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Genesis Chapter 9
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Aftermath of the Flood
9:1 God blessed Noah and his children. He said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.
9:2 There shall be a fear and dread of you instilled in all the wild beasts of the earth, and all the birds of the sky, in all that will walk the land, and in all the fish of the sea. I have placed them in your hands.
9:3 'Every moving thing that lives shall be to you as food. Like plant vegetation, I have [now] given you everything.
9:4 But nevertheless, you may not eat flesh of a creature that is still alive.
9:5 'Only of the blood of your own lives will I demand an account. I will demand [such] an account from the hand of every wild beast. From the hand of man - [even] from the hand of a man's own brother - I will demand an account of [every] human life.
9:6 He who spills human blood shall have his own blood spilled by man, for God made man with His own image.
9:7 'Now be fruitful and multiply, swarm all over the earth and become populous on it.'

The Rainbow
9:8 God said to Noah and his sons with him,
9:9 'I Myself am making a covenant with you and with your offspring after you.
9:10 [It will also include] every living creature that is with you among the birds, the livestock, and all the beasts of the earth with you - all who left the ark, including every animal on earth.
9:11 I will make My covenant with you, and all life will never be cut short by the waters of a flood. There will never again be a flood to destroy the earth.'
9:12 God said, 'This is the sign that I am providing for the covenant between Me, you, and every living creature that is with you, for everlasting generations:
9:13 I have placed My rainbow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.
9:14 When I bring clouds over the earth, the rainbow will be seen among the clouds.
9:15 I will then recall the covenant that exists between Me, you and every living soul in all flesh.
9:16 The rainbow will be in the clouds, and I will see it to recall the eternal covenant between God and every living soul in all flesh that is on the earth.'
9:17 God said to Noah, 'This is the sign of the covenant that I have made between Me and all flesh on the earth.'

Canaan is Cursed
9:18 The sons of Noah who emerged from the ark were Shem, Ham and Yefeth. Ham was the father of Canaan.
9:19 These three were Noah's sons, and from them, the whole world was repopulated.
9:20 Noah began to be a man of the soil, and he planted a vineyard.
9:21 He drank some of the wine, making himself drunk, and uncovered himself in the tent.
9:22 Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father naked, and he told it to his two brothers outside.
9:23 Shem and Yefeth took a cloak and placed it on both their shoulders. Walking backwards, they then covered their father's nakedness. They faced away from him and did not see their father naked.
9:24 Noah awoke from his wine-induced sleep, and he realized what his youngest son had done to him.
9:25 He said, 'Cursed is Canaan! He shall be a slave's slave to his brothers!'
9:26 He then said, 'Blessed be God, the Lord of Shem! Canaan shall be his slave!
9:27 May God expand Yefeth, but may He dwell in the tents of Shem. Let Canaan be their slave!'
9:28 Noah lived 350 years after the flood.
9:29 All of Noah's days were 950 years, and he died.



Commentary:

Be fruitful and multiply
  The same expression is used in Genesis 1:22, 1:28, 8:16.

Like plant vegetation
  Previously only plants had been permitted (Genesis 1:30); now meat was equally permitted.

creature that is still alive
  Literally, 'flesh whose blood is in its soul.' As long as an animal is alive, its blood is seen as being attached to its soul (Hirsch. Cf. Deuteronomy 12:23). This commandment is meant to forbid flesh from a living animal.

Only of the blood...
  This is seen as a commandment against suicide (Bereshith Rabbah; Rashi. Cf. Bava Kama 91b).

for God made man....
  See Genesis 1:26,27, 5:1. This prescribes capital punishment for murder, even for gentiles.

youngest son
  According to some authorities, the order of birth was Yefeth, Shem, Ham; thus Ham was the youngest (Ramban on 6:10; cf. Sefer HaYashar). In the Talmud, however, the order of birth is Yefeth, Ham, Shem (Sanhedrin 69b), and this is also the order in which the genealogies are presented (Genesis 11). Therefore Ham is not the youngest son, but the 'least son,' that is, the lowliest and least significant (Rashi). Others say that the 'youngest son' refers to Shem, and that Noah knew about the good deed that he did (Chizzkuni). Other ancient sources, however, state that the order of birth was Shem, Ham, Yefeth (Yoveloth 4:33; see note on Genesis 10:21).

Cursed is Canaan
  Or, 'Cursed is Canaan's father' (Saadia).

expand
  Yaph't in Hebrew, a play on the name Yefeth. The word is from the root pathah, meaning to expand (Radak, Sherashim). This means that Yefeth was blessed that his descendants would be very populous and would have extensive lands (Bachya). Others note that the root pathah is used primarily in a psychological sense; therefore, the word denotes expansion and enlargement of the mind. The blessing would then be that Yefeth's descendants would have great intellectual accomplishments, and since Greece (Yavan) descended from Yefeth, this would allude to Greek philosophy (Hirsch).





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