Rachel, envious of her sister’s births, angers Jacob by demanding he give her children, when Jacob lays the blame for her closed womb on God. In another common occurrence, Rachel demands that Jacob impregnate her hand maid, and now we are told that Jacob has lain with a woman for the purpose of bearing children.
Sons of Bilnah and Jacob (Words of Rachel who named the sons):
5. Dan – “God hath judge me, and hath also heard my voice, and hath given me a son”
6. Naphtali – “With mighty wrestlings have I wrestled with my sister, and have prevailed”
Rachel claims she has prevailed over Leah despite having to resort to her handmaid for her sons and being outnumbered 4 to 2. Leah, who had left off bearing, answers back by having Jacob impregnate her handmaid, Zilpah.
Son of Zilpah and Jacob (Words of Rachel who named the son):
7. Gad – “Fortunate!”
Reuben, the oldest son, finds mandrakes in the field during wheat harvest and brings them to his mother Leah. His aunt Rachel demands Leah give them to her (they must have had some serious value) and Leah refuses, telling Rachel that not only has she taken her husband, now she wants to take her sons mandrakes. In a telling verse, Rachel offers a trade: Reuben’s mandrakes and Leah is allowed to sleep with Jacob (does this answer the previous question: Was Jacob the father of the first four sons of Leah?)
Genesis 30:16 And Jacob came from the field in the evening, and Leah went out to meet him, and said, Thou must come in unto me; for I have surely hired thee with my son’s mandrakes. And he lay with her that night.
We are told God hearkened unto Leah (who was no longer able to give birth aka “left off bearing” but now she was?)
Sons of Leah with Jacob (Words of Leah who named the sons:)
8. Issachar – “God hath given me my hire, because I gave my handmaid to my husband”
9. Zebulun – “God hath endowed me with a good dowry; now will my husband dwell with me, because I have borne him six sons”
Daughter of Leah (no indication Jacob was the father): Dinah.
God “remembers” Rachel, who has been barren all this time, and opens her womb (no indication Jacob was the father though it’s a good assumption).
10. Joseph – “God hath taken away my reproach; Jehovah add to me another son”
Back to mandrakes: can also be translated as “man dragons”, they seem to be a plant found in parts of the middle east. It could also be a general term for a group of hallucinogenic plants. An internet search will show that some of these tubers called mandrakes actually look like humans. The context of it in this book is unknown, however the idea that Leah would trade mandrakes to Rachel for the privilege of sleeping with her/their husband means that these items were highly valuable to Rachel, enough where she’d let another woman (even though it was his wife) sleep with him. Twice.
Genesis 26:1 – And there was a famine in the land, besides the first famine that was in the days of Abraham.
Aren’t famines preventable with an all powerful god who created the forces that would define famine (land, water, heaven/earth, etc.)? So why a famine? If he did create the forces that would define famine, then we can assume he is the one who caused it? Was this famine one of water and drought or are we talking about a different form of famine?
The point of direction for famine relief is Egypt, however, Jehovah interrupts Isaac’s journeys and tells him to NOT go to Egypt, but to stay and that he will be with him.
26:4 – and I will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these lands; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.
Note that there is a CONDITION to this covenant. What would have happened if Abraham didn’t do these things? It is NOT a blind covenant, Abraham had to do certain things to validate it. Also, it is said “…all nations of the earth be blessed.” Will this be the case? All nations of the earth be blessed? The Canaanites, Edomites, Hittites, etc? Just who are these “nations of the earth” Jehovah is promising to bless?
After all Jehovah has done for Abraham and Isaac, while Isaac is in the land of Gerar, he duplicates the deception of his father and proclaims his wife Rebekah to be his sister, for the same exact reasons as Abraham: he feared he would be killed because of his wife.
Where is the faith of Isaac if he has the blessings and promise of Jehovah behind him? Is this yet another act of Jehovah manipulating people’s minds to prove his power?
Abimelech, as mentioned before who had reached out peaceably to Abraham and Isaac, catches Isaac being intimate with his wife, and the story repeats:
26:9 – And Abimelech called Isaac, and said, Behold, of a surety she is thy wife: and how saidst thou, She is my sister? And Isaac said unto him, Because I said, Lest I die because of her. And Abimelech said, What is this though has done unto us? one of the people might easily have lain with thy wife, and thou wouldest have brought guilteness upon us.
