(86) What is the meaning of the expression, “He was not found because God translated him?” (#Ge 5:24). In the first place, the end of virtuous and holy men is not death but a translation and migration, and an approach to some other place of abode. In the second place, in this instance something marvellous did take place; for he was supposed to be carried off in such a way as to be invisible, for then he was not found: and a proof of this is, that he was sought for as being invisible, not only as having been carried away from their sight, since translation into another place is nothing else than a placing of a person in another situation; but it is here suggested, that he was translated from a visible place, perceptible by the outward senses, into an incorporeal idea, appreciable only to the intellect. This mercy also was bestowed on the great prophet, for his sepulchre also was known to no one. And besides these two there was another, Elijah, who ascended from the things of earth into heaven, according to the divine appearance which was then presented to him, and who thus followed higher things, or, to speak with more exact propriety, was raised up to heaven.

(87) How it was that immediately upon the nativity of Noah his father says, “He will make us rest from labours and sorrows, and from the earth, which the Lord God has cursed?” (#Ge 5:29). The fathers of the saints did not prophesy except for grave reasons and on important occasions; for although those who were rendered worthy of prophetical panegyric did not prophecy at all times or on all subjects, they did so at all events on one occasion and on one subject, with which they were acquainted. Nor is this of no importance, but it is an emblem and an example, since Noah is a kind of surname of righteousness, of which, when the intellect is made a partaker, it causes us to rest from all wicked works, and releases us from sorrows and from fears, and renders us secure and joyful. It also causes us to rest from that earthly nature which has been previously laid under a curse, which this body, when affected by pain, is connected with, especially in those persons who give cause for it, and who wear out their lives with pleasure. Nevertheless, if we examine attentively the events and circumstances, and compare them with the letter of the scriptures, the prophecy which has been already produced is deceived, because, in the time of this man, there did not arise any putting down of evils, but a more vehement obstinacy in sin and great afflictions, and the unprecedented event of the deluge. But you must note carefully, that Noah is the tenth in generation from the earth-born Adam.