(Calvin, Genesis 1. part 4)

exalted knowledge; but, in the meantime, they who perceive by the moon
the splendour of night, are convicted by its use of perverse ingratitude
unless they acknowledge the beneficence of God.
  "To rule". He does not ascribe such dominion to the sun and moon as
shall, in the least degree, diminish the power of God; but because the
sun, in half the circuit of heaven, governs the day, and the moon the
night, by turns; he therefore assigns to them a kind of government. Yet
let us remember, that it is such a government as implies that the sun is
still a servant, and the moon a handmaid. In the meantime, we dismiss the
reverie of Plato who ascribes reason and intelligence to the stars. Let
us be content with this simple exposition, that God governs the days and
nights by the ministry of the sun and moon, because he has them as his
charioteers to convey light suited to the season.

20. "Let the waters bring forth .. the moving creature." On the fifth day
the birds and fishes are created. The blessing of God is added, that they
may of themselves produce offspring. Here is a different kind of
propagation from that in herbs and trees: for there the power of
fructifying is in the plants, and that of germinating is in the seed; but
here generation takes place. It seems, however, but little consonant with
reason, that he declares birds to have proceeded from the waters; and,
therefore this is seized upon by captious men as an occasion of calumny.
But although there should appear no other reason but that it so pleased
God, would it not be becoming in us to acquiesce in his judgment? Why
should it not be lawful for him, who created the world out of nothing, to
bring forth the birds out of water? And what greater absurdity, I pray,
has the origin of birds from the water, than that of the light from
darkness? Therefore, let those who so arrogantly assail their Creator,
look for the Judge who shall reduce them to nothing. Nevertheless if we
must use physical reasoning in the contest, we know that the water has
greater affinity with the air than the earth has. But Moses ought rather
to be listened to as our teacher, who would transport us with admiration
of God through the consideration of his works. And, truly, the Lord,
although he is the Author of nature, yet by no means has followed nature
as his guide in the creation of the world, but has rather chosen to put
forth such demonstrations of his power as should constrain us to wonder.

21. "And God created." A question here arises out of the word created.
For we have before contended, that because the world   was created, it
was made out of nothing; but now Moses says that things formed from other
matter were created. They who truly and properly assert that the fishes
were created because the waters were in no way sufficient or suitable for
their production, only resort to a subterfuge: for, in the meantime, the
fact would remain that the material of which they were made existed
before; which, in strict propriety, the word created does not admit. I
therefore do not restrict the creation here spoken of to the work of the
fifth day, but rather suppose it to refer to that shapeless and confused
mass, which was as the fountain of the whole world. God then, it is said,
created whales (balaenas) and other fishes, not that the beginning of
their creation is to be reckoned from the moment in which they receive
their form; but because they are comprehended in the universal matter
which was made out of nothing. So that, with respect to species, form
only was then added to them; but creation is nevertheless a term truly
used respecting both the whole and the parts. The word commonly rendered
whales (cetos vel cete) might in my judgment be not improperly translated
thynnus or tunny fish, as corresponding with the Hebrew word thaninim.
  When he says that "the waters brought forth," he proceeds to commend
the efficacy of the word, which the waters hear so promptly, that, though
lifeless in themselves, they suddenly teem with a living offspring, yet
the language of Moses expresses more; namely, that fishes innumerable are
daily produced from the waters, because that word of God, by which he
once commanded it, is continually in force.

22. "And God blessed them". What is the force of this benediction he soon
declares. For God does not, after the manner of men, pray that we may be
blessed; but, by the bare intimation of his purpose, effects what men
seek by earnest entreaty. He therefore blesses his creatures when he
commands them to increase and grow; that is, he infuses into them
fecundity by his word. But it seems futile for God to address fishes and
reptiles. I answer, this mode of speaking was no other than that which
might be easily understood. For the experiment itself teaches, that the
force of the word which was addressed to the fishes was not transient,
but rather, being infused into their nature, has taken root, and
constantly bears fruit.

