24/03/19 Genesis 9:1-17 “God’s promises to Adam and Eve now given to Noah”
Genesis 9:1 – And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.
This has the idea of restarting the original command God gave in Genesis 1:28 – And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
It is therefore a fresh new start, the slate wiped clean, starting over again. Except that it isn’t Adam and Eve here now but Noah and his sons (and their families)
God – here He is ‘elohiym rather than Yᵉhovah (LORD) In the first few chapters of Genesis it is mostly ‘elohiym (God), then Yᵉhovah ‘elohiym (LORD God) but from around Ch.10 onwards it becomes mostly Yᵉhovah (LORD).
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.
fear – fear; reverence; terror Not only fear of Noah and his family, but a general fear of all mankind is implied here. This is clearly associated with having dominion over the rest of living creation, again as per Genesis 1:28. After all, how may one subdue the earth and have dominion over all creatures if one is not the dominant creature on earth? And, dominance implies a healthy respect for (or even fear of) the one who will dominate.
Genesis 9:3-4 – 3Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. 4But flesh with the life thereof, [which is] the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.
meat – food in general, not only flesh. However, here it clearly means the flesh of other creatures. Genesis 1:29 & 30 permit all creatures including man to eat herbage (plant-derived food). This is the first mention of man being permitted to eat the flesh of other creatures. However, they were not to eat of the blood.
Note Leviticus 17:10-13 – 10And whatsoever man [there be] of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, that eateth any manner of blood; I will even set my face against that soul that eateth blood, and will cut him off from among his people. 11For the life of the flesh [is] in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it [is] the blood [that] maketh an atonement for the soul. 12Therefore I said unto the children of Israel, No soul of you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger that sojourneth among you eat blood. 13And whatsoever man [there be] of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, which hunteth and catcheth any beast or fowl that may be eaten; he shall even pour out the blood thereof, and cover it with dust.
Also note that in Acts 10:9-16, Peter was told to eat unclean creatures, for God had declared them cleansed. However, the forbidding of the eating of blood does not appear to have been revoked anywhere in the Bible. Jesus did appear to be declaring all foods acceptable in Mark 7:14-15; 18-19 – 14And when he had called all the people [unto him], he said unto them, Hearken unto me every one [of you], and understand: 15There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man. 18And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, [it] cannot defile him; 19Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?
Romans 14 also strongly implies that the eating of certain forbidden foods might be acceptable to some but not to others. It is apparent that the eating of meat with blood in it would not void your salvation, though. But the Christian Jews of Jerusalem were told (possibly to keep the peace in this new community of believers) That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled (Acts 15:29).
Genesis 9:5-6 – 5And 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. 6Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.
lives – nephesh (soul; life; creature; person; living being; emotion; passion; the inner being of man) Thus the blood is associated with their soul or life, their very existence. Note Leviticus 17:11.
This is once again the Law of Retaliation, that the punishment should match the crime, as per Exodus 21:23-25 – 23And if [any] mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, 24Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.
Leviticus 24:17-21 – 17And he that killeth any man shall surely be put to death. 18And he that killeth a beast shall make it good; beast for beast. 19And if a man cause a blemish in his neighbour; as he hath done, so shall it be done to him; 20Breach for breach, eye for eye, tooth for tooth: as he hath caused a blemish in a man, so shall it be done to him [again]. 21And he that killeth a beast, he shall restore it: and he that killeth a man, he shall be put to death.
This was OT law, but the NT (as per the new dispensation) saw it differently.
Matthew 5:38-39 – 38Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: 39But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
1 Thessalonians 5:15 – See that none render evil for evil unto any [man]; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all [men].
People usually interpret the Golden Rule as meaning to treat others properly, but it probably really means that whatever you do to others will return to the perpetrator; that is, you will reap what you sow. Effectively this is still the Law of Retaliation, but administered by God, not man.
Luke 6:31 – And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.
Note that the law of retaliation applied to beasts that killed man. If a beast resisted with violence man’s dominion over them, then that violence would be brought upon that beast.
Exodus 21:28-29 – 28If an ox gore a man or a woman, that they die: then the ox shall be surely stoned, and his flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox [shall be] quit. 29But if the ox were wont to push with his horn in time past, and it hath been testified to his owner, and he hath not kept him in, but that he hath killed a man or a woman; the ox shall be stoned, and his owner also shall be put to death.
Because man is made in the image of God, violence against man is seen as violence against God in whose image man is made.
Genesis 9:7 – And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein.
Once again a reminder of the original command by God to all creatures to do so; see Genesis 1:21-22; 26-28.
