Year before the common era of Christ, 4004. - Julian Period, 710. - Cycle of the Sun, 10. - Dominical Letter, B. - Cycle of the Moon, 7. - Indiction, 5. - Creation from Tisri or September, 1.


First day's work-Creation of the heavens and the earth, 1, 2. Of the light and its separation from the darkness, 3-5. Second day's work-The creation of the firmament, and the separation of the waters above the firmament from those below it, 6-8. Third day's work-The waters are separated from the earth and formed into seas, &c., 9, 10. The earth rendered fruitful, and clothed with trees, herbs, grass, &c., 11-13. Fourth day's work-Creation of the celestial luminaries intended for the measurement of time, the distinction of periods, seasons, &c., 14; and to illuminate the earth, 15. Distinct account of the formation of the sun, moon, and stars, 16-19. Fifth day's work-The creation of fish, fowls, and reptiles in general, 20. Of great aquatic animals, 21. They are blessed so as to make them very prolific, 22, 23. Sixth day's work-Wild and tame cattle created, and all kinds of animals which derive their nourishment from the earth, 24, 25. The creation of man in the image and likeness of God, with the dominion given him over the earth and all inferior animals, 26. Man or Adam, a general name for human beings, including both male and female, 27. Their peculiar blessing, 28. Vegetables appointed as the food of man and all other animals, 29, 30. The judgment which God passed on his works at the conclusion of his creative acts, 31.


Verse 1. Årah taw µym�h ta µyhla arb ty�arb Bereshith bara Elohim eth hashshamayim veeth haarets; GOD in the beginning created the heavens and the earth.

Many attempts have been made to define the term GOD: as to the word itself, it is pure Anglo-Saxon, and among our ancestors signified, not only the Divine Being, now commonly designated by the word, but also good; as in their apprehensions it appeared that God and good were correlative terms; and when they thought or spoke of him, they were doubtless led from the word itself to consider him as THE GOOD BEING, a fountain of infinite benevolence and beneficence towards his creatures.

A general definition of this great First Cause, as far as human words dare attempt one, may be thus given: The eternal, independent, and self-existent Being: the Being whose purposes and actions spring from himself, without foreign motive or influence: he who is absolute in dominion; the most pure, the most simple, and most spiritual of all essences; infinitely benevolent, beneficent, true, and holy: the cause of all being, the upholder of all things; infinitely happy, because infinitely perfect; and eternally self-sufficient, needing nothing that he has made: illimitable in his immensity, inconceivable in his mode of existence, and indescribable in his essence; known fully only to himself, because an infinite mind can be fully apprehended only by itself. In a word, a Being who, from his infinite wisdom, cannot err or be deceived; and who, from his infinite goodness, can do nothing but what is eternally just, right, and kind. Reader, such is the God of the Bible; but how widely different from the God of most human creeds and apprehensions!

The original word µyhla Elohim, God, is certainly the plural form of la El, or hla Eloah, and has long been supposed, by the most eminently learned and pious men, to imply a plurality of Persons in the Divine nature. As this plurality appears in so many parts of the sacred writings to be confined to three Persons, hence the doctrine of the TRINITY, which has formed a part of the creed of all those who have been deemed sound in the faith, from the earliest ages of Christianity. Nor are the Christians singular in receiving this doctrine, and in deriving it from the first words of Divine revelation. An eminent Jewish rabbin, Simeon ben Joachi, in his comment on the sixth section of Leviticus, has these remarkable words: "Come and see the mystery of the word Elohim; there are three degrees, and each degree by itself alone, and yet notwithstanding they are all one, and joined together in one, and are not divided from each other." See Ainsworth. He must be strangely prejudiced indeed who cannot see that the doctrine of a Trinity, and of a Trinity in unity, is expressed in the above words. The verb arb bara, he created, being joined in the singular number with this plural noun, has been considered as pointing out, and not obscurely, the unity of the Divine Persons in this work of creation. In the ever-blessed Trinity, from the infinite and indivisible unity of the persons, there can be but one will, one purpose, and one infinite and uncontrollable energy.

"Let those who have any doubt whether µyhla Elohim, when meaning the true God, Jehovah, be plural or not, consult the following passages, where they will find it joined with adjectives, verbs, and pronouns plural.

"Gen. i. 26; iii. 22; xi. 7; xx. 13; xxxi. 7, 53; xxxv. 7.

"Deut. iv. 7; v. 23 Josh. xxiv. 19 1 Sam. iv. 8 2 Sam. vii. 23 Psa. lviii. 12 Isaiah vi. 8 Jer. x. 10; xxiii. 36.

"See also Prov. ix. 10; xxx. 3 Psalm cxlix. 2 Eccles. v. 7 xii. 1; Job v. 1 Isa. vi. 3; liv. 5; lxii. 5 Hosea xi. 12, or Hos. xii. 1 Mal. i. 6 Dan. v. 18, 20 vii. 18, 22."-PARKHURST.

As the word Elohim is the term by which the Divine Being is most generally expressed in the Old Testament, it may be necessary to consider it here more at large. It is a maxim that admits of no controversy, that every noun in the Hebrew language is derived from a verb, which is usually termed the radix or root, from which, not only the noun, but all the different flections of the verb, spring. This radix is the third person singular of the preterite or past tense. The ideal meaning of this root expresses some essential property of the thing which it designates, or of which it is an appellative. The root in Hebrew, and in its sister language, the Arabic, generally consists of three letters, and every word must be traced to its root in order to ascertain its genuine meaning, for there alone is this meaning to be found. In Hebrew and Arabic this is essentially necessary, and no man can safely criticise on any word in either of these languages who does not carefully attend to this point.

I mention the Arabic with the Hebrew for two reasons. 1. Because the two languages evidently spring from the same source, and have very nearly the same mode of construction. 2. Because the deficient roots in the Hebrew Bible are to be sought for in the Arabic language. The reason of this must be obvious, when it is considered that the whole of the Hebrew language is lost except what is in the Bible, and even a part of this book is written in Chaldee. Now, as the English Bible does not contain the whole of the English language, so the Hebrew Bible does not contain the whole of the Hebrew. If a man meet with an English word which he cannot find in an ample concordance or dictionary to the Bible, he must of course seek for that word in a general English dictionary. In like manner, if a particular form of a Hebrew word occur that cannot be traced to a root in the Hebrew Bible, because the word does not occur in the third person singular of the past tense in the Bible, it is expedient, it is perfectly lawful, and often indispensably necessary, to seek the deficient root in the Arabic. For as the Arabic is still a living language, and perhaps the most copious in the universe, it may well be expected to furnish those terms which are deficient in the Hebrew Bible. And the reasonableness of this is founded on another maxim, viz., that either the Arabic was derived from the Hebrew, or the Hebrew from the Arabic. I shall not enter into this controversy; there are great names on both sides, and the decision of the question in either way will have the same effect on my argument. For if the Arabic were derived from the Hebrew, it must have been when the Hebrew was a living and complete language, because such is the Arabic now; and therefore all its essential roots we may reasonably expect to find there: but if, as Sir William Jones supposed, the Hebrew were derived from the Arabic, the same expectation is justified, the deficient roots in Hebrew may be sought for in the mother tongue. If, for example, we meet with a term in our ancient English language the meaning of which we find difficult to ascertain, common sense teaches us that we should seek for it in the Anglo-Saxon, from which our language springs; and, if necessary, go up to the Teutonic, from which the Anglo-Saxon was derived. No person disputes the legitimacy of this measure, and we find it in constant practice. I make these observations at the very threshold of my work, because the necessity of acting on this principle (seeking deficient Hebrew roots in the Arabic) may often occur, and I wish to speak once for all on the subject. The first sentence in the Scripture shows the propriety of having recourse to this principle. We have seen that the word µyhla Elohim is plural; we have traced our term God to its source, and have seen its signification; and also a general definition of the thing or being included under this term, has been tremblingly attempted. We should now trace the original to its root, but this root does not appear in the Hebrew Bible. Were the Hebrew a complete language, a pious reason might be given for this omission, viz., "As God is without beginning and without cause, as his being is infinite and underived, the Hebrew language consults strict propriety in giving no root whence his name can be deduced." Mr. Parkhurst, to whose pious and learned labours in Hebrew literature most Biblical students are indebted, thinks he has found the root in hla alah, he swore, bound himself by oath; and hence he calls the ever-blessed Trinity µyhla Elohim, as being bound by a conditional oath to redeem man, &c., &c. Most pious minds will revolt from such a definition, and will be glad with me to find both the noun and the root preserved in Arabic. ALLAH is the common name for GOD in the Arabic tongue, and often the emphatic is used. Now both these words are derived from the root alaha, he worshipped, adored, was struck with astonishment, fear, or terror; and hence, he adored with sacred horror and veneration, cum sacro horrore ac veneratione coluit, adoravit. - WILMET. Hence ilahon, fear, veneration, and also the object of religious fear, the Deity, the supreme God, the tremendous Being. This is not a new idea; God was considered in the same light among the ancient Hebrews; and hence Jacob swears by the fear of his father Isaac, Gen. xxxi. 53. To complete the definition, Golius renders alaha, juvit, liberavit, et tutatus fuit, "he succoured, liberated, kept in safety, or defended." Thus from the ideal meaning of this most expressive root, we acquire the most correct notion of the Divine nature; for we learn that God is the sole object of adoration; that the perfections of his nature are such as must astonish all those who piously contemplate them, and fill with horror all who would dare to give his glory to another, or break his commandments; that consequently he should be worshipped with reverence and religious fear; and that every sincere worshipper may expect from him help in all his weaknesses, trials, difficulties, temptations, &c,; freedom from the power, guilt, nature, and consequences of sin; and to be supported, defended, and saved to the uttermost, and to the end.

Here then is one proof, among multitudes which shall be adduced in the course of this work, of the importance, utility, and necessity of tracing up these sacred words to their sources; and a proof also, that subjects which are supposed to be out of the reach of the common people may, with a little difficulty, be brought on a level with the most ordinary capacity.

In the beginning] Before the creative acts mentioned in this chapter all was ETERNITY. Time signifies duration measured by the revolutions of the heavenly bodies: but prior to the creation of these bodies there could be no measurement of duration, and consequently no time; therefore in the beginning must necessarily mean the commencement of time which followed, or rather was produced by, God's creative acts, as an effect follows or is produced by a cause.

Created] Caused existence where previously to this moment there was no being. The rabbins, who are legitimate judges in a case of verbal criticism on their own language, are unanimous in asserting that the word arb bara expresses the commencement of the existence of a thing, or egression from nonentity to entity. It does not in its primary meaning denote the preserving or new forming things that had previously existed, as some imagine, but creation in the proper sense of the term, though it has some other acceptations in other places. The supposition that God formed all things out of a pre-existing, eternal nature, is certainly absurd, for if there had been an eternal nature besides an eternal God, there must have been two self- existing, independent, and eternal beings, which is a most palpable contradiction.

µym�h ta eth hashshamayim. The word ta eth, which is generally considered as a particle, simply denoting that the word following is in the accusative or oblique case, is often understood by the rabbins in a much more extensive sense. "The particle ta ," says Aben Ezra, "signifies the substance of the thing." The like definition is given by Kimchi in his Book of Roots. "This particle," says Mr. Ainsworth, "having the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet in it, is supposed to comprise the sum and substance of all things." "The particle ta eth (says Buxtorf, Talmudic Lexicon, sub voce) with the cabalists is often mystically put for the beginning and the end, as a alpha and w omega are in the Apocalypse." On this ground these words should be translated, "God in the beginning created the substance of the heavens and the substance of the earth," i.e. the prima materia, or first elements, out of which the heavens and the earth were successively formed. The Syriac translator understood the word in this sense, and to express this meaning has used the word yoth, which has this signification, and is very properly translated in Walton's Polyglot, ESSE, caeli et ESSE terrae, "the being or substance of the heaven, and the being or substance of the earth." St. Ephraim Syrus, in his comment on this place, uses the same Syriac word, and appears to understand it precisely in the same way. Though the Hebrew words are certainly no more than the notation of a case in most places, yet understood here in the sense above, they argue a wonderful philosophic accuracy in the statement of Moses, which brings before us, not a finished heaven and earth, as every other translation appears to do, though afterwards the process of their formation is given in detail, but merely the materials out of which God built the whole system in the six following days.

The heaven and the earth.] As the word µym� shamayim is plural, we may rest assured that it means more than the atmosphere, to express which some have endeavoured to restrict its meaning. Nor does it appear that the atmosphere is particularly intended here, as this is spoken of, ver. 6, under the term firmament. The word heavens must therefore comprehend the whole solar system, as it is very likely the whole of this was created in these six days; for unless the earth had been the centre of a system, the reverse of which is sufficiently demonstrated, it would be unphilosophic to suppose it was created independently of the other parts of the system, as on this supposition we must have recourse to the almighty power of God to suspend the influence of the earth's gravitating power till the fourth day, when the sun was placed in the centre, round which the earth began then to revolve. But as the design of the inspired penman was to relate what especially belonged to our world and its inhabitants, therefore he passes by the rest of the planetary system, leaving it simply included in the plural word heavens. In the word earth every thing relative to the terraqueaerial globe is included, that is, all that belongs to the solid and fluid parts of our world with its surrounding atmosphere. As therefore I suppose the whole solar system was created at this time, I think it perfectly in place to give here a general view of all the planets, with every thing curious and important hitherto known relative to their revolutions and principal affections.


IN Table I. the quantity or the periodic and sidereal revolutions of the planets is expressed in common years, each containing 365 days; as, e.g., the tropical revolution of Jupiter is, by the table, 11 years, 315 days, 14 hours, 39 minutes, 2 seconds; i.e., the exact number of days is equal to 11 years multiplied by 365, and the extra 315 days added to the product, which make In all 4330 days. The sidereal and periodic times are also set down to the nearest second of time, from numbers used in the construction of the tables in the third edition of M. de la Lande's Astronomy. The columns containing the mean distance of the planets from the sun in English miles, and their greatest and least distance from the earth, are such as result from the best observations of the two last transits of Venus, which gave the solar parallax to be equal to 8 three-fifth seconds of a degree; and consequently the earth's diameter, as seen from the sun, must be the double of 8 three-fifth seconds, or 17 one-fifth seconds. From this last quantity, compared with the apparent diameters of the planets, as seen at a distance equal to that of the earth at her main distance from the sun, the diameters of the planets in English miles, as contained in the seventh column, have been carefully computed. In the column entitled "Proportion of bulk, the earth being 1," the whole numbers express the number of times the other planet contains more cubic miles, &c., than the earth; and if the number of cubic miles in the earth be given, the number of cubic miles in any planet may be readily found by multiplying the cubic miles contained in the earth by the number in the column, and the product will be the quantity required.

This is a small but accurate sketch of the vast solar system; to describe it fully, even in all its known revolutions and connections, in all its astonishing energy and influence, in its wonderful plan, structure, operations, and results, would require more volumes than can be devoted to the commentary itself.

As so little can be said here on a subject so vast, it may appear to some improper to introduce it at all; but to any observation of this kind I must be permitted to reply, that I should deem it unpardonable not to give a general view of the solar system in the very place where its creation is first introduced. If these works be stupendous and magnificent, what must He be who formed, guides, and supports them all by the word of his power! Reader, stand in awe of this God, and sin not. Make him thy friend through the Son of his love; and, when these heavens and this earth are no more, thy soul shall exist in consummate and unutterable felicity. See the remarks on the sun, moon, and stars, after ver. 16.

Verse 2. The earth was without form and void] The original term wht tohu and whb bohu, which we translate without form and void, are of uncertain etymology; but in this place, and wherever else they are used, they convey the idea of confusion and disorder. From these terms it is probable that the ancient Syrians and Egyptians borrowed their gods, Theuth and Bau, and the Greeks their Chaos. God seems at first to have created the elementary principles of all things; and this formed the grand mass of matter, which in this state must be without arrangement, or any distinction of parts: a vast collection of indescribably confused materials, of nameless entities strangely mixed; and wonderfully well expressed by an ancient heathen poet:-

Ante mare et terras, et, quod tegit omnia, caelum, Unus erat toto naturae vultus in orbe, Quem dixere Chaos; rudis indigestaque moles, Nec quicquam nisi pondus iners; congestaque eodem Non bene junctarum discordia semina rerum.OVID.

Before the seas and this terrestrial ball, And heaven's high canopy that covers all, One was the face of nature, if a face; Rather, a rude and indigested mass; A lifeless lump, unfashion'd and unframed, Of jarring seeds, and justly Chaos named.DRYDEN.

The most ancient of the Greeks have spoken nearly in the same way of this crude, indigested state of the primitive chaotic mass.

When this congeries of elementary principles was brought together, God was pleased to spend six days in assimilating, assorting, and arranging the materials, out of which he built up, not only the earth, but the whole of the solar system. The spirit of God] This has been variously and strangely understood. Some think a violent wind is meant, because jwr , ruach often signifies wind, as well as spirit, as pneuma, does in Greek; and the term God is connected with it merely, as they think, to express the superlative degree. Others understand by it an elementary fire. Others, the sun, penetrating and drying up the earth with his rays. Others, the angels, who were supposed to have been employed as agents in creation. Others, a certain occult principle, termed the anima mundi or soul of the world. Others, a magnetic attraction, by which all things were caused to gravitate to a common centre. But it is sufficiently evident from the use of the word in other places, that the Holy Spirit of God is intended; which our blessed Lord represents under the notion of wind, John iii. 8; and which, as a mighty rushing wind on the day of pentecost, filled the house where the disciples were sitting, Acts ii. 2, which was immediately followed by their speaking with other tongues, because they were filled with the Holy Ghost, ver. 4. These scriptures sufficiently ascertain the sense in which the word is used by Moses.

Moved] tpjrm merachepheth, was brooding over; for the word expresses that tremulous motion made by the hen while either hatching her eggs or fostering her young. It here probably signifies the communicating a vital or prolific principle to the waters. As the idea of incubation, or hatching an egg, is implied in the original word, hence probably the notion, which prevailed among the ancients, that the world was generated from an egg.

Verse 3. And God said, Let there be light] rwa yhyw rwa yh YEHI OR, vaihi or. Nothing can be conceived more dignified than this form of expression. It argues at once uncontrollable authority, and omnific power; and in human language it is scarcely possible to conceive that God can speak more like himself. This passage, in the Greek translation of the Septuagint, fell in the way of Dionysius Longinus, one of the most judicious Greek critics that ever lived, and who is highly celebrated over the civilized world for a treatise he wrote, entitled peri uyouv, Concerning the SUBLIME, both in prose and poetry; of this passage, though a heathen, he speaks in the following terms:-tauth kai o twn ioudaiwn qesmoqeths (ouc o tucwn anhr,) epeidh thn tou qeiou dunamin kata thn axian ecwrhse, kaxefhnen euquv en tn eisbolh grayav twn nomwn, eipen Æo qeov, fhsi, ti; genesqw fwv kai egeneto. genesqw ge kai egeneto. "So likewise the Jewish lawgiver (who was no ordinary man) having conceived a just idea of the Divine power, he expressed it in a dignified manner; for at the beginning of his laws he thus speaks: GOD SAID-What? LET THERE BE LIGHT! and there was light. LET THERE BE EARTH! and there was earth."-Longinus, sect. ix. edit. Pearce.

Many have asked, "How could light be produced on the first day, and the sun, the fountain of it, not created till the fourth day?" With the various and often unphilosophical answers which have been given to this question I will not meddle, but shall observe that the original word rwa signifies not only light but fire, see Isa. xxxi. 9 Ezek. v. 2. It is used for the SUN, Job xxxi. 26. And for the electric fluid or LIGHTNING, Job xxxvii. 3. And it is worthy of remark that It is used in Isa. xliv. 16, for the heat, derived from ( �a esh, the fire. He burneth part thereof in the fire ( �a wmb bemo esh:) yea, he warmeth himself, and saith, Aha! I have seen the fire, rwa ytyar raithi ur, which a modern philosopher who understood the language would not scruple to translate, I have received caloric, or an additional portion of the matter of heat. I therefore conclude, that as God has diffused the matter of caloric or latent heat through every part of nature, without which there could be neither vegetation nor animal life, that it is caloric or latent heat which is principally intended by the original word.

That there is latent light, which is probably the same with latent heat, may be easily demonstrated: take two pieces of smooth rock crystal, agate, cornelian or flint, and rub them together briskly in the dark, and the latent light or matter of caloric will be immediately produced and become visible. The light or caloric thus disengaged does not operate in the same powerful manner as the heat or fire which is produced by striking with flint and steel, or that produced by electric friction. The existence of this caloric - latent or primitive light, may be ascertained in various other bodies; it can be produced by the flint and steel, by rubbing two hard sticks together, by hammering cold iron, which in a short time becomes red hot, and by the strong and sudden compression of atmospheric air in a tube. Friction in general produces both fire and light. God therefore created this universal agent on the first day, because without It no operation of nature could be carried on or perfected.

Light is one of the most astonishing productions of the creative skill and power of God. It is the grand medium by which all his other works are discovered, examined, and understood, so far as they can be known. Its immense diffusion and extreme velocity are alone sufficient to demonstrate the being and wisdom of God. Light has been proved by many experiments to travel at the astonishing rate of 194, 188 miles in one second of time! and comes from the sun to the earth in eight minutes 11 43/50 seconds, a distance of 95, 513, 794 English miles. Verse 4. God divided the light from the darkness.] This does not imply that light and darkness are two distinct substances, seeing darkness is only the privation of light; but the words simply refer us by anticipation to the rotation of the earth round its own axis once in twenty-three hours, fifty-six minutes, and four seconds, which is the cause of the distinction between day and night, by bringing the different parts of the surface of the earth successively into and from under the solar rays; and it was probably at this moment that God gave this rotation to the earth, to produce this merciful provision of day and night. For the manner in which light is supposed to be produced, see ver. 16, under the word sun.

Verse 6. And God said, Let there be a firmament] Our translators, by following the firmamentum of the Vulgate, which is a translation of the sterewma of the Septuagint, have deprived this passage of all sense and meaning. The Hebrew word [yqr rakia, from [qr raka, to spread out as the curtains of a tent or pavilion, simply signifies an expanse or space, and consequently that circumambient space or expansion separating the clouds, which are in the higher regions of it, from the seas, &c., which are below it. This we call the atmosphere, the orb of atoms or inconceivably small particles; but the word appears to have been used by Moses in a more extensive sense, and to include the whole of the planetary vortex, or the space which is occupied by the whole solar system.

Verse 10. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas] These two constitute what is called the terraqueous globe, in which the earth and the water exist in a most judicious proportion to each other. Dr. Long took the papers which cover the surface of a seventeen inch terrestrial globe, and having carefully separated the land from the sea, be weighed the two collections of papers accurately, and found that the sea papers weighed three hundred and forty-nine grains, and the land papers only one hundred and twenty-four; by which experiment it appears that nearly three-fourths of the surface of our globe, from the arctic to the antarctic polar circles, are covered with water. The doctor did not weigh the parts within the polar circles, because there is no certain measurement of the proportion of land and water which they contain. This proportion of three-fourths water may be considered as too great, if not useless; but Mr. Ray, by most accurate experiments made on evaporation, has proved that it requires so much aqueous surface to yield a sufficiency of vapors for the purpose of cooling the atmosphere, and watering the earth. See Ray's Physico-theological Discourses.

An eminent chemist and philosopher, Dr. Priestley, has very properly observed that it seems plain that Moses considered the whole terraqueous globe as being created in a fluid state, the earthy and other particles of matter being mingled with the water. The present form of the earth demonstrates the truth of the Mosaic account; for it is well known that if a soft or elastic globular body be rapidly whirled round on its axis, the parts at the poles will be flattened, and the parts on the equator, midway between the north and south poles, will be raised up. This is precisely the shape of our earth; it has the figure of an oblate spheroid, a figure pretty much resembling the shape of an orange. It has been demonstrated by admeasurement that the earth is flatted at the poles and raised at the equator. This was first conjectured by Sir Isaac Newton, and afterwards confirmed by M. Cassini and others, who measured several degrees of latitude at the equator and near the north pole, and found that the difference perfectly justified Sir Isaac Newton's conjecture, and consequently confirmed the Mosaic account. The result of the experiments instituted to determine this point, proved that the diameter of the earth at the equator is greater by more than twenty-three and a half miles than it is at the poles, allowing the polar diameter to be 1/334th part shorter than the equatorial, according to the recent admeasurements of several degrees of latitude made by Messrs. Mechain and Delambre. - L'Histoire des Mathem. par M. de la Lande, tom. iv., part v., liv. 6.

And God saw that it was good.] This is the judgment which God pronounced on his own works. They were beautiful and perfect in their kind, for such is the import of the word bwf tob. They were in weight and measure perfect and entire, lacking nothing. But the reader will think it strange that this approbation should be expressed once on the first, fourth, fifth, and sixth days; twice on the third, and not at all on the second! I suppose that the words, And God saw that it was good, have been either lost from the conclusion of the eighth verse, or that the clause in the tenth verse originally belonged to the eighth. It appears, from the Septuagint translation, that the words in question existed originally at the close of the eighth verse, in the copies which they used; for in that version we still find, kai eiden o qeov oti kalon And God saw that it was good. This reading, however, is not acknowledged by any of Kennicott's or Deuteronomy Rossi's MSS., nor by any of the other versions. If the account of the second day stood originally as it does now, no satisfactory reason can be given for the omission of this expression of the Divine approbation of the work wrought by his wisdom and power on that day.

Verse 11. Let the earth bring forth grass-] herb--fruit-tree, &c.] In these general expressions all kinds of vegetable productions are included. Fruit-tree is not to be understood here in the restricted sense in which the term is used among us; it signifies all trees, not only those which bear fruit, which may be applied to the use of men and cattle, but also those which had the power of propagating themselves by seeds, &c. Now as God delights to manifest himself in the little as well as in the great, he has shown his consummate wisdom in every part of the vegetable creation. Who can account for, or comprehend, the structure of a single tree or plant? The roots, the stem, the woody fibres, the bark, the rind, the air-vessels, the sap-vessels, the leaves, the flowers, and the fruits, are so many mysteries. All the skill, wisdom, and power of men and angels could not produce a single grain of wheat: A serious and reflecting mind can see the grandeur of God, not only in the immense cedars on Lebanon, but also in the endlessly varied forests that appear through the microscope in the mould of cheese, stale paste, &c., &c. Verse 12. Whose seed was in itself] Which has the power of multiplying itself by seeds, slips, roots, &c., ad infinitum; which contains in itself all the rudiments of the future plant through its endless generations. This doctrine has been abundantly confirmed by the most accurate observations of the best modern philosophers. The astonishing power with which God has endued the vegetable creation to multiply its different species, may be instanced in the seed of the elm. This tree produces one thousand five hundred and eighty-four millions of seeds; and each of these seeds has the power of producing the same number. How astonishing is this produce! At first one seed is deposited in the earth; from this one a tree springs, which in the course of its vegetative life produces one thousand five hundred and eighty-four millions of seeds. This is the first generation. The second generation will amount to two trillions, five hundred and nine thousand and fifty-six billions. The third generation will amount to three thousand nine hundred and seventy-four quadrillions, three hundred and forty-four thousand seven hundred and four trillions! And the fourth generation from these would amount to six sextillions two hundred and ninety-five thousand three hundred and sixty-two quintillions, eleven thousand one hundred and thirty-six quadrillions! Sums too immense for the human mind to conceive; and, when we allow the most confined space in which a tree can grow, it appears that the seeds of the third generation from one elm would be many myriads of times more than sufficient to stock the whole superfices of all the planets in the solar system! But plants multiply themselves by slips as well as by seeds. Sir Kenelm Digby saw in 1660 a plant of barley, in the possession of the fathers of the Christian doctrine at Paris, which contained 249 stalks springing from one root or grain, and in which he counted upwards of 18, 000 grains. See my experiments on Tilling in the Methodist Magazine.

Verse 14. And God said, Let there be lights, &c.] One principal office of these was to divide between day and night. When night is considered a state of comparative darkness, how can lights divide or distinguish it? The answer is easy: The sun is the monarch of the day, which is the state of light; the moon, of the night, the state of darkness. The rays of the sun, falling on the atmosphere, are refracted and diffused over the whole of that hemisphere of the earth immediately under his orb; while those rays of that vast luminary which, because of the earth's smallness in comparison of the sun, are diffused on all sides beyond the earth, falling on the opaque disc of the moon, are reflected back upon what may be called the lower hemisphere, or that part of the earth which is opposite to the part which is illuminated by the sun: and as the earth completes a revolution on its own axis in about twenty-four hours, consequently each hemisphere has alternate day and night. But as the solar light reflected from the face of the moon is computed to be 50, 000 times less in intensity and effect than the light of the sun as it comes directly from himself to our earth, (for light decreases in its intensity as the distance it travels from the sun increases,) therefore a sufficient distinction is made between day and night, or light and darkness, notwithstanding each is ruled and determined by one of these two great lights; the moon ruling the night, i.e., reflecting from her own surface back on the earth the rays of light which she receives from the sun. Thus both hemispheres are to a certain degree illuminated: the one, on which the sun shines, completely so; this is day: the other, on which the sun's light is reflected by the moon, partially; this is night. It is true that both the planets and fixed stars afford a considerable portion of light during the night, yet they cannot be said to rule or to predominate by their light, because their rays arc quite lost in the superior splendour of the moon's light.

And let them be for signs] ttal leothoth. Let them ever be considered as continual tokens of God's tender care for man, and as standing proofs of his continual miraculous interference; for so the word ta oth is often used. And is it not the almighty energy of God that upholds them in being? The sun and moon also serve as signs of the different changes which take place in the atmosphere, and which are so essential for all purposes of agriculture, commerce, &c.

For seasons] µyd[wm moadim; For the determination of the times on which the sacred festivals should be held. In this sense the word frequently occurs; and it was right that at the very opening of his revelation God should inform man that there were certain festivals which should be annually celebrated to his glory. Some think we should understand the original word as signifying months, for which purpose we know the moon essentially serves through all the revolutions of time.

