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ty with the contemporaries of Noah. They who were disobedient, when the ark was a preparing, were all of them entirely destroyed by the deluge, nor from any of them did any of the Gentiles derive their origin ; so that it is inconceivable, how they could coalesce into one people with the Gentiles. And Peter is so far from niaking the unbelievers of his time to be one body with those who lived in the time of Noah, that, on the contrary, he calls the old world the world of the ungodly, 2 Pet. ii. 5. and chap. iii. 6, 7. opposes the world that then was, to the world which is now. A similitude of manners is not enough to make them the same people. Who that trembles at the word of God, can ascribe such a weak and foolish speech to the divine apostle, as to think he could say, that when the apostles preached to the men of their time, they preached to those who were disobedient in the tiine of Noah. Be it far from us thus to trifle with sacred writ. The reader may be pleased to see a very solid defence of this passage in Disput. Placæi, disput. 15.
XII. Memorable also is that blessing, with which Noah blessed his pious sons, containing many doctrines of the true religion, Gen. ix. 26, 27. Blessed be Jehovah the God of Shem, and Canaan shall be his servant. God shall enlarge (or allure) Japheth, and he shall diell in the lents of Shem. When he calls Jehovah the God of Shem, he gives an intimation of that covenant, which was to subsist between the Supreme Being and the posterity of Shem, above other men. For Abraham and all Israel were descended from Shem. These God had chosen to himself for a peculiar people. Whence; with a remarkable compellation, Shem is called the father of all the children of Heber, Gen. x. 21. that is, of the Hebrews. He also publishes the piety of Shem, who pvas constantly to adhere to the worship of the true God,
and to oppose, to the utmost, the spreading of idolatry; teaching, both by his doctrine and example, that he acknowledged none to be God but Jehovah. Generally interpreters also observe, that these words set forth, that the Messiah should descend from the posterity of Shem. Since he does not celebrate so much Shem himself, on the account of his piety, as he transfers the whole praise to God, saying, Blessed be Jehovah, he shews, that God is the author of every good inclination of the soul, and pious action of the life, to whom therefore all the glory of them is due. He had denounced a curse on the guilty in his own person, on account of the crime he had committed ; because the fuel and source of evil is in man himself, But being pleased with the piety of Shem, he was willing rather to bless God ; that he might not seem to ascribe too much to his son, or to sacrifice to his own net, and attribute any thing to his good education. He gives thanks to God, who had heard his vows, and had abundantly blessed the pains he had taken in forming the morals of his son. Nor is it without a mystery, that though Japheth was the first born of his three sons, yet Noah should, by the Spirit of prophecy, prefer Shem before him ; to teach us, that, in election, God has no respect to age, and that the order of grace is not the same with the order of nature. He was therefore justly called, shem, that is, famous and of a great name, because he was eminent for so many and so great privileges above his brethren ; and especially because with him and his posterity SHAM JEHOVAH ÆTH SHEMO, Jehovah put his name, as it is Deut. xii. 5. Noah adds, And Canaan shall be his servant : providing him with a servant, after he had provided him with a lord. This prophecy was not fulfilled till eight hundred years after, when the Israelites, who descended from Shem, invading the land of Canaan, upon them.
vanquished above thirty kings of the Canaanites; and having utterly destroyed the greatest part of the inhabitants, made slaves of the rest, laying a heavy tribute
them. And they employed the Gibeonites in cutting wood, and drawing water for the service of the tabernacle, down to the days of David ; who, changing their name, called them Nethinim, that is, dedititious, or persons given or offered, Ezra. viii. 20. because they willingly surrendered themselves. See Bochart. Phaleg. lib. 2. c. 1.
XIII. What is said to Japheth, is variously explained. The verb PATHAH, from whence Japheth is derived, as also the term japht, which Noah here uses by an elegant paronomasia, or allusion, sigpifies in Chaldee to enlarge. Hence in the Chaldee paraphrase, Psal. civ. 25. JAM PETHA, is the wide sea ; and i Kings, iv.
