HAM (Heb. חָם), one of the three sons of Noah. Although he is always placed between Shem and Japheth (Gen. 5:32; 6:10, et al.), he appears to have been the youngest of the three (9:24). The Bible relates how Ham observed Noah drunk and naked in his tent. He "saw his father's nakedness," implying in the biblical Hebrew a sexual act or even rape, i.e., sodomized him (cf. "see the nakedness" in Lev. 20:17, and see Sanh. 70a). In contrast, when he told his brothers of the incident, they at once covered Noah, doing so with the utmost delicacy (9:22–23). When Noah became aware of what had transpired, he cursed Canaan for his action: "Cursed be Canaan; the lowest of slaves to his brothers" (9:24–25). The reason for Noah cursing Canaan, and not Ham, is not clear. Actually "Ham the father of" in verses 18b and 22 seems to be a somewhat crude link between verses 18–19 and 20ff., in which Noah's sons are Shem, Japheth, and Canaan. Ugaritic epic poetry makes it clear that a son had the obligation to take special care of his drunken father, and not to disgrace him (cf. Isa. 51:17–18). Accordingly, the biblical depiction of Ham-Canaan's depravity is probably to be taken as an ethnic slur rather than as a reflection of Canaanite reality (see Canaan, Curse of ), a tendency continued in Jewish Midrash (see below). Ham had four sons, Cush, Mizraim, Put, and Canaan, who became the progenitors of numerous nations (Gen. 10:6–20). As the home of the most important nation descended from Ham, Egypt is poetically called "Ham" in one psalm whose date is controversial (Ps. 78:51), and "the land of Ham" in two late psalms (Ps. 105:23, 27; 106:22; cf. Genesis Apocryphon, 19:13). Egypt is apparently the nucleus of the Hamite genealogy, the others having been added because of geographical proximity or political ties. (Max Wurmbrand / S. David Sperling (2nd ed.) -In the Aggadah Ham's descendant (Cush) is black skinned as a punishment for Ham's having had sexual intercourse in the ark (Sanh. 108b). When Ham saw his drunken father exposed, he emasculated him, saying, "Adam had but two sons, and one slew the other; this man Noah has three sons, yet he desires to beget a fourth" (Gen. R. 36:5). Noah therefore cursed Canaan (Gen. 9:25), Ham's fourth son, since through this act he was deprived of a fourth son (Gen. R. 36:7). According to another opinion, Ham committed sodomy with his father (Sanh. 70a) and Noah cursed Canaan because Ham, together with his father and two brothers, had previously been blessed by God (Gen. R. loc. cit.). Another tradition attributes the curse to the fact that it was Canaan who castrated Noah. Ham was nevertheless to blame because he informed his brothers of their father's nakedness (PdRE 23). Canaan was so wicked that his last will and testament to his children was: "Love one another, love robbery, love lewdness, hate your masters, and do not speak the truth" (Pes. 113b). Ham was also punished in that his descendants, the Egyptians and Ethiopians, were taken captive and led into exile with their buttocks uncovered (Isa. 20:4; Gen. R. 36:6). Ham was responsible for the ultimate transfer to Nimrod of the garments which God had made for Adam and Eve before their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. From Adam and Eve these garments went to Enoch, and from him to Methuselah, and finally to Noah, who took them into the ark with him. When the inmates of the ark were about to leave their refuge, Ham stole the garments and kept them concealed for many years. Finally, he passed them on to his firstborn son, Cush, who eventually gave them to his son, Nimrod, when he reached his 20th year (PdRE 24; Sefer ha-Yashar, Noaḥ, 22). (Aaron Rothkoff) -BIBLIOGRAPHY: A. Reubeni, Shem, Ḥam ve-Yafet… (1932), 71–182; J. Skinner, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on Genesis (1912), 181–7, 200–4: Jeremias, Alte Test; Maisler (Mazar), in: Eretz   Israel, 3 (1954), 18–32; U. Cassuto, A Commentary on the Book of Genesis (1964); Ginzberg, Legends, 1 (1942), 166–73, 177; 5 (1947), 188–95. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: N. Sarna, JPS Torah Commentary Genesis (1989), 63–72; E. Isaac, in: ABD, 3, 31–2.

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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  • HAM — ist der Name folgender Personen: Ham, der zweite Sohns Noahs, siehe Ham (Bibel) Arthur Ham (20. Jahrhundert), kanadischer Tennisspieler Carter F. Ham (* 1952), US amerikanischer General Jack Ham (* 1942), US amerikanischer American Football… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Ham — ist der Name folgender Personen: Ham, der zweite Sohns Noahs, siehe Ham (Bibel) Carter F. Ham (* 1952), General der US Army Kenneth Todd Ham (* 1964), Astronaut Kevin Ham, Domainspekulant Pete Ham (1947–1975), britischer Rockmusiker Ham ist der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • HAM — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom.  Pour l’article homophone, voir Hamm (homonymie). Ham est un mot anglais signifiant jambon. Ham (également orthographié Cham), fils du patriarche …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Ham — Ham, es el nombre de varias localidades de la Unión Europea. Municipalidad de Ham, Bélgica. Ham (Somme) Ham (Reino Unido) Ham (Wiltshire) Le Ham (Mayenne) Le Ham (Manche) En Argentina Ham, en la provincia de Buenos Aires. Por las siglas HAM,… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Ham's — Restaurant is a North Carolina–Virginia based restaurant that offers A Good Time combined with great food. Started in Greensboro, North Carolina in 1935, Ham s has grown into a chain of 26 community restaurants. History The original Ham s… …   Wikipedia

  • Häm- — hämo . * * * häm , Häm : ↑ hämo , Hämo . * * * häm , Häm : ↑hämo , ↑Hämo . hä|mo , Hä|mo , (vor Vokalen:) häm , Häm [griech. haĩma = Blut]: <Best. von Zus. mit der Bed.:> Blut ( …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Ham — (h[a^]m), n. [AS. ham; akin to D. ham, dial. G. hamme, OHG. hamma. Perh. named from the bend at the ham, and akin to E. chamber. Cf. {Gammon} ham.] [1913 Webster] 1. (Anat.) The region back of the knee joint; the popliteal space; the hock. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Häm — [griech. haĩma = Blut], das; s; Syn.: Ferrohäm, Protohäm, Protoferrohäm: labile Koordinationsverb. aus ↑ Protoporphyrin u. einem Eisen(II) Ion, die das farbgebende u. katalytische Prinzip der ↑ Häm Proteine u. a. Häm Derivate darstellt. Ferrihäm …   Universal-Lexikon

  • ham — [ham] n. [ME hamme < OE hamm, akin to Ger dial. hamme < IE base * konemo , shin bone (> Gr knēmē): HAM senses 5 & 6 infl. by AM(ATEUR)] 1. the part of the leg behind the knee 2. a) the back of the thigh b) …   English World dictionary

  • ham´mi|ly — ham|my «HAM ee», adjective, mi|er, mi|est. Slang. acting like a ham; exaggerated; overacted: »When one of the dancers gave an especially hammy flourish, the crowd was delighted (New Yorker). –ham´mi|ly, adverb. –ham´mi|ness …   Useful english dictionary

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