Saturday, October 01, 2011

How The Relationship Between Man And Animal Changed After The Flood (Part 2) - Genesis 9:1-3 Bible Commentary

This is part two in a two part series on Genesis 9:1-3, to go to part one click here.

There had once been thousands, millions, and perhaps billions of people on the planet. However, these people reached such a level of corruption that God had decided to stop striving with them. And so, he unleashed his wrath on them in a flooding judgment.

Only Noah and his family survived the flood, and when they left the ark over a year later, God issued a familiar command:
And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. (Genesis 9:1)
This command is identical to the one God gave to Adam and Eve. However, the next words that God spoke are quite different from the words He spoke to Adam and Eve:
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. (Genesis 9:2)
Man's relationship with animals underwent a massive change. The animals would now be filled with fear; they would be filled with the terror of man— and man, through that terror, would rule over the animals. This ruling would no longer be as harmonious and peaceful as it once was.

But what caused this change? Why were the animals filled with terror? Because God issued a change in man's diet:
Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant. (Genesis 9:3)
Before the flood, man's diet consisted of plants, fruit, vegetables, nuts... but not meat. After the flood, man's diet became plants and meat. Before the flood, animals were only killed as offerings to God. After the flood, animals were killed as offerings and food.

Perhaps the most important thing to notice about Genesis 9:1-3 is this: the contrast and the clear departure from what it had been like in the garden. Genesis 9:1-3 is not light reading, and I am convinced that the more you meditate upon these three verses, the darker your picture of this present post-flood era will become. The rainbow is rightly regarded as the main symbol of Genesis 9. However, we would be wise to remember the storm clouds which often accompany the rainbow.

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Related Posts:
How Man's Diet Changed After The Flood - Genesis 9:3-4
Summary of Genesis 8
Did Noah Gather "Vegetarian" Food? - Genesis 6:21
The Cave Men of Genesis - Genesis 4
The Cycle Of The Seasons - Genesis 8:22

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