Knuckleheads of Genesis

The Book of Genesis is brimming with great biblicalcharacters - Adam, Eve, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph.

And, of course, we cannot forget Ham, Jā'-phĕth, and Shem -the three sons of Noah.


Before Moe, Larry, and Shemp, there were Ham, Jā'-phĕth, andShem, affectionately known throughout the Holy Land as the "Three Knuckleheadsof the Book of Genesis." Their slapstick antics and moronic wordplay aresprinkled throughout the pages of Genesis, from the Great Flood to the Tower ofBabel.

In fact, it is believed that these three morons actuallycaused the Great Flood during one sidesplitting episode (entitled "I Smellan Ararat") in which they played a trio of inept plumbers repairing pipesat the exclusive Mt. Ararat Country Club & Spa.

And some theologiansbelieve that not only did the building of the Tower of Babel by these threeidiots result in the confusion of tongues, thus confounding the language of thepeople, and thus scattering the peoples throughout the earth, but that thisparticular episode (entitled "Tower of Rabble") also ended in a good,old-fashioned pie fight.

So, here is their tale - Ham, Jā'-phĕth, and Shem - takenfrom Genesis Chapters 6 thru 11, "when men began to multiply on the face ofthe earth, and daughters were born unto them." God help us all!


{Musical accompaniment: "Three Blind Mice" onviolin}



A black and white scene opens upon three, short, funnylooking biblical men all asleep in one bed, snoring. The narrator saith:

"And God saw that the wickedness of man was great inthe earth ... And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from theface of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowlsof the air; for it repententh me that I have made them. But Noah found grace inthe eyes of the Lord ... Noah was a just man and perfect in his generation, andNoah walked with God." (Gen. 6:5-9)

"And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, andJā'-phĕth." (Gen. 6:10)


The alarm clock's ringing awakens the man sleeping in themiddle, Ham, the one with the bowl-shaped haircut. He sits up in bed, rubs hisface, and then looks down at his two sleeping brothers snoring on either sideof him. Finally, he bops both of them on their foreheads with his two fists,accompanied by a pair of sound effects resembling a hammer striking a piece ofsteel pipe.

"Come on you two, wake up!" he barks. The othertwo men, Shem and Jā'-phĕth, sit up in bed, nursing their sore foreheads.

"Gee, Ham, what did you do that for?" asksJā'-phĕth, who, though bald on top of his head, has a full crop of curls alongthe sides.

"Because today is the day we've gotta start buildingthe ark."

"Ark?" replies Jā'-phĕth, "What ark?"

"The ark that we bought all that wood foryesterday!" barks Ham as he reaches out and rips free a handful ofJā'-phĕth's hair.

"Ouch!" cries Jā'-phĕth.

"Hey, you shouldn't do that!" says Shem, thebrother with the face like a worn catcher's mitt.

"You're right," says Ham. "I guess I shouldhave done this instead!" With that, he pokes Shem in the eyes with twofingers.

"Owwww!!" cries Shem.

"Come on you two!" orders Ham as he pulls hisbrothers out of bed by their hair.




Later, at the job site...

"Gee Ham, how big are we supposed to build theark?" asks Jā'-phĕth.

"I don't know. Let's ask Shem. He has theblueprints."

Looking over at Shem, they see him eating a sandwich wrappedin some sort of papyrus.

"Enjoying your sandwich?" asks Ham, smiling ... andthen slapping Shem across the face.

"Hey, what gives?" asks Shem.

"That papyrus you've wrapped your sandwich in is theblueprint for the ark, you idiot!" barks Ham.

"Oh, so it is," replies Shem. Ham grabs thepapyrus away from Shem and hands it to Jā'-phĕth.

"Here genius, you figure it out."

"Hmmm," says Jā'-phĕth, "Let's see, it sayshere: And God said unto Noah ... The length of the ark shall be three hundredcubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirtycubits." (Gen. 6:14-15)

"Three hundred cubits..." says Ham, rubbing his chinas if in deep thought.

"Hey, Ham," blurts Shem, "What's acubit?"

"What's a cubit, he asks," says Ham, shaking hishead and looking at Jā'-phĕth. "How the heck do I know what a cubitis." He then slaps Shem in the face, gives him a fist to the belly, and bopshim in the forehead.

"Hey Ham," says Jā'-phĕth, referring to thepapyrus, "It says here that one cubit equals two spans."

"Oh, is that so," replies Ham, smiling. "Andwhat is a span?"

"A span equals three palms," announces Jā'-phĕth.

"Oh, now we're getting somewhere," says Ham,smiling and nodding his head. "So, professor, what is a palm?"

"It says one palm equals four digits," saysJā'-phĕth, feeling confident about himself.

"And what, exactly, is a digit?" asks Ham witharms crossed.

"It don't say," says Jā'-phĕth.

"Oh really ... well how about you pick two digits,"says Ham, offering his hand.

"One, two," says Jā'-phĕth, picking two of Ham'sfingers, with which the bowl-shaped haircut man pokes the curly-haired man inthe eyes. A melee of face slapping, and top-of-the-head conking, and stomachpunching, and eye gouging commences until their father, Noah, happens by to seethe progress being made on the ark.

"What have you three morons been up to?!" asksNoah as he grabs Shem and Jā'-phĕth by the backs of their collars and liftsthem off the ground.

"Hey, Pops," says Ham, standing there with twothumbs in his suspenders, "We're just about to begin work."

"I hope so," replies Noah. "God says He'sgoing to 'cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights' -that'll be something like a billion ephahs of water."

"No problem, Pops. We'll have this ark built in notime," assures Ham.

"Well, see to it!" says Noah as he departs.

"Okay, you knuckleheads, get building!" barks Hamto his two brothers as he slaps each on the back of the head.

"Hey, Jā'-phĕth," says Shem, as he picks up a longtimber of hewn wood, turns, and accidentally strikes Ham with it on the back ofthe head, knocking him down, "What's an ephah?"

"Well, it says here," says Jā'-phĕth referring tothe papyrus, "An ephah equals three seahs, and one seah equalsthree-and-a-half omers, and one omer equals one and four-fifths cabs..."

"That's enough you two morons!" barks Ham, back onhis feet and rubbing the back of his head. "Get to work!"

With that, he swings at their faces with the palm of an openhand. SLAP!! SLAP!!


Jack Sheedy

Next time: "After the waters were abated," with the ark resting at Mt. Ararat, Noahsends forth a dove, which returns with an olive branch in itsmouth, only to drop the branch in Jā'-phĕth's nest of hair and then bitesShem on the nose in a classic episode entitled "40 Daze of Rain." welcomes thoughtful comments and the varied opinions of our readers. We are in no way obligated to post or allow comments that our moderators deem inappropriate. We reserve the right to delete comments we perceive as profane, vulgar, threatening, offensive, racially-biased, homophobic, slanderous, hateful or just plain rude. Commenters may not attack or insult other commenters, readers or writers. Commenters who persist in posting inappropriate comments will be banned from commenting on