(91) Why it is said that the days of man shall be a hundred and twenty years? (#Ge 6:4). God appears here to fix the limit of human life by this number, indicating by it the manifold prerogative of honour; for in the first place this number proceeds from the units, according to combination, from the number fifteen; but the principle of the number fifteen is that of a more transparent appearance, since it is on the fifteenth day that the moon is rendered full of light, borrowing its light of the sun at the approach of evening, and restoring it to him again in the morning; so that during the night of the full moon the darkness is scarcely visible, but it is all light. In the second place, the number a hundred and twenty is a triangular number, and is the fifteenth number consisting of triangles. Thirdly, it is so because it consists of a combination of odd and even numbers, being contained by the power of the faculty of the concurring numbers, sixty-four and fifty-six; for the equal number of sixty-four is compounded of the uniting of these eight odd numbers, one, three, five, seven, nine, eleven, thirteen, fifteen; the reduction of which, by their parts into squares, makes a sum total of sixty-four, and that is a cube, and at the same time a square number. But again from the seven double units there arises the unequal number of fifty-six, being compounded of seven double pairs, which generate other productions of them, two, four, six, eight, ten, twelve, fourteen; the sum total of which is fifty-six. In the fourth place, it is compounded of four numbers, of one triangle, namely fifteen; and of another square, namely twenty-five; and of a third quinquangular figure, thirty-five; and of a fourth a sexangular figure forty-five, by the same analogy: for the fifth is always received according to each appearance; for from the unity of the triangles the fifth number becomes fifteen; again the fifth of the quadrangular number from the unit makes twenty-five; and the fifth of the quinquangular number from the unit makes thirty-five; and the fifth of the sexangular number from the unit makes forty-five. But every one of these numbers is a divine and sacred number, consisting of fifteens as has been already shown; and the number twenty-five belongs to the tribe of Levi.{10}{see #Nu 8:24.} And the number thirty-five comes from the double diagram of arithmetic, geometry, and harmony; but sixteen, and eighteen, and nineteen, and twenty-one, the combination of which numbers amounts to seventy-four, is that according to which seven months’ children are born. And forty-five consists of a triple diagram; but to this number, sixteen, nineteen, twenty-two, and twenty-eight, belong: the combination of which makes eighty-five, according to which nine months’ children are produced. Fifthly, this diagram has fifteen parts, and a twofold composition, peculiarly belonging to itself; forsooth when divided by two it gives sixty, the measure of the age of all mankind; when divided by three it gives forty, the idea of prophecy; when divided by four it gives thirty, a nation; when divided by five, it makes twenty-four, the measure of day and night; when divided by six, it gives twenty, a beginning; when divided by eight, we have fifteen, the moon in the fulness of brilliancy; when divided by ten, it makes twelve, the zodiac embellished with living animals; when divided by twelve, it makes ten, holy; when divided by fifteen, it gives eight, the first ark; when divided by twenty, it leaves six, the number of creation; when divided by twenty-four, it makes five, the emblem of the outward sense; when divided by thirty it makes four, the beginning of solid measure; when divided by forty, it gives three, the symbol of fulness, the beginning, the middle, and the end; when divided by sixty, it makes two, which is woman; and when divided by the whole number of a hundred and twenty, the product is one, or man. And every one of all these numbers is more natural, as is proved in each of them, but the composition of them is twofold, for the product is two hundred and forty, which is a sign that it is worthy of a twofold life; for as the number of years is doubled, so also we may imagine that the life is doubled too; one being in connection with the body, the other being detached from the body, according to which every holy and perfect man may receive the gift of prophecy. Sixthly, because the fifth and sixth figures arise, the three numbers being multiplied together, three times four times five, since three times four times five make sixty; so in like manner the next following numbers four times five times six make a hundred and twenty, for four times five times six make a hundred and twenty. Seventhly, when the number twenty has been taken in, which is the beginning of the reduction of mankind, I mean twenty, and being added to itself two or three times, so as to make twenty, forty, and sixty, these added together make a hundred and twenty. But perhaps the number a hundred and twenty is not the general term of human life, but only of the life of those men who existed at that time, and who were to perish by the deluge after an interval of so many years, which their kind Benefactor prolonged, giving them space for repentance; when, after the aforesaid term, they lived a longer time in the subsequent ages.

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