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This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands,, because of the ground which the Lord hath cursed. And Lamech lived after the birth of Noah five hundred ninety and five years, and had sons and daughters :. and all the days of Lamech were ^even hundred and seventy and seven years: and he died.
And Noah was five hundred years old; and Noah, had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Jaeheth.
ANNOTATIONS And REFLECTIONS.
The design of this section is to shew the regular descent from Adam to Noah, with a view to preserve the genealogy of the promised seed.
The generations of Adam signify his children, grand children, and all who proceeded from him in. the line of Seth, that son'of his from whom .the Redeemer of the world. was to proceed. We find that the Creator. eaJled; each of the fust human pair by one common, name, Ada M, which signified Man ; it was the first maa that called his wife Woman, to denote that she belonged to mankind, and afterwards gave her the proper name of Ev.e,' which has served to distinguish her from all other women. In the first verse of this section it is. said, that God created man in his oym Image, but it is said of Seth that he was in the Jihness or Image of Adam: from which we may understand, that there'-was -a great, alteration in human nature in consequence of the Fad. What is to be understood by l he Image of Gon, has been already explained; this Divine Image was defaced by sin, Adam was a sinner, subject to pain, sorrow, and death: his children being in his image, were just such creatures as himself, excepting that they were , innocent of his particular offence, but they partook of the corruption of his nature.. We do not rsad that Adam and Eve were guilty of
aisy capital crimes after they left Paradise, and may therefore suppose, that the general tenour of their con } duct was agreeable to the will of God, and that they educated their children in the principles of true religion. It pleased the Lord to spare Adam's life for a length of years 5 and in all probability Eve also lived to a good old age, but ttrey must have felt severely the evils which their disobedience first brought into the world: however, as they still enjoyed the advantages of an immediate intercourse with the Lord God, it Is reasonable to think, that they were comforted with hopes of enjoying, through his infinite mercy, that -happiness in. a future state, which they had lost in this.
It is said of Enoch that he walked with God. By -this expression we may understand, that Enoch complied with all the commandments and ordinances of God. What these ordinances were we .are net told, but from the foregoing chapter we are led to suppose, that they consisted partly in Sacrifices offered with Repentance, and Faith in God's mercy.
The Son of Sirach * tells us, that Enoch left to all generations an example of repentance, and the Apostle informs us»that he was translated, or taken to heaven without dying, on account of his faith, and that before tiis translation he had this testimony, namely, thai he pleased God f.
Methuselah was the oldest man that ever lived. Longevity must have been a great blessing to mankind, while they lived good lives, and enjoyed healthy constitutions; but, according to the present state of the world, it would be an intolerable evil. Lamech, the father of Noah, pronounced a remarkable prophecy at the birth of his son—This same shall comfort us concerning our work and foil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord
* Eccl.xliv. 16. t iicb. Jii. 5.
. ... hath hath cursed. From this prediction, it is supposed *, "That the curse upon the ground, pronounced at the Fall, subsisted in all its rigour to the days of Laraech; that the work and toil necessary to raise from the ground a sufficient support for life, was a grievous and iiksome burden; and that there was an expectation in his time, at least among those who had not quite forgotten God, of a deliverance from the curse of the Fall; of which deliverance Lamech understood his son Noah would be the instrument. We shall see, as we proceed, in what manner this prediction was completed.
The birth of Noah happened in the eleventh century after the fall.
We find from this section, that though men lived, in the fu st ages of the world, a great number of years, they all died at last, excepting Enoch,. who was miraculously translated; yet we are not told of any particular crimes they committed, for which death was inflicted as a punishment. The truth is, that they all died in consequence of Adam's sin -f. The condemnation of death had passed upon mankind before any of th sons of Adam were born. God concluded them oil as sinners, before they came into the world, that they might all partake of Redemption |v
Since all mankind are born with a corrupt nature, in the image of their progenitor Adam, instead of the Image of God, we should learn to think humbly of ourselves, and highly of the mercy and goodness of God, who has condescended to take such creatures as sinful men into covenant with himself: and we should earnestly desire to be purified from the original corruption of our nature, and to have the Image of Cod renewed in our minds by Divine Grace §.
* See Bishop Sherlock on Prophecy. t llCor. xv. 22.
X Rom. xi, 32. Qi0.ili.82. § 2 Cor. 15, IC. E^h. iv. 22, 23, 24.
- THE GENEALOGY FROM CAIN.
From Genesis, Chap. iv.
And Cain's wife bare Enoch, and he builded a city, \ and called the name of the city. after the name of his son Enoch. And unto Enoch was born Irad, and unto Ikadimehuiael, and unto Mehui Ael, Methusael, andunto Methus-ael, Lamech.
And Lamech took unto him two wives : the name of the one was Ada H, and the name of the other Zillah. And Adah bare Jabal : he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle. And his brothel's name was JuuAl: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ. And Zillah she. also bare TubAl-cain", an instructor of every artificer in brass-and iron: and-the sister of Tuba'l-cain was Naamah.
And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Ktiar my voice ; ye wives- of Lamech, hearken -unto my speech ; for I have slain a man to my' wounding, and a-young man to my hurt. If Cain shall be avenged seven fold, truly Lamech seventy and seven fold.
ANNOTATIONS And REFLECTIONS.
Lamech, the descendent of Cain, is supposed to have been the first man who had two wives: he is thought by some to have killed Cain ; .but it rather appears, from the text, that he had slain another persont and was fearful God would inflict a greater punishment upon him than he had on the first murderer, because he had presumed to kill a man, notwithstanding he had seen the evil consequences which the perpetration of murder brought upon Cain.
There is great similarity of names in the descendants of Seth and Cain; we must therefore be careful not to confound one with the other.
It is remarked, that, in this genealogy, there is not one good person pointed- out; but several of Cain's race became famous for useful and curious. arts, which shews, that God does not confine this kind of knowledge to the best people; therefore, it is wrong- for any person to value himself merely upon his skill in human arts and sciences ; it is the proper application of talents, to the glory of God, and the good of mankind, that can alone render any one truly estimable.
SECTION VII. • •
THE BUItDINC O* -"NOAH'S ARK.
From Genesis, Chap. vi. And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were bora" unto. them,
That the Sons of Cod -saw the daughters of metit that they were fair .; and they tPPk theni wives of aH which ti'.ey chose.
And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with mm. for that he also is .flesh: yet his day shall be anhundred and twenty years. . ,
There were giants in the earth in those days, and also after that; the same became mighty men, which were of old men of renown.
And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and the whole imagination, purposes, and '. desires * of his heart were only evil continually.
And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth and it grieved him at his heart.
And the Lord said, I will destroy man, whom I have created, from the face of the earth; both man and beast and the creeping thing, and the fowl of the air, for it. re^ehtcth me that I have made them.
* S>-e mai->iin of tlie Bible.