(16) Why did he say, “On that day, God made a covenant with Abraham, saying, To thy seed will I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river Euphrates?” (#Ge 15:19). The literal expression describes the boundaries of the space which lies in the middle, between the two rivers Egyptus and Euphrates, for anciently the river was also called by the same name as the district, Egypt, as the poet also testifies when he says-

“And in the river Egypt did I fix

My double-oared Ships.”{3}{the line is in Odyssey 14.258.}

But if we look to the inner meaning of the expression, it intimates happiness, which is the perfect fulness of three good things, namely, of spiritual, and corporeal, and external blessings, as some of those men describe it in their panegyrics, who were afterwards called philosophers, such as Aristotle and the Peripatetics; nevertheless, such a giving of the law as this is called Pythagorean. Therefore the Egypt is a symbol of corporeal and external blessings, and the Euphrates of spiritual advantages, in which alone, it is plain, their real joy consists, which has wisdom and all the other virtues for its foundation; and the boundaries of this happiness are very rightly described as beginning with the Egyptus and ending with the Euphrates; for the things affecting the soul come at the end, which we usually approach with difficulty after we have passed through corporeal and external things, in such a manner that, by this progress, we have felt our unity, the integrity of our outward senses, and the beauty and strength which existed in our youth, advance, increase, and come to maturity. And in a similar manner, those things which relate to acquiring gain and to trafficking, as the management of ships, and agriculture, and commerce; for it is well said, that all things, especially those above-mentioned, become a young man.