bible study

Bible Study: Genesis 9

Genesis 9:1-29, the rainbow sign


God blessed Noah and his family and commanded them to populate the earth again through childbearing. God sends a rainbow as a sign of His covenant not to send the flood to destroy the earth.


Verse 1-3, 1  God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, and replenish the earth. The fear of you and the dread of you will be on every animal of the earth, and on every bird of the sky. Everything that moves along the ground, and all the fish of the sea, are delivered into your hand. Every moving thing that lives will be food for you. As I gave you the green herb, I have given everything to you.


God blessed Noah and his sons and commanded them to have lots of descendants to repopulate the earth. Noah and his family will have dominion over the animals, the birds, and the fish. God allowed Noah and his family to eat the animals, the birds, the fish, and plants, i.e. to be carnivorous and herbivorous. Note that God allowed Adam and Eve to be herbivorous only.


Verses 4-7, 4 But flesh with its life, that is, its blood, you shall not eat. I will surely require accounting for your life’s blood. At the hand of every animal, I will require it. At the hand of man, even at the hand of every man’s brother, I will require the life of man. Whoever sheds man’s blood, his blood will be shed by man, for God made man in his own image. Be fruitful and multiply. Increase abundantly in the earth, and multiply in it.”


God prohibited Noah and his family from drinking blood because life is in the blood. God imposed capital punishment for murder because a man was made in God’s image. Life is sacred. Human beings were the crowning glory of God’s creation. God reiterated His commandment to Noah and his family to repopulate the earth through childbearing.


Verses 9-12, 8 God spoke to Noah and to his sons with him, saying, “As for me, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your offspring after you, 10 and with every living creature that is with you: the birds, the livestock, and every animal of the earth with you, of all that go out of the ship, even every animal of the earth. 11 I will establish my covenant with you: All flesh will not be cut off any more by the waters of the flood. There will never again be a flood to destroy the earth.” 12 God said, “This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:


God covenanted with Noah, his family, and all living creatures, that He will never again send the flood to destroy the earth.  This was the Noahic covenant.


Verses 13-17, 13 I set my rainbow in the cloud, and it will be a sign of a covenant between me and the earth. 14 When I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow will be seen in the cloud, 15 I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh, and the waters will no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 The rainbow will be in the cloud. I will look at it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” 17 God said to Noah, “This is the token of the covenant which I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.”


God placed a rainbow in the sky as a sign of the Noahic covenant. Whenever God looked at the rainbow, He will remember His everlasting covenant between Him, human beings, and all living creatures.


Verse 18-23, 18 The sons of Noah who went out from the ship were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Ham is the father of Canaan. 19 These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the whole earth was populated. 20 Noah began to be a farmer and planted a vineyard. 21 He drank of the wine and got drunk. He was uncovered within his tent. 22 Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. 23 Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it on both their shoulders, went in backwards, and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were backwards, and they didn’t see their father’s nakedness. Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.


Every human being today is a descendant of one of Noah’s three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Ham was the father of Canaan. Shem was the forefather of Abraham. Noah was a farmer. One day, Noah was drunk after drinking too much wine. Ham saw his father’s nakedness and told his brothers about him. Shem and Japheth took a blanket, walked backward, and covered their father with the blanket. Shem and Japheth respected their father’s nakedness and protected him from shame. Ham did not respect his father, ridiculed, and publicised his father’s nakedness.


Verse 24-29, 24 Noah awoke from his wine and knew what his youngest son had done to him. 25 He said, “Canaan is cursed. He will be a servant of servants to his brothers.” 26 He said, “Blessed be Yahweh, the God of Shem. Let Canaan be his servant. 27 May God enlarge Japheth. Let him dwell in the tents of Shem. Let Canaan be his servant.” 28 Noah lived three hundred fifty years after the flood. 29 All the days of Noah were nine hundred fifty years, and then he died.


When Noah awoke and found out what Ham had done to him, he pronounced a curse on one of Ham’s sons Canaan. Noah prophesied that Canaan will be a servant to Shem’s descendants. Noah pronounced a blessing on Shem and Japheth. Noah lived three hundred and fifty years after the flood. Noah was six hundred years old when the flood came. So, Noah died at the age of nine hundred and fifty years.




Noah was drunk with wine and this led to serious consequences. Do not be drunk with wine. The consequences of getting drunk can be very serious. Do not be drunk with wine, instead, be drunk and filled with the Holy Spirit, Ephesians 5: 18-19. See Proverbs 23: 20-21 and Romans 13:13.


Ephesians 5: 18-19, “Don’t be drunken with wine, in which is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs; singing, and making melody in your heart to the Lord.”


Proverbs 23: 20-21, “Don’t be among ones drinking too much wine, or those who gorge themselves on meat, for the drunkard and the glutton shall become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags.


Romans 13:13,  “Let’s walk properly, as in the day; not in reveling and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and lustful acts, and not in strife and jealousy.”




Heavenly Father, thank You for sending the rainbow as a sign of Your covenant that You will not send the flood to destroy the earth. Thank You for preserving the life of Noah and his family to replenish the world’s population again. Thank You for giving us a second chance to do it right again. Thank You for saving us by grace through faith in Christ, in Jesus’ name, Amen.