Unveiling the Truth about Noah’s Nakedness

Noah’s Nakedness sermon notes. Ham failed to do the proper thing – cover his dad. That failure reaped terrible consequences, and not for Ham only. The major lesson is Ham’s actions brought a curse upon his generations.


By Pastor Delbert Young

Noah’s Nakedness

Noah's Nakedness sermon notes

Scriptures: Hebrews 11:7, 2 Peter 2:5, Genesis 7:1, Genesis 7:23, Genesis 8:21-22, Genesis 9:18-20, Genesis 9:21, Ephesians 5:18, 1 Corinthians 11:21-22, Genesis 9:22-29, Hebrews 11:7, 2 Peter 2:5

Noah’s Nakedness sermon notes

Hebrews 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

2 Peter 2:5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;

Genesis 7:1 And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.

Noah was a righteous man. But to hear some preach about Noah one would be forced to doubt Noah’s righteousness. Noah got drunk. Noah’s drinking caused him to become so drunk he passed out. Most preaching from Genesis 9 says Noah was unrighteous. It is at this we look.

Noah built the ark exactly as he had been instructed to build it. The Lord had invited Noah and all of his house to come into the ark (Gen 7:1). Noah, Shem, Ham, Japheth, and their wives were invited. The invitation to Shem, Ham, Japheth, and their wives was because of the grace Noah found in the eyes of the Lord. They were preserved because of the faith of Noah (Heb 11:7). The Lord said “Come…” No man comes to the Lord except the Father draw him (Joh 6:44; Joh 15:16).

The rain began seven days after Noah entered the ark (Gen 7:4) and it rained upon the earth 40 days and 40 nights (Gen 7:4). Genesis 7:23 says,

Genesis 7:23 And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.

Noah’s Nakedness

One hundred and fifty days later the ark came to rest upon the mountains of Ararat (Gen 7:24; 8:3, 4). Fifty-six days later the waters abated and the land dried. The Lord told Noah, “Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons’ wives with thee” (8:16). The first act of Noah once off the ark was to build an altar unto the Lord (8:20). Noah made offerings upon the altar to the Lord. Obviously, this shows there must have been more than only two of each species (Gen 7:2, 3). The Lord appreciated the offerings and said in His heart,

Genesis 8:21 And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.

Genesis 8:22 While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. (emphasis added)

Dispensational doctrine attempts to say the Lord will indeed destroy the earth again as He did before, but this time the Lord will use fire (2Pe 3:7). That is not what the scriptures say. The Lord God “will not again curse the ground.” The Lord God said, “Neither will I again smite anymore everything living, as I have done.” If the Lord destroyed the earth with fire would He be doing what he said He would not? He made a covenant with Noah.

Genesis 9:18 And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan.

Genesis 9:19 These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread.

Noah’s Nakedness

The earth would be replenished by Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Ham is the father of Canaan. This will be repeated later showing its importance (9:22). By this time Ham was already a father. Canaan was the name of a son of Ham (9:18; 10:6). Canaan will become a nation and the sons of Canaan will be the nations that Israel will eventually drive out of their promised land (Gen 10:15-19). They would be destroyed by the Israelites.

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

Noah was a great man, but not an idle man. This is obviously why Noah was great. Greatness and idleness are never partners. Noah planted a vineyard. What is the primary purpose of a vineyard? Is it not wine? Crushed and dried grape skins can be made into raisins. Grape juice can be made if the juice can be sealed to prevent fermentation. Especially in Biblical times the primary purpose for a vineyard was wine (Jdg 9:13; Hos 14:7; Isa 27:2; Deu 28:39; 1Ch 27:27; Isa 16;10; Amo 5:11; 9:14).

Genesis 9:21 And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.

The vineyard was so Noah could have some wine to drink. The verse does not say that Noah ate the raisins. He drank of the wine. Contrary to contemporary Christianity, the drinking of wine is not sin. We know that Paul instructed Timothy to drink some wine for his stomach infirmities (1Ti 5:23). The first miracle that Jesus did was turn about one hundred twenty gallons of water into wine (Joh 2:3-11; 4:46) at a party. He would not have done this if drinking it was a sin. Jesus used wine in parables (Mat 9:17; Mar 2:22; Luk 5:37-39; Luk 10:34). He would not have used something that was a sin to teach a positive lesson. The Lord Himself obviously saw nothing wrong with drinking wine (Luk 7:33, 34).

Noah’s Nakedness

The problem with wine is excess. Scriptures do tell us that being drunk with wine is excess, but never does it say that even drunkenness is a sin.

