Three Reactions
to Parts One and Two of Canaanite Genocide.
Moral Problems with the Bible

1. David Jackson:
2. Cherie Koch: Concerning Lust and Idolatry.
3. Charlotte Mecklenburg: The Question of Genocide

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1. David Jackson: Suggested Reasons for the Commandment to Wipe Out the Canaaanites.

I think there could be several reasons for this. One is that it's actually better for evil people to die before they have a chance to live a longer life of committing more atrocities and so earn a greater eternal punishment (I for one don't believe in re-incarnation).

In His wisdom God may have foreseen that some of the Hebrew people (or their descendants) whom the Canaanites (or their descendants) would have killed had they not been stopped would be great men and women who contributed to all mankind. In short, it was for the best.

We're all sinners and deserve to die. It is only by God's enduring mercies that any of us are allowed to live at all.

Dave Jackson
Keller, TX

2. Cherie Koch: Concerning Lust and Idolatry.

Dear Yair,

I was interested to read this comment in your piece regarding Canaan:

"The Sages said that all worship of false idols was at least partially motivated by sexual desire."

If true, I wonder what is at the core of this? Is it just all "lust"... the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes... wherein sin is conceived and then compounded? I have heard that once you violate one of the commandments, you will violate all OR are guilty of violating all. That is certainly one way of looking at how false idol worship and sexual immorality are linked, even if not implicitly inherent-one in another.

Also, I have heard that satanic cults use women who are "black widows" and lure others, usually men, into their ranks. They use the lure of sex and mind-altering drugs (and "power").

You were just studying Proverbs and the cry of "Wisdom" to prevent man from going down such roads which are dissipation and lead to cursing.

No matter how it plays out, that is a very interesting statement and one that I will ponder for a time.

Shalom and thank you for the interesting study. In this day and age where we are not politically governed by His law, we have so many rampant acts that should be wiped out by premature death. We are a polluted people and tolerate much that we were not supposed to tolerate. No wonder the Almighty sends calamity so that His will is performed.

Cherie Koch

3. Charlotte Mecklenburg: The Question of Genocide

These were provocative statements concerning genocide. Most I would somewhat agree with. We also have had to deal with this question from relatives who did not find themselves as attached to the business of a loving Elohim with all their heart, soul and strength. This idea of people being told to kill everyone just does not seem to line up with a loving God.

The Egyptians would have  worked the Israelites to death, if they could have. The Canaanites would have killed them if they had not been afraid.
And why were they afraid of them?
They realized that the God of Israel was greater than theirs. This really spoke to people in the cultures of that day. It was HaShem's land and if our understanding is correct, they had taken over land that really had been deeded to Shem. The blessing Noah gave Shem indicates that to me. God allowed the Canaanites to continue living there until their sin had reached an unbearable condition and then he used his people who had just made a covenant with him and by that covenant had repented and been cleansed. Only a holy people could do the job that God was sending them to do and survive it themselves.

If we have sin in our lives individually or as a nation, we have no right to judge another nation or person. This is why Jacob told his household to get rid of their idols. The stories of the Israelites wilderness experience shows us this concept. For instance when Achan took the devoted things he lost his life as well as his family. Why does it always include family, children? If mother and father have an infection of sin then the children also do. By asking Israel to do a hard thing like judging sin, it would also teach them how important it would be not to take up with the practices of the nations among and around them.

God used Assyria, Babylon and others to chastise and punish Israel for the same sins. Many perished because they did not of their own volition repent, obey God, and go over to the Babylonians whom he sent as the rod of his discipline.
All of these past incidents are meant to be a warning to everyone in the world that God does not tolerate sin. It is his world, he means to have it back. All threats and punishments are to bring us to repentance. We also saw that those who began to have a fear of God and repented were added to the body of God's people. No matter what anyone says, I see God as loving and kind, generous and forgiving but he is not a softy. He knows better than any of us that sin is a sickness and if not dealt a blow it will render the whole human race dead. There is a verse in Ezekiel and it says, Hashem does not delight in destroying the wicked. I believe this is very true of Him. He loves all that he made. He knows each person's potential for good when directed in His ways.

Even now, if Israel were holy as God wants them to become. They would be strong enough to stand up to those who harass them. In doing so many of their enemies may repent and find mercy. But allowing the enemy (they make themselves that) to do as they please, they only become more evil and wicked which brings them to the point that if God's people do not do something He will. How do we know this? Daniel saw a rock out of a mountain come from the heaven and destroy all the kingdoms of this world.

How does judging the wicked population help them/us? They don't keep reproducing and training more children to grow up wicked.

My advice to all of us is to keep reading God's word, for through it we will eventually see His point of view and see how loving and merciful He really is.

Hannah Michael

For More Articles in this Series,
Canaanite Genocide. List of Articles.

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