Now therefore, my son, obey my voice; and arise, flee to Laban my brother to Haran;
Read Chapter 27
Ambrose of Milan
We have heard the words of an intemperance that is drunk with bodily desires; let us consider the deeds of true virtue. Virtue needs nothing but the grace of God. It pursues the only and supreme good, and it is content with that only good from which we receive all things but on which we bestow nothing because it has no need of anything, just as David says, “I have said to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord, for you have no need of my goods.’ ” And what does the Lord need, when he abounds in all things and imparts everything to us, while providing all things without deficiency? Jacob and the Happy Life.
But if needs be, let us learn from Rebekah how to make provision so that enmity does not provoke wrath and wrath rush headlong into fratricide. Let Rebekah come—that is, let us put on patience, the good guardian of blamelessness—and let her persuade us not to give in to our anger. Let us withdraw somewhat further, until our anger is softened by time and we are taken by surprise at having forgotten the wrong done us. Therefore patience is not much afraid of exile but readily enters upon it, not so much to avoid the danger to salvation as to escape giving incitement to wrongdoing. The loving mother too endures the absence of her dearly beloved son and purposes to give more to the one whom she has harmed, while still consulting the interests of both, to render the one safe against fratricide and the other blameless of crime. .