Page images

& c. 6.9. 17. 1. Deut. 13. 4.

6 And Seth lived an hundred and five years, and 15 And Mahalaleel lived sixty and five years, and begat Enos :

begat Jared : 7 And Seth lived, after he begat Enos, eight hun 16 And Mahalaleel lived, after he begat Jared, dred and seven years, and begat sons and daugh- eight hundred and thirty years, and begat sons and ters :

daughters : 8 And all the days of Seth were nine hundred 17 And all the days of Mahalaleel were eight and twelve years : and he died.

hundred ninety and five years: and he died. 9 And Enos lived ninety years, and begat 'Cainan: 18 And Jared lived an hundred sixty and two

10 And Enos lived, after he begat Cainan, eight years, and he begat Enoch: hundred and fifteen years, and begat sons and 19 And Jared lived after he begat Enoch eight daughters :

hundred years, and begat sons and daughters : 11 And all the days of Enos were nine hundred 20 And all the days of Jared were nine hundred and five years: and he died.

sixty and two years: and he died. 12 And Cainan lived seventy years, and begat 21 And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and Mahala leel:

begat $Methuselah: 13 And Cainan lived, after he begat Mahalaleel, 22 And Enoch 'walked with God, after he begat eight hundred and forty years, and begat sons and Methuselah, three hundred years, and begat sons daughters :

and daughters : 14 And all the days of Cainan were nine hundred 23 And all the days of Enoch were three hunand ten years: and he died.

dred sixty and five years: • Kenn. t Maleleel. 1 Jered. Gr. Mathusala.

2 Kings 2. 3. Pr. 16.8. Am. 3. 3. Mal. 2. 6. own likeness, the reverse of that divine likeness in which creatures, and of their usefulness both for food and medicine, Adam was made; but, having lost it himself, he could not together with their sobriety and temperance, contributed much convey it to his seed. Note, Grace does not run in the blood, to it; yet we do not find that those who were intemperate, as but corruption does, A sinner begets a sinner, but a saint many were, Luke 17. 27, were as shortlived as intemperata does not beget a saint.

men generally are now. 2. It must chietly be resolved into III. His age and death. He lived, in all, nine hundred and the power and providence of God; he prolonged their lives, thirty years; and then he died, according to the sentence both for the more speedy replenishing of the earth, and for the passed upon him, To dust thou shalt return. Though he did more effectual preservation of the knowledge of God and not die in the day he ate forbidden fruit, yet in that very day religion, then, when there was no written word, but tradition he became mortal; then he began to die: his whole life after was the channel of its conveyance. All the palriarchs here, was but a reprieve, a forfeited, condemned life; nay it was a except Noah, were born before Adam died; so thai from him wasting, dying life; he was not only like a criminal sentenced, they might receive a full and satisfactory account of the but as one already crucified, that dies slowly, and by degrees. creation, paradise, the fall, the promise, and those divine

V.6–20. We have here all that the Holy Ghost thought fit precepts which concerned religious worship and a religious to leave upon record concerning five of the patriarchs before the life: and if any mistake arose, they might have recourse to flood, Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, and Jared. There is him while he lived, as to an oracle, for the rectifying of it, and, nothing observable concerning any of these particularly, though after his death, lo Methuselah, and others, that had conversed we have reason to think they were men of eminence, both for with him: so great was the care of Almighty God to preserve prudence and piety, in their day : but, in general,

in his church the knowledge of his will, and the puriiy of his I. Observe how largely and expressly their generations are worship. recorded. This matter, one would think, might have been V. 21—24. The accounts here run on for several generations delivered in fewer words; but it is certain that there is not one without any thing remarkable, or any variation but of the idle word in God's books, whatever there is in men's. It is names and numbers; but, at length, there comes in one that thus plainly set down, 1. To make it easy and intelligible to must not be passed over so, of whom special notice must be the meanest capacity: when we are informed how old they taken, and that is Enoch, the seventh from Adam : the rest, were when they begat such a son, and how many years they we may suppose, did virtuously, but he excelled them all, and lived after, a very little skill in arithmetic will enable a man was the brightest star of the patriarchal age. It is but little to tell how long they lived in all; yet the Holy Ghost sets that is recorded concerning him ; but that little is enough to down the sum total, for the sake of those that have not even so make his name great, greater than the name of the other much skill as that. 2. To show the pleasure God takes in the Enoch, who had a city called by his name. Here are two names of his people : we found Cain's generation numbered in things concerning him: haste, ch. 4. 18, but this account of the holy seed is enlarged I. His gracious conversation in this world, which is twice upon, and given in words at length, and not in figures; we are spoken of, v. 22, Enoch walked with God after he begal Metold how long they lived, that lived in God's fear, and when thuselah; and again, v. 24, Enoch walked with God. Observe, they died, that died in his favour, but as for others, it is no 1. The nature of his religion, and the scope and tenor of his

The memory of the just is blessed, but the name of the conversation; he walked with God, which denotes, (1.) True wicked shall rot.

religion; what is godliness, but walking with God? The II. Their life is reckoned by days, v. 8, all the days of Seth, ungoully and profane are without God in the world, they walk and so of the rest ; which intimates the shortness of the life of contrary to him; but the godly walk with God, which presupman, when it is at the longest, and the quick revolution of our poses reconciliation to God, for two cannot walk together, except times on earth. If they reckon by days, surely we must they be agreed, Am. 3. 3, and includes all the parts and reckon by hours, or rather make that our frequent prayer, (Ps. instances of a godly, righteous, and sober life: to walk with 90, 12,) Tcach us to number our days.

