Read thru Old Testament – January 04, 2017

January 4


Genesis 9-11


Genesis 6-9           The Flood…Noah, cont’d.


Genesis 4:16-9:29-The Beginning of Civilization, cont’d.


Genesis 9:1-2-God commands Noah to, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.” This shows that man is to grow in number and to be responsible for the earth and the animals that inhabit it.

Genesis 9:3-4-Before the flood mankind lived off of plant life (1:29;6:21). Now, God gives them animals as well.  However, they are not to eat it raw, uncooked (Leviticus 17:10).

Genesis 9:5-6-Capital punishment is established. The reason is that man was created in the image of God.  This fact has two bearings.  On one hand, since man is created in the image of God, when someone murders a person, it is an act against the God who created him.  Second, because man is created in the image of God he has moral capabilities that are a reflection of the moral character of God.  When a person murders someone he is guilty of breaking the morals that he was created with…and since murder is a grievous sin, there is a high penalty.

Genesis 9:8-17-God establishes His covenant with Noah (6:18;9:9)...his descendants and with all living creatures. The sign of the covenant is the rainbow.

Genesis 9:18-19-All the people of the world came from the sons of Noah.


How could all the people of the world be the descendants of these 8 men and women?  For an interesting article explaining the growth of the human population see:


Genesis 9:20-27-Noah became drunk and passed out. His son, Ham, “saw” (literally this word means that he “gazed with satisfaction”) his father lying naked.  The words, “told his brothers” means that he told them with “delight”.  He enjoyed the fact that he had something embarrassing to tell about his father.  On the other hand, Shem and Japheth showed respect for their father (:23).  This raises a question.  When Ham looked at Noah while he was naked, was there something more than his just looking…was there some sexual activity involved?  Or, did he take pleasure in thinking that his father, who was so righteous, was not as righteous as he thought himself to be?  Did Ham perceive Noah's drunkenness to be unrighteousness and he felt better about himself?  Why was Canaan (son of Ham; Canaanites are Canaan’s descendants) punished?  It could be that Canaan first saw Noah and then told his father…we do not know.  But, Ham is punished for dishonoring his father, by having a son who would dishonor him.  The Canaanites were the inhabitants of Palestine who were first subjected by Joshua when he brought the people of Israel into the land, and then later by Solomon (cf. 1 Kings 9:20-21).  The Canaanites became extinct long ago, so there is no one to whom the curse can be applied, today.

Genesis 9:29-Noah lived for 350 years after the flood, a total of 950 years…then he died.


Genesis 10-11        The Crisis at Babel…mankind

Genesis 10-11-The Beginning of Nations


Genesis 10-This chapter lists the descendants of the sons of Noah. The sons that were born to them after the flood.

:1-5-Japheth’s (which means “enlargement”) descendants settled in an area that stretched across Eurasia from the Black and Caspian Seas to Spain.

:6-20-Ham’s descendants went to Africa and later spread west along the Mediterranean coast of northern Africa. One of his descendants was named Nimrod.  He was a great leader.  His activities were first centered in the land of Shinar (Babylonia-he built the tower of Babel, there, 11:1-9) and later he went to Assyria (cf. Micah 5;6) and built Nineveh.

:21-32-Shem’s descendants occupied the area north of the Persian Gulf. The Jewish people are  of Semitic (the word comes from “Shem”) descent.  The descendants of Canaan will serve them, and the descendants of Japheth will be blessed by them (9:26-27).


For a more detailed explanation of the growth of the human population and its spread across the earth see:


Genesis 11-25        The man of faith…Abraham


Genesis 11:1-4-Originally, all men spoke the same language. As they began to spread out across the earth as God had decreed (9:1)…there were some (descendants of Ham) who decided to settle down and build a city with a tower (a sign of their fame and power) in it.  This was in defiance of God’s decree.

Genesis 11:5-9-God confused their language…giving birth to the many languages and dialects that are spoken across the world today. He did this so that the people would stop their building and continue to spread across the earth.  Because of the confusion of the languages that the people experienced there they named the city “Babel” (the Hebrew word means “to confuse”; but the same word in the Babylonian language meant “gate of God”).

Genesis 11:10-26-Here is a more detailed account of the descendants of Shem. It is given so that we might have a clear record of the ancestry of Abram (:26).  “Abram” means “exalted father”, the father of God’s chosen people.  His name would later be change to “Abraham” (Genesis 17:5) that means “father of a great number”.  Joshua 24:2 says that his father, Terah, worshipped heathen gods.  Abram was born in 2,165 B.C. in “Ur of the Chaldeans” (220 miles southeast of modern Baghdad).  His father, Terah took the family to Haran (in Syria).

Genesis 11:27-31-Abram married Sarai, but she could not bear children.  “Sarai” means “my princess”.  Her name would later be changed to “Sarah” which means “princess” (Genesis 17:15).  Terah gathered his family together (his son Haran had died, so he took his grandson Lot with him) and moved them from Ur (in the land of the Chaldeans, about 220 miles southeast of Baghdad…a large, prosperous, pagan center…a great ziggurat, stepped pyramid was built there) with the intent of going to Canaan.  However, they only made it as far as Haran (in Syria), and settled there.

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