Noah— the man who had accomplished so much and had been so faithful to God— was lying in his tent, drunk and naked. Noah's already bad day turned worse when his son, Ham, walked into the tent:
Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it upon both their shoulders and walked backward and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were turned away, so that they did not see their father’s nakedness. (Genesis 9:22-23)Noah's reaction to Ham's actions is described in the next few verses:
When Noah awoke from his wine, he knew what his youngest son had done to him. So he said,What exactly did Ham do that caused Noah to curse him? This question has stumped people for a long time, but for a good reason: The Bible does not tell us what Ham did to Noah!
"Cursed be Canaan;
A servant of servants
He shall be to his brothers." (Genesis 9:24-25)
The only thing that we can be sure of is that Ham did something to Noah. Some suggest that Ham merely saw his father, but verse 24 clearly implies that Ham did something to Noah. What that something was, we do not know. Some have suggested Ham committed some sort of lewd act against his father. Yet it is important to remember that such a suggestion is merely speculation, not firm fact.
So why is this here? Why is Ham's evil act in Scripture? What's the point? If anything, Ham's evil act shows us that although the flood had passed, man was still the same. Noah sinned after the flood— and so did his son. Just as the pre-flood era was filled with rebellion against God, so too would the new post-flood era world be filled with rebellion.
Noah's Curse On Canaan (Part 1) - Genesis 9:24-25
Noah's Fall - Genesis 9:20-21
The Genealogy: Adam to Noah - Genesis 5
Why You Are Related To Noah - Genesis 9:18-19