Genesis 9 - Holly Tree Chapel
Genesis 9 - Holly Tree Chapel
The New World
The Establishment of Human Government
Genesis 9:1-17 contain a detailed quotation of God’s own
words, given to Noah in response to his believing
sacrifice after leaving the Ark.
These verses contain the basic provision for human
governments among men, to be exercised on behalf of
They contain the great Noahic covenant with post-Flood
mankind, which is still in effect, as far as God is
concerned, though thousands of years have passed since
it was made
9:1 And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them,
“Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.
fear of you and the terror of you will be on every
beast of the earth and on every bird of the sky
(‘heavens’); with everything that creeps on the ground,
and all the fish of the sea, into your hand they are given.
“The supremacy granted to man over the animal world
was expressed still more forcibly than in chap. 1:26 and
28; because, inasmuch as sin with its consequences had
loosened the bond of voluntary subjection on the part
of the animals to the will of man,---man, on the one
hand, having lost the power of the spirit over nature,
and nature, on the other hand, having become
estranged from man, or rather having rebelled against
him, through the curse pronounced upon the earth,--henceforth it was only by force that [man] could rule
over it, by that ‘fear and dread’ which God instilled into
the animal creation” (K & D, p. 152)
Q: Was the ‘terror’ (or ‘fear’) of mankind given to the
animals to protect mankind, and ensure that they
‘multiply and fill the earth’?
Yes, the animals were more in number, and breeding
rapidly, and might have otherwise exterminated
Q: Were all animals, birds, and creeping things included
in this ‘dread’ of mankind?
No. Domesticated animals would not shun man’s
presence and company. This would include ‘cattle’ and
other domesticated animals such as dogs and cats.
that lives and moves about will be food for
you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you
you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in
“These words do not affirm that man then first began to
eat animal food, but only that God then for the first time
authorized, or allowed him to do, what probably he had
previously don in opposition to His will” (K & D, p. 152)
Q: Why does God allow the consumption of meat after
1. A more rigorous environment in the new world
required the animal protein in meats for man’s
sustenance to a degree not normally available in
2. Perhaps the Lord desired to show the great gulf
between man and the animals, anticipating the
dangers implicit in the doctrine of the evolutionary
continuity of life of all flesh, which equates mankind
with the animals, and denies a Creator?
Q: Was mankind free to eat any clean or unclean
Yes, apparently so, as all ‘green herbs’ (Gen. 1:29-30)
were given for food before the Fall.
Restrictions were later made to the Jewish nation,
dividing ‘clean’ and ‘unclean’ animals
This prohibition is not restated for Christians in the New
Q: Why would ‘blood’ be singled out as the only
prohibition to eating the flesh of animals?
1. The ‘flesh’ of the meat was given for food, but the
‘blood’ or ‘life’ of the flesh was given for sacrifice
2. The words ‘life’ and ‘soul’ in these verses are the
same Hebrew word (nephesh).
3. The blood performs the physiological function of
conveying the necessary chemicals from the air and
food to sustain and renew the physical flesh, and
particularly to maintain the consciousness and the
ordinary thought processes of the brain
4. All of this complex operation is called ‘life’ or the
‘soul’ or the ‘consciousness’ which distinguishes
animal life from plant life.
5. The ‘life’ of an animal, spilled on a sacrificial altar,
was accepted by God in substitutionary death for the
life of the guilty sinner, who deserved to die but who
was permitted to live because of the sacrifice, whose
blood ‘covered’ his sins in the sight of God (Lev. 17:11)
6. The blood of animals could only figuratively cover
sins. In reality, it would take the sacrificial blood of
Jesus Christ upon the Cross to put away sin (Heb.
for your lifeblood I will surely demand an
accounting. I will demand an accounting from every
animal. And from each human being, too, I will demand
an accounting for the life of another human being.
sheds human blood,
by humans shall their blood be shed;
for in the image of God
has God made mankind.
• The blood of animals, representing their life, was
sacred and not to be eaten, since it was accepted in
sacrifice in substitution for the life of mankind.
• Mankind is to show reverence for the principle of
life, as especially created by God (Gen. 1:21)
• This would prohibit the pagan ideas of drinking an
enemies blood---or eating his heart---in an attempt to
gain power over him in this life or the next, and be
instilled with additional physical or spiritual prowess
Q: Were animals allowed to shed the blood of mankind?
No, animals, would be held responsible before God for
Though animals have a soul and body, only mankind has
an eternal spirit, made in the image of God. God would
require the very blood of the animal’s life.
Q: What does ‘require’ mean when He says, (v. 5) “And surely
your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every
beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of
every man’s brother will I require the life of man” (KJV)?
