Violence on infants in books on the Lesser Prophets


#1

I’ve recently been looking through a the books of Hosea and Amos in the NIV version and found these rather difficult to explain passages

Hosea 9:13-16

13 I have seen Ephraim, like Tyre,planted in a pleasant place.But Ephraim will bring out their children to the slayer.”14 Give them, LORD— what will you give them? Give them wombs that miscarry and breasts that are dry.15 “Because of all their wickedness in Gilgal,I hated them there.Because of their sinful deeds, I will drive them out of my house.I will no longer love them;all their leaders are rebellious.16 Ephraim is blighted,their root is withered,they yield no fruit.Even if they bear children,I will slay their cherished offspring.”

Hosea 13:16

16 The people of Samaria must bear their guilt,because they have rebelled against their God. They will fall by the sword; their little ones will be dashed to the ground,
their pregnant women ripped open.”

_ Times like these really make me think that knowing Jewish thought and take on this esp.would be **very ** helpful b/c it would make things more wide in perspective and comprehensive to know what the ppl who are primarily only working with the Old Testament say about this b/c I think that “Oh all the Old Testament stuff leads to the New Testament and Christ’s affirmation of things” won’t really do it here.


#2

These are prophecies of military invasion and defeat.

In both cases, the prophecy refers to the defeat and destruction of the Northern Kingdom (Israel) by the Assyrians.

The Assyrians of that time were ruthless fighters, who took no pity on women or children, and were feared throughout the Near East for their cruelty.

Basically, the prophets are saying that an invasion by the Assyrians would be brought on them, as penalty for their sins (particularly idol worship and rejecting God.)


#3

16 The people of Samaria must bear their guilt,because they have rebelled against their God. They will fall by the sword; their little ones will be dashed to the ground, their pregnant women ripped open.”

Wut?


#4

Well, one thing to keep in mind is that children were not as revered then as they are today.

Many women died in childbirth and infants had a tough time of it surviving through to childhood.

In fact, in Republican Rome a father had the right to kill his own children for whatever cause- even up into the mid-teens.


#5

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.