Canaanite Destruction Not Genocide but Capital Punishment

by Clay Jones

God Ordered the Canaanite Destruction Because of Their Sins

In my introductory post I wrote that what God ordered Israel to do to the Canaanites wasn’t genocide but capital punishment. I say this was capital punishment for four reasons. First, the Lord clearly explains that He ordered the Canaanite destruction because of their sinfulness. In Leviticus chapter 18:6-23 the Lord says that the Canaanites—who lived within the territory that God had given Israel—were guilty of incest, adultery, burning their children in the arms of a bull-headed idol named Molech, homosexuality, and bestiality. The Lord then warned in Leviticus 18:24-26, 28:

Do not make yourselves unclean by any of these things, for by all these the nations I am driving out before you have become unclean, and the land became unclean, so that I punished its iniquity, and the land vomited out its inhabitants. But you shall keep my statutes and my rules and do none of these abominations… lest the land vomit you out when you make it unclean, as it vomited out the nation that was before you. That’s pretty clear, right?

Israel was a theocracy and in Leviticus 20 the Lord is unambiguous that the above sins were death penalty offenses. (To be clear: I do not think that that any of these sins—except for murdering children—should be capitally punished today.) The Old Testament tells us these things were rampant in Canaanite society and we also know these things were rampant from the Canaanites’ own documents. I’ll give just one example here, from “The Baal Cycle” we learn: “Mightiest Baal hears / He makes love with a heifer in the outback / A cow in the field of Death’s Realm. / He lies with her seventy times seven / Mounts eighty times eight / [She conceiv]es and bears a boy.”1 Well, if that’s how their god behaved, you can bet the Canaanites were aping that god whenever they got the chance. You can find more documentation of their sins in my 9,000 word article in Philosophia Christi (Warning: the article contains graphic accounts of sexual depravity and violence to children). Simply put, the Lord had concluded that these people deserved to die. Now, of course, today’s enlightened/benighted that don’t think that any of those things are even wrong, much less worthy of death, will consider this ridiculous. For crying out loud, most of the West has abolished the death penalty even for those who rape, torture, and then murder their victim after meticulous planning. They will never be convinced that God could be fair for taking the lives of those who do those things…


Canaanite Destruction Not Genocide but Capital Punishment | Clay Jones