The evil is formed from weakness

Philon: Questions and Resolutions to Genesis

The translation below from the Armenian and - if available - the Greek is still provisional and appears here without footnotes and critical apparatus. Scriptural quotations are translated directly from the Septuagint (marked in italics).


(c) Institutum Judaicum Delitzschianum Münster

56. Why does (God) bless Noe and his sons by saying: Increase and multiply and fill and rule the earth. The wild animals and birds and reptiles and fish that I have put into your hands shall be filled with horror and fear of you ? (Gen 9,1f)

This wish was granted to man in the image of God at the beginning of creation on the sixth day. Because (Scripture) says: And God created man, in the image of God he created him, male and female he made them. And God blessed them, saying, Increase and multiply, and replenish and rule the earth, and rule over the fish and the birds and the reptiles and the earth. (Gen 1:28) But did she not in fact clearly show with these words that he was considering Noe, who became, as it was, the beginning of a second origin of man, of equal honor with him who first came after (his ) Picture was taken? And so he granted dominion over earthly living beings, in equal measure to the earlier as to the later. And it should be carefully noted that (Scripture) shows him who was made the righteous King of earthly living beings in the flood, equal in honor, not with the molded and earthy man but with the one who was (made) in the form and the image of what is in truth incorporeal; And to him (Noe) he also gave power by showing as king not the formed man but the one who was in the image and the form of (him) who is incorporeal. Hence the emergence of that which was incorporeal in form was shown on the sixth day after the perfect number six. The formed human being (was created) after the completion of the world and after the days of the creation of all living beings on the seventh day, because then at the very last he was formed into an earthly statue. And so after the days of creation on the seventh day of the world (Scripture) says:Because God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to work the earth. (Gen 2,5) (And) further: God formed man out of the dust of the earth and blew the breath of life into his face, and man became a living soul."(Gen 2,7)

And so it was literally shown how the beginning of the second emergence of the human race of the same kingship was worth as the human being according to image and form.

57. Why does she say: Every living reptile should be food for you? (Gen 9,3)

The nature of reptiles is twofold: on the one hand, they are poisonous and, on the other hand, they are tame. Those snakes are poisonous, which instead of the feet use the belly and the chest to crawl; and tame are those who have legs above their feet.

This is the literal sense of the word, but figuratively the passions resemble impure reptiles, while joy (resembles) the pure. Because besides the sensual pleasures there is the passion of joy. And in addition to the desire for sensual pleasure, there is reflection. And besides grief, there is repentance and limitation. And besides desire there is caution. Thus these passions threaten the souls with death and murder, while joys are truly alive, as he himself has shown, and the causes of the life of those who possess them are.

58. What does that mean: Like the herbs of the pasture, I have given you everything? (Gen 9,3)

Some say that through that Like the herbs of the pasture, I have given you everything the consumption of meat is applied. But, although this is permissible, I myself believe that the laws indicate that the use of herbs is necessary above all, and that it includes other additives in the form of herbs without passing laws. But now they (the herbs) are common not (only) with a chosen human race nor with those who long for wisdom, of whom the moderation of habit is respected, but with all people, for whom it is suddenly impossible for all of them to find it To contain meat consumption. But perhaps the passage is not about food but about power; for not everything that is a herb is edible, nor is the food of all living beings healthy and safe. Because he saw the poisonous and death-bringing (living beings), which are also among them all. And so it may be that what (Scripture) means is that unreasonable living beings should be turned over to man and obeyed, just as we sow herbs and care for them through agriculture.

