(Calvin, Genesis 1. part 11)

intercourse, this is certainly to be regarded as a portentous fact, that
the meeting with any man was formidable to the murderer.

15. "Therefore, whosoever slayeth Cain." They who think that it was
Cain's wish to perish immediately by one death, in order that he might
not be agitated by continual dangers, and that the prolongation of his
life was granted him only as a punishment, have no reason, that I can
see, for thus speaking. But far more absurd is the manner in which many
of the Jews mutilate this sentence. Firsts they imagine, in this clause,
the use of the figure "aposioopesis", according to which something not
expressed is understood; then they begin a new sentence, 'He shall be
punished sevenfold,' which they refer to Cain. Still, however, they do
not agree together about the sense. Some trifle respecting Lamech, as we
shall soon declare. Others expound the passage of the deluge, which
happened in the seventh generation. But that is frivolous, since the
latter was not a private punishment of one family only, but a common
punishment of the human race. But this sentence ought to be read
continuously, thus, 'Whosoever killeth Cain, shall on this account, be
punished sevenfold.' And the causal particle "lachen" indicates that God
would take care to prevent any one from easily breaking in upon him to
destroy him; not because God would institute a privilege in favour of the
murderer, or would hearken to his prayers but because he would consult
for posterity, in order to the preservation of human life. The order of
nature had been awfully violated; what might be expected to happen in
future, when the wickedness and audacity of man should increase, unless
the fury of others had been restrained by a violent hand? For we know
what pestilent and deadly poison Satan presents to us in evil examples,
if a remedy be not speedily applied. Therefore, the Lord declares, if any
will imitate Cain, not only shall they have no excuse in his example, but
shall be more grievously tormented; because they ought, in his person, to
perceive how detestable is their wickedness in the sight of God.
Wherefore, they are greatly deceived who suppose that the anger of God is
mitigated when men can plead custom as an excuse for sinning; whereas it
is from that cause the more inflamed.
  "And the Lord set a mark." I have lately said, that nothing was granted
to Cain for the sake of favouring him; but for the sake of opposing, in
future, cruelty and unjust violence. And therefore, Moses now says, that
a mark was set upon Cain, which should strike terror into all; because
they might see, as in a mirrors the tremendous judgment of God against
bloody men. As Scripture does not describe what kind of mark it was,
commentators have conjectured, that his body became tremulous. It may
suffice for us, that there was some visible token which should repress in
the spectators the desire and the audacity to inflict injury.

16. "And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord." Cain is said to
have departed from the presence of God, because, whereas he had hitherto
lived in the earth as in an abode belonging to God, now, like an exile
removed far from God's sight, he wanders beyond the limits of His
protection. Or certainly, (which is not less probable,) Moses represents
him as having stood at the bar of judgment till he was condemned: but
now, when God ceased to speak with him, being freed from the sense of His
presence, he hastens elsewhere and seeks a new habitation, where he may
escape the eyes of God. The land of Nod without doubt obtained its name
from its inhabitant. From its being situated on the eastern side of
Paradise, we may infer the truth of what was before stated, that a
certain place, distinguished by its pleasantness and rich abundance of
fruits, had been given to Adam for a habitation; for, of necessity, that
place must be limited, which has opposite aspects towards the various
regions of the world.

