Tag Archives: Canaan

The Insecurity of Moses

This is my retelling/ paraphrase of Exodus 4.  I had to edit it slightly to account for the fact that, archaeologically, the Israelites seem to never to have left Canaan, let alone come back to it in the Exodus.

I believe I got this version of ‘I am who I am’ from Harold Bloom, in his book Jesus and Yahweh, The Names Divine. If I remember correctly, Bloom believed Yahweh was being coy with Moses when he told him that was his name.

I had to take a break from ranting about Biblical Sexual Ethics. I’m afraid I didn’t get very far. While I was sitting making clay dinosaurs with my little sister, my mom put on some radio preacher.  He was preaching a sermon on insecurity, and using Exodus 4 as his text.  

He explained that Moses kept turning God down because he was all being silly and insecure. We should learn from his negative example and not be such wusses all the time.

***

He understood- in his guts, in his bones, in his skin, in the hair on his arms and head that was standing on end (and he wasn’t sure, later, if that was because of his own fear or because of almost visible energy charging the air)-

He shouldn’t have come.

He didn’t see how he could have avoided coming.

He had seen a fire on the horizon, over the backs of the goats.  A wildfire could set the mountainside ablaze in a remarkably short time, endangering the flock.  A campfire could mean raiders,  with plans to attack the tribe’s main encampment and herds, or guests, to whom hospitality must be extended.

Moses had been feeling a little glow of happiness lately, watching his two little sons playing by the campfire at night.  He gripped his staff and felt its strength, the fiber of wood grown in the desert.  It wouldn’t break. He felt capable of fighting or charming his way out of anything.  Strangely light-hearted, he set out towards the light.  He would prove to his father-in-law, Jethro of the Midianites, that the man’s kindness in adopting a half-dead stranger, found lost in the wilderness, had not been wasted.

But this was no wildfire. This was  no campfire.

This was a was a god.

The bush stood flickering and silent before him.

Energy like tongues of flame flickered up and down its branches, nesting in the living leaves.   He could see nothing else. The god had not appeared.  But only a fool would fail to understand what was happening.

The Being before him (around him? behind him?) was watching. It gave no sign.

His mind raced, thinking of the names of various gods and their behaviors.  How one must behave around each one. His hand gripping his staff and the gravel of the hillside underfoot, he was suddenly in the cool dim room in Egypt where he had learned to read-

“You’ve come close enough” a voice said, from nowhere, or maybe from above the bush itself.  The voice was like the voice of the hill side, dry and warm. It purred like stone chips pouring over the face of a rock.   “Don’t come any closer.”

He let his mind go blank, He waited, tense.  The god was going to speak for itself.

“Take off your sandals, Moses.” the voice told him.  “The ground where you are standing is holy.”

Moses complied, not taking his eyes away from the bush.  This was not a god who demanded temples, then, he thought with a sinking feeling. That ruled out many of the gods, and meant that it could be something older- something more dangerous-

The image of a sceptered being, with the head  and face of an unknown creature, flashed through his mind. Set, of the wilderness and whirlwind. Set, who did not love cities.

“I am the god of your fathers.” the voice rolled accusingly, as if disappointed that Moses would think such things. “The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”

For one moment, Moses’ heart moved strangely  with  recognition- joy and terror and pride. Then he whipped his outer robe over his face and dropped to his knees.

It wasn’t in the books of the Egyptians he had learned about this god.

To see this god was to die- but no one knew for sure what he looked like. Moses could have incurred death already.

He crouched, waiting.  He could hear his own heart beating in his ears.

His people had worshiped this god once, before the Egyptians had come into their country. His rites were associated with deception and massacre, and when He Himself acted entire city-states and their surrounding regions were sometimes consumed by unnatural fire.

This was a dangerous god.

He claimed to be the god who ruled all the others. The Elohim.

Through the fabric of his robe, Moses saw the air seemed to brighten. The energy around him seem to relax and flame up.

“I have, indeed, seen the misery of my people.” the god said royally. “I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers and I am concerned about their suffering.”

The god paused, letting that sink in.  Moses didn’t move.  The god was telling him this.  So… he hadn’t seen god? The god wasn’t going to kill him?

