XXIII. (93) But now that we have discussed the four different classes of children, we must beware not to overlook this, which may be the most excellent proof of this partition and division of the chapter; for when a child is elated and puffed up by folly, his parents accuse him in this manner, saying, “This is our Son,”{22}{#de 21:19.} pointing to the disobedient and stiff-necked youth; (94) for by the demonstration “this,” they show that they have other sons likewise, some of whom obey one of them, and others of whom obey them both, being well-disposed reasonings, of whom Reuben is an example; others again, who are fond of hearing and learning, of whom Simeon is a specimen, for his name, being interpreted, means “hearing;” others, people who fly to and become suppliants of God, this is the company of the Levites; others singing a song of gratitude, not so much with a loud voice as with the mind, of whom Judah is the leaders; others, who have been thought worthy of rewards and presents, on account of their voluntary acquisition of virtue through labour, like Issachar; others, persons who have abandoned the Chaldaean meteorological speculations, and passed over to the contemplation of the uncreate God, like Abraham; some, who have attained to self-taught and spontaneous virtue, like Isaac; some, full of wisdom and strength, and beloved by God, like the most perfect Moses.

XXIV. (95) Very naturally, therefore, the sacred law commands the disobedient and contentious man–who brings contributions of evil, that is to say, who joins together and heaps up sin upon sin, great crimes on little ones, fresh guilt upon ancient, intentional upon involuntary misdeeds; and who, like a person inflamed by wine, is always intoxicated and drunk, and raging with ceaseless and unrestrained drunkenness, during the whole of his life–to be stoned; because he has drunk of the unmixed and abundant cup of folly, and because he has destroyed the injunctions of right reason, his father, and the legitimate expositions of his mother’s instruction. And though he had an example of excellence and virtue in his brothers, who were approved of by his parents, he did not imitate their virtue, but, on the contrary, he thought fit to go to an additional length in his transgressions, so as to make a god of the body, and to make a god of Typhus, who is especially honoured among the Egyptians, the emblem of whom was the figure of a golden bull; around which his mad worshippers establish dances, and sing, and prelude, not with such melodies as are redolent of wine and revelry, like the sweet songs sung at feasts and entertainments, but a really melancholy and mournful lamentation, like men intoxicated, who have relaxed and quite destroyed the tone and energy of the soul. (96) For it is said, that when Joshua heard the people crying out he said to Moses, “There is the sound of war in the camp. And he said, It is not the voice of man beginning to exert themselves in battle, nor is it the voice of men betaking themselves to flight, but it is the voice of men beginning revelry and drunkenness that I hear: and when he came near to the camp he saw the calf and the Dances.”{23}{#ex 32:17.} And the enigmatical meaning, which is concealed under these figurative expressions, we will explain to the best of our ability.