Verse 32. And Noah begat Shem, Ham, and Japheth - These Noah begat (the eldest of these) when he was six hundred years old. It should seem that Japheth was the eldest, chap. x, 21, but Shem is put first, because on him the covenant was entailed, as appears by chap. ix, 26, where God is called the Lord God of Shem. To him 'tis probable the birthright was given, and from him 'tis certain both Christ the head, and the church the body, were to descend; therefore he is called Shem, which signifies a name, because in his posterity the name of God should always remain, 'till He should come out of his loins, whose name is above every name; so that in putting Shem first, Christ was in effect put first, who in all things must have the pre-eminence. For the glory of God's justice, and for warning to a wicked world, before the history of the ruin of the old world we have a full account of its degeneracy, its apostacy from God, and rebellion against him. The destroying of it was an act not of absolute sovereignty, but of necessary justice for the maintaining of the honour of God's government.