Science confirms what Biblical scholars already know - the conquest of Canaan was not a genocide
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The Bible tells us that the Canaanites were destroyed by Israelites by God's command. However, scientists have found what Biblical scholars have known all along. Everything is not always what it seems at first glance, for the descendants of the Canaanites still live and flourish today in Lebanon.
Science has once again confirmed what Biblical scholars already know.
LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) -- The Canaanites were not good people, according to the Bible, and God commanded the Israelites to destroy them and occupy their lands. The Israelites obeyed, and with God's help, established ancient Israel.
The entire episode of the Israel's clash with the Canaanites is concerning because most of us see God as loving and kind, which is true, but to does not mean He is to be disobeyed. You can thank pop culture for that depiction. While God loves all people, he despises sin and evil. And in God's eyes, the Canaanites were not people who deserved to occupy the lands that became Israel.
What follows then, is the story of the Israelites committing genocide, or at least that's what many conclude when they fail to understand the context and history of the event. Did God command the Israelites to commit genocide? No. And the science now confirms this understanding.
The term "Canaanite" was a catch-all term for a variety of people who lived in the region of Israel, Lebanon, and parts of western Syria.
While the Israelites did attack, kill and displace the people who lived in the lands given to them by God, they did not exterminate the Canaanite population. Even the Bible points out in later passages that the Canaanites survived this event.
Of course, ask any atheist and they will be quick to judge the passages in the Old Testament and cry genocide. But this simply isn't true.
The Canaanites survived and their most famous descendants became known as the Phoenicians. It was the Phoenicians who invented the alphabet, who traded across the Mediterranean, and founded the city-state of Carthage.
Now science has confirmed what Biblical scholars know. Tests on DNA taken from the remains of five Canaanite people from 2,700 B.C., in the former city-state of Sidon, have been matched with 99 living Lebanese people. The results showed these people have inherited 90 percent of their Canaanite ancestors' DNA. The testing proves scientifically that the Canaanites not only survived the Israelite incursion, but flourished and their descendants live on today.
Here is a case of science upholding what Biblical scholars always knew. It is a fine affirmation, and makes for a solid apologetic argument against those who accuse God and the Israelites of practicing genocide.
This is not to suggest the Israelites were kind in their displacement of the Canaanites. Such behavior as we find today simply wasn't practiced in the ancient world. We must be on our guard to judge the people of antiquity using the standards of the present. But fair is fair, and it is unfair to suggest the Canaanites were entirely destroyed, for the Bible, and now science, tells us otherwise.
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