07 August 2009

The Midianite massacre: Have you saved all the women alive?

This is a bible story that everyone should know.

It begins with God telling Moses to take vengeance on the Midianites. (He doesn't say for what, but I guess it was for the sex and dinner party that brought on God's last round of killings.)

So Moses does what he's told and sends off 12,000 men led by Phinehas (the guy who stopped God from killing everyone by impaling the couple who were having sex).

First they killed every male "as the LORD commanded Moses."
And they warred against the Midianites, as the LORD commanded Moses; and they slew all the males. Numbers 31:7
Next they killed five kings,
And they slew the kings of Midian ... namely, Evi, and Rekem, and Zur, and Hur, and Reba, five kings of Midian. Numbers 31:8a
along with Balaam (the nice guy with the talking ass).
Balaam also the son of Beor they slew with the sword. Numbers 31:8b
Then they took the women and children captive, collected their animals and valuables, burned the cities, and returned to Moses.
And the children of Israel took all the women of Midian captives, and their little ones, and took the spoil of all their cattle, and all their flocks, and all their goods. Numbers 31:9
But Moses wasn't pleased. Here's what he said:
And Moses was wroth with the officers ... Have ye saved all the women alive? Behold, these caused the children of Israel ... to commit trespass against the LORD ... and there was a plague. Numbers 31:14-16
And Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves. Numbers 31:17-18
(You see, it was the Midianite women who had sex and a dinner with the Israelites. And that's what pissed God off so much. So all the non-virgin women had to be killed.)

So that's what they did. They went back and killed all the non-virgin women, keeping the 32,000 virgins alive for themselves. (I'm not sure how they separated the virgins from the non-virgins, but God probably helped out with that.)

Since there were 32,000 virgin women saved alive as booty, I figured there must have been about 200,000 killed in this episode, which would include all of the males (men, boys, babies) and non-virgin females.

God's next killing: God slowly killed the Israelite army

28 comments:

busterggi said...

You know, if Yahweh really wanted all those Midianites & Ammonites & Moabites, etc to worship him maybe he should have announced his presence to all of them instead of just the Jews.

Dumbass.

I am the wise fool. said...

This is one of my favorite disgusting OT episodes. God ordains genocide. Moses is angry that the genocide wasn't complete, and then ends up making the virgins the spoils of war. Ha! The "Good Book", ha!

As for separating the virgins, the only thing I can think of was doing a hymen check on the girls. That would have taken quite some time to check 32000 women.

Or perhaps they simply went by apparent age, killing off anyone that looked old enough to have "known" a man.

What they did with the young girls probably varied from owner to owner, but I'm guessing many would have unfortunately become sexual slaves, similar to what I've discussed below:

http://ponderingtruth.blogspot.com/2009/06/plight-of-slave-girl.html

Baconsbud said...

I am wondering if this is an endorsement of child brides. I doubt many of the virgin females were very old. Of course the christians would say it was a different time and place but I think that when they claim the bible is an instruction book that it is timeless and all is still in effect.

matt311 said...

Holy crap. Whatever happened to "God is love"?

Oh, right; he isn't. He's fictional and completely immoral.

Ritchie Annand said...

Oh my GOD - I didn't even KNOW that Balaam got skewered. I made a post ages back on that weird, weird episode of the donkey saving Balaam from the angel who was angry for... well, no good reason; all it did was reiterate the instructions Balaam was already following.

...and after all that, he was saved JUST TO BE SKEWERED?

I'm sure there's a moral lesson in there somewhere. Just let me go contract a giant drilling rig and crew so I stand a chance of being able to dig deep enough. I may hit magma.

gneek said...

Fellow atheists, please stop calling mythological persons "dumbasses" and such.
That makes you seem like you actually believe in such an entity and are simply mad at him. Guess where the whole "atheists are angry with god" argument came from.

Steve Wells said...

Ritchie Annand -- Yeah, I missed the part about Balaam, too, until wrote this post. Wasn't Balaam on God's side.

