General Question

nebule's avatar

Can you provide me with some verses from the Bible that state God as not a very nice dude?

Asked by nebule (16446points) August 4th, 2009

I need to find a quote for my essay…something along the lines of ‘I will strike down on thee, with vengeance and furious anger’ bla bla bla…you know the one…

and any others…

Thank you!!

I just haven’t got the time to read through the entire Old Testament this morning!

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30 Answers

Critter38's avatar

Try here.

You can click on different topics (listed as highlights) and they link to the relevant passages.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Ezekiel 25:17

The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness. For he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you.

Lightlyseared's avatar

I should point out that the above is how I remember it from Pulp Fiction so it may not be a). accurate or b). actually even in the Bible.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Hebrews 10:30–31 “Vengence belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
Leviticus 26:14–38 Has many passages you can use.
I will appoint over your terror, consumption, and the burning auge, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow…
I will punish you seven time more…
I will send pestilence among you….

By the way, the Bible does not have a lock on this stuff. You can find plenty of similar quotes in the Quran.

mattbrowne's avatar

You can take almost anything from Genesis. Plenty of innocent women and children were slaughtered because the new rulers of the land thought God told them so.

galileogirl's avatar

I don’t think you can ascribe dudeness to God.

willbrawn's avatar

And why do you need this?

nebule's avatar

@galileogirl awh please?

@willbrawn to fight back

Quagmire's avatar

Go ahead! Get on God’s bad side!!!

Then don’t come running to us next time the demons make your television act funny!!!

littlewesternwoman's avatar

Depends what you mean by “not a very nice dude”. In Leviticus, God has the earth open up and swallow Nadav and Abihu for a ritualistic error; he turns Lot’s wife into a pillar of salt for looking back at the immolation of Sodom and Gomorrah (this in itself is a nifty bit of collective punishment); he prevents Moses from entering the Promised Land because he was disobedient and impatient in trying to get the cranky Israelites some water from the rock; oh, yes, and there’s that thing that happened in the Garden of Eden…In short, the first five books of the Old Testament are full of retribution and wrath…

But: Is retribution “dudeness”? Even if it’s “just” retributions? And who decides? The God of the Israelites, as He appears in those first five books, was rather prone to wrath…but could also be bargained with (so Abraham managed to save Lot…); He also showed mercy, fairness and kindness…like the creatures He created in His own image, no emotion or action was foreign to Him…

The Bible is replete with examples of all His aspects and attributes… Afraid there’s probably no way out of reading at least one of those first five books…

nebule's avatar

@Quagmire point taken…although perhaps that’s already happened ewh..and the TV thing was a result of me and my…probings…

barumonkey's avatar

@Lightlyseared: The exact verse is:

25:16 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will stretch out mine hand upon the Philistines, and I will cut off the Cherethims, and destroy the remnant of the sea coast.
25:17 And I will execute great vengeance upon them with furious rebukes; and they shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall lay my vengeance upon them.

Fyrius's avatar

A while ago, TheKNYHT pointed me to Jeremiah 16. I read that verse and was disturbed out of my mind.
Jehovah cursing an entire people, foreboding that they will all “die of grievous deaths”, forbidding that anyone mourn or bury them, demanding that they be left to decompose and for wild animals to pick apart, all because some members of it had the nerve to believe in another god. Particularly now that religious freedom has been widely recognised, it seems a bit on the unfair side to eradicate a whole people because a subset of it changed their minds.

mattbrowne's avatar

Now what does all this cruelty mean to us today? To atheists, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Bahai and so forth? To atheists it means (because God doesn’t exist) God cannot have commanded the ancient Jews to slaughter innocent women and children. Christians can point out, Jesus told them to love their enemies, so it’s not God’s wish to slaughter innocent women and children. It would be a great sin to do so. What would Jews say? Maybe it’s best for a Jewish Flutherite to comment on that. It is my impression that some Jews holding orthodox and ultraorthodox viewpoints do take every word of the Hebrew Bible i.e the Old Testament literally. What about the followers of reform Judaism? Does God encourage Jews to commit genocide? Of course not. Why?

Here’s an interesting article:

Reform Judaism Magazin (RJ): Was the Bible written by God?

Jennifer Warriner: I believe the Bible was conceived, written, and edited by incredibly intelligent, insightful humans who wanted to develop a set of rules to facilitate the existence of a just society. While they were inspired by their notion of God and their desire to be God-like, I do not believe God gave them input, ideas, or rules.

That said, I nevertheless believe the Bible is holy. I recognize the inconsistency in my believing Torah is holy when I do not believe it came from God. I have not yet managed to resolve that inconsistency; my beliefs are just my beliefs and I am comfortable with them.

John Planer: For me, the Tanach is a human document—a wonderful, eclectic mix of redacted compilations by men and women, often transmitted in ambig­uous form. It depicts noble and venial behavior, and shows complex human beings—not idealized goody-goodies—seeking God and meaning, offering us models to emulate and to shun amidst diverse paradigms of human experience.

Dawn Mollenkopf: I believe that the Torah reflects the story of the interactions between God and human beings. Written from the human point of view, it necessarily reflects the cultural context of its times. The Torah is holy nonetheless because its authors were inspired by their interactions with God, and it is timeless because the human struggles and dilemmas it addresses are universal to every age.

Because I do not take the Torah literally, I tend to read it for its social, historical, and spiritual content and to let its principles, rather than specific words, guide my life. Such an approach is more challenging than orthodoxy because it forces me to constantly reevaluate how a principle might apply to a given situation as I gain new perspectives from my life’s experiences.

Steve Arnold: The Bible is the product of human minds, inspired by God. It is “holy” in the sense that it lays out the terms of the covenant by which people can live “holy” lives.

Laurence Kaufman: At first I saw the Torah as a work of literature. Now I understand that the reverence accorded to it through the millennia imbues it with its own mystique. The Torah is sacred not because God made it sacred but because we have made it sacred. In its broadest sense, Torah is what binds the Jewish people through both time and space, making me responsible for maintaining continuity with the past, assuring continuity into the future, and assuring the welfare of Jews wherever in the world they may be.

RJ: How do you reconcile Torah teachings that may be inconsistent with your beliefs today?

Steve Arnold: I do not believe the Bible is literal truth. It is a set of stories illustrating moral and ethical principles. Much of it has modern application, and much of it does not, such as the mitzvot pertaining to animal sacrifice and other duties surrounding the Temple in Jerusalem. And since the Torah was written by humans, it reflects their understanding of their times. Torah, for example, speaks approvingly of slavery, which today we find repulsive and have replaced with the idea of personal freedom and fair treatment for all. Illness, too, is biblically deemed the direct action of God, when we now understand it to be biologically and/or environmentally determined. So rather than read the Bible literally, I attempt to govern myself by the spirit of Torah. Torah, for example, challenges us to give to the poor. My ego bristles at knowing that some of the money I give for charity in Israel is going to a country where a tiny religious minority has declared I am not a Jew because I didn’t enter the faith through its narrow doorway. If I am true to my intention to live a life governed by Torah, then I must continue this financial support, despite the “insult” hurled at me by the Israeli Orthodox establishment. I struggle with this with every appeal to support Israel.

Jennifer Warriner: The Torah was written by humans, and therefore is limited by its authors’ understanding of their universe. To understand its teachings, I believe we must consider the cultural norms of the times in which it was written and apply only those passages that make sense today. Thus I simply ignore Torah teachings which treat women and children as property, condone slavery, or reflect bias against homosexuals.

Barbara D. Holender: I find it wonderful that the most precious of the Jews’ possessions is a Torah scroll. Words. Words began the world, and words hold it together. Still, the text often reflects attitudes I find repugnant. I bridge the gap by recognizing that Reform Judaism rejects the unacceptable in practice while retaining and cherishing the source.

Barbara K. Shuman: I don’t spend much time wrestling with words in the Torah that may be inconsistent with our modern understanding of Judaism. I know that these words were recorded in a different time and place, and cannot fully address every circumstance I encounter. Perhaps that is why I prefer to study Jewish philosophical, mystical, and spiritual literature.

Joan Pines: Contemporary scientific knowledge is absent from Torah. Some teachings must be evaluated with a critical eye. I also have difficulty with certain theological concepts, such as the Torah teaching that suffering is a result of sin. How could a million-plus innocent children die during the Holocaust because of sin? To me the Torah, at its best, is a series of allegories and metaphors, most of which—though not all—teach ethics and work to establish a just society.

John Planer: I don’t study these texts to discover God’s overt or hidden messages, or to discover history in the form of documented fact. Rather, I study these human documents to discover the plain meanings of the words, the problems inherent in discerning these meanings, and, most important, the insights into human behavior—then and now—which underlie the words.

