One thing which I have always taken as a matter of course was that the Old Testament had definitive references to God ordering that Israel should completely eradicate one nation/ethnic group. Recently, however, it was pointed out that if you take secondary meanings to words in the passages, they merely discuss the Isrealites' defeat of indigenous populations, and in some cases the non-genocidal explanation is far simpler than the genocidal one.
One example is that in Joshua 10:39 there is the statement that all were slaughtered/destroyed. This implies that there should be none left alive in Debir. But then, in the same passage, it notes that Joshua's treatment of the Debir was exactly the same as his treatment of Hebron.
Now, this would seem to imply that Hebron should also be completely destroyed and all people there should be slaughtered. Instead, we find references Hebron as well-populated through the rest of Joshua and into Judges.
From this, I would read that the fact that Israel slaughtered everyone as a bit of an exaggeration. And if this one is an exaggeration, then it seems reasonable that more of the narratives would include at least some exaggerating. This leads to my question: What are the clear and definitive cases where God has commanded (and expected) the wholesale slaughter of a people?