And did not he make one?
&c.] That is, did not God make one man, and out of his rib one woman? did he not make man, male and female? did he not make one pair, one couple, only Adam and Eve, whom he joined together in marriage? or rather, did he not make one woman only, and brought her to Adam to be his wife? which shows that his intention and will were, that one man should have but one wife at a time; the contrary to which was the then present practice of the Jews: Yet had he the residue of the spirit;
it was not for want of power that he made but one woman of Adam's rib, and breathed into her the breath of life, or infused into her a human soul or spirit; he could have made many women at the same time; and as the Father of spirits, having the residue of them with him, or a power left to make as many as he pleased, he could have imparted spirits unto them, and given Adam more wives than one: And wherefore one?
what is the reason why he made but one woman, when he could have made ten thousand, or as many as he pleased? the answer is, That he might seek a godly seed;
or "a seed of God" F4; a noble excellent seed; a legitimate offspring, born in true and lawful wedlock; see ( 1 Corinthians 7:14 ) a seed suitable to the dignity of human nature, made after the image of God, and not like that of brute beasts, promiscuous and uncertain: Therefore take heed to your spirit;
to your affections, that they do not go after other women, and be led thereby to take them in marriage, and to despise and divorce the lawful wife, as it follows: and let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth;
by marrying another, or divorcing her: these words are differently rendered and interpreted by some; but the sense given seems to be the true one, and most agreeable to the scope of the place. Some render the first clause, "hath not one made?" F5 that is, did not the one God, who is the only living and true God, make one man or one woman? and then the sense is the same as before; or did not that one God make, constitute, and appoint, that the woman should be the man's companion, and the wife of his covenant, as in the latter part of the preceding verse ( Malachi 2:13 ) ? or, "did not one do?" F6 that is, so as we have done, take another wife besides the wife of his youth? and so they are the words of the people to the prophets, justifying their practice by example; by the example of Abraham, whom some of the Jewish writers think is intended by the "one", as in ( Isaiah 51:2 ) ( Ezekiel 33:24 ) . The Targum is,
``was not one Abraham alone, from whom the world was created?''or propagated. Kimchi gives it as his own sense, in these words;
``Abraham, who was one, and the father of all that follow him in his faith, did not do as ye have done; for he did not follow his lust, nor even marry Sarah, but so that he might cause the seed of God to remain;''yet he mentions it as his father's sense, that they are the words of the people to the prophet, expressed in a way of interrogation, saying, did not our father Abraham, who was one, do as we have done? who left his wife, and married Hagar his maid, though he had the residue or excellency of the spirit, and was a prophet; to whom the prophet replies, and what did that one seek? a godly seed; which is, as if it was said, when he married Hagar, it was to seek a seed, because he had no seed of Sarah his wife. A seed was promised him, in which all nations of the earth were to be blessed; he sought not to gratify his lust, but to obtain this seed, the Messiah, to whom the promises were made, as the apostle argues, ( Galatians 3:16 ) "he saith not, and to seeds as of many; but as of one, and to thy seed, which is Christ"; called here the "godly seed", or the "seed God" F7, as some choose to render the words; that is, that seed which is God, who is a divine Person, God and man in one person; or which is of God, of his immediate production, without the help of a man; which the Jews call the seed that comes from another place, and which they use as a periphrasis of the Messiah. So on those words in ( Genesis 4:25 ) , "she called his name Seth, for God hath appointed me another seed",
``says R. Tanchuma, in the name of R. Samuel, she has respect to that seed which comes from another place; and what is this? this is the King Messiah F8.''And the same Rabbi elsewhere F9 observes, on those words in ( Genesis 19:32 ) , "that we may preserve seed of our father",
``it is not written, that we may preserve a son of our father, but that we may preserve seed of our father; that seed which is he that comes from another place; and what is this? this is the King Messiah.''Now as Abraham had the promise of a son, and his wife was barren, he took the method he did that he might have one, the son of the promise, a type of the Messiah, and from whom he should spring; and this is sufficient to justify him in it: besides, he did not deal treacherously with Sarah his wife, for it was with her good will and by her authority he did this thing; but do you take heed to your spirit, that no one of you deal treacherously with the wife of his youth, to leave her, and marry the daughter of a strange God: and much the same sense Jarchi takes notice of as the Agadah, or the interpretation of their ancient Rabbins. Some render the words, "and not one does this"; that is, deals treacherously with the wife of his youth, that has the residue of the spirit, or the least spark of the Spirit of God in him; and how should anyone do it, seeking a godly seed? therefore take heed to your spirit; so De Dieu. But according to others the sense is,
``there is not one of you that does according to the law, whose spirit remains with him that is not mixed with the daughter of a strange god;''which is Aben Ezra's note. But according to Abarbinel the sense is, not one only has done this, committed this evil, in marrying more and strange women; not some only, and the rest have the spirit with them, and keep it pure from this sin; so that a godly seed cannot be procreated from you; therefore take heed to your spirit.
F4 (Myhla erz) "semen Dei", Pagninus, Montanus, Calvin, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius, Burkius.
F5 (hve dxa alw) "nonue unus fecit?" V. L. Menochius, Tirinus.
F6 "Et ne unus fecit?" Pagninus, Montanus; "et unus ille (Abramus) ita egit?" Grotius; "annon unus hoc fecit?" Tigurine version; so Joseph Kimchi.
F7 (Myhla erz) "semen Deus", Galatin. de Arcan. Cathol. Ver. l. 8. c. 2. p. 550.
F8 Bereshit Rabba, sect. 23. fol. 20. 4. Midrash Ruth, fol. 36. 1.
F9 Bereshit Rabba, sect. 51. fol. 46. 1. Midrash Ruth, fol. 35. 4.