XI. (59) But in the great deluge I may almost say that the whole of the human race was destroyed, while the history tells us that the house of Noah alone was preserved free from all evil, inasmuch as the father and governor of the house was a man who had never committed any intentional or voluntary wickedness. And it is worth while to relate the manner of his preservation as the sacred scriptures deliver it to us, both on account of the extraordinary character of it, and also that it may lead to an improvement in our own dispositions and lives. (60) For he, being considered a fit man, not only to be exempted from the common calamity which was to overwhelm the world, but also to be himself the beginning of a second generation of men, in obedience to the divine commands which were conveyed to him by the word of God, built a most enormous fabric of wood, three hundred cubits in length, and fifty in width, and thirty in height, and having prepared a number of connected chambers within it, both on the ground floor and in the upper story, the whole building consisting of three, and in some parts of four stories, and having prepared food, brought into it some of every description of animals, beasts and also birds, both male and female, in order to preserve a means of propagating the different species in the times that should come hereafter; (61) for he knew that the nature of God was merciful, and that even if the subordinate species were destroyed, still there would be a germ in the entire genus which should be safe from destruction, for the sake of preserving a similitude to those animals which had hitherto existed, and of preventing anything that had been deliberately called into existence from being utterly destroyed.

XII. On which account everything was now made obedient to Noah; and even beasts, which up to that time had been savage, became gentle, and being tamed, followed him as their shepherd and superintendent; (62) and after they had all entered into the ark, if any one had beheld the entire collection, he would not have been wrong if he had said that it was a representation of the whole earth, containing, as it did, every kind of animal, of which the whole earth had previously produced innumerable species, and will hereafter produce such again. (63) And what was expected happened at no long period after; for the evil abated, and the destruction caused by the deluge was diminished every day, the rain being checked, and the water which had been spread over the whole earth, being partly dried up by the flame of the sun, and partly returning into the chasms and rivers, and other channels and receptacles in the earth; for, as if God had issued a command to that effect, every nature received back, as a necessary repayment of a loan, what it had lent, that is, every sea, and fountain, and river, received back their waters; and every stream returned into its appropriate channel. (64) But after the purification, in this way, of all the things beneath the moon, the earth being thus washed and appearing new again, and such as it appeared to be when it was at first created, along with the entire universe, Noah came forth out of his wooden edifice, himself and his wife, and his sons and their wives, and with his family there came forth likewise, in one company, all the races of animals which had gone in with them, in order to the generation and propagation of similar creatures in future. (65) These are the rewards and honours for pre-eminent excellence given to good men, by means of which, not only did they themselves and their families obtain safety, having escaped from the greatest dangers which were thus aimed against all men all over the earth, by the change in the character of the elements; but they became also the founders of a new generation, and the chiefs of a second period of the world, being left behind as sparks of the most excellent kind of creatures, namely, of men, man having received the supremacy over all earthly creatures whatsoever, being a kind of copy of the powers of God, a visible image of his invisible nature, a created image of an uncreated and immortal Original.{1}{yonge’s translation includes a separate treatise title at this point: On the Life of Moses, That Is to Say, On the Theology and Prophetic Office of Moses, Book III. Accordingly, his next paragraph begins with roman numeral I (= XIII in the Loeb). Yonge’s “treatise” concludes with number XXXIX (= LI in the Loeb). The publisher has elected to follow the Loeb numbering.}