Would you stone the man described in Numbers 15?

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Wootah
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Post by Wootah »

Zzyzx wrote: .
In real life I have always been a Maverick – “Unbranded animal, not of the herd�. With those same personality traits projected backward two thousand years, I would not likely have always obeyed orders any better than I did during military service (which resulted in some difficulty at times).

More likely, I would have been one who gathered firewood whenever I darn well felt like – and if real life is any indication, would not have been arrested.

Being disinclined to follow the herd is quite liberating
This called to mind a cartoon I remember of a person on a train thinking, 'look at all the sheeple' but they were all thinking it. Very funny and I appreciate the flashback. You however are unique.
Proverbs 18:17 The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.

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Re: Would you stone the man described in Numbers 15?

Post by Wootah »

Jagella wrote: Consider this story from Numbers 15:32-36(NRSV):
When the Israelites were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering sticks on the sabbath day. Those who found him gathering sticks brought him to Moses, Aaron, and to the whole congregation. They put him in custody, because it was not clear what should be done to him. Then the Lord said to Moses, “The man shall be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him outside the camp.� The whole congregation brought him outside the camp and stoned him to death, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.
Question for Debate: If you were there with these Israelites, would you stone this man in obedience to Moses and to Yahweh?

Keep in mind that this man may have been gathering sticks to build a fire to cook for for his family and to keep them warm. After the Bible god had him killed, any wife he had would be left a widow and any children he had would be left without a father to provide for them. They would be left cold, hungry, and facing poverty. Any friends he had among the Israelites would be obligated to kill their friend.

Despite these consequences of Yahweh's order to stone the man to death, all the Jews and by extension all Christians coming later must obey the Bible god. Any objections you have to this cruel act are nothing to Yahweh and may even result in a similar punishment for disobedience to him. You have a god you must believe in and obey without question and without reason.

I predict that few if any of the Christians here will answer this question honestly and sensibly. To post such an answer is to expose Christian beliefs for what they are.
I do not know what I fully think on this event but I would be happy to head to head debate this topic if you like.
Proverbs 18:17 The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.

Member Notes: https://debatingchristianity.com/forum/ ... hp?t=33826

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Re: Would you stone the man described in Numbers 15?

Post by jgh7 »

[Replying to post 1 by Jagella]

If I was with the Israelites fresh out of Egypt with Moses, and God told us to kill someone who disobeyed rules which explicitly stated that the penalty for breaking such rules is death, then yeah I would.

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rikuoamero
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Post by rikuoamero »

To those people who have answered yes, they would stone the man from Numbers 15...please explain how this is a moral position at all, versus being immoral or amoral.
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Post by marco »

Jagella wrote:
I predict that few if any of the Christians here will answer this question honestly and sensibly. To post such an answer is to expose Christian beliefs for what they are.


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Re: Would you stone the man described in Numbers 15?

Post by 1213 »

Jagella wrote: ...Question for Debate: If you were there with these Israelites, would you stone this man in obedience to Moses and to Yahweh?...
It is difficult question. If there are rules and some people brake them, it can lead to destruction of whole nation. That is why it could be worse to let person, who don’t care of the rules, live and cause the destruction of whole nation. The seemingly small “crime� can be seen as attempted genocide. (Perhaps it could be compared also to treason).

But could I have killed person who brakes the rules? I probably could not do that, I would rather expel the person. But I think it is problematic and I think the same situation is in modern western world, rules apply only to some and not to all and it corrodes the whole nation and destroys it from within. For example, I think USA is destroying itself, because of the bad attitude against justice and constitution.

Other problem is that some rules seem to be also evil and bad, which makes things more difficult. I think nations with bad rules should not last long.

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Re: Would you stone the man described in Numbers 15?

Post by JehovahsWitness »

QUESTION: Should the Sabbath breaker have been executed for picking sticks?

♦ANSWER Yes, absolutely because he was rightly found guilty of the premeditated breaking of a law that carried the death penalty .

If someone doesn't want to respect the law of the land where they live, they are free to leave but living within a nation's territories implies unspoken agreement to comply with the laws of that country or face the consequences. While people have certain God given rights, the right to pick up sticks whenever they like is rarely, if ever sighted as one of them. Given how easy the law to refrain from working on a sabbath was, justification should be demanded from the criminal as to why he broke the law, not the other way round.

Could he not have been ignorant of the law?
We do not know the surrounding circumstances but we can reasonably suppose he was fully aware of the law.
  • The Sabbath law was first orally pronounced and agreed upon by the nation as a whole and then enshrined in their written code. Common sense dictates he observed that those around him collected twice the needed amount the day before and would have at the very least explained (in case of ignorance) why. It's most unlikely that he would have been found guilty and executed if he could have proven his total ignorance of the law.

