XXIII. (72) “And the fourth river,” continues Moses, “is the river Euphrates.” And this name Euphrates means fertility; and symbolically taken, it is the fourth virtue, namely, justice, which is most truly a productive virtue, and one which gladdens the intellect. When therefore does this happen? When the three parts of the soul are all in harmony with one another; and harmony among them is in reality the predominance of the most important; as for instance, when the two inferior parts, the passionate and the appetitive part, are disposed to yield to the superior part, then justice exists. For it is just that the better portion should rule at all times, and in all places, and that the inferior part should be ruled. Now the rational part is the better part, and the appetitive and the passionate parts are the inferior ones. (73) But when, on the contrary, passion and appetite get riotous and disobey the reins, and by the violence of their impetuosity throw off and disregard the charioteer, that is to say reason, and when each of these passions get hold of the reins themselves, then there is injustice. For it is inevitable, that through any ignorance or vice of the charioteer, the chariot must be borne down over precipices, and must fall into the abyss; just as it must be saved when the charioteer is endowed with skill and virtue.

XXIV. (74) Again, let us look at the subject in this way also. Pheison, being interpreted, is the change of the mouth; and Evilat means bringing forth, and by these two names prudence is signified. For people in general think a man prudent who is an inventor of sophistical expressions, and clever at explaining that which he has conceived in the mind. But Moses considered such an one a man fond of words, but by no means a prudent man. For in the changing of the mouth, that is to say of the power of speaking and explaining one’s ideas, prudence is seen. And prudence is not a certain degree of acuteness in speech, but ability which is beheld in deeds and in serious actions. (75) And prudence surrounds Evilat, which is in travail, as it were with a wall, in order to besiege it and destroy it. And “bringing forth,” is an especially appropriate name for folly, because the foolish mind, being always desirous of what is unattainable, is at all times in travail. When it is desirous of money it is in labour, also when it thirsts for glory, or when it is covetous of pleasure, or of any thing else. (76) But, though always in labour, it never brings forth. For the soul of the worthless man is not calculated by nature to bring any thing to perfection which is likely to live. But every thing which it appears to bring forth is found to be abortive and immature. “Eating up the half of its flesh, and being like a death of the Soul.”{15}{#nu 12:12.} On which account that holy word Aaron entreats the pious Moses, who was beloved by God, to heal the leprosy of Miriam, in order that her soul might not be occupied in the labour of bringing forth evil things. And in consequence he says: “Let her not become like unto death, as an abortion proceeding out of the womb of her mother, and let her not devour the half of her own Flesh.”{16}{#nu 12:13.}