Bible Commentary on Biblical Terrorism


By Sami Zaatari





What I will basically be doing  in this article is giving Bible commentaries on the Biblical terror verses found in the Bible. Basically I will be quoting tafsir of the Bible by recognized known Christian scholars. This way Christians will have no way in making the excuse of claiming that I miss-interpreted the Bible and took verses out of context etc.


With that being said, we now quote some Biblical terror verses which I have brought before alongside their commentary (tafsir).


Leviticus 21:9


A priest's daughter who loses her honor by committing fornication and thereby dishonors her father also, shall be burned to death.


John Gill commentary:


Leviticus 21:9

And the daughter of any priest.


The Targum of Jonathan restrains it to one that is betrothed; but others, as Jarchi and Aben Ezra, whether betrothed or married; and all confess, as the former says, that the Scripture does not speak of one that is single or entirely free: but there is no exception in the text; and besides, the daughter of any man that was betrothed to a man, and guilty of the crime here spoken of, was to die, (Deuteronomy 22:23,24) ; and therefore such a law respecting the priest's daughter would be needless; unless it can be thought that it was made merely for the sake of the different kind of death she was to be put to, and that burning was a more terrible one than stoning:

if she profane herself by playing the whore;


which brings scandal and disgrace on any person, and much more on anyone that had the honour of being related to a person in such a sacred office, and the advantage of a more strictly religious education, and had eaten of the holy things in her father's house; all which were aggravations of her crime, and made it the more scandalous and reproachful to her: some render it, "when she begins to play the whore" F2; as soon as ever it is discovered in her, and she is taken in it; even for the first that she commits, she is not to be spared, but put to death:

she profaneth her father:


which is another aggravation of her sin; she brings him under disgrace, disparages his office, and exposes him to censure, reproach, and ridicule, as not having taken care of her education, and taught her better, and kept her under restraints; men will upbraid him with it, saying, this is a priest's daughter that has committed this lewdness; nor will say of him, as Jarchi observes, cursed be he that begat her, and cursed be he that brought her up:

she shall be burnt with fire;


not with hot melted lead poured down her mouth, but with faggots set about her; (See Gill on 20:14); no punishment is here fixed for the person that lay with her, but, according to the Jewish canons F3, she was to be strangled.


Isaiah 13:15-18


Anyone who is captured will be run through with a sword. Their little children will be dashed to death right before their eyes. Their homes will be sacked and their wives raped by the attacking hordes. For I will stir up the Medes against Babylon, and no amount of silver or gold will buy them off. The attacking armies will shoot down the young people with arrows. They will have no mercy on helpless babies and will show no compassion for the children.


John Gill commentary:



Every one that is found shall be thrust through.


With a sword, spear, or lance, and be slain; that is, everyone that is found in the city of Babylon; and so the Targum adds,

``and everyone that is found in it shall be slain;''


so Kimchi, in the midst of it, or without; in the street, as Jarchi. The orders of Cyrus F8 were, that those that were found without (in the streets) should be slain; and to proclaim in the Syriac language, that those that were within doors should continue there, but, if they were found without, they should be put to death; which orders were executed, and well agrees with this prophecy:


and everyone that is joined [unto them] shall fall by the sword;


or "added" unto them; any of other nations that joined them as auxiliaries, see (Revelation 18:4) or "that is gathered"; so the Septuagint, "they that are gathered"; that are gathered together in a body to resist the enemy, and defend themselves. Some render the word, "every one that is consumed", with age; neither old nor young, as follows, should be spared. The Targum is,


``everyone that enters into the fortified cities,''

flees there for safety and protection.

Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their


Upon the ground, or against the wall, as was foretold should be, (Psalms 137:8,9) and in way of retaliation for what they did to the Jews, (2 Chronicles 36:17) and this was to be done "before their eyes", in the sight of the inhabitants, which must make it the more distressing and afflicting; and, as Kimchi observes, this phrase is to be applied to the following clauses:

their houses shall be spoiled;
plundered of the substance, wealth, and riches in them, by the Persian soldiers:


and their wives ravished;


by the same, and both before their eyes, and after that slain, in like manner as they had ravished the women in Zion, (Lamentations 5:11) ..

[Their] bows also shall dash their young men to pieces,


&c.] That is, the bows of the Medes should dash in pieces the young men of the Babylonians. The meaning is, either that they should put them into their bows, instead of arrows, and shoot them upon the ground, or against a wall, and so dash them to pieces; or that they should first shoot them through with their arrows, and then dash them with their bows; according to Xenophon F12, Cyrus came to Babylon with great numbers of archers and slingers:

and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb;


even of those that were in the womb, but should rip up women with child, and cut

them in pieces: their eyes shall not spare children;


in the arms of their parents, or running to them, shrieking and crying, and in the utmost fright; and yet their tender and innocent age would meet with no mercy. The Medes were notorious for their cruelty F13, and which issued at last in the ruin of their empire.


