Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

29 And he called his name 30 And Lamech lived after he Noah, saying, This same shall begat Noah five hundred ninety comfort us concerning our work and five years, and begat sons and and toil of our hands, because of daughters : the ground m which the Lord hath 31 And all the days of Lamech cursed.

mch. 3. 17. & 4. 11.

tain by the inspired declaration, Heb. cordance with the fact. The prediction 11. 5, that 'by faith Enoch was trans- thus understood he maintains has been lated that he should not see death.' verified by the event; that the earth The Chaldee version renders the pas- from the time of the flood was in a sage, 'He appeared not, and yet the good degree restored from the curse laid Lord killed him not.'

upon it at the fall, and is still enjoying 29. Called his name Nouh, saying, the effect of the blessing bestowed up&c. The original terms for Noah (773 on Noah. Very specious objections noach, rest) and comfort (on) nahham, may doubtless be urged against this to comfort or refresh) have so much re- view of the subject, yet if the predicsemblance to each other that we are tion be construed as announcing a probably to regard the language as an gradual amelioration of the state of instance of that paranomasia, or play the earth to be effected through this upon words, which is of such frequent lapse of many ages, the proposed interoccurrence in the sacred writers, and of pretation may be considered as less liawhich a striking parallel is to be noted ble to exception. For it is certain that Gen. 9. 27. The name was doubtless the invention of the arts and implebestowed by the prompting of the spirit ments of husbandry, and the improveof prophecy. But in what precise sense ments made by one age upon another the prediction was to be fulfilled in No- in every department of agriculture, have ah, is a point not very easily determin- rendered the toil andwork ofmen's hands ed. The opinion of Bp. Sherlock is that less and less burdensome. By the art of the curse upon the earth inflicted in taming and managing the beasts of the consequence of Adam's sin had, in field, and pressing them into our service connection with the progressive in- -a prerogative especially secured in the crease of corruption and crime, been grant made through Noah, chap. 9. 2 growing more and more severe ever-the most laborious part of the work is since the fall, so that the work and transferred upon them, and by that toil necessary to raise from the ground means man's dominion over them se a sufficient sustenance for life had be- far recovered. By the improvements come an almost intolerable burden. also which in later times have resulted And he supposes that the words of La- from an investigation of the laws of mech refer to a general expectation motion and a dexterous application of that by the intervention or instrumen- the mechanical powers, one man can tality of some distinguished personage now perform with ease what formerly the rigour of the curse was to be great- surpassed the united efforts of many, ly abated, and the earth restored in a and a great part of the labour of life measure to its primitive fertility and ease has been thrown back upon inanimate of cultivation. This personage he con. matter itself. In attributing such an ceives that Lamech,under divine sugges- import, however, to the name Noah, we tion, recognised in his new-born child, are not to conceive of him as the effiand bestowed upon him a name in ac- cient agent by whom such a signal were seven hundred seventy and

CHAPTER VI. seven years: and he died.

AND it came to pass, when 32 And Noah was five hun

men began to multiply on the dred years old : and Noah begat face of the earth, and daughters Shem, Ham, and Japheth. were born unto them,

b

nch. 6. 10. O ch. 10. 21.

a ch. 1. 28.

change was to be brought about, but

CHAPTER VI. merely as a destined medium, appoint- 1. And it came to pass, &c. A more ed to act a conspicuous part in the train exact rendering of the two first verses of events which should issue in such a is the following ;—'And it came to pass result. After all, the above suggestions when men began to multiply on the are thrown out in the lack of any face of the earth, that daughters were thing more satisfactory in explanation born unto them, And the sons of God of the reason assigned by Lamech for saw the daughters of men that they the bestowment of the name Noah up- were fair,' &c. The same construction on his son.

in the original occurs 1 Sam. 13. 22. 32. And Noah begat Shem, Ham, Josh. 17. 13. 2 Kings 3.5, in all which and Japheth. That is, began to be- cases 'and' is rendered that.'– -T get; for his three sons were not all When men began to multiply. Men begotten or born in one year. Of had multiplied long before this, for it was these, Japheth was undoubtedly the now above 1500 years since the creaeldest, and therefore born in the five tion; the meaning therefore is, when hundredth year of Noah's life. And the human race had greatly multiplied. as Shem begat Arphaxad two years af- Heb. 'when the Adam began to multiter the flood when he was one hundred ply.' That is, corrupt men, men paryears old, ch. 11. 10, he must have taking in an eminent degree of the nabeen born about two years after Ja- ture of fallen Adam, in allusion particupheth, that is to say, when his father larly to the descendants of wicked 'was five hundred and two. Yet as Cain. This appears from their being Ham is invariably named between the distinguished from the 'sons of God' other two, we incline to the belief that in the ensuing verse, who although by he was born between them, though of nature equally the heirs of corruption, the precise time of his birth we are not yet being descended from the line of informed. Shem is named first from Seth were in the main a class of perhis superior dignity as the progenitor of sons possessing the fear and observing the church and of Christ, and perhaps the worship of Jehovah. They were from his obtaining the birthright, though those upon whom the name of the this is not mentioned in the history. In Lord was called,' as mentioned in the like manner, Abel is named before previous chapter. The object of the Cain, Jacob before Esau, and Isaac be- sacred writer is to trace back to its fore Ishmael. He is called Shem, fountain-head that universal degenerawhich signifies a name, because the cy and corruption of manners which name of God and the distinction that resulted in bringing the deluge upon the accrued from it, was always to remain world of the ungodly. From his statein his posterity till He should come out ment it is plain that it commenced in of his loins whose name was to be promiscuous intermarriages, or less above every name; so in putting Shem lawful connections, between the seed of first, Christ was in effect put first, who in the righteous and of the wicked. 'If all things must have the preeminence. I there had not been so deep a deluge of 2 That the sons of God saw the fair; and they o took them wires daughters of men that they were of all which they chose.

