Bereishit 9:24 says:

וַיִּ֥יקֶץ נֹ֖חַ מִיֵּינ֑וֹ וַיֵּ֕דַע אֵ֛ת אֲשֶׁר־עָ֥שָׂה־ל֖וֹ בְּנ֥וֹ הַקָּטָֽן׃

Rashi there says:

בנו הקטן. הפסול והבזוי...

Why does Rashi have to say that קטן means lowly, disgraced, instead of the pshat, which seems to be "youngest"?


1 Answer 1


There is a disagreement in the commentaries whether Cham was the youngest or middle son.

If he was the middle son then it is easy to understand why Rashi explained that קטן means worthless and despised since he was not the youngest. In fact, Rashi himself in Avodah Zorah 9a says clearly that Cham was the middle son.

The Gur Aryeh however is amongst those who hold that Cham was the youngest, and he explains that since his being the youngest has no bearing on the narrative, the Torah must be using the term in its alternative meaning - despised, to say that since Cham was despised he in turn disparaged Noach.

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