Genesis 9:21

Hebrew Bible

19 These were the three sons of Noah, and from them the whole earth was populated. 20 Noah, a man of the soil, began to plant a vineyard. 21 When he drank some of the wine, he got drunk and uncovered himself inside his tent. 22 Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father’s nakedness and told his two brothers who were outside. 23 Shem and Japheth took the garment and placed it on their shoulders. Then they walked in backwards and covered up their father’s nakedness. Their faces were turned the other way so they did not see their father’s nakedness.

Genesis 19:32

Hebrew Bible

30 Lot went up from Zoar with his two daughters and settled in the mountains because he was afraid to live in Zoar. So he lived in a cave with his two daughters. 31 Later the older daughter said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man in the country to sleep with us, the way everyone does. 32 Come, let’s make our father drunk with wine so we can go to bed with him and preserve our family line through our father. 33 So that night they made their father drunk with wine, and the older daughter came in and went to bed with her father. But he was not aware of when she lay down with him or when she got up. 34 So in the morning the older daughter said to the younger, “Since I went to bed with my father last night, let’s make him drunk again tonight. Then you go in and go to bed with him so we can preserve our family line through our father.”

 Notes and References

"... What is the meaning of Ham “seeing his father’s nakedness” at Genesis 9:21–24? Many commentators agree that something far more serious may have originally transpired between Ham and Noah, than the son seeing his father’s genitals. Alter notes a suggestive parallel in Genesis 19:32–35, “‘to see the nakedness of’ frequently means ‘to copulate with’ ... Lot’s daughters, of course, take advantage of his drunkenness to have sex with him.” If the parallel holds, this implies that Ham, in some sense, sexually violates his father, in his drunken sleep. Alter and Wadjenbaum note that the Midrashim interpret Ham’s act as constituting an actual castration ..."

Louden, Bruce Greek Myth and the Bible (p. 46) Routledge, 2018

 User Comments

Do you have questions or comments about these texts? Please submit them here.