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Cherry-picking the biblical record would indicate the affirmative.
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09/25/2022
 

Canaan vs. Israel: Helpless Natives Against Evil Imperialist Power?

Cherry-picking the biblical record would indicate the affirmative.

BY CHRISTOPHER EAMES

A 3,000-plus-year history in the Holy Land is often cited by Jews as one of their strongest claims to living in the land of Israel. The biblical history speaks clearly of the Israelites’ promised homeland in Canaan. It plainly describes the Israelites’ conquest of the Promised Land and establishment of a country of their own, with a capital eventually established in Jerusalem. It is a history celebrated and touted by many Israelis.

But to opponents of Israel’s right to exist, this establishment of the nation is considered quite differently. This history is considered quite differently. In some cases, more along the lines of a genocidal massacre. According to Richard Dawkins, "The Bible story of Joshua’s destruction of Jericho, and the invasion of the Promised Land in general, is morally indistinguishable from Hitler’s invasion of Poland, or Saddam Hussein’s massacres of the Kurds and the Marsh Arabs."

It is fashionable today to speak in sweeping generalizations about the immoral brutality of Israel’s conquest of Canaan and establishment of its nation. But was that really how it happened? Or does this opinion belie little more than willful ignorance, or even willing deception? Let’s look at what really happened during the early days of the Israelite nation and the interactions of the Hebrews with the Canaanites. Let’s look at what the Bible—supported by archaeology—really says.

To do that, it’s best that we start not at the invasion itself, but 500 years before.

 
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