody( or #roduce a s-uare the diagona! of which e e-ua! to its side( or simi!ar im#ossi i!ities. The #hi!oso#hers thus e!ie$e that it is no defect in the %u#reme 4eing that "e does not #roduce im#ossi i!ities( for the nature of that which is im#ossi !e is constant--it does not de#end on the action of an agent( and for this reason it cannot e changed( %imi!ar!y there is( according to them( no defect in the greatness of 2od( when "e is una !e to #roduce a thing from nothing( ecause they consider this as one of the im#ossi i!ities. They therefore assume that a certain su stance has coe1isted with 2od from eternity in such a manner that neither 2od e1isted without that su stance nor the !atter without 2od. 4ut they do not ho!d that the e1istence of that su stance e-ua!s in ran) that of 2od; for 2od is the cause of that e1istence( and the su stance is in the same re!ation to 2od as the c!ay is to the #otter( or the iron to the smith; 2od can do with it what "e #!eases; at one time "e forms of it hea$en and earth( at another time "e forms some other thing. Those who ho!d this $iew a!so assume that the hea$ens are transient( that they came into e1istence( though not from nothing( and may cease to e1ist( a!though they cannot e reduced to nothing. They are transient in the same manner as the indi$idua!s among !i$ing eings which are #roduced from some e1isting su stance( and are again reduced to some su stance that remains in e1istence. The #rocess of genesis and destruction is( in the case of the hea$ens( the same as in that of earth!y eings. The fo!!owers of this theory are di$ided into different schoo!s( whose o#inions and #rinci#!es it is use!ess to discuss here; ut what ' ha$e mentioned is common to a!! of them. 7!ato ho!ds the same o#inion. *ristot!e says in
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his Physics( that according to 7!ato the hea$ens are transient. This $iew is a!so stated in 7!ato's )imaeus. "is o#inion( howe$er( does not agree with our e!ief; on!y su#erficia! and care!ess #ersons wrong!y assume that 7!ato has the same e!ief as we ha$e. Aor whi!st we ho!d that the hea$ens ha$e een created from a so!ute!y nothing( 7!ato e!ie$es that they ha$e een formed out of something.--This is the second theory. )hird )heory.--$i,.( that of *ristot!e( his fo!!owers( and commentators. *ristot!e maintains( !i)e the adherents of the second theory( that a cor#orea! o >ect cannot e #roduced without a cor#orea! su stance. "e goes( howe$er( farther( and contends that the hea$ens are indestructi !e. Aor he ho!ds that the @ni$erse in its tota!ity has ne$er een different( nor wi!! it e$er change; the hea$ens( which form the #ermanent e!ement in the @ni$erse( and are not su >ect to genesis and destruction( ha$e a!ways een so; time and motion are eterna!( #ermanent( and ha$e neither eginning nor end; the su !unary wor!d( which inc!udes the transient e!ements( has a!ways een the same( ecause the materia prima is itse!f eterna!( and mere!y com ines successi$e!y with different forms; when one form is remo$ed( another is assumed. This who!e arrangement( therefore( oth a o$e and here e!ow( is ne$er distur ed or interru#ted( and nothing is #roduced contrary to the !aws or the ordinary course of Fature. "e further says--though not in the same terms--that he considers it im#ossi !e for 2od to change "is wi!! or concei$e a new desire; that 2od #roduced this @ni$erse in its tota!ity y "is wi!!( ut not from nothing. *ristot!e finds it as im#ossi !e to assume that 2od changes "is wi!! or concei$es a new desire( as to e!ie$e that "e is none1isting( or that "is essence is changea !e. "ence it fo!!ows that this @ni$erse has a!ways een the same in the #ast( and wi!! e the same eterna!!y. This is a fu!! account of the o#inions of those who consider that the e1istence of 2od( the Airst +ause of the @ni$erse( has een esta !ished y #roof. 4ut it wou!d e -uite use!ess to mention the o#inions of those who do not recogni,e the e1istence of 2od( ut e!ie$e that the e1isting state of things is the resu!t of accidenta! com ination and se#aration of the e!ements( and that the @ni$erse has no 9u!er or 2o$ernor. %uch is the theory of &#icurus and his schoo!( and simi!ar #hi!oso#hers( as stated y *!e1ander C*#hrodisiensisD; it wou!d e su#erf!uous to re#eat their $iews( since the e1istence of 2od has een demonstrated whi!st their theory is ui!t u#on a asis #ro$ed to e untena !e. 't is !i)ewise use!ess to #ro$e the correctness of the fo!!owers of the second theory in asserting that the hea$ens are transient( ecause they at the same time e!ie$e in the &ternity of the @ni$erse( and so !ong as this theory is ado#ted( it ma)es no difference to us whether it is e!ie$ed that the hea$ens are transient( and that on!y their su stance is eterna!( or the hea$ens are he!d to e indestructi !e( in accordance with the $iew of *ristot!e. *!! who fo!!ow the =aw of Moses( our Teacher( and * raham( our Aather( and a!! who ado#t simi!ar theories( assume that nothing is eterna! e1ce#t 2od( and that the theory of &reatio ex nihilo inc!udes nothing that is im#ossi !e( whi!st some thin)ers e$en regard it as an esta !ished truth. *fter ha$ing descri ed the different theories( ' wi!! now #roceed to show how *ristot!e #ro$ed his theory( and what induced him to ado#t it.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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/!+PT"' )$0
'T is not necessary to re#eat in e$ery cha#ter that ' write this treatise with the fu!! )now!edge of what you ha$e studied; that ' therefore need not -uote the e1act words of the #hi!oso#hers; it wi!! suffice to gi$e an a stract of their $iews. ' wi!!( howe$er( #oint out the methods which they em#!oy( in the same manner as ' ha$e done when ' discussed the theories of the Muta)a!!emim. Fo notice wi!! e ta)en of the o#inion of any #hi!oso#her ut that of *ristot!e; his o#inions a!one deser$e to e critici,ed( and if our o >ections or dou ts with regard to any of these e we!! founded( this must e the case in a far higher degree in res#ect to a!! other o##onents of our fundamenta! #rinci#!es. ' now #roceed to descri e the methods of the #hi!oso#hers. 8irst Method.--*ccording to *ristot!e( motion( that is to say( motion #ar e1ce!!ence( is eterna!. Aor if the motion had a eginning( there must a!ready ha$e een some motion when it came into e1istence( for transition from #otentia!ity into actua!ity( and from non-e1istence into e1istence( a!ways im#!ies motion; then that #re$ious motion( the cause of the motion which fo!!ows( must e eterna!( or e!se the series wou!d ha$e to e carried ac) ad infinitum. ?n the same #rinci#!e he maintains that time is eterna!( for time is re!ated to and connected with motion; there is no motion e1ce#t in time( and time can on!y e #ercei$ed y motion( as has een demonstrated y #roof. 4y this argument *ristot!e #ro$es the eternity of the @ni$erse. $econd Method.--The Airst %u stance common to the four e!ements is eterna!. Aor if it had a eginning it wou!d ha$e come into e1istence from another su stance; it wou!d further e endowed with a form( as coming into e1istence is nothing ut recei$ing Aorm. 4ut we mean y <Airst %u stance< a form!ess su stance; it can therefore not ha$e come into e1istence from another su stance( and must e without eginning and without end; hence it is conc!uded that the @ni$erse is eterna!. )hird Method.--The su stance of the s#heres contains no o##osite e!ements; for circu!ar motion inc!udes no such o##osite directions as are found in recti!inear motion. 0hate$er is destroyed( owes its destruction to the o##osite e!ements it contains. The s#heres contain no o##osite e!ements; they are therefore indestructi !e( and ecause they are indestructi !e they are a!so without eginning. *ristot!e thus assumes the a1iom that e$erything that has had a eginning is destructi !e( and that e$erything destructi !e has had a eginning; that things without eginning are indestructi !e( and indestructi !e things are without eginning. "ence fo!!ows the &ternity of the @ni$erse. 8ourth Method.--The actua! #roduction of a thing is #receded in time y its #ossi i!ity. The actua! change of a thing is !i)ewise #receded in time y its #ossi i!ity. Arom this #ro#osition *ristot!e deri$es the eternity of the circu!ar motion of the s#heres. The *ristote!ians in more recent time em#!oy this #ro#osition in demonstrating the &ternity of the @ni$erse. They argue thus; 0hen the @ni$erse did not yet e1ist( its e1istence was either

#ossi !e or necessary( or im#ossi !e. 'f it was necessary( the @ni$erse cou!d ne$er ha$e een non-e1isting; if im#ossi !e( the @ni$erse cou!d ne$er ha$e een in e1istence; if #ossi !e( the -uestion arises( 0hat was the su stratum
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of that #ossi i!ity/ for there must e in e1istence something of which that #ossi i!ity can e #redicated. This is a forci !e argument in fa$our of the &ternity of the @ni$erse. %ome of the !ater schoo!s of the Muta)a!!emim imagined that they cou!d confute this argument y o >ecting that the #ossi i!ity rests with the agent( and not with the #roduction. 4ut this o >ection is of no force whate$er; for there are two distinct #ossi i!ities( $i,.( the thing #roduced has had the #ossi i!ity of eing #roduced efore this actua!!y too) #!ace; and the agent has had the #ossi i!ity of #roducing it efore he actua!!y did so. There are( therefore( undou ted!y two #ossi i!ities--that of the su stance to recei$e a certain form( and that of the agent to #erform a certain act. These are the #rinci#a! methods( ased on the #ro#erties of the @ni$erse( y which *ristot!e #ro$es the &ternity of the @ni$erse. There are( howe$er( other methods of #ro$ing the &ternity of the @ni$erse. They are ased on the notions formed of 2od( and #hi!oso#hers after *ristot!e deri$ed them from his #hi!oso#hy. %ome of them em#!oyed the fo!!owing argument;-8ifth Method.--'f 2od #roduced the @ni$erse from nothing( "e must ha$e een a #otentia! agent efore "e was an actua! one( and must ha$e #assed from a state of #otentia!ity into that of actua!ity--a #rocess that is mere!y #ossi !e( and re-uires an agent for effecting it. This argument is !i)ewise a source of great dou ts( and e$ery inte!!igent #erson must e1amine it in order to refute it and to e1#ose its character. $ixth Method.--*n agent is acti$e at one time and inacti$e at another( according as fa$oura !e or unfa$oura !e circumstances arise. The unfa$oura !e circumstances cause the a andonment of an intended action. The fa$oura !e ones( on the other hand( e$en #roduce a desire for an action for which there has not een a desire #re$ious!y. *s( howe$er( 2od is not su >ect to accidents which cou!d ring a out a change in "is wi!!( and is not affected y o stac!es and hindrances that might a##ear or disa##ear( it is im#ossi !e( they argue( to imagine that 2od is acti$e at one time and inacti$e at another. "e is( on the contrary( a!ways acti$e in the same manner as "e is a!ways in actua! e1istence. $e"enth Method.--The actions of 2od are #erfect; they are in no way defecti$e( nor do they contain anything use!ess or su#erf!uous. 'n simi!ar terms *ristot!e fre-uent!y #raises "im( when he says that Fature is wise and does nothing in $ain( ut ma)es e$erything as #erfect as #ossi !e. The #hi!oso#hers therefore contend that this e1isting @ni$erse is so #erfect that it cannot e im#ro$ed( and must e #ermanent; for it is the resu!t of 2od's wisdom( which is not on!y a!ways #resent in "is essence( ut is identica! with it. *!! arguments in fa$our of the &ternity of the @ni$erse are ased on the a o$e methods( and can e traced to one or other of them. The fo!!owing o >ection is a!so raised against &reatio ex nihilo; "ow cou!d 2od e$er ha$e een inacti$e without #roducing or creating

anything in the infinite #ast/ "ow cou!d "e ha$e #assed the !ong infinite #eriod which #receded the +reation without #roducing anything( so as to commence( as it were( on!y yesterday( the +reation of the @ni$erse/ Aor e$en if you said( e.g.( that 2od created #re$ious!y as many successi$e wor!ds as the outermost s#here cou!d contain grains of mustard( and that each of these wor!ds e1isted as
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many years; considering the infinite e1istence of 2od( it wou!d e the same as if "e had on!y yesterday commenced the +reation. Aor when we once admit the eginning of the e1istence of things after their non-e1istence( it ma)es no difference whether thousands of centuries ha$e #assed since the eginning( or on!y a short time. Those who defend the &ternity of the @ni$erse find oth assum#tions e-ua!!y im#ro a !e. #i hth Method.--The fo!!owing method is ased on the circumstance that the theory im#!ies a e!ief which is so common to a!! #eo#!es and ages( and so uni$ersa!( that it a##ears to e1#ress a rea! fact and not mere!y an hy#othesis. *ristot!e says that a!! #eo#!e ha$e e$ident!y e!ie$ed in the #ermanency and sta i!ity of the hea$ens; and thin)ing that these were eterna!( they dec!ared them to e the ha itation of 2od and of the s#iritua! eings or ange!s. 4y thus attri uting the hea$ens to 2od( they e1#ressed their e!ief that the hea$ens are indestructi !e. %e$era! other arguments of the same )ind are em#!oyed y *ristot!e in treating of this su >ect in order to su##ort the resu!ts of his #hi!oso#hica! s#ecu!ation y common sense.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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'F this cha#ter ' intend to show that *ristot!e was we!! aware that he had not #ro$ed the &ternity of the @ni$erse. "e was not mista)en in this res#ect. "e )new that he cou!d not #ro$e his theory( and that his arguments and #roofs were on!y a##arent and #!ausi !e. They are the !east o >ectiona !e( according to *!e1ander; ut( according to the same authority( *ristot!e cou!d not ha$e considered them conc!usi$e( after ha$ing himse!f taught us the ru!es of !ogic( and the means y which arguments can e refuted or confirmed. The reason why ' ha$e introduced this su >ect is this; =ater #hi!oso#hers( disci#!es of *ristot!e( assume that he has #ro$ed the &ternity of the @ni$erse( and most of those who e!ie$e that they are #hi!oso#hers !ind!y fo!!ow him in this #oint( and acce#t a!! his arguments as conc!usi$e and a so!ute #roofs. They consider it wrong to differ from *ristot!e( or to thin) that he was ignorant or mista)en in anything. Aor this reason( ta)ing their stand#oint( ' show that *ristot!e himse!f did not c!aim to ha$e #ro$ed the &ternity of the @ni$erse. "e says in his oo) Physics ($iii.( cha#. i.) as fo!!ows; <*!! the 7hysicists efore us e!ie$ed that motion is eterna!( e1ce#t 7!ato( who ho!ds that motion is transient; according to his o#inion the hea$ens are !i)ewise transient.< Fow if *ristot!e had conc!usi$e #roofs for his theory( he wou!d not ha$e considered it necessary to su##ort it y

citing the o#inions of #receding 7hysicists( nor wou!d he ha$e found it necessary to #oint out the fo!!y and a surdity of his o##onents. Aor a truth( once esta !ished y #roof( does neither gain force nor certainty y the consent of a!! scho!ars( nor !ose y the genera! dissent. 0e further find that *ristot!e( in the oo) )he .ea"ens and the Corld( introduces his theory of the &ternity of the @ni$erse in the fo!!owing manner; <=et us in-uire into the nature of the hea$ens( and see whether they are the #roduct of something or not( destructi !e or not.< *fter this statement of the #ro !em( he #roceeds to cite the $iews of those who ho!d that the hea$ens ha$e had a eginning( and continues thus; <4y doing this( our theory wi!! e most #!ausi !e and acce#ta !e in the
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o#inion of #rofound thin)ers; and it wi!! e the more so( when( as we #ro#ose( the arguments of our o##onents are first heard. Aor if we were to state our o#inion and our arguments without mentioning those of our o##onents( our words wou!d e recei$ed !ess fa$oura !y. "e who desires to e >ust must not show himse!f hosti!e to his o##onent; he must ha$e sym#athy with him( and readi!y ac)now!edge any truth contained in his words; he must admit the correctness of such of his o##onent's arguments as he wou!d admit if they were in his own fa$our.< This is the contents of the words of *ristot!e. Fow( ' as) you( men of inte!!igence( can we ha$e any com#!aint against him after this fran) statement/ ?r can any one now imagine that a rea! #roof has een gi$en for the &ternity of the @ni$erse/ ?r can *ristot!e( or any one e!se( e!ie$e that a theorem( though fu!!y #ro$ed( wou!d not e acce#ta !e un!ess the arguments of the o##onents were fu!!y refuted/ 0e must a!so ta)e into consideration that *ristot!e descri es this theory as his opinion( and his #roofs as ar uments. 's *ristot!e ignorant of the difference etween argument and #roof/ etween o#inions( which may e recei$ed more or !ess fa$oura !y( and truths ca#a !e of demonstration/ or wou!d rhetorica! a##ea! to the im#artia!ity of o##onents ha$e een re-uired for the su##ort of his theory if a rea! #roof had een gi$en/ +ertain!y not. *ristot!e on!y desires to show that his theory is etter than those of his o##onents( who ho!d that #hi!oso#hica! s#ecu!ation !eads to the con$iction that the hea$ens are transient( ut ha$e ne$er een entire!y without e1istence; or that the hea$ens ha$e had a eginning( ut are indestructi !e; or to defend any of the other $iews mentioned y him. 'n this he is undou ted!y right; for his o#inion is nearer the truth than theirs( so far as a #roof can e ta)en from the nature of e1isting things; we differ from him( as wi!! e e1#!ained. 7assion( that e1ercises great inf!uence in most of the different sects( must ha$e inf!uenced e$en the #hi!oso#hers who wished to affirm that *ristot!e demonstrated his theory y #roof. 7erha#s they rea!!y e!ie$e it( and assume that *ristot!e himse!f was not aware of it( as it was on!y disco$ered after his deathR My con$iction is( that what *ristot!e says on the &ternity of the @ni$erse( the cause of the $ariety in the motion of the s#heres and the order of the 'nte!!igences( cannot e #ro$ed( and that *ristot!e ne$er intended to #ro$e these things. ' agree with him that the ways of #ro$ing this theory ha$e their gates c!osed efore us( there eing no foundation on which to ui!d u# the #roof. "is words on this su >ect are we!! )nown. "e says( <There are things concerning which we are una !e to reason( or which we find too high for us; to say why these things ha$e a certain #ro#erty is as difficu!t as to decide whether the @ni$erse is eterna! or not.< %o far *ristot!e. The inter#retation which * u-nasr offers of this #ara!!e! is we!! )nown. "e denies that *ristot!e had any dou t a out the &ternity of the @ni$erse( and is $ery se$ere u#on 2a!en( who maintains that this theory

is sti!! dou tfu!( and that no #roof has een offered. *ccording to * u-nasr( it is c!ear and demonstra !e y #roof that the hea$ens are eterna!( ut a!! that is enc!osed within the hea$ens is transient. 0e ho!d( that y none of the methods mentioned in this cha#ter can a theory e esta !ished( refuted( or sha)en. 0e ha$e mentioned these things on!y ecause we )now that the ma>ority of those who consider themse!$es wise( a!though they )now nothing of science( acce#t the theory of the &ternity of the @ni$erse on the authority
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of famous scho!ars. They re>ect the words of the #ro#hets( ecause the !atter do not em#!oy any scientific method y which on!y a few #ersons wou!d e instructed who are inte!!ectua!!y we!! #re#ared( ut sim#!y communicate the truth as recei$ed y .i$ine ins#iration. 'n the cha#ters which fo!!ow we wi!! e1#ound the theory of the +reation in accordance with the teaching of %cri#ture.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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'F this cha#ter ' wi!! first e1#ound my $iew on this -uestion( and then su##ort it y argument-not y such arguments as those of the Muta)a!!emim( who e!ie$e that they ha$e #ro$ed the &reatio ex nihilo. ' wi!! not decei$e myse!f( and consider dia!ectica! methods as #roofs; and the fact that a certain #ro#osition has een #ro$ed y a dia!ectica! argument win ne$er induce me to acce#t that #ro#osition( ut( on the contrary( wi!! wea)en my faith in it( and cause me to dou t it. Aor when we understand the fa!!acy of a #roof( our faith in the #ro#osition itse!f is sha)en. 't is therefore etter that a #ro#osition which cannot e demonstrated e recei$ed as an a1iom( or that one of the two o##osite so!utions of the #ro !em e acce#ted on authority. The methods y which the Muta)a!!emim #ro$ed the &reatio ex nihilo ha$e a!ready een descri ed y me( and ' ha$e e1#osed their wea) #oints. *s to the #roofs of *ristot!e and his fo!!owers for the &ternity of the @ni$erse( they are( according to my o#inion( not conc!usi$e; they are o#en to strong o >ections( as wi!! e e1#!ained. ' intend to show that the theory of the +reation( as taught in %cri#ture( contains nothing that is im#ossi !e; and that a!! those #hi!oso#hica! arguments which seem to dis#ro$e our $iew contain wea) #oints which ma)e them inconc!usi$e( and render the attac)s on our $iew untena !e. %ince ' am con$inced of the correctness of my method( and consider either of the two theories--$i,.( the &ternity of the @ni$erse( and the +reation--as admissi !e( ' acce#t the !atter on the authority of 7ro#hecy( which can teach things eyond the reach of #hi!oso#hica! s#ecu!ation. Aor the e!ief in #ro#hecy is( as wi!! e shown in the course of this treatise( consistent e$en with the e!ief in the &ternity of the @ni$erse. 0hen ' ha$e esta !ished the admissi i!ity of our theory( ' wi!!( y #hi!oso#hica! reasoning( show that our theory of the +reation is more acce#ta !e than that of the &ternity of the @ni$erse;

