What is the Hebrew word for “a curse”?
(a feminine noun)
- Word Origin: from qalal
- Definition: a curse
- NASB Translation:
accursed (1), curse (27), curses (2), cursing (3), imprecation (2).
- Word Origin: a prim. root
- Definition: to be slight, swift or trifling
- NASB Translation:
abated (2), accursed (1), brought a curse (1), contempt (1), contemptible (1), curse (15), cursed (16), curses (8), cursing (2), despise (1), despised (2), ease (1), easier (1), easy (2), insignificant (1), light a thing (1), lighten (5), lightly esteemed (2), make it lighter (2), moved to and fro (1), shakes (1), sharpen (1), slight thing (1), small a thing (1), superficially (2), swift (1), swifter (5), treat us with contempt (1), treated (1), treated and lightly (1), trivial (1), trivial thing (1).
“arar” meaning “to curse”
- Word Origin: a prim. root
- Definition: to curse
- NASB Translation:
brings a curse (6), curse (8), curse is cursed (1), cursed (40), cursed be those who curse (1), cursed is everyone who curses (1), cursed woman (1), utterly curse (1).
Kena’an/Canaan (son of Cham/Ham) Canaan (Hebrew: כְּנַעַן Kena’an), according to the Book of Genesis in the Hebrew Bible, was a son of Cham and grandson of Noach, and was the father of the Canaanites/Kena’ani. He was the recipient of the so-called Curse of Cham.
It is my belief that Noach’s/Noah’s placing a curse upon Kena’an was actually inspired by YAH Almighty!
It is my belief that Noach did not just curse his grandson out of thin air!
But why Kena’an/Canaan of all Cham’s offsprings and why was the curse so harsh?
I have been taught during my Hebrew studies that “NEVER GO TO ISRAEL THE HOLY LAND AND SAY TO ANYBODY THAT YOU KNOW SOMEONE or ASK THEM IF THEY KNOW A PARTICULAR PERSON!”
The reason is that, whilst it may be okay to say in the English language and perhaps other languages, it is not okay to say in the Hebrew language!
Note that, it is recorded in the Hebrew Holy Scriptures that, for example, “….And Adam knew his woman/wife, Eve and she bore him Cain….” etc. It is very clear that the word “to know someone” in the Hebrew language is used to make reference “to having sexual relations with that someone.” One would therefore offend greatly and even create trouble for oneself when they say they know that someone as they would unknowingly imply that they have had sexual relations with that person even if in actual fact they have never done so.
Kena’an, Cham’s son must have really offended Noach and the fact that it is recorded that Noach knew what had happened after his drunken moment had passed is a sign that Cham’s or Kena’an’s act was much more than just looking at his father while his father was naked.
We will explore this further down.
The honest truth is that even if Noach would have cursed Cham, his son, Kena’an and all the descendants after Cham and Kena’an would still have ended up being recipients of the curse as curses affect generations of families until realised and broken plus destroyed in YAHUSHUA’S Name and through YAHUSHUA’S Blood!
Once Satan and his fallen angels hear a curse spoken out of a human mouth anywhere in the world, they ensure that it is acted upon and that it manifests in the recipient’s life until the recipient or the recipient’s descendants have a revelation from YAH Almighty and destroy the curse placed/curse.
Note that Kena’an is the one who stole Shem (his Uncle)’s portion of land. After “The Great Flood,” YAH Almighty gave Noach/Noah the divisions of land plus their rightful ownerships as ordained in the Shammayim. Noach was to pass this information on to his children who went and started new generations/families in those lands. Shem was the oldest. Cham was the second born and Yapheth/Japheth (Word Origin
from pathah meaning “to be simple”) was the third/youngest of Noach’s benei/children.
Shem was given the land we all know now as Israel. Kena’an as inspired by Satan/the devil went ahead of Shem to steal Shem’s portion of land. Despite pleadings with Kena’ani from his fathers, Cham and Yepheth, Kena’an refused to heed to YAH’S instructions! Kena’an started to manifest the curse from henceforth. No wonder, Kena’an had no shalom/peace throughout his stay in the holy land to-date…
Additionally, this is why YAH Almighty repeatedly said to his Avraham/Abraham, Yitzchak/Isaac and Ya’akov/Jacob a.k.a Yi’sra’el/Israel that he would give that land back to them and that it would belong to their descendants forever more.
As we all know, acquiring the land back was a major battle which Ya’akov a.k.a Y’isra’el fought so much more than his two forefathers. To this day, there is still a major battle over that land – the Holy Land, Y’isra’el. Most, if not every country in the world feels they have to be involved in the matter.
Who are the present day Palestinians?
Well, they are the Pelishti/Philistines of Avaham’s day from whom he bought the Cave of Machpelah. However they also now include some Kena’ani and descendants of Esav/Esau.