God, is to set God always before us, and to act as those that 111. Concerning each of them, except Enoch, it is said, and are always under his eye. It is to live a life of communion he died. It is implied in the numbering of the years of their with God, both in ordinances and providences; it is to make life, that their life, when those years were numbered and God's word our rule, and his glory our end, in all our actions ; finished, came to an end; and yet it is still repeated, and he it is to make it our constant care and endeavour in every thing died: to show that death passed upon all men without excep- to please God, and in nothing to offend him; it is to comply !ion, and that it is good for us particularly to observe and with his will, to concur with his designs, and to be workers improve the deaths of others for our own edification. Such a together with him; it is to be followers of him as dear children. one was a strong healthful man, but he died ; such a one was (2) Eminent religion. He was entirely dead to this world, a great and rich man, but he died; such a one was a wise and did not only walk after God, as all good men do, but he politic man, but he died; such a one was a very good man, walked with God, as if he were in heaven already: he lived perbaps a very useful man, but he died, &c.

above the rate, not only of other men, but of other saints ; not IV. That which is especially observable, is, that they all only good in bad times, but the best in good times. (3.) Activity lived very long; not one of them died till he had seen the in promoting religion among others : executing the priest's revolutions of almost eight hundred years, and some of them office is called walking before God, 1 Sam. 2. 30, 35, and see lived much longer; a great while for an immortal soul to be Zech. 3. 7. Enoch, it should seem, was a priest of the most imprisoned in a house of clay. The present life surely was high God, and, as Noah, who is likewise said to walk with not to them such a burden as, commonly, it is now, else they God, he was a preacher of righteousness, and prophesied of would have been weary of it ; 'nor was the future life so clearly Christ's second coming, Jude 14, Behold, the Lord cometh with revealed then as it is now under the Gospel, else they would his holy myriads. Now the Holy Spirit, instead of saying have been impatient to remove to it: long life to the pious Enoch lived, says, Enoch valked with God; for it is the life of patriarchs was a blessing, and made them blessings. 1. Some a good man to walk with God. This was, [1.] The business natural causes may be assigned for their long life in those first of Enoch's life, his constant care and work; while others lived ages of the world.

It is very probable that the earth was to themselves and the world, he lived to God. [2.] It was the more fruitful; the productions of it more strengthening, the air joy and support of his life; communion with God was to him more healthful, and the influences of the heavenly bodies more better than life itself; To me to live is Christ, Phil. 1. 21, benign, before the food than they were after. Though man 2. The date of his religion. It is said, v. 21, he lived sirlywas driven out of paradise, yet the earth itself was then five years, and begat Methuselah; but, v. 22, he walked with paradisiacal; a garden, in comparison with its present wilder-God after he begut Methuselah ; which intimates that he did ness stalo : and some think that their great knowledge of the not begin to be eminent for piety till about that timo; at first


24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was 31 And all the days of Lamech were seven hunnot; for God took him.

dred seventy and seven years : and he died. 25 And Methuselah lived an hundred eighty and 32 And Noah was five hundred years old : and seven years, and begat * Lamech :

Noah begat "Shem, Ham, and Japheth. 26 And Methuselah lived after he begat Lamech seven hundred eighty and two years, and begat sons

CHAPTER VI. and daughters :

The most remarkable thing wo have upon record concerning the old world, is, the 27 And all the days of Methuselah were nine destruction of it by the universal deluge, which this chapter begins the story of;

wherein we have, 1. The abounding iniquity of that wicked world, v. 1-5, and hundred sixty and nine years : and he died.

v. 11, 12. II. The righteous Goul's just resentment of that abounding iniquity, 28 And Lamech lived an hundred eighty and

and his holy resolution to punish it, 6.6, 7. III. The special favour of God to

his servant Noah. 1. In the character given of him, v. 8-10. 2. In the comtwo years, and begat a son;

munication of God's purpose to him, Y. 13, 17. 3. lu the directions he gave him 29 And he called his name Noah, saying, This

to ruake an ark for his own safety, 1.14-16. 4. In the employing of him for the

preservation of the rest of the creatures, v. 18-21. Lastly, Noah's obedience to same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil the instructions given him, v. 22. And this concerning the old world is written

for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the new world are come. of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord hath cursed. 30 And Lamech lived after he begat Noah five' AND it came to pass, when men began to mul

tiply on the face of the earth, and daughters hundred ninety and five years, and begat sons and were born unto them, daughters :

2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of f Heb. 11. 5. * Lernech. Gr. Noe; i. e. rest, or, comfort.

& c.3. 17. 4.11. A c. 6. 10. 7. 13. I Chr. 1.4–34. & c. 1. 29. he walked but as other men. Great saints arrive at their nine hundred and sixty-nine years, the longest we read of, that eminence by degrees.

ever any man lived to, on earth; and yet he died: the longest 3. The continuance of his religion; he walked with God liver must die at last. Neither youth nor age will discharge three hundred years, as long as he continued in this world : the from that war, for that is the end of all men: none can chala hypocrite will not pray always; but the real saint that acts lenge life by long prescription, nor make that a plea against from a principle, and makes religion his choice, will persevere the arrests of death. It is commonly supposed that Methuto the end, and walk with God while he lives, as one that hopes selah died a little before the flood; the Jewish writers say, to live for ever with him, Ps, 104, 33.

