Babel To Abram (2247-2126 B.C.)

I. Divine Dealing With The Human Race.

A. Genesis Chapters 11 and 12 mark an important turning point in the divine dealing. Heretofore the history has been that of the whole Adamic race. There has been neither Jew nor Gentile; all have been one in “the first man Adam.” Henceforth, in the Scripture record, humanity must be thought of as a vast stream from which God, in the call of Abram and the creation of the nation of Israel, has but drawn off a slender rill, through which He may at last purify the great river itself.

1. to be a witness to the unity of God in the midst of universal idolatry (Deu 6:4); (Isa 43:10-12)

2. to illustrate the blessedness of serving the true God (Deu 33:26-29)

3. to receive and preserve the divine revelations; (Rom 3:1-2); (Deu 4:5-8)

4. to produce the messiah; (Gen 3:15; 21:12; 28:10; 28:14; 49:10; 2 Sam 7:16-17; Isa 4:3-4; Mt 1:1).

B. Beyond the opening comments of this paragraph, the contexts of Genesis Chapters 11 and 12 must be examined. We will continue this article with an examination of Genesis Chapter 11.

II. Genesis 11:1-9.

A. The Dispersion of the Nations at Babel. Verses.

1 The whole earth had a common language and a common vocabulary. When the people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there. Then they said to one another, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” (They had brick instead of stone and tar instead of mortar.) Then they said, “Come, let’s build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens so that we may make a name for ourselves. Otherwise we will be scattered across the face of the entire earth.”

But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower that the people had started building. And the Lord said, “If as one people all sharing a common language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be beyond them. Come, let’s go down and confuse their language so they won’t be able to understand each other.”

So the Lord scattered them from there across the face of the entire earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why its name was called Babel—because there the Lord confused the language of the entire world, and from there the Lord scattered them across the face of the entire earth.

B. The Dispersion of the Nations at Babel. Comments.

1. 11:1. The unbridegable gap between animal sounds and human language, as well as the statement of this verse that originally all men spoke the same language, are unable to be explained by the theory of evolution.

2. 11:2. “Shinar.” The area between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, near Babylonia.

3. 11:4. “a city and a tower” were built in order to prevent people from scattering through the earth, in a direct defiance of God’s command (9:1). This tower, unlike ziggurats (rectangular stepped towers), which were built for the purpose of worshiping a deity, served these people as a rallying point and symbol of their fame.

4. 11:7. By confusing language, God established the parent languages of the earth from which other languages and dialects developed (today, a total of more than 3,000). The result of this confusion was the scattering of mankind.

5. 11:9. “Babel.” Linked by a play on words with a Hebrew verb meaning “to confuse,” though the Babylonians preferred to use the meaning that was more acceptable to them: “gate of God.”

III. Genesis 11:10-26.

A. The Genealogy Of Shem. Verses.

10 This is the account of Shem.

Shem was 100 years old when he became the father of Arphaxad, two years after the flood. 11 And after becoming the father of Arphaxad, Shem lived 500 years and had other sons and daughters.

12 When Arphaxad had lived 35 years, he became the father of Shelah. 13 And after he became the father of Shelah, Arphaxad lived 403 years and had other sons and daughters.

14 When Shelah had lived 30 years, he became the father of Eber. 15 And after he became the father of Eber, Shelah lived 403 years and had other sons and daughters.

16 When Eber had lived 34 years, he became the father of Peleg. 17 And after he became the father of Peleg, Eber lived 430 years and had other sons and daughters.

18 When Peleg had lived 30 years, he became the father of Reu. 19 And after he became the father of Reu, Peleg lived 209 years and had other sons and daughters.

20 When Reu had lived 32 years, he became the father of Serug. 21 And after he became the father of Serug, Reu lived 207 years and had other sons and daughters.

22 When Serug had lived 30 years, he became the father of Nahor. 23 And after he became the father of Nahor, Serug lived 200 years and had other sons and daughters.

24 When Nahor had lived 29 years, he became the father of Terah. 25 And after he became the father of Terah, Nahor lived 119 years and had other sons and daughters.

26 When Terah had lived 70 years, he became the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran.

B. The Genealogy Of Shem. Comments.

11:10-26. The selective list of 10 generations is recorded for the purpose of tracing the ancestry of Abraham.