Genesis 9:8 – And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying,
Noah and his family are not going to be left having to wonder what to do next, for God’s commands are quite specific. God spoke and that was that! To listen and obey or to not listen and obey, well, that would be according to man’s free will, but any breaking of God’s commands was a clear issue of wilful disobedience.
Genesis 9:9 – 9And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you; 10And 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.
every beast – literally “all life”
A covenant was not just a laying down of the law by one over another, but rather it was a contract between 2 parties, something that took effect with the knowledge and agreement of both parties concerned. It wasn’t only for Noah and his family, but also for his descendants; thus it would have covered Abraham and beyond. The Abrahamic covenant therefore would have been an extension of this one to specifically cover God’s promises to a particular nation, rather than this general one with Noah that covered all mankind and creation in general from hereon.
Cambridge says (of Genesis 9:9) In a covenant between God and man, God makes the promise and lays down the conditions. Man accepts the terms unconditionally, while God “establishes,” or ratifies, them. There is no equality of relationship as in a covenant agreement between men. Man is pledged to obedience on the strength of God’s promise of blessing.
This is the first covenant God makes with mankind, and with animals and birds that were on the ark with Noah. (The previous one was between God and Noah and his family, to keep them safe, along with the creatures on the ark. Genesis 6:18-19.) This covenant ensures that (subject to certain populations becoming extinct) man and creature will continue in some form or another until God’s mission statement of Daniel 9:24 (to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.) is completed.
There are 3 covenants between God and man (4 if you count the one made with Noah to be kept safe during the flood). One is here in Genesis 9:9 with the rainbow as a sign. The second is with Abraham, originally for just Israel in Genesis 15 (with physical circumcision as a sign), but is expanded to all nations in Genesis 17 and taught as such in Romans in the NT (with spiritual circumcision now a sign). And the third is with Moses and the Hebrews at Mt Sinai (with the sign of the blood of the covenant, plus the building of the tabernacle and the establishment of the Law with God’s people).
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.
In this covenant God promised to never destroy all flesh again by flood, nor would a flood ever destroy the earth again. Once again, note that while this one is a general covenant with all life on earth, God would later make a more specific covenant which would include initially just Abraham and the special nation that God would bring from him, but then include other nations through the Gentile church later on.
Isaiah 54:7-10 – 7For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. 8In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer. 9For this [is as] the waters of Noah unto me: for [as] I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee. 10For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.
Thus, Israel may have been dealt with harshly, but she will be restored one day.
Romans 11:1a – I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid.
Joel 2:32 – And it shall come to pass, [that] whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call.
This does not exclude mankind being destroyed in other ways, but there also will be no total or absolute destruction of mankind until Armageddon and the second coming of Christ.
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:
token – sign; signal; distinguishing mark; miraculous sign; omen; warning; ensign.
Translated “miracles” in Deuteronomy 11:3 – And his miracles, and his acts, which he did in the midst of Egypt unto Pharaoh the king of Egypt, and unto all his land;
where the miracles are signs or tokens.
Translated “mark” in Genesis 4:15.
perpetual – long duration; for ever; ancient times; antiquity; everlasting; perpetual; indefinite or unending future; evermore; always.
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 sign of this covenant is the rainbow in the clouds. It would be a sign of (it would symbolise) God’s promise between Him and the earth that it would never again be destroyed by flood.
The rainbow is produced by water droplets in the air refracting the sunlight (can be moonlight!) into its component colours. If you look directly at the centre of the rainbow, then the sun will be directly behind you. Theoretically you can never get to one end of the rainbow, for it will move as you move.
While some maintain that the rainbow must have existed from the time rains existed, this verse does seem to suggest that it was a new phenomenon at this time. This would assume that rain as we know it today didn’t exist as such before the flood?
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:
It generally rains when it is cloudy; thus the association of the rainbow with clouds. However, clouds on their own will not necessarily produce a rainbow, for you have to have the sunlight behind you and the water droplets in front of you to observe a rainbow.
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.
As mentioned before, God never forgets, so remembering here has to be an anthropomorphism, a way of understanding God’s activities from man’s understanding, attributing to God the style of thinking done by man.
God will remember His covenant is another way of saying that God will keep His promises, as per Numbers 23:19 – God [is] not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do [it]? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?
God is telling man to trust Him and His promises. In fact, this is what faith is all about, the trusting in the character of the one who makes the promises. Faith is a personal response to the promises of another.
Hebrews 11:1-3; 6-7 – 1Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2For by it the elders obtained a good report. 3Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
6But without faith [it is] impossible to please [him]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and [that] he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. 7By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
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.
Once again this is an anthropomorphism, where God who cannot forget anything may remember that which He will never forget. But when the rainbow appears man will remember the covenant and will know that God will look upon it and remember the everlasting (perpetual) covenant between Him and all life on earth.
