XL. (2.261) We have now then said enough on these subjects. But since he not only confesses that he saw in his dream, a standing and a river, but also the banks of a river, as his words are, “I thought that I was standing by the bank (cheilos) of the River.”{116}{#ge 41:17.} It must be desirable to say a few seasonable things also about the bank. (2.262) Now there appears to be two most necessary objects on account of which nature has adapted lips (cheileµ) to all animals, and especially to men; one for the same of tranquillity, for they are the strongest bulwark and fortification of the voice; the other for the sake of distinctness, for it is through them that the stream of words issues forth. For when they are closed speech is checked; for it is impossible that it should be borne outward if they are not parted. (2.263) And by these means nature prepares and trains man for both objects, speech and silence, watching the appropriate time for each employment. As for instance, is anything said worth listening to? Then attend, raising no obstacle, in perfect quiet, according to the injunction of Moses, “Be silent and Hear.”{117}{#de 27:19.} (2.264) For of those persons who mix themselves up with contentious discussions there is not one who can properly be considered as either speaking or listening; but this is only advantageous to him who is about to do so. (2.265) Again, when you see, amid the wars and disasters of life, the merciful hand of God and his favourable power held over you and standing in defence of you, be silent yourself; for that champion stands in no need of any assistance. And there are proofs of this fact recorded in the sacred writings; such, for instance, as the verse, “The Lord will fight for us, and ye shall be Silent.”{118}{#ex 14:14.} (2.266) And if you see the genuine offspring and the firstborn of Egypt destroyed, namely desire, and pleasures, and pain, and fear, and iniquity, and mirth, and intemperance, and all the other qualities which are similar and akin to these, then marvel and be silent, dreading the terrible power of God; (2.267) for, say the scriptures, “Not a dog shall move his tongue, nor shall anything, man or beast, utter a Sound;”{119}{#ex 11:7.} which is equivalent to saying, It does not become either the impudent tongue to bark and curse–nor the man that is within us, that is to say, our dominant mind; nor the cattle-like beast which is within us, that is to say, the outward sense–to boast, when all the evil that was in us has been utterly destroyed, and when an ally from without comes of his own accord to hold his shield over us.