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22 p While the earth remaineth, seed-time and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, 9 and day and night, shall not cease.
his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.
p Is. 54. 8. Jer. 33. 20, 25.
a ch. 1. 28. ver. 7, 19. ch. 10, 32.
before the flood, yet will I no more de- the new charter of privileges was constroy the earth on that account; but, ferred upon him. The true clew to the looking to the atoning sacrifice of the scope of the first paragraph is containpromised Messiah, I will spare themed in the first and seventh verses by and bless them for his sake.'
which it is limited, and which it will be 22. While the earth remaineth, seed perceived are of equivalent import, both time and harvest, &c. Six divisions of containing the command, or the promthe natural year are here mentioned ; ise rather, of an abundant increase. But and it seems that the Jews adopted the to the accomplishment of such a promise same divisions of the seasons, in refer- the history of the past and the view of ence to the labours of agriculture, which the present would suggest very formidaformed the principal employment of the ble obstacles to the mind of Noah. The mass of the population. The same di- sole survivors of the former world were visions are still in use among the Arabs. now but a feeble handful, and a natural The promise is clearly general in its ground of apprehension was, that in import, and therefore partial failures their weakness they would not be able are not inconsistent with it.
to cope with the beasts of the field,
who might soon be more than able to CHAPTER IX.
dispute the mastery with the adult inThe deliverance of the earth from fants issuing from the second cradle of the dominion of the overflowing waters the human race. To obviate the apprewas a sort of second creation. Noah hensions arising from this source, God and his sons accordingly were intro- is pleased, in the first instance, to asduced into the possession and lordship sure them that he would henceforth so of this new empire with very nearly the impress the spirits of the brute creation same form of benediction as that which with a fear and dread of man that, as a was bestowed upon Adam at the begin- general fact, they might promise themning. The prerogatives of Noah were selves abundant security on this score, mdeed enlarged beyond those of Adam and not only so, but by giving them by the grant of animal food, but like permission to kill the animals for food, the first father of the race he receives an they should have a still farther guarassurance of blessing and a command anty of safety, as they would in this to be fruitful, to multiply, and to re- way be imposing a continual check upplenish the earth. In connection with on their too rapid increase. But the this he is formally invested with a re- depredations and ferocity of wild beasts newed dominion over the creatures, and were not all that Noah and his family comforted with the assurance that the would feel that they had reason to earth should not again be destroyed by fear. The wrathful passions of men a like catastrophe. But in order to gain as well as the destructive instincts of a still fuller view of the scope of the animals were to be dreaded. Societies opening part of this chapter, we must in a state of lawless misrule marked revert to the circnmstances, in which I by deeds of violence and blood had no
2 . And the fear of you, and into your hand are they delivthe dread of you, shall be upon ered. every beast of the earth, and upon 3. Every moving thing that every fowl of the air, upon all liveth shall he meat for you; even that moveth upon the earth, and as the d green herb have I given upon all the fishes of the sea ; you all things.
b ch. 1. 28. Hos. 2 18.
c Deut. 12. 15. & 14. 3, 9, 11. Acts 10. 12, 13. d ch. 1. 29. e Rom. 14. 14, 20. 1 Cor. 10. 23, 26. Col. 2. 16. 1 Tim. 4. 3, 4.
doubt been common before the flood, race would probably long ere this have and how natural was it for Noah to been destroyed by the beasts of the give way tu the fear ihat like scenes of field. It is ordinarily but little considcruelty, rapine, and murder would in-ered what mercy God has shown to terfere with the promise now given of man in hiding from even the domestic the plentiful increase of his seed? But animals the consciousness of their suhere too the Lord meets his misgivings perior strength. It is not to be inferred with a quieting assurance. He utters from the language of this passage that an edict against the shedder of man's the same degree of the fear of man was blood which would at once erect a bar- impressed upon all the different species sier against the inroad of evils other- of animals; but that even the fiercest and wise to be anticipated from this source, most powerful possess more or less of and so having fully obviated these it is certain. It is the instinct even of the two grand tacit objections to the ful- lion, the tiger, and the wild elephant in filment of the gracious promise, he ordinary circumstances and when not again repeats in v. 7, the benediction provoked, rather to flue from man than which he had first announced in v. 1, to attack him ; thus acknowledging the "Be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring majesty of his presence and the fact of his forth abundantly in the earth and mul- original lordship. This passage seems tiply therein ;' all the intermediate mat- to be alluded to in James 3.7, 'Forevery ter between these two verses being ap- kind (Gr. Qvous nature) of beasts, and parently introduced for the sole purpose of birds, and of serpenis, and of things of removing the objections above stated. in the sea, is tamed, and hath been
2. The fear of you, &c. In these tamed of mankind (Gr. pvoel av@pwTin words is pointed out a striking differ- by the human nature) ;' i. e. the nature ence in the nature of the dominion of the one is constitutionally subject to which was exercised over the brute the nature of the other. creation by Adam in innocence and by 3. Every moving thing that liveth. Noah after the flood. Previous to the Heb. uno creeping thing. From the fall, man ruled the inferior animals by peculiar emphasis of the original the love and kindness, as then gentleness words would seem to imply, that the and docility were their principal char- animals allowed for food were to be acteristics. After that event, untracta- killed for this purpose, and that such bleness, savage ferocity, and enmity as died of themselves, or were slain by to man, prevailed among almost all other beasts, were excluded from the orders of the animal tribes; and had grant. This was afterwards expressly not God in his mercy impressed them prescribed in the law; Lev. 22. 8, "That with the fear and terror of man, so which dieth of itself, or is torn with that some submit to his will, while beasts, he shall not eat to defile himself others flec from his abodes, the human therewith. Such general expressions
4' But flesh with the life there, hand of every beast will I require of, which is the blood thereof, it, and b at the hand of man; at shall ye not eat.