    It seems fair to say it was therefore a deliberate act of rebellion. You don't just accidently start collecting sticks... like you're just walking along, minding your own businesses and oops you trip and suddenly, through no fault of your own and against your will, start collecting sticks... that's ludicrous. If he was caught breaking the Sabbath, he did so willfully. His motivation was his own but it seems reasonable to believe it was a manifestation of at the very least a meprise for the law and perhaps the nation.
In any case, he that breaks the law must pay the price. We don't usually call such people "victims" the word is ... "criminal"



JW


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Why was stoning ascribed as a method of execution in bible times?
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Re: Would you stone the man described in Numbers 15?

Post by rikuoamero »

[Replying to post 17 by JehovahsWitness]
Given how easy the law to refrain from working on a sabbath was, justification should be demanded from the criminal as to why he broke the law, not the other way round.
Yes, we should demand justification from the man for his heinous crime of picking up sticks, rather than from the people who are busy throwing Stones of Righteousness and Holiness (tm) at his face.

/sarcmarc
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Some force seems to restrict me from buying into the apparent nonsense that others find so easy to buy into. Having no religious or supernatural beliefs of my own, I just call that force reason. -- Tired of the Nonsense

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Re: Would you stone the man described in Numbers 15?

Post by rikuoamero »

[Replying to post 16 by 1213]
If there are rules and some people brake them, it can lead to destruction of whole nation.
Picking up sticks when you've been told not to, can lead to the destruction of nations.
Stellar logic!
That is why it could be worse to let person, who don’t care of the rules, live and cause the destruction of whole nation.
Because you have a fear that not following the rules, no matter how petty those rules are or were, can lead to the destruction of nations, you're going to err on the side of quote unquote caution, and agree with killing people for violating these rules.
Has it occurred to you that killing people for violating petty rules might in and of itself lead to the destruction of nations?
The seemingly small “crime� can be seen as attempted genocide. (Perhaps it could be compared also to treason).
:shock: :shock: :shock:
That's all I can say to that.
But could I have killed person who brakes the rules? I probably could not do that, I would rather expel the person.
But wouldn't this mean you're risking the destruction of nations? Come on 1213, the fate of the tribe is in your hands! Now pick up that Stone of Righteousness and Holiness!
But I think it is problematic and I think the same situation is in modern western world, rules apply only to some and not to all and it corrodes the whole nation and destroys it from within. For example, I think USA is destroying itself, because of the bad attitude against justice and constitution.
Does the US have a law against picking up sticks on certain days of the week, and does it have a set sentence of death for that law? Or are you just painting with an incredibly broad brush?
Other problem is that some rules seem to be also evil and bad, which makes things more difficult. I think nations with bad rules should not last long.
But it's a rule from God...isn't it? It's in the Bible, which you have said many times is good.
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Your life is your own. Rise up and live it - Richard Rahl, Sword of Truth Book 6 "Faith of the Fallen"

I condemn all gods who dare demand my fealty, who won't look me in the face so's I know who it is I gotta fealty to. -- JoeyKnotHead

Some force seems to restrict me from buying into the apparent nonsense that others find so easy to buy into. Having no religious or supernatural beliefs of my own, I just call that force reason. -- Tired of the Nonsense

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Re: Would you stone the man described in Numbers 15?

Post by 1213 »

rikuoamero wrote: Does the US have a law against picking up sticks on certain days of the week, and does it have a set sentence of death for that law? Or are you just painting with an incredibly broad brush?
I have understood that treason in US is a crime and can be punished by death. Is it wrong in your opinion?

I think nice example of “treason� in modern day America is Julian Assange, who I think did good thing, but apparently is guilty to treason and could be even killed because of that. What do you think, what would Assange deserve? Is US law bad, if it gives penalty to Assange?
rikuoamero wrote:But it's a rule from God...isn't it? It's in the Bible, which you have said many times is good.
I think, before making any judgments, there should be enough information for that. That is why I think it would be good to read what was said before the part Jagella took.

But the soul who does anything with a high hand, whether he is home-born or a foreigner, the same blasphemes Yahweh; and that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Because he has despised the word of Yahweh, and has broken his commandment, that soul shall utterly be cut off; his iniquity shall be on him.
Numbers 15:30-32

By what I know, the gathering sticks broke the Shabbat rule and there is not rule that don’t gather sticks and gathering sticks was not probably the reason for the God’s judgment. It was probably that the person had despised the word of Yahweh. And Bible doesn’t say the gathering was the reason for the judgment.

But now, you could say that “despising the word of Yahweh� is not good reason for judgment. I think it is, it shows person is not righteous and if person is unrighteous, he can do all kind of evil and cause damage to all, if he lives longer.

I believe God’s judgment is always about is person righteous or not and those who are righteous can live and unrighteous will not live eternally. And that is not only for ancient people, but also for us.

These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.
Mat. 25:46

I think the question was not really about the gathering sticks, but about is person righteous or not. And if we come back to the Julian Assange example. I think he did righteous act and therefore should not get penalty.

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