The Early Chapters of Genesis.

W. Kelly.

Bible Treasury Vol. 19 – 1892 - 1895. (Being a continuation of those previous articles republished separately as "In the Beginning".)

Genesis 2:4
Genesis 2:5-7
Genesis 2:8-9
Genesis 2:10-14
Genesis 2:15-17
Genesis 2:18-20
Genesis 2:21-23
Genesis 2:24-25
Genesis 3:1
Genesis 3:2-5
Genesis 3:6-7
Genesis 3:8-9
Genesis 3:10-13
Genesis 3:14-15
Genesis 3:16-19
Genesis 3:20-21
Genesis 3:22-24
Genesis 4:1-4
Genesis 4:4-8
Genesis 4:9-12
Genesis 4:13-15
Genesis 4:16-17
Genesis 4:18-22
Genesis 4:23-26
Genesis 5:1-2
Genesis 5:3-5
Genesis 5:6-20
Genesis 5:21-24
Genesis 5:25-32
Genesis 6:1-2
Genesis 6:3-4
Genesis 6:5-8
Genesis 6:9-12
Genesis 6:13-17
Genesis 6:18-22
Genesis 7:1-10
Genesis 7:11-16
Genesis 7:17-24
Genesis 8:1-5
Genesis 8:6-12
Genesis 8:13-19
Genesis 8:20-22
Genesis 9:1-7
Genesis 9:8-11
Genesis 9:12-17
Genesis 9:18-19
Genesis 9:20-25
Genesis 9:25-29

Genesis 2:4.

1892 1 A manifestly new section begins with Genesis 2:4, though with unmistakeable reference to the chapter before, which it summarises as an introduction to a fresh point of view that looks on to the end of Genesis 3. The opening words here and elsewhere are supposed by some who deny neither Moses nor inspiration to indicate that Moses thus interwove separate documents preserved by the heads of the Semitic race, and that this fact is one of the strongest internal testimonies that we have to do with genuine historical records. No believer need deny the principle if God's inspiration be truly maintained. Moses may have been inspired to incorporate ancient records where authentic, as Luke gives us the confidential letter of Claudius Lysias to Felix. Only it is hard if not quite impossible to conciliate some eleven such documents with the perfect unity that pervades Genesis, especially as a divinely ordered type, i.e., prophetically of the future. But the grand truth overlooked is the reality of divine inspiration and its incomparable character and depth. Documents or not, this is certain. And what document could there have been of the creation? God alone could have given that. Take also this first of "the generations" how could even Adam have furnished anything of the sort?

"These [are] the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that Jehovah Elohim made earth and heavens."

The change in the divine designation harmonises with no less change in the subject matter and calls out phraseology in keeping with it. It is no longer as in chap. 1 "God" (Elohim) only, but "the LORD God" (Jehovah Elohim). We may see, not only here but everywhere, how wise is the design, and how worthy of God; for the instrument employed may not even have understood the full force of what was given him to write. On the one hand difference there is, though not discrepancy; on the other, call for the exercise of faith and spiritual intelligence. "By faith we understand."

Of all attempts to solve the questions that arise, none so weak or crude as the fancy of distinct remains of independent authors here put together, not to say slashed or mangled. There is no account of creation but that which we have already had. Now we are told of the relations established, which bring in the specific title of divine government, Jehovah, and identify it with Him Who created all. Can aught be conceived more in place, right, and seasonable? It is impossible fairly to call the new section Jehovistic; for throughout Jehovah never occurs without Elohim, though on a few exceptional occasions easily explicable Elohim occurs without Jehovah. How in the least degree does a different writer account for the usage? It is at best a child's guess and can only mislead. See its absurdity in 1 Kings 18:36, 39, and in Jonah 1, 3, 4, etc.

Jean Astruc in 1753 seems to have first suggested the chimera in his "Conjectures sur les mémoires originaux, dont il parait que Moise s'était servi pour composer le livre de Genèse," which appeared simultaneously at Brussels and Paris. He was a medical man of strong memory, wide reading, and mental activity, but totally devoid of depth or large views even in the science of his own profession. Yet a supposition equally shallow and easy of refutation, inadequate to meet the facts of the case, and barren of a spiritual thought or a godly feeling, drew after it not a few ingenious and learned Germans with their British and American admirers. For this but one circumstance accounts — the sceptical spirit that preceded and accompanied the last century of revolution. Astruc conceived a double set of longer documents by authors respectively Elohistic and Jehovistic, with nine or ten others of lesser extent, all independent. Even to give unity to such various materials was no small task. This some would assign to Moses: others are keen to bring down the unknown "redactor" or digester as late as is plausible by specious arguments. Of truth and divine design these daring speculators have no notion: God is in none of their thoughts. It is a trifle in their eyes to give the lie virtually to the Lord or any of the Twelve or Paul the apostle. To this their "higher criticism" speedily drags them down. It is a snare of the enemy.

As for scriptural usage, the facts are simple, and the principle plain. Elohim expresses the divine Being, the Originator of all other beings, with fulness of power displayed in wisdom and goodness, and so in contrast with man and creature weakness. Hence "God" is used generally where no specific manifestation is intended, or required; and the term is applicable to judges who represent God in delegated authority on earth, and to angels that execute His will from heaven, or even to the "gods many," as the apostle speaks of heathen worship. The singular form, Eloah, occurs not only in Deut. 32:15-17, etc., but with frequency from Job 3 - 40, yet rarely in the Psalms and in the Prophets. Still more common is the kindred El, the Mighty One, not only in the Pentateuch (save Leviticus most appropriately) but in Job pre-eminently, as well as in the Psalms and the Prophets, often qualified and even compounded.

Jehovah* is His personal name, "The Name," and this in relationship with man on earth, especially with His people; the Self-existent and Eternal, always the proper name of the true God for those on earth, and in due time that by which He made Himself known as the covenant God of Israel, in Whose presence they were to walk El Shaddai, the Almighty God of their fathers, but the LORD God of their sons, His people. Ehyeh (I AM, Ex. 3:14) and Jah (LORD, Ex. 15:2, Ex. 17:16, etc.) are akin to Jehovah, but each used distinctively where a different author is untenable and sheer delusion. Neither is quite Jehovah God, the Governor of man; but as Jah is the absolutely existing One, so Ehyeh expresses His existence as the Everlasting Now consciously felt and asserted, therefore subjective, as Jah is objective.
{* Adonai is simply Sovereign, or Lord in that sense, the title Abraham used when Jehovah came seemingly as man to visit His friend in Genesis 18. It is used often elsewhere.}

Hence, in describing creation from first to last as in Gen. 1–2:3, God (Elohim) is the sole suited designation, as giving existence to every thing that is, heavens, earth, and all in them. With no less propriety Jehovah Elohim at once appears when He establishes moral relations here below. Hence in chap. 2 alone man is seen (not simply as a creature, whatever his singular honour as head and lord of all on earth) but formed in immediate association with Himself, though his body be of dust. In Gen. 2 only do we hear of the garden of delights, with its two mysterious trees, the scene of his trial. Here the lower creatures are "called" as man saw fit, having title from the Eternal God to name them. Here only we learn of the woman taken out of Adam and builded up divinely — she likewise "called" by her husband, yet as part of himself. Here have we no cosmogony as men say, but God, and the creature, in due relations. There is clear recognition of all in Gen. 1, but new and special information of the most important kind morally, peculiar to Gen. 2 and preparatory to Gen. 3. Inconsistency there is none: only prejudiced ignorance can talk so. Still less is there contradiction, save in the mind and mouth of an enemy of God's revelation. The solemn facts of the fall are the continuation, and the same name follows regularly.

This is exactly what ought to be, were one writer inspired to write all three chapters. It was of all moment to know that the One true God, the Creator, is the living Judge of all the earth; and this is simply and impressively conveyed by the combined title. How much better as well as more dignified than by a laboured human argument to prove it! In due time (Gen. 17) Jehovah appeared to Abram, the depositary of promise and chief patriarch of Israel, I am El-Shaddai (God Almighty) etc. And God (Elohim) talked with him — not man nor angel, but the true God, Whose name is Jehovah. Yet not this but "God Almighty"* was the revealed title of Him before Whom the patriarch and his sons were to walk. All the force and beauty of the truth is lost by the low and irreverent conjecture which dreams of so many authors using different names of God, with other points equally misunderstood. "Higher criticism," indeed! It is really the criticism of the scissors and fit only for the dust-bin of learning without sense. Later still Israel were to have Jehovah given as their God, their national object of worship, and revealed ground of dependence; but He was none other than the God Who created the universe. What a shield against idolatry, had not man been a rebel, a weak and perverse sinner! "He that was and that is and that is to come" will yet make good His promises in the kingdom. This of course failed under the first man and the old covenant, as everything does; but it will stand for ever under the Second Man, the Messiah, and the new covenant when He appears in His glory.
{*It abounds in all the patriarchal discussions of the Book of Job.}

In the chapters that follow it was enough in general to use one or other name alone; and they are invariably employed with purpose, not only throughout Genesis and the rest of the Pentateuch, but in the later historical books, in the Psalms, and in the Prophets. In no instance can they be shown to be confounded; in every case where the generic "God" is not used, special motive calls for "Jehovah"; yet these two by no means exhaust the designations we find. In Gen. 14 El-Elyon (the Most High God) dawns on us, reappearing also in the Psalms and the Prophets wherever it was most appropriate. It is that name of God which upholds His title as "possessor of heavens and earth," to put down all rivals above or below, when the true Melchisedec appears in the exercise of His royal priesthood on the final defeat of the enemy, even before the last and eternal judgment. See Psalm 92:1, as well as Num. 24 and Dan. 4.

Thus Jehovah had been familiar enough from the first; but it was never before revealed to Israel, still less to others, as the specific ground of assurance to them and so of their appeal to Him. God Almighty was the assigned name on which their fathers relied as heirs of promise; and they never found it to fail. Henceforward the sons of Israel (in their greater circle of change than any other people) were to prove Him true, according to the perpetuity of His being, Who is sure to effect His promises in due time; for He is the same yesterday, and today, and for ever. Alas! they became false witnesses to Jehovah, and even rejected the Object of all promise, Jehovah Messiah.* Therefore God has hid His face from Israel for a while, and is How, by the Spirit, making Himself known under the gospel to all who believe, Jew or Greek, as "Father" (2 Cor. 6:18), a still higher and nearer name than that of Jehovah, which was for earth as Father is in and for heaven. The word "Father," like Jehovah, had been long known, but never as the given name of recognised relationship till the Lord Jesus Who eternally knew it as the Son in His bosom, after declaring it through His living ministry, sent it definitely to His brethren when He rose from the dead, having accomplished redemption (John 20:17); and the Holy Spirit was given them subsequently, crying, Abba, Father.
{* The prophet Isaiah accordingly sums up his first indictment of Israel for idolatry with "Jehovah" (Isa. 48:22), his second for the rejection of Christ with "Elohim" (Isa. 57:21), closing with the call of the Gentiles, when the godly remnant are vindicated and blessed, and the mass of Jews judged, Jehovah returning in glory for both purposes.}

Clearly therefore the same principle runs through the N.T. as well as the Old. The special name of God, definitely given, is expressive of the relationship in which He is pleased to be known: yet there is also not less but more enjoyment of "God" Himself as such. "The hour comes and now is," said our Lord, "when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth" … "God is a Spirit; and they that worship must worship Him in spirit and in truth" (John 4:23-24). Both statements are profoundly true and weighty, but they are far from being the same. No key is so false and foolish as imputing the difference to different authors. But this is modern theology.

Nor is it otherwise with those titles disputed in Genesis, where the Spirit led Moses to employ each in accordance with the subject in hand. Even what might seem exceptional is susceptible of ready solution. The serpent is represented as saying (Gen. 3:1), "Yea, has God said," and the woman replies, "God has said" (Gen. 3:3), and the serpent rejoins, "God doth know" (Gen. 3:5), never in the temptation saying, on either side, Jehovah Elohim. The claims of the divine Governor were in abeyance through the wiles of the evil one. Jehovah Elohim was no longer before the deceived woman. Otherwise the chapter invariably proclaims the two-fold name most appropriately. Now had it been a composition made up by many successive hands, or the uninspired writing of even Moses or any other man, is it credible that a difference of such delicacy and expressiveness when duly considered could have appeared, to say nothing of the moral wisdom shown in the Elohim of chap. 1 and the Jehovah Elohim of chaps. 2, 3? The suggestion of independent authorship has no basis and therefore no real evidence to commend it; and were it conceded for the moment, it proves quite unequal to explain the single name or the compound, still less the intervening exception. The intention on His part Who inspired the writer renders all simple, especially when the reader learns to understand the propriety in each case.

In a general sense it will be seen that Elohim would have sufficed, and in some cases is most forcible and becoming; but the addition of Jehovah gives special relation and contextual beauty, especially on the supposition of the same hand. It was not nature or evolution that generated the heavens and the earth with their host. Elohim created all to make it as it was for man; as Jehovah Elohim tested man who fails in the face of every advantage. It would have been incongruous to have said Jehovah in describing the creation; and equally so to have said Elohim in laying down relationships. But the creation being attributed to Elohim, it was of all consequence to identify the Creator with the One Who orders all morally and governs man; and this is best expressed by the actually combined terms, Jehovah Elohim, and not casually but consistently till the sad end of the exiled pair, not without a blessed outlook left them on His part Who pronounced judgment on the serpent.

The self-vaunting "higher criticism" means the destruction of the deep interest and profit spiritually derivable from the inspired use of divine titles, as of all else in scripture. The truth is that there never was a drearier nullity, or a more palpable nuisance of learning falsely so called. Who can wonder, since God thereby is divorced from the scriptures? which they cut, apart from all fear of God, as a profane king of Judah the roll that he dreaded. In modern times as in ancient a vain and wicked illusion! God is not mocked. Other opportunities may occur in detail for laying bare the fragment hypothesis, as well as for clearing alleged inconsistencies and disproving what ill-will claims to be corroborative evidence. But the main original plea is already shown to be as shadowy as it is unintelligent, as far as could be expected within a short paper such as the present. There is divine design in every change of God's name, as indeed in every other word which the Holy Spirit gave to be written by the chosen instruments.

Genesis 2:5-7.

1892 17 Following up the summary of ver. 4, the peculiar condition of the vegetable kingdom is brought before us just before Adam comes from the hand of God. There is no warrant hence to predicate it of previous ages, even though a similar principle may apply. But all that the text states is that so it was at this time for the abode in immediate preparation for Adam, when Jehovah Elohim made earth and heavens.

"And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew; *for Jehovah Elohim had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was no man to till the ground, but a mist went up from the earth and moistened all the surface of the ground. And Jehovah Elohim formed Man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils breath of life [lit., lives]; and Man became a living soul" (ver. 5-7).
{*Or "And no plant of the field was yet in the earth, and no herb of the field was yet grown; for" etc. Many Jews make a full stop in the middle of ver. 4, and begin, "On the day Jehovah Elohim made" etc.}

It seems clear that it is the description of plants and herbs of the third day's production, before man, the head of creation, appeared. Like man they were of full growth, and not from seed as ever since. It is not a repetition of the general fact of their origin as in chap. 1, but, like all else in chap. 2 from its true beginning, a presentation of special circumstances is here added in the only right place. On the one hand, it is not denied on geological evidence that rain can be proved to have fallen at least as far back as the carboniferous period, however immense the lapse of ages before man. On the other hand, it has been contended that it was a circumstance quite unworthy of notice that the inspired historian should notice these explanatory particulars of vegetation now existing for a few natural days without rain or culture. Evidently this is merely a difficulty and an effort on behalf of the theory of periodistic days. The admirable condescension and interest of Him Who is here shown entering into gracious relations with man are manifested by the intimation, which, in the vast geologic ages, would seem not only unmeaning but untrue. Whatever may have been the divine method before such relations could be, it was of importance for man to know authoritatively that Jehovah Elohim made not only earth and heavens, (changing for similar reason the actual order,) but "every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew." These productions are specified as needful for the food of the living creatures when called into existence on earth; and there they were by God's ordering in suitable maturity, in contrast with subsequent experience. Two reasons are annexed: one that rain had not yet been caused to fall on the earth as it was now constituted; the other that man was not yet there to till the ground. Nobody could mistake, one might think, so plain a hint, but for the blinding influence of a previously conceived theory. He Who made all, even in His every arrangement, considered man and acted in view of him, now especially revealing it when He made man to know Himself in any measure and to enjoy His goodness. Hence also He would have man to know the especial provision even for that brief and peculiar while, "but there went up a mist from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground." This would be strange for scientific men to predicate of the vast geologic periods since vegetation first began. We may see that it is the simple truth for the few days after the third of the first week; and the naming of it here is not only in keeping with the design of the new section, but most worthy of the special place in which man is now set as recorded.

Next, we come to a revelation of transcendent moment, the formation of man, not merely as chief of the earth's denizens (Gen. 1), but for living relationship with Him Who made all. Here, not in the previous chapter, we learn the particulars of man's constitution. "And Jehovah Elohim formed Man [ha-Adam] of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils breath of life; and Man became a living soul." To this, the apostle refers in his sublime comparison of the first man with the Second in 1 Cor. 15, which every believer should weigh well and make his own. Here it is simply the first man; but what is said is great indeed: dust from the ground the outer man; the inner animated by the breath of Jehovah Elohim. Certainly it was not everlasting life, but none the less an immortal soul. The immediate in-breathing of the Creator is the ground of its immortality. Other animals of the waters or of the earth are called "living souls," and justly so; but man alone from God's in-breathing.

In Ecc. 3:21 we hear also of the "spirit of the beast," for the beast has soul and spirit suited to its nature. The soul is the seat of will for every living creature; the spirit is its capacity. But for the beast all goes "downward to the earth," not body only, but soul and spirit, having not only a will but also a faculty of its own. But as to man, his spirit (and so of course soul) "goes upward; "the spirit shall return unto God who gave it." Other animals when produced breathed the breath of life; man was formed externally, as clay by the potter, but did not breathe, till God gave him distinctly and immediately His own breath. Thus did he alone on earth become a living soul, the body mortal, the soul never said so to be, but what is said implying the contrary. Hence is man alone of earthly beings responsible to God. Thus the seat of his individuality and responsibility is in his soul, though the spirit, his inner capacity, goes along with it, greatly enhancing that responsibility; and the body is the outer man, a vessel for serving God or Satan, as the inner man directs.

It will be seen therefore how far they err from the truth who think that Christians only have "spirit" as well as soul and body. Even beasts have, though in them it may be but instinct, in man an incomparably higher and larger faculty, rising with the immensely higher character of man's immortal soul; whereas beasts, however wonderfully endowed according to God's will, are creatures without reason, mere animals to be taken and destroyed (2 Peter 2:12). Consciousness of "I" is in the soul, and on its real existence hangs personal identity; but capacity of reflex reasoning on that consciousness, as on every other object, is in the spirit of man; as capacity for the things of God is with "I" quickened, the power of which is in the Holy Spirit given to the Christian. It is wholly false therefore to confound mind, still more knowledge, with the soul, though the soul has a kindred spirit capable of reflection, discrimination, and all other mental operations within the order of its being. Reflective self-consciousness distinguishes man; still more does God-consciousness. "There is a spirit in man, and the breath at the Almighty gives them understanding" (Job 32:8).

It makes the separate and superior position of man the more impressive, compared with all the subjects of his realm, that he adapts himself to every climate, and to all variety of food, in marked contrast with the brutes whose superficial resemblance is closest. Thus it is plain that the Chimpanzee and Orang-utan (or "Hutan" probably) are of small number, limited to a few spots in Asia and Africa, and can live elsewhere, spite of the utmost care, for a short while only.

Yet of all creatures infant man is the most helpless and dependent on care and shelter during his slow growth; yet he attains in all lands and tribes a longevity thrice as great as his nearest mythical connexions. But it is the inner man that differentiates him most truly and essentially from every other earthly being, and enables him (through the family bond that is appointed him) to live above his feeble and defenceless beginning, to make good the dominion given him over fish of the sea and bird of the heavens, and every animal that moves on the earth. Let the waters swarm as they in particular do, let birds multiply on the earth ever so, men were to fill the earth and subdue it as no other being does. Nevertheless, living as he alone does by the in-breathing of God, (he only having his soul thus) is an incomparably higher privilege than all his other natural advantages put together; though in this privilege he perishes everlastingly if he defiantly repent not nor believe in the Saviour, instead of submitting to Him, the Lord of all, Who is also full of grace and truth. If by faith subject to the Son, how blessed his portion now and for ever, even though his human lot were "most miserable!" Eternal life, eternal redemption, eternal salvation, eternal inheritance, eternal glory: such is the Christian's roll of grace through Jesus Christ our Lord; and he is now sealed of the Spirit accordingly.

Genesis 2:8-9.

1892 33 In chap. 1 we saw that God allotted to the human race dominion over fish, fowl, cattle, and every living thing that creeps or moves upon the earth, as well as over all the earth. That was all general. Here we have, as regularly, a special portion, a domain peculiarly assigned to the first man in his innocence. The deep moral question of the first man was about to be tried.

"And Jehovah Elohim planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there He put Man whom He had formed. And out of the ground Jehovah Elohim made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowing good and evil" (verses 8, 9).

As for Israel long afterward, there was full preparation now. Nothing was lacking on Jehovah's part. "My well-beloved has a vineyard in a very fruitful hill; and he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein; and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes" (Isa. 5:1-2). So at the beginning Jehovah Elohim planted a garden eastward in Eden. However fair all the earth might be before ruin came through sin, and everything that God had made "very good," the garden was distinctly superior, and the object of peculiar care to God in His moral government. Man had to be tried; and no excuse was possible, no flaw could be alleged. If He planted the garden, all was there for use and beauty suitable to creation's unfallen estate. If He loves a cheerful giver, He is Himself the pattern of all bountifulness. He had "formed" Man exceptionally; and so did He "plant" the garden into which He put him; "and out of the ground Jehovah Elohim made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowing good and evil."

In the last clause we have the elements peculiar to the case, and to that epoch, which as they then were for a little moment did not exist for man at any other time, nor can they be so again. Innocence lost is irrecoverable. God may and does bring in for faith a better condition through the Second man at His first coming, as in manifest power at His second; but there is no restoration of the first estate. The continual tendency is to forget this, even among those otherwise taught of God. They exalt unduly the pristine condition of Adam. They fail to see the completeness of the ruin caused by sin. They lower or ignore the new creation in Christ. And the singular fact is that these errors are confined to no school of theology, though more prominent and glaring in some quarters than in others. Andover, Geneva, Leipzig, Leyden, Montauban, and Oxford differ considerably; but they fairly chime together in assigning too much to the first man, too little to the Last.

Thus it is by almost all men affirmed that Adam was created in righteousness and in holiness of the truth. Not so. This is how the apostle describes the new man exclusively. In no way can it apply to man as originally created for he was simply untainted and upright, but in no real sense cognisant of "the truth" any more than "righteous" and "holy." He was innocent; he had not what scripture here calls "the knowledge of good and evil." Man only gained it by the fall. He had, of course, the consciousness of responsibility. He knew that he was bound to obey God, though the test of his obedience lay solely in his not eating, as we shall see in ver. 17, of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Now holiness implies that, having this knowledge, we are separate from the evil to good. Adam had no such knowledge. Unfallen, he had no lust. He could not have understood the Ten Commandments, still less the Sermon on the Mount. He had neither father nor mother to honour. Nor was there a neighbour to traduce or aught to covet, to say nothing of theft, murder, and adultery. When neighbours began to be, man had been long an outcast from the garden, and the one prohibition in it applied no more. Henceforth as a fallen being he knew good and evil, but he had that knowledge with a bad conscience. As a heathen wrote of himself, we may say of fallen Adam and his race, that they saw the better and followed the worse. Such became the state of man till God intervened with fresh dealings which involved other responsibility.

But there is revealed in ver. 9 another fact of the deepest interest. The tree of life was distinct from that of knowing good and evil. The test of responsible obedience was one thing, quite another the means of life. They are thus from the first shown to be separate; and, in fact, as we know, when man disobeyed by eating of the one tree, he was driven out lest he should take also of the other (Gen. 3:22-23), and thus make his fallen sinful estate everlasting. The tree of life was for one who did not eat of the forbidden tree. So clearly was it here marked that responsibility and life are wholly separate.

In due time (as the apostle shows, 430 years before the law) came promise, like a tree of life alone. And the fathers clung to it by faith, and were blessed. This, however, was not a complete blessing, but provisional. It was important and necessary that the question of righteousness should be raised; and that of man's righteousness was raised in Israel by the law. But man, Israel, was sinful, and could not answer save to condemnation.

For the law as given by Moses made life contingent on obedience. "Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments; which if a man do, he shall live in them" (Lev. 18:5). Nor did the failure he in the law but in man; "for if there had been a law which could have given life, truly righteousness had been by the law." But man was guilty, without strength, and, in short, lost. "As many (men) as are of the works of the law (or on that principle) are under the curse." The just shall live by quite another principle — by faith. "And the law is not of faith." They are given for quite different ends, and so (and only so) consistent: the law, to convince the sinner that he cannot thus be justified; faith, to assure the believer that he is thus justified. "By grace are ye saved through faith." For it is by faith in Christ; Who accepted the responsibility, bearing the consequences of our disobedience and evil state generally on the cross, and is now risen from the dead, manifestly the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. Thus has He, He only, conciliated the two trees, which the law had proposed only to prove that to man as such it is impossible. Our new responsibility as believers is grounded on the relation to God and our brethren, which we enter as having eternal life, along with redemption, in Christ. God is glorified even as to sin in the cross; and we who believe have life eternal and are made God's righteousness in Christ.

It is blessed to see how beautifully the last book of the N.T. answers to the first book of the Old. In the New Jerusalem, fruit of divine grace and of heavenly counsel, when all is accomplished and pilgrim days are over, there is found only the tree of life, with the richest and most varied fruits for those within, and even the leaves of the tree for the healing of the nations. How beautifully in season, and absolutely true, this will be, needs, or ought to need, no words of mine to enforce.

Genesis 2:10-14.

1892 49 Next, we have the position of paradise set out with sufficient definiteness to mark the locality in a general way. Eden was the country; "the garden" was that choice portion not in the west or centre, but "eastward" which Jehovah Elohim planted for Adam, to which scripture alludes subsequently, not only in this book (Gen. 3, Gen. 4, Gen. 13:10), but in the prophets repeatedly (Isa. 51:3, Joel 2:9), and most at length in Ezekiel (Ezek. 28:13, Ezek. 31:9-19, Ezek. 36:35). It is quite distinct from another Eden, spelt in Hebrew somewhat differently, in Babylonia seemingly, referred to in 2 Kings 19:12, Isa. 37:12, and Ezek. 37:23).

"And a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from thence it was parted and became four heads. The name of the one (first) [is] Pison, that which compasses all the land of Havilah, where the gold [is], and the gold of that land is good; there [is] the bdellium (B'dolach) and the onyx stone (Shoham). And the name of the second river [is] Gihon, that which encompasses all the land of Cush. And the name of the third [is] Hiddekel, that which goes forth before (or eastward to) Assyria. And the fourth river [is] Euphrates" (vers. 10-14).

That the district indicated is the plateau of Ararat ought not to be doubted, though it may be beyond the means of man to determine the great centre of interest with precision. What is given clearly it was of interest to know: such particulars are withheld as might only gratify man's curiosity, or perhaps expose to dangerous superstition. The burial place of Moses is not the only spot which divine wisdom has veiled from human ken. And the site of the lost paradise might have been perverted to a still wider, yea universal, pilgrimage of folly and evil. The sad truth is that sin led to man's expulsion. He is an outcast. The natural tree of life was thenceforth barred with unmistakable power and rigour. But a better hope was set be-fore the guilty, if we may anticipate a little, in the to be bruised Bruiser of the old Serpent, the Devil and Satan, who too easily overcame the first man. That God should have sooner or later effaced the Adamic paradise (for it was an extensive park, rather than what a garden ordinarily means) is as intelligible morally, as it accords with the fact that no such scene has greeted the eyes of man in the quarter where it must have been when our first parents were introduced there.

This is confirmed by the notable fact that the river which watered paradise is without a name; silence the more striking, because the four rivers, into which, after its allotted service, it was parted, are carefully named. One can readily understand that fact, if it were caused to disappear as well as paradise. It is implied in the description that it flowed through Eden before it watered the garden, and only after that was severed into four chief streams, two of which are the well-known rivers, Hiddekel or Tigris, and P'hrath or Euphrates. The last was notorious enough to need no description, its companion calling for the very few words, "that which flows toward," or in front of, "Assyria." The first and second are described more fully, as being comparatively unknown to Israel, and in fact nowhere else mentioned in the scriptures. But the account has the difficulties arising from countries obscure to later generations at least, both in their own names and in those of their products. Havilah and Cush have been debated nearly as much as Pison and Gihon; and not less the exact force of B'dolach and Shoham.

Josephus, in the first book of his Antiquities, led the way in strange departure by interpreting Pison as the Ganges! and Gihon as the Nile! Him not only many Rabbis follow (some reversing the case) but the best known of the Christian Fathers, as Eusebius, Epiphanius, Augustine and Jerome, etc., without speaking of allegorists like Origen and Ambrose, who adopted the idea of heaven, as others did the misty ideas of Philo Judoeus They accounted for those distant rivers by the supposition of their immense disappearance in the earth and rising again in the east and the south.

The great Reformed commentator, J. Calvin, was too sober to allow such reveries; but he adopted, or rather invented, the notion that by the four heads were meant, both the beginnings from which the rivers are produced, and the mouths by which they discharge themselves into the sea. Thus he argues that the Euphrates was formerly so joined by confluence with the Tigris that we might justly say one river was divided into four heads. But he misunderstood Strabo (Geog. lib. xi.) who nowhere says that at Babylon these two rivers unite, only that at Babvlonia they approximate. The junction (save by artificial canals) is really far below at Kurnah (? Digba), whence their united streams form what is now called the Shatt-el-'Arab, discharging its waters into the Persian Gulf by the town of Bassorah.

Clearly therefore the scheme of Calvin, modified by Huet, Vitringa, and Wells, cannot stand, though the facts were not fully or accurately known before the publication of Col. Chesney's Expedition of the Survey of the rivers Euphrates and Tigris (London, 2 vols. 4to, 1850). There is not the semblance of reason in making out two new rivers from the confluence of the old ones; nor did they diverge again, as he imagined and displays in his map. Dr. Hales in the second edition of his New Analysis acknowledges the error of this hypothesis (entertained in the first), and owns it to be untenable in every point. Calvin confounded the Eden which had paradise in it with that of a distinct spelling in Babylonia; whereas on the face of Gen. 2 it lay not far from where the Euphrates and the Tigris rose, their beginnings, not the end of their divided course. Nor can language be more perverse, than to count their separate streams after that union, had they really existed, the Pison and the Gihon, still less the mere canals higher up. And it is no improvement of the scheme, to make out that these rivers are the waters which wash Khusistan on the east and Arabia on the west of the Gulf. Another manifest confusion is the Havilah of our chapter with that of Gen. 14:7, Num. 13:29, and 1 Sam. 15:7.

But it is needless to point out the incongruities which will occur to intelligent readers. Reland has proved clearly in his Dissertationum Misc. pars. i. (Trajecti ad Rhenum, 1706) that the Gihon is the Araxes, or Aras, and given strong reasons to conclude that the Pison is the Phasis, though Col. Chesney pleads for the Halys. Indeed the great Orientalist contended that Colchis, through which the Phasis flows is no other than the Greek form of Havilah; and certainly the connexion of gold and precious stones with that land is attested from ancient times more clearly than can be done for the land skirted by the Halys. That the Cossaei, or descendants of Cush, were compassed by the Gihon or Aras cannot be doubted. There was an Asiatic Cush no less than an African, and widely dispersed too. It is the certainty of this fact which explains "The rivers of Cush" in Isa. 18:1. The nation predicted to intervene for Israel is to be "beyond" those rivers (the Nile and the Euphrates) with which they ordinarily had to do.

On the whole then it is plain that the most celebrated men of research (and but a selection of their less strange speculations is here presented) have failed where they trusted either tradition or personal requirements, one swamp of uncertainty only succeeding another. If Dr. Adrian Reland first stood out speaking with more authority than his predecessors, it was because he adhered with commendable tenacity to the word of God. Not that his vast learning failed him here, for he wielded it with a simple mastery found in no other essayist; and this because he put it in its only just place of subservience to the words written with divine authority, while honestly owning difficulties not yet solved. Those who in our day boast of man are no less uncertain according to their unbelief of God's word.

But it may be noticed that in these verses we first hear of a "river." Of course, to say nothing of previous conditions, there were such in the Adamic earth since the third day. But it was fitting that mention of a river, should he reserved till the Holy Spirit gave it first in connection with paradise. What the river was which went forth from Eden to water the garden seems intentionally withheld: if it vanished when the garden was no longer seen, it is not hard to see the wisdom of the scripture's silence. But it is certain that those who contend like our Milton, that it was the Tigris, which watered paradise, or, as others, the united streams of Euphrates and Tigris, do violence to the inspired text; and "scripture cannot be broken," says our Lord. An unnamed river, having its rise in the territory of Eden, flows by the garden which it refreshed, and from thence (how far off is not said) it parts and becomes four heads, or chief streams, two of which (P'hrath and Hiddekel) are beyond doubt, Gihon only not certainly the Aras and Pison, probably the Rioni, if not the Kizil-Irmak (or Halys). For the river, after watering the garden in the east, may have run so as to cover the beginnings of these four in the west of that region.

As the chief modern explorer shows, even the Tigris has in Central Armenia two principal sources, both of which spring from the southern slope of the Anti-Taurus, near those of the Araxes and Euphrates, and not very distant from that of the Halys (Chesney's Exped. i. 13). The Kizil-Irmak, he had already said, has its sources at two places, both of which are much farther to the eastward than they are generally represented on the maps. The sources of the Aras and those of the north branch of the Euphrates are about ten miles from one another (J. of the Royal Geogr. Soc. vi. part 2, p. 200). It is a curious statement, cited by Chesney i. 274, from Michael Chamish in his history of Armenia, himself an Armenian, that Araxmais built a city in the plain of Aragaz, near the left bank of the Gihon, the name of which was then changed to Arast or Araxes after his son. Also, Benjamin of Tudela, the Hebrew traveler who visited the east in the twelfth century, calls the whole tract, east of the sources of the Aras, Cush or Ethiopia, and speaks of the river as the Gihon (Chesney i. 282).

The text then is conclusive for the Armenian table-land as the true locality, and disproves every modification of the scheme that conceives the garden and the described rivers as in Babylonia or even farther south along Khusistan and E. Arabia. Nor does it compel one to explain away the meaning of a "river" or to give to "heads" any meaning which is not the natural and correct one. As to the moral lesson, it was but creature trial, and no permanence in either river or paradise. How different the paradise of God on high, or even that river the streams whereof make glad the city of God on earth! God is in the midst of her: this accounts for all in His grace. But the manifestation of divine grace and fidelity for both awaits the coming of the Lord. Here was but the responsible man in the midst of the garden; and we see how quickly he fell and dragged down all in his own ruin. Christ alone overcomes, and through Him God gives us the victory.

Genesis 2:15-17.

