(77) Why Lamech, after the fifth generation, blames himself for the fratricide of his elder Cain; saying, as the scripture reports, to his wives, Adah and Zillah; “I have slain a man to my injury and a young man to my hurt; since if vengeance is taken upon Cain sevenfold, it shall certainly be taken on Lamech seventy and sevenfold?” (#Ge 4:23). In numerals one is before ten, both in order and in virtue, for it is the first beginning and element and measure of all things. But the number ten is subsequent, and is measured by the other, being inferior to it, both in order and virtue; therefore, also, the number seven is antecedent in its origin to and more ancient than the number seventy, but the number seventy is younger than the number seven, and contains the calculation of generations. These premises being laid down, he who first committed sin, as if he had been really always ignorant of evil, like the first odd number, namely, the unit, is chastised more simply; but the second offender, because he had the first for an example, so that there cannot possibly be any excuse made for him, is guilty of a voluntary crime, and because he did not receive honourable wisdom from that more simple punishment, the consequence will be that he will both suffer all that first punishment, and will, moreover, receive this second one, which is contained in the number ten. For as in the horse-races they pay the groom who has trained the horse twice as great a reward as they give to the driver, so some wicked men, inclined to acts of injustice, gain the miserable triumph of victory and then are punished with a double punishment, both by the first one which is contained in the unit, and also by the second which is contained in the number ten; besides, Cain being the author of a homicide, when he was ignorant of the greatness of the pollution which he was incurring, because no death had hitherto taken place in the world, suffered a more simple punishment, namely, only a sevenfold penalty in the order of the unit; but as his imitator could not take refuge in the same plea of ignorance, he ought to be subjected to a twofold punishment, not only to one equal and similar to that which had been inflicted on the first offender, but also another, which should be the seventh among the decades. In truth, according to the law, the trial which is before the tribunal is a sevenfold one; first of all, the eyes are put on their trial, because they beheld what was not lawful; secondly, the ears are impeached, because they heard what they ought not to have heard; thirdly, the smell is brought into question, as having been reduced by smoke and vapour; fourthly, the taste is accused, as being subservient to the pleasures of the belly; fifthly, a charge is brought against the taste, by means of which, besides the operations of the senses abovementioned, in respect of those things which prevail over the spirit, other things, also, are superadded separately, such as the takings of cities, the captivities of men, the destructions of those citadels of cities in which wisdom dwells; sixthly, an accusation is urged against the tongue and other instruments of speech, for being silent as to what should be spoken of, and speaking of what should be buried in silence; and, in the seventh place, the lower part of the belly is impeached for inflaming and exciting the passions by immoderate lust. This is the meaning of that expression, according to which a sevenfold vengeance was taken upon Cain, but a seventy and sevenfold vengeance upon Lamech for the causes above mentioned, because he was the second offender, not having been taught by the punishment of the first delinquent, and therefore he is altogether worthy to receive his punishment, which is the more simple one, like the unit in numerals, and, also, a manifold punishment too equal to the number ten.