24. "Let the earth bring forth". He descends to the sixth day, on which
the animals were created, and then man. 'Let the earth,' he says, 'bring
forth living creatures.' But whence has a dead element life? Therefore,
there is in this respect a miracle as great as if God had begun to create
out of nothing those things which he commanded to proceed from the earth.
And he does not take his material from the earth, because he needed it,
but that he might the better combine the separate parts of the world with
the universe itself. Yet it may be inquired, why He does not here also
add his benediction? I answer, that what Moses before expressed on a
similar occasion is here also to be understood, although he does not
repeat it word for word. I say, moreover, it is sufficient for the
purpose of signifying the same thing, that Moses declares animals were
created 'according to their species:' for this distribution carried with
it something stable. It may even hence be inferred, that the offspring of
animals was included. For to what purpose do distinct species exist,
unless that individuals, by their several kinds, may be multiplied?
  "Cattle." Some of the Hebrews thus distinguish between "cattle" and
"beasts of the earth," that the cattle feed on herb age, but that the
beasts of the earth are they which eat flesh. But the Lord, a little
while after, assigns herbs to both as their common food; and it may be
observed, that in several parts of Scripture these two words are used
indiscriminately. Indeed, I do not doubt that Moses, after he had named
Behemoth, (cattle,) added the other, for the sake of fuller explanation.
By 'reptiles,' in this place, understand those which are of an earthly

26. "Let us make man." Although the tense here used is the future, all
must acknowledge that this is the language of one apparently
deliberating. Hitherto God has been introduced simply as commanding; now,
when he approaches the most excellent of all his works, he enters into
consultation. God certainly might here command by his bare word what he
wished to be done: but he chose to give this tribute to the excellency of
man, that he would, in a manner, enter into consultation concerning his
creation. This is the highest honour with which he has dignified us; to a
due regard for which, Moses, by this mode of speaking would excite our
minds. For God is not now first beginning to consider what form he will
give to man, and with what endowments it would be fitting to adorn him,
nor is he pausing as over a work of difficulty: but, just as we have
before observed, that the creation of the world was distributed over six
days, for our sake, to the end that our minds might the more easily be
retained in the meditation of God's works: so now, for the purpose of
commending to our attention the dignity of our nature, he, in taking
counsel concerning the creation of man, testifies that he is about to
undertake something great and wonderful. Truly there are many things in
this corrupted nature which may induce contempt; but if you rightly weigh
all circumstances, man is, among other creatures a certain preeminent
specimen of Divine wisdom, justice, and goodness, so that he is
deservedly called by the ancients "mikrokosmos", "a world in miniature."
But since the Lord needs no other counsellor, there can be no doubt that
he consulted with himself. The Jews make themselves altogether
ridiculous, in pretending that God held communication with the earth or
with angels. The earth, forsooth, was a most excellent adviser! And to
ascribe the least portion of a work so exquisite to angels, is a
sacrilege to be held in abhorrence. Where, indeed, will they find that we
were created after the image of the earth, or of angels? Does not Moses
directly exclude all creatures in express terms, when he declares that
Adam was created after the image of God? Others who deem themselves more
acute, but are doubly infatuated, say that God spoke of himself in the
plural number, according to the custom of princes. As if, in truth, that
barbarous style of speaking, which has grown into use within a few past
centuries, had, even then, prevailed in the world. But it is well that
their canine wickedness has been joined with a stupidity so great, that
they betray their folly to children. Christians, therefore, properly
contend, from this testimony, that there exists a plurality of Persons in
the Godhead. God summons no foreign counsellor; hence we infer that he
finds within himself something distinct; as, in truth, his eternal wisdom
and power reside within him.
  "In our image, &c." Interpreters do not agree concerning the meaning of
these words. The greater part, and nearly all, conceive that the word
image is to be distinguished from likeness. And the common distinction
is, that image exists in the substance, likeness in the accidents of
anything. They who would define the subject briefly, say that in the
image are contained those endowments which God has conferred on human
nature at large, while they expound likeness to mean gratuitous gifts.
But Augustine, beyond all others, speculates with excessive refinement,
for the purpose of fabricating a Trinity in man. For in laying hold of
the three faculties of the soul enumerated by Aristotle, the intellect,
the memory, and the will, he afterwards out of one Trinity derives many.
If any reader, having leisure, wishes to enjoy such speculations, let him
read the tenth and fourteenth books on the Trinity, also the eleventh
book of the "City of God." I acknowledge, indeed, that there is something
in man which refers to the Fathers and the Son, and the Spirit: and I
have no difficulty in admitting the above distinction of the faculties of
the soul: although the simpler division into two parts, which is more
used in Scripture, is better adapted to the sound doctrine of piety; but
a definition of the image of God ought to rest on a firmer basis than
such subtleties. As for myself, before I define the image of God, I would
deny that it differs from his likeness. For when Moses afterwards repeats
the same things he passes over the likeness, and contents himself with
mentioning the image. Should any one take the exception, that he was
merely studying brevity; I answer, that where he twice uses the word
image, he makes no mention of the likeness. We also know that it was
customary with the Hebrews to repeat the same thing in different words.
besides, the phrase itself shows that the second term was added for the
sake of explanation, 'Let us make,' he says, 'man in our image, according
to our likeness,' that is, that he may be like God, or may represent the
image of God. Lastly, in the fifth chapter, without making any mention of
image, he puts likeness in its place, (verse 1.) Although we have set
aside all difference between the two words we have not yet ascertained
what this image or likeness is. The Anthropomorphites were too gross in
seeking this resemblance in the human body; let that reverie therefore
remain entombed. Others proceed with a little more subtlety, who, though
they do not imagine God to be corporeal, yet maintain that the image of
God is in the body of man, because his admirable workmanship there shines
brightly; but this opinion, as we shall see, is by no means consonant
with Scripture. The exposition of Chrysostom is not more correct, who
refers to the dominion which was given to man in order that he might, in
a certain sense, act as God's vicegerent in the government of the world.
This truly is some portion, though very small, of the image of God. Since
the image of God had been destroyed in us by the fall, we may judge from
its restoration what it originally had been. Paul says that we are
transformed into the image of God by the gospel. And, according to him,
spiritual regeneration is nothing else than the restoration of the same
image. (Col. 3: 10, and Eph. 4: 23.) That he made this image to consist
in "righteousness and true holiness," is by the figure synecdoche; for
though this is the chief part, it is not the whole of God's image.
Therefore by this word the perfection of our whole nature is designated,
as it appeared when Adam was endued with a right judgment, had affections
in harmony with reason, had all his senses sound and well-regulated, and
truly excelled in everything good. Thus the chief seat of the Divine
image was in his mind and heart, where it was eminent: yet was there no
part of him in which some scintillations of it did not shine forth. For
there was an attempering in the several parts of the soul, which
corresponded with their various offices. In the mind perfect intelligence
flourished and reigned, uprightness attended as its companion, and all
the senses were prepared and moulded for due obedience to reason; and in
the body there was a suitable correspondence with this internal order.
But now, although some obscure lineaments of that image are found
remaining in us; yet are they so vitiated and maimed, that they may truly
be said to be destroyed. For besides the deformity which everywhere
appears unsightly, this evil also is added, that no part is free from the
infection of sin.

