Ver. 2. Adam: the common name of mankind, made to the likeness of God. H.
Ver. 5. He died. Ecclus. xiv. 12. says very justly, the covenant of this world is, he shall surely die. God prolonged the lives of the patriarchs to a more advanced age, that the world might be sooner filled. Their constitution was then more excellent, the fruits of the earth more nourishing, &c. But the sole satisfactory reason for their living almost a thousand years, while we can hardly arrive at 70, is, because so it pleased God, in whose hands are all our lots. There is a great difference in the number of years assigned by the Hebrew and Vulgate, from that which the Samaritan copy mentions; and the Sept. differs from both. Whether the difference be real, or only apparent, we shall not pretend to determine. The Church has not decided which system of chronology is the most accurate. In the Martyrology, she adopts that of the Sept. and placed the birth of Christ in 5199, after Eusebius and Bede, though Riccioli calculates the Sept. at 5634 years. H.
--- Adam died penitent, as we are assured by the Holy Ghost. Wis. x. 2.; and tradition affirms the same of Eve, insomuch that the heresy of the Encratites, who condemned our first parents to hell, was exploded with horror. Epip. S. Aug. in hæres. T.
Ver. 24. Walked with God. Sept. "was pleasing to God," by continual recollection and watchfulness over himself. Thus he became perfect.
--- Was seen no more; or, as S. Paul reads, after the Sept. he was not found. Heb. xi. 5.
--- God took him alive to some place unknown, which is commonly supposed to be Paradise, conformably to Ecclus. xliv. 16. though in Greek we do not read Paradise. Henoch pleased God, and was translated [into Paradise,] that he may give repentance to the nations. To him, that of Wisdom iv. 10. may be applied: He...was beloved, and living among sinners, he was translated. He will come again, when the charity of many of his children, (for we all spring from him) shall have grown cold; and shall at last suffer death for opposing Antichrist. Apoc. xi. H.
--- "Though it be not an article of faith, whether Henoch be now in that Paradise, from which Adam and Eve were driven, or in some other delightful place; yet the holy Scriptures affirm, that God translated him alive, that he might not experience death," S. Chrys. hom. 21. with whom the other fathers agree, cited in the Douay Bible; so that it is a matter of surprise, how any Protestant can call it in question. He is the other witness, who will come with Elias, before the great day of the Lord, to perform the same office to the nations, as the latter will to the Jews. Malac. iv. God preserves these two alive, perhaps to give us a striking proof how he could have treated Adam and his posterity, if they had not sinned; and also to confirm our hopes of immortality, when we shall have paid the debt of nature. W.
Ver. 29. Noe means consolation, or repose. After he had beheld the most dreadful catastrophe or disturbance that ever happened in the world, he settled mankind once more in the friendship of God, and merited a blessing both for himself and for the whole earth. He gave, likewise, comfort to all, by useful inventions in agriculture, and in the art of making wine. He saw an end of the distractions caused by the wicked sons of Cain, and became the restorer of a new world: in a word, he was the progenitor of the Messias, who is the King of Peace, and our only solid comfort. M. H.
Ver. 31. Old. It is wonderful if Noe had no children before this time; but he might have had many, whom the Scripture does not mention, either because they were dead before the deluge, or taking evil courses with the daughters of men, deserved to perish with them. Noe kept the three, who were born after God had foretold the deluge, with the greatest care, under his own eyes. S. Augustine (C. D. xv. 20.) thinks, however, that many of the Patriarchs had no children till they were pretty far advanced in years. As Sem was born when Noe was 502, and Cham was the youngest, Japheth must have been the first-born. Comp. C. x. 21., with C. ix. 24. There is no reason to suppose they were all born the same year. C.