59. What does that mean: You must not eat meat in the blood of life? (Gen 9.4)

(Scripture) thereby seems to show that the blood is the substance of the soul, but of the perceiving and living soul, not of the one who catexoching (Soul) is called, that is the sensible and intelligent. For there are three parts of the soul: one is nourishing, another is perceiving, and the third is sane. Now the divine spirit is the substance of the reasonable (part) according to the theologian, because in the creation of the world he says: He breathed the breath of life into his face (Gen 1,5) (as) its reason. But his blood is the substance of the perceiving and living, for he says elsewhere: The soul of all flesh is its blood. (Lev 17:14) Pronounced correctly he says that the blood is the soul of the flesh. And in the flesh there is perception and passion, but not mind or reflection. Also shows in the blood of life to suggest that the soul is one thing, the blood another, so that the substance of the soul is real and infallible spirit. In any case, the spirit does not take a place by itself without the blood, but is carried by and is mixed with the blood. Because the arteries, the vessels of breath, contain not only unmixed and pure breath in themselves, but also blood, although perhaps (only) a small amount. Because there are two types of vessels, arteries and veins; the veins contain more blood than breath, while the arteries contain more breath than blood; the mixture in both types of vessels is differentiated according to the more or less (in breath and blood content).

That is the literal sense of the word, but also denotes (the writing) with Blood of life his hot and fiery virtue (or) uprightness. And he who is filled with this wisdom despises all nourishment and all sensual pleasure, that of the belly and the parts below the belly. For one who is self-indulgent and playful as the wind, or hardened by laziness and a soft life, does nothing but fall on his stomach like a reptile on the ground and give himself up to lick what is on the ground and ends his life without tasting the heavenly nourishment that wisdom-seeking souls receive.

60. What does that mean: I ask the blood of your souls, of all living beings and of the hand of his brother's husband? (Gen 9,5)

There are two types of attack, one by wildlife and the other by humans. But wildlife does fairly little harm because they have no familiarity with those who seek to hunt them, and especially because they do not have power, but hunt those who have power.

And (the Scriptures) call it brothers those men who concoct scammers by pointing out three things:

First, that all men are relatives and brothers who are related by virtue of the possession of an ancient kin, since we have received the inheritance of rational nature from a mother.

Second, almost all major quarrels and conspiracies occur between those who are blood relatives, especially brothers, whether because of inheritance or family honor. Because family discord is even worse than that between strangers, since they (the former) quarrel with great knowledge. In truth, those are real brothers who are trained in the knowledge of which attack to use in battle.

And thirdly, it seems to me that (the writing) the name brothers used for the relentless and relentless punishment of murders, so that they should suffer without mercy for what they did, for they did not kill strangers but their own true brothers.

And very well says (Scripture) that God is the keeper and overseer of those who are slain by men. For even if (some) people despise and belittle the execution of justice, these people must not be carefree and (remember) to escape and be safe, even though they are impure and brutal, but they should know that they are already in at a great court session, in the divine court of justice established for the retribution of brutal people for those who have suffered unjust and unworthy attacks.

This is the meaning of the word. But overcasting says (Scripture) that the benevolent, good, philanthropic and only Savior does not overlook the value of the purity of the soul, which can be saved from endless and unbearable corruption, but drives away and scattered all the enemies that surround it, the wild animals and the humans (called) brothers. Because those wild animals that act brutally and threaten godless murder are symbolic. But men and brothers (calls the Scriptures symbolic) the different thoughts and words which are heard when they are expressed by the tongue and mouth, for they are related; and therefore they bring unconquerable misfortune and omit neither word nor deed that leads to misery.

61. What does that mean: Whoever sheds human blood, his blood will be shed? (Gen 9.6)

There is no mistake in this text, but rather a mark of emphasis, for (Scripture) says that he himself should be shed like blood, who sheds blood; for that which is poured out flows out and is absorbed and does not have the strength of firmness. And so it is shown that the souls of those who act wickedly imitate the mortal body in its corruption in that each of them appears to want to suffer corruption. Because the body is dissolved into those (parts) from which it was mixed and put together, and is broken down again into its original elements. But the cruel and laboring soul is tossed around and overwhelmed by its immoderate way of life and the evils with which it has grown up, (which) in a certain sense (are) its partners and grows up with it.

