Commenting on Genesis 1:28 (“And God blessed them, saying: Increase and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it, and rule over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and all living creatures that move upon the earth.”), why does Bishop Challoner say the following?
Increase and multiply… This is not a precept, as some Protestant controvertists would have it, but a blessing, rendering them fruitful; for God had said the same words to the fishes, and birds, (ver. 22) who were incapable of receiving a precept.
At least you should have posted the whole commentary on this verse:
Ver. 28. Increase and multiply. This is not a precept, as some protestant controvertists would have it, but a blessing, rendering them fruitful: for God had said the same words to the fishes and birds, (ver. 22.) who were incapable of receiving a precept. (Challoner) — Blessed them, not only with fecundity as he had done to other creatures, but also with dominion over them, and much more with innocence and abundance of both natural and supernatural gifts. — Increase. The Hebrews understand this literally as a precept binding every man at twenty years of age (Calmet); and some of the Reformers argued hence, that Priests, &c. were bound to marry: very prudently they have not determined how soon! But the Fathers in general agree that if this were a precept with respect to Adam, for the purpose of filling the earth, it is no longer so, that end being sufficiently accomplished. Does not St. Paul wish all men to be like himself, unmarried? (1 Corinthians vii. 1, 7, 8.) (Haydock)
I did not know there was more. Thank you
What Haydock says is how I interpret it: marriage is not for everyone.
Tertullian saw this as an answer to a hard question
Tertullian says this concerning polygamy of the Patriarchs- As I think, moreover, each pronouncement and arrangement is (the act) of one and the same God; who did then indeed, in the beginning, send forth a sowing of the race by an indulgent laxity granted to the reins of connubial alliances, until the world should be replenished, until the material of the new discipline should attain to forwardness: now, however, at the extreme boundaries of the times, has checked (the command) which He had sent out, and recalled the indulgence which He had granted; not without a reasonable ground for the extension (of that indulgence) in the beginning, and the limitation of it in the end. [On Exortation to Chastity 6]