Genesis 16: Hagar and Ishmael

Earnest Examination

This series is presented as an honest, sincere look into the study of the Bible with my own personal theories, opinions, comments and that of others’ insights and research into what the verses could mean. I cannot claim one way or another that everything that I am stating is fact and the true meaning of what is meant in these verses.

To lay it out in a way that I can manage, I have highlighted the texts of verses that I either don’t understand or have a comment or question about in yellow. And the comments I’ve left beneath it will be of a smaller font and using brown text.

I would love it if you’d join me in this journey and if you have any insights and/or knowledge of these chapters/verses etc., please feel free to share with me and the other readers. Any chance to get a clearer understanding of the Bible and Jesus Christ would be welcomed with open arms.

Version used is from (KJV) Genesis 16

1 Now Sarai Abram’s wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar.
2 And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.

It’s interesting how even though Abram trusted in the Lord that he will have descendants that come from his own body, it did not occur to him that it would come from his own wife, Sarai. Instead, because Sarai thought that she could not bear children, then his descendants would have to come from someone else. Thereby offering up her handmaid so that her husband could have children through his bloodline. Was this planned by God all along? If God is omnipresent and omniscient, then He would already know that this is how the story is going to play out.
3 And Sarai Abram’s wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife.
4 And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes.
I do want to make another point here, about who many believe wrote Genesis to begin with. Of course this question brings up many debates, but the person most referenced as having written Genesis is Moses. Whether that be from word of mouth and passed down traditions and tales, or whether perhaps he had the testimony dictated to him by an angel of the Lord, or the Lord Himself, it is interesting that a lot of these passed down tales give us an inner look into the emotions and feelings of others. Was there written dictation that Hagar began to hate her mistress? Was there proof of some sort that there was animosity brewing between the two because Hagar felt herself better than Sarai because she can conceive and Sarai couldn’t? And this brings into question how these texts could have been written with the knowledge of what people were feeling and thinking. Yes, God would be able to know how everyone’s feeling, so could it be possible that whoever did write Genesis gets insights into everyone’s thoughts and feelings? And if certain chapters were dictated, how can we be, FOR SURE, that the dictation came from an angel of the Lord, or the Lord Himself? Or even if they came from visions or dreams? How can we be sure that these visions/dreams/etc. were not misconstrued?
I also want to bring up the emotion of Hagar herself for her thoughts of pride for being able to conceive and thinking herself better than someone else because of this. I don’t want to judge this characteristic, because I don’t know what’s going on in her mind/thoughts, but thought it was an interesting perspective. Of course this particular version of the text does not reference Hagar’s complete feelings to Sarai like others do, like the NIV for instance. The NIV gives a little more context to this relationship.

5 And Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong be upon thee: I have given my maid into thy bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the LORD judge between me and thee.
6 But Abram said unto Sarai, Behold, thy maid is in thy hand; do to her as it pleaseth thee. And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face.
Here is another reference to Sarai and Hagar’s relationship, which was never brought up before Hagar became pregnant with Abram’s child. And another wrongdoing, even though it was Sarai’s idea to have Hagar become Abram’s wife as well specifically to have children through her. I also want to make note that at this point, it doesn’t seem as if the Lord has given any instruction as to how to live one’s life. The 10 commandments were not created yet, and the word Love has not even been mentioned yet other than in reference to procreation as can be seen in NIV Genesis 4. In fact, it won’t be mentioned for a few more chapters, and even in that context, as we will see, I have issues with.
So at this point in the Bible, it would appear that people have no way of knowing how to treat each other. We can see such disrespect coming from Hagar to Sarai, and Sarai to Hagar, with not a mention of compassion or kindness. In fact, the last few chapters dealt with gain as far as land and wealth and bloodlines. It’s fascinating that Love has not even been a component yet. Even at the creation of Adam and Eve and the love of a husband and wife, or the love for their children.

7 And the angel of the LORD found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur.
8 And he said, Hagar, Sarai’s maid, whence camest thou? and whither wilt thou go? And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai.