1892 65 We hear again of the Lord God putting Man, the man (Adam) into the garden. This is no vain repetition. In vers. 8-14 the general fact was stated, and those special precincts described within a country of delight and pleasantness, where He Who built all things stocked it particularly with every thing beautiful and good for His favoured creature and representative on earth, but also with two trees, there only, which some have designated "sacramental." Whether this be quite just or not, certainly they were most momentous and significant, the tree of life evidently and absolutely distinct from that of knowing good and evil, which alone was prohibited. In that garden was Man placed to abide in dependence and obedience, sovereign of all around him, subject to Him Whose goodness set him there with but one test of his loyalty. This we hear only in the second statement of his introduction there, where a river afforded its refreshing waters, which on leaving the garden parted into four heads or chief streams outside, two less known and more described, two more notoriously connected with man's sad history, of which the end is not yet.

The second mention gives the peculiar tenure of man in divine relationship, which is utterly lost when men, or even christians, trust their à priori reasonings. All is false when inferences are drawn from man and creation under the fall. And philosophical theory is even more remote from the truth than the various and uncertain traditions in almost all lands and races of old, which may partially disguise but ultimately confess a pre-existent state of man and the earth in peace, purity, and happiness. The true golden age is to come when the Man of righteousness, not of sin, the Saviour, not the son of perdition, shall rule to God's glory, and His heavenly bride shall reign with Him. Man and the earth are not ever to be the sport of the enemy, but the Most High shall vindicate His possession of heaven and earth. Adam was but a type or figure of the coming One. It ought to be plain, that, as we can know nothing of the glorious as well as solemn future save from God's revelation, so we can have across the ages nothing sure of man's primeval state save from His testimony. It was of the utmost interest and importance to know, not guess, how and for what ends, with what endowments, and on what conditions man was formed, especially in relation to God; and if accountable to Him, as none but a wicked person doubts (brutalised morally, if he confound himself with brutes, as in effect but a superior brute), surely not left to a cruel and destructive darkness, but with light from God.

"And Jehovah Elohim took Man, and put him into the garden of Eden to till it and to keep it. And Jehovah Elohim commanded Man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou shalt freely (eating) eat; but of the tree of knowing good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it, for in the day of thine eating of it thou shalt surely (dying) die" (ver. 15-17).

Now we have, not the locality, its resources and surroundings, however far-reaching, but the moral aspect and end. The divine Governor took Man and put him into the paradise He had prepared. Though all was in unfallen order and beauty, and no taint in Adam or the subject creation, and of course not in its fairest scene, Man was put there to till it and to keep it. Lordly indifference would have been unbecoming, though Man was blessed and everything very good, and toil or sorrow unknown, and no sentence yet pronounced of death or curse, or even of eating bread in the sweat of his face. Still he was to dress the garden and keep it.

But more than this, "Jehovah Elohim commanded Man," with liberty to eat freely "of every tree of the garden;" there was one and but one restriction, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This was prohibited on pain of death. "In the day of thine eating thereof thou shalt surely die." It was a law, not the law; positive, not moral; a simple test of obedience in what otherwise was indifferent: the only conceivable condition for an innocent being's probation in an unfallen earth. For the law supposes a fallen state with lust already existing to do the evils which God interdicted. In both cases, as scripture expresses, transgression resulted; not sin simply or lawlessness (anomia), but transgression of law (uoµou parabasis); for as the apostle justly argues, where no law is, there is no transgression, though there may be sin (as death attested e.g. between Adam and Moses, cf. Gen. 6 and Rom. 5:12-14). Hence is evident the deplorable misrendering of the A.V. in 1 John 3:4, and its proper and needful correction in the R.V., from which systematic divinity, long deceived, has much to learn.

We may remark the charming simplicity of the earth's prince, but also the suited directness of God's dealings with man. As there could be no prophet nor priest, there was no angel to intervene. The intercourse was unbroken, and communication immediate. Man needed no argument on the being of God, no disquisition on His attributes Who "blessed" and "commanded" him, Whose voice, or sound, as He walked in the garden in the cool of the day they heard to their fear when they had transgressed. Yet no man had ever imagined such a condition. The truth of it accounts for it to all save those who naturally love a lie and prefer the dark. For present experience would rather lead men to deny it.

The unbelief, which blinds sceptics where it is complete, darkens God-fearing men in the measure of their pursuit of human thoughts and theories. Thus soon after the apostolic age a patristic tradition grew up, from Rabbinism and philosophy, as if Adam, like Israel or fallen man generally, was under a moral government in respect of known good and evil in itself, or such a moral sense as man got by sin and a bad conscience. On the contrary he had only goodness to enjoy in thankfulness to the blessed Giver of all, abiding in that normal condition which was the peculiar position of primeval Man. A general state of government where he could judge intrinsically between good and evil was in no way his originally, though it became his when he transgressed and God drove him out from the garden, with that sad but useful monitor along his fallen pathway. Before he fell, it was his place to live in the constitutional enjoyment of divine goodness and its abundant gifts with a simple test of his obedience, His condition therefore stands it plain contrast with ours, who, being naturally sinful by faith know Him that called us by glory and virtue, whereby He has granted to us His precious and exceeding great promises. But Man, when unfallen, had just to abide in, not quit his first estate, instead of being called out of a fallen one as believers are. No reward was proposed to him in obeying God's gracious call as to us now, nor was there the least room, as we need, to have senses exercised for distinguishing both good and evil. Adam was simply warned against disobedience in one particular, which was evil because forbidden. Free to act in the sphere subjected to him, he was responsible to obey in refraining from the forbidden tree.

Nor can notion here be more evil and false than the thought of freedom to choose. Alas! this suits man's pride, but it is bad and senseless to boot. Free to obey or disobey God! Can these abstract reasoners mean what they say? Unfallen or fallen, man is only and always bound to obey God. He was not a slave of sin then; he is now. This is the truth according to scripture. It was then a natural relationship to God where all was good, but with responsibility to obey, and loss of all — death if he disobeyed. Sin put man out of that relationship to God; grace by faith alone gives a new and better and eternal one in Christ. Reinstatement there is none. The paradise of man is not regained, but the paradise of God opened by Christ to the believer, whom grace makes a child of God and teaches to walk in obedience, as Christ did perfectly and unto death — death of the cross.

Genesis 2:18-20.

1892 81 Here again it is manifest that we have not a second account of creation, but first of all the declared purpose of a moral relationship between husband and wife given through the same inspired writer, every difference of thought and word being strictly required by the divine design in each case. Here therefore the words "male and female," so appropriate to their creation by Elohim, are out of place where the deeper question of such a relationship comes before us; and Jehovah Elohim expresses His judgment on that which is the chief bond of human society here below. It is accordingly "a help as before him," his like or counterpart, that is now spoken of, not in Gen. 1 where the race are regarded simply as creatures of God, though constituted chief of all on earth. Each part of the communication is perfect for the varying design of divine revelation, both in entire harmony, the blessed instruction of all which is lost when men sink into the unbelieving superficial hypothesis of documents from different hands, whereby God, the real author who employed Moses, is excluded. No wonder that by such a process the light is quenched in darkness, and that the men who cheat others of the truth (themselves cheated by a subtler rebel against God) boast of their criticism, which sees only men in the case and, according to most, men dove-tailing incoherent statements without perceiving it. It is never of such to glory in the Lord, but to rejoice in the works of their own hands. For "the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, for they are spiritually discerned."

"And Jehovah Elohim said, [It is] not good that the man should be alone: I will make him a help answering to him. And out of the ground Jehovah Elohim had formed every animal of the field, and every bird of the heavens, and brought them to the man, to see what he would call them; and all that the man called a living creature (soul, that was its name. And the man gave (called) names to all the cattle, and to bird of the heavens, and to every animal of the field; but for Adam was not found a help answering to him" (ver. 18-20).

Even when perpetuation of the race was in view as in Gen. 1, we saw the marked distinction of Man. There was a single pair, and whatever the varieties to be in different parts of the earth, not a hint of "after his kind" as in the merely animal population of land, sea, or air. Man exclusively was made from the beginning in Elohim's image, after Elohim's likeness, with dominion given over fish of the sea, and over bird of the heavens, and over living thing that moves upon the earth. But here in Gen. 2 Jehovah Elohim, alike moral Governor and Creator, enters with gracious consideration into the daily life and comfort of man on earth, not only has a perfectly kind and wise mind about his well-being but expresses it that it be known as His, and this not by an imperative word as in ver. 16, 17, but as the benevolent judgment of Him who absolutely knew all and abounded in favour to Man. "And Jehovah Elohim said, It is not good that the man should be alone." Interchange of affection and interest is good for Man. No wonder that solitude is in general a most severe punishment short of death. Here no doubt intimacy of the nearest companionship is meant, and this as the revealed object of divine counsel. Indeed it is distinctive of the Jehovah Elohim section as a whole to develop, not mere creation, but creation, Man above all, in special relationships as He was pleased to order all; and hence the garden and the trees, etc., could suitably be here only. Difference of authorship or document has nothing to do with the matter, and is the shallowest resource possible, as it explains nothing. Difference of design is all the more strikingly instructive because the same writer gives both consecutively.

The lack of a fitting help for Man, as his counterpart, is shown and accentuated in what follows. "And out of the ground Jehovah Elohim had formed every animal of the field, and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man, to see what he would call them; and all that the Man called a living creature, that was its name." This is the more noticeable, because it beautifully confirms in the style and associations of the new section what had been said in the foregoing one of the Adamic dominion over the inferior creation (Gen. 1:26-28). Here their subject relationship to Man appears by their being brought to him by Jehovah Elohim to see what he would call them. Man's government is not only asserted but exercised in the most precise way. It is not their rank in the scale of creation which is laid down, but their place relatively to Adam formally acknowledged. They are therefore brought by the Supreme to Man who gives names to beast and bird, as their appointed lord. Divine authority in the regulation of all is as manifest here in its moral beauty, as the majesty of creation cannot be hid in the previous chapter. Who was sufficient for these things? God alone Who inspired Moses to write both. Nobody pretends that Adam wrote these particulars as to himself and the subject creation, the garden, and all. And what could Adam of himself have told of the creation before he was made? The divine inspiration of it as it stands accounts for all as nothing else can. God assuredly knew and could give the truth with precision through Moses; and for this we have the highest authority, even the Lord Christ's.

"And the man gave names to all the cattle, and to bird of the heavens, and to every animal of the field." Giving names is a right of sovereignty universally recognised in scripture, as may be seen not only in the book of Genesis but throughout the Bible, even when Gentiles were allotted the upper hand. Indeed it is inherent in man and exercised to this day over all things or persons subject to him. But the most weighty application of the title, and full of interest, lay in unfallen man fresh from his Creator's hand, Who, Himself Sovereign Ruler, had pleasure in the rule of His earthly representative. Man naturally is not a mere creature, but, apart from the yet higher relationships of saving grace was originally son of God, His offspring, deriving the breath of life from Jehovah Elohim's immediate inbreathing. Thus did not any other on earth become a living soul, and therefore shared in no such relationship with Him. They are irrational, naturally made for capture.

Otherwise Man is regarded as but a brute of greater inward capacity, or, as some dare to think and say without authority and in the face of all truth, a development from any or all. But this is not science nor even its province, which is not to imagine or discuss origins, but to interpret accurately the general laws deducible from phenomena. Evolution is but scientific mythology in contempt of scripture; and the worst class in that school consists of those who are audacious enough to reduce the written word of God to an analogous growth from human elements. The sole field or groundwork of science is the fixed order everywhere observable in the created universe; but of creation, of the production of what exists, true science avowedly and necessarily knows nothing, only of existing natural order, and consequently should be wholly silent where its ignorance is blank. Faith alone understands it on the warrant of God's word, which is infinitely simpler and surer to every individual than in any other way. Nor can any proof of man's need be conceived more demonstrative than the adoption by scientific men of an hypothesis so irrational, which is at issue with every fact really ascertained in the geologic ages no less than in historic times. Speculation is not science, which does not exist save by just deduction from fixed principles or constant order among the beings that exist. This is quite compatible with God's creation; not so the ancient notion of a constant flux or the modern evolution, both of which are ultimately due to man's anxiety to get rid of God and His will and energy here below.

We have further to note that it was this very survey of the subject and dependent creation which evinced the gap for its head. "But for Adam was not found a help answering to him." God did not create the human pair together for the weightiest reasons, as we shall see conveyed in the verses that follow: a fact only in its due place in the second section, not in the first, where creaturehood is the truth stated, not that circle of relationship which fills the scripture now before us. Discrepancy there is none, for Gen. 1 gives no detail about the forming of the man or about the building up of the woman, but all is purposely general. "Male and female created he them." Here throughout the later section we have details which bear on the relations in which they were placed, not with God only but mutually. And the moral importance of this fresh truth is felt increasingly as we ponder it with conscience and heart before God; otherwise it passes easily without a thought save of ignorance to slight or of malevolence to slander. If any one thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him take knowledge that the things which Moses wrote are the revealed truth of God; but if any one is ignorant, let him be ignorant.

Genesis 2:21-23.

1892 97 The singular formation of woman is another detail reserved by the Holy Spirit for the section of Jehovah Elohim. Nor could it be appropriately elsewhere, supposing one inspired writer to have indited the preceding section as well as this. In the general account of creation Elohim made man in His image after His likeness, with dominion over all that peopled sea and sky, the earth and all that crept upon it. Or, as it is summed up, Elohim made Man in His image, in the image of Elohim created He him; male and female created He them. Impossible to conceive a more distinctive and express place assigned to the race from its beginning, with marked pre-eminence over all those creatures here below, as God's viceroy and their head on earth. Yet, whatever its exclusion of the evolutionary fable, and the more evidently inspired because it is by anticipation in the simple statement of the truth, special relationships are untouched. Creature nature and position are alone laid down with perfect precision and in language as noble as all was very good even in the Creator's estimate.

From Gen. 2:4 on the other hand we receive an equally fine and suitable development of man's moral constitution and the special scene of his probation in the garden of Eden with its mysterious trees, and his relations, not only to God on the tenure of obedience, but to the subject creatures as their appointed lord, peculiarly also and with the nicest care to woman as counterpart. Hence here only do we hear of Man formed by Jehovah Elohim, dust of the ground, yet the breath of life by Him inbreathed only into his nostrils; so that he alone thus became a living soul. How admirably each in place, Elohim's image in ch. 1, constituted a living soul by Elohim's direct inbreathing in ch. 2, yet outwardly dust, His offspring thus as no other on earth was! The perfectness of the revelation is clear from the impossibility of displacing a single particular of either account, which is at once intelligible if the Holy Spirit inspired Moses to write both; whereas it would only add to the magnitude of the miracle, where all miracle is denied, if we imagine two uninspired men writing two accounts going over the same ground in part at least, neither inconsistent in any respect yet without repetition, each true to an evident and most important design, and together issuing in a complete result, necessary to give the believer intelligence in the truth of creation and in the moral mind of God so far as it was then revealed.

The material differences, as well as those of form, flow from the design of each and are the more strikingly instructive as indited by the same writer. To assume that they preclude their being the work of the same hand is ignorance of scripture and of the power of God. That creation should be revealed in a style unornate, measured, precise, with its recurring forms of expression, exactly suits a subject matter so majestic. That the revelation of the moral place of Man, in relation to all above him and beneath him and in the nearest association with him, should be couched in special terms freer and more varied, with a fulness and picturesqueness of detail out of keeping with the generality of creation pure and simple, is just what was requisite. What more worthy of creation than "He spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast"? And so it is in Gen. 1 — 2:3. But from 2:4 et seqq., how proper and affecting the change to Jehovah Elohim "fashioning" Man, and subsequently "in-breathing" the breath of life, "planting" a garden in Eden for him, and "placing," "taking," "setting" him there with its two trees, suited to that scene and time and object, and no other, and with a described environment as full of interest as expressive of goodness on his part; then again bringing the inferior animals to their rightful lord; and, as the suited crown, bringing the woman whom He had "builded" from one of his ribs to fill that place of helpmeet, the lack of which all other creatures only made more apparent!

To call this a "duplicate" of the account of creation is the dregs of sceptical criticism, "higher criticism" only in the eyes of men divinely ignorant and unsteadfast, who wrest these as also the other scriptures unto their own destruction. No doubt a different hand might account for separate accounts with varied phraseology and style, and distinct objects in each, and this regularly reappearing throughout. But the beauty, truth, and power of inspiration are only maintained by the inbreathed power of God, which enabled the same writer to vary his style and representation, in accordance with the varying design of the narrative, marked by the divine name employed as each part required with all its suited concomitants. We may see in every instance that the unbelieving hypothesis miserably fails to explain the phenomena, or the facts, which to the believer make manifest the divine energy that inspired Moses as every other writer of scripture. It is a libel to impute inconsistencies and contradictions. None but an enemy so says or thinks. To call a wholly distinct aspect bringing forward different objects, an inconsistency, yet more a contradiction, is not criticism, but ill-will. How absurd in the "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" to set chap. 2 on its union and external prosperity as a contradiction of chap. 1 on its extent and military forces! Yet this is a merely human view, immeasurably short of the comprehensiveness, and depth, the far reaching wisdom and prophetic scope, of the divine word.

In the verses before us is another example falling under the same principles. "And Jehovah Elohim caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man; and he slept. And He took one of his ribs, and closed up flesh in its stead. And the rib which Jehovah Elohim had taken from the man He built into a woman, and brought her unto the man. And the man said, This time [it is] bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh: this shall be called Woman [Ishshah] because out of man [Ish] was taken this" (vers. 21-23).

Apples of gold truly in baskets of silver! The God Who wrought has communicated the truth worthily to us. He would give man the boon of companionship, the joy of fellowship, the interchange of affection; and as the end was good, so the way. For He threw the man into an ecstasy, as the LXX. render it, that he might not feel painfully, yet know perfectly what God was giving him. It was not a separate human being independent of Adam, nor yet a female half severed from the male half of a Janus-like creature as Rabbins fancy. It was not from the head nor from the feet, an absolute equal nor an utter inferior, but from his side, as has been remarked by others of old, the object of nearest love and sustaining care, an associated yet dependent sharer of all joy and sorrow.

As Jehovah Elohim deigned to build his rib into an Ishah (woman), so He brought her to the man, the highest and best form of marriage: a source never absent from faith at any time, but as it was then, how admirably suited to primeval simplicity in the innocence of both! He who knew all had said that it was not good for the man to be alone. The recognition of Adam's authority in giving a name to the inferior creation only made the gap more sensible. And now that the woman was received as it were from the divine hand, not from Elohim only but from Him Who in all His action here recorded was laying perfectly the ground for mutual duty in the relationship of marriage, "the man said, This time it is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh: this shall be called Ishah, for out of Ish was taken this." He was instantly conscious of the intimate and suited relationship, though hitherto unacquainted with the divine purpose; and he gave her a name admirably expressive of the fact. How poor are all the imaginations of man on this theme in presence of the truth thus revealed to us! But it could be appropriately communicated, not under the head of creation simply (Elohim), but of its moral government (Jehovah Elohim). So simple, sure, and unforced is the usage of the divine designations here employed, without the crude, superficial, and sceptical hypothesis of distinct writers, destructive as it is of all real intelligence, and of that good and profoundly wise design for God's glory which is the surest mark of inspiration from first to last.

Attention may also be drawn to the refutation which the simple facts here revealed give to the vain hypothesis that the use of intelligible speech was a human invention. We need not quarrel in the least with the science of language, any more than with other science. The ablest of comparative philologists cannot rise above the root words in the Aryan, Semitic, and Turanian families of speech, pointing to a common source, the darkness of which science utterly fails to penetrate. Nor need it be doubted that imitative sounds and interjectional cries have added to the force and variety of language since early days. It is only when speculators cry up their little contributions, as if they were an adequate account of the origin of language, that they expose themselves to the derision of the Bow-wow and the Pooh-pooh theories. For those who believe the word of God the question does not exist. It is certain that Elohim blessed our first parents, and said to them, Be fruitful, etc. It is certain that, when moral relations were established, Jehovah Elohim brought the subject creatures to Adam as to their lord for the names he would give them. Even before this the man had received the injunction imposed on his tenure of the garden with the solemn sanction of death on disobedience; as after naming the animals Adam intelligently expresses the woman's nature and relation to himself in a way beyond all Rabbins on the one hand and all philosophers on the other throughout the ages, giving her and himself names accordingly.

To deny the reality of all this is worthy of the irrationalism of the Rationalist. It is untrue that God addressed the sea monsters and their congeners, though He blessed them. It is the revealed fact that He did from the first address Man. He puts honour on His word throughout; but He "commanded" in ch. 1 as Jehovah Elohim, and was thoroughly understood. So Adam is declared to have exercised speech according to that power of God, alone suited to the beginning, which formed him a grown man in mind as well as in body, and with language as set over the animal kingdom, and with woman the meet companion of his life, where imitative lessons or interjectional outbursts could have no place, any more than rootwords.

This is the truth; and reason is hound to admit that it is as worthy of God as suited to man: even the vain Rousseau, after all sorts of efforts to account for it, was "convaincu de l'impossibilitée, presque démontrée, que les langues aient pu naitre, et s'établir, par des moyens purement humaines." (Inégal. des Hommes.) That Adam at once named the animals brought to him; that he learnt to speak from their cries is an infidel reverie, not an honest exegesis. Science even in its lowest yet haughtiest form, the Positive Philosophy of Comte, abandons all enquiry into the beginning of things as hopeless, abjures causes, and heeds nothing but the laws of phenomena. Rational science undertakes to treat of no more than the established course of nature; but absolute silence about the beginning! It can give no light on the ultimate producing cause; yet a beginning, a primordial and permanent producing cause, there must have been; and this, whatever the mode or means employed, was none other than God.

To unfold creation is not the function of science, which therefore, if alone, leaves men infidel. But scripture supplies what science stops short of, speaks with divine authority and admirable clearness to the open ear, and makes the truth a matter of testimony, not reasoning, and hence adapted to all who believe. This was the way and the pleasure of God, if it is not to the taste of men apt to boast of a little science or learning. As the Hindu could not go beyond his imaginary tortoise, neither can the boldest modern speculator beyond the blank wall which bounds his array of secondary causes. Yet to assume that there is nothing, and no one, behind the blank wall is evidently on man's own ground illogical; for he is wholly ignorant. God 'Who created all knows all, and has revealed what no science can teach, what is of all moment for man to learn; not creation only, but redemption in Christ the Lord. But all have not faith; and faith alone receives what God alone wrought and revealed, momentous to understand on his authority in order to be saved from the lie of the enemy.

Genesis 2:24-25.

1892 113 The closing words of the chapter are the more to be weighed, as they were cited by our Lord in His vindication of marriage according to the mind of God, apart from that concession made to fallen man which is characteristic of the law. In reply to the question, Why the command to give a bill of divorce and to put away, Moses, said He, in view of your hardness of heart allowed you to put away; but from the beginning it has not been so. As He had previously answered, Have ye not read that He Who made them from the beginning, made them male and female, and said, For this cause a man shall leave father and mother and shall cleave to his wife, and the twain shall become one flesh? so that they are no longer twain, but one flesh. What therefore God yoked together, let not man separate (Matt. 19:3-8). It is not Adam who so said, but God.

How good it is to have divinely given certainty! And this the Lord supplies. We need Him in one form or another to interpret the Bible; and here it is simple and direct. He Who made the man and the woman regulated the relationship from the first; and when things were out of course, the Lord Who made everything perfect cleared it of that allowance which man had abused, and recalled to its original order. This is all the more impressive, because it was so ruled of God, not merely for the transient state of paradisaical innocence, but as His mind for man on the earth at any time: so the terms prove. Marriage was divinely instituted from the beginning.

"Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become (be for) one flesh. And they were both of them naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed" (vers. 24, 25). The former verse contemplates circumstances wholly different from those of Adam who had neither father nor mother to leave; the latter presents the facts which attached to the primeval condition and neither were nor could be with propriety at any other time. Shame followed sin: the knowledge of good and evil led them consciously fallen to cover themselves.

As marriage was to be the social bond, so is it the ground of family life; the oldest of all institutions relative, yet a fresh start for each man and woman so united, as ver. 24 contemplates. The work of God corresponds with His word. If a man was to leave his father and mother, he was to cleave to his wife, not to multiply wives. So had the Creator made one man and one woman. So had Jehovah Elohim ordained. Self-will too soon broke through the order, and sorrow followed personal and widespread, for man in nothing errs with impunity, even in a world out of course.

But there are deeper things prefigured. The apostle refers to these words both in 1 Cor. 6 and in Eph. 5; and each is of the highest interest and importance, though the one he individual, and the other corporate. The fleshly union, shameful out of marriage, God would have honourable under marriage, honourable in all things (Heb. 13:4); for even the married are gravely exhorted, as the licentious are solemnly warned. But that union is used and meant to remind the Christian of his own blessed privilege: he that is joined to the Lord is (not one flesh but) one spirit. It is indeed in virtue of his receiving the Holy Spirit. Thus is impurity shown to be a sin not only against his own body, but against the Trinity and the price paid. "Glorify God then in your body." The corporate reference is no less striking. "Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it," not merely to sanctify it, purifying by the washing of water in the word, but to present it to Himself glorious, the Eve of the Second Man, the Last Adam. Hence He meanwhile nourishes and cherishes it; for we are members of His body. Thereon our text is cited, with the appended comment, "This mystery is great, but I speak as to Christ and as to the church." In no way does it yield the paltry sense of "sacrament" which Romanism has drawn from the Vulgate mistranslation, though not without the protest of such as Cajetan and Estius. Holiness is therefore as incumbent on the church as on the christian; and the Holy Spirit abides in the one as in the other to secure it, and to make the sanction of evil inexcusable in either.

The type is methodically set out. On the "man was laid the responsibility, when the woman was not yet in being (Gen. 2:15-17); as He Whom Adam foreshadowed was to glorify the Father and to bear all the consequences of man's failure in the judgment of God on the cross. Then began to dawn the hidden purpose about His bride, but His dominion is carefully shown over the subject creation before laying the basis of that purpose (Gen. 2:18-20). Then comes the deep sleep on the man from Jehovah Elohim and the building up of his wife, owned by him as bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh, the intimacy of this relationship transcending every other in his eyes. So was it in the secret hidden from ages and from generations: even Christ, after His death of redemption, raised and glorified in a heavenly headship and universal supremacy, far above promise and prophecy; and the church made one with Him in sovereign grace, the sharer of all that is given to Him, His dependent but associated bride, even now His body, as each christian is a member in particular.

Genesis 3:1.

1892 129 We have seen the first Adam in all that variety of relationships which chap. 2 reveals from ver. 4 to the end. No history follows unless so we designate the fact next recorded, the sad and solemn fact of THE FALL, with the righteous but withal gracious intervention of Jehovah Elohim, above all in the woman's Seed. How momentous the issues! Unbelief resists, derides, or at best neglects the word of God to sure and irreparable judgment; faith receives it to such a blessing even now, with heavenly glory soon and for ever, as primeval innocence in no way contemplated. For if there be divine counsels revealed when Christ dead and risen was hid in God, all the ways of God are in view of the fall, whether in grace or in judgment, promise or law, government or salvation.

This accordingly the truth continually puts forward and presses, as philosophy no less invariably ignores it. So does man's religion really, though in form owning sin and striving to remedy it after its own fashion. God took care that when man fell, he acquired not only a conscience in the sense of an inward discernment of good and evil, but a bad conscience. He was consciously guilty. When innocent, such an intrinsic sense did not exist in man, and would have been incompatible. But a bad conscience never brings back to God; rather does it, without His grace and truth, lead farther and farther from Him. Sin is not cancelled so. Only a Mediator can avail for man with God; and that Mediator God no less than man; and even He by death as a sacrifice for sin. Philosophy ignores the truth, because it seeks the glory of the first man, of the race; human religion, even while professing to acknowledge the Second Man, seeks the same false glory, by priesthood and ordinances. Both undermine the grace of God, are wholly ignorant of His righteousness, and deny present everlasting salvation for the believer; so little or null is the efficacy of Christ's cross to God's glory in their eyes, whether humanly religious or openly profane.

God never made man, the earth, and the lower creation as they are. "He saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good." It is now a ruin; mortality works in animated nature, as sin pervades mankind, and the whole creation groans together and travails in pain together until now. Bible or no Bible, the world is in a state of departure from God; Bible or no Bible, man is a sinner and unable to stand before the God Who judges sin and sinners. But the Bible alone in its own inimitably simple, holy, and dignified way tells the truth how it came in. The myths of men in their little measure testify here, there, and everywhere, to that truth which scripture alone sets out so profoundly that the deepest plummet has never sounded it, so helpfully that the least draught has ever refreshed a truly thirsting soul. Here is not a word to puff a Jew more than a Gentile. Here man reads God's just sentence on his own inexcusable sin. "Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived; but the woman, being beguiled, is involved in transgression." What a key to the moral history of man! What a ground for divine order in God's church! Yet all in a fact which the O.T. records, and which the N.T. applies, as only God could reveal in either.

Undoubtedly the man was first in being, the woman first in sin; yet another being mysteriously intrudes, not yet alluded to, but availing himself of a creature best adapted to his fell purpose.

"Now the serpent was more subtle than any animal of the field which Jehovah Elohim had made. And it said unto the woman, Yea, has God I said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" (ver. 1).

Truly we may say, An enemy, time enemy has done this. There is no allegory whatever, any more than in a dumb ass which, speaking with man's voice, forbad the folly of the prophet. Here it was the great adversary of God and man, who employed the crafty serpent as the vehicle of his temptation. The great apostle of the Gentiles in 2 Cor. 11:3 has ruled in the Spirit that Gen. 3 presents the actual, no fable or myth, but a positive fact: just as we have seen the fallacy of confounding the six successive days with the vast periods of geology that preceded them. A "scientific" account of creation Gen. 1 is in no way; but it does supply with plain certainty the divine revelation of that creation of which all true science professes its total ignorance. The records written in the rocks are wholly out of view in the scriptural account, which speaks solely of the absolute beginning in general, and in detail only of the time immediately connected with man's earth. The scene of geological research lies between, and is passed by in scripture as quite outside its moral scope, so that those labour in vain who look for a scientific tally there.

But true to God's design scripture here brings before us how Satan directed his first assault on man, a fact of the gravest import and nearest interest to all; and this precisely as it happened. On the other hand John 8:44 is a clear reference to the essential truth, stripped of the actual phenomena; and therefore only is the devil named as a liar and murderer. But the same inspired writer in the last book of the N.T. alludes to the first of the O.T., and here employs symbolically the literal instrument of the earliest temptation. See Rev. 12:3-4, 7, 9 (where the allusion is put beyond doubt), 13, 15, 16, 17; Rev. 13:2; Rev. 20:2, to say nothing of vers. 7, 10. With this we may compare Isa. 27:1. But to treat the story of the Fall as myth or allegory, while allowing the essential reality of the truth conveyed, to maintain that the Mosaic narrative is not to be understood as literal history any more than the Apocalyptic visions! is, one may fear, to prove oneself incapable of appreciating either the one or the other.

The universal prevalence of serpent worship is the most powerful witness outside to the fact scripture reveals. For otherwise to worship it is far from being natural like that of the sun. But the form of this strange idolatry also, at many times and in unlikely places, points to that which made the deepest impression on the human mind and was handed down, less or more corrupted, from the beginning. It prevailed from China and Japan to Java; through Africa from civilised Egypt to savage Whidah in Guinea; from Scandinavia to Asia Minor, Phoenicia, Canaan, Arabia, Mesopotamia, Babylonia, Persia, and India. North America knew it no less than Mexico and Peru; Russia, Prussia, Poland, France, Macedonia, Greece and its isles, perhaps no country more distinctly than England. Nor are any remains more striking in their way than those of Abury in Wiltshire, or of Stanton Drew in Somersetshire, where the Druids according to their vast conceptions did not merely raise the emblem for the entrance or at the altar, but formed the great temples in the figure of the serpent. In Ireland and Scotland the same worship was found extensively; and in the N.W. of France the ruins of Carnac attest a dracontium of not less than eight miles in length, with many of lesser extent.

Perhaps the engraving given in Humboldt's "Researches" (i. 195) of a hieroglyphic painting of the Aztecs may prove the vividness of the tradition more than most other witnesses. For a naked woman, mother of men, converses with a serpent, not fallen but erect. Why too before a tree? In the Mex. Antiq. iii. of Aglio are representations, in one of a human figure smiting a great serpent on the head with a sword, in another of a divine figure destroying it. In plate 74 of the Borgian series in the same work is a god in human form thrusting the sword into the dragon's head, and his own foot bitten off by the dragon at the heel. Can this be mistaken? Faber too, in his Pagan idol. i. 274, cites Marsden as testifying that the New Zealanders had "a tradition that the serpent once spoke with a human voice." From what basis do these scattered fragments come?

Classic fables, as being more familiar as well as divergent through poetic handling, need not be added. But in that universal worship of the serpent we see the superstition into which fallen man sunk, growing out of the fact which Moses relates from God. The time or rather place was not yet come to lift the veil and disclose the evil spiritual agent that made the serpent his vehicle. The book of Job gave the suited opportunity to mark him as the great "adversary." 1 Chron. 21:1, Ps. 119:6, Zech. 3 add a little more. All is in harmony, and utterly different from the Persian myth of Ahriman in conflict with Ormuzd. Scripture knows no dualism, but a rebel against the true God, a slanderer and tempter, of which after all Gen. 3 abides the witness, only less than Matt. 4 and Luke 4, with a vast detail over the entire N.T.

How then did he approach Adam? Through Eve, the weaker vessel. It was but a question, as if surprised, at most an insinuation. "Is it so that Elohim has said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden"? If He made and pronounced all very good, why keep back any? Is this love? Did Elohim really say this? Are you not mistaken? Distrust of God and His goodness was his first effort. And it will be noticed that he carefully withholds the title of divine relationship, Jehovah Elohim, vers. 1, 5, and ensnares Eve into fatal forgetfulness of it, ver. 3, in a section which everywhere else carefully maintains it: phraseology consistent with moral purpose, not at all so with an Elohist scribe, a Jehovist, a junior Elohist, a redactor, or any of the other fancied actors in the rationalistic farce. Scripture tells things simply as they were with the calm and simplicity of divine truth.

Genesis 3:2-5.

1892 145 The procedure of the enemy was indeed subtle. It was to awaken distrust of God in Eve's heart. Could it be good to refuse man the fruit of any tree in the garden? Distrust of God opens the door to every sin. Eve ought at once to have turned away. She knew the goodness of Jehovah Elohim. Why then parley a moment more with one who questioned it? To allow it was to sit in judgment on Him, to doubt His love, to accept the serpent as a better friend. She was deceived. Her obvious and urgent duty was to repulse the malicious overture with indignation.

The gift of His only begotten Son is God's answer. For so did He love the world, the fallen guilty world, that He gave His dearest object of affection and delight that every one that believes on Him should not perish but have life eternal. In presence of the most abounding liberality Satan found his opportunity in the one restriction by which God tested their obedience. In presence of a world of sins and sinners God gave His Son, infinitely more precious than the universe. Yet this was He against Whom grudging was imputed! And Eve alas! listened to her ruin.

"And the woman said to the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which [is] in the midst of the garden, God has said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said to the woman, Ye shall not surely die: for God doth know that, in the day ye eat of it, your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil" (vers. 2-5).

Eve well knew the goodness as well as the command of God; nor had she forgotten the dread penalty of disobedience. She even added to His words, "neither shall ye touch it," which adding may seem pious, but is neither seemly nor wise. The serpent advances a bold step now, and dares to give God the lie. This soon follows, when the heart conceives distrust of His love. "Ye shall not surely die." "Fear nothing of the sort. On the contrary, to refrain from the fruit of that tree is to abandon your just hopes. God does not wish you to know good and evil as He does. He wants you to remain babes and slaves. Instead of dying, He knows that, in the day ye eat of it, your eyes shall be opened to know what He does. Fear not death, and assert your independence." Divine truth and majesty were thus alike assailed.