For days] Both the hours of the day and night, as well as the different lengths of the days and nights, are distinguished by the longer and shorter spaces of time the sun is above or below the horizon.

And years.] That is, those grand divisions of time by which all succession in the vast lapse of duration is distinguished. This refers principally to a complete revolution of the earth round the sun, which is accomplished in 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 48 seconds; for though the revolution is that of the earth, yet it cannot be determined but by the heavenly bodies.

Verse 16. And God made two great lights] Moses speaks of the sun and moon here, not according to their bulk or solid contents, but according to the proportion of light they shed on the earth. The expression has been cavilled at by some who are as devoid of mental capacity as of candour. "The moon," say they, "is not a great body; on the contrary, it is the very smallest in our system." Well, and has Moses said the contrary? He has said it is a great LIGHT; had he said otherwise he had not spoken the truth. It is, in reference to the earth, next to the sun himself, the greatest light in the solar system; and so true is it that the moon is a great light, that it affords more light to the earth than all the planets in the solar system, and all the innumerable stars in the vault of heaven, put together. It is worthy of remark that on the fourth day of the creation the sun was formed, and then "first tried his beams athwart the gloom profound;" and that at the conclusion of the fourth millenary from the creation, according to the Hebrew, the Sun of righteousness shone upon the world, as deeply sunk in that mental darkness produced by sin as the ancient world was, while teeming darkness held the dominion, till the sun was created as the dispenser of light. What would the natural world be without the sun? A howling waste, in which neither animal nor vegetable life could possibly be sustained. And what would the moral world be without Jesus Christ, and the light of his word and Spirit? Just what those parts of it now are where his light has not yet shone: "dark places of the earth, filled with the habitations of cruelty," where error prevails without end, and superstition, engendering false hopes and false fears, degrades and debases the mind of man. Many have supposed that the days of the creation answer to so many thousands of years; and that as God created all in six days, and rested the seventh, so the world shall last six thousand years, and the seventh shall be the eternal rest that remains for the people of God. To this conclusion they have been led by these words of the apostle, 2 Pet. iii. 8: One day is with the Lord as a thousand years; and a thousand years as one day. Secret things belong to God; those that are revealed to us and our children.

He made the stars also.] Or rather, He made the lesser light, with the stars, to rule the night. See Claudlan de Raptu PROSER., lib. ii., v. 44.

Hic Hyperionis solem de semine nasci Fecerat, et pariter lunam, sed dispare forma, Aurorae noctisque duces.

From famed Hyperion did he cause to rise The sun, and placed the moon amid the skies, With splendour robed, but far unequal light, The radiant leaders of the day and night.


On the nature of the sun there have been various conjectures. It was long thought that he was a vast globe of fire 1, 384, 462 times larger than the earth, and that he was continually emitting from his body innumerable millions of fiery particles, which, being extremely divided, answered for the purpose of light and heat without occasioning any ignition or burning, except when collected in the focus of a convex lens or burning glass. Against this opinion, however, many serious and weighty objections have been made; and it has been so pressed with difficulties that philosophers have been obliged to look for a theory less repugnant to nature and probability. Dr. Herschel's discoveries by means of his immensely magnifying telescopes, have, by the general consent of philosophers, added a new habitable world to our system, which is the SUN. Without stopping to enter into detail, which would be improper here, it is sufficient to say that these discoveries tend to prove that what we call the sun is only the atmosphere of that luminary; "that this atmosphere consists of various elastic fluids that are more or less lucid and transparent; that as the clouds belonging to our earth are probably decompositions of some of the elastic fluids belonging to the atmosphere itself, so we may suppose that in the vast atmosphere of the sun, similar decompositions may take place, but with this difference, that the decompositions of the elastic fluids of the sun are of a phosphoric nature, and are attended by lucid appearances, by giving out light." The body of the sun he considers as hidden generally from us by means of this luminous atmosphere, but what are called the maculae or spots on the sun are real openings in this atmosphere, through which the opaque body of the sun becomes visible; that this atmosphere itself is not fiery nor hot, but is the instrument which God designed to act on the caloric or latent heat; and that heat is only produced by the solar light acting upon and combining with the caloric or matter of fire contained in the air, and other substances which are heated by it. This ingenious theory is supported by many plausible reasons and illustrations, which may be seen in the paper he read before the Royal Society. On this subject see the note on ver. 3.


There is scarcely any doubt now remaining in the philosophical world that the moon is a habitable globe. The most accurate observations that have been made with the most powerful telescopes have confirmed the opinion. The moon seems, in almost every respect, to be a body similar to our earth; to have its surface diversified by hill and dale, mountains and valleys, rivers, lakes, and seas. And there is the fullest evidence that our earth serves as a moon to the moon herself, differing only in this, that as the earth's surface is thirteen times larger than the moon's, so the moon receives from the earth a light thirteen times greater in splendour than that which she imparts to us; and by a very correct analogy we are led to infer that all the planets and their satellites, or attendant moons, are inhabited, for matter seems only to exist for the sake of intelligent beings.


The STARS in general are considered to be suns, similar to that in our system, each having an appropriate number of planets moving round it; and, as these stars are innumerable, consequently there are innumerable worlds, all dependent on the power, protection, and providence of God. Where the stars are in great abundance, Dr. Herschel supposes they form primaries and secondaries, i.e., suns revolving about suns, as planets revolve about the sun in our system. He considers that this must be the case in what is called the milky way, the stars being there in prodigious quantity. Of this he gives the following proof: On August 22, 1792, he found that in forty-one minutes of time not less than 258,000 stars had passed through the field of view in his telescope. What must God be, who has made, governs, and supports so many worlds! For the magnitudes, distances, revolutions, &c., of the sun, moon, planets, and their satellites, see the preceding TABLES.

Verse 20. Let the waters bring forth abundantly] There is a meaning in these words which is seldom noticed. Innumerable millions of animalcula are found in water. Eminent naturalists have discovered not less than 30, 000 in a single drop! How inconceivably small must each be, and yet each a perfect animal, furnished with the whole apparatus of bones, muscles, nerves, heart, arteries, veins, lungs, viscera in general, animal spirits, &c., &c. What a proof is this of the manifold wisdom of God! But the fecundity of fishes is another point intended in the text; no creature's are so prolific as these. A TENCH lay 1, 000 eggs, a CARP 20, 000, and Leuwenhoek counted in a middling sized COD 9, 384, 000! Thus, according to the purpose of God, the waters bring forth abundantly. And what a merciful provision is this for the necessities of man! Many hundreds of thousands of the earth's inhabitants live for a great part of the year on fish only. Fish afford, not only a wholesome, but a very nutritive diet; they are liable to few diseases, and generally come in vast quantities to our shores when in their greatest perfection. In this also we may see that the kind providence of God goes hand in hand with his creating energy. While he manifests his wisdom and his power, he is making a permanent provision for the sustenance of man through all his generations.

Verse 21. And God created great whales] µyldgh µnynth hattanninim haggedolim. Though this is generally understood by the different versions as signifying whales, yet the original must be understood rather as a general than a particular term, comprising all the great aquatic animals, such as the various species of whales, the porpoise, the dolphin, the monoceros or narwal, and the shark. God delights to show himself in little as well as in great things: hence he forms animals so minute that 30, 000 can be contained in one drop of water; and others so great that they seem to require almost a whole sea to float in.

Verse 22. Let fowl multiply in the earth.] It is truly astonishing with what care, wisdom, and minute skill God has formed the different genera and species of birds, whether intended to live chiefly on land or in water. The structure of a single feather affords a world of wonders; and as God made the fowls that they might fly in the firmament of heaven, ver. 20, so he has adapted the form of their bodies, and the structure and disposition of their plumage, for that very purpose. The head and neck in flying are drawn principally within the breast-bone, so that the whole under part exhibits the appearance of a ship's hull. The wings are made use of as sails, or rather oars, and the tail as a helm or rudder. By means of these the creature is not only able to preserve the centre of gravity, but also to go with vast speed through the air, either straight forward, circularly, or in any kind of angle, upwards or downwards. In these also God has shown his skill and his power in the great and in the little - in the vast ostrich and cassowary, and In the beautiful humming-bird, which in plumage excels the splendour of the peacock, and in size is almost on a level with the bee. Verse 24. Let the earth bring forth the living creature, &c.] hyj �pn nephesh chaiyah; a general term to express all creatures endued with animal life, in any of its infinitely varied gradations, from the half-reasoning elephant down to the stupid potto, or lower still, to the polype, which seems equally to share the vegetable and animal life. The word wtyj chaitho, in the latter part of the verse, seems to signify all wild animals, as lions, tigers, &c., and especially such as are carnivorous, or live on flesh, in contradistinction from domestic animals, such as are graminivorous, or live on grass and other vegetables, and are capable of being tamed, and applied to domestic purposes. See on ver. 29. These latter are probably meant by hmhb behemah in the text, which we translate cattle, such as horses, kine, sheep, dogs, &c. Creeping thing, �mr remes, all the different genera of serpents, worms, and such animals as have no feet. In beasts also God has shown his wondrous skill and power; in the vast elephant, or still more colossal mammoth or mastodon, the whole race of which appears to be extinct, a few skeletons only remaining. This animal, an astonishing effect of God's power, he seems to have produced merely to show what he could do, and after suffering a few of them to propagate, he extinguished the race by a merciful providence, that they might not destroy both man and beast. The mammoth appears to have been a carnivorous animal, as the structure of the teeth proves, and of an immense size; from a considerable part of a skeleton which I have seen, it is computed that the animal to which it belonged must have been nearly twenty-five feet high, and sixty in length! The bones of one toe are entire; the toe upwards of three feet in length. But this skeleton might have belonged to the megalonyx, a kind of sloth, or bradypus, hitherto unknown. Few elephants have ever been found to exceed eleven feet in height. How wondrous are the works of God! But his skill and power are not less seen in the beautiful chevrotin, or tragulus, a creature of the antelope kind, the smallest of all bifid or cloven-footed animals, whose delicate limbs are scarcely so large as an ordinary goose quill; and also in the shrew mouse, perhaps the smallest of the many-toed quadrupeds. In the reptile kind we see also the same skill and power, not only in the immense snake called boa constrictor, the mortal foe and conqueror of the royal tiger, but also in the cobra de manille, a venomous serpent, only a little larger than a common sewing needle.

Verse 25. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, &c.] Every thing both in the animal and vegetable world was made so according to its kind, both in genus and species, as to produce its own kind through endless generations. Thus the several races of animals and plants have been kept distinct from the foundation of the world to the present day. This is a proof that all future generations of plants and animals have been seminally included in those which God formed in the beginning.

Verse 26. And God said, Let us make man] It is evident that God intends to impress the mind of man with a sense of something extraordinary in the formation of his body and soul, when he introduces the account of his creation thus; Let US make man. The word µda Adam, which we translate man, is intended to designate the species of animal, as wtyj chaitho, marks the wild beasts that live in general a solitary life; hmhb behemah, domestic or gregarious animals; and �mr remes, all kinds of reptiles, from the largest snake to the microscopic eel. Though the same kind of organization may be found in man as appears in the lower animals, yet there is a variety and complication in the parts, a delicacy of structure, a nice arrangement, a judicious adaptation of the different members to their great offices and functions, a dignity of mien, and a perfection of the whole, which are sought for in vain in all other creatures. See chap. iii. 22.

In our image, after our likeness] What is said above refers only to the body of man, what is here said refers to his soul. This was made in the image and likeness of God. Now, as the Divine Being is infinite, he is neither limited by parts, nor definable by passions; therefore he can have no corporeal image after which he made the body of man. The image and likeness must necessarily be intellectual; his mind, his soul, must have been formed after the nature and perfections of his God. The human mind is still endowed with most extraordinary capacities; it was more so when issuing out of the hands of its Creator. God was now producing a spirit, and a spirit, too, formed after the perfections of his own nature. God is the fountain whence this spirit issued, hence the stream must resemble the spring which produced it. God is holy, just, wise, good, and perfect; so must the soul be that sprang from him: there could be in it nothing impure, unjust, ignorant, evil, low, base, mean, or vile. It was created after the image of God; and that image, St. Paul tells us, consisted in righteousness, true holiness, and knowledge, Eph. iv. 24 Col. iii. 10. Hence man was wise in his mind, holy in his heart, and righteous in his actions. Were even the word of God silent on this subject, we could not infer less from the lights held out to us by reason and common sense. The text tells us he was the work of ELOHIM, the Divine Plurality, marked here more distinctly by the plural pronouns US and OUR; and to show that he was the masterpiece of God's creation, all the persons in the Godhead are represented as united in counsel and effort to produce this astonishing creature.

Gregory Nyssen has very properly observed that the superiority of man to all other parts of creation is seen in this, that all other creatures are represented as the effect of God's word, but man is represented as the work of God, according to plan and consideration: Let US make MAN in our IMAGE, after our LIKENESS. See his Works, vol. i., p. 52, c. 3.

And let them have dominion] Hence we see that the dominion was not the image. God created man capable of governing the world, and when fitted for the office, he fixed him in it. We see God's tender care and parental solicitude for the comfort and well-being of this masterpiece of his workmanship, in creating the world previously to the creation of man. He prepared every thing for his subsistence, convenience, and pleasure, before he brought him into being; so that, comparing little with great things, the house was built, furnished, and amply stored, by the time the destined tenant was ready to occupy it.

It has been supposed by some that God speaks here to the angels, when he says, Let us make man; but to make this a likely interpretation these persons must prove, 1. That angels were then created. 2. That angels could assist in a work of creation. 3. That angels were themselves made in the image and likeness of God. If they were not, it could not be said, in OUR image, and it does not appear from any part in the sacred writings that any creature but man was made in the image of God. See the note on "Psalm viii. 5". Verse 28. And God blessed them] Marked them as being under his especial protection, and gave them power to propagate and multiply their own kind on the earth. A large volume would be insufficient to contain what we know of the excellence and perfection of man, even in his present degraded fallen state. Both his body and soul are adapted with astonishing wisdom to their residence and occupations; and also the place of their residence, as well as the surrounding objects, in their diversity, colour, and mutual relations, to the mind and body of this lord of the creation. The contrivance, arrangement, action, and re-action of the different parts of the body, show the admirable skill of the wondrous Creator; while the various powers and faculties of the mind, acting on and by the different organs of this body, proclaim the soul's Divine origin, and demonstrate that he who was made in the image and likeness of God, was a transcript of his own excellency, destined to know, love, and dwell with his Maker throughout eternity.

Verse 29. I have given you every herb-for meat.] It seems from this, says an eminent philosopher, that man was originally intended to live upon vegetables only; and as no change was made In the structure of men's bodies after the flood, it is not probable that any change was made in the articles of their food. It may also be inferred from this passage that no animal whatever was originally designed to prey on others; for nothing is here said to be given to any beast of the earth besides green herbs. - Dr. Priestley. Before sin entered into the world, there could be, at least, no violent deaths, if any death at all. But by the particular structure of the teeth of animals God prepared them for that kind of aliment which they were to subsist on after the FALL.

Verse 31. And, behold, it was very good.] dam bwf tob meod, Superlatively, or only good; as good as they could be. The plan wise, the work well executed, the different parts properly arranged; their nature, limits, mode of existence, manner of propagation, habits, mode of sustenance, &c., &c., properly and permanently established and secured; for every thing was formed to the utmost perfection of its nature, so that nothing could be added or diminished without encumbering the operations of matter and spirit on the one hand, or rendering them inefficient to the end proposed on the other; and God has so done all these marvellous works as to be glorified in all, by all, and through all.

And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.] The word br[ ereb, which we translate evening, comes from the root br[ arab, to mingle; and properly signifies that state in which neither absolute darkness nor full light prevails. It has nearly the same grammatical signification with our twilight, the time that elapses from the setting of the sun till he is eighteen degrees below the horizon and the last eighteen degrees before he arises. Thus we have the morning and evening twilight, or mixture of light and darkness, in which neither prevails, because, while the sun is within eighteen degrees of the horizon, either after his setting or before his rising, the atmosphere has power to refract the rays of light, and send them back on the earth. The Hebrews extended the meaning of this term to the whole duration of night, because it was ever a mingled state, the moon, the planets, or the stars, tempering the darkness with some rays of light. From the ereb of Moses came the erebov Erebus, of Hesiod, Aristophanes, and other heathens, which they deified and made, with Nox or night, the parent of all things.

The morning - rqb boker; From rqb bakar, he looked out; a beautiful figure which represents the morning as looking out at the east, and illuminating the whole of the upper hemisphere.

The evening and the morning were the sixth day. - It is somewhat remarkable that through the whole of this chapter, whenever the division of days is made, the evening always precedes the morning. The reason of this may perhaps be, that darkness was pre-existent to light, (ver. 2, And darkness was upon the face of the deep,) and therefore time is reckoned from the first act of God towards the creation of the world, which took place before light was called forth into existence. It is very likely for this same reason, that the Jews began their day at six o'clock in the evening in imitation of Moses's division of time in this chapter. Caesar in his Commentaries makes mention of the same peculiarity existing among the Gauls: Galli se omnes ab Dite patre prognatas praedicant: idque ab Druidibus proditum dicunt: ab eam causam spatia omnis temporis, non numero dierum, sed noctium, finiunt; et dies natales, et mensium et annorum initia sic observant, ut noctem dies subsequatur; Deuteronomy Bell. Gall. lib. vi. Tacitus likewise records the same of the Germans: Nec dierum numerum, ut nos, sed noctium computant: sic constituent, sic condicunt, nox ducere diem videtur; Deuteronomy Mor. Germ. sec. ii. And there are to this day some remains of the same custom in England, as for instance in the word se'nnight and fortnight. See also Aeschyl. Agamem. ver. 273, 287.

Thus ends a chapter containing the most extensive, most profound, and most sublime truths that can possibly come within the reach of the human intellect. How unspeakably are we indebted to God for giving us a revelation of his WILL and of his WORKS! Is it possible to know the mind of God but from himself? It is impossible. Can those things and services which are worthy of and pleasing to an infinitely pure, perfect, and holy Spirit, be ever found out by reasoning and conjecture? Never! for the Spirit of God alone can know the mind of God; and by this Spirit he has revealed himself to man; and in this revelation has taught him, not only to know the glories and perfections of the Creator, but also his own origin, duty, and interest. Thus far it was essentially necessary that God should reveal his WILL; but if he had not given a revelation of his WORKS, the origin, constitution, and nature of the universe could never have been adequately known. The world by wisdom knew not God; this is demonstrated by the writings of the most learned and intelligent heathens. They had no just, no rational notion of the origin and design of the universe. Moses alone, of all ancient writers, gives a consistent and rational account of the creation; an account which has been confirmed by the investigation of the most accurate philosophers. But where did he learn this? "In Egypt." That is impossible; for the Egyptians themselves were destitute of this knowledge. The remains we have of their old historians, all posterior to the time of Moses, are egregious for their contradictions and absurdity; and the most learned of the Greeks who borrowed from them have not been able to make out, from their conjoint stock, any consistent and credible account. Moses has revealed the mystery that lay hid from all preceding ages, because he was taught it by the inspiration of the Almighty.

READER, thou hast now before thee the most ancient and most authentic history in the world; a history that contains the first written discovery that God has made of himself to man- kind; a discovery of his own being, in his wisdom, power, and goodness, in which thou and the whole human race are so intimately concerned. How much thou art indebted to him for this discovery he alone can teach thee, and cause thy heart to feel its obligations to his wisdom and mercy. Read so as to understand, for these things were written for thy learning; therefore mark what thou readest, and inwardly digest - deeply and seriously meditate on, what thou hast marked, and pray to the Father of lights that he may open thy understanding, that thou mayest know these holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation.

God made thee and the universe, and governs all things according to the counsel of his will; that will is infinite goodness, that counsel is unerring wisdom. While under the direction of this counsel, thou canst not err; while under the influence of this will, thou canst not be wretched. Give thyself up to his teaching, and submit to his authority; and, after guiding thee here by his counsel, he will at last bring thee to his glory. Every object that meets thy eye should teach thee reverence, submission, and gratitude. The earth and its productions were made for thee; and the providence of thy heavenly Father, infinitely diversified in its operations, watches over and provides for thee. Behold the firmament of his power, the sun, moon, planets, and stars, which he has formed, not for himself, for he needs none of these things, but for his intelligent offspring. What endless gratification has he designed thee in placing within thy reach these astonishing effects of his wisdom and power, and in rendering thee capable of searching out their wonderful relations and connections, and of knowing himself, the source of all perfection, by having made thee in his own image, and in his own likeness! It is true thou art fallen; but he has found out a ransom. God so loved thee in conjunction with the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Believe on HIM; through him alone cometh salvation; and the fair and holy image of God in which thou wast created shall be again restored; he will build thee up as at the first, restore thy judges and counsellors as at the beginning, and in thy second creation, as in thy first, will pronounce thee to be very good, and thou shalt show forth the virtues of him by whom thou art created anew in Christ Jesus. Amen.


The seventh day is consecrated for a sabbath, and the reasons assigned, 1-3. A recapitulation of the six days' work of creation, 4-7. the garden of Eden planted, 8. Its trees, 9. Its rivers, and the countries watered by them, 10-14. Adam placed in the garden, and the command given not to eat of the tree of knowledge on pain of death, 15-17. God purposes to form a companion for the man, 18. The different animals brought to Adam that he might assign them their names, 19, 20. The creation of the woman, 21, 22. The institution of marriage, 23, 24. The purity and innocence of our first parents, 25.


Verse 1. And all the host of them-. The word host signifies literally an army, composed of a number of companies of soldiers under their respective leaders; and seems here elegantly applied to the various celestial bodies in our system, placed by the Divine wisdom under the influence of the sun. From the original word abx tsaba, a host, some suppose the Sabeans had their name, because of their paying Divine honours to the heavenly bodies. From the Septuagint version of this place, pav o kosmov autwn, all their ornaments, we learn the true meaning of the word kosmov, commonly translated world, which signifies a decorated or adorned whole or system. And this refers to the beautiful order, harmony, and regularity which subsist among the various parts of creation. This translation must impress the reader with a very favourable opinion of these ancient Greek translators; had they not examined the works of God with a philosophic eye, they never could have given this turn to the original.

Verse 2. On the SEVENTH day God ended, &c.] It is the general voice of Scripture that God finished the whole of the creation in six days, and rested the seventh! giving us an example that we might labour six days, and rest the seventh from all manual exercises. It is worthy of notice that the Septuagint, the Syriac, and the Samaritan, read the sixth day instead of the seventh; and this should be considered the genuine reading, which appears from these versions to have been originally that of the Hebrew text. How the word sixth became changed into seventh may be easily conceived from this circumstance. It is very likely that in ancient times all the numerals were signified by letters, and not by words at full length. This is the case in the most ancient Greek and Latin MSS., and in almost all the rabbinical writings. When these numeral letters became changed for words at full length, two letters nearly similar might be mistaken for each other; w vau stands for six, z zain for seven; how easy to mistake these letters for each other when writing the words at full length, and so give birth to the reading in question.

Verse 3. And God blessed the seventh day] The original word ûrb barach, which is generally rendered to bless, has a very extensive meaning. It is frequently used in Scripture in the sense of speaking good of or to a person; and hence literally and properly rendered by the Septuagint euloghsen, from eu, good or well, and legw, I speak. So God has spoken well of the Sabbath, and good to them who conscientiously observe it. Blessing is applied both to God and man: when God is said to bless, we generally understand by the expression that he communicates some good; but when man is said to bless God, we surely cannot imagine that he bestows any gifts or confers any benefit on his Maker. When God is said to bless, either in the Old or New Testament, it signifies his speaking good TO man; and this comprises the whole of his exceeding great and precious promises. And when man is said to bless God, it ever implies that he speaks good OF him, for the giving and fulfillment of his promises. This observation will be of general use in considering the various places where the word occurs in the sacred writings. Reader, God blesses thee when by his promises he speaks good TO thee; and thou dost bless him when, from a consciousness of his kindness to thy body and soul, thou art thankful to him, and speakest good OF his name.

Because that in it he had rested] tb� shabath, he rested; hence Sabbath, the name of the seventh day, signifying a day of rest - rest to the body from labour and toil, and rest to the soul from all worldly care and anxieties. He who labours with his mind by worldly schemes and plans on the Sabbath day is as culpable as he who labours with his hands in his accustomed calling. It is by the authority of God that the Sabbath is set apart for rest and religious purposes, as the six days of the week are appointed for labour. How wise is this provision! It is essentially necessary, not only to the body of man, but to all the animals employed in his service: take this away and the labour is too great, both man and beast would fail under it. Without this consecrated day religion itself would fail, and the human mind, becoming sensualized, would soon forget its origin and end. Even as a political regulation, it is one of the wisest and most beneficent in its effects of any ever instituted. Those who habitually disregard its moral obligation are, to a man, not only good for nothing, but are wretched in themselves, a curse to society, and often end their lives miserably. See notes on "Exod. xx. 8"; on "Exod. xxiii. 12"; on "Exodus xxiv. 16"; and on "Exod. xxxi. 13"; to which the reader is particularly desired to refer.

As God formed both the mind and body of man on principles of activity, so he assigned him proper employment; and it is his decree that the mind shall improve by exercise, and the body find increase of vigour and health in honest labour. He who idles away his time in the six days is equally culpable in the sight of God as he who works on the seventh. The idle person is ordinarily clothed with rags, and the Sabbath- breakers frequently come to an ignominions death. Reader, beware.

Verse 4. In the day that the Lord God made, &c.] The word hwhy Yehovah is for the first time mentioned here. What it signifies see on Exod. xxxiv. 5, 6. Wherever this word occurs in the sacred writings we translate it LORD, which word is, through respect and reverence, always printed in capitals. Though our English term Lord does not give the particular meaning of the original word, yet it conveys a strong and noble sense. Lord is a contraction of the Anglo-Saxon [A.S.], Hlaford, afterwards written [A.S.] Loverd, and lastly Lord, from [A.S.] bread; hence our word loaf, and [A.S.] ford, to supply, to give out. The word, therefore, implies the giver of bread, i.e., he who deals out all the necessaries of life. Our ancient English noblemen were accustomed to keep a continual open house, where all their vassals, and all strangers, had full liberty to enter and eat as much as they would; and hence those noblemen had the honourable name of lords, i.e., the dispensers of bread. There are about three of the ancient nobility who still keep up this honourable custom, from which the very name of their nobility is derived. We have already seen, ver. 1, with what judgment our Saxon ancestors expressed Deus, the Supreme Being, by the term God; and we see the same judgment consulted by their use of the term Lord to express the word Dominus, by which terms the Vulgate version, which they used, expresses Elohim and Jehovah, which we translate LORD GOD. GOD is the good Being, and LORD is the dispenser of bread, the giver of every good and perfect gift, who liberally affords the bread that perisheth to every man, and has amply provided the bread that endures unto eternal life for every human soul. With what propriety then does this word apply to the Lord Jesus, who is emphatically called the bread of life; the bread of God which cometh down from heaven, and which is given for the life of the world! John vi. 33, 48, 51. What a pity that this most impressive and instructive meaning of a word in such general use were not more extensively known, and more particularly regarded! See the postscript to the general preface. I know that Mr. H. Tooke has endeavoured to render this derivation contemptible; but this has little weight with me. I have traced it through the most accredited writers in Saxony and on Saxon affairs, and I am satisfied that this and this only, is its proper etymology and derivation.

Verse 5. Every plant of the field before it was in the earth] It appears that God created every thing, not only perfect as it respects its nature, but also in a state of maturity, so that every vegetable production appeared at once in full growth; and this was necessary that man, when he came into being, might find every thing ready for his use. Verse 6. There went up a mist] This passage appears to have greatly embarrassed many commentators. The plain meaning seems to be this, that the aqueous vapours, ascending from the earth, and becoming condensed in the colder regions of the atmosphere, fell back upon the earth in the form of dews, and by this means an equal portion of moisture was distributed to the roots of plants, &c. As Moses had said, ver. 5, that the Lord had not caused it to rain upon the earth, he probably designed to teach us, in ver. 6, how rain is produced, viz., by the condensation of the aqueous vapors, which are generally through the heat of the sun and other causes raised to a considerable height in the atmosphere, where, meeting with cold air, the watery particles which were before so small and light that they could float in the air, becoming condensed, i.e., many drops being driven into one, become too heavy to be any longer suspended, and then, through their own gravity, fall down in the form which we term rain.

Verse 7. God formed man of the dust] In the most distinct manner God shows us that man is a compound being, having a body and soul distinctly, and separately created; the body out of the dust of the earth, the soul immediately breathed from God himself. Does not this strongly mark that the soul and body are not the same thing? The body derives its origin from the earth, or as rp[ aphar implies, the dust; hence because it is earthly it is decomposable and perishable. Of the soul it is said, God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; µyyj tm�n nishmath chaiyim, the breath of LIVES, i.e., animal and intellectual. While this breath of God expanded the lungs and set them in play, his inspiration gave both spirit and understanding.

Verse 8. A garden eastward in Eden] Though the word d[ Eden signifies pleasure or delight, it is certainly the name of a place. See chap. iv. 16 2 Kings xix. 12 Isa. xxxvii. 12 Ezek. xxvii. 23 Amos i. 5. And such places probably received their name from their fertility, pleasant situation, &c. In this light the Septuagint have viewed it, as they render the passage thus: efuteusen o qeov paradeison en eden, God planted a paradise in Eden. Hence the word paradise has been introduced into the New Testament, and is generally used to signify a place of exquisite pleasure and delight. From this the ancient heathens borrowed their ideas of the gardens of the Hesperides, where the trees bore golden fruit; the gardens of Adonis, a word which is evidently derived from the Hebrew d[ Eden; and hence the origin of sacred gardens or enclosures dedicated to purposes of devotion, some comparatively innocent, others impure. The word paradise is not Greek; in Arabic and Persian it signifies a garden, a vineyard, and also the place of the blessed. The Mohammedans say that God created the Jennet al Ferdoos, the garden of paradise, from light, and the prophets and wise men ascend thither. Wilmet places it after the root farada, to separate, especially a person or place, for the purposes of devotion, but supposes it to be originally a Persian word, vox originis Persicae quam in sua lingua conservarunt Armeni. As it is a word of doubtful origin, its etymology is uncertain.

