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Was Man created in God's image, or God created in Man's?
A New Look at the Old Testament
— A Few of the Highlights —
Prophecy, History, Law, Commandments, and regime changes …
We have used the King James Version throughout except where otherwise noted. The links on the verses lead to a Bible web site with many different Bible translations, and the links to bring up whole chapters for greater context. If the King James language is not clear, we suggest trying a more modern translation from the Bible web site, accessible through those links.
Genesis 34:1-17, 24-31
History: Abraham is the first man with whom LORD God makes a covenant, Isaac is his son, and Jacob is Abraham's grandson. Jacob is the ancestor of all the Jews and Hebrews. It is because LORD God renamed Jacob "Israel" (after a wrestling match — Genesis 32) that all Jacob's descendants are named Israelites. Each of Jacob's twelve sons become a patriarch, and the descendants became the twelve tribes of Israel, named after the sons; and the tribes were Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, and Benjamin.
In this passage, Dinah, a daughter of Jacob, goes walking one day among the local people, and Prince Shechem of the Hivites sees her and has sexual intercourse with her. Shechem is in love with her, and he comes to Jacob's family offering marriage, promising any named sum in dowry. He invites Jacob to unite his tribe with the Hivites, share pasture, and intermarry. Jacob's sons deceitfully agree; they require all the men in Shechem's town to be circumcised, meanwhile planning treachery. While the men are recovering but still in pain, Jacob's sons slaughter them, loot the town of goods and cattle, and carry off all the women and children as slaves. It is not until then that Jacob's sons take Dinah from Shechem's house — they have left her there as a "harlot" in order to build Shechem's trust. Jacob's only complaint with his sons' action is that they may have created problems with the local tribes.
Though a few modern translations state that Shechem "raped" Dinah, we note that she willingly stayed with him after their first sexual encounter, and that her brothers complained of "harlotry," not violence. (See KJV's usage of "took," Genesis 20:2 "And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister: and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah;" see also Genesis 24:67 "And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother's death.")
On the other hand, some Jewish scholars say that Dina, who had been taken by the uncircumcised Shechem, enjoyed having sexual relations with an uncircumcised man so much that her brothers Simeon and Levi had to take her away by force … Bereshit Rabbah (Vilna edition), parasha 80, note 11, "And they took Dina: Rabbu Udan said, 'they dragged her away.' Rabbi Huna said, 'One who has had sexual relations with an uncircumcised man finds it difficult to stop'." (1)
- And Dinah the daughter of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land.
- And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and defiled her.
- And his soul clave unto Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the damsel, and spake kindly unto the damsel.
- And Shechem spake unto his father Hamor, saying, Get me this damsel to wife.
- And Jacob heard that he had defiled Dinah his daughter: now his sons were with his cattle in the field: and Jacob held his peace until they were come.
- And Hamor the father of Shechem went out unto Jacob to commune with him.
- And the sons of Jacob came out of the field when they heard it: and the men were grieved, and they were very wroth, because he had wrought folly in Israel in lying with Jacob's daughter: which thing ought not to be done.
- And Hamor communed with them, saying, The soul of my son Shechem longeth for your daughter: I pray you give her him to wife.
- And make ye marriages with us, and give your daughters unto us, and take our daughters unto you.
- And ye shall dwell with us: and the land shall be before you; dwell and trade ye therein, and get you possessions therein.
- And Shechem said unto her father and unto her brethren, Let me find grace in your eyes, and what ye shall say unto me I will give.
- Ask me never so much dowry and gift, and I will give according as ye shall say unto me: but give me the damsel to wife.
- And the sons of Jacob answered Shechem and Hamor his father deceitfully, and said, because he had defiled Dinah their sister:
- And they said unto them, We cannot do this thing, to give our sister to one that is uncircumcised; for that were a reproach unto us:
- But in this will we consent unto you: If ye will be as we be, that every male of you be circumcised;
- Then will we give our daughters unto you, and we will take your daughters to us, and we will dwell with you, and we will become one people.
- But if ye will not hearken unto us, to be circumcised; then will we take our daughter, and we will be gone.
- And unto Hamor and unto Shechem his son hearkened all that went out of the gate of his city; and every male was circumcised, all that went out of the gate of his city.
- And it came to pass on the third day, when they were sore, that two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah's brethren, took each man his sword, and came upon the city boldly, and slew all the males.
- And they slew Hamor and Shechem his son with the edge of the sword, and took Dinah out of Shechem's house, and went out.
- The sons of Jacob came upon the slain, and spoiled the city, because they had defiled their sister.
- They took their sheep, and their oxen, and their asses, and that which was in the city, and that which was in the field,
- And all their wealth, and all their little ones, and their wives took they captive, and spoiled even all that was in the house.
- And Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, Ye have troubled me to make me to stink among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites: and I being few in number, they shall gather themselves together against me, and slay me; and I shall be destroyed, I and my house.
- And they said, Should he deal with our sister as with an harlot?
History: Pharaoh, seeing that Hebrews were breeding faster than the Egyptians, orders Hebrew boys killed at birth. (Since population growth in a polygamous society is limited by the number of women and not by the number of men, the efficacy of Pharaoh's plan is questionable.) The story does not record any deaths among the Hebrews, and their numbers increase. This incident is an interesting precursor to "Passover" (seen next), in which all the Egyptian firstborn were killed.
- And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives, of which the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah:
- And he said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the stools; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then she shall live.
- But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive.
- And the king of Egypt called for the midwives, and said unto them, Why have ye done this thing, and have saved the men children alive?
- And the midwives said unto Pharaoh, Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are lively, and are delivered ere the midwives come in unto them.
- Therefore God dealt well with the midwives: and the people multiplied, and waxed very mighty.
- And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that he made them houses.
- And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive.
Prophecy: LORD God, as part of his introductory speech from the burning bush, tells Moses about the plagues He will visit upon the Egyptians to free the Israelites. LORD God issues the instruction that before the Hebrews leave Egypt, every woman should "borrow" gold and jewels and fine clothes from her neighbors to take with her; the Hebrews should loot Egypt on the way out.
- And I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not by a mighty hand.
- And I will stretch out my hand, and smite Egypt with all my wonders which I will do in the midst thereof: and after that he will let you go.
- And I will give this people favour in the sight of the Egyptians: and it shall come to pass, that, when ye go, ye shall not go empty.
- But every woman shall borrow of her neighbour, and of her that sojourneth in her house, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: and ye shall put them upon your sons, and upon your daughters; and ye shall spoil the Egyptians.
Exodus 12:12-14, 29-30
History: LORD God kills the firstborn of every family and livestock in Egypt. Though the verse says, "I am the Lord," the slaughter is often attributed to "the Angel of Death" in derivative literature.
- For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD.
- And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.
- And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.
- And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle.
- And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead.
History: In prior verses, when Moses returns from Mt. Sinai, he finds the people are worshiping a golden calf. Noticing that the worshipers are naked and unarmed, Moses sends a band of armed men among them to hew them down. Three thousand people are massacred. Afterward, Moses praises the swordsmen for killing their own sons and brothers.
- And when Moses saw that the people were naked; (for Aaron had made them naked unto their shame among their enemies:)
- Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the LORD's side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him.
- And he said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour.
- And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men.
- For Moses had said, Consecrate yourselves today to the LORD, even every man upon his son, and upon his brother; that he may bestow upon you a blessing this day.
- New International Version (NIV): Then Moses said, "You have been set apart to the LORD today, for you were against your own sons and brothers, and he has blessed you this day."
Law: LORD God authorizes Hebrews to make hereditary slaves of Gentiles.
- Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids.
- Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession.
