Genesis 9: God’s Covenant With Noah

1 And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. 2 The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth and upon every bird of the heavens, upon everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea. Into your hand they are delivered.

-I did not bring it up in my Genesis 3 study but its interesting to realize the parallel between what Adam and Eve are told when leaving the garden and what we as Christians were told when Jesus left Earth. We are told to “be fruitful and multiply” in both cases. Adam and Eve and now Noah and his sons families are told to multiply in the physical sense and Jesus tells us to multiply in the spiritual sense and make disciples. This commanded is repeated to show that despite everything that has changed about the earth, the command and mans purpose still applies.

3 Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.

-Here we see the first mention of eating meat. There’s reason to believe that mankind were all vegetarian before the flood and this is when eating meat began. Noah was commanded to bring “every kind” of food on the ark but that does not mean any of those clean animals were consumed. If there is no mention, we can’t assume. Given mankind’s sinfulness, it is hard for me to believe people didn’t try eating meat like the animals but this might be the first time it was not considered ungodly to do so and righteous individuals like Enoch and Noah may not have desiring to walk with God.

4 But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.

-Now its saying don’t eat meat? No, God is saying, “cook your food before you eat it!” There are certainly many health reasons to do this.

5 And for your lifeblood I will require a reckoning: from every beast I will require it and from man. From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man. 6 “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.

-These two verses seem to be saying, whether it is a person or an animal, anyone or anything that kills a man will suffer consequences. The word “reckoning” in English essentially means “pay back” or “eye for an eye” and this is how it is written in Hebrew. Whoever sheds blood, their blood shall be shed. Some have taken these verses to mean God’s condoning of capital punishment. We find out later in the bible particularly Romans 13 when Paul writes that God has given governments authority on earth so this would seem to be a reasonable argument. Regardless, there are certainly consequences to sin and there seem to be more severe consequences to murder, death, and war than any other sins which is why it is often regarded as “the worse” sin. All sins are equally 100% offensive to God and this is no degree; however, there does seem to be a difference in the effects and God is saying the effects of this sin, even to animals, is more severe on this Earth.

7 And you, be fruitful and multiply, increase greatly on the earth and multiply in it.”

-Whenever something is repeated in scripture, its important. This is our reason for being. Being fruitful or “successful” in life which recall God measures success by our willingness to submit to him not acquiring wealth and abundance (Remember Cain’s misunderstanding?), and having children. This is of course a general command and you are not sinning by not having children, but it is God’s greater desire for all mankind as a whole.

8 Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, 9 “Behold, I establish my covenant with you and your offspring after you, 10 and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the livestock, and every beast of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark; it is for every beast of the earth. 11 I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.”

-This is repeated because Moses is essentially saying, “Remember how I just said God made a promise not to do this again? Well when He said that He also did this that I did not mention earlier:”

12 And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: 13 I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” 17 God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.”

As children, we probably recall a picture of a rainbow and think that God made a pretty, peaceful symbol to show this bad thing would not happened again. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that and that may well be part of it but what this passage is actually saying is God “hung up His bow”. A bow is a weapon, for firing arrows. God is essentially saying that He will not go to war with mankind in this way again. God has established a “ceasefire”. Does this mean that before this there were no rainbows in the sky? A rainbow is a refraction of light and its hard to believe the very law of physics changed and there wouldn’t have been small rainbows seen in the mist that came up to water the earth. The only other explanation would be if somehow this water layer in the sky that was there effected how light came down to earth to where rainbows would not happen. Regardless, giant rainbows in the sky would not have happened until this because it had not rained. The bible is clear that there was no rainfall before the flood so no rainbows in the sky. Because not much is known about what this water layer in the sky must have been like, its difficult to answer whether literally no one had ever seen a small refraction of life before and it could not be produced until after the flood.

Noah’s Descendants

18 The sons of Noah who went forth from the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. (Ham was the father of Canaan.) 19 These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the people of the whole earth were dispersed.

-We will learn all about the Canaanites later but we find out here that they descend from Noah’s son Ham. The name Canaan means “lowlands” in Hebrew or could possibly mean “humiliated” and is a word used for a merchant or trader. In history, we know the Phoenician people are descendants of Canaan.