Verse 9. Every tree that is pleasant to the sight, &c.] If we take up these expressions literally, they may bear the following interpretation: the tree pleasant to the sight may mean every beautiful tree or plant which for shape, colour, or fragrance, delights the senses, such as flowering shrubs, &c.

And good for food] All fruit-bearing trees, whether of the pulpy fruits, as apples, &c., or of the kernel or nut kind, such as dates, and nuts of different sorts, together with all esculent vegetables.

The tree of life] µyyj chaiyim; of lives, or life-giving tree, every medicinal tree, herb, and plant, whose healing virtues are of great consequence to man in his present state, when through sin diseases of various kinds have seized on the human frame, and have commenced that process of dissolution which is to reduce the body to its primitive dust. Yet by the use of these trees of life - those different vegetable medicines, the health of the body may be preserved for a time, and death kept at a distance. Though the exposition given here may be a general meaning for these general terms, yet it is likely that this tree of life which was placed in the midst of the garden was intended as an emblem of that life which man should ever live, provided he continued in obedience to his Maker. And probably the use of this tree was intended as the means of preserving the body of man in a state of continual vital energy, and an antidote against death. This seems strongly indicated from chap. iii. 22.

And the tree of knowledge of good and evil.] Considering this also in a merely literal point of view, it may mean any tree or plant which possessed the property of increasing the knowledge of what was in nature, as the esculent vegetables had of increasing bodily vigour; and that there are some ailments which from their physical influence have a tendency to strengthen the understanding and invigorate the rational faculty more than others, has been supposed by the wisest and best of men; yet here much more seems intended, but what is very difficult to be ascertained. Some very eminent men have contended that the passage should be understood allegorically! and that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil means simply that prudence, which is a mixture of knowledge, care, caution, and judgment, which was prescribed to regulate the whole of man's conduct. And it is certain that to know good and evil, in different parts of Scripture, means such knowledge and discretion as leads a man to understand what is fit and unfit, what is not proper to be done and what should be performed. But how could the acquisition of such a faculty be a sin? Or can we suppose that such a faculty could be wanting when man was in a state of perfection? To this it may be answered: The prohibition was intended to exercise this faculty in man that it should constantly teach him this moral lesson, that there were some things fit and others unfit to be done, and that in reference to this point the tree itself should be both a constant teacher and monitor. The eating of its fruit would not have increased this moral faculty, but the prohibition was intended to exercise the faculty he already possessed. There is certainly nothing unreasonable in this explanation, and viewed in this light the passage loses much of its obscurity. Vitringa, in his dissertation Deuteronomy arbore prudentiae in Paradiso, ejusque mysterio, strongly contends for this interpretation. See more on chap. iii. 6.

Verse 10. A river went out of Eden, &c.] It would astonish an ordinary reader, who should be obliged to consult different commentators and critics on the situation of the terrestrial Paradise, to see the vast variety of opinions by which they are divided. Some place it in the third heaven, others in the fourth; some within the orbit of the moon, others in the moon itself; some in the middle regions of the air, or beyond the earth's attraction; some on the earth, others under the earth, and others within the earth; some have fixed it at the north pole, others at the south; some in Tartary, some in China; some on the borders of the Ganges, some in the island of Ceylon; some in Armenia, others in Africa, under the equator; some in Mesopotamia, others in Syria, Persia, Arabia, Babylon, Assyria, and in Palestine; some have condescended to place it in Europe, and others have contended it either exists not, or is invisible, or is merely of a spiritual nature, and that the whole account is to be spiritually understood! That there was such a place once there is no reason to doubt; the description given by Moses is too particular and circumstantial to be capable of being understood in any spiritual or allegorical way. As well might we contend that the persons of Adam and Eve were allegorical, as that the place of their residence was such.

The most probable account of its situation is that given by Hadrian Reland. He supposes it to have been in Armenia, near the sources of the great rivers Euphrates, Tigris, Phasis, and Araxes. He thinks Pison was the Phasis, a river of Colchis, emptying itself into the Euxine Sea, where there is a city called Chabala, the pronunciation of which is nearly the same with that of Havilah, or hlywj Chavilah, according to the Hebrew, the vau w being changed in Greek to beta b. This country was famous for gold, whence the fable of the Golden Fleece, attempted to be carried away from that country by the heroes of Greece. The Gihon he thinks to be the Araxes, which runs into the Caspian Sea, both the words having the same signification, viz., a rapid motion. The land of Cush, washed by the river, he supposes to be the country of the Cussaei of the ancients. The Hiddekel all agree to be the Tigris, and the other river Phrat, or trp Perath, to be the Euphrates. All these rivers rise in the same tract of mountainous country, though they do not arise from one head.

Verse 12. There is bdellium ( jldb bedolach) and the onyx stone, µh�h ba eben hashshoham.] Bochart thinks that the bedolach or bdellium means the pearl-oyster; and shoham is generally understood to mean the onyx, or species of agate, a precious stone which has its name from onux a man's nail, to the colour of which it nearly approaches. It is impossible to say what is the precise meaning of the original words; and at this distance of time and place it is of little consequence.

Verse 15. Put him into the garden-to dress it, and to keep it.] Horticulture, or gardening, is the first kind of employment on record, and that in which man was engaged while in a state of perfection and innocence. Though the garden may be supposed to produce all things spontaneously, as the whole vegetable surface of the earth certainly did at the creation, yet dressing and tilling were afterwards necessary to maintain the different kinds of plants and vegetables in their perfection, and to repress luxuriance. Even in a state of innocence we cannot conceive it possible that man could have been happy if inactive. God gave him work to do, and his employment contributed to his happiness; for the structure of his body, as well as of his mind, plainly proves that he was never intended for a merely contemplative life. Verse 17. Of the tree of the knowledge-thou shalt not eat] This is the first positive precept God gave to man; and it was given as a test of obedience, and a proof of his being in a dependent, probationary state. It was necessary that, while constituted lord of this lower world, he should know that he was only God's vicegerent, and must be accountable to him for the use of his mental and corporeal powers, and for the use he made of the different creatures put under his care. The man from whose mind the strong impression of this dependence and responsibility is erased, necessarily loses sight of his origin and end, and is capable of any species of wickedness. As God is sovereign, he has a right to give to his creatures what commands he thinks proper. An intelligent creature, without a law to regulate his conduct, is an absurdity; this would destroy at once the idea of his dependency and accountableness. Man must ever feel God as his sovereign, and act under his authority, which he cannot do unless he have a rule of conduct. This rule God gives: and it is no matter of what kind it is, as long as obedience to it is not beyond the powers of the creature who is to obey. God says: There is a certain fruit-bearing tree; thou shalt not eat of its fruit; but of all the other fruits, and they are all that are necessary, for thee, thou mayest freely, liberally eat. Had he not an absolute right to say so? And was not man bound to obey?

Thou shalt surely die.] twmt twm moth tamuth; Literally, a death thou shalt die; or, dying thou shalt die. Thou shalt not only die spiritually, by losing the life of God, but from that moment thou shalt become mortal, and shalt continue in a dying state till thou die. This we find literally accomplished; every moment of man's life may be considered as an act of dying, till soul and body are separated. Other meanings have been given of this passage, but they are in general either fanciful or incorrect.

Verse 18. It is not good that the man should be alone] wdbl lebaddo; only himself. I will make him a help meet for him; rz[ wdgnk ezer kenegdo, a help, a counterpart of himself, one formed from him, and a perfect resemblance of his person. If the word be rendered scrupulously literally, it signifies one like, or as himself, standing opposite to or before him. And this implies that the woman was to be a perfect resemblance of the man, possessing neither inferiority nor superiority, but being in all things like and equal to himself. As man was made a social creature, it was not proper that he should be alone; for to be alone, i.e. without a matrimonial companion, was not good. Hence we find that celibacy in general is a thing that is not good, whether it be on the side of the man or of the woman. Men may, in opposition to the declaration of God, call this a state of excellence and a state of perfection; but let them remember that the word of God says the reverse.

Verse 19. Out of the ground, &c.] Concerning the formation of the different kinds of animals, see the preceding chapter.

Verse 20. And Adam gave names to all cattle] Two things God appears to have had in view by causing man to name all the cattle, &c. 1. To show him with what comprehensive powers of mind his Maker had endued him; and 2. To show him that no creature yet formed could make him a suitable companion. And that this twofold purpose was answered we shall shortly see; for,

1. Adam gave names; but how? From an intimate knowledge of the nature and properties of each creature. Here we see the perfection of his knowledge; for it is well known that the names affixed to the different animals in Scripture always express some prominent feature and essential characteristic of the creatures to which they are applied. Had he not possessed an intuitive knowledge of the grand and distinguishing properties of those animals, he never could have given them such names. This one circumstance is a strong proof of the original perfection and excellence of man, while in a state of innocence; nor need we wonder at the account. Adam was the work of an infinitely wise and perfect Being, and the effect must resemble the cause that produced it.

2. Adam was convinced that none of these creatures could be a suitable companion for him, and that therefore he must continue in the state that was not good, or be a farther debtor to the bounty of his Maker; for among all the animals which he had named there was not found a help meet for him. Hence we read,

Verse 21. The Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, &c.] This was neither swoon nor ecstasy, but what our translation very properly terms a deep sleep.

And he took one of his ribs] It is immaterial whether we render [lx tsela a rib, or a part of his side, for it may mean either: some part of man was to be used on the occasion, whether bone or flesh it matters not; though it is likely, from verse ver. 23, that a part of both was taken; for Adam, knowing how the woman was formed, said, This is flesh of my flesh, and bone of my bone. God could have formed the woman out of the dust of the earth, as he had formed the man; but had he done so, she must have appeared in his eyes as a distinct being, to whom he had no natural relation. But as God formed her out of a part of the man himself, he saw she was of the same nature, the same identical flesh and blood, and of the same constitution in all respects, and consequently having equal powers, faculties, and rights. This at once ensured his affection, and excited his esteem.

Verse 23. Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, &c.] There is a very delicate and expressive meaning in the original which does not appear in our version. When the different genera of creatures were brought to Adam, that he might assign them their proper names, it is probable that they passed in pairs before him, and as they passed received their names. To this circumstance the words in this place seem to refer. Instead of this now is µaph taz zoth happaam, we should render more literally this turn, this creature, which now passes or appears before me, is flesh of my flesh, &c. The creatures that had passed already before him were not suitable to him, and therefore it was said, For Adam there was not a help meet found, ver. 20; but when the woman came, formed out of himself, he felt all that attraction which consanguinity could produce, and at the same time saw that she was in her person and in her mind every way suitable to be his companion. See Parkhurst, sub voce. She shall be called Woman] A literal version of the Hebrew would appear strange, and yet a literal version is the only proper one. �ya ish signifies man, and the word used to express what we term woman is the same with a feminine termination, h�a ishshah, and literally means she-man. Most of the ancient versions have felt the force of the term, and have endeavoured to express it as literally as possible. The intelligent reader will not regret to see some of them here. The Vulgate Latin renders the Hebrew virago, which is a feminine form of vir, a man. Symmachus uses andriv, andris, a female form of anhr, aner, a man. Our own term is equally proper when understood. Woman has been defined by many as compounded of wo and man, as if called man's wo because she tempted him to eat the forbidden fruit; but this is no meaning of the original word, nor could it be intended, as the transgression was not then committed. The truth is, our term is a proper and literal translation of the original, and we may thank the discernment of our Anglo-Saxon ancestors for giving it. [A.S.], of which woman is a contraction, means the man with the womb. A very appropriate version of the Hebrew h�a ishshah, rendered by terms which signify she-man, in the versions already specified. Hence we see the propriety of Adam's observation: This creature is flesh of my flesh, and bone of my bones; therefore shall she be called WOMB-MAN, or female man, because she was taken out of man. See Verstegan. Others derive it from [A.S.] or [A.S.], man's wife or she- man. Either may be proper, the first seems the most likely.

Verse 24. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother] There shall be, by the order of God, a more intimate connection formed between the man and woman, than can subsist even between parents and children.

And they shall be one flesh.] These words may be understood in a twofold sense. 1. These two shall be one flesh, shall be considered as one body, having no separate or independent rights, privileges, cares, concerns, &c., each being equally interested in all things that concern the marriage state. 2. These two shall be for the production of one flesh; from their union a posterity shall spring, as exactly resembling themselves as they do each other. Our Lord quotes these words, Matt. xix. 5, with some variation from this text: They TWAIN shall be one flesh. So in Mark x. 8. St. Paul quotes in the same way, 1 Cor. vi. 16, and in Eph. v. 31. The Vulgate Latin, the Septuagint, the Syriac, the Arabic, and the Samaritan, all read the word TWO. That this is the genuine reading I have no doubt. The word µhyn� sheneyhem, they two or both of them, was, I suppose, omitted at first from the Hebrew text, by mistake, because it occurs three words after in the following verse, or more probably it originally occurred in ver. 24, and not in ver. 25; and a copyist having found that he had written it twice, in correcting his copy, struck out the word in ver. 24 instead of ver. 25. But of what consequence is it? In the controversy concerning polygamy, it has been made of very great consequence. Without the word, some have contended a man may have as many wives as he chooses, as the terms are indefinite, THEY shall be, &c., but with the word, marriage is restricted. A man can have in legal wedlock but ONE wife at the same time.

We have here the first institution of marriage, and we see in it several particulars worthy of our most serious regard. 1. God pronounces the state of celibacy to be a bad state, or, if the reader please, not a good one; and the Lord God said, It is not good for man to be alone. This is GOD'S judgment. Councils, and fathers, and doctors, and synods, have given a different judgment; but on such a subject they are worthy of no attention. The word of God abideth for ever. 2. God made the woman for the man, and thus he has shown us that every son of Adam should be united to a daughter of Eve to the end of the world. See on 1 Cor. vii. 3. God made the woman out of the man, to intimate that the closest union, and the most affectionate attachment, should subsist in the matrimonial connection, so that the man should ever consider and treat the woman as a part of himself: and as no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and supports it, so should a man deal with his wife; and on the other hand the woman should consider that the man was not made for her, but that she was made for the man, and derived, under God, her being from him; therefore the wife should see that she reverence her husband, Eph. v. 33. ver. 23, 24 contain the very words of the marriage ceremony: This is flesh of my flesh, and bone of my bone, therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. How happy must such a state be where God's institution is properly regarded, where the parties are married, as the apostle expresses it, in the Lord; where each, by acts of the tenderest kindness, lives only to prevent the wishes and contribute in every possible way to the comfort and happiness of the other! Marriage might still be what it was in its original institution, pure and suitable; and in its first exercise, affectionate and happy; but how few such marriages are there to be found! Passion, turbulent and irregular, not religion; custom, founded by these irregularities, not reason; worldly prospects, originating and ending in selfishness and earthly affections, not in spiritual ends, are the grand producing causes of the great majority of matrimonial alliances. How then can such turbid and bitter fountains send forth pure and sweet waters? See the ancient allegory of Cupid and Psyche, by which marriage is so happily illustrated, explained in the notes on Matt. xix. 4-6.

Verse 25. They were both naked, &c.] The weather was perfectly temperate, and therefore they had no need of clothing, the circumambient air being of the same temperature with their bodies. And as sin had not yet entered into the world, and no part of the human body had been put to any improper use, therefore there was no shame, for shame can only arise from a consciousness of sinful or irregular conduct.

EVEN in a state of innocence, when all was perfection and excellence, when God was clearly discovered in all his works, every place being his temple, every moment a time of worship, and every object an incitement to religious reverence and adoration-even then, God chose to consecrate a seventh part of time to his more especial worship, and to hallow it unto his own service by a perpetual decree. Who then shall dare to reverse this order of God? Had the religious observance of the Sabbath been never proclaimed till the proclamation of the law on Mount Sinai, then it might have been conjectured that this, like several other ordinances, was a shadow which must pass away with that dispensation; neither extending to future ages, nor binding on any other people. But this was not so. God gave the Sabbath, his first ordinance, to man, (see the first precept, ver. 17,) while all the nations of the world were seminally included in him, and while he stood the father and representative of the whole human race; therefore the Sabbath is not for one nation, for one time, or for one place. It is the fair type of heaven's eternal day-of the state of endless blessedness and glory, where human souls, having fully regained the Divine image, and become united to the Centre and Source of all perfection and excellence, shall rest in God, unutterably happy through the immeasurable progress of duration! Of this consummation every returning Sabbath should at once be a type, a remembrancer, and a foretaste, to every pious mind; and these it must be to all who are taught of God.

Of this rest, the garden of Eden, that paradise of God formed for man, appears also to have been a type and pledge; and the institution of marriage, the cause, bond, and cement of the social state, was probably designed to prefigure that harmony, order, and blessedness which must reign in the kingdom of God, of which the condition of our first parents in the garden of paradise is justly supposed to have been an expressive emblem. What a pity that this heavenly institution should have ever been perverted! that, instead of becoming a sovereign help to all, it is now, through its prostitution to animal and secular purposes, become the destroyer of millions! Reader, every connection thou formest in life will have a strong and sovereign influence on thy future destiny. Beware! an unholy cause, which from its peculiar nature must be ceaselessly active in every muscle, nerve, and passion, cannot fail to produce incessant effects of sin, misery, death, and perdition. Remember that thy earthly connections, no matter of what kind, are not formed merely for time, whatsoever thou mayest intend, but also for eternity. With what caution there fore shouldst thou take every step in the path of life! On this ground, the observations made in the preceding notes are seriously recommended to thy consideration.


Satan, by means of a creature here called the serpent, deceives Eve, 1-5. Both she and Adam transgress the Divine command, and fall into sin and misery, 6, 7. They are summoned before God, and judged, 8-13. The creature called the serpent is degraded and punished, 14. The promise of redemption by the incarnation of Christ, 15. Eve sentenced, 16. Adam sentenced, 17. The ground cursed, and death threatened, 18, 19. Why the woman was called Eve, 20. Adam and Eve clothed with skins, 21. The wretched state of our first parents after their fall, and their expulsion from the garden of Paradise, 22-24.


Verse 1. Now the serpent was more subtle] We have here one of the most difficult as well as the most important narratives in the whole book of God. The last chapter ended with a short but striking account of the perfection and felicity of the first human beings, and this opens with an account of their transgression, degradation, and ruin. That man is in a fallen state, the history of the world, with that of the life and miseries of every human being, establishes beyond successful contradiction. But how, and by what agency, was this brought about? Here is a great mystery, and I may appeal to all persons who have read the various comments that have been written on the Mosaic account, whether they have ever yet been satisfied on this part of the subject, though convinced of the fact itself. Who was the serpent? of what kind? In what way did he seduce the first happy pair? These are questions which remain yet to be answered. The whole account is either a simple narrative of facts, or it is an allegory. If it be a historical relation, its literal meaning should be sought out; if it be an allegory, no attempt should be made to explain it, as it would require a direct revelation to ascertain the sense in which it should be understood, for fanciful illustrations are endless. Believing it to be a simple relation of facts capable of a satisfactory explanation, I shall take it up on this ground; and, by a careful examination of the original text, endeavour to fix the meaning, and show the propriety and consistency of the Mosaic account of the fall of man. The chief difficulty in the account is found in the question, Who was the agent employed in the seduction of our first parents?

The word in the text which we, following the Septuagint, translate serpent, is �jn nachash; and, according to Buxtorf and others, has three meanings in Scripture. 1. It signifies to view or observe attentively, to divine or use enchantments, because in them the augurs viewed attentively the flight of birds, the entrails of beasts, the course of the clouds, &c.; and under this head it signifies to acquire knowledge by experience. 2. It signifies brass, brazen, and is translated in our Bible, not only brass, but chains, fetters, fetters of brass, and in several places steel; see 2 Sam. xxii. 35 Job xx. 24 Psa. xviii. 34; and in one place, at least filthiness or fornication, Ezek. xvi. 36. 3. It signifies a serpent, but of what kind is not determined. In Job xxvi. 13, it seems to mean the whale or hippopotamus: By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens, his hand hath formed the crooked serpent, jrb �jn nachash bariach: as jrb barach signifies to pass on or pass through, and jyrb beriach is used for a bar of a gate or door that passed through rings, &c., the idea of straightness rather than crookedness should be attached to it here; and it is likely that the hippopotamus or sea-horse is intended by it.

In Eccles. x. 11, the creature called nachash, of whatever sort, is compared to the babbler: Surely the serpent ( �jn nachash) will bite without enchantment; and a babbler is no better.

In Isa. xxvii. 1, the crocodile or alligator seems particularly meant by the original: In that day the Lord- shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, &c. And in Isa. lxv. 25, the same creature is meant as in ver. 1, for in the words, And dust shall be the serpent's meat, there is an evident allusion to the text of Moses. In Amos ix. 3, the crocodile is evidently intended: Though they be hid in the bottom of the sea, thence will I command the serpent, ( �jnh hannachash,) and he shall bite them. No person can suppose that any of the snake or serpent kind can be intended here; and we see from the various acceptations of the word, and the different senses which it bears in various places in the sacred writings, that it appears to be a sort of general term confined to no one sense. Hence it will be necessary to examine the root accurately, to see if its ideal meaning will enable us to ascertain the animal intended in the text. We have already seen that �jn nachash signifies to view attentively, to acquire knowledge or experience by attentive observation; so yt�jn nichashti, chap. xxx. 27: I have learned by experience; and this seems to be its most general meaning in the Bible. The original word is by the Septuagint translated ofiv, a serpent, not because this was its fixed determinate meaning in the sacred writings, but because it was the best that occurred to the translators: and they do not seem to have given themselves much trouble to understand the meaning of the original, for they have rendered the word as variously as our translators have done, or rather our translators have followed them, as they give nearly the same significations found in the Septuagint: hence we find that ofiv is as frequently used by them as serpent, its supposed literal meaning, is used in our version. And the New Testament writers, who seldom quote the Old Testament but from the Septuagint translation, and often do not change even a word in their quotations, copy this version in the use of this word. From the Septuagint therefore we can expect no light, nor indeed from any other of the ancient versions, which are all subsequent to the Septuagint, and some of them actually made from it. In all this uncertainty it is natural for a serious inquirer after truth to look everywhere for information. And in such an inquiry the Arabic may be expected to afford some help, from its great similarity to the Hebrew. A root in this language, very nearly similar to that in the text, seems to cast considerable light on the subject. chanas or khanasa signifies he departed, drew off, lay hid, seduced, slunk away; from this root come akhnas, khanasa, and khanoos, which all signify an ape, or satyrus, or any creature of the simia or ape genus. It is very remarkable also that from the same root comes khanas, the DEVIL, which appellative he bears from that meaning of khanasa, he drew off, seduced, &c., because he draws men off from righteousness, seduces them from their obedience to God, &c., &c. See Golius, sub voce. Is it not strange that the devil and the ape should have the same name, derived from the same root, and that root so very similar to the word in the text? But let us return and consider what is said of the creature in question. Now the nachash was more subtle, µwr[ arum, more wise, cunning, or prudent, than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. In this account we find, 1. That whatever this nachash was, he stood at the head of all inferior animals for wisdom and understanding. 2. That he walked erect, for this is necessarily implied in his punishment-on thy belly (i.e., on all fours) shalt thou go. 3. That he was endued with the gift of speech, for a conversation is here related between him and the woman. 4. That he was also endued with the gift of reason, for we find him reasoning and disputing with Eve. 5. That these things were common to this creature, the woman no doubt having often seen him walk erect, talk, and reason, and therefore she testifies no kind of surprise when he accosts her in the language related in the text; and indeed from the manner in which this is introduced it appears to be only a part of a conversation that had passed between them on the occasion: Yea, hath God said, &c.

Had this creature never been known to speak before his addressing the woman at this time and on this subject, it could not have failed to excite her surprise, and to have filled her with caution, though from the purity and innocence of her nature she might have been incapable of being affected with fear. Now I apprehend that none of these things can be spoken of a serpent of any species. 1. None of them ever did or ever can walk erect. The tales we have had of two-footed and four-footed serpents are justly exploded by every judicious naturalist, and are utterly unworthy of credit. The very name serpent comes from serpo, to creep, and therefore to such it could be neither curse nor punishment to go on their bellies, i.e., to creep on, as they had done from their creation, and must do while their race endures. 2. They have no organs for speech, or any kind of articulate sound; they can only hiss. It is true that an ass by miraculous influence may speak; but it is not to be supposed that there was any miraculous interference here. GOD did not qualify this creature with speech for the occasion, and it is not intimated that there was any other agent that did it; on the contrary, the text intimates that speech and reason were natural to the nachash: and is it not in reference to this the inspired penman says, The nachash was more subtle or intelligent than all the beasts of the field that the Lord God had made? Nor can I find that the serpentine genus are remarkable for intelligence. It is true the wisdom of the serpent has passed into a proverb, but I cannot see on what it is founded, except in reference to the passage in question, where the nachash, which we translate serpent, following the Septuagint, shows so much intelligence and cunning: and it is very probable that our Lord alludes to this very place when he exhorts his disciples to be wise - prudent or intelligent, as serpents, fronimoi wv oi opeiv and it is worthy of remark that he uses the same term employed by the Septuagint in the text in question: ofiv hn fponimwtatov, the serpent was more prudent or intelligent than all the beasts, &c. All these things considered, we are obliged to seek for some other word to designate the nachash in the text, than the word serpent, which on every view of the subject appears to me inefficient and inapplicable. We have seen above that khanas, akhnas, and khanoos, signify a creature of the ape or satyrus kind. We have seen that the meaning of the root is, he lay hid, seduced, slunk away, &c.; and that khanas means the devil, as the inspirer of evil, and seducer from God and truth. See Golius and Wilmet. It therefore appears to me that a creature of the ape or ouran outang kind is here intended; and that Satan made use of this creature as the most proper instrument for the accomplishment of his murderous purposes against the life and soul of man. Under this creature he lay hid, and by this creature he seduced our first parents, and drew off or slunk away from every eye but the eye of God. Such a creature answers to every part of the description in the text: it is evident from the structure of its limbs and their muscles that it might have been originally designed to walk erect, and that nothing less than a sovereign controlling power could induce them to put down hands in every respect formed like those of man, and walk like those creatures whose claw-armed paws prove them to have been designed to walk on all fours. Dr. Tyson has observed in his anatomy of an ouran outang, that the seminal vessels passed between the two coats of the peritoneum to the scrotum, as in man; hence he argues that this creature was designed to walk erect, as it is otherwise in all quadrupeds. Philos. Trans., vol. xxi., p. 340. The subtlety, cunning, endlessly varied pranks and tricks of these creatures, show them, even now, to be more subtle and more intelligent than any other creature, man alone excepted. Being obliged now to walk on all fours, and gather their food from the ground, they are literally obliged to eat the dust; and though exceedingly cunning, and careful in a variety of instances to separate that part which is wholesome and proper for food from that which is not so, in the article of cleanliness they are lost to all sense of propriety; and though they have every means in their power of cleansing the aliments they gather off the ground, and from among the dust, yet they never in their savage state make use of any, except a slight rub against their side, or with one of their hands, more to see what the article is than to cleanse it. Add to this, their utter aversion to walk upright; it requires the utmost discipline to bring them to it, and scarcely anything irritates them more than to be obliged to do it. Long observation on some of these animals enables me to state these facts. Should any person who may read this note object against my conclusions, because apparently derived from an Arabic word which is not exactly similar to the Hebrew, though to those who understand both languages the similarity will be striking; yet, as I do not insist on the identity of the terms, though important consequences have been derived from less likely etymologies, he is welcome to throw the whole of this out of the account. He may then take up the Hebrew root only, which signifies to gaze, to view attentively, pry into, inquire narrowly, &c., and consider the passage that appears to compare the nachash to the babbler. Eccles. x. 11, and he will soon find, if he have any acquaintance with creatures of this genus, that for earnest, attentive watching, looking, &c., and for chattering or babbling, they have no fellows in the animal world. Indeed, the ability and propensity to chatter is all they have left, according to the above hypothesis, of their original gift of speech, of which I suppose them to have been deprived at the fall as a part of their punishment.

I have spent the longer time on this subject, 1. Because it is exceedingly obscure; 2. Because no interpretation hitherto given of it has afforded me the smallest satisfaction; 3. Because I think the above mode of accounting for every part of the whole transaction is consistent and satisfactory, and in my opinion removes many embarrassments, and solves the chief difficulties. I think it can be no solid objection to the above mode of solution that Satan, in different parts of the New Testament, is called the serpent, the serpent that deceived Eve by his subtlety, the old serpent, &c., for we have already seen that the New Testament writers have borrowed the word from the Septuagint, and the Septuagint themselves use it in a vast variety and latitude of meaning; and surely the ouran outang is as likely to be the animal in question as �jn nachash and ofiv ophis are likely to mean at once a snake, a crocodile, a hippopotamus, fornication, a chain, a pair of fetters, a piece of brass, a piece of steel, and a conjurer; for we have seen above that all these are acceptations of the original word. Besides, the New Testament writers seem to lose sight of the animal or instrument used on the occasion, and speak only of Satan himself as the cause of the transgression, and the instrument of all evil. If, however, any person should choose to differ from the opinion stated above, he is at perfect liberty so to do; I make it no article of faith, nor of Christian communion; I crave the same liberty to judge for myself that I give to others, to which every man has an indisputable right; and I hope no man will call me a heretic for departing in this respect from the common opinion, which appears to me to be so embarrassed as to be altogether unintelligible. See farther on ver. 7-14, &c.

Yea, hath God said] This seems to be the continuation of a discourse of which the preceding part is not given, and a proof that the creature in question was endued with the gift of reason and speech, for no surprise is testified on the part of Eve.

