The wars of Jehovah

//The wars of Jehovah

QUESTION: The Bible says that young David unnecessarily obtained an extra 100 foreskins, killing/mutilating an extra amount of men for King Saul and yet the Bible says that Jehovah’s spirit “continued with him” after this dirty deed. The Bible also says: “Do not become mutilators of the flesh…” and “look out for those who mutilate the flesh…” -An apparent contradiction? Their kind of warfare was disturbing to say the least. The Bible also says that God hates violence, He could have/could easily sent/send a plague/chemical/pathogen instead, so why so much violence (past and future)? -Is this to scare the great tribulation survivors into obedience?

Warfare and killing is disturbing. I agree. But get real, it goes on all the time. Since the U.S. invasion of Iraq a minimum of one million people have been killed. People living far away from the carnage barely give it a thought. And the CIA-owned media do not show the scenes of horror they have created. Besides, those doing the killing are rarely up close and personal, where they even see the face of the ones they are killing. It is all done remotely. In ancient times that was not the case. Except for archers, most combatants had to get within arms length of their foe. They could look them in the eye and even speak to them.

War and killing has been part of the human condition since Cain killed his brother, Abel. But when Jehovah brought the Israelites up out of Egypt a new kind of warfare began —what Jehovah’s Witnesses might call theocratic warfare. That is because the Israelites were God’s people. Jehovah was their King. Virtually every nation they encountered was opposed to them. That is because the nations were under the command of Satan and his legions of demons. So, warfare was inevitable.

It is true, God could have simply disposed of all of Israel’s enemies and have been done with it. He did in fact miraculously intervene on a number of occasions, causing the walls of Jericho to come crashing down; heaving great hailstones down upon the Amorites during the days of Joshua, when the sun stood still in the heavens for a whole day; slaying an entire army of Assyrians when they came against Jerusalem, and many occasions when Jehovah simply instructed his army, giving them a battle plan, such as when Gideon and his 300 smashed their water jars and held their torches high, thereby inducing terror on the Midianites in the dead of the night, so that they slaughtered one another in the ensuing confusion.

But God was not willing to do all the dirty work. Jehovah required the Israelites to learn the art of war and use their brains and muscle power to drive their enemies out of the land that Jehovah had given them. Sadly, the Hebrews failed to execute Jehovah’s orders and as a result God refused to drive the remaining Canaanites from the land. As a result the Israelites were in a constant state of war.

But David excelled at warfare, because, as noted, Jehovah was with him. He was a fearless warrior, but also a man of faith and principle and exceptional compassion.

In the grisly instance when David acquired 200 foreskins of the Philistines, it is well to keep in mind that the Israelites and the Philistines were implacable enemies. So, killing the enemy was his duty. Going back to the time of the judges, to Sampson, the uncircumcised Philistines were constantly raiding Israel. (Note: the Philistines were not Canaanites, but were Israel’s neighbors located to the west, by the Great Sea.) 

David first rose to prominence when he slew the hulking Philistine giant, Goliath, and severed his head and held it on high. Pretty gruesome stuff. Can you imagine cutting off someone’s head —in this case a rather large head —and holding it up as a trophy? David must have been drenched in blood, like a butcher. It seems unthinkable to us now, but had you been an Israelite back then you would have undoubtedly cheered David on and celebrated his smashing victory.

By the way, for the very reason that David was a man of war and spilled the blood of Israel’s enemies to such an excess, Jehovah forbid him to build the temple –assigning Solomon the task instead.

Because of jealousy Saul schemed to have David killed. That is why as a bride price crazy king Saul demanded 100 foreskins. He assumed David would be killed in the endeavor. But because Jehovah was with David he acquired double the number. That must have terrified Saul even more. The reason Saul required the foreskins is to verify the kill, sort of like the native Americans that would take the scalp of their victim. But performing a post-mortem circumcision was not mutilating the flesh. Keep in mind no Philistine warrior was going to submit himself to a Hebrew circumcision. The only way David could acquire the bride price was by first killing the men. That was the whole point. Killing them would require running them through with a sword, or something of that nature —some real butchery whatever form it took. That was mutilation. (By the way, the “mutilation” Paul was talking about was circumcision, which by that time was not a requirement for Jewish Christians, or anyone else.)

