Genesis 9

Genesis 9


GodI blessedII NoahIII and his sons,IV

Notes on verse 1a

I “God” = Elohim.
II “blessed” = barak. This is to kneel, to bless. It is blessing God as part of worship and adoration or blessing humans to help them. It can be used as a euphemism to say curse God.
III “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.
IV “sons” = ben. From banah (to build or obtain children). This is son, age, child. It is son in a literal or figurative sense.

and said to them, “Be fruitfulV and multiply,VI and fillVII the earth.VIII 

Notes on verse 1b

V “be fruitful” = parah. This is to bear fruit, grow, be fruitful, increase. It is bearing fruit in a literal or figurative sense.
VI “multiply” = rabah. This is increasing in any aspect whether quantity, authority, size, quality, greatness, etc.
VII “fill” = male. This is fill, satisfy, replenish, accomplish, fulfill, confirm, or consecrate. It is fill in a literal or figurative sense.
VIII “earth” = erets. Root may mean to be firm. This is earth, ground, field land, or country.

2 The fearIX and dreadX of you shall restXI on every animalXII of the earth,

Notes on verse 2a

IX “fear” = mora. 12x in OT. From yare (to fear, be afraid, dreadful; fearful reverence – to fear in a moral sense is to say to revere, respect.). This is fear, dread, respect, or reverence. It can also be a fearful thing or action.
X “dread” = chath. 5x in OT. From chathath (to be shattered, crack, terrify, discourage, break down; it could be beaten down violently or from confusion or terror). This is broken, crushed, afraid, dread.
XI “rest” = hayah. This is to be or become, to happen.
XII “animal” = 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.

and on every birdXIII of the air,XIV on everything that creepsXV on the ground,XVI

Notes on verse 2b

XIII “bird” = oph. From uph (to fly, flee, shine, be weary, be faint). This is a flying creature.
XIV “air” = shamayim. Root may mean being lofty. This is sky, the air, or heaven. It is in a dual noun form so this might refer to the part of the sky where the clouds move on the one hand and the part beyond that where the sun, moon, and stars are on the other hand.
XV “creeps” = ramas. 17x in OT. This is gliding swiftly, moving with quick steps or crawling. It is to swarm or prowl or move about.
XVI “ground” = adamah. From the same as adam (man, humankind); perhaps from ‘adom (to be red). This is ground, earth, soil as red, or land.

and on all the fishXVII of the sea;XVIII into your handXIX they are delivered.XX 

Notes on verse 2c

XVII “fish” = dag. 19x in OT. Perhaps from dagah (fish – perhaps as creatures that move by squirming) OR from da’ag (to fear, be worried, sorrow, be concerned, be anxious, be sorry). This is fish or fishing – fish a flipping, swift moving creatures.
XVIII “sea” = yam. Root may mean to roar. This is the sea, often referring to the Mediterranean. It comes from the root in the sense of the roar of crashing surf. This word is sometimes used for rivers or other sources of water. It can mean to the west or to the south.
XIX “hand” = yad. This is hand, ability, power. Hand in a literal sense, but also what one can do or the means by which one does it.
XX “delivered” = natan. This is to give, put, set, offer. It is to give literally or figuratively.

Every moving thingXXI that livesXXII shall beXXIII foodXXIV for you;

Notes on verse 3a

XXI “moving thing” = remes. Related to “creeps” in v2. 17x in OT. From ramas (see note XV above). This is things that move rapidly or creep such as reptiles.
XXII “lives” = chay. Same as “animal” in v2. See note XII above.
XXIII “be” = hayah. Same as “rest” in v2. See note XI above.
XXIV “food” = oklah. 18x in OT. From okel (food, prey, meat, eating); from akal (to eat, devour, burn up, or otherwise consume; eating in a literal or figurative sense). This is food, eating, fuel, meat, consume.

and just as I gaveXXV you the greenXXVI plants,XXVII I give you everything. 

Notes on verse 3b

XXV “gave” = natan. Same as “delivered” in v2. See note XX above.
XXVI “green” = yereq. 6x in OT– including “every green plant for food” from Genesis 1:30. Perhaps from yaraq (to spit). This is something green. It could be pallor or some kind of vegetation.
XXVII “plants” = eseb. Root may mean to be green or to glisten. This is grass or some other tender shoot.

