Noah’s family flourished after the flood and lived as farmers and shepherds, and each enterprise was blessed and profitable. The family vineyard, for example, put out a wine that’d make Bacchus blush.
One day the patriarch got so drunk, he passed out stark naked in his tent. Noah’s youngest son Ham stumbled upon his father and his undignified condition, and he thought it was hilarious.
He told his brothers about it, but instead of laughing Shem and Japheth took a robe into their father’s tent, and walking backward with their heads turned away, they covered the unconscious man.
Later, when Noah found out how Ham had behaved, he cursed his entire family line. “Your son Canaan will bow to Shem.”
Ham’s grandson the mighty warrior Nimrod, was the chief architect of a monumental real estate project in Babylonia. In the middle of that city, a mud-bricked tower of record-breaking heights would dwarf all other known man-made structures.
This was an affront to God and his desire that humankind be unbounded and multiply over the whole earth. When God said to Noah “the whole earth,” he meant its furthest breadths and depths. But everyone seemed dead set on populating a grotesquely ornate high-rise on a tiny plot of ground.
God saw the people were determined, tech savvy, and unified in their endeavor. The fact that every engineer and worker on the project spoke the same language meant they’d likely accomplish, not just their present goal of ingenuity, autonomy and power, but anything else under the sun.
So God personally descended, caused vernacular confusion, and the tower’s construction was ultimately abandoned. The place was named Babel, for their speech baffled the ears of the hearer, and brick eventually fell from brick.
Thus Ham’s curse had begun, and the peoples of earth resumed their migration across the whole earth.
Inspiration: Genesis 9, 11