I Called the Headquarters About the "Slaughter of Apostates" Quote

by DT 59 Replies latest jw friends

  • DT

    I finally received a copy of the Word Biblical Commentary Volume 13. Here is the context of that quote from the section discussing 2 Kings chapter 10 on page 129.

    "18 Jehu's attempt to rid Israel of Baal worship constitutes the second thrust of his revolt, a religious purge. The episode is again characterized by its portrayal of the ruthless deceit of Jehu (Hebrew words) "Ahab served Baal a little." This might well be an accurate description of Ahab. Although he did build the Baal temple (1Kgs 16:32), he also named his sons Ahaziah and Jehoram, names that bear the divine name. However, the point cannot be pressed since the biblical verdict on Ahab is far from flattering (1Kgs 16:33). Jehu's statement is born of his deceit. If the Israelites had thought that Ahab was apostate, Jehu wished them to believe that he was far worse.

    19 (Hebrew Words) "for a great sacrifice." This is a clever play on words on the part of Jehu. While the term (Hebrew word) generally means "sacrifice," it is also used of the "slaughter" of apostates (cf. 1 Kgs 13:2: 2 Kgs 23:20). The writer's comment concerning Jehu's intention also contains a sinister pun on the homonyms (Hebrew word) "to serve" and (Hebrew word) "to destroy.""

    Later he has this to say:

    "23-24 Jehu's actions are hardly commendable. The deliberate way he sets up the worshipers of Baal for extermination gives a chilling view of his character."

    From this I conclude that he was using the normal meaning of the term apostates and was referring to worshipers of Baal specifically. He doesn't seem to be endorsing the loaded language that is used by the Watchtower Society when they speak of apostates. He is also critical of Jehu, which contrasts with the way the Watchtower Society praises him and almost treats him like a hero.

    I thought it was interesting what 2 Kings 10:31 (KJV) says, "But Jehu took no heed to walk in the law of the LORD God of Israel with all his heart: for he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam, which made Israel to sin."

    By Watchtower standards, Jehu was also an apostate.

  • jwfacts

    Later he has this to say:

    "23-24 Jehu's actions are hardly commendable. The deliberate way he sets up the worshipers of Baal for extermination gives a chilling view of his character."

    It is interesting that the Watchtower compares elders to Jehu, and draws on quotes from a scholar that describes him as "hardly commendable" and of "chilling" character.

  • palmtree67
    If the Israelites had thought that Ahab was apostate, Jehu wished them to believe that he was far worse.


  • ShadesofGrey

    Wow! Wonderful research. Thank you so much! I feel I must get my hands on this book as well!



  • cedars

    The Watchtower's habit of quoting out of context to support its own twisted ideology is again ruthlessly exposed. Excellent work.

  • AgentSmith


    The WBTS are still up to their old tricks...

    I would like to hear the author's eaction to this....


  • cantleave

    Nice investigation DT....

  • MrMonroe

    Jehu, as even that WT article explains, was a hypocritical religious zealot who took it upon himself to kill those who worshipped Baal and then turned out to be no better than any of his victims. According to 2 Kings 10:29, he took up golden calf worship.

    Still, in the eyes of the WTS, anyone who was prepared to swing his sword and slaughter those who followed a different course of worship is a decent bloke. Especially when he did it in God's name. (Did he yell out Allah Akbah! as he beheaded them?) In fact, as the opening paragraph of the WT article claims,

    "Jehu was a champion of pure worship. In carrying out this role he was energetic, prompt, relentless, zealous and courageous. Jehu manifested qualities that we would do well to imitate."

    Really, he sounds a bit like the leaders of the Crusades of the Middle Ages who were dispatched by the Pope to slaughter the enemies of God. Does the Watchtower think they were "champions of pure worship", manifesting "qualities that we would do well to imitate"? What about Ron and Dan Lafferty, the fundamentalist Mormons who Jon Krakauer wrote about in "Under the Banner of Heaven"? They did a pretty good job too, slaughtering Brenda Lafferty and her 15-month-old baby because she wasn't playing the polygamy game as they believed God required. They were relentless, energetic and zealous as well, but shucks, it turned out they were wrong too, just like Jehu. Ah well.

    Personally I think it's a bit worrying that the Watchtower puts a deeply flawed, bloodthirsty, hypocritical and self-righteous biblical figure like Jehu up on a pedestal and says to Witnesses, "We wish you could be like him." For a religion that claims to be the epitome of kindness and Christian love, it's a pretty dodgy position to take, holding up as a role model someone who relished the idea of killing anyone who followed a different religion and then mixing it up with the usual polemic about the dreadful APOSTATES and the necessity to "avoid the company of DISFELLOWSHIPPED individuals."

    Charles Manson heard messages in the "Helter Skelter" song that led him to slaughter Sharon Tate. You kind of hope there are no mentally imbalanced individuals lurking in congregations somewhere who take the Watchtower's commendation of Jehu a little too literally.

  • MrMonroe

    Reading that Watchtower article again and seeing the linkage between Jehu's bloodthirstiness, the warnings about the dangers of apostates and DFd individuals, it crosses my mind that the quote from an otherwise unconnected book that happens to refer to the slaughter of apostates may be a deliberate act to provoke disaffected ex-JWs on forums such as this.

    Could it be the GB is acting as a troll to fire up ex-JWs wth articles such as that, and the "mentally diseased" claim. Could they be seeding their articles with such inflammatory language, hoping to hit a nerve, then sitting back and waiting for the reaction on JWN?

    Just wondering ....

  • Mary

    Thanks for the exposé DT. I did a bit of background on Jehu too and like others have pointed out, his character leaves A LOT to be desired and differs little from Adolf Hiter's.

    I'll write a bit more about it when I get home tonight.

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