The Berean Expositor
Volume 12 - Page 8 of 160 Index | Zoom |
After Terah died, Abram entered the land of Canaan, but "The Canaanite was then in
the land". It would appear that the elect nation Israel were destined to fill the place
occupied by the Canaanites, which either in actuality or in type, the Canaanites had
forfeited. The parallel is extended into the dispensation of the mystery. Some
Principalities and Powers, with Satan at their head, have forfeited their place in the
heavens, and an elect company called the Church which is His Body, at present pilgrims
and strangers, and wrestlers with these heavenly powers, shall one day enter into their
inheritance in the heavenly places.
Abraham, the first man to receive the promise of Canaan, was most particular that his
son Isaac should not marry any woman of the Canaanites:--
"I will make thee swear by the Lord, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that
thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites" (Gen. 24: 3).
When the spies entered the land of Canaan they were terrified by the children of Anak
in whose sight the Israelites felt like grasshoppers (Numb. 13: 33), and the Canaanite
dwelt in both the valley (14: 25), and in the hill (14: 45). Upon entering the land of
Canaan Israel was instructed to smite them, and utterly destroy them, to make no
covenant with them, nor shew them mercy, neither allow their sons nor their daughters to
make marriages with them, the great reason being that the Canaanites would turn the
hearts of Israel away after idols, the other reason being that Israel was a holy people unto
the Lord (Deut. 7: 1-6). A distinction in treatment is to be made between the cities of
those who live far away from Israel's inheritance and the cities of the Canaanites. An
element of mercy and discrimination is enjoined in the one case (Deut. 20: 10-15):--
"But of the cities of these people, which the Lord Thy God doth give thee for an
inheritance, thou shalt save nothing alive that breatheth" (Deut. 20: 16-18).
Both the books of Joshua and Judges reveal the fact that Israel did not fulfil the
commands of the Lord respecting the Canaanites, and the subsequent history of Israel and
their kings, ending as it did in the Babylonish captivity and the establishment of gentile
dominion, is a black commentary upon their disobedience. The Canaanite stands for all
that is unholy and unclean, and therefore when Zechariah looks forward to that day when
even the bells on the horses and the utensils of the kitchen shall be "Holiness unto the
Lord", then he cries as expressing a long-deferred factor in Israel's blessing:--
"In that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the Lord of Hosts"
(Zech. 14: 21).
Further thoughts arising out of this must be deferred until another opportunity.