LXXXV. (238) And, at first, he only skirmishes, but presently he fights and resists valiantly, when the soul enters into her own dwelling, and, having recourse to her own strength and energy, renounces the temptations of the body, and performs her own appropriate actions as those which are the proper occupation of the soul; not appearing in the house of Joseph, nor of Pentepho’, but in the house. Nor does Moses add a word to describe whose house he means, in order to give you opportunity to interpret allegorically, in an inquisitive spirit, the meaning of the expression, “to do his business.” (239) The house, therefore, is the soul, to which he runs, leaving all external affairs, in order that what is spoken of may there be done. But may we not say that the conduct of the temperate man is what it is, and is directed by the will of God? For there was not present any inconsistent idea of all those which are accustomed to find their place within the soul. Moreover, pleasure never ceases from struggling against the yoke, but, seizing hold of his clothes, she cries, “Lie with me.” Now, clothes are, as it were, the covering of the body, just as life is protected by meat and drink. And she says here, “Why do you renounce pleasure, without which you cannot live? (240) Behold, I take hold of the things which cause it; and I say that you could not possibly exist unless you also made use of some of the things which cause it.” What, then, says the temperate man? “Shall I,” says he, “become a slave to passion, on account of the material which causes passion? Nay, I will depart out of reach of the passion.” For, leaving his garment in her hand, he fled, and escaped out of doors.

LXXXVI. (241) And who, some one perhaps, may say, ever escapes in-doors? Do not many do so? Or have not some people, avoiding the guilt of sacrilege, committed robberies in private houses, or though not beating their own fathers, have not they insulted the fathers of others? Now these men do escape from one class of offences, but they run into others. But a man who is perfectly temperate, ought to avoid every description of offence, whether greater or less, and never to be detected in any sin whatever. (242) But Joseph, for he is a young man, and because as such he was unable to struggle with the Egyptian body and to subdue pleasure, runs away. But Phineas the priest, who was zealous with a great zeal for God’s service, did not provide for his own safety by flight; but having taken to himself a yoke horse, that is to say, zeal combined with reason, would never desist till he had wounded the Midianitish woman (that is to say the nature which was concealed in the divine company), through her belly, {117}{#nu 25:7.} in order that no plant or seed of wickedness might ever be able to shoot out from it.