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What About Ham Being Cursed For Seeing His Father's Nakedness?


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#21 Guest_Admin3_*

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Posted 17 April 2005 - 03:44 PM

That’s fascinating, i.e. that “uncovering nakedness = sleeping around”, it can certainly help to understand a text in a wholly different context. 
But what then of Ham’s brothers? They covered Noah up!  Obviously they can’t undo what Ham has done, so what action are they performing to undo Hams transgression, or ease Noah’s anger?

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This is why I don't believe this is what was meant, and I'm glad you pointed that out. Your very observent. For I missed that. But even what you said open my eyes to more truth in that area. :)

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Posted 17 April 2005 - 04:00 PM

The Bible talks about what are apparently different kinds of intoxicating drink: "wine" and "strong drink". The two terms often appear together so it is reasonable that they are two different things. Further evidence that they are different things is provided by Aben Ezra who says that 'strong drink' is made either of a kind of wheat, or of honey or dates.

An example of both terms appearing together: Proverbs 31:6, "Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts."

Now regarding wine, Numbers 28:7 specifies that the wine used for the drink offering be "the strong wine". That makes it kind of obvious that there was also a 'weak' wine. Some people claim that the freshly trodden grape juice, before it was fermented, was the common 'wine', but that argument is most often advanced by those who are trying to make out that Jesus was a teetotaler (which He wasn't). Most likely the common table wine was strong wine that had been diluted with water. That practice was widespread and is well documented in ancient literature.

#23 chance

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Posted 17 April 2005 - 07:22 PM

This is why I don't believe this is what was meant, and I'm glad you pointed that out. Your very observent. For I missed that.

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Thanks.

It sort of made sense to me because Noah then cursed Ham with an ‘appropriate’ curse for his laziness or indifference, i.e. making the lazy a slave or hanger-on. For any of you in a business environment you may recall that managers often request that problem not be brought to their attention without an accompanying solution. A laundry list of the companies woes is usually not appreciated (generalising of course).



But even what you said open my eyes to more truth in that area. :)

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Curses wrings hands and gnashes teeth, foiled again. :) :angry:


The Deacon Thanks for the additional references to wine strengths.

#24 Fred Williams

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Posted 17 April 2005 - 09:28 PM

But the fact that Japheth and Shem covered Noah and did not look seems to disprove the evidence above

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It appears everyone here at least agrees that it is a valid figure of speech, that the Bible explicitly spells out in plain language (Lev 18, 20), that to uncover a person’s nakedness is to sleep with that person’s wife. In fact it is a figure of speech used fairly frequently in the Bible. The question is, why is this figure of speech apparently only questioned in Gen 9? Doesn’t it make sense that Japheth and Shem covering Noah’s nakedness is an extension of this respectful manner of explaining what happened? Japheth and Shem covered their mother who was still left naked soon after Ham bragged about his wickedness (we know how wicked people love to brag of their wickedness - perhaps Ham invited his brother’s to do the same; the last verse of Romans 1 comes to mind). The brothers were instead appalled, and put a blanket over their mother, which we know from the inverse of the figure of speech they were also covering Noah’s nakedness. This idea of covering one spouse equating to covering the other spouse is also supported by the fact that Noah and his wife are one flesh (Genesis 2:24).

I still think a strong case can be made from the text that Ham violated his mother, and why he was cursed. Let's make a bet. Whoever is right gets first dibs on going to Hillary Clinton's trial on judgement day (we know that is going to be a tough ticket to come by because it will be sold out :D).

Fred

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Posted 17 April 2005 - 09:51 PM

Well, here's another problem with that. Being son's of the mother, how many brothers would kill the other for doing this thing? And guess what, it would be within their right to do it. And Ham would have been more than a fool to tell them because of this. And the people, the rest of the family, could have stoned him for it.

So my question would be, how would the other two brothers be able to with hold their temper when Ham told them, if this is what happened?

#26 Fred Williams

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Posted 17 April 2005 - 10:35 PM

Well, here's another problem with that. Being son's of the mother, how many brothers would kill the other for doing this thing? And guess what, it would be within their right to do it. And Ham would have been more than a fool to tell them because of this. And the people, the rest of the family, could have stoned him for it.

So my question would be, how would the other two brothers be able to with hold their temper when Ham told them, if this is what happened?

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It actually would not have been within Japheth and Shem's right to kill Ham. Interestingly, God had only recently instituted the death penalty (just a few verses earlier), but for murder only! (see Gen 9:6) Only later in Leviticus did God decree a death penalty for the type of offense Ham committed.

Fred

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Posted 06 May 2005 - 11:16 PM

It actually would not have been within Japheth and Shem's right to kill Ham. Interestingly, God had only recently instituted the death penalty (just a few verses earlier), but for murder only! (see Gen 9:6) Only later in Leviticus did God decree a death penalty for the type of offense Ham committed.

Fred

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Guess I stand corrected. But I still wonder if that's what Ham actually did.

#28 disruptor

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Posted 11 February 2006 - 04:59 PM

A Plea for the Innocence of Ham

Fred Williams said:

Ham...was cursed for sleeping with Noah's wife (his mom)


chance wrote:

Ham is cursed for what he did not do


Deacon wrote:

Ham was cursed...