The phrase “the angel of the Lord” grabs my attention and to me, implies that this angel is special in some way. Why “THE” angel? Not “an” angel? Why is there this implication that it is not just a “random” angel of the Lord that came to Hagar, but the angel of the Lord? What does this mean? Does this angel have some sort of significance? There are indications of heirarchies within the angelic/heavenly realm, so does this angel hold a particular importance or certain leadership quality that others angels wouldn’t?
9 And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands.
10 And the angel of the LORD said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude.
This gives me an even deeper impression that this angel, for some reason, holds more weight than the others. Why would this angel specifically say, “I will multiply thy seed”? Wouldn’t that be something that the Lord would say? If the angel is speaking for the Lord, then the wording, I would think, would be more like, “The Lord will multiply thy seed”. Not I, as in the angel itself.
11 And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction.
Just a quick note, “Ishmael” means “God listens.” or “God will hear.” or similar variants to this.
12 And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.
So why would this be? This sounds like more of a curse than a blessing. Is this “angel of the Lord” merely warning Hagar that this is how her son will be considered? Is it just what was in Ishmael’s destiny? There are theories that Ishmael’s descendants are known today as the Muslims, or Arabs, Arabian Muslims, with some history provided by Muhammad/Quran.
So another question I have is, if the angel never mentioned that Ishmael would grow up to be at odds with every man, would this prophecy still play out as told? Did the angel’s prophetic warning have anything to do with how Hagar raised Ishmael, with the expectation that he would be against others and others against him? Did the angel set the precedent with this foretelling?

13 And she called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me?
Hm… now I’m really confused. The angel of the Lord was speaking to Hagar… so why is this verse now considering him the Lord? And if this was the angel of the Lord, then surely the text would clearly imply again “the angel of the Lord”. Not “name of the Lord that spake unto her.” Unless it is indicating that by being addressed by this angel, she realizes that Thou God, meaning the angel’s God, and thus God Himself, has seen her in her distress and is appealing to her to return to Sarai even amidst all of the hostility. It still does not explain though why in this verse the angel is considered the Lord… Could “the angel of the Lord” be the Holy Spirit? Therefore indeed a significant part of God? Or perhaps as some theories speculate, could it be the Christ Consciousness before Jesus Christ was incarnate? Even so, the strange prediction that Ishmael will play a substantial role in his dealings with other mankind sets an interesting and perplexing anecdote, as if setting the stage for what is to come.
14 Wherefore the well was called Beerlahairoi; behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered.
15 And Hagar bare Abram a son: and Abram called his son’s name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael.
16 And Abram was fourscore and six years old, when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram.

Throughout this chapter, I have to bring up again how interesting it is that the one message that Jesus Christ teaches, of Love to God and to each other, has not been mentioned yet. In fact, like I stated above, Love is not even a factor and has not been mentioned in Genesis yet, from Adam and Eve’s creation, to Abram’s timeline, 2,000 years since the beginning, according to the Bible. Has this concept, this feeling, not have even manifested yet? Are humans at this point of time just multiplying out of duty to keep one’s heritage/bloodline going? We can see how people have treated each other throughout all of this, with brother against brother, son against father, woman against woman due to pride, jealousy, envy, etc., etc., etc. I think Love will be a specific recurring topic that I will keep a very close eye on going forward.

 

As usual, I want to reiterate that some of my thoughts and theories may be way off base, and I also research some other things on the side as well to try and get a broader understanding of what I’m reading, so please bear with me, or, even better, if you have insights that bring more light to these verses, please let me know.

I enjoy bouncing off theories and theology off of each other and love to hear other people’s perspectives on things. Thank you for reading and I look forward to hearing from you!

Genesis 12: The Call of Abram

Earnest Examination

This series is presented as an honest, sincere look into the study of the Bible with my own personal theories, opinions, comments and that of others’ insights and research into what the verses could mean. I cannot claim one way or another that everything that I am stating is fact and the true meaning of what is meant in these verses.

To lay it out in a way that I can manage, I have highlighted the texts of verses that I either don’t understand or have a comment or question about in yellow. And the comments I’ve left beneath it will be of a smaller font and using brown text.

