Genesis 9:18-29

In these last few verses of Genesis 9, we are going to look at one of the saddest stories in the Bible. I am referring to Noah’s failure concerning drinking and drunkenness, and also the actions of Ham and his son Canaan. The reason this story is so sad is, after Noah’s entire life of obedience and service to God, he seems to make such a foolish mistake. Many ask, “How could he do such a thing?” People also question how Ham and Canaan could have acted in such an immoral and irreverent way toward their father. Answering these questions is exactly what I would like to address in this study. In addition, I believe this story is recorded in Scripture as a warning to us all. I hear people say to me, “I could never do what Noah did. I would never have yielded to drinking and drunkenness like that.” But it is important to remember that the Bible never hides the sins and the failures of its most celebrated heroes for a reason. Why do the Scriptures not hide the sins of Noah, Abraham, Jacob, David, Solomon, and so many more? It is so you will ask the question, “How and why did they do this?” As you answer these questions you will understand that someone God spoke to directly, was a fallible man just as you are. Even though Noah heard God’s voice, saw the Lord sustain and provide for him through the violent times he lived in, and witnessed the judgment of God, he was still just a sinner saved by the grace of God. This truth is exactly what we should all remember!

Therefore, consider the Word of God. Genesis 9:18-29 declared, “Now the sons of Noah who went out of the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. And Ham was the father of Canaan. These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the whole earth was populated. And Noah began to be a farmer, and he planted a vineyard. Then he drank of the wine and was drunk, and became uncovered in his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. But Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it on both their shoulders, and went backward and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were turned away, and they did not see their father’s nakedness. So Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done to him. Then he said: ‘Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants he shall be to his brethren.’ And he said: ‘Blessed be the LORD, the God of Shem, and may Canaan be his servant. May God enlarge Japheth, And may he dwell in the tents of Shem; And may Canaan be his servant.’ And Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years. So all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years; and he died.

How could Noah have fallen like this after a lifetime of obedience to God?

The answer to this question is Noah fell into sin the exact same way that anyone falls into sin. There is no difference between Noah and each one of us. I do not believe that anyone is safe from falling into sin. Why? Because Scripture warns us to not become arrogant and think we are exempt from falling and doing things we should not do. After Paul wrote about all the failings of the children of Israel, he warned the Corinthian church, and all of us, “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Cor. 10:12). Paul is explaining that prideful self-sufficiency is the ultimate cause of believers falling into sin. Solomon declared in Proverbs 16:18, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” Every time a person falls, you will always find the root cause to be a prideful and haughty spirit within that person’s heart. This is why each of us must examine ourselves daily to make sure our hearts are humble before Him. That is something you should do right now!

Another warning about falling into sin is given by James when he describes sin as wandering away from the truth. He declared, “Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins” (James 5:19-20). The word wander is a Greek word that means to roam or to go astray. The picture is of an individual sheep grazing farther and farther away from the rest of the flock. This means that going astray is not a quick decision, but a slow process of small choices that are made by a person that ultimately isolates them, which then leaves them vulnerable to the wolves that wait and watch.

Peter describes this process in a similar way in his second epistle. After he warned the believers about how the false teachers twisted the Scriptures to their own destruction, he said, “You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever” (2 Peter 3:17-18). Notice that Peter identifies one key aspect to the fall of a believer, when he warned about twisting the Scriptures (2 Peter 3:16). Twisting the Scripture occurs when one verse is rationalized away, then another, and the process of being led away by the error of the wicked is well underway. It is a slow process that puts you in a vulnerable place where you will yield to the temptation.

Many times, I have asked those I have counseled, “Tell me, how did you get to the place where you could ever commit this sin?” I ask them how they could ever think it was a good idea to commit adultery on their spouse, or start to use drugs again, or hang out in the bar after work and drink with their co-workers? The answer is always the same. It was a series of little choices that they made that caused them to drift away from the things they knew were right (Heb. 2:1). They first started rationalizing the Scripture, then excusing their thoughts of temptation, and then allowed a series of actions where they stepped ever closer to their fall. They wandered from the truth by a series of bad choices. They also slowly made a series of choices to leave that closeness with the Lord, and not spend time in the Word and prayer. All these choices ultimately led them away with the lies and the error of the wicked (2 Peter 3:17).

