October 24th, 2009
1 If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder,
2 And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them;
3 Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
4 Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.
5 And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.
6 If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers;
7 Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth;
8 Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him:
9 But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.
10 And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.
11 And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more any such wickedness as this is among you.
12 If thou shalt hear say in one of thy cities, which the LORD thy God hath given thee to dwell there, saying,
13 Certain men, the children of Belial, are gone out from among you, and have withdrawn the inhabitants of their city, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which ye have not known;
14 Then shalt thou enquire, and make search, and ask diligently; and, behold, if it be truth, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought among you;
15 Thou shalt surely smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly, and all that is therein, and the cattle thereof, with the edge of the sword.
16 And thou shalt gather all the spoil of it into the midst of the street thereof, and shalt burn with fire the city, and all the spoil thereof every whit, for the LORD thy God: and it shall be an heap for ever; it shall not be built again.
17 And there shall cleave nought of the cursed thing to thine hand: that the LORD may turn from the fierceness of his anger, and shew thee mercy, and have compassion upon thee, and multiply thee, as he hath sworn unto thy fathers;
18 When thou shalt hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep all his commandments which I command thee this day, to do that which is right in the eyes of the LORD thy God.
Deuteronomy 13 mentions killing anyone who tries to turn you away from God. While it specifically mentions that you should kill those who try to get you to follow another god, it implies that anyone who even has an idea or dream that is different from worshiping God should be killed. This means that all non-believers should be put to death. This may only refer to those non-believers who try to convert believers to their way of thinking. All the same, the King James Bible commands their death.
Then, it specifically mentions family members who try to get you to follow other gods should be put to death and stoned with stones until they die.
Then, it seems to tell how the Crusades were justified. If you find out that another city worships a god different from your own, you should utterly destroy that city and all its inhabitants, including the animals that dwell there. This seems very harsh to me. It does seem like this suggests that it only applies to lands that God has given to you to live in, which I suppose would be the cities that the Israelites conquered and took over. Even so, that’s still very harsh.
I doubt that many Christians would actually think this is something that is morally right. As a society, we’ve grown tolerant of other religious beliefs, and we understand that it’s simply not right to kill another person just because they think differently from us. The scary thing is that some countries are theocracies where many people do think that non-believers should be killed, and they use verses such as these to justify it. There are still places in this world where people are stoned to death for not believing in the right god. How can it be that a document that commands such heinous actions can ever be called the Good Book?