(10) What is the meaning of the expression, I will set up my treaty with you? (#Ge 6:9). In the first place, he here warns us that no man is the inheritor of the divine substance, except him who is endowed with virtue; since the inheritance of men is possessed when they themselves are no longer in existence, but when they are dead; but as God is everlasting he grants a participation in his inheritance to wise men, rejoicing at their entering into possession of it; for he who has entered into possession of everything is in want of nothing, but they who are in distress from a want of all things are in the possession of no portion of truth. And on this account God, showing himself favourable to the virtuous, benefits them, bestowing on the those things of which they have need. In the second place, he bestows on the wise man a certain and more ample inheritance; for he does not say, I will set up my treaty for you, but with you; that is to say, you are yourself a just and true treaty, which I will set up for the race endued with reason, who have need of virtue, for a possession and a glory to them.
(11) Why does he say: “Enter thou and all thy house into the ark, because I have seen that thou art a just man before me in that generation?” (#Ge 7:1). In the first place, certain faith receives approbation, inasmuch as for the sake of one man who is just and worthy many men are saved by reason of their relationship to him; as is the case too with sailors and armies, when the one have a good captain and the others an excellent and skilful general. In the second place, he extols the just man with praise, who thus acquires virtues, not for himself alone, but also for his whole family, which in this way deserves safety. And it is with peculiar propriety that this expression is added, namely, “I have seen that thou art a just man before me;” for men approve of the life of any one upon one principle, and God on quite a different one; for they judge by what is visible, but he derives his tests from the invisible designs of the soul. Moreover, that is a very remarkable expression which is added as an insertion, namely, the one which says, “I have seen that thou art a just man in this generation;” that he might not appear to condemn those who had gone before, nor cut off the future hope of coming generations. This is the sense of the passage taken according to the letter. But if we look at its inward meaning, when God will save the intellect of the soul, which is the principal part of the man, that is to say, the head of the family, then also he will save the whole family along with him; I mean all the parts, and all those who bear an analogy to the parts, and to the word which is uttered, and to the circumstances of the body; for what the intellect is in the soul, that also is the soul in the body. All the parts of the soul are in good condition, owing to the result of counsels, and all its family derives the benefit along with it. But when the whole soul is in a good condition, then also its habitation is again found to be benefited by purity of morals and sobriety, those overstrained desires which are the causes of diseases being cut off.