Bible says Canaanites were wiped out by Israelites but scientists just found their descendants living in Lebanon

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The Canaanite city of Sodom is destroyed by God

It is a command that led the leading atheist Richard Dawkins to claim that the God of the Old Testament was “a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser … a genocidal … megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully”.

For God had ordered the Israelites to slaughter the apparently sinful Canaanites, saying: “You shall not leave alive anything that breathes. But you shall utterly destroy them.” And, according to the Bible, they did just that.

However, a new genetic study has found that the Canaanites actually managed to survive this purge of their traditional homeland, passing on their DNA over the centuries to their numerous descendants in modern-day Lebanon.

Scientists managed to extract enough DNA from the remains of five people – found in the former Canaanite city state of Sidon and dated to about 3,700 years ago – to sequence their entire genome.

They then compared this to 99 modern Lebanese people and discovered they had inherited about 90 per cent of their genetic ancestry from their ancient forebears.

A paper about the study in the American Journal of Human Genetics said that there had been “uncertainties” about the fate of the Canaanites.

Categories: Bible, Science

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8 replies

  1. Salamun alaikum,

    there was at best some local conflicts during the settlement of Canaan. The Israelites were just a small group (26:54). Furthermore, the Israelites borrowed some stuff from canaanite myths (eg Ugarit).
    Thus, they didn’t wipe them out, they rather intermixed with each other.

    God (swt) knows best.


  2. Jdg 3:5 The Israelites lived among the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites.
    Jdg 3:6 They took their daughters in marriage and gave their own daughters to their sons, and served their gods.
    Jdg 3:7 The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD; they forgot the LORD their God and served the Baals and the Asherahs.


    • Which contradicts this:

      Thus Joshua struck all the land, the hill country and the Negev and the lowland and the slopes and all their kings. He left no survivor, but he utterly destroyed all who breathed, just as the Lord, the God of Israel, had commanded…. He left nothing undone of all that the Lord had commanded Moses. (Josh. 10:40, 11:15)

      Liked by 2 people

    • The book of judges seems to reflect on some memories about the Iron Age IA (1200-1000 BCE). It’s closer to historical events than the B.o.J.


  3. Joshua only fought within the confines of the land. There may have been Canaanites living beyond the borders. They would have been safe and could have re-colonized the land at a later date as a punishment of the people’s sin.


    • LOL, so in order to save his Bible and religion, Ignoramus is betting on a hypothetical scenario…”there MAY have been Canaanites living beyond the borders”. Well, if there were and they were not on God’s hit-list, then why would He have told Joshua to wipe them all out? What purpose would clearing the land of the Canaanites have served if their relatives were living right across the border?

      It seems that every time Ignoramus opens his mouth, he makes things worse for himself. Maybe there is a moral here, Ignoramus. Don’t open your mouth when you have no idea what you are talking about. 😉


  4. Because the land was holy where the temple would be situated. Outside was irrelevant.


    • Ignoramus the Heretic is contradicting his Bible:

      But thou shalt utterly destroy them; namely, the Hittites, and the Amorites, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee:

      18 That they teach you not to do after all their abominations, which they have done unto their gods; so should ye sin against the Lord your God.”

      Hmmm, utterly destroy them…but only in the holy land. They won’t be able to lead you to do their abominations…unless of course their hypothetical relatives from across the border survive and come back to avenge their people.


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