Genesis 9:2 MEANING

Genesis 9:2
Verse 2. - And the fear of you and the dread of you. Not simply of Noah and his sons, but of man in general. Shall be. Not for the first time, as it could not fail to be evoked by the sin of man during the previous generations, but, having already been developed, it was henceforth to be turned back upon the creature rather than directed against man. Upon. The verb to be is first construed with עַל, and afterwards with בְּ. The LXX. render both by ἐπὶ, though perhaps the latter should be taken as equivalent to ἔν, in which case the three clauses of the verse will express a gradation. The dread of man shall first overhang the beasts, then it shall enter into and take possession of them, and finally under its influence they shall fall into man's hand. Every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon (literally, in; vide supra. Murphy translates with) all that moveth upon the earth, and upon (literally, in) all the fishes of the sea. This does not imply that the animals may not sometimes rise against man and destroy him (cf. Exodus 8:6, 17, 24; Leviticus 26:22; 1 Kings 13:24, 25; 1 Kings 20:36; 2 Kings 2:24; Ezekiel 14:15; Acts 12:23, for instances in which the creatures were made ministers of Divine justice), but simply that the normal condition of the lower creatures will be one of instinctive dread of man, causing them rather to avoid than to seek his presence - a Statement sufficiently confirmed by the facts that wherever human civilization penetrates, there the dominion of the beasts retires; that even ferocious animals, such as lions, tigers, and other beasts of prey, unless provoked, usually flee from man rather than assail him. Into your hand are they delivered. Attested by

(1) man's actual dominion over such of the creatures as are either immediately needful for or helpful to him, such as the horse, the ox, the sheep, etc.; and

(2) by man's capability of taming and so reducing to subjection every kind of wild beast - lions, tigers, etc.

9:1-3 The blessing of God is the cause of our doing well. On him we depend, to him we should be thankful. Let us not forget the advantage and pleasure we have from the labour of beasts, and which their flesh affords. Nor ought we to be less thankful for the security we enjoy from the savage and hurtful beasts, through the fear of man which God has fixed deep in them. We see the fulfilment of this promise every day, and on every side. This grant of the animals for food fully warrants the use of them, but not the abuse of them by gluttony, still less by cruelty. We ought not to pain them needlessly whilst they live, nor when we take away their lives.And the fear or you, and the dread of you, shall be upon every beast of the earth,.... This is a renewal, at least in part, of the grant of dominion to Adam over all the creatures; these obeyed him cheerfully, and from love, but sinning, he in a good measure lost his power over them, they rebelled against him; but now though the charter of power over them is renewed, they do not serve man freely, but are in dread of him, and flee from him; some are more easily brought into subjection to him, and even the fiercest and wildest of them may be tamed by him; and this power over them was the more easily retrieved in all probability by Noah and his sons, from the inhabitation of the creatures with them for so long a time in the ark:

and upon every fowl of the air, and upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; as appears by fowls flying away, by beasts and creeping things getting off as fast as they can, and by fishes swimming away at the sight of men:

into your hand are they delivered; as the lords and proprietors of them, for their use and service, and particularly for what follows, see Psalm 8:6 where there is an enumeration of the creatures subject to men.

Courtesy of Open Bible