(74) Why is it that after the sacred historian has enumerated Ham in the middle of the offspring of Noah, or has placed him in the middle between his brethren, he nevertheless points out that he was the younger, saying, “Noah saw what his younger son had done to him?” (#Ge 9:25). This is a manifest allegory, because he here takes as the younger, not him who was so in age and in point of time, but him who was younger in mind; since wickedness is unable to attain to a perception of the learning which is proper to the elder; but the elder thoughts belong to a will which is truly growing old, not indeed in body, but in mind.
(75) Why did Noah when praying for Shem speak thus: “Blessed is the Lord God, the God of Shem: and Canaan shall be his servant?” (#Ge 9:23). The names Lord and God are here used together on account of his principal attributes, both of benevolence and of kingly power by which the world was created; for as king he created the world according to his beneficence; but after he had completed it then the world was arranged and set in order by his attribute of kingly power. Therefore he at that time rendered the wise man worthy of a common honour, which the whole world also received, all the parts of the world being formed in an admirable manner with the attributes of the Lord and God, doing so by his especial prerogative, munificently pouring forth the favour and liberality of his beneficent power. And it is on this account that the beneficent power of God is mentioned twice. Once, as has been already stated, being placed in opposition to his kingly power; and a second time without any such connexion, in order, forsooth, that the wise man having been rendered worthy of his gifts, both such as are common to him with others and such as are peculiar to himself, he might also be rendered acceptable both to the world and to God; to the world on account of the excellence imparted to him in common with it, and to God for such as was peculiar to himself.