Genesis 9:1
And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.
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(1) God blessed Noah.—The blessing bestowed upon Noah, the second father of mankind, is exactly parallel to that given to our first father in Genesis 1:28-29; Genesis 2:16-17, with a significant addition growing out of the history of the past. There is the same command to fill the world with human life, and the same promise that the fear of man shall rest upon the whole animated creation; but this grant of dominion is so extended that the animals are now given to man for his food. But just as there was a restriction as regards Adam’s food, the fruit of the tree of knowledge being refused him, so now there is a prohibition against the eating of blood. The addition is the sanctity given to human life, with the evident object of guarding against such a disruption of the human race as was the result of Cain’s murder of Abel. Thus, then, man starts afresh upon his task of subjugating the earth, with increased empire over the animal world, and with his own life more solemnly guarded and made secure.

Genesis 9:1. God blessed Noah and his sons — He assured them of his good- will to them, and his gracious intentions concerning them. The first blessing is here renewed, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and repeated, Genesis 9:7; for the race of mankind was, as it were, to begin again. By virtue of this blessing mankind were to be both multiplied and perpetuated upon earth; so that in a little time all the habitable parts of the earth should be more or less inhabited; and though one generation should pass away, yet another generation should come, so that the stream of the human race should be supplied with a constant succession, and run parallel with the current of time, till both should be swallowed up in the ocean of eternity.9:1-3 The blessing of God is the cause of our doing well. On him we depend, to him we should be thankful. Let us not forget the advantage and pleasure we have from the labour of beasts, and which their flesh affords. Nor ought we to be less thankful for the security we enjoy from the savage and hurtful beasts, through the fear of man which God has fixed deep in them. We see the fulfilment of this promise every day, and on every side. This grant of the animals for food fully warrants the use of them, but not the abuse of them by gluttony, still less by cruelty. We ought not to pain them needlessly whilst they live, nor when we take away their lives. - The Blessing of Noah

2. מורא môrā', "fear, reverence, awful deed." חת chat, "dread, breaking of the courage."

Noah is saved from the deluge. His life is twice given to him by God. He had found grace in the sight of the Lord, and now he and his family have been graciously accepted when they approached the Lord with burnt-offerings. In him, therefore, the race of man is to be begun anew. Accordingly, as at the beginning, the Lord proceeds to bless him. First. The grant of increase is the same as at first, but expressed in ampler terms. Second. Dominion over the other animals is renewed. But some reluctance on their part to yield obedience is intimated. "The fear and dread of you." These terms give token of a master whose power is dreaded, rather than of a superior whose friendly protection is sought. "Into your hand are they given." They are placed entirely at the disposal of man.


Ge 9:1-7. Covenant.

1. And God blessed Noah—Here is republished the law of nature that was announced to Adam, consisting as it originally did of several parts.

Be fruitful, &c.—The first part relates to the transmission of life, the original blessing being reannounced in the very same words in which it had been promised at first [Ge 1:28].God renews his blessing, Genesis 9:1, and confirms our dominion over the creatures, Genesis 9:2. Grants flesh for food, but with the blood forbids it, Genesis 9:3-4. The penalty of murder, Genesis 9:5-6. God repeats his blessing, Genesis 9:7. His covenant with Noah and all his creatures, Genesis 9:8-11. Confirms it by the rainbow as his token, Genesis 9:12-17. Noah’s three sons, Genesis 9:18-19. His employment, Genesis 9:20. He is drunk and uncovered, Genesis 9:21. Ham sinfully reveals it, Genesis 9:22. His other two sons going backwards, covered him, Genesis 9:23. Noah knows it, Genesis 9:24. Curses Canaan, Genesis 9:25. Blesses Shem first, Genesis 9:26, and then Japheth, Genesis 9:27. His age and death, Genesis 9:28-29.

God renewed the old blessing and grant made Genesis 1:28, which might seem to be forfeited and made void by man’s sin, and by God’s judgment consequent upon it.

And God blessed Noah and his sons,.... With temporal blessings, not spiritual ones; for though some of them were blessed with such, yet not all, particularly Ham:

and said unto them, be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth; depopulated by the flood: this is a renewal of the blessing on Adam, a power and faculty of propagating his species, which was as necessary now as then, since there were so few of the human race left in the world; and the renewal of this grant was the rather necessary, if, as has been observed, Noah and his sons were restrained from cohabiting with their wives while in the ark: but though these words are not an express command for the propagation of their species, yet more than a bare permission, at least they are a direction and instruction to it, and even carry in them a promise of fruitfulness, that they should multiply and increase, which was very needful at this time.