I must say that this is very disturbing, this commentator has no problems with the fact that little helpless babies are being slaughtered, and that women are being ripped up and cut into pieces while pregnant! 


Ezekiel 9:5-7


"Then I heard the LORD say to the other men, "Follow him through the city and kill everyone whose forehead is not marked. Show no mercy; have no pity! Kill them all - old and young, girls and women and little children. But do not touch anyone with the mark. Begin your task right here at the Temple." So they began by killing the seventy leaders. "Defile the Temple!" the LORD commanded. "Fill its courtyards with the bodies of those you kill! Go!" So they went throughout the city and did as they were told."

Matthew Henry commentary:


I. A command given to the destroyers to do execution according to their commission. They stood by the brazen altar, waiting for orders; and orders are here given them to cut off and destroy all that were either guilty of, or accessory to, the abominations of Jerusalem, and that did not sigh and cry for them. Note, When God has gathered his wheat into his garner nothing remains but to burn up the chaff, Matthew 3:12.

      1. They are ordered to destroy all, (1.) Without exception. They must go through the city, and smite; they must slay utterly, slay to destruction, give them their death's wound. They must make no distinction of age or sex, but cut off old and young; neither the beauty of the virgins, nor the innocency of the babes, shall secure them. This was fulfilled in the death of multitudes by famine and pestilence, especially by the sword of the Chaldeans, as far as the military execution went. Sometimes even such bloody work as this has been God's work. But what an evil thing is sin, then, which provokes the God of infinite mercy to such severity! (2.) Without compassion: "Let not your eye spare, neither have you pity (Ezekiel 9:5); you must not save any whom God has doomed to destruction, as Saul did Agag and the Amalekites, for that is doing the work of God deceitfully, Jeremiah 48:10. None need to be more merciful than God is; and he had said (Ezekiel 8:18), My eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity." Note, Those that live in sin, and hate to be reformed, will perish in sin, and deserve not to be pitied; for they might easily have prevented the ruin, and would not.

      2. They are warned not to do the least hurt to those that were marked for salvation: "Come not near any man upon whom is the mark; do not so much as threaten or frighten any of them; it is promised them that there shall no evil come nigh them, and therefore you must keep at a distance from them." The king of Babylon gave particular orders that Jeremiah should be protected. Baruch and Ebed-melech were secured, and, it is likely, others of Jeremiah's friends, for his sake. God had promised that it should go well with his remnant and they should be well treated (Jeremiah 15:11); and we have reason to think that none of the mourning praying remnant fell by the sword of the Chaldeans, but that God found out some way or other to secure them all, as, in the last destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, the Christians were all secured in a city called Pella, and none of them perished with the unbelieving Jews. Note, None of those shall be lost whom God has marked for life and salvation; for the foundation of God stands sure.

      3. They are directed to begin at the sanctuary (Ezekiel 9:6), that sanctuary which, in the chapter before, he had seen the horrid profanation of; they must begin there because there the wickedness began which provoked God to send these judgments. The debaucheries of the priests were the poisoning of the springs, to which all the corruption of the streams was owing. The wickedness of the sanctuary was of all wickedness the most offensive to God, and therefore there the slaughter must begin: "Begin there, to try if the people will take warning by the judgments of God upon their priests, and will repent and reform; begin there, that all the world may see and know that the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God, and hates sin most in those that are nearest to him." Note, When judgments are abroad they commonly begin at the house of God, 1 Peter 4:17. You only have I known, and therefore I will punish you, Amos 3:2. God's temple is a sanctuary, a refuge and protection for penitent sinners, but not for any that go on still in their trespasses; neither the sacredness of the place nor the eminency of their place in it will be their security. It should seem the destroyers made some difficulty of putting men to death in the temple, but God bids them not to hesitate at that, but (Ezekiel 9:7), Defile the house, and fill the courts with slain. They will not be taken from the altar (as was appointed by the law, Exodus 21:14), but think to secure themselves by keeping hold of the horns of it, like Joab, and therefore, like him, let them die there, 1 Kings 2:30,31. There the blood of one of God's prophets had been shed (Matthew 23:35) and therefore let their blood be shed. Note, If the servants of God's house defile it with their idolatries, God will justly suffer the enemies of it to defile it with their violences, Psalms 79:1. But these acts of necessary justice were really, whatever they were ceremonially, rather a purification than a pollution of the sanctuary; it was putting away evil from among them. 4. They are appointed to go forth into the city, Ezekiel 9:6,7. Note, Wherever sin has gone before judgement will follow after; and, though judgement begins at the house of God, yet it shall not end there. The holy city shall be no more a protection to the wicked people then the holy house was to the wicked priests.

