QUESTION: What does God’s Word say about FAMINE AND CANNIBALISM?
ANSWER: Hi Terry, herewith something for you to think about. Shalom.
2 Ki 6:29 So we boiled my son and ate him. The next day I said to her, Give your son so we may eat him, but she had hidden her son.
Lam 4:10 The hands of [heretofore] compassionate women have boiled their own children; they were their food during the destruction of the daughter of my people [Judah].
Deu 28:33 A nation which you have not known shall eat up the fruit of your land and of all your labors, and you shall be only oppressed and crushed continually, V57 Her afterbirth that comes out from her body and the children whom she shall bear. For she will eat them secretly for want of anything else in the siege and distress with which your enemies shall distress you in your towns.
It sounds almost inhuman to think that you eat your own children to stay physically alive, but from the previous verses we can clearly see that it happened in ancient biblical times that parents ate their children. I also believe that in the period of a famine the elderly who were very old (and was ready to die), were killed so that they can be eaten. These people were cannibals.
More than that even, the Bible says that their children will be eaten (Leviticus 26:27-29, Deuteronomy 28:53-57; Lam. 4:10, Zech 11:9). To eat your children was one of the greatest sins, and seen as the strictest punishment for sins. By eating children, the life is taken that was given by birth and they saw it as “Reversal of life.” For the Israelites it would have been terrible if there were no children around for the continuation of the nation – their survival depended on how many children they could have. (Genesis 4:20, 10:21, 17:4-16, 19:30-38, 25:12-18, 36:9, Exodus 1:5, Ruth 4:18-22, 1 Chronicles 2-8; Matthew 1:1-17).
The act of one person who eats the flesh of another human is called cannibalism. Cannibalism comes from the Spanish name (Caníbales / cannibalize) from the “Carib tribes”. It is a West Indian tribe that was well known for their participation in cannibalism. They assume that meat is the same as a fruit. So they believe that if you can eat fruit, you can eat meat because it’s just another form of food for them. A person who eats another person is called a “Cannibal”. The scientific name for cannibalism is “Anthropophagi”.
The idea to eat others of its own species probably originated because people watched animals. In the animal kingdom there are certain species that eat their own kind (like spiders); especially the female will sometimes consume the male after they have mated. So people saw this action as a way to have food and decided to do the same.
Cannibalism was widespread throughout the world and continued until about the nineteenth century, especially in some South Pacific cultures. Today the practice of cannibalism in Africa is still very high. The island “Fiji” was once known as the island of Cannibalism. In Melanesia there are even market have fresh human flesh available for sale. Other parts of the world where cannibalism flourished is the Amazon; Congo, Liberia and Māori island of New Zealand. “Korowai tribe” in the Congo is one of the few tribes who today recognize that they are cannibalistic. In our contemporary life a number of cases were documented where survivors of a plane crash in the desert devoured their peers to survive. In Such a case the aircraft fell in Urugua (“Air Force flight 571”) there were some survivors ate the other “dead” in order to stay alive. Even in many other modern areas where there is famine, cannibalism is acceptable.
Other cases of cannibalism are the soul-deranged people who believe they must eat human flesh, like Jeffrey Dahmer and Albert Fish. They are classified as “mentally disturbed” after they have eaten a few people. Cannibalism is also widely found in Art Works.
In the New Testament Jesus gives guidance in this regard, however; we must remember that we are “spirits” (John 4:24) God is a Spirit (a spiritual Being) and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth (reality).Luk 4: 4 “And Jesus replied to him, It is written, Man shall not live and be sustained by (on) bread alone but by every word and expression of God..
Personally, I think it’s against God’s principles that one person eats another. God created us as his best creation (in His Image and Likeness) – how will he allow people to devour each other. It just does not fit in with God’s character. Cannibalism in my opinion is totally unacceptable. I believe that if someone ever come into a situation where they have to decide to eat someone or to die of hunger, I believe it’s better to put you relationship right with God, and to make sure that your will live forever than to pollute the Temple of God with flesh of another human been. It is also one of the reasons why vegetarians do not eat meat of animals (because it is God’s creation). There are other groups that “Fruitarians” who believe that fruit trees may not be picked (because it is regarded as “murder”). They believe you can only eat fruit that fell from the tree onto the ground. If they eat at someone who dishes up “fried carrots,” they will believe that the carrots were “tortured and killed”. Well, what can i say? …
I hope this answered your question? Shalom.