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Words of Wisdom

The All Encompassing and Infinite Divine Wisdom: From “The Guide for the Perplexed” by Maimonides (vegetarian), Part 1 of 2

2022-11-14
Language:English
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Maimonides(vegetarian), also known as Rambam, or Rabbi Moses ben Maimon, was a notable medieval Jewish philosopher, astronomer, physician, and intellectual figure. Today, we are delighted to read excerpts from Part 3, Chapters 20 and 21, in Rabbi Moses ben Maimon’s book, “The Guide for the Perplexed,” regarding Divine Wisdom.

“We, who assert the teaching of the Law, believe that God’s knowledge of many things does not imply any plurality; His knowledge does not change like ours when the objects of His knowledge change. Similarly, we say that the various events are known to Him before they take place; He constantly knows them, and therefore no fresh knowledge is acquired by Him.”

“I find it expressed in various passages of Scripture that the fact that God knows things while in a state of possibility, when their existence belongs to the future, does not change the nature of the possible in any way; that nature remains unchanged; and the knowledge of the realization of one of several possibilities does not yet effect that realization. The fact that laws were given to humankind, both affirmative and negative, supports the principle, that God’s knowledge of future [and possible] events does not change their character.”

“In fact, management, knowledge and intention are not the same when ascribed to us and when ascribed to God. When these three terms are taken in both cases in the same sense, great difficulties must arise; but when it is noticed that there is a great difference whether a thing is predicated of God or of us, the truth will become clear. The difference between that which is ascribed to God and that which is ascribed to humans is expressed in the words above mentioned, ‘And your ways are not my ways.’”

“Those who seek the truth, and admit what is true, must believe that nothing is hidden from God; that everything is revealed to His knowledge, which is identical with His essence; that this kind of knowledge cannot be comprehended by us; for if we knew its method, we would possess that intellect by which such knowledge could be acquired. Such intellect does not exist except in God, and is at the same time His essence.”
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