Genesis Chapter Nine: The Covenant and the Curse

1And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.

1And God blessed Noah and his sons and told them, “All right! You four have a lot of work to do because I need the planet repopulated in short order. I’m going to cancel out the inbreeding factor for a bit until we’ve got a good population base going, but after that no breeding with close cousins. That’s a no-no!”

2And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered.

2″Now I know up to this point we’ve had a kind Disney movie relationship with the animals, but that’s over. You are now the official lords of the earth and they’re going to be scared of you, and for a very good reason that I’m about to explain”

3Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.

3″Up to this point you’ve all been vegetarians more or less, but now you can eat the animals. That’s why I had you bring extra of certain animals. Didn’t think I knew what I was talking about with those sets of seven, did you? Well Surprise! You can eat them. And trust me, that stuff is delicious. You’re about to understand why I like burnt sacrifices so much.”

4But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.

4″But before you can eat the flesh, you’ve got to get all the blood out of it first. Blood is life and flesh is death, so you can eat the dead, but not that which lives, which is blood. That too hard? All right, don’t eat the blood, all right? I explain why in just a second.”

5And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man.

5″The blood is mine. It’s the sacred stuff that gives you and the animals life and I want it back. The bodies you keep, but I get the blood. I’m a big fan of recycling.”

6Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.

6″So no spilling the blood of human beings! I realize you can’t really eat the animals without spilling the blood so this doesn’t apply to them. And when I say no spilling of human blood I mean don’t sticky pointy objects into each other. I made you people look like me, so I don’t want to look down from heaven and see I bunch of mini-mes bleeding out the sacred stuff of life all over the place. I don’t like it!

“Incidentally, this is why I’m generally don’t approve of murder. I know I haven’t really made my reasons for this aversion clear before now. Perhaps if I had I wouldn’t have needed to kill so many of you in the flood. But I’m making a lot of changes around here and one of them is telling why you’re not to spill the blood!”

7And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein.

7″ Now get out there and make a lot more human beings. It’s going to be boring just watching the four of you, so I want more people as soon as possible!”

8And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying,

8″Oh, and one more thing while I’ve got you all here together”

9And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you;

9″I realize this whole flood thing was kind of a downer for you and all life on earth, save the bits that live in the water. So I’m going to make a deal with you, and all your kids, and their kids and so on.”

10And with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth.

10″And this deal also applies to all the birds, the cattle, and all the other animals that you took into the Ark and that are currently out there multiplying. I mention the birds and the cattle in particular in order to point out the two tastiest animals for eating. Trust me, they’re delicious!”

11And I will establish my covenant with you, neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.

11″And here’s the deal: No more floods. Well, no more world-wide floods. You’ll get local flooding, sure, but that’s all balance of nature stuff. I’m talking no more end-of-the world, people screaming, civilization destroying, world-ending kind of floods. No more watery genocide for mankind and the animals.”

12And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:

12And God said, “And just to make sure this deal is legally binding, we’re going to have a contract. Now this contract isn’t going to be one of your standard legal documents, because this deal is going to be in effect for a very long time and paper just won’t cut it. Even stone tablets wouldn’t be enough for the job.”

13I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.

13″So get this. The contract is going to be an actual meteorological phenomenon! Yep! I’m inventing rainbows,”

14And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud:

14″So every time it rains you’re going to see this beautiful refraction of light effect from the moisture in the air. And it’s going to look like a huge arch! I mean, it’s going to be BIG! Bigger than anything you guys will be building for a few thousand years, I can tell you.”

15And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.

15″And when I look at that rainbow I’ll remember that I promised not to kill every living thing by flood. Fire and famine, maybe, but flooding is right out!”

16And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.

16 “So, once more for the record, the rainbow is my contract with humanity and all the animals that I won’t drown you all like rats.”

17And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.

17And God said, “Now you’re sure you understand what I’m saying here? This is kind of a big deal! I, GOD, am telling you, NOAH, that I’m not going to drown you all in a watery deluge anymore. I am limiting myself here! I am creating the rock I can’t lift! I am PROMISING you that there won’t be any more watery apocalypses! So please quit going around with that life preserver on. You don’t have to have any more screaming nightmares about your cousin pounding on the side of the ark begging you to at least let his children on board. And that is because there are going to be no more floods!”

18And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan .

18And Noah’s sons were Shem, Ham, and Japeth, in case you didn’t pick up on their names earlier. And Ham was the father of Canaan , which is very important for reasons which will be explained later.

19These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread.

19Just in case the last verse didn’t make this quite clear, the three guys named above were Noah’s sons. And from these three sons was the whole population of the earth descended. So Noah is everybody’s great-great-great-(keep adding great for about an hour), grandfather.

20And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard:

20And once things had settled down a bit and the animals had been distributed, Noah became a farmer. Or rather, he started a vineyard.

21And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.

21 Now Noah was a good man, (the best man according to God), but witnessing the end of the world takes its toll so the first thing Noah did with his first batch of wine was to get absolutely roaring drunk. Exactly what he got up to on that drunken evening is unknown, but the next morning found him passed out naked in his tent.

22And Ham, the father of Canaan , saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.

22And Ham, whom you may remember is the father of Canaan , walked into his father’s tent and found him drunk as a skunk and naked as a jaybird. So he runs out and tells his brothers all about it, laughing his ass off all the while.

23And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness.

23And Shem and Japheth, who seemed to understand their father’s problems a bit more than Ham, got a blanket and covered Noah up with it. And they made sure to keep their eyes closed while they were doing it, both out of respect and because nobody needs to see a five-hundred-year old naked guy.

24And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.

24And when Noah sobered up and awoke and knew what Ham had done to him for Ham got a real kick out of telling drunk Noah stories.

25And he said, Cursed be Canaan ; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.

25And Noah said, “Ham, I have witnessed the end of the world and the mighty wrath of God incarnate fall upon the false and unworthy multitudes. I have seen everyone I know die horribly, my home destroyed, and I have lived with the funk of over a thousand animals in an enclosed space for over a hundred days. I’ve had rats gnaw on me, birds crap on me, and I’ve been stepped on by elephants. And I bore it. I bore every last bit of it because God told me to. And I couldn’t do a thing about it because that’s God and what can you do? But what I don’t have to do is put up with you and your crap!”

“You are cursed! CURSED! You and yours are going to spend the rest of your lives picking up the crap of your brothers and their descendants. You like laughing at naked people? Well happy day! You’re going to be tending your brother’s babies, washing your brother’s children, pouring the bath water for brother’s family, and wiping the asses of your brother’s infirm relatives, so I’m sure you’ll have lots to laugh about! And don’t think this curse isn’t valid! God owes me and this is going to stick!”

26And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.

26And Noah said, “Shem, you’re a good boy and Ham’s descendants shall serve you!”

27God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.

27″And Japeth, you’re going to do all right too. You and yours are going to hang with Shem and his and Ham and his shall be your servants.”

28And Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years.

28And Noah lived another three hundred and fifty years after the flood. And if he spent a fair amount of that time inebriated, you can be sure no one said a thing about it.

29And all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years: and he died.

29And Noah lived nine-hundred and fifty years and died. He is notable, among several other things, of having the most eventful human life so far recorded in human history. And possibly the most sad.