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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary
Genesis 10:19

The territory of the Canaanite extended from Sidon going toward Gerar, as far as Gaza; and going toward Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, as far as Lasha.
New American Standard Bible

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Admah;   Canaanites;   Gaza;   Gerar;   Gomorrah;   Ham;   Lasha;   Phenicia;   Sidon;   Sodom;   Zeboim;   Thompson Chain Reference - Gaza;   Gerar;   Sidon;   Zidon;   The Topic Concordance - Nations;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Canaanites, the;   Sciences;   Sidonians, the;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Canaan;   Gaza or Azzah;   Gerar;   Ham;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Canaan;   Phoenicia;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Flood, the;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Admah;   Canaan;   Gaza;   Gerar;   Gomorrah;   Lasha;   Sidon;   Zeboim;   Zidon;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Admah;   Canaan;   Cuthah;   Dan (2);   Gaza;   Gerar;   Hebrew;   Lasha;   Leshem;   Sodom;   Wilderness of the Wanderings;   Zeboim, Valley of;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Admah;   Canaan, History and Religion of;   History;   Lasha;   Table of Nations;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Admah;   Eber;   Family;   Gaza;   Genealogy;   Gerar;   Ham;   Lasha;   Lehabim;   Peleg;   Races;   Shinar;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Canaanitish;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Admah ;   Canaanites, the ;   Gaza ;   Gerar ;   Lasha ;   Sodom, Sodoma ;   Zeboim, Zeboiim ;   Zidon, Sidon ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Admah;   Canaan (2);   Gaza;   Gerar;   Palestine;   Sodom;   Zidon;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Ad'mah;   Ca'naanites, the,;   Ge'rar;   La'sha;   Sod'om;   Zebo'im;   Zi'don,;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Division of the Earth;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Re-Peopling the Earth;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Admah;   Gaza;   Genealogy;   Gerar;   Hyena;   Lasha;   Palestine;   Pentateuch;   Phoenicia;   Semites;   Sidon (2);   Table of Nations;   Zeboiim;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Admah;   Asshur;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Admah;   Family and Family Life;   Gaza;   Gerar;   Ham;   Hittites;   Palestine;   Zidon (Sidon);  

Bridgeway Bible Commentary


10:1-11:26 GENEALOGIES FROM NOAH TO ABRAM

Nations descended from Noah (10:1-32)

This genealogy must have been written hundreds of years after the time of Noah, when his descendants had multiplied and moved to many places. By that time differences in language, race and culture were noticeable. The purpose of the listing here is to trace the origin of these groups, not to name every single descendant of Noah.
Again the genealogy is simplified, being based on a selection of seventy descendants. Most likely the names in the genealogy were originally the names of individuals, but later were applied to the peoples descended from them and, in some cases, to the territories or towns inhabited by those peoples. The record concerns only the sons of Noah, and says nothing about peoples in the more distant parts of the world who may not have been affected by the flood.
Japheth’s descendants settled mainly in the regions north and north-west of Palestine, spreading across Asia Minor to Greece (10:1-5). The Hamites occupied Canaan (until the Israelites took it from them) and parts of Mesopotamia to the east, while in the south they spread to Egypt and the areas on the western side of the Red Sea (6-20). The descendants of Shem (Semites) also occupied parts of Mesopotamia, and spread south from there across Arabia. The particular part of the Semite family that produced the Israelites (that of Peleg) is merely mentioned here, being treated more fully in the next chapter (21-32).
Sometimes the same name appears in more than one list, since there was much inter-marriage, migration and conquest among the various peoples. Also, it should be noted that the territory of Canaan, later to be occupied by the Israelites, contained many tribal groups (see 15:18-20; 23:17-20; 34:2,30), and sometimes the name of one of these tribal groups may have been used to refer to Canaanites in general (cf. 12:6; 15:16).


Bibliographical Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Genesis 10:19". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/​commentaries/​bbc/​genesis-10.html. 2005.

Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

- XXXII. Ham

6. מצרים mı̂tsrayı̂m, “Mitsraim.” מצר mētser, “straitness, limit, pressure.” מצור mātsôr, “distress, siege, mound, bulwark; Egypt.” מצרים mı̂tsrayı̂m, “perhaps double Egypt, lower and upper.” פוּט pûṭ, “Put, troubled.”

7. סבא sebā', “Seba, drinking (man, Ethiopian).” סבתה sabtâh, “Sabtah.” רעמה ra‛mâh, “Ra‘mah, shaking, trembling.” סבתכא sabtekā', “Sabtekha.” שׁבא shēbā', “Sheba, captive?” דדן dedān, “Dedan, going slowly?”

8. נמרד nı̂mrod, “Nimrod, strong, rebel.”

10. בבל bābel, “Babel; related: pour, mingle, confound.” ארך 'erek, “Erek, length.” אכד 'akad, “Akkad, fortress.” כלנה kalneh, “Kalneh.” שׁנער shı̂n‛ār, “Shin‘ar.”

11. נינוה nı̂ynevēh, “Nineveh, dwelling?” עיר רחבח rechobot 'ı̂yr, “Rechoboth ‘ir, streets of a city.” כלח kelach, “Kelach, completion, end, age.”

12. רסן resen, “Resen, bridle, bit.”

13. לוּדים lûdı̂ym, “Ludim, born?” ענמים ǎnāmı̂ym, “‘Anamim, possession, sheep. להבים lı̂hābı̂ym, “Lehabim, fiery, flaming?” נפתהים naptuchı̂ym, “Naphtuchim, opening.”

14. פתרסים patrusı̂ym, “Pathrusim.” כסלחים kasluchı̂ym, “Kasluchim.” פלשׁתים pelı̂shtı̂ym, “Pelishtim”, Αλλόφυλοι Allophuloi, “related: break, scatter; Aethiopic “migrate.” כפתרים kaptorı̂ym, “Kaphtorim; related: crown, capital.”

15. צידון tsı̂ydon, “Tsidon, hunting.” צת chēt, “Cheth, breaking, affrighting.”

16. יבוּסי yebûsı̂y, “Jebusi; related: tread.” אמרי 'emorı̂y, “Emori; related: Say, be high.” גגשׁי gı̂rgāshı̂y, “Girgashi; related: clay, clod.”

17. צוּי chı̂vı̂y, “Chivvi; related: live.” ערקי arqı̂y, “‘Arqi; related: gnaw, sting.” סיני sı̂ynı̂y, “Sini; related: mud, clay.”

18. ארודי 'arvādı̂y, “Arvadi; related: roam, ramble.” צמרי; tsemārı̂y, “Tsemari; noun: wool; verb: cover.” חמתי chāmātı̂y, “Chamathi; noun: fastness; verb: guard.”

19. גרר gerār, “Gerar; related: draw, saw, abide.” עזה 'azâh, ‘Azzah, strong.” סדם sedom, “Sodom; related: shut, stop.” עמרה 'amorâh, “‘Amorah; noun: sheaf; verb: bind.” אדמה 'admâh, “Admah; adjective: red; noun: soil.” צבים tseboyı̂m, “Tseboim, gazelles; verb: go forth, shine.” לשׁע lesha‛, “Lesha; verb: pierce, cleave.”

Genesis 10:6

And the sons of Ham. - Ham the youngest of the three brothers Genesis 9:24, is placed here because he agrees with Japheth in becoming estranged from the true God, and because the last place as the more important is reserved for Shem. As the name of Japheth is preserved in the Ιαπετος Iapetos of the Greeks, so Chain is supposed to appear in Chemi of the Coptic, χημία cheemia of Plutarch, Chine of the Rosetta Stone, an old name of Egypt. This country is also called the land of Ham in Scripture Psalms 78:51; Psalms 105:23, Psalms 105:27; Psalms 106:22. But this term was of more comprehensive import, as we find some ancient inhabitants of a region in the south of Judah, said to have come from Ham 1 Chronicles 4:40. Thirty primitive nations sprang from Ham. Of these, only four were immediate descendants.

(15) Kush has left traces of his name perhaps in the Caucasus, the Caspian, and the Cossaei of Khusistan. There is an allusion in Amos (Amos 9:7) to his migration to the land south of Egypt which bears his name. This name is preserved in Gheez, the name of the ancient language of the people, and some say even in Habesh. It is possible, that some of the Kushites went toward India. To Ethiopia, however, the name generally refers in Scripture. The Ethiopians were called by Homer (Odyssey I. 23), ἔσχατοι ἀνδρῶν eschatoi andrōn, “remotest of men.”

(16) Mizraim is the ordinary name for Egypt in the Hebrew scriptures. The singular form, Mazor, is found in later books 2 Kings 19:24; Isaiah 19:6; Isaiah 37:25.

(17) Put has with one consent been placed beyond Egypt, in the north of the continent of Africa. He is mentioned along with Lubim as the helper of Nineveh (Nab. Isaiah 3:9), and with Kush, as forming part of the army of Neko Jeremiah 46:9. His descendants penetrated far westward. A river bearing the name of Phutes has been mentioned in Mauretania, and an inland country is designated by the name of Futa. The name may be preserved also in Buto, the capital of lower Egypt, on the Sebennytic mouth of the Nile.

(18) Kenaan settled in the country called after his name. There are some grounds for believing that this land was previously inhabited by Shemites, as the land was Shemitic. If so, the Kenaanites came in as intruders, and followed the language of their predecessors. But of this hereafter.

Genesis 10:7

Kush had five sons and two grandsons, who were reckoned among the founders of nations.

(19) Seba is associated with Kush Isaiah 43:3; Isaiah 45:14. Josephus (Ant. I. 6, 2; II. 10, 2) places him in Meroe, a country almost insulated by the Nile and its branches, the Astapus (Blue Nile) and Astaboras (Atbarah).

(20) Havilah occurs as the name of a country in the antediluvian times. The present Havilah may refer to a tribe in Africa, called Avalitae, lying south of Bab-el-mandeb, which corresponds very well with the situation of Kush and Seba. This nation, however, may also have a representative in the Χαυλοταῖοι Chaulotaioi of Strabo (xvi. 728), situated on the Persian Gulf, where some other Kushites were to be found. The fragments of this nation may have separated by migration, and left its name in both localities.

(21) Sabtah, Josephus finds in the Astaborans of Ethiopia, others in Sabota, a town in southwest Arabia.

(22) Ramah is traced in Rhegma on the southeast of Arabia.

(23) Sabteka is the third name, beginning with the same syllable. Such names are frequent from the Persian Gulf to the coast of Africa. Some find this place on the coast of Abyssinia, others in Samydake on the east side of the Persian Gulf. From Ramah are two tribes descended.

(24) Sheba, and (25) Dedan, lying in the south of Arabia or on the Persian Gulf. Daden, an island in the gulf, now Barhein, may represent the latter.

Genesis 10:8-12

In this episode Genesis 10:8-12, the author turns aside from the table of nations to notice the origin of the first great empires that were established on the earth. “And Kush begat Nimrod.” The author had before enumerated the sons of Kush, who were heads of nations. Here he singles out one of his sons or descendants, who became the first potentate of whom we have any record. He notices his qualities for rising to this position among men. “He began to be a mighty one in the land. He was mighty in hunting, before the Lord.” Hunting is a comprehensive term, indicating the taking of any species of animal, whether of the air, the sea, or the land. Nimrod’s distinction in this respect was so great as to become proverbial. The expression, “before the Lord,” intimates, not merely that the Lord was cognizant of his proceedings, for he knoweth all things, but that Nimrod himself made no secret his designs, pursued them with a bold front and a high hand, and at the same time was aware of the name and will of Yahweh. This defiant air gives a new character to his hunting, which seems to have extended even to man, as the term is sometimes so applied (1 Samuel 24:12 (1 Samuel 24:11), Jeremiah 16:16). His name, which literally means “we shall rebel,” is in keeping with the practice of an arbitrary and violent control over men’s persons and property.

Genesis 10:10

The beginning or first seat and the extent of his kingdom among men are then described. It consists of four towns - Babel and Erek and Akkad and Kalneh, in the land of Shinar. The number four is characteristic of Nimrod’s kingdom. It is the mark of the four quarters of the earth, of universality in point of extent, and therefore of ambition. The site of Babel (Babylon) has been discovered in certain ruins near Hillah, chiefly on the opposite or eastern bank of the Euphrates, where there is a square mound called Babil by the natives. Erek has been traced also on the east bank of the Euphrates, about one hundred miles southeast of Babil, or half way between the city and the confluence of the rivers. It is the Orchoe of the Greeks, and the ruins now bear the name of Urka, or Warka. This name appears as Huruk on the cuneiform inscriptions of the place. Akkad, in the Septuagint. Archad, Col. Taylor finds in Akkerkoof, north of Babel, and about nine miles west of the Tigris, where it approaches the Euphrates. Here there is a hill or mound of ruins called Tel Nimrud. Rawlinson finds the name Akkad frequent in the inscriptions, and mentions Kingi Akkad as part of the kingdom of Urukh, but without identifying the site. Kalneh, Kalno, Isaiah 10:9; Kanneh, Ezekiel 27:23, is regarded by Jerome, and the Targum of Jonathan, as the same with Ktesiphon on the Tigris, in the district of Chalonitis. Its ruins are near Takti Kesra. Rawlinson identifies it with Niffer, but without assigning satisfactory grounds. The sites of these towns fix that of Shinar, which is evidently the lower part of Mesopotamia, or, more precisely, the country west of the Tigris, and south of Is, or Hit, on the Euphrates, and Samara on the Tigris. It is otherwise called Babylonia and Chaldaea.

Genesis 10:11, Genesis 10:12

Out of that land came he forth to Asshur. - This may be otherwise rendered, “out of that land came forth Asshur.” The probabilities in favor of the former translations are the following: First. The discourse relates to Nimrod. Second. The words admit of it. Third. The word Asshur has occurred hitherto only as the name of a country. Fourth. Asshur, the person, was considerably older than Nimrod, and had probably given name to Asshur before Nimrod’s projects began. Fifth. Asshur would have been as great a man as Nimrod, if he had founded Nineveh and its contiguous towns; which does not appear from the text. Sixth. “The beginning of his kingdom” implies the addition to it contained in these verses. Seventh. And the phrases “in the land of Shinar, out of that land,” and the need of some definite locality for the second four cities, are in favor of the former rendering.

