The Detestable Practice of Divinely Sanctioned Child Sacrifice in the Bible

Harry McCall is working on a post about child sacrifice that I'm anxiously waiting for. It's an issue that Christians want to hide under the rug. In the meantime let me prime the pump...

Child Sacrifice is Divinely Commanded in the Bible!

Exodus 22:29-30:
“You shall not delay to offer from the fullness of your harvest and from the outflow of your presses. The first-born of your sons you shall give to me. 30 You shall do likewise with your oxen and with your sheep: seven days it shall be with its dam; on the eighth day you shall give it to me.”
God admitted he did this in Ezekiel 20:25-26 where he purportedly said:
25 “Moreover I gave them statutes that were not good and ordinances by which they could not have life; 26 and I defiled them through their very gifts in making them offer by fire all their first-born, that I might horrify them; I did it that they might know that I am the Lord.”
The context of the Exodus passage concerns offerings and sacrifices, and it says God requires that first born sons are to be literally sacrificed to him. Hence, unlike other passages where there is the possibility of redemption with a substitute sacrifice (cf. Exodus 13:13; 34:10-20), none is specifically stated here. The concept of "redemption" is an interesting one that goes hand in hand with child sacrifice, because animals were substituted for the firstborn. Yet that says nothing against the idea that a better sacrifice was the firstborn child himself, and many people in the Old Testament did just that. Circumcision was probably a substitutionary child sacrifice (Exodus 4:24).

Child sacrifice should be understood within the whole concept of human sacrifice as a whole, which pleased God (Leviticus 27:28). Human sacrifice was probably only considered evil when it was done in the name of a foreign god, and doing so was punishable by death precisely because it was offered to another deity (Leviticus 20:2; 18:21 Deuteronomy 12:31 18:10; II Kings 17:17 23:10; II Chronicles 28:3 33:4-10; Ps 106:38; Isaiah 57:5,6; Jeremiah 7:31 32:35 Ezekiel 16:20,21 20:26,31 23:37,39 Acts 7:43).

Child sacrifice was something that several Biblical people either did, or assisted others in doing so. Abraham was not morally repulsed by the command itself (Genesis 22). Then there is Jepthah who probably sacrificed his daughter because of a stupid vow (Judges 11); David (II Sam. 21:7-9); Solomon and his wives (I Kings 3:16); Ahab (I Kings 16:33-34); Ahaz (II Kings 16:2-3); Hoshea (II Kings 17:7); and Manasseh (II Kings 21:6, II Chronicles 33:6). It was a problem for King Josiah ( II King 23:10), for Jeremiah (Jeremiah 7:30-31; 19:3-5; 32:35), and Ezekiel (Ezekiel 16:20-21; 20:25-26, 30-31). The prophet Micah wonders if he should sacrifice his oldest son “as a sin offering” (6:6-8). Child sacrifice to foreign gods was so prevalent that it’s named as one of the major reasons why God sent the Babylonians to conquer Israel and forcibly take many of them as captives (II Kings 17:16-18).

We even read where the King of Moab sacrificed his son which caused the Israelites to retreat in defeat. Moab’s sacrifice created a great “wrath,” (ketzef), which was an external divine force to the warriors in the story, indicating that his sacrifice caused some divinity to act on behalf of Moab. (II Kings. 3:26-27).

In the New Testament God the Father sacrifices his only son (Jesus) as the central redemptive act of Christianity, and God still seeks to fulfill his lust for human sacrifice by burning humans forever in the lake of fire.

97 comments:

Cole said...

John,

You need to understand that when you go back to the original Greek and Hebrew that the Bible doesn't really say these things. Especially when you interpret scripture in light of scripture you will find that God is a progressive God and that the Old Testament was never to be interpreted literally as well as all the bad parts of of New Testament. Only the parts about God being love are true and meant to be taken literally. You seem to have been brainwashed by religion in your days at seminary and never had the true God of the Bible.
Come home to the true God of the Bible John.

(Not Really)

Great post!

Jason said...

Child Sacrifice is Divinely Commanded in the Bible!

John, are you intentionally being ignorant or do you really not know better?

The firstborn of everything was God’s in recognition of the Passover. Think about it carefully: God saved the Israelite firstborn in Egypt through the shedding of animal blood – there’s no logical reason why God should now tell the Israelites He wanted their firstborn to die.

“But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.” (Deu 7:8)

Redeem = “to loose to let go, to set free”

Have a look at the laws regarding sacrifice. The only blood shed upon the altar was to be from a clean animal. This included, cows, sheep and goats – not humans. This is in line with the instruction of God to the Israelites in Egypt just prior to the 10th plague: “Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats:” (Exd 12:5) The blood of the clean animals redeemed (set free) the firstborn Israelites.

From the Jewish Encyclopedia: “In consequence of the deliverance from the tenth plague, when "the Lord slew all the first-born in the land of Egypt" but spared the first-born of the Israelites, the following commandment was given: "Sanctify unto me all the first-born, whatsoever openeth the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast: it is mine" (Ex. xiii. 2), which is explained in greater detail in verses 12-15. The first-born of clean beasts were thus made holy and were unredeemable, while the first-born of unclean beasts and of man had to be redeemed from the priests (Num. xviii. 15-18; Deut. xv. 19-22; compare Neh. x. 37)…Every Israelite is obliged to redeem his first-born son thirty days after the latter's birth. The mother is exempt from this obligation. The son, if the father fails to redeem him, has to redeem himself when he grows up. The sum of redemption as given in the Bible (Num. xviii. 16) is five shekels, which should be given to the priest. This sum may be given either in money or in valuables, but not in real estate, slaves, or promissory notes.”

Further: “Every thing that openeth the matrix in all flesh, which they bring unto the LORD, whether it be of men or beasts, shall be thine: nevertheless the firstborn of man shalt thou surely redeem, and the firstling of unclean beasts shalt thou redeem…But the firstling of a cow, or the firstling of a sheep, or the firstling of a goat, thou shalt not redeem; they are holy: thou shalt sprinkle their blood upon the altar (Num 18:15,17).

So while the firstborn animals were sacrificed, God explicitly instructs the Israelites to redeem the firstborn males - but all the firstborn of my children I redeem. (Exo 13:15) The memory of the passover was meant to be a positive reminder of the power and mercy of God. You'll be awfully hard pressed to prove how this mercy and memory was supposed to be remembered if parents were to kill their firstborn.

Better yet, don't you find it strange the Israelites never once complained about offering their children...? They complained about food and living conditions, but never about killing their child...hmmmm...

Then there's the embarrassing problem of the number of firstborn sons mentioned in Scripture - they weren't dead...in fact, there's no record whatsoever of ANY father killing his firstborn as a sacrifice to God. Strange...

Circumcision was probably a substitutionary child sacrifice (Exodus 4:24).

I had to laugh at this one. Seriously, please tell me you're kidding... "And you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you.” (Gen 17:11)

John, you’re so off base with stuff it’s tough to know how you managed to get it so wrong. You say used to be a pastor…?

Steven Bently said...

We must remember to be obediant and to keep God happy, otherwise he will send his wrath down upon us like tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, wild fires and tsnuamis, hurricanes and cyclones.

We must attend church every Sunday because God created the whole universe in just 6 days without our help, yet he requires our praise and worship to somehow complete him.

Well at least this weekly ritual benefits someone, it gets our funds gathered to one location for the preacher, because that is first priority, money before preaching, then god has to suffer for another 6 days...lol

Lee Randolph said...

Jason,
Better yet, don't you find it strange the Israelites never once complained about offering their children...? They complained about food and living conditions, but never about killing their child...hmmmm...

I find it strange that you keep posting with as much as much as you are wrong. I'd be embarrassed if I were you. One minute your preaching about understanding things in context and the next you're totally disregarding it.

Human sacrifice has always been part of some religion. You can get a used book on it cheap from amazon.

So how do you explain god sending his only son as a redeemer, to save you by his blood, by his sacrifice?

The most important aspect of your religion is rooted in a human sacrifice.

Where did those passages John presented come from? The satanic bible?

Your using your moral compass which is independent of the bible to choose the good parts and disregard the rest.

like I said, I'd be embarrassed if I were you.

emodude1971 said...

Jason said: Think about it carefully: God saved the Israelite firstborn in Egypt through the shedding of animal blood

Why any christian can get past this simple point and still think their god is logical/humane/real is beyond me...

Tell me Jason - if your pastor came to your door tonight and told you to go slaughter a lamb because god was going to kill all the firstborn sons of atheists tonight, and to be spared you had to spread the blood of that lamb on your door, would you do it? Could you do it?

Jason said...

Lee,

Thanks for your input. Let me know once you're ready to address the evidence I provided.

J.L. Hinman said...

A massive body of literature demonstrates that religious experince is not mental illness, but rather, people who have religious experiences have less mental illness than unbelievers. Less depression, fewer visits to institutions, you can scoff and call them weak for needing meaning to their lives, but it pays off massively.


Long-Term Effects

Wuthnow:


*Say their lives are more meaningful,
*think about meaning and purpose
*Know what purpose of life is
Meditate more
*Score higher on self-rated personal talents and capabilities
*Less likely to value material possessions, high pay, job security, fame, and having lots of friends
*Greater value on work for social change, solving social problems, helping needy
*Reflective, inner-directed, self-aware, self-confident life style

Noble:

*Experience more productive of psychological health than illness
*Less authoritarian and dogmatic
*More assertive, imaginative, self-sufficient
*intelligent, relaxed
*High ego strength,
*relationships, symbolization, values,
*integration, allocentrism,
*psychological maturity,
*self-acceptance, self-worth,
*autonomy, authenticity, need for solitude,
*increased love and compassion

Short-Term Effects (usually people who did not previously know of these experiences)

*Experience temporarily disorienting, alarming, disruptive
*Likely changes in self and the world,
*space and time, emotional attitudes, cognitive styles, personalities, doubt sanity and reluctance to communicate, feel ordinary language is inadequate

*Some individuals report psychic capacities and visionary experience destabilizing relationships with family and friends Withdrawal, isolation, confusion, insecurity, self-doubt, depression, anxiety, panic, restlessness, grandiose religious delusions

Links to Maslow's Needs, Mental Health, and Peak Experiences When introducing entheogens to people, I find it's helpful to link them to other ideas people are familiar with. Here are three useful quotations. 1) Maslow - Beyond Self Actualization is Self Transcendence ``I should say that I consider Humanistic, Third Force Psychology to be transitional, a preparation for a still `higher' Fourth Psychology, transhuman, centered in the cosmos rather than in human needs and interest, going beyond humanness, identity, selfactualization and the like.''

Abraham Maslow (1968). Toward a Psychology of Being, Second edition, -- pages iii-iv.


2) States of consciousness and mystical experiences
The ego has problems:
the ego is a problem.


``Within the Western model we recognize and define psychosis as a suboptimal state of consciousness that views reality in a distorted way and does not recognize that distortion. It is therefore important to note that from the mystical perspective our usual state fits all the criteria of psychosis, being suboptimal, having a distorted view of reality, yet not recognizing that distortion. Indeed from the ultimate mystical perspective, psychosis can be defined as being trapped in, or attached to, any one state of consciousness, each of which by itself is necessarily limited and only relatively real.'' -- page 665

Roger Walsh (1980). The consciousness disciplines and the behavioral sciences: Questions of comparison and assessment. American Journal of Psychiatry, 137(6), 663-673.


3) Therapeutic effects of peak experiences


``It is assumed that if, as is often said, one traumatic event can shape a life, one therapeutic event can reshape it. Psychedelic therapy has an analogue in Abraham Maslow's idea of the peak experience. The drug taker feels somehow allied to or merged with a higher power; he becomes convinced the self is part of a much larger pattern, and the sense of cleansing, release, and joy makes old woes seem trivial.'' -- page 132

Lester Grinspoon and James Bakalar (1983). ``Psychedelic Drugs in Psychiatry'' in Psychedelic Drugs Reconsidered, New York: Basic Books.



Transpersonal Childhood Experiences of Higher States of Consciousness: Literature Review and Theoretical Integration. Unpublished paper by Jayne Gackenback, (1992)
http://www.sawka.com/spiritwatch/cehsc/ipure.htm


"These states of being also result in behavioral and health changes. Ludwig (1985) found that 14% of people claiming spontaneous remission from alcoholism was due to mystical experiences while Richards (1978) found with cancer patients treated in a hallucinogenic drug-assisted therapy who reported mystical experiences improved significantly more on a measure of self-actualization than those who also had the drug but did not have a mystical experience. In terms of the Vedic Psychology group they report a wide range of positive behavioral results from the practice of meditation and as outlined above go to great pains to show that it is the transcendence aspect of that practice that is primarily responsible for the changes. Thus improved performance in many areas of society have been reported including education and business as well as personal health states (reviewed and summarized in Alexander et al., 1990). Specifically, the Vedic Psychology group have found that mystical experiences were associated with "refined sensory threshold and enhanced mind-body coordination (p. 115; Alexander et al., 1987)."



(4) Greater happiness


Religion and Happiness

by Michael E. Nielsen, PhD



Many people expect religion to bring them happiness. Does this actually seem to be the case? Are religious people happier than nonreligious people? And if so, why might this be?

Researchers have been intrigued by such questions. Most studies have simply asked people how happy they are, although studies also may use scales that try to measure happiness more subtly than that. In general, researchers who have a large sample of people in their study tend to limit their measurement of happiness to just one or two questions, and researchers who have fewer numbers of people use several items or scales to measure happiness.

What do they find? In a nutshell, they find that people who are involved in religion also report greater levels of happiness than do those who are not religious. For example, one study involved over 160,000 people in Europe. Among weekly churchgoers, 85% reported being "very satisfied" with life, but this number reduced to 77% among those who never went to church (Inglehart, 1990). This kind of pattern is typical -- religious involvement is associated with modest increases in happiness


Argyle, M., and Hills, P. (2000). Religious experiences and their relations with happiness and personality. The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 10, 157-172.

Inglehart, R. (1990). Culture shift in advanced industrial society. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

there is no such data for atheism not even one study! not one study.


I read Avelos book, why wont he debate me? I must say, his scholarship is pathetic.

you guys spend all your time cranking out bs like this, nothing more than venting frustrations fueled by bigotry, and are all totally afraid to debate anyone with his facts on straight.

I have to do the Goliuth bit because you are all afraid to answer the challenge. But it's so much easier to stay over here and pat each other on the back for fueling your misconceptions.

Evan said...

Hinman,

Regardless of whether religion is beneficial, the matter at hand is whether it is true.

If Buddhism were shown to be beneficial, would that force you to convert to it?

If it were shown that Satanism were beneficial, would that force you to convert to it?

If it were shown that Atheism were beneficial, would that force you to convert to it?

Therefore, even though your intensely overblown screed is wildly off topic, your "Goliath" (spellcheck is your friend, most of us have read the Bible) act is ludicrous.

Jason said...

Emodude,

If you're asking me if I would kill an animal and spread its blood on my doorposts to save the life of my firstborn son on direct instruction from God, of course I would do it. Wouldn't you?

But then this is completely off topic. :)

Lee Randolph said...

HInman,
and placebos have something like a 30% efficacy so how did they control for the placebo effect?

They couldn't because there is nothing tangible about religion.

Go check out placebos used as morale-boosters

And the placebo effect is what is giving alternative medicine the success it is enjoying presently.
I'm sure Evan can tell you that some doctors would prescribe a placebo when they are sure it would do more good than harm and it will make a patient happy, or when they don't have a clue whats going on.

Lee Randolph said...

Jason,
I refuted you with the reference to Jesus.

emodude1971 said...

Jason,

No, I wouldn't. Not because I'm overly fond of animals, but because such a god that is so stupid as to not be able to discern which children to kill and which to not unless there's lamb's blood on the door is a joke of a god. I would summon the power of Thor to protect my children with his awesome hammer.

And you said 'on direct instruction from God'. I don't recall reading in the bible that god went door to door of all the Israelites instructing them on how to protect themselves from his ludicrous wrath; I was under the impression that Moses and Aaron took care of this via word of mouth. Am I wrong here? If I'm not, then you're saying this wouldn't be good enough for you, or that the loony who instructed you to perform such an act would have to be at the level of Moses loony?

Jason said...

Lee,

And what exactly did you think you refuted with your question about Jesus?

Jason said...

Emodude,

If you choose to allow your firstborn child to die in defiance of what you deem to be a stupid God, so be it. To each their own, I suppose.

And you said 'on direct instruction from God'. I don't recall...Am I wrong here?

Oh no, you're not wrong. I was just alluding to the fact that the Israelites viewed Moses, the man who lead them out of Egypt, as the direct mouthpiece of God. I don't believe a pastor (whatever it is a pastor does) in the 21st century has quite the same job...

John W. Loftus said...

Jason said...John, are you intentionally being ignorant or do you really not know better?

I really don't know any better, and neither do the following authors:

Hector Avalos tells us that, “For most of biblical history, Yahweh was not against child sacrifice per se, but rather against child sacrifice to other gods.” See his “Creationists for Genocide” found at http://www.talkreason.org/. Jon D. Levenson states that "only at a particular stage rather late in the history of Israel was child sacrifice branded as counter to the will of YHWH and thus ipso facto idolatrous." The Death and Resurrection of the Beloved Son, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993), p. 5. Susan Niditch, in War in the Hebrew Bible: A Study in the Ethics of Violence (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993) says, “While there is considerable controversy about the matter, the consensus over the last decade concludes that child sacrifice was a part of ancient Israelite religion to large segments of Israelite communities of various periods.” p. 47. S. Ackerman argues that within the ancient Israelite community, “the cult of child sacrifice was felt in some circles to be a legitimate expression of Yawistic faith.” Under Every Green Tree: Popular Religion in Sixth-Century Judah (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1992), p. 137. See also Francesca Stavrakopoulou, King Manasseh and Child Sacrifice: Biblical Distortions of Historical Realities, (Walter De Gruyter Inc., 2004).

Harry McCall said...

Jason said...John, are you intentionally being ignorant or do you really not know better?

Jason please stop doing esigesis and exegete the text! I know you have a Christadelphian agenda, but for once, please remove your apologetically colored eye glasses and be fair with the context of each section of the text.

For example, please do me a word study on the Hebrew “Harem” in the context of Joshua 6 and 7. I’m doing an upcoming post on child sacrifice in Israel and (at lest), lest see if you can give me something I can use! Or do we have to see who is really “uninformed” here? And, yes, I do have my expensive Hebrew lexicons.

Jason, exactly how do you and the rest of your sect / cult know you are Christ’s brothers (Christadelphians = Christ’s brothers)? Where in the Bible can you trace only your, or anyone in your sect, genealogy back to Jesus himself? The only people Jesus said where his “brothers” are now long dead (some 2,000 years).

Fact is Jason, there is more proof in the Bible over Human sacrifice than the bases for your sect’s bogus name: Christadelphians!

Jason said...

John,

I kind of figured as much. Thanks.

Jason said...

Harry,

As is your custom, you’re choosing to discuss my religious affiliation instead of the topic at hand. I understand this requires far less effort on your part but really, I’m not interested.

When you’re good and ready to discuss the Biblical evidence I've provided in response to the claims made here, I’ll be more then happy to engage in conversation.

Harry McCall said...

Jason: "When you’re good and ready to discuss the Biblical evidence I've provided in response to the claims made here, I’ll be more then happy to engage in conversation."

Harry: "discuss the Biblical evidence" as I stated: "please do me a word study on the Hebrew “Harem” in the context of Joshua 6 and 7."

Yes, Jason, I realize that the bogus term "Christadelphian" in NOT Biblical while "Harem" is. Little wonder you care not, nor can not defend you own sect's name!

Sorry that you have been deceived into a false and unbiblical cult!

David said...

Leviticus 27:28
28“But no devoted thing that a man devotes to the LORD, of anything that he has, whether man or beast, or of his inherited field, shall be sold or redeemed; every devoted thing is most holy to the LORD. "

Exodus 22:29
29“You shall not delay to offer from the fullness of your harvest and from the outflow of your presses. The firstborn of your sons you shall give to me. 30



God is pleased with human sacrifice? I am not following your exegesis. My understanding of first born redemption is that children were redeemed with money (Numbers 3:46-51) and firstborn animals were sacrificed. As you've said the substitionary sacrifice is not specifically stated here, but given
1) the original audience would not have needed clarification (or apparently any commentary or Bible difficulties encyclopedia I have consulted)
2) All other passages clearly do present that the first born were not sacrificed (given the whole dispute over what consecration meant is probably not settled)

Wouldn't some sort of substantial INTERNAL evidence need to be present in that text to exegete as you have? Again I'm not an OT expert here, but it seems to me Hector Avalos has an unbalanced perspective. I would like to see some more exegetical support.


I do agree that Judges 11 has been substantially "softened" by scholars in an attempt to hide the fact that Jephthath did in fact fufill his vow to sacrifice his daughter. It is a description. Moral inference from descriptive statements is what has led to most of the moral tragedies related to the Bible that you rightly detest.

Jason said...

Harry,

What does your comment have to do with child sacrifice...?

John W. Loftus said...

Jason said...I kind of figured as much. Thanks.

You're welcome, idiot.

Harry McCall said...

Again: Yes, Jason, I realize that the bogus term "Christadelphian" in NOT Biblical while "Harem" is! This maybe the reason you are having trouble with John's post.

Jason, where is your exegesis on "Harem"?

Exactly how did you get mixed up in a cult that denies the historical and traditional truths of the Bible? I on see on the internet where most major denominations label the Christadelphians a CULT. Did you not know this when you were being deceive by their doctrines? Can you think for yourself long enough to get out of this cult or would you have to be “De-programmed”? I bet even our conservative Christian, Dan Marvin would agree that the Christadelphians are a cult once he knew their doctrines!

Are you unable to do an exegesis because you are a member of this unbiblical cult? Have the Christadelphians not taught their members how to exegete the Biblical text objectively? Jason, you seem to be unable to connect the dots of reality in the Bible because of the failures of the Christadelphian cult and are thus, are left confused most of the time as a person who desperately needs to do think for Jason (the person) and not the Christadelphian cult. I must ask, can you objectively think as a person totally apart form the Christadelphian cult?

Prove it! Please do a exegesis on “Harem” in the book of Joshua.

I think the reason you have such a hard time here at DC is that you have been blinded by the Christadelphian cult and, even though we are former traditional Christians who once believed in the Bible, you are the only one that has a very hard time here at DC because of the false doctrines of the Christadelphian cult.

The Ban (Harem) was part of your "Heavenly Father's" slaughter of the children and unborn in the Hebrew Bible. My next post will prove this. So if you will not or can not do an exegesis of the term “Harem”, you will just have to wait for my next post.

Lee Randolph said...

Jason,
And what exactly did you think you refuted with your question about Jesus?

I'm convinced that you are a troll. Answering that question would necessarily lead me into a circular path in the discussion, back to the beginning.

I don't want to believe that you are so stupid that you can't see the relationship between 'the story of the passion' and a human sacrifice so I will give you the benefit of the doubt and just say that you are a troll that looks for ways to create circular discussion.

I think you are a troll and not interested in honest dialog and I don't think I will ever take you seriously.

Lee Randolph said...

Jason,
by the way, there are some commenters that I won't release from the queue because I think they are disruptive to dialog. I leave them to the others to release.

you are one of them. You are allowed to comment here by the good graces of the other DC admins.

Scott said...

A massive body of literature demonstrates that religious experince is not mental illness, but rather, people who have religious experiences have less mental illness than unbelievers. Less depression, fewer visits to institutions, you can scoff and call them weak for needing meaning to their lives, but it pays off massively.

Non-theist Buddhists would also fit this description. And it's quite likely people who practice Yoga or meditation would as well.

The concrete, advantageous aspects of religion can and has been separated from it's supernatural foundations.

Examples? We do not speak of Muslim trigonometry or Christian physics. Nor does one have to convert to Islam or Christianity to benefit from either of these disciplines.

In fact, the Muslim world was once the leading edge of mathematics and even helped pioneer the scientific method. However the Islamic need to integrate science with God has left the Muslim world far behind the modern global scientific community.

