« AnteriorContinuar »
B. C. 4004.
The creation of fish,
fowls, and reptiles. A. M. 1. forth abundantly the d moving crea- | 22 And God blessed them, saying, B.CM4064.
ture that hath • life, and 'fowl that Be frutiful, and multiply, and fill may fly above the earth in the 8 open firma- the waters in the seas; and let fowl multiply in ment of heaven.
the earth. 21 And h God created great whales, 23 And the evening and the morning were and
every living creature that moveth, the fifth day. which the waters brought forth abundantly, 24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth after their kind, and every winged fowl the living creature after his kind, cattle, and after his kind : and God saw that it was creeping thing, and beast of the earth after good.
his kind : and it was so.
On August 22, 1792, he found that in forty-one of birds, whether intended to live chiefly on land or minutes of time not less than 258,000 stars had passed in water, The structure of a single feather affords a through the field of view in his telescope. What must world of wonders; and as God made the fowls that God be, who has made, governs, and supports so many they might fly in the firmament of heaven, ver. 20, so worlds! For the magnitudes, distances, revolutions, he has adapted the form of their bodies, and the strucfc., of the sun, moon, planets, and their satellites, see ture and disposition of their plumage, for that very the preceding TABLES.
purpose. The head and neck in flying are drawn Verse 20. Let the waters bring forth abundantly] principally within the breastbone, so that the whole There is a meaning in these words which is seldom under part exhibits the appearance of a ship’s hull. noticed. Innumerable millions of alcula are found | The wings are made use of as sails, or rather oars, in water. Eminent naturalists have discovered not and the tail as a helm or rudder. By means of these less than 30,000 in a single drop! How inconceiva- the creature is not only able to preserve the centre of bly sınall must each be, and yet each a perfect animal, gravity, but also to go with vast speed through the air, furnished with the whole apparatus of bones, muscles, either straight forward, circularly, or in any kind of nerves, heart, arteries, veins, lungs, viscera in general, angle, upwards or downwards. In these also God has animal spirits, &c., &c. What a proof is this of the shown his skill and his power in the great and in the manifold wisdom of God! But the fecundity of fishes little—in the vast ostrich and cassowary, and in the is another point intended in the text; no creatures are beautiful humming-bird, which in plumage excels the so prolific as these. A TENCH lay 1,000 eggs, a CARP splendour of the peacock, and in size is almost on a 20,000, and Leuwenhoek counted in a middling sized level with the bee. cod 9,384,000! Thus, according to the purpose of Verse 24. Let the earth bring forth the living creaGod, the waters bring forth abundantly. And what ture, &c.] 7'n Vad nephesh chaiyah ; a general term a merciful provision is this for the necessities of man! | to express all creatures endued with animal life, in any Many hundreds of thousands of the earth's inhabitants of its infinitely varied gradations, from the half-realive for a great part of the year on fish only. Fish soning elephant down to the stupid potto, or lower still, afford, not only a wholesome, but a very nutritive diet; to the polype, which seems equally to share the vegethey are liable to few diseases, and generally come in table and animal life. The word in'n chaitho, in the vast quantities to our shores when in their greatest latter part of the verse, seems to signify all wild aniperfection. In this also we may see that the kind mals, as lions, tigers, &c., and especially such as are providence of God goes hand in hand with his creating carnivorous, or live on flesh, in contradistinction from energy While he manifests his wisdom and his power, domestic animals, such as are graminivorous, or live he is making a permanent provision for the sustenance on grass and other vegetables, and are capable of beof man through all his generations.
ing tamed, and applied to domestic purposes. Verse 21. And God created great whales] O'n ver. 29. These latter are probably meant by 7277 Ob7207 hallanninim haggedolim. Though this is behemah in the text, which we translate cattle, such as generally understood by the different versions as sig- horses, kine, sheep, dogs, fc. Creeping thing, wo7 nifying whales, yet the original must be understood remes, all the different genera of serpents, worms, and rather as a general than a particular terin, comprising such animals as have no feet. In beasts also God all the great aquatic animals, such as the various spe- has shown his wondrous skill and power ; in the vast cies of whales, the porpoise, the dolphin, the monoceros elephant, or still more colossal mammoth or mastodon, or narwal, and the shark. God delights to show him- the whole race of which appears to be extinct, a few self in little as well as in great things : hence he forms skeletons only remaining. This animal, an astonishanimals so minute that 30,000 can be contained in ing effect of God's power, he seems to have produced one drop of water ; and others so great that they seem merely to show what he could do, and after suffering to require almost a whole sea to float in.
