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Genesis 9:24-26 New English Translation (NET Bible)

24 When Noah awoke from his drunken stupor[a] he learned[b] what his youngest son had done[c] to him. 25 So he said,

“Cursed[d] be Canaan![e]
The lowest of slaves[f]
he will be to his brothers.”

26 He also said,

“Worthy of praise is[g] the Lord, the God of Shem!
May Canaan be the slave of Shem![h]


  1. Genesis 9:24 tn Heb “his wine,” used here by metonymy for the drunken stupor it produced.
  2. Genesis 9:24 tn Heb “he knew.”
  3. Genesis 9:24 tn The Hebrew verb עָשָׂה (ʿasah, “to do”) carries too general a sense to draw the conclusion that Ham had to have done more than look on his father’s nakedness and tell his brothers.
  4. Genesis 9:25 sn For more on the curse, see H. C. Brichto, The Problem ofCursein the Hebrew Bible (JBLMS), and J. Scharbert, TDOT 1:405-18.
  5. Genesis 9:25 sn Cursed be Canaan. The curse is pronounced on Canaan, not Ham. Noah sees a problem in Ham’s character, and on the basis of that he delivers a prophecy about the future descendants who will live in slavery to such things and then be controlled by others. (For more on the idea of slavery in general, see E. M. Yamauchi, “Slaves of God,” BETS 9 [1966]: 31-49). In a similar way Jacob pronounced oracles about his sons based on their revealed character (see Gen 49). Wenham points out that “Ham’s indiscretion towards his father may easily be seen as a type of the later behavior of the Egyptians and Canaanites. Noah’s curse on Canaan thus represents God’s sentence on the sins of the Canaanites, which their forefather Ham had exemplified.” He points out that the Canaanites are seen as sexually aberrant and Lev 18:3 describes Egypt and Canaan, both descendants of Ham, as having abominable practices. See G. Wenham, Genesis vol. 1 (WBC), 202.
  6. Genesis 9:25 tn Heb “a servant of servants” (עֶבֶד עֲבָדִים, ’eved ’avadim), an example of the superlative genitive. It means Canaan will become the most abject of slaves.
  7. Genesis 9:26 tn Heb “blessed be.”
  8. Genesis 9:26 tn Heb “a slave to him”; the referent (Shem) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
New English Translation (NET)

NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2017 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.


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