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5/4c Understanding the Covenant with Noah


We continue with the story of our Creator and His relationship with the human race in this third part to the story of Noah and his journey.  So far we had heard about Noah’s commission – both the actual serious version and then the funny story with Bill Crosby.  Then we followed one possible story line for Noah as he ventured out into a whole new world after the flood.  We continue now with the words, terms and the agreement made between Noah and Jehovah. 

1.  Who Made the Covenant and Why

The first mention of the word ‘covenant’ occurs in Genesis 6:18, when Jehovah commanded Noah to build an ark.  Again, a loving Jehovah established a covenant with a righteous man to limit the spread of human wickedness.

This covenant was:

a)  Irrevocable – God instituted the covenant and it could not be changed,

b)  It was universal – applying to every living creature ever on Earth,

c)  Unconditional – no ongoing conditions were set for Noah and the human race to fulfill,

d)  It was to be permanent and everlasting – No one could undo the consequences of the flood,

2.  The Words of the Covenant

There are two parts to this Covenant – Before the flood occurred:  The covenant was based on the obedience of Noah and his family.  He was to build and live in the Ark, and was to save a specific number of creatures from the Earth.

After the flood, Genesis 8:20-22, Jehovah-Elohim promised:

a)  Never again to curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of Man’s heart is evil from childhood.

b)  Never again to destroy all living creatures as He did with the flood,

c)  New cycles and seasons were given for seed time and harvest, climates set with hot and cold times, summer and winter, day and night.

3.  The terms of the agreement

Noah’s covenant added to Adam’s covenant:

Adam’s Covenant Conditions: Noah’s Covenant Conditions:
   a)  Adam, Eve and their descendants were given every vegetable and herb as their diet.    a)  “All things that live and move to be food…”, meat given to eat, but not their ‘life blood’,  Genesis 9:5.
   b)  Mankind would exert dominion over animals, as the garden was forbidden to Adam and his offspring.    b)  Every air, sea or land creature would know fear and dread of mankind.
  c)  Abel’s blood cried out for God’s justice and God set the punishments for Cain.    c)  Murder is forbidden for “…God made man”, Genesis 9:6.  God   allowed capital punishment as set by mankind’s authority .
  d)  Climate and landmass was   stable, moisture came from the mists that watered the land.    d)  Continents began to shift,   mountains appeared, rain came, weather and climate changed.

As the Earth would further deteriorate, mankind was no longer expected to be vegetarian.  Food supplies would be limited, depleted and so, Creator God gave the human race the permission to eat meat.

For the first time, the animal and bird life would grow to fear and dread mankind.  Man would have to become a hunter which further brought fear and dread to all creation.

Under Noah’s covenant, the responsibility for setting up human government and for capital punishment was given to mankind, Genesis 9:5-6.  God has never revoked the right to execute murders.

We also see the life span of humans change from thousands of years to just hundreds of years, probably due to the conditions of the Earth and the further degeneration of the human race as the decades went by.

4.  Other parts to the Covenant with Noah

a)  The Sacrifice to Ratify the Agreement – Noah killed some “clean animals” as a thanksgiving for their deliverance, Genesis 8:20.  However, this sacrifice seems unrelated to keeping the covenant with God.

b)  The Seal of the Covenant – the sign of the rainbow was given as God’s eternal promise to never wipe mankind out by water again.  Man has no obligations to fulfil anything in order to keep the rainbow sign.

c)  The Mediator of the Covenant – Jehovah was the divine instigator and Mediator.  No oath was given by Jehovah other than His word as God, Isaiah 54:9.  Noah took on a ‘priest-mediator’ role.

d)  The Place of the Covenant, the Holy Place – From the ark to the new, cleansed sanctuary of Mount Ararat, Noah and his family had the opportunity to make a fresh start of keeping God’s laws.

5.  The History of Human’s Continued

As we know from Genesis 9:26-27, grape juice now became fermented and Noah’s three sons found him drunk.  Ham humiliated Noah when he gleefully saw him naked.  As a result, Ham brought a ‘curse’ on himself and his descendants.

a)  Ham’s descendants were Cush and Nimrod, starting the Canaanite peoples – and possibly also the peoples of Greece, Egypt, Chaldea and China after the Tower of Babel.

b)  Shem becomes the father of Arabs, Syrians, Chaldean’s and Israel, the line that produced Abraham and later, the Messiah.

c)  Japheth spread north into Persia, Europe and Russian nations of Earth.

Yes, mankind had been given a new space, cleansed from the evil and destruction of the previous generations.  Could they remain true to their covenant with Jehovah-Elohim?  Could they continue to live fruitful and righteous lives in the future?  Return when we go onto the next covenant and follow the story of human history.



Some personal reflection:   It is not our intention to present the debate between Creation and Evolution in this post.  This actually is the topic of where we look at the Challenges to the Christian Faith, on ‘Evolution’.

Whenever I hear TV documentaries talk about millions and millions of years, I pause and give a sigh of sadness.  Using the Carbon Dating data assumes that the conditions of the Earth have been relatively uniform.

Adding the historical and traditional information about the flood explains the dinosaur’s burial and preservation, the changing of the seasons and the behaviour of animal life.  Go back and read this story and see how it fits the evidence of evolution or creation.

Adding the dateline of the Flood makes the timeline somewhere close to 2,300 years since Adam and Eve were removed from the Garden and human history was recorded by Noah.  We are now approaching the 7,000 year mark since they were removed from the Garden.  Continue to follow the dates in the time lines we have included in this series.


Noah’s covenant and the Great Flood brought a dramatic close to a chapter in Mankind’s history, when great evil and wickedness flourished.  God promised that never again would the world know such horrific judgement.  He established His word with the sign of the rainbow.  Only in the End Days would He bring down such destruction on the Earth, 2 Peter 3:13, Revelation 21:1.  Then, a new heavens and a new Earth will bring a new beginning for the human race.

Unfortunately, the Covenant with Noah couldn’t change the condition of the human heart, so the destructive, evil patterns began again, bringing the need for the next redemptive covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Join us in our next post as we look at the continued story of our Creator and the human race with the Covenant with Abraham and the beginning of new beginnings,

Susanne Fengler, Blog Author


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