In this section the flood takes place. All of the creatures of the earth who are not in the ark were killed by the rising flood waters. If you watched Evan Almighty you probably got a different idea of what the Noah story is about from what Genesis records. However, I don’t think they did any worse than some of the Bible story books I read or was taught from as a child. Genesis 7:4 is the first appearance of the number forty in the Bible which will become very important later with relation to the giving of other covenants such as Moses forty days on Mt. Sinai, Israel’s forty years in the wilderness and Jesus’ forty days of fasting in the wilderness. In 9:4, the command against defiling blood is given: “But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it.” This is followed up by the warning that anyone who sheds the blood of another human being will have to provide an accounting to God and furthermore: “Whoever sheds human blood, by human beings shall their blood be shed.” This is because humans are made in the image of God. Cain and others managed to escape this consequence but God makes it clear their actions will no longer be tolerated.
This section ends with the rather strange story of Noah getting drunk and the subsequent actions of his sons. What were they doing? And why is Canaan punished for the actions of Ham? The other brothers’ children are not mentioned so perhaps they did not yet have any. A TNIV reference at 9:21 suggests this story relates to the drunkenness of Lot which resulted in the births of Moab and Ben-Ammi to his two daughters (19:35ff). Are readers to be lead down the path of thinking these two accounts are related? Was Canaan the product of a drunken liaison between Ham’s wife and Noah? Perhaps the TNIV means to say that drunkenness is the only link but then why include it at all because drunkeness is so general?