V. (16) But the man who appeared to be endued with a thin voice, and with slowness of speech, and to be almost dumb, is nevertheless found to be talkative, so that in one place he is represented not merely as speaking, but even as crying out; and, in another, as exerting a ceaseless and uninterrupted flow of words; (17) for, says the scripture, “Moses spoke, and God answered him with a Voice.”{6}{#ex 19:19.} He did not speak in brief periods or sentences, but in one continuously extended speech; and God also instructed him, not in brief sentences, but gave him one unbroken and continuous answer. (18) And whenever there is an answer, there then must of necessity have been, in every case, a question. But whenever any one puts a question it is respecting something which he does not know, because he is desirous to learn; inasmuch as he is aware that there is nothing so useful with regard to acquiring knowledge as to ask, to inquire, to investigate, to appear to know nothing, and not to have an idea that one comprehends anything firmly. (19) The wise, therefore, take God for their teacher and instructor; and those who are less perfectly initiated in wisdom take the wise men for theirs. On which account they say, also, “Do thou speak with us, and let not God speak to us, let we Die.”{7}{#ex 20:19.} And the virtuous man uses such freedom of speech as not only to speak and cry out, but even to advance positive claims with true confidence and genuine feeling; (20) for the expression, “If thou forgivest them their sin, forgive them; and if not, then wipe me out of the book which thou has Written.”{8}{exodus 32:32.} And this sentence also, “Did I conceive all this people in my womb? Or have I brought them forth, that thou sayest unto me, Take them up into thy bosom, as a nurse takes up her sucking Child.”{9}{#nu 11:11.} And also that passage where we read, “From whence am I to get flesh to give to all this people, because they cry unto me? Shall sheep and oxen be sacrificed, or shall all the fish of the sea be collected together, to satisfy them? And again, “Lord, why hast thou afflicted this people?” And again, “Why hast thou sent me?” And, in another place, “From the time that I went forth to speak to Pharaoh in thy name, he has afflicted the people.” And again, “Thou has not delivered thy People.”{10}{#ex 10:22.} For these, and similar things, and any one would have feared to say to any king of this earth; but to deliver such sentiments, and to speak freely to God, was an instance of what ought not to be called extreme audacity, but of good confidence; (21) because all the wise are dear to God, and especially those who are wise with the wisdom of the most sacred giving of the law. And freedom of speech is nearly akin to friendship; since to whom would any one speak with more freedom than to his own friend? very appropriately therefore is Moses spoken of in the scriptures as dear to God, when he goes through an account of all the dangers which he had incurred by reason of his boldness, in such a way that they seem to deserve to be attributed to friendship rather than to arrogance; for audacity belongs to the character of the arrogant man; but good confidence belongs to the friend.