Jehovah`s Witness/Cruelty in the Bible


QUESTION: Hello Brother AbdiJah, we have spoken before.  It is regular for atheists to criticise the God of the Bible as cruel and tyrannical because of some of its contents. Two particular issues are the command to kill all the Canaanites including their children, and Revelation 2:20-23 NAS. “20 'But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. 21 'I gave her time to repent, and she does not want to repent of her immorality. 22 'Behold, I will throw her on a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless * they repent of her deeds. 23 'And I will kill her children with pestilence, and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.

As you know, the order to kill the Canaanites is from Jehovah, and it is Jesus speaking to John about the church of Thyatira.

How would you address those charges of cruelty?

ANSWER: First we need to consider the words of Deuteronomy 32:4 -
“The Rock, perfect is his activity,
For all his ways are justice.
A God of faithfulness who is never unjust;
Righteous and upright is he.”

Keeping this in mind we know that no wrong actions can be   charged against Jehovah.

If we do not know all the facts we accept that he has acted properly.
In the case of the Canaanites, we have enough information to know God acted justly.

This is only a partial response due to computer issuers will add to it in a couple of days.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you for your prompt response brother AbdiJah. I will await further information when you sort-out your computer problems. Kind regards, Fergus.

Sorry about taking so long to get back to you, but my problems are still unresolved.

In the case of the Canaanites, we have enough information to know God acted justly.

The Bible clearly identifies the wicked practices in which the inhabitants of Canaan indulged. In fact, Halley’s Bible Handbook (1964, p. 161) concludes: “Archaeologists who dig in the ruins of Canaanite cities wonder that God did not destroy them sooner than he did.” Jehovah does not tolerate wickedness forever.

However we may wonder why kill the women and children? If they were allowed to live and taken captive they would be a constant threat to the Israelites, seeking vengeance for their husbands, brothers, and parents. The women were also guilty of the same actions as the men, and it would’ve been really cruel to leave the children alive   only to die of starvation.
As to their taking vengeance please read 1 Samuel 15:2, 3, 9, where we see that Jehovah ordered the extermination of ALL of the Amalekites but Agag was spared.

Human was the Son of Hammedatha the Agagite. The designation “Agagite” may mean that Haman was a royal Amalekite. If, indeed, Haman was an Amalekite, this in itself would explain why he harbored such great hatred for the Jews, for Jehovah had decreed the eventual extermination of the Amalekites. If Agag had been killed as ordered this would not have happened. (Read Esther 3:1-12.)

As to the account in Revelation about “Jezebel” this discipline was to move her to life-saving repentance and serve as an example for others. (Hebrews 12:4-11) The context makes this evident.

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I will try to answer any question that can be answered from the Bible. I cannot answer questions about personal experiences someone may have had,as I was not there. Sometimes these are true; sometimes they are not. It is not my place to speak of that of which I have no knowledge.


I have been one of Jehovah's Witnesses since mid-1979. I actually studied for several years before that, and was rather critical. However, while that is not the wisest course, it did give me insight into the thinking of opposers of true worship.

The Christian Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses.

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In addition to basic education, and some work-related college level courses, I have been on the Theocratic Ministry School since 1978. I have also attended a number of sessions of the Kingdom Ministry School.

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My greatest honor is to be a servant of the Most High God, Jehovah, and a preacher of the Good News of his Kingdom under Christ Jesus.

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