Sin of Sons on Noah

Gen.9:18-19:
18 "Now the sons of Noah who came out of the ark were Shem and Ham and Japheth; and Ham was the father of Canaan.
19 These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the whole earth was populated. ”


These verses have to do with some of the most controversial in the Bible. Some say it has to do with homosexuality; some say it has to with the servanthood of the Black race, some think it refers to jealousy, etc. If we really read the words from a Bible version heavily extracted from original manuscripts, we can get the ideas of the words. So let's try.

Verse 18 states that Shem, Ham, and Japheth were his sons. But, it is important to notice that Ham was spelled out as the father of Canaan. Canaan was Ham's youngest son. When reading further into Genesis past Abraham (Chapters 12-24), Canaan is the land to which Abraham was supposed to have gone from the city of Ur. Canaan was the very wicked place which Abraham was supposed to have in God's name. So it is important to know the coming heritage of Ham to get an idea of Ham's character. Scripture goes on to repeat that the three sons are the "fathers" of the earth's population.

The race question has is always brought heavy discussions. Where did the three to six (depending on scientists classification methods) races originate? There are about 150 nations with about 3000 languages and dialects. There are many contradictory theories among anthropologists and ethnologists. However, the only reliable record of the true origin of races, nations, and languages are found in Genesis 9-11. Biblically, they all came from Noah and family.


Gen.9:20-24:
20 Then Noah began farming and planted a vineyard.
21 He drank of the wine and became drunk, and uncovered himself inside his tent.
22 Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside.
23 But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it upon both their shoulders and walked backward and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were turned away, so that they did not see their father’s nakedness.
24 When Noah awoke from his wine, he knew what his youngest son had done to him. ”


Noah was a husbandman (KJV) or farmer. He became a grower of vineyards. Noah and the families were probably living close to or on the mountain side of Mt. Ararat. This would be convenient and appropriate. There is no indications that Noah had any other sons. Let's remember that since they all came from Adam, they were subject to Satan's pressures. Noah was chosen by God because of his being able to fight off most of the temptations of life. The scripture says that Noah got drunk from his wine. This is the first time wine is mentioned in the Bible. Many of the Jewish people drank (and still do) wine at meals. However, traditionally, it is cut approximately 3 to one with water. Therefore, they could drink a lot of wine and not get drunk. It seems Noah drank "the good stuff" (uncut wine). He fell asleep. During his restlessness of sleep or because of the natural body hear felt when intoxicated, he became uncovered.

It appears that Ham saw his father naked and went to his brothers and told them. What could he have seen or done that would have made this text so important to exploit in scripture. It goes back to the word used in Hebrew word for "saw". The word is raah means something more than just seeing. It has to do with the attitude of the seeing. The word means to look upon and gaze, to joyfully look. It appears the text is saying that Ham looked upon his father with satisfaction. Does this mean that Ham looked upon Noah with homosexual lust? Many scholars say yes. If course we cannot be absolutely sure. However, it does appear that he probably went to the brothers and joked or made fun of Noah's situation. However, Shem and Japheth did not think it was funny. They certainly did not go and run to the tent to "gaze" also. Instead, they took a cover upon their shoulders and backed into the tent and covered their father. They never saw Noah uncovered.

Many believe that it was not only lust but an act of homosexuality. That is because of the words in the next verse 24 that stated Noah new what Ham "had done to him". I am not sure being uncovered would have left any evidence of being uncovered. However, there was something that made Noah know that Ham was disrespectful to Noah. It is not clear how he knew it was Ham. He awoke "from his wine" and noticed the robe over him. He knew he did not put it on himself. He was too drunk to have thought about it. The assumption is Noah knew about the disrespect and perhaps questioned the brothers until something was said (maybe Ham admitting himself) to make him believe it was Ham.

