'Destroy' in the Bible
So the Lord said, “I will destroy (annihilate) mankind whom I have created from the surface of the earth—not only man, but the animals and the crawling things and the birds of the air—because it [deeply] grieves Me [to see mankind’s sin] and I regret that I have made them.”
God said to Noah, “I intend to make an end of all that lives, for through men the land is filled with violence; and behold, I am about to destroy them together with the land.
For behold, I, even I, will bring a flood of waters on the earth, to destroy all life under the heavens in which there is the breath and spirit of life; everything that is on the land shall die.
For in seven days I am going to cause it to rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights; and I will destroy (blot out, wipe away) every living thing that I have made from the surface of the earth.”
The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma [a soothing, satisfying scent] and the Lord said to Himself, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intent (strong inclination, desire) of man’s heart is wicked from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done.
I will establish My covenant with you: Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the water of a flood, nor shall there ever again be a flood to destroy and ruin the earth.”
and I will [compassionately] remember My covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and never again will the water become a flood to destroy all flesh.
Abraham approached [the Lord] and said, “Will You really sweep away the righteous (those who do right) with the wicked (those who do evil)?
Suppose there are fifty righteous [people] within the city; will You really sweep it away and not spare it for the sake of the fifty righteous who are in it?
If five of the fifty righteous are lacking, will You destroy the entire city for lack of five?” And He said, “If I find [at least] forty-five [righteous people] there, I will not destroy it.”
And he said, “Now behold, I have decided to speak to the Lord [again]. Suppose [only] twenty [righteous people] are found there?” And the Lord said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of the twenty.”
Then Abraham said, “Oh may the Lord not be angry [with me], and I will speak only this once; suppose ten [righteous people] are found there?” And He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of the ten.”
for we are destroying this place, because the outcry [for judgment] against them has grown so great before the Lord that the Lord has sent us to destroy and ruin it.”
So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were [betrothed, and legally promised] to marry his daughters, and said, “Get up, get out of this place, for the Lord is about to destroy this city!” But to his sons-in-law he appeared to be joking.
And the angel said to him, “Behold, I grant you this request also; I will not destroy this town of which you have spoken.
The blood shall be a sign for you on [the doorposts of] the houses where you live; when I see the blood I shall pass over you, and no affliction shall happen to you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.
“The enemy said, ‘I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil;My desire shall be satisfied against them;I will draw my sword, my hand shall dispossess them and drive them out.’
Now therefore, let Me alone and do not interfere, so that My anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them; and I will make of you (your descendants) a great nation.”
Go up to a land [of abundance] flowing with milk and honey; for I will not go up in your midst, because you are a stiff-necked (stubborn, rebellious) people, and I might destroy you on the way.”
For the Lord had said to Moses, “Say to the sons of Israel, ‘You are a stiff-necked (stubborn, rebellious) people! If I should come among you for one moment, I would destroy you. Now therefore, [penitently] take off your ornaments, so that I may know what to do with you.’”
But you shall tear down and destroy their [pagan] altars, smash in pieces their [sacred] pillars (obelisks, images) and cut down their Asherim
If there is any person who does any work on this same day, I will destroy that person from among his people.
I will let loose the [wild] animals of the field among you, which will bereave you of your children and destroy your livestock and make you so few in number that your roads will lie deserted and desolate.
I will destroy your high places [devoted to idolatrous worship], and cut down your incense altars, and heap your dead bodies upon the [crushed] bodies of your idols, and My soul will detest you [with deep and unutterable loathing].
Yet in spite of this, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them, nor will I so despise them as to destroy them, breaking My covenant with them; for I am the Lord their God.
So Israel made a vow to the Lord, and said, “If You will indeed hand over these people to me, then I will utterly destroy their cities.”
“One from [the descendants of] Jacob shall have dominionAnd will destroy the remnant from the city.”
For if you turn back from following Him [completely], He will once again leave them in the wilderness, and you will destroy all these people.”
then you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land before you and destroy all their sculpted images, and destroy all their cast idols and completely eliminate all their [idolatrous] high places,
You murmured and were ill-tempered (discontented) in your tents, and said, ‘Because the Lord hates us He has brought us from the land of Egypt to hand us over to the Amorites to destroy us.
For the Lord your God is a merciful and compassionate God; He will not fail you, nor destroy you, nor forget the covenant with your fathers which He swore to them.
for the Lord your God who is among you is a jealous (impassioned) God [demanding what is rightfully and uniquely His]—otherwise the anger of the Lord your God will be kindled and burn against you, and He will destroy you from the face of the earth.
and when the Lord your God gives them over to you and you defeat them, then you shall utterly destroy them. You shall not make a covenant (treaty) with them nor show mercy and compassion to them.
for they will turn your sons away from following Me to serve other gods; then the anger of the Lord will be kindled and burn against you and He will quickly destroy you.
So know today [with confident assurance] that the Lord your God is crossing [the Jordan] before you like a devouring fire. He will destroy them and He will subdue them before you, and you shall drive them out and destroy them quickly, just as the Lord has promised you.
Let Me alone, so that I may destroy them and wipe out their name from under heaven; and I will make of you a nation mightier and greater than they.’
For I was afraid of the anger and absolute fury which the Lord held against you, [enough divine fury] to destroy you, but the Lord listened to me that time also.
“So I fell down and lay face down before the Lord forty days and nights because the Lord had said He would destroy you.
Then I prayed to the Lord and said, ‘O Lord God, do not destroy Your people, even Your inheritance, whom You have redeemed through Your greatness, whom You have brought from Egypt with a mighty hand.
“And I stayed on the mountain, like the first time, forty days and nights, and the Lord listened to me at that time also; the Lord was not willing to destroy you.
You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations whom you shall dispossess serve their gods, on the high mountains and the hills and under every green [leafy] tree.
You shall tear down their altars and smash their [idolatrous] pillars and burn their Asherim in the fire; you shall cut down the carved and sculpted images of their gods and obliterate their name from that place.
“When you besiege a city for a long time, making war against it in order to capture it, you shall not destroy its [fruit-bearing] trees by swinging an axe against them; for you may eat from them, and you shall not cut them down. For is the tree of the field a man, that it should be besieged (destroyed) by you?
Only the trees which you know are not fruit trees shall you destroy and cut down, so that you may build siegeworks against the city that is making war with you until it falls.
It shall come about that just as the Lord delighted over you to make you prosper and multiply, so the Lord will delight over you to bring you to ruin and destruction; and you will be uprooted [violently] from the land which you are entering to possess.
It is the Lord your God who will cross ahead of you; He will destroy these nations before you, and you shall dispossess them. Joshua is the one who will go across before you [to lead you], just as the Lord has said.
“The eternal God is your refuge and dwelling place,And underneath are the everlasting arms;He drove out the enemy from before you,And said, ‘Destroy!’
Joshua said, “Alas, O Lord God, why have You brought this people across the Jordan at all, only to hand us over to the Amorites, to destroy us? If only we had been willing to live beyond the Jordan!
That is why the soldiers of Israel could not stand [and defend themselves] before their enemies; they turned their backs [and ran] before them, because they have become accursed. I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy the things under the ban from among you.
They replied to Joshua and said, “Because your servants were told in no uncertain terms that the Lord your God commanded His servant Moses to give you all the land, and to destroy all the land’s inhabitants before you, we feared greatly for our lives because of you, and so we did this [deceptive] thing.
For it was [the purpose] of the Lord to harden their hearts, to meet Israel in battle so that Israel would utterly destroy them, that they would receive no mercy, but that Israel would destroy them, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.
The report pleased the sons of Israel, and the sons of Israel blessed God; and they said no more about going to battle against them to destroy the land in which the sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad were living.
So they would camp against them and destroy the crops of the land as far as Gaza, and leave no sustenance in Israel as well as no sheep, ox, or donkey.
And this is the thing that you shall do; you shall utterly destroy every male and every woman who is not a virgin.”
So you shall make replicas of your tumors and of your mice that ravage the land, and give glory to the God of Israel; perhaps He will lighten His hand [of judgment] on you and your gods and your land.
Now go and strike Amalek and completely destroy everything that they have; do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’”
Saul said to the Kenites, “Go, leave, go down from the Amalekites, so that I do not destroy you along with them; for you showed kindness to all the Israelites when they went up from Egypt.” So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites.
Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and everything that was good, and they were not willing to destroy them entirely; but everything that was undesirable or worthless they destroyed completely.
and the Lord sent you on a mission, and said, ‘Go, totally destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are eliminated.’
Then David said, “O Lord, the God of Israel, Your servant has heard for certain that Saul intends to come to Keilah, to destroy the city on my account.
So now swear to me by the Lord that you will not cut off my descendants after me and that you will not destroy my name from my father’s household (extended family).”
But David said to Abishai, “Do not kill him, for who can put out his hand against the Lord’s anointed [king] and be guiltless (innocent)?”
David said to Abner, “Are you not a [brave] man? Who is like you in Israel? Why then have you not guarded your lord the king? For one of the people came [into your camp] to kill the king your lord.
David said to him, “How is it that you were not afraid to put out your hand to destroy the Lord’s anointed?”
Now behold, the entire family has risen against your maidservant, and they say, ‘Hand over the one who killed his brother, so that we may put him to death [to pay] for the life of his brother whom he killed and destroy the heir also.’ By doing this they will extinguish my coal that is left, leaving my husband without a name or a remnant (heir) on the face of the earth.”
Then she said, “Please let the king remember the Lord your God, so that the avenger of blood will not continue to destroy, otherwise they will destroy my son.” And David said, “As the Lord lives, not a single hair [from the head] of your son shall fall to the ground.”
For the king will hear and save his maidservant from the hand of the man who would destroy me and my son together from the inheritance of God.’
I am one of the peaceable and faithful in Israel. You are seeking to destroy a city, and a mother in Israel. Why would you swallow up (devour) the inheritance of the Lord?”
Joab answered, “Far be it, far be it from me that I would swallow up or destroy!