20 Noah began to be a man of the soil, and he planted a vineyard. 21 He drank of the wine and became drunk and lay uncovered in his tent.

-Many have interpreted that the atmosphere of Earth changed so much that there was no fermentation and therefore no way to get drunk before the flood. So it is claimed here that Noah simply drank to much “grape juice” not knowing it would make him drunk. If there truly was no fermentation before the flood, its still an assumption to say Noah “accidentally” got drunk. Noah may have discovered this and he felt good so he kept drinking it, so why not? There was no law or even concept of drunkenness and what the consequences of it could be. The term “planted a vineyard” suggests he knew what it was and what it was going to be when he planted it instead of simply experimenting with grapes. In the end, it is too easy to make assumptions so I believe it is wiser to simply read the story as it is written. The account just says that this happened. Noah planted a vineyard, drank to much wine, and became drunk. This is all we need to know at this time. Whether it was intentional or an accident, we know Noah, while righteous in God’s sight, was not perfect and inclined to sin just as all of us are. I do know that if I just spent a year on a smelly boat with animals and in-laws, I’d probably feel like celebrating being free of it myself. Archaeological findings have actually discovered signs of a vineyard dated possibly near this time near Mt. Ararat: http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-sites-places/biblical-archaeology-places/did-this-winery-get-noah-drunk/

22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father and told his two brothers outside. 23 Then Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it on both their shoulders, and walked backward and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were turned backward, and they did not see their father’s nakedness.

-It seems Ham was what we would call “immature”. He saw his father in this state and must have found it quite the hilarious site. If this truly was the first case of drunkenness I can only imagine. But with Shem and Japheth we see something truly beautiful. We see them showing their father the utmost respect and they never even laid eyes on their father while covering him and taking care of him. Shem and Japheth had been raised well and most likely tried to live righteously like their father. Ham was more carnal and of the world. There are some commentators that have tried to imply Ham as having some kind of homosexual tendencies but that is a lot to assume from a single sentence in the bible. We are not told anything like that and so cannot assume something like this. It just says Ham saw him. It doesn’t say “curious” or “filled with delight”. The lesson is obvious that one should show respect for their father especially in a time of need instead of humiliating and make fun of someone else, especially your own father, for one’s own pleasure.

24 When Noah awoke from his wine and knew what his youngest son had done to him, 25 he said, “Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be to his brothers.” 26 He also said, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Shem; and let Canaan be his servant. 27 May God enlarge Japheth, and let him dwell in the tents of Shem, and let Canaan be his servant.”

-Many have grossly misinterpreted this passage as an explanation for why (and I’m quoting here) “black people are slaves”. This is so utterly idiotic that I feel dirty just bringing it up. Only in American and European counties in a specific period of time have “black people” been slaves. Not only that, there is an assumption that Ham or at least Canaan had darker skin given where it states Hamitic people settled. We are never told what any of these people looked like and what their genetic traits were like and skin color may have actually changed over time given the warmer regions they were traveling through. We know and can prove the concept of “micro-evolution” as fact which is simply the change in variation of a species over time. Perhaps in certain cultures, more black or more white was considered desirable and so this trait was bread depending on the culture whether intentional or not. Not only this but the Canaanites that are dealt with in the bible were more likely olive-skinned anyway and not black. Throughout all of world history, it was standard practice to enslave people that were conquered and this was considered normal. It did not matter who these people are or what they looked like, if you conquered a nation they become your slaves. When the more developed technologically Americans and Europeans went to Africa, they took the tribal people as slaves simply because they considered themselves better given their technology and education. It would not have mattered what these African people looked like. This very discussion about appearance is worldly and physical. This is part of the reason God destroyed life with a flood to begin with, because we were thinking in these terms. If what Noah stated to Ham truly was a prophesy about Canaan and his descendants then it was only that the Israelites, which are considered to be descendants of Shem, will conquerer the land of Canaan and take many of these people as slaves. It could simply be that just as Ham, Noah’s son, dishonored his father, Noah could have been cursing Canaan as one day dishonoring his father in the same way. In other words, “Like father, like son”. What kind of example was Ham setting for his son in not honoring his own father? It’s thought that descendants of Jepheth may be where “white people”come from given where his descendants settled and so its argued that’s what “enlarged” means in terms of technological success. But this has only been true more recently in world history. Babylon and Persia were the first two great empires more likely made up of descendants of Shem and we know ancient Chine had many wonders and advancements and Asians are considered more likely to be descendants of Ham. To assume this is a prophecy that Europeans would enjoy blessings in life is a stretch at best.