Verse 3. Neither shall ye touch it] Did not the woman add this to what God had before spoken? Some of the Jewish writers, who are only serious on comparative trifles, state that as soon as the woman had asserted this, the serpent pushed her against the tree and said, "See, thou hast touched it, and art still alive; thou mayest therefore safely eat of the fruit, for surely thou shalt not die."

Verse 4. Ye shall not surely die] Here the father of lies at once appears; and appears too in flatly contradicting the assertion of God. The tempter, through the nachash, insinuates the impossibility of her dying, as if he had said, God has created thee immortal, thy death therefore is impossible; and God knows this, for as thou livest by the tree of life, so shalt thou get increase of wisdom by the tree of knowledge.

Verse 5. Your eyes shall be opened] Your understanding shall be greatly enlightened and improved; and ye shall be as gods, µyhlak kelohim, like God, so the word should be translated; for what idea could our first parents have of gods before idolatry could have had any being, because sin had not yet entered into the world? The Syriac has the word in the singular number, and is the only one of all the versions which has hit on the true meaning. As the original word is the same which is used to point out the Supreme Being, chap. i. 1, so it has here the same signification, and the object of the tempter appears to have been this: to persuade our first parents that they should, by eating of this fruit, become wise and powerful as God, (for knowledge is power,) and be able to exist for ever, independently of him.

Verse 6. The tree was good for food] 1. The fruit appeared to be wholesome and nutritive. And that it was pleasant to the eyes. 2. The beauty of the fruit tended to whet and increase appetite. And a tree to be desired to make one wise, which was, 3. An additional motive to please the palate. From these three sources all natural and moral evil sprang: they are exactly what the apostle calls the desire of the flesh; the tree was good for food: the desire of the eye; it was pleasant to the sight: and the pride of life; it was a tree to be desired to make one wise. God had undoubtedly created our first parents not only very wise and intelligent, but also with a great capacity and suitable propensity to increase in knowledge. Those who think that Adam was created so perfect as to preclude the possibility of his increase in knowledge, have taken a very false view of the subject. We shall certainly be convinced that our first parents were in a state of sufficient perfection when we consider, 1. That they were endued with a vast capacity to obtain knowledge. 2. That all the means of information were within their reach. 3. That there was no hinderance to the most direct conception of occurring truth. 4. That all the objects of knowledge, whether natural or moral, were ever at hand. 5. That they had the strongest propensity to know; and, 6. The greatest pleasure in knowing. To have God and nature continually open to the view of the soul; and to have a soul capable of viewing both, and fathoming endlessly their unbounded glories and excellences, without hinderance or difficulty; what a state of perfection! what a consummation of bliss! This was undoubtedly the state and condition of our first parents; even the present ruins of the state are incontestable evidences of its primitive excellence. We see at once how transgression came; it was natural for them to desire to be increasingly wise. God had implanted this desire in their minds; but he showed them that this desire should be gratified in a certain way; that prudence and judgment should always regulate it; that they should carefully examine what God had opened to their view; and should not pry into what he chose to conceal. He alone who knows all things knows how much knowledge the soul needs to its perfection and increasing happiness, in what subjects this may be legitimately sought, and where the mind may make excursions and discoveries to its prejudice and ruin. There are doubtless many subjects which angels are capable of knowing, and which God chooses to conceal even from them, because that knowledge would tend neither to their perfection nor happiness. Of every attainment and object of pursuit it may be said, in the words of an ancient poet, who conceived correctly on the subject, and expressed his thoughts with perspicuity and energy:-

Est modus in rebus: sunt certi denique fines, Quos ulta citraque nequit consistere rectum.HOR. Sat., lib. i., Sat. 1., ver. 106.

"There is a rule for all things; there are in fine fixed and stated limits, on either side of which righteousness cannot be found." On the line of duty alone we must walk.

Such limits God certainly assigned from the beginning: Thou shalt come up to this; thou shalt not pass it. And as he assigned the limits, so he assigned the means. It is lawful for thee to acquire knowledge in this way; it is unlawful to seek it in that. And had he not a right to do so? And would his creation have been perfect without it?

Verse 7. The eyes of them both were opened] They now had a sufficient discovery of their sin and folly in disobeying the command of God; they could discern between good and evil; and what was the consequence? Confusion and shame were engendered, because innocence was lost and guilt contracted.

Let us review the whole of this melancholy business, the fall and its effects. 1. From the New Testament we learn that Satan associated himself with the creature which we term the serpent, and the original the nachash, in order to seduce and ruin mankind; 2 Cor. xi. 3 Rev. xii. 9; xx. 2. 2. That this creature was the most suitable to his purpose, as being the most subtle, the most intelligent and cunning of all beasts of the field, endued with the gift of speech and reason, and consequently one in which he could best conceal himself. 3. As he knew that while they depended on God they could not be ruined, he therefore endeavoured to seduce them from this dependence. 4. He does this by working on that propensity of the mind to desire an increase of knowledge, with which God, for the most gracious purposes, had endued it. 5. In order to succeed, he insinuates that God, through motives of envy, had given the prohibition-God doth know that in the day ye eat of it, ye shall be like himself, &c. 6. As their present state of blessedness must be inexpressibly dear to them, he endeavours to persuade them that they could not fall from this state: Ye shall not surely die -ye shall not only retain your present blessedness, but it shall be greatly increased; a temptation by which he has ever since fatally succeeded in the ruin of multitudes of souls, whom he persuaded that being once right they could never finally go wrong. 7. As he kept the unlawfulness of the means proposed out of sight, persuaded them that they could not fall from their steadfastness, assured them that they should resemble God himself, and consequently be self-sufficient, and totally independent of him; they listened, and fixing their eye only on the promised good, neglecting the positive command, and determining to become wise and independent at all events, they took of the fruit and did eat.

Let us now examine the effects.

1. Their eyes were opened, and they saw they were naked. They saw what they never saw before, that they were stripped of their excellence; that they had lost their innocence; and that they had fallen into a state of indigence and danger. 2. Though their eyes were opened to see their nakedness, yet their mind was clouded, and their judgment confused. They seem to have lost all just notions of honour and dishonour, of what was shameful and what was praise-worthy. It was dishonourable and shameful to break the commandment of God; but it was neither to go naked, when clothing was not necessary. 3. They seem in a moment, not only to have lost sound judgment, but also reflection: a short time before Adam was so wise that he could name all the creatures brought before him, according to their respective natures and qualities; now he does not know the first principle concerning the Divine nature, that it knows all things, and that it is omnipresent, therefore he endeavours to hide himself among the trees from the eye of the all-seeing God! How astonishing is this! When the creatures were brought to him he could name them, because he could discern their respective natures and properties; when Eve was brought to him he could immediately tell what she was, who she was, and for what end made, though he was in a deep sleep when God formed her; and this seems to be particularly noted, merely to show the depth of his wisdom, and the perfection of his discernment. But alas! how are the mighty fallen! Compare his present with his past state, his state before the transgression with his state after it; and say, is this the same creature? the creature of whom God said, as he said of all his works, He is very good - just what he should be, a living image of the living God; but now lower than the beasts of the field? 4. This account could never have been credited had not the indisputable proofs and evidences of it been continued by uninterrupted succession to the present time. All the descendants of this first guilty pair resemble their degenerate ancestors, and copy their conduct. The original mode of transgression is still continued, and the original sin in consequence. Here are the proofs. 1. Every human being is endeavouring to obtain knowledge by unlawful means, even while the lawful means and every available help are at hand. 2. They are endeavouring to be independent, and to live without God in the world; hence prayer, the language of dependence on God's providence and grace, is neglected, I might say detested, by the great majority of men. Had I no other proof than this that man is a fallen creature, my soul would bow to this evidence. 3. Being destitute of the true knowledge of God they seek privacy for their crimes, not considering that the eye of God is upon them, being only solicitous to hide them from the eye of man. These are all proofs in point; but we shall soon meet with additional ones. See on ver. 10, 12.

Verse 8. The voice of the Lord] The voice is properly used here, for as God is an infinite Spirit, and cannot be confined to any form, so he can have no personal appearance. It is very likely that God used to converse with them in the garden, and that the usual time was the decline of the day, µwyh jwrl leruach haiyom, in the evening breeze; and probably this was the time that our first parents employed in the more solemn acts of their religious worship, at which God was ever present. The time for this solemn worship is again come, and God is in his place; but Adam and Eve have sinned, and therefore, instead of being found in the place of worship, are hidden among the trees! Reader, how often has this been thy case!

Verse 10. I was afraid, because I was naked] See the immediate consequences of sin. 1. SHAME, because of the ingratitude marked in the rebellion, and because that in aiming to be like God they were now sunk into a state of the greatest wretchedness. 2. FEAR, because they saw they had been deceived by Satan, and were exposed to that death and punishment from which he had promised them an exemption. How worthy is it of remark that this cause continues to produce the very same effects! Shame and fear were the first fruits of sin, and fruits which it has invariably produced, from the first transgression to the present time.

Verse 12. And the man said, &c.] We have here some farther proofs of the fallen state of man, and that the consequences of that state extend to his remotest posterity. 1. On the question, Hast thou eaten of the tree? Adam is obliged to acknowledge his transgression; but he does this in such a way as to shift off the blame from himself, and lay it upon God and upon the woman! This woman whom THOU didst give to be with me, ydm[ immadi, to be my companion, (for so the word is repeatedly used,) she gave me, and I did eat. I have no farther blame in this transgression; I did not pluck the fruit; she took it and gave it to me.

2. When the woman is questioned she lays the blame upon God and the serpent, (nachash.) The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. Thou didst make him much wiser than thou didst make me, and therefore my simplicity and ignorance were overcome by his superior wisdom and subtlety; I can have no fault here, the fault is his, and his who made him so wise and me so ignorant. Thus we find that, while the eyes of their body were opened to see their degraded state, the eyes of their understanding were closed, so that they could not see the sinfulness of sin; and at the same time their hearts were hardened through its deceitfulness. In this also their posterity copy their example. How few ingenuously confess their own sin! They see not their guilt. They are continually making excuses for their crimes; the strength and subtlety of the tempter, the natural weakness of their own minds, the unfavourable circumstances in which they were placed, &c., &c., are all pleaded as excuses for their sins, and thus the possibility of repentance is precluded; for till a man take his sin to himself, till he acknowledge that he alone is guilty, he cannot be humbled, and consequently cannot be saved. Reader, till thou accuse thyself, and thyself only, and feel that thou alone art responsible for all thy iniquities, there is no hope of thy salvation. Verse 14. And the Lord God said unto the serpent] The tempter is not asked why he deceived the woman; he cannot roll the blame on any other; self-tempted he fell, and it is natural for him, such is his enmity, to deceive and destroy all he can. His fault admits of no excuse, and therefore God begins to pronounce sentence on him first. And here we must consider a twofold sentence, one on Satan and the other on the agent he employed.

The nachash, whom I suppose to have been at the head of all the inferior animals, and in a sort of society and intimacy with man, is to be greatly degraded, entirely banished from human society, and deprived of the gift of speech. Cursed art thou above all cattle, and above every beast of the field - thou shalt be considered the most contemptible of animals; upon thy belly shalt thou go - thou shalt no longer walk erect, but mark the ground equally with thy hands and feet; and dust shalt thou eat - though formerly possessed of the faculty to distinguish, choose, and cleanse thy food, thou shalt feed henceforth like the most stupid and abject quadruped, all the days of thy life - through all the innumerable generations of thy species. God saw meet to manifest his displeasure against the agent employed in this melancholy business; and perhaps this is founded on the part which the intelligent and subtle nachash took in the seduction of our first parents. We see that he was capable of it, and have some reason to believe that he became a willing instrument.

Verse 15. I will put enmity between thee and the woman] This has been generally supposed to apply to a certain enmity subsisting between men and serpents; but this is rather a fancy than a reality. It is yet to be discovered that the serpentine race have any peculiar enmity against mankind, nor is there any proof that men hate serpents more than they do other noxious animals. Men have much more enmity to the common rat and magpie than they have to all the serpents in the land, because the former destroy the grain, &c., and serpents in general, far from seeking to do men mischief, flee his approach, and generally avoid his dwelling. If, however, we take the word nachash to mean any of the simia or ape species, we find a more consistent meaning, as there is scarcely an animal in the universe so detested by most women as these are; and indeed men look on them as continual caricatures of themselves. But we are not to look for merely literal meanings here: it is evident that Satan, who actuated this creature, is alone intended in this part of the prophetic declaration. God in his endless mercy has put enmity between men and him; so that, though all mankind love his service, yet all invariably hate himself. Were it otherwise, who could be saved? A great point gained towards the conversion of a sinner is to convince him that it is Satan he has been serving, that it is to him he has been giving up his soul, body, goods, &c.; he starts with horror when this conviction fastens on his mind, and shudders at the thought of being in league with the old murderer. But there is a deeper meaning in the text than even this, especially in these words, it shall bruise thy head, or rather, awh hu, HE; who? the seed of the woman; the person is to come by the woman, and by her alone, without the concurrence of man. Therefore the address is not to Adam and Eve, but to Eve alone; and it was in consequence of this purpose of God that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin; this, and this alone, is what is implied in the promise of the seed of the woman bruising the head of the serpent. Jesus Christ died to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself, and to destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil. Thus he bruises his head -destroys his power and lordship over mankind, turning them from the power of Satan unto God; Acts xxvi. 18. And Satan bruises his heel - God so ordered it, that the salvation of man could only be brought about by the death of Christ; and even the spiritual seed of our blessed Lord have the heel often bruised, as they suffer persecution, temptation, &c., which may be all that is intended by this part of the prophecy.

Verse 16. Unto the woman he said] She being second in the transgression is brought up the second to receive her condemnation, and to hear her punishment: I will greatly multiply, or multiplying I will multiply; i.e., I will multiply thy sorrows, and multiply those sorrows by other sorrows, and this during conception and pregnancy, and particularly so in parturition or child-bearing. And this curse has fallen in a heavier degree on the woman than on any other female. Nothing is better attested than this, and yet there is certainly no natural reason why it should be so; it is a part of her punishment, and a part from which even God's mercy will not exempt her. It is added farther, Thy desire shall be to thy husband -thou shalt not be able to shun the great pain and peril of child-bearing, for thy desire, thy appetite, shall be to thy husband; and he shall rule over thee, though at their creation both were formed with equal rights, and the woman had probably as much right to rule as the man; but subjection to the will of her husband is one part of her curse; and so very capricious is this will often, that a sorer punishment no human being can well have, to be at all in a state of liberty, and under the protection of wise and equal laws.

Verse 17. Unto Adam he said] The man being the last in the transgression is brought up last to receive his sentence: Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife - "thou wast not deceived, she only gave and counseled thee to eat; this thou shouldst have resisted;" and that he did not is the reason of his condemnation. Cursed is the ground for thy sake - from henceforth its fertility shall be greatly impaired; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it - be in continual perplexity concerning the seed time and the harvest, the cold and the heat, the wet and the dry. How often are all the fruits of man's toll destroyed by blasting, by mildew, by insects, wet weather, land floods, &c.! Anxiety and carefulness are the labouring man's portion.

Verse 18. Thorns also and thistles, &c.] Instead of producing nourishing grain and useful vegetables, noxious weeds shall be peculiarly prolific, injure the ground, choke the good seed, and mock the hopes of the husbandman; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field - thou shalt no longer have the privilege of this garden of delights, but must go to the common champaign country, and feed on such herbs as thou canst find, till by labour and industry thou hast raised others more suitable to thee and more comfortable. In the curse pronounced on the ground there is much more implied than generally appears. The amazing fertility of some of the most common thistles and thorns renders them the most proper instruments for the fulfillment of this sentence against man. Thistles multiply enormously; a species called the Carolina sylvestris bears ordinarily from 20 to 40 heads, each containing from 100 to 150 seeds.

Another species, called the Acanthum vulgare, produces above 100 heads, each containing from 3 to 400 seeds. Suppose we say that these thistles produce at a medium only 80 beads, and that each contains only 300 seeds; the first crop from these would amount to 24, 000. Let these be sown, and their crop will amount to 576 millions. Sow these, and their produce will be 13, 824, 000, 000, 000, or thirteen billions, eight hundred and twenty-four thousand millions; and a single crop from these, which is only the third year's growth, would amount to 331, 776, 000, 000, 000, 000, or three hundred and thirty-one thousand seven hundred and seventy-six billions; and the fourth year's growth will amount to 7, 962, 624, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, or seven thousand nine hundred and sixty- two trillions, six hundred and twenty-four thousand billions. A progeny more than sufficient to stock not only the surface of the whole world, but of all the planets of the solar system, so that no other plant or vegetable could possibly grow, allowing but the space of one square foot for each plant.

The Carduus vulgatissimus viarum, or common hedge thistle, besides the almost infinite swarms of winged seeds it sends forth, spreads its roots around many yards, and throws up suckers everywhere, which not only produce seeds in their turn, but extend their roots, propagate like the parent plant, and stifle and destroy all vegetation but their own.

As to THORNS, the bramble, which occurs so commonly, and is so mischievous, is a sufficient proof how well the means are calculated to secure the end. The genista, or spinosa vulgaris, called by some furze, by others whins, is allowed to be one of the most mischievous shrubs on the face of the earth. Scarcely any thing can grow near it, and it is so thick set with prickles that it is almost impossible to touch it without being wounded. It is very prolific; almost half the year it is covered with flowers which produce pods filled with seeds. Besides. it shoots out roots far and wide, from which suckers and young plants are continually springing up, which produce others in their turn. Where it is permitted to grow it soon overspreads whole tracts of ground, and it is extremely difficult to clear the ground of its roots where once it has got proper footing. Such provision has the just God made to fulfill the curse which he has pronounced on the earth, because of the crimes of its inhabitants. See Hale's Vegetable Statics.

Verse 19. In the sweat of thy face] Though the whole body may be thrown into a profuse sweat, if hard labour be long continued, yet the face or forehead is the first part whence this sweat begins to issue; this is occasioned by the blood being strongly propelled to the brain, partly through stooping, but principally by the strong action of the muscles; in consequence of this the blood vessels about the head become turgid through the great flux of blood, the fibres are relaxed, the pores enlarged, and the sweat or serum poured out. Thus then the very commencement of every man's labour may put him in mind of his sin and its consequences.

Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.] God had said that in the day they ate of the forbidden fruit, dying they should die - they should then become mortal, and continue under the influence of a great variety of unfriendly agencies in the atmosphere and in themselves, from heats, colds, drought, and damps in the one, and morbid increased and decreased action in the solids and fluids of the other, till the spirit, finding its earthly house no longer tenable, should return to God who gave it; and the body, being decomposed, should be reduced to its primitive dust. It is evident from this that man would have been immortal had he never transgressed, and that this state of continual life and health depended on his obedience to his Maker. The tree of life, as we have already seen, was intended to be the means of continual preservation. For as no being but God can exist independently of any supporting agency, so man could not have continued to live without a particular supporting agent; and this supporting agent under God appears to have been the tree of life.

oligh de keisomesqa koniv, ostewn luqentwn.Anac. Od. 4., v. 9.

"We shall lie down as a small portion of dust, our bones being dissolved."

Verse 20. And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.] A man who does not understand the original cannot possibly comprehend the reason of what is said here. What has the word Eve to do with being the mother of all living? Our translators often follow the Septuagint; it is a pity they had not done so here, as the Septuagint translation is literal and correct: kai ekalesen adam to onoma thv gunaikov autou zwh, oti mhthr pantwn twn zwntwn "And Adam called his wife's name Life, because she was the mother of all the living." This is a proper and faithful representation of the Hebrew text, for the hwj Chavvah of the original, which we have corrupted into Eve, a word destitute of all meaning, answers exactly to the zwh of the Septuagint, both signifying life; as does also the Hebrew yj chai to the Greek zwntwn, both of which signify the living. It is probable that God designed by this name to teach our first parents these two important truths: 1. That though they had merited immediate death, yet they should be respited, and the accomplishment of the sentence be long delayed; they should be spared to propagate a numerous progeny on the earth. 2. That though much misery would be entailed on his posterity, and death should have a long and universal empire, yet ONE should in the fullness of time spring from the woman, who should destroy death, and bring life and immortality to light, 2 Tim. i. 10. Therefore Adam called his wife's name Life, because she was to be the mother of all human beings, and because she was to be the mother of HIM who was to give life to a world dead in trespasses, and dead in sins, Eph. ii. 1, &c.

Verse 21. God made coats of skins] It is very likely that the skins out of which their clothing was made were taken off animals whose blood had been poured out as a sin-offering to God; for as we find Cain and Hebel offering sacrifices to God, we may fairly presume that God had given them instructions on this head; nor is it likely that the notion of a sacrifice could have ever occurred to the mind of man without an express revelation from God. Hence we may safely infer, 1. That as Adam and Eve needed this clothing as soon as they fell, and death had not as yet made any ravages in the animal world, it is most likely that the skins were taken off victims offered under the direction of God himself, and in faith of HIM who, in the fullness of time, was to make an atonement by his death. And it seems reasonable also that this matter should be brought about in such a way that Satan and death should have no triumph, when the very first death that took place in the world was an emblem and type of that death which should conquer Satan, destroy his empire, reconcile God to man, convert man to God, sanctify human nature, and prepare it for heaven.

Verse 22. Behold, the man is become as one of us] On all hands this text is allowed to be difficult, and the difficulty is increased by our translation, which is opposed to the original Hebrew and the most authentic versions. The Hebrew has hyh hayah, which is the third person preterite tense, and signifies was, not is. The Samaritan text, the Samaritan version, the Syriac, and the Septuagint, have the same tense. These lead us to a very different sense, and indicate that there is an ellipsis of some words which must be supplied in order to make the sense complete. A very learned man has ventured the following paraphrase, which should not be lightly regarded: "And the Lord God said, The man who WAS like one of us in purity and wisdom, is now fallen and robbed of his excellence; he has added t[dl ladaath, to the knowledge of the good, by his transgression the knowledge of the evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat and live for ever in this miserable state, I will remove him, and guard the place lest he should re-enter. Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden," &c. This seems to be the most natural sense of the place. Some suppose that his removal from the tree of life was in mercy, to prevent a second temptation. He before imagined that he could gain an increase of wisdom by eating of the tree of knowledge, and Satan would be disposed to tempt him to endeavour to elude the sentence of death, by eating of the tree of life. Others imagine that the words are spoken ironically, and that the Most High intended by a cutting taunt, to upbraid the poor culprit for his offense, because he broke the Divine command in the expectation of being like God to know good from evil; and now that he had lost all the good that God had designed for him, and got nothing but evil in its place, therefore God taunts him for the total miscarriage of his project. But God is ever consistent with himself; and surely his infinite pity prohibited the use of either sarcasm or irony, in speaking of so dreadful a catastrophe, that was in the end to occasion the agony and bloody sweat, the cross and passion, the death and burial, of Him in whom dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, Col. ii. 9.

In chap. i. 26, 27, we have seen man in the perfection of his nature, the dignity of his office, and the plenitude of his happiness. Here we find the same creature, but stripped of his glories and happiness, so that the word man no longer conveys the same ideas it did before. Man and intellectual excellence were before so intimately connected as to appear inseparable; man and misery are now equally so. In our nervous mother tongue, the Anglo-Saxon, we have found the word [A.S.] God signifying, not only the Supreme Being, but also good or goodness; and it is worthy of especial note that the word [A.S.] man, in the same language, is used to express, not only the human being so called, both male and female, but also mischief, wickedness, fraud, deceit, and villany. Thus a simple monosyllable, still in use among us in its first sense, conveyed at once to the minds of our ancestors the two following particulars: 1. The human being in his excellence, capable of knowing, loving, and glorifying his Maker. 2. The human being in his fallen state, capable of and committing all kinds of wickedness. "Obiter hic notandum," says old Mr. Somner in his Saxon Dictionary, "venit, [A.S.] Saxonibus et DEUM significasse et BONUM: uti [A.S.] et hominem et nequitiam. Here it is to be noted, that among the Saxons the term GOD signified both the Divine Being and goodness, as the word man signified both the human being and wickedness." This is an additional proof that our Saxon ancestors both thought and spoke at the same time, which, strange as it may appear, is not a common case: their words in general are not arbitrary signs; but as far as sounds can convey the ideal meaning of things, their words do it; and they are so formed and used as necessarily to bring to view the nature and proper ties of those things of which they are the signs. In this sense the Anglo-Saxon is inferior only to the Hebrew.

Verse 24. So he drove out the man] Three things are noted here: 1. God's displeasure against sinful man, evidenced by his expelling him from this place of blessedness; 2. Man's unfitness for the place, of which he had rendered himself unworthy by his ingratitude and transgression; and, 3. His reluctance to leave this place of happiness. He was, as we may naturally conclude, unwilling to depart, and God drove him out.

He placed at the east] µdkm mikkedem, or before the garden of Eden, before what may be conceived its gate or entrance; Cherubims, µybrkh hakkerubim, THE cherubim. Hebrew plurals in the masculine end in general in im: to add an s to this when we introduce such words into English, is very improper; therefore the word should be written cherubim, not cherubims. But what were these? They are utterly unknown. Conjectures and guesses relative to their nature and properties are endless. Several think them to have been emblematical representations of the sacred Trinity, and bring reasons and scriptures in support of their opinion; but as I am not satisfied that this opinion is correct, I will not trouble the reader with it. From the description in Exod. xxvi. 1, 31; 1 Kings vi. 29, 32; 2 Chron. iii. 14, it appears that the cherubs were sometimes represented with two faces, namely, those of a lion and of a man; but from Ezek. i. 5, &c.;Ezek. x. 20, 21, we find that they had four faces and four wings; the faces were those of a man, a lion, an ox, and an eagle; but it seems there was but one body to these heads. The two- faced cherubs were such as were represented on the curtains and veil of the tabernacle, and on the wall, doors, and veil of the temple; those with four faces appeared only in the holy of holies. The word brk or bwrk kerub never appears as a verb in the Hebrew Bible, and therefore is justly supposed to be a word compounded of k ke a particle of resemblance, like to, like as, and br rab, he was great, powerful, &c. Hence it is very likely that the cherubs, to whatever order of beings they belonged, were emblems of the ALL-MIGHTY, and were those creatures by whom he produced the great effects of his power. The word br rab is a character of the Most High, Prov. xxvi. 10: The great God who formed all; and again in Psa. xlviii. 2, where he is called the Great King, br ûlm melech rab. But though this is rarely applied as a character of the Supreme Being in the Hebrew Bible, yet it is a common appellative of the Deity in the Arabic language. rab, and rab'ulalameen Lord of both worlds, or, Lord of the universe, are expressions repeatedly used to point out the almighty energy and supremacy of God. On this ground, I suppose, the cherubim were emblematical representations of the eternal power and Godhead of the Almighty. These angelic beings were for a time employed in guarding the entrance to Paradise, and keeping the way of or road to the tree of life. This, I say, for a time; for it is very probable that God soon removed the tree of life, and abolished the garden, so that its situation could never after be positively ascertained.

By the flaming sword turning every way, or flame folding back upon itself, we may understand the formidable appearances which these cherubim assumed, in order to render the passage to the tree of life inaccessible.

Thus terminates this most awful tragedy; a tragedy in which all the actors are slain, in which the most awful murders are committed, and the whole universe ruined! The serpent, so called, is degraded; the woman cursed with pains, miseries, and a subjection to the will of her husband, which was never originally designed; the man, the lord of this lower world, doomed to incessant labour and toil; and the earth itself cursed with comparative barrenness! To complete all, the garden of pleasure is interdicted, and this man, who was made after the image of God, and who would be like him, shamefully expelled from a place where pure spirits alone could dwell. Yet in the midst of wrath God remembers mercy, and a promise of redemption from this degraded and cursed state is made to them through HIM who, in the fullness of time, is to be made flesh, and who, by dying for the sin of the world, shall destroy the power of Satan, and deliver all who trust in the merit of his sacrifice from the power, guilt, and nature of sin, and thus prepare them for the celestial Paradise at the right hand of God. Reader, hast thou repented of thy sin? for often hast thou sinned after the similitude of thy ancestor's transgression. Hast thou sought and found redemption in the blood of the Lamb? Art thou saved from a disposition which led thy first parents to transgress? Art thou living a life of dependence on thy Creator, and of faith and loving obedience to him who died for thee? Wilt thou live under the curse, and die eternally? God forbid! Return to him with all thy soul, and receive this exhortation as a call from his mercy.

To what has already been said on the awful contents of this chapter, I can add little that can either set it in a clearer light, or make its solemn subject more impressive. We see here that by the subtlety and envy of the devil sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and we find that death reigned, not only from Adam to Moses, but from Moses to the present day. Flow abominable must sin be in the sight of God, when it has not only defaced his own image from the soul of man, but has also become a source of natural and moral evil throughout every part of the globe! Disruption and violence appear in every part of nature; vice, profligacy, and misery, through all the tribes of men and orders of society. It is true that where sin hath abounded, there grace doth much more abound; but men shut their eyes against the light, and harden their hearts against the truth. Sin, which becomes propagated into the world by natural generation, growing with the growth and strengthening with the strength of man, would be as endless in its duration, as unlimited in its influence, did not God check and restrain it by his grace, and cut off its extending influence in the incorrigibly wicked by means of death. How wonderful is the economy of God! That which entered into the world as one of the prime fruits and effects of sin, is now an instrument in his hands to prevent the extension of its contagion. If men, now so greatly multiplied on the earth, and fertile in mischievous inventions, were permitted to live nearly a thousand years, as in the ancient world, to mature and perfect their infectious and destructive counsels, what a sum of iniquity and ruin would the face of the earth present! Even while they are laying plans to extend the empire of death, God, by the very means of death itself, prevents the completion of their pernicious and diabolic designs. Thus what man, by his wilful obstinacy does not permit grace to correct and restrain, God, by his sovereign power, brings in death to control. It is on this ground that wicked and blood-thirsty men live not out half their days; and what a mercy to the world that it is so! They who will not submit to the scepter of mercy shall be broken in pieces by the rod of iron. Reader, provoke not the Lord to displeasure; thou art not stronger than he. Grieve not his Spirit, provoke him not to destroy thee; why shouldst thou die before thy time? Thou hast sinned much, and needest every moment of thy short life to make thy calling and election sure. Shouldst thou provoke God, by thy perseverance in iniquity, to cut thee off by death before this great work is done, better for thee thou hadst never been born! How vain are all attempts to attain immortality here! For some thousands of years men have been labouring to find out means to prevent death; and some have even boasted that they had found out a medicine capable of preserving life for ever, by resisting all the attacks of disease, and incessantly repairing all the wastes of the human machine. That is, the alchymistic philosophers would have the world to believe that they had found out a private passage to the tree of immortality; but their own deaths, in the common order of nature, as well as the deaths of the millions which make no such pretensions, are not only a sufficient confutation of their baseless systems, but also a continual proof that the cherubim, with their flaming swords, are turning every way to keep the passage of the tree of life. Life and immortality are, however, brought to light by the Gospel; and he only who keepeth the sayings of the Son of God shall live for ever. Though the body is dead-consigned to death, because of sin, yet the spirit is life because of righteousness; and on those who are influenced by this Spirit of righteousness, the second death shall have no power!


