28 February 2010

Jehu assembled the followers of Baal and then slaughtered them all

After Jehu finished killing Ahab's family in Samaria, he called an assembly to worship Baal.
Jehu gathered all the people together, and said unto them, Ahab served Baal a little; but Jehu shall serve him much. 2 Kings 10:18
Jehu would lead the sacrifice to Baal and any follower of Baal that did not come would be killed.
Now therefore call unto me all the prophets of Baal, all his servants, and all his priests; let none be wanting: for I have a great sacrifice to do to Baal; whosoever shall be wanting, he shall not live. 2 Kings 10:19a
But he was lying, of course. He assembled the followers of Baal, not to worship Baal with them as he said, but to kill them all.
But Jehu did it in subtilty ... that he might destroy the worshippers of Baal. 2 Kings 10:19b
So Jehu called the assembly.
Jehu said, Proclaim a solemn assembly for Baal. And they proclaimed it. And Jehu sent through all Israel: and all the worshippers of Baal came, so that there was not a man left that came not. And they came into the house of Baal; and the house of Baal was full from one end to another. 2 Kings 10:20-21
Then he told 80 of his men to kill of the worshipers of Baal, saying he'd kill whoever let any escape.
And when they went in to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings, Jehu appointed fourscore men without, and said, If any of the men whom I have brought into your hands escape, he that letteth him go, his life shall be for the life of him. 2 Kings 10:24
When Jehu finished his sacrifice to Baal, he ordered the sacrifice of all of the followers of Baal.
As soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, that Jehu said to the guard and to the captains, Go in, and slay them; let none come forth. And they smote them with the edge of the sword. 2 Kings 10:25
God approved of this and all of Jehu's previous mass murders. He liked them so much, in fact, that Jehu's sons would be kings of Israel for the next four generations.
And the LORD said unto Jehu, Because thou hast done well in executing that which is right in mine eyes, and hast done unto the house of Ahab according to all that was in mine heart, thy children of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel. 2 Kings 10:25
God's next killing: The priest of Baal and Queen Athaliah

26 February 2010

Practical matters from Scripture: What should be done with Tilikum?

Bryan Fischer at RenewAmerica.com has a great idea. Let's apply scripture to everyday life.

Take the recent, tragic incident at SeaWorld in Olando, where a trainer was killed by an orca, for example. It wouldn't have happened if we paid attention to scripture.

Mr. Fischer says that God's instructions on such matters are clearly laid out in Exodus 21:28-29.

So let's take a look at these verses.

If an ox gore a man or a woman, that they die: then the ox shall be surely stoned, and his flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox shall be quit. Exodus 21:28

Well, I'm not sure that this verse applies directly to orcas, but I like the way Bryan is thinking. So let's stay with him on this.

Exodus 21:28 says that if someone is killed by an ox, then we must stone the ox to death.

Which means, I guess, that we should stone Tilikum to death.

This brings up some practical problems, though, doesn't it? How can we can stone an orca to death? I guess Mr. Fischer thinks we should try.

But however we kill Tilikum, we can't eat him afterward. Oh, and the owner is to be considered blameless.

On to verse 29.

But if the ox were wont to push with his horn in time past, and it hath been testified to his owner, and he hath not kept him in, but that he hath killed a man or a woman; the ox shall be stoned, and his owner also shall be put to death. Exodus 21:29

This verse makes things much more interesting, especially since this was not the first time someone was "gored" by Tilikum.

If we follow the Bible on this, we not only have find a way to stone Tilikum, we also have to kill his owner (or owners), as well.

Yeah, the the folks at Sea World should have followed the Bible.

Or maybe we should just stop using large predators as entertainment.

25 February 2010

Jehu and his partner show their zeal for the Lord by killing the rest of Ahab's family

After meeting with Ahaziah's family (and killing them all), Jehu got into his chariot and drove away furiously toward Samaria. On his way he ran across an old friend, Jehonadab.

Jehu asked Jehonadab, "Is your heart as true to mine as mine is to yours?" And Jehonadb said, "It is." (I guess they were really good friends.)
When he was departed thence, he lighted on Jehonadab the son of Rechab coming to meet him: and he saluted him, and said to him, Is thine heart right, as my heart is with thy heart? And Jehonadab answered, It is. 2 Kings 10:15a
Then Jehu said, "If it is, give me your hand." (This is getting so romantic!)
If it be, give me thine hand. 2 Kings 10:15b
So Jehu reached out his hand and took Jehonadab into the chariot.
And he gave him his hand; and he took him up to him into the chariot. 2 Kings 10:15c
When Jehonadab and Jehu were finally together, Jehu said, "Come with me, and see my zeal for the Lord."
And he said, Come with me, and see my zeal for the LORD. 2 Kings 10:16
Then the two men, whose hearts were true to each other, rode off into the sunset toward Samaria.

When they arrived in Samaria, they slaughtered the rest of Ahab's family, "according to the saying of the LORD, which he spake to Elijah."
And when he came to Samaria, he slew all that remained unto Ahab in Samaria, till he had destroyed him, according to the saying of the LORD, which he spake to Elijah. 2 Kings 10:17
And by so doing, the true-hearted partners expressed their zeal for the Lord.

The Bible doesn't say how many were killed, so I just guessed 100.
There really should be a Brick Testament story for this one!

God's next killing: Jehu assembles the followers of Baal and then slaughters them all

Jehu killed 42 of Ahaziah's family (and God approved of this killing)

After Jehu killed what remained of Ahab's family in Jezreel, he went to Samaria and met with the family of king Ahaziah of Judah.
And he arose and departed, and came to Samaria. And ... met with the brethren of Ahaziah king of Judah, and said, Who are ye? And they answered, We are the brethren of Ahaziah; and we go down to salute the children of the king and the children of the queen. 2 KIngs 10:12-13
It was a short, productive meeting. Jehu had only one action item: kill all the attendees.
And he said, Take them alive. And they took them alive, and slew them at the pit of the shearing house, even two and forty men; neither left he any of them. 2 KIngs 10:14
That's all that 2 Kings says about it. But the killing is also covered in 2 Chronicles.
The destruction of Ahaziah was of God by coming to Joram: for when he was come, he went out with Jehoram against Jehu the son of Nimshi, whom the LORD had anointed to cut off the house of Ahab. And it came to pass, that, when Jehu was executing judgment upon the house of Ahab, and found the princes of Judah, and the sons of the brethren of Ahaziah, that ministered to Ahaziah, he slew them. And he sought Ahaziah: and they caught him, (for he was hid in Samaria,) and brought him to Jehu: and when they had slain him. 2 Chronicles 22:7-9
So we know that the killing of Ahaziah's 42 relatives was "of God" -- which means that God approved of these killings.
But was it part of Jehu's hit list from God?
I guess God only knows that, and he's not telling.
(I guess even God has the right to remain silent.)

