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CANAAN THE CURSED
“A curse causeless shall not come.” (Proverbs 26:2)
Besides Adam bringing the curse of death to the human race, the only other man in history responsible for the universal condemnation of an entire race of people, was Canaan the cursed. Because of this man, many white Christians believed all descendants of Ham, father of the black races, were cursed to be slaves. For hundreds of years, certain sects in Western Christendom wrongfully sanctioned the enslavement of black men, women, and children because they falsely believed the Scriptures authorized the enslavement of all descendents of Ham. No other character in Scripture has confused Bible scholars more than this black man, Canaan. At some point in history, Europeanized Christianity switched the curse from Canaan to his father, Ham, founder of the black races. In American history in order to enslave Ham’s descendants, black people, with a clear conscience and for personal gain, Euro-centric religious sects began teaching that every descendent of Ham carried the curse of slavery, not just Canaan’s descendants. As a result of shoddy Bible scholarship and research, sects in Western Christendom have wrongly laid Canaan’s sin at his father’s feet. The wise King Solomon stated, “He that begetteth [births] a fool does this to his own sorrow.” (Prov. 17:21) Unfortunately, one of Ham’s four sons was extremely foolish and was cursed with the sorrowful burden of slavery that passed to his offspring, the Canaanites, for generations. Although most of Ham’s descendants are not connected to the curse that belonged only to the Canaanites, many of them have unjustly borne the grief of Canaan’s curse. Therefore, let’s examine the Scriptures regarding the account.
“The sons of Noah that went forth of the ark were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan. These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread. And Noah began to be a farmer, and he planted a vineyard: And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and saw not their father’s nakedness. And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him. And he said, CURSED BE CANAAN; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren, And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.” (Gen. 9:18-27)
The saga begins with Ham paying a visit to his father’s tent where he finds Noah drunken and naked inside. Ham immediately exits, leaving Noah to his own debauchery. At first glance, it looks as though Ham was the one at fault, when in fact Ham did nothing wrong. His father was the drunken one. Ham finds his brothers outside Noah’s tent, informs them of their father’s condition, and they go inside and cover him. Those who teach that Ham did something wrong draw this conclusion from their own imaginations. For neither Noah nor the scriptural record in any way assigns blame, sin, or a curse to Ham. Furthermore, had Ham not checked on his father and informed to his brothers, the old man would have remained in his deplorable state and still cursed Canaan. Bible scholars who thoroughly research this subject will see that a specific act was “done unto” Noah. For the record states:
“Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him. And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be….” (Gen. 9:24-25)
Ham did not do anything to his father except inform his brothers, Shem and Japheth, of Noah’s condition. If Noah had any complaint against Ham it would be for doing nothing. The only thing the Bible records was done “unto” Noah was when his sons placed a garment over him. Yet, the Bible states that “Noah knew what his younger son had done unto him and said, Cursed be Canaan a servant of servants shall he be.” (Gen. 9:24-25) Canaan was not Noah’s son. Ham had three sons besides Canaan, so why did Noah single out this seemingly innocent grandson and consign him and his descendants to a status beneath the dignity of human beings: Slavery. Was Canaan cursed without cause? This requires further investigation, because diligent Bible students understand the inexorable biblical principle that “A curse causeless shall not come,” and “the Scriptures cannot be broken.” (Prov. 26:2, John 10:35) So, let’s investigate.
BIBLICAL TERMINOLOGY FOR THE WORD GRANDSON
In Scripture, there was no word for grandson or grandfather. A son, grandson, great grandson, and so-forth was simply referred to as son and a grandfather was simply referred to as father. Remember, Jesus Christ was called the “son of David,” even though he was David’s great great great great ... great grandson. (Matt. 1) Also recall when Christ healed a woman He called her a “daughter of Abraham. In Shemitic culture there was no word for grandfather, grandson, or granddaughter. Recall how Jews referred to Abraham. They did not call him great great great … great grandfather Abraham, but simply father Abraham. (John 8:56, 4:12) In this same manner, when Moses wrote that:
“Noah knew what his younger son had done unto him and said cursed be Canaan…” (Gen. 9:24)
Moses was referring to Noah’s grandson whom Noah indicts with the curse. (Prov. 26:11) Since “a curse causeless shall not come,” we must analyze the Scripture’s account of what was “done unto” Noah to see what caused him to curse his grandson as the guilty party.
WHAT DID CANAAN DO?
Let’s examine the scene of the crime to determine what occurred that stirred Noah’s wrath toward Canaan. Their is so much more to this story and it is found in Blacks in the Bible Volume I or The Complete Works of Biblical Black History. Order it today at WWW.BLACKSINTHEBIBLE.NET
Many Caucasians educators desperately want to claim the Canaanite heritage as theirs, when the Canaanites descended from Canaan, the son of Ham, father of the black races. Other Caucasians wish to give the Canaanites lineage to the Semitics (Shemitic) legacy. However, Abraham disproved this claim by sending his choice slave to a Semitic region to retrieve a Semitic wife for his son Isaac. (Gen. 24:3) If the Canaanites, among whom Abraham dwelled, had been of Semitic lineage then Isaac would how been allowed to marry them. Unfortunately, racism in secular and Christian circles still begrudge giving Canaanites, called Phoenicians by Greeks, their black heritage as descendants of Canaan, the son of Ham, father of the black races. (See Phut, Father of the Phoenicians for more information also offered in Blacks in the Bible Vol. I)