Now we come to a new beginning. It is difficult for us to realize what a revolutionary beginning it is. The dispensation of human conscience is over, and God is putting man under government—he is to govern himself. We will see something of this in the covenant which God made with Noah. And let’s keep in mind that, when God made the covenant with Noah, He made it with you and me, for He made it with all mankind.

Genesis 9:1

And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.

  • God had made the man and the woman on the sixth day of creation, instructing them to, be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, found in Genesis 1: 28.
  • Now, after the judgment carried out through the great flood, God begins what we might call a “re-creation” with Noah and his sons.
  • Eight people are to fulfill the mandate given to Adam and Eve, found in Genesis 7:13, and 1 Peter 3: 20.

Genesis 9:2

And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered.

  • And the fear of you and the dread of you
  • The second part re-establishes man‘s dominion over the inferior animals; it was now founded not as at first in love and kindness, but in terror; this dread of man prevails among all the stronger as well as the weaker members of the animal tribes and keeps away from his haunts all but those employed in his service.

Genesis 9:3

Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.

  • Humanity’s diet now is expanded beyond the vegetation permitted in Genesis 1: 30, and meat becomes a new source of protein.
  • We may wonder why God gives such permission at this particular time since creatures are not especially numerous.
  • Unclean animals had been taken aboard the ark in twos, while clean animals had been taken by sevens, found in Genesis 7: 2, 3; and some of the latter have already been sacrificed in Genesis 8: 20.
  • But capture of creatures for food will not be easy since they now fear humans found in Genesis 9: 2.
  • It seems that just as man has to sweat to produce food from the ground found in Genesis 3: 19, he now will be required to exercise a similar effort to obtain meat from earth’s creatures.

Genesis 9:4

But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.

  • God next imposes a limitation on the new allowance concerning humanity’s diet: people are forbidden to eat flesh, or meat, with its blood.
  • The restriction and the reason for it will be restated in the Mosaic law in Leviticus 17:10–14, and Deuteronomy 12:16, 23–25.
  • Taken together, the passages from Genesis, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy imply that blood either is or somehow represents a creature’s life force.
  • One may suggest that the center of life is in the heart or the brain, but these organs function only if the supply of blood to them is maintained. To cut off the blood supply means certain death.
  • The draining of the blood before eating the meat was a way of returning the life force of the animal to the God who gave it life. This offers recognition that individuals have taken the life with permission and are partaking of God’s bounty as His guests.
  • Some suggest that this principle remains intact today, found in Acts 15:20, 29. Others point to Jesus’s purging of all meats found in Mark 7:18, 19 as a basis for saying that dietary regulations from the Old Testament are no longer binding. This may be one of those areas where differences of opinion can exist without passing judgment on those who hold them found in Romans 14:1– 4.

Genesis 9:5

And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man.

  • God expands on the previous stipulation. So important is the principle that life is in the blood that He states and surely your blood of your lives will I require.
  • God will, first of all, require a reckoning for human life that is taken by every beast that is responsible for so doing.
  • God declares that He will keep a record of every person killed by a member of the animal kingdom, and He will hold the deadly animal accountable.
  • Of course, animals do not understand the concept of guilt, even so, they are accountable to their Creator for their actions.
  • How much more, then, is this the case with those created in God’s image, beings who are capable of understanding guilt!
  • Both this verse and the next address our accountability to God in this regard.

Genesis 9:6

Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.

  • God requires of humans that the life of a murderer, whoso sheddeth man’s blood, must be taken as punishment for the heinous act.
  • This principle is later embedded within the Law of Moses, where a distinction is made between premeditated murder and what we would call involuntary manslaughter today, found in Exodus 21:12-14.
  • The reason for the kind of punishment we see in our text is based on our uniqueness as creatures made in the image of God . So passionate is God about preserving and protecting this uniqueness that destroying a life must be disciplined to the ultimate degree: life for life, also see Leviticus 24:17 and Numbers 35:31.
  • The Old Testament basis for capital punishment is thus quite clear. To take the life of a murderer is to be considered an act of the utmost respect for life-life as a creative gift of God.
  • Capital punishment is not a barbaric, inhuman act; instead, it is a just response to a deed that has demonstrated the ultimate contempt for the one who creates life.
  • Capital punishment is controversial today, even within Christianity.
  • Some may question whether the principle of, life for life, is still valid, given the fact that we are no longer under the old law, but are under grace, found in Romans 6: 14.
  • To this concern we can point out that although Jesus has indeed, abolished in his flesh … the law of commandments contained in ordinances, found in Ephesians 2:15 by, nailing it to his cross, found in Colossians 2:14, the requirement of Genesis 9:6 predates the Law of Moses.
  • Further, the New Testament itself seems to indicate that capital punishment is still valid, found in Romans 13:4 and Acts 25:11.

