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What do you think about the Curse of Ham/Canaan?

The Curse of Ham (also called the curse of Canaan) refers to a story in the Book of Genesis 9:20-27 in which Ham's father Noah places a curse upon Ham's son Canaan, after Ham "saw his father's nakedness" because of drunkenness in Noah's tent.

Some Biblical scholars see the "curse of Canaan" story as an early Hebrew rationalization for Israel's conquest and enslavement of the Canaanites, who were presumed to descend from Canaan.

The "curse of Ham" had been used by some members of Abrahamic religions to justify racism and the enslavement of people of Black African ancestry, who were believed to be descendants of Ham. They were often called Hamites and were believed to have descended through Canaan or his older brothers. Proponents of slavery in the US increasingly invoked the 'curse of Ham' in the US during the 19th century, as a response to the growing abolitionist movement.

Tell me what you think


Asked by Lucky209 at 2:48 PM on Mar. 9, 2011 in Religion & Beliefs

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This question is closed.
Answers (4)
  • That curse was broken the day Jesus died on the Cross. That is what I think about it. :-)

    Answer by Shaneagle777 at 8:17 PM on Mar. 9, 2011

  • I think that racist bigots used a Bible story to justify their actions. It doesn't make it ok. You can't take one thing out of the Bible, and completely ignore the rest where it speaks against racism and prejudice. Sad.

    Answer by KennsWifey at 3:13 PM on Mar. 9, 2011

  • I think when I realized that the descendants of Ham settled in Africa is was sort of ironic. It's still not enough to tell me that slavery was okay.


    Answer by scout_mom at 2:50 PM on Mar. 9, 2011

  • For one thing, Canaan's descendants were not black. I don't know where they got that from. I think they misinterpreted the verse. This prophecy of Noah was conditional for all concerned. Any descendants of Canaan who turned to God would also receive the blessings bestowed on Shem, while any descendants of Shem and Japheth who departed from God would experience the curse bestowed on Canaan.  As the Hebrews stood on the banks of the Jordan River about to enter the land of Canaan, they would have been encouraged by this verse because it promised victory over the Canaanites.


    Answer by popzaroo at 12:07 AM on Mar. 10, 2011