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    The Heretic's Bible - Genesis 9: Noah gets naked

    When we last left our hero, Noah had disembarked from the ship and sacrificed a few clean animals to thank God for not drowning him, his family, and all the animals (except the sacrificed ones). God blessed Noah and his children, and in case they had forgotten, reminded them to be fruitful and multiply.

    Commentary: Sometimes, God reminds me of my mother.

    God also gave the people permission to eat the animals, though He forbade them from eating live animals.

    Commentary: Allowing people to eat animals was sensible on God’s part, since all the plants had been drowned. According to legend, Noah, upon receiving God’s first instruction, immediately tried to bite the rear end of an elephant, which led to a scuffle, upon which God issued the caveat about live animals. For the record, I hope that Noah and his family waited until the animals had a chance to multiply before they tried out any new recipes.

    Next, God promised to demand “an account” from any man or beast who spilled human blood, saying,

    “He who spills human blood shall have his own blood spilled by man, for God made man with His own image.”

    Commentary: No offense to his Holiness, but that seems like something of a double standard considering that God had just wiped out all of humanity. There’s also the sticky point of penalizing the killing of those made in God’s image by killing those made in God’s image.

    Then God once again told the people to be fruitful and multiply in case they hadn’t gotten the message. He also contritely promised never to wipe out humanity with a flood again. As a reminder, He created the rainbow, so that whenever clouds gathered, it would appear to remind Him of His promise not to drown everyone.

    Commentary: God needs a reminder? That doesn’t inspire confidence in the preservation of the human race.

    After disembarking from the boat, Noah’s first priority was to rebuild civilization. So he planted a vineyard, brewed some wine, got drunk, and passed out naked. Noah’s youngest son, Ham, also known as Canaan, discovered his father naked and went to tell his brothers, Shem and Yefeth. Being somewhat prudish, Shem and Yefeth approached their father backwards to avoid witnessing his exposed bits and covered him with a cloak. When Noah woke up, he discovered that Ham had seen him naked, presumably because Shem and Yefeth had told on him. Incensed, Noah cursed Ham to be a “slave’s slave” to his two prudish, ratfinking1 brothers, whom he blessed.

    Commentary: I think that Noah had a few too many bites from the fruit of Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. He obviously had some body image issues.2

    In any case, having survived the great flood and the great nakedness, Noah lived for another 350 years and died at the age of 950, earning him the silver medal in the oldest man competition.

    Commentary: Noah must have been grandfathered out of the new 120-year lifespan rule.

    1Ratfink: From Low Aramaic slang; literally, “constipated weasel.”

    2Body image issues: Literally, “obsessive anxiety about the size of his penis.”

    The Heretic's Bible is a translation of a recently discovered commentary by a notorious first century heretic, Joseph the Latriner. The commentary is presented in italics with footnotes by the translator.

    Previous: Genesis 8 - The earth gets dry
    Next: Genesis 10 - Of ites and ims


    Cut Noah some slack. If I read you correctly, he was already 600 years old when his kids saw him naked. Let me suggest it wasn't just respect or prudishness that caused them to approach him backwards with their eyes averted. If Ham chose to look, he was one sick dude, and deserved whatever curse Noah laid upon him.

    But I suspect these two had issues long before the nakedness-witnessing episode. What good Jewish father would name his son Ham? Unless, of course, God had not yet banned the eating of pork! Has Joseph considered the possibility that ban might be a total misunderstanding? That during the long, cuisine-impaired voyage, God may have felt the need more than once to decree, "Don't eat Ham!"

    If my interpretation is correct, Jews (and Muslims, for that matter) are perfectly free to consume the flesh of the pig in all its many delectable varieties: bacon, back bacon (that would be Canadian bacon to you), pig's feet, pork sausages, pork chops, roast pork tenderloin -- my mouth is watering already. For those of you who've never had the sinful pleasure, it's much like Montreal smoked meat -- just way better on account of being haram.

    I'd comment further, but I've got a sudden urge to go make myself a BLT.

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