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25 soon knew what his younger son had done unto him. And he
by divine inspiration said, Cursed [be] Canaan, in his person and posterity ; a servant of servants, a most abject slave, shall he be unto his brethren. And from him the curse both ascended to his father Ham, and descended to his posterity the Ca
naanites. But upon his other two sons, who discovered so much 26 filial duty, he pronounced a most important benediction ; And he
said, Blessed [be] the Lord God of Shem; who of his special favour hath enabled him to act such a worthy part, and hath
taken him into a peculiar relation to himself ; and Canaan shall 27 be his servant. God shall also enlarge Japheth, his territo.
ries and his posterity, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem, they shall join like brethren in the worship of the true God, as the Gentiles do who are grafted on the good olive ; and Ca. naan shall be his servant, be in subjection to Japheth as well as
to Shem, and excluded from the privileges promised to both. 28. And Noah lived after the flood, three hundred and fifty 29 years. And all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty
years : and he died; but thirty two years before the birth of Abram. His great age was singularly providential for propagat. ing religion in the new world, to which, as well as the old, he was, no doubt, a preacher of righteousness.
REFLECTIONS. 1. W E learn hence how odious a sin drunkenness is.
VV Though many excuses may be urged in behalf of Noah, and we know not that he ever repeated this crime ; yet, what dreadful consequences followed ! Let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall. Let professing christians walk circumspectly, and carefully guard against whatever might prove the occasion of sin and folly. The apostle not only delivered that prohibition, Be not drunk with wine wherein there is exccs$, but adds, Abstain from the appearance of evil. In order to avoid criminality in this, as well as in other things, it is good to keep out of the way of temptation. Look not upon wine when it is red, when it giveth its colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright ; at the last it biteth like a serpent and stingeth like an adder. This was strikingly illustrated in the case of Noah; it exposed him to shame. If men did but see what beasts they make of themselves when they are in liquor ; how unbecoming a situation it often placéth them in ; and what folly it occasions them to utter; surely they would abhor the thought of being guilty of this vice. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. Rev. xvi. 15.
2. See the scandal and sin of disobedience to parents, and how heinous it is in the sight of God. Ham, one of Noah's sons, was of so depraved a disposition, that he made sport of his good fà. ther's weakness, and publicly told his brethren of it in the streets; he secretly rejoiced, it may be, to see the good old man overtaken in a fault, for which Noah had severely reproved others, and perhaps Ham himself. Herein he showed himself to be one of those fools which Solomon speaks of, who make a mock at sin. It is no uncommon thing for the wicked to make a jest of the sins of others, as well as their own ; and to make the sins and weaknesses of good men, in particular, the subjects of their ungodly mirth : but it shows a dreadful degree of hardness in those who are capable of it, and especially in children, to mock at the weakness of their pious parents. Let young people carefully guard against every thing of this kind ; and let good men take care that they give them no occasion. The conduct of the other two sons of Noah, who so decently and kindly laid a covering over their father, was much to their honour, and affords an example well worthy of imitation. True charity, or love, will hide a multitude of sins, and cast a veil over a thousand infirmities of good parents, neighbours, and friends. Those who are thus kind and dutiful may expect a blessing ; but wicked scoffers, and especially wicked children of pious parents, shall be cursed with Canaan.
3. What a striking proof have we here of the foreknowledge of God, and the divine origin of the scriptures ! This prophecy hath been most remarkably accomplished in the history of Noah's sons and their posterity. We all know in what an awful manner the curse denounced upon Ham was executed, in the total extermination of the Canaanites ; and we know also, that the blessing pronounced upon the other two sons of Noah was as remarkably fulfilled, particularly in the descent of the glorious Redeemer from the posterity of Shem. Let us, with Noah, devoutly say, Blessed be the God of Shem, for the covenant of grace established in the Redeemer, and all the spiritual blessings conveyed through him. Once more,
4. Let us, who are of the race of Japheth, be thankful that we have been persuaded to dwell in the tents of Shem, and that the Lord God hath dwelt in our tents : that we sinners of the Gentiles, who were once strangers and foreigners, are made fellow citizens with the saints and heirs of the promise. Let us be thankful that we have still the tokens of the divine presence among us; and especially if any of us have been persuaded to open to him the door of our hearts. Let us pray in faith for the accomplishinent of the prophecies concerning the universal establishment of the Redeemer's kingdom, that all the sons of Noah may be come holiness to the Lord, and the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen.
