The Book of Genesis

Chapter Nine

The Noahic Covenant

Lesson Verse: Gen 9:9        


I.         Lesson Introduction


A.      Last week’s lesson was about the flood water receding and of the unloading of the ark.  We also learned that the first thing Noah did after disembarking from the ark, was make a sacrifice and give thanks to the Lord. 

B.       This week’s lesson deals with God’s covenant with Noah, the sons of Noah, Ham’s sin, the curse placed on Canaan, and the death of Noah.


II.       Lesson


A.      The Blessing (9:1)


1.        God’s blessing

2.        Being Fruitful and multiplying

3.        Replenishing the earth


A.      The Provisions Of The Covenant, Gen. 9:1-17. 


1.        God gave the Noahic Covenant so that Noah and all the human race to follow might know that the provisions made in the Adamic Covenant remain in effect with one notable addition:  The principle of human government that includes the responsibility of suppressing the outbreak of sin and violence.  God intended that these evil be suppressed.

2.        In the study of the various covenants in the Bible it is important to remember that one new covenant does not make the old one null and void as it pertains to the promised blessings by God.  Consider that even though Adam violated his initial agreement, Adam’s violation does not void out God’s promise of man living forever. 


a)       The Responsibility To Populate The Earth Is Reaffirmed, v. 1. 


1)       Here we find that the Adamic covenant to replenish the earth was passed to Noah and his children.  We also note that God blessed Noah and his sons.  This is very important for before the chapter is over, one of Noah’s grandchildren is cursed. 

2)       This is a chapter of new beginnings.  Noah is on a new earth; one washed clean by a flood.  Noah has the opportunity to populate the earth with people.  However, there is one thing that must be remembered: these people will be after Noah’s kind;  sinners. 


b)      The Animal Kingdom, v. 2-4. 


1)       The animal kingdom is now under the dominion of man.  Animals will now have a natural fear of mankind.  Also, the animal kingdom is now good for food.  The only thing man must remember is to thoroughly cook the meat before eating.  He was not to eat flesh with blood running out of it. 

2)       The nation of Israel was reminded of this law once again when Moses received the Law.  What does this tell us?  It tells us it was wrong to eat blood before the Law and during the Law.  If it was wrong to eat blood then, it is wrong now.


3)       Commandments required by God to be obeyed


(a)     To replenish the earth (9:1,12,16). Fill it up.


(i)       Don’t complain about having children

(ii)     Don’t believe in population control

(iii)    Raise up a Godly generation for God


(b)     To dominate the earth (9:2,3)


(i)       Be in control of it

(ii)     Decide what to do with land, etc.

(iii)    Be responsible for it as well!


(c)     That animals may now be eaten – except for the blood


(i)       Because of connections with Satan and devil worship

(ii)     Because of disease


(d)     That there must be capital punishment for murders (9:5,6). Mankind is going to have to be more pro-active in dealing with its sinful nature, if we want to survive!


(i)       Not vigilantism

(ii)     Operated by rule of law, and with checks and balances. This places the responsibility of governing upon the backs of people. They must govern right to survive!

(iii)    The Sacredness Of Human Life Is Established, v. 5-6, Rom. 13:1. 

(iv)   Here in this chapter we find that the mark on Cain disappears.  Because Cain slew his brother, God had set a mark on him that no one kill him, Gen 4:15.  Now the Bible does not say when or how Cain died.  It would be fair to deduct that God killed Cain somehow.  By this same reasoning, it will also be fair to say that since God did not allow another to kill Cain, God now makes it fair that if a man kills another, the killer is to be killed also. 

(v)     From this line of thinking arises another thought:  Perhaps this was one of the great sins that caused the flood; men were killing but the killers were not punished.  Consider this line of reasonaing:  “Hey after all, if it was OK for Cain not to be punished for killing his brother, why not have the same law for everyone else?” 

(vi)   Two thoughts arise from this:  Perhaps God killed them all in a flood or God may have killed the killers before the flood.  Those are just thoughts and by no means a doctrine.  What is a fact is God now commands that those who kill, must also be killed, Gen 9:6.  It is important to note the stipulation by man in v. 6.  This law does not violate the Sixth Commandment where God commanded Thou shalt not kill. 


3.        The Covenant is Confirmed, v. 9-11. 


a)       It is in this chapter that we find that Noah and Adam have much in common.  Consider the following things: 


1)       Adam came out of the earth from the deep, Gen. 1:1.  So did Noah. 

2)       Adam was made lord over the creation; so was Noah. 

3)       Adam was blessed and told to be fruitful and multiply; so was Noah. 

4)       Adam was placed in a garden to dress and till it; Noah became a husbandman. 

5)       Adam transgressed in the garden; so did Noah. 

6)       Adam’s sin exposed his nakedness; so did Noah’s. 

7)       Adam’s nakedness was covered by another; so also was Noah’s. 

8)       Adam’s sin brought terrible repercussion on his children; so did Noah’s.

