Genesis 9:1-29 –

Genesis 9:1-29 –

Genesis 9:1-2 – Like Adam, Noah received a mandate from the Lord to fill the earth. God wanted man to quickly inhabit the whole earth just as Adam was commanded. Noah and his sons were not given the same words concerning dominion that Adam received. This may be due to the current dominion by Satan (1 John 5:19; 2 Corinthians 4:4). While he did not have the same dominion as Adam he was given superiority by God placing in the animals fear and dread.

Genesis 9:3-7 – God now sanctions an animal diet for man, as long as it is not eaten with blood (Leviticus 17:10). The may be a direct result of the changed environment. God extended the categories of food which man might eat to “every moving thing.” The supreme value of a human life appears at this point. Every individual is precious; he is the “image” of God.

Capital punishment is now authorized to anyone who commits murder. The reason is that God wants man to hold life sacred. Murder is assuming the authority that only God has, He is the creator and sustainer of life. It is also a demonstration of contempt for His creation.

In the Law and later in the New Covenant God gives human government the power of life or death to act as His agent of judgment (Romans 13:4). Prior to this every man was a law unto himself, the result was every imaginable evil resulting in the flood. The emphasis here is on justice not vengeance. God concludes these commands by repeating again the command to be fruitful and multiply.

Genesis 9:8-12 Now God declares that He is establishing a covenant with Noah and his sons. This included not eating blood or shedding blood as we have observed so far, but there is more. This is the first time the word “berit” is used. This covenant is with Noah and His descendants, and the animals as well. They too are God’s creatures (Romans 8:22).God establishes this covenant unconditionally that there would never again be a universal flood.

Genesis 9:13-17 – A “covenant” is the most solemn and binding form of a promise by God. It is an assurance to man of God’s commitment. God makes the covenant, fixes its terms and conditions, and remains everlastingly faithful. The rainbow was the sign or token of God’s covenant. This is a precious promise, we have been given the assurance that despite threats of thermonuclear warfare, ozone depletion, and myriad of other calamities the earth will not be totally destroyed until the end of the millennium, and the rainbow is a sign of that covenant promise (Genesis 8:21-22). There are seven covenants made between God and man:

(1) The Adamic covenant provided for man’s enjoyment of Eden if he refrained from eating the forbidden fruit (Genesis 2:16,17). When man broke the covenant, God responded with a way of escape (Genesis 3:15).

(2) The Noahic covenant concerned the earth and its seasons (Genesis 9:8-17).

(3) The Abrahamic covenant provided blessing in the Promised Land (Genesis 12:1-3).

(4) The Mosaic covenant concerned the blessings of obedience (Exodus 19:5).

(5) The restoration covenant (which some view as simply a preview of the new covenant) promised a return to the land and the restoration of one’s heart commitment to Yahweh (Deuteronomy 30:3-10).

(6)The Davidic covenant promised that the royal lineage of the Messiah would come through Israel (2 Samuel 7:16).

(7) The new covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Hebrews 8:8).

Genesis 9:18-19 – The human race of today is descended from the three sons of Noah. This anticipates Genesis 10-11, which show that God’s command to be fruitful and multiply was fulfilled in spite of human sin. It is interesting to note that when Ham is mentioned it particularly names his youngest son Canaan. This may be noted because of the role that the Canaanites play in being those who occupied the land of promise and were to be removed by God.

Genesis 9:20-21 – This is the first time the word wine appears in the Bible, but drinking was already a well established practice before this (Matthew 24:38), so Noah knew about drinking. By drinking too much wine Noah probably elevated his body temperature and removed his clothing. Scripture faithfully record sin even in God’s chosen. Although this is not the focus of the account, Noah sinned through his drunkenness. This was doubly tragic because he was the divinely assigned spiritual leader of his family.

Drunkenness is condemned (Proverbs 21:17; Isaiah 5:22, Ephesians 5:18) , especially when it leads to nakedness (Lamentations 4:21; Habakkuk 2:15). Perhaps Noah thought to himself that he could relax since the evil in the world had been removed. But this should serve as a reminder to us that the enemy is always ready to seek to deceive us, and we should never let our guard down. Prior to the flood Noah’s family remained faithful in the midst of a world greatly deceived by Satan.