IV. Genesis 11:27-32.

A. The Record of Terah. Verses.

27 This is the account of Terah.

Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran. And Haran became the father of Lot. 28 Haran died in the land of his birth, in Ur of the Chaldeans, while his father Terah was still alive. 29 And Abram and Nahor took wives for themselves. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai. And the name of Nahor’s wife was Milcah; she was the daughter of Haran, who was the father of both Milcah and Iscah. 30 But Sarai was barren; she had no children.

31 Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot (the son of Haran), and his daughter-in-law Sarai, his son Abram’s wife, and with them he set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. When they came to Haran, they settled there. 32 The lifetime of Terah was 205 years, and he died in Haran.

B. The Record of Terah. Comments.

1. 11:27. “Abram” means “exalted father,” the progenitor of God’s chosen people. Later (17:5), his name was changed to “Abraham,” which means “Father of a great number.” He was born in 2165 B.C. Though we are told little about Terah (Abram’s father). Josh 24:2 states that he worshipped heathen gods.

2. 11:28. “Ur of the Chaldeans.” A wealthy, populous and sophisticated pagan center of southern Mesopotamia (220 mi, or 354 km, SE of Baghdad). Its most prosperous and literate era was during the time of Abraham. A great ziggurat was built there, and Abraham must have seen it.

3. 11:31. God called Abraham while he was in Ur (Acts 7:2-3). Only two routes to Canaan were available: one across the Arabian desert (impossible for transporting large herds), and the other along the Euphrates to “Huran,” in Syria, then down to Canaan, a 1,500 mile (2,400 km) journey.

V. Point Summary.

Babel—Genesis 11:9 says, “Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth.” God put a halt to one rebellious human scheme. The word Babel means the gate of the gods. But it also means confusion. The people named it Babel, the gate of the gods; God named it Babel, the gate of confusion. What God calls something is far more important than what we call it. They thought they were building the gate of heaven. They were actually building the gate of hell.

VI. References.

A. Paragraph I: Scofield Study Bible.

B. Paragraphs II-IV: Ryrie Study Bible.

C. Paragraph V: Vines Expository Bible Notes.

D. All Scriptures Come From The New English Translation Bible.

E. Paragraph C and D information comes from

The Third Covenant – Genesis 9:8-17 – The Noahic Covenant – 2348 B.C.

I. Noahic Covenant In Context.

Genesis 9:8-17 (New American Standard Bible).

Then God spoke to Noah and to his sons with him, saying, “Now behold, I Myself am establishing My covenant with you, and with your descendants after you; 10 and with every living creature that is with you: the birds, the livestock, and every animal of the earth with you; of all that comes out of the ark, every animal of the earth. 11 I establish My covenant with you; and all flesh shall never again be eliminated by the waters of a flood, nor shall there again be a flood to destroy the earth.” 12 God said, “This is the sign of the covenant which I am making between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations; 13 I have set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall serve as a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth. 14 It shall come about, when I make a cloud appear over the earth, that the rainbow will 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; and never again shall the water become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 When the rainbow is in the cloud, then I will look at 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.”

II. Overview.

After the flood subsided, and Noah and his family were able to leave the ark, according to Genesis 8:20, “Then Noah build an altar to the Lord, and, taking along some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it.” The Lord was pleased with Noah’s offering and prophesied, “Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And, never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done. As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease (vv. 21-22). 1.

III. Additional Study.

A. Scofield Study Bible.

1. The Noahic Covenant. The elements are:

(a) The relation of man to the earth under the Adamic Covenant is confirmed (See Scofield Note, Gen 8:21).

(b) The order of nature is confirmed (Gen 8:22).

(c) Human government is established (Gen 9:1-6).

(d) Earth is secured against another universal judgment by water (Gen 8:21; 9:11).

(e) A prophetic declaration is made that from Ham will descend an inferior and servile posterity (Gen 9:24-25).

(f) A prophetic declaration is made that Shem will have a peculiar relation to God (Gen 9:26-27). All divine revelation is through Semitic men, and Christ, after the flesh, descends from Shem.

(g) A prophetic declaration is made that from Japheth will descend the “enlarged” races (Gen 9:27). Government, science, and art, speaking broadly, are and have been Japhetic, so that history is the indisputable record of the exact fulfilment of these declarations. 