29. PETHAIEI LEB, largeness of heart. But in Heį brew, the same verb signifies in kal to be allured, in piel
to allure, and is generally taken in a bad sense, to denote an alluring or seducing into error ; though sometimes in a good sense, as Jer. xx. 7. PITTITHANI VAÆPHATH, Thou hast persuaded one, and I was per. suaded ; and Hos. ii. 14. or, according to another division, ver. 16. HINNEH ANOCHI MEPHATTÆHA, Behold I will allure her, or persuade her. Both significations are applied by great men to this passage.
XIV. They who contend, that the signification is to enlarge, insist on the following arguments. First, that Noah, makes use of the conjugation hiphil, which is never used to signify alluring ; nor does it elsewhere occur in hiphil, but in the Chaldee, where JAPhti, signifies to enlarge. Secondly, that rathal, is a verb of
PATHAIa a common signification, nevertheless it is alınost always taken in a bad sense, excepting in one or two places. The Greeks generally render it APATAN, by a mani
fést allusion, but which rightly expresses the force of the word. Thirdly, that PATHAH, when it signifies to aliure, always governs an accusative : but here it is joined to the dative, for lamed prefixed to Japheth is the sign of the dative. Seeing therefoạe it cannot be said, God shall allure to Japheth, we must render it, God shall enlarge to Japheth, place or habitation being to be understood. For thus the Hebrews speak; as Gen. xxvi. 22. HIRCHIB JEHOVAH LANU, The Lord hath made room for us, and to the same purpose generally elsewhere. Moreover, this explication is very consonant to the event. For, in the division of the earth, the largest portion fell to be inhabited by Japheth. For, besides Europe in all its extent, Asia the Less belongs to the portion of Japheth ; and Media, and a part of Armenia, and Iberia, and Albania, and those vast regions towards the north, which the Scythians formerly occupied, and the Tartars possess at this day: to say nothing about the new world, to which, it is not improbable, that the Scythians formerly passed over by the straits of Anian, as Fuller in his Miscellan. Sacr. lib. 2. C. 4. has shewn at large.
XV. But others, who contend for the signification to allure, can make use of these reasons. 1. That Noah did not speak in Chaldee, but in Hebrew, in which language Pathak has scarce, if at all, any other signification, but to allure. 2. That not without reason he used the conjugation - hiphil, though occurring no where else in scripture ; namely, to render the paronomasia or allusion the more elegant, which in piel carnot come so near to the name Japheth : and that a change of conjugation does not necessarily infer a change of signification. 3. That, from the instances above alledged, it appears PATHAH is also taken in a good sense ; and that it is not to the purpoic, whether
more rarely or more frequently so. And indeed, the word PEITHO, used by the apostle, 2 Cor. v. 11. when he speaks of the doctrine of the gospel, has a greater affinity with PATHAH, than the verb APATAO. 4. Buxtorf shews, by many examples, that the change of the dative for the accusative, with active verbs, is frequent, Thesaur. Grammat. lib. 2. c. 12.
And more especially, that though verbs of commanding are indeed oftener construed with the accusative, yet also sometimes with the dative, as Numb. ix. 8. JETZ AVÆH LACHEM, Is. xxxviii. 1. TZAV LEBETHÆCHA. As is also NASHA, to seduce, construed sometimes with the accusative, Jer. xlix. 16. at other times with the dative, Jer. iv. 10. And why not the same thing hold in PATHAH? 5. That neither did the event disagree with this explication : seeing, upon rejecting the Jews, the gospel, by which they are allured to the communion of God in Christ, was more than to all others revealed to the posterity of Japheth, and that in their own language. And as this was a far greater blessing than the possession of the whole earth, why not rather think, that by those words are predicted what they may most conveniently signify ?
XVI: Now, what follows, And let him dwell, or he shall dwell in the tents of Shem, may be applied either to God, or to Japheth. They who apply it to God, as among the ancients Theodoret, on Gen.' quæst. 58. among the moderns, Fuller in Miscellan. Sacr. lib. 2. C. 4. Musculus in commentar. and others, have a regard to the word SHACHAN, whence Shekinah, SKENOSIS; by which words, the inhabitation of the divine Majesty is generally signified. The Shechinah was in the tabernacle of the Israelites, in mount Zion, and in the temple built there ; of which God said, that he would dreell in the thick darkness, that is, in an amazing cloud, the