b Deut. 7.3, 4.

sin there had been none of the waters. garded with a lustful eye, as Eve saw From wiicncc thien was this superflu'ty the forbidden fruit. Heb. daughters of iniquity? Whence, but from the un. of the Ajam.' That is, daughters of equal yoke with infidels. These mar- the profane and impious race of Cain, riages did not beget men so much as children of the old Adam, such as had wickedness; from hence religious hus- nothing in them but the nature of men, bands both lost their piety, and gained fallen men, who had lost the image of a rebellious and godless generation.' God and minded only earthly things. Bp. Hall.

Thus, 1 Cor. 13. 3, Walk ye not as 2. The sons of God. Heb.573 men ?' i. e. as carnal unregenerate men. sons of the Elohim. Chal. 'sons of - They took them wides of all the eminent oneg.' That is, the de- which they chose. Or, Heb. 'which they scendants of Seth, Enos, and the oth- liked or loved. The original for 'choose' er pious patriarchs who were separated often has the sense of liking, delightfrom the posterity of Cain and formed ing in, being pleased with. Thus Isa. the visible church. The appellation 14. 1, 'For the Lord will have mercy on no doubt has reference to Gen. 4. 26, Jacob, and will yet choose Israel;' i. e. where the same class of persons are will yet delight in. So the phrase 'my said to be called by the name of the chosen,' Isa. 42. 1, is interpreted 'my Lord;' i. e. to be the sons and servants beloved,' Mat. 12. 18. Comp. Zech. l. of God in contradistinction from oth 17.-3. 2. Prov. 1. 29.-3. 31. En. ers, the seed of Cain, who are merely snared by the beauty of these fair called 'men.' The term Elohim is oc- daughters of men, and overlooking ev. casionally applied to persons of distin- ery higher consideration, they rushed guished eminence in place or power, thoughtlessly into the most dangerous such as judges, magistrates, &c. but is connections. Instead of giving reason here probably used to denote a distinc- time to deliberate and weigh the consetion of a moral kind, such as resulted

quences, they surrendered themselves from their likeness to God, their main-to the impulses of a headstrong pastaining his worship, and obeying his sion, and deaf to advice or remonlaws. The persons designated included, strance took all that they chose, choosit may be presumed, all, or nearly all, ing only by the eye and in obedience to those enumerated in the preceding chap their corrupt affections; and perhaps ter as forming the line of the faithful disdaining to govern themselves by the from Seth to Noah, who though pious limitation of one woman to one man. and devout themselves, were yet unfor- Such unequal yokings have always tunate in their children. They unhap- been among the most fruitful sources of pily swerved from the precepts in which evil, and upon no conduct of his people they had been trained, forsook the is the stamp of the divine displeasure counsels of their fathers, relaxed the more unequivocally set than upon this. strictness of their walk, and, yielding See Deut. 7. 3, 4, 2 Cor. 6. 14. 1 Cor. gradually to temptation, formed unhal- 7. 39. Professors of religion in marry. lowed connections with the worldly and | ing both themselves and their children profane, and thus opened the floodgates should, as a general rule, make conof a universal corruption of morals. science of keeping within the bounds

- Saw the daughters of men. Re-I of profession. The bad will sooner 3 And the LORD said, “My man, 4 for that he also is flesh: Spirit shall not always strive with yet his days shall be an hundred

and twenty years.

. Gal. 5. 16, 17.

1 Pet. 3. 19, 20.

d Ps. 78. 39.

corrupt the good than the good reform This acceptation of the original word, the bad. Those that profess them- however is not sustained by adequate selves the children of God should not authority, though adopted by Pagninus marry without his consent, which they and favoured by Grotius. The renderhave not if they join in affinity with his ing which we have given above is by enemies.' Henry.