God's next killing: Jehu and his partner show their zeal for the Lord by killing the rest of Ahab’s family

24 February 2010

Context: It almost always makes it worse

When it comes to God's killings in the Bible, context matters. And it almost always makes them less defensible.

Maybe that's why I can't find any believers to explain how context makes God's killings OK.

Ahab's hometown family, friends, and priests

In God's last killing, the chicken-shit leaders of Jezreel sent Jehu the heads of Ahab's sons (all 70 of them).
But that didn't quite satisfy Jehu. He had his orders from God, given to him by Elisha when Jehu was made king.
Thus saith the LORD God ... thou shalt smite the house of Ahab thy master ... The whole house of Ahab shall perish: and I will cut off from Ahab him that pisseth against the wall ....And I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam ... and Baasha ... And the dogs shall eat Jezebel in the portion of Jezreel, and there shall be none to bury her. 2 Kings 9:6-10
So although he was off to a good start, having killed Ahab's son, Jehoram, Ahab's wife, Jezebel, and 70 of Ahab's sons, there still might be a few wall-pissing family or friends of Ahab left to kill.
The first place that Jehu looked was Ahab's old hometown, Jezreel. He searched the town and found all of Ahab's family, friends, and priests -- whoever that was associated somehow with Ahab and might also have pissed against a wall at one time or another.
And then he killed them all.
So Jehu slew all that remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel, and all his great men, and his kinsfolks, and his priests, until he left him none remaining. 2 Kings 10:11
Then he took his search elsewhere.

The text doesn't say how many of Ahab's family and friends were killed in Jezreel. I'll just say 100.

God's next killing: Ahaziah's family

Ahab's sons: 70 heads in two heaps

Jehu was on a mission from God.
(Like Anton Chigurh in "No Country for Old Men," but without the coin tosses.)
First he killed one of Ahab's sons, Jehoram. Then he killed Ahab's wife, Jezebel. Now it was time to take care of the rest of Ahab's family.
He started by writing letters to the rulers of Jezreel challenging them fight for Ahab's sons. But they were intimidated by Jehu (they'd probably heard about his previous murders) and said that they would do whatever he wanted.
So Jehu wrote another letter telling them what he wanted: Bring him the heads of all 70 of Ahab's sons tomorrow.
Then he wrote a letter the second time to them, saying, If ye be mine, and if ye will hearken unto my voice, take ye the heads of the men your master's sons, and come to me to Jezreel by to morrow this time. Now the king's sons, being seventy persons, were with the great men of the city, which brought them up. 2 Kings 10:6
And that's what they did. They killed Ahab's 70 sons, put the heads in baskets, and brought them to Jehu.
And it came to pass, when the letter came to them, that they took the king's sons, and slew seventy persons, and put their heads in baskets, and sent him them to Jezreel. 2 Kings 10:7
When Jehu heard that the heads had arrived, he said to put them in two heaps at the city gate and let them stay there overnight.
And there came a messenger, and told him, saying, They have brought the heads of the king's sons. And he said, Lay ye them in two heaps at the entering in of the gate until the morning. 2 Kings 10:8

The next morning Jehu went out and told the people that "the LORD hath done that which he spake by his servant Elijah." (See 1 Kings 21:21)
But there were still others that God wanted Jehu to visit.

God' next killing: Ahab’s hometown family, friends, and priests

23 February 2010


Next on God's hit list for Jehu was Jezebel. So he rode his chariot over to her house.
When she heard Jehu was coming, she put on her make-up and sat by the window. As he entered the gate, she said, "Is it peace, Zimri, murderer of your master?," referring to Zimri's murder of king Baasha and his family.
Jehu poked his head in the window and said to Jezebel's eunuchs, "Who is on my side?" And then said, "Throw her down."
So the eunuchs threw her out the window, where she was trampled by horses, her blood splattering everywhere.
Throw her down. So they threw her down: and some of her blood was sprinkled on the wall, and on the horses: and he trode her under foot. 2 Kings 9:33
Then Jehu went off to eat and drink, telling his people to go take a look the "cursed woman" and then bury her.
And when he was come in, he did eat and drink, and said, Go, see now this cursed woman, and bury her: for she is a king's daughter. 2 Kings 9:34
But when they went to bury her, but couldn't find her, at least not very much of her. Dogs had already eaten everything except her skull, feet, and the palms of her hands.
And they went to bury her: but they found no more of her than the skull, and the feet, and the palms of her hands. 2 Kings 9:35
Which, of course, is just like God said it would be. Jezebel would be eaten by dogs and her body would be treated like shit.
This is the word of the LORD, which he spake by his servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, In the portion of Jezreel shall dogs eat the flesh of Jezebel: And the carcase of Jezebel shall be as dung upon the face of the field 2 Kings 9:36-37

God's next killing: Seventy heads in two heaps

Jehoram of Israel

Remember when God killed Ahab for not killing a captured king? You might have thought that that would be the end of it. But no. God still had Ahab's family to kill. It was sort of his way of paying it forward.
The story is a bit complicated, but it starts with Elisha, who called one of "the children of the prophets" and told him to "gird his loins," get some oil, and go anoint Jehu as king of Israel. (You know you're in for some big-time prophet action when Elisha tells you to grab some oil and gird your loins.)
Elisha the prophet called one of the children of the prophets, and said unto him, Gird up thy loins, and take this box of oil ... And when thou comest thither, look out there Jehu ... and ... take the box of oil, and pour it on his head, and say, Thus saith the LORD, I have anointed thee king over Israel. 2 Kings 9:1-3
So that's what that son of a prophet did. He girded his loins and made Jehu king.
Then he told the new king that God had a job for him.
Thus saith the LORD God ... thou shalt smite the house of Ahab thy master, that I may avenge the blood of my servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of the LORD, at the hand of Jezebel. 2 Kings 9:6-7
Just in case it wasn't clear, the son of the prophet elaborated a bit. God wanted Jehu to kill everyone in Ahab's family, especially those that had ever "pissed against a wall."
For the whole house of Ahab shall perish: and I will cut off from Ahab him that pisseth against the wall. 2 Kings 9:8
He reminded Jehu of the last two families that God had executed: Jeroboam's and Baasha's. He wanted Jehu to go and do likewise to Ahab's family.
I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam ... and Baasha. 2 Kings 9:9
But there was one person that God wanted more than just dead. Ahab's wife, Jezebel, was to be not just killed, but fed to the dogs, so that there would be nothing left of her body to bury.
And the dogs shall eat Jezebel in the portion of Jezreel, and there shall be none to bury her. 2 Kings 9:10
And that was the end of the message from God.
(As you may have noticed by now, God has a one-track mind.)
So Jehu took off in his chariot to get started on God's killings. When people saw him coming, they'd say, "That must be Jehu because he's driving like crazy." (Jehu is the patron saint of reckless drivers.)
And the watchman told, saying, He came even unto them, and cometh not again: and the driving is like the driving of Jehu the son of Nimshi; for he driveth furiously. 2 Kings 9:20
It wasn't long before Jehu found God's first victim: Ahab's son, Jehoram -- a wall-pisser if there ever was one!
So Jehu did what God told him to do. He shot him right through the heart and threw his dead body in the field of Naboth, "according to the word of the Lord."
Jehu drew a bow with his full strength, and smote Jehoram between his arms, and the arrow went out at his heart ... Then said Jehu to Bidkar his captain ... cast him into the plat of ground, according to the word of the LORD. 2 Kings 9:24-26
And so died the first wall-pisser in Ahab's family.
Then Jehu got back in his chariot and drove off furiously to find the rest.