Why the need for deceit and lies if Jehovah “will be with thee” as he stated in verse 3? Isn’t Isaac betraying Jehovah by not having faith in his words and promises? Isaac is putting an entire group of innocent people at risk of Jehovah’s wrath because he is *afraid* for his life. I wonder if there is more to the story in this verse. It pretty much rhymes with Abraham’s dealing with the Abimelech being deceived that Sarah was Abraham’s sister.
Is this ritual/repetition of Jehovah’s people of his covenant entering a foreign land, lying to the rulers because of a wife, more than a literal event? An allegory for another type of event? A simple demonstration of Jehovah’s ability to manipulate mankind, and take free will away from them? Are the stories code for something else?
Abimelech had a peace treaty with Abraham and Isaac, but because Isaac was commanded not to go to Egypt by Jehovah, he stayed in the land of the Philistines, and we are told he became so great and wealthy, that the Philistines envied him, and eventually Abimelech king asked him to leave because “…thou art much mightier than we.” Isaac moved to the Valley of Gerar where his father once dwelled, and he began to dig wells his father had dug up but which had been filled in by the Philistines (if they filled in the wells they didn’t need the water… during a time of famine?) This digging of wells by Isaac bothered the people of Gerar, until finally he dug a well at Rehoboth, which did not conflict with the people of Gerar, so he claimed that it was Jehovah that made room for him to dig this well and named it so. Isaac leaves Rehoboth (ran out of water?) and ends up in Beer-sheba where Jehovah appears to him the first night and repeats his promise to Isaac, and Isaac settles there with an altar for Jehovah and his servants/slaves digging a well, indicating a more permanent settlement.
Suddenly we jump to Esau:
26:34 – And when Esau was forty years old he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Basemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite: and they were a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah.
Ok, so in this lineage of people the Bible focuses on, all marriages have been, by modern terms, incestuous. Cousins or half siblings marrying each other, etc. Suddenly one of them marries outside of incest (Esau marrying women of the Hittites) and it grieves his parents.
What’s going on here with this lineage? Why were Isaac and Rebekah so grieved? Are we talking about a lineage trying to preserve its blood line? We know Abraham demanded that Isaac not marry among the Canaanites (his distant kin) so he demanded Isaac marry within his closer family, so one can assume Isaac and Rebekah wanted the same for their child Esau.
Our only knowledge at this point in the bible is that the Hittites were indigenous to the land Jehovah had defined to Abram back in Genesis 15 at the time of his promise of the land. There is no verse that says they were evil, wicked, or sinners. What does the future hold for the Hittites?
In modern times this situation of generational incest would be scorned (if not prosecuted) and Esau’s marriage outside of his family would be considered normal (except for the bigamy part.) For those that believe the morals and dogma of Old and New Testament are infallible, why isn’t incestuous marriage and bigamy normalized among those believers?
Genesis 22:1 – And it came to pass after these things, that God did prove Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham; and he said, Here am I. And he said, Take now they son, thine only son, whom thou lovest, even Isaac, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt-offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.
If ever a verse would turn away the average reader into abhorrent disgust from this book, this would be it. Jehovah promises Abraham that his seed will be as countless as the sand, yet God is telling him to now sacrifice him as a burnt offering? Abraham seems response-less, not even asking for clarification. He questioned Jehovah multiple times about the future, his destiny, his covenant. But sacrifice your only son? No response.
It was a 3 day journey to the spot in Moriah, and Abraham, without emotion, separates himself and Isaac from the two young men that accompanied him. In yet another act of deception by Abraham:
22:7 – And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold, the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt-offering? And Abraham said, God will provide himself the lamb for a burnt-offering, my son…
Why couldn’t Abraham just tell him the truth? More fear from Abraham, maybe Isaac would run off and Abraham would incur the wrath of God? Then we learn it was a test, a test to find out if Abraham feared God.
Why the need for a test, doesn’t God know all peoples thoughts and motives? The only reason to test Abraham is because God didn’t know if Abraham feared him. Why go through such a test if you are all knowing? Why does anyone prove something they already know?:
To prove it to other people
To wallow in the knowledge of being right
They are unsure of their knowledge
The angel of Jehovah interrupts Abraham right before he slays Isaac:
22:11 – And the angel of Jehovah called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. And he said, Lay not they hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything unto him; for NOW I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son, from me.
