27 January 2007

King David's amazing census

You just never know what's going to piss off the God of the Bible.

Take King David's censis, for example. The whole thing was God's idea, if you believe Second Samuel, anyway.

And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah. 2 Samuel 24:1

But if you believe First Chronicles, it wasn't God's idea; it was Satan's.

And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel. 1 Chronicles 21:1

So what's a Bible-believer to believe here? Did God tell David to "Go, number Israel and Judah"? Or did Satan provoke "David to number Israel"? Or did the Dynamic Duo conspire together to make David do it? They worked together before to torment Job. Maybe they teamed up again to make David have a census. You just never know what those two might do.

But whoever was responsible for the dastardly census (Satan and/or God), it was David that God blamed. And God was really pissed off about it, too. So you might expect God to punish David for the census and he and/or Satan inspired, right?

Well, not exactly. Here's what God did according to 2 Samuel.

For when David was up in the morning, the word of the LORD came unto the prophet Gad, David's seer, saying, Go and say unto David, Thus saith the LORD, I offer thee three things; choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee. So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? or that there be three days' pestilence in thy land? 2 Samuel 24:11-13

God decided not to punish David for the Divine/Satanic census. No, God liked David too much for that. So he decided to punish the people instead. But the Divine Decider just couldn't decide what punishment would be the most just. So he let David choose from three choices:

  1. Seven years of famine,
  2. Three months of war, or
  3. Three days of pestilence

But David couldn't decide, so God chose option 3 for him, and 70,000 men (no one bothered to count women and children) died.

You can read all about it in 2 Samuel 21.

And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let us fall now into the hand of the LORD; for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man. So the LORD sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even to the time appointed: and there died of the people from Dan even to Beersheba seventy thousand men. 2 Samuel 24:14-15

But if you believe that story, don't read the 1 Chronicles account. Here's what it says.

And the LORD spake unto Gad, David's seer, saying, Go and tell David, saying, Thus saith the LORD, I offer thee three things: choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee. So Gad came to David, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Choose thee Either three years' famine; or three months to be destroyed before thy foes, while that the sword of thine enemies overtaketh thee; or else three days the sword of the LORD, even the pestilence, in the land, and the angel of the LORD destroying throughout all the coasts of Israel. Now therefore advise thyself what word I shall bring again to him that sent me. And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let me fall now into the hand of the LORD; for very great are his mercies: but let me not fall into the hand of man. So the LORD sent pestilence upon Israel: and there fell of Israel seventy thousand men. 1 Chronicles 21:8-12

So was option 1 seven or three years of famine? No wonder poor David couldn't decide! God's options as communicated by Gad were not clearly stated.

But at least both storytellers agree on the number of innocent people killed by God for a census that God and/or Satan inspired: 70,000 men (God only knows how many women and children he killed).

Stories like this can only be found in the Bible.


Jason said...

In this instance, "Satan" and "God" are the same. "Satan" simply means "adversary" and God was an adversary of David's. No 'dynamic duo' at work here.

Steve Wells said...

"In this instance, 'Satan' and 'God' are the same. 'Satan' simply means 'adversary' and God was an adversary of David's."

So Satan and God are the same, Jason? Well, that explains a few things! Thanks for clearing that up.

Jason said...

They're absolutely the same. Once again, "Satan" is simply an "adversary". For example:

An obedient divine angel is Satan: Num. 22:22
Hadad the Edomite is Satan: 1 Kings 11:14
Peter is Satan: Matt. 16:23

As seen from this post, the confusion results when people inexplicably turn Satan into a mystical, supernatural evil deity instead of using the actual defintion of the word to explain things.

Robert said...

Once in a humanities class the instructor was relating the types of debates Socrates was killed for starting amongst the young generation in those days.... As an example he (our instructor) put forth a question for us to discuss... Who is stronger... God or Satan/Devil however you want to look at it. Arguments were made for both cases, but most of us came to the conclusion that God must be limited in some way as to what he can do to those that exist in the same manner as he does. For example it would seem god is unable to destroy the devil or even angels, he can only banish them from his domain. Similar to being exiled from a country. Anyway, I like the way it's put here lol... God (Jekyll) and the Devil (Hyde) this would seem to indicate that even god has a split personality that goes further than the trinity :)

Anonymous said...