God's next killing: Jezebel

God calls for a seven year famine

Well, there's not much to say about this one. It all happens in a single verse. 
Then spake Elisha unto the woman, whose son he had restored to life, saying, Arise, and go thou and thine household, and sojourn wheresoever thou canst sojourn: for the LORD hath called for a famine; and it shall also come upon the land seven years. 2 Kings 8.1
God called for a seven year famine. The Bible doesn't say why God did this.

But I guess God can starve people to death if he wants to, for any reason, or for no reason at all.

The Bible doesn't say how many God starved to death in the seven year famine, so I'll just guess 7000, 1000 per year.

God's next killing: Jehoram of Israel

22 February 2010

A skeptic is trampled to death

There was a famine in Samaria that was so severe that a donkey's head and a cup of bird dung sold for 80 and 5 shekels of silver, respectively. (About 500 and 32 current U.S. dollars)
There was a great famine in Samaria: and, behold, they besieged it, until an ass's head was sold for fourscore pieces of silver, and the fourth part of a cab of dove's dung for five pieces of silver. 2 Kings 6.25
And women were busy negotiating a schedule for eating each other's sons.
This woman said unto me, Give thy son, that we may eat him to day, and we will eat my son tomorrow. So we boiled my son, and did eat him: and I said unto her on the next day, Give thy son, that we may eat him. 6.28
But Elisha and God said things were about to change. Tomorrow, 7.5 liters of flour and 15 liters of barley will sell for 1 shekel of silver. (About 6 current U.S. dollars)
Then Elisha said, Hear ye the word of the LORD; Thus saith the LORD, To morrow about this time shall a measure of fine flour be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria. 7.1
An officer overheard Elisha's forecast for the commodities market, and he didn't believe it would happen. He said that even if God made it rain, prices wouldn't fall so much in a single day.
Then a lord on whose hand the king leaned answered the man of God, and said, Behold, if the LORD would make windows in heaven, might this thing be? 7.2a
Elisha responded that the skeptical officer would see it happen, but wouldn't be able to take advantage of the low prices. (Because he'd be dead.)
Behold, thou shalt see it with thine eyes, but shalt not eat thereof. 7.2b
Later that day, God made the Syrians hear things. The whole Syrian army heard the noise of non-existent chariots, horses, and soldiers. It was one massive, God-induced, collective, auditory hallucination. It was like the entire army was on a bad acid trip, and it scared the hell out of them.
The LORD had made the host of the Syrians to hear a noise of chariots, and a noise of horses, even the noise of a great host: and they said one to another, Lo, the king of Israel hath hired against us the kings of the Hittites, and the kings of the Egyptians, to come upon us. 7.6
So the Syrian army left Samaria because of the noises that God put in their heads.
Wherefore they arose and fled in the twilight, and left their tents, and their horses, and their asses, even the camp as it was, and fled for their life. 7.7
And the price of commodities fell, just like God and Elisha predicted.
So a measure of fine flour was sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, according to the word of the LORD. 7.16
But what happened to the skeptical officer?

He was trampled to death.
And the king appointed the lord on whose hand he leaned to have the charge of the gate: and the people trode upon him in the gate, and he died, as the man of God had said ... And so it fell out unto him: for the people trode upon him in the gate, and he died. 7:17-20
(I don’t know if God caused this to happen or not. But it seems pretty clear that he approved of it.)

God's next killing: God's seven year famine

450 Religious Leaders Killed in a Prayer Contest

But who killed them? Elijah or God or both?

Here's the story.

Ahab, the king of Israel, was a follower of Baal, which, of course, Yahweh and Elijah didn't like very much. So Elijah suggested a prayer contest to determine which god was the real God.

Elijah told Ahab to get all the prophets of Baal to meet him on Mt. Carmel. When they arrived, he told them to get a bull, kill it, chop it into pieces, and put the whole bloody mess on some wood. But don't light it on fire. Then ask Baal to light it all on fire.

So the prophets of Baal did that. They prayed and prayed and cut themselves with knives, but nothing happened. Elijah taunted them, saying, "Pray harder! Maybe your god is on a trip or sleeping or something." But still there was no fire.

Elijah did the same thing. He even poured water over it all three times. Then he prayed to God and a fire fell down from heaven and consumed it all, even the surrounding stones.

Then Elijah told the spectators to slaughter the 450 prophets of Baal.
Baal's prophets are four hundred and fifty men. ....
And Elijah said unto them, Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape. And they took them: and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there. 1 Kings 18:22, 40

Here's ZJemptv's Mount Carmel Challenge.

Why doesn't anyone try this experiment today? (Skipping the slaughter of the losers.) We could start with believers vs. non-believers, Christians vs. Muslims, Catholics vs. Protestants, etc., until we zoomed in on the correct religious belief. It'd be so simple!

God's next killing: The first God-assisted slaughter of the Syrians

Leprosy shall cleave unto thee and unto thy seed forever.

That's what Elisha said to his servant, Gehazi. And when Elisha speaks, he speaks for God.

So God gave Gehazi and all of his descendants leprosy. He had a reason, of course. He always has a reason. But it really doesn't matter what it was, does it? The punishment was unjustified no matter what the crime may have been.

But I suppose I should tell the story anyway.

It all starts out well enough, with Elisha curing a man named Naaman of leprosy by having him wash seven times in the Jordan River.

Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean. 2 Kings 5:14

Naaman offered to pay Elisha for the cure, but Elisha refused his offer. Gehazi, Elisha's servant, thought a payment was reasonable, though, so he went to talk to Naaman about it.

Gehazi told Naaman that Elisha wanted a talent of silver (about 35 kg) and two sets of clothing.

My master hath sent me, saying, Behold, even now there be come to me from mount Ephraim two young men of the sons of the prophets: give them, I pray thee, a talent of silver, and two changes of garments. 2 Kings 5:22

Naaman thought that was reasonable enough, so he gave him the silver and clothes.

When Gehazi returned, Elisha asked him where he went, and he said, "thy servant went no whither." ("I didn't go anywhere.")

But Elisha, like God, knows pretty much everything, so he knew Gehazi was lying about that. So Elisha cursed Gehazi and all of his descendants with leprosy.

