(8) Why is it that he says, “Abraham passed over and sat upon them?” (#Ge 15:11). Those who think that sacrifice is indicated by the matters about which we are at present speaking will say that the virtuous man, sitting as it were in a synagogue, has examined into the entrails of the divided animals, as if that were looked upon as an unerring symbol for the declaration of the truth; but we, who adhere to Moses and who are thoroughly acquainted with the views of that teacher, one who, turning away his face from every sophistical appearance and prognostic, trusted in God alone, will rather say, that he has here introduced the just man who is endued with virtue with the birds themselves, who were congregated together and flying about over him, intending to denote nothing else by this parabolical presentation, but that he is desirous of hindering injustice and covetousness, and is most hostile to quarrels and wars, and a lover of consistency and peace; for he himself is truly a guardian of peace. Since no one state has ever rested in tranquillity owing to the conduct of the wicked, but kingdoms have become fixed steadily when one or two men endued with virtue have arisen, whose virtue has put an end to civil disturbances, God granting to those who are earnest in the pursuit of virtue good habits calculated to procure them honour; and not to them only, but to those also who approach near to the production of general advantage.