What possible positive message or lesson is 'God' trying to teach people in this example? It's the typical 'Do as I say or you're gonna pay' mentality, which of course stems not from a 'God', but from those in power who made this crap up and use childish scare tactics to keep the sheeple in line.

Jason said...

It’s amusing how people have injected the Bible with a fictional evil entity who proves, in his own fictional way, that God isn’t all-powerful…

Anonymous said...

Who was in power when Samuel and Chronicles were written and how would this particular account of "God's" interactions with a single individual have been used to keep the masses in line?

Anonymous said...

It always seemed to me in the Old Testament, and even in the New when Jesus is being tempted by him, that Satan works for God. There really isn't anything about him falling until Revelation anyway.

Jason said...

Sometimes Satan is God, sometimes Satan is a person. In every instance, Satan is nothing more and nothing less than an adversary. What Satan isn't is an individual supernatural evil entity.

Anonymous said...

That's quite funny. So God's suffering from some sort of weird multiple-personality disorder in Job?


Unknown said...

How do we know that we're not seeing a simple numbers territory struggle in those passages--like when Dutch Schultz tried to horn in on Bumpy Johnson's action in Harlam?

Jason said...

Jake, you've been mislead by common religious thought because you haven't done any thinking for youself.

Hadad the Edomite in 1 Kings 11:14. The word "adversary" in this account is the Hebrew word "satan". Hadad, therefore, is satan. If Hadad isn't literally Satan (a supernatural evil entity), then why do you struggle with God being satan (an adversary) in 1 Chronicles? Look at where else this Hebrew word "satan" is used:

1 Samuel 29:4 - The Philistines call David an adversary ("satan").
2 Samuel 19:22 - David calls the sons of Zeruiah adversaries ("satan")
1 Kings 11:23 - Rezon is an adversary ("satan") to Solomon

The account in Job describes an adversary, not a supernatural evil being. We're not told who the adversary is but we know what it isn't: the ruler of the molten lava underworld. :)

This isn't a defense, this is an explanation of something you clearly don't understand. Read the passages for yourself - who, exactly, is "satan": an adversary or an ageless dark evil power?

beepbeepitsme said...

The devil is just god when he's drunk. (apologies to Tom Waits)

Anonymous said...

Matthew 25

41Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels

46And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

Jason said...

Does Matthew 25 prove the devil is a supernatural evil force bent on destruction and tormenting souls for eternity in burning magma?

Anonymous said...

Unfortunatly, I've had a stroke at the age of only 19. Now I'm 25 years old, and although I've recoved a lot, I still have to use a wheelchair. It hurts so much to not be able to enjoy life at the same leveel as before.

The theodicies christians (and people of other religions) offer in order to reconcile the concept of suffering with the idea of a good God are SO incredibly dissatisfactionary it is rediculous. I personally ABSOLUTELY can't help feel I've been mistreated by God. Theodicies are just stupid theoretical nonsense.

(By the way, the God of the bible actually IS an evil, immoral bastard).

Anonymous said...

Does Matthew 25 prove the devil is a supernatural evil force bent on destruction and tormenting souls for eternity in burning magma?

No, it doesn't.
That is God's work, you described him fairly well.

Jason said...

God burns people in burning magma for eternity? What version are you reading from? My bible says man goes the way of the animals (Ecc. 3:19-20) Unless...wait...does God eternally torment wicked animals in hellfire as well...?

That stingray that killed funny man Stevie Irwin is going to pay...

(BTW, what was the Matthew 25 reference for?)

Anonymous said...

Ecclesiastes is Old Testament, are you Christian or Jewish? Jesus should have shut his mouth up before mentioning both devil and hellfire.

Ecclesiastes 3:19
so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.