the hand of every i man's brother 5 And surely your blood of will I require the life of man. your lives will I require: 8 at the
(Lev. 17. 10, 11, 14. & 19. 26. Deut. 12.. 23. h ch, 4. 9, 10. Ps. 9. 12 i Acts 17.26. 1 Sam. 14. 34. Acts 15. 20, 29. g Ex. 21. 28.
as that here used are often to be under- of vitality in the animal structure. He stood with some exceptions, and the may have designed simply to convey fact that certain species of reptiles were the idea that the blood was ostensibly afterwards forbidden to be eaten, Lev. the grand medium of life, that upon 11, is not to be constructed as militar- which its continuance more especially ing with the drift of this passage.. depended; yet it is not a little remarkT Even as the green herb have I given able that the discoveries of the celebra. you all things. Alluding to the primited John Hunter in the middle of the tive grant made Gen. 1. 29. The whole last century have gone far to establish scope makes it evident that the use of the point, that the blood is strictly a vi. animal food is here spoken of not as antal fluid, and is, in this respect, disinjunction, but as a permission. tinguished from every other part of the 4. But flesh with the life thereof, &c. anim al economy. But upon this view
. 3 , . only flesh with the life (or soul) thereof, -As to the true scope of the passage, the blood thereof, ye shall not eat. It is the Hebrew doctors generally under to be noticed, however, that according stand it as a prohibition against cutting to the distinction of the Heb. accents off any limb of a living animal and which, though not infallible guides to eating it while the life, i. e. the life. the sense, are always entitled to res- blood, is in it. Maimonides speaks of pect as giving the readings of the an- a fierce and barbarous people, who after cient Jews, this verse in connection cutting pieces of flesh from a living an. with the preceding requires to be ren- imal, devoured it raw with the blood dered and pointed as follows: 'As the sireaming from it, as a part of their green herb have I given you all, (all idolatrous worship; and that this hor. kinds of animals for food, yet not all rid practice is kept up to this day parts of the animal alike, but) only the among the Abyssinians is placed beflesh: the life thereof, (which is) the yond the reach of controversy by the blood thereof, ye shall not eat.' Ac- reports of Mr. Bruce and Mr. Salt, cording to this construction, which we confirmed by the statements of a still have little doubt is the true one, the later traveller, Mr. Madden, whose repreposition , before "uba life serves lations on this subject may be seen in both to designate the accusative of the my 'Illustrations of the Scriptures,' object, as it does repeatedly after this p. 17. But this, though perhaps indivery verb 354 to eat (Ex. 12. 43–45. rectly involved in the spirit of the proLev. 22. 11), and also to point out the hibition, does not seem to be its prima. internal nature and quality of the sub- ry drift. This was undoubtedly to forject to which it applies, and its virtual bid the use of blood in its simple un. identity with the blood. It cannot mixed state as an article of diet, and perhaps be positively affirmed that Mo- for this the grand reason 18 to be sought, ses here intended to assert the physio- not so much from its tendency to beget logical fact, that the blood is the seat a cruel, ferocious, and blood-thirsty dis.
(אדרש) The term require
position, though such is the fact, as danger of being counteracted from this from the design of the Lawgiver to at- source, and the Most High accordingly tach to blood a peculiar sacredness here utters a decree well calculated to from its uses in religious worship. This allay his apprehensions. The phraseolwe find expressly declared Lev. 17. 10, ogy of the original is very peculiar, and 11, 'Whatsoever man there be of the our translation we think fails in giving house of Israel, or of the strangers its precise import. The Hel. for your that sojourn among you, that eateth blood of your lives (D350D23 D527) any manner of blood; I will even set perhaps more properly signifies 'your my face against that soul that eateth blood for your lives ;' i. e. your blood blood, and will cut him off from among in return for the life-blood which you his people. For the life of the flesh is have shed. He says 'for your lives,' in the blood: and I have given it to to intimate the close relation and idenyou upon the altar to make an atone- tity, as it were, between men, as if in ment for your souls ; for it is the blood taking away the life of a brother they that maketh an atonement for the soul.' took that which was their own; so repThe full force of this language cannot resenting homicide as but another form be appreciated without bearing in mind of suicide, for he 'hath made of one that the original word (UD) nephesh) blood all nations of men,' &c. Acts, or life and soul is the same; so that in 17. 26.