An insecure God? He didn’t know that Abraham feared him before this test? Not knowing the loyalty of his servants with which he has performed miracles, destroyed cities, and created covenants for him and his generations to follow? The only one in this story with conviction is Abraham, who did what he was instructed without hesitation. It is God in this verse who has to test the lesser being for his devotion. This is odd and undermines the omniscient quality modern religion has applied to our understanding of God.
Not only that, was it normalized in biblical times for a man to sacrifice his children? It’s not mentioned yet but the answer is yes, and future verse will prove it. Maybe not in the realm of Jehovah but certainly in this land, and we know Abraham has traveled in all directions at this point. We already read how Lot was ready to give up the virginity of his two daughters to scores of wicked men of Sodom and Gomorrah, possibly leading to their death. We know the Israelite’s fed their children to the fires of Moloch/Molech in future verse. Is this why Abraham didn’t flinch at the thought of sacrificing his son? It was already normalized?
Now I’m seeing the difference between what modern churches and interpretation apply to God as a trait and what the Bible states. They are not the same. If God knows all then why the need to test his servant and finally state “yes, NOW I know you fear me”. He admits he didn’t know before hand.
Genesis 22 ends with the lineage of Abraham’s sister in law Milcah from Abraham’s brother (including children from his concubine).
Genesis 21:1 – And Jehovah visited Sarah as he had said, and Jehovah did unto Sarah as he had spoken. And Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him.
What exactly did he “do unto Sarah”? Note that it is due to Jehovah’s “visit” to Sarah, and not the knowing of Sarah by Abraham that caused this conception. Sure enough it sounds like a recreation of the events in Genesis 6, when a heavenly being impregnates a “daughter of man”. We also know that the children of this union became “mighty men, men of renown” and eventually wicked and wiped out by the Flood in those days.
So is this child Abraham’s seed if Abraham didn’t contribute, physically, to the child’s conception? The child’s name was Isaac, he was circumcised after 8 days, and they held a great feast on the day he was weaned. The mother of the half Egyptian son of Abraham (truly Abraham’s seed for we know he impregnated Hagar), was seen to be mocking at the feast. Sarah asks Abraham to throw her and Abraham’s son out and that the child should not be a heir with Isaac. God comforted Abraham’s grief over this, promising that his son of Hagar will make a nation, and that he should listen to Sarah’s wishes.
21:12 – …. for in Isaac shall thy seed be CALLED. And also of the son of the handmaid I will make a nation, because he is thy seed.
Notice the verbiage, Isaac will be CALLED his seed (though he isn’t, aka “we will call him your seed”) and God verifies that the son of Hagar is indeed his seed.
Abraham, with all the riches of gold, silver, cattle, handmaids and servants, wakes up the next day, gives Hagar some bread and a bottle of water, and sends her on her way where she wanders the wilderness of Beer-Sheba. After the bottle of water runs out, and seemingly without hope, she places the child under a bush and distances herself so that she can not witness the death of her child.
The cries of the child and the cries of Hagar rise up to God, and the angel of God tells Hagar to get up and hold the child, because he will be a great nation. God opened her eyes to see a water well, where she was able to fill her bottle and give the water to her child. God was with the child as he grew, he became a great archer who dwelt in the wilderness of Paran, and eventually married one of his mother’s kin, an Egyptian.
Jehovah tells Abraham the covenant is for him and his seed (the child CALLED his seed or his actual seed?) After this Book I’m starting to see a different picture.
Jehovah + Sarah (whatever happened when he visited her) = Isaac who God says is CALLED Abraham’s seed
Abraham + Hagar = Unnamed at this point but who God says IS Abraham’s seed
Abraham is starting to look more like a surrogate/earthly father for the child of heavenly Jehovah and earthly Sarah
Can it be denied that the Bible did not say Abraham conceived with Sarah?
Both children are promised greatness, but it is the child of Sarah by Jehovah’s actions that is promised the covenant. If Jehovah was the “father” of Isaac, then he is protecting his own child.
As outrageous as that sounds, it is what I am reading. Is this so outrageous after understanding what happened in Genesis 6 when beings from heaven mated with females on earth? Remember, there were giants/Nephilim in those days AND after, as verse mentions. Was this heavenly being/earthly female propagation continuing after the flood?