It is so always. The moment God's love is distrusted, His word is sure to be speedily annulled, and His honour goes for nothing. If God is viewed with doubt, Satan reaps the spoil. To trust one's self is to fall a victim to the enemy, who is far stronger and subtler than man, and infuses into the human heart his own selfwill and enmity against God, especially against the Son Who alone reveals the Father and the Father's love. Man is in no real way self-sufficient, though his own pride and Satan's guile hold it out as a prize. Man had been set up to rule the lower creation, but as God's servant even while His vice-gerent, on the tenure of the amplest gifts and the least possible tax of obedience. But the enemy, concealing himself carefully under the serpent, drew on the woman to be his slave by distrust and disobedience of Jehovah Elohim.

As here, the real failure begins in the heart, which quickly betrays its departure from God by open opposition to His will. For one must be servant of God or of sin; and Satan it is who, behind, thwarts God and ruins man. Christ is, in all respects, the blessed contrast, Who being in the form of God counted it not robbery (or a thing to be grasped) to be on equality with God, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man He humbled Himself, becoming obedient unto death, yea, death of the cross. Wherefore also God highly exalted Him. Phil. 2:6-9. The one being a creature was responsible to do God's will in submissive service, yet disobeyed unto death through setting up to become as God. The other was truly God, even as the Father, yet emptied Himself to be a bondman, and, when found in fashion as a man, humbled Himself to the lowest in the death of the cross, to obey and glorify God where He had been shamefully dishonoured. He came to do God's will, and did it perfectly at all cost to Himself. Wherefore! also God highly exalted Him, raising Him from the dead and glorifying Him in Himself on high.

"We know that everyone that is begotten of God sins not; but the begotten of God keeps himself, and the wicked one touches him not" (1 John 5:18). It was not so with Eve. Innocent she was like Adam, but not begotten of God, and consequently, instead of keeping herself, she parleyed, and the wicked one did touch her. She knew that the serpent was insinuating a doubt of God's goodness and emboldening her to disobey Him, in defiance of His word and threat; yet she did not turn away with horror, nor cry to God in her weakness. Thereby fatal lust, the desire to have what God forbade, was infused, which gave birth to overt sin. How different Christ! He instead of yielding suffered, which! Eve did not; yet was He tempted far beyond our first parents, tempted in all things in like manner as we, apart from sin: the severest temptations ever endured, sin excepted. From our sinful! temptations He was absolutely exempt. He knew no sin; which was as incompatible with His person as with the work He came to do. And we may well bless God that so it was: otherwise our salvation had not been, any more than God glorified in the cross of Christ.

The craft of Satan seduced Eve from one degree to another. First, she was drawn away to doubt His love; then she ceased to tremble at His word, His truth; and lastly, she fell by open transgression under the temptation to receive the devil's gospel — to become as God, knowing good and evil. Can any course more aptly portray what has wrought in hearts ever since? The difference is that we are by birth fallen and prone to sin, and that God has spoken and acted to arouse and deliver, above all in redemption by Christ the Lord; so that men are without excuse if they persist in the lie of Satan against the grace and truth of God. Yet do they live as if there were no death or after this no judgment, no real God, no destroyer, and no Saviour. When man as he is takes up his own doings, or rites done by others, in the hope that God is too good to consign him to "the second death," "the lake of fire," he is evidently listening to the deceiving voice of the old serpent.

None but the Son of God and Son of Man can save sinners; and even He only by dying for their sins and bearing their judgment at the hand of God. But this He suffered once, once for all: the infinite fruit of God's love to the sinner, and His hatred of their sins. But the heart must give Him credit for such love, and rest upon His redemption by faith: else there is no purification of heart or conscience; and this must be now and here below, that as believers, as His saints, we may serve and worship Him henceforth by the Spirit of God.

Thus the Saviour reverses for good to God's glory what the enemy wrought to His dishonour through human weakness and sin. God is believed in His love that gave and sent His own Son; and thus the soul now repentant, taking God's part against itself in its sins, sets to its seal that God is true, looks up with the assurance which Christ and His atoning work inspire, and bows down in worship begun on earth, never to end in heaven, the new song of Him Who was once dead, alive again now and evermore. "He that spared not His own Son but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not also with Him freely give us all things?"

Genesis 3:6-7.

1892 161 Thus did the enemy craftily prepare the way. The woman had heard him undermine successively the goodness, the truth, and the majesty of God; she had continued to listen when he held out the bait of a knowledge which God possesses and man could not have in his innocent state, the knowledge of good and evil. At length the desire for what God had prohibited was insinuated into her soul: when all the safeguards of obedience were sapped by his wiles, lust ensued.

"When (and) the woman saw that the tree [was] good for food, and that [it was] pleasant to the eyes, and the tree [was] desirable to make wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they [were] naked; and they joined together fig-leaves, and made themselves aprons (girdles)" (vers. 6, 7).

Little did the woman know the internal mischief which made the way for the open and positive act of disobedience. It had never been, had she kept the word of Jehovah Elohim before her in the confidence of His love and the fear of His warning. She was really giving credit to the serpent as a better friend than God to Whom he attributed envy in withholding from man so good a gift. She therefore Ho longer heeded His prohibition, but trusted her own mind, poisoned as it was against God by the enemy. It was the very reverse of the love of the Father, of which the apostle speaks, the fruit of faith in the power of the Holy Spirit, so characteristic of the Christian. Here was in principle the love of the world or of what is in it. And we are assured that all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passes away, and the lust thereof, but he that does the will of God abides for ever. "When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and the tree was desirable to make wise, she took of the fruit and ate." Was this obedience? or dependence?

Here was the root of all evil. She judged for herself. Independence means rejecting God and accepting Satan, though she, like her husband and future children, thought of nothing less. Selfwill blinds the eyes to God and things as they are, and sees nothing but the fairness and advantage of what it seeks; in truth it is abandoning God's service for Satan's slavery. Verily, verily, said our Lord to the Jews, whosoever commits (or rather practises) sin is slave of sin; and the slave abides not in the house for ever; the son abides for ever. If the Son therefore make you free, ye shall be free indeed. Abiding in His word is the grand test. There only is the truth known, which makes free even a slave. On the other hand the devil was. a murderer from the beginning and stands not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. He is a liar, and the father of it as we see here; and this not only by direct opposition to God's word, but by a partial and cunning misuse of it which wholly misleads those that parley and listen when he pleads for disobedience. He that is of God hears God's words. This Christ pre-eminently did, but not our first parent. She saw, reasoned, and was conquered. What she knew well, what she had repeated to the serpent, faded from before her mind. She acted from herself, under the instigation of the devil, and boldly rebelled against Jehovah Elohim. "She took of the fruit and ate." What a contrast with Him Who did nothing from Himself but as His Father taught Him! He spoke the words of light and truth and love; and He that sent Him was with Him; He left Christ not alone, for He was ever doing the things that please Him.

But the mischief alas! did not end there. She "gave also to her husband with her, and he ate." Mankind was now fallen. Cleverly had Satan planned his temptation. He addressed himself to the weaker vessel, and deceived her as we have seen. He left it to the woman to draw the man into her error; and we are told by authority beyond appeal, by the apostle Paul, that "Adam was not deceived." This is characteristic. The woman was deceived, not the man. So says the Holy Spirit in the Epistle. We perhaps might have failed so to infer from the ancient record, but feel none the less assured that the difference is true and important, as appears from the application of it to Timothy. The man without being deceived was entangled by his affection, and shared her transgression to universal ruin. Affection is an excellent bond and a great support when it works in God's order. But here all was out of course. The woman acted first in weak but known opposition to the divine word, and also, as compared with her husband, was not subject to him as became her. He followed, instead of directing her, in too bold disobedience, and so must share the punishment she had incurred. God was not in his thoughts. Satan triumphed for the while, always doomed to defeat in the end.

The moral effect was immediate; and the effort to hide divulged the disastrous wrong, as ever. "And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked." Jehovah-Elohim knows good and evil as a holy being judging righteously, loving good and hating evil in His own nature. Man was made upright; but innocence was his condition, and obedience his duty. Of the tree of knowing good and evil he was not to eat. When the fruit was eaten, he acquired the intrinsic faculty of pronouncing this, evil, and that, good; as a fallen being, now the prey to that lust to which he had yielded in defiance of God. And this became, the sad inheritance of every child of Adam. The Seed of the woman is the one blessed contrast. In Him was no sin: not only He did no sin, but sin was not in Him, and He knew it not. He was" "the Holy Thing" born of Mary, but so born by the power of the Holy Spirit as none other before or since, the Holy One of God, as the unclean spirit was compelled to confess. Not that He was spared temptation, but on the contrary tried beyond all comparison with the first man, or Abraham, or any other. He was in all points tempted like as we are, without sin; not only without sinning, but sinful trial excepted. For this kind of trial He could not have from the holiness of His person, human nature as well as divine. A body God prepared Him for the work He was to do, with which "flesh of sin" had been absolutely incompatible. So it is written that God, sending His own Son in likeness of flesh of sin, and for sin (i.e., as a sin offering), condemned sin in the flesh.

Our first parents were fallen, innocence was gone irreparably. Grace might and did intervene to bring in "some better thing;" but there can be no return of innocence, however surely faith finds life in the Son of God and inseparably along with it sanctification to God, the basis of all practical holiness. New birth is not peculiar to any time or circumstances, but belongs to every one that sees or enters the kingdom of God. Believing in the rejected Messiah, the Son of man, the Son of God, we have it in its highest revealed character. For "this is the True God, and Eternal Life"; and eternal life we have in Him; but substantially this was ever true of the believer from of old, though it could not be made known as a present thing till His cross dawned, as we read in John 3. Some misunderstanding the truth have lapsed into strange and deadly error. But the truth is ever simple to those who are simple in faith; and one part of it is not to be sacrificed to another, but all is consistent to God's glory in Christ, as the single eye sees.

The eyes of the man and the woman were opened, but not as they fondly hoped through Satan's prompting. They knew that they were (not divine but) "naked." What a lowering of high and evil expectations The shame of guilt invaded them. They recognised their fallen condition painfully. "And they joined together fig-leaves, and made themselves girdles." No doubt fig-leaves were broad and well suited to cover nakedness; but what a humiliation! As yet there was no repentance. Alas! most men die unbelieving and unrepentant; and how solemn is the issue that awaits them! Few words of holy writ present it more strikingly than the apostle's to the Corinthians, when more or less awaking and restored from their high-minded folly: "If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked." This from its external impossibility may sound a paradox; but it is really in spirit a weighty truth. In the present life, if a man be clad, he is for that reason not naked. But when resurrection comes, it may and will be very different. The true nakedness is not the body unclothed, but the lack of Christ; and this, which may he unperceived now, will he set in evidence then. For all will be raised, and therefore clothed with the body, in their order and season: those that are Christ's, at His coming; those that are not His, for judgment, when they shall be found naked.

Genesis 3:8-9.

1892 177 We have seen that the recorded effect of disobedience was the sense of nakedness, and this leading to an effort to conceal it from self and from each other. But worse than shame and humiliation followed quickly.

"And they heard the voice of Jehovah Elohim walking in the garden in the cool (wind) of the day. And the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of Jehovah Elohim, in the midst of the trees of the garden" (ver. 8). Confidence in the Lord God was manifestly gone and sin had filled their hearts with terror as well as unbelief. For faith would have known that distance or darkness makes no difference to Jehovah, as is so beautifully expressed in Ps. 139. His voice was no attraction now; His rich unvarying goodness toward them was forgotten. They had acquired the knowledge of good and evil, but alas! to their own self-condemnation. So it is always. Not death only, but a bad conscience, they have left as a sad legacy to all their descendants. Man conscious of evil shrinks from God and distrusts Him.

So we find here the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of Jehovah Elohim in the midst of the trees of the garden. No more flagrant proof could well be of the mischief the enemy had wrought. The wiles of the mighty and subtle Satan had drawn the first pair into rebellion, and their instant attempt to conceal themselves was the unmistakable evidence of it. They "hid themselves from the presence of Jehovah Elohim." Had there been the least working of repentance, they had sought Him in self-reproach and horror at their sin, they had cast themselves in confession on a mercy which endures for ever. But there is no genuine repentance without faith, and faith in Him was wholly wanting. The voice of Him as He walked in the garden alarmed them, and they hid themselves away from Him.

How different Christ and His own, who hear His voice and follow Him, who know His voice and know not the voice of strangers! The voice of Jehovah Elohim awoke nothing but the fear that has torment. Nor can conscience do aught else for man, guilty as he is, till he believes God's testimony to Christ. And Christ is the witness of the love of God, Who has sent none less than His Only begotten Son into the world that we might live through Him; yea, more, sent His Son as propitiation for our sins. This indeed is love, not that we loved Him, though we ought to have done so, but that He loved us in spite of our sins. Nor could anything short of this love, not in word only but in deed and in truth, have availed us. For sin is moral death; and it is expressly said that we were dead in trespasses and sins. Divine love therefore, if it intervened to save, could only save by giving life to us who believe, His life, and His death too, that, with our sins blotted out righteously and for ever, we might live to God.

Another thing calls for our notice here. God came to visit man in the garden. He had visited him before, when He laid upon him His solemn injunction as well as invested him with his high privileges. But He only visited. He did not dwell even in the sinless garden of delights. He came there as One that loved and was deeply interested in His creature, His vice-gerent The book of Genesis shows us God visiting the earth again and again, and especially in Abraham's case. The most gracious condescension was that seen in His intercourse with "the friend of God." But even then there was no dwelling of God on the earth, nor yet in Canaan. This is most instructive and a trait which only inspiration could have conceived or given. It is the mind of God from the beginning and entirely above the thoughts of man. Redemption alone lays the ground for God's dwelling with His own on earth. The absence of it is the more striking here, because in the very next book of Moses redemption is the central truth, followed as it is by a habitation for God in the midst of His people.

It is true that the tabernacle was but a shadowy dwelling place for God; yet this was quite consistent with the facts. For the redemption of Israel out of Egypt was but the type of a better and eternal redemption now come. This Christ alone obtained by His death and resurrection; which accordingly is followed by God's habitation in the Spirit Who dwells with us and is in us, abiding with us for ever.

Here, therefore, all is intrinsic, real, and everlasting. In Christ we have redemption. "Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost that is in you, which ye have of God? And ye are not your own; for ye are bought with a price" (1 Cor. 6:19-20). Here the indwelling of God is individual and unfailing for the believer. But "know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?" (1 Cor. 3:16). Here we learn that it is equally true of the church, of God's assembly, and no less abiding in this case also. Yet it is only so because of Christ's accomplished redemption. What else could secure it for us and us for it, when we think of our failures individually as well as corporately? But no, there is "one body and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling." The Holy Spirit only came down because sin was judged to God's glory in the cross; and He abides because of the perfect unchanging efficacy of Christ's work. The unworthiness of man singly or together cannot more annul it, than the power or will of Satan: so the voice of God has surely declared; and so it will be till Christ comes again, yea for ever.

Remark the beautiful simplicity of Jehovah Elohim exactly in unison with these primeval days. Here we are told of His "walking in the garden in the cool of the day." So Jehovah spoke to Cain in remonstrance (Gen. 4); shut Noah in the ark (Gen. 7); and "came down to see the city and the tower which the children of men builded" (Gen. 11). Favoured Moses knew much of this gracious familiarity in a later day; but here even strangers to the covenants of promise were not without considerate communications of a personal kind. Does this provoke wretched man's unbelief, especially in this day of artificial habits? Let him judge himself, believe that every scripture is inspired of God, and enjoy the wisdom and goodness there vouchsafed abundantly.

"And Jehovah called to the man and said to him, Where art thou?" (ver. 9.) It was the first divine utterance to fallen man. What a volume of truth! On the face of things, past all denial, man was gone from God. He had morally doomed himself before he received the dread sentence. "He drove out the man," we are told later in the chapter; but man hid from His presence at first, and thus drew out the words, "Where art thou?" Away from God! He did not mean to confess his sin, his ruin; but his act unwittingly told the tale, and the word of God, proving it, revealed the truth. Nor is there a road back, save in the Son of God, the Second man, Who is the way, the truth, and the life, as this very chapter shows us authoritatively. He only can break the power of the enemy, though this at all cost to Himself and to the God Who gave Him for this express purpose. How worthy of God, how blessed and reliable for man, is that written word, which unbelief slights now as it slighted Him Who shines throughout it!

Genesis 3:10-13.

1893 193 Drawn from his concealment by the call of Jehovah Elohim, Adam appears. He might strive to hide his sin from himself; he could not hide from God. The very effort testified where he was, and what.

"And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and was afraid because I [was] naked, and hid myself. And he said, Who told thee that thou [art] naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree of which I commanded thee not to eat? And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate. And Jehovah Elohim said to the woman, What [is] this thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent deceived me, and I ate" (vers. 10-13).

The effect of sin was ruinous in all ways. Jehovah Elohim at once became an object of terror, instead of reverence and gratitude, love and trust. Even men own that conscience makes cowards of all. So it was immediately with Adam and Eve. The presence of God is and must be insupportable and alarming to an evil conscience; and this was now acquired. In answer to the divine appeal the man unwittingly tells the tale. "I heard thy voice in the garden, and was afraid because I was naked, and hid myself." How different the state, feeling, and conduct, if our first parents had kept their first estate! Still more different, even had they stood in innocence, was Christ, Who waxed strong, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him. He was the Obedient Man. His will was to do God's will. "The words that I speak unto you, I speak not from myself; but the Father that abides in me, he does his works." Yet these works, stupendous as they were, blessed and blessing overflowing in their nature, were not so characteristic as His dependence. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believes on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater than these shall he do, because I go unto the Father."

But who among those born of women, yea who even born of God, approached his obedience? Power and wisdom, to say nothing of inferior gifts, have been conferred, sovereign and without stint in men as God pleased; but our Lord Jesus stands alone in unswerving devotedness and absolute submission to God. This, the ideal moral glory of man, was His real and crowning perfectness here below even unto death, yea, death of the cross. Wherefore also God highly exalted Him, and gave unto Him the name that is above every name; that in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, [of beings] in heaven and [beings] on earth and [beings] under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. Messiah said to Jehovah, Thou art my Lord; He set Jehovah always before Him with an unwavering trust, through life and death, into resurrection and the pleasures for evermore at His right hand. However tried, neither Jehovah on one side, nor Satan on the other, found aught in Him but grace and truth, righteousness and holiness. According to the beautiful type of Lev. 2, in each act of His life He was like the offering of pure flour, mingled with oil, and oil poured over all, with frankincense thereon, an offering made by fire of a sweet savour unto Jehovah. He as a man lived, not by bread only, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. His meat was to do the will of Him that sent Him and to accomplish His work" As the living Father sent Him, so He lived, not merely "by" but, because of the Father. "I do always the things that are pleasing to Him."

Such was the Second man; but the first by his own account, as soon as he heard the voice in the garden, was afraid and hid. Fear has torment, for he had a bad conscience. He shrank from Him Whose word he had disobeyed, and recognised himself naked. "And he said, Who told thee that thou art naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree of which I commanded thee not to eat?" He was in fact self-condemned. It was not sorrow after a godly sort for the transgression; nor was there earnest care, nor clearing of self, nor indignation, nor any other such affection as the Spirit works in the conscience Godward. Consequently in nothing did Adam prove himself to be pure in the matter. His sense of nakedness evinced his guilt.

And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And Jehovah Elohim said unto the woman, What is this thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent deceived me, and I did eat."

It was too plain. They had believed Satan, they had forgotten and rebelled against God. In both the sin was aggravated. The man was bound to lead the woman aright, not to follow her in disobedience; the woman was not to direct but obey her husband, instead of inducing him from natural affection to join her transgression against the Lord God Who had blessed and warned them. Nor as yet was there repentance toward God. They were convicted and compelled to own their respective acts of sin; but there was no true self-judgment, no grief at their dishonour of God, no horror at the evil and their own guilt. On the contrary, there was the self-justification that proves the spirit unbroken, and the shiftings of the blame one on another, and even on God Himself.

Indeed the man was bold, instead of abasing himself as inexcusably wrong; for he not only put forward the woman as his excuse, but dared virtually to upbraid Him Who had in His goodness given her to be his counterpart. "The woman whom Thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat." And when Jehovah Elohim asked the woman, What is this thou hast done? her answer was, Not I have sinned, or I am guilty but "The serpent deceived me, and I did eat." Thus our excuses only make bad worse, and God cannot but righteously deal with pleas so vain and unworthy, which show that unrepented sin is apt to eat as doth a gangrene, and is truly ungodliness.

All this is plain and solemn fact, related not as a myth or allegory but as divinely given history, of the nearest interest and utmost importance to every soul of man. It is wholly unlike the visions of prophecy, such as are given to John in the Revelation, where we read "I was in the Spirit," "I heard," "I saw," etc. Nothing of the kind is found in Genesis. But the history at the beginning and the prophecy at the end have this in common, that their words are alike faithful arid true, while the only sense of "myth" which scripture recognises is that of "fable" in contrast to the truth. The christian has nothing to do with the dreamy views of heathen philosophy, but with the revealed mind of God, which leaves no room for either Gnosticism or Agnosticism.

Genesis 3:14-15.

1893 209 There is no interrogation of the enemy: his history and character were already known on high, that "in the truth he stands not, because no truth is in him." Sentence is pronounced on the proved tempter forthwith. Now he is in fact a murderer, soon to be manifest, so in principle from the beginning.

And Jehovah Elohim said to the serpent, Because thou hast done this, cursed [be] thou above all cattle, and above every beast of the field. On thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all [the] days of thy life. And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed: he shall crush thy head, and thou shall crush his heel" (vers. 14, 15).

This is a present and earthly judgment on the serpent, as we shall also hear subsequently on the woman and on the man, whatever else may be implied to the instructed ear. But in the former case there is exceptionally stated much more in ver. 15, which none but a natural man could limit to the animal, whom Satan made at once the instrument and the mask of his temptation. The language therein rises above the government of the world, though fully including this also, which is indeed on the surface. Isaiah, we may say, is very bold, not so much in declaring the serpent's degradation and special curse in Isa. 65:25 ("Dust shall be the serpent's meat," when all other animals share the blessed effects of the glorified reigning with Christ in heavenly places and Israel restored fully and for ever), as in the utter overthrow of the malignant spiritual power whether on high or here below (Isa. 24:21, Isa. 27:1). The N.T., from its superior depth, now that the Son of God is come and has given us an understanding to know Him that is true, lays bare the unseen chief of evil, and the details of his doom, not in the kingdom only but through eternity (Rom. 16, Rev. 20). Cursed is he in every sense.

It is among the striking points of the scene that the enmity is said to be put between the serpent and the woman, rather than the man. Grace so spoke; for the man might have reflected bitterly on her who had first listened to the enemy, disobeyed the divine command, and enticed himself to follow in the path of transgression, poor and unworthy though such an excuse be. Jehovah Elohim graciously lays stress on the woman, and still more on her Seed. It might have seemed natural to have dwelt on the man, head of woman, image and glory of God; as in the preceding chapter we read that into his nostrils was breathed the breath of life, and Adam was set in his place of privilege and of responsibility, where he forthwith acted on the dominion given by assigning names to the subordinate creation before Eve was formed. Notwithstanding all this God-given position of primacy in natural relationships, grace after the fall no less clearly speaks of the woman expressly as at enmity with the serpent. Of her in a peculiar sense was He to come Who should vanquish Satan. Isaiah 7 predicted it in due time, though here it is sounded out from the beginning for all that have ears to hear; whilst Matthew 1 gives certainty, when the prophecy was accomplished to the letter, that we have not followed cunningly devised fables in believing the inspired words of the law and the prophets any more than the apostle.

The woman's Seed is unmistakable. The first Adam was not that, nor could any of his progeny as such be said so to be. Only the Second man could properly prefer the claim in both spirit and letter. This He was beyond all controversy for every believer, though infinitely more: otherwise why should this have been in His case only? Scripture couples it with His Godhead: see Rom. 8:3, Gal. 4:4.

But more than this. It is with the Incarnate Word, the only begotten Son when He became man, that we find the personal antagonism of Satan, as the Holy Spirit opposes the flesh, and the Father is hated by the world. For the development and revelation of all this we await the latest oracles of God; but here we see in the earliest days the enmity of the old serpent to the Lord Jesus. "For this cause the Son of God was manifested that He might destroy the works of the devil": this the power of death, as He of life, and life-giving; the one the liar, as the other the Truth. Next to His eternal deity, there is nothing truer in itself, nothing sweeter to Christians, nothing more momentous in divine purpose for His glory than His assumption of humanity, spotless and holy, into union with the divine, so that He has both natures in one person.

The truth of His person therefore, as the immediate, unwearied, fatal object of Satan's malice, is the first test of the evil spirits which work in the many false prophets gone out into the world since the Saviour appeared. Every spirit which confesses Jesus Christ come in flesh is of God. And every spirit which confesses not Jesus is not of God: not the fact only but the person confessed. A mere man, however great or good, must have come in flesh. The wonder is that He, the Son of the Father, was pleased so to come. He might have come in His own glory. He might have assumed angelic nature. But it was in grace to us, fallen men, and for our salvation In righteousness. Therefore was He sent "in the likeness of sinful flesh," for He was born of the Virgin, herself a sinner, like every other daughter of Eve. It was in the reality of flesh: else His had been no valid sacrifice for sin on man's account, as on God's. It was "holy" by virtue of the Holy Spirit and the power of the Highest that overshadowed Mary, and so truly that as thus born He should he called Son of God. In flesh is "how" He came; but Jesus is He "Who" came, even Jehovah the Saviour, Emmanuel as Matt. 1 carefully attests.

Granted that Josephus seems to have read these pregnant words as unintelligently as a heathen, divorcing them from the solemn fact of the temptation and the fall just before, ignoring Jehovah Elohim as the speaker and the judge, and utterly dark as to the purpose of God gradually glowing into fuller clearness throughout till Himself came, the true Light. Was it the place for nothing more than a commonplace on natural history? on the relative position of the serpent henceforth? on its hostility to the human race, provoking no less in turn? on its aptness to bite heels and in retaliation to have its head crushed? This may satisfy those erudite critics who are bent as far as they can on reducing the holy letters to a compilation of legendary tales or myths. But the irrationalism as well as the impiety of these sceptics of Christendom is self-evident to every believer; and the inspired word, though it may by grace convert the worst infidel, is addressed to faith, and given first to Israel, and now, that they are for the time Lo-ammi and worse, to the church of God. Even an unbelieving Jew may not be so blind to the depths of what was meant to arouse enquiry and awaken a blessed hope, as well as search the conscience; as we may unhesitatingly say such a God must do if He spoke to man at all in the circumstances. Hence Maimonides (More Nevochim ii. 30) owns that this is one of the passages in scripture which is most wonderful, and not to be understood according to the letter, but contains great wisdom in it. He too was struck by the mention of the woman's Seed rather than the man's as the bruiser of the serpent's Head; and both Targums openly point to Christ, Whom we know to be none other than Jesus, not Messiah ben Joseph and Messiah ben Judah, but one and the same Christ, come and coming again to complete in manifested power and glory what He has already done in the efficacy of His reconciliation-work in death and resurrection. His second advent is as sure as His first.

Yet among those orthodox as to His person no error is more serious than attributing to the Incarnation what scripture uniformly bases on the atoning sacrifice of Christ. Beyond doubt the Word made flesh was to save sinners, yea reconcile all things (not all persons), but this by His death. Not otherwise was God glorified about sin, however fully in an obedient man. But sin must be judged by God; and this was not, nor could he, short of His cross. And this betrays the vanity of all human systems, whether of ritualism on the one hand or of rationalism on the other: both agree in the error of making out a possible salvation through the incarnate Word, both therefore slight the redemption grace gives us already in Christ through His blood. It is the bruised Seed of the woman Who bruises the serpent's head. None short of a dead, risen, and ascended Christ is the Saviour Whom the gospel proclaims. God is therein just and justifies the believe; in Jesus, Whom knowing no sin He made sin for us, that we might become His righteousness in Christ. Thus vanishes the dream of broad-churchism that His birth was the reconstruction of humanity, and so brought every man into blessed relationship with God. Alike disappears the fable on the opposite pole that the sacraments are "an extension of the incarnation;" whereas in truth they are symbols of His death, and thus, only to faith, of a holy salvation according to God. Both systems stop short, even theoretically, still more practically, of man's total ruin and proved guilt, and of God's righteousness and salvation, in the cross. Hence. they lead souls back to an anterior state of things, to law and ordinances, of probation still going on, and of redemption unaccomplished.

Lastly, be it observed that we have here, no matter what theology of every sort may say, no promise to Adam, still less to the race. It is really in the judgment of the enemy that we hear the revelation of triumph over him for the woman's Seed. If there be promise to anyone, it is to Christ, the risen Second Man. And this best secures the blessing that results in God's grace to all that are His. Thus it is for the believer, because it is in Him. He deserved all by His personal perfection and obedience; but He took it all by death which annulled him that had the power of death, reconciled us that believe sacrificially to God, and glorified Him in all His love and purpose, His majesty and moral nature. For how many soever be God's promises, in Him is the Yea; wherefore also in Him is the Amen, for glory to God through us (2 Cor. 1:20).

Genesis 3:16-19.

1893 225 Then God pronounced on the serpent without parley. As the devil "sins from the beginning," so for this was the Son of God manifested that He might destroy the works of the devil. Untempted the wicked one fell, and became the habitual tempter in the circuit of Jehovah's earth, seeking the race of man as his prey, a murderer from the beginning, a liar and the father thereof. How complete the contrast with the divine and personal Wisdom, Whom Jehovah possessed in the beginning of His way before His works of old! He was set up from eternity, from the beginning, before the earth was, Who was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him, rejoicing in that scene and in those beings who were the object of Satan's illwill and destructive effort. All deliverance hangs on the woman's Seed, Who is none other than that eternal Word made flesh, bruised only by the Serpent, but his assured victor and destroyer. It is in the power of Christ's resurrection out of that atoning death which sets the believer free.

Whatever the fulness of light cast on this as on all else since God revealed Himself in Christ, it is important to observe that here and throughout the chapter, and in the O.T. generally, we only hear distinctly of divine government on the earth. Fuller revelation discloses more, especially in the N.T., as to God and man, Christ and Satan, the universe and eternity; and the Holy Spirit, Who includes the less (John 18:9) in the greater, could to faith bring out the greater from the less, as Abraham rejoiced to see Christ's day, and saw it, and was glad, looking too, not for Canaan only, but for the city which has the foundations, whose builder and maker is God. "Wherefore they are not to be heard, which feign that the old fathers did look only for transitory promises." Nevertheless it remains true that the scripture here expresses divine dealings externally, and this in keeping with His relationship to the earthly people, unto whose keeping these oracles were primarily entrusted. So even the bruising of the Serpent's head, whatever else was implied to the pondering heart, is manifestly the destruction of his power over man on the earth; and this is the work of the Second Man.

To the believer at all times there were deeper questions behind. Not only the evil and its judgment, but redemption and the positive blessing of eternal life, are now fully brought to light in Jesus the Son of God. This is so true that to not a few there is danger of forgetting the importance of the earthly consequences because of the surpassing interest and weight of what is unseen and eternal. God made Himself known in the Son as to both His nature and His counsels as well as His will, and this accomplished by the only One, now man no less than God, capable of giving it effect for our reconciliation and blessing, even now for the soul, at His coming for the body also, when He reconciles in power all the creation so long dragged down into vanity and suffering through the sin of its first head. Therefore the apostle says that Christ annulled death, and brought life and incorruption to light through the gospel. Again therein is God's righteousness revealed by (or out of) faith unto faith; while God's wrath is revealed (not yet executed, of course) from heaven against all ungodliness, or impiety, and unrighteousness of men holding the truth in unrighteousness — a still more solemn thing for souls in Christendom, whose orthodoxy if alone, where they be orthodox, will in no way shelter them in that day. Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Now we turn to our first parents with whose conscience He dealt Who loved and pitied them, however inexcusably wrong both had proved.

"Unto the woman he said, Increasing (greatly) I will increase thy sorrow and thy conception: in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; unto thy husband [shall be] thy desire, and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto thy wife's voice, and hast eaten of the tree [of] which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it, cursed [be] the ground for thy sake: in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all thy life's days; and thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to thee, and thou shalt eat herbage of the field; in sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread till thy return unto the ground, for out of it wast thou taken. For dust [art] thou, and unto dust shalt thou return" (vers. 16-19).

As with the serpent, Jehovah Elohim speaks to the woman of the present governmental effects of her sin. Woman, more than any other female, was to have sorrow multiplied in her pregnancy and in her bringing forth offspring. Woman, not man, is the victim of reiterated sorrow in this respect. It was righteous, however sad. She first listened to the enemy, despising God and His word; then she drew her husband after her into the ditch. Henceforth she was to be subject; like a younger brother to an elder (Gen. 4:7), her desire was to be to her husband, and he should rule over her. The fall would make this hard. How different the original position of companionship! Sin made God a judge: before it, He simply blessed. But grace in Christ leaves Him free now in better and eternal blessings for faith.

To Adam He condescends to explain the reason. His vain plea becomes the ground (and so it always is) of condemnation. He had sought to excuse himself by laying the blame on "the woman," and aggravated his fault by even imputing it ultimately to God — "The woman whom Thou gavest to be with me." How irreverent as well as unthankful! His sentence is unimpeachably just, "Because thou hast hearkened unto thy wife's voice"; and his wife's voice echoed the serpent's in rebellion against Jehovah Elohim. Her solicitation ought to have deepened his horror of her sin; but, instead of this he dared to transgress, not deceived as she had been, and ate of the tree in the face of the divine prohibition. How different the last Adam, Who suffered being tempted, obeyed His God and Father unto death, and bore in His own body on the tree the sins of those who are now His body and bride, "one spirit with the Lord," and so made by a higher character and power than that of Adam and Eve who were but "one flesh!" His taking flesh was for our sakes, vindicating God, not in obedience only, but in sacrificially enduring the consequences of our disobedience, that we might be united by the Spirit to Him our glorified Head on high.

To Adam fallen the word is, "Cursed be the ground for thy sake: in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; also thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to thee, and thou shalt eat the herb of the field: in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread till thy return unto the ground, for out of it wast thou taken. For dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return."

Here as before it is present and earthly judgment. On account of the man the ground is cursed. His superiority entails wider and more serious results. He too must face sorrow here below all his days. Thorns and thistles oppose the food he needs and seeks; and hard toil must be his portion to eat bread, for the herb of the field was allotted, as to the subject beasts, to him who had lost through rebellion the beautiful and abundant garden which Jehovah Elohim had planted. In the sweat of his face be was to eat till he returned to the ground whence he had been taken. How evidently the body only is here regarded, and the end of life on the earth! Yet the source of man's soul had been carefully shown in chap. 2 as emanating from Jehovah Elohim's inbreathing, contrasted with every other creature on earth, to the confusion of materialists old or new. Present government is the theme, and neither hades nor the lake of fire. So in the Psalms, though Sheol or Hades appears appropriately, we read, in Ps. 146:4, man "returns to his earth: in that very day his thoughts perish." The body alone returns to dust, out of which the soil was not taken, but, as we are told elsewhere, the spirit returns to God Who gave it. All the notice here taken of man is to humble him who did not look up to God, nor obey Him: sorrow and toil, death and dust. We shall find that more is intimated even here in what follows. If the apostle tells us that the wages of sin is death, we ought not to overlook that the sentence does not mean the whole of sin's wages, but the first part; as in the Epistle to the Hebrews we are expressly told on the one hand that it is appointed unto men once to die, and after that the judgment, on the other that Christ also, having been once offered to bear the sins of many, shall appear a second time apart from sin to those that look for Him unto salvation: the portion respectively of unbelievers and of believers.