Only, you shall not eatXXVIII fleshXXIX with its life,XXX that is, its blood.XXXI 

Notes on verse 4

XXVIII “eat” = akal. Related to “food” in v3. See note XXIV above.
XXIX “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.
XXX “life” = 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.
XXXI “blood” = dam. Perhaps from damam (to cease, be or become mute, silent, still, cut off, hold peace, be astonished, die). This is blood, bloodshed, bloodguilt, lifeblood, and death. It is used for people and animals. More often blood from a wound or the blood of the innocent. Used figuratively for violence or for wine. Closely tied to life and death.

For your own lifebloodXXXII I will surely require a reckoning:XXXIII fromXXXIV every animal I will require it

Notes on verse 5a

XXXII “lifeblood” = dam + nephesh. Same as “life” and “blood” in v4. See notes XXX & XXXI above.
XXXIII “require a reckoning” = darash. This is seek, ask, inquire, care for. Generally it means following in pursuit or following as part of a search, which implies seeking or asking. Also used specially to mean worship.
XXXIV {untranslated} = yad. Literally “from the hand of.” Same as “hand” in v2. See note XIX above.

and fromXXXV human beings,XXXVI, XXXVII each oneXXXVIII for the blood of another,XXXIX I will require a reckoning for human life.

Notes on verse 5b

XXXV {untranslated} = yad. Literally “from the hand of.” Same as “hand” in v2. See note XIX above.
XXXVI “human beings” = adam. Related to “ground” in v2. See note XVI above.
XXXVII {untranslated} = yad. Literally “from the hand of.” Same as “hand” in v2. See note XIX above.
XXXVIII “each one” = ish. Perhaps from enosh (human, humankind, mortal); from anash (to be weak, sick, or frail). This is man, husband, another, or humankind.
XXXIX “another” = ach. This is brother, kindred, another, other, like. It is literally brother, but it can also be someone who is similar, resembling, or related to.

Whoever shedsXL the blood of a human,
    by a human shall that person’s blood be shed;
for in his own imageXLI
    God madeXLII humankind.

And you, be fruitful and multiply, aboundXLIII on the earth and multiply in it.”

Notes on verses 6-7

XL “sheds” = shaphak. This is to pour out, gust, or slip. It can be to pour as blood, a drink offering, or molten metal. It can also mean to create a mound. Figuratively, it can refer to killing, or spending money.
XLI “image” = tselem. 17x in OT. Root may mean to shade. This is a phantom, resemblance, illusion, image, or an idol.
XLII “made” = asah. This is to make, do, act, appoint, become in many senses.
XLIII “abound” = sharats. 14x in OT. This is to swarm, creep, abound, breed a lot, wriggle.

Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, 9 “As for me,XLIV I am establishingXLV my covenantXLVI with you and your descendantsXLVII after you, 

Notes on verses 8-9

XLIV {untranslated} = hen. This is a remark of surprise or excitement: lo! Behold! It can also mean if or though.
XLV “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.
XLVI “covenant” = berit. Perhaps from barah (to eat, choose, make clear); perhaps from bar (grain, wheat); from bara (to select, purify, cleanse, test, brighten, polish). This is a compact, covenant, alliance, treaty, or league.
XLVII “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.

10 and with every livingXLVIII creatureXLIX that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals,L and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark.LI, LII 

Notes on verse 10

XLVIII “living” = chay. Same as “animal” in v2. See note XII above.
XLIX “creature” = nephesh. Same as “life” in v4. See note XXX above.
L “domestic animals” = behemah. This is animal or cattle. It is often used of large quadrupeds.
LI “ark” = tebah. Probably from Egyptian T-b-t (chest, coffin). Used for Moses’ basket, Noah’s ark, and the ark of the covenant.
LII Some manuscripts add “every animal of the earth.”

11 I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut offLIII by the watersLIV of a flood,LV and never again shall there be a flood to destroyLVI the earth.” 

Notes on verse 11

LIII “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.
LIV “waters” = mayim. This is water, waters, or waterway in a general sense. Figuratively, it can also mean juice, urine, or semen.
LV “flood” = mabbul. 13x in OT. Perhaps from yabal (to bring, carry, flow, lead forth). This is a flood or deluge.
LVI “destroy” = shachath. 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 signLVII of the covenant that I makeLVIII between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all futureLIX generations:LX 

Notes on verse 12

LVII “sign” = oth. 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. 
LVIII “make” = natan. Same as “delivered” in v2. See note XX above.
LIX “future” = olam. This is a long scope of time whether in the past (antiquity, ancient time) or in the future (eternal, everlasting).
LX “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.

13 I have setLXI my bowLXII in the clouds,LXIII and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 

Notes on verse 13

LXI “set” = natan. Same as “delivered” in v2. See note XX above.
LXII “bow” = qesheth. 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.
LXIII “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.

