Minoritizing Ham: The Creation And Curse Of Blackness
If the first two of human kind were created white, they could never have been the parents of black and red men. If they were created red, they could never have been the parents of black and white men. If they were created black, they could never have been the parents of white and red men, as they could naturally procreate only their own complexion.
First, ADAM, as above, signifies earthy man red secondADAMAH, signifies red earth, or blood thirdADAMI, signifies my man red, earthy, human fourthADMAH, signifies earthy, red, or bloody all of which words are of the same class, and spring from the same root, which was Adam, signifying red, or copper color.
Japheth He caused to be born white, differing from the color of his parents, while He caused Ham to be born black, a color still further removed from the red hue of his parents than was white, events and products wholly contrary to nature, in the particular of animal generation, as relates to the human race.
he word Ham, in the language of Noah, which was the pure and most ancient Hebrew, signified any thing that had become black it was the word for black, whatever the cause of the color might have been, the same as the word black, means black in the English tongue.
Attributes equally undeveloped. Inferiorly mental not originative, inventive, or speculative roving, revengeful, predatory, and highly sensual warlike and destructive.
Blessing Japheth: The Dominion And Domain Of Whiteness
Japhet and his raceseem designated to be the organ of human civilization, in cultivating the intellectual powers. Dividing historically into two great branches, the Japhetic whites, spreading over the diversified continent of Europe, through a protracted discipline develope the higher powers of the soul in politics, jurisprudence, science, and art: while the Asiatic Japhetites dispersed over a more monotonous continent, embark in those pursuits of industry fitted to the lower capacities of our nature. quoted in )
As to the mental character of the black nations, considered collectively, we have found them, in all ages, since their appearance on the earth, of but small account when compared with the other races of men, the red and white.
The descendants of Japheth were distinguished for a progressive intelligence, and a commanding influence upon the destinies of the world. These qualities were to give them dominion in the tents of Shem, and the descendants of Ham were made their servants. And this future elevation of Japheth to the dominion of the world, was to harmonize with supreme reverence for that God whom they had been brought to know by dwelling in the tents of Shem, whose God was the eternal I AM, and not dumb idols.
Are Any People Groups In The Bible Prioritized
The primary ethnic difference emphasized in the Bible is between the descendants of Abraham the Hebrews and everyone else. When the Lord made covenants with the Israelites, He marked them as separate, not because of their race, but because He asked them to live by His laws, in relationship with Him. In fact, God set Israel apart, not to be separated racially, but culturally as an example for the rest of the world to bring them to God.
For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering. For my name will be great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts .
Because all people sin, the priests and the Israelites failed to live up to the law, so Jesus came and died in order to fulfill the law. Jesus death and resurrection reconciled all people to Him, though the Jewish people still hold a special place in His kingdom. They are the people group God used to be the human lineage of the Messiah. Jesus will reign forever from Jerusalem, both on earth and in heaven.
When they are called Gods chosen people, it means they were chosen to play a special role in His divine plan, not that they have a special superiority over the rest of mankind.
Recommended Reading: Is It Ok To Be Gay In The Bible
People From All Ethnic Groups Are United In Christ
In the New Testament, Paul demands active unity in the church, a unity that explicitly joins together differing ethnic groups because of their common identity in Christ. Paul proclaims that, in Christ, believers form a brand-new humanity. The old barrier of hostility and division between ethnic groups has been demolished by the cross and now, all peoples are to be one in Christ .
Christians of other races arent just equal to us they are joined to us.
Paul insists that the primary identity of Christians is to be based on their union with Christnot on traditional sociological, geographical, and ethnic connections. Again, the implications are profound. Christians of other races arent just equal to us they are joined to us. As Christians, were all part of the same body, united by the presence of the same Holy Spirit who indwells us all. Were not just friends or fellow worshipers in the same religion, but brothers and sisters in the same family.
Racial Equality Is Not From Man But From God
Equality isnt a man-made, modern, social justice theory. It is built into our DNA by the Father of all nations, God Almighty. God has given each of us dominion over the works of His hands, equally. Whenever the topic of race comes up, the theme of racism follows close behind. Atheists and adherents to other religions sometimes say the Christian God promotes racism, but this is not true.
