After being cooped up in a boat for weeks while God was drowning every man, woman, and child on earth, Noah and his clan finally beached and the party started.
And what a party! God told Noah’s clan to be fruitful and multiply and they wasted no time getting the begatting going.
Noah however was the mother of all partiers and eventually passed out from partying too hard.
Later something very curious happens:
(Gen 9:24-25 NRSV) When Noah awoke from his wine and knew what his youngest son had done to him, he said, “Cursed be Canaan; lowest of slaves shall he be to his brothers.”
What did his son do? Noah wakes up and he immediately knows what his son had done to him, and tells his son that because of what he had done to him, his son will be the lowest of slaves to his brothers. This not only affects him, but all of his descendants.
What did his son do? What did he do??
Well… here it goes… hang on to your seats. Are you ready?
His son… his son… saw him… he… he… saw him…… naked. AHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!
Wait a minute. Is that it? Just that?? A son saw his dad disrobed?
Something funny’s going on there. That seems to be awfully tough punishment for a son just peeking at his dad’s ding-a-ling?
Could it be that there was really originally more than just peeking going on?
Non-apologetic scholars think that much of the Bible, especially early on, is heavily edited. There also appear to be stories that have been at least somewhat borrowed from other or earlier cultures. The flood story itself has many similar features to an earlier flood epic from the region that was called “Gilgamesh.” Some think that the drunken Noah story might have originally been closer to a story where the youngest son is trying to prevent the Father from having intercourse with his mother to prevent more brothers from being in contention for inheritance.
How does a son make sure his father doesn’t have intercourse? Let’s see if we can put this together. Has something to do with Noah’s Hoo-haa. Its probably some action that caused Noah to wake up and immediately know what was done to him. Also its probably something that would make a man very very very angry.
Well, in Greek mythology Cronus castrates his father Uranus to prevent him from copulating with his mother (Gia). No one’s saying that this particular story was borrowed by the Bible, but just that it represents a mythological theme and mythological themes tend to repeat themselves in the mythology of different cultures.
This Bible story where Noah’s son sees him naked may have been a castration event which was later toned down by an editor to the ridiculous story that it is now.