Gneek -- I agree. We should try to discuss the issues, not insult one another.

Markus Arelius said...

I wonder how many Christian women in the US, for example, have read through this particular biblical account and what they think about it?

They could probably could write it all off to the iron age misogyny of the day and even explain that these attitudes were subsequently projected on to Yahweh (God) at the time.

What I then thought about was that some Christian churches hold these little children sermons during the regular church service, where young children come up to the alter and listen to a biblical story or lesson told from the pastor/priest. Then I got to thinking: How in the world this particularly episode could be applied and used under such circumstances?

The answer is, it could and would never be applied and used.

It's good to see the contents of Bible being revealed "as is" and appropriately questioned.

Ritchie Annand said...

Wasn't Balaam on God's side.

He certainly seemed to be. From Numbers 22:20:

22:20 And God came unto Balaam at night, and said unto him, If the men come to call thee, rise up, and go with them; but yet the word which I shall say unto thee, that shalt thou do.
22:21 And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass, and went with the princes of Moab.


Then God got angry... because Balaam did what God told him to do?

22:22 And God's anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the LORD stood in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants were with him.

But he got saved by his talking donkey and all. You'd think he was in the clear, but no! :)

Carl said...

I find it strange that Christians and Jews avoid even replying to this kind of stuff. Actually, maybe it isn't so weird.

I think the OT just illustrates our need to have the gods as a scapegoat for our own evil and the NT our need for the gods as a scapegoat for our own love.

And I think the latter is the worse boat to be in, if we can't love on our own, then what do we have?

Ian G. said...

Good ol' family values: genocide!

matt311 said...

Carl: It's ridiculous, isn't it? Love should be the first thing that humanity claims as its own; otherwise, how could it hold up to any self-reflection?

Brendan said...

Hey! I'm a little late, sorry about that.

Carl: Actually, Carl, the Torah was revolutionary in that it says the opposite. The other creation myths at the time held the gods responsible for evil. The Torah says that G-d made everything good, and humans fucked it up.

Steve: Balaam was an evil, genocidal man who sought to harness the power of G-d in order to destroy the Jews.

At least, that's what the Midrashim say. The Torah only says that the seduction of Baal Peor was carried out at his command.

The Midrash goes on to say that his plan was to get G-d to destroy the Jews by having them worship Baal.

The Torah still says that he was responsible for the seduction of Baal Peor.

On the matter of G-d ordained genocide, Richard Elliot Friedman writes:

"... the fearful order to kill the women and children comes from Moses... to conceive of Moses' thoughts, perhaps we must go back to the point of the Midianite seductions at Baal Peor and start asking the question of what Moses might feel when he learns that women of his wife's people are seducing the Israelites into heresy: shock, embarrassment, betrayal, fury... What humiliation might Zipporah suffer from the Israelites in the aftermath of Baal Peor? How much are both Moses and Zipporah undermined? Moses' command to eliminate the Midianite women can be conceived of as coming from the depth of his outrage and pain. Another point: The text never reports that Moses' order was carried out! There is a mention of retaining virgin women as captives, but no mention of the execution of the women who have known men or the male infants... alternatively, perhaps it is not reported simply because it is so horrible to describe."

Indeed, this is quite possibly the most gruesome story in the Bible. However, this CANNOT be considered "G-d's 27th killing". There is no mention of this being demanded by G-d.

Steve Wells said...

Brendan,
"...this CANNOT be considered "G-d's 27th killing". There is no mention of this being demanded by G-d."

What? The whole thing was started by God's command (what's with the hokey G-d thing, Brendan?).

"And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites."

And where does the Torah say that the seduction of Baal Peor was carried out at Balaam's command?

Brendan said...

"And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites."

But he did not demand the execution of the male children and women. That was at Moses' command.

"(what's with the hokey G-d thing, Brendan?)"

Meh, what can I say? I stopped writing/typing the o.

"And where does the Torah say that the seduction of Baal Peor was carried out at Balaam's command?"
Numbers 31:16 clearly says that it was at "Balaam's word".

