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The Works of Philo




by David M. Scholer

Philo, usually known as Philo the Jew (Philo Judaeus) or Philo of Alexandria (a city in Egypt with a large Jewish Diaspora population in Greco-Roman times), lived from about20 B.C. to about A.D. 50. He is one of the most important Jewish authors of the Second Temple period of Judaism and was a contemporary of both Jesus and Paul. Yet, Philo is not nearly as well known or as frequently read as the first century A.D. Jewish historian Josephus.

Part of the reason for the relative neglect of Philo has had to do with the general unavailability of a convenient English translation of Philo, such as exists for Josephus in the frequently reprinted one-volume translation of William Whiston (originally 1736; for an excellent modern printing of this translation which utilizes the current scholarly numbering system for Josephus’ writings, see The Works of Josephus: Complete and Unabridged [trans. William Whiston; new updated edition; Peabody: Hendrickson, 1987]).

Philo wrote in Greek, and most of his writings survive in Greek, but a few have survived only in ancient Armenian translations. Only two complete English translations of Philo have ever been published. The most authoritative one, which is still in print, is the twelve-volume edition in the Loeb Classical Library (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press/London: William Heinemann, 1929–1953). The Loeb edition includes the Greek text of Philo (except for the few writings for which there is no extant Greek text) along with an English translation, as well as introductions, notes, and indexes (the Loeb text is based on the standard major edition of the Greek text of Philo by L. Cohn and P. Wendland, Philonis Alexandrini opera quae supersunt [7 vols. in 8; Berlin, 1896–1930; reprinted Berlin, 1962]). The edition was the work of F. H. Colson and G. H. Whitaker for the first ten volumes; the two additional volumes containing works of Philo available only in an Armenian version were prepared by Ralph Marcus. Because of its size, the presence of the Greek text, and its relatively high cost, this edition has not usually been purchased and used by the "average" Jewish or Christian student or rabbi and pastor and not even by many scholars and professors who might well make more use of Philo.

The only other English translation of Philo was the work of Charles Duke Yonge (1812–1891), which appeared in 1854–1855 in four volumes in Bohn’s Ecclesiastical Library (The Works of Philo Judaeus, the Contemporary of Josephus, Translated from the Greek [London: Henry G. Bohn]). Yonge was educated in classics at St. Mary Hall, Oxford. From 1866until his death he was professor of modern history and English literature at Queen’s College, Belfast He published over thirty-five works of his own on a wide range of subjects and also translated numerous writings from antiquity for the various Bohn’s publications, including this translation of Philo. Yonge’s translation has long been out of print and is quite scarce. It is this translation that is published here. It is, however, now in one volume, completely reset in modern easy to read type, keyed to the standard numbering system used in the Loeb Classical Library edition, and supplemented with adequate notes and with new translations of sections not included in Yonge’s original edition now inserted at the appropriate places. It is hoped that this presentation of Philo will encourage much greater and more broadly based reading, study, and use of Philo. This introduction offers suggestions for going beyond this volume to learn more about Philo and his significance for ancient Judaism, early Christianity, and Greek philosophy.

Relatively little is known about Philo’s life. He lived his entire life in Alexandria, Egypt, the location of the single largest Jewish community outside of Palestine in this period (the Jewish population of Alexandria was perhaps one million people). Philo came from a prominent and wealthy family, was well educated, and was a leader within the Alexandrian Jewish community. So far as is known, Philo visited the temple in Jerusalem only once in his lifetime (On Providence 2.64).

Philo was involved in the crisis in his community related to the pogrom initiated in A D.38 by the prefect. Flaccus, during the reign of the Roman emperor, Gaius Caligula. Philo was selected to head the Jewish delegation that went to Rome to see Gaius Caligula. Philo’s account of these events is found in his two writings Flaccus (In Flaccum) and The Embassy to Gaius (De Legatione ad Gaium—for details on these events and writings, as well as all other facets of Philo’s life and literary production, see the books and articles recommended near the conclusion of this introduction).

Philo’s brother, Alexander, held various offices for Rome in Egvpt and used his money to plate the gates of the temple in Jerusalem with silver and gold and to make a loan to Herod Agrippa I (see Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 18.159–160; Jewish War 5.205). Alexander’s two sons, Marcus and Tiberius Iuius Alexander, Philo’s nephews, were also involved in Roman affairs. Marcus married Bernice, the daughter of Herod Agrippa I dosephus, Jewish Antiquities 19.276–277; this is the Bernice mentioned in Acts 25:13, 23; 26:30). Tiberius Alexander became an apostate from Judaism, held the office of procurator of Judaea (A.D. 46–48), and was a prefect in Egvpt (A.D. 66–70).

In at least one important passage Philo reveals something of his perspective on his life and work (On the Special Laws 3.1–6). Here Philo remembers that "There was once a time when, devoting my leisure to philosophy and to the contemplation of the world and the things in it, I reaped the fruit of excellent, and desirable, and blessed intellectual feelings....I appeared to be raised on high and borne aloft by a certain inspiration of the soul...." But this life was interrupted with "... the vast sea of the cares of public politics, in which I was and still am tossed about without being able to keep myself swimming at the top." But all was not lost, for "... even in these circumstances I ought to give thanks to God, that though I am so overwhelmed by this flood, I am not wholly sunk and swallowed up in the depths. But I open the eyes of my soul ... and I am irradiated with the light of wisdom.... Behold, therefore, I venture not only to study the sacred commands of Moses, but also with an ardent love of knowledge to investigate each separate one of them, and to endeavour to reveal and to explain to those who wish to understand them, things concerning them which are not known to the multitude."

It is this concern to reveal what is not generally known about the writings of Moses that permeates most of Philo’s literary output (see the table below for full titles and abbreviations). Many of Philo’s writings paraphrase the biblical texts of Moses; in these Philo expands the text, giving his own views on various matters. These writings include: On Abraham, On the Decalogue, On Joseph, Moses, On the Creation, On Rewards and Punishments, On the Special Laws and On the Virtues. Most of his other writings are allegorical commentaries on Genesis 2–41: On Husbandry, On the Cherubim, On the Confusion of Tongues, On the Preliminary Studies, The Worse Attacks the Better, On Drunkenness, On Flight and Finding, On the Giants, Allegorical Interpretation, On the Migration of Abraham, On the Change of Names, On Noah’s Work as a Planter, On the Posterity and Exile of Cain, Who is the Heir, On the Unchangeableness of God, On the Sacrifices of Abel and Cain, On Sobriety and On Dreams. Also in this general category are his exegetical Questions and Answers on Genesis and Questions and Answers on Exodus.

Philo’s remaining writings are usually placed into two categories. The philosophical writings include: On the Eternity of the World, On the Animals (see p. xvi below), On Providence and Every Good Man Is Free. The historical-apologetic writings include: Flaccus, Hypothetica, On the Embassy to Gaius, and On the Contemplative Life. Even these writings, however, relate to Philo’s concerns as an exegete of the Pentateuch of Moses.

Philo’s concern to interpret Moses shows constantly both his deep devotion and commitment to his Jewish heritage, beliefs, and community, and also reflects his unabashed use of philosophical categories and traditions "to investigate each separate one of them [Moses’ commands], and to endeavour to reveal and to explain to those who wish to understand them, things concerning them which are not known to the multitude" (On the Special Laws 3.6). The scholarly discussion over whether Philo is primarily Jewish or Greek is actually misguided. In Philo’s time much of Judaism was significantly Hellenized. Philo’s commitment to and passion for the law of Moses was genuine and controlling. Philo, too, drank deeply at the philosophical well of the Platonic tradition and saw it as strengthening and deepening his understanding of the God of Moses. Philo probably represents Middle Platonism (the Platonic tradition between Plato’s immediate successors and the rise of third century A D. Neoplatonism), although some scholars debate this classification.

Because of Philo’s participation in Middle Platonism and Hellenistic philosophical traditions, he is important for the study of Hellenistic philosophy. Philo also participated in the allegorical interpretive traditions, developed and used in Alexandria for understanding Homer and other Greek traditions, characteristic of his Hellenistic culture. Allegorical interpretation became a deep part of Philo’s exegetical and hermeneutical understanding of the law of Moses. Philo has sometimes been labeled a gnostic or participant in gnosticism, but this is a misunderstanding of his Platonism in service to his interpretation of the Mosaic law (see especially Birger AX Pearson, "Philo and Gnosticism," Aufstieg und Niedergang in der römischen Welt 2 21,1 [ed. W. Haase; Berlin/New York: de Gruyter], pp. 295–342).

Philo is significant for the understanding of first century A D. Hellenistic Judaism. He is the main surviving literary figure of the Hellenized Judaism of the Second Temple period of ancient Judaism. Philo is critical for understanding many of the currents, themes, and interpretive traditions which existed in Diaspora and Hellenistic Judaism. Philo confirms the multifaceted character of Second Temple Judaism; it was certainly not a monolithic phenomenon. Judaism, in spite of its concerns for purity and ethnic identity with reference to the law of Moses, also found considerable freedom to participate in many aspects of Hellenistic culture, as Philo so clearly evidences.

Philo is also noteworthy for understanding the early church and the writings of the New Testament, especially those of Paul, John, and Hebrews. It is sometimes forgotten that the New Testament documents were written in Greek by authors who were Jews (of course now committed to understanding Jesus as Christ and Lord) who were part of the Hellenistic culture of the Greco-Roman world. Most of the early churches reflected and described in the New Testament were part of the social fabric of the Hellenistic Greco-Roman world. Precisely because Philo is a Hellenistic Jew, he is essential for New Testament studies. The Christian church has been the primary preserver of the writings of Philo, who was virtually unknown in the Jewish tradition after his own time until the sixteenth century A.D.(presumably the Christian attachment to Philo grew out of, at least in part, Eusebius’ [ca. A.D. 26s339] belief that the Jewish group described in the Contemplative Life, the Therapeutae, was a Christian group).

Philo’s discussions of circumcision, clearly perceived within Judaism at this time as a critical identity factor, may serve both to illustrate the tensions with Philo’s Jewish and Greek contexts and also to provide background to the debate about circumcision in the early church(e.g., Acts 15:1–2; Galatians). In On the Special Laws 1.1–11 Philo acknowledges that circumcision is ridiculed among many people. He then gives six reasons (four from the traditions and two he wishes to add) in strong support of the practice of circumcision. The reasons given relate primarily to what may be called health concerns, but Philo does say that circumcision is a symbol of "... the excision of the pleasures which delude the mind" (1.9).

Philo’s other notable discussion about circumcision occurs in On the Migration of Abraham 89–93. Here Philo is worried about those who would emphasize the symbolic meaning of circumcision to the neglect of literal circumcision: "For there are some men, who, looking upon written laws as symbols of things appreciable by the intellect, have studied some things with superfluous accuracy, and have treated others with neglectful indifference ..." (89).He argues that Sabbath observance has a clear symbolic meaning, but then he states that: "... it does not follow that on that account we may abrogate the laws which are established respecting it ..." (91). He argues similarly for the understanding of Jewish festivals. Thus, he reasons: "... because the rite of circumcision is an emblem of the excision of pleasures and of all the passions, does it follow that we are to annul the law which has been enacted about circumcision?" (92). He concludes by urging reflection on symbolic meanings, but also stating that "... so also must we take care of the laws that are enacted in plain terms: for while they are regarded, those other things also will be more clearly understood ..." (93).

It may be assumed from Philo’s discussion that there was probably internal debate within Judaism over the necessity of literal circumcision (see also, e.g., Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 20.38–45). One is tempted to speculate as well whether Philo’s nephew Tiberius Alexander’s apostasy from Jewish practices, noted earlier, had any specific impact on his thinking at this point. Certainly Philo’s perspective helps in understanding the deep commitment of the so-called Judaizers in the early church to circumcision and the "radical" nature of Paul’s strong rejection of circumcision for gentile believers in Jesus as Christ and Lord.

Another area of importance in the study of Philo is his use of Logos (Word) and Wisdom concepts and beliefs. These issues pervade Philo’s writings and illustrate the depth of Philo’s utilization of Hellenistic philosophical traditions in his understanding of God and the created universe. Philo’s discussions here are vital for understanding the nature of Middle Platonism, of Hellenistic Judaism and probably part of the pre-history of gnosticism and its views of God and the cosmology. Philo’s ideas about Logos/Wisdom are also indispensable for New Testament studies, probably most directly and dramatically in the interpretation of the Gospel of John, especially the Prologue (1:1–14). C. H. Dodd’s famous discussion of these issues bears careful reading, even though the debate over his judgments continue to this day. Dodd argues that in addition to the Prologue’s indebtedness to Old Testament concepts, it cannot be fully understood apart from the ideas of Hellenistic Judaism, especially Philo (see C.H. Dodd, The Interpretation of the Fourth Gospel [Cambridge: University Press, 1963], Part1, §3 "Hellenistic Judaism: Philo of Alexandria," pp. 54–73; Part 11, §12 "Logos," pp. 263–85).

Philo has also often been considered especially significant for the conceptual background of the Epistle to the Hebrews (beginning with the work of Johannes B. Carpzov in 1750).It seems clear that there is no evidence that the author of Hebrews had read Philo and that the author utilizes a whole range of Jewish traditions, some of which have remarkable similarities to the writings of Qumran and the writings of Philo. One of the major assessments of the possible relationship between Hebrews and Philo is that of Ronald Williamson (Philo and the Epistle to the Hebrews [Arbeiten zur Literatur und Geschichte des hellenistischen Judentums 4]; Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1970; see also his anthology of Philo cited below).As the recent commentator on Hebrews Harold W. Attridge, observes: "... there are undeniable parallels that suggest that Philo and our author [of Hebrews] are indebted to similar traditions of Greek-speaking and -thinking Judaism" (The Epistle to the Hebrews: A Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews [Hermeneia; Philadelphia: Fortress, 1989], p. 29).

One passage in Hebrews illustrates the possible connections between the thought worlds of Philo and the author of Hebrews. In Hebrews 8:5 the author argues: "They offer worship in a sanctuary that is a sketch and shadow of the heavenly one" (NRSV). The distinction between a "heavenly reality" and the observable, phenomenal world as "sketch and shadow" is a (Middle) Platonic idea, but bears much in common with Philo’s expressions of these ideas (see Attridge, p. 219).

Philo has considerable relevance for understanding the position of women and attitudes towards them by literate men at the time of Second Temple Judaism and the early church. Philo makes numerous comments on women and on issues of the "feminine." At least two books in English have been devoted to these matters:

Baer, Richard A. Philo’s Use of the Categories Male and Female. Arbeiten zur Literatur und Geschichte des hellenistischen Judentums 3. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1970; and Sly, Dorothy. Philo’s Perception of Women. Brown Judaic Studies 209. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1990.

One might also want to consult the numerous references to Philo (see index) in Leonard Swidler, Women in Judaism: The Status of Women in Formative Judaism (Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1976).

There are numerous passages in Philo that one might consult as an introduction to the issues of Philo’s perception of women. Perhaps the most important are: Flaccus 89; On the Special Laws 1.200; 2.124; 3.169–177; On the Creation 151–152; Questions and Answers on Genesis 1.33; and Contemplative Life (throughout; on this see Ross Shepard Kraemer, Her Share of the Blessings: Women’s Religions Among Pagans, Jews, and Christians in the Greco-Roman World [New York/Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992], 106–27). These texts and their perceptions are part of a significant cultural perspective for the interpretation and assessment of the texts about women and their roles in the New Testament.

Philo is significant for lexical and conceptual terms and ideas that are reflected in the language of the New Testament. Most of the articles in the well-known Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (ed. Gerhard Kittel and Gerhard Friedrich; trans. Geoffrey W. Bromiley; 10 volumes [vol. 10 is the index by Ronald E. Pitkin]; Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 1964–1976) include discussions, often lengthy, of Philo’s use of a particular term and concept. The index to The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology (ed. Colin Brown; 3 volumes; Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1975–1978) prepared by David Townsley and Russell Bjork (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1985; now bound with the Dictionary in four volumes) actually includes Philo and has about 500 references to specific citations of Philo in the NIDNTT.

One of the primary goals of this one-volume, accessible translation of Philo is to enable any person to look up easily the full context of passages cited from Philo in Kittel-Friedrich’s TDNT, C. Brown’s NIDNTT, critical commentaries, and scholarly articles. It is also hoped that persons will read whole works of Philo in order to get a genuine feeling for this type of Hellenistic Jewish exegetical tradition. The few suggestions offered in this introduction are meant both to whet the appetite for such study and to serve as examples of the richness of Philo as a resource for the study of Second Temple Judaism and the early church, especially the New Testament. It should be noted, however, that Philo is also helpful for the study of some of the early church fathers, especially perhaps Clement of Alexandria (ca. AD. 160–215) and Origen (ca. AD. 185–251).

The standard titles given to the writings of Philo are in Latin, as are the common abbreviations. The following table gives the "official" list of Philo’s main writings along with the Standard English title as represented in the Loeb Classical Library edition of Philo.


De Abrahamo

On Abraham


De Aeternitate Mundi

On the Eternity of the World


De Agricultura

On Husbandry


De Cherubim

On the Cherubim


De Confusione Linguarum

On the Confusion of Tongues


De Congressu Eruditionisgratia

On the Preliminary Studies


De Decalogo

On the Decalogue


Quod Deterius Potiori insidiari solet

The Worse attacks the Better


De Ebrietate

On Drunkenness


In Flaccum



De Fuga et Inventione

On Flight and Finding


De Gigantibus

On the Giants


Hypothetica/Apologia pro ludaeis

Apology for the Jews


De Josepho

On Joseph


De Legatione ad Gaium

On the Embassy to Gaius

Leg. All.

Legum Allegoriarum

Allegorical Interpretation


De 11figrationeAbrahami

On the Migration of Abraham


De Vita Mosis



De Mutatione Nominum

On the Change of Names


De Opificio Mundi

On the Creation


De Plantatione

On Noah’s Work as a Planter


De Posteritate Caini

On the Posterity and Exile of Cain


De Praemiis et Poenis

On Rewards and Punishments


De Providentia

On Providence

Quaest in Gn.

Questiones et Solutiones in Genesin

Questions and Answers on Genesis

Quaest in Ex.

Questiones et Solutiones in Exodum

Questions and Answers on Exodus

Quis Het.

Quis rerum divinarum Heres sit

Who is the Heir

Quod Deus.

Quod Deussit Immutabilis

On the Unchangeableness of God

Quod Omn. Prob.

Quod omnis Probus Libersit

Every Good Man is Free


De SacriNciisAbelis et Caini

On the Sacrifices of Abel and Cain


De Sobrietate

On Sobriety


De Somniis

On Dreams

Spec. Leg.

De Specialibus Legibus

On the Special Laws


De Virtute

On the Virtues

Vit. Cont.

De Vita Contemplativa

On the Contemplative Life

Questions and Answers on Genesis and Questions and Answers on Exodus have survived only in an Armenian version. Apology for the Jews and On Providence are fragmentary works which survive as quoted by the ancient church historian Eusebius.

Another one of Philo’s writings, extant only in Armenian (apart from four very brief Greek fragments), has recently been translated into English for the first time (and for the first time into any modern language). This is On Animals (Anim.; De Animalibus):

Terian, A. Philonis Alexandrini De Animalibus: The Armenian Text with an Introduction, Translation, and Commentary. Studies in Hellenistic Judaism, Supplements to Studia Philonica 1. Chico: Scholars Press, 1981.

There are many texts which have been incorrectly attributed to Philo. For a study of these matters one should consult:

Royse, J. R. The Spurious Text of Philo of Alexandria: A Study of the Textual Transmission and Corruption with Indexes to the Major Collections of Greek Fragments. Arbeitenzur Literature und Geschichte des hellenistischen Judentums 22. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1991.

There are two indexes to the Greek texts of Philo:

Leisegang, H. Indices ad Philonis Alexandrini Opera. Volume 7 [in two parts] of L. Cohn and P. Wendland, Philonis opera quae supersunt I–VI. Berlin, 1896–1915; 1926–1930.

    Mayer, G. Index Philoneus. Berlin/New York: de Gruyter, 1974.

For English readers, in addition to the indexes in the present volume, volume 10 of the Loeb Classical Library edition of Philo provides various indexes prepared by J. W. Earp: Scripture Index (pp. 189–268); Index of Names (pp. 269–433); Index to Translators’ Notes(pp. 434–86); and Index to Greek Words in the Translators’ Notes (pp. 487–520). For additional help in lexical searches in Philo’s Greek text, one should consult D. T. Runia, "How To Search Philo," The Studia Philonica Annual: Studies in Hellenistic Judaism, vol. 2, 1990(ed. D. T. Runia; Brown Judaic Studies 226; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1990), 106–39.

Three anthologies of selections of Philo in English have appeared in the last two decades.These volumes are useful collections; the two by Winston and Williamson contain helpful, up-to-date introductions to Philo. These collections are:

Glatzer, N. N. Philo Judaeus: The Essential Philo. New York: Schocken Books, 1971 [this anthology uses the translation of C. D. Yonge, reproduced in this volume].

Winston, D. Philo of Alexandria: The Contemplative Life, The Giants, and Selections: Translation and Introduction. Preface by J. Dillon. Classics of Western Spirituality. Newt York/Ramsey/Toronto: Paulist, 1981.

Williamson, R. Jews in the Hellenistic World: Philo. Cambridge Commentaries on Writings ion the Jewish and Christian World 200 BC to AD 200 I. ii. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989.

The two major introductory books on Philo in English, from which users of this volume could greatly profit, are:

Goodenough, E. R. An Introduction to Philo Judaeus. 2d ed. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1962 [first ed., New Haven: Yale University Press, 1940].Sandmel, S. Philo of Alexandria: An Introduction. New York/Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1979.

Some of the most noteworthy, recent survey articles on Philo include:

Borgen, P. "Philo of Alexandria." Anchor Bible Dictionary. 6 vols. Edited by D. N. Freedman; New York: Doubleday, 1992, 5.333–42.

Borgen, P. "Philo of Alexandria." Jewish Writings of the Second Temple Period: Apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha, Qumran Sectarian Writings, Philo, Josephus. Edited by M. E. Stone; Compendia Rerum Iudaicarum ad Novum Testamentum 2. Assen/Maastricht: VanGorcum/Philadelphia: Fortress, 1984. Pages 233–82.

Borgen, P. "Philo of Alexandria: A Critical and Synthetical Survey of Research since World War II." Aufstieg und Niedergang der nmischen Welt 2 21,1. Edited by W. Haase; BerIin and New York: de Gruyter, 1984. Pages 98–154.

Morris, J. "The Jewish Philosopher Philo." §34 in The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ (175 B.C.–A.D. 135). E. Schurer; new English version revised and edited by G. Vermes, F. Millar and M. Goodman. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark,1987, vol. 3, pt. 2, 809–89.

    Runia, D. T. "How to Read Philo." Nederlands Theologisch Tiidschrift 40 (1986), 185–98.

There are excellent bibliographic resources for identifying and locating scholarly publications on Philo. The major ones, in order of publication, are:

Goodenough, E. R. and Goodhart, H. L. "A General Bibliography of Philo." In E. R. Goodenough, The Politics of Philo Judaeus. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1938;reprinted Hildesheim, 1967. Pages 128–348.

Feldman, Louis. Studies in Judaica: Scholarship on Philo and Josephus (1937–1962). New York: Yeshiva University, n.d. [19631.

Hilgert, E. "Bibliographia Philoniana 1935–1981." Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt 2 21,1. Edited by W. Haase. Pages 47–97. Berlin and New York: de Gruyter, 1984 [this combines the bibliographies of E. Hilgert which appeared in each of the six issues of Studia Philonica between 1972 and 1980].

Radice, R. and D. T. Runia, with R. Bitter and D. Satran. Philo of Alexandria: An Annotated Bibliography 1937–1986. Supplements to Vigiliae Christianae 4. Leiden: E.J. Brill,1988.

Runia, D. T., R. Radice, and D. Satran. "A Bibliography of Philonic Studies 1981–1986." The Studia Philonica Annual: Studies in Hellenistic Judaism, vol. 1, 1989. Edited by D. T. Runia. Pages 95–123. Brown Judaic Studies 185. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1989.

Runia, D. T., R. Radice, and D. Satran. "Philo of Alexandria: An Annotated Bibliography 1986–87." The Studia Philonica Annual: Studies in Hellenistic Judaism, vol. 2, 1990. Edited by D. T. Runia. Pages 141–69. Brown Judaic Studies 226. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1990. "Supplement: A Provisional Bibliography 1988–89." Pages 170–75.

Runia, D. T., R. Radice, and P. A. Cathey, "Philo of Alexandria: An Annotated Bibliography 1987–88." The Studia Philonica Annual: Studies in Hellenistic Judaism, vol. 3, 1991. Edited by D. T. Runia. Pages 347–68. Brown Judaic Studies 230. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1991. "Supplement: A Provisional Bibliography 1989–91." Pages 369–74.

Runia, D. T., et al. "Philo of Alexandria: An Annotated Bibliography 1988–89." The Studia Philonica Annual: Studies in Hellenistic Judaism, vol. 4, 1992. Edited by D. T. Runia. Pages 97–116. Brown Judaic Studies 264. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1992. "Supplement: A Provisional Bibliography 1990–92." Pages 117–24.

Runia, D. T., et al. "Philo of Alexandria: An Annotated Bibliography 1990." The Studia Philonica Annual: Studies in Hellenistic Judaism, vol. 5, 1993. Edited by D. T. Runia. Pages 180–97. Brown Judaic Studies 287. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1993. "Supplement: A Provisional Bibliography 1991–93." Pages 198–208.

Runia, D. T., et al. "Philo of Alexandria: An Annotated Bibliography 1991." The Studia Philonica Annual: Studies in Hellenistic Judaism, vol. 6, 1994. Edited by D. T. Runia. Pages 122–50. Brown Judaic Studies 299. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1994. "Supplement: A Provisional Bibliography 1992–94." Pages 151–59. Bibliographic data on Philo will continue to be provided in The Studia Philonica Annual. I want to express my appreciation to Gregory Sterling, on the faculty at the University of Notre Dame, for translating most of the Philo texts added to the work of C. D. Yonge, and to James Ernest, doctoral student at Boston College, for translating one Philo text. I am grateful to two of my student assistants at North Park Theological Seminary, Donald Nelson and Jeffrey Koenig, for their significant help in keying Yonge’s translation to the numbering system used in the Loeb Classical Library. I am indebted to the patience, help, and friendship of David Townsley and Patrick Alexander of Hendrickson Publishers. They kindly invited me to produce an introduction to this edition of Philo and worked with diligence and grace in bringing the project to completion. Another kind of gratitude, for which I cannot now find the appropriate words, goes to my wife Jeannette and our daughters Emily and Abigail for their encouragement; they will always know what I mean.





I. (1) Of other lawgivers, some have set forth what they considered to be just and reasonable, in a naked and unadorned manner, while others, investing their ideas with an abundance of amplification, have sought to bewilder the people, by burying the truth under a heap of fabulous inventions. (2) But Moses, rejecting both of these methods, the one as inconsiderate, careless, and unphilosophical, and the other as mendacious and full of trickery, made the beginning of his laws entirely beautiful, and in all respects admirable, neither at once declaring what ought to be done or the contrary, nor (since it was necessary to mould beforehand the dispositions of those who were to use his laws) inventing fables himself or adopting those which had been invented by others. (3) And his exordium, as I have already said, is most admirable; embracing the creation of the world, under the idea that the law corresponds to the world and the world to the law, and that a man who is obedient to the law, being, by so doing, a citizen of the world, arranges his actions with reference to the intention of nature, in harmony with which the whole universal world is regulated. (4) Accordingly no one, whether poet or historian, could ever give expression in an adequate manner to the beauty of his ideas respecting the creation of the world; for they surpass all the power of language, and amaze our hearing, being too great and venerable to be adapted to the sense of any created being. (5) That, however, is not a reason for our yielding to indolence on the subject, but rather from our affection for the Deity we ought to endeavour to exert ourselves even beyond our powers in describing them: not as having much, or indeed anything to say of our own, but instead of much, just a little, such as it may be probable that human intellect may attain to, when wholly occupied with a love of and desire for wisdom. (6) For as the smallest seal receives imitations of things of colossal magnitude when engraved upon it, so perchance in some instances the exceeding beauty of the description of the creation of the world as recorded in the Law, overshadowing with its brilliancy the souls of those who happen to meet with it, will be delivered to a more concise record after these facts have been first premised which it would be improper to pass over in silence.

II. (7) For some men, admiring the world itself rather than the Creator of the world, have represented it as existing without any maker, and eternal; and as impiously as falsely have represented God as existing in a state of complete inactivity, while it would have been right on the other hand to marvel at the might of God as the creator and father of all, and to admire the world in a degree not exceeding the bounds of moderation. (8) But Moses, who had early reached the very summits of philosophy, and who had learnt from the oracles of God the most numerous and important of the principles of nature, was well aware that it is indispensable that in all existing things there must be an active cause, and a passive subject; and that the active cause is the intellect of the universe, thoroughly unadulterated and thoroughly unmixed, superior to virtue and superior to science, superior even to abstract good or abstract beauty; (9) while the passive subject is something inanimate and incapable of motion by any intrinsic power of its own, but having been set in motion, and fashioned, and endowed with life by the intellect, became transformed into that most perfect work, this world. And those who describe it as being uncreated, do, without being aware of it, cut off the most useful and necessary of all the qualities which tend to produce piety, namely, providence: (10) for reason proves that the father and creator has a care for that which has been created; for a father is anxious for the life of his children, and a workman aims at the duration of his works, and employs every device imaginable to ward off everything that is pernicious or injurious, and is desirous by every means in his power to provide everything which is useful or profitable for them. But with regard to that which has not been created, there is no feeling of interest as if it were his own in the breast of him who has not created it. (11) It is then a pernicious doctrine and one for which no one should contend, to establish a system in this world, such as anarchy is in a city, so that it should have no superintendent, or regulator, or judge, by whom everything must be managed and governed. (12) But the great Moses, thinking that a thing which has not been uncreated is as alien as possible from that which is visible before our eyes (for everything which is the subject of our senses exists in birth and in changes, and is not always in the same condition), has attributed eternity to that which is invisible and discerned only by our intellect as a kinsman and a brother, while of that which is the object of our external senses he had predicated generation as an appropriate description. Since, then, this world is visible and the object of our external senses, it follows of necessity that it must have been created; on which account it was not without a wise purpose that he recorded its creation, giving a very venerable account of God.

III. (13) And he says that the world was made in six days, not because the Creator stood in need of a length of time (for it is natural that God should do everything at once, not merely by uttering a command, but by even thinking of it); but because the things created required arrangement; and number is akin to arrangement; and, of all numbers, six is, by the laws of nature, the most productive: for of all the numbers, from the unit upwards, it is the first perfect one, being made equal to its parts, and being made complete by them; the number three being half of it, and the number two a third of it, and the unit a sixth of it, and, so to say, it is formed so as to be both male and female, and is made up of the power of both natures; for in existing things the odd number is the male, and the even number is the female; accordingly, of odd numbers the first is the number three, and of even numbers the first is two, and the two numbers multiplied together make six. (14) It was fitting therefore, that the world, being the most perfect of created things, should be made according to the perfect number, namely, six: and, as it was to have in it the causes of both, which arise from combination, that it should be formed according to a mixed number, the first combination of odd and even numbers, since it was to embrace the character both of the male who sows the seed, and of the female who receives it. (15) And he allotted each of the six days to one of the portions of the whole, taking out the first day, which he does not even call the first day, that it may not be numbered with the others, but entitling it one, he names it rightly, perceiving in it, and ascribing to it the nature and appellation of the limit.

IV. We must mention as much as we can of the matters contained in his account, since to enumerate them all is impossible; for he embraces that beautiful world which is perceptible only by the intellect, as the account of the first day will show: (16) for God, as apprehending beforehand, as a God must do, that there could not exist a good imitation without a good model, and that of the things perceptible to the external senses nothing could be faultless which wax not fashioned with reference to some archetypal idea conceived by the intellect, when he had determined to create this visible world, previously formed that one which is perceptible only by the intellect, in order that so using an incorporeal model formed as far as possible on the image of God, he might then make this corporeal world, a younger likeness of the elder creation, which should embrace as many different genera perceptible to the external senses, as the other world contains of those which are visible only to the intellect. (17) But that world which consists of ideas, it were impious in any degree to attempt to describe or even to imagine: but how it was created, we shall know if we take for our guide a certain image of the things which exist among us. When any city is founded through the exceeding ambition of some king or leader who lays claim to absolute authority, and is at the same time a man of brilliant imagination, eager to display his good fortune, then it happens at times that some man coming up who, from his education, is skilful in architecture, and he, seeing the advantageous character and beauty of the situation, first of all sketches out in his own mind nearly all the parts of the city which is about to be completed—the temples, the gymnasia, the prytanea, and markets, the harbour, the docks, the streets, the arrangement of the walls, the situations of the dwelling houses, and of the public and other buildings. (18) Then, having received in his own mind, as on a waxen tablet, the form of each building, he carries in his heart the image of a city, perceptible as yet only by the intellect, the images of which he stirs up in memory which is innate in him, and, still further, engraving them in his mind like a good workman, keeping his eyes fixed on his model, he begins to raise the city of stones and wood, making the corporeal substances to resemble each of the incorporeal ideas. (19) Now we must form a somewhat similar opinion of God, who, having determined to found a mighty state, first of all conceived its form in his mind, according to which form he made a world perceptible only by the intellect, and then completed one visible to the external senses, using the first one as a model.

V. (20) As therefore the city, when previously shadowed out in the mind of the man of architectural skill had no external place, but was stamped solely in the mind of the workman, so in the same manner neither can the world which existed in ideas have had any other local position except the divine reason which made them; for what other place could there be for his powers which should be able to receive and contain, I do not say all, but even any single one of them whatever, in its simple form? (21) And the power and faculty which could be capable of creating the world, has for its origin that good which is founded on truth; for if any one were desirous to investigate the cause on account of which this universe was created, I think that he would come to no erroneous conclusion if he were to say as one of the ancients did say: "That the Father and Creator was good; on which account he did not grudge the substance a share of his own excellent nature, since it had nothing good of itself, but was able to become everything." (22) For the substance was of itself destitute of arrangement, of quality, of animation, of distinctive character, and full of all disorder and confusion; and it received a change and transformation to what is opposite to this condition, and most excellent, being invested with order, quality, animation, resemblance, identity, arrangement, harmony, and everything which belongs to the more excellent idea.

VI. (23) And God, not being urged on by any prompter (for who else could there have been to prompt him?) but guided by his own sole will, decided that it was fitting to benefit with unlimited and abundant favours a nature which, without the divine gift, was unable to itself to partake of any good thing; but he benefits it, not according to the greatness of his own graces, for they are illimitable and eternal, but according to the power of that which is benefited to receive his graces. For the capacity of that which is created to receive benefits does not correspond to the natural power of God to confer them; since his powers are infinitely greater, and the thing created being not sufficiently powerful to receive all their greatness would have sunk under it, if he had not measured his bounty, allotting to each, in due proportion, that which was poured upon it. (24) And if any one were to desire to use more undisguised terms, he would not call the world, which is perceptible only to the intellect, any thing else but the reason of God, already occupied in the creation of the world; for neither is a city, while only perceptible to the intellect, anything else but the reason of the architect, who is already designing to build one perceptible to the external senses, on the model of that which is so only to the intellect—(25) this is the doctrine of Moses, not mine. Accordingly he, when recording the creation of man, in words which follow, asserts expressly, that he was made in the image of God—and if the image be a part of the image, then manifestly so is the entire form, namely, the whole of this world perceptible by the external senses, which is a greater imitation of the divine image than the human form is. It is manifest also, that the archetypal seal, which we call that world which is perceptible only to the intellect, must itself be the archetypal model, the idea of ideas, the Reason of God.

VII. (26) Moses says also; "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth:" taking the beginning to be, not as some men think, that which is according to time; for before the world time had no existence, but was created either simultaneously with it, or after it; for since time is the interval of the motion of the heavens, there could not have been any such thing as motion before there was anything which could be moved; but it follows of necessity that it received existence subsequently or simultaneously. It therefore follows also of necessity, that time was created either at the same moment with the world, or later than it—and to venture to assert that it is older than the world is absolutely inconsistent with philosophy. (27) But if the beginning spoken of by Moses is not to be looked upon as spoken of according to time, then it may be natural to suppose that it is the beginning according to number that is indicated; so that, "In the beginning he created," is equivalent to "first of all he created the heaven;" for it is natural in reality that that should have been the first object created, being both the best of all created things, and being also made of the purest substance, because it was destined to be the most holy abode of the visible Gods who are perceptible by the external senses; (28) for if the Creator had made everything at the same moment, still those things which were created in beauty would no less have had a regular arrangement, for there is no such thing as beauty in disorder. But order is a due consequence and connection of things precedent and subsequent, if not in the completion of a work, at all events in the intention of the maker; for it is owing to order that they become accurately defined and stationary, and free from confusion. (29) In the first place therefore, from the model of the world, perceptible only by intellect, the Creator made an incorporeal heaven, and an invisible earth, and the form of air and of empty space: the former of which he called darkness, because the air is black by nature; and the other he called the abyss, for empty space is very deep and yawning with immense width. Then he created the incorporeal substance of water and of air, and above all he spread light, being the seventh thing made; and this again was incorporeal, and a model of the sun, perceptible only to intellect, and of all the light giving stars, which are destined to stand together in heaven.

VIII. (30) And air and light he considered worthy of the pre-eminence. For the one he called the breath of God, because it is air, which is the most life giving of things, and of life the causer is God; and the other he called light, because it is surpassingly beautiful: for that which is perceptible only by intellect is as far more brilliant and splendid than that which is seen, as I conceive, the sun is than darkness, or day than night, or the intellect than any other of the outward senses by which men judge (inasmuch as it is the guide of the entire soul), or the eyes than any other part of the body. (31) And the invisible divine reason, perceptible only by intellect, he calls the image of God. And the image of this image is that light, perceptible only by the intellect, which is the image of the divine reason, which has explained its generation. And it is a star above the heavens, the source of those stars which are perceptible by the external senses, and if any one were to call it universal light he would not be very wrong; since it is from that the sun and the moon, and all the other planets and fixed stars derive their due light, in proportion as each has power given to it; that unmingled and pure light being obscured when it begins to change, according to the change from that which is perceptible only by the intellect, to that which is perceptible by the external senses; for none of those things which are perceptible to the external senses is pure.

IX. (32) Moses is right also when he says, that "darkness was over the face of the abyss." For the air is in a manner spread above the empty space, since having mounted up it entirely fills all that open, and desolate, and empty place, which reaches down to us from the regions below the moon. (33) And after the shining forth of that light, perceptible only to the intellect, which existed before the sun, then its adversary darkness yielded, as God put a wall between them and separated them, well knowing their opposite characters, and the enmity existing between their natures. In order, therefore, that they might not war against one another from being continually brought in contact, so that war would prevail instead of peace, God, burning want of order into order, did not only separate light and darkness, but did also place boundaries in the middle of the space between the two, by which he separated the extremities of each. For if they had approximated they must have produced confusion, preparing for the contest, for the supremacy, with great and unextinguishable rivalry, if boundaries established between them had not separated them and prevented them from clashing together, (34) and these boundaries are evening and morning; the one of which heralds in the good tidings that the sun is about to rise, gently dissipating the darkness: and evening comes on as the sun sets, receiving gently the collective approach of darkness. And these, I mean morning and evening, must be placed in the class of incorporeal things, perceptible only by the intellect; for there is absolutely nothing in them which is perceptible by the external senses, but they are entirely ideas, and measures, and forms, and seals, incorporeal as far as regards the generation of other bodies. (35) But when light came, and darkness retreated and yielded to it, and boundaries were set in the space between the two, namely, evening and morning, then of necessity the measure of time was immediately perfected, which also the Creator called "day." and He called it not "the first day," but "one day;" and it is spoken of thus, on account of the single nature of the world perceptible only by the intellect, which has a single nature.

X. (36) The incorporeal world then was already completed, having its seat in the Divine Reason; and the world, perceptible by the external senses, was made on the model of it; and the first portion of it, being also the most excellent of all made by the Creator, was the heaven, which he truly called the firmament, as being corporeal; for the body is by nature firm, inasmuch as it is divisible into three parts; and what other idea of solidity and of body can there be, except that it is something which may be measured in every direction? Therefore he, very naturally contrasting that which was perceptible to the external senses, and corporeal with that which was perceptible only by the intellect and incorporeal, called this the firmament. (37) Immediately afterwards he, with great propriety and entire correctness, called it the heaven, either because it was already the boundary of everything, or because it was the first of all visible things which was created; and after its second rising he called the time day, referring the entire space and measure of a day to the heaven, on account of its dignity and honour among the things perceptible to the external senses.

XI. (38) And after this, as the whole body of water in existence was spread over all the earth, and had penetrated through all its parts, as if it were a sponge which had imbibed moisture, so that the earth was only swampy land and deep mud, both the elements of earth and water being mixed up and combined together, like one confused mass into one undistinguishable and shapeless nature, God ordained that all the water which was salt, and destined to be a cause of barrenness to seeds and trees should be gathered together, flowing forth out of all the holes of the entire earth; and he commanded dry land to appear, that liquid which had any sweetness in it being left in it to secure its durability. For this sweet liquid, in due proportions, is as a sort of glue for the different substances, preventing the earth from being utterly dried up, and so becoming unproductive and barren, and causing it, like a mother, to furnish not only one kind of nourishment, namely meat, but both sorts at once, so as to supply its offspring with both meat and drink; wherefore he filled it with veins, resembling breasts, which, being provided with openings, were destined to pour forth springs and rivers. (39) And in the same way he extended the invisible irrigations of dew pervading every portion of arable and deep-soiled land, to contribute to the most liberal and plenteous supply of fruits. Having arranged these things, he gave them names, calling the day, "land," and the water which was separated from it he called "sea."

XII. (40) After this he began to adorn the land, for he bade it bring forth grass, and bear corn, producing every kind of herb, and plains clothed with verdure, and everything which was calculated to be fodder for cattle, or food for men. Moreover he commanded every kind of tree to spring up, omitting no kind, either of those which are wild or of those which are called cultivated. And simultaneously with their first production he loaded them all with fruit, in a manner different from that which exists at present; (41) for now the different fruits are produced in turn, at different seasons, and not all together at one time; for who is there who does not know that first of all comes the sowing and the planting; and, in the second place, the growth of what has been sown and planted, in some cases the plants extending their roots downwards like foundations, and in others raising themselves upwards to a height and displaying long stalks? After that come the buds, and the putting forth of leaves, and then after everything else comes the production of fruit. And again, the fruit when first produced is not perfect, but it contains in itself all kinds of change, with reference both to its quantity in regard of magnitude, and to its qualities in its multiform appearance: for the fruits is produced at first like indivisible grains, which are hardly visible from their diminutive size, and which one might correctly enough pronounce to be the first things perceptible by the external senses; and afterwards by little and little, from the nourishment conveyed in channels, which waters the tree, and from the wholesome effect of the breezes, which blow air at the same time cold and gentle, the fruit is gradually vivified, and nursed up, and increased, advancing onward to its perfect size; and with its change of magnitude it changes also its qualities, as if it were diversified with varying colours by pictorial science.

XIII. (42) But in the first creation of the universe, as I have said already, God produced the whole race of trees out of the earth in full perfection, having their fruit not incomplete but in a state of entire ripeness, to be ready for the immediate and undelayed use and enjoyment of the animals which were about immediately to be born. (43) Accordingly he commanded the earth to produce these things. And the earth, as though it had for a long time been pregnant and travailing, produced every sort of seed, and every sort of tree, and also of fruit, in unspeakable abundance; and not only were these produced fruits to be food for living animals, but enough also to serve as a preparation for the continuous production of similar fruits hereafter; covering substances consisting of seed, in which are the principles of all plants undistinguishable and invisible, but destined hereafter to become manifest and visible in the periodical maturity of the fruit. (44) For God thought fit to endue nature with a long duration, making the races that he was creating immortal, and giving them a participation in eternity. On which account he led on and hastened the beginning towards the end, and caused the end to turn backwards to the beginning: for from plants comes fruit, as the end might come from the beginning; and from the fruit comes the seed, which again contains the plant within itself, so that a fresh beginning may come from the end.

XIV. (45) And on the fourth day, after he had embellished the earth, he diversified and adorned the heaven: not giving the precedence to the inferior nature by arranging the heaven subsequently to the earth, or thinking that which was the more excellent and the more divine worthy only of the second place, but acting thus for the more manifest demonstration of the power of his dominion. For he foreknew with respect to men who were not yet born, what sort of beings they would be as to their opinions, forming conjectures on what was likely and probable, of which the greater part would be reasonable, though falling short of the character of unadulterated truth; and trusting rather to visible phenomena than to God, and admiring sophistry rather than wisdom. And again he knew that surveying the periods of the sun and moon, to which are owing the summers and winters, and the alternations of spring and autumn, they would conceive the revolutions of the stars in heaven to be the causes of all the things which every year should be produced and generated on the earth, accordingly that no one might venture either through shameless impudence or inordinate ignorance to attribute to any created thing the primary causes of things, he said: (46) "Let them run over in their minds the first creation of the universe, when, before the sun or the moon existed, the earth brought forth all kinds of plants and all kinds of fruits: and seeing this in their minds let them hope that it will again also bring forth such, according to the appointment of the Father, when it shall seem good to him, without his having need of the aid of any of the sons of men beneath the heavens, to whom he has given powers, though not absolute ones." For as a charioteer holding the reigns or a helmsman with his hand upon the rudder, he guides everything as he pleases, in accordance with law and justice, needing no one else as his assistant; for all things are possible to God.

XV. (47) This is the cause why the earth bore fruit and herbs before God proceeded to adorn the heaven. And next the heaven was embellished in the perfect number four, and if any one were to pronounce this number the origin and source of the all-perfect decade he would not err. For what the decade is in actuality, that the number four, as it seems, is in potentiality, at all events if the numerals from the unit to four are placed together in order, they will make ten, which is the limit of the number of immensity, around which the numbers wheel and turn as around a goal. (48) Moreover the number four also comprehends the principles of the harmonious concords in music, that in fours, and in fifths, and the diapason, and besides this the double diapason from which sounds the most perfect system of harmony is produced. For the ratio of the sounds in fourths is as four to three; and in fifths as three to two; and in the diapason that ratio is doubled: and in the double diapason it is increased fourfold, all which ratios the number four comprehends. At all events the first, or the epistritus, is the ratio of four to three; the second, or the hemiolius, is that of three to two: the twofold ratio is that of two to one, or four to two: and the fourfold ratio is that of four to one.

XVI. (49) There is also another power of the number four which is a most wonderful one to speak of and to contemplate. For it was this number that first displayed the nature of the solid cube, the numbers before four being assigned only to incorporeal things. For it is according to the unit that that thing is reckoned which is spoken of in geometry as a point: and a line is spoken of according to the number two, because it is arranged by nature from a point; and a line is length without breadth. But when breadth is added to it, it becomes a superficies, which is arranged according to the number three. And a superficies, when compared with the nature of a solid cube, wants one thing, namely depth, and when this one thing is added to the three, it becomes four. On which account it has happened that this number is a thing of great importance, inasmuch as from an incorporeal substance perceptible only by intellect, it has led us on to a comprehension of a body divisible in a threefold manner, and which by its own nature is first perceived by the external senses. (50) And he who does not comprehend what is here said may learn to understand it from a game which is very common. Those who play with nuts are accustomed when they have placed three nuts on the floor, to place one more on the top of them producing a figure like a pyramid. Accordingly the triangle stands on the floor, arranged up to the number three, and the nut which is placed upon it makes up four in number, and in figure it produces a pyramid, being now a solid body. (51) And in addition to this there is this point also of which we should not be ignorant, the number four is the first number which is a square, being equal on all sides, the measure of justice and equality. And that it is the only number the nature of which is such that it is produced by the same numbers whether in combination, or in power. In combination when two and two are added together; and again in power when we speak of twice two; and in this is displays an exceedingly beautiful kind of harmony, which is not the lot of any other number. If we examine the number six which is composed of two threes, if these two numbers are multiplied it is not the number six that is produced, but a different one, the number nine. (52) And the number four has many other powers also, which we must subsequently show more accurately in a separate essay appropriated to it. At present it is sufficient to add this that it was the foundation of the creation of the whole heaven and the whole world. For the four elements, out of which this universe was made, flowed from the number four as from a fountain. And in addition to the four elements the seasons of the year are also four, which are the causes of the generation of animals and plants, the year being divided into the quadruple division of winter, and spring, and summer, and autumn.

XVII. (53) The aforesaid number therefore being accounted worthy of such pre-eminence in nature, the Creator of necessity adorned the heaven by the number four, namely by that most beautiful and most godlike ornament the light giving stars. And knowing that of all existing things light is the most excellent, he made it the instrument of the best of all the senses, sight. For what the mind is in the soul, that the eye is in the body. For each of them sees, the one beholding those existing things which are perceptible only to the intellect, and the other those which are perceptible to the external senses. But the mind is in need of knowledge in order to distinguish incorporeal things, and the eyes have need of light in order to be able to perceive bodies, and light is also the cause of many other good things to men, and particularly of the greatest, namely philosophy. (54) For the sight being sent upwards by light and beholding the nature of the stars and their harmonious movement, and the well-ordered revolutions of the fixed stars, and of the planets, some always revolving in the same manner and coming to the same places, and others having double periods in an anomalous and somewhat contrary manner, beholding also, the harmonious dances of all these bodies arranged according to the laws of perfect music, causes an ineffable joy and delight to the soul. And the soul, feasting on a continuous series of spectacles, for one succeeds another, has an insatiable love for beholding such. Then, as is usually the case, it examines with increased curiosity what is the substance of these things which are visible; and whether they have an existence without having been created, or whether they received their origin by creation, and what is the character of their movement, and what the causes are by which everything is regulated. And it is from inquiries into these things that philosophy has arisen, than which no more perfect good has entered into human life.

XVIII. (55) But the Creator having a regard to that idea of light perceptible only by the intellect, which has been spoken of in the mention made of the incorporeal world, created those stars which are perceptible by the external senses, those divine and superlatively beautiful images, which on many accounts he placed in the purest temple of corporeal substance, namely in heaven. One of the reasons for his so doing was that they might give light; another was that they might be signs; another had reference to their dividing the times of the seasons of the year, and above all dividing days and nights, of months and years, which are the measures of time; and which have given rise to the nature of number. (56) And how great is the use and how great the advantage derivable from each of the aforesaid things, is plain from their effect. But with a view to a more accurate comprehension of them, it may perhaps not be out of place to trace out the truth in a regular discussion. Now the whole of time being divided into two portions day and night, the sovereignty of the day the Father has assigned to the Sun, as a mighty monarch: and that of the night he has given to the moon and to the multitude of the other stars. (57) And the greatness of the power and sovereignty of the sun has its most conspicuous proof in what has been already said: for he, being one and single has been allotted for his own share and by himself one half portion of all time, namely day; and all the other lights in conjunction with the moon have the other portion, which is called night. And when the sun rises all the appearances of such numbers of stars are not only obscured but absolutely disappear from the effusion of his beams; and when he sets then they all assembled together, begin to display their own peculiar brilliancy and their separate qualities.

XIX. (58) And they have been created, as Moses tells us, not only that they might send light upon the earth, but also that they might display signs of future events. For either by their risings, or their settings, or their eclipses, or again by their appearances and occultations, or by the other variations observable in their motions, men oftentimes conjecture what is about to happen, the productiveness or unproductiveness of the crops, the birth or loss of their cattle, fine weather or cloudy weather, calm and violent storms of wind, floods in the rivers or droughts, a tranquil state of the sea and heavy waves, unusual changes in the seasons of the year when either the summer is cold like winter, or the winter warm, or when the spring assumes the temperature of autumn or the autumn that of spring. (59) And before now some men have conjecturally predicted disturbances and commotions of the earth from the revolutions of the heavenly bodies, and innumerable other events which have turned out most exactly true: so that it is a most veracious saying that "the stars were created to act as signs, and moreover to mark the seasons." And by the word seasons the divisions of the year are here intended. And why may not this be reasonably affirmed? For what other idea of opportunity can there be except that it is the time for success? And the seasons bring everything to perfection and set everything right; giving perfection to the sowing and planting of fruits, and to the birth and growth of animals. (60) They were also created to serve as measure of time; for it is by the appointed periodical revolutions of the sun and moon and other stars, that days and months and years are determined. And moreover it is owing to them that the most useful of all things, the nature of number exists, time having displayed it; for from one day comes the limit, and from two the number two, and from three, three, and from the notion of a month is derived the number thirty, and from a year that number which is equal to the days of the twelve months, and from infinite time comes the notion of infinite number. (61) To such great and indispensable advantages do the natures of the heavenly bodies and the motions of the stars tend. And to how many other things might I also affirm that they contribute which are as yet unknown to us? for all things are not known to the will of man; but of the things which contribute towards the durability of the universe, those which are established by laws and ordinances which God has appointed to be unalterable for ever, are accomplished in every instance and in every country.

XX. (62) Then when earth and heaven had been adorned with their befitting ornaments, one with a triad, and the other, as has been already said, with a quaternion, God proceeded to create the races of mortal creatures, making the beginning with the aquatic animals on the fifth day, thinking that there was no one thing so akin to another as the number five as to animals; for animate things differ from inanimate in nothing more than in sensation, and sensation is divided according to a fivefold division, into sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch. Accordingly, the Creator allotted to each of the senses its appropriate matter, and also its peculiar faculty of judgment, by which it should decide on what came before it. So sight judges of colours, and hearing of sounds, and taste of juices, and smell of vapours, and touch of softness and hardness, and of heat and cold, and of smoothness and roughness: (63) therefore He commanded all the races of fish and sea-monsters to stand together in their places, animals differing both in their sizes and in their qualities; for they vary in different seas, though in some cases they are the same, and every animal was not formed to live every where. And was not this reasonable? For some of them delight in marshy places, and in water which is very deep; and some in sewers and harbours, being neither able to crawl up upon the land, nor to swim off far from the land. Some, again, dwell in the middle and in the deep sea, and avoid all the projecting promontories and islands and rocks: some also exult in fine weather and in calm, and some in storms and heavy surf. For being exercised by continual buffetings, and being in the habit of withstanding the current by force, they are very vigorous and become stout. After that he created the races of birds as akin to the races of aquatic animals (for they are each of them swimmers), leaving no species of creatures which traverse the air unfinished.

XXI. (64) So now when the air and the water had received their appropriate races of animals as an allotment that was their due, God again summoned the earth for the creation of that share which still remained: and after the production of plants, the terrestrial animals still remained. And God said, "Let the earth bring forth cattle and beasts, and creeping things of each kind." And the earth did as it was commanded, and immediately sent forth animals differing in their formation and in their strength, and in the injurious or beneficial powers that were implanted in them. (65) And after all He made man. But how he made him I will mention presently, after I have first explained that he adopted the most beautiful connection and train of consequences according to the system of the creation of animals which he had sketched out to himself; for of souls the most sluggish and the most weakly formed has been allotted to the race of fishes; and the most exquisitely endowed soul, that which is in all respects most excellent, has been given to the race of mankind, and one something between the two to the races of terrestrial animals and those which traverse the air; for the soul of such creatures is endowed with more acute sensations than the soul of fishes, but is more dull than that of mankind. (66) And it was on this account that of all living creatures God created fishes first, inasmuch as they partake of corporeal substance in a greater degree than they partake of soul, being in a manner animals and not animals, moving soulless things, having a sort of semblance of soul diffused through them for no object beyond that of keeping their bodies live (just as they say that salt preserves meat), in order that they may not easily be destroyed. And after the fishes, he created winged and terrestrial animals: for these are endowed with a higher degree of sensation, and from their formation show that the properties of their animating principle are of a higher order. But after all the rest, then, as has been said before, he created man, to whom he gave that admirable endowment of mind—the soul, if I may so call it, of the soul, as being like the pupil to the eye; for those who most accurately investigate the natures of things affirm, that it is the pupil which is the eye of the eye.

XXII. (67) So at last all things were created and existing together. But when they all were collected in one place, then some sort of order was necessarily laid down for them for the sake of the production of them from one another which was hereafter to take place. Now in things which exist in part, the principle of order is this, to begin with that which is most inferior in its nature, and to end with that which is the most excellent of all; and what that is we will explain. It has been arranged that seed should be the principle of the generation of animals. It is plainly seen that this is a thing of no importance, being like foam; but when it has descended into the womb and remained there, then immediately it receives motion and is changed into nature; and nature is more excellent than seed, as also motion is better than quiet in created things; and nature, like a workman, or, to speak more correctly, like a faultless art, endows the moist substance with life, and fashions it, distributing it among the limbs and parts of the body, allotting that portion which can produce breath, and nourishment, and sensation to the powers of the soul: for as to the reasoning powers, we may pass over them for the present, on account of those who say, that the mind enters into the body from without, being something divine and eternal. (68) Nature therefore began from an insignificant seed, and ended in the most honourable of things, namely, in the formation of animals and men. And the very same thing took place in the creation of every thing: for when the Creator determined to make animals the first created in his arrangement were in some degree inferior, such as the fishes, and the last were the best, namely, man. And the others the terrestrial and winged creatures were between these extremes, being better than the first created, and inferior to the last.

XXIII. (69) So then after all the other things, as has been said before, Moses says that man was made in the image and likeness of God. And he says well; for nothing that is born on the earth is more resembling God than man. And let no one think that he is able to judge of this likeness from the characters of the body: for neither is God a being with the form of a man, nor is the human body like the form of God; but the resemblance is spoken of with reference to the most important part of the soul, namely, the mind: for the mind which exists in each individual has been created after the likeness of that one mind which is in the universe as its primitive model, being in some sort the God of that body which carries it about and bears its image within it. In the same rank that the great Governor occupies in the universal world, that same as it seems does the mind of man occupy in man; for it is invisible, though it sees everything itself; and it has an essence which is undiscernible, though it can discern the essences of all other things, and making for itself by art and science all sorts of roads leading in divers directions, and all plain; it traverses land and sea, investigating everything which is contained in either element. (70) And again, being raised up on wings, and so surveying and contemplating the air, and all the commotions to which it is subject, it is borne upwards to the higher firmament, and to the revolutions of the heavenly bodies. And also being itself involved in the revolutions of the planets and fixed stars according to the perfect laws of music, and being led on by love, which is the guide of wisdom, it proceeds onwards till, having surmounted all essence intelligible by the external senses, it comes to aspire to such as is perceptible only by the intellect: (71) and perceiving in that, the original models and ideas of those things intelligible by the external senses which it saw here full of surpassing beauty, it becomes seized with a sort of sober intoxication like the zealots engaged in the Corybantian festivals, and yields to enthusiasm, becoming filled with another desire, and a more excellent longing, by which it is conducted onwards to the very summit of such things as are perceptible only to the intellect, till it appears to be reaching the great King himself. And while it is eagerly longing to behold him pure and unmingled, rays of divine light are poured forth upon it like a torrent, so as to bewilder the eyes of its intelligence by their splendour. But as it is not every image that resembles its archetypal model, since many are unlike, Moses has shown this by adding to the words "after his image," the expression, "in his likeness," to prove that it means an accurate impression, having a clear and evident resemblance in form.

XXIV. (72) And he would not err who should raise the question why Moses attributed the creation of man alone not to one creator, as he did that of other animals, but to several. For he introduces the Father of the universe using this language: "Let us make man after our image, and in our likeness." Had he then, shall I say, need of any one whatever to help him, He to whom all things are subject? Or, when he was making the heaven and the earth and the sea, was he in need of no one to co-operate with him; and yet was he unable himself by his own power to make man an animal so short-lived and so exposed to the assaults of fate without the assistance of others? It is plain that the real cause of his so acting is known to God alone, but one which to a reasonable conjecture appears probable and credible, I think I should not conceal; and it is this. (73) Of existing things, there are some which partake neither of virtue nor of vice; as for instance, plants and irrational animals; the one, because they are destitute of soul, and are regulated by a nature void of sense; and the other, because they are not endowed with mind of reason. But mind and reason may be looked upon as the abode of virtue and vice; as it is in them that they seem to dwell. Some things again partake of virtue alone, being without any participation in any kind of vice; as for instance, the stars, for they are said to be animals, and animals endowed with intelligence; or I might rather say, the mind of each of them is wholly and entirely virtuous, and unsusceptible of every kind of evil. Some things again are of a mixed nature, like man, who is capable of opposite qualities, of wisdom and folly, of temperance and dissoluteness, of courage and cowardice, of justice and injustice, in short of good and evil, of what is honourable and what is disgraceful, of virtue and vice. (74) Now it was a very appropriate task for God the Father of all to create by himself alone, those things which were wholly good, on account of their kindred with himself. And it was not inconsistent with his dignity to create those which were indifferent since they too are devoid of evil, which is hateful to him. To create the beings of a mixed nature, was partly consistent and partly inconsistent with his dignity; consistent by reason of the more excellent idea which is mingled in them; inconsistent because of the opposite and worse one. (75) It is on this account that Moses says, at the creation of man alone that God said, "Let us make man," which expression shows an assumption of other beings to himself as assistants, in order that God, the governor of all things, might have all the blameless intentions and actions of man, when he does right attributed to him; and that his other assistants might bear the imputation of his contrary actions. For it was fitting that the Father should in the eyes of his children be free from all imputation of evil; and vice and energy in accordance with vice are evil. (76) 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.

XXV. (77) And some one may inquire the cause why it was that man was the last work in the creation of the world. For the Creator and Father created him after every thing else as the sacred scriptures inform us. Accordingly, they who have gone most deeply into the laws, and who to the best of their power have investigated everything that is contained in them with all diligence, say that God, when he had given to man to partake of kindred with himself, grudged him neither reason, which is the most excellent of all gifts, nor anything else that is good; but before his creation, provided for him every thing in the world, as for the animal most resembling himself, and dearest to him, being desirous that when he was born, he should be in want of nothing requisite for living, and for living well; the first of which objects is provided for by the abundance of supplies which are furnished to him for his enjoyment, and the other by his power of contemplation of the heavenly bodies, by which the mind is smitten so as to conceive a love and desire for knowledge on those subjects; owing to which desire, philosophy has sprung up, by which, man, though mortal, is made immortal. (78) As then, those who make a feast do not invite their guests to the entertainment before they have provided everything for festivity, and as those who celebrate gymnastic or dramatic contests, before they assemble the spectators, provide themselves with an abundance of competitors and spectacles, and sweet sounds, with which to fill the theatres and the stadia; so in the same manner did the Ruler of all, as a man proposing games, or giving a banquet and being about to invite others to feast and to behold the spectacle, first provide everything for every kind of entertainment, in order that when man came into the world he might at once find a feast ready for him, and a most holy theatre; the one abounding with everything which the earth, or the rivers, or the sea, or air, brings forth for use and enjoyment, and the other being full of every description of light, which has either its essence or its qualities admirable, and its motions and revolutions worthy of notice, being arranged in perfect order, both as to the proportions of its numbers, and the harmony of its periods. And a man would not be far wrong who should say that in all these things there might be discovered that archetypal and real model music, the images of which the subsequent generations of mankind engraved in their own souls, and in this way handed down the art which is the most necessary and the most advantageous to human life.

XXVI. (79) This is the first reason on account of which it seems that man was created after all other animals. And there is another not altogether unreasonable, which I must mention. At the moment of his first birth, man found all the requisites for life ready prepared for him that he might teach them to those who should come afterwards. Nature all but crying out with a distinct voice, that men, imitating the Author of their being, should pass their lives without labour and without trouble, living in the most ungrudging abundance and plenty. And this would be the case if there were neither irrational pleasures to obtain mastery over the soul raising up a wall of gluttony and lasciviousness, nor desires of glory, or power, or riches, to assume dominion over life, nor pains to contract and warp the intellect, nor that evil councillor—fear, to restrain the natural inclinations towards virtuous actions, nor folly and cowardice, and injustice, and the incalculable multitude of other evils to attack them. (80) But now that all the evils which I have now been mentioning are vigorous, and that men abandon themselves without restraint to their passions, and to those unbridled and guilty inclinations, which it is impious even to mention, justice encounters them as a suitable chastiser of wicked habits; and therefore, as a punishment for wrong doers, the necessaries of life have been made difficult of acquisition. For men ploughing up the plains with difficulty, and bringing streams from rivers, and fountains by channels, and sowing and planting, and submitting indefatigably day and night to the labour of cultivating the ground, provide themselves every year with what is necessary, even that at times being attended with pain; and not very sufficient in quantity, from being injured by many causes. For either a fall of incessant rain has carried away the crops, or the weight of hail which has fallen upon them has crushed them altogether, or snow has chilled them, or the violence of the winds has torn them up by the roots; for water and air cause many alterations, tending to destroy and productiveness of the crops. (81) But if the immoderate violence of the passions were appeased by temperance, and the inclination to do wrong and depraved ambition were corrected by justice, and in short if the vices and unhallowed actions done in accordance with them, were corrected by the virtues, and the energies in accordance with them, the war of the soul being terminated, which is in good truth the most grievous and heavy of all wars, and peace being established, and founding amid all our faculties, a due regard for law, with all tranquillity and mildness, then there would be hope that God, as being a friend to virtue, and a friend to honour, and above all a friend to man, would bestow upon the race of man, all kinds of spontaneous blessings from his ready store. For it is evident that it is easier to supply most abundantly the requisite supplies without having recourse to agricultural means, from treasures which already exist, than to bring forth what as yet has no existence.

XXVII. (82) I have now mentioned the second reason. There is also a third, which is as follows:—God, intending to adapt the beginning and the end of all created things together, as being all necessary and dear to one another, made heaven the beginning, and man the end: the one being the most perfect of incorruptible things, among those things which are perceptible by the external senses; and the other, the best of all earthborn and perishable productions—a short-lived heaven if one were to speak the truth, bearing within himself many starlike natures, by means of certain arts and sciences, and illustrious speculations, according to every kind of virtue. For since the corruptible and the incorruptible, are by nature opposite, he has allotted the best thing of each species to the beginning and to the end. Heaven, as I before said, to the beginning, and man to the end.

XXVIII. (83) And besides all this, another is also mentioned among the necessary causes. It was necessary that man should be the last of all created beings; in order that being so, and appearing suddenly, he might strike terror into the other animals. For it was fitting that they, as soon as they first saw him should admire and worship him, as their natural ruler and master; on which account, they all, as soon as they saw him, became tame before him; even those, who by nature were most savage, becoming at once most manageable at the first sight of him; displaying their unbridled ferocity to one another, and being tame to man alone. (84) For which reason the Father who made him to be a being dominant over them by nature not merely in fact, but also by express verbal appointment, established him as the king of all the animals, beneath the moon, whether terrestrial or aquatic, or such as traverse the air. For every mortal thing which lives in the three elements, land, water or air, did he put in subjection to him, excepting only the beings that are in heaven, as creatures who have a more divine portion. And what is apparent to our eyes it the most evident proof of this. For at times, innumerable herds of beasts are led about by one man, not armed, nor wearing iron, nor any defensive weapon, but clad only in a skin for a garment, and carrying a staff, for the purpose of making signs, and to lean upon also in his journeys if he become weary. (85) And so the shepherd, and the goatherd, and the cowherd, lead numerous flocks of sheep, and goats, and herds of oxen; men neither vigorous, nor active in their bodies, so as to strike those who behold them with admiration because of their fine appearance; and all the might and power of such numerous and well armed beasts (for they have means of self-defense given them by nature), yet dread them as slaves do their master, and do all that is commanded them. Bulls are yoked to the plough to till the ground, and cutting deep furrows all day, sometimes even for a long space of time together, while some farmer is managing them. And rams being weighed down with heavy fleeces of wool, in the spring season, at the command of the shepherd, stand quietly, and lying down, without resistance, permit their wool to be shorn off, being accustomed naturally, like cities, to yield a yearly tribute to their sovereign. (86) And moreover, that most spirited of animals, the horse, is easily guided after he has been bridled; in order that he may not become frisky, and shake off the rein; and he hollows his back in an admirable manner to receive his rider and to afford him a good seat, and then bearing him aloft, he gallops at a rapid pace, being eager to arrive at and carry him to the place to which he is urging him. And the rider without any toil, but in the most perfect quiet, makes a rapid journey, by using the body and feet of another animal.

XXIX. (87) And any one who was inclined to dwell upon this subject might bring forward a great many other instances, to prove that there is no animal in the enjoyment of perfect liberty, and exempt from the dominion of man; but what has been already said is sufficient by way of example. We ought, however, not to be ignorant of this also, that it is no proof because man was the last created animal that he is the lowest in rank, and charioteers and pilots are witnesses of this; (88) for the charioteers sit behind their beasts of burden, and are placed at, their backs, and yet when they have the reins in their hands, they guide them wherever they choose, and at one time they urge them on to a swift pace, and at another time they hold them back, if they are going on at a speed greater than is desirable. And pilots again, sitting in the hindmost part of the ship, that is the stern are, as one may say, the most important of all the people in the ship, inasmuch as they have the safety of the ship and of all those who are in it, in their hands. And so the Creator has made man to be as it were a charioteer and pilot over all other animals, in order that he may hold the reins and direct the course of every thing upon earth, having the superintendence of all animals and plants, as a sort of viceroy of the principal and mighty King.

XXX. (89) But after the whole world had been completed according to the perfect nature of the number six, the Father hallowed the day following, the seventh, praising it, and calling it holy. For that day is the festival, not of one city or one country, but of all the earth; a day which alone it is right to call the day of festival for all people, and the birthday of the world. (90) And I know not if any one would be able to celebrate the nature of the number seven in adequate terms, since it is superior to every form of expression. But it does not follow that because it is more admirable than anything that can be said of it, that on that account one ought to keep silence; but rather we ought to try, even if one cannot say everything which is proper, or even that which is most proper, at all events to utter such things as may be attainable by our capacities. (91) The number seven is spoken of in two ways; the one within the number ten which is measured by repeating the unit alone seven times, and which consists of seven units; the other is the number outside ten, the beginning of which is altogether the unit increasing according to a twofold or threefold, or any other proportion whatever; as are the numbers sixty-four, and seven hundred and twenty-nine; the one number of which is increased by doubling on from the unit, and the other by trebling. And it is not well to examine either species superficially, but the second has a most manifest pre-eminence. (92) For in every case the number which is combined from the unit in double or treble ratio, or any other ratio, whatsoever, is the seventh number, a cube and a square, embracing both species, both that of the incorporeal and that of the corporeal essence. That of the incorporeal essence according to the superficies which quadrangular figures present, and that of the corporeal essence according to the other figure which cubes make; (93) and the clearest proof of this is afforded by the numbers already spoken of. In the seventh number increasing immediately from the unit in a twofold ratio, namely, the number sixty-four, is a square formed by the multiplication of eight by eight, and it is also a cube by the multiplication of four and four, four times. And again, the seventh number from the unit being increased in a threefold ratio, that is to say, the number seven hundred and twenty-nine, is a square, the number seven and twenty being multiplied by itself; and it is also a cube, by nine being multiplied by itself nine times. (94) And in every case a man making his beginning from the unit, and proceeding on to the seventh number, and increasing in the same ratio till he comes to the number seven, will at all times find the number, when increased, both a cube and a square. At all events, he who begins with the number sixty-four, and combines them in a doubling ratio, will make the seventh number four thousand and ninety-six, which is both a square and a cube, having sixty-four as its square root, and sixteen as its cube root.

XXXI. (95) And we must also pass on to the other species of the number seven, which is contained in the number ten, and which displays an admirable nature, and one not inferior to the previously mentioned species. The number seven consists of one, and two and four, numbers which have two most harmonious ratios, the twofold and the fourfold ratio; the former of which affects the diapason harmony, while the fourfold ratio causes that of the double diapason. It also comprehends other divisions, existing in some kind of yoke-like combination. For it is divided first of all into the number one, and the number six; then into the two and the five; and last of all, into the three and the four. (96) And the proportion of these numbers is a most musical one; for the number six bears to the number one a sixfold ratio, and the sixfold ratio causes the greatest possible difference between existing tones; the distance namely, by which the sharpest tone is separated from the flattest, as we shall show when we pass on from numbers to the discussion of harmony. Again, the ratio of four to two displays the greatest power in harmony, almost equal to that of the diapason, as is most evidently shown in the rules of that art. And the ratio of four to three effects the first harmony, that in the thirds, which is the diatessaron.

XXXII. (97) The number seven displays also another beauty which it possesses, and one which is most sacred to think of. For as it consists of three and four, it displays in existing things a line which is free from all deviation and upright by nature. And in what way it does so I must show. The rectangular triangle, which is the beginning of all qualities, consists of the numbers and four, and five; and the three and the four, which are the essence of the seven, contain the right angle; for the obtuse angle and the acute angle show irregularity, and disorder, and inequality; for one may be more acute or more obtuse than another. But a right angle does not admit of comparison, nor is one right angle more a right angle than another: but one remains similar to another, never changing its peculiar nature. But if the rightangled triangle is the beginning of all figures and of all qualities, and if the essence of the number seven, that is to say, the numbers three and four together, supply the most necessary part of this, namely, the right angle, then seven may be rightly thought to be the fountain of every figure and of every quality. (98) And besides what has been already advanced, this also may be asserted that three is the number of a plane figure, since a point has been laid down to be, according to a unit, and a line according to the number two, and a plane superficies according to the number three. Also, four is the number of a cube, by the addition of one to the number of a plane superficies, depth being added to the superficies. From which it is plain that the essence of the number seven is the foundation of geometry and trigonometry; and in a word, of all incorporeal and corporeal substances.

XXXIII. (99) And such great sanctity is there in the number seven, that it has a pre-eminent rank beyond all the other numbers in the first decade. For of the other numbers, some produce without being produced, others are produced but have no productive power themselves; others again both produce and are produced. But the number seven alone is contemplated in no part. And this proposition we must confirm by demonstration. Now the number one produces all the other numbers in order, being itself produced absolutely by no other; and the number eight is produced by twice four, but itself produces no other number in the decade. Again, four has the rank of both, that is, of parents and of offspring; for it produces eight when doubled, and it is produced by twice two. (100) But seven alone, as I said before, neither produces nor is produced, on which account other philosophers liken this number to Victory, who had no mother, and to the virgin goddess, whom the fable asserts to have sprung from the head of Jupiter: and the Pythagoreans compare it to the Ruler of all things. For that which neither produces, nor is produced, remains immovable. For generation consists in motion, since that which is generated, cannot be so without motion, both to cause production, and to be produced. And the only thing which neither moves nor is moved, is the Elder, Ruler, and Lord of the universe, of whom the number seven may reasonably be called a likeness. And Philolaus gives his testimony to this doctrine of mine in the following words:—"For God," says he "is the ruler and Lord of all things, being one, eternal, lasting, immovable, himself like to himself, and different from all other beings."

XXXIV. (101) Among the things then which are perceptible only by intellect, the number seven is proved to be the only thing free from motion and accident; but among things perceptible by the external senses, it displays a great and comprehensive power, contributing to the improvement of all terrestrial things, and affecting even the periodical changes of the moon. And in what manner it does this, we must consider. The number seven when compounded of numbers beginning with the unit, makes eight-and-twenty, a perfect number, and one equalized in its parts. And the number so produced, is calculated to reproduce the revolutions of the moon, bringing her back to the point from which she first began to increase in a manner perceptible by the external senses, and to which she returns by waning. For she increases from her first crescent-shaped figure, to that of a half circle in seven days; and in seven more, she becomes a full orb; and then again she turns back, retracing the same path, like a runner of the diaulos, receding from an orb full of light, to a half circle again in seven days, and lastly, in an equal number she diminishes from a half circle to the form of a crescent; and thus the number before mentioned is completed. (102) And the number seven by those persons who are in the habit of employing names with strict propriety is called the perfecting number; because by it, everything is perfected. And any one may receive a confirmation of this from the fact, that every organic body has three dimensions, length, depth, and breadth; and four boundaries, the point, the line, the superficies, and the solid; and by theses, when combined, the number seven is made up. But it would be impossible for bodies to be measured by the number seven, according to the combination of the three dimensions, and the four boundaries, if it did not happen that the ideas of the first numbers, one, two, three and four, in which the number ten is founded, comprised the nature of the number seven. For the aforesaid numbers have four boundaries, the first, the second, the third, the fourth, and three intervals. The first interval being that between one and two; the second, that between two and three; the third, that between three and four.

XXXV. (103) And besides what has been already said, the growth of men from infancy to old age, when measured by the number seven, displays in a most evident manner its perfecting power; for in the first period of seven years, the putting forth of the teeth takes place. And at the end of the second period of the same length, he arrives at the age of puberty: at the end of the third period, the growth of the beard takes place. The fourth period sees him arrive at the fullness of his manly strength. The fifth seven years is the season for marriage. In the sixth period he arrives at the maturity of his understanding. The seventh period is that of the most rapid improvement and growth of both his intellectual and reasoning powers. The eighth is the sum of the perfection of both. In the ninth, his passions assume a mildness and gentleness, from being to a great degree tamed. In the tenth, the desirable end of life comes upon him, while his limbs and organic senses are still unimpaired: for excessive old age is apt to weaken and enfeeble them all. (104) And Solon, the Athenian lawgiver, described these different ages in the following elegiac verses: — In seven years from the earliest breath, The child puts forth his hedge of teeth; When strengthened by a similar span, He first displays some signs of man. As in a third, his limbs increase, A beard buds o’er his changing face. When he has passed a fourth such time, His strength and vigour’s in its prime. When five times seven years o’er his head Have passed, the man should think to wed; At forty two, the wisdom’s clear To shun vile deed of folly or fear: While seven times seven years to sense Add ready wit and eloquence. And seven years further skill admit To raise them to their perfect height. When nine such periods have passed, His powers, though milder grown, still last; When God has granted ten times seven, The aged man prepares for heaven.

XXXVI. (105) Solon therefore thus computes the life of man by the aforesaid ten periods of seven years. But Hippocrates the physician says that there are seven ages of man, infancy, childhood, boyhood, youth, manhood, middle age, old age; and that these too, are measured by periods of seven, though not in the same order. And he speaks thus; ``In the nature of man there are seven seasons, which men call ages; infancy, childhood, boyhood, and the rest. He is an infant till he reaches his seventh year, the age of the shedding of his teeth. He is a child till he arrives at the age of puberty, which takes place in fourteen years. He is a boy till his beard begins to grow, and that time is the end of a third period of seven years. He is a youth till the completion of the growth of his whole body, which coincides with the fourth seven years. Then he is a man till he reaches his forty-ninth year, or seven times seven periods. He is a middle aged man till he is fifty-six, or eight times seven years old; and after that he is an old man. (106) And it is also affirmed for the particular praise of the number seven, that it has a very admirable rank in nature, because it is composed of three and four. And if any one doubles the third number after the unit, he will find a square; and if he doubles the fourth number, he will find a cube. And if he doubles the seventh from both, he will both a cube and a square; therefore, the third number from the unit is a square in a double ratio. And the fourth number, eight, is a cube. And the seventh number, being sixty-four, is both a cube and a square at the same time; so that the seventh number is really a perfecting one, signifying both equalities,—the plane superficies by the square, according to the connection with the number three, and the solid by the cube according to its relationship to the number four; and of the numbers three and four, are composed the number seven.

XXXVII. (107) But this number is not only a perfecter of things, but it is also, so to say, the most harmonious of numbers; and in a manner the source of that most beautiful diagram which describes all the harmonies, that of fourths, and that of fifths, and the diapason. It also comprises all the proportions, the arithmetical, the geometrical, and moreover the harmonic proportion. And the square consists of these numbers, six, eight, nine, and twelve; and eight bears to six the ratio of being one third greater, which is the diatessaron of harmony. And nine bears to six the ratio of being half as great again, which is the ratio of fifths. And twelve is to six, in a twofold proportion; and this is the same as the diapason. (108) The number seven comprises also, as I have said, all the proportions of arithmetical proportion, from the numbers six, and nine, and twelve; for as the number in the middle exceeds the first number by three, it is also exceeded by three by the last number. And geometrical proportion is according to these four numbers. For the same ratio that eight bears to six, that also does twelve bear to nine. And this is the ratio of thirds. Harmonic ratio consists of three numbers, six, and eight, and twelve. (109) But there are two ways of judging of harmonic proportion. One when, whatever ratio the last number bears to the first, the excess by which the last number exceeds the middle one is the same as the excess by which the middle number exceeds the first. And any one may derive a most evident proof of this from the numbers before mentioned, six, and eight, and twelve: for the last number is double the first. And again, the excess of twelve over eight is double the excess of eight over six. For the number twelve exceeds eight by four, and eight exceeds six by two; and four is the double of two. (110) And another test of harmonic proportion is, when the middle term exceeds and is exceeded by those on each side of it, by an equal portion; for eight being the middle term, exceeds the first term by a third part; for if six be subtracted from it, the remainder two is one third of the original number six: and it is exceeded by the last term in an equal proportion; for if eight be taken from twelve, the remainder four is one third of the whole number twelve.

XXXVIII. (111) Let this then be premised, as of necessity it must, respecting the honourable qualities which this diagram or square has, and the name to which it is entitled, and the number seven unfolds an equal number of ideas, and even more in the case of incorporeal things, which are perceptible only by the intellect; and its nature extends also over every visible essence, reaching to both heaven and earth, which are the boundaries of every thing. For what portion of all the things on earth is there which is not fond of seven; being subdued by an affection and longing for the seventh. (112) Accordingly men say, that the heaven is girdled with seven circles, the names of which are as follows; the arctic, the antarctic, the summer tropic, the winter tropic, the equinoctial, the zodiac, and last of all the galaxy. For the horizon is something which affects ourselves, in proportion as any one has acute vision, or the contrary; our sensation cutting off at one time a lesser, and at another time a greater circumference. (113) The planets too, and the corresponding host of fixed stars, are arrayed in seven divisions, displaying a very great sympathy with the air and the earth. For they turn the air towards the times, that are called the seasons of the year, causing in each of them innumerable changes by calm weather, and pleasant breezes, and clouds, and irresistible blasts of wind. And again, they make rivers to overflow and to subside, and turn plains into lakes; and again, on the contrary, they dry up the waters: they also cause the alterations of the seas, when they receded, and return with a reflux. For at times, when the tide recedes on a sudden, an extensive line of shore occupies what is usually a wide gulf of sea; and in a short time afterwards, the waters are brought back, and there appears a sea, sailed over, not by shallow boats, but by ships of exceeding great burden. And they also give increase and perfection to all the terrestrial animals and plants which produce fruit, endowing each with a nature to last a long time, so that new plants may flourish and come to maturity;—the old ones having passed away, in order to provide an abundant supply of necessary things.

XXXIX. (114) Moreover, the constellation Ursa Major, which men call the guide of mariners, consists of seven stars, which the pilots keeping in view, steer in innumerable paths across the sea, directing their endeavours towards an incredible task, beyond the capacity of human intellect. For it is through conjectures, directed by the aforementioned stars, that they have discovered countries which were previously unknown; those who dwell on the continent having discovered islands, and islanders having found out continents. For it was fitting that the recesses both of earth and sea should be revealed to that God-loving animal, the race of mankind, by the purest of essences, namely heaven. (115) And besides the stars above mentioned the band of the Pleiades is also made up of seven stars, the rising and occultation of which are the causes of great benefits to all men. For when they set, the furrows are ploughed up for the purpose of sowing; and when they are about to rise, they bring glad tidings of harvest; and after they have arisen, they awaken the rejoicing husbandman to the collection of their necessary food. And they with joy store up their food for their daily use. (116) And the sun, the ruler of the day, making two equinoxes every year, both in spring and autumn. The spring equinox in the constellation of Aries, and the autumnal one in Libra, gives the most evident demonstration possible of the divine dignity of the number seven. For each of the equinoxes takes place in the seventh month, at which time men are expressly commanded by law to celebrate the greatest and most popular and comprehensive festivals; since it is owing to both these seasons, that all the fruits of the earth are engendered and brought to perfection; the fruit of corn, and all other things which are sown, being owing to the vernal equinox; and that of the vine, and of all the other plants which bear hard berries, of which there are great numbers, to the autumnal one.

XL. (117) And since all the things on the earth depend upon the heavenly bodies according to a certain natural sympathy, it is in heaven too that the ratio of the number seven began, and from thence it descended to us also, coming down to visit the race of mortal men. And so again, besides the dominant part of our mind, our soul is divided into seven divisions; there being five senses, and besides them the vocal organ, and after that the generative power. All which things, like the puppets in a raree show, which are moved by strings by the manager, are at one time quiet, and at another time in motion, each according to its suitable habits and capacities of motion. (118) And in the same way, if any one were to set about investigating the different parts of the body, in both their interior and the exterior arrangement, he will in each case find seven divisions. Those which are visible are as follow;—the head, the chest, the belly, two arms, and two legs; the internal parts, or the entrails, as they are called, are the stomach, the heart, the lungs, the spleen, the liver, and the two kidneys. (119) Again, the principal and dominant part in an animal is the head, and that has seven most necessary divisions: two eyes, an equal number of ears, two channels for the nostrils, and the mouth to make up seven, through which as Plato says, mortal things find their entrance, and immortal things their exit. For into the mouth do enter meat and drink, perishable food of a perishable body; but from out of it proceed words—the immortal laws of an immortal soul, by means of which rational life is regulated.

XLI. (120) Again, the things which are judged of by the best of the senses, sight, partake of number according to their kind. For the things which are seen are seven; body, distance, shape, magnitude, colour, motion, tranquillity, and besides these there is nothing. (121) It also happens that all the changes of the voice amount to seven; the acute, the grave, the contracted, in the fourth place the aspirated sound, the fifth is the tone, the sixth the long, the seventh the short sound. (122) There are also seven motions; the motion upwards, the motion downwards, that to the right, that to the left, the forward motion, the backward motion, and the rotatory motion, as is most especially shown by those who exhibit dances. (123) It is affirmed also that the secretions of the body are performed in the aforesaid number of seven. For tears are poured out through the eyes, and the purifications of the head through the nostrils, and through the mouth the saliva which is spit out; there are, besides two other channels for the evacuation of the superfluities of the body, the one being placed in front and the other behind; the sixth mode of evacuation is the effusion of perspiration over the whole body, and the seventh that most natural exercise of the generative powers. (124) Again, in the case of women, the flux called the catamenia, is usually carried on for seven days. Also, children in the womb receive life at the end of seven months, so that a very extraordinary thing happens: for children who are born at the end of the seventh month live, while those who are born at the expiration of the eighth month are altogether incapable of surviving. (125) Again, the dangerous diseases of the body, especially when lasting fevers, arising from the distemperature of the powers within us, attack us, are usually decided about the seventh day. For that day determines the contest for life, allotting safety to some men, and death to others.

