The mind of Moses - Midianite cruelty?

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Shirtless
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The mind of Moses - Midianite cruelty?

#1

Post by Shirtless » Tue Dec 14, 2004 3:18 pm

Hello all! I made a post asking about something Moses did in what's known as a "hard passage". The mods wanted to to reference it, so here it is--from the Revised Standard Version:

Numbers 17 Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man by lying with him. 18 But all the young girls who have not known man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.

Atheists use these passages a lot! Is there any kind of answer as to why these brutal methods of warfare were necessary? I've tried to justify it myself, saying that it was a different time, it was war--but it's been a personal struggle for me.

I saw an interview with Oliver Stone who was talking about Alexander the Great(EXCELLENT MOVIE). Stone was told that there were reports that Alexander gave women and children to his soldiers, and Stone said, "Absolutely not. He executed any man who raped a civilian." (if that needs a reference, it was from the Charlie Rose Show)

I have no way of knowing if Mr. Stone's information is accurate, but let me get this straight: The warrior Alexander was more humane than Moses?! Didn't God know that passages like this would make people think war crimes were justifiable in God's eyes? Am I missing something? I would like a page dedicated to this specific incident. There is a page on the moral implications of the flood and stuff, saying that those that died in the flood and Sodom deserved what they got. This is quite true, but there were other "hard passages" that were not mentioned. If the Bible is inerrant, then they can't be ignored.

I hope none of you think I'm some Christian basher (for more on me you can read my intro). I'm just concerned. I know that you sometimes have a few atheist bums on this board that try to stir up trouble, so I'd understand if you had a "hisss! He's a rebel spy!!" kind of feeling about me. :wink:

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#2

Post by Felgar » Tue Dec 14, 2004 3:27 pm

Did you read over my thread on OT violence http://discussions.godandscience.org/vi ... .php?t=108, in particular the focus being on God (or aan agent of God) actually killing people. I signed up on this forum originally for the purpose of exploring that issue...

I understand your concern and it is valid - it is very difficult to reconcile a God of Love with such acts of apparent brutality. In all honesty I've not been able to add anything to the final summary I made about it in my thread - but it's definately something I'd be interested in developing even further, as it certainly does seem to be a major stumbling block for nonbelievers and indeed for some believers also.

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Re: The mind of Moses

#3

Post by Kurieuo » Tue Dec 14, 2004 6:54 pm

Shirtless wrote:Numbers 17 Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man by lying with him. 18 But all the young girls who have not known man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.

Atheists use these passages a lot! Is there any kind of answer as to why these brutal methods of warfare were necessary? I've tried to justify it myself, saying that it was a different time, it was war--but it's been a personal struggle for me.
Numbers 31:17-18 is in reference to the Midianites, who were the first to turn on Israel. In reply I highly recommend reading the article Good question…What about God's cruelty against the Midianites? (also recommend to Felgar), which additionally deals with your (Shirtless') previously made accusation that these girls were for “sex slave” purposes.

Kurieuo.
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)

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#4

Post by Shirtless » Tue Dec 14, 2004 11:42 pm

Wow, Kurieuo! Just wanted to say thanks for giving me that link! :D

I couldn't stop reading it. I learned a lot, and I encourage others to read it as well (have you read it, Felgar?). I found it very spiritually refreshing. Truely the Judeo-Christian God is a God of mercy!

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#5

Post by Felgar » Wed Dec 15, 2004 11:02 am

Indeed, a very good analysis of the events surrounding the account in Numbers. A very good affirmation of my original willingness to have faith that God is truly a God of love despite the first impressions of brutality that we see in the OT.

Really, the Isrealites had much more cause to go to war with their neighbours than America has to be at war with Iraq - lest we are too quick to judge. :)

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#6

Post by Shirtless » Wed Dec 15, 2004 11:44 am

Damn skippy, my friend.

You spell neighbor differently so you're probably English or something. Us Americans spell words the way they're pronounced. :wink:

I'll make it short and brief: my country is crumbling, and it doesn't have more than 20 years to go. So if you guys ever become the rich and powerful of the world, don't forget that we're ALL sinners and we're ALL corruptible, not just those ugly Americans.

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#7

Post by Felgar » Wed Dec 15, 2004 12:56 pm

Canadian actually, if you refer to the location under my name. :)

Yeah, we Canadians spell like the Brits.

Did you go up on your 'ruff' to put up any Christmas lights this year? ;) (Spell how it sounds eh?)

Hehe... Just kidding.

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#8

Post by Shirtless » Wed Dec 15, 2004 3:38 pm

You're thinking of Mid-westerners. I'm from Maine where we say "roof".

We say stuff like, "Ahm goin' to the kah to go down thawt rudd. Uhmean, thawt's whatta a kah is foe-wah!"

I've got a theory that everyone's Canadian. :shock:

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#9

Post by Felgar » Wed Dec 15, 2004 5:02 pm

Shirtless wrote:You're thinking of Mid-westerners. I'm from Maine where we say "roof".

We say stuff like, "Ahm goin' to the kah to go down thawt rudd. Uhmean, thawt's whatta a kah is foe-wah!"
LOL... Too funny.

Yeah that's right about Maine. I should've recalled that little segment in the World Series telecast where they had Schilling practicing his accent in the lockeroom. Funny segment! :)

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#10

Post by RGeeB » Thu Dec 16, 2004 3:24 am

Wonder if someone might 'Americanise' the KJV soon :?:
Maranatha!

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#11

Post by Shirtless » Thu Dec 16, 2004 8:44 pm

American Standard Version

http://www.allbibles.com

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