Tom Chapin said...

Brendan, I find it amusing that you are scared to write the word "God", but you have no problem lying about the use of the letter "o".

wpnexp said...

First, the Midianites were not subject to genocide, as they go to war with Israel later in the Bible. Second, Balaam and the Midianites use woman to try to get the Israelis to depart from God. This is strait from Satan in his effort to prevent the Messiah from coming from the Jews. Women are subject to punishment here as they were used to lure the Israelis into sex and idol worship. The message is, if you mess with God, expect the worst. Had the Midianites wanted to know God, I am sure they would have been blessed.

Baconsbud said...

Wpnexp have you ever noticed that most christians are always trying to justify the bible not provide proof of its truth. You are lacking in any real proof of why you view should be accepted. You are always trying to justify but when you apply the same logic to real life you see things differently. If you don't then you are full of hate not love as youy claim.

Todd Reeder said...

I have asked people why God would kill people like in this instance and other instances. I have recieved several reasons why. Like God destroyed them because he knew they would never turn to him and worship him. God order the children and babies to be destroyed to save them from the wickedness of the people around them. God is not unjust in doing this because he doesn't owe anyone anything. They say we don't have the right to breath our next breath or wake up tomorrow. They say it is only God's grace that allows it. Another lame explanation God wanted people killed to preserve the bloodline of the Messiah. And the Israelites did not commit murder because they did what God told them to do. So it was ok. The Calvinist believe that no one can go to Heaven unless God chooses them to be saved. And if we go to hell it is because we deserve it for being sinners. So if any of those people who God ordered to be killed were no chosen to be saved they went to hell because they deserved it for being a sinner. And they had no say in the matter. And that God is not unjust in doing that because everyone deserves Hell for being a sinner. And They say God is always just. According to Calvinist God is just in someone spending eternity in hell because he chose not to save them. Because we deserve it. And God can do what he wants.

Lee Benjamin said...

I was like you in anger , & rage w/ Jesus , but now I know better from him coming to me in visions , & in person . One time a vision was this , I was judged be Jesus & he said to me ," But I still don't under stand why you think you made it to Paradise ? You barely love me , & barely like me . Why you think you you made it , & that I would want you in Paradise ? I've said ,"I was good all my life there on earth . He quickly looked back , & quickly said , yes , but you still barely love me , & barely like me " , then the Angel that was next to me was to ," Put him over the cliff into Hell , were the others who don't like me ",down those lines . I please in tears , & all my fear , & said ,"please don't " . He said next to me ,"What , now you want a different Lawyer "? , like if I said yes , he would be in more anger , bec. the lawyer I would of already had if I've was to die soon then after the vision , the lawyer would be the Angel that records ppl. life from a crystal , or the Angel would be just a witness to the persons life to those who won't be judged .

Lee Benjamin said...

I've seen the Angel that is in my life like once in a vision hat was showing me how I was going to die , & he will take me to the star that is Heaven , some yrs. later while I will be in the ground .The reason why he says death is like a sleep is because if the person makes it to Paradise , while being in the ground , there will be a white light all around the person . The light is over hell bellow the body very deep in the ground as well the person would feel , to stop the evil spirits from touching the person . That is why it is like a peaceful sleep or whatever the bible calls death .

Lee Benjamin said...

Another time I was a wake one night , alone , at the upstairs porch . A big mass tall came & touched my foot first . But never saw the arm or hand , but the body mass . Then it said to me in telepathy , " Don't judge Jesus . He is still trying to save your life " . But another time , I was brushing my teeth as a bad spirit was trying to brain wash me that if I've had the world my way only , there wouldn't be any sin , & I'll be perfect w/o sin , bec. I would of made it the right christian way . So when I went to lay down , he was in rage at me & said in telepathy while I was in frozen trance , " So you think your better then everyone , & like a divine being "? , as I felt all the curses he was about to put on the earth , my family , & to I . It was pride the devil put in my mind to where "I almost only believed it" .I've said to Jesus w/o seeing him , but sensing him , " No Lord , please don't take me wrong ever again , please "? I've sensed he looked back to look at the Angel that recorded it all happening like , as though the Good Angel only told Jesus my heart that was so close into believing that almost , but I've knew it was the bad spirit that put the thought in my head, & heart .The reason why he seems harsh is to teach rt. from wrong , bec. he loves ppl. , he comes to those who look for him long enough , & so the person would repent long enough , before they die , so it could be considered "Repentance" , in my relation ship between Jesus , & I .

