2 King 6:28-29 Then he asked her, "What's the matter?" She answered, "This woman said to me, 'Give up your son so we may eat him today, and tomorrow we'll eat my son.' So we cooked my son and ate him. The next day I said to her, 'Give up your son so we may eat him,' but she had hidden him."

Is it a true assertion or a simple style of language to show us the severity of the famine? Help me understand, please.

  • 1
    Do you have any valid reason to doubt the veracity of the written record of the event ? – Nigel J Mar 30 '19 at 13:06
  • See also Titus Flavius Josephus, The Jewish War, Book VI, Chapter 3, Paragraph 4. – Lucian Mar 31 '19 at 15:16
  • Lots of abhorrent behaviour is recorded in the Bible, cannibalism is but one. The further one drifts from the principles of life clearly articulated in the Bible by God, the more likely one is to engage in such behaviour (willingly or unwillingly). The solution for humanity is to draw close to God, i.e. "If you love me, keep my commandments!" – enegue Apr 4 '19 at 22:42

Among the curses mentioned in Leviticus is 26:29 (KJV):

And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat.

This warning is mentioned again in Deuteronomy 28:53 (KJV):

And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters, which the LORD thy God hath given thee, in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee

And apparently actually happened, as in Lamentations 4:10 (KJV):

The hands of the pitiful women have sodden their own children: they were their meat in the destruction of the daughter of my people.

and in Jeremiah 19:9 (KJV):

And I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and they shall eat every one the flesh of his friend in the siege and straitness, wherewith their enemies, and they that seek their lives, shall straiten them.

and in Ezekiel 5:10 (KJV):

Therefore the fathers shall eat the sons in the midst of thee, and the sons shall eat their fathers; and I will execute judgments in thee, and the whole remnant of thee will I scatter into all the winds.

and Zechariah 11:9 (KJV):

Then said I, I will not feed you: that that dieth, let it die; and that that is to be cut off, let it be cut off; and let the rest eat every one the flesh of another.

In fact, there were similar situations as recently as the second world war and in the Gulag of the former Soviet Union, and in the tragic fate of Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571. So the story of the two women in II Kings 6:26-29 is entirely plausible and there is no reason to doubt it.

Apart from the plausibility of the story, the anecdote is required to demonstrate the distress of the king (who is not mentioned by name) who in his role as judge is called on to provide justice to the woman who gave up her son who was eaten. There is in this story an allusion to the judgment of Solomon in 1 Kings 3:16-28, but in this case the king is in an impossibly tragic situation. No decision he makes can possibly be right.

  • Ok thanks for your help. Blessings – Mathias Aziagba Apr 1 '19 at 14:23

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.