SAB: Numbers search
Cruelty and Violence
Science and History
Dwindling in Unbelief
-God's killings in Numbers
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- God shows his hospitality with the admonition: "The stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death."
1:51, 3:10, 3:38
- Two of Aaron's sons are killed by God for "offering strange fire before the Lord."
- Don't touch or "go in to see when the holy things are covered." God kills people who touch or look
at covered holy things. 4:15, 20
- God tells the people to expel from camp "every leper, every one that hath an issue, and whoever is defiled by the dead."
So by God's instructions, the sick are abandoned and left to suffer and die alone.
- The Law of Jealousies. If a man suspects his wife of being unfaithful, he reports it to the priest. The priest then
makes her drink some "bitter water." If she is guilty, the water makes her thigh rot and her belly swell. If innocent, no harm
done -- the woman is free and will "conceive seed." In any case, "the man shall be guiltless from iniquity, and this woman shall
bear her iniquity." 5:11-31
- "And the spirit of jealousy come upon him ... and she be defiled:
or if the spirit of jealousy come upon him ... and she be not defiled."
If a husband is jealous, his wife must submit to the law of jealousies whether she was "defiled" or not. 5:14
- "Then shall the man bring his wife unto the priest ... And the priest shall ... set her before the LORD ...
and the priest shall have in his hand the bitter water that causeth the curse." 5:15-17
- "And the priest shall ... say unto the woman, If no man have lain with thee ... be thou free from this bitter water
that causeth the curse." 5:19
- "Then the priest
shall charge the woman with an oath of cursing, and the priest shall say
unto the woman, The LORD make thee a curse and an oath among thy people,
when the LORD doth make thy thigh to rot, and thy belly to swell." 5:20-21
- "But if ... some man have lain with thee beside thine husband ... The LORD make thee a curse and an oath among thy people,
when the LORD doth make thy thigh to rot, and thy belly to swell." 5:22
- "And he shall cause the woman to drink the bitter water that causeth the curse." 5:24
- "And when he hath made her to drink the water ... if she be defiled ... the water that causeth the curse shall ... become bitter, and her belly shall swell,
and her thigh shall rot: and the woman shall be a curse among her people." 5:27
- "And if the woman be not defiled, but be clean; then she shall be free, and shall conceive seed." 5:28
- "Then shall the man be guiltless from iniquity, and this woman shall bear her iniquity." 5:31
- The Israelites are God's favortite people, and the Levites are his favorites among the Israelites. 8:15-16
- All firstborn Israelites, "both man and beast", belong to God. He got them the day that he killed every Egyptian firstborn
child and animal. 8:17
- If you don't keep the Passover you'll be "cut off" from your people.
- The people begin to whine about not having any meat. So God says he'll
give them meat, alright. He'll give them "flesh to eat," not for just a few days, but "for a whole
month, until it come out of [their] nostrils, and it be loathsome to [them]." Yuck.
- "And while the flesh [of the quails] was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the Lord was kindled
against the people, and the Lord smote the people with a very great plague. "The Bible isn't too clear about what these poor
folks did to upset God so much; all it says is that they had "lusted." 11:33
- Miriam and Aaron (Moses' brother and sister) criticize Moses for marrying an Ethiopian woman and thus breaking
the law of God. But God makes it clear that his rules
don't apply to his favorites, and he strikes Miriam with leprosy. Notice that
only Miriam is punished, though both she and Aaron complained.
- More plagues and pestilence sent by God. God repeats one of his favorite promises: "your carcasses shall
fall in this wilderness." 14:12, 29, 32-37
- God punishes the children for the failings of their great-great grandfathers.
- So Moses talked God out of killing everyone. He'll just see to it that no one over 20 years old survives the trip to Israel.
Their "carcases shall fall in the wilderness." 14:20-35
- God killed the ten spies that gave a discouraging report with a plague.
- To further punish the Israelites for whining and plotting against Moses, God will send the Amelekites and
Canaanites to smite them. 14:43-45
- "If any soul sin through ignorance ..." but how can someone sin through ignorance? Don't you have to know that an
action is wrong for it to be sinful? Oh well, if you do happen to sin through ignorance, you can be forgiven by God if you kill
some animals. 15:27-30
- The Israelites find a man picking up sticks on the sabbath. God commands them to kill him by throwing
rocks at him. 15:32-36
- Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, the first freethought/democracy martyrs, refused to follow Moses blindly, saying
that everyone is holy and should be free to think for him or herself. God killed them and their
families for daring to challenge Moses. 16:1-35
- Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment."
God warns everyone to get away; he's going to kill some more people. 16:20-21
- "Hereby ye shall know that the LORD hath sent me ... if the LORD make ... the earth open her mouth, and swallow them up, with all
that appertain unto them, and they go down quick into the pit..."
Moses tells the people that if the ground opens up and swallows the rebels and their families, then you'll know that God's on his side.
