School of Religion
Religion: Pastoral Ministries
Primary Subject Area
Religion, Biblical Studies
Genocide, Old Testament, War, Canaan, Canaanites
Biblical Studies | Christianity | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion
Smart, John, "Genocide in the Old Testament?" (2013). Senior Honors Theses. 368.
This study examines the warfare commanded by God during the invasion of Canaan by Joshua. These battles were examples of ḥerem warfare in which Yahweh Himself initiated and waged war against the Canaanites. Through historical and Biblical study it becomes clear that the Canaanites were an extraordinarily wicked people and God exercised great patience in dealing with them before their final destruction. Furthermore, the invasion of Canaan was instrumental in God’s larger salvation history. Sadly, pain and death are the direct ramifications of man’s sinful rebellion against God. The themes of war and condemnation are in theological continuity with the rest of the Bible, especially the return of Christ and final judgment.