October 06, 2023 – Friday
Genesis 5:32b NIV
32b he became the father of Shem, Ham and Japheth.
Genesis 5:32b NKJV
32b Noah begot Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
If you read through chapter five of Genesis, you will find the ten names of the patriarchs from Adam to Noah. And you can find a number of sites that give an explanation of the ten names and the story they tell when linked together. Here are a few of those sites here, here, and here. Starting with Adam and ending with Noah we end up with “Man is appointed mortal sorrow; but the Blessed God shall come down teaching that His death shall bring the despairing rest or comfort.” And there you have it, the gospel of Jesus from the ten names in Genesis five.
But something is missing. The three names of Noah’s sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth are missing as are their meanings. So, I went hunting. Found ‘name’ for Shem, hot or warm for Ham, and for Japheth there was beauty and opened. None of this was satisfactory. That is until an hour later when I came upon Abarim-publications.com. There I found some in-depth study and meanings for the names of each of Noah’s sons.
Let us begin with Shem, at the link the following summary is given, The name Shem means Name, Fame or Reputation, or even Identity or Personality. But here at Abarim Publications we’re pretty sure that Shem wasn’t named after his own fame or prowess but rather after the Name of the Creator, which in turn reflected all of his deeds, which in turn comes down to the whole of reality (as indeed “theology” is not the “study of God,” since God cannot be measured, but rather the “study of everything” as man knows God only through his works).
Next, we look at Ham at two different links here and here as its meaning in somewhat complex. Using the first we have, The verb חמם(hamam) means to be hot and is sometimes used to describe mental agitation. Nouns חם (hom) and חמה (hamma) mean heat. Adjective חם (ham) means hot. The noun חמן (hamman) denotes a kind of mysterious small pillar (perhaps a device?). And, The verb יחם (yaham) also means to be hot, but mostly in a mental sense: to be exited or angered. The noun חמה (hema) mostly refers to a severe mental “burning”: anger or rage. Which leads us to think of Ham as emotional in modern parlance and given to angry outbursts.
Finally, we look at Japheth here, where Japheth is described as The verb פתה (pata) appears to describe the process of slowly but surely growing wider without investing much critical thought in the quality of the substance that is acquired. It’s the process that makes a mud flat or sand bank grow bigger, until it even begins to yield dry land and perhaps to support an island ecosystem. In much the same way a human mind will grow, if one does not separate useful from useless information, and eventually yield certainties and perhaps even forms of creativity that are all based on mostly garbage and loose debris. This verb’s sole derivative is the noun פתי (peti), which describes a non-critical mind that grows ever larger with nonsense: forever learning but never understanding.
Bottom Line: The names of Noah’s sons give us three paths to follow. The path God has laid out before us or a path of emotion without thinking and planning things through, or always learning, but seldom discriminating on what it is we are learning which seems to describe our current technological age of constant input.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, How amazing that You would share from the three names of Noah’s sons. Thank You for sharing so much for us to learn from. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor