Daily Word

Life in the blood | Genesis 9:1-7

1 Then God blessed Noah and his sons and told them, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth. 2 All the animals of the earth, all the birds of the sky, all the small animals that scurry along the ground, and all the fish in the sea will look on you with fear and terror. I have placed them in your power. 3 I have given them to you for food, just as I have given you grain and vegetables. 4 But you must never eat any meat that still has the lifeblood in it.

5 “And I will require the blood of anyone who takes another person’s life. If a wild animal kills a person, it must die. And anyone who murders a fellow human must die. 6 If anyone takes a human life, that person’s life will also be taken by human hands. For God made human beings in his own image. 7 Now be fruitful and multiply, and repopulate the earth.”

Genesis 9:1-7 (NLT)

God blesses

They are out of the Ark. The flood is over. Now it’s back to normal, a “new normal”. God first blesses them and provides basic instructions:

  • Be fruitful and multiply. Mankind was starting over. They needed to repopulate the earth. 
  • Animals, birds and fish will fear them. They are under mankind’s control. 
  • Meat with blood – don’t eat it because  the life is in the blood. It is sacred. To many, even the sight of blood makes them queasy. 
  • Don’t murder. And an animal that kills a man must be put to death. Note the NLT adds “wild” which is not correct. It’s any animal. 

Capital punishment 

Interesting that the only prohibition God gives Noah has to do with life. Don’t eat meat with blood in it and don’t murder. Even an animal that kills a man must be killed. If someone commits murder, their own life must be taken via capital punishment. “Because man is made in the image of God, his life is inherently precious and cannot be taken without giving account to God.”. (enduringword.com

Murder vs kill

David Guzik continues, “the Bible makes a distinction between killing and murder. Not all killing is murder because there are cases where there is just cause for killing (self-defense, capital punishment with due process of law, killing in a just war). There are other instances where killing is accidental. This is killing, but not murder.” (enduringword.com


  • Maybe you thought the 6th commandment said, “Thou shalt not kill.” In the KJV, it does. But a better translation is, “Thou shalt not murder”, which is different. God allows for killing, as noted above. He even commands the Israelites to kill. But that doesn’t conflict with the 6th command.
Ten commandments. Image from awesomechurch.com *

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