XXIV. (83) Do thou, therefore, O my mind, avoid Adah, who bears witness to evil things, and who is borne witness to on each of its attempts at such things. And if you think fit to take her as a partner, she will bring forth to you the greatest possible evil, namely, Jubal, {35}{#ge 4:20.} the interpretation of which name is “changing;” for if you are delighted with any chance testimony, you will become desirous to upset and overturn every thing, changing the limits which have been affixed by nature to every thing. (84) And Moses is very indignant with such people as these, and curses them, saying, “Cursed is he that removeth his neighbour’s Landmark.”{36}{#de 27:17.} And what he means by one’s neighbours, and that which is near to a man, is the good. “For it is not good,” says he, “to depart to the heave, nor to go beyond the Sea,”{37}{#de 30:12.} in the search after what is good; for that stand near to, and close by, each individual. (85) And he divides the good by a threefold division, speaking most strictly in accordance with natural philosophy. “For it is,” says he, “in thy mouth, and in thy heart, and in they hands;” that is to say, in thy words, and in thy intentions, and in thy actions; for these are the component parts of the good, of which it is naturally compounded. So that the want of one portion does not only make the whole incomplete, but does entirely destroy it; (86) for of what use is it to say what is excellent, but to think and to do what is most shameful? This is the way of the sophists. For those who make long speeches about prudence and perseverance, annoy the ears even of those who are very fond of hearing good conversation; and yet, in their designs and in the actions of their lives they are found to err. (87) And what is the use of entertaining such sentiments as are proper, but acting and speaking most improperly, and injuring by your actions all who are exposed to the effect of them? Again, it is blameworthy even to do what is right, without any intention or reason; (88) for what is done without these is a portion of involuntary conduct, and is on no account, and under no circumstances to be praised; but if it were to happen that, as in the case of a lyre, so all the sounds of the good could be adapted to any man, and that we could make the conversation agree with the intention, and the intention with the action; then such a man would be considered perfect and really well constituted. So that he who removes the landmarks of the good is justly accursed, and is justly spoken of as such.

XXV. (89) But it is not our creation that has established these boundaries, but reasons, which are older than we, or than any thing upon the earth; and which, moreover, are divine. In accordance with which the law also has declared the same thing, charging every one of us not to adulterate the coinage of virtue, in these words, “Thou shalt not remove thy neighbour’s landmark which thy fathers Established.”{38}{#de 19:14.} And in another passage he says, “Ask thy father, and he will tell thee; ask thy elders, and they will make it known to thee, how the Most High, when he divided the nations, dispersed the sons of Adam, and fixed the boundaries of the nations according to the number of the angels of God. And the portion of the Lord was his people Jacob, the limitation of the inheritance of Israel.”{39}{#de 32:7.} (90) Shall I then inquire of the father who begat me and brought me up, or of those who are his contemporaries, but older than I am? or has God divided the nations, or sown them, or settled them in the land? and will they answer me accurately how this was done, as if they had been present at every division? Surely not. For they will say, We also in our youth were fond of inquiring of our parents and of those who were older than we, and learnt nothing certain; for they had nothing to tell us, and they again professed themselves pupils of those who knew, since they themselves were ignorant.