Canaan
Dictionary of Bible Names

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Canaan
Bible Meaning: Merchant, traffic, lowland
Strong's Concordance #H3667, #G5478

The land of Canaan got its name from the son of Ham, who himself was one of Noah's three sons who survived the great flood.

Biblical commentaries differ regarding the boundaries of the land of Canaan. Generally, however, it ran from the Euphrates River in the north (or from Ugarit in Syria) to the brook of Egypt (possibly the Nile River) in the south. It also reached as far west as the Mediterranean Sea and ran east to the Jordan River. This area is where the vast majority of important Old and New Testament events took place.

God promised Abraham, then his son Isaac and grandson Jacob, the area they journeyed within would be given to them and their descendants as an "everlasting possession" (Genesis 17:8, 26:3 - 5, 28:13 - 15). Much, but by no means all, of this territory was settled by Israelites after a series of wars carried out under both Moses and Joshua (see our excellent timeline series on Biblical wars for more information).

Important verses

Person

Genesis 9:18
And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan.

Map of Ancient Canaan

Location

Genesis 11:31
And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son's son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram's wife: and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan: and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there.

Genesis 13:12
Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom.

Genesis 17:1 - 2, 8
And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.

And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession: and I will be their God.

Genesis 47:13
And there was no bread in all the land: for the famine was very sore, so that the land of Egypt and all the land of Canaan fainted by reason of the famine.

Exodus 16:35
And the children of Israel did eat manna forty years, until they came to a land inhabited: they did eat manna, until they came unto the borders of the land of Canaan.

Leviticus 25:1 - 2, 38
And the Lord spake unto Moses in mount Sinai, saying, speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a sabbath unto the Lord . . .

I am the Lord your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, to give you the land of Canaan, and to be your God.

Ezekiel 16:3
And say, Thus saith the Lord God unto Jerusalem: Thy birth and thy nativity is of the land of Canaan: thy father was an Amorite, and thy mother an Hittite.

Matthew 15:21 - 22
Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon.

And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David: my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.

Additional Studies


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Series Notes
Scripture references are based
on the King James translation.



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