“seven days before," referring to ch. 7. 10, and that he was II. His glorious removal to a better world: as he did not taken away from the evil to come ; which goes upon this live like the rest, so he did not die like the rest, v. 24, he was presumption which is generally received, that all these patrinot, for God took him ; that is, as it is explained, Heb. 11.3, archs in this chapter were holy good men. I am loath to offer He was translated that he should not see death, and was not any surmise to the contrary; and yet I see not that that can found because God lead translated him. Observe,

be any more inferred from their enrolment here among the 1. When he was thus translated. (1.) What time of his ancestors of Christ, than that all those kings of Judah were so, life it was; when he had lived but three hundred and sixty-five whose names are recorded in his genealogy, many of whom, years, (a year of years,) which, as men's ages went then, was we are sure, were much otherwise : and if this be questioned, in the midst of his days; for there was none of the patriarchs, it may be suggested as probable, that Methuselah was himself before the flood, that did not more than double that age: but drowned with the rest of the world; for it is certain that he why did God take him so soon? Surely, because the world, died that year. which was now grown corrupt, was not worthy of him ; or, V. 28–32. Here we have the first mention of Noah, of because he was so much above the world, and so weary of it, whom we shall read much in the following chapters. Here is, as to desire a speedy removal out of it; or, because his work I. His name, with the reason of it: Noah signifies rest; his was done, and done the sooner for his minding it so closely. parents gave him that name, with the prospect of his being a Note, God often takes them soonest whom he loves best; and more than ordinary blessing to his generation. This same shall the time they lose on earth is gained in heaven, to their comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because unspeakable advantage. (2.) What time of the world; it was of the ground which the Lord hath cursed. Here is, 1. His when all the patriarchs, mentioned in this chapter, were living, complaint of the calamitous state of human life; by the enexcept Adam, who died 57 years before, and Noah, who was trance of sin, and the entail of the curse for sin, it is become born 69 years after; they two had sensible confirmations to very miserable: our whole life is spent in labour, and our time their faith other ways, but to all the rest, who were, or might filled up with continual toil. God having cursed the ground, have been witnesses of Enoch's translation, that was a sensible it is as much as some can do, with the utmost care and pains, encouragement to their faith and hope concerning a future state. to fetch a hard livelihood out of it. He speaks as one fatigued

2. How his removal is expressed. He was not, for God took with the business of this life, and grudging that so many of our him. (1.) He was not any longer in this world; it was not thoughts and precious minutes, which otherwise might have the period of his being, but of his being here : he was not found, been much better employed, are unavoidably spent for the supso the apostle explains it from the LXX, not found by his port of the body. 2. His comfortable hopes of some relief by friends, who sought him, as the sons of the prophets sought the birth of this son: This same shall comfort us ; which deElijah, 2 Kings 2. 17; not found by his enemies, who, some notes not only that desire and expectation which parents gencthink, were in quest of him, to put him to death in their rage rally have concerning their children, that when they grow up, against him for his eminent piety : it appears by his prophecy, they will be comforts to them, and helpers in their business, that there were then many ungoully sinners, who spake hard though they often prove otherwise ; but it denotes also an speeches, and, probably did hard things too, against God's apprehension and prospect of something more : very probably, people, Jude 15, but God hid Enoch from them, not under there were some prophecies that went before him, as a person heaven, but in heaven. (2.) God took him body and soul to that should be wonderfully serviceable to his generation, which himself in the heavenly paradise, by the ministry of angels, as, they so understood as to conclude that he was the promised afterward, he took Elijah. He was changed, as those saints Seed, the Messiah that should come: and then it intimates that shall be, that will be found alive at Christ's second coming. a covenant-interest in Christ as our's, and the believing exWhenever a good man djes, God takes him, fetches him hence, pectation of his coming, furnish us with the best and surest and receives him to himself. The apostle adds concerning comforts, both in reference to the wrath and curse of God Enoch, that before his translation, he had this testimony, that he which we have deserved, and to the toils and troubles of this pleased Goil, and this was the good report he obtained. Note, present time which we are often complaining of. “Is Christ

[1.] Walking with God, pleases God. [2.] We cannot walk our's ? Is heaven our's ? This same shall comfort us." with God, so as to please him, but by faith. "[3.] God himself II. His children, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. These Noah will put an honour upon those that by faith walk with him so begat, (the eldest of these,) when he was 500 years old. It as to please him. He will own them now, and witness for should seem that Japheth was the eldest, ch. 10. 21 ; but Shein them before angels and men at the great day: they that have is put first, because on him the covenant was entailed, as apnot this testimony before the translation, yet shall have it after. pears, ch. 9. 26, where God is called the Lord God of Shem; [4.] Those whose conversation in the world is truly holy, shall to him, it is probable, the birthright was given, and from him, find their removal out of it truly happy, Enoch's translation it is certain, both Christ the Head, and the church the body, was not only an evidence to faith of the reality of a future were to descend ; therefore he is called Shem, which signifies state, and of the possibility of the body's existing in glory in a name, because in his posterity the name of God should always that state; but it was an encouragement to the hope of all that remain, till he should come out of his loins, whose name is walk with God, that they shall be for ever with him: signal above every name; so that in putting Shem first, Christ was in piety shall be crowned with signal honours.

