Thursday, February 14, 2008
Are Black People Cursed?
THE MYTHICAL 'CURSE OF HAM' AND THE ACTUAL CURSE OF CANAAN
It is often claimed that the black race resulted from a curse that Noah placed on his son Ham because Noah became drunk with wine and Ham "looked upon his father's nakedness." Some scholars interpret this as a euphemism and believe that Ham had homosexual intercourse with his father; others believe the reason for the curse was the disgrace Ham caused by telling others. The claim is that the curse turned Ham black on the spot. In any event, Genesis 9:25-27 records that in fact Noah cursed Ham's youngest son, Canaan, not Ham:  he said, "Cursed be Canaan! The lowest of slaves will he be to his brothers."  He also said, "Blessed be the LORD, the God of Shem! May Canaan be the slave of Shem.  May God extend the territory of Japheth; may Japheth live in the tents of Shem, and may Canaan be his slave."
Canaan's descendants founded Sidon and, among others, were the ancestors of the Jebusites, Amorites, Girgashites, Hivites, Arkites, Sinites, Arvadites, Zemarites and Hamathites. There is ample historical evidence that indeed they were cursed with moral depravity including temple prostitutes and human sacrifice. One scholar, Lenormant, said of the Canaanite religion: "No other people ever rivaled them in the mixture of bloodshed and debauchery with which they thought to honor the Deity." (per Summary of Near Eastern History, cited below.)
Shem's descendants became the Semitic peoples who settled parts of the Arabian Peninsula, including what is now Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Jordan, Israel, and Lebanon. They were of a generally medium-brown complexion with facial features roughly mid-way between typical negro and typical Caucasian and the languages they spoke included Arabic, Hebrew, and Aramaic, Jesus' native language.
It is important to realize that in Old Testament times Egyptians were black, not Arab. Arabs first conquered Egypt when Moslems invaded Egypt shortly after the death of Mohammed.