Iain Provan assesses the logic behind Israel’s conquest of Canaan.
In terms of their view of the conquest – which is the fundamental question here, because I think this is where the problem arises, there’s a bit of a misrepresentation of what the biblical authors themselves are saying about this – in terms of the conquest of Canaan it is made very, very clear that this is not about the Israelites simply desiring somebody else’s land and ethnically cleansing the people groups there. That in fact, this is about the justice of God coming on a corrupt culture, a culture that has been corrupt for a very long time, hundreds of years, in fact. So from their point of view, this is about God’s universal justice-bringing. It’s not about the gods supporting a particular king and wiping out another people group.