etfect put first, who in all things must have the pre-eminence. V. 25–27. Concerning Methuselah observe, 1. The signification of his name, which some think, was prophetical, his father Enoch being a prophet; Methu selah signifies, he dies, V. 1,2. For the glory of God's justice, and for warning there is a dart, or, a sending forth, namely, of the deluge, which to a wicked world, before the history of the ruin of the old came the very year that Methuselah died. If ireleed his name world, we have a full account of its degeneracy, its apostasy was so intended, and so explained, it was fair warning to a from God and rebellion against him. The destroying of it was careless world, a long time before the judgment came. How- an act, not of absolute sovereignty, but of necessary justice ever, this is observable, that the longest liver that ever was, for the maintaining of the honour of God's government. Now carried death in his name, that he might be reminded of its here we have an account of two things which occasioned the coming surely, though it came slowly. 2. His age : ho lived wickedness of the old world.


men, that they were fair; and they took them, to them; the same became mighty men, which wives of all which they chose.

were of old, men of renown. 3 And the Lord said, My Spirit shall not always 5 And God saw i that the wickedness of man strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his was great in the earth, and that every imagination days shall be an hundred and twenty years. of the thoughts of his heart was only evil icon

4 There were giants in the earth in those days; tinually., and also aller that, when the sons of God came in 6 And it repented the Lord that he had made unto the daughters of men, and they bare children man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 6 Job 31. 1. c Deut. 7.3, 4. Ezra 9 2. Neh. 13, 25, 27, 2 Cor. 6. 14. Neh. • or, the whole imagination : The Hebrew word signifies not only the imagina9. 30. Is. 5. 4. 63. 10. Jer. 11. 7, 11. I Pet. 3. 20. & Px. 78. 39. På. 14. 2. 53.2. tion, but also the purposes and desires. & c.8.21. Deut. 29. 19. Ez. 8. 9, 12. Rom. 3. 9.

Mali. 15. 19. f every day. 1. The increase of mankind. Men began to multiply upon yet he did not immediately cut them off, but waited to see what the face of the earth. This was the effect of the blessing, ch. the issue of these marriages would be, and which side the chil1. 28, and yet man's corruption so abused and perverted this dren would take after; and it proved, (as it usually does,) that blessing, that it turned into a curse. Thus sin takes occasion they took after the worst side. Here is, by the mercies of God io be the more exceeding sinful. Prov. 1. The temptation they were under to oppress and do vio29. 16, When the wicked are multiplied, transgression increaseth. lence ; they were giants, they were men of renou:n ; they beThe more sinners, the more sin; and the multitude of offenders came too hard for all about them, and carried all before them, imbldens men: infectious diseases are most destructive in 1. With their great bulk, as the sons of Anak, Num. 13. 33, populous cities; and sin is a spreading leprosy. Thus in the and 2. With their great name, as the king of Assyria, Is. 37. New Testament Church, when the number of the disciples was 11. These made them the terror of the mighty in the land of multiplied, there arose a murmuring, Acts 6. 1, and we read the living; and thus armed, they daringly insulted the rights of of a nation that was multiplied, not to the increase of their joy, all their neighbours, and trampled upon all that is just and Is. 9. 3. Numerous families need to be well governed, lest sacred. Note, Those that have so much power over others they should become wicked families.

as to be able to oppress them, have seldom so much power over 2. Mixed marriages, v. 2 : The sons of God, that is, the themselves as not to oppress ; great might is a very great snare professors of religion, who were called by the name of the

to many: This degenerate race slighted the honour their anLord, and called upon that name, married the daughters of men, cestors had obtained by virtue and religion, and made themthat is, those that were profane, and strangers to God and god-selves a great name by that which was the perpetual ruin of liness. The posteriiy of Seth did not keep by themselves, as their good name. they ought to have done, both for the preservation of their own II. The charge exhibited and proved against them, v. 5. purity, and in detestation of the apostacy; they intermingled The evidence produced was incontestable; God saw it, and themselves with the excommunicated race of Cain; they look that is instead of a thousand witnesses. God sees all the them lives of all that they chose. But what was amiss in these wickedness that is among the children of men ; it cannot be marriages? (1.) They chose only by the eye; they saw that concealed from him now, and if it be not repented of, it shall they were fair, which was all they looked at. (2.) They fol- not be concealed by him shortly. Now, what did God take lowed the choice which their own corrupt affections mado; notice of ? they took all that they chose, without advice and consideration. 1. He observed all the streams of sin that flowed along in But, (3.) That which proved of such bad consequence to them, men's lives, and the breadth and depth of those streams ; he was, that they married strunge wives, were unequally yoked with saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth. Observe unbelievers, 2 Cor. 6. 14, This was forbidden to Israel, Deut. the connexion of this with what goes before ; the oppressors 7. 3, 4. It was the unhappy occasion of Solonion's apostacy, were mighty men, and men of renoun ; and then God saw that 1 Kings 11. 1–4, and was of bad consequence to the Jews the wickedness of man was great. Note, The wickedness of after their return out of Babylon, Ezra 9. 1, 2. Note, Profes- people is great indeed, when the inost notorious sinners are sors of religion, in marrying both themselves and their children, men of renown among them. Things are bad, when bad men should make conscience of keeping within the bounds of pro- are not only honoured notwithstanding their wickedness, but fession. The bad will sooner debauch the good than the good honoured for their wickedness, and the vilest men exalted; reform the bad. Those that profess themselves the children wickedness is then great, when great men are wicked. Their of God, must not marry without his consent, which they have wickedness was greai, that is, abundance of sin was committed not, if they join in afunity with his enemies.

