26 August 2009

Has God forced you to eat any of your children lately?

Me neither, and I don't know why.

God was very clear about it in Deuteronomy 28. If you don't follow all of his laws, he will force you to eat your children.

Here are just some of the things God promises to do to you if you don't follow his laws.

But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee: Deuteronomy 28:15

Thou shalt betroth a wife ... 28:30a

... and another man shall lie with her. 28:30b

The LORD will smite thee with the botch of Egypt, and with the emerods, and with the scab, and with the itch, whereof thou canst not be healed ... The LORD will rejoice over you to destroy you ... 28:27, 63

The LORD shall smite thee in the knees, and in the legs, with a sore botch that cannot be healed, from the sole of thy foot unto the top of thy head. 28:35

The LORD shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart. And thou shalt grope at noonday, as the blind gropeth in darkness. 28:28-29

And thy carcase shall be meat unto all fowls of the air, and unto the beasts of the earth, and no man shall fray them away. 28:22

And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters. 28:53

All these curses shall come upon thee, and shall pursue thee, and overtake thee, till thou be destroyed; because thou hearkenedst not unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which he commanded thee. 28:45

20 August 2009

When to Stone Your Whole Family

OK, I admit it. I stole the title from the Brick Testament.

But the Brick Testament pretty much stole it from the Bible, so I guess it all works out OK.

Deuteronomy 13 gets my vote for the worst chapter in the Bible. But before we get into it, let's look at its context.

The last verse of chapter 12 says this.

What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it. Deuteronomy 12:32

The person who is supposedly talking here is God, and he says to do whatever he says, exactly as he says, no more and no less.

And what does he say to do immediately after this verse? Three things.

  1. Kill any prophet or dreamer of dreams. Even if they have cool signs and wonders. (Like Jesus.)
    If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder ... that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death. Deuteronomy 13:1-5

  2. Kill your family if they have religious beliefs that differ from your own. (Like that crazy aunt of yours who's a Jehovah's Witness.)
    If thy brother ... or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods ... Thou shalt not consent unto him ... neither shall thine eye pity him ... But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. Deuteronomy 13:6-10

  3. Kill everyone in every city that has citizens that believe differently than you. (Like Salt Lake City.)
    If thou shalt hear ... men ... saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which ye have not known ... Thou shalt surely smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly, and all that is therein, and the cattle thereof, with the edge of the sword. Deuteronomy 13:12-17

But I'd like to focus on God's second command in Deuteronomy 13: When to Stone Your Whole Family.

If thy brother ... or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods ... Thou shalt not consent unto him ... neither shall thine eye pity him. Deuteronomy 13:6-8

But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death. Deuteronomy 13:8-9

and afterwards the hand of all the people. Deuteronomy 13:9

So God commands us all to stone to death, without pity, our wife, husband, son, daughter, brother, sister, or friend, if they have religious beliefs that are different from our own. (Our own beliefs are the correct beliefs, of course.)

And God said immediately before these verses that "what thing soever I command you, observe to do it."

Is there a believer that follows God's command in Deuteronomy 13:6-10? Or who thinks it's a good idea but is too chicken to do it? Or that was a good idea back in the day but isn't so good now?

Is there a believer who thinks this command was really given by, or at least inspired by, God? Or that God had anything to do with it?

Is there a believer who is not deeply ashamed that this passage is in the Bible?

If so, I'd love to hear about it.

19 August 2009

All the men, women, and children in 60 cities

I suppose I could call this God's 30th to 89th killings, since there must have been 60 separate killing events. If God did the killing himself, he could have done it all at once. But he was relying on people to do his killing for him, so it must have taken some time. First the Israelites had to go to city 1 and kill all the men, women, and children that lived there, then on to city 2, and so on up to the 60th city. But since the Bible lumps all 60 killings together, I will too.

The Bible doesn't spend a lot of time on these killings. Only 4 verses.
So the LORD our God delivered into our hands Og also, the king of Bashan, and all his people: and we smote him until none was left to him remaining. And we took all his cities at that time, there was not a city which we took not from them, threescore cities, all the region of Argob, the kingdom of Og in Bashan. … And we utterly destroyed them, we did unto Sihon king of Heshbon, utterly destroying the men, women, and children, of every city. Deuteronomy 3.3-6
(The story is also told in Numbers 21:33-35.)

Although God is proud of all of his killings, he is especially proud of killing King Og and his people, since they were the last of the giants. Og, for example, had a bed that was 13.5 feet long!
For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of giants; behold his bedstead … nine cubits was the length thereof, and four cubits the breadth of it, after the cubit of a man. 3.11
Here's what Moses says when he's encouraging Joshua to carry on God's killing tradition.
Thine eyes have seen all that the LORD your God hath done unto these two kings: so shall the LORD do unto all the kingdoms whither thou passest. Ye shall not fear them: for the LORD your God he shall fight for you … For what God is there in heaven or in earth, that can do according to thy works, and according to thy might? 3.21-24
And Moses has a point here. What other god has killed as many as the God of the Bible?
(Since the Israelites killed everyone in 60 cities, I put the death toll at 60,000.)

