Commentary - Year 1 Sabbath 8

Genesis 9:18 - 10:32   -   Isaiah 49:9-13   -   Psalm 8   -   Revelation 5:1-4


Iyyar 26, 5761 / May 19, 2001 

Iyyar 24, 5764 / May 15, 2004

Iyyar 24, 5767 / May 12, 2007

Iyyar 24, 5770 / May  8, 2010

Iyyar 24, 5773 / May  4, 2013

Iyyar 27, 5776 / June  4, 2016

Iyyar 27, 5779 / June  1, 2019


Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King of the Universe,

Who has sanctified us by His Word, and instructed us to count the Omer.

Today is forty-two days of the Omer; it is six weeks of the Omer.”


(This coming Tuesday – May 15, 2007)  

Iyyar 27 - Omer day 42 - is the date that the waters of the great flood were dried off of the earth.

It is also the date of Yeshua’s ascension into the heavens.


Vayikyu ben Noach / The Sons of Noah   SCRIPTURES should be read first


From the earlier account of Adam, we could see the destiny of the whole world – overtaken by sin. Now, from this account of Noah and his offspring, we can see a more detailed destiny of each future nation.


“Noah, the man of the earth, debased himself” (v.9:20). He became drunk, and went into the innermost part of “her tent” (ataloh - Midrash) – referring to his wife’s tent – and was “uncovered” therein – referring to consorting with his wife (v.9:21).


Consider that this family just came out of a time of such wholesale immorality that the world was destroyed for it. Ham (from “heat”) means sensuous or passionate. Rabbinic sources contain the first two following accounts of Ham’s sin; the third is my suggestion.


1. Ham committed incest with his mother while his father was drunk. This is based on the definition from Leviticus 18:8 – “You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father's wife; it is your father's nakedness.”

2. Ham castrated his father, that he should not have more sons to share the inheritance of the earth. We know that Noah had no more sons though he lived another 350 years.

3. Ham opened his mother’s tent, to expose his drunken father with his mother, making sport of them. This might explain why the other brothers went in a dignified way to cover their parents: otherwise, seeing that they would have had their own tents with their wives, why would they even enter (or cover) the tent where their parents were? Besides not honoring his parents, one of Ham’s basic sins here may have been thwarting or making light of God’s command to Noah to “replenish the earth”. Likewise, God gave Reuben’s first-born rights to another of Jacob’s sons, because of Reuben’s sin of “removing his father’s bed” with Rachael. (v.49:4).


Ham sinned, but Canaan is cursed (v.9:25)! Ham had already been blessed by God (v.9:1), and therefore could not be cursed. Noah does not say that Canaan would be cursed, but that he already “is”, as from aforetime – perhaps because his character was molded by following his father.


Noah died at 950 years. Abraham saw Noah, who saw Lamech, who in turn saw Adam. The traditions from Adam only passed through three generations to Abraham.

The Seventy Nations (Chapter 10):


JAPETH  (Europe)


1. Gomer – (#8-10)

2. Magog

3. Madai

4. Javan – (#11-14)

5. Tubal

6. Meshech

7. Tiras

HAM  (Africa)


15. Cush – (#19-26)

16. Mizram – (#27-33)

17. Phut

18. Canaan – (#34-44)

SHEM  (Asia)


45. Elam

46. Asshur

47. Arphachshad – (#50-53)

48. Lud

49. Aram – (#54-70)



  8. Ashkenaz

  9. Riphath

10. Togarmak



11. Elishah

12. Tarshish

13. Kittim

14. Dodanim

19. Seba

20. Havila

21. Sabtah

22. Raamah –

23. Sabteca

24. Nimrod

27. Ludim

28. Anamim

29. Lehabim

30. Naphtuhim

31. Patrusim

32. Casiuhim

33. Caphtorim

34. Zidon

35. Heth

36. Jebusite

37. Amorite

38. Girgashite

39. Hivite

40. Arkite

41. Sinite

42. Avarite

43. Zemante

44. Hamathite

50. Uz

51. Hul

52. Gether

53. Mash

54. Shelah –


55. Eber –

56. Peleg

57. Joktan –


25. Sheba

26. Dedan

58. Almodad

59. Sheleph

60. Hazarmaveth

61. Jerah

62. Hadoram

63. Uzal

64. Diklah

65. Obal

66. Abimael

67. Shebah

68. Ophir

69. Havilah

70. Jobab






from 31 or 32





Parallels to the Seventy Nations:

The Torah was given in the seventy languages of the seventy nations.

Seventy offerings were given at Hag Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) for the seventy nations.

The Great Sanhedrin had seventy judges.


Canaan (#18) was cursed as a “slave of slaves” (v.24), but that neither means that all Canaanites would be slaves, nor that Japethites and Semites would never be slaves. We do see that Canaanites generally have been mired in a culture of slavery.


