The First Holocaust

Peter Myers, January 7, 2002; update February 12, 2013. My comments are shown {thus}.

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Former Jesuit Dr Ian Guthridge writes in his book The Rise and Decline of the Christian Empire, Medici School/Publications, Middle Park, Vic., Australia, 1999:


Even more poignantly, however, the Bible also contains the horrific account of what can only be described as a "biblical holocaust". For, in order to keep the chosen people apart from and unaffected by the alien beliefs and practices of indigenous or neighbouring peoples, when God commanded his chosen people to conquer the Promised Land, he placed city after city "under the ban" - which meant that every man, woman and child was to be slaughtered at the point of the sword {Joshua ch 6 etc.}. <>

Thus we read in the Book of Numbers that the Jews "waged the campaign against Midian, as Yahweh had ordered Moses, and they put every male to death... the sons of Israel took the Midianite women captive with their young children, and plundered all their cattle, all their flocks and all their goods. They set fire to the towns where they lived and all their encampments... Then, when they took the captives, spoil and booty to Moses..., Moses was enraged.... 'why have you spared the life of all the women...? So kill all the male children. Kill also all the women who have slept with a man. Spare the lives only of the young girls who have not slept with a man, and take them for yourselves" {Num 31: 7-19}. <>

Similarly in the Book of Deuteronomy, when the Jews attacked Sihon's Amorite kingdom, "Yahweh our God delivered him over to us... We captured all his cities and laid whole towns under ban, men, women and children; we spared nothing but the livestock which we took as our spoil" {Deut 2: 33-35}.

{The NRSV translation of the above passage is as follows: "the LORD our God gave him over to us; and we struck him down, along with all his offspring and all his people. At the time we captured all his towns, and in each town we utterly destroyed men, women, and children. We left not a single survivor. ..." <>}

Likewise in the Transjordanian kingdom of Og, king of Bashan: "We captured all his towns at that time... Sixty towns... We laid them under ban... - the whole town, men, women and children, under the ban" {Deut 3: 4-7}. <>

Sometimes, the ban could vary; for in a later chapter of the same book, we read that "if (a town) refuses peace and offers resistance,... Yahweh your God shall deliver it unto your power and you are to put all its menfolk to the sword. But the women, the children, the livestock and all that the town contains, all its spoil, you may take for yourselves as booty" {Deut 20: 12-14}. <>

In the Book of Joshua, we read about the most famous case of all - the fall of Jericho: "Then Yahweh said to Joshua, 'Now I am delivering Jericho and its king into your hands". So, when "the walls of Jericho came tumbling down", the Jewish warriors "enforced the ban on everything in the town: men and

{p. 320} women, young and old, even the oxen and sheep and donkeys, massacring them all" {Josh 6: 21}. <>

The same for the people of Ai; for "Yahweh said to Joshua... "You are to do with Ai and its king as you did with Jericho and its king... (And) "the number of those who fell that day, men and women together, was twelve thousand, all people of Ai ... All to a man had fallen by the edge of the sword" {Josh 8: 2 and 8: 24-5}. <>

The same in southern Canaan, which "Yahweh gave into the power of Israel; and Israel struck every living creature there with the edge of the sword, and left none alive" {Josh 10: 30}. The same at Lachish where "no one was left alive" {Josh 10: 33}. <>


Is there any other "sacred literature" that is as genocidal as this? If you know of any, please email me straight away: contact.html. The Bible CANNOT be "the Word of God", because it so clearly justifies genocide.

When I made that point to some Mormon missionaries at the front door, they replied that God commanded the destruction of those people because they were evil.

If they were evil, it is because, in Biblical terms, they were Pagan.

The Jewish Bible's fundamental distinction is between Israel and "the Nations" (Gentiles, Pagans, Goyim, Non-Jews). Israel is commanded to overcome and destroy them:

1. "Let peoples serve you, and nations bow down to you" (Genesis 27:29)

2. "I will send my terror in front of you, and throw into confusion all the people against whom you shall come ... Little by little I will drive them out from before you, until you have increased and possess the land" (Exodus 23:27-9)

"For I will cast out nations before you, and enlarge your borders; no one shall covet your land when you go up to appear before the LORD your God three times in the year." (Exodus 34:24)

3. "Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, for by all these practices the nations I am casting out before you have defiled themselves" (Leviticus 18:24)

4. "As for the male and female slaves whom you may have, it is from the nations around you that you may acquire male and female slaves. You may also acquire them from the aliens residing with you ..." (Leviticus 25:44-5)

5. "When the LORD your God brings you into the land that you are about to enter and occupy, and he clears away many nations before you ... and the LORD your God gives them over to you and you defeat them, then you must utterly destroy them" (Deuteronomy 7:1)

"The LORD your God will clear away these nations before you little by little; you will not be able to make a quick end of them, otherwise the wild animals would become too numerous for you. But the LORD your God will give them over to you, and throw them into great panic, until they are destroyed. He will hand their kings over to you and you shall blot out their name from under heaven; no one will be able to stand against you, until you have destroyed them. (Deuteronomy 7:22-4)

