God’s Killings in the Bible Part VIII – 11 Acts of Murder in I & II Chronicles

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 & II Chronicles, 11 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:

A mosaic of a Seraph in the Hagia Sophia, Constantinople
A mosaic of a Seraph in the Hagia Sophia, Constantinople

Just another holy war,1 Chronicles 5:18-22. The sons of Reuben, and the Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh, of valiant men, men able to bear buckler and sword, and to shoot with bow, and skilful in war, were four and forty thousand seven hundred and threescore, that went out to the war. And they made war with the Hagarites, with Jetur, and Nephish, and Nodab. And they were helped against them, and the Hagarites were delivered into their hand, and all that were with them: for they cried to God in the battle, and he was intreated of them; because they put their trust in him. And they took away their cattle; of their camels fifty thousand, and of sheep two hundred and fifty thousand, and of asses two thousand, and of men an hundred thousand. For there fell down many slain, because the war was of God. And they dwelt in their steads until the captivity.

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God killed a half million Israelite soldiers, 2 Chronicles 13:15-17. Then the men of Judah gave a shout: and as the men of Judah shouted, it came to pass, that God smote Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah. And the children of Israel fled before Judah: and God delivered them into their hand. And Abijah and his people slew them with a great slaughter: so there fell down slain of Israel five hundred thousand chosen men.

Jeroboam, 2 Chronicles 13:20. Neither did Jeroboam recover strength again in the days of Abijah: and the LORD struck him, and he died.

Illustration of Jeroboam setting up two golden calves, Bible Historiale, 1372.
Illustration of Jeroboam setting up two golden calves, Bible Historiale, 1372.

God killed a million Ethiopians, 2 Chronicles 14:8-13. And Asa had an army of men that bare targets and spears, out of Judah three hundred thousand; and out of Benjamin, that bare shields and drew bows, two hundred and fourscore thousand: all these were mighty men of valour. And there came out against them Zerah the Ethiopian with an host of a thousand thousand, and three hundred chariots; and came unto Mareshah. Then Asa went out against him, and they set the battle in array in the valley of Zephathah at Mareshah. And Asa cried unto the LORD his God, and said, LORD, it is nothing with thee to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power: help us, O LORD our God; for we rest on thee, and in thy name we go against this multitude. O LORD, thou art our God; let no man prevail against thee. So the LORD smote the Ethiopians before Asa, and before Judah; and the Ethiopians fled. And Asa and the people that were with him pursued them unto Gerar: and the Ethiopians were overthrown, that they could not recover themselves; for they were destroyed before the LORD, and before his host; and they carried away very much spoil.

Illustration of Asa destroying the idols, in the Bible Historiale, 1372.
Illustration of Asa destroying the idols, in the Bible Historiale, 1372.

God forced “a great multitude” to kill each other, 2 Chronicles 20:14-25. Then upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, came the Spirit of the LORD in the midst of the congregation; And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow go ye down against them: behold, they come up by the cliff of Ziz; and ye shall find them at the end of the brook, before the wilderness of Jeruel. Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you. And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell before the LORD, worshipping the LORD. And the Levites, of the children of the Kohathites, and of the children of the Korhites, stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel with a loud voice on high. And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper. And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth for ever. And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten. For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of mount Seir, utterly to slay and destroy them: and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, every one helped to destroy another. And when Judah came toward the watch tower in the wilderness, they looked unto the multitude, and, behold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, and none escaped. And when Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away the spoil of them, they found among them in abundance both riches with the dead bodies, and precious jewels, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away: and they were three days in gathering of the spoil, it was so much.

Triumph of Jehosaphat over Adad of Syria. Illustration by Jean Fouquet (1470s) for Flavius Josephus's Jewish Antiquities.
Triumph of Jehosaphat over Adad of Syria. Illustration by Jean Fouquet (1470s) for Flavius Josephus’s Jewish Antiquities.

God made Jehoram’s bowels fall out, 2 Chronicles 21:18-19. And after all this the LORD smote him in his bowels with an incurable disease. And it came to pass, that in process of time, after the end of two years, his bowels fell out by reason of his sickness: so he died of sore diseases. And his people made no burning for him, like the burning of his fathers.

The story of King Jehoram unfolds as possibly the earliest description of a patient afflicted by colorectal carcinoma. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15785440
The story of King Jehoram unfolds as possibly the earliest description of a patient afflicted by colorectal carcinoma. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15785440

God killed Jehoram’s sons, 2 Chronicles 22:1. And the inhabitants of Jerusalem made Ahaziah his youngest son king in his stead: for the band of men that came with the Arabians to the camp had slain all the eldest. So Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah reigned.

Ahaziah (of Judah), 2 Chronicles 22:7-9. And the destruction of Ahaziah was of God by coming to Joram: for when he was come, he went out with Jehoram against Jehu the son of Nimshi, whom the LORD had anointed to cut off the house of Ahab. And it came to pass, that, when Jehu was executing judgment upon the house of Ahab, and found the princes of Judah, and the sons of the brethren of Ahaziah, that ministered to Ahaziah, he slew them. And he sought Ahaziah: and they caught him, (for he was hid in Samaria,) and brought him to Jehu: and when they had slain him, they buried him: Because, said they, he is the son of Jehoshaphat, who sought the LORD with all his heart. So the house of Ahaziah had no power to keep still the kingdom.

The author of the inscription on the Tel Dan Stele claimed to have slain both Ahaziah, son of Jehoram, and Jehoram; the most likely author of this monument is Hazael of the Arameans.
The author of the inscription on the Tel Dan Stele claimed to have slain both Ahaziah, son of Jehoram, and Jehoram; the most likely author of this monument is Hazael of the Arameans.

