The Curse of Canaan – Darker Than You Think.

So, I’ve recently started Bible journaling, and I have found it to be really fun! And it’s a great opportunity to delve deeper into topics and then create a cool, illustrative spread about it in my journal.

Currently, since I’m studying Deutoronomy, I decided that I wanted to do a study on the Land of Canaan, and why that land in particular was the chosen Promised Land for Israel. But ya’ll…

The Holy Spirit had quite the adventure laid ahead for me!

For the sake of time lol, I’m just going to give my personal revelations and interpretations I’ve gotten in regards to the infamous “Curse of Canaan”.

We all know the story. Noah got beside himself with some wine, his son Ham saw his nakedness, laughed, and told his brothers about it.

Rightly so, Noah didn’t find a thing funny about it and cursed…. Canaan? Ham’s youngest son? But…. why?

Ya’ll….

It’s much darker than you think.

Let’s start off with the passage in question now shall we?

18 And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan.

19 These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread.

20 And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard:

21 And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.

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

23 And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness.

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

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

26 And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.

27 God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.

Genesis 9:18-27

Ok, so initially, my first thing was to really understand what it meant by “uncovered his father’s nakedness”.

Searching for this similar wording in the Bible, I stumbled into Leviticus 18… pretty much the ENTIRE CHAPTER is dedicated to discussing God’s displeasure with sexual sin and especially INCEST.

None of you shall approach to any that is near of kin to him, to uncover their nakedness: I am the Lord.

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.

The nakedness of thy father’s wife shalt thou not uncover: it is thy father’s nakedness.

The nakedness of thy sister, the daughter of thy father, or daughter of thy mother, whether she be born at home, or born abroad, even their nakedness thou shalt not uncover.

10 The nakedness of thy son’s daughter, or of thy daughter’s daughter, even their nakedness thou shalt not uncover: for theirs is thine own nakedness.

11 The nakedness of thy father’s wife’s daughter, begotten of thy father, she is thy sister, thou shalt not uncover her nakedness.

12 Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy father’s sister: she is thy father’s near kinswoman.

13 Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy mother’s sister: for she is thy mother’s near kinswoman.

14 Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy father’s brother, thou shalt not approach to his wife: she is thine aunt.

15 Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy daughter in law: she is thy son’s wife; thou shalt not uncover her nakedness.

16 Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy brother’s wife: it is thy brother’s nakedness.

17 Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of a woman and her daughter, neither shalt thou take her son’s daughter, or her daughter’s daughter, to uncover her nakedness; for they are her near kinswomen: it is wickedness.

18 Neither shalt thou take a wife to her sister, to vex her, to uncover her nakedness, beside the other in her life time.

19 Also thou shalt not approach unto a woman to uncover her nakedness, as long as she is put apart for her uncleanness.

Leviticus 18:6-19

There are also other scriptures in the Bible including Leviticus 20:11, 17-21, Ezekiel 22:10, and even the Apostle Paul referenced a disdain for incest in the New Testament in 1 Corinthians 5:1-6.

So around this time, I came to the conclusion that ok… Canaan had to have committed some kind of sexual sin with a family member. And this had to be WHY Noah singled him out… right?

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

26 And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.

Genesis 9:25,26

You’re close! But not quite… let’s keep going!

From this point forward, I got interested in the lineages of both Shem AND Ham.

Reason being is the Great Contradiction of who actually fathered Salah comes up.

According to Genesis 10:24, Arpachshad is Salah’s father…

24 And Arphaxad begat Salah; and Salah begat Eber.

Genesis 10:24

But! According to Luke 3:35-36, CANAAN is Salah’s father…

35 Which was the son of Saruch, which was the son of Ragau, which was the son of Phalec, which was the son of Heber, which was the son of Sala,

36 Which was the son of Cainan, which was the son of Arphaxad, which was the son of Sem, which was the son of Noe, which was the son of Lamech,

Luke 3:35,36

It matters because the 12 Tribes of Israel were to be dispersed from Shem’s lineage. And if there was any intermingling that made Salah actually the biological son of Canaan, that means Salah was the descendant of HAM soooo…. how did THAT work?

So my next point of reference? Salah’s son, Eber, and trying to find Salah’s wife, or at least the mother to Eber.

This is where research gets a little more complicated lol. So I prayed over it and I started googling, trying to see if it might be mentioned who Salah’s wife is, the mother of Eber.

Google kept telling me about a woman named Mu’ak that was Eber’s mother, but I kept discounting it because I couldn’t find it in scripture.

