Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

3 And the LORD said, • My man, " for that he also is flesh: Spirit shall not always strive with yet his days shall be an hundred

and twenty years.

• Gal. 5. 16, 17.

1 Pet. 3. 19, 20.

d Ps. 78. 39.

corrupt the good than the good reform This acceptation of the original word, the bad. Those that profess them- however is not sustained by adequate selves the children of God hould not authority, though adopted by Pagninus marry without his consent, which they and favoured by Grotius. The renderhave not if they join in affinity with his ing which we have given above is by enemies.' Henry.

far the most probable, implying that 3. The Lord said ; i. e. to himself, pur- the spirit of God speaking by the minposed, resolved. - My Spirit shall istry of such prophets as Enoch and not always strive with man. Heb. Noah, as well as by his inward opera377983 shall not judge, i. e. contend in tions on the conscience, should not aljudgment, as the word signifies Eccl. 6. ways strive to bring men to repentance. 10, 'Neither may he contend (757) A parallel mode of speech we find Neh. with him that is mightier than he.' As 9. 30, ‘Yet many years didst thou for. if he should say, 'My Spirit shall not bear them, and testifiedst against them perpetually keep up the process of judg- by thy Spirit in lhy prophets : yet ment, rebuke, conviction, and condem- would they not give ear. The lannation.' The ancient versions vary guage plainly implies that ample time considerably in their mode of render and opportunity had been already afing. The Gr. translates it, 'My Spirit forded for this purpose, “the long-sufshall not continue in these men.' Chal. fering of God had waited,' but all to "This evil generation shall not continue no effect, and now an end is determined before me for ever, because they are to the divine forbearance. Still, as the flesh, and their works most wicked; justice of heaven is reluctant to take its and an end shall be given unto them, course, it shall not be immediately exean hundred and twenty years, if per-cuted; a limited respite is granted, haps they may be converted.' The which, once expired, no farther indul. Septuagint translators appear to have

gence

shall be shewn. taken the original 1777 yadon as a verbal derivation from the noun 17; neder, There is a time, and Justice marks the date; a sheath ; so that the true sense will be, Por long.forbearing Clernency to wait ;

That hour elapsed, th' incurable revolt My Spirit shall not for ever be ensheathed in man;' that is, The vital is punished, and down comes the thunder

bult.'--Corper. breath with which I inspired him shall not for ever animate its sheath of clay. This passage should be viewed in conThis phraseology is somewhat striking-nection with 1 Pet. 3. 18-20, from ly illustrated by the following lines which we learn that it was no other from a Persian historian said to have than the Spirit of Christ that through been spoken by a philosopher to Alex- the instrumentality of the pious patriander the Great.

archs preached to the disobedient spirits

of the old world. We may be remindDost thou not know that man's exterior formed by the narrative (1.) That nothing Is but the scabbard to the enlivening mind? Why shouldst thou judge then of the weap. God than fleshly lusts. (2.) Every

more effectnally grieves the Spirit of on's edge Wnen yet you've nothing seen except the fresh indulgence of sin is a new resist

case ?-Anç. Unip, Hisi, vol v. p. 138.' ance against God's strivings. (3.) When

4 There were giants in the men, and they bare children to earth in those days; and also af- them: the same became mighty ter that, when the sons of God men, which were of old, men ot came in unto the daughters of renown.

