Saturday, April 14, 2007

Thou Shalt Kill

I just finished watching a video called, Death by Love: Reflections on the Cross (audio, video) for the second time ever. I was caused to decide to read the whole Bible directly after watching it for the first time, and I have managed to read all of the Old Testament since then. This last time, I was reminded of a particular memory that was made at Everett Comedy College in Everett Washington.

Before I recount the details of this memory, let me type something similar to what I typed into a previous posting about my parents, but with increased specificity: Junior colleges are very good for people who want to learn science in an effective and economical manner.

I was walking along the upper level of Baker Hall when I heard one lady talking to another about how bad some particular war was. I don't think that it even had anything to do with Iraq, she was unhappy about this war just because it was a war. I heard her say that God said in the ten commandments, "Thou shalt not kill" and I thought to myself, "how stupid. If God actually said, 'Thou shalt not kill,' then God must have a really short memory because I am sure that God has decided people should be killed since then." During my last reading of the old testament, I noticed that just about the first thing that God commanded after giving the ten commandments and the other accompanying laws with them, can be found in Exodus 32:26 when God responded to the idolatry of the people who had just been redeemed and brought out of Egypt:

He said to them, "Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, 'Every man of you put his sword upon his thigh, and go back and forth from gate to gate in the camp, and kill every man his brother, and every man his friend, and every man his neighbor.'"

And the sons of Levi (vs. 26) were blessed for so doing, vs 29:

Then Moses said, "Dedicate yourselves today to the Lord--for every man has been against his son and against his brother--in order that He may bestow a blessing upon you today.

This brings me to another Bible story that I have wanted to share since my last reading of the old testament, but I have not had the pleasure of writing it out before now. In this story, King Jehu decides to kill a bunch of idolaters and is duly rewarded by God.

18 Then Jehu brought all the people together and said to them, "Ahab served Baal a little; Jehu will serve him much.

19 Now summon all the prophets of Baal, all his ministers and all his priests. See that no one is missing, because I am going to hold a great sacrifice for Baal. Anyone who fails to come will no longer live." But Jehu was acting deceptively in order to destroy the ministers of Baal.

20 Jehu said, "Call an assembly in honor of Baal." So they proclaimed it.

21 Then he sent word throughout Israel, and all the ministers of Baal came; not one stayed away. They crowded into the temple of Baal until it was full from one end to the other.

22 And Jehu said to the keeper of the wardrobe, "Bring robes for all the ministers of Baal." So he brought out robes for them.

23 Then Jehu and Jehonadab son of Recab went into the temple of Baal. Jehu said to the ministers of Baal, "Look around and see that no servants of the LORD are here with you—only ministers of Baal."

24 So they went in to make sacrifices and burnt offerings. Now Jehu had posted eighty men outside with this warning: "If one of you lets any of the men I am placing in your hands escape, it will be your life for his life."

25 As soon as Jehu had finished making the burnt offering, he ordered the guards and officers: "Go in and kill them; let no one escape." So they cut them down with the sword. The guards and officers threw the bodies out and then entered the inner shrine of the temple of Baal.

26 They brought the sacred stone out of the temple of Baal and burned it.

27 They demolished the sacred stone of Baal and tore down the temple of Baal, and people have used it for a latrine to this day.

28 So Jehu destroyed Baal worship in Israel.

29 However, he did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit—the worship of the golden calves at Bethel and Dan.

30 The LORD said to Jehu, "Because you have done well in accomplishing what is right in my eyes and have done to the house of Ahab all I had in mind to do, your descendants will sit on the throne of Israel to the fourth generation."

So all of that is just to warn you against removing excerpts of the old King James version of the ten commandments from their context as this one lady did.

Oh, I believe that I have copied from the New International Version of the Bible.


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