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Does God Promote Genocide, Infanticide, and the Murder of Pregnant Women in Hosea 13:16 of the Bible?

Updated on April 1, 2014

Infanticide

The Massacre of the Innocents
The Massacre of the Innocents | Source

Books of the Bible

The Bible is comprised of 66 books, but our main focus for this hub is the Old Testament.

First, understand the various divisions of books in the Bible.

For example:

Books of Poetry and Wisdom:

  • Job
  • Psalm
  • Proverbs
  • Ecclesiastes
  • Song of Songs

If you would like to see the complete breakdown of the various books of the Bible, visit this helpful page on the books of the Bible.

The News Reports What Happened...So Does the Bible

News reporter delivers the news
News reporter delivers the news | Source

Myth: The Bible Says it, Therefore God Promotes it

For those people that love to misquote the Bible, and point out various passages out of context, so let's begin with a lesson in Bible 101.

There are historical accounts and real stories of events that took place and are recorded in the Bible. There are also books in the Old Testament that are mainly poetry and wisdom.

Ignorance is Common About the Things of God

The common atheist of today is stuck on Old Testament books that speak of slavery, and genocide, and infanticide, and the murder of pregnant women.

Every passage of the Bible should be examined individually. There is no blanket statement for this. However, the atheist is only interested in one thing: To prove that God is not a loving God.

But atheists are only approaching this issue to try to win a debate.

Example: A man goes to court and is found guilty of murdering people. The judge sentences him to death. The judge does not sentence this man to death because he hates the man on trial. The judge sentences him to death because he loves everyone, and to release this man would be to allow more people to be killed.

God is like a judge in a courtroom, and cares about his creation.

Keep in mind, that there is no blanket statement for the atheist that wants to prove you wrong. They want a black and white answer, but there is no black and white answer. After all, we live in a world of color. The atheist cannot come to grips with the fact that God created them, because they don't want to answer to God.

An Atheist References Hosea 13:16

More specifically, some atheists reference the Bible passage in Hosea 13:16.

An atheist says, "...what confuses me is God is promoting not only infanticide, but the murder of pregnant women [in Hosea 13:16]"

Does Hosea 13:16 really promote these heinous things?

Before going any further, all of those things are not good, and the Bible does not promote any person doing any of them. However, the Bible does report these things in the Bible, just as a news anchor states the news.

Does New Channel 6 promote prostitution because it reported it on last night's news?

Of course not. Neither does the Bible.

Now the answer to this atheist is not "...because it is in the Old Testament." Just because something is recorded in the Old Testament, doesn't mean that it is promoted, condoned, or even allowed. The Old Testament reports it as it happened, and many a sin took place under the Old Covenant. Don't think for a second that sin did not affect humans in the Old Testament. It did.

Lesson to be learned: Just because something is reported and recorded in the Bible, doesn't mean that God promotes it. The Bible teaches to love all people, even those that hate you.

God Hates Sin

The Bible is very clear that bad things happen when people sin.This can include the wrath of God, who loves people, yet hates sin. After all, sin means "rebellion against God."

Sin can have no place in God's presence. People who sin and do not repent must face the consequences.


Israel is no exception, which is evidenced throughout the Old Testament.

Assyrian Statue

An Assyrian gateway statue
An Assyrian gateway statue | Source

What is Hosea 13:16 about?

Hosea 13:16 (KJV) says:
"Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up."

Info about Hosea

Hosea is a minor prophet of the Northern Kingdom. His message was to the Northern Kingdom (including Samaria). Many people viewed Hosea as a "prophet of doom" but he had an underlying message with the promise of restoration.

Samaria was considered the metropolis of the ten tribes of Israel, and the head city. Taking it down would be quite a statement from Assyria to Israel.

Hosea Makes a Prophetic Declaration of Things to Come

As a prophet, Hosea speaks about things to come and warns people about what will happen if they do not repent and turn from their sinful ways. This passage is not talking about God promoting or condoning these horrific actions, but what the Assyrians will do to them, when they sack and pillage the city.

Shalmaneser, the king of Assyria, carried out these gruesome acts of violence and besieged Samaria, as Hosea predicted.

Does God Promote Genocide in the Bible?

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