Monday, June 18Exploring The Black Presence In The Bible

Ham: The Origin of Black Africans and Black Arabs In The Bible

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Ham: Son of Noah

Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham (Cham), and Japheth, but it is Ham and his lineage that settled Africa and various parts of Arabia. Although that is the case, there is lots of evidence that Ham was not the only black son, but may have had black skin in common with Shem. According to scripture, the brothers were born when Noah was 500 years old.

“And Noah was five hundred years old: and Noah begat Shem, Ham, and Japheth.” – Genesis 5:32

According to the Strong’s Concordance #2526 (Cham) is defined as: a son of Noah, also his descendants, also a name for Egyptians. This definition plays a role in the very way we look at scripture because:

  • Mainstream Christianity teaches that Ham’s children were black.
  • The Bible teaches that Hebrews were mistaken for Egyptians.
  • History (Tacitus) teaches that Hebrews were mistaken for Egyptians and Ethiopians.

Unfortunately, mainstream Christianity ignore all of the above when it comes to identifying, painting, and casting actors for movie roles. We’re presented with a false perception that everyone in scripture was white. Understanding the role, ethnicity, and lineage of Ham is a key in ending the deception of a Eurocentric Bible view.

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Was Ham Noah’s Youngest Son of Noah?

In ancient Hebrew culture, it was customary to list the children in the order of their birth, which means that Ham was possibly the middle son, and not the youngest. There is an exception to this rule, and that is when the elder ends up serving the younger. It is no coincidence that the youngest child is almost always the chosen child:

  • Seth was the youngest son of Adam.
  • Isaac was younger than Ishmael.
  • Jacob was younger than Esau.
  • Pharez was younger than Zerah.
  • David was younger than his brothers.
  • Solomon was David’s youngest son.

We know from Genesis 10:21 that Japheth is the oldest son. What’s interesting to note is that when all three are mentioned together, Shem is almost always first, Ham is ALWAYS second, and Japheth is almost always list. This is consistent and you can check for yourself:

  • Genesis 5:32
  • Genesis 6:10
  • Genesis 7:13
  • Genesis 9:18
  • Genesis 10:1
  • 1 Chronicles 1:4

There is only one exception to the above order. It occurs in Genesis 10 where Japheth is listed first in the genealogy, Ham is still mentioned second, and Shem is mentioned last. In both examples, Ham is the only one that never changes from the middle position. This isn’t concrete proof, but it does cast doubt on whether or not Ham was the youngest. The order of birth becomes more significant when we look into the false teaching that Ham was cursed by Noah.

The Curse of Ham – A False Teaching

There are many church leaders that have helped spread the false teaching that Ham was cursed by Noah to have black skin, and that teaching has been used to justify both slavery and racism toward black people all over there world. Here is what the Bible actually says:

“And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard: And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without. 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.” – Genesis 9:21-23

The attempt to make Ham the target of the curse is the very definition of false teaching, when the verse clearly names Canaan as the target of the curse. As the story unfolds, we see that Ham was the one that discovered his father naked and immediately told his brothers. From these three verses, many false teachers have decided to create false doctrine to push on the church.

  1. The Bible does not say that he uncovered his father’s nakedness.
  2. The Bible does not say he had sex with his mother.
  3. The Bible does not say he had sex with Noah.
  4. The Bible does not say he castrated Noah.

There are no indications that any of the above scenarios took place, and yet these teachings are very prevalent within the church. Those that teach or follow such doctrine are either deceiving, being deceived, or both. The Bible goes on to say:

“And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him. And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.” – Genesis 9:24-25

The verse makes reference to Noah’s “younger son”, but he then curses his grandson Canaan. Many of the false teachings that spring from these verses are due to a lack of cultural understanding or just flat out ignoring what the Bible says in order to push a race based agenda:

  • The word “grandson does not appear in the Bible”.
  • Grandsons and granddaughters were referred to as sons and daughters.
  • The phrase “younger son” can refer to a grandson as well as a son.

As we learned above, children were usually (not always) listed in the order in which they were born, and Genesis 10:6 lists Canaan as the last son of Ham, which fits with Noah referring to him as his “younger son”. In context, it was likely Canaan that did whatever it is that he did, which is why Canaan was cursed and not Ham, Mizraim, Cush, or Phut.

