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THIS is the book of the generation of Adam. In the day that God created man, he made him to the likeness of God.


2 He created them male and female; and blessed them: and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.

Ver. 2.  Adam: the common name of mankind, made to the likeness of God.  H.

3 And Adam lived a hundred and thirty years, and begot a son to his own image and likeness, and called his name Seth.


4 And the days of Adam, after he begot Seth, were eight hundred years: and he begot sons and daughters. 5 And all the time that Adam lived came to nine hundred and thirty years, and he died.

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.

6 Seth also lived a hundred and five years, and begot Enos.


7 And Seth lived after he begot Enos, eight hundred and seven years, and begot sons and daughters. 8 And all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years, and he died. 9 And Enos lived ninety years, and begot Cainan.


10 After whose birth he lived eight hundred and fifteen years, and begot sons and daughters. 11 And the days of Enos were nine hundred and five years, and he died. 12 And Cainan lived seventy years, and begot Malaleel.
13 And Cainan lived after he begot Malaleel, eight hundred forty years, and begot sons and daughters. 14 And all the days of Cainan were nine hundred and ten years, and he died. 15 And Malaleel lived sixty-five years, and begot Jared. 16 And Malaleel lived after he begot Jared, eight hundred and thirty years, and begot sons and daughters. 17 And all the days of Malaleel were eight hundred and ninety-five years, and he died. 18 And Jared lived a hundred and sixty-two years, and begot Henoch. 19 And Jared lived after he begot Henoch, eight hundred years, and begot sons and daughters. 20 And all the days of Jared were nine hundred and sixty-two years, and he died. 21 And Henoch lived sixty-five years, and begot Mathusala. 22 And Henoch walked with God: and lived after he begot Mathusala, three hundred years, and begot sons and daughters. 23 And all the days of Henoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. 24 And he walked with God, and was seen no more: because God took him.

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.


25 And Mathusala lived a hundred and eighty-seven years, and begot Lamech. 26 And Mathusala lived after he begot Lamech, seven hundred and eighty-two years, and begot sons and daughters. 27 And all the days of Mathusala were nine hundred and sixty-nine years, and he died. 28 And Lamech lived a hundred and eighty-two years, and begot a son. 29 And he called his name Noe, saying: This same shall comfort us from the works and labours of our hands on the earth which the Lord hath cursed.

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.

30 And Lamech lived after he begot Noe, five hundred and ninety-five years, and begot sons and daughters. 31 And all the days of Lamech came to seven hundred and seventy-seven years, and he died. And Noe, when he was five hundred years old, begot Sem, Cham, and Japheth.

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.

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