the Spirit of God is resisted, his calls come. God will so lemper his judg
become less and less sensible, till he ments with mercy, and the sino
is finally quite withdrawn. (4.) When ner such warnings and such opportuni.
God strives no more, then men rush ties of securing his favour, that the
headlong into sin and ruin. How much judgment when it comes shall find
reason have we all to pray, 'Lord, take him without excuse. Let us hear then,
not thine Holy Spirit from us.' and fear, and break off our sins by
& For that he also is flesh. Chal. 'fur righteousness.
that they are flesh, and their works 4. There were giants in the earth in
evil.' Had the sons of God kept them- those days. A term descriptive proba-
selves separate, and preserved their pu- bly not so much of great strength and
rity, God would have spared the world stature as of great cruelty, rapine, and
for their sakes, but they mingled 10- violence; though the first, as a second-
gether, and became in effect one people. ary sense, may still be included. Heb.
God, therefore, seeing they had become ad nephilim, fallers, i. e. apostates
virtually one, called them all by one fullen from Gud and the true religion,
name, and that is man (07& Adam), and by violence and cruelty falling
without distinction, and in giving the upon iheir fellow-men, injuring their
reason why his Spirit should not al- 1 persons, and invading their rights; usur-
ways strive with man, special reference pers, oppressors, tyrants, monsters of
is had to their having become degener- wickedness and lust, as well as of enor-
ate. It was 'for that he also, or these mous stature. They are otherwise
also, were fesh'; i. e. e. n his own and elsewhere termed Anakim, Reph-
professing people, those who had been aim, Gibborim : thus Nimrod, Gen.
denominated and deemed the 'sons of 10. 8, is called Gibbor ; i. e. a mighty
God,' even they too had become fleshly, one, a giant. By the Greeks, this class
corrupt, profligate. The original is of men are termed Gigantes, from {wo
peculiarly emphatic, as if such a result words, signifying to be born of the earth ;
would not have been to be wondered at

a term from which we learn both the in regard to the Cainites, but that it origin and the import of the English was matter of astonishment and re

word 'giant.' The giants of the an. gret that the pious stock of Seth should cient mythology are fabled 10 have have thus greivously apostatised ; but sprung from the earth, from some broseeing that they had in fact joined ken traditions respecting these antedithemselves to the opposite party and luvian apostates, who in the sense of become the promoters of the general being earthly, sensual, vile, despising iniquity, they must expect nothing else heavenly things, might be justly dethan to share in the bitter consequences. nominated 'earth-born.'

There are Men are worse than others just in pro- more frequent allusions to them in the protion as they onght to be better, and are original Scriptures than are obvious in dealt with accordingly.-- Yet his our translation, or any other. Thus, days shall be an hundred and twenty Prov. 9. 18, speaking of the young man years. The allotted term for repententiced into the abodes of the adulterance before the day of vengeance should I ous woman, 'He knoweth not that

[ocr errors]

5 s And God saw that the nation of the thoughts of his heart wickedness of man was great in was only evil coniiuually. the earth, and that every e imagi

ech. 8. 21. Deut. 29. 19. Prov. 6. 18. Matt. 15. 19.