in all places, by all sorts of people ; and such sin as was in its V.3. This comes in herc, 1. As a token of God's displea- own nature most gross, and heinous, and provoking; and comsure at those who married strange wives ; be threatens to mitted daringly, and with a defiance of heaven ; nor was any withdraw his Spirit from them, whom they had grieved by care taken by those who had power in their hands, to restrain such marriages, contrary to their convictions. Fleshly lusts and punish it. This God saw. Note, All the sins of sinners are often punished with spiritual judgments, the sorest of all are known to God the Judge : those that are most conversunt judgroents. Or, 2. As another occasion of the great wicked in the world, though they see much wickedness in it, yet they ness of the old world; the Spirit of the Lord, being provoked see but little of that which is; but God sees all, and judges by their resistance of his motions, ceased to strive with them, aright concerning it, how great it is, nor can he be deceived in and then all religion was soon lost among them. This hé his judgment. warns them of before, that they might not further vex his holy 2. He observed the fountain of sin that was in men's hearts : Spirit, but by their prayers might stay him with them. Ob- any one might see that the wickedness of man was great, for serve in this verse,

they declared their sin as Sodom ; but God's eye went further; 1. God's resoluiion not always to strive with man by his he saw that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was Spirit. The Spirit then strove by Noah's preaching, 1 Pet. only evil continually. A sad sight, and very offensive to God's 3. 19, 20, and by inward checks; but it was in vain with the holy eye! This was the bitter root, the corrupt spring : all the most of men; therefore, says God, He shall not always strive. violence and oppression, all the luxury and wantonness, that Note, (1.) The blessed Spirit strives with sinners, by the con were in the world, proceeded from the corruption of nature ; victions and admonitions of conscience, to turn them from sin lust conceived them, Jam. 1. 15. See Matt. 15. 19. (1.). The to God. (2.) If the Spirit be resister, quenched, and striven heart was naught: that was deceitful and desperately wicked ; against ; though he strive long, he will not strive always, Hos. the principles were corrupt, and the habits and dispositions 4. 17. (3.) Those are ripening apace for ruin, whom the evil." (2.) The thoughts of the heart were so; thought is someSpuit of grace has left off striving with.

times iaken for the settled judgment or opinion, and that was 2. The rea-on of that resolution; For that he also is flesh, bribed, and biassed, and misled ; sometimes for the workings that is, incurably corrupt, and carnal, and sensual, so that it is of the fancy, and those were always either vain or vile, either latvir lost to strive with him. Can the Ethiopian change his weaving the spider's web, or hatching the cockatrice's eggs. (3.) skin? He also, that is, All, one as well as another, they are The imagination of the thoughts of the heart was so, that is, all sunk into the mire of Aesh Noto, (1.) It is the corrupt na their designs and devices were wicked. They did not do evil ture, and the inclination of the soul toward the flesh, that oppose only through care.essness, as those that walk at all adventures, the Spirit's strivings, and render them ineffectual. (2.) When not heeding what they do ; but they did evil deliberately, and & sinner has long adhered to that interest, and sided with the designedly, contriving how to do mischief. It was bad indeed; fez against the Spirit, the Spirit justly withdraws his agency, for it was only evil, continually evil, and every imagination was and rises no more. None lose the Spirit's strivings, but There was no good to be found among them, no not at any those that have first forfeited them.

time: the stream of sin was full, and strong, and constant; and 3. A reprieve granted, notwithstanding; yet his days shall God saw it; see Ps. 14. 1-3. be 120 years; long I will defer the judgment they deserve, V.6, 7. Here is, I. God's resentment of man's wickedness; and give them space to prevent it by their repentance and he did not see it as an unconcerned spectator, but as one injureformation. Juerice said, Cut them down ; but mercy inter- red and affronted by it; he saw it as a tender father sees the ceded, Lord, let them alone this year also ; and so far mercy folly and stubbornness of a rebellious and disobedient child, prevailed, that a reprieve was obtained for six-score years, which not only angers him, but grieves him, and makes him Note, The time of Gol's patience and forbearance toward wish he had been written childless. The expressions here used, provoking sinners is sometimes long, but always limited : re are very strange. It repented the Lord that he had made man prieres are not pardons; though God bear a great while, he upon the earth, that he had made a creature of such noble will not bear always.

powers and faculties, and had put him on this earth, which he V. 4, 5. We have here a further account of the corruption built and furnished on purpose to be a convenient, comforiable of the old world. When the sons of God had matched with habitation for him; and ie grieved him at his heart.

These are the daughters of men, though it was very displeasing to God, I expressions after the manner of men, and must be understood VOL. 1.-7

( 49 )


7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man, whom 10 And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, I have created, from the face of the earth; both and Japheth. *man and beast, and the creeping thing, and the 11 The earth also was corrupt before God; and fowls of the air : for it repenteth me that I have the earth was filled with violence. made them.

12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, 8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. it was corrupt; for all tesh had corrupted his way

9 These are the generations of Noah: Noah upon the earth. was a just man, and perfect in his generations, 13 And God said unto Noah, “The end of all and Noah walked with God.

flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with * from men unto beant.

tor, uprighi. A i Pet. 4, 7. so as not to reflect upon the honour of God's immutability or him greater and more truly honourable than all the giants that felicity.

were in those days, who became mighty men, and men of re1. It does not bespeak any passion or uneasiness in God, nown. Let this be the top of our ambition, to find grace in (nothing can create disturbance to the eternal mind;) but it the eyes of the Lord ; herein let us labour, that, present or abbespeaks his just and holy displeasure against sin and sinners; sent, we may be accepted of him, 2 Cor. 5. 9.