a few of them to propagate, he extinguished the race Verse 22. Let fowl multiply in the earth.] It is by a merciful providence, that they might not destroy truly astonishing with what care, wisdom, and minute both man and beast. The mammoth appears to have skill God has formed the different genera and species been a carnivorous animal, as the structure of the
See on A. M.
A. M. 1. B. C. 4004.
The creation of man
in the image of God. 25 And God made the beast of dominion over the fish of the sea, B.C.4004.
the earth after his kind, and cattle and over the fowl of the air, and over after their kind, and every thing that creepeth the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every upon the earth after his kind : and God saw creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. that it was good.
27 So God created man in his own image, 26 And God said, Let us make man in our m in the image of God created he him; male image, after our likeness : and ? let them have and female created he them.
* Chap. v. l; ix. 6; Psa. c. 3; Eccles. vii. 29; Acts xvii. 26, Chap. ix. 2; Psa. viii. 6.—m 1 Cor. xi. 7.- Chap. y. 2; 28, 29; 1 Cor. xi. 7; Eph. iv. 24 ; Col. ii. 10; James iji. 9.
Mal. ii. 15; Matt. xix. 4; Mark x. 6.
teeth proves, and of an immense size ; from a consi- refers to his soul. This was made in the image and derable part of a skeleton which I have seen, it is likeness of God. Now, as the Divine Being is inficomputed that the animal to which it belonged must nite, he is neither limited by parts, nor definable by have been nearly twenty-five feet high, and sixty in passions; therefore he can have no corporeal image length! The bones of one toe are entire ; the toe after which he made the body of man. The image upwards of three feet in length. But this skeleton and likeness must necessarily be intellectual ; his mind, might have belonged to the megalonyx, a kind of sloth, his soul, must have been formed after the nature and or bradypus, hitherto unknown. Few elephants have perfections of his God. The human mind is still enever been found to exceed eleven feet in height. How dowed with most extraordinary capacities; it was more wondrous are the works of God! But his skill and so when issuing out of the hands of its Creator. God power are not less seen in the beautiful chevrotin, or was now producing a spirit, and a spirit, too, formed tragulus, a creature of the antelope kind, the smallest after the perfections of his own nature. God is the of all bifid or cloven-footed animals, whose delicate fountain whence this spirit issued, hence the stream limbs are scarcely so large as an ordinary goose quill; must resemble the spring which produced it. God is and also in the shrew mouse, perhaps the smallest of holy, just, wise, good, and perfect ; so must the soul the many-toed quadrupeds. In the reptile kind we see be that sprang from him : there could be in it nothing also the same skill and power, not only in the immense impure, unjust, ignorant, evil, low, base, mean, or vile. snake called boa constrictor, the mortal foe and con- It was created after the image of God; and that image, queror of the royal tiger, but also in the cobra de St. Paul tells us, consisted in righteousness, true holimanille, a venomous serpent, only a little larger than ness, and knowledge, Eph. iv. 24; Col. iii. 10. Hence a common sewing needle.
man was wise in his mind, holy in his heart, and Verse 25. And God made the beast of the earth righteous in his actions. Were even the word of God after his kind, fc.] Every thing both in the animal silent on this subject, we could not infer less from the and vegetable world was made so according to its lights held out to us by reason and common sense. kind, both in genus and species, as to produce its own The text tells us he was the work of Elohim, the Dikind through endless generations. Thus the several vine Plurality, marked here more distinctly by the pluraces of animals and plants have been kept distinct ral pronouns US and OUR; and to show that he was from the foundation of the world to the present day. the masterpiece of God's creation, all the persons in This is a proof that all future generations of plants and the Godhead are represented as united in counsel and animals have been seminally included in those which effort to produce this astonishing creature. God formed in the beginning.
