Person. Canaan, which means merchant, trader or one that humbles or subdues, is the fourth son of Ham, son of Noah (Genesis 10:6). He is known as the founder of various nations. He is placed on the bible timeline chart after the Great Flood.
Before the Israelite conquest, he peopled the seacoast of Palestine. His eldest son, Zidon, is known as the father of the Sidonians and Phoenicians. He had eleven sons, who were the founders of as many tribes (Genesis 10:15-18).
Canaan also refers to a civilization situated close to Palestine that the eastern Mediterranean coast and is bordered by Lebanon on the north, Egypt on the south, and the Jordan River on the east.
It is believed that due to the effect of the wrongdoing of his father, the descendants of Canaan were under a curse (Genesis 9:22-27).
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Place. The country was named after Canaan, most of whose descendants dwelt in this place. Canaan was known as God’s Promised Land to Abraham where the Hebrews settled around 1800 B.C. according to the Bible Timeline.
Originally Canaan was used by the Phoenicians to designate the place where Sidon was built. However, the whole country to the west of Jordan and the Dead Sea was generally referred as Canaan during the time of Moses and Joshua. The efforts of Israel to inhabit the land were written in the books of Joshua and Judges.
The kingdom was then divided so that Israel occupied the north and Judah, the south. This was subsequently divided into three parts, later on, namely; Galilee in the north, Samaria as the center and Judea at the south.
The Promised Land of Canaan: Palestine Canaan is used to describe a place in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River and the range of connecting lands. The Promised Land of Canaan, now popularly known as Palestine is a land bridge between Africa, Europe, and Asia, a perfect place for God to make His name recognized to “all nations.” Its boundaries change from time to time.
The ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict is due to disagreements in beliefs and claims for each party’s rights in the land. This country once known as Judea got its name Palestine after the Roman invasion. It was dominated by and became the land of the Arabs later on. After the Zionist movement successfully aimed to bring back the Jews to Israel, Palestine, at that time part of Britain, was declared a national home for the Jews, overlooking the Arab inhabitants. This started the conflict between the Jews and the Arabs.
The Arabs, headed by Grand Mufti Hajj Amin El Husseini created a series of riots then later on revolted against the Jews’ arrival and populating of their land. Both sides also are fighting over the eastern part of Jerusalem. Jerusalem is the old capital of Judea and also housed the Jewish holy temple and the holy Al-Aqsa mosque of Islam.
The UN tried to divide Palestine between the Arabs and the Jews, but the Arabs rejected it and denied any movements to make peace with the Jews. A series of wars followed. Recently, the direct negotiations between the Israeli government headed by Benjamin Netanyahu and the Palestine Liberation Organization headed by Mahmoud Abbas are done with the hope to reach a good official outcome of the settlement.
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