Ham's Sons

Ham's Sons
17 de ago. de 2021 · 41m 21s

Now it is time for our verse break down: Genesis 10:6 And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan. The previous verses named the sons and...

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Now it is time for our verse break down:

Genesis 10:6
And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan.

The previous verses named the sons and grandsons of Japheth. This verse begins a section describing the descendants of Ham and the nations that came from them. These peoples and nations will become integral to Israel's story and they are familiar names to this day. Ham's first generation of sons included Cush, Egypt, Put, and Canaan. Each of their lines will be described in the following verses.

Egypt is also known as Mizraim and the original Hebrew text uses the word Misra'yim here. In ancient literature, the names of nations and their founders were often used interchangeably, such as with Edom and Esau (Obadiah 1:8–10). Since the purpose of this passage is explaining the origins of the various ancient kingdoms, many English translations simply state this name as "Egypt."

Genesis 10:7
And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sabtecha: and the sons of Raamah; Sheba, and Dedan.

Starting in verse 6, this passage begins to detail the nations which came from Ham. This verse expands on the nations which originated from Ham's son Cush. Following the events surrounding the Tower of Babel described in Genesis 11, the descendants of Noah's grandson Cush settled in Arabia and in areas of present day Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia. They include Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Sabteca, and Raamah, along with Raamah's sons Sheba and Dedan.

Genesis 10:8
And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth.

Dropped into the middle of this table of nations is a fascinating historical aside about Nimrod, one of the sons of Cush. Initially, we're told that Nimrod was the first on earth to become a "mighty man" or "champion," indicating that he was a powerful and renowned ruler. The Hebrew phrasing here can mean that Nimrod simply "began" to be mighty, or it can be interpreted to mean that he was the first person to attain that level of might.

Interestingly, in many English-speaking countries, the term "nimrod" is used to imply that a person is stupid, slow-witted, or incompetent. Various popular artists in the 1920s and 1930s sarcastically referred to specific hunters as "Nimrod," and popular culture eventually overtook the original implications of the term.

Genesis 10:9
He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD.

Here, Nimrod is described as a mighty hunter before the Lord. Some scholars suggest that perhaps Nimrod is associated with the kings of Mesopotamia or Assyria, who valued hunting as a greatly honored skill. It's unlikely that the phrase "before the Lord" means that Nimrod was faithful to the true God.

It's more likely to mean that Nimrod was famous on the earth, where everything is before the Lord.
In fact, some scholars believe that Nimrod's skill in hunting might have led him to skill in battle, and built the basis for his success. His name is similar to the Hebrew word for "rebellion," and traditionally he was considered a dictator and tyrant.

The nation-states founded by Nimrod, including Nineveh, Assyria, and Babel, will become some of Israel's chief enemies. Nimrod was so famous for his hunting skill that being like Nimrod, "a mighty hunter before the Lord," became a common saying in the world.

In the modern English-speaking world, the term "nimrod" is used as an insult, mostly to someone's intelligence. This is due to a series of sarcastic references in the 1920s and 1930s, which mocked an inept hunter as "Nimrod," replacing the reputation of that name with almost the exact opposite!

Genesis 10:10
And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.

Nimrod also built a series of kingdoms for himself. Beginning in the land known as Shinar, Nimrod established his kingdom with Babel (or Babylon), Erech, Accad, and Calneh. Traditionally, Nimrod is viewed as an early tyrant—a dictator of considerable power.

As the following verse will reveal, many parts of Nimrod's kingdom will eventually become powerful enemies to Israel. These include kingdoms such as Assyria and Nineveh. The city of Babel will become the focal point of the next chapter as the events around the building of the Tower of Babel unfold (Genesis 11:1–9).

Genesis 10:11
Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah,

Apparently a great ruler of the time, he is described as a mighty hunter before the Lord.
Most traditions of the time also paint Nimrod as a tyrant, wielding great power in his lifetime.
After establishing his kingdom in the region of Shinar in the south, Nimrod moved north into Assyria.

