No Name Woman: Noah’s Wife and Heterosexual Incestuous Relations in Genesis 9:18–29 [by Corinne E. Blackmer]

No Name Woman: Noah’s Wife and Heterosexual Incestuous Relations in Genesis 9:18–29

By Corinne E. Blackmer

(Southern Connecticut State University)

Source: Judaica Ukrainica 1 (2012): 29–46

Publication date: December 1, 2012

Publication type: article

Language: English

Full text: 

 

Abstract

The terse story of Noah and Ham has puzzled scholars since antiquity. While most critics have argued that castration, homosexual paternal incest, or voyeurism explain why Noah pronounces the severe curse of permanent servitude on Ham’s son, Canaan, this article shows that the preponderance of evidence makes clear that Ham’s offense is heterosexual maternal incest. Ham has sex with his mother, Noah’s wife, after Noah loses consciousness from wine. Ham brags about what he has done to his brothers, because he has displaced his father, become the patriarch, and, ironically, fulfilled the injunction to “be fruitful and multiply”. Canaan is cursed because he is the product of this illicit union. Noah’s wife, who should have an individual name and identity that comports with her stature as the second mother of creation, is buried under indirect language of “the nakedness of the father” that at once disguises and draws attention to her unspeakable importance in this story.

 

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