17. "And Cain knew his wife." From the context we may gather that Cain,
before he slew his brother, had married a wife; otherwise Moses would now
have related something respecting his marriage; because it would be a
fact worthy to be recorded, that any one of his sisters could be found,
who would not shrink with horror from committing herself into the hand of
one whom she knew to be defiled with a brother's blood; and while a free
choice was still given her, should rather choose spontaneously to follow
an exile and a fugitive, than to remain in her father's family. Moreover,
he relates it as a prodigy that Cain, having shaken off the terror he had
mentioned, should have thought of having children: for it is remarkable,
that he who imagined himself to have as many enemies as there were men in
the world, did not rather hide himself in some remote solitude. It is
also contrary to nature, that he being astounded with fear; and feeling
that God was opposed to him, could enjoy any pleasure. Indeed, it seems
to me doubtful, whether he had previously had any children; for there
would be nothing absurd in saying, that reference is here made especially
to those who were born after the crime was committed, as to a detestable
seed who would fully participate in the sanguinary disposition, and the
savage manners of their father. This, however, is without controversy,
that many persons, as well males as females, are omitted in this
narrative; it being the design of Moses only to follow one line of his
progeny, until he should come to Lamech. The house of Cain, therefore,
was more populous than Moses states; but because of the memorable history
of Lamech, which he is about to subjoin, he only adverts to one line of
descendents, and passes over the rest in silence.
  "He built a city." This, at first sight, seems very contrary, both to
the judgment of God, and to the preceding sentence. For Adam and the rest
of his family, to whom God had assigned a fixed station, are passing
their lives in hovels, or even under the open heaven, and seek their
precarious lodging under trees; but the exile Cain, whom God had
commanded to rove as a fugitive, not content with a private house, builds
himself a city. It is, however, probable, that the man, oppressed by an
accusing conscience, and not thinking himself safe within the walls of
his own house, had contrived a new kind of defense: for Adam and the rest
live dispersed through the fields for no other reason, than that they are
less afraid. Wherefore, it is a sign of an agitated and guilty mind, that
Cain thought of building a city for the purpose of separating himself
from the rest of men; yet that pride was mixed with his diffidence and
anxiety, appears, from his having called the city after his son. Thus
different affections often contend with each other in the hearts of the
wicked. Fear, the fruit of his iniquity, drives him within the walls of a
city, that he may fortify himself in a manner before unknown; and, on the
other hand, supercilious vanity breaks forth. Certainly he ought rather
to have chosen that his name should be buried for ever; for how could his
memory be transmitted, except to beheld in execration? Yet, ambition
impels him to erect a monument to his race in the name of his city. What
shall we here say, but that he had hardened himself against punishment,
for the purpose of holding out,in inflated obstinacy, against God?
Moreover although it is lawful to defend our lives by the fortifications
of cities and of fortresses, yet the first origin of them is to be noted,
because it is always profitable for us to behold our faults in their very
remedies. When captious men sneeringly inquire, whence Cain had brought
his architects and workmen to build his city, and whence he sent for
citizens to inhabit it? I, in return, ask of them, what authority they
have for believing that the city was constructed of squared stones, and
with great skill, and at much expense, and that the building of it was a
work of long continuance? For nothing further can be gathered from the
words of Moses, than that Cain surrounded himself and his posterity with
walls formed of the rudest materials: and as it respects the inhabitants;
that in that commencement of the fecundity of mankind, his offspring
would have grown to so great a number when it had reached his children of
the fourth generation, that it might easily form the body of one city.

19. "And Lamech took unto him two wives." We have here the origin of
polygamy in a perverse and degenerate race; and the first author of it, a
cruel man, destitute of all humanity. Whether he had been impelled by an
immoderate desire of augmenting his own family, as proud and ambitious
men are wont to be, or by mere lust, it is of little consequence to
determine; because, in either way he violated the sacred law of marriage,
which had been delivered by God. For God had determined, that "they two
should be one flesh," and that is the perpetual order of nature. Lamech,
with brutal contempt of God, corrupts nature's laws. The Lord, therefore,
willed that the corruption of lawful marriage should proceed from the
house of Cain, and from the person of Lamech, in order that polygamists
might be ashamed of the example.

20. "Jabal; he was the father of such as dwell in tents." Moses now
relates that, with the evils which proceeded from the family of Cain,
some good had been blended. For the invention of arts, and of other
things which serve to the common use and convenience of life, is a gift
of God by no means to be despised, and a faculty worthy of commendation.
It is truly wonderful, that this race, which had most deeply fallen from
integrity, should have excelled the rest of the posterity of Adam in rare
endowments. I, however, understand Moses to have spoken expressly
concerning these arts, as having been invented in the family of Cain, for
the purpose of showing that he was not so accursed by the Lord but that
he would still scatter some excellent gifts among his posterity; for it
is probable, that the genius of others was in the meantime not inactive;
but that there were, among the sons of Adam, industrious and skilful men,
who exercised their diligence in the invention and cultivation of arts.
Moses, however, expressly celebrates the remaining benediction of God on
that race, which otherwise would have been deemed void and barren of all
good. Let us then know, that the sons of Cain, though deprived of the
Spirit of regeneration, were yet endued with gifts of no despicable kind;
just as the experience of all ages teaches us how widely the rays of
divine light have shone on unbelieving nations, for the benefit of the
present life; and we see, at the present time, that the excellent gifts
of the Spirit are diffused through the whole human race. Moreover, the
liberal arts and sciences have descended to us from the heathen. We are,
indeed, compelled to acknowledge that we have received astronomy, and the
other parts of philosophy, medicines and the order of civil government,
from them. Nor is it to be doubted, that God has thus liberally enriched
them with excellent favours that their impiety might have the less
excuse. But, while we admire the riches of his favour which he has
bestowed on them, let us still value far more highly that grace of
regeneration with which he peculiarly sanctifies his elect unto himself.
  Now, although the invention of the harp, and of similar instruments of
music, may minister to our pleasure, rather than to our necessity, still
it is not to be thought altogether superfluous; much less does it
deserve, in itself, to be condemned. Pleasure is indeed to be condemned,
unless it be combined with the fear of God, and with the common benefit
of human society. But such is the nature of music, that it can be adapted
to the offices of religion, and made profitable to men; if only it be
free from vicious attractions, and from that foolish delight, by which it
seduces men from better employments, and occupies them in vanity. If,
however, we allow the invention of the harp no praise, it is well known
how far and how widely extends the usefulness of the art of the
carpenter. Finally, Moses, in my opinion, intends to teach that that race
flourished in various and preeminent endowments, which would both render
it inexcusable, and would prove most evident testimonies of the divine
goodness. The name of "the father of them that dwell in tents," is given
to him who was the first inventor of that convenience, which others
afterwards imitated.

