The story of Noah getting drunk after the flood is found in Genesis 9:18-29. Here is a detailed explanation of this passage and why Noah got drunk:
After the flood, Noah and his family exited the ark and God blessed them saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.” (Genesis 9:1). God established a covenant with Noah and told him that never again would he destroy the earth with a flood. As a sign of this covenant, God set a rainbow in the sky (Genesis 9:8-17).
Noah’s family then began to repopulate the earth. Genesis 9:18 states, “The sons of Noah who went forth from the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth.” Noah became a man of the soil and planted a vineyard. One day he drank some of the wine from his vineyard, became drunk, and lay uncovered inside his tent (Genesis 9:20-21).
While Noah was drunk and naked in his tent, his son Ham saw his father’s nakedness. Ham went and told his brothers, Shem and Japheth, about what he had seen. Shem and Japheth took a garment and walked backward into Noah’s tent to cover him without looking at his nakedness. (Genesis 9:22-23).
When Noah awoke from his drunkenness and learned what Ham had done, he cursed Ham’s son Canaan saying that he would be a servant to his brothers Shem and Japheth (Genesis 9:24-27). Noah then blessed Shem and Japheth for honoring him and covering his nakedness (Genesis 9:26-27).
Though it is not directly stated, Noah’s drunkenness likely came from the wine he made from his vineyard. This was probably Noah’s first time experiencing the intoxicating effects of wine, and he drank too much becoming drunk and passing out naked in his tent. When Ham saw his father’s nakedness and told his brothers about it instead of honoring his father by covering him, this showed contempt and mockery. So Noah cursed Ham’s lineage because of Ham’s actions.
Here are some key reasons why Noah got drunk after the flood:
- Noah became a man of the soil and planted a vineyard, something he likely had never done before the flood (Genesis 9:20).
- Noah made wine from the grapes of his vineyard and drank it (Genesis 9:21). This was likely his first time drinking wine.
- Not knowing wine’s intoxicating effects, Noah drank too much and became drunk from the wine.
- Noah had no one to warn him of the dangers of drinking too much alcohol.
- In his drunkenness, Noah passed out naked inside his tent.
Noah’s drunkenness illustrates how sin can creep back in even among righteous people. Noah was a faithful man who walked with God and even built the ark to save humankind. But he stumbled into drunkenness and shameful nakedness shortly after the flood. This shows the power of alcohol and the need to exercise wisdom and moderation.
God still blessed Noah despite this failure. But the effects lingered through Noah’s curse on Ham’s son Canaan. This first mention of wine in the Bible foreshadows how alcohol will continue impacting individuals and families throughout Scripture.
Noah’s experience warns against drunkenness and the loss of self-control from too much alcohol. The Apostle Paul later instructs believers not to be drunk with wine but be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). Lessons from Noah also include:
- The need to beware of alcohol and not overindulge.
- The importance of treating parents and those in authority with honor and respect.
- The consequences of sinful choices affecting generations.
- God’s faithfulness in still working His redemptive plan despite man’s failings.
In conclusion, Noah became drunk from the wine he made after planting a vineyard. Being his first time drinking alcohol, he was unaware of the intoxicating effects and drank to excess, causing him to pass out naked in his tent. When Noah’s son Ham showed disrespect rather than honorably covering his father’s nakedness, this resulted in Noah’s curse on Ham’s son Canaan. This first mention of wine in Scripture illustrates the capacity of alcohol to hinder wisdom and how one misstep can impact generations. Yet God remained faithful to Noah, and Noah’s legacy remained defined by his righteous obedience to God’s call.
The story of Noah’s drunkenness and the cursing of Canaan spans Genesis 9:18-29. Key verses include:
- Genesis 9:20-21 – Noah began farming and made wine, became drunk from the wine.
- Genesis 9:22-23 – Ham saw his father’s nakedness, Shem and Japheth covered Noah.
- Genesis 9:24-27 – Noah cursed Canaan when he learned what Ham did.
Additional Old Testament references to Noah getting drunk:
- Proverbs 20:1 – “Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.”
- Isaiah 24:20 – “The earth staggers like a drunken man; it sways like a hut; its transgression lies heavy upon it, and it falls, and will not rise again.”
In the New Testament, Noah is commended for his faithfulness in building the ark to save his family (Hebrews 11:7). But his drunkenness after the flood is not specifically mentioned again.
The core message from this Genesis account is to avoid drunkenness, honor those in authority, and learn from the consequences of sin though maintaining faith in God’s faithfulness. Noah’s godly legacy remains intact despite this temporary stumbling into drunkenness. Through it all, God continued working His redemptive plan.