2. (See Scofield “Gen 8:21) for the other seven covenants:

EDENIC (Gen 1:28); ADAMIC (Gen 3:15);  ABRAHAMIC (Gen 15:18);  MOSAIC (Ex 19:25); PALESTINIAN (Deu 30:3); DAVIDIC (2 Sam 7:16);  NEW (Heb 8:8).(My notes: The New Covenant is shown first in Jer 31:31-34. The Palestinian Covenant is more correctly named “Land Covenant.” I have written on the reason that the land of Israel was renamed Palestine by the Roman ruler, Hadrian,

B. The Moody Bible Commentary.

Continuing the theme of His provision for humanity in the new (post-flood) world, God now established a covenant with mankind (v. 9) and all the animals that were represented in the ark (v. 10), never again to bring world-wide destruction by the water of the flood (v. 11; see also v. 15). This does not, of course, preclude God’s final judgment and destruction of wicked humanity, or His consequent restoration of creation to its ideal (pre-fall) state, both events being clearly established throughout the Scriptures. God’s purpose in bringing the flood, however, has been achieved, and need not be repeated. The depravity of humanity is an “internal” disorder, endemic to the post-fall leaning of humankind’s heart (8:21); no amount of environmental resetting can cure it. 2 .

C. King James Bible Study Notes.

This covenant involved the dispensation of human government, with humanity governing itself. Man was responsible to govern the world for God. The governing covenant of this era was the Noahic covenant (v. 11). Under it, man’s relationship to the earth and to the order of nature was confirmed (vv. 2-11), human government was established, and God promised never again to use a universal flood to judge the world (vv.11-17). The failure of man under this dispensation culminated in the building of the tower of Babel and resulted in the judgment of the confusion of tongues (cf. 11:1-3, 7).

IV. Footnotes.

A. 1. Every Prophecy Of The Bible, Chariot Victor Publishing, 1990, pg 23, John F. Walvoord, Th. D.

B. 2. The Moody Bible Commentary, The Moody Bible Institute, Moody Publishers, 2014, pg 62, Multiple Faculty Contributors.

The Third Dispensation – Human Government – Genesis 8:15 – 11:32 (2349-2126 B.C.).

I. Third Dispensation In Context.

Genesis 8:15-17. Holman Christian Standard Bible.

15 Then God spoke to Noah, 16 “Come out of the ark, you, your wife, your sons, and your sons’ wives with you. 17 Bring out all the living creatures that are with you—birds, livestock, those that crawl on the ground—and they will spread over the earth and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.”

II. Scofield Study Bible.

A. The Third Dispensation: Human Government. Under Conscience, as in Innocency, man utterly failed, and the judgment of the Flood marks the end of the second dispensation and the beginning of the third.

B. For the first time, there is human government–the government of man by man. The highest function of government is the judicial taking of life. All other governmental powers are implied in that. It follows that the third dispensation is distinctively that of human government. Man is responsible to govern the world for God. That responsibility rested upon the whole race, Jew and Gentile, until the failure of Israel under the Palestinian Covenant (Deu 28:1-30:10) brought the judgment of the Captivities, when “the times of the Gentiles” (See Lk 21:24; Rev 16:14) began, and the government of the world passed exclusively into Gentile hands (Dan 2:36-45; Lk 21:24; Ac 15:14-17). That both Israel and the Gentiles have governed for self, not God, is sadly apparent. The judgment of the confusion of tongues ended the racial testing; that of the captivities, the Jewish; while the Gentile testing will end in the smiting of the Image (Daniel 2.) and the judgment of the nations (Mt 25:31-46).

C. Scofield Study Bible, Oxford University Press, 1909.

III. Charles C. Ryrie, “Dispensationalism.”

A. The chief personage during this economy was Noah. The new revelation of this time includes: animals’ fear of man; animals given to man to eat; the promise of no further floods; the institution of capital punishment. It is the latter that gives the distinctive basis to this dispensation as that of a human, or civil, government. God gave man the right to take the life of man, which is the very nature of the case that gave man the authority to govern others. Unless government has the right to the highest form of punishment, its basic authority is questionable and insufficient to protect properly those that it governs.

B. Failure to govern successfully appeared on the scene, almost immediately, for Noah became drunk and incapable of ruling. The people, instead of obeying God’s command to scatter and fill the earth, conceived the idea of staying together and building the the tower of Babel to help achieve their sin. Fellowship with man replaced fellowship with God. As a result, God sent the judgment of the tower of Babel and the confusion of languages. He also graciously intervened in that He did not utterly destroy the nations, but chose to deal graciously with Abraham and His descendants.