Ephesians 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

Does Ephesians 5:18 say “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is sin….”? No, it does not. It is excess. If you want to say being drunk is stupid then I must agree. If you want to say abstinence is best then I will agree, and if you want to say no good thing can come from being drunk then I will agree. Also if you want to say that alcohol destroys brain cells and can cause liver disease and kill a person then I will agree. If you want to say that drinking and driving is wrong and people who drive over the legal blood/alcohol limit are putting at risk the lives of people then I will agree.

However, if you say a man drunk in the privacy of his own tent is a sin then I cannot and will not agree. I will not join with Ham and receive his curse as so many are willing to do. Moreover, I prefer to join Shem and Japheth to cover Noah and attempt to keep others from seeing him in any other than his best state.

Noah was in his tent. He was drunk–intoxicated, inebriated, plastered, sloshed, wasted, juiced–but he was within his tent. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians that this is the place to do it if it is going to be done.

1 Corinthians 11:21 For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken.

1 Corinthians 11:22 What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not. (emphasis added)

Noah was in his tent and was uncovered. The Hebrew word translated “uncovered” means “denude”. Noah was unclothed or de-clothed in his own tent. Nothing is wrong with being unclothed in a man’s own house. Biblically Noah had done nothing wrong other than excess.

Genesis 9:22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father….

Noah’s Nakedness

Many various theories of interpretation of this verse are available. All sorts of ideas are written as to why Ham was in Noah’s tent. I personally do not find it questionable. Ham was a son of Noah. I have a son and when he comes to visit me he knocks but does not await an invitation to enter the house. I have a father, and I do the same thing. What I do is I knock in politeness, but then open the door and walk into the house. I am welcome and possess a key to enter at my will. I do not await an invitation to enter my Father’s house. We do this with Father God. Usually, we do not even knock. We simply start talking.

However, when thought about that is exactly what we are instructed to do. We enter boldly even before His throne (Heb 4:16). No invitation is needed. No invitation was needed for Ham to enter. He may have said something like, “Dad, where are you? Are you here?”

Tents were made much like houses today with several rooms. The rooms were divided by some form of curtain (skins or cloth) to provide a petition and privacy. Families were raised in these tents and various degrees of privacy were necessary just as today.

Ham went into the tent looking for Noah.

Noah had passed out. There is nothing wrong to this point. Were I to go into my dad’s house thinking he was there and receive no response as I announced my presence, I too would begin looking for him. By looking for him I would see him. When Ham investigated he found Noah passed out and naked. I suppose Noah’s nakedness also sounds like a sin to some. I do not understand why. Again Noah was in his own tent asleep or passed out. Some people sleep in pajamas and some sleep in less and some sleep in less yet. There is no sin here. Adam and Eve were not clothed in the garden. Neither Noah’s drunkenness or nakedness is the accent of these scriptures. The Lord God never addressed Noah concerning any of these events. The accent of the passage is not Noah’s drunkenness nor his nakedness.

Noah’s Nakedness

The accent is that Ham failed to do the proper thing–cover his dad. That failure reaped terrible consequences, and not for Ham only. The major lesson is Ham’s actions brought a curse upon his seed. Shem and Japheth did not fail to do the correct thing–cover their dad. Their correct act brought blessings to their generations.

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

The problem is now noted. Ham told his two brothers. Matthew Henry says in accordance with this verse, “It is common for those who walk in false ways themselves to rejoice at the false steps which they sometimes see others make.”1

Genesis 9:23 And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness.

Shem and Japheth refused to look at Noah’s nakedness. They would not allow that image to be placed into their minds. How powerful that thought should be to us. As I read someplace, today Hollywood would take us into the tent and show us every detail plus add a few. The Ham nature wants to look! The Ham nature wants to know! The reason it wants to look and know is so it can tell. If it tells of the private lives of others, especially leaders, then it appears to have some special acceptance because it has special knowledge. Shem and Japheth refused to look. Therefore there was nothing to tell others. Were they asked they could say they did not see.

Noah’s Nakedness

Shem and Japheth refused to look, but also determined to secure the situation so no one else would see. They did not go into Noah’s tent asking questions, angry and embarrassed toward Dad. They did not go in shaking Noah and demanding an explanation. What they did was simply cover the situation and leave. What a mighty lesson I can learn from this. Why should I look at something or know something that will curse me? Is that not playing with fire? Ham’s looking was not the problem. The final problem was that Ham did not cover the situation, but rather spoke obnoxiously about it. The Hebrew word for “told” in 9:22 is nagad (Strong’s #5046). It means “to front; stand out boldly; announce”. This is what Ham did.