There's no point in being Christian if you're gonna die regardless. All that "Let us make man in our image, and let them have dominion over the animals" is vanity. The Bible contradicts itself again.

Jason said...

Just because something is in the Old Testament doesn't make it null and void. Christ and the apostles quoted from the OT dozens of times. And so shall I. See, there was nothing wrong with Jesus mentioning the devil and hellfire because people back then were intelligent enough to understood what he was actually talking about. None of this silly fallen angel garbage that's so prevelant today.

The whole point of being a "Christian", as it were, is to ultimately achieve salvation. Surely even you should understand this basic Christian principle. Everyone is going to eventually die, Christian and non-Christian. The only difference is a Christian believes in the resurrection.

lol What's the contradiction in "dominion over the animals"? Ecclesiastes is talking about how men and animals are no different when it comes to death. Genesis is talking about rulership. Do you see how they mean exactly the same thing? No, neither do I. But please, indulge me. Explain the contradiction. I'm obviously missing something.

Anonymous said...

Either you know what parts of the OT are still valid or you're quoting the OT at your convenience.

Ecclesiastes 3:19
19For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity

breath = ruwach = wind, breath, life, spirit.

It seems that there's neither resurrection nor soul/spirit. Of course you can choose the meaning that best suits to your purposes, such is the clarity of the Bible.

Paraphrasing what I wrote before, the authors of Genesis were vain enough to believe man was created in the image and resemblance of a god. To me it seems that men created god, evidenced by Genesis misogynistic stance projected into the NT even (1 Corinthians 11:3 The head of the woman is the man) and the countless made-up gods throughout history.

Jason said...

Anyone who reads the Bible knows which parts of the OT are still valid. It’s not like it’s a big secret! For example, just because Adam & Eve are in the OT doesn’t suddenly make them mystical creatures in the NT. Everything in the OT is valid on some level or another. The only thing that changed between the OT and NT was the doing away of the old law (sacrifices, circumcision, etc.).

Keeping in mind that the verse in Ecclesiastes is talking about death, not resurrection, I agree 100%: there’s no such thing as a soul or spirit in the common religious sense of the word. Yours is a perfect understanding of that verse: Breath = life. Once the breath leaves, so does life. Hence, Genesis 2:7: God “breathed life” into Adam. God breathed life into man and He breathed life into animals – they both end up exactly the same way in the end. See how easy and clear just this verse was to understand? Now imagine that on a much bigger scale, encompassing Genesis to Revelation.

That was a poor paraphrase about Genesis. :) I originally asked where the supposed contradiction is with the verse in Genesis compared with the verses in Ecclesiastes. You made a point, now play fair and back it up.

Unknown said...

I really should point you out to my crazy insane evangelical aunt. I think even she would find you funny.

Considering if you think God IS Satan (Which makes God even more of an immoral bastard) then the entire basis for christianity is shot.

The whole god struggle, throwing out satan because he's a jealous whore... he did that to himself? No.

When Satan tempted Jesus in the desert it was some sort of cruel practical joke by his father?

You need help.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a Jew.

Jews do not accept Jesus as the messiah because:

Jesus did not fulfill the messianic prophecies:

A. Build the Third Temple (Ezekiel 37:26-28).

B. Gather all Jews back to the Land of Israel (Isaiah 43:5-6).

C. Usher in an era of world peace, and end all hatred, oppression, suffering and disease. As it says: "Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall man learn war anymore." (Isaiah 2:4)

D. Spread universal knowledge of the God of Israel, which will unite humanity as one. As it says: "God will be King over all the world -- on that day, God will be One and His Name will be One" (Zechariah 14:9).

The historical fact is that Jesus fulfilled none of these messianic prophecies.

Jesus did not embody the personal qualifications of the Messiah.

A. Jesus was not a prophet. Prophecy can only exist in Israel when the land is inhabited by a majority of world Jewry. During the time of Ezra (circa 300 BCE), when the majority of Jews refused to move from Babylon to Israel, prophecy ended upon the death of the last prophets -- Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi.