Lee Benjamin said...

Another time he showed me that if I ever was a person that is the type who rips pages out of magazines type stuff of children that are like 9-17 , not that I am . I'm not . And jerks off to the photos of them in the bath room , Jesus would be above the ceiling looking down watching . He'll try to put up w/it , but soon can't & turn to rage , as he turn his back on the person , forever , if that is that persons choice to be that way for the whole life of the male , even though he never touched a child that way , he will go to hell , for i being just the same in the heart called " Adultery heart" .The bible says that those who just look at a female w/lust , it is as though they really did it , & guilty of " Adultery due to their heart " , down those lines .Plus I've saw in a vision that rape one day won't be a crime . A guy will rape a 14 yr. or 15 yr. in a ft.ball field as ppl. are being killed there too . I've saw his spirit go to hell for it . I person will also go to hell if they kill a black person , only because of his color only .

Lee Benjamin said...

Jesus told me in telepathy after someone fed a live cat to a pit-bull , " Why should I not give him a horrible , painful , death , too "? Then I couldn't feel his presence that sunny hr., any more .On another sunny hr. he told me in telepathy w/o seeing him again , but knowing him , you just know it's him , " He said ," I don't want ppl. to kill at all , but if someone is doing it only to protect a good neighbor , & child , & themselves , only , he will allow it , but still doesn't want any one to do it even then . If they kill for only shoes , or only for a home , or to steal someones wife , or kill for clothes , he doesn't approve of it all any way .

Lee Benjamin said...

I've seen the 7 spirits of Jesus to . Three times as space . In space , his eyes & heart of sorrow is there , but don't see it , but only sense it , I guess those who see spirits that are good rarely , & mainly bad one , a person may have a vision seeing him that way like he was showing the person . On a sunny day at the edge of my bed the ceiling turned black mass w/light dots like they were stars . It formed a arm around me as I sat at the edge of my bed . I've felt it was a part of my whole body , & of all things that are alive , as well as apart of space . Then a face like formed like a fox , middle eastern , like face , & said to me as I was in rage of Jesus , " Tell me more . Tell me all that you feel about him , like he was he , & I was about to go to hell , as soon as I said & I think he is heartless , selfish , sorry , cruel ," then that's when I found out it was he . Another day that form on a sunny day , I was visiting a neighbor & he was saying he practice other religions . I've said , "What does a person need to do to blend in as a Middle Eastern " ? Then same form came rt. next to his table , & said in telepathy , " Are you going to live as a different religion "? Like he wanted to know who is his . I could only see him because the conversation was between me & him only .I've shock my neck , or said ,"no " , to him in telepathy , in case he could read my thoughts . Then he vanished . Another time at the edge of my bed he was a little blue circle light & said in telepathy , " Don't put your seed on the ground " , then vanished . Later found out in a vision when I saw my whole life up there in Paradise if I still make it, that he as Jesus would say in a class room before going to a tree that has a swing that ppl. don't swing on , but just sit on a few moments/minutes until Jesus says now get off it , while the tree through telepathy tell's why every thing happened & was in joy , he'll say 1st in the class room , that bad spirits can do whatever they want w/it to make bad spirit copies of the person , or other .

Lee Benjamin said...

