IX. Therefore the man, who saw the deceit, answered rightly, “They are departed hence.” (27) And he shows here the mass of the body; clearly proving that all those by whom labour is practised for the sake of the acquisition of virtue, having left the regions of earth, have determined on contemplating only what is sublime, dragging with them no stain of the body. For he says, too, that he had heard them say, (28) “Let us go to Dotham:” and the name Dotham, being interpreted, means “a sufficient leaving;” showing that it was with no moderate resolution, but with extreme determination that they had decided on leaving and abandoning all those things which do not co-operate towards virtue, just as the customs of women had ceased any longer to affect Sarah. But the passions are female by nature, and we must study to quit them, showing our preference for the masculine characters of the good dispositions. Therefore the interpreter of divers opinions, the wandering Joseph, is found in the plain, that is to say, in a contention of words, having reference to political considerations rather than to useful truth; (29) but there are some adversaries who, by reason of their vigorous body, their antagonists having succumbed, have gained the prize of victory without a struggle, not having even had, to descend into the arena to contend for it, but obtaining the chief honours on account of their incomparable strength. Using such a power as this with reference to the most divine thing that is in us, namely, our mind, “Isaac goes forth into the Plain;”{12}{#ge 24:63.} not for the purpose of contending with any body, since all those who might have been his antagonists, are terrified at the greatness and exceeding excellence of his nature in all things; but only washing to meet in private, and to converse in private with the fellow traveller and guide of his path and of his soul, namely God. (30) And the clearest possible proof of this is, that no one who conversed with Isaac was a mere mortal. Rebecca, that is perseverance, asks her servant, seeing but one person, and having no conception but of one only, “Who is this man who is coming to meet us?” For the soul which perseveres in what is good, is able to comprehend all self-taught wisdom, which is named Isaac, but is not yet able to see God, who is the guide of wisdom. (31) Therefore, also, the servant confirming the fact that he cannot be comprehended who is invisible, and who converses with man invisibly, says, “He is my lord,” pointing to Isaac alone. For it is not natural that, if two persons were in sight, he should point to one alone; but the person whom he did not point to, he did not see, inasmuch as he was invisible to all persons of intermediate character.