XX. (69) And God said, “What has thou done? The voice of the blood of thy brother cries out to me from out of the Ground.”{27}{#nu 23:8.} The expression, “What hast thou done,” shows indignation at an unhallowed action, and also ridicules the man who thought he had committed the murder secretly. The indignation now arises at the intention of the man who has done the deed, because he designed to destroy what was good; but the ridicule is excited by his thinking that he has plotted against one who is better than himself, and at his having plotted not so much against him as against himself. (70) For, as I have said before, he who appears to be dead is alive, inasmuch as he is found to be a suppliant of God and to utter a voice; and he who believes that he is still alive is dead, as to the death of the soul, inasmuch as he is excluded from virtue, according to which alone he is worthy to live. So that the expression, “What hast thou done?” is equivalent to, “Thou hast done nothing; thou hast done no good for thyself.” (71) For neither was the sophist, Balaam, who was an empty multitude of contrary and contending doctrines, when he was desirous to imprecate curses upon and to injure the good man, able to do so; since God turned his curses into a blessing, in order to correct the unjust man of wickedness and to display his own love of virtue.