  "In our image, after our likeness". I do not scrupulously insist upon
the particles "beth" and "caph". I know not whether there is anything
solid in the opinion of some who hold that this is said, because the
image of God was only shadowed forth in man till he should arrive at his
perfection. The thing indeed is true; but I do not think that anything of
the kind entered the mind of Moses. It is also truly said that Christ is
the only image of the Fathers but yet the words of Moses do not bear the
interpretation that "in the image" means "in Christ." It may also be
added, that even man, though in a different respects is called the image
of God. In which thing some of the Fathers are deceived who thought that
they could defeat the Asians with this weapon that Christ alone is God's,
image. This further difficulty is also to be encountered, namely, why
Paul should deny the woman to be the image of God, when Moses honours
both, indiscriminately, with this title. The solution is short; Paul
there alludes only to the domestic relation. He therefore restricts the
image of God to government, in which the man has superiority over the
wife and certainly he meant nothing more than that man is superior in the
degree of honour. But here the question is respecting that glory of God
which peculiarly shines forth in human nature, where the mind, the will,
and all the senses, represent the Divine order.
  "And let them have dominion." Here he commemorates that part of dignity
with which he decreed to honour man, namely, that he should have
authority over all living creatures. He appointed man, it is true, lord
of the world; but he expressly subjects the animals to him, because they
having an inclination or instinct of their own, seem to be less under
authority from without. The use of the plural number intimates that this
authority was not given to Adam only, but to all his posterity as well as
to him. And hence we infer what was the end for which all things were
created; namely, that none of the conveniences and necessaries of life
might be wanting to men. In the very order of the creation the paternal
solicitude of God for man is conspicuous, because he furnished the world
with all things needful, and even with an immense profusion of wealth,
before he formed man. Thus man was rich before he was born. But if God
had such care for us before we existed, he will by no means leave us
destitute of food and of other necessaries of life, now that we are
placed in the world. Yet, that he often keeps his hand as if closed is to
be imputed to our sins.

