Noah’s Ark, oil on canvas painting, by Edward Hicks 1846 Philadelphia Museum of Art
Public Domain,

Part Three

Violence and Shalom

( Part One, Part Two)

While God does accommodate to human weakness and at times allows limited forms of violence, his heart is always for non-violence and his ideal of shalom represented in the first two chapters of Genesis, and prophesied in Isaiah and Revelation.[1] In this sense, God is opposed to unnecessary violence, which he considers evil. We see numerous examples of this in the Psalms and many other scriptures where wickedness and violence are used interchangeably; the wicked are normally also violent:

who sets me free from my enemies. You exalted me above my foes; from a violent man you rescued me. (2 Sam. 22:49, NIV)

You destroy those who tell lies; the LORD abhors the man of bloodshed and deceit. (Psa. 5:6, ESV)

The LORD tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence (Psa. 11:5, ESV)

who rescued me from my enemies; yes, you exalted me above those who rose against me; you delivered me from the man of violence (Psa. 18:48, ESV).

Do not take my soul away with sinners, or my life with men of bloodshed, (Psa. 26:9 ESV)

deliver me from those who work evil, and save me from bloodthirsty men (Psa. 59:2 ESV)

From oppression and violence he redeems their life, and precious is their blood in his sight. (Psa. 72:14 ESV)

Therefore pride is their necklace; violence covers them as a garment. (Psa. 73:6 ESV)

Have regard for the covenant, for the dark places of the land are full of the habitations of violence. (Psa. 74:20 ESV)

O that You would slay the wicked, O God; Depart from me, therefore, men of bloodshed. (Psa. 139:19 ESV)

Deliver me, O LORD, from evil men; preserve me from violent men (Psa. 140:1 ESV)

Do not envy a man of violence and do not choose any of his ways (Prov. 3:31 ESV)

For they eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence. (Prov. 4:17 ESV)

The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence. (Prov. 10:11, ESV)

From the fruit of his mouth a man eats what is good, but the desire of the treacherous is for violence. (Prov. 13:2, ESV)

Bloodthirsty men hate one who is blameless and seek the life of the upright (Prov. 29:10, ESV)

Their cobwebs are useless for clothing; they cannot cover themselves with what they make. Their deeds are evil deeds, and acts of violence are in their hands. (Isa. 59:6, NIV)

Their feet rush into sin; they are swift to shed innocent blood. They pursue evil schemes; acts of violence mark their ways. (Isa. 59:7, NIV)

No longer will violence be heard in your land, nor ruin or destruction within your borders, but you will call your walls Salvation and your gates Praise. (Isa. 60:18, NIV)

O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear? Or cry to you “Violence!” and you will not save? Why do you make me see iniquity, and why do you idly look at wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; strife and contention arise. So the law is paralyzed, and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; so justice goes forth perverted (Hab. 1:1-4, ESV).

The violence you have done to Lebanon will overwhelm you, and your destruction of animals will terrify you. For you have shed human blood; you have destroyed lands and cities and everyone in them. (Hab. 2:17, NIV)

“Suppose he has a violent son, who sheds blood or does any of these other things.” (Ezek. 18:10, NIV)

therefore as surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I will give you over to bloodshed and it will pursue you. Since you did not hate bloodshed, bloodshed will pursue you. (Ezek. 35:6, NIV)

Your rich people are violent; your inhabitants are liars and their tongues speak deceitfully. (Mic. 6:12, NIV)

There is only cursing, lying and murder, stealing and adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed. (Hos. 4:2, NIV)

“Though I cry, ‘Violence!’ I get no response; though I call for help, there is no justice. (Job 19:7, NIV)

It’s important to note that when talking about the shedding of blood the context is essential. At the same time, the concept of ‘violence’ and ‘bloodshed’ often refers generally to both humans and animals, and either way denotes an overall disposition towards violence. This can be seen clearly from the book of Ezekiel where in talking about bloodshed and judgment both humans and animals perish; and in the verses just cited from Habakkuk where God condemns violence and then talks about the destruction of animals:

‘Or if I send a plague into that land and pour out my wrath on it through bloodshed, killing its people and their animals’ (Ezek. 14:19, NIV).

The violence you have done to Lebanon will overwhelm you, and your destruction of animals will terrify you. For you have shed human blood; you have destroyed lands and cities and everyone in them. (Hab. 2:17, NIV)

Thank you for reading our work and following our blog; we appreciate you very much!  We hope you are blessed by this article and will share it with others.  Please stay tuned for next weeks publication of Part Four of Noah, Meat Eating, And The Flood –Genesis 9 within the Greater Bible Story.  Many Blessings ~ Marcello

For those who would like to read the entire article:  Noah, Meat-Eating, And The Flood.

[1] Isa. 11:6-9; Rev. chapters 21-22.

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