The Philistines were an ancient people known for their conflict with the Israelites described in the Bible. The primary source about the Philistines is the Hebrew Bible, but they are first attested in reliefs at the Temple of Ramses III at Medinet Habu, where they are called Peleset,[a] accepted as cognate with Hebrew Peleshet; the parallel Assyrian term is Palastu,[b] Pilišti,[c] or Pilistu.[d]
The first reference to Philistines in the Hebrew Bible is in the Table of Nations, where they are said to descend from Casluhim, son of Mizraim (Egypt). However, the Philistines of Genesis who are friendly to Abraham are identified by rabbinic sources as distinct from the warlike people described in Deuteronomistic history. Deuteronomist sources describe the “Five Lords of the Philistines”[e] as based in five city-states of the southwestern Levant: Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Ekron, and Gath, from Wadi Gaza in the south to the Yarqon River in the north. This description portrays them at one period of time as among the Kingdom of Israel‘s most dangerous enemies. In contrast, the Septuagint uses the term allophuloi (Greek: ἀλλόφυλοι) instead of “Philistines”, which means simply “other nations”.
Note that all the peoples whom Avraham met in the Holy Land at the time of arrival from Charan/Haran had diverted from worshipping YAH Almighty as their only GOD! Surely, they had at some point known about and worshipped YAH Almighty because they all came from Noach. Remember that 8 persons entered Noah’s ark before “The Great Flood.” All the 8 persons knew YAH as their GOD and worshipped HIM! Things changed again in a bad way after “The Great Flood” as Noach’s grandchildren slacked in their following of YAH’S TORAH! They even stopped observing YAH’S Moedim/Festivals/Appointed Times until the time of Moshe/Moses. Rather, they had various gods who represented various aspects of life. These gods were sacrificed to. The Book of Yasher/Jasher a.k.a The Book of the Upright Man recorded that the Kena’ani (that is people of Canaan or Canaanites) irritated Yitzchak and Rivkah/Rebecca or Rebekah so very much because they worshipped so many gods. They learned this through Esav their older son who had married women from the Kena’ani. The wives once lived with Yitzchak and Rivkah hence Yitzchak and Rivkah getting to know them better. The Kena’ani wives would make a lot of sacrifices and prayers to their various gods. Yitzchak and Rivkah had nothing in common with them whatsover. In fact, Esav had to relocate his wives. He became of jealous of his younger brother, Ya’akov who married rightly in YAH’S eyes. Ya’akov returned to the adopted father’s land of Avraham, Charan where he found two very good wives, the ones ordained by YAH Almighty. It is said the Leah was meant for Esav if only Esav loved YAH Almighty more than anything else in his life and had often sought counsel from his parents concerning certain crucial affairs of life. Leah ended up being taken by Ya’akov, whom she rightly deserved and viseversa. She has never been forgotten. She is regarded as a crucial matriarch in Judaism.
It is good to know that Ya’akov made a contribution to Leah’s and Rachel’s coming into the world by praying for Lavan/Laban to be blessed with children years before after Laban sent a message to his sister, Rivkah about his barrenness problem knowing the kind of GOD whom Rivkah served. Yitzchak, Rivkah and Ya’akov prayed and Lavan’s wife conceived twins (Leah and Rachel). Ya’akov met these later in life and preferred to marry the younger of the twins just like he was the younger of the twins from Rivkah’s womb. Lavan was greatly blessed by YAH Almighty as a result of Ya’akov residing with him in his house and land. Lavan had more children Barrenness was destroyed from Lavan’s life. Praise YAH!
Note that as a result of Kena’an moving to the Land of Shem which was meant to be Holy before YAH Almighty, Kena’an polluted the land totally to-date.
Since the Bnei-Y’isra’el/Children of Israel arrived and settled in the Holy Land led by Yahushua/Joshua after crossing the Yarden/River Jordan, to-date, they have battled against the small gods/Satan’s pollution through Kena’ani hence Satan’s darkness in the Holy Land throughout their lives.
It is YAH Almighty who will put to an end all of Satan’s efforts and accomplishments!
Praise YAH Almighty!
Noach, Cham and the Curse of Kena’an:
Who Did What to Whom in the Tent?
It is said by some that when the Holy Biblical Scriptures say that Cham saw his Av’s or Abba’s/father’s nakedness, it actually implies something else hence the curse was placed on Kena’an amongst all of Cham’s children. The nakedness of a man is a common Hebrew expression for having sex with his wife. So that leads us to the next question which is, where did Kena’an come from?
Who exactly are Kena’an’s parents?
Two things are suggested as the meaning of what was said in Beresheith/Genesis and these are as follows:
- A Homosexual act took place
- Cham had sexual relations with a very close relative of Noach, someone who was at the level of mother to Cham hence breaking YAH’S TORAH! As a result Kena’an was conceived and later born thus cursing him rather than Cham.
Which argument carries more weight (as not much information is given in the Holy Biblical Scriptures)?
