God made the perfect garden of Eden uncorrupted. Adam and Eve did something wrong by eating the forbidden fruit. Then, they realized that they were naked.

Genesis 3:7a

Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked

Centuries later, sin was rampant. God decided to reset the earth by a flood by killing all mankind except Noah's family. They came out of the ark to a cleansed earth. Then they did something wrong.

Genesis 9:20 Now Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded to plant a vineyard. 21But when he drank some of its wine, he became drunk and uncovered himself inside his tent. 22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father’s nakedness and told his two brothers outside.

Again, the immediate consequence was nakedness. Coincidence? Is there a significance for this?

  • That's an interesting question, In fact, we also see a similar failed concealment.
    – Ruminator
    Feb 7, 2021 at 15:19
  • 3
    There was nothing 'wrong' with Adam and Eve being unclothed. Nor did God mention it. And they were unashamed. Only after partaking of the forbidden tree were they conscious of a lack of something. God had already made provision for that 'lack'. But they had not been patient enough to wait. The need is of another humanity than created humanity. And He would be manifest. The last Adam is come a life-giving Spirit. 1 Cor 15:45.#
    – Nigel J
    Feb 7, 2021 at 16:46

2 Answers 2


According to this article by a Jewish OT scholar, the correct parallel for Noah's drunkenness is not Adam and Eve, but the time Lot gets drunk and his daughters sleep with him after Sodom and Gomorrah are destroyed. His argument is basically that both stories are meant to be the same genre of destruction story as the flood story in the Epic of Gilgamesh, a genre that would have been familiar to Ancient Near East readers. He finds several parallels between the narratives of the flood (Genesis 6-9) and Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 18-19). One of those parallels is that near the end of the story the main character gets drunk and is sexually abused (see here for a Jewish take on what is meant by by Ham "seeing" his father's nakedness--basically the Talmud says it means he either Sodomized or castrated him).

Although it relies to a certain extent on Jewish tradition, the connection between Noah's drunkenness and Lot's drunkenness seems pretty justified to me. The connection between Noah's vs. Adam and Eve's nudity, as is stated in the comments, seems more tenuous and less like a deliberate literary parallel since they're treated very differently. Adam and Eve are "good" when created and "not ashamed" of their nakedness, whereas Noah's nakedness is understood to be inherently shameful, hence Shem and Japheth walk into the tent backwards to avoid seeing him.


Adam and Eve had been clothed with a garment of light prior to their sin. They had been made in the image of God (see Genesis 1:26), and God is, Himself, clothed with light, as are the angels.

"Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain: . . . Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire:" (Psalm 104:1-2, 4)

Sin took away their beautiful garments of light, and they experienced a sense of chilliness and shame in realizing their nakedness. Though they had not actually worn physical garments prior to their sin, and had been naked all along, they had felt no shame until their sin and guilt changed their relationship with their Creator.

Though Noah's "nakedness" also came as a result of his sinful drunkenness, there is a much deeper issue to the story of Noah and his sons than first meets the eye (read Genesis 9). Notice in the story several points of interest:

  1. Noah's son Ham is the one said to have "seen" the nakedness of his father.
  2. Ham was not cursed by Noah.
  3. Ham's son, Canaan, was cursed.

Now, Canaan was himself never linked to any offense. So why was he cursed? Many point to the first verse of the chapter for the reason:

"And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth." (Genesis 9:1)

Would it have been possible for Noah to curse one whom God had blessed?

But it goes deeper still.

The word "nakedness" is defined in scripture, and is broader than we might suppose given our modern definitions. Consider the following:

None of you shall approach to any that is near of kin to him, to uncover their nakedness: I am the LORD. The nakedness of thy father, or the nakedness of thy mother, shalt thou not uncover: she is thy mother; thou shalt not uncover her nakedness. The nakedness of thy father's wife shalt thou not uncover: it is thy father's nakedness." (Leviticus 18:6-8)

Now, think about Ham again. Suppose he had simply walked in upon his father, unaware that his father had become drunk and had disrobed. Would his accidental deed have been curse-worthy? But if he had taken opportunity to "uncover" his father's wife's "nakedness," would this not have been a rather different story?

In fact, it seems quite possible that Canaan was the offspring of Ham's misdeed. To have slept with his father's wife would have been to uncover his father's own nakedness, per Biblical definitions. There are parts of the story that are not fully detailed in the Bible, for obvious reasons; but the Bible gives sufficient evidence that Ham's deed was no ordinary thing, and that Noah's "nakedness" was no ordinary nudity either.

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