More careful reading of our Bibles might help in preventing such misinterpretations as the above. Only Pastor Eynart got it partly right.

Ham was at no point cursed by God.

Gen 9:22 Ham, the father of Canaan....saw....and told...

and so was NOT CURSED because he had done nothing wrong.

ONLY Canaan was cursed by God (9:25). But Canaan was not even the eldest son of Ham, but the 4th. Ham also had other sons - so why were these not expressly cursed? - Why only Canaan?

The key is this sentence:

Gen 9:24: And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.

"Younger son" does not refer to Ham. The word in fact can mean any descendant, a grandson etc (Strong's 01121). Here "younger son" refers to Canaan and NOT to Ham, as God confirms in the subsequent verse:

Gen 9:25 And he said, Cursed [be] Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren .

The name Canaan is derived from "low" or "humiliated" in Hebrew (Strong's 03667). Whatever went on in that tent, Noah of course shifts the blame to Canaan - even though Canaan is the "humiliated" one. That Canaan is the one involved is hinted at by the extra mentions at 9:18 and 9:22 - otherwise why not mention the other sons of Ham?

Notice that Noah "knew what his younger son (=Canaan) had done to him" (and not "what he had done to Noah's wife" or anything) - But how could Noah possibly know what had been "done to him" if he had been as drunk and unconscious as is claimed??

I doubt if a modern court would accept his claim....

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Posted 12 February 2006 - 12:03 AM

It's just one of those things that will be much speculation about until someone in the know on how to decipher info, and confirm it else where in the word, shows up and presents it. For I can see everyone's point. But until someone is able to connect the dots that point to only one out come. I can only disagree. Not that anyone is wrong, that's yet to be proven. but just that what was done is as bad as some say.

I think it was something not as worse, but because of the modesty of the people, and being naked. Being exposed in such a manner, was considered just as bad. But, that's just my opinion.

#30 Fred Williams

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Posted 19 February 2006 - 12:11 AM

I agree that it was technically Canaan that was cursed, because he was the result of a perverse union (Ham taking advantage of his mother). But I disagree that it was Canaan who did the evil act in the tent, I think your exegesis to make this claim, based mostly on verse 24 (Gen 9), is a big stretch. The Bible says explicitly that it was Ham in verse 22. When verse 24 subsequently says “When Noah…knew what his younger son had done to him”, it makes much more sense it was Ham in light of verse 22, plus Ham was a “younger son” of Noah. To me the whole thing fits if we trust the Hebrew figure of speech that uncovering your fathers nakedness (Lev 20:11) means Ham slept with his mother, and the result of this perverse union was Canaan.

Notice that Noah "knew what his younger son (=Canaan) had done to him" (and not "what he had done to Noah's wife" or anything) - But how could Noah possibly know what had been "done to him" if he had been as drunk and unconscious as is claimed?? I doubt if a modern court would accept his claim....


Here your own words convict your interpretation since you unwittingly admit your interpretation is a contradiction, which offers us further reason why it should be rejected. You are basically saying the Bible was wrong when it recorded that Noah knew what had been done to him (you “doubt if a modern court would accept his claim”). The Hebrew word “knew” according to Strong’s is “ascertain by seeing”. If the version I gave in this thread is correct, then this passage makes perfect sense, and it would *not* be rejected by a modern court. Noah awoke to find out, or “ascertained by seeing”, that his wife had been violated. This is as much a violation of Noah as it is his wife, as they are “one flesh” (Gen 2:24). If someone commits adultery with your wife, would you not take it as an offense against you? Would you not say, “look what this despicable person has done to ME”?

Pastor Enyart has since posted his article on this, that I believe covers the topic very well:

http://www.kgov.com/...naanCursed.html

Fred

#31 Christopher_John

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Posted 08 June 2006 - 05:36 AM

Fred,
This topic is pure speculation nothing more.

If the scriptures wanted the story to be known in this manner, it would have taught us in this manner, the same way it taught us about rampant incest but for Noah they were willing to "Tone it Down"?...please.

Also as when Adam "Knew" his wife...not too complicated, descriptive actions both before and after Noah's lifetime. Sorry if this comes off a little harsh but I think it takes quite a bit of force of the imagination to have come up this one. .now I can see how stories like The Davinci Code get there origins.

Peace
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#32 Fred Williams

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Posted 08 June 2006 - 05:03 PM

Fred,
This topic is pure speculation nothing more. 

If the scriptures wanted the story to be known in this manner, it would have taught us in this manner, the same way it taught us about rampant incest but for Noah they were willing to "Tone it Down"?...please.

Also as when Adam "Knew" his wife...not too complicated, descriptive actions both before and after Noah's lifetime.  Sorry if this comes off a little harsh but I think it takes quite a bit of force of the imagination to have come up this one.  .now I can see how stories like The Davinci Code get there origins.

