In the Jewish speculations of the middle ages may be found curious forms of the doctrine of emanations uniting the Biblical idea of creation with elements drawn from the Persians and the Greeks.
Finally, in the system of Basilides, the (seven ?) powers from whom this world originates are accepted as the lowest emanations of the supreme God.
Another attempt at reconciliation is set forth in the so-called " system of emanations " in which it is assumed that from the supreme divinity emanated a somewhat lesser world, from this world a second, and so on, until the divine element (of life) became so far weakened and attenuated, that the genesis of a partly, or even wholly, evil world appears both possible and comprehensible.
A system of emanations of this kind, in its purest form, is set forth in the expositions coming from the school of Basilides, which are handed down by Irenaeus, while the propositions which are set forth in the Philosophumena of Hippolytus as being doctrines of Basilides represent a still closer approach to a monistic philosophy.
These Seven, then, are in most systems half-evil, half-hostile powers; they are frequently characterized as " angels," and are reckoned as the last and lowest emanations of the Godhead; below them - and frequently considered as derived from them - comes the world of the actually devilish powers.