C. In Charles Ryrie’s book, Dispensationalism, he shows a brief listing of Responsibilities and Judgments.

1. Responsibilities. Fill the earth; Capital punishment.

2. Judgments. Forced scattering by confusion of languages.

D. Dr. Ryrie shows the scripture range of Human Government to be from Genesis 8:15-11:19. He shows “Civil Government” as being the name of this dispensation.

E. Dispensationalism, Dr. Charles C. Ryrie, Moody Publishers, 1966, pg. 61-62.

IV. The Moody Bible Commentary.

A. God’s Provision For Life for Noah and his family.

1. “Be fruitful and multiply” (Gen 9:1, 7)

2. “The fear of you…will be on every beast…every bird…and all the fish…into your hand they are given”(9:2).

3. “Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you” (9:3).

4.”You shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood” (9:4). “Whosoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed” (9:6).

B. The Moody Bible Commentary, Moody Publishers, 2014, pg. 91.

The Second Covenant – Genesis 3:14-15 – The Adamic Covenant

I. Scripture Text. The Adamic Covenant: Genesis 3:14-15.

14 The Lord God said to the serpent,

“Because you have done this,
    cursed are you above all livestock
    and above all beasts of the field;
on your belly you shall go,
    and dust you shall eat
    all the days of your life.
15 I will put enmity between you and the woman,
    and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
    and you shall bruise his heel.”

II. Scripture Study Notes: Scofield Reference Notes.

A. Genesis 3:14: “And the Lord said:”

The Adamic Covenant conditions the life of fallen man–conditions which must remain till, in the kingdom age, “the creation also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the sons of God” Rom 8:21. The elements of the Adamic Covenant are:

(1) The serpent, Satan’s tool, is cursed (Gen 3:14), and becomes God’s illustration in nature of the effects of sin–from the most beautiful and subtle of creatures to a loathsome reptile! The deepest mystery of the atonement is intimated here. Christ, “made sin for us,” in bearing our judgment, is typified by the brazen serpent; Num 21:5-9; Jn 3:14; 2 Cor 5:21) . Brass speaks of judgment–in the brazen altar, of God’s judgment, and in the laver, of self-judgment.

(2) The first promise of a Redeemer (Gen 3:15). Here begins the “Highway of the Seed,” Abel, Seth, Noah Gen 6:8-10; Shem Gen 9:26; Gen 9:27; Abraham Gen 12:1-4; Isaac Gen 17:19-21; Jacob Gen 28:10-14; Judah Gen 49:10; 2 Sam 7:15-17; Isa 7:9-14; Mt 1:1; Mt 1:20-23; 1 Jn 3:8; Jn 12:31.

(3) The changed state of the woman (Gen 3:16). In three particulars:

(a) Multiplied conception; (b) motherhood linked with sorrow; (c) the headship of the man (Gen 1:26; Gen 1:27. The entrance of sin, which is disorder, makes necessary a headship, and it is vested in man; 1 Tim 2:11-14; Eph 5:22-25; 1 Cor 11:7-9.)

(4) The earth cursed (Gen 3:17) for man’s sake. It is better for fallen man to battle with a reluctant earth than to live without toil.

(5) The inevitable sorrow of life (Gen 3:17).

(6) The light occupation of Eden Gen 2:15 changed to burdensome labor Gen 3:18; Gen 3:19.

(7) Physical death Gen 3:19; Ro 5:23-21, See “Death (spiritual)” Gen 2:17. 

B. Genesis 3:15: “I will put enmity.”

As the English word, “enmity” comes from the same root as “enemy,” so also the Greek word used in the Septuagint at this verse, and the Greek word from the N.T. commonly rendered “enemy,” derive from the same root. Our Lord specifically designates Satan as the “enemy” (Mt 13:25-28, compare v. 39; probably also Lk 10:19). All men outside of Christ are enemies of God (Ro 5:10; Col 1:21; Jas 4:4); the carnal mind is at enmity with God (Ro 8:7). This enmity, which is particularly manifested in those who are “enemies of the cross of Christ” (Phil 3:18), will develop in great intensity in the end times (Rv 12:13-17).

C. Genesis 3:15: “thou shalt bruise his heel:”

The chain of references which begins here includes the promises and prophecies concerning Christ which were fulfilled in His birth and works at His first advent. See, for line of unfulfilled promises and prophecies: “Christ (second advent)” Deu 30:3. “Kingdom”; Gen 1:26-28; Zech 12:8 “Kingdom (N.T.)”; Lk 1:31; 1 Cor 15:28 “Day of the Lord”; Isa 2:10; Rev 19:11.

