XVI. (97) And what shall we say of the sons of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh? Are they not, in strict accordance with nature, compared to the two eldest sons of Jacob, Reuben and Simeon? For the scripture says, “Thy two sons who were born in Egypt, before that I came into Egypt, belong to me; Ephraim and Manasseh shall be to me as Reuben and as Simeon.”{33}{#ge 48:5.} Let us now then see in what manner the one pair are likened to the other pair. (98) Reuben is the symbol of a good natural disposition, for the name being interpreted means, “A seeing son;” since every one who is endowed with tolerable acuteness of mind and a good disposition is capable of seeing; and Ephraim, as we have already frequently said in other places, is a symbol of memory, for his name being interpreted signifies, “productiveness of fruit,” and the most excellent fruit of the soul is memory; and there is no one thing so nearly akin to another as remembering is to a man of good natural endowments. (99) Again, the name of Simeon is a symbol of learning and instruction; for, being interpreted, it signifies “listening,” and it is the especial part of a learner to listen and attend to what is said. But Manasseh is a symbol of “recollection,” for thus that art is called, from forgetfulness; (100) for it must of necessity happen to the man who has advanced out of forgetfulness to recollect, and recollecting especially belongs to learning, for very often his notions escape from the man who is learning, as out of weakness he is unable to retain them, and then again they return to him as at the beginning. The condition therefore which arises from this escaping of his notions is denominated forgetfulness, and that which arises from their returning to him is called recollection. (101) Now is not memory very naturally spoken of as connected with good natural endowments, and recollection as akin to learning? And, indeed, the same relation which Simeon bears to Reuben, that is to say, learning to natural endowment, the same does Manasseh bear to Ephraim, and the same does recollection bear to memory. (102) For as the man of good natural endowments is better than he who is only a learner, for the one resembles the sense of seeing, the other that of hearing, and hearing is always reckoned as entitled to a lesser honour than seeing; so also, he who is endowed with a good memory is at all times superior to him who only recollects, because the one is combined with forgetfulness, but the other continues unalloyed and unadulterated from beginning to end.