It appears you're subscribing to the same mentality. When it comes to religion, It's all or nothing. We must take the good with the bad. Even if the bad includes human sacrifice.

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

I thank God that God is God or else we might succumb to the temptation to elevate ourselves as judge and denegrate one another to trolls, idiots, ignoramuses, etc. etc.

As far as God requiring blood sacrifice; He gave His son to people who were infected with bloodthirstiness. God Himself does not require sacrifice and did not sacrifice Y'shua - people infected with the world did that.

An infection of pride creates a black/white, all or nothing perspective without grace (fundamentalism)which shows up in the inability to rightly discern and divide written words. I think many approach religious books and try to coerce it to fit their paradigm. I know I did. I had God essentially expressing Himself much the way I was - prideful and arrogant relegating Y'shua's life to a powerless, impotent idol.

Y'shua did not condone child sacrifice (an idolotrous notion - Y'shua encouraged children to come to Him and advised adults to come to Him likewise!) but I respect that the OT folks did the hard work of trying to discern God's will (not yet fully knowing Him), through some very difficult influences of brutality and natural selection practices. God does not condemn us for various interpretations - but it would be unlike Him to require people (especially the OT folks) to turn the other cheek without the spiritual backup to believe His promise of a better Way.

By faith, people mature and increase their capacity to love courageously and to relinquish offenses - the world encourages raising offenses and maturing them into justifications for hurting one another.

Y'shua was able to withstand such behavior while we really are not well equipped for it - we tend to lose our capacity to care beyond territorial alliances.

The best to you all ~ take care!

John W. Loftus said...

Jason, we really don't need a recap of what you've said, just like I haven't offered a recap of what I said.

In the future please don't insult your hosts if you want the freedom to disagree.

I really think your problem is ignorance due to blindness. But you'll never consider such a possibility coming from me, because I'm wrong in your mind.

Tell me, why are you here in the first place? You're not here to learn anything. If we're as ignorant as you say we are then why not just ignore us? You're not convincing us of anything either.

Before going any further or posting any more comments answer my question: Why are you here?

Jason said...

John,

Erroneous claims are being made about God and the teachings of Scripture. I have a right to address these issues. If you want to debunk Christianity, go right ahead, but at least present the correct arguments. Child sacrifices isn't one of them.

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

I wrote: "I thank God that God is God or else we might succumb to the temptation to elevate ourselves as judge and denegrate one another to trolls, idiots, ignoramuses, etc. etc."

I omitted a key word in this statement - edited, it reads, "and denegrate one another to UNLOVED trolls, idiots, ignoramuses, etc. etc." :-)

Thanks and apologies for the omission!

John W. Loftus said...

Jason, you fail to understand how we got the Old Testament. It was written with hindsight conclusions. But they left traces of things where we can still get a glimpse of what people did in the name of Yahweh. The undeniable fact is that both archeology and the Bible confirms that Israelite people sacrificed their children. And we also find a statement that God commanded that they do this. We find such things as these in the OT, and that Micah wonders whether God would be pleased if he did it.

You fail to understand that what we find in the OT is that people did not always know what pleased God, nor who the true prophets were who claimed to speak for God. It was hindsight that led them to accept certain prophets, but in their day people didn't automatically know who spoke for God. So people sacrificed their children to Yahweh, and God did not condemn such a practice except when offered to other gods and late in their history.

You fail to understand all of this. If we consider child sacrifice repugnant then how much more so should a perfectly good God such that he should've made it perfectly clear this was not to be done. Instead he tells Abraham to do it and let's Jepthah do it without a trace of condemnation. If I were such a God I would make it perfectly clear. But he didn't. Which leads me to think God is not behind the teachings of the Bible.

Jason said...

John,

Plenty of Biblical evidence has already been presented that disagrees with your claims that God commanded Israelites to sacrifice their firstborn, none of which have been addressed. The very fact you tried to tie circumcision in with child sacrifice should lead anyone to question the bias and validity of the rest of your claims.

Did the Israelites ever sacrifice their children to foreign Gods? Absolutely. No one can argue otherwise. However, nowhere in the Mosaic law did God ever command the Israelites to kill their firstborn. There's also no record anywhere in Scripture in which someone kills their firstborn and offers him to God as an acceptable sacrifice. These are indisputable facts.

If all you have to go on is Jepthah's daughter or just "a statement", and this does appear to be all that exists to support your claims, then please just admit it.

J.L. Hinman said...

Hinman,

Regardless of whether religion is beneficial, the matter at hand is whether it is true.

>>>no not really because these not separate issues. effectiveness is a mark of truth. moreover, the hate, hostility and hyper critical tone of all the posts on this blog tells us you are into something more than just truth.

If Buddhism were shown to be beneficial, would that force you to convert to it?

the problem with this kind of thinking is you think that bleief is a matter of squabbling between different clubs. I'm not interested in getting people into my club or in getting into theirs. One God, one truth, different ways to understand it.

If it were shown that Satanism were beneficial, would that force you to convert to it?


depends. what I was was a lot more than "beneficial." One post in particular spoke of religious people being mentally ill. Study after study has demonstrated the fallacious nature of this assertion.


If it were shown that Atheism were beneficial, would that force you to convert to it?

what I just said

Therefore, even though your intensely overblown screed is wildly off topic,

HU? what's a "screed?"


your "Goliath" (spellcheck is your friend, most of us have read the Bible) act is ludicrous.

Yes but you don't understand it becasue need theology instead. you need theologians not Sunday school.

J.L. Hinman said...

HInman,
and placebos have something like a 30% efficacy so how did they control for the placebo effect?

DOES NOT APPLY. placebo does not apply to religious experince and there is not a single study that says it does. these two totally different things. but you are arguing from black is white slide. that is fallacy.

placebo is expectation, its medical and RE is not expected, its not medical.


They couldn't because there is nothing tangible about religion.

obviously a fallacy. 300 studies show the value of R part and they empirical studies. the M scale demonstrates empirical study of RE.



Go check out placebos used as morale-boosters

see this is the black is white slide. two thins that are totally different are made to seem to be the same thing becuase they have a few small things in common. there is no data or study anywhere that equates re with placebo. Newberg proves it's not because something very different happens in your brain.

And the placebo effect is what is giving alternative medicine the success it is enjoying presently.

that answer is speculative at best.


I'm sure Evan can tell you that some doctors would prescribe a placebo when they are sure it would do more good than harm and it will make a patient happy, or when they don't have a clue whats going on.

so? that has nothing to do with anything.

John W. Loftus said...

Jason, I approved your last comment, but all it says is that you still disagree. You added nothing. I have nothing to add either. Until you add something new don't plan on commenting on this again. You can understand that, can't you?

John W. Loftus said...

Joe, the argument from religious experience simply gets you nowhere as in no where. You do realize this don't you? It certainly doesn't get you to the God of the Bible which we debunk here at DC.

goprairie said...

"Regardless of whether religion is beneficial, the matter at hand is whether it is true.

>>>no not really because these not separate issues. effectiveness is a mark of truth"
I hate to give time to someone hijacking a thread but this claim that religion is true because it makes people happy is quite silly. Children who beleive in Santa and the tooth fairy are generally 'happier', as in the naive form of happiness, than children who are more mature and understand that those were both made up pretend things. Yeah, religious people MIGHT actually be 'happier' but in a mislead naive blundering blindly beleiving in a happy story sort of way. Most people have so little true understanding of the Bible or the history of religion that they CAN naively beleive it is about loving and charity and hugs on Sunday.
I would also question the point of the 'studies' as I could design a study whose answers would point to the benefits of atheism if I wanted to. Have you given the scientific journals that reviewed or summarized these studies so that we can look at them to see how they were designed and what the actual data was and how it was interpretted?

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Frequently, as GoPrairie has mentioned, faith is associated with being blind. However, Y'shua did not promote such a practice - He came to bring sight to the blind.He said that His sheep know Him - and that He came to bring enlightenment - His Way is not about blindness or human sacrifice. But,even without corrupt religious practices, people seem to find a way to justify the mistreatment of one another.

Jason said...

John,

Er, I added everything I needed to add in my first post...If you can't or don't want to respond to it, that's quite alright.

Harry McCall said...

Jason, you are so damn sure your God did not take child sacrifice and yet you continue to do a simple exegetical word study.
I stated: "please do me a word study on the Hebrew “Harem” in the context of Joshua 6 and 7."

Jason, why can’t you do this? Is it because your Christadelphian are as unbiblical as you claim child sacrifice to be?

You have yet to prove that the term Christadelphian is a Biblical term, because you know it is NOT and thus, you and you cult are NOT a Bible only group as you must now know.

So please prove to me that Christadelphian is a Biblical term and you are not peddling lies and deception yourself!

Lee Randolph said...

Hi JL
no, it would not be a "black is white" fallacy because to my knowledge, what you are referring to is the "black or white" fallacy and that is AKA a dichotomy, which would be not considering enough qualifiers.

If i made a fallacy it would be a faulty analogy.

but in any case, you don't have to look at placebos if you don't want to, just look at the other four major religions of the world and their myriad offshoots and you can that their experience is just as valid as yours unless you can show something unique about it that sets it apart.

you are on the same level playing field as the other non-christian believers.

If you don't want to look at the other religions, look at whatever central point people use in their life. Look at whatever else they look forward to day to day, Exercise, plastic surgery, Acceptance from peers, shopping, dressing nice, NASCAR, football. There is a reason there not supposed to be idols and other gods. it is because it produces the same effect. That effect makes you feel better. Just like the placebo effect.

Stan, the Half-Truth Teller said...

I'd like to see an exhaustive list of the immoral actions directly endorsed in the bible, alongside the apologist's lame justification of them.

What sorts of criminal or otherwise heinous acts would such a list contain? I can think of several myself, but surely there are several which I have missed for one reason or another...

Endorsement of the rape of captive girls, endorsement of murder in an exceedingly many cases, endorsement of slavery, endorsement of incest, endorsement of child sacrifice, endorsement of ritual animal killings, endorsement of bigotry, endorsement of sexism...

At what point do we revisit the claim that the bible is morally virtuous?

What are the apologist's answers to these, and how does he sleep after the mental contortions necessary to justify these things? What are god's excuses for endorsing -- even expecting and/or requiring, in many cases -- such brutal, violent, and ghastly behavior?

It's unconscionable, but I'd still be interested in hearing the apologists sell their magic snake oil. I won't buy any, but I'd like to hear the sales pitch.

--
Stan

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Stan writes: "Endorsement of the rape of captive girls, endorsement of murder in an exceedingly many cases, endorsement of slavery, endorsement of incest, endorsement of child sacrifice, endorsement of ritual animal killings, endorsement of bigotry, endorsement of sexism.."

Try to reconcile your approach with "love the enemy" (and I do not mean just forgive the enemy, but proactively love him without enabling abusiveness). An unhealthy doss of pridefulness takes offense at those words.

I do not condemn OT folks for acting in accordance with some of the influences of their surrounding community - in order to avoid such, one would require a small,pure mustard seed of faith to exercise such a high degree of self actualization - Y'shua did not condone or promote justifying mistreating one another.

Stan, the Half-Truth Teller said...

MMM said:

Try to reconcile your approach with "love the enemy"...

Sorry Sugar, it's not an approach, it's a reproach, and it's not my position that any of it is divinely inspired and/or inerrant.

So, I will not attempt to reconcile the clearly contradictive rules imposed in your bible, but will instead leave that to you and your apologist friends.

Your simple attempt at a refutation is telling -- you did not deny any of these endorsements, you merely asserted a "yeah, but", as though this makes the endorsements somehow justifiable.

Try again.

"Love thy neighbor", says "Y'shua", but he also says "Think not that I am come to destroy the law". Yet nowhere does the law say to love one's neighbor -- rather, it describes and regulates various methods of killing, maiming, selling, or otherwise oppressing one's neighbors.

You reconcile. I reconciled it when I rejected it.

--
Stan

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Stan, you're honest to say that your stance is reproach and rejection. I didn't even have the enlightenment to admit that when I was a nonbeliever. When I used to read the bible, I had a lot of indictment and contempt in my perspective - Salvation for me, was from my expectation of a punishing, rather than gracious and saving God.

I'm not personally aware of any "yeah, but" positions, but I will definitely go back and read my responses to check for that. Not that that ought to be cause for correction, but thanks for the awareness alert about it anyway, Stan.

Perhaps I can clarify myself - My belief is in a God, Who, while acknowledging the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, does not indict us for it. That was the main obstacle for me - the shift from fear of punishment to grace and permission to be human - I wasn't getting that from people. It's evident that OT folks did things that Y'shua never sanctioned. Y'shua said they did the hard work - He didn't condemn them (or us!). Why is that? They did not have the Messiah and the promise of a loving God to turn their cheeks away from their surrounding influences. Even with religious books, we remain much like OT folks - without grace filled love. It is a matter of overcoming faith to love one's enemies, and there is grace for the learning curve about that and to form values and convictions. We are allowed to mature belief in accordance to what we trust in our lives - either the "law" or faith.
Y'shua indicated that faith, not the law, was the higher priority of God. In the parable of the persistant widow, people are encouraged to seek faith over justice. Some interpret this parable to indicate that we ought to persevere in asking for what we want - but in persevering in approaching God, I am learning that He is opening my life to embracing and practicing faith which is far better than what I originally wanted. In fact, if it weren't for faith, I wouldn't have been able to enjoy conversing with you - I would have taken offense long ago and missed the chance to read your comments.

Stan, thanks for the conversation -
hope you enjoy the rest of the day!

Stan, the Half-Truth Teller said...

Forgive me, MMM, but your use of "Y'shua" is confusing. I understand it to be a Messianic Jew's rendering of the generally accepted name "Jesus", but I was under the impression that it did not refer to god. I recognize that Christians typically combine the two, but they also typically adhere to the convention wherein "Jesus" (or "Y'shua", if you prefer) is used to describe the man, and god, jehovah, yahweh, etc. are used to describe the deity at-large.

The reason this is especially confusing is because of the following statement:

It's evident that OT folks did things that Y'shua never sanctioned.

You see, if you are now separating Jesus from god, then because the OT account occurred prior to Jesus' birth, then it is meaningless to say that they did things he did not sanction. They did the things they did, regardless of whether or not he came later and sanctioned them.

If, however, you are not separating Jesus from god, then this is no different from saying that the "OT folks did things that [god] never sanctioned."

Indeed, you didn't say it this way, but the implication is that this is what you may have meant -- if Jesus is god.

Clearly, the OT folks did non-sanctioned things, but this isn't the point. The point is that some of the vile things they did were indeed sanctioned -- whether or not they did them is beside the point, though it would have been nice to have seen them refuse occasionally.

You seem to be hiding from the question of whether or not the bible endorses immoral acts as I described. Clearly, the acts themselves are endorsed, so perhaps the question should better be posed as to whether or not they were immoral, which I contend. And when I say that the bible endorses them, I mean that these actions were required and/or regulated by decree from god himself, either directly or through a prophet (usually Moses).

This goes to the reason I considered your suggestion that I "reconcile [my] approach with 'love the enemy'" as a "yeah, but" answer.

It is why I requested instead that you reconcile the explicit biblical and divine endorsement of these actions with the principle of loving one's neighbor. Your mention was the implied "yeah, but" answer -- it said nothing of the endorsed immoral activity ("yeah"), and instead promoted loving one's neighbor ("but"). Whether or not the conjunction in question is "but", "and", or "yet" is immaterial; the endorsements exist, and they are inconsistent with loving one's neighbor.

If I may now be so bold as to offer a "yeah, but" of my own...

Yeah, loving one's neighbor is an ideal.

But, the bible doesn't consider it until several thousand years have passed, and when it does it reinforces the endorsement of the old law, which required the exact opposite.

Again, I request that you reconcile this.

--
Stan

James F. McGrath said...

You are indeed correct that there is evidence that child sacrifice was indeed understood to be required by Israel's God, as by other deities from around that same time and place. What should also be noted is that there are Biblical authors who found this reprehensible, and took steps such as using story of Abraham and Isaac as a tool to combat such practices.

As a criticism of those who claim to "believe the whole Bible" and "take it all literally", your point is well taken. But what needs to be added is that there are non-fundamentalist forms of religion that are capable of viewing their tradition critically, acknowledging that there is much in it that is reprehensible, but also at the same time acknowledging that that religious tradition itself offers principles its adherents and even its scriptures don't live up to, which are worth clinging to, valuing and cherishing.

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Hello Stan,

You wrote, "if you are now separating Jesus from god," ----- I found that an interesting presupposition - separating Jesus from god..do you hold to the OT being wholly from God? Especially since Y'shua said that part of the Mosaic law was the influence of hard hearted people? From my stance it is a matter of separating that which is of divine, rather than human nature (myself being well acquainted with the latter).

You also wrote: "You seem to be hiding from the question of whether or not the bible endorses immoral acts as I described" I keep thinking that I've answered that question - let me explain another way - Since I do not see the Bible as "god" I don't see it as the ultimate and final authoritative representation of God. Rather, I see it as an accounting of the story of humanity seeking to understand and connect with the unseen world and all the misunderstandings and need for grace that arise from that endeavor. The Bible, to me, is a great source of inspiration and affirmation, but I do not hold it to be a stand alone "god". That would be idolotry. However, what I have found to be true in my own life is affirmed in this book so I hold it in great value.

Stan you also mentioned that loving one's neighbor is an ideal - I invite you to consider that loving one's enemy is somewhat different than loving one's neighbor -

As far as me reconciling OT with Jesus's words, Jesus is the One that does that.

Thanks once again Stan -- I appreciate your input!

3M

Robert_B said...

James Cameron Todd author of "Politics & Religion in Ancient Israel: An Introduction to the Study of the Old Testament" (1904 by Harvard University Press)
wrote: "It was somewhat different with the invocation of Yahweh as Melek, for this was the name under which human sacrifices were offered. The use of the term shows how much of the ritual vocabulary of Canaan had been adopted by srael. There is no reason to doubt that human sacrifice had formed a large element in primitive desert Yahwism, when the name Melek was impossible. But after the settlement the Canaanite invocation was employed in the performance of the old rite. In the time of rosperity and growing civilisation he rite of human sacrifice had fallen into desuetude as applied to clansmen ; even towards enemies it tended to die out. Ahab was censured by the prophets for neglecting it. It must therefore have been from the party of culture that the prophets learned their islike of Melek ; just as the reverse was the case with the name Baal. In the terror of the Assyrian invasions, kings and people revived the half-forgotten rite, and in ophet, outside Jerusalem, ahweh-Melek was worshipped with the
sacrifice of children even of royal birth. The number of idols, i.e. images of Yahweh, both public and private, was enormously increased. Men had a greater sense of security in this visible presence of their god."

misty said...

Thou shalt not delay [to offer] the first of thy ripe fruits, and of thy liquors: the firstborn of thy sons shalt thou "GIVE" unto me. KJV

Nathan = Give
Zebach = Sacrafice

The original termonology used in the text of Exodus 22:29is "nathan." not "zebach."

Taking the entire chapter into proper context alone demonstrates the style of the writing and does not support the idea of "sacrafice." It does support the idea of "giving." Many of the fruits, liquors, meats, etc. that were GIVEN to God by the Israelites was used to sustain the priests and their families.

Children who were given to God served in various roles of service to God. The first chapter of Samuel is an example of a child being given to God. Hannah gave her son Samuel to Eli the priest, and more of the story of the service Samuel fulfilled can be found in the following chapters.

The following verse represents Gods view on child sacrafice. Deu 12:31 Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods. KJV

Jason said...

Misty,

Precisely.

Harry McCall said...

Misty,

In a conversation with Jo Ann Hackett, Frank M. Cross (Hancock Professor of Hebrew and Other Oriental Languages, Emeritus Harvard University) suggested that she start looking for evidence of child sacrifice. In a volume honoring Cross on his retirement from Harvard, Hackett wrote an essay “Religion Traditions in the Israelite Transjordan” in the volume “Ancient Israelite Religion” edited by Miller, Hanson and McBride (Fortress, 1987) she has a section in the essay entitled “Child Sacrifice”. The subject of “Child Sacrifice” is taken up again by William H. Propp in his Anchor Bible commentary on Exodus 1 -18 on pages 454 - 456. Propp concludes: “What was the purpose of dedicating children, particularly firstborn boys, to Yahweh, whether by ordination, redemption or sacrifice? Originally, we may assume, the rite was supposed to ensure fertility.” p. 456.

The problem of reading the text (Deuteronomy - Kings) at face value is it is re-edited by the movement began in the Josianic reform in the late seventh century BCE in the Duteronomistic History and well into the exilic and early postexilic period.

Your disagreements are drawn from a late re-editing of the text beginning under King Josiah. I will welcome any challenges to my post on human sacrifice in my next post.

Robert_B said...

“Ancient Israel certainly knows of the practice of human sacrifice and particularly that of the firstborn, …. Additional biblical references for what appear to be those of child sacrifice include Judges 11:29-40; 2 Kings 16:3, 21;6, 23:10, Jeremiah 7:31, 19:5; Ezekiel 1620, and perhaps 57:5. With regards to Judges 11:29-40, however, a dissenting minority vierw holds that human sacrifice did not occur (Marcus 1986). The well know debate between Moshe Weinfeld (Weinfeld 1972 idem 1978) and Morton Smith (Smith 1975) lies only in whether human sacrifice in ancient Israel was a common practice. Even Weinfeld, who suggests that “giving” (Hebrew ntn) of the firstborn does not necessarily mean sacrifice but perhaps simply dedication to service in the religious cult, considers a vestige of the ancient practice to have been exercised at least occasionally.”

“From “Judaism and Islam: Boundaries, Communication, and Interactions: Essays in Honor of Willam M Brinner” ed. By Benjamin H. Hary; “COMPARATIVE STUEIES IN BIBLE AND QUR’AN: A FRESH LOOK AT GENESIS 22 IN LIGHT OF SURA 37”, p.177, by Reuven Firestone, Hebrew Union College, Los Angles

Jason said...

Harry,

Are you suggesting you have access to ancient Biblical texts that pre-date King Josiah that prove the Israelites offered their firstborn children to God under Divine instruction...?

Misty's comments are valid and logical since they can be supported by Scripture. The lack of opposing Scriptural evidence is telling.

Robert_B said...

“Human sacrifice as more generally referred to in the phrase, “the one who makes his son or daughter pass through the fire”, is frequently and exclusively attributed to Canaanite origins by some biblical writers (e.g. Deut. 12:31). Nonetheless, some form of human sacrifice was apparently part of Yahwistic cult in preexilic (and perhaps exilic) times. Isa 30:33 clearly connects Yahweh and human sacrifice at the Topheth (read Molech for melek in v 33b); if no such connection was intended in this allusion to Assyria’s anticipated destruction, one would have expected some disclaimer to that effect,. The “sacrifice of the firstborn to Yahweh” and the Molech sacrifice were probably closely related, if not one and the same cult. Although the former required that the firstborn sons be sacrificed to Yahweh while the latter listed as sacrifices children generally (of both sexes), the fact that daughters could legally substitute for sons as firstborn heirs favors the equation of these two cults (cf. Num. 27:1-8 and the texts for Emar and Nuzi regarding the legal substitution of daughters for sones within the context of inheritance)” – “Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible”, p.912 ,
By David Noel Freedman, Allen C. Myers, Astrid B. Beck

Robert_B said...

Isaiah 30:30-33 Young's Literal Translation
30)"And caused to be heard hath Jehovah The honour of His voice, And the coming down of His arm He doth shew with the raging of anger, And the flame of a consuming fire, Scattering, and inundation, and hailstone.
31) For from the voice of Jehovah broken down [is] Asshur, With a rod He smiteth.
32) And every passage of the settled staff, That Jehovah causeth to rest on him, Hath been with tabrets, and with harps, And in battles of shaking he hath fought with it.
33) For, arranged from former time is Tophet, Even it for the king is prepared, He hath made deep, He hath made large, Its pile [is] fire and much wood, The breath of Jehovah, As a stream of brim stone, is burning in it!

