Chanaan; Canaan

[map of the land of Canaan] (Semitic: kana, to bow down; hence, lowlands)

Term applied in a limited sense by biblical writers to the northern coast of modern Palestine, or Phenicia; or to the lowland of the Philistines on the southern coast. They identify it more generally with the whole of Western Palestine, including the mountainous districts occupied by the Amorrhites, and enclosed within the generally accepted boundaries of 33 degrees 18 minutes north latitude. On the north, 30 degrees 33 minutes north latitude on the south, the Mediterranean on the west, and the Dead Sea and lower course of the Jordan on the east. According to British surveyors its maximum area was about 9,700 square miles. Among the famous places in what constituted the former country of Chanaan are Jerusalem, the Holy City; Bethlehem, the birthplace of Our Lord; Nazareth, the scene of His private life; Joppe, Hebron, Gaza, and Bersabee. The land has numerous brooks and fountains, fine pasturages, and a most fertile region in the valley of the Jordan. Its famous mountains are Carmel, Gelboe, and Thabor.

New Catholic Dictionary

NCD Index SQPN Contact Author