XVI. (54) And to such a pitch of accursed impiety have they gone, that not only do they attempt to raise up such cities by themselves, but they even compel the virtue-loving multitude of Israel to join them, appointing superintendents and teachers of evil actions to govern them. For it is said that, when they were ill-treated by the superintendents, they built three cities for the prince of the country, Peithom, Rameses, {17}{#ex 1:11.} and On, which is Heliopolis. (55) And these cities, if taken symbolically, mean mind, the outward sense, and the faculty of speech, which are the three principal things in us; for Peithom means speech, because persuasion (to peithein) arises from speech; and the interpretation of Peithom is, a mouth-uttering, since the reasoning of the wicked man comes from without, and occupies itself with endeavouring to overturn all that is good: and Rameses is the inward sense; (56) for the mind is eaten out and destroyed by each separate one of the outward senses as by a moth, being shaken to pieces and lacerated; for the imaginations which enter it, not according to pleasure, make life itself mutilated and laborious. (57) But On is said to be a hill, and it means, symbolically, the mind; for all reasonings are stored up in the mind: and the lawgiver himself is a witness of this, calling On, Heliopolis, the city of the sun. For as the sun, when he rises, shows visibly the things which have been hidden by night, so also the mind, sending forth its own proper light, causes all bodies and all things to be seen visibly at a distance. (58) On which account, a man would not be wrong who called our minds the sun of our composition; as the mind, if it does not rise and shed its own light in man, who may be looked upon as a small world, leaves a great darkness diffused over all existing things, and suffers nothing to be brought to light.

XVII. (59) This hill Jacob, the wrestler with God, in his agreements with Laban, calls a witness, showing in a most express manner, and in the form of a precept, that the mind is a witness to each individual of the determinations which he comes to in secret; and conscience, which is the most incorruptible and truth-telling witness of all, was built before these cities; (60) for Moses says that the spies came to Chebron, and these three are Acheman, and Jesein, and Thalamein, of the sons of Enoch: and this he adds, “and Chebron was built seven years before Janis, in Egypt,”{18}{#nu 13:23.} and these synonymous appellations are distinguished according to their species in a most natural manner. Chebron, being interpreted, means compunction, and this is of two kinds; one with reference to the soul being joined to the body, the other with reference to its being adapted to virtue. (61) Now the soul that subjects itself to bodily compunctions has the beforementioned inhabitants. Acheman, being interpreted, means, my brother, and Jesein means “outside of me,” and Thalmein means, some one in suspense; for it follows of necessity, that the body must be thought akin to the souls that love the body, and that external good things must be exceedingly admired by them, and all the souls which have this kind of disposition depend on dead things, and, like persons who are crucified, are attached to corruptible matter till the day of their death. (62) But the soul that is united to virtue has for its inhabitants those persons who are preeminent for virtue, persons whom the double cavern has received in pairs, Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebeckah, Leah and Jacob, virtues and those who possess them; Chebron itself keeping the treasure-house of the memorials of knowledge and wisdom, which is more ancient than Janis and the whole land of Egypt, for nature has made the soul more ancient than the body, that is than Egypt, and virtue more ancient than vice, that is than Janis (and the name Janis, being interpreted, means the command of answer), estimating seniority rather by dignity than by length of time.