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God’s Promise to Noah

God said to Noah and his sons:

I am giving you my blessing. Have a lot of children and grandchildren, so people will live everywhere on this earth. All animals, birds, reptiles, and fish will be afraid of you. I have placed them under your control, and I have given them to you for food. From now on, you may eat them, as well as the green plants that you have always eaten. But life is in the blood, and you must not eat any meat that still has blood in it. 5-6 I created humans to be like me, and I will punish any animal or person that takes a human life. If an animal kills someone, that animal must die. And if a person takes the life of another, that person must be put to death.

I want you and your descendants to have many children, so people will live everywhere on earth.

Again, God said to Noah and his sons:

I am going to make a solemn promise to you and to everyone who will live after you. 10 This includes the birds and the animals that came out of the boat. 11 I promise every living creature that the earth and those living on it will never again be destroyed by a flood.

12-13 The rainbow that I have put in the sky will be my sign to you and to every living creature on earth. It will remind you that I will keep this promise forever. 14 When I send clouds over the earth, and a rainbow appears in the sky, 15 I will remember my promise to you and to all other living creatures. Never again will I let floodwaters destroy all life. 16 When I see the rainbow in the sky, I will always remember the promise that I have made to every living creature. 17 The rainbow will be the sign of that solemn promise.

Noah and His Family

18 Noah and his sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, came out of the boat. Ham later had a son named Canaan. 19 All people on earth are descendants of Noah’s three sons.

20 Noah farmed the land and was the first to plant a vineyard. 21 One day he got drunk and was lying naked in his tent. 22 Ham entered the tent and saw him naked, then went back outside and told his brothers. 23 Shem and Japheth put a robe over their shoulders and walked backwards into the tent. Without looking at their father, they placed it over his body.

24 When Noah woke up and learned what his youngest son had done, 25 he said,

“I now put a curse on Canaan!
He will be the lowest slave
    of his brothers.
26 I ask the Lord my God
to bless Shem
    and make Canaan his slave.
27 I pray that the Lord
will give Japheth
    more and more[a] land
and let him take over
    the territory of Shem.
May Canaan be his slave.”

28 Noah lived three hundred fifty years after the flood 29 and died at the age of nine hundred fifty.

Footnotes

  1. 9.27 more and more: In Hebrew “Japheth” sounds like “more and more.”

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