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Genesis 9

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.

Genesis 9

9
1And God blessed Noah and his sonnes, and said to them, Bring foorth fruite, and multiplie, and replenish the earth. 2Also the feare of you, and the dread of you shalbe vpon euery beast of the earth, and vpon euery foule of the heauen, vpon all that moueth on the earth, and vpon all the fishes of the sea: into your hand are they deliuered. 3Euery thing that moueth and liueth, shall be meate for you: as the greene herbe, haue I giuen you all things. 4But flesh with the life thereof, I meane, with the blood thereof, shall ye not eate. 5For surely I will require your blood, wherein your liues are: at the hand of euery beast will I require it: and at the hand of man, euen at the hand of a mans brother will I require the life of man. 6Who so sheadeth mans blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God hath he made man. 7But bring ye forth fruite and multiplie: grow plentifully in the earth, and increase therein. 8God spake also to Noah and to his sonnes with him, saying, 9Behold, I, euen I establish my couenant with you, and with your seede after you, 10And with euery liuing creature that is with you, with the foule, with the cattell, and with euery beast of the earth with you, from all that goe out of the Arke, vnto euery beast of the earth. 11And my couenant will I establish with you, that from henceforth all flesh shall not be rooted out by ye waters of the flood, neither shall there be a flood to destroy the earth any more. 12Then God saide, This is the token of the couenant which I make betweene me and you, and betweene euery liuing thing, that is with you vnto perpetuall generations. 13I haue set my bowe in the cloude, and it shalbe for a signe of the couenant betweene me and the earth. 14And when I shall couer the earth with a cloud, and the bowe shall be seene in the cloude, 15Then will I remember my couenant, which is betweene me and you, and betweene euery liuing thing in all flesh, and there shalbe no more waters of a flood to destroy all flesh. 16Therefore the bowe shalbe in the cloude, that I may see it, and remember the euerlasting couenant betweene God, and euery liuing thing in all flesh that is vpon the earth. 17God said yet to Noah, This is the signe of the couenant, which I haue established betweene me and all flesh that is vpon the earth. 18Nowe the sonnes of Noah going foorth of the Arke, were Shem and Ham and Iapheth. And Ham is the father of Canaan. 19These are the three sonnes of Noah, and of them was the whole earth ouerspred. 20Noah also began to be an husband man and planted a vineyard. 21And he drunke of ye wine and was drunken, and was vncouered in the middes of his tent. 22And when Ham the father of Canaan sawe the nakednesse of his father, he tolde his two brethren without. 23Then tooke Shem and Iapheth a garment, and put it vpon both their shoulders, and went backwarde, and couered the nakednesse of their father with their faces backwarde: so they sawe not their fathers nakednesse. 24Then Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his yonger sonne had done vnto him, 25And said, Cursed be Canaan: a seruant of seruants shall he be vnto his brethren. 26He said moreouer, blessed be the Lord God of Shem, and let Canaan be his seruant. 27God perswade Iapheth, that he may dwell in the tentes of Shem, and let Canaan be his seruant. 28And Noah liued after the flood three hundreth and fiftie yeeres. 29So all the dayes of Noah were nine hundreth and fiftie yeeres: and he died.