Spirituality

Spirituality

  1. Zugzwang
    Joined
    08 Jun '07
    Moves
    2120
    19 Feb '19 00:58
    I was reading Richard Gabriel's (he's a military historian) biography
    of Moses as a military leader. He described the Midianite Massacre.

    Here's another account:
    https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2006/08/the-bible-s-most-hideous-war-crime.html

    "The Bible’s Most Hideous War Crime"

    Numbers 31 (commentary by David Plotz)
    "Here is most hideous war crime in a Bible filled with them."

    "Moses is furious that the Midianite women have been spared. …
    Moses orders his troops to execute all the Midianite boys and all
    the Midianite females except for the virgins. Isn’t this a kind of sick,
    grotesquely disproportionate atrocity? It’s collective punishment of
    a most repellent sort—and all to take revenge for the one bad date
    between an Israelite and a Midianite girl! Numbers informs us, with
    its usual fondness for precision, that 32,000 virgin females survive
    the mass execution (and were then enslaved, incidentally).
    By my rough estimate, this means the Israelites killed more than
    60,000 captive, defenseless women and boys."

    How did Moses separate the captive virgins, who would be raped and
    enslaved, from the non-virgin women who would be immediately killed?
    Did God help Moses sort the virgins (spoils of war) from the other females?

    Let's not be too euphemistic about the fate of the 'saved' virgins.
    As these girls or young women (at most) were gang-raped, more
    than a few of them likely would have died of their internal injuries.
    Richard Gabriel believes there was major attrition among the captive virgins.

    As far as I can tell, some Jews or Christians believe that Moses always
    acted with God's approval and blessing. How can they reconcile
    his record of extreme cruelty (according to the texts) with their exaltation
    of Moses as divinely inspired?
  2. SubscriberFMF
    Main Poster
    This Thread
    Joined
    28 Oct '05
    Moves
    29885
    19 Feb '19 01:191 edit
    @duchess64 said
    As far as I can tell, some Jews or Christians believe that Moses always
    acted with God's approval and blessing. How can they reconcile
    his record of extreme cruelty (according to the texts) with their exaltation
    of Moses as divinely inspired?
    The Hebrews wrote scriptures in which they portrayed themselves as carrying out God's will [i.e. destroying the people - who lived on land they wanted to occupy - because of their alleged wickedness] and they also declared that these scriptures were divinely inspired.

    Marry those two things to the assertions that [1] God ~ being the creator ~ can do whatever he wants, and [2] everything God does is, by definition, good, and we find that protestations of "extreme cruelty" ~ within the terms of reference of Jews and Christians [I think Muslims consider "Numbers" divinely inspired to, perhaps?] ~ don't register in moral terms.
  3. Seongnam, S. Korea
    Joined
    03 Jun '17
    Moves
    20307
    19 Feb '19 02:07
    Right, this accurately describes how the Bible portrays it to a degree -- there is a war with Midian, but the basis of it is deeper:

    Abraham had more sons than just Isaac (by Sarah) and Ishmael (by Hagar). He also had six sons by Keturah, his wife after the death of Sarah: Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah (Genesis 25:2). The Midianites were the descendants of Midian and therefore children of Abraham. They settled in “the land of the east” (Genesis 25:6). Most scholars believe the land of Midian was officially on both sides of the Gulf of Aqaba, although the Midianites showed nomadic tendencies later in their history (see Habakkuk 3:7, ESV).

    When Moses fled the wrath of Pharaoh, he traveled to Midian (Exodus 2:15). There, Moses met and married his wife, Zipporah, and served his father-in-law, Jethro, as a shepherd for forty years. The fact that Jethro was “a priest of Midian” (Exodus 2:16) indicates that the Midianites, at least during Moses’ time, still retained the knowledge of the God of their father Abraham (cf. Jethro’s words and actions in Exodus 18). At the end of Moses’ time in Midian, God appeared to Moses—still in Midian—and commissioned him to lead the Israelites out of slavery (Exodus 3—4).

