Thursday, February 5, 2009

Would You Order the Slaughter of POWs and the Enslavement of Virgins...If You Were God?

"Then The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, take full vengeance for the sons of Israel on the Midianites..."

So begins Numbers Chapter 31, a Bible tale of incalculable horror. Read it. I dare you. Thomas Paine and Mark Twain considered this particular tale a showpiece of how The Bible blames a vicious God for man's unspeakable inhumanity to man.

(For the backstory on Moses' war with Midian, read What we're here concerned with though, is God's scorched-Earth extermination policy, the treatment of war captives -- particularly, little girls.

For after defeating the Midianites, Moses orders his Generals -- citing God as the Supreme Commander -- to murder every man, every woman, every boy, every baby; to take all spoils, and obliterate Midian itself.

Murder them all, except the virgin girls, who are to be rewarded by becoming the sexual slaves of the conquering generals who massacred their families.

The death toll? No one knows. But consider this: 32,000 virgins survived and were enslaved. Extrapolate from that figure at least 100,000 killed.

Now, there are numerous accounts in the Bible of equal bloodbaths and Totaler Krieg ordered by God. Joshua, Moses' successor, fit the battle of Jericho indeed, and the battle of Makkedah, and Hebron, and Eglon and other cities. And notice this: in every battle, Joshua and the Israelites "left no survivors, but utterly destroyed all who breathed, just as the Lord, the God of Israel, had commanded." (Joshua 10)

"Now kill (the captives)..." Moses ordered his army in Numbers 31:17. Moses, the Lawgiver, the same man who'd carried stone tablets carved by God's own hand, wherein was written, "Thou shalt not kill..."

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