VI. (18) But why now, as if Jacob had been ignorant that Laban was a Syrian, does Moses say, “And Jacob concealed himself from Laban the Syrian.” This expression, however, has a reason in it which is not superfluous; for the name Syria, being interpreted, means high. Jacob, therefore, being an experienced man, that is to say, being mind, when he sees passion low and powerless, abides it, thinking that he shall be able to subdue it by force: but when he beholds it high, and bearing its neck haughtily, and full of arrogance, then experienced mind flees first, and afterwards the other parts of his experience do also flee, namely reading, meditation, care, the recollection of what is honourable, temperance, the energy in pursuit of what is becoming; and so he crosses over the river of the objects affecting the outward senses, which wash over and threaten to submerge the soul by the impetuosity of the passions, and having crossed over he proceed towards the high and lofty reason of perfect virtue; (19) for “he proceeded towards the Mount of Gilead;” and Gilead being interpreted means the migration of testimony, since God caused the soul to migrate from the passions which surrounded Laban, and bore witness to it, that it should migrate and receive another settlement, because it was profitable and expedient, and conducted it onwards from the evils calculated to render the soul base, and seeking the things that are on the earth, to the height and magnitude of virtue. (20) On this account Laban, the friend of the outward senses, and one who energised according to them and not according to his mind, is indignant, and pursues after him and says, “why did you flee from me secretly, and not remain for the enjoyment of your soul, and for the opinions which judge concerning the body and the external good things of the world?” But in fleeing from this opinion you have despoiled me also of my prudence, Leah and Rachel; for they, when they remained in the soul created, prudence in it, but now that they have departed they have left it ignorance and inexperience.” On which account he adds, “You have stripped me,” that is to say, you have robbed me of my prudence.