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Bible Dictionaries

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary


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The son of Ham, Noah's son. From him sprang the Canaanites. (Genesis 9:18)

Canaan (2)

The land of promise; the glory of all lands. (Ezekiel 20:6) So called, not only on account of its fertility and loveliness in point of situation, but more eminently, in having the special presence of the Lord and his ordinances. And as the temple, and all the services of the temple, were so many types of the Lord Jesus, Canaan might well be called the land of promise, with an eye to Him.

It is well worthy our observation, that while, among all the early writers, both sacred and profane, the very blessed state of Palestine, or Canaan, for we name it by either, extending both the sacred river Jordan as a country, is continually described; later travellers speak of it as a dry, and inhospitable place. Moses, and all patriarchs, Ezekiel; and all the prophets, are praises of Canaan, and all describe it as a land "flowing with milk and honey." A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates. A land of oil, olive and honey; of brooks, and fountains, and depths, that spring out of valleys and hills. "A land" (said Moses) "whose very stones are iron, and out of whose hills thou mayest dig brass." See Deuteronomy 8:7-9, etc. Ezekiel 20:6; Eze 20:15.

And among profane historians of antiquity we find the like testimonies to those of Holy Writ. Hecat‘us, who lived at the time of Alexander the Great, and who wrote in the reign of Ptolemy, describes Palestine as a most fruitful province. And Pliny speaks of it in a degree of enthusiasm. Jordan was to his view a beautiful river, and the banks of it fruitful to an excess. He describes the palm trees, and the balm of Judah, and the city of Jerusalem, as most lovely indeed!

Modern travellers, however, have given a very different account. The provinces are said by most of them to be barren and unfruitful, and Jerusalem itself to be but a poor city. From these different statements the pious reader will, without my suggestion, feel his mind, I should hope, led to that beautiful observation of the Psalmist, and indeed, to the whole of the many blessed things to the same amount, as are said in that Psalm; "A fruitful land the Lord turneth into barrenness, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein." (Psalms 107:43)

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Hawker, Robert D.D. Entry for 'Canaan'. Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance and Dictionary. London. 1828.

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