27. "So God created man." The reiterated mention of the image of God is
not a vain repetition. For it is a remarkable instance of the Divine
goodness which can never be sufficiently proclaimed. And, at the same
time, he admonishes us from what excellence we have fallen, that he may
excite in us the desire of its recovery. When he soon afterwards adds,
that God created them "male and female," he commends to us that conjugal
bond by which the society of mankind is cherished. For this form of
speaking, "God created man, male and female created he them," is of the
same force as if he had said, that the man himself was incomplete. Under
these circumstances, the woman was added to him as a companion that they
both might be one, as he more clearly expresses it in the second chapter.
Malachi also means the same thing when he relates, (2: 15,) that one man
was created by God, whilst, nevertheless, he possessed the fulness of the
Spirit. For he there treats of conjugal fidelity, which the Jews were
violating by their polygamy. For the purpose of correcting this fault, he
calls that pair, consisting of man and woman, which God in the beginning
had joined together, one man, in order that every one might learn to be
content with his own wife.

28. "And God blessed them." This blessing of God may be regarded as the
source from which the human race has flowed. And we must so consider it
not only with reference to the whole, but also, as they say, in every
particular instance. For we are fruitful or barren in respect of
offspring, as God imparts his power to some and withholds it from others.
But here Moses would simply declare that Adam with his wife was formed
for the production of offspring, in order that men might replenish the
earth. God could himself indeed have covered the earth with a multitude
of men; but it was his will that we should proceed from one fountain, in
order that our desire of mutual concord might be the greater, and that
each might the more freely embrace the other as his own flesh. Besides,
as men were created to occupy the earth, so we ought certainly to
conclude that God has mapped, as with a boundary, that space of earth
which would suffice for the reception of men, and would prove a suitable
abode for them. Any inequality which is contrary to this arrangement is
nothing else than a corruption of nature which proceeds from sin. In the
meantime, however, the benediction of God so prevails that the earth
everywhere lies open that it may have its inhabitants, and that an
immense multitude of men may find, in some part of the globe, their home.
Now, what I have said concerning marriage must be kept in mind; that God
intends the human race to be multiplied by generation indeed, but not, as
in brute animals, by promiscuous intercourse. For he has joined the man
to his wife, that they might produce a divine, that is, a legitimate
seed. Let us then mark whom God here addresses when he commands them to
increase, and to whom he limits his benediction. Certainly he does not
give the reins to human passions, but, beginning at holy and chaste
marriage, he proceeds to speak of the production of offspring. For this
is also worthy of notice, that Moses here briefly alludes to a subject
which he afterwards means more fully to explain, and that the regular
series of the history is inverted, yet in such a way as to make the true
succession of events apparent. The question, however, is proposed,
whether fornicators and adulterers become fruitful by the power of God;
which, if it be true, then whether the blessing of God is in like manner
extended to them? I answer, this is a corruption of the Divine institute;
and whereas God produces offspring from this muddy pool, as well as from
the pure fountain of marriage, this will tend to their greater
destruction. Still that pure and lawful method of increase, which God
ordained from the beginning, remains firm; this is that law of nature
which common sense declares to be inviolable.
  "Subdue it". He confirms what he had before said respecting dominion.
Man had already been created with this condition, that he should subject
the earth to himself; but now, at length, he is put in possession of his
right, when he hears what has been given to him by the Lord: and this
Moses expresses still more fully in the next verse, when he introduces
God as granting to him the herbs and the fruits. For it is of great
importance that we touch nothing of God's bounty but what we know he has
permitted us to do; since we cannot enjoy anything with a good
conscience, except we receive it as from the hand of God. And therefore
Paul teaches us that, in eating and drinking we always sin, unless faith
be present, (Rom. 14: 23.) Thus we are instructed to seek from God alone
whatever is necessary for us, and in the very use of his gifts, we are to
exercise ourselves in meditating on his goodness and paternal care. For
the words of God are to this effect: 'Behold, I have prepared food for
thee before thou wast formed; acknowledge me, therefore, as thy Father,
who have so diligently provided for thee when thou wast not yet created.
Moreover, my solicitude for thee has proceeded still further; it was thy
business to nurture the things provided for thee, but I have taken even
this charge also upon myself. Wherefore, although thou art, in a sense,
constituted the father of the earthly family, it is not for thee to be
overanxious about the sustenance of animals.'
  Some infers from this passages that men were content with herbs and
fruits until the deluge, and that it was even unlawful for them to eat
flesh. And this seems the more probable, because God confines, in some
way, the food of mankind within certain limits. Then after the deluge, he
expressly grants them the use of flesh. These reasons, however are not
sufficiently strong: for it may be adduced on the opposite side, that the
first men offered sacrifices from their flocks. This, moreover, is the
law of sacrificing rightly, not to offer unto God anything except what he
has granted to our use. Lastly men were clothed in skins; therefore it
was lawful for them to kill animals. For these reasons, I think it will
be better for us to assert nothing concerning this matter. Let it suffice
for us, that herbs and the fruits of trees were given them as their
common food; yet it is not to be doubted that this was abundantly
sufficient for their highest gratification. For they judge prudently who
maintain that the earth was so marred by the deluge, that we retain
scarcely a moderate portion of the original benediction. Even immediately
after the fall of man, it had already begun to bring forth degenerate and
noxious fruits, but at the deluge, the change became still greater. Yet,
however this may be, God certainly did not intend that man should be
slenderly and sparingly sustained; but rather, by these words, he
promises a liberal abundance, which should leave nothing wanting to a
sweet and pleasant life. For Moses relates how beneficent the Lord had
been to them, in bestowing on them all things which they could desire,
that their ingratitude might have the less excuse.

