(35) Why did he send out a raven first? (#Ge 8:6). If we look to the literal statement, the raven is said to be an animal particularly set apart for being sent on messages and employed in offices; for to this very day many people watch its mode of flight and its chattering, judging that it gives some intimation of unknown facts; but with respect to the hidden meaning, as a raven is a black, and arrogant, and speedy animal, it is a sign of wickedness, which brings night and darkness over the soul, and it is also swift to meet all the things of the world in its flight. And also that it is very bold, so as at times to cause the destruction of those who seek to catch it, since pride produces also rash impudence, the opposite of which is virtue, which is consistent with the brilliancy of light, and is by nature decorated with a modest bashfulness; therefore it is quite natural that if there was any darkness remaining behind in the intellect, darkness which exists in accordance with folly, he should expel that and send it out beyond his borders.

(36) Why did the raven after it had gone forth not return, when there was not yet any part of the earth dried? (#Ge 8:7). This passage admits of an allegorical interpretation since injustice is contrary to the light of justice; so that in comparison of the admirable actions of the man endued with virtue, it thinks it more desirable to rejoice with its kinsman the deluge; for injustice is a lover of confusion and corruption.

(37) Why does he speak here in an incorrect manner, “Till the water was dried up from the earth;” when it was not the water which was dried up from the earth, but the earth which was dried from the water? (#Ge 8:7). He uses this expression in an allegorical sense, indicating by the fall of the waters the immensity of vices, by which when saturated and vigorous the soul is corrupted, but when they are dried up and withered, it is preserved; for then they cannot inflict any mischief upon it, since they are become impotent and dead.