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Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature
(Heb. Chanz, חָס , hot [see below]; Sept. Χάμ. [Josephus Χάμας , Ant. i, 4, 1], Vulg. Chamn), the name of a man and also of two regions.
1. The youngest son of Noah (Genesis 5, 32; comp. 9:24). B.C. post 2618. Having provoked the wrath of his father by an act of indecency towards him, the latter cursed him and his descendants to be slaves to his brothers and their descendants (Genesis 9:25). B.C. cir. 2514. To judge, however, from the narrative, Noah directed his curse only against Canaan (the fourth son of Ham) and his race, thus excluding from it the descendants of Ham's three other sons, Cush, Mizraim, and Phut (Genesis 10:6). How that curse was accomplished is taught by the history of the Jews, by whom the Canaanites were subsequently exterminated. The general opinion is that all the southern nations derive their origin from Ham (to which the Hebrew root חָמִם, to be hot, not unlike the Greek Αἰφίοπες, lends some force). This meaning seems to be confirmed by that of the Egyptian word KEM (Egypt), which is believed to be the Egyptian equivalent of Ham, and which, as an adjective, signifies "black," probably implying warmth as well as blackness. (See EGYPT).
If the Hebrew and Egyptian words be the same, Ham must mean the swarthy or sun-burnt like Αἰφίοψ , which has been derived from the Coptic name of Ethiopia, ethops, but which we should be inclined to trace to thops, "a boundary;" unless the Sahidic esops may be derived from Kish (Cush). It is observable that the names of Noah and his sons appear to have had prophetic significations. This is stated in the case of Noah (Genesis 5:29), and implied in that of Japheth (Genesis 9:27), and it can scarcely be doubted that the same must be concluded as to Shem. Ham may therefore have been so named as progenitor of the sunburnt Egyptians and Cushites. Cush is supposed to have been the progenitor of the nations of East and South Asia, more especially of South Arabia, and also of Ethiopia; Mizrainm, of the African nations, including the Philistines and some other tribes which Greek fable and tradition connect with Egypt; Phut, likewise of some African nations; and Cancan, of the inhabitants of Palestine and Phoenicia. On the Arabian traditions concerning Ham, see D'Herbelot (Bibl. Orient. s.v.). (See NOAH).
A. Ham's Place in his Family. Idolatry connected with his Name. — Like his brothers, he was married at the time of the Deluge, and with his wife was saved from the general destruction in the ark which his father had prepared at God's command. He was thus, with his family, a connecting link between the antediluvian population and those who survived the Flood. The salient fact of his impiety and dishonor to his father had also caused him to be regarded as the transmitter and representative in the renovated world of the worst features of idolatry and profaneness, which had growls to so fatal a consummation among the antediluvians. Lactantius mentions this ancient tradition of Ham's idolatrous degeneracy: "Ille [Cham] profugus in ejus terra parte consedit, quae nunc Arabia nominatur; eaque terra de nomine suo Chanaan dicta est, et poster ejus Chanianeei. Haec fuit prima gens quae Deum ignoravi, quoniam princeps ejus [Chami] et conditor cultum Deia a patre non accepit, maledictus ab eo; itfaue ignoraootiam divinitatis minoribus suis reliquit" (De, orig. errorts, 2, 13; De falssa Relig. 23). See other authors quoted in Beyer's Addit. ad Seldeni Syntag. de Diis Sytris (Ugolino, Thes. 23, 288). This tradition was rife also among the Jews. R. Manasse says, "Moreover Ham, the son of Noah, was the first to invent idols," etc. The Tyrian idols called חמנים, Chamanim, are supposed by Kircher to have their designation from the degenerate son of Noah (see Spencer, De legg. Heb'. [ed. Pfaff.] p. 470482). The old commentators, full of classical associations, saw in Noah and his sons the counterpart of Κρόνος, or Saturn, and his three divine sons, of whom they identified Jupiter or Ζεύς with Ham, especially, as the name suggested, the African Jupiter Ammon (Ἀμμοῦν [or, more correctly, Ἀμοῦν, so Gaisford and Bahr] γάρ Αἰγύπτιοι καλέουσι τὸν Δία, Herod. Eute7p. 42, Plutach explains Ἀμοῦν by the better known form Ἀμμων, Is. et Osir. 9. In Jeremiah 46:25, "the