Genesis, Typically Considered. Chapter 9

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The world is here begun again—we cannot say "a new creation," but "the world that now is"—the other is entirely an old "world that then was." Compare the donatives in chapter 1:28 and also verse 22—so far it is, in part, man animally, yet withal in the image of God too, and dominion here; the terms of the new donative are quite other, and suppose, though no more curse on the ground, or destruction, sin to be there, and the sword in man's hand for righteous judgment—life, which was reserved before to God, now is put in government, and restraining vengeance into man's hand—so are they called Elohim
We have then here, on restored blessing, not all peace, but subjection, government, security against evil, and the earth—the entire subject here-its failure in Noah, who began to look for the earth's blessing—and on the sin of his younger son, the distribution by God of the three great families by Noah's prophecy.
Note too, verse 6—God never loses His rights by the failure or evil of man, nor His privilege so to consider it—so with the Church as against His enemies, or Israel either, for they ought to have recognized God's title in it, though He may punish and chastise at the same time.
But death and life are prominently brought out and the value of life manifested by death.
It is evident this chapter is a complete new ground and beginning of the world, though sin be still there, and death seen to be reigning, but life claimed as belonging to God. Man was made in His image, thus man in se connected with what was before, though the dispensation and footing of man with all things and God also, be quite new; also we have the failure, and then the generations as in chapter 5.
Blessing here is conferred of grace—on sacrifice, for that is ever needed—and Noah and his sons are blessed without reference to what they are. It is a primary analogous blessing to Adam's, though not anything of federal headship in sin for the sons are blessed with him.
Also the covenant is made with the earth-the Lord would not again curse it-Adam's present judgment was dispensational, so we shall find here. But this present rest and comfort concerning the work of their hands, because of the ground which the Lord had cursed, was abused, as before disobedience had been shown, Noah drinking himself drunk, and losing his intelligence, and the true place of government as head in wisdom, was thus against Him who had set him in blessing, and then relative sin comes out, as before in Cain, in not loving his brother—Canaan, Ham, does not respect his father. Hence the first prophetic testimony of patriarchal family announcement (for descendance now comes in—the blessing having been on their seed after them) opens with a curse, and hence it lights on Canaan; but this does not touch the covenant blessing given in grace, for the rain still descends on evil and good, and the sun rises on just and on unjust. Special government under law there may be, but on the earth in general this continues, and will, so long as it endures.
The taking off of the curse—dispensational curse—is not the redemption of the creature absolutely, as to death necessarily—this is an everlasting covenant with man, independent of law and righteousness. The new curse—prophetic—falls not on Earth—that Noah could not do—but on the unrighteous despiser of the Father and the reverence due to Him; hence it lights on Ham in his child, and is strict prophetic righteousness, but while so, as in pain and sorrow to Noah's heart too, for he has to see this prophetic judgment in judging his own ways, by a curse on those whom God had instituted in the blessing of creation with him (v. 9).
What sure ways of righteousness here, and quite a new feature of providential righteousness and judgment, and that in descendants too, while grace rules supreme before—independent of—and over all. The same consequently, the spirit of prophecy taking up this, plants Shem in the place of blessing, and relationship in this state of things; the governmental mind of God, in dispensation, prophetically revealed as to this relationship with Him, " Blessed be the Lord God of Shem."
Hence, the curse reversed on earth as Creator in new successional dispensation, it lights on the head of the rebellious son amongst the families, only election is placed in the place of relationship with God—He is the Lord God of Shem. And yet other general providential purposes and ways preserved for the history of the world, but not in this relationship; God, in His own will and thought, shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in Shem's tents. God does it, but He is not the Lord God of Japheth; Japheth may come in these tents for the blessing, or at least in relation with the blesser, while he possesses in providence the power, but we must rise up to God in supremacy, beyond the relation of this covenant dealing, to find Japheth in this blessing. It was the dealing of God prophetically with the earth—here Japheth might have power, but He was not the Lord God of Japheth in it; for him revealed foresight begins, but it begins (as the testimony in Paradise) after sin entered in, and therefore with a curse, adding thereto elective relationship, and supreme providence.
Thus was, while the earth was concerned in it, all the basis laid for what was carried on in Israel. This was the first prophecy; it is not that the Lord has not been pleased to reserve us the prophecy of Enoch—even He who knows the end from the beginning—but it was the first revealed order in prophetic dealing and government in the progress of God's dealings with the world.
Noah—as John Baptist—closed one scene and ushered in another in which he died, as those of the old before him, for really in man nothing was changed, though in circumstances, and even guilt, much; for blessing and grace was sinned against—Gentiles or nations soon begin now to have a place in our thoughts in the Word.
We have the sacrifice, blessing or promise, and covenant, and for the earth. This is distinct from the position—he is set in the failure and the curse, and the ministration of divine government in it.
The important division into all the different nations, and tongues; Japheth, isles of the Gentiles, and see verses 5-20, 31. In Ham's family, the first human kingdom by means of man's violence; “he was a mighty hunter," "and the beginning of his kingdom." This chapter throws light, by these nations, etc., on all the after prophecies. The dates, and ordering of providence go in Shem's family, and in fact on Eber being brought to light, Joktan was east; by them were the nations divided after the Flood.
This gives one great branch of prophecy—providence and pride, and more peculiar relationship to God, the God of providential ordering.