Genesis 9:7

And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein.

  • This is a repetition of God’s instructions in verse 1.

Genesis 9:8

And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying,

  • GOD communicated by talking to them.

Genesis 9:9

And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you;

  • God has already told Noah, with thee will I establish my covenant, found in Genesis 6:18, the first time the word covenant appears in the Bible.
  • Following the great flood, God addresses not only Noah but also his three sons, found in Genesis 5:32; 6:10; 7:13; and 9:18.
  • God’s covenant includes not only them but their seed, or descendants.
  • Therefore the covenant about to be explained embraces all human beings.

Genesis 9:10

And with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth.

  • God’s covenant also applies to every living creature.
  • Therefore the prohibitions and warnings that were given earlier regarding these creatures and humans are balanced with the establishment of a special covenant with both parties.
  • The nature of that covenant is explained next.

Genesis 9:11

And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.

  • The specifics of the Lord’s covenant are provided: never again will He use the waters of a flood to cut off life and destroy the earth as He has just done.
  • The next destruction of the earth will be by fire, not water found in 2 Peter 3:6-12.

Genesis 9:12

And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:

  • Once more the all-inclusive nature of the covenant is emphasized: it is for Noah and his sons along with every living creature.
  • Moreover, the covenant is for perpetual generations, which is another way of describing, your seed after you, in Genesis 9:9.

Genesis 9:13

I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.

  • The visual reminder of the bow, or rainbow, is the token of that covenant.
  • The noun bow generally describes an instrument of death, used for hunting or warfare, as found in Genesis 27:3; 48:22; etc.
  • Genesis 9:13, 14, 16 and Ezekiel 1:28 are the only places in the Old Testament where this word signifies a rainbow.
  • Perhaps the symbolism in God’s declaration lies in the fact that He is laying aside an instrument of destruction in keeping with His promise not to destroy the earth again by means of a flood.
  • Some believe that this is the first appearance of a rainbow, marking its significance as part of the covenant that God is establishing.
  • Others maintain that the rainbow has already been seen on previous occasions after rainfalls, but the rainbow becomes the token of God’s covenant only after He speaks the words in the verse before us.

Genesis 9:14

And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud:

A bow speaks terror, but this has neither string nor arrow; and a bow alone will do little hurt. It is a bow, but it is directed upward, not toward the earth; for the seals of the covenant were intended to comfort, not to terrify.

Genesis 9:15

And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.

  • God’s memory never fails, of course. So the phrase I will remember does not imply that God might somehow forget certain details and needs a rainbow to be reminded of them.
  • In a passage such as this, the phrase I will remember carries with it the idea that God is about to act to fulfill a promise He has made.
  • A similar usage is found in Exodus 2:24, where God hears the cries of the Israelites in bondage in Egypt, and remembered his covenant.
  • God’s response in Exodus 3 is to call Moses to be Israel’s deliverer.
  • In the case at hand, God takes personal charge of being the deliverer as He continuously ensures that the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.

Genesis 9:16

And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.

  • This verse reemphasizes what has already been stated.
  • As we ponder what God himself promises to remember, we realize that the rainbow ultimately is meant to help us remember something, in the more traditional sense of the word remember.
  • God knows how prone we are to forget His works in spite of how great and mighty they are. So He provides memory devices such as the visual aid of a rainbow to help us remember.

Genesis 9:17

And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.

  • A final reaffirmation of the rainbow’s importance is given to Noah himself.
  • This is only fitting since this account of the flood began with God’s message to Noah about how corrupt the earth had become, as found in Genesis 6:13, and of God’s intention to establish His covenant with Noah, found in 6:18.
  • When Noah is first introduced in Scripture, he is called, a just man and perfect in his generations, as found in Genesis 6:9.
  • Because Noah faithfully did, according to all that God commanded him, found in 6:22, he is now given the privilege to witness God’s, re-creative, activity and to hear God announce the terms of a covenant with all flesh that is upon the earth.
  • It is still true that those who faithfully obey and serve God receive numerous blessings, privileges, and insights that remain only mysteries to those who, like the vast majority in Noah’s day, remain entrenched in their wickedness, as found in Matthew 13:10-16 and Colossians 1:26.


We will find something that is very disappointing in the remainder of this chapter.

