21 May 2010

How many more will God kill?

(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).

God 3,400,000,000
Satan 0

36 comments:

zooplah said...

Considering that most Christians believe that Revelation is apocryphal, I don't think that it's a reliable tool in convincing the sheep... I mean, believers of their god's anti-social tendencies.

But I'm curious why you set up a blog here instead of installing one on SAB. I mean, Blogger basically sucks. If you have your own server and a few minutes to spare, you can set up a blog that's much less annoying to readers. Just saying.

Musing said...

Cyber waving hello. Your site, The Skeptics Annotated Bible, is what jump-started an intense re-examination of everything I’d ever believed.

I began as a Reformed Baptist and then four years later ended as a spiritual agnostic (who's always ready to redefine my beliefs as I learn more).

Just wanted to say Thank You!

Steve Wells said...

Zooplah said, "Considering that most Christians believe that Revelation is apocryphal..."

They do? Revelation is also called the Apocalypse, but I don't know of any modern Christians that consider it apocryphal.

"But I'm curious why you set up a blog here instead of installing one on SAB. I mean, Blogger basically sucks."

Just lazy, I guess. Blogger may suck, but it's free and easy to set up and use.

Steve Wells said...

Musing said, "Your site, The Skeptics Annotated Bible, is what jump-started an intense re-examination of everything I’d ever believed. Just wanted to say Thank You!"

Thanks, Musing. That makes all the work on the SAB worthwhile!

Joel said...

I'm in the same position as Musing. 5 years as a hardcore christian.. then it all began falling apart, slipping through my fingers like sand. I could no longer force myself to believe in something that didn't feel right in my heart, only out of fear or guilt.

I deconstructed everything and started over, this time drawing my own conclusions. Not sure what to call myself, halfway between a deist and a spiritual agnostic.

Thanks for your hard work. I bet you get a shitload of criticism but it's all worth it man.

mgroves said...

I'm curious to this: if you are an unbeliever, then God didn't kill anyone because God doesn't exist. So I don't understand the point.

P.S. Zooplah, calling us "sheep" in a disparaging manner isn't going to help your case either, assuming your case is to reason us into believing the same as you.

Joel said...

Belief in a God Most High doesn't mean we have to believe in church dogma, or in the bible. I don't know what Steve believes but to deny the bible does not equate denying God, whatever/whoever it is.

Anonymous said...

I notice that a good number of your texts demonstrating violence in the Bible are from Isaiah, Jeremiah, Revelation, and some of the minor prophets. Yet what you fail to realize is the allegorical meaning of these texts. Mainstream Christians, especially Catholics, do not believe that the events of Revelation will happen literally. The Bible is a grand allegory peppered with history, myth, morality, and so forth. To treat it literally as you do is to play into the hands of conservative nut jobs.

Jake3988 said...

So you're saying the millions of christians who keep blabbering about the end of the world doesn't exist?

Or are you're saying they don't really believe what they preach? Or are they just attention whores?

Jake3988 said...

And the bible is as far from moral as immoralality can get. There is /some/ good.

But do you support slavery, support the silence of women, support death for homosexuals, support death for those working on the sabbath, etc? I really hope not. How is the bible moral then?

Most of the stuff jesus supports is just bad and at least a few cases DIRECTLY QUOTES the law.

I'm getting too long here, I'll end it there.

Jake3988 said...

One final thing: By the way, it doesn't matter at all whether or not the bible is true or not. Or whether god is real or not.

Its a book. The main character, GOD!, kills lots of people and wishes many many many more dead. That's the point.


So your saying any ol' books and movies that christians protest that have violence and nudity and such don't really matter at all because they're fiction? Please tell that to your christian pals for me so they can stop already.

Yan said...