III. Scripture Context Verses.

Genesis 3:8-19.

And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” 11 He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

14 The Lord God said to the serpent,

“Because you have done this,
    cursed are you above all livestock
    and above all beasts of the field;
on your belly you shall go,
    and dust you shall eat
    all the days of your life.
15 I will put enmity between you and the woman,
    and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
    and you shall bruise his heel.”

16 To the woman he said,

“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;
    in pain you shall bring forth children.
Your desire shall be contrary to your husband,
    but he shall rule over you.”

17 And to Adam he said,

“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife
    and have eaten of the tree
of which I commanded you,
    ‘You shall not eat of it,’
cursed is the ground because of you;
    in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
    and you shall eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your face
    you shall eat bread,
till you return to the ground,
    for out of it you were taken;
for you are dust,
    and to dust you shall return.”

IV. Scripture Context Notes.

A. Things To Come, Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost, Zondervan, 1958, pp. 435-436.

1. Re: Genesis 1:26:  Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

2. “Let them have dominion” established the theocratic relationship, of the “Theocratic Kingdom in Eden.” The responsibility to “subdue” the earth was an exercise of theocratic authority. Submission to her husband was enjoined upon Eve in that Adam was the divinely appointed ruler in the theocracy. With the repudiation of this authority of God by Adam’s disobedience, God announced (Gen 3:15) the inception of a program that would manifest that authority, which was repudiated, by bringing a new creation into existence through the “Seed of woman” that would be willingly subject to Himself. The redemptive program now parallels the development of the kingdom program and is a necessary adjunct (complement) to it, but is not identical with it. The method of establishing God’s authority is through the medium of redemption, but the re-establishment of that authority remains God’s primary purpose. After the fall, the theocratic kingdom seems to be administered through the godly line born to Eve, through Abel, then through Seth.

B. King James Study Bible notes. Genesis 3:15.

1. This verse has long been recognized as the first messianic prophecy of the Bible. Thus, it also contains the first glimpse of the gospel (protoevangelium).

2. This verse reveals three essential truths:

a. that Satan is the enemy of the human race, explaining why God put enmity [related to the word enemybetween thee [Satan] and the woman; 

b. that He would place a spiritual barrier between thy seed (Satan’s people) and her seed (God’s people); and

c. that the representative seed of the woman (i.e., a human being: Christ) would deliver the deathblow to Satan, but in so doing would be bruised Himself. It [or “He,”] shall bruise [lit., “crush”] thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel refers to Christ’s bruising on the cross, which led to the eventual crushing of Satan and his kingdom.

C. NKJV MacArthur Study Bible, 2nd Edition. Genesis 3:19.

 “return to the ground.” I.e., to die (cf. 2:7). Man, by sin, became mortal. Although he did not die the moment he ate (by God’s mercy), he was changed immediately and became liable to all the sufferings and miseries of life, to death, and to the pains of hell forever. Adam lived 930 years (5:5).

V. Scripture and Study Bible Sources.

All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible. Other than data coming from “Things To Come,” Scriptures and Study Bible data come from As you click onto the linked scriptures, you will find a great wealth of theological information that is provided by highly educated and respected sources. Basic Bible Gateway is free.  Bible Gateway Plus offers a risk-free, 30-day trial—you can cancel any time. After that, it’s just $3.99 USD a month or $39.99 USD a year (additional sales tax may apply).Bible Gateway Plus

The Second Dispensation – Genesis 3:7 – Conscience (Moral Responsibility)

I. Scripture Text: Genesis 3:7, New English Translation.

“Then the eyes of both of them opened, and they knew they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.”

II. Scripture Study Note: New English Translation.

Heb “you must not eat from all the tree[s] of the orchard.” After the negated prohibitive verb, מִכֹּל (mikkol, “from all”) has the meaning “from any.” Note the construction in Lev 18:26, where the statement “you must not do from all these abominable things” means “you must not do any of these abominable things.” See Lev 22:25 and Deut 28:14 as well.

III. NIV Biblical Theology Study Bible note. 3:7 realized they were naked. Their nakedness symbolizes their innocence (2:25), but now they have lost that innocence. So the first barrier is set up, symbolized by the fig leaves that separate them from each other, from the garden, and from God. The harmony has been lost.