There is something, though, about the request for 100 foreskins that is interesting. Circumcision was a legal requirement. No Israelite male went uncircumcised. It was a sign that they were under God’s covenant. Often the men of the surrounding nations, be they Philistines or whoever else, were referred to contemptuously as the “uncircumcised.” So, performing a circumcision upon a dead Philistine was likely intended to add insult to injury. Ironically, though, the Philistines got their revenge —killing Saul and Jonathan and nailing their severed heads to a wall. Such were the atrocities inherent in the wars of Jehovah.

Sometimes you hear people say that the Old Testament God was cruel and vindictive, but  with Jesus everything changed. The truth is, the prehuman Jesus was the leader of the Israelite nation. As Michael the archangel, he is called the great prince who is standing in behalf of God’s people then. Also, Jesus is the greater David. That designation surely draws upon David’s ferocity in fighting the wars of Jehovah. This same archangel who was prefigured by David is destined to lead legions of angels into battle with Satan and his demons and all their armies upon this earth.

It will be a battle unlike anything that has ever occurred. The great warrior, Michael, will trample all of God’s enemies until there are none left alive. So great will be the slaughter that Revelation depicts it thusly: “and the angel threw his sickle to the earth, and harvested the vintage of the vine of the earth and threw it into the great winepress of God’s wrath. And the winepress was trodden outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress up to horses’ bridles two hundred miles off.” —Rev 14:19,20 Byington

War is an ugly thing. Killing is horrible. But the reality is, as long as Satan rules this world Jehovah’s people will be at war. Now it is mostly spiritual war. But there is no alternative, except, of course, going over to the enemy, in which case you will become an enemy of Jehovah.

All the past wars of Jehovah do indeed point to the final war, when God will once again rise up and finish off his enemies. “Jehovah is a manly person of war,”  Moses stated after God drowned the Egyptians in the Red Sea. How true that is. We hope to live to see Jehovah bare his holy arm and annihilate this wicked world once and for all time and do away with war and all forms of cruelty, slavery and barbarism. To that end the prophecy of Joel issues a chilling prophetic declaration of war upon the nations: “Proclaim this among the nations:Prepare for war! Stir up the mighty men! Let all the soldiers draw near, let them advance! Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning shears into spears. Let the weak one say: ‘I am powerful.’ Come and help, all you surrounding nations, assemble together!’ To that place, O Jehovah, bring down your powerful ones.”

The nations are now armed to the teeth with every sort of killing device imaginable and some unimaginable. Already, as if out of a sci-fi movie, killer robots are being developed that can zip around as fast as a car and zap people wherever they hide and are virtually indestructible by ordinary means. Spacecraft orbiting the earth can release the so-called rods of God  and strike a target with pinpoint accuracy with the power of an atomic bomb. Supersonic warcraft are being developed that can rain down death on any spot on earth within minutes. Satan is preparing to make his last stand.

Amen, O Jehovah, bring down your powerful ones!

2018-02-26T07:00:21+00:00 February 24th, 2018|Mailbag|32 Comments
  • Cathii D’Anthonii

    The pagan nation’s around the Israelites practiced tossing their babies alive into fires for human sacrifices..Thats about the most brutal of all, something Jehovah never imagined .Jeremiah 7th chapter..
    If the Israelites had obeyed Jehovah that practice would have ended..Even so, All those children will be resurrected ..
    The Egyptians would not even sit down at a meal with the Hebrews. Egyptians considered the Hebrews unclean for whatever reason.

    • Burt Reynolds

      As times goes on and this system unravels, I think we will need a whole new language to describe what is now done in secret.

      • Cathii D’Anthonii

        If we are appalled by what we see and read about…Cain killed Abel and Jehovah heard the blood crying out…Jehovah puts up with us out of shear love for us . Just a little while longer ..

  • “killing the enemy was his duty. Going back to the time of the judges, to Sampson, the uncircumcised Philistines were constantly raiding Israel”

    sounds “sick” and im glad he got rid of them.

    id still like to know why others get punished and harmed for the badness of Achan they knew nothing about. im sure someone on this site has done something bad, including me, should everyone here get hurt
    because Jehovah kept to himself somthing bad i did so decides to not help everyone else for my wrong and wait for them to get hurt or killed then tell everyone i didnt help you case DA was bad? i dont understand the righteous reasoning.

