September 2, 2001 / Volume 1, Issue 26
THE ATHEIST'S COMPLAINT:
What kind of personality did Moses have? Do Numbers 12:3 and Numbers 31:14, 17, 18 contradict?
The questioner falsely assumes that one who is identified as being meek is unable to exercise righteous indignation. Jesus described Himself as being meek (Matthew 11:29), and yet we see Him overturning tables in the temple (Matthew 21:12) on account of the wickedness of the people.
If the questioner would consider the context of the statements he gleaned from Numbers 31, he would realize that the people of God had preserved the lives of those who had caused Isarel to commit harlotry and idolatry (v 16). Thus, Moses commanded that they be destroyed, along with the males among them, except the virgin girls. Moses entreated the people to fulfill that which was commanded by God (Numbers 25:16-18).
If the meek servant of the Lord does not become enraged with wickedness, he becomes an idle by-stander and a partaker in the wickedness by his inaction.
There is no contradiction.
This article is a response to Skeptic's Annotated Bible