Time or Eternity? ™

The Curse of Canaan

In Curse of Canaan on December 21, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Genesis 9:24,25 And Noah awoke from his wine and knew what his son had done unto him And he said Cursed be Canaan a servant of shall he be unto his brethren

Those who derive from these words divine authority for enslaving the black people are bound to show that Noah spoke these words as he was moved by the Holy Ghost.   They are also bound to show that black people descended from Canaan.   It is not in this passage nor is it anywhere in the inspired writings declared that Noah uttered these words by the authority and inspiration of God.   An argument has been built upon these words to excuse and to justify the enslaving of the descendants of Ham.   In the argument it is assumed that God spake all these words.   It is only an assumption.   It must be proved that Noah uttered them when inspired and by command and authority of the Almighty.  Therefore, no inference as to the divine institution of slavery can be concluded.

Are we  to suppose that holy men of old, who spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, were always  moved by the Holy Ghost?  Sometimes they spoke as other men.  So, the question remains, did Noah utter his curse on Canaan as he was moved by the Holy Ghost?  Necessity is laid upon those who infer, from Noah’s curse upon Canaan, that God instituted slavery.  I doubt Noah was under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost because we read in the Scriptures that he was drunk when he cursed his grandson.  God commended him before the flood, however, after the flood there was no special commendation.   What a sad and instructive history of the second progenitor of the human family.  The great Noah, missionary of the Lord, perhaps to the ends of the earth has left his high calling.   He has gone down from the high position of being a preacher and has planted a vineyard and He drank of the wine.  He became drunk and was humbled and disgraced in the presence of his family and before all the world to the end of time.   What a fall!  He has laid aside preaching.  God left him to worldliness.

Immediately discovering the misconduct of Canaan, his grandson, Noah was moved by indignation and self reproach and not moved by the Holy Ghost.  He deduced that Canaan deserve to be a menial servant for his shameful behavior, and  blessed Japheth and Shem whose conduct he could not but commend.  What he said as to the future of his sons and of their posterity, has turned out, in some respects as he said it would, but not exactly, not so exactly as to authorize our calling his words an inspired prophecy, as we shall presently show.   But, if we set out to establish or to justify slavery upon these words of Noah, on the assumption God spake by Noah as to the curse and blessings here recorded, we have a right to expect to find the facts of history to correspond.   If the facts of history do not correspond with these words of Noah, then God did not speak them by Noah as his own.

It is said by those who interpret the curse of Canaan as divine authority for slavery,  that God has hereby ordained that the descendants of Ham shall be slaves.   The descendants of Shem are not of course doomed to that curse.   Now upon the supposition that these are the words of God and not the denunciations of an irritated father just awaking from his drunkenness we ought not to find any of Canaan’s descendants out of a condition of slavery nor any of the descendants of Shem in it.   If we do then either these are not God’s words or God’s words have not come true.   But it is a fact that not all of Ham’s entire descendants, nor even of Canaan’s descendants (on whom alone, and not at all on Ham, nor on his three other sons Noah’s curse fell) are now nor ever have been as a whole in a state of bondage.   The Canaanites were not slaves but free and powerful tribes, when the Hebrews entered their territory.   The Carthaginians, it is generally admitted, were descended from Canaan.   They certainly were free and powerful when, in frequent wars, they contended often with success, against the formidable Romans.   If the curse of Noah was intended for all the descendants of Ham, it signally failed in the case of the first military hero mentioned in the Bible, who was the founder of a world renowned city and empire.  Nimrod, who was a son of Cush, the oldest son of Ham.   It is recorded that “He began to be a mighty one in the earth: he was a mighty hunter before the Lord and the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh in the land of Shinar.  Out of that land went forth Asshur and Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah, and Resen between Nineveh and Calah; the same is a great city.”   The Bible informs us that the grandson of Ham, (Nimrod the son of Cush) was a mighty man.  The great man of the world, in his day, the founder of the Babylonian empire, the ancestor of the founder of the city of Nineveh, one of grandest cities of the ancient world.

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