The god went on.

“So, I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians, and to give them a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey– the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites.”

Moses’ breath caught in his throat, and his arm sank.  He looked at the bush.  It still stood there, silent flames flickering along its branches.

The other inhabitants of the land worshiped the Elohim as well.  He had always said that he could have made them into one people- a power to rival Egypt- but he preferred for them to be separate. His plan was to test them, he said.  That way they would strive with each other to excel in devotion.

This was the end of the test, then. God was discarding the others, and keeping Jacob’s descendants. Moses wasn’t sure if he felt happy or ill.

“And now, the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and  I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. ”

After four hundred years of Egyptian rule, he had, Moses thought fiercely.  Well, if he had finally chosen, the Egyptians would have to be pushed out of the country first, of course… They didn’t approve of unrest in regions they had nominal claim to. People tended to ask them for help.

“So, now, go.” the rock slide of a voice struck a crescendo, ” I am sending you to Pharaoh, to release my people, the Israelites, from the power of Egypt.”

Moses jumped to his feet.  Images of his Egyptian family  were hanging in his eyes now- his stepmother- his father- the repercussions against them at Pharaoh’s court when he had-

“Ah- Elohim, I am no one.  Among Jacob’s children or the Egyptians. Who am I that I should stand before Pharaoh- on behalf of a people who belong to You?”

“I will be with you.” the god replied, airily, as if that were the only problem. “And the sign that I have sent you will be that…  if it’s done…  you will come back here and worship me, on this very mountain.”

 Moses dropped back to his knees and averted his eyes. One could die for almost anything around a god.  Particularly this one.

The image of Set rose again, unbidden, in his mind.

“Suppose…” Moses began cautiously  “…suppose I go to the Israelites.  And I tell  them, ‘The god of your fathers has sent me to you!”  And they say to me, ‘Oh? Then what’s his name?'”

He risked a glance at the bush.  It was silent, waiting.

“What shall I tell them?”

“Hm.” the voice purred around him.  It seemed to be somehow nearer, as if the speaker were kneeling to look at him.  “Tell them that I will be whoever I will be.”

“You can tell them that’s what they are going to call me.  From now on.”

Thoughts streamed from the god to Moses.  The entire land, waiting to be taken. All it’s riches- that Moses could give as a gift to his mother’s people. The tribal elders all listening to him in awe, the Pharaoh- something about the Pharaoh being struck down, but the Egyptians, the Egyptians all looking respectfully at him, giving presents to his people.  The sons and daughters of Israel dressed in silver and gold and white linen- dancing-

“What if they don’t believe me?”Moses objected suddenly, tearing his mind away.  “The Sons of Jacob- they probably won’t believe me.”

The silence was angry and taken aback.

“What’s that in your hand?” the god asked him.

Moses looked at his hand weakly.

“A staff…”

“Throw it on the ground. ”

Moses threw it on the ground as if it had stung him. The wood clattered against the rocks.

Before it had finished clattering, the impact became a soft slap.  Moses looked back at the stick, sharply.

It had become a poisonous  snake. It was coiling now- staring  up at him. He backed away slowly.

He jumped back and it struck, he wasn’t sure which happened first. But it had missed.  It slithered towards him and he stumbled backwards,  running. He tripped and fell and it coiled again, preparing to strike.   He crawled backwards. It struck again and missed as he jerked away his arm.  It coiled again.

There was a pulsing, like laughter,

“Reach out your arm. Take hold of it.” the god said.

He looked over at the bush, and back at the snake.  He reached out and grabbed the snake.

His hand closed on the grain of wood, polished smooth with long use.  He was holding his staff.

He pulled himself to his feet and looked around, confused.  His tracks in the rocks and sand led in a half circle around the bush.   He had thought he was moving straight backwards.

“Put your hand into your coat.”

Moses looked around wildly for the source of the voice but there was nothing.

His chest heaving, he threw down the staff and griped the edge of the robe with one hand. He plunged the other inside, and stood with his arms wrapped around him,  one inside, and one outside his clothes.

“Now take it out.”

