We’re Noah’s three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japeth, three different colors? Whenever the subject of skin color comes up in relation to the characters of the scriptures, many times questions such as this arise. In order to explain the variations in skin color among the nations of the world today, many have postulated that Noah’s three sons were three different colors: Ham being dark-skinned, Shem being medium-skinned, and Japeth being light-skinned. From there, as it is supposed, the Hamites produced the “blacks”, the Japhethites produced the “whites”, and Shemites produced the “in-betweens”.
While it may seem likely to many, this theory is really the result of poor and lazy biblical and historical scholarship. In order for this theory to be true, the following would have had to take place:
- Ham would have had to produce all “black” children who had incest and did not mix with Japheth’s “white” children or Shem’s “in-between” children.
- Shem would have had to produce all “in-between” children who had incest and did not mix with Ham’s “black” children and Japheth’s “white” children.
- Japheth would have had to produce all “white” children who had incest and did not mix with Ham’s “black” children and Shem’s “in-between” children.
It’s amazing, the lies that we believe when we are told them enough times, and don’t prove all things! While it is likely that Adam and Eve’s children in-bred in order to fulfill the commandment of the Most High to be fruitful and multiply, it is not likely that this was the case with the children of the three sons of Noah. For one, they had the option of marrying their cousins, unlike the children of Adam and Eve. For two, Noah was a preacher of righteousness, and it is not likely that Yahuah tolerated in-breeding this late in the game.
Another thing to consider is that there were at least four generations from Shem ( Gen. 10:21-25 ) to the tower of Babel where all the people of the earth were ONE PEOPLE ( Gen. 11:6 ). There is no reason for us to believe that, at this point, all the people of the world were not similar to one another in physical appearance. How many of us look radically different from our great, great, grandparents? Most of us are in the same ball-park in physical appearance to them. So, if they were one basic skin color then what was their color?
In order to arrive at a reasonable conclusion, we must ask ourselves the following questions:
- Can we get “black” people from “white” people?
- Can we get “medium-skinned” people from “white” people?
- Can we get “black” people from “medium-skinned” people?
- Can we get “white” people from “medium-skinned” people?
- Can we get “medium-skinned” people from “black” people?
- Can we get “white” people from “black” people?
Forgive me if I am making this more complicated than it needs to be. I will simplify this by saying that “black”, which is not necessarily “jet black” but rather dark-skin, is the only skin-color that can produce the full range of colors from “white” to “black”. Neither “medium” skin, nor “white” skin can do the same in and of themselves. All nations of color, from “black” to “medium” produce “white” offspring in the form of albinos. “White” nations generally do not produce “medium”, and sure enough do not produce “black” offspring.
I said all of that to say this. If the world was all one basic skin color at the tower of Babel, then they had to have been dark-skinned in order to produce offspring of the full range of colors that we have today. There is no other way it could have happened. Hot weather in Africa could not have turned people “black” and cold weather in Europe could not have turned people “white”. If that was the case, then why aren’t the indigenous Indian peoples of South America “black”? Also, why aren’t the Alaskan Eskimos “white”? Both groups have been in those respective regions for many centuries.
One other thing to consider is the table of nations in Genesis chapter 10. If we look at the physical appearance of the nations today, we find the following:
- Hamites: Cush/Ethiopia, Mizraim/Egypt , Phut/Somolia ( Gen. 10:6 – dark-skinned people ), Sinites/Chinese ( Gen. 10:17 – “yellow”-skinned people ).
- Japhethites: Gomer/Germany, Magog/Russia, Javan/Greece ( Gen. 10:2 – “white”-skinned people ) and Madai-Medes/India ( Gen. 10:2 – dark-skinned people ).
This is what many scholars have come up with as the modern make-up of the nations today. Do you notice that the offspring of the sons of Noah are not perfectly denominated by skin color? So there we have it. The answer to the question of whether or not the three sons of Noah were three different skin colors is a resounding NO. Selah.