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If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation.

And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans.

But Paul said unto them, They have beaten us openly uncondemned, being Romans, and have cast us into prison; and now do they thrust us out privily? nay verily; but let them come themselves and fetch us out.

And the serjeants told these words unto the magistrates: and they feared, when they heard that they were Romans.

To whom I answered, It is not the manner of the Romans to deliver any man to die, before that he which is accused have the accusers face to face, and ° have licence to answer for himself concerning the crime laid against him.

And it came to pass, that after three days Paul called the chief ° of the Jews together: and when they were come together, he said unto them, Men and brethren, though I have committed nothing against the people, or customs of our fathers, yet was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans.

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

1:31 very good. This one verse precludes any interpretation of Genesis which seeks to accommodate the geological ages in its system. The “geological ages” are identified by the fossils found in the sedimentary rocks of the earth’s crust, which supposedly depict a billion-year history of the evolution of life on the earth. In this case simple fossils are found in ancient rocks and more complex fossils in younger rocks. But fossils really depict a world in which death reigns! Fossils are the remains of dead organisms, from amoebae to man, and thus represent a world full of suffering and death, not a world pronounced by God as “very good.” Six times before in this chapter, God had adjudged His work to be “good.” Now, after completing everything (even the “host of heaven”–see Genesis 2:1), He declared it all to be “exceedingly good” (literal meaning of the Hebrew word rendered “very”). The evolutionary ages of geology represent a billion years of wasteful inefficiency and profound cruelty if they were, indeed, a part of God’s work. They would completely discredit God as a God of order, intelligence, power, grace and love. Death represents “the wages of sin” (Romans 6:23), not of divine love. Thus, the “gap theory” (placing the geological ages before creation week) and the “day-age” or “progressive creation” theory (incorporating the geological ages during creation week) in effect imply that the Creator is either a bumbler or a monster. In reality, the geological ages are nothing but evolutionary delusions; the fossils are much more realistically explained in terms of the flood. Even Satan himself (with all the “host of heaven” who later followed him in rebelling against God) was still “perfect in all his ways” (Ezekiel 28:15) at the end of the creation week. His fall from heaven to the earth could only have been after God’s universal “very good” proclamation.

3:6 he did eat. It was at this point that “by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin” (Romans 5:12). There could have been no death in the world before man brought sin into the world. Thus, the fossils in the earth’s crust cannot be a record of the evolution of life leading up to man but must be a record of death after man. In the evolutionary scenario, struggle and death in the animal kingdom eventually, after a billion years, brought man into the world. The truth is, however, that man brought death into his whole dominion by his sin.

3:7 naked. The sudden recognition of their nakedness indicates the realization of Adam and Eve that their descendants, as well as themselves, would suffer the effects of this original sin. The ability and instruction to be fruitful, given by God as a unique blessing, now would also convey the curse of sin and death. Adam was the federal head of the human race, and it was “through the offence of one many be dead” (Romans 5:15).

3:17 cursed is the ground. The “ground” is the same word as “earth.” The very elements of matter, out of which all things had been made, were included in the Curse, so that the “whole creation” (Romans 8:22) was brought under bondage to a universal principle of “corruption” (literally “decay”–Romans 8:21). That is, all things had been built up by God from the basic elements of matter (“the dust of the earth”), but now they would all begin to decay back to the dust again. The curse evidently applies to the entire physical cosmos, as well as to the planet Earth, though it is possible that the decay principle operating in the stars and the other planets may relate also to the prior sin of the angelic “host of heaven.”

4:2 Abel. “Abel” means “vapor” or “vanity.” By the time Abel was born, Eve was fully aware of the effect of God’s curse on the creation, which was made “subject to vanity” (Romans 8:20).

4:26 call upon the name. To “call upon the name of the LORD” normally implies a definite action of prayer and worship. It was evidently at this time that godly men and women first initiated formal public services of sacrifice, worship and prayer, replacing the earlier practice of meeting personally with God, as Cain and Abel had done. The practice of individual prayer is also intimated, implying that God’s personal presence was no longer regularly available. In any case, an act of faith is implied. In later times, “calling upon the name of the LORD” was accompanied by the building of an altar and the offering of a sacrifice (Genesis 12:8; 26:25; etc.). Since Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary, however, men need only call in faith on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).

5:8 nine hundred and twelve years. These great ages have been questioned. However, a “king list” was excavated near Babel, which tells of ten kings who had lived to great ages before the Flood. Although these ages were first deciphered as thousands of years, improved translations have brought them more in line with those in the Bible record. The Egyptians, Chinese, Greeks, and Romans also recorded a tradition that the ancient men lived to great ages.

6:3 My spirit. One of the ministries of God’s Holy Spirit has always been to convict man’s spirit of “sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment” (John 16:8). Man is also “flesh,” however, and there is perpetual conflict between the flesh and the spirit, even in the life of a believer (Romans 8:5; Galatians 5:16,17). God is long-suffering with respect to man’s rebellion, but only for a time: the hour of His judgment must eventually arrive.

9:3 meat for you. For the first time, human beings are given divine permission to eat animal flesh. Initially, they were to have been vegetarians (Genesis 1:29). The reason for this change was due to the greater need for animal protein in man’s diet in view of the nutrient-impoverished soils of the post-diluvian world and the much more rigorous climatic conditions. A second reason may have been to emphasize the great gulf between man and the animals. Evolutionary and polytheistic philosophies, then as now, had seriously blurred that distinction (note Romans 1:21-25).

9:6 blood be shed. This establishment of capital punishment, administered judicially by man, has never been changed or withdrawn. It is still God’s law today, and forms the basic authorization of the institution of human government. It implies also the enactment and enforcement of regulations for those human activities (e.g., stealing, adultery) which if unrestrained, would lead to murder. It does not stipulate the form, but only the fact of government. It extends the primeval mandate by giving man the responsibility to control not only the animals but his own society also. The original commission in effect had authorized the natural sciences and technologies; this new extension incorporated in God’s covenant with Noah in effect authorizes the social sciences and their technologies (e.g., psychology, law, sociology, anthropology, political science, government, police, criminology). Although capital punishment is the proper prerogative of human society (“every man’s brother”) in so far as strict justice is concerned, mitigating circumstances (especially sincere repentance and restitution) may warrant extension of mercy in individual cases. Nevertheless, the basic right of governments to exact capital punishment as penalty for murder cannot legitimately be abrogated as far as God is concerned. This is clear even in the Christian dispensation. The eating of meat (I Timothy 4:3,4), the abstinence from blood (Acts 15:19, 20) and the authority of the governmental sword (Romans 13:4; Acts 25:11) were reaffirmed to the early church, making it clear that the Noahic mandate still applied.

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