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canaanites

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canaanites


  1  definition  found 
 
  From  Easton's  1897  Bible  Dictionary  [easton]: 
 
  Canaanites 
  the  descendants  of  Canaan,  the  son  of  Ham.  Migrating  from  their 
  original  home,  they  seem  to  have  reached  the  Persian  Gulf,  and 
  to  have  there  sojourned  for  some  time.  They  thence  "spread  to 
  the  west,  across  the  mountain  chain  of  Lebanon  to  the  very  edge 
  of  the  Mediterranean  Sea,  occupying  all  the  land  which  later 
  became  Palestine,  also  to  the  north-west  as  far  as  the  mountain 
  chain  of  Taurus.  This  group  was  very  numerous,  and  broken  up 
  into  a  great  many  peoples,  as  we  can  judge  from  the  list  of 
  nations  (Gen.  10),  the  'sons  of  Canaan.'"  Six  different  tribes 
  are  mentioned  in  Ex  3:8,  17;  23:23;  33:2;  34:11.  In  Ex  13:5 
  the  Perizzites"  are  omitted.  The  Girgashites"  are  mentioned  in 
  addition  to  the  foregoing  in  Deut.  7:1;  Josh.  3:10. 
 
  The  "Canaanites,"  as  distinguished  from  the  Amalekites  the 
  Anakim,  and  the  Rephaim,  were  "dwellers  in  the  lowlands"  (Num. 
  13:29),  the  great  plains  and  valleys,  the  richest  and  most 
  important  parts  of  Palestine.  Tyre  and  Sidon,  their  famous 
  cities,  were  the  centres  of  great  commercial  activity;  and  hence 
  the  name  Canaanite"  came  to  signify  a  trader"  or  merchant" 
  (Job  41:6;  Prov.  31:24,  lit.  "Canaanites;"  comp.  Zeph.  1:11; 
  Ezek.  17:4).  The  name  Canaanite"  is  also  sometimes  used  to 
  designate  the  non-Israelite  inhabitants  of  the  land  in  general 
  (Gen.  12:6;  Num.  21:3;  Judg.  1:10). 
 
  The  Israelites,  when  they  were  led  to  the  Promised  Land,  were 
  commanded  utterly  to  destroy  the  descendants  of  Canaan  then 
  possessing  it  (Ex.  23:23;  Num.  33:52,  53;  Deut.  20:16,  17).  This 
  was  to  be  done  "by  little  and  little,"  lest  the  beasts  of  the 
  field  should  increase  (Ex.  23:29;  Deut.  7:22,  23).  The  history 
  of  these  wars  of  conquest  is  given  in  the  Book  of  Joshua.  The 
  extermination  of  these  tribes,  however,  was  never  fully  carried 
  out  Jerusalem  was  not  taken  till  the  time  of  David  (2  Sam.  5:6, 
  7).  In  the  days  of  Solomon  bond-service  was  exacted  from  the 
  fragments  of  the  tribes  still  remaining  in  the  land  (1  Kings 
  9:20,  21).  Even  after  the  return  from  captivity  survivors  of 
  five  of  the  Canaanitish  tribes  were  still  found  in  the  land. 
 
  In  the  Tell-el-Amarna  tablets  Canaan  is  found  under  the  forms 
  of  Kinakhna  and  Kinakhkhi  Under  the  name  of  Kanana  the 
  Canaanites  appear  on  Egyptian  monuments,  wearing  a  coat  of  mail 
  and  helmet,  and  distinguished  by  the  use  of  spear  and  javelin 
  and  the  battle-axe.  They  were  called  Phoenicians  by  the  Greeks 
  and  Poeni  by  the  Romans.  By  race  the  Canaanites  were  Semitic. 
  They  were  famous  as  merchants  and  seamen,  as  well  as  for  their 
  artistic  skill.  The  chief  object  of  their  worship  was  the 
  sun-god,  who  was  addressed  by  the  general  name  of  Baal,  "lord." 
  Each  locality  had  its  special  Baal,  and  the  various  local  Baals 
  were  summed  up  under  the  name  of  Baalim,  "lords." 
 




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