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Canaan and Palestine

Palestine in Dr. William Smith's Dictionary of the Bible VOLUME III (1871) Pages 2284-2323

Page v in East of the Jordan by Selah Merrill (1881)

Selected Excerpts on Canaan (Palestine)

(1) Egypt, Canaan, and Israel in Ancient Times (2) The Neolithic of the Levant (A) Neolithic 2 Palestine (Page 211) (B) Neolithic 3 Palestine (Pages 359-360) (C) Neolithic 3 South Palestine (Pages 360-368) (D) Neolithic 3 North Palestine (Pages 368-380)

Called by the Egyptians Rhetenu or Kharu -- by the Syrians of the second millenium BC Canaan -- by the Hebrews Israel -- and by the Greeks Romans and Saracens Palestina -- the Holy Land has remained over the centuries a land that displays no inherent unity or cultural autochthony (*)

Canaan: The fourth son of Ham ... Genesis 10:6

And the sons of Ham; Cush and Mizraim and Phut and Canaan

His eldest son Zidon was the father of the Sidonians and Phoenicians. He had eleven sons who were the founders of as many tribes ... Genesis 10:15-18

10:15 And Canaan begat Sidon his firstborn and Heth

10:16 And the Jebusite and the Amorite and the Girgasite

10:17 And the Hivite and the Arkite and the Sinite

10:18 And the Arvadite and the Zemarite and the Hamathite: and
afterward were the families of the Canaanites spread abroad ...

The area derived its name from the preceding. In the time of Moses and Joshua it denoted the land to the west of the Jordan and the Dead Sea ...

The land known as Canaan was situated in the territory of the southern Levant which today encompasses Israel -- the West Bank and Gaza Strip -- Jordan and the southern portions of Syria and Lebanon. Throughout time many names have been given to this area including Palestine -- Eretz-Israel -- Bilad es-Shem -- Holy Land -- Djahy. The earliest known name for this area was Canaan. The inhabitants of Canaan were never ethnically or politically unified as a single nation. They did however share sufficient similarities in language and culture to be described together as Canaanites.

Israel refers to both a people within Canaan and later to the political entity formed by those people. To the authors of the Bible Canaan is the land which the tribes of Israel conquered after an Exodus from Egypt and the Canaanites are the people they disposed from this land. The Old Testament of the Bible is principally concerned with the religious history of Israel in Canaan ...

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