« AnteriorContinuar »
Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.” Ver. 20, “ And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not fuund an help meet for him.” This bringing the living creatures to Adam, and his giving them names, is a proof of his dominion over them.
This representation of things would lead us to suppose, that Eve was not formed on the sixth day, but some time after, because her formation is here related after the living creatures had been shown to Adam. Nevertheless, as before hinted, that argument is not conclusive. Here we have only a more distinct account of what was before related in general. This may be strongly argued from the seventh verse of this chapter before taken notice of, concerning the formation of Adam, who, certainly, was created on the sixth day.
It follows at ver. 21, “ And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept. And he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof." By this “sleep,” as is supposed, all pain was prevented. It is needless to multiply words here, or nicely to weigh objections. It seems most probable, that in the first formation there was somewhat superfluous in Adam. It has been supposed, that he had a superfluous rib on each side, and that God took away one pair, with the muscular parts adhering to them, and out of them made Eve.
Ver, 22, “ And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.” Ver. 23, “ And Adam said : This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”
It has been thought not improbable, that Adam had an ecstasy, during the time of bis deep sleep, showing him what
him : which enabled him to speak so properly, when Eve was brought to him.
Ver. 24, “ Therefore shall a man leave father and mother, and cleave to his wife. And they shall be one flesh.”
This is sometimes called Adam's prophecy. For certain, if these are the words of Adam, be must have been inspired. For he could not at this time, in an ordinary way, bave distinct ideas of the relations of father and mother. But many good interpreters think, that these should rather be understood as words of Moses, who by divine direction here inserted this law.
Ver. 25, " And they were both naked, the man and his
wife. And they were not ashamed." This, certainly, must have been the case in a state of innocence. And therefore was proper to be mentioned.
And thus concludes the account of the formation of the first pair.
2. The next point in order is the trial, upon which Adam was put in Paradise.
Ch. ii. 9, “ And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree, that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food : the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.”
Of what kind, or for what use “ the tree of life" was, we cannot certainly say; though the name of it might lead us to think, it would have been of use upon occasion of eating any thing noxious, or for restoring decays, and preserving the vigour of life.
“ And the tree of knowledge of good and evil.” It is doubted, why this tree was so called: whether it received its denomination from the event; or whether it was at first so called from the design for which it was made and instituted, that it might be a trial of man's virtue.
In the 8, 10–14 verses is the description of Paradise, which I
Ver. 15, " And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden, to dress it, and to keep it." Not that he was made out of Paradise, and then brought into it. But, when made, he was placed therein, to keep it in good order.
Ver. 16, “ And the Lord God commanded the man, saying; Of every tree in the garden thou mayest freely eat.” Ver. 17, “ But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it. For in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
Adam, as a rational creature, was subject to the law and will of God. He was necessarily bound by all moral laws and rules, and thereby obliged to love, honour, worship his Creator, and to love every creature of the same species or kind with himself, and to be merciful and tender of inferior beings, in subjection to him. But God was pleased to try him also by a positive law. And this would be likewise a trial of bis virtue. For there can be no doubt but he was obliged to respect this law and restraint of his bountiful Maker. And if he should disobey this law, it must be owing to some defect or failure of virtue. There cannot be conceived any reason, why he should transgress this command, unless some wrong temper, or evil thought, or irregularity
and exorbitance of desire, (which, certainly, is immoral and sinful,) first arose in him.
“ In the day thou eatest thereof thou sbalt surely die." Literally, in the original, “ dying thou shalt die.” Which our translators have well expressed," thou shalt surely die.”
Hereby some expositors have understood death spiritual, natural, and eternal. But I do not see any good reason they have for it. We seem rather to be justified in taking it in the sense of natural death only, or the dissolution of this frame, the separation of soul and body. We are led to this by the words of the sentence pronounced after the transgression ; “ Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return,"
" In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” By which may be meant, that very day thou shalt become mortal, and be liable to pains and diseases, which will issue in death. Or, that very day thou shalt actually die. Which last sense may be as probable as the other.
That is the trial, upon which man was put in Paradise, and in his state of innocence.
3. The next point, the third in order, is the temptation which he met with; the account of which is at the beginning of the third chapter of the book of Genesis. How long it was after the creation of Adam and Eve, before this happened, is not said. But it is likely, that some days bad passed. The serpent found Eve alone, and attempted her in the absence of the man.
