are the Biblical quotes or teachings presented as is without
In Deuteronomy it is promised to people of Israel a new land after the escape from Egypt. Yahweh enunciates also the rules to which Israel will have to be concerned during the conquest of Canaan: extermination, destructions, reduction in slavery, tributes awaiting for the vanquished.
fruit trees will be save 20:19 "When
you shall besiege a city a long time, in making war against it to take
it, you shall not destroy the trees of it by wielding an axe against
them; for you may eat of them, and you shall not cut them down; for
is the tree of the field man, that it should be besieged of you?" (Deuteronomy
The extermination order
7:1When Yahweh your God shall bring you into the land where you go to possess it, and shall cast out many nations before you, the Hittite, and the Girgashite, and the Amorite, and the Canaanite, and the Perizzite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite, seven nations greater and mightier than you; 7:2and when Yahweh your God shall deliver them up before you, and you shall strike them; then you shall utterly destroy them: you shall make no covenant with them, nor show mercy to them;
No mixed weddings with the Canaanites
7:3neither shall you make marriages with them; your daughter you shall not give to his son, nor his daughter shall you take to your son.
Destroy the religious culture of Canaan people
7:5But thus shall you deal with them: you shall break down their altars, and dash in pieces their pillars, and hew down their Asherim, and burn their engraved images with fire.
No pity for the Canaanites
7:16You shall consume all the peoples who Yahweh your God shall deliver to you; your eye shall not pity them...
Destruction of every sacred object or place of Canaan people
12:2You shall surely destroy all the places in which the nations that you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains, and on the hills, and under every green tree: 12:3and you shall break down their altars, and dash in pieces their pillars, and burn their Asherim with fire; and you shall cut down the engraved images of their gods; and you shall destroy their name out of that place.
The city surrenders: Payment of tributes
20:10When you draw near to a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace to it. 20:11It shall be, if it make you answer of peace, and open to you, then it shall be, that all the people who are found therein shall become tributary to you, and shall serve you.
The city resists: Extermination of males and booty (women, children and cattle)
20:12If it will make no peace with you, but will make war against you, then you shall besiege it: 20:13and when Yahweh your God delivers it into your hand, you shall strike every male of it with the edge of the sword: 20:14but the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil of it, shall you take for a prey to yourself; and you shall eat the spoil of your enemies, which Yahweh your God has given you.
For the people of Canaan: complete extermination
20:15Thus shall you do to all the cities which are very far off from you, which are not of the cities of these nations. 20:16But of the cities of these peoples, that Yahweh your God gives you for an inheritance, you shall save alive nothing that breathes; 20:17but you shall utterly destroy them: the Hittite, and the Amorite, the Canaanite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite; as Yahweh your God has commanded you...
justification or the "dispensation" and push to exterminate Canaanites
may have manifested itself in the ridiculous theological thought
created the Israelites only in his own image not all humankind. The
subject is briefly discussed
here by John
to the distinction made in the Talmud between adam and other
terms for humans, the original conceptualization appears to have
been that the god
of the Israelites created them in his own image. This explains
how it could be the case that their god created man (adam)
in his own image while other people (non-adam) were simultaneously
alive east of Eden in the land of Nod -- where Cain went after
killing Abel, found a wife, and founded a city (Genesis 4:16-24).
The word adam is
not used for man when referring to persons in Nod (Genesis
In fact, the most frequently used biblical Hebrew
words for man/men are 'iysh and 'enowsh, occurring
428 times in the Torah. All occurrences of man being created
in the image of god occur as adam, but people who were conquered
by the Israelites are not referred to as adam, with the exception
of two passages which also involve cattle. These exceptions are rhetorically
questioned in the Talmud, where the Sages explain that "This
is used in opposition to cattle," by which they meant, "In
contrast to cattle, idolaters also may be described as adam (men)" (parentheses
in original, Kerithoth 6b, Yebamoth 61a).
A strained and self-serving defense of these passages
is presented by the 20th-century editors/translators of the Soncino
Press edition of the Talmud, asserting that the restricted use of adam only
applies within the context of ritual defilement, and that distinguishing "gentiles," "heathens" and "idolaters" as
not in the category of adam, "loses all harshness when
it is remembered that it is simply a Talmudic idiom denoting 'inhuman,'
and that its author was Rabbi Simeon, who had been so bitterly persecuted
by the Romans" (Baba Mezia 114b, p. 651, n. 7).
There are a number
of difficulties with this explanation. Among them is the fact that
Rabbi Simeon, son of Yohai, was among
the most authoritative, most cited (over 700 times just within the
Talmud), and most respected Sages of Judaism; rabbis at large accepted
and promulgated his view on this point; non-Jews are referred to
as not fully human in contexts other than ritual defilement; and
designating one's victims as "inhuman" is not "simply
an idiom" -- on the contrary, such designation has been a critically
important propaganda accomplishment for most of the world's most
immoral military enterprises and by in-groups of all stripes. Aldous
Huxley said it succinctly on the eve of World War II (1937, p. 101): "The
propagandist's purpose is to make one set of people forget that the
other set is human. By robbing them of their personality, he puts
them outside the pale of moral obligation."
not mean to say that Jews of the present day and age entertain
teachings, especially since they are among peoples of the world who
were most persecuted and dehumanized in the 20th century.
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