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From: Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary

    the descendants of Canaan, the son of Ham. Migrating from their
    original home, they seem to have reached the Persian Gulf, and
    to have there sojourned for some time. They thence "spread to
    the west, across the mountain chain of Lebanon to the very edge
    of the Mediterranean Sea, occupying all the land which later
    became Palestine, also to the north-west as far as the mountain
    chain of Taurus. This group was very numerous, and broken up
    into a great many peoples, as we can judge from the list of
    nations (Gen. 10), the 'sons of Canaan.'" Six different tribes
    are mentioned in Ex. 3:8, 17; 23:23; 33:2; 34:11. In Ex. 13:5
    the "Perizzites" are omitted. The "Girgashites" are mentioned in
    addition to the foregoing in Deut. 7:1; Josh. 3:10.
      The "Canaanites," as distinguished from the Amalekites, the
    Anakim, and the Rephaim, were "dwellers in the lowlands" (Num.
    13:29), the great plains and valleys, the richest and most
    important parts of Palestine. Tyre and Sidon, their famous
    cities, were the centres of great commercial activity; and hence
    the name "Canaanite" came to signify a "trader" or "merchant"
    (Job 41:6; Prov. 31:24, lit. "Canaanites;" comp. Zeph. 1:11;
    Ezek. 17:4). The name "Canaanite" is also sometimes used to
    designate the non-Israelite inhabitants of the land in general
    (Gen. 12:6; Num. 21:3; Judg. 1:10).
      The Israelites, when they were led to the Promised Land, were
    commanded utterly to destroy the descendants of Canaan then
    possessing it (Ex. 23:23; Num. 33:52, 53; Deut. 20:16, 17). This
    was to be done "by little and little," lest the beasts of the
    field should increase (Ex. 23:29; Deut. 7:22, 23). The history
    of these wars of conquest is given in the Book of Joshua. The
    extermination of these tribes, however, was never fully carried
    out. Jerusalem was not taken till the time of David (2 Sam. 5:6,
    7). In the days of Solomon bond-service was exacted from the
    fragments of the tribes still remaining in the land (1 Kings
    9:20, 21). Even after the return from captivity survivors of
    five of the Canaanitish tribes were still found in the land.
      In the Tell-el-Amarna tablets Canaan is found under the forms
    of Kinakhna and Kinakhkhi. Under the name of Kanana the
    Canaanites appear on Egyptian monuments, wearing a coat of mail
    and helmet, and distinguished by the use of spear and javelin
    and the battle-axe. They were called Phoenicians by the Greeks
    and Poeni by the Romans. By race the Canaanites were Semitic.
    They were famous as merchants and seamen, as well as for their
    artistic skill. The chief object of their worship was the
    sun-god, who was addressed by the general name of Baal, "lord."
    Each locality had its special Baal, and the various local Baals
    were summed up under the name of Baalim, "lords."