23. "Hear my voice, ye wives of Lamech." The intention of Moses is to
describe the ferocity of this man, who was, however, the fifth in descent
from the fratricide Cain, in order to teach us, that, so far from being
terrified by the example of divine judgment which he had seen in his
ancestor, he was only the more hardened. Such is the obduracy of the
impious, that they rage against those chastisements of God, which ought
at least to render them gentle. The obscurity of this passage, which has
procured for us a variety of interpretations, mainly arises hence; that
whereas Moses speaks abruptly, interpreters have not considered what is
the tendency of his speech. The Jews have, according to their manner,
invented a foolish fable; namely, that Lamech was a hunter and blind, and
had a boy to direct his hand; that Cain, while he was concealed in the
woods, was shot through by his arrow, because the boy, talking him for a
wild beast, had directed his master's hand towards him; that Lamech then
took revenge on the boy, who, by his imprudence, had been the cause of
the murder. And ignorance of the true state of the case has caused
everyone to allow himself to conjecture what he pleased. But to me the
opinion of those seems to be true and simple, who resolve the past tense
into the future, and understand its application to be indefinite; as if
he had boasted that he had strength and violence enough to slay any, even
the strongest enemy. I therefore lead thus, 'I will slay a man for my
wound, and a young man for my bruise,' or 'in my bruise and wound.' But,
as I have said, the occasion of his holding this conversation with his
wives is to be noticed. We know that sanguinary men, as they are a terror
to others, so are they everywhere hated by all. The wives, therefore, of
Lamech were justly alarmed on account of their husband, whose violence
was intolerable to the whole human race, lest, a conspiracy being formed,
all should unite to crush him, as one deserving of public odium and
execration. Now Moses, to exhibit his desperate barbarity, seeing that
the soothing arts of wives are often wont to mitigate cruel and ferocious
men, declares that Lamech cast forth the venom of his cruelty into the
bosom of his wives. The sum of the whole is this: He boasts that he has
sufficient courage and strength to strike down any who should dare to
attack him. The repetition occurring in the use of the words 'man' and
'young man' is according to Hebrew phraseology, so that none should think
different persons to be denoted by them; he only amplifies, in the second
member of the sentence, his furious audacity, when he glories that young
men in the flower of their age would not be equal to contend with him: as
if he would say, Let each mightiest man come forward, there is none whom
I will not dispatch.' So far was he from calming his wives with the hope
of his leading a more humane life, that he breaks forth in threats of
sheer indiscriminate slaughter against every one, like a furious wild
beast. Whence it easily appears, that he was so imbued with ferocity as
to have retained nothing human. The nouns wound and bruise may be
variously read. If they be rendered 'for my wound and bruise,' then the
sense will be, 'I confidently take upon my own head whatever danger there
may be, let what will happen it shall be at my expense; for I have a
means of escape at hand.' Then what follows must be read in connection
with it, "If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and
seven fold." If the ablative case be preferred, 'In my wound and bruise,'
there will still be a double exposition. The first is, 'Although I should
be wounded, I would still kill the man; what then will I not do when I am
whole?' The other, and, in my judgment, the sounder and more consistent
exposition, is, 'If any one provoke me by injury, or attempt any act of
violence, he shall feel that he has to deal with a strong and valiant
man; nor shall he who injures me escape with impunity.' This example
shows that men ever glide from bad to worse. The wickedness of Cain was
indeed awful; but the cruelty of Lamech advanced so far that he was
unsparing of human blood. Besides, when he saw his wives struck with
terror, instead of becoming mild, he only sharpened and confirmed himself
the more in cruelty. Thus the brutality of cruel men increases in
proportion as they find themselves hated; so that instead of being,
touched with penitence, they are ready to bury one murder under ten
others. Whence it follows that they having once become imbued with blood,
shed it, and drink its without restraint.

