Friday, February 7, 2014

The Myth of Jesus

Chapter 5
Before the Beginning

One of the most puzzling things about Biblical scholars is that they will fawn over an extinct Jewish culture like that associated with the Qumran community but ignore a marginalized but still living tradition like the Samaritans.  The Samaritans embody the perpetuation of the culture of northern Israel into the modern age.  They only regard the Pentateuch, the five books of Moses, as having any religious authority.  The Pentateuch in turn never once mention the name 'Jerusalem' - the religious center of the southern 'Jewish' tradition.  One can certainly argue that this book reflects the traditional Samaritan interest in mount Gerizim and surrounding areas as the effective 'center of the world,' and thus reinforces their cultures ignoring of Jerusalem.  

I have never understood why so many scholars who claim to want to figure out the origins of Christianity ignore the significance of the Samaritan contribution to this religion.  Just about every 'heretic' in early Christianity is somehow associated with the Samaritans by the early Church Fathers.  Some modern scholars justify their focus on Jewish religious traditions and practices because these Patristic references aren't reliable.  One can just as easily argue that they are inconvenient to academics and their doctoral aspirations.  Most respected Samaritanologists have been traditionally concentrated in Australia.  There are no authorities on the Samaritan culture in America.

The fact that American Biblical scholars know little or nothing about the Samaritan tradition explains why they have never realized the significance of איש. The Jewish tradition says very little of interest about this common Hebrew term for 'man' save for an old mystical understanding that the three letters correspond to a trinity of divine powers.  We will examine this reference from the Sefer Bahir later in the book.  For the moment it is enough to start with the respected Australian scholar Alan Crown mostly ignored 1974 article on the Hebrew term.

Crown notes, with no doubt some influence from Samaritanism, that there are several places in the Bible where איש clearly means something more than just 'man' or 'human being.'  The underlying sense from these passages is that means 'King, prince or leader.'  I will not cite all the verses but one of his chief examples is found at the beginning of the book of Exodus or as he puts it:

The verse is a sneering attack on Moses in which it is averred by rhetorical questionthat Moses has neither the power nor the legal authority to interfere with the two Israelites. His physical ability to harm them, his manhood, is not in question. If the verse is read with a disjunctive accent under איש the following sense may be provided “Who made you a ruler (= איש) prince and a judge over us?"

What Crown doesn't say in the short article is that he has gotten his cue here from the two thousand five hundred year old Samaritan tradition, who typically view the term to denote an angelic power in the Pentateuch.

The traditional Samaritan understanding appears on many pages of the newly translated English version of their holy Bible.  The translator Benny Tsedaka, a personal friend, notes in the very next mention of the term in Exodus (Ex 2.20)

This verse hints that Mooshe (Moses) was considered almost like an angel by Yitroo (Jethro) when Mooshe saved the women from being harmed. 

As we shall see the traditional Samaritan assumptions about the term איש in the Pentateuch is that it reinforces the existence of an angelic power who took the shape of a man. Indeed Moses is strangely identified in Samaritanism as the very embodiment of this 'Man' (= איש) owing to a number of verses in this very book.

As such, if we continue to follow the chronology of the Book of Exodus and its perceived mystical use of איש, Moses is recognized to be an angelic power by the two Israelites in chapter two and then again by Jethro's daughter and then Jethro himself.  Immediately following seeing Moses the Man (איש) Jethro is himself identified as an eesh, the term that is used to denote all the descendants of Israel, the man who saw God - i.e. Exodus begins "Now these are the names of the sons of Israel, who came into Egypt with Jacob; every man (איש) came with his household." (Ex 1.1) And Moses himself is introduced with a reference to his father at the beginning of chapter two - "And there went a man (איש) of the house of Levi, and took to wife a daughter of Levi" (Ex 2.1).

Could it be that the original reading of the entire Pentateuch was that איש was a special term used to describe a heavenly power, Man, and those who had been born after his image, i.e. the Israelites?  What I mean here by this use of 'Israelite' is not a nationalistic terminology but a mystical interpretation, one that is commonly used by Philo namely that Israel itself means 'the man who has seen god.'  Of course as we shall show later as a literal etymology the explanation does not hold water.  Yet it is difficult not to get the sense that the tradition encapsulates something of the traditional interpretation of the term איש - namely that there was a heavenly power Man and the ancient Israelites represent a special portion of humanity (the sons of Adam) who were transformed from their ancestors contact with Adam's heavenly creator.


