Welcome to the next part of my Bible Project, covering the first part of Joshua!
As we all know, the Nazis were a pack of evil fucks. They started a war that cost the lives of millions, rounded up and killed six million Jews, as well as hundreds of thousands of Rom, homosexuals and others, and, well, just generally did a lot of really unpleasantly evil things.
Some of these things included acts like the Khatyn massacre (an entire town rounded up and killed; from newborn babies to old people), the destruction of Lidice (killed every male over 16, sent most of the rest of the population to concentration camps), the Marzabotto massacre (over a thousand people killed, including 250 that were under the age of sixteen, 45 of which were under the age of two), and many, many more. It’s no wonder they lost the war; they were too busy killing millions of innocent people.
But, hey, they were only following orders, right? Doing what the government and leadership told them to do. Besides, God was on their side, right? Why the German military’s motto was “Gott mit uns“. Clearly it was God’s will that they be doing what they did.
I mention all of this because we’re going to be discussing a Jewish war crime today. We’re going to be talking about Jericho, and its destruction is every bit as evil, thorough and atrocious as anything the Germans did during World War Two.
As the book opens, Moses is dead and God is chatting with Joshua about the future.
“Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them – the children of Israel.
“Every place that the sole of your foot will read upon I have given you, as I said to Moses.” – Joshua 1:2 – 3
Good to see that God still hasn’t learned how not to torture a sentence. He then spews a lot of crap which basically boils down to manifest destiny. Joshua then gives a similar speech, everyone swears loyalty to him and we quickly come to the problem of Jericho.
Jericho is an interesting city, given that it’s older than the Earth. Seriously! According to a lot of religious people, the Earth has been around for about 6,000 years, though the city itself is about 11,000 years old. Of course there’s several cities out there older than six-thousand years, which is yet more proof, were any needed, that religion is wrong about a lot of things. But moving on.
Jericho stands between the nation of Israel and what they want, so of course they have to invade it. Problem is, the city has massive, highly-fortified walls, making any conquest somewhat difficult. Never fear, though, for the Jews have a plan.
Now Joshua the son of Nun sent out two men from Acacia Groove to spy secretly, saying, “Go, view the land, especially Jericho.” So they went, and came to the house of a harlot named Rahab, and lodged there. – Joshua 2:1
The local king hears that a couple spies are in town, so he sends some guards to have a little “chat” with Rahab about the men staying with her. She lies and says they aren’t there, the guards believe her and go off on a wild goose chase while the spies are hidden within her home. Once the guards are gone, she goes to the men and chats with them.
Now before they lay down, she came up to them on the roof,
and said to the men: “I know that the Lord has given you the land, that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of you.
“For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed.
“And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted; neither did there remain any more courage in anyone because of you, for the Lord your God, he is god in heaven above and on the earth beneath.
“Now therefore, I beg you, swear to me by the Lord, since I have shown you kindness, that you will also show kindness to my father’s house, and give me a true token,
“and spare my my father, my mother, my brothers, my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death.”
So the men answered her, “Our lives for yours, if none of you tell this business of ours. And it shall be, when the Lord has given us the land, that we will deal kindly and truly with you.” – Joshua 2:8 – 14
So basically this woman is a traitor, not that the Bible thinks of her that way (“Treason never profits, what’s the reason? Why, if it profits, none dare call it treason.” I don’t know who said that, but it’s spot-on). Basically she’s selling her entire nation down the river in exchange for the safety of her and her family. Charming. This would be if someone in England gave the Germans information about how the Brits had broken the ENIGMA code in exchange for the life of their family. Sure, it would result in the United Kingdom being conquered, but who cares, as long as this one person’s family is alive?
Also it’s worth noting that she basically points out that, yeah, the people of Jericho heard what happened in Egypt and other places and are scared shitless of God. I guess all God’s bragging about doing evil deeds so his enemies would be scared of him worked, eh?
So the men swear an oath to Rahab and run back to Joshua. He’s quite pleased at this turn of events and plans his attack. He does so with a surprisingly large army.
About forty thousand men prepared for war crossed over [the Jordan river] before the Lord for battle, to the plains of Jericho. Joshua 4:13
40,000? 40,000?! Listen, that’s about eight Roman Legions. The Romans were only able to maintain such a huge military (by the standards of the day), by having a large empire with a good-sized tax base. I strongly doubt the Israelites had forty thousand men out there preparing for battle. They just didn’t have the support structure. Four thousand I can buy, but that’s not what it says.
