The Covenant with Noah. The sons of Noah.
VERSE 1. God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, and replenish the earth.
Be fruitful, multiply. This might be the one command from the LORD God that we humans have obeyed.
VERSE 2. The fear of you and the dread of you will be on every animal of the earth, and on every bird of the sky. Everything that moves along the ground, and all the fish of the sea, are delivered into your hand.
the dread of you will be on every animal. Up to this point, animals never needed to fear humans. But now everything changes.
Humans will no longer be trusted companions. Now humans will hunt down and kill animals. Animals will need to flee for their lives.
VERSE 3. Every moving thing that lives will be food for you. As I gave you the green herb, I have given everything to you.
Every moving thing that lives will be food for you. Up to this point, people only ate vegetables and fruits, nuts and seeds. They were vegans. Or more specifically, “fruitarians.”
However, this verse changes everything. It permits humans to hunt down and kill animals and eat them.
This verse does not require anyone to eat animals. Rather, it merely grants permission. Being a fruitarian, or a vegan, is still permitted.
I gave you the green herb. Previously, people were fruitarians. Fruitarian foods are still permitted. There is no requirement that people eat animals.
flesh with its life, that is, its blood. Blood is be portrayed as the essence of life. It could not be eaten.
In the centuries that followed, that prohibition was continued under the Law of Moses, and then by the early Christians.
VERSE 5. I will surely require accounting for your life’s blood. At the hand of every animal I will require it. At the hand of man, even at the hand of every man’s brother, I will require the life of man.
VERSE 6. Whoever sheds man’s blood, his blood will be shed by man, for God made man in his own image.
The Message Translation. Whoever sheds human blood, by humans let his blood be shed,
Whoever sheds man’s blood, his blood will be shed by man. This is the beginning of capital punishment. Human governments will begin executing people.
VERSE 7. Be fruitful and multiply. Increase abundantly in the earth, and multiply in it.”
VERSE 8. God spoke to Noah and to his sons with him, saying,
I establish my covenant with you. This is a covenant of grace. Noah did not earn it. Rather, God bestowed it as a gift.
This is the first time the Covenant is mentioned.
VERSE 10. and with every living creature that is with you: the birds, the livestock, and every animal of the earth with you, of all that go out of the ship, even every animal of the earth.
VERSE 11. I will establish my covenant with you: All flesh will not be cut off any more by the waters of the flood. There will never again be a flood to destroy the earth.”
VERSE 12. 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:
VERSE 13. I set my rainbow in the cloud, and it will be a sign of a covenant between me and the earth.
VERSE 14. When I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow will be seen in the cloud,
VERSE 15. I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh, and the waters will no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.
VERSE 16. The rainbow will be in the cloud. I will look at it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.”
VERSE 17. God said to Noah, “This is the token of the covenant which I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.”
VERSE 18. The sons of Noah who went out from the ship were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Ham is the father of Canaan.
VERSE 19. These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the whole earth was populated.
VERSE 20. Noah began to be a farmer, and planted a vineyard.
He drank of the wine and got drunk. This is the first instance of drunkenness in the Bible. It can be understood by a theory called the vapor canopy:
1. Prior to the flood, most of the water of the world was in gaseous form in the sky. It made the world a vast greenhouse, with near-equal temperatures everywhere. In this situation, grape juice would not ferment.
2. During the flood, the gaseous water condensed out of the sky and fell to the earth.
3. After the flood, the earth would no longer behave like a greenhouse. In this situation, for the first time in human history, grape juice could ferment.
If the vapor canopy theory is right, it explains why Noah was unexpectedly drunk. Up to that point, nobody had ever experienced fermentation. They would have had no idea that it would make them drunk.
In our own lives, we sometimes do wrong things accidentally. We miss an unfamiliar stop sign or speed limit sign, for example. Such an accidental infraction is not a sin. It was just an accident.
VERSE 22. Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside.
VERSE 23. Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it on both their shoulders, went in backwards, and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were backwards, and they didn’t see their father’s nakedness.
VERSE 24. Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his youngest son had done to him.
In his rant, Noah said that Canaan was to become a slave.
This verse, and others that mention slavery, are not “sanctioning” or “authorizing” human slavery. They are not “mandating” it.
Rather, they are simply describing an historic reality. It happened.
These verses, and many others, are merely descriptive, and not prescriptive. They describe a human reality. But they do not make it mandatory. They don’t even recommend it.
VERSE 26. He said, “Blessed be the LORD, the God of Shem. Let Canaan be his servant.
VERSE 27. May God enlarge Japheth. Let him dwell in the tents of Shem. Let Canaan be his servant.”
VERSE 28. Noah lived three hundred fifty years after the flood.
VERSE 29. All the days of Noah were nine hundred fifty years, and then he died.
CHAPTERS: 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.