Philo on Genesis Chapter 2

And the heavens and the earth were finished, and the whole world of them. (Gen. 2:1)

(Allegorical Interpretation, I, 1)

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 some what 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.

2 And God finished on the sixth day his works which he made, and he ceased on the seventh day from all his works which he made. (Gen. 2:2)

(Allegorical Interpretation, I, 2-15)

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, {2}{i.e., Minerva.} because it was not generated by any other, and will not generate any other.

(On Creation 89-128)

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 six-fold ratio, and the six-fold 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{5}{this discussion about numbers is not very intelligible; but here Philo is probably referring to the problem of Euclid on the subject of the square of the hypothenuse. Thus, if 3 and 4 represent the sides containing the angle, and 5 the side subtending it, we get (3×3)+(4×4) = 9+16= 25; 5×5= 25.} 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 right-angled 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:ù”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 equalised 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, {6}{this refers to the Greek games. “The straight race was called stadion or dromos. In the diaulos dromos the runners turned round the goal, and came back to the starting place.”ùSmith in v. Stadium.} 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:ù

In seven years from th’ 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{7}{it is hardly necessary to remind the reader of the description of the seven ages of man in Shakespeare. As You Like It, Act II. sc. 7.} 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, ùthe 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 arithmetrical 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; ùthe 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; ùthe 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 wordsùthe 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{8}{the word used is sebasmos, as if hebdomas were derived from that; and the Romans formed septem from hepta, by the addition of s.} 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.

3 And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it he ceased from all his works which God began to do. (Gen. 2:3)

(Allegorical Interpretation, I, 16-18)

VI. (16) “Accordingly, on the seventh day, God caused to rest from all his works which he had Made.”{3}{#ge 2:2.} 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.”{4}{#nu 6:9.} 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.

4 This [is] the book of the generation of heaven and earth, when they were made, in the day in which the Lord God made the heaven and the earth, (Gen. 2:4)

(Allegorical Interpretation, I, 19-20)

VIII. (19) “This is the book of the generation of heaven and earth, when they were Created.”{5}{#ge 2:4.} 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.

5 and every herb of the field before it was on the earth, and all the grass of the field before it sprang up, for God had not rained on the earth, and there was not a man to cultivate it. (Gen. 2:5)

(On Creation 129-130)

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.

(Allegorical Interpretation, I, 21-27)

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.

6 But there rose a fountain out of the earth, and watered the whole face of the earth. (Gen. 2:6)

(Allegorical Interpretation, I, 28-30)

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.

(On Creation 131-133)

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 (m÷et÷er), and earth (g÷e or d÷e). 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.

7 And God formed the man [of] dust of the earth, and breathed upon his face the breath of life, and the man became a living soul. (Gen. 2:7)

(Allegorical Interpretation, III, 161)

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.”(Gen. 2:7) 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. (Allegorical Interpretation, III, 161)

(Who is the Heir of Divine Things? 56)

He does well here to attribute the flow of blood to the mass of flesh, combining two things appropriate to one another; but the essence of the mind he has not made to depend on any created thing, but has represented it as breathed into man by God from above. For, says Moses, “The Creator of the universe breathed into his face the breath of life, and man became a living Soul,” (Gen. 2:7) who also, it is recorded, was fashioned after the image of the Creator. (Who is the Heir of Divine Things? 56)

(On Dreams 1, 34)

For among created things, the heaven is holy in the world, in accordance with which body, the imperishable and indestructible natures revolve; and in man the mind is holy, being a sort of fragment of the Deity, and especially according to the statement of Moses, who says, “God breathed into his face the breath of life, and man became a living Soul.”(Gen. 2:7). (On Dreams 1, 34)

(Allegorical Interpretation, I, 31-42)

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,”{6}{#ge 1:2.} 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.”{7}{#ex 7:1.} (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.

On Creation 134-147)

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.

8 And God planted a garden eastward in Edem, and placed there the man whom he had formed. (Gen. 2:8)