(24) What is the meaning of the words, “It destroyed every living substance which was on the face of the earth?” (#Ge 7:23). The literal meaning of these words only announces a plain statement of a fact, but it may be turned into an allegory in this manner. It is not without reason that the sacred historian has used the words “a living substance,” for that is characteristic of ambition and pride, which lead men to despise both divine and human laws; but ambition and arrogance do rather appear on the face of our earthly and corporeal nature with an elated countenance and contracted brows. Since there are some persons who come nearer to one with their feet, but with their chests, and necks, and heads lean back, and are actually borne backwards and bend away like a balance, so that with one half of their body, in consequence of the position of their feet, they project forward, but backward with the upper portion of their chests, drawing themselves back like those persons whose muscles and nerves are in pain, by which they are prevented from stooping in a natural manner. But men of this kind it was determined to put an end to, as one may see from the records of the Lord and the divine history of the scriptures.