The birth, trade, and religion of Cain and Hebel, 1-7. Cain murders his brother Hebel, 8. God calls him into judgment for it, 9, 10. He is cursed, 11, 12. He despairs, 15, 14. A promise given him of preservation, and a mark set on him to prevent his being killed, 15. He departs from God's presence, 16. Has a son whom he calls Enoch; and builds a city, which he calls after his name, 17. Cain has several children, among whom are Lamech, the first bigamist, 18, 19. Jobat, who taught the use of tents and feeding cattle, 20. Jabal, the inventor of musical instruments, 21. Tubal-cain, the inventor of smith-work, 22. Strange speech of Lamech to his wives, 23, 24. Seth born to Adam and Eve in the place of Hebel, 25. Enoch born, and the worship of God restored, 26.


Verse 1. I have gotten a man from the Lord.] Cain, yq , signifies acquisition; hence Eve says tnq kanithi, I have gotten or acquired a man, hwhy ta eth Yehovah, the Lord. It is extremely difficult to ascertain the sense in which Eve used these words, which have been as variously translated as understood. Most expositors think that Eve imagined Cain to be the promised seed that should bruise the head of the serpent. This exposition really seems too refined for that period. It is very likely that she meant no more than to acknowledge that it was through God's peculiar blessing that she was enabled to conceive and bring forth a son, and that she had now a well-grounded hope that the race of man should be continued on the earth. Unless she had been under Divine inspiration she could not have called her son (even supposing him to be the promised seed) Jehovah; and that she was not under such an influence her mistake sufficiently proves, for Cain, so far from being the Messiah, was of the wicked one; 1 John iii. 12. We may therefore suppose that hwyh ta eth Yehovah, THE LORD, is an elliptical form of expression for hwhy tam meeth Yehovah, FROM THE LORD, or through the Divine blessing.

Verse 2. And she again bare his brother Hebel.] Literally, She added to bear ( tdll Pstw vattoseph laledeth) his brother. From the very face of this account it appears evident that Cain and Hebel were twins. In most cases where a subject of this kind is introduced in the Holy Scriptures, and the successive births of children of the same parents are noted, the acts of conceiving and bringing forth are mentioned in reference to each child; here it is not said that she conceived and brought forth Hebel, but simply she added to bring forth Hebel his brother; that is, as I understand it, Cain was the first-born, Hebel, his twin brother, came next.

Hebel was a keeper of sheep] Adam was originally a gardener, Hebel a shepherd, and Cain an agriculturist or farmer. These were the three primitive employments, and, I may add, the most rational, and consequently the best calculated to prevent strife and an immoderate love of the world.

Verse 3. In process of time] µymy Åqm mikkets yamim, at the end of days. Some think the anniversary of the creation to be here intended; it is more probable that it means the Sabbath, on which Adam and his family undoubtedly offered oblations to God, as the Divine worship was certainly instituted, and no doubt the Sabbath properly observed in that family. This worship was, in its original institution, very simple. It appears to have consisted of two parts: 1. Thanksgiving to God as the author and dispenser of all the bounties of nature, and oblations indicative of that gratitude. 2. Piacular sacrifices to his justice and holiness, implying a conviction of their own sinfulness, confession of transgression, and faith in the promised Deliverer. If we collate the passage here with the apostle's allusion to it, Heb. xi. 4, we shall see cause to form this conclusion.

Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering] hjnm minchah, unto the Lord. The word minchah is explained, Lev. ii. 1, &c., to be an offering of fine flour, with oil and frankincense. It was in general a eucharistic or gratitude offering, and is simply what is implied in the fruits of the ground brought by Cain to the Lord, by which he testified his belief in him as the Lord of the universe, and the dispenser of secular blessings.

Verse 4. Hebel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock] Dr. Kennicott contends that the words he also brought, awh µg aybh hebi gam hu, should be translated, Hebel brought IT also, i.e. a minchah or gratitude offering; and beside this he brought of the first-born ( twrkbm mibbechoroth) of his flock, and it was by this alone that he acknowledged himself a sinner, and professed faith in the promised Messiah. To this circumstance the apostle seems evidently to allude, Heb. xi. 4: By FAITH Hebel offered pleiova qusian, a MORE or GREATER sacrifice; not a more excellent, (for this is no meaning of the word pleiwn,) which leads us to infer, according to Dr. Kennicott, that Hebel, besides his minchah or gratitude offering, brought also qusia, a victim, to be slain for his sins; and this he chose out of the first-born of his flock, which, in the order of God, was a representation of the Lamb of God that was to take away the sin of the world; and what confirms this exposition more is the observation of the apostle: God testifying roiv dwpoiv, of his GIFTS, which certainly shows he brought more than one. According to this interpretation, Cain, the father of Deism, not acknowledging the necessity of a vicarious sacrifice, nor feeling his need of an atonement, according to the dictates of his natural religion, brought a minchah or eucharistic offering to the God of the universe. Hebel, not less grateful for the produce of his fields and the increase of his flocks, brought a similar offering, and by adding a sacrifice to it paid a proper regard to the will of God as far as it had then been revealed, acknowledged himself a sinner, and thus, deprecating the Divine displeasure, showed forth the death of Christ till he came. Thus his offerings were accepted, while those of Cain were rejected; for this, as the apostle says, was done by FAITH, and therefore he obtained witness that he was righteous, or a justified person, God testifying with his gifts, the thank-offering and the sin-offering, by accepting them, that faith in the promised seed was the only way in which he could accept the services and offerings of mankind. Dr. Magee, in his Discourses on the Atonement, criticises the opinion of Dr. Kennicott, and contends that there is no ground for the distinction made by the latter on the words he also brought; and shows that though the minchah in general signifies an unbloody offering, yet it is also used to express both kinds, and that the minchah in question is to be understood of the sacrifice then offered by Hebel. I do not see that we gain much by this counter-criticism. See ver. 7.

Verse 5. Unto Cain] As being unconscious of his sinfulness, and consequently unhumbled, and to his offering, as not being accompanied, as Hebel's was, with faith and a sacrifice for sin, he had not respect - He could not, consistently with his holiness and justice, approve of the one or receive the other. Of the manner in which God testified his approbation we are not informed; it was probably, as in the case of Elijah, by sending down fire from heaven, and consuming the sacrifice.

Cain was very wroth] That displeasure which should have been turned against his own unhumbled heart was turned against his innocent brother, who, though not more highly privileged than he, made a much better use of the advantages which he shared in common with his ungodly and unnatural brother.

Verse 6. Why art thou wroth?] This was designed as a gracious warning, and a preventive of the meditated crime.

Verse 7. If thou doest well] That which is right in the sight of God, shalt thou not be accepted? Does God reject any man who serves him in simplicity and godly sincerity? But if thou doest not well, can wrath and indignation against thy righteous brother save thee from the displeasure under which thou art fallen? On the contrary, have recourse to thy Maker for mercy; Åbr tafj jtpl lappethach chattath robets, a sin- offering lieth at thy door; an animal proper to be offered as an atonement for sin is now couching at the door of thy fold.

The words tafj chattath, and tafj chattaah, frequently signify sin; but I have observed more than a hundred places in the Old Testament where they are used for sin-offering, and translated amartia by the Septuagint, which is the term the apostle uses, 2 Cor. v. 21: He hath made him to be sin (amartian, A SIN-OFFERING) for us, who knew no sin. Cain's fault now was his not bringing a sin-offering when his brother brought one, and his neglect and contempt caused his other offering to be rejected. However, God now graciously informs him that, though he had miscarried, his case was not yet desperate, as the means of faith, from the promise, &c., were in his power, and a victim proper for a sin-offering was lying ( Åbr robets, a word used to express the lying down of a quadruped) at the door of his fold. How many sinners perish, not because there is not a saviour able and willing to save them, but because they will not use that which is within their power! Of such how true is that word of our Lord, Ye will not come unto me that ye might have life! CHAPTER IV

The birth, trade, and religion of Cain and Hebel, 1-7. Cain murders his brother Hebel, 8. God calls him into judgment for it, 9, 10. He is cursed, 11, 12. He despairs, 15, 14. A promise given him of preservation, and a mark set on him to prevent his being killed, 15. He departs from God's presence, 16. Has a son whom he calls Enoch; and builds a city, which he calls after his name, 17. Cain has several children, among whom are Lamech, the first bigamist, 18, 19. Jobat, who taught the use of tents and feeding cattle, 20. Jabal, the inventor of musical instruments, 21. Tubal-cain, the inventor of smith-work, 22. Strange speech of Lamech to his wives, 23, 24. Seth born to Adam and Eve in the place of Hebel, 25. Enoch born, and the worship of God restored, 26.


Verse 1. I have gotten a man from the Lord.] Cain, yq , signifies acquisition; hence Eve says tnq kanithi, I have gotten or acquired a man, hwhy ta eth Yehovah, the Lord. It is extremely difficult to ascertain the sense in which Eve used these words, which have been as variously translated as understood. Most expositors think that Eve imagined Cain to be the promised seed that should bruise the head of the serpent. This exposition really seems too refined for that period. It is very likely that she meant no more than to acknowledge that it was through God's peculiar blessing that she was enabled to conceive and bring forth a son, and that she had now a well-grounded hope that the race of man should be continued on the earth. Unless she had been under Divine inspiration she could not have called her son (even supposing him to be the promised seed) Jehovah; and that she was not under such an influence her mistake sufficiently proves, for Cain, so far from being the Messiah, was of the wicked one; 1 John iii. 12. We may therefore suppose that hwyh ta eth Yehovah, THE LORD, is an elliptical form of expression for hwhy tam meeth Yehovah, FROM THE LORD, or through the Divine blessing.

Verse 2. And she again bare his brother Hebel.] Literally, She added to bear ( tdll Pstw vattoseph laledeth) his brother. From the very face of this account it appears evident that Cain and Hebel were twins. In most cases where a subject of this kind is introduced in the Holy Scriptures, and the successive births of children of the same parents are noted, the acts of conceiving and bringing forth are mentioned in reference to each child; here it is not said that she conceived and brought forth Hebel, but simply she added to bring forth Hebel his brother; that is, as I understand it, Cain was the first-born, Hebel, his twin brother, came next.

Hebel was a keeper of sheep] Adam was originally a gardener, Hebel a shepherd, and Cain an agriculturist or farmer. These were the three primitive employments, and, I may add, the most rational, and consequently the best calculated to prevent strife and an immoderate love of the world.

Verse 3. In process of time] µymy Åqm mikkets yamim, at the end of days. Some think the anniversary of the creation to be here intended; it is more probable that it means the Sabbath, on which Adam and his family undoubtedly offered oblations to God, as the Divine worship was certainly instituted, and no doubt the Sabbath properly observed in that family. This worship was, in its original institution, very simple. It appears to have consisted of two parts: 1. Thanksgiving to God as the author and dispenser of all the bounties of nature, and oblations indicative of that gratitude. 2. Piacular sacrifices to his justice and holiness, implying a conviction of their own sinfulness, confession of transgression, and faith in the promised Deliverer. If we collate the passage here with the apostle's allusion to it, Heb. xi. 4, we shall see cause to form this conclusion.

Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering] hjnm minchah, unto the Lord. The word minchah is explained, Lev. ii. 1, &c., to be an offering of fine flour, with oil and frankincense. It was in general a eucharistic or gratitude offering, and is simply what is implied in the fruits of the ground brought by Cain to the Lord, by which he testified his belief in him as the Lord of the universe, and the dispenser of secular blessings.

Verse 4. Hebel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock] Dr. Kennicott contends that the words he also brought, awh µg aybh hebi gam hu, should be translated, Hebel brought IT also, i.e. a minchah or gratitude offering; and beside this he brought of the first-born ( twrkbm mibbechoroth) of his flock, and it was by this alone that he acknowledged himself a sinner, and professed faith in the promised Messiah. To this circumstance the apostle seems evidently to allude, Heb. xi. 4: By FAITH Hebel offered pleiova qusian, a MORE or GREATER sacrifice; not a more excellent, (for this is no meaning of the word pleiwn,) which leads us to infer, according to Dr. Kennicott, that Hebel, besides his minchah or gratitude offering, brought also qusia, a victim, to be slain for his sins; and this he chose out of the first-born of his flock, which, in the order of God, was a representation of the Lamb of God that was to take away the sin of the world; and what confirms this exposition more is the observation of the apostle: God testifying roiv dwpoiv, of his GIFTS, which certainly shows he brought more than one. According to this interpretation, Cain, the father of Deism, not acknowledging the necessity of a vicarious sacrifice, nor feeling his need of an atonement, according to the dictates of his natural religion, brought a minchah or eucharistic offering to the God of the universe. Hebel, not less grateful for the produce of his fields and the increase of his flocks, brought a similar offering, and by adding a sacrifice to it paid a proper regard to the will of God as far as it had then been revealed, acknowledged himself a sinner, and thus, deprecating the Divine displeasure, showed forth the death of Christ till he came. Thus his offerings were accepted, while those of Cain were rejected; for this, as the apostle says, was done by FAITH, and therefore he obtained witness that he was righteous, or a justified person, God testifying with his gifts, the thank-offering and the sin-offering, by accepting them, that faith in the promised seed was the only way in which he could accept the services and offerings of mankind. Dr. Magee, in his Discourses on the Atonement, criticises the opinion of Dr. Kennicott, and contends that there is no ground for the distinction made by the latter on the words he also brought; and shows that though the minchah in general signifies an unbloody offering, yet it is also used to express both kinds, and that the minchah in question is to be understood of the sacrifice then offered by Hebel. I do not see that we gain much by this counter-criticism. See ver. 7.

Verse 5. Unto Cain] As being unconscious of his sinfulness, and consequently unhumbled, and to his offering, as not being accompanied, as Hebel's was, with faith and a sacrifice for sin, he had not respect - He could not, consistently with his holiness and justice, approve of the one or receive the other. Of the manner in which God testified his approbation we are not informed; it was probably, as in the case of Elijah, by sending down fire from heaven, and consuming the sacrifice.

Cain was very wroth] That displeasure which should have been turned against his own unhumbled heart was turned against his innocent brother, who, though not more highly privileged than he, made a much better use of the advantages which he shared in common with his ungodly and unnatural brother.

Verse 6. Why art thou wroth?] This was designed as a gracious warning, and a preventive of the meditated crime.

Verse 7. If thou doest well] That which is right in the sight of God, shalt thou not be accepted? Does God reject any man who serves him in simplicity and godly sincerity? But if thou doest not well, can wrath and indignation against thy righteous brother save thee from the displeasure under which thou art fallen? On the contrary, have recourse to thy Maker for mercy; Åbr tafj jtpl lappethach chattath robets, a sin- offering lieth at thy door; an animal proper to be offered as an atonement for sin is now couching at the door of thy fold.

The words tafj chattath, and tafj chattaah, frequently signify sin; but I have observed more than a hundred places in the Old Testament where they are used for sin-offering, and translated amartia by the Septuagint, which is the term the apostle uses, 2 Cor. v. 21: He hath made him to be sin (amartian, A SIN-OFFERING) for us, who knew no sin. Cain's fault now was his not bringing a sin-offering when his brother brought one, and his neglect and contempt caused his other offering to be rejected. However, God now graciously informs him that, though he had miscarried, his case was not yet desperate, as the means of faith, from the promise, &c., were in his power, and a victim proper for a sin-offering was lying ( Åbr robets, a word used to express the lying down of a quadruped) at the door of his fold. How many sinners perish, not because there is not a saviour able and willing to save them, but because they will not use that which is within their power! Of such how true is that word of our Lord, Ye will not come unto me that ye might have life! Unto thee shall be his desire, &c.] That is, Thou shalt ever have the right of primogeniture, and in all things shall thy brother be subject unto thee. These words are not spoken of sin, as many have understood them, but of Hebel's submission to Cain as his superior, and the words are spoken to remove Cain's envy.

Verse 8. Cain talked with Hebel his brother] yq rmayw vaiyomer Kayin, and Cain said, &c.; not talked, for this construction the word cannot bear without great violence to analogy and grammatical accuracy. But why should it be thus translated? Because our translators could not find that any thing was spoken on the occasion; and therefore they ventured to intimate that there was a conversation, indefinitely. In the most correct editions of the Hebrew Bible there is a small space left here in the text, and a circular mark which refers to a note in the margin, intimating that there is a hiatus or deficiency in the verse. Now this deficiency is supplied in the principal ancient versions, and in the Samaritan text. In this the supplied words are, LET US WALK OUT INTO THE FIELD. The Syriac has, Let us go to the desert. The Vulgate Egrediamur foras, Let us walk out. The Septuagint, dielqemen eiv to pedon, Let us go out into the field. The two Chaldee Targums have the same reading; so has the Coptic version. This addition is completely lost from every MS. of the Pentateuch now known; and yet it is sufficiently evident from the Samaritan text, the Samaritan version, the Syriac, Septuagint, and Vulgate, that it was in the most authentic copies of the Hebrew before and some time since the Christian era. The words may therefore be safely considered as a part of the sacred text, and with them the whole passage reads clear and consistently:

"And Cain said unto Hebel his brother, Let us go out into the field: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up," &c. The Jerusalem Targum, and the Targum of Jonathan ben Uzziel, pretend to give us the subject of their conversation: as the piece is curious, I shall insert the substance of it, for the sake of those who may not have access to the originals. "And Cain said unto Hebel his brother, Let us go out into the field; and it came to pass that, when they were in the field, Cain answered and said to Hebel his brother, I thought that the world was created in mercy, but it is not governed according to the merit of good works. nor is there any judgment, nor a Judge, nor shall there be any future state in which good rewards shall be given to the righteous, or punishment executed on the wicked; and now there is respect of persons in judgment. On what account is it that thy sacrifice has been accepted, and mine not received with complacency? And Hebel answered and said, The world was created in mercy, and it is governed according to the fruit of good works; there is a Judge, a future world, and a coming judgment, where good rewards shall be given to the righteous, and the impious punished; and there is no respect of persons in judgment; but because my works were better and more precious than thine, my oblation was received with complacency. And because of these things they contended on the face of the field, and Cain rose up against Hebel his brother, and struck a stone into his forehead, and killed him."

It is here supposed that the first murder committed in the world was the consequence of a religious dispute; however this may have been, millions since have been sacrificed to prejudice, bigotry, and intolerance. Here, certainly, originated the many-headed monster, religious persecution; the spirit of the wicked one in his followers impels them to afflict and destroy all those who are partakers of the Spirit of God. Every persecutor is a legitimate son of the old murderer. This is the first triumph of Satan; it is not merely a death that he has introduced, but a violent one, as the first-fruits of sin. It is not the death of an ordinary person, but of the most holy man then in being; it is not brought about by the providence of God, or by a gradual failure and destruction of the earthly fabric, but by a violent separation of body and soul; it is not done by a common enemy, from whom nothing better could be expected, but by the hand of a brother, and for no other reason but because the object of his envy was more righteous than himself. Alas! how exceeding sinful does sin appear in its first manifestation!

Verse 10. The voice of thy brother's blood] It is probable that Cain, having killed his brother, dug a hole and burled him in the earth, hoping thereby to prevent the murder from being known; and that this is what is designed in the words, Thy brother's blood crieth unto me FROM THE GROUND-which hath opened her mouth to receive it from thy hand. Some think that by the voice of thy brother's blood the cries of Hebel's widow and children are to be understood, as it is very probable that he was father of a family; indeed his occupation and sacrifices seem to render this probable, and probability is all we can expect on such a subject. God represents these as calling aloud for the punishment of the murderer; and it is evident that Cain expected to fall by the hands of some person who, from his consanguinity, had the right of the avenger of blood; for now that the murder is found out, he expects to suffer death for it. See ver. 14.

Verse 12. A fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be] Thou shalt be expelled from the presence of God, and from thy family connections, and shalt have no fixed secure residence in any place. The Septuagint render this stenwn kai tremwn esh, thou shalt be groaning and trembling upon the earth-the horror of thy crime shall ever haunt thee, and thou shalt never have any well-grounded hope that God will remit the punishment thou deservest. No state out of endless perdition can be considered more awful than this.

Verse 13. My punishment is greater than I can bear.] The margin reads, Mine iniquity is greater than that it may be forgiven. The original words, aw�nm ynw[ lwdg gadol avoni minneso, may be translated, Is my crime too great to be forgiven? words which we may presume he uttered on the verge of black despair. It is most probable that w[ avon signifies rather the crime than the punishment; in this sense it is used Lev. xxvi. 41, 43 1 Samuel xxviii. 10; 2 Kings vii. 9; and a�n nasa signifies to remit or forgive. The marginal reading is, therefore, to be preferred to that in the text.

Verse 14. Behold, thou hast driven me out] In verses 11, 12, God states two parts of Cain's punishment: 1. The ground was cursed, so that it was not to yield any adequate recompense for his most careful tillage. 2. He was to be a fugitive and a vagabond having no place in which he could dwell with comfort or security. To these Cain himself adds others. 1. His being hidden from the face of God; which appears to signify his being expelled from that particular place where God had manifested his presence in or contiguous to Paradise, whither our first parents resorted as to an oracle, and where they offered their daily adorations. So in ver. 16, it is said, Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and was not permitted any more to associate with the family in acts of religious worship. 2. The continual apprehension of being slain, as all the inhabitants of the earth were at that time of the same family, the parents themselves still alive, and each having a right to kill this murderer of his relative. Add to all this, 3. The terrors of a guilty conscience; his awful apprehension of God's judgments, and of being everlastingly banished from the beatific vision. To this part of the punishment of Cain St. Paul probably alludes, 2 Thess. i. 9: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power. The words are so similar that we can scarcely doubt of the allusion.

Verse 15. The Lord set a mark upon Cain] What this mark was, has given rise to a number of frivolously curious conjectures. Dr. Shuckford collects the most remarkable. Some say he was paralytic; this seems to have arisen from the version of the Septuagint, stevev kai tpemov esh, Groaning and trembling shalt thou be. The Targum of Jonathan ben Uzziel says the sign was from the great and precious name, probably one of the letters of the word Yehovah. The author of an Arabic Catena in the Bodleian Library says, "A sword could not pierce him; fire could not burn him; water could not drown him; the air could not blast him; nor could thunder or lightning strike him." The author of Bereshith Rabba, a comment on Genesis, says the mark was a circle of the sun rising upon him. Abravanel says the sign was Hebel's dog, which constantly accompanied him. Some of the doctors in the Talmud say that it was the letter t tau marked on his forehead, which signified his contrition, as it is the first letter in the word hbw�t teshubah, repentance. Rabbi Joseph, wiser than all the rest, says it was a long horn growing out of his forehead!

Dr. Shuckford farther observes that the Hebrew word tya oth, which we translate a mark, signifies a sign or token. Thus, chap. ix. 13, the bow was to be tyal leoth, for a sign or token that the world should not be destroyed; therefore the words, And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, should be translated, And the Lord appointed to Cain a token or sign, to convince him that no person should be permitted to slay him. To have marked him would have been the most likely way to have brought all the evils he dreaded upon him; therefore the Lord gave him some miraculous sign or token that he should not be slain, to the end that he should not despair, but, having time to repent, might return to a gracious God and find mercy. Notwithstanding the allusion which I suppose St. Paul to have made to the punishment of Cain, some think that he did repent and find mercy. I can only say this was possible. Most people who read this account wonder why Cain should dread being killed, when it does not appear to them that there were any inhabitants on the earth at that time besides himself and his parents. To correct this mistake, let it be observed that the death of Hebel took place in the one hundred and twenty-eighth or one hundred and twenty-ninth year of the world. Now, "supposing Adam and Eve to have had no other sons than Cain and Hebel in the year of the world one hundred and twenty-eight, yet as they had daughters married to these sons, their descendants would make a considerable figure on the earth. Supposing them to have been married in the nineteenth year of the world, they might easily have had each eight children, some males and some females, in the twenty-fifth year. In the fiftieth year there might proceed from them in a direct line sixty-four persons; in the seventy-fourth year there would be five hundred and twelve; in the ninety-eighth year, four thousand and ninety- six; in the one hundred and twenty-second they would amount to thirty-two thousand seven hundred and sixty-eight: if to these we add the other children descended from Cain and Hebel, their children, and their children's children, we shall have, in the aforesaid one hundred and twenty-eight years four hundred and twenty-one thousand one hundred and sixty-four men capable of generation, without reckoning the women either old or young, or such as are under the age of seventeen." See Dodd. But this calculation may be disputed, because there is no evidence that the antediluvian patriarchs began to have children before they were sixty-five years of age. Now, supposing that Adam at one hundred and thirty years of age had one hundred and thirty children, which is quite possible, and each of these a child at sixty-five years of age, and one in each successive year, the whole, in the one hundred and thirtieth year of the world, would amount to one thousand two hundred and nineteen persons; a number sufficient to found several villages, and to excite the apprehensions under which Cain appeared at this time to labour.

Verse 16. The land of Nod] As dwn nod signifies the same as dn , a vagabond, some think this verse should be rendered, And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, from the east of Eden, and dwelt a vagabond on the earth; thus the curse pronounced on him, ver. 12, was accomplished.

Verse 17. She-bare Enoch] As ûwnj Chanoch signifies instructed, dedicated, or initiated, and especially in sacred things, it may be considered some proof of Cain's repentance, that he appears to have dedicated this son to God, who, in his father's stead, might minister in the sacerdotal office, from which Cain, by his crime, was for ever excluded.

Verse 19. Lamech took-two wives] He was the first who dared to reverse the order of God by introducing polygamy; and from him it has been retained, practiced, and defended to the present day.

Verse 20. Jabal-was the father] The inventor or teacher, for so the word is understood, 1 Sam. x. 12. He was the first who invented tent-making, and the breeding and managing of cattle; or he was, in these respects, the most eminent in that time. Though Hebel was a shepherd, it is not likely he was such on an extensive scale.

Verse 21. Jubal-the father] i.e. The inventor of musical instruments, such as the rwnk kinnor, which we translate harp, and the bgw[ ugab, which we render organ; it is very likely that both words are generic, the former including under it all stringed instruments, and the latter, all wind instruments.

Verse 22. Tubal-cain] The first smith on record, who taught how to make warlike instruments and domestic utensils out of brass and iron. Agricultural instruments must have been in use long before, for Cain was a tiller of the ground, and so was Adam, and they could not have cultivated the ground without spades, hooks, &c. Some of these arts were useless to man while innocent and upright, but after his fall they became necessary. Thus is the saying verified: God made man upright, but they have sought out many inventions. As the power to get wealth is from God, so also is the invention of useful arts.

M. De Lavaur, in his Conference de la Fable avec l'Histoire Sainte, supposes that the Greeks and Romans took their smith- god Vulcan from Tubal-cain, the son of Lamech. The probability of this will appear, 1. From the name, which, by the omission of the Tu and turning the b into v, a change frequently made among the Hebrews, Greeks, and Romans, makes Vulcain or Vulcan. 2. From his occupation he was an artificer, a master smith in brass and iron. 3. He thinks this farther probable from the names and sounds in this verse. The melting metals in the fire, and hammering them, bears a near resemblance to the hissing sound of hlx tsillah, the mother of Tubal-cain; and llx tsalal signifies to tinkle or make a sound like a bell, 1 Sam. iii. 11 2 Kings xxi. 12. 4. Vulcan is said to have been lame; M. Deuteronomy Lavaur thinks that this notion was taken from the noun alx tsela, which signifies a halting or lameness. 5. Vulcan had to wife Venus, the goddess of beauty; Naamah, the sister of Tubal- cain, he thinks, may have given rise to this part of the fable, as her name in Hebrew signifies beautiful or gracious. 6. Vulcan is reported to have been jealous of his wife, and to have forged nets in which he took Mars and her, and exposed them to the view of the whole celestial court: this idea he thinks was derived from the literal import of the name Tubal-cain; lbt tebel signifies an incestuous mixture of relatives, Lev. xx. 12; and anq kana, to burn with jealousy; from these and concomitant circumstances the case of the detected adultery of Mars and Venus might be easily deduced. He is of opinion that a tradition of this kind might have readily found its way from the Egyptians to the Greeks, as the former had frequent intercourse with the Hebrews.

Of Naamah nothing more is spoken in the Scriptures; but the Targum of Jonathan ben Uzziel makes her the inventress of funeral songs and lamentations. R. S. Jarchi says she was the wife of Noah, and quotes Bereshith Rabba in support of the opinion. Some of the Jewish doctors say her name is recorded in Scripture because she was an upright and chaste woman; but others affirm that the whole world wandered after her, and that of her evil spirits were born into the world. This latter opinion gives some countenance to that of M. Deuteronomy Lavaur.

Verse 23. And Lamech said unto his wives] The speech of Lamech to his wives is in hemistichs in the original, and consequently, as nothing of this kind occurs before this time, it is very probably the oldest piece of poetry in the world.

