Death and some other Minor Ailments – Part 1
When I die (Spagmon forbid), I certainly hope that it’s not from anything serious. In Bible times, it appears that very few things were ever serious. People seemed to be able to recover from just about anything.
|Taken from The Brick Testament|
In these next two articles, we will explore together some of the Bible characters who survived that most serious of all maladies – death.
On numerous occasions, a Bible character is killed off, only to reappear in a later chapter or book (see the Kill Them Again! articles). Either these were an extremely hardy group of individuals, or someone’s fact checker was in the bar when he should have been checking facts.
The Midianites engaged in a great sin. They allowed some of the Israelites to have sex with them. As a result, they had to be punished.
Moses, the meekest (humble in spirit or manner; suggesting retiring mildness or even cowed submissiveness – Moses was anything but any of those things, but hey ho) of all men, issued the order to kill all of the Midianites.
Numbers 31:7 tells us that the obedient Israelites “slew every male”. When Moses found out about this, he was furious, and rightly so, because the Israelites had let the women and evil children live. What follows next is one of the most bloodthirsty genocides recorded in the Bible. This meek man issues the command (vs 17) to “kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man by lying with him.” Mercifully, though, he decrees that the young girls could just be raped. Verse 18 says “But all the young girls who have not known man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves”. All together, 32,000 virgins are taken as “booty” (vs 35).
As an aside, it should be mentioned that the Midianites were being punished for fornication. Part of the remedy for that great sin is to take 32,000 young virgins as booty. Does anyone see a bit of a double standard, here?
I suppose I could pause for a moment and comment on the development of the modern expression “booty”, but that hardly seems necessary.
So, the Midianites are completely wiped out. Every man, every boy, and every woman has been killed. The young girls have been individually assimilated into the Hebrew camp. The Midianite race hereby ceases to exist.
But, not for long. Judges 6:1,2 tells us:
The people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord; and the Lord gave them into the hand of Midian seven years. And the hand of Midian prevailed over Israel; and because of Midian, the people of Israel made for themselves the dens which are in the mountains, and the caves and the strongholds.
Therefore, after complete annihilation, the Midianites soon are not only back, but are numerous enough to dominate the multi-million (according to the bible) population of the Israelites. Just how numerous were they? Well according to Judges 8:10, there were 135,000 warriors, indicating a total population of at least 400,000. I guess genocide and mass murder aren’t all that serious after all.
The moral of this story is: never pick up an Israelite in a bar.