For example, there is great wisdom in the Joseph story. We learn that suffering can teach us wisdom if we choose to learn, as did Joseph. Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers, carried to Egypt, accused of attempted rape by Potiphar, and imprisoned. Jacob’s spoiled, arrogant, favored son became a slave, then master of Potiphar’s household, then again a prisoner. But Joseph chose not to become cruel, cynical, or vengeful; instead, when he confronts his brothers, he weeps and forgives them. Stated differently: in adversity we have a choice—to become bitter or to become better. We learn that disaster ensues when we treat our children unequally—think of Cain and Abel, Isaac and Ishmael, Jacob and Esau, Joseph and his brothers. We learn that sowing hatred often reaps evil, and that compassion delayed invites tragedy—as when Reuben delays in returning Joseph to his father and in the interim Joseph is sold into slavery. We learn that we should forgive the truly penitent, as did Joseph his brothers. And perhaps most important: we learn from Torah that beneath seemingly random events may well lie an order, logic, and justice that we cannot fully perceive. For example, Joseph’s arrogance and mistreatment leads to the salvation of his family (as well as the Egyptian populace) during the famine. Thus the meaning of our lives may become evident only in retrospect, or viewed from a vantage far beyond our own.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

god’s a dude, and The Dude Abides….

samanthabarnum's avatar

Just crack it open and read it. There’s a million passages of him being a dick. A spiteful, vengeful, jealous, misogynistic, hateful, conditional bastard.

Jeruba's avatar

In teaching a class on the problem of suffering as viewed by the world’s great religions, Jacob Needleman said something to this effect: Either the God of the Old Testament is a cruel megalomaniac or we don’t know how to read the Bible. His view was the latter.

Unfortunately it was a one-day class and I did not learn everything I would have had to know about reading the Bible, but the thought stayed with me. I consider it a fair reflection of the God we see depicted in the pages of the OT.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

Evelyn says humans are the only species in the universe to attribute maleness to deities. All other sentient beings worship female deities. I think that is why Evelyn thinks we are so much fun to observe, as we are completely opposite of every other sentient civilization in the entire universe. We never cease to fascinate her.

So when anyone admits that humans are pretty much fucked in the head, she agrees completely. =)

Fyrius's avatar

But there is, of course, a third option: what’s written about Jehovah in the old (and new) testament does not describe any existing entity, and only reflects what small-minded bronze age tribesmen figured a perfect being would behave like.

ShanEnri's avatar

Try Revelation! That’s where he wreaks the most havoc and destruction on earth as well as mankind!

Jeruba's avatar

@Fyrius, yes. I was loosely quoting Needleman. I’m sure there’s more than one other option. My own view would be one of those others.

zombiegoddess's avatar

quote the whole thing! god does not seem to do great things to people(job,cain,moses…)so many people are killed in the name of god, not so many in the name of satan!

nebule's avatar

@worriedguy I’ve used the Leviticus 26 one – seemed to sufficiently hit the mark!! So thanks for that!!

@zombiegoddess lol…made me chuckle!!

LuckyGuy's avatar

@lynneblundell There is also Hosea 13:16 “Samaria shall bear her guilt, because she has rebelled against her God; they shall fall by the sword, their little ones shall be dashed in pieces, and their pregnant women ripped open.”
Feel free to bring that up in a natural childbirth class.

Zendo's avatar

In all fairness to the big guy, you might want to add that he is also referred to as Lovingkindness (Psalms 36:7; 1 Cor. 13:4).

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Thank you @mattbrowne for another crystal clear reflection.

Zuma's avatar

“See, the day of the Lord comes, cruel, with wrath and fierce anger, to make the earth a desolation, and to destroy its sinners from it… Whosoever is found will be thrust through and whoever is caught will fall by the sword. Their infants will be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses will be plundered, and their wives ravished. See, I am stirring up the Medes against them.” (Isa 13:9,15–17a)

“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. ... seven nations mightier and more numerous than you—and when the Lord your God gives them over to you and you defeat them, then you must utterly destroy them. Make no covenant with them and show them no mercy… But this is how you must deal with them: break down their altars, smash their pillars, hew down their sacred poles, and burn their idols with fire. For you are a people holy to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.” (Deut. 7:1–2, 5–6)

