Cruelty and Violence
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"And I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and
they shall eat every one the flesh of his friend." -- Jeremiah 19:9
Jeremiah for Skeptics
Jeremiah has a bad reputation. It is well deserved.
If I were God, I'd be really pissed. Here are some of the awful things Jeremiah says about,
or attributes to, God.
- Circumcise the foreskin of your heart or God will burn you to death. 4:4
- He will bring evil to entire cities, destroying them and wipe out all of their inhabitants. 4:6-8
- He will send lions, wolves, and leopards to tear people to pieces. 5:6
- He just can't hold in his fury any longer. He will kill everyone: husbands and wives, children and old people.
- He will punish the men by taking away their property, including their wives, and giving it to others.
- He will kill pretty much everyone: fathers and sons, family, friends, and neighbors. He plans to kill
them all after laying a stumbling block before them. 6:21
- He will pour out his anger on both man and beast. Not even the trees will be spared from his wrath.
And the ground itself will burn forever. 7:20
- He will feed people to the birds and the beasts and no one will scare them away. 7:33
- He will cover the earth with dead bodies that will not be buried. "They shall be for dung upon the face of the earth."
- People will choose to kill themselves, rather than be killed by their vicious God. 8:3
- To punish men, he will "give their wives unto others." 8:10
- He will send serpents to cockatrices to bite you. 8:17
- He will give the people bad food and water, and then kill them with a sword. 9:15-16
- He will kill children and young men, and the dead bodies "shall fall as dung .... and none shall gather them."
- He is the source of evil. 11:11, 16:10-11,
19:3, 23:12, 26:3,13,19,
32:42, 35:17, 36:3, 36:31,
40:2, 42:10, 44:2, 45:5,
- He forbids others from praying for his victims. Such prayers would
be useless anyway, he says, because he "will not hear them in their time of trouble." 11:14
- He will punish people by killing their young men in war and starving their children to death. 11:22
- God will kill the young men in war and starve their children to death. 11:22-23
- His sword will "devour" everyone until "no flesh shall have peace." 12:12
- He will make everyone drunk and then "dash the fathers and the sons together." He vows to "not
pity, nor spare, nor have mercy, but destroy them." 13:13-14
- He tells Jeremiah not to pray for the people. God has decided to kill them all and he doesn't want to be talked out of it.
- God promises to kill everyone by war, starvation, and disease. 14:12,
24:10, 29:17-18, 42:17-18, 22
- He will destroy by famine and sword those who are misled by the prophets. 14:16
- He plans to kill people with swords, tear their flesh with dogs, and feed their bodies to the birds and beasts.
Why? Because of something some former king did. 15:2-4
- He will kill children, make more widows than there are grains of sand, terrorize cities, and then kill the survivors.
- He told Jeremiah not to get married or have children, because he will kill everyone (mothers and daughters,
fathers and sons). They all "shall die of grievous deaths," and that shall neither "be lamented" nor buried,
but "shall be as dung upon the face of the earth." For he has removed peace, "lovingkindness,"
and mercy from the people. 16:1-7
- When the people ask why God is killing everyone, he answers by saying, "Because your fathers have
forsaken me." 16:10
- He will make parents eat their own children, and friends eat each other. 19:7-9
- He will kill everyone, "both man and beast," with a "great pestilence." 21:6
- He will force all of Israel to get drunk. Then, he'll
kill them all with a sword. 25:27-29
- He will kill so many people that the entire earth will be covered with their dead bodies. No one is to mourn
them or even bury them, "they shall be as dung upon the ground." 25:33
- He will bring evil on all flesh. 45:5
- On the day of the Lord, God's sword will become drunk with blood. 46:10
- He plans to kill just about everybody. "No city shall escape" and "cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood."
- He will cause the daughters of Rabbah to be burned to death. 49:2
- He will "break in pieces" pretty much everyone and everything he can think of. 51:21-23
- He will get the Babylonians drunk and then kill them all, leading them "like lambs to the slaughter."
- God will force the Babylonians to get so drunk that they die from alcohol poisoning. 51:57
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