In what really should be a separate book, Book 21 ends with a peace treaty between Abraham and Abimelech in the land of Philistines where Abraham sojourned for many days.
In Genesis 16 we read the story of Sarai and Hagar. Sarai says that Jehovah has made her barren (if so, why?), so she tells Abram to impregnate her Egyptian servant Hagar (can we go ahead and say slave here?) so that Abram can bare a seed. This is DESPITE Jehovah already promising Abram that he will bare a child. Despite all the divination and promises, Abram still has to resort to impregnating his wife’s slave servant. Talk about no faith. Abram does so and Hagar conceives. Maybe Abram is under the belief that this is Jehovah’s promise?
Can we see a parallel between Abram/Sarai and Adam/Eve? Jehovah makes a pledge with the man, and the woman has the man break that pledge or go against it. In this case, however, Jehovah does not intercede with punishment. The only one that gets punished, in this case, is Hagar who was already punished by being a slave, and her child Ishmael who, despite receiving Jehovah’s blessings, does not receive a covenant the way his brother Jacob would.
It should be noted that the phrase here was Sarai “… gave her (Hagar) to Abram her husband to be his wife.”
Already knowing polygamy exists here, did Hagar actually become another wife of Abram or his “be his wife” euphemism for the act of creating a child?
Sarai becomes jealous, Abram tells her to treat Hagar as she pleases, and Sarai “dealt hardly” with Hagar and Hagar fled. Sounds like domestic violence.
“The” (note not “an”) angel of Jehovah appears to Hagar. If we take our notion of winged-angels-servants-of-God away then angel in this sense is some sort of physical form of Jehovah whereby he can speak to people publicly. No mentions of wings, white robes, or halos however. Jehovah instructs her to name her son Ishmael.
Genesis 16:12 – And he shall be as a wild ass among men; his hand shall be against every man, and every man’s against him; and he shall dwell over all his brethren.
Thus we are foretold about Ishmael’s personality and interactions with not only his brethren but other men.
In Genesis 17, Jehovah appeared to Abram (note the difference between a vision followed by a horror of great darkness) and once again describes the covenant he will have with Abram. But here’s the rub: Jehovah calls himself, for the first time, God Almighty. He changes Abram’s name to Abraham, his wife’s name to Sarah, and reaffirms the covenant of the land. As for a symbol of this covenant, he requires Abraham and his people to circumcise all males in his household, including slaves and Ishmael (who isn’t part of this covenant by the way, so why circumcise him? So now that he is circumcised, is he part of the covenant?)
What’s interesting is as, despite Jehovah saying his covenant will not be with Ishmael, he tells Abraham that Ishmael will birth 12 princes and will become a great nation, much like what he will promise Abraham’s seed in the future. The only thing lacking is the covenant.
Ishmael as a child is innocent of the, what nowadays would be considered sinful, actions of his father and step-mother, so why not include him in the covenant?
Being a half breed (racially) is bad seems to be the notion here
Being inbred with cousin relations seems to be ok in the meantime
Why not set up a separate covenant with Ishmael? Will Ishmael’s descendants also live within the borders of the land Jehovah has set aside for Jacob? The more I read the more this covenant deals with land than with anything else.
It is that this point, 17 books into Genesis, that the words God and Jehovah become intermingled. Despite all the contradictions and differences, it seems the author wants us to think they are one in the same by replacing Jehovah’s name with God after Jehovah claims he is God Almighty. Will the contradictions and differences end at this point?
So, the names and titles of our 3 main characters change at this juncture: Jehovah calls himself God Almighty; Jehovah renames Abram as Abraham; Jehovah renames Sarai as Sarah.
Abram heads north with his caravan. It is noted at this time that Abram is rich in cattle, silver and gold. Obviously not a poor traveler or a starving wanderer… so just what was this “drought” he was fleeing from? Was it a drought not of weather but of another kind?
They flee to Egypt to avoid the drought, get thrown out, and then return to the land of the drought. Anyways, Abram ends up back where built the altar to Jehovah at Beth-El.