Asshur was a country intersected by the Tigris. It included the part of Mesopotamia north of Shinar, and the region between the Tigris and Mount Zagros. Its extension westward is undefined by any natural boundary, and seems to have varied at different times. Nineveh was a well-known city of antiquity, situated opposite Mosul on the Tigris. The country in which it was placed is called by Strabo Aturia, a variation seemingly of Asshur. It’s remains are now marked by the names Nebbi-yunus and Koyunjik. Rehoboth-ir, the city broadway or market, has not been identified. Kelah is said to be now marked by the ruin called Nimrud. This lies on the left bank of the Tigris, near its confluence with the greater Zab, Its name seems to be preserved in the Calachene of Strabo. It was about twenty miles south of Nineveh. It is possible, however, so far as we can conjecture from conflicting authorities, that Kelah may be Kileh Sherghat, about fifty miles south of Mosul, on the right bank of the Tigris. Resen is placed by the text, between Nineveh and Kelah, and is therefore probably represented by Selamiyeh, a village about half way between Koyunjik and Nimrud. If Kelah, however, be Kileh Sherghat, Resen will coincide with Nimrud. “That is the great city.”

This refers most readily to Resen, and will suit very well if it be Nimrud, which was evidently extensive. It may, however, refer to Nineveh. This completion of Nimrod’s kingdom, we see, contains also four cities. The Babylonian and Assyrian monarchies were akin in origin, and allied in their history and in their fall. They were too near each other to be independent, and their mutual jealousies at length brought about the ruin of the northern capital. A Kushite, and therefore a Hamite, founded this first world-monarchy or tyranny. Another Hamite power arose simultaneously in Egypt. A branch of the Kushites seem to have gone eastward, and spread over India. But another branch spread through the South of Arabia, and, crossing into Africa, came into contact, sometimes into alliance, and sometimes into collision with the Egyptian monarchy. The eastern empire is noticed particularly, because it intruded into Shemitic ground, and aimed continually at extending its sway over the nations descended from Shem.

Genesis 10:13-14

Mizraim has seven sons, from whom are derived eight nations.

(26) the Ludim are probably mentioned in Isaiah 66:19, in connection with Tarshish and Put; in Jeremiah 46:9, in connection with Kush and Put; and in Ezekiel 27:10; Ezekiel 30:5, in connection with Put. In all these instances the name is in the singular, but in our text in the plural, expressly denoting the nation of which Lud was the progenitor. The Ludim were distinguished for the use of the bow. They were, doubtless, an African tribe, related to the Egyptians, and well known to the prophets, though their country cannot now be pointed out. Josephus intimates that they were destroyed, as well as other tribes descended from Mizraim, in the Ethiopic war of the time of Moses; but they still existed in the times of Ezekiel. Movers finds them in the Lewatah, a tribe of Berbers. Others place them in Mauretania. Pliny mentions a river Laud in Tingitana.

(27) the Anamim are not elsewhere mentioned.

(28) the Lehabim are generally identified with the Lubim 2Ch 12:3; 2 Chronicles 16:8; Daniel 2:43; Nahum 3:9, who are introduced in connection with the Kushim. They are probably the Libyans, who lay to the west of Egypt, and, extending from the Mediterranean indefinitely to the south, came into contact with the Kushites of Abyssinia.

(29) the Naphtuhim Bochart places in Nephthys, near Pelusium on the Lake Sirbonis. Others find a trace of them in Napata, a town of Meroe. This agrees with the indications of Josephus and the Targum of Jonathan.

(30) the Pathrusim have their place in Pathros, a name of upper Egypt or the Thebais. It is arranged by Isaiah Isaiah 2:11 between Egypt and Kush.

(31) the Kasluhim are supposed by some to be represented by the Colchians, whom Herodotus (ii. 104) traces to Egypt. It is possible the Colchians may have been a colony from them. But their original seat must have been somewhere on the coast of the Red Sea.

(32) Philistim, who came from (31). The Philistines dwelt on the coast of the Mediterranean, from the border of Egypt to Joppa. They had five principal cities, - Gaza, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Gath, and Ekron. They gave the name פלשׁת peleshet, Pelesheth, to the whole of Kenaan, from which is derived the Greek name Παλαιστὶνη Palaistinee “Palaestina.” They are stated by the text to be a colony or offshoot of the Kasluhim.

(33) Kaphtorim. From Jeremiah 47:4, it appears that Kaphtor was a coastland. From Amos 9:7, we learn that the Philistines came from this land. Hence, we conclude that the Kaphtorim dwelt on the coast of the Red Sea, adjacent to the Kasluchim, and left their name, perhaps, in Koptos and Αἴγυπτος Aiguptos. Cappadocia, Crete, and Cyprus only slightly resemble the name, and have no other recommendation. The Kasluhim may have been their southern neighbors, and thus the Philistines may have occupied a part of Kaphtor, before their settlement on the coast of the Great Sea, within the borders of Kenaan, where they would, of course, be another tribe (ἀλλόφυλοι allophuloi). This account of these descendants of Mizraim agrees best with the hint of Josephus, that many of them bordered on the Ethiopians; and perished, or perhaps were forced to migrate, in the Ethiopic or other wars (i. 6, 3). Thus, it appears that the descendants of Mizraim were settled in Africa, with the exception of the Philistines, who migrated into the country to which they gave their name.

Genesis 10:15-19

From Kenaan are descended eleven nations:

(34) Zidon is styled his first-born. The name is retained in the well-known town on the coast of Phoenicia, which is accordingly of the highest antiquity among the cities of that region. The Sidonians were reckoned co-extensive with the Phoenicians, and are mentioned by Homer (Iliad 23:743; Odyssey 4:618).

(35) Heth. This tribe dwelt about Hebron and in the mountains around, and perhaps still further north in the districts extending toward the Euphrates Genesis 23:3; Numbers 13:29; Joshua 1:4. Esau took wives from the Hittites Genesis 26:34-35, and some part of the nation existed even after the captivity Ezra 9:1.

(36) the Jebusite has his chief seat in and around Jerusalem, which was called Jebus, from his chief; and the citadel of which was wrested from him only in the time of David 2 Samuel 5:7.

(37) the Amorite was one of the most important and extensive tribes of Kenaan. Five kings of this nation dwelt in the mountains afterward occupied by Judah Genesis 14:7, Genesis 14:13; Numbers 13:29; Joshua 10:5, and two on the east of the Jordon, in Heshbon and Bashan, north of Moab Numbers 21:13; Deuteronomy 4:47. The eastern Amorites were conquered under Moses, the western under Joshua. A remnant of them were made bondsmen by Solomon 1 Kings 9:20. They survived the captivity Ezra 9:1.

(38) the Girgashite seems to have lain on the west of the Jordan, and the name may be preserved in the reading Γεργεσηνῶν Gergesēnōn, of Matthew 8:28. The town of the Gergesenes is supposed to have been at the southeast of the lake of Gennesaret Genesis 15:21; Deuteronomy 7:1; Joshua 24:11.

(39) the Hivite was found at Shalem, Gibeon, and also at the foot of Hermon and Antilibanus Genesis 34:2; Joshua 9:7; Joshua 11:3; Judges 3:3. The former were also classed under the Amorites Genesis 48:22; 2 Samuel 21:2. With the exception of four cities of the Gibeonites, they were conquered by Joshua Joshua 9:17; Joshua 11:3, Joshua 11:19.

(40) the Arkite probably dwelt near a town called Arke or Caesarea Libani, lying some miles north of Tripolis, at the foot of Lebanon. Its ruins are still extant at Tel Arka.

(41) the Sinite is supposed to have dwelt in Sinna, a town mentioned by Strabo, called Sine by Jerome, and Syn in the fifteenth century (Strab. xvi. 2, 18; Hieron. Quaest. in Gen., Breitenbach, Travels, p. 47), not far from Arke.

(42) the Arvadite dwelt in Arvad, Aradus, now Ruad, a Phoenician town on an island of the same name.

(43) the Zemarite has been traced in the town Σίμυρα Simura, the ruins of which were found by Shaw at the western foot of Lebanon, under the name of Sumra.

(44) the Hamathite was the inhabitant of Hamath, called Hamath Rabbah (the great), by the Greeks Epiphaneia, and at present Hamah. It is situated on the Orontes, and held an important place in the history of Israel. The land of Hamath was of great extent, including the town of Riblab 2 Kings 25:21 and reaching even to Antioch. The entrance of Hamath חמת בוא bô' chamāt, the northern part of the valley between Lebanon and Antilibanus, formed the utmost boundary of Palestine to the north Numbers 13:21; Joshua 13:5; 1 Kings 8:65. Its king was in alliance with David 2 Samuel 8:10.

And afterward were the families of the Kenaanites spread abroad. - After the confusion of tongues were these nations formed; and after the formation of these Kenaanic tribes occurred the dispersion spoken of in the text. We do not know what was the original seat of the Kenaanites; or whether the dispersion here mentioned was violent or not. Its primary result, however, seems to have been their settlement in the country of which the boundaries are next described. It is not improbable that this land was allotted to a portion of the Shemites, and occupied by them when the Kenaanites entered and established themselves among them Genesis 40:15. The Kenaanites probably had the same grasping tendency which displayed itself in Nimrod, their kinsman; and therefore seized upon the country with a high hand, and called it after their name. Their expulsion, on the conquest of the land by the Israelites, and their commercial activity, led to a still further dispersion; as colonies were sent out by them to the distant shores of the Mediterranean, to Asia Minor, Greece, Africa, Spain, and even the British Isles. But it can scarcely be supposed that reference is here made to these subsequent events in their history.

Genesis 10:19

The border of Kenaan, as here described, extends along the coast from Zidon in the direction of (as thou goest unto) Gerar, which lay between Kadesh and Shur Genesis 20:1, and has its name preserved in the Wady el-Jerur, which is nearly in a line connecting Ain el-Weibeh and Suez. It turns at Azzah (Gaza), and passes to the cities of the plain, of which the later history is so memorable. Its terminating point is Lesha, which is generally supposed to be Callirrhoe, to the northeast of the Dead Sea, so called from the hot springs which form a stream flowing into the lake. It is possible, however, that Lesha is only another variation of Laish and Leshem, a city belonging to the Sidonians, and situated near the sources of the Jordan. Thus, we have the western, southern, and eastern border briefly given in this verse. It is manifest, however, that they did not confine themselves to these limits, but “afterward spread abroad” into the adjacent regions. The Hittite went to the northeast; the Amorite crossed the Jordan, and occupied a great part of Peraea; the Hivite, the Arkite, the Sinite, the Arvadite, the Zemarite, and the Hamathite stretched far north of the boundary.

Genesis 10:20

The list of the Hamites is summed up Genesis 10:20 in the usual form. It appears that Ham occupied Africa and a certain portion of Asia along the eastern coast of the Mediterranean, in the south of Arabia, about the lower valley of the Frat and Diljah, and perhaps along the south of Asia. In extent of territory, Japheth ultimately far exceeded, as he occupied most of Asia and almost all of Europe and the New World. Ham is next to him, as he inherited Africa and a portion of Asia. Some of his descendants have also been forcibly transplanted to the New Hemisphere. But in point of political contact with Shem, Japheth, in early times, sinks comparatively into the shade, and Ham assumes the prominent place. Babylon, Kush, Egypt, and Kenaan are the powers which come into contact with Shem, in that central line of human history which is traced in the Bible. Hence, it is that in the table of nations special attention is directed to Kush, Nimrod, Mizraim, and to the tribes and borders of Kenaan.

Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Genesis 10:19". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/​commentaries/​bnb/​genesis-10.html. 1870.

Smith's Bible Commentary

Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah ( Genesis 10:1 ),

And as we get into chapter ten, this chapter has been called the "Table of Nations". And here you have the beginning of all of the various nations of the world, the various ethnic groups with these sons of Noah. "These are the generations of the sons of Noah."

Seth is probably the one who put these generations together. We follow for a little bit the line of Ham, a little bit the line of Japheth, and then when we get to the line of Shem we continue to follow the generations from Shem because it is from Shem that Abraham will come. It is from Abraham that the nation will come. It is from the nation and Abraham, of course, that the seed Christ will come. And so we'll continue to follow the line down to Christ. But the others will follow for a few generations to establish their ethnic groups that sprung from them. Then we'll leave them go, because the whole message really is centering and zeroing down towards Jesus Christ.

So many names are not given. Many of the families are not named at all. It isn't intended to be a complete historical record but only a record that will lead us to Abraham, which will lead us to David, which will lead us to Jesus Christ. Once we've come to Jesus Christ it wasn't necessary to keep the genealogies anymore. God has proven that Jesus Christ was as promised, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham, the Son of Adam. So that's all that's necessary to follow that line that leads to Christ.

Now the sons of Japheth were Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras ( Genesis 10:2 ).

Gomer was more or less the father of the ancient Sumerians. Magog were the Scythians, the area of Russia. And Madai was the father of the Medes. Javan the Greeks. Tubal and Meshech, they believe that Meshech actually is the ancient Moskobi, modern day Moscow. And Tubal the modern Tublanx, and Tairas, of course, is the Taircians. And so we see that basically you're getting into the Asian European nations as descendants from Japheth.

Now we take one of the sons.

Gomer ( Genesis 10:3 );

the first one listed, and we have the Germanic people;

Ashkenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah ( Genesis 10:3 ).

Togarmah is thought to be the Armenians but the Ashkenaz, more or less, the Germanic people coming again from Japheth.

And by these were the islands of the Gentiles divided ( Genesis 10:5 )

Actually Tarshish, and so forth. So you're getting into the area of Europe, Scandinavia, of course on into ultimately England, all the descendants. The Caucasian race descended from Japheth.

Now the sons of Ham; Cush, and Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah ( Genesis 10:6-7 ).

And all of these various names. We're not going to try and go through them all. But they basically went south and populated the areas of Africa. Also a portion of them, the descendants of Canaan were Sidon, which were the Phoenicians, the sister city of Sidon. And of course the city Sidon up on the northern coast of Mediterranean, the sister city of Tyre which were the Phoenicians. The Jebusites who inhabited the area around Jerusalem, and in verse seventeen there's "Sinite".

Now it is felt that some of the inhabitants of the Sinites moved east and where the Chinese descended from this particular branch. And it is interesting that the Chinese are still called Sino people. And you read of the Sino-Japanese war, for instance and the name still holding; many of the Chinese names beginning with this S-I-N.

So from Ham, Africa on over into the Far East and the area of Canaan. Now he does stop with one of the descendants when he gets to.

Cush begat Nimrod: and he began to be a mighty one in the eaRuth ( Genesis 10:8 ).

Instead of

a mighty hunter before the LORD ( Genesis 10:9 ):

It should be translated "he was a mighty tyrant in the face of the LORD." The hunting was the hunting of men's soul. Nimrod became a leader in apostasy, developer of a great religious system later to become known as the Babylonian religious system or the "mystery Babylon". That whole religious system was begun by Nimrod.