- And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever: but over your brethren the children of Israel, ye shall not rule one over another with rigour.
Law: LORD God provides for Hebrews to be sold into slavery to each other. A slave may be given a wife by his master, and he may have children by her. A Hebrew man slave is freed after seven years of service, but not so the woman or children. When it comes to the moment of freedom, the slave must choose between his wife and family, and his freedom. If he chooses his family, he remains a slave forever.
In contrast, a Hebrew girl sold into slavery by her father never gets the option for freedom. She will be a slave forever.
- If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing.
- If he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself: if he were married, then his wife shall go out with him.
- If his master have given him a wife, and she have born him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master's, and he shall go out by himself.
- And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free:
- Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him for ever.
- And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do.
Numbers 16:1-3, 23-35
History: Korah and his supporters take issue with Moses and Aaron over the vertical organization of the priesthood. Moses sets Korah's people, with their wives and children, apart from the others. LORD God opens a fissure in the earth and swallows them all up. Then, 250 of Korah's supporters are burned by a bolt of Divine fire. This incident is sometimes called "the Korah Rebellion."
- Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men:
- And they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown:
- And they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the LORD?
- And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
- Speak unto the congregation, saying, Get you up from about the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.
- And Moses rose up and went unto Dathan and Abiram; and the elders of Israel followed him.
- And he spake unto the congregation, saying, Depart, I pray you, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest ye be consumed in all their sins.
- So they gat up from the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, on every side: and Dathan and Abiram came out, and stood in the door of their tents, and their wives, and their sons, and their little children.
- And Moses said, Hereby ye shall know that the LORD hath sent me to do all these works; for I have not done them of mine own mind.
- If these men die the common death of all men, or if they be visited after the visitation of all men; then the LORD hath not sent me.
- But if the LORD make a new thing, and the earth open her mouth, and swallow them up, with all that appertain unto them, and they go down quick into the pit; then ye shall understand that these men have provoked the LORD.
- And it came to pass, as he had made an end of speaking all these words, that the ground clave asunder that was under them:
- And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods.
- They, and all that appertained to them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation.
- And all Israel that were round about them fled at the cry of them: for they said, Lest the earth swallow us up also.
- And there came out a fire from the LORD, and consumed the two hundred and fifty men that offered incense.
History: The next day, other Hebrews murmur against Moses and Aaron for killing many good "people of the Lord." LORD God sends a plague that kills 14,700 Israelites; the plague is stopped when Aaron runs into the crowd and burns incense.
- But on the morrow all the congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron, saying, Ye have killed the people of the LORD.
- And it came to pass, when the congregation was gathered against Moses and against Aaron, that they looked toward the tabernacle of the congregation: and, behold, the cloud covered it, and the glory of the LORD appeared.
- And Moses and Aaron came before the tabernacle of the congregation.
- And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
- Get you up from among this congregation, that I may consume them as in a moment. And they fell upon their faces.
- And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a censer, and put fire therein from off the altar, and put on incense, and go quickly unto the congregation, and make an atonement for them: for there is wrath gone out from the LORD; the plague is begun.
- And Aaron took as Moses commanded, and ran into the midst of the congregation; and, behold, the plague was begun among the people: and he put on incense, and made an atonement for the people.
- And he stood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stayed.
- Now they that died in the plague were fourteen thousand and seven hundred, beside them that died about the matter of Korah.
Prophecy: Balaam, a Gentile prophet, prophecies that the Hebrews will be victorious over the "children of Sheth," and the people of Moab, Edom, Seir, Amalek; Kenite, Asshur, and Eber will be destroyed by others.
- I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.
- And Edom shall be a possession, Seir also shall be a possession for his enemies; and Israel shall do valiantly.
- Out of Jacob shall come he that shall have dominion, and shall destroy him that remaineth of the city.
- And when he looked on Amalek, he took up his parable, and said, Amalek was the first of the nations; but his latter end shall be that he perish for ever.
- And he looked on the Kenites, and took up his parable, and said, Strong is thy dwellingplace, and thou puttest thy nest in a rock.
- Nevertheless the Kenite shall be wasted, until Asshur shall carry thee away captive.
- And he took up his parable, and said, Alas, who shall live when God doeth this!
- And ships shall come from the coast of Chittim, and shall afflict Asshur, and shall afflict Eber, and he also shall perish for ever.
- And Balaam rose up, and went and returned to his place: and Balak also went his way.
History: In previous chapters, Moses kills an Egyptian and has to flee Egypt (Exodus 2). He takes refuge with the Midianites, who feed him and let him stay among them tending their flocks. Eventually he takes Jethro's daughter Zipporah for his wife and has a son by her. Later, when the Hebrews are escaping from Egypt, they pass through Midian, and the Hebrew men fornicate with Midianite women. 24,000 Hebrews die of a plague as a result (Numbers 25).
LORD God commands the Hebrews to attack the Midianites in (unprovoked) revenge; the Hebrews kill tens of thousands of male Midianites and their five kings. They burn the cities and bring the women and children as captives to the Israelite camp.
- And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
- Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites: afterward shalt thou be gathered unto thy people.
- And Moses spake unto the people, saying, Arm some of yourselves unto the war, and let them go against the Midianites, and avenge the LORD of Midian.
- Of every tribe a thousand, throughout all the tribes of Israel, shall ye send to the war.
- So there were delivered out of the thousands of Israel, a thousand of every tribe, twelve thousand armed for war.
- And Moses sent them to the war, a thousand of every tribe, them and Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, to the war, with the holy instruments, and the trumpets to blow in his hand.
- And they warred against the Midianites, as the LORD commanded Moses; and they slew all the males.
- And they slew the kings of Midian, beside the rest of them that were slain; namely, Evi, and Rekem, and Zur, and Hur, and Reba, five kings of Midian: Balaam also the son of Beor they slew with the sword.
- And the children of Israel took all the women of Midian captives, and their little ones, and took the spoil of all their cattle, and all their flocks, and all their goods.
- And they burnt all their cities wherein they dwelt, and all their goodly castles, with fire.
- And they took all the spoil, and all the prey, both of men and of beasts.
- And they brought the captives, and the prey, and the spoil, unto Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and unto the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the camp at the plains of Moab, which are by Jordan near Jericho.
Numbers 31:13-18, 32-35
History: On Moses' command, the Hebrews kill all the captives, including the boy children; they spare only 32,000 female children to serve as concubines. The attack has yielded 800,000 head of cattle in plunder.
- And Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and all the princes of the congregation, went forth to meet them without the camp.
- And Moses was wroth with the officers of the host, with the captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, which came from the battle.
- And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive?
- Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD.
- Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.
- But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.
- And the booty, being the rest of the prey which the men of war had caught, was six hundred thousand and seventy thousand and five thousand sheep,
- And threescore and twelve thousand beeves,
- And threescore and one thousand asses,
- And thirty and two thousand persons in all, of women that had not known man by lying with him.
New International Version (NIV):
- The plunder remaining from the spoils that the soldiers took was 675,000 sheep,
- 72,000 cattle,
- 61,000 donkeys
- and 32,000 women who had never slept with a man.
Commandment: LORD God orders the Hebrews to attack and depopulate the Promised Land, and to destroy the cultures, their architecture, and their artwork.
- And the LORD spake unto Moses in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho, saying,
- Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye are passed over Jordan into the land of Canaan;
- Then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images, and quite pluck down all their high places:
- And ye shall dispossess the inhabitants of the land, and dwell therein: for I have given you the land to possess it.
- And ye shall divide the land by lot for an inheritance among your families: and to the more ye shall give the more inheritance, and to the fewer ye shall give the less inheritance: every man's inheritance shall be in the place where his lot falleth; according to the tribes of your fathers ye shall inherit.
