The ‘Promised Land’. The extent of Canaan, composed of independent towns and villages before the domination of the Israelites, included what is now modern Israel and Lebanon. Agriculture was the main occupation, and this was reflected in the harvest festivals, which Israel inherited (Exod. 23: 14–17). But much of Canaanite religion and morality was decisively repudiated by the conquering Israelites according to the Deuteronomist historian (Deut. 20: 16–18), whose narrative was prejudiced, polemical, and partial; it is silent about any corresponding history of territories occupied.

In the NT the land is mentioned in Stephen's speech (Acts 7: 11), and where Mark (7: 26) refers to a Syro‐Phoenician woman, Matthew (15: 22) calls her a Canaanite, which is a simplification of the more precise Marcan term, and also carries rather derogatory overtones. See also tyre.