Genesis 3:20-21.

1893 241 These verses bring before us two facts of high and pregnant significance, stated with that simple dignified brevity which characterises all we have had thus far before us: what the man called his wife at this critical time, and the reason why; what Jehovah Elohim did for Adam and his wife, and the effect.

"And the man called the name of his wife Eve (Chavvah), because she was the mother of all living. And Jehovah Elohim made for Adam and for his wife coats of skin, and clothed them" (vers. 20, 21).

In chap. 2 the man gave his wife a name from himself. He was Ish; her he called Isshah. This was in due place and season; for the Holy Spirit there laid down the divinely formed relationship. But here sin had brought in disorder and ruin: our first parents were fallen. Nothing however is too far gone for grace, the grace of God, Who, as He will effectuate by indisputable power in the great day that is coming, revealed enough even from the fall to instruct and comfort faith. So it was with Adam now. He looked not at the things that were seen, temporal as they are, but at the unseen and durable intervention of the woman's Seed.

Even when a revelation is clear and full, faith may fall short, as every believer knows too well in himself day by day, and as is plain in the Gospels which make known without disguise how far even the Twelve were from entering into the depths of our Lord's communications, till He died and rose and power from on high was given. But Adam did not hear in vain what Jehovah Elohim had intimated in His sentence on the enemy: a conflict, and not merely a successful temptation, from the enmity set between the old serpent and the woman and above all her Seed in some exceptional way specialized; and that conflict issuing in the final and irretrievable destruction of the foe, but not without previous anguish to the victorious Seed in achieving it. Hence in the depths of shame and wretchedness because of his transgression, with the woman's special penalty ringing in his ears, with his own doom to the ground cursed for his sake — to toil all his days ending in death, and to return to the dust whence his body was taken — , he calls her not Death but Life, or Living! The divine assurance that the woman's Seed should bruise the serpent's head (can we doubt?) led him to the new name. It was faith, and founded on the word he had heard; faith real, if not explicit. He confessed that which was before no created eye, what rested simply on the divine word, that she was "mother of all living." Mother of all lying would have been the natural sentiment. But a hope founded on revelation glimmered through the darkness of sin, and Adam's mouth confessed what his heart believed. This he knew without a question that future blessing turned wholly and solely on the woman's Seed; and that woman, actually Satan's means of the mischief, would in due time give birth to Satan's Vanquisher.

It may be objected that scripture, in its roll of the worthies of faith, does not enumerate Adam. Good reason there surely was, in his introduction of sin and death into the world and the race of which he was head, to abstain from singling him out for honourable mention. But not less surely would it be an error to conceive that none believed of old save those that are expressly so designated. And why, in the noble but short account of primeval facts, should Adam's calling his wife by this name be inserted, unless there were something of extraordinary interest, left (as so much in scripture is) to exercise our faith and spiritual intelligence, or to the corrupt speculations of unbelief? For the Bible is a moral book; and the judgments we utter on its sayings betray our own state, whether we reverently learn of Him Who inspired it, or set up ourselves for a very little while to judge Him and it in ignorance of our sinful folly,

Adam then looked above the just forfeits of sin, trusted not to his own strength, wisdom, or virtue, spoke of no seed of his to regain the lost paradise, but took occasion, by faith of God's gracious holding out the suffering but triumphant Seed of the woman, to call her Life, even then because she was mother of all living; an expectation most unsuitable and unwarranted, unless by the faith however dim of Him Who was coming (and now come), Who brought to light life and incorruption through the gospel, He, like those who followed in the growingly bright path of faith, knew little compared with what is now revealed. But they all looked to God for a Deliverer born of woman, yet in some mysterious way to defeat and destroy the evil one; a hope more than realised in Him Who became man that through death He might annul him that has the might of death, that is, the devil, and might deliver all those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

But in immediate subsequence let us note what scripture adds. "And Jehovah Elohim made for Adam and for his wife coats of skin, and clothed them." It nay suit an infidel to see nothing in this but letter and perhaps triviality. A believer is entitled to find and enjoy what is worthy of the only true God. Yet faith does not make haste but waits for God and His word. Imagination which adds to scripture is no more of God than the free-thinking which stumbles at the word, being disobedient. As every word of God is pure or tried, and He is a shield to those that put their trust in Him, so let none add to His words, "lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar." Our wisdom is to draw from scripture what God put into it.

Now here the force is the greater, because till after the deluge no moving thing that lived was given to be food for man. "Thou shalt eat the herb of the field" Adam had just heard once more. This has induced crowds of theologians to suppose that sacrifice was now enjoined by God and offered by Adam. But we are not at liberty to supplement the word of God with the tradition of man. Sacrifice has its own proper record in Gen. 4, and scripture, both Old Testament and New, attests the all-importance of its antitype for man and its acceptance with God; but we cannot go beyond the inspired word. Before the work of Christ which gave its meaning, faith in Him was the essential, as it still is. The action here revealed was on the part of Jehovah Elohim; not a word is said of what the fallen pair did. Jehovah Elohim made for each (for this is carefully noted), coats of skins and clothed them. More He does not say nor are we called to believe, as to the matter of fact.

Is there then nothing implied beyond a strong garb which efficiently covered their persons, in contrast with the poor aprons of fig-leaves they had made for themselves? There is a truth most impressively taught, that He Who clothed them made for each of them coats which had their necessary origin in skins of animals slain for the purpose. That solemn word, death, was now brought before them as a fact for the first time. Man fallen may vainly essay to hide his shame by some device of nature; Jehovah Elohim bases the clothing He provides on death, the penalty of sin.

Thus whether it be life in ver. 20, or death in ver. 21, both point to Christ, and have no adequate meaning for a spiritual mind short of Christ. The natural man looks anywhere else; or if he does think of Christ, it is only to degrade Him, even when he offers a kiss or a crown. But as the Holy Spirit is come down from heaven to glorify Him, so did He in scripture point onward to Him in things great or small. Christ is secretly or openly the object of the written word. His life and His death were alike essential, and alike blessed, as alike they brought glory to His God and Father. But while we could not live to God without His life, it is only through His death that we could, when clothed, as the apostle says, be found not naked. Christ alone, by His suffering death, removes our nakedness. Those who reject Him, even when in their resurrection bodies for judgment, will be found naked (2 Cor. 5). Clothed or unclothed, present in the body or absent from it, the believer is never naked; he has on always the best robe.

Genesis 3:22-24.

1893 257 We have still to consider the word and act with which the chapter concludes. They are of importance in clearing yet more the true standing of man before the fall, and the anomalous condition of the race henceforth, wholly confused and lost in reasoning as men are apt to do from present experience. The à priori path is misleading to all who betake themselves to it, whether philosophers or theologians. The believer who yields to the snare is inexcusable; for grace has given an unerring account, concise and clear, of all that divine wisdom deemed well to tell us of the entrance of sin into the world through one man, type of Him that was to come, the Second man and last Adam. Here we have neither legend nor myth, but facts related in the language of unaffected simplicity and transparent truthfulness. What is revealed is as worthy of God, as it is remote from the instinctive popular representation of man, ever averse to self judgment, ever prone to lower or shirk righteousness, ever blind to grace and hating it. Myths and legends are natural and should be left to heathen destitute of the truth, groping in the dark after God if haply they might find Him. But it is sad to think of Christians slipping after the philosophising Jews of Alexandria, who turned their back on the Light already shining, lost the plain yet profound historic truth of scripture, and set up a Philonic Logos of their own in consonance with human thought, will, and unbelief.

"And Jehovah Elohim said, Behold, the man is become as one of us to know good and evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat and live for ever, … Therefore (and) Jehovah Elohim sent him forth from the garden of Eden to till the ground from whence he was taken. So (and) he drove out the man; and he placed eastward of Eden's garden the Cherubim and the blade (flame) of the flashing sword to keep the way of the tree of life" (vers. 22-24).

Philosophy or fear of philosophers has misled very many to conceive that the utterance here received was a taunt on man's groundless pretension and an exposure of Satan's cheat. But scripture is plain, and the truth important. Opposition assumes to it what is false, that unfallen man already knew good and evil. He was innocent and upright, but is never said then to be righteous or holy. Nor could he be so called; for both suppose knowledge of good and evil, which he as yet had not and only got through transgression. In truth such a knowledge would have been useless in, not to say, incompatible with, an unfallen nature and world, where he had only good to enjoy in thankfulness to God, avoiding but one tree because God forbade it. There was not, as afterwards, a moral government as to good and evil, which man could discern intrinsically apart from an outward law. And that special law under which man innocent was placed consisted solely in not eating of a tree which was prohibited, not because the fruit was in itself evil, but simply as a test of subjection to God. It was a question of death by disobedience. Disobedient, he lost paradise as well as life; but he acquired the knowledge of good and evil with that of his own guilt. Their eyes were opened, as we saw; they knew that they were naked, and were ashamed. "The man is become as one of us, knowing good and evil." Sense of responsibility he had; but now, when fallen, he could distinguish things as good and evil in themselves. He had along with guilt the moral sense to pronounce this wrong and that right; he had conscience, sad but most useful monitor ever present when man was fallen from God.

Freedom of choice in paradise (or out of it) is an impious absurdity. Was Adam free to choose disobedience? That he did choose it was the fall and ruin. His responsibility was obedience. When he transgressed, God took care that in his sinful estate he should now possess an intrinsic sense of good and evil; and in due time, but not till long after "the promises," absolute and unconditional to a known object, "the law" came in by-the-bye (Rom. 5:20) to raise the question of righteousness which can never be settled save to faith in Christ and His redemption. In the gospel God reveals His righteousness in virtue of Christ's work, and so is just while justifying the believer in Jesus.

A holy being knows good and evil of course, as God does perfectly; but this consists with the revealed fact that man while innocent had it not, and gained it only by disobedience and to his misery. Grace meets the guilty; but it is in the Second man, not by mending the first. Life is in the Son; and he that believes on Him lives of the same life, the ground of a holy walk, even as our responsibility as sinners is met by His atoning death. Righteousness and holiness therefore have no terror for the believer; but this is because of Christ dead, and risen, and at God's right hand. And such faith produces practical and kindred fruit acceptable to God. For not Adam, but the new man was created according to God in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

But there is further the divine arrest of presumptuous sin. It would have been a chaos morally, and everlasting ruin if the tree of life had been eaten by our first parents in their sin. There was even mercy to them in foreclosing such a peril.

The natural tree of life for innocent man is refused to him fallen. How awful to be everlastingly fixed in sin! Christ thenceforward becomes the object of faith; and as He died for our sins, that they might be blotted out, so because He lives, we also were to live, as He said. Truly all enduring good now is of grace and in Him. There is no restoration to innocence, but to a far better standing. "He that glories, let him glory in the Lord." Grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

The expulsion of the man therefore followed. He was now an outcast from paradise, to till the ground whence he was taken. So Jehovah Elohim drove out the man, and set the Cherubim, the symbols of judicial power, so familiar to every Jew, as represented not only on the veil but overshadowing the mercy seat, to bar the way. Here the force was the less to be mistaken, because there was also the flame of the revolving sword to menace the intruder. There is no way hack to the lost paradise. Christ is the way, and "this is He that came by water and blood"; He is the way for the believer to the Father and the paradise that shall never pass away. There accordingly is no tree of knowing good and evil, no tree of responsibility: this was settled for everlasting righteousness in the cross of Christ, and hence in favour of all that believe to God's glory. There is but one tree, the tree of life, whose fruits full and fresh are for the heavenly ones, as the leaves are for healing the nations; for in the kingdom will be not only heavenly things, but earthly, as our Lord pointed out to Nicodemus. According to the symbolic description of the new Jerusalem, there are twelve gates, shut not at all by day (for there is no night there), and at the gates twelve angels; and the names inscribed, which are those of the twelve tribes of Israel, witness of the mercy that endures for ever. But there is no flame of revolving sword to threaten, though there shall in no wise enter into it aught common or one making abomination and a lie, only those that are written in the Lamb's book of life.

Genesis 4:1-4.

1893 273 Man was now, as he is still, an outcast from Paradise, where Jehovah Elohim had placed him in original innocence; he was an outcast, because he had sinned knowingly, deliberately, and without excuse. It was sin against God; and death the consequence, with its bitter accompaniment for all the creation subjected to man as its head, no less than expulsion front the garden of Eden. Yet man was not driven out before the revelation of the woman's Seed (oh! what grace) a Conqueror of the enemy, Himself to be bruised though the Bruiser of the serpent's head. And withal Jehovah Elohim clothed both Adam and Eve, guilty and vainly covered as they were, with coats of skins: a clothing which could only be through death, and death inflicted on the victim for the covering of those guilty.

Now those who truly feel their fallen condition, yet believe in the true God of light and love, never forget but ponder in their hearts both His words and His ways. This is faith; as indifference to them is unbelief. The inspired record that follows brings both before us solemnly; for so it ever is from that day to this in a world and a nature under sin and death. Some believe the things spoken, and some disbelieve. Faith and unbelief have everlasting results: good works, and evil, now respectively; by-and-by life eternal on one side, as on the other wrath and indignation. Thus early does scripture present the principles, and in facts which the simplest may take in and the conscience is bound to heed: how evidently of God and for man!

"And the man knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bore Cain, and said, I have acquired a man from (with) Jehovah. And again she bore (she added to bear) his brother Abel. And Abel was a feeder of sheep, and Cain was a tiller of the ground. And it came to pass in process of time (at the end of days) that Cain brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof" (vers. 1-4).

The "first man" Adam was now a father, but only when fallen; as the "Second man" became head of the new family of God, when attested as righteous in resurrection, obeying God and having borne our sins in His own body on the tree (1 Cor. 15:45-46).

Further, Eve takes the initiative and expresses her thought religiously, but according to nature, which never rises to God's mind as to either man's sin or God's grace. Hence it is wholly unavailing to bring man out of evil to God: only God's word judging sin can give the truth which faith receives. "I have acquired," said she, "a man (Ish) from (or, with the help of) Jehovah." How fatal is the haste of nature! "He that believes (or trusts) shall not make haste." But so it ever is with man or woman, One only excepted Who was absolutely what He said, and waited patiently for Jehovah. Not so Eve who yielded to her own thoughts and saw in her first-born the man gotten from Jehovah, the woman's Seed that should crush the enemy. But the fit time or person was not yet.

Eve knew not that first is that which is natural, not what is spiritual. Yet no truth is more certain, none plainer, throughout scripture, which we ought to know to our blessing. In each dispensation man is first tried in responsibility and fails. As with Adam, so with Noah; so with Israel and in detail, people, priests, kings; so with the Gentiles to whom imperial power was entrusted, while Israelis Lo-ammi; so last and not least with Christendom. Not so Christ, Who as He glorified His Father in obedience all His life, glorified God as such in death and for sin; wherefore also God highly exalted Him. And as Christ at His first advent was the Faithful Witness, though outwardly all seemed to fail in the death of the cross, so at His second coming everything which failed in man's hand will stand and shine in Christ — mankind, government, Israel, priesthood, royalty, Gentile, power and the marriage of the Lamb with His bride on high, when God has judged Babylon the great harlot, "and her smoke goes up for ever and ever."

It is no wonder that Eve could not forecast that the coming Vanquisher was to be the woman's Seed still more true and exclusive and glorious than her firstborn, because He, He alone, was to be Immanuel, El Gibbor, as the prophet testified, the true God and Eternal Life, as says the apostle. Yet her language shows that she did hope for a man of worth from, or with the help of, Jehovah, though in the way of nature fallen and so coming to nought.

The same plague-spot reappears in Cain, only darker far, when in process of time the two sons approach God in worship. Nor does any other act on earth so fully decide the state of the heart. So it was here. "The way of Cain" abides to this day, as Jude lets us know in a verse which condenses volumes of truth. For the difference between the brothers did not lie in the presence or the absence of religion; but Cain was in nature, Abel in faith. Now nature ignores sin, and God's judgment of it, as well as the grace that revealed a future deliverer, God giving meanwhile a covering for the naked founded on the death of victims.

Of all this, though presented day by day to Cain at least as much as to Abel, the religion of nature took no account. There was total indifference about God's nature and will, and total insensibility about man's moral state. Cain no less than Abel had heard of their parents' transgression, of a lost Paradise, and of the woman's Seed, a sure Avenger to come and smite the enemy. But Cain had ears and heard not, as untouched in conscience about sin in himself and ruin around him, as he was careless of divine grace and truth. "Cain brought of the fruits of the ground an offering to Jehovah." He never laid to heart "Cursed be the ground for thy sake." He had tilled it in the sweat of his face; and this in his judgment added value to his offering of its fruit. The sin of man was no more to him than the curse of God. Why should He not accept the fruit of the ground, the offering of his own toil and pains? Cain knew not that it was but "the sacrifice of fools," the proof of an unrepentant, unbelieving, heart.

Not so Abel who did not presume to approach Jehovah save by bringing "the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof." It was "by faith" he" offered to God amore excellent sacrifice than Cain." Faith is by a report or hearing, as the report is by the divine word. The revelation of the woman's Seed had entered not his ears only but his heart, and purified it by faith. He looked for the Person that was coming, the hope of his soul; and the skin, given to his parents when convicted of sin, spoke of an efficacious covering on God's part which could only be by a victim's death. Thus did his faith prompt a sacrifice which acknowledged sin and found rest in the death of another between himself and God. The sacrifice was presented by one that trembled at Jehovah's word; and its character expressed not nature but the resource of grace reveled by God. It testified to expiation, the sole efficacious ground of acceptance for sinful man, confiding, not in himself or the fruit of his work, but in God Himself and the coming Deliverer. For as impenitent unbelief goes back to what might have been well enough, if man were not a sinner, faith looks onward to a Substitute, Man yet infinitely more than man, and to the abolishing of sin and its consequences by a slain but worthy Victim.

It is remarkable too that "the fat" is especially noticed as offered to God in this, the first recorded sacrifice. We know how God loves to guide those who believe, and far beyond their measure of knowledge. For, more than two thousand years after, Jehovah reserved the fat as well as the blood, notably in the sacrifices of peace offerings, where communion was the point more expressly than in any other institution of the Levitical economy. The fat typified inward energy presented to God, and not only what propitiated. How full is the believer's acceptance in Christ! Here alone is truth, here alone righteousness unfailing and perfect; yet all is of God's grace; and man, confessing his sinfulness, blesses Him for Christ, the Saviour of the lost. It was a new and supernatural standing which man, though fallen, found from and with God by faith. The ground of nature in such a case denies sin, dishonours Christ, resists the Holy Spirit, and defies God the Father.

Genesis 4:4-8.

1893 289 The Epistle to the Hebrews is not the only inspired comment on the primitive account of Cain and Abel. There the faith of Abel, who offered thereby a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, stands prominent; through which the former had witness borne to him that he was righteous, God bearing witness to his gifts. He approached God as in himself fallen and sinful, in the faith of Another, presenting the sacrifice of a slain victim. This was righteousness, and Abel is characterised accordingly. "And Jehovah had respect to Abel and to his offering; but to Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And Jehovah said to Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, will it not be lifted up (lit. is there not a lifting up)? and if thou doest not well, sin couches at the door; and to thee [shall be] his desire, and thou shalt rule over him (ver. 7)."

Cain had neither faith, nor righteousness, nor love; but he was not a hypocrite. He was not insincere. He then thought with himself that he ought to bring an offering to Jehovah; and what, he considered, could be more acceptable to Him, what more suitable to himself, than fruit of that ground on which he put forth his daily toil? Alas! it was the offering of that worst "folly," which slights sin, forgets judgment, ignores grace, exalts man, and dishonours God. To have respect to such an offering and to such an offerer was morally impossible on God's part. It would have been indifference to evil. Jehovah appreciated Abel and his offering. It was the divine testimony that Abel was righteous, not Cain. Men are proud Godward who bring nothing but sin and are wholly insensible to it. The believer owns his ruin by sin, but looks to a Saviour from God. This faith Abel expressed in his sacrifice; and God, rejecting impenitent self-satisfied Cain, testified to Abel's gifts, as he accepted himself.

Nothing rankles more in a natural man than disrespect to his religion; and it assumes the most deadly character where God's disapproval is even insinuated. Yet what can be plainer or more certain than that a sinful man cannot be accepted of God in himself or in virtue of anything he can do? Sin is not cancelled so, nor is God thus glorified. The believer judges self before God, not selfishness only but all that is in man as he is, of which nature is proud till God unveils all, too late for salvation; and this justly, for the evil of man, and the resource of divine grace, were before Cain no less than Abel. But Abel laid it to heart believingly, Cain did not and paid the penalty of woe, as all must who proceed in his way (Jude 11): a danger specifically laid before men in the Christian profession. So speaks, expressly in view of "the last hour," the apostle John in the First Epistle, (1 John 3:12), where Cain appears as of the evil one and slaying his brother; and this, because his works were evil and his brother's righteous. If sin begins toward God, it goes on toward man, even if that man were a brother with the loving claims of a relationship so near. Thus the irritation from a worship rejected of God broke out in hatred of the accepted man, and murder was the result then as ever since (Matt. 23:35, Rev. 18:24). For scripture lifts the veil and proclaims the truth, whatever appearances or pretensions say; the Cain worshippers hate and, if they can, slay those like Abel because their own works are evil, those of the persecuted, righteous.

Here scepticism plies its destructive craft, and imputes a mythical character to the God-inspired history of Moses. To the believer what can be more touching than the intercourse of God, not merely with Adam unfallen, but as here with wicked Cain? How shallow to reason from later reserve, when the law kept man at a distance, or from the total change of the gospel when the intimacy of redemption became expressly one not of sight but of faith! Ought we not with adoration to admire His patience with His enemy, no less than His grace with the fallen if they might believe and be blessed? Unbelief gains nothing by its cavil but loss of God; and what a loss! How strengthening to the soul is the enjoyment of what is alike simple and profound, in His thus adapting Himself to the nursery days of mankind — the same true God Who went down infinitely lower for us in Christ and His cross. But the wise and prudent love not what our Lord Jesus delighted in, as in their measure do babes to Whom the Lord of heaven and earth revealed them.

Superstition no less surely loses the truth, though it wears a more reverent veil and in its odour of sanctity deceives itself more completely than can vain and empty scepticism. Yet is it only man's religion, and the world's worship, in direct rebellion against that worship of the Father in spirit and truth which our Lord announced for the true worshippers of the hour that now is. The total ruin of man is as unknown as the salvation of God in Christ. Grace in God toward the sinner by faith is hateful to both alike; and hence these two, adversaries as they are ordinarily one to another, may be found habitually to unite against His truth and His love. At the same time one thankfully owns that among the superstitious rather than the sceptical appear individuals who believe in the Saviour, and are so far taught of God, in spite of their system which under its earth-born clouds, swamps and hides the Christ they love. If superstition is a corruption of what is good and admits of degrees, scepticism also may not be absolute, but is essentially antagonistic to divine revelation. In their common hatred of God's grace and their common confidence in man, both flow from the same unbelief of the flesh, which will not own and abhor its own enmity to God, and will not trust His love in a Crucified Saviour and the free gift of eternal life to every believer. Religious or profane, unbelief resists God's sentence on man as lost, and misled by the devil, strives to improve the flesh and ameliorate the world: the denial of Christ and the gospel.

Cain, like every unbeliever, was insensible to the truth. He judged himself as he was capable of coming to God with gifts of the earth, which expressed neither sin nor death, neither judgment nor expiation. How could Jehovah have respect to him or his offering? Nor was this all. The acceptance of Abel provoked his proud spirit to fury and unrelenting hatred: Abel, his righteous and weak brother, was its object ostensibly; God's grace really and beyond all. Jehovah interposed with words of truth and grace, all in vain. "Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, will it not be lifted up? and if thou doest not well, sin (or, a sin-offering) couches at the door."

It was Dr. John Lightfoot who first, as far as I am aware, suggested "sin offering" here rather than "sin," as preferred in the ancient and most modern versions. Many since that great Hebraist have followed in his wake, notably Abp. Magee in his well-known work on the Atonement, who argues from the admitted and peculiar form of the connected verb (couching) as strongly confirming an animal ready for offering, and not the sin calling for it, which he regards as, to say the least of it, "a bold image." Then he summons to his aid the grammatical fact of the substantive, which is feminine, with a verb of the masculine, which he follows Parkhurst in thinking perfectly consistent with the supposition of a sin offering, the victim, and not the thing "sin." This however is a slender proof, for in the passages cited the words stand as subject and predicate, and therefore do not require sameness of gender, as anyone can see by examination not only of Hebrew, but of Greek and Latin and perhaps almost all if not all languages. There is no doubt that, besides the primary sense of sin, the word admits of the secondary meanings of sin suffering (i.e., punishment) and sin offering; which latter the Septuagint translators render by peri (or hyper) amartias, as we also find in Rom. 8:3, Heb. 10:6, 8. There is also in the Sept., text or various readings, simply (amartias estin, as for example in Ex. 29:14, Lev. 4:21, 25, 29, 33, and 34, (tou tes am.), ver. 9. It is a question of context, as we may observe in ver. 13 of our chapter, where the Sept. gives aitia, a charge, fault, or crime; as the Auth. and Rev. Versions have "punishment" in the text, "iniquity" in the margin. It is therefore legitimate to conceive that a sin offering may be meant in ver. 7, especially as Jehovah uttered the words, though it was reserved to the law to define and demand them in due time, for by law is full knowledge or acknowledgment of sin. The Septuagintal rendering of the clause is far from happy. "Didst thou sin, if thou hast brought it rightly, but didst not rightly divide it? Be still: unto thee" etc. The Vulgate like the English is intelligible. The question is whether Jehovah simply charges home the conviction of sin on the wrong-doer, or intimates a sacrificial means of getting cleared, according to the proposed correction. In this case a burnt offering would not be in place, since it is generally expressive of man's actual state in approaching God, not a specific bearing away of positive and personal wrong-doing as is here implied. Even if certainly thus, what believer can doubt that the mind of Jehovah has in these words Christ and His cross before Him? What grace in bringing sin to the door!

There was no ground in any case for wrath or despair. God is the God of grace now, as by-and-by He will judge by the Man He has raised from the dead; the witness to the believer that he will not be judged, being already justified; to the unbeliever that he cannot escape judgment, having refused saving grace in Christ Who will judge him. Meanwhile the title of the firstborn remains intact for the unbeliever over the younger brother that believes; just as the man's over the woman. What a just God is ours even to an unjust Cain!

"And Cain said to Abel his brother … And it came to pass when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him" (ver. 8). The Samaritan, the Greek, the Syriac, the Latin, read "Let us go to the field." But it is far more impressive to leave the words as they are in deference to the Hebrew, as striking almost in its silence as in what is said. What matters it to learn the terms by which Cain deceived his brother? How beautiful the comment on the dark deed in the Epistle to the Hebrews, "He being dead yet speaks"! But it is through his offering, not his suffering, though this shall never be forgotten above or beneath.

Genesis 4:9-12.

1893 305 Even the atrocious crime of Cain only brought Jehovah once more on the scene. What a contrast with pagan philosophy or poetic myth!! The true God deeply concerns Himself with man.

"And Jehovah said unto Cain, Where [is] Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: [am] I the keeper of my brother? And he said, What hast thou done? The voice of thy brother's blood cries unto me from the ground. And now cursed [be] thou from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand. When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield its strength to thee; a fugitive and a wanderer shalt thou be on the earth" (vers. 9-12).

Not that Jehovah was ignorant any more than heedless; but He would bring home secret sin, and to the guiltiest give space and ground for repentance. Yet in the case before us the conscience was hardened by religious pretension without reality, and exasperated by the acceptance of him who stood only in the faith of divine grace, though in fact Abel's works were righteous and Cain's evil. He that received the best good in hope did good in his measure; he that despised it envied and hated and slew his own brother, that looked up in dependence on the God of grace.

The questions of Jehovah were searching: not, as before to Adam, Where art thou? but Where is Abel thy brother? and What hast thou done? Adam went away from God, self-convicted, before God pronounced on his sin and made known the resource of His mercy in Christ. Cain to his sin against Jehovah added sin against man, not a neighbour only but his brother: type of the world's, especially the Jew's, sin in the cross of Christ, Who had deigned to come of that people according to flesh. But unbelief blinds the heart to the highest favour which godless will can torture into a wrong to justify its own murderous pride. "If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin; but now they have no cloke (excuse) for their sin. He that hates me hates my Father also. If I had not done among them the works which none other has done, they had not had sin; but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father. But [it is] that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause" (John 15:22-25). The Son of God come and rejected proved the state of the world and of Israel in particular.

But Cain was as impenitent as faithless, and had the effrontery to fall back at once on falsehood. He knew not! he knew not where his victim lay! Yea, to a lie he added the insolence of "Am I my brother's keeper?" Had he laid to heart Jehovah's remonstrance in ver. 6, 7, he would have judged himself and brought a suitable offering, thankful that his brother had profited by taking the shame of sin and giving God glory for His grace. But as indifferent to God as to his sins, he was puffed up and fell into the devil's fault and snare, manifesting himself as a child of the evil one.

His second question Jehovah follows up with the direct and terrible fact. "And he said, What hast thou done? The voice of thy brother's blood cries unto me from the ground. And now cursed be thou from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand" (Gen. 4:10-11). The ground had fallen under curse for Adam's sin; and Cain, utterly thoughtless of sin and of God's sentence had brought of the fruit of it under his tillage, itself a consequence of the fall, as an offering to Jehovah. This might have been, had man not sinned. To ignore sin is to show neither repentance nor faith, without which no sinner can find the way to God. No believer would have offered what lay under curse, what spoke of his own toil. Now the proof of the unbeliever's evil was flagrant: violence and falsehood and irreverence. For his brother's blood cried to Jehovah from the ground. He himself too most righteously was pronounced accursed, not the ground now but the man who tilled it, because of the wrath which burned to white heat, not at the instant but the more his haughty spirit brooded over his own worship disowned, his brother's accepted.

It is to be observed that nothing answering to civil government was instituted originally; nor was it invented by man during all the centuries which preceded the flood. God set it up for the first time after that great event which ushered in those dispensations of God which still run their course till the Lord come. Hence it is that Cain was not punished by man, as responsibility would have required after the sword was committed to Noah. Thenceforward did God solemnly require blood for blood: "whoso sheds man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed, for in the image of God made He man." The sword of civil government was only borne by man as God's minister after the deluge.

Nor do we find explicitly the eternal judgment in Cain's case any more than in Adam's. No doubt words employed occasionally imply more to the ear of faith; but the open statement speaks of God's government of the earth, as was suitable in a revelation given to His people Israel. Therefore we hear not of heaven or of hell; but "when thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield its strength to thee; a fugitive and a wanderer shalt thou be on earth" (Gen. 4:12). Heavier than before was to be the lot of him who slew his righteous brother, cursed himself on the reluctant earth, whence with difficulty he should draw his food, and where he should be a constant prey to a bad conscience and anxious fears, shunned by all around him.

How blessed the contrast in the blood of sprinkling that speaks better than that of Abel (Heb. 12)! This called for vengeance, as that will for blessing on the earth when the day arrives for the liberty of the glory, as Rom. 8 speaks: how due to an infinitely better than Abel!

Genesis 4:13-15.

1893 321 The sin of Cain was not simply self-will in rebellion against God like Adam's, but despite of grace in' the fallen state; which broke out in murderous violence against the accepted man, not a neighbour only but his brother. It was the type of the Jews' sin against Christ; and the sentence was not death but to be cursed from the earth, a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth. This too we see strikingly verified in that people, who as yet show as little compunction as their prototype, tenacious of religious forms, but leaders of the world in rationalistic infidelity with a bad conscience. "And Cain said to Jehovah, My punishment (or iniquity) [is] greater than to be borne. Behold, thou hast driven me out this day on the face of the ground, and from thy face I shall be hid, and I shall be a wanderer and a fugitive in the earth; and it will come to pass [that] every one finding me shall slay me. And Jehovah said unto him, Therefore whosoever slays Cain, it shall be avenged sevenfold. And Jehovah set a mark on Cain, lest any finding him should kill him" (vers. 13-15).

Here we see the reaction, from unbelieving indifference and dislike of grace and hatred of its object as well as its source, to despair. How deep the lesson and solemn the warning! How hard the heart which so slightly regarded his own fratricidal quilt, to say nothing of such a brother as Abel; and which so ungratefully received the goodness of Jehovah in all His ways and words with himself, which left the door open for repentance and, it would seem, a sin offering also! But his pride rankled with hatred because of his unbelieving and rejected oblation, even though his primogeniture was expressly declared to be intact.

How true is that which our Lord lays down! If, on the one hand, a man love Me, he will keep My word, as, on the other, He that loves me not keeps not My sayings. The holy pleading of Jehovah with His vain worshipper never entered that unhappy heart. In man fallen the beginning of moral goodness is in the confession of one's badness; and faith in the Deliverer coming, and yet more as come, produces this repentance, which bows to God and confides in His mercy. So it was with Abel; not so with Cain whose bitterness rose up everywhere rebelliously, the form only changing with the circumstances. Cursed from the earth though he was, he was to live a wanderer here below: Jehovah does not act on the precepts of earthly government He had not yet divulged.

What space for self-judgment, if the appeals of Jehovah had been laid to heart! Heedless of His words, thankless for His longsuffering, Cain sheds not a tear over his murdered and martyred brother; his whole feeling is for himself. It was not his iniquity that overwhelmed his conscience. Of his punishment he complained as too great to be borne. That this is the true meaning of his words the context shows. "Behold, Thou hast driven me out this day on the face of the ground, and from Thy face I shall be hid." But what care for Jehovah's face had he, who, without a victim, without the confession of sin and death, still less of a Saviour to come, dared to approach Jehovah with the fruit of the ground cursed for man's sin? His worship betokened his wickedness, his incredulity, his dark unexercised conscience; as Abel's told out his sense of ruin, but confidence in the One revealed of God to destroy the destroyer on man's behalf and to His own glory.

We shall see ere long how little Cain respected the divine sentence which he next repeats: "And I shall be a wanderer and a fugitive in the earth." It was really a most mild and merciful dealing with the wicked man whose hands were imbrued with his brother's blood, directly suited to furnish time for bitter reflection and self-loathing and anguish, had not sin hardened his heart into a mill-stone.

Bold as he was, his consciousness of guilt could not keep his fears hid: "And it will come to pass that everyone finding me shall slay me." There however he was mistaken. Jehovah's long-suffering with His adversaries is amazing; as men now would feel and own, if they only let in light enough to see their own dark enmity to God. "And Jehovah said unto him, Therefore whosoever slays Cain, it shall be avenged sevenfold. And Jehovah set a mark on Cain, lest any finding him should kill him" (Gen. 4:15).

Cain was preserved, notwithstanding that which deserved immediate and condign punishment; he was reserved for the special dealing of Jehovah at the end; for He had even a mark set on him (of what sort it is not said) that none should find and slay him. He had the wretched consolation that man's meddling with him to his hurt, certainly to seek his death, would be avenged to the fullest degree. How evident a type it is of God's dealings, and in the revealed character of Jehovah too, with the Jew because of His blood Who was raised up from among His brethren after the flesh to be the anointed king and prophet and priest on His throne, all this and more, being in His own right Son of the Highest and no less God than the Father, Who alone of men and as man had glorified Him in all respects to the uttermost! Yet was He, yea because He was and spoke the truth to the Jews and witnessed the good confession before the Gentiles, slain far more wantonly and ignominiously than Abel was of Cain. But God in that unspeakable wickedness and crime of man made Him sin for us, that we might become divine righteousness in Him: the deepest and most needed and withal most effectual proof of what the God of love is toward man in salvation of the lost at all cost to Himself and His Son. But the Jew, blinded by religious pride and hardened yet more than the Gentile in his guilty course of evil, remains preserved of God, and awaits the special dealings of Jehovah at the end of the age, in that unequalled tribulation which is his predicted portion, before the indignation shall cease and Jehovah's anger in the destruction of the enemies of Israel.

