Solutions for Violence in the Bible

In class we heard a few good quotes as possible explanations for violence in the Bible.

If I understand right, this is what a Hebrew Rabbi, Abraham Heschel says: Divine wrath is good news for the oppressed. If you worship a God of peace, maybe you worship the status quo. (check out his Wikipedia)

My profs proffered that in fact Pax Romana (Roman Peace) was a way to keep revolt from happening in their conquered nations. I think what they were trying to say was that the dictate for peace kept wicked people wicked, and oppressed people oppressed.

Also, the surrounding cultures in the times of the Old Testament were all about war. And God seems to come to nations in the way they will understand, in customs they’re vaguely familiar with. It’s like God said, this isn’t my natural way, but just to prove that I am most powerful in war, which is so prevalent in your lives, I will show that I can conquer in that way as well. But God only gives permission to do it once, then he disbands the armies. So Israelites were the abnormally peaceful ones.

And anyway most of the actual violence happens when the nations get confused and kill each other, or a trumpet blast just obliterates a city God said was wicked.

Plus, some archaeologists say that many of these cities were already mostly abandoned by the time the Israelites came through anyway. Which means probably very little killing had to happen in order for everyone to be wiped out.

Just some thoughts that I found interesting.


Raw Spoon, 1-14-16

8 Responses to Solutions for Violence in the Bible

  1. Barnesy says:

    Trying to imagine J.C. running into battle and slaying babies in the name of God. V difficult one to put together no matter how you navigate the justification.

    • raw spoon says:

      Yeah it’s been one of the hardest for me.We are a generation who has deified peace, but maybe for good reason.

    • raw spoon says:

      Oh, and maybe leaving widows and orphans alive in a culture that didn’t have the resources to embrace them would be even worse. And a quick death is probably better than most other ways people died back then. I don’t know. I wrestle with this stuff so much.

  2. rollingk says:

    I think there was a lot of stubborness of heart too, though.
    Jesus said that Moses allowed for divorce because of their stubbornness – but thats not how God intended.

    A lot of times when it has to do with violence happening to isreal God warns them what will happen if they stop following His way of life and blessing…
    In my opinion it seems like God is saying “without me this will happen. Your pregnant women will be ripped open. Your babies will be dashed on the stones”
    Not because He decrees, but because He steps back and lets there enemies have their way. He does a romans 1. He allows the effects of their actions to take effect.

    In my many readings of the bible ive never read any instructions by God to kill in the way God warns the other nations would kill them if they started following other gods and going their own way.

    I cannot stand and represent God and justification for why ( or proof that ) God said the words “annihilate all” as is recorded in O.T. documents.

    I do know that God is love. And i really believe He intended good.

    Something that helped me understand a bit better was one year i read thru the chronological 365 day bible

    And i saw how God warned the other countries thru the prophets that if they didnt turn to Him disaster would fall on them. Look in the books of the prophets! Theyre written to other nations too!!!

    Also sometimes when i need a resource to get another opinion i go to theyre a good resource for thinking about stuff too….

    Heres what they said ( a lot like shat you said!! )

    Keep writting – keep wrestling. God always rewards the one who wrestles with Him. He’s big enough for you to do all the wrestling you want.

    • raw spoon says:

      This stuff is so good! I just bookmarked the website, and I have been reading through the 1-year bible for the past couple years! I totally agree that violence has a lot to do with punishment of other nations!! Thank you again for adding to this conversation! feel free to email me sometime! and maybe we can share more resources and stuff! Bless you!

      • rollingk says:

        =) sounds good!! Yay for good resources!
        And: God is so beyond our thinking, so i really like your perspective about Adam and Eve and how them knowing good and evil made them start to judge God and what actions He was making.

        I think that blog post ties this idea of violence up so well. That God cant be held to the standards of our courts because He knows beyond our perspective….

  3. rollingk says:

    Their enemies.
    …2am scribblings.
    *sigh* –.–

  4. rollingk says:

    shat = what.