Nonfiction > Henry Craik, ed. > English Prose > Vol. III. Seventeenth Century
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Henry Craik, ed.  English Prose.  1916.
Vol. III. Seventeenth Century
 
Providence in the Conquest of Canaan
By Bishop Richard Cumberland (1631–1718)
 
From the Planting of Nations

I SHALL conclude these notes with this single observation, viz. That God did by his providence weaken the family of Canaan many years before the children of Israel were to make war against them, in order to the expelling the seven nations out of that land, which he had promised to the issue of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. For,
  1
  1. The Avim, whom I have shewn to be Canaanites, were most of them destroyed by the Philistines coming from Egypt.  2
  2. The Horites, who also were Hivites, were conquered by the Edomites.  3
  3. The great body of the Canaanites, that invaded Egypt, was much weakened by about 250 years’ war there, and with loss of many battles, were forced to capitulate for liberty to depart thence.  4
  4. After this departure the Canaanites were weakened by being divided into two kingdoms, left in the southern parts of Canaan; and a third kingdom, which yet was subdivided, was settled in the northern parts of Canaan, between Jordan and the Mediterranean sea, on which they had all the northern ports.  5
  5. From their ports, as Tyre, Sidon, etc. they dispersed themselves into many colonies, both in the islands and continents adjoining to the midland sea: of which see Bochart’s Canaan. But the times of those plantations I find not sufficiently proved: only the times of two of those plantations from Phœnice or Canaan, are recorded by Eusebius, viz. (1) The colony into Greece by Cadmus. And (2) That into Bithynia by Phœnix: and it’s affirmed by him that both these plantations were contemporary with each other, and therefore both of them considerably before the time when Joshua subdued those who remained in Canaan.  6
  Hence it evidently follows, that because all these things did lessen the force of the Canaanites remaining in the Promised Land, the conquest of them must be made the more easy, and all must conduce to the settlement of Israel, God’s peculiar people; and to the fulfilling of the divine promises made to their forefathers; although the men who managed the forementioned wars and dispersions meant no such thing as any ease to the settlement of Israel.  7
 
 
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