(78) Why Adam, when he begat Seth, introduces him saying, “God has raised up for me another seed in the place of Abel whom Cain slew?” (#Ge 4:25). In real truth Seth is another seed and the beginning of a second nativity of Abel, in accordance with a certain natural principle; for Abel is like to one who comes down below from above, on which account it was that he perished injuriously; but Seth resembles one who is proceeding upwards from below, on which account he also increases. And in proof of this argument Abel is explained as having been brought back and offered upwards to God. But it is not proper that everything should be raised and borne upwards, but only that which is good, for God is in no respect whatever the cause of evil. Therefore, whatever is indistinct and uncertain, and mingled, and in confusion and disorder, has also, very properly, blame and praise mingled together: praise, because it honours the cause, and blame, since as the occurrence happened fortuitously, so it is without any plans having been formed or any gratitude expressed. Moreover, nature also separated the two sons from him; it rendered the good one worthy of immortality, resolving him into a voice interceding with God; but the wicked one it gave over to corruption. But the name Seth is interpreted “watered,” according to the variation of plants which grow by being watered, and put forth shoots and bear fruit. But these things are the symbols of the soul, so that it is not lawful to assert that the Divinity is the cause of all things equally, of the bad as well as of the good, but only of the good, and that alone ought to be planted alive.
(79) Why Enos, the son of Seth, hoped to call upon the name of the Lord God? (#Ge 4:26). The name Enos is interpreted “man;” and it is received as meaning, not the whole of the combined man, but as the rational part of the soul, namely, the intellect, to which it is peculiarly becoming to hope, for irrational animals are devoid of hope; but hope is a sort of presage of joy, and before joy there is an expectation of good things.