Genocide and the 6th Commandment

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Genocide and the 6th Commandment

Postby Guest » Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:21 am

Good day

Please assist me in interpreting the 6th Commandment thou shall not Kill/ Murder. The question is why did God issue contrary instruction to Israelites to kill other nations on their way to the land of Canaan?

Re: Genocide and the 6th Commandment

Postby admin » Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:26 am

First of all, God did not command the Israelites to kill other nations on their way to the land of Canaan, but only those nations that engaged them in war during their time in the desert after the Exodus (e.g., the Amalkites attacked Israel during this time). Secondly, the Torah of Moses as not yet given at the time, so technically speaking God had not given them the 6th commandment at this time, either. The Sinai revelation occured later. Regardless, the Sixth Commandment itself concerns premeditated murder, not killing per se, and God's judgment on the seven Canaanite nations should therefore not to be regarded as "murder" (which connotes malice and sin, after all) but rather retributive justice, or capital punishment, which harkens back to the days after the flood, when the descendants of Shem were designated as the firstborn line of Noah but the descendants of Cham (i.e., Canaan) were subject to a curse because of the desecration of their forebear. It is noteworthy that the LORD God gave the "Amorites" and the other Canaanite nations that were squatting on the land no less than 400 years to turn to Him in repentance, but they refused, and when their "inquity had been filled," the Israelites, who were returning to the promised land from their oppression in Egypt after the great Exodus, were then poised to engage them in warfare... Shalom.
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