Welcome to EBible Fellowship’s Bible study in the Book of Genesis. This is study #1 of Genesis, chapter 9 and I will read Genesis 9:1-7:
And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth. And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered. Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat. 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. Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man. And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein.
I will stop reading with verse 7. We are beginning a new chapter. The focus has shifted now. As we saw in the last chapter, the historical event of the flood and the coming out of the ark after the earth was dried spiritually pictures Judgment Day and its aftermath of the end of the world and the beginning of the new world.
You know, time had to go on. God wrote about the events of the flood over seven thousand years ago and it was very early in the Biblical record. There has only been eight chapters in the Bible thus far and there was an entire Book for God to complete and, therefore, the historical events of flood had to give way to history and time had to continue to develop for God to give us the rest of His Word and history could unfold.
So, we are going to see that in Genesis, chapter 9 God is speaking to Noah and the seven other souls that came off the ark in a very similar way in which He spoke to Adam and Eve at the beginning of time. God created Adam out of the dust of the ground and later He took one of his ribs and made the woman Eve. God also said to Adam and Eve and to all of mankind, in Genesis 1:27-28:
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth…
By the way, the word “replenish” is also found in our verse in Genesis 9:1: “And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.”
It is the same word that was used back in Genesis, chapter 1. When we read it in the context of Noah we get the idea that the world had been populated and now they need to repopulate or replenish it, but that is not what the Hebrew word means. It means “to fill” or to “make full” and that is why it was correctly used in Genesis 1, verse 28, where it said, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.” There was no prior population before Adam and Eve, so there was no refilling of the earth and it would have been better translated as, “and fill the earth.” That is also what this same word means where it is translated as “filled” in Genesis 6:13:
And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
Again, it said in Genesis 1:28:
And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
Basically, that is the idea God is presenting in Genesis 9:2:
And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered.
In other words, they have dominion over them. It is very striking in its similarity to what God said to Adam and Eve. These are the commandments of God when He gave directions to our first parents, Adam and Eve, and when He gave directions to these four couples on the ark. They had a similar responsibility to “fill” the earth.
All the cultures and races of the world today can be traced back to these eight people that came out of the ark and began to till the ground, and so forth. They began to have children and other descendants and societies began to develop. So, we are all “sons of Noah,” just as Noah and his family could trace their lineage back to Adam and Eve and we are, likewise, sons of Adam and Eve. The sons of Noah later spread out, especially when God confounded the languages at the tower of Babel and the Lord divided the continent in the days of Peleg. The world had been one large land mass, but God split it and they began to move apart. I believe the scientists explain it as a “continental drift,” but the land began to move apart and finally settled into the continents as we have them today.
Since all people can trace their ancestry back to Noah and his family, it is not surprising that we find that there are stories and records in many cultures regarding a great flood. Many of these stories are greatly distorted and even “childish” in comparison to God’s account of the flood, but there are tales in numerous cultures around the world of a great flood. Of course, that would be expected if we are all descended from Noah and his family. Later generations would have heard the story that was passed down from Noah’s family, until finally there was the continental split and people were caused to speak different languages. Some peoples wrote down their own tales of this great flood and they exaggerated or distorted it, as men tend to do, and, yet, it was still referring to a great flood and it serves to confirm the Biblical account because we all descend from the people that came off the ark. So, there should have been later generations that had an account of the flood, but, again, these are nothing like the Bible’s record.
You know, if you read Assyrian writings or other writings of past civilizations, they are not very well put together to those of us that are familiar with the Word of God, the Bible. The Bible is an ancient Book that goes back close to 3,500 years. When you look at other religious writings or secular writings, there is just no comparison in the level of intelligence, the level of harmony and the accuracy of its statements, as well as the history it presents. Sometimes, God will sum up a person’s life in a sentence, but when God wants to discuss an event like He did with the flood, there is no comparison and there is nothing in ancient literature that can even begin to compare with the Bible. That is why it is laughable when people try to compare some ancient secular writing about the flood that is hugely exaggerated or distorted and childish in nature. They are trying to downplay and dismiss the Biblical record by saying that another ancient culture also spoke of a flood. Again, they are just critics of the Bible and they think they are “above” the Bible. Since they are trying to find fault with the Bible, they do not want to recognize the superiority of the Bible in the way it was written and the way in which history was recorded for us by God. The fact is that we do have an incredible historical Book in the Bible that is unmatched by any other historical documents out there.