Of course this is not how the term איש is treated by Jews.  Nevertheless there is some remnant of the mystical association of the word by virtue of its association with fire.  It is not too much to suggest that Ish and Adam were each respectively the 'fire' man and the 'earth' man, given the explicit identification of the latter in Genesis.  Further still we find the two men paradigm of early Alexandrian Judaism in the writings of Philo of Alexandria.  Yet if we go to the earliest citations of the Hebrew text in the Qumran fragments near the Dead Sea we find that we can be certain that איש appeared in the first chapter of Genesis in the description of the 'first man' described as being made - i.e. 'the image of God.' 

In other words, at the time Philo of Alexandria was writing the words 'male and female' in our surviving copies of Genesis 1:26 - 27 read 'man and wife' איש ואשתו.  Why does this matter?  Because it suggests that the Samaritan 'Man' (איש) figure, the angelic being for which Moses represented the fullest human mirror and from which our Christian 'Jesus' originally developed, was originally there in the pages of Genesis.  Why was the text changed?  The idea has to now develop that part of the monarchian reforms in the late second century at least were aimed at obscuring the presence of 'Eeshu' in the creation narrative of the Bible. 

Let us pay special attention to what the substitution of 'male and female' for 'man and wife' does to the critical section in Genesis.  Our received text reads:

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

Our new information from the Qumran text demonstrates that the original reading was:

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created them; man and wife he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

The change is not insignificant as 'male and female' makes it seem as if Moses is pointing to a general 'gender statement' about all of creation.  'Man and woman' seems now to be specific to the 'man' created 'in the beginning.' 

We will get to Philo's interesting interpretation of this section of text momentarily but it should be noted that another confusion over 'male and female' and 'man and woman' appear in Genesis chapter 7.  The surviving Jewish text of Genesis strangely inserts the phrase 'man and wife' in the middle of a discussion of animal species:

From all the clean animals you shall take seven each, man and wife And from all unclean animals you shall take two, man and wife

The Samaritan text however retains the correct reading as only humans couple as 'man' and 'wife':

From all the clean animals you shall take seven each, male and female And from all unclean animals you shall take two, male and female

The important point that we should make here is that there is curious habit of transposing the obvious difference in meaning between 'male and female' and 'man and wife' in all of the existing copies of the Pentateuch. 

In the case of Alexandrian text of Philo of Alexandria interestingly, we see the 'male and female' of Genesis 1:26 - 27 retained but there is an unmistakable sense that the 'Adam' which precedes it in the Hebrew text was originally understood to be 'Ish.'  In other words his translation read in Greek:

And God made man, according to the image of God he made him, male and female he made them.

However Philo clearly understood that the 'man' (Gk anthropos) originally mentioned here was not originally written 'Adam' as in our Hebrew text for he writes later in his commentary on chapter 2:

On which account Moses says, "And besides he made..." and that what had been previously created were genera is plain from what he says, "Let the earth bring forth living souls," not according to species but according to genus. And this is found to be the course taken by God in all cases; for before making the species he completes the genera, as he did in the case of man: for having first modelled the generic man, in whom they say that the male and female sexes are contained, he afterwards created the specific man Adam.

Given what we know of Philo's interest in the Hebrew terms for man we can be sure then that he understands the 'man' of Genesis 1:27 to be named 'Ish' rather than 'Adam.' 

As noted above Philo is very aware of the Hebrew term איש applying it even in places where it does not seem appropriate.  In perhaps his most famous - and seemingly 'false' - etymology of the name Israel Philo explains it as 'a man' (איש) seeing God.'  The fact this etymology is central to early Christianity demonstrates again how Jesus was identified with איש.  Justin Martyr develops a very similar but ultimately independent derivation from איש and connects it back to Jesus.  Clement and all the Alexandrian Church Fathers after him follow Philo's etymology and say this being is Jesus. 
The critical thing for us to begin to come to terms with is that Philo clearly read Genesis 1:27 in terms of:
And God made איש, according to the image of God he made him, male and female he made them.
In this particular case, Philo assumes that the 'male and female' which follow represent Adam and Eve described in the next chapter:

And very beautifully after he had called the whole race "man," did he distinguish between the sexes, saying, that "they were created male and female;" although all the individuals of the race had not yet assumed their distinctive form; since the extreme species are contained in the genus, and are beheld, as in a mirror, by those who are able to discern acutely.