Now his mother Semiramis was later to be called the queen of heaven and to be worshipped. It was her claim that Nimrod was actually born without the benefit of a father; that he was born while she was a virgin.

Nimrod was known for his hunting prowess's. A great man with the bow. In those days the people were probably, because of their primitive type weapons, very fearful of the wild animals-the lions and the tigers and leopards and so forth. And he was known as a protector of the people because of his ability and skills in hunting.

But one day while hunting boar, a wild boar turned on him and gored him. And he supposedly was dead for three days lying there in the woods and after three days his life returned. And so they began to celebrate his resurrection by coloring eggs and having great festivities in the springtime of the year. Incidentally, his birth was December twenty-fifth and they usually celebrated his birth by giving of gifts, drunken orgies, and cutting trees and decorating them with silver and gold in their homes. And this is just a few generations after Noah.

The worship of his mother Semiramis, queen of heaven, the whole thing, Satan's counterfeit of God's intended work began with Nimrod. And when you start reading the history of the Babylonian religion, the way they set up the celebrations and all, you will be absolutely shocked at the historic church and how much of the activities of the historic church were borrowed directly from Nimrod. He was also known as Tammuz, several names, Astarte, Semiramis, the various names for his mother who was worshipped. And actually the name Easter coming from Astarte.

It's amazing that this Babylonian system could have so thoroughly infiltrated the church. But God brings Nimrod into the record here.

And the beginning of the kingdom of Babel ( Genesis 10:10 ),

Verse ten, and it was he who inspired the people to build this tower that would reach into heaven. It was he who began to inspire them to the worship of the stars. The beginning of astrology and all of these things began in this ancient Babylonian religion.

The tower really literally not to reach into heaven but the tower was to worship. It was an observatory where they would go and worship the stars, the constellations and so forth. And many such towers have been uncovered in the archaeological diggings there in the Babylonian plain. There were areas of worship.

So the descendants of Ham then in verse twenty-one, we come to the descendants of.

Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber ( Genesis 10:21 ),

It is from Eber that we get the name Ibriy or the Hebrew. So Abraham was not the beginning of the idea or the name of the Hebrews. It came from Abraham's ancestor Eber. And so Shem

the brother of Japheth the elder, even to him were children born. The children of Shem ( Genesis 10:21-22 )

Are listed here for you.

And then the children of Aram ( Genesis 10:23 );

And we're going to narrow it down to Eber because we want to follow Eber.

Eber had two sons: the name of one was Peleg; and in his days was the earth divided; and his brother's name was Joktan ( Genesis 10:25 ).

Now this idea of the earth being divided, there are some who try to relate this to a current scientific theory of the continental, the continent dividing, you know. The continents have been drifting apart. Originally there was only one landmass but this continental drift theory that is a current theory in some scientific areas and they some of them point to this reference in scripture it was in the time of Peleg that the earth was divided.

However, if you'll follow the chronological charts and all, you'll find out that Peleg lived in the days of the tower of Babel. And it was at the tower of Babel that the earth was really divided into the ethnic groups, and so that is probably what the reference is to. The division of the earth into the ethnic groups following the tower of Babel experience, rather than a scripture that would somehow lend support to the continental drift theory. So that's the way it is. It could refer to the continental drift but more than likely the reference is to the division of the earth from the tower of Babel.

Among the names here in the descendants, we do find the name Jobab, which could very well be the Job of the Scriptures. And so I guess that's a little further down when we get into the descendants of Abraham.

Chapter 11

Now in chapter eleven.

The whole earth was of one language, and one speech ( Genesis 11:1 ).

Probably Hebrew because in the earlier record of the book of Genesis, the names of the people were Hebrew names that have Hebrew meanings. And so the original language was perhaps the Hebrew language itself. "The whole earth was of one language, one speech."

And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. And they said one to another, Let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly ( Genesis 11:2-3 ).

Now this is an interesting thing because it shows that very early after the flood, they had brick kilns and rather than just building their houses out of rocks, they were advanced to the state of making bricks and putting them in the kiln, burning them thoroughly. So rather than just adobe kind of buildings, they were now using a mortar with a cured brick or a burned brick and they began to build, of course, the city of Nineveh, the city of Babylon, all began to be built in this period by Nimrod himself.

And so they said, Let us build a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole eaRuth ( Genesis 11:4 ).

Now God's command was to actually fill the earth. It's an attempt to sort of countermand God's commandment. "Lest we be scattered abroad throughout all the earth." Let's join together. Let's just, you know, congregate in this area.

And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded ( Genesis 11:5 ).

Now again we're describing the activities of God in human terms as though God were coming down and looking things over. In reality, God is omnipresent. He was watching the thing the whole while.

The LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they all have one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do ( Genesis 11:6 ).

The developing of this religious system. Now it is very possible that originally God placed the stars in the heavens for signs and that the Gospel is actually given in the Zodiac, the virgin, the lion. But as Satan has always taken the things of God and twisted them and perverted them, so from the original message that God had placed there in the heavens of His plan for the ages, that there was that perversion of it into what is the modern astrology, which began way back again in the Babylonian era here in Babel where they were going to build this tower as an observatory to observe the constellations and so forth at the sky. But it is quite possible that originally the Gospel was there indeed in the stars as far as the message of God to man.

Now it would seem that the Magi who came from the east to find the Christ child were reading correctly the heavens. "We have seen His star in the east, we've come to worship Him". And that they were reading truly the signs that God had placed there. Now the Bible says that God has placed the stars for signs and for seasons. And it is very possible that originally there was indeed the message of God in the stars but has been perverted, as I say, into the modern astrology. And the perversion began way back there where they began to look at the stars for the influence over their lives, rather than looking to God.

And so God in His Word puts down astrologers, stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, those who sought them to govern their lives by the influence of the stars upon them and so forth. And God really speaks out very heavily against that in the prophecy of Isaiah. But it is an ancient, ancient thing, the horoscopes and all. But as with so many things, it is possible that in the beginning it was pure and had a true message of God, but it has been perverted as time has gone on.

So God seeing this development said

Let us go down, and confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. And so the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel ( Genesis 11:7-9 );

Babel, whichever pronunciation you prefer. It really is a word that just sort of it was a word that was adapted because of what the sound sounded like. Just like the word "barbarian" is a word that was developed by the Greeks and the word "barbarian" in Greek literally is barbar. And anybody who didn't speak Greek was a barbar because your language sounded so funny. So anybody who didn't speak Greek, they just considered them uncultured, you know; they're barbar. It just means that they talk some other language rather than the cultured Greek.

And so from that we get the word "barbarian" but it originally was just a, you know, just a sound that they made, unintelligible sound by which they were sort of mimicking any language other than Greek. It's barbar, oh; he's a barbar. And so this "Babel" is the same thing. It's a mimicking of a sound that was not understood. Babel just is somewhat like the barbar. Babel. It's just "I don't understand what you're saying". What do you mean "ba-ba"? And so the word has come to mean confusion, lack of understanding. And so they called the name of the place Babel.

because the LORD did there confound or confuse the languages of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the eaRuth ( Genesis 11:9 ).

And so at this point, the people who were speaking. Of course this was a tremendous miracle indeed, the development of all of these languages. Now the interesting thing about languages is that many times we think of the English language because we grew up with it, you know, it's such an excellent language in communicating ideas. And we think, you know, people who are living in say, primitive cultures, in stone age cultures surely they must have a primitive form of language. Ours must surely be a highly cultured form of language, the English language. And they must have very primitive language, but it is an interesting thing that many of the primitive cultures have the most complex languages, highly complex languages, much more so than English. And thus, there is great difficulty in translating into many of these languages of primitive people.

You think, oh, it would be easy to translate, you know, "The man went to church." But some of these primitive cultures have so many words for "man". So you'd have to know if the man was one that you knew well, or you knew slightly because they have one word for man that you know well, and another one for a man that you know slightly. Then you'd have to know whether you like the man or not. And then you'd have to know whether or not you respected him. And actually they have maybe twenty different words for "man." So you'd have to know all kinds of things about this man before you know which word would fit the text or the translation.

Now the word "he went," did he go once in his life? Or did he go occasionally? Was it something that he was accustomed to doing? Or something that was rare for him to do? And so even in the verb you have so many different words that would describe it, that you get into the translation and really you want to throw up your hands and quit because these languages are so many times so much more complex.

I have a friend who was translating the gospel of Mark into the Choco dialect in Panama and he came to the place where he was working with his translating helper, and he came to the place where Jesus spit in the ground and made mud and put it in the blind man's eyes and told him to go to the pool of Siloam and wash it out. So in translating this word "spit" the native said, But how did he spit? You know there's many different ways to spit. Well, we only have one English word but the Choco Indian has so many different words.

You have a different way of spitting and of course how do you know which word it is? We don't know what word it is. And because you know they have so many different words he said, "Well", he said, "did he hock and spit? Or did he pick up-did he pick up the dirt in his hand and just spit and mix it up? Or did he spit on the ground and mix it up? Or did he put the dirt in his eye and spit in his eye and mix it up?" And he would have a different word for each action. Oh, we don't know what Jesus did, but this development of language.

Now it is interesting that man has in any and every culture, no matter how primitive, highly complex method of communicating of ideas, and I don't care how primitive or ignorant that particular culture may be. Their languages are highly developed in the ability to communicate their ideas, whether they do it through grunts, through a singsong, or whatever. They are able to communicate their ideas no matter how primitive their culture.

This certainly is something that separates man from the animal kingdom. There is nothing in the animal kingdom that even approximates a complex form of communication of ideas. But yet in the most primitive culture of man, and in every culture of man, there is a language communication. So this was the beginning of the separation of languages.

Now after the separation into the basic language groups, there of course have become modifications even within the same language or generalized language. We find the romance languages and similarities between the Spanish and the Portuguese and the Italian and the French. We find that there is certain similarity between the German and the Scandinavian. We find that English is a language that has borrowed much from Latin and from Greek.

So there have been developed languages from the basic language system, but God divided their languages. And instantly they no doubt got together in groups that they could communicate to, family groups and so forth where they could communicate to each other, but it caused the division and the separation. And that spreading out then into the world and scattering abroad upon the face of the earth as is described.

Now we're going to zero in down to Abraham because that's where our story must move.

So these are the generations of Shem ( Genesis 11:10 ):

Getting now again a repetition of the generations of Seth, Shem, but moving definitely just down towards Abraham.

He was a hundred years old, and he begat Arphaxad two years after the flood: he lived after he begat Arphaxad five hundred years, and he begat sons and daughters ( Genesis 11:10-11 ).

So he lived to be about six hundred years old approximately.

Arphaxad lived five, thirty-five years, and begat Salah ( Genesis 11:12 ):

And we get, he begat Eber and we follow down to Abraham, and actually that's the one where we're coming to, so let's go on to verse twenty-six.

Terah lived seventy years, and he begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran ( Genesis 11:26 ).

Now whether or not this is the order in which they were born, we do not know. Whether or not you know how old was Terah when Abraham was born, we don't know. Maybe he was the third son. We have no way of knowing but he lived seventy years and he had these three sons, Abram, Nahor and Haran. Now he lived after that for many years also.

Now these are the generations of Terah: Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begat Lot. And Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees. And Abram and Nahor took them wives ( Genesis 11:27-29 ):

So their brother Haran died early having married and born one son, Lot. Actually he bore some daughters, too. And they took wives and

the name of Abram's wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor's wife was Milcah, for she was also the daughter of Haran ( Genesis 11:29 ),

So he married his niece.

the father of Milcah, and the father of Iscah. But Sarai was barren; and she had no child. And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran ( Genesis 11:29-31 )

So with Haran dead, Lot being his son, Abraham sort of adopted Lot because Abraham did not have any sons of his own. So he sort of adopted Lot and Lot became a journeyer with Abraham.

But they altogether went from the Ur of the Chaldees ( Genesis 11:31 ),

Now it was in the Ur of the Chaldees, in this area where this false religious systems, the Pantheism and Polytheism and all began to develop and the perverted religious systems, and so they left the Ur of the Chaldees.

to go to the land of Canaan; and they came to Haran, and dwelt there ( Genesis 11:31 ).

Now the fact that they all left to go to Canaan means that in the beginning, it could be that Abraham's father also received the call of God to leave and get out of this area that had begun to become religiously polluted and to come into a whole new area. But Terah, they came as far as Haran and there they dwelt.

And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran ( Genesis 11:32 ).

Now there is a seeming contradiction of scripture here when you get in the New Testament and Stephen is talking about Abraham being called of God to leave the Ur of the Chaldees and to go to Israel, how that after he said Terah died, Abraham then went on to Canaan. But when you start putting the ages together, you find that Abraham actually left, if Terah lived to be two hundred and five years old, then he was seven years old when Abraham was born then, and Abraham was seventy-five when he left. The seventy-five and the seventy makes a hundred and forty-five years, and yet he lived to be two hundred and five years old. So you have a discrepancy in mathematics here. So what is the solution or what is the answer?

There are a couple possible suggestions. Number one, Abraham may not have been the firstborn son. They may not be listed in the order of their births but in the order of precedence of their son, and Abraham could have been born many years after. In other words, seventy years and maybe Haran was born when he was seventy years old. And it doesn't give his age at the time of Abraham's birth. That's one possibility. So that Abraham was sort of a late child and that indeed by the time he was seventy-five his father was two hundred and five years old, very possible.

Another possibility is that Stephen is talking in sort of a spiritual sense that he died. You remember one day a young fellow came to Jesus and said, "I'll follow you but allow me first to go bury my father". And Jesus said, "Let the dead bury the dead. Come and follow Me" ( Matthew 8:21-22 ). Now the "let me first bury my father" was a common term. It didn't mean that his father was dead. It isn't that Jesus is showing a disrespect for a father who had died, but it is a term whereby a person was saying "I don't want to do it now. I want to wait until my father dies". It's just a term of procrastination or putting something off until later. I want to do it later. Wait till my father dies. Your father can be alive and healthy. He may be good for another fifty, sixty years. But it was a term of procrastination, a common term of procrastination.

Now knowing the use of Jesus in this term in the ideas that were given by it, it could be that Stephen is using it in the same sense and that Terah, when they came to Haran, died spiritually because Terah began to actually apostatize and became also a worshipper of false gods. So it could be that he's referring to the spiritual death of Terah when he turned to spiritual apostasy. And it was at that point, when Terah spiritually was dead unto God, that Abraham realized he had to make his journey alone. And he took off with his -with Lot and the servants and so forth, and his wife Sarah. And they began then to journey onto the land that God had promised to show him.

