Archives For Weird Bible Verses

Ehud eglan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            "Ehud then approached him…and said, “I have a message from God for you.” As the king rose from his seat, Ehud reached with his left hand, drew the sword from his right thigh and plunged it into the king’s belly. Even the handle sank in after the blade, and his bowels discharged. Ehud did not pull the sword out, and the fat closed in over it."  

- Judges 3:20-22 

There are a lot of deaths and murders in the Bible (which are all horribly sad when they happen) but the peculiar details revealed for this one is fascinating. Ehud is a judge of Israel and he is left-handed (we read about that in Judges 3:15). It was because of this, is what caused Eglon to be caught off-guard.

Since Ehud was left-handed, it would be natural for him to strap his dagger on his right thigh. Since most people are right-handed, Eglon’s guards would be less careful about checking what to them would be an awkward placement for a weapon. So it wasn't expected to be coming from where it did. 

Then to have the blade sink so far into the belly-fat it didn't come out and then as his bowels discharged due to the stabbing is quite descriptive. The story continues with more interesting description of how after the stabbing and Ehud escaped, that Eglon's guards were waiting outside and didn't come in because they thought Eglon was going to the bathroom likely because of the odors released from the bowels discharging from the stabbing.

It reads in Judges 3:24 that the guards said:

“He must be relieving himself in the inner room of the palace.” They waited to the point of embarrassment, but when he did not open the doors of the room, they took a key and unlocked them. There they saw their lord fallen to the floor, dead."

This story stands out to me as I had a test in seminary where the question was "Who was the left-handed judge?" as there is only one place in the BIble which mentions someone was left-handed and this is the story. Ehud, the left-handed judge who stabbed Eglon and his belly-fat closed over the blade and his bodyguards thought he was going to the bathroom. The Bible is filled with odd little things like this. 

*For those wanting to know the origin of why I began these Wednesday-Weird-Bible-Verses started read here

Samson"If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as any other man.”

- Judges 16:17

"Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church."

1 Corinthians 14:34-35

1 Corinthians 14-35

* image from The Brick Testament

I remember reading 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 for the first time and not knowing what to think of it as it seemed such an extreme verse in the New Testament. It seems to be clearly stating that females should not talk in church. If they have questions, then wait till they get home to ask their husbands. It even says it is "disgraceful" if a female talks in a church meeting.  

This was a rather confusing and disturbing verse to read when I was reading my Bible through for the first time right after I graduated from college. I knew enough to know that in my limited experiences in churches up to that point, that females certainly did talk in churches. You didn't see as many teaching or preaching, but they didn't just sit there silently like this Bible passage says to do. So I kind of pushed it aside and didn't think about it too much until several years later when I realized I had to look at why this weird sounding verse is in there. How do you make sense of what sounds like an incredibly bizarre and chauvinistic practice? 

Continue Reading…

Deuteronomy 7:2 – "and when the LORD your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy."

* Two great book that address this very uncomfortable passage are "God Behaving Badly" by David Lamb and "Is God A Moral Monster?: Making Sense of the Old Testament God" by Paul Copan. 

 

I blogged about why I am going to be posting weird sounding verses from the Bible here. As often as I can on Wednesdays, I will post about an unusual sounding verse and try to offer some explanation of it. In the first one I wrote about the verse from 2 Kings 2:23-25 where Elisha gets made fun of by some youth for being bald. Elisha then calls a curse on them and two bears kill all 42 boys. So there are plenty of very weird passages from the Bible to be looking at. As I said in the first Wednesday-Weird-Bible-Verse entry that I am interested in these strange sounding verses:

  • For one, they are Scripture. And if all Scripture is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:15-16) then we shouldn't ignore them.
  • Secondly, the internet and Twitter and Facebook are flooded with Christians posting the nice, cheery types of BIble verses already (which I love as it is encouraging to read cheery Bible verses about the truths of Scripture). But I think if we only are reading or focusing on the nice, encouraging cheery verses, then we can subtly only paint one part of the BIble to the exclusion of other parts. Or get only one understanding of God's character and the full Bible narrative and neglecting parts we don't like. It's easy to just focus on the nice, cheery understandable verses (which is needed and wonderful!). But we better not ignore God's Word and also explore the not-so-cheery-verses and not-too-easy-to-understand often weird sounding verses as well. 
  • Thirdly, there are a bunch of web sites and in several of the neo-atheist writings out there who are understandably pointing out the bizarre and troubling sounding Bible passages. I don't blame them for thinking how crazy the Bible allegedly sounds based on singling out these passages. But often what happens is the verses are not studied in their specific cultural context or how they fit in the whole Bible narrative. So as Christians we should be apologists in studying how to respond to when the very strange, often violent, sexist-sounding, bizarre verses are singled out and pointed to. 

