The Canaanites

Since my last post I have been working on the sons of Canaan. There are eleven total and I still have three left. I was hoping to have them done by now, but my husband and I had a Baccalaureate and Commencement ceremony to attend and we are traveling this weekend. The excitement never ends!

But between all of that, I have still managed to get through most of these sons. The way I have been starting most of the chapters on these sons is by first going through all of the references in the Scriptures. For some of them, they are only mentioned in the two genealogical records, sometimes they also have cities named after them, other times I find them on every other page of the Old Testament! It has been quite fascinating to study the Scriptures like this.

For one, I do not think most people realize how much the Canaanites are mentioned in the Scriptures. I would not say they are “important”, per se, but they are found throughout the timeline of Scripture. And many of them do play very important roles. Take the sons of Sidon, for example. They became the Phoenicians, probably the best known of the Canaanites. While they were not necessarily praised in the Scriptures, they engaged in commerce with Israel for many generations. Some of the people even lasted to the time of Jesus, and He ministered to a woman from that area. The same ministry happened after Pentecost when some early Christians went to the area of Tyre and Sidon. How amazing is that?

Other Canaanites built cities that were enveloped by the Phoenicians or were swallowed in the greater scope of the Canaanites. But others were remembered for some time. For one, the city of Jerusalem was once inhabited by the Jebusites, the city itself called Jebus after its founder. Long after David conquered the city, there were some Jebusites that lived there. In fact, David bought a threshing floor from a Jebusite and built an altar to God after He struck Jerusalem for David’s sin. Later, the Temple would be built on this site. One of David’s friends and warriors was a Hittite named Uriah. While David sinned greatly against him and his wife, God still worked for good through it and Solomon was born. Other specific Canaanites are mentioned throughout the Old Testament, but to discuss them all would take too long here. After all, that is why I need to write a book!

Also, it shows that the not all of the Canaanites were these doomed, cursed people whom God hates. This is the picture that most people paint or imagine for the Old Testament – that God loves slavery and these people were cursed to serve.  But this is simply not true. While many of them did serve, some played key roles in history, as discussed. One group, the Gibeonites, were subjected to serve because they tricked the Israelites. Even so, Israel defended the Gibeonites when other Canaanite tribes fought against them. And many served because they were part of a conquered nation, as was common at that time. Still, many held their land and lived as many other Israelites. There were still many kingdoms to the north that were never conquered, such as the Hamathites who were likely not part of the inheritance of Israel. That king had a good relationship with King David, especially after David defeated a mutual enemy. Moreover, there are some passages implying that some of these people worshiped the Lord, though many led the Israelites astray in later times with their false gods. And in fact, it was because of this latter part that God wished them to be wiped out, for they had served gods that would lead the Israelites astray and the Canaanites had turned from God.

Even with all of this research found, I am still not done. I have postponed three of the sons due to their scope in research. The Hittites are next and they will prove interesting, but they will take time to write about. Until recently, the Hittites were only known through the Scriptures, and many discounted their existence because of that. But since then, researchers have found that there were actually a great kingdom. After this I will move on to the Amorites, which I will be honest, I know little about save that they are frequently mentioned int he Scriptures. I am looking forward to learning more. Similarly, the Sintes are barely mentioned int he Bible, and yet I think they will play a crucial role in Asia, and that is something I am quite interested in learning.

Thus, I am off to adventures this weekend, which will put my writing schedule on hold, but it will be all the better to get back to it next week. I look forward to all of the history the Scriptures and the world has in store for me to find and share, all of which demonstrates our ancestry to Adam.

Blessings to you,

~Rose

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