cure-real
Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 69

Thread: Why Did God Command Joshua to kill children?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    The Southland
    Posts
    538

    Why Did God Command Joshua to kill children?

    I've been struggling with WHY and IF God actually commanded Joshua and the army to kill innocent children.

    In the book of Isaiah, there is a Bible verse which says the following: "But before the boy knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, the land of the two kings you dread will be laid waste." (Isaiah 7:16)

    This seems to suggest to me that the Bible acknowledges that infants cannot possibly know right from wrong. Why then would God command the murder of children who did not knowingly accept the practices or beliefs of the society in which they were born?

    Couldn't they have been adopted by the Jews?
    Couldn't God have killed these children in a painless way?
    Was God's command misunderstood by Joshua?
    Was this entire story just a later justification of genocide?

    Please weigh in because I fail to see how the God in the New Testament could have demanded this act

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    suburb of judea
    Posts
    1,226
    Mostly because you are looking at things in a rather shortsighted world view instead of a Biblical world view.

    First off the first of anything belongs to God according to the Torah (five books of Moses)

    The Battle of Jericho was to belong to God. There was to be no keeping of any of the spoils of war from this town of anything. The discipline for those soldiers to do this was incredible. We have seen nothing like it today in our military. No soldier I ever heard of could or would mow down women and children today...I doubt it was easy then either.

    The word for destroy was a term used for irrevokably giving something to God and destroying it in such a manner as no one else could have it either.

    God however doesn't view physical death in the same fashion as we do...He sees it simply as a transition...after all He is the Creator of All Life.

    If even the wicked men of Sodom are going to rise up to condemn the Priests, Pharisees, and other religious rulers of Jesus' day...then there is something amiss in most people's logic as far as how we view physical death. (I ain't saying that the men of Sodom were righteous in any sense)

    I am going to trust though that God is always good and will do right by those that He commanded be killed.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    somewhere over the rainbow
    Posts
    14,646
    Blog Entries
    11
    Quote Originally Posted by TheAnswer99 View Post
    I've been struggling with WHY and IF God actually commanded Joshua and the army to kill innocent children.

    In the book of Isaiah, there is a Bible verse which says the following: "But before the boy knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, the land of the two kings you dread will be laid waste." (Isaiah 7:16)

    This seems to suggest to me that the Bible acknowledges that infants cannot possibly know right from wrong. Why then would God command the murder of children who did not knowingly accept the practices or beliefs of the society in which they were born?

    Couldn't they have been adopted by the Jews?
    Couldn't God have killed these children in a painless way?
    Was God's command misunderstood by Joshua?
    Was this entire story just a later justification of genocide?

    Please weigh in because I fail to see how the God in the New Testament could have demanded this act
    You have completely misunderstood this verse..its a prophecy about the coming Christ child...it has nothing to do with killing children...look:

    Isaiah 7 (New King James Version)
    The Immanuel Prophecy

    10 Moreover the LORD spoke again to Ahaz, saying, 11 “Ask a sign for yourself from the LORD your God; ask it either in the depth or in the height above.”
    12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, nor will I test the LORD!”
    13 Then he said, “Hear now, O house of David! Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will you weary my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. 15 Curds and honey He shall eat, that He may know to refuse the evil and choose the good. 16 For before the Child shall know to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land that you dread will be forsaken by both her kings. 17 The LORD will bring the king of Assyria upon you and your people and your father’s house—days that have not come since the day that Ephraim departed from Judah.”


    Also checking bible commentaries and other bible translations can help clear things up...but most of all always take thing IN content. A single verse can mean anything...you assumed it meant much more then it really said.
    Hope this helps!

    God bless
    "People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; We drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; We drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated?" - D A Carson

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    The Southland
    Posts
    538
    Quote Originally Posted by moonglow View Post
    You have completely misunderstood this verse..its a prophecy about the coming Christ child...it has nothing to do with killing children...look:

    Isaiah 7 (New King James Version)
    The Immanuel Prophecy

    10 Moreover the LORD spoke again to Ahaz, saying, 11 “Ask a sign for yourself from the LORD your God; ask it either in the depth or in the height above.”
    12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, nor will I test the LORD!”
    13 Then he said, “Hear now, O house of David! Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will you weary my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. 15 Curds and honey He shall eat, that He may know to refuse the evil and choose the good. 16 For before the Child shall know to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land that you dread will be forsaken by both her kings. 17 The LORD will bring the king of Assyria upon you and your people and your father’s house—days that have not come since the day that Ephraim departed from Judah.”


