Canaan (kāˈnən) [key]. 1 According to biblical ethnography, Canaan was the son of Ham and the ancestor for whom the Canaanites were named. 2 Territory, the same as ancient Palestine, lying between the Jordan, the Dead Sea, and the Mediterranean and sometimes including Transjordan. It was the Promised Land of the Israelites, and after their delivery from Egypt they subjugated it. The land held a number of pre-Israelite peoples listed in several passages in the Bible. See Ugarit; Asherah; Baal; Philistia; Phoenicia.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.