Genesis 9:2 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 9:2, NIV: "The fear and dread of you will fall on all the beasts of the earth, and on all the birds in the sky, on every creature that moves along the ground, and on all the fish in the sea; they are given into your hands."

Genesis 9:2, ESV: "The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth and upon every bird of the heavens, upon everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea. Into your hand they are delivered."

Genesis 9:2, KJV: "And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered."

Genesis 9:2, NASB: "The fear of you and the terror of you will be on every animal of the earth and on every bird of the sky; on everything that crawls on the ground, and on all the fish of the sea. They are handed over to you."

Genesis 9:2, NLT: "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."

Genesis 9:2, CSB: "The fear and terror of you will be in every living creature on the earth, every bird of the sky, every creature that crawls on the ground, and all the fish of the sea. They are placed under your authority."

What does Genesis 9:2 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

These first verses of Genesis 9 repeat some of the language God used with Adam and Eve when He blessed them. After commanding Noah and his sons to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth in the previous verse, God now speaks to them about subduing the animal kingdom, as He did with Adam (Genesis 1:28).

This command to rule over the animal kingdom is different from the original version given in Eden, however. Instead of merely commanding Noah to subdue the earth, God tells Noah and sons that the animal kingdom will fear them. Every kind of non-human life will be fearful of humankind. Some interpret this to mean that, prior to the flood, animals did not fear man. Others suggest that this simply reinforces the hostile, difficult nature of survival in the post-flood world.

Now, however, God promises that humanity will triumph over the animal kingdom as if in a military battle. Humanity will reign supreme on the earth, even over the most fearsome of the animals. Whether or not animals feared man before the flood, and whether or not they had eaten them prior to flood, the relationship established upon leaving the ark is certain. This verse establishes a mostly adversarial relationship between man and animals, something else lost from the paradise of Eden as the result of man's sinfulness.