During the time of Joshua the Canaanites dwelt west of the Jordan River. They inhabited the lowlands, the coastal plain from Sidon and Tyre to Gaza, and the Jordan Valley.
Canaan, the Grandson of Noah
Canaan was the name of the country where the man Canaan and his descendants settled after the Tower of Babel. Canaan was the grandson of Noah and the fourth and youngest son of Ham. Canaan proved to be wicked and was cursed by Noah, a curse of the lowest sort of servitude. His territory was mentioned in the Book of Genesis:
“And Canaan begat Sidon his firstborn, and Heth, And the Jebusite, and the Amorite, and the Girgasite, And the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite, And the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite: and afterward were the families of the Canaanites spread abroad. And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon, as thou comest to Gerar, unto Gaza; as thou goest, unto Sodom, and Gomorrah, and Admah, and Zeboim, even unto Lasha.” – Genesis 10:15-19
Gurney says: “It is probable that Canaan lived and died in, as well as gave name to the land of promise. His posterity were numerous: the Sidonians, Tyrians, Hittites, Jebusites, Amorites, Girgashites, Hivites, Arkites, Sinites, Arvadites, Zemarites, Hamathites, Perrizzites, and another tribe that were called Canaanites.”
The Land of Canaan in Joshua’s Day
The ancient Land of Canaan in Joshua’s time had for its boundaries: The Mountains of Lebanon and Syria on the north. The land of Edom, the wilderness of Paran, and Egypt on the south, the Arabian Desert and the land of the Ammonites, Moabites, and Midianites on the east, and the Mediterranean Sea on the west. Canaan was around 160 miles from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south, and around 80 miles from east to west. One scholar calculated that if there were 9,231,000 acres of land conquered and there were 601,730 Hebrew warriors, then each warrior would average about 12 acres of the promised land.
The Canaanites in the Land of Canaan included:
Joshua 11:3– to the Canaanite on the east and on the west, the Amorite, the Hittite, the Perizzite, the Jebusite in the hill country, and the Hivite under Hermon in the land of Mizpah.
Numbers 13:29– Amalek dwells in the land of the South. The Hittite, the Jebusite, and the Amorite dwell in the hill country. The Canaanite dwells by the sea, and along the side of the Jordan.”
Joshua 24:11– “‘You went over the Jordan, and came to Jericho. The men of Jericho fought against you, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Girgashite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite; and I delivered them into your hand.