XLII. (126) And the power of this number does not exist only in the instances already mentioned, but it also pervades the most excellent of the sciences, the knowledge of grammar and music. For the lyre with seven strings, bearing a proportion to the assemblage of the seven planets, perfects its admirable harmonies, being almost the chief of all instruments which are conversant about music. And of the elements of grammar, those which are properly called vowels are, correctly speaking, seven in number, since they can be sounded by themselves, and when they are combined with other letters, they make complete sounds; for they fill up the deficiency existing in semi-vowels, making the sounds whole; and they change and alter the natures of the mutes inspiring them with their own power, in order that what has no sound may become endowed with sound. (127) On which account it appears to me that they also originally gave letters their names, and acting as became wise men, did give the name to the number seven from the respect they had for it, and from regard to the dignity inherent in it. But the Romans, adding the letter S, which had been omitted by the Greeks, show still more conspicuously the correct etymological meaning of the word, calling it septem, as derived from semnos, venerable, as has been said before, and from sebasmos, veneration.

XLIII. (128) These things, and more still are said in a philosophical spirit about the number seven, on account of which it has received the highest honours, in the highest nature. And it is honoured by those of the highest reputation among both Greeks and barbarians, who devote themselves to mathematical sciences. It was also greatly honoured by Moses, a man much attached to excellence of all sorts, who described its beauty on the most holy pillars of the law, and wrote it in the hearts of all those who were subject to him, commanding them at the end of each period of six days to keep the seventh holy; abstaining from all other works which are done in the seeking after and providing the means of life, devoting that day to the single object of philosophizing with a view to the improvement of their morals, and the examination of their consciences: for conscience being seated in the soul as a judge, is not afraid to reprove men, sometimes employing pretty vehement threats; at other times by milder admonitions, using threats in regard to matters where men appear to be disobedient, of deliberate purpose, and admonitions when their offences seem involuntary, through want of foresight, in order to prevent their hereafter offending in a similar manner.

XLIV. (129) So Moses, summing up his account of the creation of the world, says in a brief style, "This is the book of the creation of the heaven and of the earth, when it took place, in the day on which God made the heaven and the earth, and every green herb before it appeared upon the earth, and all the grass of the field before it sprang up." Does he not here manifestly set before us incorporeal ideas perceptible only by the intellect, which have been appointed to be as seals of the perfected works, perceptible by the outward senses. For before the earth was green, he says that this same thing, verdure, existed in the nature of things, and before the grass sprang up in the field, there was grass though it was not visible. (130) And we must understand in the case of every thing else which is decided on by the external senses, there were elder forms and motions previously existing, according to which the things which were created were fashioned and measured out. For although Moses did not describe everything collectively, but only a part of what existed, as he was desirous of brevity, beyond all men that ever wrote, still the few things which he has mentioned are examples of the nature of all, for nature perfects none of those which are perceptible to the outward senses without an incorporeal model.

XLV. (131) Then, preserving the natural order of things, and having a regard to the connection between what comes afterwards and what has gone before, he says next, "And a fountain went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the earth." For other philosophers affirm that all water is one of the four elements of which the world was composed. But Moses, who was accustomed to contemplate and comprehend matters with a more acute and far-sighted vision, considers thus: the vast sea is an element, being a fourth part of the entire universe, which the men after him denominated the ocean, while they look upon the smaller seas which we sail over in the light of harbours. And he drew a distinction between the sweet and drinkable water and that of the sea, attributing the former to the earth, and considering it a portion of the earth, rather than of the ocean, on account of the reason which I have already mentioned, that is to say, that the earth may be held together by the sweet qualities of the water as by a chain; the water acting in the manner of glue. For if the earth were left entirely dry, so that no moisture arose and penetrated through its holes rising to the surface in various directions, it would split. But now it is held together, and remains lasting, partly by the force of the wind which unites it, and partly because the moisture does not allow it to become dry, and so to be broken up into larger and smaller fragments. (132) This is one reason; and we must also mention another, which is aimed at the truth like an arrow at a mark. It is not the nature of anything upon the earth to exist without a moist essence. And this is indicated by the throwing of seed, which is either moist, as the seed of animals, or else does not shoot up without moisture, such as the seeds of plants; from which it is evident that it follows that the aforesaid moist essence must be a portion of the earth which produces everything, just as the flux of the catamenia is a part of women. For by men who are learned in natural philosophy, this also is said to be the corporeal essence of children. (133) Nor is what we are about to say inconsistent with what has been said; for nature has bestowed upon every mother, as a most indispensable part of her conformation, breasts gushing forth like fountains, having in this manner provided abundant food for the child that is to be born. And the earth also, as it seems, is a mother, from which consideration it occurred to the early ages to call her Demetra, combining the names of mother (m̄et̄er), and earth (e or d̄e). For it is not the earth which imitates the woman, as Plato has said, but the woman who has imitated the earth which the race of poets has been accustomed with truth to call the mother of all things, and the fruit-bearer, and the giver of all things, since she is at the same time the cause of the generation and durability of all things, to the animals and plants. Rightly, therefore, did nature bestow on the earth as the eldest and most fertile of mothers, streams of rivers, and fountains like breasts, in order that the plants might be watered, and that all living things might have abundant supplies of drink.

XLVI. (134) After this, Moses says that "God made man, having taken clay from the earth, and he breathed into his face the breath of life." And by this expression he shows most clearly that there is a vast difference between man as generated now, and the first man who was made according to the image of God. For man as formed now is perceptible to the external senses, partaking of qualities, consisting of body and soul, man or woman, by nature mortal. But man, made according to the image of God, was an idea, or a genus, or a seal, perceptible only by the intellect, incorporeal, neither male nor female, imperishable by nature. (135) But he asserts that the formation of the individual man, perceptible by the external senses is a composition of earthy substance, and divine spirit. For that the body was created by the Creator taking a lump of clay, and fashioning the human form out of it; but that the soul proceeds from no created thing at all, but from the Father and Ruler of all things. For when he uses the expression, "he breathed into," etc., he means nothing else than the divine spirit proceeding form that happy and blessed nature, sent to take up its habitation here on earth, for the advantage of our race, in order that, even if man is mortal according to that portion of him which is visible, he may at all events be immortal according to that portion which is invisible; and for this reason, one may properly say that man is on the boundaries of a better and an immortal nature, partaking of each as far as it is necessary for him; and that he was born at the same time, both mortal and the immortal. Mortal as to his body, but immortal as to his intellect.

XLVII. (136) But the original man, he who was created out of the clay, the primeval founder of all our race, appears to me to have been most excellent in both particulars, in both soul and body, and to have been very far superior to all the men of subsequent ages from his pre-eminent excellence in both parts. For he in truth was really good and perfect. And one may form a conjecture of the perfection of his bodily beauty from three considerations, the first of which is this: when the earth was now but lately formed by its separation from that abundant quantity of water which was called the sea, it happened that the materials out of which the things just created were formed were unmixed, uncorrupted, and pure; and the things made from this material were naturally free from all imperfection. (137) The second consideration is that it is not likely that God made this figure in the present form of a man, working with the most sublime care, after he had taken the clay from any chance portion of earth, but that he selected carefully the most excellent clay of all the earth, of the pure material choosing the finest and most carefully sifted portion, such as was especially fit for the formation of the work which he had in hand. For it was an abode or sacred temple for a reasonable soul which was being made, the image of which he was about to carry in his heart, being the most God-like looking of images. (138) The third consideration is one which admits of no comparison with those which have been already mentioned, namely, this: the Creator was good both in other respects, and also in knowledge, so that every one of the parts of the body had separately the numbers which were suited to it, and was also accurately completed in the admirable adaptation to the share in the universe of which it was to partake. And after he had endowed it with fair proportions, he clothed it with beauty of flesh, and embellished it with an exquisite complexion, wishing, as far as was possible, that man should appear the most beautiful of beings.

XLVIII. (139) And that he is superior to all these animals in regard of his soul, is plain. For God does not seem to have availed himself of any other animal existing in creation as his model in the formation of man; but to have been guided, as I have said before, by his own reason alone. On which account, Moses affirms that this man was an image and imitation of God, being breathed into in his face in which is the place of the sensations, by which the Creator endowed the body with a soul. Then, having placed the mind in the dominant part as king, he gave him as a body of satellites, the different powers calculated to perceive colours and sounds, and flavours and odours, and other things of similar kinds, which man could never have distinguished by his own resources without the sensations. And it follows of necessity that an imitation of a perfectly beautiful model must itself be perfectly beautiful, for the word of God surpasses even that beauty which exists in the nature which is perceptible only by the external senses, not being embellished by any adventitious beauty, but being itself, if one must speak the truth, its most exquisite embellishment.

XLIX. (140) The first man, therefore, appears to me to have been such both in his body and in his soul, being very far superior to all those who live in the present day, and to all those who have gone before us. For our generation has been from men: but he was created by God. And in the same proportion as the one Author of being is superior to the other, so too is the being that is produced. For as that which is in its prime is superior to that the beauty of which is gone by, whether it be an animal, or a plant, or fruit, or anything else whatever of the productions of nature; so also the first man who was ever formed appears to have been the height of perfection of our entire race, and subsequent generations appear never to have reached an equal state of perfection, but to have at all times been inferior both in their appearance and in their power, and to have been constantly degenerating, (141) which same thing I have also seen to be the case in the instance of the sculptors’ and painters’ art. For the imitations always fall short of the original models. And those works which are painted or fashioned from models must be much more inferior, as being still further removed from the original. And the stone which is called the magnet is subject to a similar deterioration. For any iron ring which touches it is held by it as firmly as possible, but another which only touches that ring is held less firmly. And the third ring hangs from the second, and the fourth from the third, and the fifth from the fourth, and so on one from another in a long chain, being all held together by one attractive power, but still they are not all supported in the same degree. For those which are suspended at a distance from the original attraction, are held more loosely, because the attractive power is weakened, and is no longer able to bind them in an equal degree. And the race of mankind appears to be subject to an influence of the same kind, since in men the faculties and distinctive qualities of both body and soul are less vivid and strongly marked in each succeeding generation. (142) And we shall be only saying what is the plain truth, if we call the original founder of our race not only the first man, but also the first citizen of the world. For the world was his house and his city, while he had as yet no structure made by hands and wrought out of the materials of wood and stone. And in this world he lived as in his own country, in all safety, removed from any fear, inasmuch as he had been thought worthy of the dominion over all earthly things; and had everything that was mortal crouching before him, and taught to obey him as their master, or else constrained to do so by superior force, and living himself surrounded by all the joys which peace can bestow without a struggle and without reproach.

L. (143) But since every city in which laws are properly established, has a regular constitution, it became necessary for this citizen of the world to adopt the same constitution as that which prevailed in the universal world. And this constitution is the right reason of nature, which in more appropriate language is denominated law, being a divine arrangement in accordance with which everything suitable and appropriate is assigned to every individual. But of this city and constitution there must have been some citizens before man, who might be justly called citizens of a mighty city, having received the greatest imaginable circumference to dwell in; and having been enrolled in the largest and most perfect commonwealth. (144) And who could these have been but rational divine natures, some of them incorporeal and perceptible only by intellect, and others not destitute of bodily substance, such in fact as the stars? And he who associated with and lived among them was naturally living in a state of unmixed happiness. And being akin and nearly related to the ruler of all, inasmuch as a great deal of the divine spirit had flowed into him, he was eager both to say and to do everything which might please his father and his king, following him step by step in the paths which the virtues prepare and make plain, as those in which those souls alone are permitted to proceed who consider the attaining a likeness to God who made them as the proper end of their existence.

LI. (145) We have now then set forth the beauty of the first created man in both respects, in body and soul, if in a way much inferior to the reality, still to the extent of our power, and the best of our ability. And it cannot be but that his descendants, who all partake of his original character, must preserve some traces of their relationship to their father, though they may be but faint. And what is this relationship? (146) Every man in regard of his intellect is connected with divine reason, being an impression of, or a fragment or a ray of that blessed nature; but in regard of the structure of his body he is connected with the universal world. For he is composed of the same materials as the world, that is of earth, and water, and air and fire, each of the elements having contributed its appropriate part towards the completion of most sufficient materials, which the Creator was to take in order to fashion this visible image. (147) And, moreover, man dwells among all the things that have been just enumerated, as most appropriate places having the closest connection with himself, changing his abode, and going at different times to different places. So that one may say with the most perfect propriety that man is every kind of animal, terrestrial, aquatic, flying, and celestial. For inasmuch as he dwells and walks upon the earth he is a terrestrial animal; but inasmuch as he often dives and swims, and sails, he is an aquatic creature. And merchants and captains of ships and purple dyers, and all those who let down their nets for oysters an fish, are a very clear proof of what is here said. Again, inasmuch as his body is raised at times above the earth and uses high paths, he may with justice be pronounced a creature who traverses the air; and, moreover, he is a celestial animal, by reason of that most important of the senses, sight; being by it brought near the sun and moon, and each of the stars, whether planets or fixed stars.

LII. (148) And with great beauty Moses has attributed the giving of names to the different animals to the first created man, for it is a work of wisdom and indicative of royal authority, and man was full of intuitive wisdom and self-taught, having been created by the grace of God, and, moreover, was a king. And it is proper for a ruler to give names to each of his subjects. And, as was very natural, the power of domination was excessive in that first-created man, whom God formed with great care and thought worthy of the second rank in the creation, making him his own viceroy and the ruler of all other creatures. Since even those who have been born so many generations afterwards, when the race is becoming weakened by reason of the long intervals of time that have elapsed since the beginning of the world, do still exert the same power over the irrational beasts, preserving as it were a spark of the dominion and power which has been handed down to them by succession from their first ancestor. (149) Accordingly, Moses says, that "God brought all the animals to man, wishing to see what names he would give to each." Not because he knew that he had formed in mortal man a rational nature capable of moving of its own accord, in order that he might be free from all participation in vice. But he was now trying him as a master might try his pupil, stirring up the disposition which he had implanted in him; and moreover exciting him to a contemplation of his own works, that he might extemporise them names which should not be inappropriate nor unbecoming, but which should well and clearly display the peculiar qualities of the different subjects. (150) For as the rational nature was as yet uncorrupted in the soul, and as no weakness, or disease, or affliction had as yet come upon it, man having most pure and perfect perceptions of bodies and of things, devised names for them with great felicity and correctness of judgment, forming very admirable opinions as to the qualities which they displayed, so that their natures were at once perceived and correctly described by him. And he was so excellent in all good things that he speedily arrived at the very perfection of human happiness.

LIII. (151) But since nothing in creation lasts for ever, but all mortal things are liable to inevitable changes and alterations, it was unavoidable that the first man should also undergo some disaster. And the beginning of his life being liable to reproach, was his wife. For, as long as he was single, he resembled, as to his creation, both the world and God; and he represented in his soul the characteristics of the nature of each, I do not mean all of them, but such as a mortal constitution was capable of admitting. But when woman also was created, man perceiving a closely connected figure and a kindred formation to his own, rejoiced at the sight, and approached her and embraced her. (152) And she, in like manner, beholding a creature greatly resembling herself, rejoiced also, and addressed him in reply with due modesty. And love being engendered, and, as it were, uniting two separate portions of one animal into one body, adapted them to each other, implanting in each of them a desire of connection with the other with a view to the generation of a being similar to themselves. And this desire caused likewise pleasure to their bodies, which is the beginning of iniquities and transgressions, and it is owing to this that men have exchanged their previously immortal and happy existence for one which is mortal and full of misfortune.

LVI. (153) But while man was still living a solitary life, and before woman was created, the history relates that a paradise was planted by God in no respect resembling the parks which are seen among men now. For parks of our day are only lifeless woods, full of all kinds of trees, some evergreen with a view to the undisturbed delectation of the sight; others budding and germinating in the spring season, and producing fruit, some eatable by men, and sufficient, not only for the necessary support of nature as food, but also for the superfluous enjoyment of luxurious life; and some not eatable by men, but of necessity bestowed upon the beasts. But in the paradise, made by God, all the plants were endowed in the souls and reason, producing for their fruit the different virtues, and, moreover, imperishable wisdom and prudence, by which honourable and dishonourable things are distinguished from one another, and also a life free from disease, and exempt from corruption, and all other qualities corresponding to these already mentioned. (154) And these statements appear to me to be dictated by a philosophy which is symbolical rather than strictly accurate. For no trees of life or of knowledge have ever at any previous time appeared upon the earth, nor is it likely that any will appear hereafter. But I rather conceive that Moses was speaking in an allegorical spirit, intending by his paradise to intimate the dominant character of the soul, which is full of innumerable opinions as this figurative paradise was of trees. And by the tree of life he was shadowing out the greatest of the virtues—namely, piety towards the gods, by means of which the soul is made immortal; and by the tree which had the knowledge of good an evil, he was intimating that wisdom and moderation, by means of which things, contrary in their nature to one another, are distinguished.

LV. (155) Therefore, having laid down these to be boundaries as it were in the soul, God then, like a judge, began to consider to which side men would be most inclined by nature. And when he saw that the disposition of man had a tendency to wickedness, and was but little inclined to holiness or piety, by which qualities an immortal life is secured, he drove them forth as was very natural, and banished him from paradise; giving no hope of any subsequent restoration to his soul which had sinned in such a desperate and irremediable manner. Since even the opportunity of deceit was blameable in no slight degree, which I must not pass over in this place. (156) It is said that the old poisonous and earthborn reptile, the serpent, uttered the voice of a man. And he on one occasion coming to the wife of the first created man, reproached her with her slowness and her excessive prudence, because she delayed and hesitated to gather the fruit which was completely beautiful to look at, and exceedingly sweet to enjoy, and was, moreover, most useful as being a means by which men might be able to distinguish between good an evil. And she, without any inquiry, prompted by an unstable and rash mind, acquiesced in his advice, and ate of the fruit, and gave a portion of it to her husband. And this conduct suddenly changed both of them from innocence and simplicity of character to all kinds of wickedness; at which the Father of all was indignant. For their actions deserved his anger, inasmuch as they, passing by the tree of eternal life, the tree which might have endowed them with perfection of virtue, and by means of which they might have enjoyed a long and happy life, preferred a brief and mortal (I will not call it life, but) time full of unhappiness; and, accordingly, he appointed them such punishment as was befitting.

LVI. (157) And these things are not mere fabulous inventions, in which the race of poets and sophists delights, but are rather types shadowing forth some allegorical truth, according to some mystical explanation. And any one who follows a reasonable train of conjecture, will say with great propriety, that the aforesaid serpent is the symbol of pleasure, because in the first place he is destitute of feet, and crawls on his belly with his face downwards. In the second place, because he uses lumps of clay for food. Thirdly, because he bears poison in his teeth, by which it is his nature to kill those who are bitten by him. (158) And the man devoted to pleasure is free form none of the aforementioned evils; for it is with difficulty that he can raise his head, being weighed down and dragged down, since intemperance trips him up and keeps him down. And he feeds, not on heavenly food, which wisdom offers to contemplative men by means of discourses and opinions; but on that which is put forth by the earth in the varying seasons of the year, from which arise drunkenness and voracity, and licentiousness, breaking through and inflaming the appetites of the belly, and enslaving them in subjection to gluttony, by which they strengthen the impetuous passions, the seat of which is beneath the belly; and make them break forth. And they lick up the result of the labours of cooks and tavern-keepers; and at times some of them in ecstasy with the flavour of the delicious food, moves about his head and reaches forward, being desirous to participate in the sight. And when he sees an expensively furnished table, he throws himself bodily upon the delicacies which are abundantly prepared, and devotes himself to them, wishing to be filled with them all together, and so to depart, having no other end in view than that he should allow nothing of such a sumptuous preparation to be wasted. Owing to which conduct, he too, carries about poison in his teeth, no less than the serpent does; (159) for his teeth are the ministers and servants of his insatiability, cutting up and smoothing everything which has a reference to eating, and committing them, in the first place to the tongue, which decides upon, and distinguishes between the various flavours, and, subsequently, to the larynx. But immoderate indulgence in eating is naturally a poisonous and deadly habit, inasmuch as what is so devoured is not capable of digestion, in consequence of the quantity of additional food which is heaped in on the top of it, and arrives before what was previously eaten is converted into juice. (160) And the serpent is said to have uttered a human voice, because pleasure employs innumerable champions and defenders who take care to advocate its interests, and who dare to assert that the power over everything, both small and great, does of right belong to it without any exception whatever.

LVII. (161) Now, the first approaches of the male to the female have a pleasure in them which brings on other pleasures also, and it is through this pleasure that the formation and generation of children is carried on. And what is generated by it appears to be attached to nothing rather than to it, since they rejoice in pleasure, and are impatient at pain, which is its contrary. On which account even the infant when first brought forth cries, being as it seems in pain at the cold. For coming forth on a sudden into the air from a very warm, and indeed, hot region namely, the womb, in which it has been abiding a considerable time, the air being a cold place and one to which it is wholly unaccustomed, it is alarmed, and pours forth tears as the most evident proof of its grief and of its impatience at pain. (162) For every animal, it is said, hastens to pleasure as to the cud which is most indispensable and necessary to its very existence; and, above all other animals, this is the case with man. For other animals pursue pleasure only in taste and in the acts of generation; but man aims at it by means of his other senses also, devoting himself to whatever sights or sounds can impart pleasure to his eyes or ears. (163) And many other things are said in the way of praise of this inclination, especially that it is one most peculiar and kindred to all animals.

LVIII. But what has been already said is sufficient to show what the reasons were on account of which the serpent appears to have uttered a human voice. And it is on this account that Moses appears to me in the particular laws also which he issued in the respect to animals, deciding what were proper to be eaten, and what were not, to have given especial praise to the animal called the serpent fighter. This is a reptile with jointed legs above its feet, by which it is able to leap and to raise itself on high, in the same manner as the tribe of locusts. (164) For the serpent fighter appears to me to be no other than temperance expressed under a symbolical figure, waging an interminable and unrelenting warfare against intemperance and pleasure. For temperance especially embraces economy and frugality, and pares down the necessities to a small number, preferring a life of austerity and dignity. But intemperance is devoted to extravagance and superfluity, which are the causes of luxury and effeminacy to both soul and body, and to which it is owing that in the opinion of wise men life is but a faulty thing, and more miserable than death.

LIX. (165) But its juggleries and deceits pleasure does not venture to bring directly to the man, but first offers them to the woman, and by her means to the man; acting in a very natural and sagacious manner. For in human beings the mind occupies the rank of the man, and the sensations that of the woman. And pleasure joins itself to and associates itself with the sensations first of all, and then by their means cajoles also the mind, which is the dominant part. For, after each of the senses have been subjected to the charms of pleasure, and has learnt to delight in what is offered to it, the sight being fascinated by varieties of colours and shapes, the hearing by harmonious sounds, the taste by the sweetness of flowers, and the smell by the delicious fragrance of the odours which are brought before it, these all having received these offerings, like handmaids, bring them to the mind as their master, leading with them persuasion as an advocate, to warn it against rejecting any of them whatever. And the mind being immediately caught by the bait, becomes a subject instead of a ruler, and a slave instead of a master, and an exile instead of a citizen, and a mortal instead of an immortal. (166) For we must altogether not be ignorant that pleasure, being like a courtesan or mistress, is eager to meet with a lover, and seeks for panders in order by their means to catch a lover. And the sensations are her panders, and conciliate love to her, and she employing them as baits, easily brings the mind into subjection to her. And the sensations conveying within the mind the things which have been seen externally, explain and display the forms of each of them, setting their seal upon a similar affection. For the mind is like wax, and receives the impressions of appearances through the sensations, by means of which it makes itself master of the body, which of itself it would not be able to do, as I have already said.

LX. (167) And those who have previously become the slaves of pleasure immediately receive the wages of this miserable and incurable passion. For the woman having received vehement pains, partly in her travail, and partly such as are a rapid succession of agonies during the other portions of her life, and especially with reference to the bringing forth and bringing up of her children, to their diseases and their health, to their good or evil fortune, to an extent that utterly deprives her of her freedom and subjects her to the dominion of the man who is her companion, finds it unavoidable to obey all his commands. And the man in his turn endures toils and labours, and continual sweats, in order to the providing of himself with necessaries, and he also bears the deprivation of all those spontaneous good things which the earth was originally taught to produce without requiring the skill of the farmer, and he is subjected to a state in which he lives in incessant labour, for the purpose of seeking for food and means of subsistence, in order to avoid perishing by hunger. (168) For I think that as the sun and the moon do continually give light, ever since they were originally commanded to do so at the time of the original creation of the universe, and as they constantly obey the divine injunction, for the sake of no other reason but because evil and disobedience are banished to a distance far from the boundaries of heaven: so in the same way would the fertile and productive regions of the earth yield an immense abundance in the various seasons of the year, without any skill or co-operation on the part of the husbandman. But at present the ever-flowing fountains of the graces of God have been checked, from the time when wickedness began to increase faster than the virtues, in order that they might not be supplying men who were unworthy to be benefited by them. (169) Therefore, the race of mankind, if it had met with strict and befitting justice, must have been utterly destroyed, because of its ingratitude to God its benefactor and its Saviour. But God, being merciful by nature, took pity upon them, and moderated their punishment. And he permitted the race to continue to exist, but he no longer gave them food as he had done before from ready prepared stores, lest if they were under the dominion of his evils, satiety and idleness, they should become unruly and insolent.

LXI. (170) Such is the life of those who originally were men of innocence and simplicity, and also of those who have come to prefer vice to virtue, from whom one ought to keep aloof. And in his before mentioned account of the creation of the world, Moses teaches us also many other things, and especially five most beautiful lessons which are superior to all others. In the first place, for the sake of convicting the atheists, he teaches us that the Deity has a real being and existence. Now, of the atheists, some have only doubted of the existence of God, stating it to be an uncertain thing; but others, who are more audacious, have taken courage, and asserted positively that there is no such thing; but this is affirmed only by men who have darkened the truth with fabulous inventions. (171) In the second place he teaches us that God is one; having reference here to the assertors of the polytheistic doctrine; men who do not blush to transfer that worst of evil constitutions, ochlocracy, from earth to heaven. Thirdly, he teaches, as has been already related, that the world was created; by this lesson refuting those who think that it is uncreated and eternal, and who thus attribute no glory to God. In the fourth place we learn that the world also which was thus created is one, since also the Creator is one, and he, making his creation to resemble himself in its singleness, employed all existing essence in the creation of the universe. For it would not have been complete if it had not been made and composed of all parts which were likewise whole and complete. For there are some persons who believe that there are many worlds, and some who even fancy that they are boundless in extent, being themselves inexperienced and ignorant of the truth of those things of which it is desirable to have a correct knowledge. The fifth lesson that Moses teaches us is, that God exerts his providence for the benefit of the world. (172) For it follows of necessity that the Creator must always care for that which he has created, just as parents do also care for their children. And he who has learnt this not more by hearing it than by his own understanding, and has impressed on his own soul these marvellous facts which are the subject of so much contention—namely, that God has a being and existence, and that he who so exists is really one, and that he has created the world, and that he has created it one as has been stated, having made it like to himself in singleness; and that he exercises a continual care for that which he has created will live a happy and blessed life, stamped with the doctrines of piety and holiness.



I. (1) "And the heaven and the earth and all their world was completed." Having previously related the creation of the mind and of sense, Moses now proceeds to describe the perfection which was brought about by them both. And he says that neither the indivisible mind nor the particular sensations received perfection, but only ideas, one the idea of the mind, the other of sensation. And, speaking symbolically, he calls the mind heaven, since the natures which can only be comprehended by the intellect are in heaven. And sensation he calls earth, because it is sensation which has obtained a corporeal and somewhat earthy constitution. The ornaments of the mind are all the incorporeal things, which are perceptible only by the intellect. Those of sensation are the corporeal things, and everything in short which is perceptible by the external senses.

II. (2) "And on the sixth day God finished his work which he had made." It would be a sign of great simplicity to think that the world was created in six days, or indeed at all in time; because all time is only the space of days and nights, and these things the motion of the sun as he passes over the earth and under the earth does necessarily make. But the sun is a portion of heaven, so that one must confess that time is a thing posterior to the world. Therefore it would be correctly said that the world was not created in time, but that time had its existence in consequence of the world. For it is the motion of the heaven that has displayed the nature of time. (3) When, therefore, Moses says, "God completed his works on the sixth day," we must understand that he is speaking not of a number of days, but that he takes six as a perfect number. Since it is the first number which is equal in its parts, in the half, and the third and sixth parts, and since it is produced by the multiplication of two unequal factors, two and three. And the numbers two and three exceed the incorporeality which exists in the unit; because the number two is an image of matter being divided into two parts and dissected like matter. And the number three is an image of a solid body, because a solid can be divided according to a threefold division. (4) Not but what it is also akin to the motions of organic animals. For an organic body is naturally capable of motion in six directions, forward, backwards, upwards, downwards, to the right, and to the left. And at all events he desires to show that the races of mortal, and also of all the immortal beings, exist according to their appropriate numbers; measuring mortal beings, as I have said, by the number six, and the blessed and immortal beings by the number seven. (5) First, therefore, having desisted from the creation of mortal creatures on the seventh day, he began the formation of other and more divine beings.

III. For God never ceases from making something or other; but, as it is the property of fire to burn, and of snow to chill, so also it is the property of God to be creating. And much more so, in proportion as he himself is to all other beings the author of their working. (6) Therefore the expression, "he caused to rest," is very appropriately employed here, not "he rested." For he makes things to rest which appear to be producing others, but which in reality do not effect anything; but he himself never ceases from creating. On which account Moses says, "He caused to rest the things which he had begun." For all the things that are made by our arts when completed stand still and remain; but all those which are accomplished by the knowledge of God are moved at subsequent times. For their ends are the beginnings of other things; as, for instance, the end of day is the beginning of night. And in the same way we must look upon months and years when they come to an end as the beginning of those which are just about to follow them. (7) And so the generation of other things which are destroyed, and the destruction of others which are generated is completed, so that that is true which is said that—And nought that is created wholly dies; But one thing parted and combined with others Produces a fresh form.

IV. (8) But nature delights in the number seven. For there are seven planets, going in continual opposition to the daily course of the heaven which always proceeds in the same direction. And likewise the constellation of the Bear is made up of seven stars, which constellation is the cause of communication and unity among men, and not merely of traffic. Again, the periodical changes of the moon, take place according to the number seven, that star having the greatest sympathy with the things on earth. And the changes which the moon works in the air, it perfects chiefly in accordance with its own configurations on each seventh day. (9) At all events, all mortal things, as I have said before, drawing their more divine nature from the heaven, are moved in a manner which tends to their preservation in accordance with this number seven. For who is there who does not know that those infants who are born at the end of the seventh month are likely to live, but those who have taken a longer time, so as to have abided eight months in the womb, are for the most part abortive births? (10) And they say that man is a reasoning being in his first seven years, by which time he is a competent interpreter of ordinary nouns and verbs, making himself master of the faculty of speaking. And in his second period of seven years, he arrives at the perfection of his nature; and this perfection is the power of generating a being like himself; for at about the age of fourteen we are able to beget a creature resembling ourselves. Again, the third period of seven years is the termination of his growth; for up to the age of one and twenty years man keeps on increasing in size, and this time is called by many maturity. (11) Again, the irrational portion of the soul is divisible into seven portions; the five senses, and the organ of speech, and the power of generation. (12) Again, the motions of the body are seven; the six organic motions, and the rotatory motion. Also the entrails are seven—the stomach, the heart, the spleen, the liver, the lungs, and the two kidneys. In like manner the limbs of the body amount to an equal number—the head, the neck, the chest, the two hands, the belly, the two feet. Also the most important part of the animal, the face, is divisible according to a sevenfold division—the two eyes, and the two ears, and as many nostrils, and in the seventh place, the mouth. (13) Again, the secretions are seven—tears, mucus from the nose, saliva, the generative fluid, the two excremental discharges, and the sweat that proceeds from every part of the body. Moreover, in diseases the seventh day is the most critical period—and in women the catamenial purifications extend to the seventh day.

V. (14) And the power of this number has extended also to the most useful of the arts— namely, to grammar. At all events, in grammar, the most excellent of the elements, and those which have the most powers, are the seven vowels. And likewise in music, the lyre with seven strings is nearly the best of all instruments; because the euharmonic principle which is the most dignifiedof all the principles of melody, is especially perceived in connection with it. Again, it happens that the tones of the voice are seven—the acute, the grave, the contracted, the aspirate, the lene, the long and the short sound. (15) The number seven is also the first number which is compounded of the perfect number, that is to say of six, and of the unit. And in some sense the numbers which are below ten are either generated by, or do themselves generate those numbers which are below ten, and the number ten itself. But the number seven neither generates any of the numbers below ten, nor is it generated by any of them. On which account the Pythagoreans compare this number to the Goddess always a virgin who was born without a mother, because it was not generated by any other, and will not generate any other.

VI. (16) "Accordingly, on the seventh day, God caused to rest from all his works which he had made." Now, the meaning of this sentence is something of this kind. God ceases from forming the races of mortal creatures when he begins to create the divine races, which are akin to the nature of the number seven. And the reference which is here contained to their moral character is of the following nature. When that reason which is holy in accordance with the number seven has entered into the soul the number six is then arrested, and all the mortal things which this number appears to make.

VII. (17) "And God blessed the seventh day, and hallowed it." God blesses the manners which are formed in accordance with the seventh and divine light, as being truly light, and immediately declares them holy. For that which is blessed, and that which is holy, are closely connected with one another. On this account he says, concerning him who has vowed a great vow, that "If a sudden change comes over him, and pollutes his mind, he shall no longer be holy." But the previous days were not taken into the calculation, as was natural. For those manners which are not holy are not counted, so that which is blessed is alone holy. (18) Correctly therefore, did Moses say that "God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it," because on it he "caused to rest from all his works which he had begun to make." And this is the reason why he who lives and conducts himself in accordance with the seventh and perfect light is blessed and holy, since it is in accordance with his nature, that the creation of mortal beings was terminated. For the case is thus: when the light of virtue, which is brilliant and really divine, rises up, then the generation of the contrary nature is checked. And we have shown that God never desists from creating something, but that when he appears to do so he is only beginning the creation of something else; as being not only, the Creator, but also the Father of everything which exists.

VIII. (19) "This is the book of the generation of heaven and earth, when they were created." This is perfect reason, which is put in motion in accordance with the number seven, being the beginning of the creation of that mind which was arranged according to the ideas, and also of the sensation arranged according to the ideas, and perceptible only by the intellect, if one can speak in such a manner. And Moses calls the word of God a book, in which it is come to pass that the formations of other things are written down and engraved. (20) But, lest you should imagine that the Deity does anything according to definite periods of time, while you should rather think that everything done by him is inscrutable in its nature, uncertain, unknown to, and incomprehensible by the race of mortal men. Moses adds the words, "when they were created," not defining the time when by any exact limitation, for what has been made by the Author of all things has no limitation. And in this way the idea is excluded, that the universe was created in six days.

IX. (21) "On which day God created the heaven and the earth, and every green herb of the field, before it appeared upon the earth, and all the grass of the field before it sprang up. For God did not rain upon the earth, and man did not exist to cultivate the earth." This day Moses has previously called a book, since at least he describes the generation of both heaven and earth in each place. For by his most conspicuous and brilliant word, by one command, God makes both things: the idea of mind, which, speaking symbolically, he calls heaven, and the idea of sensation, which by a sign he named earth. (22) And he likens the idea of mind, and the idea of sensation to two fields; for the mind brings forth fruit, which consists in having intellectual perception; and sensation brings forth other fruits which consist in perceiving by the agency of the external senses. And what he says has the following meaning;—as there was a previously existing idea of the particular mind, and also of the indivisible minds to serve as an archetype and model for either; and also a pre-existent idea of particular sensation, being, so to say, a sort of seal which gave impressions of forms, so before particular things perceptible only by the intellect had any existence, there was a pre-existent abstract idea of what was perceptible only by intellect, by participation in which the other things also received their names; and before particular objects perceptible by the external senses, existed, there was also a generic something perceptible by the external senses, in accordance with a participation in which, the other things perceptible by the external senses were created. (23) By "the green herb of the field," Moses means that portion of the mind which is perceptible only by intellect. For as in the field green things spring up and flourish, so also that which is perceptible only by the intellect is the fruit of the mind. Therefore, before the particular something perceptible only by intellect existed, God created the general something perceptible only by intellect, which also he correctly denominated the universe. For since the particular something perceptible only by intellect is incomplete, that is not the universe; but that which is generic is the universe, as being complete.

X. (24) "And all the grass of the field," he proceeds, "before it sprang up." That is to say, before the particular things perceptible by the external senses sprang up, there existed the generic something perceptible by the external senses through the fore-knowledge of the Creator, which he again called "the universe." And very naturally he likened the things perceptible by the external senses to grass. For as grass is the food of irrational animals, so also that which is perceptible by the external senses is assigned to the irrational portion of the soul. For why, when he has previously mentioned "the green herb of the field," does he add also "and all the grass," as if grass were not green at all? But the truth is, that by the green herb of the field, he means that which is perceptible by the intellect only, the budding forth of the mind. But grass means that which is perceptible by the external senses, that being likewise the produce of the irrational part of the soul. (25) "For God did not rain upon the earth, and man did not exist to cultivate the earth," speaking in the strictest accordance with natural philosophy. For if God did not shed the perceptions of things subject to them, like rain upon the senses, in that case the mind too would not labour nor employ itself about sensation. For he himself would be unable to effect anything by himself, unless he were to pour forth, like rain or dew, colours upon the sight, and sounds upon the hearing, and flavour on the tastes, and on all the other senses, the things proper to produce the requisite effects. (26) But when God begins to rain sensation on the things perceptible by the external senses, then also the mind is perceived to act like the cultivator of fertile soil. But the idea of sensation, which he, speaking figuratively, has called the earth, is in no need of nourishment. But the nourishment of the senses, are the particular objects perceptible by the external senses; and these objects are bodies. But an idea is a thing different from bodies. Before, therefore, there existed any individual compound substances, God did not rain upon that idea of sensation to which he gave the name of the earth. And that means that he did not furnish it with any nourishment; for, indeed, it had altogether no need of any object perceptible by the external senses. (27) But when Moses says, "And man did not exist to cultivate the earth," that means that the idea of intellect did not labour upon the idea of the sensations. For my intellect and yours work up the sensations by means of things perceptible by the external senses: but the idea of mind as must be the case while there is no individual body connected with it does not work upon the idea of sensation. For if it did so work, it would of course work by means of objects, perceptible by the external senses. But there is no such object in ideas.

XI. (28) "But a fountain went up upon the earth, and watered all the face of the earth." He here calls the mind the fountain of the earth, and the sensations he calls the face of the earth, because there is the most suitable place in the whole body for them, with reference to their appropriate energies, a place that nature which foreknows everything, has assigned to them. And the mind waters the sensations like a fountain, sending appropriate streams over each. See now how all the powers of a living animal depend upon one another like a chain. For as the mind, and sensations, and the object perceptible by the external sense are three different things, the middle term is sensation; and the mind, and the object perceptible by the external sense, are the two extremes. (29) But the mind is unable to work; that is to say, to energize according to sensation, unless God rains upon and irrigates the object perceptible by the external senses, nor is there any advantage from the object perceptible to the external sense when watered, unless the mind, like a fountain, extending itself as far as the sensation, puts it in motion when it is quiet, and leads it on to a comprehension of the subject. So that the mind, and the object perceptible by the external senses, are always endeavouring to reciprocate with one another, the one the being subject to the sensations as a kind of material would be, and the mind stirring up the sensations toward the external object, as a workman would do, in order to create an appetite. (30) For a living animal is superior to that which is not a living animal in two points, imagination and appetite. Accordingly, imagination consists in the approach of the external object striking the mind by means of the sensations. And appetite is the brother of imagination, according to the intensive power of the mind, which the mind keeps on the stretch, by means of the sensation, and so touches the subject matter, and comes over to it, being eager to arrive at and comprehend it.

XII. (31) "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. (32) And we must consider that the man who was formed of earth, means the mind which is to be infused into the body, but which has not yet been so infused. And this mind would be really earthly and corruptible, if it were not that God had breathed into it the spirit of genuine life; for then it "exists," and is no longer made into a soul; and its soul is not inactive, and incapable of proper formation, but a really intellectual and living one. "For man," says Moses, "became a living soul."

XIII. (33) But some one may ask, why God thought an earth-born mind, which was wholly devoted to the body, worthy of divine inspiration, and yet did not treat the one made after his own idea and image in the same manner. In the second place he may ask, what is the meaning of the expression "breathed into." And thirdly, why he breathed into his face: fourthly also, why, since he knew the name of the Spirit when he says, "And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters," he now speaks of breath, and not of the Spirit. (34) Now in reply to the first question we must say this one thing; God being very munificent gives his good things to all men, even to those who are not perfect; inviting them to a participation and rivalry in virtue, and at the same time displaying his abundant riches, and showing that it is sufficient for those also who will not be greatly benefited by it; and he also shows this in the most evident manner possible in other cases; for when he rains on the sea, and when he raises up fountains in desert places, and waters shallow and rough and unproductive land, making the rivers to overflow with floods, what else is he doing but displaying the great abundance of his riches and of his goodness? This is the cause why he has created no soul in such a condition as to be wholly barren of good, even if the employment of that good be beyond the reach of some people. (35) We must also give a second reason, which is this: Moses wished to represent all the actions of the Deity as just—therefore a man who had not had a real life breathed into him, but who was ignorant of virtue, when he was chastised for the sins which he had committed would say that he was punished unjustly, in that it was only through ignorance of what was good that he had erred respecting it; and that he was to blame who had not breathed any proper wisdom into him; and perhaps he will even say, that he has absolutely committed no offence whatever; since some people affirm that actions done involuntarily and in ignorance have not the nature of offences. (36) Now the expression "breathed into" is equivalent to "inspired," or "gave life to" things inanimate: for let us take care that we are never filled with such absurdity as to think that God employs the organs of the mouth or nostrils for the purpose of breathing into anything; for God is not only devoid of peculiar qualities, but he is likewise not of the form of man, and the use of these words shows some more secret mystery of nature; (37) for there must be three things, that which breathes in, that which receives what is breathed in, and that which is breathed in. Now that which breathes in is God, that which receives what is breathed in is the mind, and that which is breathed in is the spirit. What then is collected from these three things? A union of the three takes place, through God extending the power, which proceeds from himself through the spirit, which is the middle term, as far as the subject. Why does he do this, except that we may thus derive a proper notion of him? (38) Since how could the soul have perceived God if he had not inspired it, and touched it according to his power? For human intellect would not have dared to mount up to such a height as to lay claim to the nature of God, if God himself had not drawn it up to himself, as far as it was possible for the mind of man to be drawn up, and if he had not formed it according to those powers which can be comprehended. (39) And God breathed into man’s face both physically and morally. Physically, when he placed the senses in the face: and this portion of the body above all others is vivified and inspired; and morally, in this manner, as the face is the dominant portion of the body, so also is the mind the dominant portion of the soul. It is into this alone that God breathes; but the other parts, the sensations, the power of speech, and the power of generation, he does not think worthy of his breath, for they are inferior in power. (40) By what then were these subordinate parts inspired? beyond all question by the mind; for of the qualities which the mind has received form God, it gives a share to the irrational portion of the soul, so that the mind is vivified by God, and the irrational part of the soul by the mind; for the mind is as it were a god to the irrational part of the soul, for which reason Moses did not hesitate to call it "the god of Pharaoh." (41) For of all created things some are created by God, and through him: some not indeed by God, but yet through him: and the rest have their existence both by him and through him. At all events Moses as he proceeds says, that God planted a paradise, and among the best things as made both by God and through God, is the mind. But the irrational part of the soul was made indeed by God but not through God, but through the reasoning power which bears rule and sovereignty in the soul; (42) and Moses has used the word "breath," not "spirit," as there is a difference between the two words; for spirit is conceived of according to strength, and intensity, and power; but breath is a gentle and moderate kind of breeze and exhalation; therefore the mind, which was created in accordance with the image and idea of God, may be justly said to partake in his spirit, for its reasoning has strength: but that which is derived from matter is only a partaker in a thin and very light air, being as it were a sort of exhalation, such as arises from spices; for they, although they be preserved intact, and are not exposed to fire or fumigation, do nevertheless emit a certain fragrance.

XIV. (43) "And God planted a paradise in Eden, in the east: and there he placed the man whom he had formed:" for he called that divine and heavenly wisdom by many names; and he made it manifest that it had many appellations; for he called it the beginning, and the image, and the sight of God. And now he exhibits the wisdom which is conversant about the things of the earth (as being an imitation of this archetypal wisdom), in the plantation of this Paradise. For let not such impiety ever occupy our thoughts as for us to suppose that God cultivates the land and plants paradises, since if we were to do so, we should be presently raising the question of why he does so: for it could not be that he might provide himself with pleasant places of recreation and pastime, or with amusement. (44) Let not such fabulous nonsense ever enter our minds; for even the whole world would not be a worthy place or habitation for God, since he is a place to himself, and he himself is full of himself, and he himself is sufficient for himself, filling up and surrounding everything else which is deficient in any respect, or deserted, or empty; but he himself is surrounded by nothing else, as being himself one and the universe. (45) God therefore sows and implants terrestrial virtue in the human race, being an imitation and representation of the heavenly virtue. For, pitying our race, and seeing that it is exposed to abundant and innumerable evils, he firmly planted terrestrial virtue as an assistant against and warderoff of the diseases of the soul; being, as I have said before, an imitation of the heavenly and archetypal wisdom which he calls by various names. Now virtue is called a paradise metaphorically, and the appropriate place for the paradise is Eden; and this means luxury: and the most appropriate field for virtue is peace, and ease, and joy; in which real luxury especially consists. (46) Moreover, the plantation of this paradise is represented in the east; for right reason never sets, and is never extinguished, but it is its nature to be always rising. And as I imagine, the rising sun fills the darkness of the air with light, so also does virtue when it has arisen in the soul, irradiate its mist and dissipate the dense darkness. (47) "And there," says Moses, "he placed the man whom he had formed:" for God being good, and having formed our race for virtue, as his work which was most akin to himself, places the mind in virtue, evidently in order that it, like a good husband, may cultivate and attend to nothing else except virtue.

XV. (48) And some one may ask here, why, since it is a pious action to imitate the works of God, it is forbidden to me to plant a grove near the altar, and yet God plants a paradise? For Moses says, "You shall not plant a grove for yourself; you shall not make for yourself any tree which is near the altar of the Lord your God." What then are we to say? That it is right for God to plant and to build up the virtues in the soul. (49) But the selfish and atheistical mind, thinking itself equal with God while it appears to be doing something, is found in reality to be rather suffering. And though God sows and plants good things in the soul, the mind which says, "I plant," is acting impiously. You shall not plant therefore where God is planting: but if, O mind, you fix plants in the soul, take care to plant only such trees as bear fruit, and not a grove; for in a grove there are trees of a character to bear cultivation, and also wild trees. But to plant vice, which is unproductive in the soul, along with cultivated and fertile virtue, is the act of a double natured and confused leprosy. (50) If, however, you bring into the same place things which ought not to be mingled together, you must separate and disjoin them from the pure and incorrupt nature which is accustomed to make blameless offerings to God; and this is his altar; for it is inconsistent with this to say that there is any such thing as a work of the soul, when all things are referred to God, and to mingle barren things with those which are productive; for this would be faulty: but they are blameless things which are offered to God. (51) If therefore you transgress any one of these laws, O soul! you will be injuring yourself, not God. On this account God says, "You shall not plant for yourself:" for no one works for God, and especially what is evil does not. And again, Moses adds: "You shall not make for yourself." And in another place he says, "You shall not make gods of silver with me, and you shall not make gods of gold for yourselves." For he who conceives either that God has any distinctive quality, or that he is not one, or that he is not uncreated and imperishable, or that he is not unchangeable, injures himself and not God. "For you shall not make them for yourselves," is what he says. For we must conceive that God is free from distinctive qualities, and imperishable, and unchangeable; and he who does not conceive thus of him is filling his own soul with false and atheistical opinions. (52) Do you not see that— even though God were to conduct us to virtue, and though when we had been thus conducted we were to plant no tree which was barren, but only such as produce fruit, he would still command us to purify its impurity, that is to say, the appearing to plant. For he here orders us to cut away vain opinions; and vain opinions are a thing impure by nature.

XVI. (53) "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 fictitious man, and the other modelled after the image of God? (54) Therefore, the man modelled after the idea of God, is perceived not only amid the planting of the virtues, but, besides this, he is their cultivator and guardian; that is to say, he is mindful of the things which he has heard and practised. But the man who is factitious, neither cultivates the virtues, nor guards them, but is only introduced into opinions by the abundant liberality of God, being on the point of immediately becoming an exile from virtue. (55) 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.

XVII. (56) "And God caused to rise out of the earth every tree which is pleasant to the sight and good for food, and the tree of life he raised in the middle of the Paradise, and also the tree of the knowledge of good and evil." He here gives a sketch of the trees of virtue which he plants in the soul. And these are the particular virtues, and the energies in accordance with them, and the good and successful actions, and the things which by the philosophers are called fitting; (57) these are the plants of the Paradise. Nevertheless, he describes the characteristics of these same trees, showing that that which is desirable to be beheld is likewise most excellent to be enjoyed. For of the arts some are theoretical and not practical, such as geometry and astronomy. Some, again, are practical and not theoretical, such as the art of the architect, of the smith, and all those which are called mechanical arts. But virtue is both theoretical and practical; for it takes in theory, since the road which leads to it is philosophy in three of its parts—the reasoning, and the moral, and the physical part. It also includes action; for virtue is art conversant about the whole of life; and in life all actions are exhibited. (58) Still, although it takes in both theory and practice, nevertheless it is most excellent in each particular. For the theory of virtue is thoroughly excellent, and its practice and observation is a worthy object to contend for. On which account Moses says that the tree was pleasant to the sight, which is a symbol of theoretical excellence; and likewise good for food, which is a token of useful and practical good.

XVIII. (59) But the tree of life is that most general virtue which some people call goodness; from which the particular virtues are derived, and of which they are composed. And it is on this account that it is placed in the centre of the Paradise; having the most comprehensive place of all, in order that, like a king, it may be guarded by the trees on each side of it. But some say that it is the heart that is meant by the tree of life; since that is the cause of life, and since that has its position in the middle of the body, as being, according to them, the dominant part of the body. But these men ought to be made aware that they are expounding a doctrine which has more reference to medical than to natural science. But we, as has been said before, affirm that by the tree of life is meant the most general virtue. (60) And of this tree Moses expressly says, that it is placed in the middle of the paradise; but as to the other tree, that namely of the knowledge of good and evil, he has not specified whether it is within or outside of the Paradise; but after he has used the following expression, "and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil," he says no more, not mentioning where it is placed, in order that any one who is uninitiated in the principles of natural philosophy, may not be made to marvel at his knowledge. (61) What then must we say? That this tree is both in the Paradise and also out of it. As to its essence, indeed, in it; but as to its power, out of it. How so? The dominant portion of us is capable of receiving everything, and resembles wax, which is capable of receiving every impression, whether good or bad. In reference to which fact, that supplanter Jacob makes a confession where he says, "all these things were made for me." For the unspeakable formations and impression of all the things in the universe, are all borne forward into, and comprehended by the soul, which is only one. When, therefore that receives the impression of perfect virtue, it has become the tree of life; but when it has received the impression of vice, it has then become the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and vice and all evil have been banished from the divine company. Therefore the dominant power which has received it is in the Paradise according to its essence; for there is in it that characteristic of virtue, which is akin to the Paradise. But again, according to its power it is not in it, because the form of virtue is inconsistent with the divine operations; (62) and what I here say, any one may understand in this manner. At this moment, the dominant part is in my body, according to its essence, but according to its power it is in Italy, or Sicily, when it applies its consideration to those countries, and in heaven when it is contemplating the heaven. On which principle it often happens that some persons who are in profane places, according to their essence, are in the most sacred places, thinking of those things which relate to virtue. And again, others who are in the temples of the gods, and profane in their minds, from the fact of their minds receiving a change for the worse, and evil impressions; so that vice is neither in the Paradise, nor not in it. For it is possible that it may be in it according to its essence, but it is not possible that it should be according to its power.

XIX. (63) "And a river goes forth out of Eden to water the Paradise. From thence it is separated into four heads: the name of the one is Pheison. That is the one which encircles the whole land of Evilat. There is the country where there is gold, and the gold of that land is good. There also are the carbuncle and the sapphire stone. And the name of the second river is Gihon; this is that which encircles the whole land of Ethiopia. And the third river is the Tigris. This is the river which flows in front of the Assyrians. And the fourth river is the Euphrates." In these words Moses intends to sketch out the particular virtues. And they also are four in number, prudence, temperance, courage, and justice. Now the greatest river from which the four branches flow off, is generic virtue, which we have already called goodness; and the four branches are the same number of virtues. (64) Generic virtue, therefore, derives its beginning from Eden, which is the wisdom of God; which rejoices and exults, and triumphs, being delighted at and honoured on account of nothing else, except its Father, God, and the four particular virtues, are branches from the generic virtue, which like a river waters all the good actions of each, with an abundant stream of benefits. (65) Let us examine the expressions of the writer: "A river," says he, "goes forth out of Eden, to water the Paradise." This river is generic goodness; and this issues forth out of the Eden of the wisdom of God, and that is the word of God. For it is according to the word of God, that generic virtue was created. And generic virtue waters the Paradise: that is to say, it waters the particular virtues. But it does not derive its beginnings from any principle of locality, but from a principle of preeminence. For each of the virtues is really and truly a ruler and a queen. And the expression, "is separated," is equivalent to "is marked off by fixed boundaries;" since wisdom appoints them settled limits with reference to what is to be done. Courage with respect to what is to be endured; temperance with reference to what is to be chosen; and justice in respect of what is to be distributed.

XX. (66) "The name of one river is Pheison. This is that river which encircles all the land of Evilat; there is the country where there is gold. And the gold of that land is good; there also are the carbuncle and the sapphire stone." One of the four virtues is prudence, which Moses here calls Pheison: because the soul abstains, from, and guards against, acts of iniquity. And it meanders in a circle, and flows all round the land of Evilat; that is to say, it preserves a mild, and gentle, and favourable constitution. And as of all fusible essences, the most excellent and the most illustrious is gold, so also the virtue of the soul which enjoys the highest reputation, is prudence. (67) And when he uses the expression, "that is the country where there is gold," he is not speaking geographically, that is, where gold exists, but that is the country in which that valuable possession exists, brilliant as gold, tried in the fire, and valuable, namely, prudence. And this is confessed to be the most valuable possession of God. But with reference to the geographical position of virtue, there are two personages, each invested with distinctive qualities. One, the being who has prudence, the other, the being who exerts it; and these he likens to the carbuncle and the emerald.

XXI. (68) "And the name of the second river is Gihon. This is that which encircles all the land of Ethiopia." Under the symbol of this river courage is intended. For the name of Gihon being interpreted means chest, or an animal which attacks with its horns; each of which interpretations is emblematical of courage. For courage has its abode about the chest, where also is the seat of the heart, and where man is prepared to defend himself. For courage is the knowledge of what is to be withstood, and of what is not to be withstood, and of what is indifferent. And it encircles and surrounds Ethiopia, making demonstrations of war against it; and the name of Ethiopia, being interpreted, means humiliation. And cowardice is a humiliating thing; but courage is adverse to humiliation and to cowardice. (69) "And the third river is the Tigris; this is that which flows in front of Assyria." The third virtue is temperance, which resolutely opposes that kind of pleasure which appears to be the directress of human infirmity. For the translation of the name Assyrians in the Greek tongue is euthynontes, (directors). And he has likened desire to a tiger, which is the most untameable of beasts; it being desire about which temperance is conversant.

XXII. (70) It is worth while therefore to raise the question why courage has been spoken of as the second virtue, and temperance as the third, and prudence as the first; and why Moses has not also explained the course of action of the other virtues. Now we must understand that our soul is divided into three parts, and that it has one portion which is conversant about reason; another which is subject to passion; and another which is that in which the desires are conceived. And we find that the proper place and abode of the reasoning part of the soul, is the head; of the passionate part, the chest; and of the part in which the desires are conceived, the stomach. And we find that appropriate virtues are adapted to each of these parts. To the rational part, prudence; in it is the office of reason, to have a knowledge of what one might, and of what one ought not to do. And the virtue of the passionate part of the soul is courage: and of the appetitive part, temperance. For it is through temperance that we remedy and cure the appetites. (71) For as the head is the principle and uppermost part of the animal, and the chest the next highest, and the liver the third, in point both of importance and of position; so in the soul again, the first is the rational part, the second the passionate part, and the third the appetitive part. In the same way again of the virtues; the first is that which is conversant about the first portion of the soul, which is the reasoning portion, and which at the same time has its abode in the head of the body; in short it is prudence. And the second of the virtues is courage, because it is conversant about the second portion of the soul, namely, about passion, and has its abode in the second portion of the body, namely, in the chest. And the third virtue is temperance, which is placed in the stomach which is the third portion of the body, and it is conversant about the appetitive part, which has been allotted the third part of the soul, as being its subject matter.

XXIII. (72) "And the fourth river," continues Moses, "is the river Euphrates." And this name Euphrates means fertility; and symbolically taken, it is the fourth virtue, namely, justice, which is most truly a productive virtue, and one which gladdens the intellect. When therefore does this happen? When the three parts of the soul are all in harmony with one another; and harmony among them is in reality the predominance of the most important; as for instance, when the two inferior parts, the passionate and the appetitive part, are disposed to yield to the superior part, then justice exists. For it is just that the better portion should rule at all times, and in all places, and that the inferior part should be ruled. Now the rational part is the better part, and the appetitive and the passionate parts are the inferior ones. (73) But when, on the contrary, passion and appetite get riotous and disobey the reins, and by the violence of their impetuosity throw off and disregard the charioteer, that is to say reason, and when each of these passions get hold of the reins themselves, then there is injustice. For it is inevitable, that through any ignorance or vice of the charioteer, the chariot must be borne down over precipices, and must fall into the abyss; just as it must be saved when the charioteer is endowed with skill and virtue.

XXIV. (74) Again, let us look at the subject in this way also. Pheison, being interpreted, is the change of the mouth; and Evilat means bringing forth, and by these two names prudence is signified. For people in general think a man prudent who is an inventor of sophistical expressions, and clever at explaining that which he has conceived in the mind. But Moses considered such an one a man fond of words, but by no means a prudent man. For in the changing of the mouth, that is to say of the power of speaking and explaining one’s ideas, prudence is seen. And prudence is not a certain degree of acuteness in speech, but ability which is beheld in deeds and in serious actions. (75) And prudence surrounds Evilat, which is in travail, as it were with a wall, in order to besiege it and destroy it. And "bringing forth," is an especially appropriate name for folly, because the foolish mind, being always desirous of what is unattainable, is at all times in travail. When it is desirous of money it is in labour, also when it thirsts for glory, or when it is covetous of pleasure, or of any thing else. (76) But, though always in labour, it never brings forth. For the soul of the worthless man is not calculated by nature to bring any thing to perfection which is likely to live. But every thing which it appears to bring forth is found to be abortive and immature. "Eating up the half of its flesh, and being like a death of the soul." On which account that holy word Aaron entreats the pious Moses, who was beloved by God, to heal the leprosy of Miriam, in order that her soul might not be occupied in the labour of bringing forth evil things. And in consequence he says: "Let her not become like unto death, as an abortion proceeding out of the womb of her mother, and let her not devour the half of her own flesh."

XXV. (77) "That," says Moses, "is the country, where there is gold." He does not say that that is the only place where there is gold, but simply that is the country where there is gold. For prudence which he likened to gold, being of a nature free from deceit, and pure, and tried in the fire, and thoroughly tested, and honourable, exists there in the wisdom of God. And being there, it is not a possession of wisdom, but something belonging to the God who is its creator and owner, whose work and possession this wisdom likewise is. (78) "And the gold of that land is good." Is there, then, any other gold which is not good? Beyond all doubt; for the nature of prudence is twofold, there being one prudence general, and another particular. Therefore, the prudence that is in me, being particular prudence, is not good; for when I perish that also will perish together with me; but general or universal prudence, the abode of which is the wisdom of God and the house of God, is good; for it is imperishable itself, and dwells in an imperishable habitation.

XXVI. (79) "There also is the carbuncle and the emerald." The two beings endowed with distinctive qualities, the prudent man and the man who acts prudently, differ from one another; one of them existing according to prudence, and the other acting wisely according to the rules of wisdom. For it is on account of these two beings thus endowed with distinctive qualities God implanted prudence and virtue in the earth-born man. For what would have been the use of it, if there had been no reasoning powers in existence to receive it, and to give impressions of its form? So that virtue is very properly conjoined with prudence, and the prudent man is rightly joined with him who displays prudence in his actions; the two being like two precious stones. (80) And may not they be Judah and Issachar? For the man who puts in practice the prudence of God confesses himself to be bound to feel gratitude, and to feel it towards him who has given him what is good without grudging; and he also does honourable and virtuous actions. Accordingly Judah is the symbol of a man who makes this confession "in respect of whom Leah ceased from child-bearing." But Issachar is the symbol of the man who does good actions, "For he put forth his shoulder to labour and became a man tilling the earth." With respect to whom Moses says, hire is in his soul after he has been sown and planted, so that his labour is not imperfect, but is rather crowned and honoured with a reward by God. (81) And that he is making mention of these things, he shows when speaking on other subjects; when describing the garment, which reached to the feet he says, "And thou shalt weave in it sets of stones in four rows. The row of stones shall be the sardine stone, the topaz, and the emerald are the first row." Reuben, Simeon, and Levi are here meant. "And the second row," he says, "are the carbuncle and the sapphire." And the sapphire is the same as the green stone. And in the carbuncle was inscribed the name of Judah, for he was the fourth son: and in the sapphire the name of Issachar. (82) Why then as he had called the sapphire the green stone, did he not also speak of the red stone? Because Judah, as the type of a disposition inclined to confession, is a being immaterial and incorporeal. For the very name of confession (exomologēseōs) shows that it is a thing external to (ektos) himself. For when the mind is beside itself, and bears itself upward to God, as the laughter of Isaac did, then it makes a confession to him who alone has a real being. But as long as it considers itself as the cause of something, it is a long way from yielding to God, and confession to him. For this very act of confessing ought to be considered as being the work not of the soul, but of God who teaches it this feeling of gratitude. Accordingly Judah, who practises confession, is an immaterial being. (83) But Issachar who came forth out of labour is in need of corporeal matter; since if it were otherwise how could a studious man read without his eyes? And how could any one hear words exhorting him to any cause, if he were not endowed with hearing? And how could he obtain meat and drink without a belly, and without a wonder working art exercised towards it? And it is on this account that he was likened to a precious stone. (84) Moreover the colours of the two are different. For the colour of a coal when on fire is akin to that of the man who is inclined to confession: for he is inflamed by gratitude to God, and he is intoxicated with a certain sober intoxication: but the colour of the green stone is more appropriate to the man who is still labouring: for those who are devoted to constant labour are pale on account of the wearing nature of toil, and also by reason of their fear that perhaps they may not attain to such an end of their wish as is desired in their prayers.

XXVII. (85) And it is worth while to raise the question why the two rivers the Pheison and the Gihon encircle certain countries, the one surrounding Evilat, and the other Ethiopia, while neither of the other rivers is represented as encompassing any country. The Tigris is indeed said to flow in front of the land of the Assyrians, but the Euphrates is not mentioned in connection with any country whatever. And yet in real truth the Euphrates does both encircle some countries, and has several also in front of it. But the truth is that the sacred writer is here speaking not of the river, but of the correction of manners. (86) It is necessary therefore to say that prudence and courage are able to raise a wall and a circle of fortification against the opposite evils, folly, and cowardice; and to take them captives: for both of them are powerless and easy to be taken. For the foolish man is easily to be defeated by the prudent one; and the coward falls before the valiant man. But temperance is unable to surround appetite and pleasure; for they are formidable adversaries and hard to be subdued. Do you not see that even the most temperate men are compelled by the necessities of their mortal body to seek meat and drink; and it is in those things that the pleasures of the belly have their existence. We must be content therefore to oppose and contend with the genus appetite. (87) And it is on this account that the river Tigris is represented as flowing in front of the Assyrians, that is to say temperance is in front of or arrayed against pleasure. But justice, according to which the river Euphrates is represented, neither besieges any one, nor draws lines of circumvallation round any one, nor opposes any one;—why so? Because justice is conversant about the distribution of things according to merit, and does not take the part either of accuser or of defendant, but acts as a judge. As therefore a judge does not desire beforehand to defeat any one, nor to oppose and make war upon any one; but delivers his own opinion and judges, deciding for the right, so also justice, not being the adversary of any one, distributes its due to every thing.

XXVIII. (88) "And the Lord God took the man whom he had made and placed him in the Paradise, to cultivate and to guard it." The man whom God made differs from the factitious man, as I have said before. For the factitious mind is somewhat earthly; but the created mind is purer and more immaterial, having no participation in any perishable matter, but having received a purer and more simple constitution. (89) Accordingly God takes this pure mind, not permitting it to proceed out of itself, and after he has taken it, he places it among the virtues which are firmly rooted and budding well, that it may cultivate and guard them. For many men who were originally pratisers of virtue, when they come to the end fall off; but he to whom God gives lasting knowledge is also endowed by him with both qualities, namely with the disposition to cultivate the virtues, and the resolution never to desert them, but always to minister to and guard every one of them. So Moses here uses the expression "cultivate" as equivalent to "act," and the word "guard" instead of "remember."

XXIX. (90) "And the Lord God commanded Adam, saying, Of every tree that is in the Paradise thou mayest freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil ye shall not eat; but in the day on which ye eat of it ye shall die the death." A question may arise here to what kind of Adam he gave this command and who, this Adam was. For Moses has not made any mention of him before; but now is the first time that he has named him. Are we then to think that he is desirous to supply you with the name of the factitious man? "And he calls him," continues Moses, "Earth." For this is the interpretation of the name of Adam. Accordingly, when you hear the name Adam, you must think that he is an earthly and perishable being; for he is made according to an image, being not earthly but heavenly. (91) But we must inquire how it was that after he had given names to all the other animals, he did not give one also to himself. What then are we to say about this? The mind which is in each of us is able to comprehend all other things, but has not the capability of understanding itself. For as the eye sees all other things, but cannot see itself, so also the mind perceives the nature of other things but cannot understand itself. For if it does, let it tell us what it is, or what kind of thing it is, whether it is a spirit, or blood, or fire, or air, or any other substance: or even only so much whether it is a substance at all, or something incorporeal. Are not those men then simple who speculate on the essence of God? For how can they who are ignorant of the nature of the essence of their own soul, have any accurate knowledge of the soul of the universe? For the soul of the universe is according to our definition,—God.

XXX. (92) It is therefore very natural that Adam, that is to say the mind, when he was giving names to and displaying his comprehension of the other animals, did not give a name to himself, because he was ignorant of himself and of his own nature. A command indeed is given to man, but not to the man created according to the image and idea of God; for that being is possessed of virtue without any need of exhortation, by his own instinctive nature, but this other would not have wisdom if it had not been taught to him: (93) and these three things are different, command, prohibition, and recommendation. For prohibition is conversant about errors, and is directed to bad men, but command is conversant about things rightly done; recommendation again is addressed to men of intermediate character, neither bad nor good. For such a one does not sin so that any one has any need to direct prohibition to him, nor does he do right in every case in accordance with the injunction of right reason. But he is in need of recommendation, which teaches him to abstain from what is evil, and exhorts him to aim at what is good. (94) Therefore there is no need of addressing either command, or prohibition, or recommendation to the man who is perfect, and made according to the image of God; For the perfect man requires none of these things; but there is a necessity of addressing both command and prohibition to the wicked man, and recommendation and instruction to the ignorant man. Just as the perfect grammarian or perfect musician has need of no instruction in the matters which belong to his art, but the man whose theories on such subjects are imperfect stands in need of certain rules, as it were, which contain in themselves commands and prohibitions, and he who is only learning the art requires instruction. (95) Very naturally, therefore, does God at present address commands and recommendations to the earthly mind, which is neither bad nor good, but of an intermediate character. And recommendation is employed in the two names, in that of the Lord and of God. For the Lord God commanded that if man obeyed his recommendations, he should be thought worthy of receiving benefits from God; but if he rejected his warnings, he should then be cast out to destruction by the Lord, as his Master and one who had authority over him. (96) On which account, when he is driven out of Paradise, Moses repeats the same names; for he says, "And the Lord God sent him forth out of the Paradise of happiness, to till the ground from which he had been taken." That, since the Lord had laid his commands on him as his Master, and God as his Benefactor, he might now, in both these characters, chastise him for having disobeyed them; for thus, by the same power by which he had exhorted him does he also banish him, now that he is disobedient.

XXXI. (97) And the recommendations that he addresses to him are as follows: "Of every tree that is in the Paradise thou mayest freely eat." He exhorts the soul of man to derive advantage not from one tree alone nor from one single virtue, but from all the virtues; for eating is a symbol of the nourishment of the soul, and the soul is nourished by the reception of good things, and by the doing of praiseworthy actions. (98) And Moses not only says, "thou mayest eat," but he adds "freely," also; that is to say, having ground and prepared your food, not like an ordinary individual, but like a wrestler, you shall thus acquire strength and vigour. For the trainers recommend the wrestlers not to cut up their food by biting large pieces off, but to masticate it slowly, in order that it may contribute to their strength; for I and an athlete are fed in different manners. For I feed merely for the purpose of living, but the wrestler feeds for the purpose of acquiring flesh and deriving strength from it; on which account one of his rules of training and exercise is to masticate his food. This is the meaning of the expression, "Thou mayest freely eat." (99) Again let us endeavour to give a still more accurate explanation of it. To honour one’s parents is a nourishing and cherishing thing. But the good and the wicked honour them in different manners. For the one does it out of habit, as men eat who do not eat freely, but who merely eat. When, then, do they also eat freely? When having investigated and developed the causes of things they form a voluntary judgment that this is good, and the causes of their eating freely, that is to say, of their honouring their parents in a proper spirit, is—they became our parents; they nourished us; they instructed us; they have been the causes of all good things to us. Again, to honour the living God is spoken of symbolically as to eat. But to eat "freely," is when it is done with a proper explanation of the whole matter, and a correct assignment of the causes of it.

XXXII. (100) "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil he shall not eat." Therefore this tree is not in the Paradise. For God encourages them to eat of every tree that is in the Paradise. But when he forbids them to eat of this tree, it is plain that it is not in the Paradise; and this is in accordance with natural philosophy. For it is there in its essence, as I have said before, and it is not there in its power. For as in wax there are potentially many seals, but in actual fact only one which has been carved on it, so also in the soul, which resembles wax, all impressions whatever are contained potentially; but in really one single characteristic which is stamped upon it has possession of it; until it is effaced by some other which makes a deeper and more conspicuous impression. (101) Again, this, also, may be made the subject of a question. When God recommends men to eat of every tree in the Paradise, he is addressing his exhortation to one individual: but when he forbids him to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil he is speaking to him as to many. For in the one case he says, "Thou mayest freely eat of all;" but in the second instance, "Ye shall not eat;" and "In the day in which ye shall eat," not "thou shalt eat;" and "Ye shall die," not "Thou shalt die." (102) We must, therefore, say this,— that the first good is rare, imparted to but few; but the evil is comprehensive. On this account it is a hard matter to find one single man wise and faithful, but the number of bad men is beyond all computation. Very appropriately, therefore, God does not address his exhortation to nourish one’s self amid the virtues, to one individual, but he encourages many to abstain from extravagant wickedness; for innumerable men are addicted to it. (103) In the second place, for the due comprehension and adoption of virtue man requires one thing alone, namely reason. But the body not only does not co-operate in it at all, but rather impedes the progress of the reason towards it. For it may be almost called the peculiar task of wisdom to alienate itself from the body and form the corporeal appetites. But for the enjoyment of evil it is not only necessary for a man to have mind in some degree, but also senses, and reason, and a body. (104) For the bad man has need of all these things for the completion of his own wickedness. Since how will he be able to divulge the sacred mysteries unless he has the organ of voice? And how will he be able to indulge in pleasures if he be deprived of the belly and the organs of sensation? Very properly, therefore, does Moses address reason alone on the subject of the acquisition of virtue, for reason is, as I have said before, the only thing of which there is need for the establishment of virtue. But for indulgence in vice a man requires many things—soul, and reason, and the external senses of the body; for it is through all these organs that vice is exhibited.

XXXIII. (105) Accordingly God says, "In the day in which ye eat of it ye shall die the death." And yet, though they have eaten of it, they not only do not die, but they even beget children, and are the causes of life to other beings besides themselves. What, then, are we to say? Surely that death is of two kinds; the one being the death of the man, the other the peculiar death of the soul— now the death of the man is the separation of his soul from his body, but the death of the soul is the destruction of virtue and the admission of vice; (106) and consequently God calls that not merely "to die," but "to die the death;" showing that he is speaking not of common death, but of that peculiar and especial death which is the death of the soul, buried in its passions and in all kinds of evil. And we may almost say that one kind of death is opposed to the other kind. For the one is the separation of what was previously existing in combination, namely, of body and soul. But this other death, on the contrary, is a combination of them both, the inferior one, the body, having the predominance, and the superior one, the soul, being made subject to it. (107) When, therefore, God says, "to die the death," you must remark that he is speaking of that death which is inflicted as punishment, and not of that which exists by the original ordinance of nature. The natural death is that one by which the soul is separated from the body. But the one which is inflicted as a punishment, is when the soul dies according to the life of virtue, and lives only according to the life of vice. (108) Well, therefore, did Heraclitus say this, following the doctrine of Moses; for he says, "We are living according to the death of those men; and we have died according to their life." As if he had said, Now, when we are alive, we are so though our soul is dead and buried in our body, as if in a tomb. But if it were to die, then our soul would live according to its proper life, being released from the evil and dead body to which it is bound.


I. (1) "And the Lord God said, It is not good for man to be alone: let us make him a help meet for him." Why, O prophet, is it not good for man to be alone? Because, says he, it is good, that he who is alone should be alone. But God is alone, and by himself, being one; and there is nothing like unto God. So that, since it is good that he who only has a real existence should be alone (for that which is about itself alone is good), it cannot be good for man to be alone. (2) But the fact of God being alone one may receive in this sense; that neither before the creation was there anything with God, nor, since the world has been created, is anything placed in the same rank with him; for he is in need of absolutely nothing whatever. But the better way of understanding this passage is the following: God is alone: a single being: not a combination: a single nature: but each of us, and every other animal in the world, are compound beings: for instance, I myself am made up of many things, of soul and body. Again, the soul is made up of a rational part and an irrational part: also of the body, there is one part hot, another cold; one heavy, another light; one dry, another moist. But God is not a compound being, nor one which is made up of many parts, but one which has no mixture with anything else; (3) for whatever could be combined with God must be either superior to him, or inferior to him, or equal to him. But there is nothing equal to God, and nothing superior to him, and nothing is combined with him which is worse than himself; for if it were, he himself would be deteriorated; and if he were to suffer deterioration, he would also become perishable, which it is impious even to imagine. Therefore God exists according to oneness and unity; or we should rather say, that oneness exists according to the one God, for all number is more recent than the world, as is also time. But God is older than the world, and is its Creator.

II. (4) But it is not good for any man to be alone. For there are two kinds of men, the one made according to the image of God, the other fashioned out of the earth; for it longs for its own likeness. For the image of God is the antitype of all other things, and every imitation aims at this of which it is the imitation, and is placed in the same class with it. And it is not good for either the man, who was made according to the image of God, to be alone: nor is it any more desirable for the factitious man to be alone, and indeed it is impossible. For the external senses, and the passions, and the vices, and innumerable other things, are combined with and adapted to the mind of this man. (5) But the second kind of man has a helpmeet for him, who, in the first place, is created; "For I will make him," says God, "a help-meet for him." And, in the second place, is younger than the object to be helped; for, first of all, God created the mind, and subsequently he prepares to make its helper. But all this is spoken allegorically, in accordance with the principles of natural philosophy; for external sensation and the passions of the soul are all younger than the soul, and how they help it we shall see hereafter, but at present we will consider the fact of their being helpers younger than the object helped.

III. (6) As, according to the most skilful physicians and natural philosophers, the heart appears to be formed before the rest of the body, after the manner of the foundation of a house or the keel of a ship, and then the rest of the body is built upon it; on which account, even after death, the physicians say, that the heart still quivers, as having been created before the rest of the body, and being destroyed after it; so also does the dominant portion of the soul appear to be older than the whole of the soul, and the irrational part to be younger; the formation of which Moses has not yet mentioned, but he is about to give a sketch of it, how the irrational part of the soul is the external sensation, and the passions which spring from it, especially if the judgments are our own. And this assistant of God is younger, and created, being thus described with perfect propriety. (7) But now let us see how that part, which was postponed before, acts as an assistant: how does our mind comprehend that such and such a thing is black or white, unless it employs sight as its assistant? and how does it know that the voice of the man who is singing to his harp is sweet, or, on the contrary, out of tune, if it has not the assistance of the faculty of hearing to guide it? And how can it tell that exhalations are fragrant or foulsmelling, unless it makes use of the sense of smell as its ally? How again does it judge of the different flavours, except through the instrumentality of its assistant, taste? (8) How can it distinguish between what is rough and what is smooth, except by touch? There is also another class of assistants, as I have already said, namely, the passions: for pleasure also is an assistant, co-operating towards the durability of our race, and in like manner concupiscence, and pain, and fear, biting the soul, lead it to treat nothing with indifference. Anger, again, is a defensive weapon, which has been of great service to many people, and so too have the other passions in the same manner. On which account Moses has said, with great felicity, "that he was an assistant to himself:" for he is in reality an assistant to the mind, as if he were its brother and near kinsman: for the external sensations and the passions are parts of one soul, and are its offspring.

IV. (9) Now of assistants there are two kinds, the one consisting in the passions and the other in the sensations. [...] But the prior kind is that of generation, for Moses says, "And God proceeded and made all the beasts of the field out of the earth, and all the birds of heaven; and he brought them to Adam to see what he would call them, and whatever Adam called any living soul that became its name." You see here who are our assistants, the beasts of the soul, the passions. For after God had said, "I will make him a helpmeet for him," Moses adds subsequently, "He made the beasts," as if the beasts also were assistants to us. (10) But these are not, properly speaking, assistants, but are called so only in a catachrestic manner, by a kind of abuse of language, for they are found in reality to be enemies to man. As also in the case of cities, the allies turn out at times to be traitors and deserters; and in the case of friendship, flatterers are found to be enemies instead of companions; and Moses here speaks of the heaven and the field synonymously, describing the mind in this allegorical manner; for the mind, like the field, has innumerable periods of rising and budding forth; and, like the heaven, has brilliant, and divine, and happy characteristics of nature. (11) But the passions he compares to beasts and birds, because they injure the mind, being untamed and wild, and because, after the manner of birds, they descend upon the intellect; for their onset is swift and difficult to withstand; and the word "besides," as attached to "he made," is not superfluous. Why so? because he has previously said, that the beasts were formed before the creation of man, and he shows it in the following words, which are an account of what was done on the sixth day. "And God said, Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind, four-footed animals, and creeping things, and wild beasts." (12) Why, then, is it that he makes other animals now, not being content with those already existing? now this must be stated according to the principles of moral philosophy. The species of evil are abundant in created man, so that the most evil things are continually produced in him; and this other thing must be affirmed on principles of natural philosophy. First of all, in the six days he created the different kinds of passions, and the ideas, but now, in addition to them, he is creating the species. (13) 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.

V. (14) This therefore he denominated the species of assistants, but the other part of the creation, the description, that is, of the formation of the external sensations, was postponed till he began to form the woman; and having put off this he then gives an account of the distribution of names; and this is an explanation, partly figurative and partly literal, which is worthy of our admiration. It is literal, inasmuch as the Lawgiver has attributed the imposition of names to the firstborn man; (15) for those also among the Greeks, who study philosophy, say that they were wise men who first gave names to things: but Moses speaks more correctly in the first place, because he attributes this giving of names, not to some of those men who lived in early times, but to the first man who was created upon the earth; so that, just as he himself was created to be the beginning of creation to all other animals, he might also be considered the beginning of conversation and language: for if there were no such things as names there could be no such thing as language: and, secondly, because, if many different persons gave names, they must have been different and devoid of all connexion, since different persons would have given different names: but if only one person did so, the name given by one was sure to be adapted to the thing: and the same name was likely to be a token to every one of the existing things signified by it.

VI. (16) But the moral meaning of this passage is as follows:—We often use the expression ti instead of dia ti; (why?) as when we say, why (ti) have you washed yourself? why (ti) are you walking? why (ti) are you conversing? for in all these cases ti is used instead of dia ti; when therefore Moses says, "to see what he would call them," you must understand him as if he had said dia ti (why), instead of ti (what): and the mind will invite and embrace each of these meanings. Is it then only for the sake of what is necessary that the mortal race is of necessity implicated in passions and vices? or is it also on account of that which is immoderate and superfluous? And again, is it because of the requirements of the earth-born man, or because the mind judges them to be most excellent and admirable things; (17) as for instance, is it necessary for every created thing to enjoy pleasure? But the bad man flies to pleasure as to a perfect good, but the good man seeks it only as a necessary; for without pleasure nothing whatever is done among the human race. Again, the bad man considers the acquisition of riches as the most perfect good possible; but the good man looks upon riches only as a necessary and useful thing. (18) Very naturally, therefore, God desires to see and to learn how the mind denominates and appreciates each of these things, whether it looks upon them as good, or as things indifferent, or as evil in themselves, but nevertheless in some respects necessary. On which account, thinking that everything which he invited towards himself, and embraced as a living soul, was of equal value and importance with the soul, this became the name, not only of the thing which was thus invited, but also of him who invited it: as for instance, if the man embraced pleasure, he was called a man devoted to pleasure; if he embraced appetite, he was called a man of appetite; if he invited intemperance, he himself also acquired the name of intemperate; if he admitted cowardice, he was called cowardly; and so on in the case of the other passions. For as he who has any distinctive qualities according to the virtues, is called from that virtue with which he is especially endowed, prudent, or temperate, or just, or courageous, as the case may be; so too in respect of the vices, a man is called unjust, or foolish, or unmanly, when he has invited and embraced these habits of mind and conduct.

VII. (19) "And God cast a deep trance upon Adam, and sent him to sleep; and he took one of his ribs," and so on. The literal statement conveyed in these words is a fabulous one; for how can any one believe that a woman was made of a rib of a man, or, in short, that any human being was made out of another? And what hindered God, as he had made man out of the earth, from making woman in the same manner? For the Creator was the same, and the material was almost interminable, from which every distinctive quality whatever was made. And why, when there were so many parts of a man, did not God make the woman out of some other part rather than out of one of his ribs? Again, of which rib did he make her? And this question would hold even if we were to say, that he had only spoken of two ribs; but in truth he has not specified their number. Was it then the right rib, or the left rib? (20) Again, if he filled up the place of the other with flesh, was not the one which he left also made of flesh? and indeed our ribs are like sisters, and akin in all their parts, and they consist of flesh. What then are we to say? (21) ordinary custom calls the ribs the strength of a man; for we say that a man has ribs, which is equivalent to saying that he has vigour; and we say that a wrestler is a man with strong ribs, when we mean to express that he is strong: and we say that a harpplayer has ribs, instead of saying that he has energy and power in his singing. (22) Now that this has been premised we must also say, that the mind, while naked and free from the entanglement of the body (for our present discussion is about the mind, while it is as yet entangled in nothing) has many powers, namely, the possessive power, the progenitive power, the power of the soul, the power of reason, the power of comprehension, and part of others innumerable both in their genus and species. Now the possessive power is common to it with other inanimate things, with stocks and stones, and it is shared by the things in us, which are like stones, namely, by our bones. And natural power extends also over plants: and there are parts in us which have some resemblance to plants, namely, our nails and our hair: (23) and nature is a habit already put in motion, but the soul is a habit which has taken to itself, in addition, imagination and impetuosity; and this power also is possessed by man in common with the irrational animals; and our mind has something analogous to the soul of an irrational animal. Again, the power of comprehension is a peculiar property of the mind; and the reasoning power is perhaps common to the more divine natures, but is especially the property of the mortal nature of man: and this is a twofold power, one kind being that in accordance with which we are rational creatures, partaking of mind; and the other kind being that faculty by which we converse. (24) There is also another power in the soul akin to these, the power of sensation, of which we are now speaking; for Moses is describing nothing else on this occasion except the formation of the external sense, according to energy and according to reason.

VIII. For immediately after the creation of the mind it was necessary that the external sense should be created, as an assistant and ally of the mind; therefore God having entirely perfected the first, proceeded to make the second, both in rank and power, being a certain created form, an external sense according to energy, created for the perfection and completion of the whole soul, and for the proper comprehension of such subject matter as might be brought before it. (25) How then was this second thing created? As Moses himself says in a subsequent passage, when the mind was gone to sleep: for, in real fact, the external sense then comes forward when the mind is asleep. And again, when the mind is awake the outward sense is extinguished; and the proof of this is, that when we desire to form an accurate conception of anything, we retreat to a desert place, we shut our eyes, we stop up our ears, we discard the exercise of our senses; and so, when the mind rises up again and awakens, the outward sense is put an end to. (26) Let us now consider another point, namely, how the mind goes to sleep: for when the outward sense is awakened and has become excited, when the sight beholds any works of painting or of sculpture beautifully wrought, is not the mind then without anything on which to exercise its functions, contemplating nothing which is a proper subject for the intellect? What more? When the faculty of hearing is attending to some melodious combination of sound, can the mind turn itself to the contemplation of its proper objects? by no means. And it is much more destitute of occupation, when taste rises up and eagerly devotes itself to the pleasures of the belly; (27) on which account Moses, being alarmed lest some day or other the mind might not merely go to sleep, but might become absolutely dead, says in another place, "And it shall be to you a peg in your girdle; and it shall be, that when you sit down you shall dig in it, and, heaping up earth, shall cover your shame." Speaking symbolically, and giving the name of peg to reason which digs up secret affairs; (28) and he bids him to bear it upon the affection with which he ought to be birded, and not to allow it to slacken and become loosened; and this must be done when the mind, departing from the intense consideration of objects perceptible by the intellect, is brought down to the passions, and sits down, yielding to, and being guided by, the necessities of the body: (29) and this is the case when the mind, being absorbed in luxurious associations, forgets itself, being subdued by the things which conduct it to pleasure, and so we become enslaved, and yield ourselves up to unconcealed impurity. But if reason be able to purify the passion, then neither when we drink do we become intoxicated, nor when we eat do we become indolent through satiety, but we feast soberly without indulging in folly. (30) Therefore, the awakening of the outward senses is the sleep of the mind; and the awakening of the mind is the discharge of the outward senses from all occupation. Just as when the sun arises the brightness of all the rest of the stars becomes invisible; but when the sun sets, they are seen. And so, like the sun, the mind, when it is awakened, overshadows the outward senses, but when it goes to sleep it permits them to shine.