multitude of No" is אָמוֹן מַנֹּא, Amon of No; so in Nahum 3:8, "Populous No" is No-Amon, נאֹ אָמוֹן . For the identification of Jupiter Ammon with Ham, see J. Conr, Dannhauer's Politica Biblica, 2, 1; Is.Vossius, De Idol. lib. 2, cap. 7). This identification is, however, extremely doubtful; eminent critics of modern times reject it; among them Ewald (Geschichte des Volkes Israel, 1, 375 [note]), who says, "Mit dem aegyptischen Gotte Amonl oder Hammdn ihn zusammenzubringen hat man keinen Grund," u. s. w.). One of the reasons which leads Bochart (Phaleg, 1, 1, ed.Villemand, p. 7) to identify Ham with Jupiter or Zeus is derived from the meaning of the names. חָם (from the root חָמִם., — to be hot) combines the ideas hot and swarthy (comp. Αἰθίοψ ); accordingly, St. Jerome, who renders our word by calidus, and Simon (Onomast. p. 103) by niger, are not incompatible. In like maneier Ζεύς is derived ‘ afernendo, according to the author of the tynmol. Magn., παρὰ τὴν ζέσιν, θερμότατος γὰρ ὁ ἄήρ, ἤ παρὰ τὸ ζέω, to seethe, or boil fervere. Cyril of Alexandria uses θερμασίαν as synonymous (I 2, Glaphy.r. in Genes.). Another reason of identification, according to Bochart, is the fanciful one of comparative age. Zeus was the youngest of three brothers, and so was Ham in the opinion of this author. He is not alone in this view of the subject. Josephus (Ant. 1, 6, 3) expressly calls Ham the youngest of Noah's sons, ὸ νεώτατος τῶν παίθων. Gesenius (Thes. p. 489) calls him "filius natu tertius et. minimus;" similarly Furst (Hebr. Wö rterbuch 1, 408), Knobel (die Genesis erkl. p. 101), Delitzsch (Comment. ü ber die Gen. p. 280), and Kalisch (Genesis p. 229), which last lays down the rule in explanation of the בְּנוֹ הִקָּטָן applied to Ham in Genesis 9:24, "If there are more than two sons, בן גדול is the eldest, בן קטון the youngest son," and he aptly compares 1 Samuel 17:13-14. The Sept., it is true, like the A.V., renders by the comparative - ὁ νεώτερος, "his younger son.'' But, throughout, Shem is the term of comparison, the central point of blessing from whom all else diverge. Hence not only is Ham הקָּטָן, ὁ νεώτερος, in comparison with Shem, but Japhet is relatively to the same הִגָּדוֹל, ὁ μείζων (see Genesis 10:21). That this is the proper meaning of this latter passage, which treats of the age of Japhet, the eldest son of Noah, we are convinced by the consideration just adduced, and our conviction ‘ is supported by the Sept. translators, Symmachus, Rashi (who says, "From the words of the text I do not clearly know whether the elder applies to Shem or to Japhet. But, as we are afterwards informed that Shem was 100 years old, and begat Arphaxad two years after the Deluge [11, 10], it follows that Japhet was the elder, for Noah was 500 years old when he began to have children, and the Deluge took place in his 600th year. His eldest son must consequently have been 100 years old at the time of the Flood, whereas we are expressly informed that Shem did not arrive at that, age until two years after the Deluge"), Aben-Ezra, Luther, Junius, and Tremellius, Piscator. Mercerus, Arius, Montanus; Clericus, Dathius, J. D. Michaelis, and Mendelssohn (who gives a powerful reason for his opinion: The tonic accents make it clear that the word הגדול, the elder, applies to Yapheth; wherever the words of the text are obscure and equivocal, great respect and attention must be paid to the tonic accents, as their author understood the true meaning of the text better than we do." De Sola, Lindenthal, and Raphall's Trans. of Geneses, p. 43). In consistency with this seniority of Japheth, his name and genealogy are first given in the Toledoth Beni Noah of Genesis 10. Shem's name stands first when the three brothers are mentioned together, probably because the special blessing (afterwards to be more fully developed in his great descendant Abraham) was bestowed on him by God. But this prerogative by no means affords any proof that Shem was the eldest of Noah's sons. The obvious instances of Seth, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, Joseph, Ephraim, Moses, David, and Solomon (besides this of Shem), give sufficient ground for observing that primogeniture was far from always securing the privileges of birthright and blessing, and other distinctions (comp. Genesis 25:23; Genesis 48:14; Genesis 48:18-19, and 1 Samuel 16:6-12).