Another for of Jesus is the blue sky through the Paradise gates . If he wants to say something to a person as not around as Jesus form , in telepathy in that sky , he will speak to that person . Another for is when he , well 1st let me tell you this , I was in bed 1 day & a male Angel next to Jesus said to me ," Why are you deeply sorrowful , like I should be happy that I've made it to Heaven when I die , if I don't change his mind in any way . I wanted to say every thing , but I've only said that I want a wife & children . I guess that was way before I've seen the future on earth a very good amount to all -like ?. He said , " 1 would be given to you ". I've said when & were like I was expecting to hear at a store or some where at a certain time or date . He looked next to him I've sensed were Jesus was , I've felt .He then said to me ,"I'm not allowed to tell you that information ". Then there vibe vanished .It was like they went into my head & a part of Heaven was there but couldn't see them , then it turned to that it was like a visible mass above my head , that vanished .Well , yrs. later , I've saw me in Heaven again , but as though I've did made it .I guess it means I'll meet her soon , so why not show were .In Paradise after the class one day only , 2 hr. maybe thing there , then after the swing under the tree , I sat next /will sit next to Jesus at a bench . The other side of the bench are the Apostles .

Lee Benjamin said...

The other side are the apostles . Jesus will ask me to get a bucket & go to the a river ,to fill it up , & bring it back to the bench . I do so , & saw a female doing the same that was already there . I've asked her if she ever slept w/a black person , bec. if she said yes , I didn't plan on asking her to be w/me , but I guess I was too lonely , & her to , I guess . Well she answers & says we are not allowed to ask & answer questions that may cause rage , hate , anger , Jealousy , like questions here . I was always looking for a female who believe in the same way as what she said , will say to me , but never found a smart one on earth . She surprised me & I've asked her ,"If the lord would allow it , would you Marry me ? She says , " I guess ", & follows me . I was afraid to ask Jesus at the bench as she stood behind me I've felt . Then The Apostols & Jesus Stared at the middle of the bench . As mass came out of him from his chest or something to see are hearts . I guess it was planned that day . She was in a hurry & not humble . I've felt she was going to go to hell in seconds , so I'll ask Jesus , "Lord , may I merry her ? Then he was in joy & stood up , & said to those around the bench that was walking by ,"Everyone , this is ..... , & .... .They have my blessing to live as Married ppl. do down there on earth . The strangers will be in joy , as I move to another part of the mansion door way inside . She doesn't sense him , but bec. I see the good & bad spirits , & dead dogs spirits on earth at times , I've sensed him , as a black mass at the door way . He just want to be sure that I'll go all the way to make it official , but couldn't while being watched , so he vanished , to as though maybe still there but not as I can notice him there at all .All the other black masses on earth though I've noticed are evil spirits .

Lee Benjamin said...

But this it what will happen after my judgment : Jesus will say to me , because I've showed you of what to come through your judgment , that didn't even happen yet , but you so much feel that you went through your fear of judgment , you may pass , but it won't be fair to the others . But you do deserve to be judged . You may go . I'll go the wrong way at the rt. , so the tall Angel in telepathy will tell me so . So I'll go left . I'll meet a person I'll feel like has the same heart & mind as mind like I wish he was a brother of mine . I'll ask him , why did Jesus made me so alone most of my life on earth . He will say , " He didn't . They were there to be taken , but those who work for the evil doers saved them for themselves . That means that females are free where there is no order of everyone having someone here . The soldiers police that takes ppl. to trains to be killed walk back w/females as slaves , those that are allowed to live . Liquidation means a bucket of paste that is white that has a tube in it . There would be like a water gun riffle w/the tube attached to it .The Guys pump it up to load it w/the paste . then ppl. would try to cover their hands over their face so they may not be suffocated , so ppl. would not put their bottom hands so tight to their face so they may die from starving , but would die from buried suffocation ether way . Then the person w/the pump gun & shoot the paste to only to the faces , & under the hands & at finger tops . Then the guy walks the person to the pile that are there's to be at , as a row of ppl. are across the train in case some one wants to run .Some time ppl. will be stabbed in a church or out side or shot by assault rifle , depends on what Global war is their's . June or another near June will be the 1st Global invasion .It was going to be on a May , but they have changed it , Jesus showed me . If they change it again , it will be bec. of my mouth .