IV. NKJV MacArthur Study Bible note. 3:7 opened . . . knew . . . sewed. The innocence noted in 2:25 had been replaced by guilt and shame (vv. 8–10), and from then on they had to rely on their conscience to distinguish between good and their newly acquired capacity to see and know evil.

V. NKJV Study Bible note. 3:7 The serpent was right—they knew good and evil (v. 5). This is the awful truth about a skilled liar—the deception comes mixed with truth. Their eyes were opened. They discovered that they were naked. All of a sudden with no one around but the two of them, they were ashamed (see 2:25). Their lovely naiveté was now replaced by evil thoughts, and they covered themselves with fig leaves.

VI. Consider the basic detail of the Dispensation of Conscience from Dr. Charles Ryrie. 1

A. Scripture: Genesis 3:7-8:14.

B. Responsibilities: Do Good.

C. Judgment: Flood.

VII. Consider the detail from Greg Herrick. The Dispensation of Conscience. 2

A. The subsequent arrangement or order of things has been referred to as the dispensation of conscience . In this dispensation man was left to the dictates of his conscience which could produce guilt (Jn 8:9; I Tim 4:2) but was powerless to promote righteousness (Rom 3:10). He was to learn to deal with sin (Gen 4:7) and understand the need for a sacrifice; the penalty of sin being death (cf. Abel in 4:4). However, man was utterly unable to keep God’s standard and murder resulted immediately and as the population grew the wickedness of the earth grew greatly in God’s sight (Gen 6:5). Judgment (i.e. the flood) followed man’s failure, but grace was evidenced in the salvation of Noah and his family (6:8, 7:13) and the possibility of a redeemer was kept alive through Noah’s family. In this dispensation God’s glory or brilliance is seen in his holiness which parceled out justice and judgment not on just two or three individuals but on a great population-the whole earth. There is no man who can escape from God (Jer 23:24) and man should not take a God such as this lightly.

B. After Noah came out of the ark, God blessed him and his sons (9:1) and gave them further revelation with accompanying responsibility to be fruitful and multiply (8:17), eat anything he wanted except animals with their life blood still in them (8:19) and maintain the practice of sacrifice (8:20). God promised not to destroy the earth by water again and then laid down the authority basis for civil government(8:15-11:9)-capital punishment. In connection with this Ryrie notes, “ unless government has the right to the highest form of punishment, its basic authority is questionable and insufficient to protect properly those whom it governs” (Ryrie, Dispensationalism Today, 60). Human or civil government did not curb man’s sin as Noah’s drunkenness and the tower of Babel indicate. Man is unfit to govern himself and the end result will be world-wide disobedience and turning from God and the marring of His glory (Rom 1:23). Again, the unquestioned judgment of God in the confusion of the languages and dispersing of the people (11:9-8) shows forth His glory (in His sovereignty) and greatness as above the peoples of the earth. His glory shows through His wisdom in this judgment because with different languages sin now has a barrier and will not spread as fast.

VIII. Footnotes.

1. Dispensationalism, 1966, Moody Publishers, pg 62, Dr. Charles C. Ryrie, (A.B., Haverford College; Th.M. and Th.D., Dallas Theological Seminary; Ph.D., University of Edinburgh; Litt.D., Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary).

2.. Greg Herrick lives in Calgary Alberta, Canada with his wife and 4 kids. He has a passion to teach and disciple others, and holds a Th.M. and Ph.D. from Dallas Theological Seminary. Greg is currently serving as Project Director for

IX. Scripture and Study Bible Source.

Scriptures and Study Bible data come from As you click onto the linked scriptures, you will find a great wealth of theological information that is provided by highly educated and respected sources. Basic Bible Gateway is free.  Bible Gateway Plus offers a risk-free, 30-day trial—you can cancel any time. After that, it’s just $3.99 USD a month or $39.99 USD a year (additional sales tax may apply).Bible Gateway Plus

Back To Covenants – Genesis 2:15-17 – The First Covenant – Edenic

I. Scripture Text: Genesis 2:15-17. (New English Translation).

15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to cultivate it and tend it. 16 The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for on the day that you eat from it you will certainly die.”

II. Covenant Explanation (Scofield Study Bible, A-B(5)).

A. A covenant is a sovereign pronouncement of God by which He establishes a relationship of responsibility. In this first covenant, this responsibility is between God and an individual (e.g., Adam, in the Edenic Covenant, (Gen 2:16).

B. The first, or Edenic Covenant, required the following responsibilities of Adam: 

(1) to propagate  the race:

(2) to subdue the earth for mankind.