I would love it if you’d join me in this journey and if you have any insights and/or knowledge of these chapters/verses etc., please feel free to share with me and the other readers. Any chance to get a clearer understanding of the Bible and Jesus Christ would be welcomed with open arms.

Version used is from biblestudytools.com (NKJV) Genesis 12

The Call of Abram

1 Now the Lord had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you.
2 I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing.
3 I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
This verse seems like a contradiction to me. First it says that “I will bless those who bless you”, and then, “I will curse him who curses you”, yet in the very next section it states, “and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” …Doesn’t the last part of the sentence cancel out the first portion? Unless EVERYONE blesses Abram, then not all of the families on earth will be blessed. So this sounds a little confusing to me.
4 So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.
5 Then Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people whom they had acquired in Haran, and they departed to go to the land of Canaan. So they came to the land of Canaan.
6 Abram passed through the land to the place of Shechem, as far as the terebinth tree of Moreh. And the Canaanites were then in the land.
7 Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” And there he built an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him.
8 And he moved from there to the mountain east of Bethel, and he pitched his tent with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; there he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord.
9 So Abram journeyed, going on still toward the South.

Abram in Egypt

10 Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to dwell there, for the famine was severe in the land.
11 And it came to pass, when he was close to entering Egypt, that he said to Sarai his wife, “Indeed I know that you are a woman of beautiful countenance.
12 Therefore it will happen, when the Egyptians see you, that they will say, ‘This is his wife’; and they will kill me, but they will let you live.
I don’t understand the customs of each nation, but it’s interesting that Abram’s first instinct is that the Egyptians will kill him presumably to steal his wife from him. It’s also interesting to note that Abram is very well aware of his wife’s beauty, and it’s for this reason that he feels as if he would be looked at in hostility by the Egyptians simply for being the husband of a “beautiful” woman.
It’s also very telling that even during the birth of all the nations, that physical looks has so much influence on people’s lives. No one can help how they are born and what physical features they’re born with (or can they…?) so to automatically judge someone based on their looks seems like such a strange concept to me. Of course, if one were inclined to believe that to be born with physical beauty is a ‘blessing from the gods’ or good karma, etc. then I can see why people would feel as if “beautiful” people are blessed – but as we can see in today’s society, this is most certainly NOT TRUE, as even some of the most beautiful people are corrupted to the core. So it all boils down to what is aesthetically pleasing in someone’s eyes, and that they could ultimately care less what kind of personality the person has, as long as they’re beautiful.
This is, of course, not speaking for everyone, but just a mentality that some people hold.

13 Please say you are my sister, that it may be well with me for your sake, and that I may live because of you.”
Was this plan strictly coming from Abram? Was he going with his gut instinct? It seemed to work well, in the end, but it would be nice to know where this intuition came from. A voice outside of his own being? His own conscience? The Lord Himself? Well, it’s probably not the Lord since if it was so, then that would imply that the Lord directly told Abram to lie, and that’s not righteous or holy, correct? God is Truth, so it wouldn’t make sense for Him to guide someone else into lying.
14 So it was, when Abram came into Egypt, that the Egyptians saw the woman, that she was very beautiful.
15 The princes of Pharaoh also saw her and commended her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken to Pharaoh’s house.
16 He treated Abram well for her sake. He had sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male and female servants, female donkeys, and camels.
Wow, so just because someone’s ‘sibling’ is BEAUTIFUL, they get to be treated like a “king” just to remain in good standing with the person they potentially want to pursue relationships with. Is that really what natural selection dictates? Do we not care what character a person has, but instead put all (most?) of our emphasis on looks?
17 But the Lord plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife.
So… I have a bone to pick with our Lord. It is apparent that the Lord can dictate to whom He sends curses and plagues down into. He aimed deliberately for Pharaoh’s kingdom and his house, all because Abram lied to the Pharaoh about Sarai being his sister instead of his wife and that Pharaoh made an honest mistake. According to this account. So here’s the clueless Pharaoh, not even realizing why he’s being plagued (and I’m not stating that the Pharaoh is completely innocent in this dealing, by the way, because like Abram stated, perhaps they really would have killed him if they had known right away that he was Sarai’s husband) and it makes me wonder how much the Pharaoh believes in the same Lord that Abram does.
So my problem with this ordeal is that for God to initiate this very targeted attack on the Pharaoh for picking on His blessed family, it implies that God can do this to whomever He wants, whenever He wants, and for whatever reason He wants. So to still allow incredibly evil acts to run rampant instead of ‘smiting’ or sending down plagues against corrupted individuals, when they do TRULY awful things, is a very severe oversight and the reason for a lot of people not believing in God. I went through this very same phase when I was younger, thinking that if God exists, how could He allow such evil to continue? Of course, we don’t know all the mysteries and plans involved in this strange world and in our lives, and that ‘free will’ plays a huge part in the way our world is run, but for an almighty God to literally send plagues to an Egyptian ruler simply because he was misled in believing that a particular woman is single, meanwhile millions of kids are starving to death and being sold/trafficked to truly horrendous people – the comparison doesn’t even make sense.

