Following Noah’s sacrifice, God pronounced a blessing on Noah and his descendants, and He now opened up to man the right to eat animal meat, albeit without blood. God also decreed that for any shed blood of humans, who were made in his image, He would demand an account, just as He had done for Abel’s blood. Whoever killed another human being may be killed. In this we must understand that God would later outline exclusions in regard to self-defence; or war that God commanded; an accidental killing; or the person carrying out a capital punishment of a proven murderer, or some other kind of law-breaker, whom God had determined worthy of death: an adulterer or a witch for instance.

God repeated the command to Adam to multiply and fill the earth. God made a covenant with both man and beast to never again use a flood to destroy the entire earth. God gave the rainbow as the covenant sign between Him and the earth. Noah’s three sons, Shem, Ham and Japtheth became the forefathers of all nations that populate the earth today.

Noah who worked the ground planted a vineyard and drank its produce, becoming drunk, and he lay naked in his tent. Ham happened to see him, and rather than covering his father’s shame with some covering, he went and reported it to his brothers, calling them to come and take a look. Rather than gaze on their father’s nakedness the two brothers took clothing and, walking backwards, covered their father’s nakedness.

When Noah awoke, somehow, he knew: perhaps by revelation; or perhaps by investigation; or perhaps by intuition; what each of his sons had done. He cursed Ham’s son, Canaan, declaring that he, and implicitly his descendants too, should be slaves of Shem and Canaan. He blessed Shem by declaring that Japheth’s territory should be extended, and he should dwell in the tents of Shem, so making Shem the landlord or superior of Japheth. Noah died at the very ripe age of 950!

Lord, help me to be one who would cover the shame of another, where possible, and not expose it. May I honour my parents.

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