(3) to have dominion over the animal creation.

(4) to care for the garden and eat its fruit and herbs.

(5) to abstain from eating of one tree, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, on penalty of death for disobedience. 

III.. “The race.” Notice, above, that there is only one race (II.B.(1). (Mine).

IV. The purpose of the original creation, in relation to the kingdom age of the millennium.  (Things To Come, 1958, Zondervan, J. Dwight Pentecost, Pg 484-486).

A. There will be a spiritual character of the Millennium.  

1. The kingdom will be characterized by righteousness, obedience, holiness, truth, and the fullness of the Holy Spirit.

2. One essential purpose of the original creation was to establish a kingdom in which there was a complete and willing obedience on the part of the subject to God. The tree was placed in the garden as a test of this obedience (Gen 2:16-17). Disobedience soon followed. God did not surrender His purpose of bringing all things into subjection to Himself.

3. Paul states this continuing purpose in Ephesians 1:9-10 (NASB), as follows: “9 He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He set forth in Him, 10 regarding His plan of the fullness of the times, to bring all things together in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth.”

a. The word “mystery,” as written in the Oxford Languages dictionary is stated, as follows: “something that is difficult to understand or explain.”

b. The word “mystery,” as stated in reference to the above verse has a different Scriptural understanding, as follows: “something unknown in times past but revealed in the New Testament” (Ryrie Study Bible note, Romans 16:25).

B.  God will bring all things into the subjection to the One who said, “I come to do thy will, O God,” (Hebrews 10:9a, KJV). This perfect obedience will be a manifestation of the spiritual character of the millennium (the Kingdom Age of the reign of Christ). 

Back To Dispensations – Genesis 1:28 – The First Dispensation – Innocence

In the previous two articles we have had an overview of the total Dispensations and Covenants of the Bible. We will now discuss each dispensation, and each dispensation, in the order in which they are found in Scripture.  

References will be identified as they are used in this article.  The Bible translation that will be used is the Updated American Standard Version (UASB).

Let’s consider the key verse of study in this article (Genesis 1:28).

Genesis 1:28,  And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 

The First Dispensation: Man was created in innocence, placed in a perfect environment, subjected to a simple test, and warned of the consequences of disobedience. He was not compelled to sin but, tempted by Satan, he chose to disobey God. The woman was deceived; the man transgressed deliberately (1 Tim 2:14). The stewardship of Innocence ended in the judgment of expulsion from Eden (Gen 3:24). 1

Note: 1:28. This is the divine magna carta for all true scientific and material progress. Man began with a mind that was perfect in its finite capacity for learning, but he did not begin knowing all the secrets of the universe. He is commanded to “subdue,” that is, acquire a knowledge and mastery over his material environment, to bring its elements into the service of the race. 1

Note: 1:28. “race.” there is only one human race. 2

Note: 1:28. “fill,” can not be used to support the idea of a refilling of the earth after destruction of an earlier civilization, as some theories hold. “subdue….rule.” Man, as God’s representative, is to rule the earth. But, when he sinned, he lost the ability to do that fully (Notice that this part of his commission is not repeated in 9:1.) 3

Note: 1:28. The divine command to “be fruitful and multiply” is repeated at the “second beginning” of humanity following the great Flood (9:1). Marriage is the only human institution that God created before the Fall. Thus, we know that marriage, and sex within marriage, are Holy in His eyes. Procreation is part of God’s mandate for creation, and His blessing on the human race. 4

Note: 1:28. There is only one human race. 2. 

Note:1:28. “fill the earth.” “Fill the earth,” indicates the first time. It can not be used in support of the refashioning of an already judged earth, for the lexicon indicates it always means to fill something the first time, not a refilling, as the Ruin-constructionists  or Gap theorists may assert. 5

Note 1:28. “subdue,” comes from a root that means, “to knead” or “to tread,” and refers to bringing the earth under cultivation so that the race could multiply.  Adam was to administer the earth and its creatures so that it would sustain the people who would fill it. This was the context in which Adam was commanded to cultivate and keep the Garden of Eden (2:15). Presumably, it could have grown in exuberant disorder if Adam had not attended to it. 6

Note: 1:28. There is only one human race. 2

Note: 1:28. “subdue the land and rule over its animal life.” The same command to subdue the land, moreover, was given by God to the Israelites with reference to the land of Canaan. 7