Peace
CJ

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Your claim this is "pure speculation", and then comparing it to the DaVinci-style deception is nonsense. An example of “pure speculation” would a claim such as “Noah liked green tea”. The claim I posted in this thread is based on facts and common sense:

Fact 1: The man who lies with his father’s wife has uncovered his father’s nakedness…’ (Leviticus 20:11)

Fact 2: “Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father's nakedness and told his two brothers outside… When Noah awoke from his wine and found out what his youngest son had done to him, he said, "Cursed be Canaan!” - Gen 9

You are more than welcome to disagree with this and to continue believing that such a harsh curse was the result of Ham seeing his dad naked, which on the surface is a very bizarre reason to curse someone, as just about EVERYONE will attest to (every Christian I’ve ever talked have always been baffled by this passage, as I was). I believe it makes much more sense (and the confusion removed) that Ham would be cursed for sleeping with Noah’s wife, not for seeing Noah naked. We are given keys in the Bible (as the Bible often does, scripture interprets scripture) that gives us the true story of what happened here.

Furthermore, outside of the figure of speech used in Lev. 20, where did the Bible use direct words of ‘rampant incest’ in a negative connotation, as you claimed? I could only think of one (1 Cor 5). Yet I find many more uses of the figure of speech in Lev 20 where the context seems very clear (Lev. 18:10, 14, 17-18; 1 Sam. 20:30; Hab. 2:15; Ezek. 22:10-11.)

FYI, incest was not outlawed by God until long after the flood, likely when the genetic load of humans reached a point where incest became dangerous. All examples of incest before God outlawed it offer no indication that the practice was immoral in God’s eyes (it also explains how Cain got his wife).

Fred

#33 odinmagick

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Posted 12 August 2006 - 04:39 PM

Could Canaan have been Ham's child born from Noah's wife?

#34 Fred Williams

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Posted 13 August 2006 - 12:37 PM

Could Canaan have been Ham's child born from Noah's wife?

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Good question, I believe this to be the case. The text does allow for it, and it makes perfect sense. BTW, I do not think Noah put some hex on Canaan, he instead made an observation (and perhaps warning to others) that Canaan was set up to fail coming from such a perverse union, where he had a brother for a father and a grandmother for a mother, and a cousin for his father (among other strange connections). Arkansas suddenly comes to mind. :)

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#35 jay7

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Posted 08 October 2006 - 12:19 AM

More careful reading of our Bibles might help in preventing such misinterpretations as the above. Only Pastor Eynart got it partly right.

Ham was at no point cursed by God.

Gen 9:22 Ham, the father of Canaan....saw....and told...

and so was NOT CURSED because he had done nothing wrong.

ONLY Canaan was cursed by God (9:25). But Canaan was not even the eldest son of Ham, but the 4th. Ham also had other sons - so why were these not expressly cursed? - Why only Canaan?

The key is this sentence:

Gen 9:24: And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.


THANK YOU! I had been reading this entire thread and until you everyone was constantly misquoting scripture by saying that Ham was cursed when not a word was said against him!

I wrote a work on this subject some years ago and will post it here.

#36 jay7

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Posted 08 October 2006 - 12:37 AM

Genesis 9:22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.



Now, if Ham secretly had s@x with his own mom, he wouldnt go and tell his brothers about it right? "Hey guess what, I just had s@x with Mom!" I mean, either Ham is utterly retarded and SICK or we are blaming him for a S@xual crime he never committed.

See, it is written that Ham only saw the nakedness...someone else uncovered it. That's a BIG difference. Ham was the first to discover the crime!



Genesis 9:24 And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.


Heres the key. When this says "his younger son" we have to figure out what Noah meant. The word "younger" really means the youngest here.


Genesis 42:32 We be twelve brethren, sons of our father; one is not, and the youngest is this day with our father in the land of Canaan.

Anytime there are more than two, the word means the youngest else there would be no way to tell which was meant especially if the speaker is the father as all his children would be "younger" than he is.


Noahs youngest son is Japheth and Japheth didnt even see the nakedness but helped to cover it back up so it couldnt be him. The companion bible makes an error and says that Shem is the youngest but again he isnt guilty of anything either. And Ham is the middle son and was the one who first reported the "crime" so it wasnt him.

but what if Noah said "his younger son" and meant Hams youngest son? Or even his youngest grandson as the Hebrew makes no distinction between son and grandson.


Genesis 9:24 And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what HAMS YOUNGEST son had done unto him.

or it can be translated this way:

Genesis 9:24 And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his [youngest] [grand]son had done unto him.


Hams youngest son and Noahs youngest grandson is Canaan...the same Canaan we were told two strange times that ham was the father of!


Genesis 9:25 And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.


This is why Noah cursed Canaan and not Ham because Canaan was the guilty one!

Some think that Ham slept with his mother and she gave birth to Canaan and thats why Canaan was cursed but unless a woman can get pregnant and give birth in one night this couldnt be possible!

The uncovering just happened! If Canaan wasnt already a son of Ham then how would Noah even know Canaan's name to curse him, and why would we have been told twice that Ham was already the father of Canaan and again there is no way to even know if the mother got pregnant because its only been a very short time since it happened.

Some think the text is written out of order but that is not normally how scripture is presented to us from God. No, there is a simpler and more logical answer.


