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Old Testament Genocide


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I’m sitting in Sunday School today.  The teacher is talking about Saul.   He briefly mentions the commandment Saul is given to kill all the Amalekites.   And then goes on to talk about Saul’s disobedience in keeping the animals for a sacrifice.  The mass genocide of men, women, children, and infants gets glossed over. Yet keeping animals alive is what gets Saul in trouble.  
 

Can somebody please explain to me why we get so bent out of shape over Nephi killing Laban when we have God commanding much more terrible things throughout the Old Testament?

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We don’t know if genocide was actually committed. Archaeology doesn’t support it. My view that is unsupported is that when the children of Israel are commanded to wipe out a city/race/people, it is actually the ruling class and armies we are talking about. By wiping out these two groups of people, it stops any coup or insurrection. It prevents any children of the ruling class from gathering supporters to resist or fight back.

Killing livestock and burning fields makes the conquered dependent on food and sustenance from the sieging army. Again to prevent a rebellion. Notice in this instance both Agag, the king of the Amalakites, and the livestock are not destroyed. The king is the ruling figure. Makes sense to kill him. But Saul did not.

The livestock in this instance is a little different. Saul was saving it for a sacrificial offering. This meant that it would be, in essence, a giant BBQ for Saul and his army. The sacrifice was saved for the feast in particular, and not actually for the Lord. Saul’s motives were called into question. Better to have obeyed than to sacrifice.

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6 hours ago, Rivers said:

I’m sitting in Sunday School today.  The teacher is talking about Saul.   He briefly mentions the commandment Saul is given to kill all the Amalekites.   And then goes on to talk about Saul’s disobedience in keeping the animals for a sacrifice.  The mass genocide of men, women, children, and infants gets glossed over. Yet keeping animals alive is what gets Saul in trouble.  
 

Can somebody please explain to me why we get so bent out of shape over Nephi killing Laban when we have God commanding much more terrible things throughout the Old Testament?

I've heard people complain about both, usually as justification to condemn religious zealotry, but not so much one event over the other.

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6 hours ago, Rivers said:

I’m sitting in Sunday School today.  The teacher is talking about Saul.   He briefly mentions the commandment Saul is given to kill all the Amalekites.   And then goes on to talk about Saul’s disobedience in keeping the animals for a sacrifice.  The mass genocide of men, women, children, and infants gets glossed over. Yet keeping animals alive is what gets Saul in trouble.  
 

Can somebody please explain to me why we get so bent out of shape over Nephi killing Laban when we have God commanding much more terrible things throughout the Old Testament?

To me it is a sign that we don’t really hold the Book of Mormon to be scripture. Some Protestant-like belief in the back of our mind is still whispering to us “obviously the Bible is true… but did JS really translate the Book of Mormon? Or is it fake?”

We see the phenomenon even more starkly when we compare the events of the early church to scripture. Every single “anti-Mormon” talking point has its scriptural equivalent. But we don’t belief the scriptures as much as we believe “history” so we notice it more quickly and are bothered by it when we see it in History rather than scripture.

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9 minutes ago, Pyreaux said:

Sometimes I can spell, sometimes I can't. 🤔

It was clear from the context, but now will be clearer. :) 
 

I get so frustrated when I leave “not” out and say the opposite of what I mean. 

Edited by Calm
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15 hours ago, filovirus said:

We don’t know if genocide was actually committed. Archaeology doesn’t support it. My view that is unsupported is that when the children of Israel are commanded to wipe out a city/race/people, it is actually the ruling class and armies we are talking about. By wiping out these two groups of people, it stops any coup or insurrection. It prevents any children of the ruling class from gathering supporters to resist or fight back.

Killing livestock and burning fields makes the conquered dependent on food and sustenance from the sieging army. Again to prevent a rebellion. Notice in this instance both Agag, the king of the Amalakites, and the livestock are not destroyed. The king is the ruling figure. Makes sense to kill him. But Saul did not.

The livestock in this instance is a little different. Saul was saving it for a sacrificial offering. This meant that it would be, in essence, a giant BBQ for Saul and his army. The sacrifice was saved for the feast in particular, and not actually for the Lord. Saul’s motives were called into question. Better to have obeyed than to sacrifice.

So God is more Machiavelli.

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