What were the nations of Canaan like? Two generations after the flood, Nimrod had established the principles of an anti-God civilization. The history of the Mesopotamia is well documented.
“In earliest Mesopotamian times the gods had been perceived as personifications, hypostases, of nature and her forces. Enlil, Lord Air or Lord Atmosphere – today we might call him Lord Biosphere – was overall ruler of the divine realm. His son, Enki, Lord Earth, later known as Ea, spirit of the sweet waters that well up to fertilize agricultural ground, was the purveyor of civilization to humanity. Anu was Lord Heaven; Nanna, later called Sin, was the moon; Utu, later Shamash, the sun. Inanna, whom Semites identified with Ishtar, was the adrenaline goddess, present whenever and wherever men fought or fornicated. Even when new deities were introduced – as the Babylonians included the god of their city, Marduk, into the divine assembly – every attempt was made to integrate them into the old pattern. Thus Marduk was said to be son of Ea, Lord of civilization, with whom he ruled in harmony. According to his story in the Enuma Elish, he was awarded the competences, prerogatives and powers of Enlil, king of the gods” “Babylon: Mesopotamia and the Birth of Civilization” by Paul Kriwaczek
This is the world view Nimrod started. the nations typified and what God warned the nation of Israel about, “And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the Lord thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven.” (Deuteronomy 4:19)
Using man centered religion (either the creation of false gods, or worshiping man as God) as a tool of manipulation, this false prophet perverted God’s command to “be fruitful, multiple, replenish and subdue” by changing who gave the commandment and why it was given. It was not Jehovah who gave the direction to “be fruitful”, nor was it Jehovah that brought the world wide flood as judgment, it was one of the false gods. Mesopotamia had become the fountainhead of idolatry, with a multiplicity of gods and goddesses and it was Nimrod that started the rebellion (Genesis 10:8-10, Genesis 11:1-4).
The principles of production (property, labor and ingenuity) were perverted by despotic use of a false religion to glorify man who interprets, or invents, a god for his own purpose. The moral/religious perversion was used to justify the abrogation of “be fruitful, multiple, replenish and subdue” Genesis 1:28. The post-flood nations developed gods, that were not gods, to account for the management of all aspects of life. Work was done as a means to please the gods and seek their favor. The nations of Mesopotamia were good at what they did materially, they had built cultures based on intelligence, property and labor, but they did not retain God in their knowledge. They were so debased the God warned them, “Thou shalt not do so unto the Lord thy God: for every abomination to the Lord, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods.” (Deuteronomy 12:31).
The basic constitution of man understands property (the material stuff of production), ingenuity (the intelligence to apply property to production) and labor (the energy to produce) are the prerequisites for “fruitful, multiple, replenish and subdue”. One of the consequences of sin is scarcity. Accordingly, man must use limited resources to produce the stuff necessary to survive. As man produces, he becomes specialized in an activity and passes that down to others (Genesis 4:20-22). Nimrod would corrupt the godly use of specialization to build not simply a rebellious kingdom, but an entire culture. The problem was, “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man,”(Romans 1:21-23). They built their cultures on the wrong foundation.
“From before 4,000 BCE, over the next ten to fifteen centuries, the people of Eridu and their neighbours laid the foundations for almost everything that we know as civilization. It has been called the Urban Revolution, though the invention of cities was actually the least of it. With the city came the centralized state, the hierarchy of social classes, the division of labour, organized religion, monumental building, civil engineering, writing, literature, sculpture, art, music, education, mathematics and law, not to mention a vast array of new inventions and discoveries, from items as basic as wheeled vehicles and sailing boats to the potter’s kiln, metallurgy and the creation of synthetic materials.”.
The post-flood nations were amazing people, who materially achieved amazing things, but they were Godless, and they would be judge because of it. The Canaan nations were especially debased. Human activity in Mesopotamia, in general, and in Canaan specifically constitutes the bad set of data. They were godless, worshiping false gods and goddess, violent in their conquest of other people and ruthless in their use of religion to promote self. Economic theory derived from this data is wrong and stands against God. This is the world that the nation of Israel was about to face, and it is still the dominate worldview today.