New Defender's Study Bible Notes
9:9 my covenant. The Noahic covenant (Hebrew berith) is the first covenant mentioned in Scripture and is everlasting (Genesis 9:16). It applied not only to Noah and his seed (Genesis 9:9), but also to the animal kingdom (Genesis 9:10) and even to the earth itself (Genesis 9:13). It was unconditional, promising the age-long endurance of the post-flood cosmos, and also reconfirming and amplifying God’s primeval commission to mankind, involving human stewardship over the earth and its inhabitants.
9:13 my bow. The rainbow, requiring small water droplets in the air, could not form in the pre-diluvian world, where the high vapor canopy precluded rain (Genesis 2:5). After the Flood, the very fact that rainfall is now possible makes a worldwide rainstorm impossible, and the rainbow “in the cloud” thereby becomes a perpetual reminder of God’s grace, even in judgment.
9:16 everlasting covenant. This is the first of sixteen references to an “everlasting covenant” made by God, and therefore to an unconditional, unbreakable promise. This first such everlasting covenant was made with “all flesh,” and the second was with Abraham’s seed (Genesis 17:7). The last was with all who are redeemed with the blood of Christ (Hebrews 13:20).