And God spoke unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying,
Read Chapter 9
Ephrem The Syrian
And his Lord spoke to [Noah], as he desired that Noah hear, “Because of your righteousness, a remnant was preserved and did not perish in that flood that took place. And because of your sacrifice that was from all flesh and on behalf of all flesh, I will never again bring a flood upon the earth.” God thus bound himself beforehand by this promise so that even if mankind were constantly to follow the evil thoughts of their inclination, he would never again bring a flood upon them. .
God’s purpose, therefore, was to eliminate all apprehension from Noah’s thinking and for him to be quite assured that this would not happen again. He said, remember, “Just as I brought on the deluge out of love, so as to put a stop to their wickedness and prevent their going to further extremes, so in this case too it is out of my love that I promise never to do it again, so that you may live free of all dread and in this way see your present life to its close.” Hence he said, “Behold, I make my covenant,” that is, I form an agreement. Just as in human affairs when someone makes a promise he forms an agreement and gives a firm guarantee, so too the good Lord said, “Behold, I make my covenant.” God did not say that this massive disaster might come again to those who sin. Rather he said, “Behold, I make my covenant with you and your offspring after you.” See the Lord’s loving kindness: not only with your generation, he says, do I form my agreement, but also in regard to all those coming ...