28 After the flood Noah lived 350 years. 29 All the days of Noah were 950 years, and he died.

-Noah living an additional 350 years after the flood is one of the reasons why I don’t interpret Genesis 6:3 as God declaring mankind would only live 120 years in total from now on. Otherwise, Noah would have lived a much shorter time afterwards. Being 600 years old when the oldest person lived to 969 would probably be the equivalent of Noah being 55-60 years old at the time of the flood at the youngest. So if suddenly lifespans were like they are today, Noah probably would have only lived 30 more years after the flood at most and died at 630 years old. This is why it seems more likely mankind itself was more genetically “perfect” and because of our genes lived a lot longer and it has degraded over time to the point of the oldest people only living to about 100 and very rarely beyond this today. It makes sense that we had much longer lifespans at this time so that we get multiply more and get a population on earth going much quicker. The differences with the planet before the flood still could have effected our height and other factors as well though.

Spanish words:

temor = fear
movar = to move
entregar = to deliver
legumbre = vegetable
derramar = to spill, pour
arco = arch, rainbow
señal = signal, sign
nube = cloud
embriagar = to get drunk, enebriated
hombro = shoulder

Genesis 2: The Seventh Day, God Rests

1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.

-“all the host of them” everything that exists in the sky and in space was created at this time. Obviously, stars have burnt out, supernovas, comets, who knows what has happened but everything was set in motion and put in its place here.

2 And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done.

-A simple logical question is, If God is…well…God, why does He need to rest? Was He tired? How can God get tired? God is doing this for our benefit. Long before the establishment of the Sabbath rest, God is showing us in creation that all living things have been created for a need of rest. We are given a model for a week, six days of work, one day of rest. Like I said last chapter, this is a model for the way things were intended upon creation and the way they will be in the new Earth. Sin corrupted the original model to the point that it is very hard and even impossible for many to follow this model of 6 days on and 1 day off. Here in Mexico, families would not survive if the men and sometimes the whole household did not do something all 7 days without rest. Like the ocean existing and eating meat, it is not a sin to not follow this pattern, but this exists as a result of sin.

3 So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.

-the word translated as “holy” in Hebrew is the word “qadosh” which means “to be set apart for a special purpose”. God set the seventh day apart for a special purpose and to dismiss the idea of the Sabbath because we are not bound by the law as Israel or because we go to church on Sunday now instead of the seventh day of Saturday is foolish. God created things this way. Have you ever tried working weeks straight at a time? I have and I learned first-hand that we are not created to do this and doing so causes serious physical and mental health issues. The sabbath day and when to go to church should not be confused. There is no specific day given to when we should gather for Church, the early Christians started meeting on Sunday because the Jews continued to hold Sabbath services on Saturdays. It’s simply tradition. We do not need to switch our church days to Saturdays, its unnecessary. We should be gathering as much as possible anyway, not simply once a week.
The Creation of Man and Woman
4 These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.

-The word “generations” here means “history” not multiple generations. This word is used this way throughout the bible describing histories so we are not seeing a passing of generations, just 7 days. The word “day” in the second sentence simply means “age” or “the time” not one day.

5 When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up—for the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground, 6 and a mist was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground—

-This is something I missed dozens of times over the course of my life, you just sort of skim right past it. These two verses are saying rain did not exist yet. It did not rain. Plants were watered by mist coming up from the ground. We also see the plants were intended to be cared for by man. They were not designed to trim and plant themselves, this is part of our job of subduing the Earth. If we don’t do it plants grow wild or do not grow at all.

7 then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.

