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Monday, February 10, 2014

Did God order the Israelites to commit genocide?

Genocide = The systematic killing or extermination of a whole people or nation (Webster's) Numbers 21:1-3 (Hormah means utter destruction), Numbers 21:33-35, Numbers 31:1-18, Joshua 6:17, 21, Joshua 8:21-29, Joshua 11:10-15
"Then Sihon came out against us, he and all his people, to fight at Jahaz. And the Lord our God delivered him before us; and we smote him, and his sons, and all his people. And we took all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed the men, and the women, and the little ones, of every city, we left none to remain: Only the cattle we took for a prey unto ourselves, and the spoil of the cities which we took." --Deuteronomy 2:32-35
"So the Lord our God delivered into our hands Og also, the king of Bashan, and all his people: and we smote him until none was left to him remaining. And we took all his cities at that time, there was not a city which we took not from them, threescore cities, all the region of Argob, the kingdom of Og in Bashan. All these cities were fenced with high walls, gates, and bars; beside unwalled towns a great many. And we utterly destroyed them, as we did unto Sihon king of Heshbon, utterly destroying the men, women, and children, of every city. But all the cattle, and the spoil of the cities, we took for a prey to ourselves." --Deuteronomy 3:3-7
The language in these Scriptures is clear and graphic - the Israelites exterminated whole nations (men, women, elderly and children) and attributed it all to God's instructions.
Is such behavior consistent with a God of love? (I John 4:8, 16) Paul defined love as being "paitient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about insjustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumcstance." (I Corinthians 13:4-7)
There are numerous other Scriptures that describe God as merciful and compassionate. Exodus 34:6, Psalm 86:15, 103:8, 111:4, 116:5, 117:2, 145:8, Joel 2:13, Jonah 4:2. Luke 6:36, I John 3:17, etc. Do you believe that God has ever told anyone to commit genocide? Or have people used God to cover their own wickedness?

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