The Curse of Ham (Pt 1)

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This topic we are going to discuss is relevant to understand why and how certain ideas infiltrated in the minds of the authorities and the so-called leading figures. Throughout History a paradigm was produced a degraded nation that  till this very day. I want everyone think for a moment, People regarded a group of other people low life and insignificant. The curse of Ham also called the curse of Canaan refers to the curse that Ham’s father Noah declared against Ham’s offspring. This is one of the reason people of darker complexion have partially been subjected to such tragedy. We are going to break down this false belief that has no basis in this universe or galaxy.

For those who want to read the story of Ham and Noah see in the Book of Genesis 9:20-27.

We read the story and there are just too many things that do not make sense at all.  The key figures in the stories embody a message, a message that  caused people lose their life, culture and religion.

Just before we start  with analysing the story we must distinguish the Noah of the bible and Torah with Nuh (Aley selam) of the noble Qur’an. Christian, Jews and Muslim may refer to same person, however the narrative varies. We exclusively will deal  with Noah and the narrative in the old testament. Why is Noah a spiritual giant depicted in such a bad light, who did he exactly curse Ham or Canaan ? If Canaan
and not Ham were the guilty one, why was Ham not included in the blessing?

If Ham did disrespect his father in that manner, where was his opportunity to repent? Noah spent day and night warning people, but when his own son makes a mistake he not only curses him but includes Ham’s offspring. The flood itself represents cleansing process a new beginning with a renewal of the decrees of blessings. Ham’s action brought by corruption and rebellion. The Consequences established  God’s promising blessing to those obedient in faith and cursing to those who rebel.  Regarding Noah character he seems to have a different outlook on life. He almost appears to be a different person before the flood and after. The Prophet who oversaw righteousness over wicked world became the farmer who planted a vineyard became drunk,and naked in his tent.

This deterioration of character seems to be consistent with,the thematic arrangement of at least the early part of Genesis,if not all the book. In Noah’s instance we see in the chapter of Genesis 6:9 with the note that Noah was righteous  and blameless before God, and then it takes an U-turn in character in the chapter of Genesis  9:18-27. There is ambiguous message regarding the consumption of the vine in the bible in chapter of Psalm 104:15 its states “gladdens the heart of man” or the parable in  judges 9:3 “Should I give up my wine, which cheers both gods and men?”

This is just an example of many. The notion symbolise wine being Messianic and a source of enlightenment, but how could it bring shame to one of the greatest Prophet in that fashion?. In comtrast the Old Testament often warns of the moral dangers attending this new step in human development.This is illustrated in Proverb those of rulership  were given the proverbial instruction that strong drink is not for
kings, but for those about to die (Prov. 31:4-5). Noah being a leader or the authority after flood would fit in that category.

The are more examples in  Habakkuk, “Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbors,pouring it from the wineskin till they are drunk, so that he can gaze on their naked bodies” (2:15). Jeremiah also used the imagery for shame and susceptibility to violation and exploitation,lamenting, “You will be drunk and stripped naked” (Lam. 4:21).Noah was to be considered righteous only when compared with his wicked generation. This changed with the Ham situation. Medieval Jews took it in an idealistic way, saying that Noah planted the wine to understand sin in a better way and thus to be able to warn the world of its effects.

The Scriptual scholar F.W. Bassett focuses on the second element of the situation his says The idiom of Genesis 9:22, “saw the nakedness of his father,” is well attested to in Leviticus 18:7, 8, 14, 16 and 20:11, 20, 21 as meaning heterosexual intercourse. Therefore, Ham had intercourse with his father’s wife and the fruit of this incestuous relationship must be Canaan, for it explains Noah’s curse upon Ham’s son. According to Genesis 9 Noah uncovered himself (the stem is reflexive). It does not indicate anywhere that Ham uncovered his father’s nakedness or any incestuous relationship. If that would been the case Ham would never tell his brothers.By mentioning that Ham entered and saw his father’s nakedness the text wishes to impress that seeing is the disgusting thing.

Ham’s forbidden glance, represents the first step in the abandonment of a moral code and destroyed the honor of Noah. The impression is that Ham completed the nakedness by bringing the garment out to his brothers. Therefore the descendants were not necessarily cursed due to what Ham did, but cursed for following what Ham did. The Canaanites are described as a nation without moral conduct. They were doomed to perpetual slavery. As to regards to Shem with his spiritual blessings by virtue of knowing Yahweh; Japheth’s temporal blessings with the prospect of participation with Shem represent the tools they would use to enslave Ham’s descendants. In history people that were ascribed to be the descendants of Ham had been enslaved, but what about ancient History is there an account the Israelites being the descendants Shem fulfilling the curse ?