and a!though our theory inc!udes #oints o#en to criticism( ' wi!! show that there are much stronger reasons for the re>ection of the theory of our o##onents. ' wi!! now #roceed to e1#ound the method y which the #roofs gi$en for the &ternity of the @ni$erse can e refuted.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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&I&9MT"'F2 #roduced comes into e1istence from non-e1istence; e$en when the su stance of a thing has een in e1istence( and has on!y changed its form( the thing itse!f( which has gone through the #rocess of genesis and de$e!o#ment( and has arri$ed at its fina! state( has now different #ro#erties from those which it #ossessed at the commencement of the transition from #otentia!ity to rea!ity( or efore that time. Ta)e( e.g.( the human o$um as
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contained in the fema!e's !ood when sti!! inc!uded in its $esse!s; its nature is different from what it was in the moment of conce#tion( when it is met y the semen of the ma!e and egins to de$e!o#; the #ro#erties of the semen in that moment are different from the #ro#erties of the !i$ing eing after its irth when fu!!y de$e!o#ed. 't is therefore -uite im#ossi !e to infer from the nature which a thing #ossesses after ha$ing #assed through a!! stages of its de$e!o#ment( what the condition of the thing has een in the moment when this #rocess commenced; nor does the condition of a thing in this moment show what its #re$ious condition has een. 'f you ma)e this mista)e( and attem#t to #ro$e the nature of a thing in #otentia! e1istence y its #ro#erties when actua!!y e1isting( you wi!! fa!! into great confusion; you win re>ect e$ident truths and admit fa!se o#inions. =et us assume( in our a o$e instance( that a man orn without defect had after his irth een nursed y his mother on!y a few months; the mother then died( and the father a!one rought him u# in a !one!y is!and( ti!! he grew u#( ecame wise( and ac-uired )now!edge. %u##ose this man has ne$er seen a woman or any fema!e eing; he as)s some #erson how man has come into e1istence( and how he has de$e!o#ed( and recei$es the fo!!owing answer; <Man egins his e1istence in the wom of an indi$idua! of his own c!ass( name!y( in the wom of a fema!e( which has a certain form. 0hi!e in the wom he is $ery sma!!; yet he has !ife( mo$es( recei$es nourishment( and gradua!!y grows( ti!! he arri$es at a certain stage of de$e!o#ment. "e then !ea$es the wom and continues to grow ti!! he is in the condition in which you see him.< The or#han wi!! natura!!y as); <.id this #erson( when he !i$ed( mo$ed( and grew in the wom ( eat and drin)( and reathe with his mouth and his nostri!s/ .id he e1crete any su stance/< The answer wi!! e( <Fo.< @ndou ted!y he wi!! then attem#t to refute the statements of that #erson( and to #ro$e their im#ossi i!ity( y referring to the #ro#erties of a fu!!y de$e!o#ed #erson( in the fo!!owing manner; <0hen any one of us is de#ri$ed of reath for a short time he dies( and cannot mo$e any !onger; how then can we imagine that any one of us has een inc!osed in a ag in the midst of a ody for se$era! months and remained a!i$e( a !e to mo$e/ 'f any one of us wou!d swa!!ow a !i$ing ird( the ird wou!d die

immediate!y when it reached the stomach( much more so when it came to the !ower #art of the e!!y; if we shou!d not ta)e food or drin) with our mouth( in a few days we shou!d undou ted!y e dead; how then can man remain a!i$e for months without ta)ing food/ 'f any #erson wou!d ta)e food and wou!d not e a !e to e1crete it( great #ains and death wou!d fo!!ow in a short time( and yet ' am to e!ie$e that man has !i$ed for months without that functionR %u##ose y accident a ho!e were formed in the e!!y of a #erson( it wou!d #ro$e fata!( and yet we are to e!ie$e that the na$e! of the fptus has een o#enR 0hy shou!d the fptus not o#en the eyes( s#read forth the ands and stretch out the !egs( if( as you thin)( the !im s are a!! who!e and #erfect.< This mode of reasoning wou!d !ead to the conc!usion that man cannot come into e1istence and de$e!o# in the manner descri ed. 'f #hi!oso#hers wou!d consider this e1am#!e we!! and ref!ect on it( they wou!d find that it re#resents e1act!y the dis#ute etween *ristot!e and ourse!$es. 0e( the fo!!owers of Moses( our Teacher( and of * raham( our Aather( e!ie$e that the @ni$erse has een #roduced and has de$e!o#ed in a
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certain manner( and that it has een created in a certain order. The *ristote!ians o##ose us( and found their o >ections on the #ro#erties which the things in the @ni$erse #ossess when in actua! e1istence and fu!!y de$e!o#ed. 0e admit the e1istence of these #ro#erties( ut ho!d that they are y no means the same as those which the things #ossessed in the moment of their #roduction; and we ho!d that these #ro#erties themse!$es ha$e come into e1istence from a so!ute non-e1istence. Their arguments are therefore no o >ection whate$er to our theory; they ha$e demonstrati$e force on!y against those who ho!d that the nature of things as at #resent in e1istence #ro$es the +reation. 4ut this is not my o#inion. ' wi!! now return to our theme( $i,.( to the descri#tion of the #rinci#a! #roofs of *ristot!e( and show that they #ro$e nothing whate$er against us( since we ho!d that 2od rought the entire @ni$erse into e1istence from a so!ute non-e1istence( and that "e caused it to de$e!o# into the #resent state. *ristot!e says that the materia prima is eterna!( and y referring to the #ro#erties of transient eings he attem#ts to #ro$e this statement( and to show that the materia prima cou!d not #ossi !y ha$e een #roduced. "e is right; we do not maintain that the materia prima has een #roduced in the same manner as man is #roduced from the o$um( and that it can e destroyed in the same manner as man is reduced to dust. 4ut we e!ie$e that 2od created it from nothing( and that since its creation it has its own #ro#erties( $i,.( that a!! things are #roduced of it and again reduced to it( when they cease to e1ist; that it does not e1ist without Aorm; and that it is the source of a!! genesis and destruction. 'ts genesis is not !i)e that of the things #roduced from it( nor its destruction !i)e theirs; for it has een created from nothing( and if it shou!d #!ease the +reator( "e might reduce it to a so!ute!y nothing. The same a##!ies to motion. *ristot!e founds some of his #roofs on the fact that motion is not su >ect to genesis or destruction. This is correct; if we consider motion as it e1ists at #resent( we cannot imagine that in its tota!ity it shou!d e su >ect( !i)e indi$idua! motions( to genesis and destruction. 'n !i)e manner *ristot!e is correct in saying that circu!ar motion is without eginning( in so far as seeing the rotating s#herica! ody in actua! e1istence( we cannot concei$e the idea that that rotation has e$er een a sent. The same argument we em#!oy as regards the !aw that a state of #otentia!ity #recedes a!! actua!

genesis. This !aw a##!ies to the @ni$erse as it e1ists at #resent( when e$erything #roduced originates in another thing; ut nothing #ercei$ed with our senses or com#rehended in our mind can #ro$e that a thing created from nothing must ha$e een #re$ious!y in a state of #otentia!ity. *gain( as regards the theory that the hea$ens contain no o##osites Cand are therefore indestructi !eD( we admit its correctness; ut we do not maintain that the #roduction of the hea$ens has ta)en #!ace in the same way as that of a horse or ass( and we do not say that they are !i)e #!ants and anima!s( which are destructi !e on account of the o##osite e!ements they contain. 'n short( the #ro#erties of things when fu!!y de$e!o#ed contain no c!ue as to what ha$e een the #ro#erties of the things efore their #erfection. 0e therefore do not re>ect as im#ossi !e the o#inion of those who say that the hea$ens were #roduced efore the earth( or the re$erse( or that the hea$ens ha$e e1isted without stars( or that certain s#ecies of anima!s ha$e een in e1istence( and others not. Aor the state of the who!e @ni$erse
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when it came into e1istence may e com#ared with that of anima!s when their e1istence egins; the heart e$ident!y #recedes the testic!es( the $eins are in e1istence efore the ones; a!though( when the anima! is fu!!y de$e!o#ed( none of the #arts is missing which is essentia! to its e1istence. This remar) is not su#erf!uous( if the %cri#tura! account of the +reation e ta)en !itera!!y; in rea!ity( it cannot e ta)en !itera!!y( as wi!! e shown when we sha!! treat of this su >ect. The #rinci#!e !aid down in the foregoing must e we!! understood; it is a high ram#art erected round the =aw( and a !e to resist a!! missi!es directed against it. *ristot!e( or rather his fo!!owers( may #erha#s as) us how we )now that the @ni$erse has een created; and that other forces than those it has at #resent were acting in its +reation( since we ho!d that the #ro#erties of the @ni$erse( as it e1ists at #resent( #ro$e nothing as regards its creation/ 0e re#!y( there is no necessity for this according to our #!an; for we do not desire to #ro$e the +reation( ut on!y its #ossi i!ity; and this #ossi i!ity is not refuted y arguments ased on the nature of the #resent @ni$erse( which we do not dis#ute. 0hen we ha$e esta !ished the admissi i!ity of our theory( we sha!! then show its su#eriority. 'n attem#ting to #ro$e the inadmissi i!ity of &reatio ex nihilo( the *ristote!ians can therefore not deri$e any su##ort from the nature of the @ni$erse; they must resort to the notion our mind has formed of 2od. Their #roofs inc!ude the three methods which ' ha$e mentioned a o$e( and which are ased on the notion concei$ed of 2od. 'n the ne1t cha#ter ' wi!! e1#ose the wea) #oints of these arguments( and show that they rea!!y #ro$e nothing.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

/!+PT"' )0$$$
T"& first method em#!oyed y the #hi!oso#hers is this; they assume that a transition from #otentia!ity to actua!ity wou!d ta)e #!ace in the .eity itse!f( if "e #roduced a thing on!y at a certain fi1ed time. The refutation of this argument is $ery easy. The argument a##!ies on!y