These bad choices were also based on lies. Look at the fall of Adam and Eve in Genesis 3. What was the primary reason they fell from their own steadfastness? It was all about the lies of Satan. When Eve believed those lies, she stumbled, and then she stumbled her husband. It begins with the lie that you can’t fall, and the self-deception that you are such a strong and spiritual person who could never do that. The next lie is that the Bible doesn’t say anything about this behavior as being sin. Or, the enemy tells you that this sin is justified because of this or that reason. The lies get more twisted and confusing as you get closer to the fall. God warned His people in Amos 2:4 about what led them astray. He said, “Thus says the Lord, 'For three transgressions of Judah, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment, because they have despised the law of the LORD, and have not kept His commandments. Their lies lead them astray, lies after which their fathers walked.” Don’t believe the lies that are attempting to lead you astray! They are very persuasive and sound so logical.

But you are probably thinking right about now, is there any way to safeguard your walk so you won’t ever fall? Yes, absolutely! Let me quote the rest of my original warning from Paul. He said, “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Cor. 10:12-13). Paul gives a promise here that God is so faithful to His people that He will always make a way of escape for every temptation that comes your way. But the question is – will you make the correct choices to take the way of escape? What will keep you in that place where you will make these correct choices?

What enables you to never fall?

When the Apostle Peter writes his second and last epistle, he gives one of the most encouraging promises to the people of God. He declared, Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble” (2 Peter 1:2-10). The important thing to notice is the word stumble in this last verse. To stumble means to fall. What is Peter saying in this text that will keep you from stumbling? He is assuring all believers that if God has given each of us the knowledge, power, and the all the promises we need to become godly men or women, we should not be falling into sinful practices. Then he encourages all believers to add to their faith whatever is lacking in their spiritual life. He promises that if they do this they will never stumble and fall.

What is Peter’s point?

Simply pursue the Lord, seek Him first in your life, add whatever is lacking in your spiritual life, and you won’t ever have to worry about falling back into some sinful practice. Growth in Christ is the surest and simplest way to keep from stumbling and falling. Paul promised, “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Gal. 5:16). If you have the greater power of the Holy Spirit reigning inside you, the weaker power of your flesh cannot control you. Paul is so sure of what he is saying that he uses a double negative verb in this verse (A. T. Roberson). He was actually saying, if you have a habitual conduct of walking (present tense) under the control of the Holy Spirit, then you shall not, no will not (double negative), fulfill the desires of your flesh. When the Holy Spirit reigns inside of you, this is how God adds to you whatever is lacking in your spiritual life, which ultimately is what keeps you from stumbling. Allowing the Spirit to rule in you like this, is what also enables you to obey Christ’s command to, “Love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Matt. 22:37). If you are in love with the Lord, you will not be in love with the world or the things in the world. John said it is impossible for you to love the Lord and the world at the same time. John taught this truth in his first epistle when he said, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:15-17). The will of God is for you to love Him with all your heart, and this will assure you that you will abide with Him forever. By pursuing the God you love, and rejecting the emptiness of this world and all that is within it, you will never stumble!

Noah’s drunkenness.

How long after Noah and his family left the ark did this scenario take place with Noah’s drunkenness? It is clear from the text and reading the genealogy of Noah in Genesis 10, that this took place many years after the flood. How do we know this? First, it would have taken years for the vines that Noah planted to produce grapes for wine. Second, for Canaan to be cursed he would have to have been born, and matured enough to have taken this action against Noah. In addition, Canaan was the fourth son of Ham born to him after the flood (Gen. 10:1-6). These factors make it clear that this all occurred many years after the family left the ark.

Next, we must consider Noah’s drinking problem, which is what began this whole sordid event. Noah’s choice to drink wine to the point of drunkenness was a very bad choice, which brought about this entire family conflict. This story is exactly why I encourage people to abstain from drinking, because it is so easy to have one drink too many, and then end up doing something you will regret the next day. I have counseled people for over 50 years, and of all the problems people have brought to me, at least 50 to 60% of these personal, family, or marital problems will revolve around alcohol or drugs. When I talk to people about abstaining from alcohol, usually people respond by saying, “But Jesus drank wine, and He even made wine. If He did that, why should I abstain?” I respond by explaining three things. First, I ask people if they have ever read about Jesus getting drunk? The answer is always, no. I then usually ask them why they think Jesus never got drunk. No one will answer that question. Second, I then proceed to explain that in those days, they mixed their wine with water to dilute it, so that even children could drink it. This is why many times you will read in Scripture about mixed wine (Is. 1:22; Prov. 9:2; Prov. 9:5). Third, when Jesus made wine for the wedding at Cana, it was “new wine,” which was unfermented grape juice (Luke 5:37-38). If you don’t believe this wine was unfermented grape juice, then your only conclusion must be that Jesus wanted to get everyone drunk at the wedding at Cana. When people came to offer their sacrifices in the Temple and would eat a portion of their sacrifice, they would also bring new wine to offer as well (Deut. 14:23). The reason for bringing new wine into the Temple was so that no one would ever get drunk and dishonor the occasion. The phrase “new wine” is used over 90 times in the Bible. You should study those passages well.

