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Genesis 9:25

    Genesis 9:25 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be to his brothers.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    And he said, Cursed be Canaan; A servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Cursed be Canaan; let him be a servant of servants to his brothers.

    Webster's Revision

    And he said, Cursed be Canaan; A servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.

    World English Bible

    He said, "Canaan is cursed. He will be servant of servants to his brothers."

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    And he said, Cursed be Canaan; A servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.

    Clarke's Commentary on Genesis 9:25

    Cursed be Canaan - See on the preceding verses. In the 25th, 26th, and 27th verses, instead of Canaan simply, the Arabic version has Ham the father of Canaan; but this is acknowledged by none of the other versions, and seems to be merely a gloss.

    Barnes' Notes on Genesis 9:25

    The prophecy consists of two parts - a malediction and a benediction. "Cursed be Kenaan." A curse Genesis 3:14, Genesis 3:17; Genesis 4:11 is any privation, inferiority, or other ill, expressed in the form of a doom, and bearing, not always upon the object directly expressed, but upon the party who is in the transgression. Thus, the soil is cursed on account of Adam the transgressor Genesis 3:17. It is apparent that in the present ease the prime mover was Ham, who is therefore punished in the prospect of a curse resting on his posterity, and especially on a particular line of it. Let us not imagine, however, that the ways of the Lord are not equal in this matter; for Kenaan and his descendants no doubt abundantly deserved this special visitation. And as the other descendants of Ham are not otherwise mentioned in the prophecy, we may presume that they shared in the curse pronounced upon Kenaan. At all events, they are not expressly included in the blessing pronounced on the other two divisions of the human family, It is proper to observe, also, that this prediction does not affirm an absolute perpetuity in the doom of Ham or Kenaan. It only delineates their relative condition until the whole race is again brought within the scope of prophecy.

    A servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. - The curse here consists in servitude, which is in itself an inferiority, and, among the children of self-will, tends more and more to all the horrid ills of slavery. Slavery originated in war and conquest. The mere warrior put the captives to death, the cannibal devoured them, the economist fed them for their labor. Accordingly, slavery soon made its appearance in all countries which were trodden by the conqueror. A system of slavery, imposed without consent and for no crime, is a dire evil. Besides the direct injustice of robbing a fellow-man of his personal liberty, it dissolves wedlock, breaks the family tie, and disregards the conscience. It trades, therefore, in the souls as well as the bodies of mankind. It is a historical fact that the degradation of slavery has fallen especially upon the race of Ham. A portion of the Kenaanites became bondsmen among the Israelites, who were of the race of Shem. The early Babylonians, the Phoenicians, the Carthaginians, and Egyptians, who all belonged to the race of Ham, were subjugated by the Assyrians, who were Shemites, the Persians, the Macedonians, and the Romans, who were all Japhethites. And in modern times it is well known that most of the nations of Europe traded in African slaves. "A servant of servants" means a slave of the most abject kind. "Unto his brethren." If the doom of slavery be referred to the race of Ham, then his brethren are the descendants of Japheth and Shem, who have held many of the Hamites in bondage. If we limit the sentence to Kenaan, then his brethren may include the other descendants of Ham. It is said that the servile tribe is also the most tyrannical; and it is the fact that the Africans have lent themselves to the forcible seizing and selling into slavery in distant lands of their own kinsmen and fellow-countrymen.