Why Didn’t Jesus Just Forgive?
Numbers 31 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Take vengeance on the Midianites for the Israelites. […]
14 Moses was angry with the officers of the army—the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds—who returned from the battle.
15 “Have you allowed all the women to live?” he asked them. […] 17 Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, 18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.
This is one of the more unpleasant passages in the bible and one that atheists often bring up. God is ordering the Israelites to destroy the Midianites and Moses is getting angry when they haven’t carried out the genocide fully for God – he orders them to kill all the boys and wives and then to keep any girls that haven’t slept with a man. The phrase “save for yourselves” is particularly chilling. The girls are to be taken as sex slaves to be raped by the killers of their fathers and brothers.
But one thing to remember in these passages is that it is Jesus himself commanding all this. The Father and Son are one. So the same gentle lamb who said:
Matthew 6:14-15 – For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
is also commanding genocide and allowing the soldiers to “save for yourselves” the virginal girls. Within a Christian worldview of a fully good, fully just God/Jesus – how can this be squared?
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