Actually going from the area of the Ur of the Chaldees going to Haran, they were going about six hundred miles northwest. It was about four hundred miles from Haran, down to the land of Canaan to the area of Shechem where he was ultimately to end up. But Abraham started off journeying in obedience to God from the Ur of the Chaldees. They stopped with his father. It could be that his dad said "hey, this is good. Let's settle here. Let's settle in this area. It's nice, you know, it's productive and all".

Let's settle here and there was a spiritual death of Terah to the call of God and awareness of God or the spiritual death. And Stephen could be referring to that when Terah died, then that spiritual death, Abraham realized that he had to leave now his father and that family and journey on by himself to the land that God had promised to show him.

So don't cast off your faith because of a bit of mathematics here. There are possible explanations for and which one is correct, of course, we don't know.

Chapter 12

Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy family ( Genesis 12:1 ),

So Abraham really wasn't totally obedient at this point. And this to me is interesting, because Abraham is always held as the model of faith in the New Testament, the model of a man who believed and trusted God. He's the prime example of the man who believes. And so many times when we read about faith and the exploits of faith, we think, "But I'm so weak and I've blown it so many times, surely I can't do it". It's good to know that Abraham wasn't perfect nor was his faith perfect. It's good to know that you don't have to be perfect and your faith doesn't have to be perfect for God to honor you.

So God said, "Get away from your family". He took his dad with him from the Ur of the Chaldees to Haran. That was an incomplete obedience. Stopping at Haran was incomplete obedience to God. So even men noted as men of faith have their moments. And just because you slipped back and have your moments doesn't mean that God won't honor you and honor your faith, or that God doesn't love you and wants to still work in a powerful way in your life, just because you blow it and you stop at Haran. It doesn't mean that the call of God is going to be removed and there's no chance for you to go on and fulfill that which God has laid upon your life and your heart to do.

Many people have stopped at Haran, but the time came for him to move on, which he did. Maybe the time has come for you to move on from your Haran. "The Lord said, Get thee out of thy country, from thy father's family."

from your father's house, to a land that I will show you ( Genesis 12:1 ):

So by the very virtue of the fact that Terah went with him, it could be the old man was saying, "Oh no, don't leave. I want to go with you, son". Or it could be Abraham was saying, "Okay, dad, all right", you know. And he could have been weak in this area. But then his dad began to drag him down and slow him down, until his father died spiritually following after the pagan practices, and Abraham moved on.

I will make of thee [God said] a great nation ( Genesis 12:2 ),

Now God is establishing covenant with Abraham. "Get away from your family, your father's house, to a land that I will show you. I'll make you a great nation".

I will bless you, I will make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing ( Genesis 12:2 ):

All of these promises God fulfilled to Abraham. He made of him a great nation. God has blessed him and made the name of Abraham great. It's honored and respected. "And thou shalt be a blessing."

And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee: and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed ( Genesis 12:3 ).

And from that is the promise that the Messiah would come from Abraham. "In thee all the families of the earth." Not just the Jews but all the families of the earth will be blessed from Abraham's progeny, even Jesus Christ.

So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed out of Haran. And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go to the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came ( Genesis 12:4-5 ).

Four hundred-mile journey, which in those days, with all of the animals and everything else, must have taken quite a long time indeed.

And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Shechem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanites [or the descendants or Canaan] were then in the land. And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there he built an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him ( Genesis 12:6-7 ).

Now the promise of giving the land to Abraham's seed at this point would also include the Palestinians, because the Arabs also were descendants of Abraham through Ishmael. So at this point, the land is promised not just to the Jews but also to thy seed, which would include the Arabs, Palestinians. But later on, when God repeats it to Jacob, it excludes the Arabs.

And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and he pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai [or Ai] on the east ( Genesis 12:8 ):

Now when Joshua came in later to conquer the land, he came up from Jericho and conquered Ai and then onto Bethel. Abraham now has a favorite spot there near Bethel in between Bethel and Ai. It's the highest part of the land in that particular area. It gives you just a fabulous view. It's about ten miles north of Jerusalem and about twenty miles or so from Shechem. But from there you can see down into the Jordan valley, you can see up towards the area of Samaria, you can see Jerusalem and the area south. You can look over towards the Mediterranean. It just is a beautiful vantage-point in that mountainous area between Bethel and Ai. And when Abraham came to this area, he built an altar. "And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed I give this land."

he built an altar unto the LORD, and called on the name of the LORD. And Abram journeyed, going on down now to the south. And there was a famine in the land: so Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land ( Genesis 12:8-10 ).

So there was a drought in the-of course, he went on south towards Beersheba. There is always a drought down there. The place is really dry. It's 'deserty'.

And it came to pass, when he was come near to Egypt, that he said to Sarai his wife ( Genesis 12:11 ),

Now here's our great man of faith, our example.

Behold now, I know that you are a beautiful woman to look upon ( Genesis 12:11 ):

Hey, that's saying a lot to your wife when she's sixty-five years old. But because of the longevity, at sixty-five you were still really, you know, in your prime of youth in a sense of beauty. Abraham lived to be over one hundred and sixty. So at sixty-five you're really not that old yet in those times. But it does, you know, when you think of sixty-five years old and talking about her great beauty, it does sound to be very interesting. "I know that you are a beautiful woman to look upon."

Therefore when it comes to pass, when the Egyptians will see you, they will say, This is his wife: and they will kill me, and keep you alive ( Genesis 12:12 ).

They'll take you into their harem. Now this was a common practice among the Egyptian kings is to just, if a man, if he saw a beautiful woman, he'd kill her husband and take her as his wife. And so he said,

I pray that you'll tell them that you are my sister: that it might be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee ( Genesis 12:13 ).

Hey, this is our great man of faith, Abraham. You see, even great men of faith have their weaknesses and their moments. Now that encourages me for some silly reason because I also have my moments of weaknesses. But I have the concept that when I get weak, God just says, "All right, that's it. You had your chance". You know, wipe out, but not so. God continued to honor Abraham. God continued to bless Abraham. He wasn't perfect.

God doesn't use perfect people because they don't exist. So don't worry that you're not perfect. Don't think that God is going to reject you because you're not perfect. Don't think that God can't use you because you're not perfect. God blessed Abraham. God used Abraham though he had his lapses of faith, just like we have our lapses of faith.

So it came to pass, that, when Abram was come to Egypt, the Egyptians beheld the woman that she was very beautiful. And the princes also of Pharaoh saw her, and they commended her before the Pharaoh: and the woman was taken into the Pharaoh's house. And he entreated Abram [or he treated Abraham] well for her sake: and he had sheep, and oxen, and asses, and menservants, maidservants, she asses, camels. And the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai Abram's wife. And the Pharaoh called Abram, and said, What have you done to me? Why didn't you tell me that she was your wife? Why did you say, She is my sister? I might have taken her to be my wife: now behold your wife, take her, go your way. And Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him: and they sent him away, and his wife, and all that he had ( Genesis 12:14-20 ).

So he came under then a special protective edict of the Pharaoh so that he would not fall prey to the men in order that they might take Sarai his wife.

So an introduction now to Abraham. We're beginning now to follow and we will from now on follow Abraham as we come on down towards Christ, as the Bible now is the developing of the nation and from the nation the coming forth of the Savior of the world.

So next week we'll continue on beginning with chapter thirteen. Shall we stand? God bless you and enrich your heart and your mind in the things of the Spirit, giving you understanding of His Word. And may God increase your faith and your knowledge and understanding of Him. God go with you and bless you and watch over you and keep you in all your ways, strengthening you and ministering to you through His love. In Jesus' name. "





Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Genesis 10:19". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/​commentaries/​csc/​genesis-10.html. 2014.

Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon,.... This is to be understood, not of the Canaanites, properly so called, but of them in general; and is a description of the bounds of the land of Canaan, as possessed by the people of Israel: the northern or north west border of it was Sidon, see Genesis 10:15 and is to be understood of the country which reached from that city towards the east almost as far as Jordan:

as thou comest from Gerar unto Gaza; two cities of the Philistines, well known in Scripture, the former for being the place where Abraham and Isaac sometimes sojourned, and the latter for Samson's exploits in it; these were the southern or south west border of the land of Canaan:

as thou goest unto Sodom and Gomorrah, and Admah and Zeboim; four cities destroyed by fire from heaven, as is after related in this book; these lay to the south or south east part of the land:

even unto Lashah; which, according to the Targum of Jonathan, is Callirrhoe, a place famous for hot waters, which run into the Dead sea, and who in this is followed by Jerom; but since it was not in the southern part of Judea, as Lashah was, Bochart proposes a Lusa, as being more likely to be the place, a city of the Arabs, which Ptolemy b puts in the midway between the Mediterranean and the Red sea; but this is objected to by Reland c, since the southern borders of the land of Canaan were from the extremity of the Dead sea unto the Mediterranean sea, from which Lusa was at a great distance: the Samaritan version of this verse is very different from the Hebrew, and is this,

"and the border of the Canaanites was from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates, and unto the hinder sea:''

i.e. the western or Mediterranean.

a Phaleg. l. 4. c. 37. col. 309. b Geograph. l. 5. c. 17. c Palestina Illustrata, tom. 2. p. 871.

Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Genesis 10:19". "Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/​commentaries/​geb/​genesis-10.html. 1999.

Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible

      15 And Canaan begat Sidon his firstborn, and Heth,   16 And the Jebusite, and the Amorite, and the Girgasite,   17 And the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite,   18 And the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite: and afterward were the families of the Canaanites spread abroad.   19 And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon, as thou comest to Gerar, unto Gaza; as thou goest, unto Sodom, and Gomorrah, and Admah, and Zeboim, even unto Lasha.   20 These are the sons of Ham, after their families, after their tongues, in their countries, and in their nations.

      Observe here, 1. The account of the posterity of Canaan, of the families and nations that descended from him, and of the land they possessed, is more particular than of any other in this chapter, because these were the nations that were to be subdued before Israel, and their land was in process of time to become the holy land, Immanuel's land; and this God had an eye to when, in the mean time, he cast the lot of that accursed devoted race in that spot of ground which he had selected for his own people; this Moses takes notice of, Deuteronomy 32:8, When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel. 2. By this account it appears that the posterity of Canaan were numerous, and rich, and very pleasantly situated; and yet Canaan was under a curse, a divine curse, and not a curse causeless. Note, Those that are under the curse of God may yet perhaps thrive and prosper greatly in this world; for we cannot know love or hatred, the blessing or the curse, by what is before us, but by what is within us, Ecclesiastes 9:1. The curse of God always works really and always terribly: but perhaps it is a secret curse, a curse to the soul, and does not work visibly, or a slow curse, and does not work immediately; but sinners are by it reserved for, and bound over to, a day of wrath. Canaan here has a better land than either Shem or Japheth, and yet they have a better lot, for they inherit the blessing.

Bibliographical Information
Henry, Matthew. "Complete Commentary on Genesis 10:19". "Henry's Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/​commentaries/​mhm/​genesis-10.html. 1706.

Kelly Commentary on Books of the Bible

There is one characteristic of divine revelation to which attention may be profitably called as a starting point. We have to do with facts. The Bible alone is a revelation of facts, and, we can add (not from the Old Testament, but from the New), of a person. This is of immense importance. In all pretended revelations it is not so. They give you notions ideas; they can furnish nothing better, and very often nothing worse. But they cannot produce facts, for they have none. They may indulge in speculations of the mind, or visions of the imagination a substitute for what is real, and a cheat of the enemy. God, and God alone, can communicate the truth. Thus it is that whether it be the Old Testament or New, one half (speaking now in a general way) consists of history. Undoubtedly there is teaching of the Spirit of God founded on the facts of revelation. In the New Testament these unfoldings have the profoundest character, but everywhere they are divine; for there is no difference, whether it be the Old or the New, in the absolutely divine character of the written word. But still it is well to take note that we have thus a grand basis of things as they really are a divine communication to us of facts of the utmost moment, and, at the same time, of the deepest interest to the children of God. In this too God's own glory is brought before us, and so much the more because there is not the smallest effort. The simple statement of the facts is that which is worthy of God.

Take, for instance, the way in which the book of Genesis opens. If man had been writing it, if he had attempted to give that which pretended to be a revelation, we could understand a flourish of trumpets, pompous prolegomena, some elaborate means or other of setting forth who and what God is, an attempt by fancy to project His image out of man's mind, or by subtle à priori reasoning to justify all that might follow. The highest, the holiest, the only suitable way, once it is laid before us, evidently is what God Himself has employed in His word. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Not only is the method the most worthy, but the truth with which the book opens is one that nobody ever did really discover before it was revealed. You cannot, as a rule, anticipate facts; you cannot discern the truth beforehand. You may form opinions; but for the truth, and even for such facts as the world's history before man had an existence in it facts as to which there can be no testimony from the creature on the earth, we find the need of His word who knew and wrought all from the beginning. But God does communicate in such a way as at once meets the heart, and mind, and conscience. Man feels that this is exactly what is appropriate to God.

So here God states the great truth of creation; for what is more important, short of redemption, always excepting the manifestation of the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God? Creation and redemption bear witness to His glory, instead of communicating aught of His own dignity. But short of Christ's person and work, there is nothing more characteristic of God than creation. And in the manner in which creation is here presented what unspeakable grandeur! all the more because of the chaste simplicity of the style and words. How suited to the true God, who perfectly knew the truth and would make it known to man!

"In the beginning God created." In the beginning matter did not co-exist with God. I warn every person solemnly against a notion found in both ancient and modern times, that there was in the beginning a quantity of what may be called crude matter for God to work on. Another notion still more general, and only less gross, though certainly not so serious in what it involves, is that God created matter in the beginning according to verse 2, in a state of confusion or "chaos," as men say. But this is not the meaning of verses 1 and 2. I have no hesitation in saying that it is a mistaken interpretation, however prevalent. Nor indeed is such dealing according to the revealed nature of God. Where is anything like it in all the known ways of God? That either matter existed crude or God created it in disorder has not, I believe, the smallest foundation in the word of God. What scripture gives here or elsewhere seems to me altogether at variance with such a thought. The introductory declarations of Genesis are altogether in unison with the glory of God Himself, and with His character; more than that, they are in perfect harmony with itself. There is no statement, from beginning to end of scripture, as far as I am aware, which in the smallest degree modifies or takes away from the force of the words with which the Bible opens "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."