-Why is it so important to point out that man became a living creature when at this point every other living creature was already made? There is a difference here, no other creation was given “the breath of life”. What this means is God did something in our creation different from everything else in creation, He gave us a soul. We are the only Earthly beings with eternal spirits and that is what the breath of life means. This is part of how we are in the image of God, we are Spiritual beings and not just physical like the rest of creation. This is what gives us the ability to be regents of the Earth. Other times the breath of life is mentioned is when Jesus breathed on His disciples and they received gifts of the Holy Spirit and also in reference to the scripture as being God breathed. Remember what I said last chapter about the voice of God being creation? God’s breath created something else AFTER we were already formed out of dust.

8 And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed.

-In the East means East of where the Hebrews were in the wilderness. We will see where in a few verses.

9 And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

-There is no reason in the world not to think of these two trees as literal trees with some kind of literal fruit that can be consumed. Nothing is suggested as poetic and the Hebrew words for “tree” and for “good” are the same used everywhere else. Not only this, but we know the tree of life still exists and the nations will eat of it for healing during the millennium. It is located in “the midst” of God’s paradise and has 12 kinds of fruit, one for each month.

10 A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and there it divided and became four rivers.

-This gives us some geography to prove that Eden was a real physical place on Earth and not only that, it was located at a higher elevation so a river can flow down from it.

11 The name of the first is the Pishon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold.

-Experts believe this is located in modern day Saudi Arabia at the Hijaz mountains. There is a dried up area where there used to be a river called the Kuwait River. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hijaz_Mountains

12 And the gold of that land is good; bdellium and onyx stone are there.

-There really is gold in that land even today! There is a mine site there called “”Mahd edh-Dhahab”(cradle of Gold) that produces 5 tons of gold per year! http://www.mauenvios.com/trujillo2001/The_Lost-River-of-Eden.htm

13 The name of the second river is the Gihon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Cush.

-the land of “Kush” is located in modern day Sudan just south of Egypt. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_Kush

14 And the name of the third river is the Tigris, which flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.

-These rivers still exist today and flow through Turkey, Syria, and Iraq. Given these descriptions and the language of this account, Eden must have been a very large place like a country encompassing parts of modern day Saudi Arabia, Israel, Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Iran and others. The garden of Eden was simply “within” Eden somewhere and the waters that flowed down to make these four great rivers also flowed in the garden, wherever it was.

15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.

-Man was created to work. There are many who think heaven is simply us floating in the clouds and playing harps for all eternity. This will not be so. We will be doing tasks and working throughout time which to many probably sounds more like hell but as we see in the next chapter, the ground was cursed and work was made burdensome and painful. Work use to be pleasant. Don’t you ever feel proud of a job well done? Doesn’t it often seem better to keep yourself busy at times? Have you heard of people in relatively good health who retire and then end up passing away in a short amount of time? We were created to work but the curse will be removed in the new Earth so work will be enjoyable and fulfilling.

16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

-The first thing to point out here is the Lord “commanded”. He did not say, you have a choice, He said “Don’t do this!”. It is interesting that the man was not commanded to not eat from the tree of life which implies he was free to eat from it. We find out later that neither Adam or Eve did because it was kept from them. Also, this is the tree “of the knowledge” of good and evil and so it did not contain poison. Everything God created was good, including this tree. The knowledge itself is not evil, its what we do with it that can be.

18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”

-It has already been established last chapter that man and woman are equal before God and are equally made in the image of God. At the same time, man was created first and woman was created as a helper. It’s very clear here that this is the purpose. Woman was created “for” man, not vise versa and not equal in the sense of authority and role. Before sin, we also see God saying that something is “not good”. That is not the same as evil or sinful, just that it lacked a goodness about it. Being alone is not good. The very nature of God in three persons means that no one person is ever alone: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In the marriage relationship, men and women get to be together in a sense symbolic of God the Father and God the Son being united as one yet still different persons. Paul reveals to us in Ephesians that the husband role in marriage reflects God the Father’s role and the wife role reflects God the Son’s role. We would never say, with proper understand, that Jesus is “less” than God. Jesus is equal to God. In that same sense, woman is equal to man only she has a role to play of submissiveness to a man’s leadership. This to, due to the corruption of sin, is impossible to carry out all the time but this was the original created purpose. It’s important to keep in mind that being submissive is not the same thing as being lesser. Jesus’ submissive to the father’s will is what all Christians should strive towards. Submissiveness is the feminine form of love while sacrifice is the masculine form of love. God sent His son to sacrifice for us on the cross to pay for our sins which was the masculine act of love. Jesus carried out that will in perfect obedience which is the feminine for of love.

