• Mohamed Shahid Mathee



According to the “Curse of Ham†narrative in the book of Genesis (Gen 9:20– 27), Ham gazed at his sleeping father Noah’s nakedness and did not cover him. When Noah awoke he cursed Canaan, Ham’s fourth and youngest son, and his offspring with slavery. Why did Noah curse Canaan and not Ham, the one who stared at his nakedness? And why did Noah curse Ham for the seemingly trivial act of not covering him? This article links Ham’s doing to Noah and Noah’s cursing of Canaan to a motive for land, the land of Canaan for Israel, Yahweh’s landless people. The curse of Canaan justified casting the Canaanites out of the land. It argues that Ham’s deed and Noah’s curse were invented by the Yahwist (J) author of the narrative to realise this motive of land for Israel.


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How to Cite

Mathee, Mohamed Shahid. 2016. “CURSE MOTIVES IN THE “CURSE OF HAM” NARRATIVE: LAND FOR YAHWEH’S LANDLESS PEOPLE?”. Journal for Semitics 25 (2):726-47.



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