Joash, the princes and army of Juday, 2 Chronicles 24:20-25. And the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, which stood above the people, and said unto them, Thus saith God, Why transgress ye the commandments of the LORD, that ye cannot prosper? because ye have forsaken the LORD, he hath also forsaken you. And they conspired against him, and stoned him with stones at the commandment of the king in the court of the house of the LORD. Thus Joash the king remembered not the kindness which Jehoiada his father had done to him, but slew his son. And when he died, he said, The LORD look upon it, and require it. And it came to pass at the end of the year, that the host of Syria came up against him: and they came to Judah and Jerusalem, and destroyed all the princes of the people from among the people, and sent all the spoil of them unto the king of Damascus. For the army of the Syrians came with a small company of men, and the LORD delivered a very great host into their hand, because they had forsaken the LORD God of their fathers. So they executed judgment against Joash. And when they were departed from him, (for they left him in great diseases,) his own servants conspired against him for the blood of the sons of Jehoiada the priest, and slew him on his bed, and he died: and they buried him in the city of David, but they buried him not in the sepulchres of the kings.

According to tradition this is the tomb of the  Zechariah ben Jehoiada (son of Jehoiada the priest). It is built into the rock on the foothills of Mount of Olives.
According to tradition this is the tomb of the Zechariah ben Jehoiada (son of Jehoiada the priest). It is built into the rock on the foothills of Mount of Olives.

God destroyed Amaziah, 2 Chronicles 25:14-27. Now it came to pass, after that Amaziah was come from the slaughter of the Edomites, that he brought the gods of the children of Seir, and set them up to be his gods, and bowed down himself before them, and burned incense unto them. Wherefore the anger of the LORD was kindled against Amaziah, and he sent unto him a prophet, which said unto him, Why hast thou sought after the gods of the people, which could not deliver their own people out of thine hand? And it came to pass, as he talked with him, that the king said unto him, Art thou made of the king’s counsel? forbear; why shouldest thou be smitten? Then the prophet forbare, and said, I know that God hath determined to destroy thee, because thou hast done this, and hast not hearkened unto my counsel. Then Amaziah king of Judah took advice, and sent to Joash, the son of Jehoahaz, the son of Jehu, king of Israel, saying, Come, let us see one another in the face. And Joash king of Israel sent to Amaziah king of Judah, saying, The thistle that was in Lebanon sent to the cedar that was in Lebanon, saying, Give thy daughter to my son to wife: and there passed by a wild beast that was in Lebanon, and trode down the thistle. Thou sayest, Lo, thou hast smitten the Edomites; and thine heart lifteth thee up to boast: abide now at home; why shouldest thou meddle to thine hurt, that thou shouldest fall, even thou, and Judah with thee? But Amaziah would not hear; for it came of God, that he might deliver them into the hand of their enemies, because they sought after the gods of Edom. So Joash the king of Israel went up; and they saw one another in the face, both he and Amaziah king of Judah, at Bethshemesh, which belongeth to Judah. And Judah was put to the worse before Israel, and they fled every man to his tent. And Joash the king of Israel took Amaziah king of Judah, the son of Joash, the son of Jehoahaz, at Bethshemesh, and brought him to Jerusalem, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem from the gate of Ephraim to the corner gate, four hundred cubits. And he took all the gold and the silver, and all the vessels that were found in the house of God with Obededom, and the treasures of the king’s house, the hostages also, and returned to Samaria. And Amaziah the son of Joash king of Judah lived after the death of Joash son of Jehoahaz king of Israel fifteen years. Now the rest of the acts of Amaziah, first and last, behold, are they not written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel? Now after the time that Amaziah did turn away from following the LORD they made a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem; and he fled to Lachish: but they sent to Lachish after him, and slew him there.

Tombs of the Kings, Jerusalem.
Tombs of the Kings, Jerusalem.

Ahaz, 2 Chronicles 28:5. Wherefore the LORD his God delivered him into the hand of the king of Syria; and they smote him, and carried away a great multitude of them captives, and brought them to Damascus. And he was also delivered into the hand of the king of Israel, who smote him with a great slaughter.

God killed 120,000 valiant men for forsaking him, 2 Chronicles 28:6. For Pekah the son of Remaliah slew in Judah an hundred and twenty thousand in one day, which were all valiant men; because they had forsaken the LORD God of their fathers.

The fall of Jerusalem, 2 Chronicles 36:16-17, Jeremiah 21:5-7. But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy. Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he gave them all into his hand.

Nebo-Sarsekim was an official under Nebuchadnezzar II, present for destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC.  He was only known from the Biblical record until his name was discovered in 2007 on a tiny clay cuneiform tablet (2.13”) uncovered in Sippar (one mile from Baghdad) in the 1870s.
Nebo-Sarsekim was an official under Nebuchadnezzar II, present for destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC. He was only known from the Biblical record until his name was discovered in 2007 on a tiny clay cuneiform tablet (2.13”) uncovered in Sippar (one mile from Baghdad) in the 1870s.

And I myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and with a strong arm, even in anger, and in fury, and in great wrath. And I will smite the inhabitants of this city, both man and beast: they shall die of a great pestilence. And afterward, saith the LORD, I will deliver Zedekiah king of Judah, and his servants, and the people, and such as are left in this city from the pestilence, from the sword, and from the famine, into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of those that seek their life: and he shall smite them with the edge of the sword; he shall not spare them, neither have pity, nor have mercy.

Illustration of the mythical Hanging Gardens of Babylon by Maerten van Heemskerck (1498–1574), published in 1572.
Illustration of the mythical Hanging Gardens of Babylon by Maerten van Heemskerck (1498–1574), published in 1572.