to odies com#osed of su stance--the e!ement that #ossesses the #ossi i!ity Cof changeD-and form; for when such a ody does not act for some time( and then acts y $irtue of its form( it must undou ted!y ha$e #ossessed something in potentia that hath now ecome actua!( and the transition can on!y ha$e een effected y some e1terna! agent. *s far as cor#orea! odies are concerned( this has een fu!!y #ro$ed. 4ut that which is incor#orea! and without su stance does not inc!ude anything mere!y #ossi !e; e$erything it contains is a!ways in e1istence. The a o$e argument does not a##!y to it( and it is not im#ossi !e that such a eing acts at one time and does not act at another. This does not im#!y a change in the incor#orea! eing itse!f nor a transition from #otentia!ity to actua!ity. The *cti$e 'nte!!ect may e ta)en as an i!!ustration. *ccording to *ristot!e and his schoo!( the *cti$e 'nte!!ect( an incor#orea! eing( acts at one time and does not act at another( as has een shown y * u-nasr in his treatise on the 'nte!!ect. "e says there -uite correct!y as fo!!ows; <'t is an e$ident fact that the *cti$e 'nte!!ect does not act continua!!y( ut on!y at times.< *nd yet he does not say that the *cti$e 'nte!!ect is changea !e( or #asses from a state of #otentia!ity to that of actua!ity( a!though it #roduces at one time something which it has not #roduced
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efore. Aor there is no re!ation or com#arison whate$er etween cor#orea! and incor#orea! eings( neither in the moment of action nor in that of inaction. 't is on!y y homonymity that the term< action< is used in reference to the forms residing in odies( and a!so in reference to a so!ute!y s#iritua! eings. The circumstance that a #ure!y s#iritua! eing does not effect at one time that which it effects at another( does not necessitate a transition from #otentia!ity to actua!ity; such a transition is necessary in the case of forces connected with odies. 't might( #erha#s( e o >ected that our argument is( to some e1tent( a fa!!acy; since it is not due to anything contained in the *cti$e 'nte!!ect itse!f( ut to the a sence of su stances sufficient!y #re#ared for its action( that at times it does not act; it does act a!ways when su stances sufficient!y #re#ared are #resent( and( when the action does not continue( it is owing to the a sence of su stance sufficient!y #re#ared( and not to any change in the 'nte!!ect. ' answer that it is not our intention to state the reason why 2od created at one time and not at another; and( in referring to the *cti$e 'nte!!ect as a #ara!!e!( we do not mean to assert that 2od acts at one time and not at another( in the same manner as the *cti$e 'nte!!ect( an a so!ute!y s#iritua! eing( acts intermittent!y. 0e do not ma)e this assertion( and( if we did( the conc!usion wou!d e fa!!acious. 0hat we infer( and what we are >ustified in inferring( is this; the *cti$e 'nte!!ect is neither a cor#orea! o >ect nor a force residing in a ody; it acts intermittent!y( and yet whate$er the cause may e why it does not a!ways act( we do not say that the *cti$e 'nte!!ect has #assed from a state of #otentia!ity to that of actua!ity; or that it im#!ies the #ossi i!ity Cof changeD( or that an agent must e1ist that causes the transition from #otentia!ity to actua!ity. 0e ha$e thus refuted the strong o >ection raised y those who e!ie$e in the &ternity of the @ni$erse; since we e!ie$e that 2od is neither a cor#orea! ody nor a force residing in a ody( we need not assume that the +reation( after a #eriod of inaction( is c!ue to a change in the +reator "imse!f. The second method em#!oyed in #ro$ing the &ternity of the @ni$erse is ased on the theory that a!! wants( changes( and o stac!es are a sent from the &ssence of 2od. ?ur refutation of

this #roof( which is oth difficu!t and #rofound( is this. &$ery eing that is endowed with free wi!! and #erforms certain acts in reference to another eing( necessari!y interru#ts those acts at one time or another( in conse-uence of some o stac!es or changes. &.g.( a #erson desires to ha$e a house( ut he does not ui!d one( ecause he meets with some o stac!es; he has not the materia!( or he has the materia!( ut it is not #re#ared for the #ur#ose on account of the a sence of #ro#er instruments; or he has materia! and instruments( and yet does not ui!d a house( ecause he does not desire to ui!d it; since he fee!s no want for a refuge. 0hen changed circumstances( as heat or co!d( im#e! him to see) a refuge( then he desires to ui!d a house. Thus changed circumstances change his wi!!( and the wi!!( when it meets with o stac!es( is not carried into effect. This( howe$er( is on!y the case when the causes of the actions are e1terna!; ut when the action has no other #ur#ose whate$er than to fu!fi! the wi!!( then the wi!! does not de#end on the e1istence of fa$oura !e circumstances. The eing endowed with this wi!! need not act continua!!y e$en in the a sence of a!! o stac!es( ecause there does not e1ist anything for
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the sa)e of which it acts( and which( in the a sence of a!! o stac!es( wou!d necessitate the action; the act sim#!y fo!!ows the wi!!. 4ut( some might as)( e$en if we admit the correctness of a!! this( is not change im#uted in the fact that the wi!! of the eing e1ists at one time and not at another/ ' re#!y thus; The true essence of the wi!! of a eing is sim#!y the facu!ty of concei$ing a desire at one time and not concei$ing it at another. 'n the case of cor#orea! eings( the wi!! which aims at a certain e1terna! o >ect changes according to o stac!es and circumstances. 4ut the wi!! of an a so!ute!y s#iritua! eing which does not de#end on e1terna! causes is unchangea !e( and the fact that the eing desires one thing one day and another thing another day( does not im#!y a change in the essence of that eing( or necessitate the e1istence of an e1terna! cause Cfor this change in the desireD. %imi!ar!y it has een shown y us that if a eing acted at one time and did not act at another( this wou!d not in$o!$e a change in the eing itse!f. 't is now c!ear that the term <wi!!< is homonymous!y used of man's wi!! and of the wi!! of 2od( there eing no com#arison whate$er etween 2od's wi!! and that of man. The o >ection is refuted( and our theory is not sha)en y it. This is a!! we desire to esta !ish. The third method em#!oyed in #ro$ing the &ternity of the @ni$erse is this; whate$er the wisdom of 2od finds necessary to #roduce is #roduced eo ipso; ut this wisdom( eing "is &ssence( is eterna!( and that which resu!ts from "is wisdom must e eterna!. This is a $ery wea) argument. *s we do not understand why the wisdom of 2od #roduced nine s#heres( neither more nor !ess( or why "e fi1ed the num er and si,e of the stars e1act!y as they are; so we cannot understand why "is wisdom at a certain time caused the @ni$erse to e1ist( whi!st a short time efore it had not een in e1istence. *!! things owe their e1istence to "is eterna! and constant wisdom( ut we are utter!y ignorant of the ways and methods of that wisdom( since( according to our o#inion Cthat 2od has no attri utesD( "is wi!! is identica! with "is wisdom( and a!! "is attri utes are one and the same thing( name!y( "is &ssence or 0isdom. More wi!! e said on this -uestion in the section on 7ro$idence. Thus this o >ection to our theory fa!!s !i)ewise to the ground.

There is no e$idence for the theory of the &ternity of the @ni$erse( neither in the fact cited y *ristot!e of the genera! consent of the ancient #eo#!es when they descri e the hea$ens as the ha itation of the ange!s and of 2od( nor in the a##arent concurrence of %cri#tura! te1ts with this e!ief. These facts mere!y #ro$e that the hea$ens !ead us to e!ie$e in the e1istence of the 'nte!!igences( i.e.( idea!s and ange!s( and that these !ead us to e!ie$e in the e1istence of 2od; for "e sets them in motion( and ru!es them. 0e wi!! e1#!ain and show that there is no etter e$idence for the e1istence of a +reator( as we e!ie$e( than that furnished y the hea$ens; ut a!so according to the o#inion of the #hi!oso#hers( as has een mentioned y us( they gi$e e$idence that a eing e1ists that sets them in motion( and that this eing is neither a cor#orea! ody nor a force residing in a ody. "a$ing #ro$ed that our theory is admissi !e( and not im#ossi !e( as those who defend the &ternity of the @ni$erse assert( ' wi!!( in the cha#ters which fo!!ow( show that our theory is #refera !e from a #hi!oso#hica! #oint of $iew( and e1#ose the a surdities im#!ied in the theory of *ristot!e.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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/!+PT"' )$)
'T has een shown that according to *ristot!e( and according to a!! that defend his theory( the @ni$erse is inse#ara !e from 2od; "e is the cause( and the @ni$erse the effect; and this effect is a necessary one; and as it cannot e e1#!ained why or how 2od e1ists in this #articu!ar manner( name!y( eing ?ne and incor#orea!( so it cannot e as)ed concerning the who!e @ni$erse why or how it e1ists in this #articu!ar way. Aor it is necessary that the who!e( the cause as we!! as the effect( e1ist in this #articu!ar manner( it is im#ossi !e for them not to e1ist( or to e different from what they actua!!y are. This !eads to the conc!usion that the nature of e$erything remains constant( that nothing changes its nature in any way( and that such a change is im#ossi !e in any e1isting thing. 't wou!d a!so fo!!ow that the @ni$erse is not the resu!t of design( choice( and desire; for if this were the case( they wou!d ha$e een non-e1isting efore the design had een concei$ed. 0e( howe$er( ho!d that a!! things in the @ni$erse are the resu!t of design( and not mere!y of necessity; "e who designed them may change them when "e changes "is design. 4ut not e$ery design is su >ect to change; for there are things which are im#ossi !e( and their nature cannot e a!tered( as wi!! e e1#!ained. "ere( in this cha#ter( ' mere!y wish to show y arguments a!most as forci !e as rea! #roofs( that the @ni$erse gi$es e$idence of design; ut ' wi!! not fa!! into the error in which the Muta)a!!emim ha$e so much distinguished themse!$es( name!y( of ignoring the e1isting nature of things or assuming the e1istence of atoms( or the successi$e creation of accidents( or any of their #ro#ositions which ' ha$e tried to e1#!ain( and which are intended to esta !ish the #rinci#!e of .i$ine se!ection. Mou must not( howe$er( thin) that they understood the #rinci#!e in the same sense as we do( a!though they undou ted!y aimed at the same thing( and mentioned the same things which

we a!so wi!! mention( when they treated of .i$ine %e!ection. Aor they do not distinguish etween se!ection in the case of a #!ant to ma)e it red and not white( or sweet and not itter( and determination in the case of the hea$ens which ga$e them their #ecu!iar geometrica! form and did not gi$e them a triangu!ar or -uadri!atera! sha#e. The Muta)a!!emim esta !ished the #rinci#!e of determination y means of their #ro#ositions( which ha$e een enumerated a o$e (7art '.( cha#. !11iii.). ' wi!! esta !ish this #rinci#!e on!y as far as necessary( and on!y y #hi!oso#hica! #ro#ositions ased on the nature of things. 4ut efore ' egin my argument( ' wi!! state the fo!!owing facts; Matter is common to things different from each other; there must e either one e1terna! cause which endows this matter #art!y with one #ro#erty( #art!y with another( or there must e as many different causes as there are different forms of the matter common to a!! things. This is admitted y those who assume the &ternity of the @ni$erse. *fter ha$ing #remised this #ro#osition( ' wi!! #roceed with the discussion of our theme from an *ristote!ian #oint of $iew( in form of a dia!ogue. Ce.--Mou ha$e #ro$ed that a!! things in the su !unary wor!d ha$e one common su stance; why then do the s#ecies of things $ary/ why are the indi$idua!s in each s#ecies different from each other/
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+ristotelian.--4ecause the com#osition of the things formed of that su stance $aries. Aor the common su stance at first recei$ed four different forms( and each form was endowed with two -ua!ities( and through these four -ua!ities the su stance was turned into the e!ements of which a!! things are formed. The com#osition of the e!ements ta)es #!ace in the fo!!owing manner;--Airst they are mi1ed in conse-uence of the motion of the s#heres( and then they com ine together; a cause for $ariation arises then in the $ariation of the degree of heat( co!d( moisture( and dryness of the e!ements which form the constituent #arts of the things. 4y these different com inations things are $arious!y #redis#osed to recei$e different forms; and these in their turn are again #re#ared to recei$e other forms( and so on. &ach generic form finds a wide s#here in its su stance oth as regards -ua!ity and -uantity; and the indi$idua!s of the c!asses $ary according!y. This is fu!!y e1#!ained in Fatura! %cience. 't is -uite correct and c!ear to e$ery one that readi!y ac)now!edges the truth( and does not wish to decei$e himse!f. Ce.--%ince the com ination of the e!ements #re#ares su stances and ena !es them to recei$e different forms( what has #re#ared the first su stance and caused one #art of it to recei$e the form of fire( another #art the form of earth( and the #arts etween these two the forms of water and of air( since one su stance is common to a!!/ Through what has the su stance of earth ecome more fit for the form of earth( and the su stance of fire more fit for that of fire/ +r.--The difference of the e!ements was caused y their different #osition for the different #!aces #re#ared the same su stance different!y( in the fo!!owing way; the #ortion nearest the surrounding s#here ecame more rarified and swifter in motion( and thus a##roaching the nature of that s#here( it recei$ed y this #re#aration the form of fire. The farther the su stance is away from the surrounding s#here towards the centre( the denser( the more so!id( and the !ess !uminous it is; it ecomes earth; the same is the cause of the formation of