IX. (31) After this preface we must now proceed to explain the words: "The Lord God," says Moses, "cast a deep trance upon Adam, and sent him to sleep." He speaks here with great correctness, for a trance and perversion of the mind is its sleep. And the mind is rendered beside itself when it ceases to be occupied about the things perceptible only by the intellect which present themselves to it. And when it is not energizing with respect to them it is asleep. And the expression, "it is in a trance," is very well employed, as it means that it is perverted and changed, not by itself, but by God, who presents to it, and brings before it, and sends upon it the change which occurs to it. (32) For the case is this:—if it were in my own power to be changed, then whenever I chose I should exercise this power, and whenever I did not choose I should continue as I am, without any change. But now change attacks me from an opposite direction, and very often when I am desirous to turn my intellect to some fitting subject, I am swallowed up by an influx contrary to what is fitting: and on the other hand, when I conceive an idea respecting something unseemly, I discard it by means of pleasant notions while God by his own grace pours into my soul a sweet stream instead of the salt flood. (33) It is necessary therefore, that every created thing should at times be changed. For this is a property of every created thing, just as it is an attribute of God to be unchangeable. But of these beings who have been changed, some remain in their altered state till their final and complete destruction, though others are only exposed to the ordinary vicissitudes of human nature; and they are immediately preserved. (34) On which account Moses says that "God will not suffer the destroyer to enter into your houses to smite them." For he does permit the destroyer (and change is the destruction of the soul) to enter into the soul, in order to exhibit the peculiar characteristic of the created being. But God will not permit the offspring of the seeing Israel to be changed in such a manner as to be stricken down by the change; but he will compel it to emerge and rise up again like one who rises up from the deep, and so he will cause it to be saved.

X. (35) "He took one of his ribs." He took one of the many powers of the mind, namely, that power which dwells in the outward senses. And when he uses the expression, "He took," we are not to understand it as if he had said, "He took away," but rather as equivalent to "He counted, He examined;" as he says in another place, "Take the chief of the spoils of the captivity." What, then, is it which he wishes to show? (36) Sensation is spoken of in a twofold manner;—the one kind being according to habit, which exists even when we are asleep, and the other being according to energy. Now, in the former kind, the one according to habit, there is no use: for we do not comprehend any one of the objects presented to our view by its means. But there is use in the second, in that which exists according to energy; for it is by means of this that we arrive at a comprehension of the objects perceptible by the outward senses. (37) Accordingly, God, having created the former kind of sensation, that existing according to habit, when he was creating the mind (for he was furnishing that with many faculties in a state of rest), desires now to complete the other kind which exists according to energy. And this one according to energy is perfected when the one which exists according to habit is put in motion, and extended as far as the flesh and the organs of sense. For as nature is perfected when the seed is put in motion, so, also, energy is perfected when the habit is put in motion.

XI. (38) "And he filled the space with flesh instead of it." That is to say, he filled up that external sense which exists according to habit, leading it on to energy and extending it as far as the flesh and the whole outward and visible surface of the body. In reference to which Moses adds that "he built it up into a woman:" showing by this expression that woman is the most natural and felicitouslygiven name for the external sense. For as the man is seen in action, and the woman in being the subject of action, so also is the mind seen in action, and the external sense, like the woman, is discerned by suffering or being the subject of action. (39) And it is easy to learn this from the way in which it is affected in practice. Thus the sight is affected by these objects of sight which put it in motion, such as white and black, and the other colours. Again, hearing is affected by sounds, and taste is disposed in such or such a way by flavours; the sense of smell by scents; and that of touch by hardness or softness. And, on the other hand all the outward senses are in a state of tranquillity until each is approached from without by that which is to put it in motion.

XII. (40) "And he brought her to Adam. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh." God leads the external sense, existing according to energy, to the mind; knowing that its motion and apprehension must turn back to the mind. But the mind, perceiving the power which it previously had (and which, while it was existing according to habit was in a state of tranquillity), now have to become a complete operation and energy, and to be in a state of motion, marvels at it, and utters an exclamation, saying that it is not unconnected with it, but very closely akin to it. (41) For Adam says, "This now is bone of my bone;" that is to say, This is power of my power; for bone is here to be understood as a symbol of strength and power. And it is, he adds, suffering of my sufferings; that is, it is flesh of my flesh. For every thing which the external sense suffers, it endures not without the support of the mind; for the mind is its fountain, and the foundation on which it is supported. (42) It is also worth while to consider why Adam added the word "now," for he says, "This now is bone of my bone." The explanation is, external sensation exists now, having its existence solely with reference to the present moment. For the mind touches three separate points of time; for it perceives present circumstances, and it remembers past events, and it anticipates the future. (43) But the external sensations have neither any anticipation of future events, nor are they subject to any feeling resembling expectation or hope, nor have they any recollection of past circumstances; but are by nature capable only of being affected by that which moves them at the moment, and is actually present. As, for example, the eye is made white by a white appearance presented to it at the moment, but it is not affected in any manner by that which is not present to it. But the mind is agitated also by that which is not actually present, but which may be past; in which cast it is affected by its recollection of it; or it may be future, in which case it is, indeed, the influence of hope and expectation.

XIII. (44) "And she shall be called woman." This is equivalent to saying, On this account the outward sensation shall be called woman, because it is derived from man who sets it in motion. He says "she;" why, then, is the expression "she" used? Why, because there is also another kind of outward sensation, not derived from the mind, but having been created, at the same moment with it. For there are, as I have said before, two different kinds of outward sensation; the one kind existing according to habit, and the other according to energy. (45) Now, the kind existing according to habit is not derived from the man, that is to say from the mind, but is created at the same time with him. For the mind, as I have already shown, when it was created was created with many faculties and habits; namely, with the faculty and habit of reasoning, and of existing, and of promoting what is like itself, as also with that of receiving impressions from the outward senses. But the outward sensation, which exists according to energy, is derived from the mind. For it is extended from the outward sensation which exists in it according to habit, so as to become the same outward sense according to energy. So that this second kind of outward sense is derive from the mind, and exists according to motion. (46) And he is but a foolish person who thinks that any thing is in true reality made out of the mind, or out of itself. Do you not see that even in the case of Rachel (that is to say of outward sensation) sitting upon the images, while she thought that her motions came from the mind, he who saw her reproved her. For she says, "Give me my children, and if you give them not to me I shall die." And he replied: "Because, O mistaken woman, the mind is not the cause of any thing, but he which existed before the mind; namely God." On which account he adds: "Am I equal to God who has deprived you of the fruit of your womb?" (47) But that it is God who creates men, he will testify in the case of Leah, when he says, "But the Lord, when he saw that Leah was hated, opened her womb. But Rachel was barren." But it is the especial property of man to open the womb. Now naturally virtue is hated by men. On which account God has honoured it, and gives the honour of bearing the first child to her who is hated. (48) And in another passage he says: "But if a man has two wives, one of them being loved and one of them being hated, and if they bear him children, and if the first-born son be the child of her who is hated; he will not be able to give the honours of the birthright to the child of the wife whom he loves, overlooking the firstborn son the child of her who is hated." For the productions of virtue which is hated, are the first and the most perfect, but those of pleasure, which is loved, are the last.

XIV. (49) "On this account a man will leave his father and his mother and will cleave to his wife; and they two shall become one flesh." On account of the external sensation, the mind, when it has become enslaved to it, shall leave both its father, the God of the universe, and the mother of all things, namely, the virtue and wisdom of God, and cleaves to and becomes united to the external sensations, and is dissolved into external sensation, so that the two become one flesh and one passion. (50) And here you must observe that it is not the woman who cleaves to the man, but on the contrary, the man who cleaves to the woman; that is to say, the mind cleaves to the external sensations. For when that which is the better, namely, the mind, is united to that which is the rose, namely, the external sensation, it is then dissolved into the nature of flesh, which is worse, and into outward sensation, which is the cause of the passions. But when that which is the inferior, namely, the outward sensation, follows the better part, that is the mind, then there will no longer be flesh, but both will become one, namely, mind. And this is a thing of such a nature that it prefers the affections to piety. (51) There is also another being called by an opposite name, Levi; he who says to his father and mother: "He saw you not, and he did not recognize his brethren, and repudiated his children." This man leaves his father and mother; that is to say, his mind and the material of his body, in order to have as his inheritance the one God; "For the Lord himself is his inheritance." (52) And, indeed, suffering is the inheritance of him who is fond of suffering; but the inheritance of Levi is God. Do you not see that "he bids him on the tenth day of the months bring two goats as his share, one lot for the Lord and one lot for the scape-goat." For the sufferings inflicted on the scape goat are in real truth the lot of him who is fond of suffering.

XV. (53) "And they were both naked, both Adam and his wife, and they were not ashamed; but the serpent was the most subtle of all the beasts that were upon the earth, which the Lord God had made:"—the mind is naked, which is clothed neither with vice nor with virtue, but which is really stripped of both: just as the soul of an infant child, which has no share in either virtue or vice, is stripped of all coverings, and is completely naked: for these things are the coverings of the soul, by which it is enveloped and concealed, good being the garment of the virtuous soul, and evil the robe of the wicked soul. (54) And the soul is made naked in these ways. Once, when it is in an unchangeable state, and is entirely free from all vices, and has discarded and laid aside the covering of all the passions. With reference to this Moses also pitches his tabernacle outside of the camp, a long way from the camp, and it was called the tabernacle of testimony. (55) And this has some such meaning as this: the soul which loves God, having put off the body and the affections which are dear to it, and having fled a long way from them, chooses a foundation and a sure ground for its abode, and a lasting settlement in the perfect doctrines of virtue; on which account testimony is borne to it by God, that it loves what is good, "for it was called the tabernacle of testimony," says Moses, and he has passed over in silence the giver of the name, in order that the soul, being excited, might consider who it is who thus beareth witness to the dispositions which love virtue. (56) On this account the high priest "will not come into the holy of holies clad in a garment reaching to the feet; but having put off the robe of opinion and vain fancy of the soul, and having left that for those who love the things which are without, and who honour opinion in preference to truth, will come forward naked, without colours or any sounds, to make an offering of the blood of the soul, and to sacrifice the whole mind to God the Saviour and Benefactor; (57) and certainly Nadab and Abihu, who came near to God, and left this mortal life and received a share of immortal life, are seen to be naked, that is, free from all new and mortal opinion; for they would not have carried it in their garments and borne it about, if they had not been naked, having broken to pieces every bond of passion and of corporeal necessity, in order that their nakedness and absence of corporeality might not be adulterated by the accession of atheistical reasonings; for it may not be permitted to all men to behold the secret mysteries of God, but only to those who are able to cover them up and guard them; (58) on which account Mishael and his partisans concealed them not in their own garments, but in those of Nadab and Abihu, who had been burnt with fire and taken upwards; for having stripped off all the garments that covered them, they brought their nakedness before God, and left their tunics about Mishael. But clothes belong to the irrational part of the animal, which overshadow the rational part. Abraham also was naked when he heard, (59) "Come forth out of thy land and from thy kindred;" and as for Isaac, he indeed was not stripped, but was at all times naked and incorporeal; for a commandment was given to him not to go down into Egypt, that is to say, into the body. Jacob also was fond of the nakedness of the soul, for his smoothness is nakedness, "for Esau was a hairy man, but Jacob," says Moses, "was a smooth man," on which account he was also the husband of Leah.

XVI. (60) This is the most excellent nakedness, but the other nakedness is of a contrary nature, being a change which involves a deprivation of virtue, when the soul becomes foolish and goes astray. Such was the folly of Noah when he was naked, when he drank wine. But thanks be to God, that this change and this tripping naked of the mind according to the deprivation of virtue, did not extend as far as external things, but remained in the house; for Moses says, that "he was stripped naked in his house:" for even if a wise man does commit folly, he still does not run to ruin like a bad man; for the evil of the one is spread abroad, but that of the other is kept within bounds, and therefore he becomes sober again, that is to say, he repents, and as it were recovers from his disease. (61) But let us now more accurately examine the statement, "that the stripping of him naked took place in his house." When the soul, being changed, only conceives some evil thing and does not put it in execution, so as to accomplish it in deed, then the sin is only in the private domain and abode of the soul. But if, in addition to thinking some wickedness it proceeds also to accomplish it and carry it into execution, then the wickedness is diffused over the parts beyond his house: (62) and on this account he curses Canaan also, because he related the change of his soul abroad, that is to say, he extended it into the parts out of doors, and gave it notoreity, adding to his evil intention an evil consummation by means of his actions: but Shem and Japhet are praised, because they did not attack his soul, but rather concealed its deterioration. (63) On this account also the prayers and vows of the soul are invalidated when "they are made in the house of one’s father or one’s husband, while the reasoning powers are in a state of quiescence, and do not attack the alteration which has taken place in the soul, but conceal the delinquency; for then also "the master of all things" will purify it: but he hears the prayer of the widow and of her who is divorced without revoking it; for "whatever," says he, "she has vowed against her own soul shall abide to her," and very reasonably; for if, after she has been put away, she has advanced as far as the parts out of the house, so that not only is her place changed, but that she also sins in respect of deeds that she has perfected, she remains incurable, having no communion of conversation with her husband, and being deprived also of the advocacy and consolation of her father. (64) The third description of stripping naked is the middle one, according to which the mind is destitute of reason, having no share in either virtue or vice; and it is with reference to this kind of nakedness which an infant also is partaker of, that the expression is used which says, "And the two were naked, both Adam and his wife;" and the meaning of it is this, neither did their intellect understand, nor did their outward senses perceive this nakedness; but the former was devoid of all power of understanding, and naked; and the latter was destitute of all perception.

XVII. (65) And the expression, "they were not ashamed," we will examine hereafter: for there are three ideas brought forward in this passage. Shamelessness, modesty, and a state of indifference, in which one is neither shameless nor modest. Now shamelessness is the property of a worthless person, and modesty the characteristic of a virtuous one; but the state of being neither modest nor shameless, is a sign of a person who is void of comprehension, and who does not act from any settled opinion; and it is of such a one that we are now speaking: for he who has not yet acquired any comprehension of good or evil, is not able to be either shameless or modest, (66) therefore the examples of shamelessness are all the unseemly pieces of conduct, when the mind reveals disgraceful things, while it ought rather to cover them in the shade, instead of which it boasts of and glories in them. It is said also in the case of Miriam, when she was speaking against Moses, "If her father had spit in her face, ought she not to keep herself retired for seven days?" (67) For the external sense, being really shameless and impudent, though considered as nothing by God the father, in comparison of him who was faithful in all his house, to whom God himself united the Ethiopian woman, that is to say, unchangeable and well-satisfied opinion, dared to speak against Moses and to accuse him, for the very actions for which he deserved to be praised; for this is his greatest praise, that he received the Ethiopian woman, the unchangeable nature, tried in the fire and found honest; for as in the eye, the part which sees is black, so also the part of the soul which sees is what is meant by the Ethiopian woman. (68) Why when, as there are many works of wickedness, does he mention one only, namely, that which is conversant about what is shameful, saying, "they were not ashamed:" but were they not doing wrong, or were they not sinning, or were they not acting indecorously? But the cause is at hand. No, by the only true God, I think nothing so shameful as to suppose that I comprehend with my intellect, or perceive by my outward sense. (69) Is my mind the cause of my comprehending? How so? for does it even comprehend itself, and know what it is, or how it came to exist? And are the outward senses the cause of man’s perceiving anything? How can it be said to be so, when it is neither understood by itself nor by the mind? Do you not see, that he who fancies that he comprehends is often found to be foolish in his acts of covetousness, in his drunkenness, in his deeds of folly? Where then is his intellectual capacity shown in these actions? Again, is not the outward sensation often deprived of the power of exercising itself? Are there not times when seeing we do not see, and hearing we do not hear, when the mind has its attention ever so little drawn off to some other object of the intellect, and is applied to the consideration of that? (70) As long as they are both naked, the mind naked of its power of exciting the intellect, and the outward sense of its power of sensation, they have nothing disgraceful in them; but the moment that they begin to display any comprehension, they become masked in shame and insolence: for they will often be found behaving with simplicity and folly rather than with any sound knowledge, and this not only in particular acts of covetousness, or spleen, or folly, but also in the general conduct of life: for when the outward sense has the dominion the mind is enslaved, giving its attention to no one proper object of its intellect, and when the mind is predominant, the untoward sense is seen to be without employment, having no comprehension of any proper object of its own exercise.

XVIII. (71) "Now the serpent was the most subtle of all the beasts which are upon the earth, which the Lord God made." Two things having been previously created, that is, mind and outward sense, and these also having been stripped naked in the manner which has already been shown, it follows of necessity that pleasure, which brings these two together, must be the third, for the purpose of facilitating the comprehension of the objects of intellect and of outward sense: for neither could the mind, without the outward sense, be able to comprehend the nature of any animal or of any plant, or of a stone or of a piece of wood, or, in short, of any substance whatever; nor could the outward sense exercise its proper faculties without the mind. (72) Since, therefore, it was necessary for both these things to come together for the due comprehension of these objects, what was it which brought them together except a third something which acted as a bond between them, the two first representing love and desire, and pleasure not obtaining the dominion and mastery, which pleasure Moses here speaks of symbolically, under the emblem of the serpent. (73) God, who created all the animals on the earth, arranged this order very admirably, for he placed the mind first, that is to say, man, for the mind is the most important part in man; then outward sense, that is the woman; and then proceeding in regular order he came to the third, pleasure. But the powers of these three, and their ages, are different only in the night, for in point of time they are equal; for the soul brings forward everything at the same moment with itself: but some things it brings forward in their actuality, and others in their power of existing, even if they have not yet arrived at the end. (74) And pleasure has been represented under the form of the serpent, for this reason, as the motion of the serpent is full of many windings and varied, so also is the motion of pleasure. At first it folds itself round a man in five ways, for the pleasures consist both in seeing, and in hearing, and in taste, and in smell, and in touch. But the most vehement and intense are those which arise from connection with woman, through which the generation of similar beings is appointed by nature to be effected. (75) And yet this is not the only reason why we say that pleasure is various in appearance, namely, because it folds itself around all the divisions of the irrational part of the soul, but because it also folds itself with many windings around each separate part. For instance, the pleasures derived from sight are various, there is all the pleasure which arises from the contemplation of pictures or statues; and all other works which are made by art delight the sight. So also do the different stages through which plants go while budding and flowering and bearing fruit; and likewise the diversified beauty of the different animals. In the same manner the flute gives pleasure to the sense of hearing, as does the harp, and every kind of instrument, and the harmonious voices of the irrational animals, of swallows, of nightingales; and likewise the melody of such rational beings as nature has made musical, the tuneful voice of the harp-players, and of those who represent comedy, or tragedy, or any other historionic performance.

XIX. (76) Why need we enlarge on the pleasures of the belly? For we may almost say that there are as may varieties of pleasure as there are of gentle flavours which are presented to the belly, and which excite the outward sense. Was it not then, with great propriety that pleasure, which is derived form many varied sources, was presented to an animal endowed with varied faculties? (77) On this account, too, that part in us which is analogous to the people, and which acts the part of a multitude, when it seeks "the houses in Egypt," that is to say, in its corporeal habitation, becomes entangled in pleasures which bring on death; not that death which is a separation of soul and body, but that which is the destruction of the soul by vice. For Moses says, "And the Lord God sent among the people deadly serpents, and they bit the people, and a great multitude of the children of Israel died." For in real truth there is nothing which so much bringeth death upon the soul as an immoderate indulgence in pleasures. (78) And that which perishes is not the dominant portion in us but the subject one, that which acts the part of the multitude; and it receives death up to this point, namely, until it turns to repentance, and confesses its sin, for the Israelites, coming to Moses, say, "We have sinned in that we have spoken against the Lord and against you; pray, therefore, for us to the Lord, and let him take away the serpents from us." It is well put here, not we have sinned because we have spoken against the Lord, but because we were inclined to sin we have spoken against the Lord, for when the mind sins and departs from virtue, it blames divine things, imputing its own sins to God.

XX. (79) How, then, can there be any remedy for this evil? When another serpent is created, the enemy of the serpent which came to Eve, namely, the word of temperance: for temperance is opposite to pleasure, which is a varied evil, being a varied virtue, and one ready to repel its enemy pleasure. Accordingly, God commands Moses to make the serpent according to temperance; and he says, "Make thyself a serpent, and set it up for a sign." Do you see that Moses makes this serpent for no one else but for himself? for God commands him, "Make it for thyself," in order that you may know that temperance is not the gift of every one, but only of that man who loves God. (80) And we must consider why Moses makes a brazen serpent, when no command was given to him respecting the material of which it was to be formed. May it not have been for this reason? In the first place, the graces of God are immaterial, being themselves only ideas, and destitute of any distinctive quality; but the graces of mortal men are only beheld in connection with matter. In the second place, not only does Moses love the incorporeal virtues, but our own souls, not being able to put off their bodies, do likewise aim at corporeal virtue, (81) and reason, in accordance with temperance, is likened to the strong and solid substance of brass, inasmuch as it is form and not easily cut through. And perhaps brass may also have been selected inasmuch as temperance in the man who loves God is a most honourable thing, and like gold; though it has only a secondary place in a man who has received wisdom and improved in it. "And whomsoever the one serpent bites, if he looks upon the brazen serpent shall live:" in which Moses speaks truly, for if the mind that has been bitten by pleasure, that is by the serpent which was sent to Eve, shall have strength to behold the beauty of temperance, that is to say, the serpent made by Moses in a manner affecting the soul, and to behold God himself through the medium of the serpent, it shall live. Only let it see and contemplate it intellectually.

XXI. (82) Do you not see that wisdom when dominant, which is Sarah, says, "For whosoever shall hear it shall rejoice with me." But suppose that any were able to hear that virtue has brought forth happiness, namely, Isaac, immediately he will sing a congratulatory hymn. As, therefore, it can only be one who has heard the news that can sympathise in one’s joy, so also it can only be he who has clearly seen temperance and God, who is safe from death. (83) But many souls that have been in love with perseverance and temperance, when removed to a distance from the passions, have nevertheless withstood the power of God, and have undergone a change for the worse, while their Master has made a display of himself and of the work of creation; of himself, that he is always immovable, and of the work of creation, that it vibrates as if in a scale, and inclines opposite ways at different times. (84) For Moses speaks to the Israelites of God, "Who led ye then through that great and terrible wilderness, where there were biting serpents, and scorpions, and thirst; where there was no water? who brought forth for thee out of the hard rock a fountain of water? who fed thee with manna in the desert, which thy fathers knew not?" Do you not see that not only did the soul, while longing for the passions which prevailed in Egypt, fall under the power of the serpents, but that, also, while it was in the wilderness, it was bitten by pleasure, that affection of varied and serpent-like appearance? And the work of pleasure has received a most appropriate name, for it is called a biting. (85) Moreover, not only they who were in the desert were bitten by serpents, but also they who were scattered abroad, for I, also, often having left the men who were my kinsmen and my friends, and my country, and having gone into the desert in order that I might perceive some of those things which are worthy of being beheld, have profited nothing. But my mind, being separated from me, or being bitten by passion, has withdrawn towards the things opposite to them. And there are times when in the midst of a multitude composed of infinite numbers of men, I can bring my mind into solitude, God having scattered for me the crowd which perplexes my soul, and having taught me that it is not the difference of place that is the cause of good an devil, but rather God, who moves and drives this vehicle of the soul wherever he pleases. (86) Moreover, the soul falls in with a scorpion, that is to say, with dispersion in the wilderness; and the thirst, which is that of the passions, seizes on it until God sends forth upon it the stream of his own accurate wisdom, and causes the changed soul to drink of unchangeable health; for the abrupt rock is the wisdom of God, which being both sublime and the first of things he quarried out of his own powers, and of it he gives drink to the souls that love God; and they, when they have drunk, are also filled with the most universal manna; for manna is called something which is the primary genus of every thing. But the most universal of all things is God; and in the second place the word of God. But other things have an existence only in word, but in deed they are at times equivalent to that which has no existence.

XXII. (87) See now the difference between him who turns to sin in the desert and him who sins in Egypt. For the one is bitten by serpents which cause death, that is to say by insatiable pleasures which inflict death; but the other, he who meditates in the wilderness, is only bitten by pleasure and driven astray, but is not killed. And the one, indeed, is healed by temperance, which is the brazen serpent which was made by the wise Moses; but the other is supplied by God with a most beautiful draught to drink, namely, wisdom, from the fountain which He himself has brought forth out of his own wisdom. (88) Nor, indeed, does the pleasure which is in the form of a serpent, abstain from attacking that most sincere lover of God, Moses, for we read as follows; "If, therefore, they will not obey me, nor listen to my voice— for they will say, God has not been seen by you— what shall I say to them? And the Lord said unto Moses, What is that which is in thy hand? And he said, A rod. And God said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent, and Moses fled from it. And the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch forth thy hand, and take hold of it by the tail. And having stretched forth his hand, he took hold of it by the tail, and it became a rod in his hand. And the Lord said unto him, That they may believe thee." (89) How can any one believe God? If he has learnt that all other things are changed, but that he alone is unchangeable. Therefore, God asks of the wise Moses what there is in the practical life of his soul; for the hand is the symbol of action. And he answers, Instruction, which he calls a rod. On which account Jacob the supplanter of the passions, says, "For in my staff did I pass over this Jordan." But Jordan being interpreted means descent. And of the lower, and earthly, and perishable nature, vice and passion are component parts; and the mind of the ascetic passes over them in the course of its education. For it is too low a notion to explain his saying literally; as if it meant that he crossed the river, holding his staff in his hand.

XXIII. (90) Well, therefore, does the God loving Moses answer. For truly the actions of the virtuous man are supported by education as by a rod, tranquillizing the disturbances and agitations of the mind. This rod, when cast away, becomes a serpent. Very appropriately. For if the soul casts away instruction, it becomes fond of pleasure instead of being fond of virtue. On which account Moses fled from it, for the man who is fond of virtue does flee from passion and from pleasure. (91) But God did not praise his flight. For it is fitting, indeed, for your mind, before you are made perfect, to meditate flight and escape from the passions; but Moses, that perfect man, ought rather to persevere in his war against them, and to resist them, and to strive against them, otherwise they, relying on their freedom from danger and on their power, will ascend up to the citadel of the soul, and take it by storm, and will plunder it entirely, like a tyrant. (92) On which account God commanded Moses "to take hold of it by the tail," that is to say, let not the hostile and untameable spirit of pleasure terrify you, but with all your power take hold of it, and seize it firmly, and master it. For it will again become a rod instead of a serpent, that is to say, instead of pleasure it will become instruction in your hand; (93) but it will be in your hand, that is in the action of a wise man, which, indeed, is true. But it is impossible to take hold of and to master pleasure, unless the hand be first stretched out, that is to say, unless the soul confesses that all actions and all progress is derived from God; and attributes nothing to himself. Accordingly he, when he saw this serpent, decided to flee from it? But he prepared another principle, that of temperance, which is the brazen serpent: that whosoever was bitten by pleasure, when he looked on temperance, might live a real life.

XXIV. (94) Such a serpent Jacob boasts that Dan is, and he speaks thus: "Dan will judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel:" and again, "Let Dan be a serpent in the path, sitting upon the road, biting the heel of the horse, and the rider shall fall backwards, waiting the salvation of the Lord." The fifth son of Leah is Issachar, the legitimate son of Jacob; but if the two sons of Zilpah are counted he is the seventh; but the fifth son of Jacob is Dan, the son of Billah, the handmaid of Rachel; and the cause of this we will investigate in the proper place, but concerning Dan we must examine further now. (95) The soul produces two kinds, the one divine and the other perishable; that which is the better kind it has already conceived, and ends in it; for when the soul was able to confess to God and to yield everything to him, it was not after that capable of receiving any more valuable possession; on this account she ceased to bring forth, after she had borne Judah, the emblem of the disposition of confessing—(96) and now she begins to form the mortal race—now the mortal race subsists by imbibing; for, like a foundation, the sense of taste is the cause of the duration of animals; but the name Billah, being interpreted, means imbibing. From her was born Dan, which name being interpreted means judgment, for this kind distinguishes between the separates immortal from mortal things, therefore he prays that he may become a workman of temperance. But he will not pray for Judah, for Judah already has the capacity of praying to and pleasing God: (97) "Therefore let Dan," says he, "be a serpent in the path."—One path is the soul. For as in the roads one may behold a great variety of living beings, inanimate and animate, irrational and rational, good and bad, slaves and free, young and old, male and female, strangers and natural citizens, sick and healthy, mutilated and perfect; so also in the soul there are motions inanimate, and imperfect, and diseased, and slavish, and female, and innumerable others of the class of evils; and on the other hand, there are motions which are living, and perfect, and masculine, and free, and healthy, and ripe, and virtuous, and genuine, and really legitimate. (98) Let then the principle of temperance be a serpent in the soul, which makes its advance through all the circumstances of life, and let it sit in the path. But what is the meaning of this expression?—The field of virtue is not trodden down; for they are few who walk along it, but that of vice is trodden and worn? And he recommends him here to occupy and to fill, with ambush and stratagem, the well-trodden path of passion and vice, in which the thoughts which are deserters from virtue pass their life.

XXV. (99) "Biting the heel of the horse,"— Very consistently the disposition which shakes the stability of the created and perishable being is called the supplanter, and the passions are compared to a horse; for passion has four legs as a horse has, and is an impetuous beast, and full of insolence, and by nature a most restive animal. But the reasoning of temperance is wont to bite, and to wound, and to destroy passion. Therefore passion having been tripped up, and having fallen, "the horseman will fall backwards." We must comprehend that the horseman who has mounted upon the passions is the mind, who falls from the passions when they are reasoned upon closely, and so are supplanted; (100) and it is well figured, that the soul does not fall forward, for it must not go before the passions, but rather advance behind them, and behave with moderation. And there is sound learning in what he says here. If the mind, though desirous to act unjustly, comes too late and falls backward, it will not act unjustly; but if, when it is moved onwards to some irrational passion it does not run forward but remains behind, it will then receive freedom from the dominion of the passions, which is a most excellent thing. (101) On which account Moses, approving of this backward fall from off the vices, adds further, "waiting for the salvation of the Lord," for, in good truth, he who falls from the passions is saved by God, and remains safe after their operation. May my soul meet with such a fall as this, and may it never afterwards remount upon that horse like and restive passion, in order that it may await the salvation of God, and attain to happiness! (102) On this account also it was that Moses praised God in his hymn, because "the horse and his rider has he thrown into the sea," meaning that he has thrown the four passions, and the miserable mind which is mounted on them, down into ruin as to its affairs, and into the bottomless pit, and this is almost the burden of the whole hymn, to which every other part of it is referred, and indeed that is the truth; for if once a freedom from the passions occupies the soul, it will become perfectly happy.

XXVI. (103) And we must also inquire, what is the reason why Jacob says, that "the rider will fall backward," and Moses says, that "the horse and his rider have been thrown into the sea." We must say, therefore, that that which is thrown into the sea is the Egyptian disposition, which indeed flies and escapes under the water, that is to say, under the advance of the passions. But the rider who falls backwards is not one of the persons who loves to yield to the passions; and the proof is, that Moses calls the one the horseman (hippeus), and the other the rider (anabatēs). (104) Now it is the business of the horseman to subdue the horse, and when he resists the rein to make him tractable; but it is the part of the rider to be conveyed wherever the animal carries him, and in the sea it is the office of the pilot to guide the ship, and to keep it straight, and to preserve it in the right course; but it is the part of the sailor to endure all that happens to the ship. And in reference to this the horseman who subdues the passions is not drowned in the sea, but dismounting from them awaits the salvation of the master. (105) Accordingly, the word of God in Leviticus recommends men "to feed on those creeping things which go on four feet, and which have legs above their feet, so that they are able to leap with them;" among which are the locust, and the attacus, and the acris, and in the fourth place the serpent-fighter; and every properly; for if pleasure, like a serpent, is an unprofitable and pernicious thing, then the nature which contends against pleasure must be a most profitable and saving thing, and this is temperance. (106) Fight thou then, O my mind, against every passion, and especially against pleasure, for "the serpent is the most subtle of all the beasts that are upon the earth, which the Lord God has made." (107) And of all the passions the most mischievous is pleasure. Why so? Because all things are the slaves of pleasure; and because the life of the wicked is governed by pleasure as by a master. Accordingly, the things which are the efficient causes of pleasure are found to be full of all wickedness: gold and silver, and glory and honours, and powers and the objects of the outward senses, and the mechanical arts, and all other things which cause pleasure, being very various, and all injurious to the soul; and there are no sins without extreme wickedness; (108) therefore do thou array against it the wisdom which contends with serpents; and struggle in this most glorious struggle, and labour to win the crown in the contest against pleasure, which subdues every one else; winning a noble and glorious crown, such as no assembly of men can confer.


I. (1) "And Adam and his wife hid themselves from the face of the Lord God in the midst of the trees of the Paradise." A doctrine is introduced here which teaches us that the wicked man is inclined to run away. For the proper city of wise men is virtue, and he who is incapable of becoming a partaker in that is driven from his city; and no bad man is capable of becoming a partaker of it; therefore the bad man alone is driven away and becomes a banished man. But he who is banished from virtue is at once concealed from the face of God, for if the wise men are visible to God, inasmuch as they are dear to him, it follows plainly that the wicked are all concealed from him, and enveloped in darkness, as being enemies and adversaries to right reason. (2) Now that the wicked man is destitute of a city and destitute of a home, Moses testifies in speaking of that hairy man who was also a man of varied wickedness, Esau, when he says, "But Esau was skilful in hunting, and a rude man." For it is not natural for vice which is inclined to be subservient to the passions to inhabit the city of virtue, inasmuch as it is devoted to the pursuit of rudeness and ignorance, with great folly. But Jacob, who is full of wisdom, is both a citizen and one who dwells in a house, that is to say, in virtue. Accordingly Moses says of him, "But Jacob is a man without guile, dwelling in a house;" (3) On which account also "the midwives, since they feared God made themselves houses." For they, being inclined to seek out the secret mysteries of God, one of which was that the male children should be preserved alive, build up the actions of virtue, in which they had previously determined to dwell. Accordingly, in this account it is shown how the wicked man is destitute of a city and destitute of a home: inasmuch as he is an exile from virtue, but that the virtuous man has a city and is allotted a home, namely wisdom.

II. (4) And let us in the next place consider how any one is said to be concealed from God; but unless any one receives this as an allegorical saying it would be impossible to comprehend what is here stated. For God has completed everything and has penetrated every thing, and has left no one of all his works empty or deserted. What kind of place then can any one occupy in which God is not? And Moses testifies to this in other passages, when he says, "God is in the heaven above, and in the earth beneath; and there is nothing anywhere but he." And in another place he speaks in this manner, "I stood here before you did." For God is of older date than any created being, and he will be everywhere, so that it cannot be possible for any one to be concealed from him: and what need we wonder at? (5) For even if any thing were to happen to us we should not be able to escape the notice of, and to conceal ourselves from the most elementary of created things; for instance, let any one try to flee from the earth, or the water, or the air, or the heaven, or the entire universe, and he will fail; for it is impossible but what he must be contained in these things, for no one will be able to flee out of the world. (6) Again how could any man who is unable to conceal himself from the parts of the world, and from the whole world itself, be able to escape the notice of God? He never could do so. What then is the meaning of the expression, "they hid themselves?" The bad man thinks that God is in a certain place, not surrounding it, but being surrounded by it. On which account also he thinks that he can conceal himself from him, as if God were without any prevailing reason at a distance form that part of the world in which he has determined to lurk.

III. (7) And we must understand this in the following manner. In the wicked man the true opinion concerning God is overshadowed and kept out of sight, for he is full of darkness, having no divine irradiation, by means of which he may be able to contemplate things as they are. And such a man is a fugitive from the divine company just as a leper is or a man with any other impure disease, the one bringing together into the same place God and Creation, two opposite natures of two different complexions, as the causes of things, when there is really but one cause, the great Creator; and the other, a man afflicted with a foul disease, believing that everything is created from the world, and again is dissolved into the world, but thinking that nothing has been created by God, being a follower of the doctrine of Heraclitus introduces covetousness and indigence, and one universe, and all kinds of things alternately. (8) In reference to which the Holy Scripture says "Let them send forth from the holy soul every leper, and every one afflicted with foul disease, and every one who is impure in his soul, both male and female, and all mutilated persons, and all these who are emasculated, and all whoremongers," men who flee from the authority of one God, and who are expressly forbidden "to come into the assembly of God;" (9) but wise reasons are not only not concealed, but are even eager to manifest themselves. Do you not see that Abraham was still standing in the place of the Lord, and coming near to him said "do not then destroy the righteous with impious," him who is manifest to you and well known by you, with him who flees from you and seeks to escape your notice, for he indeed is impious, but the righteous man is one who stands before you and does not flee. For it is right indeed master that you alone should be honoured, (10) but it does not follow that as an impious man is discovered so also is a pious man; but it is sufficient if he is just. On which account he says "do not then destroy the righteous with the wicked." For not even one single man on earth honours God in a worthy manner, but only according to righteousness. For when it is not possible for a man to exhibit due gratitude even to his parents, for it is impossible for him to become their parents in his turn; how can it be anything but absolutely impossible adequately to requite God, or worthily to praise him who created the whole universe out of things that had no previous existence. "For God made all virtue."

IV. (11) Be thou therefore O my soul in all your entirety always visible to God, for three separate times, that is to say for time divided according to a threefold division; not drawing after you the female passion arising from external sensation, but offering up to him manly thought, the encourager to and practiser of persevering courage. "For at three seasons of the year every male must appear before the Lord the God of Israel" this is the injunction of the holy scriptures. (12) On this account Moses when he appears to God in visible form, flees from the dispersing disposition, that is from Pharaoh, who boasts, saying, that he does not know the Lord, "for Moses," says he, "retreated from the presence of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian" that is to say, being interpreted, in the judgment of the nature of things; and sat down upon a well, waiting to see what good which might be drank in God would rain upon his thirsting and eager soul. (13) Accordingly he retreats from the impious opinion which is the mistress of the passions, namely from Pharaoh; and he retreats into Midian, that is to say into judgment, considering anxiously whether he ought to live in tranquil inactivity or whether he ought again to contend with that wicked man to his own destruction. And he considers whether if he attacks him he shall be able to gain the victory, from which consideration he restrains himself waiting, as I have already said, to see if God will give to his deep and not frivolous consideration, a fountain sufficient to wash away the impetuosity of the king of Egypt, that is to say of his own passions. (14) And he is thought worthy of grace, for having fought the good fight in behalf of virtue he never ceases from warring till he sees the pleasures overthrown and baulked of their object. And with this view Moses does not flee from Pharaoh, for if he had done so he would have fled without returning; but withdraws for a time, that is to say he makes a truce from the war, after the fashion of a wrestler who seeks a respite and collects his breath again, until, having aroused the alliance of prudence and the other virtues he attacks his enemy once more, by divine reason, with the most vigorous power. (15) But Jacob, for he is a supplanter, having acquired virtue by regular system and discipline, not without hard labour, for his name had not as yet been changed to Israel, "fled from the affairs of labour" that is to say from colours and figures, and in short from bodies the nature of which is to wound the soul through the objects of outward sense; for since, when he was present, he could not entirely and utterly subdue them, he fled, fearing to be subdued by them. And he is very worthy of praise for so doing; for "says Moses you will make the children of Israel cautious," but not bold, or covetous of those things, which do not belong to them.

V. (16) "And Jacob concealed himself from Laban the Syrian, in that he told him not that he was about to flee from him, and he fled from him, taking with him all that he had, and he crossed the river, and proceeded towards the Mount Gilead." It was most natural for him to conceal that he was about to flee, and not to inform Laban, who was a man depending wholly on thoughts such as arise from the outward senses, just as if you have seen some excellent beauty and are charmed with it, and are likely to be led into error in respect of it, you should privily flee from the imagination of it, and never tell it to your mind, that is to say, never think of it again nor give it any consideration, for continued recollections of anything are not without making some distinct impression, and injure the intellect and turn it out of the right way, even against its will. (17) And the same reasoning applies to all temptations which arise in respect of any one of the external senses, for in all such cases secret flight is the preserver from danger. But to keep recalling the temptation to one’s mind, and to talk of it and dwell upon it subdues and enslaves the reason by force. Do not these then ever, O my mind, report to yourself any object of outward sense that has been seen by you, if you are likely to be led away captive by it, and do not dwell on it, in order that you may not become miserable by being subdued by it, but rather, while you are still free, rise up and flee, preferring untamed liberty to slavery and subjection to a master.

VI. (18) But why now, as if Jacob had been ignorant that Laban was a Syrian, does Moses say, "And Jacob concealed himself from Laban the Syrian." This expression, however, has a reason in it which is not superfluous; for the name Syria, being interpreted, means high. Jacob, therefore, being an experienced man, that is to say, being mind, when he sees passion low and powerless, abides it, thinking that he shall be able to subdue it by force: but when he beholds it high, and bearing its neck haughtily, and full of arrogance, then experienced mind flees first, and afterwards the other parts of his experience do also flee, namely reading, meditation, care, the recollection of what is honourable, temperance, the energy in pursuit of what is becoming; and so he crosses over the river of the objects affecting the outward senses, which wash over and threaten to submerge the soul by the impetuosity of the passions, and having crossed over he proceed towards the high and lofty reason of perfect virtue; (19) for "he proceeded towards the Mount of Gilead;" and Gilead being interpreted means the migration of testimony, since God caused the soul to migrate from the passions which surrounded Laban, and bore witness to it, that it should migrate and receive another settlement, because it was profitable and expedient, and conducted it onwards from the evils calculated to render the soul base, and seeking the things that are on the earth, to the height and magnitude of virtue. (20) On this account Laban, the friend of the outward senses, and one who energised according to them and not according to his mind, is indignant, and pursues after him and says, "why did you flee from me secretly, and not remain for the enjoyment of your soul, and for the opinions which judge concerning the body and the external good things of the world?" But in fleeing from this opinion you have despoiled me also of my prudence, Leah and Rachel; for they, when they remained in the soul created, prudence in it, but now that they have departed they have left it ignorance and inexperience." On which account he adds, "You have stripped me," that is to say, you have robbed me of my prudence.

VII. (21) And what that prudence was he will proceed to tell us, for he adds, "And you have led away my daughters as captives; and if you had told me, I would myself have sent you away." You would not have sent away things which were at variance with one another, for if you had sent them away really, and had emancipated the soul, you would have removed from it all bodily sounds, and such as affect the outward senses; for in this way the intellect is emancipated from evils and passions. But now you say that you send it away free, but by your actions you confess that you would have retained it in a prison; for if you had sent it on its way with musical instruments, and drums and harps, and all the pleasures which affect the outward senses, you would not in reality have released it at all; (22) for it is not you then only from whom we are fleeing, O Laban, thou companion of bodies and colours, but we are also escaping from everything that is thine, in which the voices of the outward senses sound in harmony with the energies of the passions. For we, if at least we are practisers of virtue, have meditated a very necessary meditation, which Jacob also meditated, namely, to overthrow and destroy those gods who are hostile to the soul, gods made by hands, gods whom Moses forbade the people to make; and these gods are the destruction of virtue and of a good state of the passions, but the consolidation and confirmation of vice and the appetites; for that metal which is cast, after it has been fused, is soon consolidated again.

VIII. (23) But Moses speaks thus, "And they gave to Jacob the foreign gods which were in their hands, and the earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the turpentine tree which was in Shechem." These are the gods of the wicked, but Jacob is not said to have taken them, but to have concealed and destroyed them, for every case being most accurately described, for the virtuous man will take nothing from wickedness for his own advantage, but will conceal all such things and destroy them secretly. (24) Just as Abraham tells the king of Sodom, when he was proposing to give him things of irrational nature in exchange for rational animals, namely, horses in exchange for men, "that he would take nothing that belonged to him, but that he would stretch out "the action of his soul," which, speaking symbolically, he called "his hand," to the most high God; "for that he had not taken from a thread even to a shoe-latchet of all that was his (the king of Sodom’s), in order that the king might never say that he had made the discerning man," namely Abraham, "rich," exchanging poverty for wealthy virtue. (25) The passions are always concealed and guarded in Shechem; and the name Shechem being interpreted means "the shoulder;" for he who labours concerning pleasures is inclined to preserve them. But the passions are concealed and destroyed by the wise man, and that too not for a brief space of time, but up to this present day, that is to say, for ever, for all time is measured by the present day, for the cycle of one day is the measure of all time. (26) On which account Jacob gives Joseph Shechem, as an especial portion beyond the rest of his brethren, meaning thereby the bodily things which are the objects of the outward senses, since he had gone through labour in respect of them; but to Judah the confessor he gave not presents but praise, and hymns and divine songs, in which he should be celebrated by his brethren. And Jacob did not receive Shechem as a gift from God, but he took it with his sword and with his bow, that is to say, by words, which had the power of cutting and repelling; for the wise man subjects all secondary things to himself, and when he has so subjected them he does not retain them, but makes a present of them to him who is by nature adapted to them. (27) Do you not see that also, when he appeared to take the gods, he did not take them but concealed them and put them out of the way, and destroyed them out of his sight for ever. Now to what soul could it have happened to conceal vice and to put it out of the way, except to that soul to which God was revealed, and which he considered worthy to receive the revelation of his unspeakable mysteries? For he says, "shall I hide from Abraham my son that thing which I am doing?" Well done, O Saviour, in that thou showest thy works to the soul which desires good things, and has concealed from it no one of thy works: and by reason of this conduct of thine he is able to avoid evil, and to conceal it and keep it out of sight, and to destroy for ever the passions which are injurious.

IX. (28) We have shown, therefore, in what manner the wicked man is a fugitive, and how he conceals himself from God; but now let us consider where he conceals himself. "In the middle," says Moses, "of the trees of the garden;" that is to say, in the middle of the mind, which again is itself the centre of the whole soul, as the trees are of the garden. For the man who escapes from God flees to himself, (29) for, since there are two things, the mind of the universe, which is God, and also the separate mind of each individual, he who escapes from the mind which is in himself flees to the mind of the universe; and conversely, he who forsakes his own individual mind, confesses that all the things of the human mind are of no value, and attributes everything to God; again, he who seeks to escape from God asserts, by so doing, that God is not the cause of anything, but looks upon himself as the cause of everything that exists. (30) At all events it is affirmed by many people, that everything in the world is borne on spontaneously without any guide or governor, and that the human mind, by its own single power, has invented arts and pursuits, and laws and customs, and all the principles of political and individual, and common justice, with reference both to men and to irrational animals. (31) But dost thou not see, O soul, the unreasonable character of these opinions? For one of them having the particular mind, which was created and which is mortal, does in reality ascribe it to the mind of the universe, which is uncreated and immortal: and the other again, repudiating God, most inconsistently drags forward, as an ally, that mind which is unable even to assist itself.

X. (32) On this account also Moses says, that "If a thief be detected in the act of breaking into a house, and be smitten so that he die, that shall not be imputed as murder to him who has smitten him; but if the sun be risen upon him, then he is liable, and shall die in retaliation." For if any one cuts down and destroys that reason which stands upright and is sound and correct, which testifies to God that he alone is able to do everything, and is found in the act of breaking in upon it, that is to say, standing over this reason thus wounded and destroyed, and who recognizes his own mind as energizing, and not God, is a thief, taking away what belongs to others, (33) for all things belong to God; so he who attributes anything to himself is taking away what belongs to another, and receives a very severe blow and one difficult to heal, namely, arrogance, a thing nearly akin to imprudence and ignorance. But he says nothing as to the name of him who has smitten him, for the smiter is not a different person from him who is smitten. But as a man who rubs himself is likewise a person who is rubbed, and as he who stretches himself out is also the person who is stretched out, for he himself both exerts the power of the agent, and also fills the part of the patient. In like manner is he, who steals the things which belong to God, and attributes them to himself, subjected to the tortures of his own impiety and arrogance. (34) Would that the man so stricken might die, that is to say might perish before he had succeeded in his objects, for then he will appear to be less sinful, for of vice one kind is discerned in habit, and another kind in motion; but the one which is discerned in motion has an inclination towards the perfecting of its operation, on which account it is more mischievous than the one which is discerned only in habit. (35) If therefore the mind, which imagines itself and not God to be the cause of things, dies, that is to say, becomes inactive and contracts itself, then there is no cause of death in it; it has not absolutely destroyed the living opinion, which attributes all power, and all exertion of power to God, but if the Sun rises, that is to say the mind which appears brilliant in us, and if it appears to see through everything and to judge everything, and not to flee from itself, it then becomes liable to death, and shall die in retaliation for the living doctrine which it has destroyed; according to which God alone is the cause of everything, being found to be wholly unable to effect any good purpose, and to be truly dead in as much as it has shown itself the interpreter of a lifeless and dead and departed doctrine.

XI. (36) And it is in reference to this that the Holy Scripture curses "any one who has placed in any secret place any carved thing, or any thing made of cast metal, the work of the hands of an artist." For why, O mind, do you store and treasure up within yourself depraved opinions, that God is a being of such and such qualities, (he who has no distinctive qualities) like a carved work; or that he who is imperishable is perishable like images that are cast in the foundry; and why do you not rather bring them forward openly that you may learn what is right from men who practice the truth? For you think that you are endowed with some great skill because you have devised absurd opinions imposing upon you by an appearance of probability, in opposition to the truth: but in reality you are proved to be destitute of skill, in as much as you are unwilling to be healed of that terrible disease of the soul, ignorance.

XII. (37) But that the wicked man skins into and is concealed within his own scattered mind, fleeing from the real mind or truth, is testified by Moses "who smote the Egyptian and buried him in the sand," the meaning of which is that he by his arguments convinced him who asserted that the good things of the body were the most excellent, and who thought that the good things of the soul were of no value, and who likewise esteemed the pleasures as the end of life. (38) For when he had comprehended the labour of him who beholds God, which the king of Egypt had imposed on him, (and by the king of Egypt is meant vice, which is the guide of the passions) he sees an Egyptian man, that is to say human passions operating at a seasonable moment, beating and insulting the man who behold God, and looking round upon the whole soul on this side and on that side, and seeing no one standing by except the true God, and everything else in a state of confusion and disorder, having stricken down and convicted the lover of pleasure, he hides him in the dispersed and agitated mind, which is deprived of all kindred with and comprehension of what is good. (39) This man then is hidden in himself, but the man who is opposite to him escapes from himself, and flees to the God of all existing things.

XIII. On which account Moses says moreover, "He led him forth out of doors and said to him, look up to heaven, and count the stars," which we should be glad indeed to see thoroughly and to comprehend; since we are insatiable in our love for notice, but nevertheless we are unable to measure the riches of God. (40) Nevertheless thanks be to that magnificent and bounteous God because he says that he has implanted in the soul seeds as brilliant, as visible at a distance, and as eternally new as the stars in heaven. And it is not a superfluous addition when after having said "he led him forth," he subjoins "out of doors," for who is ever led forth in doors? But perhaps what he says here has some such meaning as this; he led him forth into the outermost place, not into some place or other out of doors, which might be surrounded by other places. For as in dwelling houses the man’s character is outside the woman’s chamber, and the inner chamber is within, and the vestibule is outside of the hall but within the doorway, so also in the case of the soul that which is within one thing may be outside of some other thing. (41) This then is the sense in which we must understand this passage; he led the mind forth into the outermost place, for what was the use of his leaving the body and fleeing to the outward senses; and what would have been the use of his discarding the outward senses, and subjecting that which exists to the voice? For it is fitting that the mind which is about to be led forth, and to be dismissed in freedom should be emancipated from all corporeal necessities, from all the organs of the outward senses, from all sophistical ratiocinations, and plausible persuasions, and last of all from itself.

XIV. (42) On which account in another passage also he boasts, saying "the Lord the God of Heaven, and the God of earth who took me out of the house of my father." For it is not possible for one who dwells in the body and belongs to the race of mortals to be united with God, but he alone can be so whom God delivers from that prison house of the body. (43) On which account also, that joy of the soul, Isaac, when he is conversing and discoursing privately with God, comes forth forsaking himself and his own mind, for he says, "Come forth, O Isaac, to converse in the plain towards evening," and Moses, that word of prophecy, says, "When I go forth from the city," that is from my soul, (for the soul is the city of the living creature, in as much as it is the soul which gives it its laws and customs), "I will stretch forth my hands," and I will reveal and unfold all my actions to God, invoking him as a witness and inspector of every one of them, from whom it is impossible by its own nature that vice should be hidden, but to whom it must be unfolded and by whom it must be clearly discerned. (44) When therefore the soul is made manifest in all its sayings and doings, and is made a partaker of the divine nature, the voices of the external senses are reduced to silence, and so likewise are all troublesome and ill-omened sounds, for the objects of sight often speak loudly and invite the sense of sight to themselves; and so do voices invite the sense of hearing; scents invite the smell, and altogether each varied object of sense invites its appropriate sense. But all these things are put at rest when the mind going forth out of the city of the soul, attributes all its own actions and conceptions to God.

XV. (45) "For the hands of Moses are heavy." For since the actions of the wicked man are like the wind and light, those of the wise man on the other hand are heavy and immovable, and not easily shaken; in reference to which is hands are held up by Aaron, who is reason, or by Ur, who is light. Now of all existing things there is nothing clearer than the truth; therefore Moses intends here to signify by a symbolical form of expression, that the actions of the wise man are supported by the most necessary of all qualities, reason and truth. On this account also, when Aaron dies, that is to say, when the truth is completely asserted, he ascends up to Ur, that is to say, to Light; for the proper end of reason is truth, which is more visible than any light, and to it reason is always striving to come. (46) Do you not see that also when he received the tabernacle from God, and this tabernacle is wisdom, in which the wise man tabernacles and, dwells, he fixed it firmly and founded and built it up strongly, not in the body but out of it; for he likens this to an encampment, to a camp I say full of wars and of all the evils which war causes, and which has not portion with peace. "And it was called the tabernacle of testimony;" that is to say wisdom was borne witness to by God. For every one who seeks the Lord went forth out of his house. And this is well said. (47) For if you seek God, O my mind, go forth out of yourself, and so seek for him; but if you remain in the substance of the body, or in the vain opinions of the mind, you are then without any real wish to search into divine things, even if you do put on the appearance and pretence of seeking them. If when you search you will find God, is uncertain; for there have been many persons to whom he has not revealed himself, but they have expended a vain labour all their time. But the mere act of seeking for him is sufficient to entitle you to a participation in good things, for the desire for what is good, even if it fails in attaining the end which it seeks, does at all events always gladden the heart of those who cherish it. (48) Thus the wicked man who flees from virtue, and who seeks to conceal himself from God, flees to a powerless ally, that is his own mind, but the good man on the contrary seeking to escape from himself turns to the knowledge of the one God, and is victorious in the honourable race, and in that contest which is of all the most excellent.

XVI. (49) "And the Lord God called Adam, and said unto him, where art thou?" Why now is Adam, alone called, when his wife also was concealed together with him? In the first place we must say that the mind is summoned, and asked where it is. When it is converted, and reproved for its offence, not only is it summoned itself but all its faculties are also summoned, for without its faculties the mind by itself is found to be naked, and to be absolutely nothing, and one of its faculties is also the outward sense, that is to say the woman. (50) The woman therefore, that is the outward sense is also summoned together with Adam, that is the mind, but separately God does not summon her. Why not? Because being destitute of reason she is incapable of being convicted by herself. For neither can sight, nor hearing, nor any one of the other external senses be taught, and moreover none of them are capable of receiving the comprehension of things; for the Creator has not made them capable of distinguishing anything but bodies only. But the mind is able to receive teaching: on account of which fact God calls that, but not the external senses.

XVII. (51) And the expression "Where art thou?" amidst of being interpreted in many ways. In the first place it may be taken not as an interrogation, but as an affirmation, equivalent to the words "You are somewhere," if you alter the accent on the particle pou "where." For, since you have thought that God was walking in the garden, and was surrounded by it, learn now that in this you were mistaken, and hear from God who knows all things that most true statement that God is not in any one place. For he is not surrounded by anything, but he does himself surround everything. For that which is created is in place; for it is inevitable that it must be surrounded, and not be the thing which surrounds. (52) In the second placed, that which is said is equivalent to this, Where has thou been, O soul? What evils hast thou chosen instead of what good things? When God invited you to a participation in virtue, have you pursued vice? And when he offered to you for your enjoyment the tree of life, that is to say the tree of wisdom by which you might live, have you hastened into ignorance and to destruction, preferring misery, the death of the soul to the happiness of eternal life? (53) The third interpretation is the interrogative one; to which there may be two answers given. The one, if the answer be give to the inquirer, "Where art thou?" is, "Nowhere." For the soul of the wicked man has no place to which it can go, or in which it can be situated. In respect of which fact the wicked man is said to be destitute of place; but an evil destitute of place is one which is difficult to manage. And such is the man who is void of good qualities, being always agitated and in a state of confusion, and wavering about after the fashion of an unsteady breeze being altogether the companion of no single steady opinion. (54) The other answer may be of this kind; that which Adam himself uses. "Hear where I am," where those are who are unable to see God; where those are who do not listen to God; where those are who endeavour to conceal themselves from him who is the author of all things: where those are who flee from virtue, where those are who are destitute of wisdom, where those are who are alarmed and tremble because of the unmanliness and cowardice of their souls. For when Adam says, "I heard thy voice in the paradise and I was afraid because I was naked and I hid myself," he exhibits all the qualities enumerated above, as I have shown, more at length, in the former books of this treatise.

XVIII. (55) And yet Adam is not now naked. It has been said a little before that "they made themselves girdles," but by this expression Moses intends to teach you that he is not meaning here to speak of the nakedness of the body, but of that in respect of which the mind is found to be wholly deficient in and destitute of virtue. (56) "The woman," says Adam, "whom you gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree and I did eat." The expression here is very accurate, inasmuch as he does not say, "The woman whom you gave to me," but "The woman whom you gave to be with me." For you did not give me the outward senses as a possession, but you left them free and unimpeded, and in some sort not at all yielding to the injunctions of my intellect. If therefore the mind were to be inclined to command the sight not to see, it nevertheless would see any subject which came before it. And the hearing also will in every case apprehend any sound which falls upon it, even if the mind in its jealousy were to command it not to hear. And again the smell will smell every scent which reaches it, even if the mind were to forbid it to apprehend it. (57) On this account it is that God did not give the outward sense to the creature, but to be with the creature. And the meaning of this is, the inward sense in conjunction with our mind knows every thing, and does so too at the same moments with the mind. As for instance the sense of sight in conjunction and simultaneously with the mind strikes upon the subject of sight; for the eye sees the substance, and immediately the mind comprehends the thing seen, that is black or white, or pale, or red, or triangular, or quadrangular, or round, or that is of any other colour or shape as the case may be. And so again the sense of hearing is affected by a sound, and with the sense of hearing the mind is also affected; and the proof of it is this; the mind immediately distinguishes the character of the voice, that it is thin, or that it has substance, or that it is melodious and tuneful; or, on the other hand, that it is out of tune and inharmonious. And the same is found to be the case in respect of the rest of the inward senses. (58) And very appropriately do we see that Adam adds this assertion, "She gave me of the tree;" but he gives an habitation made of wood and perceptible by the outward senses to the mind except that outward sense itself. For what gave to the mind to be able to distinguish body, or whiteness? Was it not the sight? And what enabled it to distinguish sounds? Was it not the hearing? What, again, endowed it with the faculty of judging of smells? Was it not the sense of smell? What enabled it to decide upon flavours? Was it not the taste? What invested it with the power of distinguishing between rough and smooth? Was it not the touch? Correctly, therefore, and with complete truth was it said by the mind, that it was the outward sense alone which gave me the power to comprehend the corporeal substance.

XIX. (59) And God said to the woman, "What is this that thou hast done?" And she said, "The serpent beguiled me and I did eat." God asks one question of the outward sense, and she replies to a different one. For he is putting a question which has reference to the man; but she in her reply speaks not of the man but of herself, saying, "I ate," not I gave. (60) May we then by the use of allegory solve the question which was here put, and show that the woman gave a felicitous and correct answer to the question? For it follows of necessity that when she had eaten, her husband did also eat, for when the outward sense striking upon its object is filled with its appearance, then immediately the mind joins it and takes its share of it, and is in a manner made perfect by the nourishment which it receives form it. This therefore is what she says, I unintentionally gave it to my husband, for while I was applying myself to what was presented to me, he, being very easily and quickly moved, impressed its appearance and image upon himself.

XX. (61) But take notice that the man says that the woman gave it to him; but that the woman does not say that the serpent gave it to her, but that he beguiled her; for it is the especial property of the outward sense to give, but it is the attribute of pleasure which is of a diversified and serpent-like nature to deceive and to beguile. For instance, the outward sense presents to the mind the image of what is white by nature, or black, or hot, or cold, not deceiving it, but acting truly; for the subjects of the outward sense are of such a character, as also is the imagination which presents itself to man from them, in the case of the great majority of men who do not carry their knowledge of natural philosophy to any accurate extent. But pleasure does not present to the mind that the subject is such as it is in reality, but deceives it by its artifice, thrusting that, in which there is no advantage, into the class of things profitable. (62) For as we may at times see ill-looking courtezans dyeing and painting their faces in order to conceal the plainness of their countenances, so also may we see the intemperate man acting who is inclined to the pleasures of the belly. He looks upon great abundance of wine and a luxurious store of food as a good thing, though he is injured by them both in his body and in his soul. (63) Again, we may often see lovers madly eager to be loved by the ugliest of women, because pleasure deceives them and all but affirms positively to them that beauty of form, and delicacy of complexion, and healthiness of flesh, and symmetry of limb, exists in those who have the exact contraries to all these qualifications. Accordingly, they overlook those who are truly possessed of perfectly irreproachable beauty, and waste away with love for such creatures as I have mentioned. (64) Every kind of deceit therefore is closely connected with pleasure; and every kind of gift with the outward sense: for the one bewilders the mind with sophistry and misleads it, representing to it anything that comes before it, not in the character which really belongs to it, but in one that does not. But the outward sense presents bodies, plainly as they are according to their real nature, without any device or artifice.

XXI. (65) "And the Lord God said to the serpent, Because thou hast done this thing, thou art cursed above all cattle and every beats of the field; upon thy breast and upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life. And I will put enmity in the midst between thee and between the woman, and in the midst between thy seed and between her seed, He shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." What is the reason why he curses the serpent without allowing him to make any defence, when in another place he commands that "both the parties between whom there is any dispute shall be heard," and that one shall not be believed till the other has been heard? (66) And indeed in this case you see that he did not give a prejudged belief to Adam’s statement against his wife; but he gave her also an opportunity of defending herself, when he asked her, "Why hast thou done this?" But she confessed that she had erred through the deceitfulness of serpent-like and diversified pleasure. Why, therefore, when the woman had said, "The serpent deceived me," did he forbid the putting of the question to the serpent whether it was he who had thus deceived her; and why did he thus appoint him to be condemned without trial and without defence? (67) We must say, therefore, that the external senses are not a peculiar property of either bad or good men, but that they are of an intermediate nature, and common to both the wise man and the fool, and when they are found in the fool, they are bad; but when they are found in the wise man, they are good. Very naturally therefore, since it has a nature which is not necessarily and intrinsically evil, but one which being capable of either character, inclines at different times and under different circumstances towards either extremity, it is not condemned till it has itself confessed that it followed the worse inclination. (68) But the serpent, that is pleasure, is of itself evil. On this account it is absolutely not found at all in the virtuous man; but the wicked man alone enjoys it. Very properly therefore does God curse it before it has time to make any defence, inasmuch as it has no seed of virtue within it, but is at all times and in all places blameable and polluting.

XXII. (69) On this account also, God "saw that Er was wicked," without any apparent cause for this judgment of his character, and he slew him. For God is not unaware that that leathern mass which covers us, namely, the body; for Er being interpreted means leather, is an evil thing, and one which plots against the soul, and which is at all times lifeless and dead. For what else does he compel any one of us to do but to carry about a dead body, our soul raising up the body which as far as its own nature goes is dead, and bearing it almost without difficulty? And just consider, if you will, the great energy of the soul, (70) for the most vigorous athlete would not be able to carry about a statue of himself for even a short time; but the soul, without any exertion and without any fatigue, carries about the statue of a man occasionally even for as long a time as a hundred years; for even at the end of that period it does not kill it, but only gets rid of a body which was dead from the beginning. (71) And it is evil by nature, as I have said before, and a thing which plots against the soul, but which is not visible to all men, but only to God, and to such men as are friends to God. "For the wicked Er," says Moses, "was an enemy of the Lord." For when the mind busies itself with sublime contemplations, and becomes initiated into the mysteries of the Lord, it judges the body to be a wicked and hostile thing; but when it abandons its investigations of divine things, it then looks upon the body as something friendly, and belonging to and nearly akin to itself; and accordingly it flies to the things which are dear to it. (72) On this account the soul of the athlete and the soul of the philosopher differ; for the athlete attributes all his importance to the good condition of his body, and would throw away his soul itself in the cause of his body, as being a man devoted to his body; but the philosopher, being a lover of what is virtuous, cares for that which is alive within him, namely his soul, and disregards his body which is dead, having no other object but to prevent the most excellent portion of him, namely his soul, from being injured by the evil and dead thing which is connected with it.

XXIII. (73) You see that it is not the Lord who is here spoken of as slaying Er, but God. For he does not kill the body in respect of the absolute and irresponsible power which he possesses, and by which he rules and governs the universe, but in respect of that authority which he possesses in consequence of his goodness and excellence, for God is the name of goodness, the cause of all things; that you may understand that he also created all inanimate things, not by his authority, but by his goodness, by which also he created all living things; for it was requisite for the manifestation of the better things, that there should also be a subordinate creation of the inferior things, through the power of the same goodness which was the cause of all, which is God. (74) When, then, O Soul! shall you most especially consider that you have gained a victory? Will it not be when you are made perfect, and when you have been thought worthy of decisions in your favour and of crowns? For then you will be a lover of God, not of the body, and you will receive prizes, inasmuch as your wife shall be Thamar the bride of Judah, and Thamar being interpreted means the palmtree, the symbol of victory. And a proof of this is, that when Er married her, he was at once discovered to be a wicked man, and was slain; for Moses says, "And Judah took a wife for Er, his first-born son, whose name was Thamar;" and immediately afterwards he adds, "And Er was a wicked man before the Lord, and God slew him;" for when the mind has carried off the prize of virtue, it condemns the dead body to death. (75) You see that God also curses the serpent without allowing it to make any defence, for it is pleasure: and so also he slays Er without any visible cause being alleged, for Er is the body. And if you consider, O good friend, you will find that God has created in the soul some natural qualities which are in themselves faulty and blameless, and also in every soul some which are virtuous and praiseworthy, as is the case likewise with plants and animals. (76) Do you not see that the Creator has made some plants capable of cultivation and useful and salutary, and others incapable of cultivation, wild, pernicious, the causes of diseases and destruction; and animals too of similar variety of character, as beyond all question is the serpent, of which we are now speaking; for he is a destructive and deadly animal by his intrinsic nature. And as the serpent affects man, so does pleasure too affect the soul; in reference to which fact the serpent has been compared to pleasure.

XXIV. (77) As, therefore, God hates pleasure and the body without any especial cause, so also does he give pre-eminent honour to virtuous natures without any visible cause; not alleging any action of theirs before the praises of them which he utters. For if any one were to ask why Moses says that "Noah found grace before the Lord God," without having previously done any good thing, as far at least as we know, we shall be very properly answered, that he was proved to be a praiseworthy character and order of creation; for the name Noah, being interpreted, means rest, or just: and it follows of necessity that one who is resting from acts of injustice and from sins, and who, so resting, lives with virtue and justice, must find grace before God; (78) and to find grace, is not only, as some call it, equivalent to the expression "pleasing God," but it has some such meaning as this. The just man seeking to understand the nature of all existing things, makes this one most excellent discovery, that everything which exists, does so according to the grace of God, and that there is nothing ever given by, just as there is nothing possessed by, the things of creation. On which account also it is proper to acknowledge gratitude to the Creator alone. Accordingly, to those persons who seek to investigate what is the origin of creation, we may most correctly make answer, that it is the goodness and the grace of God, which he has bestowed on the human race; for all the things which are in the world, and the world itself, are the gift and benefaction and free grace of God.

XXV. (79) Moreover, God made Melchisedek, the king of peace, that is of Salem, for that is the interpretation of this name, "his own high priest," without having previously mentioned any particular action of his, but merely because he had made him a king, and a lover of peace, and especially worthy of his priesthood. For he is called a just king, and a king is the opposite of a tyrant, because the one is the interpreter of law, and the other of lawlessness. (80) Therefore the tyrannical mind imposes violent and mischievous commands on both soul and body, and such as have a tendency to cause violent suffering, being commands to act according to vice, and to indulge the passions with enjoyment. But the other, the kingly mind, in the first place, does not command, but rather persuades, since it gives recommendations of such a character, that if guided by them, life, like a vessel, will enjoy a fair voyage through life, being directed in its course by a good governor and pilot; and this good pilot is right reason. (81) We may therefore call the tyrannical mind the ruler of war, and the kingly mind the guide to peace, that is Salem. And this kingly mind shall bring forth food full of cheerfulness and joy; for "he brought forth bread and wine," which the Ammonites and Moabites were not willing to give to the beholder, that is Israel; by reason of such unwillingness they are shut out from the companionship and assembly of God. For the Ammonites being they who are sprung from the outward sense of the mother, and the Moabites, who originate in the mind of the father, are two different dispositions, which look upon the mind and the outward sense as the efficient causes of all existing things, but take no notice of God. Therefore "they shall not come," says Moses, "into the assembly of the Lord, because they did not come to meet you with bread and water when you came out of Egypt," that is, out of the passions.

XXVI. (82) But Melchisedek shall bring forward wine instead of water, and shall give your souls to drink, and shall cheer them with unmixed wine, in order that they may be wholly occupied with a divine intoxication, more sober than sobriety itself. For reason is a priest, having, as its inheritance the true God, and entertaining lofty and sublime and magnificent ideas about him, "for he is the priest of the most high God." Not that there is any other God who is not the most high; for God being one, is in the heaven above, and in the earth beneath, and there is no other besides him." But he sets in motion the notion of the Most High, from his conceiving of God not in a low and grovelling spirit, but in one of exceeding greatness, and exceeding sublimity, apart from any conceptions of matter.

XXVII. (83) And what good thing had Abraham done as yet when God called him and bade him become a stranger to his country and to this "generation," and to dwell in the land which the Lord should give him? And that is a good and populous city, and one of great happiness. For the gifts of God are great and honourable. But he made this position of Abraham also to be typical, containing an emblem worthy of attentive consideration. For Abraham, being interpreted, means "Lofty Father;" a title of admiration in both its divisions. (84) For when the mind does not, like a master, threaten the soul, but rather guides it, like a father, not indulging it in the pleasant things, but giving it what is expedient for it, even against its will, and also turning it away from all lowly things and such as lead it to mortal paths, it leads it to sublime contemplations and makes it dwell amid speculations on the world and its constituent parts. And, moreover, mounting up higher, it investigates the Deity itself, and his nature, through an unspeakable lore of knowledge, in consequence of which it cannot be content to abide in the original decrees, but, being improved itself, becomes also desirous of removing to a better habitation.

XXVIII. (85) But there are some persons whom, even before their creation, God creates and disposes excellently; respecting whom he determines beforehand that they shall have a most excellent inheritance. Do you not see what he says about Isaac to Abraham, when he had no hope of any such thing, namely, that he should become the father of such an offspring, but did rather laugh at the promise, and asked, "Shall a son be born to me, who am a hundred years old; and shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bring forth a child?" But God asserts it positively, and ratifies his promise saying, "Yea, behold Sarah, thy wife, shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name Isaac, and I will establish my covenant towards him for an everlasting covenant." (86) What then is the reason which caused this man, also, to be praised before his birth? There are some good things which are an advantage to a man both when they are past, and when they are present, such as good health, a sound condition of the outwards senses, riches, if he be endowed with them, a good reputation; for all these things may, by a slight perversion of words, be called good things. But some are so not merely when they have been given to us, but even when it is predicted that they shall be so given, as joy as a good affection of the soul; for this does not cheer a man only when it is present and energises actively in him, but it delights him also by anticipations when it is hoped for—for it has this especial quality; all other good qualities have their own separate operation and effect, but joy is both a separate good and a common good, for it comes as a crowning one after all the rest—for we feel joy at good health, and we feel joy at liberty and at honour, and at all other such things, so that one may say with propriety that there is not one single good thing which has not the additional good of joy. (87) But not only do we rejoice at other good things which are already previously past and also at those which are present, but we rejoice also at good things when about to happen to us and expected; as for instance, when we hope that we shall become rich, or that we shall obtain power, or that we shall receive praise, or that we shall find a means to get rid of an illness, or that we shall acquire vigour and strength, or that we shall become learned instead of ignorant, in all these cases we are rejoiced in no slight degree. Since, then, joy diffuses itself over and cheers the soul, not only while it is present but also even when it is expected, it was very consistent and natural for God to think Isaac worthy of a good name and of a great gift before he was born, for the name of Isaac, being interpreted, means laughter of soul, and delight, and joy.

XXIX. (88) Again, they say that Jacob and Esau, the former being the ruler, and governor, and master, and Esau being the subject and the slave, had their several estates appointed to them while they were still in the world. For God, the creator of all living things, is thoroughly acquainted with all his works, and before he has completely finished them he comprehends the faculties with which they will hereafter be endowed, and altogether he foreknows all their actions and passions. For when Rebecca, that is the patient soul, proceeds to ask an oracle from God, the answers are, "Two nations are in thy womb, and two people shall come forth from thy bowels, and one people shall be stronger than the other people, and the elder shall save the younger." (89) For that which is wicked and void of reason is, by its own nature, a slave in the eye of God; but that which is good and endowed with reason and better, is looked upon as powerful and free by him. And this is the case not only when each of these two different characters is perfect in the soul, but when there is a doubt on the subject; for, altogether, a slight breeze of virtue shows power and supremacy, and not freedom only, and on the other hand, the existence of even an ordinary degree of vice enslaves the reason, even though not by any means as yet come to maturity.

XXX. (90) Again, why did the same Jacob when Joseph brought him his two sons, the elder being Manasses and the younger Ephraim, change his hands, and put his right hand upon the younger brother Ephraim, and his left hand upon the elder brother Manasses? And when Joseph thought this a grievous thing, and thought that his father had unintentionally made a mistake in the matter of the imposition of hands, Jacob said, "I did not make a mistake, but I knew, my son, I knew that this one should be a father of a nation, and should be exalted; but, nevertheless, his younger brother shall be greater than he." (91) What, then, must we say but this? That two natures, both utterly necessary, were created in the soul by God, one memory and the other recollection, of which memory is the best and recollection the worst. For the one has its perceptions fresh and harmonious and clear, so that it never errs through ignorance. But forgetfulness does, in every case, precede recollection, which is but a mutilated and blind thing. (92) And, although recollection is worse, it is nevertheless older than memory, which is better than it, and is also conjoined with and inseparable from it; for when we are first introduced to any art we are unable at once to make ourselves masters of all the speculations which bear upon it. Being, therefore, affected with forgetfulness at first, we subsequently recollect, until from a frequent recurrence of forgetfulness and a frequent recurrence of recollection, memory at last prevails in us in a lasting manner. On which account it is younger than recollection, for it is later in its existence. (93) And Ephraim is a symbolical name, being, to be interpreted, memory. For, being interpreted, it means the fertility of the soul of the man fond of learning, which brings forth its appropriate fruit when it has confirmed its speculations, and preserves them in its memory. But Manasses, being interpreted, means recollection, for he is spoken of as one who has been translated from forgetfulness, and he who escapes from forgetfulness does unquestionably recollect. Most correctly, therefore, does that supplanter of the passions and practiser of virtue, Jacob, give his right hand to that prolific memory, Ephraim, while he places Manasses, or recollection, in the second rank. (94) And, Moses, also, of all those who sacrificed the passover, praised those who sacrificed first most, because they having crossed over from the passions, that is to say, from Egypt, remained by the passage, and did not hasten any more to the passions which they had quitted; and the others he also thinks worthy to be placed in the second rank, for, having turned back, they retraced their steps, and, as if they had forgotten what it became them to do, they again hastened to do the same things; but the former men continued in their course without turning back. Therefore, Manasses, who is born of forgetfulness, resembles those who were the second party to sacrifice the passover; but the fertile Ephraim is like those who had sacrificed previously.

XXXI. (95) On which account God also calls Bezaleel by name, and says that "He will give him wisdom and knowledge, and that He will make him the builder and the architect of all the things which are in his tabernacle;" that is to say, of all the works of the soul, when he had up to this time done no work which any one could praise—we must say, therefore, that God impressed this figure also on the soul, after the fashion of an approved coin. And we shall know what the impression is if we previously examine the interpretation of the name. (96) Now, Bezaleel, being interpreted, means God in his shadow. But the shadow of God is his word, 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.

XXXII. (97) Let us now, then, examine what the character which is impressed upon man is. The ancient philosophers used to inquire how we obtained our conceptions of the Deity? Men who, those who seemed to philosophise in the most excellent manner, said that from the world and form its several parts, and from the powers which existed in those parts, we formed our notions of the Creator and cause of the world. (98) For as, if a man were to see a house carefully built and well provided with outer courts and porticoes, and men’s chambers and women’s chambers, and all other necessary apartments, he would form a notion of the architect; for he would never suppose that the house had been completed without skill and without a builder; (99) and, as he would argue in the same manner respecting any city, or any ship, or anything whatever that is made, whether it be great or small, so likewise any one entering this world, as an exceedingly large house or large city, and seeing the heaven revolving round it in a circle and comprehending everything within it, and all the planets and fixed stars moving onwards in the same manner and on the same principles, all in regular order and in due harmony and in such a manner as is most advantageous for the whole created universe, and the earth stationed in the central situation, and the effusions of air and water affixed on the boundaries, and, moreover, all the animals, both mortal and immortal, and the different kinds of plants and fruits, he will surely consider that undoubtedly all these things were not made without skill, but that God both was and is the creator of this whole universe. They, then, who draw their conclusions in this manner perceive God in his shadow, arriving at a due comprehension of the artist through his works.

XXXIII. (100) There is also a more perfect and more highly purified kind which has been initiated into the great mysteries, and which does not distinguish the cause from the things created as it would distinguish an abiding body from a shadow; but which, having emerged from all created objects, receives a clear and manifest notion of the great uncreated, so that it comprehends him through himself, and comprehends his shadow, too, so as to understand what it is, and his reason, too, and this universal world. (101) This kind is that Moses, who speaks thus, "Show thyself to me; let me see thee so as to know thee." for do not thou be manifested to me through the medium of the heaven, or of the earth, or of water, or of air, or, in short, of anything whatever of created things, and let me not see thy appearance in any other thing, as in a looking-glass, except in thee thyself, the true God. For the images which are presented to the sight in executed things are subject to dissolution; but those which are presented in the One uncreate may last for ever, being durable, eternal, and unchangeable. On this account "God called Moses to him and conversed with him," (102) and he also called Bezaleel to him, though not in the same way as he had called Moses, but he called the one so that he might receive an idea of the appearance of God from the Creator himself, but the other so that he might by calculation form an idea of the Creator as if from the shadow of the things created. On this account you will find the tabernacle and all its furniture to have been made in the first instance by Moses, and again subsequently by Bezaleel. For Moses fashioned the archetypal forms, and Bezaleel made the imitations of them. For Moses had God himself for an instructor, as he tells us, when he represents God as saying to him, "Thou shall make every thing according to the example which was shown thee in the Mount" (103) And Bezaleel had Moses for his instructor; and this was very natural. For Aaron the word, and Miriam the outward sense, when they rose up against Moses were expressly told that "If there shall arise a prophet to the Lord, God shall be made known to him in a vision, and in a shadow, but not clearly. But with Moses, who is faithful in all his house, God will speak mouth to mouth in his own form, and not by riddles."

XXXIV. (104) Since therefore we find that there are two natures which have been created and fashioned and accurately and skilfully framed by God; the one being in its own intrinsic nature pernicious and open to reproach, and accursed, and the other beneficial and praiseworthy, the one too having a spurious stamp upon it, but the other having undergone a strict test; we will utter a beautiful and suitable prayer which Moses also addressed to God, praying that God may open his treasurehouse, and may lay before us his sublime word pregnant with divine lights, which he calls the heaven, and may bind fast the storehouses of evil. (105) For, just as there are storehouses of good things so are there also storehouses of evil things with God; as he says in his great song, "Behold are not these things collected with me, and sealed up in my treasurehouses, against the day of vengeance when their foot shall be tripped up?" You see then that there are several storehouses of evil things, and only one of good things. For since God is One, so also is his storehouse of good things one likewise. But there are many storehouses of evil things because the wicked are infinite in number. And in this observe the goodness of the true God, He opens the treasurehouse of his good things freely, but he binds fast that which contains the evil things. For it is an especial property of God to offer his good things freely and to be beforehand with men in bestowing gifts upon them, but to be slow in bringing evil on them, (106) and Moses dwelling at length upon the munificent and gracious nature of God, says that not only have his storehouses of evil things been sealed up in all other times, but also when the soul is tripped up in the path of right reason, when it is especially fair that it should be considered worthy of punishment; for he says that, "In the day of vengeance the storehouses of evil things have been sealed up," the sacred word of scripture showing that God does not visit with his vengeance even those who sin against him, immediately, but that he gives them time for repentance, and to remedy and correct their evil conduct.

XXXV. (107) And the Lord God said to the serpent, "Thou art cursed over every creature and over all the beasts of the field." As joy being a good state of the passions is worthy to be prayed for; so also pleasure is worthy to be cursed being a passion, which has altered the boundaries of the soul, and has rendered it a lover of the passions instead of a lover of virtue. And Moses says in his curses, that "He is cursed who removes his neighbour’s land mark," for God placed virtue, that is to say, the tree of life, to be a land mark, and a law unto the soul. But pleasure has removed this, placing in its stead the land mark of vice, the tree of death, (108) "Cursed indeed is he who causeth the blind man to wander in the road." This also is done by that most impious thing pleasure, for the outward sense, inasmuch as it is destitute of reason, is a thing blinded by nature, since the eyes of its reason are put out. In reference to which we may say that it is by reason alone that we attain to a comprehension of things, and no longer by the outward sense; for they are bodies alone that we acquire a conception of by means of the outward senses. (109) Pleasure therefore has deceived the outward sense which is destitute of any proper comprehension of things, inasmuch as though it might have been turned to the mind, and have been guided by it, it has hindered it from being so, leading it to the external objects of outward sense, and making it desirous of every thing which can call it into operation, in order that the outward sense being defective may follow a blind guide, namely the object of the outward sense, and then the mind being guided by the two things, which are themselves both blind, may plunge headlong to destruction and become utterly unable to restrain itself. (110) For if it were to follow its natural guide then it would be proper for defective things to follow reason which sees clearly, for in that way mischievous things would be less formidable in their attacks. But now, pleasure has put such great artifices in operation to injure the soul, that it has compelled it to use them as guides, cheating it, and persuading it to exchange virtue for evil habits, and to give good habit sin exchange for vice.

XXXVI. But the holy scripture has prohibited such an exchange as this when it says, "Thou shalt not exchange good for evil" (111) On this account therefore pleasure is accursed, and let us now see how well adapted to it are the curses which the scripture denounces against it, "Thou shalt be cursed" says God, "above all creatures." Therefore, the whole race of animals is irrational andunder the guidance only of the external senses; but every one of the outward senses curses pleasure as a most inimical and hostile thing to it; for it is in reality hostile to the outward senses. And the proof of this is that, when we are sated with an immoderate indulgence in pleasure, we are not able either to see, or to hear, or to smell, or to taste, or to touch with any clearness of our faculties, but we make all our essays and approaches in an obscure and imbecile manner. (112) And this happens to us when we are for a moment at a distance from its infection; but at the exact moment of the enjoyment of pleasure we are completely deprived of all such perception as can arise from the operation of the outward senses, so that we seem to be mutilated. How then can it be anything but natural for the outward sense to denounce curses upon pleasure which thus deprives it of its faculties?

XXXVII. (113) "And he is accursed beyond all the beasts of the field." And I mean by this, beyond all the passions of the soul, for it is only there that the mind is wounded and destroyed. Why then does this one appear to be worse than all the other passions? Because it is almost at the bottom of them all, as a sort of base or foundation for them, for desire originates in the love of pleasure, and pain consists in the removal of pleasure; and fear again is caused by a desire to guard against its absence. So it is plain that all the passions are anchored on pleasure; and perhaps one might say that they would absolutely have had no existence at all if pleasure had not been previously laid down as a foundation to support them.

XXXVIII. (114) "Upon thy breast and upon thy belly shalt thou go." For passion works around these parts, the breast and the belly, like a serpent in his hole; when pleasure has its efficient causes and its subject-matter, then it is in operation around the belly and the parts adjacent to the belly; and when it has not these efficient causes and this subject-matter, then it is occupied about the breast which is the seat of anger, for lovers of pleasure when deprived of their pleasures become embittered by their anger. (115) But let us see what is shown by this sentence with greater accuracy. It so happens that our soul is divisible into three parts, and that one of its parts is the seat of reason, the second, the seat of courage, the third, the seat of the appetites. Some therefore of the philosophers have separated these parts from one another only in respect of their operations, and some have distinguished them also by their places. And then they have assigned the parts about the head to the residing part, saying where the king is, there also are his guards, and the guards of the mind are the external senses, which are seated about the head, so that the king may very naturally have his abode there too, as if he had been assigned the highest part of the city to dwell in. The chest is assigned to the courageous part, and they say, it is on this account, that nature has fortified that part with a dense and strong defence of closely conjoined bones, as though she had been arming a valiant soldier with a breastplate and shield to defend himself against his enemies. To the appetitive part they have assigned a situation about the liver and the belly, for there it is that appetite dwells, being an irrational desire.

