Sheth - Adam begat Sheth: and so in the following particulars. For brevity sake he only mentions their names; but the rest is easily understood out of the former books. This appears as the peculiar glory of the Jewish nation, that they alone were able to trace their pedigree from the first man that God created, which no other nation pretended to, but abused themselves and their posterity with fabulous accounts of their originals: the people of Thessaly fancying that they sprang from stones, the Athenians, that they grew out of the earth.
The sons of Japheh - The historian repeating the account of the replenishing the earth by the sons of Noah, begins with those that were strangers to the church, the sons of Japheth, who peopled Europe, of whom he says little, as the Jews had hitherto little or no dealings with them. He proceeds to those that had many of them been enemies to the church, and thence hastens to the line of Abraham, breaking off abruptly from all the other families of the sons of Noah, but that of Arphaxad, from whom Christ was to come. The great promise of the Messiah was transmitted from Adam to Seth, from him to Shem, from him to Eber, and so to the Jewish nation, who were intrusted above all nations with that sacred treasure, 'till the promise was performed, and the Messiah was come: and then that nation was made not a people.
The Jebusite - The names which follow until verse 17, are not the names of particular persons, but of people or nations. And all these descended from Canaan, though some of them were afterwards extinct or confounded with others of their brethren by cohabitation or mutual marriages, whereby they lost their names: which is the reason why they are no more mentioned, at least under these names.
The sons - Either the name of sons is so taken here as to include grandsons, or, these words, the children of Aram, are understood before Uz, out of Genesis 10:23, where they are expressed.
Begat - Either immediately, or mediately by his son Cainan, who is expressed, Luke 3:35.
Divided - In their languages and habitations.
Arphaxad - Having given a brief and general account of the original of the world and the people in it, he now returns to a more large and particular account of the genealogy of Shem, from whom the Jews were descended.
The sons of Abraham - All nations but the seed of Abraham are already shaken off from this genealogy. Not that we conclude, no particular persons of any other nation but this found favour with God. Multitudes will be brought to heaven out of every nation, and we may hope there were many, very many people in the world, whose names were in the book of life, tho' they did not spring from the loins of Abraham.
Timna - There is another Timna, the concubine of Eliphaz, Genesis 36:12, but this was one of his sons, though called by the same name; there being some names common both to men and women in the Hebrew and in other languages.
Seir - One of another nation, prince of the Horims; whose genealogy is here described, because of that affinity which was contracted between his and Esau's posterity; and those who were not united and incorporated with them, were destroyed by them. See Deuteronomy 2:12.
These are the dukes of Edom - Let us, in reading these genealogies, think of the multitudes that have gone thro' the world, have successively acted their parts in it, and retired into darkness. All these and all theirs had their day; many of them made a mighty noise in the world; until their day came to fall, and their place knew them no more. The paths of death are trodden paths. How soon are we to tread them?