“The Topheth(h) (v33) we have already encountered in Jer 19:6. It was the site in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom (Gehinnom), just south of Jerusalem, at which a cult of child sacrifice was carried on. It would there seem natural to associate “Melech” in the same verse in Isaiah with the “Molech” to whom or to which the Torah forbids Israelites to sacrifice their offspring (Lev 18:21, 20:2-5). The identity of Molech - indeed, even the historical accuracy of the o in the first syllable - has long been a matter of sharp controversy and, as we shall see, remains so today. What does not seem controversial is that in these verses from Isaiah 30, it is YHWH rather than some deviant Israelites who utilize the Tophet, consigning Assyria to its firepit. To Mosca, this means that the Tophet in this period –about a century before Jeremiah-constituted “part of the official YHWHistic cultus” and that Isaiah himself seems to have had no particular objection to YHWHistic passing into the fire, though of course, he would not have tolerated such rites practiced for the benefit of anotehr deity.” - “The Death and Resurrection of the Beloved Son: The Transformation of Child Sacrifice in Judaism and Christianity”, p.10, by Jon D. Levenson

Harry McCall said...

Great research robert b. Although the Biblical text was highly edited being with the Josianic reform in the seventh century, we still have enough evidence to show that Yahweh was a monster that (as portrayed in the Hebrew text) feed off the blood and burnt flesh of his own choose people.

Fact is, Yahweh’s choice of a covenant with the Israelites was to support the blood cult of Yahweh which is equal to any blood sucking parasite choosing a host. The reality here is that Yahweh, in ancient Israelite religion, was an oppressive presents which gave the “chosen people” no freedom of choice, but like a spider who fed on its entrapped host for food.

Jason, I’ll be doing a new approach to the blood cult of Yahweh and I’ll have direct text quoted in full with a commentary. If you object, as I know you will to try and salvage Christianity image built on a background of Yahweh’s blood cult, then you can dealt with the texts themselves and try and maintain the traditional Christian interpretation of these text.

I plan to give the Devil (Yahweh) his due in my post.

Jason said...

Harry,

That wasn't an answer to my question. Noted.

I look forward to your post, or at least the commentaries you'll be presenting. Will there be Scriptural proof?

Robert_B said...

Jason:

I used to be a Christian, but I found a way out. You can too. My deconversion story may help you.

http://www.myspace.com/libertarianbob01

Harry McCall said...

Yes. Proof directly from Scripture that Yahweh accepts Child sacrifice.

Jason said...

Oh, this is going to be good...

Robert_B said...

Hello Harry: tap tap tap, is this thing on?

I found another quote from a published scholar that supports your position.

“Precisely because in Israel’s early period child sacrifice in Yahweh’s name was indeed practiced now and then, if not regularly (cf. Ex 22:28b [29bE]), and because the redemption of the firstborn probably only gradually became customary (cf. Ex 13:11-13), later theologians had to cleanse Yahweh from the suspicion of having actually demanded such an abomination. They invented the infamous god “Molech”, whose name evokes the notion of “king” in its consonants and “disgrace” in its vowels. Only this sort of horrible creature, a monster in the form of a god, could take pleasure in slaughtered of burned children. An ancient tradition, one that among other things has left traces also in Greek mythology (cr. The Iphigenia-motif), is thus rejected by the post-exilic congregation; though theological projection, it then ascribes this tradition to a foreign, albeit fictitious deity, and (something even more questionable) to a certain extent also to its pagan neighbors (cf. Lev. 18:24; 20:23).

“Leviticus”, p.292, By Erhard S. Gerstenberger, Westminster John Knox Press (1996)

Robert_B said...

Harry: Behold, yet another scholar supporting your position.

“It was probably, somewhere in the eighth to seventh centuries - but possibly earlier – that child sacrifice was incorporated into Yahwistic ritual, presumably by court and upper class figures, from areas of Phoenician influence where the practive was widespread. It seems to have continued or been revived in the post-exilic period (Isa 57:5). Those who engaged in this practice probably did so as a part of their worship of Yahweh.(62) As far as one can tell, the purpose of such sacrifices was either dedicatory, as a foundation sacrifice for a city (1 Kings 16:34), or, more likely and more often, a sacrifice in a time of dalamity to gain fthe favor of the god(s) (e.g., 2Kings 3:27). As yet, the practive of child sacrifice is without archaeological evidecne in Israel, though it has been argued that thphets, cult places for the sacrifice of children and/or the incineration of corpses, have been found in Syria-Palestine. - “The Religion of Ancient Israel”, p.59, By Patrick D. Miller, Westminster John Knox Press (2000)

(62) In Jer. 7:31; 19:5; and 32:35, Yahweh states with reference to child sacrifice, “I did not command, nor did it come into my mind,” suggesting that there was an assumption on the part of some that this was permissible in the worship of Yahweh. In Ezek. 23:38-39 and Lev. 20:3, there is mention of the slaughter of children in sacrifice in relation to defiling Yahweh’s sanctuary at the same time, again suggesting that this was done alongside other more traditional Yahwistic practices. Child sacrifice is specifically associated with Yahweh in Ezek. 20:25-26 and a rational is provided. - “The Religion of Ancient Israel”, p.240, By Patrick D. Miller, Westminster John Knox Press (2000)

Robert_B said...

Iphigenia:

1. Classical Mythology. the daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra and sister of Orestes and Electra: when she was about to be sacrificed to ensure a wind to take the Greek ships to Troy, she was saved by Artemis, whose priestess she became.

The myth of Iphigenia would be supportive of the idea that child sacrifice, though previously practiced in Greek culture, was abandoned. The existence of the myth itself would indicate as much since one does not tell others to not do something they are already not doing.

I hear Dr Robert Price in one of his Biblegeek podcasts discussing Genesis 22, the story of Abraham sacrificing his son Issac, make a similar point. He referred to a mythical story of Hercules suddenly appearing to stop a child sacrifice by declaring to those offering the children that "Zeus, my father, abhors human sacrifice." Hercules then provided a Ram for the sacrifice instead and then poof, back to Olympus. Price argued that the Genesis 22 story was of similar form to the Hercules story though he refused to speculate whether the stories depended on each other.

In the case of the ancient Yahwehist cults, child sacrifice was probably regarded as a way of worshiping Yahweh. This is seen in Isaiah 30:33 and Ezekiel 20:25-26. The periscope in 2 Kings 3:26-27 presumes not only that Chemosh is an actual living deity that is capable of defeating Yahweh, but that child sacrifice is an effective way of enlisting the aid of the god.

The point of this is that if Yahweh can be shown to be evil by its advocacy of human sacrifice, slavery, genocide, the brutal subjugation of women or such, then it cannot be all good. If Yahweh is not a most worthy object of worship , then it cannot exist. The fact that we can question Yahweh's morality and discern that Yahweh's behavior exhibits characteristics of evil, means that we intuitively understand that good and evil are attributes of objective morality that arise from material existence.

Harry McCall said...

Robert, you sure have been active in your research on this subject!

Even though the revised Biblical text tries to cover up these older practices of the Yahwistic cult, the proof of child sacrifice is there.

There is much more in the text that the textual reformers missed and I’ll be using Form Criticism to point these out.

Because most Old Testament work is done by scholars who have a Master of Divinity and are ordained pastors who also have a vested interest in the Christian faith, little to no work in this area has really been done.

I had hoped to have this topic posted last month, but I was surprised as to the way the topic has been apologetically ignored.

robert, I look forward to your comments on my post. Thanks

Robert_B said...

Good Morning Harry: Thanks for your clever insights to this problem so ignored and swept under the rug by all forms of Christianity. The image of Jesus as a kind and loving personal God is intensely clung to by believers as if it were a life raft. However, your hypothesis has legs, and the truth no matter how disturbing is always to be preferred to a comforting lie. That particular truth escapes almost all Christians, and for me was one of the reasons why I left the Church. I need reality and the tougher it is the better. What does not kill me makes me stronger. That may be why I despise most Christians, for they seek emotional comfort and solace from their imaginary God. I disdain such weakness. Therefore, I look forward to your paper for the hard truth is a strong stick.

Don said...

Jason said... "Harry, Are you suggesting you have access to ancient Biblical texts that pre-date King Josiah that prove the Israelites offered their firstborn children to God under Divine instruction...?"

I don't know about any pre-Josiah texts, but I certainly have a new testament text: Check out John 3:16.

Jason said...

Don,

John 3:16 is talking about Christ. It doesn't reference Israelites offering their firstborn children to God under Divine instruction.

Harry McCall said...

Jason: John 3:16 is talking about Christ. It doesn't reference Israelites offering their firstborn children to God under Divine instruction.

Lets see Jason; Jesus is God's first born. Jesus dies under "Divine instruction" as a sacrifice to God. Human blood of the first born (Jesus) dies just as John 3:16 says. It's clear!

Drow Ranger said...

Ummm dude:

Jeremiah 7:31 (New International Reader's Version)

31 The people have built the high places of Topheth in the Valley of Ben Hinnom. There they worship other gods. And there they sacrifice their children in the fire. That is something I did not command. It did not even enter my mind.

See, this is what happens when John Boy takes the fundy-understanding of the Bible that he had as a "fundy" and extrapolates it into his newfound agnosticism/atheism, and takes individual passages out of context of the other passages.
If God REALLY had the intent to have the Israelites "sacrifice" their firstborn in the context of killing them, there'd be detailed instructions on how to do so, as there were for lambs and oxen and stuff.

Just because something "belongs" to God doesn't mean it has to die.

Drow Ranger said...

Harry, harry, quite contrary...*headdesk*
Lets see Jason; Jesus is God's first born. Jesus dies under "Divine instruction" as a sacrifice to God. Human blood of the first born (Jesus) dies just as John 3:16 says. It's clear!...that you don't know what you're on about.

Human sacrifice is prohibited for many reasons, but the main reason being it's "unclean" (unacceptable). But WHY is that?

Simply put, the whole purpose of sacrifice was to cover the sins of the people. Only something "perfect" would do. Since Animals cannot Sin, but Humans can, Animals (and then, only CLEAN animals, certain kinds like cows and sheep and goats and doves and things) are used. You cannot use an imperfect/sinful thing to cancel out imperfection/sinfulness. It just does not work that way.

This is why Christ was the exception to the "human sacrifice" prohibition. Not only was He sinless and Perfect, but He was /not/ merely Human. He was also God. He willingly laid down His life (in the Human body) to cover all sin for all time.

It's so simple a child could understand it. How did you miss it, Harry? (Or for that matter how did John and the rest miss it?!)

Don said...

Drow Ranger said... "This is why Christ was the exception to the "human sacrifice" prohibition. Not only was He sinless and Perfect, but He was /not/ merely Human. He was also God. He willingly laid down His life (in the Human body) to cover all sin for all time."

By stating that Jesus was the exception to the human sacrifice prohibition, you validate my statement that in John 3:16, God sanctions human sacrifice.

Are you suggesting that Jesus was not human? Or that he was not a sacrifice?

Don said...

Drow Ranger said... "Since Animals cannot Sin..."

Are non-humans exempt from the commandment "Thou shalt not bear false witness"?

See examples of animals intentionally lying at http://www.rochester.edu/news/show.php?id=1421.

Harry McCall said...

drow ranger: “Simply put, the whole purpose of sacrifice was to cover the sins of the people. Only something "perfect" would do. Since Animals cannot Sin, but Humans can, Animals (and then, only CLEAN animals, certain kinds like cows and sheep and goats and doves and things) are used. You cannot use an imperfect/sinful thing to cancel out imperfection/sinfulness. It just does not work that way.”

Really! Then exactly why was the animal to be killed along with the human in ancient Israel when the animal was force to have sex with an Israelite?

drow ranger : “See, this is what happens when John Boy takes the fundy-understanding of the Bible that he had as a "fundy" and extrapolates it into his newfound agnosticism/atheism, and takes individual passages out of context of the other passages.
If God REALLY had the intent to have the Israelites "sacrifice" their firstborn in the context of killing them, there'd be detailed instructions on how to do so, as there were for lambs and oxen and stuff.”

Hey drow ranger, wake up! If you think the Massoretic text as we have it today is the Ur text, you are a huge “fundy” yourself! If your want to “Duh-Bunking Antixtianity”, try and educate yourself first.

DingoDave said...

drow ranger wrote:
"Ummm dude:
Jeremiah 7:31 (New International Reader's Version)
The people have built the high places of Topheth in the Valley of Ben Hinnom. There they worship other gods. And there they sacrifice their children in the fire. That is something I did not command. It did not even enter my mind.
See, this is what happens when John Boy takes the fundy-understanding of the Bible that he had as a "fundy" and extrapolates it into his newfound agnosticism/atheism, and takes individual passages out of context of the other passages."

Dear drow ranger,
I suggest that you get yourself a more reliable (read honest) Translation than the NIV Bible.

Here is how the RSV Bible translates Jer. 7:31.
"And they have built the high place of Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I did not command, nor did it come into my mind."

Notice that there is no mention of 'other gods' in the RSV, nor do these words appear in any of the other more honest translations which I have looked at.
See, this is what happens when people like you use a 'second rate' translation of the Bible for their information. It appears that the 'translators' of the NIV Bible ADDED the words "other gods" to the text in order to deflect criticism.

DingoDave said...

Here are some Biblical examples of humans being sacrificed to Yahweh in order to appease him, and turn his 'fierce anger' away from the people of Israel.

Numbers 25:
[4]and the LORD said to Moses, "Take all the chiefs of the people, and hang them in the sun before the LORD, that the fierce anger of the LORD may turn away from Israel."
[5] And Moses said to the judges of Israel, "Every one of you slay his men who have yoked themselves to Ba'al of Pe'or."
[6] And behold, one of the people
of Israel came and brought a Mid'ianite woman to his family, in the sight of Moses and in the sight of the whole congregation of the people of Israel, while they were weeping at the door of the tent of meeting.
[7] When Phin'ehas the son of Elea'zar, son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose and left the congregation, and took a spear in his hand
[8] and went after the man of Israel into the inner room, and pierced both of them, the man of Israel and the woman, through her body. Thus the plague was stayed from the people of Israel.

2Sam. 21:
[1] Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year; and David sought the face of the LORD. And the LORD said, "There is bloodguilt on Saul and on his house, because he put the Gib'eonites to death."
[3] And David said to the Gib'eonites, "What shall I do for you? And how shall I make expiation, that you may bless the heritage of the LORD?"
[4] The Gib'eonites said to him, "It is not a matter of silver or gold between us and Saul or his house; neither is it for us to put any man to death in Israel." And he said, "What do you say that I shall do for you?"
[5] They said to the king, "The man who consumed us and planned to destroy us, so that we should have no place in all the territory of Israel,
[6] let seven of his sons be given to us, so that we may hang them up before the LORD at Gibeon on the mountain of the LORD." And the king said, "I will give them." ...
[9] and he gave them into the hands of the Gib'eonites, and they hanged them on the mountain before the LORD, and the seven of them perished together. They were put to death in the first days of harvest, at the beginning of barley harvest.
[12] David went and took the bones of Saul and the bones of his son Jonathan from the men of Ja'besh-gil'ead, who had stolen them from the public square of Beth-shan, where the Philistines had hanged them, on the day the Philistines killed Saul on Gilbo'a;
[13] and he brought up from there the bones of Saul and the bones of his son Jonathan; and they gathered the bones of those who were hanged.
[14] And they buried the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan in the land of Benjamin in Zela, in the tomb of Kish his father; and they did all that the king commanded. And after that God heeded supplications for the land.

Here's a passage which instructs the Israelites to offer WHOLE CITIES as a 'burnt offering' to Yahweh, including all the men, women, children, and animals that lived in them.

Deuteronomy 13:
[12] "If you hear in one of your cities, which the LORD your God gives you to dwell there,
[13] that certain base fellows have gone out among you and have drawn away the inhabitants of the city, saying, `Let us go and serve other gods,' which you have not known,
[14] then you shall inquire and make search and ask diligently; and behold, if it be true and certain that such an abominable thing has been done among you,
[15] you shall surely put the inhabitants of that city to the sword, destroying it utterly, all who are in it and its cattle, with the edge of the sword.
[16] You shall gather all its spoil into the midst of its open square, and burn the city and all its spoil with fire, as a whole burnt offering to the LORD your God; it shall be a heap for ever, it shall not be built again.

No human sacrifice in the Bible?
What utter nonsense!
Nobody could ever honestly make such a claim unless they had never bothered reading the thing.

Drow Ranger said...

Don, you obviously don't know what you're talking about.

By stating that Jesus was the exception to the human sacrifice prohibition, you validate my statement that in John 3:16, God sanctions human sacrifice.

Are you suggesting that Jesus was not human? Or that he was not a sacrifice?


Fallacy of false dilemma, dude. Jesus was more than MERELY human. NO OTHER Human was both God AND Man. No other human was perfect and sinless.

Harry harry harry...*headdesks*
Really! Then exactly why was the animal to be killed along with the human in ancient Israel when the animal was force to have sex with an Israelite?
That's not sacrifice. Animals who have been accustomed/habituated to doing things with humans have to be put down so that nobody else does anything with them like that. Once an animal had been conditioned to that, it's nearly impossible to train it out of them.

DingoDave: "And they have built the high place of Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I did not command, nor did it come into my mind."

Notice that there is no mention of 'other gods' in the RSV, nor do these words appear in any of the other more honest translations which I have looked at.
See, this is what happens when people like you use a 'second rate' translation of the Bible for their information. It appears that the 'translators' of the NIV Bible ADDED the words "other gods" to the text in order to deflect criticism.

Who cares whether it says "other gods" or not? I know NIV isn't the "best" translation out there, but I wasn't hanging my hat OR my argument on the "other gods" business. That doesn't change my point at all. In fact it reinforces my point, because it shows that God didn't command Human Sacrifice or even have the thought enter his mind, REGARDLESS of who was sacrificing what to whom.

Also DingoDave:
Here are some Biblical examples of humans being sacrificed to Yahweh in order to appease him, and turn his 'fierce anger' away from the people of Israel.

Numbers 25:
[4]and the LORD said to Moses, "Take all the chiefs of the people, and hang them in the sun before the LORD, that the fierce anger of the LORD may turn away from Israel."
[5] And Moses said to the judges of Israel, "Every one of you slay his men who have yoked themselves to Ba'al of Pe'or."
[6] And behold, one of the people
of Israel came and brought a Mid'ianite woman to his family, in the sight of Moses and in the sight of the whole congregation of the people of Israel, while they were weeping at the door of the tent of meeting.
[7] When Phin'ehas the son of Elea'zar, son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose and left the congregation, and took a spear in his hand
[8] and went after the man of Israel into the inner room, and pierced both of them, the man of Israel and the woman, through her body. Thus the plague was stayed from the people of Israel.

2Sam. 21:
[1] Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year; and David sought the face of the LORD. And the LORD said, "There is bloodguilt on Saul and on his house, because he put the Gib'eonites to death."
[3] And David said to the Gib'eonites, "What shall I do for you? And how shall I make expiation, that you may bless the heritage of the LORD?"
[4] The Gib'eonites said to him, "It is not a matter of silver or gold between us and Saul or his house; neither is it for us to put any man to death in Israel." And he said, "What do you say that I shall do for you?"
[5] They said to the king, "The man who consumed us and planned to destroy us, so that we should have no place in all the territory of Israel,
[6] let seven of his sons be given to us, so that we may hang them up before the LORD at Gibeon on the mountain of the LORD." And the king said, "I will give them." ...
[9] and he gave them into the hands of the Gib'eonites, and they hanged them on the mountain before the LORD, and the seven of them perished together. They were put to death in the first days of harvest, at the beginning of barley harvest.
[12] David went and took the bones of Saul and the bones of his son Jonathan from the men of Ja'besh-gil'ead, who had stolen them from the public square of Beth-shan, where the Philistines had hanged them, on the day the Philistines killed Saul on Gilbo'a;
[13] and he brought up from there the bones of Saul and the bones of his son Jonathan; and they gathered the bones of those who were hanged.
[14] And they buried the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan in the land of Benjamin in Zela, in the tomb of Kish his father; and they did all that the king commanded. And after that God heeded supplications for the land.

Here's a passage which instructs the Israelites to offer WHOLE CITIES as a 'burnt offering' to Yahweh, including all the men, women, children, and animals that lived in them.

Deuteronomy 13:
[12] "If you hear in one of your cities, which the LORD your God gives you to dwell there,
[13] that certain base fellows have gone out among you and have drawn away the inhabitants of the city, saying, `Let us go and serve other gods,' which you have not known,
[14] then you shall inquire and make search and ask diligently; and behold, if it be true and certain that such an abominable thing has been done among you,
[15] you shall surely put the inhabitants of that city to the sword, destroying it utterly, all who are in it and its cattle, with the edge of the sword.
[16] You shall gather all its spoil into the midst of its open square, and burn the city and all its spoil with fire, as a whole burnt offering to the LORD your God; it shall be a heap for ever, it shall not be built again.

No human sacrifice in the Bible?
What utter nonsense!
Nobody could ever honestly make such a claim unless they had never bothered reading the thing.


Calling ANY of that "human sacrifice" is ridiculous. FYI Capital Punishment =/= Sacrifice kthx. These all deal with PUNISHMENT, not sacrifice. "Real" sacrifices were performed by Priests or Levites in specific temple/tabernacle rituals, and none of those qualify.

The nonhuman contents of the city would have been the burnt offering, specifically. The humans were merely capital punished. Notice it is the SPOIL (other translations say booty or goods) that is to be burnt-offered--all the material possessions. That's not human sacrifice.

Saul and Johnathan were ALREADY dead, having perished in the Philistine War. So calling that "human sacrifice" is really, REALLY stretching it. Besides, it was the Gibeonites' idea, and had to deal with restitution against genocide (Saul and his sons tried to wipe out the Gibeonites).

Drow Ranger said...

no I don't think the Masoretic Text = the Ur text. What the fudge? And what would that have to do with whether or not someone is a "fundy"?

DingoDave said...

Dear drow ranger,
It appears that your reading comprehension skills could use a bit of sharpening up, so please allow me to offer you a condensed 'Readers Digest' type version of these passages.

Numbers 25:
[4]and the LORD said to Moses, "Take all the chiefs of the people, and hang them in the sun before the Lord, that the fierce anger of the LORD may turn away from Israel."
[8] ... Thus the plague was stayed from the people of Israel.

Actions and results: Yahweh sends a plague upon the people - Humans "hanged before the Lord" in expiation - Yahweh turns his 'fierce anger' away from the people and stops the plague.

2Sam. 21:
[1] Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year; and David sought the face of the LORD. And the LORD said, "There is bloodguilt on Saul and on his house, because he put the Gib'eonites to death."
[3] And David said to the Gib'eonites, "What shall I do for you? And how shall I make expiation, that you may bless the heritage of the LORD?"
[5] They said to the king,...
[6] let seven of his sons be given to us, so that we may hang them up before the LORD at Gibeon on the mountain of the LORD." And the king said, "I will give them." ...
[9] and he gave them into the hands of the Gib'eonites, and they hanged them on the mountain before the LORD, and the seven of them perished together... And after that God heeded supplications for the land.

Actions and results: Yahweh causes a famine - Humans were "hanged before the Lord... on the mountain of the LORD" - Yahweh stopped the famine.

These were no ordinary executions. The texts themselves make this absolutely clear. They were ritual murders, performed in the presence of the angry deity on his 'holy mountain'.
In each of these cases, we see people being HANGED BEFORE THE LORD, in order to appease him and turn away his wrath. Killing people before a god in order to appease that god is the vey definition of a human sacrifice. I don't see how it can get any clearer than this.

Deut. 13:
[15] you shall surely put the inhabitants of that city to the sword, destroying it utterly, all who are in it and its cattle, with the edge of the sword.
[16] You shall gather all its spoil into the midst of its open square, and burn the city and all its spoil with fire, as a whole burnt offering to the LORD your God.

Action and result: People decide to worship another god - Yahweh himself orders that they are to be slaughtered and burned, "AS A WHOLE BURNT OFFERING TO THE LORD."
A burnt offering is, by definition, a sacrifice of appeasement to the god.

drow ranger wrote:
"Who cares whether it says "other gods" or not? I know NIV isn't the "best" translation out there, but I wasn't hanging my hat OR my argument on the "other gods" business."