Genesis 9:22-23 – This incident with Noah and his son Ham had to have occurred a number of years after the flood because Noah knew Cannaan Ham’s son. Noah thought he was alone when he had his wine and became unclothed.

There is no indication of sexual impropriety; the sin of Ham was in making light of his father’s sin and in dishonoring his father by looking upon his shame and flippantly telling his brothers (perhaps implying ridicule). The ancient world and the Bible required children to honor their parents (Exodus 20:12;21:15,17; Deuteronomy 21:18-21). Shem and Japheth showed respect for their father by covering him without gazing upon him (Genesis 9:23). Ham’s actions demonstrated a lack of respect for his father, which had probably manifested itself in an even stronger way in his son Canaan.

Genesis 9:24– When Noah awoke he noticed the robe that had been placed on him and either because of his patriarchal status (prophet, priest and king), knew what had happened or he found out by asking his wife or sons. He then makes a sweeping prophecy. The parallels between Adam and Noah are striking. Both Adam and Noah were commanded to fill the earth, and told to exercise authority, Adam by rule, Noah by fear. Each are the father of all of mankind, both sinned by wrongly partaking of fruit, both became naked, and someone else clothed them. The prophecy that resulted for both initially resulted in a curse but will ultimately lead to blessings and salvation.

Genesis 9:25 This is a word of prophecy about Canaan and his descendants, as well as judgment on Ham through his son Canaan. Noah could probably see already in Canaan the same ungodly attitudes that had surfaced in Ham. Prior to the conquest of the Promised Land, Israel learned from this account that the corruption of their enemies the Canaanites, under the judgment of God, could be traced to their ancestor Ham. How has this prophecy been fulfilled has been the source of much controversy.

Canaan may have been involved with his father’s sin. Perhaps he saw Noah’s condition first and told his father. Ham however was punished because of the dishonor he brought to Noah. The curse is not on the sons of Ham, but on the Canaanites. Joshua subjected the Philistines and overthrew the Canaanites. Some have applied this verse as justification for the treatment of black people as those who were under this special curse.

First of all if this is the case then the Lebanese should be under the same curse for they too are sons of Ham and Canaan, so too are the Egyptians, some scholars believe that the Mongol tribes which include the Chinese and Japanese also fall under this curse. The fact of the matter is that when Jesus died and rose again He made a way for all people who are enslaved to sin and its consequences to be free.

Genesis 9:26-29 Concerning Shem, Noah blesses him and with Genesis 26 we see that he will be the son from which Abraham would come, and ultimately the Messiah. Noah was a patriarch and as such places his blessing upon Shem, perhaps in some way seeing that the Messiah would come through him. Japheth would be enlarged an allusion to their great numbers and to the land that they would occupy.

Remember that earlier God had commanded Noah and his sons to be fruitful and to occupy the earth. In some way Japheth was seen as doing just that. Also it is noted that Japheth would dwell in the tents of Shem. This is clearly an allusion to fellowship. In Psalm 84:10 the expression appears “dwell in the tents of wickedness”, which means that a person is living in wickedness rather than in fellowship with God.

Japheth would have fellowship with Shem through the Son of Shem, that is the Messiah. Interestingly today there are multitudes of the descendants of Ham dwelling as well in the tents of Shem by virtue of their faith in Messiah, while the sons of Shem for the most part have at this point rejected the Messiah. This would include both the Jewish and Arab peoples.

Genesis 9 ends with the death of Noah at the age of 950. From here on man’s lifespan decreases greatly. If there are no gaps in the genealogies of Genesis 11 then Noah continued living until Abraham was about 58 years old. However there are probably some gaps in the genealogy which we will look at later. In any case Noah would have live until the dispersion of nations and languages which occurred at the time of the tower of Babel.

Discussion Questions:

1. Noah partook of too much wine and this caused problems for his family. Does Noah’s action give us any insight into our testimony with our children? Do such similar things happen today?

2. Who were the sons of Noah? (Genesis 9:18)

3. What was their significance for the post-diluvian world? (Genesis 9:19)

4. What can we learn from the actions of Noah’s sons?

5. What may be implied about Canaan’s character?

6. What if anything in Canaan’s character may have been responsible for their removal from the Promised Land by the Israelites?

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