Genesis 10

* The sons of Noah, of Japheth, of Ham. (1-7) Nimrod the first

monarch. (8-14) The descendants of Canaan, The sons of Shem.

(15-32)

1-7 This chapter shows concerning the three sons of Noah, that

of them was the whole earth overspread. No nation but that of

the Jews can be sure from which of these seventy it has come.

The lists of names of fathers and sons were preserved of the

Jews alone, for the sake of the Messiah. Many learned men,

however, have, with some probability, shown which of the nations

of the earth descended from each of the sons of Noah To the

posterity of Japheth were allotted the isles of the gentiles;

probably, the island of Britain among the rest. All places

beyond the sea from Judea are called isles, #Jer 25:22|. That

promise, #Isa 42:4|, The isles shall wait for his law, speaks of

the conversion of the gentiles to the faith of Christ.
8-14 Nimrod was a great man in his day; he began to be mighty

in the earth, Those before him were content to be upon the same

level with their neighbours, and though every man bare rule in

his own house, yet no man pretended any further. Nimrod was

resolved to lord it over his neighbours. The spirit of the

giants before the flood, who became mighty men, and men of

renown, #Ge 6:4|, revived in him. Nimrod was a great hunter.

Hunting then was the method of preventing the hurtful increase

of wild beasts. This required great courage and address, and

thus gave an opportunity for Nimrod to command others, and

gradually attached a number of men to one leader. From such a

beginning, it is likely, that Nimrod began to rule, and to force

others to submit. He invaded his neighbours' rights and

properties, and persecuted innocent men; endeavouring to make

all his own by force and violence. He carried on his oppressions

and violence in defiance of God himself. Nimrod was a great

ruler. Some way or other, by arts or arms, he got into power,

and so founded a monarchy, which was the terror of the mighty,

and bid fair to rule all the world. Nimrod was a great builder.

Observe in Nimrod the nature of ambition. It is boundless; much

would have more, and still cries, Give, give. It is restless;

Nimrod, when he had four cities under his command, could not be

content till he had four more. It is expensive; Nimrod will

rather be at the charge of rearing cities, than not have the

honour of ruling them. It is daring, and will stick at nothing.

Nimrod's name signifies rebellion; tyrants to men are rebels to

God. The days are coming, when conquerors will no longer be

spoken of with praise, as in man's partial histories, but be

branded with infamy, as in the impartial records of the Bible.
15-32 The posterity of Canaan were numerous, rich, and

pleasantly seated; yet Canaan was under a Divine curse, and not

a curse causeless. Those that are under the curse of God, may,

perhaps, thrive and prosper in this world; for we cannot know

love or hatred, the blessing or the curse, by what is before us,

but by what is within us. The curse of God always works really,

and always terribly. Perhaps it is a secret curse, a curse to

the soul, and does not work so that others can see it; or a slow

curse, and does not work soon; but sinners are reserved by it

for a day of wrath Canaan here has a better land than either

Shem or Japheth, and yet they have a better lot, for they

inherit the blessing. Abram and his seed, God's covenant people,

descended from Eber, and from him were called Hebrews. How much

better it is to be like Eber, the father of a family of saints

and honest men, than the father of a family of hunters after

power, worldly wealth, or vanities. Goodness is true greatness.
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