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From Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary :

     the descendants of Canaan, the son of Ham. Migrating from their
     original home, they seem to have reached the Persian Gulf, and
     to have there sojourned for some time. They thence "spread to
     the west, across the mountain chain of Lebanon to the very edge
     of the Mediterranean Sea, occupying all the land which later
     became Palestine, also to the north-west as far as the mountain
     chain of Taurus. This group was very numerous, and broken up
     into a great many peoples, as we can judge from the list of
     nations (Gen. 10), the 'sons of Canaan.'" Six different tribes
     are mentioned in Ex. 3:8, 17; 23:23; 33:2; 34:11. In Ex. 13:5
     the "Perizzites" are omitted. The "Girgashites" are mentioned in
     addition to the foregoing in Deut. 7:1; Josh. 3:10.
       The "Canaanites," as distinguished from the Amalekites, the
     Anakim, and the Rephaim, were "dwellers in the lowlands" (Num.
     13:29), the great plains and valleys, the richest and most
     important parts of Palestine. Tyre and Sidon, their famous
     cities, were the centres of great commercial activity; and hence
     the name "Canaanite" came to signify a "trader" or "merchant"
     (Job 41:6; Prov. 31:24, lit. "Canaanites;" comp. Zeph. 1:11;
     Ezek. 17:4). The name "Canaanite" is also sometimes used to
     designate the non-Israelite inhabitants of the land in general
     (Gen. 12:6; Num. 21:3; Judg. 1:10).
       The Israelites, when they were led to the Promised Land, were
     commanded utterly to destroy the descendants of Canaan then
     possessing it (Ex. 23:23; Num. 33:52, 53; Deut. 20:16, 17). This
     was to be done "by little and little," lest the beasts of the
     field should increase (Ex. 23:29; Deut. 7:22, 23). The history
     of these wars of conquest is given in the Book of Joshua. The
     extermination of these tribes, however, was never fully carried
     out. Jerusalem was not taken till the time of David (2 Sam. 5:6,
     7). In the days of Solomon bond-service was exacted from the
     fragments of the tribes still remaining in the land (1 Kings
     9:20, 21). Even after the return from captivity survivors of
     five of the Canaanitish tribes were still found in the land.
       In the Tell-el-Amarna tablets Canaan is found under the forms
     of Kinakhna and Kinakhkhi. Under the name of Kanana the
     Canaanites appear on Egyptian monuments, wearing a coat of mail
     and helmet, and distinguished by the use of spear and javelin
     and the battle-axe. They were called Phoenicians by the Greeks
     and Poeni by the Romans. By race the Canaanites were Semitic.
     They were famous as merchants and seamen, as well as for their
     artistic skill. The chief object of their worship was the
     sun-god, who was addressed by the general name of Baal, "lord."
     Each locality had its special Baal, and the various local Baals
     were summed up under the name of Baalim, "lords."

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