the dead (Heb. the giants, the Reph- these apostate 'sons of God' are intendo aim) are there;' i. e. he does not con- ed by the sacred writer in the term sider that it was by this sin that the angels,' 2 Pet. 5. 4, who are often renowned rebels before the flood per- styled ' Elohim.'- - And also after ished, and that he is in danger of meet- that when, &c. Heb. ‘And even after ing the same fate. Prov. 21. 16, 'He it was so that the sons of God went in,' that wandereth out of the way of un- &c. This implies that the result of derstanding. shall remain in the con- such marriages disappointed previous gregation of the dead,' (Heb. of the expectation; that although the song giants ;) i. e. shall be in imminent peril of God' might have flattered themselves of being joined to that wretched society. with the idea of exerting a predominant Prov. 2. 18, · The house of the strange influence of a religious kind upon their woman inclineth unto death,' (Heb. un- wives, and of begetting and rearing up a to the giants.) Again, Job 26. 5, 'Dead godly seed, yet the experiment was unthings, (Heb. the giants, Rephaim,) are successful. The children when grown forined under the waters and the inhab-emulated not the virtues of their fathers itants thereof.' This conveys no in- but the vices of their mothers, and thus telligible meaning. It is probably more the race of giants was perpetuated. correctly rendered by the Lat. Vulgate, The same became mighty men, which "The giants groan (Heh. shake, or were of old, men of renown. Heb. tremble) under the waters with the 0721 Gibborin and Du 38 anshe inhabitants thereof.' The clew to tliis shem, men of name. The contrary is to be found in the fact, that it was phrase occurs Job 30. 8, 'base men.' this class of men, who were buried in Heb. "men of no name.' The words the waters of the deluge, and whose spir- denote a class of men who had made its, i. e. shades, manes, were supposed, themselves famous with after ages by in popular estimation, to be imprisoned their exploits, by their deeds of violence, in the caverns of the earth. It was to robbery, and wrong. With this repute these spirits that Christ, by his Holy had their characters been handed down Spirit, preached during their lifetime, 10 posterity. If we are not mistaken, 1 Pet. 3. 19. Farmer supposes that the passage conveys an intimation that the Apostle James, in saying, "The these antediluvian giants and heroes were devils (Gr. demons, i. e. spirits of dead the principal personages of the ancient men) believe and tremble,' alludes to heathen mythology, celebrated by this very passage of Job. The conceit | the poets. However this may be, they of the Grecian poets, that earthquakes' were men that became renowned in were occasioned by the attempts of the popular estimation for their deeds of giants to shake off the mountains that prowess, oppression, and blood, and were heaped upon them, owes its origin it is but little to the credit of humanity to the same source, viz. the traditions that such characters have been the prinrespecting the fate of the antediluvian cipal themes of historic record and rebels, who after death were held to be worldly admiration in all ages. incarcerated for their crimes in the sub- 5. God saw that the wickedness of lerranean regions of the earth. It is man was great on the earth. Every supposed by some that no other than thing in the narrative is so framed as 6 And 'it repented the LORD | earth, and it 6 grieved him at his that he had made man on the heart.

f See Num. 23. 19. 1 Sam. 15. 11, 29. 2 Sam. 24. 16. Mal. 3. 6. Jam. 1. 17.

& Isa. 63. 10. Eph. 4. 30.

to vindicate the judgment of God in the Had it been drawn by the pen of a prefcarful proceeding soon to be detailed. judiced erring mortal it might have been The drift of these words is evidently to supposed to exceed the truth. But this show, that it was not from a slight is not the testimony of man, but of God cause or a hasty impulse that the des- who sees things precisely as they are, truction of a world was determined and his infallible declaration is, that the upon. As the result of a deliberate sur thoughts of man were evil without exvey, and not of a superficial glance, ception, without mixture, and without God saw that the earth had become intermission replete with wickedness, and therefore 6. It repented the Lord. As it is said ripe for a curse. Had the sins of men 1 Sam. 15. 29, “The strength of Israel been of the mere ordinary stamp, or will not lie nor repent; for he is not a had they been local and limited in their man that he should repent;' it is obviprevalence, they might have been par- ous that we are not to ascribe to an doned; but as it was, they were at immutable mind the fickleness that once enormous in degree and universal belongs to man, nor to suppose that the in extent. What more could be neces- omniscieni Jehovah was really disapsary to justify the extremest rigour in pointed. This and similar expressions the sentence of the Judge ?- - And are taken from what passes among that every imagination, &c. Heb. men when they are disappointed in their my 32 the whole fabrication or for- expectations and endeavours. As a mation. The term is that which is potter finding that a vessel which he usually applied to the work of the pot- has formed with the utmost care does ter. The language of Paul, Heb. 4. 13, not answer the desired purpose, reis probably equivalent; "Neither is grets his labour, and casts out of his there any creature that is not manifest sight the worthless object, so God, main his sight.' Gr. Kilois creation, for- king use of language accommodated to mation, i. e. of the heart. The church our feeble apprehensions, represents being thus corrupted and in a manner himself as repenting and being grieved lost to the world, there was nothing left at heart that he had bestowed upon to resist the torrent of depravity. This, man so much labour in vain. As a it would appear from the picture here general rule, wherever repenting' is drawn, had now attained its highest attributed to God, it implies not a real piich. The words, we apprehend, are not in ward change in his feelings and purto be understood as originally descriptive poses, but simply a change in his disof the general state of the human heart, pensations towards his creatures, in though in this view but little abatement view of some previous change in their is to be made from the assertion, but conduct towards him. Thus it is said of the race of men then living; and the 1 Sam. 15. 10, 11, Then came the sense is, that the wickedness of men word of the Lord unto Samuel, saying, had become so great in the earth that It repenteth me that I have set up Saul the very intents, and thoughts, and to be king; for he hath turned back purposes of the heart were only evil from following me, and hath noi percontinually, But the portrait, though formed my commandments.' Here the appalling, is doubtless no more than just. I effect follows the cause. 'Repentance