“Require” is a judicial term, with God appearing as judge,
who exacts a strict and severe penalty for any infraction of a
If a beast kills a man, the beast must be put to death (Ex.
If a man kills another man, willfully, and culpably, then he also
must be put to death by ‘every man’s brother’
Q: Does this permit family revenge for a slaying?
No, it stresses that mankind is responsible to see that
justice is executed. At the time this was spoken by God,
there were only four families. All future families would
be brothers descended from these three men and their
Q: Is this a command to establish a moral judicial and
Yes, apparently it is.
Q: Is government formed primarily to ensure justice
after a murder?
Yes, apparently it is. The authority to execute this
judgment of God on a murderer was delegated to
mankind: 6 “Whoever sheds human blood, by humans
shall their blood be shed”
The life of mankind was made secure against animals, as
well as other men. God would avenge or inflict
punishment for every murder---not directly, however, as
He promised to do in the case of Cain, but indirectly by
giving the command, “whosoever sheds man’s blood, by
man shall his blood be shed,” and thus placing in the
hand of man His own judicial power. (K & D, p. 153)
Luther: “This was the first command, having reference
to the temporal sword. By these words temporal
government was established, and the sword placed in
its hand by God”
Q: What about capital punishment? Does God support
it? Doe He demand it?
• The punishment of the murderer is enjoined upon
• All judicial relations and ordinances at that time
centered in the family and grew by a natural process
out of that
• The command does not sanction revenge, but lays
the foundation for the judicial rights of the divinely
appointed ‘powers that be’ (Romans 8:1)
• If murder was to be punished with death because it
destroyed the image of God in man, it is evident that
the infliction of the punishment was not to be left to
the caprice of individuals, but belonged to those
alone who represent the authority and majesty of
God, i.e. the divinely appointed rulers, who for that
very reason are called “Elohim” in Ps. 82:6
• This command against murder, and the requirement
for justice, laid the foundation for civil government
• If God on account of the innate sinfulness of mankind
would no more bring an exterminating judgment
upon the earthly creation [a Flood], it was necessary
that by commands and authorities He should erect a
barrier against the supremacy of evil, and thus lay
the foundation for a well-ordered civil development
of humanity, in accordance with the words of the
blessing which are repeated in ver. 7, as showing the
intention and goal of this new historical beginning”
(K & D, p. 153)
Q: Does the New Testament do away with the Old
Testament harshness, and with a spirit of ‘love’, do away
with capital punishment?
No. The modern objections to capital punishment are
insufficient to warrant setting aside this decree of God.
The prohibition in the Ten Commandments against
killing plainly applies only to murder, not to judicial
executions; in fact, the Mosaic laws themselves
established capital punishment as the penalty not only
for murder but also for breaking any one of the Ten
Commandments (note Hebrews 10:28) (Morris, p. 225)
Christianity did not set aside these provisions of the
• The eating of meat was regulated (I Tim. 4:3-4)
• The abstinence from eating blood (Acts 15:19-20)
• The authority of the governmental ‘sword’ (Rom.
13:4; Acts 25:11)
These were not merely Jewish laws, and OT laws that
could be rejected, but rather were God’s original
covenant with all mankind.
Q: But didn’t God sometimes allow those who were
guilty of serious crimes to go free? Yes
David – committed murder and adultery, both capital
God forgave him when he repented
David “died in a good old age, full of days, riches, and
honor” (I Chron. 29:28)
However, four of David’s sons died untimely deaths:
Bathsheba’s first son, died after just several days (2 Sam 11)
Absolam kills Amnon after he rapes his step-sister Tamar
Absolam dies in battle, against David’s wishes
Solomon kills his older brother Adonijah,when he becomes
King, because of a young woman (‘Shunamite’) that Solomon
loved and his brother wanted
Q: What about the woman caught in adultery, and who
should have been stoned (executed)? (John 8)
She was guilty of breaking the Mosaic Law (Lev. 20:10;
Jesus, seeing her heart of repentance, was moved to
forgive her, and to see that she was set free (John 8:3-11).
A judge, seeing mitigating circumstances, could ‘pardon’
The important point is that mankind is given responsibility
which entails the recognition of the sacredness of human life.
for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply
on the earth and increase upon it.”
In a little over 4,000 years, mankind has repopulated the
earth, beginning with just 8, and increasing today to
almost 7 billion.
• January 8, 2014 = 7,243,784,121 people on the earth
• Births today = 247,369…
• Deaths today = 102,083…
• Population Growth = 145,349… per day +
January 8, 2014
• Births this year = 2,997,122 (by January 15, 2014)
• Deaths this year =
• Population Growth = (1.12%)
• Active Cell Phones worldwide = 7.3 Billion
God said to Noah and to his sons with him: 9 “I
now establish my covenant with you and with your
descendants after you 10 and with every living creature
that was with you—the birds, the livestock and all the
wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with
you—every living creature on earth.
establish my covenant with you: Never again will all
life be destroyed by the waters of a flood [mabbul];
never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.”