I thought that the whole point of you quoting that verse was to try and convince us that the Israelites WEREN'T sacrificing their children to Yahweh. Now you seem to be saying that you don't actually care if they were or not? What's with that? Do you realise that you've just destroyed your own argument?

drow ranger wrote: "Just because something "belongs" to God doesn't mean it has to die."

Yes it does. Please read your Bible more carefully drow ranger.
Leviticus 27:
[26] "But a firstling of animals, which as a firstling belongs to the LORD, no man may dedicate; whether ox or sheep, it is the LORD's.
[27] And if it is an unclean animal, then he shall buy it back at your valuation, and add a fifth to it; or, if it is not redeemed, it shall be sold at your valuation.
[28] "But no devoted thing that a man devotes to the LORD, of anything that he has,WHETHER OF MAN OR BEAST , or of his inherited field, shall be sold or redeemed; every devoted thing is most holy to the LORD.
[29] No one devoted, who is to be utterly destroyed from among men, shall be ransomed; HE SHALL BE PUT TO DEATH.
[34] These are the commandments which the LORD commanded Moses for the people of Israel on Mount Sinai.

You seem to be just making things up as you go along drow ranger.
I know you don't like the idea of Yahweh commanding or accepting human sacrifices, but just because you don't like it doesn't mean that it never happened. The editors of the Bible didn't like it either and made a valiant attempt to whitewash the history of their cultic practices. But they weren't entirely successful as the Bible itself demonstrates.

Harry McCall said...

Drow ranger: “Fallacy of false dilemma, dude.”

“dude”…It sure reads as if our Holding clone called “Mary” in now resurrected in the mind of another Holding cone; drow ranger.

Exactly why you, “Mary”(if she (he) ever existed as a woman), and Holding reject the Fundamentalist’s interpretation of the Bible is beyond me, unless it’s because you and Holding play fast and loose with your hermeneutics.

One thing is for sure; Sam Harris and the Southern Baptist agree that a Fundamentalist reading of the Bible is the correct approach conta to you and Holding.

Drow Ranger said...

Actions and results: Yahweh sends a plague upon the people - Humans "hanged before the Lord" in expiation - Yahweh turns his 'fierce anger' away from the people and stops the plague.
Umm the chiefs DID SOMETHING WRONG. This is not sacrifice. You're conveniently ignoring verse 25:5 And Moses said unto the judges of Israel, Slay ye every one his men that were joined unto Baalpeor. Exactly HOW does this qualify as "Sacrifice"?

Actions and results: Yahweh causes a famine - Humans were "hanged before the Lord... on the mountain of the LORD" - Yahweh stopped the famine.

These were no ordinary executions. The texts themselves make this absolutely clear. They were ritual murders, performed in the presence of the angry deity on his 'holy mountain'.
In each of these cases, we see people being HANGED BEFORE THE LORD, in order to appease him and turn away his wrath. Killing people before a god in order to appease that god is the vey definition of a human sacrifice. I don't see how it can get any clearer than this.


Ummm, no. They were killed to appease God not for sacrifice, but BECAUSE THEY HAD COMMITTED CAPITAL OFFENSES. Calling it "murder" is STUPID, because murder is the killing of the innocent. Those mentioned here are NOT innocent. This is EXECUTION. God wanted stuff dealt with; to let those turkeys live was to condone the injustices caused by them.

Action and result: People decide to worship another god - Yahweh himself orders that they are to be slaughtered and burned, "AS A WHOLE BURNT OFFERING TO THE LORD."
A burnt offering is, by definition, a sacrifice of appeasement to the god.

The burning of the MATERIAL GOODS was the "burnt offering"--but that's because God was reclaiming their goods to Himself. The deaths of the PEOPLE in the city had NOTHING to do with sacrifice. They had committed acts which God deemed were worthy of Capital Punishment, and in no way is Capital Punishment a "sacrifice" any more than Ted Bundy's or John Wayne Gacy's executions were.

I thought that the whole point of you quoting that verse was to try and convince us that the Israelites WEREN'T sacrificing their children to Yahweh. Now you seem to be saying that you don't actually care if they were or not? What's with that? Do you realise that you've just destroyed your own argument?


No, you missed the point entirely. The Israelites MAY have thought they were sacrificing their kids to Yahweh when they sacrificed children. Or they were doing it to Baal in full knowledge. But it doesn't matter. Whether the Israelites THOUGHT they were sacrificing their kids to Yahweh or Moloch/Baal, it doesn't matter, because Yahweh NEVER COMMANDED them to do so. According to the passage I gave you, He never even thought it was a good idea.

You seem to be just making things up as you go along drow ranger.
I know you don't like the idea of Yahweh commanding or accepting human sacrifices, but just because you don't like it doesn't mean that it never happened. The editors of the Bible didn't like it either and made a valiant attempt to whitewash the history of their cultic practices. But they weren't entirely successful as the Bible itself demonstrates.


I think you are mistaken in your idea of what constitutes a "sacrifice." Verse 29 has nothing to do with sacrifice. It simply means that those who are under the Death Sentence cannot be "redeemed" (i.e. have their death sentences commuted).

Harry harry harry harry...*headdesks*
“dude”…It sure reads as if our Holding clone called “Mary” in now resurrected in the mind of another Holding cone; drow ranger.
Mary = Drow Ranger. I changed the name in the profile because "Mary" was "Mary Sue" which is a technical term for a self-insert character into a fan fiction work. I like "Drow Ranger" better--when I set it up before I had no idea that just "Mary" was what was going to show up. I've ALWAYS liked to say "dude"--so does Michaelangelo on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Does this make me or JPH a ninja turtle? Anyway...

Exactly why you, “Mary”(if she (he) ever existed as a woman), and Holding reject the Fundamentalist’s interpretation of the Bible is beyond me, unless it’s because you and Holding play fast and loose with your hermeneutics.
And you're in any position to question the hermeneutics HOW, exactly? I'm not fundamentalist and never have been. (BTW while Mary never was my name or anything, I am still female--heck the Drow Ranger in DOTA is female)

One thing is for sure; Sam Harris and the Southern Baptist agree that a Fundamentalist reading of the Bible is the correct approach conta to you and Holding.

So? I don't care about Sam Harris or anything the Southern Baptists say. I'm Lutheran. "Fundamentalist" doesn't mean what you think it means, btw.

Harry McCall said...

R.R.: "Fundamentalist" doesn't mean what you think it means, btw.”

I would return the statement to you: “And you're in any position to question the hermeneutics HOW, exactly? I'm not fundamentalist and never have been.”

Hey Duda, since I was a Fundamentalist (Bob Jones University), just how do you know what you are talking about???

I will post my next topic “A God Driven by Death and Blood: Human Sacrifice and the Slaughter of Christ” by next weekend. Lets just see how good your reading of the Hebrew text is. I will welcome you attack.

DingoDave said...

Drow Ranger wrote:

"Umm the chiefs DID SOMETHING WRONG. This is not sacrifice. You're conveniently ignoring verse 25:5 And Moses said unto the judges of Israel, Slay ye every one his men that were joined unto Baalpeor. Exactly HOW does this qualify as "Sacrifice"?"

Because the slaughter of all these people caused the wrath of Yahweh to be turned aside from the general population of Israel. The enemy chiefs were executed "before the Lord" in order to turn away the wrath of an angry deity from the general Israelite population. They acted as scapegoats before the god on behalf of the Israelite people. That's human sacrifice in any man's language, whether you like it or not.
Add to this the fact that the execution of goodness only knows how many Israelites themselves, helped to turn away Yahweh's wrath, and your problem only gets worse. Now you introduce the murder of Israelite men and women in order to help appease the wrath of the god. So much for 'loving your neighbour as yourself'.

"Ummm, no. They were killed to appease God not for sacrifice, but BECAUSE THEY HAD COMMITTED CAPITAL OFFENSES. Calling it "murder" is STUPID, because murder is the killing of the innocent. Those mentioned here are NOT innocent. This is EXECUTION. God wanted stuff dealt with; to let those turkeys live was to condone the injustices caused by them."

What crimes are they accused of committing, besides simply belonging to the family of the losing dynasty? What 'capital offences' are they accused of committing?
Here's the text.
2 Sam.21:
[3] "And David said to the Gib'eonites, "What shall I do for you? And how shall I make expiation, that you may bless the heritage of the LORD?"
[5] They said to the king,...
[6] let seven of his (Saul's) sons be given to us, so that we may hang them up before the LORD at Gibeon on the mountain of the LORD." And the king said, "I will give them." ...
[9] and he gave them into the hands of the Gib'eonites, and they hanged them on the mountain before the LORD, ... on the mountain of the LORD"

How can you possibly deduce 'capital offences' from these meagre words. You can't. You don't even know how old these seven sons of Saul were. They could have been small children for all you know. How dare you accuse these people of 'capital offences' on such slender information as this. And considering you know absolutely nothing about them besides what is written in the text, by what authority do you claim the right to call these people 'turkeys'?

"The burning of the MATERIAL GOODS was the "burnt offering"--but that's because God was reclaiming their goods to Himself. The deaths of the PEOPLE in the city had NOTHING to do with sacrifice. They had committed acts which God deemed were worthy of Capital Punishment, and in no way is Capital Punishment a "sacrifice" any more than Ted Bundy's or John Wayne Gacy's executions were."

The whole city and everything in it was deemed to constitute a 'whole burnt offering' to Yahweh, including all the slain men, women, children and animals. The text says that the Israelites were to burn the entire city to the ground after killing everything that breathed within it's walls. And how does the 'crime' of choosing a different religion possibly compare to the crimes of John Wayne Gacy or Ted Bundy? You are one sick puppy if you sincerely believe that a change of religion is equivalent to serial murder and cannibalism.

"No, you missed the point entirely. The Israelites MAY have thought they were sacrificing their kids to Yahweh when they sacrificed children. Or they were doing it to Baal in full knowledge. But it doesn't matter."

Yes it does matter. If the Yahwist priests were instructing people to sacrifice their children to the god Yahweh, then that's all that matters. You must remember that Yahweh isn't real. He is just a made up figurehead for a priestly hierarchy, which was intent on claiming wealth and authority. (10% of the national income as a matter of fact)

"Whether the Israelites THOUGHT they were sacrificing their kids to Yahweh or Moloch/Baal, it doesn't matter, because Yahweh NEVER COMMANDED them to do so."

Bullshit. Read this.
Ezekiel 20:
[25] Moreover I gave them statutes that were not good and ordinances by which they could not have life;
[26] and I defiled them through their very gifts in making them offer by fire all their first-born, that I might horrify them; I did it that they might know that I am the LORD.

"I think you are mistaken in your idea of what constitutes a "sacrifice." Verse 29 has nothing to do with sacrifice. It simply means that those who are under the Death Sentence cannot be "redeemed" (i.e. have their death sentences commuted)."

Once again I call bullshit.
Read this again. Carefully.
Leviticus 27:
[26] "But a firstling of animals, which as a firstling belongs to the LORD, no man may dedicate; whether ox or sheep, it is the LORD's.
[27] And if it is an unclean animal, then he shall buy it back at your valuation, and add a fifth to it; or, if it is not redeemed, it shall be sold at your valuation.
[28] "But no devoted thing that a man devotes to the LORD, of anything that he has,WHETHER OF MAN OR BEAST , or of his inherited field, shall be sold or redeemed; every devoted thing is most holy to the LORD.
[29] No one devoted, who is to be utterly destroyed from among men shall be ransomed; HE SHALL BE PUT TO DEATH.

People are being directly equated with sacrificial animals, and plants of the field in this passage. The act of 'devoting' something to Yahweh, meant that it was to be sacrificed to Yahweh with no exceptions, "WHETHER OF MAN OR BEAST, or of his inherited field".
Why were unclean animals to be redeemed (have their death sentences commuted), yet not people or 'clean animals' or the crops of the field?
If your reasoning is to hold any water at all, then you need to explain to me why animals such as sheep and oxen, and people, and the crops from a man's field were to be put under a 'Death Sentence', yet 'unclean animals' were to be redeemed.

Don said...

I submit again, that there is no clearer example of God's willingness to accept human sacrifice than John 3:16.

DingoDave said...

Don wrote: "I submit again, that there is no clearer example of God's willingness to accept human sacrifice than John 3:16."

Absolutely. Jesus' brutal murder is touted as being the 'perfect sacrifice' to wash away sins.

Who can forget that rollocking old hymn entitled, 'Are You Washed In the Blood of the Lamb?'.
For those of you who might be unfamiliar with this charming little ditty, here are the lyrics.

Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing power?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Are you fully trusting in His grace this hour?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

(Refrain)
Are you washed in the blood,
In the soul cleansing blood of the Lamb?
Are your garments spotless? Are they white as snow?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

Are you walking daily by the Savior’s side?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Do you rest each moment in the Crucified?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

Refrain

When the Bridegroom cometh will your robes be white?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Will your soul be ready for the mansions bright,
And be washed in the blood of the Lamb?

Refrain

Lay aside the garments that are stained with sin,
And be washed in the blood of the Lamb;
There’s a fountain flowing for the soul unclean,
O be washed in the blood of the Lamb!

This hymn describes Christians as bathing in human blood in order to be cleansed from their sins. If you were to imagine some savage from the deepest jungles of the Congo, smearing sacrificial blood all over his body, then dancing naked around around the slain victim, it couldn't be much worse than the images invoked by these discusting verses.
I remember singing this hymn in church as a child, and even then I recall thinking that there was something inherantly wrong with it. Today, I find it simply horrific that young children are
exposed to such moral filth.

But it gets worse. The cult member is then instructed to consume the sacrificial victim in a bizarre simulated cannibal ritual.

John.6
[53] So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you;
[54] he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.
[55] For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
[56] He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.

When I think about these words, I can't help imagining the temple scene out of the movie 'Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom', with blood filled human skulls being passed around for the cult members to drink out of.

Put simply, the Christian cult rests upon the pillars of human sacrifice and ritual cannibalism. It's truly barbaric, but unfortunately we've become so accustomed to it's imagery that we've become numb to it.

I believe that the true visciousness which underlies the Christian faith can be summed up in this one short verse.

Heb.9
22] Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.

This is not true forgiveness, it is simply misplaced vengeance. Christians have turned the man Jesus into a kind of 'scapegod'.

DingoDave said...

Robert-B wrote:
" In Jer. 7:31; 19:5; and 32:35, Yahweh states with reference to child sacrifice, “I did not command, nor did it come into my mind,” suggesting that there was an assumption on the part of some that this was permissible in the worship of Yahweh."

Yes indeed.
'Methinks he doth protest too much.'

Drow Ranger said...

Dingo Dan...err Dave: You really can't be this ignorant of context, can you?

Because the slaughter of all these people caused the wrath of Yahweh to be turned aside from the general population of Israel. The enemy chiefs were executed "before the Lord" in order to turn away the wrath of an angry deity from the general Israelite population. They acted as scapegoats before the god on behalf of the Israelite people. That's human sacrifice in any man's language, whether you like it or not.
Add to this the fact that the execution of goodness only knows how many Israelites themselves, helped to turn away Yahweh's wrath, and your problem only gets worse. Now you introduce the murder of Israelite men and women in order to help appease the wrath of the god. So much for 'loving your neighbour as yourself'.


Dude, how ignorant are you?! Since when is the proper execution of the guilty 'murder'?!!!! On WHAT planet?! Since the chiefs ALL DID SOMETHING WRONG, how could this be sacrifice? They didn't even fulfill the qualifications of being sacrificial material! They were not 'scapegoats' the were the Ringleaders, for crying out loud! Scapegoats are 'innocent'--these guys were NOT!

And stop dragging in qualifications from other gods who needed 'appeasing'--the only people who died deserved it, and were dying for their OWN sins. No sacrifice here.

What crimes are they accused of committing, besides simply belonging to the family of the losing dynasty? What 'capital offences' are they accused of committing?
Here's the text.
2 Sam.21:
[3] "And David said to the Gib'eonites, "What shall I do for you? And how shall I make expiation, that you may bless the heritage of the LORD?"
[5] They said to the king,...
[6] let seven of his (Saul's) sons be given to us, so that we may hang them up before the LORD at Gibeon on the mountain of the LORD." And the king said, "I will give them." ...
[9] and he gave them into the hands of the Gib'eonites, and they hanged them on the mountain before the LORD, ... on the mountain of the LORD"

How can you possibly deduce 'capital offences' from these meagre words. You can't. You don't even know how old these seven sons of Saul were. They could have been small children for all you know. How dare you accuse these people of 'capital offences' on such slender information as this. And considering you know absolutely nothing about them besides what is written in the text, by what authority do you claim the right to call these people 'turkeys'?

Dude, be serious for once in your life. They COULDN'T have been small children. For pete's sake, Johnathan himself at the time of his own death was a grown man. All of Saul's sons were adults; how else could they have been involved in the slaughter of the Gibeonites?! I know you like to try to fit the verses in a way that seems on the illogical side because of your bias, but there is just no way that the way you think it is is how it is.

Given that in another verse, sons are not to be put to death for the sins of their fathers, it is only logical that these sons were put to death for their OWN crimes.

The whole city and everything in it was deemed to constitute a 'whole burnt offering' to Yahweh, including all the slain men, women, children and animals. The text says that the Israelites were to burn the entire city to the ground after killing everything that breathed within it's walls. And how does the 'crime' of choosing a different religion possibly compare to the crimes of John Wayne Gacy or Ted Bundy? You are one sick puppy if you sincerely believe that a change of religion is equivalent to serial murder and cannibalism.

OH nice! I LOVE the oversimplification of the issue here! If only it were merely 'choosing another religion'! It's not! It's betraying a God that has cared for them and done many things to directly assist the people. Things they have SEEN. And then they turn your back on Him? Ummm, yeah, no, this isn't that simple. Incidentally the usual choices of 'other religions' were the child-sacrificing, temple-prostituting kind. (And if you had ample evidence of the existence of a powerful Deity who actually did things, there's no excuse to go changing religions). In this context it is far more than merely swapping religions, it's tantamount to treason.

Yes it does matter. If the Yahwist priests were instructing people to sacrifice their children to the god Yahweh, then that's all that matters. You must remember that Yahweh isn't real. He is just a made up figurehead for a priestly hierarchy, which was intent on claiming wealth and authority. (10% of the national income as a matter of fact)

Only 10% must mean he's real. A fake god would have demanded far more. And your premise that Yahweh is made up doesn't hold up under context.

Bullshit. Read this.
Ezekiel 20:
[25] Moreover I gave them statutes that were not good and ordinances by which they could not have life;
[26] and I defiled them through their very gifts in making them offer by fire all their first-born, that I might horrify them; I did it that they might know that I am the LORD.

Oh yes, more decontextualization! Rip verses totally out of context to prove your point, nice going. I notice how you didn't include the two previous verses:

23I lifted up mine hand unto them also in the wilderness, that I would scatter them among the heathen, and disperse them through the countries;

24Because they had not executed my judgments, but had despised my statutes, and had polluted my sabbaths, and their eyes were after their fathers' idols.

and then a few verses down:

31For when ye offer your gifts, when ye make your sons to pass through the fire, ye pollute yourselves with all your idols, even unto this day: and shall I be enquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I will not be enquired of by you.

They didn't get these requirements from God, who was CLEARLY unhappy with the Israelites having turned away from Him and sacrificing to other gods. They "borrowed" them from the other gods! And interestingly enough, the American Standard Version looks like this:

26 and I polluted them in their own gifts, in that they caused to pass through the fire all that openeth the womb, that I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know that I am Jehovah.

Through the more accurate translation, it is clear who's doing what to whom here.

Once again I call bullshit.
Read this again. Carefully.
Leviticus 27:
[26] "But a firstling of animals, which as a firstling belongs to the LORD, no man may dedicate; whether ox or sheep, it is the LORD's.
[27] And if it is an unclean animal, then he shall buy it back at your valuation, and add a fifth to it; or, if it is not redeemed, it shall be sold at your valuation.
[28] "But no devoted thing that a man devotes to the LORD, of anything that he has,WHETHER OF MAN OR BEAST , or of his inherited field, shall be sold or redeemed; every devoted thing is most holy to the LORD.
[29] No one devoted, who is to be utterly destroyed from among men shall be ransomed; HE SHALL BE PUT TO DEATH.

People are being directly equated with sacrificial animals, and plants of the field in this passage. The act of 'devoting' something to Yahweh, meant that it was to be sacrificed to Yahweh with no exceptions, "WHETHER OF MAN OR BEAST, or of his inherited field".
Why were unclean animals to be redeemed (have their death sentences commuted), yet not people or 'clean animals' or the crops of the field?
If your reasoning is to hold any water at all, then you need to explain to me why animals such as sheep and oxen, and people, and the crops from a man's field were to be put under a 'Death Sentence', yet 'unclean animals' were to be redeemed.


I think you're creating an artificial category of equivalence where none exists. People often do this when they're reading the Bible, forming categories in their head when the category they've mentally applied really doesn't work like that.(For instance, the old bats/birds thing; the only thing that matters is that bats have wings. This does not mean they are "Birds" in the modern scientific classification). So, you're reading category of "things to be sacrificed" into "things that MUST DIE" as if they are equivalent. Your whole argument about redemption falls flat on its face because this isn't "things to be sacrificed" but things that belong to God. And the humans that were to be put to death were under "anathema" which means under a CURSE. Meaning, they'd done something wrong. (For instance, Achan, who had taken goods declared to be Anathema at Jericho, and thus had taken the Anathema upon himself--and his family didn't turn him in, so they got it too)

Drow Ranger said...

Robert-B wrote:
" In Jer. 7:31; 19:5; and 32:35, Yahweh states with reference to child sacrifice, “I did not command, nor did it come into my mind,” suggesting that there was an assumption on the part of some that this was permissible in the worship of Yahweh."

Dingo Dave wrote:

Yes indeed.
'Methinks he doth protest too much.'


I think you both need to get your decontextualizations straight. They didn't "assume" that it was permissible, they knew full well it wasn't! They were borrowing practices from the pagans surrounding them!

And in your upside-down world, God specifically condemning the practices therein is obviously some stealth-approval. And you call yourselves logical and rational? The irony is staggering.

DingoDave said...

Drow ranger wrote:

-"Dude, how ignorant are you?! Since when is the proper execution of the guilty 'murder'?!!!! On WHAT planet?! Since the chiefs ALL DID SOMETHING WRONG, how could this be sacrifice?"

Because their execution helped to avert the wrath of an angry diety. That is the definition of a sacrifice. And what makes you think that they were 'proper' executions anyway? What 'crime' were they guilty of committing?
A change of religion.
Because some of the people started worshipping the Moabite god, Yahweh threw a hissy fit and killed twenty four thousand Israelites with a plague before finally being calmed down by the murder of who knows how many human beings.
I wonder how many of the twenty four thousand people who died in the plague were children and infants? What had the children done wrong?

-"Dude, be serious for once in your life. They COULDN'T have been small children. For pete's sake, Johnathan himself at the time of his own death was a grown man. All of Saul's sons were adults; how else could they have been involved in the slaughter of the Gibeonites?!"

Because five out of the seven boys who were killed were Saul's GRANDCHILDREN, Dude. And because nowhere in the text does it say that those five GRANDSONS, or the two sons of Saul's concubine Rizpah had anything to do with killing any Gibeonites. The story says that Saul was responsible.
Also, notice that David only spared Jonathon's son because of an oath he had sworn to Jonathon. Otherwise six out of the seven boys killed would have been Saul's grandchildren.

These killings had nothing to do with any guilt on the part of those being sacrificed. These boys were killed purely and simply to appease Yahweh.
Read the text again for yourself. I'll paste it right below because I want to make sure that you read it.

