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Friday, April 22, 2011

Names Israel Has Been Called

Nadene Goldfoot
Israel was conquered by the Romans in 132 CE and then the Romans renamed it Palestina.  They chose that name because it was the name of Israel's most bitter enemy, the Philistines,  and did this to humiliate the Jewish subjects.  They wanted to make the point that it was now Roman land as they were angy with the Jews because they had rebelled twice against Roman authority.  In Latin Palestina means "land of the Philistines." 

In 1918 the Ottoman Empire had lost control of Palestine because they were on the axis side of WWI.  The French were given the mandate over Syria and Lebanon from 1920 to the mid 1940's.  They used the term, Levant from the term lever (to rise)-where the sun rises.  It was the area they had which was from Anatolia, Egypt and Mesopotamia. This geographical region includes the eastern shores of the Mediterranian Sea from the Isthmus of Suez to the Taurus Mountains including present-day Israel, Lebanon, western Jordan, the Sinai  in Egypt, and part of Syria which covers about 75,000 square miles. 

Long ago in Biblical days the Southern part of the area  was called Canaan.  Joshua of the Israelites conquered the land after he and his 600,000 people wandered in the desert for 40 years.    He had taken over leadership of the people from Moses when he died at age 120.    Moses was born in 1400 BCE  or the Jewish year of 2368 so was 80 years old when he started on the Exodus or about in 2448. 

From the 15th to 13th BCE , Canaan was the name for Syria.  More exactly it was used for the coast of Palestine.  Before Joshua's conquest the country was divided into small city-states.  Joshua and the Israelites called the land Eretz Yisrael or the Land of Israel.  The northern part they called Aram, or Syria. 

Traditionally Canaan had been inhabited by the descendants of Canaan, who was the youngest son of Ham who was the son of Noah.  They were a people divided into 11 groups who lived between the Nile and the Euphrates.  They appear to be a mixture of Horites, Hittites and Hebrews dating back to the Hyksos period of the 17th century BCE.  The Canaanites were either killed or assimilated by the Israelites, Philistines and the Arameans from the 13th to 11th BCE.  The remnants were living under King David and his son King Solomon and then absorbed.  Only among the Sidonians and Phoenicians was the name preserved. 

Because Ham showed unseemly behavior toward his father, his descendants, the Canaanites, were cursed and condemned to servitude to Shem and Japheth.  The Canaanites were idol worshippers and were possibly practicing other unacceptable behaviors which is why G-d had the Israelites live there.  Moses had sent Joshua out as one of the 12 spies to check out the land of Canaan and he had come back with a positive  report along with Caleb.  The others had said it would be impossible to conquer. 

May 14, 1948 was the birth of Israel once again.  The people  have regained their original name and are now Israelis.  . 

Encyclopedia, the Standard Jewish

Genesis XVII # 7, #8: G-d speaking to Abram and changing his name to Abraham:  "And I will establish my covenant between Me and thee and thy seed after thee throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant to be a G-d unto thee and to thy seed after thee.  #8 And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land of thy sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their G-d.  Abram had lived in Canaan  at times but only temporarily, which is the definition of: to sojourn. 

I note that this was said to Abraham, who was born way before Moses and the Exodus. 

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