I think you guys all wrong. According to bible all non-Christians will be killed. According to their lovely exaggerated count they have right now 1.5 billion people. That number contains all kinds of Christians, including, Jehovah witnesses, Mormons, other sects and so on. Most sects do hate each other and don’t considering others to be true Christians.
So , on that note, even we count 1.5 billion Christians and deducting from 6.5 billion total population we get 5 billion people will be tortured in hell.
And for that little number of 5 billion, there is no need even to read the bible (note that, most Christians never even read the bible). Just ask any intelligent Christian.
With this we arrive to the conclusion that Biblical god is one lovely piece of work. I wander if we got our morality wrong. I think the more we kill the closer we get to the GOD and that’s his grand master plan.
One thing to notice to SAB ( I got to admit the best religious site out there) that OT GOD is genocidal but friendlier and was more preoccupied with humans while new dude Jesus came in and with his sweet talk he introduced eternal punishment. Remember OT GOD was only killing people, Jesus is the one who tortures them for eternity and especially when Jesus will kill Satan, he is the one who is going to inherit keys of Hell. So much for all-loving being.

Tim Lindsay said...

First, your count is not necessarily reflective of the cultures of violence in Mormonism, Christianity, and Islam.

Second, because there was not a death count in every instance in the Bible, The Quran, or The Book of Mormon, the comparison is meaningless in its representation of the ancient religions.

Third, you missed a few more specific numbers in the Book of Mormon. 230,000 troops were killed in Mormon 6:11-15 which does not include women and children. While their deaths may be attributed to their rivals, consider the following:

Helaman 15:17 And now behold, saith the Lord, concerning the people of the Nephites: If they will not repent, and observe to do my will, I will utterly destroy them, saith the Lord, because of their unbelief notwithstanding the many mighty works which I have done among them; and as surely as the Lord liveth shall these things be, saith the Lord.

God actually claims credit for the mass genocide at the end of The Book of Mormon.

There are other references to massive killings without specific numbers:
1 Nephi 17:37 And [God] raiseth up a righteous nation, and he destroyeth the nations of the wicked.
Mormon 4:21 "...the Nephites were driven and slaughtered with an exceedingly great slaughter; their women and their children were again sacrificed unto idols."

Fourth, consider the density of death. The Book of Mormon covers about 1000 years (not including the Jaredites who are a minor part and have no part in the death census) in 531 pages which compares to the Bible's 5000+ years in 1590 pages of the same type, font, and size. I don't know about the time span or number of pages in the Quran, though it doesn't matter given the few numbered deaths. While the Book of Mormon still falls short of the Bible in density of death, it does include some remarkable graphic violence (which was striking to me when I first read it at the age of 8):

Ether 15:31 And it came to pass that after he had smitten off the head of Shiz, that Shiz raised up on his hands and fell; and after that he had struggled for breath, he died.

And the most extreme, horrific example of violence I have found in any book labeled "holy":

Mormon 9:9-10
And notwithstanding this great abomination of the Lamanites, it doth not exceed that of our people in Moriantum. For behold, many of the daughters of the Lamanites have they taken prisoners; and after depriving them of that which was most dear and precious above all things, which is chastity and virtue—
And after they had done this thing, they did murder them in a most cruel manner, torturing their bodies even unto death; and after they have done this, they devour their flesh like unto wild beasts, because of the hardness of their hearts; and they do it for a token of bravery.

And there you have it: the spiritual satisfaction of rape, torture, murder, and cannibalism all packed into a few short lines.

Steve Wells said...

Tim Lindsay,

Thanks for your comments. I agree with them, but I'm not sure how I could include them in my post. But if I can think of a way, I'll try to do so.

Regarding Moromon 9:9-10. You mean Moroni 9:9-10, right? In any case, you're right. It is gross!

Anonymous said...

I love this post and the previous one regarding God v. Satan in deaths.
Just in case you are interested you can keep your "future predictions" accurate by linking your world population number to the info at these links:
http://www.census.gov/ipc/www/worldpop.html
This site has the mathematical formula used.
http://www.ibiblio.org/lunarbin/worldpop
Population Counter
http://www.netlingo.com/more/poptick.html
Population Counter

Andrew said...

Anonymous said: "Yet what you fail to realize is the allegorical meaning of these texts."

Where in the Bible does it say "Oh, by the way, this is allegory/symbolic. Do not take it literally"? This is a moral value you have ascribed to the book that does not have its origins in the book. These morals cut across almost all cultures and religions. The only rational response then is that the morals that cause you to decide that these books are allegory do not come from religion at all.

crocusj said...

