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Bible Dictionaries

Fausset's Bible Dictionary

Ham

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("hot".)

1. The Egyptian. (See KEM.) (Egypt is singularly the land of Ham, Psalms 78:51; Psalms 105:23), "black"; the sun-burnt and those whose soil is black, as Ethiopia means. Father (i.e. ancestor) of Cush (Ethiopia), Mizraim (See EGYPT), Phut (Libya), and Canaan. These mean races. not individuals. Egypt being the first civilized was singled out as the chief country of Hamite settlements. (On the Hamitic or Cushite origin of Babylon, alleged by Scripture and confirmed by the vocabulary in ancient remains. (See CUSH; BABEL.) Solid grandeur characterizes the Hamitic architecture, as in the earliest of Egypt, Babylonia, and S. Arabia. The first steps in the arts and sciences seemingly are due to the Hamites. The earliest empires were theirs, their power of organization being great. Material rather than moral greatness was theirs. Hence their civilization, though early, decayed sooner than that of the Semitic and Japhetic races.

Egypt, fenced on the N. by a sea without good harbours, on the E. and W. by deserts, held its sway the longest. The Hamites of S. Arabia were at a very early date overcome by the Joktanites, and the Babylonians yielded to the Medes. Ammon, the god of N. Africa, is related to Ham. Ham is supposed to be youngest of Noah's sons from Genesis 9:24, but "younger (Hebrew: little) son" there probably means Noah's grandson, namely, Canaan, not Ham. Shem is put first, having the spiritual eminence of being father of the promised seed. The names Shem (the man of name or renown), Ham (the settler in hot Africa), and Japbet (father of fair descendants, or of those who spread abroad), may not have been their original names, but derived from subsequent facts of their history.

2. A place where Chedorlaomer smote the Zuzim (Genesis 14:5). If Zuzim be the same as Zamzummim, who dwelt in the territory afterward occupied by Ammon (Deuteronomy 2:19-21), Ham answers to Rabbath Ammon. Septuagint and Vulgate read baheem for b'Ηam , i.e. "with them", but KJV seems correct.

3. Simeonites went to the eastern entrance of the valley of Gedor in quest of pasture, and dispossessed the previous inhabitants, being men "of Ham" (1 Chronicles 4:40). Perhaps an Egyptian settlement, Egypt being closely connected with this southern part of Palestine.

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Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Ham'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/fbd/h/ham.html. 1949.

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