It didn’t feel like a snake, at least. He took his hand out.

Pieces of his flesh flaked off, scraped free by the hem of the robe, and fell to the ground at his feet. His hand was leprous.  He tried moving his fingers, and they moved.  Most of them. But none of the tips would bend.

“Now put it back.” the god told him, before he had a chance to look back up.

He did.  He put his hand under the robe slowly, and a little carefully.  Trying not to flake off any more skin.

The air pulsed again.

“Take out your hand.”

Moses stood for a moment, not wanting to look. Not wanting to move or see or be here. He took his hand out.

It was clean.

He let his hand fall and stood still, not thinking of anything and not looking at the spiritual fire.

The voice was close to him again.

“If the Sons of Israel don’t believe the first sign, they may believe the second, don’t you think?”

Moses nodded miserably.  t was common to die of snake bite.  But leprosy like that took years acquire.  It didn’t happen overnight.

“There’s a third sign. ”  the god told him.   “If those don’t work.  Do you want to see it?”

Moses shook his head. No.

“Draw water from the river. Pour it on the ground.  It won’t just look like blood when it touches the ground. It will be blood.”

“Can you imagine that, Moses?  Blood, drawn from the water?”

Moses’ eyes were fixed on a rock.  They didn’t move.

“Pardon your servant, Elohim. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue. I cannot go.”

The god was suddenly annoyed.

“Who gave humans their mouths?” he snapped. “Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind?”

Moses’ brows knit, puzzled, as he stared at the rock. He was pretty sure the answer was Khnum, the potter-god-?

The fire sprang up on the branches of the tree. soundlessly.  It towered over Moses like a bonfire.

“Is it not I, the Lord? Now go! I will help you speak, and teach you what to say.”

Moses eyes were fixed.  The rock was little more than a pebble. It was dark grey with clean edges. Maybe a larger stone had recently shattered.

“Pardon your servant, Elohim.  Please send someone else.”

The unnatural fire sank down. Moses felt a shiver of new fear.   The god was angry with him now.  Very angry.  And very quiet.

“What about your brother, Aaron?” the god asked casually.  “He can speak well.”

Moses gasped and turned to the bush, eyes wide with fear.

“He’s on his way to Midian to meet you, you know” the dry voice purred. “He’s going to be glad to see you.”

Moses sank to his knees, and then spilled forward til he lay on the ground with his face in the dirt.  Without words, without even thoughts he asked for none of this to happen to his brother. The air pulsed with dry laughter.  A weight like a hand rested on his head for a moment, then disappeared.

“I will help both of you speak and teach both of you what to say. You will speak to him and he will speak to the Israelites. It will be as if you were god, Moses!  He is going to be your prophet. And now the problem is solved.”

Moses found himself standing up.  He wasn’t sure why.

“That wasn’t so hard, was it, Moses?”

Moses shook his head, no it wasn’t, without thinking. He turned to go.

“Wait.” The voice was a little harder than it had been.  Moses turned back.

“Take your staff with you.  You never know when you may need it.”

Moses stared down at the staff.  Then he shut his eyes and picked it up.  It didn’t change into anything this time.

“Now, you may leave. ” the voice told him.

Moses turned and started walking.  A new kind of life lay ahead of him.

***

The Israelites never came back to Canaan because they never left

http://articles.latimes.com/2001/apr/13/news/mn-50481

Judaism Monotheism was most likely a form of Canaanite Polytheism

http://www.bibleinterp.com/articles/MSmith_BiblicalMonotheism.shtml

More about that and about Elohim.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_(deity)

An Islamic line of reasoning for why God keeps multiple Religions of Himself running among humans at the same time.

http://islamawakened.com/quran/5/48/

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John Mark Reynolds and the Canaanite Prize

trigger warnings: genocide, sexual abuse, emotional abuse

John Mark Reynolds.  Ah, John Mark.

I try to avoid stereotypes, but it feels oddly right and hilarious that John Mark Reynolds is a Baptist.  And not just any Baptist.  He’s the Provost of Houston Baptist University.

He’s the King of Baptists.

The King of Baptists is offering a prize.  I want to win it.