18 And Pharaoh called Abram and said, “What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife?
19 Why did you say, ‘She is my sister’? I might have taken her as my wife. Now therefore, here is your wife; take her and go your way.”

Even though lying is technically wrong, and satan himself is called Father of Lies, I’m wondering if there is truly a distinction between lying to manipulatively deceive someone, and lying for ‘the better good’. Abram’s lie was to protect himself because he knew, somehow, that he would be on the chopping block if the Egyptians realized that he was Sarai’s husband. And in so doing, he was also protecting Sarai from being kidnapped, essentially, to an unknown life that she may not be accustomed to or appreciate. So it does bring up the question if it’s ever okay to lie.
Some people bring up the fact that one of the 10 commandments is “Thou shall not lie”, but that’s not exactly what it says or implies. The actual commandment is, “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor”. Meaning we shouldn’t slander or lie about our neighbor’s (fellow peoples) deeds. However, since Jesus Christ is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life”, it goes without saying that probably the best way to maintain righteousness is to stay in Truth. After all, if Abram was already being looked out for by God Himself, then Abram very well could have told the truth that he is Sarai’s husband, and no matter what the Egyptians tried to do to him, it wouldn’t pan out for them anyway.

20 So Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him; and they sent him away, with his wife and all that he had.

This was a very interesting look into the relationship between God and Abram, and how much the Lord really did to protect Abram and Sarai from possible subjugation of the Egyptians. It does bring up to question though if God still works this way on a personal level like He did back in these biblical times. And if He is working this way, perhaps many of us just don’t know about it.

As usual, I want to reiterate that some of my thoughts and theories may be way off base, and I also research some other things on the side as well to try and get a broader understanding of what I’m reading, so please bear with me, or, even better, if you have insights that bring more light to these verses, please let me know.

I enjoy bouncing off theories and theology off of each other and love to hear other people’s perspectives on things. Thank you for reading and I look forward to hearing from you!

Fact checking is extremely important. I want to reiterate not to take everything at face value; no matter what you read, where you read it from, or who you hear it from. And to be clear, do not rely on “fact checking” websites to give you accurate information either. These are just as likely, (if not even more likely…), to feed false information and false debunking accounts to manipulate the reader. Please take everything into consideration before adhering to a certain narrative – and always keep your mind open to other possibilities.

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Featured image by Gnattyone from Pixabay

Genesis 9: God’s Covenant With Noah

Earnest Examination

This series is presented as an honest, sincere look into the study of the Bible with my own personal theories, opinions, comments and that of others’ insights and research into what the verses could mean. I cannot claim one way or another that everything that I am stating is fact and the true meaning of what is meant in these verses.

To lay it out in a way that I can manage, I have highlighted the texts of verses that I either don’t understand or have a comment or question about in yellow. And the comments I’ve left beneath it will be of a smaller font and using brown text.

I would love it if you’d join me in this journey and if you have any insights and/or knowledge of these chapters/verses etc., please feel free to share with me and the other readers. Any chance to get a clearer understanding of the Bible and Jesus Christ would be welcomed with open arms.

