|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
9:18-23 The drunkenness of Noah is recorded in the Bible, with that fairness which is found only in the Scripture, as a case and proof of human weakness and imperfection, even though he may have been surprised into the sin; and to show that the best of men cannot stand upright, unless they depend upon Divine grace, and are upheld thereby. Ham appears to have been a bad man, and probably rejoiced to find his father in an unbecoming situation. It was said of Noah, that he was perfect in his generations, ch.
Verse 20. - And Noah began to be an husbandman. Literally, a man of the ground. Vir terror (Vulgate); ἄνθρωπος γεωργὸς γῆς (LXX.); Chald., נְּבַר פָלַח בְּאַרְעָא = vir co-lens terram; agriculturae dediturus. Cf. Joshua 5:4, "a man of war;" 2 Samuel 16:7, "a man of blood;" Genesis 46:32, "a man of cattle;" Exodus 4:10, "a man of words." And he planted a vineyard. So Murphy, Wordsworth, Kalisch. Keil, Delitzsch, and Lange regard ish ha Adamah, with the art., as in apposition to Noah, and read, "And Noah, the husbandman, began and planted a vineyard," i.e. caepit plantare (cf. Gesenius, 'Gram.,' 142, 3; Glass, Sacrae Philologiae, lib. 3. tr. 3. can. 34). Neither interpretation presupposes that husbandry and vine cultivation were now practiced for the first time. That Armenia is a wine-growing country is testified by Xenophon ('Anab.,' 4:4, 9). That the vine was abundantly cultivated in Egypt is evident from representations on the monuments, as well as from Scriptural allusions. The Egyptians say that Osiris, the Greeks that Dionysus, the Romans that Saturn, first taught men the cultivation of the tree and the use of its fruit.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And Noah began to be an husbandman,.... Or "a man of the earth" (c), not lord of it, as Jarchi, though he was, but a tiller of the earth, as he had been before the flood, and now began to be again; he returned to his old employment, and which perhaps he improved, having invented, as the Jews (d) say, instruments of husbandry; it may be, the use of the plough, which made the tillage of the ground more easy; he was expert in husbandry, as Aben Ezra observes, and which, as he remarks, is great wisdom; and though he was so great a man, yet he employed himself in this way:
and he planted a vineyard; not vines, but a vineyard; there were vines before scattered up and down, here one and there another, but he planted a number of them together, and set them in order, as the Jewish writers say (e); and some of them (f) will have it that he found a vine which the flood brought out of the garden of Eden, and planted it; but this is mere fable: where this plantation was cannot be said with certainty; the Armenians have a tradition that Noah, after quitting the ark, went and settled at Erivan, about twelve leagues from Ararat, a city full of vineyards; and that it was there he planted the vineyard, in a place where they still make excellent wine, and that their vines are of the same sort he planted there (g); which contradicts what Strabo (h) says of the country of Armenia, its hills and plains, that a vine will not easily grow there.
(c) "vir terrie", Montanus. (d) Zohar, apud Hottinger, Smegma Oriental. p. 253. (e) Ben Melech in loc. so Abarbinel & Bechai, apud Muis, in loc. (f) Targum Jon. in loc. Pirke Eliezer, c. 23. (g) See Tournefort's Voyage to the Levant, vol. 3. p. 178. Universal History, vol. 1. p. 261. (h) Geograph. l. 11. p. 363.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
20. And Noah … planted a vineyard—Noah had been probably bred to the culture of the soil, and resumed that employment on leaving the ark.
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