Another proof of the accuracy of the Bible

David Klinghoffer of Evolution News and Science Today wrote an article about the discovery of human remains of ancient Canaanites.  A study on their DNA revealed a startling overlap with the modern Lebanese.  The media reported that scientific research disproves the Bible.  The ancient Canaanites were not wiped out as the Bible suggests.

The reporters didn’t look into the Bible for themselves.

The Old Testament makes it clear that the Canaanites never disappeared.  For example, in Judges 3:5-6, after the conquest of Canaan and the death of Joshua, ‘The Israelites lived among the Canaanites….  They took their daughters in marriage and gave their own daughters to their sons, and served their gods.’

The media reports were as follows:

Study disproves the Bible’s suggestion that the ancient Canaanites were wiped out” (The Telegraph)

•“Bible says Canaanites were wiped out by Israelites but scientists just found their descendants living in Lebanon” (The Independent)

•“Bronze Age DNA disproves the Bible’s claim that the Canaanites were wiped out: Study says their genes live on in modern-day Lebanese people” (Daily Mail)

•“Scientists Find Evidence That Ancient Canaanites Survive Today: Was The Bible Wrong?” (Tech Times)

•“New DNA study casts doubt on Bible claim” (Mother Nature Network)

•“The Bible was WRONG: Civilisation God ordered to be KILLED still live and kicking” (Express)

•“Genetic evidence suggests the Canaanites weren’t destroyed after all” (Ars Technica)

•“Canaanites Weren’t Annihilated by Ancient Israelites After All” (Newser)

•“Study disproves the Bible’s claim that the ancient Canaanites were wiped out” (Click Lancashire)

•“Canaanites survived Biblical ‘slaughter’, ancient DNA shows”(ABC Online)

•“DNA vs the Bible: Israelites did not wipe out the Canaanites” (Cosmos)

•“The Bible got it wrong: Ancient Canaanites survived and their DNA lives in modern-day Lebanese” (Pulse Headlines)

Conclusion

These reports are another proof of the media’s bias against the Bible.  Yet this DNA study once again proves the absolute accuracy of the Word of God.

References

David Klinghoffer, For Culturally Illiterate Science Reporters, Canaanite DNA Yields Occasion to Slap Bible Around, Evolution News and Science Today, July 29, 2017

Why all the Canaanites were not killed

If the Israelites fulfilled God’s command to annihilate the Amalekites, Canaanites and Midianites (kill them all, part 1, Kill them all, part 2, Kill them all, part 3, Kill them all, part 4People flee in war 2), why were some of the descendants still living among the Israelites 900 years later? They remained Israel’s enemies for centuries. Yet the Bible reports that ‘all were killed?

To understand this riddle, we have to read the Bible carefully. For example, were all the Canaanites killed, or only those in the specific cities? The following gives us a clue to what happened.

#1. The refugee problem. People flee when danger or war looms. We read, ‘Indeed, Moab was filled with dread because of the Israelites.’  The Moabites said to the elders of Midian, ‘This horde is going to lick up everything around us, as an ox licks up the grass of the field.’ 1

The fathers would have instructed their wives and children to flee as the Israelites approached. They and those who stubbornly refused to leave, probably remained and were killed. 2  So the Bible is not wrong when it says all the people in a city were killed.  It was those who remained in the cities that were killed, while the others fled and came back after the danger passed.

For example, the Jebusites were ‘destroyed’ by Joshua’s armies. 3  Yet a short while later, we read that the Benjamites could not dislodge the Jebusites. 4  Later king David, taunted by the Jebusites, overcame them. It seems as if ‘destroy them all’ meant only those who were present at that specific time.

# 2. Only the main cities are on record. Another issue is that the Bible records only certain cities that were destroyed. In Joshua 15 is a list of more than a hundred towns and villages that were Judah’s inheritance. 6  Yet the Bible lists only a few main cities like Makkedah, Libnah, Lachish, Eglon, Hebron and Debir where all the people were killed. 7 Yet it is recorded that Joshua subdued the whole region. 8

‘Region’ must be understood as locally instead of a whole country.  When Joshua was old, God told him, ‘You are very old, and there are still very large areas of land to be taken over.’  9  When the Bible mentions subduing the whole region, it must have been local areas. The people fled, and later returned to be a thorn in the flesh for the Israelites. The Israelites mainly failed with the ‘mopping up’ initiatives. 10

Conclusion

The two reasons above explain why the descendants of the people in Canaan were still alive in the time of Ezra in 458 BC (900 years after the conquest). Careful analysis of the Bible, and comparison to what happens in times of war, reveals that the Bible is logical. Many enemies of God do not critically read the Bible, and only concentrate on the sensational, using one sided information.

References

  1. Numbers 22:4
  2. Judges 6:21; 8:26; 10:20,28;32,35,39-40
  3. Joshua 11:103, 12, 16; 12:10
  4. Judges 1:21
  5. 2 Samuel 5:6-7
  6. Joshua 15:21-63
  7. Joshua 10:28-40
  8. Joshua 10:40
  9. Joshua 13:1
  10. Judges 1:1-36

Why atheists have a problem

In the previous blog we saw that Rahab and the Gibeonites joined Enemies destroyedIsrael, because they had faith in the God of the Israelites (Rahab and Gibeonites) What is the difference between them and the Amalekites, Canaanites and Midianites whom God commanded the Israelites to annihilate?

The only difference is their attitude towards God and Israel. God’s enemies wanted to destroy His nation, the Israelites. In Psalm 83:1-4 we read, ‘O God, do not be silent; be not quiet, O God, be not still. See how your enemies are astir, how your foes rear their heads. With cunning they conspire against your people; they plot against those you cherish. Come, they say, let us destroy them as a nation, that the name of Israel be remembered no more.

They wanted to get rid of Israel (it sounds quite modern, like Hitler). Did they think getting rid of the Israelites meant getting rid of God (God created the Israelite nation)? The only difference between the ‘saved’ and the ‘lost’ is that one group have faith in God and the other group wants to ‘annihilate’ Him.

The three groups planned their campaigns against the Israelites deliberately.

  • The Amalekites waylaid the Israelites as they came out of Egypt.1
  • The Canaanites wanted to attack and destroy the Gibeonites because they made a treaty with the Israelites. The Gibeonites asked the Israelites for help. Subsequently the attackers were vanquished. In the same way, the kings of Northern Canaan rallied together for a combined attack against the Israelites, but they were also routed. 2
  • The Midianites conspired with the Moabites to have Israel cursed.  Balaam gave them the advice to use women to entice the Israelites to idolatry, to worship their idols. 3  Balaam knew that would make God angry: the plague among the Israelites killed 24,000. 4

So the enemies of God have one thing in common, they hate God, ‘With one mind they [the Amalekites, some of the Midianite kings, Sisera, Jabin, the Canaanites, et cetera] plot together; they form an alliance against you.’ 5

Conclusion

Rahab and the Gibeonites acknowledged that God is all-powerful and they planned not to be destroyed. The others just plainly hated God. God acted to vindicate His honour, ‘Let them know that you, whose name is the Lord – that you alone are the Most High over all the earth.’ 6 The message remains the same today, ‘He [Jesus] will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.’ 7

The sad thing is that it applies to all haters of God, which includes atheists. One can only pray that they will reconsider.

References

  1. 1 Samuel 15:2
  2. Joshua 11:1-20
  3. Numbers 31:16; Revelation 2:14
  4. Numbers 25:7-9
  5. Psaml 83:5
  6. Psalm 83:18
  7. 2 Thessalonians 1:8