Nor would his insinuations bave been received, we may suppose, if he had suggested disobedience to a command, that was but just then given.
Chap. iii. 1, “ Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field, wbich God had made." It is generally allowed, that here was the contrivance and agency of Satan. But Moses speaks only of the outward appearance; and therein, as I apprehend, refers to, or intends the winding, insinuating motion of serpents.
66 And he said unto the woman; Yea, bas God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden ?" This is somewhat abrupt, and, possibly, some other discourse had preceded. However, it is very artful; not denying what was most true and certain ; but insinuating, that it was very strange, if such a probibition had been delivered to them. And, possibly, Eve concluded, that she was now addressed by some angel, who wished them well.
Ver. 2, “ And the woman said unto the serpent; We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden.” Ver. 3,“ But of the frait of the tree, wbich is in the midst of the garden; God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it; neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.' By wbich we perceive that the woman was well apprized of the command, and the strictness of it. And, probably, she was by when it was delivered; though Adam only be particularly mentioned.
Ver. 4, " And the serpent said unto the woman: Ye shall not surely die.” Ver. 5, “ For God does know, that in the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” Which last words may be thought to imply, that Eve was not without an apprehension of other intelligent beings, distinct from God the Creator and man, and of an intermediate order between both.
In this discourse the serpent insinuates a wrong and disadvantageous opinion of the Deity, as envious of the high happiness and dignity which they might attain to. And Eve was much to blame, for admitting suspicions of the benevolence of him that made them.
4. I proceed immediately to our first parents' transgression, the accounts of that and the temptation being closely connected.
Ver. 6, “ And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also to her husband with her, and he did eat." This is indeed strange. But from the serpent's insinuations she had admitted a dishonourable and disrespectful thought of the Deity, and then soon lost a just regard to the command he had given. She views this dangerous and deadly fruit with complacence. She looked upon this prohibited fruit, till she had an appetite to it, conceived of it as good food, and was taken with its beautiful colour, and possessed with a persuasion, that her curiosity would be gratified with an increase of knowledge. And according to the Mosaic account, which is concise, when Adam came up, and Eve presented him with some of the same forbidden fruit, be took it at her hand, and did eat of it. The account, I say, is concise. But it was needless to be more particular, after the clear account before given of the strict prohibition. Which sets Adam's fault in a conspicuous view. Possibly, the woman gave Adam an account of what the serpent bad said to her, and represented it to him, with tokens of her approbation. He could bave no temptation beyond what had been represented to the
woman, beside the addition of her offer of it. Which, as it seems, was no small inducement to compliance, and to do as she had done, and whatever should be the event, to share as she did.
Ver. 7, “ And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked : and they sewed [or twisted] fig-leaves together, and made themselves aprons." Upon reflection, their eyes were opened in a different sense from what the serpent had said, and they were filled with sbame, not knowing what to think of themselves, or how to act. But they soon contrived a slight garment as for a covering
Ver. 8, “ And they heard the voice of the Lord walking in the garden, in the cool of the day.” They perceived a brisk motion of the air coming towards them, with an increasing sound, that was awful to them. Or, in the words of Bishop Patrick: They beard the sound of the majestic • presence, or the glory of the Lord, approaching nearer
and nearer to the place where they were.' “ And Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.” They who before had converse with God, which was delightful, now retire into the closest, and most shady coverts, to avoid the Divine appearance.
Ver. 9, “ And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him: Where art thou ?” God summoned Adam to appear before him, and to attend to what he should say.
Ver. 10, “ And he said, I heard thy voice in the midst of the garden. And I was afraid, because I was naked. And I hid myself." Ver 11, “ And he said : Who told thee that thou wast naked ? Hast thou eaten of the tree whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat ? Intimating, that doubtless that was the occasion of all this confusion and disorder of mind, and of his shyness of the Divine presence.
Ver. 12, “ And the man said, The woman, whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.” He cannot deny his guilt; but he puts it off, as much as he can, upon the woman. And the more to excuse himself to God, he says, “ the woman, wbom thou gavest to be with me
Ver. 13, “ And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.” She too endeavours to cast the blame upon another. And though it was not a full