God’s Apparent Fondness For Blood Drinking and Cannibalism

It’s just about lunch time and if I know God I know what he wants to eat and have you eat…human flesh!  Steve Wells (creator of the indispensable Skeptics Annotated Bible) the other day compiled handy list of God’s commands for blood drinking and cannibalism.  Read the whole post.  Here are just a few, um, “tastes”:

The phrase “drunk with blood” (or variants of it) is used five times in the Bible.

  • God first uses it to describe himself: his arrows are drunk with blood.
    I will make mine arrows drunk with blood, and my sword shall devour flesh.Deuteronomy 32.42

    Now I know that God doesn’t mean this literally. God’s arrows don’t have mouths; they don’t drink blood and they’ve never been drunk on anything. His sword doesn’t eat flesh either. God is being metaphorical here.

  • Still, God is trying to make a point. He’s saying that he kills people. Lots and lots of people. 2,476,633 if you don’t try to estimate the number, 24,644,205 if you do.


    God also plans to force people (before he kills them) to eat their own flesh and get drunk on their own blood.

    I will feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh; and they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet wine. Isaiah 49.26

    I’m not sure how much of this is metaphor. God often talks about forcing people to eat other people. That part, at least, is literal. Here are a few examples.

    Forcing people to eat themselves.

    And he shall snatch on the right hand, and be hungry; and he shall eat on the left hand, and they shall not be satisfied: they shall eat every man the flesh of his own arm. Isaiah 9.20

    Forcing parents to eat their children and friends to eat each other.

    Ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat.Leviticus 26.29

    Let the rest eat every one the flesh of another. Zechariah 11.9

    Thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters. Deuteronomy 28.53

    The fathers shall eat the sons in the midst of thee, and the sons shall eat their fathers. Ezekiel 5.10

    The tender and delicate woman among you, which would not adventure to set the sole of her foot upon the ground for delicateness and tenderness, her eye shall be evil toward the husband of her bosom, and toward her son, and toward her daughter, And toward her young one that cometh out from between her feet, and toward her children which she shall bear: for she shall eat them.Deuteronomy 28.56-57

    I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and they shall eat every one the flesh of his friend. Jeremiah 19.9 The hands of the pitiful women have sodden their own children: they were their meat.Lamentations 4.10

    And this doesn’t include Jeremiah 46:10, Isaiah 34:5, Isaiah 34:6, Isaiah 66:16, Jeremiah 12:12, Ezekiel 21:3, Ezekiel 21:4, Ezekiel 29:8, Ezekiel 32:10, Amos 4:10, Revelation 2:16, Revelation 6:4, Numbers 24:8, Deuteronomy 32:23, Psalm 7:11-13, Isaiah 63:3, Ezekiel 39:17-19, Deuteronomy 28:26, Jeremiah 7:33, Jeremiah 12:9, Jeremiah 16:4, Jeremiah 19:7, Jeremiah 34:20, Ezekiel 29:5, Ezekiel 32:4, Ezekiel 39:4, Revelation 16:6, Revelation 19:17-21, Psalm 58:10, Psalm 68:21-23, Numbers 23:24, John 6:53-54, Revelation 17:6, all of which you can read through conveniently here.

    Your Thoughts?

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    About Daniel Fincke

    Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.