Genesis 9:29
And all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years: and he died.
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(29) All the days of Noah.—While Noah attained to the same age as the antediluvian patriarchs, 950 years, human life was fast diminishing. The whole life-time of Shem was 600 years; that of Peleg, a few generations afterwards, only 239. After him only one man, Terah, is described as living more than 200 years, and of his age there is great doubt. (See Note on Genesis 11:32.) Thus before Shem’s death the age of man was rapidly shortening, and things were settling down to that condition in which they are set before us in profane literature.

Genesis 9:29. All the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years — Here the clause, and he begat sons and daughters, is omitted, whence we may infer that he had no more than the three sons already mentioned.

9:24-29 Noah declares a curse on Canaan, the son of Ham; perhaps this grandson of his was more guilty than the rest.The history of Noah is now closed, in the customary form of the fifth chapter. This marks a connection between the third and fourth documents, and points to one hand as the composer, or at least compiler, of both. The document now closed could not have had the last paragraph appended to it until after the death of Noah. But, with the exception of these two verses, it might have been composed hundreds of years before. This strongly favors the notion of a constant continuator, or, at all events, continuation of the sacred history. Every new prophet and inspired writer whom God raised up added the necessary portion and made the necessary insertions in the sacred record. And hence, the Word of God had a progressive growth and adaptation to the successive ages of the church.

The present document stands between the old world and the new world. Hence, it has a double character, being the close of the antediluvian history, and the introduction to that of the postdiluvian race. It records a great event, pregnant with warning to all future generations of men. And it notes the delegation, by God to man, of authority to punish the murderer by death, and therefore to enforce all the minor sanctions of law for breaches of the civil compact. It therefore points out the institution of civil government as coming from God, and clearly exhibits the accountability of all governments to God for all the powers they hold, and for the mode in which they are exercised. This also is a great historical lesson for all ages.

27. God shall enlarge Japheth—pointing to a vast increase in posterity and possessions. Accordingly his descendants have been the most active and enterprising, spread over the best and largest portion of the world, all Europe and a considerable part of Asia.

he shall dwell in the tents of Shem—a prophecy being fulfilled at the present day, as in India British Government is established and the Anglo-Saxons being in the ascendancy from Europe to India, from India over the American continent. What a wonderful prophecy in a few verses (Isa 46:10; 1Pe 1:25)!


Here is an omission of that solemn clause used in all the preceding generations, and he begat sons and daughters; which implies that Noah had no more than these three sons, which also appears from Genesis 9:19.

And all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years,.... He lived twenty years more than Adam did, and within nineteen of Methuselah, and his age must be called a good old age; but what is said of all the patriarchs is also said or him:

and he died: the Arabic writers say (w), when the time of his death drew nigh, he ordered his son Shem by his will to take the body of Adam, and lay it in the middle of the earth, and appoint Melchizedek, the son of Peleg, minister at his grave; and one of them is very particular as to the time of his death; they say (x) he died on the second day of the month Ijar, on the fourth day (of the week), at two o'clock in the morning.

(w) Elmacinus, p. 12. Patricides, p. 11. apud Hottinger. Smegma, p. 254. (x) Patricides, ib. p. 256.

And all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years: and he died.
Genesis 9:29"Wide let God make it to Japhet, and let him dwell in the tents of Shem." Starting from the meaning of the name, Noah sums up his blessing in the word יפתּ (japht), from פּתה to be wide (Proverbs 20:19), in the Hiphil with ל, to procure a wide space for any one, used either of extension over a wide territory, or of removal to a free, unfettered position; analogous to ל הרחיב, Genesis 26:22; Psalm 4:1, etc. Both must be retained here, so that the promise to the family of Japhet embraced not only a wide extension, but also prosperity on every hand. This blessing was desired by Noah, not from Jehovah, the God of Shem, who bestows saving spiritual good upon man, but from Elohim, God as Creator and Governor of the world; for it had respect primarily to the blessings of the earth, not to spiritual blessings; although Japhet would participate in these as well, for he should come and dwell in the tents of Shem. The disputed question, whether God or Japhet is to be regarded as the subject of the verb "shall dwell," is already decided by the use of the word Elohim. If it were God whom Noah described as dwelling in the tents of Shem, so that the expression denoted the gracious presence of God in Israel, we should expect to find the name Jehovah, since it was as Jehovah that God took up His abode among Shem in Israel. It is much more natural to regard the expression as applying to Japhet, (a) because the refrain, "Canaan shall be his servant," requires that we should understand Genesis 9:27 as applying to Japhet, like Genesis 9:26 to Shem; (b) because the plural, tents, is not applicable to the abode of Jehovah in Israel, inasmuch as in the parallel passages "we read of God dwelling in His tent, on His holy hill, in Zion, in the midst of the children of Israel, and also of the faithful dwelling in the tabernacle or temple of God, but never of God dwelling in the tents of Israel" (Hengstenberg); and (c) because we should expect that act of affection, which the two sons so delicately performed in concert, to have its corresponding blessing in the relation established between the two (Delitzsch). Japhet's dwelling in the tents of Shem is supposed by Bochart and others to refer to the fact, that Japhet's descendants would one day take the land of the Shemites, and subjugate the inhabitants; but even the fathers almost unanimously understand the words in a spiritual sense, as denoting the participation of the Japhetites in the saving blessings of the Shemites. There is truth in both views. Dwelling presupposes possession; but the idea of taking by force is precluded by the fact, that it would be altogether at variance with the blessing pronounced upon Shem. If history shows that the tents of Shem were conquered and taken by the Japhetites, the dwelling predicted here still relates not to the forcible conquest, but to the fact that the conquerors entered into the possessions of the conquered; that along with them they were admitted to the blessings of salvation; and that, yielding to the spiritual power of the vanquished, they lived henceforth in their tents as brethren (Psalm 133:1). And if the dwelling of Japhet in the tents of Shem presupposes the conquest of the land of Shem by Japhet, it is a blessing not only to Japhet, but to Shem also, since, whilst Japhet enters into the spiritual inheritance of Shem, he brings to Shem all the good of this world (Isaiah 60). "The fulfilment," as Delitzsch says, "is plain enough, for we are all Japhetites dwelling in the tents of Shem; and the language of the New Testament is the language of Javan entered into the tents of Shem." To this we may add, that by the Gospel preached in this language, Israel, though subdued by the imperial power of Rome, became the spiritual conqueror of the orbis terrarum Romanus, and received it into his tents. Moreover it is true of the blessing and curse of Noah, as of all prophetic utterances, that they are fulfilled with regard to the nations and families in question as a whole, but do not predict, like an irresistible fate, the unalterable destiny of every individual; on the contrary, they leave room for freedom of personal decision, and no more cut off the individuals in the accursed race from the possibility of conversion, or close the way of salvation against the penitent, than they secure the individuals of the family blessed against the possibility of falling from a state of grace, and actually losing the blessing. Hence, whilst a Rahab and an Araunah were received into the fellowship of Jehovah, and the Canaanitish woman was relieved by the Lord because of her faith, the hardened Pharisees and scribes had woes pronounced upon them, and Israel was rejected because of its unbelief.

In Genesis 9:28, Genesis 9:29, the history of Noah is brought to a close, with the account of his age, and of his death.

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