"So, the question, “Why would God command the Israelites to exterminate the Canaanites?” cannot be addressed in an intramural theological back-and-forth. It must also include this little bit of historical information: Yahweh’s actions are not unique but seem part of an ancient way of thinking.Click through to read the whole thing.
"Maybe that’s the best way to sum up what I’m saying here: theological discussions about biblical interpretation must be in conversation with ancient ways of thinking."
What I take away is this: Historical context matters in reading the Bible. Neither Numbers nor Joshua is the final revelation of God's character or will.