Andrew's last comment is the single most concise damnation of a belief system I have read. And all in five lines!
Perhaps though there is hope yet for those who see the bible as allegorical in that they have already recognised it's immorality (by using their own inner non religious morality) - depending of course on who is telling them which bits are "true" and which are not.

St. Diamond said...

I once saw a photo on the internet that said "God listens... to Slayer"

Well, I'm not sure about that... but, I think it's pretty obvious that he listens to Cannibal Corpse.

skanksta said...

The graph ! and, "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"


Wells back on top form, rofl !

thomas said...

Well you just have to love the folks that say "The bad stuff you quote from the Bible is purely allegorical, and so you can ignore that."

Then they turn around and quote the Bible to deny equal rights to gay couples, to forbid gays from coming out in the military, to insist that our basis of jurisprudence should be based on the Bible, to establish textbook standards that are Bible based.

How's about we ignore ALL the Bible stuff as purely allegorical. I don't have a problem with you worshiping whomsoever you want. Just leave me, my family, my laws, my home, my bedroom, and my Constitution out of it.

Daystar said...

My response to the SAB's take on Revelation chapter 14 can be found at . . .

The Pathway Machine

Steve, I miss you. You never call, you never write, you never add my additions to The Pathway Machine to the Skeptic's Annotated Bible . . .

I sent you responses to Is God Only Holy? Revelation Chapter 15, Should We Fear God? Is God's Will Done In Heaven? and others.

Daystar said...

Musing,

I am actually glad that Steve's SAB jump started you out of organized religion. I think the SAB is very useful for people who begin to see their own brand of organized religion and its failings. I am also, even more pleased to know that you keep your mind open and continue to learn.

Daystar said...

Joel, I can relate to what you went through with hardcore Christianity, as I sort of went through with the Jehovah's Witnesses.

Keep your mind open to learning, no matter what the answer may be, no matter where it may lead you.

And keep away from organized religion.

Daystar said...

Anonymous,

Keep in mind that I'm going down the list of recent responses and realize that there may have been others responding to you before me, but . . .

You can't explain away the violence in the Bible with allegory, as such. At least not a great deal of it.

Although I disagree with most of Steve's interpretation and think it is, if viewed from an theocratic or, dare I say, academic, somewhat lacking, he pretty much hit the nail on the head nevertheless.

God is going to kill about 3 Billion people. Steve says. I think that is a conservative estimate. Lets be realistic.

Anonymous . . . some advice. Don't make God into something he isn't. It weakens your defense and your spiritual integrity.

Daystar said...

Jake,

I don't think it really matters what Steve thinks. My take on it is that he is sort of saying that Christians don't know what they are talking about, and if you read my Scriptural response to his work, like Revelation, IE users Right click anywhere on the screen for a menu of each chapter of Revelation, because it is cool . . . I forgot what we were talking about. I'll have to scroll back . . .

Ah, yes. The end of the world. Well, Jesus said the world was founded upon the blood of Abel. It is, in a basic sense, Satan's system of things. False religion (almost all of it is false) commerce, and the political, uh, kingdoms.

Christ was tempted by Satan with all of the kingdoms of men, and Christ, though not refuting Satan's possession of these kingdoms, refused them. Because he was a King in the Kingdom that would replace them all. All of them.

So, the worl ends, but the meek shall inherit the earth. There is a distinction there, you see? The earth will last forever, the kingdom of men shall fall.

Now . . . isn't it obvious . . . from where you stand, that Christians are - can I say this Stevie? When you decide what I can and can't say - not quite on the ball.

I was going to say something else but I am trying to be more modest.

Daystar said...

Jake . . .

You said: "And the bible is as far from moral as immoralality can get. There is /some/ good.

But do you support slavery, support the silence of women, support death for homosexuals, support death for those working on the sabbath, etc? I really hope not. How is the bible moral then?

Most of the stuff jesus supports is just bad and at least a few cases DIRECTLY QUOTES the law.

I'm getting too long here, I'll end it there."

You point on morality reminds me of the sort of vague sort of nonsense spouted by really bad philosophers like Richard Dawkins.

I don't get it.

On one hand I may very well agree with you.

