A man was stoned to death for gathering sticks on the Sabbath......?

Numbers 15:32-36: The Israelites catch a guy gathering some firewood, and then Moses decides that God has told him that they have to kill the guy. And they stone him to death.

What if he was gathering firewood to keep his poor sickly mother warm? That would be following the 5th commandment, "Honor thy father and they mother." What if by not gathering wood to keep his mother warm, he would have risked making her sicker?

And if you say "God knew it wasn't for his mother" then you're still justifying murder for picking up sticks.


Also, Jesus said he came to UPHOLD the Law. And not doing any work on the Sabbath under pain of death was the law.

Update 2:

LOL, I KNEW I would get some "he was asking for it" answers. Better not unload the dishwasher or even wipe off the counter on the Sabbath, or you'll deserve to be stoned to death. Ugh.

Update 3:

And there could NEVER be an unforeseen need for extra firewood or ANY other need that might require some work on the Sabbath?

Update 4:

At least people have developed the sense and reasoning to decide what is a just and reasonable law. No reasonable person follows a law that leads to KILLING a human being for doing something harmless.

You agree that he deserved to be murdered, and you say I have the criminal mentality.

Update 5:

My "tone" suggests...yes, you're darn right I have a higher moral standard than your god if you think that killing someone for gathering sticks is moral. And you should have a higher moral standard than that, too.

16 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    CharChar has the typical answer that Christians use. They say that the holey bible is the word of god and then they disown it because of all of god's hate and violence and say that they don't follow the old testament, only the new, after god had a makeover and new pr job. So why does the holey bible still have the old testament if it's just rubbish?

    Jesus is a nasty peice of work in anyone's language:

    Jesus is criticized by the Pharisees for not washing his hands before eating. He defends himself by attacking them for not killing disobedient children according to the commandment: “He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.” Matthew 15:4-7

    Jesus sends the devils into 2000 pigs, causing them to jump off a cliff and be drowned in the sea. Clearly Jesus could have simply sent the devils out, yet he chose instead to place them into pigs and kill them. This is called animal abuse. Mark 5:12-13

    Jesus, whose clothes are dipped in blood, has a sharp sword sticking out of his mouth. Thus attired, he treads the winepress of the wrath of God. (The winepress is the actual press that humans shall be put into so that we may be ground up.) Revelations 19:13-15

    Jesus says he is the only way to salvation yet he purposely disillusions us so that we will go to hell:

    Jesus explains that the reason he speaks in parables is so that no one will understand him, “lest . . . they . . . should understand . . . and should be converted, and I should heal them.” Matthew 13:10-15

    Jesus explains why he speaks in parables to confuse people so they will go to hell. Mark 4:11-12

  • 1 decade ago

    The Israelites were warned to take care of family responsibilities in 6 days so that doing such things was not a necessity on the Sabbath.

    Jesus himself pointed out that if an animal fell into a well, that it WOULD NOT be breaking the Sabbath to get the animal out.

    He also healed on the Sabbath.

    So it would be reasonable to think that if these accounts had God's blessing, that if the man collecting sticks were in dire straights due to family sickness, that this may have been overlooked.

    But he received the punishment because he had no excuse and was ignoring the sacredness of the day as explained to him earlier.

    Source(s): One of Jehovah's Witnesses
  • Frank
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    He broke the law of that time and laws then were extremely strict. God wanted His people to be obedient and they were aware of the punishment if they were not. All things pertaining to the Sabbath were to be obeyed and this wasn't as difficult as you would like others to believe. They simply prepared the day before so that no work NEEDED to be done. Also they lived in a very close knit community where everyone would help each other so if one particular family had needed extra sticks there would have been many willing helpers without him resorting to gathering them on the Sabbath.

    You would find it helpful to speak with a family of very strict Jews. Even today some obey those laws to the letter and don't even flick on a light switch on the Sabbath. Everything is prepared the day before so that all they need do is sit down and eat. The washing up will be done once the Sabbath is over.

    Gods laws were not about killing, even though killing happened. They were about obedience. This is Almighty God we are talking about and His Chosen People. He demanded obedience because they were special and He wanted them to remain special. Lawlessness would have ruined them.

  • 1 decade ago

    The point is that the man rebelled against the clear commandment of God. Obviously, we need look no farther than Jesus' own words (Matthew 12:11, for example) to know that God was not encouraging cold rigidity in regard to His commandments. But when you begin to go into "what if's", you are sliding down a slippery slope where laws and commandments become virtually meaningless.

