Ham [Hăm]—hot or dark, colored, swarthy. The youngest son of Noah and father of Canaan and founder of many peoples (Gen. 5:32; 6:10; 7:13; 9:18, 22; Ps. 78:51).
In consequence of the improper conduct of Ham when Noah was drunk, the heart of his father was set against him. Without doubt, Ham’s act was the manifestation of an impure heart. Perhaps he had always been a filthy dreamer.
The indignation of Noah found expression in the thrice repeated curse (Gen. 9:25-27). How tragic it is that the wickedness of Ham appears to have influenced the whole of his descendants whose history is one of folly and crime. The sin of one man polluted many peoples. Ham sinned, and a curse came upon Canaan. The Hamites were condemned to be hewers of wood and drawers of water.
The Hebrew word for Ham means “hot.” Egypt is called “the land of Ham” (Ps. 105:23) and the Egyptian word for “Ham” is Kem, meaning black and warm. From Ham we have the Egyptians, Africans, Babylonians, Philistines and Canaanites.