XXV. (125) Having now, therefore, said as much as is proper on these subjects, let us proceed onwards to what comes next; for we have postponed the consideration of many things which ought to be examined into with exactness. “Take for me,” says God, “a heifer which has never been yoked and has never been ill-treated, tender and Young,”{44}{#ge 15:9.} and exulting; that is to say, a soul adapted easily to receive government, and instruction, and superintendence. “Take for me also a ram” that is to say, speech contentious and perfect, capable of dissecting and overthrowing the sophistries of those who advance contrary opinions, and capable also of ensuring safety, and good order, and regularity to him who uses it. (126) “Take for me,” also the external sense, which lives and directs all its energies to the world, which is perceptible by it, that is, “a goat,” three complete years old, enjoying solid strength in a perfect number, having beginning, middle, and end. Besides all these things, “a turtle dove and a pigeon,” that is to say, divine and human wisdom, both of them being winged, and being animals accustomed to soar on high, still different from one another, as much as genus differs from species or a copy from the model; (127) for divine wisdom is fond of lonely places, loving solitude, on account of the only God, whose possession she is; and this is called a turtledove, symbolically; but the other is quiet and tame, and gregarious, haunting the cities of men, and rejoicing in its abode among mortals, and so they liken her to a pigeon.

XXVI. (128) Moses appears to me to have intended figuratively to represent these virtues when he calls the midwives of the Egyptians, Shiphrah and Puah, {45}{#ex 1:15.} for the name Shiphrah, being interpreted, means “a little bird,” and Puah means “red.” Now it is the especial property of divine wisdom, like a bird, to be always soaring on high; but it is the characteristic of human wisdom to study modesty and temperance, so as to blush at all objects which are worthy to cause a blush; (129) and as a very manifest proof of this the scripture says, “He took for himself all these Things.”{46}{#ge 15:10.} This is the praise of a virtuous man, who preserves the sacred deposit of those things which he has received, the soul, the outward sense, speech, divine wisdom, human knowledge, in a pure and guileless manner, not for himself, but only for him who has trusted him. (130) After this the scripture proceeds to say, “And he divided them in the middle,” not explaining who did so, in order that you may understand that it was the untaught God who divided them, and that he divided all the natures of bodies and of things one after another, which appeared to be closely fitted together and united by his word, which cuts through everything; which being sharpened to the finest possible edge, never ceases dividing all the objects of the outward senses, (131) and when it has gone through them all, and arrived at the things which are called atoms and indivisible, then again this divider begins from them to divide those things which may be contemplated by the speculations of reason into unspeakable and indescribable portions, and to “beat the gold into thin Plates,”{47}{#ex 39:3.} like hairs, as Moses says, making them into one length without breadth, like unsubstantial lines. (132) Each therefore of the three victims he divided in the midst, dividing the soul into the rational and the irrational part, speech into truth and falsehood, and the outward sense into imaginations which can be and cannot be comprehended; and these divisions he immediately places exactly opposite to one another, that is, the rational part opposite to the irrational, truth to falsehood, what is comprehensible to what is incomprehensible, leaving the birds undivided; for it was impossible to divide the incorporeal and divine sciences into contrarieties at variance with one another.