So there are multiple reasons for looking at these types of verses and posting most Wednesdays on one. *I'll be interacting with any comments here, but mainly posting further comments on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DanKimball 

The weird verse for this week, is the story of David being asked to get 100 foreskins as a wedding price for a bride, and that is crazy enough sounding. But he didn't just get 100, he went and got 200 of them and killed the men he cut the foreskins off of. I can't comprehend this whatsoever.  

The verse is 1 Samuel 18:27:

"David took his men with him and went out and killed two hundred Philistines and brought back their foreskins. They counted out the full number to the king so that David might become the king’s son-in-law. Then Saul gave him his daughter Michal in marriage"

In reading this story straight from the Bible, it even states how after David brought the forsekins back to Saul that they counted them to show how many there were. What an incredibly weird image of David standing there counting out 200 foreskins. I have beeen fascinated with the life of David lately having studied through the his story in the Hebrew Bible/First Testament (I try not to say "Old Testament" as that can subtly indicate it isn't valid or important. So I use the term "First Testament" or "Hebrew Bible" instead). But what is fascinating to me is that David was truly a man after God's heart - Acts 13:22. We hear sermons about his life and of his great faith. We do hear sermons about David's sin with Bathsheba and that he murdered her husband. The story does tell how he did grieve and repent afterwards (2 Samuel 11-12) and he wrote one of the most beautiful songs of sorrow and repentence in Psalm 51. But at least in my experience we don't hear in sermons some of the other strange things he did as a man seeking after God's heart in his time period. Killing 200 men to give their foreskins to his future father-in-law, polygamy with over 10 wives at once, having multiple concubines and the violence he participated in is so incredibly over the top as recorded in the Scriptures. 

Continue Reading…

Over the past two or three years I have paid attention to how often we quote single Bible verses on Facebook pages or we Twitter a single Bible verse. I love Scripture and it is always refreshing seeing inspired Scripture posted on-line. So I am all for quoting verses of Scripture. Jesus quoted passages of Scripture and it is wonderful seeing BIble verses popping up on Twitter and Facebook.

But there a couple of interesting things to think about regarding these single Bible verse posts. One is that we have to be careful when we quote one Bible verse or use a single Bible verse to then apply to something directly in our life. Greg Koukl from Stand To Reason said it well here about how we need to be careful in how we use single Bible verses. So I won't go into that here, but there is another observation I would like to make. 

Happy faceWhen you scan Twitter and Facebook, virtually all the Bible verses that are quoted, are always the positive, encouraging and cheery ones. Again, all Scripture is inspired, so I absolutely love the positive and encouraging cheery verses. May those quoting them continue to do so, as we need cheer and encouragement in this world for sure from God inspired words.

But…. in the Bible there is also hundreds and hundreds of verses that aren't the nice, encouraging and cheery ones. My friend Mike Frost posted on his Facebook a couple weeks ago that he noticed it was all the happy ones always quoted and it got me thinking about this. Who quotes the other ones? And why aren't we quoting them if they are inspired Scripture just like the cheery and happy ones? The Bible is filled with verses that you never see in those daily calendars with a Bible verse each day in it. Or on Christian coffee cups or t-shirts or memory verse cards. There are hundreds of very strange sounding, weird, sex descriptive, bizarre and even violent verses in the Bible. It shouldn't be a surprise as life is filled with weird, bizarre and all kinds of unusual things. The Bible captures life at different time periods in history and I love the honesty of the Bible. That is one of the things when I first was studying the Bible I was impressed with and made me have more confidence in it's inspiration. If it was soley a human document, we probably would have cleaned up all the stories to have nice endings and removed the weird sounding things. But I believe God gave us an accurate record of what was happening and left in the happy, encouraging parts as well as the bizarre, weird and not so happy ending parts. 

Something else about the weird, sometimes violent and difficult to understand passages from the BIble is that they are being noticed. If you are to read some of the neo-atheist writings, you find that these types of Bible verses are the very ones they are pointing out. I have been in multiple conversations with college students who have raised up these very type of Bible verses which generally are not the ones rasied up. But today, there are web sites such as this one which strive to show many of these Bible verses as evidence why Christianity cannot be true. (I have seen a bunch of these web sites and not abandoned faith, so I do believe there are rational, reasonable responses to claims such as this web site and others make). However, many Christians aren't prepared to respond to when these Bible verses are pointed out and I have talked to some who never even realized they were in there. So I will on most Wednesdays point out a Bible verse that is more of an unusual one. Sometimes I will give some explanation of it, sometimes I will just post the verse.  

There are a lot of Christians who post the hundreds of encouraging and cheery verses (which I am thankful they do), so I am going to once a week post the not-so-cheery and often very weird sounding verses in the Bible. My hope is it will raise up an awareness of these types of verses and have us pay attention to them more, so when we are asked about them or read about them in books are blogs that point them out trying to disprove Christianity – we then aren't caught offguard. I think the more difficult, strange verses actually force us to be better students of the Bible. 

Continue Reading…