Cruelty and Violence
Science and History
Dwindling in Unbelief
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Joshua: Cruelty and Violence
- "Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid,
neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest."
Donald Rumsfeld sent this verse to inspire the troops during the 2003
invasion of Iraq. 1:9
- "Whosoever ... will not hearken unto thy words ... shall be put to death."
Whoever disobeys Joshua must be killed. 1:18
- God "magnifies" Joshua and promises to "without fail" drive out all the inhabitants of the lands through which they passed. 3:7
- "And the city shall be accursed ... and all that therein, to the Lord: only Rahab the harlot shall live." God explains that
Rahab is to be spared since she hid Joshua's spies and lied to those who were searching for them (2:4-5). But why was
everyone else killed? Some of them were probably liars too. 6:17
- "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." 6:21
- After killing everyone, "they burnt the city with fire, and all that was therein." Only the valuables (silver, gold, brass,
and iron) did they keep to "put into the treasury of the house of the Lord." 6:24
- Joshua says that those who try to rebuild Jericho will be accursed by God, and will have to sacrifice both their oldest
and their youngest sons in its construction. But Jericho still exists today, and is often considered to be the world's oldest,
continuously occupied city. 6:26
- God tells Joshua to kill whoever took "the accursed thing." 7:10-12
- If you happen to see "the accursed thing," don't touch it. If you do, you, your family, and all of your animals must
be burned. 7:15
- "And Joshua ... took Achan ... and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, and his sheep... And all of Israel
stoned them with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones." This is because Achan "took
of the accursed thing" -- whatever that means. But why would God require that Achan's sons and daughters (and even his
animals) be stoned to death along with him? The Bible doesn't say. But it does tell us that "the Lord turned from the
fierceness of his anger" when Achan, his children, and his animals were stoned to death and their dead bodies burned.
- "When ye have taken the city [Ai] ... ye shall set the city on fire: according to the commandment of the LORD.
- "They smote them, so that they let none of them remain or escape." 8:22
- "When Israel had made an end of slaying all the inhabitants of Ai in the field ... all the Israelites returned unto Ai,
and smote it with the edge of the sword." 8:24
- "All that fell that day, both of men and women, were twelve thousand." 8:25
- Joshua hangs the king of Ai on a tree until evening. 8:29
- After Joshua kills all the inhabitants of Ai, burns their city, and hangs their king on a tree, he kills some animals and
burns them as a "peace offering" to his warlike God. 8:31
- God curses the Gibeonites to be slaves of the Jews forever. 9:21-27
- "And the LORD said unto Joshua, Fear them not: for I have delivered them into thine hand."
God delivers the Amorites into Joshua's hand (so he can kill them all). 10:8
- "And the LORD discomfited them before Israel, and slew them with a great slaughter at Gibeon, and chased them along the way."
God slaughters the Amorites and even chases them along the way. 10:10
- "The LORD cast down great stones from heaven upon them ... and they died."
As the Amorites try to escape, God sends down huge hailstones and kills even more of them. 10:11
- In a divine type of daylight savings time, God makes the sun stand still so that Joshua can get all his killing done
before dark. 10:12-13
- God tells Joshua to "pursue after your enemies and smite the hindmost of them." (Kick their butts.) Don't let any of
them escape "for the Lord your God hath delivered them into your hand." 10:19
- Joshua tells his captains to "put your feet upon the necks of these kings." He says, "thus shall the Lord do to all of
your enemies." Then Joshua kills the kings and hangs them on trees. 10:24-26
- Joshua, at God's command, kills everyone and everything that he can find (including babies and little children)--
or, as the Bible puts it, he "utterly destroyed all that breathed, as the Lord commanded." 10:28-32
- Then Horam king of Gezer came up to help Lachish; and Joshua smote him and his people, until he had left him none remaining."
- "Joshua passed unto Eglon ... and smote it with the edge of the sword, and all the souls that were therein he utterly destroyed."
- "Joshua went ... unto Hebron ... and smote it with the edge of the sword ... and all the cities ... and all the souls that were therein;
he left none remaining." 10:36-37
- "Joshua returned ... to Debir ... And he took it ... and all the cities ... and they smote them with the edge of the sword,
and utterly destroyed all the souls that were therein; he left none remaining."10:38-39
- "So Joshua ... left none remaining, but utterly destroyed all that breathed, as the LORD God of Israel commanded."
- "All these kings and their land did Joshua take at one time, because the LORD God of Israel fought for Israel."
- God delivers the Hazorites into Joshua's hand, and he knows just what to do with them: he smites them all with
(you guessed it) the edge of the sword until "there was not any left to breathe." 11:6-17
- "And the LORD delivered them into the hand of Israel, who smote them ... and they smote them, until they left them none remaining."
- "And Joshua did unto them as the LORD bade him: he houghed their horses." 11:9
- "Joshua ... smote the king thereof with the sword." 11:10
- "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 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." 11:12
- "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." 11:15
- "So Joshua took ... all their kings ... and smote them, and slew them." 11:16-17
- "For it was of the Lord to harden their hearts, that they should come against Israel in battle, that he might destroy
them utterly." Notice that God hardens their hearts so that he can have an excuse to kill them. 11:20
- "Joshua destroyed them utterly with their cities." 11:21
- Caleb offers to give his daughter to whoever conquers the city of Debir. Caleb's nephew wins the contest
and is given his cousin for a prize. 15:16-17
- "Did not Achan son of Zerah commit a trespass in the accursed thing, and wrath fell on all the congregation of
Israel?" To find out see Joshua 7:1-26. 22:20
- "I plagued Egypt." 24:5
- God brags about drowning the Egyptians. 24:7
- "I gave them [the Amorites] into your hand, that ye might possess their land; and I destroyed them from before you."
- "I delivered them into your hand." 24:11
- God sent hornets to fight for the Israelites. 24:12
- God is jealous and will never forgive you for your sins. "He will turn and do you hurt, and consume you."