( A.V. Ham). Son of Noah and progenitor of one of the three great races of men whose ethnographical table is given by Genesis 10 . Wherever the three sons of Noah are enumerated in the Bible , Cham is placed between Sem and Japhet. We may gather, however, from Genesis 9:24 that this enumeration is not based on their age, since Cham is there spoken of as the "younger son" of Noah, as compared, apparently, with both his brothers. The only incident of the life of Cham after the deluge, which is recorded in the Bible , is that related in Genesis 9:21-24. Cham sees his father under the influence of wine lying naked in his tent. He tells his brothers, who respectfully cover the patriarch. The sequel makes it plain that Cham was, on this occasion, guilty of great irreverence. For when Noah hears of the conduct of his sons he blesses Shem and Japhet, with their posterity, and he pronounces a curse, not on Cham, but on his son Chanaan and his descendants, predicting that they will be the servants of their bretheren. (For a fuller treatment of this point see Chanaan, Chanaanites.)
The natives and tribes which descent from Cham are enumerated in Genesis 10:6-20. They are divided into four great families : Chus, Mesram, Phuth, and Chanaan. The Cushites are found in the valleys of the Euphrates and Tigris, in Arabia, and also in Africa. Mesram is Egypt. Phuth, less known, seems to have occupied regions west of Egypt, particularly Libya. Chanaan comprised the numerous tribes whose country was subsequently occupied by Israel. The Chamites were, consequently, spread over an immense extent of territory. They founded the greatest empires of antiquity, Assyria, Babylonia, Egypt, Phoenicia. In Asia they were early replaced or subjugated by Semites. In Africa they have been likewise overcome, in the course of time, by the races of Sem and Japhet. This subjection has meant, in general, the triumph of a higher civilization, purer morals, and a more spirtual religion. (See Lenormant, "Hist. ancienne de l'Orient", I, 96 sq.)
Biography Of St John Bosco
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online