XXXIX. (116) If therefore you shall ever inquire, O my mind, what situation has been assigned to pleasure, do not take into your consideration the parts about the head, where the reasoning faculties of man have their abode, for you will not find it there; since reason is at war with passion, and cannot possibly remain in the same place with it. For the moment that reason gets the upper hand pleasure is discarded; but as soon as ever pleasure prevails, reason is put to flight. But seek first rather in the breast and in the belly, where courage and anger, and appetite abide, all which are parts of the irrational faculties. For it is there that our judgment is discovered, and also our passions. (117) Therefore, the mind is not hindered by any external force from abandoning the legitimate objects of its attention, which can only be perceived by the intellect, and surrendering itself to those which are worse; but still this never happens except when there is a war in the soul, for then indeed it follows of necessity that reason must fall under the power of the inferior part of man, inasmuch as it is not of a warlike character, but is fond of peace.

XL. (118) At all events the holy scripture being well aware how great is the power of the impetuosity of each passion, anger and appetite, puts a bridle in the mouth of each, having appointed reason as their charioteer and pilot. And first of all it speaks thus of anger, in the hope of pacifying and curing it: (119) "And you shall put manifestation and truth (the Urim and the Thummim), in the oracle of judgment, and it shall be on the breast of Aaron when he comes into the holy place before the Lord." Now by the oracle is here meant the organs of speech which exist in us, which is in fact the power of language. Now language is either inconsiderate, and such as will not stand examination, or else it is judicious and well approved, and it brings us to form a notion of discreet speech. For Moses here speaks not of a random spurious oracle, but of the oracle of the judgment, which is equivalent to saying, a well-judged and carefully examined oracle; (120) and of this well approved kind of language he says that there are two supreme virtues, namely, distinctness and truth, and he says well. For it is language which has in the first place enabled one man to make affairs plain and evident to his neighbour, when without it we should not be able to give any intimation of the impression produced on our soul by outward circumstances, nor to show of what kind they are.

XVI. On which account we have been compelled to have recourse to such signs as are given by the voices, that is nouns and verbs, which ought by all means to be universally known, in order that our neighbours might clearly and evidently comprehend our meaning; and, in the next place, to utter them at all times with truth. (121) For of what advantage would it be to make our assertions clear and distinct, but nevertheless false? For it follows inevitably that if this were allowed the hearer would be deceived, and would reap the greatest possible injury with ignorance and delusion. For what would be the advantage of my speaking to a boy distinctly and clearly, and telling him, when I show him the letter A, that it is G, or that the letter E is O? Or what would be the good of a musician pointing out to a pupil whom comes to him to learn the rudiments of his art that the harmonic scale was the chromatic; or the chromatic, the diatonic; or that the highest string was the middle one; or that conjoined sounds were separated; or that the highest tone in the tetrachord scale was a supernumerary note? (122) No doubt, a man who said this might speak clearly and distinctly, but he would not be speaking truly, but by such assertions he would be implanting wickedness in language. But when he joins both distinctness and truth, then he makes his language profitable to him who is seeking information, employing both its virtues, which in fact are nearly the only ones of which language is capable.

XLII. (123) Moses, therefore, says that discreet discourse, having its own peculiar virtues, is placed on the breast of Aaron, that is to say, of anger, in order that it may in the first instance be guided by reason, and may not be injured by its own deficiency in reason, and, in the second place, by distinctness, for there is no natural influence which makes anger a friend to distinctness. At all events, not only are the ideas of angry men, but all their expressions also, full of disorder and confusion, and therefore it is very natural for the want of clearness on the part of anger to be rectified by clearness, (124) and, in addition, by truth; for, among other things, anger has also this particular property of being inclined to misrepresent the truth. At all events, of all those who give way to this disposition scarcely any one speaks the strict truth, as if it were his soul and not his body that is under the influence of its intoxication. These, then, are the chief remedies suitable for that part of the soul which is influenced by anger, namely, reason, disinterestedness of language, and truth of language, for the three things are in power only one, namely, reason, curing anger, which is a pernicious disease of the soul, by means of the virtues truth and perspicuity.

XLIII. (125) To whom, or to what, then, does it belong to bear these things? Not to my mind, or to that of any chance person, but to the consecrated and purely sacrificial intellect, that, namely, of Aaron. And not even to this at all times, for it is frequently subject to change, but only when it is going on unchangeably, when it is entering into the holy place, when reason is entering in together with holy opinions, and is not abandoning them. (126) But it often happens that the mind is at the same time entering into sacred and holy and purified opinions, but still such as are only human; such, for instance, as opinions on what is expedient; opinions on successful actions; opinions on what is in accordance with established law; opinions concerning virtue as it exists among men. Nor is the mind, when disposed in this way, competent to bear the oracle on its breast together with he virtues, but only that one which is going in before the Lord, that is to say, that one which doeth everything for the sake of God, and which estimates nothing as superior to the things of God; but attributes to them also their due rank, not indeed dwelling on them, but ascending upwards to the knowledge and understanding of an appreciation of the honour due to the one God. (127) For, in a mind which is thus disposed, anger will be directed by purified reason, which takes away its irrational part, and remedies what there is confused and disorderly in it by the application of distinctness, and eradicates its falsehood by truth.

XLIV. (128) Aaron, therefore, for he is a second Moses, restraining the breast, that is to say, the angry passions, does not allow them to be carried away by undistinguishing impulse, fearing lest, if they obtain complete liberty, they may become restiff, like a horse, and so trample down the whole soul. But he attends to and cures it, and bridles it in the first instance by reason, that so, being under the guidance of the best of charioteers, it may not become exceedingly unmanageable, and in the second place, by the virtues of language, distinctness, and truth. For, if the angry passions were educated in such a way as to yield to reason and distinctness, and to cultivate the virtue of truthfulness, they would deliver themselves from great irritation and make the whole soul propitious.

XLV. (129) But he, as I have already said, having this passion, endeavours to cure it by the saving remedies already enumerated. But Moses thinks that it is necessary completely to extirpate and eradicate anger from the soul, being desirous to attain not to a state of moderation in the indulgence of the passions, but to a state in which they shall have absolutely no existence whatever, and the most Holy Scriptures bear witness to what I am here saying; for it says, "Moses having taken the breast took it that it might be an offering before the Lord, from the ram of consecration, and this was Moses’s part." (130) Speaking very accurately, for it was the conduct of one who was both a lover of virtue and a lover of God, after having contemplated the whole soul, to take hold of the breast, which is the seat of the angry passions, and to take it away and eradicate it, that so when the warlike part had been wholly removed, the remainder might enjoy peace. And he removes this part not from any chance animal, but from the ram of consecration, although, indeed, a young heifer had been sacrificed; but, passing by the heifer, he came to the ram, because that is by nature an animal inclined to pushing and full of anger and impetuosity, in reference to which fact the makers of military engines call many of their warlike machines rams. (131) This ramlike and impetuous and undistinguishing character in us, therefore, is something fond of contention, and contention is the mother of anger. In reference to which fact, they who are somewhat quarrelsome are very easily made angry in investigations and other discussions. Moses, therefore, does very properly endeavour to eradicate anger, that pernicious offspring of a contentious and quarrelsome soul, in order that the soul may become barren of such offspring and may cease from bringing forth mischievous things, and may become a portion consistent with the character of a lover of virtue, not being identical with either the breast or with anger, but with the absence of those qualities, for God has endowed the wise man with the best of all qualities, the power, namely, or eradicating his passions. You see, then, how the perfect man is always endeavouring to attain to a complete emancipation from the power of the passions. But he who eradicates them being next to him, that is Aaron, labours to arrive at a state in which the passions have only a moderate power, as I have said before; (132) for he is unable to eradicate the breast and the angry passions. But he bears the oracle, on which is distinctness and truth even beyond the guide himself, together with the appropriate and kindred virtues of language.

XLVI. (133) And he will, moreover, make the difference more evident to us by the following expression:—"For the wave-breast and the heaveshoulder have I taken of the children of Israel from off the sacrifices of their peace offerings, and have given them to Aaron the priest, and unto his sons, for ever." (134) You see here that they are not able to take the breast alone, but they must take it with the shoulder; but Moses can take it without the shoulder. Why is this? Because he, being perfect, has no inadequate or lowly ideas, nor is he willing to remain in a state in which the passions have even a moderate influence; but he, by his exceeding power, does utterly extirpate the whole of the passions, root and branch. But the others, who go with faint endeavours and with but slight strength to war against the passions, are inclined to a reconciliation with them, and make terms with them, proposing terms of accommodation, thinking that thus, like a charioteer, they may be able to bridle their extravagant impetuosity. (135) And the shoulder is a symbol of labour and of the endurance of hardship; and such a person is he who has the charge of and the care of administering the holy things, being occupied with constant exercise and labour. But he has no labour to whom God has given his perfect good things in great abundance, and he who attains to virtue by labour will be found to be less vigorous and less perfect than Moses, who received it as a gift from God without any labour or difficulty. For the mere fact of labouring is of itself inferior to and worse than the condition of being exempt from labour, so, also, what is imperfect is inferior to that which is perfect, and that which learns anything to that which has knowledge spontaneously and naturally. On this account it is that Aaron can only take the breast with the shoulder, but Moses can take it without the shoulder. (136) And he calls it the heave-shoulder for this reason, because reason ought to be set over and to be predominant above the violence of anger, as a charioteer who is driving a hard-mouthed and restiff horse. And then the shoulder is no longer called the heave-shoulder, but the shoulder of removal, on this account, because it is fitting that the soul should not attribute to itself labour in the cause of virtue, but should remove it from itself and attribute it to God, confessing that it is not its own strength or its own power which has thus acquired what is good, but He who gave it a love for goodness. (137) And so neither the breast nor the shoulder is taken, except from the virtue which bringeth salvation, as is natural, for then the soul is sacred when the angry passions are under the guidance of reason, and when labour does not bring conceit to the labourer, but when he owns his inferiority to God, his benefactor.

XLVII. (138) Now that pleasure dwells not only in the breast but also in the belly, we have already stated, showing that the belly is the most appropriate situation for pleasure; for we may almost call pleasure the vessel which contains all the pleasures; for when the belly is filled, then the desires for all other pleasures are intense and vigorous, but when it is empty, they they are tranquil and steady. (139) On which account Moses says, in another place, "Every animal that goeth upon its belly, every animal which goeth on four legs at all times, and that has a multitude of feet, is unclean." And such a creature is the lover of pleasure, inasmuch as he is always going upon his belly and pursuing the pleasures which relate to it. And God unites the animal which goes on four legs with him that crawls upon his belly, naturally; for the passions of those who are absorbed in pleasure are four, as one most egregious account teaches. Therefore he who devotes himself as a slave to one of them, namely, to pleasure, is impure as much as he who lives in the indulgence of the whole four. (140) This much having been premised, behold again the difference between the perfect man and him who is still advancing towards perfection. As, therefore, the perfect man was, just now, found to be competent to eradicate the whole of the angry feelings from the contentious soul and to make it submissive and manageable, and peaceable and gentle to every one, both in word and deed; and as he who is still advancing towards perfection is not able wholly to eradicate passion, for he bears the breast about with him, though he does educate it by the aid of judicious language, which is invested with two virtues perspicuity and truth.

XLVIII. So, also, now he who is perfectly wise, that is, Moses, will be found to have utterly shaken off an discarded the pleasures. But he who is only advancing towards perfection will be found to have escaped not from every pleasure, but to cling still to such as are desirable and simple, and to deprecate those which are superfluous and extravagant as unnecessary additions, (141) for, in the case of Moses, God speaks thus: "And he washed his belly and his feet, with the blood of the entire burnt offering." Speaking very truly, for the wise man consecrates his entire soul as what is worthy to be offered to God, because it is free from all reproach, whether wilfully or unintentionally incorrect, and being thus disposed, he washes his whole belly and all the pleasures which it knows, and all which pursue it, and cleanses them and purifies them from all uncleanliness, not being content with any partial cleansing. But he is disposed to regard pleasures so contemptuously that he has no desire for even the necessary meat or drink, but nourishes himself wholly on the contemplation of divine things. (142) On which account in another passage, he bears witness to himself, "For forty-eight years he did not eat bread, and he did not drink water," because he was in the holy mouth listening to the oracular voice of God, who was giving him the law. But not only does he repudiate the whole belly, but he also at the same time washes off all the dirt from his feet, that is to say, to the supports in which pleasure proceeds. And the supports of pleasure are the efficient causes of it. (143) For he who is advancing onwards to perfection is said "to wash his bowels and his feet," and not his whole belly. For he is not capable of rejecting the whole of pleasure, but he is content if he can purify his bowels, that is to say, his inmost parts from it, which the lovers of pleasure say are certain additions to preceding pleasures, and which originate in the superfluous ingenuity of cooks and makers of delicacies and laborious gourmands.

XLIX. (144) And he also displays, in a further degree, the moderation of the passions of the man who is advancing towards perfection, by the fact that the perfect man discards all the pleasures of the belly without being prompted by any command to do so, but that he who is only advancing onwards towards perfection only does so in consequence of being commanded. For, in the case of the wise man, we find the following expression used:—"He washes his belly and his feet with water," without any command, in accordance with his own unbidden inclination. But, in the case of the priests, he spoke thus: "But their bowels and their feet," not they have washed, but "they do wash;" speaking with very cautious exactness, for the perfect man must be moved in his own inclination towards the energies in accordance with virtue. But he who is only practising virtue must be instigated by reason, which points out to him what he ought to do, and it is an honourable thing to obey the injunctions of reason. (145) But we ought not to be ignorant that Moses repudiates the whole of the belly, that is to say, the filling and indulging the belly, and almost renounces all the other passions likewise; the lawgiver giving a lively representation of the whole from one part, starting from a universal example, and discussing, potentially at least, the other points as to which he was silent.

L. The filling of the belly is a most enduring and universal thing; and, as it were, a kind of foundation of the other passions. At all events, there is not one of them which can find any existence if it is not supported by the belly, on which nature has made everything to depend. (146) On this account, when the goods of the soul had previously been born of Leah, and had ended in Judah, that is to say, in confession, God being about to create also the improvements of the body, prepared Bilhah, the hand-maid of Rachel, to bear children on behalf of and before her mistress. And the name Bilhah, being interpreted, means deglutition. For he knew that not one of the corporeal faculties can exist without imbibing moisture and without the belly; but the belly is predominant over and the ruler of the whole body, and the preserver of this corporeal mass in a state of existence. (147) And observe the subtle way in which all this is expressed; for you will not find a single word used superfluously. Moses indeed "takes away the breast," but as for the belly he does not take that away, but he washes it. Why so? Because the perfectly wise man is able to repudiate and to eradicate all the angry passions, making them rise up and abandon anger; but he is unable to cut out and discard the belly, for nature is compelled to use the necessary meats and drinks, even if a man, being content with the scantiest possible supply of necessaries should despise it, and purpose to himself to abjure eating. Let him therefore wash and purify it from all superfluous and unclean preparations; for to be able to do even this is a very sufficient gift from God to the lover of virtue.

LI. (148) On this account Moses says, with respect to the soul which is suspected of having committed adultery, that, if having abandoned right reason, which is man living according to the law, it shall be found to have gone over to passion, which pollutes the soul, "it shall become swollen in the belly," which means it shall have all the pleasures and appetites of the belly unsatisfied and insatiable, and it shall never cease to be greedy through ignorance, but pleasures in boundless number shall flow into it, and thus its passions shall be interminable. (149) Now I know many people who have fallen into error in respect of the appetites of the belly, that while still devoting themselves to their gratifications, they have again rushed with eagerness to wine and other luxuries; for the appetites of the intemperate soul bear no analogy to the mass of the body. But some men, like vessels made to hold a certain measure, desire nothing extravagant, but discard everything that is superfluous; but appetite on the other hand is never satisfied, but remains always in want and thirsty. (150) In reference to which the expression, that "the thigh shall fall away," is added in immediate connexion with the denunciation that "her belly shall swell;" for then right reason, which has the seeds and originating principles of good, falls from the soul. "If therefore," says Moses, "she has not been corrupted, then she shall be pure, and free from all infliction from generation to generation;" that is to say, if she has not been polluted by passion, but has kept herself pure in respect of her legitimate husband, sound reason, her proper guide, she shall have a productive and fertile soul, bearing the offspring of prudence and justice and all virtue.

LII. (151) Is it then possible for us, who are bound up in our bodies, to avoid complying with the necessities of the body? And if it is possible, how is it possible? But consider, the priest recommends him who is led away by his bodily necessities to indulge in nothing beyond what is strictly necessary. In the first place, says he, "Let there be a place for thee outside of the camp;" meaning by the camp virtue, in which the soul is encamped and fortified; for prudence and a free indulgence in the necessities of the body cannot abide in the same place. (152) After that he says, "And you shall go out there." Why so? Because the soul, which is abiding in companionship with prudence and dwelling in the house of wisdom, cannot indulge in any of the delights of the body, for it is at that time nourished on a diviner food in the sciences, in consequence of which it neglects the flesh, for when it has gone forth beyond the sacred thresholds of virtue, then it turns to the material substances, which disarrange and oppress the soul. How then am I to deal with them? (153) "It shall be a peg," says Moses, "upon thy girdle, and thou shalt dig with it;" that is to say, reason shall be close to you in the case of the passion, which digs out and equips and clothes it properly; for he desires that we should be girded up in respect of the passions, and not to have them about us in a loose and dissolute state. (154) On which account, at the time of the passage through them, which is called the passover, he enjoins us all "to have our loins girded," that is to say, to have our appetites under restraint. Let the peg, therefore, that is to say reason, follow the passion, preventing it from becoming dissolute; for in this way we shall be able to content ourselves with only so much as is necessary, and to abstain from what is superfluous.

LIII. (155) And in this way when we are at entertainments, and when we are about to come to the enjoyment and use of luxuries that have been prepared for us, let us approach them taking reason with us as a defensive armour, and let us not fill ourselves with food beyond all moderation like cormorants, nor let us satiate ourselves with immoderate draughts of strong wine, and so give way to intoxication which compels men to act like fools. For reason will bridle and curb the violence and impetuosity of such a passion. (156) I myself, at all events, know that it has done so with regard to many of the passions, for when I have gone to entertainments where no respect was paid to discipline, and to sumptuous banquets, whenever I went without taking Reason with me as a guide, I became a slave to the luxuries that lay before me, being under the guidance of masters who could not be tamed, with sights and sounds of temptation, and all other such things also as work pleasure in a man by the agency of his senses of smell and taste. But when I approach such scenes in the company of reason, I then become a master instead of a slave: and without being subdued myself win a glorious victory of self-denial and temperance; opposing and contending against all the appetites which subdue the intemperate. (157) "Thou shalt be armed," Moses therefore says, "with a peg." That is to say, you, by the aid of reason, shall lay bare the nature which each of the separate passions has, eating, and drinking, and indulging in the pleasures of the belly, and you shall distinguish between them, that when you have so distinguished you may know the truth. For then you shall know that there is no good in any of these things, but only what is necessary and useful. (158) "And bringing it over, you shall cover what is indecorous," speaking very appropriately. For come to me, O my soul, bring reason to everything by which all unseemliness of flesh and of passion is concealed, and overshadowed and hidden. For all the things which are not in combination with reason are disgraceful, just as those which are done in union with reason are seemly. (159) Therefore the man who is devoted to pleasure goes on his belly, but the perfect man washes his whole belly, and he who is only advancing towards perfection washes the things in his belly. But he who is now beginning to be instructed proceeds out of doors when he is intent upon curbing the passions of the belly by bringing reason to work upon the necessities of the belly, and reason is called symbolically a peg.

LIV. (160) Moses therefore does well when he adds, "Thou shalt go upon thy breast and upon thy belly." For pleasure is not one of the things which is tranquil and steady, but is rather a thing which is in constant motion and full of confusion, for as flame is excited by being moved, so passion when it is put in motion in the soul, being in some respects like a flame, does not suffer it to rest. On which account he does not agree with those who pronounce pleasure a stable feeling, for tranquillity is connected with stones and trees, and all kinds of inanimate things, but is quite inconsistent with pleasure; for it is fond of tickling and convulsive agitation, and with regard to some of its indulgences it has not need of tranquillity but of an intense and violent unseemliness of commotion.

LV. (161) But the expression, "And dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life," is also used with great propriety. For the pleasures which are derived from the food of the body are all earthly. And may we not reasonably speak thus? There are two several parts of which we consist, the soul and the body; now the body is made of earth, but the soul consists of air, being a fragment of the Divinity, for "God breathed into man’s face the breath of life, and man became a living soul." It is therefore quite consistent with reason to say that the body which was fashioned out of the earth has nourishment which the earth gives forth akin to the matter of which it is composed; but the soul, inasmuch as it is a portion of the ethereal nature, is supported by nourishment which is ethereal and divine, for it is nourished on knowledge, and not on meat or drink, which the body requires.

LVI. (162) But that the food of the soul is not earthly but heavenly the Holy Scriptures will testify in many passages, "Behold I will rain upon you bread from heaven, and the people shall come forth, and shall collect from day to day, when I will try them, whether they will walk according to my law or not." You see that the soul is nourished not on earthly and corruptible food, but on the reasons which God rains down out of his sublime and pure nature, which he calls heaven. (163) "Let the people indeed go forth and the whole system of the soul likewise, and let it collect science and begin knowledge, not in large quantities but from day to day." For, in the first place, in that way it will not exhaust all at once the abundant riches of the grace of God: but it will overflow like a torrent with their superfluity. Secondly, it will happen that when they have taken such good things as are sufficient for them and duly measured, they will think God the dispenser of the rest. (164) But he who endeavours to collect everything at once is only acquiring for himself despair with great sorrow, for he becomes full of despair if he expects that God will only rain good things upon him at the present moment, and that he will not do so hereafter. And he becomes inclined to infidelity if he does not believe that the graces of God will be both at present and in all time abundantly poured upon those who are worthy of them. And he is foolish, moreover, if he thinks that he shall be a competent guardian of what he has collected contrary to God’s will. For a very slight inclination is sufficient to make the mind, which in its boastfulness attributes safety and stability to itself, an impotent and unsure keeper of those things of which it fancied itself a safe guardian.

LVII. (165) Collect therefore, O my soul, what is sufficient and proper, and in such a quantity as shall neither exceed by being more than is sufficient, nor fall short by being less than what is requisite: that so, using just measures you may not be led into the commission of injustice. For while meditating on the migration from the passions and sacrificing the passover you ought to take the advance towards perfection, that is to say the sheep, in a moderate spirit. "For each person of you," says Moses, "shall take a sheep, such as shall be sufficient for him according to the number of his house." (166) And in the case of the manna therefore, and of every gift which God gives to the race of mankind, the principle being guided by numbering and by measure, and of not taking what is more than is necessary for us, is good; for the opposite conduct is covetousness. Let therefore one soul collect what is sufficient for it from day to day, that is may show that it is not itself which is the guardian of good things, but the bounteous giver, God.

LVIII. (167) And this appears to me to be the reason why the sentence which I have cited above was uttered. Day is an emblem of light, and the light of the soul is instruction. Many persons therefore have provided for themselves the lights that can exist in the soul against night and darkness, but not against day-time and light; such lights for instance, as are derived from rudimental instruction, and those branches of education which are called encyclical, and philosophy itself, which is sought after for the sake both of the pleasure which is derived from it, and also of the influence which it gives among rulers. But the good man seeks the day for the sake of the day, and the light for the light’s sake; and he labours to acquire what is good for the sake of the good itself, and not of anything else, on which account Moses adds, "In order that I may tempt them and see whether they will walk according to my law or not," for the divine law enjoins us to honour virtue for its own sake. (168) Accordingly, right reason tests those who practise virtue as one might test a coin, to see whether they have contracted any stain, referring the good things of the soul to any of the external things; or whether they decide upon it as good money, preserving it in the intellect alone. These men are nourished not on earthly things, but on heavenly knowledge.

LIX. (169) And Moses shows this in other passages also, when he says, "And in the morning the dew lay round about the hosts; and when the dew that lay in the morning was gone up, behold! upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing, small as coriander seed, and white like the hoar-frost upon the earth. And when they saw it, they said one to another, what is this? for they knew not what it was, and Moses said to them, This is the bread which the Lord hath given you to eat, this is the thing which the Lord hath commanded you." You see now what kind of thing the food of the Lord is, it is the continued word of the Lord, like dew, surrounding the whole soul in a circle, and allowing no portion of it to be without its share of itself. (170) And this word is not apparent in every place, but wherever there is a vacant space, void of passions and vice; and it is subtle both to understand and to be understood, and it is exceedingly transparent and clear to be distinguished, and it is like coriander seed. And agriculturists say that the seed of the coriander is capable of being cut up and divided into innumerable pieces, and if sown in each separate piece and fragment, it shoots up just as much as the whole seed could do. Such also is the word of God, being profitable both in its entirety and also in every part, even if it be ever so small. (171) May it not be also likened to the pupil of the eye? For as that, being the smallest portion of the eye, does nevertheless behold the entire orbs of existing things and the boundless sea, and the vastness of the air, and the whole immeasurable space of heaven, which the sun, whether rising in the east or setting in the west, can bound; so also is the word of God, very sharp-sighted, so as to be capable of beholding every thing, and by which all things that are worth seeing can be beheld, in reference to which fact it is white. For what can be more brilliant or visible at a greater distance than the divine word, by participation in which all other things can repel mists and darkness, being eager to share in the light of the soul?

LX. (172) There is a certain peculiarity which is attached to this word. For when it calls the soul to itself, it excites a congealing power in everything which is earthly, or corporeal, or under the influence of the external senses. On which account it is said to be "like the hoar-frost on the earth." For when the man who beholds God, meditates a flight from the passions, "the waves are frozen," that is to say, the impetuous rush, and the increase, and the haughty pride of the waves are arrested, in order that he who might behold the living God might then pass over the passion. (173) Therefore the souls inquire of one another, those, that is, that have clearly felt the influence of the word, but which are not able to say what it is. For very often, when sensible of a sweet taste, we are nevertheless ignorant of the flavour which has caused it, and when we smell sweet scents, we still do not know what they are. And in the same manner also the soul very often, when it is delighted, is yet unable to explain what it is that has delighted it; but it is taught by the hierophant and prophet Moses, who tells it, "This is the bread, the food which God has given for the soul," explaining that God has brought it, his own word and his own reason; for this bread which he has given us to eat is this word of his.

LXI. (174) He says also in Deuteronomy, "And he has humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knowest not, neither did thy fathers know, that he might make thee know that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word which proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man life." Now this illtreating and humbling of them is a sign of his being propitiated by them, for he is propitiated as to the souls of us who are wicked on the tenth day. For when he strips us of all our pleasant things, we appear to ourselves to be ill-treated, that is in truth to have God propitious to us. (175) And God also causes us hunger, not that which proceeds from virtue, but that which is engendered by passion and vice. And the proof of this is, that he nourishes us with his own word, which is the most universal of all things, for manna being interpreted, means "what?" and "what" is the most universal of all things; for the word of God is over all the world, and is the most ancient, and the most universal of all the things that are created. This word our fathers knew not; I speak not of those who are so in truth, but of those who are grey with age, who say, "Let us give them a guide, and let us turn back" unto passion, that is to say, to Egypt. (176) Therefore, let God enjoin the soul, saying to it that, "Man shall not live by bread alone," speaking in a figure, "but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God," that is to say, he shall be nourished by the whole word of God, and by every portion of it. For the mouth is the symbol of the language, and a word is a portion of it. Accordingly the soul of the more perfect man is nourished by the whole word; but we must be contented if we are nourished by a portion of it.

LXII. (177) But these men pray to be nourished by the word of God: but Jacob, raising his head above the word, says that he is nourished by God himself, and his words are as follows; "The God in whom my father Abraham and Isaac were well-pleased; the God who has nourished me from my youth upwards to this day; the angel who has delivered me from all my evils, bless these children." This now being a symbol of a perfect disposition, thinks God himself his nourisher, and not the word: and he speaks of the angel, which is the word, as the physician of his evils, in this speaking most naturally. For the good things which he has previously mentioned are pleasing to him, inasmuch as the living and true God has given them to him face to face, but the secondary good things have been given to him by the angels and by the word of God. (178) On this account I think it is that God gives men pure good health, which is not preceded by any disease in the body, by himself alone, but that health which is an escape from disease he gives through the medium of skill and medical science, attributing it to science, and to him who can apply it skilfully, though in truth, it is God himself who heals both by these means, and without these means. And the same is the case with regard to the soul, the good things, namely food, he gives to men by his power alone; but those which contain in them a deliverance from evil, he gives by means of his angels and his word.

LXIII. (179) And he uttered this prayer, blaming Joseph the statesman and governor, because he had ventured to say, "I will feed them in that land," for, "hasten ye," said Joseph, "and go up to my father, and say unto him, Thus says Joseph," and so on, and presently he adds, "Come down unto me, and do not tarry, come with all thou hast, and I will feed thee in that land; for still the famine lasts for five years." Jacob, therefore, speaks as he does reproving and at the same time instructing this imaginary wise man, and he says to him, "O my friend, know thou that the food of the soul is knowledge, which it is not the word which is intelligible by the external senses that can bestow, but God only who has nourished me from youth, and from my earliest age till the time of perfect manhood, he shall fill me with it. (180) Joseph therefore was treated in the same way with his mother Rachel, for she also thought that the creature had some power; on which account she used the expression, "Give me children," but the supplanter, adhering to his proper character, says to her, "You have used a great error; for I am not in the peace of God, who alone is able to open the womb of the soul, and to implant virtues in it, and to cause it to be pregnant, and to bring forth what is good. Consider also the history of thy sister Leah, and you will find that she did not receive seed or fertility from any creature—but from God himself." "For the Lord, seeing that Leah was hated, opened her womb, but Rachel was barren." (181) And consider, now, in this sentence, again, the subtlety of the writer spoken of. God opens the wombs, implanting good actions in them, and the womb, when it has received virtue from God, does not bring forth to God, for the living and true God is not in need of any thing, but she brings forth sons to me, Jacob, for it was for my sake, probably, that God sowed seen in virtue, and not for his own. Therefore, another husband of Leah is found to be passed over in silence, and another father of Leah’s children, for he is the husband who openeth the womb, and he is the father of the children to whom the mother is said to bear them.

LXIV. (182) "And I will place enmity between thee and between the woman." In reality, pleasure is hostile to the external sense, although, to some persons, it appears to be especially friendly to it. But as one would not call a flatterer a companion (for flattery is a disease of friendship), nor would one call a courtezan friendly to her lover, for she adheres only to those who give her presents, and not to those who love her; so, also, if you investigate the nature of pleasure, you will find that she has but a spurious connection with the external senses. (183) When we are sated with pleasure, then we find that the organs of the external senses in us lose their tone. Or do not you perceive the state of those men who from love of wine get drunk?—that seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear; and, in the same way, they are deprived of the accurate energies of the other external senses? And, at times, through immoderate indulgence in food, all the vigour of the external senses is relaxed when sleep overtakes them, which has derived its name from the relaxation of them. For, at that time, the organs of the external senses are relaxed, just as they are on the stretch in our waking hours, when they no longer receive unintelligible blows from external things, but such as speak loudly and are evident, and which transmit their impressions to the mind. For the mind, when stricken, must recognize the external thing, and receive a visible impression from it.

LXV. (184) And take notice here, that Moses does not say, "I will cause enmity to thee and the woman," but, "I will place enmity between thee and between the woman:"—why so? because the war between these two is concerning what is in the middle, and what lies, as it were, on the borders of pleasure and of the outward sense. And that which lies between them is what is drinkable, and what is eatable, and what is inclined to all such things, every one of which is an object to be appreciated by the outward sense, and an efficient cause of pleasure. When, therefore, pleasure wallows immoderately in these things, it at once by so doing inflicts injury on the outward sense. (185) And again, the expression, "between thy seed and between her seed," is uttered with strict natural propriety, for all seed is the beginning of generation. But the beginning of pleasure is not passion, but an emotional impulse of the outward sense, set in motion by the mind. For from this, as from a fountain, the faculties of the outward senses are derived, especially, according to the most sacred Moses, who says that the woman was formed out of Adam, that is to say, the outward sense was formed out of the mind. The part, therefore, that pleasure acts towards the outward sense, passion also acts towards the mind. So that, since the two former are at enmity with one another, the two latter must likewise be in a state of hostility.

LXVI. (186) And the war between these things in manifest. At all events, according to the superiority of the mind when it applies itself to incorporeal objects, which are perceptible only to the intellect, passion is put to flight. And, on the other hand, when this latter gains a shameful victory, the mind yields, being hindered from giving its attention to itself and to all its actions. At all events, he says in another place, "When Moses lifted up his hands Israel prevailed, and when he let them down Amalek prevailed." And this statement implies, that when the mind raises itself up from mortal affairs and is elevated on high, it is very vigorous because it beholds God; and the mind here means Israel. But when it relaxes its vigour and becomes powerless, then immediately the passions will prevail, that is to say, Amalek; which name, being interpreted, means, the people licking. For he does, of a verity, devour the whole soul, and licks it up, leaving no seed behind, nor anything which can excite virtue; (187) in reference to which it is said, "Amalek is the beginning of nations;" because passion governs, and is the absolute lord of nations, all mingled and confused and jumbled in disorder, without any settled plan; and, through passion, all the war of the soul is fanned and kept alive. For God makes a promise to the same minds to which he grants peace, that he will efface the memorial of Amalek from all the lands beneath the heaven.

LXVII. (188) And the expression, "He shall watch thy head, and thou shalt watch his heel," is, as to its language, a barbarism, but, as to the meaning which is conveyed by it, a correct expression. Why so? It ought to be expressed with respect to the woman: but the woman is not he, but she. What, then, are we to say? From his discourse about the woman he has digressed to her seed and her beginning. Now the beginning of the outward sense is the mind. But the mind is masculine, in respect of which one may say, he, his, and so on. Very correctly, therefore, does God here say to pleasure, that the mind shall watch your principal and predominant doctrine, and you shall watch the traces of the mind itself, and the foundations of the things which are pleasing to it, to which the heel has very naturally been likened.

LXVIII. (189) But the words, "shall watch," intimate two things: in the first place it means as it were "shall keep," and "shall preserve." And, in the second place, it is equivalent to "shall watch for the purpose of destroying." Now it is inevitable that the mind must be either bad or good. Now, if it be bad, it would be but a foolish guardian and dispenser of pleasure, for it rejoices in it. But the good man is an enemy to it, expecting that, when he once attacks it, he will be able utterly to destroy it. And, indeed, on the other hand, pleasure watches the footsteps of the foolish man, but endeavours to trip up and undermine the standing ground of the wise man, thinking that he is always meditating its destruction; but that the fool is always considering the means by which its safety may be best secured. (190) But, nevertheless, though pleasure appears to trip up and to deceive the good man, it will in reality be tripped up itself by that experienced wrestler, Jacob; and that, too, not in the wrestling of the body, but in that struggle which the soul carries on against the dispositions which are antagonistic to it, and which attack it through the agency of the passions and vices; and it will not let go the heel of its antagonist, passion, before it surrenders, and confesses that it has been twice tripped up and defeated, both in the matter of the birthright, and also in that of the blessing. (191) For "rightly," says Esau, "is his name called Jacob, for now has he supplanted me for the second time; the first time he took away my birthright, and now he has taken away my blessing." But the bad man thinks the things of the body the more important, while the good man assigns the preference to the things of the soul, which are in truth and reality the more important and the first, not, indeed, in point of time, but in power and dignity, as is a ruler in a city. But the mistress of the concrete being is the soul.

LXIX. (192) Therefore the one who as superior in virtue received the first place, which, indeed, fell to him as his due. For he also obtained the blessing in connection with the perfection of prayer. But he is a vain and conceited pretender to wisdom who said, "He took away my blessing and also my birthright." For what he took, O foolish man, was not yours, but was rather the opposite to what was yours. For your deeds are thought worthy of slavery, but his are thought worthy of supremacy. (193) And if you are content to become the slave of the wise man, you shall receive your share of reproof and of correction, and so you shall discard ignorance and folly which are the destruction of the soul. For thy father, when praying, says to you, "You shall serve your brother," but not now; for he will not be able to endure your endeavouring to throw off the yoke. But when you have loosed his yoke from off your neck, that is to say, when you have cast off the boastfulness and arrogance which you had, after you had yoked yourself to the chariot of the passions, under the guidance of the charioteer, Folly. (194) Now, indeed, you are the slave of cruel and intolerable masters, who are within yourself, and who look upon it as a law never to set any one free; but if you run away and escape from them, then the master who loves slaves will receive you in a good hope of freedom, and will not surrender you any more to your former companions, having learnt from Moses that necessary doctrine and lesson, "Not to give up a servant to his master who has escaped from his master unto him; for he shall dwell with him in any place which shall please him."

LXX. (195) But as long as you did not escape, and while you were still bridled with the bridle of those masters, you were unworthy to be the servant of a worse master. Giving thus the greatest proof of a mean, and lowly, and servile disposition, when you said, "My birthright and my blessing." For these are the words of men who have fallen into immoderate ignorance, since it belongs to God alone to say, "Mine;" for to him alone do all things properly belong. (196) And to this he will himself bear witness when he says, "My gifts, my offerings, my first fruits." You must take notice here that gifts are spoken of in contradistinction to offerings. For the former display the manifestation of the vastness of the perfect good things which God gives to those men who are perfect, but the latter are only prepared to last a very short time, and are partaken of by well-disposed practisers of virtue who are making progress towards perfection. (197) On which account Abraham also, when following the will of God, retained those things which had been given to him by God: "but sends back the horses of the king of Sodom" as the wages of harlots. And Moses also condescends to administer justice in most important points, and with reference to things of the greatest value. But the more unimportant causes and trials he commits to judges of inferior rank to investigate. (198) And whoever ventures to assert that any thing is his own shall be set down as a slave for ever and ever; as he who says, "I have loved my master, and my wife, and my children; I will not depart and be free." He does well on confessing that slavery is proper for him; for can he be any thing but a slave who says, "Mine is mind, which is the master, being its own master, and possessed of absolute power; mine, also are the outward senses, the sufficient judges of corporeal substances; mine, also are the offspring of these objects of intellect which are the offspring of the mind, and the objects of the outward senses, which are the offspring of those same outward senses; for it is in my power to exert both the mind and the outward senses?" (199) But it is not sufficient for such a man only to bear witness against himself, but, being also condemned by God, who sentences him to most durable and everlasting slavery, he shall undergo his sentence: and be bored in the ear, that he may not receive the language of virtue, but that he may be a slave for ever, both in his mind and in his outward senses, which are bad and pitiless masters.

LXXI. (200) "And to the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy groaning." The affection which is called pain is a suffering peculiar to woman, who is a symbol of the outward sense. For to suffer pain belongs to the same subject to which to experience pleasure does also belong. But we experience pleasure through the medium of our outward senses, as of necessity we also suffer pain through the same medium. But the virtuous and purified mind suffers pain in the least degree; for the outward senses have the least degree of power over him. But passion is exceedingly powerful in the case of the foolish man, inasmuch as he has no antidote in his soul by which he can ward off the evils which proceed from the outward senses and from those objects which can only be perceived by them. (201) For as an athlete and a slave are beaten in two different manners, the one in an abject manner, giving himself up to the ill-treatment, and yielding to it submissively; but the athlete opposing, and resisting, and parrying the blows which are aimed at him. And as you shave a man in one way, and a pillow in another; for the one is seen only in its suffering the shaving, but the man does himself do something likewise, and as one may say, aids the infliction, placing himself in a posture to be shaved; (202) so the irrational man, like a slave, submits himself to another, and surrenders himself to the endurance of pains as to intolerable mistresses, being unable to look them in the face, and wholly incapable of conceiving any masculine or free thoughts. On which account a countless number of painful things are endured by him through the medium of the outward senses. But the man of experience, valiantly resisting like a brave athlete with strength and vigour, opposes himself resolutely to all painful things, so as not to be wounded by them; but so as to keep all their blows at a distance. And it seems to me that he might with great spirit utter the verses of the tragedian against pain in this manner:—"Now scorch and burn my flesh, and fill yourself With ample draughts of my life’s purpled blood; For sooner shall the stars’ bright orbs descend Beneath the darkened earth, the earth uprise Above the sky, and all things be confounded, Than you shall wrench one flattering word from me."

LXXII. (203) But as God has allotted all painful things to the outward sense in great abundance and intensity, so also has he bestowed on the virtuous soul a boundless store of good things. Accordingly he speaks with reference to the perfect man Abraham in the following manner: "By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, that because thou hast done this thing and hast not withheld thy son, thy beloved son from me, that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand which is on the shore of the sea." He says this, and having confirmed his promise solemnly and by an oath, and by an oath, too, such as could alone become God. For you see that God does not swear by any other being than himself, for there is nothing more powerful than he is; but he swears by himself, because he is the greatest of all things. (204) But some men have said that it is inconsistent with the character of God to swear at all; for that an oath is received for the sake of the confirmation which it supplies; but God is the only faithful being, and if any one else who is dear to God; as Moses is said to have been faithful in all his house. And besides, the mere words of God are the most sacred and holy of oaths, and laws, and institutions. And it is a proof of his exceeding power, that whatever he says is sure to take place; and this is the most especial characteristic of an oath. So that it would be quite natural to say that all the words of God are oaths confirmed by the accomplishment of the acts to which they relate.

LXXIII. (205) They say, indeed, that an oath is a testimony borne by God concerning a matter which is the subject of doubt. But if God swears he is bearing testimony to himself, which is an absurdity. For the person who bears the testimony, and he on whose behalf it is borne, ought to be two different persons. What, then, are we to say? In the first place, that it is not a matter of blame for God to bear testimony to himself. For what other being could be competent to bear testimony to him? In the second place, He himself is to himself every thing that is most honourable— relative, kinsman, friend, virtue, prosperity, happiness, knowledge, understanding, beginning, end, entirety, universality, judge, opinion, intention, law, action, supremacy. (206) Besides, if we only receive the expression, "By myself have I sworn," in the manner in which we ought, we shall be in no danger from sophistry. May we not, then, say, that the truth is something of this sort? None of those beings which are capable of entertaining belief, can entertain a firm belief respecting God. For he has not displayed his nature to any one; but keeps it invisible to every kind of creature. Who can venture to affirm of him who is the cause of all things either that he is a body, or that he is incorporeal, or that he has such and such distinctive qualities, or that he has no such qualities? or who, in short, can venture to affirm any thing positively about his essence, or his character, or his constitution, or his movements? But He alone can utter a positive assertion respecting himself, since he alone has an accurate knowledge of his own nature, without the possibility of mistake. (207) His positive assertion, therefore, is one which may be thoroughly trusted in the first place, since he alone has any knowledge respecting his actions; so that he very appropriately swore by himself, adding himself confirmation to his assertion, which it was not possible for any one else to do. On which account men who say that they swear by God may well be considered impious. For no man can rightly swear by himself, because he is not able to have any certain knowledge respecting his own nature, but we must be content if we are able to understand even his name, that is to say, his word, which is the interpreter of his will. For that must be God to us imperfect beings, but the first mentioned, or true God, is so only to wise and perfect men. (208) And Moses, too, admiring the exceeding excellency of the great uncreated God, says, "And thou shalt swear by his name," not by himself. For it is sufficient for the creature to receive confirmation and testimony from the word of God. But God is his own confirmation and most unerring testimony.

LXXIV. (209) But the expression, "Because thou hast done this thing," is a symbol of piety. For to do everything for the sake of God alone is pious. In consequence of which we do not spare even that beloved child of virtue, prosperity, surrendering it to the Creator, and thinking it right that our offspring should become the possession of God, but not of any created being. And that expression, also, is a good one, "In blessing I will bless thee." (210) For some persons do many acts worthy of a blessing, but yet not in such a way as to obtain a blessing. Since even a wicked man does some actions that are proper, but he does not do them from being of a proper disposition. And sometimes a drunken man or a mad man speaks and acts in a sober manner, but still he is not speaking or acting from a sober mind. And children, who are actually infants, both do and say many things which reasonable men do also do and say; but they, of course, do it not in consequence of any rational disposition, for nature has not yet endowed them with a capacity of reasoning. But the law giver wishes the wise man to appear deserving of blessing not occasionally, accidentally, and, as it were, by chance, but in consequence of habits and a disposition deserving of blessing.

LXXV. (211) Therefore it is not sufficient for the unfortunate external sense to be abundantly occupied with pains, but it must also be full of groaning. Now groaning is a violent and intense pain. For we are very often in pain without groaning. But, when we groan, we are under the influence of most grievous and thickly pressing pain. Now, groaning is of a twofold nature. One kind is that which arises in those who desire and are very eager for august objects and who do not succeed in them, which is wicked; the other kind is that which proceeds from persons who repent and are distressed for previous sins, and who say, "Miserable are we, how long a time have we passed infected with the disease of foolishness, and in the practice of all kinds of folly and iniquity." (212) But this kind of groaning does not exist unless the king of Egypt, that is to say, the impious disposition wholly devoted to pleasure, has perished and departed from our soul, "For, after many days, the king of Egypt died." Then immediately, as soon as vice is dead, the man who has become alive to the perception of God and of his own sin, groans, "For the children of Israel groaned at the corporeal and Egyptian works;" since the reigning disposition devoted to pleasure, while it is alive within us, persuades the soul to rejoice at the sins which it commits; but, when that disposition is dead, it groans over them; (213) on which account it cries out to its master, beseeching him that it may not again be perverted, and that it may not arrive at only an imperfect sort of perfection. For many souls who have wished to turn to repentance have not been allowed to do so by God, but, been dragged back, as it were by the ebbing tide, having returned to their original courses; in the manner in which Lot’s wife did, who was turned into stone because she loved Sodom, and who reverted to the disposition and habits which had been condemned by God.

LXXVI. (214) But now Moses says that "Their cry has gone up to God, bearing witness to the grace of the living God." For if he had not powerfully summoned up to himself the supplicatory language of that people it would not have gone up; that is to say, it would never have gained power and increase, would never have begun to soar so high, flying from the lowness of earthly things. On which account, in the next passage, God is represented as saying, "Behold the cry of the children of Israel has come up to me." (215) Very beautifully here does Moses represent that their supplications have reached God, but they would not have reached him if he who was working him had not been a good man. But there are some souls which God even goes forward to meet: "I will come to you and bless you." You see here how great is the kindness of the Creator of all things, when he even anticipates our delay and our intentions, and comes forward to meet us to the perfect benefiting of our souls. And the expression and used here is an oracle full of instruction. For, if a thought of God enters the mind, it immediately blesses it and heals all its diseases. (216) But the outward sense is always grieved and groans, and brings forth the perception of its objects with pain and intolerable anguish. As also God himself says, "In sorrow thou shalt bring forth children." Now, the sense of sight brings forth the operation of seeing, the sense of hearing is the parent of the operation of hearing, so is the sense of taste of tasting; and, in short, each outward sense is respectively the parent of its corresponding operation; but still it does not produce all these effects in the foolish man without severe pain. For such a man is affected by pain when he sees, and when he hears, and when he tastes, and when he smells, and, in fact, when he exerts any one of these outward senses.

LXXVII. (217) On the other hand, you will find virtue not only conceiving with extraordinary joy, but also bringing forth her good offspring with laughter and cheerfulness; and you will also find the offspring of the two parents to be actually cheerfulness itself. Now that the wise man becomes a parent with joy, and not with sorrow, the word of God itself will testify to us when it speaks thus: "And God said unto Abraham, Sarai, thy wife, shall no longer be called Sarai, but her name shall be Sarah; I will bless her, and give thee a son from her." And, afterwards, Moses proceeds to say, "And Abraham fell upon his face and laughed, and said, ‘Shall a son be born to him who is a hundred years old; and shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, have a son?’ " (218) Abraham, therefore, appears here to be in a state of joy, and to be laughing because he is about to become the father of happiness, that is to say, of Isaac; and virtue, that is to say, Sarah, laughs also. And the same prophet will further bear witness, speaking thus, "And it had ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women, and she laughed in her mind and said, such happiness has never yet happened to me to this time, and my lord," that is to say, the divine Lord, "is older than I;" in whose power, however, this thing must inevitably be, and in whose power it is becoming to place confidence. For the offspring is laughter and joy. For this is the meaning and interpretation of the name of Isaac. Therefore, let the outward sense be grieved, but let virtue be always rejoicing. (219) For, also, when happiness, that is Isaac, was born, she says, in the pious exaltation, "The Lord has caused me laughter, and whoever shall hear of it shall rejoice with me." Open your ears, therefore, O ye initiated, and receive the most sacred mysteries. Laughter is joy; and the expression, "has caused," is equivalent to "has begotten." So that what is here said has some such meaning as this, "The Lord has begotten Isaac." For he is the father of perfect nature, sowing and begetting happiness in the soul.

LXXVIII. (220) "And thy desire," says God, "shall be to thy husband." There are two husbands of the outward senses. The one a legal one, the other a destroyer. For the object of sight, acting upon it like a husband, puts the sense of sight in motion; and so does sound affect the sense of hearing, flavour the sense of taste, and so on with each of the outward senses respectively. And these things attract the attention of and call the irrational outward sense to itself, and become the master of it and govern it. For beauty enslaves the sight, and sweet flowers enslave the sense of taste, and each of the other objects of outward sense enslaves that sense which corresponds to them. (221) See the glutton, what a slave he is to all the preparations which cooks and confectioners devise. Behold the man who is devoted to the study of music, how he is governed by the harp, or the flute, or by any one who is able to sing. But the sense which turns itself to its legitimate husband, that is to say, to the mind, derives the greatest possible advantage from that object.

LXXIX. (222) Let us now see what account Moses gives of the mind itself, when it is set in motion in a way contrary to right reason. And God said unto Adam, "Because thou hast listened to the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree of which I commanded thee not to eat, because thou hast eaten of it, cursed is the earth in thy actions." It is a most mischievous thing, therefore, for the mind to be swayed by the outward senses, but not for the outward senses to be guided by the mind. For it is at all times proper that that which is better should rule, and that that which is worse should be ruled. (223) And the mind is better than the outward senses. As, therefore, when the charioteer has his horses under command and guides the animals with the rein, the chariot is guided wherever he pleases; but if they become restiff, and get the better of the charioteer, he is often dragged out of his road, and sometimes it even happens that the beasts themselves are borne by the impetuosity of their course into a pit, and everything is carried away in a ruinous manner. And, as a ship holds on her right course when the pilot has the helm in his hand and steers her, and she is obedient to her rudder, but the vessel is upset when some contrary wind descends upon the waves and the whole sea is occupied by billows; (224) so when the mind, which is the charioteer or pilot of the soul, retains the mastery over the entire animal, as a ruler does over a city, the life of the man proceeds rightly. But when the outward sense, which is devoid of reason, obtains the supremacy, then a terrible confusion overtakes the man, as might happen if a household of slaves were to conspire and to set upon their master. For then, if one must tell the truth, the mind is set fire to and burnt, the outward senses handling the flame and placing the objects of their operation beneath, as fuel.

LXXX. And Moses, indeed, speaks of and describes such a conflagration of the mind as this which arises in consequence of the operation of the outward senses, when he says, (225) "And the women still burnt additional fires in Moab." For this expression being interpreted means, from the father, because the mind is our father. "For then," says Moses, "the expounders of riddles will say, Come to Heshbon, that the city of Sihon may be built and furnished. Because fire has gone forth out of Heshbon, and a flame out of the city of Sihon, and has devoured as far as Moab, and has consumed the high places of Arnon. Woe unto thee, Moab, Chemosh is destroyed: their sons who had sought to escape have been given up, and their daughters have become captive to Sihon, king of the Amorites. And the seed of them shall perish, from Heshbon even to Dibon. Moreover, the women still burnt additional fire in Moab." (226) Heshbon being interpreted means reasonings; and these must here mean enigmas, full of indistinctness. Behold the reasoning of the physician:—"I will purge the sick man, I will nourish him, I will heal him with medicines and with diet, I will extirpate his diseased parts, I will cauterise him." But very often nature has healed the man without these remedies; and very often too has suffered him to die though they were applied: so that the reasonings of the physician have been utterly found out to be dreams, full of all indistinctness and of riddles. Again, the husbandman says, (227) I will scatter seed, I will plant; the plants shall grow, they shall bear fruit, which shall not only be useful for necessary enjoyment, but which shall also be abundant for superfluity; and then, on a sudden, fire, or a storm, or continued rains, have destroyed everything. But at times man has brought his labours to their due accomplishment, and yet he who formed all these plans has derived no advantage from their being accomplished, but has died before they were accomplished, and has in vain promised himself the enjoyment of the fruits of his labours.

LXXXI. (228) It is best, therefore, to trust in God, and not in uncertain reasonings, or unsure conjectures. "Abraham trusted in the Lord, and it was counted to him for righteousness." And Moses governed the people, being testified to that he was faithful with his whole house. But if we distrust our own reason, we shall prepare and build ourselves a city of the mind which will destroy the truth. For Sihon, being interpreted means destroying. (229) In reference to which he who had dreamed, waking up, found that all the motions and all the advances of the foolish man are merely dreams that have no portion of truth in them, for the very mind is found to be a dream; and the only true doctrine is to believe in God, and to trust to vain reasonings is a mere delusion. But irrational impulse goes forth and proceeds to each extremity, while both the reasonings and the mind corrupt the truth. On which account, Moses says that "fire went out of Heshbon, and flame out of the city of Sihon." So absurd is it to trust either to plausible reasonings, or to the mind which corrupts the truth.

LXXXII. (230) "And it devours even as far as Moab;" that is to say, as far as the mind. For what other creature, except the miserable mind, can a false opinion deceive? It devours and consumes, and, in truth, it swallows up the pillars in it; that is to say, all the particular notions which are engraved and impressed upon it, as upon a pillar. But the pillars are Arnon, which, being interpreted, means the light of Arnon, since every one of these facts is made clear by reasoning. (231) Accordingly, Moses beings presently to lament over the self-satisfied and arrogant mind in this manner: "Woe unto thee, O city of Moab!" For, if you give attention to the riddles which arise out of the perception of what is probable, you have destroyed the truth by so doing. "The people of Chemosh," that is to say, thy people and thy power, have been found to be mutilated and blinded. For Chemosh, being interpreted, means feeling with the hand. And this action is the especial characteristic of one who does not see. (232) Now, their sons are particular reasonings-exiles; and their opinions are in the place of daughters, being captives to the king of the Amorites, that is to say, of those who converse with the sophist. For the name Amorites, being interpreted, means talkers, being a symbol of the people who talk much; and their guide and leader is the sophist, and he who is skilful in reasoning and clever in investigating arts; a man by whom all those are deceived who once overpass the boundary of truth.

LXXXIII. (233) Sihon, then, who destroys the sound rule of truth, and his seed also, shall both perish; and so shall Heshbon, namely, the sophistical riddles, as far as Debon; which, being interpreted, means adjudication. And very consistently with nature shall this be. For what is probable and plausible has not a positive knowledge respecting truth, but only a trial and controversy and a litigious contest and strife, and all such things as these. (234) But it was not sufficient for the mind to have its own peculiar evils, which were perceptible only to the intellect; but still the women burnt additional fire, that is to say, the outward senses excited a great conflagration to have an effect upon it. See, now, what the meaning is of what is here said. We who very often by night desist from energizing according to any one of the outward senses, receive absurd impressions respecting many different things, since our souls exist in a state of perpetual motion and are capable of an infinite variety of changes. There were, therefore, things quite sufficient for its destruction which it brought forth out of itself. (235) But now, as it is, the multitude of the outward senses has brought against it a most incalculable multitude of evils, partly from objects of sight and partly from sounds; and besides that, from flavours and from such essences as affect the sense of smell. And one may almost say that the flavour which arises from them has a more pernicious influence on the disposition of the soul than that which is engendered in the soul itself, without any co-operation or agency of the organs of sense.

LXXXIV. (236) One of these women is Pentepho’, the wife of Pharaoh’s chief cook. We must now consider how a man who was a eunuch can be represented as having a wife. For there will here be something which will seem to offer a reasonable ground for perplexity to those who do not take the expressions of the law in an allegorical sense. For the mind is really a eunuch, and really the chief of cooks, using not merely such pleasures as are simple, but those also which are superfluous, and is therefore called a eunuch and barren of all wisdom, being the eunuch and slave of no other master than of that squanderer of all good things, Pharaoh. On another principle, therefore, it might appear a most desirable thing to be a eunuch, if our soul, by that means escaping vice, might be able also to avoid all knowledge of passion. (237) On which account Joseph, that is to say, the disposition of continence, says to Pleasure, who accosts him with, "Lie with me, and being a man behave as a man, and enjoy the pleasant things which life can afford." He, I say, refuses her, saying, "I shall be sinning against God, who loves virtue, if I become a votary of pleasure; for this is a wicked action."

LXXXV. (238) And, at first, he only skirmishes, but presently he fights and resists valiantly, when the soul enters into her own dwelling, and, having recourse to her own strength and energy, renounces the temptations of the body, and performs her own appropriate actions as those which are the proper occupation of the soul; not appearing in the house of Joseph, nor of Pentepho’, but in the house. Nor does Moses add a word to describe whose house he means, in order to give you opportunity to interpret allegorically, in an inquisitive spirit, the meaning of the expression, "to do his business." (239) The house, therefore, is the soul, to which he runs, leaving all external affairs, in order that what is spoken of may there be done. But may we not say that the conduct of the temperate man is what it is, and is directed by the will of God? For there was not present any inconsistent idea of all those which are accustomed to find their place within the soul. Moreover, pleasure never ceases from struggling against the yoke, but, seizing hold of his clothes, she cries, "Lie with me." Now, clothes are, as it were, the covering of the body, just as life is protected by meat and drink. And she says here, "Why do you renounce pleasure, without which you cannot live? (240) Behold, I take hold of the things which cause it; and I say that you could not possibly exist unless you also made use of some of the things which cause it." What, then, says the temperate man? "Shall I," says he, "become a slave to passion, on account of the material which causes passion? Nay, I will depart out of reach of the passion." For, leaving his garment in her hand, he fled, and escaped out of doors.

LXXXVI. (241) And who, some one perhaps, may say, ever escapes in-doors? Do not many do so? Or have not some people, avoiding the guilt of sacrilege, committed robberies in private houses, or though not beating their own fathers, have not they insulted the fathers of others? Now these men do escape from one class of offences, but they run into others. But a man who is perfectly temperate, ought to avoid every description of offence, whether greater or less, and never to be detected in any sin whatever. (242) But Joseph, for he is a young man, and because as such he was unable to struggle with the Egyptian body and to subdue pleasure, runs away. But Phineas the priest, who was zealous with a great zeal for God’s service, did not provide for his own safety by flight; but having taken to himself a yoke horse, that is to say, zeal combined with reason, would never desist till he had wounded the Midianitish woman (that is to say the nature which was concealed in the divine company), through her belly, in order that no plant or seed of wickedness might ever be able to shoot out from it.

LXXXVII. On which account after folly has been utterly eradicated, the soul receives a twofold prize, and a double inheritance, peace and holiness, two kindred and sister-like virtues. (243) We must therefore refuse to listen to such a woman, that is to say to a wicked temptation of the outward senses, since "God gave a good reward to the midwives," because they disregarded the commands of the wasteful Pharaoh, "saving the male children of the soul alive," which he wished to destroy, being a lover of the female offspring alone, and rejecting all knowledge of the Cause of all things, and saying, "I know him not." (244) But we must give our belief to another woman, such as it was ordained that Sarah should be, Sarah being in a figure the governing virtue; and the wise Abraham was guided by her, when she recommended him such actions as were good. For before this time, when he was not yet perfect, but even before his name was changed, he gave his attention to subjects of lofty philosophical speculation; and she, knowing that he could not produce anything out of perfect virtue, counselled him to raise children out of her handmaid, that is to say out of encyclical instruction, out of Agar, which name being interpreted means a dwelling near; for he who meditates dwelling in perfect virtue, before his name is enrolled among the citizens of that state, dwells among the encyclical studies, in order that through their instrumentality he may make his approaches at liberty towards perfect virtue. (245) After that, when he saw that he was now become perfect, and was now able to become a father, although he himself was full of gratitude towards those studies, by means of which he had been recommended to virtue, and thought it hard to renounce them; he was well inclined to be appeased by an oracle from God which laid this command on him. "In everything which Sarah says, do thou obey her voice." Let that be a law to every one of us to do whatever seems good to virtue; for if we are willing to submit to everything which virtue recommends we shall be happy.

LXXXVIII. (246) And the expression, "And thou eatest of the tree of which alone I commanded thee that thou shouldst not eat," is equivalent to saying, You made a covenant with wickedness, which you ought to have repelled with all your strength. On this account, "Cursed art thou;" not, cursed is the earth for thy works. What, now, is the reason of this? That serpent, pleasure, which is an irrational elevation of the soul, this is intrinsically accursed in its own nature; and being such, attaches itself only to the wicked man, and to no good man. But Adam is the intermediate sort of mind which at one time if investigated is found to be good, and at another time bad; for inasmuch as it is mind, it is not by nature either good or bad, but from contact with virtue or with vice, it frequently changes for the better or for the worse; (247) therefore it very naturally is not accursed of its own nature, as neither being itself wickedness nor acting according to wickedness, but the earth is accursed in its works: for the actions which proceed from the entire soul, which he calls the earth, are open to blame and devoid of innocence, inasmuch as he does everything in accordance withvice. In reference to which fact God adds, that "In sorrow thou shalt eat of it." Which is equivalent to saying, you shall enjoy your soul in sorrow; for the wicked man does enjoy his own soul with great pain the whole of his life, having no legitimate cause for joy; for such cause is only produced by justice and prudence, and by the virtues which are enthroned as companions with them.

LXXXIX. (248) "Thorns, therefore, and thistles shall it bring forth to you." But what is it which is produced and which shoots up in the soul of the foolish man except the passions which goad and sting and wound it? Which Moses here, speaking symbolically, calls thorns, and which irrational appetite rushes upon at first like fire, and so hastens to meet, and afterwards uniting itself to them, it consumes and destroys all its own nature and actions. For Moses speaks thus:—"But if fire when it has gone forth finds thorns, and shall also burn a threshing-floor, or a crop of wheat, or a field of corn, then he who kindled the fire shall pay the damage." (249) You see therefore when it has gone forth, that is to say, irrational impetuosity, it does not only burn the thorns, but finds them: for being inclined to seek out the passions, it attains to what it has been desiring to find; but when it has found it, it consumes these three things,— perfect virtue, improvement, and goodness of disposition. Moses therefore here compares virtue to a threshing-floor; for as the crops when collected are brought to the threshing-floor, so also are the good things which exist in the soul of the wise man brought to virtue; and improvement he likens to the crop of wheat, inasmuch as both the one and the other are imperfect, aiming at the end; and goodness of disposition he compares to a field of corn, because it is well adapted to receive the seeds of virtue; (250) and each of the passions he calls thistles (tribolia), because they are divisible into three parts: the passion itself, the efficient cause, and the effect which arises from the combined operation of the two. As for instance pleasure, what is pleasant, and the being pleased; appetite, the object of appetite, and the indulgence of appetite; pain, what is painful, and the suffering pain; fear, what is fearful, and the being in a state of fear.



I. (1) "And God cast out Adam, and placed him opposite the paradise of happiness; and he placed there the cherubim and a flaming sword, which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life. In this place Moses uses the expression, "He cast out," but previously he said, "He sent out," not using the various expressions at random, but being well aware with reference to what parts he was employing them with propriety and felicity. (2) Now a man who is sent out is not hindered from returning at some subsequent time; but he who is cast out by God must endure an eternal banishment, for it is granted to him who has not yet been completely and violently taken prisoner by wickedness, to repent, and so to return back to virtue, from which he has been driven, as to his great country; but he who is weighed down by, and wholly subjected to, a violent and incurable disease, must bear his misfortunes for ever, being for all times unalterably cast out into the place of the wicked, that there he may endure unmitigated and everlasting misery. (3) Since we see Agar, by whom we understand the middle kind of instruction which is confined to the encyclical system, twice going forth from Sarah, who is the symbol of predominant virtue, and once returning back by the same road, inasmuch as after she had fled the first time, without being banished by her mistress, she returned to see her master’s house, having been met by an angel, as the holy scriptures read: but the second time, she is utterly cast out, and is never to be brought back again.

II. (4) And we must speak of the causes of her first flight, and then again of her second perpetual banishment. Before the names of the two were changed, that is to say, before they had been altered for the better as to the characteristics of their souls, and had been endowed with better dispositions, but while the name of the man was still Abram, or the sublime father, who delighted in the lofty philosophy which investigates the events which take place in the air, and the sublime nature of the beings which exist in heaven, which mathematical science claims for itself as the most excellent part of natural philosophy, (5) and the name of the woman was still Sarai; the symbol of my authority, for she is called my authority, and she had not yet changed her nature so as to become generic virtue, and all genus is imperishable, but was as yet classed among things particular and things in species; that is to say, such as the prudence which is in me, the temperance which is in me, the courage, the justice, and so on in the same manner; and these particular virtues are perishable, because the place which receives them, that is to say I, am also perishable. (6) Then Agar, who is the middle kind of encyclical instruction, even if she should endeavour to escape from the austere and stern life of the lovers of virtue, will again return to it, since it is not, as yet, able to receive the generic and imperishable excellencies of virtue, but can only touch the particular virtues, and such as are spoken of in species, in which it is sufficient to attain to mediocrity instead of extreme perfection. (7) But when Abram, instead of an inquirer into natural philosophy, became a wise man and a lover of God, having his name changed to Abraham, which being interpreted means the great father of sounds; for language when uttered sounds, and the father of language is the mind, which has attained to what is virtuous. And when Sarai instead of being my authority, had her name also changed to Sarah, the meaning of which is princess, and this change is equivalent to becoming generic and imperishable virtue, instead of virtue special and perishable: (8) then will arise the genus of happiness that is to say, Isaac; and he, when all the feminine affections have ceased, and when the passion of joy and cheerfulness are dead, will eagerly pursue, not childish amusements, but divine objects; then too those elementary branches of instruction which bear the name of Agar, will be cast out, and their sophistical child will also be cast out, who is named Ishmael.

III. (9) And they shall undergo eternal banishment, God himself confirming their expulsion, when he bids the wise man obey the word spoken by Sarah, and she urges him expressly to cast out the serving woman and her son; and it is good to be guided by virtue, and especially so when it teaches such lessons as this, that the most perfect natures are very greatly different from the mediocre habits, and that wisdom is a wholly different thing from sophistry; for the one labours to devise what is persuasive for the establishment of a false opinion, which is pernicious to the soul, but wisdom, with long meditation on the truth by the knowledge of right reason, bring real advantage to the intellect. (10) Why then do we wonder if God once for all banished Adam, that is to say, the mind out of the district of the virtues, after he had once contracted folly, that incurable disease, and if he never permitted him again to return, when he also drives out and banishes from wisdom and from the wise man every sophist, and the mother of sophists, the teaching that is of elementary instruction, while he calls the names of wisdom and of the wise man Abraham, and Sarah.

IV. (11) Then also, "The flaming sword and the cherubim have an abode allotted to them exactly in front of paradise." The expression, "in front," is used partly to convey the idea of a resisting enemy, and partly as suitable to the notion of judgment, as a person whose cause is being decided appears in front of his judge: partly also in a friendly sense, in order that they may be perceived, and may be considered in closer connection by reason of the more accurate view of them that is thus obtained, just as archetypal pictures and statues are placed in front of painters and statuaries. (12) Now the first example of an enemy placed directly in front of one is derived from what is said in the case of Cain, that "he went out from the face of God, and dwelt in the land of Nod, in the front of Eden." Now Nod being interpreted means commotion, and Eden means delight. The one therefore is a symbol of wickedness agitating the soul, and the other of virtue which creates for the soul a state of tranquillity and happiness, not meaning by happiness that effeminate luxury which is derived from the indulgence of the irrational passion of pleasure, but a joy free from toil and free from hardship, which is enjoyed with great tranquillity. (13) And it follows of necessity that when the mind goes forth from any imagination of God, by which it would be good and expedient for it to be supported, then immediately, after the fashion of a ship, which is tossed in the sea, when the winds oppose it with great violence, it is tossed about in every direction, having disturbance as it were for its country and its home, a thing which is the most contrary of all things to steadiness of soul, which is engendered by joy, which is a term synonymous with Eden.

V. (14) Now of the kind of opposition of place which is connected with standing in front of a judge for judgment, we have an example in the case of the woman who has been suspected of having committed adultery. For, says Moses, "the priest shall cause the woman to stand in front of her lord, and she shall uncover her head." Let us now examine what he intends to show by this direction. It often happens that what ought to be done is not done, in the manner in which it ought to be done, and sometimes too that which is not proper is nevertheless done in a proper manner. For instance, when the return of a deposit is not made in an honest spirit, but is intended either to work the injury of him who receives it back again, or by way of a snare to bear out a denial in the case of another deposit of greater value, in that case a proper action is done in an improper manner. (15) On the other hand, for a physician not to tell the exact truth to a sick patient, when he has decided on purging him, or performing some operation with the knife or with the cautery for the benefit of the patient, lest if the sick man were to be moved too strongly by the anticipation of the suffering, he might refuse to submit to the cure, or through weakness of mind might despair of its succeeding; or in the case of a wise man giving false information to the enemy to secure the safety of his country, fearing lest through his speaking the truth the affairs of the adversaries should succeed, in this case an action which is not intrinsically right is done in a proper manner. In reference to which distinction Moses says, "to pursue what is just justly," as if it were possible also to pursue it unjustly, if at any time the judge who gives sentence does not decide in an honest spirit. (16) Since therefore what is said or done is openly notorious to all men, but since the intention, the consequence of which what is said is said, and what is done is done, is not notorious, but it is uncertain whether it be a sound and healthy motive, or an unhealthy design, stained with numerous pollutions; and since no created being is capable of discerning the secret intention of an invisible mind, but God alone; in reference to this Moses says that "all secret things are known to the Lord God, but only such as are manifest are known to the creature." (17) And therefore it is enjoined to the priest and prophet, that is to say to reason, "to place the soul in front of God, with the head uncovered," that is to say the soul must be laid bare as to its principal design, and the sentiments which it nourished must be revealed, in order that being brought before the judgment seat of the most accurate vision of the incorruptible God, it may be thoroughly examined as to all its concealed disguises, like a base coin, or, on the other hand, if it be found to be free from all participation in any kind of wickedness, it may wash away all the calumnies that have been uttered against its bringing him for a testimony to its purity, who is alone able to behold the soul naked.

VI. (18) This, then, is the meaning of coming in front of one’s judge, when brought up for judgment. But the case of coming in front of any one which has a bearing upon connection or familiarity, may be illustrated by the example of the all wise Abraham. "For," says Moses, "he was still standing in front of God." And a proof of his familiarity is contained in the expression that "he came near to God, and spoke." For it is fitting for one who has no connection with another to stand at a distance, and to be separated from him, but he who is connected with him should stand near to him. (19) And to stand, and to have an unchangeable mind comes very near to the power of God, since the Divinity is unchangeable, but that which is created is intrinsically and essentially changeable. Therefore, if any one, restraining the changeableness natural to all created things by his love of knowledge, has been able to put such violence on any thing as to cause it to stand firm, let him be sure that he has come near to the happiness of the Deity. (20) But God very appropriately assigns to the cherubim and to the flaming sword a city or abode in front of Paradise, not as to enemies about to oppose and to fight him, but rather as to near connections and friends, in order that in consequence of a continued sight and contemplation of one another, the two powers might conceive an affection for one another, the all-bounteous God inspiring them with a winged and heavenly love.

VII. (21) But we must now consider what the figurative allusions are which are enigmatically expressed in the mention of the cherubim and of the flaming sword which turned every way. May we not say that Moses here introduces under a figure an intimation of the revolutions of the whole heaven? For the spheres in heaven received a motion in opposite directions to one another, the one sphere receiving a fixed motion towards the right hand, but the sphere of the other side receiving a wandering motion towards the left. (22) But that outermost circle of what are called the fixed stars is one sphere, which also proceeds in a fixed periodical revolution from east to west. But the interior circle of the seven planets, whose course is at the same time compulsory and voluntary, has two motions, which are to a certain degree contrary to one another. And one of these motions is involuntary, like that of the planets. For they appear every day proceeding onwards from the east to the west. But their peculiar and voluntary motion is from west to east, according to which last motion we find that the periods of the seven planets have received their exact measure of time, moving on in an equal course, as the Sun, and Lucifer, and what is called Stilbon. For these three planets are of equal speed; but some of the others are unequal in point of time, but preserve a certain sort of relative proportion to one another and to the other three which have been mentioned. (23) Accordingly, by one of the cherubim is understood the extreme outermost circumference of the entire heaven, in which the fixed stars celebrate their truly divine dance, which always proceeds on similar principles and is always the same, without ever leaving the order which the Father, who created them, appointed for them in the world. But the other of the cherubim is the inner sphere which is contained within that previously mentioned, which God originally divided in two parts, and created seven orbits, bearing a certain definite proportion to one another, and he adapted each of the planets to one of these; (24) and then, having placed each of these stars in its proper orbit, like a driver in a chariot, he did not entrust the reins to any one of them, fearing that some inharmonious sort of management might be the result, but he made them all to depend upon himself, thinking that, by that arrangement, the character of their motion would be rendered most harmonious. For every thing which exists in combination with God is deserving of praise; but every thing which exists without him is faulty.

VIII. (25) This, then, is one of the systems, according to which what is said of the cherubim may be understood allegorically. But we must suppose that the sword, consisting of flame and always turning in every direction, intimates their motion and the everlasting agitation of the entire heaven. And may we not say, according to another way of understanding this allegory, that the two cherubim are meant as symbols of each of the hemispheres? For they say that they stand face to face, inclining towards the mercy-seat; since the two hemispheres are also exactly opposite to one another, and incline towards the earth which is the centre of the whole universe, by which, also, they are kept apart from one another. (26) But the only one of all the parts of the world that stands firmly was most appropriately named Vesta by the ancients, in order that there might be an excellently arranged revolution of the two hemispheres around some object firmly fixed in the middle. And the flaming sword is a symbol of the sun; for as he is a collection of an immense body of flame, he is the swiftest of all existing things, to such a degree that in one day he revolves round the whole world. IX. (27) I have also, on one occasion, heard a more ingenious train of reasoning from my own soul, which was accustomed frequently to be seized with a certain divine inspiration, even concerning matters which it could not explain even to itself; which now, if I am able to remember it accurately, I will relate. It told me that in the one living and true God there were two supreme and primary powers—goodness and authority; and that by his goodness he had created every thing, and by his authority he governed all that he had created; (28) and that the third thing which was between the two, and had the effect of bringing them together was reason, for that it was owing to reason that God was both a ruler and good. Now, of this ruling authority and of this goodness, being two distinct powers, the cherubim were the symbols, but of reason the flaming sword was the symbol. For reason is a thing capable of rapid motion and impetuous, and especially the reason of the Creator of all things is so, inasmuch as it was before everything and passed by everything, and was conceived before everything, and appears in everything. (29) And do thou, O my mind, receive the impression of each of these cherubims unadulterated, that thus becoming thoroughly instructed about the ruling authority of the Creator of all things and about his goodness, thou mayest receive a happy inheritance; for immediately thou shalt understand the conjunction and combination of these imperishable powers, and learn in what respects God is good, his majesty arising from his sovereign power being all the time conspicuous; and in what he is powerful, his goodness, being equally the object of attention, that is this way thou mayest attain to the virtues which are engendered by these conceptions, namely, a love and a reverential awe of God, neither being uplifted to arrogance by any prosperity which may befall thee, having regard always to the greatness of the sovereignty of thy King; nor abjectly giving up hope of better things in the hour of unexpected misfortune, having regard, then, to the mercifulness of thy great and bounteous God. (30) And let the flaming sword teach thee that these things might be followed by a prompt and fiery reason combined with action, which never ceases being in motion with rapidity and energy to the selection of good objects, and the avoidance of all such as are evil.

X. (31) Do you not see that even the wise Abraham, when he began to measure everything with a reference to God, and to leave nothing to the creature, took an imitation of the flaming sword, namely, "fire and a sword," being eager to slay and to burn that mortal creature which was born of him, that so being raised on high it might soar up to God, the intellect being thus disentangled from the body. (32) Moses also represents Balaam, who is the symbol of a vain people, stripped of his arms, as a runaway and deserter, well knowing the war which it becomes the soul to carry on for the sake of knowledge; for he says to his ass, who is here a symbol of the irrational designs of life which every foolish man entertains, that "If I had had a sword, I should ere now have slain thee." And great thanks are due to the Maker of all things, because he, knowing the struggles and resistance of folly, did not give to it the power of language, which would have been like giving a sword to a madman, in order that it might have no power to work great and iniquitous destruction among all whom it should meet with. (33) But the reproaches which Balaam utters are in some degree expressed by all those who are not purified, but are always talking foolishly, devoting themselves to the life of a merchant, or of a farmer, or to some other business, the object of which is to provide the things necessary for life. As long, indeed, as everything goes on prosperously with respect to each individual, he mounts his animal joyfully and rides on cheerfully, and holding the reins firmly he will by no means consent to let them go. And if any one advises him to dismount and to set bounds to his appetites, because of his inability to know what will befall him hereafter, he reproaches him with jealousy and envy, saying that he does not address him in this way out of good will. (34) But when any unexpected misfortune overtakes him, he then looks upon those who have given him warnings as good prophets and men able, above all others, to foresee the future, and lays the blame of his distress on what is absolutely the cause of no evil whatever, on agriculture, on commerce, or on any other pursuit which he may have thought fit to select for the purpose of making money.

XI. (35) But these pursuits, although they are destitute of the organs of speech, will, nevertheless, through the medium of actions, utter a language clearer than any speech which proceeds from the tongue, and will say, "O you sycophant and false accuser, are not we the pursuits which you mounted upon holding your head high, as you might have mounted upon a beast of burden? And have we, by any insolence or obstinacy of ours, caused you any suffering? Behold reason armed and standing in opposition to God, by whom all good and all bad fortune is brought to its accomplishment. Do you not see it? (36) Why, then, do you reproach us now, when you formerly had no fault to find with us, while your affairs were proceeding prosperously? For we are the same as we were before, having changed nothing of our nature, not the slightest jot. But you are now applying tests which have no soundness in them, and in consequence are unreasonably violent against us; for if you had understood from the beginning that it is not the pursuits which you follow that are the causes of your participation in good or in evil, but rather the divine reason, which is the helmsman and governor of the universe, then you would more easily have borne the events which have befallen you, ceasing to bring false accusations against us, and to attribute to us effects which we are unable to produce. (37) "If therefore this reason now again, putting an end to that strife, and dispersing the sad and desponding ideas which arise from it, should promise you tranquillity of life, you will then again, with cheerfulness and joy, give us your right hand though we shall be like what we are now. But we are neither puffed up by your friendly favour, nor do we think it of great importance if you are angry with us; for we know that we are not the causes of either good or evil fortune, not even if you believe that we are, unless indeed you attribute to the sea the cause of sailors making favourable voyages, or of the shipwrecks which at times befall them, and not rather to the variations of the winds, which blow at one time gently, and at another with the most violent impetuosity; for as all water is by its own nature tranquil, (38) accordingly, when a favourable gale blows upon the stern of a ship, every rope is bent, and the ship is in full sail, conveying the mariners to the harbour; but when on a sudden the wind changes to the opposite direction, and blows against the head of the vessel, it then raises a heavy swell and great disturbance in the water, and upsets the ship and the sea, which was in no respect the cause of what has happened is blamed for it, though it notoriously is either calm or stormy according to the gentleness or violence of the winds." (39) By all these considerations I think it has been abundantly shown, that nature has made reason the most powerful coadjutor of man, and has made him, how is able to make a proper use of it, happy and truly rational; but him who has not this faculty, she has rendered irrational and unhappy.



XII. (40) "And Adam knew his wife, and she conceived and brought forth Cain; and she said I have gotten a man by means of the Lord; and he caused her also to bring forth Abel his brother." These men, to whose virtue the Jewish legislation bears testimony, he does not represent as knowing their wives, such as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and if there are any others of like zeal with them; (41) for since we say, that woman is to be understood symbolically as the outward sense, and since knowledge consists in alienation from the outward sense and from the body, it is plain that the lovers of wisdom must repudiate the outward sense rather than choose it, and is not this quite natural? for they who live with these men are in name indeed wives, but in fact virtues. Sarah is princess and guide, Rebecca is perseverance in what is good; Leah again is virtue, fainting and weary at the long continuance of exertion, which every foolish man declines, and avoids, and repudiates; and Zipporah, the wife of Moses, is virtue, mounting up from earth to heaven, and arriving at a just comprehension of the divine and blessed virtues which exist there, and she is called a bird. (42) But that we may describe the conception and the parturition of virtues, let the superstitious either stop their ears, or else let them depart; for we are about to teach those initiated persons who are worthy of the knowledge of the most sacred mysteries, the whole nature of such divine and secret ordinances. And those who are thus worthy are they who, with all modesty, practise genuine piety, of that sort which scorns to disguise itself under any false colours. But we will not act the part of hierophant or expounder of sacred mysteries to those who are afflicted with the incurable disease of pride of language and quibbling expressions, and juggling tricks of manners, and who measure sanctity and holiness by no other standard.

XIII. (43) But we must begin our explanation of these mysteries in this way. A husband unites with his wife, and the male human being with the female human being in a union which tends to the generation of children, in strict accordance with and obedience to nature. But it is not lawful for virtues, which are the parents of many perfect things, to associate with a mortal husband. But they, without having received the power of generation from any other being, will never be able by themselves alone to conceive any thing. (44) Who, then, is it who sows good seed in them, except the Father of the universe, the uncreated God, he who is the parent of all things? This, therefore, is the being who sows, and presently he bestows his own offspring, which he himself did sow; for God creates nothing for himself, inasmuch as he is in need of nothing, but he creates every thing for him who is able to take it. (45) And I will bring forward as a competent witness in proof of what I have said, the most holy Moses. For he introduces Sarah as conceiving a son when God beheld her by himself; but he represents her as bringing forth her son, not to him who beheld her then, but to him who was eager to attain to wisdom, and his name is called Abraham. (46) And he teaches the same lesson more plainly in the case of Leah, where he says that "God opened her womb." But to open the womb is the especial business of the husband. And she having conceived, brought forth, not to God, for he alone is sufficient and all-abundant for himself, but to him who underwent labour for the sake of that which is good, namely, for Jacob; so that in this instance virtue received the divine seed from the great Cause of all things, but brought forth her offspring to one of her lovers, who deserved to be preferred to all her other suitors. (47) Again, when the all-wise Isaac addressed his supplications to God, Rebecca, who is perseverance, became pregnant by the agency of him who received the supplication; but Moses, who received Zipporah, that is to say, winged and sublime virtue, without any supplication or entreaty on his part, found that she conceived by no mortal man.

XIV. (48) Now I bid ye, initiated men, who are purified, as to your ears, to receive these things, as mysteries which are really sacred, in your inmost souls; and reveal them not to any one who is of the number of the uninitiated, but guard them as a sacred treasure, laying them up in your own hearts, not in a storehouse in which are gold and silver, perishable substances, but in that treasure house in which the most excellent of all the possessions in the world does lie, the knowledge namely of the great first Cause, and of virtue, and in the third place, of the generation of them both. And if ever you meet with any one who has been properly initiated, cling to that man affectionately and adhere to him, that if he has learnt any more recent mystery he may not conceal it from you before you have learnt to comprehend it thoroughly. (49) For I myself, having been initiated in the great mysteries by Moses, the friend of God, nevertheless, when subsequently I beheld Jeremiah the prophet, and learnt that he was not only initiated into the sacred mysteries, but was also a competent hierophant or expounder of them, did not hesitate to become his pupil. And he, like a man very much under the influence of inspiration, uttered an oracle in the character of God, speaking in this manner to most peaceful virtue: "Hast thou not called me as thy house, and thy father, and the husband of thy virginity?" showing by this expression most manifestly that God is both a house, the incorporeal abode of incorporeal ideas, and the Father of all things, inasmuch as it is he who has created them; and the husband of wisdom, sowing for the race of mankind the seed of happiness in good and virgin soil. For it is fitting for God to converse with an unpolluted and untouched and pure nature, in truth and reality virgin, in a different manner from that in which we converse with such. (50) For the association of men, with a view to the procreation of children, makes virgins women. But when God begins to associate with the soul, he makes that which was previously woman now again virgin. Since banishing and destroying all the degenerate appetites unbecoming a human being, by which it had been made effeminate, he introduces in their stead genuine, and perfect, and unadulterated virtues; therefore, he will not converse with Sarah before all the habits, such as other women have, have left her, and till she has returned into the class of pure virgins.

XV. (51) But it is, perhaps, possible that in some cases a virgin soul may be polluted by intemperate passions, and so become impure. On which account the sacred oracle has been cautious, calling God the husband, not of a virgin, for a virgin is subject to change and to mortality, but of virginity; of an idea, that is to say, which is always existing in the same principles and in the same manner. For as all things endowed with distinctive qualities are by nature liable to origination and to destruction, so those archetypal powers, which are the makers of those particular things, have received an imperishable inheritance in their turn. (52) Therefore is it seemly that the uncreated and unchangeable God should ever sow the ideas of immortal and virgin virtues in a woman who is transformed into the appearance of virginity? Why, then, O soul, since it is right for you to dwell as a virgin in the house of God, and to cleave to wisdom, do you stand aloof from these things, and rather embrace the outward sense, which makes you effeminate and pollutes you? Therefore, you shall bring forth an offspring altogether polluted and altogether destructive, the fratricidal and accursed Cain, a possession not to be sought after; for the name Cain being interpreted means possession.

XVI. (53) And one may wonder at the kind of narration which the Jewish lawgiver frequently employs in many instances, where he departs from the usual style. For after giving the history of those parents of the human race who were created out of the earth, he begins to relate the story of the first-born of human parents, concerning whom he says absolutely nothing, as if he had already frequently mentioned his name, and were not now bringing it forward for the first time. Accordingly, he simply says that "she brought forth Cain." What sort of being was he, O writer; and what have you ever said about him before of either great of small importance? (54) And yet you are not ignorant of the importance of a proper application of names. For before this time, as you proceed in your history, you show this, when speaking in reference to the same person you say, "And Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and brought forth a son, and she called his name Seth." Therefore it was much more necessary in the case of the first-born, who was the beginning of the generation of men from one another, to display the nature of him who was thus conceived and born, in the first place showing that he was a male child, and secondly mentioning his peculiar name, Cain. (55) Since, therefore, it was not owing to inexperience or to ignorance of according to what persons he ought to give names, that he appears to have discarded his usual practice in the case of Cain, we must now consider on what account he thus named those who were born of our first parents, rather mentioning the name in an incidental way than actually giving it. And the cause, as it appears to me, according to the best conjecture that I can form, is this.

