If you have any doubts that the promise of giving the land of Israel to the Israelites was the main point of verses 8-10, verse 11 proves this to be true. Why is it the land of Canaan, as opposed to the land of Israel? Remember, we are reading a history lesson. When this promise of that piece of real estate was given to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, they did not own the land and the actual conquering of the land did not happen until over 400 years later. During that 400-year period of time, the local residents were collectively called Canaanites.
God often likes to use ancient names to describe places. It seems we as people like to rename places every so often. The Bible will often use original names for places as to keep straight what place is being described. This is one of those cases here when the Bible says “the land of Canaan”.
 When they were but a few men in number; yea, very few, and strangers in it.
 When they went from one nation to another, from one kingdom to another people;
We are now getting into the “heart” of this history lesson. To explain these verses, one has to remember when God first made this promise of giving the land to Abraham, he was an old man and didn’t have any children. When the same promise was given to his son Isaac, he would only go on to have two children. One of Isaac’s sons, Jacob got the same promise and he went on to have 12 sons and one daughter. This relatively small group of people never owned any part of Israel but wandered from place to place waiting on God’s timing for Him to fulfill His promise to them.
As Christians, we must to do our best to make a difference for God as we wait on His timing to fulfill His promises to us of the return of Jesus. We as believers will get our own inheritance based on our obedience to what He specifically desires each of us to do with our lives.
From the Israelite perspective, this family endured and survived all sorts of trials simply because it was God’s desire for this family to grow into a great nation. When they were in Egypt for over 400 years, they grew to over two million people.