2Sam.21
[1] Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year; and David sought the face of the LORD. And the LORD said, "There is bloodguilt on Saul and on his house, because he put the Gibeonites to death."
[2] So the king called the Gibeonites. Now the Gibeonites were not of the people of Israel, but of the remnant of the Amorites; although the people of Israel had sworn to spare them, SAUL had sought to slay them in his zeal for the people of Israel and Judah.
[6] let seven of his sons be given to us, so that we may hang them up before the LORD at Gibeon on the mountain of the LORD." And the king said, "I will give them."
[7] But the king spared Mephibosheth, the son of Saul's son Jonathan, because of the oath of the LORD which was between them...
[8] The king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, whom she bore to Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth; and the five sons of Merab the daughter of Saul, whom she bore to Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite
[9] and he gave them into the hands of the Gib'eonites, and they hanged them on the mountain before the LORD, and the seven of them perished together.

Do you understand the concept of 'bloodguilt' and 'revenge killing' Drow Ranger? It is a very ancient and primitive tradition which says that a murder committed against someone can be avenged by killing members of the guilty party's family. The people being killed in revenge do not have to be guilty of anything themselves, all that is required is that they be somehow related to the guilty party. This tradition is still being practiced by some tribesmen in Papua New Guinea to this very day. The tribesmen who are still practicing it, generally walk around in loincloths and have bones through their noses.

-"I know you like to try to fit the verses in a way that seems on the illogical side because of your bias, but there is just no way that the way you think it is is how it is."

I fear that it is you who are being illogical Drow Ranger. What had those grandchildren supposed to have done to the Gibeonites? Kicked them in the shins or thrown a tantrum?
As a side note, doesn't it bother you at all that the entire Israelite people, including women and children, were supposedly being punished by three years of famine for something that Saul was supposed to have done years before? In your mind, were all those Israelite children guilty of 'crimes' as well?

-"Given that in another verse, sons are not to be put to death for the sins of their fathers, it is only logical that these sons were put to death for their OWN crimes.

Oh really?

Exodus 20:5 - "You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me."

Exodus 34:6-7 - "The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in loving kindness and truth; who keeps loving kindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations


Deuteronomy 5:9 - "You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, and on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate me."

So much for Yahweh's idea of 'justice'.

-"OH nice! I LOVE the oversimplification of the issue here! If only it were merely 'choosing another religion'! It's not!...In this context it is far more than merely swapping religions, it's tantamount to treason."

You appear to be a very vicious and heartless individual Drow Ranger. You would probably have made a good Nazi.

-"Incidentally the usual choices of 'other religions' were the child-sacrificing, temple-prostituting kind."

OK, let me see if I can get this straight. If SOME parents in a town allowed their priests to sacrifice SOME of their children, then the thing to do was to go in and kill everybody, including ALL of the children? That sounds logical! : O
Talk about blaming the victim!
Can you see how sick that sounds?
Incidentally not all other religions were the child sacrificing kind.
And now you're condoning the murder of an entire population because of a few prostitutes. All I can say is that I'm glad you're not MY neighbour.

-"Only 10% must mean he's real. A fake god would have demanded far more. And your premise that Yahweh is made up doesn't hold up under context."

10% was probably as much as the priests thought they could get away with. If they had demanded any more than that, then both the King and the people probably would have told them to go f#ck themselves.
Besides which, I wouldn't mind running a business which earned me 10% of the national income. :-)

"and I defiled them through their very gifts in making them offer by fire all their first-born, that I might horrify them; I did it that they might know that I am the LORD."

The text says that Yahweh made them sacrifice their children, so they might know that he is the Lord. Yahweh is clearly saying that HE made them sacrifice their children. What's so hard to understand about that?

-"and I polluted them in their own gifts, in that they caused to pass through the fire all that openeth the womb, that I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know that I am Jehovah." - Through the more accurate translation, it is clear who's doing what to whom here.

What translation are you using? The fact that it uses the name 'Jehovah' says to me that it probably isn't a very accurate translation.
I generally use the Revised Standard Version, which is known to be one of the most accurate translations available. It tends not to gloss over the 'difficult' passages.
Besides which, the verse doesn't make sense in the translation you used. Read it again carefully and you'll see what I mean.

-"So, you're reading category of "things to be sacrificed" into "things that MUST DIE" as if they are equivalent. Your whole argument about redemption falls flat on its face because this isn't "things to be sacrificed" but things that belong to God. And the humans that were to be put to death were under "anathema" which means under a CURSE. Meaning, they'd done something wrong. (For instance, Achan, who had taken goods declared to be Anathema at Jericho, and thus had taken the Anathema upon himself--and his family didn't turn him in, so they got it too)"

What practical difference is there between the two? You're just playing with words now.
Your example of Achan, doesn't help your case either. Before Achan and his family were killed, the Israelites were losing the war. After he and his family were were killed, Yahweh calmed down a bit, and the Israelites started winning the war.
You have unwittingly just provided another example of a Human sacrifice which functioned to avert the wrath of an angry god.
And there you go again trying to justify the killing of an entire family because of the sins of one man. The Bible doesn't even mention that his family were in on the deal.
And what makes your whole argument even more ridiculous is that they killed and burned all of Achan's animals as well. What did the animals do wrong? How could they have 'turned him in', unless they were all talking animals like Baalim's ass. :-D

I'm sorry Drow Ranger, but I'm afraid that you haven't convinced me of anything. What I see is an apparently otherwise normal human being who has had her humanity and her sense of compassion corrupted by a brutal and violent superstition. It appears that almost nothing would convince you that these actions were evil, and that had you lived back in those days you would most likely have enthusiastically participated in these kinds of barbarities as well.

Robert_B said...

Greetings to Harry McCall and all

I stumbled across a good essay on the subject of child sacrifice and thought you-all might like it. Here is in part, the authors conclusion. Noort considers the principle arguments surrounding the child sacrifice question, and writes:

“Confronted with the different faces of YHWH in the last century of Judah’s existence as a vassal state, it is possible that child sacrifice belonged to the belief system o those days. If child sacrifice did exist in ancient Israel, they were made to YHWH as well. Maybe there are also traces of a more of less accepted religious praxis referring to child sacrifice in an earlier time.

The harsh critics of the later prophets suggest that at a certain stage and under certain circumstances child sacrifice did indeed belong to the religious belief system and praxis of Ancient Israel. The statement by Ezekiel that YHWH did give Israel ‘statutes that were not good and ordinances by which they could not live’ (20:25) and the astral character of Yahwism at the end of the monarchic period could refer to the background of that praxis”

“Child Sacrifice in Ancient Israel: The Status Quaestionis”, p.125 by E. Noort published in “The strange world of human sacrifice: Lykaon, Polyxena, and the case of the ...” ed. Jan N. Bremmer, 2007, Peeters Publishers ISBN:9042918438 (limited preview on Google Books)

Noort’s essay is great. He covers almost all the important Biblical passages related to human-child sacrifice and discusses the various views of important scholars. The piece is entirely readable on Google books.

Drow Ranger said...

Because their execution helped to avert the wrath of an angry diety. That is the definition of a sacrifice. And what makes you think that they were 'proper' executions anyway? What 'crime' were they guilty of committing?
A change of religion.
Because some of the people started worshipping the Moabite god, Yahweh threw a hissy fit and killed twenty four thousand Israelites with a plague before finally being calmed down by the murder of who knows how many human beings.


Ummm dude. Wow. Just wow. Did you MISS exactly WHAT the practices of the "moabite god" (actually gods) were?! They were things God told them NOT to do, and for a REASON! For all you know they contracted a very virulent form of Syphilis or something from their "fornications" associated with the practices of the moabite religion. They were being punished for SINNING.

What, do you oppose punishment for those who do something wrong? Did your parents not spank you or ground you?

I wonder how many of the twenty four thousand people who died in the plague were children and infants? What had the children done wrong?

That's speculation that won't get anyone anywhere, and as such is irrelevant, because it leads to argument by emotion without facts.

Because five out of the seven boys who were killed were Saul's GRANDCHILDREN, Dude. And because nowhere in the text does it say that those five GRANDSONS, or the two sons of Saul's concubine Rizpah had anything to do with killing any Gibeonites. The story says that Saul was responsible.
Also, notice that David only spared Jonathon's son because of an oath he had sworn to Jonathon. Otherwise six out of the seven boys killed would have been Saul's grandchildren.


OK now I see HUGE ignorance here. Are you completely clueless, or WHAT?! They would not have been killed if they had nothing to do with it. God does not do that. And you're ignorant about just how young people started having kids back in those days. It is entirely feasible for Saul's "Grandsons" to have been old enough to doooo something. This isn't the modern era, where people don't usually see grandkids until they're in their 60s. Hell, I've seen people with very young grandkids in their 40s!Hello, "teen pregnancy"? Given this fact, if Saul was in his 60s, his sons could have grandsons who were in their teens (by our reckoning) but would be recognized as "men" in their day.

These killings had nothing to do with any guilt on the part of those being sacrificed. These boys were killed purely and simply to appease Yahweh.
Read the text again for yourself. I'll paste it right below because I want to make sure that you read it.
You're assuming facts not in evidence. Shame on you.

2Sam.21
[1] Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year; and David sought the face of the LORD. And the LORD said, "There is bloodguilt on Saul and on his house, because he put the Gibeonites to death."
[2] So the king called the Gibeonites. Now the Gibeonites were not of the people of Israel, but of the remnant of the Amorites; although the people of Israel had sworn to spare them, SAUL had sought to slay them in his zeal for the people of Israel and Judah.
[6] let seven of his sons be given to us, so that we may hang them up before the LORD at Gibeon on the mountain of the LORD." And the king said, "I will give them."
[7] But the king spared Mephibosheth, the son of Saul's son Jonathan, because of the oath of the LORD which was between them...
[8] The king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, whom she bore to Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth; and the five sons of Merab the daughter of Saul, whom she bore to Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite
[9] and he gave them into the hands of the Gib'eonites, and they hanged them on the mountain before the LORD, and the seven of them perished together.

Do you understand the concept of 'bloodguilt' and 'revenge killing' Drow Ranger? It is a very ancient and primitive tradition which says that a murder committed against someone can be avenged by killing members of the guilty party's family. The people being killed in revenge do not have to be guilty of anything themselves, all that is required is that they be somehow related to the guilty party. This tradition is still being practiced by some tribesmen in Papua New Guinea to this very day. The tribesmen who are still practicing it, generally walk around in loincloths and have bones through their noses.


That contradicts the "sons shall not be put to death for the sins of their fathers" stipulation elsewhere. There would be bloodguilt if they were aware of their father's machinations and did nothing to stop it--if they were teenagers or older, they at least could have objected.

I fear that it is you who are being illogical Drow Ranger. What had those grandchildren supposed to have done to the Gibeonites? Kicked them in the shins or thrown a tantrum?

If they were older than 13, the age at when a Hebrew/Jewish boy becomes a Man, they could have done a lot more.

As a side note, doesn't it bother you at all that the entire Israelite people, including women and children, were supposedly being punished by three years of famine for something that Saul was supposed to have done years before? In your mind, were all those Israelite children guilty of 'crimes' as well?
Kings are a special case. They rule over the people, and if they do something wrong, it affects everybody (whether naturally or supernaturally). Additionally, the Israelites did nothing to dissuade Saul from going back on the promise they'd made to spare the Gibeonites.

really?

Exodus 20:5 - "You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me."


That's rejection of God, and if the parents raise children and don't like God, umm duh, what are the chances of the kids not liking God either? It's not merely "sins of the fathers" here, this is ongoing rejection of God by each generation. So, while the next generation suffers from the hatred instilled in them by the previous generation, they have a choice to turn away from their wickedness. So long as they continue in wickedness, they are culpable. That's alllll that means.

dus 34:6-7 - "The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in loving kindness and truth; who keeps loving kindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations

This means that if the 3rd and 4th generations STILL haven't turned back to God, they will still be punished for their wrongs.

teronomy 5:9 - "You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, and on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate me."
Same as above, but I repeat myself...

much for Yahweh's idea of 'justice'.
So much for your reading comprehension skills.

appear to be a very vicious and heartless individual Drow Ranger. You would probably have made a good Nazi.

HAHAHAHA You lose man, you invoked the Nazi stuff. No, I'm not vicious and heartless. If someone does something WRONG then something has to be done. My heart isn't softened to the point of being "open like a trash can"--you seem to suffer the opposite affliction, where you would weep for the execution of a pedophile or serial killer, because dammit, it's not fair!

OK, let me see if I can get this straight. If SOME parents in a town allowed their priests to sacrifice SOME of their children, then the thing to do was to go in and kill everybody, including ALL of the children? That sounds logical! : O

The rest of the people in the town were supposed to STOP it. If they did not they are culpable. If someone from the NEXT TOWN OVER knew about this, how much more would people IN the town know?! Come on, think, man!

Talk about blaming the victim!
Can you see how sick that sounds?
Incidentally not all other religions were the child sacrificing kind.
And now you're condoning the murder of an entire population because of a few prostitutes. All I can say is that I'm glad you're not MY neighbour.


ROFL. What does this have to do with me? The Old Testament regulations for dealing with stuff like that are null and void since we are in the Messianic Era. Nice try calling "murder" when you have no objective reason to call it "murder" rather than execution.

While it's nice to observe that not all religions are the child-sacrificing kind, that is a moot point here. All the religions within reach for that period of time, WERE. So you're invoking something that doesn't matter.

Guy wasn't kidding when he said "All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do NOTHING." These things you are objecting to is basically when presumably "good" men do NOTHING and then suffer for it.

10% was probably as much as the priests thought they could get away with. If they had demanded any more than that, then both the King and the people probably would have told them to go f#ck themselves.
Besides which, I wouldn't mind running a business which earned me 10% of the national income. :-)


What, are you kidding me? You are kidding, right?! People FEARED the gods and would give EVERYTHING if they thought they had to! They wouldn't DARE tell the priests to go eff themselves! :O

The text says that Yahweh made them sacrifice their children, so they might know that he is the Lord. Yahweh is clearly saying that HE made them sacrifice their children. What's so hard to understand about that?

What's so hard to understand about they were doing it to OTHER GODS?!

-"and I polluted them in their own gifts, in that they caused to pass through the fire all that openeth the womb, that I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know that I am Jehovah." - Through the more accurate translation, it is clear who's doing what to whom here.

What translation are you using? The fact that it uses the name 'Jehovah' says to me that it probably isn't a very accurate translation.
I generally use the Revised Standard Version, which is known to be one of the most accurate translations available. It tends not to gloss over the 'difficult' passages.
Besides which, the verse doesn't make sense in the translation you used. Read it again carefully and you'll see what I mean.


It does so make sense. This is the same idea as God "hardening Pharaoh's Heart" back during the Exodus, after he'd hardened it HIMSELF the first time. In other words, if you start going against God, He'll start MAKING you do things, so that you realize how screwed you really are.

What practical difference is there between the two? You're just playing with words now.
Your example of Achan, doesn't help your case either. Before Achan and his family were killed, the Israelites were losing the war. After he and his family were were killed, Yahweh calmed down a bit, and the Israelites started winning the war.
You have unwittingly just provided another example of a Human sacrifice which functioned to avert the wrath of an angry god.
And there you go again trying to justify the killing of an entire family because of the sins of one man. The Bible doesn't even mention that his family were in on the deal.
And what makes your whole argument even more ridiculous is that they killed and burned all of Achan's animals as well. What did the animals do wrong? How could they have 'turned him in', unless they were all talking animals like Baalim's ass. :-D


It doesn't matter what happened to the animals. They can't sin, but they can be a sacrifice. Achan was no sacrifice! He'd DISOBEYED GOD! He was dying for his own sin. His family had to have known about the goodies--and where they came from, and SAID NOTHING. What, do you think he was alone in his tent when he buried the stuff? Ummm no. He'd have to have sworn his entire family to secrecy. (And for the record we have no idea how old his kids were.)

I'm sorry Drow Ranger, but I'm afraid that you haven't convinced me of anything. What I see is an apparently otherwise normal human being who has had her humanity and her sense of compassion corrupted by a brutal and violent superstition. It appears that almost nothing would convince you that these actions were evil, and that had you lived back in those days you would most likely have enthusiastically participated in these kinds of barbarities as well.
I have a question for you, man. HOW do you determine that these actions are indeed "evil"?! By WHAT Revelation From On High™ do you go by to decide that you know better than God what happened and how it happened and whether or not the actions were justified, given that you were NOT there and thus cannot really pass judgment fairly?

For that matter, how can you determine if ANYTHING is "evil"?

I have plenty of compassion. I save it for people who are actually alive today. No sense worrying about stuff that according to you never actually happened in the first place (and thus would be like crying over the millions killed by The Death Star on Alderaan), in a situation we don't have all the facts about. You on the other hand wear your heart on your sleeve, ready to weep at a moment's notice over something you THINK might be 'unjust'. Dude, get some Prozac.

DingoDave said...

Drow Ranger wrote:

-"For all you know they contracted a very virulent form of Syphilis or something from their "fornications" associated with the practices of the moabite religion. They were being punished for SINNING."

So you're saying that it was OK that all the children and babies were being punished with a plague for something their parents were supposed to have done wrong? You're nuts.

-"What, do you oppose punishment for those who do something wrong? Did your parents not spank you or ground you?"

Are you kidding me? The killing of 24000 people by plague (including children and babies) can hardly be compared to a spanking or grounding. What planet are you living on?

-"That's speculation that won't get anyone anywhere, and as such is irrelevant, because it leads to argument by emotion without facts."

How many plagues do you know of which selectively kill only adults? Most of the time during plagues, it's the children and the elderly who suffer most. It's you who's speculating Drow, because speculation is all you've got when you're defending these hideous atrocities.

-"OK now I see HUGE ignorance here. Are you completely clueless, or WHAT?! They would not have been killed if they had nothing to do with it...It is entirely feasible for Saul's "Grandsons" to have been old enough to doooo something."

What evidence do you have to substantiate that bald assertion Drow? I'm afraid that it's you who is speculating again, because the texts say nothing of the kind. And I'll thank you if could keep a civil tongue in your head in the future, if you don't mind.

-"They would not have been killed if they had nothing to do with it. God does not do that."

The 'Plagues of Egypt' anyone? The killing of all the 'first born children' anyone? According to the Bible, Yahweh certainly does do 'that' kind of thing. It's you who seems to have the reading comprehension problem Drow, or a very selective memory. I'll let you decide which.

-"Hell, I've seen people with very young grandkids in their 40s! Hello, "teen pregnancy"?"

So, you have seen "VERY YOUNG KIDS" with grandparents who are still in in their 40's? You're unwittingly helping me to make my point Drow! Saul's grandchildren would have been too young to have been involved in the killing of the Gibeonites. Am I to take it that you'd punish 'very young kids' for a crime which their grandfather had been accused of committing?

-"Given this fact, if Saul was in his 60s, his sons could have grandsons who were in their teens (by our reckoning) but would be recognized as "men" in their day."

How do you know that Saul was in his sixties when he killed the Gibeonites Drow? Admit it, YOU DON'T. Besides which, how many sixty year olds do you know who would be capable of riding around in an open chariot on unpaved roads and killing other people with a sword and a spear while wearing full battle armour? You really are getting desperate now aren't you Drow?

-"You're assuming facts not in evidence. Shame on you."

You must have been looking in the mirror when you wrote that Drow.

-"That contradicts the "sons shall not be put to death for the sins of their fathers" stipulation elsewhere. There would be bloodguilt if they were aware of their father's machinations and did nothing to stop it--if they were teenagers or older, they at least could have objected."

As I have already demonstrated to you, the Bible is full of contradictions. And as I have already pointed out to you, bloodguiltiness is not predecated on the people being killed in revenge to have done anything wrong themselves, they only have to be related to the guilty party. Besides which, how do you know that nobody objected? This is merely more speculation on your part. Hypocrite!

-"If they were older than 13, the age at when a Hebrew/Jewish boy becomes a Man, they could have done a lot more."

Your whole rebuttal so far merely consists of; What if? What if? What if? And then you have the effrontery to accuse ME of speculating! You've got one hell of a nerve Drow.

-"Kings are a special case. They rule over the people, and if they do something wrong, it affects everybody (whether naturally or supernaturally). Additionally, the Israelites did nothing to dissuade Saul from going back on the promise they'd made to spare the Gibeonites."

So you finally admit that Yahweh punishes innocent people because of the crimes of one man. Thank you for admitting it. And how do you know that Saul's advisors didn't try to disuade him from killing the Gibeonites? Speculation once again. Further more, what do you expect that a typical Israelite peasant could possibly have done to talk Saul out of it? Should they have staged a protest demonstration outside his palace waving plackards and chanting slogans? Now your argument is becoming simply absurd.

-Exodus 20:5 - "You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me."
Deuteronomy 5:9 - "...I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, and on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate me."
Deut. 34 6-7 - "...yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations"
-"That's rejection of God, and if the parents raise children and don't like God, umm duh, what are the chances of the kids not liking God either? It's not merely "sins of the fathers" here, this is ongoing rejection of God by each generation...This means that if the 3rd and 4th generations STILL haven't turned back to God, they will still be punished for their wrongs."

Bullshit. These texts specifically state that it is the FATHER'S iniquity which will be visited on the future generations. It has nothing whatsoever to do with any iniquity of his descendants. The texts couldn't be plainer. Just because you don't like the sound of them does not mean that they don't say what they plainly say. It's you who seems to be having trouble understanding the plain meaning of these texts Drow, and you are being very dishonest by trying to deny that they say what they plainly say.

-"HAHAHAHA You lose man, you invoked the Nazi stuff. No, I'm not vicious and heartless. If someone does something WRONG then something has to be done. My heart isn't softened to the point of being "open like a trash can"--you seem to suffer the opposite affliction, where you would weep for the execution of a pedophile or serial killer, because dammit, it's not fair!"

Funny Trow, but the Nazis said much the same things as you do. And how dare you imply that I would condone the actions of paedophiles or serial killers. By the way, my country (Australia) abolished the death penalty decades ago, because in our country we decided that 'two wrongs don't make a right'. You are a rude and arrogant little upstart Drow, and you have just given further proof that you ARE a vicious and heartless individual. You and your god deserve one another, and you're welcome to each other.

-"The rest of the people in the town were supposed to STOP it. If they did not they are culpable...Come on, think, man!

Yeah right. As if a baby or a small child could do anything to stop it! Besides which, further on in your current rebuttal you state "People FEARED the gods and would give EVERYTHING if they thought they had to!" You are now defending the killing of innocent children in order to support your primitive superstitions. How much lower can you sink? Go on, surprise me.

-"ROFL. What does this have to do with me? The Old Testament regulations for dealing with stuff like that are null and void since we are in the Messianic Era."

Because you claim to worship this monster god, that's why! It's only because you have stooped to worshipping this monster that you would willingly and publically condone all these atrocities.

-"While it's nice to observe that not all religions are the child-sacrificing kind, that is a moot point here. All the religions within reach for that period of time, WERE. So you're invoking something that doesn't matter."

If you are correct, which I seriously doubt, then that would also Include the cult of Yahweh. So what's your point?

-"Guy wasn't kidding when he said "All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do NOTHING."

These were not good men Drow, they were supersitious barbarians just like you appear to be.

-"What, are you kidding me? You are kidding, right?! People FEARED the gods and would give EVERYTHING if they thought they had to! They wouldn't DARE tell the priests to go eff themselves!"

They (the people) would at times give everything (including their children) if their circumstances became desperate enough. The Israelites were no exception, as I have already demonstrated to you. The people feared the priests, who would simply have them killed if they dared to contradict them. The gods had nothing to do with it. In fact I suspect that had you lived back in those days, you probably would have volunteered to do the killing for them. Read this;

Deut. 17:12 - 'The man who acts presumptuously, by not obeying the priest who stands to minister there before Yahweh your god, or the judge, that man shall die; so you shall purge the evil from Israel.'

Besides which, how clueless would you have to be to believe that any society could survive under a regime of unlimited taxation? Many political revolutions have been triggered by unfair taxation, including the French and American Revolutions. Back to history 101 for you Drow.

-"What's so hard to understand about they were doing it to OTHER GODS?!"

Only in your own mind, and with your second rate Bible translation.

-"It does so make sense. This is the same idea as God "hardening Pharaoh's Heart" back during the Exodus, after he'd hardened it HIMSELF the first time. In other words, if you start going against God, He'll start MAKING you do things, so that you realize how screwed you really are."

