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Table Of Contents:
|Genesis 9:1||Genesis 9:18-19|
|Genesis 9:2-3||Genesis 9:20-21|
|Genesis 9:4||Genesis 9:22-23|
|Genesis 9:5-6||Genesis 9:24-27|
|Genesis 9:7||Genesis 9:28|
|Genesis 9:8-12||Genesis 9:29|
9:1 The descendants of Noah were to move out in all directions, as explained in the genealogies of the three sons of Noah in the next chapter. We have guessed that the flood was localized in one valley of eastern Turkey (2:10-14). By that time the line of Cain (4:16-24) had spread elsewhere (perhaps in Egypt). There were also Nephilim (pre-Adamic hominids) in other parts of the world (6:1-4, compare Numbers 13:33, see Joshua 11:21-22; 14:12-15; 15:13; Judges 1:20).
9:2-3 From the beginning Genesis Man was to have dominion over fish, birds, cattle, and other animals (1:26). Presumably this meant they could all be tamed when needed. But humans began as vegetarians (1:29). The reference to clean animals by the time of Noah (7:2, 8) suggests that in due course the meat of vegetarian animals and birds was eaten. But after the flood God said that "Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you."
Moses made rules for only eating kosher meat during the wilderness wanderings (Leviticus 11:1-23). These food rules were made irrelevant by Jesus (Mark 7:18-19), and the apostle Peter was told to free the churches from all the kosher food laws (Acts 10:11-15, 11:5-9).
9:4 Noah was told that when meat was butchered the blood must be drained out. This rule was made part of the law of Moses (Exodus 23:18, Leviticus 7:26-27, 17:10-11). And it continued at least for a time among the early Christians (Acts 15:20, 29).
9:5-6 But the permission to butcher animals and birds for food must not be extended to cannibalism by killing humans. And murder deserved capital punishment because humans were in the image of God.
9:7 The descendants of Noah were to leave their ancestral area in south-east Turkey and multiply all over the surrounding lands, (9:1, 10:1-32).
9:8 - 17 The Rainbow Covenant
9:8-12 The promise that God would not destroy the descendants of Noah had already been given (8:21-22). But now that promise is given a covenant sign. Rainbows had appeared before, but God gave them a meaning. Similarly circumcision was given as a covenant sign for males in the family of Abraham (17:9-14, 23-27). Eighteen hundred years later Jesus gave the bread and wine of communion as the sign of the new covenant (Matthew 26:28, Mark 14:24, Luke 22:20).
9:13-17 Humans everywhere live on the assumption that the seasons will continue regularly (8:22). We expect local floods, but here we are promised that our nation will not be destroyed, except in such situations of extreme evil as those that caused the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
9:18 - 27 The Curse of Ham
9:18-19 The genealogies of the sons of Noah will be set out in the next chapter. But here Noah’s grandson Canaan is mentioned in connection with the judgment on that family (9:25).
9:20-21 Noah’s upright character had been impressive (6:9, 7:1). But now having planted a vineyard, and drunk of the wine, he lay stark naked in his tent.
9:22-23 Uncovering the nakedness of a person can refer to sexual intercourse (Leviticus 18:7-8, 20:11). So it is possible that Ham had sexual intercourse with his mother while his father was drunk (for another case of incest see 19:30-3). This would explain the enormity of what happened. When Ham gloatingly reported to his brothers what he had done, they refused to look, and carefully covered the nakedness of their father and/or their mother.
9:24-27 We wonder why Noah’s grandson Canaan was cursed? Maybe the cursing meant that because of being born as a result of the incest Canaan was removed from his right to Ham’s family inheritance. As we will see in the next chapter the line of Canaan became the Canaanites, and they were later known as the Phoenicians (10:15-19). They are one of the very few nations which has completely disappeared from history. For one interpretation of this strange curse see "The Curse of Ham" (under Essays and Articles).
9:28-29 Noah’s Survival till Abraham left Ur
9:28 By comparing the dates given in 5:3-32 with 7:6, it seems the dating of the flood was given as 1656 years after the creation of Genesis Man (Adam and Eve, 1:27).
9:29 As a result of the rapid drop in longevity after the flood Noah, who lived 950 years, saw Abraham depart from Ur of the Chaldees (compare 5:32, 9:28 with the dates in 11:10-26). Shem, who remained with his father in Ur of the Chaldees, lived 600 years and so would have heard the news of the birth of both Isaac and Jacob 900 miles (1440 km) away in Canaan (compare the dates given in 11:10-26; 21:5, 25:26).
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