The question arises: When man came out of the ark after the Flood and all the sinners were dead, does that mean that there was no more sin on the earth?

Well, let’s look and see.

Genesis 9:18

And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan.

  • Why is Ham’s son Canaan mentioned here?
  • For two reasons. One reason we’ll see in a moment.
  • Another reason is that when Moses wrote this record, the people of Israel were traveling to the land of Canaan, and it was encouraging for them to have this information regarding God’s judgment upon the people of Canaan.

Genesis 9:19

These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread.

  • All people who have ever lived since the Flood came from these three sons of Noah. The, one blood, of Acts 17:26 is that of Adam through Noah.
  • All physical characteristics of the whole race were present in the genetics of Noah, his sons, and their wives.

Genesis 9:20

And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard:

  • The word began brings an ominous note to the early stories in Genesis.
  • Husbandman – literally means, man of the soil, perhaps indicating, master of the earth, or lord of the earth.

Genesis 9:21

And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.

  • Noah had been so faithful to God that it is unlikely that he did this deliberately. His drunken condition may have been a totally unexpected result of the changed environment after the Flood.

Genesis 9:22

And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.

  • Ham . . . saw the nakedness of his father:
  • While many explanations have been suggested for this phrase, it is best to take it to mean merely what it says.
  • There is no indication of any gross violation.
  • The phrase is not the same as in Leviticus 20:17, where it is parallel to another term used exclusively for sexual violations.
  • The phrase indicates that this violation of privacy was merely the beginning of eventual sexual degradation.

Genesis 9:23

And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness.

  • Perhaps Shem and Japheth did not want to see their father’s dignity and authority reduced to such weakness.
  • They did not share Ham’s attitude.

Genesis 9:24

And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.

  • This incident could scarcely have happened till twenty years after the flood; for Canaan, whose conduct was more offensive than that even of his father, was not born till after that event.
  • It is probable that there is a long interval included between these verses and that this prophecy, like that of Jacob on his sons, was not uttered till near the close of Noah‘s life when the prophetic spirit came upon him; this presumption is strengthened by the mention of his death immediately after.

Genesis 9:25

And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.

  • This doom has been fulfilled in the destruction of the Canaanites – in the degradation of Egypt and the slavery of the Africans, the descendants of Ham.

Genesis 9:26

And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.

  • Rather, Blessed of Jehovah, my God, be Shem, – an intimation that the descendants of Shem should be peculiarly honored in the service of the true God, His Church being for ages established among them, the Jews, and of them, concerning the flesh, Christ came.
  • They got possession of Canaan, the people of that land being made their, servants, either by conquest, or, like the Gibeonites, by submission, found in Joshua 9:25.

Genesis 9:27

God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.

  • God shall enlarge Japheth
  • Pointing to a vast increase in posterity and possessions.
  • Accordingly his descendants have been the most active and enterprising, spread over the best and largest portion of the world, all Europe and a considerable part of Asia.
  • he shall dwell in the tents of Shem
  • A prophecy being fulfilled at the present day, as in India British Government is established and the Anglo-Saxons being in the ascendancy from Europe to India, from India over the American continent.
  • What a wonderful prophecy in a few verses found in Isaiah 46:10 and 1 Peter 1:25!

Genesis 9:28

And Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years.

  • Noah, who was six hundred years old at the time of the flood, lived to see two worlds three hundred and fifty years later.

Genesis 9:29

And all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years: and he died.

  • Noah died at the age of nine hundred and fifty years old.
  • Being an heir of the righteousness which is by faith, he now rests in hope, waiting to see a better world.

I hope that you have really enjoyed this post,

Please Leave All Comments in the Comment Box Below ↓







  1. This was very interesting reading the details of Genesis 9 and how God gives permission for meat to be included in the human diet. I never realised that it was actually discussed in the Bible, but that the blood had to be drained from the meat, something which is normally done to soften the meat. But now I know it had a Biblical origin. 

    Thank you for sharing a very insightful post on Noah and his family. 

    1. Hello,

      You saying that you never realized that GOD gave permission for meat to be included in the human diet reminds me of how important it is for this information to be disseminated. 

      There are a number of experiences about the early generations of Our (meaning the whole world) forefathers and foremothers mentioned in the Holy Bible that we can learn about simply by reading and studying.

      The Holy Bible is more than a book, and is applicable to All generations, it is an Instruction manual on how we should live our lives as Christians.

      Thank you so much for sharing your experiences, as well as, referring to this information as a very insightful post on Noah and his family.

      Many Blessings Unto You My Friend,


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