The Hebrew Bible introduces a tribal deity fighting Canaanite deities for land supremacy, instructing God’s people to do likewise.
God’s chosen, liberated from Egypt’s bondage, are led to a Promised Land, which inconveniently, is already occupied. The solution? Portray them as evildoers existing outside God’s salvation. Not being chosen provides spiritual justification for their extermination.
Joshua instructs the people of the true God to invade their land and “enforced the ban on everything in [Jericho]: men and women; young and old; ox, sheep, and donkey, massacring all of them” (6:21). This savage, genocidal act is sanctified because violence is conducted in Yahweh’s name, in accordance with God’s will.
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