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Bible Dictionaries

People's Dictionary of the Bible

Canaan (2)

Canaan, land of (kâ'nan or kâ'na-an). Genesis 12:5. The country inhabited by the posterity of Canaan (a son of Ham and grandson of Noah), who were hence called Canaanites. God promised this land to the children of Israel, the posterity of Abraham, as their possession. Exodus 6:4; Leviticus 25:38. The boundaries of Canaan were Mount Lebanon on the north, the wilderness of Arabia on the south, and the Arabian desert on the east. On the west their possessions extended at some points to the margin of the Mediterranean. Their boundaries on this side were partially restricted by the Philistines, who held the low lands and strong cities along the shore. Genesis 10:19. Besides the possessions of the Israelites, the land of Canaan embraced Phœnicia on the north and Philistia on the southwest. Zephaniah 2:5. The land of Canaan was called the land of Israel, 1 Samuel 13:19, because it was occupied by the descendants of Jacob or Israel; the holy land, Zechariah 2:12; the land of promise, Hebrews 11:9, because it was promised to Abraham and his posterity as their possession; the land of Judah, Jeremiah 39:10, because Judah was the leading tribe; the land of the Hebrews, Genesis 40:15, or the descendants of Eber, an ancestor of Abraham. The modern name of Palestine, or the land of the Philistines, was originally applied to the region lying along the coast of the Mediterranean, southwest of the Land of Promise, but in its present usage denotes the whole country bounded by the Jordan on the east the Mediterranean on the west, Arabia on the south, and Lebanon on the north. Previous to its conquest by Joshua, Canaan was peopled by several tribes, as Hittites, Jebusites, Amorites, Girgasites, Hivites, Perizzites, and four others, all early known as Canaanites. Genesis 10:15-19. Later, "Canaanites" appears to designate a separate tribe, and the land was inhabited by them and six other tribes. Canaan was the country for which Terah started, Genesis 11:31; Abram dwelt in it; it was promised to him for a possession. Genesis 12:5; Genesis 12:8, etc.; Isaac, Jacob, and the patriarchs made their home there. Genesis 26:1-35; Genesis 27:1-46; Genesis 28:1-22; Genesis 29:1-35; Genesis 30:1-43; Genesis 31:1-55; Genesis 32:1-32; Genesis 33:1-20; Genesis 34:1-31; Genesis 35:1-29; Genesis 36:1-43. It was left by Jacob because of the famine; searched by the twelve spies, Numbers 13:2; Viewed by Moses, Deuteronomy 32:49; conquered by Joshua, Joshua 11:23; divided by lot among the twelve tribes, Joshua 13:7; a king of the country was slain by Deborah and Barak, Judges 4:24. In the temple at Karnak, in Egypt, a triple list of 118 or 119 towns of Canaan has lately been discovered, which is believed to be a record of an Egyptian conquest of the land by Thothmes HI. previous to that by Joshua. It is the oldest known record of Canaanite cities before the time of Joshua. For later history see Palestine.

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'Canaan (2)'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. 1893.

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