(17) Why God says, “It is not good for man to be alone; let us make him a help meet for him?” (#Ge 2:18). By these words God intimates that there is to be a communion, not with all men, but with those who are willing to be assisted and in their turn to assist others, even though they may scarcely have any power to do so; since love consists not more in utility than in the harmonious concord of trustworthy and steadfast manners; so that every one who joins in a communion of love may be entitled to utter the expression of Pythagoras, “A friend is another I.”

(18) Why, when God had already said, “Let us make a help for man,” he creates beasts and cattle? (#Ge 2:19). Perhaps some gluttons and insatiably greedy persons may say that God did this because beasts and flying things were, as it were, necessary food for man, and his meetest helper; for that the eating of meat assists the belly so as to conduce to the health and vigour of the body. But I should think that by reason of the evil implanted in them by nature animals of all kinds, whether terrestrial or flying in the air, were in this age hostile to and contrary to man; but that in the case of the first man, as one adorned with every imaginable virtue, they were, as it were, allies, and a reinforcement in war, and familiar friends, as being tame and domestic by nature, and this was the sole principle of their familiarity with man, for this it was fit that servants should dwell with their lord.

(19) Why the creation of animals and flying creatures is mentioned a second time, when the account of their creation had already been given in the history of the six days? (#Ge 2:19). Perhaps those things which were created in the six days were incorporeal angels, indicated under these symbolical expressions, being the appearances of terrestrial and flying animals, but now they were produced in reality, being the copies of what had been created before, images perceptible by the outward senses of invisible models.