God’s unconditional Covenant with Noah involved
several elements, including the command to be fruitful
• He made a covenant not to send another ‘mabbul’ or
cataclysmic Flood upon the earth
• The emphasis here is upon God’s promises, rather
than upon man’s obligations
• Mankind’s obedience to these commands was not a
condition determining whether or not God would
keep His part of the bargain
God promised unconditionally----evidently as a result of
Noah’s faith and his sacrificial offerings in obedience to the
will of God----that He would never again send a worldwide
flood or destroy all flesh, as long as the earth remained.
God graciously gave Noah and his descendants a beautiful
‘sign’ that He would keep His word
= the rainbow.
Clouds in the sky would warn of an occasional local flood, but
never a universal flood
Before the Flood, the upper air contained only invisible
water vapor (humidity), and therefore no rainbow was
With the new hydrological cycle following the Flood,
the former vapor canopy is gone; it is physically
impossible now for enough water ever to be raised into
the atmosphere to cause a universal Flood
When a storm has done its worst, and the clouds are
finally exhausted of most of their water, there appears a
rainbow = God would remember His promise after the
There are many important Covenants in Scripture:
• With Moses at Mt. Sinai (the Ten Commandments)
• With Abraham – all the nations of the earth
• With David – a descendant who would rule
• With Israel, including the Palestinian Covenant (land)
• With Christians, in the New Covenant, through the
• The first Covenant is made with Noah, and with all on
the Ark, including the animals
God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am
making between me and you and every living creature
with you, a covenant for all generations to come: 13 I
have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign
of the covenant between me and the earth.14 Whenever I
bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in
the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant between me
and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never
again will the waters become a flood to destroy all
life. 16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will
see it and remember the everlasting covenant between
God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”
Q: If the ‘flood’ were only a local flood, then wouldn’t
this verse---and conversation with God---be meaningless?
Yes. If the Flood were only a local flood, then the great
promise in this verse is meaningless. There have been
many destructive local floods throughout history.
God not only made His covenant with mankind, but also
proceeded to give a perpetual token, or sign, by which
he is to be reminded perpetually of this covenant.
As the fossil-bearing rocks of the earth’s crust would
continually remind us that God once destroyed the earth
with a Flood, so the rainbow after the rain would
remind us that He never will bring a Flood again.
Regardless of the threats of thermonuclear bombs, or
death rays, or germ warfare, or pollution of the
atmosphere, or hydrosphere, or anything else, we have
the promise that God will not permit the destruction of
all life upon this earth.
Not only do we see the rainbow, and remember, but God
also sees the rainbow/s and He remembers his promise.
Q: But wouldn’t an evolutionist say that rainbows
always existed, and God is just now coming up with the
idea of using the rainbow as a ‘sign’ and assigning
symbolic meaning to it?
Yes. But the local flood idea has been discussed before,
and shown to be impossible, by historical & biblical
sources, and by the evidence found around the world.
God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant I
have established between me and all life on the earth.”
• The rainbow demonstrates the glorious grace of God
• The pure white light from the unapproachable
holiness of His throne (I Tim. 6:16) is refracted
through the clouds surrounding His presence (I Kings
8:10-11), breaking into all the glorious colors of God’s
• In wrath, He remembers mercy; glory follows
suffering; “where sin abounded, grace did much
The word rainbow reappears 3 times in Scripture:
1. Ezekiel 1:28, seen surrounding the throne of God as
He prepares to bring judgment on Israel
2. Revelation 4:3, just before the judgment of the Great
Tribulation, and tremendous world-wide suffering
(but limited by the Promise of God)
3. Revelation 10:1, when the Lord Jesus comes to take
dominion over the world and over the wicked one.
Instead of a crown of thorns, Jesus has ‘the rainbow
upon his head’ (see Hebrews 2:9)
“An ‘everlasting covenant’ is a covenant ‘for perpetual
generations,’ i.e. one which shall extend to all ages,
even to the end of the world. The fact that God Himself
would look at the rainbow and remember His covenant,
was ‘a glorious and living expression of the great truth,
that God’s covenant signs, in which He has put His
promises, are real vehicles of His grace, that they have
power and essential worth not only with men, but also
before God’ ” (K & D, p. 151)
“Springing as it does from the effect of the sun upon the
dark mass of clouds, it typifies the readiness of the
heavenly to pervade the earthly; spread out as it is
between heaven and earth, it proclaims peace between
God and man; and while spanning the whole horizon, it
teaches the all-embracing universality of the covenant
of grace” (K & D, p. 151-2)