20 Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded to plant a vineyard. 21 When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent. 22 Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father's nakedness and told his two brothers outside. 23 But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it across their shoulders; then they walked in backward and covered their father's nakedness. Their faces were turned the other way so that they would not see their father's nakedness.What was the big deal about one of Noah's sons seeing him naked in Genesis 9:22?
24 When Noah awoke from his wine and found out what his youngest son had done to him, 25 he said,
"Cursed be Canaan!
The lowest of slaves
will he be to his brothers."
26 He also said,
"Blessed be the LORD, the God of Shem!
May Canaan be the slave of Shem.
27 May God extend the territory of Japheth ;
may Japheth live in the tents of Shem,
and may Canaan be his slave."
The reason Noah cursed his son Ham was that he had derided and dishonored his father after he found him naked, sleeping off a drunken stupor. Ham should have treated him respectfully, even though his father (who had apparently never tasted liquor before) had made a fool of himself.
It should be noted that it was Noah, and not God, who cursed his son and his grandson. Also, some scholars believe the act of Ham could have been a repudiation of his father’s religion, marked by his joy and satisfaction at finding his “righteous” father naked in a drunken state. Thus, he reveled in his father’s sin! By contrast, Ham’s brothers grieved for their father and did what they could to remove the indignity.