There he built the great city of Nineveh and the close-by towns of Rehoboth-Ir, Calah, and those mentioned in the following verse. Later in Scripture, Nineveh and the Assyrians will become famous for their might, cruelty, and wickedness. God will send the prophet Jonah to take a message of salvation to the people of Nineveh; Jonah will resist.

The ruins of Nineveh remain to this day, near the modern city of Mosul in Iraq.

Genesis 10:12
And Resen between Nineveh and Calah: the same is a great city.

This verse concludes the biographical aside about Nimrod in chapter 10's table of nations. Nimrod, a descendant of Noah's son Ham, was a mighty man who established a kingdom of his own in the regions of Shinar and Assyria.

Resen, mentioned in this verse, is the final of Nimrod's cities to be mentioned. The name Resen likely meant "fountainhead," and the city may have been situated on the Tigris river.

In the future, Nimrod's descendants will become some of Israel's greatest enemies. They will also be directly involved in some of the Old Testament's most unfortunate incidents. Among these, as seen in the next chapter, is the incident at the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1–9).

Genesis 10:13
And Mizraim begat Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim,

Ham's sons included Cush, Put, Canaan, and Egypt (or Mizraim). In the original Hebrew, this particular son's name is Misra'yim. Some English translations use Mizraim here.

The Hebrew Old Testament, however, always refers to the nation of Egypt using the word Misra'yim, both in Genesis and the story of the Exodus. For this reason, many translations simply use "Egypt" to avoid confusion. Mizraim's / Egypt's sons are listed here and in the following verse.

Genesis 10:14
And Pathrusim, and Casluhim, (out of whom came Philistim,) and Caphtorim.

In Old Testament Hebrew, the only word used for this person, or the nation who came after him, is Misra'yim. This later became the nation of Egypt, and since that is how typical English speakers define that land today, most modern English translations stick to "Egypt" whenever this term arises.
Egypt was one of the sons of Ham, the son of Noah.

Following the Tower of Babel, the descendants of Egypt generally settled in and around the lands that make up what would become known as the great nation of Egypt. Israel's relationship with Egypt would be long and complicated.

Early on, they would be kind and supportive to the people of Israel (Genesis 50:1–14), but this would soon turn into subjection and slavery (Exodus 1:1–14).

Israel would also have a long and conflicted relationship with the Philistines, though there is some question as to whether the Philistines mentioned here are the same ones Israel fought in the time of David. Many scholars believe that this passage refers only to the Philistine people passing through an area, not necessarily originating in it.

Genesis 10:15
And Canaan begat Sidon his firstborn, and Heth,

After detailing the descendants of Ham's other sons, this verse begins a listing of the sons of Canaan. These sons will become the Canaanites, the peoples who occupied the Promised Land before the nation of Israel arrived to claim it under the direct orders of God (Exodus 3:17).

The evil of these Canaanite nations would become so severe that Israel was used as God's instrument of judgment against them (Deuteronomy 9:3–6).

Canaan's firstborn son was Sidon. The city of Sidon (Judges 1:31; Acts 27:3) is one of the oldest in the region of Canaan. Canaan's son Heth has a connection to the Hittites, but apparently not a direct connection to the great nation of the Hittites that would arise later (Exodus 13:5; Judges 1:26).

Genesis 10:16
And the Jebusite, and the Amorite, and the Girgasite,

This verse continues a list of the sons of Canaan, Noah's great-grandsons through his son, Ham. These sons of Canaan will become the Canaanites, the peoples occupying the Promised Land, which the people of Israel will come to conquer after the Exodus from Egypt (Exodus 3:17).

Unfortunately, while other nations had their flaws, the Canaanite peoples would become especially wicked. This, more than anything else, is what motivates God to send Israel as a form of judgment (Deuteronomy 9:3–6).

This flows from the curse given to Canaan by Noah, on account of Ham's dishonoring of his father (Genesis 9:20–25).

This Verse mentions the Jebusites, the Amorites, and the Girgashites. The Jebusites settled in what would later become the city of Jerusalem (Judges 1:21; 1 Chronicles 11:4).

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Autor Jerry M. Joyce
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