Note 1:28. Man was told to be “fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” The command to be fruitful and increase in number is generally recognized as a command to the heads of the human race (here to Adam and Eve, and again later to Noah in Gen 9:1). 8 

Note:1:28. There is only one human race. 2

Note:1:28. God’s purpose in creating human life in His image was functional: man is to rule or have dominion. God’s dominion was presented by a “representative.” However, because of sin, all things are not under man’s dominion (Heb 2:8). But, Jesus Christ will establish dominion over all the earth (Heb 2:5-8) at His second coming. 9


1. Scofield Study Bible.

2. My note.

3. Ryrie Study Bible.

4. Jeremiah Study Bible.

5. Liberty Commentary Bible.

6. Basic Theology, 1986, Charles C. Ryrie, Moody Press, Pg 232.

7. The Moody Bible Commentary, 2014, Moody Bible Publishers.

8. Holman Old Testament Commentary, 2002, B&H Publishing Group.

9. The Bible Knowledge Commentary, 1985, David C. Cook.

Covenants – Genesis 2:15-17

I. Genesis 2:15-17 (New International Version)

15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”  

II. Consider the relationship between Genesis 2:17 and Romans 5:12.  

A. Romans 5:12 (New International Version) “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned” 

B. Consider the comment on Romans 5:12 from the Jeremiah Study Bible: “Satan was the original violator of the righteousness of God, but sin entered the world through Adam, and death entered the world through sin (Gen 2:17).”

III. When the divine work of Creation had been completed, and Adam had been created, God gave him the first command, which is in the form of a conditional prophecy. According to verses 16-17, “And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” (Every Prophecy of the Bible, John F. Walvoord).  

IV. The Edenic Covenant, the first of the eight great covenants of Scripture which condition life and salvation, and about which all Scripture crystallizes, has seven elements. The man and woman in Eden were responsible: (Scofield Study Bible) 

A. Be Fruitful.

1. To replenish the earth with a new order–man; 

2. to subdue the earth to human uses;

3.  to have dominion over the animal creation; 

4.  to eat herbs and fruits; 

5. to till and keep the garden; 

6. to abstain from eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil; 

7.  the penalty–death. See, for the other seven covenants: 

B. Subsequent Covenants.

1. ADAMIC (See Scofield “Genesis 3:14“) 

2. NOAHIC (See Scofield “Genesis 9:1“) 

3. ABRAHAMIC (See Scofield “Genesis 15:18“) 

4. MOSAIC (See Scofield “Exodus 19:25“) 

5. PALESTINIAN (See Scofield “Deuteronomy 30:3

“) 6. DAVIDIC (See Scofield “2 Samuel 7:16“) 

7. NEW (See Scofield “Hebrews 8:8“)

Dispensations – Genesis 1:28

Genesis 1:28 (New International Version)

God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

Comment: (Scofield Study Bible).


A dispensation is a period of time during which man is tested in respect of obedience to some specific revelation of the will of God. Seven such dispensations are distinguished in Scripture. (See Scofield “Genesis 1:28“), note 5.

And God blessed them

The First Dispensation: Innocency. Man was created in innocency, placed in a perfect environment, subjected to an absolutely simple test, and warned of the consequence of disobedience. The woman fell through pride; the man deliberately. 1 Timothy 2:14 God restored His sinning creatures, but the dispensation of innocency ended in the judgment of the Expulsion Genesis 3:24 See, for the other dispensations;

Conscience (See Scofield “Genesis 3:23“)

Human Government (See Scofield “Genesis 8:21“)

Promise (See Scofield “Genesis 12:1“)

Law (See Scofield “Exodus 19:8“)

Grace (See Scofield “John 1:17“)

Kingdom (See Scofield “Ephesians 1:10“)

Creation – The Name Of Deity: Elohim (Genesis 1:1)

Genesis 1:1 (New International Version)

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. “

Comment: Genesis 1:1 identifies “Elohim” as the Creator. “Elohim” is a generic word for Deity as well as a proper name for the true God. It means the strong One, mighty Leader, supreme Deity. The plural form of the word indicates His plentitude of power and majesty. This identification of Elohim as Creator refutes several serious heresies. (1) It refutes atheism. (2) It refutes polytheism, for the verb that follows is singular. (3) It denies pantheism, for God is presented as separate from His creation (Basic Theology, Charles C. Ryrie, Moody Press, 1986, pg 207).

Comment: The following link shows other names of God, which we will use in this series of articles.