- But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell.
- Moreover it shall come to pass, that I shall do unto you, as I thought to do unto them.
Law: LORD God commands the Hebrews to "utterly destroy" the seven nations that are in the Promised land, "nor shew mercy unto them." In addition, the Hebrews must "destroy" everything of those cultures. These genocides are in addition to the Amalek genocide.
- When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou;
- And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them:
- Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.
- For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly.
- But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire.
- For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.
- The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people:
- 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.
Law: LORD God commands the Hebrews to kill any prophet or dreamer of dreams who suggests they seek non-traditional gods, even if he show "signs of wonder" (miracles).
- If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder,
- And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them;
- Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
- Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.
- And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.
Law: LORD God commands the Hebrews to kill their family members and close friends who try to convert them to another religion.
- If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers;
- Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth;
- Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him:
- But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.
- And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.
- And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more any such wickedness as this is among you.
Law: LORD God commands that, if the people of a city change their worship to non-traditional gods, the Hebrews must exterminate all the inhabitants and burn the city. Even the livestock must be killed.
- If thou shalt hear say in one of thy cities, which the LORD thy God hath given thee to dwell there, saying,
- Certain men, the children of Belial, are gone out from among you, and have withdrawn the inhabitants of their city, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which ye have not known;
- Then shalt thou enquire, and make search, and ask diligently; and, behold, if it be truth, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought among you;
- Thou shalt surely smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly, and all that is therein, and the cattle thereof, with the edge of the sword.
- And thou shalt gather all the spoil of it into the midst of the street thereof, and shalt burn with fire the city, and all the spoil thereof every whit, for the LORD thy God: and it shall be an heap for ever; it shall not be built again.
- And there shall cleave nought of the cursed thing to thine hand: that the LORD may turn from the fierceness of his anger, and shew thee mercy, and have compassion upon thee, and multiply thee, as he hath sworn unto thy fathers;
- When thou shalt hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep all his commandments which I command thee this day, to do that which is right in the eyes of the LORD thy God.
Commandment: LORD God commands the Hebrews to remember that the Amaleks attacked them years previously; the Hebrews are to wait until a time of peace, then attack them (unprovoked), and exterminate them utterly. This commandment is reissued and carried out as soon as King Saul comes to power.
- Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way, when ye were come forth out of Egypt;
- How he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, even all that were feeble behind thee, when thou wast faint and weary; and he feared not God.
- Therefore it shall be, when the LORD thy God hath given thee rest from all thine enemies round about, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it, that thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; thou shalt not forget it.
Joshua 6:1-2, 20-24
History: LORD God commands the Hebrews to attack and exterminate Jericho, unprovoked. The city and inhabitants are utterly destroyed, men and women, young and old, and all the animals. The Hebrews spare only the harlot (and her family) who betrayed the city.
- Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in.
- And the LORD said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour.
- So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.
- And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword.
- But Joshua had said unto the two men that had spied out the country, Go into the harlot's house, and bring out thence the woman, and all that she hath, as ye sware unto her.
- And the young men that were spies went in, and brought out Rahab, and her father, and her mother, and her brethren, and all that she had; and they brought out all her kindred, and left them without the camp of Israel.
- And they burnt the city with fire, and all that was therein: only the silver, and the gold, and the vessels of brass and of iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the LORD.
Joshua 8:1-2, 18-29
History: LORD God commands the Hebrews to attack the city of Ai (unprovoked); the Hebrews kill all the inhabitants, men, women, elders, and children. This city is sacked and burned.
- And the LORD said unto Joshua, Fear not, neither be thou dismayed: take all the people of war with thee, and arise, go up to Ai: see, I have given into thy hand the king of Ai, and his people, and his city, and his land:
- And thou shalt do to Ai and her king as thou didst unto Jericho and her king: only the spoil thereof, and the cattle thereof, shall ye take for a prey unto yourselves: lay thee an ambush for the city behind it.
- And the LORD said unto Joshua, Stretch out the spear that is in thy hand toward Ai; for I will give it into thine hand. And Joshua stretched out the spear that he had in his hand toward the city.
- And the ambush arose quickly out of their place, and they ran as soon as he had stretched out his hand: and they entered into the city, and took it, and hasted and set the city on fire.
- And when the men of Ai looked behind them, they saw, and, behold, the smoke of the city ascended up to heaven, and they had no power to flee this way or that way: and the people that fled to the wilderness turned back upon the pursuers.
- And when Joshua and all Israel saw that the ambush had taken the city, and that the smoke of the city ascended, then they turned again, and slew the men of Ai.
- And the other issued out of the city against them; so they were in the midst of Israel, some on this side, and some on that side: and they smote them, so that they let none of them remain or escape.
- And the king of Ai they took alive, and brought him to Joshua.
- And it came to pass, when Israel had made an end of slaying all the inhabitants of Ai in the field, in the wilderness wherein they chased them, and when they were all fallen on the edge of the sword, until they were consumed, that all the Israelites returned unto Ai, and smote it with the edge of the sword.
- And so it was, that all that fell that day, both of men and women, were twelve thousand, even all the men of Ai.
- For Joshua drew not his hand back, wherewith he stretched out the spear, until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai.
- Only the cattle and the spoil of that city Israel took for a prey unto themselves, according unto the word of the LORD which he commanded Joshua.
- And Joshua burnt Ai, and made it an heap for ever, even a desolation unto this day.
- And the king of Ai he hanged on a tree until eventide: and as soon as the sun was down, Joshua commanded that they should take his carcase down from the tree, and cast it at the entering of the gate of the city, and raise thereon a great heap of stones, that remaineth unto this day.
History: In Chapter 9, the people of Gibeon, Chephirah, Beeroth, and Kirjathjearim have tricked the Hebrews into swearing peace with them. Angered at the trick, the Hebrews curse those people to be "hewers of wood and drawers of water" — slaves — to the Hebrews forever.
Other cities (Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, Eglon) and the Amorites unite to attack Gibeon. The Hebrews counter-attack, and the enemies break and flee. The Hebrews chase and kill them in a great slaughter; LORD God joins the battle and kills many more, and the Hebrews are triumphant.
- Now it came to pass, when Adonizedec king of Jerusalem had heard how Joshua had taken Ai, and had utterly destroyed it; as he had done to Jericho and her king, so he had done to Ai and her king; and how the inhabitants of Gibeon had made peace with Israel, and were among them;
- That they feared greatly, because Gibeon was a great city, as one of the royal cities, and because it was greater than Ai, and all the men thereof were mighty.
- Wherefore Adonizedec king of Jerusalem, sent unto Hoham king of Hebron, and unto Piram king of Jarmuth, and unto Japhia king of Lachish, and unto Debir king of Eglon, saying,
- Come up unto me, and help me, that we may smite Gibeon: for it hath made peace with Joshua and with the children of Israel.
- Therefore the five kings of the Amorites, the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, the king of Eglon, gathered themselves together, and went up, they and all their hosts, and encamped before Gibeon, and made war against it.
- And the men of Gibeon sent unto Joshua to the camp to Gilgal, saying, Slack not thy hand from thy servants; come up to us quickly, and save us, and help us: for all the kings of the Amorites that dwell in the mountains are gathered together against us.
- So Joshua ascended from Gilgal, he, and all the people of war with him, and all the mighty men of valour.
- And the LORD said unto Joshua, Fear them not: for I have delivered them into thine hand; there shall not a man of them stand before thee.
- Joshua therefore came unto them suddenly, and went up from Gilgal all night.