Those aro against sin as odious to his holiness, and against sinners as ob- highly favoured, whom God savours. noxious to his justice. He is pressed by the sins of his creatures, 2. When the rest of the world was corrupt and wicked, Am. 2. 13; wearied, Is. 43. 24; broken, Ez. 6. 9; grieved, Ps. Noah kept his integrity, v. 9, These are the generations of 95. 10, and here, grieved to the heart, as men are when they Noah : this is the account we have to give of him; Noah was are wronged and abused by those they have been very kind to, a just man. This character of Noah comes in here either, and therefore repent of their kindness, and wish they had never (1.) As the reason of God's favour to him; his singular piety fostered that snake in their bosom, which now hisses in their qualified him for singular tokens of God's loving kindness. face, and stings them to the heart. Does God thus hate sin? Those that would find grace in the eyes of the Lord, must be And shall not we hate it? Has our sin grieved him to the heart? as Noah was, and do as Noah did: God loves those that love And shall not we be grieved and pricked to the heart for it? him: or (2.) As the effect of God's favour to him: it was God's O that this consideration might humble us, and shame us, and good will to him that produced this good work in him; he was that we may look on him whom we have thus grieved, and a very good man, but he was no better than the grace of God mourn! Zech. 12. 10.

made him, 1 Cor. 15. 10. Now observe his character; [1.] 2. It does not bespeak any change in God's mund; for he is He was a just man, that is, justified before God by faith in the in one mind, and who can turn hin? With him there is no va- promised Seed; for he was an heir of the righteousness which riableness. But it bespeaks a change of his way; when God is by faith, Heb. 11. 7. He was sanctified, and had right prinhad made man upright, he rested and was refreshed, Ex. 31. 17, ciples and dispositions implanted in him; and he was righteous and his way toward him was such as showed he was pleased in his conversation, one that made conscience of rendering to with the work of his own hands; but now that man was aposta- all their due, to Gout his due, and to men their's. Note, None tized, he could not do otherwise than show himself displeased: but a downright honest man, can find favour with God; that so that the was in man, not in God. God repented that conversation which will be pleasing to God, must be governed he had made man; but we never find him repenting that he by simplicity and godly sincerity, not by fleshly wisdom, 2 Cor. redeemed man, though that was a work of much greater expense,

1. 12. God has sometimes chosen the foolish things of the because special and effectual grace is given to secure the great world, but he never chose the knavish things of it. (2.) He was ends of redemption; so that those gifts and callings are without perfect, not with a sinless perfection, but a perfection of sincerepentance, Rom. 11. 29.

rity; and it is well for us, that by virtue of the covenant of II, God's resolution to destroy man for his wickedness, v. 7. grace, upon the score of Christ's righteousness, sincerity is acObserve, 1. When God repented that he had made man, he cepted as our Gospel perfection. [3.] He walked with God, as resolved to destroy man. Thus they that truly repent of sin, Enoch had done before him; he was not only honest, but dewill resolve, in the strength of God's grace, to mortify sin, and vout: he walked, that is, he acted with God, as one always to destroy it, and so to undo what they have done amiss; we under his eye ; he lived a life of communion with God ; it was do but mock God in saying that we are sorry for our sin, and his constant care to conform himself to the will of God, to that it grieves us to the heart, if we continue to indulge it. In please him, and to approve himself to him. Note, God looks vain do we pretend a change of our mind, if we do not evidence down upon those with an eye of favour, who sincerely look up it by a change of our way. 2. He resolves to destroy man ; to him with an eye of faith. But, [4.] That which crowns his the original word is very significant, I will wipe off man from character is, that thus he was, and thus he did, in his generathe earth, (so some,) as dirt or filth is wiped off from a place tion, in that corrupt degenerate age, in which bis lot was cast. which should be clean, and is thrown to the dunghill, the proper It is easy to be religious, when religion is in fashion ; but it is place for it. See 2 Kings 21. 13. Those that are the spots of an evidence of strong faith and resolution, to swim against a the places they live in, are justly wiped away by the judgments stream to heaven, and to appear for Gou, when no one else of God. I will blot out man from the earth, (so others,) as those appears for him: so Noah did, and it is upon record, to his lines are blotted out of a book, which displease the author; or, immortal honour. as the name of a citizen is blotted out of the rolls of the free V. 11, 12. The wickedness of that generation is here again men, when he is dead, or disfranchised. 3. He speaks of man spoken of, 1. As a foil to Noah's piety; he was just and peras his own creature then, when he resolves upon his ruin, Man fect, when all the earth was corrupt : or, 2. As a further justifiwhom I have created; “ Though I have created him, that shall cation of God's resolution to destroy the world, which he was not excuse him.” Is. 27. 11, He that made him, will not save now about to communicate to his servant Noah. him ; he that is our Creator, if he shall not be our Ruler, will 1. All kind of sin was found anyong them, for v. 11, it is said be our Destroyer. Or, “Because I have created him, and he that the earth was, (1.) Corrupt before God, that is, in the mathas been so undutiful and so ungrateful to his Creator, there- ters of God's worship; either they had other gods before him, fore I will destroy him:” those forfeit their lives that do not or, they worshipped him by images, or, they were corrupt and answer the end of their living. 4. Even the brute creatures wicked in despite and contempt of God, daring him and defying were to be involved in this destruction, Beasts and creeping him to his face. (2.) The eurth was also filled with violence, things, and the foul of the air. These were made for man, and injustice toward men ; there was no order or regular and therefore must be destroyed with man; for it follows, Il re government; no man was safe in the possession of that which penleth me that I have made them ; for the end of their creation he had the most clear and incontestable right to, no not the most also was frustrated: they were made, that man might serve and innocent life, nothing but murders, rapes, and rapine. Note, honour God with them; and therefore were destroyed, because Wickedness, as it is the shame of the hunian nature, so it is the he had served his lusts with them, and made them subject to ruin of human society ; it takes away conscience and the fear vanity: 5. God took up this resolution concerning men, after of God, and men become beasts and devils to one another, like his spirit had been long striving with them in vain. None are the fishes of the sea, where the greater devour the lesser. Sin ruined by the justice of God but those that hate to be reformed fills the earth with violence, and so turns the world into a wilby the grace of God.

