Can the genocides committed by the ancient Jews ever be truly justified?

Posted by: yetifivepecks

If yes, how do you justify this? Regardless, what are your thoughts on this? As a former Christian, this is something that always genuinely disturbed me. Feel free to add answers.

16 Total Votes

No, these stories are abhorrent!

These stories are disturbing. They should be disturbing, and they are inconsistent with the concept of a loving God, regardless of how people attempt to explain them away.
10 votes

Yes, God had reasons for them.

3 votes


Judaism is the religion, philosophy and way of life of the Jewish people. Judaism is a monotheistic religion, with the Torah as its foundational text, and supplemental oral tradition represented by later texts such as the Mishnah and the Talmud. Jud... aism is considered by religious Jews to be the expression of the covenantal relationship God established with the Children of Israel.Judaism includes a wide corpus of texts, practices, theological positions, and forms of organization. Within Judaism there are a variety of movements, most of which emerged from Rabbinic Judaism, which holds that God revealed his laws and commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai in the form of both the Written and Oral Torah. Historically, this assertion was challenged by various groups such as the Sadducees and Hellenistic Judaism during the Second Temple period; the Karaites and Sabbateans during the early and later medieval period; and among segments of the modern reform movements. Liberal movements in modern times such as Humanistic Judaism may be nontheistic. Today, the largest Jewish religious movements are Orthodox Judaism, Conservative Judaism and Reform Judaism   more
1 vote
1 comment

Yes, because YHWH commanded it.

If you take the word of ancient warlords that they had Divine sanction to entire societies down to the last baby, please explain.
1 vote
1 comment

Yes - Other Reason

Please explain.
1 vote
1 comment

No, but I still believe in the Abrahamic God.

I believe that some of the scriptures are untruthful, and do not truly represent God.
0 votes

I've never given it much thought.

