XLIV. (244) But as the Hebrews received their answer with great indignation, and prepared at once to oppose them, Moses stood in a place from whence he would be well heard, and said, “O men, your indignation is reasonable and just; for though we, in a peaceable disposition, have made them good and friendly offers, they have made us an evil reply out of their evil and perverse disposition. (245) But it does not follow that because they deserve to pay the penalty for their cruelty, therefore it is desirable for us to proceed to take vengeance upon them, by reason of the honour due to our own nation, that we may show that in this particular we are good and different from wicked men, inasmuch as we consider not only whether such and such persons deserve to be punished, but whether also it is proper that they should receive their punishment from us.” (246) On this he turned aside and led his army by another road, since he knew that all the roads in that district were surrounded with garrisons, by those who were not in danger of receiving any injury, but who were out of envy and jealousy would not allow them to proceed by the shortest road; (247) and this was the most manifest proof of their sorrow, which they felt in consequence of the nation having obtained their liberty, namely when they rejoiced when they were enduring that bitter slavery of theirs in Egypt; for it follows of necessity that those men to whom the good fortune of their neighbours causes grief, do also rejoice at their evil fortune, even if they do not admit that they do so; (248) for they had already related to their neighbours, as to persons in accordance with themselves, and cherishing the same thoughts, all the misfortunes and also all the agreeable pieces of good fortune which had happened to them, not knowing that they had proceeded to a great degree of iniquity, and that they were full of unfriendly, and hostile, and malicious thoughts towards them, so that they were like to grieve at their good fortune, but to rejoice at any thing of a contrary tendency. (249) But when their malevolence was fully revealed, the Hebrews were nevertheless restrained from coming to open war with them by their ruler, who thus displayed two most excellent qualities at the same time; namely prudence and a compassionate disposition; for to take care that no evil should happen to any one is the part of wisdom, and not to be willing even to repel one’s own kinsmen is a proof of a humane disposition.