The morality in the Bible is, for example, King David, Beloved of Jehovah God, sending a loyal soldier to his death so he could "boink," well sort of for the lack of of a better term. Fuck. His wife.

The Bible is an example of poor morality. It is an example for us.

I get the impression that you are not Christian, so, on an intellectual level how could you argue that?

Matthew Blanchette said...

I took one look at your website, Daystar, and got a headache; get some better web design, man! :-P

Also, your comments confuse me; are you an atheist, deist, or a hardcore Christian?

As for me, well... if it weren't for this site (or, hell, just from reading the Bible at a young age!), I wouldn't be here, today.

So, thanks, Steve! :-)

Daystar said...

Matthew,

I have just spent the last 2 months redesigning my website. For almost a year it looked like every other website and I hated it. When I started it I put a a traffic monitor like Steve has at the SAB and I watched the stats on my site as well as the SAB and noticed that roughly 95% of the people that go to both sites view only 1 page for less than 1 second.

I decided I would make a website that I like. Though I don't really care what you think in the sense that it would induce me to make any changes I would be curious to hear what problems you had with it . . . IF you spent more than 1 second looking at it, that is.

As for what I am? None of the things you mentioned. I am a believer in the and a student of the Bible.

Steve Wells said...

OK, Daystar, I've added links to your stuff.

You say "almost all religion is false." I guess only yours is the True Religion. (Well, yours and the Jehovah's Witnesses, which are, as far as I can tell, identical.)

You say you're not a JW, Daystar. Which of their doctrines do you disagree with?

Daystar said...

Thanks for adding the links, Steve, I appreciate it.

As for religion, I don't think there ever has been or ever will be a "true" religion. The ancient Israelites had Jehovah himself among them, through prophets and the temple, etc. and yet they failed. The disciples with Jesus among them were not perfect in their thinking, and as Paul foretold at 2 Timothy 4:3-4, Christianity would reject the true teachings and replace them with, from the Greek, mythous and later, from the Latin, fabulos. Myth and fables.

The trinity, cross, rapture, hell, immortal soul, Christmas and Easter are examples of this.

I am not just of the opinion that any so called Christian who disagrees with me is false because I am true, I am of the opinion that organized religion creates, from one man or a few, errors on a massive scale which they then have to protect and defend.

I have been wrong and will continue from time to time to be wrong on my beliefs. I change accordingly and I don't prescribe my error to those who would blindly adhere to them.

A brief study of any organized religion will demonstrate the power of it to distort the original teachings. Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, Taoism . . . To me the most obvious examples are Taoism and Christianity.

The JWs removed, rightfully so, the pagan influences in traditional Christianity and so we agree on much, but where they differ from my beliefs is most clearly seen in ways which they control their followers or read into prophecy their own alleged fulfillment.

We disagree on the anointed class, and the two witnesses for example. They stretch these two examples into a religious sort of application to themselves.

I disagree with positions they have taken in the past on neutrality, education, vaccinations, organ transplants as well as their current blood transfusion stance.

I don't disagree with their position on blood transfusions as much as I do on their ban on it. It should be a matter of conscience.

Matthew Blanchette said...

Christianity has always been paganistic! That's what it rose out of, dammit!

Look closer; the JWs really don't have all the answers (in fact, their name for God is a mistranslation from the KJV), and (sadly enough, for your efforts) neither do you.

Daystar said...

Matthew, Christianity didn't come from the pagan. That's pretty lame atheist propaganda.

The JWs really don't have all the answers, nor does anyone, and the name Jehovah doesn't come from a mistranslation in the KJV.

You had better either pay closer attention to the facts you gather or stop reading atheist nonsense.

Matthew Blanchette said...

Look here, Daystar, and you will attain wisdom: http://www.google.com/#hl=en&source=hp&q=Jehovah+was+a+mistranslation&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=&fp=228b2d7756b2e3a7
;-)

Daystar said...

Nice try, Matthew, but as they say - no cigar.

busterggi said...

Aw Matthew, Davey's been kicking around here for years & he's never wised up - if he did we wouldn't recognise him.

Ana Lorena Victor said...

It seems that most of the wondering people, those who say they lost their faith or use sarcasm about God's love, have not and probably never understand the meaning of the word: God.