XVII. (56) All the rest of the human race gives names to things which are different from the things themselves, so that the thing which we see is one thing, but the name which we give it is another; but in the history of Moses the names which he affixes to things are the most conspicuous energies of the things themselves, so that the thing itself is at once of necessity its name, and is in no respect different from the name which is imposed on it. And you may learn this more clearly from the previous example which I have mentioned. (57) When the mind which is in us, and let it be called Adam, meeting with the outward sense, according to which all living creatures appear to exist (and that is called Eve), having conceived a desire for connection, is associated with this outward sense, that one conceives as in a net, and hunts after the external object of outward sense naturally. For by means of the eyes it arrives at a conception of colour, by the ears it conceives sound, by the nostrils it arrives at a conception of smells, of flavours by the organs of taste, and of all substance by those of touch; and having thus conceived it becomes pregnant, and immediately it is in labour, and brings forth the greatest of all the evils of the soul, namely, vain opinion, for it conceives an opinion that everything that it has seen, that it has heard, that it has tasted, that it has smelled, or that it has touched, belongs to itself, and to looks upon itself as the inventor and creator of them all.

XVIII. (58) And there is nothing unnatural in its receiving this impression, for there was a time once when the mind had no conversation with the outward sense, and had no outward sense, being very far removed from all things which were gregarious and in the habit of associating together, and itself resembling those solitary animals which feed by themselves. Accordingly as at that time it was classed by itself it did not touch any body, inasmuch as it had no organ in itself by which to take hold of external objects, but it was blind, and devoid of power, not being such a being as most people call a person when they see any one deprived of his eyes, for such a person is destitute of only one external sense, and has great and abundant vigour in the others. (59) But this mind, being curtailed of all the faculties which are derived from the outward senses, and being really powerless, being but the half of a perfect soul, destitute of the faculty by which it might naturally be able to conceive bodies, being but a garment of itself, deprived of its kindred organs, and as such unfortunately is wholly deprived of these organs of the external senses on which it might rely as on a staff, and by which it might have been able to support itself when tottering. From which cause a great darkness is spread over all bodies, so that nothing can be visible through it; for there was no outward sense by which things could be distinguished. (60) God therefore, wishing to give it the faculty of comprehending not only incorporeal but also solid bodies, filled up the entire soul, attaching a second portion to that which he had already created, which he called appellatively woman, and by an especial name Eve, intimating the outward sense by a metaphorical expression.

XIX. (61) And she, the first moment that she was born, pours forth abundant light in a flood into the mind through each of her subordinate parts, as through so many holes, and having dissipated the previously existing mist, enabled it like a master to discern the natures of bodies at a distance and with perfect clearness; (62) and the mind being now irradiated with light, as if the beams of the sun had suddenly shone upon it after night, or as if it had just arisen from a deep sleep, or as if it had been to see a blind man suddenly restored to sight, came at once upon all the things with which creation was concerned, heaven, and earth, and water, and air, and plants, and animals, and their habits, and distinctive qualities, and faculties, and dispositions, and movements, and energies, and actions, and changes, and ends; and some things he saw, and some thing he heard, and some he tasted, and some he smelled, and some he touched; and towards some he felt an inclination as they were productive of pleasure, and to some he felt aversion inasmuch as they caused pain. (63) Having therefore looked around it on all sides, and having contemplated itself and its own faculties, it ventured to utter the same boast that Alexander the king of the Macedonians did, for they say that he, when he determined to lay claim to the supreme dominion over Europe and Asia, stood in a suitable place, and looking around him upon every thing, said, "All things on this side and all things on that side are mine," displaying thus the emptiness of soul truly childish and infantine and foolish, and not at all royal. (64) But the mind, having first laid a claim to the faculties of the outward sense, and by means of them having conceived every idea of bodily substance, became filled with unreasonable pride and was puffed up, so as to think everything in the world its own property, and that nothing at all belonged to any one else.

XX. (65) This is that disposition in us which Moses characterised when he gave Cain his name, a name which being interpreted means possession, Cain himself being full of all folly or rather of all impiety; for instead of thinking that all possession belonged to God, he conceived that they all belonged to himself, though he was not only not able to possess even himself steadily, but he did not even know of what essence he consisted; but nevertheless he placed confidence in the outward senses, as being competent to attain the objects perceivable only by them. Let him tell us therefore how he will be able to avoid seeing wrongly, or being mistaken as to his hearing, or to escape even in any other of these outward senses. (66) And in truth it is inevitable that these errors should continually befall every one of us, even if we should happen to be endowed with the most accurately constructed organs possible; for it is difficult, or I might rather say impossible, for any one completely to avoid the natural blemishes and involuntary errors which arise, since the efficient causes of erroneous opinions are innumerable, both within us and around us, and outside of us, and since they are to be found in every mortal creature, man, therefore, very improperly conceives every thing to belong to himself, however proud he may be, and however high he may carry his head.

XXI. (67) And Laban, who relied greatly on his distinctive qualities, appears to me to have afforded great amusement to Jacob, who was beyond all other men, a clear-sighted contemplator of the nature, which was free from any such qualities, when he ventured to say to him that, "My daughter, and my sons, and my cattle, and all that you see, belong to me and to my daughters." For adding the word "my" to each of these articles, he never ceases from speaking and boasting about himself. (68) Your daughters now, tell me—and they are the arts and sciences of the soul—do you say that your daughters are your own property? How so? In the first place did you not receive them from the mind which taught them? in the second place it is naturally possible for you to lose these also, as you might lose anything else, either forgetting them through the greatness of your other cares, or through severe and lasting sicknesses of body, or because of the incurable disease which is at all events destined for those who grow old, namely old age, or through ten thousand other accidents, the number of which it is impossible to calculate. (69) And what will you say about the sons?— and the sons are the reasonings which take place in portions of the soul,—if you pronounce that the sons belong to you, are you speaking reasonably, or are you downright mad for thinking so? For melancholic thoughts, and follies, and frenzies of the mind, and untrustworthy conjectures, and false ideas about things, and empty attractions of the mind, resembling dreams, and bringing with them convulsive agitation, and the disease which is innate in the soul, namely forgetfulness, and many other things beyond those that I have mentioned, take away the stability of your master-like authority, and show that these are the possession of some one else and not of you. (70) Again, what will you say about the cattle? Now the cattle are the outward senses, for the outward sense is something unreasonable and brutish, like cattle, will you dare to call the cattle your property? Tell me when you see erroneously, when you constantly hear erroneously, when you at one time think sweet flavours brackish, and at others look upon bitter flavours as sweet, when you in fact, in respect of every single one of these outward senses, are in the habit of being mistaken more frequently than you come to a correct decision, do you not blush? and if so, will you give yourself airs, and boast yourself as if you employed all the faculties and energies of the soul in such a way as never to err or to be mistaken.

XXII. (71) But if you were to become changed, and to become possessed of the senses which you ought to have, you would then affirm that everything was the property of God, not of yourself, all conceptions, all knowledge, all art, all speculation, all particular reasonings, all the outward senses, and all the energies of the soul, whether exerted by them or without them; and if you leave yourself throughout the whole of your life without any instructor, and without any teaching, you will be a slave for ever to harsh mistresses, such as vain opinions, appetites, pleasures, acts of injustice, follies, and erroneous conceptions; (72) "For if," says Moses, "the servant shall answer and say, I am content with my master, and with my wife, and with my children, I will not depart and be free, then, being brought before the judgment-seat of God," and, having him for his judge, he shall securely have what he asked, "having first had his ear bored through," that he may not hear the words of God about freedom of soul. (73) For it is a sign of a mind which is as it were rejected from the sacred contest and wholly discarded, and of reasoning faculties wholly childish and deficient, to make a boast of the mind being contented, and of thinking one’s mind one’s own lord and benefactor, and to boast of being very sufficiently pleased with the outward senses, and of thinking them one’s own property, and the greatest of all good things, and their offspring with them; the offspring of the mind being to comprehend, to reason, to discriminate, to will, to conjecture; and the offspring of the outward sense being to see, to hear, to taste, to smell, to touch, in short to feel.

XXIII. (74) It follows inevitably that he who is held in bondage by these two masters can never enjoy even a dream of freedom; for it is only by a flight and complete escape from them that we arrive at a state of freedom from fear. But there is another man besides him, who is so taken up with himself, who makes an exhibition of insanity, and says that even if any one were to take his possessions away from him he would gain a victory over him, like a man contending for his own property. "For," says he, "I will pursue and will take captive; I will divide the spoil; I will satisfy my soul, and I will slay with my sword; my right hand shall obtain the mastery." (75) To whom I would say, Thou hast forgotten, fool, that every one who thinks himself at his birth born to be a persecutor, is persecuted; for diseases, and old age, and death, with all the rest of the multitude of calamities incurred, voluntarily and involuntarily, agitate and harass and persecute every one of us; and he who thinks to take captive or to subdue is himself taken captive and subdued; and he who expects to carry off the spoil, and who arranges a distribution of the booty, is defeated, and becomes subject to the enemies who have defeated him, receiving emptiness instead of abundance, and slavery for his soul instead of mastership, and being slain instead of slaying, and forcibly suffering himself all that he had designed to do to others. (76) For such a man was truly the enemy of reason which establishes the truth, and of nature herself, setting up a claim to everything which was done as his own, and remembering not one of the things which happened to him while he was suffering, as if he had escaped all the evils which could arise from any source whatever.

XXIV. (77) For, says he, the enemy has said, "I will pursue and take captive." Who, then, could be a more determined enemy to the soul than he who out of arrogance appropriate the especial attributes of the Deity to himself? Now it is an especial attribute of God to create, and this faculty it is impious to ascribe to any created being. (78) But the special property of the created being is to suffer; and he who has previously considered how akin to and inevitable for man this is, will easily endure everything that befalls him, however grievous it may be. But if he thinks that it is inconsistent with his destiny, then, if he be oppressed with any very terrible calamity, he will suffer the punishment of Sisyphus, not being able to raise his head, not even ever so little, but being exposed to all sorts of evils coming upon him and overwhelming him, and meeting them all with submission and non-resistance, the passions of a degenerate and unmanly soul; for he ought rather to have endured with patience; still, however, resisting and striving against calamity, strengthening his mind, and raising a bulwark against sorrow by his own patience and fortitude, which are the most powerful of virtues. (79) For as to be shaved is an operation of a twofold nature, as in the one case the creature shaved is either the active agent and the passive subject; and in the other case, he does nothing but yield and submit to the barber: for a sheep is shorn either of his whole hide, or of that which is called the pillow; doing nothing of itself, but only suffering at the hands of another. But man cooperates with the barber, and puts himself in the proper attitude, and makes himself convenient, mingling the characters of the subject and the agent. (80) So also in the case of beating, that may happen either to a servant who has committed offences worthy of stripes, or to a freeman who is stretched on the wheel as a punishment for wickedness, or to some inanimate thing; for stones and trees are beaten, and gold and silver, and whatever material is wrought in a forge, or is cut in two. (81) And to be beaten, also happens to athletes who contend in boxing, or in the pancratium for victory and crowns. The boxer parries blows which are aimed at him with one of his hands, and stooping his neck on this side and on that side, guards against being struck; and very often he stands on tiptoe, and raises himself as high as he can, or else he stoops and contracts himself on the other hand, and compels his antagonist to waste his blows on the empty air, very nearly as if he were fighting with a shadow. But the servant or the brass, doing nothing in return, is subjected to the will of the other party, suffering at his hands whatever he pleases: (82) let us therefore never admit the influence of this passion, neither in our body, nor, what is of much greater importance, in our soul; but let us rather admit that feeling which suffers in return, since it is inevitable that that which is mortal must suffer; so that we may not, like effeminate persons, broken in spirit, dissolute, and falling to pieces before our time, be weak through the utter prostration and relaxation of the powers of the soul, but rather that, being invigorated in the nerves and tone of our minds, we may be able to bear cheerfully and easily the rush of such calamities as may be impending over us. (83) Since therefore it has been proved, that no mortal is positively and assuredly the master of anything whatever (and they who are called masters are so in appearance only, and are not called so in truth), it follows of necessity, that as there is a subject and a slave, so there must also be a ruler and lord in the universe, and he must be the true real ruler and lord, the one God, to whom it was becoming to say, that "All things belong to him."

XXV. (84) And let us now consider with what magnificent fitness and with what divine majesty he speaks of these things. Let us consider the expression, "All things are mine," and "all things" mean as he says, "gifts, and offerings, and fruits of labour, which, on watching carefully, he will bring to me on the days of my festivals." Showing, very manifestly, that of all existing things some are thought worthy of moderate grace which is called an offering, and some of that higher grace which is called by the appropriate name of a free gift. And these things again are of such a nature that they are able, not only to bring forth virtues as their fruit, but that good fruit and eatable does actually pervade the whole of them, by which alone the soul of him who loves contemplation is supported; (85) and he who has learnt this lesson, and who is able to keep and preserve these things in his mind, will bring to God a faultless and most excellent offering, namely faith, on the festivals, which are not feasts of mortal things; for he has assigned feasts also to himself, laying down this as the most inevitable doctrine to those who are revellers in philosophy. (86) And the doctrine is this: God alone keeps festival in reality, for he alone rejoices, he alone is delighted, he alone feels cheerfulness, and to him alone is it given, to pass an existence of perfect peace unmixed with war. He is free from all pain, and free from all fear; he has no participation in any evils, he yields to no one, he suffers no sorrow, he knows no fatigue, he is full of unalloyed happiness; his nature is entirely perfect, or rather God is himself the perfection, and completion, and boundary of happiness, partaking of nothing else by which he can be rendered better, but giving to every individual thing a portion of what is suited to it, from the fountain of good, namely, from himself; for the beautiful things in the world would never have been such as they are, if they had not been made after an archetypal pattern, which was really beautiful, the uncreate, and blessed, and imperishable model of all things.

XXVI. (87) And on this account too Moses calls the sabbath, which name being interpreted means "rest," "the sabbath of God." Touching upon the necessary principles of natural philosophy, not of the philosophy of men, in many parts of his law, for that among existing things which rests, if one must tell the truth, is one thing only, God. And by "rest" I do not mean "inaction" (since that which is by its nature energetic, that which is the cause of all things, can never desist from doing what is most excellent), but I mean an energy completely free from labour, without any feeling of suffering, and with the most perfect ease; (88) for one may say, without impropriety, that the sun and the moon, and the entire heaven, and the whole world labour, inasmuch as they are not endowed with independent power, and are continually in a state of motion and agitation, and the most undeniable proofs of their labour are the yearly seasons; for these things, which have the greatest tendency in the whole heaven to keep things together, vary their motions, making their revolutions at one time northern, at another time southern, and at other times different from both. (89) The air, again, being sometimes warmed and sometimes cooled, and being capable of every sort of change, is easily proved to labour by the variations to which we feel that it is subject, since the most general cause of change is fatigue, and it would be folly to enter into any long detail about terrestrial or aquatic animals, dwelling at any length upon their general or particular changes; for these animals very naturally are liable to weakness in a much greater degree than those sublime objects, inasmuch as they partake to the greatest extent of the lowest, that is of earthly essence. (90) Since therefore it is naturally the case that things, which are changed, are changed in consequence of fatigue, and since God is subject to no variation and to no change, he must also by nature be free from fatigue, and that, which has no participation in weakness, even though it moves everything, cannot possibly cease to enjoy rest for ever. So that rest is the appropriate attribute of God alone.

XXVII. And it has been shown that it is suitable to his character to keep festival; sabbaths therefore and festivals belong to the great Cause of all things alone, and absolutely to no man whatever. (91) For come, if you please, and contemplate with me the much celebrated festive assemblies of men. As for those which among the barbarian and Grecian nations have been established in compliance with fabulous fictions, all tending to no other object than to excite vain pride in various nations, they may be all passed over, for the entire life of a man would not be long enough to make an accurate and thorough investigation of all the absurdities which existed in each of those festivals. But with a due regard to our time, we will mention a few points in the most important of them, as a specimen of the whole. (92) In every festival then and assembly among men, the following are the most remarkable and celebrated points, security, relaxation, truce, drunkenness, deep drinking, revelling, luxury, amusement, music at the doors, banquets lasting through the night, unseemly pleasures, wedding feasts during the day, violent acts of insolence, practices of intemperance, indulgence of folly, pursuits of shameful things, an utter destruction and renunciation of what is good, wakefulness during the night for the indulgence of immoderate appetites, sleep by day when it is the proper time to be awake, a turning upside down of the laws of nature. (93) At such a time virtue is ridiculed as a mischievous thing, and vice is caught at as something advantageous. Then actions that ought to be done are held in no honour, and such as ought not be done are esteemed. Then music and philosophy and all education, the really divine images of the divine soul, are reduced to silence, and such practices as are panders and pimps of pleasure to the belly, and the parts adjacent to the belly, are alone allowed to raise their voice.

XXVIII. (94) Such are the festivals of those who call themselves happy men, and even while they confine their unseemly conduct within their houses and unconsecrated places, they appear to me to be less guilty. But when, like the rush of a torrent carrying everything away with it, their indecency approaches and insults the most holy temples, it immediately overtaxes all that there is sacred in them, performing unhallowed sacrifices, offering victims which ought not to be sacrificed, and prayers such as should never be accomplished; celebrating impious mysteries, and profane rites, displaying a bastard piety, an adulterated holiness, an impure purity, a falsified truth, a debauched service of God. (95) And besides all this, they wash their bodies with baths and purifications, but they neither desire nor endeavour to wash off the passions of their souls, by which their whole life is polluted; and they are eager to flock to the temples in white garments, clothes in robes without spot or stain, but they feel no shame at bringing a polluted mind up to the very inmost shrine. (96) And if any one of the beasts, to be sacrificed, is found to be not perfect and entire, it is driven out of the sacred precincts, and is not allowed to be brought to the altar, even though all these corporeal imperfections are quite involuntary on its part; but though they may themselves be wounded in their souls by sensible diseases, which the invincible power of wickedness has inflicted on them, or though, I might rather say, they are mutilated and curtailed of their fairest proportions, of prudence, and courage, and justice, piety, and of all the other virtues which the human race is naturally formed to possess, and although too they have contracted all this pollution and mutilation of their own free will, they nevertheless dare to perform sacrifices, thinking that the eye of God sees external objects alone, when the sun co-operates and throws light upon them, and that it cannot discern what is invisible in preference to what is visible, using itself as its own light. (97) For the eye of the living God does not need any other light to enable him to perceive things, but being himself archetypal light he pours forth innumerable rays, not one of which is capable of being comprehended by the outward sense, but they are all only intelligible to the intellect; in consequence of which God alone uses them who is only comprehensible to the intellect, and nothing that has any portion in creation uses them at all; for that which has been created is perceptible to the outward senses, but that nature which is only perceptible to the intellect cannot be comprehended by the outward sense.

XXIX. (98) Since, therefore, he thus invisibly enters into this region of the soul, let us prepare that place in the best way the case admits of, to be an abode worthy of God; for if we do not, he, without our being aware of it, will quit us and migrate to some other habitation, which shall appear to him to be more excellently provided. (99) For if when we are about to receive kings, we prepare our houses to wear a more magnificent appearance, neglecting nothing which may give them ornament, but using every thing in a liberal and unsparing manner, having for our object that they shall have an abode pleasant to them, and in all respects suitable to their majesty; what sort of habitation ought we to prepare for the King of kings, for God the ruler of the whole universe, condescending in his mercy and loving kindness for man to visit the beings whom he has created, and to come down from the borders of heaven to the lowest regions of the earth, for the purpose of benefiting our race? (100) Shall we prepare him a house of stone or of wooden materials? Away! such an idea is not holy even to utter; for not even if the whole earth were to change its nature and to become on a sudden gold, or something more valuable than gold, and if it were then to be wholly consumed by the skill of workmen, who should make it into porticoes and vestibules, and chambers, and precincts, and temples—not even then could it be a place worthy for his feet to tread upon, but a pious soul is his fitting abode.

XXX. (101) If therefore we call the invisible soul the terrestrial habitation of the invisible God, we shall be speaking justly and according to reason; but that the house may be firm and beautiful, let a good disposition and knowledge be laid as its foundations, and on these foundations let the virtues be built up in union with good actions, and let the ornaments of the front be the due comprehension of the encyclical branches of elementary instruction; (102) for from goodness of disposition arise skill, perseverance, memory; and from knowledge arise learning and attention, as the roots of a tree which is about to bring forth eatable fruit, and without which it is impossible to bring the intellect to perfection. (103) But by the virtues, and by actions in accordance with them, a firm and strong foundation for a lasting building is secured, in order that anything which may endeavour to separate and alienate the soul from honesty and make it such another haunt, may be powerless against so strong a defence, (104) and by means of the study of the encyclical branches of elementary education, the things requisite for the ornament of the soul are provided; for as whitewashing, and paintings, and tablets, and the arrangement of costly stones, by which men decorate not merely the walls, but even the lower parts of their houses, and all other such things as these do not contribute to strength, but only give pleasure to those who live in the house; (105) so the knowledge of the encyclical accomplishments decorates the whole habitation of the soul, while grammar investigates the principles of poetry and follows up the history of ancient events, and geometry labours at equalities according to analogy, and endeavours to remedy whatever in us is deficient in rhythm or in moderation, or in harmony, by giving us rhythm, and moderation, and harmony, by means of a polished system of music; and rhetoric aims at giving us acuteness in everything, and at properly adapting all proper interpretations to everything, claiming for itself the control of all intenseness and all the vehement affections, and again of all relaxations and pleasures, with great freedom of speech, and a successful application of the organs of language and voice.

XXXI. (106) Such a house then being prepared in the race of mankind, all things on earth will be filled with good hopes, expecting the return of the powers of God; and they will come, bringing laws from heaven, and bonds, for the purpose of sanctifying the hallowing it, according to the command of their Father; then becoming the associates and constant companions of these souls which love virtue, they sow in them the genus of happiness: as they gave to the wise Abraham his son Isaac as the most perfect proof of their gratitude for the hospitality which they experienced from him. (107) And the purified intellect rejoices in nothing more than in confessing that it has for its master him who is the Lord of all; for to be the servant of God is the greatest boast, and is more honourable, not only than freedom, but even than riches or dominion, or than anything which the race of mankind is eager for. (108) And of the supreme authority of the living God, the sacred scripture is a true witness, which speaks thus: "And the land shall not be sold for ever; for all the earth is mine, because ye are all strangers and sojourners in my sight." Does not the scripture here most manifestly show that all things belong to God by virtue of possession, (109) but to created things only inasmuch as they have the use of them? For, says God, nothing shall be permanently sold to any one of all created beings, since there is one being to whom the possession of the universe does permanently and surely belong; for God has given the use of all created things to all men, not having made any one of those things which are only in part perfect, so as to have absolutely no need of anything else, (110) in order that, being desirous to obtain that of which it has need, it may of necessity unite itself to that which is able to supply it, and that other may in its turn unite with it, and both may thus combine with one another; for thus, the two combining and mingling together, and like a lyre which is composed of dissimilar sounds, coming into one combination and symphony, must of necessity sound together, while all things giving and receiving in turn contribute to the completion and perfection of the universal world. (111) In this way inanimate things combine with those which have life, irrational things with those endowed with reason, trees with men, and men with plants, things untameable with those which are tame, and domestic animals with savage ones, the male with the female, and the female with the male; in short, terrestrial animals with such as live in the water, aquatic creatures with those whose home is in the air, and flying animals with any of these described above. And besides all those things, earth with heaven, and heaven with earth, air with water, and water with air. And again the intermediate natures with one another, and with these at their extremities, and the extremities too form an attachment to the intermediate natures and to one another. (112) So again winter feels a need of summer, and summer of winter, spring of both, and autumn of spring, and each of these seasons of each other season; and, so to say, everything has a need and want of everything else. So that the whole universe of which all these are parts, namely the world, is clearly a complete work, worthy of its Maker.

XXXII. (113) Thus, therefore, putting all these things together, God appropriated the dominion over them all to himself, but the use and enjoyment of themselves and of each other he allowed to those who are subject to him; for we have the complete use of our own faculties and of everything which affects us: I therefore, consisting of soul and body, and appearing to have a mind, and reason, and outward sense, find that not one of all these things is my own property. (114) For where was my body before my birth? and where will it go when I am departed? And what becomes of the differences of age of that being which at present appears to exist? Where is now the infant?—where the child?—where the boy?—where the youth just arriving at the age of puberty?— where the young man?—where is he now whose beard is just budding, the vigorous and perfect man? Whence came the soul, and whither will it go? and how long will it remain with us? and what is its essence, or what may we speak of as such? Moreover, when did we acquire it? Was it before our birth?—But then we ourselves did not exist. Shall we have it after our death?—But then we shall not exist, we who are now a combination of distinctive qualities in combination with our bodies; but rather we shall then be hastening to a regeneration, becoming in combination with incorporeal beings: (115) and now, when we are alive we are governed rather than governing, and we are understood ourselves rather than understanding anything else; for our soul understands us without being understood by us, and it imposes commands upon us which we are necessitated to obey, as servants are compelled to obey a mistress; and whenever it chooses to abandon us and to depart to the Ruler of all things, it will depart, leaving our house destitute of life. And even if we attempt to compel it to remain, it will disappear; for its nature is composed of unsubstantial parts, such as afford no handle to the body.

XXXIII. (116) But the mind is my peculiar place of abode. Is this the language of the mistaken conjecturer, of the former of erroneous opinions, of the man out of his mind, of the fool, of him who is found to be destitute of his senses through a trance, or through melancholy, or from old age? Will any one then say, reason is my possession, or the organs of voice are my possession? Has not a very slight pretext of disease disabled the voice? has it now sewn up the mouths of even very eloquent men? Has not an expectation of danger, when it has come upon men, rendered myriads speechless? (117) And in truth I am not found to be the governor of the outward senses, or perhaps I may even turn out to be their slave, following where they lead me, to colours, to shapes, to sounds, to smells, to flavours, or to other kinds of substances. By all which I think it is shown that we have the use of possessions which in reality belong to others, and that neither glory, nor riches, nor honours, nor authority, nor anything else which concerns our bodies or souls is really our own, nor indeed even life itself. (118) But having the use of these things, if we are judicious and prudent, we shall take care of them as possessions of God, being well aware beforehand that it is the law, that the master, whenever he pleases, may reclaim his own property. For by these considerations we shall diminish our grief for the deprivation of such things. But now, men in general, thinking that every thing is really their own property, are in a moment afflicted with extraordinary grief at the absence or loss of any thing. (119) It is, therefore, not only true, but a thing also which most especially tends to consolation, to consider that the world and all the things in the world are the works and the property of him who created them. And his own work, he who is its real possessor, gives to others, because he has no need of it himself. But he who uses it has no property in it, because there is one Lord and master of all things, who says most truly, "All the earth is mine," a saying which is equivalent to—every created thing is mine; and "he are all strangers and sojourners in my sight."

XXXIV. (120) For all mortals, being compared with one another, are looked upon as natives of the soil, and nobly born persons, all enjoying equal honours, and equal rank; but by God they are looked upon as strangers and sojourners; for each of us has come into this world as to a new city, in which he had no share before his birth, and having come into it he dwells here, until he has completed the period of life allotted to him. (121) At the same time, also, this doctrine of exceeding wisdom is introduced, that the Lord God is the only real citizen, and that every created being is but a stranger and a sojourner. But those who are called citizens are called so rather in consequence of a slight misapplication of the name than in strict truth. And it is a sufficient gift to wise men—if considered comparatively with the only true citizen, God—for them to have the rank of strangers and sojourners. With respect to foolish men, of them there is absolutely no one who is a stranger or sojourner in the city of God, but such an one is found to be utterly an exile. And this is implied in what he said besides as a most authoritative doctrine, "The land shall not be utterly sold away." Nor did God add "by whom," in order that from that point being passed over in silence, he who was not wholly uninitiated in natural philosophy, might be benefited in respect of knowledge. (122) Therefore, if you consider the matter, you will find that all men, and especially those who have been alluded to as giving gratuitously, sell rather than give; and that they, who we fancy are receiving favours, are, in reality, purchasing the benefits which they derive; for they who give, hoping to receive a requital, such as praise or honour, and seeking for a return of the favour which they are conferring, under the specious name of a gift, are, in reality, making a bargain. Since it is usual, for those who sell, to receive a price in return for what they part with; but they who, receiving presents, feel anxiety to make a return for them, and make such a return in due season, they in reality perform the part of purchasers; for as they know how to receive, so also do they know how to requite. (123) But God distributes his good things, not like a seller vending his wares at a high price, but he is inclined to make presents of everything, pouring forth the inexhaustible fountains of his graces, and never desiring any return; for he has no need of anything, nor is there any created being competent to give him a suitable gift in return.

XXXV. (124) As all things then are confessed to be the possessions of God, and proved to be so by sound reasonings and testimonies, which cannot possibly be convicted of bearing false witness, for they are the sacred oracles which Moses has recorded in the Holy Scriptures that bear witness; we must deprecate that mind which fancied that that which originated in a meeting with the outward sense was his own property, and which called it Cain, and said, "I have gotten a man by means of God," in this also greatly erring. But in what did he err? (125) Because God was the cause, not the instrument; and what was born was created indeed through the agency of some instrument, but was by all means called into existence by the great first cause; for many things must co-operate in the origination of anything; by whom, from what, by means of what, and why? Now he by whom a thing originates is the cause; that from which a thing is made is the material; that by means of which it was made is the instrument; and why, is the object. (126) For come now, suppose any one should say, what things must meet together, that any house or city may be made? Must there not be a builder, and stones, and timber, and tools? What then is the builder, but the cause by whom the house or city is built? And what are the stones and timber, but the materials of which the buildings is made? And what are the tools, but the things by means of which it is made? (127) And for what reason is it built, except to serve as a shelter and protection? This is the object. Now passing on from these particular buildings, consider the greatest house or city, namely, this world, for you will find that God is the cause of it, by whom it was made. That the materials are the four elements, of which it is composed; that the instrument is the word of God, by means of which it was made; and the object of the building you will find to be the display of the goodness of the Creator. This is the discriminating opinion of men fond of truth, who desire to attain to true and sound knowledge; but they who say that they have gotten anything by means of God, conceive that the cause is the instrument, the Creator namely, and the instrument the cause, namely, the human mind. (128) And all sound reason would reproach Joseph for saying, "That the true interpretation of the dreams would be found out by means of God;" for he should have said, that owing to him, as the cause indeed, would be the unfolding and accurate understanding of those things which were obscure; for we are the instruments by whom the particular energies are developed, both in our states of tension and of relaxation; but the Creator is "he who gives the blow which sets in motion" the faculties of body and soul, by whom all things are moved. (129) Those then who are unable to distinguish between the differences of things must be instructed as ignorant; but those who, from a contentious spirit, invert the orders of the things signified, must be avoided as disputations; but those who, after an accurate investigation into the phaenomena which present themselves to them, assign its proper place to each of the objects discovered, must be praised as men who have attained to a true philosophy, and are void of error. (130) For Moses says to those who fear lest they should be destroyed by the wicked man, who is pursuing them with all his host, "Stand still, and see the salvation which is from the Lord, and which he will work for you;" teaching them that salvation is effected, not by means of God, but by him as the direct cause.


I. (1) "And he also added, that she should bring forth his brother." The addition of one thing is a taking away of some other; as for instance, of particles in arithmetic, and of reasons in the soul. If then we must say that Abel is added, we must also think that Cain is taken away. But that the unusual character of expression may not cause perplexity to many we will endeavour to explain accurately the philosophy which is apparent beneath them, as clearly as may be in our power. (2) It happens then, that there are two opinions contrary to and at variance with one another; the one of which commits everything to the mind as the leader of all reasoning, or feeling, or moving, or being stationary; and the other, attributing to God all the consequent work of creation as his own. Now the symbol of the former of these is Cain, which name, being interpreted means, "possession," from his appearing to possess all things; and the symbol of the other is Abel; for this name, being interpreted, means "referring to God." (3) Now both these opinions were brought forth by one soul. But it follows of necessity that as soon as they were born they must have been separated; for it was impossible for enemies to dwell together for ever. Until then the soul brought forth the God-loving doctrine Abel, the self-loving Cain dwelt with her. But when she brought forth Abel, or unanimity with God, she abandoned unanimity with that mind which was wise in its own conceit.

II. (4) And this will be more evidently shown by the oracle which was given to Perseverance, that is to Rebecca; for she also, having conceived the two inconsistent natures of good and evil, and having considered each of them very deeply according to the injunctions of prudence, beholding them both exulting, and making a sort of skirmish as a prelude to the war which was to exist between them; she, I say, besought God to explain to her what this calamity meant, and what was the remedy for it. And he answered her inquiry, and told her, "Two nations are in thy womb." This calamity is the birth of good and evil. "But two peoples shall be divided in thy bowels." And the remedy is, for these two to be parted and separated from one another, and no longer to abide in the same place. (5) God therefore having added the good doctrine, that is Abel, to the soul, took away from it evil doctrine, that is Cain: for Abraham also, leaving mortal things, "is added to the people of God," having received immortality, and having become equal to the angels; for the angels are the host of God, being incorporeal and happy souls. And in the same manner Jacob, the practiser of virtue, is added to the better one, because he had quitted the worse. (6) And Isaac, who was thought worthy of self-taught knowledge, of his own accord also leaves all the corporeal essence which was attached to his soul, and is added to and made an inheritor with (not the people, as the others whom I have mentioned were), but with the "race," as Moses says; for "race" is one, and the highest of all: but "people," is the name of many. (7) As many, therefore, as through instruction and learning have improved and at last arrived at perfection, are classed among the larger number. Nor is number insignificant of those who have learnt from oral instruction and demonstration, and whom Moses calls the people. But those men who have forsaken human instruction, and having become well disposed disciples of God, and having arrived at a comprehension of knowledge acquired without labour, have passed over to the immortal and most perfect race of beings, and have so received an inheritance better than the former generations of created men; and of these men Isaac is reckoned as a companion.

III. (8) There is also another proof that the mind is immortal, which is of this nature:—There are some persons whom God, advancing to higher degrees of improvement, has enabled to soar above all species and genera, having placed them near himself; as he says to Moses, "But stand thou here with me." When, therefore, Moses is about to die, he is not added to one class, nor does he forsake another, as the men before him had done; nor is he connected with "addition" or "subtraction," but "by means of the word of the Cause of all things, by whom the whole world was made." He departs to another abode, that you may understand from this that God accounts a wise man as entitled to equal honour with the world itself, having both created the universe, and raised the perfect man from the things of earth up to himself by the same word. (9) Not but what, when he gave him the use of all earthly things and suffered him to dwell among them, he assigned to him not such a power as he might exercise in common with an earthly governor or monarch, by which he should forcibly rule over the passions of the soul, but he appointed him to be a sort of god, making the whole of the body, and the mind, which is the ruler of the body, subjects and slaves to him; "For I give thee," says he, "as a god to Pharaoh." But God is not susceptible of any subtraction or addition, inasmuch as he is complete and entirely equal to himself. (10) In reference to which it is said of Moses, "That no one is said to know of his tomb;" for who could be competent to perceive the migration of a perfect soul to the living God? Nor do I even believe that the soul itself while awaiting this event was conscious of its own improvement, inasmuch as it was at that time becoming gradually divine; for God, in the case of those persons whom he is about to benefit, does not take him who is to receive the advantage into his counsels, but is accustomed rather to pour his benefits ungrudgingly upon him without his having any previous anticipation of them. This is something like the meaning of God’s adding the creation of what is good to the perfect mind. But the good is holiness, the name of which is Abel.

IV. (11) "And Abel became a shepherd of sheep; but Cain was a tiller of the ground." Why now has Moses, who represents Cain as older than Abel, now transposed them in the order in which he here mentions them, so as to name the younger first when relating their choice of a way of life? For it was natural that the elder should lead the way and adopt the cultivation of the land, and that the younger should subsequently come to the care of sheep. (12) But Moses is not influenced by what is likely and probable, but pursues the plain unadulterated truth. And when he alone comes to God by himself, he tells him with all freedom that "he is not eloquent," which statement is equivalent to saying that he does not aim at specious and plausible reasonings, and that this has happened to him "now yesterday, or the day before yesterday, but ever since God began to converse with him as his servant." (13) For they who have come into the billows and heavy waves of life must be borne on by swimming, not being able to take hold of any firm point of the matters which lie within the province of knowledge, but depending on what is only likely and probable. But it becomes a servant of God to lay hold of the truth, disregarding and rejecting all the uncertain and fabulous statements which rest on the conjectures of plausible men. (14) What, then, is the truth in these matters which we are considering? Why, that wickedness is older than virtue in point of time, but younger in power and rank. Therefore, when the birth of the two is narrated, let Cain have the precedence; but when a comparison of their pursuits is instituted, then let Abel be the first; (15) for it happens to the being that is born, from his very swaddling clothes till the time when the innovating vigour of his ripe age extinguishes the fiery heat of his passions, to have for his foster brethren, folly, intemperance, injustice, fear, cowardice, and the other evil things which are born with him, every one of which his nurses and tutors foster and cause to grow up within him; by their habits and practices banishing piety, and by their uniform instructions introducing superstition, which is a thing nearly akin to impiety. (16) But when the child has now passed the age of youth, and when the impetuous disease of the passions has become mollified, as if a calm had come over them, then the man begins to enjoy tranquillity, having been at length and not without difficulty strengthened in the foundation of virtue, which has allayed that continued and incessant agitation which is the greatest evil of the soul. Thus wickedness has the superiority in point of time; but virtue in point of rank, and honour and real glory. And this same law-giver is a trustworthy evidence of this fact; (17) for having introduced Esau, who bears the name of folly, as the elder in point of time, he gives the birthright and chief honour to the younger, who, from his practice of virtue, was called Jacob. And he is not seen to obtain this pre-eminence before (as is the case in athletic contests) his adversary renounces the combat, putting down his hands from weakness, and yielding up the decision and the crown to him who has carried on a truceless and irreconcilable war against the passions; for, says Moses, "He sold his birthright to Jacob," (18) avowing, in plain terms that the pre-eminence in power and the honours of virtue belong to no wicked man, but only to him who is a lover of wisdom, just as the flute and the lyre and the other instruments of music belong to the musician alone.

V. (19) And concerning this doctrine Moses also records a law, which he makes with great beauty and suitableness. And it runs thus, "If a man have two wives, the one of them beloved and the other hated; and if both the one who is beloved and the one who is hated have borne him children, and if the child of her who is hated is the firstborn, then it shall be in the day in which he divides the inheritance of his possessions among his sons that he shall not be able to give the inheritance of the first-born to the son of the wife that is beloved, overlooking his first-born son, the son of her who is hated; but he shall recognise the son of her who is hated as his first-born, to give him a double share of all the property that he has acquired; because he is the beginning of his children, and the right of the first-born is his." (20) Consider, O my soul, and know who it is who is hated, and who is the son of her who is hated, and immediately you shall perceive that the chief rights and chief honours belong to no one else but to him alone; for there are two wives cohabiting with each individual of us, hostile and inimical to one another, filling the abode of the soul with the contentions which arise from jealousy. Of these we love one, which is gentle and tractable, and which we think very affectionate and akin to ourselves, and its name is pleasure; but the other we hate, looking upon it as untameable, ungentle, fierce, and very hostile to us, and the name of this one is virtue. Now what mortal is ignorant of the great mysteries of that exceedingly beautiful and greatly contended for pleasure? And who could worthily describe the multitude or the greatness of the good things which are treasured up by virtue? (21) For two women live with each individual among us, both unfriendly and hostile to one another, filling the whole abode of the soul with envy, and jealousy, and contention; of these we love the one looking upon her as being mild and tractable, and very dear to and very closely connected with ourselves, and she is called pleasure; but the other we detest, deeming her unmanageable, savage, fierce, and most completely hostile, and her name is virtue. Accordingly, the one comes to us luxuriously dressed in the guise of a harlot and prostitute, with mincing steps, rolling her eyes about with excessive licentiousness and desire, by which baits she entraps the souls of the young, looking about with a mixture of boldness and impudence, holding up her head, and raising herself above her natural height, fawning and giggling, having the hair of her head dressed with most superfluous elaborateness, having her eyes pencilled, her eyebrows covered over, using incessant warm baths, painted with a fictitious colour, exquisitely dressed with costly garments, richly embroidered, adorned with armlets, and bracelets, and necklaces, and all other ornaments which can be made of gold, and precious stones, and all kinds of female decorations; loosely girdled, breathing of most fragrant perfumes, thinking the whole market her home; a marvel to be seen in the public roads, out of the scarcity of any genuine beauty, pursuing a bastard elegance. (22) And with her there walk as her most intimate friends, bold cunning, and rashness, and flattery, and trick, and deceit, and false speaking, and false opinion, and impiety, and injustice, and intemperance, in the middle of which she advances like the leader of the company, and marshalling her band, speaks thus to her mind, "My good friend, the treasuries of all human blessings and stores of happiness are in my power (for as for divine blessings they are all in heaven), and besides them you will find nothing. (23) "If you will dwell with me I will open to you all these treasures, and will bestow on you for ever the most unsparing use and enjoyment of them. And I desire to inform you beforehand of the multitude of good things which I have stored up there, that if you are so inclined you may of your own accord live happily, and that if you refuse you may not decline them out of ignorance. "There is in my power perfect relaxation, and exemption from all fear, and tranquillity, and a complete absence of all care and labour, and an abundant variety of colours, and most melodious intonations of the voice, and all kinds of costly viands and drinks, and plentiful varieties of the sweetest scents, and continual loves, and sports such as require no teacher, and connections which will never be inquired into, and speeches which will have no shade of reproof in them, and actions free from all necessity of being accounted for, and a life free from anxiety, and soft sleep, and abundance without any feeling of satiety. (24) If therefore you are inclined to take up your abode with me, I will give you what is suitable for you of all the things which I have prepared, considering carefully by eating or drinking what you may be most thoroughly cheered, or by what sights addressed to your eyes, or by what sounds visiting your ears, or by the small of what fragrant odours you may be most delighted. "And nothing which you can desire shall be wanting to you; for you shall find what is produced anew more abundant than what is expended and consumed; (25) for in the treasuries which I have mentioned there are ever-flourishing plants, blossoming and producing an incessant series of fruits, so that the beauty of those in their prime and fresh appearing overtakes and overshadows those which are already fully ripe; and no war, either domestic or foreign, has ever cut down these plants, but from the very day that the earth first received them it has cherished them like a faithful nurse, sending down into its lowest depths the roots to act like the strongest branches, and above ground extending its trunk as high as heaven, and putting forth branches which are by analogy imitations of the hand and feet which we see in animals, and leaves which correspond to the hair. I have prepared and caused that to blossom which shall be at the same time a covering and an ornament to you; and besides all this, I have provided fruit for the sake of which the branches and leaves are originally produced." (26) When the other woman heard these words (for she was standing in a place where she was out of sight but still within hearing), fearing lest the mind, without being aware of it, might be led captive and be enslaved, and so be carried away by so many gifts and promises, yielding also to the tempter in that she was arrayed so as to win over the sight, and was equipped with great variety of ingenuity for the purposes of deceit; for by all her necklaces and other appendages, and by her different allurements, she spurred on and charmed her beholders, and excited a wonderful desire within them; she in her turn came forward, and appeared on a sudden, displaying all the qualities of a native, free-born, and lady-like woman, such as a firm step, a very gentle look, the native colour of modesty and nature without any alloy or disguise, an honest disposition, a genuine and sincere way of life, a plain, honest opinion, an language removed from all insincerity, the truest possible image of a sound and honest heart, a disposition averse to pretence, a quiet unobtrusive gait, a moderate style of dress, and the ornaments of prudence and virtue, more precious than any gold. (27) And she was attended by piety, and holiness, and truth, and right, and purity, and an honest regard for an oath, and justice, and equality, and adherence to one’s engagements and communion, and prudent silence, and temperance, and orderliness, and meekness, and abstemiousness, and contentment, and good-temper, and modesty, and an absence of curiosity about the concerns of others, and manly courage, and a noble disposition and wisdom in counsel, and prudence, and forethought, and attention, and correctness, and cheerfulness, and humanity, and gentleness, and courtesy, and love of one’s kind, and magnanimity, and happiness, and goodness. One day would fail me if I were to enumerate all the names of the particular virtues. (28) And these all standing on each side of her, were her bodyguards, while she was in the middle of them. And she, having assumed an appearance familiar to her, began to speak as follows: "I have seen pleasure, that worker of wonderous tricks, that conjuror and teller of fables, dressed in a somewhat tragic style, and constantly approaching you in a delicate manner; so that (for I myself do by nature detest everything that is evil) I feared lest, without being aware of it, you might be deceived, and might consent to the very greatest of evils as if they were exceeding good; and therefore I have thought fit to declare to you with all sincerity what really belongs to that woman, in order that you might not reject anything advantageous to you out of ignorance, and so proceed unintentionally on the road of transgression and unhappiness. (29) "Know, then, that the very dress in which she appear to you wholly belongs to some one else; for of ten things which contribute to genuine beauty, not one is ever brought forward as being derived from or as belonging to her. But she is hung round with nets and snares with which to catch you with a bastard and adulterated beauty, which you, beholding beforehand, will, if you are wise, take care that her pursuit shall be unprofitable to her; for when she appears she conciliates your eyes, and when she speaks she wins over your ears; and by these, and by all other parts of her conduct, she is well calculated by nature to injure your soul, which is the most valuable of all your possessions; and all the different circumstances belonging to her, which were likely to be attractive to you if you heard of them, she enumerated; but all those which would not have been alluring she suppressed and made no mention of, but, meaning mischief to you, concealed utterly, as she very naturally expected that no one would readily agree with them." (30) But I, stripping off all her disguises, will reveal her to you; and I will not myself imitate the ways of pleasure, so as to show you nothing in me but what is alluring, and to conceal and to keep out of sight everything that has any unpleasantness or harshness in it; but, on the contrary, I will say nothing about those matters which do of themselves give delight and pleasure, well knowing that such things will of themselves find a voice by their effects; but I will fully detail to you all that is painful and difficult to be borne about me, putting them plainly forward with their naked appellation, so that their nature may be visible and plain even to those whose sight is somewhat dim. For the things which, when offered by me, appear to be the greatest of my evils, will in effect be found to be more honourable and more beneficial to the users than the greatest blessings bestowed by pleasure. But, before I begin to speak of what I myself have to give, I will mention all that may be mentioned of those things which are kept in the back ground by her. (31) For she, when she spoke of what she had stored up in her magazines, such as colours, sounds, flavours, smells, distinctive qualities, powers relating to touch and to every one of the outward senses, and having softened them all by the allurements which she offered to the hearing, made no mention at all of those other qualities which are her misfortunes and diseases; which, however, you will of necessity experience if you choose those pleasures which she offers; that so, being borne aloft by the breeze of some advantage, you may be taken in her toils. (32) Know, then, my good friend, that if you become a votary of pleasure you will be all these things: a bold, cunning, audacious, unsociable, uncourteous, inhuman, lawless, savage, illtempered, unrestrainable, worthless man; deaf to advice, foolish, full of evil acts, unteachable, unjust, unfair, one who has no participation with others, one who cannot be trusted in his agreements, one with whom there is no peace, covetous, most lawless, unfriendly, homeless, cityless, seditious, faithless, disorderly, impious, unholy, unsettled, unstable, uninitiated, profane, polluted, indecent, destructive, murderous, illiberal, abrupt, brutal, slavish, cowardly, intemperate, irregular, disgraceful, shameful, doing and suffering all infamy, colourless, immoderate, unsatiable, insolent, conceited, self-willed, mean, envious, calumnious, quarrelsome, slanderous, greedy, deceitful, cheating, rash, ignorant, stupid, inharmonious, dishonest, disobedient, obstinate, tricky, swindling, insincere, suspicious, hated, absurd, difficult to detect, difficult to avoid, destructive, evil-minded, disproportionate, an unreasonable chatterer, a proser, a gossip, a vain babbler, a flatterer, a fool, full of heavy sorrow, weak in bearing grief, trembling at every sound, inclined to delay, inconsiderate, improvident, impudent, neglectful of good, unprepared, ignorant of virtue, always in the wrong, erring, stumbling, ill-managed, ill-governed, a glutton, a captive, a spendthrift, easily yielding, most crafty, double-minded, double-tongued, perfidious, treacherous, unscrupulous, always unsuccessful, always in want, infirm of purpose, fickle, a wanderer, a follower of others, yielding to impulses, open to the attacks of enemies, mad, easily satisfied, fond of life, fond of vain glory, passionate, ill-tempered, lazy, a procrastinator, suspected, incurable, full of evil jealousies, despairing, full of tears, rejoicing in evil, frantic, beside yourself, without any steady character, contriving evil, eager for disgraceful gain, selfish, a willing slave, an eager enemy, a demagogue, a bad steward, stiffnecked, effeminate, outcast, confused, discarded, mocking, injurious, vain, full of unmitigated unalloyed misery. (33) These are the great mysteries of that very beautiful and much to be sought for pleasure, which she designedly concealed and kept out of sight, from a fear that if you knew of them you would turn away from any meeting with her. But who is there who could worthily describe either the multitude or the magnitude of the good things which are stored up in my treasure houses? They who have partaken of them already know it, and those whose nature is mild will hereafter know, when they have been invited to a participation in the banquet, not the banquet at which the pleasures of the satiated belly make the body fat, but that at which the mind is nourished and at which it revels among the virtues, and exults and revels in their company.

VI. (34) Now, on account of these things, and because of what was said before, namely, that the things which are really pious, holy, and good do naturally utter a voice from themselves, even while they keep silence, I will desist from saying any more about them; for neither does the sun nor the moon require an interpreter, because they, being on high, fill the whole world with light, the one shining by day and the other by night. But their own brilliancy is an evidence in their case which stands in no need of witnesses, but which is confirmed by the eyes, which are more undeniable judges than the ears. (35) But I will speak with all freedom of that point in virtue which appears to have the greatest amount of difficulty and perplexity, for this, too, does appear to the imagination, at their first meeting, to be troublesome; but, on consideration, it is found to be very pleasant and, as arising from reason, to be suitable. But labour is the enemy of laziness, as it is in reality the first and greatest of good things, and wages an irreconcilable war against pleasure; for, if we must declare the truth, God has made labour the foundation of all good and of all virtue to man, and without labour you will not find a single good thing in existence among the race of men. (36) For, as it is impossible to see without light, since neither colours nor eyes are sufficient for the comprehension of things which we arrive at by means of sight (for nature has made light beforehand to serve as a link to connect the two, by which the eye is brought near and adapted to colour, for the powers of both eye and of colour are equally useless in darkness), so in the same manner is the eye of the soul unable to comprehend anything whatever of the actions in accordance with virtue, unless it takes to itself labour as a coadjutor, as the eye borrows the assistance of light; for this, being placed in the middle, between the intellect and the good object which the intellect desires, and understanding the whole nature of both the one and the other, does itself bring about friendship and harmony, two perfect goods between the two things on either hand of it.

VII. (37) For, choose whatever good thing you please, and you will find that it owes its existence and all its strength and solidity to labour. Now, piety and holiness are good things, but still we are not able to attain to them without the worship of the gods, and the worship of them is combined with perseverance in labours. Again, prudence and courage and justice are all beautiful things and perfect goods, but still they are not to be acquired by laziness, and we must be content if they can be attained to by continued diligence. Now, since the organs of every soul are not able to support a familiarity with God and with virtue, as being a very intense and mighty harmony, they very often get lax and become remiss so as to descend from the highest unto those of more moderate character; (38) but, nevertheless, even in these moderate ones there is great labour requisite. Look at all those who practise the encyclical branches of what is called elementary instruction; look at those who cultivate the land, and at all who provide the means of subsistence by any regular business. These men are never free from care night or day, but always and continually, as it is said, they labour with hand and foot and with all their power, and never cease from suffering hardship, so as often to encounter even death from it.

VIII. (39) But as those who are thus anxious to render their souls propitious must of necessity cultivate the virtues of the soul, so also they who purpose to render their bodies favourable to their objects, must cultivate health and those powers which are akin to health, and these too they cultivate with unremitting and ceaseless labours, being overwhelmed with care, arising from the faculties in them of which they are compounded. (40) You see, therefore, that all good things spring up and shoot out from labour as from one general root, and this you must never allow yourself to neglect; for if you do, you will without being aware of it, be also letting slip the collected heap of goods which it brings with it; for the Ruler of the universe, of heaven, and of the world, both himself possesses and bestows on whomsoever he pleases, his good things, with all ease and abundance. Since formerly he created this world, vast as you see it is, without any labour, and how too he never ceases holding it together, so that it may last for ever. And absence from all labour and fatigue is the most appropriate attribute of God; but nature has not given the acquisition of good things to any mortal without labour, in order that in consequence of this arrangement, God alone of existing beings may be called happy and enjoy felicity.

IX. (41) For labour appears to me to have nearly the same properties as food. As therefore this latter makes life to depend upon itself, having combined all the actions and all the passions in living, so also has labour caused all good things to depend upon itself. For as those persons who are desirous to live must not neglect food, so too they who are anxious to attain to good things must pay due attention to labour, for what food is to life that labour is to virtue. Do not you then ever slight that, though it is but a single thing, that by its means you may enjoy the collective blessings of all good things. (42) For thus, though you may be younger by birth you shall be called the elder, and you shall be thought worthy of the pre-eminence in honour. But if, having gone through a constant course of improvement you shall at last arrive at the end, then not only shall the Father give thee the preeminence, but he shall also bestow on thee all the inheritance of the Father, as he did to Jacob, who overthrew all the foundations and seats of passion, and who confessed what he suffered, saying that "God has pitied me, and all things belong to me," uttering a doctrine full of instruction, for he makes everything to anchor in the mercy of God.

X. (43) And he learnt all these things from Abraham his grandfather, who was the author of his own education, who gave to the all-wise Isaac all that he had, leaving none of his substance to bastards, or to the spurious reasonings of concubines, but he gives them small gifts, as being inconsiderable persons. For the possessions of which he is possessed, namely, the perfect virtues, belong only to the perfect and legitimate son; but those which are of an intermediate character, are suitable to and fall to the share of those who are not perfect, but who have advanced as far as the encyclical branches of elementary education, of which Agar and Cheturah partake, Agar meaning "a dwelling near," and Cheturah meaning "sacrificing." (44) For he who attends only to the encyclical instruction abides near wisdom but does not dwell with it, as sending a certain sweet fragrance from the elegance of contemplation to his own soul. But such a man requires food, and not sweet scents to bless him with good health. But nature is said to have made, with great skill and propriety, smell to serve as a handmaid to taste, as a sort of subject and taster to the other, or her queen; and we must always attend to the sovereign powers before those who are ruled over by them, and to the indigenous and native sciences before those which are strangers. (45) The mind bearing this rejects pleasure, and attaches itself to virtue, perceiving its genuine, and unalloyed, and very divine beauty. Then it becomes the shepherd of sheep, being the charioteer and pilot of the irrational faculties which exist in the soul, "not permitting them to be borne about at random and in an inconsistent manner, without any superintendant or guide; that they may not fall into a sort of orphan state, destitute of guardians and protectors, owing to their want of any allies, in which case they would perish without any saving hand to restrain them.

XI. (46) Accordingly, Jacob, the practiser of contemplation, conceiving this to be an employment most closely akin to virtue, endured "to be the shepherd of the flocks of Laban," a man wholly devoted to colours and to forms, and, in sort, to lifeless substances; and he tended not all of them, but the residue only. Now, what is the interpretation of this? The irrational animal is of a twofold character; one consisting in a misuse of that reason which should direct the choice, and such we call people out of their mind: the other consisting in an absolute privation of reason, which we see to exist in these animals which we call brutes. (47) Now, the irrational impulses of the mind, I mean those faculties which are developed in a misuse of that reason which should direct the choice, the sons of Laban, "when they had departed three days’ journey," paid great regard to; being thus under a symbol cut off from virtue for the whole period of their life; for time is capable of being divided into three parts, consisting of the past, and the present, and the future. But these animals which are irrational in the second sense, and which are destitute not only of right reason but of all reason whatever, under which class the brute beasts are reckoned, the practiser of contemplation will think worthy of all his care, considering that their errors have proceeded, not so much from deliberate wickedness as form ignorance, which was devoid of a guide. (48) Ignorance, therefore, being but a slight and also an involuntary calamity, admits of a cure which is neither difficult nor troublesome, namely instruction. But, wickedness being a voluntary disease of the soul, admits of no remedy but such as if difficult, and almost impossible. Therefore his sons, as men who have been instructed by a father of exceeding wisdom, even if they do go down to Egypt, that is to say, to the body which is inclined to be a slave to the passions, and even if they meet with Pharaoh, that squanderer of all good things, who appears to be the sovereign of the composite animals, being not at all bewildered with the abundance of the preparations which they behold, confess that they are shepherds of sheep, and not only they but their fathers also.

XII. (49) And yet no one would ever utter so great a boast in consequence of any power and sovereignty as these men do in respect of their being shepherds; to those indeed who are able to reason correctly, it is a more noble employment than that of a king, to be able to govern the body and the outward senses, and the belly, as one might govern a city or a country, and to restrain the pleasures which have their seat around the belly, and the other passions, and one’s tongue, and, in short, all the different parts of one’s composite nature, with vigour and exceeding power, and again to guide them in the right way with due gentleness; for it is necessary at one time to act like a charioteer who slackens the reins with which he holds the horses which are yoked to his chariot, and at other times one must draw them tight, and resist the haste of the steeds, that no precipitation and impetuous pursuit of outward objects may take place, and lead them into rebellion. (50) And I admire that guardian of the laws, Moses, who, thinking it a great and noble task to be a shepherd, has attributed that employment to himself; for he manages and conducts the doctrines of Jethro, leading them from the tumultuous vexations of political affairs into the desert, for the purpose of avoiding all temptation to injustice. "For he led the sheep into the wilderness." (51) The consequence of which conduct of his was that "Every shepherd of sheep is an abomination to the Egyptians." For every man who loves his passions hates right reason as the governor and guide to good things; just as foolish children hate their tutors and teachers, and every one who reproves them or corrects them, or would lead them to virtue. But Moses says that he "will sacrifice the abominations of the Egyptians to God." namely the virtues which are faultless and most becoming victims, which every foolish man abominates. So that very appropriately, Abel, who brought the best offerings to God, is called a shepherd; but he, who offered every thing to himself and to his own mind, is called a tiller of the earth, namely Cain. And what is meant by tilling the earth we have shown in our previous treatises.

XIII. (52) And it came to pass after some days that Cain brought of the fruits of the earth as an offering to the Lord. Here are two accusations against the self-loving man; one that he showed his gratitude to God after some days, and not at once, the other that he made his offering from the fruits, and not from the first fruits, which have a name in one word, the first fruits. Let us now examine into each of these subjects of reproach, and first into that which is first in order, (53) we must do good works, hastening with all speed, and labouring to outstrip others, casting away all slowness and delay. And the best of all good works is the pleasing the first good without any postponement of energy, on which account it is also enjoined, "If thou vowest a vow, thou shalt not delay to perform it." A vow now is a request for good things addressed to God, and the injunction is, that when one has attained the object of one’s hopes, one must offer offerings of gratitude to God, and not to one’s self, and to offer them if possible without any loss of time, and without any delay; (54) and of those who do not act rightly in this particular, some through forgetfulness of the benefits which they have received, have failed in that great and beautiful virtue of thankfulness, and others form an excessive conceit, have looked upon themselves as the authors of the good things which have befallen them, and have not attributed them to him, who is really the cause of them. A third class are they who commit an offence slighter indeed than the fault of these latter, but more serious than that of the first mentioned, for though they confess that the supreme Ruler is the cause of the good that has befallen them, they still say that they deserved to receive it, for that they are prudent, and courageous, and temperate, and just, so that they may well on these accounts be esteemed by God to be worthy of his favours.

XIV. (55) Now the holy scriptures are opposed to all these classes, and reply to each of them, saying to the first class which has discarded recollection, and humbled forgetfulness, "Take care, my good man, lest when you have eaten and are filled, and when you have built fine houses and inhabited them, and when your flocks and your herds have increased, and when your silver and gold, and all that you possess is multiplied, you be lifted up in your heart, and forget the Lord your God." When is it then that you do not forget God? when you do not forget yourself; for if you remember your own nothingness in every particular, you will also be sure to remember the exceeding greatness of God in everything. (56) And Moses reproves the man who looks upon himself as the cause of the good things that have befallen him in this manner, "Say not," says he, "my own might, or the strength of my right hand has acquired me all this power, but remember always the Lord thy God, who giveth thee the might to acquire power." (57) And he who conceives that he was deserving to receive the possession and enjoyment of good things, may be taught to change his opinion by the oracle which says, "You do not enter into this land to possess it because of thy righteousness, or because of the holiness of thy heart; but, in the first place, because of the iniquity of these nations, since God has brought on them the destruction of wickedness; and in the second place that he may establish the covenant which he swore to our fathers." Now by the covenant of God his graces are figuratively meant (nor is it right to offer to him anything that is imperfect), as all the gifts of the uncreated God are complete and entirely perfect, and virtue is a thing complete among existing things, and so is the course of action in accordance with it. (58) If therefore we discard forgetfulness and ingratitude, and self-love, and the present wickedness of all these things, namely, self-opinion, we shall not longer through our delay miss attaining the genuine worship of God, but outrunning and bounding on beyond all created beings, before we embrace any mortal thing we shall meet our master himself, having prepared ourselves to do the things which he commands us.

XV. (59) For Abraham also, having come with all haste and speech and eagerness, exhorts virtue, that is to say, Sarah, "to hasten and knead three measures of fine meal, and to make cakes upon the hearth." When God, being attended by two of the heavenly powers as guards, to wit, by authority and goodness, he himself, the one God being between them, presented an appearance of the figures to the visual soul; each of which figures was not measured in any respect; for God cannot be circumscribed, nor are his powers capable of being defined by lines, but he himself measures everything. His goodness therefore is the measure of all good things, and his authority is the measures of things in subjection, and the Governor of the universe himself, is the measure of all things to the corporeal and incorporeal. On which account, his powers also having been looked upon in the light of rules and models, have weighed and measured other things with reference to them. (60) Now it is very good that these three measures should, as it were, be kneaded together in the soul, and mixed up together, in order that so the soul, being persuaded that the supreme being is God, who has raised his head above all his powers, and who is beheld independently of them, and who makes himself visible in them, may receive the characters of his power and beneficence, and becoming initiated into the perfect mysteries, may not be too ready to divulge the divine secrets to any one, but may treasure them up in herself, and keeping a check over her speech, may conceal them in silence; for the words of the scripture are, "To make secret cakes;" because the sacred and mystic statements about the one uncreated Being, and about his powers, ought to be kept secret; since it does not belong to every one to keep the deposit of divine mysteries properly.

XVI. (61) For the stream of the intemperate soul, flowing outwards through the mouth and tongue, is pumped up and poured into all ears. Some of which having wide channels, keeps that which is poured into them with all cheerfulness; but others, through the narrowness of the passages, are unable to be bedewed by it. But that which overflows being poured forth in an unrestrained manner, is scattered in every direction: so that what has been concealed escapes and floats on the top of it, and, like a random torrent of mud, bears along with it in its flood, things worthy of being tended with all care. (62) In reference to which, those persons appear to me to have come to a right decision who have been initiated in the lesser mysteries before learning anything of these greater ones. "For they baked their flour which they brought out of Egypt, baking secret cakes of unleavened bread." That is to say, they dealt with the untameable and savage passions, softening them with reason as they would knead bread; fore they did not divulge the manner of their kneading and improving it, as it was derived from some divine system of preparation; but they treasured it up in their secret stores, not being elated at the knowledge of the mystery, but yielding and being lowly as to their boasting.

XVII. (63) Let us then, with reference to our gratitude to and honouring of the omnipotent God, be active and ready, deprecating all sluggishness and delay; for those who are passing over from obedience to the passions to the contemplation of virtue, are enjoined to keep the passover with their loins girded up, being ready to do service, and binding up the burden of the flesh, or, as it is expressed, their shoes, "standing upright, and firmly on their feet, and having in their hands a staff," that is to say education, with the object of succeeding without any failure in all the affairs of life; and lastly, "to eat the passover in haste." For, by the passover, is signified the crossing over of the created and perishable being to God:—and very appropriately; for there is no single good thing which does not belong to God, and which is not divine. (64) Seek it therefore, quickly, O my soul! as did that practiser of contemplation, Jacob, who, when his father asked him, "How found you this so quickly, I my son?" answered, with a doctrine concealed underneath his words, "The Lord God brought it before me." For he, being well skilled in many matters, knew that whatever creation bestows on the soul is confirmed by long time, as those men know who give to their pupils arts, and lessons in arts: for their case is not like that of men who pour water into a vessel, they are not in a moment able to fill their minds with the lessons which have been brought before them. But when the fountain of wisdom, that is to say, God, gives knowledge of the sciences to the race of mankind, he gives it to them without any limitation of time. But they, as being disciples of the only wise Being, and being competent by nature, quickly accomplish the discovery of the things which they seek to understand.

XVIII. (65) But the principal virtue of pupils is to endeavour to imitate their perfect master, as far as those who are imperfect can imitate a perfect man. But the master is more rapid than any time, which did not even co-operate with him when he was creating the universe, since it is plain that time itself was created at the same moment that the world was made. For God, while he spake the word, did at the same moment create; nor did he allow anything to come between the word and the deed; and if one may advance a doctrine which is pretty nearly true, His word is his deed. But among the race of mankind nothing is more easily moved than the word; for by its rapidity and by the volubility of its nouns and verbs, it outstrips even the comprehension which hastens to overtake them. (66) As, therefore, everlasting springs, which are poured down in rivers, have a course which never ceases, the stream as it comes on continually taking up the cessation of the waves which have preceded, so too the abundant flow of words, when they begin to be poured forth, keep pace with the most swiftly-moving of all the qualities which are in us, namely, the mind, which can itself outstrip even flying natures. As therefore the uncreated God outstrips all creation, so also does the word of the uncreated God outrun the word of creation, and is borne on with exceeding swiftness in the clouds. On which account God speaks freely, saying, "Now you shall see, because my word shall overtake you." As the divine word can outstrip and overtake everything, (67) but if his word can thus outstrip everything, much more can he who utters it, as he testifies in another place, where he says, "Here am I, I stood here before you." For he declares here that he stood before any created being: and he who is here is also there, and in other places, and every where, having filled every place in every direction, and having left nothing whatever destitute of himself: (68) for he does not say, "Here I stand and there, but now also when I am present do I stand there also at the same moment;" not being moved or changing his place so as to occupy one place and to quit another, but using one intense motion. Very properly therefore do his subject children, imitating the nature of their father, do all that is right without any delay, and with all diligence, their most excellent employment being the paying prompt and unremitting honour to God.

XIX. (69) But Pharaoh, the squanderer of all things, not being able himself to receive the conception of virtues unconnected with time, inasmuch as he was mutilated as to the eyes of his soul, by which alone incorporeal natures are comprehended, would not endure to be benefited by virtues unconnected with time; but being weighed down by soulless opinions, I mean here by the frogs, animals which utter a sound and noise wholly void and destitute of reality, when Moses says, "appoint a time to me when I may pray for you and for your servants that God will make the frogs to disappear," though he ought, as he was in very imminent necessity, to have said, Pray this moment, nevertheless postponed it, saying, "Pray to-morrow," in order that he might in every case preserve the folly of his impiety. (70) And this happens to nearly all those men who hesitate and vacillate between two opinions, even if they do not confess it in express words. For when any thing unexpected befalls them, inasmuch as they did not previously believe firmly in God the Saviour, they take refuge in the assistance of created things, of physicians, of herbs, of the composition of drugs, in a carefully considered plan of life, and in any other aid which may be derived from mortal man. And if any one were to say to them, "Flee, O ye wretched men, to Him who is the only physician for the diseases of the soul, and discard all this falsely called assistance which ye are seeking to find in the creature who is subject to the same sufferings as yourselves," they would laugh at and ridicule him; saying, "Tell us this to-morrow." Since, even if any thing were to happen to them they would not supplicate the Deity to avert the present evils from them. (71) But when it is found that there is no relief from man, and when even all the remedies are proved to be injurious, then in great perplexity they renounce all ideas of assistance from other quarters, and, like wretched men as they are and sorely against their will, they reluctantly and tardily flee to the only Saviour, God. But he, as well knowing that there is no dependence to be placed on reformation extorted by necessity, does not apply his law to every one of them, but only to those in whose case it appears good and suitable. Let every reasoning therefore that thinks that all possessions belong to itself, and that honours itself before God, for the expression, "sacrificing after a few days," involves such a notion as this, know that it is liable to the accusation of impiety.

XX. (72) We have now adequately gone through the first article of our accusation against Cain. And the second is of this nature, Why does he bring the first fruits of the fruits of the earth, but not of the first produce? May it not be for the same reason, that he may give the pre-eminence in honour to creation, and may requite God himself with what is the second best? For as there are some persons who place the body before the soul, the slave before the mistress, so also there are persons who honour the creation more than God, though the lawgiver delivered this injunction, that "we should bring the first fruits of the first produce of the earth into the house of God," and not assign them to ourselves. For it is just to refer all the first motions of the soul, whether in point of order or of power, to God. (73) Now the first things in point of order are such as these, in which we participated from the first moment of our original birth: nourishment, growth, sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch, speech, the mind, the parts of the soul, the parts of the body, the energies of these parts, and in short all the motions and conditions which are in accordance with nature. But those things which are first in consideration and in power are good actions, the virtues, and conduct in accordance with the virtues. (74) It is right therefore to offer the first fruits of these things: and the first fruits are the language of gratitude sent up from sincere truth of mind. And this language divides itself according to appropriate divisions in the same manner as the lyre and the other musical instruments are divided. For in each of those instruments each sound is by itself harmonious, and also exceedingly adapted to making a symphony with the rest. As in grammar also those of the elements which are called vowels are both capable of being uttered by themselves, and they also make a complete sound in conjunction with other letters. (75) But nature which has created many powers in ourselves, some consisting of the outward senses, some reasoning and intellectual and which has directed each to some appropriate work, and which again has adapted all in due proportion by a union and harmony with one another, may be most properly pronounced happy both in each particular and in all of them.

XXI. (76) On which account if you bring a sacrifice of the first fruits, you must divide it as the sacred scripture teaches, first of all offering those fruits which are green, then those which are toasted, then those which are cut up, and after all the others those which are ground. Those which are green, on this account, because he teaches those who are lovers of the old, and obsolete, and fabulous times, and who do not comprehend the rapid power of God, illimitable by time, warning them to adopt new, and flourishing, and vigorous thoughts, in order that they may not embrace false opinions from being nourished among the old fabulous systems which a long lapse of ages has handed down to the deceiving of mortals; but that, receiving new and fresh good things in all abundance from God, who never grows old, but who is always young and vigorous, they may be taught to think nothing old that is with him, and nothing passed away or obsolete, but to look upon everything as created and existing without any limitation as to time.

XXII. (77) On which account he says in another place, "Thou shalt rise up from before a hoary head, and thou shalt honour the face of an elder." As if the difference were very great. For what is hoary is that time which energizes not at all, from which one ought to rise up, and depart, and flee, avoiding that idea which deceives tens of thousands, that time has a natural capacity of doing something. But by an elder is meant one who is worthy of honour, and respect, and of preeminence, and examination of whom is committed to Moses, the friend of God. "For those whom thou knowest," says God to Moses, "they are the elders." As he was a man who admitted no innovations of any kind, but was by custom attached to his elders, and to those who were worthy of the highest honours. (78) It is advantageous, therefore, if not with reference to the acquisition of perfect virtue, still at all events with reference to political considerations, both to be nourished in ancient and primeval opinions, and also to be acquainted with the ancient records of glorious actions, which historians and the whole race of poets have delivered to their contemporaries and to subsequent ages, to be preserved in their recollection. But when the sudden light of self-taught wisdom has shone upon those who had no foreknowledge or expectation of it, and opening the previously closed eyes of the soul, makes men spectators of knowledge instead of being merely hearers of it, implanting in the mind the swiftest of the outward senses, sight, instead of hearing, which is slower; it is then in vain to exercise the ears with speeches.

XXIII. (79) On which account it is said also: "And ye shall eat old store, and old food from the old store, and you shall also bring forward the old out of the sight of the new." As it is fitting to repudiate no ancient piece of learning from considerations of time, while we endeavour to meet with the writings of wise men, and to be present as it were with the opinions and expositions of those who relate ancient matters, and to be always fond of inquiring about the former ages of men, and ancient events, since it is the pleasantest of all things to be ignorant of nothing. But when God causes new shoots of self-taught wisdom to spring up in the soul, then it behoves us immediately to circumscribe and to contract the things which we have acquired from instruction, which of their own accord do return and flow back to their source. For it is impossible that one who is a follower, or a friend, or a disciple of God, or any other name which one may think fit to call him, should tolerate mortal lessons.

XXIV. (80) And let the ripeness of the new soul be toasted. That is to say, as gold is tried in the fire, let this also be tested by powerful reason. And the being consolidated is a sign of having been tried, and tested, and approved. For as the fruit of flourishing stalks of corn is toasted, that it may no longer be damp, and as this cannot in the nature of things take place without fire, so also is it necessary that the young and fresh ripeness, advancing by means of powerful and unalterable reason to the perfection of virtue, must be made solid and stable. But it is the natural characteristic of reason not only to ripen speculations in the soul, preventing them from dissolving, but also vigorously to put an end to the impetuosity of irrational passion. (81) Behold the practiser of contemplations, Joseph, cooking it, when, "Esau is in a moment discovered to be fainting." For wickedness and passion are the foundations of those who love themselves, supported on which the man, when he sees them defeated and extinguished by reason which has refuted them, does not unnaturally relax his exertions and his strength. (82) But suppose the language is not confused, but divided into appropriate divisions, the meaning of the expression, "those that are cut up," is something of this kind. For in everything order is better than disorder, and most especially is it so in the most swiftly flowing nature—speech.

XXV. We must therefore divide it into the principal heads, which are called incidents, and we must assign to each its appropriate preparation, imitating in this point skilful archers, who, when they have chosen a mark, endeavour to shoot every one of their arrows straight at it. For the head resembles the mark, and the preparation is similar to the arrows. (83) And thus the most excellent of all branches of learning, speech, is harmoniously connected together. For the lawgiver cuts leaves of gold into thin hairs, so as to plait appropriate works of that material in a durable manner. And in like manner, speech, which is more precious than gold, is completed in a praiseworthy manner of innumerable varieties of ideas, then, being divided into the thinnest possible heads, after the fashion of a woven web, it receives an harmonious demonstration, like a work of the distaff. (84) It is enjoined therefore that sacrificers, when they have flayed the burnt offering, shall cut it up joint by joint, in order in the first place that the soul may appear naked without any coverings, such as are made by empty and false opinions; and in the second place that it may be able to receive suitable divisions, for virtue is a whole and one, which is divided into corresponding species, such as prudence and temperance, justice and courage, that we, knowing the differences of each of these qualities, may submit to a voluntary service of them both in their entirety and in particulars. (85) And let us consider how we may train the soul so that it may not, from being thrown into a state of confusion, be deceived by general and unintelligible appearances, but that by making proper divisions of things it may be able to inspect and examine each separate thing with all accuracy, adopting language which will not, through being borne forward by disorderly impetuosity, cause any indistinctness, but being divided into its appropriate headings and into the demonstrations suitable to each, will be compounded like some living animal of perfect parts, properly put together. And we ought to apply ourselves to a continual meditation on and practice of these things, if we wish the use of them to be confirmed in us, as after having touched knowledge, not to abide in it is like tasting meat and drink, but being prevented from feeding on them in sufficient quantities.

XXVI. (86) After those that are cut up, it was very natural to make an offering of such as are ground; that is to say, it is natural after the division to dwell among and pass one’s leisure among what had been thus discovered, for continued practice produces firm and stable knowledge, just as continued indifference produces ignorance. Therefore numbers of men from fear of the labour of practice, have lost the strength with which they were endowed by nature, whom those men have not imitated who nourished their souls on prophecy, which is signified under the name of manna, "for they ground it in mills or beat it in a mortar, and baked it in pans, and made cakes of it." every one of them knowing well how to knead and soften the heavenly language of virtue for the sake of making the intellect firmer. (87) When therefore you confess that the young and fresh corn, that is to say vigour, and the toasted corn, that is to say speech tried in the fire and invincible, and the corn cut up, which signifies the cutting up and division of things, and the corn ground, that is to say anxious care about the examination into what has been found out, do all proceed from God, you will then be offering a sacrifice of the first fruits of the first produce, of the first and best things which the soul has brought forth; and even if we are slow, nevertheless he does not delay to take to himself those who are fit to worship him. For "I will take," says he, "you to be a people for myself, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people: I am the Lord."

XXVII. (88) These now, and such as these, are the accusations brought against Cain, who after some days offered sacrifice; but Abel did not bring the same offerings, nor did he bring his offerings in the same manner; but instead of inanimate things he brought living sacrifices, and instead of younger things, worthy only of the second place, he offered what was older and of the first consideration, and instead of what was weak he offered what was strong and fat, for he says that "he made his sacrifice of the first-born of his flocks, and of their fat," according to the most holy commandment. (89) Now the commandment is as follows: "And it shall be," say the scriptures, "when God shall bring thee forth into the land of the Canaanites, in the manner which he swore to thy fathers, and shall give it to thee, that thou shalt set apart unto the Lord all that openeth the womb of all thy flocks, and of all the beasts which thou hast, and shalt set apart all the males for the Lord. Every offspring of an ass that openeth the womb shalt thou exchange for a sheep; and if thou dost not exchange it thou shall redeem it with money." For that which openeth the wound is Abel, that is to say, a gift, the first-born, and you must examine how and when it is to be offered up; (90) now the most suitable time is when God shall lead thee into fluctuating reason, that is to say, into the land of the Canaanites, not in any chance manner, but in the manner in which he himself swore that he would; not in order that being tossed about hither and thither in the surf and tempest and heavy waves, you may be deprived of all rest or stability, but that having escaped from such agitation you may enjoy fine weather and a calm, and reaching virtue as a place of refuge, or port, or harbour of safety for ships, may lie in safety and steadiness.

XXVIII. (91) But when Moses says that God swears, we must consider whether he really asserts this as a thing appropriate for him to do; since to very many people it appears inconsistent with the character of God; for the meaning implied in an oath is, that it is the testimony of God in a matter which is doubtful. But to God there is nothing uncertain and nothing in doubt; (92) as it is he who demonstrates clearly to others all the clear indications of truth. And accordingly he is in need of no witness; for neither is there any other god of equal honour with him. I omit to mention that he who bears witness, inasmuch as he bears witness, is better than he to whom he bears witness; for the one stands in need of something, and the other serves him: and he who serves is more worthy of credit than he who requires to be served. But it impious to conceive that any thing can be better than the Cause of all things, since there is nothing equal to him, nothing that is even a little inferior to him; but every thing which exists in the world is found to be in its whole genus inferior to God. (93) Now it is for the sake of obtaining credence that those men who are disbelieved have recourse to an oath. But God is to be believed when simply he says any thing; so that, as far as certainty goes, his words do in no respect differ from oaths. And it happens, indeed, that our opinions are confirmed by an oath; but that an oath itself is confirmed by the addition of the name of God. God, therefore, does not become credible because of an oath, but even an oath is confirmed by God.

XXIX. (94) Why, then, has this hierophant thought fit to introduce him as swearing? That he might demonstrate the weakness of the created being, and after he had demonstrated it, might comfort him: for we are not able at all times to have ready in our soul that principal fact which ought to be remembered concerning God, namely, that "God is not as a man," So that we may rise above those assertions which are advanced concerning man; (95) but we, since we have the greatest share in what is mortal, and since we are not able to conceive any thing apart from ourselves, and have no power to go beyond or to escape our own calamities, but since we have got into mortality as snails have into their shells, and since we are revolved round and round ourselves in a ball, like so many hedgehogs, and have only the same opinions about the blessed and immortal God which we have about ourselves, avoiding all absurdity of assertion, such for instance as that God has the same form as man, but in reality being guilty of the impiety of attributing to him that he has the same passions as man; (96) we do on this account fashion for him in our minds hands and feet, a coming in and a going out, hatred, aversion, alienation, and anger; parts and passions very inconsistent with the character of the Cause of all things, an oath by which is often an assistant of our weakness. (97) "If God shall give thee the things which thou desirest," says Moses, speaking very eloquently and accurately; for if he does not give them thou wilt not have them, since every thing belongs to him, both things external, and the body, and the outward sense, and the power of speech, and the mind, and the energies and essences of all the faculties. And not you, but all this world also, and whatever you cut off and divide from it, you will find does not belong to you; for you do not possess the earth, or the water, or the air, or the heaven, or the stars, or any of the kinds of animals or plants, whether perishable or immortal, as you own; so that, whatever from them you bring to offer to him as a sacrifice, you are bringing as the possession of God, and not as your own.

XXX. (98) And take notice how very clearly it is enjoined, that he who is sacrificing may take a part of what is offered, and that he is not bound to offer the whole of what has been given him. For nature has given us a countless number of things, suitable to the human race, of all of which it receives no share itself: for instance, she has given us creation, though she is herself uncreate; and food, though she has no need of food; and growth, though she always remains in the same condition; and age, with reference to time, though she herself admits neither of addition nor of subtraction; an organic body, which she is incompetent to receive: also the powers of coming forward, of seeing, of applying food, and of disposing of it again when digested; of judging between the differences of scents, of using speech, of giving vent of laughter. (99) There are also many other things in us which have reference to our necessary and beneficial uses: but one may pronounce these things indifferent, but those which are confessedly good ought to be attributed to and comprehended in nature. Come, therefore, let us investigate those things which are especially admired among us, of the things which are really goods, every one of which we pray to attain to at suitable seasons, and if we do attain to them, we are called the happiest of men. (100) Now who is there who is ignorant, that a happy old age and a happy death are the greats of human goods? neither of which can nature partake of, inasmuch as nature can neither grow old nor die. And what is there extraordinary in the fact, if that which is uncreated does not condescend to use the good things of created beings, when even that which has been created desires different virtues, according to the differences of ideas into which it is divided. At all events men would not be rivals to women, nor would women be rivals to men, in these matters with which the opposite sex alone ought to have any concern. But if the women were to emulate the pursuits of men they would be looked upon as half men, and if the men were to apply themselves to the pursuits of women they would acquire an evil reputation as men-women. (101) But are there not some virtues between which nature herself has made such distinction, that by no practice can they be brought into the common use of both sexes? At all events, to sow and to beget children is the especial property of man, according to his peculiar capacity, and no woman could manage to do this. And again, the nature of man does not make him capable of bearing children, which is the good deed of women; therefore these things, which are innate in the nature of man, cannot be predicated with propriety of God, but it is done only through some catachrestical misapplication of terms, by which we make amends for our weakness. You will take away therefore, O my mind, whatever is created or mortal, or changeable or unconsecrated, from your conceptions, regarding the uncreate God, immortal, unchangeable, and holy, the only God, blessed for ever.

XXXI. (102) But it is most entirely in accordance with nature "to sacrifice the males of every creature that openeth the womb, to God." For as nature has given to women the womb, as the part most excellently adapted for the generation of animals, so also for the production of things she has placed a power in the soul, by means of which the mind conceives and is in travail, and brings forth many things. (103) But of the ideas which are brought forth by the mind, some are male and some female, as in the case of animals. Now the female offspring of the soul are wickedness and passion, by which we are made effeminate in every one of our pursuits; but a healthy state of the passions and virtue is male, by which we are excited and invigorated. Now of these, whatever belongs to the fellowship of men must be attributed to God, and everything that relates to the similarity to women must be imputed to one’s self, on which account the command was delivered, "Of everything which openeth the womb the males belong to the Lord."

XXXII. (104) But also he says, "The males belong to the Lord of everything which openeth the womb, of thy flocks and of thy cattle, and of all that belongs to thee." Having spoken of the offspring of the principal part of the soul, he begins to give us information about the produce of the irrational part, which the outward senses have obtained for their inheritance, which he likens to cattle, and to the young which are bred up in the herds, being tame and tractable, inasmuch as they are guided by the care of their overseer, that is to say, of the shepherd; for those which are let run loose and are indulged with freedom, are made wild from want of any one to make them gentle. But those which have guides, such as goatherds, cowherds, and shepherds, who are the managers of every species of cattle, they I say are of necessity made tame. (105) Moreover the genus of the outward senses is formed by nature, so as to be in one instance wild and in another tractable; it is wild, when having shaken off the rein of the mind as of its herdsman, it is borne on irrationally towards the external objects of the outward senses; but it is tame when having yielded in an obedient manner to reason, which is the guide of the discernment, it is regulated and directed in its course by it. Whatever therefore it sees or hears, or, in short, whatever it feels with any one of its inward senses according to the injunction of the mind, all these things are male and perfect, for goodness is added to each; (106) but whatever is done without any guide, in a state of anarchy, in such case the body ruins us as anarchy ruins a city. Again, we must consider that those motions of the outward senses which proceed in obedience to the mind, and which of necessity are the better, do take place according to the dispensation of God; but these which are obstinate and disobedient, we must impute to ourselves, when we are carried away irrationally by the impetuosity of the outward senses.

XXXIII. (107) And he has commanded us to take a portion not only from the things which have just been mentioned, but also from the entire mass in combination. And the command is couched in the following words: "And it shall be, when ye eat of the fruit of the land, that he shall take a part to offer up has a heave-offering unto the Lord: ye shall offer up a cake of the first of your dough for a heave-offering as ye do the heave-offering of the threshing-floor, so shall ye offer it." (108) Now speaking properly, if we must avow the exact truth, it is we ourselves who are this dough; since many essences are kneaded and combined together that we may be made perfect: for the great Creator having mingled and kneaded together the cold and hot, dry and moist, opposite properties, has made out of them all one distinct combination, ourselves, from which the expression dough is applied to us. Now, of this combination in which body and soul, two most important divisions, are united, the first fruits are to be consecrated. (109) But the first fruits are the holy motions of each in accordance with virtue; on which account they have been compared to a threshing-floor. As, therefore, on a threshing-floor there is wheat and barley, and as many more of such things as are capable of being separated by themselves, and husks and chaff, and whatever other refuse is dissipated and scattered in different directions, so too, with us, there are some things which are excellent and useful, and which afford real nourishment, by means of which a good life is brought to perfection; all which things we should attribute to God. But there are other things which are not divine, which we must leave like refuse to the race of mankind; but from these some portions must be taken away, (110) and there are some entire virtues, free from all wickedness, which it would be impious to mutilate by dividing them, and which resemble those indivisible sacrifices, the whole burnt-offerings, of which Isaac is a manifest pattern, whom his father was commanded to offer up like a victim, sharing in no destructive passion. (111) And in another passage it is said, "My gifts, and my offerings, and my sacrifices, ye will take care to offer to me at my festivals:" not taking away form them, nor dividing them, but bringing them forward full, and entire, and perfect; for the feast of the soul is cheerfulness in perfect virtues; and the perfect virtues are all those which the human race exhibits, free from all stain or spot. But the wise man alone can keep such a festival as this, and no other human being; for it is a most rare thing to find a soul which has never tasted of wickedness of passions.