      II. Here is execution done accordingly. They observed their orders, and, 1. They began at the elders, the ancient men that were before the house, and slew them first, either those seventy ancients who worshipped idols in their chambers (Ezekiel 8:12) or those twenty-five who worshipped the sun between the porch and the altar, who might more properly be said to be before the house. Note, Ringleaders in sin may expect to be first met with by the judgments of God; and the sins of those who are in the most eminent and public stations call for the most exemplary punishments. 2. They proceeded to the common people: They went forth and slew in the city; for, when the decree has gone forth, there shall be no delay; if God begin, he will make an end.


Jeremiah 51:20-26


"You are my battle-ax and sword," says the LORD. "With you I will shatter nations and destroy many kingdoms. With you I will shatter armies, destroying the horse and rider, the chariot and charioteer. With you I will shatter men and women, old people and children, young men and maidens. With you I will shatter shepherds and flocks, farmers and oxen, captains and rulers. "As you watch, I will repay Babylon and the people of Babylonia for all the wrong they have done to my people in Jerusalem," says the LORD. "Look, O mighty mountain, destroyer of the earth! I am your enemy," says the LORD. "I will raise my fist against you, to roll you down from the heights. When I am finished, you will be nothing but a heap of rubble. You will be desolate forever. Even your stones will never again be used for building. You will be completely wiped out," says the LORD.


Adam Clarke commentary:


Verse 20. Thou art my battle axe
I believe Nebuchadnezzar is meant, who is called,
Jeremiah 50:23, the hammer of the whole earth. Others think the words are spoken of Cyrus. All the verbs are in the past tense: "With thee have I broken in pieces,"

Verse 24. And I will render
The vau should be translated but, of which it has here the full power: "But I will render unto Babylon."

Verse 25. O destroying mountain
An epithet which he applies to the Babylonish government; it is like a burning mountain, which, by vomiting continual streams of burning lava, inundates and destroys all towns, villages fields,

And roll thee down from the rocks
I will tumble thee from the rocky base on which thou restest. The combustible matter in thy bowels being exhausted, thou shalt appear as an extinguished crater; and the stony matter which thou castest out shall not be of sufficient substance to make a foundation stone for solidity, or a corner stone for beauty,
Jeremiah 51:26. Under this beautiful and most expressive metaphor, the prophet shows the nature of the Babylonish government; setting the nations on fire, deluging and destroying them by its troops, till at last, exhausted, it tumbles down, is extinguished, and leaves nothing as a basis to erect a new form of government on; but is altogether useless, like the cooled lava, which is, properly speaking, fit for no human purpose.

Chapter 2



And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have begun to give Sihon and his land before thee: begin to possess, that thou mayest inherit his land. 32 Then Sihon came out against us, he and all his people, to fight at Jahaz. 33 And the LORD our God delivered him before us; and we smote him, and his sons, and all his people. 34 And we took all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed the men, and the women, and the little ones, of every city, we left none to remain. 36 From Aroer, which is by the brink of the river of Arnon, and from the city that is by the river, even unto Gilead, there was not one city too strong for us: the LORD our God delivered all unto us


John Gill commentary:

Then Sihon came out against us.
Perceiving they were upon their march towards his land or into it, he gathered all his people and went out of Heshbon their capital city, where he resided:

he and all his people, to fight at Jahaz;
a city which he had taken from the king of Moab, and which in later times, after the captivity of the ten tribes, came into their hands again, (
Isaiah 15:4) (Jeremiah 48:21) , (See Gill on 21:21).

And the Lord our God delivered him before us.
With their lands:

and we smote him and his sons, and all his people;
with the edge of the sword; slew them all: the Cetib or textual reading is "his son", though the Keri or margin is "his sons", which we follow. So Jarchi observes, it is written "his son", because he had a son mighty as himself, he says.

And we took all his cities at that time.
As Heshbon, and others mentioned in (
Numbers 21:25,30,32) (32:3,34-38) ,

and utterly destroyed the men, and the women, and the little ones
of every city, we left none to remain;
for the Amorites were one of the seven nations who were devoted to destruction, the measure of whose iniquity was now full, and therefore vengeance was taken.

Only the cattle we took for a prey unto ourselves.
These they did not destroy, but preserved alive for their own use and profit, and took them as their own property:

and the spoil of the cities which we took;
as household goods, gold, silver, and whatever valuable was found by them; this they took as plunder, and shared it among themselves.

Only unto the land of the children of Ammon thou camest not,
&c.] Which was then in their possession; otherwise what Sihon had took away from them, that the children of Israel came into and enjoyed, as before observed, (Deuteronomy 2:19)

nor unto any place of the river Jabbok;
any town or city situated on this river, which was the border of the children of Ammon, (
Deuteronomy 3:16) , (See Gill on 32:22),

nor unto the cities in the mountains;
much less did they penetrate into the innermost parts of their country, the mountainous part thereof, and the cities there:

nor unto whatsoever the Lord our God forbad us:
whether in Edom, Moab, or Ammon, particularly the latter, of which he is more especially and peculiarly speaking.

I have now given the commentaries of 5 biblical passages; the commentaries speak for themselves and confirm that the Bible does really promote terror.