Smith’s Bible Dictionary
Canaanites, The: a word used in two senses:
- A tribe which inhabited a particular locality of the land west of the Jordan before the conquest; and
- The people who inhabited generally the whole of that country.
- In (Genesis 10:18-20) the seats of the Canaanite tribe are given as on the seashore and in the Jordan valley; comp. (Joshua 11:3)
- Applied as a general name to the non-Israelite inhabitants of the land, as we have already seen was the case with "Canaan." Instances of this are, (Genesis 12:6; Numbers 21:3) The Canaanites were descendants of Canaan. Their language was very similar to the Hebrew. The Canaanites were probably given to commerce; and thus the name became probably in later times an occasional synonym for a merchant.