The leprosy therefore of Naaman shall cleave unto thee, and unto thy seed for ever. And he went out from his presence a leper as white as snow. 2 Kings 5:27

The Bible doesn't say what became of Gehazi, whether he died because of the leprosy or not. (Although he does show up a few chapters later talking to a king, which would be unlikely for a person who was "unclean" because of leprosy.) But in those days, giving someone leprosy would be a death sentence.

Giving someone leprosy for lying is cruel and unjust; giving leprosy to the unborn future descendants of such a person is even more so. No reasonable person could think otherwise.

But did God kill anyone in this little Bible episode? Well, if God gave Gehazi and all his descendants leprosy, then some of them died because of it. But the Bible doesn't say whether Gehazi had any children, and it doesn't say what happened to Gehazi. And it is possible that "leprosy" in the Bible refers to some other type of skin disease.

So I'm not going to include this in God's killings, although it is a good story to remember. Bible believers believe that God gave Gehazi and all of his descendants some type of nasty skin disease.

Only a nasty God would do something like that.

The Lord delivered the Moabites

This is a boring one. But since the Bible gives God the credit for this killing, so will I.

Here's the story.

Elisha tells the Israelites that God will deliver the Moabites into their hand.
The LORD ... will deliver the Moabites ... into your hand. 2 Kings 3.18
And when he does, God wants the Israelites to chop down the trees, ruin the wells, and destroy the land.
Ye shall smite every fenced city, and every choice city, and shall fell every good tree, and stop all wells of water, and mar every good piece of land with stones. 3.19
So the Israelites kill the Moabites, their trees and crops, and ruin their cities and wells.
The Israelites rose up and smote the Moabites, so that they fled before them: but they went forward smiting the Moabites ... And they beat down the cities, and on every good piece of land cast every man his stone, and filled it; and they stopped all the wells of water, and felled all the good trees. 3.24-25
Finally, the Moabite king sacrificed his son as a burnt offering in a desperate attempt to stop the massacre. And it seemed to work, too, since the Israelites stopped killing after that.
Then he took his eldest son that should have reigned in his stead, and offered him for a burnt offering upon the wall. And there was great indignation against Israel: and they departed from him, and returned to their own land. 3.27
Since God helped the Israelites smite several Moabite cities, I'll guess 1000 Moabites were killed in five cities, for a total of 5000.

God's next killing: A skeptic is trampled to death

21 February 2010

God sent two bears to rip apart 42 boys for making fun of a prophet's bald head

After Elijah went up to heaven in a chariot of fire, his disciple Elisha put on Elijah's mantle and started to perform miracles of his own. First he parted the Jordan River by slapping it with Elijah's mantle, and then he healed some water by adding a bit of salt.

And then he decided to go to Bethel.

While he was walking along, a group of 42 young boys started to make fun of Elisha's bald head.
And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. 2 Kings 2:23
So Elisha decided to try his new-found prophet powers by cursing the little buggers in the name of the Lord. Then he stood back and watched what happened.
And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. 2 Kings 2:24a
What happened must have been hard for him to watch. Two she bears came out of the woods and tore all 42 of the boys apart.
And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them. 2 Kings 2:24b
The Bible doesn't say how Elisha reacted to the slaughter. It just says that he kept going on his journey to Bethel.
And he went from thence to mount Carmel, and from thence he returned to Samaria. 2 Kings 2:25
But I bet God got a kick out of the whole thing. He's the type.

See Brucker's guest post on this killing: The Bad-News Bears

God's next killing: The Lord delivered the Moabites

God killed king Ahaziah (of Israel) for asking the wrong god

In his last killing , God burned 102 men to death (in two shifts of 51 each) for asking Elijah to come down from his hill. The problem, I guess, was not so much in what they asked, but in how they asked it. The first two times, the captain asked directly, and God burned them all to death. The third time the captain groveled first and asked later, and that worked out fine. There’s a lesson there somewhere.

There was a reason, though, that Ahaziah wanted Elijah to come down from his hill. He wanted to ask Elijah to ask God if he was going to recover from his illness. And now that the third group of 51 got Elijah to come down from his hill, Ahaziah could ask Elijah to ask God about it.

[But Elijah had already told Ahaziah (via messengers) back in 2 Kings 1.6 that God was going to kill him for asking the wrong god, so I don't know why he had to send the three sets of 51 to asked Elijah again. I guess he wanted Elijah to come down and give him the message directly.]

In any case, Elijah came down the mountain to talk to the king.
He arose, and went down with him unto the king. 2 Kings 1.15
Here's what Elijah told the king (again).
Thus saith the LORD, Forasmuch as thou hast sent messengers to enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron, is it not because there is no God in Israel to enquire of his word? therefore thou shalt not come down off that bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die. 1.16
And in the next verse, king Ahaziah dies "according to the word of the Lord."
So he died according to the word of the LORD which Elijah had spoken. 1.17
God's next killing: two bears rip apart 42 boys for making fun of a prophet’s bald head

God burned 102 men to death for asking Elijah to come down from his hill

King Ahaziah (of Israel) became ill after falling though a lattice floor. So he sent some messengers to ask Baalzebub if he would recover.
Ahaziah fell down through a lattice in his upper chamber that was in Samaria, and was sick: and he sent messengers, and said unto them, Go, enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron whether I shall recover of this disease. 2 Kings 1.2
Then an angel told Elijah to tell some messengers to tell Ahaziah that God would kill him for asking the wrong god.
The angel ... said to Elijah ... Arise, go up to meet the messengers ... and say unto them, Is it not because there is not a God in Israel, that ye go to enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron? Now therefore thus saith the LORD, Thou shalt not come down from that bed ... but shalt surely die. 1.3-4
So the messengers returned and delivered the message to king Ahaziah.
The messengers … said unto him, There came a man up to meet us, and said unto us, Go, turn again unto the king that sent you, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Is it not because there is not a God in Israel, that thou sendest to enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron? therefore thou shalt not come down from that bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die. 1.5-6
Ahaziah asked them what the guy who gave them the message looked like. They said he was "a hairy man" with "leather about his loins."
What manner of man was he which came up to meet you, and told you these words? And they answered him, He was an hairy man, and girt with a girdle of leather about his loins. 1.7
When the king heard that, he knew it was Elijah. Nobody dresses like Elijah!
He said, It is Elijah. 1.8
So the king sent a captain and fifty men to go find Elijah. They found him sitting on top of a hill and said to him, "Come down."
Then the king sent unto him a captain of fifty with his fifty. And he went up to him: and, behold, he sat on the top of an hill. And he spake unto him, Thou man of God, the king hath said, Come down. 1.9
Which I guess was the wrong thing to say, judging from Elijah's response.
Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty, If I be a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. 1.10a
And that's what happened. Fire came down from heaven and burned the 51 guys to death.
There came down fire from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty. 1.10b
I'm not sure how Ahaziah found out about all this, but he did, and he sent another captain and 50 men to try again.
Again also he sent unto him another captain of fifty with his fifty. 1.11a
They found Elijah sitting on top of the same hill and the captain told him the same thing: "Come down quickly." (I guess they added the quickly for emphasis.)
He … said unto him, O man of God, thus hath the king said, Come down quickly. 1.11b
Elijah responded in the usual way.
Elijah answered and said unto them, If I be a man of God, let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. 1.12a
You probably can guess what happened next.
The fire of God came down from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty. 1.12b
Once again the king found out what had happened. So he sent another captain with 50 men. (I guess he figured it worked out well the first two times.)
He sent again a captain of the third fifty with his fifty. 1.13a
But this time the captain didn't ask Elijah to come down. He got on his knees and groveled in front of Elijah, begging him not to burn him to death.
The third captain of fifty went up, and came and fell on his knees before Elijah … and said unto him, O man of God, I pray thee, let my life, and the life of these fifty thy servants, be precious in thy sight. Behold, there came fire down from heaven, and burnt up the two captains of the former fifties with their fifties: therefore let my life now be precious in thy sight. 1.13b-14
And that worked a lot better. Elijah came down the off his hill and went with them to see Ahaziah -- which I guess is what Ahaziah wanted him to do in the first place.
The angel of the LORD said unto Elijah, Go down with him: be not afraid of him. And he arose, and went down with him unto the king. 1.15
So the moral of the story is this: If you see a hairy man dressed in a leather loin cloth sitting on top of a hill, don't ask him to come down (unless you grovel first) or God will burn you to death.