24. "Cain shall be avenged sevenfold." It is not my intention to relate
the ravings or the dreams of every writer, nor would I have the reader to
expect this from me; here and there I allude to them, though sparingly,
especially if there be any colour of deception; that readers, being often
admonished, may learn to take heed unto themselves. Therefore, with
respect to this passages which has been variously tortured, I will not
record what one or another may have delivered, but will content myself
with a true exposition of it. God had intended that Cain should be a
horrible example to warn others against the commission of murder; and for
this end had marked him with a shameful stigma. Yet lest any one should
imitate his crime, He declared whosoever killed him should be punished
with sevenfold severity. Lamech, impiously perverting this divine
declaration, mocks its severity; for he hence takes greater license to
sin, as if God had granted some singular privilege to murderers; not that
he seriously thinks so, but being destitute of all sense of piety, he
promises himself impunity, and in the meantime jestingly uses the name of
God as an excuse: just as Dionysus did, who boasted that the gods favour
sacrilegious persons, for the sake of obliterating the infamy which he
had contracted. Moreover, as the number seven in Scripture designates a
multitudes so sevenfold is taken for a very great increase. Such is the
meaning of the declaration of Christ, 'I do not say that thou shalt remit
the offence seven times, but seventy times seven,' (Matth. 18: 22.)

25. "Adam knew his wife again." Some hence infer that our first parents
were entirely deprived of their offspring when one of their sons had been
slain, and the other was cast far away into banishment. But it is utterly
incredible that, when the benediction of God in the propagation of
mankind was in its greatest force, Adam and Eve should have been through
so many years unfruitful. But rather before Abel was slain, the continual
succession of progeny had already rendered the house of Adam populous;
for in him and his wife especially the effect of that declaration ought
to be conspicuous, "Increase and multiply, and replenish the earth."
What, therefore, does Moses mean? Truly, that our first parents,
horror-struck at the impious slaughter, abstained for a while from the
conjugal bed. Nor could it certainly be otherwise, than that they, in
reaping this exceedingly sad and bitter fruit of their apostasy from God,
should sink down almost lifeless. The reason why he now passes by others
is that he designed to trace the generation of pious descendants through
the line of Seth. In the following chapter, however, where he will say,
that "Adam begat sons and daughters," he undoubtedly includes a great
number who had been born before Seth; to whom, however, but little regard
is paid since they were separated from that family which worshipped God
in purity, and which might truly be deemed the Church of God.
  "God", saith she, "has appointed me another seed instead of Abel." Eve
means some peculiar seed; for we have said that others had been born who
had also grown up before the death of Abel; but, since the human race is
prone to evil, nearly her whole family had, in various ways, corrupted
itself; therefore, she entertained slight hope of the remaining
multitude, until God should raise up to her a new seed, of which she
might expect better things. Wherefore, she regarded herself as bereaved
not of one son only, but of her whole offspring, in the person of Abel.