When the [avenging] angel stretched out his hand toward Jerusalem to destroy it, the Lord relented from the disaster and said to the angel who destroyed the people, “It is enough! Now relax your hand.” And the angel of the Lord was by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.
their children who were left after them in the land, whom the Israelites were unable to completely destroy, from them Solomon levied (conscripted) forced laborers, even to this day (the date of this writing).
He said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts (armies), because the sons of Israel have abandoned (broken) Your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I, only I, am left; and they seek to take away my life.”
Yet for the sake of His servant David the Lord was not willing to destroy Judah, since He had promised to give him a lamp (enthroned descendant) through his sons always.
Now, summon unto me all the prophets of Baal, all his worshipers and all his priests. Let no one be missing, for I have a great sacrifice for Baal; whoever is missing shall not live.” But Jehu did it with trickery, in order to destroy the worshipers of Baal.
But the Lord was gracious to them and had compassion on them and turned toward them for the sake of His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and He was unwilling to destroy them, and did not cast them from His presence until now.
Now have I come up against this place to destroy it without the Lord’s approval? The Lord said to me, ‘Go up against this land and destroy it.’”’”
and have thrown their gods into the fire, for they were not [real] gods but [only] the work of men’s hands, wood and stone. So they [could destroy them and] have destroyed them.
The Lord sent marauding bands of Chaldeans, Arameans (Syrians), Moabites, and Ammonites against Jehoiakim. And He sent them against Judah to destroy it, in accordance with the word of the Lord which He spoke through His servants the prophets.
God sent an angel to Jerusalem to destroy it; and as he was destroying it, the Lord looked, and relented concerning the catastrophe and said to the destroying angel, “It is enough; now remove your hand [of judgment].” And the angel of the Lord was standing by the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.
When the Lord saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the Lord came to Shemaiah, saying, “They have humbled themselves so I will not destroy them, but I will grant them some measure of a remnant [that escapes]; and My wrath shall not be poured out on Jerusalem by means of Shishak.
When Rehoboam humbled himself, the wrath of the Lord turned away from him, so as not to destroy him completely; and also conditions were good in Judah.
Now behold, the sons of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir, whom You would not allow Israel to invade when they came from the land of Egypt (for they turned away from them and did not destroy them),
For the sons of Ammon and Moab [suspecting betrayal] rose up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir, completely destroying them; and when they had finished with the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy one another.
Then Eliezer the son of Dodavahu of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, “Because you have allied yourself with Ahaziah, the Lord has broken down what you have built.” So the ships were wrecked and were unable to go to Tarshish.
Yet the Lord would not destroy the house of David because of the covenant which He had made with David, and because He had promised to give a lamp to him and to his sons forever.
But the downfall of Ahaziah was ordained by God, in that he went to Joram (Jehoram). For when he arrived there he went out [as an ally] with Jehoram against Jehu the son of Nimshi, whom the Lord had anointed to destroy the house of Ahab.
As he was talking, the king said to him, “Have we made you the king’s counselor? Stop! Why should you be put to death?” Then the prophet stopped and said, “I know that God has decided to destroy you because you have done this and have ignored my advice.”
But Neco sent messengers to Josiah, saying, “What business do we have with each other, O King of Judah? I am not coming against you today, but against the house with which I am at war, and God has ordered me to hurry. Stop for your own sake from interfering with God who is with me, so that He will not destroy you.”
May the God who has caused His Name to dwell there overthrow any king or people who attempts to alter this command, so as to destroy this house of God in Jerusalem. I, Darius, have issued this decree; let it be carried out quickly and with due diligence.”
But he disdained laying hands on Mordecai alone, for they had told him who the people of Mordecai were (his nationality); so Haman determined to destroy all the Jews, the people of Mordecai, who lived throughout the kingdom of Ahasuerus.
Letters were sent by couriers to all the king’s provinces to destroy, to kill and to annihilate all the Jews, both young and old, women and children, in one day, the thirteenth [day] of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar (March 7, 473 b.c.), and to seize their belongings as plunder.
Mordecai also gave him a copy of the text of the decree which had been issued in Susa for the Jews destruction, so that he might show Esther and explain it to her, and order her to go in to the king to seek his favor and plead with him for [the lives of] her people.
Then she said, “If it pleases the king and if I have found favor before him and the matter is proper in the king’s view and I am pleasing in his sight, let it be written to revoke the letters devised by Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, which he wrote [in order] to destroy the Jews who are in all the king’s provinces.
In it the king granted the Jews who were in every city the right to assemble and to defend their lives; to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate any armed force that might attack them, their little children, and women; and to take the enemies’ goods as plunder,
For Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had plotted against the Jews to destroy them and had cast Pur, that is, the lot, [to find the right time] to disturb and destroy them.
The Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered and reflected on My servant Job? For there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God [with reverence] and abstains from and turns away from evil [because he honors God]. And still he maintains and holds tightly to his integrity, although you incited Me against him to destroy him without cause.”
‘Your hands have formed and made me altogether.Would You [turn around and] destroy me?
Water wears away the stones,Its floods and torrents wash away the soil of the earth,So You [O Lord] destroy the hope of man.
You destroy those who tell lies;The Lord detests and rejects the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.
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