In a story rife with anthropological meaning, two pastoral families run out of land to tend to their herds and flocks of “great substance” (again, drought?) so they conflict, and come to terms with each other since they are kin. Also the author felt it was important to note that the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelt in the land (we know the genealogy of the Canaanites but not the Perizzites.)
Lot chose the Plain of the Jordan and journeyed east (there it is again) and “moved his tent” (which I’m going to assume is a euphemism for his collective) as far as Sodom. Also of note, Lot saw that the Plain of the Jordan was “well watered”, so either the drought was over or, again, we are talking about a drought of another kind. Abram stayed in the land of Canaan.
Genesis 13:13 – Now the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners against Jehovah exceedingly.
We are given insight into the people of Sodom: they were wicked, however they also answered to Jehovah. This is the first mention of another group that fell under Jehovah’s tutelage and also the first of a people considered wicked and sinners.
It wasn’t until Lot left Abram that Jehovah spoke to Abram, hinting to the future of his lineage:
13:14 – (Jehovah to Abram)… lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art, northward and southward and eastward and westward: for all the land which thou seest, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed for every. And I will make thy see as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then may thy seed also be numbered.
Abram “moved his tent” aka his collective and moved to the aforementioned (somewhat) oaks of Mamre which we now find out are in Hebron, where Abram builds another altar for Jehovah.
In Genesis 11, Terah, father of Abram (a Chaldean?) takes his family out of Ur of Chaldee to a city named Haran (which is also the name of Abram’s deceased brother/Terah’s son). Abram is told by Jehovah to remove himself from his country of Haran and his kin and go to a land Jehovah chose for him. Jehovah will bless his seed. Those who bless Abram, Jehovah will bless, those who curse Abram, Jehovah will curse. Abram grabs his wife/cousin Sarai, his nephew, Lot and they leave their native Haran and travel south towards Canaan.
Geographical point of significance: the land Abram passed through where was found the Oak of Moreh.
And it’s noted the Canaanite is in the land (of Canaan which isn’t a shocker). Remember, Canaan was the son of Ham who was cursed by Noah, so these Canaanites are surely blood relatives of Abram through Shem, Ham’s brother.
Noah builds an altar on a mountain near Beth-el, calls upon the name of Jehovah, and continues to travel south, which points him to Egypt.
Genesis 12:10 – And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was sore in the land.
Ok, here’s where most will stand back and say “If there is a famine, why couldn’t God fix it?” or, “Where is Jehovah who is supposed to be blessing Abram?”
All good questions that don’t get an answer except that: “it’s all part of the plan.” You would think it would be well under the power of God or Jehovah to not only fix a famine, but also get an outcome from their people without a complex and devastating set of events.
Another conclusion is that Egypt must not be suffering from the same drought to the north, otherwise Abram would continue sojourning until he found a land that was not under drought.
Is this drought documented historically? Archaeologically? I’d be interested to know if it was, it wouldn’t be just Abram that migrated out, so there would be mass migrations all over the place. Most droughts can also bring with them the fight for natural resources, the fall of civilizations, wars, and so on. Surely there is some record? More research to do but for now I stay within the Bible.
Genesis 11:1 – And the whole earth was of one language and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed east … 11:4 and they said, Come, let us build a city, and a tower, and let us make us a name; let we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.
The whole earth spoke one language, and they were journeying east. Notice the direction constantly mentioned is east: there is gold to the east, Adam and Eve were placed east of Eden, Cain was banished east of Eden.
The last part of that verse is intriguing, they want to make name, otherwise they would be scattered abroad. So they build a tower to reach heaven. Are they looking for a heavenly name?
Unfortunately, unlike Noah’s ark, we have no description or dimensions to describe the Tower. It must have turned into dust over time because we have no archaeological evidence of the Tower existing, so all we are left with is renditions of the imagination:
While it’s not directly stated, it’s almost implied that they want to be gods or God-like. An interesting parallel to Adam and Eve who, if they ate of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, would also become “like gods”.
So, in answer similar to Adam and Eve, Jehovah responds:
11:6 – And Jehovah said, Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is what they begin to do: and now nothing will be withholden from them, which they purpose to do. Come, LET US go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.
There is the “us”‘ again, pointing not to one being in heaven, but multiples as we saw in Genesis Book 1. The idea that they would become like gods if they succeeded: “…nothing will be witholden from they, which they purpose to do.” So, it sounds like they were doing it so they could be Gods or God like.
