Did Ancient Israel Commit Genocide against the Canaanites?

Did Ancient Israel Commit Genocide against the Canaanites?

By R. Herbert

“It is interesting that many of those who claim the Bible is not a historical book and its historical narratives cannot be trusted are quick to accept the historical nature of the statements in the Old Testament regarding the Israelites destroying the inhabitants of the Land of Canaan — which they claim to be an example of genocide.

It is true that before Israel entered the Promised Land they were told, regarding its inhabitants: “…when the Lord your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy” (Deuteronomy 7:2). The Bible makes it clear that this extreme action was to be completed because of the depravity of the Canaanites (Leviticus 18:21-28, 20:2-5, 22-23, Deuteronomy 9:4-6, 12:29-31, etc.), who followed hideous practices such as infant sacrifice (see inset box).

When we move to the Book of Joshua the intent of the total destruction of the Canaanites appears to be confirmed: “So Joshua subdued the whole region, including the hill country, the Negev, the western foothills and the mountain slopes, together with all their kings. He left no survivors. He totally destroyed all who breathed, just as the Lord, the God of Israel, had commanded” (Joshua 10:40)…”

(this article is an excerpt from the Nov – Dec 2014 edition of the Sabbath Sentinel)

To read the rest of this article, which starts on page 10, click this link: https://biblesabbath.org/media/TSS_Nov-Dec_Lo-Res_2.pdf

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