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Who Were The Canaanites?
by Wayne Blank
The sons of Ham were Cush, from whom came the Babylonians and Assyrians (Genesis 10:6,8-11), Mizraim, from whom came the Egyptians and Philistines (Genesis 10:13), Put, and Canaan. Coincidence or not, many of Israel's most powerful enemies, from ancient times to the present, originated from the descendants of Ham.
From Canaan naturally came the Canaanite clans - Sidon, Hittites, Jebusites, Amorites, Girgashites, Hivites, Arkites, Sinites, Arvadites, Zemarites and Hamathites. (Genesis 10:15). According to the Bible account, "Later the Canaanite clans scattered and the borders of Canaan reached from Sidon toward Gerar as far as Gaza, and then toward Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, as far as Lasha." (Genesis 10:19). It's in this described area that the conflict between the Israelites and the "peoples of the land" began, and has continued right to the present day. You can turn on your television news and witness this ancient Biblical struggle continuing almost any day with your own two eyes.
A vital, very often overlooked point of the struggle for the land is that the earth belongs to God. He created it, He owns it, He decides what He wants to do with it. It is His property. Although others may have been allowed to live in the land before the arrival of the Israelites, God has owned the land right from the time of Creation before any humans even existed.
If someone owns a number of houses now that won't be needed until later, rather than letting them sit empty and neglected, they are usually rented to someone who can make use of them in the mean time. But then one day, if one of the owner's children reaches adult age and needs a place to live, the owner can choose not to renew the lease to one of those houses, which the owner has every legal and moral right to do, so that the designated heir may move in.
Even though the tenants of that particular house may have been living there for many years, caring for the property as if it were their own, they would be required to move when their lease is up - either to another house that the owner has available for rent, or hopefully by then they will have saved enough to purchase their own home. The process has nothing to do with fairness or unfairness, but is simply a matter of an owner having the right to do whatever he or she sees fit with their own property.
God is not unfair to anyone. God does not play favorites. The Canaanites have the same opportunity for salvation as the Israelites. But, God does have a Plan, and that Plan requires specific people to be in precise places at exact times.
Fact Finder: To whom did God give the land known today as Israel?