- "The earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto
Korah ... They ... went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them." 16:31-33
- "And there came out a fire from the LORD, and consumed the two hundred and fifty men that
offered incense." 16:35
- After burning the the 250 guys that offered incense, God tells Moses to keep their censers (because they are holy) to remind everyone
not to offer incense without a license. 16:36-40
- After God killed Korah, his family, and 250 innocent bystanders, the people complained saying, "ye have killed the
people of the Lord." So God, who doesn't take kindly to criticism, sends a plague on the people. And "they that died in the
plague were 14,700." 16:41-50
- "Get you up from among this congregation, that I may consume them as in a moment."
God threatens (again) to kill everyone (but his special friends, Moses and Aaron). 16:44-45
- "For there is wrath gone out from the LORD; the plague is begun ... they that died
in the plague were fourteen thousand and seven hundred." 16:46-49
- God threatens to kill those who murmur. To which the people reply, "Behold, we die, we perish, we all perish ....
Shall we be consumed with dying?" 17:12-13
- "They shall not come nigh the vessels of the sanctuary and the altar, that neither they, nor ye also, die."
Stay away from holy things and places -- like churches. God might have to kill you if you get too close.
- God shows us how to make new friends by saying : "The stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death."
- God describes once again the procedure for ritualistic animal sacrifices. such rituals must be extremely important to
God, since he makes their performance a "statute" and "covenant" forever. Why, then don't Bible-believers perform these
sacrifices anymore? Don't they realize how God must miss the "sweet savour" of burning flesh? Don't they believe God when
he says "forever"? 18:17-19
- "Neither must the children of Israel henceforth come nigh the tabernacle of the congregation, lest they bear sin, and die."
- "Neither shall ye pollute the holy things of the children of Israel, lest ye die." 18:32
- "This is the ordinance of the law which the LORD hath commanded."
These absurd rituals, cruel sacrifices, and unjust punishments are vitally
important to God. They are to be "a perpetual statute" for everyone on earth. 19:1-22
- Moses is punished for hitting the rock with his staff (like he did before
in Exodus 17:6) to get water, rather than just speaking to the rock (as
God asked him to do this time). For messing up the magic trick, Moses will never get to the
promised land. 20:8-12
- "And the Lord hearkened to the voice of Israel, and delivered up the Canaanites; and they utterly destroyed them and
their cities." This verse demonstrates the power of prayer: If you ask God, he will destroy entire cities for you.
- God sends "fiery serpents" to bite his chosen people, and many of them die. 21:6
- God delivers the Amorites into Moses' hands. (You're in God hands with Moses.) So Moses does the usual thing,
killing everyone "until their was none left alive." 21:34-35
- God says to Balaam, "If men come to call thee, rise up, and go with them." Men come, and Balaam goes with them,
just as God had commanded. "And God's anger was kindled because he went" -- but he was just following God's instructions!
- After the people "commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab," Moses has them all killed. Then God tells Moses to
hang their dead bodies up in front of him; God says that this will satisfy him. 25:1-5
- When one of the Israelite men brings home a foreign woman, "Phinehas (Aaron's grandson) sees them and throws a spear "through the man .. and the woman through her belly."
This act pleases God so much that "the plague was stayed from the children of Israel." But not before
24,000 had died. 25:6-9
- For impaling the interracial couple, God rewards Phinehas and his sons with the everlasting
- God tells Moses how to care for his neighbors by saying: "Vex the Midianites, and smite them."
- The ground swallow Korah and his companions and a fire consumes 250 men. 26:10
- "And Nadab and Abihu died when they offered strange fire before the Lord." When you go camping avoid making any
unusual fires. 26:61
- Under God's direction, Moses' army defeats the Midianites. They kill all the adult males, but take the women and
children captive. When Moses learns that they left some live, he angrily says: "Have you saved all the women alive? 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." So they went back and did as Moses (and
presumably God) instructed, killing everyone except for the virgins. In this way they got 32,000 virgins -- Wow!
(Even God gets some of the booty -- including the virgins.) 31:1-54
- "The prey that was taken, both of man and of beast" was
offered as a "heave offering of the LORD." 31:26-29
- God killed all the Egyptian firstborn. 33:4
- God tells Moses to exterminate the residents of Canaan and destroy all of their religious symbols and possessions.
- But if the Israelites don't kill them all, then God will make them pricks in their eyes and
thorns in their sides. And he will do unto the Israelites as he planned to do to the inhabitants of
- If a person accidentally kills someone, then she should go to a city of refuge. If she can get to the city of refuge before the
"revenger of blood" (the victim's closest relative) can catch her, then she is safe, at least until the high priest dies
(I don't know what he has to do with it). But if she is caught outside the city of refuge, then the revenger of blood can kill her.
- "The revenger of blood himself shall slay the murderer: when he meeteth him, he shall slay him."
The "revenger of blood" (the victim's closest relative) must murder the murderer just as soon as he sees him. 35:19, 21
- "But if the slayer shall at any time come without the border of the city of his refuge ... and the revenger of blood kill the slayer; he shall not be guilty of blood. Because he should have remained in the city of his refuge until the death of the high priest"
If the accidental killer leaves the city of refuge and is caught by the revenger of blood, then the revenger can legally kill the accidental killer.
- "Whoso killeth any person, the murderer shall be put to death." 35:30
- "The land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it." 35:33