The translation for Canaan is “low place”. It should be “high place”, not “low place”, since it is a figure of Heaven. It was the name of the land of the Canaanite peoples, which were corrupt and savage. Jehovah promised to cast them out, so that they would not corrupt his people. “I will drive them out before you little by little, until you become fruitful and take possession of the land. And I will fix your boundary from the Red Sea to the sea of the Philistines, and from the wilderness to the River Euphrates; for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand, and you will drive them out before you. You shall make no covenant with them or with their gods. They shall not live in your land, lest they make you sin against Me; for if you serve their gods, it will surely be a snare to you” (Ex. 23:30-33). Canaan is the name of the land of the Canaanites (Lev.18:3).
There is a Christian song that says: “I am journeying to Canaan (3X). Glory to God, I am journeying to Canaan.” With this the Christians want to say that Canaan is a figure of the heavenly paradise, or Heaven. Can Canaan be a figure of Heaven? What was there in Canaan before the people of Israel got there? There were the Canaanites. Who were the Canaanites? They were a cursed people descending from Ham, son of Noah. “And the sons of Ham were Cush and Mizraim and Put and Canaan” (Gen. 10:6). And what was the curse of Canaan? Soon after the flood, we read, “And Noah began farming and planted a vineyard. And he drank of the wine and became drunk, and uncovered himself inside his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. Bur Shem and Japhet took a garment and laid it upon both their shoulders and walked backward and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were turned away, so that they did not see their father’s nakedness. When Noah awoke from his wine, he knew what his youngest son had done to him. So he said, ‘Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants he shall be to his brothers.’” (Gen. 9:20-25). In this, Noah was unjust; he who was a proclaimer of justice, for it had not been Canaan, son of Ham, who had sinned, but his father. How can it be that the father commits the sin and the curse falls on the innocent son? (2 Pet. 2:5).
The name “CANAAN” is a cursed name, and that was how the land Jehovah promised to Abraham was named, because the descendants of Ham lived there. The curse of Canaan does not have any limits. The Canaanites were sodomites. “And Canaan became the father of Sidon, his first-born, and Heth and the Jebusite and the Amorite and the Girgashite and the Hivite and the Arkite and the Sinite and the Arvidite and the Zemarite and the Hamathite, and afterward the families of the Canaanite were spread aboard. And the territory of the Canaanite extended from Sidon as you go toward Gerar, as far as Gaza; as you go toward Sodom and Gomorrah and Adamah and Zeboiim, as far as Lasha” (Gen. 10:15-19). Jehovah called Abraham and made him promises, and took him to Canaan, and the Canaanite lived in the land that Jehovah had promised to Abraham and his descendants (Gen. 12:1-7). Jehovah himself says what were the customs of the Canaanite, “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination. Also you shall not have intercourse with any animal to be defiled with it, nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it; it is a perversion. Do not defile yourself by any of these things; for by all these the nations which I am casting out before you have become defiled. For the land has become defiled, therefore I have visited its punishment upon it, so the land has spewed out its inhabitants. But as for you, you are to keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not do any of these abominations, neither the native, nor the alien who sojourns among you; (for the men of the land who have been before you have done all these abominations, and the land has become defiled)” (Lev. 18:22-27; Ex. 23:30-33; Lev. 18:3).
If Canaan is a figure of Heaven, Christians, being saved, when they get to Heaven, are going to meet with the Canaanite angels, that is, corrupted and fallen angels, all according with the allegory. What happened was that the Israelites were swallowed by the customs of the Canaanite “And they forsook Jehovah, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods from among the gods of the peoples who were around them, and bowed themselves down to them; they provoked Jehovah to anger” (Judg. 2:12). Jehovah, then, handed them into the hands of the enemies around them (Judg. 2:14-15). According to the figure, in paradise, the saved ones will be handed over to the demons. The only solution to the problem is not to consider Canaan to be a figure of Heaven. There is not a heavenly Canaan, and much less since Canaan became hell to the Israelites. Let us read a few texts: “You shall also say to this people: ‘Thus says Jehovah, ‘Behold, I set before you the way of life and the way of death. He who dwells in this city will die by the sword and by famine and by pestilence; but he who goes out and falls away to the Chaldeans who are besieging you will live, and he will have his own life as booty’” (Jer. 21:8,9). The prophet Jeremiah repeats the verdict of Jehovah: “This city will certainly be given into the hand of the army of the king of Babylon, and he will capture it” (Jer. 38: 2,3). Let us read the lament of the people in captivity: “Jehovah has become like an enemy. He has swallowed up Israel; He has swallowed up all its palaces; He has destroyed its strongholds and multiplied in the daughter of Judah mourning and moaning” (Lam. 2:5). “He has bent His bow like an enemy, He has set His right hand like an adversary and slain all that were pleasant to the eye; in the tent of the daughter of Zion He has poured our His wrath like fire” (Lam. 2:4). “And his rock will pass away because of panic, and his princes will be terrified at the standard, declares Jehovah, whose fire is in Zion and whose furnace is in Jerusalem” (Is. 31:9).
There is one more argument to be considered: Israel conquered Canaan through wars and bloodshed, and with plagues of Jehovah: “For it was of Jehovah to harden their hearts, to meet Israel in battle in order that he might utterly destroy them, that they might receive no mercy, but that they might destroy them, just as Jehovah had commanded Moses” (Josh. 11:20).
The kingdom of God is not conquered by violence, or by wars and deaths. The kingdom of God is won by grace: “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Eph. 2:8). The works of love are the results of faith. Whoever does not practice the works of love denies faith (James 2:17).
Well, if the rest of Jehovah was conquered by war and by the violence of men, and after it had been conquered it became a hell, and on the other hand, if the kingdom of God, which is the rest of the Father, is granted free, it is proven that Jesus and the Father do not have anything in common with Jehovah; but Jesus has come to destroy the works of Jehovah.
The apostle Paul has spoken a great truth: “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved” (Acts. 4:12). The salvation that Jehovah gave in the Old Testament is a false salvation, for Canaan was a false rest.
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira