Today we begin Exodus chapter 13.
For the Complete Jewish Bible, click here.
For the King James version, click here.
Today, in the month of Aviv, you are leaving. When the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Hivites and Jebusites—the land he swore to your ancestors to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey—you are to observe this ceremony in this month.-Exodus 13:4-5
Who exactly were the Canaanites?
The first and simple answer is that they were the many tribes and clans spawned by Noah’s cursed grandson Canaan.
But to be more precise, the word Canaanite is a loosely used term that refers to the majority of the inhabitants living in the the land of Canaan.
The Land of Canaan was NOT a nation with sovereign borders; it was just an area of land given a general name for identification’s sake.
In our day and age, this might be similar to Europe.
The name Europe refers to a specific continent, right?
However, within that continent, there are many different independent people groups such as the Germans, the French, the Italians etcetera.
In the same way, within the Land of Canaan, there were a variety of many different people groups such as the Hittites, the Amorites, the Hivites and so on.
And several of these actually became small city-states, each with their own king and their own set of gods that held jurisdiction in their respective areas.
The Hittites were an interesting group because they were not native to the land of Canaan.
As a result, while having settlements and influence in Canaan, they weren’t very dominant there.
The areas they controlled are now modern day Turkey, Syria and the northern and western parts of Iraq.
On the other hand, the Hivites and Amorites were native to Canaan and as a result had achieved sufficient population numbers and power to the point where in Scripture we find them being spoken of as separate nations of people.
Recall that Abraham’s first stop in the Land of Canaan was at a city called Shechem.
This city was populated by the Hivites.
Now the key thing to understand is that all of these people groups which God allowed to populate Canaan after the flood were declared CURSED by God because they were descendants of Canaan.
As unseemly and politically incorrect as this sounds, this is the hard Scriptural truth that God has declared in His Word
I know this is difficult for some people to accept but it establishes a fundamental Biblical principle which is that God allows some people to be cursed in order that others may be saved.
Or perhaps another more palatable way to put it is that God allows some to be RANSOMED so that some may be REDEEMED.
Canaan is going to pay a heavy price (the loss of their land) so that Israel can receive the land God has set aside for them and promised to Abraham.
It is a sacrifice that has to be paid in order for God’s purposes to be filled.
Look at the price Israel has paid.
Their mission as a people has been to serve as a light to the nations and keep the Word of God alive.
But the cost has been the greatest ongoing persecution of a people the world has ever seen.
Also think about what happened all throughout history right up to Yeshua’s coming.
During this 2000-year preparation period so to speak, nations were built and destroyed, and entire people groups slaughtered.
And now, during the “Time of the Gentiles” or the “Church Age” another 2000 years has passed.
In this period, we have seen two world wars and the unbelievable horror that occurred during the holocaust.
In God’s great scheme of things, many people and nations have played their “assigned” roles since the beginning of time so that ultimately God’s perfect Will may be established for all eternity.
CONNECTING THIS TEACHING TO THE NEW TESTAMENT
What then shall we say?
Is God unjust?
Not at all!
For he says to Moses,
“I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,
and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”
It does not, therefore,
depend on human desire or effort,
but on God’s mercy.
For Scripture says to Pharaoh:
“I raised you up for this very purpose,
that I might display my power in you and
that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”
Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy,
and he hardens whom he wants to harden.