Before Nimrod (#24), there were no monarchs, and no wars. He became the King of Babylon (Iraq), and then, as the “mighty hunter” of men, captured Assyria and built great cities. He is called “the forerunner of the hypocrite who drapes himself in robes of piety in order to deceive the masses” (R.Hirsch).


The following is not “politically correct”, but neither is it intended to put down or exalt any race.


“Shem” (from “name it”) means a thinking person; we see the trait of learning in the Semitic races. Shem populated Asia. Hebrews, who are Shemites (or Semites), are found disproportionately among inventors and discoverers, from fields of medicine to nuclear power. Their “thinking” powers are being used to try to disprove God’s Word, such as the creation account and results of sin. On the other hand, it is the Hebrews who brought us the Word of God, and who are the Torah scholars.


“Ham” (from “heat”) means sensuous or passionate, a trait for which the dark-skinned races are known. They also tend to be from hot climates. Africa today is being destroyed by the disease aids, from the misuse of sensuality. On the other hand, we may see the most passion displayed in black churches.


“Japeth” (from “openness”) means seeker of beauty; this trait is apparent in the light-skinned races. Japeth populated Europe. Japethites spend billions on cosmetics, decorative clothes, and fancy buildings, glorifying self instead of God. We should make the beauty of God’s worship take priority.


All three characteristics were given to be used in the service of God (Hirsch). All races have abused their gifts, not using them for God’s purpose and glory. We all need repentance.


Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.” – Revelation 5:9.


This contrasts to a growing teaching today, that most non-Jewish believers are “Ephraimites” – from the ten so-called “lost tribes” of Israel.


Revelation 5 song:


I beheld, and I heard, the voice of many angels,

Round about the throne, and the beasts and the elders;

And the number of them was ten-thousand times ten-thousand,

And thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice:

- chorus:

Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power,

Unto Him that sitteth upon the throne,

And unto the Lamb, forever, and ever,

Worthy is the Lamb that was slain!

- ending:

Worthy is the Lamb that was slain!


All races, all peoples have abused their gifts, using them for their own lusts instead of God’s glory. Only Yeshua, the Lamb of God, is worthy. He has imputed His righteousness to us, and our sin to himself, that we, from all nations, might worship Him.


The “tents of Shem” refer to synagogues. The Shemites should use their gift to promote Torah study. The Hamites should promote spirited worship. The Japethites should promote beauty in the worship. The three attributes should be used together, not in disparity.


One might be a sectarian fundamentalist, and use Scripture profusely to convince others of his superior understanding. Another might be a charismatic, and dance and shout about what he claims to have gotten direct from God. Yet another might be a catholic who worships an unknown God in beautiful cathedrals.


But we should emulate David: he said that studying Torah daily was more important than eating, his heart was toward his God and he worshipped spiritedly, and he set out to establish the most meaningful worship and the most beautiful structure on earth for God – when he had no house of his own.


True worship must be in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24). We should love Yahweh our God with all of our mind, with all of our heart, with all of our soul – that includes our understanding, our purpose, and our feelings. Let us all seek that goal.




"Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King of the Universe,

Who chose us from among all peoples by giving us Your Torah.

Blessed are You, Yahweh, giver of the Torah."


Reader 1* Amen 18 Now the sons of Noah who came out of the ark were Shem and Ham and Japheth; and Ham was the father of Canaan. 19 These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the whole earth was populated.


Reader 2* Amen 20 Then Noah began farming and planted a vineyard. 21 He drank of the wine and became drunk, and uncovered himself inside his tent. 22 Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. 23 But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it upon both their shoulders and walked backward and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were turned away, so that they did not see their father's nakedness. 24 When Noah awoke from his wine, he knew what his youngest son had done to him. 25 So he said, "Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants he shall be to his brothers." 26 He also said, "Blessed be Yahweh, the God of Shem; and let Canaan be his servant. 27 "May God enlarge Japheth, and let him dwell in the tents of Shem; and let Canaan be his servant."


Reader 3* Amen 28 Noah lived three hundred and fifty years after the flood. 29 So all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years, and he died.10:1 Now these are the records of the generations of Shem, Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah; and sons were born to them after the flood.


Reader 4* Amen 2 The sons of Japheth were Gomer and Magog and Madai and Javan and Tubal and Meshech and Tiras. 3 The sons of Gomer were Ashkenaz and Riphath and Togarmah. 4 The sons of Javan were Elishah and Tarshish, Kittim and Dodanim. 5 From these the coastlands of the nations were separated into their lands, every one according to his language, according to their families, into their nations.


Reader 5* Amen 6 The sons of Ham were Cush and Mizraim and Put and Canaan. 7 The sons of Cush were Seba and Havilah and Sabtah and Raamah and Sabteca; and the sons of Raamah were Sheba and Dedan. 8 Now Cush became the father of Nimrod; he became a mighty one on the earth. 9 He was a mighty hunter before Yahweh; therefore it is said, "Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before Yahweh." 10 The beginning of his kingdom was Babel and Erech and Accad and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. 11 From that land he went forth into Assyria, and built Nineveh and Rehoboth-Ir and Calah, 12 and Resen between Nineveh and Calah; that is the great city. 13 Mizraim became the father of Ludim and Anamim and Lehabim and Naphtuhim 14 and Pathrusim and Casluhim (from which came the Philistines) and Caphtorim. 15 Canaan became the father of Sidon, his firstborn, and Heth 16 and the Jebusite and the Amorite and the Girgashite 17 and the Hivite and the Arkite and the Sinite 18 and the Arvadite and the Zemarite and the Hamathite; and afterward the families of the Canaanite were spread abroad. 19 The territory of the Canaanite extended from Sidon as you go toward Gerar, as far as Gaza; as you go toward Sodom and Gomorrah and Admah and Zeboiim, as far as Lasha. 20 These are the sons of Ham, according to their families, according to their languages, by their lands, by their nations.


Reader 6* Amen 21 Also to Shem, the father of all the children of Eber, and the older brother of Japheth, children were born. 22 The sons of Shem were Elam and Asshur and Arpachshad and Lud and Aram. 23 The sons of Aram were Uz and Hul and Gether and Mash. 24 Arpachshad became the father of Shelah; and Shelah became the father of Eber. 25 Two sons were born to Eber; the name of the one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided; and his brother's name was Joktan. 26 Joktan became the father of Almodad and Sheleph and Hazarmaveth and Jerah 27 and Hadoram and Uzal and Diklah 28 and Obal and Abimael and Sheba 29 and Ophir and Havilah and Jobab; all these were the sons of Joktan. 30 Now their settlement extended from Mesha as you go toward Sephar, the hill country of the east. 31 These are the sons of Shem, according to their families, according to their languages, by their lands, according to their nations.


Reader 7* Amen 32 These are the families of the sons of Noah, according to their genealogies, by their nations; and out of these the nations were separated on the earth after the flood.


"Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King of the Universe,

Who in giving us Yeshua, the Living Torah, has planted everlasting life in our midst.

Blessed are You, Yahweh, giver of the Torah."



"Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King of the Universe,

Who selected good prophets, delighting in their words which were spoken truthfully.

Blessed are You, Yahweh, Who chose the Torah, Your servant Moses, Your people Israel,

and the prophets of truth and righteousness."


Isaiah 49:9-13

Reader 8* Amen 9 Saying to those who are bound, 'Go forth,' To those who are in darkness, 'Show yourselves.' Along the roads they will feed, and their pasture will be on all bare heights. 10 "They will not hunger or thirst, nor will the scorching heat or sun strike them down; for He who has compassion on them will lead them and will guide them to springs of water. 11 "I will make all My mountains a road, and My highways will be raised up. 12 "Behold, these will come from afar; and lo, these will come from the north and from the west, and these from the land of Sinim." 13 Shout for joy, O heavens! And rejoice, O earth! Break forth into joyful shouting, O mountains! For Yahweh has comforted His people and will have compassion on His afflicted.


Psalm 8   (to be sung)  For the choir director; on the Gittith. A Psalm of David.

1 O Yahweh, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth, Who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens! 2 From the mouth of infants and nursing babes You have established strength because of Your adversaries, to make the enemy and the revengeful cease. 3 When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained; 4 what is man that You take thought of him, and the son of man that You care for him? 5 Yet You have made him a little lower than God, and You crown him with glory and majesty! 6 You make him to rule over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, 7 all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, 8 the birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea, whatever passes through the paths of the seas. 9 O Yahweh, our Lord, How majestic is Your name in all the earth!


Revelation 5:1-14

Reader 9* Amen 1 I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a book written inside and on the back, sealed up with seven seals. 2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, "Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?" 3 And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the book or to look into it. 4 Then I began to weep greatly because no one was found worthy to open the book or to look into it; 5 and one of the elders said to me, "Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals." 6 And I saw between the throne (with the four living creatures) and the elders a Lamb standing, as if slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth. 7 And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. 8 When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.


Reader 10* Amen 9 And they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. 10 "You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth." 11 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing." 13 And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, "To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever." 14 And the four living creatures kept saying, "Amen." And the elders fell down and worshiped.


"Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King of the Universe,

Rock of Ages, righteous throughout all generations.

You are the faithful God, promising and then performing, speaking and then fulfilling,

for all Your words are true and righteous.

Faithful are You, Yahweh our God, and faithful are Your words,

for no word of Yours shall remain unfulfilled;

You are a faithful and merciful God and King.

Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, Who are faithful in fulfilling all Your words."


© 2004  Beikvot HaMashiach
(Followers of the Messiah)




"Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King of the Universe,

Who in giving us Yeshua, the Living Torah, has planted everlasting life in our midst.

Blessed are You, Yahweh, giver of the Torah."



"Blessed are You, Yahweh our God, King of the Universe,

Who selected good prophets, delighting in their words which were spoken truthfully.

Blessed are You, Yahweh, Who chose the Torah, Your servant Moses, Your people Israel,

and the prophets of truth and righteousness."