One of the sons of Noe, probably the second. He is mentioned in the Old Testament as having been irreverent towards his father when the latter was intoxicated. On this occasion, Noe blessed Sem and Japhet for their filial piety; pronounced a curse upon Chanaan, the son of Cham; and foretold the characteristics of Cham's descendants, and the debasement that would follow (Genesis 9). The descendants of Chanaan have proved morally corrupt and are in subjection to the rule of the descendants of Sem.

New Catholic Dictionary

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