9:23 Shem and Japheth took the garment 2 and placed it on their shoulders. Then they walked in backwards and covered up their father’s nakedness. Their faces were turned 3 the other way so they did not see their father’s nakedness.
1 sn The concluding disjunctive clause is parenthetical. It anticipates the following story, which explains that the Canaanites, Ham’s descendants through Canaan, were cursed because they shared the same moral abandonment that their ancestor displayed. See A. van Selms, “The Canaanites in the Book of Genesis,” OTS 12 (1958): 182-213.
2 tn The word translated “garment” has the Hebrew definite article on it. The article may simply indicate that the garment is definite and vivid in the mind of the narrator, but it could refer instead to Noah’s garment. Did Ham bring it out when he told his brothers?
3 tn Heb “their faces [were turned] back.”