So not describing who or how or where these languages went, Jehovah confounded their languages so they could not understand each other. A cultural explanation of why other nations speak different languages put into myth? An actual event which spread the descendants of Noah who once traveled in one group all over the world?
Then Genesis 11 continues on with the lineage of Shem (is this an allusion to the idea that the lineage of Shem are the people in said story?) The roots of Abraham are put into place. One verse of interest to note: Abram was by birth, a Chaldean:
11:27 – Now these are the generations of Terah. Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begat Lot. And Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees.
So now we get some locality, Ur of Chaldees being in Babylon. Is this where Abram’s ancestors were scattered to during the Tower of Babel fiasco? And now Abram is being told to come back? Conjecture at this point.
In an odd event that results in even odder results, Noah is found drunk and naked in his tent by his son Ham, who goes and informs his older brothers. His brothers grab a garment, place it over their shoulders and walked in backwards towards Noah so as not to see him.
Noah wakes up, realizes what happens, and instead of cursing Ham, curses Ham’s son, Canaan. Noah curses his own grandson because of the actions of Canaan’s father. We are told Noah was a righteous man, perfect in his generations, and he walked with God. Yet he got caught in this unfortunate, if not embarrassing, situation, at which point instead of repenting for his drunkenness, he curses his own grandchild? This curse is for Canaan his grandson to be servants to the lineage of Shem and Japheth.
Genesis 9:26 (Noah speaking) And he said, Blessed be Jehovah, the God of Shem; And let Canaan be his servant. God enlarge Japheth, and let him dwell in the tents of Shem; And let Canaan be his servant.
Is Jehovah also not the God of Canaan, Japheth, and Ham? Is it up to the grandfather to appoint such a sentence to his grandchildren? Interesting story and outcome. He blesses Jehovah who is God of Shem and he wants God to enlarge Japeth.
Noah dies after 950 years and his lineage is described in Genesis 10. A few interesting verses to note:
Genesis 10:8 – And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before Jehovah: wherefore it is said, Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before Jehovah
The last time we heard about “mighty men” it was in reference to the children of the Sons of God/Daughters of men who were called Nephilim and giants. A quick internet search for Nimrod uncovers an interesting image:
Hopefully we come across Nimrod again in future verse, I’d like to know more details.
God blesses Noah and his sons, again tells them to be fruitful and multiply and man is given domain over every beast, every bird, all the fishes of the sea.
Genesis 9:3 – EVERY moving thing that liveth shall be food for you; as the green herb have I given you all.
God tells them they can it eat all. Doesn’t this contradict what Jehovah eventually tells them in regards to CLEAN and UNCLEAN animals? God makes no distinction here. God’s instructions continue:
9:4 – But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.
“Flesh with the life, which is the blood…” Ok, this is where it gets somewhat ambiguous, most animals have life and blood in them (according to our modern standards.) This almost sounds like a commandment to be Vegans. What makes more sense is that God is referring to life as in human life, an explicit instruction against cannibalism. Not sure but these are two possible interpretations.
NOW we see a verbal Covenant created between God and Noah. Note the difference between Jehovah, thinking in his heart, that he will no longer smite animals and the earth for the sins of man.
But first, let’s look back at what Jehovah said post flood:
Genesis 8:21 And Jehovah smelled the sweet savor; and Jehovah said IN HIS HEART, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake … neither again will I smite any more everything living, as I have done.
Compare to what God says post flood:
9:11 (God to Noah) And I will establish my covenant to you; neither shall ALL flesh be cut off any more by the waters of the flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth…. 9:13 I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth (God later describes as Noah/man and every living creature).
Jehovah’s words are interesting. We dealt with a flood (indicated by the words of God in verse 9:11), not a cursing of the ground. The ground was cursed back with Adam and Eve. Is this what Jehovah is referring to, the original curse? He also says he “smote” every living thing. This word is ambiguous defined as a strike/hit which doesn’t necessarily cause death, though in later use it can also be attributed to a kill.
Back to the covenant with God. Noah and his sons, Shem, Ham, and Japeth: “… of these was the whole earth overspread.” So now we’ve reset the original peoples, and all can be traced back to Shem, Ham, and Japeth and now we have a sign that will appear that will remind God of his covenant with life on earth.