The sons of Noah who went forth from the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. (Ham was the father of Canaan.) These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the people of the whole earth were dispersed.
Noah began to be a man of the soil, and he planted a vineyard. He drank of the wine and became drunk and lay uncovered in his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father and told his two brothers outside. Then Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it on both their shoulders, and walked backward and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were turned backward, and they did not see their father’s nakedness. When Noah awoke from his wine and knew what his youngest son had done to him, he said,
“Cursed be Canaan;
a servant of servants shall he be to his brothers.”
Comment: The timing of this passage is unclear to me. Noah had to find some grapevine stock and spent time cultivating it, getting enough grapes to make wine and no doubt enough to eat. The ‘righteous’ Noah was in this act ‘unrighteous’ because drunkenness, that is excessive alcohol consumption, is forbidden in the Bible (though was Noah’s act a part of God teaching the principle?) We’re all born naked and it is hard to imagine that in the normality of living the males hadn’t seen each other naked; what makes this evil? It doesn’t say that he was asleep at the time but after his awaking from the drunken state he pronounced a curse. At the end Canaan is mentioned as bearing the curse, but Ham, his father. is the one cited as seeing his father’s nakedness and presumably rather than backing off and quietly giving Noah some cover, possibly gloated over the sight with his brothers. The brothers acted modestly.
Prayer: Please give me wisdom in dealing with unexpected and what can even be tempting situations, O Lord.