Category Archives: Genesis

God’s covenant with Noah and the Four Divine Institutions

Foreword: this comes from the Grace Notes Genesis study of chapter 9, verses 1-7.  The text discusses the four divine institutions established by God .  This is key as society continually tries to buck this system with its own relativistic truths.

Genesis 9:1-7

Genesis 9:1-7 records God’s covenant with Noah. The first provision of this covenant is found in Genesis 8:20-22.
Genesis 8:20, “Then Noah built an altar to the LORD, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar.
Genesis 8:21, “The LORD smelled the soothing aroma; and the LORD said to Himself, ‘I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done.’”
Genesis 8:22, While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.

The first provision stipulated that God would never again curse the earth on account of man and that day and night and seasons would never cease as long as the present earth remains and that there would be a continuation of humanity until the end of human history by guaranteeing its sustaining food supply.

Genesis 9:1, And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.

The second provision stipulated that Noah and his descendants would multiply and replenish the earth. The command to be fruitful and multiply was also given to Adam as recorded in Genesis 1:28.

Blessed” is the verb barakh ( ErB^)* pronounced: bah-rach and means, “to bless,” in the sense that the Word of the Lord endued Noah and his sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth with power to produce offspring in great numbers.
Be fruitful” is the verb parah ( hr*P*) (paw-raw) and means, “to be fruitful” in the sense of to reproduce.
Multiply” is the verb ravah ( hb*r*) (raw-vaw) and means, “to multiply, to increase” in number or quantity and denotes not only the concept of multiplication of one’s progeny but also sexual prosperity.
Fill” is the verb male ( al@m*) (mah-leh) and is used here of Noah and his sons being given the capacity to repopulate the earth.

In Genesis 1:28, Adam was commanded to have dominion over the earth but in Genesis 9:1, this is omitted since the earth has been brought under a curse because of Adam’s sin and as a result of this sin, Satan is the “god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4) and “ruler of this world” (Jn. 16:11).

Genesis 9:2, “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.

The third provision stipulated that Noah and his descendants would have dominion over the animal kingdom and implies that the interaction between humans and animals would not be peaceful, just as Genesis 9:6 suggests the same of human beings.
Genesis 9:3, “Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant.

The fourth provision stipulated that all animal life was now given as food for people to eat and that the diet of the human race would not be restricted to a vegetable an fruit diet.

Genesis 9:4, “Only you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.”

The stipulation recorded in Genesis 9:4 was given since the soul life of animals resides in its blood (Lev. 17:11, 14). By forbidding the eating of the animal’s blood, this regulation instills a respect for the sacredness of life and protects against abuse (Lev. 3:17; 7:2-27; Deut. 12:1-24; 1 Sam. 14:32-34). The eating of meat is not a license to savagery meaning that even though Noah’s descendants are predators at the top of the food chain, they must show a proper respect for life as a sacred thing.

Genesis 9:5, “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.
Genesis 9:6, “Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed, For in the image of God He made man.

Genesis 9:5-6 records for us the establishment of the fourth and final divine institution. These four institutions are systems of authority designed to protect the freedom of members of the human race, both unbeliever and the believer: (1) Volition: You have authority over your own soul (Gen. 2:16-17). (2) Marriage: Husband has authority over the wife (Gen. 2:22-24). (3) Family: Parents have authority over the children (Gen. 4:1). (4) Government: Government has authority over its citizens (Gen. 9:5-6).

Murder is a violation of the first divine institution, which is volition. The government has the responsibility to practice capital punishment in order to protect the freedom its citizens.

I will require” is the verb darash ( vr^D*) (daw-rash), which is a judicial term used with reference to both men and animals and expresses the fact God seeks “restitution” for murder by the execution of the murderer or the animal who has taken a human life.

The fifth provision stipulated that as a result of the total depravity of mankind, God instituted capital punishment in order to protect both animal and human life and to curb violence and be a deterrent to crime. The reason why this provision is given is found in the phrase “for in the image of God, He (the Lord) made (`asah, “modeled”) (the soul of) man.

The emphasis of this stipulation recorded in Genesis 9:5-6 does “not” refer to vengeance but rather justice and the careful recognition of the sacredness of the divine image in man, though marred by sin. Murder is a shocking affront to God and a terrible crime against one’s fellow man.

Before the Flood the lack of capital punishment led to blood vendettas (Gen. 4) and without instinctive fear, the animals corrupted their behavior.

