17 Then the men of Judah went with the Simeonites their fellow Israelites and attacked the Canaanites living in Zephath, and they totally destroyed the city. Therefore it was called Hormah.
Does the command seem cruel for the Israelites to drive the Canaanites from the land? Over 700 years earlier, God told Abraham that when the Israelites would enter the Promised Land, the gross evil of the native people would be ready for judgement. God does not play favorites, though. Eventually, the Israelites would also be punished for becoming as evil as the people they were ordered to drive out. God is not partial. We are all eligible for God’s forgiveness, just as we are all allowed to receive justice.