Following the story of the flood, Noah plants a vineyard and gets drunk in his tent:
בראשית ט:כב וַיַּרְא חָם אֲבִי כְנַעַן אֵת עֶרְוַת אָבִיו וַיַּגֵּד לִשְׁנֵי אֶחָיו בַּחוּץ…ט:כד וַיִּיקֶץ נֹחַ מִיֵּינוֹ וַיֵּדַע אֵת אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה לוֹ בְּנוֹ הַקָּטָן. ט:כה וַיֹּאמֶר אָרוּר כְּנָעַן עֶבֶד עֲבָדִים יִהְיֶה לְאֶחָיו.
|Gen 9:22 Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father’s nakedness and told his two brothers who were outside… 9:24When Noah awoke from his drunken stupor he learned what his youngest son had done to him. 9:25 So he said, “Cursed be Canaan! The lowest of slaves he will be to his brothers.”|
Why does Noah express such a severe curse for the seemingly minor sin of observing his nakedness?
The statement that Noah knew what was done to him after waking from his drunken stupor contrasts with Lot who was similarly abused sexually by his daughters while drunk, and concerning whom we read (Gen 19:35),
וְלֹא יָדַע בְּשִׁכְבָהּ וּבְקֻמָהּ.
|and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose.|
Leviticus 20:17 shows that “seeing nakedness” is a euphemism for sex:
ויקרא כ:יז וְאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר יִקַּח אֶת אֲחֹתוֹ בַּת אָבִיו אוֹ בַת אִמּוֹ וְרָאָה אֶת עֶרְוָתָהּ וְהִיא תִרְאֶה אֶת עֶרְוָתוֹ חֶסֶד הוּא וְנִכְרְתוּ לְעֵינֵי בְּנֵי עַמָּם עֶרְוַת אֲחֹתוֹ גִּלָּה עֲוֹנוֹ יִשָּׂא.
|Lev 20:17 If a man has sexual intercourse with his sister, whether the daughter of his father or his mother, so that he sees her nakedness and she sees his nakedness, it is a disgrace. They must be cut off in the sight of the children of their people. He has exposed his sister’s nakedness; he will bear his punishment for iniquity.|
Most likely, the phrase describing Noah’s nakedness, “and he became revealed (וַיִּתְגַּל) inside his tent” was meant to evoke the theme of incest, as “revealing of nakedness” serves as the euphemism for incest in the prohibitions of Leviticus:
ויקרא יח:ו אִישׁ אִישׁ אֶל כָּל שְׁאֵר בְּשָׂרוֹ לֹא תִקְרְבוּ לְגַלּוֹת עֶרְוָה…
|Lev 18:6 None of you shall come near anyone of his own flesh to uncover nakedness…|
Thus, the sin, in the original narrative, is not homosexual sex itself, but forced incest of a son with his father in a situation in which the father has no ability to defend himself; this would explain the harshness of the father’s curse.
Kena’an/Canaan was cursed for life because he was conceived by perversion; Cham sleeping with his mother.
Noach cursed Kena’an as a statement of that reality, not as a judgment, but as a warning to others against following in Cham’s perverted ways.
Noach drank his wine and got drunk, became uncovered in his tent [his drunkenness left his wife vulnerable and exposed to Cham’s wickedness]. And Cham, saw the nakedness of his father [that is, he had sex with Noach’s wife, Cham’s own mother] and told his two brothers. But Shem and Yepheth took a garment, laid it on both their shoulders, and went backward and covered the nakedness of their father [refusing to further abuse their mother], faces were turned away, and they did not see their father’s nakedness [i.e., their mother’s nude body]. So Noach awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done to him [because he found out from his wife and his sons]. Then he said [after he learned of the pregnancy]: Cursed be Canaan [whose father was Ham]” Gen. 9:18, 20‑25
When Noach awoke from his drunkenness, he was responding to two things:
1) the character of his oldest son, Cham, who thought it was a big joke to see his father (the Family Priest) naked (uncovered- “nakedness”), and made fun of him to his two other sons;
2) When he awoke, YAH Almighty gave Noach understanding about what had happened, and at the same time YAH revealed to Noach that Cham’s son Kena’an would follow in the evil footsteps of his father. Through Noach cursing Kena’an, he was prophesying about the future of Kena’an, a prophecy given to him by YAH Almighty.
Why did Noah curse Kena’an rather than Cham?
Was seeing his father naked serious enough to warrant such a curse? throughout the Old Testament there are lots of references about seeing another person nude or “uncovered”, which YAH warns against. However, it was also the fact that he had no respect for his father,[u]and it was the pleasure that Cham took from his father’s humiliation that was a major part of the offense. It wasn’t an event that a person should enjoy, as Habakkuk 2:15-16 states:[/u]
Habakkuk 2:15-16 New King James Version (NKJV)
15 “Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbor,
[a]Pressing him to your bottle,
Even to make him drunk,
That you may look on [b]his nakedness!
16 You are filled with shame instead of glory.
And [c]be exposed as uncircumcised!
The cup of the Lord’s right hand will be turned against you,
And utter shame will be on your glory.