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What is the reason for the O.T. command to kill all the enemies children?
A friend of mine is genuinely asking why does God command the killing of the woman and children at various times in scripture when wiping out the enemy nations. She has said she could understand the women's part, if they were part of the problem, but I am struggling to explain to a sincere person the part about babies and very young children without the glossing over answer of "God knows best".

This person is not being antagonistic or argumentative, nor is she trying to judge God. I really want to stress that. It is just that she is wanting to overcome and study more of the word of God and admitting to struggling because of these things. 

I will also add here that as a child, with non-christian parents, she was made to go to her room and read a rather serious looking children's' bible as punishment for bad behaviour. She acknowledges that this has made it hard for her years later, after becoming a Christian, to study the parts of scripture where God is punishing children and babies in the same way as deliberately sinning adults. It is something she wants to overcome so is asking for help to understand the reasons this had to happen.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and any insight you can offer.
I hope this may help. Its questions and objections from my evidence bible ?

Comments on Deuteronomy 3:6
"What kind of God would sanction
the killing of women and children?

Let me tell you about my father. When l was young, he regularly left my mother and us three kids to fend for ourselves. l was there when he killed a helpless animal with his bare hands. Not only that, but he hit me (often). 
Based on this information, you could be justified in believing that my father was a tyrant. However, theres some missing information. The reason he left us each day was to work to earn money to provide food, clothing, and
shelter for us. He killed the animal
Because it had been hit by a car and was in agony. He put it out of its misery, and it grieved him to do so
He regularly chastened me because he loved me enough to teach me right from wrong (l was a brat
So, now you have a balanced view of my dad. He was a loving father and a very compassionate man
One of God from the Bible can paint Him to be a cruel tyrant, but in the entirety of Scripture we
see a different picture. God bestowed life on each of us. Think of what He did for you. He gave you itself, eyes to see with, ears to hear beautiful music, and taste buds to enjoy delicious food. He created
the blueness of the sky and the awe of a sunset. He gave you a nose to smell the fragrance of flower
He lavished you with His kindness. He didn't treat you according to your sins, but has shown incredible
mercy to you in allowing you to live this far. In addition, He became a Man in Jesus Christ, in whom we
see the most compassionate, loving Person who ever lived. Then demonstrated His love
for us by suffering and dying for our sins
With that extra knowledge, it's easy for me to look at anything God did and say, "All His judgments are true
and righteous all together.
 Some will say, "But He instigated the deaths of men
women, and children!" Yes, and He did that with the whole of humanity. The Judge of the said
The soul who sins hall die" (Ezek. 18:4). God proclaimed the death sentence on every man
and child. But this same God of justice is rich in mercy and will grant everlasting life to every man
woman, and child who will humble themselves, repent of their sin, and trust in Jesus Christ.
If you look at what is happening today, the children of refugees from Muslim countries are growing up to be jihadis.  Maybe it was for the same or similar reasons back then.  The children would grow up, learn about their parents culture, religion etc. and take revenge for their parents by waging war against Israel. 

In regards to refugees, you can screen them. (Check their backgrounds, though very very limitedly as they may not have their documents/identification when entering the country.)  But you cannot screen their young or unborn children.  The children will be raised according to their parent's culture and parent's religion.

It is now very hard to monitor these refugees and the children of the refugees, we have let the enemy inside our countries border.  And now in Australia and in the western world we are seeing children of refugees committing jihadist acts according to their religion of Islam.  In England (or maybe the whole of the UK, not sure) but there is suspected to be at least 20,000 jihadis in the country, it will be very difficult and very hard to monitor them all.

In a similar way, if Israel kept alive the children of their enemies they would have found it very very hard to monitor them and their children and prevent them from waging war from within their borders.  And Israel didn't do exactly as God said and did allow the enemy to live within their borders and made treaties with them too and paid the consequences.