B. The Messiah must be descended on his father's side from King David (see Genesis 49:10 and Isaiah 11:1). According to the Christian claim that Jesus was the product of a virgin birth, he had no father.

C. The Messiah will lead the Jewish people to full Torah observance. The Torah states that all mitzvot remain binding forever, and anyone coming to change the Torah is immediately identified as a false prophet. (Deut. 13:1-4)

Biblical verses "referring" to Jesus are mistranslations.


The verse in Psalms 22:17 reads: "Like a lion, they are at my hands and feet." The Hebrew word ki-ari (like a lion) is grammatically similar to the word "gouged." Thus Christianity reads the verse as a reference to crucifixion: "They pierced my hands and feet."

Further reading:

Christianity contradicts Jewish theology

All the prophets foretold that the messiah would redeem the Jews, help them, gather in the exiles and support their observance of the commandments. But he caused Jewry to be put to the sword, to be scattered and to be degraded; he tampered with the Torah and its laws; and he misled most of the world to serve something other than God.

Taken from http://tinyurl.com/37er6
Read also www.jewfaq.org/looking4.htm

Jason said...

The whole basis for Christianity rests on the existence of Satan...?

As I've mentioned a number of times in this post and others, "satan" is a Hebrew word meaning "adversary". This is what the word means, it's there for everyone to see for themselves. God is described as being an adversary, so is David, so were enemies of Solomon. This adversary isn't ruler of the underworld, lord of hell.

I'm astounded that you, as an atheist, in a position of not caring either way, is choosing to defend mainstream Christianity.

Look at the definition of the word and its application in the references listed above (1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings). Do they prove the existence of a supernatural evil force created before the beginning of time itself?

Anonymous said...

Jews don't accept Christ because they don't accept the New Testament. Simple as that.

1. Regarding messianic prophecies, the four you mentioned haven't yet been fulfilled.

2. Prophets existed before Israel existed. Moses and Aaron are good examples.

3. There are how many prophecies of Jesus in the OT? 100? 200? Are they all mistranslations?

4. In what version of what Bible do you read that Jesus asked the world to worship him or something else other than God?

Anonymous said...

1. Therefore Jesus can't be the Messiah.

2. The Nation of Israel existed, the Kingdom of Israel did not.

3. Name them all.

4. You're Christian, aren't you? The NT revolves around Jesus not YHWH.

Anonymous said...

at #2: (In Moses time)The Nation of Israel existed, the Kingdom of Israel did not.

Anonymous said...

1. Jesus will fulfill the prophecies when he returns.

2. This was your remark: "Prophecy can only exist in Israel when the land is inhabited by a majority of world Jewry." Please clarify in light of your recent comment. Consider also, Abraham was called a prophet before the word "Israel" had even been mentioned, whether as a Kingdom or as a nation. Was Israel a "nation" in Egypt? Or when they were fleeing?

3. For sake of berevity, here's a few:
• Born in Bethlehem: Micah 5:2, Matthew 2:1;
• Entry into Jerusalem on a donkey: Zechariah 9:9, John 12:13-14;
• Blood money to be returned for a potter's field: Zechariah 11:13, Matthew 27:6-7;
• Silent to accusations: Isaiah 53:7, Matthew 26:62-63;
• Soldiers divided his garments and gambled for his clothing: Psalm 22:18, Matt.27:35;
• Crucified with criminals: Isaiah 53:12, Mark 15:27-28;
• Given gall and vinegar: Psalm 69:21, Matthew 27:34, 48;
• No bones broken: Psalm 34:20.... John 19:32-36;
• Vicarious Sacrifice: Isaiah 53:4-5, 6, 12, Matthew 8:16-17, Romans 4:25, 5:6-8, 1 Corinthians 15:3;
• Christ at the right hand of God: Psalm 110:1, Hebrews 1:2,3;
• The way prepared by John the Baptist: Isaiah 40:3,5, John 1:23, Luke 3:3-6.

Etc., etc.

4. I'll ask again: In what version of what Bible do you read that Jesus asked the world to worship him or something else other than God? (Remember, not all Christians are Trinitarian...)