62. Why does she say, as if from another God (spoke): As the image of God, he makes man and not than his own image? (Gen 9.6)

This oracle was given by God in an excellent and truthful way. For nothing mortal can be made in the image of the highest One and Father of the world, but (only) in that of the second God, who is his Logos. For it was true that the rational (part) of the human soul should be formed as an impression of the divine Logos, since God is superior to any rational nature before the Logos. But he who is above the Logos exists in the best and in a special form. - What that comes into being can legitimately bear its image? In addition, the scriptures also want to show that God avenges virtuous and decent people in a downright righteous manner, because they have a certain affinity with his Logos, of which the human mind is an image and an image.

63. What does it mean: never again shall there be a flood to destroy the whole earth? (Gen 9:11)

Through this, (Scripture) ultimately clearly shows us that there can be many floods, but not one that will be able to inundate the whole earth.

This is the meaning of the word. Transferred, however, it is divine grace which, although it does not help all parts of the soul in all virtues, nevertheless puts some in order in some respects. Because in the same way, although one cannot be able to be powerful in one's whole body, one should nevertheless practice with all care (and) zeal what one can do to achieve strength, nor should he, who is too weak to completely improve his way of life, despair of what he is capable of and which he can achieve. Because if someone does not work according to the strength that everyone has, he is negligent and at the same time an ungrateful person. He is negligent in his laziness and an ungrateful man for getting a brilliant start; he stands opposite to being.

64. Why does he speak of setting an arch in the clouds as a sign that there will be no more flood on earth? (Gen 9: 13-17)

It is believed by some to refer to the bow, which some call the rainbow, as it is believed to be a reliable symbol of the rainbow because of its shape. However, I do not find this solidly debated. First, this bow should have its own special nature and substance since it the arc is called by God because he says I put my bow. And to belong to God and to be established (by him) (means) that he does not exist. The rainbow has no special nature of its own in itself, but is an appearance of the sun's rays in damp clouds, and all appearances are nonexistent and not physical. And proof (of this is that) the rainbow does not appear at night, although there are (then) clouds.

Second, it must also be said that even in the day when the clouds are overshadowed, the rainbow never appears earlier. But it is necessary to say nothing wrong about the other things which the legislature (names): I put my bow in the clouds. Because remember, as soon as there are clouds, there is no appearance of a rainbow. And (Scripture) says that after the clouds meet, the arc appears in the clouds. Because often, as soon as the clouds meet and the air is overshadowed and dense, there is nowhere an appearance of a rainbow. But perhaps the theologian marks something else with the bow, (namely that) in the vagueness and power of earthly things there is neither a dissolution of being, which dissolves completely to the point of incompatibility, nor a break-up until a rupture is reached. But every force is determined by fixed measures. Because the great flood came up through a break, as (Scripture) itself confesses: The sources of the abyss broke open (Gen 7:11), but not by a single act of violence.

Second, the bow is not a weapon, but an instrument of a weapon, an arrow that pierces; and the arrow released from the bow goes a long way while having no effect on what is near and what remains near. This is a sign that the whole earth will never again be flooded, because no arrow reaches every place, only the place of distance. Hence, symbolically, the bow is the invisible power of God that is in the air. And this is thinned out as soon as it is distributed in good weather, and thickens as soon as there are clouds. It does not allow the clouds to change completely into water by making sure that no more floods should hit the earth [...] because it determines and commands the density of the air, which was probably particularly obstinate and presumptuous at that time was because of an over-satiety, because as soon as there are clouds, it shows itself full, dripping and over-saturated.

65.Why does she, when she mentions the sons of the righteous, Shem, Ham and Japheth, speak only of the genealogical tree of the middle one: Ham was the father of Canaan, and then adds: These (were) Noe's three sons? (Gen 9,18f)

After four (persons) were first mentioned, Noe and his sons, it was said that three were [...] since the offspring (Canaan) were similar in character to the father who fathered them, they counted both of them as one (person ) so that there are four in number but three in power. But he (Moses) now only speaks of the middle generation in the Scriptures, because later the righteous speaks in this case. For, although he really was his father, he did not reprove the father or give the ancestor a share in what he thought it was right for the son to share.

