King David on Death of Terrorists

He did not hesitate.

Professor Gerald Aranoff,

Judaism Prof. G. Aranoff
Prof. G. Aranoff

Terrorists cause deep pain and anguish---impossible to put to words.  King David’s words are most appropriate.

“O God, if You would only slay the wicked— you murderers, away from me!— who invoke You for intrigue, Your enemies who swear by You falsely. O Lord, You know I hate those who hate You, and loathe Your adversaries. I feel a perfect hatred toward them; I count them my enemies. Examine me, O God, and know my mind; probe me and know my thoughts. See if I have vexatious ways, and guide me in ways everlasting” (Psalms 139: 19-24).

Rashi says “O God, if You would only slay the wicked— you murderers, away from me!—” refers to Amalek.  The Hertz Chumash writes on remembering Amalek (Deuteronomy 25:17-19):

“Whilst Israel was to make justice and brotherly love its guiding rule, it was not to forget that Amelek had perpetuated a cowardly and unprovoked attack on the feeble and hindmost, when the Israelites were marching from Egypt; Exod. 17:8-16.”

The Malbim says on Psalms 139:19:

“All these questions that trouble me [King David] on God’s knowledgeableness not be heavy for me to answer.  Likewise Maimonides in his work says that philosophers came to these questions because of the appearance of bad order when the righteous have it bad and the wicked have it good, which leads [philosophers] to denial of God’s Providence.  For impossible to attribute to the Almighty a wrong. All the questions and research [of the philosophers] to stand and strengthen their conjectures come because of this [when the righteous have it bad and the wicked have it good].  Thus, he [King David] asks, “O God, if You would only slay the wicked.” Then we would not have wicked that have it good.  Similar, “you murderers, away from me!” They [the wicked Amalek] will not continue to ambush the righteous and we would not have righteous that have it bad.”

The Malbim says on Psalms 139-20:

“ ‘Who’ for this reason, that the wicked succeed and the righteous are chased “you murderers, away from me—who invoke You for intrigue, Your enemies who swear by You falsely.” Your enemies swear and claim that one cannot say that You know worldly matters and care for people. They [Your enemies] are against Your Oneness spread over all, unchanging. Or they [Your enemies] say it does not befit Your honor to care for ignobles  [people].  They [Your enemies] praise You in order to do “intrigue” when they say, there is no law [Torah] and no Judge [God]. Or they [Your enemies] “swear” by vain and empty complaints that all [in this world] goes against Knowledge and Providence.  The reason for all this [the words of God’s enemies] comes because they see that You don’t punish the wicked.”

King David prays to God that He punish the wicked. Truly, we need King David’s prayer. The non-believers need to see that God punishes these supremely evil sinners, terrorists, coming with a scissors to a pregnant woman etc.  With the death of terrorists, we don’t have to explain to non-believers---how can God allow such to live?

When non-believers see the wicked terrorists healing, recovering, and living in an Israeli prison, and some released---the non-believers say:  there’s no God and no Providence. Whoever is stronger rules in this world. 

King David prays for the death of such wicked and so should we, for the sake of His Name.  Our soldiers on active duty should kill such wicked, for the sake of His Name.

We pray speedily for the day “And the Lord shall be king over all the earth; in that day there shall be one Lord with one name” (Zechariah 14:9).