[b-hebrew] Human Sacrifice

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Fri Oct 21 05:09:13 EDT 2005

On 21/10/2005 06:23, tladatsi at charter.net wrote:

>However, if you interested in the concept of human 
>sacrifice outside of the lexical domain of XRM, you can 
>look at 2 Sam 21.  This is clearest example of human 
>sacrifice I can think of.  Briefly, Yahweh brings a 
>terrible famine upon Israel for three years.  When David 
>asks Yahweh why and Yahweh replies that it is on account of 
>Saul?s (who is dead by this time) attempted genocide of the 
>Gibeonites.  David turns over seven male descendents (sons 
>and grandsons) to the Gibeonites who kill (MWT) them.  God 
>finds this action satisfactory and ends the famine (hmlk 
>vy?tr ?lhym l?rts ?xry kn - Elohim answering the prayers of 
>the kng for the land after that)
This isn't human sacrifice, rather it is a case of punishment for a 
crime. We still find genocide repugnant and accept that it deserves the 
death penalty - well, no one will weep for Saddam Hussein. In the modern 
world we don't punish children and grandchildren for their parents' and 
grandparents' crimes, well, not deliberately although they often suffer 
more than the criminal when the criminal is locked up. But in the 
ancient world that was apparently considered just, and it was put in a 
quite different category from sacrifice.

Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)

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