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Sunday, March 4 2012
The Sin Of Canaan
Canaan was a grandson of Noah, born to Noah's son Ham, after the Flood (see The Voyage To The New World). Ham was Noah's second-born son (the second of three), while Canaan was the youngest (of four) son of Ham. Keep in mind that Canaan was a youngest son, while Ham was not a youngest son.
"Canaan" has become one of the most-famous names of Bible History, primarily for the land ("the land of Canaan") and his descendants ("the Canaanites") that were named after him. But who was Canaan himself?
The English rendering of "Canaan" is from a Hebrew word, pronounced ken-awh-an, which is based upon a Hebrew root word, pronounced kaw-nawh, which means to bend the knee, not as a matter of worship to God, but as in to be humiliated by other people. The question immediately comes to mind, why would Ham have given a son such a demeaning name? Or, was it actually a name given to him after, or during, something that happened in which the incident itself, and the curse that followed because of it, was a direct definition of the meaning of that word? Was "Canaan," which means to be humiliated, given that name because he humiliated someone that he should have respected?
Eight righteous people (including Ham) survived the Flood: Noah and his wife (her name is not recorded), and their three sons, and their three lives (the names of the three wives are not recorded).
"7:1 And the LORD [see The First Act Of Faith and The Rock Of The Church] said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation. 7:2 Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female. 7:3 Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth. 7:4 For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth.
After the Flood, the sons of Noah and his wife had families of their own. Notice that Canaan is the only grandson of Noah (even though others were born before Canaan - Canaan was the youngest son of Ham) that is mentioned right at the beginning of the account of the infamous incident involving Noah and his vineyard.
"9:18 And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan.
Noah planted a vineyard and became drunk from wine that he made from it. Noah was a very righteous man, so the inebriation would seem to have been caused by his underestimating the alcohol content of the wine - or perhaps not even realizing that the grape juice had become fermented, as can also happen naturally with time. The incident happened years after the Flood because Canaan was both born after the Flood and not a mere child when the incident of the vineyard happened.
"9:20 And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard: 9:21 And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent." (Genesis 9:20-21 KJV)
Ham was the first to discover what had happened. He told his two brothers, Shem and Japheth, who then "took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father." Notice again that Canaan, not any other of Ham's children, is directly mentioned in the incident as it had happened.
"9:22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.
When Noah awoke, and "knew what his younger son had done unto him," he proclaimed the curse upon Canaan, not Ham.
"9:24 And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him. 9:25 And he said,
Notice that the King James Version (and some others) translates the verse "9:24 And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him" using "his younger son." That is technically correct, but the original Hebrew word is also more specific - it means youngest, not merely younger, as other translations correctly render it. From the Revised Standard Version and the Complete Jewish Bible:
"9:24 When Noah awoke from his wine and knew what his youngest son had done to him" (Genesis 9:24 RSV)
Noah's youngest son was Japheth, not Ham. Ham's youngest son was Canaan. The "his" in "his youngest son" was Ham, not Noah i.e. Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what Ham's youngest son had done unto Noah. That fact is plainly obvious because Canaan is repeatedly identified, throughout the entire incident, as the perpetrator of some humiliating act upon his unconscious grandfather, Noah. For that, Canaan was cursed. If Ham had been the perpetrator, Ham would have been cursed, not his son - and only one of his sons at that (Canaan had three older brothers i.e. "10:6 And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan" Genesis 10:6 KJV).
Canaan later had a family of his own - whose original territory was identical to "the land of Canaan" that is thereafter recorded in history and prophecy.
