Genesis 9:20 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 9:20, NIV: "Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded to plant a vineyard."

Genesis 9:20, ESV: "Noah began to be a man of the soil, and he planted a vineyard."

Genesis 9:20, KJV: "And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard:"

Genesis 9:20, NASB: "Then Noah began farming and planted a vineyard."

Genesis 9:20, NLT: "After the flood, Noah began to cultivate the ground, and he planted a vineyard."

Genesis 9:20, CSB: "Noah, as a man of the soil, began by planting a vineyard."

What does Genesis 9:20 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Noah, the ark builder and animal tender (Genesis 6:11–22), now becomes Noah the farmer. Presumably, this is what Noah had done prior to his work on the ark. Now that the flood is over, and mankind is told to re-populate the earth, he becomes a man of the soil. This description comes from a Hebrew phrase which looks something like "a man who breaks the ground," and literally means "to begin farming."

In this case, Noah planted a vineyard in order to make wine. It's certainly possible that wine was made before the flood, but this is the first recorded reference to wine in Scripture. It exemplifies humanity's complicated relationship with alcohol to come in all future generations. On the one hand, wine is described as a gift from God that brings gladness to the human heart (Judges 9:13; Psalm 104:15). On the other hand, wine and other forms of alcohol will often contribute to sinful thoughts, actions, and words throughout human history (Proverbs 31:4; Ephesians 5:18).