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The descents from Adam to Noah and his sons, ver. 1 - 4.
The posterity of Japheth and Ham, ver. 5 - 16.
Of Shem to Abraham, ver. 17 - 27.
Abraham's posterity by Ishmael, ver. 28 - 31.
By Keturah, ver. 32, 33.
The posterity of Isaac by Esau, ver. 34 - 54.
1: Sheth - Adam begat Sheth: and so in the following
particulars. For brevity sake he only mentions their names; but the
rest is easily understood out of the former books. This appears as the
peculiar glory of the Jewish nation, that they alone were able to trace
their pedigree from the first man that God created, which no other nation
pretended to, but abused themselves and their posterity with fabulous
accounts of their originals: the people of Thessaly fancying that they
sprang from stones, the Athenians, that they grew out of the earth.
5: The sons of Japheh - The historian repeating the account of the
replenishing the earth by the sons of Noah, begins with those that were
strangers to the church, the sons of Japheth, who peopled Europe, of
whom he says little, as the Jews had hitherto little or no dealings with
them. He proceeds to those that had many of them been enemies to the
church, and thence hastens to the line of Abraham, breaking off abruptly
from all the other families of the sons of Noah, but that of
Arphaxad, from whom Christ was to come. The great promise of the
Messiah was transmitted from Adam to Seth, from him to Shem,
from him to Eber, and so to the Jewish nation, who were intrusted
above all nations with that sacred treasure, 'till the promise was
performed, and the Messiah was come: and then that nation was made not
14: The Jebusite - The names which follow until ver.(17), are not
the names of particular persons, but of people or nations. And all these
descended from Canaan, though some of them were afterwards extinct or
confounded with others of their brethren by cohabitation or mutual
marriages, whereby they lost their names: which is the reason why they
are no more mentioned, at least under these names.
17: The sons - Either the name of sons is so taken here as to
include grandsons, or, these words, the children of Aram, are understood
before Uz, out of (Ge 10:23), where they are expressed.
18: Begat - Either immediately, or mediately by his son Cainan,
who is expressed, (Lu 3:35).
19: Divided - In their languages and habitations.
24: Arphaxad - Having given a brief and general account of the
original of the world and the people in it, he now returns to a more large
and particular account of the genealogy of Shem, from whom the Jews
28: The sons of Abraham - All nations but the seed of Abraham are
already shaken off from this genealogy. Not that we conclude, no particular
persons of any other nation but this found favour with God. Multitudes will
be brought to heaven out of every nation, and we may hope there were
many, very many people in the world, whose names were in the book of life,
tho' they did not spring from the loins of Abraham.
36: Timna - There is another Timna, the concubine of Eliphaz,(Ge 36:12), but this was one of his sons, though called by the same
name; there being some names common both to men and women in the Hebrew
and in other languages.
38: Seir - One of another nation, prince of the Horims; whose
genealogy is here described, because of that affinity which was contracted
between his and Esau's posterity; and those who were not united and
incorporated with them, were destroyed by them. See (De 2:12).
54: These are the dukes of Edom - Let us, in reading these
genealogies, think of the multitudes that have gone thro' the world, have
successively acted their parts in it, and retired into darkness. All these
and all theirs had their day; many of them made a mighty noise in the world;
until their day came to fall, and their place knew them no more. The paths
of death are trodden paths. How soon are we to tread them?