God’s Killings in the Bible Part IV – 16 Acts of Murder in I Samuel

NOTE: In the Old Testament alone, there are over 132 incidences of God murdering or ordering murders. According to the Orthodox Church Fathers, in the Old Testament it is the Logos—the 2nd Person of the Holy Trinity before His Incarnation—who is making appearances and acting: “God the Father acts through the Son in the Holy Spirit.” In I Samuel [I Kings in the LXX], 16 separate incidents are recorded where God either kills or orders His people to kill others. The following biblical verses are taken from the King James Version:

Prophet Samuel
Prophet Samuel

Eli’s sons, 1 Samuel 4:11. And the ark of God was taken; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were slain.

God smote them with hemorrhoids in their secret parts, 1 Samuel 5:6-12. But the hand of the LORD was heavy upon them of Ashdod, and he destroyed them, and smote them with emerods, even Ashdod and the coasts thereof. And when the men of Ashdod saw that it was so, they said, The ark of the God of Israel shall not abide with us: for his hand is sore upon us, and upon Dagon our God. They sent therefore and gathered all the lords of the Philistines unto them, and said, What shall we do with the ark of the God of Israel? And they answered, Let the ark of the God of Israel be carried about unto Gath. And they carried the ark of the God of Israel about thither. And it was so, that, after they had carried it about, the hand of the LORD was against the city with a very great destruction: and he smote the men of the city, both small and great, and they had emerods in their secret parts. Therefore they sent the ark of God to Ekron. And it came to pass, as the ark of God came to Ekron, that the Ekronites cried out, saying, They have brought about the ark of the God of Israel to us, to slay us and our people. So they sent and gathered together all the lords of the Philistines, and said, Send away the ark of the God of Israel, and let it go again to his own place, that it slay us not, and our people: for there was a deadly destruction throughout all the city; the hand of God was very heavy there. And the men that died not were smitten with the emerods: and the cry of the city went up to heaven.

Fresco of the Philistine captivity of the ark, in the Dura-Europos synagogue.
Fresco of the Philistine captivity of the ark, in the Dura-Europos synagogue.

50,070 killed for looking into the ark of the Lord. 1 Samuel 6:19. And he smote the men of Bethshemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the LORD, even he smote of the people fifty thousand and threescore and ten men: and the people lamented, because the LORD had smitten many of the people with a great slaughter.

arktaken

 

The Lord thundered great thunder upon the Philistines, 1 Samuel 7:10. And as Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel: but the LORD thundered with a great thunder on that day upon the Philistines, and discomfited them; and they were smitten before Israel.

Another Ammonite massacre, 1 Samuel 11:11. And it was so on the morrow, that Saul put the people in three companies; and they came into the midst of the host in the morning watch, and slew the Ammonites until the heat of the day: and it came to pass, that they which remained were scattered, so that two of them were not left together.

Jonathan’s first slaughter, 1 Samuel 14:14. And that first slaughter, which Jonathan and his armor-bearer made, was about twenty men, within as it were an half acre of land, which a yoke of oxen might plow.

Philistines

God forces the Philistines to kill each other, 1 Samuel 14:16-23. And the watchmen of Saul in Gibeah of Benjamin looked; and, behold, the multitude melted away, and they went on beating down one another. Then said Saul unto the people that were with him, Number now, and see who is gone from us. And when they had numbered, behold, Jonathan and his armor-bearer were not there. And Saul said unto Ahiah, Bring hither the ark of God. For the ark of God was at that time with the children of Israel. And it came to pass, while Saul talked unto the priest, that the noise that was in the host of the Philistines went on and increased: and Saul said unto the priest, Withdraw thine hand. And Saul and all the people that were with him assembled themselves, and they came to the battle: and, behold, every man’s sword was against his fellow, and there was a very great discomfiture. Moreover the Hebrews that were with the Philistines before that time, which went up with them into the camp from the country round about, even they also turned to be with the Israelites that were with Saul and Jonathan. Likewise all the men of Israel which had hid themselves in mount Ephraim, when they heard that the Philistines fled, even they also followed hard after them in the battle. So the LORD saved Israel that day: and the battle passed over unto Bethaven.

phils

The Amalekite genocide, 1 Samuel 15:2-3. Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.

The Waters of Marah, The Amalekites
The Waters of Marah, The Amalekites

Samuel hacks Agag to death before the Lord, 1 Samuel 15:33. And Samuel said, As the sword hath made women childless, so shall thy mother be childless among women. And Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the LORD in Gilgal.

Goliath, 1 Samuel 17:51. Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled.

Chester Cathedral David & Goliath nave mosaic
Chester Cathedral David & Goliath nave mosaic

David buys his first wife with 200 Philistine foreskins, 1 Samuel 18:27. Wherefore David arose and went, he and his men, and slew of the Philistines two hundred men; and David brought their foreskins, and they gave them in full tale to the king, that he might be the king’s son in law. And Saul gave him Michal his daughter to wife.

A relief depicting a battle from the Bible in which David brought back 200 Philistine army foreskins
A relief depicting a battle from the Bible in which David brought back 200 Philistine army foreskins

The Lord said to David, go and smite the Philistines, 1 Samuel 23:2-5. Therefore David enquired of the LORD, saying, Shall I go and smite these Philistines? And the LORD said unto David, Go, and smite the Philistines, and save Keilah. And David’s men said unto him, Behold, we be afraid here in Judah: how much more then if we come to Keilah against the armies of the Philistines? Then David enquired of the LORD yet again. And the LORD answered him and said, Arise, go down to Keilah; for I will deliver the Philistines into thine hand. So David and his men went to Keilah, and fought with the Philistines, and brought away their cattle, and smote them with a great slaughter. So David saved the inhabitants of Keilah.

The Lord smote Nabal (and David got his wife and other stuff), 1 Samuel 25:38. And it came to pass about ten days after, that the LORD smote Nabal, that he died.

King David in robes of a Byzantine emperor, miniature from the Paris Psalter
King David in robes of a Byzantine emperor, miniature from the Paris Psalter

David commits random acts of genocide, 1 Samuel 27:9. And David smote the land, and left neither man nor woman alive, and took away the sheep, and the oxen, and the asses, and the camels, and the apparel, and returned, and came to Achish.

David spends the day killing Amalekites, 1 Samuel 30:17. And David smote them from the twilight even unto the evening of the next day: and there escaped not a man of them, save four hundred young men, which rode upon camels, and fled.

God killed Saul (for not killing all the Amalekites), 1 Samuel 31:1. Now the Philistines fought against Israel: and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in mount Gilboa.

It is interesting to find this Star of David in a church, since it is commonly used to represent Jewish faith. (Byzantine Church of Shiloh)
It is interesting to find this Star of David in a church, since it is commonly used to represent Jewish faith. (Byzantine Church of Shiloh)

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s