Second, it may be that (scripture) foretells those who are able to see from afar what is far, with the keen eyes of reason, that after many generations he will take away the land of the Canaanites and that the chosen and God-faithful will take it away Race there. And so wishes to show that Canaan, the ruler and inhabitant of this land, himself perpetrated certain evils, as well as those of his father, so that on both sides his dishonor and lowly born foreignness is shown.

This is the meaning of the word. However, translated (Scripture) does not say that Canaan was the son of Ham, but uses a special expression by saying: Ham was the father of Canaanbecause such a character is always the father of such thoughts. This is shown with the interpretations of their names, for as soon as they are rendered from one (language) to another, is Ham "Heat" or "hot" while Canaan Is "merchant" or "intermediary". Now, however, it is obviously not a matter of kinship or that one is the father or son of another, but it is now obviously the (kinship) of thoughts with thoughts that (Scripture) points out because of (Canaan's) distance from kinship with virtue.

66. What does that mean: Noe began to become a man of the earth? (Gen 9:20)

(Scripture) compares Noe to this first sculpted earthy man, for she uses the same phrase on him when he came out of the box as the other, for there was a beginning of agriculture, both then and now, both times after a flood. Because when the world was created, the earth was in a certain sense flooded. Because (God) would not have said: "The waters gather in one place and the dry land appears (Gen 1: 9) if there hadn't been a flood in any abyss of the earth. But it is not for nothing that (Scripture) says: He began to become a man because in the second emergence of mankind he was the beginning of both the seed (better: the procreation?) and the agriculture and other (forms) life.

This is the meaning of the word. Transferred there is a difference between being a man and a worker of the earth, which is why, when fratricide is introduced, it is said of him that he should work the earth, but not that he should cultivate it. Because symbolically the body is called "earth", (since) our (body) is naturally earth, and it works from the ground up and badly like an unskilled mercenary. The virtuous man grows like an educated and experienced grower, and the man is an overseer of good. For the working mind of the body pursues its corporeality according to corporeal pleasures, but the man's mind strives to obtain useful fruits, (namely) such through moderation and measure; and he cuts off the superfluous weaknesses around our characters like the branches of wide-sprouting trees.

67. Why did the righteous plant a vineyard first? (Gen 9:20)

It was right to wonder where he should have found a plant after the flood, since all those things that were on earth had become less and less and perished. But what was said earlier seemed to be true, (namely) that the earth was drained in the spring season, for spring brings forth a growth of plants; hence it was natural that both grapevines and grapevine germs should be found that could flourish, and that they should be gathered by the righteous. But it must be shown why he first planted a vineyard and not wheat and barley, for some fruits are necessary and impossible to live without them, while others are the basis of superfluous luxuries. Those (fruits) that are necessary for life, he consecrated and set off as beneficial for God, without having any part in their production; but superfluous things have been assigned to man because the use of wine is superfluous and unnecessary. And so, in the same way that God Himself made springs of potable water to flow out without human help, He also gave wheat and barley. For both kinds of food, both eating and drinking, he proved by himself. But that (food), which is a luxury for a life, he did not hold back for himself, nor did he disapprove of it falling into man's possession.

68. What does that mean: He drank the wine and got drunk? (Gen 9:21)

First, the righteous did not drink the wine, but part of the wine and not all of it. Because the excessive and dissolute does not stop going to drinking parties before he has put down everything in himself, the whole pure (wine). But the moderate and celibate measure the things necessary for use. And got drunk is used in the sense of "used wine" because there is a twofold and twofold way of getting drunk: on the one hand, to drink wine in abundance, which is a sin peculiar to the evil and evil, on the other, to partake of wine, whatever happens to the wise man. Accordingly, according to the second meaning, it is said that the virtuous and wise are drunk, not by drinking the wine in abundance, but merely by partaking in the wine.

