Email 37

In Genesis 9:5
Why are the animals included?

Genesis 9:22-27
Why was Ham cursed so harshley?

Shalom, Sharon

Dear Sharon,

Gen 9:5 “And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother 8will I require the life of man.”

“Why are the animals included?”

This verse upholds the sacredness of life. It does not prohibit capital punishment for premeditated murder. but it places a limitation on humanity to take life. YHVH Elohim’s Torah tells us that human life belongs only to Him. The term “of every beast” means that beasts too are forbidden to kill people, and if they do, they will be killed through Divine means. Further, it condemns suicide, and YHVH will require an accounting from everyone who kills themselves, for only G-d has the right to end life. The emphasis is that G-d will not permit the taking of life to go unpunished. The murderer will be hunted down by man or wild beast; ultimately G-d Himself will bring about judgment upon anyone taking innocent life. It also incorporates the possibility of someone killing another human accidentally or unintentionally, but who merits a degree of punishment because of carelessness or because they did not exercise the proper vigilance. Whenever life is taken G-d will inflict whatever punishment is merited according to the degree of the crime or carelessness that led to the death. It might even mean that a killer may be killed by a wild beast.

Gen: 9:22-27 Below. “Why was Ham cursed so harshly?

This is explained by a Midrash. In other words we must look beyond the literal. In the preceding verse we see that Noah debased himself by planting a vineyard before any other trees. His craving for wine and his resultant drunkenness was due to this sinful craving. Wine is not forbidden, but overindulgence is. The plain meaning of verse 22 is Ham “saw ” but many commentators try to make more of it than that by supplying or interpreting the Hebrew word ” ra’aw” as “uncovered” , which implies Ham had homosexual intercourse with his father. This is incorrect. The sense of the passage is that in Noah’s intoxicated state he became uncovered and Ham gazed at him disrespectfully. Some Jewish rabbis interpret the Hebrew word translated “nakedness” as “shame.” Noah lay in shame, and Ham enjoyed the sight of his father’s dishevelment and shame. Ham’s actions speak for themselves for unlike his brothers who showed respect and honor when they gazed upon their father’s indignity averting their eyes and covering Noah, he instead ran derisively to tell his brothers. Ham’s actions are a direct violation of the commandment to “Honor your father and mother,” and this is why Ham was cursed so harshley as an object lesson for all of us. In Messianic Judaism or traditional Judaism we are not to harshly treat our parents, condemn, subject them to ridicule or indignities even if they are wrong in their actions. We must always give them respect and honor .

Shalom v’brachas, Rabbi Davis (R. Milchamah b. David)