(60) What is the meaning of the expression, “The blood of your souls will I require from every beast, and from the hand of man’s brother will I require the life of man?” (#Ge 9:5). The multitude of creatures which do injury is twofold; some being beasts, and others men. But beasts are rather the least injurious of the two, because they have no actual familiarity with those whom they wish to injure, principally because they do not fall under their power, but destroy those who have properly power over them. But when he speaks of brothers, he means men who are murderers, intimating these three things. First of all, that all we men are akin to one another, and are brothers, being connected with one another according to the relation of the highest kind of kindred; for we have received a lot, as being the children of one and the same mother, rational nature. In the second place, he intimates that very commonly numerous and terrible quarrels arise, and acts of treachery take place, between relations, and rather between brothers, on account of the division of their inheritance, or on account of some superiority of dignity in the household; since a quarrel between those of the same family is worse and altogether unseemly, because brothers who are really so by the ties of nature meet in contest with a great knowledge of one another’s internal circumstances; being therefore well aware what kind of attack they must employ in their present warfare. But, in the third place, as it appears to me, he employs the appellation of brothers in order to warn men of the implacable and severe punishment which is reserved for murderers; that they, without meeting any compassion, shall suffer what they have inflicted; for they have not slain strangers, but their own brothers in blood. It is with exceeding great propriety that he calls God the protector and overseer of those who are slain by man; for although men despise the revenge, yet let them not behave negligently, but although impure men of savage disposition escape for the moment from danger, still let them know that they are already caught and brought before the greater tribunal of justice, namely, before the divine judgment-seat, which rises up to inflict vengeance on the wicked for the defence of those who have received shameful and unworthy treatment. This is the literal meaning of the words; but if we look to the inward sense of them they have a regard to the merit of the purity of the soul, to which it is suitable to avoid unceasing destruction brought in from outward parts; which merit, that propitious and beneficent being, the most merciful and only Saviour, does not despise; but he expels and destroys all its enemies who stand around it, calling them beasts, and men brothers; for beasts are a symbolical expression for furious men threatening calamitous death; but men and brothers are both separate individual thoughts, and words uttered by mouth and tongue, because they are akin to them, and, by consequence, they bring on great and destructive evils, leaving no stone unturned, no work or word omitted to do injury.