XXXIV. (112) Having therefore given an account of the dominant and subject divisions of the soul, and having shown what portion in each is male and female, Moses proceeds after this very consistently to explain the divisions of the body. For being well aware that without labour and care it is not possible to obtain a masculine offspring, he proceeds to say, "Every foal of an ass that openeth the womb, thou shalt exchange for the young of a sheep." Which expression is equivalent to, "Exchange all labour for improvement." For an ass is the symbol of labour, being a much enduring animal, and a sheep is the emblem of improvement, as its very name shows, (113) being a symbol of the care which is required to be expended in arts and professions, and all other things which are matters of instruction, and that with no negligence or indifference, but it is necessary with all anxiety to have prepared one’s mind to encounter vigorously every amount of labour, and to strive not to be held in bondage by ill-considered toil, but to find advance and improvement by pushing on to the most glorious end; for labour is to be endured for the sake of improvement. (114) But if you indeed receive fatigue from labour, and still your nature does not advance at all on the road to improvement, but is rather opposed to your becoming better by progress, then abandon the pursuit and be quiet, for it is a difficult task to go against nature. On which account the scripture adds: "And if you do not exchange it, you shall ransom it for money;" which means, but if you are not able to exchange labour for improvement, then give up your labour; for the idea of ransoming carries with it the notion of emancipating the mind from vain and unproductive care.

XXXV. (115) But I am speaking here, not of the virtues but of the arts of intermediate character, and of other necessary studies which are conversant about the attention due to the body, and about the abundance of external goods. But since the labour which is applied to what is perfectly good and excellent, even if it fall short of attaining its object, is nevertheless of such a character that it by itself does good to those who exert it, while the things which are unconnected with virtue unless their aim is attained, are entirely unprofitable. For as in the case of animals, if you take away the head there is an end of the whole animal, but he head of actions is their end, as they in a manner live if the end is arrived at, but if you cut off their end and mutilate them they die. (116) So too let those athletes who are not able to gain the victory but who are invariably defeated, condemn their trade; and if any merchant or captain of a ship in all his voyages meets with incessant disasters, let him turn away from the business and rest. And those men who, having devoted themselves to the intermediate arts, have nevertheless through the ruggedness of their nature been unable to acquire any learning, are to be praised for abandoning them: for such studies are not practised for the sake of the practice, but for the sake of the object towards which the labourer is borne. (117) If therefore nature hinders one’s improvement for the better, let us not strive against her in an unprofitable way, but if she co-operates with us then let us honour the Deity with the first fruits and honours, which are the ransom of our soul, emancipating it from subjection to cruel masters, and elevating it to freedom.

XXXVI. (118) For Moses confesses that the Levites who being taken in exchange for the firstborn, were appointed ministers of him who alone is worthy to be ministered unto, were the ransom of all the rest of the Israelites. "For I," says God, "behold, I have chosen the Levites out of the midst of the children of Israel, instead of every firstborn that openeth the womb from among the children of Israel; they shall be their ransom and the Levites shall belong to me: for every first-born is mine; from that day in which I smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, I dedicated to myself all the first-born of Israel." (119) Reason which fled to God and became his suppliant, is what is here called the Levite; God having taken this from the most central and dominant part of the soul, that is to say, having taken it to himself and appropriated it as his own share, thought it worthy of the honour due to the first-born. So that from these it is plain that Reuben is the first-born of Jacob, but Levi the first born of Israel, the one having the honours of seniority according to time, but the other according to dignity and power. (120) For Jacob being the symbol of labour and improvement, is also the beginning of goodness of disposition, which is signified in Reuben: but the fountain of contemplation of the only wise being, according to which the name of Israel is given, is the principle of being inclined to minister to him; and of such ministry the Levite is the symbol. As therefore Jacob is found to be the inheritor of the birth-right of Esau, eagerness in wickedness having been defeated by virtuous labour, so also Levi, as one who devotes himself to perfect virtue, will carry off the honours of seniority from Reuben, the man of a good disposition. But the most undeniable proof of perfection is for a man to be a fugitive to God, having abandoned all concern for the things of creation.

XXXVII. (121) These then, to speak with strict propriety are the prices to be paid for the preserving and ransoming of the soul which is desirous of freedom. And may we not say that in this way a very necessary doctrine is brought forward? Namely that every wise man is a ransom for a worthless one, who would not be able to last for even a short time, if the wise man by the exertion of mercy and prudence did not take thought for his lasting; as a physician opposing himself to the infirmities of an invalid, and either rendering them slighter, or altogether removing them unless the disease comes on with irresistible violence, and surmounts all the ingenuity of medical skill. (122) And in this way Sodom was destroyed, since there was, as it were, no good which could be put in the scale sufficient to outweigh the unspeakable multitude of its wickednesses. So that if the fiftieth number could have been found, according to which an emancipation for the slavery of the soul and complete freedom is proclaimed, or if any one of the numbers below fifty which the wise Abraham enumerated descending at last down to ten, the number peculiar to instruction, the mind would not have been destroyed in so inglorious a manner. (123) We ought at times to endeavour as far as possible to preserve those who are not on the point of being utterly destroyed by the wickedness that is in them; imitating good physicians who, even if they see that it is impossible for those who are sick to recover, nevertheless apply their remedies with cheerfulness, lest it should appear that it was owing to their neglect that the affair did not turn out as it was desired. And if ever so slight a seed of good health is seen, this is to be cherished as a spark of fire with all imaginable care; for there is hope that if it can have its duration protracted and its strength increased the man may for the future have a better life and one more free from danger. (124) Therefore when I see any good man dwelling in any house or city, I pronounce that house or that city happy, and I think that its enjoyment of its present good things is sure, and that its expectation of future happiness will be accomplished, inasmuch as, for the sake of those who are worthy, God will bestow his boundless and illimitable riches even on the unworthy. And I pray that they may live to as great an age as possible, since it is not possible that they should ever grow old, as I expect that good fortune will remain to men as long as these men are able to live in the practice of virtue. (125) When, therefore, I see or hear that any one of these men is dead, I am exceedingly downcast and grieved, and I lament those who are left behind alive as much as I lament them; for to the one I see, that the necessary end has arrived in consistency with the ordinances of nature, and that they have exhibited a happy life and a glorious death. But I look upon the others as now deprived of the great and mighty hand by which they were saved, and as likely, now that they are bereft of it, soon to feel the evils which are due to them, unless, indeed, instead of the former men, who are gone, nature should be preparing to make other young men shoot up, as in the case of a tree which has already shed its ripe fruit for the nourishment and enjoyment of those who are able to make use of it. (126) As, therefore, good men are the strongest part of cities, with a view to their duration, so also in that state of each individual of us, which consists of soul and body, the reasoning powers which are attached to prudence and knowledge, are the firmest part of its foundation; which the legislator, using metaphorical language, calls the ransom and the first-born, on account of those reasons which I have already mentioned. (127) In this way he also says, "The cities of the Levites are ransomed for ever, because the minister of God enjoys eternal freedom, according to the continuous revolutions of the ever-moving soul," and he admits incessant healing applications; for when he calls them ransomed, not once, but for ever, as he says, he means to convey such a meaning as this, that they are always in a state of revolution, and always in a state of freedom, the state of revolution being implanted in them because of their natural mortality, but their freedom coming to them because of their ministration to God.

XXXVIII. (128) But it is worth while to consider, in no passing manner, why he granted the cities of the Levites to fugitives, thinking it right that even these, who appear entirely impious, should dwell with the most holy of men. Now these fugitives are they who have committed, unintentionally, homicide. First of all, therefore, we must repeat what is consistent with what has been already said, that the good man is the ransom of the worthless one, so that they who have sinned will naturally come to those who have been hallowed, for the sake of being purified; and, in the second place, we must consider that the Levites admit the fugitives because they themselves are potentially fugitives; (129) for as they are driven away from their country, so these others also have left their children, their parents, their brethren, their nearest and dearest things, in order that they may receive an immortal inheritance instead of a mortal one. But they differ, because the flight of the one is involuntary, being caused by an unintentional action, but the flight of the others is voluntary, from a love of what is most excellent; and because the one have the Levites for a refuge; but the Levites have the Lord of all for their refuge, in order that those who are imperfect may have the sacred scriptures for their law; but that the others may have God for theirs, by whom they are hallowed. (130) Moreover, those who have committed unintentional homicide, have been allotted the same cities as the Levites to dwell in, because they also were thought worthy of a privilege because of a holy slaughter. When therefore the soul being changed, came to honour the Egyptian God, the body, as fine gold, then all the sacred writings rushing forth of their own accord with defensive weapons, namely demonstrations according to knowledge, putting forward as their leader and general the chief priest, and prophet, and friend of God, Moses, proclaimed an unceasing war in the cause of piety, and would not hear of peace till they had put down all the doctrines of those who opposed them, so that they naturally came to inhabit the same dwellings, inasmuch as they had done similar actions, though not the same.

XXXIX. (131) There is also another opinion bruited about, as something of a secret, which it is right to lay up in the ears of the elders, not divulging it to the younger men; for of all the most excellent powers which exist in God, there is one equal to the others in honour, that is the legislative one (for he himself is a lawgiver and the fountain of all laws, and all particular lawgivers are subordinate to him), and this legislative power is divided in a twofold division, the one having reference to the rewarding of those who do well, and the other to the punishment of those who have sinned; (132) accordingly the Levite is the minister of the former division, for he performs all the ministrations which have a reference to perfect holiness, according to which the human race is raised up to and brought to the notice of God, either by whole burnt offerings, or else by saving sacrifices, or else by repentance for one’s sins. But of the other and punishing division of the legislative power, those who have committed unintentional homicide are the ministers. (133) And Moses bears witness to this saying, "He was not willing, but God gave him into his hands," so that his hands are here taken as instruments; but he who energizes by their means in an invisible manner, must be the other being, the invisible. Let therefore the two servants dwell together, being the ministers of the two species of the legislative power; the Levite being the minister of the division which has reference to the reward of them that do well, and the unintentional homicide of the division which is conversant about punishment. (134) "But in the day," says God, "on which I smote the first-born in the land of Egypt, I consecrated to myself all the first-born of Israel." And he says this not to lead us to suppose that at the time when Egypt was stricken with this mighty blow by the destruction of all its first-born, the first-born of Israel all became holy, but because both in former times, and now, and hereafter, and for ever, this naturally happens in the case of the soul, that when the most dominant parts of blind passion are destroyed, then the elder and most honourable offspring of God, who sees everything with a piercing sight, becomes holy; (135) for the departure of wickedness brings about the entrance of virtue, as, on the other hand, when what is good is driven away, then what was bad, having been lying in ambush, comes in to supply the void. Jacob then had scarcely at all gone out, when Esau entered, not the mind which receives everything, being stamped with the impression of wickedness instead of the figures of virtue, if that is possible; but he would not have been able to effect this, for he will be supplanted and overthrown by the wise man before he knows it, the wise man being prompt to repel the impending injury before it can affect him.

XL. (136) And he brings not only the first fruits from the firstborn, but also from the fat; showing by this that whatever there is in the soul that is cheerful, or fat, or preservative and pleasant, might all be surrendered to God. And I see also in the arrangements established about sacrifices, that three things are enjoined to be offered from the victims; in the first place the fat, and the kidneys, and the lobe of the liver, about which we will speak separately; but not the brain or the heart which it seemed natural should be dedicated before the other parts, since, according to the language of the lawgiver, the dominant power is recognised as existing in one of them. (137) But may it not be owing to an exceeding holiness and to very accurate consideration of the matter that he did not bear these things to the faithful altar of God? because that dominant part being subject to changes in either direction, either for bad or good, in an indivisible moment of time receives impressions which are continually changing, at one time impressions of what is pure and approved, and at others of an adulterated and base coinage. (138) Therefore the lawgiver judging a place which was capable of receiving both these opposite qualities, namely, what is honourable, and what is disgraceful, and which was adapted to each, and distributed equal honour to both, to be quite a much impure as holy, removed it from the altar of God. For what is disgraceful is profane, and what is profane is by all means unholy; (139) and this is why the dominant part is kept away from sacrifices, but if it is subjected to examination, then, when all its parts have been purified, it will be consecrated as a burnt offering, free from all stain, and from all pollution. For this is the law respecting whole burnt offerings, that with the exception of the refuse of the food, and of the skin which are tokens of the weakness of the body and not of wickedness, nothing else should be left to the creature, but that all the other parts which exhibit the soul perfect in all its parts, should be presented as a whole burnt offering to God.


I. (1) And Cain said to Abel his brother, "Let us go to the field. And it came to pass, that while they were in the field, Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him." What Cain proposes to do is this: having by invitation led Abel on to a dispute, to convince him by main force, using plausible and probable sophisms; for the field to which he invites him to come, we may call a symbol of rivalry and contention, forming our conjectures of things that are uncertain from our perception of those which are manifest. (2) For we see that most contests, both in peace and in war, take place in the open fields. In peace, therefore, all those who practise gymnastic contests, seek for level race-courses and plain fields: and, in a war, it is not usual to have battles, of either infantry or cavalry, on hills; for many more disasters arise from the unfavourable character of the ground, than from anything that the enemies do to one another.

II. (3) And a very great proof of this is the conduct of the practiser of knowledge, Jacob, when warring against the opposite disposition, ignorance; when it is beheld in the field how he regulates the irrational faculties in the soul after a fashion, reproving and correcting them. "For Jacob having sent, called Leah and Rachel into the plain where the flocks were;" (4) showing here clearly, that the plain is the symbol of revolt and contention. And he calls them and says, "I see the face of your father, that it is not to me as it was yesterday and the day before yesterday, but the God of my father was with me." And on this account I should be inclined to say, Laban is not favourable to you because God is on your side; for in the soul, by which the external object of the outward senses is honoured as the greatest good, perfect reason is not found to exist; but in the soul, in which God walks, the external object of the outward senses is not looked upon as the greatest good, according to which object the name of Laban is given and understood. (5) And all those who, through the improvement of their reason, are adorned in the similitude of the Father, in consequence of education, unlearn all subserviency to the irrational impulses of the soul, selecting the plain as a suitable place, for it is said to Joseph, "Are not thy brethren keeping sheep in Sichem? Come, I will send thee to them. And he said, Behold, here am I. And Jacob said unto him, Go and see if thy brethren and the flocks are well, and come and tell me. And he sent him from the valley of Chebron, and he came to Sichem, and a man found him wandering in the plain: and the man asked him, What seekest thou? And he said, I am seeking my brethren, tell me where they are feeding their sheep. And the man said unto him they have departed from hence, for I heard them saying, Let us go to Dotham."

III. (6) Therefore, from what has here been said it is plain, that they make the halting-place of the irrational faculties, which are in them, in the plain. But Joseph is sent unto them because he is unable to bear the somewhat austere knowledge of his father; that he may learn, under gentler instructors, what is to be done and what will be advantageous; for he uses a doctrine woven together from divers foundations, very variegated and very artfully made, in reference to which the law-giver says, that he had "a robe of many colours made for him;" signifying by this that he is an interpreter of labyrinth-like learning, such as is hard to be explained; (7) for as he philosophises more with a regard to political wisdom than to truth, he brings into one place and connects together the three kinds of good things, namely, external things, the things concerning the body, and those concerning the soul, things utterly different from one another in their whole natures; wishing to show that each has need of each, and that everything has need of everything; and that that which is really the complete and perfect good, is composed of all these things together, and that the parts of which this perfect good is compounded are parts or elements of good, but are not themselves perfect goods. (8) In the same way, as neither fire, nor earth, nor any one of the four elements, out of which the universe was created, are the world, but the meeting and mixture of all the elements together; in the same way also happiness ought not peculiarly to be sought for either in the external things, or in the things of the body, or in the things of the soul, taken by themselves; for each of the aforementioned things has only the rank of parts and elements, but it must be looked for in the combination of them all together.

IV. (9) He therefore is sent, to be untaught this doctrine, to men who think nothing honourable but what is good, which is the peculiar attribute of the soul as the soul; but all external goods, which are called the good things of the body, they believe to be only superfluities, and not true and real goods: "For behold," says he, "thy brethren are tending their sheep," that is to say, they are governing all the irrational part that is in them, "in Sichem;" and the name Sichem, being interpreted, means a shoulder, the symbol of enduring labour. For the men who are lovers of virtue endure a great burden, the opposition to the body and the pleasure of the body, and also the opposition to external things and to the delights which arise from them. (10) "Come, therefore, let me send thee to them," that is to say, listen to my bidding and come over, receiving in your mind a voluntary impulse to learn better things. But up to the present time you are full of self-complacency, as one who has received true instruction; for although you have not as yet plainly asserted this, you still say that you are ready to be taught again, when you say, "Behold, here am I," by which expression you appear to me to exhibit your own rashness and easiness to be persuaded more than your readiness to learn; and a proof of what I say is this, "And a little afterwards the true man will find you wandering in the way," while you would not have been led astray, if you had come to the practice of virtue with a sound intention. (11) And yet the adhortatory speech of your father’s imposes no irresistible necessity upon you, to turn of your own accord and at the instigation of your own mind to better things; for he says, "Go and see," behold, consider, and meditate in the matter with entire accuracy. For you ought first to know the affair concerning which you are going to labour, and then after that to proceed to a care how to accomplish it. (12) But after you have examined into it, and after you have inspected it carefully, casting your eyes over the whole of the business, then examine, besides, those who have already given their attention to the matter, and who have become practisers of it, whether now that they do this they are in a sound state, and not mad, as the lovers of pleasure think who calumniate them and cover them with ridicule. And do not form a positive judgment in your own mind either as to the appearance of the matter, or as to the soundness of condition enjoyed by those who practise these things, before you have reported the matter to and laid it before the father; for the opinions of those who have only lately begun to learn are unstable and without any firm foundation; but the sentiment of those who have made some advance are solid, and from their opinions they must of necessity derive firmness and steadiness.

V. (13) Therefore, O my mind, if you in this manner investigate the holy thoughts of God with which man is inspired by divine agency and the laws of such men as love God, you will not be compelled to admit any thing lowly, anything unworthy, of their greatness. For how could any man who is endowed with sound sense and wisdom, receive this very thing concerning which our present discussion now is? Can any one believe that there was such a great want of servants and attendants in the household of Jacob who was possessed of treasures equal to those of a king, that it was necessary for him to send his son away to a distant country to bring him word of the health of his other children and of his flocks? (14) His grandfather, besides the multitude of captives whom he had carried off when he defeated the nine kings, had more than three hundred domestic servants, and all this household had suffered no diminution, but rather, as time advanced, all his wealth had received great increase in all its parts. Would he not then, when he had an abundance of servants of all kinds ready to his hand, have preferred sending one of them, to sending his son, whom he loved above all things, on a business which any one of the lowest of his servants could easily have brought to a successful issue?

VI. (15) But you see that he here gives a superfluously minute description of the country from which he sends him forth, in a way which all but commands us to forsake the strict letter of what is written. "For out of the valley of Chebron," now the name Chebron, when interpreted, means conjoined and associated, being a figurative way of intimating our body which is conjoined and which is associated in a sort of companionship and friendship with the soul. Moreover, the organs of the outward senses have valleys, great ducts to receive everything external which is an object of the outward senses, which collect together an infinite number of distinctive qualities, and by means of those ducts pour them in upon the mind, and wash it out, and bring it in the depths. (16) On this account, in the law concerning leprosy, it is expressly ordered, "when in any house hollows appear of a pale or fiery red colour, that the inhabitants shall take out the stones in which such hollows appear, and put in other stones in their places;" "that is to say, when different destructive qualities which the pleasures and the appetites, and the passions akin to them, have wrought in men, weighing down and oppressing the whole soul, have made it more hollow and more lowly than its natural condition would be, it is well to remove the reasons which are the cause of this weakness, and to bring in such in their stead as are sound by a legitimate style of education and a healthy kind of discipline.

VII. (17) Seeing therefore that Joseph has wholly entered into the hollow valleys of the body and of the outward senses, he invites him to come forth out of his holes, and to bring forward the free air of perseverance, going as a pupil to those who were formerly practisers of it themselves, and who are now become teachers of it; but he who appears to himself to have made progress in this, is found to be in error; "For a man," says the holy scripture, "found him wandering in the plain," showing that it is not labour by itself, intrinsically considered, but labour with skill, that is good. (18) For as it is of no use to study music in an unmusical manner, nor grammar without any attention to its true principles, nor, in short, any art whatever in a manner either devoid of art or proceeding on false rules of art, but each art must be cultivated on a strict obedience to its rules; so also it is of no avail to apply one’s self to the study of wisdom in a crafty spirit, or to the study of temperance in a nigardly and illiberal frame of mind, nor to courage rashly, nor to piety superstitiously, nor, in fact, to any other science which is in accordance with virtue in an unscientific manner. For all these steps are confessedly erroneous. In reference to which, a law has been delivered to us "to pursue what is just in a just manner," that we may cultivate justice and every other virtue by those works which are akin to it, and not by those which are contrary to it. (19) If, therefore, you see any one desiring meat or drink at an unseasonable time, or repudiating baths or ointments at the proper season, or neglecting the proper clothing for his body, or lying on the ground and sleeping in the open air, and by such conduct as this, pretending to a character for temperance and self-denial, you, pitying his self-deception, should show him the true path of temperance, for all the practices in which he has been indulging are useless and profitless labours, oppressing both his soul and body with hunger and all sorts of other hardships. (20) Nor if anyone, using washings and purifications soils his mind, but makes his bodily appearance brilliant; nor if again out of his abundant wealth he builds a temple with brilliant artments of all kinds, at a vast expense; nor if he offers up catombs and never ceases sacrificing oxen; nor if he adorns temples with costly offerings, bringing timber in abundance, and skilful ornaments, more valuable than nay of gold or silver, (21) still let him not be classed among pious men, for he also has wandered out of the way to piety, looking upon ceremonious worship as equivalent to sanctity, and giving gifts to the incorruptible being who will never receive such offerings, and flattering him who can never listen to flattery, who loves genuine worship (and genuine worship is that of the soul which offers the only sacrifice, plain truth), and rejects all spurious ministrations, and those are spurious which are only displays of external riches and extravagance.

VIII. (22) But some say that the proper name of the man who found him wandering in the plain is not mentioned, and they themselves are in some degree mistaken here, because they are unable clearly to discover the true way of this business, for if they had not been mutilated as to the eye of the soul, they would have known that of one who is truly a man, the most proper, and appropriate, and felicitous name is this very name of man, being the most appropriate appelation of a well regulated and rational mind. (23) This man, dwelling in the soul of each individual, is found at one time to be a ruler and monarch, and at another time to be a judge and umpire of the contest which take place in life. At times also he takes the place of a witness and accuser, and without being seen he corrects us from within, not suffering us to open our mouths, but taking up, and restraining, and birdling, with the reins of conscience the selfsatisfied and restive course of the tongue. (24) This convicting feeling it is which inquires of the soul when it sees it wandering about, What seekest thou? Is it wisdom? why then do you go after wickedness? Or is it temperance? but this path of your leads to niggardliness. Or is courage? by this path you will only arrive at rashness. Or are you in pursuit of piety? this is the road to superstition. (25) But if it should say that it is seeking words of wisdom, and that it is longing for them, as for what is nearest akin to its own race, we must not give implicit belief to this, for the question was not, Where are they feeding their flocks? but Where are they tending them? for they who feed their flocks supply nourishment, and all the objects of the outward senses to the animal of the outward senses devoid of reason and insatiable; by means of which outward senses and their indulgence, we become unable to govern ourselves and fall into misfortune; but they who tend their flocks, having the power of rulers and governors, make those gentle which were fierce before, checking the mighty power of the appetites. (26) If, therefore, he was in all sincerity seeking the practices of virtue, he would have sought for them among kings, and not among cup-bearers, or cooks, or confectioners, for these last prepare things which have reference to pleasure, but the former are masters of pleasure.

IX. Therefore the man, who saw the deceit, answered rightly, "They are departed hence." (27) And he shows here the mass of the body; clearly proving that all those by whom labour is practised for the sake of the acquisition of virtue, having left the regions of earth, have determined on contemplating only what is sublime, dragging with them no stain of the body. For he says, too, that he had heard them say, (28) "Let us go to Dotham:" and the name Dotham, being interpreted, means "a sufficient leaving;" showing that it was with no moderate resolution, but with extreme determination that they had decided on leaving and abandoning all those things which do not co-operate towards virtue, just as the customs of women had ceased any longer to affect Sarah. But the passions are female by nature, and we must study to quit them, showing our preference for the masculine characters of the good dispositions. Therefore the interpreter of divers opinions, the wandering Joseph, is found in the plain, that is to say, in a contention of words, having reference to political considerations rather than to useful truth; (29) but there are some adversaries who, by reason of their vigorous body, their antagonists having succumbed, have gained the prize of victory without a struggle, not having even had, to descend into the arena to contend for it, but obtaining the chief honours on account of their incomparable strength. Using such a power as this with reference to the most divine thing that is in us, namely, our mind, "Isaac goes forth into the plain;" not for the purpose of contending with any body, since all those who might have been his antagonists, are terrified at the greatness and exceeding excellence of his nature in all things; but only washing to meet in private, and to converse in private with the fellow traveller and guide of his path and of his soul, namely God. (30) And the clearest possible proof of this is, that no one who conversed with Isaac was a mere mortal. Rebecca, that is perseverance, asks her servant, seeing but one person, and having no conception but of one only, "Who is this man who is coming to meet us?" For the soul which perseveres in what is good, is able to comprehend all self-taught wisdom, which is named Isaac, but is not yet able to see God, who is the guide of wisdom. (31) Therefore, also, the servant confirming the fact that he cannot be comprehended who is invisible, and who converses with man invisibly, says, "He is my lord," pointing to Isaac alone. For it is not natural that, if two persons were in sight, he should point to one alone; but the person whom he did not point to, he did not see, inasmuch as he was invisible to all persons of intermediate character.

X. (32) Now I think that it has already been sufficiently shown, that the field to which Cain invites Abel to come, is a symbol of strife and contention. And we must now proceed to raise the question what the matters are concerning which, when they have arrived in the plain, they are about to institute an investigation. It is surely plain that they are opposite and rival opinions: for Abel, who refers everything to God, is the God-loving opinion; and Cain, who refers everything to himself (for his name, being interpreted, means acquisition), is the self-loving opinion. And men are selfloving when, having stripped and gone into the arena with those who honour virtue, they never cease struggling against them with every kind of weapon, till they compel them to succumb, or else utterly destroy them; (33) for, as the proverb is, they leave no stone unturned, saying, Is not the body the house of the soul? Why, then, should we not take care of the house that it may not become ruinous? Are not the eyes and the ears, and all the company of the other outward senses, guards, as it were, and friends of the soul? Ought we not, then, to honour men’s friends and allies equally with themselves? And has nature made pleasures and enjoyments, and all the delights which are spread over the whole of life for the dead, or for those who have never even had any existence at all, and not rather for those who are alive? And what ought we not to do to procure for ourselves riches, and glory, and honours, and authority, and all other things of that sort, which are the only means of living not only safely, but happily? (34) And the life of these men is a proof of this. For they who are called lovers of virtue are nearly all of them men inglorious, easily to be despised, lowly, in need of necessary things, more dishonourable than subjects, or even than slaves, sordid, pale, cadaverous-looking, bearing want and hunger in their countenances, full of diseases, men who would be glad to die. But those who take care of themselves are men of reputation, rich, leaders, men in the enjoyment of praise and honour; moreover, they are healthy, stout, and vigorous; living delicately, nursed in luxury, strangers to labour, living in the constant company of pleasure, and using all their outward senses to bring delights to the soul, which is capable of receiving them all.

XI. (35) Arguing therefore in this prolix train of reasoning, they thought that they got the better of those who were not accustomed to deal in sophistry. But the cause of their victory was not the strength of those who got the better, but the weakness of their adversaries in these matters. For of those who practise virtue, some treasured up what is good in their soul alone, becoming practisers of praiseworthy actions, and having no knowledge whatever of sophistries of words. But they who were armed in both ways, having their minds furnished with wise counsel and with good deeds, and having also good store of reasons to bring forward according to the arts of the sophists, (36) they had a good right to oppose the contentious behaviour of some others, having means at hand by which to repel their enemies. But the former sort had no safety whatever. For what men could fight naked against armed enemies on equal terms, when, even if they had been both equally armed, the contest would still have been unequal? (37) Abel therefore had not learnt any of the arts of reasoning, but he knew what was good by his intellectual disposition alone; on account of which he ought to have refused to go down to the plain, and to have disregarded the invitation of his enemy. For any display of fear is better than being defeated; but such fear a man’s enemies call cowardice, but his friends entitle it safe prudence, and we must believe friends in preference to enemies, inasmuch as they tell us the truth.

XII. (38) And it is on this account, as you see, that Moses rejected the sophists in Egypt, that is to say, in the body whom he calls magicians (for it is owing to the tricks and deceits of their sophistical tricks that good dispositions and good habits are infected and corrupted), saying that he was "not an eloquent man," which is equivalent to saying that he was not formed by nature for the conjectural rhetoric of plausible and specious reasons. And immediately afterwards he confirms the assertion by adding, that he is not only not eloquent, but altogether "void of words," meaning this, not in the sense in which we do when we call animals void of words, but speaking of himself as one who did not choose to employ words by means of his organs of speech, but who impresses and stamps the principles of true wisdom upon his mind alone, which is the most perfect opposite to false sophistry. (39) And he will not go to Egypt, nor will he descend into the arena to strive against the sophists who contend in it, till he has thoroughly studied and practised the art of argumentative reasoning; God himself showing to him all the ideas which belong to such elocution, and making him perfect in them by the election of Aaron who was the brother of Moses, and whom he was accustomed to call his mouth-piece, and interpreter, and prophet. (40) For all these attributes belong to speech, which is the brother of the intellect; for the intellect is the fountain of words, and speech is its mouth-piece, because all the conceptions which are entertained in the mind are poured forth by means of speech, like streams of water which flow out of the earth, and come into sight. And speech is an interpreter of the things which the mind has decided upon in its tribunal. Moreover, it is a prophet and a soothsayer of those things which the mind unceasingly pours forth as oracles from its inaccessible and invisible retreats.

XIII. (41) In this manner, then, it is useful to oppose those who are ostentatious about doctrines. For if we have been well exercised in various species of discourses, we shall no longer stumble through inexperience and want of acquaintance with the manoeuvres of sophists. But rising up and making a firm and resolute stand against them, we shall with ease escape from their artificial entanglements. But they, when their tricks have once been found out, will appear to be exhibiting the conduct of sparrers rather than of regular combatants. For they too, in their own opinion, get great credit by their style of beating the air; but when they come to a real contest they meet with no moderate disgrace. (42) And if any one is adorned as to his soul with all imaginable virtues, and yet has paid no attention to the art of speaking and arguing, if he only preserves silence he will obtain safety, a prize won without danger. But if he comes forth like Abel into a contest with sophists, he will be thrown down before he has obtained a firm footing. (43) For, as in medical science, some practitioners who know how to cure almost every complaint, and disease, and infirmity, can nevertheless give no true or even probable account of any one of them; and on the other hand, others are very clever, as far as giving an account of the diseases goes, and in explaining their symptoms and causes, and the modes of cure, and are the most excellent interpreters possible of the principles of which their art is made up, but are utterly useless in the matter of attending the bodies of the sick, to the cure of which they are not able to contribute even the slightest assistance. In the same way, those who have devoted themselves to practical wisdom have often neglected to pay attention to their language; and those who have learnt their professions thoroughly as far as words go, have yet treasured up no good instruction in their soul. (44) It is therefore nothing extraordinary, that these men being in the habit of indulging an unbridled tongue, should be full of self-sufficiency and boldness, displaying all the folly which they have from the first beginning cherished. But it is better to trust to those who, like skilful physicians, have a knowledge of the means of healing the diseases and evil affections of the soul, until God provides an excellent interpreter, and displays to and pours upon him the fountains of his eloquence.

XIV. (45) It would therefore have been consistent for Abel to practise prudence, a very saving virtue, and to have remained at home, disregarding the invitation to the arena of discussion and contest, which was given to him, imitating Rebecca, that is perseverance, who, when Esau, the companion of wickedness, was pouring forth threats, advised the practiser of wisdom, Jacob, to retreat before him who was about to plot against him, until he should have relaxed in his fierce hostility to him, (46) for Esau had been holding out an intolerable threat over Jacob, saying, "The days of mourning for my Father are at hand, that then I may slay my brother Jacob;" for he is wishing only that that species in the nature of things which is void of passions, namely, Isaac (to whom the oracle had been given, that he should not descend into Egypt), may be the victim of an irrational affection, in order I suppose that he may be wounded by the stings of pleasure or pain, or of any other passion, showing that the man who is not wholly perfect and who makes laborious improvements, will receive not merely a wound, but utter destruction. However, the good God will neither allow that invulnerable species among created things to be subdued by passion, nor will he surrender the practice of virtue to bloody and raging destruction. (47) On which account we read in a subsequent passage, "Cain rose up against Abel, his brother, and slew him." For according to the first imagination, he suggests the idea that Abel has been killed. But if you look at it according to the most accurate investigation, you will see that the intimates that Cain himself was slain by himself, so that we ought to read it thus: "Cain rose up and killed himself," and not the other. (48) And very reasonably may we attribute this to him. For the soul, which destroys out of itself the virtue loving and God-loving principle, has died as to the life of virtue, so that Abel (which appears a most paradoxical assertion) both is dead and alive. He is dead, indeed, having been slain by the foolish mind, but he lives according to the happy life which is in God. And the holy oracle which has been given will bear witness, which expressly says, that he cried out loudly, and betrayed clearly by his cries what he had suffered from the concrete evil, that is from the body. For how could one who no longer existed have conversed?

XV. (49) The wise man, therefore, who appears to have departed from this mortal life, lives according to the immortal life; but the wicked man who lives in wickedness has died according to the happy life. For in the various animals of different kinds, and in general in all bodies, it is both possible and easy to conceive, that the agents are of one kind, and the patients of another. For when a father beats his son, correcting him, or when a teacher beats his pupil, he who beats is one, and he who is beaten is another. But in the case of these beings, which are united and made one, only in the part as to which both acting and suffering are found to exist; these two things are there, neither at different times, nor do they affect different people, but they affect the same person in the same manner at the same time. At all events, when an athlete rubs himself for the sake of taking exercise, he is by all means rubbed also; and, if any one strikes himself, he himself is struck and wounded; and so also he who mutilates or kills himself as the agent, is mutilated or killed as the patient. (50) Why, then, do I say this? Because it appears inevitable that the soul, inasmuch as it consists not of particles which are separated but of those which are united, should suffer what it appears to do, as in real truth it did in this instance; for, when it appeared to be destroying the God-loving doctrine, it destroyed itself. And Lamech is a witness to this, the descendant of the impiety of Cain, who says to his wives, who are the representatives of two inconsiderate opinions, "I have slain a man to my hurt, and a young man to be a scar to me." (51) For it is evident that if any one slays the principle of courage, he wounds himself with the opposite disease of cowardice; and if any one in the practice of honourable studies slays his vigorous strength, he is inflicting on himself wounds and great injuries with no moderate degree of disgrace. Therefore, indeed, perseverance says that if practice and improvement be destroyed she will lose not only one child but also her others also, and be an instance of complete childlessness.

XVI. (52) But as he who injures a good man is proved to be doing injury to himself, so also does he who thinks his betters worthy of privileges, in word indeed claim advantage for them, but in fact he is procuring it for himself. And nature here bears testimony in support of my argument, and so do all the laws which have been established in consistency with her; for there is a positive and express and intelligible command laid down in these words: "Honour thy father and thy mother, that it may be well with thee;" not well with those who receive the honour, says the Scripture, but with thee; for if we look upon the intellect as the father of this concrete animal, and if we honour the outward senses as its mother, we ourselves shall be well treated by them. (53) But the proper honour to be paid to the mind is first to be honoured on account of what us useful, and not on account of what is pleasant; but all things proceeding from virtue are useful. And the honour proper to be paid to the outward sense is when we do not allow ourselves to be carried away by its impetuosity towards the external objects of the outward senses, but compel it to be curved by the mind, which knows how to govern and guide the irrational powers in us. (54) If, therefore, each of these things, the outward sense and the mind, receive the honour which I have been describing, then it follows of necessity that I, who use them both, must derive advantage from them. But if, carrying your language away a long distance from the mind and from the outward sense, you think your father, that is to say, the world which produced you, and your mother, wisdom, by means of which the universe was completed, worthy of honour, you yourself shall be well treated; for neither does God, who is full of everything, nor sublime and perfect knowledge, want anything. So that he who is inclined to pay proper attention to them, benefits not those who receive his attentions and who are in no need of anything, but himself most exceedingly. (55) For skill in horsemanship and in judging of dogs, being in reality a ministering to horses and dogs, supplies those animals with the useful things of which each species is in need; and if it were not so to supply them it would seem to neglect them. But it is not proper to call piety, which consists in ministering to God, a virtue which is conversant about supplying the things which will be of use to the Deity; for the Deity is not benefited by any one, inasmuch as he is not in need of anything, nor is it in the power of any one to benefit a being who is in every particular superior to himself. But, on the contrary, God himself is continually and unceasingly benefiting all things. (56) So, when we say that piety is a ministering to God, we say that it is in some such a service as slaves discharge to their masters, who are taught to do without hesitation that which is commanded them; but, again, there will be a difference, because the masters are in need of service, but God has no such want. So that, in the case of the masters, the servants do supply that which will be of use to them, but to God they supply nothing beyond a mind imbued with a spirit of willing obedience; for they will not find anything which they can improve, since all things belonging to masters are, from the very beginning, most excellent; but they will benefit themselves very greatly by determining to become friends to God.

XVII. (57) I think, therefore, that enough has been now said with respect to those who appear to think that they do others good or harm. For it has been shown, that that which they think that they are doing to others, they in either case do to themselves. We will now examine the remainder of this event; the question is as follows:—"Where is Abel, thy brother?" To which answer is made, "I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?" It is therefore worth while to consider the question whether it can be appropriately said of God that he asks a question. For he who asks a question or puts an inquiry is asking or inquiring about something of which he is ignorant; seeking an answer through which he will know what he as yet does not know. But everything is known to God, not only all that is present, and all that is past, but also all that is to come. (58) What need, then, has he of an answer which cannot give any additional knowledge to the questioner? But we must say that such things cannot properly be uttered by the Cause of all things, but that, as it is possible to say what is not true without lying, so it is possible for one to put question or an interrogatory without either making inquiry or seeking for information. "Why, then," some one will say, "are such words spoken?" In order that the soul which is about to give the answer may prove by itself what it answers correctly or incorrectly, having no one else either as an accuser or an adversary. (59) Since, when he asks the wise man, Where is virtue? that is to say, when he asks Abraham about Sarah, he asks, not because he is ignorant, but because he thinks that he ought to answer for the sake of eliciting praise from the answer of him who speaks. Accordingly, Moses tells us that Abraham answered, "Behold, she is in the tent;" that is to say, in the soul. What then is there in this answer that contains praise? Behold, says he, I keep virtue in my house as a treasure carefully stored up, and on account of this I am immediately happy. (60) For it is the use and enjoyment of virtue that is happiness, and not the bare possession of it. But I should not be able to use it unless you, by letting down the seeds from heaven, had yourself made virtue pregnant; and unless she had brought forth the germs of happiness, namely, Isaac. And I consider that happiness is the employment of perfect virtue in a perfect life. In reference to which he, approving of his own determination, promises that he will complete perfectly all that he asked.

XVIII. (61) To him therefore the answer brought praise, as he confessed that virtue without the divine favour was not sufficient of itself to help any one; and, in consequence, it also brings blame to Cain, who says that he does not know where he is who has been treacherously slain by him. For he appears by this answer to be wishing to receive his hearer, as one who does not see everything, and who has no previous suspicion of the deceit which he is about to use. But every one is wicked and worthy of proscription who thinks that the eye of God can ever fail to see anything. (62) But Cain here speaks arrogantly, "Am I my brother’s keeper?" For we might altogether say he was sure hereafter to lead a miserable life, if nature made you the guardian and keeper of so good a man. Do you not see that the lawgiver entrusts the keeping and preservation of the holy things not to any chance person, but to the Levites, who were the most holy persons in their opinions? for whom the earth and the air and the water were considered an unworthy inheritance, but the heaven and the whole world were looked upon as their due. And the Creator alone is worthy of these things, to whom they have fled for refuge, becoming his sincere suppliants and servants, showing their love for their master in their continued service, and in the unhesitating observance of all the commands which are laid upon them, and in the preservation of the things entrusted to them.

XIX. (63) And it has not fallen to the lot of all the suppliants to become guardians of the holy things, but to those only who have arrived at the number fifty, which proclaims remission of offences and perfect liberty and a return to their ancient possessions. "For this," says the Scripture, "is the law concerning the Levites: from twenty-five years old and upwards, they shall go in to wait upon the service of the tabernacle of the congregation: and from the age of fifty years they shall cease waiting upon the service thereof, and shall serve no more; but shall minister with their brethren in the tabernacle of the congregation, and they shall keep what is to be kept, and shall do no service." (64) Therefore, the Scripture charges him who has half perfection (for the number fifty is perfect, and the number twenty-five is the half of fifty), to work and to do what is holy, approving his ministration by his works. And the beginning, as an old writer has said, is half of the whole. But the perfect man it does not enjoin to labour any longer, but only to preserve what he has acquired by labour and diligence. For may I never become a practiser of what I ought not to be a preserve; (65) subsequently practice therefore is mediocrity not perfection, for it takes place not in perfect souls, but in such as are seeking after perfection. But it is the perfect duty of guardianship to deliver to memory the well-practised contemplations of holy things, the excellent deposit of knowledge to a faithful guardian, who is the only one who disregards the ingenious and manifold nets of forgetfulness; so that the Scripture, with great propriety and felicity, calls him who is mindful of what he has learnt, the guardian of it. (66) And such an one before he practised was a pupil, having another to teach him; but when he became competent himself to guard what he had learnt, he then received the power and rank of a teacher, having appointed his brother, his own uttered discourse, to the ministration of teaching. For it is said that, "His brother shall minister;" so that the mind of the good man is the guardian and steward of the doctrines of virtue. But his brother, that is to say, uttered discourse, shall minister instead of him, going through all the doctrines and speculations of wisdom to those who are desirous of instruction. (67) On which account Moses, also, in his praises of Levi, having previously said many admirable things, adds subsequently, "He has guarded thy oracles and kept thy covenant." And presently he continues, "They shall show thy justification to Jacob, and thy law to Israel. (68) Therefore, he here clearly asserts that the good man is the guardian of the words and of the covenant of God. And, indeed, in another place he has shown that he is the best interpreter and declarer of his justifications and laws; the faculty of interpretation being displayed through its kindred organ—the voice, and guardianship being exerted through the mind, which having been made by nature as a great storehouse, easily contains the conceptions of all things, whether bodies or things. It would therefore have been worth the while of this self-loving Cain to have been the keeper of Abel; for if he had kept him he would have attained to a compounded and moderate kind of life, and would not have been filled with unmodified and absolute wickedness.

XX. (69) And God said, "What has thou done? The voice of the blood of thy brother cries out to me from out of the ground." The expression, "What hast thou done," shows indignation at an unhallowed action, and also ridicules the man who thought he had committed the murder secretly. The indignation now arises at the intention of the man who has done the deed, because he designed to destroy what was good; but the ridicule is excited by his thinking that he has plotted against one who is better than himself, and at his having plotted not so much against him as against himself. (70) For, as I have said before, he who appears to be dead is alive, inasmuch as he is found to be a suppliant of God and to utter a voice; and he who believes that he is still alive is dead, as to the death of the soul, inasmuch as he is excluded from virtue, according to which alone he is worthy to live. So that the expression, "What hast thou done?" is equivalent to, "Thou hast done nothing; thou hast done no good for thyself." (71) For neither was the sophist, Balaam, who was an empty multitude of contrary and contending doctrines, when he was desirous to imprecate curses upon and to injure the good man, able to do so; since God turned his curses into a blessing, in order to correct the unjust man of wickedness and to display his own love of virtue.

XXI. (72) But it is the nature of sophists to have for enemies the faculties which are in them, while their language is at variance with their thoughts and their thoughts with their language, and while neither is in the least degree consistent with the other. At all events, they wear out our ears, arguing that justice is a great bond of society, that temperance is a profitable thing, that continence is a virtuous thing, that piety is a most useful thing, and, of each other virtue, that it is a most wholesome and saving quality. And, on the other hand, that injustice is a quality with which we ought to have no truce, that intemperance is a diseased habit, that impiety is scandalous, and so going through every kind of wickedness, that each sort is most pernicious. (73) And, nevertheless, they never cease showing by their conduct that their real opinion is the reverse of their language. But, when they extol prudence and temperance and justice and piety, they then show that they are, above all measure, foolish, and intemperate, and unjust, and impious; in short, that they are throwing into confusion and overturning all divine and human regulations and principles. (74) And to them, therefore, one may very properly say what the divine oracle said to Cain, "What is this that thou hast done?" What good have ye done yourselves? What have all these discourses about virtue profited your souls? In what particular of life, whether small or great, have ye done well? What? Have you not, on the contrary, contributed to advancing true charges against yourselves? because, by expressing your approval of what is good, and philosophising as far as words go, you have been excellent interpreters, but are nevertheless discovered to be men who both think and practise shameful things. In fact, all good things are dead in your souls, these evils having been there kindled; and, on this account there is no one of you who is really alive. (75) For as, when some musician or grammarian is dead, the music and grammar which existed in them dies with them, but their ideas survive, and in a manner live as long as the world itself endures; according to which the existing race of men, and those who are to exist hereafter in continual succession, will, to the end of time, become skilful in music and grammar. Thus, also, if the prudence, or the temperance, or the courage, or the justice, or, in short, if the wisdom of any kind existing in any individual be destroyed, nevertheless the prudence existing in the nature of the immortal universe will still be immortal; and every virtue is erected like a pillar in imperishable solidity, in accordance with which there are some good people now, and there will be some hereafter. (76) Unless, indeed, we should say that the death of any individual man is the destruction of humanity and of the human race, which, whether we ought to call it a genus, or a species, or a conception, or whatever else you please, those who are anxious about the investigation of proper names may determine. One seal has often stamped thousands upon thousands of impressions in infinite number, and though at times all those impressions have been effaced with the substances on which they were stamped, still the seal itself has remained in its pristine condition without being at all injured in its nature. (77) Again, do we not think that the virtues, even if all the characters which they have impressed upon the souls of those who have sought them should become effaced by wicked living, or by any other cause, would nevertheless preserve their own unadulterated and imperishable nature? Therefore, they who have not been duly initiated in instruction, not knowing anything about the differences between wholes and parts, or between genera and species, or about the homonymies which are incidental to these things, mix up all things together in a confused mass. (78) On which account every one who is a lover of self, by surname Cain, should learn that he has destroyed the namesake of Abel, that is to say species, individuality, the image made according to the model; not the archetypal pattern, nor the genus, nor the idea, which he thinks are destroyed together with animals, though, in fact, they are indestructible. Let any one then say to him, reproving and ridiculing him, What is this that thou hast done, O wretched man? Does not the God-loving opinion which you flatter yourself that you have destroyed, live in the presence of God? But it is of yourself that you have become the murderer, by destroying from out of its seat the only quality by which you could live in a blameless manner.

XXII. (79) And what was said afterwards is uttered very beautifully, with reference either to the beauty of the interpretation of which it is susceptible, or to the conception which may be discovered in it. "The voice of the blood of thy brother calls to me from out of the earth." This now, which is a very sublime expression if we regard the language in which it is couched, is intelligible to all those who are not utterly uninitiated in eloquence. But let us consider the ideas which are apparent in it as well as we are able. And first of all, let us consider what is said about the blood; (80) for in many places of the law as given by Moses, he pronounces the blood to be the essence of the soul or of life, saying distinctly, "For the life of all flesh is the blood thereof." And when the Creator of all living things first began to make man, after the creation of the heaven and the earth, and all the things which are between the two, Moses says, "And he breathed into his face the breath of life, and man became a living soul," showing again by this expression that it is the breath which is the essence of the life. (81) And, indeed, he is accustomed diligently to record all the suggestions and purposes of God from the beginning, thinking it right to adopt his subsequent statements to aid to make them consistent with his first accounts. Therefore, after he had previously stated the breath to be the essence of the life, he would not subsequently have spoken of the blood as occupying the most important place in the body, unless he had been making a reference to some very necessary and comprehensive principle. (82) What then are we to say? The truth is, that every one of us according to the nearest estimation of numbers, is two persons, the animal and the man. And each of these two has a cognate power in the faculties, the seat of which is the soul assigned to it. To the one portion is assigned the vivifying faculty according to which we live; and to the other, the reasoning faculty in accordance with which we are capable of reasoning. Therefore, even the irrational animals partake of the vivifying power; but of the rational faculty, God—I will not say partakes, but—is the ruler, and that is the fountain of the most ancient Word.

XXIII. (83) Therefore, the faculty which is common to us with the irrational animals, has blood for its essence. And it, having flowed form 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. (84) On this account, Moses represents God as calling the blood the life of the flesh, though he is aware that the nature of the flesh has no participation in intellect, but that it does partake of life, as also does our whole body. And the soul of man he names the spirit, meaning by the term man, not the compound being, as I said before, but that Godlike creation by which we reason, the roots of which he stretched to heaven, and fastened it to the outermost rim of the circle of those bodies which we call the fixed stars. (85) For God made man, the only heavenly plant of those which he placed upon the earth, fastening the heads of the others in the mainland, for all of them bend their heads downwards;" but the face of man he has exalted and directed upwards, that it might have its food of a heavenly and incorruptible nature, and not earthly and perishable. With a view to which, he also rooted in the earth the foundations of our body, removing the most insensible part of it as far as possible from reason; and the outward senses, which are as it were the body-guards of the mind, and the mind itself, he established at a great distance from the earth, and from all things connected with it, and bound it with the periodical revolutions of the air and of the heavens, which are imperishable.

XXIV. (86) Let us then no longer doubt, we who are the disciples of Moses, how man conceived an idea of God who is destitute of all figure, for he was taught the reason of this by the divine oracle, and afterwards he explained it to us. And he spoke as follows:—"He said that the Creator made no soul in any body capable of seeing its Creator by its own intrinsic powers. But having considered that the knowledge of the Creator and the proper understanding of the work of Creation, would be of great advantage to the creature (for such knowledge is the boundary of happiness and blessedness), he breathed into him from above something of his own divine nature. And his divine nature stamped her own impression in an invisible manner on the invisible soul, in order that even the earth might not be destitute of the image of God. (87) But the archetypal pattern was so devoid of all figure, that its very image was not visible, being indeed fabricated in accordance with the model, and accordingly it received not mortal but immortal conceptions. For how could a mortal nature at the same time remain where it was and also emigrate? or how could it see what was here and what was on the other side? or how could it sail round the white sea, and at the same time traverse the whole earth to its furthest boundaries, and inspect the customs and laws of the nations on all the affairs and bodies which are in existence? On separating them from the things of the earth, how could it arrive at a contemplation of the sublimer things of the air and its revolutions, and the peculiar character of its seasons, and all the things which at the periodical changes of the year are made anew, and, according to their usual habit, brought to perfection? (88) Or again, how could it fly through the air from earth to heaven, and investigate the natures which exist in heaven, and see of what nature they are, how they are moved, what are the limits of their movements, of their from their birth / With downcast eyes gaze on their kindred earth, / He bids man walk erect, and scan the heaven / From which he springs, to which his hopes are given." beginning and of their end; how they are adapted to one another and to the universe according to the just principles of kindred? Is it easy to have an accurate comprehension of the different arts and of the different branches of knowledge which bring external things into shape, and which are concerned with the affairs of the body and of the soul, with a view to the improvement of the two, and to understand ten thousand other things, of which it is not easy to describe ether the number or the nature in language? (89) For of all the faculties which exist in us, the mind alone, as being the most rapid in its motions of all, appears to be able to outrun and to pass by the time in which it originates, according to the invisible powers of the universe and of its parts existing without any reference to time, and touching the universe and its parts, and the causes of them. And now, having gone not only to the very boundaries of earth and sea, but also to those of air and heaven, it has not stopped even there, thinking that the world itself is but a brief limit for its continued and unremitting course. And it is eager to advance further; and, if it can possibly do so, to comprehend the incomprehensible nature of God, even if only as to its existence. (90) How, then, is it natural that the human intellect, being as scanty as it is, and enclosed in no very ample space, in some membrane, or in the heart (truly very narrow bounds), should be able to embrace the vastness of the heaven and of the world, great as it is, if there were not in it some portion of a divine and happy soul, which cannot be separated form it? For nothing which belongs to the divinity can be cut off from it so as to be separated from it, but it is only extended. On which account the being which has had imparted to it a share of the perfection which is in the universe, when it arrives at a proper comprehension of the world, is extended in width simultaneously with the boundaries of the universe, and is incapable of being broken or divided; for its power is ductile and capable of extension.

XXV. (91) Let this then be enough to say concisely about the essence of the soul. And now proceeding in regular order, we will explain the expression, that "the voice of his blood cries out," in this manner,—of our soul, one part is dumb, and one part is endowed with utterance. All that part which is devoid of reason is likewise destitute of voice, but all that part which is rational is capable of speech, and that part alone has formed any conception of God; for, by the other parts of us, we are not able to comprehend God, or any other object of the intellect. (92) Of our vivifying power, therefore, of which the blood is, as it were, the essence, one portion has particular honour, namely, that of speech and reason; I do not mean the stream which flows through the mouth and tongue, but I speak of the fountain itself, from which the channels of utterance are, in the course of nature, filled. And this fountain is the mind; by means of which, all our conversations with and cries to the living God take place, at one time being voluntary, and at another involuntary. (93) But he, as a good and merciful God, does not reject his suppliants, and most especially he does not, when they, groaning at the Egyptian deeds and passions, cry to him in sincerity and truth. For at such a time Moses says that, "their words go up to God," and that he listens to them, and delivers them from the evils that surround them. (94) But that all these things should happen when the king of Egypt dies, should be a most strange thing; for it would be natural that when the tyrant died, all those who have been tyrannised over by him should rejoice and exult; but at that time they are said to groan. "For after many days the king of Egypt died, and the children of Israel groaned." (95) Now here, if we look merely at the words, the expression does not appear to be reasonable; but if we have regard to the faculties in the soul, then its consistency is discovered. For as long as he who scatters abroad and dissipates the opinions about good things, namely, Pharaoh, is vigorous in us, and appears in a sound and healthy state, if indeed we can say that any wicked man is in such a condition, we receive pleasure, driving temperance away from our borders. But when he loses his strength, and in a manner dies, he who has been the cause of men’s living in a filthy and lascivious manner, then we, fixing our eyes on modesty of life, bewail and groan over ourselves on account of our former way of living; because the, honouring pleasure before virtue, we joined a mortal life to an immortal one; and the law taking pity on our continued lamentation, gently receives our suppliant souls, and easily drives away the Egyptian calamities which are brought upon them by the passions.

XXVI. (96) But on him who is incapable of receiving repentance on account of the enormity of the pollution which he has incurred by the murder of his brother, namely, on Cain, he lays well-deserved and fitting curses; for in the first place he says to him, "And now, cursed art thou upon the earth:" showing first of all that he is polluted and accursed, not now for the first time when he has committed the murder, but that he was so before, the moment that he conceived the idea of it, the intention being of equal importance with the perfected action; (97) for as long as we only conceive wicked things in the bad imagination of our minds, still, during that time, we are guilty of thoughts only, for the mind is capable of being changed even against its will; but when performance is added to the intention that has been conceived, then our deliberate purpose becomes also guilty; for this is the chief distinction between voluntary and involuntary sin. (98) But the scripture here pronounces that the mind shall be accursed, not from anything else, but from the earth; for of all the most grievous calamities which can happen to it, the earthly portion which exists in each of us is found to be the cause. At all events, when the body is afflicted with disease, it adds the miseries which are derived from itself, and so fills the mind with grief and despondency; or, on the other hand, if it has grown fat immoderately through enjoyment of pleasures, it makes all the faculties of the mind duller for the comprehension of nobler objects. (99) For, indeed, each of the outward senses is capable of receiving injury; for either a man beholding beauty is wounded by the darts of love, which is a terrible passion; or else, perhaps, if he hears of the death of any one related to him by birth, he is bowed down by sorrow: very often, too, taste gets the mastery of a man, when it is either tortured by disagreeable flavours, or weighed down by the multitude of delicacies. And why need I speak of the impetuous passions, which tend to the connexion of the two sexes? These have destroyed whole cities, and countries, and mighty nations of the earth; to which fact nearly the whole multitude, both of poets and of historians, bears abundant testimony.

XXVII. (100) And as to the manner in which the mind becomes accursed upon the earth, he adds further information immediately afterwards, saying: "The earth which opened her mouth to receive the blood of thy brother." For it is very difficult for the mouths of the outward senses to be opened and widened, as even when they are not open the flood of the objects appreciable only by them rushes in like an overflowing river, nothing being capable of resisting their evident impetuosity; for then the mind is found to be overwhelmed, being wholly absorbed by so vast a wave, and being utterly unable to swim against it, or even to raise its head above it; (101) but it is necessary to employ all these things not so much for whatever objects can possibly be effected, but for those that are best; for the sight can perceive all colours and all shapes; but still it ought to behold only things worthy of light, and not of darkness. Again, the ear can receive all kinds of sounds; but some it ought to disregard; for myriads of the things that are said are disgraceful. Nor, O foolish and arrogant man, because nature has given you the faculty of taste, ought you to fill yourself insatiably with everything, like a cormorant; for there are many things not merely among such as are nutritious, but of those which are exceedingly so, which have, nevertheless, produced diseases accompanied with great suffering. (102) Nor does it follow that, because for the sake of the perpetuation of your race you have been endowed with the powers of generation, you ought to pursue pollutions and adulteries and other impure connections; but only such as, in a legitimate manner, engender and propagate the race of mankind. Nor, because you have been made endowed with a mouth and a tongue and the organs of speech, ought you to say everything and to reveal what ought not to be spoken, for there are times when to hold one’s peace is useful. And, in my opinion, those who have learnt to speak have also learnt to be silent, the same capacity teaching a man both lines of conduct. But those men who relate what they ought not, do not display the faculty of eloquence, but the weakness of their faculty of silence. (103) On which account we labour to bind each of the mouthpieces of the senses beforementioned with the imperishable bonds of temperance. "For whatever is not bound with a bond," says Moses, in another passage, "is impure," as if the cause of its unhappiness was the fact of the parts of the soul being relaxed and open and dissolved; but that the fact of their being compacted and tightly bound together contributed to goodness and soundness of life and reason. He, therefore, curses the godless and impious Cain with deserved curses; because, having opened the caverns of this concrete creature, he opened his mouth for all external things, praying to receive them in an insatiable manner and to contain them, to the utter destruction of the Godloving doctrine, Abel.

XXVIII. (104) "On this account shall he cultivate the earth;" he does not say, "He shall become a farmer." For every farmer is an artist, because farming is an art. But any of the common people are cultivators of the earth, giving their service to provide themselves with necessaries, without any skill. These men, then, as they have no superintendent in all that they do, do much harm; and whatever they do well they do by chance, and not in accordance with reason. But the works of farmers, which are performed according to knowledge, are all of them, of necessity, useful. (105) On this account it is that the law-giver has attributed to the just Noah the employment of a farmer; showing by this that, like a good farmer, the virtuous man eradicates in the wild wood all the mischievous young saplings which have been planted by the passions or by the vices, but leaves untouched all those which bear fruit, and which may act instead of a wall and prove a firm defence for the soul. And, again, among the trees capable of cultivation he manages them in different ways, and not all in the same way: pruning some and adding props to others, training some so as to increase their size, and cutting down others so as to keep them dwarf. (106) Again, when he sees a vine flourishing and luxuriant he bends down its young shoots to the ground, digging trenches to receive them, and again heaping up the ground on the top of them; and they at no distant period, instead of parts, become whole trees, and instead of daughters they become mothers, having moreover put off the old age which is the usual companion of maternity. For, having desisted from distributing and apportioning its nourishment amongst numerous offspring, inasmuch as they are able to support themselves, that which was previously weak from being drained by this cause becomes so fully satiated as to grow fat and young again. (107) And I have seen another man who cut away the less desirable shoots of trees which admitted of cultivation, as soon as they appeared above the ground, and left only a small piece adhering to the root itself. And then taking a branch in good condition from another tree of a good sort, he scraped away the one shoot down till he came to the pith, and the shoot which was attached to the root he cut at no great depth, but opening it just sufficiently to make the union perfect, and then putting into the cleft the shoot which he had pared away he fitted it in; (108) and from these two shoots one single tree of one united nature sprang up, each portion giving to the other that which was useful to it; for the roots support the shoot which has been fitted into them, and prevent it from drying up and withering, and the shoot which has been inserted as a reward for its nourishment supplies the root with good fruit in requital. There are also an innumerable host of other operations in farming which proceed on rules of art, which it would be superfluous to enumerate on the present occasion, for we have only dwelt on this point at such length for the purpose of showing the difference between the man who is only a cultivator of the earth, and one who is a farmer.

XXIX. (109) Accordingly the bad man never ceases from employing, without any of the principles of art, his earth-like body, and the outward senses which are akin to it, and all the external objects of these outward senses, and he injures his miserable soul, and he also injures what he fancies he is benefiting exceedingly, his own body. But the good man, for he has skill in the art of a farmer, manages the whole of his materials in accordance with the principles of art and reason; for when the outward senses behave insolently, being borne forward with irresistible impetuosity towards the external objects of the outward senses, they are easily restrained by some contrivance among those which art has devised; (110) but when an impetuous passion in the soul becomes violent, bringing forth voluptuous itchings and ticklings arising from pleasure or from appetite, or on the other hand, stings and agitation, caused by fear or grief, it is softened by the previously prepared saving medicine; and if any evil devouring as it goes, proceeds further, like a sister of the cancrous disease, which creeps over the body, it is cut out by reason which proceeds in its operations in accordance with knowledge. (111) In this manner then the trees of the wild wood are brought into a state of tameness, but all the plants of the cultivated and fruit-bearing virtues have for their shoots studies, and for their fruits virtuous actions, of each of which the farming skill of the soul promotes the growth, and as far as depends upon it, it makes them immortal by its industry.

XXX. (112) Very clearly therefore is the good man thus shown to be a farmer, and the bad man to be only a cultivator of the land; and I wish that while he is thus cultivating the land, the earthly nature which environs him, had imparted some vigour to him, and had not, as it has, taken away something of the power which he had before, for we read in the scripture, "It shall not add its strength to thee to give it to thee," (113) and such would be the character of a man who was always eating or drinking and never satisfied, or who was incessantly indulging in the pleasures of the belly, and devoting his energies to the gratifying of his carnal appetites, for deficiency produces weakness, but fulness produces strength; but when, amid abundance of things an insatiability is united with excessive intemperance, that is hunger; and they are truly wretched whose bodies are filled, while their passions are empty and still thirsting; (114) but of the lovers of knowledge the prophet speaks in a great song, and says, "That she has made them to ascend upon the strength of the earth, and has fed them upon the produce of the fields," showing plainly that the godless man fails in attaining his object, in order that he may grieve the more while strength is not added to these operations in which he expends his energies, but while on the other hand it is take from them; but they who follow after virtue, placing it above all these things which are earthly and mortal, disregard their strength in their exceeding abundance, using God as the guide to conduct them in their ascent, who proffers to them the produce of the earth for their enjoyment and most profitable use, likening the virtues to fields, and the fruits of the virtues to the produce of the fields, according to the principles of their generation; for from prudence is derived prudent action, and from temperance temperate action, and from piety pious conduct, and from each of the other virtues is derived the energy in accordance with it.

XXXI. (115) Now these energies are especially the food of the soul, which is competent to give suck, as the lawgiver says, "Honey out of the rock, and oil out of the solid rock," meaning by the solid rock which cannot be cut through, the wisdom of God, which is the nurse and foster-mother and educator of those who desire incorruptible food; (116) for it, as the mother of those things which exist in the world, immediately supplies food to those beings which are brought forth by her; but they are not all thought worthy of divine food, but only such are honoured with that as do not show any degeneracy from their parent; for there are many which a scarcity of virtue, which is more terrible than a scarcity of meat and drink, has destroyed; (117) but the fountain of divine wisdom is borne along, at one time in a more gentle and moderate stream, and at another with greater rapidity and a more exceeding violence and impetuosity. When, therefore, it descends gently it sweetens after the manner of honey, but when it comes on swiftly the whole material enters like oil into the light of the soul. (118) This rock, Moses, in another place, using a synonymous expression, calls manna the most ancient word of God, by which appellation is understood, something of the most general possible nature, from which two cakes are made, one of honey and the other of oil, that is to say, two different systems of life, exceedingly difficult to distinguish from one another, both worthy of attention, at the very beginning instilling the sweetness of these contemplations which exist in the sciences, and again emitting the most brilliant light to those who take hold of the things which are the objects of their desire, not fastidiously, but firmly, and scarcely by means of unremitting and incessant perseverance. These then, as I have said before, are they who ascend up upon the strength of the earth.

XXXII. (119) But to the impious Cain, neither does the earth contribute anything to give him vigour, even though he never concerns himself about anything which is exterior to it; on which account, in the next sentence, he is found "groaning and trembling upon the earth," that is to say, under the influence of grief and terror; and such also is the miserable life of a wicked man, who has received for his inheritance the most painful of the four passions, pain and terror; the one being equivalent to groaning, and the other to trembling; for it is inevitable, that some evil should either be present to or impending over such a man. Now the expectation of impending evil causes fear, but the suffering of present evil causes pain. (120) On the other hand, he who pursues virtue is found to be in the enjoyment of corresponding blessings; for either he has acquired what is good or he will attain to it. Now the present possession perfects joy, which is the best of all possessions; but the expectation of possessing it brings hope, the food of those souls which love virtue; on account of which, putting away sluggishness, we, with spontaneous readiness, hasten onwards to good actions. (121) From that soul therefore, in which justice has brought forth a male offspring, that is to say just thoughts, it has also at the same time removed all painful things, and the birth of Noah will bear testimony in confirmation of this, and the interpretation of the name of Noah is just; and of him it is said, "he will make us to rest from our works, and from the labours of our hands, and from the earth, which the Lord God has cursed;" (122) for it is the nature of justice in the first place to cause rest instead of labour, being utterly indifferent to the things that are in the confines between wickedness and virtue, riches and glory, and power and honour, and all other things which are akin to these, which are the chief objects of the energies of the human race. And, in the second place, to destroy those pains which exist in accordance with our own energies; for Moses does not (as some wicked men do) say, that God is the cause of evils, but our own hands; indicating, by a figurative expression, the works of our hand, and the voluntary inclinations of our mind to the worser part.

XXXIII. Last of all, Noah is said "to comfort us concerning our work, because of the ground which the Lord God hath cursed." (123) But by this is meant wickedness, which is established in the souls of foolish men; the remedy for which (as one seeks for remedies for a severe disease) is found to be the just man, who is in possession of the panacea, justice. When, therefore, he has repelled these evils he is filled with joy, as also is Sarah; for she says, "The Lord hath caused me laughter;" and she adds further, "so that whosoever hears it shall rejoice with me." (124) For God is the author of virtuous laughter and joy; so that we must look upon Isaac not as the offspring of creation, but as the work of the uncreate God. For if Isaac, being interpreted, means laughter, and if it be God who is the cause of laughter according to the true testimony of Sarah, then he may be most properly said to be the father of Isaac. And he also gives a share to Abraham of his own proper appellation, to whom, when he eradicated pain from wisdom, he gave rejoicing as an offspring. (125) If, therefore, any one is worthy to listen to the account of the creative power of God he is of necessity joyful, and rejoices in company with those who have had a longing to hear the same. And in the account of the creative power of God you will find no cunningly devised fable, but only unalloyed laws of truth firmly established. Moreover, you will find no vocal measures or rhythm, no melodies alluring the hearing with musical art; but only most perfect works of virtue, which have all of them a peculiar harmony and fitness. And as the mind rejoices which is eager to hear of the works of God, so also does language, which is in harmony with the conceptions of the mind, and which in a manner is compelled to attend to them, feel exultation.

XXXIV. (126) And this will also be proved by the oracle which was given to the all-wise Moses, in which these words are contained: "Behold, is there not Aaron thy brother, the Levite? I know that he will speak for thee; and behold he will be coming forth to meet thee, and he will rejoice in himself when he seeth thee." For here the Creator says, that he knows that uttered speech is a burden to the mind, because it speaks; for he represents it, that is to say, articulate sound, as the organ, as it were, of all this concrete being of ours. (127) This speech speaks, and discourses, and interprets both in your case and mine, and in that of all mankind, the things conceived in the mind, and it moreover comes forward to meet the things which the mind conceives; for when the mind being excited towards any object connected with it receives an impetus, either because it has been moved internally by itself, or because it has received some remarkable impressions from external circumstances, it then becomes pregnant and labours to bring forth its conceptions. And, though it tries to deliver itself of them, it is unable to do so till sound, like a midwife, acting either through the medium of the tongue or of some other of the organs of speech, receives those conceptions and brings them to light. (128) And this voice is itself the most manifest of all the conceptions. For, as what is laid up is hidden in darkness until light shines upon it and exhibits it, in the same manner the conceptions are stored away in an invisible place, namely, the mind, until the voice, like light, sheds its beams upon them and reveals everything.

XXXV. (129) Very beautifully, therefore, was it said that speech goes forth to meet the conceptions, and that it runs on endeavouring to overtake them, from its desire of giving information respecting them, for everything has the greatest affection for its own proper employment; and the proper employment of speech is to speak, to which employment therefore it hastens by a kind of natural kindred and propriety. And it rejoices and exults when, shedding its rays upon it as it were, it accurately sees and overtakes the sense of the matter exhibited; for then, seizing it in its embrace, it becomes its most excellent interpreter. (130) At all events, we repudiate those chatterers and interminable talkers, who, in the long passages of their conversations, do not properly keep to their conceptions, but merely connect long and empty and, to say the truth, lifeless sentences. Therefore the conversation of such men as these is indecorous, and is justly condemned to groan; as, on the other hand, it is inevitable that that conversation which proceeds from a proper consideration of the objects of its consideration must rejoice, since it comes in an adequate manner to the interpretation of the things which it saw and comprehended vigorously; (131) and this is a matter within the knowledge of almost every one from his daily experience. For, when we thoroughly understand what we are saying, then our speech rejoices and exults, and is rich in most emphatic and appropriate expressions, with which, using great copiousness and fluency of unhesitating diction, it sets before the hearer what it desires to exhibit to him in a most evident and efficient manner. But when the comprehension of the conceptions is doubtful, then the speech stumbles and exhibits a great deficiency of suitable and felicitous expressions, and speaks very inappropriately; on which account it is tedious and wearisome and wanders about, and instead of persuading its hearers it pains their ears.

XXXVI. (132) Again, it is not every speech which should come forward to meet the conceptions; nor is it every kind of conception that it should come to meet; but only the perfect Aaron who should come forward to meet the conceptions of the most perfect Moses. Since else why, when God had said, "Behold, is not Aaron thy brother?" did he add, "the Levite," if it were not for the sake of teaching that it belongs to the Levite and priest, and to virtuous speech alone, to give information respecting the conceptions of the mind, which are shoots of the perfect soul. (133) For never may the speech of a wicked man be interpreter of divine doctrines, for such an one would deform their beauty by his own pollutions; and, on the other hand, may what is intemperate and disgraceful never be related by the utterance of a virtuous man, but may sacred and holy conversations always deliver the relation of holy things. (134) In some of the best governed cities of the world they say that such a custom as this prevails. When any man who has not lived well attempts to deliver his opinion, either in the council or in the assembly of the people, he is not permitted to do so by his own mouth, but is compelled by the magistrates to deliver his opinion to some virtuous and honourable man to explain in his behalf; and then he, when he has heard what he wishes said, rises up and unfolds the meaning of the sewn up mouth of his instructor, becoming his extempore pupil; and he displays the imaginations of another, scarcely considering the original concern for them even in the rank of a hearer or spectator. So some people do not choose to receive even benefits from unworthy persons, but look upon the injury accruing from the shame of taking their advice as greater than the advantage which can be derived from it.

XXXVII. (135) This lesson the most holy Moses appears to teach; for such is the object of the statement that Aaron the Levite is coming forward to meet his brother Moses, and that when he sees him he rejoices in himself; and the statement that he rejoices in himself shows also, besides the doctrine which has already been mentioned, another more connected with politics, since the lawgiver is here exhibiting that genuine joy which is most especially akin to the human race; (136) for to speak strictly, the feeling of joy does not belong to abundance of money, or of possessions, or to brilliancy of renown, nor, in short, to any one of those external circumstances which are lifeless and unstable, and which contain the seeds of their decay in themselves: nor yet does it belong to personal strength and vigour, and to the other advantages of the body, which are common to even the most worthless men, and which have often brought inevitable destruction on those who possessed them. (137) Since then it is only in the virtues of the soul that genuine and unadulterated joy is found, and since every wise man rejoices, he rejoices in himself, and not in his surrounding circumstances; for the things that are in himself are the virtues of the mind on which it is worthy for a man to provide himself; but the circumstances which surround him are either a good condition of body or an abundance of external wealth, which are not proper objects for a man to pride himself on.

XXXVIII. (138) Having shown, therefore, as far as we could by the most unmistakeable testimony of Moses that, to rejoice is the peculiar property of the wise man, we will now also show that to hope also belongs to him alone; and here again we shall have no need of any other witness than Moses; for he tells us that the name of the son of Seth was Enos: and Enos, being interpreted, means hope. "He hoped first," says Moses, "to call upon the name of the Lord his God." Speaking wisely: for to a man inspired with the principles of truth what can be more akin and appropriate than a hope and expectation of the acquisition of good things from the one bounteous God? This, if one must speak the plain truth, is, properly speaking, the only real birth of men, as those who do not hope in God have no share in rational nature. (139) On which account Moses, after he had previously mentioned with respect to Enos that "he hoped to call upon the name of the Lord his God," adds in express words, "This is the book of the generation of men;" speaking with perfect correctness: for it is written in the book of God that man is the only creature with a good hope. So that arguing by contraries, he who has no good hope is not a man. The definition, therefore, of our concrete being is that it is a living rational mortal being; but the definition of man, according to Moses, is a disposition of the soul hoping in the truly living God. (140) Let good men, then, by all means having received joy and hope for their blessed inheritance, either possess or expect good things: but let bad men, of whom Cain is a companion, living in fear and pain, reap a harvest of a most bitter portion, namely, either the presence or the expectation of evils, groaning over the miseries which are actually oppressing them, and trembling and shuddering at the expected fearful dangers.

XXXIX. (141) However, we have now said enough on this subject, and let us proceed to investigate what comes afterwards. He continues thus: "And Cain said unto the Lord, My crime is too great to be forgiven." Now what is meant by this will be shown by a consideration of simple passages. If a pilot were to desert his ship when tossed about by the sea, would it not follow of necessity that the ship would wander out of her course in the voyage? Shall I say more? If a charioteer in the contest of the horse-race were to quit his chariot, is it not inevitable that the course of the free horses would be disorderly and irregular? Again, when a city is left destitute of rulers or of laws, and laws, undoubtedly, are entitled to be classed on an equality with magistrates, must not that city be destroyed by those greatest of evils, anarchy and lawlessness? (142) And in the same manner, by the ordinances of nature, the body must perish if the soul be absent; and the soul, if reason be absent. Reason, too, must be destroyed by the absence of virtue. But if each of these things is such an injury to the things that are abandoned by them, then how great must we consider is the misfortune of those persons who are abandoned by God? Whom he has rejected as deserters from his band: and put out of the pale of his sacred laws, considering them unworthy of his superintendence and government. For we must absolutely be certain that a person who is deserted by his superior and benefactor is guilty of great crimes and liable to severe accusations. For when would you say that a man destitute of skill is most greatly injured? Would it not be when he is utterly abandoned by knowledge? (143) And when would you say that the ignorant and wholly uninstructed man is most injured? Must it not be when instruction and education complete their desertion of him? When again do we most deplore the condition of the foolish? Is it not when prudence has utterly rejected them? And when do we pronounce intemperate or unjust men, miserable? Is it not when temperance and justice have condemned them to an eternal banishment from their dominion? When do we pronounce the impious, wretched? Is it not when piety has cut them off from her peculiar rites? (144) So that it seems to me that those who are not utterly impure should pray to be chastised and rejected rather than deserted; for desertion will most easily ruin them, as vessels without ballast and without a pilot; but correction will set them right again. (145) Are not those boys who are beaten by their preceptors, for whatever errors they commit, better than those who have no schoolmaster? And are not those who are reproved by their teachers, for all the errors they commit in the arts which they are studying, better than those who receive no such reproof? And are not those young men who have been accounted especially worthy of that natural superintendence and government, which those who are parents exercise over their children, more fortunate and better than those who have had no such protectors? And if they have not such natural protectors, do they not receive guardians as governors in a secondary rank, who are accustomed to be appointed over them out of pity for their orphan state; to fill the place of parents to them in all things that are expedient?

XL. (146) Let us, therefore, address our supplications to God, we who are self-convicted by our consciousness of our own sins, to chastise us rather than to abandon us; for if he abandons us, he will no longer make us his servants, who is a merciful master, but slaves of a pitiless generation: but if he chastises us in a gentle and merciful manner, as a kind ruler, he will correct our offences, sending that correcting conviction, his own word, into our hearts, by means of which he will heal them; reproving us and making us ashamed of the wickednesses which we have committed. (147) On this account the law-giver says, "Every word which a widow or a woman who is divorced vows against her own soul shall remain against it." For if we call God the husband and father of the universe, supplying the origin and generation of all things, we shall be speaking rightly: as we shall if we call that heart widowed and divorced from God which either has not received divine seed, or, after having received it, has again voluntarily made it abortive. (148) Therefore every thing which it decides it shall decide against itself: and these things shall remain utterly incurable. For how can it be anything but a most intolerable evil, for a creature which is inconstant and easily moved in every direction, to lay down any positive decision and determination about itself, attributing to itself the virtues of the Creator? One of which is that, according to which, it defines in an unhesitating and unalterable manner. (149) Therefore, not only shall it be widowed of knowledge, but it shall likewise be divorced from it. And the meaning of this expression is as follows:—For the soul which is widowed of, but is not yet divorced from, what is good, is able, in a manner, after long perseverance, to come to a reconciliation and agreement with her lawful husband, rightreason. But the soul which has once been utterly separated from it, and which has been utterly separated from it, and which has been removed to a different abode, has been cast out for ever and ever, as utterly incapable of reconciliation or peace, and is entirely unable to return to its previous habitation.

XLI. (150) This, then, may be enough to say about the expression, "My crime is too great to be forgiven." Let us now consider what follows that verse— Cain says, "But if thou castest me out this day from off the face of the earth, and from thy face I shall be hidden." What sayest thou, my good man? If thou art utterly cast out from the whole earth, shall you still be hidden? In what manner? (151) For shall you be able to live? or are you ignorant of this, that nature has given animals different places to live in, and has not assigned the same place to them all? She has allotted the sea to the fishes, and to the whole race of aquatic animals, and the land to all the terrestrial animals. And man too, according, at least, to the composite nature of his body, is a terrestrial animal. And it is owing to this that all animals easily die when they have quitted the place which properly belongs to them, and have gone, as it were, into a foreign country; as, for instance, when terrestrial animals go under the water, or when aquatic animals have sailed out upon the land. (152) If, therefore you, being a man, should be cast out from the land, whither will you turn? Will you dive under water, imitating the nature of aquatic animals? But you will die the moment that you are underneath the water. Or will you take wings and raise yourself aloft, and so attempt to traverse the regions of the air, changing your character of a terrestrial, for that of a flying animal? But, if it is in your power, change and re-fashion the divine impress that you bear. You cannot do so. For in proportion as you raise yourself to a greater height, so much the more rapidly will you descend from that higher region and with the greater impetuosity to the earth, which is your appropriate place.

XLII. (153) Can a man, then, or any other created animal, hide himself from God? Where can he do so? Where can he hide himself from that being who pervades all places, whose look reaches to the very boundaries of the world, who fills the whole universe, of whom not even the smallest portion of existing things is deficient? And what is there extraordinary in the fact, that it is not practicable for any created being to conceal himself from the living God, when it is not even in his power to escape from all the material elements by which he is surrounded, but he must, if he abandon me, by that very act enter into another? (154) At all events, if the Creator, employing that act by which he created amphibious animals, had chosen also by the same act to create a new animal, one capable of living in any element, then, this animal, if it forsook the weighty elements of earth and water, would necessarily have gone to those which are naturally light, namely, air and fire. And, on the other hand, supposing that it had originally dwelt among those elements whose place is on high, if it had sought to effect a migration from them, it would have changed to the opposite region; for it was at all events necessary for it to appear steadily in one portion of the world, since it was not possible for it to run away out of every element: since, in order that nothing external might be omitted, the Creator scattered the whole of the four principles of everything over the universe, in order to create the existing condition of the world, in order to make a most perfect universe of perfect parts. (155) As therefore it is impossible for any one to escape from the whole of the creation of God, how can it be anything but still more impossible to escape from the Creator and Ruler himself? Let no one therefore too easily receiving these words in their obvious and literal acceptation without examination, affix his own simplicity and folly to the law; but let him rather consider what is here enigmatically intimated by figurative expressions, and so understand the truth.

XLIII. (156) Perhaps now that which is intimated by the expression, "If thou castest me out this day from off the face of the earth, from thy face I shall be hidden," may be this, if thou dost not bestow on me the good things of the earth, I will not receive those of Heaven; and if no use and enjoyment of pleasure is afforded me, I have no desire for virtue, and if thou dost not allow me to participate in human advantages, thou mayest retain the divine ones to thyself. (157) Now the things which among us are accounted necessary and valuable and genuine real goods are these; to eat, to drink, to be clothed in favourite colours and fashions; by means of the faculty of sight, to be delighted with pleasant sights; by means of one’s faculty of hearing to be delighted with melodies of all sorts of sounds; to be gratified through our nostrils with fragrant exhalations of odours; to indulge in all the pleasures of the belly and of the parts adjacent to the belly to satiety; not to be indifferent to the acquisition of silver and gold; to be invested with honours and post of authority, and all other things which may tend to man’s reputation; but as for prudence, or fortitude, or justice, austere dispositions which only make life laborious, those we pass by, and if we are forced to admit them into one calculation we must do so, not as perfect goods in themselves, but only as efficients of good. (158) Do you therefore, O ridiculous man, affirm that if you are deprived of a superfluity of bodily advantages and external good things, you will not come into the sight of God? But I tell you that even if you are so deprived of them, you will by all means come into his sight; for when you have been released from the unspeakable bonds of the body and around the body, you will attain to an imagination of the uncreated God.

XLIV. (159) Do you not see in the case of Abraham that, "when he had left his country, and his kindred, and his father’s house," that is to say, the body, the outward senses, and reason, he then began to become acquainted with the powers of the living God? for when he had secretly departed from all his house, the law says that, "God appeared unto him," showing that he is seen clearly by him who has put off mortal things, and who has taken refuge from this body in the incorporeal soul; (160) on which account Moses taking his tent "pitches it without the tabernacle," and settles to dwell at a distance from the bodily camp, for in that way alone could he hope to become a worthy suppliant and a perfect minister before God. And he says that this tent was called the tent of testimony, taking exceeding care that it may really be the tabernacle of the living God, and may not be called so only. For of virtues, the virtues of God are founded in truth, existing according to his essence: since God alone exists in essence, on account of which fact, he speaks of necessity about himself, saying, "I am that I am," as if those who were with him did not exist according to essence, but only appeared to exist in opinion. But the tent of Moses being symbolically considered, the virtue of man shall be thought worthy of appellation, not of real existence, being only an imitation, a copy made after the model of that divine tabernacle, and consistent with these facts is the circumstance that Moses when he is appointed to be the God of Pharaoh, was not so in reality, but was only conceived of as such in opinion, "for I know that it is God who gives and bestows favours, (161) but I am not able to perceive that he is given, and it is said in the sacred scriptures, "I give thee as a God to Pharaoh," and yet what is given is the patient, not the agent; but he that is truly living must be the agent, and beyond all question cannot be the patient. (162) What then is inferred from these facts? Why, that the wise man is called the God of the foolish man, but he is not God in reality, just as a base coin of the apparent value of four drachmas is not a four drachma piece. But when he is compared with the living God, then he will be found to be a man of God; but when he is compared with a foolish man, he is accounted a God to the imagination and in appearance, but he is not so in truth and essence.

XLV. (163) Why then do you talk nonsense, saying, "If thou castest me forth from off the earth, and from thee I shall be hidden." For one might say on the contrary, if I remove thee from the earth by part of thee, then I will manifestly show thee my own image. And a proof of this is, thou wilt depart from before the face of God, but when thou hast departed thou wilt not the less inhabit thy earthly body. For Moses says, afterwards, "And Cain went forth from before the face of God and dwelt in the earth," so that when thou art cast out from the earth, thou art not hidden from the living God; but when thou desertest him thou takest refuge on earth in a mortal country. (164) And indeed it will not be the case, that every one who findeth thee will hide thee, as thou sayest, speaking sophistically. For that which is found, is found in every case by two people, by one who resembles itself, or by one who is dissimilar. By one who resembles itself according to the kindred and relationship which exists in all things, and by him who is not like, according to the contrary unlikeness. The one, therefore, that is like, endeavours to preserve that which resembles itself, and that which is dissimilar endeavours to destroy that which differs from it. (165) And let them know that Cain, and all other wicked men will not be slain by any one who meets them, but that evil doers imitating their kindred and connected wickednesses, will become guardians and preservers of them; but all those who have cultivated prudence or any other virtue, will destroy them if they can, as irreconcileable enemies. For, in short, all bodies and all things are preserved by the things which are akin to and attached to them, but are destroyed by those that are alien and hostile to them. (166) On this account, also, the oracle which bears testimony against this pretended simplicity of Cain, says, "You do not think as you say." For you say, indeed, that whosoever finds out the devices of your act will slay you. But you know that it is not every one who will do so, as there are millions of men enrolled in your alliance; but he only who is a friend to virtue and an irreconcileable enemy to you. And God says, he "who slays Cain shall suffer sevenfold." But I do not know what analogy this real meaning of this expression bears to the literal interpretation of it, "He shall suffer sevenfold. For he has not said what is to be sevenfold, nor has he described the sort of penalty, nor by what means such penalty is excused or paid.

