Chapters 9:18-10:32

Wine and Voyeurism

  • Noah's sons are Shem, Ham, and Japheth (we feel like we've heard that before), and now Ham has a son named Canaan.
  • As it turns out, all nations can be traced back to these three sons.
  • Noah, who's a famer, plants a vineyard. Big deal alert. The vineyard yields wine, and wine yields a Noah who's kind of trashed.
  • Noah's laying in his tent "uncovered" (9:21), that is, buck naked.
  • Ham—we're reminded he's "the father of Canaan" (9:22)—enters into his tent and sees Noah lying there nude. He informs his brothers outside.
  • Shem and Japheth walk backwards into the tent with a cloak and cover up their dad's unmentionables. They didn't see a thing! Smart.
  • Noah wakes up, and after his hangover passes, he learns what Ham did. What exactly did Ham do wrong? That's an issue that's provoked constant speculation.
  • Noah curses Ham's son Canaan, who'll be a slave to the offspring of Shem and Japheth. In contrast he blesses Shem and Japheth and prays to God that they be numerous. 
  • Note: the Canaanites will become Israel's big-time enemies and rivals—worse even than Ohio State versus Michigan, Red Sox versus Yankees, Dawson versus Pacey… you get the point. This story's mostly an explanation of the origin of this long-time enmity.
  • Noah lives another 350 years after the flood and dies at the ripe old age of 950.

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