- Locate the passage
This pericope records when the ark came to rest and the flood began to recede. God judgment was just, but He did not forget mankind. His Covenant was a sign of His grace to His people.
The passage is narrative. In this pericope, God speaks His promise within the Godhead (8:21-22) and speaks instructions (8:16), blessing (9:1-7), and covenant (9:8-17).
- Determine the structure of the passage
8:1-14 – God remembered Noah and the waters receded.
8:15-19 – God’s instructions to Noah to exit the ark
8:20-22 – Noah’s alter and God’s response
9:1-7 – Be Fruitful and Multiply Again
9:8-17 – The Noahic Covenant
- Exegete the passage
8:1 – God “remembered” Noah – The pericope begins with the simple comforting message the God remembered Noah (Cf. Gen. 19:29; 30:22; Ex. 2:24; 6:5; Num. 10:9).
- “zakar” – the word is not to indicate that God almost forgot Noah, but highlights what God was about to do. The word conveys that God was mindful of Noah.
- God made the wind pass over the earth to cause that waters to recede. The God who made the wind and water controls them.
- God made the wind (Hb. “ruach”) to pass over the earth. This is the same word used in Gen. 1:2 – the Spirit of the Lord was hovering over the earth God had created. Here the “wind” separates the water from dry land (see Day Three of creation). This is the same “wind” that blew away the locusts in the plague (Ex. 10:13, 19) and the same “wind” that blew in the quail to provide meat for the children of Israel in the wilderness (Num. 11:31).
8:2 – The fountains of the deep and the windows of Heaven
- Here, we learn three different sources for the flood waters – each restrained by Divine hand:
- Fountains of the deep
- Windows of Heaven
8:4 – The ark “rested”
- “nuach” – a play on Noah’s name
- 8:9 – the dove found nowhere for her foot to “rest”
- 7th month; 17th day – exactly 5 months since the day when the foundations of the deep were broken (Cf. 7:11)
8:7-12 – Noah sent out a raven from the ark which did not return and a dove which returned the first time with no sign of dry land. But, after seven days, Noah sent out the dove a 2nd time which returned with signs that the land was dry.
8:10, 12 – Noah “waited”
- The patience of Noah to wait on God’s time
8:13 – 601st year; 1st month; 1st day
- 1st month; 1st day – emphasis of a new year
8:14 – 2nd month; 27th day
- Noah and his family were on the ark 1 year and 10 days (cf. 7:11)
8:15 – The Lord said to Noah
- Noah entered the ark by divine command (7:1) and waited for the same voice before exiting
8:20 – Noah built an altar
- After his supernatural rescue, Noah wanted to worship the God who rescued him
8:21 – Noah prepared a “soothing aroma”
- This is the first occurrence of this phrase in Scripture, but it is often used in sacrifices that were pleasing to the Lord (cf. Ex. 29:18)
- If the Lord did not “smell” the offering, the offering was rejected (cf. Lev. 26:31)
8:21 – the Lord said in His heart
- Here the Lord is speaking within the Godhead on the basis of Noah’s acceptable offering. The promise is God holding Himself accountable to preserve the harvest.
9:1-4 – The Promise of God Renewed
- As with Adam, Noah is given:
- God’s blessing (1),
- the instruction to be fruitful and multiply (1),
- dominion over creation (2),
- provision (3), and
- prohibition (4)
9:1 – Be fruitful and multiply
- This is the same command as in the garden of Eden (Gen. 1:28), because the same need to repopulate the earth existed.
- Noah would have dominion over the animals (cf. 1:28)
- This passage renews God’s commitment to marriage and the family
- God’s plan for the family has not changed
9:4 – You shall not eat flesh with its life
- Here is the first indication in Scripture of mankind eating meat
- But the killing of the animals must be within Divinely prescribed conditions
- The reason given is the significance of the blood
- The blood was symbolic for life (Cf. Lev. 17:11)
- Mankind was the respect animal life; only killing it within God’s parameters; mankind was to respect human life (9:6) because it carries the image of God.
9:5-7 – God’s concern for life:
- God’s concern for the preservation of life is seen in the prohibition of the use of blood
- The consequence of violating this law of the blood is a divine “reckoning.”
- Note the three-fold repetition of “I will require” – from Hb. “darash,” which means, “to care about,” “to seek,” or “to demand.”
- You ARE your brother’s keeper (9:5b)
- Prohibition against murder
- Mankind is of the Image of God
- Mandate continued to be fruitful and multiply
9:6 – God, here, relinquishes, for the first time, some of the Divine responsibility for judging sin to mankind.
- The anticipation of human courts are clear
- But, the standards by which those decisions are to be made are from God
- Thus, several important lessons about life are apparent:
- God has entrusted the care of life to mankind
- Some life, animals, are for mankind’s provision
- But, for the taking of human life there are consequences which He will require
- While God is the Divine judge, God has dispensed some responsibility for holding mankind responsible for sin to mankind.
9:11 – I establish My covenant with you
- The Hb. word for “establish” is “qum,” which means to “arise” or “stand.”
- God’s Covenants with mankind are unidirectional
- We have nothing to offer in return
- God initiates the covenant
9:12 – the Sign of the Covenant
- God, again, holds Himself accountable to not again destroy the earth with a flood
- It is an everlasting covenant
- The Hb. for “bow” (“qeset”) is the same as a bow used in battle
- The sign would be a visible reminder for mankind that God is always faithful to His Covenant
9:15 – I will remember My covenant
- In the same way that God remembered Noah, He will remember His covenant
- Let the structure of the text drive the sermon
- The Grace in God’s Memory
- God “remembered”
- Isa. 49:15
- The only appropriate response to God’s grace is worship
- App. We have assurance of our salvation, because God does not forget us
- God “remembered”
- The Faithfulness of God’s Promise
- Day and Night do not cease because God is faithful to His Word
- Because of His faithfulness, we are not consumed (Mal. 3:6)
- The Assurance of God’s Covenant
- I will remember My covenant
- The Covenant is sealed with the sign (Cf. Gen. 17:1-22)