Judges: Cruelty and Violence
- God appoints Judah to succeed Joshua. The Lord delivers his foes into his hands and another 10,000 are slain.
In the process, they capture Adonibezek and "cut off his thumbs and great toes." Nice guys. 1:2-6
- The LORD delivered the Canaanites and the Perizzites into their hand: and they slew of them in Bezek ten thousand men."
- "They slew the Canaanites that inhabited Zephath, and utterly destroyed it ... And the Lord was with Judah."
(You can tell by the number of innocent people he killed.) 1:17, 19
- The Israelite spies killed everyone in Bethel, except for the man (and his family) who
showed them how to enter the city. 1:25
- "The children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD: and
the LORD strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel ...
So the children of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years." 3:12-14
- Ehud delivers a "message from God" to the king of Moab. God's message consists of a knife thrust so deeply
into the king's belly that it could not be extracted, "and the dirt came out." Just another lovely Bible story.
- God "delivers" more folks into the hands of his chosen people. "And they slew of Moab ... about 10,000 men
... and their escaped not a man." 3:28-29
- Shamgar kills 600 Philistines with an ox goad. Praise God. 3:31
- "The Lord shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman." 4:9
- "The Lord discomfited Sisera ... with the edge of the sword ... and there was not a man left."
- Jael (our heroine) offers food and shelter to a traveler (Sisera, Jabin's captain), saying "turn in my Lord ...
fear not." Then after giving him a glass of milk and tucking him in, she drives a tent stake through his head. "So God
subdued on that day Jabin." 4:17-23
- For murdering her guest while he slept, Jael is "blessed above women." (Hail Jael, full of grace, the Lord is
with thee. Blessed art thou among women....?) 5:24-26
- "So let all thine enemies perish, O Lord." (Let them all have their temples pierced by blessed women.)
- "The children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD: and
the LORD delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years."
God forces the Israelites to be slaves to the Midianites for seven years. 6:1
- "The LORD said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man."
God promises to help Gideon kill all the Midianites. 6:16
- "The second bullock was offered upon the altar." 6:28
- When Gideon and his water-lapping companions blow their trumpets, God forces all the enemy soldiers to kill
each other, killing 120,000. 7:22, 8:10
- Two princes are killed and their heads are brought to Gideon. 7:25
- For refusing to feed him and his army, Gideon swears that he'll tear the flesh off the elders of Succoth.
(And he carries out his threat in verse 16.) 8:7
- "He took the elders of the city, and thorns of the wilderness and briers, and with them he taught the men of Succoth."
- "He beat down the tower of Penuel, and slew the men of the city." 8:17
- Gideon orders his son to kill two kings, but he refuses. So Gideon has to do it himself since his son isn't "man"
enough to do it. 8:20-21
- The curse of Jotham: "Let fire come out from Abimelech, and devour the men of Shechem." (See 9:57) 9:20
- God sends evil spirits that cause humans to deal treacherously with each other.
- "And all the evil of the men of Shechem did God render upon their heads:
and upon them came the curse of Jotham the son of Jerubbaal."
God had one thousand men and women burned to death to punish them for supporting Abimelech rather than Jotham.
- "God ... delivered Sihon and all his people into the hand of Israel, and they smote them: so Israel possessed all the land of the Amorites."
- "Whomsoever the LORD our God shall drive out from before us, them will we [the Israelites]
- When "the spirit of the Lord" comes upon Jephthah, he makes a deal with God: If God will help him kill the
Ammonites, then he (Jephthah) will offer to God as a burnt offering whatever comes out of his house to greet him.
God keeps his end of the deal by providing Jephthah with "a very great slaughter." But when Jephthah returns, his
nameless daughter comes out to greet him (who'd he expect, his wife?). Well, a deal's a deal, so he delivers her to
God as a burnt offering -- after letting her spend a couple of months going up and down on the mountains bewailing
her virginity. 11:29-39
- "The LORD delivered them into his hands ... And he smote them ... even twenty cities ... with a very great slaughter."
- "Her father ... did with her according to his vow which he had vowed." 11:39
- 42,000 Ephraimites fail the "shibboleth" test and are killed by Jephthah's army. 12:6
- "Manoah took a kid with a meat offering, and offered it upon a rock unto
the LORD." 13:19
- Samson's lust for the Philistine woman was "of the Lord." It was all a part of God's plan for killing Philistines.
- Samson rips up a young lion when "the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him." Later, when going to "take"
his Philistine wife he notices a swarm of bees and honey in the lion's carcass (a Divine miracle -- or just rotting flesh, flies,
and maggots?). 14:5-8
- "And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he went down to Ashkelon, and slew thirty men ...
and gave change of garments unto them which expounded the riddle."
When the Spirit of the Lord came upon Samson, he killed 30 men at random and took their clothes and gave it to the guys at the
party as a prize for guessing his riddle.
(Samson might have been a decent person if he could have kept the spirit of the Lord off him.) 14:19
- Samson catches 300 foxes, ties their tails together, and sets them on fire; the Philistines
burn Samson's ex-wife and father-in-law; and Samson smites them "hip and thigh with a great
- "The spirit of the Lord came mightily upon" Samson and "he found a new jawbone of an ass ... and took it,
and slew 1000 men therewith." 15:14-15
- Samson, with God's help, kills himself and 3000 Philistine men and women by causing a roof to collapse,
setting an example for Bible-based terrorism. 16:27-30
- The Massacre of the Peaceful, Unsuspecting People
The story begins with the tribe of Dan (one of the 12 tribes of Israel) looking for a nice place to live.
So they sent out five men to find some land. 18:1-27
- After taking in a traveling Levite, the host offers his virgin daughter and his guest's concubine to a mob of
perverts (who want to have sex with his guest). The mob refuses the daughter, but accepts the concubine and they
"abuse her all night." The next morning she crawls back to the doorstep and dies. The Levite puts her dead body on an
ass and takes her home. Then he chops her body up into twelve pieces and sends them to each of the twelve tribes of
- "I took my concubine, and cut her in pieces, and sent her throughout all the country."
The Levite tells everyone his story (leaving out the part about how he gave his concubine to the
mob to do with as they pleased), explaining the mysterious rotting body part messages that brought everyone in Israel together.
- After the Benjamites refuse to turn over the men from Gibeah (the town that wanted to have sex with the Levite
but settled for his concubine instead), the Israelites asked God which tribe should go to war with them. God said the tribe
of Judah should go first. So Judah goes to war, but the Benjamites with their sharp shooting lefties kill 22,000 Israelites.
- After 22,000 Israelites were killed by the Benjamites, they cry all day before the Lord. Then they ask God (again)
if they should go to war against Benjamin. God said yes, so they try it again, and another 18,000 Israelites are killed.
- Once again all of the Israelites sit and weep before God, and ask again (for the third time) if they should attack the Benjamites. God give them his usual answer: Attack. This time he promises
(he was just kidding the last couple times) that he "will deliver them into thine hand." 20:26-28
- God helps the Israelites kill 25,100 Benjamites. 20:35
- The Israelites killed everyone in the city with the edge of the sword.
- Another 25,000 Benjamites are killed by the God-assisted Israelites.
- The Israelites finish their massacre of the Benjamites by killing all the men, animals, and
everything they could find in every Benjamite city. Then they burned the cities to the ground.
(In this way God helped the Israelites make everything better after the rape and dismemberment of
the concubine.) 20:48
- Here's what the Israelites decide to do. They will go and kill everyone in Jabeshgilead except for the virgin
women and give them to the 600 surviving Benjamites. 21:11