    Also checking bible commentaries and other bible translations can help clear things up...but most of all always take thing IN content. A single verse can mean anything...you assumed it meant much more then it really said.
    Hope this helps!

    God bless
    I know that verse did not specifically address the killing of children...

    The point of bringing up that verse was to point out that the Bible suggests that children do not know how to choose good over evil at some point

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    The Southland
    Posts
    538
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnDB View Post
    Mostly because you are looking at things in a rather shortsighted world view instead of a Biblical world view.
    I don't think it is "shortsighted" to simply ask if wiping out women and children *may* conflict with a basic understanding of a just God

    No soldier I ever heard of could or would mow down women and children today...I doubt it was easy then either.
    Well, Nazis did it during the Holocaust...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    933
    Blog Entries
    4
    Quote Originally Posted by TheAnswer99 View Post
    I've been struggling with WHY and IF God actually commanded Joshua and the army to kill innocent children.

    In the book of Isaiah, there is a Bible verse which says the following: "But before the boy knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, the land of the two kings you dread will be laid waste." (Isaiah 7:16)

    This seems to suggest to me that the Bible acknowledges that infants cannot possibly know right from wrong. Why then would God command the murder of children who did not knowingly accept the practices or beliefs of the society in which they were born?

    Couldn't they have been adopted by the Jews?
    Couldn't God have killed these children in a painless way?
    Was God's command misunderstood by Joshua?
    Was this entire story just a later justification of genocide?

    Please weigh in because I fail to see how the God in the New Testament could have demanded this act
    This only happened in one or two places in the bible. God has infinite wisdom. He can see the past, the present, and the future of any situation all at the same time. I believe these people were a threat to His covenant people. And not only to them but also a threat to the entire world.

    I want to add that we can't understand and know everything. That's where faith comes in.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    4
    As a lowly human, I'm smart enough to know I can never fully comprehend God's logic, and just dumb enough not to follow God's logic when I think I do comprehend it.

    I think that was a fair question to pose, and I know the killing of women and children in the Bible is a real stumbling block for many non-believers.

    They often cite that and don't give Jesus a chance.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    somewhere over the rainbow
    Posts
    14,646
    Blog Entries
    11
    Quote Originally Posted by TheAnswer99 View Post
    I know that verse did not specifically address the killing of children...

    The point of bringing up that verse was to point out that the Bible suggests that children do not know how to choose good over evil at some point
    Ok... then how did you go from that to this other topic?..as far as I know Joshua was never commanded to kill anyone. I believe this was many many years after Joshua even lived.. its has to do with David's rule. The story of Joshua is way back in Exodus...(corrected...got Exodus and Joseph mixed up)..Joshua helped Moses
    "People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; We drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; We drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated?" - D A Carson

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    The Southland
    Posts
    538
    Quote Originally Posted by moonglow View Post
    Ok... then how did you go from that to this other topic?
    1.) God commanded Joshua to kill all living things including infants
    2.) Infants, according to that verse, cannot know right from wrong
    3.) Why did God command the murder of these infants if they did not participate in the wicked ways of these people?

    ..as far as I know Joshua was never commanded to kill anyone. I believe this was many many years after Joshua even lived.. its has to do with David's rule. The story of Joshua is way back in Genesis...
    I thought the story of Joshua's conquest was in the Book of Joshua???

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    The Southland
    Posts
    538
    Quote Originally Posted by Damascus View Post
    As a lowly human, I'm smart enough to know I can never fully comprehend God's logic, and just dumb enough not to follow God's logic when I think I do comprehend it.

    I think that was a fair question to pose, and I know the killing of women and children in the Bible is a real stumbling block for many non-believers.

