XXXII. (178) And this is the cause which is often mentioned by many people. But I have heard another also, alleged by persons of high character, who look upon the greater part of the injunctions contained in the law as plain symbols of obscure meanings, and expressed intimations of what may not be expressed. And this other reason alleged is as follows. There are two kinds of soul, much as there are two sexes among human relations; the one a masculine soul, belonging to men; the other a female soul, as found in women. The masculine soul is that which devotes itself to God alone, as the Father and Creator of the universe and the cause of all things that exist; but the female soul is that which depends upon all the things which are created, and as such are liable to destruction, and which puts forth, as it were, the hand of its power in order that in a blind sort of way it may lay hold of whatever comes across it, clinging to a generation which admits of an innumerable quantity of changes and variations, when it ought rather to cleave to the unchangeable, blessed, and thrice happy divine nature. (179) Very naturally, therefore, the law Commands{17}{#de 25:12.} that the executioner should cut off the hand of the woman which has laid hold of what it should not, speaking figuratively, and intimating not that the body shall be mutilated, being deprived of its most important part, but rather that it is proper to extirpate all the ungodly reasonings of the soul, using all things which are created as a stepping-stone; for the things which the woman is forbidden to take hold of are the symbols of procreation and generation. (180) And, moreover, keeping up a consistent regard to nature, I will also say this, that the unit is the image of the first cause, and the number two of the divisible matter that is worked upon. Whoever, therefore, receives the number two, honouring it above the unit, must be taught to know that he is, in so doing, approving of the matter more than of God. On which account the law has thought fit to cut off this apprehension of the soul as if it were a hand; for there can be no greater impiety than to ascribe the power of the agent to that which is passive.