So it was Canaan who uncovered Noahs nakedness, and it was Ham that was the first to find out and SEE it. And when Noah awoke he cursed Hams youngest son Canaan. Note again that the nakedness was SEEN by Ham, not that Ham UNCOVERED the nakedness. That's a huge difference that is almost always overlooked.


Leviticus 18:7 The nakedness of thy father, or the nakedness of thy mother, shalt thou not uncover: she is thy mother; thou shalt not uncover her nakedness.
Leviticus 18:8 The nakedness of thy father's wife shalt thou not uncover: it is thy father's nakedness.

The sin is to UNCOVER it, not to SEE it after it was uncovered by someone else! Ham accidentally saw the nakedness...but he did not intentionally uncover and then see which is a crime in and of itself.


Genesis 9:21 And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.
Genesis 9:22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.



I think its fairly clear that Noah himself is the subject here and that he was drunk and it was HE that was uncovered. So, the nakedness of "his father" was actually his father and not his mother.



Personally I dont believe that Canaan had s@x with his mother. I believe he only uncovered the nakedness of his father, but possibly of his mother....and yes thats written to be a sin also...



Leviticus 20:17 And if a man shall take his sister, his father's daughter, or his mother's daughter, and see her nakedness, and she see his nakedness; it is a wicked thing; and they shall be cut off in the sight of their people: he hath uncovered his sister's nakedness; he shall bear his iniquity.


This would be a literal uncovering to inspect or look intently at the naked body. This is what I believe Canaan did.



If canaan was actually a result of an S@xual act, then he
would have only just been conceived in the womb and no one would even
know if she had become pregnant.

Furthermore, Noah curses someone by name, someone who supposedly is
barely a few hours alive in the womb and wont be born until 9 months
later.

1. So how would Noah even know his wife was actually pregnant?
2. pregnant with a boy and not a girl?
3. and how in the world would Noah already know the name of this child? :lol:


Hindsight in writing it years after? Sure, but that ruins the text and the flow of the story. No, it was written properly and in chronological and logical order with the proper clues for bible students to be able to figure out what happened, and who was guity.


Canaan actually had been alive for many years and wasnt a product of
any incest, and was the youngest child of Ham's wife.

There is another issue to consider:

Genesis 10:6
And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan.

Canaan is the last of Ham's four sons. In scripture, all children listed are from the same mother and if one is not then that child's mother would be named:

Gen 35:22-26
And it came to pass, when Israel dwelt in that land, that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father's concubine: and Israel heard [it]. Now the sons of Jacob were twelve: The sons of Leah; Reuben, Jacob's firstborn, and Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, and Issachar, and Zebulun: The sons of Rachel; Joseph, and Benjamin: And the sons of Bilhah, Rachel's handmaid; Dan, and Naphtali: And the sons of Zilpah, Leah's handmaid; Gad, and Asher: these [are] the sons of Jacob, which were born to him in Padanaram.

This is found throughout scripture. Another example:

Genesis 4:19-22
And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah. And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle. And his brother's name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ. And Zillah, she also bare Tubalcain, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubalcain was Naamah.


If Canaan truly was a product of incest with Noah's wife, then ALL of Ham's children MUST be also her children. Such a thing is not spoken of in scripture so it is safe to assume none of Ham's children are children of any woman except Ham's wife.

Even if the crime was incest, I do not believe any child came of it since that also is not written about in scripture.

#37 Fred Williams

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 03:08 PM

Hello Jay,

Thanks for your input on this, I believe your conclusion is plausible, but I doubt it is correct for the reasons given below:

Now, if Ham secretly had s@x with his own mom, he wouldnt go and tell his brothers about it right? "Hey guess what, I just had s@x with Mom!" I mean, either Ham is utterly retarded and SICK or we are blaming him for a S@xual crime he never committed.

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I disagree. Misery loves company, and it is quite common for people to brag to friends about their sins. In fact it’s common and well-documented in law enforcement that criminals often brag about their crimes to friends. Things never change under the sun, as this verse reminds us: “But these… utterly perish in their own corruption, and will receive the wages of unrighteousness, as those who count it pleasure to carouse in the daytime. They are spots and blemishes, carousing in their own deceptions while they feast with you, having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin, enticing unstable souls.” 2 Peter 2:12-14

Heres the key. When this says "his younger son" we have to figure out what Noah meant. The word "younger" really means the youngest here.

Genesis 42:32 We be twelve brethren, sons of our father; one is not, and the youngest is this day with our father in the land of Canaan.

Anytime there are more than two, the word means the youngest else there would be no way to tell which was meant especially if the speaker is the father as all his children would be "younger" than he is.


I think this particular point is possible, but why did Hebrew scholars translate the word to youngest in Genesis 42:32, and younger in Gen 9:24? Given this, it would seem Hebrew scholars would disagree that younger always equals youngest, as you claim (sine I'm not a Hebrew scholar I am not being dogmatic on this point).

You also said there would be no way to tell who was being referred to when “younger” is used. The Bible explicitly named who the younger one was - Ham!

what if Noah said "his younger son" and meant Hams youngest son? Or even his youngest grandson as the Hebrew makes no distinction between son and grandson.


