Cruelty In The Bible?

The day of the LORD cometh...
Does God command children to be dashed to pieces?

THE HUMANIST CLAIMED CRUELTY: Isaiah 13:9,15-18 contains this message from God: “Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger. . . . Every one that is found shall be thrust through. . . . Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes . . . and their wives ravished. Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them. . . . [T]hey shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eyes will not spare children.”

Answering Humanist AccusationsThis section of our web site answers over 180 accusations against the Bible. These pages are essentially the first draft of what has become a book... Did God Really Say?. Available on Amazon.

The humanists do not understand scripture. And that is understandable. They are the blind leading the blind (Matthew 15:14). Their key error here is that they've taken prophecies about two separate actions, that are separated by thousands of years, and combined them. The prophecy in Isaiah 13:9 is talking about something different than the prophecy in Isaiah 9:15-18. A key phrase is "the day of the LORD."

The Day Of The Lord

"The day of the LORD" is a phrase from Amos that refers to the second coming of the Messiah. This is the day when Jesus Christ returns in judgment. The first time the Son of God came, just over 2000 years ago, He came to bring salvation through His death on the cross. When He returns He brings judgment.

Here are verses 9-11 so you can see the context:

9 -Behold, the day of the Lord is coming,
Cruel, with fury and burning anger,
To make the land a desolation;
And He will exterminate its sinners from it.

10 - For the stars of heaven and their constellations
Will not flash forth their light;
The sun will be dark when it rises
And the moon will not shed its light.

11 - Thus I will punish the world for its evil
And the wicked for their iniquity;
I will also put an end to the arrogance of the proud
And abase the haughtiness of the ruthless.

What we see happening when the day of the LORD comes is punishment of the entire world. This description matches other descriptions of the end times, such as those we read in Revelation, and is specifically about Babylon's destruction during the end times.

But then in verse 15 the prophecy returns to the immediate future and the end of the Babylonian empire when it is conquered by the Medo-Persians. This chapter began by talking about Babylonian Empire, which at the time of the prophecy is still in the future. Verses 1 through 5 are talking about this near future Babylon, with verse 5 referring to the near future destruction of Babylon by the Medes.

In verse 6, with the phrase "for the day of the Lord is near" in the prophecy switches it to a far future and the Babylon of the end times. This continues through 14. Then in verse 15 the prophet Isaiah is returned to the near term Babylon, describing the coming time when the Medes will commit these atrocities in the captured land of Babylon. Here are verses 15-19. Notice that these are descriptive, not prescriptive. In other words, they are describing what the Medes will do, not what God says they should do. This is nothing more than a description of the brutality of war... similar to the brutality in war we see committed by ISIS today.

15 - Anyone who is found will be thrust through,
And anyone who is captured will fall by the sword.

16 - Their little ones also will be dashed to pieces
Before their eyes;
Their houses will be plundered
And their wives ravished.
Babylon Will Fall to the Medes

17 - Behold, I am going to stir up the Medes against them,
Who will not value silver or take pleasure in gold.

18 - And their bows will mow down the young men,
They will not even have compassion on the fruit of the womb,
Nor will their eye pity children.

19 - And Babylon, the beauty of kingdoms, the glory of the Chaldeans’ pride,
Will be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.

Conclusion: The humanists are mixing two widely separate time periods to make it seem God is to blame for the cruelty of the Medes. In reality it is humanistic cruelty that is described here.

Next accusation: The God of the Bible displayed his sadistic tendencies by employing a variety of other means to torment and kill people.

He caused the earth to open and swallow entire families (Numbers 16:37-32); he used fire to devour people (e.g., Leviticus 10:1-2; Numbers 11:1-2); and he punished the Israelites with wars, famines, and pestilences (e.g., Ezekiel 5:11-17).

He sent wild animals such as bears (II Kings 2:23-24), lions (II Kings 17:24-25), and serpents (Numbers 21:6) to attack people; he sanctioned slavery (e.g., Leviticus 25:44-46); he ordered religious persecution (e.g., Deuteronomy 13:12-16); and he caused cannibalism (Jeremiah 19:9).

Now they are really trying to pile it on, without any explanations of what exactly they are claiming. Let's see if we can sort it all out. Click here...


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