(8) Why does he say that the deluge will be to the corrupting of all flesh in which there is the breath of life beneath the heaven? (#Ge 6:17). One may almost say that what he had previously spoken in riddles he has now made plain; for there was no other cause for the corruption of mankind, except that, being slaves to pleasure and to desire, they did everything, and were anxious about everything for that reason only; moreover they passed a life of extreme misery. But he added also, in a very natural manner, the place where the breath of life is, using the expression, “under heaven,” because forsooth there are living beings also in heaven; for a happy body has not been made out of a heavenly substance, as if in truth it had received some peculiar and admirable condition, superior to that of other living creatures, but heaven appears to have been made especially worthy of and for the sake of these admirable and divine living beings, all of which are intellectual spirits; so that they give a share and participation in themselves and in the essence of vitality even to the creatures which exist upon the earth, and give life to all those which are capable of receiving it.
(9) Why does he say, all things which existed upon the earth shall be consumed; for what sin can the beasts commit? (#Ge 6:13). In the first place, as, when a sovereign is slain in battle the military valour of the kingdom is also crushed, so also he now has thought it reasonable that when the whole human race, bearing analogy to a sovereign, is destroyed, he should also destroy simultaneously with it the species of beasts likewise, on which account also in pestilences the beasts die first, and especially those which are bred up with and associate with men, such as dogs and similar animals, and afterwards the men die too. In the second place, as, when the head is cut off, no one blames nature if the other portions of the body also, numerous and important as they are, are destroyed along with it, so too now no one can find fault with anything, since man is as it were the head and chief of all animals, and when he is destroyed it is not at all strange if all the rest of the beasts are destroyed also along with him. In the third place, animals were originally made, not for their own sakes, as has been said by the philosophers, but in order to do service to mankind, and for their use and glory; therefore it is very reasonable that when those beings are destroyed for the sake of whom they had their existence, they also should be deprived of life, and this is the reason of this assertion in its literal sense; but with respect to its hidden meaning we may say, when the soul is exposed to a deluge from the overflow of vices, and is in a manner stifled by them, those portions also which are on the earth, the earthly parts I mean of the body, must of necessity likewise perish along with it; for life passed in wickedness is death; the eyes though they see perish, inasmuch as they see wrongly; the ears also though they hear perish, inasmuch as they hear wrongly; and the whole body of the senses perishes, inasmuch as they are all exercised wrongly.