As there is little in this chapter of a practical nature ; a short illus
tration of some parts of it only will be given. INTOW these following Care] the generations of the sons
I of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth : and unto them
were sons born after the flood. 2 The sons of Japheth, who was the eldest, were these seven ;
Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and 3 Meshech, and Tiras. And the sons of Gomer, Japheth's eldest 4 son, were Ashkenaz, and Riphath and Togarmah. And the
sons of Javan, the fourth son of Japheth, were Elisha, and Tar5 shish, Kittim, and Dodanim. By these several branches of
Noah's family were the isles of the Gentiles * divided in their lands ; every one after his tongue, after their families, in
their nations. 6 And the sons of Ham, Noah's second son, were Cush, and 7 Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan. And the sons of Cush,
were Sebah, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sab.
techah : and the sons of Raamah, were Sheba, and Dedan. 8 And Cush afterwards begat another son, who was called Nim
rod; he began to be a mighty one in the earth : to affect and
usurp a tyrannical government, and to enlarge his dominions. 9 He was a mighty hunter before the LORD ;|| he made himself popular by hunting and killing wild beasts : and at last usurped the government, and became a cruel persecutor, oppressor, and tyrant: wherefore it is said, Exen as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD ; his cruelty and tyranny were so noto.
rious, that it became a firoverb of refiroach concerning a tyrannie 10 cal person, He is a very Nimrod. And the beginning of his
kingdom was Babel, he being the founder of the Babylonish eme pire ; and afterwards ke built Erech, and Accad, and Calneh,
in the land of Shinar. But his ambition not being yet satis. 11 fied, Out of that land he went forth to Asshur, that is, the land
of Assyria, which was called by his name, Micah v. 6. and there i2 he builded Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah, And
Resen between Nineveh and Calah : the same [is] still a 13 great city. And Mizraim, the second son of Ham, begat seve
eral sons, from whom sprang the people called Ludim, and
Countries of Europe, called isles, because separated from Judea by the sea.
† At the dividing of tongues. God, by his providence, so ordered it, that all of a family or nation spake the same language, and settled themselves together accordingly, in such and such places.
The oppression of mankind is represented by hunting them. It is probable that Nimrod thus hunted inen under the pretence of hunting wild beasts, and his courage are dexterity in the latter, might quality hin for the former. The expression before the Lord, is sometimes used only to denote soinething of distinguished eminence. See Gen. xiii. 13. Acts vii. 20. margin. Luke i. 6. The LXX. reads, against the Lord. Government, be. fore Nimrod's time, was only patriarchal. It is observable that the first monarch was a tyrant; and the conquerors of the earth may properly be stiled mighty hunters. Ste Ser. xvi. 16. Ezek. xiii. 21.
