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The new order in human affairs was initiated by the bestowment of a blessing on Noah and his sons. The first note of change is seen in the word which declared man's relation to the lower orders. In Eden man had governed by love and his own kingliness. With the loss of that kingliness resulting from his disobedience and rebellion, he had lost his true power of dominion, and that must now be exercised by fear and dread directly implanted by God in all the lower orders of life over which man was to rule.
Moreover, an alteration was made in the law of human interrelationship. A sterner rule than family discipline must be set up. Man must now hold the sword of justice, and himself insist on obedience. Another change concerned human sustenance. In addition to the green herb of the past, animal food was permitted under restrictions.
The earth was thus to be repeopled by a race living under new conditions, and at this point a new covenant between God and man came into force. Its terms reminded man that the promises of God are conditional.
A token of the covenant was chosen and established. God appropriated an existing wonder as the sign and seal thereof, the rainbow. The rainbow is born of light falling on raindrops and so is significant of judgment as related to love. Man was to look on this, remembering that God also was looking on it.
The chapter ends with the story of a startlingly sudden plunge into darkness. Noah is seen yielding to fleshly appetite. In the presence of the degradation of their father, the character of the sons was manifest. One, himself degraded, yielded to curiosity. Two, ashamed of the sin of their father, attempted to hide him. The cursing and blessing which fell from the lips of Noah were no capricious passing of sentences. Rather, they formed a clear statement of the tendency of character. The man in the grip of evil moved to slavery, while the man influenced by purity and love proceeded to government and blessing.
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Morgan, G. Campbell. "Commentary on Genesis 9". "Morgan's Exposition on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week after Epiphany