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Chapter XLIV.

And erring widely from the meaning of Scripture, he says that “God gave wells38923892    φρέατα. also to the righteous.”  Now he did not observe that the righteous do not construct cisterns,38933893    λάκκους. but dig wells, seeking to discover the inherent ground and source of potable blessings,38943894    τὴν ἐνυπάρχουσαν γῆν καὶ ἀρχὴν τῶν ποτίμων ἀγαθῶν.  Boherellus proposes:  τὴν ἐνυπάρχουσαν πηγὴν καὶ ἀρχὴν τῶν ποτίμων ὑδάτων. inasmuch as they receive in a figurative sense the commandment which enjoins, “Drink waters from your own vessels, and from your own wells of fresh water.  Let not your water be poured out beyond your own fountain, but let it pass into your own streets.  Let it belong to you alone, and let no alien partake with thee.”38953895    Cf. Prov. v. 15–17.  Scripture frequently makes use of the histories of real events, in order to present to view more important truths, which are but obscurely intimated; and of this kind are the narratives relating to the “wells,” and to the “marriages,” and to the various acts of “sexual intercourse” recorded of righteous persons, respecting which, however, it will be more seasonable to offer an explanation in the exegetical writings referring to those very passages.  But that wells were constructed by righteous men in the land of the Philistines, as related in the book of Genesis,38963896    Cf. Gen. xxvi. 15. is manifest from the wonderful wells which are shown at Ascalon, and which are deserving of mention on account of their structure, so foreign and peculiar compared with that of other wells.  Moreover, that both young women38973897    νυμφας. and female servants are to be understood metaphorically, is not our doctrine merely, but one which we have received from the beginning from wise men, among whom a certain one said, when exhorting his hearers to investigate the figurative meaning:  “Tell me, ye that read the law, do ye not hear the law?  For it is written that Abraham had two sons; the one by a bond maid, the other by a free woman.  But he who was of the bond woman was born after the flesh; but he of the free woman was by promise.  Which things are an allegory:  for 518these are the two covenants; the one from the Mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.”38983898    Cf. Gal. iv. 21–24.  And a little after, “But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.”  And any one who will take up the Epistle to the Galatians may learn how the passages relating to the “marriages,” and the intercourse with “the maid-servants,” have been allegorized; the Scripture desiring us to imitate not the literal acts of those who did these things, but (as the apostles of Jesus are accustomed to call them) the spiritual.

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