This is not necessarily true. While you are correct that there isn’t a Hebrew word for grandson, it can be written something like “thy son’s son”. So why did Moses not use this method here for grandson? If your claim is correct it sure would have been the concise thing to do to prevent this disagreement.;) For example, “That thou mightest fear the LORD thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son's son” Deut 6:2 (also see Gen 11:31 and Judges 8:22).

Some think that Ham slept with his mother and she gave birth to Canaan and thats why Canaan was cursed but unless a woman can get pregnant and give birth in one night this couldnt be possible!


The text does not demand that the “curse” immediately follow the sin. It could easily have happened after Noah learned of the pregnancy just a few months later. If Canaan truly was the result of such an incestuous relationship, it would make sense that Canaan is “cursed” in the sense of having a grandmother for a mother, half-brother for a father, grandfather for an uncle, father for a cousin, etc.

why would we have been told twice that Ham was already the father of Canaan


It is indeed interesting that “Ham, the father of Canaan” is used several times in this passage! I think it makes as much (or more) sense that this relationship is illuminated because of the wicked connection between the two and to delineate it from Noah (who at that time some may have thought was the father since his wife bore Canaan).

Note again that the nakedness was SEEN by Ham, not that Ham UNCOVERED the nakedness. That's a huge difference that is almost always overlooked.


I do not believe you have made a case for these being separate, you are just speculating. :) It turns out scripture refutes your delineation:

"Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbor, Pressing him to your bottle, Even to make him drunk, That you may look on his nakedness!” Hab 2:15

Personally I dont believe that Canaan had s@x with his mother. I believe he only uncovered the nakedness of his father, but possibly of his mother....and yes thats written to be a sin also...

Leviticus 20:17 And if a man shall take his sister, his father's daughter, or his mother's daughter, and see her nakedness, and she see his nakedness; it is a wicked thing; and they shall be cut off in the sight of their people: he hath uncovered his sister's nakedness; he shall bear his iniquity.


You are not giving the full context of this passage, since “uncovering nakedness” is defined both pre-passage and post passage:

Lev 20:11 The man who lies with his father's wife has uncovered his father's nakedness;

Lev 20:20-21: If a man lies with his uncle's wife, he has uncovered his uncle's nakedness. They shall bear their sin; they shall die childless. If a man takes his brother's wife, it is an unclean thing. He has uncovered his brother's nakedness. They shall be childless.


Canaan is the last of Ham's four sons. In scripture, all children listed are from the same mother and if one is not then that child's mother would be named. … If Canaan truly was a product of incest with Noah's wife, then ALL of Ham's children MUST be also her children.


Please do not take offense, but this was not a valid argument at all and is a logical fallacy. How could you possibly know that the child's mother would always be named in scripture? Finding examples where the mother is named is not proof that this is a rigid rule. Aside from this logical fallacy, your case is weak even if we just do a search on the word ‘begot’, and consider all the genealogies that seldom mention the mother. We would have to assume all of those offspring are from the same mother, which would be an incredible stretch given the propensity for men to have multiple wives or “concubines”.

In summary, your position is no different than the traditional view, in that it doesn’t address the very reason vast numbers of believers and unbelievers alike find this passage bizarre and troubling – why such a harsh curse merely for seeing someone naked, even if gazing on them (which I admit is a sin if done lustfully)? We all have the law of the Lord written on our hearts, and our hearts rightly tell all of us that gazing on nakedness is not worthy of a harsh curse, while incest/adultery certainly would be. Just ask anyone, without mentioning the Bible, if it makes more sense for someone to be harshly cursed for gazing on a naked body, or for committing insest/adultery? Virtually everyone will tell you the later.

If Canaan is the product of Ham sleeping with his mother, this passage is no longer bizarre and troubling for believers and unbelievers alike. It is no longer inconsistent with the law on our hearts, nor with God’s holy attributes. Coupled with a Jewish figure of speech unlocked for us in Leviticus 20:11, it also matches scripture. Finally, as Pastor Enyart noted: “…readers of Genesis find a clear and reasonable origin for the conflict that lasted for centuries between the Jews and the Canaanites.”

Fred

#38 jay7

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 07:54 PM

I disagree. Misery loves company, and it is quite common for people to brag to friends about their sins. In fact it’s common and well-documented in law enforcement that criminals often brag about their crimes to friends.


And would you still agree that a criminal would go to his brothers and brag about just raping their mother or father? Criminals only brag about crimes to people who wouldn't have a personal interest in the victim.

I think this particular point is possible, but why did Hebrew scholars translate the word to youngest in Genesis 42:32, and younger in Gen 9:24? Given this, it would seem Hebrew scholars would disagree that younger always equals youngest, as you claim (sine I'm not a Hebrew scholar I am not being dogmatic on this point).



From what I gleaned speaking to scholars and students of Hebrew is that there is no difference between younger or youngest so its up to the translator to guess or go by context. Perhaps they didn't know for sure so used younger rather than youngest. All Noah's sons were younger than he was so that's a pretty safe translation.


