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The Rabbis, Jesus and Infanticide

Updated on March 11, 2016

Was it OK for Joshua to kill women and children?

How is it OK for Joshua to kill the subservient women and children of Canaan (or anywhere else)?

Jesus said, Love your enemy (not kill them).

The ultimate judge, Jesus said, "You judge by the standards of Men, I judge no one." Meaning zero, zip, nada.

What is going on?

Lamb and Lion Ministries

God ordered the total destruction of the Canaanite people because they were horrifically evil and would entice the Israelites to sin, which they did. It’s a theme that runs throughout the books of the Minor Prophets, and by which God judged Israel by sending them into exile. Read through both the Old and New Testaments and you will see countless examples of God judging individuals and nations for their sin.

You’re misquoting John 5:22 which reads, “For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son.” Which goes on to verse 30, “…As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.”

For God’s final judgment on those who reject His Son, Jesus Christ, as Savior (John 3:16,36), read Revelation 22:11-15

Why kill a child?

Perhaps you did not understand the question, I am asking about Joshua killing the subservient women and children which made up at least half the population. Why did Joshua kill the innocent? The women and certainly children did as they were told. Why kill a child?

Didn't Jesus say, Love your enemy... or am I mistaken?

Refer to the teachings of Jesus in the story of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32) and the Adulteress (John 8:4-11). In neither story did the father (or Jesus) condemn the person. He did Not judge.

Jesus said, "You judge by human standards; I judge no one." John 8:15 (This is not a misquote).

"Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get." Matt. 7:1-2.

You want me to kill all the bad children?


Lion and Lamb Ministries

What makes you believe the women and children of the Canaanites were innocent? Are you saying that God is not just in deciding who lives and who dies?

Note: Of course the children were innocent. You should prove they were not. Generally subservient women were also innocent. I am saying that Joshua was wrong to kill people based on his religion. It was not God who is at fault, but Joshua in teaching wrongly and acting wrongly.

The Israelites did not totally destroy the evil Canaanites, and the result was just as God warned in Judges 2 ..

The conclusion that God is evil or unjust when He commanded the Israelites to destroy the people of Canaan is faulty because it assumes that there were innocent people. Romans 3:23 reveals, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:10-18 reveals that nobody is righteous unless they are saved by accepting in faith and repentance Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. The people of Canaan like those of Sodom and Gomorrah were so evil that God in His justice removed them lest they infect His people with their rebellion and idolatry. God has His reasons, they're always just, and we have to put our faith and trust in His greater knowledge of any situation.

God is also quite merciful. Because of the nomadic Amalekite persecution of the Israelites during the Exodus, God gave them 400 years to repent, which they didn't, and so God declared they were to be destroyed by King Saul (1 Sam. 15:2-3). Saul disobeyed, leaving the Amalekites another 200 years before they were totally obliterated in the 8th Century BC (1 Chron. 4:43).

The context of John 8:15 is Jesus judging Himself. Verse 16 continues, “And yet if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone, but I am with the Father who sent Me.” Look what Jesus says about Himself as Judge in Matthew 25.

Do you not believe that one day Jesus will judge you for your sins – your rebellion – you have committed against Him? God will judge each of us for our sins, but He also forgives each of us when we have repented of our sins and put our faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and our Savior.

Note: It is not Jesus/God who judges, see story of Adulteress and Prodigal Son above. Also, Jesus said he did Not judge. Our judgment is a projection of ourselves. Jesus says as you condemn you will be condemned by the same measure.

Have you put your faith and trust in Jesus as your Savior, having accepted that His death on the cross was the taking of the judgment for your sins upon Himself, and having asked for forgiveness for your sins? "For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved." - Romans 10:13 Jesus' gift of salvation is available to every person, but the person needs to accept it in faith and repentance (Jn. 3:16,36; Acts 2:38; 3:19; Heb. 11:6; 1 Jn. 5:5).

