Genesis 9:8-17

Genesis 9:8-17
Lent B13


Then GodA said to NoahB and to his sons with him, “As for me,C I am establishingD my covenantE with you and your descendantsF after you, 

Notes on verses 8-9

A “God” = Elohim.
B “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.
C {untranslated} = hen. This is a remark of surprise or excitement: lo! Behold! It can also mean if or though.
D “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.
E “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.
F “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 livingG creatureH that is with you, the birds,I the domestic animals,J

Notes on verse 10a

G “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.
H “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.
I “birds” = oph. From uph (to fly, flee, shine, be weary, be faint). This is a flying creature.
J “domestic animals” = behemah. This is animal or cattle. It is often used of large quadrupeds.

and every animalK of the earthL with you, as many as came out of the ark.M, N

Notes on verse 10b

K “animal” = chay. Same as “living” in v10. See note G above.
L “earth” = erets. Root may mean to be firm. This is earth, ground, field land, or country.
M “ark” = tebah. Probably from Egyptian T-b-t (chest, coffin). Used for Moses’ basket, Noah’s ark, and the ark of the covenant.
N Some manuscripts add “every animal of the earth.”

11 I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all fleshO be cut offP by the watersQ of a flood,R and never again shall there be a flood to destroyS the earth.” 

Notes on verse 11

O “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.
P “be 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.
Q “waters” = mayim. This is water, waters, or waterway in a general sense. Figuratively, it can also mean juice, urine, or semen.
R “flood” = mabbul. 13x in OT. Perhaps from yabal (to bring, carry, flow, lead forth). This is a flood or deluge.
S “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 signT of the covenant that I makeU between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all futureV generations:W

Notes on verse 12

T “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. 
U “make” = natan. This is to give, put, set, offer. It is to give literally or figuratively.
V “future” = olam. This is a long scope of time whether in the past (antiquity, ancient time) or in the future (eternal, everlasting).
W “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 setX my bowY in the clouds,Z and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 

Notes on verse 13

X “set” = natan. Same as “make” in v12. See note U above.
Y “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.
Z “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. Here, the word is singular.

14 When I bringAA clouds over the earth and the bow is seenBB in the clouds, 15 I will rememberCC 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 everlastingDD 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

AA “bring” = anan. Related to “clouds” in v13. 11x in OT. See note Z above.
BB “seen” = raah. This is to see in a literal or figurative sense so stare, advise, think, view.
CC “remember” = zakar. This is to remember, to mark something so that it can be recalled, to be mindful of, to mention.
DD “everlasting” = olam. Same as “future” in v12. See note V above.

Image credit: “Noah’s Ark Icon” by Natalia Ermakova, 20th Century, at St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church in Amsterdam.

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