(61) What is the meaning of the expression, “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood by man shall his blood be shed?” (#Ge 9:6). There is no excess in this declaration, but rather an indication of a still more formidable denunciation, because he says, “He himself shall be poured out like blood who pours out blood.” For that which is poured out flows forth and is lost, so that it has no longer any power or substance. And by this he shadows forth the fact that the souls of those who perpetrate unworthy actions imitate the mortal body in its corruption, as far as corruption is accustomed to come upon individuals; for the body is then dissolved into those parts of which it was composed, returning into its proper elements. But the miserable soul, labouring under distresses, is borne hither and thither by the overflow of a lascivious life; and the very evils which have grown up along with it are accustomed to suffer the same overflow, in the manner of the parts of the limbs.

(62) Why is it that he speaks as if of some other god, saying that he made man after the image of God, and not that he made him after his own image? (#Ge 9:6). Very appropriately and without any falsehood was this oracular sentence uttered by God, for no mortal thing could have been formed on the similitude of the supreme Father of the universe, but only after the pattern of the second deity, who is the Word of the supreme Being; since it is fitting that the rational soul of man should bear it the type of the divine Word; since in his first Word God is superior to the most rational possible nature. But he who is superior to the Word holds his rank in a better and most singular pre-eminence, and how could the creature possibly exhibit a likeness of him in himself? Nevertheless he also wished to intimate this fact, that God does rightly and correctly require vengeance, in order to the defence of virtuous and consistent men, because such bear in themselves a familiar acquaintance with his Word, of which the human mind is the similitude and form.