- And the LORD discomfited them before Israel, and slew them with a great slaughter at Gibeon, and chased them along the way that goeth up to Bethhoron, and smote them to Azekah, and unto Makkedah.
- And it came to pass, as they fled from before Israel, and were in the going down to Bethhoron, that the LORD cast down great stones from heaven upon them unto Azekah, and they died: they were more which died with hailstones than they whom the children of Israel slew with the sword.
History: The Hebrews take captive the five Amorite kings, torture them, and hang their bodies from trees.
- Then said Joshua, Open the mouth of the cave, and bring out those five kings unto me out of the cave.
- And they did so, and brought forth those five kings unto him out of the cave, the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, and the king of Eglon.
- And it came to pass, when they brought out those kings unto Joshua, that Joshua called for all the men of Israel, and said unto the captains of the men of war which went with him, Come near, put your feet upon the necks of these kings. And they came near, and put their feet upon the necks of them.
- And Joshua said unto them, Fear not, nor be dismayed, be strong and of good courage: for thus shall the LORD do to all your enemies against whom ye fight.
- And afterward Joshua smote them, and slew them, and hanged them on five trees: and they were hanging upon the trees until the evening.
- And it came to pass at the time of the going down of the sun, that Joshua commanded, and they took them down off the trees, and cast them into the cave wherein they had been hid, and laid great stones in the cave's mouth, which remain until this very day.
History: Unprovoked, as LORD God has commanded, Joshua leads the Hebrews to attack and crush Makkedah, Libnah, Lachish, Gezer, Eglon, all the cities of Hebron, the cities of Debir, the cities from Kadeshbarnea even unto Gaza, the country of Goshen, all the country of the hills, of the south, of the vale, and of the springs; the Hebrews kill "all the souls that were therein" and destroy the cities utterly.
- And that day Joshua took Makkedah, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and the king thereof he utterly destroyed, them, and all the souls that were therein; he let none remain: and he did to the king of Makkedah as he did unto the king of Jericho.
- Then Joshua passed from Makkedah, and all Israel with him, unto Libnah, and fought against Libnah:
- And the LORD delivered it also, and the king thereof, into the hand of Israel; and he smote it with the edge of the sword, and all the souls that were therein; he let none remain in it; but did unto the king thereof as he did unto the king of Jericho.
- And Joshua passed from Libnah, and all Israel with him, unto Lachish, and encamped against it, and fought against it:
- And the LORD delivered Lachish into the hand of Israel, which took it on the second day, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and all the souls that were therein, according to all that he had done to Libnah.
- Then Horam king of Gezer came up to help Lachish; and Joshua smote him and his people, until he had left him none remaining.
- And from Lachish Joshua passed unto Eglon, and all Israel with him; and they encamped against it, and fought against it:
- And they took it on that day, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and all the souls that were therein he utterly destroyed that day, according to all that he had done to Lachish.
- And Joshua went up from Eglon, and all Israel with him, unto Hebron; and they fought against it:
- And they took it, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and the king thereof, and all the cities thereof, and all the souls that were therein; he left none remaining, according to all that he had done to Eglon; but destroyed it utterly, and all the souls that were therein.
- And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, to Debir; and fought against it:
- And he took it, and the king thereof, and all the cities thereof; and they smote them with the edge of the sword, and utterly destroyed all the souls that were therein; he left none remaining: as he had done to Hebron, so he did to Debir, and to the king thereof; as he had done also to Libnah, and to her king.
- So Joshua smote all the country of the hills, and of the south, and of the vale, and of the springs, and all their kings: he left none remaining, but utterly destroyed all that breathed, as the LORD God of Israel commanded.
- And Joshua smote them from Kadeshbarnea even unto Gaza, and all the country of Goshen, even unto Gibeon.
- And all these kings and their land did Joshua take at one time, because the LORD God of Israel fought for Israel.
- And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, unto the camp to Gilgal.
History: The Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Jebusites, and Hivites gather in defense against the Hebrews. With them are the people from north of the mountains, the plains south of Chinneroth, the valley, and the borders of Dor on the west. The Hebrews attack and slay them all, leaving none alive; As LORD God has specifically ordered, the horses are crippled and left to die.
- And it came to pass, when Jabin king of Hazor had heard those things, that he sent to Jobab king of Madon, and to the king of Shimron, and to the king of Achshaph,
- And to the kings that were on the north of the mountains, and of the plains south of Chinneroth, and in the valley, and in the borders of Dor on the west,
- And to the Canaanite on the east and on the west, and to the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Jebusite in the mountains, and to the Hivite under Hermon in the land of Mizpeh.
- And they went out, they and all their hosts with them, much people, even as the sand that is upon the sea shore in multitude, with horses and chariots very many.
- And when all these kings were met together, they came and pitched together at the waters of Merom, to fight against Israel.
- And the LORD said unto Joshua, Be not afraid because of them: for to morrow about this time will I deliver them up all slain before Israel: thou shalt hough their horses, and burn their chariots with fire.
- So Joshua came, and all the people of war with him, against them by the waters of Merom suddenly; and they fell upon them.
- And the LORD delivered them into the hand of Israel, who smote them, and chased them unto great Zidon, and unto Misrephothmaim, and unto the valley of Mizpeh eastward; and they smote them, until they left them none remaining.
- And Joshua did unto them as the LORD bade him: he houghed their horses, and burnt their chariots with fire.
History: The genocides ordered by LORD God continues. The Hebrews killed all the people Hazor, Goshen, and Baalgad in the valley of Lebanon under mount Hermon; and so with the cities of the Anakims. Conquering the Promised Land, as ordered by LORD God, is finished.
- And Joshua at that time turned back, and took Hazor, and smote the king thereof with the sword: for Hazor beforetime was the head of all those kingdoms.
- And they smote all the souls that were therein with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying them: there was not any left to breathe: and he burnt Hazor with fire.
- And all the cities of those kings, and all the kings of them, did Joshua take, and smote them with the edge of the sword, and he utterly destroyed them, as Moses the servant of the LORD commanded.
- But as for the cities that stood still in their strength, Israel burned none of them, save Hazor only; that did Joshua burn.
- And all the spoil of these cities, and the cattle, the children of Israel took for a prey unto themselves; but every man they smote with the edge of the sword, until they had destroyed them, neither left they any to breathe.
- As the LORD commanded Moses his servant, so did Moses command Joshua, and so did Joshua; he left nothing undone of all that the LORD commanded Moses.
- So Joshua took all that land, the hills, and all the south country, and all the land of Goshen, and the valley, and the plain, and the mountain of Israel, and the valley of the same;
- Even from the mount Halak, that goeth up to Seir, even unto Baalgad in the valley of Lebanon under mount Hermon: and all their kings he took, and smote them, and slew them.
- Joshua made war a long time with all those kings.
- There was not a city that made peace with the children of Israel, save the Hivites the inhabitants of Gibeon: all other they took in battle.
- For it was of the LORD to harden their hearts, that they should come against Israel in battle, that he might destroy them utterly, and that they might have no favour, but that he might destroy them, as the LORD commanded Moses.
- And at that time came Joshua, and cut off the Anakims from the mountains, from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab, and from all the mountains of Judah, and from all the mountains of Israel: Joshua destroyed them utterly with their cities.
- There was none of the Anakims left in the land of the children of Israel: only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod, there remained.
- So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the LORD said unto Moses; and Joshua gave it for an inheritance unto Israel according to their divisions by their tribes. And the land rested from war.
History: LORD God gives military victory to Jephthah in return for the promise of a human sacrifice. As fate would have it, the victim turns out to be Jephthah's beloved daughter.
- And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the LORD, and said, If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands,
- Then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the LORD's, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.
