LI. (249) “And about the setting of the sun a trance fell upon Abraham, and, behold, fear with great darkness fell upon Him.”{76}{#ge 15:12.} Now there is one kind of trance which is sort of frantic delirium, causing infirmity of mind, either through old age, or melancholy, or some other similar cause. There is another kind which is excessive consternation, arising usually from things which happen suddenly and unexpectedly. Another kind is mere tranquility of the mind, arising when it is inclined by nature to be quiet: but that which is the best description of all is a divinely inspired and more vehement sort of enthusiasm, which the race of prophets is subject to. (250) Now the first kind Moses mentions in the curses which are recorded in Deuteronomy; for he says that, “delirium and blindness, and aberration of mind shall seize on the Impious,”{77}{#de 28:28.} so that they shall differ in no respect from blind persons at mid-day, being like people feeling their way in deep darkness. (251) The second kind he mentions in many places; for he says, “And Isaac was astonished with a great astonishment, and said, Who, then, is it who went out to hunt for game for me, and who brought it to me? And I ate of it all before you come, and I have blessed him; yea, and he shall be Blessed.”{78}{#ge 27:33.} And, again, with reference to Jacob, who disbelieved those who told him that “Joseph is alive, and is ruler over the whole land of Egypt; for he,” says the scripture, “was amazed in his mind, for he believed them Not.”{79}{#ge 45:26.} And, again, in Exodus, in the assembly of the people, we read: “For the whole of the mountain of Sinai was enveloped in smoke, because God descended upon it in fire. And the smoke went up as the vapour of a furnace, and the whole people was greatly Astonished.”{80}{#ex 19:18.} Also, in Leviticus, when speaking of the consecration of the priests on the eighth day, when fire came out from heaven and licked up what was on the altar, and the burntofferings and the fat, the historian proceeds immediately to tell us, “And the whole people saw it and were astonished, and fell upon their Faces;”{81}{#le 9:24.} for such astonishment as this causes alarm and consternation. (252) And ought we not especially to wonder in the case of Esau, that he who was skilful in hunting was nevertheless himself continually caught and supplanted, having acquired his skill to his own injury and not to his advantage, and that he never used any great care to catch anything in his hunts? And also in the case of Jacob, that he hunts without having acquired any skill by learning, but only as he is moved by nature; and that he brings what he has caught to the examiner, who will distinguish whether it deserves to be approved; on which account he “eateth of it All.”{82}{genesis 27:33.} (253) For everything that relates to meditation is wholesome food, whether it be investigation, or consideration, or hearing, or reading, or prayer, or self-reliance, or a contempt for things indifferent; and he ate, as I imagine, the first fruits of them all, but he did not eat the whole of all; for some appropriate food must be left for him who meditates as a reward for his pains. (254) And the words, “before you came,” are added out of regard for the nature of the things; for if passions enters into the soul, we shall not enjoy temperance. And it convicts the worthless man as slow, and hesitating, and procrastinating, as to the works of instruction, but not as to those of intemperance. (255) Therefore Egypt contains inspectors of works, who devote themselves with energy to securing the enjoyment of passions. But Moses, on the other hand, commands the Israelites to eat the passover in haste, and to celebrate the migration from these passions in this way. And Judah says: “For if we had not delayed, we should by this time have returned, and have arrived again in Egypt; aye, and a second time should we have returned safe from Thence.”{83}{#ge 43:9.} (256) And very naturally did Jacob wonder whether the mind was still in the body; that is to say, whether Joseph was alive to virtue and ruling over the body, and not being ruled over by it. And any one who chooses to go through all the other instances, would be able to trace out the truth. But our present subject does not require any accurate discussion of these matters; on which account we had better return to the point from which we set out. (257) With respect to the third kind of trance, he philosophises in this manner when speaking of the creation of the woman; “For the Lord God,” says Moses, “cast a trance upon Adam, and he Slept.”{84}{#ge 2:21.} Here calling the quietness and tranquillity of mind a trance; for the slumber of the mind is the awaking of the outward sense: and, again, the awaking of the intellect is the reducing of the outward senses to a state of inactivity.