Gregory Nyssen has very properly observed that Verse 26. And God said, Let us make man] It the superiority of man to all other parts of creation is is evident that God intends to impress the mind of seen in this, that all other creatures are represented man with a sense of something extraordinary in the as the effect of God's word, but man is represented as formation of his body and soul, when he introduces the the work of God, according to plan and consideration : account of his creation thus ; Let US make man. Let us make Man in our IMAGE, after our LIKENESS. The word ofx Adam, which we translate man, is in- See his Works, vol. i., p. 52, c. 3. tended to designate the species of animal, as inn And let them have dominion] Hence we see that chaitho, marks the wild beasts that live in general a the dominion was not the image. God created man solitary life ; nona behemah, domestic or gregarious capable of governing the world, and when fitted for animals; and un remes, all kinds of reptiles, from the office, he fixed him in it. We see God's tender the largest snake to the microscopic eel. Though the care and parental solicitude for the comfort and wellsame kind of organization may be found in man as being of this masterpiece of his workmanship, in appears in the lower animals, yet there is a variety creating the world previously to the creation of man. and complication in the parts, a delicacy of structure, He prepared every thing for his subsistence, convea nice arrangement, a judicious adaptation of the dif- nience, and pleasure, before he brought him into being ; ferent members to their great offices and functions, a so that, comparing little with great things, the house dignity of mien, and a perfection of the whole, which was built, furnished, and amply stored, by the time the are sought for in vain in all other creatures. See destined tenant was ready to occupy it. chap. iii. 22.
It has been supposed by some that God speaks here In our image, after our likeness] What is said to the angels, when he says, Let us make man; but above refers only to the body of man, what is here said to make this a likely interpretation these persons must
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of what he had made. 28 And God blessed them, and which is the fruit of a tree yielding
God said unto them, •Be fruitful, seed ; ' to you it shall be for meat. and multiply, and replenish the earth, and 30 And to Severy beast of the earth, and to subdue it; and have dominion over the fish every fowl of the air, and to every thing that of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, over every living thing that P moveth upon the I have given every green herb for meat: and earth.
it was so. 29 And God said, Behold, I have given 31 And God saw every thing that he had you every herb a bearing seed, which is upon made, and, behold, it was very good. And the the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
Chap. ix. 1, 7; Lev. xxvi. 9; Psa. cxxvii. 3; cxxviii. 3, 4. xiv. 17.- - Psa. cxlv. 15, 16; cxlvii. 9.- - Job xxxviü. Heb. creepeth. ---- Heb. seeding seed. Chap. ix. 3; Job 41. _u Heb. a living soul.-Psa. civ. 24; Lam. iii. 38; xxxvi. 31; Psa. civ. 14, 15; cxxxvi. 25; cxlvi. 7; Acts 1 Tim. iv. 4.
prove, 1. That angels were then created. 2. That mode of existence, manner of propagation, habits, mode angels could assist in a work of creation. 3. That of sustenance, &c., &c., properly and permanently angels were themselves made in the image and like- established and secured ; for every thing was formed ness of God. If they were not, it could not be said, to the utmost perfection of its nature, so that nothing in our image, and it does not appear from any part in could be added or diminished without encumbering the the sacred writings that any creature but man was operations of matter and spirit on the one hand, or renmade in the image of God. See the note on Psalm dering them inefficient to the end proposed on the viii. 5.