Do you hear me, John Mark Reynolds? Are you listening? Are you going to give me your prize?

The winner is to be sent a copy of Dante’s Divine Comedy.  Perhaps his copy will be more expensive than mine. Perhaps the ice and flames of the Inferno will crackle more as Dante walks past.

I want it so much.

I wonder what the qualifications are.  Let’s see.

He opens by referencing a story, from which he takes the title of the prize.  It’s probably important to understand the story.  Right?

He begins with Noah. You know.  Noah.  Who, as the story is told, was one of the few survivors of God’s most spectacular genocidal outbreaks- the destruction of an entire inhabited planet.

God should consider a role as a science fiction villain.  He could use method acting.  He wouldn’t even have to take on a different personality than the one he has now.

God’s reasons for doing this are somewhat murky.  As the story is told, humans had become terribly violent, and therefore deserved to be destroyed… but then God is rather violent as well.   He had specifically created humans in his image- what did he expect?

Perhaps he didn’t like to be reminded of what he looked like.

Another, more obscure, reason has to do with ‘The Sons of God’.  That title, along with a reference to mortality/immortality has been interpreted as meaning Angels.  Some people try to make this less horrifying by saying that ‘the Sons of God’ were Noah’s direct line of ancestors, but the sad fact is that ‘the Sons of God’  were looking over the population of human women and ‘marrying whichever of them they chose’.

Did you catch that?  Not whichever of them accepted an offer of marriage or (if you’re going to be all patriarchal about it) was offered to them in marriage- but just- whoever they had the hots for.  Whoever they chose.

Whoever they took.

Noah’s direct line of ancestors was an extreme minority among the people of the world. It’s not likely that they had that kind of power, especially if the evil, wicked world was so violent and all, and they were God’s little lambs.

God was understandably offended by this Angel/human interaction.  He decided, after playing omniscient voyeur for close to a thousand years before doing anything about it, that drastic measure were called for.

Those filthy humans had to be punished.

I mean- that a person has been raped or been habitually non-consensually used for sexual pleasure- by one of your subordinates- in a situation where the subordinate had near total power over them- and YOU had near total power over your subordinate- and you knew what was happening the whole time-

It is an EXCELLENT reason to punish that person- right?

(In case Mr. Reynolds is reading- that last sentence is what’s referred to as ‘sarcasm’.)

Oh, but ‘for whatever the reason, his heart or his shoes’- God wiped out the entire human race.  Except for Noah and his family.  God decided to keep them alive.

Have you ever heard of PTSD?  Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

NIMH defines it this way.

PTSD develops after a terrifying ordeal that involved physical harm or the threat of physical harm. The person who develops PTSD may have been the one who was harmed, the harm may have happened to a loved one, or the person may have witnessed a harmful event that happened to loved ones or strangers.

PTSD was first brought to public attention in relation to war veterans, but it can result from a variety of traumatic incidents, such as mugging, rape, torture, being kidnapped or held captive, child abuse, car accidents, train wrecks, plane crashes, bombings, or natural disasters such as floods or earthquakes.

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/index.shtml?utm_campaign=Social+%2BMedia&utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=Main%2BTwitter%2BFeed

The Lone Survivor Foundation, geared towards helping veterans of war, among whom the disorder was first identified, has this to say.

… PTSD leaves SM/Vets with painful symptoms such as flashbacks, avoidance, isolation, and hyper-arousal reactions including anger outbursts, tension and hyper-vigilance. These emotional and behavioral changes can have devastating effects on someone’s interpersonal life, but also their family and work life as well. If left untreated, PTSD can spiral into other problems such as panic disorder, substance abuse, depression, and suicidal feelings.

http://lonesurvivorfoundation.org/education/?gclid=CPrns_L-rL0CFe5aMgodm3EADw

According to the Bible, after witnessing the extermination of his entire race, Noah took up gardening as a hobby.  He took up the growing of grapes. And the collecting of grape juice. And…

Genesis 9:20 Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded[a] to plant a vineyard. 21 When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent.

Funny.  That almost sounds like- AT LEAST- substance abuse and depression.  I could be wrong.

Mr. Reynolds has something to say about this incident.