B. Descendants of Ham, and their locality. — The loose distribution which assigns ancient Asia to Shem, and ancient Africa to Ham, requires much modification; for although the Shemites had but little connection with Africa, the descendants of Ham had, on the contrary wide settlements in Asia, not only on the shores of Syria, the Mediterranean, and in the Arabian peninsula, but (as we learn from linguistic discoveries, which minutely corroborate the letter of the Mosaic statements, and refute the assertions of modern Rationalism) in the plains of Mesopotamia. One of the most prominent facts alleged in Genesis 10 is the foundation of the earliest monarchy by the grandson of Ham in Babylonia. "Cush [the eldest son of Ham] begat Nimrod the beginning of whose kingdom was Babel [Babylon], and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar" (vers. 6, 8, 10). Here we have a primitive Babylonian empire distinctly declared to have been Hamitic through Cush. For the complete vindication of this statement of Genesis from the opposite statements of Bunsen, Niebuhr, Heeren, and others, we must refer the reader to Rawlisson's Five great Monarchies, vol. 1, chap. 3, compared with his Historical Evidences, etc. (Bampton Lectures), p. 18, 68, 355-357. The idea of an "Asiatic Cush" was declared by Bunsen to be "an imagination of interpreters, the child of despair" (Phil. of Univ. History, 1, 191). But in 1858, Sir H. Rawlinson, having obtained a number of Babylonian documents more ancient than any previously discovered, was able to declare authoritatively that the early inhabitants of South Babylonia were of a cognate race with the primitive colonists both of Arabia and of the African Ethiopia (Rawlinson's Herodotus, 1, 442). He found their vocabulary to be undoubtedly Cushite or Ethiopian, belonging to that stock of tongues which in the sequel were everywhere more or less mixed up with the Shemitic languages, but of which we have the purest modern specimens in the Mahra of southern Arabia and the Galla of Abyssinia (ibid., note 9). He found, also, that the traditions both of Babylon and Assyria pointed to a connection in very early times between Ethiopia, Southern Arabia, and the cities on the lower Euphrates. We have here evidence both of the widely spread settlements of the children of Ham in Asia as well as Africa, and (what is now especially valuable) of the truth of the 10th chapter of Genesis as all ethnographical document of the highest importance. Some writers push the settlements of Ham still more towards the east; Feldhoff (Die Volkertafel der Genesis, p. 69), speaking generally of them, makes them spread, not simply to the south and south-west of the plains of Shinar, but east and south-east also: he accordingly locates some of the family of Cush in the neighborhood of the Paropamisus chain [the Hindu Kû sh], which he goes so far as to call the center whence the Cushites emanated, and he peoples the greater part of Hindfistan, Birmah, and China with the posterity of the children of Cush (see under their names in this art.). Dr. Prichard (Analysis of the Egyptian Mythology) compares the philosophy and the superstitions of the ancient Egyptians with those of the Hindus, and finds "so many phenomena of striking congruity" between these nations that he is induced to conclude that they were descended from a common origin. Nor ought we here to omit that the Arminian historian Abulfaragius among the countries assigned to the sons of Ham expressly includes both Scindia and India, by which he means such parts of Hindfistan as lie west and east of the river Indus (Greg. Abul-Pharagii, Hist. Dynast. [ed. Pocock, Oxon. 1673], Dyn. 1, p. 17).
The sons of Ham are stated to have been "Cush," and Mizraim, and Phut,- and Caanan" (Genesis 10:6; comp. 1 Chronicles 1:8). It is remarkable that a dual form (Mizraim) should occur in the first generation, indicating a country, and not a person or a tribe, and we are therefore inclined to suppose that the gentile noun in the plural מַצְרַים, differing alone ill the pointing from מַצְרִיַם originally stood here, which would be quite consistent with the plural forms of the names of the Mizraite tribes which follow, and analogous to the singular forms of the names of the Canaanite tribes, except the Sidonians, who are mentioned, not as a nation, but under the name of their forefather Sidon. The name of Ham alone, of the three sons of Noah, if our identification be correct, is known to have been given to a country. Egypt is recognized as the "land of Ham" in the Bible (Psalms 78:51; Psalms 105:23; Psalms 106:22), and this, though it does not prove the identity of the Egyptian name with that of the patriarch, certainly favors it, and establishes the historical fact that Egypt, settled by the descendants of Ham, was peculiarly his territory. The name Mizraim we believe to confirm this. The restriction of Ham to Egypt, unlike the case, if we may reason inferentially, of his brethren, may be accounted for by the very early civilization of this part of the Hamitic territory, while much of the rest w-as comparatively barbarous. Egypt may also have been the first settlement of the Hamites whence colonies went forth, as we know was the case with the Philistines. (See CAPHTOR).