14 LXIVWhen I bringLXV clouds over the earth and the bow is seenLXVI in the clouds, 15 I will rememberLXVII my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlastingLXVIII covenant between God and 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 and all flesh that is on the earth.”

Notes on verses 14-17

LXIV {untranslated} = hayah. Same as “rest” in v2. See note XI above.
LXV “bring” = anan. Related to “clouds” in v13. 11x in OT. See note LXIII above.
LXVI “seen” = raah. This is to see in a literal or figurative sense so stare, advise, think, view.
LXVII “remember” = zakar. This is to remember, to mark something so that it can be recalled, to be mindful of, to mention.
LXVIII “everlasting” = olam. Same as “future” in v12. See note LIX above.

18 The sons of Noah who went out of the ark were Shem,LXIX Ham,LXX and Japheth.LXXI

Notes on verse 18a

LXIX “Shem” = Shem. 17x in OT. From the same as shem (name, fame, renown; indicates something essential about a person –about their individuality; can also mean honor, authority, or character); perhaps from sum (to put, place, set). This is Shem, meaning name.
LXX “Ham” = Cham. 16x in OT. Perhaps from the same as cham (hot, warm); from chamam (to be warm, heat; to be hot in a literal or figurative sense; to mate). This is Ham, meaning “hot” or “protective wall.” See
LXXI “Japheth” = Yepheth. 11x in OT. From pathah (to be simple, entice, deceive, persuade, allure, be silly); from pethi (simple, silly, foolish, easily deceived); from pathah (to be wide open, deceive, entice, persuade, to be simple, delude). This Japheth, meaning expansion.

Ham was the fatherLXXII of Canaan.LXXIII 19 These threeLXXIV were the sons of Noah; and from these the whole earth was peopled.LXXV

Notes on verses 18b-19

LXXII “father” = ab. This is father, chief, or ancestor. It is father in a literal or figurative sense.
LXXIII “Canaan” = Kna’an. From kana’ (to be humble, subdue; properly, bend the knee). This is Canaan, his descendants, and the land where they settled. This could mean lowlands, describing their land or subjugated in reference to being conquered by Egypt. See
LXXIV “three” = shalosh. This is three, fork, three times.
LXXV “was peopled” = naphats. This is to shatter, break, scatter, dash in pieces.

20 Noah, a manLXXVI of the soil,LXXVII was the firstLXXVIII to plantLXXIX a vineyard.LXXX 

Notes on verse 20

LXXVI “man” = enosh. Related to “each one” in v5. See note XXXVIII above.
LXXVII “soil” = adamah. Same as “ground” in v2. See note XVI above.
LXXVIII “was the first” = chalal. This is to pierce, which implies to wound. It is used figuratively for making someone or something profane or breaking your word. It can also mean to begin as though one opened a wedge. Also, to eat something as a common thing.
LXXIX “plant” = nata. To fix or fasten, establish or plant. This is planting in a literal or figurative sense.
LXXX “vineyard” = kerem. This is a vineyard, garden, vines, or a vintage.

21 He drankLXXXI some of the wineLXXXII and became drunk,LXXXIII

Notes on verse 21a

LXXXI “drank” = shathah. This is to drink literally or figuratively. It could also be a drinker.
LXXXII “wine” = yayin. Root may mean to effervesce, referring to the fermentation process. This is wine, grape, or banquet. It can imply intoxication.
LXXXIII “became drunk” = shakar. 19x in OT. This is to be filled with drink, merry, tipsy. It can be satiated in a positive sense or drunken in a negative sense. It can also figuratively refer to influence.

and he lay uncoveredLXXXIV inLXXXV his tent.LXXXVI 

Notes on verse 21b

LXXXIV “lay uncovered” = galah. This is to remove, bring, carry, lead, appear, advertise. It can mean to strip someone or something bare in a negative sense. Captives were typically stripped before they were sent into exile. Used figuratively, in a positive sense, this word means reveal, disclose, discover.
LXXXV “in” = tavek. This is among, middle, in the midst, the center. Perhaps, properly, to sever.
LXXXVI “tent” = ohel. Perhaps from ahal (to shine, be clear). This is a tent, covering, home, or side pillar.

22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakednessLXXXVII of his father, and toldLXXXVIII his twoLXXXIX brothers outside.XC 

Notes on verse 22

LXXXVII “nakedness” = ervah. From arah (to be bare, empty, raze, uncover, discover, demolish). This is nakedness, nudity – particularly as a reference to genitals, shame, or blemish.
LXXXVIII “told” = nagad. This is to declare, make conspicuous, stand in front, manifest, predict, explain.
LXXXIX “two” = shenayim. From sheni (double, again, another, second); from shanah (to fold, repeat, double, alter, or disguise). This is two, both, second, couple.
XC “outside” = chuts. Root may mean to sever. So, this is something that is separated by a wall – the outside, the street, a field, highway, or abroad.