    They often cite that and don't give Jesus a chance.
    I think your answer is certainly a fair one

    I must admit that I converted to Christianity from agnosticism, so I am someone who is far more prone to being skeptical of stories. The conquest of Canaan was the main obstacle from the start and continues to be a problem for me even as a believer. It honestly sometimes makes me question my beliefs

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    somewhere over the rainbow
    Posts
    14,646
    Blog Entries
    11
    Ok here look...your first post for me anyway was pretty confusing...but your main question seems to be why anywhere in the bible children and babies had to die...that is your biggest concern. I have actually researched this and found a great site that explains it. The people and situations at that time in history has to be considered...there was no SRS then to take the kids in...the first time this happen these pagans were attacking the Jew after they were saved from slavery in Egypt. It wasn't like they could call the police...they had to defend themselves. Being the desert as they were...constantly traveling...thousands of them they simply didn't have the extra resources to take in all these children. These pagans by the way were scarifying their own children to their god..throwing them alive into fire...burying them alive in their pagan temples. It really takes a complete understand of the situation to understand the why's here...

    Good question...shouldn't the butchering of the Amalekite children be considered war crimes?

    [Modified: Oct/2000; May 2001; added a tiny comment on 'euthanasia by humans' May 2002]

    I received a thoughtful and impassioned response to my piece on "How could a God of love order the annihilation of the Canaanites"...It went into more detail in one of the more emotionally difficult areas of that piece--the consequences on the Amalekite children--and deserved to be considered carefully. This issue is and should be a stomach-churning one for all sensitive hearts (especially Christians), and this piece will have to proceed soberly and humbly through the many complexities involved herein.


    I hope you take the time to read through it and his other links on this topic..it really helps us understand why God did what He did and not pre-judge Him in this respect.

    God bless
    "People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; We drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; We drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated?" - D A Carson

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    1,264
    Quote Originally Posted by TheAnswer99 View Post
    I've been struggling with WHY and IF God actually commanded Joshua and the army to kill innocent children.

    In the book of Isaiah, there is a Bible verse which says the following: "But before the boy knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, the land of the two kings you dread will be laid waste." (Isaiah 7:16)

    This seems to suggest to me that the Bible acknowledges that infants cannot possibly know right from wrong. Why then would God command the murder of children who did not knowingly accept the practices or beliefs of the society in which they were born?

    Couldn't they have been adopted by the Jews?
    Couldn't God have killed these children in a painless way?
    Was God's command misunderstood by Joshua?
    Was this entire story just a later justification of genocide?

    Please weigh in because I fail to see how the God in the New Testament could have demanded this act
    Good question. I am so glad you are searching biblically for the answer, and not allowing this to shake your faith in God.

    We must remember that our God--God of the NT is the same God of the OT.
    God is Sovereign over all, Holy, and Just, Merciful, Loving, Compassionate;
    as He loves, He must also hate. Loving all that is good and holy; hating that which is sinful and vile.

    That being said, do you think it might be possible that these children would have grown up to be exactly like their parents, and never turned to God?
    Could God in His infinite wisdom and provision have been granting them eternal life--where there would have been no hope for it, had they continued to live to be adolescents and adults?


    In Christ,
    Jen

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    In a place of praying hard and trusting God while battling on my knees!
    Posts
    21,939
    Blog Entries
    85
    Quote Originally Posted by TheAnswer99 View Post
    3.) Why did God command the murder of these infants if they did not participate in the wicked ways of these people?


    To understand, you must first understand that killing and murder are two different things.

    Now without purpose, just to destroy is "murder" and this is of satan. It has no purpose but to cause terror. satan also uses murder to thwart the purpose God has... using Hitler the way he tried to destroy the Israeli people is an example of trying to stop God's purpose for the nation of Israel. satan even learned his lesson in using only a single nation to murder Israeli people. So instead he uses cultures and even a religion to "attempt" to thwart God's purpose with Israel as a nation by using these cultures and religions to murder Israeli people and all those who support Israel.

    Killing has purpose for God to see His will done. He's killed and He has man kill... today they are even called Ministers of God (Romans 13:4). By killing the infants, God prevented these children from growing up to become just like the adults in the city of Jericho. We don't understand the purpose all the time except to accept our purpose is to be obedient to the will of God. If His purpose is to kill all, we kill all.

