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(Isaiah 2:3)

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Please read the Introductory Notes to this commentary.

For a glossary of unfamiliar terms, CLICK HERE. For assistance in
pronouncing Hebrew terms, a pronunciation guide is located HERE.

The summary of the entire Torah is as simple as this:
Love what HaShem loves; hate what HaShem hates. All else is commentary.

בְּרֵאשִׁ֖ית • B'resheet
(“In Beginning” or “At First”)
The First Book of Moses,
Commonly Called


~ 9 ~

Parashah 2: Noach (Continued)
(Noach, Gen. 6:9-11:32)
(Small Roman numerals in the text indicate each 'aliyah.)

[Mountains of Ararat [MAP] 2318 BCE]

2. Mankind’s Regeneration (9:1-2)

1Elohim[GN] blessed Noach and his sons, and said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth.[1] 2The fear and dread of you will fall on every living creature on the earth, and every bird of the sky[2], every creature that crawls along the ground, and all the fish of the sea. They are delivered into your hand.

3. Dietary Instructions (9:3-4)

 3Every living creature will be food for you; just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you all things.[3] 4But you must not eat meat with its lifeblood still in it.[4]

4. Law of Life for Life (9:5-7)

 5I will surely require the life of any man or beast by whose hand your lifeblood is shed. I will demand an accounting from anyone who takes the life of his fellow man.[5] 6Whoever sheds a man’s blood, his blood will be shed by man, for Elohim made man in His own image.[6] 7But as for you, be fruitful and multiply; spread out across the earth and multiply upon it.”[7]

5. HaShem’s Covenant (9:8-11)

(v) 8Then Elohim said to Noach and his sons with him, 9Hinne,[GN] I now establish My covenant with you and your descendants after you, 10and with every living creature that was with you: the birds, the livestock, and every animal of the earth, every living thing that came out of the ark. 11I establish My covenant with you; Never again will all life be cut off by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.”

6. Rainbow as the Sign of the Covenant (9:12-17)

 12Elohim said, “This is the token of the covenant I am making between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: 13I set My bow[13] in the clouds, and it will be a token of a covenant between Me and the earth. 14Whenever I form clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh, and the waters will never again become a flood to destroy all life. 16Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between Elohim and every living creature of every kind that is on the earth.” 17Elohim said to Noach, “This is the token of the covenant which I have established between Me and all living things on the earth.”[17]

E. Human Condition  Remains Sinful (9:18-29)

1. Noah’s Sons (9:18-19)

(vi) 18The sons of Noach who went out from the ark were  Shemשם, shem, name, Hamחם, cham, hot, and Yefetיפת, yepheth, opened. Ham is the father of Kena'anכנען, Canaan, lowland, progenitor of Phoenicians and other Canaanite peoples. 19These three were the sons of Noach, and from these the whole earth was populated.

[Mesopotamia? [MAP] 2312 BCE]

2. Ham’s Disrespect (9:20-23)

20Now Noach, a man of the soil,[20] proceeded to planted a vineyard. 21But when he drank some of the wine he became drunk[21] and uncovered himself inside his tent. 22Ham, the father of Kena'an, saw his father’s nakedness and told his two brothers outside. 23Shem and Yefet took a garment and placed it across their shoulders, and walking backward, they covered their father’s nakedness. Their faces were turned away so they didn’t see their father’s nakedness.

3. Curse on Ham’s Desendants (9:24-27)

 24When Noach awoke from his wine and learned what his youngest son[24a] had done to him,[24b] 25he said, “Kena'an is cursed. He will be a servant of servants to his brothers.”

26He also said, “Blessed be יְהוָה֒[GN] [YeHoVaH], the God of Shem! Let Kena'an be the servant [of Shem]. 27May Elohim expand Yefet’s territory. Let him dwell in the tents of Shem, and may Kena'an be his servant.”