Some have found a difficulty (which I simply touch on in passing) from the conjunction with which verse 2 commences. They have conceived that, coupling the second verse with the first, it suggests the notion that when God created the earth it was in the state described in the second verse. Now not only is it not too strong to deny that there is the least ground for such an inference, but one may go farther and affirm that the simplest and surest means of guarding against it, according to the style of the writer, and indeed propriety of language, was afforded by here inserting the word "and." In short, if the word had not been here, it might have been supposed that the writer meant us to conclude that the original condition of the earth was the shapeless mass of confusion which verse 2 describes with such terse and graphic brevity. But, as it is, scripture means nothing of the sort. We have first the great announcement that in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. There is next the associated fact of an utter desolation which befell not the heavens, but the earth. The insertion of the substantive verb, as has been remarked, expresses no doubt a condition past as compared with what follows, but pointedly not said to be contemporaneous with what preceded, as would have been implied in its omission; but what interval lay between, or why such a desolation ensued, is not stated. For God passes rapidly over the early account and history of the globe I might almost say, hastening to that condition of the earth in which it was to be made the habitation of mankind; whereon also God was to display His moral dealings, and finally His own Son, with the fruitful consequences of that stupendous event, whether in rejection or in redemption.

Had the copulative not been here, the first verse might have been regarded as a kind of summary of the chapter. Its insertion forbids the thought, and to speak plainly, convicts those who so understand it either of ignorance, or at the least of inattention. Not only the Hebrew idiom forbids it, but our own, and no doubt every other language. The first verse is not a summary. When a compendious statement of what follows is intended, the "and" is never put. This you can, if you will, verify in various occasions where scripture furnishes examples of the summary; as, for instance, in the beginning of Genesis 5:1-32, "This is the book of the generations of Adam." There it is plain that the writer gives a summary. But there is no word coupling the introductory statement of verse 1 with what follows. "This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man." It is not "And in the day." The copulative would render it improper, and impossible to bear the character of a general introduction. For a summary gives in a few words that which is opened out afterwards; whereas the conjunction "and" introduced in the second verse excludes necessarily all notion of a summary here. It is another statement added to what had just preceded, and by the Hebrew idiom not connected with it in time.

First of all there was the creation by God both of the heavens and of the earth. Then we have the further fact stated of the state into which the earth was plunged to which it was reduced. Why this was, how it was, God has not here explained. It was not necessary nor wise to reveal it by Moses. If man can discover such facts by other means, be it so. They have no small interest; but men are apt to be hasty and short-sighted. I advise none to embark too confidently in the pursuit of such studies. Those who enter on them had better be cautious, and well weigh alleged facts, and above all their own conclusions, or those of other men. But the perfectness of scripture is, I am bold to say, unimpeachable. The truth affirmed by Moses remains in all its majesty and simplicity withal.

In the beginning God created everything the heavens and the earth. Then the earth is described as void and waste, and (not as succeeding, but accompanying it) darkness upon the face of the deep, contemporaneously with which the Spirit of God broods upon the face of the waters. All this is an added account. The real and only force of the "and" is another fact; not at all as if it implied that the first and second verses spoke of the same time, any more than they decide the question of the length of the interval. The phraseology employed perfectly agrees with and confirms the analogy of revelation, that the first verse speaks of an original condition which God was pleased to bring into being; the second, of a desolation afterwards brought in; but how long the first lasted what changes may have intervened, when or by what means the ruin came to pass, is not the subject-matter of the inspired record, but open to the ways and means of human research, if indeed man has sufficient facts on which to ground a sure conclusion. It is false that scripture does not leave room for his investigation.

We saw at the close of verse 2 the introduction of the Spirit of God on the scene. "The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." He appears most consistently and in season, when man's earth is about to be brought before us. In the previous description, which had not to do with man, there was silence about the Spirit of God; but, as the divine wisdom is shown inProverbs 8:1-36; Proverbs 8:1-36 to rejoice in the habitable parts of the earth, so the Spirit of God is always brought before us as the immediate agent in the Deity whenever man is to be introduced. Hence, therefore, as closing all the previous state of things, where man was not spoken of, preparing the way for the Adamic earth, the Spirit of God is seen brooding upon the face of the waters.

Now comes the first mention of evening and morning, and of days. Let me particularly ask those who have not duly considered the matter to weigh God's word. The first and second verses make allusion to these well-known measures of time. They leave room consequently for a state or states of the earth long before either man or time, as man measures it. The days that follow I see no ground for interpreting save in their simple and natural import. Undoubtedly "day" may be used, as it often is, in a figurative sense. No solid reason whatever appears why it should be so used here. There is not the slightest necessity for it. The strict import of the term is that which to my mind is most suitable to the context; the week in which God made the heaven and earth for man seems alone appropriate in introducing the revelation of God. I can understand, when all is clear, a word used figuratively; but nothing would be so likely to let elements of difficulty into the subject, as at once giving us in tropical language what elsewhere is put in the simplest possible forms.

Hence we may see how fitting it is that, as man is about to be introduced on the earth for the first time, as the previous state had nothing whatever to do with his being here below, and indeed was altogether unfit for his dwelling on it, besides the fact that he was not yet created, days should appear only when it was a question of making the heavens and the earth as they are. It will be found, if scripture be searched, that there is the most careful guard on this subject. If the Holy Spirit, as in Exodus 20:11, refers to heaven and earth made in six days, it always avoids the expression "creation." God made heaven and earth in six days: it is never said He created heaven and earth in six days. When it is no question of these, creating, making, and forming may be freely used, as in Isaiah 45:18. The reason is plain when we look at Genesis 1:1-31. He created the heaven and earth at the beginning. Then another state of things is mentioned in verse 2, not for the heaven, but for the earth. "The earth was without form and void." The heavens were in no such state of chaos: the earth was. As to how, when, and why it was, there is silence. Others have spoken spoken rashly and wrongly. The wisdom of the inspired writer's silence will be evident to a spiritual mind, and the more, the more it is reflected on. On the six days which follow I shall not dwell: the subject was before many of us not long ago.

But we have on the first day light, and a most remarkable fact it is (I may in passing just say) that the inspired historian should have named it. No one would have done so naturally. It is plain, had Moses merely formed a probable opinion as men do, that no one would have introduced the mention of light, apart from, and before all distinct notice of, the heavenly orbs. The sun, moon, and stars, would certainly have been first introduced, had man simply pursued the workings of his own mind, or those of observation and experience. The Spirit of God has acted quite otherwise. He, knowing the truth, could afford to state the truth as it is, leaving men to find out at another day the certainty of all` He has said, and leaving them, alas! to their unbelief if they choose to despise or resist the word of God meanwhile. We might with interest pass through the account of the various days, and mark the wisdom of God in each; but I forbear to dwell on such details now, saying a word here and there on the goodness of God apparent throughout.

First of all (verse 3) light is caused to be or act. Next the day is reckoned from "the evening and the morning" a statement of great importance for other parts of scripture, never forgotten by the Spirit of God, but almost invariably let slip by moderns; which forgetfulness has been a great source of the difficulties that have encumbered harmonies of the Gospels. It may be well to glance at it just to show the importance of heeding the word of God, and all His word. The reason why persons have found such perplexities, for instance) in relation to our Lord's, as compared with the Jews taking the passover and with the crucifixion, is owing to their forgetting that the evening and the morning were the first day, the second day, or any other. Even scholars bring in their western notions from the familiar habit of counting the day from the morning to the evening It is the same thing with the account of the resurrection. The difficulty could never arise had they seen and remembered what is stated in the very first chapter of Genesis, and the indelible habit graven thereby on the Jew.

We find then light caused to be a remarkable expression, and, be assured, profoundly true. But what man would have thought it, or said it, if he had not been inspired? For it is much more exactly true than any expression that has been invented by the most scientific of men; yet there is no science in it. It is the beauty and the blessedness of scripture that it is as much above man's science as above his ignorance. It is the truth, and in such a form and depth as man himself could not have discerned. Being the truth, whatever man discovers that is true will never clash with it.

On the first day light is. Next a firmament is separated in the midst of the waters to divide the waters from the waters. Thirdly the dry land appears, and the earth bringing forth grass, and herb, and fruit-tree. There is the provision of God, not merely for the need of man, but for His own glory; and this in the smallest things as in the greatest. On the fourth day we hear of lights in the firmament. The utmost possible care appears in the statement. They are not said to be created then; but God made two great lights (it is no question of their mass, but of their capacity as light bearers,) for the Adamic earth the stars also. Then we find the waters caused to bring forth abundantly "the moving creature that hath life." Vegetable life was before, animal life now a very weighty truth, and of the greatest moment too. Life is not the matter out of which animals were formed; nor is it true that matter produces life. God produces life, whether it be for the fish that people the sea, for the birds of the air, or for the beasts, cattle, or reptiles, on the dry land. It is God that does all, whether it be for the earth, the air, or the waters. And here in a secondary sense of the word is the propriety of the phrase "created" in verse 21; and we shall see it also when a new action comes before us in imparting not animal life but a rational soul. (Verse 27.) For as we have on the sixth day the lower creation for the earth, so finally man himself the crown of all.

But here comes a striking difference. God speaks with the peculiar appropriateness which suits the new occasion, in contradistinction from what we have seen elsewhere. "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness." It is man as the head of creation. It is not man placed in his moral relationships, but man the head of this kingdom of creation, as they say; but still even so with remarkable dignity. "Let us make man in our image." He was to represent God here below; besides this he was to be like God. There was to be a mind in him, a spirit capable of the knowledge of God with the absence of all evil. Such was the condition in which man was formed. "And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon earth." God created man in His own image: in the image of God created He him. In conclusion, the Sabbath day, which God* sanctified, closes the great week of God's forming the earth for man, the lord of it. (Genesis 2:1-3)

*Jehovah here, rather than Elohim, would have spoilt the beauty of the divine account. No doubt afterwards God did as the Jehovah of Israel impose the remembrance of the Sabbath every seventh day of the week on His people. But it was important to show its ground in the facts of creation, apart from special relationship, and that made Elohim alone appropriate in this place.

Then, fromGenesis 2:4; Genesis 2:4, we have the subject from another point of view, not a repetition of the account of creation, but what was even more necessary to be brought here before us, the place of relationship in which God set the creation He had formed, not mutually alone, but above all, in reference to Himself. Hence it is here that Eden is first spoken of. We should not have known anything of paradise from the first chapter. The reason is evident. Eden was to be the scene of the moral trial of man.

From the fourth verse of Genesis 2:1-25, therefore, we first meet with a new title of God. To the end of the third verse of that chapter it was always God (Elohim) as such. It was the name of the divine nature, as such, in contrast with man or the creature; not the special manner in which God may reveal Himself at a particular time, or deal in exceptional ways, but the general and what you may call historical name of God, "God" as such.

For this, as for other reasons, it is manifest that Genesis 2:1-25 ought to begin with the verse which stands fourth in the common English Bible. God is here styled Jehovah-Elohim; and so uniformly to the end of the chapter.

I must be permitted here to say a word on a subject which, if it has called out enormous discussion, betrays in its course, I am sorry to say, no small amount of evident infidelity. It has been gathered from the varying names of God, etc., by speculative minds that there must have been different documents joined together in this book. Now there is not really the very least ground for such an assumption. On the contrary, supposing there was but one writer of the book of Genesis, as I am persuaded is the truth of the case, it would not have borne the stamp of a divine communication if he had used either the name of Jehovah-Elohim in 1-2: 3, or the name of "Elohim" only in Genesis 2:4-25. The change of designation springs from distinct truths, not from different fabulists and a sorry compiler who could not even assimilate them. Accepting the whole as an inspired writing, I maintain that the same writer must have used this distinctive way of speaking of God in Genesis 1:1-31; Genesis 2:1-25, and that the notion of there being two or three writers is merely a want of real intelligence in scripture. If it were the same writer, and he an inspired one, it was proper in the highest degree to use the simple term "Elohim" in chapters 1, 2: 3, then the compound "Jehovah-Elohim" from verse 4 and onward through Genesis 2:1-25. A mere historian, like Josephus of old a mere commentator, like Ewald now might have used either the one or the other without sensible loss to his readers through both chapters. An inspired author could not have expressed himself differently from Moses without impairing the perfect beauty and accuracy of the truth.* If the book were in each of these different subjects written according to that most perfect keeping which pervades scripture, and which only God is capable of producing by His chosen instruments, I am convinced that, as Elohim simply in Genesis 2:1-25, so "Jehovah-Elohim" in Genesis 1:1-31, would have been wholly out of place with their respective positions in 1 and 2. As they stand, they are in exact harmony. The first chapter does not speak of special relationships, does not treat of any peculiar dealings of God with the creature. It is the Creator originating what is around us; consequently it is God, Elohim, who alone could be spoken of as such in ch. Genesis 2:1-3; Genesis 2:1-3, taking the Sabbath as the necessary complement of the week, and therefore going on with the preceding six days, not with what follows. But inGenesis 2:1-25; Genesis 2:1-25, beginning with verse 4, where we have special position and moral responsibility coming to view for the first time, the compound term which expresses the Supreme putting Himself in relation with man, and morally dealing with him here below, is first used, and with the most striking appropriateness.

*We may judge how little the LXX. can claim credit for accuracy from their inattention to this difference in the Greek version. Holmes and Parsons show, however, the omission of κύριος supplied in not a few MSS., whether by the translators or by their copyists may be a question.

So far is the book of Genesis, therefore, from indicating a mere clumsy compiler, who strung together documents which had neither cohesion nor distinctive propriety, instead of there being merely two or three sets of traditions edited by another party, there is really the perfect statement of the truth of God, the expression of one mind, as is found in no writings outside the Bible. The difference in the divine titles is due to a distinctness of object, not of authorship; and it runs through the Psalms and the Prophets as well as the Law, so as to convict of ignorance and temerity the learned men who vaunt so loudly of the document hypothesis as applied to the Pentateuch.

