In this final installment on the “Abraham Alone” series, we will look at the ambiguity of Abrahamic religion’s relationship with Canaanite religion and culture. Nearly every text has something to say about this porous relationship that is strained by the wickedness of Canaanite culture in general, but at times quite intimate and righteous. So, the last feature of Abrahamic religion is that it was distinct from, but at times having commonality with Canaanite religion and culture.
Beginning with the distinctions, whether or not Abrahamic religion was monotheistic it is obvious that Abraham follows only Yahweh. Additionally, the practice of circumcision on the eighth day after birth also separates Abraham from the Canaanites. Though ancient Semitic peoples practiced circumcision, this feature is unique to Abrahamic religion. The rituals and theology separating Abrahamic faith from Canaanite religion reinforces the “choseness” of Abraham and the wickedness of most Canaanite culture.
Despite the texts generally negative view, in certain segments Abraham honors Canaanite people and religion. He pays tithes to Melchizedek, understanding El Elyon, a Canaanite deity who is “God Most High,” as Yahweh (14:22). Melchizedek’s is the apex of Canaanite religion, worshiping Abraham’s God, only by a different name. This deity was likely the highest in the Canaanite pantheon, and Abraham’s connection of this name with Yahweh may be due to Melchizedek’s conception of El Elyon as displaying Yahweh’s attributes. Abraham simply sees no difference between Yahweh and El Elyon in this text or a few others: he builds altars to the god El (22:9), which he also connects with Yahweh (22:11).
Abraham’s attitude toward them, then, is not only shaped by the wickedness of some, but also by the righteousness of a few. He enters into treaty’s (21:27) and is even buried among some of them who honor him and his wife (25:8-10).
In the end, full realization of Yahweh’s promises necessitated that Abrahamic faith avoid fraternization with the wickedness of the Canaanites. However, the boundaries were rather porous when it came to Canaanites who were generally righteous in character.
 Much of the distinction between Abrahamic and Canaanite people had to do with the wickedness of the Canaanites in general (13:13). Overall they are viewed as selfish (14:21), sexually deviant (19:8-9) and a people who rule each other (14:8-9). Fraternization people of this character is negatively viewed as it impacts the purity of Abraham’s family (ch. 19).
 These altars probably serve to further separate him from Canaanite religion because He is staking a claim for Yahweh in the erection of them.
 It should also be noted that the text has much to say regarding non-Canaanite peoples who are not Abrahamic in their faith. The Egyptians are viewed as potential murderers by Abraham (12:12). Another nameless group will enslave Abraham’s offspring (15:13) and so God will punish them.