And the sons of Ham
Next to the sons of Japheth, the sons of Ham are reckoned; these, Josephus F26 says, possessed the land from Syria, and the mountains of Amanus and Lebanon; laying hold on whatever was towards the sea, claiming to themselves the countries unto the ocean, whose names, some of them, are entirely lost, and others so greatly changed and deflected into other tongues, that they can scarcely be known, and few whose names are preserved entire; and the same observation will hold good of others. Four of the sons of Ham are mentioned,
Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan;
the first of these, Cush, Josephus F1 says, has suffered no loss by time; for the Ethiopians, whose prince he was, are to this day by themselves, and all in Asia, called Chusaeans: but though this word Cush, as used in Scripture, is generally rendered by us Ethiopia, this must not be understood of Ethiopia in Africa, but in Arabia; and indeed is always to be understood of one part of Arabia, and which was near to the land of Judea; so Moses's wife is called an Ethiopian, when she was an Arabian, or of Midian, ( Numbers 12:1 ) ( Exodus 2:16 Exodus 2:21 ) and Chusan and Midian are mentioned together, ( Habakkuk 3:7 ) see 2Ki 19:9 2Ch 14:9
F2 has shown, by various arguments, that the land of Cush was Arabia; and so the Targum of Jonathan interprets it here Arabia. There was a city called Cutha in Erac, a province in the country of Babylon F3, where Nimrod the son of Cush settled, which probably was called so from his father's name. Here the eastern writers say F4 Abraham was born, and is the same place mentioned in ( 2 Kings 17:24 2 Kings 17:30 ) . The second son of Ham was Mizraim, the same with the Misor of Sanchoniatho F5, and the Menes of Herodotus F6, the first king of Egypt, and the builder of the city of Memphis in Egypt, called by the Turks to this day Mitzir F7. Mitzraim is a name by which Egypt is frequently called in Scripture, and this man was the father of the Egyptians; and because Egypt was inhabited by a son of Ham, it is sometimes called the land of Ham, ( Psalms 105:23 Psalms 105:27 ) . The word is of the dual number, and serves to express Egypt by, which was divided into two parts, lower and upper Egypt. Josephus says F8, we call Egypt, Mestres, and all the Egyptians that inhabit it, Mestraeans; so the country is called by Cedrenus F9, Mestre; and Kairo, a principal city in it, is to this day by the Arabians called Al-messer, as Dr. Shaw F11 relates. The third son of Ham is Phut; of whom Josephus F12 says, that he founded Libya, calling the inhabitants of it after his name, Phuteans; and observes, that there is a river in the country of the Moors of his name; and that many of the Greek historians, who make mention of this river, also make mention of a country adjacent to it, called Phute: mention is made of this river as in Mauritania, both by Pliny F13 and Ptolemy F14 and by the latter of a city called Putea: this Phut is the Apollo Pythius of the Heathens, as some think. The last son of Ham is Canaan, the father of the Canaanites, a people well known in Scripture. Concerning these sons of Ham, there is a famous fragment of Eupolemus preserved in Eusebius F15; and is this;
``the Babylonians say, that the first was Belus, called Cronus or Saturn (that is, Noah), and of him was begotten another Belus and Chanaan (it should be read Cham), and he (i.e. Ham) begat Chanaan, the father of the Phoenicians; and of him another son, Chus, was begotten, whom the Greeks call Asbolos, the father of the Ethiopians, and the brother of Mestraim, the father of the Egyptians.''
F26 Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect 1.)
F2 Phaleg. l. 4. c. 2.
F3 Vid. Hyde Hist. Relig. Pers. c. 2. p. 39, 40.
F4 Vid. Hyde Hist. Relig. Pers. c. 2. p. 72.
F5 Apud Euseb. Evangel. Praepar. l. 1. p. 36.
F6 Enterpe sive, l. 2. c. 4. 99.
F7 See Cumberland's Sanchoniatho, p. 59.
F8 Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect 1.)
F9 Apud Grotium de vera Christ. Relig. l. 1. p. 8. & Ainsworth in loc.
F11 Travels, ch. 3. p. 294. Ed. 2.
F12 Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. sect 1.)
F13 Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 1.
F14 Geograph. l. 4. c. 1, 3.
F15 Praepar. Evangel. l. 9. c. 17. p. 419.