Noah and Wine

This entry is part 381 of 472 in the series Inquiring Minds
Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

Was Noah the inventor of wine? Does that help explain Genesis?

In Genesis 9:20-21, the Bible tells us that Noah became a man of the earth, a farmer of sorts, planted a vineyard, made wine, and became drunk. It further goes on to tell us about something that happened between Noah and his son, Ham, who saw his nakedness (Genesis 9:22-24).

What we know about this event is that Ham does something that makes him  and his descendents cursed. We don’t know exactly what he does or what the taboo is here. The Bible is not clear. But it makes definite illusions to something evil that Noah’s son does.

It’s not likely that Noah is the creator of wine. It’s much more likely that wine was already something that existed on the earth before the flood. Noah learned about it or how to make it before the flood.

Then after the flood, it’s one of the things he does. There’s nothing wrong with planting a vineyard. The Bible doesn’t speak anything against drinking alcohol. There is no prohibition against drinking alcohol in the Bible.

However, drunkenness is a sin. So for some reason Noah decided to push the issue and go to far. Everything was good until he became drunk. You can see from the cautionary event here that happened in his family with one of his sons that is drunkenness made him lose all of his inhibitions.

This is how he ends up uncovered in naked. Something happens because of Noah’s drunkenness. But his son is also at fault, perhaps more so since his father is drunk and not able to pay attention to what is happening. But the Bible has this event for some reason.

The reason in my opinion is to show us how dangerous drunkenness can be and why God does not permit drunkenness among his people. It leads to the release of inhibitions and bad things happen after people get drunk.

As far as the rest of the book of Genesis, the only lasting effect is the cursor over Canaan and Canaanites because of the sin of their descendent Ham. Genesis in the beginning eleven chapters highlights the sins of humanity that led it astray from God.

Noah’s single event of drunkenness here shows that humanity has really not changed. Even though God started over with a man who was righteous, he still had flaws. Earth would not be the perfect paradise that God originally intended when he created the Garden of Eden.

God would have to do something even more drastic than a great flood to get his creation back from sin and darkness. As much as Genesis 1-11 talks about all of the sins and wickedness that were on the earth that caused God to act in the flood, it also highlights some of the hope for later.

Genesis 3:15 prophesies in the midst of the curse on humanity, creation, and the serpent, that God would bring out of the woman his own seed or offspring. This refers to Jesus who would come much later but is the final solution to the sin problem of humanity.

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