IV. (16) It has therefore been proved, that in many passages Moses is in the habit of calling a person young, having regard not to the age of the body, but to the desire of the soul for innovation; and also we will now proceed to show that he calls some persons elders, not because they are oppressed by old age, but as being worthy of honour and respect. (17) Who then of those persons, who are acquainted with the sacred scriptures, is ignorant that the wise Abraham is represented as less long lived than almost any one of his ancestors? And yet of all those who lived to the most extreme old age there is not one, as I think, who is called an elder, but he alone has this title given to him. Therefore, the sacred scriptures say, that “Abraham was now old and advanced in years,” and, “The Lord blessed Abraham in all Things.”{6}{#ge 24:1.} (18) This appears to me to be added as a sort of explanatory cause for what has been said before, namely, why the wise man is called the elder. For when the rational part of the soul is made of a good disposition by the kind providence of God, and when it reasons not only about one species, but about everything which is presented to it, using older opinion, it then becomes blessed, and is itself the older part of the people. (19) Thus also he is accustomed to call the members of the assembly of the God-loving people which consists of the number of ten sevens, elders. For we read in the scripture the direction given to Moses, “Assemble for me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom you yourself know that they are Elders.”{7}{#nu 11:16.} (20) Therefore, it is not only those persons who are looked upon by ordinary people as old men, inasmuch as they are hierophants, but those whom the wise man alone knows, whom he thinks worthy of the appellation of elders. For those whom he rejects, like a skilful money-changer, from the coinage of virtue, being alloyed, are all in their souls inclined to innovation; but those whom he wishes to make friends to himself, are of necessity well tested and approved, and elders as to their minds.