At no time in the history of Israel was there a complete subjugation of Canaan. Many cities were conquered, and at times Canaanites were enslaved, but Israel failed to carry out the task. These Canaanites survived until the last colony at Carthage was destroyed in 146 B.C. by the Romans. So there was really no time in the history of Israel to fit a

So why has this been the argument for  some members of the Abrahamic religions to justify racism and the enslavement of people of African ancestry?

We spent the last paragraphs effort to decipher the contents of the story not even once did we hear the colour black in the initial story. This does not mean if it was mentioned that we would have agreed upon it, however why is this important information missing. The indigenous Africans  never heard of these stories apart from the muslim who already were familiar with the story of Nuh aley selam with a completely narrative. So they would have not bought in. But it was not really what slave thought as we will find that most people who believed in this theory were the ones with interest of exploiting slavery. Lets have a brief look on how the Jews, Christian and some Muslim used their highest imagination faculty to come to that conclusion.

The early jews interpretation and assertion on the darkening of the skin remains a mystery. The Torah does not indicate any racial characteristics of Ham. What we can find instead is the marriage of Moses to a Cushite in the books of Numbers chapter 12.This and many more points we already discussed previous shows that the story must had been corrupted at one point. The early Jewish writers have interpreted the Ham fiasco in a racial manner despite Moses matrimonial relation to Cushite women who would fall under the category to be a descendants of Ham. The Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 108b states, “Our Rabbis taught: Three copulated in the ark, and they were all punished—the dog, the raven, and Ham. The dog was doomed to be tied, the raven expectorate, and Ham was smitten in his skin” (Talmud Bavli, Sanhedrin 108b). The nature of Ham’s “smitten” skin is unexplained, but later commentaries.

Pre-modern Christian scholars like use the example of the Egyptians and how they were bound to become slaves because of their heathen practices and their ancestors connection to Ham. one of these works is the Eastern Christian work, the Cave of Treasures (fourth century), explicitly connects slavery with dark-skinned people:

When Noah awoke…he cursed him and said: “Cursed be Ham and may he be a slave to his brothers” … and he became a slave, he and his lineage, namely the Egyptians, the Abyssinians, and the Indians. Indeed, Ham lost all sense of shame and he became black and was called shameless all the days of his life, forever.

Ishodad of Merv (Syrian Christian bishop of Hedhatha, ninth century):

Ibn al-Tayyib (Arabic Christian scholar, Baghdad, d. 1043): “The curse of Noah affected the posterity of Canaan who were killed by Joshua son of Nun. At the moment of the curse, Canaan’s body became black and the blackness spread out among them.”

The most extreme statement out of all of them hast be from Catholic mystic Anne Catherine Emmerich, “I saw the curse pronounced by Noah upon Ham moving toward the latter like a black cloud and obscuring him. His skin lost its whiteness, he grew darker. His sin was the sin of sacrilege, the sin of one who would forcibly enter the Ark of the Covenant. I saw a most corrupt race descend from Ham and sink deeper and deeper in darkness. I see that the black, idolatrous, stupid nations are the descendants of Ham. Their color is due, not to the rays of the sun, but to the dark source whence those degraded races sprang.”

The Jewish interpretation of the story of Ham was a possibility that was welcomed in the middle ages. From a sporadic belief the mainstream scholarship adopted this belief and it became a support pillar during the slave trade of the eighteenth and nineteenth century.

The Book of Mormon and we are not talking about the musical in London’s west end but about the book that inspired Joseph Smith and Brigham to believe African ancestry were under the curse of Ham. This lead to the ruling that modern people of African descent were banned from receiving the Priesthood. The funny thing is that the successor of smith introduced a more lenient approach for black people. Young allowed blacks to join the church, and that cure was with jesus’s salvation and President Spencer W. Kimball just in time got rid off the restriction of Priesthood just on time by letting anyone to be a priest in 1978.

At this point we must say that we will continue with Islam in the part 2 of the article series and have a powerful conclusion on why people needed intentionally idiotic to believe what they believed. We will try to show how certain tradtions found a fertile ground in Islam and how the classical scholars debunked the theory.

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