Rich wrote:The Jews believed in Polygamy and sex slavery. From a Christian perspective the Jews were totally immoral until they started to be civilised first under Greek and then Roman influence. We inherited monogamy from the Greeks and Romans.
Judaism as established by Josiah was essentially a form of primitive Nazism, extreme racist, xenophobic, genocidal, expansionist, anti free speech, centralising, nationalism in which the liberty of the individual was subordinated to the primitive nation state. Everything modern people like about it actually came from Babylon, Zoroastrianism and Greco-Roman culture. Of course the Nazis themselves were full of lies. Semites have made huge contributions to our cultural development. The alphabet was probably created by the Caananites, the Jews main biological ancestors. But we owe very little if anything to the cult of Yahweh / Jehovah. ISIS can truly claim to practice the true spirit of that cult.
The Numbers 31 reference here... OK.
So, St. Maximos the Confessor talks about all these passages as having double meanings. There is the story on the surface, but always a deeper meaning. The Psalm about smashing the infants against the rocks (of Babylon) (Psalm 137:9) is actually about how one is happy to smash up the children of greater sins as they appear.
St. Maximos would say that the reference to marrying the virgins is to not throw the baby out with the bathwater,
and to preserve whatever salvageable virtues are found in your old life. Perhaps you were a alcoholic pagan soldier,
and you must destroy the part of you that was a pagan, that was an alcoholic, and that was doing violence for the secular world. But you should keep the soldier's discipline. What does this mean in terms of the literal meaning?
There's dozens of other ways to handle this - conservative interpretations that preserve the original idea that God has ordered the deaths of Midianites, or liberal ones which regard the whole thing as a separate event that is non-reflective of the Christian heritage and was not authentically commanded by God. There are also moderate ones that treat it as a mystery: it had to happen because God foreknew the potential disasters that would occur had it not...
Or perhaps the ultimate justice is always rendered and any before the age of conscience would be preserved,
or perhaps even that i was understood in the context that boys before fighting age would be spared.
Regardless, as you pointed out, this episode is not reflective of Christian ethics.
Probably the thread should be polluted with this sort of content. It's obtuse & clumsy.