Genesis 9

1 The blessing was bestowed on Noah and his descendents as promised.
2 Animals instinctively fear people. This is a kind of curse that separates people further from the creation (the curse on the ground was the first). Since the next verse grants people permission to eat meat, this fear helps protect the animals. Domestic animals are easy to control, but wild animals can require years of training before they are tamed. Those who research wild animals in their natural surroundings sometimes have to wait years for the animals to become comfortable with their presence (if they pose no threat).
3 We are not told exactly why the human menu was broadened, but we can speculate based on what we know of nutrition. No plant that survived the flood provides all the nutrition one needs to grow and maintain a human body. Vegetarian menus that attempt to provide complete nutrition require that a variety of fruits and vegetables be eaten. However, most people in the world do not have access to the variety of plants required and must rely on some other source. Meat makes up for what is missing in the plant part of the diet.

Geology appears to show a fossilized (pre-Flood) world that was much warmer than it is today. Some creation scientists suggest that an ice age would have followed the flood. If that was the case, the atmosphere of the earth would be colder, and men would be killing more animals to provide clothing. Perhaps another part of this was to minimize waste from clothes making.

4 Eating (or drinking) blood was forbidden. The life of the animal still belongs to God and he reserves it for Himself.

Several pagan practices involve drinking the blood of animals that the killer would "obtain" some characteristic of the creature. Of course, this belief is false. Such a practice offends God because it shows a dependence on creation, not God, for strength.

5 This is a prelude to the next verse. God created life, and that life belongs to Him. If a creature or person murders someone, God demands the murderer's life too.
6 Here is a connection between the blood (life) of the man and the image of God.

This verse endorses and commands capital punishment for murder. It is assumed that the "avenger of blood" is not held responsible for retaliating.

Some have interpreted the New Testament story of Jesus (John 8:3-11) repeals capital punishment, but the case in question does not involve murder. Others point verses like Deu 32:35, but the intent is obviously different since many other verses in the first five books speak of capital punishment for murder (e.g., Deu 19:11). We can be assured that whether or not a murderer is caught and executed by people, God will make the final reckoning on Judgement Day.

8 God spoke audibly to Noah and his sons. There was to be no doubt that what happened was an act of God.
9 This was a promise for all people and animals for all time thereafter.
11 The world would never again be destroyed by a flood. Those who believe that the Flood had been a local event should note that if this were true, then God would be a liar since there have been many local floods in various parts of the world.

The world will be judged again, but the final judgement will not be by water.

12 God provided a physical sign of the Promise, similar to how a wedding ring is a physical sign of the promise between a husband and his wife.
13 The rainbow makes its first appearance after the flood, and rainbows still appear after rainstorms today to remind us of God's promise.

Physics shows us that rainbows are the result of light refracting in rainy air. This leads credence to the idea that rain did not occur before the Flood.

16 God would not forget, but the physical sign would bring this promise to His immediate attention. It is to be a reminder to God and people.
19 This verse also speaks to the universal nature of the flood. Every human currently on the planet is a descendent of Noah.
21 In many places in the Bible, we find that people drink wine. Whether for pleasure or because of necessity, drinking wine is not generally prohibited, but drunkenness always displeases God. This could be because as God's image bearers we have the ability to think and reason. Drunkenness interferes with this process and makes a mockery of what God designed us to be.

Since the Fall, nakedness has been shameful for people. Noah may have undressed in response to the "warmth" and the lowered inhibitions that accompany alcohol consumption.

Although Noah was the most righteous man of his time, he sometimes made mistakes. We should guard ourselves carefully so that we do not sin.

22 For whatever reason, Ham stumbles across his father drunk and naked. Ham's response should have been to restore Noah's dignity and perhaps confront him later about the situation. Instead, Ham becomes a gossip against his own father.
23 Noah's other two sons were of more noble character. They did not simply leave their father alone in his tent, but they acted and covered his nakedness to salvage his dignity. They themselves would not look at their naked father while they covered him up.
24 Drunkenness often causes people to forget what they did while they were drunk, but other times they can remember vividly.
25 Notice that Noah cursed Canaan, his grandson. He was Ham's son and the youngest male (i.e., "youngest son" in the family. We do not know what part Canaan played in this situation. He may have found Noah and reported it to his father.

Some white people have used this verse to justify slavery of black people. However, Canaan's family migrated north, not to Africa. Thus, he was probably not dark-skinned. Instead, this curse foreshadowed the overthrow of Canaan by God after the Exodus of Israel from Egypt.

Canaan was to be a servant of servants. This would indicate that Shem and Japheth were considered servants, and by implication, they were supposed to be servants of God.

26 Shem was apparently a godly man, and perhaps this was part of his reason for his actions.
27 Shem is apparently to be the guardian of the family. Japheth may have had less godly character then Shem. Even if that is the case, it is apparent that Shem was a good influence on him.
29 Noah would be the last of the very old people. From this time on, the recorded life span for people drops dramatically.