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Canaan

The name of a biblical man and a land…

  1. Canaan, the 4th son of Ham (Genesis 10:6)

    His descendants were under a curse in consequence of the transgression of his father (9:22-27). His eldest son, Zidon, was the father of the Sidonians and Phoenicians. He had 11 sons, who were the founders of as many tribes (10:15-18).

  2. Canaan, the land area which derived its name from the man above

    The name as first used by the Phoenicians denoted only the maritime plain on which Sidon was built. But in the time of Moses and Joshua it denoted the whole country to the west of the Jordan and the Dead Sea (Deuteronomy 11:30). In Joshua 5:12 the Septuagint read, “land of the Phoenicians,” instead of “land of Canaan.”

    The name signifies “the lowlands,” as distinguished from the land of Gilead on the east of Jordan, which was a mountainous district. The extent and boundaries of Canaan are fully set forth in different parts of Scripture (Genesis 10:19; 17:8; Numbers 13:29; 34:8). (See CANAANITES, PALESTINE.)