A recent news article was published in Great Britain under the title “Bronze Age DNA disproves the Bible’s claim that the Canaanites were wiped out”. The story went on to explain that scientists discovered and tested ancient remains in modern day Lebanon. They compared DNA from five of those remains to a group of modern day people in Lebanon. They discovered that modern Lebanese share over 90 percent of their DNA with the ancient inhabitants of the area. The scientists concluded that present day Lebanese are descendants of ancient Canaanites. The article goes on to say “contrary to a Biblical account the Canaanites were not wiped out.” Does this DNA evidence prove the Bible to be in error?
The Bible never claims the Israelites wiped out all the Canaanites. God commanded the Israelites to destroy several specific tribes living in the promised land. These included Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, Hittites, Jebusites and Canaanites. (Deuteronomy 20:17) However, Scripture does not say the Israelites obeyed God’s command. Joshua 12 lists the names of kings of the Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, Jebusites and Canaanites that were conquered under Joshua. Joshua led the nation to conquer significant portions of the promised land, but they did not conquer all the land or destroy all its inhabitants. Joshua 13 lists the territories still to be conquered, territories which included significant Canaanite holdings.
The Bible says that after the death of of Joshua the Israelites disobeyed God and did not destroy the people of the land. Judges 1 describes additional Jewish conquests over the Canaanites and Perizzites, but the Jews did not destroy all the Canaanites. They conquered many Canaanite cities, but not all of them. Judges 2:2 says they disobeyed God by making covenants and treaties with the people. Because of the Israelites disobedience God told them “I also will not henceforth drive out from before them any of the nations which Joshua left when he died.” God’s Word says the Israelites did not destroy the Canaanites.
Whatever else the DNA comparison in Lebanon may show, it does not disprove the Bible. In fact, it gives further evidence to the accuracy of the Biblical records. The claim to the contrary is just another in a long line of failed attempts to discredit the reliability of the BIble. No archaeological evidence has been discovered which contradicts Scripture. Archaeological evidence overwhelmingly supports the historical and geographical references in the Bible.