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Cursed be Canaan, a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem, and Canaan shall be his servant. God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem, and Canaan shall be his servant"."
Shem was the ancestor of the Israelites.. God is styled by Noah, “ the Lord God of · Shem;" He is afterward called “ the God of
Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacobt;” and “ the God of Israel u:” and God said to the Israelites, “1-will be your God, and ye shall be my peoplew." Shem, then, was the ancestor of the chosen people of God, and, through him, came, “as concerning the flesh," that “ seed” of the woman Y, by whom the head of the serpent was to be bruised?. Shem was preferred before Japheth the elder brother, of whom Noah said, “ GoD shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem b.” The name Japheth signifies enlargement. Shem was to dwell in tents or tabernacles. Christ, who was, “ as concerning the flesh,” a descendant of
" Gen. ix. 24, 27.
* Rom. ix. 5. • Gen. xi. 10—27. i Chr. “ Acts, xiii. 22, 23. Rom. i. 24-28, 34; ii.
i. 3. • Exod. iii. 6. Matt. xxii. ? Gen. iii. 15. 32.
· Gen. x. 21. Exod. xxiv. 10.
b Gen. ix. 27. » Lev. xxvi. 12.
Shem, dwelt in “ the earthly house of our tabernacle," being “ made flesh ” “ he tabernacled* among usd,” « and he that keepeth His com mandments dwelleth in Him, and He in himenti Isaiah says, “ Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations : spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes; for thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left, and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited f.” This passage in Isaiah refers to the calling in the Gentiles into the Church of Christ ; the enlargement of the tent denotes the enlargement of “ that tabernacle that shall not be taken down 8,” and of which it is said, “not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed, neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken %;" it denotes the extension of Christ's kingdom. Japheth was the ancestor of the Gentilesh. When it was predicted, then, that Japheth should be enlarged, and should dwell in the tents of Shem, it was foretold that the Gentiles should dwell in the tents of the seed of Shem ; Christ was the seed
of Shem (“as concerning the flesh"); and to dwell in the tent or tabernacle of Christ, is to be admitted a member of his spiritual Church ; the prophecy, then, referred to the admission of the Gentiles into the Church of Christ. So that Noah and Isaiah foretell the same event, and in similar language. The prophecy of Noah has hitherto been fulfilled in every particular ; for the descendants of Canaan have continued to be subject to the descendants of Japheth and of Shem, and many of the descendants of Japheth have become inmates of the Church of the seed of Shem; and it shall receive its entire fulfilment when all the descendants of Noah shall dwell in the tabernacle of Christ's kingdom, and there shall be one fold under one Shepherdi."
“ And Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward,' and covered the nakedness of their father, and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father's nakednessk." Thus Shem and Japheth, united, covered the nakedness of Noah. Christ, the seed of Shem (as concerning the flesh), has covered the spiritual nakedness of mankind* with his covenant. Noah was the
i John, X. 16.
* Gen. ix. 23. *“ I spread my skirt over thee and covered thy nakedness; yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord God, and thou becamest mine."
· Ezek, xvi. 8.
representative of all those who, as yet, were “ in his loins;" the covering of his nakedness was, then, a figure of the covering the nakedness of all mankind. The garment with which his nakedness was covered, was laid upon the shoulders both of Shem and of Japheth; and the religion of the united church of Christ shall spread a “ garment of salvation” over the whole of mankind, so “ that the shame of their nakedness do not appear;" the garment of salvation is laid both upon Jew and Gentile. “They saw not their father's nakedness ; and those upon whom the garment of salvation is laid, shall not behold that nakedness which their common ancestor exhibited ; for, to them, the nakedness of their father Adam has been covered *.
Thus we find, that the history of Noah is replete with circumstances which have a reference to Christianity; there is, indeed, scarcely one passage in the whole narration, which has not some reference to this vast and comprehensive scheme.
The descendants of all the sons of Noah are then enumerated', and “ the generations of
* Shem and Japheth “ went backward” and covered the nakedness of their father: their going backward may have been designed to afford a figure of the retrospective operation of the Gospel.
" Gen. x. 1–32.
Shem” are, afterward, recorded in a direct and uninterrupted line down to Abram".
Moses then relates the foundation of the city and tower of Babel' in the plain in the land of Shinar", in which spot afterward stood the famous city Babylono. And the people said, “ Let us build us a city and a tower whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth P." And “the Lord confounded their language, and scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth, and they left off to build the city; therefore is the name of it called Babel,” (that is, Confusion 9*]. Of the Babylon which was afterward erected on this spot, it is said, “ Her judgment reacheth unto heaven, and is lifted up to the skiesr;” “ though Babylon should mount up to heaven," it was predicted, that “her whole land shall be confounded t,” and that it should be “ a desolation without an inhabitant ," “ a desolation, a dry land, and a wilderness, a land wherein no man dwelleth w.” And of the
m Gen. xi. 10—27.
P Gen. xi. 4. o Gen, xi. 2-9.
9 Gen. xi, 7–9. • Isaiah, xi. 11. Dan. i. 2.
* “ The city of confusion is broken down; every house is shut up, that no man may come in.” Isaiah, xxiv. 10. Jere. li. 9.
u Jere. li. 29. • Jere. li. 53.
* Jere. li. 43.