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But Noah found grace in the sight of the LORD. Noah was a just man, and perfect in his generations ; and Noah walked with God. And Noah had three sons Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me, for the earth is filled with violence through them, Behold I will destroy them with the earth.
Make thee an ark, of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.
And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it' of: the length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits.
A wind shalt thou make to the ark and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the doors of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it.
And behold, I, even. I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life from under heaven: and every thing that is in the earth shall die.
But with thee will I establish my covenant': and thou shalt come into the ark; thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons' wives with thee.
And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou brirg into the ark, to keep them alive with thee: they shall be male and female.
Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, and of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind: two of every sort shall come unto thee; to keep them alive.
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 the female,
Thus did Noah : 'according that all to God commanded him, so did he.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS. Seth continued to dwell in that part of the world, which was distinguished by the visible presence of the Lord GOD, worshipped him as the Creator and Goverhor of the World, offered the Sacrifices which He appointed, kept in mind the promise of a Restorer of Righteousness, and brought up his family in the true religion. We may also suppose, that the rest of Adam's posterity (except the unpatural branch that was cut off) followed the example of Seth: these then were the sons of God; and Cain and his family, with such as apostatized from the Lord God, and joined with them, the sons of men.
: It is here intimated, that the sens of God were at first very careful to keep themselves separate from the sons of men ; but after a time, they married wives from amongst them. This mixture of good and wicked people was productive of very bad consequences. It is most likely that these daughters of men, and their impious relations, enticed to idolatry the sons of Gon, who had married them; and these by degrees enticed others. The author of the Book of Wisdom says, that the devising of idols was the beginning of the corruption of life*. And St. Paul says, that when men knew God they glorified him not as Gon; but changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like unto corruptible man, into birds and beasts, and creeping things † ; from which we may infer, that the sin of Idolatry, in the first instance, consisted in men's dishonouring the LORD God, the express Image of the Eternal FATHER, by setting up images of their own devising in his stead, which by * Wisdom of Solomon, xiv. 12. + Rom. i. 23.
degrees they fancied so many separate deities. This may justly be imputed to the suggestion of the Devil.
Such a race of people, as the antediluvians are described to have been, were unfit to live; therefore, we cannot wonder that they were at last destroyed; but we find, that the long-suffering of God was very great ; for he mercifully delayed, for an hundred and twenty years, the judgment he intended to bring upon them. -By the expression, my Spirit shall not always strive with men, &c. we may understand, that means of grace were offered to this people ; but they resisted the Holy SPIRIT, that is, gave way to their own vicious inclinations, when good thoughts were suggested to them*.
Gop is a being of infinite perfection, and not subject to conflicting passions ; so that by His repenting that he had made man, and being grieved at his heart, we are to understand no more, than that God's patience and long suffering had exceeded the utmost indulgence mankind had reason to expect; and that He had determined, at His own appointed time, to inflict the punishment due to their wickedness. God, however, did not bring a sud. den destruction on the earth ; for he made his purpose known to Noah and commanded him to inform kind of it, and to preach righteousness to them ; by righteousness is to be understood faith in God's promises, repentance, and anvendment of life, and strict adherence to the true worship of the Lord God. Had mankind obeyed Noah's admonitions, they would have been preserved; for it was the original appointment of God (as we may understand from many passages of Scripture) that general and sincere repentance should avert public judgmentst:
We are not to suppose, thae Noah was a man entirely free from sin; without doubt he was, like others, subs * 2 Pet, ii. 5. #Joel ii. 13. Dan. ix. 9, 10. John. j. 8, 9.
ject to human infirmities ; but in respect to his Faith, he was perfect ; for even the example of the whole race of mankind could not draw him from his belief and trut in the LORD Gon; and he testified this faith by a ready obedience to God's command of building an Ark, for the preservation of himself and his family*. The expression walking with God, signifies a conformity to God's Divine Ordinances, in preference to human inventions.
If God had not made known his intention of de. stroying the earth and its inhabitants, Noah might have supposed the Deluge to be the effect of chance ; and after he received this intimation, had' he been left to the guidance of human reason alone, he would have been utterly at a loss to know what to do in such an emergency, for ships had not yet been invented; and we can scarcely think, that the idea of building a vessel to float on the surface of the water would have occurred to his mind : he therefore found the benefit of Divine direction, even in his worldly affairs; nor was this benefit confined to him ; instructed by his history, mankind have learnt, that under tire providence of God they may commit their lives to a small piece of wood, and pass the rough sea in a wenk vesselt.
It is supposed that the ark was built something in the form of a house, with a sloping covering like a roof, for the wet to run off. Noah had not occasion for sails rudder, or compass, because no art of man was requisite for the preservation of his vessel; these useful appendages were successively added to ships, as the necessities: or experience of mankind led to improvement in the art of navigation.
It would have been difficult for Noah, who was ignorant how many species of creatures the world contained, to calculate the requisite size of the ark: he would * Heb: xi. 7. f Wisdom of Solomon xiv.5.
likewise, in all probability, have been at a loss to know what materials to make use of, without God's direction neither could he have known what quantity of food to provide ; and after all, it would have been out of his power to collect the different creatures together, had not God caused them to come instinctively, as those first created went to Adam.
We read, that Noah was commanded to make a win. dow in the ark : of this we shall speak in a succeeding section. The covenant, which God promised to establish with Noah, was tháť made with Adam after the fall*, that the seed of the woman should bruise the ser.
The clean beasts are supposed to have been those made use of in sacrifices: the unclean, those which were never to be applied to such sacred purposes.
From this section we learn, the great danger to which religious people expose themselves, by marrying among wicked ones ; and that, in forming matrimonial connections, regard should rather be had to goodness of disposition, than to personal beauty.
We also learn, that the lives of mankind are cntirely at the disposal of God; therefore it is folly to expect length of days according to the course of nature, and to put off repentance to a future period : and, by the fate of the giants, who perished with the rest, we understand, that extracrdinary strength and stature are no securities against Divine vengeance.
We are further instructed, that the power of God is unlimited, and that the elements are entirely under his command.
If we are ready to condemn the antediluvians for not regarding the admonitions of Noah, let us listen with
* See Section iji,