Canaan in Old Testament Times
- Dan (Laish) Jeroboam set up a golden calf for the Northern Kingdom to worship (1 Kgs. 12:26–33). Dan was the northern limit of ancient Israel.
- Mount Carmel Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal and opened the heavens for rain (1 Kgs. 18:17–46).
- Megiddo A place of many battles (Judg. 4:13–16; 5:19; 2 Kgs. 23:29; 2 Chr. 35:20–23). Solomon raised a levy to build up Megiddo (1 Kgs. 9:15). King Josiah of Judah was mortally wounded in a battle against Pharaoh Necho of Egypt (2 Kgs. 23:29–30). At the Second Coming of the Lord, a great and final conflict will take place in the Jezreel Valley as part of the battle of Armageddon (Joel 3:14; Rev. 16:16; 19:11–21). The name Armageddon is a Greek transliteration from the Hebrew Har Megiddon, or Mountain of Megiddo.
- Jezreel The name of a city in the largest and most fertile valley of Israel by the same name. The kings of the Northern Kingdom built a palace here (2 Sam. 2:8–9; 1 Kgs. 21:1–2). Wicked Queen Jezebel lived and died here (1 Kgs. 21; 2 Kgs. 9:30).
- Beth-shan Israel faced the Canaanites here (Josh. 17:12–16). Saul’s body was fastened to the walls of this fortress (1 Sam. 31:10–13).
- Dothan Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers (Gen. 37:17, 28; 45:4). Elisha had a vision of the mountain full of horses and chariots (2 Kgs. 6:12–17).
- Samaria The Northern Kingdom’s capital (1 Kgs. 16:24–29). King Ahab built a temple to Baal (1 Kgs. 16:32–33). Elijah and Elisha ministered (1 Kgs. 18:2; 2 Kgs. 6:19–20). In 721 B.C. the Assyrians conquered it, completing the capture of the ten tribes (2 Kgs. 18:9–10).
- Shechem Abraham built an altar (Gen. 12:6–7). Jacob lived near here. Simeon and Levi massacred all the males of this city (Gen. 34:25). Joshua’s encouragement to “choose … this day” to serve God came in Shechem (Josh. 24:15). Here Jeroboam established the first capital of the Northern Kingdom (1 Kgs. 12).
- Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim Joshua divided Israel on these two mounts—the blessings of the law were proclaimed from Mount Gerizim, while the cursings came from Mount Ebal (Josh. 8:33). The Samaritans later built a temple on Gerizim (2 Kgs. 17:32–33).
- Penuel (Peniel) Here Jacob wrestled all night with a messenger of the Lord (Gen. 32:24–32). Gideon destroyed a Midianite fortress (Judg. 8:5, 8–9).
- Joppa Jonah sailed from here toward Tarshish to avoid his mission to Nineveh (Jonah 1:1–3).
- Shiloh During the time of the Judges, Israel’s capital and the tabernacle were located here (1 Sam. 4:3–4).
- Bethel (Luz) Here Abraham separated from Lot (Gen. 13:1–11) and had a vision (Gen. 13; Abr. 2:19–20). Jacob had a vision of a ladder reaching into heaven (Gen. 28:10–22). The tabernacle was located here for a time (Judg. 20:26–28). Jeroboam set up a golden calf for the Northern Kingdom to worship (1 Kgs. 12:26–33).
- Gibeon Hivite people from here tricked Joshua into a treaty (Josh. 9). The sun stood still while Joshua won a battle (Josh. 10:2–13). This was also a temporary site of the tabernacle (1 Chr. 16:39).
- Gaza, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Ekron, Gath (the five cities of the Philistines) From these cities the Philistines often made war on Israel.
- Bethlehem Rachel was buried nearby (Gen. 35:19). Ruth and Boaz lived here (Ruth 1:1–2; 2:1, 4). It was called the city of David (Luke 2:4).
- Hebron Abraham (Gen. 13:18), Isaac, Jacob (Gen. 35:27), David (2 Sam. 2:1–4), and Absalom (2 Sam. 15:10) lived here. This was the first capital of Judah under King David (2 Sam. 2:11). It is believed that Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob, and Leah were buried here in the cave of Machpelah (Gen. 23:17–20; 49:31, 33).
- En-gedi David hid from Saul and spared Saul’s life (1 Sam. 23:29–24:22).
- Gerar Abraham and Isaac lived here for a time (Gen. 20–22; 26).
- Beersheba Abraham dug a well here and covenanted with Abimelech (Gen. 21:31). Isaac saw the Lord (Gen. 26:17, 23–24), and Jacob lived here (Gen. 35:10; 46:1).
- Sodom and Gomorrah Lot chose to live in Sodom (Gen. 13:11–12; 14:12). God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of wickedness (Gen. 19:24–26). Jesus later used these cities as symbols of wickedness (Matt. 10:15).
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