(18) What is the meaning of the expression, “And the fountains of the deep were broken, and the springs of heaven were opened?” (#Ge 7:11). The literal meaning is plain enough, for it suggests the two extremities of the universe, the heaven and the earth, to have met together for the destruction of mortals deserving of condemnation, the waters running forth to meet one another from all quarters, for part of them bubbled up from out of the earth, and part descended downwards from heaven; and in truth, that expression is very explicit, “The fountains were broken up,” for when a rupture is effected then the thing confined rushes forth without any hindrance. But with reference to the interior meaning of the expression we may as well say this: the heaven is symbolically the human intellect, and the earth is the sense and body, therefore there is great distress and calamity when neither remains, but when each threatens a secret attack. But what is the exact meaning of my words? If often happens that acuteness of intellect exhibits cunning and wickedness, and bears itself with bitterness in every respect when the lusts of the body are restrained and bridled; but the contrary fact often prevails, and the lusts rejoice in their opportunities and proceed onward, gaining strength from luxury and abundance of means; therefore, the gate of these lusts is the outward sense combined with the body; but when the intellect, neglecting outward circumstances, is consistent with itself, then the senses lie harmless, as if completely abandoned; but when both are united, the intellect in exerting all cunning and wickedness, and the body irrigated with all the senses and gorged with every kind of vice to satiety, then we are exposed to a deluge; and this is in fact a great deluge, when the streams of the intellect are opened by iniquity, and folly, and greedy desire, and injustice, and arrogance, and impiety, and when the fountains of the body are opened by lust, and desire, and intemperance, and obscenity, and gluttony, and lasciviousness, with relations and sisters, and all irremediable diseases.