4. Noah’s Death (9:28-29) [1969 BCE]

28After the Flood Noach lived 350 years. 29So Noach lived a total of 950 years, and then he died.

Chapter 10


 1. HaShem here re-states the laws of nature that He originally gave to Adam, now slightly modified and consisting of four parts. Part one concerns the transmission of life. See Genesis 1:28. [RETURN

 2. Part two re-establishes man’s dominion over the animal kingdom; originally founded in love and kindness, but now in terror; this dread of man prevails among nearly the entire animal kingdom except those in the service of humanity. [RETURN

 3. Part three concerns man’s sustenence. Whereas Adam’s diet was to be vegetarian, now man is to consume animal flesh in his diet. Is this dietary change necessitated by the same conditions that result in the drastic shortening of his life span? [RETURN]

 4. The one dietary restriction to be observed was abstinence from eating blood. Because HaShem’s concern is for the benefit of man, we should probably consider that animal blood, when consumed in quantity, is toxic. Since “the life is in the blood,” we might also consider this a prohibition against eating any animal while it is still alive. [RETURN]

 5. Part four establishes capital punishment for the crime of murder. From this the Sages infer a command to establish courts of justice (Romans 13:4), armed with public and official authority to repress the commission of violence and crime. Such a power had not previously existed in patriarchal society. (JF&B) [RETURN

 6. Every human life is to be considered as sacred, because man was created in HaShem’s image. What does it mean to be created “in the image of God?” It is a fallicy to suppose that the invisible (1Tim. 1:17), omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent Creator Whom the Scriptures declare is a Spirit (John 4:24) has the form of a man with head, torso, arms, and legs. What then does it mean that mankind was created “in the image of God?” The Scriptures clearly teach that the God of Avraham, Yitzchak, and Ya'akov eternally exists as an eternally unchangeable and indivisible Tri-Unity consisting (at least so far as our limited understanding can suppose) of Abba (God the Father), HaBen (God the Son), and Ruach HaKodesh (God the Holy Spirit), one (echad) in nature, yet somehow three in Personality. The Father is neither the Son nor the Spirit, the Son is neither the Father nor the Spirit, and the Spirit is neither the Father nor the son; yet all three are one (echad) God (Deut 6:4; Isa 44:6-8; Isa 45:5). In the image of God, mankind is also an indivisible tri-unity consisting of body, soul, and spirit. The body is neither the soul nor the spirit, the soul is neither the spirit nor the body, and the spirit is neither the soul nor the body; yet all three are one (echad) human being. For further discussion and illustration, see What Does The Star Of David Symbolize? and Is the “Trinity” Biblical? I find it interesting that the Jewish mind (in particluar) has such a difficult task imagining how Hashem can be echad and yet consist of three unchangeable and indivisible Persons; every Shabbat they partake of the challah loaf, which is echad (a single) loaf consisting of three indivisible strands, a perfect picture of the tri-unity of HaShem. [RETURN

 7. According to traditional Judaism, God gave Noah and his family seven commandments to observe when He saved them from the flood. These commandments, referred to as the Noahic or Noahide Commandments, are inferred from [but certainly not specifically stated in] Genesis 9:1-7, and are as follows:

1) to establish courts of justice;

2) not to commit blasphemy;

3) not to commit idolatry;

4) not to commit incest and adultery;

5) not to commit bloodshed;

6) not to commit robbery; and

7) not to eat flesh cut from a living animal.

These commandments are fairly simple and straightforward, and most of them are recognized by most of the world as sound moral principles. Any non-Jew who follows these laws has a place in the World to Come, according to traditional Judaism.

