Genesis 9-12

The flood is over.  Now the earth is almost empty — Noah’s family and the animals are all that remain.

Genesis 9

  • God tells Noah to replenish the earth.  He also tells him that the animals can be food just like the grains and vegetables.  Also, murder is forbidden since every person is living being in God’s image — every person is very special to God.  God serve justice to those who murder.
  • Remember how God said He would not curse the earth and destroy all living things again at the end of chapter 8?  Now He makes this covenant with Noah and his sons, telling them He will never again send a flood to kill all living creatures and destroy earth.  A rainbow is a sign of this covenant.
  • Every person living now came from one of Noah’s sons.
  • Ham was the youngest of the three brothers.
  • Noah became a farmer.  One day he got drunk from the wine he made from his vineyard.  Ham saw him laying naked in his tent and told his brothers Shem and Japheth (this was dishonorable to his father).  Shem and Japheth covered Noah with a robe while looking the other way to avoid seeing him naked.
  • Once out of his drunken state, Noah blessed Shem and Japheth and cursed Ham.  Ham and his descendants (the Canaanites) would be servants to Shem and Japheth’s descendants.
  • Noah dies at the end of this chapter.

Genesis 10

A detailed listing of sons and tribes are given that came from Noah’s Shem, Ham, and Japheth.  Most of the following notes comes from the notes in my study Bible…

  • Hebrews, Chaldeans, Assyrians, Persians, and Syrians descended from Shem.  Abraham, David, and Jesus came from his lineage.
  • Canaanites, Egyptians, Philistines, Hittites, and Amorites descended from Ham.  One of his descendants, Nimrod, built the foundation for his empire in Babylonia (which included the city of Babel).  He also extended his reign to Assyria (which included Nineveh).  The territory of Canaan included Sodom and Gomorrah.  Canaan, Egypt, and the rest of Africa made up Ham’s descendant’s territory.
  • Greeks, Thracians, and Scythians descended from Japheth.  They settled mostly in Europe and Asia Minor.

Genesis 11

  • People everywhere had the same language.  They decided to build a tower that would reach to the skies (the tower of Babel) as a monument of their greatness.
  • God saw the tower and said that nothing would be impossible to them if they had a common language (that is a really interesting statement to me…).  So he gave the people different languages, effectively ending construction on the tower.  This is why it is called the tower of Babel.
  • A more detailed listing of Shem’s family line is given.  Abram came from his lineage.  Nahor was his grandfather, Terah was his father, and Nahor and Haran were his brothers.
  • Note that Shem’s lineage includes the Jewish nation, who eventually conquer the land of Canaan… who came from Ham’s lineage.
  • Haran had a son named lot, Abram married a woman named Sarai, and Nahor married Milcah (daughter of Haran).  Haran died young while Terah was still alive.
  • Sarai was unable to have any children.
  • Terah, Abram, Sarai, and Lot left Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan but instead stopped at a village called Haran.  Terah died here.

Genesis 12

  • God told Abram to leave his country and relatives to a place that He would show Abram.  This great man of faith left not knowing where he was going with Lot, Sarai, and his livestock, and the other people who had joined his household.
  • Abram traveled through Canaan and eventually came to Egypt due to famine.
  • Abram was afraid that the Egyptians would kill him in order to marry Sarai, who was very beautiful.  They agreed to say that she was Abram’s sister (a half-truth… she was his half sister [see Gen. 20:12]).
  • The Egyptians treated Sarai very kindly and sent Abram many gifts until God sent a plauge on Pharoah’s household.  Pharoah then had Abram and Sarai escorted out of Egypt by armed guards.  Even Abram, the great man of faith, was not perfect…
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