Why does the Written Torah allow stoning and public executions? Isn't it barbaric and primitive?
The answer is NO!
What Written Torah prescribes is very just and wise. It is not primitive or barbaric. In fact, I will show you that how we execute criminals now is more barbaric than what Torah prescribes.
But first of all, let's look at what kind of public executions Torah prescribes:
YLT Lv 20:27 'And a man or woman--when there is in them a familiar spirit, or who are wizards--are certainly put to death; with stones they stone them; their blood is on them.'
YLT Dt 21:22 'And when there is in a man a sin--a cause of death, and he hath been put to death, and thou hast hanged him on a tree,
YLT Dt 21:23 his corpse doth not remain on the tree, for thou dost certainly bury him in that day--for a thing lightly esteemed of God is the hanged one--and thou dost not defile thy ground which Jehovah thy God is giving to thee--an inheritance.
YLT Lv 20:14 'And a man who taketh the woman and her mother--it is wickedness; with fire they burn him and them, and there is no wickedness in your midst.
As you can see, there were at least three methods, but I guess Torah leaves it up to an executioner to decide. Same way we decide how to kill animals for food. Usually, in the most humane manner possible.
Please note, that stoning and death by fire are horrible, yet they kill the person relatively quickly. Matter of minutes. It is far more humane than the lethal injections, which cause a person to suffer for hours sometimes before violent death from heart-attack. I would rather take stoning or autodafe over lethal injection or life time sentence in prison. So what Torah proposes IS NOT BARBARIC, IT IS WISDOM AND HUMILITY!!!
Another reason for PUBLIC execution is that it would intimidate future perpetrators. Torah even states it explicitly in Deuteronomy 13:6-11, more specifically in v. 11
YLT Dt 13:11 and all Israel do hear and fear, and add not to do like this evil thing in thy midst.
Witnesses of the crime of the accused would stone him first, and only then the rest of the people. This would prevent perjury and give satisfaction to the survivors of the crime. This would also distribute the responsibility for the executions on everyone, so everyone will remember that THAT can happen to them as well, so this would act as a great deterrent.
YLT Dt 17:6 By the mouth of two witnesses or of three witnesses is he who is dead put to death; he is not put to death by the mouth of one witness;
YLT Dt 17:7 the hand of the witnesses is on him, in the first place, to put him to death, and the hand of all the people last; and thou hast put away the evil thing out of thy midst.
And, please note that these public executions were not some form of street-justice, but rather had to be sanctioned by the court and executed by at least two witnesses. So these public executions were perfectly legal and justified.
YLT Deut 16:18 'Judges and authorities thou dost make to thee within all thy gates which Jehovah thy God is giving to thee, for thy tribes; and they have judged the people--a righteous judgment.
Levites were also acting as a judicial body:
YLT Dt 17:8 'When anything is too hard for thee for judgment, between blood and blood, between plea and plea, and between stroke and stroke--matters of strife within thy gates--then thou hast risen, and gone up unto the place on which Jehovah thy God doth fix,
YLT Dt 17:9 and hast come in unto the priests, the Levites, and unto the judge who is in those days, and hast inquired, and they have declared to thee the word of judgment,
YLT Dt 17:10 and thou hast done according to the tenor of the word which they declare to thee (they of that place which Jehovah doth choose; and thou hast observed to do according to all that they direct thee.
YLT Dt 17:11 'According to the tenor of the law which they direct thee, and according to the judgment which they say to thee thou dost do; thou dost not turn aside from the word which they declare to thee, right or left.
YLT Dt 17:12 And the man who acteth with presumption, so as not to hearken unto the priest (who is standing to serve there Jehovah thy God), or unto the judge, even that man hath died, and thou hast put away the evil thing from Israel,
YLT Dt 17:13 and all the people do hear and fear, and do not presume any more.
As you can see, Torah clearly states that in order to eliminate presumption in the Law (in the Torah), we need the Levites and Judges(for civil matters) to lead us. This is not the case right now and this is why we have what we have. Public executions were also decided by them.
In Iran, for example, they have public hangings and they have almost non-existent crime rate. No wonder. So how is that bad? Yes, it is not nice or pretty but it is necessary, especially to prevent tragedies like mass shootings, murders, crimes against children, adultery and other sexual perversion. I do not see how it is bad? Why so many people do not understand this?
What do you think?