All verses used are from biblestudytools.com (NIV) Genesis 9

God’s Covenant With Noah

1 Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth.
2 The fear and dread of you will fall on all the beasts of the earth, and on all the birds in the sky, on every creature that moves along the ground, and on all the fish in the sea; they are given into your hands.
Why was this a new rule that God implemented on the beings of the planet? According to this, one could surmise that before this event, all animals had no fear of humans and co-existed side by side peacefully. But after the flood, God changes this completely and makes animals at the mercy of humans. Was this a test to see who will still treat animals with kindness and empathy, even after having reign over them?
3 Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.
So am I to assume that before the flood, no one ate meat? It brings me back to Abel’s offering/sacrifice of the best of his flock, and of Noah’s sacrifice of some of the “clean” animals that Noah brought onto the ark. This was not only acceptable to God, it was beloved; as we can see from God’s reaction to Abel’s offering and one of the main reasons, apparently, that God promised to never again curse the ground because of humans. …Because he loved the smell of burning meat so much. “21 The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.” I honestly don’t know what to say about this revelation.
4 “But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it.
Well, even God has his limits. Sadly, this common respect and courtesy for living creatures are indeed lost on some humans. For example, the military sent some of their troops to engage in a rather savage “survival” training camp that did encourage soldiers to eat/drink blood from live animals. And even admitted that the training program was not solely to teach survival skills, but rather to build a rapport with their fellow companions. “While the training exercise is marketed as a food procurement drill, officials have admitted it is intended to build camaraderie among troops in a manner resembling a barbaric hazing ritual.” – (WARNING: GRAPHIC MATERIAL) Military Training Drills Where Soldiers Eat Live Animals And Drink Snake Blood Could Spark New Pandemic, Says PETA

I don’t know about you, but if you look up the definition of ‘camaraderie‘, it states:
n. Goodwill and lighthearted rapport between or among friends; comradeship.
n. Companionship; good-fellowship; intimacy.
n. Comradeship and loyalty.

None of what was described in their “training drills” sounds like ‘goodwill’ or ‘lighthearted’ or ‘good-fellowship’ or anything of the sort and more like an occultic initiation rite to me.

Now some people will accuse others of judging based on cultural differences, but we have to ask ourselves, where do the rights of “cultural differences” stand when the beliefs are literally infringing upon other beings’ lives? “They’re just animals.” Yes. Animals with every right to living as well and not suffering through needless pain. Which again brings me to why a burnt offering of animals would be needed by the Lord and why it’s so hard for me to comprehend this idea in the first place.
5 And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each human being, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of another human being.
I know forgiveness is a huge factor in our lives, but I have to admit that I sometimes think of “karma” as being a real aspect and something that we’ll all have to face one of these days. Whether reincarnation is real or not, perhaps our deeds will go rewarded or punished depending on how we lived our life(lives). I have to be honest when I say that I hope that people get what’s coming to them – both the good and the bad. If someone is completely selfless and loving and spreads that, then I hope they get recompensed for all of their good-heartedness. If someone is evil/wicked, etc., then likewise, I hope they get what’s coming to them. I think it’s human nature to want to see good and bad people get what they inevitably deserve, and I have not yet “transcended” above that mentality.

With that being said, if someone is truly remorseful and regretful for all their bad deeds and turns their life around to show this, then by all means, forgiveness should most definitely be on the table and wipe the slate clean. I think this is one of the key attributes in clearing a kind of karmic debt/cycle. But the heart must be sincere in order for it to work.
6 “Whoever sheds human blood, by humans shall their blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made mankind.
Except Cain, right?
“Then the LORD put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him.”
Why did God show so much leniency to Cain when he was allegedly the first murderer on the planet? God even put upon him the protection from being killed by the hands of someone else, but yet this verse indicates that if you shed someone’s blood (like Cain did) then your blood will be shed by a human as well. Perhaps God changed his mind. Of course, we know this rule doesn’t necessarily reflect truth as we know it since there have been killers/murderers, etc. that get away with their crime and die peacefully in their sleep. So perhaps there’s something we’re missing to completely understand the context of these words.
7 As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it.”
8 Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him:
9 “I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you
10 and with every living creature that was with you—the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you—every living creature on earth.
11 I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.”
I think most of us might remember this story from our childhood; God’s promise to never destroy most of the world due to a flood ever again – hence the rainbow in the sky as a testament to this promise – however, as a lot of people have pointed out, the prophetic words of Revelation point to Fire as the next detrimental punishment the world will receive when the time comes. Perhaps there is a symbolic meaning behind this, seeing as how fire is often seen as the essence of purification.
12 And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come:
13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.
14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds,
15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.
16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”
17 So God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.”