The following is, as nearly as possible, a literal translation:

"And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Tsillah, hear ye my voice; Wives of Lamech, hearken to my speech; For I have slain a man for wounding me, And a young man for having bruised me. If Cain shall be avenged seven-fold, Also Lamech seventy and seven."

It is supposed that Lamech had slain a man in his own defense, and that his wives being alarmed lest the kindred of the deceased should seek his life in return, to quiet their fears he makes this speech, in which he endeavours to prove that there was no room for fear on this account; for if the slayer of the wilful murderer, Cain, should suffer a seven- fold punishment, surely he, who should kill Lamech for having slain a man in self-defense, might expect a seventy-seven- fold punishment.

This speech is very dark, and has given rise to a great variety of very strange conjectures. Dr. Shuckford supposes there is an ellipsis of some preceding speech or circumstance which, if known, would cast a light on the subject. In the antediluvian times, the nearest of kin to a murdered person had a right to revenge his death by taking away the life of the murderer. This, as we have already seen, appears to have contributed not a little to Cain's horror, ver. 14. Now we may suppose that the descendants of Cain were in continual alarms, lest some of the other family should attempt to avenge the death of Hebel on them, as they were not permitted to do it on Cain; and that in order to dismiss those fears, Lamech, the seventh descendant from Adam, spoke to this effect to his wives: "Why should you render yourselves miserable by such ill-founded fears? We have slain no person; we have not done the least wrong to our brethren of the other family; surely then reason should dictate to you that they have no right to injure us. It is true that Cain, one of our ancestors, killed his brother Hebel; but God, willing to pardon his sin, and give him space to repent, threatened to punish those with a seven-fold punishment who should dare to kill him. If this be so, then those who should have the boldness to kill any of us who are innocent, may expect a punishment still more rigorous. For if Cain should be avenged seven-fold on the person who should slay him, surely Lamech or any of his innocent family should be avenged seventy- seven-fold on those who should injure them." The Targums give nearly the same meaning, and it makes a good sense; but who can say it is the true sense? If the words be read interrogatively, as they certainly may, the sense will be much clearer, and some of the difficulties will be removed:

"Have I slain a man, that I should be wounded? Or a young man, that I should be bruised?" But even this still supposes some previous reason or conversation. I shall not trouble my readers with a ridiculous Jewish fable, followed by St. Jerome, of Lamech having killed Cain by accident, &c.; and after what I have already said, I must leave the passage, I fear, among those which are inscrutable.

Verse 25. God-hath appointed me another seed instead of Hebel] Eve must have received on this occasion some Divine communication, else how could she have known that this son was appointed in the place of Hebel, to continue that holy line by which the Messiah was to come? From this we see that the line of the Messiah was determined from the beginning, and that it was not first fixed in the days of Abraham; for the promise was then only renewed, and that branch of his family designated by which the sacred line was to be continued. And it is worthy of remark, that Seth's posterity alone continued after the flood, when all the other families of the earth were destroyed, Noah being the tenth descendant from Adam through Seth. Though all these persons are mentioned in the following chapter, I shall produce them here in the order of their succession: 1. Adam; 2. Seth; 3. Enos; 4. Cainan; 5. Mahalaleel; 6. Jared; 7. Enoch; 8. Methuselah; 9. Lamech, (the second;) 10. Noah. In order to keep this line distinct, we find particular care was taken that, where there were two or more sons in a family, the one through whom God particularly designed to bring his Son into the world was, by some especial providence, pointed out. Thus in the family of Adam, Seth was chosen; in the family of Noah, Shem; in the family of Abraham, Isaac; and in that of David, Solomon and Nathan. All these things God watched over by an especial providence from the beginning, that when Jesus Christ should come it might be clearly seen that he came by the promise, through grace, and not by nature.

Verse 26. Then began men to call upon the name of the Lord.] The marginal reading is, Then began men to call themselves by the name of the Lord; which words are supposed to signify that in the time of Enos the true followers of God began to distinguish themselves, and to be distinguished by others, by the appellation of sons of God; those of the other branch of Adam's family, among whom the Divine worship was not observed, being distinguished by the name, children of men. It must not be dissembled that many eminent men have contended that ljwh huchal, which we translate began, should be rendered began profanely, or then profanation began, and from this time they date the origin of idolatry. Most of the Jewish doctors were of this opinion, and Maimonides has discussed it at some length in his Treatise on Idolatry; as this piece is curious, and gives the most probable account of the origin and progress of idolatry, I shall insert it here.

"In the days of Enos the sons of Adam erred with great error, and the counsel of the wise men of that age became brutish, and Enos himself was (one) of them that erred; and their error was this: they said, Forasmuch as God hath created these stars and spheres to govern the world, and set them on high, and imparted honour unto them, and they are ministers that minister before him; it is meet that men should laud, and glorify, and give them honour. For this is the will of God, that we magnify and honour whomsoever he magnifieth and honoureth; even as a king would have them honoured that stand before him, and this is the honour of the king himself. When this thing was come up into their hearts they began to build temples unto the stars, and to offer sacrifice unto them, and to laud and glorify them with words, and to worship before them, that they might in their evil opinion obtain favour of the Creator; and this was the root of idolatry, &c.

And in process of time there stood up false prophets among the sons of Adam, which said that God had commanded and said unto them, Worship such a star, or all the stars, and do sacrifice unto them thus and thus; and build a temple for it, and make an image of it, that all the people, women, and children may worship it. And the false prophet showed them the image which he had feigned out of his own heart, and said it was the image of such a star, which was made known unto him by prophecy. And they began after this manner to make images in temples, and under trees, and on tops of mountains and hills, and assembled together and worshipped them, &c. And this thing was spread through all the world, to serve images with services different one from another, and to sacrifice unto and worship them. So, in process of time, the glorious and fearful name (of God) was forgotten out of the mouth of all living, and out of their knowledge, and they acknowledged him not. And there was found no people on the earth that knew aught, save images of wood and stone, and temples of stone, which they had been trained up from their childhood to worship and serve, and to swear by their names. And the wise men that were among them, as the priests and such like, thought there was no God save the stars and spheres, for whose sake and in whose likeness they had made these images; but as for the Rock everlasting, there was no man that acknowledged him or knew him save a few persons in the world, as Enoch, Methuselah, Noah, Sham, and Heber. And in this way did the world walk and converse till that pillar of the world, Abraham our father, was born." Maim. in Mishn, and Ainsworth in loco.

1. WE see here the vast importance of worshipping God according to his own mind; no sincerity, no uprightness of intention, can atone for the neglect of positive commands delivered in Divine revelation, when this revelation is known. He who will bring a eucharistic offering instead of a sacrifice, while a sin-offering lieth at the door, as he copies Cain's conduct, may expect to be treated in the same manner. Reader, remember that thou hast an entrance unto the holiest through the veil, that is to say his flesh; and those who come in this way, God will in nowise cast out.

2. We see the horrible nature of envy: its eye is evil merely because God is good; it easily begets hatred; hatred, deep- settled malice; and malice, murder! Watch against the first appearance of this most destructive passion, the prime characteristic of which is to seek the destruction of the object of its malevolence, and finally to ruin its possessor.

3. Be thankful to God that, as weakness increased and wants became multiplied, God enabled man to find out useful inventions, so as to lessen excessive labour, and provide every thing indispensably necessary for the support of life. He who carefully attends to the dictates of honest, sober industry, is never likely to perish for lack of the necessaries of life.

4. As the followers of God at this early period found it indispensably necessary to separate themselves from all those who were irreligious and profane, and to make a public profession of their attachment to the truth, so it should be now. There are still men of profane minds. whose spirit and conduct are destructive to godliness; and in reference to such the permanent order of God is, Come out from among them, touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you. He who is not determined to be a Christian at all events, is not far from being an infidel. Those only who confess Christ among men shall be acknowledged before his Father and the angels of God. CHAPTER V

A recapitulation of the account of the creation of man, 1, 2; and of the birth of Seth, 3. Genealogy of the ten antediluvian patriarchs, 3-31. Enoch's extraordinary piety, 22; his translation to heaven without seeing death, 24. The birth of Noah, and the reason of his name, 29; his age at the birth of Japheth, 32.


Verse 1. The book of the generations] rps sepher, in Hebrew, which we generally translate book, signifies a register, an account, any kind of writing, even a letter, such as the bill of divorce. Here It means the account or register of the generations of Adam or his descendants to the five hundredth year of the life of Noah.

In the likeness of God made he him] This account is again introduced to keep man in remembrance of the heights of glory whence he bad fallen; and to prove to him that the miseries and death consequent on his present state were produced by his transgression, and did not flow from his original state. For, as he was created in the image of God, he was created free from natural and moral evil. As the deaths of the patriarchs are now to be mentioned, it was necessary to introduce them by this observation, in order to justify the ways of God to man.

Verse 3. And Adam lived a hundred and thirty years, &c.] The Scripture chronology especially in the ages of some of the antediluvian and postdiluvian patriarchs, has exceedingly puzzled chronologists, critics, and divines. The printed Hebrew text, the Samaritan, the Septuagint, and Josephus, are all different, and have their respective vouchers and defenders. The following tables of the genealogies of the patriarchs before and after the flood, according to the Hebrew, Samaritan, and Septuagint, will at once exhibit the discordances.

For much satisfactory information on this subject I must refer to A New Analysis of Chronology, by the Rev. William Hales, D.D., 3 vols. 4to., London, 1809.

And begat a son in his own likeness, after his image] Words nearly the same with those chap. i. 26: Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. What this image and likeness of God were, we have already seen, and we may rest assured that the same image and likeness are not meant here. The body of Adam was created provisionally immortal, i.e. while he continued obedient he could not die; but his obedience was voluntary, and his state a probationary one. The soul of Adam was created in the moral image of God, in knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness. He had now sinned, and consequently had lost his moral resemblance to his Maker; he had also become mortal through his breach of the law. His image and likeness were therefore widely different at this time from what they were before; and his begetting children in this image and likeness plainly implies that they were imperfect like himself, mortal like himself, sinful and corrupt like himself. For it is impossible that he, being impure, fallen from the Divine image, could beget a pure and holy offspring, unless we could suppose it possible that a bitter fountain could send forth sweet waters, or that a cause could produce effects totally dissimilar from itself. What is said here of Seth might have been said of all the other children of Adam, as they were all begotten after his fall; but the sacred writer has thought proper to mark it only in this instance.

Verse 22. And Enoch walked with God] three hundred years] There are several things worthy of our most particular notice in this account:

1. The name of this patriarch; Enoch, from ûnj chanack, which signifies to instruct, to initiate, to dedicate. From his subsequent conduct we are authorized to believe he was early instructed in the things of God, initiated into the worship of his Maker, and dedicated to his service. By these means, under the influence of the Divine Spirit, which will ever attend pious parental instructions, his mind got that sacred bias which led him to act a part so distinguished through the course of a long life.

2. His religious conduct. He walked with God; ûlhty yithhallech, he set himself to walk, he was fixedly purposed and determined to live to God. Those who are acquainted with the original will at once see that it has this force. A verb in the conjugation called hithpael signifies a reciprocal act, that which a man does upon himself: here we may consider Enoch receiving a pious education, and the Divine influence through it; in consequence of which he determines to be a worker with God, and therefore takes up the resolution to walk with his Maker, that he might not receive the grace of God in vain.

3. The circumstances in which he was placed. He was a patriarch; the king, the priest, and the prophet of a numerous family, to whom he was to administer justice, among whom he was to perform all the rites and ceremonies of religion, and teach, both by precept and example, the way of truth and righteousness. Add to this, he was a married man, he had a numerous family of his own, independently of the collateral branches over which he was obliged, as patriarch, to preside; he walked three hundred years with God, and begat sons and daughters; therefore marriage is no hinderance even to the perfection of piety; much less inconsistent with it, as some have injudiciously taught.

4. The astonishing height of piety to which he had arrived; being cleansed from all filthiness of the flesh and of the spirit, and having perfected holiness in the fear of God, we find not only his soul but his body purified, so that, without being obliged to visit the empire of death, he was capable of immediate translation to the paradise of God. There are few cases of this kind on record; but probably there might be more, many more, were the followers of God more faithful to the grace they receive.

5. Enoch attained this state of religious and spiritual excellence in a time when, comparatively speaking, there were few helps, and no written revelation. Here then we cannot but see and admire how mighty the grace of God is, and what wonders it works in the behalf of those who are faithful, who set themselves to walk with God. It is not the want of grace nor of the means of grace that is the cause of the decay of this primitive piety, but the want of faithfulness in those who have the light, and yet will not walk as children of the light.

6. If the grace of God could work such a mighty change in those primitive times, when life and immortality were not brought to light by the Gospel, what may we not expect in these times, in which the Son of God tabernacles among men, in which God gives the Holy Spirit to them who ask him, in which all things are possible to him who believes? No man can prove that Enoch had greater spiritual advantages than any of the other patriarchs, though it seems pretty evident that he made a better use of those that were common to all than any of the rest did; and it would be absurd to say that he had greater spiritual helps and advantages than Christians can now expect, for he lived under a dispensation much less perfect than that of the LAW, and yet the law itself was only the shadow of the glorious substance of Gospel blessings and Gospel privileges.

7. It is said that Enoch not only walked with God, setting him always before his eyes, beginning, continuing, and ending every work to his glory, but also that he pleased God, and had the testimony that he did please God, Heb. xi. 5. Hence we learn that it was then possible to live so as not to offend God, consequently so as not to commit sin against him; and to have the continual evidence or testimony that all that a man did and purposed was pleasing in the sight of Him who searches the heart, and by whom devices are weighed: and if it was possible then, it is surely, through the same grace, possible now; for God, and Christ, and faith, are still the same.

Verse 27. The days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years] This is the longest life mentioned in Scripture, and probably the longest ever lived; but we have not authority to say positively that it was the longest. Before the flood, and before artificial refinements were much known and cultivated, the life of man was greatly protracted, and yet of him who lived within thirty-one years of a thousand it is said he died; and the longest life is but as a moment when it is past. Though life is uncertain, precarious, and full of natural evils, yet it is a blessing in all its periods if devoted to the glory of God and the interest of the soul; for while it lasts we may more and more acquaint ourselves with God and be at peace, and thereby good shall come unto us; Job xxii. 21.

Verse 29. This same shall comfort us] This is an allusion, as some think, to the name a Noah, which they derive from µjn nacham, to comfort; but it is much more likely that it comes from jn nach or jwn nuach, to rest, to settle, &c. And what is more comfortable than rest after toil and labour? These words seem to have been spoken prophetically concerning Noah, who built the ark for the preservation of the human race, and who seems to have been a typical person; for when he offered his sacrifice after the drying up of the waters, it is said that God smelled a savour of REST, and said he would not curse the ground any more for man's sake, chap. viii. 21; and from that time the earth seems to have had upon an average the same degree of fertility; and the life of man, in a few generations after, was settled in the mean at threescore years and ten. See chap. ix. 3. Verse 32. Noah begat Shem, Ham, and Japheth.] From Genesis x. 21; 1 Chron. i. 5, &c., we learn that Japheth was the eldest son of Noah, but Shem is mentioned first, because it was from him, in a direct line, that the Messiah came. Ham was certainly the youngest of Noah's sons, and from what we read, Genesis ix. 22, the worst of them; and how he comes to be mentioned out of his natural order is not easy to be accounted for. When the Scriptures design to mark precedency, though the subject be a younger son or brother, he is always mentioned first; so Jacob is named before Esau, his elder brother, and Ephraim before Manasses. See chap. xxviii. 5; xlviii. 20.

AMONG many important things presented to our view in this chapter, several of which have been already noticed, we may observe that, of all the antediluvian patriarchs, Enoch, who was probably the best man, was the shortest time upon earth; his years were exactly as the days in a solar revolution, viz., three hundred and sixty-five; and like the sun he fulfilled a glorious course, shining more and more unto the perfect day, and was taken, when in his meridian splendour, to shine like the sun in the kingdom of his Father for ever.

From computation it appears, 1. That Adam lived to see Lamech, the ninth generation, in the fifty-sixth year of whose life he died; and as he was the first who lived, and the first that sinned, so he was the first who tasted death in a natural way. Hebel's was not a natural but a violent death. 2. That Enoch was taken away next after Adam, seven patriarchs remaining witness of his translation. 3. That all the nine first patriarchs were taken away before the flood came, which happened in the six hundredth year of Noah's life. 4. That Methuselah lived till the very year in which the flood came, of which his name is supposed to have been prophetical wtm methu, "he dieth," and jl� shalach, "he sendeth out;" as if God had designed to teach men that as soon as Methuselah died the flood should be sent forth to drown an ungodly world. If this were then so understood, even the name of this patriarch contained in it a gracious warning. See the genealogical plate after chap. xi. CHAPTER VI

The children of God, among whom the true religion was at first preserved, corrupt it by forming matrimonial connections with irreligious women, 1, 2. God, displeased with these connections and their consequences, limits the continuance of the old world to one hundred and twenty years, 3. The issue of those improper connections termed giants, 4. An affecting description of the depravity of the world, 5, 6. God threatens the destruction of every living creature, 7. Noah and his family find grace in his sight, 8. The character and family of Noah, 9, 10. And a farther description of the corruption of man, 11, 12. Noah is forewarned of the approaching destruction of the human race, 13; and is ordered to build an ark for the safety of himself and household, the form and dimensions of which are particularly described, 14- 16. The deluge threatened, 17. The covenant of God's mercy is to be established between him and the family of Noah, 18. A male and female of all kinds of animals that could not live in the waters to be brought into the ark, 19, 20. Noah is commanded to provide food for their sustenance, 21; and punctually follows all these directions, 22.


Verse 1. When men began to multiply] It was not at this time that men began to multiply, but the inspired penman speaks now of a fact which had taken place long before. As there is a distinction made here between men and those called the sons of God, it is generally supposed that the immediate posterity of Cain and that of Seth are intended. The first were mere men, such as fallen nature may produce, degenerate sons of a degenerate father, governed by the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eye, and the pride of life. The others were sons of God, not angels, as some have dreamed, but such as were, according to our Lord's doctrine, born again, born from above, John iii. 3, 5,6, &c., and made children of God by the influence of the Holy Spirit, Gal. v. 6. The former were apostates from the true religion, the latter were those among whom it was preserved and cultivated.

Dr. Wall supposes the first verses of this chapter should be paraphrased thus: "When men began to multiply on the earth, the chief men took wives of all the handsome poor women they chose. There were tyrants in the earth in those days; and also after the antediluvian days powerful men had unlawful connections with the inferior women, and the children which sprang from this illicit commerce were the renowned heroes of antiquity, of whom the heathens made their gods."

Verse 3. My spirit shall not always strive] It is only by the influence of the Spirit of God that the carnal mind can be subdued and destroyed; but those who wilfully resist and grieve that Spirit must be ultimately left to the hardness and blindness of their own hearts, if they do not repent and turn to God. God delights in mercy, and therefore a gracious warning is given. Even at this time the earth was ripe for destruction; but God promised them one hundred and twenty years' respite: if they repented in that interim, well; if not, they should be destroyed by a flood. See on "ver. 5"

Verse 4. There were giants in the earth] µylpn nephilim, from lpn naphal, "he fell." Those who had apostatized or fallen from the true religion. The Septuagint translate the original word by gigantev, which literally signifies earth-born, and which we, following them, term giants, without having any reference to the meaning of the word, which we generally conceive to signify persons of enormous stature. But the word when properly understood makes a very just distinction between the sons of men and the sons of God; those were the nephilim, the fallen earth-born men, with the animal and devilish mind. These were the sons of God, who were born from above; children of the kingdom, because children of God. Hence we may suppose originated the different appellatives given to sinners and saints; the former were termed gigantev, earth-born, and the latter, agioi, i.e. saints, persons not of the earth, or separated from the earth.

The same became mighty men-men of renown.] myrbg gibborim, which we render mighty men, signifies properly conquerors, heroes, from rbg gabar, "he prevailed, was victorious." and µ�h y�na anshey hashshem, "men of the name," anqrwpoi onomastpi, Septuagint; the same as we render men of renown, renominati, twice named, as the word implies, having one name which they derived from their fathers, and another which they acquired by their daring exploits and enterprises.

It may be necessary to remark here that our translators have rendered seven different Hebrew words by the one term giants, viz., nephilim, gibborim, enachim, rephaim, emim, and zamzummim; by which appellatives are probably meant in general persons of great knowledge, piety, courage, wickedness, &c., and not men of enormous stature, as is generally conjectured.

Verse 5. The wickedness of man was great] What an awful character does God give of the inhabitants of the antediluvian world! 1. They were flesh, (ver. 3,) wholly sensual, the desires of the mind overwhelmed and lost in the desires of the flesh, their souls no longer discerning their high destiny, but ever minding earthly things, so that they were sensualized, brutalized, and become flesh; incarnated so as not to retain God in their knowledge, and they lived, seeking their portion in this life. 2. They were in a state of wickedness. All was corrupt within, and all unrighteous without; neither the science nor practice of religion existed. Piety was gone, and every form of sound words had disappeared. 3. This wickedness was great hbr rabbah, "was multiplied;" it was continually increasing and multiplying increase by increase, so that the whole earth was corrupt before God, and was filled with violence, (ver. 11;) profligacy among the lower, and cruelty and oppression among the higher classes, being only predominant. 4. All the imaginations of their thoughts were evil - the very first embryo of every idea, the figment of every thought, the very materials out of which perception, conception, and ideas were formed, were all evil; the fountain which produced them, with every thought, purpose, wish, desire, and motive, was incurably poisoned. 5. All these were evil without any mixture of good - the Spirit of God which strove with them was continually resisted, so that evil had its sovereign sway. 6. They were evil continually - there was no interval of good, no moment allowed for serious reflection, no holy purpose, no righteous act. What a finished picture of a fallen soul! Such a picture as God alone, who searches the heart and tries the spirit, could possibly give. 7. To complete the whole, God represents himself as repenting because he had made them, and as grieved at the heart because of their iniquities! Had not these been voluntary transgressions, crimes which they might have avoided, had they not grieved and quenched the Spirit of God, could he speak of them in the manner he does here? 8. So incensed is the most holy and the most merciful God, that he is determined to destroy the work of his hands: And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created; ver. 7. How great must the evil have been, and how provoking the transgressions, which obliged the most compassionate God, for the vindication of his own glory, to form this awful purpose! Fools make a mock at sin, but none except fools.

Verse 8. Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.] Why? Because he was, 1. A just man, qydx �ya ish tsaddik, a man who gave to all their due; for this is the ideal meaning of the original word. 2. He was perfect in his generation - he was in all things a consistent character, never departing from the truth in principle or practice. 3. He walked with God - he was not only righteous in his conduct, but he was pious, and had continual communion with God. The same word is used here as before in the case of Enoch. See chap. v. 22.

Verse 11. The earth also was corrupt] See on "ver. 5".

Verse 13. I will destroy them with the earth.] Not only the human race was to he destroyed, but all terrestrial animals, i.e. those which could not live in the waters. These must necessarily be destroyed when the whole surface of the earth was drowned. But destroying the earth may probably mean the alteration of its constitution. Dr. Woodward, in his natural history of the earth, has rendered it exceedingly probable that the whole terrestrial substance was amalgamated with the waters, after which the different materials of its composition settled in beds or strata according to their respective gravities. This theory, however, is disputed by others.

Verse 14. Make thee an ark] tbt tebath, a word which is used only to express this vessel, and that in which Moses was preserved, Exod. ii. 3, 5. It signifies no more than our word vessel in its common acceptation-a hollow place capable of containing persons, goods, &c., without any particular reference to shape or form. Gopher wood] Some think the cedar is meant; others, the cypress.

Bochart renders this probable, 1. From the appellation, supposing the Greek word kuparissov, cypress, was formed from the Hebrew rpg , gopher; for take away the termination issov, and then gopher and kupar will have a near resemblance. 2. Because the cypress is not liable to rot, nor to be injured by worms. 3. The cypress was anciently used for ship- building. 4. This wood abounded in Assyria, where it is probable Noah built the ark. After all, the word is of doubtful signification, and occurs nowhere else in the Scriptures. The Septuagint render the place, ek xulwn tetpagwnwn, "of square timber;" and the Vulgate, de lignis laevigatis, "of planed timber;" so it is evident that these translators knew not what kind of wood was intended by the original. The Syriac and Arabic trifle with the passage, rendering it wicker work, as if the ark had been a great basket! Both the Targums render it cedar; and the Persian, pine or fir.

Verse 15. Thou shalt make-the length of the ark-three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits] Allowing the cubit, which is the length from the elbow to the tip of the middle finger, to be eighteen inches, the ark must have been four hundred and fifty feet in length, seventy-five in breadth, and forty-five in height. But that the ancient cubit was more than eighteen inches has been demonstrated by Mr. Greaves, who traveled in Greece, Palestine, and Egypt, in order to be able to ascertain the weights, moneys, and measures of antiquity. He measured the pyramids in Egypt, and comparing the accounts which Herodotus, Strabo, and others, give of their size, he found the length of a cubit to be twenty-one inches and eight hundred and eighty-eight decimal parts out of a thousand, or nearly twenty-two inches. Hence the cube of a cubit is evidently ten thousand four hundred and eighty-six inches. And from this it will appear that the three hundred cubits of the ark's length make five hundred and forty-seven feet; the fifty for its breadth, ninety-one feet two inches; and the thirty for its height, fifty-four feet eight inches. When these dimensions are examined, the ark will be found to be a vessel whose capacity was more than sufficient to contain all persons and animals said to have been in it, with sufficient food for each for more than twelve months. This vessel Dr. Arbuthnot computes to have been eighty-one thousand and sixty-two tons in burden.

As many have supposed the capacity of the ark to have been much too small for the things which were contained in it, it will be necessary to examine this subject thoroughly, that every difficulty may be removed. The things contained in the ark, besides the eight persons of Noah's family, were one pair of all unclean animals, and seven pairs of all clean animals. with provisions for all sufficient for twelve months.

At the first view the number of animals may appear so immense that no space but the forest could be thought sufficient to contain them. If, however, we come to a calculation, the number of the different genera or kinds of animals will be found much less than is generally imagined. It is a question whether in this account any but the different genera of animals necessary to be brought into the ark should be included Naturalists have divided the whole system of zoology into CLASSES and ORDERS, containing genera and species. There are six classes thus denominated: 1. Mammalia; 2. Aves; 3. Amphibia; 4. Pisces; 5. Insectae; and 6. Vermes. With the three last of these, viz., fishes, insects, and worms, the question can have little to do.

The first CLASS, Mammalia, or animals with teats, contains seven orders, and only forty-three genera if we except the seventh order, cete, i.e. all the whale kind, which certainly need not come into this account. The different species in this class amount, the cete excluded, to five hundred and forty-three.

The second CLASS, Aves, birds, contains six orders, and only seventy-four genera, if we exclude the third order, anseres, or web-footed fowls, all of which could very well live in the water. The different species in this class, the anseres excepted, amount to two thousand three hundred and seventy- two.

The third CLASS, Amphibia, contains only two orders, reptiles and serpents; these comprehend ten genera, and three hundred and sixty-six species, but of the reptiles many could live in the water, such as the tortoise, frog, &c. Of the former there are thirty-three species, of the latter seventeen, which excluded reduce the number to three hundred and sixteen. The whole of these would occupy but little room in the ark, for a small portion of earth, &c., in the hold would be sufficient for their accommodation.

Bishop Wilkins, who has written largely and with his usual accuracy on this subject, supposes that quadrupeds do not amount to one hundred different kinds, nor birds which could not live in the water to two hundred. Of quadrupeds he shows that only seventy-two species needed a place in the ark, and the birds he divides into nine classes, including in the whole one hundred and ninety-five kinds, from which all the web-footed should be deducted, as these could live in the water.

He computes all the carnivorous animals equivalent, as to the bulk of their bodies and food, to twenty-seven wolves; and all the rest to one hundred and eighty oxen. For the former he allows one thousand eight hundred and twenty-five sheep for their annual consumption; and for the latter, one hundred and nine thousand five hundred cubits of hay: these animals and their food will be easily contained In the two first stories, and much room to spare; as to the third story, no person can doubt its being sufficient for the fowls, with Noah and his family.

One sheep each day he judges will be sufficient for six wolves; and a square cubit of hay, which contains forty-one pounds, as ordinarily pressed in our ricks, will he amply sufficient for one ox in the day. When the quantum of room which these animals and their provender required for one year, is compared with the capacity of the ark, we shall be led to conclude, with the learned bishop, "that of the two it is more difficult to assign a number and bulk of necessary things to answer to the capacity of the ark, than to find sufficient room for the several species of animals and their food already known to have been there." This he attributes to the imperfection of our lists of animals, especially those of the unknown parts of the earth; and adds, "that the most expert mathematicians at this day," and he was one of the first in Europe, "could not assign the proportion of a vessel better accommodated to the purpose than is here done;" and concludes thus: "The capacity of the ark, which has been made an objection against Scripture, ought to be esteemed a confirmation of its Divine authority; since, in those ruder ages men, being less versed in arts and philosophy, were more obnoxious to vulgar prejudices than now, so that had it been a human invention it would have been contrived, according to those wild apprehensions which arise from a confused and general view of things, as much too big as it has been represented too little." See Bishop Wilkins's Essay towards a Philosophical Character and Language. Verse 16. A window shalt thou make] What this was cannot be absolutely ascertained. The original word rhx tsohar signifies clear or bright; the Septuagint translate it by epwunagwn, "collecting, thou shalt make the ark," which plainly shows they did not understand the word as signifying any kind of window or light. Symmacbus translates it diafanev, a transparency; and Aquila, meshmbrinon, the noon. Jonathan ben Uzziel supposes that it was a precious luminous stone which Noah, by Divine command, brought from the river Pison. It is probably a word which should be taken in a collective sense, signifying apertures for air and light.

In a cubit shalt thou finish it above] Probably meaning that the roof should be left a cubit broad at the apex or top, and that it should not terminate in a sharp ridge. But this place is variously understood.

