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9:1 And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.
9:2 And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered.
9:3 Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.
9:4 But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.
9:5 And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man.
9:6 Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.
9:7 And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein.
9:8 And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying, 9:9 And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you; 9:10 And with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth.
9:11 And I will establish my covenant with you, neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.
9:12 And 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: 9:13 I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.
9:14 And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: 9:15 And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.
9:16 And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.
9:17 And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.
9:18 And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan.
9:19 These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread.
9:20 And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard: 9:21 And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.
9:22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.
9:23 And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father's nakedness.
9:24 And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.
9:25 And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.
9:26 And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.
9:27 God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.
9:28 And Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years.
9:29 And all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years: and he died.

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King James Bible:Genesis
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Genesis
Book: Genesis
Chapter: 9

God blesses Noah, and grants Flesh for Food. (1-3) Blood, and
Murder forbidden. (4-7) God's Covenant By the Rainbow. (8-17)
Noah plants a vineyard, is drunken and mocked By Ham. (18-23)
Noah curses Canaan, blesses Shem, prays for Japheth, His Death.

1-3 The blessing of God is the cause of our doing Well. On him
we depend, to him we should be thankful. Let us not forget the
advantage and pleasure we have from the labour of beasts, and
which their Flesh affords. Nor ought we to be less thankful for
the security we enjoy from the savage and hurtful beasts,
through the fear of Man which God has fixed Deep in them. We see
the fulfilment of this promise every Day, and On every side.
This grant of the animals for Food fully warrants the use of
them, but not the abuse of them By gluttony, still less By
cruelty. We ought not to pain them needlessly whilst they live,
nor when we take away their lives.

4-7 The main reason of forbidding the Eating of Blood,
doubtless was because the shedding of Blood in sacrifices was to
keep the worshippers in mind of the great Atonement; yet it
seems intended also to check cruelty, lest men, being used to
shed and feed upon the Blood of animals, should grow unfeeling
to them, and be less shocked at the idea of shedding human
Blood. Man must not take away his own Life. Our lives are God's,
and we must only give them up when he pleases. If we in any way
hasten our own Death, we are accountable to God for it. When God
requires the Life of a Man from him that took it away unjustly,
the murderer cannot render that, and therefore must render his
own instead. One time or other, in this world or in the next,
God will discover murders, and punish those murders which are
Beyond Man's power to punish. But there are those who are
ministers of God to protect the innocent, By being a terror to
evil-doers, and they must not Bear the Sword in vain, Ro 13:4.
Wilful Murder ought always to be punished with Death. To this
Law there is a reason added. Such remains of God's image are
still upon fallen Man, that he who unjustly kills a Man, defaces
the image of God, and does dishonour to him.

8-17 As the old world was ruined, to be a monument of Justice,
So this world remains to this Day a monument of Mercy. But Sin,
that drowned the old world, will burn this. Articles of
agreement among men are sealed, that what is promised may be the
more solemn, and the doing of what is covenanted the more sure
to mutual satisfaction. The Seal of this Covenant was the
Rainbow, which, it is likely, was seen in the clouds before, but
was never a Seal of the Covenant till now it was made So. The
Rainbow appears when we have most reason to fear the Rain
prevailing; God then shows this Seal of the promise, that it
shall not prevail. The thicker the Cloud, the brighter the Bow
in the Cloud. Thus, as threatening Afflictions abound,
encouraging consolations much more abound. The Rainbow is the
reflection of the beams of the Sun shining upon or through the
drops of Rain: all the Glory of the seals of the Covenant are
derived from Christ, the Sun of Righteousness. And he will shed
a Glory On the tears of his saints. A Bow speaks terror, but
this has neither string nor arrow; and a Bow alone will do
little hurt. It is a Bow, but it is directed upward, not toward
the Earth; for the seals of the Covenant were intended to
comfort, not to terrify. As God looks upon the Bow, that he may
remember the Covenant, So should we, that we may be mindful of
the Covenant with Faith and thankfulness. Without Revelation
this gracious Assurance could not be known; and without Faith it
can be of No use to us; and thus it is as to the still greater
dangers to which all are exposed, and as to the new Covenant
with its blessings.

18-23 The drunkenness of Noah is recorded in the Bible, with
that fairness which is found only in the Scripture, as a case
and proof of human weakness and imperfection, even though he may
have been surprised into the Sin; and to show that the best of
men cannot stand upright, unless they depend upon Divine Grace,
and are upheld thereby. Ham appears to have been a bad Man, and
probably rejoiced to find his Father in an unbecoming situation.
It was said of Noah, that he was perfect in his generations, ch.

6:9; but this is meant of sincerity, not of a sinless
Perfection. Noah, who had kept sober in drunken company, is now
Drunk in sober company. Let him that thinks he stands, take heed
lest he fall. We have need to be very careful when we use God's
good creatures plentifully, lest we use them to excess, Lu
21:34. The consequence of Noah's Sin was shame. Observe here
the great evil of the Sin of drunkenness. It discovers men; what
infirmities they have, they betray when they are Drunk; and
secrets are then easily got out of them. Drunken porters keep
open gates. It disgraces men, and exposes them to contempt. As
it shows them, So it shames them. Men say and do that when
drunken, which, when sober, they would blush to think of. Notice
the care of Shem and Japheth to cover their Father's shame.
There is a Mantle of Love to be thrown over the faults of all,

1Pe 4:8. Beside that, there is a robe of reverence to be
thrown over the faults of parents and other superiors. The
blessing of God attends On those who honour their parents, and
his Curse lights especially On those who dishonour them.

24-29 Noah declares a Curse On Canaan, the son of Ham; perhaps
this grandson of his was more guilty than the Rest. A servant of
servants, that is, The meanest and most despicable servant,
shall he be, even to his brethren. This certainly points at the
victories in after-times obtained By Israel over the Canaanites,
By which they were Put to the Sword, or brought to pay Tribute.
The whole continent of Africa was peopled mostly By the
descendants of Ham; and for how many ages have the better parts
of that country lain under the dominion of the Romans, then of
the Saracens, and now of the Turks! In what wickedness,
ignorance, barbarity, slavery, and misery most of the
inhabitants live! And of the Poor negroes, how many every Year
are sold and bought, like beasts in the market, and conveyed
from one quarter of the world to do the work of beasts in
another! But this in No way excuses the Covetousness and
barbarity of those who enrich themselves with the product of
their sweat and Blood. God has not commanded us to enslave
negroes; and, without doubt, he will severely punish all such
cruel wrongs. The fulfilment of this Prophecy, which contains
almost a history of the world, frees Noah from the suspicion of
having uttered it from personal Anger. It fully proves that the
Holy Spirit took occasion from Ham's Offence to reveal his
secret purposes. "Blessed be the Lord God of Shem." The Church
should be built up and continued in the posterity of Shem; of
him came the Jews, who were, for a great while, the only
professing people God had in the world. Christ, who was the Lord
God, in his human nature should descend from Shem; for of him,
as concerning the Flesh, Christ came. Noah also blesses Japheth,
and, in him, the isles of the Gentiles that were peopled By his
seed. It speaks of the Conversion of the Gentiles, and the
bringing of them into the Church. We may read it, "God shall
persuade Japheth, and being persuaded, he shall Dwell in the
tents of Shem." Jews and Gentiles shall be united together in
the Gospel Fold; both shall be one in Christ. Noah lived to see
two worlds; but being an Heir of the Righteousness which is By
Faith, he now rests in Hope, waiting to see a better than

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