In other words, Philo's understanding of the first two chapters of Genesis to represent 'before creation' and 'creation.'  The first man created in chapter 1 - i.e. איש - was represents the 'heavenly man' and is wholly distinct from the 'earthly man' Adam in chapter 2. 

This understanding has recently been developed at some length by Jonathan David Worthington's detailed study in The Beginning and Before: Interpreting Creation in Paul and Philo all the material before Genesis 2:6  is 'before the beginning' - i.e. before the visible cosmos.   As he notes "this plan or blue - print of the cosmos, pre-set in God‘s mind, was one of order and was laid down before the beginning for goodness' sake."  In other words, Philo treats Genesis 1:1 - 2:3 Platonically - that is as describing the establishment of the incorporeal 'ideas' of grass and greenery, which are not visible, that he made these ideas "before the corporeal grass and greenery ―became — i.e., before the genesis of what is visible."

To this end, Philo in taking the איש established 'before the beginning' section as a distinct being from the physical Adam described after Genesis 2:4 he identifies him as a 'perfect' generic man and specifically as an asexual creature.  Adam and Eve represent a lower copy of that original 'man of God.'  As Worthington notes "the beginning of the corporeal world is in Gen. 2:6 and the beginning of corporeal humanity is in Gen. 2:7, each following on in turn from this readjusted Before. This also has (well-known) theological consequences: now the beginning of the visible world and human ity are able to be compared (and contrasted) with the incorporeal and invisible ―ideas of the world (in Genesis 1 in general) and humanity (in 1:26 - 28 in particular). Philo‘s well-known anthropological complexity (his two-men scheme) is rooted in his complex cosmogonic interpretations."

It shall be our assumption that the Marcionites in particular adhered to this Philonic world view - namely that Jesus should be identified with the heavenly  who was established Before the beginning and who, according to the original Christian myth came down to earth close to the 6000th year from creation.  Some of the most important passages which describe this 'two men scheme' are presented here:

Now, Bezaleel, being interpreted, means God in his shadow. But the shadow of God is his ord, which he used like an instrument when he was making the world. And this shadow, and, as it were, model, is the archetype of other things. For, as God is himself the model of that image which he has now called a shadow, so also that image is the model of other things, as he showed when he commenced giving the law to the Israelites, and said, “And God made man according to the image of God.” . . . as the image was modelled according to God, and as man was modelled according to the image, which thus received the power and character of the model. [Allegorical Interpretation 3:96]

For if it was necessary to examine the mortal body of the priest that it ought not be imperfect through any misfortune, much more was it necessary to look into his immortal soul, which they say is fashioned in the form of the living God. Now the image of God is the Word, by which all the world was made. Logos is The Beginning, The Ruler of the Angels, the Name of God [The Special Laws 1: 81]

And even if there be not as yet any one who is worthy to be called a son of God, nevertheless let him labour earnestly to be adorned according to his first-born word, the eldest of his angels, as the great archangel of many names; for he is called, the authority, and the name of God, and the Word, and man according to God’s image, and he who sees Israel. Logos is first-born of God and the Heavenly Man As an emanation of God he is also God’s offspring, the first-born son of God. As such he is a kind of immortal heavenly man or the true father of men. [On the Confusion of Tongues 146]

For, in fact, the one God alone is the sole Creator of the real man, who is the purest mind; but a plurality of workmen are the makers of that which is called man, the being compounded of external senses; for which reason the especial real man is spoken of with the article; for the words of Moses are, “The God made the man;” that is to say, he made that reason destitute of species and free from all admixture. But he speaks of man in general without the addition of the article; for the expression, “Let us make man,” shows that he means the being compounded of irrational and rational nature [emphasis mine]. [On Flight and Finding, 72]

Therefore, the faculty which is common to us with the irrational animals, has blood for its essence. And it, having flowed from the rational fountain, is spirit, not air in motion, but rather a certain representation and character of the divine faculty which Moses calls by its proper name an image, showing by his language that God is the archetypal pattern of rational nature, and that man is the imitation of him, and the image formed after his model; not meaning by man that animal of a double nature, but the most excellent species of the soul which is called mind and reason. [That the Worse is Wont to Attack the Better, 83]

