Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Short quote: genocidal

Wherein couldn't You choose someone else for awhile

From God: A Biography, by Jack Miles:
The terms of the engagement ahead in Canaan will be quite like those just seen in Egypt. The Israelites, in their divinely fostered fertility, will outbreed the Canaanites and so overwhelm them as they did the Egyptians. God will afflict the Canaanites with pestilence and terror as he did the Egyptians. The difference, a large difference, is that the physical separation between those inside and those outside the covenant -- a distinction that, in Egypt, was imposed by the departure of the Israelites -- will come about in Canaan by the expulsion of the Canaanites. As he announces his plans for the ethnic cleansing of Canaan, the Lord does not, to repeat, seem angry with the Canaanites, but the efect is genocidal, all the same, and there is no escaping it. Unlike the Egyptians, who provoked the Lord by enslaving the Israelites and sentencing all newborn Israelite males to deathm the Canaanites' only offense is that they worship their own gods and live on land for which the Lord has other plans. No matter: They are doomed. They will not be offered the option of covnerting to the worship of the Lord, much less of coexisting with Israel and maintaining their own ways: "You shall make no covenant with them and their gods."

If this is a clear step beyond the level of violence the Lord was willing to inflict on Egypt, it is a universe away from the attitude he had toward the nations among whom the patriarchs lived."


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