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Genesis 9

9
CHAPTER 9
1And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them, Increase ye, and be ye multiplied, and fill ye the earth;
2and your dread and trembling be on all [the] unreasonable beasts of the earth, and on all [the] birds of heaven, with all things that be moved in earth; all fishes of the sea be given to your hand.
3And all thing which is moved and liveth shall be to you into meat; I have given to you all things, as I gave the green worts before,
4except that ye shall not eat flesh with the blood,
5for I shall seek the blood of your lives, of the hand of all unreasonable beasts and of the hand of man, of the hand of man and of his brother, I shall seek the life of man.
6Whoever sheddeth out man’s blood, his blood shall be shed; for man is made to the image of God.
7Forsooth increase ye, and be ye multiplied, and enter ye on [the] earth, and fill ye it.
8Also the Lord said these things to Noah, and to his sons with him,
9Lo! I shall make my covenant with you, and with your seed after you,
10and to each living soul which is with you, as well in birds as in work beasts and small beasts of [the] earth, and to all things that went out of the ship, and to all unreasonable beasts of [the] earth.
11I shall make my covenant with you, and each flesh shall no more be slain of the waters of the great flood, neither the great flood destroying all [the] earth shall be any more.
12And God said, This is the sign of bond of peace, which I give between me and you, and to each living soul which is with you, into everlasting generations.
13I shall set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of bond of peace between me and [the] earth;
14and when I shall cover [the] heaven with clouds, my bow shall appear in the clouds,
15and I shall have mind of my bond of peace which I made with you, and with each soul living that nourisheth flesh; and the waters of the great flood shall no more be to do away all flesh.
16And my bow shall be in the clouds, and I shall see it, and I shall have mind of the everlasting bond of peace, which is made between God and man, and each soul living of all flesh which is on [the] earth.
17And God said to Noah, This shall be a sign of [the] bond of peace, which I made between me and each flesh on earth.
18Therefore they that went out of the ship were Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth; forsooth Ham, that is the father of Canaan.
19These three were the sons of Noah, and all the kind of men was sown of them on all [the] earth.
20And Noah, an earth-tiller, began to till the earth, and he planted a vinery [or a vineyard],
21and one day he drank wine, and was drunken; and he was naked, and lay in his tabernacle.
22And when Ham, the father of Canaan, had seen this thing, that is, that the shameful members of his father were made naked, he told his two brethren withoutforth.
23And Shem and Japheth putted a mantle on their shoulders, and they went backward, and covered the shameful members of their father, and their faces were turned away, and they saw not the privy members of their father.
24And Noah waked of the wine, and when he had learned what things his lesser, or younger#9:24 Most modern translations and Bible dictionaries refer to Ham as Noah’s youngest son, though he is second in all the lists in the Bible. The KJV, like the “Wycliffe Bible” (both versions), uses ‘younger’ in this verse., son had done to him,
25he said, Cursed be the child Canaan, he shall be a servant of servants to his brethren.
26And Noah said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem, and Canaan be the servant of Shem;
27God alarge Japheth, and dwell he in the tabernacles of Shem, and Canaan be the servant of him.
28Forsooth Noah lived after the great flood three hundred and fifty years;
29and all the days of him were filled nine hundred and fifty years, and he was dead.
