Despite Media Spin, Canaanite-Lebanese Study Doesn’t Disprove Bible

Predictably, some secular media sources have taken a DNA study, and attempted to argue it somehow disproves or contradicts the biblical account. It doesn’t.


Dr. Marc Haber, a lead author of a recent study that compares some ancient genomes with modern-day people in Lebanon, concluded, “We found that the Canaanites were a mixture of local people who settled in farming villages during the Neolithic period and eastern migrants who arrived in the region about 5,000 years ago. The present-day Lebanese are likely to be direct descendants of the Canaanites, but they have in addition a small proportion of Eurasian ancestry that may have arrived via conquests by distant populations such as the Assyrians, Persians, or Macedonians.”


The researchers compared the genomes of five Canaanite people who lived about 4,000 years ago in the Lebanese city of Sidon with 99 modern Lebanese. The conclusion was, according to Haber, “Present-day Lebanese derive over 90 percent of their ancestry from the Canaanites or a genetically similar population.”


Canaanite is a generic name for several peoples who lived in the Middle East, in the area now occupied by Israel and Lebanon. The Phoenicians, who developed the first alphabet, were Canaanites — the term “phonics” is derived from this connection. The Carthaginians, who later fought the Punic Wars against the Roman Republic, were also of this ethnic extraction.


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