1 ¶ And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth. 2 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. 3 Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. 4 But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat. 5 And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man. 6 Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man. 7 And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein.
The command that was given to Adam and Eve at the beginning is repeated here.
Genesis 1:28a And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth…
The task is now placed on Noah and his sons to populate the earth. This is truly a population bottleneck if there ever was one. Modern scientists postulate several of these at various times.
The assumption is made here that pre-Flood humankind was a vegetarian because in the beginning of Genesis he is given plants and fruits to eat. Now, mankind is permitted to kill and eat animals. Also, previous to this, animals were not afraid of humans as many of the more intelligent ones are now. Man is warned not to drink blood. This admonition is here before the Law given to Moses, within that Law for the Hebrews (Leviticus 3:17), and after that Law for the Gentile church (Acts 15:20).
Capital punishment is allowed and required for murder and the killing of man by both beast and man. This command is further defined and refined in every culture of mankind’s on the planet but murder is nowhere generally allowed although for reasons of corruption, status and rank, and oppression it has been permitted at certain times by certain people and groups of people. But, murder is forbidden here and is punishable by death.
Clearly, then, biological and legal conditions were quite different on this cleansed earth than on the pre-Flood earth. Flesh is allowed to be eaten but not blood. Animals generally fear mankind. The murderer and the beast that kills a man must forfeit their own lives rather than be exiled like Cain or get away with bragging about it like Lamech. As we know from reading God’s speech to Job in that book God’s hand is found in every aspect of reality as it continues from moment to moment, including animals obtaining their prey as being from God’s hand directly. So, this is not something that just happens and God is standing back watching, but He is intimately involved in these new conditions of the continuing judgment against mankind’s rebellious nature. Prey and predator, man’s concept of justice, and dietary changes that required a change in our physiology like your lust and need for flesh, perhaps, were all part of God’s unfolding plan that pointed toward Christ, God Himself coming to bear man’s punishment and to pardon him from his ‘just deserts.’
Again the command is made to populate the earth, as it brackets this passage.