(c) 1997 David Markel Hall
The rest of the world was going berserk, everyone seeking his own desires, and the earth was full of violence. People were hurting each other in the process of fulfilling their own lusts. Gen 6:5 "And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart." Noah spent much of his life trying to warn the people what was coming, but they would not listen. Mat 24:37-39 "But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be…."
Noach; from the root of H5117. nuwach, noo'-akh; a prim. root; to rest, i.e. settle down… . He had three sons; Shem, Kham and Yefeth.
Sheym; H8034. shem, shame; a prim. word; an appelation, as a mark or memorial of individuality; by implication honor, authority, character, name… .
Kham; H2525. cham, khawm; from H2552; hot:--hot, warm.… a prim. root; to be hot (lit. or fig.):--enflame self, get (have) heat, be (wax) hot, (be, wax) warm (self, at).]
Yefeth; H3315. Yepheth, yeh'-feth; from H6601; expansion; Jepheth, a son of Noah; ---[H6601. pathah, paw-thaw'; a prim. root; to open, i.e. be (causat. make) roomy; usually fig. (in a mental or moral sense) to be (causat. make) simple or (in a sinister way) delude:--allure, deceive, enlarge, entice, flatter, persuade, silly (one).
Genesis 11:6 (KJV) "And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin(1) to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined(2) to do."
(1) "BEGIN" chalam; Notice the first and last letter are the same as "Cham". The lamed in the center of chalam indicates the desires of the heart; H2490. chalal, khaw-lal’; a prim. root prop. to bore, i.e. (by impl.) to wound, to dissolve; figuratively to profane (a person, place or thing), to break (one’s word), to begin (as if by an "opening wedge"); … pollute, (cast as) profane (self), prostitute, slay (slain), sorrow, stain, wound.
(2) "IMAGINED" H2161. zamam, zaw-mam’; a prim. root; to plan, usually in a bad sense:—consider, devise, imagine, plot, purpose, think (evil).
khalam translated here "began", has much greater significance than just began. It seems to indicate that these people were actually attempting to assume the role of G-d or eliminating Him from their lives. (Notice the absence of the letters y a "alef" and "yod" which would indicate G-d.) The purpose in building a great tower was to prevent G-d from intervening again. This would free men to live their lives in any way they choose, directed only by their l hearts. Indications are, from the context and definition (wedge, prostitute etc. #1 above), that they actually wanted to penetrate heaven. Kham apparently committed a very terrible act (Gen 9:21-24). His name means to self heat or excite, and when his father awoke from the wine, he "knew what his younger son had done unto him." Khalam seems to have the same nature as Ham in seeking only self gratification to the exclusion of G-d. Canaanites are among the descendants of Kham. Sodom and Gomorrah which were destroyed by G-d for their sins, were Canaanites. Its interesting that chet is the first letter in life, and the second letter is Yod, which is the first letter in YHVH. It is only when we include HaShem in our lives that we become balanced.
Return to Davarim Index