    They didn't participate in the wicked ways of the adult people "at that moment" but they sure would as they got older. Look at Terrorism today. If we went in and killed all radical muslims... what would be accomplished if all the children continued the terrorism in a generation????

    If Joshua didn't kill all men, women, children and even the livestock, in a generation, the Israeli people would have to deal with the retribution of the children of that city for killing all the parents and leaders.
    Last edited by Slug1; Sep 28th 2009 at 03:00 PM. Reason: some more input
    Slug1--out

    ~Does Predestination mean: Once of the devil, Always of the devil?~

    ~Limitations in a Christian’s life are due to limited prayer and limiting obedience~

    ~Forgiveness has nothing to do with forgetting that moment... it's all about freedom FROM that moment.~


    ~Your needs activate God's compassion and faith activates God's power~

    ~Three minutes is a lifetime, if you only have two, too live~


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    2,670
    Blog Entries
    12
    Quote Originally Posted by TheAnswer99 View Post
    I've been struggling with WHY and IF God actually commanded Joshua and the army to kill innocent children.

    In the book of Isaiah, there is a Bible verse which says the following: "But before the boy knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, the land of the two kings you dread will be laid waste." (Isaiah 7:16)

    This seems to suggest to me that the Bible acknowledges that infants cannot possibly know right from wrong. Why then would God command the murder of children who did not knowingly accept the practices or beliefs of the society in which they were born?

    Couldn't they have been adopted by the Jews?
    Couldn't God have killed these children in a painless way?
    Was God's command misunderstood by Joshua?
    Was this entire story just a later justification of genocide?

    Please weigh in because I fail to see how the God in the New Testament could have demanded this act
    There were several times that God commanded that all be killed, including children, and also that nothing be taken as spoil, not an item to be removed. It wasn't just killing people, it was taking the enemies of God and those against God's people and not leaving anything to come up against them.

    Numbers 16
    21"Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them instantly." 22But they fell on their faces and said, "O God, God of the spirits of all flesh, when one man sins, will You be angry with the entire congregation?"
    23Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
    24"Speak to the congregation, saying, 'Get back from around the dwellings of Korah, Dathan and Abiram.'"
    25Then Moses arose and went to Dathan and Abiram, with the elders of Israel following him,
    26and he spoke to the congregation, saying, "Depart now from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing that belongs to them, (AD)or you will be swept away in all their sin."
    27So they got back from around the dwellings of Korah, Dathan and Abiram; and Dathan and Abiram came out and stood at the doorway of their tents, along with their wives and their sons and their little ones.
    28Moses said, "By this you shall know that the LORD has sent me to do all these deeds; for this is not my doing.
    29"If these men die the death of all men or if they suffer the fate of all men, then the LORD has not sent me.
    30"But if the LORD brings about an entirely new thing and the ground opens its mouth and swallows them up with all that is theirs, and they descend alive into Sheol, then you will understand that these men have spurned the LORD."
    31As he finished speaking all these words, the ground that was under them split open;
    32and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, and their households, and all the men who belonged to Korah with their possessions.
    33So they and all that belonged to them went down alive to Sheol; and the earth closed over them, and they perished from the midst of the assembly.

    It was all things related to what was not for God but against Him. All who were in their tents, all who offered sacrifice while unclean, all who associated with them including their wives and children were swallowed up. This is an example of children being taken and not by the hand of the sword.

    We also need to remember that God is just and merciful. We see children slain, condemnation coming against them because of those who do, or should, know better. We just read that they were taken out of the world. But we MUST remember - ALL will be judged. The killing of children doesn't mean they were damned, they too will have their moment before God as we all will.

    Ephesians 4
    8Therefore it says,
    "WHEN HE ASCENDED ON HIGH,
    HE LED CAPTIVE A HOST OF CAPTIVES,
    AND HE GAVE GIFTS TO MEN."
    9(Now this expression, "He ascended," what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth?
    10He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things.)



    All were given the Gospel, all heard it as faith comes by hearing. Those who were swallowed up in Sheol heard it.


