LVIII. (284) And the expression, “After having lived in peace,” is used with much propriety; because nearly all or the greater portion of the human race lives rather in war and among all the evils of war. And of wars, one kind proceeds from external enemies, and is brought on by want of reputation, and by lowness of origin, and by other things of that kind. But another kind arises from one’s domestic enemies; some about the body, such as weaknesses, stains, all kinds of mutilations, and a whole body of other unspeakable evils; and others affecting the soul, such as passions, diseases, infirmities, terrible and most grievous inflictions, and incurable calamities arising from folly and injustice, and other similar evils. (285) Therefore he speaks of him who has lived in peace, who has enjoyed a serene and tranquil life, as a man truly happy and blessed. When then shall this happen? When all external things prosper with me, in such a way as to tend to by abundance and to my glory. When the things relating to the body are in a favourble state, so as to give me good health and strength; and when the things relating to my soul are in a similar state, so as to enable it to enjoy the virtues. (286) For each of these requires its own appropriate body-guards. Now the body is attended in that capacity by glory, and abundance, and a sufficient provision of wealth; and the soul by wholeness, and soundness, and thoroughly healthy state of the body; and the mind by those speculations which are concerned about the sciences. Since it is plain to all those who are versed in the holy scriputres, that when peace is here mentioned, it is not that peace which cities enjoy. For Abraham bore a part in many terrible wars, out of which he appears to have come triumphantly. (287) And indeed the being forced to depart from his native country, and to leave his home, and his inability to dwell in his native city, and his being driven hither and thither, and wandering about by desolate and unfrequented roads, would have been a terrible war for one who had not put his trust in certain divine oracles and promises. There would also be a third calamity, of a formidable nature, also to be borne by him, a famine, worse than the departure from his home, or than all the evils of war. (288) What peace then did he enjoy? For I imagine to be driven from his former home, and to have no settled abode, and to be unable to make an effectual resistance to very powerful monarchs, and to oppressed with hunger, seem like indications, not of one war, but of many wars of various kinds. (289) But, according to those interpretations which are figurative, every one of these events is an instance and proof of unalloyed peace. For an absence of the passions, and a complete scarcity of them, and the destruction of inimical acts of iniquity, and a departure from the opinions of the Chaldeans to the doctrine which loves God, that is to say, from the created being, perceptible by the outward senses, to the great Cause and Creator of all things, who is appreciable only by the intellect, are things which supply a good system of laws and stability. (290) And God promises the man who enjoys such a peace as this a glorious old age, not indeed one which shall last an exceeding time, but he promises him a life with wisdom. For tranquillity and happiness are better than length of years, in proportion as a short period of light is better than everlasting darkness. For well did one of the prophets say: “He had rather live one day in the company of virtue, than ten thousand years in the shadow of Death;”{94}{psalm 84:11.} under this figurative expression of shadow, intimating the life of the wicked. (291) And Moses says the very same thing, intimating it by his actions rather than by his words. For the man who he says shall enjoy a glorious old age, he has at the same time represented as more short-lived than almost any one of those who preceded him. Speaking in a philosophical manner, and teaching us who it is who does truly enjoy a happy old age, that we may not conceive pride respecting old age from anything that affects the visible body; as such pride is full of shame and many disgraceful circumstances. But, that keeping our eyes fixed on wisdom of counsel, and steadiness of soul, we may ascribe to such men and testify in their favour that they have a glorious old age, (geµras) akin to, and bearing nearly the same name as honour (geras). (292) Listen, therefore, in such a spirit as to think his words a good lesson, to this statement of the lawgiver, that the good man alone has a happy old age, and that he is the most long-lived of men; but that the wicked man is the most short-lived of men, living only to die, or rather having already died as to the life of virtue.