The Sons of Noah

18 The sons of Noah who came out of the ark were Shem, Ham and Japheth. (Ham was the father of Canaan.)
19 These were the three sons of Noah, and from them came the people who were scattered over the whole earth.

I remember seeing an interesting depiction of these three sons of Noah, implicating the skin color of each one. There is so much controversy surrounding the nature of this, that, while I feel it prudent to study it and research the possible correlations between all of it, I am not going to address it on this post. Just bringing up the subject matter for future reference, and to connect this with the possible origins we have on the different kinds of ethnicities and cultures that we can see all around the world. I think it is a fascinating study into our history, although the theories and opinions differ greatly between multiple groups and are highly debatable and ultimately inconclusive.
20 Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded to plant a vineyard.
21 When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent.

This is more of a personal opinion, but I am not a big drinker, and, to be quite frank, I don’t think anyone else should be either. There is so much conflict and drama when alcohol is in the mix, and it leads to drastic decisions that probably could have been avoided simply by not imbibing the drink. There are (conspiracy) theories as to why alcohol is called ‘spirits’ to begin with. Maybe there’s a perfectly good reason why it’s called that. And it’s also a good reason why we should stay away from it. A little bit of it here and there is fine, but when one crosses the line into “drunkenness”, it most definitely becomes a problem. The consumption of alcohol directly weakens our cognitive functions, and, in my conspiratorial opinion, leaves one wide open for spiritual possession and impaired judgement.
22 Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father naked and told his two brothers outside.
You wouldn’t think it simply by looking at this rather straight-forward statement, but it is, in fact, rife with hidden meaning. (That is, of course, contested, but what isn’t nowadays?)
When I first read this line, my mind automatically thought, “Well, so what? Noah’s son accidentally looked upon his drunken father’s nakedness. Is that really such a major deal? And his other sons simply took a garment and respectfully covered him. What’s to see here?”

23 But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it across their shoulders; then they walked in backward and covered their father’s naked body. Their faces were turned the other way so that they would not see their father naked.
But it wasn’t until I researched these verses that it made sense. What the term ‘saw his father naked‘ really means in Hebrew – is a euphemism for sleeping with his father’s wife.
Yes.
It means that Ham slept with his own mother.
Why Was Canaan Cursed?
This is of course, just one theory, but it’s the one that makes the most sense to me. After all, yes having someone take a peek at you while you’re laying naked is utterly embarrassing, but enough so to warrant cursing your own grandchild? Eh, not so much. However, a family member having an immoral relationship with another family member, especially one who you’re married to? And then to have that family member go behind your back and brag about it to other family members?…That makes more sense.
But that does raise the question as to why Noah cursed his grandchild to begin with and not Ham; the one who ACTUALLY committed the sin.

24 When Noah awoke from his wine and found out what his youngest son had done to him,
25 he said, “Cursed be Canaan! The lowest of slaves will he be to his brothers.”

There are debates as to if this is what is really meant by the “uncovered nakedness” means, and as I’ve stated, it is what makes most sense to me. If it was that Ham saw him naked and bragged about it to his brothers, then the severity of the curse doesn’t seem to fit the crime. If, however, it is because Ham committed incest with his mother and this is how Canaan was born, it falls into place more logically. Now the question is, was the mother complicit in this egregious deed; or was she overpowered and taken advantage of? Was it not only a crime of incest, but also of rape? The Bible doesn’t expand upon this further, so there is no way of knowing.

