XLVI. (167) Therefore, one must suppose that all these things are said figuratively and allegorically; and perhaps what God means to set before us here is something of this sort. (168) The irrational part of the soul is divided into seven parts, the senses of seeing, of smelling, of hearing, of tasting, and of touch, the organs of speech, and the organs of generation. If, therefore, any one were to slay the eighth, that is to say, Cain, the ruler of them all, he would also paralyse all the seven. For they are all confirmed by the vigorous strength of the mind, and they all feel weak simultaneously with any weakness exhibited by the mind, and they all endure relaxation and complete dissolution in consequence of the destruction which complete wickedness brings upon them. (169) Now these seven senses are unpolluted and pure in the soul of the wise man, and here also they are found worthy of honour. But in that of the foolish man they are impure and polluted, and as I said before, punished, that is, they are worthy of punishment and chastisement. (170) At all events, when the Creator determined to purify the earth by means of water, and that the soul should receive purification of all its unspeakable offences, having washed off and effaced its pollutions after the fashion of a holy purification, he recommended him who was found to be a just man, who was not borne away the violence of the deluge, to enter into the ark, that is to say, into the vessel containing the soul, namely, the body, and to lead into it “seven of all clean beasts, male and Female,”{54}{#ge 7:2.} thinking it proper that virtuous reason should employ all the pure parts of the irrational portion of man.

XLVII. (171) And this injunction which the lawgiver laid down, is of necessity applicable to all wise men; for they have their sense of sight purified, their sense of hearing thoroughly examined, and so on with all the rest of their outward senses. Accordingly, they have the faculty of speech free from all spot or stain, and their appetites which prompt them to indulge the passions in a state of due subjection to the law. (172) And every one of the seven outward senses is in one respect male, and in another, female. For when they are stationary, or when it is in motion, they are stationary while quiescent in sleep, and they are in motion while they are energising in their waking state; and the one in accordance with habit and tranquillity, as being subject to passion, is called the female; and the one which exists according to motion and energy, as one that is only conceived in action, is called the male. (173) Thus, in the wise man, the seven senses appear to be pure; and on the contrary in the wicked man, they appear to be all liable to punishment. For how great a multitude of things do we imagine to be each day wrongly represented by our eyes, which go over to colours and shapes, and to things which it is not lawful to see? And how so great a multitude of things suffer similar treatment from the ears which follow all kinds of sounds? How many too are misrepresented by the organs of smelling and of taste, and by flavours and vapours, and other things led on according to innumerable variations? (174) I say nothing of that multitude of persons whom the unrestrainable impetuosity of an unbridled tongue has destroyed, or the incurable violence which leads man on to carnal connections with intemperate appetite. Cities are full, and all the earth from one side to the other, is full of these evils, in consequence of which, continual and unceasing and terrible wars are set on foot among men, even in times of peace, both publicly and privately.