Violence Stoning And Morality In The Old Testament

I wasnt sure where exactly to put it so i choose Biblical Interpretation.
Soo… How was the law according to the Isralites at that time a “just law”? Why God commanded stoning of the unrighteousness although there were animal sacrifices for their sins? Why did he made a “brutal” justice system? What are your thoughts?

What’s God got to do with it?

I believe that he created a justice system, not unlike ours really, where the religious law was also the state law. They were under theocracy.

Also there are cases where the law was not fully enforced. Such as with the lashings.

Another thing to consider is that the Torah was not there complete law. Torah in Hebrew came up to 611 in value and that’s how many Do’s and Don’ts are represented in it as well. It was a story that contained elements of their legal codex but was not their total legal codex. It’s mostly Christians who don’t view the Talmud as equal but the Jewish people did and they expanded on the 611 laws with stipulations and degree of punishment.

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It will be interesting to read what people say here, it’s an important topic. There is indeed a disturbing, dark streak of justice enforcement in the Old Testament. I suppose it is a ‘reflection of the times’ … but I personally find that argument pretty weak (an argument that in many ways parallels that ‘God couldn’t have really revealed actual truths about creation to ancient people (ie that I actually evolved y’all) as they “wouldn’t have understood” and so He needed to accomodate the revelation of ‘truth’ to people’s understandings at the time”).

Still, maybe there’s something deep in the accomodation argument, even as pertains to justice enforcement.

I think Jesus’ example of love and grace stands as something deep and beautiful in all this too … but then also adds further layers of confusion - if God was actually against stoning and brutality then … um … why implement it?? Why not something that still kills but that is a little less brutal? Maybe Israel’s version of justice enforcement, overall, was indeed less brutal, more constrained? I’ve heard that argument - an eye for an eye is actually a limitation - it’s not a whole life for an eye, just an eye. But that’s a different thing to having heavy stones slam and cut into you as you die, wrenching from the pain … can’t really ‘reduce’ the brutality of that … especially when a family including children are brought to suffer for the sin of the father (Achan in Joshua). Sigh, never thought I’d sound so skeptical. There are actually worse things in the Old Testament than even stoning that raise hard questions … not just things that reveal man’s dark side but that seem to hint at a viciousness even in the divine? Again, I dislike saying such things as it feels wrong to question … but also feels right

Just some thoughts

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God implemented the justice system in the OT. Eye for an eye tooth for a tooth. Stoning etc.

Well the Cannanites were playing with fire. I have come to terms with why God commaned to destroy them . But the justice sytem js my question

Yes but he commanded it to actually be done. My question is why so brutal system?

Yes I have looked a bit into the Canaanites topic. Truly they seemed a people beyond all redemption… sacrificing their babies in the fire. Baby after baby after baby, without heart thrown in. So horrific. I suppose the argument of God’s righteous anger against sin, against all the evil being somehow captured in the sobering seriousness of the enforcement of justice probably rings true. The message which I know we all - thinking of myself here - is “don’t mess with sin. It’s serious”. That line of thinking makes me feel more understanding of it all I guess - especially when we see in scripture it really isn’t God’s preference - at all - to be that way and that He certainly reveals his softer side in Christ and in the parables about him being a father. But he is still prepared - reluctantly- to take drastic, shocking even, steps to attack sin and evil.

That revelation - cause it was for me as I wrote - simply came from being honest with my emotions, thoughts and feelings. Sometimes I start all skeptical - honest - and in that process am ‘brought around’. I have an inkling that God likes raw honesty as a starting point for things.

Anyway, glad you’ve asked this question/raised the topic here … and looking forward to hearing the various views. God be praised, he is gracious, he is loving and kind … but he is a God to fear too.

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Im the same. I have these kind of questions and sometimes feel sceptical. So no worries i feel you :wink:. Hope you are doing good in those times. Thanks for your answers!!

