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Canaan (Land) is found in the Old Testament

This article is about the land. You may be looking for the person.

Canaan or the Promise Land is the region in which the people of Israel, were promised to occupy by God through an agreement made with Abraham. Prior to Israel's occupation many Hamitic and pagan peoples, occupied the region, leading to Israel having to conquer the territory. The term Canaan is usually used to refer to the land, while it was occupied by non-Israelites and the collective cultural practices. Canaan was the subject of numerous prophecies, when Israel did not occupy the area.

Canaan was a loose alliance of city-states, such as Sidon and Tyre.


Cursed Man[]

Canaan began as one man named Canaan, the son of Ham and grandson of Noah. After departing the Ark after the Great Flood, Ham barged in on his father drunk and naked. Rather than showing modesty and respect Ham went outside and invited his brothers (Shem and Japheth) to see their father's embarrassing moment. When Noah heard of his son's behavior, he cursed Ham's first born named Canaan.

In Noah's curse, Canaan was delegated to being less than all his brothers and his descendants would be subjected to eventual slavery to the Semites and Japhethites.[1]

Growth of Canaan[]

Many tribes settled in Canaan, most notably the Canaanites, descendants of Canaan, whom were made up of different tribes themselves.[2]

The Covenant of Abraham[]

Later, God made a covenant with Abraham, a descendant of Shem, in which He promised that Abraham's descendants would be in possession of Canaan, though he lived only lived there as a foreigner[3]. Many Canaanites knew of this and were frightened by it, most notably Jericho[4], knowing that they would not be spared.[5]

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  1. Genesis 9:24-27 (Link)
  2. Joshua 11:3 (Link)
  3. Genesis 17:8 (Link)
  4. Joshua 2:9 (Link)
  5. Joshua 11:14 (Link)