- So Jephthah passed over unto the children of Ammon to fight against them; and the LORD delivered them into his hands.
- And he smote them from Aroer, even till thou come to Minnith, even twenty cities, and unto the plain of the vineyards, with a very great slaughter. Thus the children of Ammon were subdued before the children of Israel.
- And Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto his house, and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances: and she was his only child; beside her he had neither son nor daughter.
- And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he rent his clothes, and said, Alas, my daughter! thou hast brought me very low, and thou art one of them that trouble me: for I have opened my mouth unto the LORD, and I cannot go back.
- And she said unto him, My father, if thou hast opened thy mouth unto the LORD, do to me according to that which hath proceeded out of thy mouth; forasmuch as the LORD hath taken vengeance for thee of thine enemies, even of the children of Ammon.
- And she said unto her father, Let this thing be done for me: let me alone two months, that I may go up and down upon the mountains, and bewail my virginity, I and my fellows.
- And he said, Go. And he sent her away for two months: and she went with her companions, and bewailed her virginity upon the mountains.
- And it came to pass at the end of two months, that she returned unto her father, who did with her according to his vow which he had vowed: and she knew no man. And it was a custom in Israel,
- That the daughters of Israel went yearly to lament the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in a year.
History: LORD God sends Hebrew tribe of Judah against the Hebrew tribe of Benjamin; Judah loses 22,000 men.
- And the children of Benjamin were numbered at that time out of the cities twenty and six thousand men that drew sword, beside the inhabitants of Gibeah, which were numbered seven hundred chosen men.
- Among all this people there were seven hundred chosen men lefthanded; every one could sling stones at an hair breadth, and not miss.
- And the men of Israel, beside Benjamin, were numbered four hundred thousand men that drew sword: all these were men of war.
- And the children of Israel arose, and went up to the house of God, and asked counsel of God, and said, Which of us shall go up first to the battle against the children of Benjamin? And the LORD said, Judah shall go up first.
- And the children of Israel rose up in the morning, and encamped against Gibeah.
- And the men of Israel went out to battle against Benjamin; and the men of Israel put themselves in array to fight against them at Gibeah.
- And the children of Benjamin came forth out of Gibeah, and destroyed down to the ground of the Israelites that day twenty and two thousand men.
History: LORD God sends the other Hebrew tribes against the Hebrew tribe of Benjamin; The Hebrews lose 18,000 men.
- (And the children of Israel went up and wept before the LORD until even, and asked counsel of the LORD, saying, Shall I go up again to battle against the children of Benjamin my brother? And the LORD said, Go up against him.)
- And the children of Israel came near against the children of Benjamin the second day.
- And Benjamin went forth against them out of Gibeah the second day, and destroyed down to the ground of the children of Israel again eighteen thousand men; all these drew the sword.
Judges 20:28, 35-37, 46-48
History: LORD God continues to send the non-Benjamin Hebrews against the Benjamin Hebrews: the remaining 25,000 Benjamin Hebrew men-at-arms are killed, and all their elders, women, children, and cattle. Only 600 Benjamin Hebrews escape the slaughter.
- And Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, stood before it in those days,) saying, Shall I yet again go out to battle against the children of Benjamin my brother, or shall I cease? And the LORD said, Go up; for to morrow I will deliver them into thine hand.
- And the LORD smote Benjamin before Israel: and the children of Israel destroyed of the Benjamites that day twenty and five thousand and an hundred men: all these drew the sword.
- So the children of Benjamin saw that they were smitten: for the men of Israel gave place to the Benjamites, because they trusted unto the liers in wait which they had set beside Gibeah.
- And the liers in wait hasted, and rushed upon Gibeah; and the liers in wait drew themselves along, and smote all the city with the edge of the sword.
- So that all which fell that day of Benjamin were twenty and five thousand men that drew the sword; all these were men of valour.
- But six hundred men turned and fled to the wilderness unto the rock Rimmon, and abode in the rock Rimmon four months.
- And the men of Israel turned again upon the children of Benjamin, and smote them with the edge of the sword, as well the men of every city, as the beast, and all that came to hand: also they set on fire all the cities that they came to.
History: The Hebrews regret the slaughter of the Benjamites — "one tribe is cut off" from the twelve tribes of Israel. But then, having vowed to slaughter any groups who did not help them slaughter the Benjamites, they attack the peaceful city of Jabesh Gilead and slaughter the men, women, and children; 400 virgins are left alive and carried off as brides for the surviving Benjamite men.
- And said, O LORD God of Israel, why is this come to pass in Israel, that there should be to day one tribe lacking in Israel?
- And it came to pass on the morrow, that the people rose early, and built there an altar, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings.
- And the children of Israel said, Who is there among all the tribes of Israel that came not up with the congregation unto the LORD? For they had made a great oath concerning him that came not up to the LORD to Mizpeh, saying, He shall surely be put to death.
- And the children of Israel repented them for Benjamin their brother, and said, There is one tribe cut off from Israel this day.
- How shall we do for wives for them that remain, seeing we have sworn by the LORD that we will not give them of our daughters to wives?
- And they said, What one is there of the tribes of Israel that came not up to Mizpeh to the LORD? And, behold, there came none to the camp from Jabeshgilead to the assembly.
- For the people were numbered, and, behold, there were none of the inhabitants of Jabeshgilead there.
- And the congregation sent thither twelve thousand men of the valiantest, and commanded them, saying, Go and smite the inhabitants of Jabeshgilead with the edge of the sword, with the women and the children.
- And this is the thing that ye shall do, Ye shall utterly destroy every male, and every woman that hath lain by man.
- And they found among the inhabitants of Jabeshgilead four hundred young virgins, that had known no man by lying with any male: and they brought them unto the camp to Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan.
History: Not all the Benjamites are satisfied with brides, so with the help of the other Hebrews, they capture and rape the Hebrew virgins of Shiloh to be their wives.
- Therefore they commanded the children of Benjamin, saying, Go and lie in wait in the vineyards;
- And see, and, behold, if the daughters of Shiloh come out to dance in dances, then come ye out of the vineyards, and catch you every man his wife of the daughters of Shiloh, and go to the land of Benjamin.
- And it shall be, when their fathers or their brethren come unto us to complain, that we will say unto them, Be favourable unto them for our sakes: because we reserved not to each man his wife in the war: for ye did not give unto them at this time, that ye should be guilty.
- And the children of Benjamin did so, and took them wives, according to their number, of them that danced, whom they caught: and they went and returned unto their inheritance, and repaired the cities, and dwelt in them.
1 Samuel 15:1-8
History: LORD God commands King Saul to take vengeance on the remaining Amaleks. The incident to be avenged is the Amalek attack on Moses' expedition, more than 250 years earlier: though all of the original people are long dead, LORD God commands the descendants of the victims to take vengeance on the descendants of the perpetrators: They must slay "both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass."
- Samuel also said unto Saul, The LORD sent me to anoint thee to be king over his people, over Israel: now therefore hearken thou unto the voice of the words of the LORD.
- Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt.
- Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.
- And Saul gathered the people together, and numbered them in Telaim, two hundred thousand footmen, and ten thousand men of Judah.
- And Saul came to a city of Amalek, and laid wait in the valley.
- And Saul said unto the Kenites, Go, depart, get you down from among the Amalekites, lest I destroy you with them: for ye shewed kindness to all the children of Israel, when they came up out of Egypt. So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites.
- And Saul smote the Amalekites from Havilah until thou comest to Shur, that is over against Egypt.
- And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword.