God's next killing: The Jericho massacre

18 August 2009

God hardens King Sihon's heart so that all his people can be killed

After God killed off all the old soldiers and at least most of giants, it was time to get what was left of the Israelite army moving again.
Rise ye up, take your journey, and pass over the river Arnon: behold, I have given into thine hand Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and his land: begin to possess it, and contend with him in battle. Deuteronomy 2:24
God tells them to terrorize the current occupants of the land they are about to steal. The entire world will fear, tremble, and anguish at the very thought of them.
This day will I begin to put the dread of thee and the fear of thee upon the nations that are under the whole heaven, who shall hear report of thee, and shall tremble, and be in anguish because of thee. Deuteronomy 2:25
The Israelites begin by lying about their true intentions. They send messengers to King Sihon asking to pass through his land, promising to pay for food and water along the way.
And I sent messengers out of the wilderness of Kedemoth unto Sihon king of Heshbon with words of peace, saying, Let me pass through thy land: I will go along by the high way, I will neither turn unto the right hand nor to the left. Thou shalt sell me meat for money, that I may eat; and give me water for money, that I may drink: only I will pass through on my feet. Deuteronomy 2:26-28
But then God runs into a bit of a problem. What if King Sihon agrees to let the Israelites pass through his land? Then the Israelites wouldn't get to kill all of his people and God would be sad. So God has a brilliant idea: he'll harden King Sihon's heart so that he won't let them pass. (It worked so well with the Pharaoh that God thought he'd try it again here.)
But Sihon king of Heshbon would not let us pass by him: for the LORD thy God hardened his spirit, and made his heart obstinate, that he might deliver him into thy hand. Deuteronomy 2:30
And God's plan worked perfectly. After God hardened King Sihon's heart, he refused to let the Israelites pass and fought to protect his land. Which gave God and the Israelites all the excuse they needed to kill the king along with every man, woman, and child in every city in the kingdom.
And the LORD our God delivered him before us; and we smote him, and his sons, and all his people. Deuteronomy 2:33
And we took all his cities at that time, Deuteronomy 2:33
and utterly destroyed the men, and the women, and the little ones, of every city, we left none to remain. Deuteronomy 2:33
Sometimes God has to harden a heart in order to kill thousands of people.

A note on the number of victims.
Since everyone in every city was killed, I guessed 3000.

God's next killing: All the men, women, and children in 60 cities

17 August 2009

God the giant killer

After God kills off the old soldiers in his early retirement program and before the new, youthful army begins to kill again for him, he brags a bit about some of his past killings. He is especially proud of knocking off an entire race of giants, the Zamzummim.
That also was accounted a land of giants: giants dwelt therein in old time; and the Ammonites call them Zamzummims; A people great, and many, and tall, as the Anakims; but the LORD destroyed them before them; and they succeeded them, and dwelt in their stead. Deuteronomy 2:20-21
There were a few other groups that God also killed that I don't think I've accounted for yet: the Horim, Avim, and the Caphtorim.
As he did to the children of Esau, which dwelt in Seir, when he destroyed the Horims from before them; and they succeeded them, and dwelt in their stead even unto this day: And the Avims which dwelt in Hazerim, even unto Azzah, the Caphtorims, which came forth out of Caphtor, destroyed them, and dwelt in their stead. Deuteronomy 2:22-23
The Bible doesn't say how many were in these groups. So I'll just guess 5,000 for the lot of them.

God's next killing: God hardens King Sihon's heart so he can kill him and all of his people

14 August 2009

God slowly kills the Israelite army

This is a strange one and I completely missed it until now.

Read it and let me know what you think.
And the space in which we came from Kadeshbarnea, until we were come over the brook Zered, was thirty and eight years; until all the generation of the men of war were wasted out from among the host, as the LORD sware unto them. For indeed the hand of the LORD was against them, to destroy them from among the host, until they were consumed. So it came to pass, when all the men of war were consumed and dead from among the people, That the LORD spake unto me, saying.... Deuteronomy 2:14-17
It's hard to understand, isn't it, especially without any Brick Testament illustrations? But it sure sounds like God killed the entire Israelite army -- slowly -- over a period of 38 years.

It's not a very impressive killing, though, as God's killings go. He mostly just waited for them all to die of natural causes. Prostate cancer, heart attack, stroke.

But God claims to have killed them all himself, so I guess we should give him credit. How many old soldiers do you think died because "the hand of the Lord was against them?"

So how many soldiers did God kill?

Well, they started off with 603,550 men "from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war in Israel" and the only people that the Bible mentions dying along the way are those that God killed, which total a bit over 50,000. But I suppose some people must have died of natural causes over the 38 year period. So I'll just say that God killed 500,000 soldiers.

Thanks for your help on this one. Now I just need to update the list. Be sure to check my numbers!

God's next killing: God the giant killer

10 August 2009

God's Killings in Numbers (Don't complain about them!)

Here's a summary of God's 13 killings in the Book of Numbers.
Killing Event Verse Estimated number killed Cumulative total
1 God burned people to death for complaining Numbers 11:1 100 100
2 God sent "a very great plague" for complaining about the food. 11:33 10,000 10,100
3 God killed ten scouts with a plague. 14:35-36 10 10,110
4 A man who gathered firewood on the sabbath is stoned to death 15:32-26 1 10,111
5 Korah, Dathan, and Abiram (and their families) are buried alive for complaining about Moses' leadership 16:27 12 10,123
6 Burned to death for offering incense 16:35 250 10,373
7 For complaining about God's killings 16:49 14,700 25,073
8 Massacre of the Aradites 21:1-3 3000 28,073
9 God sent serpents to bite the people for complaining about the lack of food and water. 21:6 100 28,173
10 God delivers the Bashanites into Moses' hands 21:34-35 2000 30,173
11 Phinehas impales a mixed-race couple having sex 25:6-8 2 30,175
12 For "committing whoredom with the daughters of Moab" 25:9 24,000 54,175
13 Midianite massacre 31:1-35 200,000 254,175

See something that stands out in this list? I do. (You probably do too since I highlighted it.) It is the central message of the Book of Numbers: Don't complain, especially not about the food or God's killings.

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