What was there so much violence in the OT? This is a question that many atheists like to ask a Christian. It bothered me that I could not answer it until I realized something.
People in the OT did not go to Heaven or Hell when they died as we do today. They did what was called: Slept with thy fathers.
1kings 2:10 So David slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David.
1kings 11:21 And when Hadad heard in Egypt that David slept with his fathers, and that Joab the captain of the host was dead, Hadad said to Pharaoh, Let me depart, that I may go to mine own country.
1kings 11:43 And Solomon slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David his father: and Rehoboam his son reigned in his stead.
1kings 14:20 And the days which Jeroboam reigned were two and twenty years: and he slept with his fathers, and Nadab his son reigned in his stead.
1kings 14:31 And Rehoboam slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David. And his mother's name was Naamah an Ammonitess. And Abijam his son reigned in his stead.
What this means is that their soul stayed on earth with their bodies. This also means that there was no judgment for sin or righteousness after death as there is now. So punishment and judgement for sin was carried out while people were still alive on this earth. When Christ rose from the dead, the saints worthy to go up at that time rose up with their bodies and went into the Holy City.
Matthew 27:52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.
Notice the word usage. It says: "Many" bodies of the saints which slept arose. Many does not equal all. So this resurrection was also a judgement leaving some still in their graves even unto this day. This is why this verse says this:
1thess 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
If Christ came to give life, who are the "dead in Christ"? It's the saints that were not worthy to rise when Christ rose from the dead. So they are still in their graves and most rise first. Being the last to rise from the old covenant, but the first to rise in the new covenant. Fulfills scripture that says:
mt 20:16 So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.
So the "dead in Christ" rising first has nothing to do with anyone from the NT. It the last people to rise from the OT. This is because all that die in the new covenant go to their destinations according to what they believed to wait for their judgment. So basically if a person committed a sin worthy of death, they were judged here on earth and the sentence was carried out. One instance was where King Saul refused to kill someone whom had shed innocent blood (babies and children) when God told him to, the prophet Samuel got mad and did it himself. Saul was cursed for disobeying. And later Him and his sons were killed in battle as foretold by the prophet Samuel.