69. What does that mean: He was exposed in his home? (Gen 9:21)

It is a matter of praise to the wise, both literally and figuratively, that his nudity was not out (revealed) somewhere, but that he was in his house, hidden by the wall of his house. Because the nakedness of his body was hidden by his house, which was built of stone and wood. But the covering and the wall of the soul is knowledge.

Now there are two types of nudity:

One is accidental and occurs through involuntary transgressions, for in a sense he who practices righteousness is attracted, and once he trips it is not of his own free will, but as in the case of those who are drunk or swaying unsteadily from side to side or falling asleep or being seized with madness. For those who sin in these ways do not do it with malice. But it is an obligation like a wrap to put on good instruction and training.

And there is another nudity, that of the soul, (which) can escape all the heavy weight of the body very nobly, as from a grave, as if it had been buried in it for a long time, as in a grave, and the sensual pleasures and innumerable sufferings of other passions and the turmoil of worrying about the evils and troubles caused by all of these. For he who has the strength to come through so many deeds and wounds and to get rid of all of them has received a happy and blessed lot without misconception and disfigurement. Because that, I will say, is the beauty and adornment of those who have been proven worth not to live physically.

70. Why doesn't she just say: Ham saw the nakedness instead of Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father's nakedness? (Gen 9:22)

It condemns both the son through the father and the father through the son, for together and in unison they have committed an act of folly, wickedness and disrespect, and that of other evils.

This is the sense of the word, but applies what has already been said about these things.

7l. What's the name of: He told his two brothers outside? (Gen 9:22)

> (The writing) is increasing the accusation.

First of all, it was not the one brother to whom he told his father's involuntary offense, but both of them. And, if there had been many, he would have told them all instead of just those to whom he could. And this he did mockingly when he spoke to them, which deserved not scorn and ridicule, but modesty, awe and admiration.

And second, (Scripture) says that he did not refer it inside but outside, which clearly shows that he revealed it not only to his brothers but also to those who stood around them, men and women alike. This is the meaning of the word.

In the figurative sense, however, the wicked and malevolent character was happy and rejoiced, and malevolently contemplated the misfortunes of others, judging them of his own accord as if he could (pronounce right). That is why he now even rejoices in the involuntary behavior of those who long for wisdom and celebrates and explains his misfortune and becomes an adversary and accuser, although it would have been appropriate to show tolerance and forgiveness instead of shame and accusation. And so because, as I said before (cf. QG 1:88), these three - the good, the bad and the indifferent - are brothers to each other (and) the outgrowth of a reason, they pay attention to different things; some praise the virtues and some the evils, and other riches and honors and other goods that are around and outside the body. These watchers and fanatics of evil rejoice in the fall of the wise man, and mock, blame and slander him on the ground lest he benefit in any way from those parts of which he is made up and which he is eager to care for that are good for the soul , nor from those who (are) good for the body and outside - neither from the inner virtues nor from those things that are physical and external goods. But (they argue) that he alone can achieve his goal who is trained in evil, which is desired as the only gain of human life. These and similar things are stated by those who are observers of ungodly folly and who mock those who crave virtue and those things by which virtue arises and is formed, just as some think that what is physical and outward is the status of Has tools of service.

72. What does that mean: Shem and Japheth took a piece of clothing and put it over both of their shoulders and went backwards and covered their father's nakedness and they did not see her ? (Gen 9.23)

The meaning of the word is clear. Transferred, however, this has to be said: The superficial and hasty is content (with it) only to see what is straight ahead and in front of his eyes. But the wise (sees) behind it, that is, the future.