water and air. This is necessari!y so; for it wou!d e a surd to deny that each #art of the su stance is in a certain #!ace; or to assume that the surface is identica! with the centre( or the centre with the surface. This difference in #!ace determined the different forms( i.e.( #redis#osed the su stance to recei$e different forms. Ce.--'s the su stance of the surrounding s#here( i.e.( the hea$ens( the same as that of the e!ements/ +r.--Fo; the su stance is different( and the forms are different. The term < ody< is homonymous!y used of these odies e!ow and of the hea$ens( as has een shown y modern #hi!oso#hers. *!! this has een demonstrated y #roof. 4ut !et now the reader of this treatise hear what ' ha$e to say. *ristot!e ass #ro$ed that the difference of forms ecomes e$ident y the difference of actions. %ince( therefore( the motion of the e!ements is recti!inear( and that of the s#heres circu!ar( we infer that the su stances are different. This inference is su##orted y Fatura! %cience. 0hen we further notice that su stances with recti!inear motion differ in their directions( that some mo$e u#ward( some downward( and that su stances which mo$e in the same direction ha$e different $e!ocities( we infer that their forms must e different.
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Thus we !earn that there are four e!ements. 'n the same way we come to the conc!usion that the su stance of a!! the s#heres is the same( since they a!! ha$e circu!ar motion. Their forms( howe$er( are different( since one s#here mo$es from cast to west( and another from west to east; and their motions ha$e a!so different $e!ocities. 0e can now #ut the fo!!owing -uestion to *ristot!e; There is one su stance common to a!! s#heres; each one has its own #ecu!iar form. 0ho thus determined and #redis#osed these s#heres to recei$e different forms/ 's there a o$e the s#heres any eing ca#a !e of determining this e1ce#t 2od/ ' wi!! show the #rofundity and the e1traordinary acumen which *ristot!e dis#!ayed when this -uestion trou !ed him. "e stro$e $ery hard to meet this o >ection with arguments( which( howe$er( were not orne out y facts. *!though he does not mention this o >ection( it is c!ear from his words that he endea$ours to show the nature of the s#heres( as he has shown that of the things in the su !unary wor!d. &$erything is( according to him( the resu!t of a !aw of Fature( and not the resu!t of the design of a eing that designs as it !i)es( or the determination of a eing that determines as it #!eases. "e has not carried out the idea consistent!y( and it wi!! ne$er e done. "e tries indeed to find the cause why the s#here mo$es from east and not from west; why some s#heres mo$e with greater $e!ocity( others with !ess $e!ocity( and he finds the cause of these differences in their different #ositions in reference to the u##ermost s#here. "e further attem#ts to show why there are se$era! s#heres for each of the se$en #!anets( whi!e there is on!y one s#here for the !arge num er of fi1ed stars. Aor a!! this he endea$ours to state the reason( so as to show that the who!e order is the necessary resu!t of the !aws of Fature. "e has not attained his o >ect. Aor as regards the things in the su !unary wor!d( his e1#!anations are in accordance with facts( and the re!ation etween cause and effect is c!ear!y shown. 't can therefore e assumed that e$erything is the necessary resu!t of the motions and inf!uences of the s#heres. 4ut when he treats of the #ro#erties of the s#heres( he does not c!ear!y show the causa! re!ation( nor does
C#aragra#h continuesD

he e1#!ain the #henomena in that systematic way which the hy#othesis of natura! !aws wou!d demand. Aor !et us consider the s#heres; in one cage a s#here with greater $e!ocity is a o$e a s#here with !ess $e!ocity( in another case we notice the re$erse; in a third case there are two s#heres with e-ua! $e!ocities( one a o$e the other. There are( esides( other #henomena which s#ea) strong!y against the hy#othesis that a!! is regu!ated y the !aws of Fature( and ' wi!! de$ote a s#ecia! cha#ter to the discussion of these #henomena. 'n short( there is no dou t that *ristot!e )new the wea)ness of his arguments in tracing and descri ing the cause of a!! these things( and therefore he #refaces his researches on these things as fo!!ows;--<0e wi!! now thorough!y in$estigate two #ro !ems( which it is our #ro#er duty to in$estigate and to discuss according to our ca#acity( wisdom( and o#inion. This our attem#t must not e attri uted to #resum#tion and #ride( ut to our e1traordinary ,ea! in the study of #hi!oso#hy; when we attem#t the highest and grandest #ro !ems( and endea$our to offer some #ro#er so!ution( e$ery one that hears it shou!d re>oice and e #!eased.< %o far *ristot!e. This shows that he undou ted!y )new the wea)ness of his theory. "ow much wea)er must it a##ear when we ear in mind that the science of *stronomy was not yet fu!!y de$e!o#ed( and that in the days of *ristot!e the motions of the
#. 1HJ

s#heres were not )nown so we!! as they are at #resent. ' thin) that it was the o >ect of *ristot!e in attri uting in his Metaphysics one 'nte!!igence to e$ery s#here( to assume the e1istence of something ca#a !e of determining the #ecu!iar course of each s#here. =ater on ' wi!! show that he has not gained anything there y; ut now ' wi!! e1#!ain the words( <according to our ca#acity( wisdom( and o#inion(< occurring in the #assage which we -uoted. ' ha$e not noticed that any of the commentators e1#!ain them. The term <our o#inion< refers to the #rinci#!e that e$erything is the resu!t of natura! !aws( or to the theory of the &ternity of the @ni$erse. 4y <our wisdom< he meant the )now!edge of that which is c!ear and genera!!y acce#ted( $i,.( that the e1istence of e$ery one of these things is due to a certain cause( and not to chance. 4y <our ca#acity< he meant the insufficiency of our inte!!ect to find the causes of a!! these things. "e on!y intended to trace the causes for a few of them; and so he did. Aor he gi$es an e1ce!!ent reason why the s#here of the fi1ed stars mo$es s!ow!y( whi!e the other s#heres mo$e with greater $e!ocity( name!y( ecause its motion is in a different direction Cfrom the u##ermost s#hereD. "e further says that the more distant a s#here is from the eighth s#here the greater is its $e!ocity. 4ut this ru!e does not ho!d good in a!! cases( as ' ha$e a!ready e1#!ained (#. 1J8) More forci !e sti!! is the fo!!owing o >ection; There are s#heres e!ow the eighth that mo$e from east to west. ?f these each u##er one( according to this ru!e( wou!d ha$e a greater $e!ocity than the !ower one; and the $e!ocity of these s#heres wou!d a!most e-ua! that of the ninth s#here. 4ut *stronomy had( in the days of *ristot!e( not yet de$e!o#ed to the height it has reached at #resent. *ccording to our theory of the +reation( a!! this can easi!y e e1#!ained; for we say that there is a eing that determines the direction and the $e!ocity of the motion of each s#here; ut we do not )now the reason why the wisdom of that eing ga$e to each s#here its #ecu!iar #ro#erty. 'f *ristot!e had een a !e to state the cause of the difference in the motion of the s#heres( and show that it corres#onded as he thought to their re!ati$e #ositions( this wou!d ha$e een e1ce!!ent( and the $ariety in their motions wou!d e

e1#!ained in the same way as the $ariety of the e!ements( y their re!ati$e #osition etween the centre and the surface; ut this is not the case( as ' said efore. There is a #henomenon in the s#heres which more c!ear!y shows the e1istence of $o!untary determination; it cannot e e1#!ained otherwise than y assuming that some eing designed it; this #henomenon is the e1istence of the stars. The fact that the s#here is constant!y in motion( whi!e the stars remain stationary( indicates that the su stance of the stars is different from that of the s#heres. * u-nasr has a!ready mentioned the fact in his additions to the Physics of *ristot!e. "e says; <There is a difference etween the stars and the s#heres; for the s#heres are trans#arent( the stars are o#a-ue; and the cause of this is that there is a difference( howe$er sma!! it may e( etween their su stances and forms.< %o far * u-nasr. 4ut ' do not say that there is a sma!! difference( ut a $ery great difference; ecause ' do not infer it from the trans#arency of the s#heres( ut from their motions. ' am con$inced that there are three different )inds of su stance( with three different forms( name!y;--(1) 4odies which ne$er mo$e of their own accord; such are
#. 1HH

the odies of the stars; (2) odies which a!ways mo$e( such are the odies of the s#heres; (6) odies which oth mo$e and rest( such are the e!ements. Fow( ' as)( what has united these two odies( which( according to my o#inion( differ $ery much from each other( though( according to * u-nasr( on!y a !itt!e/ 0ho has #re#ared the odies for this union/ 'n short( it wou!d e strange that( without the e1istence of design( one of two different odies shou!d e >oined to the other in such a manner that it is fi1ed to it in a certain #!ace ut does not com ine with it. 't is sti!! more difficu!t to e1#!ain the e1istence of the numerous stars in the eighth s#here; they are a!! s#herica!; some of them are !arge( some sma!!; here we notice two stars a##arent!y distant from each other one cu it; there a grou# of ten c!ose together; whi!st in another #!ace there is a !arge s#ace without any star. 0hat determined that the one sma!! #art shou!d ha$e ten stars( and the other #ortion shou!d e without any star/ and the who!e ody of the s#here eing uniform throughout( why shou!d a #articu!ar star occu#y the one #!ace and not another/ The answer to these and simi!ar -uestions is $ery difficu!t( and a!most im#ossi !e( if we assume that a!! emanates from 2od as the necessary resu!t of certain #ermanent !aws( as *ristot!e ho!ds. 4ut if we assume that a!! this is the resu!t of design( there is nothing strange or im#ro a !e; and the on!y -uestion to e as)ed is this; 0hat is the cause of this design/ The answer to this -uestion is that a!! this has een made for a certain #ur#ose( though we do not )now it; there is nothing that is done in $ain( or y chance. 't is we!! )nown that the $eins and ner$es of an indi$idua! dog or ass are not the resu!t of chance; their magnitude is not determined y chance; nor is it y chance( ut for a certain #ur#ose( that one $ein is thic)( another thin; that one ner$e has many ranches( another has none; that one goes down straight( whi!st another is ent; it is we!! )nown that a!! this must e >ust as it is. "ow( then( can any reasona !e #erson imagine that the #osition( magnitude( and num er of the stars( or the $arious courses of their s#heres( are #ur#ose!ess( or the resu!t of chance/ There is no dou t that e$ery one of these things is necessary and in accordance with a certain design; and it is e1treme!y im#ro a !e that these things shou!d e the necessary resu!t of natura! !aws( and not that of design.

