This article is part 4 of LoonWatch’s Understanding Jihad Series. Please read my “disclaimer”, which explains my intentions behind writing this article: The Understanding Jihad Series: Is Islam More Likely Than Other Religions to Encourage Violence?
What the Quran-bashers don’t want you to know is that the Bible is far more violent than the Quran. In fact, the Bible–unlike the Quran–glorifies genocide; we’ve documented some of these genocide-glorifying passages in our earlier articles: see part 1, part 2, and part 3.
The anti-Muslim bigots–such as the extremist Jewish Zionist Pamela Geller and the fervent, zealous Catholic polemicist Robert Spencer–especially don’t want you to know about the Biblical passages regarding King Saul. The reason they don’t want you to read these passages is that it would make the Islamic literature look quite tame by comparison, and well, that wouldn’t be too good for the anti-Muslim business, now would it?
It is of course getting tedious, redundant, and a bit boring to document all the God-sanctioned genocides of the Bible; there are too many of them, so they seem to mesh together. Having said that, Saul’s genocide of the Amalekites warrants special attention, so it would behoove our readers to suffer through one last article on this topic. It should be noted, however, that our collection of violent Biblical verses is non-exhaustive, limited only by our own boredom.
So, who was Saul? He was the first king of the United Kingdom of Israel, divinely appointed to this position by the Jewish prophet Samuel. His first task as king was to ethnically cleanse the land of the Amalekite peoples:
Notice that it was God Himself who ordered Saul to slaughter the Amalekites. And so King Saul led the Israelites in war against the Amalekites. Per God’s directives, Saul “put to death men and women, children and infants.” He killed every human being with the lone exception of the Amalekite king; he also spared some animals. By sparing King Agag’s life, Saul failed to complete the mitzvah (the religious obligation) of genocide–something which was completely unacceptable to the God of the Bible:
15:9 But Saul and the army spared [King] Agag and the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calves and lambs—everything that was good. These they were unwilling to destroy completely, but everything that was despised and weak they totally destroyed.
15:10 Then the word of the Lord came to Samuel:
15:11 “I am grieved that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions.” Samuel was troubled, and he cried out to the Lord all that night.
Saul tried to defend himself, but God stripped him of his kingship:
15:13 When Samuel reached him, Saul said, “The Lord bless you! I have carried out the Lord’s instructions.”
15:14 But Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of sheep in my ears? What is this lowing of cattle that I hear?”
15:15 Saul answered, “The soldiers brought them from the Amalekites; they spared the best of the sheep and cattle to sacrifice to the Lord your God, but we totally destroyed the rest.”
15:16 “Stop!” Samuel said to Saul. “Let me tell you what the Lord said to me last night.”
“Tell me,” Saul replied.
15:17 Samuel said, “Although you were once small in your own eyes, did you not become the head of the tribes of Israel? The Lord anointed you king over Israel.
15:18 And he [the Lord] sent you on a mission, saying, ‘Go and completely destroy those wicked people, the Amalekites; make war on them until you have wiped them out.’
15:19 Why did you not obey the Lord? Why did you pounce on the plunder and do evil in the eyes of the Lord?”
15:20 “But I did obey the Lord,” Saul said. “I went on the mission the Lord assigned me. I completely destroyed the Amalekites and brought back Agag, their king.
15:21 The soldiers took sheep and cattle from the plunder, the best of what was devoted to God, in order to sacrifice them to the Lord your God at Gilgal.”
15:22 But Samuel replied: “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
15:23 For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.”
15:24 Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned. I violated the Lord’s command and your instructions. I was afraid of the people and so I gave in to them.
15:25 Now I beg you, forgive my sin and come back with me, so that I may worship the Lord.”
15:26 But Samuel said to him, “I will not go back with you. You have rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you as king over Israel!”
Saul repeatedly repented for his “failure”:
15:30 Saul replied, “I have sinned. But please honor me before the elders of my people and before Israel; come back with me, so that I may worship the Lord your God.”
