The Chinese People are not the Descendants of Ham


Paul Wong


Most of the other races know their origin and there is little dispute as to the identity of their ancestor, but today scholars are divided in their views concerning the ancestry of the Chinese people.  Is it Shem, Ham or Japheth?  Can you imagine the most populous people in the world - 1.3 billion - which is one fifth of the world's population, not knowing whether they are Semitic, Hamitic or Japhetic.  Well, I am not a scholar, much less an expert on anthropology, nevertheless I shall attempt to show that we, the Chinese people, are the descendants of Shem, not Japheth or Ham (Canaan).


I have already written two articles on this issue.  The first one “Blessed be the LORD, the God of Shem” showed from the written form of the Chinese language how God had revealed His truths to the Chinese people.  Many of the truths correspond with those that are shown to the Hebrew people as described in the Holy Bible.  Here is the evidence that both the Hebrew and the Chinese peoples that have the common knowledge must also have acquired it from their common ancestor Shem.  If you want to read about this     The second article  “The Descendants of Japheth” showed how the Indo-European nations have fulfilled the prophecy of Noah:  “May God enlarge Japheth, and may he dwell in the tents of Shem; and may Canaan be his servant.” (Gen. 9:27)  You may read about this. 


A subscriber to the ARK Forum sent me some web sites to consider.  The writers assert that the Chinese people are descendants of Ham based on spurious and unscriptural theories.


In “Noah’s Three Sons” Arthur C. Custance wrote about their three characteristics.  Shem was a worshipper, Japheth was a philosopher and Ham was an inventor.  He had a long list of inventions that originated from the descendants of Ham.  It is true that the ancient Chinese had invented paper-making, printing, silk-weaving, gunpowder, compass, etc., but this does not prove that they are the descendants of Ham.  If this criterion is correct then the American Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931) must be a Hamite because he was one of the most prolific inventors in the history of invention.  This method of characterization of a race to show its ancestry is not only unscriptural, unscientific and inconclusive but also highly disputable.


In Part Two of “The Lineage of Ham” Bill Cooper wrote: “The peoples of Ham's line populated parts of Asia Minor, the Arabian Peninsula, and eventually the entire continent of Africa - once known as the Land of Ham. . . .  In fact, it is within only a few generations of their migration from Babel, that we read of the Canaanites, the Sodomites and others as having filled their cups of iniquity. And this conclusion is more than adequately confirmed by all the documentary and archaeological evidence that has come down to us. Indeed, even if the Bible had itself remained silent on the matter, then the extra-biblical evidence would have been more than sufficient to force us to the sad conclusion that the early Hamitic nations deliberately rendered themselves devoid of all saving knowledge of the One True God.” 

It is difficult to disagree with this statement except that Bill Cooper did not know the fact that the ancient Chinese people did have the knowledge of the One True God.   Henry M. Morris of the Institute of Creation Research wrote: “Consider the ancient nation of China. C.H. Kang and Ethel Nelson have demonstrated that the very characters in the complex Chinese written language were derived from the primeval events recorded in Genesis.3.  For a long time, the Chinese people worshipped just one God, Shang Ti, the Lord of Heaven, retaining a clear tradition of the Great Flood and their migration from the region of Babel.  Eventually, however, this system was replaced by the humanistic religion of Confucius, still later by the occult religions of Taoism and Buddhism, and finally by the atheistic religion of communism.” 

In “God’s promise to the Chinese” Ethel R. Nelson, M.D.  wrote: Did you know that the written characters of the ancient Chinese language prove that from the beginning of their history the Chinese people worshipped the Most High God, the Creator? Proof that the inventors of the Chinese written language believed in an identical account of earth's beginnings as found in Scriptures, and looked for a coming Savior.”  These great Christian writers indicated the Chinese people are the descendants of Shem and not Japheth or Ham.