Genesis 4:16-17.

1893 337 The way of Cain thus demonstrates the worthlessness of natural religion to meet the need of fallen man, still more to suit Jehovah. It ignores both the ruin through sin and the nature of God. "Thou thoughtest," says the Psalmist, "that I was altogether such a one as thyself." Spiritual insensibility like this, when reproved of God as with Cain, becomes furious against such as by grace bow to the truth, even were they in the nearest ties of flesh and blood. Finding acceptance with God is intolerable in his eyes who was rejected of Him. There was no self-judgment, though Jehovah pointed out the way of mercy for the evil-doer, and maintained Cain's natural primacy intact. His religious observance covered a heart darkened and defiled by unbelief; the word of Jehovah slighted left him a prey to the evil one; and murder followed. For Satan is a murderer, as we saw him a liar in Gen. 3. And Cain declares himself hid from Jehovah's face; as the man and his wife themselves from the presence of God when they heard His voice after their transgression.

But there is more for us to weigh in this instructive history. Despair not only closes the heart to the word of God, no matter what the grace He reveals, but it urges on the spirit to ever growing departure, and to fill up the void with present objects of sense. This is the fresh lesson taught here. The time was not yet arrived for the enemy to bring in idolatry, of which we never hear in scripture till after the deluge; and we are not entitled to affirm it without proof. In the antediluvian earth, had as men were and ever sinking lower, they did not yet worship the powers of nature; still less did they change the glory of the incorruptible God for the likeness of an image of corruptible man, and of birds and quadrupeds and reptiles.

But Cain shows us the progress of an impenitent soul in a field for the energies of man without God. His worship is dropped; the world morally begins.

"And Cain went out from the presence of Jehovah, and dwelt in the land of Nod [wandering] east of Eden. And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived and bare Enoch. And he was building a city, and called the city's name, after the name of his son, Enoch" (vers. 16, 17).

The language of inspiration is most significant. Jehovah did not leave Himself without witness, even to wicked Cain. He knew the end from the beginning, yet remonstrated with him when He could not accept his offering, urging righteousness, but disclosing the resource of grace when wrong was done. He laid the conviction of guilt on Cain after his secret murder of the suffering saint whose blood cried unto Him from the ground. What interest even in so wicked a man! What long-suffering with man as he is!

How can any believer venture to treat such early and gracious interventions of Jehovah as other than plain and sober, however solemn, facts! Undoubtedly they became rarer as the rule in man's history here below; and this in large part because they really were vouchsafed for his learning at the beginning. In no sense are they to be regarded as mythical, but as His actual dealings with man for his profit now and evermore, if he have ears to hear.

It was Cain then who "went out from the presence of Jehovah," and dwelt in that land which seems named from his exile; east of Eden. Jehovah was no longer before his mind. The world was his object. There were such as he feared already (Gen. 4:14); and Jehovah had given or appointed for him a sign, lest any should find and kill him. Fear of Jehovah he had none. What actuated mankind later wrought in him henceforth. "Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil." The space which grace gives for repentance, ungodliness perverts to pursue its own will and indulge its lusts, in defiance of God and His word. His son is the "initiated,"* whose name his father gives to the city he was building: a most striking fact for that day, and above all notable in him whom Jehovah had sentenced to he a fugitive and a wanderer in the earth.
{*It is all the more noteworthy, because "the seventh from Adam" in the line of Seth we have another bearing the same name. His was another "initiation," his pre-eminently a heavenly calling.}

It is the rise of civilization without God; the effort of man to make a paradise for himself and forget that he is an outcast through sin. Cain shows us the first budding of what was to bear the bitterest Fruit. Ps. 49 is a moralising of the godly Jewish remnant, who in it see man, whatever his pretensions, no better toward God than the beasts that perish. With all their pride, then self-seeking meets its rebuke, for death shall be their shepherd, they being appointed as a flock for Sheol, and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning. Their inward thought is, their houses are for ever, their dwelling places to all generations; they call their lands after their own names. This their way is their folly; yet after them men approve their sayings. Such is the world, till the Lord appears and executes judgment.

Genesis 4:18-22.

1893 353 We have seen under Cain the cradle of public civilised life, the first building of a city; his son named with an expression of initiation or culture, earthly as it was; and the city named in the pride of life after the name of his son: a little beginning of that vast system to rise up ere long in opposition to God, where the knowledge of the Father and of His love never penetrates, where Christ and they that are His cannot escape hatred. It was the resource of man under curse in the land of his exile, who went forth from His presence Who convicted him of sin against man, his brother, no less than against God. Faith alone purifies the heart; but faith was as far from him as love, the fruit of that divine love which unbelief never sees or feels. And as there was no dependence on God, so a bad conscience engendered dread of man: "whosoever finds me shall slay me," his own words. Within that wretched breast grew up the notion of a city; as his son's name furnished the idea of perpetuating a family boast on earth. Jehovah's name was nothing to his soul, save one of horror, because of his own conscious guilt. He must die like his parents, but his city, like his family, shall continue for ever, his dwellings from generation to generation, and then at least the name should not die. Expulsion from paradise, going out from Jehovah's presence, only gave the occasion to prove how a brave and determined man can rise above the dreariest lot and turn a land of wandering into a settled habitation and secured from marauders and other foes.

"And to Enoch was born Irad; and Irad begot Mehujael; and Mehujael begot Methushael: and Methushael begot Lemech, And Lemech took to him two wives; the name of the one [was] Adah, and the name of the other Zillah. And Adah bare Jabal: he was father of such as dwell in tents and [have] cattle. And his brother's name [was] Jubal: he was father of all such as handle harp and pipe. And Zillah, she also bare Tubal-Cain, forger of every tool of copper and iron; and Tubal-Cain's sister [was] Naamah" (vers. 18-22),

In this first genealogical draft, what is said of Lemech arrests us. He is marked as violating first the divine order of marriage. It was "not good that the man should be alone." But His provision was not two or more, but one woman, "a helpmate," his counterpart. Self-will, ever growing, did not longer hesitate to traverse God's mind, evidenced sufficiently for those who fear God in His act: and "Lemech took to him two wives." From the beginning it was not so. Our Lord treats the account, not as poetic, or mythical, but as authentic and divinely authoritative fact. He also, we may notice, binds together Gen. 1 and Gen. 2 as parts of one inspired narrative, whatever the difficulties or dreams of soi-disant higher criticism, not only erring but in its overweening vanity ignorant of the scriptures, and of the power of God, which faith alone in the nature of things can apprehend and enjoy. Polygamy is a direct transgression of that unity which is of its original institution according to God's will. The law no doubt permitted a measure of licence in view of the hard-heartedness of Israel (i.e. of man in the flesh); but the law made nothing perfect: Christ vindicated, as He is, the truth.

The names of Lemech's wives are given, as of our first mother, and these only, with his daughter Naamah, of the antediluvian women. As Eve was named with express significance, it may well be that Lemech's choice denotes the gratification of taste in the growing world. For Adah means "beauty", Zillah "shadow", and Naamah "pleasant." God was not in the thought of their designations. They fell in with the advances of civilisation, which disdains the pilgrim and stranger character, so dear to faith. Earth is its home, and every accession of present loveliness is welcomed. Why think of sin or righteousness, of death and judgment, of Christ and His coming? Let us eat and drink; for tomorrow we die. A "garden" of Epicurism soon opened when Paradise was closed; and votaries were not wanting long before Epicurus rose among the Greeks or Sadducees among the Jews.

Still clearer or more certain is the inference from the verses that follow. "And Adah bore Jabal: he was father of such as dwell in tents and [have] cattle. And his brother's name was Jubal: he was father of all such as handle harp and pipe. And Zillah, she also bare Tubal-Cain, forger of every tool of copper and iron; and Tubal-Cain's sister [was] Naamah."

Agriculture was the early occupation of Cain, as Abel had been a shepherd. "Building a city" followed guilt and dread of man without the fear of God acting on a mind stimulated by energy and fertile of resource, and a heart set on earthly hopes. Thenceforward the race progressed rapidly. Some, of whom Jabal is chief, pleased themselves in the rough and adventurous life of nomad herdmen; others struck out and pursued the inventive path of art and science. For Jubal, brother of Jabal, was father of all such as handle stringed and wind instruments: inventions cherished almost alike without a city as within, as experience shows. Nor this only: Tubal-Cain follows, forger (or furbisher) of every tool for cutting instruments of copper and iron. The road to eminence lay open for man alienated from God and indifferent to it, independent of God in will, if not really, and of course wrongly. He acts of and for himself to make the land of his wandering his paradise, of which he is the more proud because these useful or pleasant inventions he can boast of as his own. But he is God's creature, and responsible to obey, and must give account. By Adam's sin he lost his true place and relationship; and instead of seeking another and a better open to faith in the Second man, he prefers his own will, his fancied independence, which is no other than Satan's service, with Satan's doom at the end.

It may not be amiss to notice how the word of God overthrows the modern speculator who assumes the three ages of stone, bronze, and iron, through which they will have early mankind to have passed in pre-historic times. Even had we no inspired record, enough has been gathered from facts of the past to dispel the illusion. Epochs in chronology they are not in any sense. There are regions even now, and not all confined to Australia, whose use of rough stone implements would thus fix them in the Paleolithic age. A similar condition was attested a century ago of races in the northern and eastern districts of the Russian empire, European and Asiatic. And we have good authority (Prof. Rygh, of Christiania, before the Stockholm meeting of the International Congress of Pre-historic Archaeology) that, north of Nordland in Norway, the inhabitants remained in the practice of the so-called Stone age till the beginning of last century, though for hundreds of years in communication with people who used iron. See Academy, August 29, 1874. Again, the races of Mexico, Central America, and Peru, employed weapons of obsidian and implements of bronze, when the Spaniards overran and conquered them. So it was in the early age of Greece, which used stone and bronze together, but not iron any more than did S. America. And what evidence is there of a stone age in Egypt, however early we trace the facts? No one doubts that a few traces of stone appear, and even bronze only prevailed a short while. In Babylonia both flint and bronze were used for war and peace; as were leaden pipes and jars, along with iron; as, much later, stone implements continued to be used, when ancient civilisation had reached its zenith with cutting instruments of metal in familiar use (Smith's Anc. Hist. 375).

To this day the people in Northern Abyssinia use stone hatchets and flint knives, along with iron poignards. And as to cave dwellers, they are still found, not only in distant lands, but even in a land so near as Spain, where many perished quite recently through sudden floods which surprised whole families. It is a question, not of antiquity, still less of definite ages in that imagined succession, but of civilisation; and scripture is express that the settled, ordered, and combined life of a city, as well as the working of metals, and the invention of musical instruments within two main divisions, began early in the life of Adam. The mythical treatment of the question is entirely due to sceptical men of science who prefer hypothesis to well ascertained fact, and seem pleased in opposing revelation.

Genesis 4:23-26.

1893 369 We have had in Cain the moral history of man outside Paradise, sin fully developed, not against Jehovah only, but, because his own works were evil and his religious service an offering of impenitent folly and rejected, against his believing and righteous brother Abel. Along side of it the long-suffering yet righteous dealings of Jehovah are of the highest interest and instruction, the manifest foreshadowing of His ways in due time with His people Israel, who would abandon promise by God's grace in Christ for conditions of law which flesh presumes to fulfil to its own ruin. Like Cain too, the Jews slew in result Jesus Christ the Righteous, though He came of them according to flesh, their own Messiah, Who is over all, God blessed for ever. Hence they also are gone out from the presence of Jehovah, cursed from the earth for blood-guiltiness, dwell in a land of wandering exile, and, in the evident loss for the present of their divine mission of blessing to all families of the earth, betake themselves to city life, to bold adventure, to the inventions of art and science, and to the amenities of the civilised world. Man's will governs and pursues its onward way, totally indifferent to God's will and glory.

It is therefore not man only, but the firstborn in sin, answering to God's favoured people, men religious after the flesh, but in fact unjust and rebellious even to the death of the Righteous One, Whom by the hand of lawless men they did crucify and slay. By fierce imprecation of all the people, His blood is on them and on their children, and their land as yet like the potter's field to bury strangers in, justly called Akeldama, Blood-Field.

This is followed up in the account of Lemech's words to his wives, on which tradition has hung its myths, and theologians have speculated through not seeing the divine mind and purpose to be gathered from the scripture. Either way God's word is not honoured by faith; and who can wonder that edification fails?
"And Lemech said unto his wives,
Adah and Zillah, hear my voice;
Ye wives of Lemech, hearken to my speech:
For a man I have slain for wounding me,
And a youth for hurting me;
If Cain shall he avenged seven-fold,
Then Lemech too seventy and seven[fold]" (vers. 23, 24).

It is the first recorded poetry in the Bible; and God is in no way the object, but self for this life: another and weighty addition to the picture of the world. Whatever the historical circumstances, the aim was to reassure his wives who dreaded the consequences of his violent deeds. Lemech appears to plead that the blood he had shed was shed in self-defence, not murderously like Cain; and therefore he avails himself of the divine shelter of his own forefather as the surest pledge of intervention on his own behalf.

The fact is certain that God watches over His ancient people, guiltier far than Cain, but of blood that speaks better than that of Abel. For if the Jew has been kept, in the face of man ever hostile and ready to slay, in the face of more spiteful Christendom, Greek or Latin, utterly ignorant of God's secret purpose to pardon and bless in the end, neither bloody crusades of old nor cruel ukases now, will succeed to exterminate Israel, but only to bring punishment another day on their adversaries. There they are, wanderers but preserved, as no people ever was, for everlasting mercy when their heart turns to God and Him Whom they cast out. And here in Lemech's words, though he may have meant nothing higher than the sad facts of Cain's deed or his own, can we not hear the inspired image of the Jew's confession in the latter day? Assuredly we know on authority which cannot be broken, that the repentant Jew will yet own, like their forefathers in the analogous case of Joseph, but about One greater and better than Joseph, We were very guilty concerning our brother. For the prophet declares what divine goodness and truth will yet fulfil: I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplication; and they shall look upon ME whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn" (Zech. 12:10).

Lemech's saying, therefore, is an unconscious prophecy like that of Caiaphas, but of the Jews acknowledging, not hiding, blood-guiltiness (Ps. 1), the blood of their own King: and of what a King! Himself, the sacrifice for the sin which slew Him; and those who in their blind unbelief were thus guilty brought to true faith and real repentance, thenceforward to have God blessing them, causing His face to shine upon (with) them that His way may be known upon earth, His saving health among all nations.

"And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and called his name Sheth: for God has appointed me another seed instead of Abel, for Cain slew [him]. And to Sheth, to him also was born a son, and he called his name Enoch: then it was begun to call on Jehovah's name" (Gen. 4:25-26).

Abel had been cut off; Cain is not recognised here, save as guilty. All hangs upon the one that God (Elohim) appointed. It is not nature's hopes, but, after all had failed, the intervention of God's grace, and man taking his true place, weak, wretched; for so Sheth called his son. Then too it was begun to call upon Jehovah's name. So it will be in power and fulness another day. It is not Christ come and slain, but the coming Son of man. Jehovah will be owned fully. In that day, says the same prophet, shall Jehovah be one, and His name one. Rivals shall vanish away, false religion no more lift its head. The absurdity of the dovetailed hypothesis is here plain, as is the divine wisdom in the use of designations purposely employed. Men too unbelieving to understand, too conceited or impatient to learn, invented it to throw the blame off themselves on the book. Only think of the credulity of such as believe them instead of God!

Genesis 5:1-2.

1894 1 The chapter on which we now enter strikingly refutes the hypothesis of separate documents, so much in vogue with the neo-critics. For according to it this book of Adam's generation originally followed Gen. 1 — 2:1-3, as the more ancient Elohistic record, supposed to be dislocated by the singular compound (Jehovah Elohim) in Gen. 2:4, Gen. 3, and by the Jehovistic interpolation of Gen. 4. But such an arrangement as is thus assumed not only yields a result barren of any good fruit, but deprives us of truth most interesting, momentous, and necessary about God and man, as well as the enemy of both. For what is omitted thereby? The instructive lesson of the temptation; the awful fact and consequences of the fall; the solemn intervention of Him Who blessed and tried but, by man's sin, was made his Judge; the mysterious revelation of a suffering Destroyer of that enemy who ensnared our first parents by disobedience unto death, and of a Conqueror Who, in some way as yet unexplained, should be born of woman, and yet deal with Satan as not all mankind of all ages together could. Nor is this brief summary of Gen. 3 anything like a full appraisal of the most needed truth left out.

Consider next how deep and searching is Gen. 4, where sin against man, one's brother even, is as fully out as against God in Gen. 3! The sole ground of acceptable approach to Jehovah is by sacrifice; for this was the then acknowledgment of man as sinful, and of God in grace looking on to a remedy in righteousness. So we see the younger son Abel offering and accepted by faith, the elder Cain rejected with his offering of nature in unbelief, though Eve had fondly counted him a man gotten from Jehovah. Then, in pride rankling into hatred, notwithstanding the gracious expostulation of Jehovah, Who points to the remedy and maintains his title after the flesh, Cain slays his righteous brother, is convicted (spite of heartless and insolent prevarication), gets cursed from the ground, and is sentenced to be a wanderer in the earth. What a type of the Jew guilty of the death of Jehovah's righteous Servant, their own Messiah, yet with a sign given that they shall not perish; and in the end under Lamech confessing the sins and avenged seventy and sevenfold, when we hear of another Seed appointed of God instead of the slain, and in due time men calling on the name of Jehovah! For this in its turn is no other than the pledge of the One Who combines the slain Messiah with the appointed Heir of all things, our Lord Jesus. Yet much as is here traced, there is also the picture of the world and its civilization, its arts and sciences and delights, away from God, Who refuses its natural religion and vain efforts to worship Him after the flesh.

Think then of the critical judgment, which can regard the narrative (call it Elohistic, or Book of Origins, or Priest's Code, or any thing else), when disengaged from the rest where designations other than Elohim occur, as "a nearly complete whole!" Surely men learned or unlearned, who thus manipulate the scriptures in honour of the crudest fancy which ever rose into a popular fashion, betray their own lack of faith and their consequent inability to interpret that Mind which opens to the believer only. It is just as under another form in Israel of old, "All vision is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot, for it is sealed. And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned" (Isa. 29:11-12). What! "a nearly complete whole" in God's history, or the Priest's Code, of man, without one word about the details of his divine relationship founded on his peculiar formation, his body of the dust, the inner man as directly inbreathed by Jehovah Elohim! Without one word about paradise lost and death gained by disobedience inexcusable! Without one word about the knowledge of good and evil incompatible with innocence pure and simple, but after his transgression man's condition for good as for ill! Without one word about woman's relationship to man founded on her most singular, but touching and beautiful, building up under the wise and good hand of the LORD God, with all its fruitful admonition whether men hear or forbear! Without one word about the simplicity of sinless man and woman naked and without shame, their instant ineffectual covering of a natural sort, and the profound truth and grace, though merely as yet a shadow, of the LORD God's effectual clothing based on death! And withal the mysterious serpent's ominous and dark insinuation to man's ruin and his own sure destruction by divine power in the person of the woman's Seed — not a word about this dire and constant adversary of God throughout the sad history of man's responsibility, or the final judgment!

Really the freaks of human speculation are far stranger and more unaccountable than the unvarnished narrative of inspiration as it stands, which to the believing ear requires the distinctive titles of Elohim, Jehovah Elohim, and Jehovah (as others also in due time) according to the varying character of the communications, and therefore intrinsically necessary to the perfection of the divine word. It is the phenomenal ignorance of unbelief, absolutely unheeding God's mind, which, in despair of real intelligence by the Holy Spirit, seeks the superficial, unsatisfactory, and baseless hypothesis of a composite from distinct sources welded together by a later compiler into a continuous whole, which after all is full of inconsistencies in details and wholly unreliable. In truth it is but infidelity and veiled with no better than fig-leaves which betray sin and nakedness. Different points of view there are, as there ought to be for full truth, which account for differing traits of style; but as Gen. 2, Gen. 3 pre-suppose Gen. 1, so does Gen. 4 follow up both, as the actual conflict of nature and grace. Gen. 5, like other scriptures, employs each designation and its accompaniments as truth demands: so we may hope to show to such as, receiving Holy Writ, accept it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth God's word.

Needs it further proof that the so-called duplicates are due to differing design, not to distinct hands, still less to bastard legends? Thus in Gen. 2:4 and onward, there is no thought of setting out the order of creation, already given generally from first to last in Gen. 1, but the momentous fact of such special truths as the Moral Governor, Jehovah God, set up in the scene of Adam's relations with Himself and paradise, with earthly creation as a whole and the woman in particular. Opposition between the chapters whether materially or formally is a libel. And hence, as in many respects the condition was peculiar to the primeval state, we never in the Pentateuch find Jehovah Elohim regularly used but here, save exceptionally in Ex. 9:30. It is untrue that Gen. 2:7, 19 represents man as created before the birds and the boasts; it is untrue that Gen. 2:7 (Adam's formation out of the dust) contradicts Gen. 1:27 (created in God's image); it is untrue that Gen. 1:27 asserts that the man and the woman were created together, or does not consist with the woman being formed specifically out of Adam's flank. Such objections spring solely from the spite of unbelief. The two chapters, like those that follow, are from the same Mind guided of God; but some to their shame have no knowledge of God.

With the light derivable from all that precedes, Gen. 5 takes up man in the succession of his generations from Adam to Noah and his sons; and therefore Elohim rather than Jehovah was the correct title, Jehovah only appearing once where it was more proper. And this to the eyes of our "wise and prudent" critics "can only be accounted for upon the supposition that the sections in which they occur are by a different hand" (Driver's Lit., O.T.)!

"This [is the] book of Adam's generations. In the day God created man, in God's likeness made he him; male and female created he them, and blessed them, and called their name Adam (man), in the day when they were created" (vers. 1, 2).

Now suppose the different-document hypothesis a fact, and this chapter had ever followed chap. 1 - 2:3, as the immediate sequel, how insipid such a continuation as the opening of chap. 5! We say nothing of omitting such all important particulars as are ignored between the two, as we have already noticed. If on the contrary we receive these scriptures as they are, the new departure on ground similar to the earliest section most suitably calls for a tracing down from Adam through Seth to diluvian times, just as we have it. The intervening history which brought out God not simply as such, but as Jehovah Elohim, and then in the usual style of Jehovah, where special relationship is treated with rebellion against it, made it all the more requisite to resume the genealogical line from its source till God judged creation.

Even here it is far from mere repetition, which it might seem to the careless reader. For Gen. 1:26 says that God said, Let us make man in our image after our likeness, and reiterates not His "likeness" but "image" twice in ver. 27. Here it is said that, in the day of His creating man, He made him in the likeness of God. Both were true, but they are not the same statement; and an imitator or later redactor being uninspired would rather have made them identical. He Who knew the whole truth could and did use each appropriately; as we may see for the form here employed, when ver. 3 comes before us. But the shade of difference is undeniable, understand it or not as we may.

Further, here only are we told that God "called their name Adam (man) in the day they were created." It was Adam before the fall who called the woman Ishah, because she was taken out of Ish. It was Adam, after the fall but also the revelation of the woman's Seed, who called his wife's name Eve (Chavvah), because she was the mother of all living. Unbelief might have naturally called her Death, as the mother of all dying. But Adam looked in faith for her Seed Who entitled him and them to better things than he and she had any right to. But here it is the racial name, common to both, which God called in the day of their creation. How wise is every change, every difference, embodied in God's word! And how foolish the incredulity that can see nothing beyond the discrepancies of different hands, none of them inspired in any true sense!

Genesis 5:3-5.

1894 17 That chapter 5 is in its only proper place, supposing one and the same hand wrote all the sections preceding it, is manifest from the exclusion of reference to Cain and Abel; and its notice of Seth as the true and appointed continuator of Adam's line to Noah. Previous and fragmentary documents, or not, is quite a subordinate question. But this is the more inviting for the speculative to discuss, as there is the slenderest basis whereon to display their skill in building their ingenious but shadowy schemes. The believer has before him the solid fact of a divinely carried out design, on a principle which discovers the enmity of a mind above man's, not here only but throughout the O.T. Nor is there a single instance known to me of sure evidence against Moses as its writer. The ancient heathen themselves, spite of their undying animosity against the Jews, were not in this as unbelieving as our modern critics who call themselves Christians.

For where could the fruitful episode of chap. 4 stand suitably but where we find it? Yet this, to be exact, required the use of Jehovah alone for the first time in the narrative. Neither Elohim as in Gen. 1, Gen. 2:3 would be in keeping, nor yet Jehovah Elohim as in Gen. 2:4 and Gen. 3, each in its proper place, which is only proved the more by the exceptions in the language of the serpent and of Eve (Gen. 3:1, 3, 5). The conditions in Gen. 4 were no longer paradisaical but such as appealed to all the race now fallen, especially before men lapsed into idolatry, having still the traditional knowledge of God, not as Creator only but in special relationship as Moral Governor of His off-spring. Not for two millenniums and a half was that Name with the law given to the chosen people as their distinctive possession and responsibility. But here they were shown, on the small primeval platform of Cain and Abel, the vanity for a sinner of natural religion, slighting, as it always does the guilt and the judgment of sin, no less than sacrificial provision of grace bound up with faith in the coming and suffering Messiah Who should destroy the enemy.

It is remarkable that Eve, who had been misled by the serpent to forget the special relationship of Jehovah Elohim, said on the birth of Cain, I have gotten a man from, or with the help of, Jehovah. It was like Sarah in Hagar's case looking for the seed of promise through nature. On the other hand, and in the same Gen. 4:25, she said on the birth of Seth, Elohim has appointed me another seed instead of Abel: the more to be observed, because in the next verse we are told that then it was man began to call upon the name of Jehovah. Now each of these designations is employed with exquisite propriety, and with an aim evident save to men walking in the darkness of Egypt. So mistaken are they who, ignorant of what is all-important spiritually, fall into the delusion of striving to account for these differences and their accompaniments, by the fancy that the sections in which they occur are by different hands. It is the design, and this a divine one, which alone satisfactorily explains all the phenomena, and the more strikingly because they come from the same inspired writer.

So in our Gen. 5 Elohim is the only proper term till we come to verse 29, where Jehovah is demanded by the aim of the inspiring Spirit. Difference of hand is the resource of incredulous ignorance. Cain and Abel had played their parts respectively, as all that hear the truth must, in the darkness of unbelief or the light of faith; and Eve, profiting by her early mistake, acknowledges her son Seth as substituted by Elohim for Abel whom Cain slew. Son of Adam, he the firstborn had gone out impenitent and in despair from Jehovah's presence, was building a city called after the name of his son, and began the world of arts and sciences, civilization and pleasure, a wanderer far from the God Who reveals His will and judges those that despise His Christ. With the appointed Man people began calling upon His Name, the foreshadow of the millennial day (compare Isa. 11:9-10; Jer. 3:17; Zech. 14:9; Mal. 1:11).

Here till the close the sole correct designation is Elohim, and could not be Jehovah. It is the line of Seth from Adam to Noah.

"And Adam lived a hundred and thirty years, and begat [a son] in his likeness, after his image, and called his name Sheth. And Adam's days after he begat Sheth were eight hundred years; and he begat sons and daughters. And all Adam's days which he lived were nine hundred and thirty years; and he died" (vers. 3-5).

When Elohim made man, Gen. 1:26, He proposed it to be in His image, after His likeness. So He created him in His image, as it is said twice (Gen. 1:27). And we have already seen, that, as likeness resembles, image represents: a distinction which it is of moment to seize, as it holds everywhere in scripture. The "likeness" consisted of qualities corresponding to God, as no other nature on earth had; the image was man's place in presenting Him to others, as not even angels of heaven did or could. As man was made upright, so he was called to dominion over the lower creation. Angels fulfil His word and do His pleasure, yet they only minister, never rule. But now that the head of the race was fallen, he "begat in his likeness, after his image." It was in his own likeness, not God's; and it was not Cain but Seth that is said to be "after his image." Adam was represented by Seth, though he could not be said to be begotten after Elohim's likeness but Adam's. Yet it still remains true that man, even though fallen, is the image and glory of God (1 Cor. 11:7). Hence the guilt of murder demanded death, for it was the extinction of what represented God on earth, even when man was no longer after His likeness (Gen. 9:6). The comparison of our verse 1 makes it all the plainer: "in the likeness of God made He him" (Adam). The "image" of God was the emphatic point in Gen. 1:27, and even in 26 takes precedence, however important the "likeness" which sin destroyed for Seth, whom Adam "begat in his likeness, after his image." The race is fallen.

What progeny Adam had during this early time we are not told, but simply that his "days after he begat Seth were eight hundred; and he begat sons and daughters." How little is said of the line of faith, especially if we compare the striking picture which the preceding chapter furnishes of the world's rapid progress in all that life which nature deems worth living!

"And all the days which Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years; and he died" (ver. 5). There is not the slightest sound reason to doubt the longevity here attributed to antediluvian man. Man was made to live, not to die; his death came in through sin. The truth of life will appear when the Second man takes the world-kingdom (Rev. 11). Those who live righteously when He reigns shall continue through the thousand years, none dying save under curse for rebellion; and the righteous, as scriptural principles imply, are at last changed, without passing through death, into everlasting incorruption; as Christians are entitled to expect who are alive and are left to the coming of the Lord, before His displayed kingdom begins (1 Thess. 4, 1 Cor. 15). Lengthened as the span of years may seem, compared with the measure which the prayer of Moses (Ps. 90) lays down as the ordinary rule of human life, they were but "days" of Adam or any other here recorded. After Adam they were begotten, and they begot; they lived and they died. This sums up the history of most; but of this more when we review the account of others, as well as the exceptions.

Genesis 5:6-20.

1894 33 Josephus and certain Arabian writers, quoted by Hottinger, allege details of the ancient worthies here enumerated; which are not worth repeating. because they are destitute of real authority. The inspired writer all the more impressively gives the same simple outline of these lives so prolonged. Two exceptions occur of most notable character which claim appropriate heed in their places. The general line is all that now comes before us. Divine purpose is the key to both. It explains alike the mention which looks so meagre, and the special record in the cases of Enoch and Noah. It accounts for the omission of all particulars in the general genealogy beyond the direct line of the chosen people, and so especially of the Messiah, God's salvation, light for revelation of Gentiles, and glory of his people Israel. The rest of their progeny, however numerous or distinguished in a human way, are merely merged in "sons and daughters" they begot.

"And Sheth lived a hundred and five years, and begat Enosh. And Sheth lived after he begat Enosh eight hundred and seven years, and begat sons and daughters. And all Sheth's days were nine hundred and twelve years; and he died. And Enosh lived ninety years and begat Kenan. And Enosh lived after he begat Kenan eight hundred and fifteen years, and begat sons and daughters. And all Enosh's days were nine hundred and five years; and he died. And Kenan lived seventy years and begat Mahalaleel. And Kenan lived after he begat Mahalaleel eight hundred and forty years, and begat sons and daughters. And all Kenan's days were nine hundred and ten years, and he died. And Mahaleel lived sixty-five years, and begat Jared. And Mahalaleel lived after he begat Jared eight hundred and thirty years, and begat sons and daughters. And all Mahalaleel's days were eight hundred and ninety-five years; and he died. And Jared lived a hundred and sixty-two years, and begat Enosh. And Jared lived after he begat Enosh eight hundred years, and begat sons and daughters. And all Jared's days were nine hundred and sixty-two years; and he died" (vers. 6-20).

It is in vain for men to decry the longevity of the men before the deluge, and, though diminishing, after it. Oriental and other nations long retained the tradition, however disguised, pointing to the primitive facts. To argue that it is contrary to the known laws of physiology is only the resort of narrow-minded and ignorant unbelief. For God if He pleased could easily by change of conditions reduce man's life from 900 years to 90. It is a question of fact for which His word vouches. Nor is there any need to labour on behalf of the plain statements of scripture; for man unfallen never partook of the tree of life; and, when fallen, he was driven out lest he should. The gradual experience of men since the deluge is of no validity against the immensely greater age of mankind as scripture avers before that great event, whatever the physical or secondary causes may have been before or after, as they are presumptuous who deny it.

We are not in a position to ascertain where God has said so little; but there were reasons we can appreciate why in the early history of mankind their prolonged span of life was of incalculable moment. It was in their high interest that the origin of the race should be attested, as well as of the earth and heavens, and of all creatures in them; still higher was it to hear of the fall and its solemn results; highest of all, to know that He, alike the Creator and in moral relationship with man, had interposed in a way not more righteous than graciously revealing a suffering Deliverer, the woman's Seed, to destroy the enemy: the victory of good over evil for all who believe as well as creation. What can be conceived of such great weight for God and man as to convey aright this pregnant revelation of grace, and to those so immediately concerned as the fallen race, or at least such as had ears to hear? And how was a revelation as yet oral to reach the family of Adam effectually save by the longevity which characterised that early day? For Methuselah lived to tell Shem what Adam communicated from God Himself, and Shem lived to repeat all to Abraham and Isaac: facts and prospects briefly expressed, of plain meaning, and profoundly important.

Then again one can understand how favourable the lengthened span of life in those days was to carrying out God's word in blessing the first pair, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over fish of the sea, and over bird of the heavens, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth. Thus not only is the fact unquestionable for all that respect revelation, but the wisdom, not to say necessity, of that exceptional condition, is pretty apparent.

The fact is, so far from the truth are those who judge solely from present experience, that man was naturally made at the outset to live. Death was sin's wages, not then a physiological necessity. God had provided the means for prolonging his life if obedient; but deprived him of that means peremptorily when fallen. For what greater misery, or moral anomaly, than an everlasting life of sin? Death therefore is in no way a debt of nature but of sin; and here we read its knell for each even of those who stood aloof from the evil way of Cain, the ancestors not of Israel only but in due time of the Messiah. Of Adam, so of Seth, Kenai], Mahalaleel, Jared, it was alike said "he died." Now that man is a sinner, it is the one event that happens to all in the seen world; in the unseen there will be another still more solemn. "For it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this judgment" (Heb. 9:27).

How sad, were this all! Not so however; it is only the first man. "But now has Christ been raised from the dead, first-fruits of them that are asleep. For since by man [is] death, by man also resurrection of dead persons." He that had the power of death, that is the devil, is brought to nought through the death of Him Who in grace submitted to it, but could not be holden thereby. And so in Christ shall all be made alive, but each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; then they that are Christ's at His coming; then the end, when He shall deliver up the kingdom to Him Who is God and Father. The second man is of heaven and has all things in His hand. They that are His will enjoy a resurrection from the dead like His own; as the unjust shall be raised by His power for judgment, who despised His grace and would not have the life eternal that is in Him. For all must honour Him; if not now by believing in Him unto all blessing, by-and-by when raised to be judged for the ills they did. How blessed is the portion of those that hear His word and believe God that sent His Son! They "have eternal life, and come not into judgment, but have passed from death into life." So declares the Lord with solemn emphasis on its truth, His "Verily, verily."

Genesis 5:21-24.