So, history is moving on now, in Genesis, chapter 9 where God is starting over with the “second earth” or our present earth. We are living on that “second earth,” the world that came into being after the flood. Noah and his family were given the command, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.” This is one area that mankind is doing a good job in, despite themselves. Despite birth control and all the ways science has developed to prevent pregnancies or to abort pregnancies, mankind did populate the earth. I think there are about seven and one half billion people in the world and that is exactly what God commanded: “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.” Of course, when mankind does something correctly per the Bible, mankind regrets it. It is a terrible thing to most people in the world as they worry and fret and fear overpopulation, but God did not say to fill the earth only to a certain point and He did not say to multiply until we reach a certain number. God simply gave direction to mankind to procreate within the marriage relationship and God would provide the blessing of children. Mankind was to leave that alone, but that is not man’s nature. Man always thinks he is wiser than God, so he cannot leave it alone and let God determine when there will be children. Mankind gets involved and makes a mess of things as man tends to do in so many areas when he meddles with the wisdom of God.
By God’s grace, God’s people have been given a new heart and a new spirit and a desire to do the will of God. They learn that God’s will in this matter is to multiply and fill the earth and they respond, “Very well, Lord, very well. Therefore, the husband and wife do not use contraceptives or birth control pills, but they leave it in God’s hand. Maybe they do not have a child for five years or maybe they have a child every year for five years, but their response is, “Very well, Lord. It is your perfect will.” They receive blessings, as the Bible speaks of having children in a good way and that one with many children is blessed of God. It is not a curse. It is not injurious or terrible, as people of the world like to see it. It is a wonderful blessing when a married couple are blessed with a child that God has created and “knit together” in the womb and brings the child forth to be a blessing to the family. This has always been the mindset of the children of God. Can God test them in that area? Can God try His people in that area? Yes, they may have seven children already and they lack financial resources, so what are they going to do concerning school and college and clothing and other expenses? God can test us in that area and you can see how someone could fail a test as they worry and try to look ahead and solve the financial challenges that will occur 10 years from now: “Where are we going to get that money?” But the Lord tells us that we are not to worry about these things. We cannot make one hair white or black. We cannot add a cubit to our stature. If we cannot do these things, why do we worry and fret and trouble ourselves about things that are off in the distance? “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” Today God provides. The Lord has provided food and clothing. He has provided the blessing of children. He has provided us with a home, in most cases, and many other things. Let us just serve the Lord and leave off worry. Then when tomorrow comes we pray again, as the Bible says, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
You see, it is not an easy thing. It is not an “easy road” whenever we obey God on any point of doctrine in the Bible. There is always trouble and there is always going to be affliction for the Word’s sake. There will be various difficulties and, yet, it is always the best way. It is the way to go and there is no other option. When people try to solve things themselves, it often goes wrong. A couple may say, “Let us wait 10 years to have children until we get a nice house and we both have steady jobs.” You can be sure there will be other problems that result because they are not doing it God’s way. When people do not do something God’s way, it means it is a “sinful” way. When they are involved in a sin and wrongdoing, it tends to beget other sins and other things go wrong and it turns into a mess. Mankind is expert at turning things into a mess. That is what rebellion against God will do. It is what sin always does. It is a great mercy that God has given us His Word and He has given us a desire to do His Word. It takes the entire matter out of our hands and we say, “It really is not up to me, is it? Not my will, but thine be done. Very well, Lord, very well.” If we are married, we can say, “I do not have to worry about marriage because I am to remain married. I am married until death. As for children, I will just leave it in God’s control and if God blesses us with five or 10 or 15 children, we will just trust the Lord.”
The ideas that children of God live by today can be traced back to Scriptures like we find in Genesis, chapter 9 to be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth. God has not rescinded that command and He has not said, “That is enough. We have reached the capacity, so no more.” When you hear things like this, it is the world speaking and, again, they do not look to the Bible for guidance. They do not look to the Word of God regarding what they should do. We know this if we just look around and we see a chaotic world all around us. We see a world that is in a mess. Everyone is doing what seems right in their own eyes and every (unsaved) person thinks they know best in so many ways and, yet, they do not.
It goes on to say in Genesis 9:3:
Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.
The Hebrew word translated as “moving” is Strong’s #7431 and it is normally translated as “creeping.” It is translated that way back in Genesis 1:24-25:
And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
So, in our verse it should say “creeping thing.” We do not have time in this study, but in our next study we will look in Leviticus and other places where God speaks of mice and lizards and things that “creep” upon the ground. That is what God is saying regarding the whole realm of creeping things: “Every creeping thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.”
It is interesting and I had not thought of this before as I read these things. I did not put “two and two” together, but this is the time of the flood and at that time there were no laws regarding to diet. There were no dietary restrictions upon Noah or his family. They could have eaten any “creeping thing” or any animal. It was not until about 3,500 years later when Moses was given commands by God during the 40-year wilderness sojourn that God specified that the Jews were to eat only certain animals, but not certain other animals including “creeping things.” The “creeping things” were said to be an abomination, so it is interesting how God wrote about food in the Bible. In the beginning with Adam and Eve, the diet was just herbs and fruits and plant things and not animals. After the fall of man, we can conclude that what God is saying to Noah probably had application from the fall to this time in 4989BC and they could have eaten anything they wanted to eat. Then about 3,500 years later restrictions were placed on what could be eaten, but we will get more into that in our next Bible study.