So you are admitting that Yahweh controlled Pharoh's mind in order to further show off his genocidal talents? Do you think that it's fair for Yahweh to manipulate one man's mind, just so he can feel justified in punishing an entire people further? You've got to be kidding. You are one sick puppy Drow.

-"His (Achan's) family had to have known about the goodies--and where they came from, and SAID NOTHING...He'd have to have sworn his entire family to secrecy. (And for the record we have no idea how old his kids were.)"

How the Hell do you know this Drow? You are speculating once again in order to defend a barbaric act. I'll ask you once again, why did they kill the animals? Did Achan swear his farm animals to secrecy as well? : /

-"I have a question for you, man. HOW do you determine that these actions are indeed "evil"?!...By WHAT Revelation From On High™ do you go by to decide... For that matter, how can you determine if ANYTHING is "evil"?"

Quick definitions of 'Evil' :
noun: morally objectionable behavior
noun: the quality of being morally wrong in principle or practice
noun: that which causes harm or destruction or misfortune
adjective: tending to cause great harm
adjective: morally bad or wrong
adjective: having the nature of vice
adjective: having or exerting a malignant influence

It's not moral rocket science Drow. If you can't figure it out for yourself, then you are both intellectually and morally retarded.

-"I have plenty of compassion. I save it for people who are actually alive today...You on the other hand wear your heart on your sleeve, ready to weep at a moment's notice over something you THINK might be 'unjust'. Dude, get some Prozac."

Are you suggesting that if someone has been brutally murdered and is now dead, then they don't deserve your compassion? I didn't think that you could sink any lower than you already have, but you HAVE surprised me. Congratulations Drow, you have just earned my nomination for 'moral retard of the year'. You are a disgrace to humanity Drow, and I am embarrased to belong to the same species as you.
I wish that there was a compassion pill that I could prescribe for you. On the other hand, a good first step towards reclaiming your humanity would be to stop defending barbaric actions just because they appear in your 'holy' book. There is an expression which well describes people like you. They're called 'Bibliolaters'.

Drow Ranger said...

So you're saying that it was OK that all the children and babies were being punished with a plague for something their parents were supposed to have done wrong? You're nuts.

You have NO proof that babies and children were affected by the plague. The text is silent, here.

Are you kidding me? The killing of 24000 people by plague (including children and babies) can hardly be compared to a spanking or grounding. What planet are you living on?

We're talking about adults here, not children. We're not talking about some kid fibbing or stealing a candy bar from the store. We're talking SERIOUS offenses committed by ADULTS who should know better. And they had no prison, nor capacity for such, back in the day. Be realistic plz.

How many plagues do you know of which selectively kill only adults? Most of the time during plagues, it's the children and the elderly who suffer most. It's you who's speculating Drow, because speculation is all you've got when you're defending these hideous atrocities.

Explain to me how an STD plague would reach children?

What evidence do you have to substantiate that bald assertion Drow? I'm afraid that it's you who is speculating again, because the texts say nothing of the kind. And I'll thank you if could keep a civil tongue in your head in the future, if you don't mind.

Dude, Saul died when he was about 80 years old. How many 80 year olds do you know that have LITTLE grandchildren? I don't know of ANY. Any grandparent over 80, their grandkids are grown! That's not speculation, that's logical deduction.

The 'Plagues of Egypt' anyone? The killing of all the 'first born children' anyone? According to the Bible, Yahweh certainly does do 'that' kind of thing. It's you who seems to have the reading comprehension problem Drow, or a very selective memory. I'll let you decide which.

When things like that happen, (such as all the firstborn), there's a particular reason for it. It was the Nuclear Option. Pharaoh WOULD NOT let Moses' people go. He stubbornly refused. If he had let the people go, none of that would have happened. God just needed to get him to the point where he'd actually be motivated to let them go. See, back in those days, the actions of Kings and Rulers necessarily impacted on their subjects, because that's the way things were.

And by the way, how about a little moral equivalence perspective, here? Are you forgetting that the Egyptians had the Israelites in Slavery for 400 years? And you DON'T think something DRASTIC would have to be done to have them let go?

Hello, "teen pregnancy"?"
So, you have seen "VERY YOUNG KIDS" with grandparents who are still in in their 40's? You're unwittingly helping me to make my point Drow! Saul's grandchildren would have been too young to have been involved in the killing of the Gibeonites. Am I to take it that you'd punish 'very young kids' for a crime which their grandfather had been accused of committing?

Actually no, you're wrong, it's making MY point. Saul was dead at age 80.

How do you know that Saul was in his sixties when he killed the Gibeonites Drow? Admit it, YOU DON'T. Besides which, how many sixty year olds do you know who would be capable of riding around in an open chariot on unpaved roads and killing other people with a sword and a spear while wearing full battle armour? You really are getting desperate now aren't you Drow?

Dude. People were healthier back then, they weren't eating a bunch of processed crap. I know some very fit active 60 year olds; what's wrong with people down where you live?

You must have been looking in the mirror when you wrote that Drow.
The mirror does not affect me. YOU are the ones making DOGMATIC statements with little or nothing to back you up but a few provincialist assumptions and a bucketload of bleeding heart emotionalism.

As I have already demonstrated to you, the Bible is full of contradictions. And as I have already pointed out to you, bloodguiltiness is not predecated on the people being killed in revenge to have done anything wrong themselves, they only have to be related to the guilty party. Besides which, how do you know that nobody objected? This is merely more speculation on your part. Hypocrite!

No, I'm not a hypocrite. I'm going by what is in the text plus the cultural norms of the area of the day. You've got...nothing. You claim contraditions when you clearly don't understand why something is different in one place than another. You're going about this too simplistically, man. You're all outraged over some things, without really understanding why the things happened.

Your whole rebuttal so far merely consists of; What if? What if? What if? And then you have the effrontery to accuse ME of speculating! You've got one hell of a nerve Drow.

You've got even more nerve, because you're the one accusing God of wrongdoing without any evidence that it /was/ wrong. Heck, your nerve is so great, you think you're more omniscient and know better than an all-knowing Omniscient deity!

So you finally admit that Yahweh punishes innocent people because of the crimes of one man. Thank you for admitting it. And how do you know that Saul's advisors didn't try to disuade him from killing the Gibeonites? Speculation once again. Further more, what do you expect that a typical Israelite peasant could possibly have done to talk Saul out of it? Should they have staged a protest demonstration outside his palace waving plackards and chanting slogans? Now your argument is becoming simply absurd.

"Innocent"? What proof do you have? NONE. You have no proof that the advisors said one way or the other. Anyway, they're not part of this story.

The difference between my speculation and your speculation? Your speculation accuses God of doing bad things. I'm more open-minded as to what actually went on. You're being dogmatic when I'm saying it's not necessarily the case, THERE ARE OTHER OPTIONS.

Bullshit. These texts specifically state that it is the FATHER'S iniquity which will be visited on the future generations. It has nothing whatsoever to do with any iniquity of his descendants. The texts couldn't be plainer. Just because you don't like the sound of them does not mean that they don't say what they plainly say. It's you who seems to be having trouble understanding the plain meaning of these texts Drow, and you are being very dishonest by trying to deny that they say what they plainly say.

Now you're plainly being even more ignorant. OF COURSE it was the Father's Sin of REJECTING GOD that will be punished, IF THE PERSON'S CHILDREN CONTINUE TO REJECT GOD. Your objection is duly noted and illogical. God will not punish those who obey and love him. Look, it's like the first domino getting pushed over that pushes over all the other dominos. It's a cumulative effect. It's not like that father had killed a guy and thus the children must be punished. No, no, no.

Funny Trow, but the Nazis said much the same things as you do. And how dare you imply that I would condone the actions of paedophiles or serial killers. By the way, my country (Australia) abolished the death penalty decades ago, because in our country we decided that 'two wrongs don't make a right'. You are a rude and arrogant little upstart Drow, and you have just given further proof that you ARE a vicious and heartless individual. You and your god deserve one another, and you're welcome to each other.
Right back atcha, buddy. You seem pretty arrogant yourself, LOL. Dude judging people by what they type over message boards...that's just TOO FUNNY. You don't know me in real life. BTW you seem illogical and overemotional and with just a touch of teh crayzee from what you've typed here? AMIRITE?

Two wrongs don't make a right? Why is it wrong to kill a serial killer? Hmmm? Explain that to me.

Yeah right. As if a baby or a small child could do anything to stop it! Besides which, further on in your current rebuttal you state "People FEARED the gods and would give EVERYTHING if they thought they had to!" You are now defending the killing of innocent children in order to support your primitive superstitions. How much lower can you sink? Go on, surprise me.

Again with the 'innocent'--God knows the hearts of all. He knows what the kids will grow up like--and whether they'll be a problem later on. And just exactly what were they supposed to do with all the extra kids, anyway? It's not like they had a welfare program or childrens' aid society. The PARENTS could have stopped it. And their actions (or lack thereof) impacted on their children.

Because you claim to worship this monster god, that's why! It's only because you have stooped to worshipping this monster that you would willingly and publically condone all these atrocities.
And on what basis do you determine that this God is a "monster"? Since all those things you're objecting to don't even apply anymore, it's all moot. You are not omniscient. You're calling these "atrocities" when you have NO idea what the full circumstances were, nor can you read the minds posthumously of all involved.

If you are correct, which I seriously doubt, then that would also Include the cult of Yahweh. So what's your point?

God did NOT order the sacrifice of children.

These were not good men Drow, they were supersitious barbarians just like you appear to be.
Oh boy, provincialist bigotry for the loss?

They (the people) would at times give everything (including their children) if their circumstances became desperate enough. The Israelites were no exception, as I have already demonstrated to you. The people feared the priests, who would simply have them killed if they dared to contradict them. The gods had nothing to do with it. In fact I suspect that had you lived back in those days, you probably would have volunteered to do the killing for them. Read this;

Deut. 17:12 - 'The man who acts presumptuously, by not obeying the priest who stands to minister there before Yahweh your god, or the judge, that man shall die; so you shall purge the evil from Israel.'

Besides which, how clueless would you have to be to believe that any society could survive under a regime of unlimited taxation? Many political revolutions have been triggered by unfair taxation, including the French and American Revolutions. Back to history 101 for you Drow.


Yeah, but the American Revolution was in a period of time when God was not out doing the Smiting Himself. When God is actually out there and obviously active, people are going to sit up and take notice.

Only in your own mind, and with your second rate Bible translation.
And you're qualified to judge the accuracy of a translation?

So you are admitting that Yahweh controlled Pharoh's mind in order to further show off his genocidal talents? Do you think that it's fair for Yahweh to manipulate one man's mind, just so he can feel justified in punishing an entire people further? You've got to be kidding. You are one sick puppy Drow.

Dude, Pharaoh hardened his heart the FIRST TIME, on his OWN. He could have avoided all that by letting the Israelites go right out of the starting gate.

What I find disturbing is your complete lack of understanding on this issue. You go around assuming things, and being outraged like a child who can't have that lollipop they saw in the store and don't understand why mummy and daddy don't fork over the 85 cents for it. The reason God hardened Pharaoh's heart afterwards is with good reason--it is a warning to others that you should not wilfully disobey God repeatedly, else you are not able to come back. That prevents people from going "OH I can do what I want and repent later, no big deal" and go off and dooo things that are not good, with the idea that they'll be good with the deathbed confession or whatever. Call it an incentive to not stray and not be a BAD PERSON.

How the Hell do you know this Drow? You are speculating once again in order to defend a barbaric act. I'll ask you once again, why did they kill the animals? Did Achan swear his farm animals to secrecy as well? : /

How the hell do you know it's NOT the case? I'm not the one accusing God of Atrocities based on a biased understanding of the Bible.

It's very simple why they killed the animals. That's so people wouldn't go around accusing people of stuff like that so they could take possession of the animals. Now remember, Achan already KNEW that if he took anything from Jericho for himself, he would make himself accursed. And that would bring the curse down on everything he owned.

Quick definitions of 'Evil' :
noun: morally objectionable behavior
noun: the quality of being morally wrong in principle or practice
noun: that which causes harm or destruction or misfortune
adjective: tending to cause great harm
adjective: morally bad or wrong
adjective: having the nature of vice
adjective: having or exerting a malignant influence

It's not moral rocket science Drow. If you can't figure it out for yourself, then you are both intellectually and morally retarded.


Umm yeah, but if man is merely an accident of genetics over time, then who is to say which "morality" is correct? If morality is only the result of a person's opinion, is there ever true "morality"? You are behaving as though you are adhering to the morals from religion while rejecting religion. Lions slaughter "innocent" zebras all the time; is this morally objectionable? Sometimes dogs go and kill sheep without eating a single bite, are they acting immorally? Seriously now, why are you behaving, given your atheism, as though there ARE objective, unchanging moral standards that apply no matter what anyone's opinion is?

Are you suggesting that if someone has been brutally murdered and is now dead, then they don't deserve your compassion?

The key word here is "murdered"--you'd have to make the case that it WAS in fact "murder." If it's not murder, I won't feel too bad for the person. See, I love what you're trying to do here. You want to take the ambiguous case and dogmatically assert that YOU KNOW ALL about what happened, therefore you are qualified to judge not only that, but other people's reactions. Are you an armchair psychologist or something?

I didn't think that you could sink any lower than you already have, but you HAVE surprised me. Congratulations Drow, you have just earned my nomination for 'moral retard of the year'. You are a disgrace to humanity Drow, and I am embarrased to belong to the same species as you.
I wish that there was a compassion pill that I could prescribe for you. On the other hand, a good first step towards reclaiming your humanity would be to stop defending barbaric actions just because they appear in your 'holy' book. There is an expression which well describes people like you. They're called 'Bibliolaters'.


Ahhh, again with teh rage. You seem like a very angry person, Dingo Dan...err, Dave. It sounds like the littlest thing gets you worked up. You must be exhaused after raging on about everything you think is unjust, including things that according to you NEVER EVEN HAPPENED! How ILLOGICAL is that?

BTW you still have not made a SOLID case that YOUR version of "morality" is the "correct" one, let alone that any of your rage is relevant to Christianity TODAY. Until you do that, I will continue to LOL at your antianxiety-deprived ragings.

Drow Ranger said...

BTW DingoDave You should probably read THIS to gain a fuller understanding of what actually went on in regards to death of "innocents":
http://www.christian-thinktank.com/rbutcher1.html

In the OT, when a descendent is punished for "the sins of their fathers", it is normally referring to "sinning in the same way and character as their fathers"--NOT punishment for the actual acts of the fathers.



The biblical expression for this is "walking in the sins (or ways)of their fathers". A couple of passages will show this:



Now in the eighteenth year of King Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, Abijam became king over Judah. 2 He reigned three years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Maacah the daughter of Abishalom. 3 And he walked in all the sins of his father which he had committed before him; and his heart was not wholly devoted to the Lord his God, like the heart of his father David. (I Kings 15)

...What this principle shows is that a phrase "the sins of X" would generally mean--when applied to a descendant of X--"sins just like X did".





Point 2: the relationship between the sin of a ruler/king and the sins of the people/followers



Closely related to the above, is the principle of a nation 'following in the sins of their king'. Again, these would be sins "like X" or even "caused/influenced/provoked by" X.



And the Lord gave Israel a deliverer, so that they escaped from under the hand of the Arameans; and the sons of Israel lived in their tents as formerly. 6 Nevertheless they did not turn away from the sins of the house of Jeroboam, with which he made Israel sin, but walked in them; and the Asherah also remained standing in Samaria. (2 Kings 13.5)



In the twenty-third year of Joash the son of Ahaziah, king of Judah, Jehoahaz the son of Jehu became king over Israel at Samaria, and he reigned seventeen years. 2 And he did evil in the sight of the Lord, and followed the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, with which he made Israel sin; he did not turn from them. 3 So the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, (2 Kings 13)



And the sons of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they did not depart from them, 23 until the Lord removed Israel from His sight, as He spoke through all His servants the prophets. (2 Kings 17.22)



This would mean that judgment ascribed to the "sins of king X" could easily mean "sins LIKE king X" or "sins by the people instigated by king X".

A very detailed case of the interaction between the ruler/father and follower/descendents can be seen in the final judgment on Judah. The biblical texts sometimes ascribe the judgment to "the (specific) sins of Manasseh" and sometimes to "the sins of Judah" and sometimes both. In all cases, though, the character of the sins are identical (e.g. idolatrous religious practices including shedding of innocent blood through child sacrifice)--the "like X" principle. The principles above show how this makes sense, in such a culture.

What emerges from this analysis is that any current culpability of warrior Amalekites at the time of Saul was more an issue of "walking in the sins of their founders/fathers" than merely of some ancient event. [The fact that Amalekites could be assimilated into Israel without execution(!) points out that it is the actual character/actions of an individual that made the difference back then. In other words, if the original cruel act of Amalek was the only criteria, then immigrants would be killed, not accepted! ] This general principle is the focus of Ezek 18, of course, and makes this explicit (even though Israel complains against God about this!):



"Yet you (Israel) say, ‘Why should the son not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity?’ [b]When the son has practiced justice and righteousness, and has observed all My statutes and done them, he shall surely live. 20 “The person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son’s iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself. 21 “But if the wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed and observes all My statutes and practices justice and righteousness, he shall surely live; he shall not die. 22 “All his transgressions which he has committed will not be remembered against him; because of his righteousness which he has practiced, he will live. 23 “Do I have any pleasure in the death of the wicked,” declares the Lord God, “rather than that he should turn from his ways and live?[/b]



But aren’t individuals supposed to be punished for their OWN misdeeds ONLY, and not the misdeeds of others? (Deut 24:16, 2 Kings 14:1)

Absolutely, but we need to not make the assumption that the killing of the dependents was a punishment on them, as opposed to a consequence of the punishment on the fathers. Morally, there is a huge difference.

To illustrate how this works, consider the case of Rahab in Jericho. Everybody in the city knows to flee--they have known this a long time, and only the unreasonable remain to fight (or the unable--the king may have forced some to remain in the city against their will, perhaps even Rahab). But the passage about Rahab's deliverance shows how the family connectedness worked for good or ill:



"Now before they lay down, she came up to them on the roof, 9 and said to the men, “I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land have melted away before you. 10 “For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. 11 “And when we heard it, our hearts melted and no courage remained in any man any longer because of you; for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath. 12 “Now therefore, please swear to me by the Lord, since I have dealt kindly with you, that you also will deal kindly with my father’s household, and give me a pledge of truth, 13 and spare my father and my mother and my brothers and my sisters, with all who belong to them, and deliver our lives from death.” 14 So the men said to her, “Our life for yours if you do not tell this business of ours; and it shall come about when the Lord gives us the land that we will deal kindly and faithfully with you.”



"15 Then she let them down by a rope through the window, for her house was on the city wall, so that she was living on the wall. 16 And she said to them, “Go to the hill country, lest the pursuers happen upon you, and hide yourselves there for three days, until the pursuers return. Then afterward you may go on your way.” 17 And the men said to her, “We shall be free from this oath to you which you have made us swear, 18 unless, when we come into the land, you tie this cord of scarlet thread in the window through which you let us down, and gather to yourself into the house your father and your mother and your brothers and all your father’s household. 19 “And it shall come about that anyone who goes out of the doors of your house into the street, his blood shall be on his own head, and we shall be free; but anyone who is with you in the house, his blood shall be on our head, if a hand is laid on him. 20 “But if you tell this business of ours, then we shall be free from the oath which you have made us swear.” 21 And she said, “According to your words, so be it.” So she sent them away, and they departed; and she tied the scarlet cord in the window.



In this case, the sparing of the lives of the family of Rahab had nothing to do with their innocence. If they stayed in the house, their lives would be spared as a consequence of the (reverse) judgment on Rahab, not as a (reverse) judgment on themselves. In this case, their being spared was ONLY a consequence of being related to another (Rahab) and being in close enough relationship to her to listen to her pleas to stay inside.



This notion of 'blood' as responsibility for someone's death leads us in an important direction:



· Execution of a criminal was "legally" self-caused:



"Then David said to him, “How is it you were not afraid to stretch out your hand to destroy the Lord’s anointed?” 15 And David called one of the young men and said, “Go, cut him down.” So he struck him and he died. 16 And David said to him, “Your blood is on your head, for your mouth has testified against you, saying, ‘I have killed the Lord’s anointed.’” (2 Sam 1.14ff)



In this situation, we have David (the new king) telling a "young man" to execute the slayer of Saul. But the responsibility for the death of the slayer is on himself--NOT on David, nor on the executor. In an accountability sense, the slayer is responsible for his own death--He "killed himself". [If this principle is applied to the Amalekites, then they are responsible for their own deaths--even at the hands of Israelite soldiers.]





· The "blood" principle also had a visible component--the social recognition of responsibility for a crime. In the wanton killing of a military general, for example, we see that this can apply to descendents:



"And the king said to him, “Do as he has spoken and fall upon him and bury him, that you may remove from me and from my father’s house the blood which Joab shed without cause. 32 “And the Lord will return his blood on his own head, because he fell upon two men more righteous and better than he and killed them with the sword, while my father David did not know it: Abner the son of Ner, commander of the army of Israel, and Amasa the son of Jether, commander of the army of Judah. 33 “So shall their blood return on the head of Joab and on the head of his descendants forever; but to David and his descendants and his house and his throne, may there be peace from the Lord forever.” 34 Then Benaiah the son of Jehoiada went up and fell upon him and put him to death, and he was buried at his own house in the wilderness.(I Kings 2.31ff)



Notice that only Joab was executed; his family only had to deal with the shame and disgrace of Joab's crime. They were not guilty per se, but they were recipients of the consequences of Joab's guilt.



· We have this even in a "pre-agreed upon" condition of execution:



"Now the king sent and called for Shimei and said to him, “Build for yourself a house in Jerusalem and live there, and do not go out from there to any place. 37 “For it will happen on the day you go out and cross over the brook Kidron, you will know for certain that you shall surely die; your blood shall be on your own head.” 38 Shimei then said to the king, “The word is good. As my lord the king has said, so your servant will do.” So Shimei lived in Jerusalem many days. (I Kings 2.36)



In this case we have Solomon pre-announcing the conditions under which Shimei would be executed, and Shimei agreed. In this case, failure to keep the agreement with the authorities was accepted by both parties as a legitimate reason for execution. Shimei agreed that "his blood" would be upon his head, not Solomon's or the executioner. Again, he legally 'killed himself' by going back on his agreement (itself a gracious concession by the royal family, by the way!).



· Again, death as execution is NOT the responsibility of the judge or executioner--it is that of the criminal:



"Then he may have a violent son who sheds blood, and who does any of these things to a brother 11 (though he himself did not do any of these things), that is, he even eats at the mountain shrines, and defiles his neighbor’s wife, 12 oppresses the poor and needy, commits robbery, does not restore a pledge, but lifts up his eyes to the idols, and commits abomination, 13 he lends money on interest and takes increase; will he live? He will not live! He has committed all these abominations, he will surely be put to death; his blood will be on his own head. (Ezek 18.10)



In the above case, the person who oppresses others will be put to death, but "his blood" will be upon his own head. In other words, the death is NOT the responsibility of the judge or executioner.



· This blood responsibility also shows up in non-family relations, in which one person could (probably) prevent the death of another:



"The word of the LORD came to me:2 “Son of man, speak to your countrymen and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword against a land, and the people of the land choose one of their men and make him their watchman,3 and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows the trumpet to warn the people,4 then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not take warning and the sword comes and takes his life, his blood will be on his own head.5 Since he heard the sound of the trumpet but did not take warning, his blood will be on his own head. If he had taken warning, he would have saved himself.6 But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes the life of one of them, that man will be taken away because of his sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for his blood.’ (Ezek 33.1ff)



Notice how this would implicate the father in the death of his family. If he knew to flee (perhaps from other encounters with Israel, or just in general from their reputation at the time), then his failure to do so would have brought the blood of his family down upon himself. It would have been HE who killed his family and himself, regardless of who was the actual executioner.



What this basically means is that the father would have been actually responsible for the death of his family, by his continued hostile actions towards the Israelites. The children were not punished FOR the crimes of the father; rather, they were victims OF the crimes of the father.



