Genesis Chapter Nine

A New Beginning & An Old Problem

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In our study of Genesis chapter nine, we will look at the new beginning that was given to mankind when Noah and his family left the ark. We will see how it was a new start for man but there was still the old problem of sin that had entered the world.

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Genesis 9:1

God blessed Noach and his sons and said to them, "Be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth.

At the end of chapter 8, we saw that Noah had built an altar and presented offerings to God. Now, we see that God blessed him and his sons for that. God reassured them that He had set them apart and would show favor to them.

Genesis 9:2 & 3

The fear and dread of you will be upon every wild animal, every bird in the air, every creature populating the ground, and all the fish in the sea; they have been handed over to you. Every moving thing that lives will be food for you; just as I gave you green plants before, so now I give you everything -

Have you ever wondered how we got from animals just walking up to get into the ark to where we are today with animals being afraid and avoiding man? We see the answer here in that they were now given to man as food. Animals can sense many things and so they knew that it was dangerous to be around men after this.

Genesis 9:4

only flesh with its life, which is its blood, you are not to eat.

With this new start, God gave the animals to man for food but we were told that the blood could not be in it when it was eaten. The blood contains life and God is the only one that can create life and so it is reserved for Him.

Genesis 9:5 & 6

I will certainly demand an accounting for the blood of your lives: I will demand it from every animal and from every human being. I will demand from every human being an accounting for the life of his fellow human being. Whoever sheds human blood, by a human being will his own blood be shed; for God made human beings in his image.

God created every drop of blood and He knows all of the life on this earth. This passage speaks of the fact that He is the owner of His creation and nobody has the right to take the blood (life) of their fellow man.

Genesis 9:7

And you people, be fruitful, multiply, swarm on the earth and multiply on it."

Once again, God's instruction for Noah and his family is for them to repopulate the earth.

Genesis 9:8-11

God spoke to Noach and his sons with him; he said, "As for me - I am herewith establishing my covenant with you, with your descendants after you, and with every living creature that is with you - the birds, the livestock and every wild animal with you, all going out of the ark, every animal on earth. I will establish my covenant with you that never again will all living beings be destroyed by the waters of a flood, and there will never again be a flood to destroy the earth."

God promised everything on the earth that there would never be a flood like what they had been through. What a wonderful God! Imagine what it would be like to live through this flood and then to wonder every time it rained whether it was going to happen again. Everything would be living in a constant state of fear and that is not God's desire.

Genesis 9:12-15

God added, "Here is the sign of the covenant I am making between myself and you and every living creature with you, for all generations to come: I am putting my rainbow in the cloud - it will be there as a sign of the covenant between myself and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth, and the rainbow is seen in the cloud; I will remember my covenant which is between myself and you and every living creature of any kind; and the water will never again become a flood to destroy all living beings.

God even gave us a sign in the sky to help us to remember His promise. God knew that, over time, the covenant would be forgotten by man and so He puts a rainbow in the sky to remind us of the promise when the rain comes.

Genesis 9:16 & 17

The rainbow will be in the cloud; so that when I look at it, I will remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of any kind on the earth." God said to Noach, "This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between myself and every living creature on the earth."

We cannot understand the mind of God and so we sometimes fear that God will forget things but He does not want us to live in fear of a worldwide flood. This promise is repeated again (twice) and the number two is associated with the number of legal witnesses that was required to establish something as truth.

Genesis 9:18 & 19

The sons of Noach who went out from the ark were Shem, Ham and Yefet. Ham is the father of Kena'an. These three were the sons of Noach, and the whole earth was populated by them.

Every one of us is really related as we could all trace our ancestry back to one of these three men (the three sons of Noach). Racial prejudice is so ridiculous because of this fact. Another thing to notice is the fact that only the son of Ham is mentioned. As we shall see, Shem and Yefet had sons and daughters as well but they are not mentioned here so we are to take notice of that fact.

Genesis 9:20 & 21

Noach, a farmer, was the first to plant a vineyard. He drank so much of the wine that he got drunk and lay uncovered in his tent.

Noah had been a farmer and so, after the flood, he planted a vineyard but the question is why. In the Hebrew, the word for vineyard is not used unless you have a significant number of grape vines and the only purpose for a vineyard is to raise enough grapes to make wine. We see that Noach had the intent to make wine instead of food and then we see the effects of that in the fact that he got drunk. When we see that he lay naked in his tent, we may ask what the big deal is but, if we remember from chapter 3, nakedness was associated with the disobedience of Adam & Havah. This theme of nakedness being associated with sin will continue throughout the Torah. What we see from this passage is the fact that Noach had the intent to get drunk and this he carried this intent for a period of time as you do not simply plant a grapevine and have fruit the next day or even the next year as it can typically take up to three years.

Genesis 9:22 & 23

Ham, the father of Kena'an, saw his father shamefully exposed, went out and told his two brothers. Shem and Yefet took a cloak, put it over both their shoulders, and, walking backward, went in and covered their naked father. Their faces were turned away, so that they did not see their father lying there shamefully exposed.

We see, here, two very different reactions to the situation. Ham brought shame and embarrassment to his father by going and telling the other boys instead of covering Noach and keeping his shame hidden. In Hebrew this act is known as "lashon hara" and it literally means "the evil tongue" and it is what we would call gossip. The other boys showed proper respect and covered their father. These different reactions would have lasting consequences for their children even down to the people of today. Ham was a picture of the way that the devil reacts to our sin as he wants to tell it to everyone. Shem and Japheth are a picture of Christ covering our sin with His blood.

Genesis 9:24 & 25

When Noach awoke from his wine, he knew what his youngest son had done to him. He said, "Cursed be Kena'an; he will be a servant of servants to his brothers."

When Noach sobered up and found out what Ham had done, he pronounced a curse on his middle son Kena'an (Canaan). Cursed is not some type of hex or other witchcraft but is, in fact, the opposite of blessed which is the state of being shown the favor of God. Noah knew God's desire for children was that they would honor their mother and father. Because of the fact that Ham had dishonored his father, Noach is saying that God's blessing will be removed from Ham's son. This should be a reminder to all of us who have children that our actions have a direct impact on the future of those children.

Genesis 9:26

Then he said, "Blessed be ADONAI, the God of Shem; Kena'an will be their servant.

We notice that Noah said "the God of Shem" as he was the oldest and so, through him, would come Abraham (the father of Israel). The removal of God's protection from Kena'an (Canaan) was fulfilled when Israel (descendants of Shem) left Egypt and took possession of the land of Canaan.

Genesis 9:27

May God enlarge Yefet; he will live in the tents of Shem, but Kena'an will be their servant."

Now, we see the future of Yefet (Japheth) whose name, in Hebrew, means "extend". In him, we see a picture of the Gentiles united to live with the Jews and rule the world (which will happen during the millennial reign).

Genesis 9:28 & 29

After the flood Noach lived 350 years. In all, Noach lived 950 years; then he died.

We see that there was a period of 350 years where Noah and his sons increased in number on the earth as they were told. The number 350 is very significant; first the number three is associated with the earthly display of God's will for men then the number 50 is associated with the Year of Jubilee. Although the Jubilee has not been established at this point in the Torah, it will become a year of rest for the land and its people after seven cycles of sabbatical years (after 49 years, the 50th year will be the Jubilee). In the fact that Noach lived 350 years, we see that it is God's will for all men to enter into His rest at the appointed time. The fact that Noach lived a total of 950 years is also significant for the same reason in that the number nine is associated with eternity and the final rest of Noach with God.

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