The next writer Ray C. Stedman is much respected in Christian circles but I do not agree with his views on the origin of race, which, he himself admitted, was influenced by Arthur C. Custance. These teachers want people to believe the Chinese people are descendants of Ham who have the characteristics of the inventor.  They reserve the characteristics of the philosopher exclusively to the descendants of Japheth.  They have a hard time explaining how Confucius, the great Chinese philosopher, could not be a descendant of Japheth.  Stedman wrote in “The Three Families of Man”:  “Some of you may say, "Well, what about Confucius?" He was a Hamite, but Confucius was not a philosopher; he was a teacher of practical ethics. Anyone who studies him will realize how true this is.”  Some others that teach this erroneous dogma would explain that Confucianism is not a religion therefore the Chinese could not be the descendants of Shem who have the characteristics of the worshiper.  The truth is Confucianism has been the official religion of China for hundreds of years.  What a messed up hypothesis!  How people twist the truth to fit their dogmatic teachings amazes me! 


In “God’s Funnel” Ray C. Stedman wrote:


“Heth is the father of the Hittite nation.  The Hittites were once regarded by archaeologists as a biblical blunder.  Archaeologists said the Bible was absolutely wrong when it mentioned the Hittites, for there was no such people.  But since that time, Hittite relics have been discovered in abundance, and scholars are now well aware of the great civilization that flourished under the Hittites. The Hebrew form of this word, Hittite, is Khettai and from this comes the word Cathay, which many of you will recognize as an ancient name for China.  Certain of the Hittites migrated eastward and settled in China.”


Let us find out from The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia” who were the Hittites.

“The names of Hittites noticed in the Old Testament include several that are Semitic (Ahimelech, Judith, Bashemath, etc.), but others like Uriah and Beeri (Genesis 26:34) which are probably non-Sem.  Uriah appears to have married a Hebrew wife (Bathsheba), and Esau in like manner married Hittite women (Genesis 26:34; 36:2). In the time of Abraham we read of Hittites as far South as Hebron (Genesis 23:3; 27:46), but there is no historic improbability in this at a time when the same race appears (see ZOAN) to have ruled in the Nile Delta (but see Gray in The Expositor, May, 1898, 340 f).

In later times the "land of the Hittites" (Joshua 1:4; Judges 1:26) was in Syria and near the Euphrates (see TAHTIM-HODSHI); though Uriah (2 Samuel 11) lived in Jerusalem, and Ahimelech (1 Samuel 26:6) followed David. In the time of Solomon (1 Kings 10:29), the "kings of the Hittites" are mentioned with the "kings of Syria," and were still powerful a century later (2 Kings 7:6). Solomon himself married Hittite wives (1 Kings 11:1), and a few Hittites seem still to have been left in the South (2 Chronicles 8:7), even in his time, if not after the captivity (Ezra 9:1; Nehemiah 9:8).

There is not a single record in the Holy Bible that the Hittites ever left the Mesopotamia region and journeyed to China and settled in that country.  Stedman wrote:  Hittite relics have been discovered in abundance” but not a single one has been found in China.  There is not a trace of historical or archaeological evidence that the Hittites ever set foot on China.

“To the law and to the testimony!  If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.”  (Isa. 8:20)

I am very disappointed that Stedman would write something that is unsubstantiated by the Scriptures, history or archaeology.  Stedman wrote: “The Hebrew form of this word, Hittite, is Khettai and from this comes the word Cathay, which many of you will recognize as an ancient name for China.  Certain of the Hittites migrated eastward and settled in China.”  How can Stedman be so certain of the Hittites’ migration to China just because the Hebrew word for Hittite “Khettai” sounds a little like “Cathay”?  I am not a linguistic expert so I do not know whether or not this is true.  I go to the best source of information available which is the Encyclopaedia Brittannica.  Here is what it states:




“Name by which North China was known in medieval Europe. The word is derived from Khitay (or Khitan), the name of a seminomadic people who left southeastern Mongolia in the 10th century AD to conquer part of Manchuria and northern China, which they held for about 200 years. By the time of Genghis Khan (died 1227), the Mongols had begun referring to North China as Kitai and South China as Mangi. Kitai is still the Russian word for China.


