There was a furniture store prone to, as most are, after every few years post a big sign with giant letters that read, “Going Out Of Business, Everything Must Go!” (then a few months later start up again). As time went on, two more furniture stores opened up on each side of the one already there. And sure enough, six months later, both of them posted their own big sign with giant letters, “Going Out Of Business, Everything Must Go!” This began to cause the original store to lose business. So they posted a big sign with giant letters that read as follows: “Don’t Be Fooled By Our Competition, We’ve Been Going Out Of Business Around Here A Lot Longer Than Anyone Else!”
This week, after some 3,500 years, the Israelites and the Canaanites are back in the news. And not in some old, dry archaeological newsletter, but in every major newspaper in the world. Here’s what happened:
Archaeologists have been digging in the ancient Canaanite cities of Tyre/Sidon (located in Lebanon). They found about 160 burial jars (bones placed in) dated around 3,500 b.c. So they called in a team of international geneticists to do DNA testing on the present-day inhabitants of Tyre/Sidon and DNA testing on the old bones in the jars to see if there was any connection between the two (i.e. do Canaanites still exist today). The results showed that indeed they do with a 93% gene match. Thus the Lebanese of 2017 a.d. are actually the Canaanites of 3500 b.c.
But it was when the head of the international team of geneticists, Dr. Tyler Smith of the Sanger Trust Institute, published the findings in The American Journal of Human Genetics, that the main stream media picked up the story.
Now I am going to do something that I have never done before in a Pastor’s Page. Rather than me responding to all of this, I am going to let a die-hard evolutionist pick up the story from here:
For Culturally Illiterate Reporters, Canaanite
DNA Yields Occasion To Slap Bible Around
Obviously, we at Evolution News are no friends of biblical creationists and we are not here to do any exegesis of the scripture. However, when headlines tendentiously (intending to promote a particular cause or point of view) try to manipulate readers in order to slam the Bible, well, that’s just not right.
The story itself is fascinating and to all appearances solid. Human remains dating back some 3,500 years ago from ancient Canaanites yielded DNA revealing a startling overlap with modern-day Lebanese. The latter thus appear to be descendants of the long-ago population. Wow, that’s interesting. How will the media spin it? The headlines tell the tale:
●The Bible Got It Wrong: Ancient Canaanites Survived And Their DNA Lives In Modern-Day Lebanese
● DNA Vs. The Bible: Israelites Did Not Wipe Out The Canaanites
● Study Disproves The Bible’s Claim That The Ancient Canaanites Were Totally Destroyed
● Bible Says Canaanites Were Wiped Out By Israelites But Scientists Just Found Their Descendants Living In Lebanon
● The Bible Is Wrong: The Civilization God Ordered To Be Killed Is Alive And Kicking
The problem with this reporting? The Bible is detailed and unambiguous (not open to more than one interpretation) in relating that the Canaanites survived Joshua’s invasion. So it’s no wonder they have living descendants. Now I’m not here to pass judgment on ancient Canaanites or ancient Israelites, on the Bible, on Joshua, or on anyone else. But come on, reporters, where’s your elementary cultural literacy, of which knowing a thing or two about the Bible is a key element. The first chapter in Judges lists all the places in Israel where the Canaanites persisted, “to this day” and included in that list is Tyre and Sidon, the very places where the bones in the jars were found. And the New Testament couldn’t be clearer about the Canaanites survival and location as recorded in Matthew 15:21.22 – “Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy…”
So the world’s headlines should not have been, Ancient DNA Counters Biblical Account Of The Canaanites, but rather just the opposite, Ancient DNA Confirms Biblical Account Of The Canaanites.
It was in the spring of 2015 that I did an adult Bible class series on the topic, Show Them No Mercy! Did God Command Genocide? based upon the order given in Deuteronomy 20:16-18. We noted six things:
#1 The “Holy” Land (Deuteronomy 9:4-5) – Israel Was The Means Of, But The Canaanites Were The Cause Of Losing The Land
#2 God’s Welcome Wagon (Joshua 6:21-25) – Every Canaanite Was “Holy” Welcome To Stay, Live And Prosper In The Promised Land
#3 Counting Canaanites (Deuteronomy 4:37-38) – Before Israel Ever Arrived In The Promised Land, Most Of The Canaanites Had Already Left
#4 War Stories (Judges 1:1) – Joshua Disabled The Canaanites, But Joshua Did Not Destroy The Canaanites
#5 Different Strokes For Different Folks (Deuteronomy 20:16-17) – What Happened In Canaan Was To Stay In Canaan (Not Pursued After Once Left)
#6 – All In The Family (Joshua 6:21-23) – In The Middle East, You Lived As A Family And You Died As A Family (Saving Or Killing Of Women/Children)
God’s instruction to Israel regarding the Canaanites falls into two word categories: disposition and destruction. Disposition includes such phrases as (drive out, thrust out, etc.). Destruction includes such phrases as (to destroy, make perish, etc.). The combined total of the two equals forty-four times used; but with the dispossessing words (33) outnumbering the destroying words (11) by a ratio of three to one.