Chapter Five: Noah and Three Sons
Of Noah and his three sons, the scriptures say:
And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan.
These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread (Genesis 9:18-19).Of these three sons of the great Patriarch Noah have come the races of mankind in mortality.
Adam and his sons were the original progenitors, but with the destruction of all mankind by the flood, except Noah and his three sons and their wives, the peopling of earth had a second beginning. Japheth, Shem, and Ham obviously, therefore, became the ethnic sires of the races or civilizations of mankind that exist upon the earth today. They have preserved through their lineages, the three divisions of man, which obtained in the pre-mortal estate of preparation and which then as now preserves by mortal procreation the moving force of mankind.
Shem, though not the eldest, was placed above Japheth and thus received the patriarchal birthright. Through the lineage of Shem has come and will continue to come the spirits of the pre-mortal estate who had progressed there to that degree representative of five talents and who were referred to by God as the noble and great, which is determined by foreordained judgment according to the eternal laws of God, of those who merit this particular earthlife lineage of birth.
The prophet Abraham was told beforehand that, "Thou wast one of them." Through him, and his son Isaac, and his son Jacob or Israel, have been born and are being born the house of Israel.
Japheth was given the second place by his father, Noah. Through him has been born, and will yet be born people of the ethnic lineage which we shall identify as the lineage of adoption, or those of the Gentile nations. The Jewish interpretation of the Gentile, as being all who are not Jews, when considered in this broad sense, is not correct. According to my knowledge of the gospel, a gentile is a descendant of Japheth. Concerning these, Noah gave a blessing indicative of "adoption" (Genesis 10).
Through the lineage of Ham and the descendancy of Canaan and Phut have come the colored or black races.
Ethnologically it is not too difficult to trace the main races or civilizations of mankind as they have come down from the landing of the Ark on Mt. Ararat. (This is a separate study but a most interesting one) (See "This Age of Confusion", Alvin R, Dyer, for the principle of migration to the East following the landing of the Ark after the flood.)
Ham Rejects Noah and the Priesthood
The ninth chapter of Genesis, in an apparent story telling fashion, states that Noah became drunken on wine and lay in his tent naked, and when Ham came in he made fun of his father and when Japheth and Shem heard of it, they went into the tent backward with a covering and placed the covering over their father out of respect for him. They then rebuked their brother Ham because he had failed to recognize the honor and dignity of his own father. This Jewish story served to convey the lesson of its writing. It was a way of telling how Ham did not respect the family organization and the father who presided in the order of priesthood, held by the Patriarch Noah. Because of the spirit of rebellion, as demonstrated in this story, Ham received the lesser blessing.
Simulation of the Family or Priesthood Order by Pharoah
From the writing of Abraham, we learn how Pharoah attempted by simulation to observe the Patriarchal family order, which is instrumented by the Priesthood.
Now this king of Egypt was a descendant from the loins of Ham, and was a partaker of the blood of the Canaanites by birth.
From this descent sprang all the Egyptians, and thus the blood of the Canaanites was preserved in the land.
The land of Egypt being first discovered by a woman, who was the daughter of Ham, and the daughter of Egyptus, which in the Chaldean signifies Egypt, which signifies that which is forbidden.
When this woman discovered the land it was under water, who afterward settled her sons in it; and thus, from Ham, sprang that race which preserved the curse in the land.
Now the first government of Egypt was established by Pharoah, the eldest son of Egyptus, the daughter of Ham, and it was after the manner of the government of Ham, which was patriarchal.
Pharoah, being a righteous man, established his kingdom and judged his people wisely and justly all his days, seeking earnestly to imitate that order established by the fathers in the first generations, in the days of the first patriarchal reign, even in the reign of Adam, and also of Noah, his father, who blessed him with the blessings of the earth, and with the blessings of wisdom, but cursed him as pertaining to the Priesthood.
Now, Pharoah being of that lineage by which he could not have the right of Priesthood, notwithstanding the Pharoahs would fain claim it from Noah, through Ham ... (Abraham 1:21-27).
The Curse of Cain Preserved in Canaan, Son of Ham
Ham, with his son Canaan, in similar fashion to that of Cain, rejected the patriarchal family order of God and were denied the priesthood associated with it. In this manner is preserved through Ham, the son of Noah, the lineage of birth of spirits coming into mortality under this discipline in the post-deluge period. Shem and Japheth are depicted as respecting their father Noah and the priesthood of the family. Shem was more valiant in his acceptance of it than was Japheth, and because of this Shem received the birthright of the family organization over his brother Japheth. Nevertheless, when Noah made covenants with and bestowed blessings upon his three sons, according to patriarchal custom, the important blessings and covenants were bestowed upon Shem and Japheth. Ham was blessed as a servant and as such in due time, would receive certain blessings from the household of Shem, or literally the house of Israel.
The covenants which Noah made with his three children are most important, a knowledge of which is significant to an understand of the overall plan of the gospel.
Concerning Canaan, the son of Ham, Noah proclaimed that he would get his blessing from Shem.
Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren (Genesis 9:24-25).It is to be noted that the curse is preserved through Canaan, a son of Ham. Unto Shem he said:
Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant (Genesis 9:26).
The Blessing of Adoption Given to Japheth
In the blessings which Noah continued to bestow upon his sons there followed a marvelous promise unto Japheth which I desire to emphasize:
God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tens of Shem; ... (Genesis 9:27).In other words, God shall enlarge Japheth and provide for him and his descendants the opportunity to come in and dwell in the tens of Shem, or the house of the descendants of Shem, or the house of Israel, for truly the house of Israel is descendant from Shem. Thus the covenant was made unto Japheth and his descendant civilizations that in the progress of life he would receive the great opportunity by acceptance of the Gospel plan to improve his place of existence in the eternal plan, by being adopted into the "tent" or house of Israel. From the Times and Seasons we have this article titled:
A Short Chapter on a Long Subject
After the flood and after Ham had dishonored the holy priesthood, Noah awoke from his wine and knew what his younger son (Ham) had done unto him. And, as the priesthood descended from father to son, he delivered the following curse and blessing, as translated by King James' wise men and recorded in Genesis:
And he said, cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.
And he said, blessed be the Lord of God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.
God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.History and common observation show that these predictions have been fulfilled to the letter. The descendants of Ham, besides a black skin which has ever been a curse that has followed an apostate of the holy priesthood, as well as a black heart, have been servants to both Shem and Japheth, and the abolitionists are trying to make void the curse of God, but it will require more power than man possesses to counteract the decrees of eternal wisdom.
Again Shem or his descendants were blessed with receiving the revelations, prophets, and Savior: - A blessing truly which even the most sagacious infidel has not been able to explain away.
Again, Japheth has dwelt in Shem's tent, both in the land of Canaan and in America; for 'tents' is a figurative expression which in Hebrew, would signify the residence or abode.
Now our short chapter will soon end, for the Savior said Jerusalem should be trodden down till the time of the Gentiles are fulfilled, and the very movement of every nation shows the eternal truth of the above quoted passage of scripture. It frustrates the designs of sectarians; - it chokes the deists; astonishes the world, and delights the saints. Amen (Times & Seasons, Vol. 6, p. 857, John Taylor editor).
Commencement of a Work
It is known throughout the world that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints today is proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ, principally unto the Gentile, as contained in the message of the Restoration. The reason for this is that today is the day of the Gentile. The day of the Lamanite has not yet fully come, although great strides are being made among those people, nor of the Jew, nor of other cursed disciplinary lineages. Their time for redemption will not come until after the city of the New Jerusalem is built, and the temples of God will be erected in Jackson County, Missouri, although some preliminary work of teaching the gospel to these factions has started.
We are told that the day will come when the Lamanites and Gentiles, who have been converted to the gospel together with and under the direction of the children of Ephraim, will build the City of the New Jerusalem ("The Refiner's Fire" Alvin R. Dyer, Chapter 10). Their complete redemption, together with the full restoration of the other tribes of Israel and for all of God's children who will respond to the gathering call, will come in the sequence of the Lord's time, preceded by the ten tribes who will be led from their hiding place to the city of the New Jerusalem, as proclaimed by the Lord to the Nephites.
And then shall the work of the Father commence at that day, even when this gospel shall be preached among the remnant of this people. Verily I say unto you, at that day shall the work of the Father commence among all the dispersed of my people, yea, even the tribes which have been lost, which the Father hath led away out of Jerusalem.
Yea, the work shall commence among all the dispersed of my people, with the Father, to prepare the way whereby they may come unto me, that they may call on the Father in my name.