I. Cush (Josephus Χοῦσος ) "reigned over the Ethiopians" [African Cushites]; Jerome (in Quaest. Hebr. in Genes.), "Both the Arabian Ethiopia, which was the parent country and the African, its colony" [Abyssinia = Cush in the Vulg. and Syr.]; but these gradations (confining Cush first to the western shore of the Red Sea, and then extending the nation to the Arabian Peninsula) require further extension; modern discoveries tally with this most ancient ethnographical record in placing Cush on the Euphrates and the Persian Gulf. When Rosenmü ller (Scholia in Ges. ad loc.) claims Josephus for an Asiatic Cush as well as an African one, he exceeds the testimony of the historian, who says no more than that "the Ethiopians of his day called themselves Cushites, and not only they, but all the Asiatics also, gave them that name" (Ant. 1, 6, 2). But Josephus does not specify what Ethiopians he means: the form of his statement leads to the opposite conclusion rather, that the Ethiopians were Africans terely, excluded from all the Asiatics [ὑπὸ ἑαυτῶν τε καὶ ἐν τῇ Ἀσίᾷ πάντῶν ], the ἑαυτῶν referring to the Αἰθίοπες just mentioned. ‘(For a better interpretation of Josephus here, see Volney, Systeme Geogr. des Hebreux, in Zieuvres, 5, 224.) The earliest empire, that of Nimrod, was Cushite, literally and properly, not per catachresin, as Heeren, Bunsen, and others would have it.
Sir W. Jones (On the Origin and Families of Nations, in Works, 3, 202) shows an appreciation of the wide extent of the Cushite race in primaeval times, which is much more consistent with the discoveries of recent times than the speculations of the neocritical school prove to be: "The children of Ham," he says, "founded in Iran (the country of the lower Euphrates) the monarchy of the first Chaldeans, invented letters, etc." (compare Rosenmü ller, as above quoted). According to Volnev. the term Ethiopian, coextensive with Cush, included even the Hintdis; he seems, however, to mean the southern Arabians, who were, it is certain, sometimes called Indians (in Menologio Greco, part 2, p. 197. "Felix Arabia Tindtl vocatur ubi jelix vocatur India Arabica, ut ali Ethiopica et Gangetica distinguatur," Assemani, Bibl. Orient. 3, 2, 569), especially the Yemenese; Jones, indeed, on the ground of Sanscrit affinities ("Cus or Cush being among the sons of Brahma, i.e. among the progenitors of the Hindus, and at the head of an ancient pedigree preserved in the Ractmyan"), goes so far as to say, "We can hardly doubt that the Cush of Moses and Valmic was an ancestor of the Indian race." Jones, however, might have relied too strongly on the forged Purana of Wilford (Asiatic Researches, 3, 432); still, it is certain that Oriental tradition largely (though in its usual exaggerated tone) confirms the Mosaic statements about the sons of Noah and their settlements. "In the Rozit ul-SuoTah it is written that God bestowed on Ham nine sons," the two which are mentioned at the head of the list (Hind, Sicnd, with which comp. Abulfaragius as quoted in one of our notices above), expressly connected the Hindus with Ham, although not through Cush, Who occurs as the sixth among the Hamite brethren. See the entire extract from the Khelassut- Akhibar of Khondemir in Rosenmü ller (Bibl. Geogr. Append. to ch. 3, vol. 1, p. 109 [Bib. Cab.]). Bohlen (Genesis, ad loc.), who has a long but indistinct notice of Cush, with his Sanscrit predilections, is for extending Cush "as far as the dark India," claiming for his view the sanction of Rosenm., Winer, and Schumann. When Job (Job 28:19) speaks of "the topaz of Ethiopia" (פַּטְרִתאּכּוּשׁ ), Bohlen finds a Sanscrit word in פטדת, and consequently a link between Indict and Cush (כּוּשׁ, Ethiopia). He refers to the Syriac, Chaldeean, and Saadias versions as having India for Cush, and (after Braun, De Vest. Scaerd. 1, 115) assigns Rabbinical authority for it. Assemani, who is by Bohlen referred to in a futile hope of extracting evidence for the identification of Cush and India (of the Hindus), has an admirable dissertation on the people of Arabia (Bibl. Or. 3:2, 552 sq.); one element of the Arab population he derives from Cush (see below).
