Archive for the ‘Bible B-Sides’ Category

Latrine

December 11, 2008

Time for another Bible B-side – our last for awhile.

So, remember Elisha?  Sure you do.

Well, not long after he had those bears maul 42 young boys, he was tasked with doing away with all of the worshippers of false gods – in this case, Baal.  It seems, you see, that the King of Israel – Ahab – had gone and married Jezebel, a Baal worshipper.  That does not sit well with the Big Man.

So He tells Elisha to go out and annoint a new king to take down Ahab.  Enter Jehu, a bloodthirsty zealot (a good thing in those days, mind you), who proceeds to kill a lot of people, including Jezebel, who, despite putting on a lot of makeup and getting dressed up in her finest adornments, ends up having her corpse eaten by dogs and lying on the ground “like dung.”

But Jehu is just getting started. Next, he has Ahab’s 70 sons killed, chops off their heads, and places them in a big pile. And then he “killed all who were left of the house of Ahab in Jezreel, all his leaders, close friends, and priests, until he left no survivors.”

That’s a lot of killing.  But don’t worry, Jehu’s not done, because there are still Baal worshippers left.  He goes on a few more killing sprees until he realizes that it’s going to take forever to wipe ’em all out this way.  So he calls all the Baal worshippers to the temple at the same time, promising the greatest Baal worshipping ever.  And then he kills, and kills, and kills.

Finally, with everybody dead, Jehu takes the demolished pillar of Baal…

img085 by you.

And then, once he’s finished killing all the Israelites who worshipped false idols, Jehu started – you guessed it – worshipping false idols.

The End.

It’s all in the Book:

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=12&chapter=10&version=49

 

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Loincloth

October 6, 2008

Things have been glum lately, so let’s try to cheer ourselves up with a Bible b-side.

Specifically, the good ‘ol prophet Jeremiah forcasting doom for the people of Israel.

Now, it’s not too surprising that a Hebrew prophet would travel through ancient Israel predicting that the people’s ungodly ways would result in their destruction.  That’s like, over half of the Old Testament.

But what makes this particular story so endearing is that God instructs Jeremiah to stop washing his underwear.  Then he tells him to take the soiled loincloth and hide it in a crevice on the mountainside.

“Many days later,” Jeremiah retrieves the filthy undergarment, holds it high over his head, and proclaims:

Jonah

September 4, 2008

Let’s do another Bible B-Side.

Here we have Jonah…he got stuck in a whale.  Perhaps you’ve heard about that part.  But see, I always thought the whole thing with the whale was some kind of test of Jonah’s faith, kind of like Job.

Then I actually read the Book.  See, what happened was, God wanted Jonah to go to Neneveh and tell the people there that they were being wicked and would therefore be wiped out.  Jonah immediately packs his bags and heads for Tarshish, wanting none of this “God” stuff.

Along the way God sends a storm to sink the ship Jonah’s running away on.  Realizing this, the sailors throw Jonah overboard (although they really tried to avoid it) and leave him to the sea.

That’s when the “large fish” (so, not even a whale at all, really) swallows Jonah up.  After three days and nights in its belly, Jonah decides he’d be agreeable to prophesizing after all, and the whale spits him up.

So God asks him to go to Neneveh and tell the people there that they were being wicked and would therefore be wiped out.

The people of Neneveh are surprisingly receptive to God’s threats, and immediately start doing all sorts of things to beg forgiveness.  God, being merciful, accepts their apology and spares the city.

Which really pisses Jonah off.  He was fixin’ to see some good Old Testament destruction – a reasonable assumption, considering that this is, in fact, the Old Testament – and wants no part of this “mercy” business.  He even says something to the extent of, “See, this why I didn’t want to preach for you in the first place, because I knew you’d spare them and everything.  Where’s the fun in that?”

Eventually God very gently explains to Jonah that he’d rather not kill thousands of people for essentially no reason.

So, no mass destruction at the end of this story.  Don’t worry, I’m sure we’ll get to all that eventually.  But for now, we’ll settle for a happy ending.

Two She-Bears Maul the Boys

August 30, 2008

Welcome to a little feature I like to call Bible B-Sides.
Thanks and credit go to SheWalksSoftly for coining that term around 5 years ago.  : -)  I can’t believe it’s been that long.

So what, you ask, is a Bible B-Side?

Well, we all know about Jesus walking on water and healing the blind.  Moses and the 10 Commandments.  John the Baptist with his head on the platter.

But how many of you are aware of the lesser known treasures of the Great Book?  For instance,  that oh-so-fantastic tale of the prophet Elisha and the she-bears, hmm?  Well, okay, anybody who knows me in real life knows that story.

But for you new recruits out there:  The prophet Elisha is walking on the road to Bethel. Along the way, some small boys come out of the woods and jeer at him, saying, “Go away baldhead, go away baldhead!”  When Elisha sees them, he curses them in the name of the Lord.  And so two she-bears emerge from the woods and maul 42 of the boys.  Satisfied, Elisha continues his journey to Bethel.

So here is my interpretation of the second book of Kings, chapter 2, verse 23.  Or, as I like to call it, “Two She-Bears Maul the Boys:”

Here’s the chapter itself, although I prefer the New Oxford Annotated translation, which I couldn’t find online.  This will have to do: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20kings%202%20;&version=49;