Were any prophets sent to the Canaanites before Jewish immigration? I seem to recall there was a verse stating there were not, but I wasn't able to find it.

Are there any verses in support of or opposition to the premise, "All Gentile nations received prophets pre-Christ, especially those peoples living in the promised land"?

I would be most interested in whether any prophets were sent to the Canaanites before the Jews arrived in the Holy Land. But if there is any evidence of prophets being sent to them before the Incarnation, I would be interested to know that as well.

  • Welcome to Stack Exchange, we are glad you are here. When you get a chance, be sure to check out the site tour and read up on how this site is a little different than other sites around the web. This is not a comment on the quality of your question, but rather a standard welcome message.
    – ThaddeusB
    Aug 22, 2015 at 23:25
  • Are you talking about the conquest by Joshua?
    – curiousdannii
    Aug 23, 2015 at 0:09
  • @curiousdannii Not limiting it too Joshua, I was just having a discussion today and they stated that 'all gentile nations had received prophets' Is there any versed to back this up? I should edit the question.
    – hogarth45
    Aug 23, 2015 at 2:50
  • 1
    The question seems to be asking about prophets in two widely different time periods: before the Jews arrived in the Holy Land and before the coming of Christ. The question would be clearer if you stated what time period you're most interested in--even if it's a fairly long time period. Aug 23, 2015 at 4:25
  • 1
    Thanks. I've edited your question to include this in the question itself. If you want it to read differently, please go ahead and edit it yourself so that it says exactly what you want it to say. Aug 23, 2015 at 15:54

3 Answers 3


Were any prophets sent to the Canaanites before Jewish immigration?

Yes* - Abraham was a prophet (cf. Genesis 20:7) and was sent to dwell in Canaan as a "sojourner"; ie, to be present as a witness to the living God among the people there (cf. Hebrews 11:8-16). His son Isaac and grandson Jacob were inheritors of "the same promise" and likewise fulfilled this role.

*Assuming by "Jewish immigration" you mean the conquest of Canaan under Joshua.


The prophet Balaam was a true prophet of the Lord before he rebelled - this can be understood from the fact that God answered Balaam when he asked counsel from God - and it can be plainly seen that he was not living among the Israelites.

Numbers 22:4, 5: ...So Balak son of Zippor, who was king of Moab at that time, sent messengers to summon Balaam son of Beor, who was at Pethor, near the Euphrates River, in his native land. (Emphasis added)

  • This is an interesting answer, but it would be helped by a little more explanation. Balaam prophesied about the Israelites to Balak and his people, the Moabites, who were living in the vicinity of the land of Canaan. If you expanded your answer to include passages and explanations making this clear, I think it would be worth a few up-votes. Aug 23, 2015 at 15:58

The only Jews the entered Canaan before the main body of the Israelites where the Twelve Spies mentioned in the Book of Numbers.

"And the people marched from Haseroth, and pitched their tents in the desert of Pharan. And there the Lord spoke to Moses, saying. Send men to view the land of Chanaan, which I will give to the children of Israel, one of every tribe, of the rulers." Numbers 13:18-21, DRB

Moses gave the following commands to the spies:

"Go you up by the south side. And when you shall come to the mountains, View the land, of what sort it is, and the people that are the inhabitants thereof, whether they be strong or weak: few in number or many: The land itself, whether it be good or bad: what manner of cities, walled or without walls: The ground, fat or barren, woody or without trees. Be of good courage, and bring us of the fruits of the land. Now it was the time when the firstripe grapes are fit to be eaten." Numbers 13:1-3, DRB

After 40 days, the Twelve Spies returned with a large bunch of grapes. Of the twelve, only two had good things to say about the Promised Land. Those two men, Caleb and Josue, would later become leaders of the Jewish people. The other ten spies did not have good things about the Promised Land. Because of the lies of the ten, the Israelites murmured against God. In response, God cursed them to wander in the wilderness for 40 years.

"Your children shall wander in the desert forty years, and shall bear your fornication, until the carcasses of their fathers be consumed in the desert, According to the number of the forty days, wherein you viewed the land: a year shall be counted for a day. And forty years you shall receive your iniquities, and shall know my revenge: For as I have spoken, so will I do to all this wicked multitude, that hath risen up together against me: in this wilderness shall it faint away and die." Numbers 14:33-35, DRB

After 40 years, the Israelites were finally allowed to enter the Promised Land.

  • 1
    Welcome to Christianity.SE! I hope you'll spend some time browsing the questions and answers here. Unfortunately, this answer does not really address the question, which is about whether any prophets were sent to the Canaanites before the Jews arrived there. The twelve spies were not prophets. For a quick overview of what this site is all about, please take the Site Tour. Aug 24, 2015 at 4:43
  • @LeeWoofenden Thanks for the welcome. The point of my answer is that the 12 Spies were the only Jews in Canaan before the Jews emigrated there. I went into detail because I have made short answers before only to have them removed.
    – JohnBlood
    Aug 24, 2015 at 4:58

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .