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Old 03-07-2001, 01:05 AM   #1
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Smile The Peaceful Old Testament

Those with an antagonistic frame of mind treat the Old Testament selectively and form a one sided view. To redress this imbalance I propose to illustrate that the Old Testament is book of peace :-

Genesis 15

As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him.

Then the LORD said to him, "Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years.

But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions.

You, however, will go to your fathers in peace and be buried at a good old age.

Blessings and Peace

Old 03-07-2001, 02:03 AM   #2
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Since Moses (or someone after him) is believed to have written Genesis and Exodus, it would have been a piece of cake for him to add in that prophecy.
Hmmm... so that 1 prophecy which predicted centuries of great suffering but then getting great possessions and long life means that the OT is a "book of peace".
Old 03-07-2001, 03:20 AM   #3
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(1) At whose hands were the suffering and exile in a foreign land? Human hands or God's?

(2) Abraham was himself promised peace in his own life.

(3) Peace and settled lands were the ultimate promise.

God does not insure against human folly and human sources of suffering.

He does promise a peaceful outcome from all our afflictions.

That is the precise point of the Old Testament which selective readers miss.

In any case God's business ultimately is not physical blessings but spiritual blessings.

Any material comforts achieved in this world are not permanent. The spiritial comforts are.

Blessings and Peace

Old 03-07-2001, 03:28 AM   #4
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More Old Testament Peace - Genesis 29

Now there was a famine in the land--besides the earlier famine of Abraham's time--and Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines in Gerar.

The LORD appeared to Isaac and said, "Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land where I tell you to live.

Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you. For to you and your descendants I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham.

I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because Abraham obeyed me and kept my requirements, my commands, my decrees and my laws."

So Isaac stayed in Gerar.

When the men of that place asked him about his wife, he said, "She is my sister," because he was afraid to say, "She is my wife." He thought, "The men of this place might kill me on account of Rebekah, because she is beautiful."

When Isaac had been there a long time, Abimelech king of the Philistines looked down from a window and saw Isaac caressing his wife Rebekah.

So Abimelech summoned Isaac and said, "She is really your wife! Why did you say, `She is my sister'?" Isaac answered him, "Because I thought I might lose my life on account of her."

Then Abimelech said, "What is this you have done to us? One of the men might well have slept with your wife, and you would have brought guilt upon us."

So Abimelech gave orders to all the people: "Anyone who molests this man or his wife shall surely be put to death."

Isaac planted crops in that land and the same year reaped a hundredfold, because the LORD blessed him.

The man became rich, and his wealth continued to grow until he became very wealthy.

He had so many flocks and herds and servants that the Philistines envied him.

So all the wells that his father's servants had dug in the time of his father Abraham, the Philistines stopped up, filling them with earth.

Then Abimelech said to Isaac, "Move away from us; you have become too powerful for us."

So Isaac moved away from there and encamped in the Valley of Gerar and settled there.

Isaac reopened the wells that had been dug in the time of his father Abraham, which the Philistines had stopped up after Abraham died, and he gave them the same names his father had given them.

Isaac's servants dug in the valley and discovered a well of fresh water there.

But the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with Isaac's herdsmen and said, "The water is ours!" So he named the well Esek, because they disputed with him.

Then they dug another well, but they quarreled over that one also; so he named it Sitnah.

He moved on from there and dug another well, and no one quarreled over it. He named it Rehoboth, saying, "Now the LORD has given us room and we will flourish in the land."

From there he went up to Beersheba.

That night the LORD appeared to him and said, "I am the God of your father Abraham. Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bless you and will increase the number of your descendants for the sake of my servant Abraham."

Isaac built an altar there and called on the name of the LORD. There he pitched his tent, and there his servants dug a well.

Meanwhile, Abimelech had come to him from Gerar, with Ahuzzath his personal adviser and Phicol the commander of his forces.

Isaac asked them, "Why have you come to me, since you were hostile to me and sent me away?"

They answered, "We saw clearly that the LORD was with you; so we said, `There ought to be a sworn agreement between us'--between us and you. Let us make a treaty with you that you will do us no harm, just as we did not molest you but always treated you well and sent you away in peace. And now you are blessed by the LORD."

Isaac then made a feast for them, and they ate and drank.

Early the next morning the men swore an oath to each other. Then Isaac sent them on their way, and they left him in peace.

That day Isaac's servants came and told him about the well they had dug. They said, "We've found water!"

He called it Shibah, and to this day the name of the town has been Beersheba.

Blessings and Peace

Old 03-07-2001, 07:44 AM   #5
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That's what I've always admired about Hitler: there are people he didn't kill. Truly a man of peace.

Thank you, Adolph!
Old 03-07-2001, 09:38 AM   #6
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Saying the Old Testament of the Bible is either a book of hatred and war or a book of peace is an overgeneralization. However, I think it is vital to note that the Old Testament contains many cruel, brutal stories which paint a portait of a vicious, rabid God. This alone seriously undermines any attempt to call the Biblical God particularly good, despite his alleged claims to the contrary.
Old 03-07-2001, 03:17 PM   #7
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I like how Isaac is blessed even though he lies about his wife. And the pagan guy has more scruples about not sleeping with another guy's wife! So lets see, lie and be blessed?
Old 03-07-2001, 03:24 PM   #8
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A book of peace, eh?

Take a look at this:

Half the page consists of the first five books of the Bible alone.
Old 03-15-2001, 05:48 PM   #9
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The Old Testament is a product of its time. Such barbarity was commonplace in that day and age (and religious people talk about MODERN violence! Here's violence without the help of Schwarzenegger movies...)

The only trouble is that there are some kooks, in fact many kooks, who believe this collection of mythological bull-s### is the inerrant word of some heavenly father who created the world. Were this belief to be uprooted from all those men, I dare say many (not all, I am not deluded) of the problems in the world would be solved.

Atheism, unlike religion, isn't a cure-all panacea. It is, however, a cure-many polyacea. (How's that for Greek, eh folks? Just being silly...)

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