What is the man who was created? And how is that man distinguished who was made after the image of God? (Ge 2:7). This man was created as perceptible to the senses, and in the similitude of a Being appreciable only by the intellect; but he who in respect of his form is intellectual and incorporeal, is the similitude of the archetypal model as to appearance, and he is the form of the principal character; but this is the word of God, the first beginning of all things, the original species or the archetypal idea, the first measure of the universe. Moreover, that man who was to be created as a vessel is formed by a potter, was formed out of dust and clay as far as his body was concerned; but he received his soul by God breathing the breath of life into his face, so that the temperament of his nature was combined of what was corruptible and of what was incorruptible. But the other man, he who is only so in form, is found to be unalloyed without any mixture proceeding from an invisible, simple, and transparent nature. [Questions and Answers on Genesis, 1.4]

In reference to which I admire those who say, “We are all one man’s sons, we are men of Peace,” because of their well-adapted agreement; since how, I should say, could you, O excellent men, avoid being grieved at war, and delighted in peace, being the sons of one and the same father, and he not mortal but immortal, the man of God, who being the reason of the everlasting God, is of necessity himself also immortal? [On the Confusion of Tongues, 41]

one of them being the archetypal pattern and above us, and the other being the copy of the former and abiding among us. And Moses calls the one which is above us the image of God, and the one which abides among us as the impression of that image, “For,” says he, “God made man,” not an image, “but after that Image.” So that the mind which is in each of us, which is in reality and truth the man, is a third image proceeding from the Creator. But the intermediate one is a model of the one and a copy of the other. [Who is the Heir of Divine Things? 231]

“And God created man, taking a lump of clay from the earth, and breathed into his face the breath of life: and man became a living soul.” The races of men are twofold; for one is the heavenly man, and the other the earthly man. Now the heavenly man, as being born in the image of God, has no participation in any corruptible or earthlike essence. But the earthly man is made of loose material, which he calls a lump of clay. On which account he says, not that the heavenly man was made, but that he was fashioned according to the image of God; but the earthly man he calls a thing made, and not begotten by the maker. Allegorical Interpretation, 1, 31]

“And the man whom he had formed,” Moses says, “God placed in the Paradise,” for the present only. Who, then, is he in reference to whom he subsequently says that “The Lord God took the man whom he had formed, and placed him in the Paradise to cultivate it and to guard It.” Must not this man who was created according to the image and idea of God have been a different man from the other, so that two men must have been introduced into the Paradise together, the one a factitious man, and the other modelled after the image of God? [Allegorical Interpretation, 1, 53]

Therefore, he calls that man whom he only places in Paradise, factitious; but him whom he appoints to be its cultivator and guardian he calls not factitious, but “the man whom he had made.” And him he takes, but the other he casts out. And him whom he takes he thinks worthy of three things, of which goodness of nature especially consists: namely, expertness, perseverance, and memory. Now, expertness is his position in Paradise; memory is the guarding and preservation of holy opinions; perseverance is the effecting of what is good, the performance of virtuous actions. But the factitious mind neither remembers what is good, nor does it, but is only expert, and nothing more; on which account, after it has been placed in Paradise, in a short time afterwards it runs away, and is cast out [Allegorical Interpretation, 1, 55]

There is so much that can and will be said about the origin of the Christian Jesus from the heavenly איש by way of the Marcionite Isu.  It is enough to begin by noting this repeated theme in the writings of Philo and move on to other early Jewish writings where a parallel conception is found.


There is a prominent contemporary atheist who has put forward the incredible idea that idea that Philo literally identified a being named 'Jesus' as this heavenly man figure.  This author does this by way of an important statement in the writings of Philo which he has thoroughly misunderstood.  It might be important to close out this chapter with a detailed treatment of the parallel Hebrew and Greek texts of the Book of Zechariah - the text cited by Philo - in order that readers avoid perpetuating the errors of this and other 'activist' authors.  There can be no doubt any longer that Philo is once again speaking about the איש - the same heavenly man we just referenced in his discussion of the Book of Genesis. 

Here is Philo’s comment on his Greek translation of Zechariah 6:12, “Behold a man whose name is the Daybreak (Anatolē).  Philo says these words are:

spoken of a man who is compounded of body and soul; but if you look upon it as applied to that incorporeal being who in no respect differs from the divine image, you will then agree that the name of the Daybreak has been given to him with great felicity. For the Father of the universe has caused him to spring up as the eldest son whom, in another passage, he calls the firstborn; and he who is thus born, imitating the ways of his Father, has formed such and such species, looking to his archetypal patterns. 

