Genesis 9:22 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 9:22, NIV: "Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father naked and told his two brothers outside."

Genesis 9:22, ESV: "And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father and told his two brothers outside."

Genesis 9:22, KJV: "And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without."

Genesis 9:22, NASB: "Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside."

Genesis 9:22, NLT: "Ham, the father of Canaan, saw that his father was naked and went outside and told his brothers."

Genesis 9:22, CSB: "Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father naked and told his two brothers outside."

What does Genesis 9:22 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

After the flood, Noah plants a vineyard and enjoys the wine it produces. While the Bible speaks positively of wine (Numbers 15:5–10; Deuteronomy 14:26), including its ability to influence a person's mood (Psalm 104:15), it also strongly warns about the danger which alcohol represents. This story shows one such potential pitfall of consuming alcohol: In the previous verse, Noah is described as getting drunk and laying naked in his own tent. It is unclear whether this implies a sinful action on Noah's part or simply a carelessness about his own modesty because of his drunken state.

In literal terms, all that this verse tells us is that Ham saw Noah's drunken nakedness, and told his brothers about it. Noah's reaction later in the passage, however, certainly suggests an offense more involved than simply seeing Noah naked and going to tell others, rather than helping him (Genesis 9:24). Some scholars suggest that Ham took advantage of his father in some way, perhaps even sexually. As disturbing as that might seem, and while the text itself does not describe any such action in the following verses, Noah will condemn Ham for what he "had done to him."