You also said there would be no way to tell who was being referred to when “younger” is used. The Bible explicitly named who the younger one was - Ham!


No, it doesn't say Ham. It doesn't say anyone's name as who the "younger son" is, but the one named in the curse is Canaan so he is the most likely one.


Genesis 9:24 And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.
Genesis 9:25 And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.



QUOTE
what if Noah said "his younger son" and meant Hams youngest son? Or even his youngest grandson as the Hebrew makes no distinction between son and grandson.


This is not necessarily true. While you are correct that there isn’t a Hebrew word for grandson, it can be written something like “thy son’s son”.


Except Noah wasn't speaking to anyone directly so that wording couldn't be used.


So why did Moses not use this method here for grandson? If your claim is correct it sure would have been the concise thing to do to prevent this disagreement. For example, “That thou mightest fear the LORD thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son's son” Deut 6:2 (also see Gen 11:31 and Judges 8:22).



Again, God is talking to someone here but in verse 9:24 it is the narrator speaking.


QUOTE
Some think that Ham slept with his mother and she gave birth to Canaan and thats why Canaan was cursed but unless a woman can get pregnant and give birth in one night this couldnt be possible!


The text does not demand that the “curse” immediately follow the sin. It could easily have happened after Noah learned of the pregnancy just a few months later. If Canaan truly was the result of such an incestuous relationship, it would make sense that Canaan is “cursed” in the sense of having a grandmother for a mother, half-brother for a father, grandfather for an uncle, father for a cousin, etc.


It's a great stretch where there is no reason to do so. If Ham were guilty of anything he would have been spoken to, cursed or something, anything yet not a thing at all is said concerning any guilt of any crime. He see's Noahs nakedness, he goes and tells his brothers and they cover him up and Noah wakes up and knows that his younger son (either Ham's or his own younger/youngest son or grandson) had committed a crime and he curses someone by name. I believe we assume Canaan is the one guilty and work backwards from that to know what happened.



QUOTE
Note again that the nakedness was SEEN by Ham, not that Ham UNCOVERED the nakedness. That's a huge difference that is almost always overlooked.


I do not believe you have made a case for these being separate, you are just speculating. It turns out scripture refutes your delineation:

"Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbor, Pressing him to your bottle, Even to make him drunk, That you may look on his nakedness!” Hab 2:15


I don't see how that refutes me. Noah's nakedness was uncovered, whatever that may be, but we are only told Ham saw the nakedness. That doesn't tell us who did the uncovering.

If I see someone getting raped and I go tell two people what I saw, that doesn't equal that I was the rapist but that is exactly what is being done to Ham.


Leviticus 20:17 And if a man shall take his sister, his father's daughter, or his mother's daughter, and see her nakedness, and she see his nakedness; it is a wicked thing; and they shall be cut off in the sight of their people: he hath uncovered his sister's nakedness; he shall bear his iniquity.


You are not giving the full context of this passage, since “uncovering nakedness” is defined both pre-passage and post passage:

Lev 20:11 The man who lies with his father's wife has uncovered his father's nakedness;

Lev 20:20-21: If a man lies with his uncle's wife, he has uncovered his uncle's nakedness. They shall bear their sin; they shall die childless. If a man takes his brother's wife, it is an unclean thing. He has uncovered his brother's nakedness. They shall be childless.


I believe verse 17 is describing a sinful act that does not involve s@x. I know of nowhere where "seeing nakedness" means having s@x. I know "knowing" and "laying" with a woman is s@x.






QUOTE
Canaan is the last of Ham's four sons. In scripture, all children listed are from the same mother and if one is not then that child's mother would be named. … If Canaan truly was a product of incest with Noah's wife, then ALL of Ham's children MUST be also her children.



Please do not take offense, but this was not a valid argument at all and is a logical fallacy. How could you possibly know that the child's mother would always be named in scripture? Finding examples where the mother is named is not proof that this is a rigid rule. Aside from this logical fallacy, your case is weak even if we just do a search on the word ‘begot’, and consider all the genealogies that seldom mention the mother. We would have to assume all of those offspring are from the same mother, which would be an incredible stretch given the propensity for men to have multiple wives or “concubines”.


Find me an example that lists children of a man where they have different mothers but does not state it and I will consider that. In my experience when children are listed they all have the same mother and if they don't it is stated.



In summary, your position is no different than the traditional view, in that it doesn’t address the very reason vast numbers of believers and unbelievers alike find this passage bizarre and troubling – why such a harsh curse merely for seeing someone naked, even if gazing on them (which I admit is a sin if done lustfully)?


The curse is harsh no matter what crime was committed. An entire family of peoples for generations were cursed for one man's actions. It is whom the guilty party is that is important and in question. I see only evidence that Canaan was guilty and nothing that Ham was.


If Canaan is the product of Ham sleeping with his mother, this passage is no longer bizarre and troubling for believers and unbelievers alike. It is no longer inconsistent with the law on our hearts, nor with God’s holy attributes. Coupled with a Jewish figure of speech unlocked for us in Leviticus 20:11, it also matches scripture. Finally, as Pastor Enyart noted: “…readers of Genesis find a clear and reasonable origin for the conflict that lasted for centuries between the Jews and the Canaanites.”