Numerous Christians have justified racism on the basis of misused, distorted Scripture taken out of context such as Genesis 9:25. Seeking power and superiority, the curse has been misapplied to all of Hams descendants rather than just to Canaan within a historical and political context.
The point of Genesis 10 is that humankind is conceived as a unity, and the diversity of peoples is understood as the fulfillment of Gods command to Noah and his sons to be fruitful and to multiply, and to fill the earth. God created man in His image . There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus . No Christ-follower has any excuse for racial hatred, violence, or discrimination of any kind.
©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Rawpixel
Candice Lucey is a freelance writer from British Columbia, Canada, where she lives with her family. Find out more about her here.
Recommended Reading: Is Atlantis In The Bible
Does The Bible Address Equality
When examining the Bible, there are many stories where one can spot moments of inequity. Some of the most obvious are examples of conquest, when a stronger people group takes over another and brings its hierarchy with it. Much of this is the by-product of earthly divisions, and a human tendency to want to focus on and reinforce what divides people, rather than what they have in common.
When discussing issues of racial and gender equality, it can be easy to carry on the conversation in those parameters. However, that is not how God sees people. The Apostle Paul wrote, There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus . God sees all the individuals in His creation as unique, but equal.
No physical or financial trait changes the way God sees that person, treats that person, and loves that person. God did not create a different patriarch for the different races. All peoples come from Adam, and he is the Father of the human race. Nor did God create women to be subordinate to men. Instead, Eve was Adams helper. Then the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone I will make him a helper fit for him . The Lord sees people in the context of eternity, rather than temporary, earthly statuses.
However, the Bible is not silent on the inequality that exists. Some verses that address this topic include:
How Should Christians Respond To Inequality
The Lord calls His people to love Himself and to love others to see the world as He sees it. Jesus said, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets .
When Christians see inequality in the world, the first step is to make sure they react accordingly. Reach out in love and bring attention to behavior that is not Christ-like, especially if the individual or group committing the act of inequality claims to be Christian.
Another important response is to share the Gospel. The Lord Jesus can transform a heart in a way that people cannot. The Holy Spirit can convict the racist, the sexist, and any other form of hatred. Sharing the Gospel so the Holy Spirit can transform that person is important. It is sometimes appropriate to join movements for social change, as long as that movements goals and tactics are inline with Biblical principles.
Ultimately, inequality will not be eliminated until Jesus Christ returns and reigns, and it will not exist in the new heaven and the new earth. One of the most beautiful pictures in the Book of Revelation is this:
In heaven, there will be countless multitudes of people, equal before God, united in love. There will be no more tears, sorrow, pain, or inequality.
Also Check: Love In The Bible Verse
Systemic Racism And Individual Responsibility
One of the debates that sits at the heart of all of the racial tension that we see and feel in America and around the world is the issue of Systemic Racism. Systemic racism refers to idea that there is inherent racism in a given system, whether that system is political, economic, religious, or anything else. Do police stop, search, and arrest certain races of people at a biased rate compared to other races? Do employers give preferential treatment to certain races of people in hiring, firing, or promoting their employees? Do juries convict and give longer sentences to certain races compared to others? Is America systemically unfair toward minority cultures and self-protective of majority culture, what is known today as white privilege?
How Does The Answer To This Question Affect The Gospel
I have often heard Christians say that it doesnt matter whether Genesis presents true history, such as the marriage of Cain. Creation is a side issue, its not a primary doctrine, and the most important thing is to trust in Jesus. While I agree wholeheartedly that the gospel is our central message, people must depend on the Bible to know what the gospel is. If the Bible that relates the gospel is not accurate and truthful in Genesis, then how do we know it is telling the truth about Jesus Christ?
In addition, the history of Adams race in Genesis is foundational to understanding how the gospel applies to all people. Because all people are descendants of Adam and Eve, all people are sinners . If Cain married someone other than a descendant of Adam and Eve, that would contradict the clear teaching of Scripture, not only in Genesis but also as it relates to the gospel. If there are other races, then how can the gospel be for all people ? It cant, the gospel depends in part on the accurate biblical answer to where Cain got his wife. So its not just a side issue, its part of the main issue!
Peter admonishes us to be ready always to give an answer for the hope that we have . The history in Genesis, including the identity of Cains wife, is crucial to understanding that we are all sinners and in need of the forgiveness and salvation offered through Jesus Christ.
