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[On the Posterity of Cain, the Man Wise in His own Conceit; and on the Way in Which Cain Became an Exile.]

I. (1) “And Cain went out from before the face of God, and dwelt in the land of Nod, opposite to Eden.”{1}{#ge 4:16.} Now we may raise the question whether we are to take the expressions which occur in the books that have been handed down to us by Moses and to interpret them in a somewhat metaphorical sense, while the ideas which readily present themselves as derived from the names are very deficient in truth. (2) For if the living God has a face, and if he who desires to leave it can with perfect ease rise up and depart to another place, why do we repudiate the impiety of the Epicureans, or the godlessness of the Egyptians, or the mythical suggestions of which life is full? (3) For the face is a portion of an animal; but God is a whole, not a part: so that it becomes necessary to invent for him other parts also, a neck, and a chest, and hands, and moreover a belly, feet, and generative organs, and all the rest of the countless number of internal and external faculties. (4) And the fact of God’s having passions like unto those of man follows of necessity from the fact of his having a form like that of man: since all those limbs are not superfluous and mere exuberances, but have been made by nature as assistants of the weakness of those who possess them, and she has adapted them in a manner suitable to and consistent with their natural necessities and offices. But the living God has need of nothing; so that as he does not at all require the assistance to be derived from the parts of the body, he cannot possibly have such parts at all.