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Genesis 9:17 - Exposition

And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant. Murphy thinks that God here directed the patriarch's attention to an actual rainbow; it seems more natural to conclude that from the beginning of the interview ( Genesis 8:20 ) the ark, altar, and worshippers were encircled by its variegated arch. Kalisch compares with the rainbow the other signs which God subsequently appended to his covenants; as, e.g; circumcision ( Genesis 17:11 ), the passover ( Exodus 12:13 ), the sabbath ( Exodus 31:13 ). The Noachic covenant being universal, the sign was also universal—" τε ì ρας μερο ì πων α ̓ νθρω ì πων " (I1; 11.27), a sign to men of many tongues. The later covenants being limited to Israel, their signs were local and provisional, and have now been supplanted by the higher symbolism of the Christian Church, viz; baptism, the Lord's Supper, and the Christian sabbath. Which I have established . The different verbs used in this passage in connection with בְּרִית may be here brought together.

1. נָתַן ( Genesis 9:12 ) representing the covenant as a gift of Divine grace.

2. קוּס (Hiph.; Genesis 9:9 , Genesis 9:11 , Genesis 9:17 ) exhibiting the covenant as something which God has both caused to stand and raised up when fallen.

3. זָכַר ( Genesis 9:15 ) depicting the covenant as always present to the Divine mind. Tuch, Stahelin, and Delitzsch detect an idiosyncrasy of the Elohist in using the first and second of these verbs instead of כָּרַת , the favorite expression of the Jehovist. But כָּרַת is used by the Elohist in Genesis 21:27 , Genesis 21:32 , while in Deuteronomy 4:18 the Jehovist uses הֵקִיס . Between ms and all flesh that is upon the earth .

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