He is famous for his ark and the grace he found in the eyes of the Lord, but his struggle with drunken behavior is less well known. A man who saw the world before the Flood destroyed it evidently could not face life in the wreckage…

Aww!  Mr Reynolds is almost being sympathetic isn’t he?

…and so he drank, as foolish men do, to dull the pain.

Because if your entire universe consists of God and the world as you know it, and then God destroys the world as you know it, specifically keeping you alive- to watch?!? Why? God! I wasn’t different- all humans have fallen short of your glory- Why did I have to live? Why couldn’t you have just killed me too? Please! If we’re so worthless in your eyes- if we have failed so badly- Maker- please- just let me die…

And then God dumps you in the rubble and leaves, you have so many other resources to fall back on that getting drunk is just foolish, isn’t it?

Mr.  Reynolds is a Provost.  At a University.  He clearly understands all this better than poor Noah did.  Or at least has stronger character.

And then, along comes Noah’s son, Ham.

Ham had also witnessed the extermination of his entire race.

In adults, PTSD causes emotional disturbance, angry outbursts, and can devastate interpersonal relationships.  Ham was probably an adult when the flood took place, but NIMH also points out that…

Older children and teens… may also develop disruptive, disrespectful, or destructive behaviors. Older children and teens may feel guilty for not preventing injury or deaths. They may also have thoughts of revenge. For more information, see the NIMH booklets on helping children cope with violence and disasters. 

Noah, apparently, didn’t have access to the NIHM booklets on helping children cope with violence and disasters.

The Bible says that-

Genesis 9:22 Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father naked and told his two brothers outside. 

The Bible contrasts the two brothers with Ham by saying that they walked into the tent backwards, and put a garment over their father, covering his nakedness. They had to- to prove they hadn’t done what Ham had done. It seems that Ham didn’t just walk in and glance over at the naked, drunken Noah.  He looked at his father.

Found favor in his eyes, did you?  Were you putting out too? Were you his little pet?   What kind of equipment do you have, daddy, that He liked you so much? 

Noah, who’s mental health could not possibly have benefited from being looked at, woke up and heard what had happened.  Heard what Ham had told his brothers outside the tent.

 

 

And had they lived in a house, before?

 

 

 

Noah flew into a fit of rage.  Cursed…! Cursed…!  Hands shaking, he pointed at Ham, Cursed be… Canaan! 

The family knew what he meant.  The fruit of Ham’s loins, his son.  The power of generation his eyes had fondled and mocked in his father.  The sensuality that had just been too much for the Angels to resist, that had been the reason for the more or less enslavement and then the destruction of the human race. Cursed be Canaan. CursedForever.

Here’s what Mr. Reynolds has to say about this.

Noah was not pleased and so cursed the offspring of this undutiful son proving he was an undutiful father and grandfather: the prototype for the angry drunk as ruler.

Again, Mr. Reynolds has so much better moral fiber than that undutiful Noah. He’s in a position to judge. Aren’t you glad he established that?  Noah was an angry drunk and the family tyrant as well.  Tsk tsk.

Now comes the awkward part- the part where Mr. Reynolds explains what this story has to do with his award.

This is a little sad.  If you’ve made it this far, you have endured my storytelling.  I’m sure some people will find it biased.  I don’t argue with them, one way or the other. But, sadly,  I have all the major points of the story here, more or less in order, however I may have slanted them.

We’ve come to the part of the story that reflects highly on the institution at which Mr. Reynolds holds a post.

We’ve come to the part of the story where Mr. Reynolds can’t read.

Ever since Canaan was cursed, he has had eager followers: those young adults, and not so young adults, eager to expose their parent’s nakedness for profit. 

Explain to me.  ANYONE.  Where profit was involved in ANY OF THIS?  Explain to me where the actual person of Canaan had ANYTHING TO DO with his  grandfather’s nakedness?  Explain to me how, although Mr. Reynolds, so wise and noble, HIMSELF called NOAH, THE ONLY PERSON IN THE WORLD TO FIND FAVOR IN THE EYES OF GOD ALMIGHTY, UNDUTIFUL and an angry DRUNK, for attributing Ham’s sin to Canaan, he himself has has no problem making the exact same attribution?   