    Revelation 20
    12And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds.
    13And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds.



    God never gives one the opportunity to choose only death.


    Deuteronomy 30
    19"I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants,
    20by loving the LORD your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them."


    John 9
    1As He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. 2And His disciples asked Him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?"
    3Jesus answered, "It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.


    None of this has changed, God is still the same as He was then. He's not a genocidal dictator. He has cleared a way for His people since Genesis, and will continue to do so. Our hope is in eternal life, this world and this life are but a vapor in the wind. Eventually God will destroy with that same wrath for the same reasons everything of His creation including children. While we journey here we are not left without a choice. What is good will be glorified and what is not will be destroyed.



    We must trust Him, knowing that even when things are justly carried out there is also just as much, and far more, grace and mercy that is granted. As much as God is wrath, even moreso He is merciful because of Christ.



    Hebrews 8
    8For finding fault with them, He says,
    "BEHOLD, DAYS ARE COMING, SAYS THE LORD,
    WHEN I WILL EFFECT A NEW COVENANT
    WITH THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL AND WITH THE HOUSE OF JUDAH;
    9NOT LIKE THE COVENANT WHICH I MADE WITH THEIR FATHERS
    ON THE DAY WHEN I TOOK THEM BY THE HAND
    TO LEAD THEM OUT OF THE LAND OF EGYPT;
    FOR THEY DID NOT CONTINUE IN MY COVENANT,
    AND I DID NOT CARE FOR THEM, SAYS THE LORD.
    10"FOR THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL
    AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAYS THE LORD:
    I WILL PUT MY LAWS INTO THEIR MINDS,
    AND I WILL WRITE THEM ON THEIR HEARTS.
    AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD,
    AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.
    11"AND THEY SHALL NOT TEACH EVERYONE HIS FELLOW CITIZEN,
    AND EVERYONE HIS BROTHER, SAYING, 'KNOW THE LORD,'
    FOR ALL WILL KNOW ME,
    FROM THE LEAST TO THE GREATEST OF THEM.
    12"FOR I WILL BE MERCIFUL TO THEIR INIQUITIES,
    AND I WILL REMEMBER THEIR SINS NO MORE."
    Seek ye FIRST the kingdom.
    Not second or third, but first.
    Only when all else pales to God, when He receives all glory,
    when He is the source of all hope,
    when His love is received and freely given,
    holding not to the world but to the promise to come,
    will all other things be added unto to you.


  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    5,084
    Quote Originally Posted by TheAnswer99 View Post
    I've been struggling with WHY and IF God actually commanded Joshua and the army to kill innocent children.
    The thing is, God knew (Omniscience) that they weren't innocent. He was able to righteously look forward in time, and see that every woman and child would eventually be a servant of the devil....and not one of His.

    Similar examples are found with the women and children being killed by God in Noah's flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, the Egyptian plagues, and eventually, at the Second Coming when Christ returns and casts all the wicked into the fiery furnace where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

    Romans 9:21
    "Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?"

    Psalms 28:5
    "Because they regard not the works of the LORD, nor the operation of his hands, he shall destroy them, and not build them up."

    Job 8:3
    "Doth God pervert judgment? or doth the Almighty pervert justice? If thy children have sinned against him, and he have cast them away for their transgression"

    Job 30:8
    "They were children of fools, yea, children of base men: they were viler than the earth."

    II Kings 17:41
    "So these served their graven images, both their children, and their children's children: as did their fathers, so do they unto this day."

    Isaiah 13:13
    "Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger. And it shall be as the chased roe, and as a sheep that no man taketh up: they shall every man turn to his own people, and flee every one into his own land. Every one that is found shall be thrust through; and every one that is joined unto them shall fall by the sword. Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished."

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Discussion One of the most neglected command in the bible
    By Tomlane in forum Bible Chat
    Replies: 40
    Last Post: May 17th 2009, 01:38 AM
  2. the command to be in community
    By reformedct in forum Bible Chat
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: Feb 8th 2009, 06:47 AM
  3. What was the Command in the Garden?
    By slynx in forum Bible Chat
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: Jul 24th 2007, 05:13 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •