XVIII. (82) And similar to what has been previously said, is that passage which occurs in another place, “God spake once, and twice I have also heard the same.”18 The expression “once” resembles the unmixed power, for the unmixed power is the unit, and the unit is the unmixed power; but the “twice” resembles the mixed power, for neither one nor the other is a simple thing, inasmuch as it admits of combination or of division. (83) God, therefore, utters unmixed units: for the word which he utters is not a beating of the air, being absolutely mingled with nothing else whatever, but it is incorporeal and naked, in no respect different from the unit. But we hear by the number two; (84) for the breath being sent from the dominant part of us through the artery called the trachea, is formed in the mouth by the tongue, as by a kind of workman, and being borne outward, and mingled with its kindred air, and having struck it thus harmoniously, completes the mixture of the two powers; for that which sounds together by a combination of different noises is at first adapted to a divisible duad, having one sharp and one flat tone: (85) very beautifully, therefore, did he oppose one just reason to the multitude of unjust reasons, less indeed in number, but superior in power, in order that the worse of the two might not, like a weight put in a scale, weigh down the other; but that, by the power of the weight of the better one in the opposite scale it might have its lightness detected, and so be weakened.
XIX. (86) But what is the meaning of the sentence, “Noah found grace in the sight of the Lord God?” Let us now consider this: for those who find anything, some are finding what they formerly had and have lost; and some are discovering what they never had before, and now possess for the first time. Accordingly, those men who occupy themselves with the investigation of appropriate names, are accustomed to call the latter kind finding (heuresis), and the former kind re-finding (aneuresis). (87) Of the former species we have a conspicuous example afforded us in the injunctions given about the great vow.19 Now a vow is a request for good things from God; and the spirit of the great vow is to believe that God himself is the cause of good things from himself, without anyone else ever co-operating with him, of the things which may appear to be beneficial, neither the earth as fruitful, nor the rain as helping to promote the growth of seeds and plants, nor the air as calculated to nourish man, nor agriculture as the cause of production, nor the skill of the physician as the cause of health, nor marriage as the cause of the procreation of children: (88) for all these things receive changes and alterations through the power of God, to such a degree and in such a way as often to have effects contrary to their usual ones. Moses, therefore says, that this man is “holy who nourishes the hair of his head;” the meaning of which is, that he is holy who promotes the growth in the principal portion of himself of the principal shoots of the doctrines of virtue, and who in a manner prides himself and takes delight in these doctrines: (89) but sometimes he loses them, a sort of whirlwind, as it were, suddenly darting down upon the soul, and carrying off everything that was good out of it; and this whirlwind is an involuntary change, which pollutes the mind in a moment, which Moses calls death.20 (90) But nevertheless, when he has afterwards got rid of this and become purified, he recovers and recollects again, what for a time, he had forgotten, and finds what he had lost, so that the days of his former change are not included in the computation, either because such change is a matter which cannot be reduced to calculation, inasmuch as it is inconsistent with right reason and has no partnership with prudence, or because it does not deserve to be taken into calculation; “for of such things,” some ancient writer says, “there is no account nor calculation taken.”21