Note: No form of human sacrifice is valid. Sacrifice does not and never has removed sin. That is an ancient and false concept. Sin is removed by the forgiveness of sin. Even better, do not condemn in the first place.

Children are innocent!

In a male dominated society what woman would you blame? What child would you blame? Of course they were innocent!

That is how we know Joshua lied about having a covenant. Joshua only claimed to have a covenant to justify his genocide of the Canaanites.

God does not use violence. God's Justice is Mercy. It is Man (not God) who condemns and wants to punish.

Now do you understand the teachings of Jesus?

Lamb and Lion Ministries

The question really is about God's sense of justice, isn't it? Is God a murderer of children?

Note: No, it is about harming, even killing others in the name of your religion. It is wrong to justify violence by claiming divine authority. Get out of the Stone Age. God did Not murder children, Joshua did.

"Murder" or raw-tsakh' transliterated in the Hebrew in the Sixth Commandment in Exodus 20:13 and Deuteronomy 5:17 that reads in some versions "You shall not murder" can also read "kill" or "slay" in other versions. It means to not put any person to death without just cause. The just cause would be determined by the judicial body, usually as capital punishment. Killing was also allowed in the Bible during wartime and in self-defense.

Note: after 20 years as a Peace Officer and teaching "Use of Force" I have concluded the use of "Deadly Force" is NOT NEEDED. There are many alternatives to "Deadly Force" which render it unnecessary.

Deuteronomy 21:10-14 gives a provision for a wartime scenario. Armies in ancient times were primarily comprised of townsfolk and farmers. When an army was defeated, often annihilated to avoid future battles, the women and children left behind had no provision and faced starvation. The victorious army would take the land, wealth, and women and children as their own as spoils of war. The women were married and given the rights of nationhood, and the children had fathers. This provision for the widowed and orphaned wasn’t just limited to Israel, as Babylon, Persia and Greece for example also held to this practice, giving citizenship to the peoples it conquered.

Note: mature out of the ancient past and grow into a mature person.

When God destroyed Canaan and Sodom and Gomorrah, if He left the children, there'd be nobody to take care of them and they'd die. Their death meant life with Him in Heaven, and not to grow up and become as corrupt as their parents.

Note: God did Not destroy Canaan, Joshua did. Joshua was wrong to kill innocent children. It is wrong to kill at all. Try teaching people instead of killing them. Teach by example.

Deuteronomy 21:18-21 also teaches that if a child is so rebellious and beyond any point of correction, that they become a danger to all of society, not just physically but by example, leading other youth into sin. The elders of the town were like judges and were responsible for enacting capital punishment on the juvenile delinquent. The example made of the delinquent would also act as a deterrent for others falling into such rebellion.

Note: Capital punishment on juveniles? You must be mad!

The destruction of the children in Canaan and Sodom could also have been because they were already corrupted. A modern comparison would be the children of Hamas, indoctrinated into hatred since the cradle.

Note: No one is perfect. Take the log out of your own eye. It is possible to arrest someone without killing them. Mentally ill people are taken into custody without hurting them.

In both these cases, we see God’s hand of loving provision and justice. God has His reasons, they're always just, and we have to put our faith and trust in His greater knowledge of any situation.

Note: Do you speak for God? I am just saying it was wrong for Joshua to kill innocent women and children. How mentally ill must you be to defend genocide?


In wisdom, do not find fault.

In wisdom do not condemn.

In wisdom, do not cherish grudges.

In wisdom, love others, even those who spitefully use you.

In wisdom, love others, even those who speak unkindly.

Justice is mercy and mercy is justice.

Yes indeed, what is the "Justice aspect of God?"
Please point out what the women and children did wrong to deserve death. Remember this is a male dominate society. The priests controlled the men and the men controlled the women and children. Please address why the women and children were targeted by "The Lord" for death.

