Ch.1, Bk. 1, Petavius (1659)

This is my edition of Petavius (1659). On damaged pages; words which I’m not sure of have an asterisk before them, words which are illegible are marked by “(m.w.)” for missing word/s.

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The First Book.

What things have first come to pass worthy of remembrance from the Creation of the World, unto the Deluge; wherein first is treated of the six days Works, and of the year of Noah’s Flood.

CHAP. 1.

If Divine Authority could not persuade us, that God did create the World, yet its contemplation would sufficiently teach us the same: Although that great Artificer could in a moment of time create it whole and complete in all its parts, yet was he rather willing to perfect it little and little, in the space of six days.

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Wherefore in the beginning of all things nothing did appear and exist besides the earth, and that huge immensity of waters that overspreaded the Earth: Then the waters were not so thick joined together, as we see them now, but thin, and like unto a vapor, and the *mist had filled up this whole vacuum *or hollow place, which the *vastness of the celestial bodies, and of the other Elements did (m.w.) upon the Earth. *Moses declares them partly by the denomination of waters, and partly of the deep; which he says to have been encompassed by darkness, when the light was not yet brought forth, and that the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. Out of the Water and Earth, as out of their matter, were afterward all the other bodies formed, that are reckoned in the six days work. Now when Moses says, That, In the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth; it’s a general sentence that comprehends all that which was done in those six days, which afterwards is expounded throughout all its parts.

On the first day God created the Light, which was the Water or that thin and immense Region of vapors did receive, the Sun not being yet produced; and that he might define and distinguish the spaces of the day and of the night, he encompassed this same Light with the motion and agitation of that misty body.

On the second day was the Firmament formed of God; by which appellation we believe are signified as well the celestial bodies, as the Air and Sky: that is, all that which appears from the Earth unto the extremities and farthermost parts of the World, which is vulgarly believed to be hollow and empty: for the forming of all which, the deep, that is, that huge and infinite lump of waters subtilized and attenuated into a vapor, did afford the matter: Again, the Firmament has that power given unto it to divide the waters above, from the waters below: not that itself whole should in its middle come betwixt them both, but only in one of its parts, which being the nearest to the Earth, is called the lower Region of the Air; for as it is part of the Firmament that is of that outstretched voidness, so likewise it may be called Firmament or spreading: the higher-most waters are clouds, hanging in the midst of the air, out of which rain is engendered, the lowermost are the Seas and the Rivers, which had their beginning the day following.

On the third day he first gathered the waters into one place, yea even into so many places as there are Seas and Rivers, for having heaped the Mountains to an immensity, and made hollow channels, he made them receptacles and passages of water: thence he commanded the earth to be clothed with the greenness and verdure of the herbs and plants, and to bring forth Trees.

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And God set the Sun, the Moon, and the Stars in the Firmament of the Heaven on the fourth day.

And on the fifth day God created the fishes and the fowls out of the water.

On the sixth day he at last formed Man out of the earth, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living foul, to whom he gave the name of Adam, from the Earth: Then did God transport this new man into those most pleasant and delightful Gardens which he had planted, which by a right apprehension were in the Land of Babylon: or in the Confines of Babylon and Mesopotamia: for Tygris and Euphrates, which Moses mentions by name, have not their channels running in any other place. Now in this garden, amongst all other Trees, for the use and delight of Man, God did plant two remarkable Trees, the one of life, and the other of Knowledge of Good and Evil; the former has gotten its name from the effect, because it had the virtue to lengthen health, and foment life, as Augustine, Prosper, and other do judge: the latter is so called from the events, because that as soon as they had tasted of its fruit, they understood into what a great evil they had fallen, having lost so great a good, as it seemed to the same Augustine, and also the Bar Cephe in his Commentary of Paradise; or because the Serpent did promise from that Tree, the knowledge of good and evil, as Rupertus observes it, very discreetly: There the Lord formed that rib which he had taken out of the side of Adam when he was asleep, into a woman, which he gave to him for his companion and help-meet: but she brought upon herself and him a more grievous ruin, than any cruel enemy; who, being enticed by her flatteries, did eat that fruit presented by her to him of the forbidden Tree; the guilt of which wickedness procured upon him a sudden and present punishment, and a future upon his posterity: Therefore being cast out of that blessed Mansion, he with the companion of his fault is cast out into the miseries of this life. Then the first of men that were born of them, were Cain and Abel, of whom the first exercised his life in the tilling of the ground, and the other in the feeding of Cattle, who for his integrity and uprightness was best accepted of God; And for this cause Cain burning with wrath and envy, murdered his innocent brother; and in revenge of this his murder, being a fugitive and vagabond on the Earth, he begat children like to himself, namely rebels and enemies of God; and he built a City, and called it by the name of his son Enoch: but Seth, a while after Abel‘s death, being born to Adam, begat a posterity contrary to that, namely godly and religious; whose son Enos is said to have began to call upon the Name of the Lord; because, as the *opinion is, he did publicly re-establish that Worship of God, which had been blotted out by Cain’s children; and amongst the rest came that excellent and renowned Enoch, Jared’s son: Whom God having loved for his innocency, he took up to himself alive from the eyes of men, having not yet fully ended his days;

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whose posterity, whom the Scripture calls, The sons of God, being grown worse, and degenerated from their good manners, joined themselves in marriage with Cain’s posterity, out of which mixture and commerce were Giants brought forth. Then mortal men addicting themselves to all sorts of wickedness, did turn and draw God’s wrath upon themselves. When no cause of delay could be objected to him, all Virtue being extinguished and blotted out from amongst men: Then therefore God, angry and offended by Adam’s posterity, decreed to destroy them all by an inundation of waters. There remained one only of Seth’s blood, who did persist in the faith and obedience of God: to him doth God reveal the certainty of his counsel a hundred and twenty years before-hand; and commands him to build an Ark for himself, in it to save few men and beasts. This Patriarch employed a whole hundred years in the building of it, which was three hundred cubits in length, in breadth fifty, and in height thirty, having the first, second, and third stories, in which he gave to every king of living creatures their mansion; eight heads of men in all, of every clean beasts and fowls by seven, and of unclean by two, were shut up in this Ship, and so raised up and taken away by the waters of the deluge, all other things were destroyed by the overflowing and inundation of the waters over all the earth, which the continual rain of forty days, and the fountains of the great deep, being broken, had caused; so that the high Hills that were under the whole Heaven were covered by it, and the water prevailed fifteen cubits over them. And that was the year from the Creation of the World, 1656, and before Christ’s birth, 2329.

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From the chapter’s side text:
Genesis 1.

The Earthly Paradise.

“August. 3. civ.
c. 20.
Prosper. 2. de
vita cont. c. 18.
August. 14. civ. c. 17.
par. 1. c. 19.”

“Rup. 2. de
Trin. c. 27.
Gen. 4.
Gen. 4. 14.
Gen 4. 26.
Gen 5. 22.”

Gen 6.

Noah’s Ark.
Gen. 7. 2.

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