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    CANAAN

    The land of Canaan, as everybody knows, was Palestine and Phenicia. “And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon, as thou comest to Gerar, unto Gaza; as thou goest, unto Sodom and Gomorrah, and Admah, and Zeboim, even unto Lasha.” And Canaan begatPOTE 280.1

    Sidon, his firstborn. Even in the time of Joshua Sidon was known as the great Zidon (Joshua 11:8; 19:28). More than a thousand years before Christ the Sidonians were skillful workers in silver and gold. They stood for a long while pre-eminent in art, manufactures, and commerce. When Solomon began to build the temple, he said to Hiram, king of Tyre, “Thou knowest that there is not among us any that can skill to hew timber like unto the Sidonians.” 1 Kings 5:6. The Sidonians furnished wives to Solomon, and Jezebel to Ahab, and the god Baal and the goddess Ashtoreth-Astarte, Venus-to Israel (1 Kings 11:1, 5). When Xerxes, in his great expedition against Greece, reached Abydos at the Hellespont, he erected a lofty throne and from it viewed all his forces of both land and sea. When this was over he ordered a sailing match among the ships of the different nations of his fleet, which was won by the Sidonians, “much to the joy of Xerxes, who was delighted alike with the race and with his army.” The Sidonian ships were the most famous in the fleet. And when Xerxes made a grand review of his fleet he chose a Sidonian galley and sailed along the prows of the aligned ships (Herodotus, vii, 45, 99, 100).POTE 280.2

    A colony from Sidon founded Tyre, five miles down the coast, which soon totally eclipsed the mother city, and became the most opulent city in the world, “the mart of nations.” Her builders were so skillful that they were said to have perfected her beauty; and to make the metal work about the temple Solomon sent and brought out of Tyre, Hiram, who was a son of a woman of Naphtali, “and his father was a man of Tyre, a worker in brass” (1 Kings 7:13, 14). Five hundred and eighty years before Christ, Tyre was so rich that she could make all her shipboards of fir, and her masts of cedar of Lebanon; her oars of oak of Bashan, and her benches of ivory from the isles of Chittim; her sails of fine linen with broidered work from Egypt, and her coverings of blue and purple from the isles of Elishah. The inhabitants of Zidon and Arvad were her mariners, her own wise men were her pilots, and her army was hired from Persia, Lud, Phut, and Arvad. Because of the multitude of all kind of riches, and the multitude of the wares of her own making, Társhish came to trade in her fairs with silver, iron, tin, and lead. Javan, Tubal, and Mesheeh came with persons of men and vessels of brass. The house of Togarmah came with horses, horsemen, and mules. Dedan came with horns of ivory and ebony and with precious clothes for chariots. Syria came with emeralds, purple and broidered work, and fine linen, and coral, and agate. Damascus came with the wine of Helbon and white wool; Judah and Israel with wheat, and honey, and oil, and balm; Arabia came with lambs and rams and goats; Sheba and Raamah came with chief of all spices, and with precious stones and gold; Babylonia and Assyria came with all sorts of things in blue clothes and broidered work, chests of rich apparel bound with cords and made of cedar; and she enriched the kings of the earth with the multitude of her riches and her merchandise. See Ezekiel 27.POTE 281.1

    From Tyre, about 850 b. c., there went forth a colony and founded Carthage on the extreme northern point of Africa, where they built up an empire that “extended from the Straits of Gibraltar to the altars of the Philæni, near the Great Syrtis, where she touched on the territory of Cyrene. She possessed as provinces Sardinia and the Balearic Islands, and Malta and a few settlements in Spain and Gaul.” She also held a part of Sicily. For four hundred years Carthage stood as the rival of the power of Rome, and when in 146 b. c. she was utterly destroyed, Rome speedily rose to universal dominion. Such was the course of Sidon the firstborn of Canaan.POTE 282.1

    Heth was the second son of Canaan, and was the father of the Hittites. From the sons of Heth Abraham bought the burying place of Sarah, the field of Ephron the Hittite, and there “Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave in the field of Machpelah before Mamre; the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan.” Genesis 23:3-20. Esau took for wives two Hittite women “which were a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebecca” Genesis 26:34, 35. One hundred years after the burial of Sarah the Hittites had formed a considerable kingdom between the Euphrates, the valley of the Orontes, and the Sea. Two hundred years later they had established the most powerful monarchy in all that region, strong enough, indeed, to war, and make treaties, on equal terms with Egypt itself. Between them and the Pharaoh who began the oppression (Exodus 1:10-16) there was a war of fourteen years terminated at last by a peace recognizing the independence of the Hittites and the integrity of their territory, and as a bond of the peace a daughter of the king of the Hittites was given to Pharaoh, for a wife, to whom was given an Egyptian, name meaning, “Gift of the great Sun of Justice.”POTE 283.1

