Verse 32. "Noah begat Shem, Ham, and Japheth." - From Genesis x. 21; 1 Chron. i. 5, &c., we learn that Japheth was the eldest son of Noah, but Shem is mentioned first, because it was from him, in a direct line, that the Messiah came. Ham was certainly the youngest of Noah's sons, and from what we read, Genesis ix. 22, the worst of them; and how he comes to be mentioned out of his natural order is not easy to be accounted for. When the Scriptures design to mark precedency, though the subject be a younger son or brother, he is always mentioned first; so Jacob is named before Esau, his elder brother, and Ephraim before Manasses. See chap. xxviii. 5; xlviii. 20.
AMONG many important things presented to our view in this chapter, several of which have been already noticed, we may observe that, of all the antediluvian patriarchs, Enoch, who was probably the best man, was the shortest time upon earth; his years were exactly as the days in a solar revolution, viz., three hundred and sixty-five; and like the sun he fulfilled a glorious course, shining more and more unto the perfect day, and was taken, when in his meridian splendour, to shine like the sun in the kingdom of his Father for ever.
From computation it appears, 1. That Adam lived to see Lamech, the ninth generation, in the fifty-sixth year of whose life he died; and as he was the first who lived, and the first that sinned, so he was the first who tasted death in a natural way. Hebel's was not a natural but a violent death. 2. That Enoch was taken away next after Adam, seven patriarchs remaining witness of his translation. 3. That all the nine first patriarchs were taken away before the flood came, which happened in the six hundredth year of Noah's life. 4. That Methuselah lived till the very year in which the flood came, of which his name is supposed to have been prophetical wtm methu, "he dieth," and jl shalach, "he sendeth out;" as if God had designed to teach men that as soon as Methuselah died the flood should be sent forth to drown an ungodly world. If this were then so understood, even the name of this patriarch contained in it a gracious warning. See the genealogical plate after chap. xi.