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Ham’s sin

Discussion in 'Bibliology & Hermeneutics' started by mathinspiration, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. mathinspiration

    mathinspiration Member

    What was Ham’s sin against his father and why was Caanan cursed because of it?
  2. Sketcher

    Sketcher Born Imperishable

    Ham dishonored his father by reveling in and spreading his shame rather than rushing to cover it. Canaan was cursed because God had already blessed Ham when the covenant with Noah was made, so Noah had no power to curse him.
  3. R. Hartono

    R. Hartono Member

    That boy humiliate his father's nakedness.
  4. Tolworth John

    Tolworth John Well-Known Member

    He did nothing except tell his brothers.

    He could have covered up his Father and kept quiet, but he didn't.
  5. Tolworth John

    Tolworth John Well-Known Member

    To us this seems a little thing, but it is an important thing to God.
    We need to learn that there are NO little sins.

    They will cause one to deserve hell, that is any one on its own.
  6. dayhiker

    dayhiker Mature veteran

    In Relationship
    I've come across 5 interpretations of this passage about Noah in Gen.

    Here is the one I like best:
    Ham has sex with his mother. Canaan is the result.

    Canaan is therefore illegitament. This is why Noah curses him.

    Sex with a man’s wife is often an attack on the husband and is a move to shame the husband for not being able to protect his wife. He losses face and he forfeits the authority he has in his family.

    Modern scholars know that the Canaanite pantheon is among the most sexually violent of pagan myths.

    Your opinion here on Noah's nakedness is actually out of step with most of Christian scholarship. Most theologians, whether nudist or anti-nudist, would not see this passage as coming anywhere near a 'refutation' of social nudity. Here is a good summary of an alternative take on Genesis 9, by a Christian commentator:

    John Bergsma and Scott Hahn offer a compelling defense of a "maternal incest" view of the story of Noah's nakedness in Genesis 9 (JBL 124:1). They reject a "voyeurist" interpretation of the story. They find more to recommend a "paternal incest" view of the story, pointing to the parallels between Gen 9 and Gen 19 (incest of Lot and daughters); the sexual connotations of "uncover" and "nakedness" elsewhere in the OT; the sexual associations of wine and vineyard (including in Gen 19). Ultimately, they reject the paternal incest view (ie, that Ham sodomized his father) for a maternal incest view (ie, that Ham had sex with his mother). Their reasons are as follows:

    1) The language of "uncover nakedness" is not used in Leviticus to describe homosexual incest but heterosexual incest.

    2) Specifically, the "nakedness of the father" is identified with the "nakedness of your mother" (Lev 18:7-8).

    3) If this is about Ham's incestuous sex with his mother, the emphasis on Canaan comes clear. Canaan is, on this interpretation, the product of the incestuous union, as Moab and Ammon are the product of Lot and his daughters. That is why Canaan is cursed, and why the text consistently identifies Ham as the "father of Canaan." They suggest that the narrative has been compressed, and that the curse was actually pronounced at Canaan's birth rather that immediately after the incest. If the incest was homosexual, it is difficult to explain how the curse would be placed on a son.

    4) The maternal incest interpretation better shows the connections of Gen 9 with Gen 6, 19, Lev 18 and 20, Dt 23:1, 27:30, not to mention the maternal incest of Reuben. Genesis shows that the chief enemies of Israel - Canaan, Moab, Ammon - are all of questionable heritage.

    5) This interpretation preserves the idea (articulated by Jim Jordan among others) that the story is about an attempted seizure of Noah's authority. Bergsma and Hahn quote a 1971 article from FW Basset: "A son who has sexual relations with his mother or step-mother commits a rebellious act against his father, since the possession of a man's wife is seen also as an effort to supplant the man himself." They note the connection with Absalom, Reuben, David's taking Saul's wives, Adonijah's attempt to have Abishag.

    6) They suggest that "the tent" in v 21 "appears to have the feminine possessive suffix," though "the MT points the word according to the qere," ie, as "his tent." Thus, one might read the text as saying that Noah entered "her tent," the tent of Mrs Noah.

    Their final reconstruction: Noah "becomes drunk"; this is disputed by Jordan, and there's no reason to make this a part of the story. He goes into his wife's tent and removes his robe to have sex with his wife, but "is incapacitated by his drunkenness" - again, not necessary to the story; Noah could well have had a vigorous roll before he fell asleep. The rest of the reconstruction is plausible: "Ham enters and 'sees his father's nakednness,' that is, engages in relations with his father's wife (v. 22a). He exits and informs his brothers of his grasp at familial power (v. 22b), perhaps producing an article of clothing as proof of his claim. The brothers, in turn, act with excessive filial deference and piety in returning 'the garment' . . . to their humiliated father, avoiding not only the figurative 'seeing of his father's nakedness' (i.e., maternal incest) but the literal as well. In the aftermath of the event, Noah curses the product of Ham's illicit union, namely, Canaan, and blesses Shem and Japheth for their piety" (pp. 38-39).

    The value of this interpretation is several fold: It brings Gen 9 into conformity with other passages that employ the "uncover nakedness" language. It preserves the fact that Ham assaults Noah's authority. It links up with a recurring theme of Gen. - the patriarch who escapes a judgment (Noah, Lot, Jacob?) finds himself under assault from his son. It helps to explain the curse on Canaan; it links together Canaanite, Moabite, and Ammonite in their origins, thus explaining the links between these peoples later in biblical history.[/quote]
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  7. Sketcher

    Sketcher Born Imperishable

    Eh, I think that one's a bit of a reach. Nowhere does it explicitly say that Ham had sex with his mother. His mother would had to have been pregnant for 9 or so months, and Canaan would have had to have been thought to have been Noah's until the truth came out about Ham, which isn't in the story. While God wouldn't have been fooled, Canaan would have been assembled with Noah's sons in Gen 9:8-10, and thought to have received the blessing of God at the time. If he was conceived before the Flood, why would Ham and his mother have even been included on the Ark in the first place? What's more, why would Ham have done such a thing when he took his wife with him (Gen 7:13)?

    To me, it makes more sense that Ham and his wife had Canaan together, and Canaan was born by the time Noah had cursed him. And then Ham had other sons and daughters who were not cursed.