19 Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name.

-Here we our seeing our new role as Regents of Earth in practice. Giving something a name means power and Adam is exercising His given power to name animals which was granted by God. Previously, only God had named things which also shows we are reflecting His image by doing something that He does. God created time and named “day” and “night” being that this is His domain. But the animals are ours.

20 The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him.

-We see that part of the reason God brought the animals before Him wasn’t just to name them but to teach Him something. He was trying to make Adam understand that he was missing something. Something was incomplete, and “not good”. God didn’t simply create Eve but he prepared Adam for her. He molded him into the man He wanted him to be and gave him his start and his purpose in life before bringing her before him. Adam had to know who he was before he can know how to lead another. I think this is 100% true today. I have seen it in my own experience that I have not been given my Eve and have had some bizarre, unexplainable instances surrounding women I have been interested in and things not working out to where it seems as if God has put up a wall and stopped me from proceeding further with anyone. The reason is that I am still learning who I am, what my created purpose is, what my future will be, where it will be, and until I know and see what He wants me to see, He will not send my Eve to me. Take heed single Christian men! You want to find her now? Then listen to God and what He’s trying to show you!

21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh.

-Why a rib? The Hebrew word used here is the word “tselo” which is actually translated as “side” elsewhere in the bible. A rib comes from the side meaning that a woman belongs at a man’s side, not in front or behind, not on top or below, but an equal, side-by-side. Once again, men and women are equal in value and worth, despite the differences in designed roles. Given the word meaning, this could be translated as God taking a part of Adam’s side, not necessarily just a rib.

22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.

-I love the imagery of God, the Father, escorting His daughter down the aisle towards Adam and presenting her to him. I’d like to think that’s how it happened.

23 Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman because she was taken out of Man.”

-There are four words in Hebrew that mean translate to “man” in English. The one’s given here are “ish” for man and “ishshah” for woman. “ishshah” literally means “man with a womb”. So again, the same thing as a man, but different role.

24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

-And that’s where marriage comes from. Again this is the created purpose of marriage but the corruption of sin makes this not possible in today’s society. I can’t imagine a woman not going on her own and making a life for herself before marriage nor can I imagine a man waiting to leave home until he has met the right woman to establish his own household. If anything, the opposite seems to be true. Women seem to wait for a man to be well established before she would consider marriage seriously for the sake of security. This is not wrong or sinful, just not the way things were created to be before sin. We live in a broken world.

25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

-Seeing as there is no sin and therefore nothing to be ashamed of, it makes sense that there was no need to cover nakedness. Today I can’t imagine being naked alone with literally “the most beautiful woman in the world” and not at the very least having my mind filled with intense lust and desire. But this is the effects of sin. Lust is a desire for something that we want. We want to feel good so badly that we will do anything to get that feeling. Without sin, without pride, we would not have a problem controlling ourselves in such a situation, the thought would not even occur. Selfishness causes us to lust to the point that we must be clothed to hide our shame of desiring the flesh for personal pleasure as well as our desire to be wanted by others by how good we look naked. We operate based on how desirable we look towards others and we can never look good enough. Without sin, there is no need for any of this. In the new Earth, we will be genderless like the angels and there will not be reproduction which makes me wonder if there will not be clothing in the new earth either. There wouldn’t be anything to cover up nor would there be a reason to.
Spanish words:

acabar = to finish, end
reposar = to rest
campo = field, countryside, campground
regar = to water, scatter, sprinkle, act rashly
polvo = dust
huerto = orchard, garden
brazo = arm
mandar = to command, mandate, order
idónea = suitable, genuine
profundo = deep, intense, profound
costilla = rib
hueso = bone
Por tanto = therefore
unir = to join, unite
avergonzar = to embarrass, shame, be ashamed