Is it a sin to drink a glass of wine at dinner?

No, I do not believe it is a sin to have a glass of wine with your dinner. But what I am saying is that it’s not a wise thing to do. Why? This is what Solomon taught in Proverbs. He wrote, Wine is a mocker, strong drink is a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise” (Prov. 20:1). Now if anyone should know the possible trouble wine might bring to a person, it would be Solomon, because he declared that he searched for how to gratify his flesh with wine (Ecc. 2:3). But he states five times in Ecclesiastes that he was never satisfied with anything in his life. In addition, Solomon declared again, “Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has complaints? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? Those who linger long at the wine, those who go in search of mixed wine” (Prov. 23:29-30). Now I understand that these specific verses are not talking about someone who has just one glass of wine with dinner. But the question is, will it only be one glass of wine on a night that you have had a conflict with someone at work, or some family member, and you are depressed? With the bottle there on your table, it is so easy to just pour another glass and then another. This is when the issue you are dealing with will get out of hand, and you will then say or do something you will regret. Then you are condemned with guilt for what you have just said or done, and you pour another glass. It is all downhill from there. Don’t deceive yourself, wine will always come back to mock you in the end as Solomon states.

But you say, “But, I don’t ever get drunk, so I’m fine.” But what determines if you are under the influence or drunk? How many drinks can you have before you would be considered under the influence or drunk? There are many levels of being under the influence. How would you determine this? Jesus made a statement on this topic when He was warning believers about being ready for His return, which I believe is very enlightening. He said, But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:34-36). The important part of this warning is when Jesus warns about your heart becoming, “weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life.” The Greek scholar A. T. Robertson explained that the word carousing in this verse means to experience a giddiness from wine or to feel the effects of the wine. Notice Jesus starts with this word referring to giddiness, or coming under the influence of wine, because the next word is drunkenness, and we all know what this word means. Then Jesus adds the cares of this life. The word cares refers to the anxieties of this life, and isn’t that the main reason people drink? Isn’t it to forget the anxieties of life, or relieve the pressures in this life? The warning Jesus gave was to encourage you not to allow yourself to be weighed down in your heart. Therefore, when you begin to feel the effects of the wine, and you become giddy or a little tipsy, you are already under the influence. Also, the words weighed down mean to be depressed and weighed down by an oppressive burden that you are trying to carry. But, isn’t it interesting that alcohol is a depressant, which is exactly what you don’t want. Do you see the contradiction? If you are filled with anxiety, or you are depressed, alcohol will only depress you more, which is what you are trying to avoid.

What should you do instead of drink? You need to be filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit. It is interesting that Paul made this same point in Ephesians 5:18 when he wrote, Do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit.” The reality is this; what you are looking for from drinking wine, you can only satisfy by being filled with the Holy Spirit. The word filled in this verse is in the present tense in the Greek, which means to be continually filled throughout your day. Also, the word filled means to be gorged or to cram full of the Spirit. So, God wants to cram you full of the Holy Spirit, so you can be satisfied in your soul, and be free from the cares of this life. The fruit of the Spirit must rule inside of you if you want to be free from anxiety. God’s solution is always better than any substance you could ever find in this world.

My conclusion on this topic is simple. You must make your own decision on what is wise for you. Personally, I want to experience God’s solution through His Spirit for the anxiety that this world gives me every day. I want the fruit of the Spirit to be crammed fully inside of me every day, which I know will bring the peace of God that passes all understanding (Phil. 4:7).

What did Ham do that was so evil?

It declares in verse 22 that, “Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside.” So why was seeing Noah’s nakedness so bad that it brought about this curse from Noah? There are several reasons. First, in ancient times and also mandated under the Mosaic Law, this action was seen as an evil thing. In the Law of Moses there is almost an entire chapter commanding family members from seeing the nakedness of other family members. In Leviticus 18 the word nakedness is used 24 times. Here are a few verses from this chapter so you can get a sense of God’s commands on this topic. “None of you shall approach anyone who is near of kin to him, to uncover his nakedness: I am the LORD. The nakedness of your father or the nakedness of your mother you shall not uncover. She is your mother; you shall not uncover her nakedness. The nakedness of your father's wife you shall not uncover; it is your father's nakedness. The nakedness of your sister, the daughter of your father, or the daughter of your mother, whether born at home or elsewhere, their nakedness you shall not uncover. The nakedness of your son's daughter or your daughter's daughter, their nakedness you shall not uncover; for theirs is your own nakedness. The nakedness of your father's wife's daughter, begotten by your father--she is your sister--you shall not uncover her nakedness” (Lev. 18:6-11).