Here accordingly we find in Genesis 2:1-25, with a fulness and precision given nowhere else, God's entering into relationship with man, and man's relation to Eden, to the animal realm, and to woman specially. Hence, when notice is here taken of man's formation, it is described (as all else is) in a manner quite distinct from that of Genesis 1:1-31; but that distinctiveness self-evidently is because of the moral relationship which the Spirit of God is here bringing before the reader. Every subject that comes before us is dealt with in a new point of view suitably to the new name given to God the name of God as a moral governor, no longer simply as a creator. Could any person have conceived such wisdom beforehand? On the contrary, we have all read these chapters in the Bible, and we may have read them as believers too, without seeing their immense scope and profound accuracy all at once. But when God's word is humbly and prayerfully studied, the evidence will not be long withheld by the Spirit of God, that there is a divine depth in that word which no mere man put into it. Then what confirmation of one's faith! What joy and delight in the Scriptures! If men, and men too of ability and learning, have tortured the signs of its very perfection into proofs of defective and clashing documents, ridiculously combined by a man who did not perceive that he was editing not fables only but inconsistent fables, what can believers do but wonder at human blindness, and adore divine grace ' For themselves, with glowing gratitude they receive it as the precious word of God, where His love and goodness and truth shine in a way beyond all comparison, and yet meeting the mind and heart in the least, no less than in the most serious, wants that each day brings here below. In every way it proves itself the word not of men, but as it is in truth of God, which effectually works in them that believe.

In this new section accordingly it is written, "These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created [going up to the first], in the day* [here the writer comes down] that Jehovah-Elohim made the earth and the heavens." It is not in this connection "created," it will be observed, but "made" them. The language is invariably used in the most perfect manner. "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 not a man to till the ground. But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.** And Jehovah-Elohim formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul."

*Is it not the more captiousness of criticism to set the general phrase "the day," etc., against the precision of the six days in the previous section? It is unfounded to say that in the second narrative the present world is supposed to be brought forth at once. The history is in Genesis 1:2-3 from verse 4 to the end ofGenesis 2:1-25; Genesis 2:1-25 is not so much a history of creation as a statement of the relations of creation, and especially of man, its centre and head. Genesis 2:1-25. assumes Genesis 1:1-31, but adds moral elements of the utmost importance and interest.

*It seems almost too trivial to notice what Dr. Davidson and Bishop Colenso (or their German sources) say of Genesis 2:5-6, as if inconsistent with Genesis 1:9-10. If divine power separated the earth from the waters, why should it remain saturated? InGenesis 1:1-31; Genesis 1:1-31 it is said that "the dry land" was called earth; in the others, that though no rain yet fell, a mist went up. What can be more consistent?

Here we learn that man did not become a living soul in the way that every other animal did. The others were caused to live by the simple fact that God organized them according to His own will; but in man's case there was this essential difference, that he alone became a living soul by the inbreathing of Jehovah-Elohim. Man alone therefore has what is commonly called an immortal soul. His body only is ever said to be mortal. Man alone, as deriving that which gave him the breath of life not from his body but from the breath of Jehovah-Elohim, gives an account to God. Man will rise and live again. Not merely with the elements of his body will he reappear, which is quite true, but besides he will reappear bodily in connection with a soul that never died. It is the soul which gives the unity, and which accounts for the personal identity. All other ways of explaining it are feeble, if not mere trash. But this divine statement, in connection with man's moral relationship with God, here calmly and clearly stated, is the true key. When men reason instead of receiving the revealed light of the Bible, I care not who or what they may be, they only mistake God and even man. They speculate; they give you ideas and very foolish ideas they often are. The word of God presents to the simplest Christian the perfect account of the matter.

This elementary truth is of immense importance at the present moment. For it is a day when all things are in question, even the surest. It is not as if it were a new thing for man to deny the immortality of his own soul. At first it sounds strange that a day of human self-exaltation should be equally characterised by as strong a desire to deny the special breath of God for his soul, and degrade him to the pedigree of an ape! But it is an old story in this world, though a new thing for professing members and ministers of Christ, to take pride in putting scorn on divine revelation. Infidelity takes increasingly an apostate form, and those that used to revere both Old Testament and New are abandoning the truth of God for the dreamy but mischievous romances of so-called modern science. Never was there a moment when man was verging more evidently towards apostacy from the truth, and that not merely as to redemption, but even as to creation, as to himself, and above all as to his relationship with God. Give up the immortality of the soul, and you deny the ground of that relationship, man's special moral responsibility to God.

But there is more than this, though this be of exceeding interest; because we see with equal certainty and clearness why Jehovah-Elohim is introduced not before but here, and why man's becoming a living soul by the inbreathing of God was said here and not in the first chapter. Neither would have suited the chapter; both are perfectly in season in Genesis 2:1-25. Further, we now hear of the garden that was planted by Jehovah-Elohim eastward in Eden, where He put the man whom He had formed. And here we find the solemn truth, that not only did Jehovah-Elohim cause to grow every tree that is pleasant and good for food, but "the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil."

I call your attention for a moment to this. It is often a difficulty with souls that God should have made the moral history of the world to turn on touching that tree or eating of that fruit. The mere. mind of man thinks it a mighty difficulty that what appears to be so small a matter should be pregnant with such awful results. Do you not understand that this was the very essence of the trial? It was the essential feature that the trial should be simply a question of God's authority in prohibition, not one of grave moral evil. There was the whole matter. When God made man, when Jehovah-Elohim breathed the breath of life into his nostrils, man had no knowledge of things as right or wrong in themselves. This was acquired (have you never known, or have you forgotten, the solemn fact?) by the fall. An innocent man could not have had the knowledge of good and evil; it pertains necessarily to a fallen one. He who is innocent a man absolutely without any evil either in himself or in that which was around him, where all was from God (and this is the revealed account of things), how could he have a knowledge of evil? How possibly have that discrimination which decides morally between what is good and what is evil? How perfect therefore is the intimation of scripture! Yet none did or could anticipate it.

The condition of man was altogether different then from what it became immediately after. All is consistent in revelation, and nowhere else. Men, the wisest those of whom the world has most boasted, never had even the least adequate thought of such a state of things; yet enough of tradition remained even among heathens to witness to the truth. Nay, more, now that it is clearly revealed, they have no competency to appreciate it never take in its force; and for this simple reason, that man invariably judges from himself and from his own experience, instead of submitting to God and His word. It is only faith that really accepts what comes from God; and faith alone gives the clue to what is around us now, but then it guides us through all present entanglements by believing God whether as to what He once made or what He will yet do. Philosophy believes neither, in a vain effort to account for all by what is, or rather appears; for it knows nothing, not even the present, as it ought to know. Consequently the attempt of man's mind by what is now to judge of what was then always ends in the merest confusion and total failure. In truth only God is competent to pronounce; and this He has done.

Hence the believer finds not the slightest difficulty. He may not be able perhaps to meet objections. That is another matter, and by ho means of such consequence as many suppose. The great point, my brethren, is to hold fast the truth. It is all well, and a desirable service of love, if a Christian can happily and with God-given wisdom meet the difficulties of others; but hold you the truth yourselves. Such is the power and simplicity of faith. Adversaries may no doubt try to embarrass you: if they will, let them do so. Do not be troubled if you cannot answer their questions and dispose of their cavils; you may regret it in charity for injured or misled souls. But, after all, it is the positive truth of God which it is the all-important business to hold, and this God has put in the heart of the simplest child who believes in Jesus.

I affirm then that, when God thus made man, when He put him in Eden, the actual test was the interdict not of a thing which was in itself evil, but simply and prescriptively wrong for man because God had forbidden it. Such is the very essence of a test for an innocent man. In fact any other thought (such as the law) is not only contrary to scripture, but when you closely and seriously think of it as a believer, it will be seen to be an impossible state of things then. Consequently a moral test such as the wise and prudent would introduce here, and count a worthier reason why there should be so vast a ruin for the world ensuing, is out of the question. No, it was the simple question whether God was really Jehovah-Elohim, whether He was a moral governor or not, whether man was to be independent of God or not. This was decided not by some grave and mighty matter, of which man could reason and see the consequences, but simply by doing or not doing the will of God. Thus we see how the simple truth is after all the deepest wisdom.

It is of great interest and importance to observe that God distinguished from the first between responsibility on the one hand, and life-giving on the other, in the two trees (verse 9). Even for Adam, innocent as he was, life did not depend on abstinence from eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Death followed if he disobeyed God in eating of this tree (verse 17); but, walking in obedience, he was free to eat of the tree of life. He fell in partaking of the forbidden fruit; and God took care that he should not eat of the tree of life. But the two trees, representing the two principles, which man is ever confounding or obliterating one for the other, are in the scripture as in truth wholly distinct.

Observe another thing too. We have the description of the garden of Eden. I do not consider that its locality is so very difficult to ascertain in a general way as has been often imagined. Scripture describes it, and mentions two rivers which unquestionably exist at the present day. There can be no doubt that the Euphrates and the Tigris or Hiddekel, here named, are the same two rivers similarly called to this moment. It appears to me beyond reasonable doubt that the other two rivers are by no means impossible to trace; and it is remarkable, as showing that the Spirit of God takes an interest, and furnishes a thread to help us in the fact, that the two less notorious rivers are described more fully than the rivers which are so commonly known.* We are therefore warranted in supposing that they are described just because they might have been less easily discerned. It is said that the name of the first river is the Pison, and of the other the Gihon. Now without wishing to press my individual judgment of such a matter, I may state the conviction that the Pison and the Gihon, here described, are two rivers on the north of the site of Eden, one running into the Black Sea, the other into the Caspian. I believe that they are what are called, or used to be called in ancient times at any rate, the Phasis and the Aras or Araxes.

* This, not to speak of other reasons, appears conclusive against the claim of the Pison to be the Ganges! set up by Josephus and a crowd of Greek and Latin fathers, the Nile according to Jarchi and other Rabbis, the Indus of late reasserted by Ewald, more than one of the fathers considering it to be the Danube! Caesarius and Epiphanius held it to be the Danube, the Ganges, and the Indus, and that after an extraordinary course in the south it joined the ocean near Cadiz! Those who made the Pison to be the Ganges regarded the Gihon as the Nile. Those who embrace the theory that Eden lay on the Shat-el-Arab consider the Pison and the Gihon as mere branches of the stream formed by the blending of the Euphrates and the Tigris (or Hiddekel). But this seems to me indefensible, though there may be difficulty in reconciling what I regard as the truth with an unusual force of one or two words.

However this is merely by the way, for it is evidently a matter of no great importance in itself, save that we should hold the entire account of Paradise to be historical in the strictest and fullest sense. And, more than that, the position of these rivers seems to me to explain what has often been a difficulty to many the account that is given us here, that "a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from thence it was parted and became into four heads;" because if the garden of Eden lay in that quarter (that is to say in Armenia), in the part of it where are found the springs or watershed of these rivers, they would be all within a certain circumscribed quarter, as surrounding this garden. It is however possible that God may have allowed a certain change as to the distribution of these waters around the garden. I do not venture on any opinion as to this. Scripture does not say more, and we must hold to scripture. But these remarks are merely thrown out to show that there seems to be no insuperable difficulty in the way of arriving at a satisfactory solution of this vexed question. As for the transfer of the site of the garden lower down in the plain of Shinar, it appears to me altogether untenable. It is impossible thus to connect Eden with the fountainhead or sources of these rivers. It is not hard to conceive both that they had a common source before they parted, and that the garden of Eden may have been of considerable extent. Let this suffice: I do not wish to speculate about the matter.

The grand question to be tried we have afterwards. "Jehovah-Elohim took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it." Not a word of this is in the first chapter. "And Jehovah-Elohim commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day," etc. Not a word of this again occurs in the previous chapter. Why? Because moral responsibility in relationship to Jehovah-Elohim comes in exactly where it should. Had it been spoken of in the first chapter, there might have been grave exception taken whether such an account could have been inspired; but, coming in as it does, it is exactly as it ought to be.

Then the various species of land animals and birds are brought forward to see what Adam would call them; not when Eve was formed, but before. The beautiful type of creation belonging to Christ is thus admirably preserved.* Creation does not in the first instance belong to the church at all, whose place is purely one of grace. The Heir of all things is the Second man, and not the bride. If she possesses all along with Him, it is because of her union with Him, not intrinsically. This, it is observable, is kept up strikingly here, for Adam has these creatures brought before him by Jehovah- Elohim, and gives names to them all, showing clearly not alone his title as lord, but the power of appropriate language imparted by God from the first. The notion that intelligible speech is a mere growth from the gradual putting together of elements is a dream of ingenious speculation, which may exercise men's wits, but has no foundation whatever. Adam on the very first day of his life, even before Eve was formed, gave the animals their names, and God Himself sanctioned what their head uttered. Such was his relation to the creature; he was put in that place by God.

*This moral and typical bearing is the true key to the record in Genesis 2:4-25, and truly accounts for the differences from 1 - 2: 3, which ignorance and unbelief pervert into the discrepancies of two separate and inconsistent writers. It is not the fact that Genesis 2:7; Genesis 2:19, represents man as created first of all living creatures before the birds and beasts; any more than that man created in God's image (Genesis 1:27) contradicts the statement ofGenesis 2:7; Genesis 2:7, that he was formed of the dust of the ground. It is not said in Genesis 1:27 that man and woman were created together; or that the woman was created directly, and not formed out of one of the man's ribs.

But this made the want so much the more evident, of which Jehovah-Elohim takes notice, of a partner for Adam's affections and life, one that might be before him, as it is said: "And Jehovah-Elohim caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam.'' The creation of the woman apart from the man (as no doubt every other male and female were made separately) would have been a sterile and unimpressive fact. As it is, God reserves the striking detail for the scene of moral relationship. And may I not put it to the conscience of every soul whether such an event is not exactly where it should be, according to the internal and distinctive features ofGenesis 1:1-31; Genesis 1:1-31; Genesis 2:1-25? We all know how apt man has been to forget the truth how often might takes advantage of right! God at least was pleased to form woman, as well as to reveal her formation in a way that ought to make ashamed him who recognises her as his own flesh and bone, yet slights or misuses a relationship so intimate. "And he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; and the rib which Jehovah-Elohim had taken from man made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh."

The primitive condition is described too. "They were both naked the man and his wife, and were not ashamed." It was a state altogether different from that of man fallen; however suitable then, it was such as man as he is could never have conceived of with propriety. Yet we cannot but feel how suitable it was for innocence, in which condition God made man and woman. Could He have made them otherwise consistently with His own character? Could they so made have carried themselves otherwise than is here described? Man's present experience would have suggested neither; yet his heart and conscience, unless rebellious, feel how right and becoming all is in such a state of things none other so good.

The next chapter (Genesis 3:1-24) shows us the result of the test which we have seen laid down by Jehovah-Elohim. It was soon brought to issue. And here is another fact that I desire to bring before you. We see introduced, without more delay upon the scene, one too well and yet too little known, the active, audacious, most subtle adversary of God and man, the serpent from whom sin and misery result, as the Bible witnesses from the beginning to the end who is here first brought in a few quiet words before us. Who would have done this but God? In any other book, in a book written by mere man, (need one hesitate to say?) we should have had a long introduction, and a full history of his origin and his designs and his doings. God could introduce him, and could leave the heart to feel the rightness of saying no more about him than was necessary. The fact declares itself. If in the first chapter the true God shows Himself in creative power and glory, and in the perfect beneficence which marks too that which He had made; if in the second special relations display yet more His moral way and will, so the serpent does not fail to manifest his actual condition and aim not of course the condition in which he was made, but that to which sin had reduced him. "The serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which Jehovah-Elohim had made."

