God's Blessing on the Earth

Gen. 9:1-7:
1 "And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.
2 “The fear of you and the terror of you will be on every beast of the earth and on every bird of the sky; with everything that creeps on the ground, and all the fish of the sea, into your hand they are given.
3 “Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant.
4 “Only you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.
5 “Surely I will require your lifeblood; from every beast I will require it. And from every man, from every man’s brother I will require the life of man.
6 “Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed, For in the image of God He made man.
7 “As for you, be fruitful and multiply; Populate the earth abundantly and multiply in it.”


God blessed Noah and his family. He said to be fruitful and multiply. He wanted the earth filled with these creatures made in His image. This is where we must consider the relationships of the humans to animals. Prior to the Flood, the animals were all vegetarians. They did not eat flesh. Remember, from the very beginning in chapter 1, God gave greens, etc. as food for the animals. However, now God says a strange thing. All animals were going to be afraid of the humans. Why would God make the animals afraid of us when they lived in harmony prior to the Flood?

To understand this relationship, we have to look at the conditions for the animals before and after the Flood. What was the condition of the earth? Before the Flood, there was plenty of food for all. The moisture dome of earth kept everything in balance. Even though man was not improving, there is no reason to believe that the environment changed. Now, when we look at the conditions AFTER the Flood we see a dramatic change. The environment, terrain, and food chain changed. When the water subsided, the foliage was destroyed. Most of the food was not there, it was ruined, or it was in the beginning growth stage. Therefore, what would the animals eat? Now the animal would be vying with each other for life. So there would not be much food. The animals for the first time would have to fight for food. If the animals were not in "terror" (better word for the KJV word "fear" would better by translated as "terror") they would overtake the earth because the animals reproduce more quickly.

Yes, this is the point in scripture that most scholars believe that God gave man permission to eat meat. There are many people that believe meat eating was being exercised even prior to Flood. It seems apparent that at this time, God did not specify what animals were allowed to be eaten. It looks as if any could be eaten. However, at this time God made one directive or law (1 Tim. 4:3-4). Since the Hebrews believed that the blood was the spiritual as well as literal life fluid of all animals. Therefore, Man was not allowed to eat or in any other way consume the blood.In verse 3, God allows the eating of animals just as God gave the green plants to us (Acts 15:19-20).

Man's blood was more sacred than the animal. The animals would someday be used as sacrifices. It appears here in verse 6 that God is authorizing a system of government that would control world discipline. He is authorizing killing someone if that someone murdered another person. The authority for capital punishment implies that there has to be a system of government that establishes laws to which all would adhere. THERE SHALL BE NO VENGEANCE. The Ten Commandments state there shall be no murder, not killing. The killing shall be carried out by authorized persons (Rom. 13:4; Acts 25:11; Matt. 26:52).

The Hebrew word for "shed" is shaphak. It means usually a "pouring out" or "poured forth". This reference is made again in the New Testament to describe the shedding of Jesus' blood for many.

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