III. (10) Accordingly God banished Adam; but Cain went forth from his presence of his own accord; Moses here showing to us the manner of each sort of absence from God, both the voluntary and the involuntary sort; but the involuntary sort as not existing in consequence of any intention on our part, will subsequently have such a remedy applied to it as the case admits of; for God will raise up another offspring in the place of Abel, whom Cain slew, a male offspring for the soul which has not turned by its own intention, by name Seth, which name being interpreted means irrigation; (11) but the voluntary flight from God, as one that has taken place by deliberate purpose and intention, will await on irremediable punishment in all eternity, for as good deeds that are done in consequence of forethought and design, are better than unintentional ones, so also among offences those that are undesigned are of less heinousness than those that are premeditated.

IV. (12) Therefore punishment which is the chastiser of impious men, will await Cain who has now departed from before the face of God, but Moses will suggest to those who know God, a most excellent suggestion, to love God and to obey him, and cleave to him, for he tells men that this is the life which in truth is tranquil and lasting, {2}{#de 30:20.} and he very emphatically invites us to the honour of the one being who is above all others to be beloved and honoured, bidding us cleave to him, recommending to us a continual and constant and inseparable harmony and union of friendship with him. (13) These suggestions and such as these are what he gives to the rest of the world, but he himself so insatiably desires to behold him, and to be beheld by him, that he supplicates him to display to his eye his nature of which it is impossible to form a conjecture, so that he may become acquainted with it, {3}{#ex 33:18.} that thus he might receive a most well-grounded certainty of knowledge that could not be mistaken, in exchange for uncertain doubts; and he will never cease from urging his desire, but even, though he is aware that he desires a matter which is difficult of attainment, or rather which is wholly unattainable, he still strives on, in no way remitting his intense anxiety, but without admitting any excuse, or any hesitation, or vacillation; using all the means in his power to gain his object.

V. (14) At all events, he will now penetrate into “the darkness where God Was.”{4}{#ex 20:13.} That is to say, into those unapproachable and invisible conceptions which are formed of the living Do. For the great Cause of all things does not exist in time, nor at all in place, but he is superior to both time and place; for, having made all created things in subjection to himself, he is surrounded by nothing, but he is superior to everything. And being superior to, and being also external to the world that he has made, he nevertheless fills the whole world with himself; for, having by his own power extended it to its utmost limits, he has connected every portion with another portion according to the principles of harmony. (15) When, therefore, the soul that loves God seeks to know what the one living God is according to his essence, it is entertaining upon an obscure and dark subject of investigation, from which the greatest benefit that arises to it is to comprehend that God, as to his essence, is utterly incomprehensible to any being, and also to be aware that he is invisible. (16) And it appears to me that the great hierophant had attained to the comprehension of the most important point in this investigation before he commenced it, when he entreated God to become the exhibitor and expounder of his own nature to him, {5}{#ex 33:12.} for he says, “Show me thyself;” showing very plainly by this expression that no created being is competent by himself to learn the nature of God in his essence.