Verse 17. I-do bring a flood] lwbm ; mabbul; a word used only to designate the general deluge, being never applied to signify any other kind of inundation; and does not the Holy Spirit intend to show by this that no other flood was ever like this, and that it should continue to be the sole one of the kind? There have been many partial inundations in various countries, but never more than ONE general deluge; and we have God's promise, chap. ix. 15, that there shall never be another.

Verse 18. With thee will I establish my covenant] The word tyrb berith, from rb bar, to purify or cleanse, signifies properly a purification or purifier, (see on chap. 15.,) because in all covenants made between God and man, sin and sinfulness were ever supposed to be on man's side, and that God could not enter into any covenant or engagement with him without a purifier; hence, in all covenants, a sacrifice was offered for the removal of offenses, and the reconciliation of God to the sinner; and hence the word tyrb berith signifies not only a covenant, but also the sacrifice offered on the occasion, Exod. xxiv. 8; Psa. l. 5; and Jesus Christ, the great atonement and purifier, has the same word for his title, Isa. xlii. 6; xlix. 8; and Zech. ix. 11.

Almost all nations, in forming alliances, &c., made their covenants or contracts in the same way. A sacrifice was provided, its throat was cut, and its blood poured out before God; then the whole carcass was divided through the spinal marrow from the head to the rump; so as to make exactly two equal parts; these were placed opposite to each other, and the contracting parties passed between them, or entering at opposite ends met in the center, and there took the covenant oath. This is particularly referred to by Jeremiah, Jer. xxxiv. 18, 19, 20: "I will give the men (into the hands of their enemies, Jer. xxxiv. 20) that have transgressed my covenant, which have not performed the words of the covenant which they made before me, when they cut the calf in twain, and passed between the parts thereof," &c. See also Deut. xxix. 12.

A covenant, says Mr. Ainsworth, is a disposition of good things faithfully declared, which God here calls his, as arising from his grace towards Noah (ver. 8) and all men; but implying also conditions on man's part, and therefore is called our covenant, Zech. ix. 11. The apostles call it diaqhkh, a testament or disposition; and it is mixed of the properties both of covenant and testament, as the apostle shows, Heb. ix. 16, &c., and of both may be named a testamental covenant, whereby the disposing of God's favours and good things to us is declared. The covenant made with Noah signified, on God's part, that he should save Noah and his family from death by the ark. On Noah's part, that he should in faith and obedience make and enter into the ark- Thou shalt come into the ark, &c., so committing himself to God's preservation, Heb. xi. 7. And under this the covenant or testament of eternal salvation by Christ was also implied, the apostle testifying, 1 Pet. iii. 21, that the antitype, baptism, doth also now save us; for baptism is a seal of our salvation, Mark xvi. 16. To provide a saviour, and the means of salvation, is GOD'S part: to accept this saviour, laying hold on the hope set before us, is ours. Those who refuse the way and means of salvation must perish; those who accept of the great Covenant Sacrifice cannot perish, but shall have eternal life. See on chap. xv. 10, &c.

Verse 19. To keep them alive] God might have destroyed all the animal creation, and created others to occupy the new world, but he chose rather to preserve those already created. The Creator and Preserver of the universe does nothing but what is essentially necessary to be done. Nothing should be wantonly wasted; nor should power or skill be lavished where no necessity exists; and yet it required more means and economy to preserve the old than to have created new ones. Such respect has God to the work of his hands, that nothing but what is essential to the credit of his justice and holiness shall ever induce him to destroy any thing he has made.

Verse 21. Of all food that is eaten] That is, of the food proper for every species of animals.

Verse 22. Thus did Noah] He prepared the ark; and during one hundred and twenty years preached righteousness to that sinful generation, 2 Pet. ii. 5. And this we are informed, 1 Pet. iii. 18, 19, &c., he did by the Spirit of Christ; for it was only through him that the doctrine of repentance could ever be successfully preached. The people in Noah's time are represented as shut up in prison - arrested and condemned by God's justice, but graciously allowed the space of one hundred and twenty years to repent in. This respite was an act of great mercy; and no doubt thousands who died in the interim availed themselves of it, and believed to the saving of their souls. But the great majority of the people did not, else the flood had never come. CHAPTER VII

God informs Noah that within seven days he shall send a rain upon the earth, that shall continue for forty days and nights; and therefore commands him to take his family, with the different clean and unclean animals, and enter the ark, 1-4. This command punctually obeyed, 5-9. In the seventeenth day of the second month, in the six hundredth year of Noah's life, the waters, from the opened windows of heaven, and the broken up fountains of the great deep, were poured out upon the earth, 10-12. The different quadrupeds, fowls, and reptiles come unto Noah, and the Lord shuts him and them in, 13-16. The waters increase, and the ark floats, 17. The whole earth is covered with water fifteen cubits above the highest mountains, 18-20. All terrestrial animals die, 21-23. And the waters prevail one hundred and fifty days, 24.


Verse 1. Thee have I seen righteous] See on "chap. vi. 9"

Verse 2. Of every clean beast] So we find the distinction between clean and unclean animals existed long before the Mosaic law. This distinction seems to have been originally designed to mark those animals which were proper for sacrifice and food, from those that were not. See Leviticus 11.

Verse 4. For yet seven days] God spoke these words probably on the seventh or Sabbath day, and the days of the ensuing week were employed in entering the ark, in embarking the mighty troop, for whose reception ample provision had been already made.

Forty days] This period became afterwards sacred, and was considered a proper space for humiliation. Moses fasted forty days, Deut. ix. 9, 11; so did Elijah, 1 Kings xix. 8; so did our Lord, Matt. iv. 2. Forty days' respite were given to the Ninevites that they might repent, Jon iii. 4; and thrice forty (one hundred and twenty) years were given to the old world for the same gracious purpose, chap. vi. 3. The forty days of Lent, in commemoration of our Lord's fasting, have a reference to the same thing; as each of these seems to be deduced from this primitive judgment.

Verse 11. In the six hundredth year, &c.] This must have been in the beginning of the six hundredth year of his life; for he was a year in the ark, chap. viii. 13; and lived three hundred and fifty years after the flood, and died nine hundred and fifty years old, chap. ix. 29; so it is evident that, when the flood commenced, he had just entered on his six hundredth year.

Second month] The first month was Tisri, which answers to the latter half of September, and first half of October; and the second was Mareheshvan, which answers to part of October and part of November. After the deliverance from Egypt, the beginning of the year was changed from Marcheshvan to Nisan, which answers to a part of our March and April. But it is not likely that this reckoning obtained before the flood. Dr. Lightfoot very probably conjectures that Methuselah was alive in the first month of this year. And it appears, says he, how clearly the Spirit of prophecy foretold of things to come, when it directed his father Enoch almost a thousand years before to name him Methuselah, which signifies they die by a dart; or, he dieth, and then is the dart; or, he dieth, end then it is sent. And thus Adam and Methuselah had measured the whole time between the creation and the flood, and lived above two hundred and forty years together. See chap. v. at the end. Were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.] It appears that an immense quantity of waters occupied the center of the antediluvian earth; and as these burst forth, by the order of God, the circumambient strata must sink, in order to fill up the vacuum occasioned by the elevated waters. This is probably what is meant by breaking up the fountains of the great deep. These waters, with the seas on the earth's surface, might be deemed sufficient to drown the whole globe, as the waters now on its surface are nearly three-fourths of the whole, as has been accurately ascertained by Dr. Long. See note on "chap. i. 10".

By the opening of the windows of heaven is probably meant the precipitating all the aqueous vapours which were suspended in the whole atmosphere, so that, as Moses expresses it, chap. i. 7, the waters that were above the firmament were again united to the waters which were below the firmament, from which on the second day of creation they had been separated. A multitude of facts have proved that water itself is composed of two airs, oxygen and hydrogen; and that 85 parts of the first and 15 of the last, making 100 in the whole, will produce exactly 100 parts of water. And thus it is found that these two airs form the constituent parts of water in the above proportions. The electric spark, which is the same as lightning, passing through these airs, decomposes them and converts them to water. And to this cause we may probably attribute the rain which immediately follows the flash of lightning and peal of thunder. God therefore, by the means of lightning, might have converted the whole atmosphere into water, for the purpose of drowning the globe, had there not been a sufficiency of merely aqueous vapours suspended in the atmosphere on the second day of creation. And if the electric fluid were used on this occasion for the production of water, the incessant glare of lightning, and the continual peals of thunder, must have added indescribable horrors to the scene. See the note on "chap. viii. 1". These two causes concurring were amply sufficient, not only to overflow the earth, but probably to dissolve the whole terrene fabric, as some judicious naturalists have supposed: indeed, this seems determined by the word lwbm mabbul, translated flood, which is derived from lb bal llb or balal, to mix, mingle, confound, confuse, because the aqueous and terrene parts of the globe were then mixed and confounded together; and when the supernatural cause that produced this mighty change suspended its operations, the different particles of matter would settle according to their specific gravities, and thus form the various strata or beds of which the earth appears to be internally constructed. Some naturalists have controverted this sentiment, because in some cases the internal structure of the earth does not appear to justify the opinion that the various portions of matter had settled according to their specific gravities; but these anomalies may easily be accounted for, from the great changes that have taken place in different parts of the earth since the flood, by volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, &c. Some very eminent philosophers are of the opinion "that, by the breaking up of the fountains of the great deep, we are to understand an eruption of waters from the Southern Ocean." Mr. Kirwan supposes "that this is pretty evident from such animals as the elephant and rhinoceros being found in great masses in Siberia, mixed with different marine substances; whereas no animals or other substances belonging to the northern regions have been ever found in southern climates. Had these animals died natural deaths in their proper climate, their bodies would not have been found in such masses. But that they were carried no farther northward than Siberia, is evident from there being no remains of any animals besides those of whales found in the mountains of Greenland. That this great rush of waters was from the south or south-east is farther evident, he thinks, from the south and south-east sides of almost all great mountains being much steeper than their north or north- west sides, as they necessarily would be if the force of a great body of water fell upon them in that direction." On a subject like this men may innocently differ. Many think the first opinion accords best with the Hebrew text and with the phenomena of nature, for mountains do not always present the above appearance.

Verse 12. The rain was upon the earth] Dr. Lightfoot supposes that the rain began on the 18th day of the second month, or Marcheshvan, and that it ceased on the 28th of the third month, Cisleu.

Verse 15. And they went in, &c.] It was physically impossible for Noah to have collected such a vast number of tame and ferocious animals, nor could they have been retained in their wards by mere natural means. How then were they brought from various distances to the ark and preserved there? Only by the power of God. He who first miraculously brought them to Adam that he might give them their names, now brings them to Noah that he may preserve their lives. And now we may reasonably suppose that their natural enmity was so far removed or suspended that the lion might dwell with the lamb, and the wolf lie down with the kid, though each might still require his peculiar aliment. This can be no difficulty to the power of God, without the immediate interposition of which neither the deluge nor the concomitant circumstances could have taken place.

Verse 16. The Lord shut him in.] This seems to imply that God took him under his especial protection, and as he shut HIM in, so he shut the OTHERS out. God had waited one hundred and twenty years upon that generation; they did not repent; they filled up the measure of their iniquities, and then wrath came upon them to the uttermost.

Verse 20. Fifteen cubits upward] Should any person object to the universality of the deluge because he may imagine there is not water sufficient to drown the whole globe in the manner here related, he may find a most satisfactory answer to all the objections he can raise on this ground in Mr. Ray's Physico-theological Discourses, 2d edit., 8vo., 1693.

Verse 22. Of all that was in the dry land] From this we may conclude that such animals only as could not live in the water were preserved in the ark.

Verse 24. And the waters prevailed upon the earth a hundred and fifty days.] The breaking up of the fountains of the great deep, and the raining forty days and nights, had raised the waters fifteen cubits above the highest mountains; after which forty days it appears to have continued at this height for one hundred and fifty days more. "So," says Dr. Lightfoot, "these two sums are to be reckoned distinct, and not the forty days included in the one hundred and fifty; so that when the one hundred and fifty days were ended, there were six months and ten days of the flood past." For an improvement of this awful judgment, see the conclusion of the following chapter. CHAPTER VIII

At the end of one hundred and fifty days the waters begin to subside, 1-3. The ark rests on Mount Ararat, 4. On the first of the tenth month the tops of the hills appear, 5. The window opened and the raven sent out, 6, 7. The dove sent forth, and returns, 8, 9. The dove sent forth a second time, and returns with an olive leaf, 10, 11. The dove sent out the third time, and returns no more, 12. On the twentieth day of the second month the earth is completely dried, 13, 14. God orders Noah, his family, and all the creatures to come out of the ark, 15-19. Noah builds an altar, and offers sacrifices to the Lord, 20. They are accepted; and God promises that the earth shall not be cursed thus any more, notwithstanding the iniquity of man, 21, 22.


Verse 1. And God made a wind to pass over the earth] Such a wind as produced a strong and sudden evaporation. The effects of these winds, which are frequent in the east, are truly astonishing. A friend of mine, who had been bathing in the Tigris, not far from the ancient city of Ctesiphon, and within five days' journey of Bagdad, having on a pair of Turkish drawers, one of these hot winds, called by the natives samiel, passing rapidly across the river just as he had got out of the water, so effectually dried him in a moment, that not one particle of moisture was left either on his body or in his bathing dress! With such an electrified wind as this, how soon could God dry the whole of the earth's surface! An operation something similar to the conversion of water into its two constituent airs, oxygen and hydrogen, by means of the galvanic fluid, as these airs themselves may be reconverted into water by means of the electric spark. See the note "chap. vii. 11". And probably this was the agent that restored to the atmosphere the quantity of water which it had contributed to this vast inundation. The other portion of waters, which had proceeded from the breaking up of the fountains of the great deep, would of course subside more slowly, as openings were made for them to run off from the higher lands, and form seas. By the first cause, the hot wind, the waters were assuaged, and the atmosphere having its due proportion of vapours restored, the quantity below must be greatly lessened. By the second, the earth was gradually dried, the waters, as they found passage, lessening by degrees till the seas and gulfs were formed, and the earth completely drained. This appears to be what is intended in the third and fifth verses by the waters decreasing continually, or, according to the margin, they were in going and decreasing, ver. 5.

Verse 4. The mountains of Ararat.] That Ararat was a mountain of Armenia is almost universally agreed. What is commonly thought to be the Ararat of the Scriptures, has been visited by many travelers, and on it there are several monasteries. For a long time the world has been amused with reports that the remains of the ark were still visible there; but Mr. Tournefort, a famous French naturalist, who was on the spot, assures us that nothing of the kind is there to be seen. As there is a great chain of mountains which are called by this name, it is impossible to determine on what part of them the ark rested; but the highest part, called by some the finger mountain, has been fixed on as the most likely place. These things we must leave, and they are certainly of very little consequence.

From the circumstance of the resting of the ark on the 17th of the seventh month, Dr. Lightfoot draws this curious conclusion: That the ark drew exactly eleven cubits of water. On the first day of the month Ab the mountain tops were first seen, and then the waters had fallen fifteen cubits; for so high had they prevailed above the tops of the mountains. This decrease in the waters took up sixty days, namely, from the first of Sivan; so that they appear to have abated in the proportion of one cubit in four days. On the 16th of Sivan they had abated but four cubits; and yet on the next day the ark rested on one of the hills, when the waters must have been as yet eleven cubits above it. Thus it appears that the ark drew eleven cubits of water.

Verse 7. He sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro] It is generally supposed that the raven flew off, and was seen no more, but this meaning the Hebrew text will not bear; awxy axyw bw�w vaiyetse yatso vashob, and it went forth, going forth and returning. From which it is evident that she did return, but was not taken into the ark. She made frequent excursions, and continued on the wing as long as she could, having picked up such aliment as she found floating on the waters; and then, to rest herself, regained the ark, where she might perch, though she was not admitted. Indeed this must be allowed, as it is impossible she could have continued twenty one days upon the wing, which she must have done had she not returned. But the text itself is sufficiently determinate.

Verse 8. He sent forth a dove] The dove was sent forth thrice; the first time she speedily returned, having, in all probability, gone but a little way from the ark, as she must naturally be terrified at the appearance of the waters. After seven days, being sent out a second time, she returned with an olive leaf pluckt off, Genesis viii. 11, an emblem of the restoration of peace between God and the earth; and from this circumstance the olive has been the emblem of peace among all civilized nations. At the end of the other seven days the dove being sent out the third time, returned no more, from which Noah conjectured that the earth was now sufficiently drained, and therefore removed the covering of the ark, which probably gave liberty to many of the fowls to fly off, which circumstance would afford him the greater facility in making arrangements for disembarking the beasts and reptiles, and heavy-bodied domestic fowls, which might yet remain. See Genesis viii. 17.

Verse 14. And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day] From this it appears that Noah was in the ark a complete solar year, or three hundred and sixty-five days; for he entered the ark the 17th day of the second month, in the six hundredth year of his life, chap. vii. 11, 13, and continued in it till the 27th day of the second month, in the six hundredth and first year of his life, as we see above. The months of the ancient Hebrews were lunar; the first six consisted of thirty days each, the latter six of twenty-nine; the whole twelve months making three hundred and fifty-four days: add to this eleven days, (for though he entered the ark the preceding year on the seventeenth day of the second month, he did not come out till the twenty-seventh of the same month in the following year,) which make exactly three hundred and sixty-five days, the period of a complete solar revolution; the odd hours and minutes, as being fractions of time, noncomputed, though very likely all included in the account. This year, according to the Hebrew computation, was the one thousand six hundred and fifty-seventh year from the creation; but according to the reckoning of the Septuagint it was the two thousand two hundred and forty-second, and according to Dr. Hales, the two thousand two hundred and fifty-sixth. See on chap. xi. 12.

Verse 20. Noah builded an altar] As we have already seen that Adam, Cain, and Hebel, offered sacrifices, there can be no doubt that they had altars on which they offered them; but this, builded by Noah, is certainly the first on record. It is worthy of remark that, as the old world began with sacrifice, so also did the new. Religion or the proper mode of worshipping the Divine Being, is the invention or institution of God himself; and sacrifice, in the act and design, is the essence of religion. Without sacrifice, actually offered or implied, there never was, there never can be, any religion. Even in the heavens, a lamb is represented before the throne of God as newly slain, Rev. v. 6, 12, 13. The design of sacrificing is two-fold: the slaying and burning of the victim point out, 1st, that the life of the sinner is forfeited to Divine justice; 2dly, that his soul deserves the fire of perdition.

The Jews have a tradition that the place where Noah built his altar was the same in which the altar stood which was built by Adam, and used by Cain and Hebel, and the same spot on which Abraham afterwards offered up his son Isaac.

The word jbzm mizbach, which we render altar, signifies properly a place for sacrifice, as the root jbz zabach signifies simply to slay. Altar comes from the Latin altus, high or elevated, because places for sacrifice were generally either raised very high or built on the tops of hills and mountains; hence they are called high places in the Scriptures; but such were chiefly used for idolatrous purposes.

Burnt-offerings] See the meaning of every kind of offering and sacrifice largely explained on Lev. vii. 1-38.

Verse 21. The Lord smelled a sweet savour] That is, he was well pleased with this religious act, performed in obedience to his own appointment, and in faith of the promised saviour. That this sacrifice prefigured that which was offered by our blessed Redeemer in behalf of the world, is sufficiently evident from the words of St. Paul, Eph. v. 2: Christ hath loved us, and given himself for its an offering and a sacrifice to God for a SWEET-SMELLING savour; where the words osmhn euwdiav of the apostle are the very words used by the Septuagint in this place.

I will not again curse the ground] Psa al lo osiph, I will not add to curse the ground] there shall not be another deluge to destroy the whole earth: for the imagination of man's heart, yk ki, ALTHOUGH the imagination of man's heart should be evil, i.e. should they become afterwards as evil as they have been before, I will not destroy the earth by a FLOOD. God has other means of destruction; and the next time he visits by a general judgment, FIRE is to be the agent. 2 Pet. iii. 7. Verse 22. While the earth remaineth, seed-time and harvest, &c.] There is something very expressive in the original, ymy lk d[ Årah od col yemey haarets, until all the DAYS of the earth; for God does not reckon its duration by centuries, and the words themselves afford a strong presumption that the earth shall not have an endless duration.

Seed-time and harvest. - It is very probable that the seasons, which were distinctly marked immediately after the deluge, are mentioned in this place; but it is difficult to ascertain them. Most European nations divide the year into four distinct parts, called quarters or seasons; but there are six divisions in the text, and probably all intended to describe the seasons in one of these postdiluvian years, particularly in that part of the globe, Armenia, where Noah was when God gave him, and mankind through him, this gracious promise. From the Targum of Jonathan on this verse we learn that in Palestine their seed-time was in September, at the autumnal equinox; their harvest in March, at the vernal equinox; that their winter began in December, at the solstice; and their summer at the solstice in June.

The Copts begin their autumn on the 15th of September, and extend it to the 15th of December. Their winter on the 15th of December, and extend it to the 15th of March. Their spring on the 15th of March, and extend it to the 15th of June. Their summer on the 15th of June, and extend it to the 15th of September, assigning to each season three complete months.Calmet.

There are certainly regions of the earth to which neither this nor our own mode of division can apply: there are some where summer and winter appear to divide the whole year, and others where, besides summer, winter, autumn, and spring, there are distinct seasons that may be denominated the hot season, the cold season, the rainy season, &c., &c.

This is a very merciful promise to the inhabitants of the earth. There may be a variety in the seasons, but no season essentially necessary to vegetation shall utterly fail. The times which are of greatest consequence to the preservation of man are distinctly noted; there shall be both seed-time and harvest - a proper time to deposit the different grain in the earth, and a proper time to reap the produce of this seed.

Thus ends the account of the general deluge, its cause, circumstances, and consequences. An account that seems to say to us, Behold the goodness and severity of God! Both his justice and long-suffering are particularly marked in this astonishing event. His justice, in the punishment of the incorrigibly wicked, and his mercy, in giving them so fair and full a warning, and in waiting so long to extend his grace to all who might seek him. Such a convincing proof has the destruction of the world by water given of the Divine justice, such convincing testimony of the truth of the sacred writings, that not only every part of the earth gives testimony of this extraordinary revolution, but also every nation of the universe has preserved records or traditions of this awful display of the justice of God.

A multitude of testimonies, collected from the most authentic sources in the heathen world, I had intended for insertion in this place, but want of room obliges me to lay them aside. But the state of the earth itself is a sufficient proof. Every part of it bears unequivocal evidence of disruption and violence. From the hand of the God of order it never could have proceeded in its present state. In every part we see marks of the crimes of men, and of the justice of God. And shall not the living lay this to heart? Surely God is not mocked; that which a man soweth he shall reap. He who soweth to the flesh shall of it reap destruction; and though the plague of water shall no more destroy the earth, yet an equal if not sorer punishment awaits the world of the ungodly, in the threatened destruction by fire.

In ancient times almost every thing was typical, and no doubt the ark among the rest; but of what and in what way farther than revelation guides, it is both difficult and unsafe to say. It has been considered a type of our blessed Lord; and hence it has been observed, that "as all those who were out of the ark perished by the flood, so those who take not refuge in the meritorious atonement of Christ Jesus must perish everlastingly." Of all those who, having the opportunity of hearing the Gospel, refuse to accept of the sacrifice it offers them, this saying is true; but the parallel is not good. Myriads of those who perished during the flood probably repented, implored mercy, and found forgiveness; for God ever delights to save, and Jesus was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. And though, generally, the people continued in carnal security and sensual gratifications till the flood came, there is much reason to believe that those who during the forty days' rain would naturally flee to the high lands and tops of the highest mountains, would earnestly implore that mercy which has never been denied, even to the most profligate, when under deep humiliation of heart they have returned to God. And who can say that this was not done by multitudes while they beheld the increasing flood; or that God, in this last extremity, had rendered it impossible?

St. Peter, 1 Pet. iii. 21, makes the ark a figure of baptism, and intimates that we are saved by this, as the eight souls were saved by the ark. But let us not mistake the apostle by supposing that the mere ceremony itself saves any person; he tells us that the salvation conveyed through this sacred rite is not the putting away the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God; i.e. remission of sins and regeneration by the Holy Spirit, which are signified by this baptism. A good conscience never existed where remission of sins had not taken place; and every person knows that it is God's prerogative to forgive sins, and that no ordinance can confer it, though ordinances may be the means to convey it when piously and believingly used. CHAPTER IX

God blesses Noah and his sons, 1. The brute creation to be subject to them through fear, 2. The first grant of animal food, 3. Eating of blood forbidden, 4. Cruelty to animals forbidden, 5. A man-slayer to forfeit his life, 6. The covenant of God established between him and Noah and the whole brute creation, 8-11. The rainbow given as the sign and pledge of this covenant, 12-17. The three sons of Noah people the whole earth, 18, 19. Noah plants a vineyard, drinks of the wine, is intoxicated, and lies exposed in his tent, 20, 21. The reprehensible conduct of Ham, 22. The laudable carriage of Shem and Japheth, 23. Noah prophetically declares the servitude of the posterity of Ham, 24, 25; and the dignity and increase of Shem and Japheth, 26, 27. The age and death of Noah, 28, 29.


Verse 1. God blessed Noah] Even the increase of families, which appears to depend on merely natural means, and sometimes fortuitous circumstances, is all of God. It is by his power and wisdom that the human being is formed, and it is by his providence alone that man is supported and preserved.

Verse 2. The fear of you and the dread, &c.] Prior to the fall, man ruled the inferior animals by love and kindness, for then gentleness and docility were their principal characteristics. After the fall, untractableness, with savage ferocity, prevailed among almost all orders of the brute creation; enmity to man seems particularly to prevail; and had not God in his mercy impressed their minds with the fear and terror of man, so that some submit to his will while others flee from his residence, the human race would long ere this have been totally destroyed by the beasts of the field. Did the horse know his own strength, and the weakness of the miserable wretch who unmercifully rides, drives, whips, goads, and oppresses him, would he not with one stroke of his hoof destroy his tyrant possessor? But while God hides these things from him he impresses his mind with the fear of his owner, so that either by cheerful or sullen submission he is trained up for, and employed in, the most useful and important purposes; and even willingly submits, when tortured for the sport and amusement of his more bruitish oppressor. Tigers, wolves, lions, and hyaenas, the determinate foes of man, incapable of being tamed or domesticated, flee, through the principle of terror, from the dwelling of man, and thus he is providentially safe. Hence, by fear and by dread man rules every beast of the earth, every fowl of the air, and every fish of the sea. How wise and gracious is this order of the Divine providence! and with what thankfulness should it be considered by every human being!

Verse 3. Every moving thing-shall be meat] There is no positive evidence that animal food was ever used before the flood. Noah had the first grant of this kind, and it has been continued to all his posterity ever since. It is not likely that this grant would have been now made if some extraordinary alteration had not taken place in the vegetable world, so as to render its productions less nutritive than they were before; and probably such a change in the constitution of man as to render a grosser and higher diet necessary. We may therefore safely infer that the earth was less productive after the flood than it was before, and that the human constitution was greatly impaired by the alterations which had taken place through the whole economy of nature. Morbid debility, induced by an often unfriendly state of the atmosphere, with sore and long-continued labour, would necessarily require a higher nutriment than vegetables could supply. That this was the case appears sufficiently clear from the grant of animal food, which, had it not been indispensably necessary, had not been made. That the constitution of man was then much altered appears in the greatly contracted lives of the postdiluvians; yet from the deluge to the day of Abraham the lives of several of the patriarchs amounted to some hundreds of years; but this was the effect of a peculiar providence, that the new world might be the more speedily repeopled.

Verse 4. But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood] Though animal food was granted, yet the blood was most solemnly forbidden, because it was the life of the beast, and this life was to be offered to God as an atonement for sin. Hence the blood was ever held sacred, because it was the grand instrument of expiation, and because it was typical of that blood by which we enter into the holiest. 1. Before the deluge it was not eaten, because animal food was not in use. 2. After the deluge it was prohibited, as we find above; and, being one of the seven Noahic precepts, it was not eaten previously to the publication of the Mosaic law. 3. At the giving of the law, and at several times during the ministry of Moses, the prohibition was most solemnly, and with awful penalties renewed. Hence we may rest assured that no blood was eaten previously to the Christian era, nor indeed ever since by the Jewish people. 4. That the prohibition has been renewed under the Christian dispensation, can admit of little doubt by any man who dispassionately reads Acts xv. 20, 29; xxi. 25, where even the Gentile converts are charged to abstain from it on the authority, not only of the apostles, but of the Holy Ghost, who gave them there and then especial direction concerning this point; see Acts xv. 28; not for fear of stumbling the converted Jews, the gloss of theologians, but because it was one twn epanagkev toutwn, of those necessary points, from the burden (barov) of obedience to which they could not be excused. 5. This command is still scrupulously obeyed by the oriental Christians, and by the whole Greek Church; and why? because the reasons still subsist. No blood was eaten under the law, because it pointed out the blood that was to be shed for the sin of the world; and under the Gospel it should not be eaten, because it should ever be considered as representing the blood which has been shed for the remission of sins. If the eaters of blood in general knew that it affords a very crude, almost indigestible, and unwholesome ailment, they certainly would not on these physical reasons, leaving moral considerations out of the question, be so much attached to the consumption of that from which they could expect no wholesome nutriment, and which, to render it even pleasing to the palate, requires all the skill of the cook. See Lev. xvii. 10.

Verse 5. Surely your blood-will I require; at the hand of every beast] This is very obscure, but if taken literally it seems to be an awful warning against cruelty to the brute creation; and from it we may conclude that horse-racers, hare-hunters, bull-baiters, and cock-fighters shall be obliged to give an account to God for every creature they have wantonly destroyed. Instead of hyj chaiyah, "beast," the Samaritan reads [Sam. Yod Kaph] chai, "living," any "living creature or person;" this makes a very good sense, and equally forbids cruelty either to men or brutes.

Verse 6. Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood] Hence it appears that whoever kills a man, unless unwittingly, as the Scripture expresses it, shall forfeit his own life.

A man is accused of the crime of murder; of this crime he is guilty or he is not: if he be guilty of murder he should die; if not, let him be punished according to the demerit of his crime; but for no offense but murder should he lose his life. Taking away the life of another is the highest offense that can be committed against the individual, and against society; and the highest punishment that a man can suffer for such a crime is the loss of his own life. As punishment should be ever proportioned to crimes, so the highest punishment due to the highest crime should not be inflicted for a minor offense. The law of God and the eternal dictates of reason say, that if a man kill another, the loss of his own life is at once the highest penalty he can pay, and an equivalent for his offense as far as civil society is concerned. If the death of the murderer be the highest penalty he can pay for the murder he has committed, then the infliction of this punishment for any minor offense is injustice and cruelty; and serves only to confound the claims of justice, the different degrees of moral turpitude and vice, and to render the profligate desperate: hence the adage so frequent among almost every order of delinquents, "It is as good to be hanged for a sheep as a lamb;" which at once marks their desperation, and the injustice of those penal laws which inflict the highest punishment for almost every species of crime. When shall a wise and judicious legislature see the absurdity and injustice of inflicting the punishment of death for stealing a sheep or a horse, forging a twenty shillings' note, and MURDERING A MAN; when the latter, in its moral turpitude and ruinous consequences, infinitely exceeds the others?*

Verse 13. I do set my bow in the cloud] On the origin and nature of the rainbow there had been a great variety of conjectures, till Anthony de Dominis, bishop of Spalatro, in a treatise of his published by Bartholus in 1611, partly suggested the true cause of this phenomenon, which was afterwards fully explained and demonstrated by Sir Isaac Newton. To enter into this subject here in detail would be improper; and therefore the less informed reader must have recourse to treatises on Optics for its full explanation. To readers in general it may be sufficient to say that the rainbow is a mere natural effect of a natural cause: 1. It is never seen but in showery weather. 2. Nor then unless the sun shines. 3. It never appears in any part of the heavens but in that opposite to the sun. 4. It never appears greater than a semicircle, but often much less. 5. It is always double, there being what is called the superior and inferior, or primary and secondary rainbow. 6. These bows exhibit the seven prismatic colours, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. 7. The whole of this phenomenon depends on the rays of the sun falling on spherical drops of water, and being in their passage through them, refracted and reflected.

The formation of the primary and secondary rainbow depends on the two following propositions; 1. When the sun shines on the drops of rain as they are falling, the rays that come from those drops to the eye of the spectator, after ONE reflection and TWO refractions, produce the primary rainbow. 2. When the sun shines on the drops of rain as they are falling, the rays that come from those drops to the eye of the spectator after TWO reflections and TWO refractions, produce the secondary rainbow. The illustration of these propositions must be sought in treatises on Optics, assisted by plates. From the well-known cause of this phenomenon It cannot be rationally supposed that there was no rainbow in the heavens before the time mentioned in the text, for as the rainbow is the natural effect of the sun's rays falling on drops of water, and of their being refracted and reflected by them, it must have appeared at different times from the creation of the sun and the atmosphere. Nor does the text intimate that the bow was now created for a sign to Noah and his posterity; but that what was formerly created, or rather that which was the necessary effect, in certain cases, of the creation of the sun and atmosphere, should now be considered by them as an unfailing token of their continual preservation from the waters of a deluge; therefore the text speaks of what had already been done, and not of what was now done, yttn yt�q kashti nathatti, "My bow I have given, or put in the cloud;" as if he said: As surely as the rainbow is a necessary effect of sunshine in rain, and must continue such as long as the sun and atmosphere endure, so surely shall this earth be preserved from destruction by water; and its preservation shall be as necessary an effect of my promise as the rainbow is of the shining of the sun during a shower of rain. Verse 17. This is the token] twa oth, The Divine sign or portent: The bow shall be in the cloud. For the reasons above specified it must be there, when the circumstances already mentioned occur; if therefore it cannot fail because of the reasons before assigned, no more shall my promise; and the bow shall be the proof of its perpetuity.

Both the Greeks and Latins, as well as the Hebrews, have ever considered the rainbow as a Divine token or portent; and both of these nations have even deified it, and made it a messenger of the gods.

Homer, Il. xi., ver. 27, speaking of the figures on Agamemnon's breastplate, says there were three dragons, whose colours were irissin eoikotev, av te kronwn.

en nefei sthrixe, terav meropwn anqrwpwn.

"like to the rainbow which the son of Saturn has placed in the cloud as a SIGN to mankind," or to men of various languages, for so the meropwn antrwpwn of the poet has been understood. Some have thought that the ancient Greek writers give this epithet to man from some tradition of the confusion and multiplication of tongues at BHebel; hence in this place the words may be understood as implying mankind at large, the whole human race; God having given the rainbow for a sign to all the descendants of Noah, by whom the whole earth was peopled after the flood. Thus the celestial bow speaks a universal language, understood by all the sons and daughters of Adam. Virgil, from some disguised traditionary figure of the truth, considers the rainbow as a messenger of the gods. AEn. v., ver. 606:

IRIM de caelo misit Saturnia Juno.

"Juno, the daughter of Saturn, sent down the rainbow from heaven;" and again, AEn. ix., ver. 80iii.- aeriam caelo nam Jupiter IRIM Demisit.

"For Jupiter sent down the ethereal rainbow from heaven."

It is worthy of remark that both these poets understood the rainbow to be a sign, warning, or portent from heaven."

As I believe the rainbow to have been intended solely for the purpose mentioned in the text, I forbear to make spiritual uses and illustrations of it. Many have done this, and their observations may be very edifying, but they certainly have no foundation in the text.

Verse 20. Noah began to be a husbandman] hmdah �ya ish haadamah, A man of the ground, a farmer; by his beginning to be a husbandman we are to understand his recommencing his agricultural operations, which undoubtedly he had carried on for six hundred years before, but this had been interrupted by the flood. And the transaction here mentioned might have occurred many years posterior to the deluge, even after Canaan was born and grown up, for the date of it is not fixed in the text.

The word husband first occurs here, and scarcely appears proper, because it is always applied to man in his married state, as wife is to the woman. The etymology of the term will at once show its propriety when applied to the head of a family. Husband, [A.S. husband], is Anglo-Saxon, and simply signifies the bond of the house or family; as by him the family is formed, united, and bound together, which, on his death, is disunited and scattered.It is on this etymology of the word that we can account for the farmers and petty landholders being called so early as the twelfth century, husbandi, as appears in a statute of David II., king of Scotland: we may therefore safely derive the word from [A.S. hus], a house, and [A.S. bond] from [A.S. binben], to bind or tie; and this etymology appears plainer in the orthography which prevailed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, in which I have often found the word written house-bond; so it is in a MS.Bible before me, written in the fourteenth century. Junius disputes this etymology, but I think on no just ground.

Verse 21. He drank of the wine, &c.] It is very probable that this was the first time the wine was cultivated; and it is as probable that the strength or intoxicating power of the expressed juice was never before known. Noah, therefore, might have drunk it at this time without the least blame, as he knew not till this trial the effects it would produce. I once knew a case which I believe to be perfectly parallel. A person who had scarcely ever heard of cider, and whose beverage through his whole life had been only milk or water, coming wet and very much fatigued to a farmer's house in Somersetshire, begged for a little water or milk. The good woman of the house, seeing him very much exhausted, kindly said, "I will give you a little cider, which will do you more good." The honest man, understanding no more of cider than merely that it was the simple juice of apples, after some hesitation drank about a half pint of it; the consequence was, that in less than half an hour he was perfectly intoxicated, and could neither speak plain nor walk! This case I myself witnessed. A stranger to the circumstances, seeing this person, would pronounce him drunk; and perhaps at a third hand he might be represented as a drunkard, and thus his character be blasted; while of the crime of drunkenness he was as innocent as an infant.This I presume to have been precisely the case with Noah; and no person without an absolute breach of every rule of charity and candour, can attach any blame to the character of Noah on this ground, unless from a subsequent account they were well assured that, knowing the power and effects of the liquor, he had repeated the act. Some expositors seem to be glad to fix on a fact like this, which by their distortion becomes a crime; and then, in a strain of sympathetic tenderness, affect to deplore "the failings and imperfections of the best of men;" when, from the interpretation that should be given of the place, neither failing nor imperfection can possibly appear.

Verse 22. - 24. And Ham, the father of Canaan, &c.] There is no occasion to enter into any detail here; the sacred text is circumstantial enough. Ham, and very probably his son Canaan, had treated their father on this occasion with contempt or reprehensible levity. Had Noah not been innocent, as my exposition supposes him, God would not have endued him with the spirit of prophecy on this occasion, and testified such marked disapprobation of their conduct. The conduct of Shem and Japheth was such as became pious and affectionate children, who appear to have been in the habit of treating their father with decency, reverence, and obedient respect. On the one the spirit of prophecy (not the incensed father) pronounces a curse: on the others the same spirit (not parental tenderness) pronounces a blessing. These things had been just as they afterwards occurred had Noah never spoken. God had wise and powerful reasons to induce him to sentence the one to perpetual servitude, and to allot to the others prosperity and dominion. Besides, the curse pronounced on Canaan neither fell immediately upon himself nor on his worthless father, but upon the Canaanites; and from the history we have of this people, in Lev. xviii. 6, 7, 24, 29, 30, Leviticus xx. 9, 22-24, 26; and Deut. ix. 4; xii. 31, we may ask, Could the curse of God fall more deservedly on any people than on these? Their profligacy was great, but it was not the effect of the curse; but, being foreseen by the Lord, the curse was the effect of their conduct. But even this curse does not exclude them from the possibility of obtaining salvation; it extends not to the soul and to eternity, but merely to their bodies and to time; though, if they continued to abuse their liberty, resist the Holy Ghost, and refuse to be saved on God's terms, then the wrath of Divine justice must come upon them to the uttermost. How many, even of these, repented, we cannot tell.

Verse 25. Cursed be Canaan] See on the preceding verses. In the 25th, 26th, and 27th verses, instead of Canaan simply, the Arabic version has Ham the father of Canaan; but this is acknowledged by none of the other versions, and seems to be merely a gloss.

Verse 29. The days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years] The oldest patriarch on record, except Methuselah and Jared. This, according to the common reckoning, was A. M. 2006, but according to Dr. Hales, 3505.

"HAM," says Dr. Hales, "signifies burnt or black, and this name was peculiarly significant of the regions allotted to his family. To the Cushites, or children of his eldest son Cush, were allotted the hot southern regions of Asia, along the coasts of the Persian Gulf, Susiana or Chusistan, Arabia, &c.; to the sons of Canaan, Palestine and Syria; to the sons of Misraim, Egypt and Libya, in Africa.

The Hamites in general, like the Canaanites of old, were a seafaring race, and sooner arrived at civilization and the luxuries of life than their simpler pastoral and agricultural brethren of the other two families. The first great empires of Assyria and Egypt were founded by them, and the republics of Sidon, Tyre, and Carthage were early distinguished for their commerce but they sooner also fell to decay; and Egypt, which was one of the first, became the last and basest of the kingdoms, Ezek. xxix. 15, and has been successively in subjection to the Shemites and Japhethites, as have also the settlements of the other branches of the Hamites.

"SHEM signifies name or renown; and his indeed was great in a temporal and spiritual sense. The finest regions of Upper and Middle Asia allotted to his family, Armenia, Mesopotamia, Assyria, Media, Persia, &c., to the Indus and Ganges, and perhaps to China eastward.

"The chief renown of Shem was of a spiritual nature: he was destined to be the lineal ancestor of the blessed seed of the woman; and to this glorious privilege Noah, to whom it was probably revealed, might have alluded in that devout ejaculation, Blessed be the LORD, the GOD of Shem! The pastoral life of the Shemites is strongly marked in the prophecy by the tents of Shem; and such it remains to the present day, throughout their midland settlements in Asia.

"JAPHETH signifies enlargement; and how wonderfully did Providence enlarge the boundaries of Japheth! His posterity diverged eastward and westward throughout the whole extent of Asia, north of the great range of Taurus, as far as the Eastern Ocean, whence they probably crossed over to America by Behring's Straits from Kamtschatka, and in the opposite direction throughout Europe to the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean; from whence also they might have crossed over to America by Newfoundland, where traces of early settlements remain in parts now desert. Thus did they gradually enlarge themselves till they literally encompassed the earth, within the precincts of the northern temperate zone, to which their roving hunter's life contributed not a little. Their progress northwards was checked by the much greater extent of the Black Sea in ancient times, and the increasing rigour of the climates: but their hardy race, and enterprising, warlike genius, made them frequently encroach southwards on the settlements of Shem, whose pastoral and agricultural occupations rendered them more inactive, peaceable. and unwarlike; and so they dwelt in the tents of Shem when the Scythians invaded Media, and subdued western Asia southwards as far as Egypt, in the days of Cyaxares; when the Greeks, and afterwards the Romans, overran and subdued the Assyrians, Medes, and Persians in the east, and the Syrians and Jews in the south; as foretold by the Syrian prophet Balaam, Num. xxiv. xxiv. -

Ships shall come from Chittim, And shall afflict the Assyrians, and afflict the Hebrews;

But he (the invader) shall perish himself at last.

"And by Moses: And the Lord shall bring thee (the Jews) into Egypt (or bondage) again with ships, &c., Deut. xxviii. 68. And by Daniel: For the ships of Chittim shall come against him, viz., Antiochus, king of Syria, Dan. xi. 30. In these passages Chittim denotes the southern coasts of Europe, bounding the Mediterranean, called the isles of the Gentiles or Nations; see chap. x. 5. And the isles of Chittim are mentioned Jeremiah ii. 10. And in after times the Tartars in the east have repeatedly invaded and subdued the Hindoos and the Chinese; while the warlike and enterprising genius of the greatest of the isles of the Gentiles, GREAT BRITAIN and IRELAND, have spread their colonies, their arms, their language, their arts, and in some measure their religion, from the rising to the setting sun." See Dr. Hales's Analysis of Chronology, vol. 1., p. 352, &c.

Though what is left undone should not cause us to lose sight of what is done, yet we have reason to lament that the inhabitants of the British isles, who of all nations under heaven have the purest light of Divine revelation, and the best means of diffusing it, have been much more intent on spreading their conquests and extending their commerce, than in propagating the Gospel of the Son of God. But the nation, by getting the Bible translated into every living language, and sending it to all parts of the habitable globe, and, by its various missionary societies, sending men of God to explain and enforce the doctrines and precepts of this sacred book, is rapidly redeeming its character, and becoming great in goodness and benevolence over the whole earth! CHAPTER X

The generations of the sons of Noah, 1. JAPHETH and his descendants, 2-4. The isles of the Gentiles, or Europe, peopled by the Japhethites, 5. HAM and his posterity, 6-20. Nimrod, one of his descendants, a mighty hunter, 8, 9, founds the first kingdom, 10. Nineveh and other cities founded, 11, 12. The Canaanites in their nine grand branches or families, 15-18. Their territories, 19. SHEM and his posterity, 21-31. The earth divided in the days of Peleg, 25. The territories of the Shemites, 30. The whole earth peopled by the descendants of Noah's three sons, 32.


Verse 1. Now these are the generations] It is extremely difficult to say what particular nations and people sprang from the three grand divisions of the family of Noah, because the names of many of those ancient people have become changed in the vast lapse of time from the deluge to the Christian era; yet some are so very distinctly marked that they can be easily ascertained, while a few still retain their original names.

Moses does not always give the name of the first settler in a country, but rather that of the people from whom the country afterwards derived its name. Thus Mizraim is the dual of Mezer, and could never be the name of an individual. The like may be said of Kittim, Dodanim, Ludim, Ananim, Lehabim, Naphtuhim, Pathrusim, Casluhim, Philistim, and Caphtorim, which are all plurals, and evidently not the names of individuals, but of families or tribes. See ver. 4, 6, 13, 14.

In the posterity of Canaan we find whole nations reckoned in the genealogy, instead of the individuals from whom they sprang; thus the Jebusite, Amorite, Girgasite, Hivite, Arkite, Sinite, Arvadite, Zemarite, and Hamathite, ver. 16- 18, were evidently whole nations or tribes which inhabited the promised land, and were called Canaanites from Canaan, the son of Ham, who settled there.

Moses also, in this genealogy, seems to have introduced even the name of some places that were remarkable in the sacred history, instead of the original settlers. Such as Hazarmaveth, ver. 26; and probably Ophir and Havilah, ver. 29. But this is not infrequent in the sacred writings, as may be seen 1 Chron. ii. 51, where Salma is called the father of Bethlehem, which certainly never was the name of a man, but of a place sufficiently celebrated in the sacred history; and in 1 Chronicles iv. 14, where Joab is called the father of the valley of Charashim, which no person could ever suppose was intended to designate an individual, but the society of craftsmen or artificers who lived there.

Eusebius and others state (from what authority we know not) that Noah was commanded of God to make a will and bequeath the whole of the earth to his three sons and their descendants in the following manner:-To Shem, all the East; to Ham, all Africa; to Japheth, the Continent of Europe with its isles, and the northern parts of Asia. See the notes at the end of the preceding chapter.

Verse 2. The sons of Japheth] Japheth is supposed to be the same with the Japetus of the Greeks, from whom, in an extremely remote antiquity, that people were supposed to have derived their origin.

Gomer] Supposed by some to have peopled Galatia; so Josephus, who says that the Galatians were anciently named Gomerites. From him the Cimmerians or Cimbrians are supposed to have derived their origin. Bochart has no doubt that the Phrygians sprang from this person, and some of our principal commentators are of the same opinion.

Magog] Supposed by many to be the father of the Scythians and Tartars, or Tatars, as the word should be written; and in great Tartary many names are still found which bear such a striking resemblance to the Gog and Magog of the Scriptures, as to leave little doubt of their identity.

Madai] Generally supposed to be the progenitor of the Medes; but Joseph Mede makes it probable that he was rather the founder of a people in Macedonia called Maedi, and that Macedonia was formerly called Emathia, a name formed from Ei, an island, and Madai, because he and his descendants inhabited the maritime coast on the borders of the Ionian Sea. On this subject nothing certain can be advanced.

Javan] It is almost universally agreed that from him sprang the Ionians, of Asia Minor; but this name seems to have been anciently given to the Macedonians, Achaians, and Baeotians.

Tubal] Some think be was the father of the Iberians, and that a part at least of Spain was peopled by him and his descendants; and that Meshech, who is generally in Scripture joined with him, was the founder of the Cappadocians, from whom proceeded the Muscovites.

Tiras.] From this person, according to general consent, the Thracians derived their origin.

Verse 3. Ashkenaz] Probably gave his name to Sacagena, a very excellent province of Armenia. Pliny mentions a people called Ascanitici, who dwelt about the Tanais and the Palus Maeotis; and some suppose that from Ashkenaz the Euxine Sea derived its name, but others suppose that from him the Germans derived their origin.

Riphath] Or Diphath, the founder of the Paphlagonians, which were anciently called Riphataei.

Togarmah.] The Sauromates, or inhabitants of Turcomania. See the reasons in Calmet.

Verse 4. Elishah] As Javan peopled a considerable part of Greece, it is in that region that we must seek for the settlements of his descendants; Elishah probably was the first who settled at Elis, in Peloponnesus.

Tarshish] He first inhabited Cilicia, whose capital anciently was the city of Tarsus, where the Apostle Paul was born.

Kittim] We have already seen that this name was rather the name of a people than of an individual: some think by Kittim Cyprus is meant: others, the isle of Chios; and others, the Romans; and others, the Macedonians.

Dodanim.] Or Rodanim, for the d and r may be easily mistaken for each other, because of their great similarity. Some suppose that this family settled at Dodona in Epirus; others at the isle of Rhodes; others, at the Rhone, in France, the ancient name of which was Rhodanus, from the Scripture Rodanim.

Verse 5. Isles of the Gentiles] EUROPE, of which this is allowed to be a general epithet. Calmet supposes that it comprehends all those countries to which the Hebrews were obliged to go by sea, such as Spain, Gaul, Italy, Greece, and Asia Minor.

Every one after his tongue] This refers to the time posterior to the confusion of tongues and dispersion from BHebel.

Verse 6. Cush] Who peopled the Arabic nome near the Red Sea in Lower Egypt. Some think the Ethiopians descended from him.

Mizraim] This family certainly peopled Egypt; and both in the East and in the West, Egypt is called Mezr and Mezraim.

Phut] Who first peopled an Egyptian nome or district, bordering on Libya.

Canaan.] He who first peopled the land so called, known also by the name of the Promised Land.

Verse 7. Seba] The founder of the Sabaeans. There seem to be three different people of this name mentioned in this chapter, and a fourth in chap. xxv. 3.

Havilah] Supposed by some to mean the inhabitants of the country included within that branch of the river Pison which ran out of the Euphrates into the bay of Persia, and bounded Arabia Felix on the east.

Sabtah] Supposed by some to have first peopled an isle or peninsula called Saphta, in the Persian Gulf.

Raamah] Or Ragmah, for the word is pronounced both ways, because of the [ ain, which some make a vowel, and some a consonant. Ptolemy mentions a city called Regma near the Persian Gulf; it probably received its name from the person in the text.

Sabtechah] From the river called Samidochus, in Caramanla; Bochart conjectures that the person in the text fixed his residence in that part.

Sheba] Supposed to have had his residence beyond the Euphrates, in the environs of Charran, Eden, &c.

Dedan.] Supposed to have peopled a part of Arabia, on the confines of Idumea.

Verse 8. Nimrod] Of this person little is known, as he is not mentioned except here and and in 1 Chron. i. 10, which is evidently a copy of the text in Genesis. He is called a mighty hunter before the Lord; and from ver. 10, we learn that he founded a kingdom which included the cities BHebel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. Though the words are not definite, it is very likely he was a very bad man. His name Nimrod comes from drm , marad, he rebelled; and the Targum, on 1 Chron. i. 10, says: Nimrod began to be a mighty man in sin, a murderer of innocent men, and a rebel before the Lord. The Jerusalem Targum says: "He was mighty in hunting (or in prey) and in sin before God, for he was a hunter of the children of men in their languages; and he said unto them, Depart from the religion of Shem, and cleave to the institutes of Nimrod." The Targum of Jonathan ben Uzziel says: "From the foundation of the world none was ever found like Nimrod, powerful in hunting, and in rebellions against the Lord." The Syriac calls him a warlike giant. The word dyx tsayid, which we render hunter, signifies prey; and is applied in the Scriptures to the hunting of men by persecution, oppression, and tyranny. Hence it is likely that Nimrod, having acquired power, used it in tyranny and oppression; and by rapine and violence founded that domination which was the first distinguished by the name of a kingdom on the face of the earth. How many kingdoms have been founded in the same way, in various ages and nations from that time to the present! From the Nimrods of the earth, God deliver the world! Mr. Bryant, in his Mythology, considers Nimrod as the principal instrument of the idolatry that afterwards prevailed in the family of Cush, and treats him as an arch rebel and apostate. Mr. Richardson, who was the determined foe of Mr. Bryant's whole system, asks, Dissertation, p. 405, "Where is the authority for these aspersions? They are nowhere to be discovered in the originals, in the versions, nor in the paraphrases of the sacred writings." If they are not to be found either in versions or paraphrases of the sacred writings, the above quotations are all false.

Verse 10. The beginning of his kingdom was BHebel] lbb bHebel signifies confusion; and it seems to have been a very proper name for the commencement of a kingdom that appears to have been founded in apostasy from God, and to have been supported by tyranny, rapine, and oppression.

In the land of Shinar.] The same as mentioned chap. xi. 2. It appears that, as Babylon was built on the river Euphrates, and the tower of BHebel was in the land of Shinar, consequently Shinar itself must have been in the southern part of Mesopotamia.

Verse 11. Out of that land went forth Asshur] The marginal reading is to be preferred here. He - Nimrod, went out into Assyria and built Nineveh; and hence Assyria is called the land of Nimrod, Micah v. 6. Thus did this mighty hunter extend his dominions in every possible way. The city of Nineveh, the capital of Assyria, is supposed to have had its name from Ninus, the son of Nimrod; but probably Ninus and Nimrod are the same person. This city, which made so conspicuous a figure in the history of the world, is now called Mossul; it is an inconsiderable place, built out of the ruins of the ancient Nineveh.

Rehoboth, and Calah, &c.] Nothing certain is known concerning the situation of these places; conjecture is endless, and it has been amply indulged by learned men in seeking for Rehoboth in the Birtha of Ptolemy, Calah in Calachine, Resen in Larissa, &c., &c.

Verse 13. Mizraim begat Ludim] Supposed to mean the inhabitants of the Mareotis, a canton in Egypt, for the name Ludim is evidently the name of a people.

Anamim] According to Bochart, the people who inhabited the district about the temple of Jupiter Ammon.

Lehabim] The Libyans, or a people who dwelt on the west of the Thebaid, and were called Libyo-Egyptians.

Naphtuhim] Even the conjectures can scarcely fix a place for these people. Bochart seems inclined to place them in Marmarica, or among the Troglodytae.

Verse 14. Pathrusim] The inhabitants of the Delta, in Egypt, according to the Chaldee paraphrase; but, according to Bochart, the people who inhabited the Thebaid, called Pathros in Scripture.

Casluhim] The inhabitants of Colchis; for almost all authors allow that Colchis was peopled from Egypt.

Philistim] The people called Philistines, the constant plagues and frequent oppressors of the Israelites, whose history may be seen at large in the books of Samuel, Kings, &c.

Caphtorim] Inhabitants of Cyprus according to Calmet.

Verse 15. Sidon] Who probably built the city of this name, and was the father of the Sidonians.

Heth] From whom came the Hittites, so remarkable among the Canaanitish nations.

Verse 16. The Jebusite-Amorite, &c.] Are well known as being the ancient inhabitants of Canaan, expelled by the children of Israel.

Verse 20. These are the sons of Ham after their families] No doubt all these were well known in the days of Moses, and for a long time after; but at this distance, when it is considered that the political state of the world has been undergoing almost incessant revolutions through all the intermediate portions of time, the impossibility of fixing their residences or marking their descendants must be evident, as both the names of the people and the places of their residences have been changed beyond the possibility of being recognized.

Verse 21. Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber] It is generally supposed that the Hebrews derived their name from Eber or Heber, son of Shem; but it appears much more likely that they had it from the circumstance of Abraham passing over (for so the word rb[ abar signifies) the river Euphrates to come into the land of Canaan. See the history of Abraham, chap. xiv. 13.

Verse 22. Elam] From whom came the Elamites, near to the Medes, and whose chief city was Elymais.

Asshur] Who gave his name to a vast province (afterwards a mighty empire) called Assyria.

Arphaxad] From whom Arrapachitis in Assyria was named, according to some; or Artaxata in Armenia, on the frontiers of Media, according to others.

Lud] The founder of the Lydians. In Asia Minor; or of the Ludim, who dwelt at the confluence of the Euphrates and Tigris, according to Arias Montanus.

Aram.] The father of the Arameans, afterwards called Syrians.

Verse 23. Uz] Who peopled Caelosyria, and is supposed to have been the founder of Damascus.

Hul] Who peopled a part of Armenia.

Gether] Supposed by Calmet to have been the founder of the Itureans, who dwelt beyond the Jordan, having Arabia Deserta on the east, and the Jordan on the west.

Mash.] Who inhabited mount Masius in Mesopotamia, and from whom the river Mazeca, which has its source in that mountain, takes its name.

Verse 24. Salah] The founder of the people of Susiana.

Eber.] See ver. 21. The Septuagint add Cainan here, with one hundred and thirty to the chronology.

Verse 25. Peleg] From glp palag, to divide, because in his days, which is supposed to be about one hundred years after the flood, the earth was divided among the sons of Noah. Though some are of opinion that a physical division, and not a political one, is what is intended here, viz., a separation of continents and islands from the main land; the earthy parts having been united into one great continent previously to the days of Peleg. This opinion appears to me the most likely, for what is said, ver. 5, is spoken by way of anticipation.

Verse 26. - 30. Joktan] He had thirteen sons who had their dwelling from Mesha unto Sephar, a mount of the east, which places Calmet supposes to be mount Masius, on the west in Mesopotamia, and the mountains of the Saphirs on the east in Armenia, or of the Tapyrs farther on in Media.

In confirmation that all men have been derived from one family, let it be observed that there are many customs and usages, both sacred and civil, which have prevailed in all parts of the world; and that these could owe their origin to nothing but a general institution, which could never have existed, had not mankind been originally of the same blood, and instructed in the same common notions before they were dispersed. Among these usages may be reckoned, 1. The numbering by tens. 2. Their computing time by a cycle of seven days. 3. Their setting apart the seventh day for religious purposes. 4. Their use of sacrifices, propitiatory and eucharistical. 5. The consecration of temples and altars. 6. The institution of sanctuaries or places of refuge, and their privileges. 7. Their giving a tenth part of the produce of their fields, &c., for the use of the altar. 8. The custom of worshipping the Deity bare-footed. 9. Abstinence of the men from all sensual gratifications previously to their offering sacrifice. 10. The order of priesthood and its support. 11. The notion of legal pollutions, defilements, &c. 12. The universal tradition of a general deluge. 13. The universal opinion that the rainbow was a Divine sign, or portent, &c., &c. See Dodd.

The wisdom and goodness of God are particularly manifested in repeopling the earth by means of three persons, all of the same family, and who had witnessed that awful display of Divine justice in the destruction of the world by the flood, while themselves were preserved in the ark. By this very means the true religion was propagated over the earth; for the sons of Noah would certainly teach their children, not only the precepts delivered to their father by God himself, but also how in his justice he had brought the flood on the world of the ungodly, and by his merciful providence preserved them from the general ruin. It is on this ground alone that we can account for the uniformity and universality of the above traditions, and for the grand outlines of religious truth which are found in every quarter of the world. God has so done his marvellous works that they may be had in everlasting remembrance.

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