The est #roof for design in the @ni$erse ' find in the different motions of the s#heres( and in the fi1ed #osition of the stars in the s#heres. Aor this reason you find a!! the #ro#hets #oint to the s#heres and stars when they want to #ro$e that there must e1ist a .i$ine 4eing. Thus * raham ref!ected on the stars( as is we!! )nown; 'saiah (1!. 25) e1horts to !earn from them the e1istence of 2od( and says( <=ift u# your eyes on high( and eho!d who hath created these things/< Jeremiah Cca!!s 2odD <The Ma)er of the hea$ens<; * raham ca!!s "im <The 2od of the hea$ens< (2en. 11i$. J); CMosesD( the chief of the 7ro#hets( uses the #hrase e1#!ained y us (7art '.( cha#. !11.)( <"e who rideth on the hea$ens< (.eut. 111iii. 25). The #roof ta)en from the hea$ens is con$incing; for the $ariety of things in the su !unary wor!d( though their su stance is one and the same( can e e1#!ained as the wor) of the inf!uences of the s#heres( or the resu!t of the $ariety in the #osition of the su stance in re!ation to the s#heres( as has een shown y *ristot!e. 4ut who has determined the $ariety in the s#heres and the stars( if not the 0i!! of 2od/ To say that the 'nte!!igences ha$e determined it
#. 1H9

is of no use whate$er; for the 'nte!!igences are not cor#orea!( and ha$e no !oca! re!ation to the s#heres. 0hy then shou!d the one s#here in its desire to a##roach the 'nte!!igence( mo$e eastward( and another westward/ 's the one 'nte!!igence in the east( the other in the west/ or why does one mo$e with great $e!ocity( another s!ow!y/ This difference is not in accordance with their distances from each other( as is we!! )nown. 0e must then say that the nature and essence of each s#here necessitated its motion in a certain direction( and in a certain manner( as the conse-uence of its desire to a##roach its 'nte!!igence. *ristot!e c!ear!y e1#resses this o#inion. 0e thus ha$e returned to the #art from which we started; and we as)( %ince the su stance of a!! things is the same( what made the nature of one #ortion different from another/ 0hy has this s#here a desire which #roduces a motion different from that which the desire of another s#here #roduces/ This must ha$e een done y an agent ca#a !e of determining. 0e ha$e thus een rought to e1amine two -uestions;--(1) 's it necessary to assume that the $ariety of the things in the @ni$erse is the resu!t of .esign( and not of fi1ed !aws of Fature( or is it not necessary/ (2) *ssuming that a!! this is the resu!t of .esign( does it fo!!ow that it has een created after not ha$ing e1isted( or does &reatio ex nihilo not fo!!ow( and has the 4eing which has determined a!! this done a!ways so/ %ome of those who e!ie$e in the &ternity of the @ni$erse ho!d the !ast o#inion. ' wi!! now egin the e1amination of these two -uestions( and e1#!ain them as much as necessary in the fo!!owing cha#ters.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

/!+PT"' ))
*++?9.'F2 to *ristot!e( none of the #roducts of Fature are due to chance. "is #roof is this; That which is due to chance does not rea##ear constant!y nor fre-uent!y( ut a!! #roducts of Fature rea##ear either constant!y or at !east fre-uent!y. The hea$ens( with a!! that they contain( are constant; they ne$er change( as has een e1#!ained( neither as regards

their essence nor as regards their #!ace. 4ut in the su !unary wor!d we find oth things which are constant and things which rea##ear fre-uent!y Cthough not constant!yD. Thus( e.g.( the heat of fire and the downward tendency of a stone are constant #ro#erties( whi!st the form and !ife of the indi$idua!s in each s#ecies are the same in most cases. *!! this is c!ear. 'f the #arts of the @ni$erse are not accidenta!( how can the who!e @ni$erse e considered as the resu!t of chance/ Therefore the e1istence of the @ni$erse is not due to chance. The fo!!owing is( in short( the o >ection which *ristot!e raises against one of the ear!ier #hi!oso#hers who assumed that the @ni$erse is the resu!t of chance( and that it came into e1istence y itse!f( without any cause. %ome assume that the hea$ens and the who!e @ni$erse came into e1istence s#ontaneous!y( as we!! as the rotation and motion Cof the s#heresD( which has #roduced the $ariety of things and esta !ished their #resent order. This o#inion im#!ies a great a surdity. They admit that anima!s and #!ants do not owe their e1istence or #roduction to chance( ut to a certain cause( e that cause Fature( or reason( or the !i)e; e.g.( they do not assume that e$erything might e formed y chance of a certain seed or semen( ut that of a certain seed on!y an o!i$e-tree is #roduced( and of a certain semen on!y
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a human eing is de$e!o#ed. *nd yet they thin) that the hea$ens( and those odies which a##ear di$ine among the rest of odies( came into e1istence s#ontaneous!y( without the action of any such cause as #roduces #!ants and anima!s. "a$ing thus e1amined this theory( *ristot!e then #roceeds to refute it at greater !ength. 't is therefore c!ear that *ristot!e e!ie$es and #ro$es that things in rea! e1istence are not accidenta!; they cannot e accidenta!( ecause they are essentia!( i.e.( there is a cause which necessitates that they shou!d e in their actua! condition( and on account of that cause they are >ust as they in rea!ity are. This has een #ro$ed( and it is the o#inion of *ristot!e. 4ut ' do not thin) that( according to *ristot!e( the re>ection of the s#ontaneous origin of things im#!ies the admission of .esign and 0i!!. Aor as it is im#ossi !e to reconci!e two o##osites( so it is im#ossi !e to reconci!e the two theories( that of necessary e1istence y causa!ity( and that of +reation y the desire and wi!! of a +reator. Aor the necessary e1istence assumed y *ristot!e must e understood in this sense( that for e$erything that is not the #roduct of wor) there must e a certain cause that #roduces it with its #ro#erties; for this cause there is another cause( and for the second a third( and so on. The series of causes ends with the 7rime +ause( from which e$erything deri$es e1istence( since it is im#ossi !e that the series shou!d continue ad infinitum. "e ne$erthe!ess does not mean to say that the e1istence of the @ni$erse is the necessary #roduct of the +reator( i.e.( the 7rime +ause( in the same manner as the shadow is caused y a ody( or heat y fire( or !ight y the sun. ?n!y those who do not com#rehend his words attri ute such ideas to him. "e uses here the term necessary in the same sense as we use the term when we say that the e1istence of the intellectus necessari!y im#!ies that of the intellectum( for the former is the efficient cause of the !atter in so far as intellectum. &$en *ristot!e ho!ds that the 7rime +ause is the highest and most #erfect 'nte!!ect; he therefore says that the Airst +ause is #!eased( satisfied( and de!ighted with that which necessari!y deri$es e1istence from "im( and it is im#ossi !e that "e shou!d wish it to e different. 4ut we do not ca!! this <design(< and it has nothing in common with design. &.g.( man is #!eased( satisfied( and de!ighted that he is endowed with eyes and hands( and it is im#ossi !e that he shou!d desire it to e otherwise( and yet the eyes and

hands which a man has are not the resu!t of his design( and it is not y his own determination that he has certain #ro#erties and is a !e to #erform certain actions. The notion of design and determination a##!ies on!y to things not yet in e1istence( when there is sti!! the #ossi i!ity of their eing in accordance with the design or not. ' do not )now whether the modern *ristote!ians understood his words to im#!y that the e1istence of the @ni$erse #resu##oses some cause in the sense of design and determination( or whether( in o##osition to him( they assumed design and determination( in the e!ief that this does not conf!ict with the theory of the &ternity of the @ni$erse. "a$ing e1#!ained this( ' wi!! now #roceed to e1amine the o#inions of the modern #hi!oso#hers.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

/!+PT"' ))$
%?M& of the recent #hi!oso#hers who adhere to the theory of the &ternity of
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the @ni$erse ho!d that 2od #roduces the @ni$erse( that "e y "is wi!! designs and determines its e1istence and form; they re>ect( howe$er( the theory that this act too) #!ace at one certain time( and assume that this a!ways has een the case( and wi!! a!ways e so. The circumstance that we cannot imagine an agent otherwise than #receding the resu!t of its action( they e1#!ain y the fact that this is in$aria !y the case in a!! that *e #roduce; ecause for agents of the same )ind as we are( there are some moments in which they are not acti$e( and are on!y agents in potentia; they ecome agents when they act. 4ut as regards 2od there are no moments of non-action( or of #otentia!ity in any res#ect; "e is not efore "is wor)( "e is a!ways an actua! agent. *nd as there is a great difference etween "is essence and ours( so is a!so a great difference etween the re!ation of "is wor) to "im and the re!ation of our wor) to us. They a##!y the same argument to wi!! and determination; for there is no difference in this res#ect whether we say "e acts( wi!!s( designs( or determines. They further assume that change in "is action or wi!! is inadmissi !e. 't is therefore c!ear that these #hi!oso#hers a andoned the term <necessary resu!t(< ut retained the theory of it; they #erha#s sought to use a etter e1#ression( or to remo$e an o >ectiona !e term. Aor it is the same thing( whether we say in accordance with the $iew of *ristot!e that the @ni$erse is the resu!t of the 7rime +ause( and must e eterna! as that +ause is eterna!( or in accordance with these #hi!oso#hers that the @ni$erse is the resu!t of the act( design( wi!!( se!ection( and determination of 2od( ut it has a!ways een so( and wi!! a!ways e so; in the same manner as the rising of the sun undou ted!y #roduces the day( and yet it does not #recede it. 4ut when we s#ea) of design we do not mean it in this sense; we mean to e1#ress y it that the @ni$erse is not the <necessary resu!t< of 2od's e1istence( as the effect is the necessary resu!t of the efficient cause; in the !atter case the effect cannot e se#arated from the cause; it cannot change un!ess the cause changes entire!y( or at !east in some res#ect. 'f we acce#t this e1#!anation we easi!y see how a surd

