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17 So God said to Noah, “This is the guarantee of the covenant that I am confirming between me and all living things[a] that are on the earth.”

The Curse on Canaan

18 The sons of Noah who came out of the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. (Now Ham was the father of Canaan.)[b] 19 These were the three sons of Noah, and from them the whole earth was populated.[c]

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  1. Genesis 9:17 tn Heb “all flesh.”
  2. Genesis 9:18 sn The concluding disjunctive clause is parenthetical. It anticipates the following story, which explains that the Canaanites, Ham’s descendants through Canaan, were cursed because they shared the same moral abandonment that their ancestor displayed. See A. van Selms, “The Canaanites in the Book of Genesis,” OTS 12 (1958): 182-213.
  3. Genesis 9:19 tn Heb “was scattered.” The rare verb נָפַץ (nafats, “to scatter”) appears to be a bi-form of the more common verb פּוּץ (puts, “to scatter”) which figures prominently in the story of the dispersion of humankind in chap. 11. And the form here, נָפְצָה (nafetsah), could be repointed as נָפוֹצָה (nafotsah), the Niphal of פּוּץ.

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