7 And the Lord said, I will for it repenteth me that I have destroy man whom I have created made them. from the face of the earıh; both 8 But h Noah found grace in man and beast, and the creeping the eyes of the LORD. thing, and the fowls of the air;

Luke,

h ch. 19. 19. Exod. 33. 12, 13, 16, 17. 1. 30. Acts, 7. 46.

with man,' says an old divine, 'is the impressive to Israel, "his sons, and his chunging of the will; repentance with daughters, and his oxen, and his asses, God the willing of a change.' In this and his sheep, and his tent, and all that case the very same principles which he had,' were brought forth and stoned would lead him to reward and bless the and burnt with him. obedient, would lead him also to pun- 8. Noah found grace in the eyes of ish the perverse and rebellious. The the Lord. That is, obtained favour. words before us express, with an ener- Chal. 'found mercy before the Lord.' gy and impressiveness which probably in the worst of times there are still nothing purely literal could have con- some who find favour in the sight of veyed, the exceeding sinfulness and God, who stand up as witnesses for provoking nature of sin.

him in the midst of their generations, 7. And the Lord said. Purposed and upon whom his eye is set for good. within himself. - I will destroy. As grace in the Scriptures is uniformly Heb. Ohne I will blot or wipe out. opposed to works and to debt, Rom. 11. The same term occurs 2 Kings, 21. 13, 6.--4. 4, the impurted and distinguishAnd I will wipe (anna) Jerusalem ing favour of God must be recognized as a man wipeth (19h) a dish, wiping it as the primary ground of Noah's ac(rinn) and turning it upside down. ceptance. Yet this truth is not to be How strikingly does this set forth the held to the disparagement of his own aggravation of sin, that it should be free, active, and exemplary obedience represented as extinguishing the pater- in the discharge of every duty. Upon nal kindness of God towards his crea

the character of Noah here given we ture, and causing him to say as on anoth- may observe, that while it is painful to er occasion, Is. 27. 11, 'It is a people of find but one family, nay, it would seem no understanding; therefore he that but one person, out of all the professed made them will not have mercy on

sons of God, who stood firm in this them, and he that formed them will evil day, yet it is pleasant to find one show them no favour.' Those who do upright man in a generation of the unnot answer the end for which they godly, whose conduct would shine the were created, justly forfeit the existence brighter when contrasted with that of which they abuse. - Both man and the world about him.

It is a great beast. Heb. ‘from man unto beast;' matter to be faithful among the faithi. e. beginning with man I will extend less. With all our helps from the socithe destruction unto beasts. Asthe ani-ety of good men, we find it sufficiently mal tribes were made for man's use and difficult to keep on our way; but for an as a kind of appendage to him, they are individual to set his face against the to be involved in his calamities. Man's whole current of public opinion and sin brings ruin upon his comforts as custom, requires and implies great well as upon himself. Thus when grace. Yet that is the only true religion Achan had transgressed, Josh. 7. 24, which walks as in the sight of God, ir. in order to render his punishment more respective of what is thought or dona

« AnteriorContinuar »