1 Samuel 15:9-11, 32-33
History: Though King Saul does LORD God's vengeance against the Amaleks, he fails in the details. He has kept King Agag alive and his soldiers have spared the best of the livestock. LORD God is angry and the prophet Samuel is angry. Samuel goes to the battlefield, summons King Agag, and personally cuts him to pieces.
- But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly.
- Then came the word of the LORD unto Samuel, saying,
- It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the LORD all night.
- Then said Samuel, Bring ye hither to me Agag the king of the Amalekites. And Agag came unto him delicately. And Agag said, Surely the bitterness of death is past.
- And Samuel said, As thy sword hath made women childless, so shall thy mother be childless among women. And Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the LORD in Gilgal.
1 Samuel 18:25-27
History: David the Shepherd boy has become an accomplished soldier under King Saul, and desires the king's daughter in marriage. King Saul sets David a task wherein he expects him to fail: bring 100 Philistine foreskins as a dowry. David goes out with his men, kills 200 Philistines, mutilates the corpses, and returns with the foreskins. The Scripture does not say whether the victims were soldiers, farmers, or fishermen with wives and families.
- And Saul said, Thus shall ye say to David, The king desireth not any dowry, but an hundred foreskins of the Philistines, to be avenged of the king's enemies. But Saul thought to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines.
- And when his servants told David these words, it pleased David well to be the king's son in law: and the days were not expired.
- Wherefore David arose and went, he and his men, and slew of the Philistines two hundred men; and David brought their foreskins, and they gave them in full tale to the king, that he might be the king's son in law. And Saul gave him Michal his daughter to wife.
1 Samuel 27:8-11
History: David roams through the country with his men, exterminating non-Hebrew cities and villages and leaving nothing alive. Among others, he kills Geshurites, Gezrites, Amaleks, Jerahmeelites, and Kenites.
- And David and his men went up, and invaded the Geshurites, and the Gezrites, and the Amalekites: for those nations were of old the inhabitants of the land, as thou goest to Shur, even unto the land of Egypt.
- And David smote the land, and left neither man nor woman alive, and took away the sheep, and the oxen, and the asses, and the camels, and the apparel, and returned, and came to Achish.
- And Achish said, Whither have ye made a road to day? And David said, Against the south of Judah, and against the south of the Jerahmeelites, and against the south of the Kenites.
- And David saved neither man nor woman alive, to bring tidings to Gath, saying, Lest they should tell on us, saying, So did David, and so will be his manner all the while he dwelleth in the country of the Philistines.
2 Samuel 21:1-11
History: David has become king over Judah. A famine oppresses the land; King David learns that LORD God is punishing Israel for King Saul's sin (Saul attacked the Gibeonites in violation of Joshua's treaty Joshua 9:15). Therefore, in order to relieve the famine David must appease the Gibeonites. On negotiation, the Gibeonites demand to be given seven descendants of Saul to be hanged "unto the LORD." David picks two of Saul's sons and five of Saul's grandsons. Coincidentally, the five grandsons are the children of Michal, the woman David had wanted to marry (see 1 Samuel 18:25). David gives these presumed innocents to the Gibeonites to be hanged. There is no suggestion those individuals have done anything wrong, but the human sacrifice apparently satisfies LORD God — verse 1 implies the famine ceased after the hangings.
- Then there was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year; and David enquired of the LORD. And the LORD answered, It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites.
- And the king called the Gibeonites, and said unto them; (now the Gibeonites were not of the children of Israel, but of the remnant of the Amorites; and the children of Israel had sworn unto them: and Saul sought to slay them in his zeal to the children of Israel and Judah.)
- Wherefore David said unto the Gibeonites, What shall I do for you? and wherewith shall I make the atonement, that ye may bless the inheritance of the LORD?
- And the Gibeonites said unto him, We will have no silver nor gold of Saul, nor of his house; neither for us shalt thou kill any man in Israel. And he said, What ye shall say, that will I do for you.
- And they answered the king, The man that consumed us, and that devised against us that we should be destroyed from remaining in any of the coasts of Israel,
- Let seven men of his sons be delivered unto us, and we will hang them up unto the LORD in Gibeah of Saul, whom the LORD did choose. And the king said, I will give them.
- But the king spared Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan the son of Saul, because of the LORD's oath that was between them, between David and Jonathan the son of Saul.
- But the king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, whom she bare unto Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth; and the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul, whom she brought up for Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite:
- And he delivered them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them in the hill before the LORD: and they fell all seven together, and were put to death in the days of harvest, in the first days, in the beginning of barley harvest.
1 Chronicles 20:1-3
History: King David's armies are still roving about the country exterminating the non-Hebrew towns and cities, as LORD God commanded Moses. David takes the captives from the cities and dismembers them with axes, saws, and harrows of iron.
- And it came to pass, that after the year was expired, at the time that kings go out to battle, Joab led forth the power of the army, and wasted the country of the children of Ammon, and came and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried at Jerusalem. And Joab smote Rabbah, and destroyed it.
- And David took the crown of their king from off his head, and found it to weigh a talent of gold, and there were precious stones in it; and it was set upon David's head: and he brought also exceeding much spoil out of the city.
- And he brought out the people that were in it, and cut them with saws, and with harrows of iron, and with axes. Even so dealt David with all the cities of the children of Ammon. And David and all the people returned to Jerusalem.
Note: The oldest manuscript in existence, the Septuagint, reads as above. Recent translations are more sanitary, e.g., New King James Version (NKJV)
- And he brought out the people who were in it, and put them to work with saws, with iron picks, and with axes. So David did to all the cities of the people of Ammon. Then David and all the people returned to Jerusalem.
1 Chronicles 21:2-14
History: As Moses had done in Numbers Chapters 1 through 4, King David seeks to count the Israelites. This time, however, the ambition is a great sin that makes LORD God angry. The Prophet Joab offers King David a choice of three punishments, among which King David cannot choose. LORD God makes the choice and slays 70,000 Israelites for King David's sin.
- And David said to Joab and to the rulers of the people, Go, number Israel from Beersheba even to Dan; and bring the number of them to me, that I may know it.
- And Joab answered, The LORD make his people an hundred times so many more as they be: but, my lord the king, are they not all my lord's servants? why then doth my lord require this thing? why will he be a cause of trespass to Israel?
- Nevertheless the king's word prevailed against Joab. Wherefore Joab departed, and went throughout all Israel, and came to Jerusalem.
- And Joab gave the sum of the number of the people unto David. And all they of Israel were a thousand thousand and an hundred thousand men that drew sword: and Judah was four hundred threescore and ten thousand men that drew sword.
- But Levi and Benjamin counted he not among them: for the king's word was abominable to Joab.
- And God was displeased with this thing; therefore he smote Israel.
- And David said unto God, I have sinned greatly, because I have done this thing: but now, I beseech thee, do away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly.
- And the LORD spake unto Gad, David's seer, saying,
- Go and tell David, saying, Thus saith the LORD, I offer thee three things: choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee.
- So Gad came to David, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Choose thee
- Either three years' famine; or three months to be destroyed before thy foes, while that the sword of thine enemies overtaketh thee; or else three days the sword of the LORD, even the pestilence, in the land, and the angel of the LORD destroying throughout all the coasts of Israel. Now therefore advise thyself what word I shall bring again to him that sent me.
- And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let me fall now into the hand of the LORD; for very great are his mercies: but let me not fall into the hand of man.
- So the LORD sent pestilence upon Israel: and there fell of Israel seventy thousand men.
1 Kings 16:1-4
Prophecy: LORD God is displeased with the dynasty of Baasha. By way of the Prophet Jehu, LORD God sends word that Baasha's dynasty will be forcefully terminated, and his family will be eaten by dogs and birds.
