The Seven Enemies of Israel in the Promised Land (and one in Connecticut)

The holy Bible is not only an encyclopedia of religious laws and testaments, but even more, it relates the entire history of the Jewish people from the creation of the world to the Roman exile and destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 of the common era.

The Book of Deuteronomy, a summation of the laws of Moses, gives us specific commands on what we are to do with the seven pagan nations surrounding us. Chapter 7 verses 1-3 state it in no uncertain terms.

“When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations – the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—seven nations larger and stronger than you- and when the Lord your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them and show them no mercy….”

Deuteronomy 20 verses 16-17 repeat the command in similar words. “In the cities of these people that the Lord your God gives you for an inheritance, you shall save alive nothing that breathes, but you shall utterly destroy them, the Hittites and the Amorites, the Girgashites and the Canaanites and the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites as the Lord your God has commanded you”.

A minister of the Christian Bible Fellowship Union has written in “The Sort of Enemies That Were There in Canaan” :  “And they are very similar to the enemies of spiritual Israel which she faces too”.

It remained for Joshua, following the death of Moses, to carry out these commands. In a later time, in the period of Israel’s kingdom, the judge Samuel gave explicit orders to King Saul to go to battle against the Amalekites and to destroy every one of them, leaving none alive.

Saul went out to the battle and killed all the Amalekites except for one.. their king, Agag, whom he brought back as a captive in chains to humiliate him before the victorious Israelites. When Samuel saw what Saul had done, that he had disobeyed the command to strike dead every Amalekite with the sword, he removed from Saul the crown of kingship and placed it upon the anointed head of David, son of Jesse.

Many rabbis attempted to interpret the command to kill the seven nations, enemies of Israel. As one noted rabbi wrote “these sentiments were the accepted view of the common practices of the time”.

Three thousand years have passed and we are still surrounded on all sides by enemies who seek our destruction.

The president of the Palestinian Authority, Abu Maazen (Abbas), once made the ridiculous claim that the Palestinians are the descendants of the earlier pre-Arab civilizations in Canaan. Nothing, from history’s viewpoint, could be more absurd. Today’s Palestinians originated in Syria and in the deserts of Arabia. They have no historical bond to the land promised by God to the children of Israel.

Even in the Muslim Quran, Mohammed declared that God gave Israel to the Jews.

Revisionists and anti-Semitic historians attempt to dismiss the Jewish claims to our God-given homeland but the holy Bible disputes their prejudiced thoughts and is the sole messenger of the truth from on High.

Unlike our early ancestors who were commanded not to make treaties with the enemy, present day Israel signed two peace treaties with neighboring Egypt and Jordan. The only virtue of those treaties is that we do not engage in war with one another. It is a cold peace. Israeli Jews visit in Egypt and in Jordan regularly to admire the wonders of the pyramids and the red city of Petra. But there are no tourists coming to us from either of those countries.

It has never been Israel’s position to mass slaughter our enemies. We would rather see them moving of their own free will to other countries where they would be more comfortable and secure among their own people. Same language. Same culture. Same religion. Same culinary traditions.

Perhaps God, in His great mercy, will deliver the Palestinians out of Israel just as he delivered Israel out of Egypt centuries ago.

What the Palestinians need most is a Moses.

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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