As we have seen from the preceding chapter, the major part of Philo's works, about three-fourths of the surviving corpus, is devoted to the interpretation of Scripture. Both the individual treatises and the structure of the corpus as a whole reveal that Philo had a systematic approach to the biblical text, and that the primary aim of his endeavors as a writer was to present and perfect that approach. Indeed, it was as a biblical commentator that he made his greatest impact on the Greek (and Latin) literature of the following centuries. Eusebius sums up Philo's career in the Ecclesiastical History as follows: 'He reached a most sublime level in the study of the divine writings, and he produced a varied and sophisticated exposition of the holy texts' (2.18.1). Of course, Philo was also a philosopher and religious thinker of the utmost significance, but the medium through which he expressed his ideas is scriptural interpretation. Accordingly, it is necessary for anyone who would approach Philo directly, through his own writings, to gain some understanding of how he set about the exegetical task. It is the purpose of this chapter to facilitate this process, by surveying (I) his notions of text and canon and (II) some of the fundamental principles or characteristics of his biblical exegesis, specifically: (1) his conception of the Pentateuch as a literary document, (2) his rationale for the use of the allegorical method, and (3) the primary orientation of his allegorical interpretation. In general, however, one must keep in mind that Philo stands at the end of a long tradition of Judeo-Hellenistic exegesis. What we know of this tradition is largely derived from what Philo himself says about it. Therefore, after the discussion of the question of text and canon, it will be necessary to consider his position within the tradition, before coming to the principles of exegesis proper.