Answers

By   •   May 23, 2013   •   Topics: ,

Q:

Is it true that God cursed one of Noah's sons, who became the founder of the black race? My uncle is very prejudiced against people of other races, and he uses this to defend his position.


A:

No, this is not true, although it’s been repeated so often and for so long that many people still believe it, and — like your uncle — have used it to justify their prejudice against people of other races.

Noah, the Bible tells us, had three sons, each of whom (after the great flood) would become the founder of a number of nations or peoples. One of the sons, Ham, became the founder of some groups that settled in Africa, although most of his descendants settled elsewhere, including Babylonia and Assyria in the Middle East. (You can read the list of the nations that came from Noah’s sons in Genesis 10.)

Because of a specific shameful act that occurred after the great flood, Noah pronounced a curse or judgment on one of Ham’s sons, a man by the name of Canaan. The judgment was that Canaan and his descendants would become servants or slaves to his brothers and their descendants, and over time, this actually happened. But the curse was not on Ham; it was only on his son, Canaan (see Genesis 9:25). Nor was Canaan the founder of any African nation or race; his descendants settled only in the Middle East.

Racial prejudice is sin in the eyes of God, and the Bible should never be used to defend it. God created the whole human race, and Jesus Christ died to redeem people from every race. Remember: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

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31 Comments

  1. Yolandal. says:

    I have this over and over and find it fascinating by all means. The book Genesis is difficult to read and understand but it is very important as it all started here. God Bless.

  2. Fotios says:

    Thank you for the nice answer. God bless

  3. Ernest says:

    Why then does God allow white people to believe they are superior than black people. In South Africa, it has been over 300 years and God still allows white people play superior than blacks. He is a God of miracles and why can’t he stop this?

    1. BGEA says:

      Hi Ernest,
      You have a good question, and it’s not an easy one to answer. Racism is like any other sin in that God detests it but gives people the free will to choose good or evil. Unfortunately, many people have chosen evil in the form of racist thoughts and actions. It is very likely that the world will not be totally free from racism until Jesus comes back. This is a message from Billy Graham that he gave in South Africa in 1973: https://billygraham.org/audio/confronting-racism-billy-graham-teaches-god-loves-everyone/ We hope it is helpful to you as you grapple with questions about the sin of racism. God bless you. -BGEA team

  4. Arthur Weaver says:

    Like the information and it was good, but it just wasn’t enough of it on the topic. Please continue to keep us informed. Thank you.

  5. John Zebedee Doekpah says:

    I am so happy I have found an answer to my long standing questions that have confused me so much. However, can you help with a map of Noah’s son that settled in the four corners of the earth: Russia, Australia, Asia, Europe, etc. This will answer my further questions.

  6. Joe says:

    Racism is a sin, all people are the same – period. However, I cannot believe that preachers use the issue about “Ham was not cursed but his son” as an explanation. It is an insult to our intelligence.

  7. Godswill Nnonwa says:

    Thank God for Jesus

  8. Godswill Nnonwa says:

    It is obvious that the death of Jesus has redeemed us from all curses.

  9. Randy says:

    I say amen. Well written biblical response. The soul of all people is equally valuable.