6. "You must demolish completely all the places where the nations whom you are about to dispossess served their gods ... Break down their altars, smash their pillars, burn their sacred poles with fire ... and thus blot out their name from their places" (Deuteronomy 12:2-3)

7. "... you will lend to many nations, but you will not borrow; you will rule over many nations, but they will not rule over you" (Deuteronomy 15:6)

"You will lend to many nations, but you will not borrow. The LORD will make you the head, and not the tail; you shall be only at the top, and not the bottom ..." (Deuteronomy 28:12-13)

"You shall not charge interest on loans to another Israelite, interest on money, interest on provisions, interest on anything that is lent. On loans to a foreigner you may charge interest, but on loans to another Israelite you may not charge interest ..." (Deuteronomy 23:19-20)

"nations shall bring you their wealth, with their kings led in procession. For the nation and kingdom that will not serve you shall perish" (Isaiah 60:11-12)

8. The Book of Ezra records Ezra saying:

Chapter 9 1 After these things had been done, the officials approached me and said, "The people of Israel, the priests and the levites have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands with their abominations ... 2 For they have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and for their sons. Thus the holy seed has mixed itself with the peoples of the lands ... ." 3 When I heard this, I tore my garment and my mantle, and pulled hair from my head and beard, and sat appalled ... 10 And now, our God, what shall we say after this? For we have forsaken your commandments ... saying, 'The land that you are entering to possess is a land unclean with the pollutions of the peoples of the lands ... Therefore do not give your daughters to their sons, neither take their daughters for your sons, and never seek their peace or prosperity ...' (Ezra 9:1-12).

9. In Chapter 10, Ezra continues:

2 Shecaniah ... addressed Ezra, saying, "We have broken faith with our God and have married foreign women ... So now let us make a covenant with our God to send away all these wives and their children" ... 5 Then Ezra stood up and made the leading priests, the Levites, and all Israel swear that they would do as had been said. So they swore. (Ezra 10: 2-5)

A "development of consciousness" argument avoids the main point: God does not take U-turns. The same God who promoted Genocide, cannot be the Loving God we later hear about. One part must be bogus.

Either God wrote the Jewish Bible, through human authors he "inspired", or he did not. It's pretty clear that he did not - it's just the work of man.

Around the time that Ezra was writing the Torah, Buddha was preaching non-violence and self-abnegation in India ... the same qualities that would later appear in Judaism, and lead to Christianity. And Buddha wasn't the first ... the Jains had advocated them for a long time before him ... the Upanishads are dated to around 1000 BC.

Modern Zionism, having rejected the self-abnegation wehich developed under "Second-Temple" Judaism and led to Christianity, has returned to "early" or "First Temple" Judaism. The God of Love has become a War-God again; when will we feel his wrath? Today the Palestinians, tomorrow ... ?

The Jewish religion teaches Jews that they have a contract with God; if they break its terms - the laws of God (actually the laws of the priests & rabbis) - God will punish them severely. This punishment will be this-worldly (on earth, not in a heaven or hell), collective (to the whole Jewish people), and inter-generational (affecting generations of Jews to come). This is the fear which drives Jews to stick together and conform, the equivalent of the "fire and brimstone" of Christianity.

In my childhood, I watched "Cowboys & Indians" movies, identifying, like the rest of the audience, with the Cowboys; I totally failed to consider the injustice done to the Indians. This is a characteristic of all the religions based on a distinction between the People of God and the Pagans. Such religions, viewing the Pagans as an evil force, see them as fit for conversion, exploitation, or destruction.

It is because of the fear and dread of Paganism, that Ancient Egypt has been destroyed, that the Inca & Aztec civilizations have been dismembered. Whatever the sins of those civilizations, they did not merit total destruction. The knowledge of ancient stone-masonry has been lost, and much else. Is not such destruction pathological?

In building the Zionist state, Americans are creating a society without compassion for those not its own. One day, it might devour them.

From the Jewish Bible:

1 SAMUEL Chapter 15. This chapter says that God, through his prophet Samuel, condemned King Saul for not killing all of the non-Jews he fought, when ordered to do so. Samuel slew the captive king Saul had spared: samuel-saul.html.

Thought you knew the Ten Commandments?

This is the way they really appear in the Jewish Bible (NRSV): "Neither shall you covet your neighbor's wife. Neither shall you desire your neighbor's house, or field, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighhor." (DEUTERONOMY 5:21). More at ten-commandments.html.

The battles reported in the Book of Joshua may not have taken place as reported there, or even at all.

The Bible as we know it was assembled and edited centuries later, by scribes, Ezra in particular: bible.html.

On the archaeology, see Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman, The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of its Sacred Texts, Free Press, New York 2001: archaeology-bible.html.

But apart from the history & the archaeology, the Bible itself, as "sacred" literature, is more barbaric towards outsiders than other "sacred" books we know of.

In the Bible's reports, the barbarities are part of the conquest of Palestine. So, in those stories, the Jews are the aggressors, but they are acting on God's orders, and are mindful of being victimised in Egypt.

Finkelstein however says that there was no Exodus from Egypt. Most of those who became Jews were previously Canaanites.

The campaign to build the Third Temple: tmf.html, and pull down the Dome of the Rock: dome.html.

Write to me at contact.html.