other ; and God has so done all these marvellous works Verse 28. And God blessed them) Marked them as to be glorified in all, by all, and through all. as being under his especial protection, and gave them And the evening and the morning were the sixth power to propagate and multiply their own kind on the day.) The word 37 ereb, which we translate evening, earth. A large volume would be insufficient to con- comes from the root In arab, to mingle ; and properly tain what we know of the excellence and perfection of signifies that state in which neither absolute darkness man, even in his present degraded fallen state. Both nor full light prevails. It has nearly the same gramhis body and soul are adapted with astonishing wisdom matical signification with our twilight, the time that to their residence and occupations; and also the place elapses from the setting of the sun till he is eighteen of their residence, as well as the surrounding objects, degrees below the horizon, and the last eighteen dein their diversity, colour, and mutual relations, to the grees before he arises. Thus we have the morning mind and body of this lord of the creation. The con- and evening twilight, or mixture of light and darkness, trivance, arrangement, action, and re-action of the dif- in which neither prevails, because, while the sun is ferent parts of the body, show the admirable skill of within eighteen degrees of the horizon, either after his the wondrous Creator ; while the various powers and setting or before his rising, the atmosphere has power faculties of the mind, acting on and by the different to refract the rays of light, and send them back on the organs of this body, proclaim the soul's Divine origin, earth. The Hebrews extended the meaning of this and demonstrate that he who was made in the image term to the whole duration of night, because it was and likeness of God, was a transcript of his own ex- ever a mingled state, the moon, the planets, or the cellency, destined to know, love, and dwell with his stars, tempering the darkness with some rays of light. Maker throughout eternity.
From the ereb of Moses came the Epɛßos, Erebus, Verse 29. I have given you every herb--for meat.] of Hesiod, Aristophanes, and other heathens, which It seems from this, says an eminent philosopher, that they deified and made, with Nox or night, the parent man was originally intended to live upon vegetables of all things. only ; and as no change was made in the structure of The morning—p3 boker; From apa bakar, he men's bodies after the flood, it is not probable that any looked out ; a beautiful figure which represents the change was made in the articles of their food. It may morning as looking out at the east, and illuminating also be inferred from this passage that no animal what the whole of the upper hemisphere. ever was originally designed to prey on others; for The evening and the morning were the sixth day. — nothing is here said to be given to any beast of the It is somewhat remarkable that through the whole of earth besides green herbs.—Dr. Priestley. Before sin this chapter, whenever the division of days is made, entered into the world, there could be, at least, no vio- the evening always precedes the morning. The reason lent deaths, if any death at all. But by the particular of this may perhaps be, that darkness was pre-existent structure of the teeth of animals God prepared them to light, (verse 2, And darkness was upon the face of for that kind of aliment which they were to subsist on the deep,) and therefore time is reckoned from the first after the FALL.
act of God towards the creation of the world, which Verse 31. And, behold, it was very good.] 782 210 took place before light was called forth into existence. tob meod, Superlatively, or only good; as good as they It is very likely, for this same reason, that the Jews could be. The plan wise, the work well executed, the began their day at six o'clock in the evening in imitadifferent parts properly arranged, their nature, limits, tion of Moses's division of time in this chapter. Cæsar
the work of creation in his Commentaries makes mention of the same pe- Reader, thou hast now before thee the most ancient culiarity existing among the Gauls : Galli se omnes ab and most authentic history in the world ; a history that Dite palre prognatos prædicant : idque ab Druidibus contains the first written discovery that God has made proditum dicunt : ob eam causam spatia omnis tem po- of himself to mankind ; a discovery of his own being, ris, non numero dierum, sed noctium, finiunt ; et dies in his wisdom, power, and goodness, in which thou and natales, et mensium et annorum initia sic observant, ut the whole human race are so intimately concerned. noclem dies subsequatur ; De Bell. Gall. lib. vi. Ta- How much thou art indebted to him for this discovery citus likewise records the same of the Germans : Nec he alone can teach thee, and cause thy heart to feel its dierum numerum, ut nos, sed noctium computant : sic obligations to his wisdom and mercy. Read so as to constituant, sic condicunt, not ducere diem videtur ; understand, for these things were written for thy learnDe Mor. Germ. sec. ii. And there are to this day ing; therefore mark what thou readest, and inwardly some remains of the same custom in England, as for digest-deeply and seriously meditate on, what thou instance in the word se'nnight and fortnight. See hast marked, and pray to the Father of lights that he also Æschyl. Agamem. ver. 273, 287.