This man here, Andrew Bolt, not a Christian but an agnostic, makes a good point.  5 minutes long.  I hope the link works.  <iframe src="" width="560" height="315" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allowFullScreen="true"></iframe>
To be  able to  answer  this  question fully  we  would need  to have a look at  who  God  is  because tend  to  try  bring  God  down  to  our  understanding when His  ways  are  far above  what  we  say, think  or  do. So  before  we can answer  why God insisted  that  all including the woman and children be put to death lets  have a look and some of  who God is..
God  is  goodness  and full of  mercy (Exodus 34:6-7, Psalm 25:8, James 1:17)
There  is  no  evil  or  evil intention that  can proceed from God  because there is  no  evil in God.
God  is  full  of  grace ...   (Psalm 145:17, Romans 1:5, 3:24, 5:15,20; Eph.4:7, Hebrews 4:16)
Throughout Scripture  God  has always  been willing and gracious  to  accept  and forgive the repentant sinner  who  truly  repents  in humility , examples  are King David, Nahum, Ruth, Rahab the harlot  and many others
God  is  Holy,  this  is  important  to  understand this  before  we  can fully have some kind  of  understand  why  God  would  have told the Jews  to kill everyone in a nation including woman and children.
The  original meaning  of the word Holy  has  been lost  in our English language . The  original  for Holy  is  ko’-desh  which  means separateness, apartness , sacredness.. to  be set apart, consecrated, to be hallowed.
Holiness  is  synonymous with  God’s total purity and separation from the rest of His creation. Holiness is a moral purity.
So  in saying  all that God called Israel to be a Holy nation , a royal priesthood  to draw  the nations unto himself and to be a witness and testimony of who God is.
Therefore when Israel  crossed  the Jordan and met with  the Nations  they  where  instructed  to   destroy all  including the woman, children and live  stock  was to  preserve the purity  of the nation which  He  had call unto Himself  to  be a holy people..
To be quite honest Jen, I think that to come to an understanding of any hard to discern passages of Scripture, especially in the Old Testament, you have to ask where Christ is in relation to what you're looking at. In Genesis you have the account of God bestowing a promise of blessing upon Abraham and his seed, which incorporates both a land promise, and a promise that his seed would be great, and through his seed all the families of the earth would be blessed. In forming this covenant with Abraham, God swore to bless those who bless Abraham and his seed, and curse those who cursed him. Obviously this then plays out through the lineage of Isaac, and then Jacob, who becomes Israel.

When Israel came out of Egypt four hundred years or so after, they were led by God into the land that had previously been promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, which is when they began to come up against those who were determined to curse not bless Israel. And true to His Word, God came against their enemies. Note that it had nothing to do with Israel's own righteousness, but God's promise, and the wickedness of those nations they were facing.

1  "Hear, O Israel: You are to cross over the Jordan today, and go in to dispossess nations greater and mightier than yourself, cities great and fortified up to heaven,
2  a people great and tall, the descendants of the Anakim, whom you know, and of whom you heard it said, 'Who can stand before the descendants of Anak?'
3  Therefore understand today that the LORD your God is He who goes over before you as a consuming fire. He will destroy them and bring them down before you; so you shall drive them out and destroy them quickly, as the LORD has said to you.
4  Do not think in your heart, after the LORD your God has cast them out before you, saying, 'Because of my righteousness the LORD has brought me in to possess this land'; but it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD is driving them out from before you.
5  It is not because of your righteousness or the uprightness of your heart that you go in to possess their land, but because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD your God drives them out from before you, and that He may fulfill the word which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
6  Therefore understand that the LORD your God is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness, for you are a stiff-necked people.
Deuteronomy 9:1-6 (NKJV) 

The primary reason, as Dwight pointed out previously, is the purity of Israel. In the sense of ensuring the purity of the Messianic line, who is the true Seed of Abraham that would bring blessings upon all the nations of the earth. This is also why God so strictly commanded Israel to marry from within Israel, rather than interbreeding with those from other nations. Not that in the flesh those people were any worse or better than the Israelites, but according to the promise of God the Israelites were truly set apart from every other nation. The reason being because of the One to come from that nation. Obviously in the New Testament we now see this truth in its fullest light:

16  Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, "And to seeds," as of many, but as of one, "And to your Seed," who is Christ.
17  And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect.
18  For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise.
19  What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator.
Galatians 3:16-19 (NKJV) 

26  For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
27  For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
28  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
29  And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Galatians 3:26-29 (NKJV) 

It really is all about Christ, and the utter necessity of His coming into this world according to God's own Word, for the purpose of saving sinners by His own blood. And whilst I can't even contemplate the horror of those times, it was no doubt necessary and unavoidable as long as Israel's enemies refused to repent.

That's my tu'penny worth anyway.   Smile 

God bless,

Thanks for the input so far everyone. 

Food for thought indeed.


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