XLVI. (167) Therefore, one must suppose that all these things are said figuratively and allegorically; and perhaps what God means to set before us here is something of this sort. (168) The irrational part of the soul is divided into seven parts, the senses of seeing, of smelling, of hearing, of tasting, and of touch, the organs of speech, and the organs of generation. If, therefore, any one were to slay the eighth, that is to say, Cain, the ruler of them all, he would also paralyse all the seven. For they are all confirmed by the vigorous strength of the mind, and they all feel weak simultaneously with any weakness exhibited by the mind, and they all endure relaxation and complete dissolution in consequence of the destruction which complete wickedness brings upon them. (169) Now these seven senses are unpolluted and pure in the soul of the wise man, and here also they are found worthy of honour. But in that of the foolish man they are impure and polluted, and as I said before, punished, that is, they are worthy of punishment and chastisement. (170) At all events, when the Creator determined to purify the earth by means of water, and that the soul should receive purification of all its unspeakable offences, having washed off and effaced its pollutions after the fashion of a holy purification, he recommended him who was found to be a just man, who was not borne away the violence of the deluge, to enter into the ark, that is to say, into the vessel containing the soul, namely, the body, and to lead into it "seven of all clean beasts, male and female," thinking it proper that virtuous reason should employ all the pure parts of the irrational portion of man.

XLVII. (171) And this injunction which the lawgiver laid down, is of necessity applicable to all wise men; for they have their sense of sight purified, their sense of hearing thoroughly examined, and so on with all the rest of their outward senses. Accordingly, they have the faculty of speech free from all spot or stain, and their appetites which prompt them to indulge the passions in a state of due subjection to the law. (172) And every one of the seven outward senses is in one respect male, and in another, female. For when they are stationary, or when it is in motion, they are stationary while quiescent in sleep, and they are in motion while they are energising in their waking state; and the one in accordance with habit and tranquillity, as being subject to passion, is called the female; and the one which exists according to motion and energy, as one that is only conceived in action, is called the male. (173) Thus, in the wise man, the seven senses appear to be pure; and on the contrary in the wicked man, they appear to be all liable to punishment. For how great a multitude of things do we imagine to be each day wrongly represented by our eyes, which go over to colours and shapes, and to things which it is not lawful to see? And how so great a multitude of things suffer similar treatment from the ears which follow all kinds of sounds? How many too are misrepresented by the organs of smelling and of taste, and by flavours and vapours, and other things led on according to innumerable variations? (174) I say nothing of that multitude of persons whom the unrestrainable impetuosity of an unbridled tongue has destroyed, or the incurable violence which leads man on to carnal connections with intemperate appetite. Cities are full, and all the earth from one side to the other, is full of these evils, in consequence of which, continual and unceasing and terrible wars are set on foot among men, even in times of peace, both publicly and privately.

XLVIII. (175) On which account it appears to me that all men who are not utterly uneducated would choose to be mutilated and to be come blind, rather than to see what is not fitting to be seen, to become deaf rather than to hear pernicious discourses, and to have their tongues cut out if that were the only way to prevent their speaking things, which ought not to be spoken. (176) At all events, they say that some wise men, when they have been tortured on the wheel to make them betray secrets which are not worthy to be divulged, have bitten out their tongues, and so have inflicted on their torturers a more grievous torture than they themselves were suffering, as they could not learn from them what they desired; and it is better to be made an eunuch than to be hurried into wickedness by the fury of the illicit passions: for all these things, as they overwhelm the soul in pernicious calamities, are deservedly followed by extreme punishments. (177) Moses says in the next passage that the Lord God set a mark upon Cain in order to prevent any one who found him from slaying him; but what this mark is, he has not shown, although he is in the habit of explaining the nature of everything by a sign, as he does in the affairs of Egypt, where God changed his rod into a serpent, and withered the hand of Moses till it became like snow, and turned the river into blood. (178) Or may we not suppose that this mark was set upon Cain to prevent his being slain, as a token that he would never be destroyed? For he has never once mentioned his death in the whole of the law, showing enigmatically that, like that fabulous monster Scylla, so also folly is an undying evil, which never entirely perishes, and yet which as to its capability of dying receives all time, and is never wholly free from death. And I would that the opposite event might happen, that all evils might be utterly eradicated, and might endure total destruction; but as it is they are constantly budding forth, and inflict an incurable disease on all who are once infected by them.


I. (1) "And Cain went out from before the face of God, and dwelt in the land of Nod, opposite to Eden." Now we may raise the question whether we are to take the expressions which occur in the books that have been handed down to us by Moses and to interpret them in a somewhat metaphorical sense, while the ideas which readily present themselves as derived from the names are very deficient in truth. (2) For if the living God has a face, and if he who desires to leave it can with perfect ease rise up and depart to another place, why do we repudiate the impiety of the Epicureans, or the godlessness of the Egyptians, or the mythical suggestions of which life is full? (3) For the face is a portion of an animal; but God is a whole, not a part: so that it becomes necessary to invent for him other parts also, a neck, and a chest, and hands, and moreover a belly, feet, and generative organs, and all the rest of the countless number of internal and external faculties. (4) And the fact of God’s having passions like unto those of man follows of necessity from the fact of his having a form like that of man: since all those limbs are not superfluous and mere exuberances, but have been made by nature as assistants of the weakness of those who possess them, and she has adapted them in a manner suitable to and consistent with their natural necessities and offices. But the living God has need of nothing; so that as he does not at all require the assistance to be derived from the parts of the body, he cannot possibly have such parts at all.

II. (5) And from whence does Cain go forth? is it from the palace of the ruler of the world? But what house of God can exist perceptible by the outward senses except this world which it is impossible and impracticable to quit? For the great circle of the heaven binds round and contains within itself everything which has ever been created; and of those things which have already perished, the component parts are resolved into their original elements, and are again portioned off among those powers of the universe of which they consist, the loan which, as it were, was advanced to each, being restored back at unequal periods of time, in accordance with laws previously laid down, to the nature which originally made it, whenever that nature chooses to call in its debts. (6) Again, if any person goes out from any place, that which he leaves behind him is in a different place from that in which he now is, but if this be true it must follow that there are some portions of the universe deprived of the presence of God, who never leaves any place empty or destitute of himself, but who fills up all things for all time; (7) and if God has not a face (inasmuch as he is not bound by what may seem appropriate for created things), and if he does not exist in parts inasmuch as he surrounds all things and is not surrounded by any, it is impossible for anything to remove and depart from this world as from a city, as there is no portion of it left without. It now remains for us, considering that none of these things are spoken of in terms of strict propriety, to turn to the allegorical system, which is dear to men versed in natural philosophy, taking the first principles of our argument from this source. (8) If it is hard to depart from before the face and out of the sight of a mortal king, how can it be anything but extremely difficult to depart and quit the appearance of God, and to determine no longer to come into his sight. This indeed is to be left without any idea of him, and to be mutilated as to the eyes of the soul, (9) and all those who of necessity have endured this fate, being weighed down by the might of irresistible and implacable power, are objects rather for pity than for hatred; but all those who voluntarily and of deliberated purposes have rejected the living God, exceeding even the bounds of wickedness itself, for what other evil of equal weight can possibly be found? Such men should suffer not the usual punishments of evil doers, but something new and extraordinary. And surely no one could invent a more novel or more terrible penalty than a departure and flight from the presence of the Ruler of the universe.

III. (10) Accordingly God banished Adam; but Cain went forth from his presence of his own accord; Moses here showing to us the manner of each sort of absence from God, both the voluntary and the involuntary sort; but the involuntary sort as not existing in consequence of any intention on our part, will subsequently have such a remedy applied to it as the case admits of; for God will raise up another offspring in the place of Abel, whom Cain slew, a male offspring for the soul which has not turned by its own intention, by name Seth, which name being interpreted means irrigation; (11) but the voluntary flight from God, as one that has taken place by deliberate purpose and intention, will await on irremediable punishment in all eternity, for as good deeds that are done in consequence of forethought and design, are better than unintentional ones, so also among offences those that are undesigned are of less heinousness than those that are premeditated.

IV. (12) Therefore punishment which is the chastiser of impious men, will await Cain who has now departed from before the face of God, but Moses will suggest to those who know God, a most excellent suggestion, to love God and to obey him, and cleave to him, for he tells men that this is the life which in truth is tranquil and lasting, and he very emphatically invites us to the honour of the one being who is above all others to be beloved and honoured, bidding us cleave to him, recommending to us a continual and constant and inseparable harmony and union of friendship with him. (13) These suggestions and such as these are what he gives to the rest of the world, but he himself so insatiably desires to behold him, and to be beheld by him, that he supplicates him to display to his eye his nature of which it is impossible to form a conjecture, so that he may become acquainted with it, that thus he might receive a most well-grounded certainty of knowledge that could not be mistaken, in exchange for uncertain doubts; and he will never cease from urging his desire, but even, though he is aware that he desires a matter which is difficult of attainment, or rather which is wholly unattainable, he still strives on, in no way remitting his intense anxiety, but without admitting any excuse, or any hesitation, or vacillation; using all the means in his power to gain his object.

V. (14) At all events, he will now penetrate into "the darkness where God was." That is to say, into those unapproachable and invisible conceptions which are formed of the living Do. For the great Cause of all things does not exist in time, nor at all in place, but he is superior to both time and place; for, having made all created things in subjection to himself, he is surrounded by nothing, but he is superior to everything. And being superior to, and being also external to the world that he has made, he nevertheless fills the whole world with himself; for, having by his own power extended it to its utmost limits, he has connected every portion with another portion according to the principles of harmony. (15) When, therefore, the soul that loves God seeks to know what the one living God is according to his essence, it is entertaining upon an obscure and dark subject of investigation, from which the greatest benefit that arises to it is to comprehend that God, as to his essence, is utterly incomprehensible to any being, and also to be aware that he is invisible. (16) And it appears to me that the great hierophant had attained to the comprehension of the most important point in this investigation before he commenced it, when he entreated God to become the exhibitor and expounder of his own nature to him, for he says, "Show me thyself;" showing very plainly by this expression that no created being is competent by himself to learn the nature of God in his essence.

VI. (17) On this account too, Abraham, when he had come unto the place which God had told him of, "On the third day, looking up, saw the place afar off." What kind of place? Was it the place to which he came? And how was it still afar off, if he had already come to it? (18) But perhaps the meaning which is intended under this expression may be something like this:—The wise man, being always desirous to comprehend the nature of the Ruler of the universe, when he is proceeding along the road which leads by knowledge and wisdom, previously meets with words of God, among which he rests for a while; and though he had previously determined to proceed by some other road, he now stops and hesitates; for the eyes of his mind being opened, he sees more clearly that he had entered upon a chase after a thing which was difficult to overtake, which constantly retreated before him, and was always at a distance, and which outstripped its pursuers by placing an immeasurable distance between them. (19) You think, therefore, rightly that all the speediest things which are under heaven would appear to be standing still if compared with the rapidity of the sun, and moon, and other stars. And yet the whole heaven was made by God; and the maker always goes before that which is made. So that, of necessity, not only the other things which exist among us, but also that which has the most rapid motion of all, namely, the mind, may fall short of a proper comprehension of the great cause of all things by an undescribable distance. But the stars, as they are themselves in motion, pass by all things that move; but, though it seems incredible, God, while standing still, outstrips everything. (20) And it is said that he, at the same moment, is close to us and at a great distance, touching us with his creative or his punishing powers, which are close to each individual, and yet at the same time driving away the creature to an excessive distance from his nature as existing according to its essence, so that it cannot touch him without even the unalloyed and incorporeal efforts of the intellect. (21) Therefore we sympathise in joy with those who love God and seek to understand the nature of the living do, even if they fail to discover it; for the vague investigation of what is good is sufficient by itself to cheer the heart, even if it fail to attain the end that it desires. But we participate in indignation against that lover of himself, Cain; because he has left his soul without any conception whatever of the living God, having of deliberate purpose mutilated himself of that faculty by which alone he might have been able to see him.

VII. (22) It is worth while also to consider the wickedness into which a man who flies from the face of God is driven, since it is called a tempest. The law-giver showing, by this expression, that he who gives way to inconsiderate impulses without any stability or firmness exposes himself to surf and violent tossing, like those of the sea, when it is agitated in the winter season by contrary winds, and has never even a single glimpse of calm or tranquillity. But as when a ship having been tossed in the sea is agitated, it is then no longer fit to take a voyage or to anchor in harbour, but being tossed about hither and thither it leans first to one side and then to the other, and struggles in vain against the waves; so the wicked man, yielding to a perverse and insane disposition, and being unable to regulate his voyage through life without disaster, is constantly tossed about in perpetual expectation of an overturning of his life. (23) But the connection of the consequence affects me in no moderate degree; for it happens that that which comes near to him who is standing still longs for tranquillity, as being something which resembles itself. Now that which stands still without any deviation is God, and that which is moved is the creature, so that he who comes near to God desires stability; but he who departs from him, as by so doing he is approaching a creature easily overturned, is borne towards that which resembles it.

VIII. (24) On this account it is written in the curses contained in scripture, "Thou shalt never rest; nor shall there be any rest for the sole of thy foot." And, a little afterwards, we read that, "Thy life shall hang in doubt before them." For it is the nature of the foolish man, who is always being tossed about in a manner contrary to right reason, to be hostile to tranquillity and rest, and not to stand firmly or with a sure foundation on any doctrine whatever. (25) Accordingly he is full of different opinions at different times, and sometimes, even in the same circumstances, without any new occurrence having arisen to affect them, he will be perfectly contrary to himself,—now great, now little, now hostile, now friendly; and, in short, he will, so to say, be everything that is most inconsistent in a moment of time. And, as the law-giver says, "All his life shall hang in doubt before him;" having no firm footing, but being constantly tossed about by opposing circumstances, which drag it different ways. (26) On which account Moses says, in another place, "Cursed of God is he that hangeth on a tree;" because what he ought to hang upon is God. But such a man has, of his own accord, bound himself to the body, which is a wooden burden upon us, exchanging hope for desire and a perfect hope for the greatest of evils; for hope, being the expectation of good things, causes the mind to depend upon the bounteous God; but appetite, creating only unreasonable desires, depends on the body, which nature has made to be a sort of receptacle and abode for the soul.

IX. (27) Let these men, then, hang by their appetites as by a halter; but the wise Abraham, where he stands, comes near to God, who is also standing. For Moses says that "Abraham was standing near to God; and coming nigh unto him, he said," ... For in good truth the unalterable soul is the only thing that has access to the unalterable God; and being of such a disposition, it does really stand very near to the Divine power. (28) Therefore the oracle which was given to the allwise Moses most manifestly shows the lasting good condition and stability of the virtuous man. Now, the oracle is as follows: "And do thou thyself stand with me." By which expression, two things are made clear. One, that it is the living God, who moves and turns about all other beings, being himself unchangeable and immoveable. The second is, that he makes the virtuous man a participator in his own tranquil nature. For, as I suppose, the crooked things are made straight by his straight rule; so, likewise, are the things that are in motion restrained and made stationary by the power of him who always stands still and firm. (29) In this passage, therefore, he commands another being to stand with him: but in another place he says, "I will go down with thee to Egypt, and I will conduct thee to the end." He does not say, Thou shalt go down with me. Why not? Because calmness and stability are the especial attributes of God; but a liability to change one’s place, and every kind of motion which has a tendency to change the place, is incident to a created being. When, therefore, he invites the man to his own peculiar good, he says, "Stand thou with me:" not "I will stand with thee." For "will stand," cannot be said of God, who always stands still. (30) But when he comes to that which is the peculiar attribute of the creature, he says, with the most perfect correctness, "I will go down with you;" for change of place is adapted to you: so that no one shall go down with me, for in me there is no changing; but whatever is consistent with me, that is to say, with rest, shall stand. And with those who go down in such a manner as to change their place (for change of place is akin to and closely connected with them), I will go down also, not indeed changing my situation as to its actual place, inasmuch as I fill every place with myself. (31) And this, too, I do through the pity which exists in rational nature, in order that it may be raised from the hell of the passions to the heavenly region of virtue; I being the guide, who also have made the road which leads to heaven, so that it may be a plain road for suppliant souls, and have shown it to them all, in order that they may not foolishly wander out of the way.

X. (32) Having, therefore, now pointed out each variety, the tranquillity of the good man, and the state of agitation in which the bad man lives, let us now consider what follows the statement which we have hitherto been examining. For Moses says that Nod, which name, being interpreted, means the tumult into which the soul has migrated, is opposite to Eden. Now Eden is a symbolical expression for correct and divine reason, on which account its interpretation is luxury; because divine reason is, above all other things, delighted with and exults among unmingled and pure, and also well filled up and complete pleasure, God, the giver of all good things, raising his virgin and undying graces upon it. But by its own intrinsic nature, the bad is always striving with the good, the unjust with the just, the wise with the foolish, and all the different species of virtue with all the different species of vice. Something like this is the meaning of the statement that Nod is opposite to Eden.

XI. (33) After he had said this he proceeds to say, "And Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bare Enoch; and he built a city, and called the name of the city after the name of his son Enoch." Is it not here reasonable to raise the question, why Cain knew his wife? for there had been no birth of any one other woman since that of Eve who was formed out of the side of the man, until the woman who is here mentioned; (34) and if any one says that Cain took his sister to wife, putting the impiety of such a connection out of the question, he will speak falsely; for Moses represents the daughters of Adam as born late. What then are we to say? As I imagine, Moses here calls his wife opinion of impious reason which it forms about things, as crowds of those who have studied philosophy do: some of them introducing the same opinions into human life, and others introducing such as are wholly at variance with one another. (35) What then is the position of the impious man? Why, that the human mind is the measure of all things; which also they say that one of the ancient philosophers, Protagoras, used to employ, being a descendant of the folly of Cain. And from thence I conjecture that his wife, being known to him, brought forth Enoch; and the name Enoch being interpreted means, thy grace. (36) For if man is the measure of all things, then, also, all things are a grace and a free gift of the mind; so that we refer to the eye the grace of sight, to the ears that of hearing, and to each of the other external senses their appropriate object, and also to the speech and utterance do we attribute the power of speaking. And if we judge in this manner of these things, so also do we with respect to intelligence, in which ten thousand things are comprised, such as thoughts, perceptions, designs, meditations, conceptions, sciences, arts, dispositions, and a number of other faculties almost incalculable. (37) What is it then that the gravest philosophers, who have talked in the most grandiloquent manner about divine law and the honour due to God, have determined both to say and to allow to be said, If ye have in ye a mind which is equal to God, which regulating by its own power all the good and bad things which exist among men, occasionally mingles both in certain persons, and sometimes distributes both good and bad to some in an unalloyed state; (38) and if any one accuses you of impiety, make your defence with a good courage, saying that you have been brought up very admirably by your guide and teacher, Cain, who recommended you to honour the powers that are nearest in preference to that cause which was afar off, to whom you ought to attend for many other reasons, and most especially because he showed the power of his doctrine by very evident works, having conquered Abel the expounder of the opposite doctrine, and having removed and destroyed his doctrine as well as himself. (39) But in my opinion and in that of my friends, death in the company of the pious would be preferable to life with the impious; for those who die in the company of the pious everlasting life will receive, but everlasting death will be the portion of those who live in the other way.

XII. (40) But as after Cain had begotten Enoch, one of the posterity of Seth is also subsequently called Enoch, it may be well to consider, whether the two namesakes were men of different or of similar dispositions and characters. And at the same time that we examine this question let us also investigate the differences between other persons bearing the same name. For as Enoch was, so also Methusaleh and Lamech were both descendants of Cain, and they were no less the descendants of Seth also. (41) We must therefore be aware that each of the aforesaid names, being interpreted, has a double signification; for Enoch, being interpreted, means, as I have already said, "thy grace," and Methusaleh means, the sending forth of death. Lamech, again means, humiliation. Now the expression, "Thy grace," is by some persons referred to the mind that is in us; and by more learned and sounder interpreters it is referred to the mind of other persons. (42) They therefore who say that all thinking, and feeling, and speaking, are the free gifts of their own soul, utter an impious and ungodly opinion, and deserve to be classed among the race of Cain, who, though he was not able to master himself, yet dared to assert that he had absolute possession of all other things; but as for those persons who do not claim all the things in creation as their own, but who ascribe them to the divine grace, being men really noble and sprung out of those who were rich long ago, but of those who love virtue and piety, they may be classed under Seth as the author of their race. (43) The race of these men is difficult to trace, since they show a life of plotting, and cunning, and wickedness, and dissoluteness, full of passion and wickednesses, as such a life must be. For all those whom God, since they pleased him well, has caused to quit their original abode, and has transformed from the race of perishable beings to that of immortals, are no longer found among the common multitude.

XIII. (44) Having, therefore, thus distinguished the indications intended to be afforded by the name of Enoch, let us now proceed in regular order to the name of Methuselah; and this name is interpreted, a sending forth of death. Now there are two meanings contained in this word; one, that according to which death is sent to any one, and the other, that according to which it is sent away from any one. He, therefore, to whom it is sent, immediately dies, but he, from whom it is sent, lives and survives. (45) Accordingly, he who receives death is akin to Cain, who is dying as to the life in accordance with virtue; but he from whom death is sent away and kept at a distance, is most nearly related to Seth, for the good man enjoys real life. (46) And again, the name Lamech, which means humiliation, is a name of ambiguous meaning; for we are humiliated either when the vigour of our soul is relaxed, according to the diseases and infirmities which arise from the irrational passions, or in respect of our love for virtue, when we seek to restrain ourselves from swelling selfopinions. (47) Now the former kind of humiliation arises out of weakness, being a species of that multiform disease of many changes, leprosy. "For when his appearance seems more humble," being broken as to its level and fresh face, than the lawgiver says that that humble disease leprosy exists. (48) But the second kind of humiliation arises from the strength of perseverance, which is followed by propitiation, according to the perfect number of the decade; for the people are enjoined to humble their souls on the tenth day of the month, and this means to put away all high boasting, the putting away of which works the rejection of all offences, both voluntary and involuntary. Accordingly, the Lamech who is humbled in this sense, is the descendant of Seth, and the father of the just Noah; but he who is humbled in the former manner is the descendant of Cain.

XIV. (49) And it may become us next to consider on what account this same man is represented as founding and building a city, for it is only a multitude of men who have need of a city to dwell in; but the three who were the only human beings in existence at that time might have thought the foot of a mountain, or a small cave, a most sufficient abode. And I said, indeed, the three; but in all probability I might have spoken of him by himself; for the parents of Abel, who had been so treacherously slain, would never have endured to inhabit the same city with his murderer—a man who had committed fratricide, which is a greater pollution than even homicide. (50) For it is plain that it is not only extraordinary, but utterly contrary to all reason, that one man should build a city. In what manner could he do it? He could not build even the most trifling portion of a house, unless he employed other men as his assistants. Would the same man be able at the same time to cut stones, to cut wood, to work in iron and in brass, and to throw the vast circumference of walls round the city? to build up propylaea, and inter-walls, and temples, and sacred precincts, and porticoes, and docks, and houses, and all the other public and private buildings which one is accustomed to find in a city? And moreover, besides all these things, would he be able to carry burdens, to move away masses of earth, to widen narrow passages, to make fountains and water-courses, and all the other things with which a city ought to be provided? (51) Perhaps, therefore, since all these ideas are inconsistent with truth, it would be better to look upon the statement as an allegory, and to say that Cain determined to build up his own doctrine like a city.

XV. (52) Since, therefore, every city consists of houses and inhabitants, and laws, the houses, in Cain’s case, are the reasons which he alleges to prove his point; by which, as from a wall, he fights against the persuasive attacks of his enemies; inventing fabulous devices against the truth. The inhabitants are the companions of impiety, ungodliness, self-love, haughtiness, falsehood, vain opinions; the men wise in their own conceit, the men who know not wisdom as relating to truth, the men who are full of ignorance, and stupidity, and folly; and all the other similar and kindred evils. The laws are, lawlessness, injustice, inequality, intemperance, boldness, folly, insolence, immoderate indulgence in pleasure, and innumerable appetites in despite of nature. (53) Now of such a city as this, every impious man is found to be a builder in his own miserable soul, until God deliberately causes complete and great confusion to their sophistical arts. And this will be, when not only "they build a city and tower, the head of which will reach to heaven," that is to say, [...] the mind or the reason of each individual as conversant about making great works, which they represent as having for its head a conception peculiar to itself, which is called in symbolical language heaven. For it is plain that the head and object of every reasoning must be the aforesaid mind; for the sake of which, long digressions and sentences are in the habit of being used by men who write histories.

XVI. (54) And to such a pitch of accursed impiety have they gone, that not only do they attempt to raise up such cities by themselves, but they even compel the virtue-loving multitude of Israel to join them, appointing superintendents and teachers of evil actions to govern them. For it is said that, when they were ill-treated by the superintendents, they built three cities for the prince of the country, Peithom, Rameses, and On, which is Heliopolis. (55) And these cities, if taken symbolically, mean mind, the outward sense, and the faculty of speech, which are the three principal things in us; for Peithom means speech, because persuasion (to peithein) arises from speech; and the interpretation of Peithom is, a mouth-uttering, since the reasoning of the wicked man comes from without, and occupies itself with endeavouring to overturn all that is good: and Rameses is the inward sense; (56) for the mind is eaten out and destroyed by each separate one of the outward senses as by a moth, being shaken to pieces and lacerated; for the imaginations which enter it, not according to pleasure, make life itself mutilated and laborious. (57) But On is said to be a hill, and it means, symbolically, the mind; for all reasonings are stored up in the mind: and the lawgiver himself is a witness of this, calling On, Heliopolis, the city of the sun. For as the sun, when he rises, shows visibly the things which have been hidden by night, so also the mind, sending forth its own proper light, causes all bodies and all things to be seen visibly at a distance. (58) On which account, a man would not be wrong who called our minds the sun of our composition; as the mind, if it does not rise and shed its own light in man, who may be looked upon as a small world, leaves a great darkness diffused over all existing things, and suffers nothing to be brought to light.

XVII. (59) This hill Jacob, the wrestler with God, in his agreements with Laban, calls a witness, showing in a most express manner, and in the form of a precept, that the mind is a witness to each individual of the determinations which he comes to in secret; and conscience, which is the most incorruptible and truth-telling witness of all, was built before these cities; (60) for Moses says that the spies came to Chebron, and these three are Acheman, and Jesein, and Thalamein, of the sons of Enoch: and this he adds, "and Chebron was built seven years before Janis, in Egypt," and these synonymous appellations are distinguished according to their species in a most natural manner. Chebron, being interpreted, means compunction, and this is of two kinds; one with reference to the soul being joined to the body, the other with reference to its being adapted to virtue. (61) Now the soul that subjects itself to bodily compunctions has the beforementioned inhabitants. Acheman, being interpreted, means, my brother, and Jesein means "outside of me," and Thalmein means, some one in suspense; for it follows of necessity, that the body must be thought akin to the souls that love the body, and that external good things must be exceedingly admired by them, and all the souls which have this kind of disposition depend on dead things, and, like persons who are crucified, are attached to corruptible matter till the day of their death. (62) But the soul that is united to virtue has for its inhabitants those persons who are preeminent for virtue, persons whom the double cavern has received in pairs, Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebeckah, Leah and Jacob, virtues and those who possess them; Chebron itself keeping the treasure-house of the memorials of knowledge and wisdom, which is more ancient than Janis and the whole land of Egypt, for nature has made the soul more ancient than the body, that is than Egypt, and virtue more ancient than vice, that is than Janis (and the name Janis, being interpreted, means the command of answer), estimating seniority rather by dignity than by length of time.

XVIII. (63) On which principle also it is that he also calls Israel, who was the younger brother in point of time, "the first born son," judging of him by his merit, signifying thereby that, since to see God is the most clear proof of primogeniture, he is in consequence pardoned as the eldest offspring of the uncreate incomprehensible God, conceived by that virtue which is hated among men, and to whom the law enjoins that "the honours due to seniority shall be paid, as being the eldest." (64) On this account also the number seven is produced in its order, subsequently to the number six, but in power it is superior to every other number, and differs not from the unit, and Moses also shows us this in the conclusion of his account of the creation, where he says, "And God ceased on the seventh day from all the works that he had made; and God blessed the seventh day, and hallowed it," because on it he ceased from all his works which God had begun to make, (65) and after that he concludes his account in these words, "This is the book of the generation of heaven and of earth when they were made, on the day in which God made the heaven and the earth; and these things were done in the first day, so that the seventh day is referred to the unit which is the first day and the beginning of the whole. I have dwelt at length on this topic, with the object of showing more plainly the opinion which Cain thought it right to build up like a city.

XIX. (66) Now the son of Enoch is called Gaidad, which, being interpreted, means a flock of sheep, very consistently with what has gone before; for he who attributes everything to the mind, which is not able to comprehend even its own nature, so as to pronounce what kind of thing it is, would be very likely to beget a number of irrational powers collected into one flock; for such is not the opinion of men who are able to reason. (67) But every flock which has not a shepherd to govern it does of necessity meet with great disasters, inasmuch as it is not able, of its own power, to repel what is injurious to it, and to choose what will be advantageous; in respect of which Moses says in his prayer, "Let the Lord, the God of spirits and of all flesh, look out a man who shall be over this assembly, who shall go out before their faces, and who shall come in, and who shall bring them out, and who shall bring them in, and so the synagogue of the Lord shall not be like unto sheep which have no shepherd." (68) For when the president, or superintendent, or father, or whatever we like to call him, of our composite body, right reason, is departed, having left the flock that is in us, it being neglected and suffered to go its own way, perishes and the loss to its master is great. But the irrational and wandering flock, being deprived of its shepherd, who ought to admonish and instruct it, strays away to a great distance from rational and immortal life.

XX. (69) On which account the son of Gaided is called Mehel, the name which, being interpreted, means, "from the life of God." For since the flock is devoid of reason, and God is the fountain of reason, it follows of necessity, that a man who lives in an irrational manner is separated from the life of God; for to live according to God is defined by Moses to consist in loving him; for Moses says to the children of Israel, "Your life is to love the living God." (70) And he gives as an example of the opposite lot the goat, on which the lot falls to be the scape-goat, for he says, "He shall place it living before the Lord, that he may offer prayers over it, and send it out into the wilderness," giving these directions with great exactness. (71) For as no one in his senses would greatly extol old men for abstaining from pleasure, because old age, which is a long and incurable disease, has relaxed and enfeebled the nerves of their appetites; but one would praise young men, because, while their appetites are influenced by the vigour of youth, nevertheless they, being well supplied with instruments to check them, namely, with reasons derived from good instruction, have allayed the great conflagration and boiling over of the passions: so, in the case of these men, whom no disease is accustomed to detach from any evil way of life, less praise is due to them, because they are fortunate without any express intention of their own, according to the good fortune of their nature: but those whom such a disease does rise up against and attack, receive greater praise; if they, making a fair stand, are willing and prove able to destroy it; (72) for to be able, by a vigorous exertion, to destroy the baits of attractive pleasure, properly receives that praise which belongs to good actions, done with a deliberate purpose. Since, therefore, [...] but diseases and infirmities which have been sent against us flourish; let us endeavour to overturn and destroy them. For to offer prayers over them has nearly such an effect as this: it is confessing that, though we have them in our soul living and flourishing, we nevertheless do not yield, but make a stand against them all, and resist them vigorously, until we have entirely sent away the scape-goat and made atonement.

XXI. (73) What, then, follows a man who lives not in accordance with the will of God but the death of the soul? And this is named Methuselah, the interpretation of which name is, "the sending out of death," on which account he is the son of Mehel, who has quilted his own life, to which death is sent, that is to say the death of the soul, which is nothing else than a conversion of it by irrational passion. (74) This passion, therefore, when it has conceived, brings forth incurable diseases and infirmities with great pains, by which it is thrown down and convulsed, and humbled and tortured. For each of the diseases oppresses it, bringing upon it an unspeakable burden, such that no one is able even to raise his head beneath it. And this is named Lamech; the interpretation of which name is, "humiliation;" so that Lamech is properly represented as the son of Methuselah, being the passion of the death of the soul, humble, yielding, an infirmity which is the offspring of irrational desire.

XXII. (75) "And Lamech took to himself two wives; the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other was Zillah." Everything which a wicked man taketh himself is altogether blameable, as being polluted by his impure mind; and so, on the contrary, all deliberate actions of virtuous men are praise-worthy; on which account now, Lamech, who is taking wives unto himself, is choosing the greatest possible evils. Again, when Abraham, Jacob, and Aaron take to themselves wives, they choose appropriate good things to dwell with. (76) Now Moses speaks thus in the case of Abraham: "And Abraham and Nachor took unto themselves wives; the name of Abraham’s wife was Sarai." And in the case of Jacob he says, "Rise up and go into Mesopotamia, to the house of Bethuel, thy mother’s father, and take unto thyself a wife from thence of the daughters of Laban thy mother’s brother." In the case of Aaron he says, and Aaron took Elizabeth, the daughter of Aminadab, the sister of Naassom, unto him to be his wife." (77) Isaac too and Moses take unto themselves wives, but they do not take them of their own act entirely; but Isaac, "When he went into the house of his mother," is said to have taken a wife; and to Moses, "The man with whom he lodged gave his daughter Zipporah to be his wife."

XXIII. (78) Now it is not without a purpose that the differences between these persons are recorded by the lawgiver. For in the case of those who practise virtue and improve, and become better, their deliberate choice of the good bears testimony that their labour shall not be dismissed without its reward; but in the case of those who are endued with self-taught and naturally implanted wisdom, it follows that reason is betrothed to them not by their own act, but by God, and that they take unto themselves knowledge, the fitting companion through life of the wise. (79) But he who is wholly devoted to the things of ordinary men, the lowly and grovelling-minded Lamech, first of all takes for his wife Adah, which name being interpreted, means "witness," having been his own manager of this marriage. For he thinks that Leah, which means the motion and passage out of the mind according to easy perceptions, without anything interfering to hinder its easy comprehension of all things, is the first good for man. (80) "For what," says he, "could be better than that one’s thoughts, one’s contemplations, one’s conjectures, one’s suspicions, in a word, all one’s ideas, should, as I may say, proceed on well-set feet, so as to arrive at their desired goal without stumbling, the mind being borne witness to in everything that is uttered." But I, if any man employs a felicitous and well directed mind to good objects only, account that man happy taking the law for my teacher in this view. For the law called Joseph "a prosperous man," not in all things, but "in those matters in which God gave him prosperity." And all the gifts of God are good. (81) But if any one uses the acuteness and readiness of his nature, not solely for virtuous objects, but also for opposite purposes, being himself indifferent in a matter which is not indifferent, he should be accounted unhappy. At all events, it is said, in the manner of a curse, in the place where mention is made of the confusion of tongues, "And now nothing will be restrained from them of all the things which they have imagined to do." For in truth it is an irremediable calamity for the soul to be prosperous in whatever it undertakes, when its undertakings are disgraceful. (82) But I should pray, if ever I had a design to commit injustice, that I might fail in my iniquity; and if I had a wish to live in a manner unbecoming a man, that I might fail in my intemperance; and if I wished to conduct myself with boldness and unscrupulous wickedness, that my failure in such boldness and unscrupulous wickedness might be complete: unless in the case of those who have determined to steal, or to commit adultery, or to murder, it is not an advantage to find their purposes in all these matters fail and become abortive.

XXIV. (83) Do thou, therefore, O my mind, avoid Adah, who bears witness to evil things, and who is borne witness to on each of its attempts at such things. And if you think fit to take her as a partner, she will bring forth to you the greatest possible evil, namely, Jubal, the interpretation of which name is "changing;" for if you are delighted with any chance testimony, you will become desirous to upset and overturn every thing, changing the limits which have been affixed by nature to every thing. (84) And Moses is very indignant with such people as these, and curses them, saying, "Cursed is he that removeth his neighbour’s landmark." And what he means by one’s neighbours, and that which is near to a man, is the good. "For it is not good," says he, "to depart to the heave, nor to go beyond the sea," in the search after what is good; for that stand near to, and close by, each individual. (85) And he divides the good by a threefold division, speaking most strictly in accordance with natural philosophy. "For it is," says he, "in thy mouth, and in thy heart, and in they hands;" that is to say, in thy words, and in thy intentions, and in thy actions; for these are the component parts of the good, of which it is naturally compounded. So that the want of one portion does not only make the whole incomplete, but does entirely destroy it; (86) for of what use is it to say what is excellent, but to think and to do what is most shameful? This is the way of the sophists. For those who make long speeches about prudence and perseverance, annoy the ears even of those who are very fond of hearing good conversation; and yet, in their designs and in the actions of their lives they are found to err. (87) And what is the use of entertaining such sentiments as are proper, but acting and speaking most improperly, and injuring by your actions all who are exposed to the effect of them? Again, it is blameworthy even to do what is right, without any intention or reason; (88) for what is done without these is a portion of involuntary conduct, and is on no account, and under no circumstances to be praised; but if it were to happen that, as in the case of a lyre, so all the sounds of the good could be adapted to any man, and that we could make the conversation agree with the intention, and the intention with the action; then such a man would be considered perfect and really well constituted. So that he who removes the landmarks of the good is justly accursed, and is justly spoken of as such.

XXV. (89) But it is not our creation that has established these boundaries, but reasons, which are older than we, or than any thing upon the earth; and which, moreover, are divine. In accordance with which the law also has declared the same thing, charging every one of us not to adulterate the coinage of virtue, in these words, "Thou shalt not remove thy neighbour’s landmark which thy fathers established." And in another passage he says, "Ask thy father, and he will tell thee; ask thy elders, and they will make it known to thee, how the Most High, when he divided the nations, dispersed the sons of Adam, and fixed the boundaries of the nations according to the number of the angels of God. And the portion of the Lord was his people Jacob, the limitation of the inheritance of Israel." (90) Shall I then inquire of the father who begat me and brought me up, or of those who are his contemporaries, but older than I am? or has God divided the nations, or sown them, or settled them in the land? and will they answer me accurately how this was done, as if they had been present at every division? Surely not. For they will say, We also in our youth were fond of inquiring of our parents and of those who were older than we, and learnt nothing certain; for they had nothing to tell us, and they again professed themselves pupils of those who knew, since they themselves were ignorant.

XXVI. (91) Perhaps, therefore, it is the right reason of our souls that he calls their father, and its companions and friends that he calls elders. These are they who first established the boundaries of virtue, to whom it is worth while to become pupils for the sake of learning and instruction in necessary things. And what is necessary is as follows. When God was dividing and drawing a wall between the nations of the soul, separating those who spoke different languages; and when establishing the sons of the earth in their abodes, he dispersed them and removed to a distance from himself those whom he called the sons of Adam; then he fixed the boundaries of the offspring of virtue, making them equal in number to the angels; for as many angels of God as there are, so many nations and species of virtue are there. (92) What, then, are the portions of his angels, and what is that share which is the inheritance of the ruler and governor of all? The portion of those ministers are the specific virtues; but the portion of the ruler of all its his chosen people Israel. For he who sees God, being led on by his most surpassing beauty, has his inheritance and portion assigned to him in that which he sees. (93) How, then, can we do any thing but blame Jubal, whose name being interpreted into the Greek language, means one who (metalloiōn ē metapoiōn) changes or alters the natures of things? For those most divine beauties of prudence, and fortitude, and justice, and other virtues, he did change for the opposite impressions of folly, and intemperance, and injustice, and all wickedness, effacing all the impressions which had previously been stamped upon the natures of things.

XXVII. (94) For it is always the case that if a second impression is stamped upon any thing, the mark of any previous one is effaced. But the impression which is thus made is so far from permitting evil things to be taken in exchange for what is good, that it does not allow even what is beautiful to be taken in exchange for what is laborious; but looking upon what is laborious (ponēron) as evil, since it would be downright folly not to discard what is bad for the sake of the acquisition of what is better, but only taking (ponēros) to be equivalent to epiponos or kamatēros, in which sense, indeed, the Attic writers use the word when they mark the first syllable with an acute, thus, ponēros. (95) Now the precept is of this kind, "Of every thing which passeth under the rod, the tenth is sacred to the Lord; thou shalt not exchange good for bad, and if thou dost exchange, both the thing itself and that for which it is exchanged shall be sacred," and yet how can that which is evil possibly be sacred? The truth is that, as I said, he means here what is laborious, not what is bad; so that what is really intended is something of this kind:—The honourable is a perfect good, but labour is an imperfect advantage. If therefore you acquire what is perfect, you need no longer seek what is deficient; but if with an excessive superfluity you choose still to continue labouring, then know that you will appear to be exchanging one thing for another, but in reality you will be acquiring both, for even if both are of equal value they nevertheless are not completely whole.

XXVIII. (96) But a thing which is sacred is proved to be so by three witnesses, the middle number, education, and perfect number. On which account it is said, "Of everything which cometh in the number under the rod, the tenth is sacred," for that which is not accounted worthy of being comprehended under number is profane, not sacred; but that which is according to number is approved, as having been already tested. Accordingly the law says, that the corn which was collected in Egypt by Joseph could not be counted," and adds, "for it was without number," since the things which nourish the body and the Egyptian passions, are utterly unworthy to be included in any calculation. (97) But the rod is the symbol of education, for without being looked at sternly, and chastised for some causes, it is impossible for any one to be admonished and corrected to any good purpose; but the number ten is a confirmation of that perfection which takes place in accordance with improvement, with which he must begin who having brought forth an offspring educated it, and brought the wished-for fruit to maturity.

XXIX. (98) Thus much it may be sufficient to say concerning him who changes and adulterates the ancient coinage, whom Moses also calls the father "of those that dwell in the tents of those who fed cattle." Now by cattle here he means the irrational and outward senses, and by those who feed cattle he means the worshippers of pleasure and indulgences of the passions, who supply these senses with their external objects by way of food, and are a long way removed from shepherds. For some, like rulers, chastise those of their flocks who are unruly; but others, like entertainers or masters of a feast, supply them with unlimited food, and give them fearlessness as to the consequences of their sins; for it follows of necessity that such men are at once victims of insatiable appetite, and of insolence, the daughter of satiety; (99) accordingly, he who re-fashions and changes all honourable things in a seemly and natural manner, is the father of those who pursue every object of the outward sense, and all other inanimate objects; for if he had pursued the incorporeal natures which are accessible only to the intellect, he would have preserved those boundaries marked out by his elders, which they established as a defence to virtue, stamping each appearance of virtue with its own appropriate image.

XXX. (100) And Jacob’s brother, he says, was Jubal, and the interpretation of this latter name is "inclining," being symbolically speech according to utterance; for this is naturally the brother of intellect; and it is with extraordinary propriety that he called the conversation of that intellect which changes affairs, "inclining," for it agrees after a fashion and harmonizes with both, as the equivalent weight does in a scale, or as a vessel which is tossed by the sea inclines first to one side and then to the other, from the violence of the waves; for the foolish man has not learnt how to say anything firm or stable. (101) But Moses does not think it right to incline either to the right or to the left, or in short to any part of the earthly Edom; but rather to proceed along the middle way, which he with great propriety calls the royal road, for since God is the first and only God of the universe, so also the road to him, as being the king’s road, is very properly denominated royal; and this royal road you must consider to be philosophy, not that philosophy which the existing sophistical crowd of men pursues (for they, studying the art of words in opposition to truth, have called crafty wickedness, wisdom, assigning a divine name to wicked action), but that which the ancient company of those men who practised virtue studied, rejecting the persuasive juggleries of pleasure, and adopting a virtuous and austere study of the honourable—(102) this royal road, which we have stated to be true and genuine philosophy, the law calls the word and reason of God; for it is written, "Thou shalt not turn aside from the word which I command thee this day, to the right hand nor to the left," So that it is shown most manifestly that the word of God is identical with the royal road, since Moses’ words are not to depart either from the royal road, or from this word, as if the two were synonymous, but to proceed with an upright mind along the middle and level road, which leads one aright.

XXXI. (103) "Now this Jubal," says Moses, "is the father who showed men the use of the psaltery and of the harp." He in the strictest consistency with nature calls distinctly uttered language the father of music and of all the instruments used in music; for nature, having given the organ of voice to animals as the first and most perfect of organs, afterwards gave to this organ all the harmonies, and all the different kinds of melodies, in order that it might be a previously made model for those organs which are hereafter to be made by art. (104) And as he made an ear spherical, fashioning lesser circles in their greater ones and framing it as in a lathe, with the object of preventing the sounds of the voice which come from without from being wasted and dissipated, so that the voice when collected together and closely packed within the circle might, by a sort of diffusion of the power of hearing, be poured over the different channels of the principal part. And this immediately served as a model for those theatres which are found in handsome cities; so that the shape of a theatre is skilfully dictated by the mechanism of the ear. So also, nature, which formed animals, stretching the rough artery like a musical canon, and wearing beneath the harmonic and chromatic and diatonic kinds of sounds, according to the innumerable variations of combined and separated melodies, made a model in accordance with which every musical instrument might be made.

XXXII. (105) Perhaps, at all events, flutes and lyres, and similar instruments which utter melodies, are as far inferior to the music of nightingales or swans as a thing made after a model, and an imitation must be from the archetypal model, or a perishable species from an imperishable genus; for it is not fitting to compare the music of man with that of any other animal, since it has an especial privilege with which it is honoured, namely, articulate distinctness of speaking; (106) for all other animals, having a broken utterance in their voice, by this and by an incessant change of tones alone give pleasure to our ears. But man, being furnished by nature with the means not only of speaking but also of singing articulately, charms both the sense of hearing and the mind, soothing the one with his song and influencing the other with ideas; (107) for, as an instrument, if it be given into the hands of a man who has no skill as a musician, is inharmonious, but if given to a musician it becomes harmonious according to the skill that is in him. So in the same manner speech, when put in motion by a worthless mind, is inharmonious; but, when it is put in motion by a virtuous mind, it is found to be very melodious. (108) A lyre, indeed, or any similar instrument, if it be not struck by some one, is silent; and speech, too, if it be not struck by the principal part, that is to say, the mind, is of necessity tranquil. And, again, as musical instruments are transposed and adapted to an infinite number of mixtures of airs, so also speech corresponds to them, becoming an interpreter of things; (109) for who would converse in a similar manner with parents and children, being by nature the slave of the one, and by birth the master of the others? And who, again, would talk in the same manner to brothers or cousins; or, in short, to near and to distant relations? Who, again, could do so to friends and to strangers, to fellow citizens and to foreigners, though there may be no great difference in point of fortune, or nature, or age between them? For one must behave differently while associating with an old man and with a young one; and, again, with a man of high reputation and a humble man, with a servant and a master; and, again, with a woman and a man, and with an illiterate and a clever man. (110) And why need one cite an incredible variety of persons to whom speech varies itself, so as at one time to assume one character and at another time another? For it would not interpret great things and small, numerous things and rare, private and public matters, sacred and profane affairs, or old and new events in the same manner; but would use, in each case, language appropriate to the number, or importance, or magnitude of the affairs under discussion; at one time elevating itself to a lofty style, and at another time, on the contrary, confining and humbling itself. (111) But as circumstances and persons give varieties to speech, so also do the causes of things and the manner in which they are done; and, moreover, those points especially with which everything is concerned, namely, time and place. Very beautifully, therefore, is he who inclines voices, namely Jubal, called "the father of the psaltery and of the harp," from a portion of the whole science of music, as has been shown already.

XXXIII. (112) The descendants, therefore, of Adah, and what she herself is, have now been explained. Let us consider next the other wife of Lamech, Zillah, and what she brings forth. Zillah, then, being interpreted, means "shadow," a symbol of the equalities of the body and of the external good things, which, in their real essence, are in no way better than a shadow. Is not beauty a shadow, which, after it has flourished for a brief time, withers away? And are not strength and activity of body shadows, which any chance disease can destroy? And the organs of the external senses, and the accuracy of their use, which any sudden cold may obstruct, or old age, that inevitable and common disease of all men, may impair, are not they shadows? And, again, are not riches and glory, and authority and honours, and all the external circumstances which are accounted goods, are not they, I say, all shadows? (113) But one ought to lead the mind, as if by the steps of a flight of stairs, up to the origin of everything. Men in the rank of those who are considered illustrious have gone to Delphi, who have consecrated their happy lives to the service of that place, and like writings which have become effaced, not only in consequence of the lapse of ages but also by the vicissitudes which time brings bout, they have then expired [...] There are some again whom the impetuosity of an overflowing torrent, as it were, has suddenly extinguished and carried away. (114) From all these shadows, then, and all these unsubstantial dreams a son is born, whom his parents called Tubal (this name being interpreted means "all"). For they with great wisdom laying it down (instead of those things which are accounted good things by the multitude) that competency combined with good health is happiness, consider that in that is united everything great or small, in short everything. (115) But if there were any such thing as an absolutely independent authority added, then becoming full of arrogant domination, and elated with vanity and false opinions, forgetting themselves and the contemptible material of which they are composed, they look upon themselves as composed of a more valuable material than the composition of man admits of; and becoming swollen with pride, they think themselves worthy of even divine honours. At all events, before now some persons have ventured to say, that they "do not know the true God," forgetting their own human nature, by reason of the immoderate excess of corporeal and external things [... ] and each imagining [...]

XXXIV. (116) Then Moses says, "He was a hammer-beater and forger of brass and iron:" for the soul of that man who is intent on corporeal pleasures or external things is beaten by a hammer, like apiece of iron on an anvil, being drawn out according to the long and thin-drawn extensions of the appetites. Accordingly, you may see men fond of their bodies at every time, and in every place laying lines and nets to catch those objects that they desire; and others, who are lovers of money or covetous of glory, letting loose their desire and eagerness for those things to the furthest boundaries of earth and sea, and dragging in from all quarters by their unlimited desires, as if by so many nets, whatever can gratify them, till the excessive tension, being broken by its great violence, drags back those who are dragging at it, and throws them down headlong. (117) All these men are causes of war, on account of which they are said to be workers in brass and iron, by means of which metals wars are carried on. For if any one contemplates the history of the greatest public or private quarrels that have arisen among men and among cities, he will not be wrong if [...] he looks upon all of them, whether upon those which took place long ago, or upon those which are now raging, or on all that will ever arise hereafter, as being caused either by the beauty of a woman, or by a love of money, or, in short, by some desire for the excessive indulgence of the body, and for some superfluity of external things: (118) but no foreign war and no civil war has ever existed for the sake of instruction or virtue, which are the good things of the mind, which is the best part of us; for these things are in their nature peaceful, and by them good laws and tranquil stability, and whatever else is most beautiful to the sharpseeing eyes of the soul, not to the dim perceptions of the body, are seen to be established. For the perceptive powers of the body look only upon the external surface, but the eye of the mind penetrates within, and going deep down surveys all the interior and hidden things which are removed out of the reach of bodily sight. (119) And nearly all the troubles, and confusions, and enmities which arise among men, are about absolutely nothing, but about what is really a shadow: for Moses called Tubal the son of Zillah, that is to say of shadow, the maker of the warlike instruments of brass and iron, speaking philosophically, and being guided not by verbal technicalities, but by the exceeding propriety of the names; for he knew that every naval and every land expedition chooses to encounter the greatest dangers for the sake of bodily pleasures, or with a view to obtain a superfluity of external good things, of which nothing is firm or solid, as is testified by the history of time, which brings all things to proof: for they are like superficial sketches, being in themselves perishable and of no duration.

XXXV. (120) Moses proceeds to say, that Tubal’s sister was Noeman, the interpretation of which name is "fatness." For it follows that those who pursue a luxurious condition of the body, and the other objects which I have mentioned, do get fat when they obtain any of the things that they desire: but such fatness as this I lay down as not strength but weakness; for it teaches a man to depart from the honour due to God, which is the first and most excellent power of the soul: (121) and the law is a witness to this which in the great hymn speaks thus—"He was fat, he was rich, he was exceeding broad, and he forsook God who had made him, and he forgot God his Saviour." For in truth those men whose lives have been exceedingly fortunate and are so at the time, do not remember the eternal God, but they think time their god; (122) on which account Moses bears witness, exhorting us to war against the contrary opinions, for he says, "The time has departed from them, and the Lord is among us." So that those men by whom the life of the soul is honoured, have divine reason dwelling among them, and walking with them; but those who pursue a life of pleasure have only a brief and fictitious want of opportunities: these men, therefore, having swollen extravagantly, and become enormously distended by their profuse fatness and luxury, have burst asunder. But the others, being made fat by that wisdom which nourishes the souls that love virtue, have a firm and unshaken power, a specimen of which is the fat which is sacrificed as a whole burnt-offering from every victim: (123) for Moses says, "All the fat shall belong to the Lord by the everlasting law;" so that the fat of the mind is offered up to God and is appropriated to him, owing to which it is made immortal; but the fat which clings to the body and belongs to external things is referred to time, which is contrary to God, through which it very rapidly wastes away.

XXXVI. (124) Therefore, concerning the wives of Lamech and his children, I think that enough has been said. Let us now consider what we may look upon as the resurrection of Abel, who was treacherously slain. Moses tells us, "And Adam knew his wife Eve, and she conceived and brought forth a son, and he called his name Seth; for, said he, "God has raised me up another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew." The interpretation of the name Seth, is "irrigation." (125) As, therefore, the seeds and plants which are put into the ground grow and blossom through being irrigated, and are thus made fertile for the production of fruits, but if they are deprived of moisture they wither away, so likewise the soul, as it appears when it is watered with the wholesome stream of wisdom, shoots forth, and brings fruit to perfection. (126) Now, irrigation may be looked upon in a two-fold light: with regard to that which irrigates, and with regard to that which is irrigated. And might one not say that each of the outward senses is irrigated by the mind as by a fountain, which widens and extends all their faculties, as if they were so many channels for water? No one, therefore, in his senses would say, that the eyes see, but that the mind sees by means of the eyes; or that the ears hear, but that the mind hears by the instrumentality of the ears; or that the nostrils smell, but that the predominant part of man smells through the medium of the nostrils.

XXXVII. (127) On which account it is said in Genesis, "And a fountain went up from the earth, and watered all the face of the earth." For since nature has allotted the most excellent portion of the whole body, namely the face, to the outward senses, therefore the fountain which goes up from the superior part, being diffused over various parts, and sending up its streams like so many watercourses as high as the face, by their means conducts the faculties to each of the organs of the outwards senses. In this way in truth, it is that the word of God irrigates the virtues; for that is the beginning and the fountain of all good actions. (128) And the lawgiver shows this, when he says, "And a river went out of Eden to water the Paradise; and from thence it is divided into four heads." For there are four generic virtues: prudence, courage, temperance, and justice. And of these, every single one is a princess and a ruler; and he who has acquired them is, from the moment of the acquisition, a ruler and a king, even if he has no abundance of any kind of treasure; (129) for the meaning of the expression, "it is divided into four heads," is [...] nor distance; but virtue exhibits the pre-eminence and the power. And these spring from the word of God as from one root, which he compares to a river, on account of the unceasing and everlasting flow of salutary words and doctrines, by which it increases and nourishes the souls that love God.

XXXVIII. (130) And of what kind they are, he proceeds to show in a few words, deriving his explanation from the natural things of art; for he introduces Agar as filling a leathern bag with water, and giving her child drink. Now Agar is the handmaid of Sarah, the new dispensation of perfect virtue; and she is correctly represented so. Since, therefore, having come to the depth of knowledge, which Moses here calls a well, she draws up (filling the soul as if it were a vessel) the doctrines and speculations which she is in pursuit of, wishing to feed her child on the things on which she herself is fed. (131) And Moses, by her child, means, a soul which has lately learnt to desire instruction, and which has, in a manner, just been born to learn. In reference to which, the boy, when he has grown up to man’s estate, becomes a sophist, whom Moses calls an archer; for whatever argument he applies his mind to, at that, as at a target, he shoots all his reasons, as an archer shoots his arrows.

XXXIX. (132) But Rebekkah is found to give her pupil drink no longer by improvement, but by perfection. How so the law will tell us: "For the damsel," says Moses, "was very beautiful to the sight, and was a maiden; no man had known her. And when he had gone down to the fountain, she filled her pitcher, and came up again; and the servant ran forward to meet her, and said, Give me now to drink a little water from thy pitcher. And she said, Drink, my lord. And she made haste, and took down the pitcher on her arm, and gave to him to drink until he ceased drinking, And said, and I will also give to thy camels to drink, until they have all drunk; and she made haste, and emptied her pitcher into the trough, and running to the well, she drew water for the camels." (133) Here who can help wondering at the minute accuracy of the lawgiver as to every particular? He calls Rebekkah a maiden, and a very beautiful maiden, because the nature of virtue is unmixed and free from guile, and unpolluted, and the only thing in all creation which is both beautiful and good; from which arose the Stoic doctrine, that the only thing that was beautiful was the good.

XL. (134) Now of the four virtues, some are always virgins, and some from having been women become changed into virgins, as Sarah did; "For it had ceased to be with her after the manner of women," when she began to conceive her happy offspring Isaac. But that which is always a virgin, is that of which Moses says, "And no man whatever knows her." For in truth, it is not permitted to any mortal to pollute incorruptible nature, nor even clearly to comprehend what it is. If indeed he were able by any means to become acquainted with it, he would not cease to hate and regret it; (135) on which account Moses, in strict accordance with the principles of natural philosophy, represents Leah as hated. For those whom the charms of pleasures, which are with Rachel, that is to say, with the outward sense, cannot be endured by Leah, who is situated out of the reach of the passions; on which account they repudiate and detest her. But as far as she herself is concerned, her alienation from the creature produces her a close connection with God, from whom she receives the seeds of wisdom, and conceives, and travails, and brings forth virtuous ideas, worthy of the father who begot them. If therefore, you, O my soul, imitating Leah, reject mortal things, you will of necessity turn to the incorruptible God, who will shed over you all the fountains of his good.

XLI. (136) "But Rebekkah," says Moses, "went down to the fountain to fill her pitcher, and came up again." For from what source is it natural for the mind that thirsts after wisdom to be filled, except from the wisdom of God, that fountain which never fails, and to which the soul that descends comes up again like a virtuous disciple? For those who descend out of a vain pride, the reason of virtue receives, and taking them up by means of fame raises them to a height. On which account it is that Moses seems to me to use the expression, "Go, descend, and come up," as if every one who measures his own loveliness comes forth more gloriously in the eyes of the judges of truth. And he speaks of these matters with great caution. (137) For Agar bears a leathern bag to the well, but Rebekkah carries a pitcher. For the one who devotes himself to instruction and to the energetical branches of learning has need of some incorporeal things as it were of the outward senses, of vessels, and eyes, and ears, for a proper contemplation of the objects of her speculation. For from seeing many things and hearing many things, there is derived, in the case of those who are fond of learning the advantage which proceeds from knowledge. But the one who is filled with unalloyed wisdom has need only of a leathern habitation, which is no better than none at all. For the soul which loves unsubstantial things has learnt to put off the whole leathern bag of reasons, that is to say the body, and brings only a pitcher which is the symbol of a vessel, which contains the principal portion in great size and abundance, like water; as to which, those who are clever in such matters may make it a subject of philosophical speculation, whether it is a membrane or a heart. (138) Therefore, the man who is fond of learning, seeing men imbibing the sciences like water, from wisdom that divine fountain, runs up, and meeting them becomes a suppliant to them to know how he may allay his thirst for learning. And the soul which has received the best possible education, namely, the lesson not to envy, and to be liberal, immediately proffers to him the stream of wisdom, and invites him to drink abundantly, adding also this that she calls him who is only a servant her lord. This is the meaning of that most dogmatic assertion, that the wise man alone is free, and a king, even if he have ten thousand masters over his body.

XLII. (139) Most correctly, therefore, after the servant has said, "Give me a little water to drink," does she make answer, not in the manner corresponding to his request: "I will give you to drink," but "Drink." For the one expression would have been suited to one who was displaying the riches of God, which are poured forth for all who are worthy of them and who are able to think of them; but the other expression is appropriate to one who professes that she will teach. But nothing which is connected with mere professions is akin to virtue. (140) But he describes in a most skilful manner the language used by her who teaches and benefits her pupils. For "she made haste," he says, "and took down the pitcher on her arm." Her alacrity to serve the man was displayed by her making haste, and such alacrity is seated in the mind, beyond which envy is cast away. But by the expression, "taking down the pitcher on her arm," we see intimated the prompt and eager attention of the teacher to the pupil; (141) for those teachers are foolish who attempt to regulate their explanations not by a reference to the capacity of their pupils, but to their own superior ability, not being aware that there is a vast difference between making a display and giving a lesson. For he who is making a display, relying on the good fortune of his present way of proceeding, brings into sight, without any trouble, the works at which he has for a long while been labouring at home, like the works of painters or sculptors, seeking for praise from the multitude. But he who is endeavouring to teach others, like a good physician, has a regard not to the greatness of his own skill, but to the capacity of his patient who is to be healed; not thinking how much he can do by his art, for it is unspeakable how much this may be; but what the patient requires, aiming at moderation, and bringing forward what may improve him.

XLIII. (142) On which account Moses says in another passage, "Thou shalt lend a loan to him who asks you for one, as much as he requires, having regard to what he requires." By the second phrase showing that it is not everything which is to be given, but only such things as are suitable to the requirements of those who are asking for them. For to give an anchor, or an oar, or a rudder to a husbandman, or ploughs or a spade to a captain of a ship, or a lyre to a physician, or instruments suited to manual labour to a musician, would be ridiculous, unless indeed one ought to offer a thirsty man costly viands, or a hungry man unmixed wine in abundance, so as to show at once one’s own riches and one’s want of humanity, by turning the souls of one’s companions into ridicule. The quantity to be given in an act of beneficence is defined according to due proportion, which is a most useful thing. For, says Moses, do not give all that right reason is able to give, but as much as he who is asking the loan is worthy to receive. (143) Do you not see that even God does not utter his oracles, having a regard to their being in proportion to the magnitude of his own oracular power, but always having respect to the capacity of those who are to be benefited by them? Since who could receive the whole power of the words of God, which are too mighty for any one to listen to? On which account those persons appear to speak with great truth, who say to Moses, "Do thou speak to us, and let not God speak to us, lest we die." For they know that they have not in themselves any organ which can be worthy of God who is giving laws to his church; (144) nor, indeed, could even the whole world, both land and sea, contain his riches if he were inclined to display them, unless we think that the descent of the rains and of the other things that happen in the world are appointed to take place according to the pre-arranged periods of the seasons, and not all at once, because of the scarcity and rarity of the things themselves, and not from any regard to the advantage of those who are benefited by them; who would be injured rather than be benefited by a continual enjoyment of such gifts. (145) On this account it is, that God always judiciously limits and brings out with wise moderation his first benefits, stopping them before those who partake of them become wanton through satiety; and then he bestows others in their stead; and again a third class of advantages instead of the second set, and so on, continually substituting new blessings for those of older date, at one time giving such as are different from those which went before, and at another time such as are almost identical with them; for the creature is never wholly destitute of the blessings bestowed by God, since if he were he would be utterly destroyed; but he is unable to endure an unlimited and measureless abundance of them. On which account, as he is desirous that we should derive advantage from the benefits which he bestows upon us, he weighs out what he gives so as to proportion it to the strength of those who receive it.

XLIV. (146) Rebekkah, therefore, must be praised, who, in obedience to the injunctions of her father, having taken down the vessel of wisdom on her arm from a higher place, proffered her pitcher to the disciple; by the pitcher being understood that teaching which he is competent to receive. (147) And beyond all other things, I especially admire her exceeding liberality; for though she had only been asked for a small draught, she gave a large one, until she had filled the whole soul of the learner with wholesome speculations. For Moses says, "She gave him to drink till he ceased from drinking," a most marvellous example to teach us humanity. For if any one should not happen to be in want of many things, but should come forward, and out of shame ask only for a very little, let us not give him only what he mentions, but also those things of which he makes no mention, but of which he is nevertheless in reality in need. (148) But it is not sufficient for the complete enjoyment of his teacher’s lessons, that the disciple should merely comprehend what the master has taught him, unless he has also got memory. On which account, making a display of her bounteous disposition, when he has satisfied himself with the water, she offers to give his camels water also, which we have already said are here put symbolically for memory. For the animal while eating its food ruminates, and when, having stooped down it has received a heavy burden, with exceedingly great vigour of muscle it rises up lightly; (149) and in the same manner also, the soul of the man who is devoted to learning, when the burden of its speculations is placed upon it, becomes more lowly, and when it has risen up it rejoices; and from that mastication, and as it were the softening, of the first food that is placed down before it, arises its memory of those speculations. (150) But she, beholding the nature of the servant to be well calculated for the reception of virtue, emptied her whole pitcher into the cistern, that is to say, she emptied the whole knowledge of the teacher into the soul of the learner. For the sophists, from a desire of gain and also from envy, repressing the natural characters of their pupils, keep silence about many things which ought to be mentioned, laying up for themselves a source of gain for future times. (151) But virtue is an ungrudging and most liberal feeling, so that it does not hesitate to assist another with hand and foot, as the proverb goes, and with all its power. Therefore, pouring all that she knew into the mind of the pupil as into a cistern, she went again to the well to draw water, that is to say, she went to the ever-flowing wisdom of God, that what had been already imparted might be firmly fixed in by memory, and that he might also be irrigated with the knowledge of other and newer things. For the wealth of the wisdom of God is illimitable, and as a tree which is continually putting forth new shoots after the old ones, so that it never ceases growing young again, and being in the flower of its strength. (152) So that they are marvellously simple people who have ever had an idea of coming to the end of any branch of knowledge whatever. For that which has seemed to be near and within reach is nevertheless a long way distant from the end; since no created being is perfect in any department of learning, but falls as far short of it as a thoroughly infant child just beginning to learn does, in comparison of a man who both by age and skill is qualified to be a master.

XLV. (153) And we must inquire the cause why the handmaid gave the servant drink from the fountain, but gave the camels water from the well. May it not perhaps be that the stream here signifies the sacred scripture itself, which irrigates the sciences, and that the well is rather akin to memory? For the depths which he has already mentioned, he produces by means of memory as it were out of a well; (154) and such persons as these one ought to admit because of the goodness of their natural disposition. But there are some men among those who practise virtue to whom the all-beneficent God has shown the way that leads to virtue, such that at first it is accounted rough, and steep, and difficult, but subsequently level and easy, having changed the bitterness of the wayfarer’s labour to sweetness. And how he has wrought this change we will now tell. (155) When he led us forth out of Egypt, that is to say, out of the passions which excite the body, we, travelling in the desert, that is to say, in the path of pleasure, encamped in the place called Marah, a place which had no drinkable water, but where all the water was bitter. For still the pleasures which are brought into action by means of the eyes, and ears, and belly, and the parts adjacent to the belly, were tempting to us, and charmed us exceedingly, sounding close to us. (156) When, therefore, we desired to be entirely separated from them, they dragged us back, exerting themselves in opposition to us, and entwining themselves round us, and soothing us with all kinds of juggling tricks and assiduous blandishments; so that we, yielding to their unremitting caresses, became alienated from and disinclined to labour, as something very bitter and intolerable, and designed to run back again to Egypt, that is to say, to the condition of an intemperate and lascivious life, if the Saviour had not speedily taken pity on us, and thrown a sweetening branch like a medicine upon our soul, causing it to love labour instead of hating it. (157) For he knew, inasmuch as he was our Creator, that we could not possibly survive any existing thing unless there were in us an intense love of doing so. Therefore, men never succeed in attaining any object that they desire if they pursue it without any connection with or consideration of fitness. But when friendship is added, and also a familiarity with the loved object, their endeavours then succeed rightly.

XLVI. (158) This is the food of a soul which is inclined to the practice of virtue, to consider labour a very sweet thing instead of a bitter one, which, however, it is not allowed to all persons to participate in; but to those only by whom the golden calf, the animal made by the Egyptians, the body, is sprinkled over with water after having been burnt with fire, and broken to pieces. For it is said in the sacred scriptures, that "Moses having taken the calf burnt it with fire, and broke it up into small pieces, and threw the pieces into the water and caused the children of Israel to drink thereof." (159) For the love of virtue being inflamed and excited by the brilliant appearance of virtue, burns to ashes the pleasures of the body, and then cuts them to pieces and pounds them to nothing, using the divine word which can at all times divide everything. And in this manner he teaches us that among the bodily advantages are health, and beauty, and the accuracy of the outward senses, and the perfection of bodily vigour with strength and mighty energy; but still that all these things are common to accursed and wicked persons, while if they were really good no wicked person would be allowed to partake of them. (160) But these men, even if they are utterly wicked, still, inasmuch as they are men, and so far partake of the same human nature as virtuous men, do also partake of these advantages of the body. And, in fact, at present those wild beasts which are the most untameable, enjoy these good things, if indeed they are in reality good things, in a greater degree than rational beings; (161) for what wrestler could be compared in might with the strength of a bull or of an elephant? And what runner could put himself on a level with the speed of a hound or of a hare? And the most sharp-sighted of men is absolutely blind if his sight is compared with that of antelopes of eagles. Again, in hearing and in smell, often other animals are very far beyond man; as, for instance, the ass, which appears to be the stupidest of all animals, would show that our sense of hearing is very obtuse if he were brought into comparison with us. The dog, too, would make the nostrils in man appear a perfectly useless part from the exceeding superiority of the quickness of his own sense of smell; for, in him, that sense is pushed to such a degree that it almost equals the rapidity of the eye-sight.

XLVII. (162) And why need I dwell on the subject more, going through each of the senses and animals separately? For this point has been long agreed upon among all the most eminent historians and philosophers, who have all said that nature is the mother of the irrational animals, and the stepmother of men, perceiving the bodily weakness of men, and the surpassing strength of brute animals in everything. With great propriety, therefore, the artist pounded the calf to pieces; that is to say, dividing it into parts, he showed that all the things which the body has in abundance are very far removed from real good, and are in no respect different from those things which are scattered on the water. (163) On which account the scripture tells us that the calf, after having been pounded to pieces, was scattered on the water, to signify that no genuine plant of good can ever flourish in corruptible matter; for as a seed, when thrown into the stream of a river or into the sea, cannot display its proper powers; for it is impossible, unless it has once taken hold with its roots, as with anchors, of some firm portion of earth, that any branch should be firmly fixed or should shoot up, I do not say to any height, but even as a creeper along the ground, or that it should ever bring forth fruit at the periodical seasons of the year, for any great and violent rush of water coming on washes away all the germinating vigour of the seed. In the same manner all the superfluities contained in the vessel of the soul which are ever spoken of or celebrated are destroyed before they can have any existence, the corporeal substance continually flowing off from them. (164) For how can there be such things as disease and old age and all kinds of corruptions, if there were not a continual drawing off of words, which are theoretical streams; the hierophant, therefore, thinks it right to irrigate our minds with these words, for the sake of burning up the pleasures, of pounding to pieces and reducing to a thin and impalpable dust, and utterly destroying the system of the corporeal goods; and of making us recollect that the true good has never at any time germinated or blossomed from any one of them, just as nothing flourishes from seeds which are sown in water.

XLVIII. (165) But bulls, and rams, and goats, which Egypt holds in honour, and all other images of corruptible matter which, in report alone, are accounted God’s, have no real existence, but are all fictitious and false; for those who look upon life as only a tragedy full of acts of arrogance and stories of love, impressing false ideas on the tender minds of young men, and using the ears as their ministers, into which they pour fabulous trifles, waste away and corrupt their minds, compelling them to look upon persons who were never even men in their minds, but always effeminate creatures as God’s; (166) for the calf was not made of every description of female ornament, but only of the earrings of the women. The lawgiver showing us by this that nothing wrought with hands is a visible and true God, but only so by report, and as far as he is thought so, and that, too, the report of a woman and not of a man; for it is the conduct of a soul utterly enervated and rendered completely effeminate to receive such nonsense. (167) But he who is truly God is perceived, and felt, and recognised, not only by means of one’s ears, but also by the eyes of our mind, through his mighty works which are done in the world, and through the rapidity of his operations; on which account in the great song it is said (the speaker assuming the character of God), "Behold! behold! it is I!" as if that real existing God could be more easily conceived by the mind than proved by verbal demonstration; (168) but it is not correct to say that the living God is visible, that is rather an abuse of language, arising from referring God himself to his separate acts of power; for even in the passage cited above, he does not say, "Behold me," for it is wholly impossible that God according to his essence should be perceived or beheld by any creature, but he says, "Behold! it is I," that is to say, behold my existence; for it is sufficient for the reasoning powers of man to advance so far as to learn that there is and actually exists the great cause of all things, and to attempt to proceed further, so as to pursue investigations into the essence or distinctive qualities of God, is an absolute piece of folly; (169) for God did not grant this even to the all-wise Moses; not though he addressed innumerable requests to him, all having this object; but an oracle was delivered to him, telling him, "Thou shalt see my back parts, but my face thou shalt not see;" and the meaning of this is, that all the things which are behind God are within the comprehension of a virtuous man, but he himself alone is incomprehensible; and he is incomprehensible by any direct and immediate access (for by such means it is only explained what kind of being he is), but he may be understood in his subsequent and consistent faculties; for they, by means of the works accomplished by them, declare not his essence, but his existence.

XLIX. (170) Therefore the mind having generated the foundation of good [...] and the primary principle of virtue, namely Seth, or irrigation, boasts with an honourable and holy boast; for she says, "God has raised up to me another seed, instead of Abel whom Cain slew," for it has been said with great exactness and neatness, that no single divine seed ever falls to the ground, but that they all rise up from the things of earth, and leave them, and are borne upwards to heaven; (171) but the seeds which are sown by mortals, whether for the generation of animals or of plants, do not all come to perfection; but we must be content if more are not wasted than those which remain above; and God sows nothing in our souls which is incomplete; but his seed is all so seasonable and so perfect that every one of them is at once borne forward to produce abundance of its appropriate fruit.

L. (172) But when Moses says here that Seth sprung up as another or different seed, he does not say from which it was different; was it different from Abel who was treacherously slain, or from Cain who slew him? But may we not say perhaps that the original seed from which each of these sprung was different? That from which Cain sprung, inasmuch as it was hostile; for a thirst for virtue is the most hostile thing possible to that deserter, wickedness; that from which Abel sprung, as friendly and kindred; for that which is beginning to exist is a different thing from, but not a contrary thing to, that which is perfected; and so that which pertains to creation is different from that which pertains to the uncreate. (173) On this account Abel, after having quitted the mortal body, departed to the better nature, and took up his abode with that. But Seth, as being the seed of human virtue, will never quit the race of mankind. But first of all he will receive his growth up to the number ten, that perfect number, according to which the just Noah exists; and then he will receive a second and a better growth from his son Shem, ending in a second ten, from which the faithful Abraham is named. And he will also have a third growth, and one more perfect than the number ten, extending from him to Moses, that man who is wise in all things, for he is the seventh from Abraham, not revolving, like an initiated worshipper, in the circle which is exterior to holy things, but like a hierophant, making his abode in the inmost shrines.

LI. (174) And consider the advances towards improvement made by the soul of the man who is eager for, and insatiable in, his craving after good things; and the illimitable riches of God, who gives the end of some things to be the beginnings of others; for the end of the knowledge which is according to Seth is the beginning of the just Noah; and his perfection again is the beginning of the education of Abraham; and the most perfect wisdom of Abraham is the first instruction of Moses; (175) and the two daughters of Lot, the man who was subdued and overthrown by the weakness of the soul, namely, intention and agreement, desire to become pregnant by the mind, that is to say, by their father, acting in opposition to him who said, "God has raised up for me ..." For that which the living God did for him, this they affirm that the mind is able to do for them, introducing the doctrine of an intoxicated and frenzied soul. It is indeed the act of sober reason, both to confess that God is the Creator and the Father of the universe; and the conduct of one utterly fallen in intoxication and drunkenness, to fancy that he himself is the bringer about of each of human affairs. (176) Evil opinions therefore will not come into association with their father, before a great quantity of the unmixed wine of folly has been found upon him, and destroyed any sense that may have previously been in him; for it is written, "They made their father drink wine." So that if they do not give him drink, they will never receive legitimate seed from him while he is sober; but when he has been soaked in wine, and has become utterly intoxicated and senseless, then they will become pregnant, and have a culpable labour and offspring, which will be truly accursed.

LII. (177) On which account Moses has separated his impious and obscure progeny from the whole of the divine company; for he says, "The Ammonites and the Moabites shall not come into the assembly of the Lord:" and these are the descendants of the daughters of Lot, supposing that everything is generated of the outward sense and of mind, being male and female like a father and mother, and looking upon this as in real truth the cause of all generation: (178) but as, even if we were to commit such an error as this, still emerging as it were out of that troubled sea, we may lay hold on repentance, which is a firm and saving thing, and must never let it go till we have completely escaped from the billowy sea, the headlong violence of sin: (179) as Rachel, when formerly praying for mind, as if that were able to raise up children, and when she received the answer, "Am I equal to God?" attended to what was said to her, and when she understood it, made a most pious recantation; for the recantation of Rachel is recorded in scripture, a most God-loving prayer, "May God grant to me another son," such a prayer as no foolish person is permitted to make, who pursues no object but his own pleasure, and who thinks everything else mere folly and ridiculousness.

LIII. (180) And the leader of this opinion is Onan the brother of the skin-wearing Er. "For he," says the scripture, "knowing that the seed would not be his, when he went in unto his brother’s wife, spilled his seed upon the ground:" he transgressed all the boundaries of self-love and of fondness for pleasure. (181) Should I not say to this man, If you have a regard to your own advantage you will destroy everything that is excellent, and that too without deriving any advantage therefrom? You will put an end to the honour due to parents, the attention of a wife, the education of children, the blameless services of servants, the management of a house, the government of a city, the firm establishment of laws, the guardianship of morals, reverence to one’s elders, the habit of speaking well of the dead, good fellowship with the living, piety towards God as shown both in words and in deeds: for you are overturning and throwing into confusion all these things, sowing seed for yourself alone, and nursing up pleasure, that gluttonous intemperate origin of all evil.

LIV. (182) From which that priest and servant of the only good God, Phineas, rising up78—that wise regulator of all the corporeal words and expressions, so as never to behave erroneously or insolently through the medium of them; for the interpretation of the name Phineas is "the bridle of the mouth"—having taken a coadjutor, that is to say, having inquired into and examined the nature of things, and having found that nothing is more honourable than virtue, stabbed and slew with a sword the creature devoted to pleasure, and hostile to virtue, and all the places from which all false and illegitimate delights and enjoyments spring: (183) for the law says that, "He thrust the woman through her belly." Thus, therefore, having caused the difference that existed in him to cease, and having discarded his own pleasure, and burning with zeal for God, the First Cause and holy God, he was honoured and crowned with the two most valuable of all prizes, peace and the priesthood; with the one because both his name and his conduct are akin to peace: (184) for it follows of necessity that a consecrated mind, being its minister and servant, must do everything in which its master delights; and he delights in the firm establishment of good law, and tranquillity, and stability, and in the discarding of wars and [...] meaning not only such as cities make upon one another, but also those which take place in the soul; and these are more important and more injurious, inasmuch as they injure the more divine portion of us, namely, our reason, while arms and weapons can only reach to the injury of our bodies or possessions, but have never any power to injure a healthy soul. (185) Rightly therefore have cities established a custom, that before they turn arms and engines of destruction against one another to lead to slavery and utter destruction, they should seek to persuade all the citizens to put an end to the great and formidable and unceasing factions which exist in themselves, for faction and sedition, if we must speak the truth, is the archetypal model of wars, and if that be destroyed, there will no longer be any wars which are made in imitation of it; but the race of mankind will attain to the blessing and enjoyment of profound peace, being taught by the law of nature, that is, by virtue, to honour God, and to cleave to the employment of serving him, for this is the source of happiness and length of life.


I. (1) "And it came to pass when there began to be many men upon the earth, that daughters also were born to them." I think it here worth while to raise the question why, after the birth of Noah and his sons, our race increased to a degree of great populousness. But, perhaps, it is not difficult to explain the cause of this; for it always happens if anything appears to be rare that its contrary is found exceedingly numerous. (2) Therefore, the good disposition of one displays the evil disposition of myriads, and the fact of those things which are done in accordance with art, and science, and virtue, and beauty, being few, shows how incalculable a number of things devoid of art, and of science, and of justice, and, in short, utterly worthless, lie concealed beneath. (3) Do you not see that in the universe, also, the sun, being one body, by his shining forth dissipates the thick and dense darkness which is shed over earth and sea? With great propriety, therefore, the generation of the just Noah and his sons is represented as bringing into existence a great number of unjust persons; for it is by the contrary that it is especially the nature of contraries to be known. (4) And no unjust man at any time implants a masculine generation in the soul, but such, being unmanly, and broken, and effeminate in their minds, do naturally become the parents of female children; having planted no tree of virtue, the fruit of which must of necessity have been beautiful and salutary, but only trees of wickedness and of the passions, the shoots of which are womanlike. (5) On account of which fact these men are said to have become the fathers of daughters, and that no one of them is said to have begotten a son; for since the just Noah had male children, as being a man who followed reason, perfect, and upright, and masculine, so by this very fact the injustice of the multitude is proved to be altogether the parent of female children. For it is impossible that the same things should be born of opposite parents; but they must necessarily have an opposite offspring.

II. (6) "And when the angels of God saw the daughters of men that they were beautiful, they took unto themselves wives of all of them whom they chose." Those beings, whom other philosophers call demons, Moses usually calls angels; and they are souls hovering in the air. (7) And let no one suppose, that what is here stated is a fable, for it is necessarily true that the universe must be filled with living things in all its parts, since every one of its primary and elementary portions contains its appropriate animals and such as are consistent with its nature;—the earth containing terrestrial animals, the sea and the rivers containing aquatic animals, and the fire such as are born in the fire (but it is said, that such as these last are found chiefly in Macedonia), and the heaven containing the stars: (8) for these also are entire souls pervading the universe, being unadulterated and divine, inasmuch as they move in a circle, which is the kind of motion most akin to the mind, for every one of them is the parent mind. It is therefore necessary that the air also should be full of living beings. And these beings are invisible to us, inasmuch as the air itself is not visible to mortal sight. (9) But it does not follow, because our sight is incapable of perceiving the forms of souls, that for that reason there are no souls in the air; but it follows of necessity that they must be comprehended by the mind, in order that like may be contemplated by like. (10) Since what shall we say? Must we not say that these animals which are terrestrial or aquatic live in air and spirit? What? Are not pestilential afflictions accustomed to exist when the air is tainted or corrupted, as if that were the cause of all such assuming vitality? Again, when the air is free from all taint and innocent, such as it is especially wont to be when the north wind prevails, does not the imbibing of a purer air tend to a more vigorous and more lasting duration of life? (11) It is then natural that that medium by which all other animals, whether aquatic of terrestrial, are vivified should itself be empty and destitute of souls? On the contrary, even if all other animals were barren, the air by itself would be bound to be productive of life, having received from the great Creator the seeds of vitality by his especial favour.

III. (12) Some souls, therefore, have descended into bodies, and others have not thought worthy to approach any one of the portions of the earth; and these, when hallowed and surrounded by the ministrations of the father, the Creator has been accustomed to employ, as hand-maidens and servants in the administration of mortal affairs. (13) And they having descended into the body as into a river, at one time are carried away and swallowed up by the voracity of a most violent whirlpool; and, at another time, striving with all their power to resist its impetuosity, they at first swim on the top of it, and afterwards fly back to the place from which they started. (14) These, then, are the souls of those who have been taught some kind of sublime philosophy, meditating, from beginning to end, on dying as to the life of the body, in order to obtain an inheritance of the incorporeal and imperishable life, which is to be enjoyed in the presence of the uncreate and everlasting God. (15) But those, which are swallowed up in the whirlpool, are the souls of those other men who have disregarded wisdom, giving themselves up to the pursuit of unstable things regulated by fortune alone, not one of which is referred to the most excellent portion of us, the soul or the mind; but all rather to the dead corpse connected with us, that is to the body, or to things which are even more lifeless than that, such as glory, and money, and offices, and honours, and all other things which, by those who do not keep their eyes fixed on what is really beautiful, are fashioned and endowed with apparent vitality by the deceit of vain opinion.

IV. (16) If, therefore, you consider that souls, and demons, and angels are things differing indeed in name, but not identical in reality, you will then be able to discard that most heavy burden, superstition. But as men in general speak of good and evil demons, and in like manner of good and evil souls, so also do they speak of angels, looking upon some as worthy of a good appellation, and calling them ambassadors of man to God, and of God to man, and sacred and holy on account of this blameless and most excellent office; others, again, you will not err if you look upon as unholy and unworthy of any address. (17) And the expression used by the writer of the psalm, in the following verse, testifies to the truth of my assertion, for he says, "He sent upon them the fury of His wrath, anger, and rage, and affliction, and he sent evil angels among them." These are the wicked who, assuming the name of angels, not being acquainted with the daughters of right reason, that is with the sciences and the virtues, but which pursue the mortal descendants of mortal men, that is the pleasures, which can confer no genuine beauty, which is perceived by the intellect alone, but only a bastard sort of elegance of form, by means of which the outward sense is beguiled; (18) and they do not all take all the daughters in marriage, but some of them have selected some of that innumerable company to be their wives; some choosing them by the sight, and others by the ear, others again being influenced by the sense of taste, or by the belly, and some even by the pleasures below the belly; many also have laid hold of those the abode of which is fixed at a great distance, putting in action various desires among one another. For, of necessity, the choices of all the various pleasures are various, since different pleasures are established in different places.

V. (19) And, in all such matters, it is impossible for the spirit of God to remain and to pass all its time, as the law-giver himself shows. "For," says Moses, "the Lord said, My spirit shall not remain among men for ever, because they are flesh." (20) For, at times, it does remain; but it does not remain for ever and ever among the greater part of us; for who is so destitute of reason or so lifeless as never, either voluntarily or involuntarily, to conceive a notion of the all good God. For, very often, even over the most polluted and accursed beings, there hovers a sudden appearance of the good, but they are unable to take firm hold of it and to keep it among them; (21) for, almost immediately, it quits its former place and departs, rejecting those inhabitants who come over to it, and who live in defiance of law and justice, to whom it never would have come if it had not been for the sake of convicting those who choose what is disgraceful instead of what is good. (22) But the spirit of God is spoken of in one manner as being air flowing upon the earth, bringing a third element in addition to water. In reference to which, Moses says, in his account of the creation of the world, "The spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." Since the air, as it is very light, is raised and borne aloft, having water, as it were, for its foundation; and, in another manner, unalloyed knowledge is said to be so, which every wise man naturally partakes of. (23) And Moses shows us this, when speaking of the creator and maker of the holy work of the creation, in these words: "And God summoned Bezaleel, and filled him with his Holy Spirit, and with wisdom, and understanding, and knowledge, to be able to devise every work." So that, what the spirit of God is, is very definitively described in these words.

