Saturday, August 5, 2017
August 5, Genesis 9:18-29 Noah curses Canaan
This section can be difficult to understand and there are a lot of different theories on what happened. From the text we only know so much. Noah got drunk, it may have been a single time or it may have been habitual. And at least once he laid naked in his tent. Then we are told that Ham saw the nakedness of his father. This statement has a colloquial meaning, we'll see it later in Leviticus 18. It could mean exactly what it says, that he saw Noah naked and told his brothers about it, making sport of his father. The latter would be wrong but simply seeing one's father naked wouldn't. But it may also mean that Ham slept with Noah's wife. This was a common power play, a challenge to the family leader's authority. We'll see it again later in this same book. And we also have a possible disconnect of time. The scripture says that Ham was the father of Canaan. Was this before or after the incident? And did Noah discover what happened on the same day or was there some time lapsed? If we consider a time lapse and accept that Canaan isn't necessarily a person but the nation that will come from Ham, then things get a bit clearer. The curse is not on Ham for committing the sin but on his heritage.