Canaan’s Curse & The Tower of Babel

Canaan’s Curse & The Tower of Babel

And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard: And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without. 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. And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him. And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.

Genesis 9:20-27

Here we see the failure of Noah. He is not the Messiah. He is a sinner who needs a Savior. Here we also see that the Messiah will not come through the line of Ham even though he is the oldest. Ham’s actions show that he is not right with God. The curse is placed on Canaan because the attitude of Ham has already been seen in Canaan. Canaan is now a cursed people. The line of the Messiah will now come through Shem.

We must remember that Genesis was written by Moses for the children of Israel shortly before they entered the Promised Land where the descendants of Canaan lived. This story is to serve as a reminder to the children of Israel to not intermarry with the Canaanites. We now have again the line of the Messiah (Shem) contrasted with the line of the flesh (Canaan.)

And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.

Genesis 11:1-9

At Babel we see the continued refusal of mankind to carry out God’s plan of dominion. Instead of filling the earth with God’s glory, mankind chooses to instead build a tower for their own glory. Because mankind has once again refused to fill the earth and take dominion God confuses their languages. Multiple languages is the judgment of God upon mankind.

This shows us that the coming Seed of the Woman will not just restore mankind to Eden, but He will also restore unity among mankind. The gift of tongues at Pentecost was to show that in Christ the judgment of God has been taken by Jesus Christ for those who repent of their sins and believe in Him. Jesus as the Seed of the Woman reverses the judgment of God at Babel.

Jesus also enables His followers through the power of the Spirit to fulfill the command of God to fill the earth and subdue it. The Messiah restores the image of God in man so that they might make the whole earth reflect His glory by taking the Gospel to the ends of the earth.


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