    • The Raven

      Interesting story. That may also have parallel in the judgement against Jehovah’s people when Christ returns. Even the ignorant slave gets a beating. Tribulation itself is a collective punishment as well.

    • L.H.

      I asked this thing myself a lot of times. And came to the following conclusion. I hope this makes sense D.A.
      Jehovah provided a way out of the, lets call it regularity (not his choice, but Satans and Adam and Eve’s, through them it spreaded over all mankind), that people suffer under conditions caused by someone else.
      “Man has dominated man to his harm”.
      The way out is of course as we know, a personal faith in the sacrifice of Jesus wich covers our sins and even imperfectness we inherited through our genes and conditions we are living in and were born under. That way is open to everyone who wants to subject him/herself to the love of the ransom. And for the ones in Achans time…is a ressurection and a new and clear chance to choose life!

    • Tp

      Hello there is quite a few reasons but from memory from my research just remember 2 or 3 points only so will share them.
      It’s a similar reason to why mankind is different the sins of our original great grand parents Adam and Eve
      Also there was always the high risk of retaliation and revenge from the children
      We suffer now from mistakes or actions of our parents so naturally there is always knock on effects
      I think it’s said that surviving Armageddon, if parents are heavily sinning it can affect the future prospects of nullifying a reserection of the young children, I could be wrong with this just think I learnt that somewhere though?
      The old proverb goes that a little leaven, leavens a whole lump
      It makes you think then it only takes one member of the governing body to be the ‘Judas’ for Jehovah’s blessing to be taken away hence all the losing court battles now. Linking this with Achan, they kept winning battles untill Achan sinned and then that was it , they lost to AI. Russia situation now seems like a similar scenario and a start to the same things happening all over, didn’t the society boast before of kept winning there court cases as Jehovah backed them
      I’m sure there is much deeper reasons like in a crime accomplices are all culpable to a certain degree even if they didn’t commit the crime

  • “when the sun stood still in the heavens for a whole day”

    i wish Jehovah was like that today, i hate this stupid planet!

    • What do you have against planet earth?

      • Burt Reynolds

        It makes you think though what control Jehovah has over the laws of physics that will enable the sun weighing 2 octillian tons to stand still…..not to mention that it is also rather hot. How do you change a mathematical law and then reestablish it as though you were just boiling a kettle on the top of Mount Everest using a candle!? Marvellous.

        • Cathii D’Anthonii

          If we look back to that time, Jehovah may very well have used other phenomenon in space to make the sun appear to have stood still.Jehovah , being the greatest scientist. Maybe you can ask Him that in the kingdom, Burt, but then you have probably figured that all out..

          • Burt Reynolds

            It’s a wonder isn’t it. This creation is so finely balanced, it is thought – by those who think! – that to change but one element on the periodic table, life would not be possible. As far as figuring out the universe goes, I’m still struggling with my shopping list!

      • for starters, Satan’s ruling it.
        not enough Jehovah like times before. much the same things you have against this system.
        the world is passing away and so is its desire

    • Marisa Gomez

      Do you hate your own House? You pick up your meal from the earth. You are so crazy.

      • this whole planet is crazy. guess my crazy doest fit in

        • Marisa Gomez

          No.. .This planet is a perfect and beautiful creation of Jehovah. The people are crazy

          • which is why i want of it

            • The Raven

              Lol. I can understand that. It keeps going the way it is and gathering speed you’re going to see all evil kicked off this ride. Not to mention fixing, healing and PEACE. I can tell you that alone would be great.

        • Burt Reynolds

          Actually Doc, your crazy does fit in. The ecological system of the earth is reaching a tipping point rapidly. Pollution is the main contributor with islands of plastic the size of Belgium floating in the Atlantic and Pacific being but one cause. Air pollution is having a critical effect….China’s attempt to plant forests in desserts is laudable but will make no difference against the filth it pumps out along with the rest of the world. But pollution is not alone. Fresh water is at a premium, even in Britain, lakes and rivers are being drained in an attempt to keep up with demand. The atomic pollution from Japan’s nuclear plant, is far worse than anyone dares think and is still continuing to reek havoc across the Pacific…..the list is endless, but the food contaminants, soil contaminants is best not discussed and we are loosing critical factors in the food chain to extinction…pollinating insects being but one. Even if you took the Tribulation out of the equation, this eco-system is unsupportable for much longer. However, the bible indeed supports what we see, because once this system is broken, the population will be exposed to the full force of the critical biological state the world is in, because there will be no social provision to shield us from what is at present hidden. In truth, your ‘crazy’ is both intuitive and insightful. Keep it going!