And God was sad that He had chosen such a sissy to be king:
15:35 The Lord repented that He had made Saul king over Israel.
Saul was stripped of his kingship, which was given to David–who was frankly just much better at killing civilians. In fact, all the Israelite chicks fawned over David for being a more proficient killer; all the girls wanted him and all the guys (including Saul himself) wanted to be him:
18:6 When the men were returning home after David had killed the Philistine, the women came out from all the towns of Israel to meet King Saul with singing and dancing, with joyful songs and with tambourines and lutes.
18:7 As they danced, they sang: “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.”
18:8 Saul was very angry; this refrain galled him. “They have credited David with tens of thousands,” he thought, “but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?”
18:9 And from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David.
Certainly, killing thousands just doesn’t cut it. The mass murderer field is just so saturated, that you really need to kill tens of thousands to be considered competitive for Heaven University. No wonder Samuel felt like an absolute idiot for sending a sissy to do a man’s job; realizing this, he cleaned up Saul’s mess:
15:33 Samuel put Agag to death before the Lord at Gilgal.
King Agag was not the only one who was killed: God was so upset over the whole not killing everybody thing that He killed Saul and his three sons. The prophet Samuel explained to Saul why this was his fate:
28:18 Because you did not obey the Lord or carry out his fierce wrath against the Amalekites, the Lord has done this to you today.
[Using the emotive language of Pamela Geller, would this be a case of the mafioso Jewish god offing one of his goons for failing to carry out a hit--or in this case, a hit against thousands of people?]
According to the Jewish texts (as reproduced on p.76 of Vol.11 of The Jewish Encyclopedia), Saul had protested the commandment to “utterly destroy” the Amalekites, saying:
For one found slain the Torah requires a sin offering [Deuteronomy 21:1-9]; and here so many shall be slain. If the old have sinned, why should the young suffer; and if men have been guilty, why should the cattle be destroyed?
What Saul didn’t realize was that obeying the Lord’s commandment–in this case to kill women and children–was more important than anything else. The Bible explains the reason for Saul’s demise:
1 Chronicles 10:13 Saul died because he was unfaithful to the LORD. He failed to obey the LORD’s command…
A well-renowned Biblical commentary explains:
Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the Lord–in having spared the king of the Amalekites and taken the flocks of the people as spoils [1Sa 15:9],
Today, Jews and Christians revere David over Saul, emphasizing the fact that David was more obedient to God than Saul. For example, ministry founder Tom Bushnell asks:
When faced with difficult decisions, should we act like King David or King Saul?
…King David and King Saul are as antithetical as any two people in the Bible. If we look at some of the defining moments in their lives, we see two men with drastically different outlooks on life.
When faced with a decision, Saul’s first thought was, “Is this pleasing to me?”
King David’s first thought usually was, “Is my choice pleasing to the Lord?”
Bushnell then gives this specific example to illustrate:
Saul was disobedient when he spared king Agag and the best of the livestock of the Amalekites. (Partial obedience is disobedience).
David was careful to follow the commands of the Lord, even during battle.
One can only imagine the reaction of the Islamophobes–Spencer, Geller, et al.–had the Quran glorified genocide in this way. In fact, they can never cite verses in the Quran that promote, sanction, or justify genocide–because they simply do not exist. Indeed, there are explicit statements of the Prophet Muhammad forbidding the killing of women and children.
So next time anti-Muslim bigots troll the net by copying and pasting a litany of Quranic quotes in order to bash Muslims, we encourage readers to link this article about Saul (as well as our earlier articles about Moses, Joshua, Samson, and David) Reproducing these genocidal verses from the Bible is a good way to serve the Islamophobes a steaming hot platter of STFU, our absolute favorite dish.
Perhaps the tone of voice in this article is a bit too aggressive, and as always with such topics I have my regrets. Yet, in the spirit of International Judge a Koran Day, I think a healthy dose of STFU is necessary. If you want to judge the Quran, then let’s also be sure to judge some Bible. I’ll see your jihad and raise you a herem.