9
Covenant with Noah. 1#God reaffirms without change the original blessing and mandate of 1:28. In the Mesopotamian epic Atrahasis, on which the Genesis story is partly modeled, the gods changed their original plan by restricting human population through such means as childhood diseases, birth demons, and mandating celibacy among certain groups of women. God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them: Be fertile and multiply and fill the earth.#Gn 1:22, 28; 8:17. 2#Pre-flood creatures, including human beings, are depicted as vegetarians (1:29–30). In view of the human propensity to violence, God changes the original prohibition against eating meat. Fear and dread of you shall come upon all the animals of the earth and all the birds of the air, upon all the creatures that move about on the ground and all the fishes of the sea; into your power they are delivered. 3#Gn 1:29–30; Dt 12:15. Any living creature that moves about shall be yours to eat; I give them all to you as I did the green plants. 4#Lv 7:26–27; 17:4; Dt 12:16, 23; 1 Sm 14:33; Acts 15:20. Only meat with its lifeblood still in it you shall not eat.#Because a living being dies when it loses most of its blood, the ancients regarded blood as the seat of life, and therefore as sacred. Jewish tradition considered the prohibition against eating meat with blood to be binding on all, because it was given by God to Noah, the new ancestor of all humankind; therefore the early Christian Church retained it for a time (Acts 15:20, 29). 5Indeed for your own lifeblood I will demand an accounting: from every animal I will demand it, and from a human being, each one for the blood of another, I will demand an accounting for human life.#Gn 4:10–11; Ex 21:12.
6#The image of God, given to the first man and woman and transmitted to every human being, is the reason that no violent attacks can be made upon human beings. That image is the basis of the dignity of every individual who, in some sense, “represents” God in the world. Anyone who sheds the blood of a human being,
by a human being shall that one’s blood be shed;
For in the image of God
have human beings been made.#Gn 1:26–27; Lv 24:17; Nm 35:33; Jas 3:9.
7Be fertile, then, and multiply; abound on earth and subdue it.#Gn 1:28; 8:17; 9:2; Jas 3:7.
8#God makes a covenant with Noah and his descendants and, remarkably, with all the animals who come out of the ark: never again shall the world be destroyed by flood. The sign of this solemn promise is the appearance of a rainbow. God said to Noah and to his sons with him: 9See, I am now establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you#Gn 6:18. 10and with every living creature that was with you: the birds, the tame animals, and all the wild animals that were with you—all that came out of the ark. 11I will establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all creatures be destroyed by the waters of a flood; there shall not be another flood to devastate the earth.#Sir 44:18; Is 54:9. 12God said: This is the sign of the covenant that I am making between me and you and every living creature with you for all ages to come: 13#Sir 43:12. I set my bow in the clouds to serve as a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14When I bring clouds over the earth, and the bow appears in the clouds, 15I will remember my covenant between me and you and every living creature—every mortal being—so that the waters will never again become a flood to destroy every mortal being.#Is 54:9. 16When the bow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature—every mortal being that is on earth. 17God told Noah: This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and every mortal being that is on earth.
Noah and His Sons. 18#The character of the three sons is sketched here. The fault is not Noah’s (for he could not be expected to know about the intoxicating effect of wine) but Ham’s, who shames his father by looking on his nakedness, and then tells the other sons. Ham’s conduct is meant to prefigure the later shameful sexual practices of the Canaanites, which are alleged in numerous biblical passages. The point of the story is revealed in Noah’s curse of Ham’s son Canaan and his blessing of Shem and Japheth. The sons of Noah who came out of the ark were Shem, Ham and Japheth. Ham was the father of Canaan.#Gn 5:32; 10:1. 19These three were the sons of Noah, and from them the whole earth was populated.
20Noah, a man of the soil, was the first to plant a vineyard. 21He drank some of the wine, became drunk, and lay naked inside his tent.#Lam 4:21; Hb 2:15. 22Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father’s nakedness, and he told his two brothers outside. 23Shem and Japheth, however, took a robe, and holding it on their shoulders, they walked backward and covered their father’s nakedness; since their faces were turned the other way, they did not see their father’s nakedness. 24When Noah woke up from his wine and learned what his youngest son had done to him, 25he said:
“Cursed be Canaan!
The lowest of slaves
shall he be to his brothers.”#Dt 27:16; Wis 12:11.
26He also said:
“Blessed be the Lord, the God of Shem!
Let Canaan be his slave.
27May God expand Japheth,#In the Hebrew text there is a play on the words yapt (“expand”) and yepet (“Japheth”).
and may he dwell among the tents of Shem;
and let Canaan be his slave.”
28Noah lived three hundred and fifty years after the flood. 29The whole lifetime of Noah was nine hundred and fifty years; then he died.