How he dares casually heap scorn on Noah, and then causally heap scorn on Ham/Canaan for casually heaping scorn on Noah?

Alright.  No.  I suppose some questions are better not answered.  Let it suffice to say that, no matter what bias you tell the story with,

1) Canaan did not expose his parent

2) Canaan did not expose Noah

3) Canaan was not eager to expose Noah (or either of his parents)

4) Canaan did not do any of the things that he did not do for the motive of monetary gain

5) Canaan was completely uninvolved in this story, except as a kind of revenge on Ham

and

6) Canaan can’t have followers of any age because Canaan didn’t actually do anything.

Except, of course, being punished for someone else’s crime.

This is the name of the award Mr. Reynolds says he’s going to hand out.  The Canaan Award.

Fitting isn’t it?

And we’ve only just begun.

 

Here is his full article. If anyone can answer my questions- please do.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/eidos/2014/03/canaanite-prize-who-will-win-this-year/

 

 

 

 

 

Cursed be Canaan!

Today’s Bible story is from Genesis.  Genesis 9 to be exact. But before we read today’s Bible story, let’s look at some charts.   Painfully boring I know- but hey!   Life is pain.

Semitic-Language-Tree

http://rharriso.sites.truman.edu/semitic-language-family/

Notice the relative positions of Canaanite and Hebrew.  Here’s another.

117850-004-D5B94B61

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/media/117464/

This one is from the Encyclopaedia Britannica.  Cool, huh?  Again, notice the positions of Hebrew and Canaanite languages.

And one more.  Just one.

semitic-languages

http://blog.eteacherbiblical.com/2008/01/02/language-and-genre-hebrew-amongst-the-semitic-languages/

This site teaches Hebrew.   Here is a quote from the article that come with this chart.

“Hebrew is defined as part of the more specific family of North-Western Semitic languages, a branch including Arabic, Aramaic, Canaanite languages and Ugaritic. Most similar to Hebrew are of course her fellow Canaanite languages (or possibly even dialects) such as Ammonite and Moabite. These languages have close vocabulary, grammatical and morphological ties. For example, in all these languages, a long ā sound found in other Semitic languages becomes a long ō sound, a clear-cut characteristic that enables us to identify whether or not a language is Canaanite.”

Now.  For today’s Bible story.  Sit back and get cosy.  Oh, and this story seems to involve primitive incest porn/ incest, so viewer discretion is advised.

The story begins after the Flood.  The God that Noah and his family worshiped had decided to wipe out their race- and they were the only survivors.   They were living, alone, in a destroyed world. 

So the story is told.

18 The sons of Noah who came out of the ark were Shem, Ham and Japheth. (Ham was the father of Canaan.) 19 These were the three sons of Noah, and from them came the people who were scattered over the whole earth.

20 Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded[a] to plant a vineyard. 21 When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent. 22 Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father nakedand told his two brothers outside. 23 But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it across their shoulders; then they walked in backward and covered their father’s naked body. Their faces were turned the other way so that they would not see their father naked.

24 When Noah awoke from his wine and found out what his youngest son had done to him, 25 he said,

“Cursed be Canaan!
The lowest of slaves
will he be to his brothers.”

26 He also said,

“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Shem!
May Canaan be the slave of Shem.
27 May God extend Japheth’s[b] territory;
may Japheth live in the tents of Shem,
and may Canaan be the slave of Japheth.”

28 After the flood Noah lived 350 years. 29 Noah lived a total of 950 years, and then he died.  Genesis 9

In the next chapter, this ‘son of’ stuff is explained a bit further.

The Hamites

6 The sons of Ham: Cush, Egypt, Put and Canaan. Genesis 10

15 Canaan was the father of Sidon his firstborn,[g] and of the Hittites, 16 Jebusites, Amorites, Girgashites, 17 Hivites, Arkites, Sinites, 18 Arvadites, Zemarites and Hamathites. Genesis 10

The Semites

21 Sons were also born to Shem, whose older brother was[h] Japheth; Shem was the ancestor of all the sons of Eber. 22 The sons of Shem: Elam, Ashur, Arphaxad, Lud and Aram. 23 The sons of Aram: Uz, Hul, Gether and Meshek.[i] 24 Arphaxad was the father of[j] Shelah, and Shelah the father of Eber.  Genesis 10

Eber, is the fabulous and obscure person from whom the Hebrews take their name.  Eber. Heber. Hebrew.  See?