We thus conclude that the children of Ham, in the line of Cush, had very extensive settlements in Asia, as far as the Euphrates and Persian Gulf at least, and probably including the district of the Indus; while in Africa they both spread widely in Abyssinia, and had settlements apparently among their kinsmen, the Egyptians: this we feel warranted in assuming on the testimony of the Arabian geographers; e.g. Abulfeda (in his section on Egypt, tables, p. 110 in the original, p. 151 trans. by Reinand) mentions a Cush; or rather Kus, as the most important city in Egypt after the capital Fosthaht: its port on the Red Sea was Cosseyr, and it was a place of great resort by the Mohammedans of the west on pilgrimage. "The sons of Cush, where they once got possession, were never totally ejected. If they were at any time driven away, they returned after a time and recovered their ground, for which reason I make no doubt but many of them in process of time returned to Chaldea, and mixed with those of their family who resided there. Hence arose the tradition that the Babylonians not only conquered Egypt, but that the learning of the Egyptians came originally from Chaldea; and the like account from the Egyptians, that people from their country had conquered Babylon, and that the wisdom of the Chaldaeans was derived from them" (Bryant, On Ancient Egypt, in Works, 6, 250). (See CUSH).
1. Seba (Josephus Σἀβας) is "universally admitted by critics to be the ancient name for the Egyptian [Nubian] Meroe" (Bohlen). This is too large a statement; Bochart denies that it could be Meroe, on the assumption that this city did not exist before Cambyses, relying on the statement of Diodorus and Lucius Ampelius. Josephus (Ant. 2, 10), however, more accurately says that Saba "was a royal city of Ethiopia [Nubia], which Cambyses afterwards named Meroe, after the name of his sister." Bochart would have Seba to be Saba-eMal reb in Arabia, confounding our Seba (סְבָא ) with Sheba (שׁבָא ). Meroe, with the district around it, was no doubt settled by our Seba. (See Gesen. s.v., who quotes Burckhardt, Rtippell, and Hoskins; so Corn. a Lap., Rosenm., and Kalisch; Patrick agrees with Bochart; Volney [who differs from Bochart] yet identifies Seba with the modern Arabian Sabbea; Heeren throws his authority into the scale for the Ethiopian Meroi; so Knobel.) It supports this opinion that Seba is mentioned in conjunction with the other Nile lands (Ethiopia and Egypt) in Isaiah 43:3; Isaiah 45:14. (The Sheba of Arabia, and our ‘ Ethiopian Seba, as representing opposite shores of the Red Sea, are contrasted in Psalms 72:10.) See Feldhoff (Volkertafel, p. 71), who, however, discovers manly Sebas both in Africa (even to the southwest coast of that continent) and in Asia (on the Persian Gulf), a circumstance from which he derives the idea that, in this grandson of their patriarch, the Hamites displayed the energy of their race by widely-extended settlements. (See SEBA).
2. Havilah (Josephus Εὐϊ v λας ), not to be confounded (as he is by Rosenm., and apparently by Patrick, after Bochart) with the son of Joktan, who is mentioned in v. 29. Joseph and Jerome, as quoted by Corn. a Lap., were. not far wrong in making the Gaetulians (the people in the central part of North Africa, between the modern Niger and the Red Sea) to be descended from the Cushite Havilah. Kiepert (Bibel-Atas, fol. I) rightly puts our Havilah in East Abyssinia, by the Straits of Baib el-Mindeb. Gesen., who takes this view, refers to Pliny, 6, 28, and Ptolemy, 4, 7, for the Avalitce, now Zeilah, and adds that Saadias repeatedly renders חוילה by Zeilah. Bohlen at first identifies the two Havilahs, but afterwards so far corrects himself as to admit, very properly, that there was probably on the west coast of the Red Sea a Havilah as well as on the east of it just in the same way as there was one Seba on the coast of Arabia, and another opposite to it in Ethiopia." There is no such difficulty as Kalisch (Genesis, Pref. p. 93) supposes in believing that occasionally kindred people should have like namoles. It is not more incredible that there should be a Havilah both in the family of Ham and in that of Shem (Genesis 10:7, comp. with Genesis 10:29) than that there were Enochs and Lamechs among the posterities of both Cain and Seth (compare Genesis 4:17-18, with Genesis 4:18; Genesis 4:25). Kalisch's cumbrous theory of a vast extent of country from the Persian Gulf running to the south-west and crossing the Red Sea, of the general name o
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McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Ham'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/h/ham.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.
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