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.
We have already had some detail concerning the rainbow as a sign, but this is now recording as a fact that Noah was informed by God concerning the covenant and the sign of the rainbow that establishes this covenant. The rainbow therefore is like the signature on the dotted line of a contract: it “establishes” the covenant with the sign that guarantees God’s promise.
I have just put a post online called “Calvinisms” which outlines 9 of calvinism’s deceits. This is based upon a lot of study that I’ve put into trying to understand what calvinism is all about. A lot of people would probably question why I should “waste” my time reading calvinist documents, including much of Calvin’s Institutes. But, I reason, how can you seriously expect to oppose what they say unless you first of all actually know (and consequently have some understanding of) what they teach? So I spend lots of time reading calvinist documents. Much of it is unintelligible, waffling around (Calvin was a champion at waffling on), going around in circles, rarely getting to the point, and when they do get to a point, it’s often unrelated to what they started off with. They claim to be academic giants, yet demonstrate very little evidence of such. I am a logical person, and pick up on anything that is illogical. In some calvinist documents that is just about the whole lot.
One thing I notice is that many of those opposing calvinism do not have sufficient understanding of what they are trying to oppose. Such non-calvinists become easy meat for those calvinists who love to find the weak arguments and “demolish” them. (I guess it makes them feel somehow “empowered”.) But even more so, I notice that most calvinists themselves show very little understanding of those they think they are opposing. Note such as Danny who would read just enough to pick out possible points of agreement, and totally ignore the rest. It was clear that he wasn’t reading what I wrote to him. I was wasting my time refuting his arguments because he didn’t even bother reading what I wrote.
Most calvinists seem to think that because they consider themselves the only ones who are biblical, then all who disagree must be unbiblical. And so they make wide sweeping often illogical and untrue statements about the opposition.
Take a recent one. Now, I do not know exactly what Arminians teach, not having studied their doctrines much at all. However, here’s what one calvinist writer says of them: Those who have a strong doctrine of the grace of God are often called 'Calvinists'; those who have a heavy emphasis on man's ability to save himself by free will and good works are often called 'Arminians'. Note how calvinists are such good guys who are obviously so biblical while those poor Arminians believe they can be saved by their own works. But, there is absolutely no documentation offered for this amazing statement! In just one sentence this calvinist has effectively pronounced calvinism biblical and the opposition unbiblical. So let us analyse this statement.
The writer is strongly implying (calvinists do “imply” a lot!) that
1/. Calvinists are godly, biblical people.
2/. If you are not a calvinist, you must be Arminian.
3/. Arminians believe they can be saved by good works.
4/. There is no other truly biblical group out there other than the calvinists.
Here is that assumption that they regularly fall into, that they are the only biblical group out there. Of course, they admit that they are in some agreement with many “Arminians”, but the implication in this document is still that the closer an Arminian is to calvinist doctrine, the more they will have in common.
Some more quotes to look at.
Arminian doctrine of free-will is easily understood. Men and women have the ability to save themselves by their 'free will'.
Arminianism has never paid much close attention to the exposition of Scripture; the Calvinists at their best always do.
Arminianism has many links with destructive liberalism; Calvinism has many links with powerful evangelism.
(Calvin) showed (i) incredible integrity and honesty in interpreting Scripture. Calvin was the pioneer of modern careful biblical interpretation.
Now I could easily expose all of these but we’ll just discuss them briefly for today. It doesn’t matter which side you are on; this document has far too much bias without the support of genuine documentation. It makes wide-sweeping statements that make Arminians the super-enemy in doctrinal issues. However, it leaves out entirely a whole realm of argument that is necessary for a balanced evaluation of these issues: that there are many Christians out there who are neither calvinist nor Arminian, yet are biblical by choice, unbound by doctrinal biases which always enter when discussing views from a denominational point of view. If you could take out all the denominational teachings, and focus entirely upon biblical teachings, it would affect both Arminianism and calvinism viewpoints; however, the calvinist viewpoint could almost entirely disappear while the Arminian viewpoint might still have many points in agreement with biblical truth. That is, (although I have not researched Arminianism very well) Arminianism appears to be far less affected by biblical assessment of its doctrines than calvinism. In fact, if calvinism is to be assessed by biblical standards, it would fail miserably. (Note that I claim to be neither calvinist nor Arminian; my doctrinal stand is biblical.)
This is the test of all doctrinal viewpoints: that they must agree with biblical truth or else they fail. Calvinists love to call their churches Bible or Grace churches, sometimes both; it implies that they are what they least represent: biblical correctness and the grace of God. They are neither! For when did a calvinist know his Bible well or demonstrate God’s grace to other “lesser beings” around him?