1894 49 From Adam to Enoch was a considerable stretch; yet between the two the Spirit of God gives the line with a sameness of expression which makes solemn the rare departures from it. The first we have already noticed in Seth begotten in Adam's likeness after his image (ver. 3), as distinguished from Adam made in the likeness of God in the day that God created man (ver. 1). Thenceforward is the line of Seth pursued, the terms of each link not differing save in the name, and the days they lived and had successors.

Now we hear of one who stands out spiritually in the divine account from all before and after. How distinct from a man of the same name in the family of Cain, indeed his son, whose name he gave to the city he was building, a dweller on the earth and a seeker of the glory of, man which passes away! "Except Jehovah build the house, they labour in vain that build it; except Jehovah keep the city, the watchman wakes but in vain. It is vain for you that ye rise up early and so late take rest, and eat the bread of toil." Cain was afraid, as a bad conscience makes a man afraid, of those that kill the body; he did not fear Him Who after He has killed has authority to cast into hell; still less did he repent and confide in sovereign grace, or betake himself to a sin-offering couching at the door, or even bow to the sentence — "a fugitive and a wanderer shalt thou be in the earth." All the more was he determined to settle down and rear up the first city and glorify his family by calling the name of the city after the name of his son Enoch. All was after the wisdom and prudence of the flesh, which seeks present strength and ease and exaltation by its own devices and resources, not subjection to God and dependence on Him, not His guidance and safeguard, nor the glory that is from the only God. In full contrast with Cain and his successor is the son Jared, "initiated" after a far different sort.

"And Enoch (Chanok) lived five and sixty years, and begat Methuselah (Methushalah) and Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters; and all Enoch's days were three hundred and sixty-five years. And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him" (vers. 21-22).

Faith in Abel wrought the vivid sense of that death which sin had brought in for man, with its blighting effect on all the lower creation put in subjection to man. And Abel by faith applied the sentence of God to himself: no ignoring death for him, no bearing it with effort to forget it in the energy of nature. But he believed also the revelation of grace, that Another, even the woman's Seed, would confront not death only, but him that had the power of death, the subtle adversary of God and man; and this mysteriously but righteously (however little he might apprehend the full truth not yet revealed), by His suffering but His all the more efficacious victory. For bruised in His heel, so ran the expressive figure, He was to bruise the Serpent's head. Death therefore realised deeply on all and all things here, the death of the Deliverer to redeem the believer and conquer the enemy in the woman's Seed, was as impressed on Abel's heart as in his name. The characteristic act of his faith Godward sets it forth as clearly, as the end of his course bore witness to it at man's hand, and this his own brother's. What a picture on a small scale of Christ as the Lamb that was slain!

But not less is our Enoch in a way quite different, but equally true and momentous. He looked to the One of Whose coming in judgment he was also given to prophesy, as we know from Jude; and He is not only a sacrifice to God for us, but our life. There is none else that suits or is available for man; and evidently so, now that man was fallen, and the tree of life, once free in his innocence, debarred by God's judicial power from the guilty. In this proved state of sin and death it was that the God of mercy revealed Him Who was coming and somehow coming in manhood, if self-evidently more and greater infinitely. In due time should His glory be fully made known as God, the Word Who was with God and was God; not only the Creator of all things, but "in Him was life." And as He was "the light of men" emphatically (not of those beings. who are heaven's natural denizens and seemed far higher, as indeed in some respects they are), He would be revealed when rejected as "the light of the world"; so that he that follows Him should not walk in darkness but have the light of life.

The faith of Enoch laid hold of this alone true, alone higher, life; for faith receives what the Saviour is and gives. He did not merely look at himself and all around to find the revealed relief and resource and deliverance in the bruised One. No doubt this he did; but his faith was characterised by looking to heaven, and to the One Who is above all ruin, Who, far beyond what could be then known, is the source and display and giver of life in the most blessed sense; as we can say, "We are in Him that is true, in His Son Jesus Christ: this (He) is the true God and life eternal."

Now life exercised in the unseen is shown in the walk; and so here we read of Enoch (for the first time it is recorded of man), that he "walked with God"; after he begot Methuselah, it is added, three hundred years. And this is much to say in a few words of pregnant and elevated testimony from Him Whose eye of love rests on all that love Him, in Whose sight is not a creature unapparent; but all things are naked and laid open to His eyes with Whom we have to do.

Nor is it without significance and force that after enumerating all the days of Enoch, and not those only to the birth of his long-lived representative but to sons and daughters subsequently begotten, we again hear the divine witness, "And Enoch walked with God": few words no doubt, but full of meaning to us favoured with truth incomparably more made known.

The city, the inventions of skill and beauty and convenience, the music, the refinements of the life that now is, were all elsewhere, perishing like their devotees in the use of them; but he that does the will of God abides for ever. It seemed far from this in him who was slain treacherously and unavenged, the first martyr of the faith as of righteousness. But it was indisputable to him who believes God's word about Enoch. "And he was not, for God took him"; or, as it is interpreted in Heb. 11, he "was translated that he should not see death, and was not found because God translated him; for before his translation he has witness borne to him that he had pleased God."

What a plain token God gave in that great but simple fact, so transcending ordinary experience of unquestionable saints, that heaven was to be the home of those He loves on earth, the heaven of His presence where time and change, to say nothing of sin and sorrow, are unknown! This needed Christ's coming and His going away to put in the clearest and surest light, as in John 14–17. Even here in these early antediluvian days was the first testimony to it given, not in word only, but in a striking fact meant to come home to every believer: a peculiar honour to Enoch, the pledge of what all saints of the heavenly calling shall enjoy, who shall remain living at the coming of the Lord. For then will be the presence of Him Who is the power of eternal life, not for the soul only which we have in Him now, but for the body also as we shall have then. For we shall not all sleep, but we shall be changed in an instant, in an eye's twinkle, at the last trumpet. This is what the apostle calls "a mystery," not exactly the resurrection of the just, but the change of the living believers when those dead are also raised and changed. Of translation to heaven Enoch, as he was the first sample, so he is the abiding type in its heavenly reality, and its noiseless accomplishment without a previous sign or any preparation in providence or prophecy. We may see all this confirmed by the wholly different destiny of another saint that follows.

It only remains to notice what a suitable close was his to the great truth of a life superior to death which grace gave him to walk in. Translation that he should not see death was its triumph, as far as we can speak of triumph till Jesus come.

Genesis 5:25-32.

1894 65 It is but little that is said of Adam's line through Seth. They lived many days on the earth; they begat sons and daughters, besides the one who continued the succession; and they died. This gives great significance to all that is said beyond. Thus we saw the strong moral difference expressed in Seth's case compared with Adam. But the vivid contrast appeared in Enoch, the witness and manifest enjoyer of life which shone out in his walk, and superior to the power of death, as it pleased God to prove, when his comparatively tried pilgrimage closed in a sort altogether heavenly.

His son was Methuselah. "And Methuselah lived a hundred and eighty-seven years and begat Lamech; and Methuselah lived after he begat Lamech seven hundred and eighty-two years, and begat sons and daughters. And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred and sixty-nine years; and he died" (vers. 25-27). In his instance it might have seemed that man was exceptionally to reach a millennium. But not so. This is reserved for the reign of the Last Adam; and He will make it good throughout His world-kingdom as the rule, and not the exception, for such as welcome Him when He appears to reign in righteousness. Mighty and beneficent the change in that day, when the earth shall be full of the knowledge of Jehovah as the waters cover the sea! It is in vain to reason from the first Adam experience, the prolific source of unbelief.

He is Jehovah Who deigned to become a shoot out of the stock of Jesse and a branch out of his roots shall hear fruit in days to come; in virtue of Him shall Jacob "take root; Israel shall blossom and bud; and they shall fill the face of the world with fruit." For in truth He is also the root of Jesse. "And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse: standing as an ensign of the peoples: it shall the nations seek; and his resting place shall he in glory." Then, when he that had the power of death is bound, and the Conqueror reigns over the earth, man shall fill his days. And Jehovah will rejoice in Jerusalem and joy in His people; and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying. There shall he no more thenceforth an infant of days, nor an old man that has not filled his days: for the youth shall die a hundred years old, and the sinner being a hundred years old shall be accursed. And as Christ is the key to our understanding the scriptures now, so will He be the One in that day to put down evil in power and righteousness, and to bless man subject to His sceptre.

"And Lamech lived a hundred and eighty-two years and begat a son; and he called his name Noah, saying, This [one] shall comfort us concerning our work and concerning toil of our hands because of the ground which Jehovah has cursed. And Lamech lived after he begat Noah five hundred and ninety-five years, and begat sons and daughters. And all the days of Lamech were seven hundred and seventy-seven years; and he died" (Gen. 5:28-31).

Here again the Holy Spirit pauses on the occasion of Noah's birth; and his father was made to utter an oracle about his son. The prophetic spirit is evident in Lamech's utterances. Noah he recognised as the witness of comfort for man's work and toiling hands. And so Noah is the type of Him Who will govern and bless the habitable world to come, after it has passed through His judgment of those that defile or destroy the earth. Lamech acknowledges the righteous dealing of Jehovah no less than Enoch does in his prophecy recorded by Jude. But the difference is characteristic. Enoch speaks openly of the Lord's coming with myriads of His saints; for a heavenly portion only adds to the sense of coming judgment of all, and not only in their works of ungodliness which they ungodlily wrought but in the hard things which ungodly sinners spoke against Him. Lamech was given, though more darkly, to see in Noah the pledge of consolation for the earth, after the judgment of the quick has done its work.

They are the complement one of the other; and both look on to a day not yet come; for a judgment in providence makes nothing perfect more than the law did. They are shadows of what is coming, and not only of destruction at the Lord's hand, but of comfort to follow for this toiling earth. It is well to accept the pledge; it is better still not to rest in that measure, but to await the full blessing Christ alone is competent to bestow. Then Jehovah's work will appear to His servants, and His glory upon their children; then the beauty of Jehovah their God shall be upon His people, and He will establish the work of their hands upon them; yea He will establish the work of their hands. No doubt to share Christ's position on high in the Father's house is incomparably more, and this we shall have who share His rejection; but it is wrong to overlook and worse to deny the blessing He will also pour on the earth, and on the ancient people, and on all peoples, in that day of glory.

Nor is there any question that on Christ's first advent and on His infinite work of atonement all depends for blessing to souls now, and for glory in the heavens and the earth at that day, because therein God was glorified in Him even as to sin, the otherwise insuperable block in the way. But while owning this fully and finding now in Him life, peace, joy, liberty, relationship with God as children and union with Himself our glorified Head, through the Holy Ghost given, the more ought we to be freed from every hindrance and testify with might from above His coming, not only to take us on high, but to execute judgment on a guilty world and a guiltier Christendom, and to bless the earth gloriously and Israel and all the nations; and so much the more, because we see the day approaching.

We need not dwell on Noah more now, but just observe what we are told in verse 32: "And Noah was five hundred years old [son of 500 years], and Noah begat Shem, Ham, and Japheth." Shem is first named, not because he was eldest, which Japheth was, but as in the direct line of the blessings of Israel.

Genesis 6:1-2.

1894 81 The chapter opens with a brief and calm notice of a mysterious fact, on which heathen mythology revels much. What scripture does say is pregnant; but the reticence on such a theme is as suggestive of holiness, as man's tradition as usual indulges prurient curiosity. The recital no doubt seems strange to minds accustomed to reason from existing phenomena and disposed to discredit what is "marvellous" in men's eyes or all that is beyond common sense. Yet Peter and Jude render striking testimony, not only to the truth of the narrative and the divine judgment of the exceptional sin committed, but to the solemn and needed warning it renders to guilty Christendom. God has not spoken in vain whether by Moses at the beginning of the O.T., or by those two inspired men verging on the close of the N.T. If any one has a mind to read a scathing exposure of modern unbelief as expressed by the commentators Patrick or Gill, D'Oyly and Mant, Scott or A. Clarke, he can find it in Dr. S. R. Maitland's Eruvin, Essay vi. 124, etc. Henry Ainsworth in his Annotations and Matthew Henry in his Commentary were no better. There is a slight difference in the popular view, some holding the sons of God to be great men, or nobles; others, the progeny of Seth.

But it is impossible to deny that "sons of God," in the early books of the Bible (Job 1:6, Job 2:1, Job 38:7), are found appropriated to angels. So in a slightly different form of the Hebrew we read in Ps. 29:1, and Ps. 89:6. When the prophet Hosea predicts in Hosea 1:10 (or Hosea 2:1) what the apostle Paul applied (Rom. 9:26) to the present call of Gentiles during the eclipse of Israel, the phrase is pointedly distinct, besides its having no retrospective bearing. Indeed in the Alexandrine MS. of the Septuagint version of Gen. 6:2, for viol of the Vatican is read hoi aggeloi. But apart from this, which goes rather beyond the place of a translator, there is no ground from O.T. usage to question that the application of the phrase is to angels, and not to men even if faithful and righteous. And the apostolic reference is indisputable. Peter and Jude, regarding the awful crisis at the end of this age in the light of this scripture, though from quite different aspects, bear the concurrent testimony of the Holy Spirit that angels were here intended by "sons of God."

This to a believer in divine inspiration is decisive. God knew all and cannot lie. Difficulties there assuredly are to us, who know little of what is possible to beings so far transcending human estate. But we learn even from the reserved terms employed in the original text and the inspired comments that angelic commerce with mankind was exceptionally heinous in itself and in its results. God therefore avenged the flagrant departure from all the bounds He had laid down for the indigenous dwellers on high, as well as for the creatures of earthly mould by a judgment that slumbered not nor spared either. For it is evident that the fruits of the iniquity no less than the guilty mothers perished in the deluge; while the appalling sentence of consignment to everlasting bonds under darkness befell such angels as kept not their own first estate, to await the great day's judgment. Their lot, so different from that of the devil and his angels, marks the enormity of their sin for which God cast them into Tartarus (2 Peter 2:4). They had so daringly abused their liberty that they were handed over to the gloomiest custody; unlike the rest of the fallen angels, who have even access to heaven and accuse the saints and deceive the whole habitable earth as yet.

"And it came to pass when mankind began to multiply on the face of the ground and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of mankind that they [were] fair; and they took to them wives of all that they chose" (verses 1, 2).

Such, we shall see, was the prelude of the deluge, the apostasy of the antediluvian world, the horrible commingling of these sons of God with the daughters of men, which led to such violence and corruption as brought down destruction from the hand of God. Yet it is instructive to notice how the fact stated in our chapter, and pointedly applied by Peter and still more plainly by Jude, is not merely evaded but denounced, if not by time earlier, by the later, fathers Greek and Latin, by some of the Rabbis, and by many of the Reformers as utterly impossible and unworthy of credit.

Abuse on à priori grounds is vain against the direct force of the record according to unquestionable usage, and as interpreted by the highest authority of the N.T., so clearly as to leave no doubt for any soul subject to the written word. That angels could appear as men is beyond controversy, and eat or drink if they pleased is certain from scripture. It is not for believers to recoil from the further and fullest intimations of God's word, because we cannot account for that which was avowedly a strange and portentous violation of nature, i.e. of God's holy will. But if He pledges His word that so it was before the flood, outrageous as it may seem and really was, who are we, who are any, to set up human opinion, and deride as well as oppose the confirmed and reiterated declaration of Holy Writ?

Philosophic difficulties are trifles light as air against scripture; especially as the explanation which takes the place of the literal meaning, supported by the full induction of O.T. usage, lands the popular hypothesis in a trivial sense, unsuitable to O.T. thought and expression, and foreign or misleading to the context, as will appear when we examine verses that follow. Calvin's preference of his own judgment to the word drove him, not only to slur over the earlier statements of Gen. 6, but to get rid of the peculiar dealing of God intimated in the Epistles of Peter and Jude for the apostate angels. Thus he says "We are not to imagine a certain place in which the devils are shut up! for the apostle simply intended to teach us how miserable their condition is, since they apostatised and lost their dignity! For wherever they go they drag with them their own chains, and remain involved in darkness!"* Such is the fruit of insubjection to plain scripture, because of our incapacity to understand or explain: a pious man in what is obscure misled to explain away and contradict what is transparently irreconcilable with and corrective of his superficial view! Faith alone is always right: whether we can answer objections or remove difficulties is another question, and merely one of our spiritual measure. In this it is wise and comely not to have high thoughts above what one ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt a measure of faith to each.
{* "Porro nobis fingendus non est locus quo inclusi sint diaboli. Simpliciter enim docere voluit apostolus quam misera sit eorum conditio, ex quo propter apostasiam sua dignitate privati sunt. Nam quocunque pergant secum trahunt sua vincula et suis tenebris obvoluti manent." Opera viii. Amst. 1667.}

Genesis 6:3-4.

1894 97 These verses follow up the subject of that mysterious fact already stated, adding the expression of Jehovah's mind on the one hand, and on the other the far different thoughts of man.

And Jehovah said, "My Spirit shall not strive within man for ever, for that he also [is] flesh, and his days shall be a hundred and twenty years. The Nephilim (giants) were on the earth in those days, and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare to them. These [are] the heroes, mighty men who [were] of old, men of renown (the name)" (vers. 3, 4).

We may see from Job 1:6, Job 2:1, that various documents have nothing to do with "Jehovah" occurring here along with "sons of Elohim." The moral question in both scriptures required "Jehovah" as such, whilst the designation of the angels as "sons of Elohim" was equally correct. Further, in the same context we have repeatedly one that feared Elohim (Job 1:1, 8, Job 2:3), and the kindred language in Job 1:5, 16, 22, Job 2:9-10, where Jehovah is emphatically used in that moral trial both by the inspired writer and in the mouth of Job (Job 1:6-9, 12, 21, Job 2:1-6), so as to demonstrate the vanity of the hypothesis. The reason for one or other lies in the due requirement of the case, wholly independent of any imaginary change of authors. So, in our chapter of Genesis, verses 1-8 demand "Jehovah," save in the name of the offending angels, as 9-22 call for "Elohim" without exception.

Translators and commentators differ considerably as to the rendering and scope. Onkelos and Saadiah, the Septuagint, the Syriac, and the Vulgate substantially agree in the sense of "remain" for "strive." But the force is moral rather than physical existence, and fairly given in the A.V. Some prefer "in his wandering" instead of "for that," which may well be. So it is said in Isa. 31:3, that Egypt is man and not God, and their horses flesh and not spirit. Man had now proved himself no better. But if Jehovah warn that His Spirit will not always plead, He sets a term of patience. For the hundred and twenty years refer, not to man's span of life, but to the space given for repentance.

This verse it is, and especially it would seem "My Spirit," to which the apostle Peter refers in his first epistle (1 Peter 3:18-20). He speaks of Christ put to death in flesh, but made alive in [the] Spirit, in which also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, once disobedient when the long-suffering of God was waiting in Noah's days. The second epistle too (2 Peter 2:5) characterises Noah as a preacher of righteousness. Thus, among other ways, for he prophesied also (Gen. 9), did the Spirit of Christ which was in him point out, testifying beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that should follow them. It was this testimony, which made the days of God's longsuffering and of Christ's Spirit preaching through Noah so apt an allusion for the apostle. For Jews ask for signs of power, as Greeks seek wisdom, the wisdom of the age; but Christ is God's power and God's wisdom, Christ crucified to Jews a stumbling-block and to Greeks foolishness, but made to us that believe wisdom from God, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption. Believers from among the Jews (and to such the epistle was addressed) stood peculiarly exposed to the taunts of their unbelieving brethren after the flesh, who would hear only of the visible Messiah exalting Israel and putting down the nations in power and glory; as they scorned the little flock that confessed Him dead and risen and glorified in heaven, and that claimed through Him salvation of souls. Hence, of all the Jew owned true in O.T. story, nothing more suggestive than the few souls saved through the flood, when the mass perished in unbelief. Yet God sent men testimony by Noah, as He does now in the gospel. If that generation paid the penalty of slighting Christ's Spirit in the preaching then, let them beware of resisting the same Spirit still; for, though Christ be not present bodily but in heaven and at the right hand of God, He is ready to judge living and dead; for which those who rejected the warning in Noah's day are reserved in prison, as are all unbelievers.

It might seem incredible, were it not fact, that anyone could say, "Not a word is indicated by St. Peter on the very far off lying allusion to the fact that the Spirit of Christ preached in Noah: not a word here, on the fact that Noah himself preached to his contemporaries." No person has ever shown in the O.T. a case more germane to the apostle's aim, which was to strengthen the believing remnant against Jewish or any other mockery of an absent Deliverer and a spiritual deliverance only enjoyed now by faith. The allusion was strikingly near in its bearing: "very far off" in time is nothing to one who ranges through all scripture, in this very passage expressly introducing Noah, and the Spirit; as he elsewhere styles Noah "preacher of righteousness," and those who disobeyed in his days "spirits in prison," awaiting (as we all know) far more than a temporal judgment. Did not all this lie very near those surrounded by unbelievers who jeered at the fewness of Christians and rejected Christ's present testimony by the Spirit? The fact is that not a word connects the time of the preaching with the imprisonment of the spirits. Peter does not say that Christ went into the prison and there preached to the spirits, but that He went in the power of His Spirit and preached to the spirits that are there, disobedient as they once were in Noah's days. So the Jews were in danger through despising the Spirit of Christ now, What the text means is that their imprisonment is because they disobeyed once on a time when the longsuffering of God was waiting out in Noah's days, while an ark was being built for the few that entered and were saved. The nicest and strictest interpretation here lends not the least support to any preaching in Hades, which is foreign and opposed to the rest of God's word.

The superstitious view in effect denies and uproots the gospel, and is wholly baseless in either the O.T. or the New. Nor is the fancy inconsistent only with the testimony of scripture in general; it is opposed to the plain drift of the apostle's reference to Noah in each of his epistles. For how unmeaning, not to say inexplicable, that, if Christ be supposed to have gone in person to preach to the imprisoned spirits, those only should be singled out who had once been disobedient in Noah's days during the preparation of the ark! What revealed principle of either grace or righteousness applies to such a dealing with them in particular? Especially as the original text, Gen. 6:3, implies just the contrary — that the striving of Jehovah's Spirit was with man in this life, and that the limit to His patience with those in question was tied to the hundred and twenty years of their days on earth? To imagine the spirits of those very persons appealed to afterwards seems to annul the scripture in hand and therefore so much the less credible as an inspired comment on it. For it would involve the strange doctrine of Jehovah's striving after death, and with those exclusively who had been the objects of the longsuffering of God for an allotted period previously.

Again, the reference in 2 Peter 2 equally shuts out the notion as the dream of the untaught and unstable. For the apostle speaks of God's not sparing, not only angels when they sin and reserving them extraordinarily for judgment, but the ancient world also, though He preserved with seven others Noah, a preacher of righteousness, when He brought a flood on a world of ungodly persons (and afterwards He dealt similarly with Sodom and Gomorrha); as proofs of His rescuing godly ones out of trial and keeping unrighteous people under punishment for judgment day. The heterodoxy we are considering treats these very persons, if not all the wicked dead, as kept for hearing Christ to save them from judgment! Can one conceive grosser ignorance, and, what is worse, more arrant trifling with solemn scriptures, or a more evident desire to bring their meaning to nought?

As to ver. 4, the construction is not without difficulty. It appears to distinguish between the Nephilim* or giants in those days, as afterwards also, and the Gibborim, mighty ones or heroes, who were the fruit of the union of the sons of God with men's daughters. In fact, notwithstanding the dark confusion of the old heathen remains, traces of this distinction are not wanting; though nothing can be more marked than the superiority of scripture in the very little it says on this painful subject over the traditional lore respecting the Giants and the Titans, which the later poets jumbled inextricably. Num. 13:33 of itself easily accounts for the clause here parenthetically marked. It may run, without parenthesis, "And also after that the sons of God …: these [are] the mighty ones which were of old, men of the name," thus distinguishing the giants and these heroes. One shrinks from boldness in speaking of such a phrase; but the latter part distinguishes a class which was not found afterwards: "These [are] the heroes, who [were of old, men of renown." These, as being of quite a different source and character, had a fame peculiar to themselves for might. The reputation they acquired of old was not founded on mere stature, like that of the Nephilim.
{* The name has been derived from "felling" or "falling." Aquila has epipiptontes, Symmachus biaioi, as the LXX. gigantes for both the Nephilim and the Gibborim.}

In result it is clear that the bounds of creation were wickedly traversed by certain angels, and thus a peculiarly evil corruption introduced among men, where evil in its ordinary character grew apace as we are afterwards shown. But that unnatural amalgam touched the rights of Jehovah, though outwardly He had left man to himself since his expulsion from Paradise; as it played its grave part in calling for divine intervention in the governmental act of the deluge of which Genesis speaks, but in those deeper, lasting, and unseen ways which the epistles of Peter and Jude reveal in unison with N.T. truth for eternity. The evasive reading of the passage which many pious ancients and moderns have adopted to escape its only fair interpretation, because it conveys what is to us beyond measure strange, if not incomprehensible how it could be, is nothing but a makeshift of unbelief. Received simply, it gives the sure, though purposely reserved, revelation on the darkest scene of old, the true source of what was expanded, after its wonted fashion in Jewish tradition and Pagan mythology. In scripture the evil was dealt with in holy judgment; among men it became the basis of fame for beneficent might on man's behalf in vain struggle against envious but superior gods: no untrue description of beings who were really demons. "Jehovah, what is man that Thou takest knowledge of him? or the son of man, that Thou makest account of him? Man is like a breath, his days are as a shadow that passes away. Bow Thy heavens, Jehovah, and come down."

Genesis 6:5-8.

1894 113 Thus far we have had the new, strange, and portentous evil which played its part in calling for the righteous judgment of the deluge. But this was not all which made the catastrophe necessary in the eyes of the divine Governor.

"And Jehovah saw that the wickedness of man [was] great on the earth, and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart only evil continually (all the day). And Jehovah repented that be had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And Jehovah said, I will wipe out man whom I have created, from the face of the ground — from man to cattle, to reptiles, and to bird of the heavens; for I repent that I have made them. But Noah found favour in the eyes of Jehovah" (vers. 5-8).

Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? Could He be indifferent to the general state of man morally? It is not God simply in His nature, but He who concerns Himself with the ways of His creatures. Jehovah saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth. Nor would it be easy to find a more solemn appraisal: "every imagination" of them was before Him; and He who loves to accredit the least thought or feeling that is good saw nothing but evil all the day. He is assuredly the God of judgment, and after due testimony will not be slow to execute it.

Yet the language employed is affectingly suggestive of the grief it cost Him Whom the unbelieving mind of man is pleased to treat as impassive. "Be not deceived, evil communications corrupt good manners. Wake up righteously and sin not; for some have ignorance of God," as the apostle speaks to our shame. Converse with the world lowers to its own level those who thus indulge; and as the world by its wisdom, when it boasted most, knew not God, it never without Christ finds Him out; for Christ is the image of the invisible God; and Christ never showed Himself insensible to human evil, whatever His patience and endurance. No doubt, as is so characteristic of these early revelations, the expression is by grace adapted in childlike fashion to the heart and conscience of man. Jehovah felt deeply what man ought to have felt but did not. "Jehovah repented that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart."

Here however we need to distinguish: else we shall surely and seriously stray. Jehovah is here said to repent of mankind that He had made on the earth. His work is a thing quite different from His purpose. And when corruption pervaded it, He was in no way bound to perpetuate what existed only to His dishonour. On the other hand, when a prophet was sent to cry against a great city because of its wickedness before Him, and its inhabitants, from the greatest to the least, repented at the preaching, God saw their works that they turned from their evil ways, and God repented of the evil which He said He would do unto them, and He did it not, to the disgust of the prophet too self-occupied to appreciate the compassion of God, even for the babes and the cattle. But here we are not told of the slightest effect. The preacher of righteousness testified many a long year, and, as far as we know, in vain. Oracularly warned concerning things not yet seen, and moved with fear himself, he prepared an ark for saving his house, with no recorded result save condemning the world of that day and the imprisonment of their spirits, disobedient as they were then, till eternal judgment come. It was a singularly hard generation in the days of Noah; and the Lord declared that so it will be also in the days of the Son of man. They were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were given in marriage until the day, that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Alas! Christendom is rapidly becoming as unbelieving as the Jews were when divine judgments befell them all; and both will be surprised when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with angels of His power, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those that know not God and those that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

But even in that day it will be made clearer than ever that without repentance are the gifts and the calling of God (Rom. 11:29). He may repent of making man, and He may on man's self-judgment repent of His threats; but His gifts and His calling are subject to no such change of mind. So at an early day He compelled the wicked prophet to testify on behalf of Israel (Num. 23:19); and so He confirmed by His holy apostle looking to the latter day. He leaves room for the action of sovereign grace at the close of the age. As we Gentiles were once disobedient to God, but now became objects of mercy by their disobedience, so also the Jews were now disobedient to the mercy that has reached the Gentiles in the gospel, that they too, instead of their old pride of law, may be objects of mercy. For God shut up them all (whether Gentile or Jew) into disobedience that He might show mercy to them all.

For the day of Noah the word of judgment goes forth. "And Jehovah said, I will wipe (or blot) out man whom I have created, from the face of the ground — from man to cattle, to reptiles, and to bird of the heavens; for I repent that I have made them. But Noah found favour in the eyes of Jehovah" (vers. 7, 8). For those who believe the language is unmistakable while grace is shown to Noah. Is it possible to use terms more sweeping and unsparing for all that breathes on earth or flies above it? Jehovah deals with the creatures set under the headship of Adam. How blessed to know on an authority equally beyond doubt that the earnest expectation of the creature waits for the manifestation of the sons of God? For this creation was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him that subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God. For we know that all the creation together groans and travails in pain together until now. And not only [so], but even ourselves having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan in ourselves, waiting for adoption, the redemption of our body (Rom. 8:19-23). It is God's honour for Christ in this creation. As man's sin dragged it down with himself into ruin, so shall the Second Man raise it out of its degradation and misery. But the inheritance cannot be delivered before the heirs. Therefore are we now brought by faith of Christ into the liberty of grace, having in Him redemption through His blood, the remission of sins. But we await also the redemption of our bodies, and have meanwhile the Holy Spirit, the witness that we are God's children, and the earnest of the inheritance to come. And the groaning creation longs for that day, which will bring it into the liberty of the glory which Christ will have given us, Himself the Heir of all things, as we are by grace His joint-heirs. It is indeed a joyous prospect, in the midst of present weakness and manifold sorrows, truly a prospect full of glory, and most sure and indestructible, because it rests on the holy basis of Christ, the Worthy One, and of His redemption.

Genesis 6:9-12.

1894 129 Special relationship is now dropt; and we are brought back to the more general dealings of God with man. Hence it is no longer "Jehovah," as in the previous verses of our chapter, but "Elohim" (God) henceforth to the end. The designations employed are therefore completely consistent, and could not be otherwise with propriety. The suggestion of a difference of authorship is not only uncalled for, harsh and barbarous as well as altogether imaginary, but due to a total want of spiritual apprehension; as it arbitrarily conjectures a fortuitous concourse of fragments, and thus loses the profitable design in the same mind adapting the use of each title to the object in view, as each portion or even clause may require.

"These [are] the generations of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in (or among) his generations; Noah walked with God. And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. And the earth was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted its way upon the earth" (vers. 9-12).

Viewed in his relationship and its peculiar obligations, Noah, as we have already observed, "found favour in the eyes of Jehovah." This has its importance. But it is not all. And here we are told of him on the broader ground of the faithful Creator toward all mankind. Noah's piety was recognised as real, but he is also as a righteous man among his fellows. Assuredly so it ought to be always; for the working of the divine nature, of which all born of God partake, is not only upward in dependence and thanksgiving, but vigilantly obedient, escaping the corruption that is in the world through lust. Yet we know too well that failure creeps in too often through lack of prayer and watchfulness. In both respects the record of Noah is excellent.

"These [are] the generations of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect among his generations; with God walked Noah." So it had been said, in Gen. 5:22-24, of that singularly honoured saint Enoch, and with the emphasis of a repeated mention in a list of others where not one but himself was so described. Here it is applied to Noah, already distinguished by his father's prophetic expectation of comfort through him (Gen. 5:29). It is of deep moral interest to note, that the Holy Spirit records the grace Noah found in Jehovah's eyes, before He tells us that Noah was a righteous man, perfect, etc., and walked with God. This is really and emphatically the true order. Even the manner in which scripture presents the account ought to have guarded (Matthew Henry, for instance) from the thought that Noah's character in ver. 9 comes in here as the reason of God's favour to him. Reason of grace! What an idea and expression! Had he forgotten the real truth of grace? Had he not before him the pointed negation of any such thought in the apostle's words in Rom. 11:6? "If it is by grace, it is no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace" (R.V.). His alternative (but how strange for a pious commentator to waver between oppositions!) is alone right: Noah's righteous ways, his walk with God, flowed (as always) from God's favour. O. or N.T. makes no difference as to this, save that the N.T. is most explicit. See 1 Cor. 15:10 expressly; but is it not really so everywhere?

Further, it is not correct to say that he was a just man, that is justified before God. The confusion is similar to what we have already noticed. The grace that justified him wrought in and by him practical righteousness before man. So in the N.T. the doctrine of St. James is no less true than the apostle Paul's. They are not the same; and when mixed together, instead of being distinguished, the result is darkness and error. But apply the latter to what the soul wants before God when arrested about its sins, and "to him that works not but believes on Him that justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness" (Rom. 4:4-5). Whereas in James 2:14-26, where baptised Jews were making Christianity a merely new law and school of dogma, instead of living faith in Christ, the word is "Show me thy faith apart from works, and I by my works will show thee my faith" (ver. 18). The one (in Rom. 4) is justification before God, the root of all; the other is the resulting fruit "shown" before man. Each is indispensable in its place; both united in their season in every true believer. Practical righteousness is the effect, in no way the cause, of justification by faith. Here we are on the ground expressly of Noah in his generations, just, perfect, walking with God. But we know also from Heb. 11:7, that faith was the originating principle through grace of the conduct which distinguished him in that day, by which too he condemned the world as heir of the righteousness that is according to faith.

"Perfect" here simply means as in Job 1:1, 8, Job 2:3, etc., one of integrity or blameless. The evaporation of the old man, or absorption into the new, even with the richest N.T. privileges, is a dream, and a dangerous one.

But "Noah walked with God," as Enoch had before him. And this is a blessed thing for us to learn authoritatively of men far from enjoying much which could only come in Christ and His redemption, and in the Holy Spirit sent forth from heaven. Alas! we all offend in much, as we are told; yet it is inexcusable, for if the flesh lusts against the Spirit, what of the Spirit against the flesh? And are they not opposed, one to the other, that we may not do the thing that we would? The A.V. here is sadly astray, and excuses sin, instead of leaving no room for any such thing.

The three sons Noah begot are again named (Gen. 6:10); and solemnly runs the word: "And the earth was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted its way upon the earth" (Gen. 6:11-12).

Not a word here or elsewhere gives a hint of other gods or of image-worship for the true God. Scripture speaks of that religious abomination only after the deluge. But, apart from it, what floods of corruption drown men! It was so then, and violence too filled the earth. They are indeed the two ruling forms of human iniquity. But bad as the violence may have been, and it was great and prevalent everywhere, the corruption of the earth, and of all flesh in its way, we can read here at least as most of all odious in the eyes of God then.

Noah, we are taught by other scripture, was a preacher of righteousness in that day of universal corruption; but we hear not a word of his voice raised to God in intercession, unless possibly Ezek. 14:14, 20, be supposed to imply it. Certainly the pleading of Abraham, when he knew the impending destruction of the cities of the plain which menaced his kinsman, is touching and instructive. And it is hard to conceive such a man as Noah not deeply moved by the awful fate awaiting an incomparably larger sphere, a world of ungodly.

