Genesis 9:8-17

Genesis 9:8-17
First Sunday in Lent B


Then GodA saidB to NoahC and to his sonsD with him,E 

Notes on verse 8

A “God” = Elohim.
B “said” = amar. This is to speak, say, answer, command, promise, report.
C “Noah” = Noach. From nuach (to rest, calm, camp, free, place, remain, satisfy, settle, station, or wait; implies settling down in a literal or figurative sense). This is Noah or Noach, meaning rest.
D “sons” = ben. From banah (to build or obtain children). This is son, age, child. It is son in a literal or figurative sense.
E {untranslated} = amar. Same as “said” in v8. See note B above.

9 “As for me,F I am establishingG my covenantH with you

Notes on verse 9a

F {untranslated} = hen. This is a remark of surprise or excitement: lo! Behold! It can also mean if or though.
G “establishing” = qum. To arise, stand, accomplish, establish, abide. This is rising as in rising against, getting up after being sick or asleep, arising from one state to another, becoming powerful, or rising for action. It can also be standing in a figurative sense.
H “covenant” = berit. Perhaps from barah (to eat, choose, make clear); perhaps from bar (grain, wheat); from barar (to select, purify, cleanse, test, brighten, polish). This is a compact, covenant, alliance, treaty, or league.

and your descendantsI afterJ you 10 and with everyK livingL

Notes on verses 9b-10a

I “descendants” = zera. From zara (to sow or scatter seed; conceive or yield). This is seed or sowing. It can, thus, mean a fruit, plant, sowing time, child, offspring, or posterity.
J “after” = achar. From achar (to remain behind, linger, continue, be behind, or delay; can also imply procrastination). This is after or the last part, following.
K “every” = kol. From kalal (to complete). This is all or every.
L “living” = chay. From chayah (to live or keep alive literally or figuratively). This is alive, living, lifetime. It can also be used to describe someone’s age. It can refer to animals, plants, water, or a company or congregation of people. It is life in a very broad sense.

creatureM that is with you, the birds,N the domestic animals,O and every animalP of the earthQ with you,

Notes on verse 10b

M “creature” = nephesh. Related to naphash (to refresh or be refreshed). This is soul, self, person, emotion. It is a breathing creature. Can also refer to appetites and desires.
N “birds” = oph. From uph (to fly, flee, shine, be weary, be faint). This is a flying creature.
O “domestic animals” = behemah. This is animal or cattle. It is often used of large quadrupeds.
P “animal” = chay. Same as “living” in v10. See note L above.
Q “earth” = erets. Root may mean to be firm. This is earth, ground, field land, or country.

as many asR came outS of the ark.T, U 

Notes on verse 10c

R “as many as” = kol. Same as “every” in v10. See note K above.
S “came out” = yatsa. This is to go or come out, bring forth, appear. It is to go out in a literal or figurative sense.
T “ark” = tebah. Probably from Egyptian T-b-t (chest, coffin). Used for Moses’ basket, Noah’s ark, and the ark of the covenant.
U Some manuscripts add “every animal of the earth” = kol + chay + erets. Kol is the same as “every” in v10. See note K above. Chay is the same as “living” in v10. See note L above. Erets is the same as “earth” in v10. See note Q above.

11 I establish my covenant with you, that never againV shall allW fleshX be cut offY

Notes on verse 11a

V “again” = od. From ud (to admonish, repeat, duplicate, testify, restore, record, relieve). This is still, yet, again, more.
W “all” = kol. Same as “every” in v10. See note K above.
X “flesh” = basar. From basar (being a messenger, publish, carry preach; properly, this is being fresh, rosy or cheerful as one bearing news). This is flesh, the body, fat, skin, self, nakedness, humankind, or kin. It can also refer to private parts.
Y “cut off” = karat. This is to cut down, cut off, or make a covenant (idiom for making a covenant is “to cut a covenant”). It can also mean to destroy, fail, or consume.

by the watersZ of a flood,AA and never again shall there beBB a flood to destroyCC the earth.” 

Notes on verse 11b

Z “waters” = mayim. This is water, waters, or waterway in a general sense. Figuratively, it can also mean juice, urine, or semen.
AA “flood” = mabbul. 13x in OT. Perhaps from yabal (to bring, carry, flow, lead forth). This is a flood or deluge.
BB “be” = hayah. This is to be or become, to happen.
CC “destroy” = shachat. This is to go to ruin, perish, decay, batter, cast off, lose, one who destroys. This can be used in a literal or figurative sense.

12 God said, “This is the signDD of the covenant that I makeEE betweenFF me andGG you and every living creature that is with you,

Notes on verse 12a

DD “sign” = ot. From avah (to mark, sign, point out); OR from uth (to agree). This is a sign in a literal or figurative sense. It could be a flag or monument. It could be evidence or a mark. It could also be an omen or a miracle. 
EE “make” = natan. This is to give, put, set, offer. It is to give literally or figuratively.
FF “between” = bayin. From bin (to discern, consider, attend to; distinguishing things in one’s mind or, more generally, to understand). This is among, between, interval.
GG {untranslated} = bayin. Same as “between” in v12. See note FF above.

for all futureHH generations:II 13 I have setJJ my bowKK

Notes on verses 12b-13a

HH “future” = olam. This is a long scope of time whether in the past (antiquity, ancient time) or in the future (eternal, everlasting).
II “generations” = dor. From dur (to move in a circle, which implies living somewhere or remaining there; it can also be the sense of piling or heaping up). This is a revolution of time, which is to say, an age or generation. It can also be a dwelling or one’s posterity.
JJ “set” = natan. Same as “make” in v12. See note EE above.
KK “bow” = qeshet. Perhaps from qush (to set a trap, lure, ensnare) OR from qashah (to be fierce, cruel, dense, tough, severe). This is a bow, arrow, or archer. Bow can be used figuratively for strength.

in the clouds,LL and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me andMM the earth. 14 NNWhen I bringOO clouds over the earth and the bow is seenPP in the clouds, 

Notes on verses 13b-14

LL “clouds” = anan. May be from anan (cover, cloud over; figuratively, acting in a secret way, practicing magic or soothsaying). This is a cloud as something that covers the sky.
MM {untranslated} = bayin. Same as “between” in v12. See note FF above.
NN {untranslated} = hayah. Same as “be” in v11. See note BB above.
OO “bring” = anan. Related to “clouds” in v13. 11x in NT.  See note LL above.
PP “seen” = raah. This is to see in a literal or figurative sense so stare, advise, think, view.

15 I will rememberQQ my covenant that is between me andRR you andSS every living creature of all flesh, and the waters shall never again becomeTT a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlastingUU covenant between God andVV every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” 

17 God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me andWW all flesh that is on the earth.”

Notes on verses 15-17

QQ “remember” = zakar. This is to remember, to mark something so that it can be recalled, to be mindful of, to mention.
RR {untranslated} = bayin. Same as “between” in v12. See note FF above.
SS {untranslated} = bayin. Same as “between” in v12. See note FF above.
TT “become” = hayah. Same as “be” in v11. See note BB above.
UU “everlasting” = olam. Same as “future” in v12. See note HH above.
VV {untranslated} = bayin. Same as “between” in v12. See note FF above.
WW {untranslated} = bayin. Same as “between” in v12. See note FF above.

Image credit: “Dove and Rainbow” by Ger van Iersal, 2011.

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