John Berea has an article about it on his web site.
Here’s his overview:
In the Old Testament are the military campaigns of Israel inconsistent with being led by a just and loving God, and inconsistent with his own commands? Here, I would like to make the case for consistency and justness.
1. The nations of Canaan were evil, harming others, and needed to be stopped. They had carried out incest with children/grandchildren and performed child sacrifice by fire. (Lev 18:6-30, Deut 12:31, Deut 18:9-10, Psalm 106:35, 37-38) They launched unprovoked attacks on Israel (Ex 17:8-9, Num 21:1, Num 21:2-23, 33) and even guerrilla attacks against Israel’s “stragglers in the rear of the march when you were exhausted and tired.” (Deut 25:18)
2. Warfare language was likely rhetorical. There are five reasons to support the rhetorical nature of language such as “completely destroy” (Hebrew תחרימו, literally “ban”) in Deut 20:17. It likely meant a destruction…
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