9)       Of Adam’s listed sons, the promised seed came through the last one; Cain the first born killed the second born.  Fouling up Satan’s plan, God used the third son, Seth.  With Noah the promised seed came through Shem.  Although we are not told if Shem was the first born.

10)    Following the fall of Adam was an outline of future events; the same is true with Noah. 


b)      History repeats itself in the lives of many.  Observe how it repeated itself in our lifetime in the lives of Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln:



1)       Abraham Lincoln was elected to Congress in 1846.

2)       John F. Kennedy was elected to Congress in 1946.

3)       Abraham Lincoln was elected President in 1860.

4)       John F. Kennedy was elected President in 1960.

5)       The names Lincoln and Kennedy each contain seven letters.

6)       Both were particularly concerned with civil rights.

7)       Both wives lost children while living in the White House.

8)       Both Presidents were shot on a Friday.

9)       Both were shot in the head.

10)    Lincoln's secretary was named Kennedy.

11)    Kennedy's secretary was named Lincoln.

12)    Both were assassinated by Southerners.

13)    Both were succeeded by Southerners.

14)    Both successors were named Johnson.

15)    Andrew Johnson, who succeeded Lincoln, was born in 1808.

16)    Lyndon Johnson, who succeeded Kennedy, was born in 1908.

17)    John Wilkes Booth, who assassinated Lincoln, was born in 1839.

18)    Lee Harvey Oswald, who assassinated Kennedy, was born in 1939.

19)    Both assassins were known by their three names.

20)    Oswald ran from a warehouse and was caught in a theater.

21)    Booth ran from a theater and was caught in a warehouse.

22)    Booth and Oswald were assassinated before their trials.


B.       The Rainbow Is Given As Testimony Of The Existence Of This Covenant, v. 12-17. 


1.        Let us be certain that the flood was of world wide proportions for the rainbow appears all over the world.  If it was a local flood, then, it stands to reason the rainbow would be local.  To believe in a local flood is to say that the verse we have just read is a lie. God said it.  That settles it, whether one believes it or not.  Every time we see a rainbow or a cloud, it is a sign of God's promise that there will never be another worldwide flood. 

2.        Notice here also that not only rainbows, but clouds are also a new thing on the earth.  Because after the flood, the atmosphere has changed as it begins to rain on a regular basis.  The faith of Noah's family was probably really put to a test the first time it rained after the flood, but as the thunder roared, old Noah explained why it would never be another worldwide flood.

3.        God has been faithful to that covenant from that day to this, and will continue to do so until the world is no longer around to be flooded.  God confirmed the covenant with Noah, the beasts, and with the earth.  This is a covenant to never destroy the earth again by a flood.  Each time we see the rainbow, it is a reminder of the promise God made to His creation.  The next time the earth is destroyed it will be a final destruction,  2 Peter 3:10. 


C.       Noah And The Sin Of Ham, Gen. 9:18-24.


1.        Noah Becomes A Farmer. 


a)       What in the world would make Noah go out and get drunk after all he had been through with God?  It would seem that he would know better?  We do not know for sure, but just suppose Noah did not know that fermented grape juice would make a man drunk.  For all we know the conditions on the earth prior to the flood might have been such that grape juice simply did not ferment as it does now.  Noah might have thought it was just grape juice when he drank it. Whether he knew it was fermented or not, he got drunk anyway.  It is my personal belief he planted the vineyard and got drunk deliberately. 

b)      He planted a vineyard and enjoyed the fruits of his labor, Prov 20:1.  After he got drunk, he laid down, and got comfortable and took off all his clothes, laying uncovered in his tent.  Perhaps he was too drunk to care about his shameful condition, Luke 21:34.


2.        Ham Sees His Father’s Nakedness.


a)       Satan wasted no time.  Before the flood, Cain became Satan's man.  Here we see that the devil has found another willing servant in Noah's son Ham.  Now Ham is one evil guy!  He sees his father in a bad fix, and runs off to blab about it! 

b)      Notice that Noah's other sons know to cover their father's nakedness.  You will not find any laws concerning nakedness written down until nearly 1,000 years later.  Regardless, God showed these folks what was right and wrong long before Moses wrote any of it.

c)       Ham told the matter.  He is like a lot of folks.  He found out something naughty and could not contain it.  He ran outside and told his brothers, mocking his father’s conditions, Prov 14:9.  Shem and Japheth are not so bold.  They take a garment and without looking, cover their father’s nakedness. 

d)      Noah awoke and knew that not only had his privacy been violated (Dt 27:16), but possibly he himself had been violated.

e)       How could this happen?


