Challoner commentary

Genesis 6 : 15

Three hundred cubits

The ark, according to the dimensions here set down, contained four hundred and fifty thousand square cubits; which was more than enough to contain all the kinds of living creatures, with all necessary provisionseven supposing the cubits here spoken of to have been only a foot and a half each, which was the least kind of cubits.

Genesis 7 : 2

Of all clean

The distinction of clean and unclean beasts appears to have been made before the law of Moses, which was not promulgated till the year of the world 2514.

Genesis 8 : 7

Did not return

The raven did not return into the ark; but (as it may be gathered from the Hebrew) went to and fro; sometimes going to the mountains, where it found carcasses to feed onand other times returning, to rest upon the top of the ark.

Genesis 8 : 20


or whole burnt offerings. In which the whole victim was consumed by fire upon God's altar, and no part was reserved for the use of priest or people.

Genesis 8 : 21


A figurative expression, denoting that God was well pleased with the sacrifices which his servant offered.

Genesis 9 : 21


Noe by the judgment of the fathers was not guilty of sin, in being overcome by winebecause he knew not the strength of it.

Genesis 9 : 23

Covered the nakedness

Thus, as St. Gregory takes notice L. 35; Moral. c. 22, we ought to cover the nakedness, that is, the sins, of our spiritual parents and superiors.

Genesis 9 : 25

Cursed be Chanaan

The curses, as well as the blessings, of the patriarchs, were propheticalAnd this in particular is here recorded by Moses, for the children of Israel, who were to possess the land of Chanaan. But why should Chanaan be cursed for his father's faults? The Hebrews answer, that he being then a boy, was the first that saw his grandfather's nakedness, and told his father Cham of it; and joined with him in laughing at itwhich drew upon him, rather than upon the rest of the children of Cham, this prophetical curse.

Genesis 10 : 5

The islands

So the Hebrews called all the remote countries, to which they went by ships from Judea, to Greece, Italy, Spain, etc.

Genesis 10 : 9

A stout hunter

Not of beasts but of menwhom by violence and tyranny he brought under his dominion. And such he was, not only in the opinion of men, but before the Lord, that is, in his sight who cannot be deceived.

Genesis 11 : 9


That is, confusion.

Genesis 12 : 13

My sister

This was no lie; because she was his niece, being daughter to his brother Aran, and therefore, in the style of the Hebrews, she might truly be called his sister, as Lot is called Abram's brother, Gen. 14. 14. See Gen. 20. 12.

Genesis 14 : 10

Of slime

Bituminis. This was a kind of pitch, which served for mortar in the building of Babel, Gen. 11. 3, and was used by Noe in pitching the ark.

Genesis 16 : 3

To wife

Plurality of wives, though contrary to the primitive institution of marriage, Gen. 2. 24, was by divine dispensation allowed to the patriarchswhich allowance seems to have continued during the time of the law of Moses. But Christ our Lord reduced marriage to its primitive institution. Matt. 19.

Genesis 17 : 5


in the Hebrew, signifies a high fatherbut Abraham, the father of the multitude; Sarai signifies my Lady, but Sara absolutely Lady.

Genesis 18 : 21

I will go down

The Lord here accommodates his discourse to the way of speaking and acting amongst men; for he knoweth all things, and needeth not to go anywhere for information. Note here, that two of the three angels went away immediately for Sodom; whilst the third, who represented the Lord, remained with Abraham.

Genesis 19 : 22


That is, a little one.

Genesis 19 : 26

And his wife

As a standing memorial to the servants of God to proceed in virtue, and not to look back to vice or its allurements.

Genesis 21 : 3


This word signifies laughter.

Genesis 21 : 31


That is, the well of oath.