Robert Wright's new book The Evolution of God makes an interesting case that God changes his mood throughout the Bible (He evolves!) as the situation for the Hebrews change.
Wright writes, "One thing I found is that some of the most belligerent, vindictive scriptures in the Hebrew Bible were written when Israelites were in roughly the mindset that Palestinians are in today. And some of the most tolerant, benevolent scriptures emerged after a change in Israel's political psychology much like the change Obama is trying to engineer in Palestinian psychology.
"For much of its early existence, Israel was a small nation in a tough neighborhood. It got pushed around by such superpowers as Assyria and, most famously, the neo-Babylonian empire, which in 586 BCE destroyed the Jerusalem temple and exiled Israel's elites. Like Palestinians today, Israelites felt humiliated and dispossessed; they weren't in control of their destiny.
"The result was a thirst for revenge."
I love it! Makes absolute sense to me. Read the whole article about his new book here. If you don't already subscribe to the Huffington Post, what are you waiting for? Subscribe and it'll come to your email daily, but also visit the home page where there are links to every major news site on the web, and then some.