When most of us hear the word “jihad” or “holy war”, we immediately know that a jihad is not what God wants. Most of us feel the same when we hear the word “crusade.” Really, does anyone think God wants people to fight in his name?
In the book of Joshua, Joshua claims to be commanded by God to destroy everyone and everything in what is now the land of Israel.
“And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword. Joshua 6:21
“So Joshua smote all the country of the hills, and of the south, and of the vale, and of the springs, and all their kings: he left none remaining, but utterly destroyed all that breathed, as the LORD God of Israel commanded. And Joshua smote them from Kadesh-barnea even unto Gaza, and all the country of Goshen, even unto Gibeon.” Joshua 10:40-41
In an interesting twist, the prophet Jonah wanted God to destroy the city of Nineveh, yet God felt those people were to be spared. Were the Ninevites really more righteous than the Jericho-ites? Does God command genocide, yesterday, today, or in the future?
My take is that Joshua is a prophet. He felt he was inspired. However, I do not feel that God wanted all the inhabitants killed. I do not think God ever commands genocide, and I feel that this action was wrong by Joshua. Comments?