- Then the word of the LORD came to Jehu the son of Hanani against Baasha, saying,
- Forasmuch as I exalted thee out of the dust, and made thee prince over my people Israel; and thou hast walked in the way of Jeroboam, and hast made my people Israel to sin, to provoke me to anger with their sins;
- Behold, I will take away the posterity of Baasha, and the posterity of his house; and will make thy house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat.
- Him that dieth of Baasha in the city shall the dogs eat; and him that dieth of his in the fields shall the fowls of the air eat.
1 Kings 16:8-15
History: King Asa, descendent of Baasha, is now king. While he is getting drunk one day, Zimri, a leading military officer, attacks and kills him. Zimri makes himself king and kills all the males in the family of Baasha, doing the work of LORD God. His reign lasts seven days. (The phrase, "that pisseth against a wall" is rendered "males" in other translations.)
- In the twenty and sixth year of Asa king of Judah began Elah the son of Baasha to reign over Israel in Tirzah, two years.
- And his servant Zimri, captain of half his chariots, conspired against him, as he was in Tirzah, drinking himself drunk in the house of Arza steward of his house in Tirzah.
- And Zimri went in and smote him, and killed him, in the twenty and seventh year of Asa king of Judah, and reigned in his stead.
- And it came to pass, when he began to reign, as soon as he sat on his throne, that he slew all the house of Baasha: he left him not one that pisseth against a wall, neither of his kinsfolks, nor of his friends.
- Thus did Zimri destroy all the house of Baasha, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake against Baasha by Jehu the prophet.
- For all the sins of Baasha, and the sins of Elah his son, by which they sinned, and by which they made Israel to sin, in provoking the LORD God of Israel to anger with their vanities.
- Now the rest of the acts of Elah, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?
- In the twenty and seventh year of Asa king of Judah did Zimri reign seven days in Tirzah. And the people were encamped against Gibbethon, which belonged to the Philistines.
1 Kings 16:16-20
History: Though Zimri is king by his own hand, the army makes Omri king of Israel and attacks the capital. Zimri sets fire to the palace and burns himself to death.
- And the people that were encamped heard say, Zimri hath conspired, and hath also slain the king: wherefore all Israel made Omri, the captain of the host, king over Israel that day in the camp.
- And Omri went up from Gibbethon, and all Israel with him, and they besieged Tirzah.
- And it came to pass, when Zimri saw that the city was taken, that he went into the palace of the king's house, and burnt the king's house over him with fire, and died.
- For his sins which he sinned in doing evil in the sight of the LORD, in walking in the way of Jeroboam, and in his sin which he did, to make Israel to sin.
- Now the rest of the acts of Zimri, and his treason that he wrought, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?
2 Kings 9:30-37
History: (Prior chapters) The evil King Ahab is dead but his wicked Queen Jezebel yet lives. Joram now rules the Northern Kingdom and Ahaziah rules Judah. On LORD God's instructions, the prophet Elisha anoints Jehu king of all Israel, and Jehu slays both Joram and Ahaziah. In the words of a later period, it is a regime change.
As Jehu drives into the capital, Queen Jezebel comes to the window and taunts him with the fate of Zimri. Jehu commands the eunuchs to throw her out the window, and then he drives over her corpse. He leaves her body there, and the dogs eat it.
- And when Jehu was come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she painted her face, and tired her head, and looked out at a window.
- And as Jehu entered in at the gate, she said, Had Zimri peace, who slew his master?
- And he lifted up his face to the window, and said, Who is on my side? who? And there looked out to him two or three eunuchs.
- And he said, Throw her down. So they threw her down: and some of her blood was sprinkled on the wall, and on the horses: and he trode her under foot.
- And when he was come in, he did eat and drink, and said, Go, see now this cursed woman, and bury her: for she is a king's daughter.
- And they went to bury her: but they found no more of her than the skull, and the feet, and the palms of her hands.
- Wherefore they came again, and told him. And he said, This is the word of the LORD, which he spake by his servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, In the portion of Jezreel shall dogs eat the flesh of Jezebel:
- And the carcase of Jezebel shall be as dung upon the face of the field in the portion of Jezreel; so that they shall not say, This is Jezebel.
2 Kings 10:1-11
History: King Jehu requests the elders of Jezreel to kill all 70 of Ahab's sons. It is done, and their heads are transported in baskets and left outside the city gates. Then Jehu kills all that remain of the house of Ahab in Jezreel: all Ahab's men, his kinfolk, and his priests, until none remain.
- And Ahab had seventy sons in Samaria. And Jehu wrote letters, and sent to Samaria, unto the rulers of Jezreel, to the elders, and to them that brought up Ahab's children, saying,
- Now as soon as this letter cometh to you, seeing your master's sons are with you, and there are with you chariots and horses, a fenced city also, and armour;
- Look even out the best and meetest of your master's sons, and set him on his father's throne, and fight for your master's house.
- But they were exceedingly afraid, and said, Behold, two kings stood not before him: how then shall we stand?
- And he that was over the house, and he that was over the city, the elders also, and the bringers up of the children, sent to Jehu, saying, We are thy servants, and will do all that thou shalt bid us; we will not make any king: do thou that which is good in thine eyes.
- Then he wrote a letter the second time to them, saying, If ye be mine, and if ye will hearken unto my voice, take ye the heads of the men your master's sons, and come to me to Jezreel by to morrow this time. Now the king's sons, being seventy persons, were with the great men of the city, which brought them up.
- And it came to pass, when the letter came to them, that they took the king's sons, and slew seventy persons, and put their heads in baskets, and sent him them to Jezreel.
- And there came a messenger, and told him, saying, They have brought the heads of the king's sons. And he said, Lay ye them in two heaps at the entering in of the gate until the morning.
- And it came to pass in the morning, that he went out, and stood, and said to all the people, Ye be righteous: behold, I conspired against my master, and slew him: but who slew all these?
- Know now that there shall fall unto the earth nothing of the word of the LORD, which the LORD spake concerning the house of Ahab: for the LORD hath done that which he spake by his servant Elijah.
- So Jehu slew all that remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel, and all his great men, and his kinsfolks, and his priests, until he left him none remaining.
2 Kings 10:12-14
History: King Jehu encounters the late King Ahaziah's brothers on the road. He captures them and kills them all in a pit because they are related to the dead king.
- And he arose and departed, and came to Samaria. And as he was at the shearing house in the way,
- Jehu met with the brethren of Ahaziah king of Judah, and said, Who are ye? And they answered, We are the brethren of Ahaziah; and we go down to salute the children of the king and the children of the queen.
- And he said, Take them alive. And they took them alive, and slew them at the pit of the shearing house, even two and forty men; neither left he any of them.
2 Kings 10:15-25
History: King Jehu goes to Samaria and kills all the allies of Ahab and his dynasty, according to LORD God's instructions. Then he makes a public announcement that he will be serving the idol Baal, and calls to him all Baal's prophets and priests. Meanwhile, Jehu plans treachery, for when all the servants of Baal are gathered, Jehu has them killed.
- And when he was departed thence, he lighted on Jehonadab the son of Rechab coming to meet him: and he saluted him, and said to him, Is thine heart right, as my heart is with thy heart? And Jehonadab answered, It is. If it be, give me thine hand. And he gave him his hand; and he took him up to him into the chariot.
- And he said, Come with me, and see my zeal for the LORD. So they made him ride in his chariot.
- And when he came to Samaria, he slew all that remained unto Ahab in Samaria, till he had destroyed him, according to the saying of the LORD, which he spake to Elijah.
- And Jehu gathered all the people together, and said unto them, Ahab served Baal a little; but Jehu shall serve him much.