31. "And God saw everything". Once more, at the conclusion of the
creation, Moses declares that God approved of everything which he had
made. In speaking of God as seeing, he does it after the manner of men;
for the Lord designed this his judgment to be as a rule and example to
us; that no one should dare to think or speak otherwise of his works. For
it is not lawful for us to dispute whether that ought to be approved or
not which God has already approved; but it rather becomes us to acquiesce
without controversy. The repetition also denotes how wanton is the
temerity of man: otherwise it would have been enough to have said, once
for all, that God approved of his works. But God six times inculcates the
same thing, that he may restrain, as with so many bridles, our restless
audacity. But Moses expresses more than before; for he adds "me'od," that
is, very. On each of the days, simple approbation was given. But now,
after the workmanship of the world was complete in all its parts, and had
received, if I may so speak, the last finishing touch, he pronounces it
perfectly good; that we may know that there is in the symmetry of God's
works the highest perfection, to which nothing can be added.

Chapter II.

1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he
rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it
he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
4 These [are] the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they
were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the
5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb
of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain
upon the earth, and [there was] not a man to till the ground.
6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of
the ground.
7 And the LORD God formed man [of] the dust of the ground, and breathed
into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
8 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put
the man whom he had formed.
9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is
pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the
midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
10 And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it
was parted, and became into four heads.
11 The name of the first [is] Pison: that [is] it which compasseth the
whole land of Havilah, where [there is] gold;
12 And the gold of that land [is] good: there [is] bdellium and the onyx
13 And the name of the second river [is] Gihon: the same [is] it that
compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia.
14 And the name of the third river [is] Hiddekel: that [is] it which
goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river [is] Euphrates.
15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to
dress it and to keep it.
16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the
garden thou mayest freely eat:
17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat
of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
18 And the LORD God said, [It is] not good that the man should be alone;
I will make him an help meet for him.
19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field,
and every fowl of the air; and brought [them] unto Adam to see what he
would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that
[was] the name thereof.
20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to
every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet
for him.
21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept:
and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman,
and brought her unto the man.
23 And Adam said, This [is] now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh:
she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall
cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

1. "Thus the heavens and the earth were finished." Moses summarily
repeats that in six days the fabric of the heaven and the earth was
completed. The general division of the world is made into these two
parts, as has been stated at the commencement of the first chapter. But
he now adds, "all the host of them," by which he signifies that the world
was furnished with all its garniture. This epilogue, moreover, with
sufficient clearness entirely refutes the error of those who imagine that
the world was formed in a moment; for it declares that all end was only
at length put to the work on the sixth day. Instead of host we might not
improperly render the term abundance; for Moses declares that this world
was in every sense completed, as if the whole house were well supplied
and filled with its furniture. The heavens without the sun, and moon, and
stars, would be an empty and dismantled palace: if the earth were
destitute of animals, trees, and plants, that barren waste would have the
appearance of a poor and deserted house. God, therefore, did not cease
from the work of the creation of the world till he had completed it in
every part, so that nothing should be wanting to its suitable abundance.

