The sons of Noah who emerged with him from the ark were
Shem, Ham and Japheth.
Noah began to work the earth and planted a
vineyard. When he had made wine of the juice of the vine and had drunk it, he
became intoxicated because he did not know as yet the strength of wine, and
taking his clothes off, he lay naked in his tent. His son Ham, the father of Canaan, saw
this. He acted without proper respect for his father and told his brothers
about this. Shem and Japheth, however, took clothing, and came up to their
father in such a way as not to see his nakedness and covered him. When Noah
woke up and learned about the action of the youngest son, Ham, he condemned and
cursed him in the person of his son Canaan, and said that his offspring would be in slavery to the
offspring of his brothers. But Shem and Japheth he blessed and prophesied that
the true faith would be preserved in the offspring of Shem, and the offspring
of Japheth would spread across the earth and accept the true faith from the offspring
Noah lived for 950 years. He was the last to live
to such an advanced age. After him, the strength of the human race began to
decline, and people could live for only 400 years. But even with this length of
life, the population increased.
All that Noah foretold his sons was fulfilled
precisely. The offspring of Shem are called the Semites, to whom there
belong firstly the Hebrew people, with whom faith in the true God was
preserved. The offspring of Japheth are called Japhethites, to whom
there belong the peoples that populated Europe and Asia, who
accepted faith in the true God from the Hebrews. The offspring of Ham are
called Hamites. The Canaanite tribes which originally inhabited Palestine, and were later subjugated by the offspring of Shem and
Japheth, belong to them.
Genesis, chaps. 9:18-39; 10.
Return to the first page