VI. (24) Such also is the spirit of Moses, which came upon the seventy elders, for the sake of making them differ from, and be superior to the rest of the Israelites, who could not possibly be elders in real truth, unless they had partaken of that allwise spirit. For it is said, "I will take of my spirit which is upon thee, and I will pour it upon the seventy elders." (25) But think not that thus this taking away, could be by means of cutting off or separation; but it is here, as is the case in an operation effected by fire, which can light ten thousand torches, without itself being diminished the least atom, or ceasing to remain as it was before. Something like this also is the nature of knowledge. For though it has made all its pupils, and all who have become acquainted with it, learned, still it is in no degree diminished itself, but very often it even becomes improved, just as, they say, that fountains sometimes are by being drained dry; for, it is said, that they sometimes become sweeter by such a process. (26) For continual association with others, engendering diligence and practice, gradually works out entire perfection. If, then, the individual spirit of Moses, or of any other creature, was about to be distributed to so great a multitude of pupils, then, if it were divided into such a number of small portions, it would be diminished. (27) But now, the spirit which is upon him is the wise, the divine, the indivisible, the undistributable, the good spirit, the spirit which is everywhere diffused, so as to fill the universe, which, while it benefits others, it not injured by having a participation in it given to another, and if added to something else, either as to its understanding, or its knowledge, or its wisdom.

VII. (28) On which account, it is possible that the spirit of God may remain in the soul, but that it should remain for ever is impossible, as we have said. And why need we wonder? since there is no other thing whatever, the possession of which, is stable and lasting; but mortal affairs are continually wavering in the scale, and inclining first to one side, and then to the other, and liable at different times to different changes. (29) And the greatest cause of our ignorance is the flesh, and our inseparable connection with the flesh. And this, Moses represents God as admitting, where he says that, "Because they are flesh," the spirit of God cannot abide in them. And yet marriage and the rearing of children, and the furnishing of necessary things, and ingloriousness conjoined with a want of money and business, both private and public, and a countless number of other things cause wisdom to waste away, before it begins to flourish vigorously. (30) But there is nothing which is so great a hindrance to its growth as the fleshly nature. For that, as if it were the principal and most solid foundation of folly and ignorance, is laid down firmly, and then each of the aforenamed evils is built up upon it. (31) For those souls which are devoid of flesh and of the body, remaining undisturbed in the theatre of the universe, occupied in seeing and hearing divine things, of which an insatiable desire has seized them, enjoy a pleasure to which no one offers any interruption. But those which bear the heavy burden of the flesh, being weighed down and oppressed by it, are unable to look upwards to the revolutions of the heaven, but being dragged downwards, have their necks forcibly pressed to the ground like so many quadrupeds.

VIII. (32) In reference to which fact, the lawgiver having determined to put an end to all illegal and illegitimate associations and unions, begins his denunciations in the following manner: "Man shall not come near to any one who is akin to his own flesh, to uncover his nakedness: I am the Lord." How could any one more forcibly exhort man to despise the flesh and what is akin to the flesh than in this way? (33) And indeed he does not only exhort us to abandon such things, but he shows positively that he who is really a man will never come of his own accord to those pleasures which are dear to and connected with the body, but will always be meditating to alienate himself from them entirely. (34) For the saying, "Man, man," not once but twice, is a sign that what is here meant is not the man composed of body and soul, but him only who is possessed of virtue. For such an one is really a true man, whom some one of the ancient philosophers having lighted a lantern at midday, went in search of, and told those who asked him that he was seeking a man. And as for the prohibition against every man coming near to any one who is akin to his own flesh, this is induced by necessary reasons. For there are some things which we should admit, such for instance as those useful things, by the employment of which we may be able to live in freedom from disease and in good health; and there are other things which should be rejected, by which, when the appetites become inflamed, they burn up all goodness in one vast conflagration. (35) Let not then our appetites rush eagerly in pursuit of all the things that are pleasant to the flesh, for the pleasures are often untameable, when like dogs they fawn upon us, and all of a sudden, change and bite us, inflicting incurable sounds. So that by cleaving to frugality, which is a friend to virtue, in preference to the pleasures akin to the body, we shall defeat the numerous and infinite multitude of irreconcilable enemies. And if any occasion should seek to compel us to take more than what is moderate or sufficient, let us not yield; for the scripture saith, "He shall come near to him to uncover his nakedness."

IX. (36) And what is meant by this, it is worth while to explain. It has often happened, that some who have not been themselves providers of wealth, have nevertheless had unlimited abundance. And others, who have not been eager in the pursuit of glory have been thought worthy of public praises and honours. Others again, who have not expected to acquire even a little strength, have arrived at the greatest vigour and activity. (37) Now, let all these men learn not to cleave in their minds to any one of these qualities; that is to say, not to admire them and grasp at them in an immoderate degree, looking upon them all, that is to say on riches, on glory, and on bodily strength, not only not as intrinsically good, but as the greatest of evils. For to misers, the pursuit of money is appropriate, and the pursuit of glory is so to ambitious men, and the acquisition of bodily strength is so to men fond of athletic and of gymnastic exercises. For that which is the better part of them, namely, the soul, they have abandoned as a slave to those things which are inferior to themselves, namely, to inanimate things. (38) But as many as are masters of themselves show that all that brilliant prosperity, which is an object of so much contention, is in subordination to the mind, which is the principal part of them, receiving it when it comes, so as to make a good use of it, but not pursuing it if it keeps aloof, as being able to be happy even without it. (39) But he who pursues it eagerly and follows upon its track, fills philosophy with base opinions; on which account he is said to uncover its nakedness, for how can there be any concealment or ignorance of the reproaches to which those men are justly exposed, who profess indeed to be wise men, but who make a traffic of wisdom, and bargain for the sale of it, as they say men do in the market, who put up their wares for sale, sometimes for a slight gain, sometimes for sweet and caressing speeches, and sometimes for insecure hopes, founded on no sure ground, and sometimes even for promises which are in no respect better than dreams.

X. (40) And the sentence which follows, "I am the Lord," is uttered with great beauty and with most excessive propriety, "for," says the Lord, "oppose, my good man, the good of the flesh to that of the soul, and of the whole man;" therefore the pleasure of the flesh is irrational, but the pleasure of the soul and of the whole man is the mind of the universe, namely God; (41) and the comparison is an admirable one, and one difficult to be instituted, so as for any one to be deceived by the close similitude, unless any one will say that living things are in reality the same as lifeless things, rational things the same as irrational things; well adapted the same as those ill adapted; odd numbers identical with even ones; light with darkness, and day with night; and in short every thing that is contrary the same as its contrary. (42) And yet even although these things have some kind of union and connection together by reason of their being created, still God is not in any respect like the very best of created beings, inasmuch as these have been born, and are liable to suffering; but he is uncreated, and always acting not suffering. (43) Now it is well not to desert the ranks of God, in which it follows inevitably that all who are arrayed must be most excellent, and it would be shameful to quit those ranks, to fly to unmanly and effeminate pleasure, which injures its friends and benefits its enemies, for its nature is a very singular one; for all those to whom it chooses to give a share of its special advantages, it at once chastises and injures; and those whom it thinks fit to deprive of its good things, it benefits in the greatest possible degree, for it injures them when it gives, but it benefits them when it takes away. (44) If therefore, O my soul, any one of the temptations of pleasure invites you, turn yourself away, and directing your views towards another point, look at the genuine beauty of virtue, and having surveyed it, remain, until a desire for it has sunk into you, and draws you to it, like a magnet, and immediately leads you and attaches you to that which has become the object of your desire.

XI. (45) And the expression, "I am the Lord," must be listened to, not only as if it were equivalent to, "I am the perfect, and incorruptible, and true good," with which if any one is surrounded he will reject all that is imperfect, and corruptible, and attached to the flesh; but also as equivalent to, "I am the ruler, and the king, and the master." (46) And it is not safe for subjects to do wrong in the presence of their rulers, nor for slaves to err before their masters; for when the punishers are near, those whose nature is not quick at submitting to admonitions are held in restraint and order by fear; (47) for God, having filled everything with himself, is near at hand, so that he is looking over everything and standing by, we being filled with a great and holy reverence, or if not with that, at all events, having a prudent fear of the might of his authority, and of the fearful nature of his punishment, which cannot be avoided, whenever he determines to exert his punishing power, shall desist from doing wrong. In order that the divine spirit of wisdom may not be inclined to quit our neighbourhood and depart, but that it may remain a very long time with us, as it did also with the wise Moses; (48) for Moses is a being of the most tranquil habits, either standing still or sitting still, and not at all disposed by nature to subject himself to turns and changes; for the scripture says, "Moses and the ark did not move," inasmuch as the wise man cannot depart from virtue, or inasmuch as virtue is not liable to move, nor is the virtuous man inclined to changes, but each of these things is established on the sure foundation of right reason. (49) And again, the scripture saith in another passage, "But stand thou here with me." For this is an oracle of God, which was given to the prophet, and his station was to be one of unmoved tranquillity by God, who always stands immovably; for it is indispensable, that all things which are placed by the side of him must be kept straight by such an undeviating rule. (50) On this account it is, as it seems to me, that excessive pride, named Jethro, marvelling at his unvarying and always equal choice of what was wise, a choice which always looked at the same things in the same way, was perplexed, and put a question to him in this form, "Why dost thou sit by thyself?" (51) For any one who considers the continual war raging among men in the middle of peace, and existing, not merely among nations, and countries, and cities, but also among private houses, or I might rather say, between every individual man and the inexpressible and heavy storms which agitate the souls of men, which, by their evident impetuosity, throw into confusion all the affairs of life, may very naturally wonder, if in such a storm, any one can enjoy tranquillity, and can feel a calm in such a billowy state of the stormy sea. (52) You see that even the high priest, that is to say, reason, who might at all times remain and reside in the holy dwelling of God, has not free permission to approach them at all times, but only once in each year; for whatever is associated with reason by utterance is not firm, because it is of a twofold nature. But the safest conduct is to contemplate the living God by the soul alone, without utterance of any voice, because he exists according to the indivisible unit.

XII. (53) As, therefore, among men in general, that is to say, among those who propose to themselves many objects in life, the divine spirit does not remain, even though it may abide among them for a very short time, but it remains among one species of men alone, namely, among those who, having put off all the things of creation, and the inmost veil and covering of false opinion, come to God in their unconcealed and naked minds. (54) Thus also Moses, having fixed his tent outside of the tabernacle and outside of all the corporeal army, that is to say, having established his mind so that it should not move, begins to worship God, and having entered into the darkness, that invisible country, remains there, performing the most sacred mysteries; and he becomes, not merely an initiated man, but also an hierophant of mysteries and a teacher of divine things, which he will explain to those whose ears are purified; (55) therefore the divine spirit is always standing by him, conducting him in every right way: but from other men, as I have said before, it very soon separates itself, and completes their life in the number of a hundred and twenty years. For God says, "their days shall be an hundred and twenty years;" (56) but Moses, when he had arrived at that number of years, departed from mortal life to another. How, then, can it be natural for men who are guilty to live an equal length of time with the all-wise prophet? for the present, it will be sufficient to say this, that things which bear the same name are not in all cases alike, but very often they are distinct in their whole genus; and also that which is bad may have equal numbers and times with what is good, since they are represented as twofold, but still they have their respective powers, distinct from one another, and as remote and different as possible. (57) And we shall hereafter institute a more exact discussion of this period of a hundred and twenty years, which we will however postpone, till we come to an examination of the whole life of the prophet, when we have become fit to be initiated in it, but at present we will discuss what comes next in order.

XIII. (58) "And there were giants on the earth in those days." Perhaps some one may here think, that the lawgiver is speaking enigmatically and alluding to the fables handed down by the poets about giants, though he is a man as far removed as possible from any invention of fables, and one who thinks fit only to walk in the paths of truth itself; (59) in consequence of which principle, he has banished from the constitution, which he has established, those celebrated and beautiful arts of statuary and painting, because they, falsely imitating the nature of the truth, contrive deceits and snares, in order, through the medium of the eyes, to beguile the souls which are liable to be easily won over. (60) Therefore he utters no fable whatever respecting the giants; but he wishes to set this fact before your eyes, that some men are born of the earth, and some are born of heaven, and some are born of God: those are born of the earth, who are hunters after the pleasures of the body, devoting themselves to the enjoyment and fruition of them, and being eager to provide themselves with all things that tend to each of them. Those again are born of heaven who are men of skill and science and devoted to learning; for the heavenly portion of us is our mind, and the mind of every one of those persons who are born of heaven studies the encyclical branches of education and every other art of every description, sharpening, and exercising, and practising itself, and rendering itself acute in all those matters which are the objects of intellect. (61) Lastly, those who are born of God are priests and prophets, who have not thought fit to mix themselves up in the constitutions of this world, and to become cosmopolites, but who having raised themselves above all the objects of the mere outward senses, have departed and fixed their views on that world which is perceptible only by the intellect, and have settled there, being inscribed in the state of incorruptible incorporeal ideas.

XIV. (62) Accordingly, Abraham, as long as he was abiding in the land of the Chaldaeans, that is to say, in opinion, before he received his new name, and while he was still called Abram, was a man born of heaven, investigating the sublime nature of things on high, and all that took place in these regions, and the causes of them, and studying everything of that kind in the true spirit of philosophy; on which account he received an appellation corresponding to the pursuits to which he devoted himself: for the name Abram, being interpreted, signifies the sublime father, and is a name very fitting for the paternal mind, which in every direction contemplates sublime and heavenly things: for the mind is the father of our composite being, reaching as high as the sky and even farther. (63) But when he became improved, and was about to have his name changed, he then became a man born of God, according to the oracle which was delivered to him, "I am thy God, take care that thou art approved before me, and be thou blameless." (64) But if the God of the world, being the only God, is also by especial favour the peculiar God of this individual man, then of necessity the man must also be a man of God; for the name Abraham, being interpreted, signifies, "the elect father of sound," the reason of the good man: for he is chosen out of all, and purified, and the father of the voice by which we speak; and being such a character as this, he is assigned to the one only God, whose minister he becomes, and so makes the path of his whole life straight, using in real truth the royal road, the road of the only king who governs all things, turning aside and deviating neither to the left hand nor to the right.

XV. (65) But the sons of earth removing their minds from contemplation, and becoming deserters so as to fly to the lifeless and immovable nature of the flesh, "for they two became one flesh," as the lawgiver says, adulterated the excellent coinage, and abandoned the better rank which had been allotted to them as their own, and deserted to the worse rank, which was contrary to their original nature, Nimrod being the first to set the example of this desertion; (66) for the lawgiver says, "that this man began to be a giant upon the earth:" and the name Nimrod, being interpreted, means, desertion; for it was not enough for the thoroughly miserable soul to stand on neither side, but having gone over to its enemies, it took up arms against its friends, and resisted them, and made open war upon them; in reference to which fact it is that, Moses calls the seat of Nimrod’s kingdom Babylon, and the interpretation of the word Babylon is "change;" a thing nearly akin to desertion, the name, too, being akin to the name, and the one action to the other; for the first step of every deserter is a change and alteration of mind, (67) and it would be consistent in the truth to say that, according to the most holy Moses, the bad man, as being one destitute of a home and of a city, without any settled habitation, and a fugitive, is naturally a deserter also; but the good man is the firmest of allies. Having said thus much at present, and dwelt sufficiently on the subject of the giants, we will now proceed to what comes next in our subject, which is this.


I. (1) "And after this," says Moses, "it came to pass that the angels of God went in unto the daughters of men, and they bore children unto them." It is worth while, therefore, to consider what is meant by the expression, "And after this." It is therefore a reference to something that has been said before, for the purpose of explaining it more clearly; (2) and a mention of the divine spirit has already been made, as he has already stated, that it is very difficult for it to remain throughout all ages in the soul, which is divisible into many parts, and which assumes many forms, and is clothed with a most heavy burden, namely its bulk of flesh; after this spirit, therefore, the angels of God go in unto the daughters of men. (3) For as long as the pure rays of wisdom shine forth in the soul, by means of which the wise man sees God and his powers, no one of those who bring false news ever enters into the reason, but all such are kept at a distance outside of the sacred threshhold. But when the light of the intellect is dimmed and overshadowed, then the companions of darkness having become victorious, associate themselves with the dissolute and effeminate passions which the prophet calls the daughters of men, and they bear children to them and not to God. (4) For the appropriate progeny of God are the perfect virtues, but that offspring which is akin to the wicked, is unregulated wickedness. But learn thou, if thou wilt, O my mind, not to bear children to thyself, after the example of that perfect man Abraham, who offered up to God "The beloved and only legitimate offspring of his soul," the most conspicuous image of self-taught wisdom, by name Isaac; and who gave him up with all cheerfulness to be a necessary and fitting offering to God. "Having bound," as the scripture says, this new kind of victim, either because he, having once tasted of the divine inspiration, did not condescend any longer to tread on any mortal truth, or because he saw that the creature was unstable and moveable, while he recognised the unhesitating firmness existing in the living God, on whom he is said to have believed.

II. (5) His disciple and successor was Hannah. The gift of the wisdom of God, for the interpretation of the name is her grace. For when she had become pregnant, having received the divine seed, and after she had completed the time of her labour, she brought forth, in the manner appointed by the arrangement of God, a son, whom she called Samuel; and the name Samuel being interpreted, means "appointed by God." She therefore having received him restores him to the giver; not looking upon anything as a good belonging to herself which is not divine grace. (6) For in the first book of Kings, she speaks in this manner: "I give him unto thee freely," the expression here used being equivalent to, "I give him unto thee whom thou hast given to me." According to that most sacred scripture of Moses, "My gifts and my offerings, and my first fruits, ye shall observe to offer unto me." (7) For to what other being should one bring gifts of gratitude except to God? and what offerings can one bring unto him except of those things which have been given to us by him? For it is not possible for us to have an abundance of anything else. And he has no need of any of those things which he enjoins men to offer unto him, but he bids us bring unto him the things which are his own, through the excess of his beneficence to our race. For we, studying to conduct ourselves with gratitude to him, and to show him all honours, should purify ourselves from sin, washing off all things that can stain our life in words, or appearance, or actions. (8) For it is foolishness to imagine, that it is unlawful to enter into temples, unless a man has first washed his body and made that look bright, but that one may attempt to sacrifice and to pray with a mind still polluted and disordered. And yet temples are made of stones and timber, mere lifeless materials, and it is not possible for the body, if it is devoid of life by its own nature, to touch things devoid of life, without using ablutions and purifying ceremonies of holiness; and shall any one endure to approach God without being purified as to his soul, shall any one while impure come near to the purest of all beings, and this too without having any intention of repenting? (9) Let him, indeed who, in addition to having committed no new crimes, has also endeavoured to wash off his old misdeeds, come cheerfully before him; but let the man who is without any such preparation, and who is impure, keep aloof. For he will never escape the notice of him who can look into the recesses of the heart, and who walketh in its most secret places.

III. (10) Now the most evident sign of a soul devoted to God is that song in which that expression occurs, "She that was barren has borne seven children, and she that had many children has become weak." (11) And yet she who is speaking is in reality only the mother of one son, namely, of Samuel. How then does she say that she has borne seven children, unless indeed any one thinks that the unit is in its strictest nature identical with the number seven, not only in number, but also in the harmony of the universe, and in the reasonings of the soul which is devoted to virtue? For he who was devoted to the one God, that is Samuel, and who had no connection whatever with any other being, is adorned according to that essence which is single and the real unit; (12) and this is the constitution of the number seven, that is to say, of the soul that rests in God, and which no longer concerns itself about any mortal employment, when it has quitted the number six which it allotted to those who were not able to attain to the first rank, but who of necessity contented themselves with arriving at the second. (13) It is therefore not incredible that the barren woman, not being one who is incapable of becoming fruitful, but one who is still vigorous and fresh, striving for the chief reward in the arena of fortitude, patience, and perseverance, may bring forth a seven, equal in honour to the unit, of which numbers, nature is very productive and prolific. (14) And she says, that "she that had many children has become weak," speaking accurately and very plainly. For when the soul, although only one, brings forth many children when separated from the one, it then naturally becomes infinite in number; and then being weighed down and overwhelmed by the multitude of children who depend upon it, (and the greatest part of them are premature and abortive), it becomes weak. (15) For it brings forth the desire of forms and colours, as gratified by the eyes, and the pleasures arising from sound, as gratified by the ears. It is pregnant also of the pleasures of the belly and of the parts beneath the belly, so that, as many children are attached to it, it becomes exhausted by bearing this heavy burden, and drops its hands from weakness, and faints away. And in this way it comes to pass that all those things are subdued which bring forth perishable children to themselves, who are likewise perishable.

IV. (16) But some persons, through their selflove, have incurred not only defeat but even death also. At all events Onan, "knowing that the seed should not be his," did not desist from injuring the rational principle, which is the best thing in kind of all existing things, until he himself met with utter destruction. And this, too, very properly and deservedly; (17) for if some men do all things for the sake of themselves alone, not with a view to the honour of their parents, or the proper regulation of their children, or the salvation of their country, or the guardianship of the laws, or the preservation of good morals, or with a view to the due performance of any public or private duty, or of a proper celebration of sacred rites, or the pious worship due to the gods, they will be deservedly miserable. (18) For the sake of one of the objects which I have mentioned, it is glorious even to quit life itself. But these men say that, unless they are likely to gain some pleasure by the pursuit of them, they would disregard the whole lot of them— glorious objects as they are. Therefore, the incorruptible God banishes the wicked exposition of unnatural opinion, which is named Onan. (19) And altogether these persons are to be detested who beget children for themselves, that is to say, who, pursuing their own private advantage alone, disregard all other objects, as if they had been born for themselves alone, and not for ten thousand other persons also, for their fathers, and their mothers, and their wives, and their children, and their country, and for all mankind. And if we must go further and add any thing to this enumeration, we may say for heaven, and earth, and the whole universe, and for the sciences, and for the virtues, and for the Father and Ruler of all; to every one of which a man ought to pay what is due to the best of his power, not looking upon all the world as an addition to himself, but on himself as an addition to the rest of the world.

V. (20) However, we have said enough on this head; let us now connect what follows with it:—"The Lord God, therefore," says Moses, "seeing that the wickedness of man was multiplied upon the earth, and that every one of them was carefully studying wickedness in his heart all his days; God considered in his mind that he had made man upon the earth, and he thought upon it; and God said, I will destroy man whom I have made from off the face of the earth." (21) Perhaps some very wicked persons will suspect that the lawgiver is here speaking enigmatically, when he says that the Creator repented of having created man, when he beheld their wickedness; on which account he determined to destroy the whole race. But let those who adopt such opinions as these know, that they are making light of and extenuating the offences of these men of old time, by reason of their own excessive impiety; (22) for what can be a greater act of wickedness than to think that the unchangeable God can be changed? And this, too, while some persons think that even those who are really men do never hesitate in their opinions, for that those, who have studied philosophy in a sincere and pure spirit, have derived as the greatest good arising from their knowledge, the absence of any inclination to change with the changes of affairs, and the disposition, with all immovable firmness and sure stability, to labour at every thing that it becomes them to pursue.

VI. (23) And it seems good to the lawgiver that the perfect man should desire tranquillity; for it was said to the wise man in the character of God, "But stand thou here with me," this expression showing the unchangeable and unalterable nature of the mind which is firmly established in the right way; (24) for it is really marvellous when any one touches the soul, like a lyre tuned in musical principles, not with sharp and flat sounds, but with an accurate knowledge of contrary tones, and employing only the best, not sounding any too loudly, nor on the other hand letting any be too weak, so as to impair the harmony of the virtues and of those things which are good by nature, and when he, preserving it in an equal condition plays and sings melodiously; (25) for this instrument nature has made to be the most perfect of all, and to be the model of all instruments made by the hand. And if this be properly tuned, it will utter the most exquisite of all symphonies, which consists not in the combination and tones of a melodious voice, but in a harmonious agreement of all the actions in life; (26) therefore, as the soul of man can allay the excessive storm and swell of the sea, which the violent and irresistible gale of wickedness has suddenly raised, by the gentle breezes of knowledge and wisdom, and having mitigated its swelling and boisterous fury, enjoys tranquillity resting in an unruffled calm. Do you doubt whether the imperishable, and everlasting, and blessed God, the Being endowed with all the virtues, and with all perfection, and with all happiness is unchangeable in his counsels, and whether he abides by the designs which he originally formed, without changing any of them. (27) Facility of change is indeed an attribute of man, which is of necessity incidental to their nature by reason of its external want of firmness; as in this way, for instance:—often when we have chosen friends, and have lived some short time with them, without having any thing to accuse them of, we then turn away from them, so as to place ourselves in the rank of enemies, or at least of strangers to them; (28) now this conduct shows the facility and levity of ourselves, who are unable steadily to adhere to the professions which we originally made; but God is not so easily sated or wearied. Again there are times when we determine to abide by the same judgment that we have formed; but those who join us do not equally abide by theirs, so that our opinions of necessity change as well as theirs; (29) for it is impossible for us, who are but men, to foresee all the contingencies of future events, or to anticipate the opinions of others; but to God, as dwelling in pure light, all things are visible; for he penetrating into the very recesses of the soul, is able to see, with the most perfect certainty, what is invisible to others, and being possessed of prescience and of providence, his own peculiar attributes, he allows nothing to abuse its liberty, and to stray out of the reach of his comprehension, since with him, there is no uncertainty even in the future, for there is nothing uncertain nor even future to God. (30) It is plain therefore that the creator of all created things, and the maker of all the things that have ever been made, and the governor of all the things which are subject to government, must of necessity be a being of universal knowledge; and he is in truth the father, and creator, and governor of all things in heaven and in the whole world; and indeed future events are overshadowed by the distance of future time, which is sometimes a short and sometimes a long interval. (31) But God is the creator of time also; for he is the father of its father, and the father of time is the world, which made its own mother the creation of time, so that time stands towards God in the relation of a grandson; for this world is a younger son of God, inasmuch as it is perceptible by the outward sense; for the only son he speaks of as older than the world, is idea, and this is not perceptible by the intellect; but having thought the other worthy of the rights of primogeniture, he has decided that it shall remain with him; (32) therefore, this younger son, perceptible by the external senses being set in motion, has caused the nature of time to shine forth, and to become conspicuous, so that there is nothing future to God, who has the very boundaries of time subject to him; for their life is not time, but the beautiful model of time, eternity; and in eternity nothing is past and nothing is future, but everything is present only.

VII. (33) Having therefore now sufficiently discussed the question of the living God never knowing repentance, it comes next in order for us to explain what is the meaning of the expression, "God considered that he had made man upon the earth, and he thought within himself." (34) Then the creator of the world, having attached to himself the two most lasting powers of cogitation and deliberation—the one being a conception conceived within his own breast, and the other the discussion of such conception—and since he continually employs them for the contemplation of his own works, those things which do not leave their appointed station he praises for their obedience, but those which change their place he pursues with the punishment appointed for deserters; (35) for some bodies he has endowed with habit, others with nature, others with soul, and some with rational soul; for instance, he has bound stones and beams, which are torn from their kindred materials, with the most powerful bond of habit; and this habit is the inclination of the spirit to return to itself; for it begins at the middle and proceeds onwards towards the extremities, and then when it has touched the extreme boundary, it turns back again, until it has again arrived at the same place from which it originally started. (36) This is the continued unalterable course, up and down, of habit, which runners, imitating in their triennial festivals, in those great common spectacles of all men, display as a brilliant achievement, and a worthy subject of rivalry and contention.

VIII. (37) And he has given to plants a nature which he has combined of as many powers as possible, that is of the nutritive, and the changeable, and the forming power; for they are nourished when they have need of nourishment; and a proof of this is that those plants which are not irrigated waste away and are dried up, as on the other hand those which have water supplied to them do visibly grow, for those which for a time were mere creepers on the ground, by reason of their shortness, suddenly spring up and become very long branches. And why need I speak of the changes which they undergo? (38) for at the time of the winter solstice their leaves wither and fall to the ground; and the eyes, as they are called by the agricultural labourers, which appear on the young shoots, close up like the eyes of animals, and all the mouths which are calculated to send forth young buds, are bound up; their internal nature being at that time confined and quiet, in order that, when it has taken breath, like a wrestler who has gone through a little preliminary exercise, and having again collected its appropriate strength, it may return again to its customary operations. And this happens at the seasons of both spring and summer, (39) for then their nature, waking as it were out of a deep sleep, opens its eyes, and expands and widens its previously closed mouth; and then it brings forth all those things of which it was pregnant, leaves, and young shoots, and tendrils, and feelers, and fruit on all its branches; and then when these things have come to perfection it affords nourishment and food to them, as a mother does to her child by some invisible passages which are similar in principle to the breasts in women, and it never ceases to nourish them until the fruit be come to complete ripeness; (40) and that which is thoroughly ripe is then perfected, when, even if no one gathers it, it of its own accord hastens to separate itself from its kindred branch, inasmuch as it no longer stands in need of nourishment from its parent, being able, if it should meet with a fitting soil, itself to sow and beget offspring resembling its own parents.

IX. (41) And the Creator has made the soul to differ from nature in these things—in the outwards sense, and imagination, and impetuosity; for plants are destitute of impetuosity and devoid of imagination, and without any participation in the outward sense. But every animal partakes of all these qualities above-mentioned, all together. (42) Now the outward sense, as indeed its name shows, in some degree is a kind of insertion, placing the things that are made apparent to it in the mind; for in the mind, since that is the greatest storehouse and receptacle for all things, is everything placed and treasured up which comes under the operation of the sense of seeing or hearing, or the other organs of the outward senses. (43) And imagination is an impression of figures in the soul; for the things which each of the outward senses has brought in, like a ring or a seal, on them it imprints its own character. And the mind, being like wax, having received the impression, keeps it carefully in itself until forgetfulness, the enemy of memory, has smoothed off the edges of the impression, or else has rendered it dim, or perhaps has completely effaced it. (44) And that which has been visible and has been impressed upon the soul at times affects the soul in a way consistent with itself, and at other times in a different way; and this passion to which it is subject is called appetite, which philosophers who define such things say is the first motion of the soul. (45) In such important points are animals superior to plants. Let us now see in what man is superior to the rest of the animal creation.

X. Man, then, has received this one extraordinary gift, intellect, which is accustomed to comprehend the nature of all bodies and of all things at the same time; for, as in the body, the sight is the most important faculty, and since in the universe the nature of light is the most pre-eminent thing, in the same manner that part of us which is entitled to the highest rank is the mind. (46) For the mind is the sight of the soul, shining transcendently with its own rays, by which the great and dense darkness which ignorance of things sheds around is dissipated. This species of soul is not composed of the same elements as those of which the other kinds were made, but it has received a purer and more excellent essence of which the divine natures were formed; on which account the intellect naturally appears to be the only thing in us which is imperishable, (47) for that is the only quality in us which the Father, who created us, thought deserving of freedom; and, unloosing the bonds of necessity, he let it go unrestrained, bestowing on it that most admirable gift and most connected with himself, the power, namely, of spontaneous will, as far as he was able to receive it; for the irrational animals, in whose soul there is not that especial gift tending to freedom, namely, mind, are put under the yoke and have bridles put in their mouths, and so are given unto men to be their slaves, as servants are given to their masters. But man, who has had bestowed on him a voluntary and self-impelling intellect, and who for the most part puts forth his energies in accordance with deliberate purpose, very properly receives blame for the offences which he designedly commits, and praise for the good actions which he intentionally performs. (48) For, in the case of other plants and other animals, we cannot call either the good that is caused by them deserving of praise, nor the evil that they do deserving of blame; for all their motions in either direction, and, all their changes, have no design about them, but are involuntary. But the soul of man, being the only one which has received from God the power of voluntary motion, and which in this respect has been made to resemble God, and being as far as possible emancipated from the authority of that grievous and severe mistress, necessity, may rightly be visited with reproach if she does not pay due honour to the being who has emancipated her. And therefore, in such a case, she will most deservedly suffer the implacable punishment denounced against slavish and ungrateful minds. (49) So that God "considered" and though within himself, not now for the first time, but long ago, and with great steadiness and resolution, "that he had made man;" that is to say, he considered within himself what kind of being he had made him. For he had made him free from all bondage or restraint, able to exert his energies in accordance with his own will and deliberate purpose, on this account: that so knowing what things were good and what, on the contrary, were evil, and having arrived at a proper comprehension of what is honourable and what is disgraceful, and apprehending what things are just and what unjust, and, in short, what things flow from virtue and what from wickedness, he might exercise a choice of the better objects and an avoidance of their opposites; (50) and this is the meaning of the oracle recorded in Deuteronomy, "Behold, I have put before thy face life and death; good and evil. Do thou choose life." Therefore he teaches us by this sentence both that men have a knowledge of good and of the contrary, evil, and that it is their duty to choose the better in preference to the worse, preserving reason within themselves as an incorruptible judge, to be guided by the arguments which sound sense suggests, and to reject those which are brought forward by the contrary power.

XI. (51) Having now therefore explained these matters sufficiently, let us pass on to what comes next. And this is what follows: "I will destroy," says God, "the man whom I have made from off the face of the earth, from man to beast, from creeping things to the fowls of the air, because I have considered and repent that I have made them." (52) Now, some persons, when they hear the expressions which I have just cited, imagine that the living God is here giving away to anger and passion; but God is utterly inaccessible to any passion whatever. For it is the peculiar property of human weakness to be disquieted by any such feelings, but God has neither the irrational passions of the soul, nor are the parts and limits of the body in the least belonging to him. But, nevertheless, such things are spoken of with reference to God by the great lawgiver in an introductory sort of way, for the sake of admonishing those persons who could not be corrected otherwise. (53) For of all the laws which are couched in the form of injunction or prohibition, and such alone are properly speaking laws; there are two principal positions laid down with respect to the great cause of all things: one, that God is not as a man; the other, that God is as a man. (54) But the first of these assertions is confirmed by the most certain truth, while the latter is introduced for the instruction of the many. In reference to which, it is said concerning them, "as a man would instruct his son." And this is said for the sake of instruction and admonition, and not because he is really such by nature. (55) For of men some are attached to the service of the soul, and others to that of the body; now the companions of the soul, being able to associate with incorporeal natures, appreciable only by the intellect, do not compare the living God to any species of created beings; but, dissociating it with any idea of distinctive qualities (for this is what most especially contributes to his happiness and to his consummate felicity, to comprehend his naked existence without any connection with figure or character), they, I say, are content with the bare conception of his existence, and do not attempt to invest him with any form. (56) But those who enter into agreements and alliances with the body, being unable to throw off the robes of the flesh, and to behold that nature, which alone of all natures has no need of anything, but is sufficient for itself, and simple, and unalloyed, and incapable of being compared with anything else, from the same notions of the cause of all things that they do of themselves; not considering that in the case of a being who exists through a concurrence of many faculties, he has need of many parts in order to supply the necessities of each of those faculties.

XII. But God, inasmuch as he is uncreated, and the Being who has brought all other things to creation, stood in need of none of those things which are usually added to creatures. (57) For what are we to say? Shall we say, if he is possessed of the different organic parts, that he has feet for the sake of walking? But where is he to walk who fills all places at once with his presence? And to whom is he to go, when there is no one of equal honour with himself? And why is he to walk? It cannot be out of any regard for his health as we do. Again, are we to say that he has hands for the purpose of giving and taking? he never receivers anything from any one. For in addition to the fact of his wanting nothing he actually has everything; and when he gives, he employs reason as the minister of his gifts, by whose agency also he created the world. (58) Once more, he had no need of eyes, the organs without which there can be no comprehension of the light perceptible by the outward senses; but the light perceptible by the outward senses is a created light; and even before the creation God saw, using himself as light. (59) And why need we mention the organs of luxury? For if he has these organs, then he is fed, and when he has satisfied himself he leaves off eating, and after he has left eating he wants food again; and I need not enumerate other particulars which are the necessary consequences of this; for these are the fabulous inventions of impious men, who represent God, in word indeed only as endued with human form, but in fact as influenced by human passions.

XIII. (60) Why, then, does Moses speak of the Uncreate as having feet and hands, and as coming in and as going out? And why does he speak of him as clothed in armour for the purpose of repelling his enemies? For he does speak of him as girding himself with a sword, and as using arrows, and winds, and destructive fire. And the poets say that the whirlwind and the thunderbolt, mentioning them under other names, are the weapons of the Cause of all things. Moreover, speaking of him as they would of men, they add jealousy, anger, passion, and other feelings like these. But to those who ask questions on these subjects, one may answer, (61) "My good men! A man who would establish the most excellent system of laws, ought to keep one end constantly in view, namely, to do good to all who come within his reach." Those, therefore, who have received a fortunate disposition, and an education in all respects blameless, finding the path of life which proceeds in this direction plain and straight, take truth with them as the companion of their journey; by which they are initiated in the true mysteries relating to the living God, and therefore they never attribute any of the properties of created beings to him. (62) Now to these disciples, that principal assertion in the sacred oracles is especially well adapted, that "God is not as man," but neither is he as heaven, nor as the world; for these species are endued with distinctive qualities, and they come under the perception of the outward senses. But he is not even comprehensible by the intellect, except merely as to his essence; for his existence, indeed, is a fact which we do comprehend concerning him, but beyond the fact of his existence, we can understand nothing.

XIV. (63) But those who have received a duller and more sluggish nature, and who have been wrongly brought up as children, and who are unable to see acutely, stand in need of physicians for lawgivers, who may be able to devise an appropriate remedy for the existing complaint, (64) since a severe master is a beneficial thing for untractable and foolish servants; for they, fearing his inflictions and his threats, are chastened by fear, in spite of themselves. Let, therefore, all such men learn false terrors, by which they may be benefited if they cannot be led into the right way by truth. (65) For in the case of men who are afflicted with dangerous illnesses, the most legitimate physicians do not venture to tell them the truth, knowing that by such conduct they will be rendered more desponding, and so that the disease will not be cured; but that by contrary language and comfort, they will bear the disease which presses upon them more easily, and the illness will be more likely to be allayed. (66) For what man is his senses would say to a patient under his care, "My good man, you shall have the knife applied to you, and cautery, and your limbs shall be amputated," even if such things were absolutely necessary to be endured? No man on earth would say so. For if he did, his patient would sink in his heart before the operations could be performed, and so receiving another disease in his soul, more grievous than that already existing in his body, he would resolutely renounce the cure; but if, on the other hand, through the deceit of the physician he is led to form a contrary expectation, he will submit to everything with a patient spirit, even though the means of his salvation may be most painful. (67) Therefore the lawgiver, being a most admirable physician of the passions and diseases of the soul, has proposed to himself one task and one end, namely, to eradicate the diseases of the mind by the roots, so that there may not be a single one left behind to put forth any shoot of incurable distemper. (68) In this way, then, he hoped to be able to eradicate it, if he were to represent the Cause of all things as indulging in threats and indignation, and implacable anger, and, moreover, as employing defensive arms to ward off attacks, and to chastise the wicked; for the fool alone is corrected by such means: (69) and therefore it is that it appears to me that with these two principal assertions above mentioned, namely, that God is as a man and that God is not as a man, are connected two other principles consequent upon and connected with them, namely, that of fear and that of love; for I see that all the exhortations of the laws to piety, are referred either to the love or to the fear of the living God. To those, therefore, who do not attribute either the parts or the passions of men to the living God, but who, as becomes the majesty of God, honour him in himself, and by himself alone, to love him is most natural; but to the others, it is most appropriate to fear him.

XV. (70) Such, then, are the things which it was proper to premise before we entered upon the following investigation:—But we must now go back again to the original consideration, according to which we were in doubt what the meaning is which is concealed under the expression, "I was indignant that I had made them." Perhaps Moses here means to show, that bad men are made so by the anger of God, but good men by his grace; for immediately afterwards he proceeds to add, but "Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord." (71) But anger, which is a passion peculiar to man, is here spoken of with especial felicity, but still more metaphorically than the real truth, in order to the explanation of a matter which is extremely necessary, namely, to show that everything that we do through anger, or fear, or pain, or grief, or any other passion, is confessedly faulty and open to reproach; but all that we do in accordance with right reason and knowledge is praiseworthy. (72) You see now what great caution he uses in speaking here, when he says, "I was indignant that I had made them," not reversing the order of the words so as to say, "Because I had made them I was indignant;" for the latter expression would have become a person who repented of what he had done, an idea which is inconsistent with the nature of God, which foresees everything. But the other doctrine is a general one, being the expression of a man who means to explain by it that anger is the fountain of all sins, and reason the source of all good actions. (73) But God, remembering his own perfect goodness in every particular, even if the whole or the greater part of mankind fall off from him by reason of the abundance and extravagance of their sins, stretching forth his right hand, his hand of salvation, supports man and raises him up, not permitting the whole race to be utterly destroyed and to perish everlastingly.

XVI. (74) On which account God now says, that Noah found grace in his sight, when all the rest of mankind appearing ungrateful were about to receive punishment, in order that he might mingle saving mercy with judgment against sinners. As the psalmist has said somewhere, "My song shall be of mercy and judgment." (75) For if God were to choose to judge the race of mankind without mercy, he would pass on them a sentence of condemnation; since there has never been a single man who, by his own unassisted power, has run the whole course of his life, from the beginning to the end, without stumbling; but since some men have fallen into voluntary, and some into involuntary sins, (76) that therefore the human race might still subsist, even though many of the subordinate members of it go to destruction. God mingles mercy with his justice, which he exercises towards the good actions of even the unworthy; and he not only pities them while judging, but judges them while pitying them, for mercy is older than justice in his sight, inasmuch as he knew the man who deserved punishment, not after he had passed sentence on him, but also before sentence.

XVII. (77) On which account he says in another passage, "The cup is in the hand of the Lord; full of the mixture of unmixed wine;" and yet that which is mixed is not unmixed; but these words are spoken in a sense in the strictest accordance with natural philosophy and in one perfectly consistent with what has been said before; for God exerts his power in an untempered degree towards himself, but in a mixed character towards his creatures; for it is impossible for a mortal nature to endure his power unmitigated. (78) Do you think that you would be unable to look at the unmodified light of the sun? If you were to try to do so, your sight would be extinguished by the brilliancy of his rays, and be wholly blinded by a close approach to that luminary, before it could perceive anything, and yet the sun is only one of the works of God, a portion of the heaven, a fragment of compressed aether, but you are nevertheless able to gaze upon those uncreated powers which exist around him, and emit the most dazzling light, without any veil or modification. (79) As, therefore, the sun extends his rays from heaven to the boundaries of the earth, tempering and dissolving the exceeding violence of the heat that is in them by cool air, for he mixes his rays with that, in order that that portion of them which gives light being separated from that portion which gives heat, he may remit somewhat of his power of burning, but retain the power by which he gives light, and so be received with welcome, when meeting that kindred and friendly light which is situated in the eyes of man; for the meeting of these two lights in the same place, coming from an opposite direction, and the reception of the one by the other, is what causes that comprehension which we arrive at by our faculty of sight: but what mortal could possibly receive in this manner the knowledge, and wisdom, and prudence, and justice, and all the other virtues of God, in an unalloyed state? The whole heaven, the whole world, could not do so. (80) Therefore the Creator, knowing the way in which he exceeded in all things that were most excellent, and the inherent natural weakness of created beings, even though they boast loudly, does not think either to benefit them or to chastise them to the extremity of his power, but only as far as he sees that those who are to be the objects of his benefits or of his chastisements have power to receive either. (81) If, then, we are able to drink of and to enjoy a gentle and moderate mixture of his powers, we might receive sufficient happiness there from, than which the race of man ought not to seek to receive any more complete enjoyment. We have now explained what the mixed and unmixed powers and what those really supreme faculties are which exist in the living God alone.

XVIII. (82) And similar to what has been previously said, is that passage which occurs in another place, "God spake once, and twice I have also heard the same." The expression "once" resembles the unmixed power, for the unmixed power is the unit, and the unit is the unmixed power; but the "twice" resembles the mixed power, for neither one nor the other is a simple thing, inasmuch as it admits of combination or of division. (83) God, therefore, utters unmixed units: for the word which he utters is not a beating of the air, being absolutely mingled with nothing else whatever, but it is incorporeal and naked, in no respect different from the unit. But we hear by the number two; (84) for the breath being sent from the dominant part of us through the artery called the trachea, is formed in the mouth by the tongue, as by a kind of workman, and being borne outward, and mingled with its kindred air, and having struck it thus harmoniously, completes the mixture of the two powers; for that which sounds together by a combination of different noises is at first adapted to a divisible duad, having one sharp and one flat tone: (85) very beautifully, therefore, did he oppose one just reason to the multitude of unjust reasons, less indeed in number, but superior in power, in order that the worse of the two might not, like a weight put in a scale, weigh down the other; but that, by the power of the weight of the better one in the opposite scale it might have its lightness detected, and so be weakened.

XIX. (86) But what is the meaning of the sentence, "Noah found grace in the sight of the Lord God?" Let us now consider this: for those who find anything, some are finding what they formerly had and have lost; and some are discovering what they never had before, and now possess for the first time. Accordingly, those men who occupy themselves with the investigation of appropriate names, are accustomed to call the latter kind finding (heuresis), and the former kind re-finding (aneuresis). (87) Of the former species we have a conspicuous example afforded us in the injunctions given about the great vow. Now a vow is a request for good things from God; and the spirit of the great vow is to believe that God himself is the cause of good things from himself, without anyone else ever co-operating with him, of the things which may appear to be beneficial, neither the earth as fruitful, nor the rain as helping to promote the growth of seeds and plants, nor the air as calculated to nourish man, nor agriculture as the cause of production, nor the skill of the physician as the cause of health, nor marriage as the cause of the procreation of children: (88) for all these things receive changes and alterations through the power of God, to such a degree and in such a way as often to have effects contrary to their usual ones. Moses, therefore says, that this man is "holy who nourishes the hair of his head;" the meaning of which is, that he is holy who promotes the growth in the principal portion of himself of the principal shoots of the doctrines of virtue, and who in a manner prides himself and takes delight in these doctrines: (89) but sometimes he loses them, a sort of whirlwind, as it were, suddenly darting down upon the soul, and carrying off everything that was good out of it; and this whirlwind is an involuntary change, which pollutes the mind in a moment, which Moses calls death. (90) But nevertheless, when he has afterwards got rid of this and become purified, he recovers and recollects again, what for a time, he had forgotten, and finds what he had lost, so that the days of his former change are not included in the computation, either because such change is a matter which cannot be reduced to calculation, inasmuch as it is inconsistent with right reason and has no partnership with prudence, or because it does not deserve to be taken into calculation; "for of such things," some ancient writer says, "there is no account nor calculation taken."

XX. (91) And we have often met with such things as previously we had never seen even in a dream; like a husbandman whom some persons say while digging a hole for the purpose of planting some fruit-bearing tree, found a treasure, meeting with good fortune which he had never hoped for. (92) Therefore Jacob, the wrestler with God, when his father asked him the manner in which he had acquired this knowledge, saying, "How didst thou find this so quickly, my son?" answered and said, "Because the Lord my God brought it before me." For when God bestows on any one the treasures of his own wisdom without any toil or labour, then we, without having expected such things, suddenly perceive that we have found a treasure of perfect happiness. (93) And it often happens to those who seek with great labour, that they miss that for which they are seeking; while others, who are seeking without any diligence, find with great ease even things that they never thought of finding. For those who are dull and slow in their souls, like men bereft of their eyesight, find the labour which they devote to the contemplation of objects of science useless and wasted; while others, through the richness of their natural endowments, find out immeasurable things without any investigation at all, by the help of felicitous and well directed conjectures; so that it would seem that they attain their objects not in consequence of any labour of their own, but because the things themselves do of their own accord come to meet them and hasten to present themselves to their view, and so give them the most accurate comprehension of them.

XXI. (94) To these men the law-giver says were given, "Great and beautiful cities, which they had not built; houses full of good things, which they had not filled; cisterns cut out of the solid rock, which they had not hewn; vineyards and olive gardens, which they had not planted." (95) Now, by cities and houses, he here symbolically sketches out the generic and specific virtues; for genus resembles a city, because it is marked out in larger circumferences, and because it is common to many individuals; and species resembles a house, because it is more contracted and avoids community; (96) and cisterns prepared before-hand intimate the rewards which fall to the lot of some for their labour, while they are given spontaneously to others, being channels of heavenly and wholesome waters and well prepared treasures for the preservation of the virtues before mentioned, by means of which joy is shed over the perfect heart, irradiating it all over with the light of truth. Again, when Moses speaks of the vineyards, he means them as an emblem of cheerfulness, and the olive gardens as a symbol of light. (97) Happy, therefore, are they who, suffering something like those persons who awoke up out of deep sleep, on a sudden, without any labour or exertion on their part, behold the world before them; and miserable are they to whom it happens to be eagerly contentious for objects to which they are not fitted by nature, being full of a contentious spirit, which is the most grievous of diseases. (98) For, in addition to failing in the object which they are desirous of attaining, they do further incur great disgrace with no slight injury, like ships which are attempting to make their way by sea against opposing winds; for they, in addition to being unable to proceed in their course towards the point to which they are hastening, are very often upset with their crews and their cargoes, and so cause pain to their friends and pleasure to their enemies.

XXII. (99) Therefore the law says that some persons, having made a violent effort, went up to the mountain, "And the Amorites came forth who dwell on that mountain, and wounded them, as bees might have done, and pursued them from Seir even to Hormah." (100) For it follows of necessity that those persons who, being by nature unfitted for the comprehension of arts, if by making violent efforts they do something in them, not only fail of attaining their end, but also incur disgrace; and those who voluntarily, but still without any deliberate consent of their mind, do something that they ought to do, putting a sort of constraint on their own voluntary principle, do not succeed, but are wounded and harassed by their own consciences. (101) So also those who restore deposits of small value in the hope of having larger deposits entrusted to them, which they may be able to appropriate, you would call men of good faith; and yet even when they are restoring the deposits, they put a great constraint on their natural faithlessness, by which it is to be hoped, they will be unceasingly tormented. (102) And do not all those who offer but a spurious kind of worship to the only wise God, putting on a profession of a rigid life like a dress on a magnificent stage, merely with the object of making a display before the assembled spectators, having imposture rather than piety in their souls, do not they, I say, stretch themselves on the rack as it were, and torment themselves, compelling even the truth itself to assume a false appearance. (103) Therefore, they being for a brief period overshadowed with the emblems of superstition, which is the great hindrance to holiness, and a great injury to those who have it and to those who associate with it; after that again stripping off their disguise, display their naked hypocrisy. And then like men, convicted of being aliens, they are looked upon as enemies, having entered themselves as citizens of that noblest of cities—virtue, while they have really no connection with it. For whatever is violent (biaion) is also of short duration, as its very name imports, since it closely resembles short (baion). And the ancients used the two words (baion) and (oligochronion) of short duration as synonymous.

XXIII. (104) We must now consider the question which is meant by "Noah found grace in the sight of the Lord God." Is the meaning of what is here expressed this, that he received grace, or that he was accounted worthy of grace? The former idea it is not natural for us to entertain; for what was given to him beyond what was given to all, as one may say, not only to all concrete natures only, but to all elementary and simple natures which have been accounted worthy of divine grace? (105) But the second interpretation has a reason in it which is not altogether inconsistent, that the cause of all things, judges those persons worthy of his gifts, who do not corrupt the divine impression which has been stamped upon them, namely, the most sacred mind, with disgraceful practices; still perhaps even this is not the true meaning of the words. (106) For what kind of person must he be who would be accounted before God to be worthy of his grace? I indeed think that the whole world put together could scarcely attain to such a pitch, and yet the world is the first, and greatest, and most perfect of all the works of God. (107) May it not then perhaps be better to understand this expression as meaning that the virtuous man being fond of investigating things, and eager for learning, amid all the different things that he has investigated, has found this one most certain fact, that all things that exist, the earth, the water, the air, the fire, the sun, the stars, the heaven, all animals and plants whatever, are the grace of God. (108) But God has given nothing to himself, for he has no need of anything; but he has given the world to the world, and its parts he has bestowed on themselves and on one another, and also on the universe, and without having judged anything to be worthy of grace, (for he gives all his good things without grudging to the universe and to its parts), he merely has regard to his own everlasting goodness, thinking the doing good to be a line of conduct suitable to his own happy and blessed nature; so that if any one were to ask me, what was the cause of the creation of the world, having learnt from Moses, I should answer, that the goodness of the living God, being the most important of his graces, is in itself the cause.

XXIV. (109) But here we must observe that Moses says, that "Noah pleased" the powers of the living God, "the Lord and God," but that he tells us that Moses himself pleased the Being who is attended by those powers as his body guard, and who, without them, is conceived only according to his essence. For it is said, here, speaking in the person of God, "Because thou hast found grace in my sight," pointing out himself instead of any one else whatever. (110) Thus, therefore, he who exists himself by himself alone, thinks the exceeding wisdom which is found in Moses worthy of grace, and that other wisdom which was formed on the model of his, he considers of an inferior class, and more a wisdom of species, as consisting of subordinate powers, according to which he is both Lord and God, and ruler and benefactor. (111) But another mind attached to the body and the slave of the passions, having been sold as slave to the chief cook, that is to say to the pleasure of our compound being, and being castrated and mutilated of all the masculine and generative parts of the soul, being afflicted with a want of all good practices, and being incapable of receiving the divine voice, being also separated and cut off from the sacred assembly, in which conferences and discussions about virtue are continually being brought up, is conducted into the prison of the passions, and finds grace, (a grace more inglorious than dishonour), with the keeper of the prison. (112) For these men are properly called prisoners, not those who after they have been condemned at the judgment seat by the legitimate magistrates, or by judges formally appointed, are led away by the officers into the place appointed for malefactors; but those in whom nature has condemned the disposition of their souls, men who are full of intemperance, and cowardice, and injustice, and impiety, and innumerable other evils; (113) but the steward, and keeper, and guardian of these men, is the keeper of the prison, a composition and combination of all kinds of various wickednesses, united together into one mass, to please whom is the greatest of punishments. But some people who do not perceive this, being deceived with respect to what is injurious to such a degree, as to look upon it as advantageous, come to him with great joy, and offer themselves as his body-guards, that being accounted faithful by him, they may become his lieutenants and successors in the guardianship of involuntary and voluntary offences; (114) but do thou, O my soul, thinking such an office and magistracy as that, more grievous than the most laborious slavery, adopt, as far as you can, an unrestrained, and unconfined, and free system of life, (115) and if you are caught by the baits of passion, endure rather to be a prisoner yourself, than the keeper of a prison; for then if you suffer distress, and groan aloud, you will obtain pity; but if you give yourself up to ambition of great posts, and to a covetousness of honour, you will receive that pleasant and greatest evil of being keeper of the prison, by which you will be influenced the whole of your life.

XXV. (116) Reject therefore with all your might all idea of pleasing the keepers of the prison; but on the contrary, with all your ability and all your earnestness, labour to please him who is the cause of all things; and if you are unable to do so, (for the greatness of his dignity is exceeding high), at all events advance, without ever turning back, towards his powers, and present yourself to them as their suppliant, until they admitting the continual assiduity and sincerity of your service, place you in the ranks of those who have pleased them, as they did Noah, of whose descendants Moses has made a most admirable and novel catalogue; (117) for he says, "These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man, being perfect in his generation, and Noah pleased God;" for the descendants of the compound being were naturally compound beings also themselves; for horses do of necessity beget horses, and lions beget lions, bulls become the parents of bulls, and so too men beget men; (118) but such things are not the appropriate offspring of a good mind; the progeny of that are the virtues before mentioned, namely the being a man, the being just, the being perfect, the pleasing God, which last particular, inasmuch as it is the crowning one, and as it were the boundary of perfect happiness, is enumerated last of all. (119) But there is one kind of creation, which is a sort of conducting and travelling from that which does not exist to existence. This is the one which plants, and animals do of necessity use; and there is another kind, which is a transition and change from a better genus to a rose species, which Moses mentions when he says, "These are the generations of Jacob; Joseph when he was seventeen years of age, was keeping the sheep with his brethren, being a youth with the sons of Billah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives." (120) For when this reason inclined to meditation and devoted to learning, was driven down from its more divine speculations, human and mortal opinions, then Joseph, the companion of the body, and of all the things which pertain to the body was born, being still but a youth, even though in the lapse of time he may become grey headed, as being one who never listened to any older discourse or opinions, which the companions of Moses acquired as the most useful possessions for themselves and their disciples. (121) On this account it seems to me that Moses wishing to describe his figure and to give a more accurate idea of his appearance, so as to make it known, introduced him as tending his father’s sheep, not in the company of any one of his father’s legitimate sons, but with his illegitimate brethren, who, being the sons of concubines, derive their name from the inferior sex, that of the women, and not from the superior sex, that, namely of the man; for they here are called the sons of Jacob’s wives, Billah and Zilpah, and not the sons of their father Israel.

XXVI. (122) And one may here very fitly raise the question for what reason it was that after mentioning the perfection of Noah in virtue, he then immediately adds that "the earth was become corrupt in the sight of God, and was filled with wickedness." But perhaps it is not difficult to arrive at a solution of this doubt, for any one who is not exceedingly ignorant of all instruction. (123) We must say therefore, that when an incorruptible species arises in the soul, the mortal part is immediately destroyed; for the birth of virtuous studies is the death of disgraceful ones, since also when light shines forth darkness disappears. On this account, in the law of leprosy, it is most expressly enjoined that "If the living skin arise in the leper, he shall be polluted;" (124) and further ratifying this same injunction, and as it were setting a seal to it, he adds, "and the flesh which is sound shall pollute him," delivering this injunction in opposition to what is natural or usual: for all men think the things that are sick the pollution of those that are in health, and those that are dead the pollution of the living, and not, on the contrary, that the healthy and the living are the pollution of the wick and of the dead, but rather, they account them their salvation. (125) But the lawgiver being full of the most modern wisdom in everything, has this peculiarity in his expositions, that he teaches that the healthy and the living are the causes of our not being pure from pollution; for the healthy and living complexion in the soul is truly conviction which rises up against it: (126) when this conviction rises up, it makes a catalogue of all the offences of the soul, and reproaching it with them, and looking sternly at it, it is scarcely able to be stopped in its attacks upon it; and the soul being convicted recognises all its actions by which it has offended against right reason, and perceives that it is foolish, and intemperate, and unjust, and full of pollutions.

XXVII. (127) On which account Moses also establishes a most extraordinary law, in which he enjoins that "the man who is in part leprous shall be accounted impure, but that he who is wholly, from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head overwhelmed with leprosy, shall be considered pure;" for any one else, I apprehend, reasoning from probability, would say the exact contrary, and would think that the leprosy which was contracted, and which extended over only a small portion of the body, was less impure, but that the leprosy which was diffused, so as to spread over the whole body was more impure: (128) but Moses here, as it appears to me, uses this symbolical expression to intimate this most undeniable truth, that unintentional misdeeds, even if they be of the greatest enormity, are not deserving of blame, and are pure, inasmuch as they have not conscience, that terrible accuser, to testify against them: but that intentional offences, even if they do not extend over a wide surface, being convicted by the judge who passes sentence against the soul, are rightly accounted unholy, and polluted, and impure. (129) This leprosy, therefore, being of a twofold character, and putting forth two complexions, signifies voluntary depravity; for the soul, though it has healthy, and vivifying, and right reason in itself, does not use it for the preservation of its good things, but surrendering itself to persons unskilled in navigation, it overturns the whole bark of life, which might have been saved in calm fine weather; (130) but when it changes so as to assume one uniform white appearance, it displays an involuntary change; since the mind, entirely deprived of the power of reasoning, not having left in it one single seed to beget understanding, like a man in a mist or in deep darkness, sees nothing that ought to be done; but, like a blind man, falling without seeing his way before him into all kinds of error, endures continual falls and disasters one after another, in spite of all its efforts.

XXVIII. (131) And like this is the injunction given respecting the house in which it happens that leprosy often arises; for Moses says that, "If there be a taint of leprosy in the house, the owner shall come, and shall tell it to the priest, saying there is something like a taint of leprosy has been seen by me in my house," and presently he adds, "And the priest shall command him to dismantle his house, before the priest enters into the house to see it, and all the things that are in the house shall not be impure; and after that the priest shall enter the house to examine it." (132) Therefore, before the priest enters in, the things in the house are pure; but after he has entered in, from that time forth they are all impure. And yet the contrary would have been natural, that when a man thoroughly purified and perfect, who is in the habit of offering up prayers and purifications, and sacrifices for all the people come into a house, all that is therein would be improved by his presence, and would become pure from having been impure; but now they do not even remain in the same condition as before, but they are brought into a worse state by the arrival of the priest. (133) But whether this is consistent with the literal and obvious order of the words, those men may inquire who are in the habit of, and fond of pursuing such investigations; but we must affirm distinctly, that no one thing can be more consistent with another than the fact, that when the priest enters in, all the things in the house should be polluted; (134) for as long as the divine word has not come to our souls as to a hearth of hospitality, all its actions are blameless; for the overseer, or the father, or the teacher, or whatever else it may be fit to entitle the priest, by whom alone it is possible for it to be admonished and chastened, is at a distance: and those persons are to be pardoned who do wrong from inexperience, out of ignorance what they ought to do: for they do not look upon their deeds in the light of sins, but even sometimes they believe that they are doing right in cases in which they are erring greatly; (135) but when the real priest, conviction, enters our hearts, like a most pure ray of light, then we think that the designs which we have cherished within our souls are not pure, and we see that our actions are liable to blame, and deserving of reproach, though we did them through ignorance of what was right. All these things, therefore, the priest, that is to say, conviction, pollutes, and orders that they should be taken away and stripped off, in order that he may see the abode of the soul pure, and, if there are any diseases in it, that he may heal them.

XXIX. (136) And the woman who met the prophet, in the book of Kings, resembles this fact: "And she is a widow;" not meaning by that, as we generally use the word, a woman when she is bereft of her husband, but that she is so, from being free from those passions which corrupt and destroy the soul, as Thamar is represented by Moses. (137) For she also being a widow, was commanded to sit down in the house of the father, the only Saviour; on whose account, having forsaken for ever the company and society of men, she is at a distance from and widowhood of all human pleasures, and receives a divine seed; and being filled with the seeds of virtue, she conceives, and is in travail of virtuous actions. And when she has brought them forth, she carries off the prize against her adversaries, and is enrolled as victorious, bearing the palm as the emblem of her victory. For the name Thamar, being interpreted, means the palm-tree. (138) And every soul that is beginning to be widowed and devoid of evils, says to the prophet, "O, man of God! hast thou come to me to remind me of my iniquity and of my sin?" For he being inspired, and entering into the soul, and being filled with heavenly love, and being amazingly excited by the intolerable stimulus of heaveninflicted frenzy, works in the soul a recollection of its ancient iniquities and offences: not in order that it may commit such again,—but that, greatly lamenting and bitterly bewailing its former error, it may hate its own offspring, and reject them with aversion, and may follow the admonitions of the word of God, the interpreter and prophet of his will. (139) For the men of old used to call the prophets sometimes men of God, and sometimes seers, affixing appropriate and becoming names to their enthusiasm, and inspiration, and to the foreknowledge of affairs which they enjoyed.

XXX. (140) Very properly, therefore, the most sacred Moses says that, the earth was corrupted at that time when the virtues of the just Noah were made manifest: "And the whole earth," says he, "was corrupted, because all flesh had corrupted his (autou) way upon the earth." (141) Now to some persons this expression will seem to have been incorrectly used, and that the consistency with the context, and the truth of the fact will require that we should read rather that, "All flesh had corrupted its (autēs) way upon the earth." For it does not agree with the feminine noun "flesh" (tē sarki), if we subjoin a masculine case, the word autou in connection with it. (142) But perhaps, Moses does not mean here to speak of the flesh alone as corrupting his way upon the earth, so that he deserves to be considered to have erred in the expression which he has used, but rather to speak of the things of the flesh, which is corrupted, and of that other being whose way the flesh endeavours to injure and to corrupt. So that we should explain this expression thus:—All flesh corrupted the perfect way of the everlasting and incorruptible being which conducts to God. (143) And know that this way is wisdom. For the mind being guided by wisdom, while the road is straight and level and easy, proceeds along it to the end; and the end of this road is the knowledge and understanding of God. But every companion of the flesh hates and repudiates, and endeavours to corrupt this way; for there is no one thing so much at variance with another, as knowledge is at variance with the pleasure of the flesh. Accordingly, the earthly Edom is always fighting with those who wish to proceed by this road, (144) which is the royal road for those who partake of the faculty of seeing who are called Israel; for the interpretation of the name Edom, is "earthly," and he labours with all earnestness, and by every means in his power, and by threats, to hinder them from this road, and to make it pathless and impracticable for ever.

XXXI. (145) Therefore the ambassadors who are sent speak as follows:—"We will pass on through thy land; we will not pass through thy fields nor through thy vineyards; we will not drink water form thy cistern; we will proceed by the royal road; we will not turn aside out of the way, to the right hand, nor to the left, until we have passed over thy borders. But Edom answered and said, Thou shalt not pass through my land: and if thou dost, I will come against thee in battle to meet thee. And the children of Israel said unto him. We will pass by thy mountain; but if I or my cattle drink of thy water, I will pay thee the price thereof. But it is of no consequence, we will pass by thy mountain. And he said, "Thou shalt not pass through my land." (146) It is said of some man of old time, that when he saw a sumptuous procession properly equipped passing by, he looked towards one of his acquaintances and said, "My friends, see how many things there are of which I have no need," in a very few words uttering what was truly a great and heavenly boast. What dost thou say? (147) Were you crowned as conqueror in the Olympic games in opposition to all the wealth arrayed against you; and were you so to that degree there that you took nothing from thence for your enjoyment or for your use? It is a marvellous statement, but the sentiment is more admirable still, which advanced to such a degree of strength, as to be able without any extraordinary exertion, nevertheless to carry off the victory by force.

XXXII. (148) But it is not allowed to one man alone to boast before Moses who has been instructed in the highest perfection of wisdom, but it belongs to the whole of a most populous nation. And this is the proof of that fact. The soul of every one of his friends felt confidence and was bold towards the king of all the apparent good things, the earthly Edom; for in fact all earthly good things are good only in appearance; they then I say were bold, so as to say, "I will now pass by thy land." (149) Oh, the magnanimous and sublime promise! Tell me, will ye be able to surmount, to pass by, to run past all these things which on earth appear to be and are believed to be good? And is there nothing which will be able to check and restrain your forward advance by the power with which it resists you? (150) And when you have beheld all the treasures of riches one after another, and all full, will ye turn from them with aversion, and avert your eyes from them? And will ye look down upon the dignities of your ancestors, and on those which come to yourselves from your father and yourmother, and on their nobility which is so celebrated in the mouths of the multitude? And will ye forsake the glory for which men are ready to barter everything, leaving it behind as if it were something most utterly valueless? What more shall I say? Will ye disregard the health of the body, and the accurate perfection of the outward senses, and beauty, which is an object of contention to many, and strength such as no one can oppose, and all those other things by which the house or the tomb of the soul, or whatever else one ought to call it is adorned, will ye, I say, disregard all these things, so far as not to class any one of them among good things? (151) These are mighty deeds of boldness for a heavenly and celestial soul, which has utterly forsaken the regions of earth, and which has been drawn up on high, and has its abode among the divine natures. For being filled with the sight of the genuine and incorruptible good things, it very naturally repudiates those which only last a day and are spurious.

XXXIII. (152) What is the advantage then of passing over all the mortal advantages of mortal man, and passing them by too, not in accordance with right reason, but as some do through their hesitation, or sluggishness, or inexperience; for everything is not honoured everywhere, but different things are esteemed by different persons. (153) On this account, Moses wishing to teach further, that they had become by correctness of reason inclined to despise what was said, adds to the words, "I will pass by," the further description, "through your land." For this is exceedingly necessary, that when surrounded by an abundance of those things which are usually accounted advantages, we should avoid being taken prisoners by any of the toils which are spread by each separate pleasure; and that like fire, we should be able at one onset to break through their attacks which are so continually armed against us. (154) The Israelites say then that they will pass by this way, but that they will not pass any longer through the fields and vineyards; for it would be doting simplicity to pass by all the plants in the soul worthy of cultivation and producing eatable fruit, that is to say virtuous discourses and praiseworthy actions. For it would be proper rather to remain, and to gather the fruit, and to feed on it to satiety. For nothing is more beautiful than an insatiable cheerfulness and amid perfect virtues, of which cheerfulness, the aforesaid vineyards are the symbol. (155) But we, on whom God pours and showers his fountains of good things from above, we drank from that cistern, and we were seeking scanty moisture beneath the earth, while the heaven was raining upon us, from above without ceasing, the more excellent food of nectar and ambrosia, far better than that celebrated in the fables of the poets.

XXXIV. (156) Moreover, should we while draining draughts stored up by the contrivance of men through distrust, seek a refuge and place of escape where the Saviour of the universe has opened to us his heavenly treasury for our use and enjoyment? For Moses, the hierophant, prays that "the Lord may open to us his good treasure, his heavenly one, to give us his rain," and the prayers of the man who loves God are sure to obtain a hearing. (157) And what does he say who neither thinks the heaven, or the rain, or a cistern, or in fact anything whatever in all creation sufficient to nourish him, but who goes beyond all these things, and relating what he has suffered, says, "The God who has nourished me from my youth up." Does not this man appear to you not to think all the collections of water under the earth put together worthy even of looking at? (158) Nor therefore would he drink out of a cistern to whom God gives draughts of unmixed wine; at one time, by the ministrations of some angel whom he has thought worthy to act as cupbearer, and at another time by his own means, placing no one between the giver and the receiver. (159) Let us then, without any delay, attempt to proceed by the royal road, since we think fit to pass by all earthly things; and the royal road is that of which there is not private individual in the world who is master, but he alone who is also the only true king. (160) And this is, as I said a little while ago, wisdom, by which alone suppliant souls can find a way of escaping to the uncreate God; for it is natural that one who goes without any hindrance along the royal road, will never feel weariness before he meets with the king. (161) But, then, those who have come near to him recognise his blessedness and their own deficiency; for Abraham, when he had placed himself very near to God, immediately perceived that he was but dust and ashes. (162) And let them turn away out of the royal road, neither to the right hand nor to the left, but let them advance along the middle of it; for any deviation in either direction is blameable, as that on the one side has a tendency to excess and that on the other side to deficiency; for the right hand is, in this instance, no less blameable than the left hand. (163) In the case of those who live according to impulse, the right hand is temerity and the left hand cowardice. As regards those who are illiberal in the management of money, on the right hand stands stinginess, and on the left hand extravagant prodigality; and those men, who are very subtle in calculating, judge craftiness to be desirable and simplicity to be a thing to be shunned. Again, some persons incline towards superstition as being placed on the right hand, and flee from impiety as a thing to be avoided on the left.

XXXV. (164) But that we may not, through deviating from the right road, be compelled to yield to one of two rival faults, let us desire and pray to be able to proceed straight along the middle of the road. Now, the middle between temerity and cowardice, is courage; the mean between profuse extravagance and illiberal stinginess, is temperance; that between crafty unscrupulousness and folly, is prudence; and the proper path between superstition and impiety, is piety. (165) These lie in the middle between the deviations on either side, and are all roads easily travelled, and level, and plain, which we must walk upon not with our bodily organs, but with the motions of a soul continually desiring what is best. (166) At this, the earthly Edom, being excessively indignant (for he is afraid of the overthrow and confusion of his own doctrines), will threaten us with irreconcilable wars, if we attempt to force our way along it, cutting down and clearing away continually as we advance the fruitful trees of his soul, which he planted for the destruction of wisdom, but has not gathered the fruit thereof; for he says, "Thou shalt not pass by me; and if thou dost, I will come forth in battle against thee to meet thee." (167) But let us regard none of his threats, but make answer that we will pass by his mountain; that is to say, we being accustomed to associate with high and sublime powers and to investigate everything according to its true definition, and being used to inquire into the reason of everything whatever, of every kind, by means of which the knowledge is attained of what anything is, hold in utter contempt everything which is external and which affects the body alone; for such things are lowly and grovelling in the ground, dear indeed to you, but hated by us, for which reason we will not have anything to do with any one of them. (168) For if, as the proverb says, we only touch this with the tip of our finger, we shall be giving honour and dignity to you; for then you will give yourself airs and will boast, as if we who are lovers of virtue had been brought over to you by the allurements of pleasure.

XXXVI. (169) "For if," says Israel, "I and my cattle drink of thy water, I will pay you a price for it." Not meaning by that such price as is spoken of by the poets, money of silver or gold, or anything else; such among dealers is accustomed to be given to those who sell wares in exchanges for their wares, but the price will be the honour which he now claims; (170) for, in reality, every intemperate, or unjust, or cowardly man, when he sees any one who is more austere either avoiding labour, or subdued by gain, or yielding to any one of the allurements of pleasure, rejoices and exults, and thinks that he himself has received honour. And, moreover, going on in his rejoicing and displaying his exultation to the multitude, he begins to philosophise about his own errors as very unavoidable and not useless, saying that if they were not of such a character, that respectable man, so and so, would never have indulged in them. (171) Let us, then, say to every wicked man, if we drink of thy water, if we touch anything, whatever that is yours, owing to an indiscreet impetuosity, we shall be giving you honour, and acceptance, instead of dishonour and rejection (for these are what you deserve to receive); (172) and, in truth, the matters about which you are anxious are absolutely nothing. Do you think that anything mortal has any real being and existence, and that it is not rather something borne up and suspended by the rope of some false and untrustworthy opinion, resting on empty air, and in no respect differing from deceitful dreams? (173) And if you are unwilling to contemplate the fortunes of particular men, think upon the changes, whether for the better or for the worse, of whole countries and nations. At one time Greece was flourishing, but the Macedonians took away the power of that land; then, in turn, Macedonia became mighty, but that, being divided into small portions became weak, until at last it was entirely extinguished. (174) Before the time of the Macedonians the Persians prospered, but one day overthrew their exceeding and extensive prosperity. And now the Parthians are more powerful than the Persians, who a little while ago were their masters, ever were; and those who were their subjects are now masters. Once, and for a very long time, Egypt was a mighty empire, but its great dominion and glory have passed away like a cloud. What has become of the Ethiopians, and of Carthage, and of the kingdoms of Libya? Where now are the kings of Pontus? (175) What has become of Europe and Asia, and, in short, of the whole of the inhabited world? Is it not tossed up and down the agitated like a ship that is tossed by the sea, at one time enjoying a fair wind and at another time being forced to battle against contrary gales? (176) For the divine Word brings round its operations in a circle, which the common multitude of men call fortune. And then, as it continually flows on among cities, and nations, and countries, it overturns existing arrangements and gives to one person what has previously belonged to another, changing the affairs of individuals only in point of time, in order that the whole world may become, as it were, one city, and enjoy the most excellent of constitutions, a democracy.

XXXVII. (177) No one, therefore, of all the objects of human anxiety or of human labour, is of any importance or value; but every such thing is a mere shadow or breath, disappearing before it can get any firm footing; for it comes and then again it departs, like the ebbing tide. For the sea, in its ebb and flow, is at one time borne forwards with great violence, and roaring, and noise, and overflowing its bounds makes a lake of what has previously been dry land; and, at another time, it recedes and makes a large portion of what has been sea, dry land. (178) In the same manner, at times, prosperity overflows a mighty and populous nation, but afterwards turns the impetuosity of its stream in the opposite direction, and does not leave even the slightest drop, so as to suffer no trace whatever to remain of its former richness. (179) But it is not everybody who receives the complete and full meaning of these events, but only those receive it who are accustomed always to proceed in accordance with true and solid reason and limitation; for we find the same men saying both these things, "All the affairs of the created world are absolutely nothing;" and, "We will go by thy mountain." (180) For it is impossible for one who is not in the habit of using high and mountainous roads to repudiate all mortal affairs, and to turn aside and change his paths for what is immortal. Therefore the earthly Edom thinks it right to blockade the heavenly and royal road of virtue, and the divine reason blockades his road, and that of all who follow his opinions; (181) among whom we must enroll Balaam, for he also is a child of the earth, and not a shoot of heaven, and a proof of this is, that he, being influenced by omens and false prophecies, not even when the eye of his soul, which had been closed, recovered its sight, and "saw the angel of God standing against him in the way;" not even then did he turn back and desist from doing wrong, but giving way to a mighty torrent of folly, he was washed away and swallowed up by it. (182) For then the diseases of the soul are truly not only difficult of cure, but even utterly incurable, when, though conviction is present to us (and this is the word of God, coming as his angel and as our guide, and removing the obstacles before our feet, so that we may travel without stumbling along the level road), we nevertheless prefer our own indiscreet opinions, to the explanations and injunctions which he is accustomed to address to us for our admonition, and for the chastening and regulating of our whole life. (183) On this account he who is not persuaded by, and who shows no respect to, conviction, when it thus opposes him, will, in his turn, incur destruction with the wounded, whom the passions have wounded and overthrown; and his calamity will be a most sufficient lesson for all those who are not utterly impure, to endeavour to keep the judge, that is within them, favourable to them, and he will be so if they do not reverse what has been rightly decided by him.


I. (1) "And Noah began to be a husbandman; and he planted a vineyard, and he drank of the wine, and he was drunk in his house." The generality of men not understanding the nature of things, do also of necessity err with respect to the composition of names; for those who consider affairs anatomically, as it were, are easily able to affix appropriate names to things, but those who look at them in a confused and irregular way are incapable of such accuracy. (2) But Moses, through the exceeding abundance of his knowledge of all things, was accustomed to affix the most felicitous and expressive appellations to them. Accordingly, in many passages of the law, we shall find this opinion, which we have expressed, confirmed by the fact, and not least in the passage which we have cited at the beginning of this treatise, in which the just Noah is represented as a husbandman. (3) For what man is there who is at all hasty in forming an opinion, who would not think that the being a husbandman (geōrgia), and the occupying one’s self in cultivating the ground (hē gēsergasia), were the same thing? And yet in real truth, not only are these things not the same, but they are even very much separated from one another, so as to be opposed to, and at variance with one another. (4) For a man without any skill may labour at taking care of the land; but if a man is called a husbandman, he, from his mere name, is believed to be no unskilful man, but a farmer of experience, inasmuch as his name (geōrgos) has been derived from agricultural skill (geōrgikē technē), of which he is the namesake. (5) And besides all this, we must likewise consider this other point, that the tiller of the ground (ho gēs ergatēs) looks only to one end, namely, to his wages; for he is altogether a hireling, and has no care whatever to till the land well. But the husbandman (ho geōrgos) would be glad also to contribute something of his own, and to spend in addition some of his private resources for the sake of improving the soil, and of avoiding blame from those who understand the business; for his desire is to derive his revenues every year not from any other source, but from his agricultural labours, when they have been brought into a productive state. (6) He therefore occupies himself with improving the character of wild trees, and making them fruitful, and with further improving the character of fruitful trees by his care, and with reducing by pruning those branches which through superfluity of nourishment are too luxuriant, and with inducing those which are contracted and crowded to grow by the extension of their young shoots. Moreover, those trees which are of good sorts, and which make many shoots, he propagates by extending them under the earth in ditches of no very great depth, and those which do not produce good fruit he endeavours to improve by the insertion of other kinds into their roots, connecting them by the most natural union. For the same thing happens likewise in the case of men, that they firmly unite into their own family adopted sons, who are unconnected with them in blood, but whom they make their own on account of their virtues. (7) The husbandman, therefore, takes up innumerable shoots, with their roots entire, which have by natural process become barren, as far as bearing fruit is concerned, and which even do great injury to those plants which do bear by reason of their being planted near them. Such, then, is the art which is applied to those plants which grow out of the ground. And now let us turn our consideration to the husbandry of the soul in its turn.

II. (8) First of all, therefore, the husbandman is not anxious to plant or to sow anything that is unproductive, but only all such things as are worth cultivation, and as bear fruit, which will bring a yearly produce to their master man. For nature has pointed him out as the master of all trees and animals, and all other things whatever which are perishable; (9) and what can man be but the kind that is in every one of us, which is accustomed to reap the advantage from all that is sown or planted? But since milk is the food of infants, but cakes made of wheat are the food of fullgrown men, so also the soul must have a milk-like nourishment in its age of childhood, namely, the elementary instruction of encyclical science. But the perfect food which is fit for men consists of explanations dictated by prudence, and temperance, and every virtue. For these things being sown and implanted in the mind will bring forth most advantageous fruit, namely, good and praiseworthy actions. (10) By means of this husbandry, all the trees of the passions and vices, which soot forth and grow up to a height, bringing forth pernicious fruits, are rooted up, and cut down, and cleared away, so that not even the smallest fragment of them is left, from which any new shoots of evil actions can subsequently spring up. (11) And if, besides, there are any trees which produce no fruit at all, neither good nor bad, the husbandman will cut them down too, but still he will not suffer them to be completely destroyed, but he will apply them to some appropriate use, making them into stakes and fixing them as pales all round his homestead, or using them as a fence for a city to serve instead of a wall.

III. (12) For Moses says, "Every tree which bringeth not forth fruit good to eat thou shalt cut down; and thou shalt make it into stakes against the city which shall make war upon them." And these trees are likened to those powers developed in words alone, which have nothing in them but mere speculation, (13) among which we must class medical science, when unconnected with practice, by which it is natural that such persons may be cured, and also the oratorical and hireling species of rhetoric, which is conversant not about the discovery of the truth, but solely about the means of deceiving the hearers by plausible persuasion; and in the same class we must place all those parts of dialectics and geometry which have no connection with a proper regulation of the character or morals, but which only sharpen the mind, not suffering it to exercise a dull apprehension towards each question which is raised and submitted to it, but always to dissect the question and divide it, so as to distinguish the peculiar character of each thing from the common qualities of the whole genus. (14) At all events, men say, that the ancients compared the principles of philosophy, as being threefold, to a field; likening natural philosophy to trees and plants, and moral philosophy to fruits, for the sake of which the plants are planted; and logical philosophy to the hedge or fence: (15) for as the wall, which is erected around, is the guardian of the plants and of the fruit which are in the field, keeping off all those who wish to do them injury and to destroy them, in the same manner, the logical part of philosophy is the strongest possible sort of protection to the other two parts, the moral and the natural philosophy; (16) for when it simplifies twofold and ambiguous expressions, and when it solves specious plausibilities entangled in sophisms, and utterly destroys seductive deceits, the greatest allurement and ruin to the soul, by means of its own expressive and clear language, and its unambiguous demonstrations, it makes the whole mind smooth like wax, and ready to receive all the innocent and very praiseworthy impressions of sound natural and moral philosophy.

IV. (17) These then are the professions and promises made by the husbandry of the soul, "I will cut down all the trees of folly, and intemperance, and injustice, and cowardice; and I will eradicate all the plants of pleasure, and appetite, and anger, and passion, and of all similar affections, even if they have raised their heads as high as heaven. And I will burn out their roots, darting down the attack of flame to the very foundations of the earth, so that no portion, nay, no trace, or shadow whatever, of such things shall be left; (18) and I will destroy these things, and I will implant in those souls which are of a childlike age, young shoots, whose fruit shall nourish them. And those shoots are as follows: the practice of writing and reading with facility; an accurate study and investigation of the works of wise poets; geometry, and a careful study of rhetorical speeches, and the whole course of encyclical education. And in those souls which have arrived at the age of puberty or of manhood, I will implant things which are even better and more perfect, namely, the tree of prudence, the tree of courage, the tree of temperance, the tree of justice, the tree of every respective virtue. (19) And if there be any tree belonging to what is called the wild class, which does not bear eatable fruit, but which is able to be a fence to and a protector of that which is eatable, that also I will manage, not for its own sake, but because it is calculated by nature to be of use to what is necessary and very useful.

V. (20) Therefore, the allwise Moses attributes to the just man a knowledge of the husbandry of the soul, as an act consistent with his character, and thoroughly suited to him, saying, "Noah began to be a husbandman." But to the unjust man he attributes the task of tilling the ground, which is an employment bearing the heaviest burdens without any knowledge. (21) For "Cain," says he, "was a tiller of the ground;" and a little afterwards, when he is detected in having contracted the pollution of fratricide, it is said, "Cursed art thou by the earth, which opened her mouth to receive the word of thy brother from thy hand, with which thou tillest the earth, and it shall not put forth its strength to give unto thee." (22) How then could any one show more manifestly, that the lawgiver looks upon the wicked man as a tiller of the earth, and not as a husbandman, than by such language as we here see used? We must not indeed suppose that what is here said, is said of a man who is able to work by his hands or by his feet, or by any other of the powers of his body, or of any mountain land, or of any champaign country, but that is applicable to the powers existing in every one of us; for it happens that the soul of the wicked man is not concerned about any thing else except about his earthly body, and about all the pleasures of that body. (23) Moreover, the general crowd of men, travelling over the different climates of the earth and penetrating to its furthest boundaries, and traversing the seas, and investigating the things that lie hid in the recesses of the ocean, and leaving no single part of the whole universe unexplored, is continually providing from every quarter the means by which it can increase pleasure. (24) For as fishermen let down their nets at times to the most extraordinary depths, comprehending a vast surface of the sea in their circle, in order to catch the greatest possible number of fish enclosed within their nets, like people shut up within the walls of a besieged city; so in the same manner the greatest part of men having extended their universal nets to take everything, as the poets somewhere say, not only over the parts of the sea, but also over the whole nature of earth, and air, and water, seek to catch everything from every quarter for the enjoyment and attainment of pleasure. (25) For they dig mines in the earth, and they sail across the seas, and they achieve every other work both of peace and war, providing unbounded materials for pleasure, as for their queen, being utterly uninitiated in that husbandry of the soul which sows and plants the virtues and reaps their fruit, which is a happy life. But they labouring to procure, and reducing to a system those things which are pleasant to the flesh, cultivate with all imaginable care that composite mass, that carefully fashioned statue, the narrow house of the soul, which, from its birth to its death it can never lay aside, but which it is compelled to bear till the day of its death, burdensome as it is.

VI. (26) We have now therefore explained, in what respect, the occupation of tilling the ground differs from husbandry, and a tiller of the ground from a husbandman. And we must now consider whether there are not some other species akin to these already mentioned, but which, through the common names borne by them and others, conceal the real difference which exists between them. At least there are two which we have discovered by investigation, concerning which we will say what is fitting, if it is in our power. (27) Therefore, as we found a tiller of the earth and a husbandman, though there did not appear to be any difference between them (till we came to investigate the allegorical meaning concealed under each name), nevertheless very far removed f