Also Check: Who Is Lilith In The Bible Banned From The Bible
The Biblical Divisions Of Race In The Antebellum South
Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. These three sons are declared by the Almighty to be types of the several nations that would descend from them. They are made typical representatives of superior, inferior, and medium nations. Their several localities were selected of God for each class of these nations to occupy on the globe, and their habitations were adapted to their type of character.
Thus we have four distinct blessings, promises, and curses, pronounced upon the patriarchs of the human family which were, no doubt, to be typical of their descendants. How were they to be fulfilled? The races must be kept distinct, or they could not be fulfilled
Nothing less than a physical change, a change of color, of features, of manners, habits and mental qualities, could with certainty operate as an effectual separation. A mere geographical separation, if there were no physical distinction, would only amount to a temporary separation because the migratory habits of man would soon bring them together. But a geographical separation, together with a physical distinction, would make, as it has made, an almost perfect barrier to an amalgamation of the different species. Thus the promises, curses, and blessings, upon the patriarchs, as types of the several species of mankind, could be literally fulfilled in the descendants of each typical patriarch.
Not A Scale Of Humanity
Gods plan for unity was always vibrant and exciting: We see in Revelation the fourfold formula of tribe, language, people, and nation, stresses the ethnic diversity of the people of God who will worship around the throne. All the nations you have made
will come and worship before you, Lord .
The curse upon Ham in Genesis 9:25 was not an indication that the nations would break off into groups of higher or lower human forms. There is no such thing as evolutionary ascendancy. According to Wayne Jackson, the Bible does not classify human beings along the racial lines that are common to modern thought.
That heart is the I AM, given to each person by the Lord Himself: Life, breath, existence, worth. All people across the globe share the same original parents, the same God , and our roots are equally tainted by sin but also equally beautiful. We were individually, lovingly created in person by God and all believers are also one body in Christ.
Read Also: What The Bible Says About Eternal Life
The Dispersion At Babel
Note that the context of Genesis 11 makes it clear that the reason forGods scattering the people over the earth was that they had united in rebellionagainst Him. Some Christians point to this event in an attempt to provide abasis for their arguments against so-called interracial marriage. They believethat this passage implies that God is declaring that people from different peoplegroups cant marry so that the nations are kept apart. However, there isno such indication in this passage that what is called interracial marriage iscondemned. Besides, there has been so much mixing of people groups over theyears, that it would be impossible for every human being today to trace theirlineage back to know for certain which group they are descended from.
We need to understand that the sovereign creator God is in charge of thenations of this world. Paul makes this very clear in Acts 17:26. Some peopleerroneously claim this verse to mean that people from different nationsshouldnt marry. However, this passage has nothing to do with marriage. AsJohn Gill makes clear in his classic commentary, the context is that God isin charge of all thingswhere, how, and for how long any person, tribe, ornation will live, prosper, and perish.33
Just Apes And True Man
It is essential to the scientific creationist viewpoint that modern humans lived before or at the same time as more primitive humans, and so they proclaim a number of fossils to be modern, even when the evidence refutes this view. Various fossils have been proclaimed modern, but they do not show the brain size or head and facial characteristics of modern humans. Others have been dismissed as just apes, when in reality the bones used for locomotion are very different from those of apes and are much more similar to those of humans. Peking Man, discussed below, is also dismissed as an ape and proclaimed a fraud. However, fossils of this same type, called , are found at many sites and could not possibly be mistaken for apes in brain size, teeth, skulls, or bones of the body. Ironically, some scientific creationists consider a true man. That creationists have trouble classifying intermediate forms only supports the status of these fossils as transitional.
You May Like: Where In The Bible Talks About Divorce
The Human Fossil Record
Paleoanthropologists are never satisfied with the available fossils — all want more. Nonetheless, even though more fossils are sought and details need to be worked out, the outline of human evolutionary history is fairly well understood. The human fossil record is discussed in detail in another NCSE brochure .
To the scientific creationists, however, there are no human fossils — no evidence of forms intermediate between humans and other primates. To their way of thinking, all intermediate forms are either frauds/hoaxes perpetrated by deceitful evolutionists, or errors of interpretation or the fossils can be dichotomized into “just apes” or “true man.”