X. (59) In the first place the law enjoins the judge not to listen to vain Reports.{9}{#ex 23:1.} Why is this? The law says, “My good man, let thy ears be purified.” And they will be purified if they are continually washed out with a stream of virtuous language, never admitting the long, and false, and vain, and hackneyed protestations, so deserving to be ridiculed, of fabulists or vain babblers, or hyperbolical exaggerations, who make a great deal of things of no importance; (60) and this is what is meant by the injunction not to listen to vain reports, and also by another precept in some degree consistent with the former. For, says the lawgiver, he who attends to those who give evidence on hearsay is attending to vanity and not to sound reason because the eyes do indeed dwell with the very things which are done, taking hold of them as one may say, and comprehending and seizing upon them in all their parts, the light co-operating with them, by means of which all things are illuminated and clearly proved; but the ears, as one of the philosophers of old has very truly said, are less trustworthy than the eyes, inasmuch as they are not themselves present at the transactions, but are attracted by words as the interpreter of facts, which are not always disposed to tell the truth; (61) for which reasons some of the lawgivers among the Greeks, having transcribed some of the laws from the two tables of Moses, appear to have established very wise regulations, forbidding any one to mention in his testimony anything that he has heard, on the ground that it is right to look upon what a man has seen as trustworthy, but on what he has heard as not in all respects certain.

XI. (62) The second commandment given to a judge is not to receive gifts; {10}{#ex 23:8.} for gifts, says the law, blind the eyes that see, and pervert justice, and do not permit the mind to travel along the level road which leads to righteousness; (63) and to receive bribes to aid in unjust actions is the action of very wicked men indeed; and even to do so for the purpose of furthering good objects is the conduct of persons who are half wicked; for there are some judges speciously disguised, half wicked, something between just and unjust, armed indeed in the cause of those who are injured, as their champions against those who injure them, but still not desirous to cause them to prevail, without deriving any advantage to themselves from their victory, though they ought to prevail; but making their decision corrupt and mercenary. (64) Then, when any one blames them, they affirm that they have not perverted justice; for that those have been defeated who ought to have been defeated, and that those have gained their cause who ought to have got the better; alleging a most unworthy and false defence; for a righteous judge ought to exhibit two things, a judgment in strict accordance with the law, and incorruptibility; but he who is a judge for bribes, even though he decides justly, does without perceiving it defile a thing which is beautiful by nature. (65) Moreover, he also offends in two other points; in the first place, because he is accustoming himself to be covetous of money; which is the beginning of the very greatest iniquities; and secondly, because he is injuring the man whom he ought to benefit; by making him pay a price for justice; (66) on which account Moses has very instructively commanded, that the judge shall pursue what is righteous in a righteous manner; {11}{#de 16:19.} intimating under this figurative expression, that it is possible to do so in an unrighteous manner, because of those men who sell just and legal decisions for money, and only in the courts of justice, but everywhere in every part of land and sea, and I had almost said in all the transactions of life. (67) For instance, it has happened before now, that a man who has received a deposit of small value, has given it back again when demanded, more by way of laying a snare for him who receives it back, than with any idea of serving him, in order that by showing good faith in things of small value as a bait he may cover over the look of his faithlessness in greater things, and such conduct is nothing else than pursuing justice in an unrighteous manner; for the restitution of what did not belong to him was just, but it was done in an unrighteous manner, inasmuch as it was only done as a bait to attract more. (68) And the cause of all such offences is principally the inclination to and the familiar habit of falsehood, which, from their very birth and swaddling clothes, their nurses and mothers, and all the whole multitude in the house, whether free-born persons or slaves, habituate them to and familiarise them with both by words and actions, adapting it to and uniting it with their souls, as a necessary part of them by nature, though, if it had in truth been implanted in them by nature, it would have been necessary to eradicate it by instilling good habits into them instead. (69) And what in life is there equally beautiful with truth, which the all-wise legislator erected in the most sacred place, in that part of the dress of the chief priest, where the dominant part of the soul lies, wishing to adorn it with the most beautiful and glorious of all ornaments? And next to truth he has placed power as akin to it, which he has in this case called manifestation, being the two images of the two kinds of speech which exist in us, the secret speech and the lettered speech, for the lettered speech requires manifestation, by which the secret thoughts in all our hearts are made known to our neighbour, but the secret speech has need of truth for the perfection of life and actions, by means of which the road to happiness is found out.