From this story and this genealogy, people who take the Bible to be literally true (such as Young Earth Creationist) derive these *obvious* facts.

Semitic languages are associated with the descendants of Noah’s son, Shem. Shem. Shemitic.  Semitic.  See how well that works?

(As a disclaimer- some of these sites are heavily racist.  Others are less so.  I do not endorse or promote any of them, as I find them vomitous as well as being an affront to reason.  I post them here only to prove I’m not making this stuff up)

http://creationwiki.org/Hebrew

http://www.biblebelievers.org.au/nation03.htm#TABLE 3. THE LINEAGE OF SHEM

The Canaanites are descendents of Noah’s son, Ham.   For various reasons, it’s easier for Creationists and their friends to talk about Shem and Japheth, but they manage to come to a conclusion about Ham’s descendants as well.

“Next we come to the sons of Ham: Cush, Mizraim, Phut, and Canaan (Genesis 10:6). The descendants of Ham live mainly in south-west Asia and Africa. The Bible often refers to Africa as the land of Ham (Psalms 105:23,27;106:22). The name of Noah’s grandson Cush is the Hebrew word for old Ethiopia…Noah’s next grandson mentioned was Mizraim. Mizraim is the Hebrew word for Egypt… Phut, the name of Noah’s next grandson is the Hebrew name for Libya…Canaan, the name of Noah’s next grandson, is the Hebrew name for the general region later called by the Romans Palestine, i.e. modern Israel and Jordan…”  http://creation.com/the-sixteen-grandsons-of-noah

Others put it like this.

THE LINEAGE OF HAM. The peoples of Ham’s line populated parts of Asia Minor, the Arabian Peninsula, and eventually the entire continent of Africa – once known as the Land of Ham.”

http://www.biblebelievers.org.au/nation02.htm#Table 2. THE LINEAGE OF HAM.

The more reserved ICR puts it this way.

“There were three basic streams of nations (Semitic, Japhetic, and Hamitic) and although there has been much mixing and proliferation, these three basic streams of nations (not “races”!) are still roughly distinct.”

http://www.icr.org/article/21856/

Some go further.

“The eighteenth verse in the Table of the Nations reads,…. and afterward were the families of the Canaanites spread abroad.” This terse remark may be telling us that the vast populations of Asia, Africa, and the Western Hemisphere are descended from Canaan.”

And then conclude that-

“…the descendants of Japheth are the same people as those from whom come the Indo-European languages, the Shemites those from whom come the Semitic languages, and the remainder [are] the descendants of Ham, through one line or another”

http://www.creationism.org/csshs/v07n1p05.htm

Thus- the Hebrew language (and the Hebrew nation) are descended from the Semitic language group, and the Canaanite language (and nations) are descended from the Hamitic.

Except, my brave reader, you already know part of what’s wrong with this.  Do you remember those charts at the beginning?

You do!   THE HEBREW LANGUAGE IS A DESCENDANT OF CANAANITE!!!

To illustrate this another way, (and I said only one more chart but I lied) behold the following.

family tree

http://bashapedia.pbworks.com/w/page/13960069/Afro-Asiatic%20Language%20Family

Ladies and Gentlemen, Hebrew is a member of the language family spoken by “…the vast populations of Asia, [and]  Africa…”.

Semitic IS  “Hamitic”.

Now.  The ancient Hebrews spoke a Canaanite language.  They lived in the same small region as the Canaanite nations.   They were competing with these fellow Canaanite for resources and seem to have been almost continually at war with them.

According to Hebrew records, whether literally true or literally false, they once attempted the genocide of all other Canaanite groups.

Why would it be important, dear reader, to not be related to people you believe you once attempted to exterminate?

Why would it be important to believe that they were cursed?