Genesis 9:5-6 records the institution of human government where God delegated authority to mankind as His agents in exacting retribution by capital punishment upon those who take a human life indicating as well that this is not a personal matter but a social obligation. Before the Flood, there was no formal arrangement of human government and thus no formal punishment of crime or of crime prevention, even for the capital crime of murder, as evident in the individual histories of Cain and Lamech. The absence of human government and the total depravity of mankind led to a universal state of violence and anarchy, which resulted in the judgment of the Flood. God established capital punishment and thereby human government in order to prevent the conditions of the antediluvian period from developing again.

Numbers 35:30-34, Deuteronomy 17:6-7 and 19:15 teach that capital punishment “cannot” take place unless there are two or more witnesses to the crime and that they all agree in their testimony after being individually and separately interviewed.
Capital punishment is taught in the Old Testament (Ex. 21:12, 15-17; 22:2, 18-20; Num. 35:6-34; Deut. 19:1-13; 24:7) and in the New Testament (Rom. 13:1-7; 1 Pet. 2:13).

The fact that capital punishment was instituted does “not” mean that there is never to be an exception to the punishment of execution for the crime of murder. With God, justice may be tempered with mercy, in response to repentance.

For example, David was guilty of the capital crimes of murder and adultery in the case of Uriah and Bathsheba respectively and God forgave David when he confessed his sin and thus David instead of dying by stoning or the sword as he deserved, “died in a good old age, full of days, riches and honor” (1 Chron. 29:28).

Also, the woman caught in the act of adultery was guilty by the Mosaic Law of a crime punishable by death (Lev. 20:10; Deut. 22:22) and the Lord Jesus seeing her heart of repentance, was moved to forgive her and to see that she was set free (Jn. 8:3-11).

In like manner, a judge or a governor is warranted in taking such mitigating factors as may exist in a given situation into consideration in determining a sentence, legal penalty of capital punishment.

The essential point is that man was delegated authority and responsibility of human government by God and that this responsibility first entails the recognition of the sacredness of human life and that man is created in the image of God and the recognition of capital punishment as the just and legal penalty for murder. It is clear that the authority for capital punishment implies also the authority to establish laws governing human activities and personal relationships, which if unregulated would lead to murder, robbery, adultery, thus this instruction to Noah is the fundamental basis for all human legal and governmental institutions.

Genesis 9:7, “As for you, be fruitful and multiply; Populate the earth abundantly and multiply in it.
Genesis 9:7 is a repetition of Genesis 9:1 in order to emphasize God’s desire to have many people who will gather around His throne and enjoy fellowship with Him throughout eternity (Rev. 5:9-10).
Pastor William E. Wenstrom. (n.d.). Genesis.

Stay Up-To-Date With Our Email Newsletter Today!


How long did Noah wait before leaving the Ark?

Noah didn’t immediately leave the Ark after the dove failed to return but instead waiting another twenty-two days before he removed the covering from the Ark and then it was another fifty-seven days before he finally did leave the Ark.
This is indicated by the following events:

  1. The waters of the Flood receded steadily for one hundred fifty days according to Genesis 8:3.
  2. On the seventeenth day of the seventh month, the Ark rested on the mountains of Ararat according to Genesis 8:4.
  3. On the first day of the tenth month, seventy-four days after the Ark rested on the mountains of Ararat, the mountain tops appeared to Noah according to Genesis 8:5.
  4. Forty-days later, Noah sends out a raven, which doesn’t return and a dove, which does according to Genesis 8:6-9.
  5. Seven days later, Noah sends out the dove a second time and this time returns with a freshly picked olive branch according to Genesis 8:10.
  6. Seven days later, Noah sends out the dove a third time but this time she doesn’t return according to Genesis 8:12.
    During all this one hundred twenty eight days elapsed, thus indicating that Noah waited still another twenty-two days after sending out the dove out a third time before he removed the covering of the Ark since Genesis 8:3 records that the water receded steadily for one hundred and fifty days.

Genesis 8:13, “Now it came about in the six hundred and first year, in the first month, on the first of the month, the water was dried up from the earth. Then Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and behold, the surface of the ground was dried up.”
Genesis 8:14, “In the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dry.”
A comparison of Genesis 8:13 and Gen. 8:14-16 indicates that Noah waited another fifty-seven days after removing the covering of the Ark before he and his family finally exited the Ark. Noah, his family and the animals were in the Ark a total of one year and seventeen days. A year according to the Jewish calendar is three hundred and sixty days and a month is thirty days.
Pastor William E. Wenstrom. (n.d.). Genesis.

