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second, it refers to the same creation as that mentioned in chapter first, and like that relates to the female as well as the male; the term man including both. And if it be true that woman was made of the dust, it is not true that she was made of one of the ribs of Adam. And when. it is said that God breathed into man the breath of life, and he became a living soul, the reference is to both. So both were made in the image of God. And when God planted a garden, and placed there the man whom he had formed, the meaning is, that he placed there both the man and the woman. The prohibition was evidently given to both. God called their name Adam (or man) in the day when they were created," v. 2; and of course what is said of Adam, or of man, in these preliminary statements, applies to both; and this fact excludes the idea that woman was made by a process different from man.
396. Again; there is nothing in the connection, where the creation of woman from one of man's ribs is mentioned, to require an allusion to her original creation, but only to the relation she sustained to Adam. Such relation seemed necessary to be understood, to account for man's ready yielding to her solicitations, as well as her subjection to the man alluded to afterwards. And it is this relation, and not her first creation, that we suppose the writer had in view in this passage.
397. We regard the whole of what is here said of the woman, (and we think the naming of the beasts should be included in the same view,) as a divine vision. Explained thus, it is easy to understand it. The deep sleep, brought upon Adam, was not designed, as the common opinion is, that he might not feel the pain of a surgical operation; but it was a requisite condition for viewing, with his mental organs, the instructive scene that was to pass before him. With this view, we suppose the beasts of the field, the fowls of the air, &c., to have passed before him to receive their name; (and in a vision, not unlike a dream, this could be done, in a very brief space, though to do it literally, would require a long period, as well as being altogether unnecessary :) but the whole line of subordinate creatures offers no one
suitable to be his companion. The Lord then takes from him one of his ribs, and makes a woman, or wife, as the word also means, and gives her to him, as a companion. Adam comprehends the purpose of the vision, takes the woman for a wife, calls her name Eve, as about to become the mother of the whole human race, and cherishes her as bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh.
398. It is worthy of inquiry whether the passage itself does not clearly require this construction. "A deep sleep fell upon Adam, and he slept." Is not this plainly tautological? After telling us that "a deep sleep fell upon him," why add, that "he slept." Such an addition is of course superfluous. Ought we not then to understand the term here rendered "deep sleep," as meaning something else or more, than simply sleep. The Septuagint uses a word for deep sleep, that properly denotes an ecstacy or vision; and we find the same Hebrew word employed in this sense in other places. A deep sleep (the same word in the original) fell upon Abram, xv. 12; and while in that state, sundry communications were made to him, a covenant entered into, and the ratifying sacrifices performed.
399. If it be said that woman was made from one of man's ribs, for the purpose of teaching Adam the nature of the marriage relations, (the only reason for the procedure that we can conceive of,) we reply, that a vision, wherein these things were enacted, would be equally instructive, without involving any difficulty or absurdity. That God can perform wonders, by the exercise of his miraculous power, we cheerfully admit that he has done this, in numerous instances, we firmly believe; but that he exercises his power in any extraordinary way, to accomplish an object that can as well be accomplished by its ordinary exercise, we are not at liberty to suppose. We see no reason why the creation of woman should be peculiar, and arrived at by a process entirely unlike the creation of man; and as the passage that seems to set forth such an idea, can be rationally explained in another way, such interpretation ought to be adopted.
SECTION III.-THE TEMPTATION.
400. The nature of the temptation, and the imagery with which it is set forth, we have discussed elsewhere. See 374-389. That our first parents were morally responsible to the Creator- that they could obey or disobey the divine requirements as they pleased that they were tempted and yielded to temptation- sinned and were punished- are the clear and explicit statements of the sacred historian. The account we have of the fall, shows them to have been the exact representatives of men at the present day and of all past days. They were tempted as we are- they were led astray by a similar deception, that there is pleasure in sin, and that punishment is uncertain; and like us, too, they learned, too late, that the way of the transgressor is hard.
SECTION IV. - FAMILY OF ADAM AND EVE.
1. And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.
2. And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
3. And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.
4. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:
5. But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
6. And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?
7. If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest
not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.
8. T And Cain talked with 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.
9. And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?
10. And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground.
11. And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand.
12. When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth. 13. And Cain said unto the LORI
My punishment is greater than I
14. Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me.
15. And the LORD said unto him,
Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him seven-fold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.
16. T And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.
401. The reason why God had respect unto Abel and his offering, was not that one offering was intrinsically better than the other; but because it was prompted by different motives, or was accompanied by a better disposition and character. This is plain from what follows; "If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?" The employment of both was equally honorable, and equally according to divine appointment. Man was to have dominion over the beasts, and he was to cultivate the earth. Abel did the first, and Cain the last. The fruits of the field, therefore, and the firstlings of the flock, were alike worthy of the divine approval. Both are made offerings under the law of Moses.
402. The right of primogeniture is recognized in this passage. Cain, as first born, was permitted to exercise authority over his brother. This afterwards became an established usage.
Abel his brother"
403. "And Cain talked with "Cain said to Abel his brother" There is evidently an omission in the Hebrew; but the Greek version supplies it thus; - And Cain said unto Abel his brother, Let us go into the field. The passage then proceeds as in our version.
404. The voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground. Had not Cain sought to conceal his murderous act by burying his victim in the ground? and was not the language of God accommodated to this circumstance?
405. The punishment of Cain was, that he should be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth. These two words, fugitive and vagabond, have nearly, if not exactly, the
same meaning, and are here combined, according to a Hebrew idiom, for the sake of emphasis. The intention is to show how great a vagabond he would be; in other words, how forlorn and wretched would be his condition. He would be cursed from the earth, or by the earth the earth would curse him - it would not yield unto him its strength; not that it would not bring forth its productions because he cultivated it; but because his vagabond and wandering life would not permit him to be sufficiently permanent to cultivate it and reap its fruits.
406. The mark placed upon Cain has puzzled interpreters. Some have thought he became black, and was the progenitor of the African race. This theory does not meet the case, unless we suppose that some of his descendants escaped the flood. A mark of guilt and condemnation that would make him an object of compassion, and thus prevent his being slain, is perhaps all that need be understood; and we need not suppose a deviation from the ordinary laws of the human mind, to account for all that is here said.
407. Cain dwelt in the land of Nod. The word Nod means a vagabond; and the passage may be rendered, either as it now is, in which case we may suppose the place to have been named from him, as being a vagabond; or it may be rendered that he "dwelt in the land, a vagabond," without designating where that land was, except that it was east of Eden.
Another of Adam's sons was Seth, who was in the likeness of Adam; but the particulars of his life are not given.
Besides these sons, Adam is said to have had sons and daughters; and tradition makes the number of them to be very great, but this is only conjecture.