And God {a} blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.

(a) God increased them with fruit, and declared to them his counsel as concerning the replenishing of the earth.

1. And God blessed, &c.] The substance of this verse is a repetition of Genesis 1:28. Another chapter in history is begun. As in chap. 1, after the Creation, a single pair confronted the whole earth and its animal world, so here, the single family of Noah is to “replenish the earth,” and receives a special blessing, the assurance of Divine favour.

his sons …] The females are not mentioned, but, as often in the O.T., the wives are included in the mention of the husbands: cf. the Sethite Genealogy in chap. 5.Verse 1. - And God - Elohim, not because belonging to the Elohistic document (Block, Tuch, Colcnso); but rather because throughout this section the Deity is exhibited in his relations to his creatures - blessed - a repetition of the primal blessing rendered necessary by the devastation of the Flood (cf. Genesis 1:28) - Noah and his sons, - as the new heads of the race, - and said unto them, - audibly, in contrast to Genesis 8:21, 22, which was not addressed to the patriarch, but spoken by God to himself in his heart, as if internally resolving on his subsequent course of action, - Be fruitful, and multiply. A favorite expression of the Elohist (cf. Genesis 1:28; Genesis 8:17; Genesis 9:1, 7; Genesis 17:20; Genesis 28:3; Genesis 35:11; Genesis 47:27; Genesis 48:14), (Tuch); but

(1) the apparently great number of passages melts away when we observe the verbally exact reference of Genesis 8:17; Genesis 9:1, 7 to Genesis 1:28; and of Genesis 48:4 to Genesis 35:11;

(2) the Elohist does not always employ his "favorite expression" where he might have done so, as, e.g., not in Genesis 1:22; Genesis 17:6; Genesis 28:14;

(3) the Jehovist does not avoid it where the course of thought necessarily calls for it (vide Leviticus 26:9), (Keil). And replenish the earth. The words, "and subdue it, which had a place in the Adamic blessing, and which the LXX. insert here in the Noachic (καὶ κατακυριεύσατε αὐτῆς), are omitted for the obvious reason that the world dominion originally assigned to man in Adam had been forfeited by sin, and could only be restored through the ideal Man, the woman's seed, to whom it had been transferred at the fail Hence says Paul, speaking of Christ: "καὶ πάντα ὑπέταξεν ὑπὸ τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ (Ephesians 1:22); and the writer to the Hebrews: νῦν δὲ οὔπω ὀρῶμεν αὐτῷ (i.e. man) τὰ πάντα ὑποτεταγμένα, τὸν δὲ βραχύτι παρ ἀγγέλους ἠλαττομένον βλέπομεν Ἰησοῦν διὰ τὸ πάθημα τοῦ θανάτου δόξη καὶ τιμῆ ἐστεφανωμένον (i.e. the world dominion which David, Psalm 8:6, recognized as belonging to God's ideal man) ὅπως χάριτι θεοῦ ὑπὲρ παντὸς γεύσηται θανάτου (Genesis 2:8, 9). The original relationship which God had established between man and the lower creatures having been disturbed by sin, the inferior animals, as it were, gradually broke loose from their condition of subjection. As corruption deepened in the human race it was only natural to anticipate that man's lordship over the animal creation would become feebler and feebler. Nor, perhaps, is it an altogether violent hypothesis that, had the Deluge not intervened, in the course of time the beast would have become the master and man the slave. To prevent any such apprehensions in the future, as there was to be no second deluge, the relations of man and the lower creatures were to be placed on a new footing. Ultimately, in the palingenesia, they would be completely restored (cf. Isaiah 11:6); in the mean time, till that glorious consummation should arrive, the otherwise inevitable encroachments of the creatures upon the human family in its sin-created weakness should be restrained by a principle of fear. That was the first important modification made upon the original Adamic blessing. These divine purposes of peace, which were communicated to Noah while sacrificing, were solemnly confirmed by the renewal of the blessing pronounced at the creation and the establishment of a covenant through a visible sign, which would be a pledge for all time that there should never be a flood again. In the words by which the first blessing was transferred to Noah and his sons (Genesis 9:2), the supremacy granted to man over the animal world was expressed still more forcibly than in Genesis 1:26 and Genesis 1:28; 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 he could rule over it, by that "fear and dread" which God instilled into the animal creation. Whilst the animals were thus placed in the hand (power) of man, permission was also given to him to slaughter them for food, the eating of the blood being the only thing forbidden.
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