26. "Then began men to call upon the name of the Lord." In the verb 'to
call upon,' there is a synecdoche, for it embraces generally the whole
worship of God. But religion is here properly designated by that which
forms its principal part. For God prefers this service of piety and faith
to all sacrifices, (Psalm 50: 14.) Yea, this is the spiritual worship of
God which faith produces. This is particularly worthy of notice, because
Satan contrives nothing with greater care than to adulterate, with every
possible corruption, the pure invocation of God, or to draw us away from
the only God to the invocation of creatures. Even from the beginning of
the world he has not ceased to move this stone, that miserable men might
weary themselves in vain in a preposterous worship of God. But let us
know, that the entire pomp of adoration is nothing worth, unless this
chief point of worshipping God aright be maintained. Although the passage
may be more simply explained to mean, that then the name of God was again
celebrated; yet I approve the former sense, because it is more full,
contains a useful doctrine, and also agrees with the accustomed
phraseology of Scripture. It is a foolish figment, that God then began to
be called by other names; since Moses does not here censure depraved
superstitions, but commends the piety of one family which worshipped God
in purity and holiness, when religions among other people, was polluted
or extinct. And there is no doubt, that Adam and Eve, with a few other of
their children were themselves true worshippers of God; but closes means,
that so great was then the deluge of impiety in the world that religion
was rapidly hastening to destruction; because it remained only with a few
men, and did not flourish in any one race. We may readily conclude that
Seth was an upright and faithful servant of God. And after he begat a
son, like himself, and had a rightly constituted family, the face of the
Church began distinctly to appear, and that worship of God was set up
which might continue to posterity. Such a restoration of religion has
been effected also in our time; not that it had been altogether extinct;
but there was no certainly defined people who called upon God; and, no
sincere profession of faith, no uncorrupted religion could anywhere be
discovered. Whence it too evidently appears how great is the propensity
of men, either to gross contempt of God, or to superstition; since both
evils must then have everywhere prevailed, when Moses relates it as a
miracles that there was at that time a single family in which the worship
of God arose.

Chapter V.

1 This [is] the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God
created man, in the likeness of God made he him;
2 Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their
name Adam, in the day when they were created.
3 And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat [a son] in his
own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:
4 And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred
years: and he begat sons and daughters:
5 And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years:
and he died.
6 And Seth lived an hundred and five years, and begat Enos:
7 And Seth lived after he begat Enos eight hundred and seven years, and
begat sons and daughters:
8 And all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years: and he
9 And Enos lived ninety years, and begat Cainan:
10 And Enos lived after he begat Cainan eight hundred and fifteen years,
and begat sons and daughters:
11 And all the days of Enos were nine hundred and five years: and he
12 And Cainan lived seventy years, and begat Mahalaleel:
13 And Cainan lived after he begat Mahalaleel eight hundred and forty
years, and begat sons and daughters:
14 And all the days of Cainan were nine hundred and ten years: and he
15 And Mahalaleel lived sixty and five years, and begat Jared:
16 And Mahalaleel lived after he begat Jared eight hundred and thirty
years, and begat sons and daughters:
17 And all the days of Mahalaleel were eight hundred ninety and five
years: and he died.
18 And Jared lived an hundred sixty and two years, and he begat Enoch:
19 And Jared lived after he begat Enoch eight hundred years, and begat
sons and daughters:
20 And all the days of Jared were nine hundred sixty and two years: and
he died.
21 And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah:
22 And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred
years, and begat sons and daughters:
23 And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years:
24 And Enoch walked with God: and he [was] not; for God took him.
25 And Methuselah lived an hundred eighty and seven years, and begat
26 And Methuselah lived after he begat Lamech seven hundred eighty and
two years, and begat sons and daughters:
27 And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years:
and he died.
28 And Lamech lived an hundred eighty and two years, and begat a son:
29 And he called his name Noah, saying, This [same] shall comfort us
concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which
the LORD hath cursed.
30 And Lamech lived after he begat Noah five hundred ninety and five
years, and begat sons and daughters:
31 And all the days of Lamech were seven hundred seventy and seven years:
and he died.
32 And Noah was five hundred years old: and Noah begat Shem, Ham, and

1. "This is the book of the generations of Adam." In this chapter Moses
briefly recites the length of time which had intervened between the
creation of the world and the deluge; and also slightly touches on some
portion of the history of that period. And although we do not comprehend
the design of the Spirit, in leaving unrecorded great and memorable
events, it is, nevertheless, our business to reflect on many things which
are passed over in silence. I entirely disapprove of those speculations
which every one frames for himself from light conjectures; nor will I
furnish readers with the occasion of indulging themselves in this
respect; yet it may, in some degree, be gathered from a naked and
apparently dry narration, what was the state of those times, as we shall
see in the proper places. "The book," according to the Hebrew phrase, is
taken for a catalogue. "The generations" signify a continuous succession
of a race, or a continuous progeny. Further, the design with which this
catalogue was made, was, to inform us, that in the great, or rather, we
might say, prodigious multitude of men, there was always a number, though
small, who worshipped God; and that this number was wonderfully preserved
by celestial guardianship, lest the name of God should be entirely
obliterated, and the seed of the Church should fail.
  "In the day that God created." He does not restrict these "generations"
to the day of the creation, but only points out their commencement; and,
at the same time, he distinguishes between our first parents and the rest
of mankind, because God had brought them into life by a singular method,
whereas others had sprung from a previous stock, and had been born of
parents. Moreover, Moses again repeats what he had before stated that
Adam was formed according to the image of God, because the excellency and
dignity of this favour could not be sufficiently celebrated. It was
already a great thing, that the principal place among the creatures was
given to man; but it is a nobility far more exalted, that he should bear
resemblance to his Creator, as a son does to his father. It was not
indeed possible for God to act more liberally towards man, than by
impressing his own glory upon him, thus making him, as it were, a living
image of the Divine wisdom and justice. This also is of force in
repelling the calumnies of the wicked who would gladly transfer the blame
of their wickedness to their Maker, had it not been expressly declared,
that man was formed by nature a different being from that which he has
now become, through the fault of his own defection from God.