derness, into a cockpit.
V. 8-10. We have here Noah distinguished from the rest 2. The proof and evidence of it were undeniable ; for God
of the world, and a peculiar mark of honour put upon him. looked upon the earth, and was himself an eyewiiness of the

1. When God was displeased with the rest of the world, he corruption that was in it, of which before, v.5. The righteous
favoured Noah, v. 8, But Noah found grace in the eyes of the judge in all his judgments proceeds upon the infallible certainty
Lord. This vindicates God's justice in his displeasure against of his own omniscience, Ps. 33. 13.
the world, and shows that he had strictly examined the charac 3. That which most aggravated the matter, was the universal
ter of every person in it, before he pronounced it universally spreading of the contagion. Al flesh had corrupted his way.
corrupt; for, there being one good man, he found him out, and Ii was not some particular nations or cities that were thus
smiled upon him. It also magnifies his grace towards Noah, wicked, but the whole world of mankind were so ; there was
that he was made a vessel of God's mercy, when all mankind none that did good, no, not one, beside Noah. Note, When
besides were become the generation of his wrath : distinguish- wickedness is become general and universal, ruin is not far
ing favours bring under peculiarly strong obligations. Proba- | off; while there is a remnant of praying people in a nation to
bly, Noah did not find favour in the eyes of men; they hated and empty the measure as it fills, judgments may be kept off a
persecuted him, because both by his life and preaching he con- great while; but when all hands are at work to pull down the
demned the world ; but he found grace in the eyes of the Lord, fences by sin, and none stand in the gap to make up the breach,
and that was honour and comfort enough. God made moro ac- what can be expected but an inundation of wrath ?
count of Noah than of all the world besides; and this made V. 13-21. Here it appears indeed that Noah found grace


violence through them: and, behold, I will destroy | is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every them with the earth.

thing that is in the earth shall die. 14 Make thee an ark of gopher-wood: rooms 18 But with thee will I establish my covenant: shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and thou shalt come into the ark; thou, and thy and without with pitch.

sons, and thy wile, and thy sons' wives, with thee. 15 And this is the fashion which thou shalt make 19 And of every living thing of all flesh, two; of it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep cubits, the breadth of it fitty cubits, and the height theni alive with thee; they shall be male and female. of it thirty cubits.

20 Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after 16 A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in their kind; of every creeping thing of the earth a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of after his kind ; two of every sort shall come unto the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof: with thee, to keep them alive. lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it. 21 And take thou unto thee of all food that is

17 And, behold, I, even I, `do bring a flood of eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein be for food for thee and for them. • or, from the earth. I neats.

į Ps. 93. 3, 4. Am.9.6. j c.7. 8, 9. in the eyes of the Lord; God's favour to him was plainly inti- are in a special manner obliging. This will add much to the maud in what he said of him, v. 8—10, where his name is honour and happiness of glorified saints, that they shall be mentioned five times in five lines, when once might have served saved, when the greatest part of the world is left to perish. to make the sense clear, as if the Holy Ghost took a pleasure Now, 1. God directs Noah to make an ark, v. 14–16. This in perpetuating his memory; but it appears much inure in ark was like the hulk of a ship, fitted not to sail upon the waters, what he says to him in these verses-the informations and (there was no occasion for that, when there should be no shore instructions here given him.

to sail to,) but to float upon the waters, wajting for their fall. 1. God here makes Noah the man of his counsel ; communi- God could have secured Noah by the ministration of angels, cating to him his purpose to destroy this wicked world by water, without putting him to any care, or pains, or trouble himself; as, afterward, he told Abraliam his resolution concerning but he chose to employ him in making that which was to be the Sodom, ch. 18. 17, Shall I hide from Abraham. So here, Shall means of his preservation, both for the trial of his faith and I hide from Noah, the thing that I do, seeing that he shall obedience, and to teach us that none shall be saved by Christ, become a great nation? Noie, The secret of the Lord is with but those only that work out their salvation; we cannot do it them that fear him, Ps. 25. 14, it was with his servants the pro- without God, and he will not without us: both the providence phets, Am. 3. 7, by a spirit of revelation, informing them par- of God, and the grace of God, own and crown the endeavours ucularly of his purposes; it is with all believers, by a spirit of of the obedient and diligent. wisdom and faih, enabling to understand and apply the general God gave him very particular instructions concerning this declarations of the written word, and the warnings there given. building, which could not but be admirably well fitted for the

