Genesis (Part 16)

Questions to think about during this lesson…

  • Why does St. John Chrysostom excuse Noah’s drunkenness (Genesis 9:20-21)?
  • Why is Ham’s action so evil (Genesis 9:22)? (Hint: Sirach 3:10)
  • Why is Canaan cursed instead of Ham (Genesis 9:24-25)
  • What’s the moral lesson we should learn from the story of Ham and Noah?
  • How does St. John Chrysostom justify that it can actually be better to try to cover up the sins of another rather than expose them to the public?
  • Why did God allow the Babylonians to proceed with their plan and reach some measure of success before putting a stop to it (Genesis 11:3-4)? And when God does put a stop to it (Genesis 11:7), how does this show His great goodness?
  • According to St. John Chrysostom, why is the week before Holy Pascha called “Great Week”… and why do we intensify our fasting, vigils and almsgiving during this week?
  • Genesis is dividend into three parts… one of which is called “pre-history.” Why is it called that?
  • Why is it that we can date Abraham but we cannot date Noah?
We’re always looking for ideas to get the most out of Dr. Jeannie’s lessons. With this in mind, the following questions were provided by Marianna Sayeg from the Bible study group at St. Mary’s Orthodox Church in Cambridge, MA. These questions are related to both Genesis (Part 16) and Genesis (Part 17).

Review Questions:

  1. Noah’s drunkenness. Why was this excusable? Why was Ham’s action so evil? Why was Canaan punished rather than Ham? What is the spiritual moral of this story?
  2. Why did God intervene to prevent the completion of the Tower of Babel?
  3. Terminology. Under what context is it appropriate to use the term “Hebrews” vs. “Israelites” vs. “Jews” to describe the people of the covenant? What are the possible meanings of “Israel”? How is henotheism distinct from monotheism?
  4. What was God’s covenant with Abraham? How/why do the Hebrews make the move to Egypt? Once they are freed from slavery, why are they cursed to wander the desert for 40 years?
  5. What problems do the Hebrews continue to encounter once they reclaim Canaan?

Discussion Questions:

  1. Out of all the people in the world, why were Abraham and his descendants chosen to be God’s people? Why was everyone else cast aside? Were they really that wicked?
  2. Why wouldn’t God direct the Hebrews to convert the Canannites rather than obliterate them?
  3. If one righteous man (Noah) is reason enough to preserve humanity from the flood, why aren’t two faithful spies out of 12 enough to save Israel from 40 years in the wilderness?

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