“If anyone secretly entices you—even if it is your brother, your father’s son or your mother’s son, or your own son or daughter, or the wife you embrace, or your most intimate friend, saying “Let’s go worship other gods,” whom neither you nor your ancestors have known, any of the gods of the people that are around you, whether near you or far away from you, from one end of the earth to the other, you must not yield to or heed any such persons. Show them no pity or compassion and do not shield them. But you shall surely kill them; you own hand shall be first against them to execute them, and afterwards the hand of all the people. Stone them to death for trying to turn you away from the Lord your God,who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. Then all Israel shall hear and be afraid, and never again do such wickedness.” (Deut 13:6–11)

“Your gates shall always be open; day and night they shall not be shut, so that nations shall bring you their wealth, with their kings led in procession. For the nation and the kingdom that will not serve you shall perish; those nations shall be utterly laid waste.” (Isaiah 60:11–12)

God orders Moses to kill disobedient children, adulterers, and a man who “lies with a male as with a woman” (Leviticus 20:9–10,13) and to stone to death those who gather sticks on the Sabbath (Numbers 15:32–36). God “blotted out every living thing that was on the face of the ground, human beings and animals and creeping things and birds of the air” in a genocidal flood (Genesis 7:23), and made and undid a rainbow promise (Gen 9:16, Zeph 1:2–3). God sends two she-bears to maul forty boys because they insult a prophet (2 Kings 2:23–24)

“The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Avenge the Israelites…” So Moses said to the people, ”...go against Midian, to execute the Lord’s vengeance on Midian…” They did battle against Midian, as the Lord had commanded Moses, and killed every male… The Israelites took the women of Midian and their little ones captive; and the took all their cattle,their flocks, and all their goods as booty. All their towns where they had settled, and all their encampments, they burned, but they took all the spoil and all the booty, both people and animals… Moses became angry with the officers… who had come from service in war. Moses said to them, “have you allowed all the women to live? Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones,and kill every woman who has known a man by sleeping with him. But all the young girls who have not known a man by sleeping with him, keep alive for yourselves.” (Numbers 31:1–3, 7,9–11, 14–15, 17–18)

God wiped out the armies of Egypt so that the people “would acknowledge that the Lord is God; there is no other besides him” (Deuteronomy 4:35). God’s violence: Against the Egyptians (Exodus 14:17–18 9:14–16 15:1–4a); the murder of firstborn Egyptians includes even the firstborn of female slaves of the Egyptians (Exodus 11:5)against enemies (Psalms 18:45–48a; Isaiah 25:9–10); legal entitlement to enslave non-Israelites (Leviticus 25).

“For it was the Lord’s doing to harden their hearts so that they would come against Israel in battle, in order that they might be utterly destroyed, and might receive no mercy, but be exterminated, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.” (Joshua 11:20)

God turns on his own: “From the days of our ancestors to this day we have been deep in guilt, and for our iniquities we, our kings, and our priests have been handed over to the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity,to plundering, and to utter4r shame, as is now the case.” (Ezra 9:7)

“Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” (Daniel 12:2)

”...if you do not obey me, and do not observe all these commandments, if you spurn my statutes, and abhor my ordinances, so that you will not observe all my commandments, and you break my covenant, I in turn will do this to you: I will bring terror on you; consumption and fever that waste the eyes and cause life to pine away. You shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. I will set my face against you, and you shall be struck down by your enemies; your foes shall rule over you, and you shall flee though no one pursues you. And If in spite of this you do not obey me, I will continue to punish you seven-fold for your sins…

I myself will strike you seven-fold for your sins. I will bring the sword against you, executing vengeance for the covenant; and if you withdraw within your cities, I will send pestilence among you, and you shall be delivered into enemy hands…

You shall eat the flesh of your sons, and you shall eat the flesh of your daughters. I will destroy your high places and cut down your incense altars; I will heap your carcasses on the carcasses of your idols. I will abhor you. I will lay your cities waste, will make your sanctuaries desolate, and I will not smell your pleasing odors. I will devastate the land, so that your enemies who come to settle in it shall be appalled at it. And you I will scatter among the nations, and I will unsheathe the sword against you; your land shall be a desolation, and your cities a waste.” (Leviticus 26:3–7, 14–18, 24b-25, 29–33)

And that was just the Old Testament. In the New Testament we find that God sends his only begotten son to die for us so that we shall not be condemned. But condemned by whom? By God. Jesus dies in order to save us from God, not from sin. More precisely, Jesus’ sacrificial death saves us from a violent God who punishes sin. It is a human sacrifice to appease a violent and unpredictable God.

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