"10:15 And Canaan begat Sidon his firstborn, and Heth, 10:16 And the Jebusite, and the Amorite, and the Girgasite, 10:17 And the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite, 10:18 And the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite: and afterward were the families of the Canaanites spread abroad. 10:19 And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon, as thou comest to Gerar, unto Gaza; as thou goest, unto Sodom, and Gomorrah, and Admah, and Zeboim, even unto Lasha." (Genesis 10:15-19 KJV)
While "the land of Canaan" was assigned to the Israelites by the LORD, it was for the purpose of the Messiah of all people, of all nations (see A History Of Jerusalem: Zionism). Keep in mind that the people of Israel repeatedly made themselves into heathens with their idolatry - the reason that Israel was divided into "Israel" and "Judah" (see A History Of Jerusalem: The Glory Of Solomon) and the reason that both Israel and Judah were destroyed and purged out of the Promised Land (see The Babylon Exodus And Exile). When the Messiah came, they rejected Him, while many "gentiles," along with some of the people of Judah (but none of the people of Israel because the "lost ten tribes" still haven't returned - yet) accepted Him. As a matter of the ultimate Promised Land, anyone and everyone who truly repents and obeys the LORD is a child of God - including the Canaanites.
"10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: 10:35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him." (Acts 10:34-35 KJV)
Fact Finder: (a) Was Jerusalem ruled by the LORD before it became a Canaanite city? (b) When did Jerusalem become an Israelite city?
This Day In History, March 4
527: In Constantinople, a gravely ill Justin crowned his nephew Justinian as co-emperor.
1152: Frederick I Barbarossa was proclaimed King of the German tribes.
1461: During England's Wars of the Roses, Lancastrian King Henry VI was deposed by his Yorkist cousin, who then became King Edward IV.
1493: Christopher Columbus returned (aboard the Nina) to Lisbon, Portugal from his voyage to the Caribbean.
1507: Future Protestant "reformer" (although, like nearly all of the Christian-professing world, Luther's doctrines never actually changed; he merely rejected the Papacy's leadership) Martin Luther, at age 21, was ordained a priest in the Roman Catholic church.
1519: Hernan Cortes arrived in Mexico on a mission of conquest of the Aztec civilization.
1541: Ignatius of Loyola became the first superior-general of the Jesuits.
1581: England's Frances Drake and his crew completed the circumnavigation of the world.
1628: The Massachusetts Bay Colony was granted a Royal charter for English pioneers to build a civilization in the wilderness later to be known as "New England."
1665: King Charles II of England declared war on the Netherlands, thereby beginning the Second Anglo-Dutch War.
1675: John Flamsteed was appointed the first Astronomer Royal of England.
1681: King Charles II granted a land charter to English developer William Penn to create a civilization out of the wilderness area that would later be named after Penn - Pennsylvania (after completing his assigned task, Penn returned home and is buried in England).
1687: James II ordered his Declaration of Indulgence read in church, allowing for full liberty of worship in England. It allowed peaceable meetings of nonconformists and forgave all penalties for ecclesiastical offenses.
1791: The British House of Commons introduced the Constitutional Act which defined Upper and Lower Canada - geographic terms based merely upon the flow of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River to the Atlantic Ocean. "Upper" Canada was what is today southern Ontario and "Lower" Canada was what is today southern Quebec i.e. Upper Canada was upriver of Lower Canada.
1812: The former French territory of Orleans became a U.S. state, with the name Louisiana (named after the French King Louis).
1905: An earthquake in Kangra India, killed 375,000 people.
1918: During the First World War, the Battle of the Somme ended.
1936: The first flight of the airship Hindenburg was made in Germany.
1947: The Dunkirk Treaty of alliance was concluded between Britain and France. Its aim was to meet the danger of any new German aggression, while at the same time serving as a Western European grouping of nations to stand against further communist expansion. The formation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) would follow.
1949: 12 nations - the U.S., Canada, Britain, France, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Denmark, Norway, Iceland and Portugal - founded the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). West Germany, Greece, Turkey and Spain joined later.
1983 The first launch of the space shuttle Challenger. It was in service less than 3 years before exploding shortly after launch on January 28, 1986.
1991: Sheikh Saad Al-Abdallah Al-Salim Al-Sabah, the Prime Minister of Kuwait, returned to his country after Iraq's invasion.