Blood Restrictions 

            Gen. 9:4-6 "But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.  And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man.  Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man." 

            God told man not to eat the flesh with the blood.  Blood was not to be a part of the diet of man.  The reason is that the blood is the life of the flesh.  This principle is taught elsewhere in the scriptures as well:

                        1.  Lev. 17:11 "For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul."

                        2.  Lev. 17:14 "For it is the life of all flesh; the blood of it is for the life thereof: therefore I said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh: for the life of all flesh is the blood thereof: whosoever eateth it shall be cut off.

                        3.  Deu. 12:23 "Only be sure that thou eat not the blood: for the blood is the life; and thou mayest not eat the life with the flesh." 

            Thus, man was free to eat the flesh of animals, but he could not eat the life principle of the animal along with the flesh of the animal.

            Also, in our text we see that God promised that if man ate the life of the flesh with the flesh that he would require the blood of the life of the one who ate the life of the flesh with the flesh.  This would be required at the hand of the beast, or the hand of man, or the hand of every man's brother.

            Moreover, God introduced the eye for eye principle in the above text.  If a man shed man's blood, by the hand's of man was his blood to be shed because man was in the image of God.


Earth Overspread by the three sons of Noah

             All that are alive on the earth today are descendants of Noah.  Noah is the common link to all nations and tribes of people.  Further, Noah's three sons went forth from the ark and their descendants initially settled in different parts of the earth.  Initially after the flood there were three races of people that came from the three sons of Noah.

            Gen. 9:18, 19 "And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan.  These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread."  It is generally recognized that the dark-skinned people descended from Ham.  The name Ham means "hot, warm, burnt-black."  Further, it is generally recognized that the Anglo-Saxon people descended from Japheth.  Japheth is said to be the father of the Gentiles.  Likewise, it is recognized that the Oriental people were generally descendants of Shem.  Of course, as time has gone by there has been much intermingling of the races and tribes and nations have arisen that are mixtures of the three original races.   


God Makes a Covenant with all Creatures

             Gen. 9:11-17 "And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.  And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.  And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.  And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.  And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth."

            God made a covenant with every living creature that he would never again send a flood to destroy all flesh.  We notice the nature of this covenant that it is a one-sided unconditional covenant.  By one-sided we mean that all the action is performed by one party to the covenant.  By unconditional we mean that the action performed is not dependant or conditioned upon any action by the other party to the covenant.  The actions of man or other living creature do not affect or alter the fulfillment of this covenant.  All the actions of this covenant are performed by God.  God simply promised that he would never again send a flood to destroy all flesh.  The actions are all performed by God and the benefits of this covenant are every living creature. 

            We see a similar covenant stated in Romans chapter 8:29, 30 "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.  Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified."  As in the covenant above, all the actions are performed by God.  God foreknew, predestinated, called, justified, and glorified.  The actions of God are not conditioned upon any actions of those that God foreknew.  God's actions are totally independent upon the actions of those he foreknew.  Therefore, this covenant is a one-sided unconditional covenant. 

            In the covenant stated in the beginning of this article, God gave a token of this covenant.  A token is not the covenant but is a sign or representation of the covenant.  The bow in the cloud after the rain is a sign or representation of the covenant that God made with every living creature.  This is not the only place where God gave a token as a sign or representation of a covenant that he made.  When we get to Genesis chapter 17 we see God making a covenant with Abraham and with his seed after him to give them the land of Canaan and he gave them the token of circumcision as a sign of the covenant that he had made with him. 

            I have found that after storms, which sometimes are very violent and scary, that when I see the rainbow in the cloud that it is very reassuring and peaceful.  I suspect this is the same with many of God's creatures as they look upon the token of the covenant that God made with every living creature.  Yet the main thought in the above passage is not that we look upon the covenant and find rest and peace, but the main thought is that God looks upon the bow in the cloud and remembers His covenant that he made with every living creature: "And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth."  The knowledge, that when a storm comes upon the earth and afterwards the bow is seen in the cloud,  that God looks upon the bow and remembers his covenant is what is most reassuring to the creature.