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number of ten sevens, elders. For we read in the scripturo the direction given to Moses, " Agremble for me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom you yourself know that they are elders.” # Therefore, it is not only those persons who are looked upon by ordinary people as old men, inasmuch as they are hierophants, but those whom the wise man alone knows, whom he thinks worthy of the appellation of elders. For those whom he rejects, like a skilful money-changer, from the coinage of virtue, being alloyed, are all in their souls in: clined to innovation; but those whom he wishes to make friends to himself, are of necessity well tested and approved, and elders as to their minds.
V. Therefore, the scripture is seen to prove each particular of what I have said more plainly to those who have taught themselves to obey one injunction of the law. “For if," says the scripture, "a man has two wives, the one beloved and the other hated, and if she who is beloved bears him a child, and also she who is hated, and if the child of the wife who is hated be the first born, then, on the day on which he bestows on his song the inheritance of his substance, he shall not be able to give the share of the first born to the eon of her who is beloved, overlooking bis real first born son, the child of her who is hated; but he must recognize the son of her who is hated as his first born, to give him a double share of all the possessions that belong to him, because he is the beginning of his children, and the rights of the first born belong to him.”+ You observe here now that he never calls the son of the wife that is beloved the first born or the elder, but he often gives this title to the son of her who is hated; and yet he has already pointed out that the son of her who is beloved was in point of time the first, and the son of her wbo is hated the last, at the very beginning of this injunction ; for he says, “If the beloved wife and she who is hated both bear children." But nevertheless the offspring of the first mentioned, even though it may be considerably earlier in point of time is looked upon as younger by right reason when it comes to decide between them. the offspring of her who is spoken of in the second place, even though it may come after as to the time of its birth, is thought worthy of the more important and elder share. Numbers xi. 16.
+ Deuteronomy xxi. 16.
Why 80 ? because we say that she who is beloved is the symbol of pleasure, and she who is hated is the emblem of prudence.
For the chief multiude of men love the company of the one to excess, inasmuch as she, from her own treasures, proffers them most seductive charms and allurements, from the very first moment of their birth to the extremity of old age; but of the other they detest excessively the austere and very dignified look, just as silly children dislike the profitable but unpleasant reproofs of their parents and guardians. And both the wives become mothers : the one bringing forth that disposition in the soul which loves pleasure, and the other that which loves virtue; but the lover of pleasure is imperfect, and in reality is always a child, even if he reaches a vast age
many years. But, on the other hand, the lover of virtue, though he is in old age as to his wisdom, while still in his swaddling clothes, as the proverb has it, will never grow old.
In reference to which Moses says very emphatically with respect to the son of virtue, which is hated by the generality of men, that “he is the beginning of his children," being, forsooth, the first both in order and precedency. And to him belong the rights of the first-born by the law of nature, and not by the lawless principle existing among men.
VI. The prophet, then, in accordance with this law, and as it were shooting his arrows with happy, aim at the appointed mark, in strict agreement with what has gone before, represents Jacob as younger in point of age than Esau (because from our very earliest birth folly is bred up with us, and the desire of what is honourable is engendered subsequently), but as older in point of power. In consequence of which Esau is deprived of his birthright as the elder son, but Jacob is very naturally invested with it; and the arrangements made with respect to the sons of Joseph are consistent, if we examine them carefully and with much consideration; when the wise man, under the influence of immediate inspiration, having them both standing before him, does not put his hands on their heads, directing them 18 the youths are straight before hirn and immediately, but rossing his hands, so as to touch with his left the head of the one who appears to be the elder, and with his right that
of him who seems the younger; and the elder one in point of age is called Manasseh, and the younger is called Ephraim.* And these names, if they are translated into the Greek language will be found to be symbols of memory and recollection; for the name Manasseh, being interpreted,
from forgetfulness," and which by another name is called “recollection;" for he who comes to a recollection of what he has forgotten is advancing out of forgetfulness.
But Ephraim being interpreted means “fruit-bearing,” a most appropriate appellation for memory; because the fruit which is the most useful and truly eatable for souls is lasting memory, which never forgets. Memory, therefore, exists best when meeting with manly and solid natures, in respect of which it is looked upon as younger, having been brought forth late; but forgetfulness and recollection, almost from the earliest birth of a man, dwell alternately with every one, on which account recollection has the prece. dence in point of time, and is placed on the left hand by the wise man when he is arranging the two in order; but memory will share the chief honours of virtue, which tho lover of God, receiving eagerly, will think worthy of a better portion by himself.