God's next killing: God killed king Ahaziah for asking the wrong God

19 February 2010

Josiah killed all the priests of the high places

Josiah was the king of religious intolerance. He “put down” the priests that burned incense to the sun, moon, planets, and stars.
He put down the idolatrous priests ... that burned incense unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets, and to all the host of heaven. 2 Kings 23.5
He burned the Asherah pole (the “grove” in the KJV) and spread the ashes on the graves of the children.
And he brought out the grove …and burned it … and stamped it small to powder, and cast the powder thereof upon the graves of the children of the people. 2 Kings 23.6
He destroyed the houses of the temple homosexuals.
He brake down the houses of the sodomites, that were by the house of the LORD, where the women wove hangings for the grove. 2 Kings 23.7
And he executed the priests and burned human bones upon their altars.
He slew all the priests of the high places that were there upon the altars, and burned men's bones upon them. 2 Kings 23.20
This was all in accordance with the prophecy of “the man of God from Judah.”
There came a man of God out of Judah by the word of the LORD ... and he cried against the altar in the word of the LORD, and said, O altar, altar thus saith the LORD; Behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name; and upon thee shall he offer the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee, and men's bones shall be burnt upon thee. 1 Kings 13.1-2
God's next killing: Just another holy war

God killed Ahab for not killing a captured king

In God's last killing, he sent a lion to kill a man for not smiting a prophet when the prophet asked him to. But the next guy that came along was willing to do it, so the prophet was able to put ashes on his face and have a proper disguise for his meeting with King Ahab.

When King Ahab passed by, the prophet (with his cool disguise) said to him:
Thy servant went out into the midst of the battle; and, behold, a man turned aside, and brought a man unto me, and said, Keep this man: if by any means he be missing, then shall thy life be for his life, or else thou shalt pay a talent of silver. And as thy servant was busy here and there, he was gone. 1 Kings 20.39-40a
Which, of course, was complete bullshit. God's prophet was not only crazy, but a liar, as well.

King Ahab played along, though, and said, "OK, whatever."
The king of Israel said unto him, So shall thy judgment be; thyself hast decided it. 20:40b
Then the prophet wiped off the ashes on his face and revealed his true identity. He was a prophet! (It's really hard to tell a prophet when he has ashes on his face.)
He … took the ashes away from his face; and the king of Israel discerned him that he was of the prophets. 20.41
And then the prophet told King Ahab the bad news. God was going to kill the king (and his family, of course) for letting king Benhadad live. (See 1 Kings 20.34)
Thus saith the LORD, Because thou hast let go out of thy hand a man whom I appointed to utter destruction, therefore thy life shall go for his life, and thy people for his people. 20.42
And that's what happened. God carefully arranged things so that King Ahab would die while fighting the Syrians.
The battle increased that day: and the king [Ahab] was stayed up in his chariot against the Syrians, and died at even: and the blood ran out of the wound into the midst of the chariot. 22.35
And that is God's last killing in 1 Kings 20. (Five in one chapter!)

God's next killing: 102 men burn to death for asking Elijah to come down from his hill

God sent a lion to kill a man for not smiting a prophet

I don't completely understand God's thinking on this one. Maybe a believer can explain it.

It all happens fast, in just two verses. Here's a summary:

A "son of a prophet" asked a "neighbor in the word of the Lord" to smite him.
A certain man of the sons of the prophets said unto his neighbour in the word of the LORD, Smite me, I pray thee. 1 Kings 20.35a
The neighbor refused.
And the man refused to smite him. 20.35b
So God sent a lion to kill him.
Then said he unto him, Because thou hast not obeyed the voice of the LORD, behold, as soon as thou art departed from me, a lion shall slay thee. And as soon as he was departed from him, a lion found him, and slew him. 20.36
It turns out, though, that there was some reason to the prophet's madness. The prophet wanted a good disguise when he met King Ahab, and he figured a wound would help. So he wanted his neighbor to cut his face, so he could put a bandage on it, so King Ahab wouldn't recognize him when he saw him. Or something like that.

(I don't know why the prophet couldn't just put a bandage on his face or a bag over his head to disguise himself. And I'm not sure why the disguise was necessary anyway. But I guess it was all very important to God.)

Anyway, the bat-shit crazy prophet found another guy who was willing to smite him.
Then he found another man, and said, Smite me, I pray thee. And the man smote him, so that in smiting he wounded him. 20.37
And so the prophet got his costume ready for his meeting with King Ahab.
So the prophet departed, and waited for the king by the way, and disguised himself with ashes upon his face. 20.38 

God killed 27,000 Syrians with a falling wall

In his last killing, God killed the 100,000 Syrians for calling him a hill god. But some of the name-calling Syrians escaped. God took care of them by having a wall fall on them, killing 27,000.
But the rest fled to Aphek, into the city; and there a wall fell upon twenty and seven thousand of the men that were left. 1 Kings 20.30a
It was a really big wall.

Note: Benhadad (the king of Syria) somehow managed to escape the falling wall.
And Benhadad fled, and came into the city, into an inner chamber. 1 Kings 20.30b
He asked Ahab to let him live, offering to restore the cities that Syria had previously taken from Israel.
Thy servant Benhadad saith, I pray thee, let me live … And Ben-hadad said unto him, The cities, which my father took from thy father, I will restore; and thou shalt make streets for thee in Damascus, as my father made in Samaria. 1 Kings 20.32-34a
So Ahab made a treaty with Benhadad and let him live.
Then said Ahab, I will send thee away with this covenant. So he made a covenant with him, and sent him away. 1 Kings 20.34 b
God would later kill him and his family (see here, here, here, here, and here) for this act of mercy.