Already anyone who has completed our study of the references to the 'two men scheme' in Philo can see that he is plainly talking about the איש. But how did he get here?  Many apologists on the other side of the spectrum insist that Zechariah is talking about an actual historical man as Jewish messiah.  How did Philo and his Alexandrian community stray so far from this original conception?

It seems there are at least a few English translations of the Greek translation of the original Hebrew text of Zechariah.  It is commonly put forward in many circles that the Greek text says something entirely different than the Hebrew and that this led the Alexandrians to posit the existence of a heavenly man.  The reality is not so as I shall note from one randomly chosen English translation of the pertinent section of Zechariah quoted by Philo:

thou shalt take silver and gold, and make crowns, and thou shalt put [them] upon the head of Jesus the son of Josedec the high priest; and thou shalt say to him, Thus saith the Lord Almighty; Behold the man whose name is The Branch; and he shall spring up from his stem, and build the house of the Lord. And he shall receive power, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and there shall be a priest on his right hand, and a peaceable counsel shall be between [them] both. And the crown shall be to them that wait patiently, and to the useful men of the captivity, and to them that have known it, and for the favour of the son of Sophonias, and for a psalm in the house of the Lord. And they [that are] far from them shall come and build in the house of the Lord, and ye shall know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you: and [this] shall come to pass, if ye will diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord your God.
As so few Americans actually speak another language they aren't aware how difficult it is to literally transfer a text between two languages which are unrelated linguistically. 

Looking at the above cited text we see that there is nothing in the Hebrew or Greek corresponding to the English “from his stem”. That is on top of there being nothing in either the Hebrew or Greek about a branch.  If we look closely at the Greek we see it refers to THE Priest. Although the Hebrew word has no article, it still means THE Priest (meaning the High Priest) in this sentence. It is impossible to explain why this is without explaining syntax in poetry in Hebrew. The basic sense that we get however is that the English does a fair job rendering the Greek and looking at the Greek, it does a good job getting the underlying sense of the original Hebrew material.

To help demonstrate this we will bring forward both the Hebrew and Greek of verses 12b-13.  First the Hebrew:

Behold a man whose name is sprout [or growth bud: tsemaḥ]. From being static [literally from under himself] he will sprout [yitsmaḥ] and will build the Temple of the Lord. He will build the Temple of the Lord and will take on royal majesty [hod]. He will sit and rule on his throne, and the Priest will be on his throne, and there will be concord between them.

And then the Greek translation called 'the Seventy' or LXX:

Behold the man whose name is Dawn [anatolê]; over the horizon [hypokatôthen, literally up from under] he will dawn [anatelei], and build the house of the Lord. And he will take on nobility [or prowess: Greek aretê], and sit and rule upon his throne; and there will be a Priest on his right hand, and there shall be concord between them.
In this case "on his own throne" means that there will be a valid High Priest working with the King called Tsemach.  It does not say “receive power” in either the Hebrew or Greek. The Hebrew yissa comes from nasa which means “take on, assume” and is active in sense. The Greek agrees.  The Hebrew term hod means the state of being the monarch. Here again the Greek agrees. The Queen is called Hod ha-Malka “Her Majesty the Queen” or Hod Malchutah “Her Majesty."

Although the Greek is different in detail, the meaning is exactly the same as the Hebrew. It does correctly translate Tsemach, which is useful. The sentence in Hebrew and Greek is:

There will be a man called the Risen Sun, who will dawn from down below [from out of the underworld].

We should note however that the newly risen sun is not as bright or hot as the sun at midday. The term has been chosen carefully. There is no difficulty in reconciling the Hebrew and the Greek. There are two main groups of meanings of tsemacḥ in Hebrew and anatolê in Greek. They can mean “sprouting” and “first appearing over the horizon, shining for the first time”. The two verbs tsamacḥ and anatellein have the same range of meaning as the noun.   The root idea in either case is clear - i.e. a first appearance from nowhere.  This can be seen clearly in both text and translation speaking of the outwelling of the headwaters of a river from the ground.

If we open most modern English translations we find the Hebrew word tsemacḥ rendered as “the branch”, or something to that effect. This is a bad rendering, caused by mental association with verses in Isaiah and elsewhere that speak of a new branch, as well as being due to absence of feeling for the Hebrew language. The literal meaning would be something like – “behold a man whose name is Sprout”, or “behold the man whose name is the eye of the potato”. That is what the text actually says and is reinforced by taking a second look at other early translations of the same material. 

