|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
9:24-29 Noah declares a curse on Canaan, the son of Ham; perhaps this grandson of his was more guilty than the rest. A servant of servants, that is, The meanest and most despicable servant, shall he be, even to his brethren. This certainly points at the victories in after-times obtained by Israel over the Canaanites, by which they were put to the sword, or brought to pay tribute. The whole continent of Africa was peopled mostly by the descendants of Ham; and for how many ages have the better parts of that country lain under the dominion of the Romans, then of the Saracens, and now of the Turks! In what wickedness, ignorance, barbarity, slavery, and misery most of the inhabitants live! And of the poor negroes, how many every year are sold and bought, like beasts in the market, and conveyed from one quarter of the world to do the work of beasts in another! But this in no way excuses the covetousness and barbarity of those who enrich themselves with the product of their sweat and blood. God has not commanded us to enslave negroes; and, without doubt, he will severely punish all such cruel wrongs. The fulfilment of this prophecy, which contains almost a history of the world, frees Noah from the suspicion of having uttered it from personal anger. It fully proves that the Holy Spirit took occasion from Ham's offence to reveal his secret purposes. Blessed be the Lord God of Shem. The church should be built up and continued in the posterity of Shem; of him came the Jews, who were, for a great while, the only professing people God had in the world. Christ, who was the Lord God, in his human nature should descend from Shem; for of him, as concerning the flesh, Christ came. Noah also blesses Japheth, and, in him, the isles of the gentiles that were peopled by his seed. It speaks of the conversion of the gentiles, and the bringing of them into the church. We may read it, God shall persuade Japheth, and being persuaded, he shall dwell in the tents of Shem. Jews and gentiles shall be united together in the gospel fold; both shall be one in Christ. Noah lived to see two worlds; but being an heir of the righteousness which is by faith, he now rests in hope, waiting to see a better than either.
Verses 28, 29. - And Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years. I.e. to the fifty-eighth year of the life of Abram, and was thus in all probability a witness of the building of the tower of Babel, and of the consequent dispersion of mankind. And all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years: and he died. Tuch, Bleek, and Colenso connect these verses with ver. 17, as the proper continuation of the Elohist's work.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years. So that he not only saw the old world, and the wickedness of that, and the destruction of it for it, but an increase of wickedness again, the building of the tower of Babel, the confusion of languages, the dispersion of his offspring, and the wars among them in the times of Nimrod, and others: however, it was a blessing to mankind that he lived so long after the flood in the new world, to transmit to posterity, by tradition, the affairs of the old world; and to give a particular account of the destruction of it, and to instruct them in the doctrines and duties of religion. By this it appears, that he lived within thirty two years of the birth of Abraham. The Jews conclude from hence, that he lived to the fifty eighth year of Abraham's life: it may be remarked, that it is not added here as usual to the account of the years of the patriarchs, "and he begat sons and daughters"; from whence it may be concluded, that he had no more children than the three before mentioned, as well as from the silence of the Scriptures elsewhere, and from the old age of himself and his wife, and especially from what is said; see Gill on Genesis 9:19.
Genesis 9:28 Parallel Commentaries
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