The third chapter is indeed a continuation of the second properly enough made into a separate chapter, but still its sequel simply. It is the issue of that probationary trial which was proposed there. And here the effort of the enemy was first to breathe suspicion on the goodness of God as well as on His truth, in short, on God Himself. Human lusts and passions were not yet in question, but they soon followed the desire of having what God had forbidden. First, however, it was an insinuation infused and allowed against the true God. All evil is due to this as its spring; it begins with God as the object attacked or undermined. "And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God* said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto 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 hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil" So it was that the serpent envenomed morally the heart of the woman first, and then of the man. I need not dwell on the sad history which we all know more or less. She listened, she looked, she took of the fruit; she ate, and was fallen. And man eat too, not deceived, but with open eyes, and therefore so much the more guilty swayed, no doubt, by his affections; bold, however, in yielding to them, for he ought rather to have been her guard and guide, certainly not to have followed her, even if he had failed to keep her safely in the path of good. Alas! he followed her, as he has often since, into the broad way of evil. Adam did not preserve the place in which God had set him.

*Some have wondered why the serpent and Eve should be represented as saying Elohim ("God") in the temptation, seeing that everywhere else in the section the name employed is Jehovah-Elohim. Now, not only may it be the simple fact that Elohim alone was used, but, further, on account of it, the historian would not introduce here the name of special relationship which the enemy was above all anxious to have if possible forgotten, and which the woman in fact did soon forget when she allowed one to work on her mind whose first aim was to sow distrust of God. To me it appears that all is in perfect keeping; and that the omission of Jehovah here is equally natural on the part of the serpent and Eve, as it is appropriate to the inspired history of the transaction.

Both fallen, they were both ashamed. "They knew that they were naked, and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons." And they heard the voice of Jehovah-Elohim walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves. The victims of sin knew shame, now fear. Departed from God, they hid themselves, and He had but to utter those solemn and searching words to Adam, "Where art thou?" He was gone from God. Forced to discover himself, Adam tells the humiliating tale: "I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself." The evil is traced home at last to its source, and the serpent is brought fully out. Each severally the man, the woman, the serpent stand evidently convicted by the presence of Jehovah-Elohim. Yet, wonderful to say, in the very announcement of judgment on the serpent, God, who had by the light of His presence compelled the guilty pair to come forth out of the darkness in which they had hid, or rather sought to hide God held out the first bright light of mercy, but mercy in the judgment of him who was the root of the evil. May one not say again who beforehand would have thought of ways so truly and self-evidently divine? But it is the word of God, and nothing can be more suitable to God, gracious to man, or just to the enemy.

Believers have constantly called it a "promise;" but it is not uninstructive to see that scripture never does. There was a revelation of an infinite blessing for man unquestionably, but hardly what is called a promise. It was addressed to the serpent. If a promise to any, it was to the woman's Seed, the last Adam, not to the first, who was just sentenced with Eve. Abraham, not Adam, is the depository of promise: so speaks scripture, as far as I know, invariably. We see why that ought to be. Was it a time for a promise? Was it a state for a promise? Was it a person for a promise? one that had ruined the glory of God, as far as it rested upon him. No, but in judging the serpent there comes out the revealed purpose of God, not a promise to Adam in sin, but the revelation of One who would crush the serpent's head the first sinner and too successful tempter to sin. The Second man, not the first, is the object of promise. This indeed is the invariable truth of scripture, and runs through it to the last.

Observe, in the beginning of the word of God, the sources of all things. As we saw God Himself the Creator and the moral Governor, so further we find the enemy of God and of man in exact accordance with the latest word that God speaks. Again, let us note the confronting of the serpent, not with man, who always falls under Satan's power, but with Christ, who always conquers. Such is the way in which God puts His truth, and this in the earliest part of His word. No later revelation in the smallest degree corrects the very first. Scripture is divine from first to last. But along with this we find no haste to reveal: all is in season. Not a word is heard about eternal life yet that must wait for His appearing who was such with the Father; not a word yet about the exhaustless riches of grace which were afterwards to abound. A person is held out the Seed of the woman; for the manner most expressly bespeaks the tender mercy of God. If the woman was the one first of all to yield, she is the destined mother of Him that would defeat the devil and deliver man. But what came in immediately, and what is traced throughout the Bible, it may be noted, is the present consequence in the government of God.* Consequently we find that as man had hearkened to the voice of the siren, and had eaten of the tree of which he was commanded not to eat, the ground was cursed for him. It is the present result. So again the woman has her portion, of which we need not say more than to point out what a clue it is to her lot in the history of the race. Both unite in this, that, as they were made of dust, to the dust they must return.

*How this agrees with the dispensational dealings of God with Israel needs no argument. They were chosen to be the public vessel of divine government on the earth. We have had their failure under law; we look for their stability under Messiah and the new covenant. But it is and will be of the deepest interest to trace these ways of God in earthly government from the first.

Notwithstanding in the midst of the scene of desolation we hear Adam calling his wife's name "Eve" (ver. Genesis 3:20; Genesis 3:20). To me it is perfectly clear how speedy was the fall after the creation of man. He had not before given his wife this her full and proper name. He had described what she was rather than who; it was only when sin had come in, and when others, had there been any, would have called her naturally the parent of death, that Adam (by what seems to be the guidance of God in faith) calls her rather the mother of the living. His soul, I cannot doubt, laid hold of the word that God had pronounced in judging the devil. And God here too beautifully marks His feeling. For (ver. Genesis 3:21) we are told, that "to Adam also and to his wife did Jehovah-Elohim make coats of skins and clothed them." The insufficiency of their resources had been proved. Now comes in the shadow of what God would do fully another day.

Nevertheless present consequences take their course, and in a certain sense mercy too is mingled with them, as is the case habitually, I think, in the government of God; for man as he is is just so much the less happy as he knows not what it is to labour in such a world as this. It is not only what he is doomed to, but the wisely ordered place for fallen man here below. There is no one more miserable than the man who has no object before him. I grant that in an unfallen condition there was another state of things. Where all was bright and good around man in innocency the scope for labour would not have its place. I only speak of what is good for man out of Paradise, and how God meets with and ministers to his state in His infinite grace. On this however we need not say more than that He "drove out the man," lest he should perpetuate the condition of ruin into which he had passed.*

*It is deplorable but wholesome to see how superstition and rationalism agree in the grossest ignorance of man's condition before the fall and through it. The doctrine in systematic theology is that God's image within became corrupted and defiled; yet that even then he was not altogether forsaken; and that the course of his history declares by what means it has pleased God to renew, in some measure, His lost image, etc. Another divine, but an infidel, regards the knowledge of good and evil as the image of God by creation. This last is often misunderstood. Scripture is plain and profoundly true: "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 Jehovah- Elohim sent him forth from the garden of Eden to till the ground whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life."

In his original estate man was created in God's image, but he had not the knowledge of good and evil. This he acquired by the fall. After this he could estimate and know things himself as good or evil; whilst innocent this could not be. A holy being might and does so know, i.e., a being who, while knowing, has an intrinsic nature that repels the evil and cleaves to the good. But this was not Adam's state, but simply made upright, with absence and ignorance of evil. When fallen he acquired the internal capacity of knowing right from wrong, apart from a law to inform or forbid; and in this respect became like God at the very time when he lost God and intercourse with Him as an innocent creature. We thus learn the compatibility of these two things, which in fact were true of man a fall from the relationship of innocence, in which he was originally set with God, and a rise in moral capacity, which, without faith, entails immense misery, but which is of the utmost value when one is brought to God by our Lord Jesus.

Then (Genesis 4:1-26) we have a new scene, which opens with a change in the name of God. It is no longer the test of creation, as God made it, and this accordingly is marked here. He is called "Jehovah;" He is not designated by the former mingled or compound term "Jehovah-Elohim," but by "Jehovah" simply; and this is found afterwards, either "Elohim" alone or "Jehovah in the other names of special character, as we shall see," until the call of Israel, when we have an appropriate modification in the expression of His name. But Adam now becomes a father, not innocent, but fallen before he became the head of the race. Cain was born, and the fallen mother gave the name: but, oh, what a mistake! I am sure, not that she was exactly entitled to give the name, but that it can be proved that she gave a singularly inappropriate one. She thought her first-born a great gain, for such is the meaning of the name "Cain." Alas! what disappointment and grief, both of the most poignant kind, followed ere long For Abel too was born; and in process of time it came to pass that they brought their offerings unto "Jehovah" a term, I may observe, that is here in admirable keeping. It was not barely as He who had created all, but the God that was in special relationship with man Jehovah. This is the force of it. Cain looked at Him in the place merely of a Creator, and there was his wrong. Sin needed more. Cain brought what might have sufficed in an unfallen world what might have suited an innocent worshipper of One who was simply known as Elohim. It was impossible that such a ground could be rightly taken longer; but so Cain did not feel. He makes a religion from his own mind, and brings of the fruit of the ground now under the curse; whilst Abel by faith offers the firstlings of the flock, and of the fat thereof. And Jehovah had respect unto Abel, and to his offering. It is the great truth of sacrifice, of which Abel's faith laid hold, realising and confessing in his slain lamb that there was no other way in a ruined world for a holy relationship, and for the confession of the truth too, as between God and man. He offers of the firstlings of his flock that which passed under death to Jehovah.

"And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell." And Jehovah speaks to him thus "Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?" The principles of God's nature are immutable. Whether people are believers or not, whether they receive the truth or not, God holds to that which belongs to His own moral being. That any one is capable of meeting the character of God in an unfallen state is another matter. It is the same principle inGenesis 4:1-26; Genesis 4:1-26, which we find more explicitly stated in Romans 2:1-29, where God shows His sure judgment of evil on the one hand, and His approval of that which is good, holy, and true on the other. So with Cain here "and if thou doest not well;" and such was the fact. His condition was that of a sinner, and he looked not out of himself to God. But what characterises this scene is not the state in which man as such was this we had in Genesis 3:1-24 but what man did in that fallen state, and more especially what he did in presence of God and faith. Certainly he did not well. "And if thou doest not well," it is said, "sin lieth at the door." Evil conduct is that which makes manifest an evil state, and flows from it.

I do not think that the expression means a sin-offering, as is sometimes supposed; for it does not appear that there is ground for inferring that the truth of a sin-offering was understood in the slightest degree till long afterwards. "By the law is the knowledge of sin," and until the law was brought in there was, as far as scripture tells us, no such discrimination, if any, between the offerings. They were all merged in one; and hence it is that we find that Job's friends, though guilty in the Lord's sight, yet alike with him offer burnt-offerings. When Noah brings his sacrifice, it is evidently of that nature also. Would there not have been a sin-offering on these occasions had the law been then in force? Most wisely all such details awaited the unfolding of another day. I merely use these scriptural facts to shew what seems to me the truth that "sin" here does not refer to the specific offering for it, but rather to that which was proved by evil conduct.

Notwithstanding God maintained the place that belonged to the elder brother. But nothing softened the roused and irritated spirit of Cain. There is nothing which more maddens man than mortified religious pride; and so it is here proved, for he rose up against his brother and slew him. And Jehovah speaks to him once more. It was sin not as such against God in leaving Him, like Adam's, but against man, his brother accepted of God. "Where is Abel thy brother?" To God's appeal he answers with no less hardness and audacity than falsehood, "I know not." There is no real courage with a bad conscience, and guile will soon be apparent where God brings His own light and makes guilt manifest. Let us not forget the deceitfulness of sin. "What hast thou done?" said Jehovah. "The voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground." Justly now we have him self-cursed from the face of the earth, pronounced a fugitive and vagabond. But the will of man pits itself invariably against the known will of God, and the very man who was doomed to be a fugitive sets to work that he may settle himself here below. Cain, as it is said, went out from His presence, and dwelt in the land of Nod; a son is born in due time who builds a city called after his name. Such is the birth of civil life in the family of Cain, where we find the discovery and advance of the delights of man; but, along with the progress of art and science, the introduction of polygamy. The rebellious spirit of the forefather shows itself in the descendant Lamech.

But the chapter does not close until we find Seth, whom God* substituted (for this is the meaning of the name), or "appointed," as it is said, "instead of Abel, whom Cain slew." And so Seth, to him also there was born a son, and he called his name Enos. Then began men to call upon the name of Jehovah.

*As Eve at the birth of Cain seems to have been unduly excited, and expecting I think a deliverer in the child whom she named as gotten from Jehovah, so she seems to me to express a sobered if not desponding sentiment in saying at Seth's birth, "Elohim hath appointed me another seed," etc. In the latter she only saw a child given of God naturally. Both appear to me natural and purposed.

In Genesis 5:1-32 we have the generations of Adam. Upon this I would not now dwell farther than to draw attention to the commencing words, "In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam in the day when they were created." But "Adam," it is said, "begat a son in his own likeness, after his image." It was no longer in the likeness of God, but in the image of God always. For man, now as ever, fallen or not, is in the image of God; but the likeness of God was lost through sin. Seth therefore was begotten in Adam's own likeness, not in God's. He was like Adam fallen, not his representative only. And this is what is referred to inJames 3:1-18; James 3:1-18, where he speaks of our having been made in the likeness of God. But it is the more important because, when it is a question of the guilt of taking man's life, the ground is that he was made in God's image. This, it is plain, was never lost; it abides, whatever man's state. Had the crime depended on man's retaining the likeness of God, murder might have been denied or justified, because if a man were not like God the unlikeness might be urged in extenuation of killing him. But it is a crime against man made in the image of God, and as this abides, whether he be fallen or not, the guilt of murder is unimpeachable and evident. This accordingly is the ground taken, to which I refer as an instance of the perfectness of scripture, but at the same time of the profound and practical power of the truth of God.

In the remarkable list, which is pursued down to Noah, we have another great truth set forth in the most simple and beautiful way the power of life which exempts from the reign of death, and not only that, but the witness to heaven as a place for man. Enoch brings both these lessons before us. I have no doubt that, besides this, Enoch is the type of the portion of those who look to be with the Lord above, just as Noah shows us (as is too well known to call for a delay upon it) those who pass through the judicial dealings of God, and nevertheless are preserved. In short Enoch is the witness of the heavenly family, as Noah is of the earthly people of God.

