Bible · God · Israel · Old Testament · religion

Did God command Israel to commit genocide?

Many individuals who hate the God of the Bible, Jehovah, have claimed he was a genocidal maniac for commanding Israel to kill all people and animals who lived in the Promised Land. Is that really true? Did he really command Israel to annihilate everyone? I touched on some of the reasons why he told Israel to kill in my post “Why is there so much violence in the Old Testament?”. I also talked about how certain people in those lands were spared this judgment because they agreed to follow God and obey his laws to live among the Israelites in my post “Is Jehovah really a merciless murder?”.

There was one aspect I forgot to mention about Israel’s battles against the various tribes of Canaanites, and that was the fact God gave them plenty of opportunity to flee. He was essentially giving the Canaanite peoples an eviction notice. The first phase and primary goal was not to kill them, but get them off the land so Israel could inhabit the land to (1) fulfill his promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Deuteronomy 9:4-6), and (2) because the Canaanite peoples were very wicked (Leviticus 18:24-27). God even told Israel in Deuteronomy 9 not to lie to themselves by claiming it was because of their righteousness that the Canaanites were being evicted, because he called the Israelites a “stiffnecked people.”

Here are scriptures showing that God’s intent was for those pagans to flee and leave their lands:

28 And I will send hornets before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee.29 I will not drive them out from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee.30 By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land.31  …for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand; and thou shalt drive them out before thee. Exodus 23

And I will send an angel before thee; and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite: Unto a land flowing with milk and honey: for I will not go up in the midst of thee; for thou art a stiffnecked people: lest I consume thee in the way. Exodus 33

37 And because he loved thy fathers, therefore he chose their seed after them, and brought thee out in his sight with his mighty power out of Egypt;38 To drive out nations from before thee greater and mightier than thou art, to bring thee in, to give thee their land for an inheritance, as it is this day. Deuteronomy 4

Then after that, God gave Israel instructions on what to do with the Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, and others who refused to obey his eviction notice by staying in the land:

16 But of the cities of these people, which the Lord thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth:17 But thou shalt utterly destroy them; namely, the Hittites, and the Amorites, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; as the Lordthy God hath commanded thee:18 That they teach you not to do after all their abominations, which they have done unto their gods… Deuteronomy 20

Neither God nor Israel committed genocide since these people were allowed to leave with their lives and possessions. The foolish ones chose not to and paid with their lives in many cases. Unfortunately, Israel let many of them stick around, and that led to their downfall later.

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Did God command Israel to commit genocide?

  1. All that effort from the guy who spoke the universe into existence. That any violence of any kind was needed is either proof that your god is not omnipotent or that he just like the smell of blood. There is no way around this. If he can speak the universe into existence he could have spoken again the the people would have left the land. Go on, make excuses for your god but the truth is that it could have been and should have been bloodless. It wasn’t. Your god loves violence.

    Like

    1. Interesting. So since God didn’t behave like you want him to behave then that must mean he’s totally wrong. I would like to know who died and made you the all-knowing one to determine what God should or shouldn’t have done? Your statement is idolatrous. You want a god created in your image.

      But let’s look at the violent accomplishments of atheists:

      Gavrilo Princip–the atheist anarchist of the Black Hand in Serbia who assassinated Franz Ferdinand and his wife in broad daylight, setting off the bloodiest war up to that time, WWI.

      Adolph Hitler–rose to power with his atheist socialist views using violence, pretending to be religious then demanding to be worshiped after gaining power and setting off WWII, which was even bloodier than WWI.

      Vladimir Lenin–started the bloodiest revolution in Russia’s history and killed more people when his atheist Socialists ruled.

      Josef Stalin–the atheist who continued Lenin’s bloodletting.

      Benito Mussolini–Italy’s atheist socialist dictator who helped Hitler with his aspirations of world domination through violence.

      Margaret Sanger–the atheist and founder of Planned Parenthood who called for the killing of unborn children, especially children of non-whites and non-blue bloods, even corresponding with and commended by Hitler in her efforts.

      Lee Harvey Oswald–assassinated an American President, John F. Kennedy, because he hated living in a constitutional republic.

      This is just a very small tip of the iceberg. Atheists tend to love murder.

      Like

      1. You’re changing the topic. The comment was about a god, not humans. Humans are stupid and violent and they will use any excuse to justify their violence against others. Those that claim to be on the moral high road and are violent are worse than those who are just violent. That your chosen god likes to see humans being violent is quite telling of his character.

        “So since God didn’t behave like you want him to behave then that must mean he’s totally wrong. ” Damn skippy he’s totally wrong. If he wants to disagree with me he can come down here himself and we can have a discussion. That’s not going to happen is it?

        “I would like to know who died and made you the all-knowing one to determine what God should or shouldn’t have done?”
        No one died. I’m at least as competent to judge a god by his book and his followers actions as anyone in this life or any other. That you think your imaginary god is beyond reproach or criticism says more about you than it does your god. Like I say, if your god disapproves he can come down here and set me straight. That’s not going to happen is it? Your god does not exist so he can’t come set me straight.

        “Your statement is idolatrous.”
        No, it’s not. That word means treating something or someone as an idol. Sorry, you fail on that one.

        “You want a god created in your image.”
        No, I want no gods. All the gods I’ve heard of are heinous b******s. If a god exists then I would prefer to spend my time learning how to kill it.

        You don’t know me very well.

        Like

      2. myatheistlife,

        Your argument is full of contradictions to the point where you even condemn yourself.

        You imply you’re against violence when you say, “Humans are stupid and violent and they will use any excuse to justify their violence against others. Those that claim to be on the moral high road and are violent are worse than those who are just violent.”

        Then you say, “If a god exists then I would prefer to spend my time learning how to kill it.”

        If you’re against all violence and see it as stupid, but then claim that you have a desire to kill, that is an aspiration to commit violence. Throughout history those who seek to “kill” any god sought to do it by killing that god’s followers. So you condone violence and according to you that makes you stupid and “worse than those who are just violent.” You condemned yourself.

        Therefore, I can dismiss everything you just said. Besides, you didn’t come here for an honest conversation anyway. If you did, you would’ve mentioned the specific points in my post and/or the accompanying video and would have asked interactive questions. Maybe it’s time for you to move on and share your unfounded bitterness elsewhere since you probably didn’t even read this post in its entirety anyway.

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s