From Part 18
Genesis 9:6 brings up a controversial point, however, we must let God be true (Romans 3:4). He who created the human race has the right and authority to judge His creation. We may not agree. Still, the verse is there, “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.”
The debate goes on, but God clearly says if a person takes another’s life, the murderer is to forfeit his life. The reason - the crime is not solely against the individual, but ultimately against the very image of God. God is holy, perfect, and pure. No man has the right to take the life of another. That right belongs only to a just and holy God. The severity of the punishment is based on the severity of the crime.
Noah’s three children, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, would do what Adam and Eve were to do. In time, these families would overspread the entire earth (Genesis 9:19). Japheth became the father of all Gentiles (Genesis 10:2-5). Shem became the father of the Jews.
Much is mentioned of Noah’s youngest son, Ham, in the Bible. The name itself means to be hot, black, and burnt. Unfortunately, pro-slavery used this in defense of their cause since Ham’s race was cursed. However, the Bible gives no hint of justification for slavery.
Ham is the father of the Egyptian people. He is first mentioned in Genesis 5:32. He fathered four sons: Cush (Ethiopia); Mizraim (Egypt); Put (Libya); and lastly, Canaan (Genesis 9:18; 10:6). Ham’s descendants lived and became the forefathers of the African continent and the Middle East. We see in Psalm 105:23, Psalm 78:51, and I Chronicles 4:40 Egypt is referred to as the land of Ham.
It would seem that Ham and his descendants were explorers, and they discovered and extended much territory on the now cleansed earth. Sadly, it has been said that what country the children of Ham occupied, there began the ignorance of true godliness.
It is also possible this verse has another meaning. In Leviticus 20:11 we read, “And the man that lieth with his father’s wife hath uncovered his father’s nakedness: both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” Possibly Ham had a sexual encounter with his mother, Noah’s wife. While Noah, passed out from the wine, slept, Ham took advantage of the situation and uncovered his father’s nakedness. That is, he had sexual relations with his father’s wife. We are told in Leviticus 18:8, "The nakedness of thy father's wife shalt thou not uncover: it is thy father's nakedness." The nakedness of the father was that of his wife. This would explain the curse on Canaan better if Canaan were the offspring of that encounter. Whatever the action that took place, it was done to or against Noah for Genesis 9:24 clearly states, “And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him. “
Finally, we read of the curse of Canaan in Genesis 9:20-27. What caused Noah to curse his youngest son and his offspring? It begins with the drunkenness of Noah. He passes out, naked in his tent, when Ham comes wandering by and sees his father’s nakedness. We read in verse 22 of chapter 9, “And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.”
I don’t believe it was just the act of seeing. Ham committed a terrible sin against his father. We see the rest of the story in verse 24, “And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.” Ham had not only seen his father’s nakedness, but did something. He “saw” in verse 22. He “had done” in verse 24.
Genesis, being the book of firsts and beginnings, brings in another first. I believe perhaps Ham committed the first incestual, homosexual act against his father. Although we must be careful about adding to Scripture what is not there, it is a possibility that this brought on the curse of Canaan (verse 25).
As we move into chapter 10, we come to what is known as the Table of Nations, or a genealogy of Noah’s sons. We see in verse 6, “And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan.” We continue to read in verses 8-10, “And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD. And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.”
We tend to say that Nimrod built Babel in the land of Shinar, but the Bible doesn’t actually say that. It says the beginning of his kingdom was Babel. However, Josephus records Nimrod founded Babel. Whatever the case, Nimrod had much to do with that wicked city. God only mentioned him two other times in scripture. Micah 5:6 tells us, “And they shall waste the land of Assyria with the sword, and the land of Nimrod in the entrances thereof . . . “ and I Chronicles 1:10 reiterates the information Genesis 10:8 and 9 gives, “And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be mighty upon the earth.”
Is there a connection between Nimrod and the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9)? The historian David Rohl has claimed parallels between Enmerkar, builder of Uruk (Erech), and Nimrod, ruler of biblical Erech, who, according to some extra-biblical sources, was the architect of the Tower of Babel. What we know is that both Nimrod and Enmerkar lived close to or during the late fourth millennium or early third millennium BC. Both ruled over the same area in southern Mesopotamia.
The historian also points out that the Hebrew language does not contain vowels. That being the case, what we have in the English is NMR, the basis for Nimrod. However, there is no D. According to Mr. Rohl, the D indicates, “we will rebel.” That summarizes Nimrod perfectly. He was mighty, yet taken in rebellion against the true God.
Mr. Rohl believes archaeology has uncovered the Tower of Babel in Eridu. In the ancient legend of Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta, Enmerkar, who claims to be the son of the sun god Utu, was envious of Aratta’s wealth of metal and stone, which he needed in order to build various shrines, especially a temple for the god Enki in Eridu.
Is it coincidence that the Tower of Babel was apparently located in Eridu and Enmerkar supposedly built temples and shines in Eridu, especially a temple dedicated to the god Enki - a huge, glorious temple? I wonder. It may have been the Tower of Babel was meant in part as a worship center for the false god, Enki. Another reasons the tower may have been built was an attempt to avoid another world-wide flood. God clearly gives us the main reason for the construction of a tower to reach unto heaven in Genesis 11:4 - “And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. They built the tower in defiance of the true God, and He would have the last word.
In the end, God scattered them by confounding their languages. They could no longer communicate, and confusion set in. They left the city unfinished.
There are many things we may not know for sure, but we can know that God is a God of judgment. He will not tolerate sin. We will stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ. II Corinthians 5:10 gives us the heads-up. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” Are you ready?
We can also learn of God’s grace through the Garden of Eden. the genealogies that lead to the Saviour, God’s protection during the universal flood, and God’s great forgiveness of sin for those who come to Him.
Although God cannot tolerate sin, He knew each of us would rebel against Him. Perhaps not in the way Nimrod did, but in word, speech, or action, we all have. His grace allows us to come into His presence through the shed blood of His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus died that you might live in the presence of God forever. It is just a matter of coming to Him in true repentance and faith. Any questions? Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
© 2022 William Kovacic