Now, 1. God told Noah, in general, that he would destroy purpose, when Infinite Wisdom itself was the Architect. (1.) the world, v. 13, The end of all flesh is come before me; I will It must be made of gopher-wood : Noah, doubtless knew what destroy them, that is, The ruin of this wicked world is decreed sort of wood that was, though now we do not, whether cedar, or and determined; it is come; that is, it will come surely, and cypress, or what other. (2.) He must make it three stories come quickly. Noah, it is likely, in preaching to his neigh-high within. (3.) He must divide it into cabins, with partibours, had warned them, in general, of the wrath of God that tions, places fitted for the several sorts of creatures, so as to they would bring upon themselves by their wickedness, and lose no room. (4.) Exact dimensions are given him, that he now God seconds it by a particular denunciation of wrath, that might make it proportionable, and might have room enough in Noah might try if that would work upon them; whence ob- it lo answer the intention, and no more. Note, [1.] Those serve, (1.) That God confirmcth the words of his messengers, that work for God, must take their measures from him, and Is. 44. 26. (2.) That to him that has, and uses what he has carefully observe them. (2.) It is fit that he who appoints us for the good of others, more shall be given, more full instruc our habitation, should fix the bounds and limits of it. (5.) He tions. 3. He told him particularly, that he would destroy the must pitch it within and without ; without, lo shed off the rain, world by a food of waters, v.17; And behold, I, even I, do bring and to prevent the water from soaking in ; within, to take away a flood of walers upon the earth. God could have destroyed all the ill smell of the beasts, when kept close. Observe, God does mankind by the sword of an angel, a flaming sword turning not bid him paint it, but pitch it. If God give us habitations every way, as he destroyed all the first-born of the Egyptians, that are safe, and warm, and wholesome, we are bound to be and the camp of the Assyrians; and then there needed no thankful, though they are not magnificent or nice. (6.) He more than to set a mark upon Noah and his family for their must make a little window toward the top, to let in light, and preservation; but God chose to do it by a flood of waters, (some think) that through that window he might behold the which should drown the world. The reasons, we may be sure, desolations to be made in the earth. (7.) He must make a were wise and just, though to us unknown.' God has many door in the side of it, by which to go in and out. arrows in his quiver, and he may use which he pleases : as he 2. God promises Noah, that he and his should be preserved chooses the rod with which he will correct his children, so alive in the ark, v. 18, Thou shall come into the ark. Note, he chooses the sword with which he will cut off his enemies, What we do in obedience to God, we ourselves are likely to

Observe the manner of expression, I, even I, do bring a flood; have the comfort and benefit of ; If thou be wise, thou shalt be I that am infinite in power, and therefore can do it, infinite in wise for thyself. Nor was he himself only saved in the ark, justice, and therefore will do it. (1.) It bespeaks the certainty but his wife, and his sons, and his sons' wives. Observe, (1.) of the judgment; 1, even I, will do it ; that cannot but be done The care of good parents; they are solicitous not only for their effectually, which God himself undertakes the doing of; see own salvation, but for the salvation of their families, and espeJob 11. 10. (2.) It bespeaks the tendency of it to God's glory, cially their children. (2.) The happiness of those children and the honour of his justice ; thus he will be magnified and that have godly parents ; their parents' piety often procures exalted in the earth, and all the world shall be made to know them temporal salvation, as here; and it furthers them in the that he is the God to whom vengeance belongs : methinks the way to elernal salvation, if they improve the benefit of it. expression here is somewhat like that, Is. 1.24, Ah, I will ease


God here makes Noah a great blessing to the world, me of mine adversaries.

and herein makes him an eminent type of the Messiah, though I1. God here makes Noah the man of his covenant, another not the Messiah himself, as his parents expected, ch. 5. 29. Hebrew periphrasis of a friend, v. 18, But with thee will I esta 1. God made him a preacher to the men of that generation. blish my covenant. 1. The covenant of providence; that the As a waichman, he received the word from God's mouth, that course of nature shall be continued to the end of time, not- he might give them warning, Ez. 3. 17. Thus while the longwithstanding the interruption which the flood would give to it; suffering of God waited, by his spirit in Noah, he preached to this promise was immediately made to Noah and his sons, ch! the old world, who, when St. Peter wrote, were spirits in prison, 9.8, &c. They were as trustees for all this part of the cre- 1 Pet. 3. 18—20, and herein he was a type of Christ, who, in a ation, and a great honour was thereby put upon him and his. land and age wherein all flesh had corrupted their way, went 2. The covenant of grase ; that God would be to hin a God, about preaching repentance, and warning men of a deluge of and that out of his seed God would take to himself a people. wrath coming. Note, (1.) When God makes a covenant, he establishes it, he 2. God made him a saviour to the inferior creatures, to keep makes it ease, he makes it good; his are everlasting covenants. the several kinds of them from perishing and being lost in the (2.) The covenant of grace has in it the recompense of singu- deluge, v. 19—21. This was a great honour put upon him, that lar services, and the fountain and foundation of all distinguish- not only in him the race of mankind should be kept up, and that ing favours, we need desire no more, either to make up our from him should proceed a new world, the church, the soul of losses for God, or to make up a happiness for us in God, than that world, and Messiah, the Head of that church; but that to have his covenant established with us.

he should be instrumental to preserve the inferior creatures, III. God here makes Noah a monument of sparing mercy, by and so mankind should in him acquire a new title to them and putting him in a way to secure himself in the approaching de- their service. (1.) He was to provide shelter for thern, that loga, that he might not perish with the rest of the world. I will they might not be drowned. Two of every sort, male and destroy them, says God, with the carth, v. 13. “But make thee an female, he must take with him into the ark; and lest he should ark; I will take care to preserve thee alive.” Note, Singular make any difficulty of gathering them together, and getting piety shall be recompensed with distinguishing salvations, which I them in, God promises, v, 20, that they should of their own

« PreviousContinue »