Genesis Chapter Nine


Read Genesis 9:1-3 – God Blesses Noah


v.1And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.”


            Thus we have the same instruction given to Noah as was given to Adam; be fruitful, multiply and fill or replenish the earth.  We will find this repeated again a little later.


v.2And 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.”


            God re-establishes the relationship between man, beasts and fowls of the air.  He grants man dominion over them, they fear man and still do so today.  A number of these creatures are useful to us, we use them either for service or food, or both, as they are capable; as God designed them, some domesticated many not.  The wild beasts fear man, though at times when man and beast paths cross there is trouble and one or the other is hurt or killed.


v.3Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.”


            One commentator said that man had not eaten flesh up until this time but I do not find that prohibition or that notion supported anywhere in scripture.  Genesis 1:29 does say that God gave man “EVERY HERB BEARING SEED” and “FRUIT OF A TREE YIELDING SEED; TO YOU IT SHALL BE FOR MEAT” but I find nothing to indicate that this is the only food man ate.  Abel kept flocks and it would not be logical that the family of Adam would not use the increase of those flocks as food.

            Under the New Testament covenant we are told that the day would come when men would create false doctrines and then eliminates any doubt that this would happen in the Christian age:


I Timothy 4:3-5 “Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. 4For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: 5For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.”


Read Genesis 9:4-7 – Concerning Blood


            There is a prohibition however:


v.4But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.”


            In the spiritual realm blood has a special place.  It is used as a sacrifice to God and was used as a sin offering, trespass offering, burnt offering, peace offering, and for atonement; both under the Mosaic Law and the New Testament Covenant.  We understand that it should not be eaten for health and hygiene reasons but here we learn that it should not be eaten for spiritual reasons as well.  Under the law of the patriarchs and also under the Mosaic Law:


Leviticus 3:17It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings, that ye eat neither fat nor blood.”


Deuteronomy 15:23Only thou shalt not eat the blood thereof; thou shalt pour it upon the ground as water.”


Under the New Testament law as well:


Acts 15:20  But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.”


Acts 21:25As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication.”


v.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.”


            Murder has never been tolerated by God.  Cain was our first example, God’s mercy allowed Cain to live and protected him from the vengeance of man but that is to be no more.  God will require retribution for the shedding of blood whether the guilty one is man or beast.  This was continued under the Mosaic Law.


Exodus 21:28If 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.


v.6Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.”


            It was the same under the Mosaic Law:


Exodus 21:12-14He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall be surely put to death.  And if a man lie not in wait, but God deliver him into his hand; then I will appoint thee a place whither he shall flee. 14But if a man come presumptuously upon his neighbour, to slay him with guile; thou shalt take him from mine altar that he may die.”


And in the Law of Christ:


Matthew 26:52Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.”


v.7And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein.”


            Again we have the admonition made to mankind to “BE YE FRUITFUL, AND MULTIPLY; BRING FORTH ABUNDANTLY IN THE EARTH,”


Read Genesis 9:8-17 – God’s Covenant with Noah


v.8-9And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying, 9And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you;”


            God had established a covenant with Noah regarding the ark as we read in Genesis 6:18, now God is establishing a new covenant with Noah that extends to all of his descendants, even unto this day and we still have the sign of that covenant in our heavens.  Isaiah refers to this covenant in his prophecy to remind Judah of God’s love, care and willingness to keep those who obey him:


Isaiah 54:99For 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.”


v.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.”


            God not only made this covenant with mankind but with all of his creatures on earth.  The Psalmist tells us:




v.11And 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.”


            God will make a covenant with mankind and all of the creatures on the earth.  Never again will he destroy the earth and all that reside in the earth by a flood.


v.12And 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:”


            God provides a token, very much like we would sign a covenant in our daily business today.  This was not at all unusual, observe the same with Abraham:


Genesis 17:11And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.”


The mark given Cain was for much the same reason, to indicate to all men that God had a covenant with him to protect him from vengeance.  David asked for a “token” in his prayer to God recorded in:




This token or sign is still with us today.


v.13-14I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. 14And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud:”


            The seal of God’s covenant is repeated to emphasize and assure mankind that God’s promise is true.  Each time that the conditions are right, when we have rain or clouds that are heavy with moisture and sunshine there is the potential for a rainbow to be seen.  The thicker the cloud the brighter the rainbow because of the density of the water droplets that are reflecting the sunlight.


v.15And 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 will remember His covenant and the rainbow is a reminder for God and all mankind of his promise.  In like manner a reminder of the Mosaic covenant with Israel was memorialized in the garment of the high priest:


Exodus 28:12And thou shalt put the two stones upon the shoulders of the ephod for stones of memorial unto the children of Israel: and Aaron shall bear their names before the LORD upon his two shoulders for a memorial.”


v.16-17And 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. 17And 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.”


            God emphasizes again the covenant between him and Noah.  When we speak of the covenants that God made with man, normally we only think of the Mosaic Covenant and the Christian Covenant, the first made with Israel, the second with all mankind who will follow after Jesus Christ, obey his commandments and become the children of God.  But God made individual covenants with the patriarchs of old.  He not only made a covenant with Abraham but also promised to make a covenant with Isaac even before he was born:


Genesis 17:13 He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.”


Genesis 17:19And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.”


Read Genesis 9:18-29 – Noah’s Sin, Sons and Death


v.18-19And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan. 19These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread.”