- Now therefore call unto me all the prophets of Baal, all his servants, and all his priests; let none be wanting: for I have a great sacrifice to do to Baal; whosoever shall be wanting, he shall not live. But Jehu did it in subtilty, to the intent that he might destroy the worshippers of Baal.
- And Jehu said, Proclaim a solemn assembly for Baal. And they proclaimed it.
- And Jehu sent through all Israel: and all the worshippers of Baal came, so that there was not a man left that came not. And they came into the house of Baal; and the house of Baal was full from one end to another.
- And he said unto him that was over the vestry, Bring forth vestments for all the worshippers of Baal. And he brought them forth vestments.
- And Jehu went, and Jehonadab the son of Rechab, into the house of Baal, and said unto the worshippers of Baal, Search, and look that there be here with you none of the servants of the LORD, but the worshippers of Baal only.
- And when they went in to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings, Jehu appointed fourscore men without, and said, If any of the men whom I have brought into your hands escape, he that letteth him go, his life shall be for the life of him.
- And it came to pass, as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, that Jehu said to the guard and to the captains, Go in, and slay them; let none come forth. And they smote them with the edge of the sword; and the guard and the captains cast them out, and went to the city of the house of Baal.
2 Kings 15:14-17
History: Menahem massacres the Tiphsahites, ripping up pregnant women. LORD God permits him to become king and reign for ten years. Fire does not rain down, nor does the earth open, nor is Menahem stricken with leprosy.
- For Menahem the son of Gadi went up from Tirzah, and came to Samaria, and smote Shallum the son of Jabesh in Samaria, and slew him, and reigned in his stead.
- And the rest of the acts of Shallum, and his conspiracy which he made, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel.
- Then Menahem smote Tiphsah, and all that were therein, and the coasts thereof from Tirzah: because they opened not to him, therefore he smote it; and all the women therein that were with child he ripped up.
- In the nine and thirtieth year of Azariah king of Judah began Menahem the son of Gadi to reign over Israel, and reigned ten years in Samaria.
History: (from previous chapters) In a sudden reversal, Mordecai the Jew has become powerful in the palace of Persian King Ahasuerus. His enemy, Haman, is hung by the king on the gibbet intended for Mordecai.
Mordecai prepares an order in the king's name and sends it to all parts of the Empire. the order tells the Jews to kill all others who might have assaulted them, men, women, and children, and take their property in plunder.
- Then were the king's scribes called at that time in the third month, that is, the month Sivan, on the three and twentieth day thereof; and it was written according to all that Mordecai commanded unto the Jews, and to the lieutenants, and the deputies and rulers of the provinces which are from India unto Ethiopia, an hundred twenty and seven provinces, unto every province according to the writing thereof, and unto every people after their language, and to the Jews according to their writing, and according to their language.
- And he wrote in the king Ahasuerus' name, and sealed it with the king's ring, and sent letters by posts on horseback, and riders on mules, camels, and young dromedaries:
- Wherein the king granted the Jews which were in every city to gather themselves together, and to stand for their life, to destroy, to slay and to cause to perish, all the power of the people and province that would assault them, both little ones and women, and to take the spoil of them for a prey,
- Upon one day in all the provinces of king Ahasuerus, namely, upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar.
- The copy of the writing for a commandment to be given in every province was published unto all people, and that the Jews should be ready against that day to avenge themselves on their enemies.
- So the posts that rode upon mules and camels went out, being hastened and pressed on by the king's commandment. And the decree was given at Shushan the palace.
- And Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal apparel of blue and white, and with a great crown of gold, and with a garment of fine linen and purple: and the city of Shushan rejoiced and was glad.
- The Jews had light, and gladness, and joy, and honour.
- And in every province, and in every city, whithersoever the king's commandment and his decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast and a good day. And many of the people of the land became Jews; for the fear of the Jews fell upon them.
History: On order from Mordecai in the king's name, Jews slaughter more than 75,000 Persians in Shushan, Parshandatha, Dalphon, Aspatha, Poratha, Adalia, Aridatha, Parmashta, Arisai, Aridai, and Vajezatha.
- Now in the twelfth month, that is, the month Adar, on the thirteenth day of the same, when the king's commandment and his decree drew near to be put in execution, in the day that the enemies of the Jews hoped to have power over them, (though it was turned to the contrary, that the Jews had rule over them that hated them;)
- The Jews gathered themselves together in their cities throughout all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus, to lay hand on such as sought their hurt: and no man could withstand them; for the fear of them fell upon all people.
- And all the rulers of the provinces, and the lieutenants, and the deputies, and officers of the king, helped the Jews; because the fear of Mordecai fell upon them.
- For Mordecai was great in the king's house, and his fame went out throughout all the provinces: for this man Mordecai waxed greater and greater.
- Thus the Jews smote all their enemies with the stroke of the sword, and slaughter, and destruction, and did what they would unto those that hated them.
- And in Shushan the palace the Jews slew and destroyed five hundred men.
- And Parshandatha, and Dalphon, and Aspatha,
- And Poratha, and Adalia, and Aridatha,
- And Parmashta, and Arisai, and Aridai, and Vajezatha,
- The ten sons of Haman the son of Hammedatha, the enemy of the Jews, slew they; but on the spoil laid they not their hand.
- On that day the number of those that were slain in Shushan the palace was brought before the king.
- And the king said unto Esther the queen, The Jews have slain and destroyed five hundred men in Shushan the palace, and the ten sons of Haman; what have they done in the rest of the king's provinces? now what is thy petition? and it shall be granted thee: or what is thy request further? and it shall be done.
- Then said Esther, If it please the king, let it be granted to the Jews which are in Shushan to do to morrow also according unto this day's decree, and let Haman's ten sons be hanged upon the gallows.
- And the king commanded it so to be done: and the decree was given at Shushan; and they hanged Haman's ten sons.
- For the Jews that were in Shushan gathered themselves together on the fourteenth day also of the month Adar, and slew three hundred men at Shushan; but on the prey they laid not their hand.
- But the other Jews that were in the king's provinces gathered themselves together, and stood for their lives, and had rest from their enemies, and slew of their foes seventy and five thousand, but they laid not their hands on the prey,
- On the thirteenth day of the month Adar; and on the fourteenth day of the same rested they, and made it a day of feasting and gladness.
- But the Jews that were at Shushan assembled together on the thirteenth day thereof, and on the fourteenth thereof; and on the fifteenth day of the same they rested, and made it a day of feasting and gladness.
Prophecy: LORD God orders the wholesale slaughter of Jews who have fallen into other religions — men, women, and children.
- He cried also in mine ears with a loud voice, saying, Cause them that have charge over the city to draw near, even every man with his destroying weapon in his hand.
- And, behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate, which lieth toward the north, and every man a slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer's inkhorn by his side: and they went in, and stood beside the brasen altar.
- And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer's inkhorn by his side;
- And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.
- And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity:
- Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.
- And he said unto them, Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain: go ye forth. And they went forth, and slew in the city.
- And it came to pass, while they were slaying them, and I was left, that I fell upon my face, and cried, and said, Ah Lord GOD! wilt thou destroy all the residue of Israel in thy pouring out of thy fury upon Jerusalem?
- Then said he unto me, The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceeding great, and the land is full of blood, and the city full of perverseness: for they say, The LORD hath forsaken the earth, and the LORD seeth not.
- And as for me also, mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity, but I will recompense their way upon their head.
- And, behold, the man clothed with linen, which had the inkhorn by his side, reported the matter, saying, I have done as thou hast commanded me.
Title: Bible Study: In His Own Image|
Version: October 14, 2004
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