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Bible Commentaries

Arno Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
Genesis 9

 

 

Verses 1-29

CHAPTER 9

The Earth Replenished

1. The divine commission (Genesis 9:1-7)

2. The covenant with Noah (Genesis 9:8-11)

3. The token of the covenant (Genesis 9:12-17)

4. The family of Noah (Genesis 9:18-19)

5. Noah’s drunkenness (Genesis 9:20-24)

6. Noah’s prophecy (Genesis 9:25-27)

7. Noah’s death (Genesis 9:28-29)

A new start is made after the judgment by water and Noah is blessed by God. Like Adam and Eve they are commissioned to fill the earth, but nothing is said of having dominion over the earth.

In Genesis 1:29 we read that man was to eat the green herb and the fruit of the trees, but now there is permission given to eat every moving thing that liveth. It seems clear that before the deluge meat was not eaten. There are not a few advocates of total abstinence from meat in our day. The adherents of delusions like theosophy and others tell us that a vegetable diet will ennoble man, deliver him from the lust of the flesh, make him pure and good and fit to approach God. With all the abstinence from meat before the deluge the people were not better, but ended in the flesh and perished in it. In 1 Tim. 4 we read of those who live in the latter times and depart from the faith, and among the characteristics given is the following: “Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats which God has created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving.”

And why is the blood made so prominent? Four times we read the word “blood” in Genesis 9:4-6. The book of Leviticus gives the answer. “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar, to make an atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul” (Leviticus 17:11). The sanctity of the blood is here shown forth. Even the hunter in Israel had to keep it in view. “And whatsoever man there be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you which hunteth, or catcheth any beast or fowl that may be eaten; he shall even pour out the blood thereof, and cover it with dust. For it is the life of all flesh; the blood of it is for the life thereof, therefore I said to the children of Israel, Ye shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh; for the life of all flesh is the blood thereof, whosoever eateth it shall be cut off” (Leviticus 17:13-14). So the hunter had to stop, and pour out the blood. All points to the blood of the Lamb.

God established His covenant with Noah and his seed and put the token of the covenant in the clouds. The rainbow speaks of a passed judgment of His salvation and remembrance. Another universal judgment by water will never come again (Genesis 9:15). Another judgment is in store for this planet. “The world that was then, being overflowed with water, perished; but the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men” (2 Peter 3:6-7).

Interesting is Noah’s prophecy after his drunkenness.

Ham (black) is not mentioned in the curse, but the son of Ham, Canaan (the merchantman). Ham’s deed revealed the unbelieving condition of his heart, while Shem’s and Japheth’s action manifest divine grace in covering up the nakedness. God’s eye beheld Canaan and his subsequent career in his descendants. He inherits the curse. How literally it was carried out! Shem, meaning “name,” becomes the family in which Jehovah, the Name, is to be revealed. Jehovah is the God of Shem. Soon we shall see a son of Shem, Abram, and his seed becoming the depository of Jehovah’s revelation. Later Jehovah speaks and reveals His name by which He wishes to be known forever to another son of Shem, Moses. “Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, Jehovah, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob hath sent me unto you; this is my name forever, and this is my memorial unto all generations” (Exodus 3:15). He does not call Himself “the God of Japheth” but “the God of Shem.” Shem’s supremacy is here indicated. It is a far-reaching prophecy.

Japheth means “expansion.” His sons are Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, Tiras, and the sons of Gomer and Javan are mentioned in the next chapter. They expanded and Japheth dwells in the tents of Shem, partakes of Shem’s blessing and responsibility. Some take “He shall dwell in the tents of Shem,” the “he” as referring to God, but this is incorrect. It means Japheth and reminds us of the parable of the olive tree in Romans 11.

Shem’s blessing consisted (1) In being the carrier of the Name, Jehovah. (2) In controlling Canaan and being the master over him. (3) The giving shelter to Japheth and let him be sharer of the blessing. It is the germ of all following prophecy and we wait still for its end fulfillment.

 


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Bibliography Information
Gaebelein, Arno Clemens. "Commentary on Genesis 9:4". "Gaebelein's Annotated Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gab/genesis-9.html. 1913-1922.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, October 16th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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