may open thy understanding, that thou mayest know Thus ends a chapter containing the most extensive, these holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee most profound, and most sublime truths that can possi- wise unto salvation. bly come within the reach of the human intellect. God made thee and the universe, and governs all How unspeakably are we indebted to God for giving things according to the counsel of his will; that will us a revelation of his will and of his works! Is it is infinite goodness, that counsel is unerring wisdom. possible to know the mind of God but from himself? While under the direction of this counsel, thou canst It is impossible. Can those things and services which not err ; while under the influence of this will, thon are worthy of and pleasing to an infinitely pure, per. canst not be wretched. Give thyself up to his teachfect, and holy Spirit, be ever found out by reasoning ing, and submit to his authority ; and, after guiding and conjecture? Never! for the Spirit of God alone thee here by his counsel, he will at last bring thee to can know the mind of God; and by this Spirit he has his glory. Every object that meets thy eye should revealed himself to man; and in this revelation has teach thee reverence, submission, and gratitude. The taught him, not only to know the glories and perfec- earth and its productions were made for thee ; and the tions of the Creator, but also his own origin, duty, and providence of thy heavenly Father, infinitely diversiinterest. Thus far it was essentially necessary that fied in its operations, watches over and provides for God should reveal his will ; but if he had not given thee. Behold the firmament of his power, the sun, a revelation of his works, the origin, constitution, and moon, planets, and stars, which he has formed, not for nature of the universe could never have been ade himself, for he needs none of these things, but for his quately known. The world by wisdom knew not God; intelligent offspring. What endless gratification has this is demonstrated by the writings of the most learn- he designed thee in placing within thy reach these ed and intelligent heathens. They had no just, no astonishing effects of his wisdom and power, and in rational notion of the origin and design of the universe. rendering thee capable of searching out their wonderMoses alone, of all ancient writers, gives a consistent ful relations and connections, and of knowing himself, and rational account of the creation ; an account which the source of all perfection, by having made thee in has been confirmed by the investigation of the most his own image, and in his own likeness! It is true accurate philosophers. But where did he learn this? thou art fallen ; but he has found out a ransom. God “ In Egypt.” That is impossible ; for the Egyptians so loved thee in conjunction with the world that he theinselves were destitute of this knowledge. The gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth remains we have of their old historians, all posterior on him should not perish, but have everlasting life. to the time of Moses, are egregious for their contra- Believe on him; through him alone cometh salvation ; dictions and absurdity ; and the most learned of the and the fair and holy image of God in which thou wast Greeks who borrowed from them have not been created shall be again restored ; he will build thee up able to make out, from their conjoint stock, any as at the first, restore thy judges and counsellors as at consistent and credible account. Moses has revealed the beginning, and in thy second creation, as in thy the mystery that lay hid from all preceding ages, first, will pronounce thee to be very good, and thou because he was taught it by the inspiration of the shalt show forth the virtues of him by whom thou art Almighty,
created anew in Christ Jesus. Amen.
The seventh day is consecrated for a Sabbath, and the reasons assigned, 1-3. A recapitulation of the sir
days' work of creation, 4–7. The garden of Eden planted, 8. Its trees, 9. Its rivers, and the countries watered by them, 10–14. Adam placed in the garden, and the command given not to eat of the tree of knowledge on pain of death, 15–17. God purposes to form a companion for the man, 18. The different animals brought to Adam that he might assign them their names, 19, 20.
The creation of the woman, 21, 22. The institution of marriage, 23, 24, The purity and innocence of our first parents, 25.
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The appointment and
sanctification of the Sabbath THUS 'HUS the heavens and the earth / sanctified it; because that in it he
were finished, and all the had rested from all his work which host of them.
God d created and made, 2 And on the seventh day God ended his work, 4 . These are the generations of the heawhich he had made ; and he rested on the sevens and of the earth when they were created, venth day from all his work which he had made in the day that the LORD God made the earth 3 And God blessed the seventh day, and and the heavens,
a Psa. xxxiii. 6.
_ Exod. xx. 11 ; xxxi. 17; Deut. v. 14; Heb.
c Neh. ix. 14; Isa. lviii. 13. Heb. created to make.
i. 1; Psa. xc. 1, 2.
