(84) Why the man who lives a life of repentance is said to have lived three hundred and sixtyfive years? (#Ge 5:23). In the first place, the year contains three hundred and sixty-five days; therefore, by the symbol of the solar orbit, the sacred historian here indicates the life of the repentant man. In the second place, as the sun is the cause of day and night, performing his revolutions by day above the hemisphere of the earth, and his course by night under the earth, so also the life of the man of repentance consists of alternations of light and darkness; of darkness, that is, of times of agitation and circumstances of injury; and of light, when the light of virtue and its radiant brilliancy arises. In the third place, he has assigned to him a complete number, as the sun is ordained to be the chief of the stars of heaven, under an appointed number, in the time which came before the period of his repentance, to lead to the oblivion of the sins previously committed; since, as God is good, he bestows the greatest favours most abundantly, and, at the same time, he effaces the former offences of those who devote themselves to him, and which might deserve chastisement, by a recollection of their virtues.

(85) Why, when Enoch died, the sacred historian adds the assertion, “He pleased God?” (Genesis 5:24). In the first place, he says this because, by such a statement, he implies that the soul is immortal, inasmuch as after it is stripped of the body, it still pleases a second time. In the second place, he honours the repentant man with praise, because he has persevered in the same alteration of manners, and has never receded till he has arrived at complete perfection of life; for behold, some men appear to be readily sated after they have only tasted of excellence; and after a hope of recovery has been given to them, they relapse again into the same disease.