Yea, and then shall the work commence, with the Father, among all nations, in preparing the way whereby his people may be gathered home to the land of their inheritance (III Nephi 21:26-28; D&C 133:21-30).But the Lord has sent one of the tribes ahead to prepare the way for the coming of the other tribes. All who join the Church today, except those of the tribe of Manasseh and a few other exceptions, are of, or assigned to, the tribe of Ephraim.
It is significant to recall that Joshua, a descendant of Ephraim (Numbers 13:6-8), became the leader and prophet of ancient Israel succeeding Moses, as borne record to by this ancient scripture:
And the men, which Moses sent to search the land, who returned, and made all the congregation to murmur against him, by bringing up a slander upon the land,
Even those men that did bring up the evil report upon the land, died by the plague before the Lord.
But Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of the men that went to search the land, lived still (Numbers 14:36-38; see also 14:6).
The Gathering Has Commenced
In the present and last dispensation, the Lord has now started the work leading to the gathering of the chosen people. Ephraim, who holds the patriarchal birthright of the house of Israel (Genesis 48:13-20), has the assignment to lead and prepare the way. We can witness in the Church today by our own patriarchal blessings and designation of lineage, that primarily only those who are of this lineage by blood descent or who are adopted into it, together with the tribe of Manasseh, are being called, and thus through the loins of Joseph, principally meaning Ephraim and Manasseh, the chosen of Israel, the gathering of the last days has commenced.
It would appear that those who will have place in the celestial kingdom of our Heavenly Father will need to hold a place in the house of Israel, or the house of God. These will be those having obeyed the covenants of that Kingdom. Those who are not rightful candidates of the twelve tribes by blood descent, will be given the opportunity of becoming a part through the gospel plan, by adoption, to one or another of the twelve tribes. But as has already been referred to, the tribe of Ephraim is being called first, as it was announced anciently,
. . . I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn (Jeremiah 31:9).
Procedure in Gathering Various Peoples Given by the Lord
The resurrected Christ, speaking unto the people as recorded in the Book of Mormon, and already referred to, outlines the procedure in accordance with the heavenly plan for the gathering and redemption of the various peoples of the earth. His words also reveal that a sign is to be given which will identify the time of these happenings:
And verily I say unto you, I give unto you a sign, that ye may know the time when these things shall be about to take place - that I shall gather in, from their long dispersion, my people, O house of Israel, and shall establish again among them my Zion: (III Nephi 31:1).
The Sign To Be Given
The sign, or signal that these events have begun to transpire, is to be at the time when the descendant races of Japheth, ethnologically speaking, or the gentiles, will hear the gospel, many of whom will accept it and come in and be numbered with the children of the house of Israel. This work must be accomplished before the final gathering.
The words of the Lord on this particular subject and recorded in the Book of Mormon (III Nephi 21), are most conclusive in establishing the fact that the ancient covenant made by Noah with his son Japheth will be fulfilled. It is to be noted that the identification of the "day of the Gentile" is associated with the founding of the Constitution of the United States (III Nephi 21:4, 5, 6).
Order of Gathering
The city of the New Jerusalem, the first of the cities of Zion is to be built by the sons and daughters of the house of Israel being called first, namely Ephraim, and Manasseh, and gentiles who have become part of the house of Israel by conversion and adoption (III Nephi 21:22-25; I Nephi 14).Second
The Ten Tribes, "even the tribes which have been lost" as to identity in ancient times shall then be gathered to Zion (III Nephi 21:26, 27; D&C 133:21-30).Third
Other nations of all races, creeds, and color, who will have accepted the covenants and are prepared to be gathered to Zion for their inheritance (III Nephi 21:28, 29).The holy scriptures speak clearly of the redemption of the tribe of Judah, and the rebuilding of the Old Jerusalem with its temples, this to come when the house of Judah, generally speaking, will accept the Christ as their Redeemer and will again covenant with him ("Who Am I?", Alvin R. Dyer, pp. 436-441). The Lord speaks clearly of this unto the Nephites (III Nephi 20:29-35).
In the light therefore of the divine procedure to be followed in the gathering of the various people of different nations, in the sequence of the Lord's time, first will come the children of Ephraim and Manasseh, with as many of the gentiles who will accept the gospel, to be followed by the lost or hidden tribes of Israel (I Nephi 22:4; II Nephi 10:20-22), and also the tribe of Judah. The gathering thereafter, mainly speaking, will come from all nations of the earth, who have not been designated, including those of all races and color, who will have accepted the gospel and are willing to respond to the beckoning call of the Lord to gather.