If god tells you to hurt someone, resist the urge and see a psychiatrist. Why did Joshua order the killing of men, women and children? Was he delusional or just filled with a need to control and dominate people? Can you think of another way to change a society other than killing everyone? Why didn't Joshua talk to the Canaanites and teach a better way of doing things? MLK and Gandhi did not kill anyone.

I suggest we turn to Jesus for the "Justice aspect of God." Jesus said, "Love your enemy, be kind to those who hurt you, love one another, sheath your sword, do not condemn, I judge no one." Justice is Mercy.

You say, all the children are bad?


Lamb and Lion Ministries

Your answer is taken from Deuteronomy 7. The Canaanites were all idolaters.

Your understanding of Jesus is taken out of context to fit your own desire that He will not judge you for your sins. But, in Matthew 25 and Revelation 20, here is Jesus judging the world for its sins and if not saved sending them to Hell.

Note: God does not judge us. We judge ourselves in a mirror held by God. Our judgment is our projection.

The life and teachings of Jesus were always peaceful.

The life and teachings of Jesus were always peaceful, that is why I am a Christian and not a Jew.

Deuteronomy 7 is false because children are innocent. Do not punish little children for what their fathers do.

Even if the children had done wrong (which I do not believe) they did not have a chance to repent.

Matt. 25:41-46 was inserted by a Jewish minded author. It is actually a statement about purification and healing, as Jesus taught everwhere else.

Revelation was written by John. Where did he get his information? How accurate is a vision?

What would a psychiatrist say about this? You wish to justify killing women and children and I am opposed. Whose mindset is correct? Ask a shrink and let me know.. OK?

Lamb and Lion Ministries

How do you know that Jesus said what you’re saying? After all, He didn’t write the Gospels, but His followers years later.

You see, when one starts doubting parts of the Bible, they have to discard the entire Bible. The Bible is either the inerrant Word of God, or it’s not. We cannot pick and choose what we like and don’t like.

Note: The Bible is a political statement written by the Rabbis to justify taking land and their genocide of the Canaanites. Discard all parts of the Bible that do not follow the teachings of Jesus.

God ordered the total destruction of the heinously evil Canaanite people. He’s ordered the total destruction of all who have rejected His lifeline of salvation to Hell. God is the sovereign king of the universe who rules justly by His moral law.

Note: God is good and always good. Some Canaanites were good and some were bad, just as all people are. Violence is only your projection. God does not order violence, that is how we know God did not have a covenant with Joshua.

The fault lies not in God, but in ourselves.


Come, let us reason together.

Let us summarize and make some agreement.

First, we were not there, not witnesses and we do not really know what was said and done.

Second, it is not our place to kill women and children.

Third, We should not condemn another to the point of creating anger, hatred, etc. within ourselves.

Fourth, We should consider what precedent we set with our actions.

Fifth, We should not go around killing people.


Lamb and Lion Ministries

You’re reasoning from a human point of view. I’m going with the Word of God and can only agree when it’s written there within. That means what God said about justice in Deuteronomy 32:35 and Romans 12:19, "Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: 'It is mine to avenge; I will repay,' says the Lord." And God did avenge the world of the Canaanites for their crimes, by ordering the Israelites to remove all the evil from the land so that they wouldn’t be influenced to follow in their evil ways.

If God’s justice disgusts you and therefore His character, and Jesus is God (John 10:30), then how can you claim to be a follower of Jesus?

Is killing justified based on religion?

One last question: Is killing justified based on religion?
Yes or No


Lamb & Lion Ministries did not answer the question.

They could have said, Yes and established themselves as a terrorist training ground or

No, and refuted their earlier stated position.

I suggest taking the Peace Testimony, "I renounce war and fighting for any reason or under any pretense whatsoever."

Is it OK to kill women and children?

Was it OK for Joshua to kill women and children?

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    • Donna Suthard profile image

      Donna Suthard 

      3 years ago

      I totally agree with what you have written! Violence is totally wrong.. God and His Love is what is needed in every situation.. Love thy enemy as thyself.. God is love, and only Love! Great hub! Thank You Jay!


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