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The Bible – A Series of Passages (II) September 12, 2009

Posted by jetson in Personal.
Tags: , , , , , ,

1 Samuel 15:2-3 — “Thus says the Lord of hosts, “I will punish the Amalekites for what they did in opposing the Israelites when they came up out of Egypt. Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have; do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.” ’”

This is a direct order from the Christian god of The Bible to kill people and animals.  You may be aware, or not, that criticisms of passages such as this are usually met with concerns about the context of the passage itself.  In other words, I could be taking this passage completely out of context.  Perhaps someone can make that claim, and show me how I am taking this direct command from God out of context.  I am willing to listen.

This passage is evidence that God is willing to ask his flock to kill people and animals.  I have to imagine that people who think that God is loving are either willing to overlook this despicable order to kill all of the residents of Amalek, along with the ox, sheep, camel, and donkeys, or they are unaware of this passage because again, it doesn’t make it to the pulpits of Churches across the country and around the world.  I wonder why?  Personally, I find it horrible and disgusting that a God would do this, regardless of His reasons.

The question that pops into my mind is why?  Every human is supposed to be one of Gods children.  Every human is born to the world that God created for them.  Every human is supposed to be a creation of God, and through God, they will arrive in heaven upon their physical death – conditionally, of course.  So in this particular case, God is angry with the people, the children, the men and women, and even the infants – yes, the infants.  We all know that infants are perfectly capable of angering the God they apparently know so well.

No one is spared, no one is good enough for God, even those who are obviously unaware that God is angry at them.  Humans are obviously capable of killing for many reasons.  But in modern warfare, for example, it is certainly not OK to kill every human in a city (Hiroshima and Nagasaki notwithstanding.)  Modern soldiers stand trial for murder even in times of war when it is discovered that they kill innocents that are not members of the opposing armies.  Collateral damage is indeed an unfortunate side effect of warfare.  But this order, from a loving God?  Makes no sense at all.

Our world is filled with stories of killing and murdering thousands and thousands of innocent people for all sorts of reasons.  I find it easy to abandon any God who condones murdering infants for any reason.   Could those infants not be saved, and at least made into slaves?  Don’t get me started.



1. Michael Graham Richard - September 26, 2009

I find that the simplest and most plausible answer here is that there is no god or gods, and that the bible was simply written by men from those times (sometimes making insightful observations about human nature, like people of all times, but often obsessed with power, war, “us vs. them”, etc).

2. jetson - October 4, 2009

The more I think about this passage, the more I wonder how many Christians today would be willing to use a sword to kill an infant that God has decided is evil?

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