God's first killing is hard to beat. He killed everything. Here's how he described it:
The LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. Genesis 6.7
Behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die. 6.17
Every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth. 7.4
All flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man: All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died. And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark. 7.21-23
So the killing contest is over. God, in his very first killing, wins the prize. The guy who killed everything "on the face of the earth" is the world's top killer. He beats Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Ghengis Khan. All those guys. Maybe not in terms of the number killed, but certainly in percentage. You just can't beat 100%.
Of course, God had his reasons. God always has his reasons.
God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man. 6.5-6
The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. ... The earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. 6.11-13
Humans were wicked, they had bad thoughts, and the whole earth was violent and corrupt. So what's a good God to do?
Well, you might think he'd start a school to teach people how to behave, have them go to counseling, get them interested in other stuff -- like baseball or something. Anything to get their minds off their bad thoughts.
But no. God decided to drown them all. It was the best he could think of at the time. (He was having bad thoughts.)
The whole earth was filled with violence, so God killed everything on earth. (At least he found a nonviolent solution to the problem.)
Still, I don't quite get it. Did God drown the animals because they were too violent? Didn't he make them that way in the first place -- either at creation or after the fall of Adam?
But here is the excuse that I like the best:
God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man. 6.5-6.6And here's what God says after he finishes the job and smells the burning flesh of Noah's sacrifice.
The LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. 8.21
God regrets making humans because they have bad thoughts. So he kills them all. Then he regrets killing them all because they (still) have bad thoughts. (At least he fixed the problem!)
The mind of God is a frightening thing.
Okay so God drowned every person on earth except for Noah and his family. How many would that be?
Well, the flood was supposed to have happened about 2400 BCE, and the human population was somewhere around 20 million at the time. (McEvedy and Jones 1978)
Not a bad start for a serial killer.
- Estimated number killed: 20 million
- Everyone on earth (except for Noah and his family)
- God's next killing: Abraham's war to rescue Lot
List of God's killings