We read the following narrative in Genesis 9:20-29: Noah, a tiller of the soil, was the first to plant a vineyard. He drank of the wine and became drunk, “and he uncovered himself within his tent” וַיִּתְגַּל בְּתוֹךְ אָהֳלֹה (va-yitgal be-toch ohaloh). “Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father’s nakedness” וַיַּרְא חָם אֲבִי כְנַעַן אֵת עֶרְוַת אָבִיו (va-yar Cham avi Kenaan et irvat aviv) and told his two brothers outside… And he said, “Blessed be the LORD, the God of Shem; ‘let Canaan be a slave to them’ וִיהִי כְנַעַן עֶבֶד לָמוֹ (vi-hi Kenaan eved lamo). ‘May God enlarge Japheth’ יַפְתְּ אֱלֹהִים לְיֶפֶת (yaft Elohim le-Yefet), ‘and let him dwell in the tents of Shem’ וְיִשְׁכֹּן בְּאָהֳלֵי־שֵׁם (ve-yishkon be-ohale Shem); ‘and let Canaan be a slave to them.’ וִיהִי כְנַעַן עֶבֶד לָמוֹ (vi-hi Kenaan eved lamo).”

There are no Biblical names that do not carry some special significance, even when the original meaning of the name has been lost and it is no longer possible to know with any certainty what it originally meant. Let us take, for example, the name Japheth. In English it is just Japheth, but in Hebrew it means something: “expanded” or “enlarged.” So we read that God יַפְתְּ (yaft) “enlarged” the person named יֶפֶת (yefet) “enlarged” – Japheth.

It is not clear whether the offense was just seeing his father naked, making fun of him (Ex. 20:12), engaging in a homosexual rape (see Lev. 20:13), or perhaps sleeping with Noah’s wife. In Leviticus 20:11 to “uncover the nakedness of one’s father” means to sleep with his wife. One thing we do know for certain – Ham’s action was to be detested. This perplexing passage might be connected to the sexual perverseness that Israelite culture sometimes thought to be typical of the Canaanites, the descendants of Canaan (see Lev. 18:3-4, 24-30). The curse upon Ham’s son Canaan follows the ancient covenantal dynamic of corporate responsibility and explains to contemporary readers of the Torah the animosity that exists between Israelites and Canaanites. It also predicts by implication a bright shared future for Noah’s other sons שֵׁם (Shem) “Shem” and יֶפֶת (Yefet) “Japeth.”



  1. Looking at your last sentence about the shared bright future of Shem and Japheth's descendants, it can't be bright because of a lot bloodshed going on in the Middle East. I consider the pronounced blessings on Shem and Japheth a conditional blessing/prophecy. They and their descendants would be blessed if they are in full obedience to God's will and will be cursed if they disobey. Much like the blessing and curse given to Israel before their entrance to the Promised Land as found in Deuteronomy. (Deuteronomy 11:26-28)
  2. There were two types of covenant. One type was of entitlement (unconditional) the other of domicile (conditional). Israel broke all domicile covenants hence suffered accordingly.
    • Thank you Dr. John Belena, for your comment. What biblical support to you offer for establishing two types of covenants? I'd be happy to hear your answer.
  3. I have been informed that Japheth's descendants form the current nations of Europe. If Shem and Japheth share the same bright future, why is it that Japheth is so incredibly anti-Shem?
  4. I have been informed that the symbol of Jewish Shemites is the star of David and the symbol of European Japheth is the Illuminati eye inside the triangle or similar designs. Looking at your LOGO, I can detect a branch of a tree and a little star of David inside forming an Illuminati eye. Are you Illuminati????????
  5. So, generally speaking, and depending on how well they kept covenant with God, the descendents of Shem and Japheth would enjoy greater favor with the Lord than those of Ham, no?
  6. The three sons of Noah were named Yafet, Shem, and Hom. From Yafet comes what we generically would call the Europeans or "white people." The root of the world Yafet is ya'fe which means beautiful or ascetic. For example, the port city of Yafo (Jaffa) means beautiful port. SO the Bible essentially gives the attributes of physical beauty and proportions to the Japhetites. The word "Shem" means "name." The people of Shem, or "semites" are the peoples of the word, or books. The Canaanite/Phoenicians invented the modern alphabet. Hom means "warm" or hot. War or hot Temperament. Movement.
    • Thanks for your comment. I think it was slightly inaccurate, though. The root of Yafet is peh-tav-yod and means "to be wide", whereas the root of yafe is yod-peh-yod meaning "to be bright".

      + More answers (2)
    • Good question, Elsa. The scriptures do not specify explicitly either way, but it is not likely. The same formula for Noah's sons was used for Terah's sons, and they were not triplets.
    • We are very happy that you’ve joined our discussion forum. Would you believe that these articles are only a taste of what Israel Bible Center has to offer? We also provide comprehensive teaching on a variety of biblical, historical, and cultural topics. You might begin with Exodus and The New Testament or Leviticus and The New Testament. You’ll be amazed at the Jewish world that awaits you. Don’t delay another minute: enroll now!
  7. I do not think of the creation of earth as the only creation of the world but think of it in a different way. God greated people and took Adam as the first man entercounting with God as it is said the first Adam was a living soul and the second Adam a live giving soul so he became the First God thinking and obient soul to God in his mind that placed him in Paridice with peace and tranquility to the peace that was invoked and the thoughts that was born in his mind. Yes God made all things.
    • Are you saying that there were multiple creation stories? Yeshua says Adam was created in the beginning, and Paul says that sin and death did not enter the world until after Adam's sin. How do you reconcile such passages?
  8. I would like an awnser to two previos qeustions I asked but no avail I do not get any awnsers at all And I know it has been read and I think discuseded by your teachers but I still think that I must try to get awnsers so please in your busy time awnser them for I will appreciat it.
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