NOTES ON CHAP. II.
sion that he communicates some good ; but when man Verse 1. And all the host of them. The word is said to bless God, we surely cannot imagine that he bost signifies literally an army, composed of a number bestows any gifts or confers any benefit on his Maker. of companies of soldiers under their respective lead- When God is said to bless, either in the Old or New ers; and seems here elegantly applied to the various Testament, it signifies his speaking good to man; and celestial bodies in our system, placed by the Divine wis- this comprises the whole of his exceeding great and dom under the influence of the sun. From the original precious promises. And when man is said to bless word xay tsaba, a host, some suppose the Sabeans had God, it ever implies that he speaks good of him, for their name, because of their paying Divine honours to the giving and fulfilment of his promises. This obserthe heavenly bodies. From the Septuagint version of vation will be of general use in considering the various this place, nas ó koguos avrwv, all their ornaments, we places where the word occurs in the sacred writings. learn the true meaning of the word koguos, commonly Reader, God blesses thee when by his promises he translated world, which signifies a decorated or adorned speaks good to thee; and thou dost bless him when, whole or system. And this refers to the beautiful or from a consciousness of his kindness to thy body and der, harmony, and regularity which subsist among the soul, thou art thankful to him, and speakest good or various parts of creation. This translation must im- his name. press the reader with a very favourable opinion of these Because that in it he had rested] nav shabath, he ancient Greek translators ; had they not examined the rested ; hence Subbath, the name of the seventh day, works of God with a philosophic eye, they never could signifying a day of rest—rest to the body from labour have given this turn to the original.
and toil, and rest to the soul from all worldly care and Verse 2. On the seventh day God ended, fc.) It anxieties. He who labours with his mind by worldly is the general voice of Scripture that God finished the schemes and plans on the Sabbath day is as culpable whole of the creation in sıx days, and rested the as he who labours with his hands in his accustomed seventh! giving us an example that we might labour calling. It is by the authority of God that the Sabbath six days, and rest the seventh from all manual exer- is set apart for rest and religious purposes, as the six cises. It is worthy of notice that the Septuagint, the days of the week are appointed for labour. How wise Syriac, and the Samaritan, read the sixth day instead is this provision! It is essentially necessary, not only of the seventh; and this should be considered the genu- to the body of man, but to all the animals employed in ine reading, which appears from these versions to his service : take this away and the labour is too great, have been originally that of the Hebrew text. How both man and beast would fail under it. Without this the word sixth became changed into seventh may be consecrated day religion itself would fail, and the human easily conceived from this circumstance. It is very mind, becoming sensualized, would soon forget its origin likely that in ancient times all the numerals were sig- and end. Even as a political regulation, it is one of nified by letters, and not by words at full length. This the wisest and most beneficent in its effects of any is the case in the most ancient Greek and Latin MSS., ever instituted. Those who habitually disregard its and in almost all the rabbinical writings. When these moral obligation are, to a man, not only good for numeral letters became changed for words at full length, nothing, but are wretched in themselves, a curse to two letters nearly similar might be mistaken for each society, and often end their lives miserably. See the other ; 1 vau stands for six, i zain for seven ; how notes on Exod. xx. 8 ; xxii. 12 ; xxiv. 16; and xxxi. easy to mistake these letters for each other when 13; to which the reader is particularly desired to refer. writing the words at full length, and so give birth to As God formed both the mind and body of man on the reading in question.
principles of activity, so he assigned him proper emVerse 3. And God blessed the seventh day) The ployment ; and it is his decree that the mind shall original word 773 barach, which is generally rendered improve by exercise, and the body find increase of to bless, has a very extensive meaning. It is frequently vigour and health in honest labour.
He who idles used in Scripture in the sense of speaking good of or away his time in the six days is equally culpable in the to a person ; and hence literally and properly rendered sight of God as he who works on the seventh. The by the Septuagint evhoynoev, from ev, good or well, and idle person is ordinarily clothed with rags, and the leyw, I speak. So God has spoken well of the Sab- Sabbath-breakers frequently come to an ignominious bath, and good to them who conscientiously observe it. death. Reader, beware. Blessing is applied both to God and man: when God Verse 4. In the day that the Lord God made, &c.) is said to bless, we generally understand by the expres- | The word in. Yehovah is for the first time mentioned