Genesis 6:13-17.

1894 145 The crisis is fully set in view by divine revelation. When the audacious and unholy mixture to which Jude refers so solemnly was stated at the beginning of the chapter, Jehovah set a term to His Spirit's pleading with man. And fearful consequences ensued, however gratifying to human pride defiant of the warning. "These were the heroes which were of old, men of the name." A mighty impulse was thus given, on the earth, to human iniquity which Jehovah felt deeply; and the sentence was pronounced. "I will wipe out man whom I have created from the face of the ground," as well as the subject creation, but with a careful expression of the favour Noah found in His eyes.

Yet it was important to note, not only the offence and its effects against moral government and special relationship, but for the divine nature the abhorrence of the earth corrupt and full of violence, in contrast with Noah a righteous man, blameless among his generations, walking with God when all flesh had corrupted its way on the earth. This introduces express intimation of the impending destruction for the earth and its guilty inhabitants, and of the means of deliverance for Noah, his house, and the creature, which were thus to be preserved.

"And God said to Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me, for the earth is full of violence through them; and behold I will destroy them with (or from) the earth. Make thee an ark of gopher wood: rooms (nests) shalt thou make in the ark, and pitch it within and without with pitch. And thus shalt thou make it: three hundred cubits the length of the ark, fifty cubits its breadth, and thirty cubits its height. A transparency (or, light)* shalt thou make to the ark, and to a cubit thou shalt finish it above; and the ark's door thou shalt set in its side: [with] lower, second, and third storeys shalt thou make it. And I, behold I, bring the flood of waters on the earth to destroy all flesh wherein [is] the breath of life: all that [is] in the earth shall expire" (vers. 13-17).
{*"Window," as in Gen. 8:6, is quite another thing and word; so too the word in Gen. 7:11. Schultens understands "roof."}

The deluge was not an event according to secret ways in providence, as we may see in the history of Esther, the importance of which is great in itself and profitable for our learning. It was an inflicted judgment which prophecy made known. And it had a character of universality which separated it from other interventions of God, however real and instructive, and made it suitable to compare with the days of the Son of man when every eye shall see Him as well as with the narrower but awful doom of Sodom and the other cities of the plain when it rained fire and sulphur from heaven: "So shall it be when the Son of man is revealed." Hence, as Enoch had already prophesied in that vast sweep which, as given by Jude, embraces the ultimate with the beginning of the series, Noah is made the depositary of the definite accomplishment of what was at hand. The God Who predicts as He pleases, directly or indirectly, is the judge of the suitable occasion; and faith accepts it at whatever time He speaks; but all have not faith. For the believer it is enough for Him to say, Who does these things known from eternity. But He makes known also to His servants, as here to Noah, we have seen, expressly a hundred and twenty years before the place of longsuffering testimony closed: a fact early in the Bible and in God's revealed dealings, as irreconcilable with the, fundamental principle of sceptical criticism (a very moderate leap forward out of actual history), as with the fallacy of professed believers (prophecy only of value when fulfilled). That there should be this early prediction, with so considerable an interval as one hundred and twenty years, is plain in the one case; as in the other the folly of conceiving the profit to be only when the flood came and took them all away.

But we are fallen on evil days when men, bearing the christian name and assuming to enlighten their fellows, are not ashamed to designate the inspired account of the deluge a Bible-legend and a poetic myth, chiefly in deference to the difficulties of physical science and the objections of natural historians. Now it is of all moment to stand firm and unbending in the faith. It is no question of mistakes in copies, in translation, or in interpretation. Poetry and its tropes are not before us, but the language of sober history treating of facts, and of God's declaration in respect of them. "Make thee an ark of gopher-wood: nests (or compartments) shalt thou make in the ark, and pitch it with pitch (or bitumen) within and without. And thus shalt thou make it: three hundred cubits the length of the ark, fifty cubits its breath, and thirty cubits its height. A transparency (or light) shalt thou make to the ark, and to a cubit shalt thou finish it upward; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second and third storeys shalt thou make it" (Gen. 6:15-16). It is the plain, and unvarnished expression of fact. The question is, Are believers to accept unhesitatingly the word of God? Every scripture is inspired of God. This is and ought to be absolutely decisive for all who admit that His authority is in it; as the word will assuredly judge him that rejects both in the last day. He and His word are indissolubly together. Nor is it the chiefs of science who speak thus presumptuously, unless they be also infidel. These influence the incredulous mass and the worldly-minded Christians, who are cowed by their arrogance and are ambitious of standing well with men who despise them and abhor the truth. What is it but a day of rebuke and contumely?

Of this too God has spoken. "We should remember the words spoken before by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Saviour through our apostles, knowing this first that in the last of the days mockers should come with mockery, proceeding after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of His coming? For from the days that the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this escapes them of their wilfulness, that heavens were of old, and earth subsisting by the word of God out of water and in water; by means of which the then world flooded by water perished, and the now heavens and the earth are stored up, being kept for fire against judgment day and perdition of ungodly men." 2 Peter 3:2-7. It is man's will that ignores the deluge, his infidel will in despite of revelation. He hates and dreads God's judgment, as that was the harbinger and witness of a judgment still more scathing and final. As men easily believe what they like, so do they willingly forget and deny what is most repulsive, alas! to their destruction. But thus it is that ungodly Christendom works out against itself the fulfilment of that tremendous day; as the Jews fulfilled the voices of the prophets read on their sabbaths by judging the Judge of Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.

The fact is that the heathen, dark as everywhere they were, ought to put such unbelievers to shame. It would be hard to say what race or land or age, of which we have record, forgot the deluge: so deep and universal was the impression on the dispersed children of men where the Bible alas! was unknown. But the news of that awe-inspiring catastrophe of the world, that then was unexampled in fact since man existed, was carried by the dispersed families of mankind north and south, east and west; they did not forget it, but coloured it by local or national pride in self-flattery. Those disposed to examine the traditions of Egypt (Osiris, or the Sacred Ship, etc.), Greece, Rome, Asia Minor, and elsewhere may find an only too full collection (for fanciful etymology has exaggerated or erred not a little) in J. Bryant's Ancient Mythology. Vol. iii. of the third edition 8vo. is devoted to the subject; as also vol. v. 287-313.

It used to be said that only the Semitic and the Aryan nations handed down the legend of the deluge. Modern research has proved its prevalence equally among the Turanian races. Captain Beechey (Voy. ii. 78) found it among the aborigines of California; Mr. Schoolcraft (Notes etc., 358, 359) among the Iroquois; Sir A. Mackenzie (Travels, ch. xviii.) among the Chippeways; Dr. Richards (Frankland's Journey to the Polar Sea, 73), among the Crees; and Mr. West (Journal 131, 133) on the Red River. So did Mr. G. Catlin (N. American Indians, i. 180, 181, fourth edition) among the Mandans: "That these people should have a tradition of the Flood is by no means surprising; as I have learned from every tribe I have visited that they all have some high mountain in their vicinity, where they insist upon it the big canoe landed" etc. (ibid. 177, 178). Justly therefore has Dr. J. C. Prichard (Researches, v. 361) cited Mr. Gallatin for a judgment among Americans weighty and unprejudiced, that the native traditions had their source "in a real historical recollection of an universal deluge which overwhelmed all mankind in early ages of the world."

Again, Mr. Ellis (Hawaii, 451; Polyn. ii. 57, 58) attests other varieties of the tradition in the Sandwich Islands; and Wilkes (Exploring Expedition) found similar tales at Fiji or Viti.

So with the Araucanians (Molini's Chili, ii. 82). Much to the same effect is given of the Mexicans and those before them by A. von Humboldt from the MSS. of Pedro de los Reos and from Bp. F. N. de la Vega (Researches, i. 96, 320; ii. 23, 64, 65). So he found in Gautemala, and among the tribes of the Upper Orinoco, etc. (Pers. Narr. iv. 470-473). No wonder that he, no hasty generaliser, was constrained to say, "The traditions affecting the primitive state of the globe among all nations present a resemblance that fills us with astonishment. So many different languages, belonging to branches which appear to have no connexion with each other, transmit the same fact to us." See also his "Vues des Cordillères" etc., 226, 227. Caligero (Hist. Mex. i. 204) tells us that the Peruvians preserved the same report, as he says also of the Indians in Cuba; and Nieuhoff (Voyage to Brazil) relates it of Brazilians.

It was not otherwise in Asia: Kotzebue (Sec. Voy. round the world, St. Petersburg, 1830) found the tradition in Kamtchatka. In China the tale is that Fuh-he, their founder of civilization, was preserved from the flood with wife, three sons, and three daughters; in which legend Mr. McClatchie (Journal of Asiatic Soc. xvi. 403, 404) recognises Noah and his family, as Archdeacon Hardwick lets us know in "Christ and other Masters," third ed. 279. The Parsees have their strange version (Anq. Duperron's Zendav. 350-367); the Hindus have theirs in their old Sanscrit epic, as Bopp showed in the part he translated (Diluv. Mahab. 1829); also in their later Puranas, where eight are said to have been saved from the waters (Burnouf, Bhag. Pour. Tome iii. Pref.). There is a third and simpler form in the Yajur-Veda, which with the two others Hardwick cites at length; but the detail is not worth reproducing. So the Mission Field (July 1858) reports that the Dyaks say four couples were saved from the Flood.

If we listen to the ruder voices of Africa, there too, as in Darbin near Darfour, we are told (Bull. Univ., 1830, 127-9) that the traditional story of the deluge lingers. According to it all perished; so that the Great-Great had to create men afresh. Here the traces are faint; but the form is perhaps characteristic. Mercy in God was unknown there. The true God had vanished from their knowledge.

Turning far back, the cuneiform inscription which Mr. G. Smith deciphered gives the legend as written of old in Erech (now the ruins of Warka), (Car. Müll. Frag. list. Gr. ii. 496 et seqq.), confirming what Berosus and Abydenus wrote (Müller's Frag. etc.) as cited by Eusebius (Praep. Ev. 414, ed. F. Viger, Col. 1688), and indeed Josephus (c. Apion. i. 19) only with greater detail. Xisuthrus i.e. Noah speaks of the world's wickedness, the command to build the ark, with its erection and filling, the deluge, the resting on a mountain, the sending out of the birds, etc.

How account for all this mass of tradition converging from of old on one fact of the strangest character, and withal of the nearest and widest interest, varied by the appropriating vanity of race, yet at bottom self-evidently akin? The truth explains it, nothing else. As to the coin of Philip the elder struck at Apamea, Eckhel (Doctr. Numm. Vett. iii. 132-139, ed. sec. Vindob. 1828) refuted Barrington and Jer. Miller in the Archaeologia iv. 315, etc., and strengthens the timid conclusions of the Abbe Barthelemy. He proves that NOOE refers to the patriarch only and without doubt, and that the emblem engraven represents him and his wife, first in the ark with one bird resting on it, and another flying with the olive branch in its mouth; next the same pair out of the ark with the right hand of each extended above in gratitude. From the lines in the Sibylline Books which refer to Ararat and the ark he clearly shows that the medal does not allude to Deucalion, as Falconeri had thought (the Greek form of the story), but to the Mosaic account, only adapted to give lustre to their own city Apamea in Phrygia, formerly called Kelaenae (or near it, Dr. Smith's Dict. of G. & R. Geog. i. 153), and Kibotus, i.e. the word given by the LXX for the Hebrew Tebet or ark.

It is needless surely to plead for Scripture in its moral power and its historic dignity, with characteristic repetition of a touching sort, brief yet committed to details found nowhere else, which would only have been given because they were known to be true and on divine authority. It rises unadorned, adorned the most, above all competition of the glimmering lights in heathendom; though in their measure, and notwithstanding human change, they too testify with unwonted unanimity to that mighty judgment which ushered in the second birth of mankind, followed after no long interval by the lesser but momentous dealing of God which distributed Noah's descendants into their lands, after their tongues, after their families, in their nations.

Genesis 6:18-22.

1894 161 In the face of the coming destruction of the earth's corrupters God is pleased next to indicate His intended use of the ark Noah was directed to build.

"But I will establish my covenant with thee; and thou shalt go into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy son's wives with thee. And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every [kind] shalt thou bring into the ark to keep [them] alive with thee; male and female shall they be. Of the birds after their kind, and of the cattle after their kind, of every reptile of the ground after its kind, two of every [kind] shall come to thee, to keep [them] alive. And take thou to thee of all food that is eaten, and gather [it] to thee, and it shall be for food for thee and for them. Thus did Noah according to all that God commanded him, so did he" (vers. 18-22).

He that walked with God, a righteous man, blameless in his generations, is the object of His care; and God would have Noah to know it, especially when so tremendous a blow was hanging over a careless unbelieving world. Therefore to him that believed does He intimate His intention to deliver himself and his wife and his family in the way appointed. The execution of this was a suited and notable trial of Noah's faith, involving a long time of waiting, continuous labour, and entire but active submission to God's word. Noah had before his spirit habitually, on the one hand, that the world was doomed, and that judgment would fall upon it at God's hand because of its iniquities; on the other, that he and his would without doubt be sheltered from it in the ark, with the creatures needed to renew the world to come after the flood.

It was a dealing most evidently divine in both its parts for destruction and for rescue, and with ample testimony beforehand. "Shall there be evil in a city (says Amos), and the LORD has not done it? Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but He reveals His secret unto His servants the prophets." So it was now when He disclosed to Noah that the waters should overspread the earth, yet with mercy glorying against judgment as ordinarily. No doubt it was an outward temporal judgment of His, as we find even at the fall of man; yet just as there it furnishes principles of the profoundest importance for what is inward and everlasting. Though this last is the gravest beyond question, yet is the former of so much the greater moment, as Christendom has been long prone to forget it or to merge it in the final judgment of the dead. Not so the Lord or His apostles, any more than the O.T. prophets, who constantly urge the judgment of the world (i.e., of living men here below, before He reigns in righteousness over all the earth, and therefore long before the scene of His Great White Throne). In this the unbelief of Gentiles under the gospel is in contrast with that of the Jews under the law, who were apt to overlook the everlasting judgment through preoccupation with the day of Jehovah which shall judge all the heathen and the apostates of Israel. The N.T. reveals the final judgment for the dead, small and great, far more clearly than the older books of Scripture; but it is no less distinct in warning that God commands men that they should all everywhere repent, inasmuch as He has established a day in the which He will judge the inhabited earth by the Man Whom He has appointed, giving assurance to all in that He raised Him from the dead. This is beyond controversy His judgment of the quick, not of the dead; and the deluge is its counterpart, as the Lord shows in Matt. 24, and elsewhere.

It has been supposed by some that Moses introduced previously existing records here and there with that which was more strictly his own. But this is a gratuitous fancy to account for seeming repetitions that occur, or even for what they call discrepancies. Now, to say nothing of the irreverence implied, how vain is the expedient! For the differing accounts are presented by Moses without the slightest comment; which no human historian would think of doing. We can easily understand inconsistent reports in two distinct works. Do they really mean that such a one as Moses from different sources put together in immediate juxta-position accounts which do not tally, either without perceiving their opposition, or indifferent to the perplexity of readers? On their own ground is the hypothesis reasonable? If inspiration be allowed in any real sense, there can be no question.

For the intelligent believer there is, not only not a shade of difficulty, but the evidence of divine wisdom in the design which governs these respective accounts, as in fact all scripture. Take the case before us. It is God as the faithful Creator preserving a line to perpetuate the succession of all flesh, notwithstanding the flood of waters He was about to bring on the earth, when every thing else there akin, in which was the breath of life, must expire. Hence in this point of view, as "Elohim" (God) is required for precision, and not "Jehovah," so of the human family, as well as of the subordinate creatures, we find simply pairs, male and female. We shall find another aspect following, where different thoughts and languages are necessarily employed, in order to convey the truth with divine exactitude. A man left to himself would in all probability have written but one statement, and contented himself with the general fact modified by certain exceptions. God has been pleased to lead His inspired servant to give the double account, so as to mark off that which He ordered according to His rights as Creator from His specific dealings in moral government. This distinction may be trivial in unbelieving eyes; but it is of deep interest and profit to the souls that ponder His word, and learn His mind thereby. Inspiration explains it all, as nothing else can. And if we believe that the scripture is inspired, one can readily understand God using Moses to present both views distinctly; whereas it seems surely a roundabout and cumbrous alternative to imagine two unknown men uninspired to write separately each of these accounts, and Moses as a third, but inspired, editor employed merely to tack them together. The fact is however that those who keenly urge these suppositions betray for the most part their aim and desire to blot out true inspiration altogether, or, which comes to the same result, to allow inspiration only in a sense which leaves out therein divine action and the certainty of truth. For the same men strive to persuade themselves that the accounts contradict one another, that the compiler was so weak as to accept them as consistent and true, and that Christendom has had the narrative in the same easy-going faith, till the self-styled "higher critics" arose to open men's eyes and give them a Bible without God's truth. Such is their "growth" of scripture.

Genesis 7:1-10.

1894 177 The decisive moment and a fresh message now arrived.

"And Jehovah said to Noah, Go (or Come) into the ark, thou and all thy house; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation. Of every clean beast thou shalt take [by] sevens, a male and its female, but of the beasts that [are] not clean two, a male and its female; also of birds of the heavens [by] sevens, male and female: to keep seed alive on the face of all the earth. For yet seven days and I will cause it to rain on the earth forty days and forty nights; and all the living substance that I have made will I destroy (blot out) from off the face of the ground. And Noah did according to all that Jehovah commanded him."

"And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was on the earth. And Noah went in and his sons, and his wife and his sons' wives with him, into the ark, because (from the face) of the waters of the flood. Of clean beasts, and of beasts that [are] not clean, and of birds, and everything that creeps on the ground, went in two [and] two to Noah into the ark, male and female, as God commanded Noah. And it came to pass after seven days that the waters of the flood were on the earth" (vers. 1-10).

A good deal is sometimes made of the word "Come" in the A.V. of ver. 1. This is really beside the mark. The verb may be either, as best suits the context, which is often as here a delicate question if made one. When it means entering where the speaker is, "come" is the more correct in the usage of our tongue; where no emphasis of this kind calls for it, either may be used correctly, as for instance here. Accordingly they are both used freely in translating this and other Biblical Hebrew words into English; and so any special force appears to be inadmissible, except in circumstances which hardly apply to the present case.

Yet we cannot but own the mercy shown to Noah, and for his sake where there could be no personal ground of commendation. All his house benefited by its head. "And Jehovah said to Noah, Go into the ark, thou and all thy house; for thee have I seen righteous before Me in this generation." It was not a small thing to say "righteous before Jehovah," and especially "in this generation," so reprobate as it was already, and so pronounced by Him.

The propriety of the change from Elohim (God) as in the latter half of Gen. 6, to Jehovah (the LORD) here is strikingly and beyond all just doubt confirmed by internal considerations. It is no longer the faithful Creator merely, but special relationship, and ends of a higher and more intimate nature. Hence we have a quite new call to the patriarch as one who had found grace in the eyes of Jehovah and was righteous before Him. "Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee seven, seven, a male and its female, and of the beasts that [are] not clean two, a male and its female; also of birds of the heavens seven, seven: to keep seed alive on the face of all the earth."

Here the distinction, afterwards minutely expounded under the law, first appears, where the special name of Israel's God is introduced: a distinction thus early enforced in the preservation of animals, where the claim of sacrifice was met and the need of suitable food foreshadowed. For only after the deluge was man allowed to eat of flesh without blood (Gen. 9). How exactly this falls in with "Jehovah" speaking requires no argument; not with the shallow and unintelligent supposition of different authors or legends, which explains nothing but only confuses, but with due reverence to scripture and resulting instruction and living interest.

Next, we have Jehovah's considerate care in the notice given of but seven days before the flood, that Noah and his family might the more calmly enjoy their deliverance and the goodness of their Deliverer. The world of unbelievers had refused the warning that sounded through one hundred and twenty years; the seven days' notice was a fresh proof of gracious concern in those that believed. "For in yet seven days I will cause it to rain on the earth forty days and forty nights; and all the living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the ground. And Noah did according to all that Jehovah commanded him." "Forty" appears to be the number of trial or endurance put to the test; as in Moses, Israel, Elijah, Jonah, and Ezekiel (for Judah): so in the legal strokes inflicted on an evildoer, with a limit not to exceed; and so here and such in the Temptation.

The special force of these five verses is the more confirmed by the general statement which follows in vers. 6-10, where "God" appears rather than Jehovah, and consequently nothing of moral relationship in particular. Here we have Noah's age when the flood came — six hundred years; and the entrance of himself and all his house into the ark (Gen. 7:6-7). And this is so true that, though clean beasts are named as well as unclean, and birds, and reptiles, as also going in, but two and two male and female are spoken of "as God commanded Noah" (Gen. 7:8-9), because it is simply in view of perpetuating the race, high or low. "And it came to pass after the seven days that the waters of the flood were upon the earth" (Gen. 7:10). He who enjoyed the favour of Jehovah had the previous communication in grace; none could be unconscious of God's judgment when it came.

Genesis 7:11-16.

1895 193 We have thus had clear examples of God's ways in prophecy; not only a short and precisely marked interval of "seven days" in Gen. 7:10, when the blow was to fall, but this after an amply long warning of "a hundred and twenty years" in Gen. 6:3, when man's days were to close judicially for the world that then was. Both are undeniable on the face of the record: each worthy of Him Who alone could authoritatively utter, as He punctually fulfilled, both. If He executes judgment on a world that hardens itself in iniquity and disbelieves His word, He provides for the display of His mercy toward such as keep His word in faith, and obey Him, as Noah did to the saving of his house.

So, in the downfall sustained by the chosen people at a later day, Isaiah was raised up to warn of the captivity in Babylon, when no ground for hostility was dreamt of on either side, and Judah's king, saved from the great king of Assyria, too eagerly showed the treasures of his house and kingdom to the friendly Gentile envoys. But Jeremiah was given to speak of Jerusalem's ruin then just imminent, and of the exile for 70 years when Babylon should fall and the remnant return. Both prophets wrote to Jehovah's glory in different times, ways, and circumstances; both served to nourish the faith of souls looking to Him out of human elation on the one side or depression, fear, and despair on the other: and both foretold of the final destruction of the power which led the Jews into captivity. The avowed or the insinuated supposition of anything short of distinctly divine inspiration is mere infidelity flowing from the idolatry of the human mind. In the early predictions of the flood, general or specific, it is idle to imagine any historical circumstances of the smallest bearing on either. It was a divine judgment of the world then existing, and no occasion conceivable to account for the limit of 120 years, any more than for the precision; and He Who thus judged and destroyed guilty man was pleased to fix out of His own wisdom both the one and the other. But He did reveal them beforehand to Noah, not for His preservation only during the judgment, but for the comfort and blessing of his soul in the knowledge of His gracious interest and of His righteous ways, and for all believers who should profit by the word afterward. And He is the same God still, only revealed fully in Christ and known by His Spirit sent forth from heaven in such a sort and measure as could not be then.

"In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, and the seventeenth day of the month, on the same day were broken up all the fountains of the great deep, and the windows of the heavens were opened. And the rain was on the earth forty days and forty nights. On the same day went Noah, and Shem and Ham and Japheth, sons of Noah, and Noah's wife and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark; they, and every beast after its kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind — every bird of every wing. And they went unto Noah into the ark, two [and] two of all flesh wherein was the breath of life. And they that came came male and female of all flesh, as God commanded him; and Jehovah shut him in (lit. after him)" (vers. 11-16).

As we have seen the double form of prophecy, more distant and more immediate, and yet both unmistakably of God only, so we have in the great event which befell the ungodly world of that day a stupendous miracle of destruction from His hand which swept away the entire generation of unbelievers, with subordinate creation, from the face of the earth, when man's corruption and violence in the face of testimony from God became insupportable. So tremendous an event is recorded with the utmost precision and solemnity. We are told of it to the year, month, and day, when the judgment was executed. From below as from above, the brief but clear account tells us of what was never before man's creation and has never been since; and we may add on God's assurance, what will never be again, but a still more solemn and significant and all-pervading dissolution of the world. It was no mere question of the clouds or of the sea, as ordinarily. The inspired narrator speaks of quite different and altogether unexampled sources. All the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of the heavens, as the phrase is, were opened. Neither the one nor the other was according to the course of nature God established before or since. This is exactly what makes a miracle evident and impressive; for all admit the regular action of the physical principles by which God orders the universe. But only scepticism is unwilling to own His title, especially in a morally ruined system, to interfere whether in judgment of evil, or in the testimony and triumph of grace: both alike worthy of His goodness and due to His character, fraught too with the richest blessing to His creatures, and subserving His glory.

No doubt it was not ordinary experience, any more than the resurrection of our Lord. It is a question of extraordinary facts proved by adequate testimony and even overwhelming evidence. To set induction from experience against such facts, or indeed any facts, is essentially illogical. "If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater" (1 John 5:9). A miracle has nothing to do with ordinary experience, less even than those primeval and permanent causes of which logic avows it can give no account; yet there they have been from the origin of all things as certainly as the actual sensible course of things which we call experience. They were miraculous, just like the deluge on the one hand, or our Lord's resurrection (as indeed His entire appearing here below) on the other. They are wholly beyond that experience, and above the ken of science; but they are the surest and most momentous of facts; and God has taken care to give His irrefragable witness to them all. The infidel argument begs the question and refutes itself to an honest mind. For it assumes that there is nothing beyond the general laws in ordinary experience; while it is compelled to own that, even for initiating that course of nature, there must have been primordial causes of which it knows nothing and can give no account. How much more was it for God, holy, righteous, and good, to judge iniquity and to reveal grace and truth, yea life eternal in His Son. For "this is the witness, that God gave us life eternal; and this life is in His Son" (1 John 5:11).

The real reason why these illogical reasoners dislike miracles, whether judicial or in grace, is because they dread God, as they must with a bad conscience; and they are too proud to own their sins and he saved through the faith of Christ, Who died for them and rose from the dead. If they refuse to believe now, God will enforce the honour of His Son by their resurrection to judgment executed by Him Whom they refuse now as Saviour.

It is striking to observe how the last touching incident here recorded rises up against the irrational hypothesis of pseudo-criticism. The hypothesis of Elohistic and Jehovistic documents so fails to account for the use of the divine designations, as well as the other phenomena of the text, that they are obliged to imagine another modifying element, which they call "the Priest's Code," and even a redactor of it. But all this is unintelligent jargon which explains nothing, and is as unreliable as the most trifling traditions of the Babylonish Talmud. To the believer the usage of scripture is full of interest and edification. In our chapter Jehovah's care for Noah, with his house, whom He had seen righteous before Him in this generation is attested in the opening verses 1-5. From ver. 6 we have the action of Noah in view of Elohim's word as such, where accordingly the entrance of creatures, clean or unclean, two and two, is named as in Gen. 6; and the more strikingly here, because in the previous verses the clean by sevens had been enjoined by Jehovah as befitted His dealings with His own. The difference is owing to the divine design, however dull we may be in seizing or yet more in expounding it. But ver. 16 is remarkable for its disproof of the dream. For there we read that they went in male and female of all flesh. Now this ought to be, as it is, and only could be accurately, "as Elohim commanded him."

But there is immediately following the words, as if to explode by anticipation the diverse document notion, "and Jehovah shut him in." On the believing view, one cannot conceive any addition more pertinent, beautiful, or consoling. It is the expression of special care on Jehovah's part to the one that honoured Him and was thus guarded peculiarly at that great crisis. In judgment He remembered mercy and provided generally for the preservation of creation; but He had His affections in a closer way for Noah, and, by that divine name which expressed the relationship, He meant to let His people know in His imperishable word that He secured His faithful servant: "Jehovah shut him in." Here the scheme of "higher criticism" not only loses the lesson of His grace, but sinks into puerility. It is well that those who believe should resist and resent these "evil workers;" who appear to be as wholly insensible to the grace of God as to His truth. They as scholars avail themselves of the plea of literary questions to fritter away divine authority, and all that is vital and God-glorifying which is bound up with it. But no faithful soul should be deceived. It is not Hebrew learning which is the point, but the sceptical mania of the day.

Genesis 7:17-24.

1895 209 Next we have the prevalence of the deluge described in language alike simple and impressive; but entirely free from the realistic details of horror in which the moderns delight. The effect was complete over all that breathed on the dry land and over bird life.

"And the flood was forty days upon the earth, and the waters increased and bare up the ark, and it was lifted up above the earth. And the waters prevailed and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark went upon the face of the waters. And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high mountains that [were] under all the heavens were covered. Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered. And all flesh that moved upon the earth expired, bird and cattle and beast and all the creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all mankind: all died which [had] breath of spirit of life, of all that [was] in dry [land]. And every living substance which [was] on the face of the ground from man to cattle and to reptile and to bird of the heavens; and they were blotted out from the earth; and Noah only remained, and what [was] with him in the ark. And the waters prevailed upon the earth a hundred and fifty days" (vers. 17-24).

It was for God now to accomplish His word of judgment: whether or not He caused His wind to blow, the waters flowed. It was no question of His ordinary regulation according to the laws He impressed on creation. His word is paramount. Man must learn that He is, and that He punishes, even in this world where He sees fit, the iniquity that exceeds. He is long-suffering, but He gave thus early a lesson to the ungodly which they can only forget or deny at their peril. "Behold, He breaks down, and it cannot be built again; He shuts upon a man, and there can be no opening. Behold, He withholds the waters, and they dry up; also He sends them out, and they overturn the earth." No doubt there were the deceived and the deceivers then, as at other times, who had to learn, whatever their pride or indifference, that they were His Who stood by His warnings and dealt publicly with all that despised Him and them. With Him is strength and wisdom, whereof destruction and death say, We have heard its fame with our ears, if it is hid from the eyes of all living, and kept close from the bird of the heavens. For man, behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding!

God has let us know the process of the deluge, as well as the destruction outside and the deliverance for all within the ark. In vain does the writer of the "Genesis of the Earth" seek to transfer the catastrophe to the low lands of the Euphrates and the Tigris, where an inundation of fifteen cubits would little affect the earth in general or its denizens. This is to overlook or disbelieve "the mountains of Ararat" (Gen. 8:4), where the ark rested when the waters were abating. Its chief peak, being 17,000 feet above the sea, may give some notion of the appalling fact. For forty days was the flood i.e., the extraordinary outburst from beneath and from above (vers. 11, 12), which bore up the enormous structure of the ark upon the face of the waters; and the waters so prevailed that "all the high hills that were under all the heavens were covered." This seems naturally to go beyond Ararat; yet if even its highest peak were far beneath the water, what then for the earth? "Fifteen cubits upward did the water prevail; and the mountains were covered."

As the apostle Peter comments, "the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished"; so here the narrative has every mark of truth without exaggeration or the least approach to imaginative colouring. The universal death which suddenly befell every living creature of the land or the air, is vividly set before the reader; no less than the security of Noah alone and those with him in the ark. It is childish and sinful to cavil at the destruction of the lower creation, which had already been subjected to vanity through the fall of its head. And now that man's wickedness called aloud for divine judgment, the birds and beasts share his ruin on earth. Yet even in this the goodness and the wisdom of God secure the victory in due time. For if the creation fell with the first man, what joy to know in God's word that all its groaning awaits the triumph of the Second man when the manifestation of the sons of God takes place! For as surely as through Adam's transgression it was plunged into sighs, and travails in pain together until now, so surely will the Last Adam appear, when it also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God. Christ, besides being Firstborn from the dead, the Head of the church, is also First-born of all creation, its Chief, and Heir of all things. And He died to reconcile, not all believers only, but all things unto Himself, whether things on the earth or things in the heavens. As the word of God is pledged, so His return will vindicate the word and display the reconciliation in power.

Genesis 8:1-5.

1895 225 Thus was the ante-diluvian world purged of its abounding and flagrant evils by divine judgment: the standing witness and warning of another judgment which impends over the habitable earth. There were two witnesses then, first Enoch, then Noah, each with his own characteristic points of difference, both concurring to announce judgment about to fall on the ungodly while living here below. So it will be in the day when the Son of man is revealed (Luke 17:30).

How deeply and universally the judgment of the quick is overlooked in Christendom! It may be said that it is attested in the creeds; and this is true. But even when the creeds were composed, the truth had faded distressingly; and their recital seems to have been an effort to preserve it from utter ruin through the ever rising flood of failure in faith, of worldly ways, and of heterodoxy on every side. Even then all distinctness was lost, no less than the living power was dwindling. For we can read how the baptised were already mixing up the judgment of the quick with that of the dead, because the Lord is to judge both; and no wonder, for they were far and wide substituting the error of a general resurrection for a resurrection of life and a resurrection of judgment, with the millennial reign between them. Such confusion is an error which in itself tends to destroy enjoyment of gospel deliverance and of eternal life as present facts, to darken the proper hope of Christ's coming to receive us for the Father's house, and to frustrate all testimony to His world-kingdom when He returns with power and glory. There is little of truth left by this desolating scheme, harmless as it may appear to men who are not thoroughly subject to the written word — little more than the person of Christ, which may be and is seen truly (thank God) notwithstanding, but which cannot exercise His full power over souls, where there is feeble entrance by faith into His work.

Hence the importance of appreciating the deluge as God's then judgment of living man on the earth and of the creation subject to him there. It was used by the prophet Isaiah (Isa. 54) for Israel's comfort; for they must experience Jehovah's face hid from them in overflowing wrath for a moment, before His everlasting kindness rests on them — a state which is in no way true of them yet. So did the Lord compare the days of Noah with His coming or presence as Son of man to introduce the kingdom of the heavens, not in mystery as now, but manifestly over the earth (Matt. 24:37, Luke 17:26). And the apostle of the circumcision does not fail to illustrate and enforce his rebuke of the mockers at the close of the days by a solemn application of that divine intervention (2 Peter 3:4-7). But the Judge stands before the doors. Jehovah's end will be seen, that He is full of pity and merciful; and so we find the faithful Creator here.

"And God remembered Noah, and all that lived, and all the cattle that [were] with him in the ark; and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters subsided. And closed were [the] deep's fountains and heaven's windows, and the rain from the heavens was restrained. And the waters returned from off the earth continually (going and returning); and the waters were abated at he end of a hundred and fifty days. And the ark rested in the seventh month, on [the] seventeenth day of [the] month, on Ararat's mountains. And the waters were abating continually (going and abating) until the tenth month: in the tenth, on the first of the month, were the mountain tops seen" (vers. 1-5).

Here again we see, as in every previous instance, internal evidence of the Holy Spirit's design in speaking of God (Elohim) rather than Jehovah. It is the general care of Him Who had created all; and hence every living thing and all the cattle are remembered along with Noah. We have not here specific relationship, where "Jehovah" (LORD) would be requisite and in keeping. So it was in describing the divine action of bringing on the flood; here, of removing the infliction for His creatures that were preserved. Thus God remembered all, and God made a wind to pass over the earth; and the waters subsided, and the extraordinary stores from below and from above were closed, and rain was restrained. It is thus simply God's way generally from chaps. 7:17 to 8:19 inclusively. From Gen. 8:20 we have special relationship, and Jehovah is at once introduced with the strictest propriety. The notion of distinct authorship is merely the device of blind men groping in vain. The same writer was led to vary the expression of the divine name, exactly as the change of subject required. The design of the Holy Spirit is therefore completely lost by the dream of distinct documents and authors, where this change of title ensues, which involves also new associations and different terms, which they in their ignorance work into their hypothesis. To the believer in true divine inspiration the design of God is thus made apparent, instructive, of deep interest, and of no little fruit. On the unbelieving hypothesis all is reduced to barrenness from Dan to Beersheba.