    One of the men who was with David in the mountains hunted by Saul, was Abimelech the Hittite. One of David’s thirty-seven valiant men was Uriah the Hittite. Solomon brought horses and chariots out of Egypt for the kings of the Hittites, and took women of the Hittites for wives. 1 Kings 10:29; 11:1. Even as late as the time of Elisha they had such a warlike reputation that when Ben-hadad king of Syria-Damascus-had besieged Samaria and had reduced it to the most abject straits, “the Lord made the host of the Syrians to hear a noise of chariots, and a noise of horses, even the noise of a great host; and they said one to another, Lo, the king of Israel hath hired against us the kings of the Hittites, and the kings of the Egyptians to come upon us. Wherefore they arose and fled in the twilight, and left their tents, and their horses, and their asses, even the camp as it was, and fled for their life.” 2 Kings 7:6, 7.POTE 283.2

    Jebus was the third son of Canaan, from whom come the Jebusites. Jebus built Jerusalem, and the Jebusites were the inhabitants of Jerusalem. Judges 19:10 says of a traveler, that he “came over against Jebus, which is Jerusalem.” Joshua 15:63 says, “As for the Jebusites the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the children of Judah could not drive them out; but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Judah at Jerusalem unto this day.” It was only in the citadel, however, that they dwelt, for soon after entering the land the children of Judah fought against Jerusalem and took it. Judges 1:8. But when David had reigned six months in Hebron, “David and all Israel went to Jerusalem, which is Jebus; where the Jebusites were, the inhabitants of the land. And the inhabitants of Jebus said to David, Thou shalt not come hither. Nevertheless David took the castle of Zion, which is the city of David. And David said, Whosoever smiteth the Jebusites first shall be chief and captain. So Joab the son of Zeruiah went first up, and was chief. And David dwelt in the castle; therefore they called it the city of David.” 1 Chronicles 11:4-7; 2 Samuel 5:4-9. The temple of God that stood on Mount Moriah was built on the place of the threshing-floor that David bought from Ornan the Jebusite. 2 Chronicles 3:1; 1 Chronicles 21:14-30; 22:1, 2.POTE 284.1

    The Amorites dwelt in Hazezon-tamar-Engedi-on the west of the Dead Sea, when Chedor-laomer invaded Palestine, for there he found them and smote them. Genesis 14:7. Some of them were confederate with Abraham, verse 13; and they seem to have been one of the principal people of Canaan, not only in numbers but in iniquity, because when the Lord showed Abram the course of his posterity through the Egyptian bondage, he said, “But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again; for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.” Genesis 15:16. Jacob took from the Amorite a portion which he gave to Joseph when he came to die. Genesis 48:22.POTE 285.1

    The Girgashites dwelt in the country that lay east of the Lake Gennesereth, the country of the Gergesenes. Matthew 8:28.POTE 285.2

    The Hivites dwelt about Salim in the time of Jacob. Shechem, the son of Hamor the Hivite, was a prince of the country, and wanted Dinah, Jacob’s only daughter, for his wife. Genesis 34. Jacob bought a field of the sons of Hamor, for one hundred pieces of money. “And he erected there an altar, and called it El-elohe-Israel.” When the children of Israel came from Egypt to Canaan the Hivites dwelt in Gibcon. It was these that played the trick on Joshua with their old, mouldy bread, and old sacks, and old wine bottles torn and bound up, as though they came as ambassadors from a far country, to make a league with Israel. Joshua 9:3-27. There were some remaining yet in the time of Solomon, upon whom he re-laid the tribute and bondservice. 1 Kings 9:20, 21.POTE 285.3

    The Arkites dwelt on the Phenician coast at the western base of Mount Lebanon. Arka or Arce was their chief town.POTE 286.1

    The Sinite dwelt in North Lebanon.POTE 286.2

    The Arradite inhabited a small island and a city called Arvad on the coast of Syria, opposite the mouth of the Eleutherus; also a portion of the mainland opposite. Tarsus was settled by a colony of them. From the Arvadites were “the men of Arvad” who were both sailors and soldiers for Tyre in her glory.POTE 286.3

    The Zemarite was located between the Jordan and Bethel.POTE 286.4

    The Hamathites formed a small kingdom in Syria on the Orontes where they founded the large and important city of Hamath, which still stands one of the oldest cities in the world. When David conquered the Syrians of Zobah, Toi was king of Hamath, and he sent his own son Joram to salute David “and to bless him, because he had fought against Hadadezer, and smitten him; for Hadadezer had wars with Toi. And Joram brought with him vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and vessels of brass; which also King David did dedicate unto the Lord.” 2 Samuel 8:9-11. Solomon conquered Hamath and built store cities there. 2 Chronicles 8:3, 4. After the death of Solomon it regained its independence, but Jeroboam II. “recovered” it. 2 Kings 14:28. Pharaoh-nechoh put Jehoahaz in bands at Riblah in the land of Hamath; and Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon slew the sons of Zedekiah and put out Zedekiah’s eyes at Riblah in the land of Hamath. 2 Kings 23:33; 25:6, 7, 21. Sennacherib overthrew the kingdom of Hamath in his day and considered it quite an important thing, for he made use of it to try to scare Hezekiah into a surrender. Isaiah 37:12, 13. It is now under Turkish rule.POTE 286.5

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