The second century Greek translation identified as Aquila renders it in Greek as “new growth” - anaphyē, the noun is not in Liddell and Scott, the standard Greek dictionary but the verb is well attested.  Other translations like Symmachus and Ho Hebraios render as growthbud i.e. blastēma. The Bible de Jérusalem and the Traduction Ecuménique de la Bible also both translate correctly as ‘germe’ in French, meaning growthbud, such as the eye of a potato.

The imagery in Zechariah is of a future king. Using the image of a tree, he is still only a sprout. Using the imagery of the sun, he is the first dawn. He is a child. The vision that is seen in Zechariah is that of the messianic king enthroned and ruling with the High Priest. In the LXX of Zechariah the priest’s name is Jesus while the messianic king is only identified as the Dawn [anatole]. The text begins by telling of the historical 'crowning' of both Jesus and immediately goes on to announce the royal messiah who would follow him: Behold the man whose name is Dawn; over the horizon he will dawn [anatelei], and build the house of the Lord. And he will take on nobility [or prowess: Greek aretê], and sit and rule upon his throne; and there will be a Priest on his right hand, and there shall be concord between them.

While some have puzzled over the Greek translator's choice of wording, we must now agree that it is a valid alternative interpretation of the original Hebrew terminology - i.e. 'the first dawning.' Philo finds a hint of the connection of both the passage from Zechariah and Genesis 21:23, the planting of the tree with Paradise in Genesis 2:8, “The Lord God planted a Garden in Eden in the East.” The Hebrew is miqqedem, which can also mean “aforetime” and this is the interpretation in the Jewish Targums. Theodotion, Aquila, and Symmachus do the same. In the LXX however the term that appears in its place is kata anatolas “in the east”. The Samaritan Targum agrees.

Now it we return back to Philo's original discussion of this passage in Zechariah we actually see he begins by talking about this same concept - 'the East.'  He begins by noting that "there is a twofold kind of dawning in the soul, the one of a better sort, the other of a worse."  The  is introduced as a means of illustrating "the better sort, when the light of the virtues shines forth like the beams of the sun; and that is the worse kind, when they are overshadowed, and the vices show forth."  To this end he cites Genesis 2:8 "And God planted a paradise in Eden, toward the East," as a means of demonstrating that these are not "terrestrial but of celestial plants, which the planter caused to spring up from the incorporeal light which exists around him, in such a way as to be for ever inextinguishable."
Notice how Philo's introduction of the passage already recognizes the parallels between the Hebrew and Greek terminology.  The Greek term 'to dawn' is already connected with the Hebrew 'to spring up.'  Philo is certainly aware of the original Hebrew terminology behind his Greek text.  His identification of the one Zechariah declares - "Behold, a man whose name is the East!" - with the איש is not a 'mistake' on his part.  It certainly develops from a pre-existent tradition which identified the איש as the 'man' of Genesis 1:27.  Indeed the reference is explicit in what follows - i.e. he is "that incorporeal being who in no respect differs from the divine image, you will then agree that the name of the east has been given to him with great felicity."
Not surprisingly if we go to the Hebrew of Zechariah 6:12 once again we see that the 'man' called rising who is identified with 'the divine image' of Gen 1:27 we see the term for man is איש.  Open up any Hebrew text of Zechariah and you will see in chapter 6 verse 12 begin with
הִנֵּה-אִישׁ צֶמַח שְׁמוֹ
There can be no doubt then that Philo does not identify the Logos with Jesus but rather he is consistently identifying it with איש - undoubtedly because contemporary Hebrew texts read:
And God made Adam in his own image according to the image of God he made him, man (איש) and wife he made them.

The implication is clear that 'the image of God' is איש and this is why later Adam is described as being 'man' (איש).  The image of God was named איש.  This is critical to our understanding. 
Philo's Alexandrian tradition thus had a similar interest in the איש that we find in the surviving Samaritan tradition. Here is a hidden Jewish divinity obscured by enigmatic references in the text of the Pentateuch that almost no outsider knew anything about before the recent translation of the Samaritan holy books.  His reincorporation into the greater discussion of Christian and Jewish origins will finally allow us to know the real original myth of Jesus. 

Email with comments or questions.

Stephan Huller's Observations by Stephan Huller
is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.