And through my own curiosity, since Noah automatically went to curse Canaan, I wondered if this child had already been born and was just the poor recipient of Noah’s wrath due to being the child of Ham, OR, if Noah knew that Canaan was going to be born from Ham’s incestuous relationship with his mother. The verse states “when Noah awoke from his wine” – could this have meant “when Noah awoke from his drunken stupor”? When looking up how long one can be drunk for, the answer was astonishing. If it was a matter of a single day/night in which Noah lay drunk and finally arose out of it, that would be one thing. But again, the Bible doesn’t specify. If, however, Noah was a consistent wine drinker to the point where he was a (even barely) “functioning drunk”, then this state could last for weeks, months, even years! Perhaps when he finally set the wine aside and sobered up, is when his other sons got through to him and let him know the grievous action that their brother committed. And during that time, Noah, seeing his wife pregnant and knowing that it wasn’t his but instead Ham’s, unleashed his curse on the unborn child.
26 He also said, “Praise be to the LORD, the God of Shem! May Canaan be the slave of Shem.
27 May God extend Japheth’s territory; may Japheth live in the tents of Shem, and may Canaan be the slave of Japheth.”

It seems as if Noah’s wrath onto Canaan is more of a retribution to smite Ham – forcing him to watch his son be at the mercy of others, but because to me it seems unfair to subject an otherwise innocent child to such hostility and animosity, it’s taking me awhile to wrap my head around it.
There is something that I’m reminded of and wonder if it has any relevance to the reaction of Noah to his grandson Canaan. In some reincarnation testimonies, children have been known to decide which parents they want to be born from. Could this be why Noah holds resentment to Canaan? Since Canaan allegedly chose to be born from this cursed union?
I will never forget when my son told me when he was around 4, “I’m glad I picked you to be my mommy.” (…I didn’t know it worked like that…) Of course I asked him what he meant by that, and he couldn’t quite explain it but stated it as a matter of fact thing, like “of course that’s how it works, silly”. He also regaled me with stories of what it was like INSIDE THE WOMB and me, being fascinated with what he was telling me, grabbed the nearest piece of paper and pen I could find and hastily scribbled down everything he was saying. Was this merely a fanciful imagination of a young child? Or was he remembering things that go far beyond our current comprehension?
Lastly, I want to bring up how sad it is that after God’s hard work at smiting the WHOLE PLANET (save but a few) because of the evil inclinations of the human heart, what happens next? Ham, one of the chosen few to be saved, goes out and SINS and brings corruption right back. …Really? Out of 8 people, they couldn’t just stay holy enough to not further curse the land? It’s not like they went ahead and listened to the Lord and repopulated the land AND THEN one of those foolish offspring brought about corruption. NO. We see it right away from one of Noah’s sons. You can’t tell me that God didn’t foresee this coming. Which begs the question, ‘why allow it’?

28 After the flood Noah lived 350 years.
29 Noah lived a total of 950 years, and then he died.

As we can see, the Lord does indeed work in mysterious ways and I can’t even pretend to know the hows, whats and whys and so on. All we can do is live life the best way we can, work on our own development and help others through their hardships and learn from our mistakes. We may never know the “ultimate plan” and why God allows certain things to happen, but to stay in a cynical, hard-hearted stubbornness of rebellion and disbelief is to shut out open-mindedness and understanding. Something that I am perpetually working on in my own life.

And again I want to reiterate that some of my thoughts and theories may be way off base, and I also research some other things on the side as well to try and get a broader understanding of what I’m reading, so please bear with me, or, even better, if you have insights that bring more light to these verses, please let me know.

I enjoy bouncing off theories and theology off of each other and love to hear other people’s perspectives on things. Thank you for reading and I look forward to hearing from you!

Fact checking is extremely important. I want to reiterate not to take everything at face value; no matter what you read, where you read it from, or who you hear it from. And to be clear, do not rely on “fact checking” websites to give you accurate information either. These are just as likely, (if not even more likely…), to feed false information and false debunking accounts to manipulate the reader. Please take everything into consideration before adhering to a certain narrative – and always keep your mind open to other possibilities.

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