My wife asked me last night, “Did the Jews wipe out all of the Canaanites?” This was a strange question coming from my wife who reads the Bible regularly; I often go to her with my own Bible questions.
“No. They were instructed to in Deuteronomy but they didn’t.” I told her.
That’s when she showed me this article on Yahoo from The Telegraph. I was annoyed and considered writing a more factual article, but my wife told me, “Don’t worry. They’re getting toasted in the comments.”
Therein lies the problem with modern “journalism” in an age of constant mass-media-connectivity, an onslaught of digital distractions, and shortened attention spans. Fixing it in the comments won’t prompt most to read the Book of Judges.
27 Neither did Manasseh drive out the inhabitants of Bethshean and her towns, nor Taanach and her towns, nor the inhabitants of Dor and her towns, nor the inhabitants of Ibleam and her towns, nor the inhabitants of Megiddo and her towns: but the Canaanites would dwell in that land.
28 And it came to pass, when Israel was strong, that they put the Canaanites to tribute, and did not utterly drive them out.
29 Neither did Ephraim drive out the Canaanites that dwelt in Gezer; but the Canaanites dwelt in Gezer among them.
30 Neither did Zebulun drive out the inhabitants of Kitron, nor the inhabitants of Nahalol; but the Canaanites dwelt among them, and became tributaries.
31 Neither did Asher drive out the inhabitants of Accho, nor the inhabitants of Zidon, nor of Ahlab, nor of Achzib, nor of Helbah, nor of Aphik, nor of Rehob:
32 But the Asherites dwelt among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land: for they did not drive them out.
33 Neither did Naphtali drive out the inhabitants of Bethshemesh, nor the inhabitants of Bethanath; but he dwelt among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land: nevertheless the inhabitants of Bethshemesh and of Bethanath became tributaries unto them.
But hey, if Yahoo says the Bible is wrong, it must be, right?
This isn’t new. Newspapers have always posted erroneous front page headlines followed by corrections a couple of days later buried on the bottom of page 6. The difference is today more people are getting their “facts” from headlines and snippets alone.
I’ve watched analytics on my websites like a hawk since 2007. The articles haven’t changed in form; same length, same topics, same basic audience. What’s changed is the length of time people are spending on the pages. I assume (hope) the quality of my writing hasn’t deteriorated by 38% over the years, but the time spent on each individual article has. I’m not alone. This article from 2014 (it’s worse today) shows that over a third of article viewers stay for less than 15 seconds. That means they found the headline interesting enough to click and absorb the information but only scanned or skipped the actual story.
My wife’s assertion that everything’s fine because the article was trashed in the comments misses a big point. The majority of people don’t read the comments. In fact, the vast majority of people who read (and absorbed) the headline didn’t even click on it. Most accepted the premise and tucked it somewhere in their brain. For non-believers who did this, it just reaffirmed their worldview and pushed them further away from seeking a Biblical understanding.
That was the point of the article and headline. This is how today’s media operates.
They love to use powerful triggers within their headlines such as “disproves” or “debunks” whenever they want to advance their narrative. Unfortunately, articles like these have a tendency to spread. Mainstream media loves to extend the lifespan of lies against the Bible or conservatives.
Here’s a Google search for “which canaanites survived”:
Isn’t it ironic that they went through so much trouble to do DNA testing and write dozens of articles just to verify what the Bible says quite plainly in Judges? Sadly, they then spun it in the headlines to flip reality on its head in order to spread their lies.