Canaanite/Phoenician culture was a regional aspect of the larger royal culture. All the major cities of Canaan/Phoenicia were controlled by the royal family, and they controlled them by appointing local rulers (mayors, princes, kings, etc.) from among their own ranks.
I'll be putting together something more formal on this later, but for now consider the following.
No offspring are listed for Nimrod. Rather, they are to be found under the alias Canaan. The first/foremost of those is called Sidon, a name that connotes second (si) Adam (don). As shown in the on-line book and in previous forum posts, Adam II/Israel was the historical figure Sargon the Great, who was a descendant of Adam I through Nimrod/Narmer.
The Genesis author could just as easily have said that Israel was the foremost of the sons/descendants of Nimrod/Canaan. But then that would have given the mystery away. Instead multiple layers of indirection were built into the Genesis genealogies, which could only be parsed by the initiated.
In short, Israelites were then a type of Canaanite, and the "foremost" of Canaanites due to their close association with Sidon/Adam II/Sargon and his immediate successors to the Great Throne. Remember also that the extents of Canaan in ancient times included all of Egypt and not only Syria/Phoenicia and Israel/Palestine.
Sidon is the only son of Canaan that is a distinct person. Other so-called descendants are grouped as tribes, i.e., Hittites, Jebusites, Amorites, Sinites, and so on. Each successive generation of royalty imposed the right to be considered the heriditary rulers of all ethnic groups everywhere, and even if the eponymous ancestor of a particular tribe (Jeb/Geb, Sin, or whatever) was not a true ancestor of the current Great King.
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