Now the sons of Noah who came out of the ark were Shem and Ham and Japheth; and Ham was the father of Canaan. These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the whole earth was populated.
Then Noah began farming and planted a vineyard. He drank of the wine and became drunk, and uncovered himself inside his tent. Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. 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. When Noah awoke from his wine, he knew what his youngest son had done to him. So he said,
“Cursed be Canaan;
A servant of servants
He shall be to his brothers.”
He also said,
“Blessed be the Lord,
The God of Shem;
And let Canaan be his servant.
“May God enlarge Japheth,
And let him dwell in the tents of Shem;
And let Canaan be his servant.”
Noah lived three hundred and fifty years after the flood. So all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years, and he died.
My interpretation of this passage is far different from most because I don’t see Noah’s kids particularly Ham as the problem but rather I see Noah as the person who is in need of correction. I suppose we should expect that after doing this great thing for God he decides in boredom to plant a vineyard. It is Noah that makes the grapes into wine. Noah is the one who gets drunk and strips his clothes and yet we are led to believe Ham and more specifically Canaan is to be cursed because Ham walks in on his father laying naked in his tent. It is in my mind that Noah should be saying: “Hi, I’m Noah and I am an alcoholic” and exercising a little humility.
Noah is not the good character in story. He gets drunk, gets naked and then when he is discovered he curses his grandson who had nothing to do with anything and that probably the result of a hangover. Noah is the one to blame for this but he is trying to blame others for seeing him. It should be noted that this curse does not really play out and like Jacob’s cursing of Simeon and Levi seems to actually be null and void as soon as it is uttered.. It should be noted the Bible in this story records the events but no moral judgment is given by God.
Noah forgot that his walk with God remained. It is a great temptation in many cases to do great things for God and then think you can do no wrong. In boredom, arrogance, etc. we can feel we can never fall from God’s favor or that God will overlook our stupidity because he owes us one. Such is not the case, because god still expects us each day to live for him.