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January 30, 2006

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Tim Abbott

Thank you for your comments, Dr. Kingery. My interest in the biblical antecedants of the names of certain towns and places in northwest Connecticut is both cultural and literary. The New Englanders who settled this part of the state made deliberate choices about the names they gave their new communities and these reflect not only their values but their relationship with the frontier. In our more secular society, place names with biblical referents do not resonate the way they would have at the time of Canaan's establishment when Yankee congregationalists were intimately familiar with the Bible and its allegories.

Biblical Canaan was a frontier, just as northwest Connecticut was for settlers in the 1730s. Those who settle in the frontiers both reject the civilized lands they leave behind and expect to struggle with the wilderness to wrest its potential "milk and honey" from the untamed land. Those who claim uncivilized lands with the support of a higher being may also see their occupation as righteous and sanctified, so long as they adhere to their faith. Those heathens previously occupying the promised land without taming the wilderness would represent a direct challenge to the settler's faith. If in the settlers' eyes, those who stray from the faith are to be driven from Canaan as in Eden before them, this most certainly applies to Canaan's prior inhabitants.
Certainly this is how Puritan settlement of New England played out with regard to Native Americans, and perhaps also to the Israelites in Canaan.

Paul M. Kingery

I enjoyed your commentary on Canaan's land. I would add another element. When unfaithful, the inhabitants were not only devoured, but scattered to other lands, where they would regain submission to God and purity of life before God would return a remnant to the land. Another cycle of this is pending, in which Jerusalem will be destroyed, and much of Israel and Palestine with it, then Christ will lead a purified remnant of the faithful back to a renewed land. I have been studying and writing about the Land of Canaan with regard to the Christian future. Are you interested in topics about the apocalypse, end times, the end of the world, eschatology, last days, the horsemen of the apocalypse, the beast, prophesy, prophesies, revelation, 666, bible prophesy, prophets, Canaan, Canaan's land, Land of Canaan, or the Christian future? If so you may enjoy reading " Land of Canaan." This is a free online book. The Link is http://landofcanaan.info/book.php
The section about the Land of Canaan is in the introduction.

Let me know if that further stirs your thoughts.

Thanks,

Paul M. Kingery, PhD, MPH

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