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THE BROTHER'S MURDER.
unto the Lord. Cain brought of the fruit of the ground, and Abel of the firstlings of his flock. And God was pleased with Abel's offering, but not with Cain's: for Abel brought his offering in faith; but Cain was hard-hearted, and full of envy. Then Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And the Lord said unto Cain,
Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door."
And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. And the Lord said unto Cain, "Where is Abel thy brother?" And he said, “I know not: am I my brother's keeper?" And he said, "What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground. And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand when thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth." And Cain said, "My punishment is greater than I can bear."-(My sin is greater than can be forgiven me.) And every one that findeth me shall slay me. But the Lord said, "No," and set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him. And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord with his wife and children, and built a city, and called it, after the name of his son, Enoch. a Adam was an hundred and ten years old when
a Gen. iv. 3—17.
this event occurred. And Eve bare another son, whom she called Seth, which means 66 ed," (for the one lost).
4. THE FLOOD.
THE first men were much stronger, and lived ten times as long as men do now. Adam was nine hundred and thirty years old; and when he died, he had descendants from Seth to the ninth generation, and from Cain to the tenth generation. This was at that time the usual length of men's lives. Methuselah lived nine hundred and sixtynine years, Noah nine hundred and fifty. The number of descendants Adam might have had by all his sons would have been very great. But while men were so multiplying upon the earth, violence and wickedness became prevalent.
And the Lord said, "Men will no longer be reproved by my Spirit, for they are flesh.a I will yet give them a space of one hundred and twenty years. At that time there was no written law of God; no Bible; but men were reproved by the Spirit of God.
And the Lord said, "I will destroy man, whom I have created, from the face of the earth." b Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord," and he was a righteous man. And God said unto Noah, Make an ark three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide, and thirty cubits high (so that it was a large house), and make chambers in it. For, behold, I will "bring a flood of waters upon
b Gen. vi. 7, 8.
a Luther's version.
the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven, and every thing that is in the earth shall die. But with thee will I establish my covenant: and thou shalt come into the ark; thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons' wives, with thee. And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee. And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten ; and it shall be for food for thee and for them." c
Noah was six hundred years old when he went into the ark; and the waters of the flood came upon the earth. Then all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened, and the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights. And the waters increased and bore up the ark; so that it went upon the face of the waters. And the waters increased so exceedingly that all the high hills that were under the whole heaven were covered. Fifteen cubits upwards, above the tops of the mountains, did the waters prevail. And they remained upon the earth an hundred and fifty days, and then they began to fall. It was on the tenth day of the second month that Noah entered the ark, and on the seventeenth day the fountains of the great deep were broken up.
Thus did God destroy the whole human race, except Noah and his family; and in this awful event we see a most striking display of the mercy as well as of the justice of God. We are told, that "the earth was filled with violence;" and, doubtless, that violence was chiefly directed against
Gen. vi. 17-21.
the people of God, in fulfilment of what had been foretold, that there should be enmity between the seed of the serpent and the Seed of the woman. And their enmity and violence were so great, and the enemies of the people of God so numerous, that it was come to the last extremity. Noah's reproofs and his preaching of righteousness were utterly disregarded. God's Spirit had striven with them one hundred and twenty years, but in vain. The church of God was reduced to such narrow limits as to be confined to one family. Neither was there any prospect of any thing else but of their totally swallowing it up in a very little time; and so wholly destroying that small root from whence the Redeemer was to proceed. But by means of this flood, all the enemies of God's church, against whom that little handful had no strength, were swept off at once; and the whole earth was given to Noah and his family to enjoy in quiet.
And on the first day of the tenth month the tops of the mountains were again seen. But Noah waited forty days longer before he opened the window. Then he sent forth a raven, which flew hither and thither, and did not come back again. After that he sent forth a dove, but the dove returned to him into the ark. Then, seven days after, he sent the dove again forth out of the ark, and she came back again in the evening; and, behold, she had a green olive leaf in her beak. Then, after seven days, he sent forth the dove again, which returned not again to him any more. That was on the first day of the first month. And now Noah took off the covering of the ark, and he looked, and, behold, the face of the ground was dry. Noah remained yet until the seven and twentieth day of
the second month; until the ground was so dry that he was able to go forth out of the ark. Then Noah brought a thank-offering unto the Lord. And the Lord said, "I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth: neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night, shall not cease.' "d
And God blessed Noah, and made a covenant with him, and set a token of the covenant which he made with him in the clouds-the beautiful seven-coloured rainbow. And God said, "This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth." e
d Gen. viii. 21, 22.
e Gen. ix. 17.