          • Paul called this system refuse

            • The Raven

              Doesn’t all of creation groan and wait? I think that’s the scripture. That means none of us have any idea what creation looked like when it was perfect. We have nothing perfect right now. Nothing. What we have is adequate for sustaining life until the reset. That’s why some of us, you and myself included feel like we’re just doing time. Merely existing for the new kingdom. I don’t want off this rock. I want to see it restored. The sooner the better.

            • yep, good reminder. Rom 8:22

        • The Raven

          That depends what level you’re on and if you’re aiming for high score. I’d say you have competition right here. 😁

    • The Raven

      Yeah, I know. They got signs. We get more and more stuff to shovel or so most would think. But the truth is we are seeing indicators in a fashion which requires faith and a love of truth to recognize. The signs they got then were necessary for folks to understand that there is a God and his name is Jehovah. Jesus employed miracles to show folks as well. Now, well…we have the collected books, ancient words and wisdom to use. That is our guide. Signs? They’re coming. Which side we’re on determines how we will view them. Salvation at hand … or doom.

      • Joel 2:28 Acts 2:17 (1-Sam 3:1)

        • The Raven

          Yep. It’s coming in the last part. Until then, it’s a freak show no longer confined to the circus tent and most people are barkers. It’s hard to stay focused or even sane around this and it can intensify our own problems at times. It has to happen. We’re all doing it as well as we can. But I know we ain’t digging it.

        • The Raven

          1Sam 3:1 is interesting. So is the rest of the chapter. I was thinking of signs like the times of Moses etc. Really big, supernatural things which stunned and terrified people.
          Jehovah spoke to Samuel directly after he kept going to Eli. That was kind of funny but he probably did that to show Eli also that He was speaking. I think holy spirit is constantly employed among those who know Jehovah in some ways right now but we can’t always know how or who. The full measure awaits the tribulation.
          Thanks for those scriptures, DA.

  • Burt Reynolds

    This is a good article and helps me a great deal. I have always had a problem with all the killing recorded in the bible and Jehovah, but this well argued reply to the questioner makes sense, begrudgingly, as I have to agree with it but it is against my nature. But there you are. It’s necessary. So be it. Thanks.

    • The Raven

      I wondered about that for a long time until I began studying accounts from ancient historians and always grabbed archeolgy magazines at the library. A lot of what went on in those times was really horrific. It didn’t surprise me anymore that Jehovah dealt with violent, actually sadistic tribes the way He did. Seems fear of equally terrible punishment was all they understood. It must have been pretty bad to be a soldier on any side in those days. I got a feel for the psychological aspect of these depictions of slaughter reading the periodicals and that made me a little more aware of the reasons behind them. In summary, it was always a bloody mess.

      • Burt Reynolds

        Thanks for that insight. I get the impression that life was a different experience in those days, more localised, of less value and less meaning but more in touch with spiritual matters, more aware of God. So much so, that people would actually sacrifice themselves to God, with some tangible understanding. They were even on the watch for the messiah. Today, Jesus can be whoever you want him to be to suit your own feelings or even imagination. Life back then seems so removed from our reality now, it is difficult to understand. I mean, no one today could even begin to rationalise collecting foreskins from the battlefield today!! But having said that, Ilse Kock was making lampshades out of human skin at Buchenwald and shrinking heads of dead inmates during the last war. Doc is right in his comment, we need a special form of crazy to not only understand it, but to deal with it too.

  • noname

    It’s interesting that David who wrote “…anyone loving violence His soul certainly hates.” was able to gruesomely kill people with his bare hands, however not love violence himself. How can you do these things and not love them? Well obviously you could, at least at that time. That’s why I question the way the WT nitpicks the witnesses on simple entertainment that contains violence as if that demonstrates you “love” violence. Of coarse some one watching pure violent entertainment may as well love violence. But I think the example in the Bible shows its really a heart condition to love violence. We actually cannot escape violence in this world no matter how hard we try.

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