But in Genesis 6:1-22 we have a very solemn statement the apostacy of the ancient world. The sons of God chose the daughters of men. The true key to this account is supplied in the Epistle of Jude. It is hardly so common-place and ordinary a matter as many suppose. When understood, it is really awful in itself and its results. But the Holy Spirit has veiled such a fact in the only manner that became God and was proper for man. Here indeed the principle of reserve does apply, not in withholding from man's soul the deepest blessing of grace for his deepest wants, but in furnishing no more than that which was suitable for man to learn about the matter. He has said enough; but any one who will take the trouble to refer to Jude in connection with this chapter will gather more than appears on the surface. It is not needful to say more now. God Himself has touched it but curtly. This only may be remarked in addition, that "the sons of God," in my judgment, mean the same beings in Genesis as they do in Job. This point will suffice to indicate their chief guilt in thus traversing the boundaries which God had appointed for His creatures. No wonder that total ruin speedily ensues. It is really the basis of fact for not a few tales of mythology which men have made up. Any one who is acquainted with the chief writings of the old idolatrous world, of the Greeks and Romans especially, will see that what God has veiled in this brief statement, which passes calmly over that of which more had better not be spoken, is what they have amplified into the Titans and the giants and their greater deities. I do not of course enter into details, but here is the inspired account, which shines in the midst of the horrors of that dark scene which fabulists portrayed. But there is enough in man's amplification to point to what is stated here in a few simple words of truth.

The flood ensues. In the statement given by Moses every minute point beautifully exemplifies the propriety of the word of God. Men have fancied contradictions; they have fallen back on the old resource of opposed documents put together. There is not the slightest reason for suspicion. It is the same inspired historian who presents the subject in more than one point of view, but always consistently, and with a divine purpose which governs all. Every great writer, as far as he can go, illustrates this plan indeed everybody, we may say. If you are speaking in the intimacies of the family, you do not adopt the same language towards your parents, wife, child, or servant, still less towards a stranger outside. Is there then any contradiction to be surmised? Both may be perfectly right, and both absolutely true; but there is a difference of manner and phraseology, because of a difference of object before you. It is no otherwise with God's word, save that all illustrations fail to measure the depth of the differences in it.

Thus in Genesis 6:1-22 it is said that "the earth was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence." It is not "Jehovah" now but "God." "And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth." What does He do then? He directs the ark to be made. For what end? The preservation of the creatures which required the ark. Hence He orders that two of every kind should be taken into the ark. We can easily see the propriety of this. It is very simply a measure for perpetuating the creature by God the Creator, in spite of imminent judgment. It has nothing to do with moral relationships. God the Creator would preserve such of the creatures as required the shelter of the ark. Here then we only hear of pairs which enter.

In Genesis 7:1-24 we have another order of facts. It opens thus: "And Jehovah said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark." Is this merely the conserving of the creature? Not so. It is the language of One who has special relationships with Noah and with his family. "Come thou into the ark," says He; "for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation." "Righteous" is this a question of creation as such? It is not, but rather of moral relationship. "For thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation. Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female. Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth." Certainly this is not mere creation in view, but special dealings of a moral sort. Almost every word gives evidence of it. "Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens .... and of beasts that are not clean by two." It is God providing not for the perpetuation of the creature merely, but with marked completeness for sacrifice. Consequently we have this perfect care over the maintenance of His rights and place as One that governed morally. "And Noah did according unto all that Jehovah commanded."

Thus in relation to His place as creator God preserved two of every sort; in relation to His own moral government He would have seven taken into the ark seven animals of each clean sort; of the unclean just enough would be there to preserve what He had made. It is evident therefore that in the one case we have that which was generally necessary, in the other case that which was special and due to the relationship in which man was placed with Jehovah. Thus it is seen at once that, instead of these wonderful communications being merely earlier and later legends put together by a still more modern editor, who tried to make something complete by stringing together what did not aptly fit, on the contrary, it is the Spirit of God who gives us various sides of the truth, each falling under the title and style suitable to God, according to that which was in hand. Put them out of their order, and all becomes confused; receive them as God has written them, and there is perfection in the measure in which you understand them.

So we find what shows the folly of this yet more in what follows: "And they that went in went in male and female of all flesh, as God commanded him; and Jehovah shut him in." The two terms occur in the very same verse; yet is there not an evident propriety in each case? Unquestionably. They went in male and female. What is the idea? Moral relationship? Not at all. "Male and female" has to do in itself with the constitution of the creature, nothing whatever necessarily with moral relationship. In male and female God acts according to His rights and wisdom in creation; and consequently there it is said, "as Elohim commanded him." But when all this is done with, who was it that shut Noah in? "Jehovah." There we have delight in the man who had found grace in His eyes. No doubt the mere act could have been effected in other ways. Noah might have been enabled to shut himself in; but how much more blessed that Jehovah should do it! There was no fear then. Had it been merely said that Elohim shut him in, it would have simply suggested the Creator's care of every creature; but Jehovah's shutting him in points to special relationship, and the interest taken in that righteous man. What can be more beautiful in its season?

Thus a peculiarity in scripture, when understood, is pregnant with truth, having its source in God's wisdom, not in human infirmity. If we did not see it at once, this was merely because of our dullness. When we begin to enter into its real meaning, and hold fast that which is clearly the intended truth, the theory of Elohistic and Jehovistic annalists, with their redaction, vanishes into its own nothingness. I confess human my own ignorance; but not that there is a single instance where God has not employed the terms in all respects the best. No language could express so well the truth as that which God has employed as a matter of fact.

The next chapter (Genesis 8:1-22) shows God's remembrance of Noah and every living thing. Here it would not have served His purpose to say, "Jehovah remembered every living thing," because every living thing was not in moral relationship with God. Noah was undoubtedly; but it is not always, nor here, the aim to draw attention to what was special.

In due time the ark rests upon Ararat, and then follows the strikingly beautiful incident of the raven and the dove, which has been often before us, and from which therefore we may pass on. Afterwards God tells Noah to come forth he and all the other creatures.

"And Noah," it is written in verse Genesis 8:20, "builded an altar." Unto whom? Unto God? Most appropriately it is to Jehovah now. Without loss, these two things could not be transposed. He took then, it is said, "of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl." Yes, Jehovah is in question. It is the relationship of Noah which appears here. It is the special place in which he stood that was witnessed by the sacrifice thereon offered. And there Jehovah, accepting the sweet savour, declares that He "will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake. For the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth."

Here again how observable is the transparent and self-consistent truth of scripture. The Statement before us may look at first unaccountable; but when carefully weighed and reflected on, the propriety of it becomes manifest. That man's being evil was a ground for sending the flood we can all see; but what depth of grace in the declaration that God knew perfectly the ruined condition of man at the very time when He pledges His word that there shall come no more flood on the earth! This is brought before us here.

Here then we enter on an entirely new state of things, and a truth of capital importance for everybody to consider who has not already made it his own. What was the ground of God's delays in the previous time? Absence of evil in earth; innocence in man; it was a sinless, unfallen world. What is the ground of God's dealings now? Man is fallen, and the creature made subject to vanity. All the delays of God now proceed on the fact that the first man is in sin. Leave out the fall; fail to keep it before you and test all with that in mind, and you will be wrong about every result. Next to Christ Himself, and what we have by and in Him, there is nothing of greater importance than the confession of the truth, both that God created, and that His creation is in ruins. Your judgment alike of God and man will be falsified; your estimate of the past and your expectations of the future will all be vain, unless you steadily remember that God now in all His dealings with man acts on the solemn fact of sin original and universal sin. Will it be so always? By no means. There is a day coming when the ground of God's action will be neither innocence nor sin, but righteousness. But for that day we must wait, the day of eternity of "the new heavens and the new earth." It is a real joy to know that it is coming; but until that day God always has before Him, as the theatre and material where He acts, a world ruined ruined by sinful man.

Thanks be to God, One has come who is before Him in unfailing sweet savour, so that if sin be in the background, there cannot but be also what He introduces of His own free grace. If His servant bids others behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world, how much more does God Himself behold Christ and His sacrifice! Need it be said that as far as its efficacy is concerned, and God's delight in it, He doers not wait for the new heavens and the new earth, either to enjoy it Himself or make known its value to us? In short, Christ has intervened, and this most weighty consequence is connected with it that, although everything manifests evil and ruin increasingly, God has triumphed in grace and in faith after the fall and before "the new heavens and the new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness." God, having introduced His own Son, has won the victory, the fruits of which He gives to us by faith before our possession is displayed by and-by.

Let it suffice to refer to the great principle, remembering that the theatre of the ages or dispensations of God is the world since the flood. It is a mistake to include the world before that event in the time of dispensations. There was no dispensation, properly so called, before it. What dispensation could there be? What does it mean? When man in Paradise was forbidden to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, he broke the command immediately as far as appears, the first day. Not that one could say positively that so it was; but certainly it is to be supposed that little time could have passed after receiving the woman, his wife. And the patent fact lies before us, that to join his wife in the sad sin is his first recorded act. What dispensation or age was there here? And what followed after it? There was no longer trial in Paradise, because man was turned out. By what formal test was he proved outside? By none whatever. Man, the race, became simply outcasts morally nothing else from that day till after the flood. Not but that God wrought in His grace with individuals. Abel, Enoch, Noah, we have already seen. There was also a wonderful type of deliverance through Christ in the ark happily so familiar to most. But it is evident that dispensation, in the true sense of the word, there was none. There was a trial of man in Eden, and he fell immediately: after that there was none whatever in the antediluvian world. The history supposes man thenceforward allowed to act without external law or government to control though God did not fail to work in His merciful goodness in His own sovereignty.

But after the flood we find a covenant is made with the earth (Genesis 9:1-29): the principle of government is set up. Then we enter on the theatre and times of dispensations. One sees the reason why man before this had not been punished by the judge; whereas after the flood there was government and judicial proceeding. In the post-diluvian earth God establishes principles which hold their course throughout the whole scene till Jesus came, or rather till He not only come and affirm by His own power and personal reign all the ways in which God has been testing and trying man, but deliver up the kingdom to the Father, that God may be all in all, when He shall have put down all rule, and all authority and power.

This then may suffice. As a notice of God's covenant with the earth, I may just refer, in passing, to the establishment of the bow in the cloud as the sign of the mercy of Elohim (verses Genesis 9:12-17).

The end of this chapter shows that the man in whose person the principle of human government was set up could not govern himself. It is the old familiar story, man tried and found wanting as always. This gives occasion to the manifestation of a great difference among Noah's sons, and to the solemn words which the father uttered in the spirit of prophecy. "Cursed be Canaan" was of deep interest, especially to an Israelite, but in truth to anyone who values the revelation of God. We can see afterwards how verified the curse was, as it will be yet more. The sin began with utter disrespect to a father. Not to speak of the destroyed cities of the plain, they had in Joshua's day sunk into the most shameless of sinners that ever disgraced God and defiled the earth. The believer can readily understand how Noah was divinely led to pronounce a just malediction on Canaan.* "Cursed [be] Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be." So always it is. A man who despises him whom he is bound to honour, not to speak of the special distinction which God had shown him, must come to shame and degradation, must be not merely a servant but "a servant of servants." The most vaulting pride always has the deepest fall. On the other hand, "Blessed be Jehovah the God" for God does not dwell upon the curse, but soon turns to the blessing "Blessed be Jehovah the God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant." And Elohim, it is said, "shall enlarge Japhet, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem." How remarkably this has been made good in the providential history of the world I need not stay to prove, how Jehovah God connected His name with Shem, to the humiliation of Canaan, and how Elohim enlarged Japhet, who would spread himself not merely in his own destined lot, but even dwell in the tents of Shem, and Canaan humbled there too. How true of the energetic Japhetic race that pushed westward, and not content with the east, pushes round again to the west anywhere and everywhere. Thus God declares Himself in every word He utters. A little key to the world's history is contained in those few words of Noah.

* If Canaan drew his father into the shameful exposure of Noah, all can see how just the sentence was. In any case it was mercy to confine the curse certainly earned by Ham within the narrowest limits, instead of extending it to all his posterity. In judgment as in grace God is always wise.

Then we find the generations of the sons of Shem. Without pretending to enter into particulars, this I may remark that in the Bible there is not a more important chapter thanGenesis 10:1-32; Genesis 10:1-32 as regards the providential arrangement of tongues, families, and nations Here alone is given the rise of different races, with their sources. Who else could have told us how and when the earth was thus divided? For this was a new state of things, not only not at all in the world before the flood, but not for some considerable time after it, and their distribution in their lands. This is the divine ethnology. Here man is at sea; but where he does arrive at conclusions, this at least is the common consent, as far as I know, of all who have given their minds to the study, that there are three, and only three, divisions into which nations properly diverge. So it is here. The word of God is before them. More than that: it is the conviction of all men, and men worthy to be listened to, that not more surely are they divided into three grand lines than that these three lines had a common origin. That there was only one such root is the statement of the scriptures. The word of God is always right. The details are of the highest interest, more especially when compared with the predicted results in the latter day, where we see the same countries and nations re-appear for judgment in the day of Jehovah. But into the proof of this we cannot now pause to enter.

Genesis 11:1-32 opens with the sin of man, which led to the division described in the preceding chapter, the moral reason of that fact, new then, but still in its substance going on, whatever the superficial changes among men in their lands, and tongues, and political distribution. Hitherto they had been of one lip; but combining to make a name to themselves, lest they should be scattered, not to exalt God nor confide in Him, they had their language confounded, and themselves dispersed. "So Jehovah scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because Jehovah did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth" (versesGenesis 11:8-9; Genesis 11:8-9).

The genealogy of Shem, with gradually decreasing age among his seed, follows down to Abram, the remainder of the chapter being thus the link of transition from the history of the world as it then was, and in its principle still is. We come at length to him in whom God brings in wholly new principles in His own grace to meet a new and monstrous evil idolatry. This daring evil against God, we know from Joshua 24:1-33 was then spread far and wide, even among the Shemitic race, although never heard of in scripture, whatever man's lawlessness in other ways, before the deluge. But here I stop for the present.

May we confide not only in scripture, but in Him who gave it! May we seek to be taught more and more His truth, leaning on His grace! He will withhold no good from those who walk uprightly; and there is no other way than Jesus Christ our Lord.

Bibliographical Information
Kelly, William. "Commentary on Genesis 10:19". Kelly Commentary on Books of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/​commentaries/​wkc/​genesis-10.html. 1860-1890.
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