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Loving Them To Death

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When God Committed Genocide

By James Donahue

When we examine the Old Testament stories from a contemporary and legal point of view, we have to realize that YHVH, or the Hebrew Jehovah, was the worst mass killer the world has ever known.

The Genesis story of Noah and the great flood is perhaps the best case in point.
 
In the Sixth Chapter of Genesis we read: “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.”

Of course we know that “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord” so God arranged for Noah and his family to build an ark, put his family and two of every kind of beast on the ark, and thus ride out a world flood that killed every other living man, woman, child and animal.

Now we don’t know the time period between the creation of Adam and Eve and the flood, nor do we know how many people existed on the Earth at the time of this mythological flood. But we can understand the wickedness of humanity. We are watching it every day on the evening news. Even the so-called fundamental followers of God, in a variety of religious belief systems are participating in extreme acts of wickedness.

Consequently we have to wonder if God isn't about to smite the human race one final time, this time making a complete job of it. If we choose to believe the Bible stories, we know that this God apparently has a temper, and is capable of wiping us off the map whenever He chooses.

God also helped the Israelites slaughter all the people and animals in a few cities as they moved into the so-called holy land. The story of Joshua leading his army into the City of Jericho is probably the best known.

When Joshua expressed concern about the stone walls erected around the city, God instructed him to lead his men in a march around the city every day for six consecutive days, with seven priests marching before the ark and blowing seven trumpets made of rams' horns.

Joshua 6 reads that God promised: "The seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets, and it shall come to pass that when they make a long blast with the rams horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat."

Once the walls fell, Joshua sent his soldiers into Jerico to kill everyone "as an offering to God." They were ordered, however, to spare the town prostitute, Rahab and her family. "But all the silver, gold, broze and iron belonged to God alone."

Why did God choose to take the gold and spare the town whore? The text explains that Rahab was spared because she hid the military spy that Joshua sent ahead of the assault.

(It may be interesting at this point to note that archaeologists recently found the remains of the old City of Jericho. What they could not find, however, were remnants of a wall that ever existed around the city.)

In Numbers 21:25 we read that the Israelites were ordered by God to kill all of the Amorites and level all of the Amorite cities in Heshbon because He determined that the Amorites and their King Sihon were a wicked people.
 
One website, the Nairaland Forum, contains an interesting report by an unidentified person who allegedly took the time to count all of the people that the Old Testament claims were killed by God. He wrote:

"I came up with 2,476,633, which, of course, greatly underestimates God's total death toll, since it only includes those killings for which specific numbers are given. No attempt was made to include the victims of Noah's flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, or the many plagues, famines, fiery serpents, etc., with which the good book is filled. Still, two million is a respectable number ever for world class killers."