V. (13) Therefore, O my mind, if you in this manner investigate the holy thoughts of God with which man is inspired by divine agency and the laws of such men as love God, you will not be compelled to admit any thing lowly, anything unworthy, of their greatness. For how could any man who is endowed with sound sense and wisdom, receive this very thing concerning which our present discussion now is? Can any one believe that there was such a great want of servants and attendants in the household of Jacob who was possessed of treasures equal to those of a king, that it was necessary for him to send his son away to a distant country to bring him word of the health of his other children and of his flocks? (14) His grandfather, besides the multitude of captives whom he had carried off when he defeated the nine kings, had more than three hundred domestic servants, and all this household had suffered no diminution, but rather, as time advanced, all his wealth had received great increase in all its parts. Would he not then, when he had an abundance of servants of all kinds ready to his hand, have preferred sending one of them, to sending his son, whom he loved above all things, on a business which any one of the lowest of his servants could easily have brought to a successful issue?

VI. (15) But you see that he here gives a superfluously minute description of the country from which he sends him forth, in a way which all but commands us to forsake the strict letter of what is written. “For out of the valley of Chebron,” now the name Chebron, when interpreted, means conjoined and associated, being a figurative way of intimating our body which is conjoined and which is associated in a sort of companionship and friendship with the soul. Moreover, the organs of the outward senses have valleys, great ducts to receive everything external which is an object of the outward senses, which collect together an infinite number of distinctive qualities, and by means of those ducts pour them in upon the mind, and wash it out, and bring it in the depths. (16) On this account, in the law concerning leprosy, it is expressly ordered, “when in any house hollows appear of a pale or fiery red colour, that the inhabitants shall take out the stones in which such hollows appear, and put in other stones in their Places;”{9}{#le 14:36.} that is to say, when different destructive qualities which the pleasures and the appetites, and the passions akin to them, have wrought in men, weighing down and oppressing the whole soul, have made it more hollow and more lowly than its natural condition would be, it is well to remove the reasons which are the cause of this weakness, and to bring in such in their stead as are sound by a legitimate style of education and a healthy kind of discipline.