Canaan is an early name for the region that is often called Israel or Palestine. It extends along the coast of the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Lebanon lies to the north and Egypt is to the south. The eastern border is the Jordan River.
Canaan was the land that God promised to Abraham (Genesis 12:1-9), who resided in different places in the country, mainly in the south. Abraham's descendants migrated to Egypt during a period of famine and were enslaved there. After their exodus from Egypt, they traveled to Canaan under Moses and reentered the country under Joshua's leadership. The books of Joshua and Judges recount the efforts of Israel to occupy the land. When the kingdom later was divided in 922 B.C.E., the northern part of Canaan was called Israel and the southern part was called Judah. Later, the territory was divided into three sections: Galilee in the north, Samaria in the center, and Judea in the south.
AUTHOR: Robert Brusic, Seminary Pastor Emeritus