Nonetheless, we should probably be having this conversation elsewhere. The topic here is Satan :)

Anonymous said...

Sorry for hijacking this thread.

1. Jews don't believe that Jesus is the messiah because he never did any of the things that the prophets proclaimed the messiah would do. Christianity gets around this by saying that Jesus will come back to do all of those things.

2. The remark was not mine but a Rabbi's.

A nation is a group of humans who are assumed to share a common origin, identity, language, religion, ideology, culture, and/or history. Back in Moses' days world's Jewry was concentrated in Egypt, then Moses took them to the desert.

Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were more likely Patriarchs than Prophets. According to www.jewfaq.org/prophet.htm they were Prophets. Jesus didn't make it to the list either.

The Jews also believe that Adam, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are not dead but sleeping in the Cave of Machpela, rising from time to time to beg mercy for their children, so whatever.

3. I'm familiar with Psalm 22 because it was heavily quoted by the evangelists. There David describes his own pain, anguish, and longing during those times when he was a fugitive from his enemies. Consequently, this is an historical rather than a messianic psalm. Furthermore, Psalms is not in the Nevi'im but in the Kh'tuvim, it is not a prophetic book. You can read further at www.messiahtruth.com/psa22.html

According to www.messiahtruth.com/isai53b.html Isaiah 53 is about gentile nations exclaiming their shock over how they had treated G-d's servant, Israel.

Isaiah 53:7 / Matthew 26:62-63
Ah, ok. But you forgot to quote Matthew 26:64

64 Jesus saith to him, `Thou hast said; nevertheless I say to you, hereafter ye shall see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of the power, and coming upon the clouds, of the heaven.'

Isaiah 53:4-5, 6, 12
Christians interpret this verse as a foreshadowing of Jesus’ atoning death on the cross. However, the verse does not explicitly mention such a concept, which is completely foreign to the Torah (Exodus 32:33), which tell us that a man cannot make atonement for others.

Psalm 110:1
Again, Psalms is not a prophetic book.
King David, while not allowed to build the Temple, did everything he could to prepare the way for it to be built, and among the things he did was compile the book of Psalms to be sung by the Levites in the Temple. This Psalm was meant to be sung by the Levites, and thus reflects their point of view, for they would call their king "adoni."

Psalm 34:20
From http://tinyurl.com/ynphjj
Psalm 34 contrasts two groups of people - the righteous (34:7) and the wicked (34:16). It is in this context that verse 20 appears, as one of the benefits of being righteous.

Psalm 69:21
This requires belief in Jesus before this becomes a valid proof. Additionally, this same logic is used for the verse regarding drinking vinegar. Because Jesus drank vinegar on the cross, and the Psalm speaks of someone being served vinegar to drink, obviously the Psalm must be talking about Jesus! This sort of logic is hopelessly flawed.

Furthermore, this Psalm (69) disagrees with the New Testament's portrayal of Jesus:

Psalms 69:5 O G-d, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee. (KJV)

It is quite well known that Christians espouse the doctrine of Jesus' "sinless nature." However, if the New Testament wants to apply Psalm 69 to Jesus, the Jewish people have no problem with the idea.

Micah 5:2
By searching the Internet I've found 2 solutions to this:

1) This verse should be placed in context with what is written about King David in Ezekiel chapters 34, and 36.

When these are put into context with Micah 5:2, then we can see that this speaks of King David, coming forth from Bethlehem to be the one king, and shepherd, in the last days.

2. Bethlehem, in the original Hebrew is Beit-Lechem, the house of Lechem (lechem = bread), and can refer to a city or clan. In this case, since the text says clan, it means clan. It does not matter what city the Messiah is born in, just what clan he is from. Since Jesus was claimed not to be Joseph's son, he is not a descendant of David or Solomon and, therefore, not from the clan Bethlehem of Ephrath. The phrase: "whose origin is from old" simply means the Messiah will come from a family with a long lineage.

