A Daily Genesis

Genesis 9:1-3

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[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 9:1 . . God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: Be fertile and increase, and fill the earth.[/B]

Divine blessings should never be construed as mandates, nor as laws, rules and/or commands. They're typically expressions of good will and/or empowerment. God included Noah in the blessing so that he and his wife could have more children if they wanted; but there's no record of any additional progeny.

The blessing God bestowed upon Noah's family is the very same blessing bestowed upon the Adams in the very beginning. Here in chapter nine is the beginning of a new generation. This new generation-- springing from Shem, Ham, and Japheth --has continued for a good many years and won't end until everything Christ predicted in Matt 24:1-44 comes to pass.

The word for "fill" is from [I]male'[/I] (maw-lay') and as-used in Gen 1:22, Gen 1:26-28, and Gen 6:11-13 doesn't strictly mean refill or replenish. It just means to fill or to be full of; and can apply to a bucket that's never been used as well as to a bucket that's just been emptied; or to a bucket that's half empty (or half full, depending upon one's outlook).

Here in chapter nine, male' is indicative of a pioneering family that would start afresh under different circumstances than those of the antediluvian world. The Noahs were essentially a transition team, bringing human life from the old world to the current one. The new conditions effecting Shem, Ham, and Japheth's generation include a change in Man's diet, his alienation from the animal world, and the introduction of criminal justice.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 9:2a . .The fear and the dread of you shall be upon all the beasts of the earth and upon all the birds of the sky-- everything with which the earth is astir --and upon all the fish of the sea;[/B]

Most animals bite for just one reason: fear. They become frightened, and the biting response usually isn't an act of aggression; but rather, an act of self defense. Apparently, prior to the Flood, the animal world trusted human beings; but not anymore. God instilled mistrust in the animal kingdom and it was probably done for their own good rather than Man's. However, I sure wish carpenter ants and termites had a little more respect for my feelings.

But the animal world isn't so terrified of man that it cannot overcome its fears enough to co-exist with him; even to the point of utilizing him for nourishment as Timothy Treadwell and his girlfriend Amie Huguenard discovered firsthand in 2003 when they were devoured by a Grizzly bear.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 9:2b . . they are given into your hand.[/B]

On the surface, this doesn't appear to be a new turn of events since Man was put fully in charge of the animal kingdom right from the gun (Gen 1:26-28). However; I believe the phrase "given into your hand" indicates that nature would no longer be passive; but that Man would have to conquer nature if he wished it to bring it under his control.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 9:3 . . Every creature that lives shall be yours to eat; as with the green grasses, I give you all these.[/B]

Man doesn't have to eat every living thing if he doesn't want to-- it's optional; since Gen 9:1-3 is clearly a blessing rather than a commandment.

Apparently the inclusion of meat in Man's diet after the Flood was intended primarily as a source of natural supplements to make up for the human body's gradually lessening ability to manufacture all it's own essential vitamins; much the same reason that modern vegans resort to synthetic supplements in order to avoid contracting deficiency diseases.

According to an article in the Dec 10, 2013 Science section of the New York Times, scientists believe that the early human body was able to manufacture all of its own essential vitamins; but over time gradually lost the ability to manufacture all but K and D.

That seems plausible to me seeing as how Noah lived to be 950 years old, but by the time of Abraham, the human life span had decreased considerably to 175; which the Bible describes as a ripe old age (Gen 25:7-8). Well, Noah at 175 was about equivalent to Abraham at 32; so the human body was obviously a whole lot stronger back in Noah's day than it was in Abraham's.

Incidentally, the Hebrew words for "green grasses" includes tender young shoots rather than only the adult plants. An excellent example of a shoot is asparagus. We typically only harvest the spears because the adult plant is not only a hideous bush, but it's not even tasty.

[B][SIZE=1]NOTE[/SIZE]:[/B] Bible students are often curious about the disparity between what was right and wrong for Noah and what was right and wrong for Moses since the laws of God are supposedly absolutes in any era.

But God-given diets are what's known as "dispensational" which means they're in effect for only a specific era, and oftentimes only for a specific people. For example: it's wrong for Yhvh's people to eat vultures, pigs, and/or lobsters, octopus, and clams; while for Christ's people, it makes no difference.

Dispensations are an important aspect of Man's association with God; and failure to discern them can sometimes lead to unnecessary confusion in peoples' minds.

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