Genesis 8:6-12.

1895 241 Another step was now taken by Noah after the tops of the mountains were seen. God had given necessary warning to save life, but exercised his dependence and patience abundantly.

"And it came to pass at the end of forty days that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made. And he sent forth the raven; and it went forth, going to and fro until the drying of the waters from off the earth. And he sent forth the dove from him, to see if the waters were abated [become light] from off the face of the ground; but the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and returned to him into the ark, for the waters [were] on the face of all the earth. And he put forth his hand and took her and brought her in to him into the ark. And he stayed yet other seven days, and again he sent the dove out of the ark; and the dove cane to him at eventide, and behold the leaf of olive fresh plucked [was] in her mouth; and Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth. And he stayed yet other seven days, and sent forth the dove, which returned not again to him more" (vers. 6-12).

We may easily gather from scripture that "forty" is habitually used, days or years, for a term of trial, both O. and N. Testaments furnishing instances. So it would seem to have been here. And temptation must be borne, not evaded; as we have the assurance not only that God will not suffer us to be tempted above what we are able, but that He will, with the trial, make also the way of escape that we may be able to endure. So here after duly waiting Noah opened, not the light or roof, but the window of the ark, and sent forth the raven, which kept going to and fro till the waters were dried up from off the earth. He also sent forth the dove. In this case it is added to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground. The raven and the dove were true to their habits. The unclean bird found congenial food in that scene of desolation, and sought no more an entrance into the ark, content with what death provided everywhere. The bird of associations afterward so hallowed found no rest for the sole of her foot, and returned to Noah and to the ark, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth; and he put forth his hand, and took her, and brought her to him into the ark. This was conclusive. They must still wait. The historic facts seem to be comprised here; and their design is evident.

But without contending for a type more or less faithful, we may readily admit the moral instruction derivable from the description. The raven is notorious for its restlessness and its voracity, as the dove for its harmlessness and expression of love; the one prohibited from the Israelite's use, as the other was expressly fit, not merely for his food, but for a burnt sacrifice to be offered to Jehovah, and in certain cases as a sin offering also. There is surely nothing far-fetched in observing how the unclean nature finds its satisfaction without where death reigns; while that which is clean returns to the shelter of the ark, first, without a sign of life, next after seven days more with a freshly plucked olive leaf in her beak, the pledge of coming "fatness" wherewith God and man are honoured, making man's face to shine. Plainer if possible is the result after seven days further; for the dove, when sent forth, could find rest for the sole of her foot in the renewed earth, and returned not again to him more. The dove, strong of wing to flee from that which was out of harmony with her pure and gentle nature, had now a sphere which attracted her; and Noah could not but draw the right conclusion.

So it is in a far more serious region. Those that are according to flesh do mind the things of the flesh; as those according to Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace. Nor is there any difficulty in apprehending this; because the mind of the flesh is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be; and those that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye, said the apostle to the saints in Rome, are not in flesh but in Spirit, if so be that God's Spirit dwells in you. And there He is given to dwell, as had been shown in a preceding part of the Epistle, where souls justified by faith have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. They are justified in the power of His blood, and are anointed of the Holy Spirit accordingly to have His objects theirs henceforth.

Genesis 8:13-19.

1895 257 Life is not all, nor life amply secured in the face of death and desolation all around. This the ark had been, not only to Noah and his house, but to every living creature which found shelter within. The power of death, the judgment of God, had fallen unsparingly on all that breathed outside; but the grace that provided salvation was equally evident. And the word of God was no less simple, intelligible, and in fact understood by all that believed it. Those who discredited the warning of God were the witnesses of its truth when the flood came and swept them all away. The waters of Noah did go over the earth, as surely as they shall go over it no more. A still more terrible destruction awaits it, however long it may seem to linger. The heavens and earth that are now by His word are kept in store, reserved for fire against a day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. The one is as certain as the other. But we according to His promise look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwells righteousness.

Meanwhile it never was the mind of God that there should be life only, but liberty. Life out of death ushers into liberty. Christ not only quickens and shelters, but this as a preparation for the freedom of grace. With freedom He set us free. Flesh had long been tried under the legal task-master; and it had been demonstrated that its mind is enmity against God. But now that there is life, after death and judgment have done their worst on Him Who is risen out of both, there is liberty also for the regenerate.

But it is beautiful to note how Noah can wait. Many days had passed before he opened the window of the ark; many more while he tried the condition of the renewed earth by the messengers he sent forth repeatedly, and not in vain. A further step was now to be taken in the spiritual intelligence given to him.

"And it came to pass in the six hundred and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth. And Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and, behold, the face of the ground was dried. And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dry" (vers. 13, 14).

His faith had been tried not a little, but the prospect was comforting even from the first. "The face of the ground" was dry when he looked; and after near two months more "the earth was dry." But if thus and rightly exercised and comforted, he still waited on God's word to go out, as he went in at His word. He will not hasten in the impetuosity of nature and its self-confidence; he depends on God and obeys His word; and the word in due time was given, as it ever is to those who look up to Him.

"And God spoke to Noah, saying, Go forth out of the ark, thou and thy wife, and thy sons and thy sons' wives with thee: all the animals that are with thee of all flesh, among bird and among cattle and among every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth, bring forth with thee, that they may swarm on the earth and be fruitful and multiply upon the earth. And Noah went forth and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives, with him: all the animals, all the creeping things, and all the birds — every thing that moves upon the earth after their families, went forth out of the ark" (Gen. 8:15-19).

Now comes the faithful word of God to His waiting and watching servant: how welcome to the prisoner of hope! It is the type of those preserved through the great hour of temptation which shall come upon all the habitable world to try those that dwell on the earth. Hence it is referred to in that part of our Lord's great prophecy which sets out a future remnant of the chosen people left for blessing, when the Lord comes in power and glory to establish the kingdom of God publicly here below, on the cutting off of His open enemies. So also we find it in Luke 17 where our Lord contrasts God's kingdom as a matter not of show but of faith, as it was then and is now, with that public display and resistless power in the day when the Son of man is revealed.

On the other hand, when Christ's coming to receive His own to Himself for the Father's house on high is brought before us, it is after the pattern, not of Noah passing through the scene of judgment, but of Enoch translated to heaven before the time of trouble came, as we may see in 1 Thess. 4:16-17. So, in Rev. 4 and onward, the symbol of the heavenly redeemed is above, around the throne during the entire period of the judicial dealings of God, which have for their object to put the Lord in actual possession of the inheritance earthly as well as heavenly. Even in that solemn time mercy will rejoice against judgment, and there will be prepared on earth multitudes of the spared (Rev. 7, Rev. 14) from not Israel only but all the Gentiles, to welcome the returning Son of man; as others slain for their faith (Rev. 6, Rev. 13, etc.) will be raised from the dead before His world-kingdom begins, to reign with Christ no less than those caught up before (Rev. 20:4). There must be a fit condition for men on earth, whether of Israel or the nations, as He has the glorified in heaven. And when the kingdom comes in manifest power and glory, the merely animal creation is to rejoice; and indeed all that is now travailing and groaning through the fall of its head. How beautifully this suits the glory of the Second man needs no argument, however offensive to rationalists, who never rise above the first man.

Genesis 8:20-22.

1895 272 Hitherto the account throughout this chapter, as also much the greater part of the preceding, has been general history: all since Gen. 7:6, save the beautifully appropriate exception of the last clause of Gen. 7:17. Now, as in that exception, special relationship is meant to be put forward, and Jehovah appears, rather than Elohim, in the close of chap. 8, as in the opening of chap. 7. Never was a weaker effort to account for the use of the divine names than the fancy of two distinct writings joined into one, never a scheme more utterly unproductive of good fruit. Who was ever helped thereby to a ray of light divine? What holy affection was ever exercised by it? Its direct and inevitable tendency is to destroy reverence for the sacred letters, and to undermine the Lord's authority Who declares that Moses wrote of Him, not the mythical legendists of rationalist imagination. Accepting the scripture as God-breathed, we may easily and surely learn the propriety of the change of designation in the verses before us, and the enhanced value which the name here employed imparts. "And Noah built an altar to Jehovah, and took of every clean beast and of every clean bird, and offered burnt-offerings on the altar. And Jehovah smelled the odour of rest. And Jehovah said in his heart, I will not any more again curse the ground on account of man, for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; and I will not any more again smite every living thing as I have done. Henceforth all the days of the earth, seed and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night, shall not cease" (vers. 20-22).

After such grave and long detention, with death and desolation all around in judgment executed on bold and open sin, the natural impulse would have been to build a house for himself and houses for his sons. But as Noah had found grace in the eyes of Jehovah, so he remained righteous before Him; and his first thought, on emerging with all entrusted to his care from the ark, was to own Jehovah and His grace sacrificially. This needed no fresh commandment. It had already received His signal recognition from the beginning, when Abel, just because he had faith, approached Him with the slain firstling and its fat, and Cain was rejected, because he rose not above the religion of nature. There was no sense of sin in himself, nor of grace in God reigning through righteousness to eternal life through the coming Saviour.

Noah perceived now the fit provision of the seventh clean beast and bird. He saw by faith that it could only be rightly for an offering to Jehovah. The seventh was not one of a pair: how suitable for presenting on the altar! And so he took of "every clean beast and of every clean bird." It had thus a far larger range than Abel's; appropriate as his was for one coming to God by faith. Nor was Noah's any more than Abel's a sin-offering. What then suited was a burnt-offering. It was of a sweet savour, or savour of rest, and of course propitiatory; but here there was no question of individual acceptance as in Abel's case. It was no less a righteous ground for presenting the renewed earth to Jehovah. No such position was taken by Adam when set in Paradise. It was exactly right and due to Jehovah now, that man and every living creature and the earth might be before Him in the sweet savour He smelled: the witness of an infinitely efficacious offering whereby Christ in His death would reconcile all things. Now came, it would seem, the fulfilment of Lamech's word in calling his son Noah, This same shall comfort us concerning our works and concerning the toil of our hands, because of the ground which Jehovah has cursed (Gen. 5:29). Only Christ coming in power will remove the curse; but Noah brought in meanwhile alleviation and comfort for man in his toil.

Nor was this all; "Jehovah said in his heart, I will not any more again curse the ground on account of man, for the thought of man's heart is evil from his youth; and I will not any more again smite every living thing as I have done." How blessed was the effect even of this witness to the great Sacrifice! Compare Gen. 6:5-7. When Jehovah saw, not the sacrifice, but man's wickedness great in the earth, and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart only evil continually, it grieved Him in His heart, and He said I will destroy man, etc. Now when He (according to the gracious language of scripture) smelled the savour of rest, He said in His heart, I will not again any more curse the ground, nor smite any living thing, for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth. Sacrifice made the difference, bringing Christ's death before Him as it should be later. And grace could flow righteously even then. Man was no better in himself; but here the chief of the new world acts in faith, and God answers in grace on this righteous ground. The earth was to be spared. During all its days the seasons should follow, not in the fulness that Christ will impart when He reigns over it, but adequately; seed time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. And so it has ever been, though many wilfully forget why it is, less grateful than the ox which knows its owner, or the ass which knows its master's crib.

Genesis 9:1-7.

1895 289 From the specific dealing in the last section of chap. 8, on the ground of burnt offering with its savour of rest, which necessarily brought in the name of "Jehovah," we return in chap. 9 to the general ways of God, of "Elohim," till the special blessing of Shem requires "Jehovah" toward the close of the chapter. The propriety of the usage in each case is apparent and undeniable. It has no reasonable connection with the fancy of distinct authors or legends, but is founded on the exigencies of the truth and the exactitude of inspiration. Interchange of the name in any case would touch, not of course the substance of the facts, but the moral perfection conveyed by their due occurrence.

"And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them, Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. And fear of you and dread of you shall be upon every animal of the earth and upon every bird of the heavens, with all that moves [on] the ground, and with all fishes of the sea: into your hand are they delivered. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you: as the green herb I give you every thing. Only flesh with its life, its blood, ye shall not eat. And surely your blood [that] of your lives will I require: at every animal's hand will I require it; and at man's hand, at the hand of each [the blood] of his brother, will I require the man's life. [Whoso] sheds the man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed; for in God's image made he the man. And ye, be fruitful and multiply; swarm on the earth and multiply on it" (chap. 9:1-7).

Such is the tenure of man and the lower creation in the world that now is, in marked distinctness from the world that then was, when Adam was set up as head of the race in Eden. It was conferred dominion then for man made in God's image, after His likeness — dominion over fish of the sea, and over bird of the heavens, and over cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth. Now it was a fallen world, and the fear and the dread of those blessed by God and charged to replenish the earth were to be upon every beast and bird with reptile and fish. The creatures were delivered into men's hand. Sin pervaded, and God took it into consideration as an existing fact which could not be ignored; as we saw just before in its proper plane, where sacrifice intervened, spite of the evil in man's heart and its imagination from his youth.

But if God now first gave every moving thing that lives to be food for man (Gen. 9:3), as freely as green herbage had been originally given to beast and bird and reptile (Gen. 1:30), there was marked restriction put on the blood. Of this man was not to eat (Gen. 9:4). It was the life, and this God reserved for Himself. The liberty for animal food to man's use made the divine claim more conspicuous. Life belonged to God; and woe be to those that despise or defy His rights. It is the condition of a fallen world, and God is a Preserver, or a Saviour, of all men as says the apostle, especially of those that believe. He governs in His providence. It is no longer the dominion given by the Creator. Now He licenses, and He prohibits.

For this reason God stringently guards human life and death. The very governing authority placed in man's hand would soon be misused and perverted by his will without the fear of God; and rivers of blood would flow, not merely through lawless corruption and violence as before the deluge, but by ambitious kings and governors after it. Therefore does God in His prescient wisdom and considerate goodness declare from the starting point of the new tenure, "Surely your blood [that is] of your lives will I require; at every animal's hand will I require it." Specially of course would He require the life of man at man's hand, even at the hand of each man's brother (Gen. 9:5). And this is set on its sacred and sound principle in Gen. 9:6; By man should his blood be shed who shed man's blood; for in God's image did He make man.

The image of God expresses man's place and responsibility of representing God. Man alone has that image generally, Christ of course specially and alone perfectly and pre-eminently. It is not His likeness; for alas! man lost this by sin and begat in his own likeness, however grace might act as it does by faith to God's glory. But His image, even when fallen as here, man retains; and the man who slays another (save by competent authority) is guilty of denying God's right in this respect; which we see here that God asserts with the utmost plainness, precision, and solemnity. The murderer meddles not merely with man and injures him to the last degree, but he also defaces God's image by killing a man, and God sentences him to die. Murder is unwarrantable assumption of what belongs to God. In no other way but by death of the murderer is God's honour vindicated, and God's will maintained. Men may have decreed otherwise; but they that do so are flying in the face of Him from Whom* they derive their own title to govern. For here it is laid down before separate nations began, and before His special legislation for Israel where it was guarded with minute care, and not least in the exceptional case of manslaughter. To Noah was said what binds all mankind since the deluge.
{* Hence judges or magistrates were in Hebrew called "Elohim," gods, as in Ex. 21:6, 22:6, 9; and so it should be in Ps. 82:1, 6, if not elsewhere. Thus is indicated with marked force and impressiveness their derivation of authority from God, Whose representatives they are responsibly in their office: a truth forgotten and derided in these days of profane blasphemy. But God is not mocked, and will soon send the Lord Jesus to avenge His injured name, whether on those who prostitute it or those that speak evil of dignities He has ordained in external things.}

Notwithstanding all He foresaw of rebellion and bloodshed, God repeats in Gen. 9:7 His word to men, "Be fruitful and multiply; swarm in the earth and multiply in it." This they have assuredly done.

Genesis 9:8-11.

1895 305 Thus the situation is entirely new. It is governmental distinctively, and therefore wholly different in this from the world before the deluge. Life is guarded solemnly as that which belongs to God, and may not as the rule be taken from a fellow-man without the forfeit of his that took it. It is not a sinless state like Adam's in Paradise. Innocency lost is lost for ever, however grace may step in, and by the Second Man replace all in due time by a new and holy creation, Himself being both Creator and new-creator, as He became the sacrifice which vindicated God as to evil and was the basis of the good that should abide for ever.

But man meanwhile had government in his hand. The fear and the dread of him, in a sinful world where man was now called to govern, should be on all the subject creation, the flesh of which, not the blood, was now to be his food, given henceforth as freely by God, as before was the seed-producing herb and the fruit-bearing tree. But the sacredness of life is all the more maintained. Whoso shed man's blood, by man should his blood be shed. Details were not given; but God established government, as a root-principle, in man's hand, responsible to him as from Him he received the charge.

It is the blessing of God, Preserver of all men, especially of faithful. Through one man sin had entered into the world, and death through sin; and so death passed unto all men, for that all sinned. Yet the sacrifice which faith offered, God accepted, looking on to Him Whose sacrifice of Himself would be the crowning completion of His will, and the savour of everlasting rest. Even now He could, would, and did bless the delivered Noah and his sons. But all creation was delivered afresh to man; the new warrant had government inscribed also, with the licence and the restriction man is called to own responsibly to God. Nothing can modify this rightly, nothing justify neglect or forgetfulness.

"And God spoke to Noah and to his sons with him, saying, And I, behold I, establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you; and with every living soul that is with you, in bird, in cattle, and in every animal of the earth with you, of all that go out of the ark to every animal of the earth. And I establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood, neither shall there be a flood any more to destroy the earth" (vers. 8-11).

Here again we may observe that it is "Elohim" Who blessed (Gen. 9:1), and spoke (ver. 8); nor could it with propriety be any other designation. "Jehovah" would have been entirely out of place. For, far from being an occasion for the expression of special relationship, the object before us is of the most comprehensive character. It is the Creator Who is declaring Himself the Preserver of all here below, notwithstanding the imagination of man's heart evil from his youth, which had so recently resulted in the universal destruction of all on earth outside the ark. God could and would and did bless on the footing of sacrifice provisionally till the infinite sacrifice, in virtue of which would come in the new heavens and new earth, save for such as despised it and so justly perishing both here and hereafter in that day. In all this unfolding of His mind about the earth and man upon it unrestrictedly, it is exactly God, "Elohim," which is requisite, to the exclusion of "Jehovah," which first reappears in the momentary introduction of His peculiar relationship with Shem (Gen. 9:26), where only and precisely it is demanded, whereas "Elohim" is immediately resumed with Japhet, who enjoyed no such special place, but only providential dealings of an external kind.

Here accordingly God establishes His covenant with Noah and his sons on a footing which ignores all question of the soul or moral considerations. Where these enter as at the close of the chapter, the divine title is changed in harmony with what is revealed. But in the previous portion all is general as expressly as possible. God never forgets His rights as Creator and Preserver; and even when our blessed Lord brought out heavenly and eternal things, He was far from teaching us to despise the birds of the heaven or the lilies of the field, or God's care in either case. Their Creator and Preserver was our heavenly Father, without Whom not even one sparrow falls upon the earth. No doubt the Christian is called to things higher beyond comparison; but God did not omit to testify and teach His people His mind as to the least of His creatures in the Law, the Psalms, and the Prophets, of which last the closing verse of Jonah is not the least remarkable. And the New Testament is quite as clear as the Old in keeping before us the blessed deliverance which He will surely effect for all the creation groaning and travailing in pain together until now. It waits for the manifestation of the Second man, Head over all things to the church which is His body. For when Christ, our life, shall be manifested, then shall we also with Him be manifested in glory.

Meanwhile God Who remembered not Noah only but every living thing and the cattle with him in the ark, covenants not only with Noah and his sons and with his seed after them, but with every living creature, cattle, bird, and beast; and He so establishes His covenant as to cut off from every heart that trusted in Him the least fear of destruction of all flesh by a deluge any more, or of any such dealing with the earth. Without such a covenant, what could guilty man expect but repeated strokes of the same judgment which had just taken them all away? Would not old sins renewed and fresh sins added provoke like punishment? Not so; God's covenant with man and the earth interposes absolutely. "I have sworn that the waters of Noah shall no more go over the earth." He will certainly judge and destroy otherwise, as He warns elsewhere; but it was no small comfort, when the world that now is began after the deluge, that God assured their trembling hearts against a blow so naturally and justly to be dreaded.

Genesis 9:12-17.

1895 321 Genesis 9:1-7 set out the blessing of God pronounced on Noah and his sons for the world that now is. Man henceforth was allowed animal food, yet forbidden to eat blood due to God; and government was put for the first time into man's hand for the protection of human life and the vindication of God where it was taken. Now Gen. 9:8-11 give the covenant God established with mankind and every creature set under man: the largest covenant God ever made, and still subsisting under a merciful pledge that cannot fail. Neither the one nor the other applied to the ante-diluvian earth. In the verses that follow (12-17) God deigns to give a sign or token of His covenant with the earth. Of a covenant with Noah we first hear in Gen. 6:18.

"And God said, This [is the] sign of the covenant which I set (give) between me and between you and between every living soul that is with you for everlasting generations: my bow I have set in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of covenant between me and between the earth. And it shall come to pass when I bring clouds over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud, and I will remember my covenant which is between me and between you and between every living soul among all flesh; and no more shall the waters become a flood to destroy all flesh. And the bow shall be in the clouds and I will look upon it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and between every living soul of all flesh that is upon the earth. And God said to Noah, This [is the] sign of the covenant which I have established between me and between all flesh that is upon the earth" (vers. 12-17).

It is an unprofitable question, seeing that scripture has not furnished adequate evidence to decide it absolutely, whether the rainbow was then seen for the first time, or had been familiarly known to the early ages. One can readily conceive that the Creator may have reserved it for the days of Noah: a slight physical disposition could have hindered the phenomenon. But the language seems rather to favour the inference that, often as it may have been noticed before, God took it up now and established it as a covenant sign between Him and the creatures here below for everlasting generations. The least that can be drawn from the words is that God was now, since the deluge, pleased to graft on it a new and merciful meaning. For men might well tremble after that tremendous catastrophe when dark clouds veiled the skies, and the rain fell in torrents, and tidal waves rose overwhelmingly. An accusing conscience would the more loudly speak of what had been shortly before experienced so disastrously. Man naturally looks for it that what once was will surely recur; and the more if old sins still prevailed, and new evils sprang up.

Hence the immense comfort which God's goodness pledged in the bow He set in the cloud.* It is not seen as the rule unless there be rain, of course; and it is only seen when the sun shines brightly at one's back from the opposite quarter of the sky. Thus no sign could be more appropriate. If the rain might awaken fears, the gorgeous bow was entitled to calm them; for God Himself thus deigned to assure man of His unfailing covenant. Indeed the accuracy is the more remarkable, as its terms run, "It shall come to pass when I bring clouds 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 soul among all flesh." For "rain" does not seem absolutely indispensable, but "cloud" is. So Col. Sykes, treating of the Meteorology of the Deccan (Phil. Trans. 1835), describes a rainbow which he saw from the top of a perpendicular precipice, among the Ghauts, overlooking the Concan, on a fog cloud. "A circular rainbow appeared, quite perfect, of the most vivid colours, one half above the level on which I stood, the other below it. Shadows in  distinct outline of myself, my horse, and people, appeared in the centre of the circle, as in a picture to which the bow formed a resplendent frame." The same witness describes a white rainbow which he saw in a fog bank near Poonah: "Suddenly I found myself emerge from the fog which terminated abruptly in a wall some hundred feet high. Shortly after sunrise I turned my horse's head homewards, and was surprised to discover in the mural termination of the fog-bank a perfect rainbow, defined in its outline, but destitute of prismatic "colours." Such a white rainbow has been seen by other travellers, and in other lands; but it is not so uncommon as with the usual colours on a fog-cloud. But all attest the faithfulness of God even if man forgets its meaning. "No more shall the waters become a flood to destroy all flesh."
{* Readers of the Iliad will not have forgotten the remarkable allusion in Lib. xi. en nephei sterize teras meropon anthropon.}

And how affecting the condescension of the words that follow! "And the bow shall be in the cloud, and I will look upon it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living soul of all flesh that is upon the earth." It was much that man should see it: how gracious that God too would look on! Nor is this all; but it is added, "And God said to Noah, This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between me and between all flesh that is upon the earth." How good is the God we adore! Such repeated assurance is only the more to be prized by vain forgetful man.

Genesis 9:18-19.

1895 337 But there dawns another dealing with mankind, ere long to be consummated by a most striking act on God's part, here marked in an initiatory way as characteristic of the earth since the flood. We need not therefore do more at this point than present a few remarks as general as the text. In due time we may dwell particularly when details come before us.

"And the sons of Noah that went out of the ark were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth. And Ham is father of Canaan. These three [are] sons of Noah; and from these was all the earth overspread" (vers. 18, 19).

We have already remarked on the principle of government introduced for the first time. Life, man's life, was a sacred thing. It came from God in a way altogether peculiar, as was made known from the outset in Gen. 2:8. Man alone became a living soul by the inbreathing of Jehovah Elohim; other animals without any such immediate association breathed through their organisation according to His will. Adam's sons were of Adam naturally, yet inheriting the relationship which Adam had of God differently from all other creatures here below. He, and his alone, had consequently an immortal soul. But to Noah and his sons emerged from the ark there was laid down the root of government, without defining those forms which developed later, all of which have the sanction of His providence.

When the free use of the lower creatures of God was granted, beast of the earth, bird of the air, fish of the sea, every moving thing that lives was to be food for man. As the green herb, God gave all, save the blood, its life, which was not to be eaten: a most significant and instructive reserve, owning Himself the sovereign source of life. Still more solemnly does He speak of man's life. "And surely your blood, [that] of your lives will I require, 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 sheds Man's blood by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made He Man." We repeat it, because of its signal and abiding importance; and the more so, because other and inferior grounds are often allowed to take the place of divine right with which nothing else can compare.

This, followed up by the covenant with man and the subject creation, and sealed with its appropriate sign of mercy, was settled before attention is again drawn to the three heads of Noah's race, "Shem and Ham, and Japheth," in the same order as before (Gen. 5:32, Gen. 6:10, Gen. 7:13). Now, there is an ominous addition, "and Ham is the father of Canaan." This receives a speedy comment in the sad incident and yet more in the solemn prophecy that follows to the end of the chapter; it not only reverberates through the Old Testament as a whole, but will be only consummated in that kingdom which awaits the Anointed of Jehovah, when all the earth shall be filled with His glory, and the knowledge of it, as the waters cover the sea. The zeal of Jehovah of hosts shall perform this, as surely as His fire is in Zion and His furnace in Jerusalem.

Next, we read "these three [are] sons of Noah; and from these was all the earth overspread." The last word first indicates that which has been proceeding ever since. There is no sufficient ground to affirm it of the ante-diluvian earth. What strikes one more perhaps is to see how slowly it was carried out after the deluge. Indeed, whatever the causes which acted on men to hinder the plan of God, it soon was plain that mankind resolved on a united community, and not only to congregate together, but to build a city and a tower with its head aspiring to the heavens, and to make a name to themselves lest they should be scattered over the face of the whole earth. This, we are assured, only brought out divine power and wisdom on God's part, not merely in frustrating their vain purpose, but in the accomplishing of His will that they should overspread the earth. He judged their self-exalting folly by breaking the bond which knit them together, and by introducing in the simplest and surest way a separative principle He compelled them to scatter, abandoning their unfinished tower, the abiding monument, not of man's union for strength and fame, but of God's pouring confusion on self-will to its shame. A vast deal more was done by God's interposition, as will appear in due time; but this much may be stated here on the overspreading of all the earth, without anticipating the surprising details that are to follow. As ever, fallen man cared not for God's will — had pleasure in his own will. God was in none of his thoughts, but self which always exposes to some fresh and ruinous device of the great enemy.

Genesis 9:20-25.

1895 353 In these verses we see the fall of him to whom primarily government was committed by God. Noah failed to govern himself by his abuse of God's creature, and gave occasion to such sin in his family as brought in a special curse there; instead of making good comfort "for our work and for the toil of our hands." It is the sad and familiar story of the first man; directly he is put to the proof, he breaks down. Nor does the evil terminate with himself. The vilest can see it and despise the guilty, where love would cover a multitude of sins. How deep the ruin where the shame of the father drew out only the contempt of son and grandson! But God is not mocked; and His moral government fails no more than His grace, which answers every failure of man by some better thing in His goodness and wisdom, while He judges impenitent wickedness as it deserves.

"And Noah began as husbandman (a man of the ground); and he planted a vineyard; and he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent. And Ham, father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without. And Shem and Japheth took the garment and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward and covered their father's nakedness; and their faces [were] backward, and their father's nakedness they saw not. And Noah awoke from his wine and knew what his younger son had done unto him" (vers. 20-25).

It is not merely the fall of a righteous man, and its wholesome warning for all time; for scripture does not withhold the profit from any. But there stands the humbling fact. God reveals the truth without respect of persons. Man was no sooner put to the proof, in the new trial to which he was subjected, than he is seen breaking down in the very point which he was responsible to maintain intact before God and his own fellows. Government over life and death was entrusted by God to his keeping; and he to whom the trust was first made was beyond comparison the most suited by piety and by experience. Yet the next fact recorded of him is that, doubtless through self-indulgence and unwatchfulness, he not only sinned himself, but brought God's ordinance of government into flagrant dishonour. And the sin and dishonour wrought not godly sorrow but contempt in his own household. His younger son Ham was as insensible to God's glory as to what was due to his father, even in such calamitous circumstances; he only manifested the wickedness of his own heart by the unfeeling mockery he put on Noah, and the ready desire to spread his father's shame and ensnare his two brothers. Their reverence was as plain as Ham's impiety, who forgot to whom he owed his life as well as his preservation from the deluge.

But God is not mocked by the sinner any more than He forgets a work of love shown to His name. And it was a work of love which the two brothers did, roused to it all the more through the graceless hardness of their own near kin. Yet what sorrow must have filled their hearts, when their piety compelled them to turn their backs on him to whom ever before they justly looked up with constant affection and honour and gratitude. And this, not only in requital of his fatherly care, but as a righteous man, perfect in his generations, who walked with God, when all flesh had corrupted its way upon the earth.

Thus, if man quickly fell, and shamefully, where we might have least expected it, and, as far as he was concerned, tarnished irreparably from the start the new and honourable commission with which he was invested, God did not fail, even when it wrought disastrous effects where it ought not, to work in His goodness the beautiful activity of His grace. And we shall see in due time that the ways of His moral government meanwhile are no less perfect. The wicked and scornful son reaped the fruit of his evil in his own offspring Canaan; as the reverent modesty of Shem and Japheth was remembered in their posterity. Salvation is of grace, and cannot fail, because it is the work of God in Christ where all is infallibly secured to His glory. Even where salvation may not be, God puts honour on obedience and respect paid where it is due. Scripture often indicates this, conspicuously in the Rechabites whom the God of Israel brought before the prophet (Jer. 35) to reprove disobedient Judah. Therefore, when Jehoiakim Josiah's son was disgracing both God and his father, Jonadab, Rechab's son, should not want a man, Gentile though he was, to stand before Him for ever.

But whether among the righteous or among the unrighteous every thing opposed to God's nature and word bears its consequence Nothing is slighted by Him. And a time of evil is just when fidelity to His will becomes all the more imperative for those who love Him; while its prevalence encourages the evil-minded to become more indifferent and abandoned. Without faith it is impossible to please Him; for he that comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him. And there is no real believer who does not begin and go on with that self-judgment of himself and his ways before God which scripture calls repentance.

Genesis 9:25-29.

1895 369 Humiliating as the fall of Noah was, far was he from being forsaken of our faithful God, Who knows how to restore and can make even the weakest to stand. When restored, Noah had fresh honour put on him. We may be assured that the righteous man deeply judged himself, and not the less because it gave occasion to Ham's impiety, if it also brought out the reverent sorrow of Shem and Japheth. There was no waiting in their case as in Jacob's for the Spirit of prophecy on his dying bed. It would seem to have ere long followed that event in his circle which led to the striking prediction here given. It is the first prophecy properly so called which man was given to utter recorded in Genesis. The word given in Gen. 3:15 is of a yet higher nature. It was worthy of Jehovah Elohim to make known, in judging the old Serpent, His gracious purpose in the woman's Seed. Nor is the poetic strain of Lemech to his wives more than typical of the future, though most interesting in that way. Here it is strictly a prophetic prayer.

As Peter, honoured among the twelve, was reinstated after his still more grievous and inexcusable sin, so was Noah given to present the broad outlines of what should befall his sons throughout the ages, yet in an aspect precisely suiting that government of man on earth, which he was the first to exercise, and which God would sustain notwithstanding the fault of its representative. Enoch was inspired to prophesy in a wholly different vein of the judgment which the Lord, when He comes with myriads of His saints, will execute on all the ungodly here below. This, however surely uttered at that early day, and appropriate then, was fittingly reserved for its best place of permanent record and warning in the Epistle of Jude. But that of Noah is just where it should be no less certainly, and of a character and scope exactly in keeping with the context.
"And he said, Cursed [be] Canaan; and he said, Bondman of bondmen be he to his brethren.
Blessed [be] Jehovah God of Shem, and Canaan be bondman to him;
God enlarge Japheth, and let him dwell in tents of Shem,
And Canaan be bondman to him" (vers. 25-27).

Appearances were long as usual against the truth. Experience seemed to favour the sons of Ham. His grandson Nimrod, as we know from the next chapter, "began to be a mighty one in the earth." "He was a mighty hunter [or plunderer], before Jehovah." It became a proverb. Wherefore it is said, Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before Jehovah. Babel, that ominous tower of confusion, was the beginning of his kingdom, and his kingdom did not stop there. No doubt an evident curse, which none could deny but an infidel, fell on Canaan, when because of their enormous wickedness the guilty cities of the Plain were destroyed by fire out of heaven. But even this was far from being an event of Noah's age, nor growing out of a condition of things yet existent, nor affording any such contact with the then circumstances as rationalists pretend prophecy requires. There was of course a true link which the Holy Spirit saw between Ham's sin, and his descendants' corruption; but it was in no way the mere immediate fortune-telling to which this deplorable unbelief would pervert the prophets. Still less can it be said of Canaan reduced to the lowest bondage, as when Israel took possession of the land of promise. Yet scripture is plain that both the curse and the blessing are not complete till Israel re-enter the land under Messiah and the new covenant, to be rooted there and blessed as long as the earth endures. "And in that day there shall be no more a Canaanite in the house of Jehovah of hosts."

Undoubtedly for the earth, and God's government, Shem has the richer promise, as that day will establish and proclaim. But all history even in the past attests God's enlarging Japheth, the great coloniser of the earth, and in the strongest contrast with Shem as to this. For he was not only to spread nationally as Shem never was, but to dwell in Shem's tents. Europe and the north-east of the old world sufficed not, nor yet the new world of America, Australia, etc., but he must also encroach on Shem's tents in the east. So it was to be, according to this earliest oracle; and so it has been to the letter, as no foresight of man could have anticipated. This closes the divine account of Noah: "And Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years; and all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years, and he died" (Gen. 9:28-29).

The reader may note the exquisite propriety of "Jehovah the God of Shem" in Gen. 9:26, and of "God" only in Gen. 9:27 for Japheth, where enlargement in providence is meant rather than the promised blessing of special relationship with Himself. And here is an internal ground, in addition to grammatical reason, against the idea, which many like the late Mr. S. Faber adopted, that the same verse means (not Japhet's, but) God's dwelling in Shem's tents. Had this been intended by the Spirit of God in Noah, would it not have been said Jehovah Elohim, rather than simply Elohim?

The Early Chapters of Genesis (10 - 11).