This is one of my own: Matthew just quoted Micah 5:2

Micah 5:2 (KJV)
2But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

Matthew 2:6 (KJV)
6And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

4. You know people call themselves Christian because they follow Jesus Christ's teachings. Christians persecuted Jews, the Spanish Inquisition exiled the Jews, Christian Europe and Orthodox Russia were known for the pogroms against the Jews, that's why it's said that Jesus caused Jewry to be put to the sword.

Catholics aren't the only ones that worship Jesus as God.

I'm not a Christian anymore. FYI John 1 claims Jesus is God.

John 1:1,14 (KJV)
1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
14And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Anonymous said...

Thanks :)

Jason said...

So you're not a Christian, you're a Jew? That's quite the leap! Impressive.

I'm curious, do you think Jesus caused the Israelites to be put to the sword in the OT?

Anonymous said...

I'm atheist, therefore I don't think Jesus caused the Israelites to be put to the sword during the Old Testament time frame.

From an Orthodox Jewish perspective, Jesus Christ didn't exist at all, therefore he couldn't have killed Israelites in the OT narratives.

From an Unitarian perspective(Mark 10:18, John 5:19, James 1:13) Jesus is not YHWH and hence he couldn't have killed Israelites in the OT narratives.

From a Binitarian or a Trinitarian perspective (Mat 14:33, John 1, John 10:30-33, John 20:28, 1 John 5:20) Jesus as YHWH killed Israelites in the OT stories.

From a Mohammedan perspective, Jesus (Isa) was only a messenger of Allah (Qur'an 4:171)he didn't exist prior to his earthly birth so he couldn't have killed Israelites in the OT narratives.

Jason said...

Sorry, it's just that you seemed to have been supporting the Jewish opinion about Christ not being a prophet...

Christ never taught the idea that he was God. This is a fundamental point that goes astonishingly unnoticed. But as an atheist, I'm sure you don't really care either way ;)

It's kind of like Satan. The fact that "satan" is nothing more than an "adversary" shouldn't be relevant to someone who doesn't believe either way. This is why I don't really get why so many atheists here are debating who he is and isn't!

Anonymous said...

Well, Jesus didn't write anything himself, it was the evangelists who put words in his mouth. The NT flirts with the "Jesus is God" idea, though.

Yup, maybe we atheists shouldn't care much about Satan/The Devil besides pointing to the fact that he seems much less evil than we know who. I think that fellow atheists want you to know that you believe the wrong version of a false religion (Please, I beg you to take no offense)

Hey, have you read "Letters from the Earth" by Mark Twain? www.positiveatheism.org/hist/twainlfe.htm It's about Satan writing to Michael and Gabriel about humans and their weird customs. Read it just for fun.

Jason said...

I'm not sure what your first point is all about...? None of the writers wrote anything without first being inspired by God.

The NT flirts with lots of things but only because people try and fit their beliefs into Scripture instead of the other way around. That Jesus is the son of God and not God himself can be explained and proven in any number of ways so, so easily. But Christian tradition is too thick for anyone to change their minds now. It's a shame.

You're absolutely right. An atheist shouldn't care about Satan because it's absolutely irrelevant. An atheist telling me I believe the wrong version of a false religion is truly, honestly nothing I'm going to take seriously. No offense.

I have yet though, to see anything offered about why my beliefs about Satan are false. Argue the facts, not your presuppositions.

Anonymous said...

lol "...the wrong version of a false religion..." What a bizarre statement.

Anonymous said...

So, the god of truth is also the father of lies (satan). That means the holy spirit is also the evil one. Jason has just blasphemed against the holy spirit - stone him, he's a witch!

If god is real, I'll see you in hell dude

Billy Sands

Jason said...

lol Billy, you're a comedien.

Have you actually read this whole post? For the hundredth time, God was an "adversary" to David, as Hadad was an "adversary" to Solomon and Peter an "adversary" to Jesus. The English word "adversary" is the Hebrew word "satan". Is Hadad considered to be the "Father of Lies"?