    As the children of Israel traveled through the wilderness, they employed the services of a guide familiar with the desert—Moses’ Midianite brother-in-law, Hobab (Numbers 10:29). However, the relations between the Israelites and the Midianites began to sour when the Midianites joined forces with the Moabites in order to hire Balaam to curse Israel (Numbers 22). Later, when Israel fell into idolatry and sexual sin with the Moabite women (Numbers 25), we find that a prominent Midianite woman was also involved (Numbers 25:6). The Lord then told Moses to wage war against the Midianites: “Treat the Midianites as enemies and kill them. They treated you as enemies when they deceived you in the Peor incident involving their sister Kozbi, the daughter of a Midianite leader” (Numbers 25:17–19). The Israelites did eventually attack the Midianites, meting out divine retribution against their enemies (Numbers 31). Five kings of the Midianites were killed, as was Balaam (Numbers 31:8). This battle was one of the last things Moses accomplished as leader of the Israelites.


    And, moreover, the Midianites do survive and end up becoming a thorn in the side of the Hebrews -- a traidtional enemy, really:

    During the time of the judges, “the Midianites, Amalekites and other eastern peoples invaded the country” and plundered the land (Judges 6:3). For seven years, “Midian so impoverished the Israelites that they cried out to the Lord for help” (verse 6). God answered their cries and raised up Gideon as a deliverer. With just 300 men, Gideon defeated the armies of the Midianites, although the foe was “thick as locusts. Their camels could no more be counted than the sand on the seashore” (Judges 7:12). Of course, God was involved, and He was the One who granted the victory over the Midianites (verse 22).


    https://www.gotquestions.org/Midianites.html

    Duchess contests that (a) the women would have been violated so much so they would die, particularly in the form of a 'gang' indulging in this way, but we know that this would have been against what Moses would have wanted for the Hebrews. The internal logic of Judaism would have dictated that they would marry them and keep them perhaps as second or third wives ('concubines' to some degree), or potentially even as first wives, and they would therefore have the right of wives to not be abused in such a manner.

    (b) And, of course, captive men and older women were put to death because their large numbers would have made them a fifth column amongst the Hebrews, something that could never be trusted and could never have their loyalty secured, nor could they be trusted to go free.

    It was a necessity of the circumstances -- and a necessity for the future of the Hebrews.

    Indeed, later on they would still be fighting the Midianites. The situation could have been much worse.

    When we deal with the Bronze & Iron Ages, we are rarely dealing with pleasant realities, and so it is not actually useful to look at these things from the perspective of a 21st century mind.
  4. Zugzwang
    Joined
    08 Jun '07
    Moves
    2120
    19 Feb '19 02:502 edits
    @philokalia said
    Right, this accurately describes how the Bible portrays it to a degree -- there is a war with Midian, but the basis of it is deeper:

    [quote] Abraham had more sons than just Isaac (by Sarah) and Ishmael (by Hagar). He also had six sons by Keturah, his wife after the death of Sarah: Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah (Genesis 25:2). The Midianites were the ...[text shortened]... nd so it is not actually useful to look at these things from the perspective of a 21st century mind.
    Philokalia shows poor (or extremely biased) reading comprehension.

    "Let's not be too euphemistic about the fate of the 'saved' virgins.
    As these girls or young women (at most) were gang-raped, more
    than a few of them likely would have died of their internal injuries.
    Richard Gabriel believes there was major attrition among the captive virgins."
    --Duchess64

    In his book _God's Generals: The Military Lives of Moses, the Buddha and Muhammad_,
    Richard Gabriel writes that the gang-raping of the young virgins would have likely
    caused many deaths.

    I am NOT just referring (as Philokalia apparently blithely presumes) to these girls
    committing suicide out of shame over being deprived of their virginity.
    I am referring to repeated rapes likely causing fatal internal injuries (or infections) to young girls.
    Does Philokalia need to have some basic facts explained to him?
  5. Seongnam, S. Korea
    Joined
    03 Jun '17
    Moves
    20307
    19 Feb '19 03:06
    But what is the internal logic and morality of Judaism..?

    That they would have to marry before bedding them, right?

    And even if we say that they would be treated as property, they would not be common property.

    While this sort of mass violation is a common war time atrocity, it isn't explicitly recorded, and it would be against Hebrew custom. We should not assume that it occurred.
  6. Zugzwang
    Joined
    08 Jun '07
    Moves
    2120
    19 Feb '19 03:521 edit
    @philokalia said
    But what is the internal logic and morality of Judaism..?

