The Drunkeness Of Noah
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Basic Information

Noah did not just build arks. After the Deluge, he planted a vinyard, and because that's what you do with grapes, he made the fruit of the vinyard into wine. He overindulged, though, and got thoroughly drunk. His son, Ham, found Noah passed out in his tent, stark naked.

Ham apparently thought this was funny, so he told his brothers, Shem and Japheth about it. Being good sons, the other two took a garment to cover their father, walking backwards with it so that they would not see their father's nakedness.

When he woke up, Noah was furious at Ham, (and probably more than a little hung over). He uttered a malediction upon Ham's descendants, which became known as the Curse of Ham. (Genesis 9:20-27)

(Just to add a little darkness to the story we ought to bear in mind that to see or uncover someone's nakedness was also used as an analogy for … rather more active processes, viz LEV18:6-18. Although there's no concrete indications that this is what was meant in context).


2. Movie: Noah (2014) — Unlike most re-tellings of the Deluge, this film includes the incident of Noah's vineyard with an interesting interpretation. It suggests that Noah gets drunk to try to forget the horrors he has witnessed

Game and Story Use

  • In a patriarchal society, respect for the father is paramount. If the father embarasses himself, how do his sons react?
    • The players can become embroiled in the inter-clan squabbling of such a family. Perhaps one or more of the PCs is a member of such a clan.
  • Nudity taboos can be the source of much comedy. And depending on how seriously the culture takes those taboos, perhaps danger as well.
    • Imagine, for example, the trouble that might have ensued if, rather than pass out in his tent, Noah had run around the camp swinging in the breeze…
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