The drought of Elijah

The story of Elijah begins with a drought.
Elijah … said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word. 1 Kings 17.1
And according to 1 Kings, the drought ended in its third year (so it lasted more than two but less than three years).
The LORD came to Elijah in the third year, saying, Go, shew thyself unto Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth. 1 Kings 18.1
But if you believe the New Testament authors, the drought lasted for 3 years and six months, during which time there was no rain anywhere on earth.
In the days of Elias [Elijah]…the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land. Luke 4.25
Elias [Elijah]… prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit. James 5.17-18
The Bible doesn’t say why the drought occurred; apparently it was just to get Elijah’s prophecy career off to a good start. But if the book of James is right and it didn’t rain anywhere on earth for 3 and a half years, then many people must have died of starvation.

I’ll just guess that 3,000 people starved to death (1000 per year) in God’s promotional campaign for Ellijah.

God's next killing: 450 Religious Leaders Killed in a Prayer Contest

Solomon carries out the deathbed wish of David by having Joab and Shimei murdered

You can tell a lot about a person by his or her last words. Take David’s last words, for example.

David asked his son Solomon to murder Joab for him.
Now the days of David drew nigh that he should die; and he charged Solomon his son, saying … thou knowest also what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me … let not his hoar head go down to the grave in peace. 1 Kings 2.1-6
So Solomon sent Benaiah to murder Joab.
It was told king Solomon that Joab was fled unto the tabernacle of the LORD; and, behold, he is by the altar. Then Solomon sent Benaiah … saying, Go, fall upon him … So Benaiah … fell upon him, and slew him. 2 Kings 2.29-34
And another person that David asked his son to murder was Shimei.
Thou hast with thee Shimei … which cursed me with a grievous curse in the day when I went to Mahanaim: but he came down to meet me at Jordan, and I sware to him by the LORD, saying, I will not put thee to death with the sword. Now therefore hold him not guiltless: for thou art a wise man, and knowest what thou oughtest to do unto him; but his hoar head bring thou down to the grave with blood. 1 Kings 2.8-9
So Solomon sent Benaiah to “fall on” Shimei, too.
So the king commanded Benaiah ... which went out, and fell upon him, that he died. 1 Kings 2.44-46
God, of course, wanted these people murdered, too. God approved of everything David did, except for the matter of Uriah (1 Kings 15.5).

God's next killing: A tale of two prophets

18 February 2010

God killed 100,000 Syrians for calling him a God of the hills

Don't call God a God of the hills. He really doesn't like it.

The Syrians called him that.
The servants of the king of Syria said unto him, Their gods are gods of the hills; therefore they were stronger than we; but let us fight against them in the plain, and surely we shall be stronger than they. 1 Kings 20.23
Then an anonymous "man of God" told the king of Israel (Ahab) that God would slaughter the Syrians for calling him a hill god and, by so doing, show Ahab that he is the Lord.
There came a man of God, and spake unto the king of Israel, and said, Thus saith the LORD, Because the Syrians have said, The LORD is God of the hills, but he is not God of the valleys, therefore will I deliver all this great multitude into thine hand, and ye shall know that I am the LORD. 20.28
So God delivered the Syrians into Ahab's hand and the Israelites killed 100,000 in one day.
And the children of Israel slew of the Syrians an hundred thousand footmen in one day. 20.29
(That's about twice as many as were killed in the three-day Battle of Gettysburg. But then, God wasn't involved in that one. He couldn't make up his mind which side he was on.)

God's next killing: God killed 27,000 Syrians with a falling wall

The first God-assisted slaughter of the Syrians

This is a fairly simple story.

A nameless prophet tells King Ahab that God will deliver the "great multitude" of Syrians into his hand that very day, just to let Ahab know that "God is the Lord."
There came a prophet unto Ahab king of Israel, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Hast thou seen all this great multitude? behold, I will deliver it into thine hand this day; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD. 1 Kings 20.13
So Ahab rounded up 232 princes and 7000 "children of Israel" and went off to fight the "great multitude" of Syrians.
Then he numbered the young men of the princes of the provinces, and they were two hundred and thirty two: and after them he numbered all the people, even all the children of Israel, being seven thousand. 20.15
They went out at noon while the Syrian king Benhadad was busy "drinking himself drunk" with the help of 32 other kings.
They went out at noon. But Benhadad was drinking himself drunk in the pavilions, he and the kings, the thirty and two kings that helped him. 20.16
Benhadad must have taken his orders from a different God, though, because he told his soldiers not to kill any prisoners. (The God of the Bible would never allow that. In fact, Ahab will later be killed by God for not killing Benhadad when he takes him prisoner.)
He said, Whether they be come out for peace, take them alive; or whether they be come out for war, take them alive. 20.18
So the Israelites go out and kill lots of Syrians with a "great slaughter."
They slew every one his man: and the Syrians fled; and Israel pursued them ... And the king of Israel ... slew the Syrians with a great slaughter. 20.20-21
And now we all know for sure that God is the Lord.

(Who else would be so proud of killing so many people?) I guessed 10,000 for this one since it was a "great slaughter."

God's next killing: God killed 100,000 Syrians for calling him a God of the hills

17 February 2010

Baasha's family and friends

Remember how God made Jeroboam king and then killed his son and the rest of his family because he didn't like something that Jeroboam did? Yeah, well, he's at it again.

This time it's king Baasha that he's is pissed off about. Baasha became king by killing Jeroboam's son and then slaughtered the rest of Jeroboam's family, "according to the saying of the Lord."

Now you'd think that God would thank Baasha for doing his dirty work for him. But if so, you'd be wrong about that. God was angry at Baasha for killing Jeroboam's family, even though he apparently inspired him to do it. God works in really creepy ways.

God made his plans known in the usual way: he sent a prophet (Jehu) to tell Baasha the bad news.
Then the word of the LORD came to Jehu the son of Hanani against Baasha, saying, Forasmuch as I exalted thee out of the dust, and made thee prince over my people Israel; and thou hast walked in the way of Jeroboam, and hast made my people Israel to sin, to provoke me to anger with their sins; Behold, I will take away the posterity of Baasha, and the posterity of his house; and will make thy house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat. Him that dieth of Baasha in the city shall the dogs eat; and him that dieth of his in the fields shall the fowls of the air eat. 1 Kings 16:1-4
Yep, that's right. God will kill everyone in Baasha's family and feed their bodies to the dogs and birds.

