Steven Newcomb: Bible was a guide for European colonization

"Some Indian people these days disparage what they call a “victim mentality.” This is aimed at those of us who spend a great deal of time obsessing over all the destruction that our originally free nations and peoples have been subjected to during the past five centuries. Recently, it dawned on me that I have never examined the word “victim” in the dictionary.

In Webster’s Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary (1965) we find:

victim [L. victima; akin to OHG wīh holy, Skt vinakti he sets apart] 1 : A living being sacrificed to a deity or in the performance of a religious rite. 2 : someone injured, destroyed, or sacrificed under any of various conditions. 3 : someone tricked or duped.

To help us make sense of this connection between the idea of a victim and the sacrificing of a living being to a deity, we can turn to the Bible. In The Holy Bible, New International Version, (Grand Rapids, Zondervan) we find the following in Deuteronomy 20: 16: “…in the cities of the nations the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. Completely destroy them—the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—as the Lord your God has commanded you.” A footnote at the phrase “completely destroy” reads: “The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them.”"

Get the Story:
Steven Newcomb: Human Sacrifice in the Bible (Indian Country Today 2/4)

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