    Your question demonstrates what is known as the "criminal mentality." In other words, there is always SOMETHING that will justify lawlessness in the criminal's mind. Your premise is that first: He may have had a good reason for breaking God's commandment and, second: you feel it's a bad law anyway. Most judges do not accept such excuses.........neither does God.

  • What do you think of the answers? You can sign in to give your opinion on the answer.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    mankind has too much speculation even to the things that they themselves can't fathomed the mysteries of life! the mysteries of the creation! the mysteries how things were made!

    look at the struggle of mankind has. seeking for another planet cuz everyone knows that this corrupted earth is soon to be destroyed by fire from heaven. but what happen? failure! failure! failure! failure! Why? because mankind is just but creation of a Mighty God Creator, Christ Jesus, the One True Living God Most High. Amen.

    Ecc 3:8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

    Ecc 3:9 What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?

    Ecc 3:10 I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.

    Ecc 3:11 He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.

    Besides, before you speculate must read why that man was stone to death.. why a child who will not obey his parent will received the same punishment..those who commits adultery will received same penalty so how can you make justification to other offenses? The answer is it is a law that was agreed among themselves yet some are stiff-necked and still do disobey their law despite,, like in our day and age we have death penalty for heinous crimes but why people keep doing? this must be your question and not the other way around!

    Source(s): KJV Red Letters
  • 1 decade ago

    What if, what if, what if?

    Observant Jews make sure to prepare everything the need on the Sabbath the day before. Period.

    They didn't stone him for caring for his mother (which you're making up as a hypothetical). They stoned him for breaking a rule. Rules are rules. Rules are not make to be broken or ignored when slightly hampering.

    Remember that this is written at a time when all people in the Middle East depended upon their gods for survival. Mesopotamian gods were very harsh. When God gives you a rule, you follow it. If you don't, your neighbors are going to make sure God knows they don't agree with your choice.

    BTW, when these gods got angry, they frequently took it out on the entire community. That was how the author of that passage understood things to be.

  • 6 years ago

    This is a very understandable concern, but I get the feeling you are someone who does not really understand Christian theology but simply wants to piss Christians off on Yahoo answers. Anyway, yes, God is indeed a God of love. And to someone who does not understand theology this punishment does seem way too severe. You, like most people, are looking at sin through man-centered eyes. The reason we have issues with stuff like this in the Bible is because we could never even imagine responding in this way if someone did something as minute as picking up sticks when we asked them not to. When people disobey us, we do not conclude that they should die. However, the penalty for sin is not determined by our measure of it, instead, the penalty for sin is determined by the magnitude of the one who is sinned against. If you sin against a log, you are not very guilty, if you sin against a man or a woman you are absolutely guilty. And ultimately, if you sin against an infinitely holy and eternal God, you are infinitely guilty and worthy of eternal punishment.

    Source(s): David Platt
  • Hogie
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Your "what if" doesn't hold water, as they knew perfectly well the man was out gathering firewood in direct defiance of the command not to do so.

    Your claim that Jesus came to uphold the law is false. Jesus worked on sabbaths, healing people, and admitted he worked.

    There is another dynamic at work here, and you are not seeing it.

  • First, God held His people Israel to VERY high standards of living. They were to be "an holy nation of priests" that would bring all other nations to God. These were VERY high standards. They were to be a "peculiar people" that honored God more than anything else in their lives. Of course, you would not understand this, as your very tone suggests that you believe yourself to have a higher moral standard than God.

    It is no longer the dispensation of the Law that we live in, but rather the dispensation of the Grace of God. You are no longer justified by what you do, but by what Christ did FOR you.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Well, Jane is still plain:

    They were in the desert with God providing light at night and shade during the day. Everything was cooked on Friday, so the victim was trying to get a head start on Sunday gathering.

    Make no mistake, God will enforce His sacred laws, and He meant what he said when He said to keep it holy.

    Jesus lets us know that it's fine to pick food to eat, but that does not mean harvesting on the Sabbath.

    I keep the day God "blessed and sanctified" in Eden and it is blessed, just like communion service, Christ's presence is there.

    There will be no wilfull transgressors in heaven, and those who want to invent their own law will not be there to spread their dissent.

    Did you know that God hid part of the Bible until our day. That code proves Jesus is the Messiah and much more: http://abiblecode.com/

    Shalom, peace in Jesus, Ben Yeshua

Still have questions? Get answers by asking now.