For just as the things behind it come after the things before, so the future (comes) after the present, and the constant and wise receives a sight of it, like the mythical Lynceus, who had eyes on all sides. But every wise man, not the human being but the mind, goes back, that means that he looks back as if to a very bright light. And, by seeing everything clearly from all sides and looking around, he finds out how to evade and be strengthened so that no part of the soul should remain naked and unsightly from the blows and attacks that overtake it.

73. What does that mean: Noe sobered up from the wine? (Gen 9:24)

The sense of the word is very understandable. However, the transferred must be specified. When the mind is strong, it is able to see clearly with sobriety both before and after, that is, the present and the future. But blindness afflicts those who are unable to see clearly either the present or the future. And he who sees the present and does not protect himself by foreseeing the future is (ascribed) drinking of wine and drunkenness. But in one who is able to look around and grasp the different natures of things, present and future, there is sobriety and clarity.

74. Why, after Ham was mistaken for the middle child of the three brothers, she mentions him the youngestby saying: What did his youngest son do to him?? (Gen 9:24)

(The writing) clearly allegorizes. As the youngest she does not take the one who is it according to age and time, but the one who is more youthful, because wickedness is incapable of receiving an old and experienced teaching, and older are the thoughts of the will, which are really white-haired - at least this is the case not in the body but in the mind.

75. Why does (Noe) say when praying for Shem: Blessed be the Lord God God of Shem, and Canaan shall be his servant? (Gen 9.26)

MR and God are attributes of the two main forces, the benevolent and the royal, through which the world came into being. Now the king made the world according to his benevolence, while after its completion it was established by his sovereignty.

Accordingly, he considered the sage worthy of the common honor which the whole world received, for the parts of the world were joined with him by the powers of the Lord and God, and he gave his benevolent grace and generous gift with especially abundant magnificence. Therefore, the name of the benevolent power, God, is used twice: on the one hand, as has been said, as an attribute with the royal power, and a second time without any visible connection, so that the wise man becomes worthy of both, the common and the special gift (of God ) by being loved by both the world and God - by the world because of common grace, by God, because of special (grace).

76. Why does (Noe) say when praying for Japheth: God shall make Japheth great, and he shall dwell in the houses of Shem, and Canaan shall be their servant? (Gen 9.27)

The literal sense is left aside as it is clear. The transferred must be checked; after this the second and third goods receive an enlargement, (like) health and sharpness of perception and beauty and strength and wealth, glory, high nobility, friends and duties and many other such things. That's why he says should make you big. For the full possession of so many things, separated and taken for themselves, harms many who do not live according to righteousness and wisdom and the other virtues, the full possession of which controls physical and external things. But the inaccessibility and distance (of virtue) leaves him without guidance and benefit. And, once abandoned and left alone by good overseers, it brings harm rather than gain that it could have brought. That is why he prays to him who possesses physical and external things that he in the houses of the wise should lingerso that he can look to the example of all good people and, in seeing that, make his own way straight.

77. Why does she, where Ham sins, show his son Canaan as the servant of Shem and Japheth? (Gen 9.27)

First, because both father and son practiced the same wickedness, blending them both without distinction, as if they were using one body and one soul.

And secondly, because the father should also be grieved by the cursing of his son, knowing that it was not so much about him as about his father, that he was punished, because the punishment falls on the causal perpetrator and the teacher of evil thoughts, words and deeds.

This is the meaning of the word. But figuratively there are possibly two - not so much people as characters. And this is shown by the giving of names, which also clearly shows the nature of things. Because “Ham” is interpreted as “heat” or “hot”, while “Canaan” means “merchant” or “middle man”.

78. Why did Noe live three hundred and fifty years after the flood? (Gen 9.28)

The shape of the world was represented as established from the beginning in twice seven years and the sage lived the same number twenty-five times, for fourteen times twenty-five is seventy times five years and fifty times seven. Now the principle of the seventh and fiftieth years has a special order, which is levitical, for that is where it is instituted.

