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Chapter X.—Simon’s Explanation of the First Two Books of Moses.

The river, therefore, he says, which proceeds out of Edem is divided into four principles, four channels—that is, into four senses, belonging to the creature that is being born, viz., seeing, smelling, taste, and touch; for the child formed in Paradise has these senses only. This, he says, is the law which Moses appointed; and in reference to this very law, each of his books has been written, as the inscriptions evince. The first book is Genesis. The inscription of the book is, he says, sufficient for a knowledge of the universe. For this is (equivalent in meaning with) generation, (that is,) vision, into which one section of the river is divided. For the world was seen by the power of vision. Again, the inscription of the second book is Exodus. For what has been produced, passing through the Red Sea, must come into the wilderness,—now they say he calls the Red (Sea) blood,—and taste bitter water. For bitter, he says, is the water which is (drunk) after (crossing) the Red Sea; which (water) is a path to be trodden, that leads (us) to a knowledge in (this) life of (our) toilsome and bitter lot. Altered, however, by Moses—that is, by the Logos—that bitter (water) becomes sweet. And that this is so we may hear in common from all who express themselves according to the (sentiments of the) poets:—

“Dark at the root, like milk, the flower,

Gods call it ‘Moly,’ and hard for mortal men

To dig, but power divine is boundless.”633633    Odyssey, x. 304 et seq. [See Butcher and Lang, p. 163.]


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