Therefore, the first man, being become sober, and knowing what his younger son had done to him, imprecates very terrible curses on him; for, in truth, when the mind recovers its sobriety, it does in consequence immediately perceive all that innovating wickedness has previously done to it, which, while it was intoxicated, it was unable to comprehend.
VII. We must now then consider whom the wise man here curses ; for this is one of the matters especially deserving of investigation, since he curses not the son who appears to have done the wrong, but his son, and his own grandson, of whom he has not mentioned any apparent sin at present, either small or great ; for he who from superfluous curiosity wished to see his father paked, and who laughed at what he saw, and who divulged what ought properly to have been concealed in silence, was Ham, the son of Noah; but he who bears the blame for the offences committed by the other, and who reaped the fruit of them in curses is Canaan; for
• Genesis xlviii. 18.
it is said, “Cursed is Canian the son, the servant, the servant of servants, shall he be to his brethren."'* And yet, as I said before, what sin had he committed ? who are accustomed to explain the formal, and literai, and obvious interpretations of the laws have perhaps considered this by themselves; but we, being guided by right reason, as it suggests itself to us, will interpret it according to the explanation which is ready to hand, having just made this necessary preface.
VIII. A stationary position and motion differ from one another; for the one is a state of tranquillity, but motion is impetuosity, of which last there are two species—the one that which changes its place, the other that which is constantly revolving about the same place. Now habit is closely akin to the stationary position, and energy to motion; and what we have here said may be more easily understood by: an appropriate example.
It is customary to call an architect, or a painter, or a farmer, or a musician (and so on with other artists), by the aforesaid name of their profession, even if they remain inactive, doing nothing in the way of working at their respective arts, with reference to the skill and knowledge which they have each of them acquired in their respective professions; but when the architect has taken a material of wood and is working it up, and when the painter having mixed his proper colours on his pallet, paints the figures which he has in his heud ; and when, again, the former cutting furrows in the earth, throws in the seed, and plants, cuttings, and shoots of trees; and when, also, by way of supplying what he has planted with nourishment, he waters them and draws up channels of water to their roots, and does every thing else which a farmer may be expected to do; and also, when the musician adapts metres, and rhythm, and all kinds of melody to his flutes, and harps, and other instruments, and is able even without any manufactured instruments to use the organ with which he is furnished by nature by means of his voice which is furnished with all the tones ; and so on with all the other artists, if it were worth while to mention them separately. In all these cases, besides the aforesaid names derived from their profession,
Genesis ix. 25.
other names akin to the former ones are added with refer. ence to their work; so that we predicate of the architect that he builds, of the painter that he portrays, of the fariner that he cultivates the land, of the musician that he plays the flute or the harp, or that he sings, or does something similar.
Now, what men aro followed by praise and blame ? Is it not those men who energise and do something ? For when they succeed they meet with praise ; and when, on the other hand, they fail they incur blame; but those who are scientific, without proceeding to action, remain in tranquillity, having attained this one honour unattended with danger, namely, peace.
IX. Therefore, the same assertion applies to those who live according to folly, and also to all those who live in nccordance with virtue or vice. Those who are prudent, and temperate, and manly, and just men in their disposi: tions are infinite in number, having a happy portion in nature, and institutions in accordance with the law, and exerting themselves in invincible and unhesitating labours ; but the beauty which exists in the ideas in their minds they are not able to display by reason of their poverty, or of their want of rank, or of some disease of the body, or of some one of the other disasters which surround human life ; therefore, they being good have got their good things as it were in bondage and prison.
But there are others who have them in an unconfined, and emancipated, and wholly free condition, having unlimited materials and opportunities for their exhibition. The wise man having an abundance of private and public assisting circumstances by which he can display his acuteness and his wisdom; the temperate man will make riches which are usually blind and accustomed to excite and tempt men to luxury, farsighted for the future: the.just man will exercise authority by which he will for the future be able to assign to each individual without any hindrance, such a' share of existing things as agrees with his deserts. The practiser of virtue will display piety, holiness, and a proper care of the sacred places and of the sacred rites performed in them.
But without proper opportunities virtues indeed exist,