But God doesn't do anything to Baasha. He just waits for him to die and then has his family slaughtered to teach him a lesson. (The best way to teach a man a lesson is to kill his family after he dies.)
So Baasha slept with his fathers, and was buried in Tirzah: and Elah his son reigned in his stead. 1 Kings 16:6
After Baasha died, his son Elah was king for two years. Then God got to work on his next mass murder.
One of Elah's captains (Zimri) was selected by God to do the killing. First he killed Elah (while he was "drinking himself drunk") and then all of Baasha's family and friends -- all those that pissed against a wall, anyway.
His servant Zimri, captain of half his chariots, conspired against him, ... drinking himself drunk. ... And Zimri went in and smote him, and killed him ... and reigned in his stead. ...
And it came to pass, when he began to reign, as soon as he sat on his throne, that he slew all the house of Baasha: he left him not one that pisseth against a wall, neither of his kinsfolks, nor of his friends. Thus did Zimri destroy all the house of Baasha, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake against Baasha by Jehu the prophet. 1 Kings 16:9-12
So God had all of Baasha's wall-pissing friends and family killed. It doesn't say how many that was, so I'll just guess 20: 10 friends and 10 family members.

Since I'm not having much luck getting apologists to defend God's killings, I thought I'd add a note from one of my favorite Bibles, the Quest Study Bible (QSB). Here's what they say about God's 80th killing. (p. 492)
Why did God punish Baasha? (16:7)
Baasha's violence accomplished God's purpose, but that one act did not make him a servant of God. God held him accountable for his evil intentions, not for inadvertently full fulling God's will. Baasha had wiped out Jeroboam's clan to increase his power base, not to honor God.
[Note that the editors of the QSB don't deny that God wanted Baasha to kill Jeroboam's family. In fact, they clearly believe that the slaughter was a good and noble act. The problem, they say, was Baasha's intention (which, by the way, the Bible says nothing about). If Baasha had of massacred Jeroboam's family to "honor God," it would have been (in their warped minds) a wonderful, virtuous act! You have to have the right intention when you slaughter a family for God.

But because Baasha didn't have the proper intention when performing the mass murder, God was forced to have someone else (Zimri) murder Baasha's family and friends. One holy mass murder leads to another.
But I guess Zimri didn't have the right intention either when he slaughtered Baasha's family and friends, so he burned himself to death because he did "evil in the sight of the LORD." But that's another story.]

God's next killing: Zimri burns to death

15 February 2010

Jeroboam's son: God kills another child

The story begins with a sick child, Abijah the son of king Jeroabom.
At that time Abijah the son of Jeroboam fell sick. 1 Kings 14:1
Jeroboam was worried about his son, so he told his wife to go ask the blind prophet Ahijah what will become of him.
And Jeroboam said to his wife, Arise, I pray thee, and disguise thyself ... and get thee to Shiloh: behold, there is Ahijah the prophet, which told me that I should be king over this people ... He shall tell thee what shall become of the child. 1 Kings 14:2-3
(Why did Jeroboam tell his wife to disguise herself? Would it matter much to a blind prophet?)
So she went to Ahijah's house.
And Jeroboam's wife did so, and arose, and went to Shiloh, and came to the house of Ahijah. 1 Kings 14:4a
Before her visit, God came to tell Ahijah that Jeroboam's wife would be coming to visit. God told him what he planned to do.
But Ahijah could not see; for his eyes were set by reason of his age. And the LORD said unto Ahijah, Behold, the wife of Jeroboam cometh to ask a thing of thee for her son; for he is sick: thus and thus shalt thou say unto her: for it shall be, when she cometh in, that she shall feign herself to be another woman.1 Kings 14:4b-5
So when Jeroboam's wife arrived, Ahijah told her he had some bad news.
And it was so, when Ahijah heard the sound of her feet, as she came in at the door, that he said, Come in, thou wife of Jeroboam; why feignest thou thyself to be another? for I am sent to thee with heavy tidings. 1 Kings 14:6
He said that God made Jeroboam king, but that Jeroboam wasn't perfect like God's servant David was. (See here for some of the perfect acts of David.) In fact, Jeroboam had acted worse than anyone who had ever lived up to that time. (God loves to exaggerate!)
Go, tell Jeroboam, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Forasmuch as I exalted thee from among the people, and made thee prince over my people Israel, And rent the kingdom away from the house of David, and gave it thee: and yet thou hast not been as my servant David, who kept my commandments, and who followed me with all his heart, to do that only which was right in mine eyes; But hast done evil above all that were before thee: for thou hast gone and made thee other gods. 1 Kings 14:7-9
So to punish Jeroboam, God would kill all of Jeroboam's sons (or, as God put it, all those "that pisseth against the wall").
Therefore, behold, I will bring evil upon the house of Jeroboam, and will cut off from Jeroboam him that pisseth against the wall ... 1 Kings 14:10a
And dispose of Jeroboam's family as though they were pieces of shit.
... and will take away the remnant of the house of Jeroboam, as a man taketh away dung, till it be all gone. 1 Kings 14:10b
Then he'll feed whatever is left of them to the dogs, if they lived in the city, or to the birds, if they were country folk.
Him that dieth of Jeroboam in the city shall the dogs eat; and him that dieth in the field shall the fowls of the air eat: for the LORD hath spoken it. 1 Kings 14:11
And finally, God will kill Jeroboam's sick son. As soon as the mother of the sick boy returns home, her son will die.
Arise thou therefore, get thee to thine own house: and when thy feet enter into the city, the child shall die. 1 Kings 14:12
After hearing the words of God from his prophet Ahijah, Jeroboam's wife returned home. And God killed the sick boy the moment his mother entered his room.
And Jeroboam's wife arose, and departed, and came to Tirzah: and when she came to the threshold of the door, the child died; 1 Kings 14:17
Could anyone love the God of the Bible after reading this story?

God's next killing: Jeroboam's family

11 February 2010

A Tale of Two Prophets

The story begins with an old, nameless prophet from Bethel who found another nameless prophet, the "man of God" from Judah, sitting under an oak tree.
Now there dwelt an old prophet in Bethel ... And he ... went after the man of God, and found him sitting under an oak. 1 Kings 13.11-14
The old prophet invited the man of God to come over to his house to eat, but the man of God said that he couldn't, since God told him not to eat or drink anything.
Then he said unto him, Come home with me, and eat bread. And he said, I may not return with thee, nor go in with thee: neither will I eat bread nor drink water with thee in this place: For it was said to me by the word of the LORD, Thou shalt eat no bread nor drink water there. 13.15-17
But the old prophet told the man of God that he was also a prophet and that an angel told him to go find the man of God, bring him back to his house, and give him some food and water.
He said unto him, I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the LORD, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water. 13.18a
Too bad for the man of God, but the old prophet was lying. (If you can't trust an old prophet, who can you trust?)
But he lied unto him. 13.18b
So the man of God went to eat at the lying, old prophet's house.
So he went back with him, and did eat bread in his house, and drank water. 13.19
Then God told the man of God (through the mouth of his lying prophet) that God was pissed at him for...I don't know what. Eating and drinking when God told him not to (even though a prophet of God told him that God said that he should)? Believing a lying prophet of God? What?

