May 18, 2010

Examining The Scripture IV: Somewhere Over the Bow Of Me

"And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth and upon every bird of the heavens, upon everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea. Into your hand they are delivered. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything. But you shall not eat flesh with its u life, that is, its blood. And for your lifeblood I will require a reckoning: from every beast I will require it and from man. From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man.“Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed,for God made man in his own image. And you, be fruitful and multiply, teem on the earth and multiply in it.” ~Genesis 9:1-7

God established His covenant with Noah and with Noah’s descendants after him and “every living creature that is with you” forever (Strong’s H5769: o-lawm'-to the vanishing point). It is an eternal covenant as are all of God’s covenants because He is eternal, unchanging, omniscient and perfectly righteous and holy. God still allows dominion over the animals because the dread of humans by animals remains “on every beast of the earth”. God is allowing protection from animals. In verse 6 there is a statement of reprisal for shedding man’s blood. God is protecting Noah and his descendants from human enemies. There is also a statement that God will not again destroy the earth by “flood” or water.

"I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember 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. When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” 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.” ~Genesis 9:11-17

The sign of God’s covenant would be a bow (rainbow) in the clouds. More specifically it says (Strongs H853:’eth and H7198: qesheth) “bow of Me/me”. God makes this covenant with emphasis (because it gets repeated three different ways in verses 13, 14 & 16). I have learned when God repeats things or emphasizes them (i.e.: verily verily), we as readers need to take special note. John Sailhamer seems to think it is emphasized because of the similarity to the covenant at Sinai and the appearance of the glory of God in “the clouds”(Sailhamer 128). On mans side God obligates Noah and descendants to obey their end of the bargain which is to “not eat flesh with its life” or to eat the blood of the animal but they were now allowed to eat meat (flesh) as they had eaten the green plants. God was also demanding the lifeblood of animals AND man for Himself. Man’s lifeblood and the value of man in general is emphasized because man is made in the image of God.

As with all of God's covenants they are eternal. When God makes a deal with man He keeps it. It is man whom is untrustworthy and defaults on covenants.

Sailhamer, Dr. John H.. "Chapter 1: Genesis." Pentateuch as Narrative, The. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1995. 128. Print.

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