Your focus is on the wrong thing. It doesn't matter to me what the crime was. I believe it was seeing, but it could have been rape/incest. The issue is who did it.


"If Canaan slept with his mother, the passage of Noah cursing Canaan and not Ham is no longer bizarre and troubling for believers and unbelievers alike. "

That's how I would have worded it.

#39 Fred Williams

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Posted 12 October 2006 - 05:15 PM

And would you still agree that a criminal would go to his brothers and brag about just raping their mother or father? Criminals only brag about crimes to people who wouldn't have a personal interest in the victim.

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Yes, this really would not be surprising. Don’t forget the world they lived in before the flood! It was chalked full of all kinds of sin. The Bible (and secular history) is full of examples of such wickedness. Though the specific passage doesn’t indicate this, I would not be surprised if Ham didn’t try to get them to join in his sin. “…having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin, enticing unstable souls.” 2 Peter 2:12-14 The end of Romans also comes to mind: “…knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.” Rom 1:32

From what I gleaned speaking to scholars and students of Hebrew is that there is no difference between younger or youngest so its up to the translator to guess or go by context. Perhaps they didn't know for sure so used younger rather than youngest. All Noah's sons were younger than he was so that's a pretty safe translation.


I think you have just granted me the point. ;) That is, you now apparently agree younger does not necessarily equal youngest.

No, it doesn't say Ham. 


But it does say Ham: “And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside.” Gen 9:22

I realize you are referring to your interpretation of the verse in 9:24, I just happen to disagree that all the sudden the context switches gears and Noah is referring to someone other than Ham. I think it’s a stretch, and it renders Lev 17:11 almost worthless. You have to admit you are reading something out of the text that isn’t plainly present. The interpretation that Ham is the subject is the plain interpretation.

This is not necessarily true. While you are correct that there isn’t a Hebrew word for grandson, it can be written something like “thy son’s son”.


Except Noah wasn't speaking to anyone directly so that wording couldn't be used.


It doesn’t matter if he is speaking to someone directly, it could have been worded “the youngest son’s son”.

"Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbor, Pressing him to your bottle, Even to make him drunk, That you may look on his nakedness!” Hab 2:15


I don't see how that refutes me. Noah's nakedness was uncovered, whatever that may be, but we are only told Ham saw the nakedness. That doesn't tell us who did the uncovering.


OK, I didn’t think I was very clear on this. You claimed there was a huge difference between UNCOVERING and SEEING, the Hab 2:15 verse argues against this.

I believe verse 17 is describing a sinful act that does not involve s@x.


Two problems with this: 1) If your interpretation is correct, why does God bother to explain the idiom that sleeping with someone is uncovering their spouse’s nakedness, both before and after this verse? 2) In verse 17 the action verb “take” is used, how do you explain this? How can you “take” someone to see them naked? I believe the context is clear, with support from Hab 2:15, that uncovering and seeing a nakedness are one and the same thing – sleeping with the person and/or the person’s spouse. Remember when we marry we become “one flesh” (Gen 2:24, Matt 19:5).

Find me an example that lists children of a man where they have different mothers but does not state it and I will consider that.


I think you missed my point why your claim is a logical fallacy. Let me try this:

Gen 10:15-18 Canaan begot Sidon his firstborn, and Heth; the Jebusite, the Amorite, and the Girgashite; the Hivite, the Arkite, and the Sinite; the Arvadite, the Zemarite, and the Hamathite.

Gen 10:26-29 Joktan begot Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, Obal, Abimael, Sheba, Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab. All these were the sons of Joktan .


No indication is given that any of these children had a different mother. However, it doesn’t mean they didn’t. Given the nature of Canaan, I’d be surprised if all his children were from the same wife, but like your example I cannot prove this. However, if I said it proves they had only one mother, this would be no different than your fallacy. So the fallacy is this - because you found a few passages where the mother is listed, you claim this is the hard rule and not the exception, with really no basis to make this claim. It’s called a hasty generalization.

Your focus is on the wrong thing. It doesn't matter to me what the crime was. I believe it was seeing, but it could have been rape/incest. The issue is who did it.


I’m focusing on both your claims. It should matter to you what the crime is, because if it was merely seeing, this would seem to contradict God’s Holy Justice, eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, etc. That is, the curse would not match the crime in the eyes of believers and unbelievers alike, so the crime is important, very important.

I have also focused on who did the crime. Again, I think your scenario is plausible (that Canaan committed the incest), I just think Ham as the culprit fits better with the scripture, since the scripture explicitly calls out Ham as the one who did the “uncovering” of the nakedness that Lev 17:11 clearly defines as sleeping with one’s wife. If you reject Ham as the culprit, how do you explain Lev 17:11? Is this idiom sometimes referring to actual uncovering, and other times referring to s@x?

This is a good discussion Jay, thanks.

Fred
PS. Note that the forum software limits each post to 10 quote boxes, that is why your earlier post did not format correctly.