I don't know. But here's what the God's lying prophet said:
The word of the LORD came unto the prophet ... saying, Thus saith the LORD, Forasmuch as thou hast disobeyed the mouth of the LORD ... But camest back, and hast eaten bread and drunk water ... thy carcase shall not come unto the sepulchre of thy fathers. 13.20-22
After the meal, the man of God went on his way. And then a lion met him on the road and killed him.
And it came to pass, after he had eaten bread, and after he had drunk, that he saddled for him the ass ... And when he was gone, a lion met him by the way, and slew him. 13.23-24a
The lion hung around the dead man of God for quite a while. Lots of people came to see the carcass and the ass and the lion by the side of the road.
And his carcase was cast in the way, and the ass stood by it, the lion also stood by the carcase. And, behold, men passed by, and saw the carcase cast in the way, and the lion standing by the carcase. 13.24b-25

God's next killing: Jeroboam’s son: God kills another child

08 February 2010

God killed 70,000 because David did a census that God (or Satan) told him to do

This is not an easy one to explain, but I'll give it a try.

It all starts with God telling David to do a census, you know like the one the U.S. Constitution requires us to do every ten years.

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

Or was it Satan that asked David to do the census, as it says in 1 Chronicles 21.1?
Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel. 
Oh well, maybe it was both. They often work together. In any case, David sent Joab out to take the census, and after 9 months and 20 days, Joab came back with the results: there were 800,000 sword-yielding men in Israel and 500,000 in Judah.
So when they had gone through all the land, they came to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days. And Joab gave up the sum of the number of the people unto the king: and there were in Israel eight hundred thousand valiant men that drew the sword; and the men of Judah were five hundred thousand men. 2 Samuel 24.9
Or was it was 1,100,000 and 470,000 men in Israel and Judah, as it says in 1 Chronicles 21:5?
Joab gave the sum of the number of the people unto David. And all they of Israel were a thousand thousand and an hundred thousand men that drew sword: and Judah was four hundred threescore and ten thousand men that drew sword. 
Whichever it may have been, either is comparable to the number of active duty soldiers in the U.S. military today. Not bad for small tribal kingdom in 1000 BCE!

After the census, David decided that he had done something wrong, which is weird since he had only taken a census that God told him to take.
David's heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the LORD, I have sinned greatly in that I have done. 2 Samuel 24.10
And God was angry, too, at least that's what the prophet Gad told him. Gad said God offered him three choices:

1. Seven years of famine (or three years if you believe the story in 1 Chronicles 21),

2. Three months of losing battles,

3. Or Three days of pestilence.
When David was up in the morning, the word of the LORD came unto the prophet Gad ... saying ... Thus saith the LORD, I offer thee three things; choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee. ... 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
David couldn't decide, so God decided for him. God chose the three days of pestilence, thereby killing 70,000 men, which would mean at least a couple hundred thousand people (since only men count to God).
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 24.15
But God was still pissed off, even after he finished killing a couple hundred thousand people in the pestilence. So he sent an angel to destroy the city of Jerusalem. But before the angel destroyed the city, God "repented him of the evil" that he intended to do and told him to stop.
When the angel stretched out his hand upon Jerusalem to destroy it, the LORD repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed the people, It is enough: stay now thine hand. 2 Samuel 24.16
When David saw the angel that was still killing people, he said, "I've sinned, but what have these people done?" A good question, that God, of course, completely ignores.
David spake unto the LORD when he saw the angel that smote the people, and said, Lo, I have sinned, and I have done wickedly: but these sheep, what have they done? 2 Samuel 24.17  
Finally, Gad tells David to buy some land, make an altar, and kill some animals to make God quit killing people. So David buys some land for 50 shekels of silver (or 600 shekels of gold if you believe the story in 1 Chronicles 21), sets up an altar, and kills some animals for God.

And God finally stopped killing people.
Gad came that day to David, and said unto him, Go up, rear an altar unto the LORD in the threshingfloor of Araunah the Jebusite ... So David bought the threshingfloor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the LORD was intreated for the land, and the plague was stayed from Israel. 2 Samuel 24.18-25
God's next killing: Solomon carries out the deathbed wish of David by having Joab and Shimei murdered

David's Mighty Men and their Amazing Killings

There is a list of crazy single-handed killings in 2 Samuel 23 and 1 Chronicles 11 that the God obviously approved of since the Bible brags about them so much. I’m including them all here.
These be the names of the mighty men whom David had: 2 Samuel 23:8a
These also are the chief of the mighty men whom David had ... to make him king, according to the word of the LORD concerning Israel. And this is the number of the mighty men whom David had: 1 Chronicles 11:10-11a
Adino and/or Jashobeam
There is some confusion about this one. Who was the chief of David’s captains (Adino or Jashobeam) and how many did he kill with his spear at one time (300 or 800)? Was it two different captains in two different slaughters? I'll give them both credit and call it 1100.
The Tachmonite that sat in the seat, chief among the captains; the same was Adino the Eznite: he lift up his spear against eight hundred, whom he slew at one time. 2 Samuel 23:8
Jashobeam, an Hachmonite, the chief of the captains: he lifted up his spear against three hundred slain by him at one time. 1 Chronicles 11:11b
The son of Dodo
Next we have the son of Dodo who smote Philistines until his hand stuck to his sword, "and the LORD wrought a great victory that day." It doesn’t say how many he killed; I’ll guess 1000.
Eleazar the son of Dodo ... smote the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand clave unto the sword: and the LORD wrought a great victory that day. 2 Samuel 23:9-10
Eleazar the son of Dodo ... one of the three mighties ... slew the Philistines; and the LORD saved them by a great deliverance. 1 Chronicles 11:12-14
Shammah isn't mentioned in the 1 Chronicles account, but according to 2 Samuel, God was involved since "the Lord wrought a great victory." I’ll give God and Shammah credit for another 1000 for this “great victory.”
Shammah the son of Agee ... slew the Philistines: and the LORD wrought a great victory. 2 Samuel 23:11-12
Abishai killed 300 Philistines with his spear.
Abishai ... lifted up his spear against three hundred, and slew them. 2 Samuel 23:18
Abishai the brother of Joab, he was chief of the three: for lifting up his spear against three hundred, he slew them. 1 Chronicles 11:20
This one is my favorite. Jehoiada killed two lion-like men and then a lion in a snowy pit. After that he killed a good-looking, 7.5 foot tall Egyptian with the Egyptian's spear.
Benaiah the son of Jehoiada ... slew two lionlike men of Moab: he went down also and slew a lion in the midst of a pit in time of snow. And he slew an Egyptian, a goodly man: and the Egyptian had a spear in his hand. 2 Samuel 23:20-21
Benaiah the son of Jehoiada ... slew two lionlike men of Moab: also he went down and slew a lion in a pit in a snowy day. And he slew an Egyptian, a man of great stature, five cubits high; and in the Egyptian's hand was a spear like a weaver's beam; and he went down to him with a staff, and plucked the spear out of the Egyptian's hand, and slew him with his own spear. 1 Chronicles 11:22-23