A. J. MATTILL, Jr.
1. THE IMPORTANCE OF EXODUS 22:18. Long ago and far away, God Almighty inspired his spokesman Moses to proclaim these frightful words from the housetops, Do not allow a witch to live (Exodus 22:18). Centuries later, God moved the Apostle Paul to write this verse, All Scripture is inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:16). In other words, Exodus 22:18 is as inspired as John 3:16, the latter being a verse which many believers regard as the most meaningful verse in the Bible.
2. THE REGRETTABLE RESULTS OF GOD’S RIGOROUS RULE. Now let us look at some of the regrettable results of the inspired verse, Exodus 22:18. A certain Simeon ben Shetach (first century BC/BCE) reportedly hanged eighty witches on one day (Sanhedrin 6.4). The activity of witches continued into New Testament times (for example Simon of Acts 8:9 and Elymas of Acts 13:8). Revelation 21:8 promises witches a fiery destruction at death when God throws them into the lake of fire and burning brimstone. Burned to death at the stake and cast into the fiery lake to burn forever and a day! That’s cruel and unusual punishment to the nth degree!
During the Middle Ages the Church used Exodus 22:18 to subject witches to the most cruel torments. Tens of thousands of victims, often innocent, were burned alive. In 1484, Pope Innocent Vlll issued the bull (official edict), Summis Desiderantes, declaring Germany full of witches and ordering witches to be put to death. Since 1484 an estimated nine million witches were executed.
Martin Luther (1483-1546), heeding Exodus 22:18, advocated the extermination of witches. On May 31, 1431, the English burned Joan of Arc as a witch in the public square of Rouen, France. In Great Britain from 3,000 to 30,000 witches were hanged.
CONCLUSION. All Scripture is inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:16). “Only God knows” how many witches died cruel deaths because of God’s cold-blooded command to cleanse the world of witches—hundreds? thousands? millions? Believers had to choose whether to obey or disobey this God-given command. After all, All Scripture is inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:16). 2 Timothy 3:16 means that God inspired every verse of Scripture. As we have just seen, Exodus 22:18 is as much God-inspired as John 3:16, a verse which many people think is the most important verse in the Bible. Therefore an honest-to-God believer has no choice but to execute witches, even burning them to death. No way can the believer avoid snuffing out the life of every witch he/she knows. Do you know any Christians who are doing their level best to rid the world of witches by slaughtering them?
Why didn’t a loving God issue a commandment like this? You shall not inflict cruel and unusual punishment on anyone! (See the eighth amendment to the Constitution of the U.S.A.) Never ever burn another witch to death. As for me, I’ll rescue the witches burning forever in hell and give them a painfree life on a perfect earth.
God is love (1 John 4:8, 16). So far as I’m concerned, God was anything but love when he commanded, Do not allow a witch to live (Exodus 22:18). What do you think?