Seven Canaanite Nations

In Deuteronomy 7:1-5, Moses told the Israelites who survived the plague of Baal of Peor, “When the Lord your God brings you into the land which you go to possess, and has cast out many nations before you, the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than you, 2 and when the Lord your God delivers them over to you, you shall conquer them and utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them nor show mercy to them. 3 Nor shall you make marriages with them. You shall not give your daughter to their son, nor take their daughter for your son. 4 For they will turn your sons away from following Me, to serve other gods; so the anger of the Lord will be aroused against you and destroy you suddenly. 5 But thus you shall deal with them: you shall destroy their altars, and break down their sacred pillars, and cut down their wooden images, and burn their carved images with fire.”  (NKJV)

The Amalekites dwelled in the land of the South, the Canaanites dwell by the sea and along the banks of the Jordan and the Hittites, Jebusites, and Amorites dwelled in the mountains.  These seven people groups descended from Ham’s son, Canaan who was cursed by Noah (Gen. 9:25-27).  They represent a seven-headed beast that God wanted His people to destroy completely because He knew they would lead His people into idolatry and spiritual adultery.

Unfortunately, the Israelites did not fully follow the Lord’s instructions regarding these 7 nations.  In Joshua 9, the Hivites are the ones who made a covenant with the Israelites after they deceived God’s people.   Specifically, these were the Gibeonites but the Hivites were also from Chephirah, Beeroth, and Kirjath Jearim.  The Israelites failed to consult the Lord and ended up allowing the Hivites to live among them as woodcutters and water carriers.  These who were destined for death were essentially given their lives back but they became servants of the Israelites.  

Although the Israelites waged war against the Canaanite peoples, they were not totally eliminated from the land.  Judges 3:1-6 explains that the Lord allowed them to remain in order to test Israel to know whether they would obey the commandments of the Lord or not.  As we read Scripture, it becomes clear that the Israelites failed this test miserably because they intermarried with the Canaanites and served their gods.  This cycle of sinfulness resulted in judges being raised up to rescue God’s people from the nations He sent to discipline them.  Many years later, attempts were made by several of the kings of Judah to put a stop to idolatry but wickedness continued.  Eventually God’s people were sent into exile for their disobedience. 

We have a parallel here that I don’t want you to miss.  After Jesus’ death and resurrection, the Gentiles who repented of their sins and placed their trust in Jesus were grafted into the olive tree of Israel.  Within a few centuries after the apostles’ death, syncretism took place; Christianity became mixed with paganism and many forsook the law of God.  Although the Reformation later took place, doctrinal reform was not complete.  Even though both Jews and Gentiles are servants of the Lord, it has primarily been the Gentile believers who have been carrying the gospel of the Water of Life throughout the world.  Currently, God is using Israel’s enemies to discipline the Jews and bring them to repentance so they can be grafted back into the olive tree of Israel through faith in Christ (Jer. 46:28; Rom. 11:23). 

Today, churches are fitness centers and places of entertainment.  They often tolerate various sins and abominations in order to be seeker friendly instead of being places that foster true worship, in depth Bible study, and godly living.  It is the time for Christians to return to the Hebrew roots of their faith and focus on obedience to God’s word because eventually, further deception will result in a great apostasy and those destined for life will be cut off from their people.  This will happen as a distorted doctrine of love and tolerance for sexual and idolatrous abominations continue to invade the church.

There is another parallel here for us.  We, as believers live in the world but the Lord expects us not to be conformed to this world.  We are to be holy and righteous in the midst of a perverse and sinful generation.  We must remain focused on the Lord so we don’t fail this test.  We must understand the Bible in detail and as a whole so we will not allow ourselves to be destroyed due to a lack of knowledge or an unbalanced focus on a single commandment.  Our lives should be a testimony of our love and commitment to the Lord. 

There is something else for us to see.  In Joshua 10, five Amorite kings — the kings of Jerusalem (Adoni-Zedek), Hebron (Hoham), Jarmuth (Piram), Lachish (Japhia), and Eglon (Debir) made war against Gibeon so the Gibeonites sent a request to Joshua for help.  Joshua and his men came from Gilgal and slaughtered the Amorites at Gibeon and continued to chase them down and kill them as far as Azekah and Makkedah.  The Lord cast down large hailstones on them as far as Azekah and killed more that way than the Israelites had killed with the sword.

The historical account of the Amorites armies attacking Gibeon is similar to the prophecy of the 10 kings who will join the beast to wage war against Israel and the Lamb of God in the latter days.  At that time, the Jews and Christians who support them will be crying out to the Lord for deliverance.  Jesus will bring His army to defeat the enemies of the Jews.  The seventh trumpet and the seventh plague mentioned in Revelation will include lightening, noises, thundering, an earthquake, and great hail.  This earthquake will cause Babylon the Great to be divided into 3 parts.  The cities of the nations will fall and men will curse and blaspheme God because of the great hail (Rev. 11:19; 16:21).

Daniel 7 and Revelation 13 and 17 prophesied that a seven-headed beast is coming in the future.  This beast compares with the 7 Canaanite people groups—one of which is the Amorites.  Some say its seven heads represent the past empires of Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Ancient Greece, and Eastern and Western Rome.  I had come to accept this but this week, the Lord revealed to me that the seven heads really come from a conglomerate of four beasts, one of which had 4 heads (Dan. 7:6).

  • Lion >> Babylon
  • Bear  >> Medo-Persia
  • Leopard with a total of 4 heads >> Alexander the Great’s 4 generals
  • 10-horned Beast >> Eastern and Western Rome

Either way you look at the seven heads, the beast covers the same land mass of these past empires.  In Daniel 7, the four animals were kingdoms but the heads of each one represented people who were either political and/or military leaders.  As for the fourth beast, ten kings (horns) will arise out of that kingdom; and yet another king will arise after them in a manner similar to how Adolf Hitler rose up among 10 countries in Europe.  This king will be a person known as the Antichrist.  He will put down, exterminate, and/or root out three other kings (Dan. 7:24).  We don’t know exactly how or when this will happen.  Perhaps 3 of these kings will be replaced with others who are more loyal to the beast because according to Revelation 17:12-14, a total of 10 kings will come against the Lamb.  In the end, the beast will hate and destroy the adulterous, apostate church.  The Lord will come and destroy this beast and save those who are faithful to Him. 

As we close today, I have several questions for you to consider which may affect where you will spend eternity:

  • Will you come out of Babylon the Great religiously, economically, and politically? 
  • Do you have the testimony of Christ?  In other words, is Jesus your Lord and Savior?
  • Will you remain obedient to God’s commandments in the face of possible or intense persecution?
  • Are you willing to die for your beliefs?  If not, maybe you need to reconsider the previous question.  Don’t fear those who can kill the body.  You will be immediately with the Lord and your Kinsman Redeemer will avenge your murderer at the appropriate time.
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3 thoughts on “Seven Canaanite Nations

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