Genesis 8:20 - 9:29
Noah and His Sons
I. Post-Flood commissioning and covenant (Gen. 8:20 - 9:17)
A. Why did Noah sacrifice to the Lord after the Flood?
He was thankful to God for bringing him and his family through the catastrophe of the Flood! Also, sacrifice started with Abel, not with Moses.
B. What did God promise in response to Noah’s sacrifice? Why would this be significant to Noah?
That he would never again send another global Flood like that. (Note that if the Flood was not global, then God did not keep his promise.) Also, he promised that the seasons and harvest times would continue, that the Earth would get back to normalcy. Noah and his family would have experienced some fearful things and would have liked having this assurance. They were also about to experience more climate changes in the post-Flood period probably.
C. Why do you think God put the fear of man into animals?
This protected both the animals and people. Wild animals raised by people tend to lose their fear of humans and then we they become adults, they tend to attack the people that raised them.
D. Why do you think God gave permission for Noah (and his descendants) to eat meat?
Wayne’s speculation - that this was for nutritional reasons. Suspect that foods grown from plants were not as healthy after the Flood. Other than this, much of what God said to Noah was a commissioning very much like that at Creation. But at Creation plants were for food so there was no eating of meat in the beginning.
E. What is the reason for capital punishment in 9:5-6?
Note that it has nothing to do with whether capital punishment is a deterrent to crime. It is because humans were made in God’s image. So it is a matter of justice.
F. What promise (or covenant) did God make with all mankind? (9:7-17)
To not send a Flood judging the world again. The rainbow was the sign of this promise and covenant.
G. “My bow” in the clouds. See Ezekiel 1:26-28. Who is the rainbow for?
Gen 9:14-15 sound as if the rainbow is to be a reminder to God, as if he needed a reminder. The physical phenomenon of the rainbow is something similar to the rainbow surrounding God’s throne, apparently. It is something both God and man can see. The fact that we can explain the physics of the rainbow in no way takes away from its basically spiritual purpose.
II. Sin and the reactions to sin in the sons of Noah (Gen. 9:18-9:29)
A. Noah gets drunk. (Fall after spiritual victory.)
It is important not to read into this more than it really says. Some have proposed wild ideas that infer too much and read into this things it doesn’t say. In some ancient cultures it was considered VERY serious to see someone’s naked body, especially a father in a family.
B. What can we infer about the attitudes of Shem and Japheth, in comparison to Ham, based on 9:22-23?
The key is probably that Ham was disrepectful to his father.
C. After Noah wakes up and finds out what his sons did, why does he curse Canaan and not Ham?
Because Noah’s statements in 9:24-27 are probably speaking prophetically. It is not just an angry reaction of Noah to what his son did. Ham’s relatively minor sin problem apparently became a more and more serious sin problem in later generations after him, until eventually Ham’s descendants were deep into idolatry. Later on when the Israelites moved into the land of Canaan they fulfulled this statement of Noah because the people groups the Israelites displaced were all descendants of Ham. People groups in or around the land of Canaan that were descendants of Esau or of Lot, the Israelites were told to not fight them. But the people groups that were descendants of Ham were the ones that God promised their territories to Abraham. For instance, the Edomites were descendants of Esau and the Ammonites were descendants of Lot. These peoples attacked Israel, but Israel did not seek to take their land.
D. Compare Genesis 10:6-20 to Genesis 15:18-20.
This compares the descendants of Ham in Genesis 10 to the list where God promised certain territories to Abraham’s descendants. Genesis documents that most of this list of peoples (6 out of 10) were descendants of Ham. The origins of some of the peoples in Genesis 15 cannot be traced, such as the Kenites, Kenizzites, and Kadmonites.
E. How would this story have relevance to the Israelites as they were on their journey to the land of Canaan?
Genesis was giving the Israelites background information about the various people groups that they were about to encounter as they went to the promised land.
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