(17) Why did the deluge take place in the six hundredth year of the life of Noah, and in the seventh month, and on the twenty-seventh day of the month? (#Ge 7:11). Perhaps it happened that the just man was born at the beginning of the month, at the first beginning of the commencement of that very year which they are accustomed to call the sacred year, out of honour, otherwise the sacred historian would not have been so carefully accurate in fixing the day and month when the deluge began to the seventh month and the twenty-seventh day of the month. But, perhaps, by this minuteness he intended manifestly to indicate the precise time of the vernal equinox, for that always occurs on the twentyseventy day of the seventh month. But why was it that the deluge fell on the day of the vernal equinox? Because about that time the birth and increase of everything take place, whether living creatures or plants; therefore the vengeance and punishment inflicted brings with it the more terrible and dreadful threats, as happening at the period of plenty and fertility of the shaves of corn, and indeed, in the very midst of that productiveness, and bringing the evil of utter destruction as a reproof of the impiety of those who are exposed to the punishment. For behold, says he, all nature contains its own productions within itself in the greatest abundance, namely, wheat and barley, and everything else which is produced from seed, brought on to complete generation, as, also, it begins to generate the fruits of trees; but you, like mortals, corrupt its mercies, perverting the divine gifts, and purposes, and mysteries. But if the deluge had taken place at the autumnal equinox, when there was nothing growing on the earth, but when all the crops were collected into their proper storehouses, it would not have, in any degree, been looked upon as a punishment, but rather as a benefit, as the water would have cleansed the plains and the mountains. But as the first man who was produced out of the earth was also created at the same season of the year, he whom the divine writer calls Adam, because in fact it was on every account proper that the grandfather, or original parent, or father of the human race, or by whatever name we may choose to designate that original founder of our kind, should be created at the season of the vernal equinox, when all earthly productions were full of their fruit; but the vernal equinox takes place in the seventh month, which is also called the first in other passages, with reference to a different idea. Since, therefore, the first beginning of the generation of our race, after the destruction caused by the deluge, commenced with Noah, men being again sown and procreated, therefore he also is recognised as resembling the first man born of the earth, as far as such resemblance or recognition is possible. And the six hundredth year has for its origin the number six; and the world was created under the number six, therefore, by this same number does he reprove the wicked, putting them to shame because he would, unquestionably, never, after he had created the universe by means of the number six, have destroyed all the men who lived on the earth under the form of six, if it had not been for the preposterous excess of their iniquities. For the third power of six and the minor power is the number six hundred, and the mean between both is sixty, since the number ten more evidently represents the likeness of unity, and the number a hundred represents the minor power.