23 So Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it upon the shoulders of both, and went backward and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they did not see their father’s nakedness.
24 When Noah awoke from his wine, and knew the thing which his youngest son had done to him,
25 He exclaimed, Cursed be Canaan! He shall be the [a]servant of servants to his brethren!
Genesis 9:25The language of Noah here is an actual prophecy and not merely an expression of personal feeling. That Noah placed a curse on his youngest grandchild, Canaan, who would naturally be his favorite, can only be explained on the ground that in the prophetic spirit he saw into the future of the Canaanites. God Himself found the delinquency of the Canaanites insufferable and ultimately drove them out or subdued them and put the descendants of Shem in their place. But Noah’s foresight did not yet include the extermination of the Canaanite peoples, for then he would have expressed it differently. He would not merely have called them “the servant of servants” if he had foreseen their destruction. The form of the expression, therefore, testifies to the great age of the prophecy (J.P. Lange, A Commentary).
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