The descendants of Canaan. Their first habitation was in the land of Canaan, where they multiplied extremely, and by trade and war acquired great riches, and sent out colonies all over the islands and coasts of the Mediterranean. When the measure of their idolatries and abominations was completed, God delivered their country into the hands of the Israelites, who conquered it under Joshua. See the previous article. The following are the principal tribes mentioned.
1. The HIVITES dwelt in the northern part of the country, at the foot of mount Hermon, or Anti-Lebanon, according to Joshua 11:3, where it is related that they, along with the united forces of northern Canaan, were defeated by Joshua. They were not, however, entirely driven out of their possessions, Judges 3:3 2 Samuel 24:7 1 Kings 9:20. There were also Hivites in middle Palestine, Genesis 34:2 Joshua 19:1,7 11:19.
2. The CANAANITES, in a restricted sense, inhabited partly the plains on the coast of the Mediterranean sea, Numbers 13:29 Joshua 11:3.
3. The GIRGASHITES dwelt between the Canaanites and the Jebusites; as may be inferred from the order in which they are mentioned in Joshua 24:11.
4. The JEBUSITES had possession of the hill country around Jerusalem, and of that city itself, of which the ancient name was Jebus, Joshua 15:8,63 18:28. The Benjamites, to whom this region was allotted, did not drive out the Jebusites, Judges 1:21. David first captured the citadel of Jebus, 2 Samuel 5:6.
5. The AMORITES inhabited, in Abraham’s time, the region south of Jerusalem, on the western side of the Dead sea, Genesis 14:7. At a later period, they spread themselves out over all the mountainous country which forms the southeastern part of Canaan, and which was called from them the "mountain of the Amorites," and afterwards the "mountain of Judea,"
Deuteronomy 1:19,20 Numbers 13:29 Joshua 11:3. On the east side of the Jordan also they had, before the time of Moses, founded two kingdoms, that of Bashan in the north, and another, bounded at first by the Jabbok, in the south. But under Sihon they crossed the Jabbok, and took from the Ammonites and Moabites all the country between the Jabbok and the Arnon; so that this latter stream now became the southern boundary of the Amorites, Numbers 21:13,14,16,26 32:33,39 Deuteronomy 4:46,47 31:4. This last tract the Israelites took possession of after their victory over Sihon. See AMORITES.
6. The HITTITES, or children of Heth, according to the report of the spies, Numbers 1:29, dwelt among the Amorites in the mountainous district of the south, afterwards called the "mountain of Judah." In the time of Abraham they possessed Hebron; and the patriarch purchased from them the cave of Machpelah as a sepulchre, Genesis 23:1-20 25:9,10. After the Israelites entered Canaan, the Hittites seem to have moved farther northward. The country around Bethel is called "the land of the Hittites," Judges 1:26. See HITTITES.
7. The PERIZZITES were found in various parts of Canaan. The name signifies inhabitants of the plains, from their original abode. According to Genesis 13:7, they dwelt with the Canaanites, between Bethel and Ai; and according to Genesis 34:30, in the vicinity of Shechem. See PERIZZITES.
Besides these seven tribes, there were several others of the same parentage, dwelling north of Canaan. These were the Arkites, Arvadites, Hamathites, and Zemarites. There were also several other tribes of diverse origin within the bounds of Canaan, destroyed by the Israelites; such as the Anakim, the Amalekites, and the Rephaim of giants.