Day 3: Genesis 9-12

Genesis 9 – 10: Repopulating the Earth

After that whole flood thing, God needed Noah to repopulate the earth. In doing so, he provides rules and guidelines:

  1. Man is now in control of the animals; the animals shall “fear and dread” him.
  2. Man can eat meat, as long as it doesn’t have its lifeblood in it. I had to look up what this meant, and it literally means not to consume the blood of an animal because blood was considered life.
  3. No murdering other men. (Doesn’t say anything about women.)

After the flood, God promised to never wipe out the earth with a flood again. Please note, other means of destruction are not discussed. He established rainbows, which occur in conjunction with rain (and therefore floods), as the sign of this promise.

Rainbow Flag

Chapter 9 rounds out with an eyebrow-raiser of a story, recapped below (I had to do some Googling to piece together the different sons’ roles):

  • Noah plants wine
  • Noah gets wine drunk
  • Noah falls asleep naked
  • Noah’s youngest son, Ham, sees him and tells the two older sons, Shem and Japheth
  • Shem and Japheth cover Noah with a blanket, averting their eyes “so that they would not see their father’s nakedness”
  • Noah woke up and got really mad at Ham
  • Noah cursed Ham’s son (Canaan)

I read that passage with wide eyes because of the twists and turns.

Chapter 10 recaps Noah’s bloodline and the territories they populate on the earth as three separate groups: the Japhethites, the Hamites, and the Semites (there’s a familiar word).


Genesis 11: The Tower of Babel

This is another story I recall from my childhood experience in the church. But, as is expected, I have a different frame of mind now, some 20+ years later.

When Noah’s sons all split up, spread out, and populated the world, they all spoke the same language. A bunch of men got together to build a city with a tower that reached the heavens. God wasn’t having any of that, so he “confused their languages” so the men couldn’t communicate with each other.

Then the men were scattered across the earth and the leftover city was known as Babel (or Babylon). I have to assume this is where the aptly named language learning software Babbel got inspiration for their name.

When I was young, I saw this story as a way for the writers of the Bible to “explain away” why so many different languages exist, even though we all supposedly come from the same two people.

The rest of chapter 11 tracks the descendants from Shem to Abram. Again, it works down the male line. And again, we see lifespans out of line with our expectations.

I need you to see this section with your own eyes. It’s like trying to follow a Game of Thrones character tree.
(Click the image to view it larger.)

Genesis Chapter 11


Genesis 12: God Promises a Nation to Abram

Chapter 11 led us to Abram because he’s the focus of chapter 12.

God instructs Abram to “a land I will show you.” So Abram goes with his wife, Sarai, and his nephew, Lot. They end up in the land of Canaan (modern day Jerusalem), which I have to assume refers back to the Canaan line of Noah’s youngest son’s son (I’m getting there with keeping at least the main players straight).

God promised the land, which did currently have occupants, to Abram, so Abram built an alter to God. He built several more alters on his way to Egypt. (I don’t know why he went to Egypt, other than that there was a famine in Canaan.)

Abram’s wife was so beautiful that Abram worried the Egyptians would kill him to keep her. So he had Sarai pretend to be his sister. It worked! The Pharaoh and Egyptians gave Abram “sheep and cattle, male and female donkeys, menservants and maidservants, and camels.”

But God was NOT happy about Abram referring to Sarai as his sister, so God put disease on the Pharaoh and his household. The Pharaoh was understandably not cool with that, so he kicked Abram and Sarai out of Egypt.


Follow-up Note

There wasn’t anything too major or exciting in this reading. I was curious about why Abram went to Egypt, however, because there wasn’t any instruction from God.

In some quick research, I learned that Abram was upset that God sent him to a place where there was famine (Canaan), and that’s why he moved with his flock and family to Egypt. This was said to be a test for Abram, and by heading to Egypt, he showed he lacked a blind trust in God.


This reading is brought to you by Amazon Prime Video Channels. When I learned I could get HBO, Showtime, and tons of other channels even though I don’t have fancy cable.

My favorite? Britbox. I get my British accent fix with all my BBC shows in one place…and for less than Netflix.

You can try any and all of the for 7 days before you subscribe. They range in price; Britbox is just $6.99/month, where HBO is $14.99/month. Worth it!

View all available channels.

About Megan Horn

I'm spending portions of the next 365 days reading the Bible. And document my thoughts as I work through the Holy Book.

8 thoughts on “Day 3: Genesis 9-12

  1. Mind you Im plant based so this doesnt apply to me, but is the gman saying eat meat but not raw meat?

    Also I see what you did there with that flag thing.

    1. It’s a specific part of the animal that he doesn’t want us to eat. Think of bacon. Don’t eat that. I don’t abide by these rules. Sounds like you do, but not for the same reasons!

      And thank you. Fly that rainbow flag high.

      1. I appreciate the awareness of not spoiling! I think the video is a nice overview. Very simple to understand. Is that a project you’re involved with? You said “tell us…”

        I don’t like the idea at the end of the video that the world is good and humans made it bad. I’ve spent my whole life working to see the good in people and the world. But, from the end of the video, I also feel like that idea is potentially removed with the coming of Jesus. We’ll see if I’m right! (In about 6 months.)

        Thanks again, Jason, always helpful!

        1. ” Is that a project you’re involved with? You said “tell us…””

          No, no. I meant in terms of “telling” those who read these comments. Sorry for the miscommunication.

          “I don’t like the idea at the end of the video that the world is good and humans made it bad. I’ve spent my whole life working to see the good in people and the world.”

          It is referring to Gods original design. Before the Fall, our intentions and choices were in alignment with Gods. We knew only good, not evil. But afterward, sin became a part of us. By our very nature, we are born self-righteous/self-centered, in rebellion against God – rather than subordinate to Him and God-centered.
          As such, we naturally are inclined to follow our own paths and make our choices apart from God. We tend towards selfish, secular humanism. This does not mean we are incapable of doing good or making moral choices based on what society finds acceptable. But we tend to ignore Gods Will and Laws.

          You yourself have made a number of comments stating that you disagree with a number of things God says or does, based on your own viewpoint and worldview. This is an example of our self-centeredness (no insult intended =) ).
          That, and you can’t exactly argue that mankind hasn’t royally screwed up the world in a great number of ways. News of evil actions and harm towards others is rampant in the news. And no matter how “good” our examples and actions are, none of us have ever matched up to Gods holy standards, as you will see in future readings.

          “Thanks again, Jason, always helpful!”

          Glad I could be of some help.

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