2. "And he rested on the seventh day". The question may not improperly be
put, what kind of rest this was. For it is certain that inasmuch as God
sustains the world by his power, governs it by his providence, cherishes
and even propagates all creatures, he is constantly at work. Therefore
that saying of Christ is true, that the Father and he himself had worked
from the beginning hitherto, because, if God should but withdraw his hand
a little, all things would immediately perish and dissolve into nothing,
as is declared in Psalm 104: 29. And indeed God is rightly acknowledged
as the Creator of heaven and earth only whilst their perpetual
preservation is ascribed to him. The solution of the difficulty is well
known, that God ceased from all his work, when he desisted from the
creation of new kinds of things. But to make the sense clearer,
understand that the last touch of God had been put, in order that nothing
might be wanting to the perfection of the world. And this is the meaning
of the words of Moses, "From all his work which he had made"; for he
points out the actual state of the work as God would have it to be, as if
he had said, then was completed what God had proposed to himself. On the
whole, this language is intended merely to express the perfection of the
fabric of the world; and therefore we must not infer that God so ceased
from his works as to desert them, since they only flourish and subsist in
him. Besides, it is to be observed, that in the works of the six days,
those things alone are comprehended which tend to the lawful and genuine
adorning of the world. It is subsequently that we shall find God saying,
"Let the earth bring forth thorns and briers," by which he intimates that
the appearance of the earth should be different from what it had been in
the beginning. But the explanation is at hand; many things which are now
seen in the world are rather corruptions of it than any part of its
proper furniture. For ever since man declined from his high original, it
became necessary that the world should gradually degenerate from its
nature. We must come to this conclusion respecting the existence of
fleas, caterpillars, and other noxious insects. In all these, I say,
there is some deformity of the world, which ought by no means to be
regarded as in the order of nature, since it proceeds rather from the sin
of man than from the hand of God. Truly these things were created by God,
but by God as an avenger. In this place, however, Moses is not
considering God as armed for the punishment of the sins of men; but as
the Artificer, the Architect, the bountiful Father of a family, who has
omitted nothing essential to the perfection of his edifice. At the
present time, when we look upon the world corrupted, and as if
degenerated from its original creation, let that expression of Paul recur
to our mind, that the creature is liable to vanity, not willingly, but
through our fault, (Rom. 8: 20,) and thus let us mourn, being admonished
of our just condemnation.

3. "And God blessed the seventh day". It appears that God is here said to
bless according to the manner of men, because they bless him whom they
highly extol. Nevertheless, even in this sense, it would not be
unsuitable to the character of God; because his blessing sometimes means
the favour which he bestows upon his people, as the Hebrews call that man
the blessed of God, who, by a certain special favour, has power with God.
(See Gen. 24: 31.) 'Enter thou blessed of God.' Thus we may be allowed to
describe the day as blessed by him which he has embraced with love, to
the end that the excellence and dignity of his works may therein be
celebrated. Yet I have no doubt that Moses, by adding the word
sanctified, wished immediately to explain what he had said, and thus all
ambiguity is removed, because the second word is exegetical of the
former. For "kadesh" with the Hebrews, is to separate from the common
number. God therefore sanctifies the seventh day, when he renders it
illustrious, that by a special law it may be distinguished from the rest.
Whence it also appears, that God always had respect to the welfare of
men. I have said above, that six days were employed in the formation of
the world; not that God, to whom one moment is as a thousand years, had
need of this succession of time, but that he might engage us in the
consideration of his works. He had the same end in view in the
appointment of his own rest, for he set apart a day selected out of the
remainder for this special use. Wherefore, that benediction is nothing
else than a solemn consecration, by which God claims for himself the
meditations and employments of men on the seventh day. This is, indeed,
the proper business of the whole life, in which men should daily exercise
themselves, to consider the infinite goodness, justice, power, and wisdom

(continued in part 5...)

file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/epl-01/cvgn1-04.txt