After the Flood, God blessed Noah and the family to “be fruitful and multiply”. And mankind would once again spread across the globe from mount Ararat, where the ark landed.
The children of Noah
Noah’s sons were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Ham had a son named Canaan. Canaan’s descendants would re-appear later in the Bible. Abraham, who would later become a main character in the story, is a descendant of Shem.
See the nakedness of his father
Noah would make wine and become drunk and lie naked in his tent. Ham sees the nakedness of his father, then tells his brothers. Noah would later find this out and be so infuriated that he would curse Ham’s son Canaan. It seems like such a harsh treatment for just “seeing the nakedness” of someone.
What did Ham do? The Bible is not very clear about it. Some theologians say that he laughed at the nakedness of Noah. In Leviticus 18, if you sleep with a man’s wife you “uncover his nakedness”. If Ham did this to his father Noah, then that means that he did this act to his own mother. If this is indeed what he did, then Noah’s anger is understandable.
The descendants of Noah
We see the family tree of Noah in Genesis 10. We don’t need to remember all the names. I would like to share 4 names that stand out.
He is the first person of authority, in other words, a king that appears in the Bible. He ruled over several places starting from Babel, and was a hero of his time. In the Greek and Norse mythologies we see stories of “gods” and “heroes”. Nimrod is most likely the root of many of those stories.
We see many descendants of Canaan. The land they live in will be called the land of Canaan. We will see later in the story that the descendants of Shem would conquer the land of Canaan, and most of the descendants of Canaan will be destroyed.
During the time of Peleg, the “earth was divided”. It is not clear if the land physically was divided(like from a Pangea type land to multiple continents), or that the people were just divided into many nations. We see the story of the “Tower of Babel” in Genesis 11, so most likely it is referring to the scattering of the people due to the confusion of languages.
Last person is the person that will become the main character moving forward. He was called “Abram” by birth, but will have his name changed later. The descendants of Shem are sometimes referred to as “Semites”, and many times the Jewish people, who are descendants of Abraham, are referred to this.
We will see many of the names that appear in these stories later in the Bible. It is fun to read on and then come back to these earlier chapters to see how the stories all link together!
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