Chris Hallquist a blogger at Patheos, is working his way through the bible and posting tweets about the verses he finds. In one of his posts, he summarizes his tweets on Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Here are some excerpts:
- Lev 23:30 God will destroy anyone who works on the day of atonement.
- Lev 24:16 “Anyone who blasphemes the name of the Lord is to be put to death. The entire assembly must stone them.”
- Lev 24:23 Moses tells Israelites to kill a guy who “cursed.” They do (“as the LORD commanded.”)
- Lev 25:44: Only buy slaves from other nations.
- Lev 26:14-17: God sez if you don’t listen to him, he’ll kill you.
- Lev 26:18 God sez “If after all this you will not listen to me, I will punish you for your sins seven times over.”
- Lev 26:21 God sez “If you remain hostile toward me and refuse to listen to me, I will multiply your afflictions seven times over.”
- Lev 26:22 God sez “I will send wild animals against you, and they will rob you of your children.”
- Lev 26:24, 27-28: Two more examples of the “I’ll punish you seven times” threat.
- Lev 26:29 God sez if you disobey him, he’ll make you eat your kids.
Look up the verses, they really do say these things. Somehow, I don’t remember these being discussed in Sunday School or any of the sermons I’ve heard.
- Num 11:1 The people complained, so God burned some of them to death.
- Num 11:18-20: Israelites are complaining about their lack of meat, so God vows to give them meat until it’s coming out of their nostrils.
- Num 11:31-33: After giving the Israelites more quail than they can eat, God smites them with a plague for good measure.
- Num 12:1, 10: Miriam criticizes Moses for marrying an Ethiopian woman. God gives her leprosy.
- Numbers 15:32-36: Israelites find a man gathering sticks on Saturday. God tells them to kill him. They do.
- Num 16:41-50: Whole Israelite community complains that Moses and Aaron have killed God’s people. So God sends a plague that kills 14,700.
- Num 17:12-13: Israelites are worried they’re all going to die.
- Num 18:6-8: Only Levites can go near sanctuary. Anyone else who goes near it shall be put to death.
- Num 21:5-6: Israelites complain more, so God sends poisonous snakes that kill many of them.
It makes you wonder how any of the Israelites survived at all.
- Num 31:9 “The Israelites captured the Midianite women and children and took all the Midianite herds, flocks and goods as plunder.”
- Num 31:10 Israelites “burned all the towns where the Midianites had settled, as well as all their camps.”
- Num 31:14-15: Moses is mad at the Israelites for letting Midianite women live.
- Num 31:17-18: Moses to Israelites: “Kill all the boys and all the women who’ve slept with a man. But save the virgins for yourselves.”
- Num 33:50-53: God tells Israelites to drive Canaanites out of their lands, destroy their holy symbols, and take the land for themselves.
- Num 33:55-56: If Israelites fail to drive Canaanites out of their land, God will do the Israelites what he was going to do to the Canaanites
As you can see, Numbers is full of love and puppies.
- Deut 2:34-35 Moses says, “we took all his towns and completely destroyed them—men, women and children. We left no survivors…”
- “…But the livestock and the plunder from the towns we had captured we carried off for ourselves.”
- Deut 3:3-6 Moses says: We completely destroyed 60 cities, leaving no survivors, men, women, or children.
- Deut 13:1-5: If a prophet says, “Let’s follow other gods,” kill him, even if he gave you a “sign or wonder.”
- Deut 13:6-11: If a family members says “let’s worship other gods,” show them no pity. Don’t shield them. Stone them to death as an example.
- Deut 13:12-15: If you find out a town has been led astray to worship other gods, kill everyone in the town.
- Deut 17:2-7: If you catch someone worshiping other gods, stone them to death. Witnesses throw the first stones, then “all the people” throw.
- Deut 17:12 A man who doesn’t listen to a priest shall DIE!
- Deut 20:10-15 When you march against a far away city, offer them a chance to be slaves first. If they refuse, kill the men, enslave rest.
- Deut 20:16 “In the cities of the nations the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes.”
- Deut 21:10-13 If you take a beautiful woman captive in war, give her a month to mourn her father before you “go in unto her.”
- Deut 21:18-21 Kill rebellious children so that “all Israel shall hear, and fear.”
- Deut 28:52-53 If you disobey God, he’ll make your enemies lay siege to the city you’re in and starve you to the point you eat your kids.
- Deut 28:54-56 If you disobey God, it doesn’t matter how gentle you normally are, you’ll still eat your family.
Christians often say that when Jesus came, he brought a “New Covenant”, and and have developed convoluted theological arguments about which of these Old Testament laws are to be obeyed and which can safely be ignored. Of course, different branches of Christianity differ about which laws are still in force. Given that we don’t see God smiting people the way he did 3,000 odd years ago, I think it’s safe to say that none of them are.
Besides, if they really wanted to define the currently enforced Godly laws, there would be versions of the Bible with disclaimers throughout.
- Follow this carefully.
- Follow this in a general sense.
- Ignore this at your peril.
- Ignore this and you’re definitely fucked.
That would make things a lot easier.