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and creeping things, and provisions for their accommodation ! • Well, let him go: a week longer, and we shall see what will be come of his dreams!' Meanwhile they eat and drink, and buy and sell, and marry and are given in marriage. As for Noah, he must have felt much, in contemplating the destruction of the whole of his species, to whom he had preached righteousness in vain. But it is not for bim to linger; but to do according to all that the Lord commanded him. He had borne his testimony: he could do no more. He, his sons, his wife, and his sons' wives, therefore, with all the inferior creatures, which probably were caused to assemble before him by the same power which brought them to Adam to be named, enter into the ark. The same thing which is said of him in ver 7, is repeated in ver. 13. He doubtless would have to enter and re-enter many times, in the course of the week; but the last describes his final entrance, when he should return no more.
Ver. 10-16. From the account taken together, it appears, that though God suffered long with the world during the ministry of Noah, yet the flood came upon them at last very suddenly. the words, after seven days, in ver. 10, seem to mean on the sev. enth day ;* for that was the day when Noah made his final entrance into the ark ; namely, the seventeenth day of the second month, angwering to our October or November, in the six hundredth year of his life ; and on that same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven opened What a scene of consternation and dismay must that day have exhibited, on the part of those who were left behind! The manner in which the rains set in would leave little or no hope of their being soon over. It was not a common rain : it came in torrents, or as we should say, in a manner as though heaven and earth were come together. The waters of the subterraneous cavities from beneath, and of the clouds from above, all met together at God's
* Such a mode of speaking is usual in the scriptures. Campare ver. 6, with ver. 11, and Chap. xl. 18. 20. Vol. V.
command, to execute his wrath on guilty men.* There is one sentence concerning Noah which is worthy of special notice : when he and all pertaining to him had entered into the ark, it is said, And the Lord shut him in. The door of such a stupendous building may be supposed to be too large for human hunds to fasten, especially so few as they were, and all withinside of it. It is possible too, there might be, by this time, numbers crowding round it for admittance ; for those who trifle with death
; at a distance, are often the most terrified when it approaches. But lo, all is over! That act which shut Noah and his family in, shut them forever out! And let it be considered, that something very nearly resembling this will ere long be acted over again. As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be at the coming of the Son of Man. Not only shall the world, as then, be full of dissipation, but the concluding scene is described in nearly the same words And they that were ready went in, and the door was shut !
Ver. 17-24. We hear no more of the inhabitants of the world, except that all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of foul and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepcth
upon the earth, AND EVERY MAN: all in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died. We are informed, however, of the progress of the food. For six weeks, within two days, it continued to rain incessantly; during which period it was of sufficient depth to bear up the ark from the earth, which after this, floated upon the surface of the waters, like aship on the sea. For some time however, there were mountains and higb hills which were out of water. Hither therefore, we máy naturally suppose, the inhabitants of the earth would repair, as to
*The great deep seems to mean that vast confluence of water, said to have been gathered together on the third day of the creationținto one place, and called seas. (Chap. i. 9, 10.) These waters not only extend over a great part of the surface of the earth, but probably flow, as through a number of arteries and veins, to its most interior recesses, and occupy its centre. This body of waters, which was ordained, as I may say, unto life, was turned, in just displeasure against man's sin, into an engine of destruction. Bursting forth in tremendous floods, multitudes were hereby swept away: while from above, the clouds poured forth their torrents, as though heaven itself were a reservoir of waters, and God had opened its windows.
their last refuge: but by the end of the forty days, these also were covered; the waters rising above seven yards higher than the highest of them. Thus every creature was swept away, and buried in one watery grave, Noah and his family only excepted.
The waters prevailed upon the earth a hundred and fifty days; that is above five months, before they began to abate. This might seem to us unnecessary, seeing every living creature would be drowned within the first six weeks ; but it would serve to exer. cise the faith and patience of Noah, and to impress his posterity with the greatness of the divine displeasure against man's sin. As the land of Israel should have its sabbaths during the captivity; so the whole earth, for a time, shall be relieved from its load, and fully purified, as it were, from its uncleanness.
THE FLOOD (CONTINUED.)
The close of the last chapter brought us to the crisis of the flood, or to the period in which it had arrived at its greatest height: from hence it began to abate. Observe the forma in which it is expressed : God remembered Noah, and those that were with him in the ark. A common historian would only have narrated the event: but the sacred writers ascribe every thing to God, and sometimes to the omission of the second causes. The term is figurative; for, strictly speaking, God never forgot them : but it is one of those modes of speaking which convey a great fullness of meaning. It is expressive of tender mercy, of covenant mercy, and of mercy after a strong expression of displeasure. These are things which frequently occur in the divine proceedings. From hence, a wind passes over the earth, and the waters begin to assuage.
Ver. 24. The causes of the deluge being removed, the effects gradually subside; and the waters having performed their work, return into their wonted channels. The ark, which had hitherto floated on the waters, now finds land, and rests upon the top of one of the Armenian mountains; and this just five months after the entrance into it. For a ship in the sea to have struck upon a rock or land, would have been extremely dangerous; but at this stage of the flood we may suppose the heavens were clear and calm, and the waters still. Noah did not steer the ark; it was therefore God's doing, and was in mercy to him and his companions. Their voyage was now at an end. They put in as at the first possible port. The rest which they enjoy is a prelude to a more