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While the earth remaineth, seed time and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night, shall not cease.
And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.
.And the fear of you, and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea, into your hand are they delivered.
Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you j even as the green herb have I given you all things.
But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall you not eat.
And surely your blood of your lives will I requires at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man.
Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.
And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply, bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein.
And God spake unto Noah and to his sons with him, saying.
And I. behold I-establish my covenant with you, and
with yoi'r seed after you.
And with every living creature that is with you of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you, from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth.
And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all ilesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood, neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.
And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you, and every living creature that is with.you, for perpetual generations.
I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.
And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud.
And I will remember my covenant which is between* me and you, and every living creature of all flesh, and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. . •
And the bow shall be in the cloud i and I will look upon it; that I may remember the everlasting covenant between Goo and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.
And the sons of Noah that went forth of the ark were Shea, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan.
These are the three sons of Noah: and of them wa» the whole earth overspread.
ANNOTATIONS And REFLECTIONS.
We may judge that it was an essential part of religion -to offer sacrifices to the Lord God, by.Noah's having recourse to them immediately after he left the Ark; and we may conclude, from the expression The Lord smelted a sweet savour, which is a figurative mode of speaking, that they were acceptable. ,
When Adam was first created and placed in Eden, he had several blessings and privileges conferred on him of God; these were forfeited at the Fall; but we here fiod these very blessings restored to human-kind in Noah and his posterity, Be fruitful and multiply, &c. *.
* Compare Gen. i. 28. with tbe passage under consideration.
It is impossible to ascertain the exact state of the earth from he Fall to the Flood; but we hare great reason to suppose, that it required much harder labour to cultivate it, than at present, especially before man was assisted by beasts Labour in fact is no longer a curse upon mankind in general; many men are totally exempted from it; and those who toil the hardest-are not subjected to it through the natural condition of the ground, but from other accidental circumstances, and are usually eased from the worst parts of it by instruments of husbandry, and the aid of horses, oxen, &c.—Thorns and thistles indeed it still produces, but not in such abundance as to be a pla;;ue: on the contrary, they may now be ranked among the blessings of the earthy since they add to the beauties of nature, and afford delicious food for birds and beasts; nay, are often the means of restoring health to mankind when employed in medicines, or converted into milk, of the ass in particular^ The case'was very different in respect to Ada r , supposing him to have been placed in a part of the earth over-run with these plants. It. must have been a very laborious task to clear the ground from them with his own hands only, or the feeble assistance of Eve. • What the curse actually was, we may with great probability collect from that denounced against Israel when disobedient, / will break the pride of your power; and I •will make your heaven as ironi and your earth as Irass t and your strength shall be spent in vain: for your land ha 11 not yield her increase, neither shall t/ie trees of the land yield their fruits *. God's promise of regular seasons after the flood seems to intimate that they. were very irregular and confused before -f. We may therefore reasonably conclude, that the state of the earth is
*.f.ev. xxvi. 19. 20. , ;,
f See this subject fully IiantHeJ in Bishop Sherlock on'Prophecy.
netter since the deluge than it was before; of this, at least, we may be certain, that Gon has been faithful to his promise, which he made to Noah, for though floods and famines have been occasionally sent as judgments on wicked nations, they have nevpr been irencral, so as to cut off every living thing from the face of the
In addition to the privileges bestowed upon Adam, mankind had now that of eating fle,h, with this restriction, that they should take care that every creature was totally dead, before they began dressing it for food.
It is remarked that those beasts, which feed on livin,. creatures, are particularly "fierce; and it is likely, that the same practice would render man ferocious. There was a time when the lion, the wolf, and the tyger, eat grass ivich the ox *. How sanguinary are they now! We may therefore consider it as an instance of Divine mercy to us, that man was forbidden to feast himself with the blood of those animals he was permitted to 'kill.
A positive command was at this time given against . murder, and a law established for the punishment of that dreadful crime. This law is agreeable to right reason, and is still in force in all civilized nations.
Though God permitted mankind to kill animals for food, he did not give them a license to be cruel, or leave them at liberty to extirpate any entire species; on the contrary, the Almighty took in every class of living creatures when He made the covenant, which is recorded in this section f, in order to convince Noah, and all generations, that the mercy of the Lord is over
* And God said to every beast of the earth, I have given every green herb for meat. See Section i.
f See Dr. Primatt's Disteitation on the Du'y of Mercy, and Sin of Cruelty to Brute Anima s,
all all fiis works, and that every liv.ng creature, of the fowl, of the cattle, and ot every beast of the earth, is as much in its kind the object of his care as man.
It has been a question whether the rainbow was seen before the flood? Most likely it was, but no object innature could be so proper for a 'lohen of the Covenant, which Go D made at this time, because it is the effect of rain, and its appearance is. a certain sign that rain doesnot fall at that time in every part of the world; therefore we cannot wonder that Divine wisdom should select it for this purpose.
From this section, we learn, that it is an acceptable act, in the sight of God, to return public thanksgivings for extraordinary deliv>wances.
We also learn to adore the Supreme Bbing for his mercy and goodness in pronouncing a blessing on the earth, whereby we ourselves enjoy such invaluable benefits, and which are entailed on our latest posterity .
We are likewise admonished to be thankful to Goo; for restraining mankind, by a Divine law, from killing each other, and for giving us dominion over the brute creation, and implanting in their nature such a fear and dread of man, as render those beasts subservient to many useful purposes, who, from their make, are able to vanquish and destroy us. But we should never forget, that beasts- are of consequence enough to be taken into covenant with God, and are therefore entitled to our regard; and so far from, inflicting wanton crueltieson them, we should make it our study to render their lives as comfortable as. possible.
Let us then imprint on our minds the Everlasting Covenant, that whenever the Token of it appears in the clouds, we may recollect it with gratitude, as it relates to mankind in general, and to. ourselves in particular; never forgetting that God's mercy k over all his works*