Dashing Babies on Rocks?


According to Psalm 137:9 we read that “How blessed will be the one who seizes and dashes your little ones against the rock.” The motive behind this line is important to consider.

Within this context the psalmist speaks about judgment brought on the Babylonian people who have taken the Jewish people into captivity. The psalmist also writes about the captors tormenting the people of God, a promise to remember Jerusalem, and a curse against the captors. It is most likely that the author is in exile and had likely witnessed heinous crimes and atrocities committed against his people, which would explain why he shows such disdain and anger at the Babylonians. In other words, he wishes violent ill fortune upon those who have harmed his fellow people.

5 responses to “Dashing Babies on Rocks?

  1. “No, God does not condone killing babies on rocks, and this is a reflection of the authors thoughts and not of God’s.”

    In the final throes of my Christian faith, I made the same rationalization with biblical passages that didn’t mesh with our objective morality.

    But it created another problem: how can we allow ourselves to say that the Bible is the Word of God when we acknowledge that this is the psalmist’s words and not God’s. God never speaks in all the epistles of Paul. Can we still consider these epistles that made the New Testament “God’s Word” despite that? We know for a fact that in the case of Paul’s letters, that God was speaking through Paul (but we definitely know this isn’t the case for the psalmist). How do we tell?

    If we hold to this interpretation then seems like we have to admit that corruptions have Trojan horsed their way into a book we’ve declared authoritative from God and we followers have our work cut out for us having to decipher which parts of the Bible are from God or are inspired by him and which are the author’s commentary that may not reflect God’s actual message.

    Why is an all-knowing and all-powerful deity such an ineffective communicator when it comes to delivering an important message to humanity? Is this the best he can do?

    • “No, God does not condone killing babies on rocks, and this is a reflection of the authors thoughts and not of God’s.”

      Oh so the Bible’s the Word of God when Go isn’t doing something cruel but when he is then it’s the the human author’s word. Yeah sure.
      Christians held to a flat earth and seven day creation until that was disproved by science. So now it’s allegorical. As we critics continue to prove your Bible is nonsense you just continue to re-interpret it. Yes we are truly in the last days, the last days of your evil, stupid and false religion. POOF, gone forever.

  2. Hilarious! It’s God’s Word… except when it isn’t. This is a really funny version of the No True Scotsman Fallacy. If there’s anything nasty in the Bible it’s the author’s words. Christian apologetics. Someone should definitely apologize for trying to foist this nonsense on people.

    • Boris, it’s always God’s Word. However, there’s a problem with your perspective here. The Bible, particularly the Old Testament, is a documentation of past events. What events were documented was up to God. The NT, apart from the Gospels and the book of ACTS, is comprised of letters written by Paul (inspired by the Spirit) that were for the instruction and edification of believers. That, the OT is not. The Old Testament was not meant for instruction on how to live, as it’s a documentation of humanity itself. A common tripe with atheism is that they claim Christians must follow every word the Bible says, or else (as you’ve done here) it’s proof that Christianity is a scam, but this is simply not true. The OT is a documentation of a sinful people, and God’s mercy and judgement against that sin. It’s to learn from the past mistakes of those who lived before the crucifixion. The case of David here, saying blessed is he who dashes babies against a rock, was an example of human nature (i.e. revenge and hatred against those who hurt and wrong us). If there’s one thing atheist’s can’t deny, it’s that the Bible is the one book that accurately portrays humanity the most. The entire purpose of the OT was to document humanity’s evil, and point to the salvation offered through Christ’s blood. “Save me from myself,” you’ll find, is quite a common phrase. So no, God doesn’t condone the words of David here, but he has allowed it to be documented in order to point to Jesus’ act on cross: sacrifice against those who persecute and wrong us, as David failed to do.

  3. Pingback: Islam & An Undesirable Class Situation. | James Bishop's Theology & Apologetics.·

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