Genealogy of Ham

Gen. 10:6-7:
6 "The sons of Ham were Cush and Mizraim and Put and Canaan.
7 The sons of Cush were Seba and Havilah and Sabtah and Raamah and Sabteca; and the sons of Raamah were Sheba and Dedan."

Why did scripture choose not to write on the sons of all the sons. No one really knows. It could be a practical matter. In other words, they simply did not have the writings on those sons. It could be a matter of significance. Those are in scripture that contribute to the direction God wanted to go.

The three sons of Ham mentioned are Cush (also Kish), Mizraim, Put, and Canaan. Cush is the same as "Ethiopia" in the Bible. The Cushites migrated into Arabia then crossed the Red Sea into Ethiopia. Tablets found in the Tell of Amarna call the land "Kashi".

Mizraim is the ancestor of the Egyptians and is the name for Egypt in the Bible. Egypt is called "the land of Ham" (Ps. 105:23). That is probably because Ham accompanied Mizraim into the Nile Valley settlement.

Josephus put Put (sometimes Phut) to the region of North Africa. Of course, Canaan was given for Canaan and the Canaanites. Seba was associated with southwestern Arabia across the Red Sea into Sudan. That gave the name to the Sabeans (Isaiah 45:14).

Havilah is a name of another "Havilah", a Semite, son of Joktan (see Gen 10:29). Sabtah has been identified with the ancient city of Sabatah in Arabia.

Raamah settled in Arabia. But he is known for being the father of Sheba and Dedan. It is presumed that Sheba and Dedan were well known.

Gen. 10:8-9:
8 Now Cush became the father of Nimrod; he became a mighty one on the earth.
9 He was a mighty hunter before the LORD; therefore it is said, “Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before the LORD."

Now comes a big name of Nimrod. Cush is the father of Nimrod. Scripture says that Nimrod became a powerful person on earth. Although Cush and other sons were distributed throughout South and west into Arabia and Africa, Nimrod stayed in the Tigris-Euphrates area. It is thought that Cush really despised the curse of Noah. So He gave special training to Nimrod as Nimrod was growing up. The training was for planning and organizing a rebellion against God's purposes for mankind. Even the name Nimrod means "Let Us Rebel". Nimrod became very powerful. He had the support of the Hamites, Semites, and Japhthites. It is proposed he received the support of Ham and Japheth because of the pressure of the father Ham of Cush. Why was Nimrod called a "hunter"? It probably means that Nimrod was fantastic searching out and power of persuasion to obtain followers. However, he also because very well known for hunting down wild animals that caused problems with the inhabitants. We have to remember, there was no need of fright of animals before and Flood because they did not eat meat. Yes, there is a lot of controversy of that with lions and tigers, and even dinasaurs. However, after the Flood, God told Noah that we could eat meat and the animals would be frightened of us. However, they would be then preying on us for food. Some of the larger animals were more dangerous because of lack of food just after the Flood. However, deliberate harming of animals was "against the Lord".

The Jerusalem Targum says" "He was powerful in hunting and in wickedness before the Lord, for he was a hunter of the sons of men, and he said to them, 'Depart from the judgment of the Lord, and adhere to the judgment of Nimrod!' Therefore, is it said:'As Nimrod the strong one, strong in hunting, and in wickedness before the Lord'" The Targum is the Aramaic translation of OT. It was and is used in synagogues of Palestine and Babylonia. After some time after the nation of Aram started, their language Aramaic almost replaced Hebrew as the street or spoken language for Jews, especially in Jerusalem.

Gen. 10:10-12:
10 The beginning of his kingdom was Babel and Erech and Accad and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.
11 From that land he went forth into Assyria, and built Nineveh and Rehoboth-Ir and Calah,
12 and Resen between Nineveh and Calah; that is the great city.

