Solomon, the man whose wisdom was not attained by any man or after him, nor any man would have after him, for Jehovah had given it to him, said: “I know that whatever God does, it shall be forever” (Eccl. 3:14; 1 Kings 3:12).
The Moabites and the Ammonites are Lot’s descendants and fruit of the incest of his two daughters with their own father, after they left Sodom (Gen. 19:30-38). Four hundred years later, when Israel left Egypt by the hands of Moses, the Moabites and the Ammonites opposed them on the way, and these were the consequences: “An Ammonite or a Moabite shall not enter into the assembly of Jehovah; even to the tenth generation shall none belonging to them enter into the assembly of Jehovah forever: because they didn’t meet you with bread and with water in the way, when you came forth out of Egypt, and because they hired against you Balaam the son of Beor from Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse you. Nevertheless Jehovah your God wouldn’t listen to Balaam; but Jehovah your God turned the curse into a blessing to you, because Jehovah your God loved you” (Deut. 23:3-5).
1. The first absurd point of Jehovah’s vengeance is that, for 420 years, all the Moabites and Ammonites who were born would be condemned forever and eternally. Ten generations, at 42 years a generation, inherited the guilt of the parents. Thousands of innocent people, completely unfamiliar with the sins of their forefathers, were condemned through the vengeful hatred of Jehovah.
2. The second absurd point of the justice of Jehovah is that he did not want to attend to Balaam’s curse. This declaration leads us to believe that there are other people that Jehovah listens in order to curse. For example, Elisha was bald, and went up to Bethel, and some boys left the city, mocking him, saying: “Go up, you baldhead; go up, you baldhead!” He turned back and saw them and cursed them in the name of Jehovah. Then two female bears came out of the woods and tore up 42 of those boys (2 Kings 2:23-24). Now, if Elisha cursed those children in the name of Jehovah, it is because he knew for sure that Jehovah answers any kind of curse. If Jehovah were good, he would not listen to such imprecation (Luke 9:54-55). If he heard and executed, it is because it was to his liking.
3. The third thing to consider is to know which blessing, for all of that generation that Jehovah delivered from Egypt died in the desert under the curse. And the children, whom Joshua made to enter and inherit the Promise Land, fell in the curse because of disobedience (Judges 2:1-3).
The priest Eli is another case. Jehovah imposed an eternal condemnation on the descendents of Eli. It is terrifying. What was the sin? Let us read: “Jehovah said to Samuel, ‘Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of everyone who hears it shall tingle. In that day I will perform against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from the beginning even to the end. For I have told him that I will judge his house forever, for the iniquity which he knew, because his sons brought a curse on themselves, and he didn’t restrain them. Therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be removed with sacrifice nor offering forever’” (1 Sam. 3:11-14). To say that Eli did not discipline his children is not true. Let us read the text: “Now Eli was very old; and he heard all that his sons did to all Israel, and how that they lay with the women who served at the door of the Tent of Meeting. He said to them, ‘Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all this people. No, my sons; for it is no good report that I hear: you make Jehovah’s people disobey. If one man sin against another, God shall judge him; but if a man sin against Jehovah, who shall entreat for him?’ Notwithstanding, they didn’t listen to the voice of their father, because Jehovah was minded to kill them” (1 Sam. 2:22-26). We notice two things in this story: Eli, advanced in years, counseled his sons. What else could he do? His sons did not listen because Jehovah closed their ears, for he wished to kill them. And why did Jehovah wish to kill them? Because the law of Jehovah, in the chapter that deals with the stubborn children who do not listen to the voice of their father, refusing to obey, commands that their father take them to the elders of the city, and say: “This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. All the men of his city shall stone him to death with stones” (Deut. 21:18-21). Jehovah wanted Eli to send his sons to stoning. As Eli was kind and merciful, Jehovah closed their ears so that they would not listen, because he wished to kill them. His fury was such that he killed both of his sons (2 Sam. 2:34). He killed the father, the high priest Eli (1 Sam. 4:18). He killed the wife of Phinehas, one of the sons of Eli (1 Sam. 4:19-20). And Jehovah cast a terrible curse on the house of Eli, saying: “Therefore Jehovah, the God of Israel, says, ‘I said indeed that your house, and the house of your father, should walk before me forever.’ But now Jehovah says, ‘Be it far from me; for those who honor me I will honor, and those who despise me shall be lightly esteemed. Behold, the days come, that I will cut off your arm, and the arm of your father’s house, that there shall not be an old man in your house. You shall see the affliction of [my] habitation, in all the wealth which [God] shall give Israel; and there shall not be an old man in your house forever. The man of yours, [whom] I shall not cut off from my altar, [shall be] to consume your eyes, and to grieve your heart; and all the increase of your house shall die in the flower of their age’” (1 Sam. 2:30-33). What thirst for vengeance! What curses forever! Jehovah cast four eternal curses on the house of Eli, and one on the house of Israel:
- Eli was of the line of Levi, chosen for the priesthood in the temple forever. Jehovah reneged on the promise, saying: Far be it from me! The promise I made was not valid. I am going to send curses on the priestly line (1 Sam. 2:30).
- He broke the strength of Eli and of his father; that is, they would all die at a young age, at the virile age, forever (1 Sam. 2:31).
- The descendant whom Jehovah does not kill will be for displeasure and anguish, that is, Jehovah turned evil all the descendants of Eli. Would it not be easier not to close the ears of Hophni and Phinahas? They would listen to their father, change their ways, and all the future misfortunes would be eliminated. The truth is that Jehovah does not practice good, only evil (Amos 3:6; 1 Sam. 2:33).
- All the vast number of descendants of Eli would die young, for there would not be any old men in the house of Eli, according to the curse (1 Sam. 2:33-34).
- The curse over all Israel, because of Eli, the innocent, is the darkest. Jehovah said: “You shall see the affliction of [my] habitation, in all the wealth which [God] shall give Israel” (1 Sam. 2:32). The entire kingdom was condemned to receive evil from Jehovah, not the good that had been promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This is the evil one! (Matt. 5:37).
After Jehovah killed Eli, and planed the death of Hophni and Phinehas, his sons, he said: “I will raise me up a faithful priest, that shall do according to that which is in my heart and in my mind. I will build him a sure house; and he shall walk before my anointed forever” (1 Sam. 2:35). In fact, the next priest was perfect. His name was Samuel, son of Hannah, who dedicated him to Jehovah (1 Sam. 1:11; 12:1-5).
Nevertheless, it happened that the two sons of Samuel, Joel and Abijah, were very bad, for they devoted themselves to avarice, and perverted the judgment, reason for which the people of Israel demanded a king, and rejected the priesthood of the sons of Samuel (1 Sam. 8:1-5). It is thus proven that Jehovah did not follow through with his promise to edify the house of Samuel (1 Sam. 2:35). Better saying, Jehovah does not have the power over good, but only over bad. After five curses, Jehovah cast one more curse: “It shall happen, that everyone who is left in your house shall come and bow down to him for a piece of silver and a loaf of bread” (1 Sam. 2:36).
The only who does only good, because he is love, and love does not act badly, is the Father (Rom. 13:10). Jesus came from God the Father, and died in place of the cursed of Jehovah to save them from the terrible eternal curses (Gal. 1:4).
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira