Noah and the Cursing of Canaan
There is much comment on this event from Scripture (Gen. 9:25-26), which remains confusing if the comments do not take literally what is actually said.
V25: (AV), And he said (Noah) “Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren”. V26, And he said, “Blessed be Jehovah, Elohim of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant”.
Comment on various interpretations.
Two of the most common are that Ham had a sexual relationship with his mother, or that he had homosexually assaulted his father, Noah!
It is conjectured in the first that Canaan was the incestuous child of Ham and his mother, and hinges on the wording “father’s nakedness” and the reasoning behind that thinking is the Leviticus 20:11 statute, which condemns both to death! That clearly did not happen in Gen. 9, and almost certainly did not apply in a Dispensational context, as the Lev. statutes were given nearly 1000 years later, after Abram/Abraham had been called, and established through Jacob/Israel! A further strong argument against this interpretation, is in Gen. 9:24, where Noah “knew what his younger son had done to him”; not to his wife!
The second theory, that of homosexual assault, is probably nearer to truth; but again does not conform to the actual words used in Scripture; but leans towards the major sin of the Nephilim according to what evidence is available! Scripture in various places describes the practices of the Nephilim as so gross, as to prohibit Israel’s mixing with them when they entered the Promised Land under Joshua; but the more important point re. Jehovah’s prohibition, was to preclude the possibility of the contamination of the Messiah seed line from Adam! As is well known from the Old Testament (OT), the Nephilim very nearly succeeded in that endeavour; and only Holy Spirit and angelic help with men and women of goodwill to Jehovah, thwarted the effort!
This leads to the main point, in the opinions of the writers! It is evident throughout Scripture that men and women of “goodwill” towards Almighty God are sought by Him, to understand His Will and Purpose! Noah and his family were the only ones saved from the Flood of God, and God’s Covenant was confirmed in Noah by God (Gen. 9:9). It is undoubtedly the case that Noah was highly regarded by God (Gen. 7:1), and that his future duty together with his (Tamim) family was to “replenish the earth” (Gen. 9:1). God also blessed Noah’s sons (Gen. 9:1), which was of the highest order of privilege and honour! What marks Satan’s/Nephilim’s character and behaviour is contempt for God, and God’s Will and Purpose; which, marked Ham’s attitude and behaviour in Gen. 9:22-24, and was by the freewill of Ham; and in so doing drew the wrath of Noah’s curse! That very act, and lack of respect, opened the door for Satanic infiltration, which was realised in the “land of Canaan” and the Nephilim infiltration of the Tribes!
It is important to realise that Ham and his brothers, Japheth and Shem, together with their wives, had been pronounced “perfect in his generations”. In Gen. 6:9! The word “perfect” is Hebrew Tamim, which means (“without blemish as to breed or pedigree”, Companion Bible); which refers to the line of Adam, and the promise of Gen. 3:15 and the “seed of the woman”. This “seed” is none other than that which Mary the wife of Joseph was to produce Jesus Messiah, after the events of Matt. 1:18-25! All actions in freewill which jeopardise God’s Plans and Purposes allow Satanic infiltration, which Ham was guilty of! This is the same principle of "freewill"; which Satan had/has; and produced his downfall from "cherub that covereth" to that of "adversary", against God:
At that time, the major purpose of God was to establish to Himself “a special” (peculiar) people, from whom He could further His Plan of Redemption of Adam’s failure. In the great battle between God and Satan, the Major stage has been reached in Christ Jesus and His Sacrificial Death; which is irreversible! Ham’s was a weak point, which caused great suffering to Israel, as the Nephilim plague slowed their progression towards God’s Planned Salvation!
Noah’s sin of excess (drinking too much wine), being in a state of exposure, drew his younger son Ham into derision and dishonour of him, and opened up an avenue of attack from Satan! Japheth and Shem honoured their father in not deriding him, and restoring his dignity! This must be understood in the context of the time, and Noah’s elevated position in the Eyes of God, carrying God’s Covenants in his person and line, as the most senior and blessed person of 8 only; tasked to replenish the earth and progress God’s Purposes!
Ham’s actions drew from Noah the curse of his genetic line, Canaan being Noah’s first grandson of Ham. The fallen angels of Gen. 6:4, who tried to repeat their success prior to the flood, had to have a human host for their seed. At that early stage post flood of Ham's sin, the gate was opened to them, which is underlined by the very respectful way his brothers covered their father! Noah, as the exclusive "patriarch", was in the position of propagator, priest and prophet in God's stead at that time on earth. As prophet; he uttered God's words for present and future; and the prophecy of the Nephilim's arrival through Ham's seed "Canaanites" drawn from Noah, were in the mode and method used by Jehovah God in the Old Testament, which is seen later in the prophecies of Moses, Jacob, Isaac, etc.; which all related to the 12 tribes of Israel in the near and for the future!
There is often comment against the cursing of Canaan instead of Ham, as being unfair including the writers. However, the fact is that the grandson himself may not have been doomed but his seed much later. God also wanted to underline His standards of behaviour at that very early stage, as the rib taken from Adam was to produce a woman, not a man!
At the same time Noah said “blessed be the Jehovah Elohim of Shem”. From Shem’s genetic line came “the seed of the woman” Mary the mother of Jesus!