9:1 Then God blessed Noah and his sons [cf. divine blessing in Gen. 1:28], saying [God’s blessing was followed by a command] to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth.
9:2 The fear and dread of you will fall upon all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air, upon every creature that moves along the ground, and upon all the fish of the sea; they are given into your hands.
9:3 Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants [cf. Gen. 1:29-30], I now [after the flood] give you everything [human beings were allowed to add meat to their diet].
9:4 “But you must not [important prohibition that applied to all people and was permanently binding] eat meat that has its lifeblood [blood equated with life itself] still in it [see Lev. 17:10-14; Deut. 12:23 for God’s reason for this restriction].
9:5 And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting [threefold use of these words emphasize God’s attitude about the taking of a human life]. I will demand an accounting from every animal [e.g., Ex. 21:28-29]. And from each man, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of his fellow man.
Note: What are you doing in your family to help promote respect for human life? Are your attitudes and actions regarding the value of all created life consistent with biblical teachings, including the truths contained in God’s covenant with Noah?
9:6 “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man [cf. Rom. 13:1-4] shall his blood be shed [offender’s punishment must be in proportion to the crime; sometimes referred to as lex talionis (Latin) or “law of retaliation”]; for in the image of God has God made man.
9:7 As for you [Noah and his family], be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it.”
9:8 Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him:
9:9 “I now establish [“to make stand something previously instituted”] my covenant [basic meaning is “obligation” (in this particular covenant God placed an obligation to His creation on Himself)] with you and with your descendants after you [God’s covenant commitment was universal and inclusive]
9:10 [God’s covenant commitment extended to animal life as well] and with every living creature that was with you—the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you—every living creature on earth.
9:11 I establish my covenant with you: Never again [an expression of grace] will all life be cut off by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood [a universal flood (not a reference to localized flooding)] to destroy the earth.”
9:12 And God said, “This is the sign [visible symbol; a sign is designed to point beyond itself, not to itself] of the covenant [the obligations and promises God had made to Noah] I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come [i.e., forever or as long as the earth exists]:
9:13 I have set my rainbow [“a bridge of beauty that joins heaven and earth” (Wiersbe)] in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.
Note: What thoughts do you have when you see a rainbow? What do you imagine God thinks?
9:14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds,
9:15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.
9:16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”
9:17 So God said [cf. 9:12] to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant I have established [a completed action that continues in force] between me and all life on the earth.”