far the most probable, implying that 3. The Lord said ; i. e. to himself, pur- the spirit of God speaking by the minposed, resolved. 1 My Spirit shall istry of such prophets as Enoch and not always strive with man. Heb. Noah, as well as by his inward opera1779 83 shall not judge, i. e. contend in tions on the conscience, should not aljudgment, as the word signifies Eccl. 6. ways strive to bring men to repentance. 10, Neither may he contend (777) A parallel mode of speech we find Neh. with him that is mightier than he.' As 9. 30, ‘Yet many years didst thou forif he should say, “My Spirit shall not bear them, and testifiedst against them perpetually keep up the process of judg- by thy Spirit in thy prophets : yet ment, rebuke, conviction, and condem. would they not give ear. The lannation. The ancient versions vary guage plainly implies that ample time considerably in their mode of render- and opportunity had been already afing. The Gr. translates it, 'My Spirit forded for this purpose, “the long-sufshall not continue in these men.' Chal. fering of God had waited,' but all to *This evil generation shall not continue no effect, and now an end is determined before me for ever, because they are to the divine forbearance. Still, as the flesh, and their works most wicked; justice of heaven is reluctant to take its and an end shall be given unto them, course, it shall not be immediately exean hundred and twenty years, if per-cuted; a limited respite is granted, haps they may be converted.' The which, once expired, no farther indulSeptuagint translators appear to have gence shall be shewn. taken the original 777 7 yadon as a verbal derivation from the noun 173 neden, There is a time, and Justice marks the date; a sheath ; so that the true sense will be, For long-forbearing Clemency to wait ;

That hour elapsed, th' incurable revolt My Spirit shall not for ever be ensheathed in man;' that is, The vital is punished, and down comes the thunder.

bolt.' -Cowper. breath with which I inspired him shall not for ever animate its sheath of clay. This passage should be viewed in conThis phraseology is somewhat striking- nection with 1 Pet. 3. 18—20, from ly illustrated by the following lines which we learn that it was no other from a Persian historian said to have than the Spirit of Christ that through been spoken by a philosopher to Alex- the instrumentality of the pious patriander the Great.

archs preached to the disobedient spirits

of the old world. We may be remindDost thou not know that man's exterior formed by the narrative (1.) That nothing Is but the scabbard to the enlivening mind? Why shouldst thou judge then of the weap. God than fleshly lusts. (2.) Every

more effectually grieves the Spirit of on's edge When yet you've nothing seen except the fresh indulgence of sin is a new resist

case Anc. Univ. Hist. vol v. p. 438.ance against God's strivings. (3.) When

[ocr errors]

4 There were giants in the men, and they bare children to earth in those days; and also af- them : the same became mighty ter that, when the sons of God men, which were of old, men of came in unto the daughters of renown.

the Spirit of God is resisted, his calls come. God will so temper his judg become less and less sensible, till he ments with mercy, and afford the sinis finally quite withdrawn. (4.) When ner such warnings and such opportuniGod strives no more, then men rush ties of securing his favour, that the headlong into sin and ruin. How much judgment when it comes shall find reason have we all to pray, 'Lord, take him without excuse. Let us hear then, not thine Holy Spirit from us.'- and fear, and break off our sins by

For that he also is flesh. Chal. 'for righteousness. that they are flesh, and their works 4. There were giants in the earth in evil.' Had the sons of God kept them- those days. A term descriptive probaselves separate, and preserved their pu- bly not so much of great strength and rity, God would have spared the world stature as of great cruelty, rapine, and for their sakes, but they mingled to-violence; though the first, as a secondgether, and became in effect one people. ary sense, may still be included. Heb. God, therefore, seeing they had become 07302 nephilim, fallers, i. e. apostates virtually one, called them all by one fallen from God and the true religion, name, and that is man (078 Adam), and by violence and cruelty falling without distinction, and in giving the upon iheir fellow-men, injuring their reason why his Spirit should not al-persons, and invading their rights; usurways strive with man, special reference pers, oppressors, tyrants, monsters of is had to their having become degener- wickedness and lust, as well as of enorate. It was for that he also, or these mous stature. They are otherwise also, were flesh'; i. e. even his own and elsewhere termed Anakim, Rephprofessing people, those who had been aim, Gibborim: thus Nimrod, Gen. denominated and deemed the 'sons of 10. 8, is called Gibbor ; i. e. a mighty God,' even they too had become fleshly, one, a giant. By the Greeks, this class corrupt, profligate. The original is of men are termed Gigantes, from two peculiarly emphatic, if such a result words, signifying to be born of the earth; would not have been to be wondered at

a term from which we learn both the in regard to the Cainites, but that it origin and the import of the English was matter of astonishment and re- word 'giant.' The giants of the angret that the pious stock of Seth should cient mythology are fabled to have have thus greivously apostatised ; but sprung from the earth, from some broseeing that they had in fact joined ken traditions respecting these antedithemselves to the opposite party and luvian apostates, who in the sense of become the promoters of the general being earthly, sensual, vile, despising iniquity, they must expect nothing else heavenly things, might be justly dethan to share in the bitter consequences. nominated Searth-born.' There are Men are worse than others just in pro- more frequent allusions to them in the protion as they ought to be better, and are original Scriptures than are obvious in dealt with accordingly.- - Yet his our translation, or any other. Thus, days shall be an hundred and twenty Prov. 9. 18, speaking of the young man years. The allotted term for repent. enticed into the abodes of the adulterance before the day of vengeance should I ous woman, 'He knoweth not that

« VorigeDoorgaan »