A striking illustration of this--and an additional indication that 'genocide' is not the issue here--comes from incidental data in the passage from 2 Samuel 1 we noted above:



"Then David took hold of his clothes and tore them, and so also did all the men who were with him. 12 And they mourned and wept and fasted until evening for Saul and his son Jonathan and for the people of the Lord and the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword. 13 And David said to the young man who told him, “Where are you from?” And he answered, “I am the son of an alien, an Amalekite.” 14 Then David said to him, “How is it you were not afraid to stretch out your hand to destroy the Lord’s anointed?” 15 And David called one of the young men and said, “Go, cut him down.” So he struck him and he died. 16 And David said to him, “Your blood is on your head, for your mouth has testified against you, saying, ‘I have killed the Lord’s anointed.’”



Think about the implications of this passage for a second:



The young man here is a child of an Amalekite immigrant to Israel ("an alien")
Israel allowed Amalekites to become part of the community, in the category of resident-alien
This child of an Amalekite was likely a full-bloodied Amalekite.
This Amalekite was trusted enough to serve in the army of Saul.
Aliens were culturally integrated well enough in Israel to be expected to know the rules about killing those anointed of Yahweh
This man was executed by David, not for being an Amalekite, but just as another Israelite would have been in the same way, for the same offense.
Any other family members of the young man's father (and extended family, probably) would not have suffered any harm in the attack on Amalek--because their father had the good sense to emigrate to Israel.
David does not seem shocked to find an Amalekite among the troops or resident in Israel, and this would likely imply that others had emigrated as well. [The "window" for Amalekites to migrate to Israel would have lasted approximately 200-400 years after the pronunciation of the "destroy them" edict in Ex 17!]




Here is a family where the father's wisdom saved the lives of his descendents--the offspring were spared from the destruction not because of their "innocence" or their "guilt", but solely as a consequence of the father's action.



To net this out: the family members were not being punished for the sins of the father, but rather, suffered the consequences of the father's actions--for good or ill.



[This, of course, is no different in principle today. The children of substance abusers don't often experience the material benefits of others (the material benefits are spent on alcohol or drugs). The children of physically abusive parents suffer bodily and psychological harm. The children of violent criminals often end up fatherless. They suffer the consequences of the parent's sin, and they are the victims solely of the parents.]





But why couldn’t the Israelites just ‘ignore’ the Amalekites?





Because the Amalekites wouldn’t ‘ignore’ Israel…and responsible Israelite parents would need to do something to protect their lives…



The Amalekites were a cruel, active, and hostile force, on Israel's immediate border. Israel was forbidden to attack other border kingdoms (by the biblical God), but Amalek had been actively oppressing Israel for at least 200+ years (without provocation), beginning with their first week of freedom from Egypt, to the more recent slave-capture, pillage, and scorched-earth aggressions in the book of Judges. The only active suffering up to this point was BY Amalek ON Israel.



In spite of all reason, Amalek continued to destroy land, people, crops, cattle, and to haul off people for sale as slaves in foreign markets--people who had only now gotten their first taste of freedom. This is not your normal 'angry neighbor'--these are terrorists, these are slave-traders, these are vandals, these are unreasonable aggressors (unlike the Canaanites, who mostly migrated away; or the Jebusites, who resorted to deception).For Israel EVER to enjoy a moment's peace in the land of promise, Amalek must be rendered non-hostile. Without some kind of self-defense action on the part of Israel, Amalek would simply continue inflicting 'active suffering' on Israel's families, their food, their freedom. Something had to be done--somehow Amalek must be stopped.



How could this be done? These were nomadic, desert peoples. If they had been a settled people like the Canaanites, you could simply drive them from their country and then occupy their cities, defending them if and when they tried to re-take the cities. But a nomadic people only built cities for religious shrine reasons, and were not there very frequently or very long. This tactic would simply not work.



With nomadic tribes, you either (1) destroyed their leadership and warriors, or (2) you drove them out of the territory and built fortifications around the edges of the land (keeping a military force along the barrier). If you were a fledgling nation yourself (i.e., pre-monarchy or nascent-monarchy Israel), you would not remotely have had adequate resources to build fortifications and provide a military force to guard some desert-line fortifications, around a territory that was not even given to you in the land-grant by God. [This, historically, has rarely been an option for smaller states, in territories without natural borders such as mountains, difficult rivers, etc..]



In the face of unreasonable, consistent, and oppressive violence against your family and your kin, you are stuck with the imperative and responsibility for serious war. It is naive at best, and morally irresponsible at worst, to deny this. To defend one's family against unprovoked and destructive violence is a fundamental moral obligation.



I hope it is clear by now this was not some simple 'act of territorial aggression' on the part of Ancient Israel! This was a defensive (and exceptional) military campaign. There just were not many practical options as to how to do this...





So, if the Amalekite aggression virtually required the elimination of the warrior-class, what practical options for survival remained for the women/kids?





Well, if this analysis is correct so far, we are faced clearly with the problem I pointed out earlier--the widows and fatherless kids, in the desert. This is, as pointed out above, a situation that the Amalekite warriors put their families in--NOT the Israelites per se.


So, what options would Israel might have had concerning the fatherless Amalekite family, once the warriors had been eliminated in battle?

There are ONLY four options to consider:

1. Take them back as slaves (or to be sold as slaves)

2. Take them back and turn them over to social relief programs/processes in Israel.

3. Leave them there in the desert to their fate

4. Kill them there in the desert

Option 1: Take them back as slaves (or to be sold as slaves).

This was, of course, what some other nations would have done. In fact, this is what many nations would have initiated the conflict for (see my discussion on OT Slavery for more documentation and discussion of this, and especially the horrors of being a foreign/POW female slave). The Amalekites alone would be an example of raids to produce slaves for re-sale in the slave trade:

"On of the most valuable spoils of battle was the people. In the UR III period some tablets recorded long lists of women and children...Sometimes women and children were included as part of the general massacre, but usually they became slaves." [OT:DLAM:236-7]

This was (1) against God's strong anti-slavery theme for Israel, who forbade them to make slaves, engage in slave-trade, or turn over runaways, etc. But more importantly, (2) it was practically impossible at the time--the country/people did not have resources to assimilate this many new people, ALL of whom would have needed to be fed and clothed at a difficult period of Israel's history (still at the height of Philistine warfare and Transjordanian aggression). At a practical level--as actual ancient "slave societies" have taught us-- adult slaves generated by foreign wars often harbor revenge, and wait for that night in which they can kill you in your sleep. The effects on societies of these types of internal hostile elements are well-known. [Indeed, to some historians, this is why the Pharaoh suppressed the Israelites so abusively in Egypt at the end. There were major external threats at the time, and if a significant block of "unhappy insiders" sided with the outsiders, then the nation would easily fall.] This is a purely-practical consideration, but one that has to be considered in understanding why this option was not open to the Israelite nation.

In an earlier time, when Israel was united, strong, and before the population decimation/fragmentation under the Judges, we do have a situation in which all (32,000) female children were spared and brought into Israel. In the conflict with Midian/Moab, all unmarried female children were spared, brought into the nation, and distributed throughout Israel. Since the normal age for marrying (and therefore, losing one's virginity) in the ancient world was around twelve, this would have given an average age of 5-6 years for these girls. This would have made this group neither useful for concubinage (or illicit sexual activity, as is often vulgarly suggested, and contraindicated by the practice of the normal Israelite family), nor generally even for 'servant work'. They would be only consumers of resources, parenting, and care for years and years, but since there were 24,000 adult Israelite males who died in the event, the resource consumption would have balanced out. And remember, the miracles of the wilderness stopped abruptly in a matter of weeks/months.

I might also point out that God very, very rarely uses the miraculous, never to solve systematic, long-term infrastructure problems like welfare. There was plenty of want, hunger, thirst, disease during the period of the Judges, but God didn't do any miracles for His own people. There were many such situations during the Monarchy, and during the life of the Patriarchs as well--but no miracles. When Jesus walked on earth and performed His selective miracles, there were multitudes of people who were NOT healed, who died "prematurely" (if this is a meaningful concept), who were abused/exploited by the Romans. The ONLY large-scale or population-wide miracles I can think of were those forty years during the Wilderness Wanderings--a mere blip in biblical history--and they were never foreshadowed during the famines of the Patriarchs nor repeated during the droughts and famines of Israel. Based on this pattern, it would be unwarranted to assume that God would have 'made manna appear' for these people IF HE REALLY CARED ABOUT THEM. The whole position of "If God really cared, He would intervene miraculously to stop a crime, keep Paul from being martyred, reduce cheating on tax forms, or raise everybody from the dead whenever they were killed" is highly problematic, and is subject to a number of systemic flaws, not the least of which are related to the Problem of Evil [I have a number of discussions about this issue on the Tank]. What this means for us is that 'appeal to miracle' as a reason to keep this 'option 1' viable cannot be depended on. We are still stuck in the ordinary world, as God created it.

Unfortunately, this was simply not an option in the historical situation of the time. [In today's world, it sometimes is—as in refugee work--but it is unreasonable to expect them back then to be able to do something that absolutely could not be supported by the limited infrastructure of the ancient and formative societies.]

Option 2: Take them back and turn them over to social relief programs/processes in Israel (or anywhere else, for that matter):

Similar problem here: there were no social relief programs/processes adequate to take care of this many dependent people. [Remember, most of these people would have been nomadic dependents (without agricultural or industrial skills) or minor children (consumers without the ability to contribute to their upkeep), at a time before the agricultural surpluses of Israel could support such a large group of resident aliens. As marauders, the Amalekites did amass some gold (1 Chr 18.11) and livestock, but God forbade the Israelite soldiers to take this with them as spoils of war (probably so Israel would not get a 'taste' of raiding other nations for booty, and become like the Amalekites).


There were no social relief, welfare, or benevolent resources ANYWHERE in the ANE, even in the "wealthiest" of nations. Even elderly care was a major issue, but not addressed by the public sector. There simply was not enough resource surplus or infrastructure available to do this:

· "In spite of the government's propaganda concern for widows and orphans, there was no systematic welfare system. The institution that dealt with the problem of young families bereft of a father and husband is called the a-r u-a, meaning 'dedicated.' Women and children were 'dedicated' by relatives who could no longer support them or by themselves, and they were employed especially in weaving and processing wool. Because we have several detailed records of such persons, we know that they usually did not live long after they had been dedicated, probably owing to the wretched conditions in which they lived and worked. ...Women weavers were exploited extensively at Lagas; their children no doubt died at a high rate: one group of 679 women had only 103 children, though other groups had more. " [OT:LIANE:35]

· "Ancient society has fewer elderly, it is true, but they existed nonetheless, and had to be supported along with many children, most of whom would not survive to adulthood." [OT:CEANE:2]



· "While it is true, as Van Driel points out, that life in the ancient Near East was in general much shorter and death much quicker, even the few that survived into old age, or lingered on in a slow decline of physical and mental powers, would have placed a huge burden on an economy that knew more scarcity than surplus." [OT:CEANE:241]

"Care of the aged does not form a separate category in the law codes; indeed, there is not a single law that deals with the subject directly." [OT:CEANE:241]

"Nonetheless, all the contributors stress that the role of the public sector was limited." [OT:CEANE:244)

Let's be VERY clear about this. We take these for granted and they simply did NOT exist in the ancient world. This was NOT in any sense an option for this situation.

Option 3: Leave them there in the desert to their fate

This, of course, is simply another form of the death sentence: a slower death through exposure, predatory animals (and possibly slave-traders), and dehydration.


To escape from a military victor was the same as escaping to a prolonged and agonizing death, in the ANE:

"Battle casualties were the major cause of death among adult males. Those captured on military campaigns most probably died of exhaustion and maltreatment. Those who managed to escape from their victors died of exposure, hunger, and thirst." [OT:DLAM:146]

"Those who were able to flee from their conquerors often died of exposure, starvation, or thirst." [OT:DLAM:237]

[You might remember that being left in the desert to die this way was the form of execution used in the Ottoman Empire genocide mentioned above: "They were forced into the deserts of present-day Syria, and most died due slowly to starvation and dehydration."]

This situation is illustrated in the early story of Hagar and Ishmael. They are sent away into the desert by Sarah/Abraham, and death was expected:

She [Hagar] went on her way and wandered in the desert of Beersheba. 15 When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes.16 Then she went off and sat down nearby, about a bowshot away, for she thought, “I cannot watch the boy die.” And as she sat there nearby, she began to sob. (Gen 21.14ff)

Whether this form of death (generally taking a week or less) is any less horrible than death from a sword (with its terror, but over in minutes) will have to be left up to the reader. It is certainly not obvious to me that watching your loved ones die slowly and agonizingly is preferable to seeing them die almost instantly.

And, the possibility of staying alive but being captured by slave traders is not much more attractive (if any). Frequently in antiquity, people would commit suicide rather than become foreign slaves (whose lot was quite different from home-born servants). Whole groups of peoples would kill themselves when captured, to avoid this horrible fate. Bradley mentions some of the more vivid instances [HI:SASR:44f]

Most of the Spanish tribe of the Cantabri (22 BC) killed themselves when enslaved by Rome, cutting their own throats, drinking poison, or setting fire to their huts and dying in the flames

The inhabitants of Xanthus (in Lycia) undertook mass suicide three times! (after being captured by Cyrus the Great, Alexander the Great, and M. Brutus)

In these cases, people obviously preferred a rapid death rather than even life-in-slavery (much less slow-death-in-the-desert). Why would we assume the Amalekite women and children would feel differently--especially in a culture that dealt in slave trading and apparently abused its slaves as well [above].

Again, this is not obviously preferable to a quick death, and indeed, the data from suicide seems to indicate quite the opposite.

Option 4: Kill them there in the desert

We do have some data from antiquity that shows that people preferred quick deaths over slow agonizing ones, and this data also comes from suicide events.

"Men condemned to participate in amphitheater events [in the Roman empire] realized that their deaths would be agonizing and painful. Some chose to commit suicide, and...spare themselves the torment..." [ATRD:349]

To this, we might add the suicide of Saul in 1 Samuel 31, in which he desires to die rather than be tortured ("abused"--cf. Jdgs 19.25).

And we have already seen that people preferred quick deaths to 'normal' foreign slavery.

In fact, in antiquity, people preferred quick deaths (e.g., suicides) over many adverse situations in which they were still alive.


Biblical examples include Samson (instead of on-going slavery and abuse by the Philistines), Abimelech (instead of dying in disgrace), Ahithophel (instead of living on with a lower status), and Zimri (instead of facing political reprisal at the hands of his rival).

Extrabiblical data supports this as well:

The Greeks and Romans practiced suicide for a number of reasons, and Stoicism was famous for its "endorsement" of the issue.


From Philo: "In Jewish literature of the Hellenistic and Roman periods pious Jews are often portrayed as taking their lives voluntarily rather than betray their religious beliefs. For example, when in 39 or 40 a.d. the emperor Gaius announced plans to have a statue of himself erected in the Jerusalem temple, the Jews solemnly warned the Roman governor Petronius that, if this were carried out, they would first slaughter their women and children and then kill themselves “in contempt of a life which is not a life”" (Philo Gaium 236). [ABD, s.v. "suicide"]

· From Josephus: "Although Josephus himself delivered a lengthy speech on the iniquity of suicide in the Jewish War (3 §362–82; but his own neck was on the line), in the same work he also praised the heroism of the Jews at Masada who mutually slaughtered themselves rather than fall into the hands of the Romans (7 §320–88)." [ABD, s.v. "suicide"] (note: Masada was occupied by a force of less than 1,000 Jews, including women and children, and only two women and five children chose to hide rather than kill themselves in a quick death.]

From later Rabbinic writers: "In later rabbinic literature there are numerous stories of suicide, and this despite the usual claim by scholars that the rabbis opposed the practice. The Mishnah and Talmud contain accounts of suicide and martyrdom as well as discussions relating to the rules and regulations governing both. For example, b. Ketub. 103b relates that when rabbi Judah the Prince died a “voice from heaven” (bat qôl) proclaimed that all those present at his death would enjoy the life of the world to come. When a fuller, who had the misfortune of not calling on the rabbi that day, learned of this, he killed himself. Immediately, a bat qôl announced that he too would live in the world to come...A similar story in the Mishnah 'Abot Zar(18a) concerns the martyrdom of Rabbi Hanina ben Teradion during the emperor Hadrian’s reign. The rabbi was wrapped in a Torah scroll and set on fire; but to ensure that he would suffer, water-soaked tufts of wool were placed upon his heart. His disciples therefore begged him to breathe in the fire in order to hasten an otherwise gruesome death. The rabbi, however, refused, in words faintly reminiscent of the Phaedo: “Let him who gave [my soul] take it away, but no one should destroy himself.” The executioner then asked whether he would enter the world to come if he helped the rabbi die sooner. When he received an affirmative response, the executioner removed the tufts of wool and the rabbi died. The executioner then threw himself upon the fire. Suddenly a bat qôl proclaimed that both the rabbi and the executioner had been admitted to the world to come."[ABD, s.v. "suicide"]

So, if we except the reality of the lack of social infrastructure necessary to support such a group, this final alternative looks like the "least painful and least dehumanizing" (judging from the data concerning suicide in the ancient world). There is nothing laudatory about it, to be sure, but the moral difficulty was forced on the Israelites by the Amalekite warrior aggression. The fact that the destruction of the Amalekite warrior group was required to end the continual anti-Israelite savagery, forced the Israelites into this situation.

What this means is that the ancients disagree with moderns over what is “morally acceptable euthanasia”. The ancients--from the evidence of suicides--clearly believed that a sudden death was preferable to an anticipated life of future suffering (e.g., slavery), an anticipated death by starvation/thirst/exposure, or of torture (e.g., capture by rival rulers). Accordingly, this means that our modern intuitions about the morality of various types and ranges of euthanasia may need further analysis, and that although most forms of ancient euthanasia/suicide would have been painful/violent (generally involving swords, not Socratic type poison!), they would not have been considered morally wrong. And since, there is no explicit censure given in the bible for the suicides mentioned, it would be premature to decide that ancient criteria for acceptable euthanasia were ‘less moral than’ modern criteria. Even the case of 'anticipated' sufferings are sometimes allowed in the modern world, especially in wartime situations. POW's, for example, have been known to request death from other soldiers, to avoid a future of anticipated torture and death...

Now, before I move to the next point, we need to be clear on the above--THERE ARE NO OTHER OPTIONS. There are no 'other ways out'. There are no 'softer choices'. To say "there must be some other way" is avoidance, given everything we know about ancient history and the situation. For the husband who has to decide to end the life of the baby, to save the life of his wife, "there must be another way" is a bitter fantasy world. For the father who has to pull the plug on his brain-dead child, "there must be another way" is a bitter fantasy world. For the daughter, who has to administer the lethal medicine to her at-death-point mom after a long, long time of suffering and pain, "there must be another way" is a bitter fantasy world. Sometimes there simply aren't morally 'neat, tidy, and comfortable' endings.

And, very importantly, there is NO WAY TO AVOID THE CHOICE. If you were Israel's leadership, and you HAD to destroy the warrior class of males for all the reasons already discussed, then you would inexorably be faced with this decision. And in our case, it was God who said 'do it this way'--the God who makes the difficult decision about the day and manner of our own deaths, for each of us, and it was the God who takes no delight in death (indeed, who intends to destroy it) who decided that this was 'least painful of all choices'.

DingoDave said...

Drow Ranger wrote:

-"You have NO proof that babies and children were affected by the plague. The text is silent, here."

What kind of plagues don't effect children?

-"We're talking SERIOUS offenses committed by ADULTS who should know better. And they had no prison, nor capacity for such, back in the day. Be realistic plz"

So everyone including children, babies and the elderly were punished? It's you who's not being realistic.

-"Explain to me how an STD plague would reach children?"

How do you know that it was an STD plague? You've just invented that out of thin air. Considering that it was supposed to have killed 24000 people, I think it very unlikely that it was the clap. Be realistic plz.

-"Dude, Saul died when he was about 80 years old. How many 80 year olds do you know that have LITTLE grandchildren? I don't know of ANY. Any grandparent over 80, their grandkids are grown! That's not speculation, that's logical deduction."

Now you're having Saul lead his army into battle at age 80 ???? That's not logical, that's absurd.
Read this.

'The reign-length of Saul'
The purpose of this page is to consider the reign-length of Saul, as indicated by the various pieces of information in 1 and 2 Samuel. The difficulty arises because the passage in which Saul's age at accession, and regnal length, has been damaged at an early stage of transmission of the text. Hence other secondary clues must be used, and the results are not certain. The resolution of the problem has bearing on how the book of Judges dovetails with the books of Samuel, as well as links with external matters...
Now suppose Saul reigns for 12 years. David and Jonathan are about the same age, thus making this an appealing solution. Both are about 18 when Saul becomes king. Mephibosheth is born when Jonathan is about 25, again a reasonable value. Ish-bosheth is at most 30 when he takes Saul's place as king. Saul is about 50 when he leads his troops to the defeat at Gilboa....
Finally, what if Saul reigned for 42 years? David is about 30 years younger than Jonathan. He was born over a decade after the start of Saul's reign. Once again he is substantially younger than Michal. Jonathan is about 55 when his son Mephibosheth is born. Samuel would be rather over 80 years old when anointing David, and Saul would be leading his army at the Battle of Gilboa at an age of around 80.
It is clear from the above that a 2-year reign seems unlikely. Hardly any of the basic pieces of information can be preserved. Conversely, a reign-length for Saul of more than 30 years suffers from opposite problems. David and Jonathan differ considerably in age, and Jonathan is unusually old for Mephibosheth to be his firstborn. It also seems unlikely that Saul would still be actively leading his army to battle at over 70 years of age.
So the balance of probability seems to favour a reign between 10 and 20 years. This means that most of the basic information points and reasonable suppositions about the lives of the individuals concerned can be met, and agrees with the tradition Josephus knew.
http://www.oldtestamentstudies.net/judges/reignlengthsaul.asp?item=11&variant=0

This would mean that Saul died at around age 50. Which makes a whole lot more sense than you do. In which case his grandchildren couldn't have been old enough to be blamed for the deaths of the Gibeonites. Better luck next time Drow.

-"Pharaoh WOULD NOT let Moses' people go. He stubbornly refused.

Because Yahweh was manipulating his mind (hardening his heart) in order to showcase his genocidal talents.

-"If he had let the people go, none of that would have happened. God just needed to get him to the point where he'd actually be motivated to let them go. See, back in those days, the actions of Kings and Rulers necessarily impacted on their subjects, because that's the way things were."

By killing evey firstborn child and farm animal in the country, including even the firstborn of the 'captives in the dungeon'?
Exod.12
[29] At midnight the LORD smote all the first-born in the land of Egypt, from the first-born of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the first-born of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the first-born of the cattle.

You seem to have lost all sense of morality and justice Drow. Your mind has been perverted by this horrible book. Incidentally What did the cattle do to deserve having their calves killed?

-"And by the way, how about a little moral equivalence perspective, here? Are you forgetting that the Egyptians had the Israelites in Slavery for 400 years? And you DON'T think something DRASTIC would have to be done to have them let go?"

Rubbish! Yahweh could have simply given the Pharaoh a heart attack or something. Besides which, Pharaoh was keen to let the Israelites go, and would have done so, if Yahweh hadn't continued to harden his heart.

Exod.9
[14] For this time I will send all my plagues upon your heart, and upon your servants and your people, that you may know that there is none like me in all the earth.
[15] For by now I could have put forth my hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, and you would have been cut off from the earth;
[16] but for this purpose have I let you live, to show you my power, so that my name may be declared throughout all the earth.

Exod.10
[1] Then the LORD said to Moses, "Go in to Pharaoh; for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants, that I may show these signs of mine among them,
[2] and that you may tell in the hearing of your son and of your son's son how I have made sport of the Egyptians and what signs I have done among them; that you may know that I am the LORD."

Exod.11
[9] Then the LORD said to Moses, "Pharaoh will not listen to you; that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt."