    That they would have to marry before bedding them, right?

    And even if we say that they would be treated as property, they would not be common property.

    While this sort of mass violation is a common war time atrocity, it isn't explicitly recorded, and it would be against Hebrew custom. We should not assume that it occurred.
    Does Philokalia believe that Israeli Jewish soldiers (or armed settlers) NEVER commit
    any war crimes because that may violate some ethical precepts in Judaism?

    In fact, some right-wing rabbis in Israel have sought to find justifications in Jewish law
    for Israeli Jewish soldiers to torture or murder Palestinians about whenever they please.
    One argument seems to be that a Jewish prohibition against killing applies only to Jewish lives.
  7. Seongnam, S. Korea
    Joined
    03 Jun '17
    Moves
    20307
    19 Feb '19 04:06
    @duchess64 said
    Does Philokalia believe that Israeli Jewish soldiers (or armed settlers) NEVER commit
    any war crimes because that may violate some ethical precepts in Judaism?

    In fact, some right-wing rabbis in Israel have sought to find justifications in Jewish law
    for Israeli Jewish soldiers to torture or murder Palestinians about whenever they please.
    One argument seems to be that a Jewish prohibition against killing applies only to Jewish lives.
    (1) I believe that people of all groups would commit war crimes given enough numbers, sure.

    And I can follow that logic and say that war crimes were probably committed because in any battle of that size there would be instances like that.

    But we know that Moses did not shy away from punishing his own Hebrews when they were committing crimes of that nature, and that is satisfactory.

    And, besides, a war crime going unpunished in the ancient days is not so different than the fallible nature of today's government, either.

    (2) Any Jewish rabbi who says that the commandment against murder only applies to Jewish people is wrong and a goon.
  8. Zugzwang
    Joined
    08 Jun '07
    Moves
    2120
    19 Feb '19 04:34
    @philokalia said
    (1) I believe that people of all groups would commit war crimes given enough numbers, sure.

    And I can follow that logic and say that war crimes were probably committed because in any battle of that size there would be instances like that.

    But we know that Moses did not shy away from punishing his own Hebrews when they were committing crimes of that nature, an ...[text shortened]... abbi who says that the commandment against murder only applies to Jewish people is wrong and a goon.
    Philokalia seems to be a determined, if not fanatical, apologist for Moses.

    In his book _God's Generals: The Military Lives of Moses, the Buddha and Muhammad_,
    Richard Gabriel notes Moses's deliberate cruelty on many occasions, not just his
    approval of the mass rape of captured virgins (the spoils of war).
  9. SubscriberFMF
    Main Poster
    This Thread
    Joined
    28 Oct '05
    Moves
    29885
    19 Feb '19 05:24
    @philokalia said
    When we deal with the Bronze & Iron Ages, we are rarely dealing with pleasant realities, and so it is not actually useful to look at these things from the perspective of a 21st century mind.
    Which parts of the Bible should be looked at from the perspective of a 21st-century mind?
  10. Seongnam, S. Korea
    Joined
    03 Jun '17
    Moves
    20307
    19 Feb '19 07:49
    @fmf said
    Which parts of the Bible should be looked at from the perspective of a 21st-century mind?
    When I say 21st century mind, I say it in a way that is meant to inherently criticize it.

    I think we should all invest significant amount of times taking us out of our own place in history, and putting us into a place beyond time.

    This is why they also say that God exists beyond time, and things have all occurred to him and ended in a single instant. Of course, I do not claim nor does anyone else really claim that this comparison is a 1:1 with God's reality, as who knows what this sort of reality is like, but if one has transcended time, and one is the God of everything with perfect knowledge of the past and the future, it can be speculated that it is as if all things in the Creation, in the realm below, happened in the flourish of an instant.

    There is no right century for viewing truth -- every person of every time ought to try to transcend their time when pursuing truth, and then adapt the truth to their circumstances as need be.
  11. SubscriberFMF
    Main Poster
    This Thread
    Joined
    28 Oct '05
    Moves
    29885
    19 Feb '19 08:431 edit
    @philokalia said
    When I say 21st century mind, I say it in a way that is meant to inherently criticize it.