() saying that the life of the flesh is in the implies a vindictive seeking or searching blood, and that it is the blood that out, and consequently involves the idea makes atonement for the soul (i. e. the of punishment. Thus Gen. 42. 22 life), it is virtually said that life goes "Therefore behold also his blood is te for life in the great scheme of expiation. quired. For this reason God is called Accordingly we find it prophetically af. Ps. 9. 12 (13), 6-27 077 seeker out of firmed of Christ in undoubted allusion bloods, i, e. avenger; and when Moto this very language, Is. 53. 12, that ses says Deut. 18. 19, 'I will require it he should pour out his soul (Heb. W of him, Peter in quoting and applying Gr.yuxn) unto death ;' i. e. should shed the sentence, Acts, 3. 23, says, 'He his vital blood, give his life. The same shall be destroyed from among the peooriginal Greek term occurs John, 10. ple.'—. At the hand of every beast 11, 17, 'I am the good shepherd: the will Irequire it. This is generally ingood shepherd giveth his life (or soul terpreted of the punishment which was yuxnu) for the sheep.' As to the ques to be inflicted upon a beast that had in tion whether this precept of abstaining any way killed a man; and it is cerfrom blood be at present binding upon tain that a law was afterwards ordained Christians, see Barnes on Acts 15. 29. requiring such a beast to be put to
6. And surely your blood of your lives death, Ex. 21. 28, probably to inspire will I require. God having in the pre- greater horror of every species of bloodceding verses given security to Noah shedding. And this may be the primaand his posterity against any appre- ry and most genuine sense of the hended obstacle to their increase and words. At least, we would not exmultiplication from the ravages of wild clude it from the scope of the sacred beasts, comes now to make provision writer ; at the same time we cannot against another possible evil, viz. the avoid the impression that this does not violence of men towards each oth- exhaust the whole meaning of the
Noah, from his experience of the words. The phrase 'at the hand of past, would no doubt fear that the ef- sometimes signifies ' by means of;' and fects of the divine blessing would be in a secondary idea, we are persuaded, is,
that the shedding of human blood will I require the soul (or life) of man.' should be avenged by the agency or in- That the idea here expressed is really strumentality, not only of every muro conveyed by the words of the sacred dered man's brother, but even by that writer we are not disposed to question ; of the very beasts of the field. The nor that they carry with them the clear whole creation, as it were, should be implication that every man is to considarmed against him who had violated er every other man as his brother, and the sanctity of human life. It is prob- to be as tender of his life as he would be able indeed that this ordinance contem- of that of one who acknowledges the plated primarily a state of society in same immediate parents as himself. which the institution of laws and ma- But the passage contains, we conceive, gistracy had obtained but a very im- much more than this. We here see, if perfect establishment, and therefore we mistake not, the origin of the instiamounts to a pledge on the part of the tution of Goëlism, or that feature of Most High that he would in some way, the patriarchal polity which provided and by the employment of such minis- for the punishment of crimes of blood. ters as he saw fit, take the work of ven- By the Goël (3x3 goël) is to be undergeance into his own hands. How stood the nearest relation of a person agreeable such extraordinary judgments murdered, whose right and duty it was, were to the general sense of mankind to avenge his kinsman's death with his we may learn from the striking incident own hand. The etymology of the Acts, 28. 4, where the barbarians, when word in this sense is not very well asthey observed the viper (the venomous certained, but as the root 3x3 has the beast) hanging to the hand of Paul, at import not only of ransoming or reonce concluded that the man was a deeming, but also of polluting or stainmurderer, whom, though he had escap-ing, Michaelis suggests that the Goël ed the perils of the sea, justice would was so called from his being considernot suffer to live. In like manner in ed as stained with the blood of his inurthe book of Job, which contains a pic- dered relative till he had washed it ture of society in its earliest and rudest away by avenging his death ; and in stages, we find clear intimations of the this very light do the Arabs still regard same thing. Speaking of the favoured the kinsman of a person inurdered. lot of the good man it is said, ch. 5. 22, The term, however, was afterwards 23, 'At destruction and famine thou extended to signify the nearest relation shalt laugh ; neither shall thou be afraid in general, although there was no murof the beasts of the earth. For thouder in the case, as may be seen in the shalt be in league with the stones of notes on Ruth, 4. 1. In Arabic, this the field; and the beasts of the field personage is called Tair or Tsair
, i. e. shall be at peace with thee.' While, survivor, implying the surviving relatherefore, we admit that the phrase 'to tive, who was bound to avenge the require the blood at the hand of beast death of a murdered person ; and in the or brother,' implies primarily inflicting writings of this people the mention of vengeance on the perpetrator, it involves the blood-avenger occurs far oftener also the secondary sense of enlisting than it does in Hebrew; no doubt for such executioners in the work as to di- the reason, that the usages of a rude vine wisdom might seem good. This is and primitive state of society have left confirmed by what follows. At more permanent traces among them the hand of every man's brother will I than among the Hebrews, though even require it. Chal. At the hand of the among them the relics of this system man who shall spill his brother's blood of retribution are still discoverable in