Also … while I think of it and before I get on with my day … just being honest with myself and my emotions here like before - what I find disturbing is that God would create a system in evolution so profoundly full of suffering, death, pain - so red in tooth and claw, one where animals have snap frozen many a time, say after a tornado hit their burrows and tore them up (or whatever), one where many animals have died in unspeakable pain from various disgusting parasites, one where defenceless babies are preyed upon and eaten alive and so on … but then says he is compassionate about the man who would be cold at night if someone was to keep his coat as security for a debt overnight (Exodus 22:26). I mean, seriously, what the heck is that about??

That’s a real puzzler for me and I haven’t heard a good answer to it yet … and it connects in to this ‘justice’ debate … again hate to say it (but feel God’s grace even as I do - his patient understanding perhaps) … what about all the things God himself has done or allowed … He as the Almighty is by virtue of that position above all accountability but people do perceive that he has done actual wrong (and by many interpretations that ‘perception’ is immediately cancelled out with a dogmatic “God can’t do anything wrong” answer that takes a detour last the logic processing centre of the brain). Putting it out there payple while this general theme has been brought up …

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As for evolution. I mean sin existed before the fall i believe. So sin kinda of corrupted the entire world affecting our evolution. Thats why all the sufdering. Now its not a full answer but i did my best.

I have thought maybe, somehow, echoes of Lucifer’s and the other angels’ sin somehow reverberated through the universe and perhaps ‘manifested’ in the creation … based on all things spiritual echoing and manifesting in the natural (personal theory but one I believe has not a little biblical support). I was watched a spider move so viciously to surround, pierce and kill another one. I do not reflect that reflects God, reflects light and love. That and things like it reflect something sick. Something dark, evil - in my opinion. I’ve never heard anyone talk about this though … maybe they’re out there but I ain’t heard them but would very much like to.

If this line of thought is even partially true … it would go some way to explaining all the horror in creation while absolving God from having his fingerprints too deeply impressed in it … still, He is the creator - not arbitrary goings on of angels? He pulled the cord to the engine that started it all … and so much blood and so many tears are part of it all … I mean, what’s it all about that pain and suffering are so embedded, no wonder we long for the day when that all stops … a perennial hope in the human spirit that itself manifests in religious beliefs and acts … but something that rings “true” …
Thinking about all this … reflecting on the deep themes of it all, I really am proud - or moved - that Christianity has the cross - that centre point. Humanity - humans - we needed the cross, that meaning, that power. The belief - the symbolism, that love - it broke the night in many ways and still does - such a powerful picture the cross … but still, so many questions exist on the concentric circles around it

I get you. It seems like rulling God out goes tk a deistic kinda of thing . But picture this. God created the universe . He creates the animals . All good. He then puts morality in some animals and then comes the man.He putted his image in some animals hense comes the man. But during that time sin is there. It corrupts the species. Hense the suffering.

To be honest it makes us to think. Why didn’t God just wiped out sin from the beginning? Why did God had to do and endure all of this and then wait again till the time comes to return and to destroy this sinful nature?

What I was saying is that the Torah contains a collection of commands but is not all of them. 611 do’s and dont’s were chosen because that same number of commands equaled up to Torah in their alphabetical/numerical hybrid system. The rest of the commands, and stipulations that was being used simultaneously was discussed within the talmud writings. We don’t see many of these practices that lasted for thousands of years being contested by the words of the prophets. When reading the Old Testament, many make the mistake of assuming that’s their legal codex but it was not.

In a court back then you would not have seen someone quoting a verse to demand punishment. They used the stories , and commands, along with the talmud to draw decisions based on righteousness.

The issue of violence in the OT makes me wonder why God chose such paths when dealing with the ancient Hebrews? I don’t know much on this issue to answer fully but I have a feeling that God was working within His wisdom and providence during that time in a way we may not understand. Also I somewhat agree with what @SkovandOfMitaze says on the issue in how we are to see the issue

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What, the God who gave the beatitudes did this? How? When? Where? Why?

Woah there. You are risking sounding like a marcionist. Kinda of a gnostic sect. If you believe the God of the Old Testament is not the father hense the same God then the trinity falls apart.

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The Killer God of the OT is not the Father. That is orthodox.

And congrats. You just became a marcionist. who is it then?

You tell me.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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