0 votes

Jews for Jesus

Jews for Jesus is a Christian evangelical organization that focuses on the conversion of Jews to Christianity. Jews for Jesus defines Jewishness in terms of parentage and as a birthright, regardless of religious belief and its members consider thems... elves to be Jews – either as defined by Jewish law, or according to the view of Jews for Jesus.The identification of Jews for Jesus as a Jewish organization is rejected by Jewish religious denominations and secular Jewish groups due to the Christian beliefs of its members. The group's evangelical activities have garnered mixed reactions from other Christian individuals and organizations, largely divided between liberal and conservative lines.Founded in 1973, Jews for Jesus employs more than 200 people, estimates its adherents at 30,000 to 125,000 worldwide and takes in about $20 million a year in donations   more
0 votes
Leave a comment...
(Maximum 900 words)
donald.keller says2014-08-05T21:50:36.3046085-05:00
Understand that back then they truly did believe they were commanded by a powerful god.... EVERY nation and people did. They didn't use God as an excuse like many assume they did. They truly believed this stuff.
yetifivepecks says2014-08-05T22:02:33.7500946-05:00
The masses will always believe what they are told, but the leaders are the ones who made the claims. Regardless, the poll is about whether it can be justified. I am aware that the warlords might have believed they were doing right, but what they did was still evil in my view.
yetifivepecks says2014-08-05T22:05:24.8853856-05:00
I am curious... In all respectfulness, as a Christian, how have you reconciled these stories with your concept of God?
yetifivepecks says2014-08-05T22:26:24.4224070-05:00
@Cassie412: That is more or less what my pastors said. I still can't see why the children and babies would need to die in that case. Thank you for your answer.
discomfiting says2014-08-05T22:29:39.6016896-05:00
Hitler believed what he was doing was right-- that doesn't justify it.
yetifivepecks says2014-08-05T22:41:28.2881887-05:00
@marviniscool: That logic does make sense, to a point. The problem I have with it is this: If YHWH is all-powerful and all-loving, then he can't hate anyone. Yet the ancient scriptures say that he does. Hosea 9:15, Psalm 5:5, and in Prov. 6:16-19 it states that God hates those who "shed innocent blood" like the warriors who killed babies in these genocides, right? This is not even bringing the doctrines of sin and hell into it. I would never torture someone for 5 minutes, much less eternity. Therefore, I am more loving than the god of love? Preposterous. I am open-minded, but I am a former student of theology. I have heard many of the justifications...I just wanted to know how others are able to reconcile it. I simply cannot, and not for lack of trying. I was very attached to Christianity (I was en route to be a pastor and missionary), and it was painful to lose it. That part of my life is over now. I feel that I am more in tune with "God" and I am happier than I have ever been. Thank you for your response though, I am grateful, as it does help me to understand a bit more.
yetifivepecks says2014-08-05T22:45:42.1362703-05:00
I agree, discomforting. These are some of the main things that first caused me to open my mind and allow myself to ask the hard questions about my faith, and the Christian Bible. I am not trying to dissuade anyone from Christianity (though it is not for me), I just like to discuss these things, and want to understand other people's thoughts about these types of difficult subjects.
Haroush says2014-08-06T17:14:01.0763841-05:00
What genocides?
Haroush says2014-08-06T17:14:16.4269809-05:00
People are looney
yetifivepecks says2014-08-06T20:45:25.9438962-05:00
@Haroush: Yes, people are loony. The genocides that I am referring to are numerous, and committed in the name of obtaining "The Promised Land". Here are a few Biblical references: Numbers 31:7-19, .Deuteronomy 2:33-35 and 3:4-7, and Joshua 6:21.
yetifivepecks says2014-08-06T20:54:33.7534296-05:00
Also, this article expands on some of the genocides reportedly commanded by YHWH (along with the killings committed by God himself):
marviniscool says2014-08-07T13:35:46.2243907-05:00
@yetifivepecks: Here a link on how a loving God also hates: Hope this helps. One of the things God hates is the "shed of innocent blood." Like with the Canaanites. They were destroyed for their wickedness. The Canaanite culture and religion was polluted, corrupt, and perverted. The people were physically diseased from their illicit behavior. There was no viable solution to their condition except destruction. Their moral depravity was full. (Gen. 15:16). They had become so immoral, down to a depraved state, with no recovery, their existence had to be terminted. Like the flood. God waited while Noah preached for years, but wasn't able to turn the people from their wickedness (Gen. 6:3.5-7; 1 Peter 3:20; 2 Peter 3:5-9). Including the children in the destruction actually spared them from a worse condition. They could've become as wicked as the adults and face eternal punishment. All children who die, according to the Bible, go to heaven. Children who have parents who are evil must suffer innocently while on Earth (Numbers 14:33). And when talking about hell, we must remember that God doesn't send people to hell, people choose and send themselves to hell. I went ahead and looked at your examples in the comments referring to Numbers, Deuteronomy, and Joshua. In Numbers, God commands Moses to "Take full vengeance for the sons of Israel on the Midianites..." (Numbers 31:2). The people of Israel had played the harlot with the daughters of Moab and served Baal, a false god. But this idolatry, though bad enough, was accompanied by the pagan and sinful practices of the pagan women who were seducing the people of God. This would result in the destruction of Israel as well as the destruction of the messianic line. God ordered the killing of people so that he might ensure the messianic line would remain intact.The enemy, Satan, began his attempt to destroy God's people in the Garden of Eden by also trying to corrupt the world (which led to Noah's Flood), by trying to destroy Israel with attacking armies, and by encouraging Israel to fall into idolatry by exposure to other cultures as well as intermarrying women from those cultures. The result of both the idolatry and the interbreeding would have been the failure of the prophecies that foretold of the coming Messiah which specified which family line the Messiah would come through. The Messiah, Jesus, would be the one who would die for the sins of the world; and without that, death there would be no atonement. Without the atonement, all people would be lost. So, God was ensuring the arrival of the Messiah via the destruction of the ungodly. The defeat of Sihon the Amorite and Og of Bashan in Deuteronomy are the same. They had to be removed so that the Israelites could return and ensure the arrival of the Messiah line. God wanted the land cleared of all temptations so that the His people would focus solely on Him. God was protecting them. I also looked at the link you posted of claimed "Evil Bible Stories." Of course this site is going to make God look bad since it's ran and told by atheists. They probably didn't read anything before or after these evens. Like I said above, some of these were necessary for the protection of the Israelites and to keep the Messiah line intact. These aren't giving the whole story of why these things happened either. That's why it is important to research and look through the bible for things that lead up to this event and see why it was necessary. A few years ago I was going through the same thought of why a loving God would command these such things. But after actually looking them up I've realized that many of these had to occur to assure the arrival of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, so that we can have hope and be given eternal life in Heaven. I hope and pray you reconsider your choice to leave christianity. If you have any more questions or thoughts just add me and message me. "You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart." - Jeremiah 29:13
yetifivepecks says2014-08-07T21:10:25.2407043-05:00
Thank you for taking the time to explain this. It was not new to me (I was an advanced theology student), but I do appreciate it. I posted this poll and earlier comments purely from memory. I know the Bible quite well, including certain word meanings in the original Hebrew and Greek. Yes, the site was full of scathing comments from militant atheists, but they raised extremely valid points. My problem is not with "god", my problem is with violence done in the name of any concept of a god, especially a god of pure love. The explanations that we have, have very little basis and are the result of theologians' desiring to project an answer onto ancient events. Essentially, it seems to me that many people (especially in the church) have used god as an excuse throughout the ages. A means, rather than an end. I was a Christian for nearly ten years, and god was (and is) very real to me. I have simply come to view god in a different way. The god of the Bible is too small for me. The god I know is far too loving to annihilate a society or burn people for eternity. I haven't lost god, I've found more dimensions to god. I no longer take mythical, semi-historic or symbolic texts literally...When I took the time study the history of the church (not just from Christian sources), it became evident to me that these texts were only loosely related, and likely tampered with (especially during the reign of Constantine). I do appreciate your concern, but I assure you, I am quite happy. To me, beauty is everywhere. Every life is valuable and precious, and every belief system has truth and validity within it. I have never had so much joy in my life, not even in my highest spiritual "highs" as a Christian. I wish you well, and I would certainly be willing to speak with you more sometime if you'd like to, but don't worry yourself over it. :)

Freebase Icon   Portions of this page are reproduced from or are modifications based on work created and shared by Google and used according to terms described in the Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution License.

By using this site, you agree to our Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use.