Genesis 8:15 – 11:32

Summary: After the flood subsided, Noah & Co. leave the Ark behind (8:15-19)…..Noah builds an alter for his burnt offering to God putting a cap on God’s judgement of the earth and begins the restoration process (8:20-22) despite the fact that the nature of humankind is unchanged…..The earth appears to be recreated (9:1-7).  Mankind may eat animals, not their blood.  Whoever murders shall be put to death (capital punishment) begins humans governing themselves…..God initiates a covenant with Noah and his descendants (9:8-29)…..Noah’s encounter with wine (9:20-24) reveals the character of Ham vs. Shem vs. Japheth…..The genealogy (10:1-32) maps out, to a large degree better than any other source, the peoples of nations…..At this time, all of mankind was unified by it’s common language (11:1) both against God and wanting to become God themselves…..Babylon was apparently the greatest city, the most cosmopolitan, on the face of the earth (11:2-3)…..

Comments: In my opinion, Genesis is the most significant book in the Bible in that it maps out who God is and who we are…..Other books in the Bible may be more important than Genesis…..The title “Human Government” has to do with God declaring that murder is to be avenged (9:6).  This is the highest calling of government, the protection of human life.  The idea being the society protects itself from further murders by executing those thereby safeguarding the sanctity of human life because it is God’s most profound gift…..This delegation of authority by God to humans to govern themselves is Christ endorsed (Matt. 22:21), at the same time it holds mankind responsible to God for our actions and inactions…..So, Christians are to act at the same time both inside and outside of our beliefs.  This paradox is unlike any other world religion where one is to act only within the confines of said religion – more or less a totalitarian way of life…..The final section of this passage is a demonstration of man’s inability to govern themselves and the ensuing consequences (11:1-9)…..The covenant with Noah is 1) man rules themselves (9:5-6), 2) no more curses on the ground (8:21), 3) no more floods (9:11-16), 4) seasons are set (8:22), and 5) eating animals is approved (9:3-4)…..It’s difficult to know the extent of the incest in Noah’s wine/nakedness episode (9:20-21).  Possibly it’s related to the condemned Canaanite lifestyle (Lev. 19)…..Broadly speaking, Noah’s three sons blossomed the three varieties of peoples we have on earth…..Ham begot Canaan who are called to be the servants of the earth (9:25-26).  This group are the “…ites” of our Bible, generally leading to the modern Bedouin peoples.  From the human perspective, it would appear that this group has been designated by God to be the servants – essentially slaves to everyone else.  Jesus’ perspective on servanthood differs from the typical human (Mark 10:35-45)…..It is a reality that that those who work, control the work, and control what happens…..The two varieties of people are 1) those who work or serve and 2) those living off those who work or serve….Shem’s sons are those chosen by God (9:26) for His revelation, the modern day Semites…..The “enlarged” sons (9:27) of Japheth (10:2-5) are the rest of us.  Most (not all) of the advances in the earth’s civilization – art, science, etc. have been accomplished by these peoples.