Three stages of salvation

Salvation means “deliverance” and like sanctification it is accomplished in three stages:

  1. Positional: At the moment exercising faith alone in Christ alone and being delivered “positionally” (God’s work and viewpoint of the believer) from real spiritual death and eternal condemnation, the devil, his cosmic system and the sin nature through the death, resurrection and session of the Lord Jesus Christ.
  2. Experiential: After salvation, being delivered from the devil, his cosmic system and the sin nature “experientially” by appropriating by faith the believer’s union and identification with Christ in His death, burial, resurrection and session, which constitutes the believer’s spiritual life after being delivered from real spiritual death.
  3. Ultimate: At the resurrection the believer will be delivered “ultimately” and permanently from the devil, his cosmic system and the sin nature when he receives his resurrection body at the rapture of the church, which is imminent.

Just as the Ark delivered Noah and his family from Flood and the judgment of the antediluvian world so the baptism of the Holy Spirit delivers the believer from the judgment of the old creation, which is under the tyranny of Satan.

Romans 6:4, “Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.”
Walk in newness of life” refers to “experiential” sanctification, which is the post-salvation experience of the believer who is in fellowship with God, which is accomplished by confessing any known sin to the Father when necessary and then immediately obeying the Word of God.
Experiential” sanctification is only a potential since it is contingent upon the believer obeying the Word of God.
Just as Noah and his family were delivered by the Ark in order to begin a new life free from the sin of the old creation and tyranny of Satan so the Holy Spirit identified us with Christ in His death in order that we might begin a new life under the rulership of Christ.
Pastor William E. Wenstrom. (n.d.). Genesis.

Chronology of the Flood up to Genesis 8:4

Chronology of the Flood up to Genesis 8:4:

  1. According to Genesis 7:7-9, Noah entered the ark on tenth day of the second month (Iyyar) and waited in the ark seven days (Gen. 7:10).
  2. According to Genesis 7:10-11, seven days after Noah entered the Ark, the vast transparent water vapor canopy precipitated and the subterranean waters burst open on the seventeenth day of the second month.
  3. According to Genesis 7:12, the vast transparent water vapor canopy precipitated or fell upon the earth for forty days and nights and stopped on the twenty-seventh day of the third month.
  4. According to Genesis 7:24 and 8:3-4, one hundred ten days after the heavy rains of the forty day and nights had stopped, the waters of the Flood receded and the Ark rested on the mountains of Ararat.

Exactly five months after the Flood began, the Ark rested upon the mountains of Ararat since Genesis 7:11 records that the Flood began on the seventeenth day of the second month and Genesis 8:4 records that the Ark rested on the mountains of Ararat on the seventeenth day of the seventh month. This means that Noah and his family had been in the Ark for one hundred and fifty seven days up to this point in the narrative. It would be another seven months before they were able to leave since they had to wait for the waters to recede and the ground to dry sufficiently so it could support human and animal and bird life.

It is significant that the Ark is said to have “rested” as though it had been laboring for five months in accomplishing its work of saving its occupants from sin and judgment. This is the second mention of “rest” in Scripture with the first being when God rested after His work of restoring the earth in six days (Gen. 2:2-3). It is interesting since the Ark is a type of Christ as God “finished” His work of creation and as the Ark “finished” its mission, so Christ “finished” (John 19:30) His work of salvation.
A comparison of 8:4 with 8:5 indicates that seventy-four days or two and a half months after the Ark rested on the mountains of Ararat, the tops of the mountains appeared on the first day of the tenth month.
Genesis 8:6, “Then it came about at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made.”
A comparison of Genesis 8:5 and 6 teaches that forty days after the tops of the mountains appeared, Noah opened the window of the Ark, which would be on the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

Pastor William E. Wenstrom. (n.d.). Genesis.

Genesis 8:1-3

Note how Genesis 8:1-2 correlates to passages in Genesis 1:6-13.

According to Genesis 8:1, the two sources of water that God employed to flood the earth are prevented from doing their damage: (1) “All the fountains of the great deep burst open” (2) “The floodgates of the sky were opened.”
“The fountains of the great deep” refers to the vast springs or reservoirs of water that resided in pockets deep in the earth’s crust, which were put there by the Lord when on the third day of restoration He restored the dry land by gathering the waters that completely flooded the earth, which is recorded in Genesis 1:9-13.
“The floodgates of the sky were opened” refers to the vast transparent water vapor canopy that resided above the earth’s atmosphere, which were placed there by the Lord on the second day of restoration, which is recorded Genesis 1:6-8.
Genesis 8:1-2 records three specific actions that were taken by God: (1) God caused a wind to pass over the earth in order to evaporate vast quantities of water. (2) God shut up the subterranean waters from further eruptions. (3) The water from the vast water transparent vapor canopy was precipitated and God put an end to the rain.

Pastor William E. Wenstrom. (n.d.). Genesis.