1)       A hold-over from the previous  world in the hearts of these eight people

2)       Man’s sinful nature NEVER stays right


D.      Noah's Curse And Blessing, Gen. 9:25-29.


1.        Noah’s Curse on Canaan.


a)       Notice that Ham is not cursed for his evil.  One of the truest texts of scriptures, and one of the saddest facts of life, is that our sins are often visited upon our children.  Canaan is cursed.  He is to be a servant of servants. 

b)      The descendants of Canaan migrated to Africa and the area around the Mediterranean Sea (Ps 105:23).  Some of his descendants are Cush, Mitraim, Phut, and Canaan  (which is where Israel conquers)


2.        Noah’s Blessings.


a)       Shem here is chosen as the family firstborn.  This does not mean that he is necessarily the oldest.  It means that he was chosen by God to be the family high priest when his father Noah dies.  Shem is also to receive the blessing which means he is the one who will be the father of the people from whom Christ shall be born, as foretold, Gen. 3:15. 

b)      Through Shem shall come Abraham, the father of the nation of Israel from which shall be born Jesus Christ.  Noah, through the Holy Ghost, is making one of the most sweeping prophecies in all of human history when he pronounced blessings and cursings. 


1)       Noah’s three sons head off ultimately in three different directions with different relationships towards God – it seems to differentiate each from the other’s descendants


(a)     Shem – God blesses Shem for his faith and obedience. Shem is the father of the Orientals – he headed east from Ararat. Shem is God’s choice to continue a Godly line through which to bring into the world Jesus.


(i)       Adam

(ii)     Seth

(iii)    Enos

(iv)   Cainan

(v)     Mahalaleel

(vi)   Jared

(vii)  Enoch

(viii)            Methuselah

(ix)    Lamech

(x)      Noah

(xi)    Shem

(xii)   Down through to Abraham

(xiii) Abraham to David

(xiv) David to Jesus


(b)     Ham


(i)       Ham grossly sins against his father Noah, and gets his son, Cainan cursed by Noah. Ham, as a people group are in trouble with God

(ii)     Africa, and Egypt in particular are called the land of Ham (Ps 105:23; 105:27; 106:22)

(iii)    Nimrod comes from this line

(iv)   The Philistines come from this line

(v)     The Ethiopian Eunuch, and the Queen of Sheba!


(c)     Japeth


(i)       Japheth is also blessed.  According to Matthew Henry’s Commentary we find the following about Japheth:  First, Japheth has the blessing of the earth beneath: God shall enlarge Japheth, enlarge his seed, enlarge his border. Japheth's prosperity peopled all Europe, a great part of Asia, and America. Note, God is to be acknowledged in all our enlargements. It is He that enlarges the coast and enlarges the heart. And again, many dwell in large tents that do not dwell in God's tents, as Japheth did….The birth-right was now to be divided between Shem and Japheth, Ham being utterly discarded. In the principality which they equally share Canaan shall be servant to both. The double portion is given to Japheth, whom God shall enlarge; but the priesthood is given to Shem, for God shall dwell in the tents of Shem: and certainly we are more happy if we have God dwelling in our tents than if we had there all the silver and gold in the world. It is better to dwell in tents with God than in palaces without him. In Salem, where is God's tabernacle, there is more satisfaction than in all the isles of the Gentiles. Thirdly, They both have dominion over Canaan: Canaan shall be servant to them.  (from Matthew Henry's Commentary)

(ii)     By nature, Japeth is a conqueror.

(iii)    He heads west by north-west. He is a European

(iv)   He ends up dwelling in the tents of Shem when he invades and conquers America.

(v)     Japeth’s line has Alexander the Great, William the conqueror, all the Ceasars, etc.


(d)     These three are the three basic classifications of people in the world


(i)       Shemites –Mongoloids, Orientals, or Occidentals, far Easterners

(ii)     Japethites – Caucasoids. Westerners, Europeans

(iii)    Hammites – Negriods, Negros, Blacks, Africans


(e)     God deals with all of them on the basis of the Noahic Covenant, but then specially on the basis of the Shemitic Covenant (9:26)


(i)       If you are going to get to God, it is going to have to be in the same manner as Shem’s relationship

(ii)     Ham and his descendants are going to have to overcome some sort of additional curse because of his sin

(iii)    Japeth is going to have to overcome materialism



E.       The Death Of Noah. 


1.        We are told in v. 28-29, that Noah lived for 350 years after the flood.  He died at the ripe old age of 950 years.  Little is recorded about Noah after him getting drunk.  

2.        Noah dies around 1998 BC at the age of 950 years, the oldest living man after the flood.


a)       At Noah's death, one half of all Old Testament history has ended.  In fact this is also one third of all human history up to today.  It is no wonder that Satan hates the first nine to ten chapters of the Bible so much.

b)      One half of Old Testament history is covered in the first ten chapters of Genesis.


3.        Here is something to consider about the length of life and what could have been passed from one generation to another.  We know this could happen for we still do the same things today, pass on information about our family tree.  The years these men lived is recorded in these first 10 chapters of Genesis:  Consider:  Adam could have told Lamech about the Garden, the fall, the conversations with God, the creation of Eve, etc. Lamech could have told Shem, and Shem could have told Abraham.  Thus four people transmitted the history of 2,000 years, Larkin’s “Dispensational Truths.”

4.        The story of the creation and the flood are very important parts of our Christian heritage, and the devil would do anything to destroy our faith in this part of the word of God because it reveals so much about him and his evil plans.


III.     Conclusion

IV.    Study Questions