Cannibalism As a Form of Punishment in the Bible: Family Members Ordered To Eat Each Other Up

Cannibalism As a Form of Punishment in the Bible: Family Members Ordered To Eat Each Other Up

Mohamad Mostafa Nassar


We have already seen plenty of examples regarding violence in the Bible (see this), however I haven’t been so disgusted until I read these following verses…

Leviticus 26:29

You will eat the flesh of your sons and the flesh of your daughters.

Deuteronomy 28:53

Because of the suffering that your enemy will inflict on you during the siege, you will eat the fruit of the womb, the flesh of the sons and daughters the LORD your God has given you.

Deuteronomy 28:56-57

The most gentle and sensitive woman among you?so sensitive and gentle that she would not venture to touch the ground with the sole of her foot?will begrudge the husband she loves and her own son or daughter the afterbirth from her womb and the children she bears. For she intends to eat them secretly during the siege and in the distress that your enemy will inflict on you in your cities.

2 Kings 6:29

So we cooked my son and ate him. The next day I said to her, ‘Give up your son so we may eat him,’ but she had hidden him.”

Jeremiah 19:9

I will make them eat the flesh of their sons and daughters, and they will eat one another’s flesh during the stress of the siege imposed on them by the enemies who seek their lives.’

Lamentations 2:20

“Look, O LORD, and consider: Whom have you ever treated like this? Should women eat their offspring, the children they have cared for? Should priest and prophet be killed in the sanctuary of the Lord?

Lamentations 4:10

With their own hands compassionate women have cooked their own children, who became their food when my people were destroyed.

John Gill says in his commentary…

shall the women eat their fruit; their children, the fruit of their womb, as the Targum; their newborn babes, that hung at their breasts, and were carried in their arms; it seems they did, as was threatened they should, Leviticus 26:29; and so they did at the siege of Samaria, and at the siege of Jerusalem, both by the Chaldeans and the Romans:

[and]¬†children of a span long? or of a hand’s breadth; the breadth of the palms of the hand, denoting very little ones:¬†or “children handled,” or “swaddled with the hands”¬†(John Gill’s Exposition to the Bible, Commentary on Lamentations 2:20,¬†Source)

These were very poor innocent little babies being eaten by their parents. How cruel!

John Gill says somewhere else…

And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons,…. Which was fulfilled at the siege of Samaria, in the times of Joram,¬†2 Kings 6:29¬†and at the siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar,¬†Lamentations 4:10; and though there is no instance of it at that time in the sacred records, the Jews {p} tells us of one Doeg ben Joseph, who died and left a little one with his mother, who was very fond of him; but at this siege slew him with her own hands, and ate him, with respect to which they

suppose Jeremiah makes the lamentation, Lamentations 2:2; and of this also there was an instance at the last siege of Jerusalem, by Titus, when a woman, named Mary, of a considerable family, boiled her son, and ate part of him, and the rest was found in her house when the seditious party broke in upon her, as Josephus {q} relates:

and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat; of which, though no instances are given, it is as reasonable to suppose it was done as the former.¬†Some of the Jewish writers {r} think, that in this prediction is included, that children should eat their parents, as well as parents their children,¬†as in¬†Ezekiel 5:10.¬†(John Gill’s Exposition to the Bible, Commentary on Leviticus 26:29,¬†Source)

If it wasn’t enough that parents were made to eat their children, but the children were also made to eat their parents as we can see in the follow verse…

Ezekiel 5:10

Therefore in your midst fathers will eat their children, and children will eat their fathers. I will inflict punishment on you and will scatter all your survivors to the winds.

Indeed these kinds of punishments are too disgusting and cruel to be put forth by God. Even if I am wrong (I hope God forgives me if I am) and God really did set these laws then Christians are the last people on earth to ever talk or say anything about the so-called “cruelty” of Allah.

Allah knows Best