(45) Why in the six hundred and first year of the life of Noah, and on the first day of the first month, did the waters of the deluge cease from off the earth? (#Ge 8:13). The word first, according to the defect of time, is spoken of with reference either to the month or the man, and each interpretation has reason to support it; for if we are bound to maintain that the water began to abate in the first month, we are equally obliged to consider that the sacred historian intended also to speak of the seventh month, that is, of that month which is the second equinox, since the same month is both the first and the seventh; that is to say, the first as respects nature and virtue, and the seventh in point of time. Therefore in another place he says, {4}{#ex 12:2.} “This month is unto you the beginning of months, the first among the months of the year;” calling that the first which is so in respect of nature and virtue, and which as to number is in time the seventh month, since the equinox has its appointed order in regular series, and in point of time is assigned the better season of the year. But if you take that word first to have reference to the man, then it will be used with more truth, and with strict propriety, for the just man was truly and properly the first, as in a vessel the captain is the first man, and in a state the prince. But he is first not only in virtue, but also in order, inasmuch as in the very circumstances of the regeneration of the second sowing of the human race he was the beginning and the first. Moreover, it is very admirably considered with reference to this passage, that the deluge took place during the life of the first man, and that again, when it abated, things returned to their former steadiness, since after the deluge took place he had to live by himself with his whole family, and after that evil was removed he alone was found upon the earth during the latter period of his life until the regeneration of mankind began. But it is not to no purpose that this testimony is given both of the preceding portion of his life, and also of the later period, for he alone burnt with a desire for that genuine life which is in accordance with virtue, while all the rest of the world were hastening on to death by reason of their fatal wickednesses. Therefore of necessity the evil ceased on the six hundred and first year of his life, since in truth the destruction came with reference to the sixth number, and safety was restored in unity since unity is more a generativeness of the soul, and is the best for giving life, wherefore also a deficiency of water in the sea takes place at the new moon, in order that the units may be preferred in dignity both among months and years, when God saves those things which are upon the earth; since the man who cultivates just habits is called by the Hebrews in their native language Noah, but by the Greeks he is named Dikaios; however, he is not exempted from the laws affecting the body. For although he is not subordinate to the power of others, but is a prince, yet still, because he is nevertheless devoted to death, as he is dead, the principle of that number six is connected with unity; since it was not in one year taken separately that the deluge ceased, but together with the number six (as contained in the number six hundred), which is connected with it according to corporeality and inequality; since the other being a long number is in the first place six (that is to say, six hundred); on which account it is said, in the six hundred and first year. But the just man is so in his generation, not in that which is general, nor again in that in which he is just by comparison with the general corruption, but according to some especial generation; for his generation bears with it a certain comparison. But that man also is deserving of praise whom God selected beyond all other generations as being considered worthy of life, placing a limit to that life, and to him as being about to be both the end and the beginning of each generation and of each age; the end of that which is corruptible, the beginning of that which is to follow. And truly it is much more proper to praise him who, bending upwards with his whole body, looked up by reason of his friendship with God.