(Revised to include new totals and more extensive analysis.)
In a previous post, I tried to count the number of people killed by God in the Bible. I came up with 2,476,633, if God's many unnumbered killings, such as Noah's flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, etc., are excluded; and 24,644,205, if estimates are used.
But what about God's future plans? Does the Bible tell us anything about that?
Well, yes it does. But it’s hard to take any of it seriously, especially if you’re a believer.
Take the great winepress of the wrath of God, for example. You know, the one featured in the Battle Hymn of the Republic.
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord:
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword:
His truth is marching on.
The story is told in the 14th chapter of the book of Revelation, which begins with Jesus (or “someone like unto the Son of man”) sitting on a white cloud with a gold crown on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand.
I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. Revelation 14:14
Then an angel stops by to tell Jesus that it’s time to start swinging his sickle.
Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. Revelation 14:15
So Jesus thrusts his sickle on the earth, while still sitting on his cloud.
He that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped. Revelation 14:16
Another angel came out of the temple in heaven and joined Jesus on his cloud. He also has his sharp sickle with him, and together they begin to reap the harvest on earth.
Another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. Revelation 14:17
They swing their sickles and pour the resulting blood into a huge winepress. There is so much blood that it flows out of the winepress and covers the ground up to the horses’ bridles in a space of 1600 furlongs.
The winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs. Revelation 14:20
And from that we can estimate how many people will be killed by Jesus and his angel sidekick.
It’s a simple calculation. A furlong is 202 meters, so 1600 furlongs is about 320 kilometers, and a horse's bridle is 1.5 m high or so. If we take the winepress to be circular with a diameter of 320 kilometers, then the total volume is 1.2 x 1014 liters. And since an adult has about 5 liters of blood, that gives us 2.4 x 1013 (24 trillion) people.
Which could be a problem, even for God. Where will he find so many people to kill? His winepress requires nearly 4,000 times the number of people on earth.
Does this mean that Armageddon won’t occur until the human population reaches 24 trillion? Perhaps.
Or maybe God will just create more people when the time comes just to kill them.
Or it could just be hyperbole. God doesn’t really plan on killing trillions of people; he’s just trying to scare the shit out of everyone.
I’ll leave it for the believers to figure out.
But there are many other verses that say similar (batshit crazy) things in the Bible, and they’re not all in Revelation either.
God will kill so many people that the land will be soaked, the rivers flooded, and the mountains melted in blood. The ground will be covered with dead bodies, which will stink to high heaven. The whole earth will be destroyed. So I guess that means that everybody on earth will be killed by God.
Here are the verses.
Their slain also shall be cast out, and their stink shall come up out of their carcases, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood. Isaiah 34:3
The unicorns shall come down with them … and their land shall be soaked with blood. Isaiah 34:7
The slain of the LORD shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground. Jeremiah 25:33
I will also water with thy blood the land … even to the mountains; and the rivers shall be full of thee. Ezekiel 32:6
I will fill his mountains with his slain men: in thy hills, and in thy valleys, and in all thy rivers, shall they fall that are slain with the sword. Ezekiel 35:8
Saith the Lord GOD: there shall be many dead bodies in every place. Amos 8:3
I will slay the last of them with the sword. Amos 9.1
I command the sword, and it shall slay them: and I will set mine eyes upon them for evil, and not for good. Amos 9.4
There is a multitude of slain, and a great number of carcases; and there is none end of their corpses; they stumble upon their corpses. Nahum 3:3
I will utterly consume all things from off the land, saith the LORD. Zephaniah 1:2
I will bring distress upon men … their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung. Zephaniah 1:17
The earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy. Zephaniah 3.8 I will kill her children with death. Revelation 2:23
The third part of the sea became blood. Revelation 8:8
They … shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. Revelation 11:8
Still, I suspect that in many of these verses God is exaggerating. Sure, he’s planning to kill lots of people, but not everyone. The land won’t be entirely covered with dead bodies and the mountaintops won’t drown in blood. So I’m not going to estimate the number that God plans to kill from these verses. I’ll wait until God sobers up a bit to do my counting.
So we’re back where we started. How many does God plan to kill in the “end times” that believers hope and pray will come soon?
Well, the Bible tells us how many will be saved, which implies, I guess, that everyone else will be killed.
I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel. Revelation 7:4
…the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. Revelation 14.3-4
So if the “end times” happened today, only 144,000 Jewish male virgins would survive. The rest of the 6.8 billion would be killed by God (and then be tormented forever in hell).
Most believers don’t believe this of course. (The Jehovah’s Witnesses are a notable exception.) They say the 144,000 Jewish male virgins is symbolic or something. They just don’t know what it's symbolic of.
Are you ready to give up yet? I’m not.
There’s one other way to get an estimate, but I must warn you. It, too, is from Revelation.
Here are the verses.
I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth. Revelation 6:8
And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men. And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand ... By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths. Revelation 9.15-18
OK, let's count them up. 1/4 will be killed by Death and Hell (per Rev 6:8). That leaves 3/4 alive, 1/3 of which will be burned to death by the 200 million fire and brimstone breathing horsemen of Rev 9.15-18. Since 1/3 of 3/4 is 1/4, half the human population will be killed in these two slaughters.
Assuming that the rapture (or whatever) is soon (and it's always coming soon), and that the earth's population will be about what it is today, 6.8 billion, then God will soon kill 3,400,000,000.
So what is our final answer?
Well, we have a lower and upper bound. God will kill at least 3.4 billion and perhaps as many as 24 trillion (if he’s going to get his bloody winepress filled).
So let's call it 3.4 billion.
Oh, and what about Satan?
He has no plans for killing any more people (at least there are none recorded in the Bible or that he has told me about).