(80) Why, after the mention of hope, Moses says, “This is the book of the generations of men?” (#Ge 5:1). It is by this that he made what has been said before worthy of belief. What is man? Man is a being which, beyond all other races of animals, has received a copious and wonderful portion of hope; and this is as it were inscribed on his very nature, and celebrated there; for the human intellect hopes by its own nature.
(81) Why, in the genealogy of Adam, Moses no longer mentions Cain, but only Seth, who, he says, was according to his appearance and form; on which account he proceeds to retain the generations which descend from him in his genealogy? (#Ge 5:3). It can neither be lawful to enumerate a wicked and sinful murderer either in the list of reason or in that of number; for he must be cast out like dung, as some one said, looking upon him as one of such a character; and on this account the sacred historian neither points him out as the successor of his father who had been formed out of the dust, nor as the head of succeeding generations; but he distributes both these characteristics to him who was without pollution, and names Seth, who is a drinker of water, as having been watered by his father, and as begetting hope in his own increase and progress; on which account it is not inconsiderately and foolishly that he says that he was born according to the form and appearance of his father, to the reproof of his elder brother, who, on account of the foulness of the murder which he had committed, has nothing in him resembling his father, either in body or soul. And on this account Moses has separated him from the family, and has given his share to his brother, being the noble privilege of the birthright of the first-born.