Canaan. Since the curses and blessings on the three sons had their descendants in view, it is not strange that the curse was on his son, not on Ham himself (vv. 18, 22), especially since God had already blessed Ham (9:1). As Ham, the youngest son of Noah, wronged his father, so the curse will fall on Ham’s youngest son (v. 24), who shares his moral decadence (Lev. 18:3; Deut. 9:3). Nevertheless, Ham’s descendants include, in addition to the Canaanites, the names of Israel’s most dreaded enemies: Egypt, Philistia, Assyria, and Babylon (10:6–13).
servant of servants. Noah prophetically alludes to the coming subjugation of Canaan’s offspring by the offspring of Shem (e.g., Israel) and Japheth (the Sea Peoples, 10:2–5) on the other. Because this curse of servitude falls upon Canaan, a Caucasian, there is no basis for the racist view that African peoples are cursed.