XI. (46) Accordingly, Jacob, the practiser of contemplation, conceiving this to be an employment most closely akin to virtue, endured “to be the shepherd of the flocks of Laban,”{18}{#ge 30:36.} a man wholly devoted to colours and to forms, and, in sort, to lifeless substances; and he tended not all of them, but the residue only. Now, what is the interpretation of this? The irrational animal is of a twofold character; one consisting in a misuse of that reason which should direct the choice, and such we call people out of their mind: the other consisting in an absolute privation of reason, which we see to exist in these animals which we call brutes. (47) Now, the irrational impulses of the mind, I mean those faculties which are developed in a misuse of that reason which should direct the choice, the sons of Laban, “when they had departed three days’ Journey,”{19}{ibid.} paid great regard to; being thus under a symbol cut off from virtue for the whole period of their life; for time is capable of being divided into three parts, consisting of the past, and the present, and the future. But these animals which are irrational in the second sense, and which are destitute not only of right reason but of all reason whatever, under which class the brute beasts are reckoned, the practiser of contemplation will think worthy of all his care, considering that their errors have proceeded, not so much from deliberate wickedness as form ignorance, which was devoid of a guide. (48) Ignorance, therefore, being but a slight and also an involuntary calamity, admits of a cure which is neither difficult nor troublesome, namely instruction. But, wickedness being a voluntary disease of the soul, admits of no remedy but such as if difficult, and almost impossible. Therefore his sons, as men who have been instructed by a father of exceeding wisdom, even if they do go down to Egypt, that is to say, to the body which is inclined to be a slave to the passions, and even if they meet with Pharaoh, that squanderer of all good things, who appears to be the sovereign of the composite animals, being not at all bewildered with the abundance of the preparations which they behold, confess that they are shepherds of sheep, and not only they but their fathers Also.{20}{#ge 47:3.}