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Genesis 9

9
1And God blesseth Noah, and his sons, and saith to them, ‘Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the earth;
2and your fear and your dread is on every beast of the earth, and on every fowl of the heavens, on all that creepeth on the ground, and on all fishes of the sea — into your hand they have been given.
3Every creeping thing that is alive, to you it is for food; as the green herb I have given to you the whole;
4only flesh in its life — its blood — ye do not eat.
5‘And only your blood for your lives do I require; from the hand of every living thing I require it, and from the hand of man, from the hand of every man's brother I require the life of man;
6whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man is his blood shed: for in the image of God hath He made man.
7And ye, be fruitful and multiply, teem in the earth, and multiply in it.’
8And God speaketh unto Noah, and unto his sons with him, saying,
9‘And I, lo, I am establishing My covenant with you, and with your seed after you,
10and with every living creature which [is] with you, among fowl, among cattle, and among every beast of the earth with you, from all who are going out of the ark — to every beast of the earth.
11And I have established My covenant with you, and all flesh is not any more cut off by waters of a deluge, and there is not any more a deluge to destroy the earth.’
12And God saith, ‘This is a token of the covenant which I am giving between Me and you, and every living creature that [is] with you, to generations age-during;
13My bow I have given in the cloud, and it hath been for a token of a covenant between Me and the earth;
14and it hath come to pass (in My sending a cloud over the earth) that the bow hath been seen in the cloud,
15and I have remembered My covenant which is between Me and you, and every living creature among all flesh, and the waters become no more a deluge to destroy all flesh;
16and the bow hath been in the cloud, and I have seen it — to remember the covenant age-during between God and every living creature among all flesh which [is] on the earth.’
17And God saith unto Noah, ‘This [is] a token of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that [is] upon the earth.’
18And the sons of Noah who are going out of the ark are Shem, and Ham, and Japheth; and Ham is father of Canaan.
19These three [are] sons of Noah, and from these hath all the earth been overspread.
20And Noah remaineth a man of the ground, and planteth a vineyard,
21and drinketh of the wine, and is drunken, and uncovereth himself in the midst of the tent.
22And Ham, father of Canaan, seeth the nakedness of his father, and declareth to his two brethren without.
23And Shem taketh — Japheth also — the garment, and they place on the shoulder of them both, and go backward, and cover the nakedness of their father; and their faces [are] backward, and their father's nakedness they have not seen.
24And Noah awaketh from his wine, and knoweth that which his young son hath done to him,
25and saith: ‘Cursed [is] Canaan, Servant of servants he is to his brethren.’
26And he saith: ‘Blessed of Jehovah my God [is] Shem, And Canaan is servant to him.
27God doth give beauty to Japheth, And he dwelleth in tents of Shem, And Canaan is servant to him.’
28And Noah liveth after the deluge three hundred and fifty years;
29and all the days of Noah are nine hundred and fifty years, and he dieth.

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.