Genesis 9:1-17, “1 So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. 2 And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that move on the earth, and on all the fish of the sea. They are given into your hand. 3 Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs. 4 But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. 5 Surely for your lifeblood I will demand a reckoning; from the hand of every beast I will require it, and from the hand of man. From the hand of every man’s brother I will require the life of man. 6 “ Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed; For in the image of God He made man. 7 And as for you, be fruitful and multiply; Bring forth abundantly in the earth And multiply in it.”
8 Then God spoke to Noah and to his sons with him, saying: 9 “And as for Me, behold, I establish My covenant with you and with your descendants after you, 10 and with every living creature that is with you: the birds, the cattle, and every beast of the earth with you, of all that go out of the ark, every beast of the earth. 11 Thus I establish My covenant with you: Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.”
12 And God said: “This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: 13 I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. 14 It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud; 15 and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” 17 And God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth.”
Please note that there is no terminology in these verses like ‘if you, then’. The covenants detailed above are all unconditional on mankind, the animals, the plants or the earth. God merely makes promises that He will keep, though there are consequences and effects for all involved.
The resulting effects of this for each of the parties involved are:
An unconditional covenant is always bestowed upon a lesser vassal by a greater, therefore, it is only right and proper for the lesser vassal, the beneficiary of the largesse, to give proper respect and heedance to the benefactor. That is in this case, praise, worship and thanksgiving to God, and to not speak or act against such a benefactor.
Mankind was no longer herbivorous, we are now omnivores. Humanity not only needed to till the soil as previously, but now had to learn to hunt and husband animals. However, since ‘the life was in the blood’, it would not be right to eat/drink the blood of animals. This ‘life in the blood’ does not only relate directly to the life of the animal, but also to the living parasites, bacteria, viruses. poisons etc that can be present. Therefore, restrictions against ‘eating the blood’ became enacted.
Since everyone was now to be held accountable for the life of each other, a form of government and its resultant legal system was to be instituted, especially in relation to murder and theft.
The ‘command’ to “be fruitful and multiply” would require humanity to breed, not ‘wasting’ resources with non-breeding couplings, and that the children of the breeding program would need to be educated in ‘proper’ family dynamics (all that to say, ‘no immorality’).
From verse 2 we are told that the animals would now have a fear of mankind as we could now eat any of them the same as we ate the plants. But we are not to eat of their blood. Any animal which took a person’s life was to be killed. Because of changes to the climate and the resulting changes to the vegetation, most of the animals would have needed to relocate to suitable habitats, or adapt.
c. All living matter
All living matter was affected by the changes to the topography and the climate. Plants and animals would need to adapt to increased sunlight, variations in seasons and precipitation, and various soil types not previously encountered.
Never again would the whole earth be destroyed by flood, though we know that there have, and probably will be, local floods. The original command of God to Adam to ‘tend the garden’ would still hold for humanity. However, there seemed to be some drastic changes to the earth during the period of the flood, possibly due to earthquakes, volcanic activity, seismic activity, flood sedimentation, and the erosion caused by the receding waters.
It is reasonable to conclude that the first heaven, the atmosphere, was changed, for we are told earlier that the earth was watered by mists, and yet now God put a rainbow in the sky. Therefore, there was now direct sunlight reaching upon the surface of the earth and that clouds were now present. This would result in a more variable climate, even seasons.