            We are first told about the three sons of Noah in Genesis 5:32.  They and their generations are listed again in I Chronicles and we’re told in Genesis 10:32 that they completely repopulated the earth.  There is some discussion among Bible scholars about the birth order of these sons but generally Shem is thought to be the oldest.  Shem is the son that is the ancestor of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David and all of the ancestry of Jesus Christ.

            The offspring of Shem we know as the Elamites, Assyrians, Chaleans, Hebrews, Arabs, Syria, the people of Lydia, the Berbers and most of the tribes and peoples of the Middle East and North Africa.  This, of course, includes the current inhabitants of Iraq and Iran.

            Ham is listed next and is thought by many to be the youngest.  According to a number of sources, the name Ham in Hebrew means “hot, possibly dark-skinned”, in Egyptian “black”.  But scholars tell us that the only black skinned descendants of Ham were the descendants of his eldest son, Cush.  If you will remember when we studied the location of the Garden of Eden, scholars debate its location because of the designation in scripture that it was in the land of Cush, Cush being the father of the Ethiopian people.  But since Cush was also the eldest son of Ham and thus in ancient times would have lived in and probably controlled the area on the lower Tigris River the reference is completely logical as scripture always is.  Ham was also the ancestor of the Nubians, Somalis, Sudanese, Babylonians, Egyptians, Philistines, the African peoples other the Semites and generally all of the dark skinned people of the earth including those on the Pacific Rim and islands and the American Indians.

            Japheth, thought by most to be the youngest son of Noah, is the ancestor of the rest of the peoples of the world.  These include all Asian and Indo-European peoples, Chinese, Japanese, Persians, Kurds, Aryans (Afghanistan, India, Pakistan and the southern regions of the old Soviet Union), Greeks, Romans, Slavs, Hungarians, Irish, Georgians (middle Europe), Iberians (Spain), Basque, Teutonic tribes (Austria, Bavaria, Poland), Germans, Armenians, Welsh, Celts, and Goths.


v.20. “And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard:”


            Noah became a husbandman, a tiller of the soil, seeking to sustain himself from the earth as did his ancestor, Adam.  He fulfilled the edict of God when he banned Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden.


Genesis 3:23Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.”


God tells us through the pen of the wise man a truth that still stands today:




v.21And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.”


            Noah, a man of God, a pillar of faith honored by the inspiration of God in Hebrews 11 as one of our examples had his faults as well.  He imbibes too much of the production of his own vineyard, not the fresh product but that which had fermented and became intoxicating.




Noah, this man of God, in his drunkenness tells us what about human nature?


Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” I Corinthians 10:12


v.22-23And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without. 23And 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.”


            Ham saw the nakedness of his father.  Some would say, well, what’s so bad about that?  But the commentators seem to think that there is more attached to this situation that the words of the translation tell us.  They tell us that Ham looked upon Noah the same way that Edom looked upon the troubles of Judah:


Obadiah v.12But thou shouldest not have looked on the day of thy brother in the day that he became a stranger; neither shouldest thou have rejoiced over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction; neither shouldest thou have spoken proudly in the day of distress.”


Also they say that when Ham told his brothers the situation “OUTSIDE”, literally translated “IN THE STREET”, he was scornful of his father, belittling him.  He did not follow the way of God who tells us to:


Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.” Exodus 20:12


Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” Galatians 6:1


v.24-25And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him. 25And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.”


            As we noted in our discussion of the previous verses a curse was pronounced because of Ham’s lack of respect for his father.  This prohibition was continued under the Mosaic Law:


Deuteronomy 27:16 Cursed be he that setteth light by his father or his mother. And all the people shall say, Amen.”


And the commandment to honor our fathers and mothers is carried over into the Law of Christ making it a sin not to do so.  Jesus repeats the commandment five times in the gospels and Paul seals the requirement:


Ephesians 6:1-3Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. 2Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) 3That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.”


            So God placed a curse on Ham and his descendants, or did he?  That is what men who wish to justify their prejudice against dark skinned peoples have taught falsely for generations but that is not what the scripture says.  The dark skinned descendants of Cush were not included in this curse.  God cursed only Canaan, the youngest son of Ham, the father of the people that Israel were supposed to displace in the land promised to Jacob (Israel) and his descendants.


v.26And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.”


Psalms 144:15 “HAPPY (or blessed) is that PEOPLE, THAT IS IN SUCH A CASE; yea, HAPPY is that PEOPLE, WHOSE GOD is THE LORD.”


            The descendants of Shem were indeed blessed in the Lord.  It is through Shem that the seed promise of Genesis 3:15 is fulfilled, a Saviour was brought into the world and the means provided to remove the sins of man from his soul.  The Canaanite descendants who survived the overthrow of their countries by Israel were indeed many times servants of Shem; servants of his descendant, Israel.


v.27God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.”


            Japheth was indeed enlarged.  As we noted earlier, the descendants of Japheth include the majority of European and Asian peoples.

            We’re not told what the second phrase in this verse means but one commentator tells us that there are at least two ways that the descendants of Japheth could live in tents of Shem.  First of all first the Persians, Greeks and Romans all conquered most of the lands of the descendants of Shem in the time of man’s recorded history.

            A second meaning could be related to the fact that the descendants of Shem and Japheth (Ham too, as well) can now be one in Christ.  Not longer is there a “MIDDLE WALL” that separates Jew and Gentile.


Ephesians 2:14-15For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 15Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;”


v.28-29 “And Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years. 29And all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years: and he died.”