23 Then Shem and Japheth took a garment,XCI laidXCII it on bothXCIII their shoulders,XCIV

Notes on verse 23a

XCI “garment” = simlah. Perhaps from semel (image, figure, likeness). This is mantle, clothes, wrapper.
XCII “laid” = sum. Related to “Shem” in v18. See note LXIX above.
XCIII “both” = shenayim. Same as “two” in v22. See note LXXXIX above.
XCIV “shoulders” = shekem. Perhaps from shakam (to rise early, begin work early; properly, this is leaning one’s shoulder or back into a load or a burden; also, loading an animal for work). This is shoulder, neck, or some other place that bears burdens. Figuratively, it can refer to the spur of a hill, or one’s allotted portion.

and walkedXCV backwardXCVI and coveredXCVII the nakedness of their father; their facesXCVIII were turned away,XCIX and they did not see their father’s nakedness. 

Notes on verse 23b

XCV “walked” = halak. This is go, come, walk. It is walk literally and figuratively and includes people and animals. It can be used figuratively for one’s moral life – how we walk according to God’s way or against it. It can also refer to the walk of life as in the course one’s life takes, the choices we make, etc.
XCVI “backward” = achorannith. 7x in OT. From achor (the back, behind, backward, time to come; facing to the north or the west); from achar (to be behind, delay, be late, procrastinate, continue). This is backwards, turned away, back.
XCVII “covered” = kasah. This is to cover, conceal, overwhelm. It is to cover as clothes do or to hide a secret.
XCVIII “faces” = paneh. From panah (to turn, face, appear). This is face in a literal or figurative sense. It could be face, presence, anger, respect. It can also be used of God to indicate divine favor or presence.
XCIX “away” = achorannith. Same as “backward” in v23. See note XCVI above.

24 When Noah awoke from his wine and knewC what his youngestCI son had doneCII to him, 25 he said,

“Cursed be Canaan;
    lowest of slavesCIII shall he be to his brothers.”

Notes on verses 24-25

C “knew” = yada. This is to know, acknowledge, advise, answer, be aware, be acquainted with. Properly, this is to figure something out by seeing. It includes ideas of observation, recognition, and care about something. It can be used causatively for instruction, designation, and punishment.
CI “youngest” = qatan. From quwt (grieved, cut off, to detest). This is least, small, young, little one. It is literally smaller whether in amount or size. Figuratively it is smaller in the sense of younger or less important.
CII “done” = asah. Same as “made” in v6. See note XLII above.
CIII “lowest of slaves” = ebed + ebed. Literally “slave of slaves.”  From abad (to work, serve, compel; any kind of work; used causatively, can mean to enslave or keep in bondage). This is a servant, slave, or bondservant.

26 He also said,

“Blessed by the LordCIV my God be Shem;
    and let Canaan be his slave.
27 May God make spaceCV for Japheth,
    and let him liveCVI in the tents of Shem;
    and let Canaan be his slave.”

Notes on verses 26-27

CIV “Lord” = YHVH. Related to “rest” in v2. From havah (to be, become) or hayah (see note XI above). This is the name of the God of Israel, the self-existent and eternal one, the tetragrammaton. This pronunciation has been lost to time so “Lord” is generally used in its place.
CV “make space” = pathah. Related to “Japheth” In v18. See note LXXI above.
CVI “live” = shakan. This is to settle down in the sense of residing somewhere or staying there permanently. It can mean abide or continue. “Mishkan,” taken from this verb, is the Hebrew word for the Tabernacle (as a place where God abided).

28 After the flood Noah livedCVII three hundred fifty years. 29 All the days of Noah were nineCVIII hundred fifty years; and he died.CIX

Notes on verses 28-29

CVII “lived” = chayah. Related to “animal” in v2. See note XII above.
CVIII “nine” = tesha. Perhaps from sha’ah (to gaze at, gaze around, regard – to look to, especially for help; to consider or be compassionate; to look at in amazement or while confounded). This is nine, perhaps as looking to the next number associated with fullness (10).
CIX “died” = mut. This is to die in a literal or figurative sense. It can also refer to being a dead body.

Image credit: “Incredible low-arch rainbow with supernumeraries (panorama)” by Melinda King, 2012.

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