1This notion is entirely ridiculous; for it is evident that reason rules not over its own emotions, but over those of the body. 2No one of us can eradicate that kind of desire, but reason can provide a way for us not to be enslaved by desire. 3No one of us can eradicate anger from the mind, but reason can help to deal with anger. 4No one of us can eradicate malice, but reason can fight at our side so that we are not overcome by malice. 5For reason does not uproot the emotions but is their antagonist.
6Now this can be explained more clearly by the story of King David's thirst. 7David had been attacking the Philistines all day long, and together with the soldiers of his nation had slain many of them. 8Then when evening fell, he came, sweating and quite exhausted, to the royal tent, around which the whole army of our ancestors had encamped. 9Now all the rest were at supper, 10but the king was extremely thirsty, and although springs were plentiful there, he could not satisfy his thirst from them. 11But a certain irrational desire for the water in the enemy's territory tormented and inflamed him, undid and consumed him. 12When his guards complained bitterly because of the king's craving, two staunch young soldiers, respecting the king's desire, armed themselves fully, and taking a pitcher climbed over the enemy's ramparts. 13Eluding the sentinels at the gates, they went searching throughout the enemy camp 14and found the spring, and from it boldly brought the king a drink. 15But David, although he was burning with thirst, considered it an altogether fearful danger to his soul to drink what was regarded as equivalent to blood. 16Therefore, opposing reason to desire, he poured out the drink as an offering to God. 17For the temperate mind can conquer the drives of the emotions and quench the flames of frenzied desires; 18it can overthrow bodily agonies even when they are extreme, and by nobility of reason spurn all domination by the emotions.
19The present occasion now invites us to a narrative demonstration of temperate reason.
20At a time when our fathers were enjoying profound peace because of their observance of the law and were prospering, so that even Seleucus Nicanor, king of Asia, had both appropriated money to them for the temple service and recognized their commonwealth - 21just at that time certain men attempted a revolution against the public harmony and caused many and various disasters.
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