|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
9:8-17 As the old world was ruined, to be a monument of justice, so this world remains to this day a monument of mercy. But sin, that drowned the old world, will burn this. Articles of agreement among men are sealed, that what is promised may be the more solemn, and the doing of what is covenanted the more sure to mutual satisfaction. The seal of this covenant was the rainbow, which, it is likely, was seen in the clouds before, but was never a seal of the covenant till now it was made so. The rainbow appears when we have most reason to fear the rain prevailing; God then shows this seal of the promise, that it shall not prevail. The thicker the cloud, the brighter the bow in the cloud. Thus, as threatening afflictions abound, encouraging consolations much more abound. The rainbow is the reflection of the beams of the sun shining upon or through the drops of rain: all the glory of the seals of the covenant are derived from Christ, the Sun of righteousness. And he will shed a glory on the tears of his saints. A bow speaks terror, but this has neither string nor arrow; and a bow alone will do little hurt. It is a bow, but it is directed upward, not toward the earth; for the seals of the covenant were intended to comfort, not to terrify. As God looks upon the bow, that he may remember the covenant, so should we, that we may be mindful of the covenant with faith and thankfulness. Without revelation this gracious assurance could not be known; and without faith it can be of no use to us; and thus it is as to the still greater dangers to which all are exposed, and as to the new covenant with its blessings.
Verse 11. - And I will establish my covenant with you. Not form it for the first time, as if no such covenant had existed in antediluvian times (Knobel); but cause it to stand or permanently establish it, so that it shall no more be-in danger of being overthrown, as it recently has been. The word "my" points to a covenant already in existence, though not formally mentioned until the time of Noah (Genesis 6:18). The promise of the woman's seed, which formed the substance of the covenant during the interval from Adam to Noah, was from Noah's time downwards to be enlarged by a specific pledge of the stability of the earth and the safety of man (cf. Genesis 8:22). Neither shall all flesh - including the human race and animal creation. Cf. כָּל־בָּשָׂר mankind (Genesis vi 12), the lower creatures (Genesis 7:21) - be cut off any more by the waters of a flood. Literally, the flood just passed, which would no more return. Neither shall there any more be a flood (of any kind) to destroy the earth. Regions might be devastated and tribes of animals and men swept away, but never again would there be a universal destruction of the earth or of man.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And I will establish my covenant with you,.... This is repeated to denote the certainty of it, as well as to lead on to the particulars of it:
neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither man nor beast, at least not all of them, and especially by water:
neither shall there be any more a flood to destroy the earth; not a general deluge, otherwise notwithstanding this promise there might be, as there have been, particular inundations, which have overflowed particular countries and places, but not the whole earth; and this hinders not but that the whole earth may be destroyed by fire, as it will be at the last day, only not by water any more; and this is the sum and substance of the covenant with Noah, his sons, and all the creatures that have been, or shall be.
Genesis 9:11 Parallel Commentaries
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