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Geneva Conventions vs. The Holy Bible

By Pastor Ezekiel Flint, putting the "Stud" back in Bible Study

Let me begin by stating that Christian God approves of and enjoys warfare (Exodus 15:3, Numbers 14:12), and throughout the Bible, He has given us some very specific rules how to conduct warfare. Sometimes, God even participates in the battles Himself (Exodus 14:27-28, Joshua 10:10-11). Although the warfare descriptions are found mainly in the Old Testament, we know that Jesus agrees with all of them (John 10:30). However, warfare is also mentioned briefly in the New Testament (Matthew 10:34, Revelation 19:11, Revelation 19:18-21).

Unfortunately, in the 20th century, these Godly rules of warfare have been overturned by the so called Geneva Conventions. In the following posts I will analyze the main theses of these four conventions and I will contrast them with God’s rules. Since several articles are just introductory or restatement of previous theses, I will address only the articles that introduce new statements, in order to keep my rebuttal (relatively) short and clear.

The First Geneva Convention deals with the treatment of sick and wounded people on the battlefield. You can read the full text here:

Chapter I, Art 3:
(1) Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria.

This is totally opposite to God’s law expressed in the Bible. God clearly states that during a combat He wants all of the enemies dead, with no wounded people left behind:

Deuteronomy 20:13 And when the Lord thy God hath delivered it into thine hands, thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword:

Joshua 8:22 And the other issued out of the city against them; so they were in the midst of Israel, some on this side, and some on that side: and they smote them, so that they let none of them remain or escape.

Even when God Himself participates in a battle, He leaves no one alive:

Exodus 14:27-28 And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it; and the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea.
28 And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of them.

In some exceptional cases, however, some small (young?) enemies should be enslaved:

2 Samuel 8:2 And he smote Moab, and measured them with a line, casting them down to the ground; even with two lines measured he to put to death, and with one full line to keep alive. And so the Moabites became David’s servants, and brought gifts.

This treatment, however, applies only to Moabites. In case of combat, if the God fearing army is not sure how to treat the enemy, killing everybody would be the safest choice – this what God usually wants (see Numbers 31:7-8, Deuteronomy 7:2, Joshua 10:28-30, Joshua 10:32-40, Joshua 11:7-8, Joshua 11:10-12, Joshua 11:14).

To this end, the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:
(a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;

God usually does not want any enemy left alive, so that takes care of the murder part of this statement. As far as the rest of this statement, I guess it depends how do you define “mutilation, cruel treatment and torture.” Here is a description of God approved treatment of enemies:

Joshua 10:22-26
22 Then said Joshua, Open the mouth of the cave, and bring out those five kings unto me out of the cave.
23 And they did so, and brought forth those five kings unto him out of the cave, the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, and the king of Eglon.
24 And it came to pass, when they brought out those kings unto Joshua, that Joshua called for all the men of Israel, and said unto the captains of the men of war which went with him, Come near, put your feet upon the necks of these kings. And they came near, and put their feet upon the necks of them.
25 And Joshua said unto them, Fear not, nor be dismayed, be strong and of good courage: for thus shall the LORD do to all your enemies against whom ye fight.
26 And afterward Joshua smote them, and slew them, and hanged them on five trees: and they were hanging upon the trees until the evening.

(b) taking of hostages;

If all males are killed, then there are no hostages. Periodically, kings are taken captive, but only to be killed later (see Joshua 10:22-26 above, compare also Joshua 8:23 and Joshua 8:29). And again, small/young Moabite individuals may be taken as slaves (2 Samuel 8:2).

(c ) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment;

That depends on the definition of “humiliating and degrading treatment.” God approves treatment of prisoners as described above in Joshua 10:24-25.

Art. 4. Neutral Powers shall apply by analogy the provisions of the present Convention to the wounded and sick, and to members of the medical personnel and to chaplains of the armed forces of the Parties to the conflict, received or interned in their territory, as well as to dead persons found.

See verses above. All enemy men will be dead or enslaved. No need for protection of the medical personnel.

Women shall be treated with all consideration due to their sex.

According to the Bible, women have to be either enslaved or killed (depending on their nationality; more details on that later).

Genesis 34:27-29 The sons of Jacob came upon the slain, and spoiled the city, because they had defiled their sister. They took their sheep, and their oxen, and their asses, and that which was in the city, and that which was in the field, And all their wealth, and all their little ones, and their wives took they captive, and spoiled even all that was in the house.

Joshua 8:25 And so it was, that all that fell that day, both of men and women, were twelve thousand, even all the men of Ai.

Judges 21:10 And the congregation sent thither twelve thousand men of the valiantest, and commanded them, saying, Go and smite the inhabitants of Jabeshgilead with the edge of the sword, with the women and the children.

Art. 14 Subject to the provisions of Article 12, the wounded and sick of a belligerent who fall into enemy hands shall be prisoners of war, and the provisions of international law concerning prisoners of war shall apply to them.

I have already tackled the issue of prisoners when talking about taking hostages. Let’s just look at one Biblical example:

1 Samuel 15:32-33 Then said Samuel, Bring ye hither to me Agag the king of the Amalekites. And Agag came unto him delicately. And Agag said, Surely the bitterness of death is past. And Samuel said, As thy sword hath made women childless, so shall thy mother be childless among women. And Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the LORD in Gilgal.

Art 17. Parties to the conflict shall ensure that burial or cremation of the dead, carried out individually as far as circumstances permit, is preceded by a careful examination, if possible by a medical examination, of the bodies, with a view to confirming death, establishing identity and enabling a report to be made…. They shall further ensure that the dead are honourably interred, if possible according to the rites of the religion to which they belonged, that their graves are respected, grouped if possible according to the nationality of the deceased, properly maintained and marked so that they may always be found…

This is wrong on so many levels. Since the enemies are despised by God when alive, why would they be respected after their death?

Joshua 8: 29 And the king of Ai he hanged on a tree until eventide: and as soon as the sun was down, Joshua commanded that they should take his carcase down from the tree, and cast it at the entering of the gate of the city, and raise thereon a great heap of stones, that remaineth unto this day.

Joshua 10:26-27 And afterward Joshua smote them, and slew them, and hanged them on five trees: and they were hanging upon the trees until the evening. And it came to pass at the time of the going down of the sun, that Joshua commanded, and they took them down off the trees, and cast them into the cave wherein they had been hid, and laid great stones in the cave’s mouth, which remain until this very day.

1 Samuel 18:27–Wherefore David arose and went, he and his men, and slew of the Philistines two hundred men; and David brought their foreskins, and they gave them in full tale to the king, that he might be the king’s son in law. And Saul gave him Michal his daughter to wife.

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MitzaLizalor (20-05-2014 08:46 AM): killing a prisoner if he measures two lines, but keeping him as a slave if he's only one line. Do we have any information as to what that unit of measurement would be equal to in feet or inches?http://xe6.xanga.com/851f0bf577035217790984/m170515757.jpgThe ...
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