Canaanites still alive?

Recently, some geneticists found out that the ancient Canaanite’s are still around. Some people around Lebanon have retained over 90% of their ancient Canaanite DNA. How did they (the geneticists) figure this out? Quite simple, really, they found some DNA belonging to some dead ancient Canaanite’s about 3,700 years old, deciphered the DNA, and compared it to DNA patterns in the modern Middle East and found a match!

The Canaanite’s aren’t what they used to be, but they’re still around. But doesn’t the Bible say they were to be wiped out thousands of years ago?

Deuteronomy 20:16-18: However, you must not let any living thing survive among the cities of these people the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance. You must completely destroy them—the Hethite, Amorite, Canaanite, Perizzite, Hivite, and Jebusite—as the Lord your God has commanded you,so that they won’t teach you to do all the detestable acts they do for their gods, and you sin against the Lord your God.

These verses caused a lot of media outlets to declare that the Bible had been wrong about the Canaanite’s, with one outlet (sciencemag, unfortunately one that usually publishes good media coverage of science) going so far as to title its report something as odious as “Ancient DNA counters biblical account of the mysterious Canaanites”. So, has the biblical account been “countered”? As already proven, hardly.

Let’s take a look at the passage above. First of all, we need to start with the fact that the Bible never, at any one point, declares that the Canaanite’s had in fact been ever wiped out — in fact, later biblical books after Deuteronomy continue to mention the Canaanite’s. This account says that the Canaanite’s will be wiped out, as the Israelite’s continue taking the promised land. However, we know that the Israelite’s never took the entire promised land (or even close) because they continued to break their covenant with God and disobey His commandments — hence, His promise to the Israelite’s to grant them the entire promised land, contingent on them following His laws, never went through. Thus, the ancient peoples inhabiting the promised land were also allowed to remain in it because of the sin of Israel. That is the biblical account in its full context, and now that we know exactly what the biblical account says, the latest skeptical assault on the authority of the Bible has been countered, one might say.

Update: The ScienceMag article realized its mistake when trying to discredit the veracity of the biblical account, and so it recently changed the title of its page from Ancient DNA counters biblical account of the mysterious Canaanites to Ancient DNA reveals fate of the mysterious Canaanites


47 thoughts on “Canaanites still alive?

  1. I commonly shake my head when I hear about the “contradictions” about the conquest story of Joshua and Judges. A careful reading of the text takes care of most of those “glaring issues.”


    • @deeplygrateful

      The account of the invasion and conquest of Canaan as told in the Book of Joshua is geopolitical fiction.
      It did not happen and the archaeological evidence flatly refutes it.
      it is considered part of Jewish Foundation myth.

      The methodology applied by the authors is historical criticism with an emphasis on archaeology. Writing in the website of “The Bible and Interpretation”, the authors describe their approach as one “in which the Bible is one of the most important artifacts and cultural achievements [but] not the unquestioned narrative framework into which every archaeological find must be fit.” Their main contention is that:[1]

      “ …an archaeological analysis of the patriarchal, conquest, judges, and United Monarchy narratives [shows] that while there is no compelling archaeological evidence for any of them, there is clear archaeological evidence that places the stories themselves in a late 7th-century BCE context. ”
      On the basis of this evidence they propose

      “ … an archaeological reconstruction of the distinct histories of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, highlighting the largely neglected history of the Omride Dynasty and attempting to show how the influence of Assyrian imperialism in the region set in motion a chain of events that would eventually make the poorer, more remote, and more religiously conservative kingdom of Judah the belated center of the cultic and national hopes of all Israel. ”

      As noted by a reviewer on[2] the approach and conclusions of The Bible Unearthed are not particularly new. Ze’ev Herzog, professor of archaeology at Tel Aviv University, wrote a cover story for Haaretz in 1999 in which he reached similar conclusions following the same methodology; Herzog noted also that some of these findings have been accepted by the majority of biblical scholars and archaeologists for years and even decades, even though they have only recently begun to make a dent in the awareness of the general public.[2]


      • The Bible Unearthed is an outdated book in the field of archaeology. And, indeed, it looks like you ignored your own Wikipedia citation to Finkelstein’s outdated book which noted some of the following reviews;

        Kenneth Kitchen was critical, writing that “[A] careful critical perusal of this work—which certainly has much to say about both archaeology and the biblical writings—reveals that we are dealing very largely with a work of imaginative fiction, not a serious or reliable account of the subject”, and “Their treatment of the exodus is among the most factually ignorant and misleading that this writer has ever read.”[73] Richard Hess, also being critical, wrote that “The authors always present their interpretation of the archaeological data but do not mention or interact with contemporary alternative approaches. Thus the book is ideologically driven and controlled.”[74]


      • Debunked? Please provide the names of the archaeologists and list some of the archaeological evidence that refutes the claims of Finkelstein and Heerzog


      • Finkelstein himself has, to a degree, abandoned his own position in the book by moving his low chronology back by over a century.

