Rawlings School of Divinity


Master of Theology (ThM)


Mark Allen


Genesis, Noah, Noahic, Covenant, Blood, Redeemer, Beth, Shed, Pour, Image of God, Life, Death, Kingship, Justice


Religion | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion


This thesis analyzes Gen 9:6 and its theological context in Genesis to determine the most exact interpretation of this passage. Chapter one focuses on an exegesis of Gen 9:1-7, arguing for a beth pretii (price or exchange) in Gen 9:6a. This argument is based on an accumulative analysis that considers overarching themes, lack of details, speech patterns, statistics, parallels, and structure. The conclusion is that v.5 presents God as the investigator and reckoner of bloodguilt, v.6a establishes a new principle of justice, and v.6b provides the theological rationale for a serious punishment. Chapter two places Gen 9:1-7 within its theological context of Gen 1-11 and analyzes four major themes: life and death, poetic justice, seed, and ruling. The interpretation of Gen 9:6 within the framework of the righteous seed conquering the serpent’s seed or God ensuring that it will not happen is left open. The theme of “ruling” is present but it is debatable whether Gen 9:1-7 is connected to it. The third chapter interprets Gen 9:1-7 within the wider context of Genesis, specifically the Joseph narrative, and finds notable connections to Gen 9:5-6 in the story of Joseph. The conclusion is that Gen 9:6 should be interpreted as “for man,” and even if a beth instrumenti is adopted, this does not necessarily imply a governmental reading. The primary thrust of Gen 4-9 is specifically on murder, which is the violence that corrupts the earth and must be stopped. In the end, God is the guarantor of justice and the divine redeemer of blood.