XXXI. (97) And the recommendations that he addresses to him are as follows: “Of every tree that is in the Paradise thou mayest freely Eat.”{21}{#ge 2:16.} He exhorts the soul of man to derive advantage not from one tree alone nor from one single virtue, but from all the virtues; for eating is a symbol of the nourishment of the soul, and the soul is nourished by the reception of good things, and by the doing of praiseworthy actions. (98) And Moses not only says, “thou mayest eat,” but he adds “freely,” also; that is to say, having ground and prepared your food, not like an ordinary individual, but like a wrestler, you shall thus acquire strength and vigour. For the trainers recommend the wrestlers not to cut up their food by biting large pieces off, but to masticate it slowly, in order that it may contribute to their strength; for I and an athlete are fed in different manners. For I feed merely for the purpose of living, but the wrestler feeds for the purpose of acquiring flesh and deriving strength from it; on which account one of his rules of training and exercise is to masticate his food. This is the meaning of the expression, “Thou mayest freely eat.” (99) Again let us endeavour to give a still more accurate explanation of it. To honour one’s parents is a nourishing and cherishing thing. But the good and the wicked honour them in different manners. For the one does it out of habit, as men eat who do not eat freely, but who merely eat. When, then, do they also eat freely? When having investigated and developed the causes of things they form a voluntary judgment that this is good, and the causes of their eating freely, that is to say, of their honouring their parents in a proper spirit, is–they became our parents; they nourished us; they instructed us; they have been the causes of all good things to us. Again, to honour the living God is spoken of symbolically as to eat. But to eat “freely,” is when it is done with a proper explanation of the whole matter, and a correct assignment of the causes of it.