Canaan (biblical person)

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Gustave Doré : Noah curses his grandson Canaan (left)

Canaan ( Hebrew כְּנַעַן) is named in the Old Testament as the son of Ham , grandson of Noah and ancestor of the Canaanites , a people who lived in the land of Canaan before the appearance of the Israelites . The name of the people and their subordinate position are traced back to the ancestor ( Gen 9,18-27  EU ). His brothers are Kush , Egypt and Put .

Noah's son Ham discovered his father, who fell asleep naked in his tent after drinking alcohol. He told his brothers Sem and Japhet about it, who then covered the father's nakedness with a cloth without looking at him. When Noah woke up and learned what had happened, he cursed Ham's son Canaan and all of his descendants to be servants of his brothers ( Gen 9: 21-27  EU ). The question of why Canaan and not Ham is being punished for his behavior has not been finally clarified . Some have tried to solve this problem by offering two HebrewEliminated words in verses 18 and 22 so that Canaan, not Ham, becomes the main character of the narrative. But there is a lack of textual support for this.

Canaan is mentioned in the table of nations . His sons are Sidon and Het, further, the Jebusites , Amorites , Girgashites, Hivites , Arkite, Sinite, Arvadite, Zemarite, and Hamathite him returned ( Gen 10.15 to 18  EU ).

Historically, the name of the ancestor Canaan is likely to have been derived from the name of the country in the form of a legend of origin .



  1. ^ Richard S. Hess:  Canaan (person) . In: Anchor Bible Dictionary (ABD). Volume 1, Doubleday, New York / London 1992, ISBN 0-385-19351-3 , p. 828.
  2. Niels Peter Lemche: The Canaanites and Their Land . JSOT Press, Sheffield 1991, pp. 25 ff., ISBN 1-85075-310-5 (Journal for the study of the Old Testament / Supplement; Vol. 110).