14 Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim, And Pathrusim, and
Casluhiin, (out of whom came Philistim,) and Caphtorim. 15 And Canaan, the youngest son of Ham, begat Sidon his first 16 born, and Heth, the father of the Hittites, And the Jubusite, and 17 the Amorite, and the Girgasite, And the Hivite, and the Ar18 kite, and the Sinite, And the Arvadite, and the Zamarite, and
the Hamathite : and afterward were the several families of 19 the Canaanites now mentioned spread abroad. And the border
of the Canaanites was from Sidon,* as thou comest to Gerar, and it extended southward unto Gaza : as thou goest unto
Sodom and Gomorraħ, and Admah, and Zeboim, even unto 20 Lasha. These [are] the sons of Ham, after their families,
after their tongues, in their countries, [and] in their nations. 21 Unto Shem also, the father of all who in scripture are called
the children of Eber, and after him are named Hebrews)
unto Shem the brother of Japheth the elder son of Noah, even 22 to him, whom God had blessed, were (children] born. And
The children of Shem, whose family is of peculiar importance
in the history of the church, were these; Elam, and Asshur, and 23 Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram. And the children of Aram, 24 qere Uz, and Hul, and Gether, and Mash, or Meshech. And
Arphaxad begat Salah ; and Salah begat Eber beforemen25 tioned. And unto Eber were born two sons : the name of
one (was] Peleg, which signifies, dispersion ; for in his days
was the earth divided ;ll and his brother's name (was] Jok26 tan. And Joktan begat thirteen sons ; namely, Almodad, and 27 Sheleph, and Hazermaveth, and Jerah, And Hadoram, and 28 Uzal, and Dicklah, And Obal, and Abimael, and Sheba, And 29 Ophir, and Havilah, and Jobab : all these (were] the sons of 20 Joktan. And their dwelling was from Mesha, as thou goest 31 unto Sephar, a mount of the east. These [are] the sons of
Shem, after their families, after their tongues, in their lands, after their nations. These [are] the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations, in their nations ; and by these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood ; the oce casion of which division is hereafter related.
• A famous ancient city, lying northward, which took its name from Canaan's eldest son.
* Or the famous city Dan; called also Laish, Fudges xviii. 29. and Lesham, Josh. xix. 47. This was the country of the Canaanites, which God afterwards gave to the Israelites, ex. tending about one hundred and eighty miles. Wells's Geogr. Vol. 1. p. 304.
| About the time of his birth it happened that the inhabitants of the earth were divideda first in language, then in habitation.
The dispersion of the 80778 of men at Babel; the posterity of Shem
doson to Abram ; and his removal from his native country. 1 A ND the whole earth was till this period, that is, about an
o hundred years after the flood, of one language, and of 2 one speech, which probably was the Hebrew. And it came
to pass, as they, Nimrod and his confederates, journeyed from the east, that they found a large fruitful plain in the land of
Shinar ; and they dwelt there.* 3 And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick,
and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone,
which that country did not afford, and slimet had they for mor4 tar. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower,
whose top (may reach) unto the clouds of heaven ; and thus let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the
face of the whole earth : let us perpetuate our fame, strengthen 5 our union, and provide ourselves a settled abode. And the
LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded ; and made it appear, by the se
quel, that he took notice of this their proud, vainglorious at6 tempi, to punish it. And the LORD said, Behold, the people
[is] one, and are determined so to remain ; and they have all one language, which is favourable to their purpose ; and this which they begin todo is an evidence of their ambitious designs :
and now they apprehend nothing will be restrained from them, 7 which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and
there confound their language, that they may not understand 8 one another's speech.ll So the LORD, by the confusion he in
troduced among them, scattered them abroad from thence upon
the face of all the earth : and they left off to build the city, 9 without attempting it any more. Therefore is the name of it
called Babel, that is, confusion ; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth ; and from thence did
the LORD scatter thein abroad upon the face of all the earth. 10 These following [are) the generations of Shein, the ancestors
of Abram, and progrnitors of Christ : Shem (was] an hundred Il years old, and begat Arphaxad two years after the flood: And
Shem lived after he begat Arphaxad five hundred years, and 12 begat other sons and daughters. And Arphaxad lived five 13 and thirty years, and begat Salah : And Arphaxad lived after
* The pleasant valley along which the river Tveris runs, comprehending the country of Eden, in which paradise was situated. See Wells's Geog. Vol. 1. 1. 209.
A kind of liquid pitch, which was an exceeding strong cement ; of which there was, according to Pliny, great plenty in Assyria. With this, Herodotus save, the walls of BabyIon were cemented; it is called bitumen or some writers, and is thought to be the asphaltrs, which (says Suidas) being mixed with bricks and small stones, became as hard as iron. Edit.
# This was done by making them forget their former language, and imprinting several languages in the ininds of steiul anilics or nations,