        Finkelstein contends that during the reign of David and Solomon (11-10th centuries BC), there was no centralized administration in Judah. However, excavations at Khirbet Qeiyafa, lead by Yosef Garfinkel from the Hebrew University and Saar Ganor from the Israel Antiquities Authority have debunked this. More recent excavations in the Timna Valley and various other locations are taking apart this notion. I have written about this a while back on this debunking from recent excavations (excavations started in Qeiyafa in 2008, and in Timna Valley 2013):


      • We are talking about Moses, the Exodus and the geopolitical ficion f the Canaanite conquest by Joshua.
        Please provide the archaeological evidence that refutes this and the archaeologists. Thanks.
        I won’t bother asking again …


      • This was answered in my previous post and I gave you one of my earlier writings filled with the sources you’re looking for. If you simply pretend away the sources again, your comments will be deleted.



      • Do not read your comments ? I wrote a comment to deeplygrateful stating that Joshua’s invasion and conquest is regarded as geopolitical fiction. a Jewish foundation myth and included the wiki reference to Finkelstein and the Settlement Pattern.

        Your post concerns the biblical conquest story, thus it must relate to Exodus.
        Neither of these events are regarded as historical and the archaeological evidence demonstrates this.
        The archaeological consensus backs this position.

        Are you on the right page now?


      • “I wrote a comment to deeplygrateful stating that Joshua’s invasion and conquest is regarded as geopolitical fiction.”

        Not all archaeologists agree. I have already noted how Finkelstein’s book has been discredited. As I’ve noted before, the majority of egyptologists accept the exodus.


      • Which archaeologists (plural) … not Egyptologists.
        Please list them and list the evidence that refutes Finkelstein’s book and the archaeological consensus regarding the geopolitical fiction of the Exodus and Conquest


      • “Which archaeologists (plural) … not Egyptologists.”

        -Yosef Garfinkel
        -William Dever (someone you like quoting, eh?)
        -Amihai Mazar

        Need more? Even Finkelstein has backtracked on his own book to some degree, funny enough.


      • Dever does not believe in the Exodus as described in the bible nor the conquest.

        17:31 to 18:42

        Dever says:
        ”To make a long story short, today, not a single mainstream biblical scholar or archaeologist any longer upholds biblical archaeology’s conquest model. Not one. ”


      • “Dever does not believe in the Exodus as described in the bible nor the conquest.”

        I cited Dever as removing Finkelstein’s book from the realm of reality. This is an evidently troll response trying to shift the discussion.

        As for Dever’s quote, that’s obvious horsecrap. Richard Hess, Kenneth Kitchen, James Hoffmeier, K. Lawson Younger Jr, Joshua Berman, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc. Dever has a history of exaggerating his own anti-biblical perspective to levels beyond validity, but his perspective is not as deep and wild as Finkelstein’s, at the very least.


      • ”Not a single mainstream biblical scholar or archaeologist … ”
        Kitchen is an Eygptologist and a Fundamentalist Christian and biblical innerantist. Scratch.
        Hoffmeier too. Scratch

        Please provide details of the other two that specifically state they believe that the Exodus and Conquest as described in the bible are actual historical events. Thanks


      • “Kitchen is an Eygptologist and a Fundamentalist Christian and biblical innerantist. Scratch.
        Hoffmeier too. Scratch”

        Hoffmeier is…

        -A world leading egyptologist and archaeologist
        -A world leading biblical scholar

        Kitchen is also, perhaps the worlds leading egyptologist. There might be another egyptologist alive today on a higher level than Kitchen but I haven’t heard of him. The other two I noted, K. Lawson Younger Jr and Joshua Berman, among many others, are mainstream scholars, either archaeologists or biblical scholars. There are many others; Richard Hess… And Manfred Bietak! I just remembered Bietak, another world leading egyptologist and archaeologist (in fact the guy who discovered Avaris, the capital of the Hyksos) who has argued for the exodus and conquest.

        This is a pretty good article explaining who Bietak is:

        Thus your imagination is torn to smithereens. The unfortunate thing about atheists is that they are so gullible as to think that their very own ideologies are unchallenged by the academia. This gullibility is reinforced by the fact that they read thousands of articles of atheistic blogs constantly repeating this over and over into their heads — it’s an indoctrination cycle. Thus, the atheist is most shattered when he realizes that his ideologies not only don’t represent an extreme consensus in the academy, it’s not even close — most of the time they’re in the minority! OL


      • Hey, Danny, how’re doing?

        Ze’ev Herzog piece has been featured in a number of publications. It was simply included in the Wiki piece, the quickest and easiest site to access.
        As you seem to dispute the archaeological consensus and can you please cite your archaeological authority for doing so and the names of some of the archaeologists that support the invasion and conquest of Cannaan as described in the bible?

        Which would, one would assume obviously include the Exodus.


  2. from the sciencemag article:

    the Archaeological data suggests that Canaanite cities were never destroyed or abandoned.

    So, where in the article does it say ”Ancient DNA counters biblical account of the mysterious Canaanites” ?
    I could not find it

    Also …where does it state anywhere in either article that ”the biblical account been “countered”?


  3. There was a woman who asked Jesus to heal her daughter. Jesus said that one should not take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs. She replied that the dogs still get the crumbs that fall from the table. Jesus praised her faith and healed her daughter.
    She was a Canaanite (Matthew 15:22). J.

    Liked by 2 people

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