Did fathers give any answer about masacre in bible?


I got good answers for “Why God ordered his prophets to kill women and children?” in this forum, but I did not find any refrence to fathers.

Did fathers give any answer to this in their apologetic writings?

I don’t know if any of the early Church Father spoke on it, but I do know a Christian philosopher has covered it. He wrote a bookd called Is God a Moral Monster?. Here is a one hour presentation from the author on YouTube.

If you search YouTube for that title, you will find several other videos as well. Some include Q&A.

There was a thread about this last week. Use the search function. There were many food replies.

Were they delicious? :slight_smile:


Oh, that’s funny. I’m hourse sitting, so I have to post from my phone…

GOOD replies.


**GOOD GRIEF> HOUSE sitting. **

I do not know about the fathers, but I can offer this commentary:

Children Eaten By Bears (2 Kings 2:23-24)

2 Kings 2:23-24
[Elisha] went up from there to Bethel; and while he was going up on the way, some small boys came out of the city and jeered at him, saying, “Go up, you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!” And he turned around, and when he saw them, he cursed them in the name of the Lord. And two she-bears came out of the woods and tore forty-two of the boys.

Once again we have a popular passage for scoffers, but that’s nothing new. St. Caesarius of Arles, for example, tells us this was a favorite passage of the Manichees for mocking the Old Testament. Elisha has a few dozen kids killed by bears for making for making fun of his baldness? Hardly behavior worthy of a prophet of God, right? Let’s break it down and see what’s actually going on here.

The curse has been considered potentially immoral by exegetes almost from the beginning, leading them to look for deeper reasons. One interpretation is that this is just a tale to instruct children in respect, and therefore it’s meant to be didactic and not literal. It was meant to show the power of the prophet’s word and the respect due to him.

A variant in the Lucianic recension of the Septuagint has “they stone” rather than “they mocked,” which obviously makes their offense much more serious. It’s also worth noting that the word translated as “small boys” in English can also mean young men. This may well have been a mob intent on doing Elisha harm.

“Forty-two” may be a symbolic number simply meaning “a lot.” We also encounter it in 2 Kings 10:14 as the number killed by Jehu. The Babylonian Talmud (b. Sota 47a) records the number of sacrifices by Balak of Moab as 42, and claims that the boys killed by the bears were taken in payments for these deaths.

What about the baldness, though? Was he naturally balding, or had he shaved his head in lamentation for Elijah? If the latter, then the mockery did not enrage him because he was vain, but because it disrespected the great prophet. Were they jeering at baldness because he was contemptible as a bald man, or were they jeering at his baldness because it signified his prophetic gift? The latter certainly would have been a more serious offense. The honor of the Lord Himself was injured by the children of Bethel. We may also read it as a condemnation of the adults of Bethel through the curse on their children.

Taken from:

Five Hard Bible Passages and What They Mean
Understanding the difficult parts of the Bible.

by Thomas L. McDonald

What thread was this? I can’t find it.

I knew a protestant minister who claimed this stuff happened because of the consequences of inequity. The spiritual consequences, as it passed on from generation to generation, and because God is Holy he wanted the evilness to be wiped out completely.

Best explanation i have heard and never seen a ECF quote on it. :shrug:

Ive been in a few discussion with non religious people about the OT verses where God instructs his to kill people, women, children, even entire towns of people if just one person there spoke blasphemy, among some other verses where killing is required. for things in the modern world, that are not really a big deal.

I think some of this stuff is what keeps people from the catholic faith, or religion in general

Why should it? Seriously. When you mess with others you break the communion of humanity, but when you mess with God…do not get me started on that…:wink:

The problem for me is that some of those killed did not “mess with God”. Newborn babies were ordered to be killed. Pregnant women (and hence their unborn children) were ordered to be killed.

God was inflicting collective punishment on many groups. Some people were not punished for what they did, but for what others in their tribe/city/family had done. That does not fit well with a God who is claimed to be both merciful and just.



You agree that actions have consequences. The actions of certain people in a group impact the group’s future. If a player misses the winning shot in a basketball game, the team loses. Ultimately, you have to agree that the actions of one impact the lives of many, whether good or bad. How much more with God?

The modern society has put too many limitations on who God is that they make him look like a bad guy, when in reality, society is the bad guy.

Yes. Actions have consequences for the actor. To say that all Americans are collectively responsible for the actions of the Oklahoma Bomber or the Orlando Shooter, and hence deserve the same punishment, is not either merciful or just. Both those men were American Citizens. Do their actions justify killing unborn American babies? That is what God ordered in some cases: “kill every women who has known man” - Numbers 31:17.

What crime can an unborn baby commit that it is merciful and just to kill him or her?


Apparently you didn’t read the rest of my post.

My post was directly relevant to the topic of this thread: God using collective punishment against whole groups, including those who could not possibly be guilty of whatever offence some members of the group had committed.

I used America as a modern-day example.

Actions have consequences for the individual. God imposes those consequences on other individuals who did not take the action. How is this either just or merciful, when the consequences are an early death?


Read the rest of my post.

I did. Now answer my question:

Actions have consequences for the individual. God imposes those consequences on other individuals who did not take the action. How is this either just or merciful, when the consequences are an early death?


Why don’t you ask Him?:smiley: Why do you think a team loses because of lack of defense of bad coaching?

Please read Is God a Moral Monster.

Or watch the shortened version (it’s only an hour).

Define “team”. The Orlando shooter lived in Fort Pierce. Are all the inhabitants of Fort Pierce “on the team” and so deserving of death? What about the state of Florida, are all Floridans “on the team” and so deserving of death? What about the USA? Are all US citizens “on the team” and so deserving of death? Do illegal immigrants to the US count as “on the team” as well? Where are the clear, merciful and just boundaries drawn for God’s collective punishment of the innocent and guilty?


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