So Yahweh intentionally hardened Pharaoh's heart just so he could show off and big-note himself. How sick is that? He wanted people to boast about how he had 'made sport' of the Egyptians. He did it for fun and fame.

-"Actually no, you're wrong, it's making MY point. Saul was dead at age 80."

As I've already pointed out, it was more like age 50. I even provided the website address for you to the article which discusses it. Go read it.

-"Dude. People were healthier back then, they weren't eating a bunch of processed crap. I know some very fit active 60 year olds; what's wrong with people down where you live?"

What planet are you living on Drow? Have you even had a highschool education? Read this. It discusses life expectancy in ancient Egypt, but this was typical for right across the ancient world.

"Egyptians, like all mankind until the advent of modern medicine and public hygiene, died young. The age people hoped to reach was 110, described as the ideal lifespan in literature, but reality was different. Life expectancy for one year old children was less than forty years. Water-borne diseases, tuberculosis and other infectious illnesses against which the best physicians of antiquity were mostly powerless, were endemic. Periodically various kinds of plague broke out, often in the wake of wars. The sick, the very young and the elderly were especially prone to succumb."
http://nefertiti.iwebland.com/people/index.html

Notice that this article states, "Periodically various kinds of plague broke out, often in the wake of wars. The sick, the very young and the elderly were especially prone to succumb."
Kind of blows your ridiculous magical plague speculations out of the water doesn't it?

-"You've got even more nerve, because you're the one accusing God of wrongdoing without any evidence that it /was/ wrong. Heck, your nerve is so great, you think you're more omniscient and know better than an all-knowing Omniscient deity!"

I doubt that you could be presented with ANY evidence which would convince you that the monster you worship was guilty of any wrongdoing. That's what happens when religious fanatics allow themselves to be brainwashed into a blind unquestioning obedience to ancient dogmas, as you appear to have been. It's sad.

-"The difference between my speculation and your speculation? Your speculation accuses God of doing bad things. I'm more open-minded as to what actually went on."

It's not speculation, it's written right there in the Bible. You are the one who is concocting ridiculous 'how it could have been' scenarios in order to justify these attrocties.

-"Now you're plainly being even more ignorant. OF COURSE it was the Father's Sin of REJECTING GOD that will be punished, IF THE PERSON'S CHILDREN CONTINUE TO REJECT GOD. Your objection is duly noted and illogical. God will not punish those who obey and love him. Look, it's like the first domino getting pushed over that pushes over all the other dominos. It's a cumulative effect. It's not like that father had killed a guy and thus the children must be punished. No, no, no."

Yes it is. Have you forgotton what you wrote not more than a few paragraphs back?
"When things like that happen, (such as all the firstborn), there's a particular reason for it. It was the Nuclear Option...See, back in those days, the actions of Kings and Rulers necessarily impacted on their subjects, because that's the way things were."
In this statement you just admitted that innocent people are punished for the sins of one man. Besides which, why would an omnipotent god need to invoke a 'nuclear option' anyway?

-"Dude judging people by what they type over message boards...that's just TOO FUNNY. You don't know me in real life. BTW you seem illogical and overemotional and with just a touch of teh crayzee from what you've typed here? AMIRITE?"

I've read what you've written Drow. That's enough for me to know what kind of a person you are. You are attempting to justify murder and massacre in the name of your god, and you worry that I'm crazy? That's rich.

-"Two wrongs don't make a right? Why is it wrong to kill a serial killer? Hmmm? Explain that to me."

Why does any state or country outlaw the death penalty? Take a basic course in social ethics if you're curious to find out.

-"Again with the 'innocent'--God knows the hearts of all. He knows what the kids will grow up like--and whether they'll be a problem later on. And just exactly what were they supposed to do with all the extra kids, anyway? It's not like they had a welfare program or childrens' aid society. The PARENTS could have stopped it. And their actions (or lack thereof) impacted on their children."

There you go again saying that small children deserve to be punished for the sins of their parents. And you're trying to justifying the murder of innocent children because the ancient Israelites didn't have a social welfare program??? Ever heard of adoption Drow?

-"And on what basis do you determine that this God is a "monster"?"

By what's written in the Bible. How else? Is there nothing that this god of yours could do before you would have the courage to call him evil? Apparently not.

-"God did NOT order the sacrifice of children."

Many scholars would disagree with you.

-"Oh boy, provincialist bigotry for the loss?"

If I'm a bigot for condemning attrocities, then so be it. Proud bigot right here!

-"Yeah, but the American Revolution was in a period of time when God was not out doing the Smiting Himself. When God is actually out there and obviously active, people are going to sit up and take notice."

What has that got to do with unfair taxation, or priests killing you if you dare to disagree with them? : /

-"What I find disturbing is your complete lack of understanding on this issue. You go around assuming things, and being outraged like a child who can't have that lollipop they saw in the store and don't understand why mummy and daddy don't fork over the 85 cents for it."

What a ridiculous thing to say. The massacre of innocent people can hardly be compared to not getting a lollipop at the supermarket. It just demonstrates your immaturaty, and your desperation to defend these babarities.

-"The reason God hardened Pharaoh's heart afterwards is with good reason--it is a warning to others that you should not wilfully disobey God repeatedly, else you are not able to come back."

Wrong. As I pointed out above, the purpose of hardening Pharaoh's heart was so that Yahweh could show off, and big-note himself to people.

-"It's very simple why they killed the animals. That's so people wouldn't go around accusing people of stuff like that so they could take possession of the animals. Now remember, Achan already KNEW that if he took anything from Jericho for himself, he would make himself accursed. And that would bring the curse down on everything he owned."

Ha Ha, where did you read that little apologetic gem? And I would hardly call the cold blooded murder of an entire family a 'curse'. It was murder, plain and simple.

-"Umm yeah, but if man is merely an accident of genetics over time, then who is to say which "morality" is correct? If morality is only the result of a person's opinion, is there ever true "morality"? You are behaving as though you are adhering to the morals from religion while rejecting religion."

Because we live in communities you simpleton. If everyone did their own thing without regard for their neighbor, communities would rapidly fall apart. There is no magic to it.

-"Seriously now, why are you behaving, given your atheism, as though there ARE objective, unchanging moral standards that apply no matter what anyone's opinion is?"

I never said that morals were objective and unchanging. They're not, as the Bible clearly demonstrates. 'Evil' is anything which causes unnecessary harm. It's not rocket science.
For example, people generally view murder as evil, because most people object to being murdered. Why is that so hard for you to understand?

-"Ahhh, again with teh rage. You seem like a very angry person, Dingo Dan...err, Dave. It sounds like the littlest thing gets you worked up."

I tend to get angry when I hear people attempt to defend barbarism and attrocities. Why shouldn't I? Don't you? Americans get all apoplectic when they think about the 9/11 attrocity, and it was tame compared with what we read in the Bible. Decent people should get angry when it comes to the subject of people committing attrocities. It's the very reason why the west is currently fighting against Muslim terrorists. The Muslim terrorists think that God is on their side as well, in case you hadn't noticed. They justify their attrocities by using their holy book, just the same as you do. You worship the Bible, they worship the Koran. It's the same shit, just different packaging.

-"You must be exhaused after raging on about everything you think is unjust, including things that according to you NEVER EVEN HAPPENED! How ILLOGICAL is that?"

It's not illogical when people in the real world have been taken in by these violent myths, like you have been, and when those people then go on to effect government policies which impact on everyone.

-"BTW you still have not made a SOLID case that YOUR version of "morality" is the "correct" one, let alone that any of your rage is relevant to Christianity TODAY."

You are living proof of why my 'rage' is relevant to Christianity today. If you can't see that then I pity you.

Drow Ranger said...

Dingo Dave:

What kind of plagues don't effect children?

Ummm, sexually transmitted ones?

So everyone including children, babies and the elderly were punished? It's you who's not being realistic.

You're reading that into the text. That is your own assumption based on your own fear and loathing.

How do you know that it was an STD plague? You've just invented that out of thin air. Considering that it was supposed to have killed 24000 people, I think it very unlikely that it was the clap. Be realistic plz.


Quite honestly, we do NOT know what the plague is. But come on now. You're the one that's being unrealistic. 24,000 people is a SMALL number compared to how many Israelites there actually were. 70 people came to Egypt 400+ years prior to the Exodus. Mathematically speaking (based on doubling) there would have been over 2 million Israelites at the time of the Exodus. So NO, you CANNOT definitively say that "Elderly and innocent children" were punished.

This would mean that Saul died at around age 50. Which makes a whole lot more sense than you do. In which case his grandchildren couldn't have been old enough to be blamed for the deaths of the Gibeonites. Better luck next time Drow.

That's interesting, but again, it makes several huge assumptions. First and foremost is that 80 = old and doddering in those days. It's unlikely to us, but who's to say that it's entirely out of the realm of possibility? After all, Moses was still going pretty good when he died, and he was over 100.

You know, you really need to stop being so closeminded...

Because Yahweh was manipulating his mind (hardening his heart) in order to showcase his genocidal talents.


Ummm not the first time out. By BLOWING IT the first time out, Pharaoh pretty much screwed himself and his people over. And it wasn't genocidal, because the Egyptians didn't all die. And the ones that did deserved it for keeping the Israelites in slavery all that time.

If you had a child, and that child was stolen and put into slavery, you'd wanna beat the crap out of whomever did it, wouldn't you?

By killing evey firstborn child and farm animal in the country, including even the firstborn of the 'captives in the dungeon'?

It was a strike against a specific Egyptian god--the Pharaoh himself. The Egyptians believed that Pharaoh was a descendant of Ra and thus was deified himself.

If Pharaoh could not save them (or their firstborns) then a huge seed of doubt in his power is sown.

You seem to have lost all sense of morality and justice Drow. Your mind has been perverted by this horrible book. Incidentally What did the cattle do to deserve having their calves killed?


I've lost all sense of morality and justice? Dude you don't even know what morality and justice ARE. You claim some objective standard with no basis. You're armchair-criticizing something which you have NO idea about what REALLY went on. All the plagues were strikes against specific Egyptian gods. This was God's way of showing them "Hey Egyptians, your gods can't do bugger-all."

The only thing that "matters" about what happens to the cows is the impact on livelihood of the owners of the cows. Why should it matter whether a cow drops dead from the Angel of Death™ or is turned into hamburger? Explain plx.

Rubbish! Yahweh could have simply given the Pharaoh a heart attack or something. Besides which, Pharaoh was keen to let the Israelites go, and would have done so, if Yahweh hadn't continued to harden his heart.

AHAHAHAH. You REALLY think it was THAT simple?! If Pharaoh got a heart attack, they'd be back at square one negotiating with the son. And since the son got nuked in the Firstborn business, there is no evidence that he'd have done it any different. And then there's the people themselves, the Pharaoh's advisers, magicians, etc. Just taking out Pharaoh would NOT have been enough. Taskmasters have their orders and follow them.

Pharaoh said the first time out NO of his own free will. He was NOT eager to let them go. Come on this is a guy who told them to make bricks and cut their own straw in the same amount of time as when the straw was already provided! He was not a nice man.

So Yahweh intentionally hardened Pharaoh's heart just so he could show off and big-note himself. How sick is that? He wanted people to boast about how he had 'made sport' of the Egyptians. He did it for fun and fame.

Ummm no, not quite. The Israelites themselves were skeptical that God would help them. This was as much to convince the Israelites that God was on their side (after seeing nothing for like 400 years) as it was to kick the crap out of the cruel Egyptians.

You'll notice that after that nonsense, the Egyptians had to HIRE (not enslave) people to build things like Pyramids. They didn't want a repeat performance.

As I've already pointed out, it was more like age 50. I even provided the website address for you to the article which discusses it. Go read it.

I did read it and it wasn't very convincing. They have no solid proof, aside assumptions about people and aging TODAY, rather than thousands of years ago (taking into account Moses' excellent shape when he was over 100 at his death).

What planet are you living on Drow? Have you even had a highschool education? Read this. It discusses life expectancy in ancient Egypt, but this was typical for right across the ancient world.

"Egyptians, like all mankind until the advent of modern medicine and public hygiene, died young. The age people hoped to reach was 110, described as the ideal lifespan in literature, but reality was different. Life expectancy for one year old children was less than forty years. Water-borne diseases, tuberculosis and other infectious illnesses against which the best physicians of antiquity were mostly powerless, were endemic. Periodically various kinds of plague broke out, often in the wake of wars. The sick, the very young and the elderly were especially prone to succumb."
http://nefertiti.iwebland.com/people/index.html

Notice that this article states, "Periodically various kinds of plague broke out, often in the wake of wars. The sick, the very young and the elderly were especially prone to succumb."
Kind of blows your ridiculous magical plague speculations out of the water doesn't it?


I had 2 and a half years of college, man. But that aside, you're trying to apply stuff to the GENERAL POPULATION when we are talking about a KING. Kings (and Pharaohs) usually had a much better standard of living (and thus better life expectancy).

Just because plagues happened doesn't mean that some particular plague wasn't precisely directed (hell, STD's only affect those who have slept with an infected partner).

If plagues are always so random, why are you outraged at God? Presumably if He doesn't exist, He did not cause the plague? Then what's all the fuss about? You're angry at nothing then.

I doubt that you could be presented with ANY evidence which would convince you that the monster you worship was guilty of any wrongdoing. That's what happens when religious fanatics allow themselves to be brainwashed into a blind unquestioning obedience to ancient dogmas, as you appear to have been. It's sad.


It's NOT "unquestioning obedience." I have always had questions, and never accepted stuff wholecloth without considering the situations and the options available at the time. You fail to see the larger picture. You focus on the individual events and rage about them as if they actually happened, even though it is clear that you believe that they did not. That is far more insane than my beliefs.

You can't even come up with a coherent reason WHY whatever-it-was that God did /was/ wrong, given that you'd have to be freaking omniscient in order to know for a fact that God caused "unjust" deaths. Since this happened in the past and is NOT happening today, it's all moot. (and it's even MORE moot considering you don't think it ever really happened)

It's not speculation, it's written right there in the Bible. You are the one who is concocting ridiculous 'how it could have been' scenarios in order to justify these attrocties.


Not everything that is written in the Bible is the full story. Do you have ANY idea how big the Bible would have to be in order to describe every situation in such painstaking detail as would satisfy the likes of you?

Speaking of atrocities, do you not think that the massive amounts of abortions that happen around the world are NOT an atrocity? Because if you don't, I call hypocrite on you.

Yes it is. Have you forgotton what you wrote not more than a few paragraphs back?
"When things like that happen, (such as all the firstborn), there's a particular reason for it. It was the Nuclear Option...See, back in those days, the actions of Kings and Rulers necessarily impacted on their subjects, because that's the way things were."
In this statement you just admitted that innocent people are punished for the sins of one man. Besides which, why would an omnipotent god need to invoke a 'nuclear option' anyway?


No, the Egyptians were NOT "innocent." They were just as guilty as the Pharaoh. Their firstborns died as a direct result of Pharaoh's actions, yes. God taking all the Firstborns was as much a sign as it was a punishment.

The "Nuclear Option" was necessary to show the Israelites, and the Egyptians, that God > Pharaoh (who was deified in Ancient Egypt and worshipped as such).

And since all life belongs to God, it is somewhat absurd to question the means and methods and reasons of when He takes it...

I've read what you've written Drow. That's enough for me to know what kind of a person you are. You are attempting to justify murder and massacre in the name of your god, and you worry that I'm crazy? That's rich.


You're crazy because you're being totally emotional and irrational about this. You're claiming /murder/ when you have no basis for doing so. "Massacre" and "murder" have very specific emotional attachments to them. You're basically arguing by emotion/appeal to pity, which is a Logical Fallacy. Can you argue this logically WITHOUT resorting to tugging at the heartstrings? Because if not, you've lost the argument, despite what your "moral-er than thou" attitude is.

And you've really gotten confused, I can tell. It's not "massacre and murder in the name of God", because the Israelites themselves did nothing to the Egyptians. God doing it HIMSELF is NOT "blahblahblah in the name of God". Something in the name of God applies when it's OTHER PEOPLE doing it. When there is direct action by a deity, you can't make them equivalent. It just doesn't fly.

Why does any state or country outlaw the death penalty? Take a basic course in social ethics if you're curious to find out.

They usually do it because they're afraid they'll execute the wrong person. Which of course has happened, but gets less and less likely as DNA and other technology catches up. Personally I think that the Death Penalty is justified if it is absolutely certain that the person they caught is the killer.

I find it amusing that you claim to be for Justice, and yet you do not feel that taking human life deliberately and in cold unjustified blood warrants the forfeiture of the killer's own life. So then what is Justice, exactly? Should the punishment not fit the crime?

There you go again saying that small children deserve to be punished for the sins of their parents. And you're trying to justifying the murder of innocent children because the ancient Israelites didn't have a social welfare program??? Ever heard of adoption Drow?

Yes I've heard of adoption. But you're assuming that the Israelites had the means to absorb all those children. The children would have been of all ages, and the older ones would have been really difficult to assimilate. I mean come on, if your parents all died in a war, would you willingly be absorbed by the victors? Or would you cause problems as much as you could? And you're assuming that "innocent children" are being punished, rather than mercifully euthanized like extra puppies. And you don't have the advantage of God's omniscience to see how the kids would have turned out, had they lived. God was preventing them from being a problem later on. In that sense they would not be punished for the sins of their parents, but prevented from copying the sins of their parents.

This is lifeboat territory here, man. You know? Where there's a lifeboat, and 20 people, and the lifeboat can only fit 16? What do you do, man, what do you do?

By what's written in the Bible. How else? Is there nothing that this god of yours could do before you would have the courage to call him evil? Apparently not.

Lemme tell you something, there, guy. If God acted like Zeus or Hera or Kali, yeah, I'd think there was a problem. But He does not. When He takes action, it is for a damn good reason, not a capricious one. Why would it be "evil" for a God to put an end to the depraved wickedness that was going on in the world? You kneejerkedly react at what God did without taking into consideration what precipitated the event. If you read carefully and with understanding of the times, you will see that at the time, these things were perfectly justified.

I'd like to know why exactly it is that you think that killing people is wrong.

Many scholars would disagree with you.

That doesn't mean they're right.

If I'm a bigot for condemning attrocities, then so be it. Proud bigot right here!


No, you're a bigot for steadfastly refusing to take into account the situation, surroundings, time, and culture when condemning these things. You act like the people who were affected lived in houses like we do, with air conditioning and cars and corners stores and jails. You entirely ignore the nomadic realities and how this affected what was done. You still haven't given one good reason why any of the people who died should have been kept alive.

What has that got to do with unfair taxation, or priests killing you if you dare to disagree with them? : /

People are more willing to take action against oppression if they think they have a reasonable chance of success. If they think their chance of success is 0, then chances are they're not going to try it.

What a ridiculous thing to say. The massacre of innocent people can hardly be compared to not getting a lollipop at the supermarket. It just demonstrates your immaturaty, and your desperation to defend these babarities.


Way to miss the point, dude. What I was saying is that YOUR UNDERSTANDING is like that of the child who wants the lollipop. No child understands economics or the realities of a parent's financial situation. Similarly, you do not have sufficient knowledge or comprehension of the situation and thus are acting like said child, crying over something you think is unfair. You don't understand why God did such-and-such, so you rage that He's unjust and evil.

Wrong. As I pointed out above, the purpose of hardening Pharaoh's heart was so that Yahweh could show off, and big-note himself to people.

Again, you really don't understand, do you? Didn't you know that even after all that, when the Israelites got to Jericho and sent the spies, and Rahab told em that everybody knew what God had done in Egypt and all throughout the Exodus (defeating Moab and such), the people of Jericho STILL did NOT get the frag out of Dodge (or even repent of their wickedness)? If anything, what God did was inadequate, rather than excessive!

Ha Ha, where did you read that little apologetic gem? And I would hardly call the cold blooded murder of an entire family a 'curse'. It was murder, plain and simple.


Dude, it was told ahead of time. If anyone takes the stuff from Jericho, he's under a curse and so is his WHOLE FAMILY. Achan knew that. So basically he was condemning his family to death by his actions. So if you wanna be mad at someone in that situation, take it out on that monster Achan. What kind of father places his own children and wife at risk because he wanted a few trinkets?

Because we live in communities you simpleton. If everyone did their own thing without regard for their neighbor, communities would rapidly fall apart. There is no magic to it.


That's just great, but you still are evading the larger question. Communities for the sake of survival don't usually endanger each other (although there will always be bad people in them), however, the morality practiced within the commmunities often does not extend to other communities. This is how we get tribal conflicts--all the stuff they wanted to do to their community neighbor but were too smart to, they'd take out on outsiders. They'd do horrible things and it would be "justified." Now then, wanna try again?

ZI never said that morals were objective and unchanging. They're not, as the Bible clearly demonstrates. 'Evil' is anything which causes unnecessary harm. It's not rocket science.
For example, people generally view murder as evil, because most people object to being murdered. Why is that so hard for you to understand?


If morals ARE changing, then why are you crying about something that happened so long ago that the moral standards most certainly do not apply today?

That's not "hard for me to understand." However, a flock of sheep certainly objects to being killed by a pack of dogs that won't even touch a mouthful of the meat. Does this mean that packs of dogs are evil?

I tend to get angry when I hear people attempt to defend barbarism and attrocities. Why shouldn't I? Don't you? Americans get all apoplectic when they think about the 9/11 attrocity, and it was tame compared with what we read in the Bible. Decent people should get angry when it comes to the subject of people committing attrocities. It's the very reason why the west is currently fighting against Muslim terrorists. The Muslim terrorists think that God is on their side as well, in case you hadn't noticed. They justify their attrocities by using their holy book, just the same as you do. You worship the Bible, they worship the Koran. It's the same shit, just different packaging.

This all depends on whether what you're objecting to actually was an "atrocity." (the fact that you're objecting to something you believe to be imaginary and getting incredibly angry about events that you don't even believe happened, because you do not believe that God exists, makes you CRAZY. OK? Do you get upset over the deaths of the Aldebarans in Star Wars Episode IV? No? Then why cry about imaginary deaths in the Bible?)

Here you are, objecting to what God has done, when what God had done is the equivalent of the response to 9/11, not 9/11 itself. God is not going around doing things for the halibut. There's some serious bad stuff going on that He was remedying. And back in those days, Death was pretty much the only way to deal with it. Remember, there are no prisons in the Exodus march. No infrastructure. Society was always one paycheck away from homelessness and chaos. Keeping order was paramount and that required drastic measures at times to keep people from going all Charles Manson. Your problem is you are looking at that situation from the perspective of the modern world, and that is where your analysis is made of Epic Fail.

BTW Christians do NOT worship the Bible, and Muslims do NOT worship the Quran.

Now, the fact that some crazy Muslim extremists (VERY FEW muslims are terrorists or terrorist supporters, let me be very clear on that!) think they are justified in taking lives because Allah told them so is one thing, but this raises another question. If the Terrorists think it is OK to kill YOU, then is it wrong for you to kill him first? If you are faced with a threat so vast that jail cannot contain it, what are your options and what are you justified in doing to protect yourself? Think about that for awhile. Maybe you'll gain some insight into what it was God was really doing back in the OT.

You are living proof of why my 'rage' is relevant to Christianity today. If you can't see that then I pity you.

Look, guy, if your beliefs are correct, then man is no different than the other animals. Animals kill each other without consequence all the time. You have not demonstrated to my satisfaction why Humans are different in this regard (assuming no God).

What I'm trying to get at is, if there is no God as you claim, then WHY are Humans so special that they feel differently about killing than animals do?

Your rage is pointless if Christianity is wrong and God does not exist. You are raging at imaginary events then, which makes you crazy.

Your rage might ACTUALLY have a point IF God exists (the one in the Bible) and you could prove that you are omniscient and thus had unequivocal proof that what God did was unjustified and exactly HOW it was unjustified.

You refuse to consider all the facts and all the possibilities, and remain closeminded as to what actually occurred. If you were any sort of openminded person you'd consider possibile justifications 0without dismissing them out of hand by reflex.

Drow Ranger said...

BTW what government policies LATELY have been implemented that are soooo wrong that are based on teh Bible? Hmmm?