1 Is it any wonder? If the lusts of the soul, after participation with what is beautiful, are frustrated, 2 on this ground, therefore, the temperate Joseph is praised in that by reasoning, he subdued, on reflection, the indulgence of the senses. 3 For, although young, and ripe for sexual intercourse, he nullified by reasoning the stimulus of his emotions. 4 It isn’t merely the stimulus of sensual indulgence, but that of every desire, that reasoning is able to master. 5 For instance, the law says, “You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, nor anything that belongs to your neighbour.” 6 Now, then, since it is the law which has forbidden us to desire, I shall much the more easily persuade you, that reasoning is able to govern our lusts, just as it does the affections which are impediments to justice. 7 Since in what way is a solitary eater, a glutton, and a drunkard reclaimed, unless it is clear that reasoning is lord of the emotions? 8 Therefore, a man who regulates his course by the law, even if he is a lover of money, immediately puts pressure on his own disposition by lending to the needy without interest, and cancelling the debt on the seventh year. 9 If a man is greedy, he is ruled by the law acting through reasoning, so that he doesn’t glean his harvest crops or vintage. In reference to other points we may perceive that it is reasoning that conquers his emotions. 10 For the law conquers even affection towards parents, not surrendering virtue on their account. 11 It prevails over love for one’s wife, rebuking her when she breaks the law. 12 It lords it over the love of parents towards their children, for they punish them for vice. It domineers over the intimacy of friends, reproving them when wicked. 13 Don’t think it is a strange assertion that reasoning can on behalf of the law conquer even enmity. 14 It doesn’t allow cutting down the fruit trees of an enemy, but preserves them from the destroyers, and collects their fallen ruins. 15 Reason appears to be master of the more violent emotions, like love of empire, empty boasting, and slander. 16 For the temperate understanding repels all these malignant emotions, as it does wrath; for it masters even this. 17 Thus Moses, when angered against Dathan and Abiram, did nothing to them in wrath, but regulated his anger by reasoning. 18 For the temperate mind is able, as I said, to be superior to the emotions, and to correct some and destroy others. 19 For why else did our most wise father Jacob blame Simeon and Levi for having irrationally slain the whole race of the Shechemites, saying, “Cursed be their anger!”? 20 For if reasoning didn’t possess the power of subduing angry affections, he would not have said this. 21 For at the time when God created man, he implanted within him his emotions and moral nature. 22 At that time he enthroned the mind above all as the holy leader, through the medium of the senses. 23 He gave a law to this mind, by living according to which it will maintain a temperate, just, good, and courageous reign. 24 How, then, a man may say, if reasoning is master of the emotions, has it no control over forgetfulness and ignorance?