2. "Male and female created he them." This clause commends the sacred
bond of marriage, and the inseparable union of the husband and the wife.
For when Moses has mentioned only one, he immediately afterwards includes
both under one name. And he assigns a common name indiscriminately to
both, in order that posterity might learn more sacredly to cherish this
connection between each other, when they saw that their first parents
were denominated as one person. The trifling inference of Jewish writers,
that married persons only are called Adam, (or man,) is refuted by the
history of the creation; nor truly did the Spirit, in this place, mean
anything else, than that after the appointment of marriage, the husband
and the wife were like one man. Moreover, he records the blessing
pronounced upon them, that we may observe in it the wonderful kindness of
God in continuing to grant it; yet let us know that by the depravity and
wickedness of men it was, in some degree, interrupted.

3. "And begat a son in his own likeness." We have lately said that Moses
traces the offspring of Adam only through the line of Seth, to propose
for our consideration the succession of the Church. In saying that Seth
begat a son after his own image, he refers in part to the first origin of
our nature: at the same time its corruption and pollution is to be
noticed, which having been contracted by Adam through the fall, has
flowed down to all his posterity. If he had remained upright, he would
have transmitted to all his children what he had received: but now we
read that Seth, as well as the rest, was defiled; because Adams who had
fallen from his original state, could beget none but such as were like
himself. If any one should object that Seth with his family had been
elected by the special grace of God: the answer is easy and obvious;
namely, that a supernatural remedy does not prevent carnal generation
from participating in the corruption of sin. Therefore, according to the
flesh, Seth was born a sinner; but afterwards he was renewed by the grace
of the Spirit. This sad instance of the holy patriarch furnishes us with
ample occasion to deplore our own wretchedness.

4. "And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth." In the number of
years here recorded we must especially consider the long period which the
patriarchs lived together. For through six successive ages, when the
family of Seth had grown into a great people, the voice of Adam might
daily resound, in order to renew the memory of the creation, the fall,
and the punishment of man; to testify of the hope of salvation which
remained after chastisement, and to recite the judgments of God, by which
all might be instructed. After his death his sons might indeed deliver,
as from hand to hand, what they had learned, to their descendants; but
far more efficacious would be the instruction from the mouth of him, who
had been himself the eyewitness of all these things. Yet so wonderful,
and even monstrous, was the general obstinacy, that not even the sounder
part of the human race could be retained in the obedience and the fear of

5. "And he died." This clause, which records the death of each patriarch,
is by no means superfluous. For it warns us that death was not in vain
denounced against men; and that we are now exposed to the curse to which
man was doomed, unless we obtain deliverance elsewhere. In the meantime,
we must reflect upon our lamentable condition; namely, that the image of
God being destroyed, or, at least, obliterated in us, we scarcely retain
the faint shadow of a life, from which we are hastening to death. And it
is useful, in a picture of so many ages, to behold, at one glance, the
continual course and tenor of divine vengeance; because otherwise, we
imagine that God is in some way forgetful; and to nothing are we more
prone than to dream of immortality on earth, unless death is frequently
brought before our eyes.

22. "And Enoch walked with God." Undoubtedly Enoch is honoured with
peculiar praise among the men of his own age, when it is said that he
walked with God. Yet both Seth and Enoch, and Cainan, and Mahalaleel, and
Jared, were then living, whose piety was celebrated in the former part of
the chapter. As that age could not be ruder or barbarous, which had so
many most excellent teachers; we hence infer, that the probity of this
holy man, whom the Holy Spirit exempted from the common order, was rare
and almost singular. Meanwhile, a method is here pointed out of guarding
against being carried away by the perverse manners of those with whom we

(continued in part 12...)

file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/epl-01/cvgn1-11.txt