The second reason this was such an evil thing is because the act of Ham telling his brothers about what he had seen was very disrespectful and degrading to his father Noah. It appears from the text that Ham went out with a gleeful and mocking attitude concerning his father’s drunkenness and nakedness. It was something like, “Hey guys, come check out the old man in his drunken stupor.” Ham should have turned away his eyes and immediately covered his father. This would have been the respectful thing to do. This fact is proven true by the actions of Noah’s other two sons, and their respectful and loving response.

Third, it is also very possible that Ham and his son Canaan did something much worse to Noah that is not detailed here in the Scripture. This seems only logical from the Scripture’s acknowledgement that when, “Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done to him,” that this is when the curse was pronounced (Gen. 9:24). Therefore, something was “done” to Noah that was extremely sinful. Many times, the specifics of a person’s sins are not divulged simply because the Scripture is not crude when it comes to these kinds of issues. We will come to another issue like this when Scripture recounts the mocking of Isaac by Ishmael in Genesis 21:9. There it is said that Ishmael was scoffing at Isaac, and Sarah saw this behavior and asked her husband to cast out Hagar and Ishmael for this offense. What behavior was so offensive to Sarah that would bring her to this decision? When you look up the Hebrew word for scoffing, it means to mock, ridicule, or to sexually touch. This same word is used in a good sense of Isaac showing endearment to his wife Rebekah in Genesis 26:8. King Abimelech saw Isaac sexually touching Rebekah in such a way that proved to him that she was his wife. Scripture is many times very polite in describing these sensitive topics. This is why it is very possible that Ham and Canaan did more than what is revealed in this text. Just by the fact that Noah pronounces this curse on Canaan would lead you to conclude that Canaan did something to his grandfather, Noah. You must also remember that drunkenness and sexual sins are many times coupled together even in our present day. How many times do you hear on the news of a woman that is raped at a drinking party? Warren Wiersbe in his commentary on this passage said, “Intemperance and impurity often go together.” This is why in Habakkuk 2:15, the Prophet warned, “Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbor, pressing him to your bottle, even to make him drunk, that you may look on his nakedness!” Notice again that drinking and sexual impurity are linked together in this passage.  

As a side note to parents, please let me warn you. I have had the sad occurrence of counseling the sin of incest several times in my ministry. One of the causes that I have found, is that adults and children in these circumstances were not modest in their behavior at home. But I have had parents say to me, “Oh, that’s no big deal. My kids shower with me, they walk around the house without clothing, and sometimes they jump in the pool naked. I don’t see anything wrong with that.” But, let me say, biblically in the moral law of God, you should not do this. Read again Leviticus 18. That is very clear. In addition, if you allow your children to behave in this way, and you add into the equation an adult under the influence of alcohol, you are going to have trouble. This is exactly how incest took place in the times I have counseled this sin. Please heed this warning, because if you do not, it can destroy your family, and someone will go to jail.

Why did Noah curse Canaan, Ham’s son, and not curse Ham?

This is one of the most asked questions concerning the curse of Noah. Why did he curse Canaan, and not Ham? People say to me, “This doesn’t seem fair.” Was Noah just hung over from this drunken experience? No, I don’t believe this curse was a mistake or was unfair in any way. Why? Because both the blessing and the curse came to pass just as Noah declared. But the most important issue is that Scripture declares that Noah, “knew what his younger son had done to him.” Who is this statement referring to? Was Noah referring to Ham? No, he was not! Why? Because Ham was not the younger son of Noah, he was the second born to his father. In Genesis 10:1 it declared, “Now this is the genealogy of the sons of Noah: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. And sons were born to them after the flood.” Every place where Noah’s three sons are mentioned, the same birth order is given of Shem, Ham, and Japheth. What does the Scripture mean when it refers to Noah’s youngest son? If you go into the New Testament, you will see that the term “son” can mean grandson, great-grandson, or great-great-grandson. You see this in the genealogy listed in Matthew 1:1. It declares, “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham.” You must realize that there are hundreds of years between Jesus, David and Abraham, but these men are all in the family lineage of Abraham. There are 14 generations between Abraham and David, but David is still referred to as the son of Abraham. Therefore, when Noah says that he knew what his younger son had done to him, he is referring to his grandson Canaan, who was the youngest son of Ham (Gen. 10:6). This means that Canaan must have “done” something to Noah during this whole circumstance. Many times, the Scripture does not give the explicit details of the sins committed by individuals, because it would be too coarse to repeat. But something was “done” to Noah, and he knew who did it.

