The history of Israel mentioned in the Old Testament is developed in the territory known as Canaan or Palestine. This story is also linked to the nations which lived in Canaan before Israel’s entry into the land. In order to get a better understanding of the Old Testament, it is necessary to become familiar with the geography of the Ancient Near East.
The Land of Canaan
Canaan was the original name of the land where Israel lived. Although the etymology of the name Canaan is uncertain, the name comes from a word that means “the land of purple”. The Greeks called the northern region of Canaan, Phoenicia, present-day Lebanon. The word “Phoenicia” means “purple” or “crimson.” Thus, the name Phoenicia is associated with the crimson or purple dye which merchants sold in the Mediterranean region. In addition, the land of Canaan was known as Palestine. This name was given to…
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