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Genesis 12:6

    Genesis 12:6 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And Abram passed through the land to the place of Sichem, to the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Shechem, unto the oak of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And Abram went through the land till he came to Shechem, to the holy tree of Moreh. At that time, the Canaanites were still living in the land.

    Webster's Revision

    And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Shechem, unto the oak of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land.

    World English Bible

    Abram passed through the land to the place of Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. The Canaanite was then in the land.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Shechem, unto the oak of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land.

    Clarke's Commentary on Genesis 12:6

    The plain of Moreh - אלון elon should be translated oak, not plain; the Septuagint translate την δρυν την ὑψηλην, the lofty oak; and it is likely the place was remarkable for a grove of those trees, or for one of a stupendous height and bulk.

    The Canaanite was then in the land - This is thought to be an interpolation, because it is supposed that these words must have been written after the Canaanites were expelled from the land by the Israelites under Joshua; but this by no means follows. All that Moses states is simply that, at the time in which Abram passed through Sichem, the land was inhabited by the descendants of Canaan, which was a perfectly possible case, and involves neither a contradiction nor absurdity. There is no rule of criticism by which these words can be produced as an evidence of interpolation or incorrectness in the statement of the sacred historian. See this mentioned again, Genesis 13:7 (note).

    Barnes' Notes on Genesis 12:6

    Abram does not enter into immediate possession, but only travels through the land which the Lord had promised to show him Genesis 12:1. He arrives at "the place of Shekem." The town was probably not yet in existence. It lay between Mount Gerizzim and Mount Ebal. It possesses a special interest as the spot where the Lord first appeared to Abram in the land of promise. It was afterward dedicated to the Lord by being made a Levitical town, and a city of refuge. At this place Joshua convened an assembly of all Israel to hear his farewell address. "So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and set them a statute and an ordinance in Shekem" Joshua 24:1-25. The particular point in the place of Shekem where Abram halted is the oak of Moreh; so called, probably, from its planter or owner. The oak attains to great antiquity, and a single tree, well grown, becomes conspicuous for its grandeur and beauty, and was often chosen in ancient times as a meeting-place for religious rites.

    And the Kenaanite was then in the land. - This simply implies that the land was not open for Abram to enter upon immediate possession of it without challenge. Another was in possession. The sons of Kenaan had already arrived and preoccupied the country. It also intimates, or admits, of the supposition that there had been previous inhabitants who may have been subjugated by the invading Kenaanites. Thus, אן 'āz then alludes to the past, as in Genesis 4:26. Some of these former inhabitants will meet us in the course of the narrative. It admits also of the supposition that the Kenaanites afterward ceased to be its inhabitants. Hence, some have inferred that this could not have been penned by Moses, as they were expelled after his death. If this supposition were the necessary or the only one implied in the form of expression, we should acquiesce in the conclusion that this sentence came from one of the prophets to whom the conservation, revision, and continuation of the living oracles were committed. But we have seen that two other presuppositions may be made that satisfy the import of the passage. Moreover, the first of the three accounts for the fact that Abram does not instantly enter on possession, as there was an occupying tenant. And, finally, the third supposition may fairly be, not that the Kenaanites afterward ceased, but that they should afterward cease to be in the land. This, then, as well as the others, admits of Moses being the writer of this interesting sentence.

    We are inclined to think, however, that the term "Kenaanite" here means, not the whole race of Kenaan, but the special tribe so called. If the former were meant, the statement would be in a manner superfluous, after calling the country the land of Kenaan. If the proper tribe be intended, then we have evidence here that they once possessed this part of the land which was afterward occupied by the Hivite and the Amorite Genesis 34:2; Joshua 11:3; for, at the time of the conquest by Abram's descendants, the mountainous land in the center, including the place of Shekem, was occupied by the Amorites and other tribes, while the coast of the Mediterranean and the west bank of the Jordan was held by the Kenaanites proper (Josephus v. 1; xi. 3). This change of occupants had taken place before the time of Moses.

    Wesley's Notes on Genesis 12:6

    12:6 The Canaanite was then in the land - He found the country possessed by Canaanites, who were likely to be but bad neighbours; and for ought appears he could not have ground to pitch his tent on but by their permission.