The Lineage of Ham and The Land of Ham

It is through Ham’s lineage that we see the development of most of Africa and a large portion of the Middle East, including modern day Israel and Iraq. Here is a breakdown of Ham’s lineage and the countries they founded. We know that Egypt was considered the “land of Ham” because of the following verses:

“Israel also came into Egypt; and Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham.” – Psalms 105:23

“They shewed his signs among them, and wonders in the land of Ham.” – Psalms 105:27

“Wondrous works in the land of Ham, and terrible things by the Red sea.” – Psalms 106:22

The Land of Ham was Egypt based on the context and reference to the events in Exodus. Many believe these verses to have been written by David. Those that claim that Ham was the father of all black Africans and then deny that Egyptians were black even though the descended from Ham, do so based solely on their racial bias to Hebrews marrying, living among, and being mistaken for black people.

The Land of Ham

The Sons of Ham (Genesis 10:6)
  1. Cush (Sudan)
  2. Mizraim (Egypt)
  3. Phut (Libya)
  4. Canaan (Israel)
The Sons of Cush (Ham’s Grandsons)
  1. Seba (North-Easter Africa)
  2. Havilah (North-West Yemen)
  3. Sabtah (Near Ethiopia and Sudan)
  4. Raamah (Near Saudi Arabia)
  5. Sabtecha (Unknown)
  6. Nimrod (Iraq / Babylon)
The Sons of Mizraim (Ham’s Grandsons)
  1. Ludim (The Moors – Near Libya)
  2. Anamim (unknown)
  3. Lehabim (unknown)
  4. Naphtuhim (Meroe)
  5. Pathrusim (Pathros – Upper Egypt)
  6. Casluhim (Part of Egypt)
  7. Caphtorim (Cilicia, Cyprus, Crete)
The Sons of Canaan (Ham’s Grandsons)
  1. Sidon (Lebanon)
  2. Heth (Hittites – Hebron / Canaan)
  3. Jebusite (Canaan)
  4. Amorite (Canaan)
  5. Girgasite (Canaan)
  6. Hivite (Canaan)
  7. Arkite (Canaan)
  8. Sinite (Canaan)
  9. Arvadite (Canaan)
  10. Zemarite (Canaan)
  11. Hamathite (Canaan)

The sons of Phut are not mentioned, but we know that they existed because Phut’s lineage (Libyans) is mentioned in general several times in scripture. When we look at all of the countries that descended from Ham, and then we look at scripture, we see that not only did the Hebrews interact and mix with them regularly, but we see that they inhabited large parts of the “Middle East”, which casts major doubt on the notion that Arabia of the past was full of white or even light skinned people as it is in the modern day.

Shemite and Hamite Intermixing

One very interesting fact that we find in scripture, is that the descendants of Ham and Shem often mixed. The following is a list of Hamites and Shemites that mixed and the children they had if applicable (names listed in alphabetical order by male’s name):

(Line of Shem)
(Line of Ham)

Genesis 16:15
1 Kings 16:31
1 Chronicles 3:1
1 Chronicles 3:1
(Gilonite / Canaanite)
2 Samuel 12:24
Genesis 36:4
Genesis 36:4
Genesis 26:34
Genesis 46:20
Daughter of Shuah
Genesis 38:2
Ruth 4:12
Ethiopian Woman
Numbers 12:1
Judges 16:4
Judges 16:1
Exodus 6:15
Pharaoh's Daughter
1 Kings 7:8
Queen of Sheba
Menelik I
Ethiopian History

Contradictions In Eurocentric Christian Theology

When it comes to European Christian theology, there are major contradictions when it comes to Ham, his descendants, and what they looked like. In racist theology like Christian Identity and Mormonism, black people are seen as cursed, which is often used as an excuse to justify evils like slavery and murder. However, European Christians can’t seem to get their theology straight. Even though they teach the black people come from Ham:

  • They deny that ancient Canaanites were black, even though they’re descendants of Ham’s son Canaan.
  • They deny that ancient Libyans were black, even though they’re descendants of Ham’s son Phut.
  • They deny that ancient Egyptians were black, even though they’re descendants of Ham’s son Mizraim.
  • They deny that ancient Babylonians were black, even though they’re descendants of Ham’s son Cush.

Ham only had four sons, which means they deny the blackness of his only four sons, while claiming that Ham is the father of all black people. The reason for this outright denial of the truth in spite of the facts and their own theology is 100% based on skin color. Europeans understand that if they concretely admit that any of Ham’s four sons were beyond a shadow of a doubt black, then they also have to admit that Hebrews were black as well because they mixed with the descendants of Ham.

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More Black History In The Bible


  • Hadassah

    Greetings. Thank you for this wonderful piece. I have learned so much. A pastor from a local church once preached to the congregation that blacks are cursed by Noah and I had doubts and also preached that the Gentiles refered to black people. Well, I'm over that now. 

    My question is, Noah cursed Canann right, was Cannann that was caused by Noah the same owner of the Land filled with milk and honey that God promised the Israelites?? 

    • Black History In The Bible

      If you’re asking if that is the same Canaan, then yes it is the same lineage that was in the land before Israel.

  • Linda

    Minister Fortson: Thank you for providing clarity to “misunderstood” biblical subjects. I have a question: It is an historical fact much of the biblical records of the ancient Hebrews were “confiscated” by the Romans in the destruction of the Hebrew’s sacred temple in Jerusalem in 70 A.D.; and held by Europeans (the Roman Catholic “church”) for hundreds of years before the first printing of the “JKB” in the mid-18th century. Also, it has been noted by several historians many biblical texts were either deliberately excluded from the “KJB” or corrupted (by the mid-1800’s both Europe and the U.S. were profiting from the enslavement of kidnapped Africans). In your opinion, could it stand to reason the entire “curse of Ham” narrative (among others) be an example of the self-serving corruption of Scripture?

    Unlike yourself I am no bible scholar but it seems to me the primary reason so many of us “laypeople” find it hard to grasp and connect to the full impact of the Scriptures is due to the prevalence of contradictions and often somewhat obvious self-righteous (self-serving) perversions.

    • Black History In The Bible

      Yes, the false teaching of the curse on Ham is 100% race related. The Bible says Canaan was cursed, but they intentionally false teach that it was Ham, and therefore all black people. They do this to keep Hebrews away from the truth, and many have fallen for the lie.

      As far as contradictions. That tends to only occur when people try to understand the Bible without having a complete picture of the full situation. There are no contradictions, just misunderstandings on the part of the reader.

  • Lawrence A. Siler

    Neither of Noah`s children became the Arabs. When you read in Genesis 16 where Sarai convinces Abraham to have a relationship with her maid Hagar and she ends up having a son called Ishmael. They are later put away and Ishmael eventually marries an Egyptian and has 12 sons. It is through these sons of Ishmael that you originate the Arab nations, not from any of Noah`s family tree.

    • Black History In The Bible

      Here’s why you’re wrong. Arab is defined by living on the Arabian Peninsula, not by ethnicity. Anyone living in Arabia was an Arab. We now call it “The Middle East”, which is why people say “Middle Eastern”. So yes, Shem and Ham both gave rise to Arabians through their descendants.

  • Varnell Drones

    Ham is the youngest son of Noah & not the middle son according 2 Genesis 9:24. It specifically states that, “And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.” This is alluding 2 Genesis 9:22 which states, “And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren.” From this perspective, Genesis 10:21 specifies that Japheth is the oldest, which puts Shem as the middle son among the three. PLEASE E-mail me in reference 2 this information

    • Black History In The Bible

      Actually, not true. You ASSUME it means Ham… and yet the text itself never uses the word “grandson”. Grandsons were referred to as sons. The fact that Noah cursed his grandson Canaan means that Ham wasn’t the one referred to. Ham had four sons and for Noah to randomly choose one of his innocent grandsons to curse doesn’t make any sense at all.

      It also says Ham saw, exited, and told his brothers. It never says he did anything to Noah to make him naked. It doesn’t say he “uncovered” anything as some try to teach. That’s adding to the text based on a preconceived notion. There’s a reason Canaan was cursed and not Ham.

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