(56) Why was it that God, blessing Noah and his sons, said, “Increase, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and rule over it; and let your fear and the dread of you be upon all beasts, and upon flying fowls, and upon reptiles, and upon the fishes which I have placed under your hand?” (#Ge 9:1). This devotion of the inferior animals to man, God also at the beginning of the creation bestowed on the sixth day upon man, after he had created him in his own image; for the scripture saith, “And God made man; in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and said, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth; and be ye lords over it, and be ye rulers of the fishes, and of the flying fowls, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” And did he not by these words evidently intimate that Noah, at the beginning of what we may call the second creation of mankind, was found equal in honour to that creature who in the first instance was made as to his form in the likeness of himself? Therefore he equally assigned both to the one and to the other the principality and power over all the creatures that live upon the earth. But do thou diligently take notice that he showed this man, who at the time of the deluge was the only just man and the king of all the creatures which live upon the earth, to be equal in honour, not to the identical man who was first created and formed out of the earth, but to that one who was made according to the likeness and form of the true incorporeal entity, to whom also he gives power, making him a king, not the very created man (or the man formed out of the earth), but him who is according to his form and similitude, that is to say, incorporeal. Wherefore also the creation of that man, who as to his form is incorporeal, was marked to have taken place on the sixth day, in accordance with the perfect number six; but the creation of that man who was created after the completion of the world and subsequent to the generation of all animals on the seventh day, because it is after that that the manly figure was fashioned out of clay. Therefore after the days of generation he says, “on the seventh day of the world;” for God had not yet rained upon the earth, and no man did exist who could cultivate the earth. And then he proceeds to say, “But God formed a man out of the clay of the earth, and breathed into his face the breath of life, and man became a living soul.” Therefore how he can be made worthy of the same kingly power according to the image of the man thus formed, he, I mean, who is the beginning of the second creation of mankind, is indicated by the letter of the history that relates these events. But with reference to the inward sense of the passage we must give an explanation in the following manner. God wills that the souls of wise men should increase in the magnitude and multitude of the beauty of their virtues, and should fill the mind as if it were the earth with those beauties, leaving no portion empty and void so as to become occupied by folly. And he wills also that they should rule over, and strike terror into, and inflict alarm upon all beasts; that is to say, he wills that all wickedness should be subdued by their will, since wickedness is of an untamed and savage nature. Also he willed that they should be lords over all flying fowls, which by reason of their lightness are raised on high, being armed with courage and empty pride, and which thus cause the greatest mischief, being scarcely controlled at all by fear. Moreover, he made them rulers over all creeping things, which are the symbols of destructive vices, for they creep through the whole soul, namely, concupiscence, desire, sadness, and cowardice, striking and goading; as also they are indicated by the fishes, which eagerly cultivate a moist and delicate life, but one which is far from being sober, wise, or lasting.