it is to say that the @ni$erse is in the same re!ation to 2od as the effect is to the efficient cause( and to assume at the same time that the @ni$erse is the resu!t of the action and determination of 2od. "a$ing fu!!y e1#!ained this su >ect( we come to the -uestion whether the cause( which must e assumed for the $ariety of #ro#erties noticed in the hea$en!y eings( is mere!y an efficient cause( that must necessari!y #roduce that $ariety as its effect( or whether that $ariety is due to a determining agent( such as we e!ie$e( in accordance with the theory of Moses our Teacher. 4efore ' discuss this -uestion ' wi!! first e1#!ain fu!!y what *ristot!e means y <necessary resu!t<; after that ' wi!! show y such #hi!oso#hica! arguments as are free from e$ery fa!!acy why ' #refer the theory of &reatio ex nihilo. 't is c!ear that when he says that the first 'nte!!igence is the necessary resu!t of the e1istence of 2od( the second 'nte!!igence the resu!t of the e1istence of the first( the third of the second Cand so onD( and that the s#heres are the necessary resu!t of the e1istence of the 'nte!!igences( and so forth( in the we!!-)nown order which you !earnt from #assages dea!ing with it( and of which we ha$e gi$en a r5sum5 in this #art (ch. i$.)--he does not mean that the one thing was first in e1istence( and then the second came as the necessary resu!t of the first; he denies that
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any one of these eings has had a eginning. 4y <necessary resu!t< he mere!y refers to the causa! re!ation; he means to say that the first 'nte!!igence is the cause of the e1istence of the second; the second of the third( and so on to the !ast of the 'nte!!igences; and the same is a!so the case as regards the s#heres and the materia prima; none of these #receded another( or has een in e1istence without the e1istence of that other. 0e say( e.g.( that the necessary resu!t of the #rimary -ua!ities are roughness CandD smoothness( hardness CandD softness( #orosity and so!idity; and no #erson dou ts that heat( co!d( moisture( and dryness are the causes of smoothness and roughness( of hardness and softness( #orosity and so!idity( and simi!ar -ua!ities( and that the !atter are the necessary resu!t of those four #rimary -ua!ities. *nd yet it is im#ossi !e that a ody shou!d e1ist with the #rimary -ua!ities without the secondary ones; for the re!ation etween the two sets of -ua!ities is that of causa!ity( not that of agent and its #roduct. >ust in the same way the term <necessary resu!t< is used y *ristot!e in reference to the who!e @ni$erse( when he says that one #ortion is the resu!t of the other( and continues the series u# to the Airst +ause as he ca!!s it( or first 'nte!!ect( if you #refer this term. Aor we a!! mean the same( on!y with this difference( that according to *ristot!e e$erything esides that 4eing is the necessary resu!t of the !atter( as ' ha$e a!ready mentioned; whi!st( according to our o#inion( that 4eing created the who!e @ni$erse with design and wi!!( so that the @ni$erse which had not een in e1istence efore( has y "is wi!! come into e1istence. ' wi!! now egin in the fo!!owing cha#ters my #roofs for the su#eriority of our theory( that of &reatio ex nihilo.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

/!+PT"' ))$$

*9'%T?T=& and a!! #hi!oso#hers assume as an a1iom that a sim#!e e!ement can on!y #roduce one sim#!e thing( whi!st a com#ound can #roduce as many things as it contains sim#!e e!ements; e.g.( fire com ines in itse!f two #ro#erties( heat and dryness; it gi$es heat y the one #ro#erty( and #roduces dryness y the other; an o >ect com#osed of matter and form #roduces certain things on account of its matter( and others on account of its form( if C oth matter and formD consist of se$era! e!ements. 'n accordance with this a1iom( *ristot!e ho!ds that the direct emanation from 2od must e one sim#!e 'nte!!igence( and nothing e!se. * second a1iom assumed y him is this; Things are not #roduced y other things at random; there must e some re!ation etween cause and effect. Thus accidents are not #roduced y accidents #romiscuous!y; -ua!ity cannot e the origin of -uantity( nor -uantity that of -ua!ity; a form cannot emanate from matter( nor matter from form. * third a1iom is this; * sing!e agent that acts with design and wi!!( and not mere!y y the force of the !aws of Fature( can #roduce different o >ects. * fourth a1iom is as fo!!ows; *n o >ect( whose se$era! e!ements are on!y connected y >u1ta#osition( is more #ro#er!y a com#ound than an o >ect whose different e!ements ha$e entire!y com ined; e.g.( one( f!esh( $eins( or ner$es( are more sim#!e than the hand or the foot( that are a com ination of one( f!esh( $eins( and ner$es. This is $ery c!ear( and re-uires no further e1#!anation.
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"a$ing #remised these a1ioms( ' as) the fo!!owing -uestion; *ristot!e ho!ds that the first 'nte!!igence is the cause of the second( the second of the third( and so on( ti!! the thousandth( if we assume a series of that num er. Fow the first 'nte!!ect is undou ted!y sim#!e. "ow then can the com#ound form of e1isting things come from such an 'nte!!ect y fi1ed !aws of Fature( as *ristot!e assumes/ 0e admit a!! he said concerning the 'nte!!igences( that the further they are away from the first( the greater is the $ariety of their com#ounds( in conse-uence of the !arger num er of the o >ects com#rehensi !e y the 'nte!!igences; ut e$en after admitting this( the -uestion remains( 4y what !aw of Fature did the s#heres emanate from the 'nte!!igences/ 0hat re!ation is there etween materia! and immateria! eings/ %u##ose we admit that each s#here emanates from an 'nte!!igence of the form mentioned; that the 'nte!!igence( inc!uding( as it were( two e!ements( in so far as it com#rehends itse!f and another thing( #roduces the ne1t 'nte!!igence y the one e!ement( and a s#here y the other; ut the -uestion wou!d then e( how the one sim#!e e!ement cou!d #roduce the s#here( that contains two su stances and two forms( name!y( the su stance and the form of the s#here( and a!so the su stance and the form of the star fi1ed in that s#here. Aor( according to the !aws of Fature( the com#ound can on!y emanate from a com#ound. There must therefore e one e!ement( from which the ody of the s#here emanates( and another e!ement( from which the ody of the star emanates. This wou!d e necessary e$en if the su stance of a!! stars were the same; ut it is #ossi !e that the !uminous stars ha$e not the same su stance as the non-!uminous stars; it is esides we!! )nown that each ody has its own matter and its own form. 't must now e c!ear that this emanation cou!d not ha$e ta)en #!ace y the force of the !aws of Fature( as *ristot!e contends. For does the difference of the motions of the s#heres fo!!ow the order of their

#ositions; and therefore it cannot e said that this difference is the resu!t of certain !aws of Fature. 0e ha$e a!ready mentioned this (ch. 1i1.). There is in the #ro#erties of the s#heres another circumstance that is o##osed to the assumed !aws of Fature; name!y( if the su stance of a!! s#heres is the same( why does it not occur that the form of one s#here com ines with the su stance of another s#here( as is the case with things on earth( sim#!y ecause their su stance is fit Cfor such changesD/ 'f the su stance of a!! s#heres is the same( if it is not assumed that each of them has a #ecu!iar su stance( and if( contrary to a!! #rinci#!es( the #ecu!iar motion of each s#here is no e$idence for the s#ecia! character of its su stance( why then shou!d a certain form constant!y remain united with a certain su stance/ *gain( if the stars ha$e a!! one su stance( y what are they distinguished from each other/ is it y forms/ or y accidents/ 0hiche$er e the case( the forms or the accidents wou!d interchange( so that they wou!d successi$e!y unite with e$ery one of the stars( so !ong as their su stance C eing the sameD admits the com inations Cwith e$ery one of the forms or the accidentsD. This shows that the term su stance( when used of the s#heres or the stars( does not mean the same as it signifies when used of the su stance of earth!y things( ut is a##!ied to the two synonymous!y. 't further shows that e$ery one of the odies of the s#heres has its own #ecu!iar form of e1istence different from that of a!! other
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eings. 0hy then is circu!ar motion common to a!! s#heres( and why is the fi1ed #osition of the stars in their res#ecti$e s#heres common to a!! stars/ 'f we( howe$er( assume design and determination of a +reator( in accordance with "is incom#rehensi !e wisdom( a!! these difficu!ties disa##ear. They must arise when we consider the who!e @ni$erse( not as the resu!t of free wi!!( ut as the resu!t of fi1ed !aws of Fature; a theory which( on the one hand( is not in harmony with the e1isting order of things( and does not offer for it a sufficient reason or argument; and( on the other hand( im#!ies many and great im#ro a i!ities. Aor( according to this theory 2od( whose #erfection in e$ery res#ect is recognised y a!! thin)ing #ersons( is in such re!ation to the @ni$erse that "e cannot change anything; if "e wished to ma)e the wing of a f!y !onger( or to reduce the num er of the !egs of a worm y one( "e cou!d not accom#!ish it. *ccording to *ristot!e( "e does not try such a thing( and it is who!!y im#ossi !e for "im to desire any change in the e1isting order of things; if "e cou!d( it wou!d not increase "is #erfection; it might( on the contrary( from some #oint of $iew( diminish it. *!though ' )now that many #artia! critics wi!! ascri e my o#inion concerning the theory of *ristot!e to insufficient understanding( or to intentiona! o##osition( ' wi!! not refrain from stating in short the resu!ts of my researches( howe$er #oor my ca#acities may e. ' ho!d that the theory of *ristot!e is undou ted!y correct as far as the things are concerned which e1ist etween the s#here of the moon and the centre of the earth. ?n!y an ignorant #erson re>ects it( or a #erson with #reconcei$ed o#inions of his own( which he desires to maintain and to defend( and which !ead him to ignore c!ear facts. 4ut what *ristot!e says concerning things a o$e the s#here of the moon is( with few e1ce#tions( mere imagination and o#inion; to a sti!! greater e1tent this a##!ies to his system of 'nte!!igences( and to some of his

meta#hysica! $iews; they inc!ude great im#ro a i!ities( C#romoteD ideas which a!! nations consider as e$ident!y corru#t( and cause $iews to s#read which cannot e #ro$ed. 't may #erha#s e as)ed why ' ha$e enumerated a!! the dou ts which can e raised against the theory of *ristot!e; whether y mere dou ts a theory can e o$erthrown( or its o##osite esta !ished/ This is certain!y not the case. 4ut we treat this #hi!oso#her e1act!y as his fo!!owers te!! us to do. Aor *!e1ander stated that when a theory cannot e esta !ished y #roof( the two most o##osite $iews shou!d e com#ared as to the dou ts entertained concerning each of them( and that $iew which admits of fewer dou ts shou!d e acce#ted. *!e1ander further says that this ru!e a##!ies to a!! those o#inions of *ristot!e in Metaphysics for which he offered no #roof. Aor those that fo!!owed *ristot!e e!ie$ed that his o#inions are far !ess su >ect to dou t than any other o#inion. 0e fo!!ow the same ru!e. 4eing con$inced that the -uestion whether the hea$ens are eterna! or not cannot e decided y #roof( neither in the affirmati$e nor in the negati$e( we ha$e enumerated the o >ections raised to either $iew( and shown how the theory of the &ternity of the @ni$erse is su >ect to stronger o >ections( and is more a#t to corru#t the notions concerning 2od Cthan the otherD. *nother argument can e drawn from the fact that the theory of the +reation was he!d y our Aather * raham( and y our Teacher Moses. "a$ing mentioned the method of testing the two theories y the o >ections
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raised against them( ' find it necessary to gi$e some further e1#!anation of the su >ect.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

