And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his
Which, had it been through surprise, and at an unawares, would not have been thought criminal; but be went into his father's tent, where he ought not to have entered; he looked with pleasure and delight on his father's nakedness: Ham is represented by many writers as a very wicked, immodest, and profligate creature: Berosus F9 makes him a magician, and to be the same with Zoroast or Zoroastres, and speaks of him as the public corrupter of mankind; and says that he taught men to live as before the flood, to lie with mothers, sisters, daughters, males and brutes, and creatures of all sorts; and that he actually did so himself, and therefore was cast out by his father Janus, or Noah, and got the name of "Chem", the infamous and immodest:
and told his two brethren without;
he went out of the tent after he had pleased himself with the sight; see ( Habakkuk 2:15 ) and in a wanton, ludicrous, and scoffing manner, related what he had seen: some of the Jewish Rabbins F11, as Jarchi relates, say that Canaan first saw it, and told his father of it; and some say F12, that he or Ham committed an unnatural crime with him; and others F13, that he castrated him; and hence, it is supposed, came the stories of Jupiter castrating his father Saturn, and Chronus his father Uranus: and Berosus F14 says, that Ham taking hold of his father's genitals, and muttering some words, by a magic charm rendered him impotent: and some F15 will have it that he committed incest with his father's wife; but these things are said without foundation: what Noah's younger son did unto him, besides looking on him, we are not told, yet it was such as brought a curse on Canaan; and one would think it would be more than bare sight, nay, it is expressly said there was something done, but what is not said, ( Genesis 9:24 ) .
F9 Antiqu. l. 3. fol. 25. 1.
F11 In Bereshit Rabba, sect. 36. fol. 32. 1.
F12 Some in Jarchi.
F13 Pirke Eliezer, c. 23. Some Rabbins in Ben Gersom & Jarchi in loc.
F14 Antiqu. l. 3. fol. 25. 1.
F15 Vander Hart, apud Bayle Dict. vol. 10. Art. "Ham", p. 588.