The book of Genesis says that after Abraham left the land of his ancestors and came to the place God promised to him as an inheritance, “the Canaanites were in the land” (Genesis 12:6 NIV). When Abraham came to Canaan, the Canaanites were a settled people with a highly advanced society. In the Old Testament, the word “Canaan” was used to designate the land west of the Jordan River, and the word “Canaanites” was the general name given to the non-Israelite inhabitants of the land. In addition, the word Canaan appears in several passages in the Bible and is translated in different ways: “traffickers” (Isaiah 23:8 KJV; “traders” NIV); “the merchant city” (Isaiah 23:11 KJV); “merchant” (Hosea 12:7 KJV, NIV), and “merchant people” (Zephaniah 1:11 KJV; “merchants” NIV). The identification of the Canaanites as well as the meaning of the word “Canaan” has been a source of debate among scholars. Read More.