Nimrod because very powerful. He built the city of Babel and became its king. That is discussed further in Gen. 11. Although God wanted us to set up governmental systems, He certainly did not want the government to be set up as Nimrod set it up around Babylon. There were several cities centered on Babylon. Included in the cities of Babylon was the city of Erich (also called Uruk). This was the home of the legendary Gilgamesh, the person writing about the infamous Gilgamesh Epoch: the Babylonian Flood. Excavations have uncovered evidence of very old writing even before Abraham.

From Babel, Nimrod also went into Assyria (Asshur). He built Nineveh, Rehoboth, Resen, and Calah. Nineveh was on the upper Tigris River just as Babylon was on the Euphrates. Nineveh was about two hundred miles north of Babylon. It became the capital of the great Assyrian empire. Both Babylonia and Assyria were subsequently conquered by Semites, but the Hamite Nimrod was the founder and first emperor of both of them. Nineveh’s two satellite cities, Rehoboth and Resen, have not been definitely identified.

Caleh has been excavated. It is located on the Tigris about twenty miles south of Nineveh. It is still called “Nimrud,” after its founder. Resen has been said to have been between Nineveh and Calah. This complex of cities was called “a great city,”. Assyrian legends speak of “Ninus” as the founder of Nineveh. This is evidently a form of “Nimrod.”

Gen. 10:13-14:
13 Mizraim became the father of Ludim and Anamim and Lehabim and Naphtuhim
14 and Pathrusim and Casluhim (from which came the Philistines) and Caphtorim."

Mizraim was the founder of Egypt. There is not much known of the sons of Mizraim. The Philistines are said to have come from the lineage of Mizraim's son Casluhim. The descendants of Caphtorim are also identified with the Philistines (Amos 9:7; Jeremiah 47:4). Secular writings generally place the origin of the Philistines on the island of Crete, and identify Caphtor as Crete. Quite possibly these two sons of Mizraim, ancestors of the Casluhim and Caphtorim, kept their families together. They later migrating to Crete and still later, in successive waves, to the eastern shore of the Mediterranean to the land later known as Philistia.

Gen. 10:15-20:
15 Canaan became the father of Sidon, his firstborn, and Heth
16 and the Jebusite and the Amorite and the Girgashite
17 and the Hivite and the Arkite and the Sinite
18 and the Arvadite and the Zemarite and the Hamathite; and afterward the families of the Canaanite were spread abroad.
19 The territory of the Canaanite extended from Sidon as you go toward Gerar, as far as Gaza; as you go toward Sodom and Gomorrah and Admah and Zeboiim, as far as Lasha.
20 These are the sons of Ham, according to their families, according to their languages, by their lands, by their nations."

Wow! Ham's youngest son, Canaan had eleven sons and unknown number of daughters.
  • Sidon started Phoenicians.
  • Heth is the ancestor of the Hittites.They ruled a great empire in Asia Minor for about 800 years. The Hittites were in existence at the times of Abraham and Solomon.
  • Jebus preceded the Jebusites.
  • The Amorites came from Amorite.
  • Not much is known of the Girgasites from Girgashite.
  • The Hivites from Hivite seemed to have been all the way from Sidon to Jerusalem.
  • The Arkites from Arkite were in Syria.
  • The Arvadites lived in Arvad, a city of the Phoenicians.
  • The Aemarites from Aemarite are identified in Sumur (stillknown today as Sumra).
  • The Hamathites from Hamathitee are associated with the Syrian city of Hamath.
  • The Sinites of Sinite may be lost in history. However, the name is so close to Sin, Mt. Sinai, Sinim suggest some connection. The Assyrian diety Sin was said to have been in Ur to establish law and order.
  • It is said by many that the two sons of Canaan, Heth and Sin were the ancestors of the Oriental peoples.
Scripture says that the territory of the Canaanite extended from Sidon toward Gerar as far as Gaza, toward Somom and Gomorrah and Adman and Zeboim as for as Lasta. The fundamental reason for the statement is probably to emphasize that the Canaanites grew and spread more than the others.

Return to Genesis Home Email to Bill