In addition, we know that Canaan was the one who committed this sinful act upon his grandfather, because Scripture is clear that a son will not be held responsible for what his father has done. God will always hold the individual responsible who has actually committed a sin, and will not allow another to be blamed. This principle is taught in Ezekiel 18:20 where the Prophet declared, “The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.” The same truth is taught in Deuteronomy 24:16 where Moses declared, “The fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor shall the children be put to death for their fathers; a person shall be put to death for his own sin.” God is completely fair by making everyone bear their own responsibility for their own sin. Everyone is responsible before God for their own actions. Why is God adamant about this principle of fairness in His judgments? Because this is the nature and character of our God. You can be absolutely sure that God would never punish Canaan, if he hadn’t “done” something evil to his grandfather Noah.

The curse.

You must also ask the question, did the prophetic curse of Noah actually happen in the life of Canaan? Yes! Because of the influence of Canaan even his descendants became the people group we know from Scripture as the Canaanites, who were vile and immoral idolaters in the land of Israel. They offered their children in sacrifice to the god of Baal and Molech. They ultimately were conquered by Joshua and the children of Israel and became their servants. The Gibeonites became cutters of wood and carriers of water when the Jews came in to possess the land. The rest of the Canaanites were killed, or became the servants of the sons of Shem (Joshua 9:27). Ultimately, the Canaanites were dispersed into other cultures and disappeared as a people group. See Genesis 10:15-19 for the boundaries of the Canaanites, which covered from the Jordan River on the east, to Gaza in the west, and Lebanon in the north near Sidon. It is interesting that the modern-day people who live in the Gaza strip are still mortal enemies of the children of Shem, and fire rockets almost daily into the land of Israel.

Was the curse of Noah fulfilled in the African slave trade?

This question is another misunderstanding that people for hundreds of years have believed. You will hear people declare that the African slave trade occurred because of Noah’s curse on Canaan. This is just not true! As I have just proven, the fact that sons of Canaan became the Canaanites and lived in the land of Canaan is undebatable. The Canaanites were never black Africans. Yet, the idea that the African slave trade was the fulfillment of the curse of Noah continues even to today in the minds of some. Hundreds of years ago people used this incorrect interpretation of the Bible as a basis for justifying the African slave trade. But the fact remains that the African people came from Ham’s other sons, Cush and Put. Cush became the people of southern Egypt and Ethiopia. The descendants of Put settled in central and northern Africa. Knowing this simple geography reveals that this curse has nothing to do with the slavery of black Africans. It also has nothing to do with American slavery either. In our next study in Genesis Chapter 10, we will study where all of the descendants of Noah settled.  

The blessing of Noah on Shem and Japheth.

After the curse was pronounced upon Canaan, Noah then prophesied a blessing upon Shem and Japheth. In Noah’s first blessing He declared, “Blessed be the LORD, the God of Shem, and may Canaan be his servant” (Gen. 9:26). The word LORD is in all capital letters, which always denotes the usage of the personal name of God, Jehovah or Yahweh. Therefore, Noah is declaring an incredible blessing on Shem by calling the LORD, the God of Shem. This is a prophetic reference to the fact that Shem’s family lineage will ultimately bring forth the Messiah who will save us all from our sins. Shem was the man who loved the Lord! This is why he was blessed, and why the descendants of Shem would be blessed with the service of the true God, and who would also bring forth the Christ into the world.

The second blessing was given to Noah’s youngest son, Japheth. He would be blessed by being enlarged by the Lord, and he would dwell in the tents of Shem. It is interesting that the descendants of Japheth were greatly more in number than the sons of Shem. The descendants of Japheth spread throughout Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, and even to China. But, notice this statement that the descendants of Japheth would, “dwell in the tents of Shem.” What does that mean? This meant that the descendants of Japheth would enjoy the same spiritual blessings that Shem would enjoy. Note this same terminology used in the opposite way in Psalm 84:10. The Scripture declares, “For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.” If you dwell in the tents of wickedness, obviously you would be partaking in that wickedness. But if you dwell in the tents of righteousness, you will also enjoy the blessings of righteousness. Therefore, for Japheth to dwell in the tents of Shem, was to dwell in the blessing of the God of Shem. It does not mean that Shem was to conquer Japheth or overcome him. It simply means the same thing that if you went into another’s tent, they would offer food, water, or whatever you had need of, and thus you would enjoy the blessings of their tent. May each of you reading this, come and enjoy the blessings within the tents of Jesus Christ! You can only do this by entering in through the door of salvation, by putting your faith in Him!