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Sorry, Blackspeare

Reader comment on item: White House Nonchalance [toward the Middle East]
in response to reader comment: Let's Have Some Realism Here!

Submitted by Pat (United States), Mar 26, 2006 at 21:35

My words were a bit strident. I came on too strong.

However, I would make just two points and then stop.

1.Egyptians conquered all of Canaan by 1850 b.c. It was controlled by the pharoahs. Located on major trade routes, Canaan was coveted by many powers and many kings in the ancient world. It was prime real estate. The Canaanites weren't suddenly attacked by the Jews.

2. The Jews didn't exactly engage in bloody conquest, killing the Canaanites and taking their land. Rather there is evidence that the bloody battles described in Joshua were overstated and theirs was a gradual assimilation. Far from converting the Canaanites, the Jews adopted many of their gods. They worshipped the Baals, gods of the local people. They didn't look to wipe out other cultures. There were conversions, but they also lived in peace with many of the local tribes. Far from wiping out the local culture, the assimilation went both ways. Given the subsequent conquests by the Philistines and the Babylonians, I wouldn't blame the Jews alone for the fate of the Canaanites.

Also, the Jews didn't set out to convert all peoples to their faith at the point of submission. They thought Yahweh was THEIR god, not a universal god. I put it clumsily in my first response and it came out wrong. Sorry.
Submitting....

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