79. Why does Ham always appear in the middle among the three sons of Noe while the outward appearances change? When they are born, Shem is first mentioned as follows: Shem, Ham, Japhethbut when they father children, Japheth is put first, and the family begins to be numbered from Japheth? (Gen 10.1)

Those who examine the literal nature of Scripture claim to believe, regarding the order of the sons, that the first mentioned is Shem, the youngest, while the last, Japheth, is the oldest. But such persons may think as they please individually and hold onto whatever beliefs they happen to find appropriate.However, of us investigating the rational nature of others, it must be said that of these three, the good, the bad, and the indefinite, which are called the second good, the bad always appears in the middle to be caught in the middle and can be defeated on either side, so that one can grasp it, huddle it tightly, and squeeze it together. But the good and the indefinite or the second goods change their order. As long as the evil is only apparently present but not actually, the good comes first and has the rank of governor and ruler. But as soon as an act results from will and intention and injustice not only remains in the mind, but is realized in unjust acts, (then) the good that comes first changes its place with another in the sequence, just like the good qualities make it adorned with it, and it takes leave of instruction and guidance as if it cannot understand it, as a doctor does when he sees an illness that is incurable. However, the oldest good helps that virtue which is physical and outward, and which carefully observes the extreme ends that restrain the wild animal in a net and show that it has no more strength to bite and injure. But, once it understands that this has not been done, it moves to a safer and more stable place, leaving its former place for a more powerful one and, having received one, for it is easy to hit lower, it keeps it ; the limit and the protection of it is preserved by a more powerful guard, for there is nothing more powerful than virtue.

80. Why (originate from) the Kitteans and Rodanites and the islands of the Gentiles from Japheth (from)? (Gen 10,4f)

Because (his name) has to be interpreted as "breadth", for it has become broader in growth and progress and is no longer included in the other part of those regions which have been granted by nature for the benefit of man, (namely) the Earth, but he goes over to yet another (part), the sea, and to the islands that lie in it.

This is the meaning of the word. But those things which are by nature external goods, (such as) wealth, honor and authority, are transmitted and spread everywhere, both to those in whose hands they are now and to those in whose hands they are still are not. And more - or no less - fence them all around and keep them close together because of those who are lusted and crave money and glory, and, since they love authority, nothing is enough for them because of their insatiable lust .

81. Why is the eldest son Hams Cush? (Gen 10.6)

The theologian has expressed a most natural tenet in naming Cush, the eldest offspring of evil, (for he is) the sparse nature of the earth. Because soil that is fertile, rich, well watered, rich in herbs and grain and well afforested, is distributed and divided among the products of the fruit. But sparse and dusty earth is dry, arid, barren and sterile and is carried away and lifted by the wind and causes the healthy air to suffer from dust. Such are the first buds of evil because they are sterile and unproductive in good practice and are the causes of sterility in all parts of the soul.

82. Why did Cush begat Nimrod, who a huge hunterbefore the Lord became, hence they said like Nimrod a great hunter before God? (Gen 10,8f)

It is appropriate that one who has a sparse nature that does not bring a spiritual bond together and hold fast - and he was not the father of steadfastness, neither of soul nor nature nor character, but like a giant he cherished and honored that Earthly more than heavenly - should show the truth of the story about the giants and titans. Because in truth he who is zealously concerned about the earthly and perishable always fights and wages war against heavenly and praiseworthy and wonderful natures and builds walls and towers on earth against heaven. But what is here is against what is there. Therefore it is not said by accident a giant before Godwhich is clearly an antithesis to the deity. Because the godless man is none other than the enemy and opponent who stands against God. Hence it is proverbial that anyone who is a great sinner should be compared to him as the ruler and leader, as when they say "like Nimrod". So the name is a clear reference to the (designated) thing, because it should be translated as "Ethiopian", and his skill is that of the hunter. Both should be condemned and censured, the Ethiopian, because pure evil has no part in light but follows night and darkness, while hunting is as far as possible from rational nature. But the one who is among wild animals tries to adjust to the brutal habits of the animals through evil passions.