XXIV. (94) Such a serpent Jacob boasts that Dan is, and he speaks thus: “Dan will judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel:”{28}{#ge 49:16.} and again, “Let Dan be a serpent in the path, sitting upon the road, biting the heel of the horse, and the rider shall fall backwards, waiting the salvation of the Lord.”{29}{#ge 49:17.} The fifth son of Leah is Issachar, the legitimate son of Jacob; but if the two sons of Zilpah are counted he is the seventh; but the fifth son of Jacob is Dan, the son of Billah, the handmaid of Rachel; and the cause of this we will investigate in the proper place, but concerning Dan we must examine further now. (95) The soul produces two kinds, the one divine and the other perishable; that which is the better kind it has already conceived, and ends in it; for when the soul was able to confess to God and to yield everything to him, it was not after that capable of receiving any more valuable possession; on this account she ceased to bring forth, after she had borne Judah, the emblem of the disposition of confessing–(96) and now she begins to form the mortal race–now the mortal race subsists by imbibing; for, like a foundation, the sense of taste is the cause of the duration of animals; but the name Billah, being interpreted, means imbibing. From her was born Dan, which name being interpreted means judgment, for this kind distinguishes between the separates immortal from mortal things, therefore he prays that he may become a workman of temperance. But he will not pray for Judah, for Judah already has the capacity of praying to and pleasing God: (97) “Therefore let Dan,” says he, “be a serpent in the path.”–One path is the soul. For as in the roads one may behold a great variety of living beings, inanimate and animate, irrational and rational, good and bad, slaves and free, young and old, male and female, strangers and natural citizens, sick and healthy, mutilated and perfect; so also in the soul there are motions inanimate, and imperfect, and diseased, and slavish, and female, and innumerable others of the class of evils; and on the other hand, there are motions which are living, and perfect, and masculine, and free, and healthy, and ripe, and virtuous, and genuine, and really legitimate. (98) Let then the principle of temperance be a serpent in the soul, which makes its advance through all the circumstances of life, and let it sit in the path. But what is the meaning of this expression?–The field of virtue is not trodden down; for they are few who walk along it, but that of vice is trodden and worn? And he recommends him here to occupy and to fill, with ambush and stratagem, the well-trodden path of passion and vice, in which the thoughts which are deserters from virtue pass their life.