The Noahic commandments are binding upon all people, because all people are descended from Noah and his family. The 613 mitzvot of the Torah, on the other hand, again according to traditional Judaism (and some leaders within Messianic Judaism), are only binding on the descendants of those who accepted the commandments at Sinai and upon those who take on “the yoke of the commandments” voluntarily. I disagree with this position, in that I believe that HaShem has only one “Standard of Righteousness” for all people. Click here for a more detailed discussion of this subject. See also Matthew 5:19. [RETURN

13. The Hebrew word translated “bow” is קֶשֶׁת (qeshet) and refers to a hunter’s or warrior’s bow. According to some historians, in ancient civilizations when a battle was finished, the victorious army would all point their bows upward, away from the defeated enemy, to indicate the end of hostilities. Whether God chose this sign because of what Noah would already be familiar with, or whether this military tradition began after the flood to follow God’s example, we have no way of knowing. In any event, it is a beautiful sign that HaShem has ceased hostility towards His creation. [RETURN

17. I think it interesting that God repeats three times, “This is the token …” of the covenant. Is that an indication that Father, Son, and Spirit all agree to the covenant? Just asking. [RETURN

20. “A man of the soil,” a farmer; thus “Noah began farming” (NASB). [RETURN

21. I have often heard Noah condemned (almost always by teetotalers) because “the first thing he did after getting off the ark was to get drunk.” We have no information regarding how long after leaving the ark this event occurred, but it takes three years or longer for newly-planted grapevines to produce, so this did not happen immediately upon leaving the ark. Following John Gill and JF&B, who observe that Ham had four sons by this time (note 24), Kana'an being his youngest, I have set the date as 20 years after leaving the ark. In any event, I suppose it would not take much wine at all to incapacitate a man over 600 years old, especially one who has not had a taste of wine for over six years.

This solitary stain on the character of so eminently pious a man must, it is believed, have been the result of age or inadvertency. (JF&B) [RETURN

24a. “…youngest son…,” or perhaps “young grandson,” since the curse was placed on Kana'an, not Ham. Kana'an was the fourth and youngest son of Ham. [RETURN]

24b. There is a difference of opinion as to who it was who actually committed the offense against Noah, whose wrath was poured out against his grandson Kana'an, not his son Ham.

and knew what his younger son had done to him; either by revelation, as some, or prophecy, as Ben Gersom, or by the relation of his two sons, whom, when finding himself covered with another's garment, he might question how it came about, and they told him the whole affair: some, as Aben Ezra, Ben Gersom, and Abendana, think that this was not Ham, the younger son of Noah, and whom some also will have not to be the youngest, being always placed middlemost, but Canaan, the fourth and youngest son of Ham; and whom Noah indeed might call his younger, or "his son, the little one" {(Njqh wnb) "filius suus parvus", Montanus; "filius ejus parvus", Cartwright.} as it was usual for grandchildren to be called the sons of their grandfather; see (Genesis 25) and Noah might be informed how his little son, or rather grandson Canaan, had been in his tent, and seeing him in the posture he was, went very merrily, and told his father Ham of it, who made a jest of it also; and this seems the more reasonable, since Canaan was immediately cursed by Noah, as in the following verse; this affair must happen many years after Noah's coming out of the ark, since then his sons had no children; whereas Ham had at this time four sons, and Canaan was the youngest of them; and he was grown up to an age sufficient to be concerned in this matter, of treating his grandfather in an ill way, so as to bring his curse upon him: Jarchi interprets "little" by abominable and contemptible, supposing it refers not to age, but character, and which was bad both in Ham and Canaan: (John Gill)

This incident could scarcely have happened till twenty years after the flood; for Canaan, whose conduct was more offensive than that even of his father, was not born till after that event. It is probable that there is a long interval included between these verses and that this prophecy, like that of Jacob on his sons, was not uttered till near the close of Noah's life when the prophetic spirit came upon him; this presumption is strengthened by the mention of his death immediately after. (JF&B) [RETURN

Originally posted on Thursday, 13 August 2020
Added dates and a few notes on Thursday, 01 July 2021

Page last updated on Sunday, 05 June 2022 10:30 AM
(Updates are generally minor formatting or editorial changes.
Major content changes are identified as "Revisions”)

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