9:21 When he drank some of the wine, he got drunk and uncovered himself 1 inside his tent.
May he live 3 in the tents of Shem
and may Canaan be his slave!”
13:12 Abram settled in the land of Canaan, but Lot settled among the cities of the Jordan plain 6 and pitched his tents next to Sodom.
26:17 So Isaac left there and settled in the Gerar Valley. 7
1 tn The Hebrew verb גָּלָה (galah) in the Hitpael verbal stem (וַיִּתְגַּל, vayyitggal) means “to uncover oneself” or “to be uncovered.” Noah became overheated because of the wine and uncovered himself in the tent.
2 tn Heb “may God enlarge Japheth.” The words “territory and numbers” are supplied in the translation for clarity.
sn There is a wordplay (paronomasia) on the name Japheth. The verb יַפְתְּ (yaft, “may he enlarge”) sounds like the name יֶפֶת (yefet, “Japheth”). The name itself suggested the idea. The blessing for Japheth extends beyond the son to the descendants. Their numbers and their territories will be enlarged, so much so that they will share in Shem’s territories. Again, in this oracle, Noah is looking beyond his immediate family to future generations. For a helpful study of this passage and the next chapter, see T. O. Figart, A Biblical Perspective on the Race Problem, 55-58.
5 tn Heb “he called in the name of the
6 tn Or “the cities of the plain”; Heb “[the cities of] the circle,” referring to the “circle” or oval area of the Jordan Valley.
7 tn Heb “and he camped in the valley of Gerar and he lived there.”
sn This valley was actually a wadi (a dry river bed where the water would flow in the rainy season, but this would have been rare in the Negev). The water table under it would have been higher than in the desert because of water soaking in during the torrents, making it easier to find water when digging wells. However, this does not minimize the blessing of the