Question:

I just read your answer to the question about whether boys should see one another naked as in locker rooms, etc.

In the Bible, when Ham “saw his father’s nakedness,” that does not mean he literally saw his father without clothing on. It literally meant that he had sex with his father’s wife. That is why Ham’s son (the one conceived in the incident) was banished. Ham was attempting to take over his father’s life (and wife) and this was a common form of doing so and can be seen throughout the New Testament.

You also left out that God instructed Isaiah to walk naked - not even wearing sandals - for three years amongst Israel. That means men, women, and children saw the prophet of God in the nude. God by his very nature cannot instruct another to sin - even to warn of something bad coming. Therefore simple nudity does not go against Christianity.

Jesus did not have a private restroom. He urinated in open trenches just as the other boys did, and bathed in the river with his brothers, uncles, dad, and neighbors. He also died completely nude on the cross.

David danced in a short ephod in front of Jerusalem when he thought people were praising him too much. He exposed himself in the process (an act of humility) and his wife was punished by God for ridiculing him because of it.

Many of the prophets prophesied nude - so much that when King Saul was nude and with the prophets, people asked if he had become a prophet.

Your answer is all wet, and you are flirting with mistaking God’s intentions. Modesty and humility are polar opposites in God’s eyes. Humility makes a man stronger while modesty tears him down.

In the New Testament, when Paul and Silas were lauded by a crowd as being gods, they “rent their robes" and rushed into the crowd showing the people their humility and humanity. And who died and was eaten by worms just a few verses before for accepting being called a god?

Evil men today are teaching young men that the humility of the locker room, swimming in ponds, etc is evil, and modesty is godly. You’d better do some studying.

Answer:

"Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you,  as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction" (II Peter 3:14-16).

As explained in "What does “uncover the nakedness” mean?" the Hebrew word 'erwah ("the nakedness of") refers to the exposure of the genitals. Uncovering someone to expose their genitals is typically a sexual act. It would include intercourse because that cannot take place without the genitals being exposed, but it is a broader phrase that would include the acts leading up to intercourse and acts that people get involved in while trying to avoid actual intercourse, such as oral sex or "dry humping." But in Genesis 9, Ham did not uncover his father's nakedness. "Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside" (Genesis 9:22). Noah had uncovered himself in his tent while drunk and Ham happened to see him in this state. "Then Noah began farming and planted a vineyard. He drank of the wine and became drunk, and uncovered himself inside his tent" (Genesis 9:20-21).

If Ham was committing incest, why tell his brothers? And what does it mean that his brothers covered their father's nakedness if seeing someone naked means having sexual intercourse? "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" (Genesis 9:23).

The claim that Canaan was the child of incest is also impossible from this account because Genesis 9:22 states that Ham was already the father of Canaan when he saw his father's nakedness. In addition, when Noah woke up from his drunken stupor, he cursed Canaan because of what Ham did. "When Noah awoke from his wine, he knew what his youngest son had done to him. So he said, 'Cursed be Canaan; A servant of servants He shall be to his brothers'" (Genesis 9:24-25). Noah wasn't drunk for nine months; thus, Canaan was already born.

Every aspect of this story does not match the claim.

Isaiah's nakedness is described with the Hebrew word 'arowm. It refers to being without clothing or being inadequately clothed. "In the year that Tartan came to Ashdod, when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him, and he fought against Ashdod and took it; at that time Yahweh spoke by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, "Go, and loosen the sackcloth from off your waist, and take your shoes from off your feet." He did so, walking naked and barefoot. Yahweh said, 'As my servant Isaiah has walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and a wonder concerning Egypt and concerning Ethiopia, so the king of Assyria will lead away the captives of Egypt and the exiles of Ethiopia, young and old, naked and barefoot, and with buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt. They will be dismayed and confounded, because of Ethiopia their expectation, and of Egypt their glory'" (Isaiah 20:1-5). Isaiah was told to go about naked for three years to illustrate the shame the Egyptians are going to experience when Assyria conquers them. Being naked was not sinful, but it was something that was embarrassing. Consider the reverse: If there was nothing unusual or wrong with Isaiah being naked, it would not have served as an illustration of humiliation.

This was also the point regarding Saul. He was trying to hunt down David, but God chose to embarrass the king. "Then went he also to Ramah, and came to the great well that is in Secu: and he asked and said, Where are Samuel and David? One said, Behold, they are at Naioth in Ramah. He went there to Naioth in Ramah: and the Spirit of God came on him also, and he went on, and prophesied, until he came to Naioth in Ramah. He also stripped off his clothes, and he also prophesied before Samuel, and lay down naked all that day and all that night. Therefore they say, 'Is Saul also among the prophets?'" (I Samuel 19:21-24). The question was not due to Saul's nakedness but that he prophesied all day and all night. The embarrassment did get to through to Saul because he stopped bothering Samuel for a while.

Yes, the Romans stripped their prisoners before putting them on crosses. It was a part of the public humiliation of those being executed. But the Scriptures do not say that Jesus was left entirely nude. "Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His outer garments and made four parts, a part to every soldier and also the tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece. So they said to one another, "Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, to decide whose it shall be"; this was to fulfill the Scripture: "They divided my outer garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots." Therefore the soldiers did these things" (John 19:23-25). The soldiers took his robe and tunic. It does not say what happened to his loincloth.

By the way, Jesus used nakedness to illustrate shame. "Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame" (Revelation 16:15). The reason it is an illustration is that being naked is shameful. In the Old Testament God said He would expose Israel's sins to their shame, and He draws the same parallel: "Your nakedness shall be uncovered, yes, your shame will be seen" (Isaiah 47:3).

David was accused by his wife, who at the time hated him, of dancing naked in public. "Then David returned to bless his household. And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, 'How glorious was the king of Israel today, uncovering himself today in the eyes of the maids of his servants, as one of the base fellows shamelessly uncovers himself!'" (II Samuel 6:20). But in truth, David was not nude. "Then David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was wearing a linen ephod" (II Samuel 6:14). An ephod is a short linen garment joined at the shoulders and tied in place with a belt at the waist. It was the type of clothing children wore (I Samuel 2:18) and was a part of the priests' official outfits (I Samuel 22:18). Basically Michal's complaint was that King David wasn't wearing enough clothing in her view and had lowered himself to the level of a common worker. It doesn't mean David exposed himself. Michal doesn't really say he did, and we have to remember that in her anger she was very likely exaggerating her points.

Tearing one's garments was an expression of extreme anguish. "When I heard about this matter, I tore my garment and my robe, and pulled some of the hair from my head and my beard, and sat down appalled" (Ezra 9:3). Clothing was extremely expensive in those days, so ripping them would be a sign of extreme emotion. It does not imply that the person was completely exposed as a result. Paul and Barnabas were upset about being called gods and tore their clothes. "But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their robes and rushed out into the crowd, crying out and saying, 'Men, why are you doing these things? We are also men of the same nature as you, and preach the gospel to you that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, Who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them'" (Acts 14:14-15).

Modesty is something taught by God. "Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly" (I Timothy 2:9).  The word "likewise" indicates that this rule applies to men and women. The Greek word for "proper clothing" is kosmious, which means orderly, well-arranged, seemly, or modest. In other words, "proper clothing" refers to clothing that is neat and appropriate for the occasion. The Greek word that is translated as "modestly" is aidos, which means having a sense of shame, modesty, and reverence. A modest person can blush when faced with things that are irreverent or immodest. The Greek word for "discreetly" is sophrosuna. This is a person of sound mind, with self-control, of good judgment, and moderate in all that he does. Modestly does not tear people down.

I hope this helps your studies.

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