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Genesis 9:8-17

Context

9:8 God said to Noah and his sons, 1  9:9 “Look! I now confirm 2  my covenant with you and your descendants after you 3  9:10 and with every living creature that is with you, including the birds, the domestic animals, and every living creature of the earth with you, all those that came out of the ark with you – every living creature of the earth. 4  9:11 I confirm 5  my covenant with you: Never again will all living things 6  be wiped out 7  by the waters of a flood; 8  never again will a flood destroy the earth.”

9:12 And God said, “This is the guarantee 9  of the covenant I am making 10  with you 11  and every living creature with you, a covenant 12  for all subsequent 13  generations: 9:13 I will place 14  my rainbow 15  in the clouds, and it will become 16  a guarantee of the covenant between me and the earth. 9:14 Whenever 17  I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 9:15 then I will remember my covenant with you 18  and with all living creatures of all kinds. 19  Never again will the waters become a flood and destroy 20  all living things. 21  9:16 When the rainbow is in the clouds, I will notice it and remember 22  the perpetual covenant between God and all living creatures of all kinds that are on the earth.”

9:17 So God said to Noah, “This is the guarantee of the covenant that I am confirming between me and all living things 23  that are on the earth.”

1 tn Heb “to Noah and to his sons with him, saying.”

2 tn Heb “I, look, I confirm.” The particle הִנְנִי (hinni) used with the participle מֵקִים (meqim) gives the sense of immediacy or imminence, as if to say, “Look! I am now confirming.”

3 tn The three pronominal suffixes (translated “you,” “your,” and “you”) are masculine plural. As v. 8 indicates, Noah and his sons are addressed.

4 tn The verbal repetition is apparently for emphasis.

5 tn The verb וַהֲקִמֹתִי (vahaqimoti) is a perfect with the vav (ו) consecutive and should be translated with the English present tense, just as the participle at the beginning of the speech was (v. 9). Another option is to translate both forms with the English future tense (“I will confirm”).

6 tn Heb “all flesh.”

7 tn Heb “cut off.”

8 tn Heb “and all flesh will not be cut off again by the waters of the flood.”

9 tn Heb “sign.”

10 sn On the making of covenants in Genesis, see W. F. Albright, “The Hebrew Expression for ‘Making a Covenant’ in Pre-Israelite Documents,” BASOR 121 (1951): 21-22.

11 tn Heb “between me and between you.”

12 tn The words “a covenant” are supplied in the translation for clarification.

13 tn The Hebrew term עוֹלָם (’olam) means “ever, forever, lasting, perpetual.” The covenant would extend to subsequent generations.

14 tn The translation assumes that the perfect verbal form is used rhetorically, emphasizing the certainty of the action. Other translation options include “I have placed” (present perfect; cf. NIV, NRSV) and “I place” (instantaneous perfect; cf. NEB).

15 sn The Hebrew word קֶשֶׁת (qeshet) normally refers to a warrior’s bow. Some understand this to mean that God the warrior hangs up his battle bow at the end of the flood, indicating he is now at peace with humankind, but others question the legitimacy of this proposal. See C. Westermann, Genesis, 1:473, and G. J. Wenham, Genesis (WBC), 1:196.

16 tn The perfect verbal form with vav (ו) consecutive here has the same aspectual function as the preceding perfect of certitude.

17 tn The temporal indicator (וְהָיָה, vÿhayah, conjunction + the perfect verb form), often translated “it will be,” anticipates a future development.

18 tn Heb “which [is] between me and between you.”

19 tn Heb “all flesh.”

20 tn Heb “to destroy.”

21 tn Heb “all flesh.”

22 tn The translation assumes that the infinitive לִזְכֹּר (lizkor, “to remember”) here expresses the result of seeing the rainbow. Another option is to understand it as indicating purpose, in which case it could be translated, “I will look at it so that I may remember.”

23 tn Heb “all flesh.”



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