VII. (24) Therefore the wise Abraham is said to have returned again from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings who were with Him.{4}{#ge 14:17.} And on the other hand, Amalek is said to have cut to pieces the rear of the company of the meditator of virtue, {5}{#de 25:18.} in strict accordance with the truth of nature; for what is contrary to one is also hostile to the other, and such things are always meditating the destruction of one another. (25) But one may especially blame a man who contributes offerings on this account, because such an one has not only determined to do wrong, but also to cooperate with others in doing wrong, thinking fit in some things to be the leader himself, and in others to follow the leadership of others; so that, erring both by nature and through what he has learnt, he leaves himself no good hope of safety, and this, too, though the law has expressly said that one must “not follow a multitude to do Evil;”{6}{#ex 23:2.} (26) for, in truth, evil is a very manifold and very fertile thing in the souls of men, but good is but a contracted and rare thing. Again it is a most useful recommendation, not to join with many persons to do evil, but to unite with a few whose chief practice is to do justly.

VIII. (27) The fourth and greatest of the accusations, is that of drunkenness, not slight but excessive drunkenness. For devotion to crime is equivalent to devotion to swelling up, and kindling, and inflaming the poison which is the great cause of folly, namely ignorance, a thing which can never be extinguished, but which is at all times and in every case raising a conflagration and fury in the soul. (28) Very naturally, therefore, justice will follow which purifies every evil disposition of the mind, for it is said, “Thou shalt utterly get rid of the wicked man,” not out of the city, or out of the country, or out of the nation, but “out of Yourselves.”{7}{#de 21:21.} For there are many faulty and blameable thoughts lurking in us, and taking up their abode in the recesses of our hearts, which, since they are incurable, it is necessary to eradicate and destroy. (29) Therefore it is just that this disobedient and contentious man, who is always advancing plausible reasons as a sort of offering and contribution on his part towards the destruction of what is good, and who is inflamed with strong wine, and raging in a drunken manner against virtue, and being absurdly excited to his own injury by wine, should have his allies for his accusers, his own father and mother, since he ought to receive every possible reproof and chastisement from those who can be saved; (30) but of the father and mother the appellations are common, but their powers are different. At all events we shall speak with justice, if we say that the Creator of the universe is also the father of his creation; and that the mother was the knowledge of the Creator with whom God uniting, not as a man unites, became the father of creation. And this knowledge having received the seed of God, when the day of her travail arrived, brought forth her only and well-beloved son, perceptible by the external senses, namely this world. (31) Accordingly wisdom is represented by some one of the beings of the divine company as speaking of herself in this manner: “God created me as the first of his works, and before the beginning of time did he establish me.” For it was necessary that all the things which came under the head of the creation must be younger than the mother and nurse of the whole universe.