Well, we all know the story of Noah. People on the earth were being violent and corrupt. God says, "Something will have to be done." Noah's a righteous guy. God asks Noah to build an ark out of gopherwood. Noah brings his wife, sons and sons' wives unto the ark. Noah brings "sevens" of the clean animals onto the ark and "twos" of the unclean animals onto the ark. The earth gets rained upon for 40 days and 40 nights. The waters stay for 150 days. They hang out in the ark for a few more months until the tops of the mountains can be seen. Noah sends out a dove and the dove comes back. Noah sends out a dove and the dove brings back on olive branch. Noah sends out a dove and the dove doesn't return. The waters recede. God sends a rainbow and promises never to destroy the earth again. Woot.
Chapter 9 shares a little more information about the Noah story.
First, we learn that this is the point when man is told it is okay to eat meat. Up until then, they were likely all munching on leaves and fruit and seeds. But now God says, "Every living thing that moveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof , shall ye not eat." (So, they're not supposed to eat live animals, I gather? Possibly not uncooked?)
Then we learn that Noah began to farm and planted a vineyard. Noah gets drunk from his own wine and evidently gets naked and passes out. His son, Ham (who is dubbed "the father of Canaan"), sees his father laying there in the nude and tells his brothers, Shem and Japheth. Now at this point in time, it must have been hugely embarrassing to be seen naked (remember Adam and Eve after they ate the forbidden fruit?) because 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." Then Noah wakes up and "knew what his younger son had done unto him." Then Noah says that because of this, Canaan shall be a servant to Shem and Japheth. We're not really clear as to why Canaan is being punished for something that Ham saw...are we missing something here?
And in Chapter 10 we get a catalog of the generations of the sons of Noah...a little boring, but it does have an occasional tidbit the eludes to what we will be reading about in the future. Read it for yourself to see what we mean. The one thing we didn't understand, though, was any part that made mention of Shem's, Ham's, or Japheth's families, it states "every one after his tongue" or "after their tongues." That makes it seem as though they were speaking different languages. Is this just vague, referencing the future generations, post-Babel (that is the next chapter, after all)? Or were there different languages prior to this, too?
More next week!