Eventually, the Holy Spirit led me to the book of Jubilee.

Now I can understand why many may not accept this explanation from here on out because it’s not strictly King James, so I understand if this is where you get off the train. 🙂

As for the REST of you…

Let’s continue!

I was led to Jubilee 8 and in verse 6, I FINALLY found a reference to Mu’ak being Shelach’s (Salah) wife:

[6][And in the fourth year he was born], and Shelah grew up and took to himself a wife, and her name was Mu’ak, the daughter of Kesed, his father’s brother, in the one and thirtieth jubilee, in the fifth week, in the first year [1499 A.M.] thereof.

Jubilees 8:6

At this point, I was happy to have SOME sort of confirmation that this woman, Mu’ak potentially existed. But upon reading the few verses ahead of it… it threw my brain into confusion again…

[1]In the twenty-ninth jubilee, in the first week, [1373 A.M.] in the beginning thereof Arpachshad took to himself a wife and her name was Rasu’eja, the daughter of Susan, the daughter of Elam, and she bare him a son in the third year in this week, [1375 A.M.] and he called his name Kainam.


[2]And the son grew, and his father taught him writing, and he went to seek for himself a place where he might seize for himself a city.


[3]And he found a writing which former (generations) had carved on the rock, and he read what was thereon, and he transcribed it and sinned owing to it; for it contained the teaching of the Watchers in accordance with which they used to observe the omens of the sun and moon and stars in all the signs of heaven.


[4]And he wrote it down and said nothing regarding it; for he was afraid to speak to Noah about it lest he should be angry with him on account of it.


[5]And in the thirtieth jubilee, [1429 A.M.] in the second week, in the first year thereof, he took to himself a wife, and her name was Melka, the daughter of Madai, the son of Japheth, and in the fourth year [1432 A.M.] he begat a son, and called his name Shelah; for he said: ‘Truly I have been sent.’

Jubilees 8:1-5

According to Jubilee 8:1, Arpachshad took a woman named Rasu’eja as a wife… and together, they had a child named KainamCanaan?

So the wheels started turning and I started to think “Ok, Canaan DID commit incest” but then it hit me… no… she had Canaan.

And on top of that, verse 1 states that Rasu’eja was the daughter of Susan who was the daughter of Elam, otherwise, Elam’s GRANDDAUGHTER.

And Elam is the brother of Arpachshad… so it raises yet ANOTHER question of why is this older man shacking up with his great niece like that?

So either there is two Canaan’s… orrrr Canaan…. violated his cousin?? But then why would she name him… Canaan?

I thought about it and… if Arpachshad married his great niece, that should’ve still been considered incest right? Because it was really Noah and his sons and their wives at the moment, so they were all still pretty close in relationships, I’m just speculating here lol.

But the more I thought about it, the more I wondered if it wasn’t the fact that Canaan slept with a close relative… then what did he do so wrong that made Noah curse him for generations?

Suddenly, I felt like the Holy Spirit kept saying to me, “RAPE”.

Something to do with rape.

But it still didn’t quite click because… why would Canaan rape her and then she turn around and name the child after her abuser?…

And then suddenly… it all made sense.

Ham.

Ham raped his great niece who got pregnant with Canaan. And Arpachshad taking her in marriage and raising Canaan was how he “covered the nakedness of his father”.

Canaan was cursed because he was the result of Ham’s gross actions against his brother’s granddaughter. Mind. Blown!

And when I go back and read the scriptures in the King James Bible, technically, this all still makes sense…

18 And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan.

Genesis 9:18

Like here in Genesis 9:18, why was it singled out that Ham in particular was the father of Canaan? So… Shem was the father of Arpachshad, and Japheth the father of Gomer… but no. Only Ham and making it CLEAR that HE was the father of Canaan.

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

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

26 And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.

Genesis 9:24-26

And verses 24-26 never implied that Canaan had been born at that moment, or that even if he was, that he was even old enough to be the one committing sexual acts, let alone sexual sins.

And even with the timeline of when they were all born. How ironic that Canaan is the LAST listed son of Ham’s, and Elam is the FIRST son listed of Shem’s… hmmmm…

But anyways… I’ll leave it there. That’s just something interesting I came across.

Updated 1/14/2022: I came across a video by Dante Fortson that gave an interesting perspective on the curse of Canaan and I feel like it’s worth looking into. Completely different than what I wrote lol.

Love you. Mean it!

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