Let me just say, I'm referring to apparently, demonstrably evil acts. Ones that seem to violate common morality as we understand it in the light of Christ, most current New Testament theology, and the ten commandments. Violence that, unless it were under the banner of, "God commanded it", would clearly be considered prohibited and immoral acts by most conscienced individuals. I hope that clears this up.
Personally, I can't figure it out. In fact, its so sticky that I still can't reconcile some of the contents of the Old Testament even after doing a theology degree at Bible College.
So, here is a snippet of a play that I have written. It's not only based on the Bible but it is as true and consistent to the text as I can manage without presenting a boring repeat.
Note: The language is modern, I don't think God said, "Whup-ass".
If people wish to tackle the problem of Biblical violence with me then comments, as long as you need, are welcome.
THE HOLY BIBLE - A DRAMATIC REINACTMENT
by Iain McMahon
MIDIAN - Moses' tent
Moses has just heard the vows of his Captains, the heads of the tribes of Israel.
Moses: Yes, Adonai?
YHWH: Go and tell your boys to lay the smack on the Midianites.
Moses: Yes, Sir!
Moses turns to leave.
YHWH: Oh, and Moses?
Moses: Yes, Lord?
YHWH: Open up the WHOLE can of whup-ass.
Moses: (gulps) Sure thing.
Moses strides out of his tent, his robes flapping in the late afternoon breeze. Before him on the plains stands a vast army. He raises his hand and all eyes fall on him.
Moses: Arm yourself for war! You go to execute the vengeance of our Lord! Go now to Midian, take one thousand soldiers from each of the twelve tribes! To war!
A great force arises, twelve thousand warriors brandishing their arms, they carry their holy vessels and trumpets and march to war on Midian. They descend upon the Midianites and slaughter every last male. The host of war spares no man even of noble birth; among the dead were the five kings of Midian. For their plunder they take both beasts of burden and people whom they enslave.
Moses goes to meet them where they made camp on a nearby plain.
Moses: (to his Captains) Did you kill everyone?
A Captain: Yes, Sir, every last man.
Moses: (angrily) Kill the boy children, too! And kill any women that has slept with a man; but you can keep the virgins for yourselves. Give some of all the slaves and animals to the priest, Eleazar, and some also to the Levites, and split the rest up among the tribes. They deserve to be rewarded.
A Captain: Yes, Sir.
The Tribal Leader turns to leave.
Moses: Oh, and Captain?
A Captain: Yes, Lord?
Moses: Bring all of the gold to me.
END OF SCENE 31