Genesis 15:12-21

I was receiently in a Bible class, studying the book of Joshua where the question came up: "What gave the Israelites the right to invade Canaan?" This discussion went on to a moral discussion about the complete genocide of the Canaanites.

Below I have some verses from Genesis 15;12-17 & 18-21 that show that God gave this land "Canaan" to Abram before he had any children. It also describes that Abram's children will go into captivity for 400 years if a land that is not theirs. It also shows that "The Amorites" Canaanites will also be judged when their iniquity is full (at present their iniquity is not yet full.)

After the Exodus (out of Egypt) and after the death of Moses and his generation of unfaithful Isralites (end of Deuteronomy), Joshua takes the Israli armie into Canaan. The first city to fall is Jerico. It is utterly destroyed. Men, woman and children, animals, food.... everything. The only things that Joshua is allowed to take is the metal objects:

  • Joshua 6:19
    19 But all the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are consecrated unto the LORD: they shall come into the treasury of the LORD.
  • Joshua 6:24
    24 And they burnt the city with fire, and all that was therein: only the silver, and the gold, and the vessels of brass and of iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the LORD.

One reason for the complete genocide of the people of Jerico is that God did not want the Amorites to polute the children of Israel with false gods.

Genesis 15:12-17
12 And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him.
13 And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;
14 And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.
15 And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age.
16 But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.
17 And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces.
  • furnace: Symbolic of the affliction of Israel (Deut. 4:20; 1 Kings 8:51; Isa. 31:9; Ezek. 22:18-22). From the Companion Bible.
    1. Deuteronomy 4:20
      20 But the LORD hath taken you, and brought you forth out of the iron furnace, even out of Egypt, to be unto him a people of inheritance, as ye are this day.
    2. 1 Kings 8:51
      51 For they be thy people, and thine inheritance, which thou broughtest forth out of Egypt, from the midst of the furnace of iron:
    3. Isaiah 31:9
      9 And he shall pass over to his strong hold for fear, and his princes shall be afraid of the ensign, saith the LORD, whose fire is in Zion, and his furnace in Jerusalem.
    4. Ezekiel 22:18-22
      18 Son of man, the house of Israel is to me become dross: all they are brass, and tin, and iron, and lead, in the midst of the furnace; they are even the dross of silver.
      19 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye are all become dross, behold, therefore I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem.
      20 As they gather silver, and brass, and iron, and lead, and tin, into the midst of the furnace, to blow the fire upon it, to melt it; so will I gather you in mine anger and in my fury, and I will leave you there, and melt you.
      21 Yea, I will gather you, and blow upon you in the fire of my wrath, and ye shall be melted in the midst thereof.
      22 As silver is melted in the midst of the furnace, so shall ye be melted in the midst thereof; and ye shall know that I the LORD have poured out my fury upon you.
  • lamp: Symbolic of Israel’s deliverance (1 Kings 11:36; 15:4; Isa. 62:1; 2 Sam. 21:17) From the Companion Bible.
    1. 1 Kings 11:36
      36 And unto his son will I give one tribe, that David my servant may have a light alway before me in Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen me to put my name there.
    2. 1 Kings 15:4
      4 Nevertheless for David's sake did the LORD his God give him a lamp in Jerusalem, to set up his son after him, and to establish Jerusalem:
    3. Isaiah 62:1
      62:1 For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth.
    4. 2 Samuel 21:17
      17 But Abishai the son of Zeruiah succoured him, and smote the Philistine, and killed him. Then the men of David sware unto him, saying, Thou shalt go no more out with us to battle, that thou quench not the light of Israel.

Genesis 15:18-21
18 In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:
19 The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites,
20 And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims,
21 And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.