The following articles have been compiled and indexed by inWORD Bible software.
Genocide or Hyperbole? Another Look at the Conquest Narrative in Joshua
The references in Joshua 10 and 11 to the extermination of the Canaanites pose a problem for believers, and not just because they are used by atheists to justify their assertion that the God of the Old Testament is a “tribal, vicious, genocidal deity” that no civilised person should respect, much less worship. There is a problem arising from the fact that in the later chapters of Joshua and the early chapters of Judges, we see clear Biblical evidence that far from being wiped off the face of the Earth, the Canaanites were in fact alive and providing considerable opposition to the Israelites. While some Biblical contradictions are the product of a tendentious reading of the text that ignores context and genre, a literal reading of Joshua 10-11 stands in marked tension with the later chapters of Joshua and Judges. This tension in the text itself, let alone the moral problem of exterminating innocent children, is one which requires attention.
The Canaanites and the Justice of God
The God of Israel is sometimes criticized as being a cruel God for instructing Israel to destroy utterly the inhabitants of Canaan as they entered the Promised Land. Superficially, this criticism may appear to be justified. The searching question is asked, Is this the manner of a loving and compassionate God? Surprisingly to many, the answer must be, Yes, it is, and the discoveries of archaeologists show us why the Canaanites had to be destroyed.
“Remember what Amalek did to you… that he met you on the way and he struck those of you who were lagging behind… when you were faint and exhausted…” (Deuteronomy 25:17–18).
Facts Christians Should Know About The Bible’s “Canaanite Genocide"
[In Deuteronomy 20:17], God commanded the ancient Israelites to “utterly destroy” the Canaanites, among other peoples. And the disappearance of the the latter group from history suggested some truth to the story.