Virgins and Holy War

One of the passages from the Old Testament that I just can’t rationalize is in Numbers 31 where the Israelites are told to kill all the Midianites except for the virgins which they were to “keep for [themselves].” I read through the whole passage yesterday for another look at what the Midianites were supposedly guilty of.

Enticing the Israelites to worship Baal.

I used to invalidate Islam by saying how evil Allah was because his instructions were to convert or kill.

Quran (9:5)
But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practice regular charity, then open the way for them…

What’s the difference?

Numbers 31:7-18
They warred against Midian, as the Lord commanded Moses, and killed every male.
They killed the kings of Midian with the rest of their slain, Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba, the five kings of Midian. And they also killed Balaam the son of Beor with the sword. And the people of Israel took captive the women of Midian and their little ones, and they took as plunder all their cattle, their flocks, and all their goods. All their cities in the places where they lived, and all their encampments, they burned with fire, and took all the spoil and all the plunder, both of man and of beast.Then they brought the captives and the plunder and the spoil to Moses, and to Eleazar the priest, and to the congregation of the people of Israel, at the camp on the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho.

Moses and Eleazar the priest and all the chiefs of the congregation went to meet them outside the camp. And Moses was angry with the officers of the army, the commanders of thousands and the commanders of hundreds, who had come from service in the war. Moses said to them, “Have you let all the women live? Behold, these, on Balaam’s advice, caused the people of Israel to act treacherously against the Lordin the incident of Peor, and so the plague came among the congregation of the Lord. Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man by lying with him. But all the young girls who have not known man by lying with him keep alive for yourselves.

Maybe because the passage in the Koran is for all time and the one in the Bible was a one time deal? Because that would make it o.k.

 

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