There is another thought about what happened. Perhaps Ham was expressing a long time resentment of his fathers's authority and moral attitude to life. Ham was probably resentful to the point of wanting to get back. Being uncovered is certainly an attitude of weakness and shame that Ham was exploiting. What he did not know is that the bragging about what he saw was not accepted by the brothers. Some believe the word for "told" (nagad) actually has a slant to "telling with delight". Ham's actions were not as much lust and prurient pleasure (though that was probably present) as much as it was one of rebellion against his father.


Gen.9:25:
25 So he said, “Cursed be Canaan; A servant of servants He shall be to his brothers.”

Now comes the "Noahic Prophecy". This must have happened some decades after the flood so that Noah would have observed the maturity and characteristics of his grandchildren. It is interesting to note that the two big sins of Adam and Noah were associated with taking a fruit. Adam took the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil and Noah took the fruit of the vine. Both were made responsible because they lost control of themselves. Each was "uncovered" and had to be covered by someone else, Adam by God and Noah by the brothers.

Noah said that Canaan IS cursed; not Canaan will be cursed. It is thought that it was specifically said to Ham but for some reason was not put upon Ham by name. All of Ham's genealogy is cursed because of the way they are right now, not in the future. There are some who say the curse was only on Canaan. However, if one looks at the descendants of Canaan, they were overcome but forces and brought down by the curse (i.e. the Phoenicians, Hittites, Sumerians, Egyptians, Ethiopians, and others). So, it is thought more traditionally that the curse was on the line of Ham from Canaan; not just on Canaan himself. It is apparent that Noah had a hard time mentioning Ham specifically. Perhaps it was because of his hurt.

Unfortunately, there are a few that thought the words servant and servitude refer to the Negro peoples. The only logical reason they could use that argument is to justify keeping the black person in economic servitude or even slavery. However, that is not obvious from the text. The descendants of Ham were mostly NOT black. So what does servant mean? This is the only place the servant of servants is used. Noah predicted that Canaan would be both a servant to Shem and a servant to Japheth. It appears Noah is talking about the Nations of Shem and Japheth. So this probably means that the descendants would be servants to ALL nations. Remember, Jesus was the servant to all.

The word servant can also mean steward. This is a person that works for others. One that manages the money and affairs of others. Perhaps now that there was major sin after the flood, Man from that time on would utilize its resources by the sweat of his face. Henry Morris, The Genesis Record delineates some of the "servanthood" the Hamites have done:
  • They were the original explorers and settlers of practically all parts of the world, following the dispersion at Babel.
  • They were the first cultivators of most of the basic food staples of the world, such as potatoes, corn, beans, cereals, and others, as well as the first ones to domesticate most animals.
  • They developed most of the basic types of structural forms and building tools and materials.
  • They were the first to develop most of the usual fabrics for clothing and the various sewing and weaving devices.
  • They discovered and invented a wide variety of medicines and surgical practices and instruments.
  • They invented most of the concepts of basic practical mathematics, as well as surveying and navigation.
  • The machinery of commerce and trade¾money, banks, postal systems, and so forth—was developed by them.
  • They developed paper, ink, block printing, movable type, and other accouterments of writing and communication.
So, it does appear the servanthood of Canaan is related to all nations.

Gen.9:26-29:
26He also said, “Blessed be the LORD, The God of Shem; And let Canaan be his servant.
27“May God enlarge Japheth, And let him dwell in the tents of Shem; And let Canaan be his servant.”
28Noah lived three hundred and fifty years after the flood.
29 So all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years, and he died. ”


Now Noah turns his attention to Shem. Noah was obviously very happy and satisfied with Shem so he gave him a mighty blessing. He again states the servanthood of Canaan. He speaks of Japheth with love also. It appears from the use of "enlarge" here is pathach which does not mean to enlarge like increasing land or possessions. It means "to make open which is usually meant to be related to the mind. So it appears the opening of the mind is meant here. "Dwell in the tents of Shem" is common phraseology to mean to have close communion with. So Shem and Japheth were to stay close as brothers.

Noah lived 350 years after the Flood. He died after living 950 years.



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