27 March 2009

God's Killings in Genesis: A summary

OK. I think I'm done with Genesis now. Here's a summary.
Killing EventVerseEstimated number killed
1Noah's Flood Genesis 7:23 20,000,000?
2 Sodom and Gomorrah Genesis 19:24 1,000?
3 Lot's wife Genesis 19:261
4 Er who was "wicked in the sight of the Lord" Genesis 38:7, 1 Chronicles 2:3 1
5 Onan for spilling his seed Genesis 38:10 1
6 A 7 year, world-wide famine Genesis 41:25-54 70,000 ?

So in Genesis, there were 6 killing events, with 3 named victims, and an estimated total of 30 million or so.

But there are a few things that I've left off the list that I should mention, since they provide more evidence of God's murderous nature.

  1. God sent "great plagues" on the Pharaoh for believing Abraham's lie (about Sarah being his sister). Since the Bible doesn't say what these plagues were or whether or not anyone died in them, I have left them off the list. Genesis 12:17

  2. God either commanded or approved of animal sacrifices to him by Abel, Noah, and Abraham.

  3. God threatened to kill Abimelech and his people for believing Abraham's lie (about the ever-beautiful 90 year old Sarah being his sister). Genesis 20:3-7

  4. God told Abraham to abandon his first son (Ishmael) and Hagar (Ishmael's mother) in the desert. Genesis 21:10-14

  5. God commanded Abraham to kill his second son (Isaac) by offering him as a burned sacrifice, and God rewarded Abraham for being willing to do so. Genesis 22:2-13

  6. Jacob's sons tricked all of the men of a city and then killed them (after first having them all circumcised), taking their wives and children captive. God didn't seem to mind. Genesis 34:1-31 (Brick Testament Story)

  7. "The terror of God was on cities round about them." Since the Bible doesn't say what "the terror of God" was or whether any people were killed by it, I have left it off the list. Genesis 34:5
Let me know if I've missed anything. Otherwise, I'm off to Exodus.


David said...


Are you familiar with the books of Jonathan Kirsch? Several of them deal with themes like this.

Steve Wells said...

Yeah, I have read several of his books (King David, Moses, The Harlot by the Side of the Road, and God Against the Gods). I really enjoyed them.

busterggi said...

C'mon, the total for a world-wide famine is way more than 10,000. Consider WORLD-wide means all five continents plus island dwellers.

100,000 maybe but I'd think even that would be conservative.

Steve Wells said...


I agree, 10,000 is probably too low. Maybe I should make it 100,000.

Does anyone else have an opinion on this?

TWF said...

It's all just silly speculation, but I would have to agree with busterggi, 10,000 is a bit too low. 100,000 seems a better, if still conservative estimate.

Hmmm, if only there was historic evidence to shed light on the matter... ;-)

Matthew Blanchette said...

I think you should bump it up, as well; makes God all the prouder to have a few more nameless corpses under his belt.

Steve Wells said...

OK. How about 70,000? 10k for each year of the world-wide famine.

Matthew Blanchette said...

Works for me.

By the way, might I add that this is probably one of the best blogs on the Net? :)

Steve Wells said...

OK. I'll bump the 7 year world-wide famine death total to 70,000.

Thanks for the suggestion.

FrodoSaves said...

I'm looking forward to how you'll deal with Jesus. Will he be counted in each book that vividly features his death? Will you have to amend your figures when he's resurrected, and then change them back when he ascends in to heaven? Biblical statistics is truly a tricky discipline.

Mellabelle said...

The wages of SIN is death whether Satan claims a soul or God. Perhaps there is a higher (Spiritual) thought than the earthly way one thinks about death. God designed us to live forever so we hate death. He put the tree in the center of all places--but to give a choice. He explained death would occur but Eve went around Life to death. I think God was pissed about death. I think He is ALL Powerful but He is also limited by things in spirit realms we just don't comprehend. All that to say, if your gonna compare God and Satan--do it fairly. There's not much about the dust eater in Genesis.

Unknown said...

Why "estimated total of 30 million"? In the list you count about 20 million. Typo?

Unknown said...

1000 is much to low. Archeology claims to have found the "cities of the plain" in which there appears to have been bustling places of commerce. I'd start at 50,000 at least