Instead of regurgatating the same old mindless drivel, why not try the intellectual route and do some satan investigating. You'd probably be surprised how simple this issue is to figure out.

Anonymous said...

Here's what ApologeticsPress.org says on the subject:

Who Incited David to Number Israel?

Dave B said...

41 replies, with nary a one discussing Steve's original point. According to the bible, 70,000 innocent men died because God/Satan was unjustly upset with David. This hideous immmoral story on its own proves to me that the bible has no connection whatsoever with a loving creator. Getting wrapped up in the definition of "Satan" is like arguing over how to properly spell the name of a rapist. This story, as do dozens in the bible, sicken me.

Anonymous said...

We're owed nothing and we have no rights. God gives life and He takes life away. Whether we think God is right or wrong is unfortunately of no consequence.

Anonymous said...


If God killing people sickens you, I would imagine that God saving people leaves you feeling happy?

Dave B said...

Anonymous, no. The concept of salvation based on a single irrational and immoral decision as all others die or worse sickens me as well.

Anonymous said...

Who's talking about salvation? When God does something 'good' in the Bible, I would assume this makes you happy.

Dave B said...

Um, read your own post. You said, and I quote, “…God saving people…”. That means salvation. It is difficult to have a meaningful discussion if you don’t use the words that match your intent. And when God does something “good” in the bible, yeah, it makes me happy, just as when Captain Kirk does something good in Star Trek.

Anonymous said...

God saving people. Let's see, God saved Noah and his family. God saved Lot from Sodom & Gomorrah. God saved the Israelites. God saved Joseph. I can provide more examples if you'd like.

So, um, "save' matches my intent, not "salvation". That's your intent. Talk about trying to have a meaningful discussion...

God makes you happy sometimes. Well that's really good. Your admission is duly noted. :)

Unknown said...

Anonymous said...
God saving people. Let's see, God saved Noah and his family. God saved Lot from Sodom & Gomorrah. God saved the Israelites. God saved Joseph. I can provide more examples if you'd like.

God saved noah - Killed everyone else on the planet. Including billions of animals. And then had sacrifices of millions more. Bad choice.

God saved Lot - Killed everyone else in Sodom. Though, Sodom was a bit on the crazy side, they didn't deserve to die. Bad choice.

God saved Israelities. - Killed the slaughter of what, 40 different kings and kingdoms 'Ripping open the babies, leaving no one alive, including the women and children, but keeping the young female virgins for yourself.' Bad bad choice. Almost disgusting.

God saved Joseph - I don't understand what your going for here.

God saved humanity - Yeah, from HIMSELF. He chooses to send people to hell, not someone else!

Anonymous said...

The subject was actually about God saving people. Read the posts.

Calvin Lawson said...

"In this instance, "Satan" and "God" are the same."

Christians did not write Chronicles or Samuel, these are Jewish scriptures. To Jews, Satan is a dutiful SERVANT of God, whom he uses to "test" (IE: Frak with) people.

Link to Jewish Encyclopedia:

So there is no contradiction.

Using Christian scriptures to interpret older Jewish scriptures is best left to those who aren't looking for what the words originally meant.

Also, notice one refers to "Israel and Judah" and the other refers to "Israel". This is also a good indicator of the time difference between the two accounts, and the differing views of God between those periods (one believed God acted directly, the other believing God acted more indirectly, through angels).

Chris Hunt said...

It seems to me that there are two possible explanations of this story:

1) A loving and benevolent God takes against the idea of censuses. He doesn't say anything about it beforehand, but after the event he punishes the man responsible by killing 70,000 other people.

2) A natural disaster coincidentally happens shortly after a census has taken. People assume that the census has angered their made-up deity.

Which is more plausible?

Kristy Deforge said...

Zoroastrianism doesn't exist in the Hebrew scriptures, but it did when it was translated, this is just a perfect example of Zoroastrianisms' influence on the translators of the scriptures.

It is simply a mistranslation, Yehovah provoked David - as an adversary to David - to do the census in both instances, the King James translators just chose to call him "Satan" here .. lol