SPECIAL TOPIC: The Pre-Israelite Inhabitants of Palestine

A. There are several lists of peoples.
  1. Genesis 15:19-21 (10)      
    a. Kenite d. Hittite g. Amorite j. Jebusite
    b. Kenizzite e. Perizzite h. Canaanite  
    c. Kadmonite f. Rephaim i. Girgashite  
  2. Exodus 3:17 (6)      
    a. Canaanite d. Perizzite    
    b. Hittite e. Hivite    
    c. Amorite f. Jebusite    
  3. Exodus 23:28 (3)      
    a. Hivites      
    b. Hittites      
    c. Hittites      
  4. Deuteronomy 7:1 (7)      
    a. Hittites d. Canaanites g. Jebusites  
    b. Girgashites e. Perizzites    
    c. Amorites f. Hivites    
  5. Joshua 24:11 (7)      
    a. Amorite d. Hittite g. Jebusite  
    b. Perizzite e. Girgashite    
    c. Canaanite f. Hivite    
B. The origin of the names is dubious because of lack of historical data. Genesis 10:15-19 includes several of them as related to Canaan, a son of Ham.
C. Brief descriptions of the peoples mentioned
1.   Kenite – BDB 884, KB 1098
     

– non-Israelite

– name related to "forger" or "smith," which could refer to metal working or music (cf. Gen. 4:19-22)

– connected to the area of Sinai north to Hebron

– name connected to Jethro, Moses' father-in-law (cf. Jdgs. 1:16; 4:11)

2.   Kenizzite – BDB 889, KB 1114
      – relative of Jews
– a clan of Edom (cf. Gen. 15:19)
– lived in Negev
– possibly absorbed into Judah (cf. Num. 32:12; Jos. 14:6,14)
3.   Kadmonite – BDB 870 II, KB 1071 II
      – non-Israelite, possibly a descendant of Ishmael (cf. Gen. 25:15)
– name relates to "easterner"
– lived in Negev
– possibly related to "the men of the east" (cf. Job 1:3)
4.   Hittite – BDB 366, KB 363
      – non-Israelite
– descendant of Heth
– from kingdom of Anatolia (Asia Minor, Turkey)
– were present very early in Canaan (cf. Genesis 23; Jos. 11:3)
5.   Perizzite – BDB 827, KB 965
      – non-Israelite, possibly Hurrians
– lived in forested area of Judah (cf. Gen. 34:30; Jdgs. 1:4; 16:10)
6.   Rephaim – BDB 952, KB 1274
     

– non-Israelite, possibly giants (cf. Gen. 14:5; Num. 33:33; Deut. 2:10-11,20)

– lived on eastern bank of Jordan (cf. Gen. 15:20; Jos. 12:4; 13:12; Deut. 2:8-11,20; 3:13) or western bank (cf. Jos. 15:8; 17:15; 2 Sam. 5:18,22; 23:13; 1 Chr. 20:4)

– line of warriors/heroes

7.   Amorite – BDB 57, KB 67
     

– northwestern Semitic people-group from Ham (cf. Gen. 10:16)

– became general designation for inhabitants of Canaan (cf. Gen. 15:16; Deut. 1:7; Jos. 10:5; 24:15; 2 Sam. 21:2)

– the name may mean "the west"

– the ISBE, vol. 1, p. 119, says the term denotes

a. the inhabitants of Palestine generally

b. the population of the hill country as opposed to the coastal plain

c. a specific people group with their own king

8.   Canaanite – BDB 489, KB 485
      – from Ham (cf. Gen. 10:15) 
– general designation of all the tribes in Canaan west of the Jordan
– meaning of Canaan uncertain, possibly "merchant" or "red-purple dye"
– as a people group they dwelt along the coastal plain (cf. Num. 13:29)
9.   Girgashite – BDB 173, KB 202
      – from Ham (cf. Gen. 10:16) or at least "from a son of [i.e., the country of] Canaan," ISBE, vol. 2, p. 1232)
10.   Jebusite – BDB 101, KB 382
      – from Ham (cf. Gen. 10:16)
– from city of Jebus/Salem/Jerusalem (cf. Jos. 15:63; Jdgs. 19:10)
– Ezek. 16:3,45 asserts they were a mixed race from Amorite and Hittite
11.   Hivites – BDB 295, KB 297
     

– from Ham (cf. Gen. 10:17)

– translated by LXX as Horite (cf. Gen. 34:2; 36:20-30; Jos. 9:7)

– possibly from the Hebrew word "cave," therefore, cave dwellers

– they lived in the highlands of Lebanon (cf. Jos. 11:3; Jdgs. 3:3). In 2 Sam. 24:6-7 they are listed next to Tyre and Sidon  

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