/!+PT"' ))$$$
'F com#aring the o >ections raised against one theory with those raised against the o##osite theory( in order to decide in fa$our of the !east o >ectiona !e( we must not consider the num er of the o >ections( ut the degree of im#ro a i!ity and of de$iation from rea! facts C#ointed out y the o >ectionsD; for one o >ection may sometimes ha$e more weight than a thousand others. 4ut the com#arison cannot e trustworthy un!ess the two theories e considered with the same interest( and if you are #redis#osed in fa$our of one of them( e it on account of your training or ecause of some ad$antage( you are too !ind to see the truth. Aor that which can e demonstrated you cannot re>ect( howe$er much you may e inc!ined against it; ut in -uestions !i)e those under consideration you are a#t to dis#ute Cin conse-uence of your inc!ination). Mou wi!!( howe$er( e a !e to decide the -uestion( as far as necessary( if you free yourse!f from #assions( ignore customs( and fo!!ow on!y your reason. 4ut many are the conditions which must e fu!fi!!ed. Airst you must )now your menta! ca#acities and your natura! ta!ents; you wi!! find this out when you study a!! mathematica! sciences( and are we!! ac-uainted with =ogic. %econd!y( you must ha$e a thorough )now!edge of Fatura! %cience( that you may e a !e to understand the nature of the o >ections. Third!y( you must e mora!!y good. Aor if a #erson is $o!u#tuous or

#assionate( and( !oosening the reins( a!!ows his anger to #ass the >ust !imits( it ma)es no difference whether he is so from nature or from ha it( he wi!! !under and stum !e in his way( he wi!! see) the theory which is in accordance with his inc!inations. ' mention this !est you e decei$ed; for a #erson might some day( y some o >ection which he raises( sha)e your e!ief in the theory of the +reation( and then easi!y mis!ead you; you wou!d then ado#t the theory Cof the &ternity of the @ni$erse) which is contrary to the fundamenta! #rinci#!es of our re!igion( and !eads to <s#ea)ing words that turn away from 2od.< Mou must rather ha$e sus#icion against your own reason( and acce#t the theory taught y two #ro#hets who ha$e !aid the foundation for the e1isting order in the re!igious and socia! re!ations of man)ind. ?n!y demonstrati$e #roof shou!d e a !e to ma)e you a andon the theory of the +reation; ut such a #roof does not e1ist in Fature. Mou wi!! not find it strange that ' introduce into this discussion historica! matter in su##ort of the theory of the +reation( seeing that *ristot!e( the greatest #hi!oso#her( in his #rinci#a! wor)s( introduces histories in su##ort of the theory of the &ternity of the @ni$erse. 'n this regard we may >ust!y -uote the saying; <%hou!d not our #erfect =aw e as good as their gossi#/< (4. T. 4a a atra( 11: ). 0hen he su##orts his $iew y -uoting %a ean stories( why shou!d we not su##ort our $iew y that which Moses and * raham said( and that which fo!!ows from their words/ ' ha$e efore #romised to descri e in a se#arate cha#ter the strong o >ections which must occur to him who thin)s that human wisdom com#rehends fu!!y the nature of the s#heres and their motions; that these are su >ect to fi1ed !aws( and ca#a !e of eing com#rehended as regards order and re!ation. ' wi!! now e1#!ain this.
Guide for the Perplexed( y Moses Maimonides( Aried!Bnder tr. C1908D( at sacred-te1ts.com

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Mou )now of *stronomy as much as you ha$e studied with me( and !earnt from the oo) *!magest; we had not sufficient time to go eyond this. The theory that Cthe s#heresD mo$e regu!ar!y( and that the assumed courses of the stars are in harmony with o ser$ation( de#ends( as you are aware( on two hy#otheses; we must assume either e#icyc!es( or e1centric s#heres( or a com ination of oth. Fow ' wi!! show that each of these two hy#otheses is irregu!ar( and tota!!y contrary to the resu!ts of Fatura! %cience. =et us first consider an e#icyc!e( such as has een assumed in the s#heres of the moon and the fi$e #!anets( rotating on a s#here( ut not round the centre of the s#here that carries it. This arrangement wou!d necessari!y #roduce a re$o!$ing motion; the e#icyc!e wou!d then re$o!$e( and entire!y change its #!ace; ut that anything in the s#heres shou!d change its #!ace is e1act!y what *ristot!e considers im#ossi !e. Aor that reason * u- e)r i n-*!,aig( in an astronomica! treatise which he wrote( re>ects the e1istence of e#icyc!es. 4esides this im#ossi i!ity( he mentions others( showing that the theory of e#icyc!es im#!ies other a surd notions. ' wi!! here e1#!ain them;--(1) 't is a surd to assume that the re$o!ution of a cyc!e

has not the centre of the @ni$erse for its centre; for it is a fundamenta! #rinci#!e in the order of the @ni$erse that there are on!y three )inds of motion--from the centre( towards the centre( and round the centre; ut an e#icyc!e does not mo$e away from the centre( nor towards it( nor round it. (2) *gain( according to what *ristot!e e1#!ains in Fatura! %cience( there must e something fi1ed round which the motion ta)es #!ace; this is the reason why the earth remains stationary. 4ut the e#icyc!e wou!d mo$e round a centre which is not stationary. ' ha$e heard that * u- e)r disco$ered a system in which no e#icyc!es occur; ut e1centric s#heres are not e1c!uded y him. ' ha$e not heard it from his #u#i!s; and e$en if it e correct that he disco$ered such a system( he has not gained much y it; for e1centricity is !i)ewise as contrary as #ossi !e to the #rinci#!es !aid down y *ristot!e. Aor it seems to me that an e1centric s#here does not mo$e round the centre of the @ni$erse( ut round an imaginary #oint distant from the centre( and therefore round a #oint which is not fi1ed. * #erson ignorant of astronomy might thin) that the motion of the e1centric s#heres may sti!! e considered as ta)ing #!ace round something fi1ed( since their centre is a##arent!y within the s#here of the moon. ' wou!d admit this if the centre were situated in the region of fire or air( a!though the s#heres wou!d not mo$e round a sta !e #oint. 4ut ' wi!! show that the amount of e1centricity has( in a certain way( een descri ed in the *!magest; and !ater scho!ars ha$e ca!cu!ated the e1act amount of e1centricity in terms of radii of the earth( and ha$e #ro$ed the resu!t. The same measure has een used in astronomy in descri ing a!! distances and magnitudes. 't has thus een shown that the #oint round which the sun mo$es !ies undou ted!y eyond the s#here of the moon( and e!ow the su#erficies of the s#here of Mercury. The centre for the circuit of Mars( that is( the centre of the e1centric s#here of Mars( is eyond the s#here of Mercury( and e!ow the s#here of Ienus. The centre of Ju#iter has the same distance; it !ies etween the s#here of Ienus and that of Mercury( whi!st the centre of %aturn !ies etween the s#heres of Mars and Ju#iter. Fow( consider how im#ro a !e a!! this a##ears according to the !aws of Fatura! %cience. Mou wi!!
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find it out when you consider the )nown distances and magnitudes of each s#here and each star( a!! e1#ressed in terms of the radii of the earth. There is a uniform measure for a!!( and the e1centricity of each s#here is not determined y units #ro#ortionate to its own magnitude. 't is sti!! more im#ro a !e and more o >ectiona !e to assume that there are two s#heres( the one within the other; that these are c!ose!y >oined from a!! sides( and ha$e( ne$erthe!ess( different centres. Aor in this case the sma!!er s#here might mo$e whi!st the !arger e at rest; ut the sma!!er cannot e at rest when the !arger mo$es( and must mo$e with the !arger when the !atter rotates round any other a1is than that which #asses through the two centres. Fow we ha$e this #ro#osition which can e #ro$ed; and( further( the esta !ished theory that there is no $acuum( and a!so the assumed e1centricity of the s#heres; from a!! this it fo!!ows that in e$ery two s#heres the motion of the u##er one shou!d cause the !ower s#here to mo$e in the same way( and round the same centre. 4ut this is not the case; the outer and the inner s#heres do not mo$e in the same way( and not round the same centre or the same a1is; each of them has its #ecu!iar motion. Aor this reason it has een assumed that etween e$ery two s#heres there are su stances different from those of the s#heres. 't may e $ery much dou ted whether this is the case; for where shou!d the centres of these intermediate

su stances e #!aced/ ha$e these su stances !i)ewise their own #ecu!iar motion/ Tha ith has e1#!ained the a o$e-mentioned theory in one of his treatises( and #ro$ed that we must assume a su stance of a s#herica! form intermediate etween one s#here and the other. *!! this is #art of that which ' ha$e not e1#!ained to you when you studied with me( for ' was afraid you might ecome confused and wou!d not understand e$en those things which ' wished to show you. 4ut as to the inc!ination and the de$iation assumed in res#ect to the !atitude of the #aths of Ienus and Mercury( ' ha$e a!ready c!ear!y shown you $i$a $oce that it is im#ossi !e to imagine materia! eings under such conditions. Mou ha$e seen that 7to!emy has a!ready #ointed out this difficu!ty. "e says as fo!!ows; <=et no one thin) that these and simi!ar #rinci#!es are im#ro a !e. 'f any one considers what we ha$e here e1#ounded in the same !ight as he considers things #roduced y s)i!! and su t!e wor)( he wi!! find it im#ro a !e; ut it is not right to com#are human things to di$ine things.< This is( as you )now( what 7to!emy says( and ' ha$e a!ready #ointed out to you the #assages y which you can $erify a!! ' said( e1ce#t what ' stated a out the #osition of the centres of the e1centric s#heres; for ' ha$e not heard that any one has #aid attention to this -uestion. 4ut you wi!! understand it when you )now the !ength of the diameter of each s#here( and the e1tent of its e1centricity in terms of radii of the earth( according to the facts which 3a ici has esta !ished in his treatise on the distances. 0hen you notice these distances you wi!! confirm my words. +onsider( therefore( how many difficu!ties arise if we acce#t the theory which *ristot!e e1#ounds in 7hysics. Aor( according to that theory( there are no e#icyc!es( and no e1centric s#heres( ut a!! s#heres rotate round the centre of the earthR "ow then can the different courses of the stars e e1#!ained/ how is it #ossi !e to assume a uniform #erfect rotation with the #henomena which we #ercei$e( e1ce#t y admitting one of the two hy#otheses
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or oth of them/ The difficu!ty is sti!! more a##arent when we find that admitting what 7to!emy said as regards the e#icyc!e of the moon( and its inc!ination towards a #oint different oth from the centre of the @ni$erse and from its own centre( the ca!cu!ations according to these hy#otheses are #erfect!y correct( within one minute; that their correctness is confirmed y the most accurate ca!cu!ation of the time( duration( and e1tent of the ec!i#ses( which is a!ways ased on these hy#otheses. Aurthermore( how can we reconci!e( without assuming the e1istence of e#icyc!es( the a##arent retrogression of a star with its other motions/ "ow can rotation or motion ta)e #!ace round a #oint which is not fi1ed/ These are rea! difficu!ties. ' ha$e e1#!ained to you a!ready "i"B "oce( that these difficu!ties do not concern the astronomer; for he does not #rofess to te!! us the e1isting #ro#erties of the s#heres( ut to suggest( whether correct!y or not( a theory in which the motion of the stars is circu!ar and uniform( and yet in agreement with our o ser$ation. Mou )now that * u- e)r a!-Taig( in his treatise on 7hysics( e1#resses a dou t whether *ristot!e )new the e1centricity of the sun ut ignored it( and on!y discussed the effect of the inc!ination( ecause he saw that the effect of the e1centricity was identica! with that of the inc!ination; or whether he did not #ercei$e it. The t