The ancient Canaanites were not wiped out, as the Bible suggests, but went on to become modern-day Lebanese, a study has found.
Living between 3,000 and 4,000 years ago, the holy text suggests things did not end well for the people living in the Middle East.
According to a passage in Deuteronomy, God had ordered the Israelites to exterminate the Canaanites. “You shall not leave alive anything that breathes. But you shall utterly destroy them … so that they may not teach you to do according to all their detestable things which they have done for their gods.”
It seems they didn’t destroy them all, though. Examining the DNA of the region’s ancient and modern inhabitants, the scientists found more than 90 per cent of the ancestry of modern-day Lebanese derived from the Canaanites.