Before we can go into battle, though, we first have to decimate our troops through infections caused by circumcision.
At that time the Lord said to Joshua, “Make flit knives for yourself, and circumcise the sons of Israel again for the second time.” Joshua 5:2
Er… ok, look. I’m sure this is some error in translation or something, but “again for the second time”?! First, this implies that it was already done once, then done again, and is now being done again for the second time. This means that these poor fellows have been under the knife three times. Is there even anything left at that point?
Moving on we arrive at Jericho and behold the master plan to take the city.
[God said] “You shall march around the city, all you men of war’ you shall go around all the city once. This you shall do six days.” – Joshua 6:3
So, there we have it. For those of you expecting a pitched battle, don’t get your hopes up. Basically the Jews marched in a circle around the city for six days.
Now I don’t know about you, but had I been manning the walls in Jericho and saw that all these forty thousand men were doing was walking in circles, I’d start doing things (ie: shooting at them, dropping rocks and boiling oil onto them), etc. I’d do whatever I could to make sure I killed as many of these soldiers as possible while they’re wasting time treating my city like a Maypole.
Anyhow, these clowns dance around the city, carrying the infamous Ark of the Covenant, and then after six days blow on a ram’s horn which somehow causes the city walls to collapse. Well, I guess this is what you get when you hire out the walls to the lowest possible bidder, who also happens to be your brother-in-law.
So having knocked down walls that were, I presume, made of bread crumbs, Joshua tells his forces what the next plan is.
“Now the city shall be doomed by the Lord to destruction, it and all who are in it. Only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all who are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers we sent.
“And you, by all means abstain from the accursed things, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it.
“But all the silver and gold, and vessels of bronze and iron, are consecrated to the Lord; they shall come into the treasury of the Lord.” – Joshua 6:17 – 19
Well, clearly I was mistaken earlier. Obviously the army can indeed by this large if you get money by pillaging various cities, wiping out their populations and stealing all their money. Also, clearly, the Jewish army is basically run and manned by thugs with no sense of decency who rape and pillage in a way that would make a Viking blush.
I say this because even Vikings, brutal and savage though they were, would hesitate before doing what Joshua has the army do next. The Holocaust of Jericho is in the offing.
And they utterly destroyed all that wasin the city, both man and woman, young and old, ox an sheep and donkey, with the edge of the sword. – Joshua 6:21
There you have it. From the Bible itself we have a massive, horrible, war crime perpetrated by the Jews against innocent civilians. It’s notable for being especially brutal, even by the standards of the time. The usual course of action would be to kill all the enemy soldiers, kill most of the males of fighting age, kill the old people, rape the women and girls, and then sell the women and children into slavery. It would suck to be sure, but at least they’d be alive. The animals would, in the meantime, be brought back as spoils of war, in addition to all the gold and silver and the like.
Actions like those would be reprehensible enough, but what the Jews do here is truly indefensible. Even a lot of apologists have trouble with it, falling back on the old, “God said to do it, so that’s ok.” The fact that it bothers them, though, indicates they are more moral than God. Bearing that in mind, I still have to ask why people worship such an inhuman monster.
After the raping and murdering is done (rape isn’t mentioned, but we can be sure it happened), the wealth of the city is gathered up and the city itself is burned to the ground. The money goes into the treasury and Rahab, apparently, becomes an immortal. Why do I say this?
And Joshua spared Rahab the harlot, her father’s household, and all that she had. So she dwells in Israel to this day… – Joshua 6:25
Ok, clearly what’s meant here by “to this day” is “to the time when this story was being told”, but it doesn’t actually say that. Therefore, since it says she dwells in Israel to this day, we can assume she’s still alive. After all, the Bible wouldn’t lie, right? So why don’t we find her and talk with her, hmmm? Imagine all that could be learned from a woman over three-thousand years old.
What a fundamentally horrible story this is. I find historical equivalents from people like Geghis Khan, who was in the habit of destroying cities who refused to surrender, but even then I don’t think he killed everyone. Even the Nazis usually showed more restraint than this. Yes, I’m saying in this once instance (as well as a few others), the Jews behaved worse than the Nazis.
And people call the Bible “the good book” and talk about what wonderful life lessons you can learn from it. Pardon me while I throw up.
Next time, Gods enemies try a little subterfuge! Think it’ll work?