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“ Cursed be Canaan, a servant of servants shall he be to his brethren.”*
Q. What did he say concerning Shem and Japhet?
A. “Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.”'t
Q. Where did the posterity of Noah settle?
Q. Had they fixed habitations?
* Canaan was evidently implicated in the turpitude of his father. This prediction“ is no random anathema—but a cool, deliberate denunciation, which proceeded not from a spirit of indignation, but of prophecy. The history, indeed, takes notice of the malediction immediately upon Noah's awaking "out of his sleep, and being informed of what had happened ; but this is occasioned by its known brevity, which relates things as asta successive, when
considerable space of time ought to interfere.”-STACKHOUSE's Hist. of the Bible.
+ This prediction has been amply verified. The Canaanites fell before the Israelites, the children of Shem; and the Car. thaginians, one of their colonies, and other African pations, before the Romans, the children of Japhet; to whose enlarge. ment, dominion over the children of Ham, and occupation of the tents of Shem, the vast extent of the Greek and Roman empires gives most convincing demonstration. The four great monarchies, whose domination extended over the greater part of the then known world, were held by the descendants of Shem and Japhet, whilst the most potent of the Egyptian monarchies was restricted to a comparatively small scale of short lived conquests.
length reached the plain of Shinar,* they resolved to effect a settlement there.
Q. What measures did they adopt thereupon ?
A. They began to build a city, and a tower of an immense height;t hoping thereby to avoid a dispersion.
Q. With what materials did they build their city?
A. Only one: “the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech." +
Q. Did they succeed in their design?
A. No: the Lord confounded their language, § and they left off building the city : wherefore it was called Babel, or Confusion.
Q. What was the result of this confusion? A. M. 1757. A. They were scattered abroad from B. C. 2247. thence upon the face of all the earth./!
The name Eber signifying passage, has induced some chronologers to fix the migration to Shinar by the year of his birth, A. M. 1723, sixty-seven years after the flood.
+ A tower whose top is towards the heavens, or up to heaven, evidently means a very high tower; as cities “walled or fortified up to heaven,” Deut. i. 28. are cities fortified by very lofty walls,
Heb. “Of one lip and few words;" a concise and correct description of the primitive tongue. See Appendix D.
$ The original language is supposed to have continued in the family of Eber.
|| This is usually placed at one hundred and one years after the Deluge, at the birth of Peleg, whose name signifies
Q. Who were the children of Shem?
A. Gomer, Magog, Madai, Jayan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras.
Q. Where did the children of Shem settle ?
A. Elam settled in Persia ;* Asshur in Assyria;t Aram in Syria and Mesopotamia ; # Lud is supposed to have settled in Lydia ; and Arphaxad in Assyria. $
Q. Where did the children of Ham settle ?
A. The children of Cush settled in Arabia, in Ethiopia, and on the shores of the Persian Gulf ;|| Mizraim
division. But this division may have been a physical one, as the Rev. A. Catcott supposes. One hundred and one years is confessedly a short period for the repopulation of the earth, the migration to Shinar, the building of Babel, and the dispersion. For these events the Septuagint assigns five hun. dred and thirty-one years, and the Samaritan four hundred and one. But the various readings on this subject, given in the different MSS. of the Septuagint, from which the Samaritan is suspected to have borrowed this part of its chronology, have rendered the calculations of both very questionable.
tot Isa. xxi. 2. Jerem. xxv. 25, etc. + Gen. x. 11, 12.
# The Syrians are always called Arameans in scripture; and Mesopotamia, Aram Naharaim, or Syria of the two rivers.
6 His descendants dwelt there. Gen. xi. 10—-28.
|| The earliest Cnshite kingdom lay near the Gulf of Persia; the second, in Arabia, comprehended the great mercantile states of Yemen, Sheba, Saba, Raamah, and Dedan; and the third was situate in Ethiopia.
in Egypt,* and the parts adjacent ; Canaan in Palestine ; and Phut is supposed to have settled in Africa. t.
2. Where did the children of Japhet settle ?
A. Madai settled in Media ; # Javan, or Ion, in Greece ; $ Tiras in Thrace ; || and Gomer, Magog, Me
The children of Joktan, one of the posterity of Arphaxad, Gen, x. 26–29. inhabited, in the days of Moses, the south of Arabia, called Yemen. The children of Cusli, x. 7, mingling with them, settled along the Persian Gulf. These all became mercantile, and first possessed the Indian trade, which they introduced into Syria. The population of Arabia was, after a great lapse of time, completed by the settlement of the cbildren of Keturah, Ishmael, and Esau, in the northern desart. --See BRUCE's Travels, vol. ii. Append. No. II. to Book I.
* The natives of Egypt called their country Chemi, evi. dently from their great ancestor, from whom it is denominated, Psalm cv. 27. “ the land of Ham.” The Turks call it Misr.
In Libya, Noph, Pathros, and Palestine, may be traced the Lehabim, Naphtuhim, Pathrusim, and Philistim, of Gen. X. 13, 14. which are plural terms referring to tribes, and not to individuals.
+ The Rev. S. Shuckford concludes, from Ezek. xxxviii. 5. Jerem. xlvi. 9. that Phut's posterity settled in the vicinity of Cush, in Arabia ; but our translators place them in Libya.
The Medes are said to have been the progenitors of the Sar Madai, or Sarmatians.
§ This is evident from Dan. viii. 21. where Alexander is stiled Melech Javan, or Jon, king of Greece.
|| The Dniester anciently bore the name of this patriarch, whose posterity appear to have given his name to Thrace.
slech, Tubal, and Togarmah, are supposed to have settled near the northern parts of Syria.*
Q. What became of Babel ?
A. It was seized by Nimrod ; and the tower, in after ages, was dedicated as a temple to Belus.
Q. What is said of Nimrod ?
Q. What distinguished character is A. M. 1824. supposed by some of the learned, to have B. C. 2180. been God's witness for the truth in the
interval between the dispersion and the
call of Abraham ? A. Job,f a native of Uz, (otherwise Idumea or Edom.]
* Much uncertainty exists as to the settlement of these indi. viduals. The Rev. S. Shuckford concludes that they settled near the north of Syria, from Ezek. xxxviji. 2–6. by which it appears that the countries peopled by their children were contiguous; and from the testimony of Pliny, who says that Hierapolis, the modern Aleppo, was anciently called Magog.
+ The name Nimrod, a rebel, was perhaps given him because he trampled upon patriarchal authority.
# Mr. Horne, in his observations digested from the works of Dr. Hales and Archbp. Magee, notices, among others, the following circumstances, indicative of the period in which Job lived :—The antiquity of manners and customs noticed in the poem, -as writing by sculpture, xix. 24. ; computation of his wealth by his flocks and herds, i. 3. xlii. 12.; his acting as priest in his own family, i. 5.; the silence relative to the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, and to the Exodus of the Israelites, which, happening in the neighbourhood, would have been known to Job and his friends; the great age to