Morrish Bible Dictionary
Son of Ham and grandson of Noah. Genesis 9:18-27 . Of Canaan Noah said, "Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren," and then is added that he shall be the servant of Shem and of Japheth. It may seem strange that Noah did not curse Ham personally who had not respected his father; but doubtless it was God who, in His government, led Noah, in giving forth the prophecy respecting his three sons in the new world, to visit the conduct of Ham upon his son. God had already blessed Ham along with Noah and had made a covenant with him, how then could he lead Noah to curse him? Genesis 9:1,8 . Besides, we do not find that all Ham's sons became the servants of Shem; upon Canaan only the curse fell. It was Nimrod, Ham's descendant, who founded the great kingdoms of the East, and we do not read of them being tributary to Israel as Canaan was. God, in the wisdom of His government, led Noah to pronounce the curse upon Canaan, in strong contrast with the blessing of Jehovah upon Shem, which was fulfilled in Israel.
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Morrish, George. Entry for 'Canaan'. Morrish Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/mbd/c/canaan.html. 1897.