XLIX. (270) Such then are the predictions which he delivered, under the influence of inspiration, respecting the food which came down from heaven; but he also delivered others in succession of great necessity, though they appeared to resemble recommendations rather than actual oracles; one of which is that prediction, which he delivered respecting their greatest abandonment of their national customs, of which I have already spoken, when they made a golden calf in imitation of the Egyptian worship and folly, and established dances and prepared an altar, and offered up sacrifices, forgetful of the true God and discarding the noble disposition of their ancestors, which had been increased by piety and holiness, (271) at which Moses as very indignant, first of all, at all the people having thus suddenly become blind, which but a short time before had been the most sharp-sighted of all nations; and secondly, at a vain invention of fable being able to extinguish such exceeding brilliancy of truth, which even the sun in its eclipse or the whole company of the stars could never darken; for it is comprehended by its own light, appreciable by the intellect and incorporeal, in comparison of which the light, which is perceptible by the external senses, is like night if compared to day. (272) And, moved by this cause, he no longer continued as before, but leaped as it were out of his former appearance and disposition, and became inspired, and said, “Who is there who has not consented to this error, and who has not given sanction to what ought not to be sanctioned? Let all such come over to Me.”{6}{#ex 32:26.} (273) And when one tribe had come over to him, and not less with their minds than with their bodies, who indeed had some time before been eager for the slaughter of the impious and wicked doers, and who had sought for a leader and chief of their host who would justly point out to them the opportunity and proper manner of repressing their wickedness; then he, seeing that they were enraged and full of good confidence and courage, was inspired still more than before, and said, “Let every one of you take a sword, and go swiftly through the whole army, and slay not only strangers, but also those who are nearest and dearest to him of his own friends and relations, attacking them all, judging his action to be a most holy one, as being in the defence of truth and of the honour due to God, to fight for which, and to be the champion of which objects, is the lightest of labours.” (274) So they rushed forth with a shout, and slew three thousand, especially those who were the leaders of this impiety, and not only were excused themselves from having had any participation in the wicked boldness of the others, but were also enrolled among the most noble of valiant men, and were thought worthy of an honour and reward most appropriate to their action, to wit the priesthood. For it was inevitable that those men should be ministers of holiness, who had shown themselves valiant in defence of it, and had warred bravely as its champions.