Either Muslim merchants or two Franciscan friars who visited the ancient Mongol capital of Karakorum in 1246 and 1254 are thought to have introduced the name Cathay to Europe. But Marco Polo (1254-1324), who journeyed to China almost 50 years later, was the one who really put the image of Cathay before the European public. His descriptions of a Cathay that possessed a far more sophisticated culture and technology than the contemporary West were circulated throughout medieval Europe. Following the collapse of Mongol power in the 14th century, European contact with China was lost, but stories of the country persisted. Christopher Columbus and John Cabot thought they were  heading toward Cathay in their voyages to the New World. In fact Columbus, who had a copy of Marco Polo's book with him, believed he had reached Mangi, which he described as contiguous to Cathay. It was not ascertained that China and Cathay were the same place until the Spanish Augustinian friar Marin de Rade, in 1575, and the Jesuit Matteo Ricci, in 1607, recorded the fact when they proved that China could be reached by following Marco Polo's land route across Central Asia.”


Ray C. Stedman is wrong again on this point.  The word “Cathay” has absolutely no connection with the Hebrew word for Hittite -  “Khettai”.  The Chinese people are not Hittites.

The Mayans
lived in the Americas
many thousands of years ago
but we know so precious little about them.
They came long before the Aztec and Inca peoples
who the Spanish encountered when arriving in the New World.
The word Maya is actually of Aztec origin and simply means, "Old Ones"
or "those who came before." They built the pyramids of America as well as many
other monuments laid out in cities, very reminiscent of the architecture found in Egypt.

Some anthropologists theorized the Mayans must have transmigrated from Egypt overland across Asia, through China and crossed over to North America from the Aleutians, then moved south across the American continent and finally settled down in Mexico and Central America.  This theory could prove the Chinese people belong to the Hamitic race like the Egyptians and they are also the ancestors of the American Indians.  If that was the migratory path of the Mayans, pyramid buildings would have been built all over China and North America.  This theory has no historical, archaeological and architectural support whatsoever.

Here is how the Egyptians could have reached America in ancient times by crossing the Atlantic Ocean.  “There have been several important experiments with African boats and the Atlantic currents.  Starting in 1952, Dr. Alain Bombard sailed from Casablanca to Barbados in an African raft.  In 1955, Dr. Hannes Lindemann sailed for fifty-two days from the Cape Verde Islands to the South American coast.  Both journeys were made alone and the men arrived in good health.  In 1969, Thor Heyerdahl conducted two experiments, one with the Ra I and the other with the Ra II.  The Ra I and the Ra II were ships built identical to an earlier model African ship.  The ships were built out of papyrus and were constructed the way they would have been during the Pre-Columbian era. The Ra I was built by the Buduma people first.  The Ra I started at Safi in North Africa and sailed to Barbados.  The Ra I fell short of making the journey across the Atlantic.  The Ra II was built by a native American tribe, the Aymara, this ship made it from Africa to America successfully.  These experiments prove that if these simple vessels could negotiate the Atlantic Ocean using one of the two currents, then some of Africa's more sophisticated ships could have made the trip.”  These experimental voyages prove that it is possible for the ancient Egyptians to reach the coasts of Mexico, Central and South America in an African sea craft made from reeds, and they need not have to cross overland through China, Alaska and North America.  These voyages also indicate the pre-Columbian people of South America, Central America (Mesoamerica) Inca, Aztec civilizations could be the direct descendants of the Egyptians and all of them belong to the Hamitic race.

Links:  Quest for Ancient Sailors’ Skill  à

              The RA Expeditions Revisited   à

There is compelling evidence that the Jews who are Semites did have a settlement in China.   You may go to the web sites concerning the Jews in China :

Jews in China  à

Are there really Jews in China?: An Update  à

“Lost” Jews of Kaifeng  à


The more I research on the origin of the Chinese people through the process of elimination the more I am convinced that they are the descendants of Shem and not Japheth or Ham.



This Article is the response of Paul Wong
to a discussion in the ARK Forum on February 13, 2003
For comments please write first to:

May God bless you.

Updated on 02/12/04

Paul Wong is a Christian minister and the President of ARK International.
His ministry also serves as an architectural service company in Houston.
The ARK Forum on the Internet is international and non-denominational.

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