#40 jay7

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Posted 14 October 2006 - 01:27 AM

Yes, this really would not be surprising. Don’t forget the world they lived in before the flood! It was chalked full of all kinds of sin.


Yeah well I very much doubt that is the case with Ham.


The Bible (and secular history) is full of examples of such wickedness. Though the specific passage doesn’t indicate this, I would not be surprised if Ham didn’t try to get them to join in his sin. “…having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin, enticing unstable souls.” 2 Peter 2:12-14 The end of Romans also comes to mind: “…knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.” Rom 1:32


If this were true Ham would be clearly shown described in various guilty acts throughout his life but scripture is silent regarding this.


QUOTE
From what I gleaned speaking to scholars and students of Hebrew is that there is no difference between younger or youngest so its up to the translator to guess or go by context. Perhaps they didn't know for sure so used younger rather than youngest. All Noah's sons were younger than he was so that's a pretty safe translation.


I think you have just granted me the point. That is, you now apparently agree younger does not necessarily equal youngest.


My only intent is to prove that younger can be translated as youngest as well as son as grandson. In the case of a man speaking of his "younger son" it doesn't make much sense to say younger because all of a man's sons are younger than he is so in this case the meaning of "youngest" would be more appropriate. Therefore it most likely is "youngest".




QUOTE
No, it doesn't say Ham.


But it does say Ham: “And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside.” Gen 9:22

I realize you are referring to your interpretation of the verse in 9:24, I just happen to disagree that all the sudden the context switches gears and Noah is referring to someone other than Ham.


No interpretation is needed. Ham is identified as being the one who saw Noah's nakedness and it is Canaan which is cursed as being the one who had done something against Noah that Noah found out about. Nothing at all is said about the sin known as "uncovering nakedness" so that being a part of this incident is pure speculation.

Now if it read "And Ham, the father of Canaan, UNCOVERED the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside." Then I'd agree fully that Ham was the guilty party, and guilty of rape/incest and that Canaan was not involved directly but that simply isn't what the Word says.

A court of law would convict Canaan not Ham and they would be just in it.



I think it’s a stretch, and it renders Lev 17:11 almost worthless. You have to admit you are reading something out of the text that isn’t plainly present. The interpretation that Ham is the subject is the plain interpretation.



Ham isn't the subject in verse 24, Canaan is.


OK, I didn’t think I was very clear on this. You claimed there was a huge difference between UNCOVERING and SEEING, the Hab 2:15 verse argues against this.


15 Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness!


There is a huge difference between looking at someone naked and raping them. If you can prove that seeing someone's nakedness and uncovering their nakedness (rape/s@x/incest) is the same exact thing then I'll concede but so far seeing and uncovering are two different things.





QUOTE
I believe verse 17 is describing a sinful act that does not involve s@x.


Two problems with this: 1) If your interpretation is correct, why does God bother to explain the idiom that sleeping with someone is uncovering their spouse’s nakedness, both before and after this verse?


To explain it. Being sandwiched between the two does not equal that the seeing is the same act.



2) In verse 17 the action verb “take” is used, how do you explain this?


There is nothing to explain.

15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.


The same verb is used here. Are you trying to imply the verb has sinister implications?



How can you “take” someone to see them naked?


Uh, how about to a private room? Or how about using force against their will?



I think you missed my point why your claim is a logical fallacy. Let me try this:

Gen 10:15-18 Canaan begot Sidon his firstborn, and Heth; the Jebusite, the Amorite, and the Girgashite; the Hivite, the Arkite, and the Sinite; the Arvadite, the Zemarite, and the Hamathite.

Gen 10:26-29 Joktan begot Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, Obal, Abimael, Sheba, Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab. All these were the sons of Joktan .

No indication is given that any of these children had a different mother. However, it doesn’t mean they didn’t. Given the nature of Canaan, I’d be surprised if all his children were from the same wife, but like your example I cannot prove this.


Then my claim stands until it is disproven. :)


I’m focusing on both your claims. It should matter to you what the crime is, because if it was merely seeing, this would seem to contradict God’s Holy Justice, eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, etc. That is, the curse would not match the crime in the eyes of believers and unbelievers alike, so the crime is important, very important.


Even rape does not deserve the cursing of an entire lineage of people. I believe I said that already. The curse does not match the crime no matter what the crime is.



I have also focused on who did the crime. Again, I think your scenario is plausible (that Canaan committed the incest), I just think Ham as the culprit fits better with the scripture, since the scripture explicitly calls out Ham as the one who did the “uncovering” of the nakedness that Lev 17:11 clearly defines as sleeping with one’s wife.


You cannot say that scripture names Ham as being the one who uncovered Noah...It does not say that.



If you reject Ham as the culprit, how do you explain Lev 17:11? Is this idiom sometimes referring to actual uncovering, and other times referring to s@x?



It only is about seeing someone's nakedness literally. It is sinful to look at someone's nakedness and allow them to see yours unless you are married.



This is a good discussion Jay, thanks.


Thanks. I appreciate your mature participation and I consider everything you say.


Fred
PS. Note that the forum software limits each post to 10 quote boxes, that is why your earlier post did not format correctly.


Can you change that?




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