Living Under A Blessing

Genesis 9:1 (ESV) … “And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.”


God blessed Noah and his sons: blessed is the same word as used in 1:22 and 1:28, where God blessed animals and human beings with the gift of reproduction. Also, it is where God says to humans, “I am putting you in charge of things.” Now the blessing is given to Noah and his sons for the same purpose, showing that, in spite of destroying all living things on earth, God still willed that human beings should increase in number. Both RSV and TEV translate 9:1 as if the act of blessing is a separate event from the command that follows.


Maybe even more clear is what we find in the (Spanish Common Language Version). It say “God blessed Noah and his sons with these words:.…” We may also say, for example, “God blessed Noah and his sons by saying to them, ‘Be fruitful …,’ ” or “God was kind to Noah and his sons when he said to them, ‘Be fruitful.…’ ” In other words, God wasn’t giving so much of a command as he was giving his kindness by way of a blessing promised.

Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth begins a quotation that continues to the end of verse 7. The same expression is used in 1:28 and is nearly the same in 1:22. A variation of this expression is also used in 8:17. It is well expressed by tev: “Have many children so that your descendants may live all over the earth.”


We may also translate, for example, “Increase in numbers and populate the earth” or “Become many people and live everywhere in the world.” Two examples from existing translations are “Have many children, so that your clans will fill every place in the world” and “Have children and make yourselves plentiful, so that you crowd the world.”[1]


This conversation with Noah and his family ought to encourage us today. For God promises blessings to his children today as well. God still desires that we go and live out our lives while being fruitful and multiplying. God wants for us to fill this world with His grace and kindness as we live by faith in Him, all over this earth. Noah and his family represent a new beginning to this world. As believers we are to go forth and live under that same blessing of God, offering still a new beginning to those lost in sin, hope by way of His son Jesus Christ!





[1] Reyburn, W. D., & Fry, E. M. (1998). A handbook on Genesis (p. 201). New York: United Bible Societies.

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