    I think we should all invest significant amount of times taking us out of our own place in history, and putting us into a place beyond time.

    This is why they also say that God exists beyond time, and things have all occurred to him and ended in a single instant. Of cour ...[text shortened]... ranscend their time when pursuing truth, and then adapt the truth to their circumstances as need be.
    The Hebrews wanted land that was occupied by another people. They killed all the people and moved onto the land they'd wanted.

    The telling of this that they wrote down for themselves claimed that their god told them to do it.

    Fair enough? I am neither rooting for the Hebrews here nor for the Midianites. I am being neutral.

    This is both a plausible [approx] 11th-century [BC] perspective (albeit a bit different from that of the Hebrews) and it's also a plausible 21st-century perspective (aside from that of Jews and Christians).

    I don't see there being a lot wrong with my C21st perspective.
  12. Standard membersonship
    the corrected one.
    Joined
    03 Jan '13
    Moves
    9219
    19 Feb '19 08:473 edits
    @Duchess64

    Philokalia shows poor (or extremely biased) reading comprehension.


    He gave a more rounded research then you did.

    The Midianites purposely seduced the Hebrews into fornication to ruin the morality of the nation. They did so at the advise of the Gentile prophet of God Balaam, who had gone completely sour in his divine responsibilities, being greedy after money.

    Take note that he was not an Israelite prophet but a genuine Gentile one.

    You also failed to review the laws of Moses concerning captive women as spoils of war. They could not be raped. Rather they had to be given time for mandatory mourning of their relatives if they had been slain. Then after shaving, putting on mourning cloths and mourning for a mandatory period the Hebrew soldier was permitted to MARRY one. And he could not violate her and discard her as a sex slave.

    So your research was one sided, biased, and a bit sensational.

    And the Hebrew kings, in fact, had a reputation for being merciful kings in latter generations in Canaan.

    First KIngs 20:30

    His servants said to him, "Behold now, we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful kings, please let us put sackcloth on our loins and ropes on our heads, and go out to the king of Israel; perhaps he will save your life."


    Anyone interested in better research on these issues should read Paul Copans book Is God A Moral Monster? - Making Sense of the Old Testament God .

    There are Paul Copan lectures on YouTube fielding these kinds of criticisms.
  13. SubscriberFMF
    Main Poster
    This Thread
    Joined
    28 Oct '05
    Moves
    29885
    19 Feb '19 08:48
    @sonship said
    The Midianites purposely seduced the Hebrews into fornication to ruin the morality of the nation. They did so at the advise of the Gentile prophet of God Balaam, who had gone completely sour in his divine responsibilities being greedy after money.
    What is your source for these accusations?
  14. Standard membersonship
    the corrected one.
    Joined
    03 Jan '13
    Moves
    9219
    19 Feb '19 08:572 edits
    @FMF

    There is this book you see. Its called The Bible.

    Read it. You may notice some things if you read carefully. Then you can avoid such mistakes as the woman in John 4 left the scene condemned and ready to perish.

    The Bible is the source. I read it. I read all of it.

    Dr. Paul Copan's book Is God a Moral Monster? is a good second look at Richard Dawkins accusations against Yahweh in the Bible. (The man cracks a lot of cornry puns)

    Dr. Paul Copan - Is God a Moral Monster?
    YouTube

    Your little comment has been dignified with an answer now.
    Go back to sleep.
  15. SubscriberFMF
    Main Poster
    This Thread
    Joined
    28 Oct '05
    Moves
    29885
    19 Feb '19 09:01
    @sonship said
    @FMF

    There is this book you see. Its called The Bible.

    Read it. You may notice some things if you read carefully. Then you can avoid such mistakes as the woman in John 4 left the scene condemned and ready to perish.

    The Bible is the source. I read it. I read all of it.

    Dr. Paul Copans book Is God a Moral Monster is a good second look at Richard ...[text shortened]... tch?v=1C3q3Zr_R8E

    Your little comment has been dignified with an answer now.
    Go back to sleep.
    Feel free to address the actual content of any of my four previous posts on this thread. I have not been repeating "Richard Dawkins accusations against Yahweh".
Back to Top