Had Ham simply covered the situation and not spoken of it the results would have been much different.

However, that was not his nature. Ham must announce it boldly. “Dad’s in the tent passed out and naked! Ha Ha Ha! You should see that mess!” What possible good came from this telling? Ham had some information that no one else possessed. Ham could make himself important so he used the information to belittle Noah in an attempt to make Ham larger. It failed.

Genesis 9:24-27

24 And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.

25 And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.

26 And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.

27 God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. (emphasis added)

Noah’s Nakedness

A curse follows the nature of Ham. Noah awoke from his wine. The wine had put Noah to sleep. Noah discovered what Ham “had done unto him”. It is necessary to settle in our own minds what exactly Ham had done. As simple as it may sound the only thing Ham did that was unnecessary was to nagad–tell–Shem and Japheth what Ham had seen. It sounds like such a small thing to us, but when compared to the way Shem and Japheth handled the same situation it is vastly different. Shem and Japheth covered Noah’s nakedness. Ham uncovered Noah’s nakedness.

Noah cursed Canaan. Noah invoked the demise of Canaan. This will show us why the Canaanites were to be destroyed. Canaan was not the only son of Ham (Gen 10:6). However this branch of Ham’s descendants would become the Canaanites (Gen 10:15-19) who were doomed to ruin. They either died by the sword or were put into slavery and paid taxes to Israel (Shem) (see Jos 9:23; Jud 1:28, 30, 33, 35). Disgrace is placed upon those who disgrace others. The Lord God visits the iniquity of the fathers upon the children (Gen 15:16; Exo 20:5; 34:7; Num 14:18; Deu 5:9).

The rebuke and punishment given to Ham for what he did was he received no birthright. In fact, Ham is not mentioned in the birthright blessing given in Genesis 9:24-27. Ham is completely left out of the will. He is not mentioned.

In contrast, Shem and Japheth would receive all the birth-right.

Noah’s Nakedness

God would be the Lord God of Shem. Shem would be the people of God that would bring forth the promised Christ into the earth. The Seed that came through Seth progressed through Shem. The promised lineage continued. The line this far was God, Adam, Seth, Noah, and Shem. It would continue through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Blessed be the Lord God of Shem. Shem did not receive the blessing in this verse. The Lord God of Shem is the person Noah’s blessing was given.

Contrary to contemporary dispensational teaching it is in Japheth that much blessing is actually given. This is probably not the way we have been taught. We are usually taught that Shem received the “best” or “better” blessing. Not true. Japheth was given the final and ultimate blessing. Japheth would bring forth the gentile races. “God shall enlarge Japheth.” The Gentiles always outnumbered the Shemites–Jews. Also, Japheth shall dwell in the tents of Shem! Shem may have the tents for a season, but it would be Japheth who would finally dwell in and possess the tents of Shem. What does that mean exactly?

After Christ came and began His church the Jewish religion of Shem became obsolete.

Actually today Judaism is a false religion that says the Christ has not come. That is the antichrist (1Jo 2:18, 22; 4:3; 2Jo 1:7). Its temple and system were destroyed in A.D. 70. The Gentiles moved into the tents. More and more Gentiles began coming into the tents of the Lord. Gentiles succeeded the Jews in Church membership and now dwell in Shem’s tents. Dispensational doctrine says that the Lord God must renew his covenant with natural Israel (Shem). That would mean that one day Japheth must move out of the tents. According to this Hebrew word shakan translated dwell (Strong’s #7931) in 9:27 that cannot be true. The word shakan (Strong’s #7931) means “to reside or permanently stay”!

Genesis 9:28 And Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years.

Genesis 9:29 And all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years: and he died.

Noah’s Nakedness

As with the saints listed in Genesis chapter 5, Noah lived. Noah’s life left a godly seed in the earth who would bring forth the kingdom of God, and then Noah died. Noah was a preacher of righteousness (2Pe 2:5). Noah “became heir of righteousness”. How interesting it is that this is said of Noah when all we hear about Noah from this passage is how badly he sinned. That is not the lesson from the passage. The lesson is if we do not cover, but rather talk about things we should not, we bring a curse upon our children.

Hebrews 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

2 Peter 2:5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;

Noah’s Nakedness sermon notes

Noah's Nakedness sermon notes

Noah’s Nakedness sermon notes

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Also see:

Sermons Change The World

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1 Matthew Henry’s Commentary On the Whole Bible vol. 1, Matthew Henry, page 59