(22) What is the meaning of the expression, “And all flesh capable of motion perished?” (Genesis 7:21). It is with especial propriety, and strictly in accordance with natural truth, that the sacred historian has here pronounced all flesh capable of motion devoted to destruction; for flesh excites pleasures, and is excited by pleasures; and such affections are the causes of the destruction of souls, as one the other hand sobriety and patience are the causes of safety.

(23) What is the meaning of the expression, “And everything which was on the dry land died?” (#Ge 7:22). The literal meaning is notorious, because in that great deluge everything which was upon the earth was destroyed and perished; but with respect to the secret meaning, as, since the material of timber, when it is parched and dry, is readily consumed by fire, so, likewise, when the soul is not mingled with wisdom, and justice, and piety, and the other enduring virtues, which alone are able to impart real joy to the thoughts, then it, being parched up and dried like a plant which is deprived of any power of budding or producing seed, or like a withered trunk, dies, being handed over to the mercy of the overwhelming overflow of the body.