XII. (49) And yet no one would ever utter so great a boast in consequence of any power and sovereignty as these men do in respect of their being shepherds; to those indeed who are able to reason correctly, it is a more noble employment than that of a king, to be able to govern the body and the outward senses, and the belly, as one might govern a city or a country, and to restrain the pleasures which have their seat around the belly, and the other passions, and one’s tongue, and, in short, all the different parts of one’s composite nature, with vigour and exceeding power, and again to guide them in the right way with due gentleness; for it is necessary at one time to act like a charioteer who slackens the reins with which he holds the horses which are yoked to his chariot, and at other times one must draw them tight, and resist the haste of the steeds, that no precipitation and impetuous pursuit of outward objects may take place, and lead them into rebellion. (50) And I admire that guardian of the laws, Moses, who, thinking it a great and noble task to be a shepherd, has attributed that employment to himself; for he manages and conducts the doctrines of Jethro, leading them from the tumultuous vexations of political affairs into the desert, for the purpose of avoiding all temptation to injustice. “For he led the sheep into the Wilderness.”{21}{exodus 3:1.} (51) The consequence of which conduct of his was that “Every shepherd of sheep is an abomination to the Egyptians.”{22}{#ge 46:34.} For every man who loves his passions hates right reason as the governor and guide to good things; just as foolish children hate their tutors and teachers, and every one who reproves them or corrects them, or would lead them to virtue. But Moses says that he “will sacrifice the abominations of the Egyptians to God.”{23}{#ex 8:26.} namely the virtues which are faultless and most becoming victims, which every foolish man abominates. So that very appropriately, Abel, who brought the best offerings to God, is called a shepherd; but he, who offered every thing to himself and to his own mind, is called a tiller of the earth, namely Cain. And what is meant by tilling the Earth{24}{#ge 4:2.} we have shown in our previous treatises.